Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Brotherly Love



I've known Ruby since the beginning of the summer but had yet to meet any of his family.  I'd usually drop him off at his apartment complex and watch him walk away but I still never even knew which door was his.  He's a somewhat mysterious kid who has to figure out much of his life on his own since while his mom and older brother work to support the family.  He's always riding his bike everywhere which is why I drop him off at night.  I don't let him ride around alone past dark.  He's kind of a wonder because even though he has so much freedom, he's so innocent and boyish.  He always seems just a little confused and aloof yet surprisingly knowledgable and aware when it counts.  In his uniqueness he's a boy I wish I could watch all day simply to see what he does, but also so that I can protect him.  Over the past six months or so I've grown very fond of him, to the point that I feel like an uncle or brother figure and seemingly, he feels the same.  Every night together ends with a loving hug accompanied by his fake cries and sniffles of "bye Caden...".  Since he's been back in school we've occasionally had to go weeks without seeing one another but then it all comes back like nothing happened once we're together again.  He's always the same, sweet and adorable little Ruby.

Well each time I hang out with Ruby I ask him about his older brother Lisandro.  He's often told me how mean he is, but then when I ask for examples he can't produce any.  Then I hear stories about how his brother bought him an expensive TV for Christmas or how he took Ruben to a car show or something.  The more I heard the more I realized that his brother was amazing, but Ruben only saw his as the father he no longer has.  See..Ruben's brother has to fill the role of his dad.  He's finishing high school and working in his off hours, basically handing over his life to help support the family.  But it's the fact that his brother has the authoritative role of the father position that rubs Ruby the wrong way.  But seeing through this I continued to spell that out for Ruben and express an interest in meeting his family.  This went on for months until eventually it happened.

Eventually I got Lisandro's phone number from Ruby so that I could invite him to our lakehouse that weekend.  I was a little nervous about it because of how Ruby felt about him, and how I was an older friend who never met any of his family and didn't want to taken the wrong way.  But I had no reason to worry.  He responded excitedly and eager to go but unsure if he was able to.  Then he asked if I was available to hang out in a couple hours.  It seemed so sudden and random since I'd never even met him before but we ended up going bowling. He brought Ruby and their younger brother and I brought my cousin Michael, Ruby's best friend.  For all that Ruben had told me about Lisandro he couldn't have prepared me for who he really was.  One look at him and I knew everything I needed to know.  He was a lightly older version of Ruby to the T.  He had the same charming face and smile, slim build, and spoke in the same nervous broken english, except even harder to understand.  At 18 he had a little facial hair wore a hat well.  It was hilarious watching them interact and how they seemingly had no idea how completely similar they really were.  And it was immediately obvious that Lisandro cared so much for his little brothers and loved them before all else and that Ruby, as sweet as he is, was giving him a slight adorable attitude as teenagers do.   But we all had a great time and it was really special to see those who Ruby holds so dear.

That weekend Lisandro did make it up to the lakehouse with us and had the time of his life.  Ruby felt like king of the hill showing him around our property and the boat and all the things he's been enjoying all summer that Lisandro had never experienced in his life.  The whole time I kept thinking about how thankful I was that even though Ruben didn't have a dad, he had people in his life who care so much about him and show him the love he deserves.  But that didn't mean there wasn't room for me.

I took him and my cousin snowboarding at the first snow of the winter.  It was Ruby's first time and he was so excited he wouldn't stop talking about it.  He looked so cute in his beanie that covered his ears with floppy flaps and strings that hung down to tie around his chin.  When in all his snowboard gear he looked all bundled up and cuddly and I couldn't help but smile each time I looked at him.  He was a little nervous but I rode with him up the lift to the top and talked him through each step of the way.  We were both shocked to see him successfully ride off the lift without falling.  I decided to go ahead of him just a bit so that I could guide him on his way down but once I turned around he was already flying down mountain, racing past me completely unable to control until he tumbled and laughed.  It was so adorable watching him figure it out and flop around in his signature Ruby body movements that make him look like he never quite has complete control of his limbs.  But after three hours he was finally ready for the big boy slope.  On our way up he was thanking me for being such a great teacher and talked about how much fun he was having.  Unfortunatly halfway down my first run I took a pretty bad spill.  He came rushing down to me and sat by my side, making sure I was ok.  I had hurt my shoulder pretty bad, later finding out it was a fractured collar bone, and was done for the day but told him to keep having fun and be save.  He felt bad going without me but I wouldn't let him miss out after getting so far.

