Dear Project,

I’ll tell you my story. I hope you have the patience to hear and answer me and I know you’ll do it.

I’m 36, not very handsome but just quite passable, I’m not at the top of anything. Fortunately, I have a permanent employment, nothing special, but at least I can go on whit my life. I live at my parents’ home, maybe with a little effort I could even get to live alone, but I do not have a real reason to leave their home. My  parents are old but they are good people and love me. I do not know what they know or understand about me, but at home there is the rule well known in USA army: don’t ask, don’t tell. And I don’t think that such rule has been made in order to avoid me any trouble, my parents never asked me about such topics, even when I was 14. My life has not been very characterized by my being gay, a bit of porn but I’ve never had a fixed idea of such things, a bit of network news, but never chat or dating sites. Until 25 I had never known a gay person. I lived my life, gay things were more the side than the center of my life, they were, so to say, the forbidden and certainly not the daily normality. Things changed at Christmas of 2007. Through my fellow workers I had met a group of friends and had joined them though very reluctant because there were several enterprising girls I thought could put me in trouble. I was on the edge of the group, I went out with them but I did not really feel involved, then a boy younger than all of us, about 20 y. o. joined the group, I’ll call him Luca, he was a handsome boy but frankly, at the beginning, I felt that he was far away from me and kept him at a distance like everyone else. A girl tried to break ice with Luca, but Luca’s answers were not standard, he kept her away, playing a bit with her, but he did not get really involved. Luca also had another feature that intrigued me a lot, unlike all the others, he did not tell anyone his private facts and did not even tell the private facts of others. I slowly began to exchange some gaze with Luca, we did not even speak a single word, but I approved what he did and he approved what I did. Things  went on like this for a few weeks, then a timid dialog started in which we did not say anything of us, but we talked about different topics just for the pleasure of talking to each other. One afternoon I see him very nervous, I try to talk to him, but he reacts badly, I do not give up and insist, in the end, he tells me that a guy threatened him. I am puzzled and I try to understand something more, dialogue is very difficult. I try to make it clear but he does not explain anything, he is reticent, he falls in contradiction. I am very alarmed and I tell him that he must submit a complaint to the police and not endure the threats without doing anything, but I really do not know why he has been threatened or by whom. We keep talking about and in the end he tells me that he has invented everything and I’m very angry about all the story, something that rarely happens to me. he does not even justify himself, he just says hello and goes away, and I remain doubtful. The next day I try to insist, we meet in the evening, he lets me speak a lot but he speaks very little, I try to insist and he tells me: “But why do you care so much about me?” I hesitate before answering and he asks me: “Are you gay?” And I tell him “Yes I am”, and he replies that there is no need to do all that comedy, that if I want to have sex with him he is fine. It takes me off and I’m going to disappear instantly, but I tell him that maybe it will be for sex, but certainly not only for that, but in any case I liked him very much. He replies: “If you want to have sex ok, otherwise get lost! I don’t want people who just talk!” I wait a few seconds before answering but he does not wait, he turns and goes away. There is no need to say that I feel very bad, but I’m almost glad that such a story is over. I went home destroyed but taking for granted that I could not do anything for Luca. A couple of days later, he calls me by my intercom and just says, “Get down.” I step down and start talking but he immediately blocks me and says, “You made me not want to talk to you all the more,” and goes away. After another two or three scenes of this kind, hi gives me an ultimatum: have sex with him or disappear, I tell him I’m afraid of AIDS and he says to me: “but it’s OK also safe sex” and it ends that we go to a countryside and masturbate each other. He asks me if it was the first time for me, I tell him yes. I think everything is over but that’s not the case: we start talking and we go on talking until the next morning. When I went to work, apart from fatigue I had a thousand ideas that almost made my head burst. He had told me many things about himself and many things that were not good things, in practice he had showed me the worst side of himself, or at least what he considered so, that is, according to him, that he was obsessed with sex but he had never fallen in love with anyone. He told me not to take him seriously because beyond sex with me he did not care about anything else. At the time I thought he had put so many guys in big trouble and that he should not have done it, but he told them not to trust him, they trusted him and believed they could handle him at their own liking, and he could not bear such a thing. Then he started playing with them, deluding them and then disappointing them with some sharp comment or maybe not going to appointments and not answering the phone. Luca is not a jovial guy, is very sharp and aggressive, even if never really badly. Well, despite all this, I fell in love with him, even though I knew I would not have any chance. For long periods, we did not even talk on the phone, because he was in love with a guy and trying to build something with him, then he called me in his periods of depression that scared me badly. Sex was by then a kind of ploy to get some talk, it did not happen often, but when it happened it was a very serious thing. I tried to treat him always well and to be always available, and even he, all in all, I think has put some good will to treat me with respect. Since January I did not hear him anymore, which can also be a good thing because he might have found his stability with a guy but I’m still afraid the depression can put him in really bad situations. Now I do not know what to do if I have to call him or let everything go like this. After all I did not do anything for him. I miss him somewhat, but on the other hand I think I cannot really get into his world, or rather I do not think I can really bring him to something positive, that would be something positive only from own my point of view but probably not from his, which I cannot understand at all. Should I move first? It would please him or maybe I might just be there to remind him of old things that for him no longer make sense. At times I felt with him the sense of a total communication, but they were very rare moments. I feel a little blamed for not doing anything, but I’m also afraid to get in a relationship that I could not manage. My thoughts look like late changes of heart and maybe they are, I just need to know he’s fine but I’m sadden in immobility. What would you do if you were in my place? Look at your answer.

A. A.

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