Monday, April 19, 2010

Ray

The first man I ever loved is dead. Okay, he died in 2004 and I’ve known about his death since last fall. I hadn’t seen his face since June of 1990 and never told him that I loved him. But I did. I did love him.

I started messing around with boys at an early age. In Houston my Mom worked nights and as soon as she left the house I would sneak out and head to Montrose Avenue and the Ripcord. I’d stand outside waiting to be noticed. Thinking about it now I’m surprised I didn’t get killed.

When I started high school I quickly met him. Ray. He was seriously and literally from the other side of the tracks. But, It didn’t take long before the friendship we had to turn to lust then desire. Even though I had been with a lot of men, I had never stayed awake watching a boy sleep in my arms. He was from Louisiana; his thick accent covered everything he did. We soon found every free moment to be at his house in middle of his teenage boy bed, listening to his heart thump quicker and quicker as I ran my frame over his.

It being high school it didn’t last long. We moved on and just never kept in touch. Right after the graduation ceremony completed and I was walking towards my family Ray stopped me. He wanted to tell me he was going into the Marines. To fight in Desert Storm. That was the last time I saw him. I watched just for a moment as he turned to run towards his family.

Ray did go into the Marines. He had what I’ve been told an exceptional career. Until he came down with the flu, then had to take a discharge for medical reasons. In the fall of 2004 Ray died of complications from HIV.

David, the friend who broke the news to me last fall sent me an e-mail containing the plot and row where Ray’s headstone sits at Fort Logan National Cemetery. It now sits in my e-mail inbox. Waiting.

Why am I writing about this now? He’s been dead since ’04 and I’ve had this information since October. Let’s just say it takes me awhile to tell people that I love them. This week I decided it might be time to print out the e-mail and go search for a headstone.

9 comments:

Blobby said...

It is a nice story. If it gives you closure to go see the headstone, by all means, do it.

I had similar "experiences" in my youth as you (though not at the Ripcord - though I have been there), but none that experienced any kind of emotion.

I saved that for college and it was quite disappointing. I'm guessing Benny didn't end up in the military. Prison, maybe, but not the militar.

Sean said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Sean said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Visiting the cemetery gives many I know comfort. I hope it gives you some too.

Dead Robot said...

I think he knew you loved him, in some weird unspoken way. At least just reading this I got the sense that you were wordlessly broadcasting that.

Regardless, good story. You're a stronger man than I - I'd prefer to honour someone in any way other than going to their gravesite.

Wonder Man said...

This is a great story, Stevie.

bigislandjeepguy said...

Some people do the gravesite thing, others would never do it. My sister never understood why I would go at lunch hour and sit on a bench by my mom's grave and watch the squirrels run around. I dunno...it brought me peace. She kept saying, "you know she's not THERE." I felt like saying, "duh," but I just smiled and kept my mouth shut.

You'll know what to do and when to do it.

Wonder Man said...

I realized you started out young in the game, wow!

The Mutant said...

You know, you never fail to impress me. Thank you.

Adventures In Gay Dating said...

Thanks for sharing this. Great writing. I finally tracked down a lost love, myself via Facebook. I was so relieved that he was still alive that I cried.