We talked until the cocoa was cold. We talked until the cab was cold. We talked until my fingers were cold. Driver side, passenger side. My chest was burning from how close he was, how long we’d been there alone far away from everything. I stepped outside for a minute to see my breath in the air and stretch and look around, and then we drove back into Provo. We didn’t touch.
When You Were Young came on the radio and we sang along. For a couple of years I thought about him every time I heard that song. I tried to keep in touch, but he didn’t so much. I don’t think about him when I hear it anymore, except tonight.
I don’t want to say to myself, “You’ll never touch someone with that fire in you.”
If I believed in Mormonism then maybe I could say it, but I still wouldn’t want to. So tonight, writing this, I want to say I’m thankful I don’t believe in Mormonism. Life would be so much more difficult if I did. Maybe disbelief is a mercy from God.
My mom and dad have visited me here in Japan a few times. My dad is retired Air Force, so we can go on any of the several military bases around Kanagawa. One day we went on a Navy base so I could eat Taco Bell again (so bad, so good . . . ) and exactly as we walked through the gate and down the street I felt like I belonged there. It occurred to me that with DADT out of the picture, I actually could join the military. (If you’ve read my last few posts you understand why I had never considered it with DADT in force.)
Now I’ve been researching it for more than a year. I’ve been working with an officer recruiter for the past few months, with slow progress because he’s in Guam. Several times I’ve had attacks of “Are you sure you want to do this thing? Those contracts are awfully long.” and every time I’ve been able to meditate and decide that yes, I do. Briefly: After significant research, I still believe military service is meaningful and worthwhile. I want the military to be the community that replaces Mormonism. The regimented, frequently shaken up lifestyle doesn’t suit everyone, but it suits me, especially the Navy's variety. Through OutServe, I’ve talked with several gay servicemembers who say that the military’s homophobic reputation is 70 percent outdated.
The test, which was like a small SAT, was the first step. If I passed (I’d be surprised if I didn’t), there are about three months to do a small mountain of paperwork before the next hiring board.
This week, I’m going to turn twenty-four.