Justin's Life... December 1-21, 1997

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December 1, 1997 - Monday


Well, it's been quite a while since I last came out to anyone. Er, rather, it's been quite a while since I came out to anyone who'd known me as straight, but last night I wrote an e-mail to my mom's cousin... someone who's known me since I was born. To be honest, I'd forgotten about the anxiety associated with coming out to someone who has known you as straight, someone whose opinion doesn't hinge your world, but whose opinion matters.

See, when I was back home last month for my surprise visit, I went to church with Mom, Dad, my brother and his girlfriend. Most of the people there, in a church of about 50 members, have known me since I was born or in the case of those younger than me, I've seen them grow up to now drive cars. In other words, it's quite familial. So, this particular cousin of my mother's gave me her e-mail address and said that I should send her (and her family) a letter as they didn't have mine to send me one first. I didn't even think of giving her my e-mail address in return, but in hindsight, I wouldn't have known which address to use anyway.

So, last night, after deciding that I wasn't going to write her from my USC address and pretend this whole part of me didn't exist, I wrote a letter from my AOL account, so that I could see if the letter had been read. It went:

Subj:   Hey There!!!
Date:   11/30/97
Hey guys... first off, let me apologize for not writing earlier. Life has been especially busy as the close of the semester draws near... but, to be totally honest, I also haven't written sooner because I knew this first letter would be a bit on the long side.

See, I've sorta claimed the digital domain as a place where I can express my true self, and for the most part, the digital world hasn't crossed too much into the real world as far as my Kentucky life has been concerned.

Long story short, I'm gay. It's something I've known for quite a while now and something I'm now totally comfortable with. If you for one minute think I haven't thought the whole thing through or am confused, just check out http://www.koool.com/friend.html. It more than expresses the thoughts and feelings I had during and before I finally came out. And since I've started giving URL's, I might as well point you in the direction of http://www.koool.com/life/96apr2.html#pastor. There you'll find a letter Brother [No Name] wrote to me when he first came across my web site more than a year ago and my response to him. Between the two of those, most of your questions will probably be answered.

And now that I've gotten the preliminaries out the way... *grin*

Mom said you guys wanted to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks... I must say, this Thanksgiving was one of the least noteworthy ever, and it was the first one I'd spent away from home. Luckily, I'll be home for Christmas as last year I wasn't and suffered from a supreme case of homesickness.

Anyway, I guess I'll sign off for now and wait to see what your response is to the above. I would guess that you've suspected for a while now, so I doubt it's THAT big of a shock, but I'll wait to see.

OK, you guys take care and I hope to talk more to you soon,


P.S. For what it's worth, my entire site is rated with the PICS system so that concerned parents can limit what is viewable by their children simply by setting the ratings level of their web browser or child software.


I just checked AOL. The letter was read at 7:25AM EST, four and a half hours ago. Of course, I didn't really expect an immediate response, but I did sorta hope for one. At least now there's no unsending it.


December 8, 1997 - Monday


Well, I got a response... and it was remarkably not bad. In that, I mean, it wasn't "Yippie!" or "That's koool" but it wasn't "You're a freak" either. It was more along the lines of "We knew and that's ok, we love you anyway." One of those deals, know what I mean?

Anyway, life has been incredibly busy. Hence, I haven't written. This past week was the last week of class for the semester and the week starting today is finals week. I spent most of the weekend completing my last CSCI 101 assignment, which somehow or the other was due on a stop day, one of three days the university officially mandates just to study.

Anyway, I turned it in this morning and that was that.

Also as of late, my computer's been having major problems. It just all of a sudden stops, powers off and then back on again. It freezes at every turn and is driving me insane. As such, tonight, the hard drive is getting reformatted and Windows 95 is getting installed from the ground up (yet again).

Sorry there's nothing exciting to report. I did go see the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer with Erik this past week. The movie itself was ok, and I even jumped once, but I must admit, the main draw was seeing Ryan Phillippe with whom I felt a certain bond after having watched him play a struggling gay teenager for an entire summer on One Life To Live just before I finally made the decision to come out.


December 12, 1997 - Friday


I'm one of those people who likes to put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and leave it up until after New Years. Larry's a person who's said with quite sincerity that he'd rather forget Christmas altogether. So this time of year always seems to have been a clash for us, for the last three years.

So, anyway, after literally more than a week of pleading to go buy a Christmas tree, we finally went this past Monday night. We bought the tree, but it was raining so Larry said, "You're not thinking you're bringing that in the house tonight, are you?" which I totally understood as a statement via the form of a question. And so, the tree stayed in the garage overnight. The next day, the tree was dry, but it didn't go up. Larry was busy with the coffee market and I was busy re-installing Windows 95 and all the software I use, but there was still time to put the tree up... and even though I professed I wanted to put it up, it didn't get done.

