Don’t tell me that there is some sort of symbolism in that the world is growing ever darker as Friday and winter break approaches. This was something that Mark said a little while ago; “think about it, he says”, and then thumbs his nose conspiratorially. Bah, humbug.

Winter Morning
Photo credit: blmiers2

There’s not much trace of winter outside our house. The temperature is near the very not-winter-like ten c, and it’s been raining. I want to crow ‘winter is coming’, but it seems to be more of a wish than a threat.

Winter is not coming to this part of the isle. Sadly. But darkness is here, and winter break is nearly here, and I don’t want to think that they are somehow connected. Whatever Mark says.

Winter break is a time for joy, freedom, liberty, freedom from the constant need to write stupid essays and take part in group work. Except, next week I’m going to Heathrow, and then I go on the aeroplane, and then I fly far away to the real winter. My dad has promised to dig out the snow-board from the stash of my things that were left there when I moved here to England.

I am going to go wild in the slopes.

***

I've bought all these four books! These are what I'm reading now.
I’ve bought all these four books! These are what I’m reading now.

Like yesterday, I have spent the day indoors, alone. Mark was off to school today, and then he rang and said he would go to hang out with Stephen, and he didn’t come home until ten pm. By that time, I was ready to climb the walls. Or at least sort my book shelves. If you ever see my bookshelves, you would understand why this is an arduous task.

The problem is that I promise myself that I won’t add to my collection any more, but it seems that as soon as I go down to the town centre, I come home with a book. Or two. Or a dozen. For instance, I bought an entire series by Jay Bell. I bought gay coming of age books. That surprised me because they are usually pretty bad. When people write the books they tend to go for camp, comedy, or catastrophe. These three C:s make for unrealistic reading, and since the subject tends to be the quite alien American high school system I can’t really relate to what’s going on.

The plodding drama in college was nothing like the drama in High Schools in the US. For one thing, we don’t have evil wicked cheerleaders that stab people in the back while they smile. To me, the whole system seems quite alien, and therefore reading about it always puts me at a distance. And, as any writer would know, enjoyment of books is crimped enough as it is by analysis of how a book is written that such detachment isn’t that good.

I am not sure that these books won’t be like that. I’ve read only a few pages, but so far they seem all right. I have read so little LGBT literature that maybe my reservation about it is just prejudice. Thought I’d give it a try. After all, being gay gives rather a unique experience; the only experience that every gay person on the planet share. It would be good to discover literature that’s not thinly disguised erotica, but which speaks to this unique experience.

***

We are different races, different genders. We are rich, poor, from Hackney or from Harare. But this is universal – regardless of how liberal a society we live in, we all have those dread years when we fight ourselves, sometimes to the death, to not be what we are.

Heterosexuals will never know that. Heterosexuals will never understand the closet. Heterosexual will never understand the drip, drip, drip of poison in your soul that starts from age twelve or thirteen or earlier or later. We are not a community in much, but we have that shared bond. Even those of us who have had an easy time coming out remember those first years when we didn’t know how to react to this thing.

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