when I think of us
robertauld

I had an idea for a post, something like When I think of us, I think of...and it would be like a list or a poem or like something
I had a few pictures in mind to go along with the words but now the idea is gone.
I waited too long.
I have other ideas as well. In a few days, those will come.



the land of cotton
robertauld

 

Sometimes I think it is an act of God that I met him. All of the winter of 2009, and the spring, I prayed to a God I wasn't sure if I believed in that I would find someone who loved me. I prayed that I would love someone, that we would be happy- that I would get a chance, if only one.
I got desperate. I lost hope. I was 13 years old and I thought that my life was going to end of I didn't find love.
And love found me.
Maybe I'll start calling him September. If I called him June, the month I met him, people would probably think he's a girl.
He is a man. He is eighteen years old. He is sweet and loving and we have hurt each other and maybe we are starting again.
Maybe we aren't. I don't know what comes now.
I'm okay with not knowing.

I have a nephew. It's still settling. He is young and eventually he will be old and I will be old someday, too.
We will be able to carry on a conversation when he is older. He will make me laugh and I'm sure I will think of holding him when he was a baby, how small he was, how much I loved him.
I will always love this small life that was in my sister for almost ten months, that she pushed out of her in next to no time. This small life lived inside of her and now it is living in the world and he is beautiful.
She hasn't been able to sleep, lately, because he is always crying and screaming and hungry. It's not always, actually. It could be so much worse.
For now,  we are lucky.
I can't stop looking at him.

I have struggled with weight my whole life. I was always the fat kid, always not growing any taller but always getting wider and wider. I was never a Small, only a Medium and then a Large, and eventually an extra large. At one point, I weighed close to 170.
That was almost a year ago, before I met Him. I have an idea for a poem, a post, involving the two of us again. Maybe I'll write it on Saturday, when I have more time.
I still struggle with my weight, though I've lost somewhere around 30 pounds. I look in the mirror and sometimes still hear, "Fat." Other times I look in the mirror and just think, "Wow. I look great."
But those times are once in a blue moon and they are so few I could probably count them.
Some days I skip meals. I eat a small breakfast and skip lunch, just to come home and eat and eat and eat. I try to fast and instead I binge and the process repeats again the next day.
I want to lose weight. I do. 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 20 pounds. If I lost 20 pounds, I would make myself sick.
I want to be happy with my body. Sometimes I don't think I need to lose weight. I probably don't.
I have lost 30 pounds. I am 6 pant sizes smaller, meaning my waist is six inches smaller.
I was an Extra Large and now I am a Small.
I should be proud.
Maybe someday I will be.
I always think of this post when I think of my weight. Maybe you will think of it now, too.

I have had this blog for two months.

I will return in a few days.
Until then, have a good week.


the lovely bones
robertauld

These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections — sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent — that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events my death brought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous lifeless body had been my life.
~Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

I watched The Lovely Bones with my mom today. I wrote my outline for my research paper and tried not to cry, for many reasons.
Because I'm an uncle. Because I'm happy. Because there are so many people who love me and there are so many people I love and I am so lucky for my life.
I cried for my life, most of all.
You know what The Lovely Bones is about. I don't have to tell you. I haven't read the book yet, but I'll have to read it for English class next year.
I want to read it now. I want to read it from cover to cover as quickly as I can, and then I will read it again. I want to run to a bookstore tonight before it closes and buy the last copy on the shelves, hold it under my coat as I take it home.
I couldn't stop crying, in the end. My mom was sitting next to me and I didn't want her to see me cry but, really, I have been crying all day.
I was rocking the baby back and forth this morning in his carrier, 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3. I kept time in my mind and watched him sleep and my mom was doing the dishes and I cried.
But I'm okay with crying. When it's over, when I have no more tears left, I always feel so much better.
I feel reborn.

I was doing yoga on my bedroom floor a few minutes ago, listening to Iron & Wine as I went through the sun salutations, and I could hear my nephew crying in the living room. He isn't real to me. I don't know if he ever will be.
I lied on my back on the mat and breathed, in and out and in and out. I love the feeling, the emptiness, in my stomach. I am full of love and happiness and, to feel my body sinking towards the ground...I am grounded, in the best possible way.
I will tell my dad when the time is right. I will tell my mom when the time is right.
I am accepting myself and they have to accept me and tomorrow is Monday and I am back to school.
Tomorrow is new, and I am reborn.

