I’m From Buckinghamshire, UK.

by Luke Lyesmith

Google Earth Satellite Image of UK

I’m 18, and have been for about a month. It was hardly a big change, compared with all the other stuff that my life has involved.

Right now, I’m sat in my (foster-brother’s, but he’s at uni) room, surrounded by residual chaos. My clothes and variable possessions from before are strewn about the place, some in boxes, some in the wardrobe, some on the bed.

Seven months ago, I was effectively orphaned. My mother has been dead since I was eleven – cancer. I’ve never really grieved overly much about it. I knew it was coming, and I’d grown up with my mother’s tumour. She called it Voldemort, and the little chemotherapy thing Hedwig. I’ve not even read the last two books (I know how it all ends, of course), but I knew the first four religiously.

To the matter at hand, my father had a stroke. A massive, life-fucking stroke. It was five in the morning, and I heard a thump. Must have woken me up. Called out to him, and got odd moaning in reply. So, rushed in and did the whole “Dial 999” thing. I thought it was a heart attack at first. I got drunk as hell the next three nights, and then taken in by a friend and her family. Still with ’em, as I can barely spend more than a couple of hours with what’s left of my father without massive draining.

Anyway, the main thing. Of all the paradigm shifts I’ve gone through – “Your father is likely to die of throat cancer. Your mother has about 4 months lefts to live (Sucks to them, she lived just under four years). Your mother is dead. You like dicks. You’re effectively orphaned, and living in care.” – the second-to-last causes me the most strife.

Not directly. Or possibly directly. Guilt is pretty much a constant for me, to the point where I guilt-trip myself. The last time I was attracted to someone, I shut down for the best part of two days trying to purge myself of it. It worked (which I was shocked by, my self-discipline is atrocious), but I retain my enduring admiration for Russell Tovey – primarily for a role model to finally latch onto. There’s fuck all decent, openly gay men in the media, and that’s a fact.

The guilt of just being attracted to someone is unbearable sometimes. Sure, I’ll lech a little at the telly and in the street now and again, but that’s the limit. I only recently agreed to kissing another guy at spin the bottle, and that was for comedy. I’ve not had a desire for any single person that I know or not, ever. Still, a hand to hold and a mouth to kiss, a neck to nuzzle and a shoulder to cry on would do me just fine.

“It’ll happen at uni” is the default response. Logically, yes, I know that. I’m planning to go to Sussex, and relying on the massive amount of extenuating circumstances to make up the 5-month gap where I got almost exactly nothing done, and fighting every step of the way to not go see a councellor – an inevitable defeat, but a battle I had to fight anyway. I hope it works out. I want this to change, to stop the guilt and chain up the acid tongue, push that part of me that when confronted with homophobia flips straight to violence, and rises above.

Whoever tells you that the teenage years are the best is a liar. You’re full of angst, and there’s nobody else who can truly understand your worldview. You may even write poetry. But stick with it, they tell you. It’ll work out. It’d better, or there will be blood.

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