Chum

Chum: (n) a close friend.

I was twenty-three years old before I realized there were gay people. I had been told they were perverts. Matter of fact, the American Psychiatric Association confirmed this to us publicly, making us feel our squeamishness was justified by their diagnosis.

I mention this because life marches on, and if you want to lay down and object, be prepared to have boot prints on your face.

When I was ten years old I had a friend. Let’s call him Timmy. No, let’s not. That brings up the idea that he had a dog named Lassie. Let’s
call him Frankie. That’s got a nice Brooklyn feel to it.

Frankie was my chum. Frankie was my devoted companion. Frankie hung out. Frankie defended me when other people said I was a fat pig. Frankie liked me.

Now, as I look back at it, I realize Frankie loved me.

Frankie always wanted to come over, spend the night and sleep in the same bed. That wasn’t weird when you were a kid–you could punch each other and joke around, but he always, by morning, cuddled up to my back.

When I was twenty-three, along with discovering gay people, I also realized that Frankie was one of them. I was probably Frankie’s first love.  An unrequieted one.

Because when I turned twelve, my gyroscope pointed toward pretty girls. Shortly after that I never saw Frankie again. Matter of fact, I don’t even know where Frankie is.

I hope he’s happy.

I hope he found someone who was worthy of his devotion.

And I hope that person is grateful to have Frankie cuddling up to him.

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2 comments on “Chum

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  2. Luke Atkins says:

    Thank you so much. ❤

    -Frankie (well, not him—but someone like him who's been in his shoes)

    Like

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