Taking Brad to Beaner’s coffee (my now favorite coffee shop) was definitely not the boldest thing I’ve ever done. Trust me when I say that I’ve been bolder.
We met at the shop since I absolutely hate carpooling with people. I hate it when you meet someone new and you think they’re an ok person until you get in the car and all of a sudden they’re singing to the radio, flipping through your CD’s and generally acting like jackasses. I’ve met many a fine people who have behaved like retards once they are in a car. All of them were quickly erased from my list of friends. So now I have a policy of not carpooling in order to enjoy the friendship longer. It usually works.
So we both walk up to the cashier, I order a hot chocolate; he orders a fair trade green tea.
Um… this should have been my first hint.
We get our steaming beverages and find a cozy corner where there are very plush seats. I try to stay as far away from other people as possible when I’m at these kinds of places. Just like in cars, people tend to act stupid.
Out of now where Brad asks me questions, as if he’s been dying to ask me forever.
“Where are you from?” he asks.
“I’m a local, born and raised.”
“Why did you choose Middle State College?”
“My mother actually went here so it’s not really like I had a choice, she was pretty set on me attending.”
“Oh, so are you going to join a sorority?”
“Not a chance. I’ll pass on being a sorostitute.” I said. He immediately laughed as if he genuinely thought I was funny.
“So if your goal in life isn’t to be a sorostitute, what do you want to do with your life?” he asked with seemingly authentic interest.
“Well my parents own a medical equipment company and I think they are expecting me to come and work for them.”
“You don’t seem thrilled,” he said cautiously.
“I’d rather not waste my life waiting for someone else to sign my paycheck. There’s so much more out there and I feel sorry for the people who feel like getting a ‘real job’ is their only option in life.”
“You seem pretty set on doing something different.” He said compassionately.
“Hells yes! Life is too short to do the same boring thing every day, to go to work just because they pay you to be there regardless of how much work you actually get done.” I may have said this a little too passionately, judging by the look on Brads face. He seemed surprise by my level of enthusiasm.
“What do you want to do with your life?” I asked him.
“Not sure yet, I’ve been considering a few things. My parents want me to be a lawyer but I think I’d rather gouge out my eyes with a letter opener. I thought about being a biologist, but there aren’t many jobs that interest me. So for right now I’m just taking the general required classes until something sounds interesting.” He seemed jaded by the process of having to make major choices regarding your life at the age of eighteen and make decisions that would put you on a certain path.
“So are you living in the dorms?” He asked me, obviously trying to change the subject.
“Yeah, but I’m not sure how long that will last given the unique qualities of my roommate Cary.”
“Yeah, I considered living in the dorms but in the end I got an apartment with my boyfriend Mark.”
I choked on my hot chocolate. WHAT did he say?!?! Boyfriend?! Fucking hell…
Then in one defining moment of clarity it all made sense. His obvious attention to hygiene, his nice clothes, and his interest in what I actually had to say. Everything clicked. I tried to recover.
“How is it living with a boyfriend? I honestly would not have pegged you as being gay when I saw you in class.” I tried to mix my brutal honesty with a little compassion.
“It’s good. For awhile we were kind of going through a rough patch, but we got through it and decided to live together. The privacy of our apartment is really nice. I have friends that live in the dorms and their roommates are not always as understanding or open to them having their boyfriends over.”
“Awww, that’s too bad,” I said feeling obviously awkward, “next year I’ll probably have an apartment too.”
After that the conversation transitioned into other, far from interesting things. Overall it was a rewarding afternoon. He asked if we could hang out later, and I agreed. Gay or not, I found him to be an interesting person who didn’t seem keen on judging me based on my brutally honest tendencies. I was intrigued to say the least, and planned on meeting Mark as soon as possible.