Then and Now

Chapter One



Toby's Excellent Blog- Friday, July 1, 2005
Listening to: Ben Jelen/Give It All Away
Mood- cautious


            I'm not really sure what I am going to do with this blog. It seems like everyone has a blog, but then, everyone has a cell phone, an iPod, and a pierced navel, too. I can't afford a cell phone. Besides, I don't have anyone to call anyway. I can't afford an iPod, either. And, if Mom ever found out that I had pierced anything, she'd have a heart attack, (not a bad idea, actually), then make sure I had a heart attack, too, (also, probably not a bad idea- maybe I should rethink this!). But, Blogio is free, so what do I have to lose. Except self-respect, privacy, and a chance for freedom. But, then, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

            I need a place to vent, a place to vomit up all my angst and emo, like the Internet really needs another self-pitying, angst-ridden alienated adolescent vomiting up pain and ennui. Hey, two vocabulary words in one sentence! Angst and ennui. Impressed? Probably not. Nobody ever is. Nobody likes a smart-ass, as I have learned to my dismay. And, I am a smart-ass. Probably one of the big reasons why I have no friends and my family can't stand the sight of me. Another is probably because my nickname is Tubby. I look like a dork. I have really blond hair and fair skin and these really gross puffy pink lips. There's a girl at school named Ashley, (off course- aren't all the snotty bitches always named Ashley?), who says I look like a fat Macaulay Culkin. I'm not really fat, but I am a little overweight. Thus, my nickname- Tubby. I don't really get it. Half the school is overweight. OK- the other half all look like Abercrombies, but still. What the fuck? Tubby.

            Why did Dad have to name me Toby? Actually, I know why. His father, when he was a kid, read a book and saw a movie about a kid named Toby Tyler who runs away from home to go to the circus. Dad had a pet turtle when he was young which his dad suggested he name Toby. He loved the turtle and took devoted care of it and when it died, he was devastated. He even had a real funeral for it, too. Took the Book of Common Prayer out and went through the whole ritual under the cedar tree in their back yard. Great. So, I'm named after a runaway and a turtle. Actually, though, when I think about it, it's really kind of sweet. OK. I'll stop nauseating all the Goths and Emos, now.

            So, I guess you're wondering why I call this Toby's Excellent Blog. Well, it's not because I'm being a smart-ass. It's actually a tribute to my dad. He used to do this really lame thing where he would brush his hair down his head and hold his thumbs up and say, "Excellent!" like a California surfer dude. It was from a movie called Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. He also liked to get this really spaced out look on his face and hold his fingers up in a peace sign and say, "Groovy, man!" I know it sounds lame as hell, but to a kid it was hilarious. He knew it was lame, too, and he didn't care. He liked to fuck with people's minds. Sometimes he would make up completely weird words and put them in conversations as if they were totally real and the people would be like, "Yes, of course." It was hilarious. I could always tell when he was fucking with someone because he would get this totally innocent look on his face, but there would be a wrinkle at the edge of his eyes and his mouth would sort of go up at the edge. I was the only person who knew he was doing it and it made it special. We would laugh our asses off about it later. Even Mom never figured it out. So, that's why I call this my Excellent blog. It's a tribute to my dad.

            I know it's not kewl to like your parents and I only like one of mine, so maybe I'm not totally lame. My Mom acts like I'm in the way and that I remind her of something she doesn't want to remember, like living with my dad. My step-Feuhrer can't stand the sight of me and I can't really understand why he always insists I join the family for various activities since all he does is criticize me when I'm around. Maybe he's one of these power-freaks who gets off on putting people down, like a sadist who enjoys torturing his victims. But, Dad was totally different. Dad was the kewlest man I ever knew. Sure, he was depressed a lot, but he never acted like it around me and he always tried to make sure I was happy. He did everything he could to teach me, to expose me to art, music, books, plays, opera. He took me to baseball games. We'd go hiking on the nature trail and play Frisbee golf up at Mountain View Park. He listened to every kind of music, except rap. He could dance to seventies disco, he got into sixties jazz. He loved eighties electronic music. He could mellow out with Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. And, he could play air guitar Aerosmith with the best. Dad was totally kewl.

            I just wish I knew why he left.