On having a nephew, being privileged, and saving the world
robertauld
Good morning/night/afternoon, Livejournal. I was going to write this over the weekend but I know I'm not going to have any time at all. Tomorrow, I have two shows with Sophie. Sunday, I'm pretty sure I have lunch plans and I seriously need to buckle down on that darn research paper.
I have a little Post-It note inside of the composition notebook next to me with a list of things to write about-
-baby
-being privileged
-earth day/saving the world
-the book
-a poem

I guess I'll just start and go through this and ramble because I've had a lot on my mind the past few days. I've had time to think and write and read but, really, the time has come and gone faster than I've realized.
Monday, and school starts again. I have two months of school left and then my freshman year is over. And then I will be sophomore.
And all of this is just passing me so quickly and I don't want to miss anything.
I know it's inevitable. I know I know I know, I'm still your love.

The baby came. Wednesday morning and my sister was losing her mind. The due date was Saturday and then Sunday came and Monday and Tuesday and, by Wednesday, my sister just wanted him to come out.
Wednesday morning and the contractions started.
We went for a walk and, every few minutes, we had to stop. My sister doubled over and breathed and then it was gone and we'd keep walking.
She started timing her contractions around noontime. By 6 or 7 Wednesday night, they were eight minutes apart. It was time to go to the hospital.
My dad brought her and I waited at home, writing and reading and trying not to freak out. Eventually, I went to sleep.
My sister's water broke at 2:30 AM.
In the morning, when I woke up, I was alone in the house. My dad had gone to work for a few hours and my mom was at the hospital and she told us to just meet her there.
I showered and my dad came home and we crossed town and took the elevator to Labor & Delivery.
We sat in the waiting room and watched the view but I couldn't focus. I started reading The Last Summer Of The World by Emily Mitchell but I couldn't focus. I checked my email. I couldn't focus.
At 10:52, my sister had her baby.

Eventually, they let us in. I saw my sister and cried. I saw the baby and his tiny hands reaching towards her face and I cried.
I sat on the floor next to my mom and watched my sister watching me. She did it naturally, no epidural or anything. She pushed for 45 minutes before he came. She pushed and she didn't and my sister is one of the strongest people I know.
She has been through so much. And now she is a mother.
My dad and I went out to lunch and there were so many times I just wanted to say, "Dad. I'm gay." I was so close to saying it and I should've, but I got scared. I'm making excuses for myself. I'm horrified.
I could keep talking about the baby but there's something else I want to say. This is what my dad and I mostly talked about when we were together-

My mom's friend's sister was in the waiting room with my dad Wednesday night. Her husband is one of my uncle's friends. He asked my dad about the baby and my dad asked him about the baby they were waiting for, their grandchild.
He told my father that his daughter's baby was stillborn, and they were making her have him anyways.
And when my dad told me that, I cried. He almost cried. I have been crying non-stop the past few days.
And it makes me feel lucky. My sister's pregnancy was so easy. There were next to no complications.
My family, we are struggling for money, but we're making it work. We're managing.
We survive.
Their grandchild didn't.

I can't explain how it made me feel, when my father told me that.
But I realized, again, for the second time that week, how lucky I am.

Tuesday, I went to a job workshop my mom signed me up for. It was at the career center a few towns over and it was just a little workshop about job interviews and attire and what to do when looking for a job.
Sitting in the waiting room there, I looked around and saw all of these people who belong to a different world than me. Most of them probably spent their childhoods in DSS, with their social workers and moving from program to program. My mom is a social worker.
Most of them have had it so hard, and I have had it so easy.
I am privileged. I get an allowance and, if I want money, I ask my mom and it's usually that simple. The past few months, though, I have felt so guilty asking my parents for money. Whether it's five dollars or ten dollars, sometimes even twenty, I feel like I shouldn't be asking for it.
We're behind on our bills. I might have to stop taking piano lessons.
I'm trying so hard to be grateful and I shouldn't need to be in situations like that to be grateful for the life I have.
I should feel the way I felt in that room every day, for every second.

