20 March 2011

Anxious Me

I’ve always been the painfully shy and awkward type. Growing up on an isolated farm in a hamlet of ninety-seven people didn’t help. I used to freak out even in the most simplistic of social interactions, like the following:

“Welcome to McDonalds,” the androgynous cashier said. “May I take your order?”

“Well… I… Um…” What do I say? How should I act? Holy crap, my hands are trembling. I hope he/she hasn’t noticed that I’ve broken into a cold sweat. Say something, you idiot, before he/she thinks you’re a dumb ass. It’s nothing but a simple food order. I can’t open my mouth for fear of my voice cracking with the stress of deciding between a McChicken and a cheeseburger. Would I like a drink with that? Shit, I should have thought this through. Am I holding up the line? I can feel everyone glaring into my back. Shit, shit, shit!

That one simple question transformed me from a somewhat fully-functioning teenager with big dreams of a rich, sexy lifestyle, into a quivering bowl of sweaty anxiety-ridden jelly. Something about conversing, even briefly, with strangers terrified me. You can imagine how I felt when I moved away from that tiny secluded farm to the Beverly Hills of Washington - Bellevue.

Needless to say, I was out of my mind with fear. Two months away from finishing my long-suffered junior year of high school, I would now have to go through year twelve at a brand new school with brand new people – A lot of brand-new people. Two great things came out of it, though; better grades, and my first boyfriend.

Yes, my first boyfriend, indeed. Let’s call him Tobble-Kosh. Tobble-Kosh and I met through an acquaintance of mine that I managed to make at my new school. Incredibly tall and obviously gay, he took me to something like PFLAG where I met other gay teens like myself. It was a pretty big moment for me. Here I am, having my first face-to-face conversations with other homosexuals (there were practically none in my little hamlet town), and I didn’t even feel the need to vomit. After the meeting was over, I felt liberated. By the end of the night, Tobble-Kosh and I were going steady.

I have to say, I was very happy. Until the next day, that is. Tobble-Kosh and I went back to his house after school, and, having vast amounts of suppressed sexual energy and vivid imaginations, it wasn’t long before we were cuddling on the couch. I was spooning him, my erection grinding against his lower back (which I thought was his butt, at the time), when he turned over onto his other side, facing me. He gave me a small smile and nibbled on my ear. My nerves came awake. Staring into the back of his head was one thing; staring into his eyes as he’s sexily biting parts of my head was a whole different ball game, no pun intended. I closed my eyes, trying to enjoy it, and the next thing I know, he’s planting one on my lips. My eyes popped open wide, and I was instantly cast into a nightmare world of soft touches and nibbles.

After what seemed an eternity, he pulled away, looking pleased. I sighed in relief. That wasn’t so bad, I thought. When he started leaning in for another kiss, I was prepared. He gently took the back of my head with his hand and, while ruffling my coppery curls of hair, kissed me again. Except this time, he forced his tongue between my lips and started flailing it around like a flaming baton. My entire body went rigid in surprised shock, and, before I could stop it, a vomit-gas bubble shot up my throat – and into poor Tobble-Kosh’s wide-open mouth. I was so embarrassed; I apologized profusely and got the hell out of there.

Surprisingly enough, he didn’t dump me. He claimed he understood, and we continued to see each other for a whopping two weeks. During that time, my anxiety levels hit an all-time high. I lost my appetite and a lot of weight. We had a number of bad dates, including a disastrous incident involving my stomach and his car on the way to Pink Prom, and an unbelievably dull time at an equestrian event.

One night, while staring forlornly into my favorite dish of chicken chow mein and grilled cheese sandwiches, I finally decided that my body couldn’t take another night of starvation. Enough was enough; it was time to end it. The second I made that decision; the second every molecule in my wasted body knew that I was again a single guy, I let loose a barbaric bellow of triumph and inhaled my plate of deliciousness.

I’m happy to say that Tobble-Kosh and I are still friends, despite that evil, disgusting vomit burp that no doubt scarred him for life.

Point of the conversation: Don’t jump balls-first into a relationship. Take your time! Relax! Especially if you’re prone to social anxiety.

- Zac

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