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Dave H.
06 August 2007 @ 08:39 pm
After making sure my door was securely locked--my parents subscribed to the old school of thought when it came to child discipline; even if they had tapered off as I grew older, they could easily change their mind--I

[this entry will be completed later]

(Maybe more of a 'the next morning, i took stock of my surroundings; a backpack filled to overflowing with etc. etc.' opening, recapping and all that. And I finally finished the previous chapter, adsfg, I'm so lazy.)
Current Mood: tiredtired
Dave H.
15 June 2007 @ 03:11 pm
I knew that my parents were waiting for me--I could smell dinner in all its readiness, and hear the faint clacking of silverware being set--but I was determined to wait. They would have to come to me. They were in error, not I. By forcing them to yield I hoped to gain the upper hand, as it were. But as the minutes dragged on, I began to wonder if I hadn't misjudged my position. Luckily, my mother called my name just as I was about to leave my room, a coincidence I shamelessly took advantage of to finally descend from safety.

After I took my seat (without a glance at either my mother or my father), the serving of the food went well enough--there was no overt glares or grumbles, the dishes were passed around cordially, and we began eating in silence. It was when the salt shaker could not be found that the veneer of hospitality vanished.
Despite his wife's rational suggestion that it was likely to be in the kitchen, seeing as she had been cooking spaghetti, my father rapidly lost control.

'Don't tell me the salt isn't here! Next you'll be saying we don't have any salt--I know for a fact we have enough salt to ravage the earth of Gomorrah and Sodom combined!'

I winced.

'What was that? Don't flinch. Or do you not have any salt? I have my fair share, as any red-blooded man should, but you--'

He had lost me, and by the looks of her, my mother too. As his tirade continued, it became clear that he was speaking of a more intangible "salt"--courage. Unable to bear his indignantly pompous incoherency any longer, I got to my feet.

'You sit back down, young man.'

My mother had suddenly grown cold. Giving her husband a look that seemed to say it was time for the real anger, she banished any pretense of complicity we had had with that single sentence. I stood where I was, yet I could feel my confidence slowly ebbing.

'Would you care to explain yourself?'

She was an incredibly kind woman, but she could also be incredibly cruel. Whatever it was that amplified her traits did not pick and choose. This harshness of the soul allowed her to convey her hatred in the fewest words possible.

Hesitantly, I spoke.

'I see no reason to explain any of my actions...least of all to you. I'm intelligent enough to make my own choices and old enough to follow through on them. I'm open enough to check things out before passing judgement, as you two clearly are not. Have you ever considered the possibility that by withholding this whole world from me, you have made it all the more tantalizing?'

My father began to sputter, and my mother was clearly having difficulty restraining herself. The subtle contortions that rippled over their faces were unnervingly revealing.

'Who gave you this...the books?'

It was unclear who had spoken; it was as though their hatred had disguised their voices so as to make them interchangeable, universal even. Temporarily unsettled, I had to pause in order to remember my answer. Naturally this apparent hesitancy sharpened my parents' suspicion and disgust, and I couldn't help but stammer a bit.

'I, I got them myself. From the school library.'

It was as though a grenade had landed neatly in the salad. My father's slam-the-fist-on-the-table manoeuvre with catapult-like results, and the subsequent cacophony of blame that filled the room, chased me out and up the stairs.
Dave H.
10 June 2007 @ 01:06 pm
An outline and/or to-do list for some of what's to come (to aid my memory).

1) Last dinner/night at my house [title: wandering, re hidden cameras]
2) The school day immediately following [heaven turns to, re above]
3) Ziggy's 'hostel,' an introduction to the people there
4) Ziggy's room, guitar; return to the house
5) Stephen and John
6) Dean and A.J.
7) Plans for school's spring production
8) RHPS!
9) More Dean&A.J.?
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
Dave H.
Sorry for being away so long! :)

Is that the right face? I'm still not sure about these "emoticons." Maybe I mean to use this one :(

Anyway, um. I just mentioned two of Ziggy's friends--his innermost circle, as his 'Droogs' were more of a closely-knit group of followers--and I'd like to describe them in a little more depth in case my memory dims when it's time to refer to them again.

If this seems as though it would spoil what comes later, please stop reading here. :(

Dean Wilburforce

A third-year. Had a few friends here and there, otherwise he kept to himself until he met Ziggy. Shortly before meeting Ziggy, became quite smitten with a first-year he had no real contact with. Ziggy prompted him to approach this first-year, and this experience helped Dean eventually gain several new friends.
Appearance: just under 152 centimeters, black hair kept rather short, slightly stocky physique but not unattractive, cute face but not "television handsome." Favours old-fashioned attire such as would be found in the 19th century.