Toby's Excellent Blog- Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Listening to: Matthew Sweet/ Sick of Myself
Mood- depressed


            Well, this is the first chance I've had to use a computer since Friday. I have a computer, an old laptop my Dad gave me when I was eleven, but it doesn't have a modem. The family has a computer, but Mom and Der Feuhrer are superchristians and think the Internet is Satanic. So, I can only use it for school work. Of, course, this is summer break. So, I go to the library and use theirs. There's also this coffee place Internet cafe in the shopping center near my house which also has computers you can use. So, I can still access the blog. I set up a blogiomail account so if anyone reading this wants to email me, click on the link at the side of the blog. Plus, if I need to write, I can always save it to disk and bring the disk to the library. Coffee and Silicon doesn't have computers with A drives- they use iMacs. So I have to use the library.

            So, the last weekend sucked enormously. I had to stay home Saturday and mow the grass, even though it was ninety-eight and I was dying. Mom and Feuhrer went to work Saturday night and Feuhrer's sister, Letitia, (which she pronounces "Letisha" but which I like to pronounce "Letittiya" to piss off Feuhrer), babysat. Not that I needed a babysitter, but Zach and Megan are total vermin and they never listen to me so Mom and Feuhrer finally realized it was a waste of time putting me in charge, even though it gave Feuhrer a chance to yell at me whenever Zach would dump the neighbors trash or set dog piles on fire on Mrs. Venturi's front porch. God only knows what Megan does, probably trying to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the youngest pregnancy with that inbred moron Leroy who lives behind us.

            Meanwhile, Sunday was church and that's always a descent into Hell. I am so not Christian. We live a couple of miles from downtown, but Feuhrer insists on going to this suburban megachurch called Faithbuilders. It's a joke. The place is a giant auditorium and there are big-screen TV's around the front so everyone can see Brother Willy when he's preaching. There are always people standing up in the audience, (I can't call it a congregation because it's too much like going to a show or a concert or something), and they hold their arms up in the air and start praising the Lord right there in front of God and everybody. And, of course, Brother Willy is always telling everyone that if they give "seed" money, they'll get it returned a thousand-fold. Plant a seed and grow a tree. Invest in God and God will give you a huge return on your investment. I swear to God that's what he says. And, then, he goes off on all the babykillers and homosexuals and liberals that are destroying America and how they're going to bring down God's wrath on everyone. It's an hour and a half of Hell for me and there's nothing I can do about it. I sit there and pray that a meteor will hit the building and put me out of my misery, or maybe God, if he really exists, which I am seriously wondering about, might get so pissed off that he just sends a lightning bolt down from heaven. Or, maybe the Rapture will happen and all the wrong people end up disappearing! LOL. Wouldn't that be kick in the pants!

            But, sucky as Sunday morning at Faithbuilders is, it's nothing compared to Youth Group on Wednesday night. And, I HAVE to go to that no matter what. I can't stand it. All the kids there are so fucking fake it makes me sick. I know several are having sex. There's one guy who sells weed and X at my school. And, the Youth Minister is a pedophile. He loves to hang around all the cute boys, the ones with the kewlest hair and the prettiest faces, and the buffest bodies. I can hardly wait until he gets caught. We always have to listen to people talking about the evils of drugs and the temptations of the body and how public schools can lure you into homosexuality. Well, I've got news for them. Well, never mind. And, we sing all the fucking time when we're not testifying about how the Lord has changed our lives. There's one guy there who I think thinks like me. He never dresses up for Youth Group. He just shows up in a tee-shirt and cargo pants. He rolls his eyes just like I do. Maybe Wednesday, I'll sit near him and try to start a conversation. It would be kewl to have someone there who laughs at all the hypocrisy like I do. God, it would be so nice to have a friend.

            Fortunately, I had Sunday afternoon free, though the library was closed. Nobody in the family gives a fuck about me on Sunday AFTER church, so I always take a book and ride my bike over to the gardens behind the Municipal Art Center. That's my favorite place to get away from everyone. Well, besides the library. There's also this cool bookstore called Borders that I like. They have a cafe and I can sit there and read magazines and drink hot cocoa, (I'm not really into coffee). But, my favorite place is the gardens behind the Art Center. There's a creek that runs through it and a rose garden on one side and an arboretum on the other. I like to sit in the arboretum and read.

            Right now, I'm reading Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. If he could write a book like this at fifteen, why can't I? I'm intelligent. I'm creative. Oh, well.