There was one boy there who stands out in my mind, still. He was older, maybe in his early 20s, wearing a jean jacket. He had a newspaper and he was cutting out a few stories, carefully, meticulously, with a rusting pair of scirssors.
I can still remember him.

Yesterday was Earth Day. My newphew's birthday will always be on Earth Day. I think that's so great.
I've made a list and taped it to my wall, next to my Ani Difranco poster, of Things To Do To Save The World.
I need to just pay more attention to the world around me, the environment. If this means recycling everything and using a reusable water bottle, taking shorter showers and spending less time on the computer/watching TV, I'm going to do it.
I need to. My generation needs to change.
We're the only hope, aren't we?

This is a long post. I had so many things I wanted to write about and, now that I'm actually writing, it doesn't seem all that important anymore.
So maybe this is all, until next weekend.
I'm sure I'll have more to tell you by then.

a letter
robertauld

Good morning, Livejournal. I haven't been blogging on here very often for the past few weeks.
Yesterday was my sister's due date. She hasn't had the baby yet. We're waiting and I'm nervous but I know that he will come when he's ready.
And to be completely honest, I'm horrified. I don't know if I've ever been so afraid in my whole life.

The Amanda Palmer show on Monday night was surreal. I blogged about it on Tumblr but I'm just going to ramble about it again on here because I still feel like it never even happened.
I took the train to Boston with my mom and Sophie. We ate dinner at Club Passim/Veggie Planet and went to the Harvard Bookstore. The last time I went to the Harvard Bookstore it was December 2006, when I was going to see the Onion Cellar with my dad, over three years ago.
Wandering those shelves, I was hit with this overwhelming sense of being, presence, nostalgia. I was such a different person three years ago. I was eleven years old.
We walked past the restaurant my father and I ate at, and we passed Cafe Pamplona, which Amanda sings about in "Truce" and is just always talking about in general.
And I saw it, my dream apartment. It's just down the street from the Oberon Theatre, the venue where the show was, and I saw it and just...knew. It is beautiful. I can't even describe it.
Cambridge is...Cambridge already feels like home. I can keep dreaming, I guess.

We finally made it to the venue and waited in line for an hour or so with the other people who had congregated by the main doors. We talked about Amanda Palmer and my mom went to go get ice cream and Sophie and I just kept waiting.
Eventually we got inside. I got my merchandise and we all crowded towards the stage and Jason played. He screamed and pounded on his guitar and his accordion and we spun in circles before singing "The Drinking Song."
Amanda came out and played a few songs and I remembered why I love her so much. I see her and I can't breathe. I see her and all I want to do is make people feel the way she makes me feel.
Evelyn Evelyn played and it was hilarious and sad and, when they were finished, it was 11 o'clock. They had a Q&A and then Amanda said they were going to sign things.
We waited in line. Sophie told me that I had to go first and I decided to just let it go, because I really don't feel like fighting with anyone anymore. It was the first time she's seen Amanda.
Eventually, it was my turn. I asked her to sign my vinyl and told her my name and I asked her if I could hug her. I told her that I've been in love with her since I was ten years old. She asked me how old I am.
I told her that I am fourteen. And I am so young. But it has been almost five years since I found her. And she has changed my life.
She kissed me on the cheek again and it was okay with me that she doesn't remember my name, because she meets hundreds of people every day and I'm just one person.
Sophie came and met me after and we walked away, holding hands, crying.
I always cry after I see her.

The week went by quickly because all I was thinking about was what my sister had texted me on Monday night when we were at the concert.
My dad added me on Facebook a few months ago, but I didn't approve him. He doesn't know that I'm gay. And I'm not ready to tell him. I've realized now that I'm never going to be ready, but I'm still putting it off, telling him.
But I guess on Monday night he went on my Facebook again, and saw it, there. Interested In Men. He asked my sister what it was about and she changed the subject and he didn't push it any farther.
I took it off my Facebook.
He brought it up again on Tuesday when I was in my room doing yoga, I guess. He hasn't brought it up since then, but he will. And I'm going to tell him. I have to.
I've been thinking about coincidence, and circumstance, and my father. When I started writing this post, I had the intention of writing my dad a letter that he would never read, about me. I think I'm going to do that, and just see whatever comes out, and just let it out.

