The Lost Little Duckling

20 May 2009
As I was walking up to school today. I saw a little duckling that seemed to be lost from the rest of its family. My heart yearned to help it, but I knew that me helping it would do more harm than good. I didn't want to "taint" the duck with my touch (I've heard if you touch baby ducks or birds their parents no longer accept them). I took a picture and left it there. I hope it finds its mommy really soon.

Seeing this little duckling reminded me of my best friend Aaron. Recently, he found out that I was gay. Well, it was more that I've been hinting it to him for a very long time hoping that he would be ok with it once I told him. My other best friend Natalie (formerly known as Galadriel) decided to talk to him about Proposition 8 because she heard that we were in disagreement with it. She wanted to help him see my point of view and help him understand it a little bit better. Aaron then turned on her and asked he flat out if I was gay or not. She told him that he'd have to talk to me about it, but he was very persistent and she cracked. I was completely fine with her telling him. I've been meaning to tell him for some time, but the timing has never been right. I guess that I found out why. She told him on Thursday. He kind of freaked out, but he seemed ok about it. He talked to his parents about it and they told him their thoughts about the subject. They also told him that whatever he did that he should not stop being my friend (I was very grateful for their advice to him). We then subsequently talked on Saturday.

As we were talking, Aaron didn't seem like the same person around me. He seemed very tense and very uncomfortable. He asked me a few questions about if I have acted on it and was hinting at if I thought he was attractive so I told him that he was. He was freaked out by that comment, but I told him that he was my little brother/best friend and that I didn't have feeling for him and that I wasn't checking him out. Aaron then seemed to be ok about. He still seemed like a deer in the headlights, but I thought things were going to get better. Aaron told me not to talk to him about it for awhile so that he could process some things.

On Sunday, we went to see Natalie speak. I picked him up and I could feel the tension in the air. I gave him a note that I wrote him expressing some thoughts that I will talk about in a minute and we left for her church. As we were waiting, there was a significant lack of comradeship that we once had. There was no joking, laughing, and talking. It was all serious. I could feel that he was still uncomfortable with me but I didn't want to say anything that might freak him out. I sat there and pretended as if nothing was going on. On the way home, I tried to spark some general conversation the talks we heard, but it was still very limited and tense. I dropped him off and told him goodbye.

Next came Monday morning. We went swimming together like we do on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It seemed really tense again. I could feel his uncomfortableness seeping through his smile and see it in his eyes. It could have been the fact that he was nearly naked around me and thought I was checking him, but I'm not sure. I felt really bad for Aaron. Despite feeling bad for him, I always was really frustrated with him and Natalie for telling him at the wrong moment. After we swam together and showered, we parted and went our separate ways. I broke down in the car and was on the verge of tears the whole way to school and for the next hour. I wrote Natalie a nasty email, which I really regret and apologized profusely over. Then I started to calm down and feel a little bit better.

As I have done a lot of thinking and writing, I have to realize that Aaron is brand new to his whole subject. He has never dealt with it before and it makes it even harder when it is with his one of his best friends, someone he looks up to for guidance in life, and some he considers a spiritual giant and leader. I know that in some way he feels like I have let him down. I also feel like I let him down. I feel really bad and wish I could change it, but I can't. I am no longer the perfect Sean that he thought he knew. He sees me in a completely new light. Some of that Sean was a lie, but most parts of that Sean were the real me. I think that he needs to understand this, which will then help our friendship come back together. As of right now, however, it's very easy to get frustrated with him, especially since every friend that acts like this after I have told them have stopped being my friends after a couple of weeks. I'm hoping that Aaron will be different from these other friends and eventually see me as the same old Sean. He's a great guy and I love him a lot. He just seems lost and confused like the little duckling that I saw this morning. I'll just have to see how this all pans out and hopefully he'll make it back to me as a friend.

To end with some good news, this morning was so much better! It made me really happy. I could still feel like he was a little bit uncomfortable around me but it was as overt as it has been or his has gotten a lot better at hiding his uncomfortableness. We were talking and joking. It started to feel like things were back to normal. I think this was a big improvement for him, but he probably still has a lot to think about and come to terms with. I'll keep waiting for him to come to me or Natalie with questions. I don't want to push him.


playasinmar said...

You told him he's cute!?! You create your own problems, Gimple.

And ducks have no sense of smell.

Beck said...

It just takes some time. Hopefully he won't be like the other "friends" that disappear two weeks later. Though he's not a "wife", I can't help but equate him to my wife when I told her... At first she was mad, incredulous, and confused. She didn't want to speak to me, needed time to process. Then she needed comfort and closeness to confirm that nothing else changed. Then came acceptance, even if not with comprehension.

I would suggest that all friends go through this process. Some go through it quickly, others longer, others still may refused to go through the process. I'm just glad she did. I would think Aaron will, too.

Max Power said...

When you tell him you're gay, he's cute, and you step naked into a locker room shower with him, he's bound to get a little uneasy.

Just be sure not to pat him on the butt with a "good game". That might be taken the wrong way. :)