I’m From Clovis, CA.

by Felisa Love

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

So, I had this friend. Let’s call him Herb. Herb, like almost everyone else I know, is a devout Christian. At the time, I didn’t know Herb very well. He went to church every Sunday and we hung out together occasionally within our small pool of friends. In 2006, I graduated high school and we all went our separate ways.

Two years later, when my boyfriend went to serve an LDS mission, I moved back to the little town of Southeast Idaho. Herb and I were lonely, seeing as we both lost our best friend, so we started hanging out. I loved being with him! We laughed, all the time, played video games, and talked until all hours of the night, into the early mornings.

Herb is quiet, and I talk a lot. Generally, our talks consisted of me talking, him listening and making small comments. He is a great listener. But on our walks, we generally don’t talk. We just walk, and make comments about stupid drivers, and say how much we miss old times. All of the sudden he asked, “Wanna know why we didn’t hang out very often in high school? You intimidate me. Well, I guess not just you, but the whole female populous in general. Your feminine bodies that I’m unfamiliar with… I think that’s part of the reason why I’m gay.”

I’m pretty sure I stood there for a little while, suddenly making sense of everything that had happened in the past between Herb and I. I just smiled at him, and softly touched his arm. I couldn’t find anything to say, but what do you say? Even though we continued our walk in silence, he and I understood each other. We hung out every day that summer.

Years passed, and I moved back to Provo for school. He’s still in Idaho for school. We’re still friends, sometimes. He’s still seeing a psychologist for his “condition,” along with other things he needs to work out. Whenever I think about him, I want him to be happy. Is he actually happy trying to live a straight man’s life? I don’t know. When all is said and done, I just hope he lives the life he wants.

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