Justin's Life...

~ January 2001 ~
~ January 4th - 18th ~

January 4, 2001 - Thursday

A lot of thoughts have been going through my head as of late as my impending move to San Diego draws near, but in particular I've been thinking of how my new locale will coincide with a new mindset, especially within the realm of personal goals. As school is now finished and I have no real obligations other than paying bills, I've decided it's finally time to get my shit together in regards to what I want out of life "careerwise." I say "careerwise" with quotation marks because I consider Justin's Life... my career, even though it has no source of income, which most would say regulates it to the realm of hobby. Yet Justin's Life..., living my life openly so others can live theirs, is of what I'm most proud, and "writer" is what I consider my occupation... the other stuff just pays the bills.

So, anyway, one those aforementioned personal goals is to get more publicity for the journal. Indeed, getting mainstream publicity was one of the main reasons for the diary splitting from Koool.com, yet more than a year has passed and not one new thing has come from the new URL.

Now, with the general mindset of doing something to make those changes, and having just read an article here on the plane in Newsweek about Oprah and confidentiality agreements and personal handlers, my desire for real life recognition is at an all time high. Indeed, as the guy sitting next to me is probably gay, supported by my gaydar and his reading a book titled Glamorama, I was hoping he'd recognize me... maybe when the flight attendant said my name as he brought the special meal (which I'd ordered on whimsy). Yet he did not. Why isn't he reading my book, this 16/17 year old gay kid, instead of some tripe called Glamorama? I can't help but remember that prediction I made, too, in March of 1999, that within a year I'd have a full page ad saying that it was okay to be gay. That hasn't happened, but it's going to happen. This is the year I'm going to make things happen.


January 7, 2001 - Sunday

Through the course of my two and a half weeks at home in Kentucky, Bryce and I exchanged several e-mails and grew our friendship. Indeed, one night I wrote that I loved him, but "not sappy romantical love, but love, like I REALLY care about [him] and [his] well being." He had returned the sentiment, and earlier written, "I need you here to talk to." I really thought we were becoming close... but last night, well, so many emotions went through my head I don't know where to start.

See, back when Bryce and I were dating, he'd suggested I spend the night at his dad's house when his dad was out of town for the weekend. I'd thought it was a fun idea, whereby I could get a little more insight into who Bryce is, but I wanted to sleep in the guest room so things didn't move too fast. But his dad didn't leave that weekend, so it never happened.

Also from the time I'd met Bryce, I'd wanted to meet his family. Again, Bryce and I seemed to click, not as dating partners but as close friends, and I wanted to meet his family to better know him. But, the closet overruled, and I figured I'd meet them eventually, when he finally came out to them. (Though they obviously already know, always using gender inspecific pronouns when referring to Bryce finding "someone" and watching Queer As Folk with Bryce on Showtime.)

So, anyway, last night was Bryce's birthday and Noam, Alex, and I were getting together with him to have a little mini-party... but before Alex arrived, I asked Bryce about an e-mail he'd sent me where he'd said he'd been a horn dog and that he needed me back here to "hear [my] speeches about how great [he is], and that [he] deserve[s] better." He went on to tell me that he'd met this guy and they'd been messing around. I wasn't surprised or shocked; sometimes I think Bryce is largely a raging hormone. Yet he went on to tell me that this guy, who was a "fuck buddy," spent the night at his dad's house and met his grandfather. If that wasn't bad enough, he followed by telling me that it was okay that the grandfather met him because he's "undetectable." "Have the fuck buddy spend the night at your dad's house and introduce him, but forget the guy who thought he was your best gay friend?" rang through my head. Staying over at his dad's house was nothing special... and moreover, I was too gay to meet anyone from his family. THAT hurt.

As dinner came and Alex arrived, I couldn't eat. How could I love someone who was ashamed of me? How could Bryce take a "fuck buddy" to his dad's house? I thought I meant more than that; I thought Bryce had better judgment than that; stupid me.

So, dinner went on and it became obvious that I was upset. I didn't want to let things get crappy, especially considering that it was Bryce's birthday, but I couldn't simply pretend that I was fine. Indeed, as we were driving around in the car afterwards, I felt nauseous and wretched. How could I be THAT wrong about Bryce?

Anyway, everyone tried putting on happy faces, but the night went badly, and when I finally got home, I wrote:


First off, no, this isn't a poison pen letter. I'm not writing to attack, or to make you feel bad, but rather to let you know exactly why I wanted to leave... why I wanted to cry... why I felt nauseous... why I was disappointed in you.

