Then and Now

Chapter Six


Toby's Excellent Blog- Monday, July 25, 2005
Listening to-Gwen Stefani 
Mood- I don't effing know

             I am up in David's room. It's Monday night. I don't know what to say or do or think or anything. David's downstairs throwing a football with one of his buddies, some Neanderthal who looked at me like I'm pond scum. David told him to shove it up his ass and then they started tossing the football. He said when Clod leaves, he'll talk to me. He said I need some time to think and write and that blogging will help me organize what's in my head.

            What's in my head is that my whole world has been turned upside down. I read the first volume of my father's journals, one he wrote when he was 14 and in the ninth grade. I copied three entries for the blog that I think are pretty typical. I am totally blown away.

            This isn't my dad. This isn't the father I knew. The father I knew was depressed all the time, I'll admit. But, this! This guy was a snob! He was a jerk! He was a pseudo-intellectual asshole. Hell, even I would have kicked his ass every day.

            The father I knew was kind and loving and he spent every hour of every day that he was free from work with me, playing with me, teaching me, loving me, until Mom kicked him out. Then he spent every moment he could with me when they would let him. He was never a snob. OK. He always hated football. But, he took me to baseball games and we went downtown to see the October Run a few times. I know he was brilliant and I could never figure out why someone so intelligent as my father never did anything more than just wait tables or do customer service. But, this 14 year-old kid! He was an ass! Hell, I know I'm depressed all the time and I'm always whining and feeling sorry for myself and I know I insult the idiots I go to school with. But, I just can't believe the SHIT I just read was written by my father.

            Of course, I've missed the one thing that should stand out from all the other crap he wrote and this is what really freaks me out. I can't believe I never saw it. I can't believe that for eleven years of living with my dad or seeing him every two weeks or more, I can't believe with the friends he had, especially the one that was fooling around with me, I can't believe I never figured it out. I guess a son never thinks about his father in that way, but I am totally blown away. Totally.

            My Dad was gay.

            I just don't know what else to say. I mean, yeah I'm gay. But, my DAD! OK. I'm not trying to be a hypocrite here. I know. I'm gay. I whack it every night thinking about Taylor Hanson or Ben Jelen or Jesse McCartney. I perv over David now when he parades half-naked in his bedroom window.

            But, my Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



            Dude- lighten up- so fuckin what? your dad's gay. so r u. so get a grip. he has a right.- velocitigurl


            u r such a pig! how can u juge your dad like that? you only read one part of his diary. I thot he was trying to find himself. what if u have kids. u want ur son to juge u like that?-  xxxdudenchitown


            hey that sounds hot. 2 bad you didnt know before. maybe u an ur dad could a had fun! PM me and maybe we can talk about what coulda happened!- lookin4it


            Toby- I think you might want to read more of his journal before you comment further. No matter what, from what you describe, your father loved you very much. It is natural that you might feel unnerved by what you've read. But, remember, he was fourteen when he wrote that. He had dreams. He was expressing himself. Every teenager seeks a way to express him or herself and your father was a boy searching for his identity. I think you should read further and you may understand more.- JCTnVT



Toby's Excellent Blog- Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Listening to- babbling librarians who don't seem to know they work in a library
Mood- bitchy

             I pissed David off last night. He came up to his room just as I was finishing the blog. He asked if he could read it. I told him I would die if he ever read my blog. He said that was cool. We all need a place where we can be ourselves and say what we really think. But, then he said that he was my friend and that he really liked me and that he hoped I would trust him. He said he knew things about me that he didn't think I even knew about me. He said he saw that I was like totally blown away and wanted to listen if I wanted to talk. I told him to back off and let me think. I think I was kind of an asshole when I said it. I didn't mean to be, but he said if I want to be a schmuck that's OK with him. I said fuck you and left.

            I can't believe I did that. David's the only friend I've ever had and after one week I fuck it up. I noticed he had his shades drawn last night and I wonder if he was leaving them open before on purpose. Did he guess I was gay and was deliberately parading around for me? That's the only reason I can come up with for his shades to be drawn last night. OMG, he knows I'm gay. He was still my friend. How did he find out? What did I do? Was he parading around because he wanted me to see him?

            My brain is so fucking scrambled. And, then, there are the comments to my blog. Everyone thinks I'm an asshole for the way I freaked out about my Dad's journal. Well, except for the perv who wrote in. There's always at least one of those. OK. Maybe I did freak a bit, but it was such a shock. I mean how often do you learn your dad's a snobby gay asshole?

            OK. That wasn't fair. I'm just so fucked up. I don't know what to think. I couldn't go back to read more of my dad's journal last night. I'm afraid to. I'm afraid I'll learn more stuff I don't want to know. And, I've probably lost David as a friend.

            What a fuck up.


TO: Toby89
RE: Friendship

Dear Toby,

I know from reading your blog that you get a quite a few improper propositions from older men and I want to assure you that such a thing is the furthest from my mind. However, I am quite moved by your blog and the pain you are experiencing at the moment. I have had some experience with some of what you are going through, and if you will allow me, I'd like to offer some advice. You are free to take it or to tell me to take a hike. Either way, I completely understand. 


First, you are an intelligent and sensitive boy whom anyone with any brains would be proud to call a son. Your blog has shown us a boy who sees things others don't and who feels things others can't. Therefore, your emotions are deeper and the pain you feel is greater. Let me assure you, this will pass. This is part of being fifteen. 


Second, if David is any kind of friend, then I think he understands this, as well. This evening, I think you should talk with him. Perhaps, you should open up to him. Sometimes, a blog or a journal may not be enough. An empty spiral or a monitor and keyboard aren't very good at hugging you and telling you that you are just fine the way you are. 