Finally, Wednesday, the maid pulled the tree in from the garage into the living room. All that had to be done was putting it in the stand. And so, Val, the nanny, and I cleaned up the living room and waited for Larry to get home. She talked to him on the phone and relayed that he wanted to participate. She gave Katie a shower, saying that she should be cleaned up when Larry got home so we could eat then decorate the tree.

Well, Larry got home and began cooking dinner while I ran to the grocery store to get some non-vegan food for myself. About two or three minutes after I got back, the veggie burgers were ready and so, we all sat down and ate.

But when dinner was done, when we were supposed to put up the tree, Larry went into the bedroom and sat down at the computer. I went in and asked what he was doing. He responded that he had to look one thing up about the coffee market. I said we were going to put up the tree and then did that "Come on, we're gonna put up the tree," plea. He said he was going to look up the information in a tone that said "and that's that." I said "Forget it." and shut the door with a slightly more than needed force (not a slam, but enough to get the idea across just in case my voice tone didn't).

And so, Val and I sat the tree in the stand, made sure it was straight, and secured the stand, when Larry came out with a jug of water. He said something like "Are you guys finished turning it so I can pour in the water?" I said in the most hateful voice I could muster, "You can just go back in your room." Val tried interjecting, saying, "Wait you guys..." or something like that, but Larry was gone and I was glad. I hate asking for anything, but I'd asked him for days to help put up the tree and I'd asked him nearly every day for weeks to take my picture for my Christmas cards. Well, the tree got up with no help from him and the picture never got taken. I mean, the place I wanted to take it wasn't even out of the house. It was just that I couldn't be in it and operate the camera at the same time. That was too much to ask.

And so, we didn't speak yesterday and I was in more than an unpleasant mood. To compound the Christmas situation, I still had two papers to write, a final at 2 o'clock, and another the next day (today)... but before I went to my final, I went to my mailbox. And it was awesome.

I got Christmas cards from New Jersey, Texas, Oklahoma, Australia, and the Netherlands. I got one from a guy in jail: It was even stamped "This correspondence is from an inmate under the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections is not responsible for the substance or content. Objectionable material may be returned to the Warden." For some reason, that made it even koooler. I'd never gotten mail from anyone in jail before and to know that someone reads this journal in jail is remarkable. The fact that so many (well... six ) of you guys sent cards made my day. I got goosebumps and must confess, even a little teary eyed. It's one thing to fire off a piece of e-mail. It's another to get a card and actually send it. It was just the pick-me-up I needed. I was/am sincerely grateful.

So there, all you guys wondering if you should take the time to send a card, that should tell you how much I'd appreciate it if you did. It's odd, a card from someone you've never met could matter so much.


December 14, 1997 - Sunday


Well, finals are finally over. The 97 Fall semester is finally over... and I think I did pretty decently as far as grades are concerned. I mean, no where near like my high school and before career, but probably about a 3.0 or so. (I hope ).

The rest of this entry contains spoilers for the movie Scream 2. If you plan on seeing it (and you should), you should probably not read this until afterwards.

Friday night I was going to go see Scream 2 but decided that I'd just not fight traffic and crowds and go the next afternoon. So, yesterday I went to the theatre and began watching the film.

It began koool enough... a lot of 'in' jokes, a Drew Barrymore look-alike playing Casey Becker who was played by Drew Barrymore in Scream. (I don't know. Just the irony of a nobody playing a famous actress where usually it's a famous actress playing a nobody. I really liked it. )

So, anyway, I was watching the movie, enjoying it and periodically thinking how cute Jerry O'Connell was... when he got killed. It totally depressed me. His dying words of "Never would've hurt you" when Sydney couldn't trust him enough to let him off the cross were just beyond poetic. I really felt for her and really wished someone like that existed in my life.

I mean, think about it. He was way cute, way sweet, way loved her, and was her protector. What a combination... especially considering Larry and I haven't been on the best of terms lately.

So, I left the theatre glad that I went to see the film, yet depressed on one hand that someone that perfect didn't exist in my life, but on the other that the script wasn't written by me. As this past semester was coming to an end, I really got to thinking about what I want to do when I grow up. I'd like to be a writer. I'd like to have this diary turned into a book, but that doesn't seem to be going anywhere quick. So, I was depressed about both those things, but primarily about not having a cute stud muffin doctor-to-be boyfriend who would sing to me in public and protect me from would-be killers.

BackTrack: A couple weeks ago, I was invited to a Christmas party by a guy, who for the sake of clarity will be referred to as Blonde Eric (as opposed to Erik at USC). I'd met him once before as he works for a marketing company and responded to one of my entries about JKP not being financially profitable.

