Justin's Life... May 12-29, 1996

Justin's Life... May 12-29, 1996

May 12, 1996


Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time on the phone with Larry. We talked about a lot of things, but in particular, he mentioned that he needed to get into shape. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I, too, needed to get into better shape: "Join a gym" had been on my "To Do" list for almost a month, but the lack of $100+ and thought of spending it for something I might hate kept me away.

So, anyway, I decided that I needed a workout video and called Rob to see if he'd go with me to the Cambridgeside Galleria. He said that he would and I met him at his apartment shortly thereafter. When we arrived at the mall thirty or so minutes later, we went to the video section of Lechmere. They had a few that looked decent like Abs of Steel and MTV's The Grind, but I wasn't content with those choices. A trip to SunCoast found Lucky Vanous's Ultimate Fat-Burning System. Jogging around with the construction worker from those Diet Coke commercials sounded way more interesting than watching some may-be-cute guy doing sit-ups.

I picked up the video and headed towards the counter. Before I got there, though, I asked Rob, "Think I'll get a funny look or a wink?" I got neither, but the gay clerk smiled coyily as I butchly payed for the video. I mean, I payed for the video without any indication that I was doing something out of the ordinary. I didn't smile or wink or do anything. I was a guy buying a workout video starring a hunky guy, plain and simple. (Of course, now that I think about it, it would probably be more out of the ordinary if I was a guy buying a workout video starring a babe.)

Rob and I then had dinner in the food court before heading back to our apartments. When I did get here, I put the video on and followed along. Fourty-two minutes later, I was covered in sweat and exhausted. I took a shower, made a chart to keep myself working out every day, then fell asleep.

May 14, 1996


I can't believe I left this out, but when Curt was installing the SIMMs into my computer, I started reading the mail which arrived while I was in Kentucky. In the pile, I found a large packet from USC. The folder inside read, "Welcome To The Trojan Family" and a letter within the folder read:

Term: Fall 1996
Major: Undeclared
Class level: Transferring Freshman
School: The College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Degree objective: Bachelor of Arts
Pre-professional emphasis: None

The School of Communication conducts special admission review of its candidates. However, we wanted you to know now that you have been accepted to the university in the major noted above. Once the School of Communication notifies the Office of Admission of its recommendation, we will contact you again...

As I sorted through the rest of the packet and my other mail, I found a business size envelope from USC Admissions. The letter inside read:

Term: Fall 1996
Major: Communication Arts and Science
Class level: Transferring Freshman
School: Annenberg School of Communication
Degree objective: Bachelor of Arts
Pre-professional emphasis: None

Congratulations! Earlier we informed you that based on your overall academic record you had been admitted to the university. Now we are pleased to let you know that you have been accepted to your first-choice major as noted above. Beginning with your orientation session, you will receive advisement on requirements leading to a bachelor's degree in this area of study...

So, I made it into USC. I'm now working on getting the best financial aid package possible. My leave of absence from BU has me scheduled to return this fall, but where I go to school will be dependent on which university costs the least. I know Larry would rather have me in California and the ideas of having a car, of being where there's no snow, and of even living in a different time zone are appealing. -- And being around Larry would be koool, too.

May 16, 1996


Today has been pretty dull. I got up, checked e-mail, did my workout video (5/6 days, by the way), then showered. When I headed downstairs to get my real mail a little later, I found a postcard from Frank. It closes, "Call me soon ok. Love Frank" I did call him earlier this week but got the machine; now I know why he hasn't called back. --Speaking of Frank, Larry & I were talking about him the other day, and it's odd that even though we were far from exclusive and I'm back here hanging out with Rob and Curt, I still don't like to think about Frank paying attention to other guys.

Anyway, this afternoon was spent making a low-fat spaghetti sauce. For about an hour, I cut and mixed everything from a green pepper and yellow tomatoes to celery and chicken. By the time I'd finished, I'd sampled the sauce too many times; I didn't want to cook the spaghetti... and I didn't.

