Dear Captain Awkward,
Okay. I am worried at the lack of emotional intimacy in my life, I think?
On Thursday, I ignored my flu, got gussied up, and attended a two-author required reading for my fiction class. The first author read an entertaining chapter of his book on taxidermy (yes, it was really good!) Then the second stood up. She would be reading about a young girl’s first lesbian experience, she said. Fine with me, sounds lovely. She would also, if we had time, be reading about the girl’s road trip, with her conservative aunt, to a degaying camp. I knew immediately that I would start crying soon.
Why would I start crying? I’d never been to a degaying camp. I did have the flu. My mother had been fairly awful about my coming-out.
I wanted to leave, but kept coming up with reasons why I couldn’t: this being a required reading, having to step across all the people in my row, the writer on stage thinking that I left to make a statement of homophobia (I really don’t look queer). Now I have a script in my head that I could have used. I should have left when I knew it would get awful, apologized and explained to the teacher later, and asked him to pass on the message to the writer.
Instead I sat through what should have been an enjoyable reading–it was a really good book!–dreading the words that would make me spill, looking up at the ceiling when my eyes got too full, and sniffling a little too much even for the flu.
I actually managed to get through the reading and make it to the building’s kitchen for a cup of tea without crying.