            The place where I like to sit the most is the bench under the Water Oak. All the trees in the arboretum have metal plaques in the ground in front of them that identify what kind of tree they are. At the other end, there's another tree I like called a Caddo Sugar Maple. It's my favorite cause it turns this really cool orange red color in late October. Anyway, nobody ever comes to the arboretum during the day, so it's like my own private little park. I love it. It's mine.

            Unfortunately, during the week, the evenings suck because about six-thirty, a line of SUV's pulls up and they disgorge dozens of yuppies and dogs and they let them run free all over the place. The museum puts signs up saying the dogs have to be on a leash and they even provide baggies to pick up the dog piles. But, the yuppies don't care. I hate yuppies. So, I never go to the arboretum in the evening.

            Then, on Monday, it was the Fourth of July and I had to spend ALL day with the family. Happy Happy. Joy Joy. Instead of going down to the river with the rest of the city to watch the main fireworks display, we sat in the parking lot at Faithbuilders and listened to really lame Christian rock and watched a few roman candles shoot.

            So, that was my weekend. I am so happy, I could just fart.

            Oh, and, by the way, I'm gay.



Toby's Excellent Blog- Thursday, July 7, 2005
Listening to: The Calling/ Wherever You Will Go
Mood: exhibitionistic


            There were several terrorist bombings in London this morning. It looks like Al-Qaeda is behind them. Some are saying this is Londonís version of 9/11. This is so scary. These types of things can happen anywhere at any time. The Israelis live with this all the time, but Britain and America just arenít used to this. I think Bush and his supporters are using terrorism as an excuse to take away more of our freedom and turn America into a police state. I know there are many  people who would let them, and a lot of them live in my hometown, where there are more Bush voters, more evangelicals, and more bigots per cubic foot than any other city in America.

            I guess the reason Iím so scared, the reason Iím more scared of the government than I am of the terrorists is because of that cliffhanger I left you with at the end of my last entry. Yeah, Iím gay and I canít believe that I am writing this on the Internet for everyone and their mother to read. Of course, you donít know who I am or where I live or anything like that. But, it is still scary for me to admit it. I have never told anyone. No one. No one knows Iím gay. Of course, everyone thinks I am. They look at me and see someone smart and fat and who isnít into athletics and they automatically think- queer. Iíve never done anything that would give anyone any real reason to think Iím gay. I donít perv on the guys at school. Well, OK, I do. But, itís not like Iím drooling on them or anything where anyone can see. I donít mess around with anyone. I donít know any gay guys at school. Well, actually, there are several guys who are out, but I donít talk to them. But, then, I donít talk to anyone.

            People love to stereotype, especially here in this awful place. I canít tell you what city I live in, but itís kind of in the South and it has LOTS of Republicans and evangelists. There are gay people here and they even just had their Pride Parade a couple of weeks ago. That nutcase preacher from Topeka came down and protested, but no one else did, which really surprised me. But, this city doesnít really like gay people. And, if Mom or Fuehrer knew for sure I was gay, they would probably kick me out. Maybe that wouldnít be so bad. Iím fifteen and Iíll turn sixteen in October. If they kick me out, Iíll be old enough to take care of myself. Of course, Iíd have to give up my dream of going to a real college or university. Iíd never get into a good school and would probably have to go some state school or maybe even a community college for a year or two. But, it might be worth it. I want to teach English or History when I graduate, maybe go to grad school and then teach at the college level. I donít know what to do. I guess I should just hide myself until I can escape from this hellhole and then when I get in college I can be free.

            I probably lost most of you when I admitted I was gay. I donít know how many people are reading this and so far, no oneís commented. Maybe nobodyís reading it. Maybe Iím just writing to myself. Thatís the way it usually is.

            I want a friend. I want a gay friend. I want someone who understands me. I want someone who would like to sit in the garden behind the Gallery and watch the sunset and listen to the birds and read poetry with me. Does that sound really lame? I know it does, but thatís me. I want someone who doesnít care that Iím overweight or that I have a Macaulay Culkin mouth or that Iím a loner. I know thereís someone out there whoís like me. I know that youíre out there. You just havenít found me yet.

            Oh, by the way, I went to Youth Group Hell last night at Faithbuilders and tried to sit next to that guy, but he didnít show up, so I guess Iím still the only one there who thinks like I do. Oh, well. Maybe when school starts. Iíll be a sophomore and they changed the district lines this year. They closed Central, so Iíll be going to Southside now. There has to be somebody out of two thousand students that I can hook up with. Someone.

            I know youíre out there. I hope you find me.


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