On the most basic level, hearing that Mr. Booty Call (the name Alex and Bryce had given him) got to come over and spend the night at your dad's house was disconcerting because *I* was going to spend the night at your dad's house. I thought that spending the night at your dad's house was special, that I was special. Sure, you had sex with the other guys, but *I* was someone extra, the one you hung out with afterwards, the one who was going to go over to your dad's house when he was out of town, the one who was going to be a REAL true friend. And here some guy that you admittedly won't hang out with after the boink fest is over gets to enter into your life FURTHER than *I* do. Crazy me, I actually believed I was somewhat near your gay best friend/mentor. That's what I meant by "mental ho": sharing of your mental space with someone you don't admire/respect/etc (aka who's more than a fuck buddy). It really hurt that he was getting to do what I thought was somewhat special between you and me. No one I didn't hold in EXTREMELY high regard would be able to come to my parents' house, with them there or not. And here Mr. Booty Call got to, and I didn't. Just because we aren't dating doesn't mean that I wouldn't like to spend the night as a sort of sleep over... what I would see as something special, as something bringing us closer together, was given to him freely, with no idea of specialness for him or you. How could someone spend the night at your dad's house and that person NOT be special? And... am I special?

On another level, this "disposable" guy getting to meet your grandfather, when I cannot, left me disappointed in you and hurt. I don't think I'm a big gay flamer, but apparently, being unfalteringly masculine is far more important than being worthwhile. I don't think I'm so gay that your parents would pick it up, but even if I am, how could you introduce Mr. Booty Call to your grandfather and NOT let me meet anyone just because he's undiscernible. I thought everyone treated me the same, with me being gay out of the equation, but you're treating me differently because I'm gay. Like I said, I thought we were close friends... yet you're treating me like something to be ashamed of. My words don't accurately capture the hurt that causes. Damn it, you're a spoiled little rich kid, but you're my spoiled little rich kid and I'd go to the mat for you... or so I thought. You ditch me at the first sign of someone possibly thinking you're gay, when they obviously already know. THAT hurts. "How could I have been so wrong about you? How could I let you into my life? How could I care about you that much when you so obviously didn't care about me?" Those were the thoughts going through my head in the car as I wanted to throw up.

I'm sorry, but I cannot be something you're ashamed of, in any time, context, or place. I'm one of the most damn fine people on this here planet, if I do say so myself. And I can't let you make me feel like shit. I love MYSELF more than that.

So, no, I don't think you meant to hurt my feelings, but the hurt's just the same. I wrote that I loved you the other day, but I don't know how I can love someone who thinks of me as anything less than wonderful.


P.S. The response I'm hoping for... is that you want me to meet your dad. I know you have that within you somewhere. I just hope it appears before it's too late. Dude, you made me feel like SHIT tonight. I still don't know if I've gotten that across. Noam asked if I was going to go up to my apartment and cry when he let me out. It was THAT bad. What's important to you; keeping the lie or keeping the friend. Being in the closet is so fucking up your point of view that no-one-special gets to spend the night and meet your grandfather, yet your gay best friend(?) cannot.
P.P.S. Yeah, I still do love you... but you sure are making it difficult.

--- Edited For Clarity ---


Bryce wrote to apologize, to assure me of my specialness, and to try and explain things away, but I think a lot of issues are still at play. Giving it an armchair analyst onceover, I think the Mr. Booty Call spending the night thing can basically be chalked up to unformed social skills whereby a special activity is shared with anyone in hopes that the activity itself will make the moment special. As for meeting the grandfather, that was by happenstance rather than design. Though hearing that I'm too gay still stings... even if I cerebrally know it's Bryce's own paranoia that causes him to think that. And as for my meeting Bryce's dad, I think there's a longstanding separation of friends and family as Bryce has a virtual split personality in that regard. To his family, he's one person. To his straight friends, he's another. And yet to Noam, Alex, and me, he's yet another. It's hard for me to understand that, as I've always been the same person to everyone, but I think that's from where Bryce is coming. The real issue I have is understanding which personality is the true personality, and which parts of each personality are facades. I have no idea where my friendship with Bryce is going... but I guess we'll see. I don't want to lose it; I believe there's a quality guy there. I just don't know if the closet, and its obvious and no so obvious effects, are going to drive it apart.


