Dear. Lord. Jaysus.
I’m still a little Auntie and a lot of church fan. It’s important to me that I portray Will as sympathetic and deserving of dignity and respect. Having said that, there’s much about Will most won’t find likable. If I write that, I’ll come off as an asshole, and I AM an asshole, I just don’t want to be an asshole about that. Pick your battles, I guess.
So I need to clear some stuff up. I’m not fond of Will. He’s not who I’d call in an emergency. I’ve earned his trust to a degree and he may consider me to be a friend, but I’m not sure he’s capable of experiencing friendship in the same way I do. He may have been born that way or come to it as a result of how life is for him. I don’t know. He is very intelligent, articulate, in his own way. He has a keen sense of history and can recite chapter and verse about things he’s interested in. I know way more now than I ever wanted to about WW1 and 2. It’s one of his few “happy places”.
He loves art. He loves classic music. He loves antiques. Let’s see, hunting and fishing, big yes! He hates homos. Well not just homos, there’s everything else that isn’t him or the things he does like. Mexicans, Blacks, Jews, Arabs, the Italians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans, all of greater Asia really, have I left anyone out? So you might imagine things get occasionally awkward when he gets on about queers. I’m out to him and he refuses to accept it. He pretends like I’m simply mistaken about that whole thing. Yesterday was hating on people in the medical profession, and fags. Not a likely immediate association, I know, but there’s doctors and nurses who he’s convinced are “that way”. I don’t know how he figured it out, perhaps he checks their shoes. I’m told that’s a sure sign. The upshot is, that’s a reason to distrust someone, especially if they’re going to provide him with healthcare.
I listened quietly for a few minutes and then spoke some truth to some ignorance. It didn’t go well.
He struggles with having to be reliant on a gay man for support. He certainly can’t have anyone “knowing” because the only thing worse than “the cancer” is “the gay”. The alternative is being completely alone in a prison he built largely for himself. He has no family who cares for him or that will do the right thing in spite of it.
I look at him and I see myself. I know what its like to not have family. I know what it’s like to be ostracized for being different. Someone has to do the right thing, and if I pay it forward someday someone might do the same for me.