A.J. Melrose

A first-year. Had many acquaintances shortly after arrival, due to heavy involvement with sports, but very few true friendships. After Dean finally summoned the courage to approach him, he was introduced to Ziggy's network and all that went with it.
Appearance: about 180 centimeters tall, tousled dirty blond hair cut in a way that manages to frame his face without being more than two inches, fit but not muscular, an aesthetic face much like Caravaggio's Amor Vincit Omnia. Favours more modern and casual clothes such as golf shirts.

(There's also the couple that owns the house Ziggy and some of his friends lived in--they're part of the Lesbian & Gay Hospitality Exchange International. [To quote Wikipedia, this organization is a "growing network of lesbians and gay men from around the world who offer their hospitality to other members at no charge. These hosts, in turn, are received when they travel."] Since Ziggy's arrival, this particular house became more of a gay youth hostel. The names of the owners are, if I remember correctly, Stephen Claybourne and John Fry.)
Dave H.
14 May 2007 @ 01:34 pm
I retrieved my cellphone from my bookbag and, quickly shaking off any last traces of uncertainty, flipped it open and punched in Ziggy’s number. I listened to the ringing, folding and unfolding Ziggy's scrap of paper as my mind jumped from subject to subject, so nervous had I become. While I waited, I returned to my bed and tried to resume reading Maurice, sandwiching my phone against my ear with a shoulder. Before I had found the sentence where I had left off, however, my call was answered.

'A.J., is that you?' A voice of indeterminate gender breathed into the phone, halting my whirling thoughts.

'N-no, this is Dave, Dave Host, I'd like to speak to—' I started, but the voice raced on.

'Dave, right, you're chums with A.J., aren't you? You've got a class together, at any rate. Has he been acting…off at all lately?'

As I havered, unsure how to answer—I barely knew this A.J., as he was a first-year and the class we shared was fitness, a massive class with all ages—there was a faint shout of 'Shove off, Dean!' and some rustling as the phone was handed over.

'Sorry, mate, Dean practically lives by the phone these days.' A familiar chuckle, and I realized who was speaking.'Anyway, this is Dave, isn't it? Ziggy here. Have you read any of those books yet, the ones I recommended?'

'Uh, yes, I've almost finished Maurice, but, er, t-that's not what I wanted to talk about.' I felt as though I sounded like a clumsy clod, stumbling over my words, yet Ziggy showed no impatience. If anything, he sounded concerned, with all the care of a lover.

'Is something the matter?'

'Well, see, it's my parents. My mother caught me reading the books, and they've never approved of the whole matter, so now she's steaming mad even though she hasn't said anything yet, and I just know that my father is going to completely have it off at me when he gets home and I've just realized that I don't have the balls to stand up to either of them.'

The words spilled out of my mouth in a breathless jumble as I practically vomited all my pent-up worry and fear onto Ziggy, who was silent for a few long moments. When he spoke again, I could just barely hear an undercurrent of anger bleeding through his voice.

'Of course you've got the balls. You're a fourth-year, which means that this is your last year trapped behind your parents' curtains of iron. Soon you'll be able to draw them back and look through into the real world, the better world. In fact, you're perfectly capable of doing it sooner, doing it tonight, and freeing yourself from the mindsets that have hindered you for so long. Not being a full-fledged adult doesn't mean you haven't got the right to believe in yourself and assert those beliefs.'

Looking back, it seems a bit melodramatic, as teenage speeches tend to be, but it certainly gave me faith in myself at a time when I most needed it. In fact, come to think of it, he gave me true self-confidence for the first time in my life. We chatted for a short while longer about this and that as the shadows grew and the sky darkened, until finally I heard the front door opening—my father had arrived home. We whispered our hurried goodbyes, and I steeled myself for what was to come.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Dave H.
30 January 2007 @ 08:29 pm
It was the smell of my mother's special spaghetti sauce that woke me. She may have not been the best person in most areas of her life, but nobody I know could deny that she was a fantastic cook. Her meals were never lavish or made with the most expensive ingredients, yet it was the simplest dishes that were the most delicious. Recalling all of this makes me feel somewhat regretful. But then I remember what she and my father did to me, and I'm not sad any more. I just feel kind of empty.