When Bryce and I were talking on the phone earlier today, the idea of a "fuck buddy" came up. Bryce asked, "What am I supposed to do? Masturbate all the time?"

Now the immediate answer, the good little Christian upbringing boy answer, is "Yes." But I know from experience that that's getting old really fast. Since I moved out, the only guy I've messed around with is Bryce. Six months, and of that time, maybe three days were spent messing around with Bryce. Only one of those times did anyone "finish"; the other times, it was simply teasing. So, however you look at it, my "sex life" has occurred on less than 2% of the last 180 days... and my actual orgasm in another's presence life has occurred just over 1/2 of 1% for the last 180 days. I'm getting damn tired of my right hand and my imagination.

Yet I just don't have it within me to have a fuck buddy. I can't mess around (aka tease) with someone unless I actually respect him as a person, and I certainly couldn't have an orgasm with a guy I didn't think was worthwhile. So, I'm not faulting Bryce; I know exactly how he feels, but I know of no solution for me. I'd like to have someone to hold me tight and who simultaneously rocked my world. I just don't know where to find him.

So, anyway, there's that... and I was driving down the freeway today wondering why I didn't just crash my car. I don't know why. I don't know what that would change. Perhaps I was just hoping that it'd break this wall around me, that I'd "see the light" and start appreciating things. Oh how I hope moving to San Diego brings some changes.


January 8, 2001 - Monday

Yesterday, I was in such a self-pity funk that I could literally barely move. I didn't know what to do, or what I wanted to do, and I knew no trip to the store was going to solve the problem. I sat here in the apartment, aggravated at the world, feeling lost, and feeling helpless.

Today has been a marked improvement. I cleaned my apartment, paid bills, worked a bit, and caught up on e-mail some, too. But mainly, the difference between yesterday and today is that I decided things are going to change soon and it's not important that everything isn't perfect right now. Change takes time; I have to realize that, but it is starting... and I'm trying to install fail-safe's to make sure it continues, too. For example, to make sure that I find an apartment in San Diego soon, Mom's flying out on Saturday to help me look. With her here, I can't say that I'll simply do it next week. Inertia is SUCH a powerful force, even when a change is desired.

So, anyway, I've had enough of this sad sack attitude, and I'm going to do my best to change it. I am changing it.


January 9, 2001 - Tuesday

Ironically, I'm fully self-aware that my moods have been going from one extreme to the other lately, yet I write as though the current mood/mindset will undoubtedly continue. Each entry seems to end with a statement of how the outlook will go on indefinitely, or how it will change, but with some certainty of continuation in one direction or the other.

I, of course, do not know how I will feel tomorrow. I can only hope, perchance, that my positive outlook one day will continue to the next... I guess I'm basically just saying that I can appreciate the fact that the entries (and my simultaneous mood) go from good to bad to good to bad to good to bad, and so forth. And I can appreciate that in a lot of those entries, and indeed in a lot of those moods, the outlook I have may seemingly contradict the outlook I had yet a few days earlier, the outlook I wrote/thought was going to extend well into the future.

It's life, that's all I know to tell ya.


As I was trying to catch up on e-mail yesterday, a few paragraphs that I read stuck out in particular. In one, a closeted college student from St. Louis wrote:

[I] also didn't want to be limited to interacting with just 10% of the population, and I felt like that would happen if I came out. I see it happen almost every day with visible minorities...Asians hang out together, African-Americans hang out together, and, yes, Caucasians hang out together too. I never want to hang out with exclusively gay people...I know a lot of great people who aren't gay, and I don't want to stop meeting them.

--- Edited For Brevity/Focus ---

And another e-mail I got from a 35 year old preacher's kid in Seattle read:

It's funny. I always said that I was looking for friends, but I was looking for good-looking guys who would eventually work into "the one". None of the guys I sought out were that person. Most of my real friends I met through shows I was in, or at work. They needed a ride home, so I gave it to them. Then they said, hey let's get together and have dinner after the show tomorrow. The biggest quality that made us such good friends is that they didn't give a rat's ass whether I was gay or straight, rich or poor, neat or somewhat disorganized (I'll let you guess which of those two I am. hint: Keith, my partner, is the neat one). What really made it work is that I suddenly realized that it didn't matter whether they were any of those things either. And, over a long time of neither of us caring about that stuff, we learned a lot of cool things about each other that have made us thicker than thieves. I know that I'm talking about it like it's only one other person, but that's because each friendship started that way. One on one. Then I would meet their friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, kids. Before I knew it I had more friends than I knew what to do with. It takes a lot of time and energy and a lot of being there to maintain these friendships, but I wouldn't trade them for the world.