So anyway, I was invited, but I got his invitation the last week of classes and was wiped out during finals, so I didn't think I'd go, but like I said just a second ago, Larry and I haven't been on the best of terms, so I'd already been having those perfect-boyfriend-wishing-blues.

And so, I decided I would go to the party and perhaps find that cute stud muffin doctor-to-be boyfriend who would sing to me in public and protect me from would-be killers... well, rather just to window shop... to see what else was out there. Don't give me that look. You know as well as I do that when things aren't going great at home, you check to see what else is out there, just so you know how great things aren't going.

Of course, going to a party to find that perfect guy, I wanted to look my best. I went to the Glendale Galleria and bought an Abercrombie & Fitch cap and a Structure sweater. Not typical clothing for me, but with a white t-shirt underneath it, I thought I'd have the perfect frat boy look... and, I did.

Yet, when I got to the party, it was comprised mostly of older men and women. I was the youngest there, and with a Romy & Michele non-chalantness, the cutest, too.

Before long, I followed Blonde Eric upstairs with a friend of his and met another Eric, who for clarity will be called Computer Nerd Eric. And, for the rest of the party, he and I pretty much paired up. In that, I mean, he was a computer nerd. I was in a place where I didn't know anyone or the music. The one thing I did know well was the computer that Computer Nerd Eric was on, and so, that's where I hung and what I talked about.

As the night went on, I met some other friends of Blonde Eric, but bascially hung out with Computer Nerd Eric as he and I seemed to have the most in common (well, that and he told me that he thought I was cute). Then, at around midnight, both Erics decided that they wanted to go dancing at some club in Hollywood. I'd had an ok time at the party, but it hadn't really requited my window shopping desire, so I was ready to go home. I mean, as the party went on, Computer Nerd Eric did gain a certain attractiveness which he didn't initially hold, but he was no Jerry O'Connell.

So after profusely saying that I didn't want to go dancing for about thirty minutes, both Erics gave up. They both said goodbye and gave me a hug then I left.

I got home, turned on the Romy And Michele's High School Reunion laserdisc that I bought the day before and went to sleep, still wondering where that cute stud muffin doctor-to-be boyfriend who would sing to me in public and protect me from would-be killers was


Well, Larry got back from LaJolla where he and Katie went for the weekend and things between the two of us are a lot better now. He did mention how I was hurtful and I responded that it was merited, but that was about all we said on the subject.


December 16, 1997 - Tuesday


Well, today is the day before my birthday... and tonight Larry's taking the office to dinner at a restaurant called Damon's. I'm not quite sure if there's a correlation there, but due to the fact that he made the office party details in front of me much more than he would have normally, I have a sneaking suspicion that something's up... of course, if something isn't up, I'll be a tad let down, but I'm pretty sure something will happen.


December 17, 1997 - My 22nd Birthday


There was no suprise for me last night... but an employee of Larry's asked Katie if she'd had any parties at school for Christmas. She reponded no, but that it was Justin's birthday tomorrow. The table looked at me and one of the guys said to another, "Hey, we should have a cake at the office even though Justin's not going to be there." We all laughed and that was that.

But when Larry got back to his seat next to me, I repeated what had happened and he got all upset and said "Who told?" I said, "No one told... until just now. I just thought they were joking, but I guess by your reaction, there really is a cake tomorrow." And so, sometime today there will be a software crisis at the office which I'll have to go fix.


December 18, 1997 - On The Plane


Yesterday, all in all, was a really nice birthday. I got several e-mails wishing me well (including one with a sound file attachment of the sender singing happy birthday), and I found six Christmas cards when I picked up my snail mail. During that computer crisis which was to occur at 5 o'clock, I found a birthday cake and an office full of people singing happy birthday. It was a koool feeling which extended to my opening of Larry's present, an Ariel from The Little Mermaid music box. I'm not much of a knick-knack person, especially not ceramic music box kinda knick-knacks, but he knew I really like The Little Mermaid --It's a gay story if ever there were one.-- and especially like the "Part of Your World" song it plays. He thought about what to get me and that's all I could ask. (He said he thought about getting me a pair of Birkenstocks... on the idea that I'd never spend $100 for sandals but that they're really comfortable... I'm extremely glad he didn't. Presents should be enjoyed not utilized.)

And to top it all off, when I got home from the party, Erik (from USC) had left presents on the doorstep. My Birthday/Christmas present (He laughed while saying that on the phone.) was Colt's Hairy Men calendar. He thought about what to get me, too. I was impressed, and even though Larry's and his gift weren't supercalifragalistic in the end (Why is it that all hairy model are woodsmen?), they both thought about what I liked... and that's awesome in and of itself.


As you may have guess from the little "On The Plane" headline from above, I'm now on a plane heading to Kentucky. Yeah, I brought the microcassette recorder, but I'm in the middle of a crowded plane.

