[Editor’s Note : When we called for submissions for the third edition of Gaysi Zine we received a lot of short stories from writers all over the world – unfortunately, far more than we are able to feature in the zine. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to publish the best of those stories here on the blog.]
It is late at night, and I am half asleep when your text arrives. “So…”, the message reads. “I read your latest poem. What exactly inspired it?”
It is moments like these which I dread. Do you really want to know? What should I do? I can hide, under the warm confines of my well-rehearsed lies, or I could dare to play with the truth and display it for all to see.
Should I tell you that the poem was created because I am a girl and sometimes, I fall in love with girls and often, I write about them?
Should I explain, in all honesty, how the poem is far more personal than anything I have ever written because it is about a girl, or an idea of a girl that could never be mine? She might, but she won’t, because she, like a million others I have known, wears her heterosexuality proudly and lives within labels and boundaries. It is this heterosexuality and these labels that I borrow, but somehow, they never seem to fit me completely, as if it is not meant to be.
Should I describe how, when a beautiful face passes by, I take out scraps of paper and feverishly sketch them with my words because that is the only way I will ever know them the way I wish to?
How, every time I fall in love, there is nothing I can do but watch helplessly as my heart breaks slowly. That there is no one to confess to, no one to cry to and so, sometimes, these shards of my heart tend to bleed onto pages.
Should I foolishly believe what some innocent half-wit who is trying to make the world a better place says – That the world is ready to face the truth. That there is no normalcy, only the common and the uncommon, and thus, everything will be alright. And, armed with naivety and pride, should I stop lying by omission? “[S]he broke my heart last year.” “I think I’m falling for a beautiful boy girl.”
Should I then say what is itching to tumble out of my tongue, one hollow truth after another – “Sometimes, I think I can’t get out of bed because I don’t know who I am, and I am not sure what the world wants me to be, and I don’t think I can be both anyway. That I am irrevocably in love with a beautiful stranger who makes me dream, but who I will never meet, and that it is painful, heart wrenching, soul crushing and incredibly lonely and that, my friend, is what inspired my latest poem.” Are you sure you want to know this, something I can never take back once it is out?
I type out a reply that my soul dictates, and my fingers predict, one broken letter at a time – “Oh nothing really. This and that. It’s just a poem.” Short, dismissive, impersonal and nonchalant.
The world might be ready to face the truth, but for some reason, I am not. Instead, I go back into the closet of lies, half-truths, misery and longing, and wait for my invincible summer to arrive.