Beginning With Brad - Part One

(Part 1 from 1. Fiction.)

"Coming Out" wasn't a term as widely known in 1977 as much as it is today. Either way, it was something that I never wanted to do.-- God! - just the thought of anyone thinking that I might be interested in boys would send me into a state of shear panic. I was an average high school living an average life in Anytown, USA.

I suppose that my home state was as liberal as any state could be in the mid 1970's, but nevertheless, in the rural comminity where I did live, homosexuality was still thought of as "The that dare not speak its name."

It made me sad that love between two people, any two people, could be not only wrong, but so wrong that it was unspeakable. It also made me feel ashamed that I would one day be known as one of those kind of people, you know? -- a man who loves another man. But my little town is where I lived the most wonderful, horrible, happiest, saddest, loving, misrable, and ultimately incredible days of my life. And what is most surprising to those whom I have shared this story with is simply this: if I had to do it over agian, I wouldn't change a fucking nano-second of it for all of the money in the world.

But I didn't have any of these feelings until after I met Bardley Nygaard. Infact, the thought of boys loving boys never entered my mind. For some reason I always assocaited that type of stuff with men. There where no real life examples for someone young like me to know that I wasn't the only high school boy who felt the way that I did. I didn't want to be the 5th member of The Village People, or like Billy Crystal who played Jody in the television show Soap. He was openly gay but wanted to have a sex change, and as young as I was at the time, I thought that I knew why he wanted to do that. It was because he wanted to love a man and was willing to become a woman to do it. So that it would be "right" in the eyes of the society.

If I was right, and that was the reasoning behind any man wanting to become a woman, I understood it. But it was something that I would never consider. I wanted to love another boy as a boy, and I wanted the rest of the would to just shut the hell up and mind thier own mother fucking business. It didn't seem like alot to ask for, but I would soon find out, and Bradley would be there with me every step of the way.

Brad was an avarage kid just like me, if not more so. We weren't jocks, but we weren't nerds either. Infact, we weren't even somewhere in the middle of all of that. We where invisable except to each other. He later said that he often felt like he could have came to school butt-naked and nobody would have noticed. It was a feeling that I always felt, but not quite in that same context. I just felt invisable.

I often think back about the years that I had Brad Nygaard in my life, and I always end up thinking what people have though for ages when they feel like they missed out on something. You know? - How does that hat old saying that go?

"If I only knew then what I know now, I would have...........?"

And then they fill in the blank spot with whatever they feel that they've missed, or didn't do and whished that they had, or vice-versa. Whenever I arrive at this feeling, I quickly realize that if I where able to go back and relive even a second of time with Brad, knowing what I know now, it would just be a different experience that I would have most likely forgotten about years ago.

People don't realize the lifetime value of what I call "Living life as you go" and how going back and trying to relive it to change the outcome, robs you of the lessons they obviously take for granted. I was one of those people, and it took me along time to realize that I was a richer man for "Not knowing then what I know now"
like the fact that love doesn't just happen.

One of the -kept secrets on the planet, is simply this: love is a choice. I never realized this as I was growing up. Unlike most boy's, I had fell in love with another boy, not realizing that it was a choice that I had made. Instead, it almost seemed like love fell out of the sky and hit me on the head or was otherwise magically manifested. I believe that this theory is not an uncommon one. Historically, love is viewed as a passive experience, something that "just happens" to you. We see love more as a reaction than an action, and we've become unwitting participants in the process.

Even the way we speak of it - "I fell in love" - makes it sound as if it where some sort of accident, like falling down the stairs. Then later we'll say - "I fell out of love" - again as if it weren't within our control. I had already known Brad for more then a year, or actually knew that he existed for more then a year, but never spoke to him directly. I'd see him between classes, standing at his locker, or walking through the corridors.

I took notice of Brad because I had a feeling that we had met somewhere before, but for the life of me, I just couldn't remember where. I was too shy to even think of walking up to him and asking him if he recognized me form somewhere. Instead, I studied him from a far, convinced that it would come to me in a flash, and that I would feel silly when I finally did remember where it was that we knew each other from. But that day never came. What did come was that realization that I studied Bradly like my contemporary studied a girl.

"Holy Shit!" - I thought to myself. Now I get it........I was lusting after this whom I'd never even spoken to. And as far as I knew, he didn't even know that I was alive. And that's exactly how he made me feel - ALIVE! so fucking alive! - I thought that I had been in love a few times before, but I was wrong! - I'm not sure what those feelings where, but they where nothing compared to this. Brad not only made me feel different, he made everything around me feel, smell, look, and sound different. I'd shiver when he came into view, I could smell the grass and flowers between my house and school, I could hear sparrows chirping in the trees overhead, and the sky was suddenly a shade of blue that I reminded me of his eyes. Suddenly everything in the world was right, and my life upon it was a wonderful place to be. For the time, the world was where I wanted to be and not the place that I couldn't wait to leave.

