Nine, Ten, and Eleven
I hadn’t choked up like that coming out since the first time I came out.
I met up with three highschool friends who now live downtown for dinner. We got to talking about our careers before we even ordered food and that led to me slipping out “I’ve kinda put my career on hold because it’s not a priority right now…”. I hoped it would slip under the radar but Nine perked up, “What do you mean?” I froze.
“Would you like some water?” The waitress interrupted (saved me) and filled our cups.
I was hoping the topic would change. But Nine followed up “Wait, about those priorities… what do you mean?”
I nervously looked around, behind my back, then back at them. Their eyes were fixed on me. I froze.
“We don’t have to talk about it now if you don’t want to”. We moved on and held off til dinner.
I have a bad habit of holding off until just before parting ways. I called on them and the two in front merged with us so they could hear me out. “Remember when I said my career wasn’t my priority at the moment?
*silence for what must‘ve been 30 years*
I could feel myself starting to choke up and forget every language, all sounds, all words.
This happened less than an hour ago but my memory’s a bit foggy. I relied on words that I’d typed out on this blog (perhaps in fragments – I don’t remember). “I’ve been focusing on my personal life because I…. I fucked up.” Choking more. “I’ve….Umm….” *repeat x20*
At this point I think Nine knew. She wrapped her hands around me, “Just know that we support you no matter what it is”.
I tried again but started having difficulty breathing. “Can I just text it to you guys?” joked my defense mechanism. We had to sit down.
“I’ve had to… I don’t… I fucked up. I can’t accept love until I accept myself. ” <– now throw in 20 verbal stumbles and a truckload of pauses. It took me so long to drag out these words that I’m sure even Eleven, who was oblivious, could’ve figured out by now. Eventually, I was able to speak words from my mouth so I wrestled the reigns from there.
I’d never come out to more than one person at a time before, and the attention was startling (perhaps the reason why I cracked so hard emotionally). There were absolutely no interruptions and it was almost painful having to fill them in while simultaneously fighting an internal tsunami of emotions. And each time, after I came out, I felt like I had to explain myself.
It was nice that Ten was gay – he reassured me he was a much hotter mess when he came out. He enthusiastically agreed with me that there was never a right time to come out; There simply isn’t.
I told them about the damaged goods that I had fallen for, and explained to them what Seven and Eight said on the matter. Inside, I leaned towards Seven saying it could’ve been an opportunity to fix her. Surprisingly, they sided with Eight. …To be honest, I can’t quite recall what the argument was (at this point I was just glad to have a break from piloting the conversation), but I’d like to follow up on it when my head’s a bit clearer.
I had to ask The Question: “Did you know?”
Nine “knew” from highschool (to which I erupted “WHAT! Can you let me know next time???“) and mentioned that during university when people are all about hookups, I never mentioned anyone or anything. Ten figured around university, based on the same criteria. And this was all news to Eleven. Nine even mentioned that her boyfriend asked her about my sexuality before (to which she responded she didn’t know).
I’m still a little exhausted from all this. Coming out is still draining to me and tonight was no exception. It was a lot more taxing than I had anticipated – perhaps because there was more than one person (nothing about this explanation makes sense but it’s the only one I can think of).
Later I texted One about it and when she asked me how I felt, I gave her the rawest answer that came to mind: it felt like there was a stranger in my house… and I kinda want them to leave cuz they’ve overstayed their welcome… but they’re a permanent resident now… so I’d better get used to it. It’s a strange analogy that I’d never thought of before, but it feels just like that.
I’d better get used to it.
I’ve had Girls Like Girls playing on Spotify on repeat for the entirety of writing this post. And I’m still not sick of it.