I met Samuel
at Baylor University. He live in the same dormitory as I did, but he had a room in the basement. I however lived on the second floor. He roomed with a couple of his friends from back home, and even though I knew who he was I did not really know him all that well.
We really first met on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico our freshman year. It was during this trip that Samuel and I shared many experiences. We shared our first bed together (No sex sickos!), I experienced my first sleepless night because of Samuel's snoring, and the toothbruch experience. Toothbrush experience?!?!? Well that is when I said one word that gave away my secret. The word, toothbrush. Somehow when I said this word one night, both Samuel and our friend, Phil, knew that I was gay. Don't ask me how, but their GAYDAR was ON that night.
Our friendship really started to develop the summer after my freshman year. He was down at Baylor in the summertime, and we developed a little hearts club. A group of us would sit around and talk and play cards for hours. Good times had by all!
As we developed closer and closer ties that summer, more and more of our lives started to become open to each other.
Eventually this led to the ultimate confession.....on Sam's part mind you...The year:
A friend's apartment near BaylorThe Participants:
Myself, Samuel, and a 3rd mutual friendThe event:
The Coming Out - Sam's anyway...partially that is
This was the year that Samuel confided in me that he struggled with homosexuality. You see, back in the church we called it a "struggle" because we believed you could be cured, healed, set free, and delivered from homosexuality.
We were at a friends apartment when Samuel decided to confess his struggle to me. I honestly didn't really know how to react, and to this day cannot remember how I reacted.
Did I frown or smile?
Did I look shocked beyond all belief?
Did I stare blankly back at him?
I think basically my response could be summed up as "...that's cool..."
I had nothing more to say. Much later I would find out that Samuel was shocked that I did not choose this time to confess my "struggle" as well. All I knew is that there was no way in hell I was going to throw my life out there for all to see - at least not yet.
And I was not in a place to confess anything as my previous posts had made clear. In fact it would not be until after college that I finally confessed to Samuel that I was indeed living life as an open gay man.
Throughout Baylor, Sam and I had a somewhat rocky relationship. While we continued to develop our friendship along with a mutual friend who shall remain nameless, we had some arguments for the history books. The most famous one centering around a comment I made about black women.
My statement: "...In general I don't find myself attracted to many black women..." or something like that...right Sam? :-)
HUGE mistake. What is obviously funny about this statement is that I am not attracted to ANY women. Ha Ha. So why did I say it? To blend in...to have a "straight" opinion about something in order to guise my sexuality. To make it look like I was comfortable and gave thought to my "heterosexuality."
Well hot damn, Samuel took that comment and came at me like a bulldozer on grass. He was offended on behalf of his mother and all black women of the world. I stood
no chance and the game, set, match was ended with me slamming my door. (FYI - at that time many of our arguments ended with me slamming my door and leaving the room.) How else could you get away from Samuel and his onslaught!
This was during the time that Samuel and I were obviously roommates. We would spend hours talking at night, ignoring one of our other roommates, and generally developing one of the strongest ties I have to this day.
During the first 6 months of my junior year we would go through the toughest phase of our friendship to date:"THE CHIP PHASE"
We moved out to a small community south of Waco called Woodway. We had a 3 bedroom apartment and at some point a new guy moved in to stay with us a while. His name was trouble...er..uhm...I mean Chip.
Chip was a warlock. :-) How else could he cast his spell on Samuel the way he did. Samuel was enthralled with Chip, did laundry for chip, probably would have jumped in front of a bullet for the guy. I on the other hand wouldn't get off my ass to hand Chip the remote control. Needless to say the relationship between Chip and I had much to be desired.
This strained our relationship to the point where after 6 months we all moved out. Chip went his way leaving Samuel to pick up the pieces...ha ha.. just kidding :-)
I then moved into a loft with the two church leaders mentioned in one of my previous blogs. This occurred halfway through our junior year. Samuel and I would continue our friendship but on a much different level for the remainder of our college careers. The rest of Baylor was spent in some separation b/c Samuel was very active at his church in Waco (mind you - we did not go to the same church!)
By graduation time, I moved to Dallas and somewhat felt that my friendship with Samuel may drift away. However, there was one connection that always kept me and Samuel together. Our friend Jabbar. Jabbar was our glue and always made my path cross with Samuel.
In actuality, there were many times when Samuel and I would go 6 months or so without talking. And then out of the blue we would cross paths again and start up like nothing had ever changed.
Fast forward to when I live in Dallas. Now Jabbar and Samuel were never allowed to come to my apartments here in Dallas, and they would soon learn why. I received a phone call from Jabbar informing me that they would all be out at Dave & Busters and that I should come hang out. Of course I did.
Now by this time, Samuel was well into his "ho" stage, and I would find out all the explicit details later on. But for the night, Dave & Busters was the setting for the next stage of our friendship. A game of pool, a couple of screwdrivers and the "confessions" began. I was speaking to Samuel the other night on the phone, attempting to recall who said what first.
It must have been Samuel. He always was the over-achiever. There was something refreshing and wonderful about this openness between us. In a weird way, it brought a connection, an understanding that had not been there before. Our friendship had gone to a new level and I knew it instantly that night the secrets were laid out on the table.
Samuel and I have always had an up and down relationship. We have gone years without talking, but there is nothing he could ever say that would cause me to turn my back on him. This new level of friendship would be both a blessing and a curse.
We had many crazy adventures, conflicts with friends in Dallas, and an infamous road trip that has forever scarred me....
Stay tuned for:New Orleans, Southern Decadence, and the Scabies Infestation