That night once we got back to my place my cousin had gone home and Ruby was supposed to go to Micahel's house, who kept messaging him.  Instead though Ruben wanted to stay and take care of me.  He was concerned for my shoulder and kept making sure I had a cold ice pack on it and wanted to know if there was anything else we could do.  Once I was comfortable he came and sat by me, leaned into me and we watched YouTube videos on his phone.  We sat there for well over an hour basically cuddling on the couch, keeping each other warm and comfortable and loved.  Then we heard the doorbell ring and Brett and his girlfriend came over to say hi.  Ruby had gotten up to get the door but came back to assume his cuddly role at my side, seemingly unfazed and having others see his affection.  It still warms my heart even now remembering how kind that was of him to stay and take care of me, when all I want to do is care for him and love him like the father I wish he had.

Eventually though I dropped him off at Micahel's several hours later than he was supposed to arrive.  As he stepped out of the car he reached back in and said "Bye Caden...", followed by his fake but sincere sniffles and reached out his hand.  I extended my own to grasp his and held on for a moment while we stared into each other's eyes with a knowing brotherly love and thankfulness for one another.  He smiled then stepped away toward the house leaving me to watch my sweet boy slowly disappear.

  

Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Thanks


I have several wonderful boys in my life with such amazing relationships that it feels impossible for it all to be a coincidence.  I without a doubt believe that God has connected me with these boys.  I believe he loves me and is giving me all that he can to show that love and still stay within his rules.  While he doesn't want me to be in a romantic relationship with a boy, he's put so many boys in my life to pour myself into knowing it would fill my life with joy.  I've had several times where out of nowhere parents ask me to be a big brother figure for their kids.  Other times a boy searching for a male influence after recently losing his father falls into my lap.  Sometimes it's just a small loving moment with a boy I'll probably never see again.  I'm no one special, but I am especially blessed and I don't want to fail to give credit where it's due.  So today, on Thanksgiving I'm incredibly thankful for all that God has given me.  I know I don't deserve it so it's by his grace alone that I have all that I do.  It's only because of him that I have a purpose and a way to live a happy and fulfilling life as a boylover.  Thank you God for everything.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Practice Makes Perfect


Tonight, as with most nights Danny and I played competitive online games in a hilarious battle of skill and dexterity.  We played best out of three and he barely pulled together a win at the last second, ending our series with an exciting finale.  Tonight though his parents were out and so his internet stayed on until they got back, to be cut off at an unknown random time.  So instead of risking getting cut off in the middle of a game we simply chatted.

I've been friends with Danny for a long time and in person he's always very talkative and I can spend hours just listening to him share every detail of his sweet existence.  But online he's always been a little less so, and more focused on games, until lately.  Within the past month or two we've had moments where we share heart to heart feelings that always brighten my mood and validate my importance in his life.  In fact he even mentioned tonight that his life consists of four things: 1) School 2) Eating / in-house family socializing 3) Competitive gaming 4) Me.  And this didn't mean I was fourth on his list, this was just the order of events for each day since I don't get home from work until later.  My first comment aside from being utterly flattered was that his girlfriend was missing from the list.  It turns out that he recently broke up with her because the long distance relationship was too hard and too much work, especially since they might not be able to see each other again for over a year.

We continued our conversation about friendships and how most of his friends are online.  He talks to his brother in Arizona every couple weeks, spends time with his local friends about once a month but hangs out with me nearly every night.  In fact, if I'm unavailable at night he's at a loss of what to do and either fills it with Netflix or sleep.  On one hand its a bummer for me to see his so removed from everyone, but he's happy. And it feels incredible to be such a huge part of his life and daily routine.

I shared about how I spend my non-working life trying to put a smile on my friends' faces one by one and making sure I spread the love evenly, though with him being the exception and always being on the top of my list.

