Month: July 2017

The Arson

A few weeks ago, a great tragedy hit our town. Some non-thinking degenerate dropped a firecracker into a book-return chute in our library and well… (photos credited to KPC Media)

library arson

Upwards of over 50,000 items are lost, including the entire film collection as you see above. And yes, I am super devastated because today was the first day photos of the damage were released to the public. This is the one most devastating to me.

Since I have lived in town, this library was one of my favorite places to go. Parents would take me for storytime, then a month-long historical camp for boys (there was a girls one as well), summer and winter reading programs, and so much more. I loved going through the shelves and seeing what kind of adventures lay in wait. But when my interest in film skyrocketed, this was the place for me to go but the story goes a little further back.

Around middle school and high school, Dad would go out to the library and borrow a bunch of films for us to watch on Saturday nights after church and picking up pizza. It was because of him that I saw classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ben-Hur (the Charlton Heston one), Them!, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and others. When I got heavily into film, I referred to the AFI Top 100 lists and did a lot of cross-indexing, updating it whenever the library got the film in their catalog. I saw Taxi Driver, Birth of a Nation, some Hitchcock and Kubrick films, and others. For a while, I’m pretty sure I was the only guy who borrowed David Lynch’s The Straight Story on VHS; at the time, it was the only film by him in the collection and it was one of the underrated ones.

Was it a big collection? Well, not as big as the large library in the next town over but it was enough to keep patrons satisfied. But now they are all gone. Because somebody thought it was worth destroying something so precious. They caught the guy but it’s going to take many months to get the library restored, especially since it’s a historic one.

At this point, they are taking monetary donations but I want to do something more. I do need to trim my personal film collection anyway by either upgrading to a higher format or just letting them have some, especially films that weren’t initially in their collection to begin with. So if anyone from the library sees this, I’m willing to help in any way possible.

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The Reveal

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It has been one week since I came out to my folks and it has been a whirlwind of feelings. I needed to process my emotions but it’s led me to realize some things need to still happen if I want to be happy.

Last week was marked by panic and sadness as I tried to fine-tune my coming out letter. My mind obsessed about the unknown as I tried imagining each scenario, the majority of them negative including being tossed out of the house. I tried keeping up with my studies at the same time but realized that I needed to schedule my proctored mid-term exam, which wasn’t going to happen because I realize my limits in terms of how fast a class can go. I’ll probably drop the class and try again in the fall when it’s at a normal pace. Even if I did take that mid-term, I probably would’ve been too distracted by the future to even do remotely well. As of now, it just sits there incomplete.

I let my friends know on Facebook that I was going to do this and needed all of the positive energy that I could. I tried catching a quick nap by falling asleep to Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” but couldn’t because my mind was racing. Mom drove me over not knowing what to expect. Dad drove separately and Nathan made a mad dash to get to the appointment.

Once everybody was inside the office, I pulled out the letter as they sat across from me. I took several breaths before reading the line that laid out the truth: “I am bisexual and Nathan is my boyfriend.” I reached for his hand to help me get through it.

After I read the letter, I waited for their response and it was surprisingly tolerant, more so than I thought it would be. They told me repeatedly that they loved me but I could not bear to make eye contact with them. Like the Philip Selway song says, it will end in tears. I tried to explain as best as I could why this was so difficult for me to do, bringing up their views on religion and how I was afraid to speak out. There was some anger on my end towards my dad (which I expected would happen anyway) but in the end, I walked out of that room a mess despite the fact I did something that’s considered brave.

I went home with Nathan after the appointment a complete wreck. I needed space away from my parents and was not in the mood to do any more dialoguing with them. Oh my, was I a wreck. I was hungry and wanted to do nothing more than collapse on the couch, distracting myself with Rifftrax. I barely got any sleep that night but then passed out on his couch when he left for work.

After that weekend and some considerable time away, I came home to sleep in my own bed. The next day, dad called me into the kitchen in that tone of voice that implied “we need to talk”. It took not even five minutes but I was told that I could not spend the night at his place anymore and that I couldn’t leave home in the middle of the night, even though Nathan told me he would do that if need be.

At this point, I’m seriously considering moving out because I do not agree with these rules. My birthday is a month from now as it edges ever closer to nearly a quarter-century and I am told “no sleepovers”. Nope. Not having it. I need to spread my wings, which is really my next step, but now that’s going to be a whole other conversation that needs to happen with my folks at some point. A one-bedroom apartment opened up in Nathan’s apartment complex and would be an improvement for the two of us but the question is when.

There’s a lot that I’m conflicted about and still trying to work through. It’s going to be a long journey. I have a family reunion this weekend and, now that my parents know, it’s going to be a rough ride.