Back in sixth form, Mark was the cashier of the school’s LGBT club. It was a little organisation; maybe a dozen or more pupils in a school of about 500 or so. We have left many things behind since those days, as we’ve sunk into a boring middle class life with house and car and dogs and all, but he does have some connection to that little club still.
Ian, for instance. He’s one of those connections that keep us tied that old club. He was one of the dozen or so members, and while he wasn’t the same year as Mark, they did become friends. I have never asked how they actually met because I’m a bit afraid of the answer, and it’s best not to feed that jealousy monster that pops out now and then. It’s a vicious beast, and all I can do is to go away until it passes.
Ian was one of those pretty boys that could set my black heart racing with speculation, fears, and morbid thoughts. That black, treacherous, deceitful little thought at the back of my head sometimes swim too close to the surface for comfort. Like earlier when Mark texted me to say he would go to the pub with Ian, and that he wouldn’t be home when I came there.
If I were prone to overreact, I could do like some and ask Mark not to see him any more. Mark would obey that. I know him, and he knows me. But I never do ask him for a couple of reasons. I actually trust Mark more than I trust myself. If anyone would stray, it would be me. I’m the impulsive emotional one. He calculates everything, and he attaches himself to people. Mark used to have a boyfriend who exploited this trait for all it was worth, and their relationship was borderline abusive. At least emotionally so. Mark gave, gave, and gave. The ex just took, took, and took.
The other reason, the bigger one, is that I don’t want to give in to the jealousy. It is destructive and deceptive. So what if Mark and Ian years ago made an attempt of anything? They’re not doing that now, and it was before me. Mark made his choice, and he chose me. All that such a demand would do is to sever a tie Mark still values.
That little LGBT club was a bulwark, and he invested in it. Emotionally. Physically. He gave it time, and effort, and helped build it from six people to over double. He helped turn his school from a ho-hum place for the likes of us, where students shouted ‘queer’ in the playground, to a place where LGBT were at least tolerated if not respected. So, why should I demand that he cut those ties? It’s stupid. Stupid. And mean. And selfish. And it only feeds my jealousy.
It’s weird how strange life has become. So complicated. It’s a state where you sit on a train weighing relationships, factors, threats, opportunities. Everything just weaves into everything else. And all you’re left with is this mess of contradictions, conflicts, and confidences.
And you never know which is the more important thing. I mean, I even LIKE Ian. He’s a fun guy to be around. He has a dry sense or sarcastic humour. He’s sharp. It’s I who is weird. He should probably tell me to go to hell. If I were ever brave enough to tell him what I’m thinking sometimes.
Time to go home, and stop this foolishness.