“Rory” came into my life like a wildfire. It was at a time when I was really craving someone who didn’t have walls, and that boy dropped in and not only was unbound, but even tore down some of my walls. Rory is a boy from home who I have had a crush on since I saw him break out into serious dance moves while snapping his fingers and singing a Jay Z song in the middle of a public restaurant. Tonight wasn’t like that though. Tonight he held my hand, looked me in the eye and bashfully shook his head, “yes.”
I knew what this meant. He prefaced it with, “I need to talk to you about something,” and with just that, there was enough clues to guess what he was about to tell me due to process of elimination.
I haven’t seen this boy in a few months because I have been on the road with work. We got pretty close pretty fast last time I was home, but it was one of those situations which I often discuss, where we had to take a deep breath, pretend to be okay, and accept the fact that this was only going to be temporary because I was leaving soon. I have gotten really good at doing that, but I’m not going to lie… it really sucked having to do that with Rory. He had somehow found his way into my bloodstream.
I am fascinated with the notion of finding a word for everyone. A single word that best sums up a person. When and if you can figure out someone’s word, everything about them kind of falls into place and makes more sense. The thing that I most admire about Rory, and what I think that his word may be, is that he is unafraid. I’m sure that he has his fears, but he is truly comfortable with himself, and I think that is very rare. In a generation that is utterly controlled by the fear of ourselves and or inability to come out from behind the curtain and fucking live, Rory is not one of those people. He is not scared of the world. Rory laughs and dances when he wants and makes a fool out of himself and admits when he farts and admits when he’s sad and admits when he doesn’t know the capital of Texas and fucking looks at you when he wants you and runs and sweats and bleeds and tries. He is one of the few people who I wish the whole world could know.
It wold be easier if I could call the night a date, but it wasn’t a date because that’s not really our style. So I guess the simplest way to put it is that Rory came over to hang out one night several months ago and it turned into one of the greatest “hang out’s” I’ve had as an adult. One that all others will forever be compared to.
We started playing music really loud. We were taking turns listening to each others selection, and I’m use to most people just taking over in those situations, and you end up only listening to their choices. Not with Rory. He was equally as enthusiastic about the music I was sharing as he was about his. By the way, he’s a musician. Of fucking course.
We went onto the porch and he opened up about his home life and his hopes and his shady past and it turned into the type of conversation I had been craving for a long time. It was completely unguarded. The boys in my life at that point seemed to all be the type that purposely don’t talk about anything real. They had walls. For example, one guy I had been seeing sort of off and on for a year and a half, I would say that we were just as close after a year and a half as we were in the first month of meeting. We never progressed. I’m all for discussing existentialism and politics and watching documentaries and going to comedy shows, but sometimes you have to throw in some true grit for a relationship of any type to progress. In a way, I felt closer to Rory in one week than I did the guy I had been seeing for over a year because Rory’s not scared, and told me things that were real.
We then made up a secret handshake, played a card game and threw jellybeans into each others mouth. After that, it was really late, but I wanted to show him something, so I said, “Are you tired or….?” and he looked at me and said, “I’m down to do anything with you.”
We were having such a perfect time so neither of us wanted it to end. I was barefoot, and we walked to the pier, collecting rocks along the way. We were like two little kids, trying to find the best rock. It was the time of year when you can see the bioluminescence in the water if you create a wake and I wanted to show him. I figured he would appreciate it but that’s an understatement, you should have seen his face when we threw the first rock in. He got so excited, that raw enthusiasm that you only see in children. There’s that line from Knocked Up, when Paul Rudd is looking at his kids playing with the bubbles and he says, “I wish I liked anything as much as my kids like bubbles.” Well, I wish that I got as excited about anything the way that Rory got excited about those damn bioluminescence. It was so refreshing to see.
Of course, just to add the perfection, it was a big, orange, low hanging moon that night. So Rory and I threw rocks into the sparkling water under the glow of the moonlight until there were no more rocks to throw. On the walk back, I was a few paces in front of him, and he grabbed my hand and pulled me into him. At first I thought he was going to kiss me, but that’s too predictable for Rory. Instead, he started dancing with me in the middle of the road.
Now back at the house and blasting my test song. I call it my test song because it’s the song that I use to test speakers with. I know exactly what “Comfortable Liar” by Chevelle should sound like, and it has fairly dynamic tones and this kind of hidden thunderous quality making it good for sound checking. It also makes it perfect for laying on the floor in the middle of the music room with a beautiful boy next to you and pounding your fists onto the hard wood floor to the beat of the song. Rory and I just wailed our fists onto the ground for the entire song. It may not sound like much, but if you try to imagine laying on your stomach, next to a person you have a crush on, and allowing the music to fully take you over while you bang on the floor with all of your might to the beat… you really do need to be unafraid to be able to do that. Rory brings out the spark in everyone.
We had another really great night a few days after that, which included dive bar pool, Budweiser, Eminem on the jukebox and a big black woman named Sweet Melissa. Then I left town. It has been about five months since then, and I have done three tours in that time, putting me on the road for almost all of those five months. And so it goes. Now I’m sitting at the corner of a bar as Rory tells me that he needs to talk to me about something. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew that he was about to tell me that he got a girl pregnant. He grabbed my hand, and I could see that he was having a hard time saying it, so I just smiled and told him that I was pretty sure that I knew what he was going to say, to which he just looked me in the eye, smiled back and bashfully shook his head yes. And now I guess it’s time to put out this wildfire.
So here we are, and here’s to change, and here is a playlist for the boy who is unafraid.