Tonight, I wanted to get out and do something, but couldn't find an accomplice. I tried calling Rob, but he wasn't home. Everyone from BU is gone for the summer, and Curt's out of town. I ended up going to the video store by myself. I came back with nothing.

This has been one dull week spotted with random occurences of fun. I mean, I have things to keep do, but nothing exciting. Yesterday I went to see the movie Twister with Rob, so for about two hours I did something koool, but after that, it was back to my house.

I really just need more friends, to tell the truth. But at the same time, I'm aprehensive about meeting new people because if they're great, I'll have to leave them this fall when I (probably) move to LA.

Oh well, life goes on...

2:39AM Technically May 17, 1996

After I finished that last entry, I decided I might as well call Frank. He answered, realized it was me, then said he'd call me back because he was on the other line. A few minutes later, the phone rang and we talked. He told me about his trip, about his new job, and I told him about my working out & getting into USC. For the most part, I knew most of what Frank told me; Larry relayed several of their conversations and vice versa, but I didn't mind hearing it "straight from the horse's mouth."

After about twenty minutes, Frank said he needed to take his car for a stereo installation, and we said good-bye. Before we hung up, though, I told him that I'd be in LA at the end of next month or the beginning of July for orientation and would try to catch up with him then... It would be koool to see him again.

May 18, 1996


The day before yesterday, I called Rob to ask if he wanted to eat some of that low-fat spaghetti with me. He said that he would, but it was late & he was busy. He added that we'd get together for dinner the next night. Well, last night came, and I called to see if he was hungry. His response was that he was working on homework, but we'd go get something afterwards. At around 10:10PM, he came over and we decided to go to The Ground Round at the Pru.

On the walk there, the conversation took a downward turn. As the rollerbladers skated by, Rob said that I should buy a pair to go blading with him. I said that I didn't have $200 to spend on something I probably wouldn't like. He wasn't satisfied with that answer and kept arguing the point. By the time we got to the Pru, I had to say outright that I didn't want any rollerblades, end of story.

I thought we'd move on to the next subject, but as we waited for the server, Rob began to brew. The conversation was nonexistent and finally, I asked Rob what was wrong. He huffed something under his breathe about how I never change, and I responded with an analogy of a wall. -- If you keep banging your head against a wall, either accept that it's there or move around it.--

He didn't respond much and for a good while we sat in near silence. All I could think was how ironic it was that he thinks I'm immature when he was the one playing "I'm not talking to you." And so we sat.

After talking to non-responses for several minutes, Rob re-joined the conversation and we had dinner. I really thought we'd gotten past everything and could now be close friends, but I guess I was wrong. He still loves me too much, no matter how much he claims otherwise. I guess it's for the best that we'll be moving away from each other in a few months. It'll give him a chance to get on with his life... Perhaps one day, we'll be able to be close friends again.

May 21, 1996


Yesterday, I was flipping through Out magazine when I saw a photo of Scott, the guy who gave me the Grave Line Tour last November. There, on page 30, was a mini article about the tour and the "openly gay guide, Scott". I'd cropped him out of the picture last year (and removed the license plate) when I was writing about the rainbow flag on the hearse's bumper, but seeing that he's out in such a public way, here's that same picture, unedited. And strangely enough, he's wearing the exact same clothes as in the magazine shot.

After I'd called Larry and gotten over my awe of fame, I changed clothes and left for the airport. Curt and I talked a lot since he'd left town and Sunday night, when he told me he was returning on an American Trans. Air flight at 5:50PM, I said that he'd probably see me at the airport. -- I didn't want to commit to anything. -- So when I arrived at the airport T station at 5:40PM, I had to find Curt's terminal before he deplaned. Otherwise, he'd leave the airport without me and it would be a wasted trip.

At the top of the stairs, I quickly scanned the chart to find the right bus to the American Trans Air terminal. It wasn't listed. I looked over and over... it wasn't there, and time was running out. Curt said the night before that he thought it was Terminal B, so I got on that bus and off we went.

While I was sitting, listening to the recording announce the airlines, I looked at the overhead signs. American Trans Air was non-existent, and all I could think was, "What kind of Valu-jet wannabe did Curt's company put him on?"

