1. Autobiography -- A Work in Progress
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Autobiography -- A Work in Progress

Only child
Spoiled, controlling, naive.
Some say over-mature
I always got along best with grown ups.
My best friend Jonathan.
I trusted him implicitly.
I think he was jealous of my prosperity.
But he was my best and only friend.
Then he moved away
Just after second grade.
Cub Scouts
No really close friends.
Muddled through elementary school.
Was best at making friends with teachers.
I think my peers were jealous
Teacher's pet, and all that.
So naive and oblivious was I.
Middle school.
Nothing fit.
Kids were REALLY mean.
I didn't understand any of it.
I lost my flair to be teacher's pet too.
Gym class was unpleasant.
But even more unpleasant were the other boys.
Thank God for Sam.
My best friend, and worthy of my trust!
We did everything together.
We never got mad at each other.
(Except for that one time with the cayenne pepper.)
All the smart kids went off to Choate.
Luckily I was able to follow along.
Mom and dad found the money
Spoiled me once again
But they saved me from a hell
Worse than middle school.
High School was stressful and scary.
I wonder if anyone knew that.
I kept up with the Boy Scouts.
That social organization I understood.
Even though I really didn't understand the other kids.
When the hypocrites from New Haven took over
Boy Scouts got political
And rather messy.
Somewhere in high school
Sex tried to discover me.
But I put it off till my fifth year of college.
Senior year of high school
Was intellectually successful
But I was beginning to feel I'd missed the point of life.
Freshman year was great fun.
Till just after Thanksgiving vacation.
I could never keep up with class after that.
I was treading water for five years.
My dorm
Senior House
FINALLY started educating me about life.
Four years in Senior house,
then an enforced separation.
That's the rule.
I wasn't ready!
I was just beginning to feel like a person.
Fifth year at MIT
The beginning of "The Bad Bad Time"
I felt lost in my classes.
Held the academics together, sort of.
But I could no longer escape from the fact
I'm gay.
Lots of desires began to make sense.
But it felt like life had passed me by.
I was never popular when I was little.
And I'd spent the years of play
Buried under school work
With occasional painful, insecure,
And guilt-filled flings.
Joined the Gays at MIT
Tried to have a social life.
It was like bad group therapy.
We were all very tightly wound up.
It was the scariest ever.
I lived in hell for years.
I console myself that this time around
My lack of popularity saved me from AIDS.
One grain of sand at a time
I began to build a life
A sense of myself
A sense of other people.
Every year I've been
A little more human.
And with better relationships.
First ever boyfriend Lon
I was 33. He was 23.
He picked me.
12 months on, 6 months off, 6 months on again.
We still love each other
But we really didn't fit together.
Approaching 40.
Haunted by the reality of what I've missed
Through so many years of school
Lack of sense
about myself and others.
Looking back
very few relationships
SO much loneliness.
Many good friends
Not all of them fully appreciated.
Looking forward
A whole lot of hope.
Appreciating my friends more.
Finally able to ask for what I need.
And to give out of love
Rather than by rote.
Second ever boyfriend B.
It was the most beautiful week ever.
I picked him.
He transformed me.
But he had to follow a different star.
In my 40th year
Feeling very time warped.
Trying to date guys in their 20's.
Dated V. at age 24.
More wonderous transformations for me.
I Started to feel less time warped,
And some genuine self confidence.
I wonder if maybe I can
Build relationships with children my own age.
Most importantly,
I've started to feel like
I've nearly caught up
To a life that nearly passed me by.
Overwork and occasional depression
Are still issues.
But they're no longer defaults!

22 January 2000
revised 24 January 2001

by Bill Cattey