The next schol year, Brad and I finally had a class together and we had the opportunity to speak directly. I was taken by him right away, but I still hadn't thought that there was any possibility that Brad or any other boy carried with him, the feelings that I had safely tucked away in my young heart. What I found attractive about Brad had nothing to do with his outward appearance. It was everything inside of him, and who he was that captivated me so much. He was truely a nice boy. He didn't use swears and substituted them with the closest, cleaner version and I found that to be utterly charming. Not even God's name was spoken in vein and Gosh was it's substitute. "Oh my Gosh!" he'd always say. Or "What the heck!" - "Oh crap!" and my favorite of all "What the fudge!" and even that would be said quietly as if he'd actually said "fuck"

Over the course of that school year, Brad and I became friends. I became scared to death that he would figure out that me feelings for him went well beyond friendship, and that he'd not want to be friends anymore. I didn't worry that he would tell anyone if he did find out because that's just the way he was. But I didn't care what others felt about me as much I cared about what Brad felt. This was a turning point in my life and in the firendship that I shared with Brad. When you come to love someone as much as I had fallen in love with Brad, you're left with only two choices. You've gotta shit or get off the pot.

Before long I stopped purposely hiding my feelings for him. I didn't go out of my way to tell him that I was attracted to him, rather I just stopped worrying what, if anything that I said or did might gave me away. One day Brad and I where talking on the phone, and he said "You make me feel wierd" and I remember feeling my heart drop down into my balls, snap back up into me throat, and then fall back into place where it began to beat at an alarming rate.

I had no choice but to call him on it as much as I was afrraid to. "What do you mean?" I asked, and he seemed regretful that he had said anything, but it was too late.

"I don't know" He said. "I guess I mean like this, the way we talk on the phone and stuff. I'm laying in bed and your laying in your bed. It feels like one of us should be a girl." Brad said.

"Well you can if you want to, but I'm staying just the way I am!" I said. I'm sure it was only a few seconds, but it was quiet for what seemed like an eternity. I just layed there with the phone plastered to my ear, and I was so afraid of what he might say next that tears began to build up in my eyes. When the silence was too much to bare, I knew that I had to say something. I wanted nothing more then to just let it all out but as usual, I used humor as my defense machanism to protect myself. But tonight it wasn't working as it usually did, and the truth was slipping out little-by little along with the humor.

"You're not going Jody Campbell on me are you?" I said, which was a refrence to Billy Crystal playing a wannbe transexual named Jody on the popular T.V show Soap.

"No!" Brad said emphatically but with a tone of laughter.

"Good! because I love you just the way you are." I said kowing that it would bring about even more conversation that was new and unchartered territory between us.

"See! just like that!" Brad said. "You just said that you love me, that's kind of wierd don't you think?"

"No, your're my best friend and I do love you, and you love me." I said.

"Oh really! - I do?" Brad said inquizatively - "And just how do you know that? I've never told you that I love you." he continued.

"Well! -- let's say that you come to pick me up for school tomorrow and find out that I died in my sleep. Would you cry Brad?" I asked.

"Yeah, of course I would." He said.

"Yeah Right! - I don't think you would....I mean, why would you?" I said with a angry tone.

"YES I WOULD! - Why are you saying that! You're totally my friend and I love................." He stopped short.

"I know you do. Goodnight!" I said giggling as I hung up the phone.

Of course Brad called right back as quickly as he could get a dial tone. The first words I heard him say after I said hello where "You tricked me into saying that!"

"That's true" I said. "But I didn't trick you into loving me did I?"

"I'll see ya in the morning" Brad said leaving my question unanswered.

I told him that I loved him agian before I hung up and I could tell that he wanted to say it too but he just wasn't ready to say it so openly. But Brad had a way writing between then lines as well as I had the ability to read between them. In the softest, most soothing voice I had ever heard come from his mouth, Brad said that most adorable thing just before he hung up.

"Okay well..... I'm tired and I need to get some sleep. Just do me a favor." He said.

"Sure! what is it? I replied.

"Don't die in your sleep...........cuz....well, you know why." Brad said so sweetly and then hung up.

I just layed there holding the telephone reciever to my chest thinking about what Brad and I had just talked about. I was lost in these feelings that where surging through my body from head to toe. My penis was as hard as a rock as I though about Bradley and how shy and sweet he is. I didn't come out of my little fantacy until I heard the telephone still on my chest "If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and dial again" the recorded female voice said over-and-over.

FUCK! - Just like a woman, my went soft, and she ruined a perfect moment. FUCKING TUNA!


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