Friday, May 19, 2006

Life at Sea World


When I arrived at Sea World I was a complete mess, but I went into summer camp mode very fast. It was actually easy and extremely comfortable for me to screw on a fake smile and spend the next three weeks of training getting over what I had just discovered about myself. But on the fifth day of training I met a guy and things changed for me the moment that I layed eyes on him. I worked for resident camp and he worked for day camp. The only difference between our jobs were that he got to go home at night, and I actually lived inside of the park. The memory of me meeting him is still extremely vivid. It was 5 am and I had to wake up early for aquatic rescue training because I am a lifeguard. Out of the 16 resident counselors, I was the only certified lifeguard, so I was the only one that had to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn!

After I struggled with my wetsuit for about a half hour, I stumbled down the stairs and into the park to Dolphin Stadium. Once there I took a seat on the bleachers and the only thing on my mind was how I really should not have played that "March of the Penguins" drinking game with the other counselors the night before! I did not even hear him sit next to me, but then all of a sudden his hand was on my back and he was introducing himself as Danny. He had the most amazing blue eyes that I have ever seen in my entire life. I introduced myself and we spent the next ten minutes talking about aquatic training and how much it would suck to get into that 50 degree water!

That whole morning went by really fast, and half of the people that were supposed to be there did not show up, so we finished two hours early. Danny asked me if I was hungry and I was actually starving, so he offered to take me to breakfast and show me around San Diego for awhile. It was awesome because I had not made a friend this quickly in a very long time. We went to IHOP where we proceeded to eat more pancakes than I thought was humanly possible, and then we went for a walk on the beach. The waves looked pretty nice and I mentioned that I wish I would have brought my surfboard, then he got really excited because he had just started surfing and he wanted someone to go with him. From that day on, we went surfing almost every night! For about a month, that is all that we did.

One night after my fourth bong hit, I worked up enough courage to ask him about his past relationships. He told me that he wanted me to go first, I wasn't even sure if he was gay, but I was feeling good, so I told him that in certain circles I have been known to kiss boys. When i was done he asked if he could kiss me. I was totally caught off gaurd, because that is just not something that one gets asked very often.

After our make out session, he told me that he had wanted to do that since the first day he saw me in Dolphin Stadium, he just wasn't sure if I was gay or not. I knew that he had liked me for awhile at that point. He didn't act very feminine or anything, because that wasn't him, you could just tell that he liked me a lot. I was just not ready to act on anything until I was really high I guess. But from that point on, we didn't surf much anymore, we just did stuff... O man I am still uncomfortable talking about the specifics, but he definitely knew what to do. The rest of the summer went by pretty fast. On the last day of camp I was very sad to say goodbye because I knew that things would not be the same once we left camp. Living at a summer camp is its own microcosm, your perception changes and you live by a completely different set of rules that you wouldn't have anywhere else. We were both staying in San Diego, but now we would be having to deal with the real world. I knew that it was over, but I think that it took Danny a few weeks after camp ended to realize that things weren't the same anymore.

I am very happy that I met Danny and that we shared such an amazing summer, because he showed me that I could be gay and still be a man at the same time. And to be honest that is my biggest fear. That somehow living a life as a gay person makes me less of a man. Since Danny, I have tried to put myself out there and meet guys, but I have been unsuccessful in finding some one that I like. Mostly because I am not entirely sure what kind of guy that I like. I just know that its not some weird pasty white guy that wants me to shave all of my body hair and speak broken english. Not that I have much body hair, but I have worked hard for my 9 chest hairs, and I am not shaving them off! I have tried the whole casual sex thing, and it just doesn't work for me, I need to really know a person before I am intimate with them. That whole craigslist game just isn't for me. I need to meet more gay people to show me what's up. Even though it only lasted a few months, it was nice to finally kiss a guy and not take off and never speak to him again. I think that I deserve a medal for that.

17 comments:

bone. said...

Eric, I'm no gay know-it-all but I can assure you that everything gets easier. Your confidence will grow, your super gaydar powers will increase :), and you'll be happier as a result. You sound like a good person and that won't change just because you're gay.

I read a slogan once that helped me deal with coming out "Those who matter, won't mind. Those who mind, don't matter."

Oh, and I dig your pictures, too.

best,
j.

Marc said...

I can relate with that fear of yours. I am an athlete and the oldest of 4 brothers and sisters. They all look up to me, and I am not sure how they will look up to and respect me if I am gay. I wish that I could have your confidence, it sounds like you are really starting to figure out who you are! I love your blog, and your picutres! later!

Josh said...

I guess that its hard to be who you are no matter what your situation is. You seem to have a life that would be ideal for coming out at an early age, but you never did. I always thought that I would have had the courage to comeout if only my parents would understand more about the gay community, and know that I didn't choose this to make them disapointed. But it seems like you have the same exact fears that I do, so I guess that its not as easy and one dimensional that I once thought that it was. I hope that you find the courage to do what you have to. I love your blog.