I got off at the middle Terminal B drop-off. American Trans. Air was no where to be seen and neither was a help desk. I walked up and down stairs, through corridor after corridor, across the parking structure... everywhere, without any luck.

Finally, at 6:08PM, I called my voice mail and changed the message to say that I was giving up and heading home.

Curt called at around 6:45PM and said that he was on Mass. Ave. Apparently, American Trans. Air was listed as ATA. I never made the connection.

So Curt arrived at my apartment and came upstairs for a bit. We talked about his trip and about mine to Kentucky then he asked if I wanted something to eat. We agreed on Chili's in the Pru and started walking.

During dinner, Curt was pretty quiet and I tried my best to get him to smile. I felt that he was being especially reserved because of everything that happened right before he left, so I tried my best to make him feel comfortable again.

Once dinner was done and Curt payed the check, we came back to my apartment and talked for a few minutes about nothing much. I then said that he should probably be heading home. For one, it was nearing eleven & he still had a piece to drive after a long day, and for two, I wanted to stop any possible awkward situations before they happened.

We went back to the parking garage where his car had been kept and once it was paid for, he dropped me off at my apartment and headed home.

May 22, 1996


Late Monday night, I looked through the paper to find the names of temp agencies in Boston. Most of the ads were looking for someone with skills in Word, Word Perfect, and Excel, programs I've never used. Larry, however, thought that I had enough general computer experience to compensate and should interview. And so, I found an ad without a listing of software requirements and circled it.

Yesterday, I downloaded a typing speed tester and found that I type 60 to 70 words a minute. Not too shabby. So I prepared my resume and added Copy Cop to the list. Normally, I wouldn't have included such a short stinted job. "So why did you leave after three weeks?" the potential employer would ask. I mean, who wants to hire someone and have him leave in three weeks? But seeing that I would be applying to be a temp, I included it and even enclosed a Copy Cop evaluation in my neatly prepared envelope. --After all, it showed that I knew how to operate a variety of copiers and wrote job tickets "neatly and accurately."

Once the resume was prepared, I called the temp agency and was directed to voice mail. In the perkiest voice possible, I said, "Hi Allison. This is Justin and I was calling to inquire about becoming a temp. Could you please give me a call back at ###-####? Thank you." A few minutes later, the phone rang, I answered a few questions, and scheduled an interview today at 1:30PM.


Clad in my tan slacks, matching shirt, and tie, I left my apartment and rode the T to the Government Center stop. When I got off there, I looked around to get my bearings and relate myself to the map I'd brought along, then began walking. Before long, I was at the right building and took the elevator to the correct floor.

I signed-in and was given several forms. When I handed them back to the secretary a few minutes later, she said Mark would be with me shortly, and he was.

We went into a small office and he nervously told me that this was his first temp interview. I told him that it was mine as well, and chuckled. For the next five or so minutes, he asked me vague questions like, "When are you available?" I had no idea if he meant time-wise, day-of-the-week-wise, or until when. Turns out, he meant all three. We talked for a few minutes, if that long, as he quickly scanned my resume, and I mean quickly. --I honestly think an interview for McDonald's would have been more difficult.-- Once he'd explained how I'd be called at 8AM to go in at 9AM and after he briefly went over how payroll works, we got up and he directed me to the speed typing test room.

63 words per minute, the printout said ten minutes later. I gave it to the secretary and left.

And my career as a temp begins...

May 23, 1996


A few minutes ago, I called USC's Office of Financial Aid to see if they knew when I'd hear a response. I figured the guy would say that he didn't know, but he asked for my social security number then told me that my package was sent out yesterday. He then even went on to ask if I wanted him to read it to me. I said yes and he told me that I'll be getting a USC scholarship for nearly $14,000. Combined with work study and loans, I'll only have to pay $5301!

Nearly bouncing off the walls, I tried calling Larry but couldn't get ahold of him. So I called Mom and my voice cracked as I told her the news. From there, I called Rob, but he wasn't home either. I knew Curt was at practice, so I e-mailed his pager with the news. Anyone I could think of, I tried to tell.