It wasn't long after that when he all of a sudden said "Which I've been thinking...we gotta get you someone- or I guess...what are your thoughts on that?"  He didn't want to force the idea of me getting a girlfriend but he was curious where my mind was at this point in my life.  I'm a guy in my mid-twenties and as far as he's known me over the past nearly 5 years he's only even heard of me dating someone once.  But what was I supposed to tell him?  I had SO many thoughts on the topic but I ended up going with the answer I usually give.  I said that I'm so happy with what I have right now and the friends that I have, and that I'm so devoted to being role models for the kids in my life that dating someone would only disrupt that process and diminish my effectiveness.   He completely understood and was interested in hearing more of what I had to say asking me to "go on".  So I did.

I kept talking about my feelings about my non-existant romantic life , wanting so badly to tell him the truth, but trying my best to delicately dance around the topic and then all of a sudden, mid sentence the connection failed.  The random time his internet got shut off ended up being 1:58AM, leaving me with a full heart and a silent buzz in my ears.  But unfazed, like a moment from a movie, I couldn't help but continue as if he were still there.  I was nervous and hesitant and almost sorry to speak the words so that I communicated very slowly, often only one or two words at a time.  But I told him about how the reason I'm not actively looking is because I already found the one.  I've already found the person I love more than the rest of the world put together, the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, the person I already spend every night with.  I already found him.  "I already found you..."  There in my room, a thousand miles away across a dropped call I told my deepest secret to the boy who unbeknownst to him, stole my heart.  Once the words left my mouth I sat in silence for a long time waiting for him to respond but accepting his hesitance as confusion being unsure how to answer.  It was a calming peaceful moment of relief and sorrow with a hint of hopefulness.  Then after I gathered the courage I whispered, "I'm sorry buddy.  I love you.  Goodnight.  I'll talk to you tomorrow", pulled off my headset, and stepped away from my desk.

I don't know if I'll ever actually get to tell Danny how I feel about him.  But even the imaginary conversation was incredibly difficult for me.  Still a strong part of me feels he deserves to know.  Only time will tell.  Still, I'm thankful I'm such a huge part of his life and I hope I continue to be so.  And maybe next time we have this conversation we'll be sitting inches from one another sharing a moment that will only work wonders to strengthen our friendship.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rising with Ruby


They say life is a journey.  But a journey has a beginning, middle and end and needs some sort of goal and resolution.  But without foreseeable opportunities of true love and happiness I don't have much of a goal to strive for.  So instead I've decided to live life by the moment.  And the greatest joy in my life is the joy I can bring others.  I'm most happy when I'm with a boy, treating him like the prince he is and showing him just how special he can be.  And lately I try to fill my moments with a little bit of Ruby.

There have been many wonderful moments with him these past few weeks.  One of which was not dissimilar from a very special night I had with Danny a couple years go.  Ruby and I sat around a table downstairs and just talked about whatever was on our mind.  And in that moment it was just the two of us sharing our world and coming closer together.  And at the night's end when his brother came to pick him up Ruby shyly came over to me, gave me a strong hug and said "I love you Caden.  Thanks for everything."  Then he promptly scampered out to the car.  That moment warmed my heart so much and its times like that I truly live for.  It's true love in bite size pieces, a little at a time.

Well, for labor day weekend we all went out to our family's lakehouse, Ruben included of course.  We drove up late joined by my brother and his girlfriend.  Ruby and I sat outside alone on the boat as it bobbed up and down and simply chatted, looked at stuff on his phone, and watched the stars.  We were out there for over a half hour just us huddled together and it was so peaceful.  Eventually when we went inside all of the beds were taken by friends and, much to my excitement, it just so happened that Ruby and I had to share the air mattress.  In all honestly though I was actually really nervous.  It had been years since I cuddled with Caleb, though since then he's disappointingly vocalized his regret.  I'd hate to put someone else in that same position.  So as we lied down I tried my best to keep to myself and ignore the fact that I had an incredible boy in bed with me.  Sometimes though things don't go as planned.