I seem to have gotten a bit off track. After I woke up, Maurice's triumphant scene with Alec resting on my face, it took me a moment to reorient myself and try to decide how to proceed. Faced with what would surely be the most momentous event in the history of my family, I knew I couldn't go downstairs without support. But who could I turn to? When the answer came to me, it seemed so blindingly obvious that I chuckled to myself as I searched my jacket pockets. During lunchtime, when Ziggy had grabbed me before leaving, I had definitely felt him slip something into one of my pockets. Hopefully it was a phone number or something of the sort, and he hadn't just been copping a feel. Ziggy wasn't that type of person, but one could never be sure.

I don't mean to make Ziggy sound bad at all. It's just that I had been distrustful of physically friendly people for quite some time before I met him, due to an odd experience I had during one of my stints at the public library. Eventually I had a conversation with Ziggy about it, but not that evening. That evening I called in him the hopes of reassurance, support, and encouragement, but mostly I called him because for the first time in my life, I had somebody to confide in.

[oh dear i don't have time to complete this section right now]
Current Music: Era - Ameno
Dave H.
28 December 2006 @ 12:57 pm
Looking back, I often find myself wondering--If there had been a younger or elder sibling, would it have gone differently? Would the parental blow-up been postponed as they tried, in their twisted way, to preserve the innocence of their youngest? Would I have found an ally in my older brother or sister? Or would they have been recruited by my parents to try and persuade me to change my ways? Possibly my parents would have stayed completely silent in the hopes that their other children would never hear of this so-called disease.

As it was, I was lucky that my mother didn't snatch up the books right then and throw them into the fireplace. Her expression hardened and her mouth tightened, as though she could smell waves of homosexuality pouring off me, but she didn't say a word. In a way, that was worse than her spewing hate at me, because she offered no chance for me to defend myself.

Not wanting to face her almost tangible disappointment any longer, I gathered up my things and fled to my room. Hate would have been laughably easy to deal with, confusion would have been a relief, and if she just refused to acknowledge it, that would have been fine by me. But I've never been able to bear having somebody disappointed in me, and this wasn't about to be any different.

I tried to continue reading Maurice, but it was no good. Distracted, I lay back on my bed and laid the book over my face, slowing my breathing to lull myself to sleep. My last thought before drifting off was that I was beginning to actually look forward to fighting with my father.
Current Music: T. Rex - Monolith
Dave H.
27 December 2006 @ 10:10 pm
I folded up my maths notes and, shoving them into my back trouser pocket, headed for the school library. The lunch hour was drawing to a close, but not so rapidly that I didn't have time to check out Pater's The Renaissance, Wilde's The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Forster's Maurice, Plato's Symposium, and a copy of The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde just for kicks. Books tucked neatly under my arm, I let my new-found confidence carry me out of the library and through the rest of my classes. Deep down there was still a part that was afraid of what Ziggy had unleashed upon me--I'm sure that if any of my classmates had challenged my book choices I would have returned them, and my endeavour would come to naught. My classes passed without incident, however, as did my bus ride home. I still remember nervously sneaking glances at the other passengers, sure that at any moment one of them would snatch up my books (openly displayed on my lap) and start railing into me. I'm surprised that my palms didn't soak right through my trousers.

Watching the rowdy students jostle each other, swinging from the straps and poles and generally intimidating the businessmen and grandmothers, I tuned out the creaking and groaning of the public bus and the hubbub of the passengers and thought back to my conversation with Ziggy. Now that it was clear the moment had passed, a great deal of my euphoria went with it.
Why had he spoken to me? Was it that "gaydar" that had been mentioned in my guilty-pleasure, dusty-public-library-corner books? Had he just wanted to see if he could get a rise out of me? Had he been "cruising" me (another term from those torrid romance pulps)?

Or he wanted to make a new friend.

When this unimaginably obvious reason finally occurred to me, and the bus opened its doors at my stop, it was as though calmness literally began coursing through my veins. I left the bus in a haze, walking through my neighbourhood with my books clutched confidently to my chest. There was no reason for me to be afraid. These were modern times in a modern world. I could no longer be arrested, jailed, or executed simply for being unable to conform. The worst that could happen, I was sure now, was that my parents would disapprove, turn me out, disown me. But that wouldn't have been too bad, too unexpected, seeing as how that was the kind of stifling home environment I had already grown up with, unspoken threats permanently behind pursed lips.

Reluctant to set the books down in order to let myself into the house, I balanced them on my raised knee as I fumbled with the key. Once I was in, I dropped the stack onto the coffee table with a satisfying thump. As I went through my afternoon stretching routine, working out the kinks in my back brought about by sitting through dull lectures, I considered my options. My father was a corporate drone, never coming home until 9:00 in the night at the latest, and my mother worked at the local pharmacy until 5:00 Tuesdays through Thursdays. As it was 3:00 Wednesday, this meant that I had a full two hours to settle down and immerse myself in positive homosexual literature without fear of being discovered--a new experience for me.

