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October 2, 2010

I do not regret a lot of things, mostly because my wonderful parents started talking to me about good judgement from the time we were in diapers, and I am proud to say that the very words “good judgement” cause my own darling small monst… I mean wonderful children to roll their eyes and lament, “we know, Mom, we KNOW, good judgement, blah blah.”

Here is one of my regrets.

Charles, my older brother, and I were very lucky in high school to have a great group of friends, and I know they were great because they have all grown up to have great lives and careers and families, and, if you are reading this blog, please know that I thank God every day for your friendship that allowed me to escape high school unscathed.  One of our friends was a guy named Ricky. Ricky was funner, and funnier, than the rest of us, which is saying a lot, since we were a funny crowd of kids.  Ricky has this awesome car, an ancient brown ?? generic American car, a Chevy? Buick?  I can’t tell cars apart, but anyway, it doesn’t matter, because what set Ricky’s car apart was that it was an heirloom.  I think he had to put lead powder in the gas tank, or maybe it was the eighties and you could still buy leaded gas.  It had fins.  The upholstery — was it torn, or had it been redone in leopard?  I can’t remember.  Ricky’s car also started without benefit of a key.  As he said, “Who would steal this jalopy?” and he had a point.  Ricky was always great about giving rides to those of us who did not have a car, but the ride always came with a caveat that we might not get there, or that we might have to get out and push.

One day, Charles and I sneaked out after school and before band practice and moved Ricky’s car to the other side of the parking lot.  We thought it was funny.  But it wasn’t.  Ricky thought someone had stolen his car, that he would have to explain to his parents that the car they had worked so hard to get him was missing, that he had been irresponsible and lost it. Eventually, he found it, and (I think) forgave us, but as he said, “It was a bad couple of hours until I found my car.”

I thought about that episode when I saw this video from Dan Savage this morning. In case you are wondering, when I think to myself, “Do I really want to put in the effort to write as much, and as well, as I can, I look at Dan Savage and how much he has been able to alter people’s opinions with the power of his pen, and I think, “I can try.”

Ricky (or Rick, now).  I am truly sorry.  I have no idea how much teasing you got when we weren’t around from people who were uncomfortable with your gayness, your different-ness, your fabulous sense of humor, and fashion, and your wonderful way of being that made you such a delight.  I never saw the quiet moments alone when you were struggling with your identity.  I never thought.  I know from facebook that your life has blossomed as it ought to have, as you deserve, and I am so glad.

You forgave me once, for a prank, that I participated in when I did not know what I was doing.  If you are reading this blog, I hope that you will forgive me again, when I look back in retrospect and see the full extent of that misguided and cruel joke.  I regret it as much as anything I have ever done.

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One Comment
  1. Everyone who reads this post, and who knows me, wants to know if my friend got the post and responded, and yes, and yes, and of course he is AWESOME and it was a 1978 Charger. The theme runs true again, that I have wonderful friends.

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