When I was a child, I believed in fairy tales, I believed that in order to obtain anything it was enough to want it deeply, as I grew up I learned on my skin that fairy tales are a way to prevent a child from too traumatic contact with reality. When I was a child, I was not a little charming prince and perhaps I looked more like a frog than a prince, but a chubby frog, because I was like that! I struggled to accept myself, but not as a gay (what came later and was not a problem at all) but as a fat boy. Now I see the photos of when I was a child: just a lard ball inexorably attracted to cakes and snacks of all kinds.
Of the period before adolescence I remember especially the talks with the psychologist and the dietician, the terror of when they took my blood for the analysis and the obsession of the scale, I didn’t understand why my mother considered it something so fundamental. I didn’t give a damn about being fat and I didn’t understand why the others were so worried. I hated my mother when she hid me things to eat, spied on me and locked the fridge. In primary school, in a school of nuns, the comrades were polite and nobody was making fun of me and so being fat didn’t really give me any problem.
The trouble started in the sixth grade. As soon as I entered the school, they gave me the first nickname: Ciccio! [something like “fatty”] At first I didn’t understand why, then I slowly understood. The school environment was bad. The teachers struggled a lot to be respected, we teased them and laughed like crazy and they tried to keep us as good as they could, the math teacher threatened to load us with homework, the Italian teacher to make us do long summaries. We had a young lady as a Gymnastics teacher, who showed us how to do the exercises first, she was very good at doing exercises, but we were not good at doing anything!
At the first gym classes I felt myself marginalized for the first time. In primary school we didn’t do Gymnastics at all, but from the sixth grade the teacher didn’t let us play and didn’t allow us to waste time and the gym class started with a run that never ended. The teacher made me do only two laps, while the others kept running, I and another boy had to stretch while lying on the ground and the other boy was also chubby, not just like me but almost. The teacher didn’t make us tired, then I realized that since I was too fat I could have problems and she was careful. When my parents went to the interview with the teachers they asked if they would do better to ask for the exemption and the teacher said that asking for exemption would certainly be a mistake and that I would have to attend a gym regularly.
In the first week of the sixth grade I had learned a very long series of bad words of which I didn’t even know the meaning. In practice in a very short time the mockery of the companions, but also the pushes and the blows, focused on two kids, one was me: “Ciccio” and then there was “Recchia” [derived from the Italian dialect word “Ricchione” or “Recchione” used vulgarly as a synonym of homosexual], a slim and blond boy who was systematically placed in the middle and beaten up. I didn’t understand why they called him Recchia and I thought it was because he had big ears (in Italian “orecchie”), but in reality they were not big, it took me a couple of years to get to understand the real why.
In the seventh grade my classmates, or at least some of them, must have begun to understand something more about sex, the fact is that, even if I didn’t understand why, they hugged Recchia from behind and held him tight and Recchia tried to wriggle to run away, if he could not, he reacted screaming and sometimes he would start crying, and then they mocked him heavily, they demanded that he sit down on the legs of the other companions and someone tried to put hands in the middle of his legs, it is at this point that I began to have a first vague idea of what sexuality was.
Recchia made me tenderness, I never made stupid jokes against him to put him in trouble and if I saw someone who tried to mock him I defended him and the others stayed calm, because I was much bigger than them. In the middle of seventh grade, Recchia changed school (then I realized that he couldn’t stand bullying of my classmates) but we continued to meet at least once a week, I was fine with him, he never mocked me and when I went to his house, his parents always prepared for me something to eat: pizza or sweets.
When I was in eighth grade, Recchia started to become a really nice boy and I started to fantasize about him, I liked him very much and practically I started to masturbate always thinking of Paul, that’s his name. I imagined that he was gay and that he was in love with me, very unlikely because he was handsome while I was still fat, I had grown tall but I was still very heavy. We did the eighth grade examinations in two different schools and then we met together in the ninth grade, starting scientific high school. He told me he would attend the classic high school but then I found him in my class, I don’t know if it happened by chance (I don’t think so), but it happened like that.
We started to study together, the thing worked and then I did everything not to lose ground because spending all afternoons with Paul was like being in heaven. The school was difficult and we studied a lot but we didn’t get scared. One day one of our female friends comes to me and tells me that Paul told her that I’m a special boy, I like it very much. We arrive in the 11th grade, Paul is now the idol of the girls and also of the teachers and I feel proud that he considers me a friend. Obviously he is the center of all my sexual interests, but it seems to me not only too good for me but too interested in girls, however we continue to study together.
When we are almost at the end of the annual school trip we end up in the same hotel room, we talk all night long, even about sex, and he tells me about a girl that he likes very much, I listen and try to answer as I can, then he asks me about me and since I really trust him I tell him that I think I’m gay but not only, I also tell him that I’m in love with him, he looks at me puzzled, then he sends out loud all the breath he has in the lungs and tells me: “Oh well, it happens! I’m sorry that I cannot match you because for me there are only girls, if ever I fall in love with a boy, that one would be you! I know it’s a small consolation . . . All the same as before?” I reply: “Sure!” And actually nothing changed between us, or better our relationship has improved, I felt free and happy to have a friend like Paul.