I'm sorry. I can apologize hundreds of times and it's not going to change anything. You saw it, on my Facebook. You know now. You've probably always known. I've always known, I think. I've just been avoiding it, the same way I know you are.
So I'm just going to come out and say it. I'm gay. I don't want to hold a girl's hand and I don't want her to take me home to meet her parents. I want to be held by a boy who smells like the ocean, who will understand me the way I've always dreamed of.
There's something I have to say, first- it was never a choice. This wasn't a decision I made. I didn't wake up one morning and decide that I was gay, that I was incapable of being attracted to girls the way that normal boys are.
And this doesn't make me abnormal. This doesn't make me defective. This wasn't a mistake.
I am who I am this is what it is and I'm sorry. I already apologized. I'm probably going to keep apologizing for the rest of my life.
I don't want to have to be disappointed in myself. I want to tell you. I want to just come out and say it. I've been imagining ways I can bring it up without falling apart.
I keep thinking that we're going to be in the waiting room, and Ashley is going to be in labor, and you're going to ask me about it. I'm going to cry and you're going to cry and I won't have to tell you because the look on my face will be enough.
Is it ever enough?
I feel like I've always disappointed you.
When I was younger, and I played with dolls instead of action figures, I feel like I disappointed you. When I listened to Britney Spears and the Spice Girls and knew every single word, I was disappointing you. When I cut my tank tops into belly shirts and gave everyone the peace sign, I was disappointing you.
When you ask me if I have a girlfriend and I tell you that it's not important to me, I'm disappointing you. I'm lying to you. I don't want to lie anymore.
I met a boy last summer, who made me feel like the most beautiful person in the world. He loved me, and he still loves me, and I don't know if I love him. I've hurt him and he's hurt me and we have been through so much and I can't tell you about it because you won't understand.
Maybe you will. Maybe I'm just afraid. I know I'm afraid.
I met another boy, in the fall, who broke my heart. We spent three nights driving around this town that I have always lived in, listening to Imogen Heap and the soundtrack to The Wiz, and he kissed me in the parking lot at Lynch Park. It was the kind of kiss I've always dreamed of.
And he hurt me. And he's hurt me so many times, but I keep falling into his traps.
I want to tell you about him too, but I can't.
And there have been other boys. And there will be other boys. And maybe someday, I will tell you about them.
Maybe you'll never talk to me. Or maybe we'll live in this same house until I leave for college but you won't see me anymore, because I've become everything a father doesn't want his son to be.
I am not the basketball star. Or the baseball star. Or the football star.
But I am a writer. That's all I want to do. I want to write stories and songs and poems about people and I want ot reach people. I want to make people laugh and cry and live in a brickstone in Cambridge. I want to retire to London when I'm older, when my children are out of college.
Will I ever have children?
Will you ever forgive me.
I have a lot of questions.

I don't remember the last time I told you I love you. Maybe on my birthday, last summer? Maybe it was even farther back. Maybe I'll never say it again. Maybe you'll stop loving me.
But I love you. You're my dad. You will always be my dad and I will always be your son but I can't get those three words out because of the two words I have never been able to tell you.
Sometimes I think it doesn't fit me- gay. Does it fit anyone? I know it's the truth.
Friday was the Day of Silence. I didn't talk, for the most part, for over six hours. Sometimes I'd start talking and stop, all these things I wanted to say but couldn't.
My relationship with you has turned into that.

So maybe this is a bridge I have to cross. You have to cross it, too.
We can cross it together, dad.


I started writing a short story. It's called "Thread My Coat," which is a line from a Meg Hutchinson song called "Travel In." It's about a boy coming out to his parents.
It's been really hard to write. It feels disjointed and awkward, wrong, but I know it's right.
I'm going to finish it. I'm going to edit it and then I think I'm going to store it away and not look at it for a few months.
This is all, for now.
Thank you for reading.



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