--- Edited For Brevity/Focus ---

Those both rang so true. Gay guys do tend to hang exclusively with gay guys. In fact, in my case, I'm not sure how I could even meet anyone who isn't gay... and it's been something that's been on my mind for a while now, though not quite as succinctly as written in that first e-mail.

Part of the reason I moved out was to figure out who I am and to make friends, yet I haven't a clue where to make friends other than via the website or personal ads. Each of those routes means that my potential friends are almost exclusively limited to gay men. No longer going to school and not having a 9-5 job, my places for contact with people is limited and my places for contact with people who aren't gay is almost non-existent. What am I going to do: Hang out with the KFC girls?

So, that thought, of finding hobbies, or joining a club, or even getting a part time job at Best Buy, has been going through my mind. I want friends who aren't necessarily gay, but I'm not sure where to find them. My "plan" is to increase my real world interaction and hopefully find those friends in the process. And hey, I do have two straight women who want to meet me in San Diego.

As for the second e-mail, I've thought a lot about that, too. I'm no doubt guilty of "looking for good-looking guys who would eventually work into 'the one'." In hindsight, I think that's why I got so upset the other night with Bryce. While we dated and it didn't work out, he showed enough potential that I sub-consciously thought I could perhaps work him into "the one" as he grew a little older and more mature. But when he told me about Mr. Booty Call, I realized that I'd overestimated his potential for "working into 'the one'," and so I was disillusioned. Adding that Mr. Booty Call was "undetectable," thereby implying that I was so gay any straight man could tell, only insulted me more and made his potential as "the one" all the lower. In my mind, a friend's a friend, and I would never be ashamed of him... or else he wouldn't be my friend in the first place.

So, anyway, e-mail has been quite insightful lately. I've still got nearly a month's worth to catch up on, but I'm looking forward to it. Who knows what insights they'll hold...


Although this is more of a brain fart than any real take on life, I can't help but think it merits chronicling. Without fail, The Simpsons makes me laugh. Even the other night when I was in that funk, I turned it on and laughed out loud. The jokes are at such various levels. There's the obvious ones, and then there are the ones you know most people didn't get, but you got. Like the other day, the show was a VH1's "Behind The Music" parody, and Marge was doing a lounge act. When she walked off the stage, she said, "Goodnight, Laughlin." Laughlin is this little gambling town in Nevada, which most people have no doubt never heard of. Yet I got it. Her act was so small, it was playing in Laughlin, not Atlantic City, Reno, or Vegas, but Laughlin, a 5 stop light town that literally wouldn't exist if it weren't for gambling. Even now writing it down now, it's funny. And at the end of the show, where they were previewing next week's "Behind The Laughter," it was Huckleberry Hound saying, "I was so gay... but I couldn't tell anyone." In one thirty minute show, there are so many jokes, cerebral jokes where you can't see the punch line coming... it's downright refreshing in this vast media wasteland of "Meet The Parents" and "What Women Want" to see entertainment where it's assumed the audience actually has a brain.


January 12, 2001 - Friday

Have you ever wished something was so, so much that you start to pretend as though it was, even though you knew better? I've been at that point lately, where I so wish I had someone special in my life that I find myself wanting to do special things for guys who aren't yet at that special level. I want to randomly send flowers, or perhaps a box of chocolates, yet I've never even met the guy in real life.

And sure, I'm hesitant after being burned by that Scott guy in Kentucky, but still, it's like I so want someone in my life on whom I can focus my attention, on whom I can dote, that I don't even care.

And yet, the cerebral part of me knows that if anything were to ever happen with someone, I shouldn't start it off on the wrong, "artificial" foot. So, instead, I do nothing. I want the sentiment to go from me to him specifically, and not from me to him generic.

So, who knows... Mom arrives from Kentucky tomorrow to help me go look for an apartment in San Diego. I'm sure once the ball gets rolling on that, it'll take most of my attention. I've got a personal ad running in San Diego now, too. Hopefully it'll at least garner some new friends. Things will change. How they turn out, I guess we'll see.