Finally, I got ahold of Larry and told him, "Guess who can go to USC for only $5301?" He responded, "Who?" increduously, and I said, "Me!" We talked for a minute about the specifics and he was excited, but he had to get back to work, so I let him go.

I'm really happy.

May 26, 1996


This past Tuesday, Chuck called to say he had no where to go between the time he had to leave Harvard housing and the day he could move into his summer space. When he asked if he could come stay with me until Saturday, I thought it would be koool to have a temporary roommate and said sure. After all, he was a fellow Kentuckian and a good guy, helping him out was the least I could do.

Wednesday, Chuck arrived with several bags of clothes in tow and after talking for a few minutes, headed back to Cambridge. He returned late that night, we talked for a while, then he went to bed in a sleeping bag in the "other" room.

Thursday morning, Chuck got up before 8AM and left to go wake his boyfriend (a more absorbed person I've never met. Chuck is beyond having his world revolve around his boyfriend. Several times, I even felt like Chuck wasn't really listening to me for thinking about him.).

So, anyway, Chuck left early Thursday morning and after sleeping a bit more, I hung around my apartment. I'd been pretty down because Larry was going to Hawaii with his guy Lance. Wait, I need to backtrack.

Ever since I got back from LA, I've been wishing I were there. Last week, Larry called and asked me if I'd check online to see how much two tickets to Hawaii for Memorial Day weekend would cost. I did and Larry purchased them shortly thereafter. He and Lance were going to Hawaii for a little romantic weekend. I wished I could go along, but I understood.

A few days later, I was writing Don and when he responded, he said that he and Visnja were also going to Hawaii. Larry never said a word about that. The little romantic weekend sounded a lot more like a secret party to which I wasn't invited... or even to know all about. I was hurt.

When I told Larry how I felt, he said that I'd be going along, too, if I were in California. That just re-enforced my desire to get out of Boston and on to LA. (Remember, this was all before I'd found out USC's financial aid decision.)

Nevertheless, I still wished I was going along, but understood... until I was re-reading the diary (for reasons irrelevant now) and came across the entry from December where Larry talked about taking Rich to Hawaii. I was hurt back then for being left out. This was the same situation, only changing Rich to Lance.

I cut and pasted that diary entry into e-mail and attached a one-liner about history repeating itself. Larry and I talked about the situation and I said I'd be ok, but I didn't want to hear about all the gory details of Hawaii. He said ok.

In the meantime, I'd been in a really mushy mood and sent Larry a card telling him how much I loved him. When he got it, he wrote back to say that it made him cry and realize how much we both love each other. He concluded the e-mail with, "you WILL be getting e-mail from hawaii, and you WILL be writing me. the end." To which, I responded:

If you send me e-mail from Hawaii, I'll be here reading it crying. My eyes are already welling up right now. Is that what you want? I never could stand to be left behind, even when I was little and my parents would go somewhere and leave me at my grandmother's. I can't figure out why I'm still in Boston. Why am I still here, honestly? Are you trying to teach me something, because I'm just not getting it? If my best friend were 2600 miles away from me and I could easily have him by my side instead, I'd certainly do it. For the life of me, I just can't figure it out. Why am I here?

So, yes, I honestly hope you have fun in Hawaii... but _please_ don't tell me about it.

I still love you and I hope you understand,

Larry wrote back to say that I was still in Boston because where I'd live in the fall all depended "on what happens with $$$ at boston/usc."

And so, longing to have some definite path and to move to LA, I called USC's Office of Financial Aid to find out what the deal was and in turn found out about the $14,000 scholarship.

Later Thursday afternoon, Curt called to ask if I'd like to celebrate. I said that I would and we agreed to go to dinner somewhere out of town. After a little drive, we ended up at TGIFriday's. I figured a nice meal wouldn't kill my low-fat diet too much, so I went all out and had the Fettucine Alfredo

After dinner we came back to my apartment, hung out, and talked with Chuck. Once I'd sufficiently playfully embarrassed each of them, Curt left, and I went to bed shortly thereafter.