Ben said...

I have never been to summer camp, So I can't say for sure, but can it really be that different from everyday life for us lowly humans?? I am not entirely sure what you are getting at when you say that the "real world" was what ended your relationship. Call me ignorant, but I just feel like that is BS! But it sounded nice. I think that you are probably a little bit scared and unsure of yourself as a gay person. I don't mean to sound like an ass or anything, I just feel like you could have been working towards something great until you stuck a fork in it. But maybe it really is a different world at summer camp. like I said, I have never been, so I don't know...

peter said...

You are great man! I loved reading about your experience at sea world. It seemed like you really came into your own there. Sorry Jack Black is on television right now and I can not think anymore, so I am taking off... see you later man and keep up the good work!

Mikey said...

I have just discovered your blog, and I have to say that I enjoy it a lot. I can relate to a lot of what you have to say. I am an athlete and gay, I just don't think that those two things go together very well. But thanks for sharing, I love to read what you have to say.

Riley said...

This Danny seems like an interesting person. Do you guys still talk, it seems like he would have still been your friend after you guys broke up...Is that how it ended up working out? Summer Love is a horse of another color, I don't think that Ben understands that because he has never had a real summer romance! But I completely get what you are saying. I hope that things work out for you, you seem like a great guy.

Kiel said...

Reading your blog makes me smile because I can really relate to what you are saying. I was raised by my mother and her girlfriend, and a few of my uncles. It was an ultra macho environment. And for a very long time after I figured out that I was gay, I did not want to tell them because I was scared about how the dynamic in my house would change. When I finally did come out to them, they were more sad about the fact taht I felt like I had to hide a part of myself from them, than the fact that they weren't going to have any grandchildren, or that I wouldn't be joining them when they started talking about the hot chick in the bikini on MTV. I know that your family will accept you for who you are, you just have to be ready to let them. Its not something that you need to rush at doing either. You are a young man, and when you are ready, I am sure that you will do just fine. I love your blog, you definitely have a new reader.

Asher said...

I like you. I love to read your stuff because I feel like you are engaging me with your words! Its like you write like we are having a conversation. I think that is a very unique and different way to put your thoughts down. I am sorry that you are having a difficult time meeting somebody, but that is becuase you have standards, and that is never a bad thing to have. Don't lower yourself just so that you don't have to feel lonely. I see great things in your future!

Carl said...

I am noticing something with your pictures, drawn, photographed or otherwise. U never show your face... Are we ever going to get to see what you look like?

perrin said...

I like how you can joke about somethign so embarassing as taking off after kissing a guy! I wonder what went through that guy that kissed you's brain? Do you think that he thought that he was out of line and that you weren't really gay?/ DO you ever think about him? I read that you are going to be on UCLA campus all summer are you going to try and look him up? You should, just to let him know whats going on in your life. I love your blog, and your picutres!

Brent said...

I don't think that you should try and over think things. Its like you are on the verge of figuring everything out for yourself, but you are scared of what the consequences might be. Don't be sacred to be happy! Just let everything fall into place for you, and you will be surprised how happy you will be.

Frank said...

I love your blog! Its very refreshing to read something like your blog. You are a kind soul and I think that you are going to have a lot of good times in your future, just stick to this path of self discovery and you will get there very soon.

Marcus said...

You rock! I love how you put yourself out there. You really get personal about your life, and its not even in a superficial sort of way that I read in other blogs. You really seem to be letting everybody into your soul. That's nice to read something real like your blog. I love your writieng style and your fresh view on self discovery. I think that you are going to be having a very interesitng life once you really start to put yourself out there. Good luck!

Bradley said...

Wasn't that picture your old profile avatar thing?? I like your new one better anyway! It sounds like you had a very interesting summer. I am happy that you were able to figure things out for yourself, becuase it lead to you creating this blog, and I really like your blog. It is comforting reading that you have issues that are similar to mine, it almost makes me feel like I am only slightly nuts to read that you have shared a lot of the things that I have gone through. I am not sure where I am going with this, but I jsut wanted to let you know that I like your blog.

Parker said...

I think that you are a very neat person with great insight. I am 16 years old and just starting to be okay with being gay. I live in a small town and I am just waiting to leave for college, so I can live a life out of the closet. I like reading your blog because you don't seem like the kind of guy that they show on TV all of the time. You don't seem like you need to sleep around with everybody like some of the other people in other blogs that I read. i like you for that, because I think that I want to be the kind of gay person taht is a lot like you. Thanks for making this blog, because I really enjoy reading it.

Terry said...

Eric, as an older man... Parker (comment above) says it all. Take your time... come out when it is comfortable for you *and* stay human [i.e. go at your own pace and don't let others influence you.]

You are truly amazing!