Then in the middle of the 13th grade I made my metamorphosis and from the fatty boy I was I become a butterfly, I lost many kilos and according to what they tell me, I became a handsome boy, I would have hoped that the boys would follow me and instead only girls were following me. I often consulted with Paul on how to keep girls at a distance because he too had the same problem even if the situation was completely different.
After graduation Paul went to study in another city and in practice we lost almost all contacts. I enrolled in engineering, dreaming of being able to meet another Paul, but this time gay, and to finally be able to live a love affair with him. For me Paul was a very important person at all levels, he was not gay, ok, but we were friends in the true sense of the word, he basically knew everything about me and nothing had changed and then he didn’t talk about me to anyone. Let’s say that I was badly accustomed to him, not only, but I had in mind the myth of the gay who is always good, respects his neighbor and seeks a serious emotional life.
In the faculty we are few, there is a fair percentage of girls, so the number of guys is quite low, I would say about twenty, there are me, gay, some others there should be but everyone keeps well perched in his privacy, except for heterosexuals, but they must think above all to study more than to stay with the girls. In short, I look around but there is not even the shadow of a gay. I make friends with a guy in my class, I immediately state that he had nothing to do with Paul, he was a not bad boy, but for me he had never been an object I don’t say of erotic fantasies but not even of curiosity. I had not tried to get news about him like I did on another couple of my colleagues, just because I was not interested in him.
The friendship between us is born by chance and I think that he too cared little about me, he could serve to study together, but he was not even a big deal from that point of view. I don’t give importance to the thing, in the periods before the exemptions [tests carried out periodically during the course, which, if passed with good grades allow to be exempt from the final written test.] we study together a few nights. Seen up close he is not bad and I tell myself that since certainly I’ll never find another Paul, it is worth while accepting what the convent passes, between us there is a little more confidence and he starts talking about girls, tells me that he has a girlfriend but that “it’s not enough” that he also needs “other”.
I ask him if he is in love with his girl and tells me yes, the speech goes on and after a long pull and spring he tells me that he’s bisexual, I, given my total inexperience, put in my head a wrong equation: “bisexual = gay” and I’m still a bit bad: I had found one that would have been there but it was not like Paul . . . I said to myself, “Did this guy really have to be gay?” (gay or bisexual it was basically the same for me) And I went on to assume that his world was exactly like mine. I didn’t know what to do, saying: “I’m gay” would have been perhaps the right thing to do but, frankly, I didn’t trust him too much and then I was also afraid he could take the lead of staying with me, what I was not at all convinced of wanting, I believe no more than yes.
I continued to be a straight friend, but evidently he had a long eye and aimed far away, where I didn’t think he was coming. He introduced me to his girl, what I would never have expected, and made sure that we three would meet many times. I said to myself: “If you want to go out with me, ok, but what about the girl? Don’t meddle me with things I have nothing to do with!” But there was a flaw in my reasoning, I had slowly begun to assume that he understood how things were, even though I had never admitted anything. I said to myself: “If he is not an idiot he understood!”
At a certain point I realized that the girl was beginning to consider me a confidant. She phoned me to tell me about his business and in practice to make me understand that she had problems with her boyfriend because she thought the boy was gay. I asked her what she deduced it from and she told me that the boy was never there on Wednesdays, I, perhaps naively, told her that on Wednesdays he never came to classes and she grimaced as if to say that she expected it, then asked me if I knew anything and I found myself in a terrible embarrassment, because I knew but I couldn’t tell her anything so I had to lie, but I didn’t like it at all. In short, I became the confidant of the girl, who called me almost every day and on Wednesday came to the university canteen to have lunch with me.
I finally had to tell the guy how things were and he confessed to me that things were no longer going well with the girl and that maybe he was not really bisexual but gay and that he didn’t feel like going along with the girl. In short, after a few days, a Tuesday night he tells me that he left the girl because it is not something for him, on Wednesday at the table I see the girl who confirms the fact but the time is very short and we decide to meet again in the evening. We go to the pizzeria, then in the car she unleashes herself with me and starts crying and tells me a sentence that puts me in alarm: “I cannot stand any more gays! I need a real man, I’m just fine with you!” I said to myself: “Oh my God! But look what a rascal! He cut the rope and dumped the girl!” I had to appeal to all my creative spirit to explain to the girl that I was already busy and that my girlfriend calls me every night on skype. She was very bad, though obviously she couldn’t take it out on me.
When I saw him the next day at the university, I asked him where he was going on Wednesday, because I thought he had found a guy, and he told me: “I see another girl!” I told him: “Girl? But didn’t you feel gay?” And he replied: “Not exactly 100% gay”. In the evening I called Paul and I told him the whole story and he told me that he had been courting a girl for months but that she kept him at a distance, then a female friend of the girl told him that the girl didn’t want him because she thought he was gay! Paul gay? Only one who does not reason at all can think of such a thing. Then Paul told me laughing: “I think it would be better if we put together!” And it all ended with this joke: Paul!!! But why are the beautiful and intelligent guys always straight?!
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