Apparently, there’s some solid evidence to support the possibility of parallel universes. I can’t speak to the validity of these theories because I don’t care to research them. But I will gladly drift into a rollicking, poetic meditation on the Alternate Real because I’ve got some shit to do there. I need to bury a lifeline across space and time so that a boy on his own has something to hold on to other than his lonely penis. I need to write an internet essay to teenage Woody, floating on the waterbeds of yesteryear.
It’s been almost two decades since Mom sat you down to tell you that Markie Chianti grew pubes before you did. Please understand that she wasn’t trying to rub your nose in ‘em. (You and I both know how badly you wanted to do that all by yourself.) Mom was just trying to tell you that he had a new heart condition and the nurses needed to “clear the runway” before they could put in his catheter, and that was a real bummer, so you should pray for him. He turned out okay, but you never get to see his short-n-curlies before he joined the Army National Guard. You really don’t think of him much, unless you’re dredging up hairy little gems for internet essays. But you never stop thinking about your pubes, nor writing about them so that other people will think about them too.
Ballet doesn’t work out for you (maybe you know that by now) but don’t be so scared of wearing white tights for the first time in The Nutcracker. I know that it feels like everyone is crackerin’ jokes about your nuts, but trust me: they’ve got other shit going on. Plus, in the Right Now, the running shtick in your solo shows is that your bojangles pop out of your costume so often that no one can tell if it’s intentional or if you really don’t notice your testes taking in the evening air. Cozy up to those low-hanging fruits because you’ll find them to be your only constant companions.
Do not eat french fries Lady and the Tramp-style with Anthony Mackatonto at the basketball tournament. You will, as you planned, successfully set the rumor mill spinning fast enough to break it, right there at the Garden State Association of Christian Schools’ Junior Varsity Basketball Invitational. And naturally, you’ll get closer than ever to finding out what Anthony’s accidental mustache would feel like on your still hairless mouth. But Marialana will rat on you so fast and when you both get pulled into the Headmaster’s office for restitution, Anthony will throw you under the bus harder than that boner he had at Hallelujah Bible Camp. You will never meet anyone with sexier hands, but you will hate-follow his Instagram and never heart the pictures of his plain-looking children.
Keep crying on the roof of the house. No one will ever bother you there because they’re also desperately plotting an escape route. But every day after you leave the Pine Barrens, you’ll remember the sound the trees make as they poke holes around the stars and how shitty it feels when no one checks on you. Use that feeling as a reminder to check on yourself. Don’t keep a journal; it’ll only make you cringe and you won’t want to carry it across the country and around the world. But definitely keep the home movies of all the shows you staged in your bedroom. They’re not very good, but they are very important.
One day in the Right Now, with a ton of practice and a few sharp friends, you’ll temper your most annoying qualities with a sparkling sense of humor. You’ll discover that Something Queer Is Going On was not just your favorite book in kindergarten, but a prophecy of the heritage you’ll grow into. You’ll never right old wrongs, but you’ll write new rites. The endless rivalry between your taste and your skill will keep you moving and grooving and forever proving. And one day, when you write a time-warping internet essay to a young handbell-ringing, underwear-stealing, righteously angry flamer with a thing for practical shoes, the big gay void will finally swaddle us in its vivid embrace and we’ll both take a nap on your waterbed.