Third, read more of your father's journal. You will learn more about him. You will learn more of his dreams and loves and passions and what made him the man you remember and the man you love. 


And, even though he left you when you were eleven, and you may not know the circumstances under which this occurred, as your blog indicates, he still loves you. No matter where he may be or what he is doing, you should know that a father always has his son in his thoughts. 


Please feel free to PM me if you feel like discussing this. I might be able to lend a dispassionate ear, so to speak. 


Your friend,



Toby's Excellent Blog-  Thursday, July 28, 2005
Listening to- Radiohead
Mood- inspired 


            I didn't get a chance to see David yesterday because of his football practice in the afternoon and I went to Faithbuilders last night. Actually, itís the first time I'm glad I went to Wednesday night Youth Group. Rebel was there and he sure lived up to his name, well at least the nickname I've given him.

            His real name is Will and we sat near each other, but, as usual, he didn't act like he knew I existed. That's the way it usually is with everyone. But, anyway, Brother Seth wanted to talk about fighting temptation and I heard Will snort to my right. I don't know if Brother Seth heard him, but we went through this long discussion of what we do when we feel tempted by Satan to do something we shouldn't do. Of course, everyone was giving these lame suggestions about prayer or such. One guy got a lot of laughs when he said he did push-ups. We all knew what he meant and Brother Seth seemed to laugh the most.

            Then, during break, I was in the boys room taking a whizz and several other guys, including Will, were in there. The guy who made the push-up joke, Mike something, was at the urinal next to mine and Brother Seth was standing behind us against the wall. In his usual friendly, just-one-of-the-guys way, he asks Mike, "So, Mike, you have to do push-ups a lot, I suppose." He said with a chuckle. Mike looked down as he was whizzing and said, "Not really."

            "Aw, don't be embarrassed. We all have to grapple with that. Don't we Toby? I know I sure did when I was your age. Still do, sometimes."

            There wasn't a word from anyone in the john. I zipped up and so did Mike and while I was washing my hands, Brother Seth took the urinal next to Will. I didn't wait around and neither did Mike, and we both left. He didn't say anything and went back to the classroom with this really weird look on his face. He wouldn't say anything. I took my seat and a minute later, Will came in with a disgusted look on his face. He plopped down in his chair, his arms crossed, and seemed to ignore everyone, like he does all the time. Then Brother Seth came in, kinda funny looking, like he was scared, but trying to act like he wasn't.

            Then he announces, that we're changing the subject and we're going to talk about parents and how to get along with them. Will suddenly raises his hand, which makes everyone look around because he never says anything in Youth Group. Brother Seth couldn't have missed it, but he went on. Some guy says, "Brother Seth, Will has a question."

            Brother Seth gets a really irritated look on his face, all of a sudden, and says, "OK, Will. What's your question?"

            "Well, I don't think we're through with talking about temptation yet, Brother Seth. Why don't you tell us about how you fight temptation. What kind of temptations do you have to fight?"

            I looked over at Mike and he nodded at Will and smiled. A couple of the other guys who had been in the john with us kinda chuckled.

            Brother Seth was all like, "I don't think that's appropriate. Let's move on."

            And, Will was like, "But, Brother Seth, you were telling us in the restroom that you used to have to do a lot of push-ups when you were our age. You said you still face temptations today. So, you have to do push-ups after you watch guys taking leaks in the boys room, Brother Seth?"

            A couple of guys high-fived each other, but some others, mostly girls, seemed pretty pissed off at Will. Brother Seth didn't seem to know what to say.

            "Hey, Brother Seth," this other guy asked, "You have to do push-ups after those private counseling sessions with boys, you know the ones where we talk privately about sex? You have to do push-ups after that?"

            There were more high-fives and the class almost went chaotic. People were yelling at each other to shut up or to congratulate. It was amazing. Then Will stood up and started talking and everyone listened.

            "You're such a hypocrite. You stand up there all righteous and talk about following Jesus and damning those who don't follow The Way, but you're the biggest hypocrite in here. How many guys in here has he made passes at or tried to get friendly with?"

            A bunch of guys stood up or raised hands. I raised mine too because of the way he tried to hug me too closely that Sunday talking to Mom and Fuehrer.

            Will started for the door and announced, "I've had enough of this bullshit." Brother Seth tried to stop him, but a couple of big guys, like football players or something, pushed him back against the wall and said, "It's over, perv. You're toast." And, then, most of the class walked out. I couldnít believe it!

            A couple of people from the church staff were outside trying to talk to kids and herd everyone back inside, but most people were on their cell phones and refused. Then everyoneís rides started showing up. There was this crowd around Will and people were treating him like some kind of hero.

            Most people were gone when Mom came by to pick me up. She couldnít believe it when I told her what happened. She was shocked. I had told her that I thought something was wrong with Brother Seth, but she and Fuehrer always told me to shut up. Now I know I was right. She was pretty quiet the whole way home.

            But, I feel like shit now. That should have been me. Will had the courage to stand up and say what he felt. I was just a pussy, afraid to piss anyone off. Thatís the way Iíve always been. Maybe thatís why Dad wanted me to read Cyrano, so Iíd learn to stand up for what I believe. Will was Cyrano. Tonight, Iím going to tell Mom and Fuehrer that I donít want to go to church anymore. It will be ugly, but if Will can do it, I can do it.

            I might go see David, but I think I fucked that up pretty good. He probably doesnít really need a friend like me anyway. Heís the JV quarterback, he plays the violin, heís handsome. Heís everything Iím not. I think Iíll just sit in my room and read my Dadís journal.


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