I put my favourite CD into the sitting room stereo and threw myself onto the couch, grabbing a book at random and scattering the rest. As David Bowie's distinctive voice intoned the beginning lyrics of Space Oddity, I found myself utterly captivated by the opening sentences of Maurice.

The spell Forster's deceptively simple prose wove was so complete that I didn't realize it was past 5:00 until I looked up from turning a page and saw my mother standing there. Following her gaze to the cover of Symposium--two Greek men entwined--I knew, without her needing to say anything, that dinner wasn't going to be the quiet affair it usually was.
Dave H.
26 December 2006 @ 10:06 pm
'Yes, I think their relationship is fantastically homoerotic.'

Ziggy's earnest grin, coupled with a word I had never heard spoken aloud before, stunned me. Some of the books that I had absorbed while guiltily hiding in the back of the library had touched upon homosexuality, yes, but the subject had always carried those self-enforced connotations of secrecy and shame--until now. The lack of hesitation in Ziggy's demeanor and the open emotion in his slender face prompted me to reexamine my feelings. If he could dare to speak its name without any fear of retribution, maybe I could too.

'Y-yes, especially so. Looking at the part where the Page says he bought the young Syrian perfumes and earrings--'

'And he laments the fact that he did not attempt to hide his friend from the moon, meaning not simply Salome, but women as a whole. You've got it exactly right! My dear fellow, you're the first person I've met here with this level of insight.'

Nudging my side, Ziggy beamed at me. As his obvious admiration made me blush, I looked away. At this moment I became aware of an indescribable feeling flowing through me, as psychological as it was physical, and I swung my gaze back to Ziggy's knowing eyes. Before I could react, he grabbed me and whispered in my ear, leaving me sitting there as he strolled away. So startled was I that it took a few moments for what Ziggy had said to sink in.

'There are some who say that "of all sweet passions Shame is the loveliest."'

Now I knew what my feeling was. No longer did I shrink from naming it. Ziggy had set me down a path, and there was no turning back.
Current Music: Hedwig & the Angry Inch - Midnight Radio
Dave H.
21 December 2006 @ 08:32 pm
The next day found me eating my lunch outside beneath the trees, as was my habit, math notes in hand. I've always harbored a faint dislike for the more abstract logistics of algebra and geometry, my efforts to study usually culminating in explosions of frustration, and that afternoon was no exception. So intently was I concentrating on the collection of notes, hoping that my glare would cause them to burst into flames, that I completely failed to notice when Ziggy sat down nearby.

'Having some trouble there, mate?'

I must have looked clearly taken aback, for Ziggy chuckled and slid a little closer. Casually pressing himself against me, he took a quick look at my notes and shook his head.

'Never was one for math. English, though...'

He trailed off, flashing me a grin that lingered in my eyes and mind the way the sun does after looking at it too long. Dazed, I listened vaguely as he launched into a monologue celebrating the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Algernon Charles Swinburne, E. M. Forster, names that slipped by me. I had never been one for the classics, though that was no fault of mine. My parents were more inclined to buy bland biographies, histories of Russia, and political dissertations. While the political books interested me enough to read them in bed, I much preferred to spend hours in the library devouring the latest trashily subversive romance novel, enthralled by the descriptions of experiences so utterly unlike my own. I tried to keep up with Ziggy's shamelessly one-sided conversation, only managing to latch on when he happened to mention Oscar Wilde.

'Ah, Wilde! His play, Salome--'

'You have read a work of his? I was beginning to think that you simply didn't read at all!'

Feeling slightly ashamed of myself, I muttered something about my parents, prompting a knowing roll of Ziggy's strangely bright eyes.

'Naturally. The great hindrances to independence. ...But you mentioned Salome. Would you care to discuss it further?'

Ziggy smiled cheekily, aware of the effect that his rather formal manner of speaking had on me. I felt almost as though I was in the presence of one of the literary greats that he so looked up to, with their gentle grace and easy wit. Charmed beyond words, I eagerly put forth my opinion of the relationship between the young Syrian and the Page of Herodias. I was stunned when Ziggy agreed heartily, so sure had I been that I was reading beyond the intended meaning, that I was warping the text into a horrible parody of itself to reflect the distortion deep in my own soul.
Current Music: Barenaked Ladies - Lovers In A Dangerous Time