the screen on my cell phone is cracked. i can’t tell who’s calling until i flip it open. his name pops up. “happy birthday,” i say. “thanks,” he says. “how was your weekend?” the way he says thanks is a question itself. i have wanted to tell him on some many different days that i am gay. reactions scare me. the thought of someone knowing and not being able to deal with it is part of the scary things. the things that make me not get to close to my coworkers. the thing that makes me push my family away. my sister has called me at least fifteen times last week and twice today.
when i was 16, my sister told my mother if any of her brothers were gay she’d kill them. i was laying next to her at the time. it sounded like a question. sometimes, as a gay man, everything sounds like confrontation.
“i went to the bar with my cousin. i had a good time actually,” i say. “cool,” he says. “then we went to the club. i love the music they play there.” “cool,” he laughs. i wonder if his laugh changes with his girlfriend. it’s cute. a chuckle with part of it held in.
“i’m pulling up to her house. we’ll talk later.” “have a good night.” “good night.”
i go back to typing. the phone rings. it’s him again. “hello.” “i’m coming up,” he’s singing. i hear a ripping sound or a sound that sounds like ripping. he’s adjusting something or pushing something in or out. more rustling. the call ends.
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