May 28, 1996


When I talked to Larry on Thursday, he said that he'd call me before his flight to Hawaii. Knowing that, I stayed off the phone and at my apartment most of the Friday. He never called, but I told myself that he probably just got tied up, that I wasn't going to let it get me down. By nightfall, I'd decided that I was getting out of the apartment and doing something. I called Curt and we agreed to go to dinner. When he got here a few minutes later, we headed to The Ground Round at Fresh Pond (about 10-15 minutes away via car) where we had a big dinner, complete with a virgin Strawberry Daiquiri for me and a Khaula & Coffee for him.

When we came back, it was after 1AM, so I thought Curt would drop me off then go on back to his house. He, however, parked the car and came up. (I mean, I wasn't worried about me, but rather I knew he had to get up early the next morning.)

Anyway, when we got inside, I checked voice mail and found a message from Larry. I couldn't believe what I thought I heard, so I listened to it twice.

"...We're here in Hawaii. Don and Vish are upstairs. Nobody's met anybody yet. And we're going to go swimming: They're still recovering. I really wish you were here and I promise that you will be."

Then Lance said, "...Hope to see you soon, bye."

"Yep, and he will be. And, ya know, the nice thing about the beds in these hotels is that they're big enough for three."..."So I just wanted to call you and tell you that I love you, and I miss you, and yes you will be here. And I can't tell how awesome it is yet, but it's pretty koool."

Now, even to the unassuming person, that sounds like I should have expected a ticket to Hawaii. I even asked Curt, "Tell me what you think this means?" then let him listen. He responded, "Sounds like he's going to fly you to Hawaii."

Arghh! I was just fine, having a big ole day, until I got Larry's message. All I could think about what how maybe I'd be flying to Hawaii to see him and hang out. I mean, I knew better, but how could anyone have that poor word choice. In my naiveté, I somehow hoped I'd find a ticket on my doorstep the next day.

Soon enough, Curt went home and I went to bed.

May 29, 1996


Sunday, after looking through the Boston Globe and seeing quite a few ads for Memorial Day sales, I decided I'd go shopping for some clothes. Off to the Pru I headed and ended up in the Warner Bros. store, where I looked around for a bit, then purchased a dark green shirt with Bugs Bunny embroidered in it, a Twister t-shirt, and a Twister baseball cap.

From there, I walked down the mall a bit and noticed a clothing store, Britches, with a "50% Off" sign in front of it. I went inside and found shirts originally arked at $42.50 down to $12.50. A clerk helped me color-coordinate and when I was done, I'd picked up two nice plaid shirts with undershirts to match. Six shirts, four looks, I thought I was done. But... as I was walking towards the mall exit, I decided to stop in a store called DAPY, a knick-knack type of place, (Spencer's Gifts without the sex stuff.)

There, sitting on the shelf, was a miniature waterfall. Ever since I was a kid I'd thought waterfalls like people put in their gardens were the kooolest thing and here was one miniaturized for indoor use. I'd already spent money I didn't have (borrowed from Citibank ), but I'd wanted a waterfall as long as I could remember. I looked for a price tag, but couldn't find one. OK, no price tag. That meant it was way beyond what the normal person would spend. I mean, I knew it would be expensive; the full size versions were hundreds of dollars. And so, I decided I'd go home.

On the way out of the store, though, I found a clock for Mom. It was similar to one that I'd gotten her for Christmas, but it was marked 2/3rds off. It was so much cheaper than normal; I had to get it... but I told myself it was too little to charge. I walked around the store again and this time spotted the box for the waterfall. It was expensive, but not that expensive. What the heck. I charged them both, and the whole way home, I felt like royalty with my four bags.


When I got back, I checked voice mail to find another misleading message from Larry. (Due to the six hour time zone difference, we hadn't managed to catch each other near a phone.) He said, "...I wish you were here, and yes you will be here, and yes we will come back."

You will be here and yes we will come back would imply that I'd be there and come back. You can't come back without having been somewhere. Anyway, poor word choice didn't do much for my mental well-being, but I didn't think about it long. I had my waterfall to assemble.

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© 1996 Justin Clouse

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