“Next year, I’ll be 18,” says Kiddo, a guy I met a couple of months back via that Great iPhone app (a.k.a. Grindr). Moments before, he called, as if I was lifeline 9-1-1, saying he needed to get out of the house, and have someone to talk to. I was, at that time, having my alone time at Kozui, reading my Kindle. I felt I needed to be there for him, so I went.
Lucky that he lived just minutes away from Kozui. In less than 10 minutes, we were both in my car. “I want to eat Sonja’s cupcakes,” he said. Sensing the cupcakes represented more than just a gastronomic band-aid, I agreed, and so we went, heading to Serendra.
So he then started spilling the beans. Story was that he met a guy (also via Grindr) a couple of weeks back who turned his world upside down. The guy made him feel special, held him in such a special way, slept with him, introduced him to family, yadda-yadda. The boy, not suprisingly, was swept off his feet.
“But after Thursday, that last night we spent together, he started being cold. Text messages came fewer and far between.”
That was Thursday night. Today is Sunday. Three days. And his world was crumbling. At least it felt that way.
I told him it’s tough feeling like one’s left hanging, deserted, not knowing what happened — one day you’re deliriously happy, and then bam! You don’t even know what hit you, yet you find yourself alone, feeling perhaps a gaping hole at the deepest, tenderest part of your heart.
“Today I woke up and had Tylenol PM as my breakfast.”
The seventeen-year-old is clearly depressed. I didn’t tell him that though. Instead, I told him it’s okay to be not okay. Bottling up the feeling won’t do you any good, I said. But look, I said, clearly I’m talking to myself, convincing him as much as I’m trying to convince myself:
“Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Honor it. Be sad if you’re sad. Sadness won’t be given us if it has no use in some way. So go ahead, be sad, and feel it with all your being. However, pray that you be given the wisdom to know when to stop, when to dust your feet off, and say ‘I have felt what I felt, I acknowledged it, embraced it, and for good measure, have immersed myself in it. Now, I am done.’ Then you move on and reach for the next best-feeling thought.”
This post is not really about the boy. Well it is, but it is about me too. A sudden turn of events on Friday the 13th pushed me over a cliff, so to speak, to a valley of tears.
It’s okay to be not okay, I whisper to myself too. Soon, I will be okay. Meanwhile, it’s okay to be not okay.