Anyway, after frantically trying to get everything done (like sending out cards to those six guys from yesterday), I packed my suitcase and Larry gave me a ride to the airport (He and Katie are coming Monday.) I checked in with remarkably little effort (Northwest has to be the most laid back airline I've ever seen) and now I'm on the plane, no longer obsessing about whether I get the whole can... because this time I planned ahead and brought a bottle of water

4:15PM - Analog Watch

Have you ever met someone who's proud of her money? That's the lady next to me (There's a seat between us so hopefully she can't see this as I write it.) I mean, we started talking as the plane was boarding but for no reason at all she began telling me about how her sons run two different companies. She started naming square feetage of buildings, and at first it made sense. Well, rather it had some relevance to her irrelevant story. When she said the square feet of her sons' companies, I didn't really think too much about it. It told me that they were big companies, but when she told me she had a 3000 sq. ft. vacation home in Seattle and included that she was driving a new Mercedes when it had absolutely no relevance to anything, I really started to realize how pathetic a person she is. Like I care how big her sons' buildings are or how BIG her vacation home is... or that she was driving a new Mercedes.

I mean, when she said "3000 sq. ft. house" I thought, "What's this lady's deal with square feet?" but the real kicker came when she said new Mercedes. I kept waiting for its relevance to come, but it never did. Seriously, it was as irrelevant as "When I was driving my new Mercedes to school, I saw a McDonald's." It had no enhancement to the story whatsoever... other than to let me know she was rich enough to drive a new Mercedes. Needless to say, I was dumbstruck and put off... Perhaps she just wants to have sex with me and is using her money as a lure [;p]

10:40 EST

Well, I made it to Kentucky via Memphis, but not before that lady told me her son's house was BIG, brick, cost $225,000, had house payments of $1350/month, and resided on one entire acre... and that was just between the time we landed and the time we left our seats. Hell, she even told me how she bought her grandchildren a swing set, "but not of those 'metal' ones" when I obligatously responded to one of her prompts with "Going Christmas shopping?" I don't think the words here are really capturing it, but she was completely enraging. I mean, that whole last house/swing thing occurred within five minutes. And a whole acre... my parent's house is on 100+ acres. Take that bitch.


December 21, 1997 - Sunday - From My Notebook


Well, as I was writing that last entry, I was also playing eyesy with a cute, short young gay red headed guy who was waiting for someone at the baggage claim where I got my luggage. I knew he was gay because the guy he was with was obviously gay (not flaming, but for sure flickering) and having initially (for like .5 seconds) noticed the friend, I picked up enough tell-tell signs to know the red headed guy was gay too.

So, anyway, as I was writing that last entry and before it when I was talking on the phone with Mom, I gave a few three or four second looks to the red head. I tried to think of some brilliant excuse to talk to them, but could think of nothing. Instead, the looks just got longer until I thought they'd finally come over... but then my brother arrived, so I went to the car with him.

I'd known that he and his girlfriend were going to a high school dance before picking me up, but as we were walking to the car, my brother said that his girlfriend was drunk and as we needed to take two cars home for the next day, I'd drive her car and he'd pick up his truck from her house.

So we got the car and she opened the door to say hello. I said hi and explained that I had to get something out of my bag for the two of them before getting in. I then pulled a 3 pack of 14 condoms and handed it to her. They both started laughing and she said she was worried that my brother would make her go into Wal-Mart with me in her drunken state to buy some. My brother told me earlier in the week that I needed to make another run to Wal-Mart with her (He's too embarrassed.), so I figured I'd just buy the bulk pack at Costco for them... not that going to Wal-Mart and possibly messing with high school acquaintance's heads wouldn't still have been fun

So, anyway, knowing kids will be kids and partially wishing my high school years had been spent in a similar manner, I gave them the condoms then drove the car from the airport, sitting next to an open beer bottle and a half drunken vodka pint... hoping that the police wouldn't have cause to stop me.

Before long, we got to my brother's truck then mutually stopped at the grocery before heading home. The trip home, itself, was incidental, but when we got to the house, I was in awe. Every eve was covered in lights and Santa sat on the chimney. A lighted manger sat further away and a lighted star was up above. --In LA, my two strands of lights on the fence were all the outside decoration.-- Of course, my Mom had created a virtual Santa's wonderland inside, too. I thought our Christmas tree was nice (and it still is) but it didn't compare to the one here. This one is over seven feet tall and has a sound activated singing face hidden within it. Little snowy villages and decorations adorn the top of nearly every table. Mom has even covered a stick tree with lights and hung upon it the gingerbread men that my grandmother made when we were children. Each has a person's name and as they all hung over her sewing machine when were kids, it represented the family. It's really nice to see them together again.

And so, after talking to my mom for a while, I went to sleep at about 3AM... very glad to be home .

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