I have been meaning to write this for a while and now I have been able to collect my thoughts together to put thoughts to paper. I tend to bottle things up inside which might be surprising to a few people considering how outgoing a personality I have when I am with others. I am talking about important things that I carry deep within myself that make me feel vulnerable and require a great amount of trust to on my part to share with anyone else.
Generally, what happens is that these emotions continue to build up and start to show in my face. I can tell because my friends will start asking me if I am alright. Such was the case this one day. Of course, my response was, “I’m fine.” Of course, everything inside me was like a boiling cauldron. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. “What the hell!” I thought to myself. “Get a hold of yourself”
My face is transparent. I cannot hide things very well. I tried very hard during that day to put up the best front and so when the night came I was emotionally exhausted inside. I needed to unburden myself. I felt I had no one to talk to, or at least, I felt I did not want to bother anyone with what I thought were my silly problems.
One of the things about Shirl is that he is the equivalent of the “Fonz” in the gay world. He walks into a club and they are all over him. Part of the fun being out with him is watching him try to maneuver through all the attention. In some ways it is pretty fun for him and in other ways it can be pretty crazy for him. You would think someone like that would be totally superficial, but he is not, and that is why we became good friends.
Case in point, on this night, he noticed that I was distant and not myself. He kept asking me what was wrong. After hearing me give my “I am fine” pat answer several times. He finally said, “Okay we need to talk.” We walked to a parking lot across the club behind a big sign for some privacy.
After a few verbal nudges from him, I let it out. He listened. He then said a few words that I needed to hear. That was what I needed. I felt the burden lift off me. I needed a friend where I could just say what I needed to say. We left the parking lot and went back to the club.
He did not know what he actually did for me that night. You see, I used to have a couple of friends who used to live in the area that I could rely on for the same kind of support. I never knew I could find friends like that again. That night I realized that I could.
In this day when our lives are being toppled by economic turmoil, world conflict and even environmental issues, the support of good friends becomes the cherished commodity in our lives. I am thankful for mine.