I’m a victim. Yeah, yeah…I know everyone thinks that they are a victim. But, seriously, I am a victim. Jesus. There, I said it. I feel soooo much better. Wait…actually, now that I said it, it doesn’t sound quite right–I am a survivor. There. I like that much better.
I am a youth choir survivor. This may not initially sound like a big deal, but, it is. You know, youth choirs…think cheesy music and choreography. Sort of like Up With People, just not as “polished.” My first (that’s right, there was more than one!) choir was called Harmony, Inc. It was a youth choir that got together for a month every summer to rehearse and tour and evangelize the vastly pagan area of our country called the Midwest. Of course, we had thousands of converts. 😉
It was during one of these tours that I met a brassy soprano named Laura. Laura was everything a young gay boy could hope for in a “girlfriend.” She was big, both in size and personality. She styled her overly-curled blonde hair so that the back of her hair was hanging over her forehead. She was sort of like an early 80s version of Madonna, only on steroids. Clearly from the moment we met, we were destined to be together. In many ways, she was one of the most bizarre looking people I had ever seen. Laura was a misfit–truly, one of my peeps. So, of course, we instantly hit it off. Most important to this story, however, Laura was a drama queen. Literally. She was the president of her Thespian troupe. So, it is no surprise that our whirlwind relationship had all the workings of a Shakespearean tragedy. Our love was not to be…
Following a particularly emotional choir rehearsal, she approached me and said, “We’ve lost our spark.”
“Huh?” (I was like totally articulate in high school)
“You know, when we first met, there was a spark between the two of us…well, it’s gone.”
“Are we breaking up?”
“Let’s just be friends.”
It was at this point that I first mastered the fine art of holding a grudge. I also learned how to so completely ignore someone that it caused them acute pain. At least, in my head, that was the case. I continue, to this day, to excel at both of these skills.
If Laura wanted to “just be friends,” I would kill her with my glares or lack thereof. I’d teach her a real life lesson: Don’t mess with a confused gay teenage boy. I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one to teach her that lesson. Somehow, I managed to survive the following weeks by pouring my angst into the music. I could force the tears out at the height of a song. Unfortunately, so could my ex-girlfriend. It became a weeping contest. All would see that I was truly a spiritual person who had been through a lot–more than Laura. It all was really great drama. At least, until the director approached us after one of our concerts and asked if we could “control our emotions” just a little bit. How embarrassing for him–trying to stifle our pain. I’d direct my venom at him.
That would free me from being mad at Laura. We bonded over our hatred of the choir director. Of course, we became best friends.