With each passing day, I more and more realize just how much of a rarity I am, and instead of being elated that I really am one in a million, I feel exactly like that; one in a million.

No one seems to be at my level... and I say that without one iota of bragging. I say it with desperation, near the point of tears, fearful that I'll never find a match. I don't think my situation is that unique, nor that my parents were that different, yet I can find no one on the same page. Today, David fucked up royally. Tonight, a guy I'd been talking to online let me down. Why is it that when someone surprises me positively, it's over something stupid, like a vase, yet when someone surprises me typically, negatively, it's over human interaction, over relationships, and has long term effects.

I mean, I don't think my expectations are that high, and I hold no one else to standards which I don't hold myself... yet no one seems to meet those standards. I am not a saint. I don't even view myself as that extraordinary. But tonight I feel like there's not a kindred spirit anywhere. Not a match at all... and instead of being proud that I'm special, I just feel incredibly alone.


Mr. Aforementioned Online Guy redeemed himself by sending a box of Godiva chocolates. It's not perfect, but it's a start...


January 18, 2001 - Thursday

Mom arrived on Saturday, and Sunday morning we began our trek for an apartment. Day one was spent driving through San Diego getting a feel for the various locations, and narrowing the search down to Del Mar, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Mission Hills. Day two started in Mission Hills as we'd happened on a very nice open house the day before (with a 2 bedroom apartment renting for a bit too much at $1495)... yet by the end of the day two, we'd found perhaps four apartment buildings not worth getting out of the car, two worth a second look, and one where we actually went inside. The latter was $1100 and had one decrepit elevator and one washer and one dryer per floor. In fact, besides an assigned parking space, the apartment had nothing worthwhile at all... day two was a complete bust.

Before leaving L.A. on day three, I found an online apartment listing service and paid $60 for some new leads in Mission Hills. Armed with a new list and renewed hope of finding something, we headed back to San Diego and to Mission Hills specifically. Yet the day was again a bust. The one occasion where we found an apartment building that was decent looking on the outside was met with a response that the apartment itself wasn't available until next month and therefore we could only see what we saw (the outside) until February.

Wednesday morning, four days and some 800 miles after the apartment hunt began, I went back online and printed listings from the $60 service for La Jolla, Balboa Park, and Mission Valley. Balboa Park was on the outskirts of Mission Hills, and when we'd eaten in Mission Valley Tuesday night at the end of our searching, I figured it was worth another look the next day.

Anyway, day four began in Mission Valley... and it was FAR more productive. The apartment complexes were easily found, and while they ranged in price from $900 to $1400, they were all relatively nice, especially compared to the places we'd seen the previous days and to my current building. Most had washers and dryers in each unit, and the two that did not had five to ten pair in a laundry room ( as opposed to the one set per floor (of around 18 apartments) in my current building. ) They layout of the grounds were a lot better, too. No parking in a structure then walking through the building, up the elevator, and down a hallway. Instead, you simply parked your car and walked directly to your apartment on the first, second, or third floor.

So, anyway, by the time the day ended, I'd still not decided but at least I knew there were options... lots of options that would make me happy. Tonight I've got to go through the brochures and make comparisons, and tomorrow we're heading back to San Diego for day five to view other complexes in the area and perhaps re-view the best of the lot, but at least the end of the search is in sight.


In other news, Mom's had quite the eventful trip. Due to overbooking, she was re-routed and given a $350 travel voucher, in addition to a first class upgrade... all to arrive 30 minutes late, and she experienced her very first earthquake, too. The night she arrived, we had dinner with Noam in Glendale. Sunday night when the boys (Bryce, Alex, and Noam) cancelled their plans to go to a club, we had dinner with them in Cerritos. Then Tuesday we had lunch with Bryce in San Diego and dinner with Warren and Selma (Grandpa and Grandma) in La Jolla. Yesterday we even had lunch in San Diego with Dan (who I hadn't seen in several months) before heading back to L.A., and on to Burbank, to have dinner with Noam. And tonight, we're having dinner with Larry and the kids, probably at Chuck E. Cheese's. It's been fun seeing everyone so much... and I'm glad they all got to meet her at such length and vice versa.

Mainly, though, I'm really glad she's been here to help me look for an apartment. I often don't agree with her take on the place, but it's nice that she's there to share the experience... and to share the exasperation of the first couple of days.

I guess I really am a momma's boy...

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© 2001 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's