I woke in the middle of the night.  We were placed directly underneath an air vent and it was so cold that two blankets wasn't enough.   So there Ruby was, curled in a ball right up against me.  My face was in his hair and I could smell nothing but his amazing original Ruby boyish scent.  I smiled into him and enjoyed the moment for a while until he started to shuffle.  Somehow, probably trying to keep warm, he ended up with his head resting completely on my chest and his arms curled against my side.  Now tell me what boylover could resist such an opportunity?  I placed my arm around him and slowly stroked his shoulder, soaking in the wonderful experience of cuddling a boy, something I so desperately missed.  I held him forever but still not long enough, gently caressing him with a loving smile on my face.  Some part of me wondered if this was intentional and was his way of getting some much needed male affection.  All he had to to was ask.  But then eventually he woke and realized where he was then moved back to the other side of the bed.  I knew it wouldn't last forever.  Still, I knew he was cold so I placed my blanket on him, capturing both of us in its warmth until morning.

The following day he was eager to have me follow him around.  We went rafting behind the boat together, him in his wetsuit in front of me, my arms around him.  We played darts, kayaked around the lake and jumped on the trampoline.  It got pretty warm so he called my name and led us to an extra raft in the shade of the open garage.  I lied down first then he followed, resting his shirtless torso in the hold of my arm.  We lied there for quite some time, me on my side watching him and he was pretty quiet, just breathing and enjoying our time alone.  I found myself absentmindedly stroking the bare skin of his smooth side from time to time and for a moment I allowed myself to imagine we had something I knew we never would and it was so calming.

The following night in bed I woke to find him in the exact same position as before, on my chest.  I held him again for a short moment only to have him quickly wake and shift to the other side of the bed, leading me to think it was a coincidental accident.  But, he had plans.  He set his alarm at 6AM.  He was really groggy but we shuffled outside, grabbed some chairs and sat in the middle of the desert surrounded by nothing but the sound of nature in the morning.  He looked so adorable all huddled up in his blanket with his head peeping out.  We hardly spoke at all, enjoying the peace, quiet and company in a sweet moment I won't soon forget.  After nearly a half hour we smiled as the sun rose to greet us and we took pictures of the stunning beauty of nature.

Needless to say that weekend trip was a series of beautiful, incredible bonding moment for us that continued to push our friendship forward.  I continued to see him every once and a while over the next month or two, taking him to the beach on weekends, or at random family events.  But then there was a three week gap that seemed to stretch forever.  He had plans to visit friends and go fishing and such and he's kind of hard to get ahold of. But eventually this past weekend we met up again.

I had planned to take him and my cousin Michael to the beach, and their friend Victor tagged along.  It had been a while since I'd seen Ruby and I was very excited to pick up where we left off but life didn't quiet work out that way.  Due to a combination of things I still don't quite understand he hardly paid me any attention.  Perhaps it was his focus on the beach.  Maybe he had to act tough in front of Victor.  Perhaps he was nervous seeing me again.  Could be he was tired. Or maybe something else was on his mind.  I feared something was going on at home and tried to ask him questions but didn't get very far with everyone there.  So after several failed attempts at trying to crack the shell I gave up and let him enjoy the beach with his friends.  When we returned I was disappointed but accepted that maybe our friendship was too good to be true...but then a couple hours later I got a message from Michael saying that they wanted to go play soccer with me.  From the moment I picked them up Ruby was right back to his old self again.  He was fun, bubbly, giggly, goofy and once again the little Ruby that I knew and loved.  We had a great time kicking the ball around, being playful and competitive and all my fears faded away.  Back at Michael's house we simply sat around chatting and keeping each other company which lead to the moment I'd been waiting for.

Michael had left, leaving just Ruby and I on the couch.  He was sitting up against me while on his phone looking through random things to buy when he suddenly mentioned that he has too much drama in his life.  He got quiet, sad and serious and started to talk about how he tries not to think about it.  I mentioned that he didn't have to talk if he didn't want to but then he laughed and said "But we're already talking about it."  He hinted that all of the drama with his parents and dad leaving still weigh heavy on his heart.  In that moment I was both excited he was willing to reach out to me but mostly heartbroken to see such a sweet and innocent kid be tainted by the faults of this world at such a young age.  He leaned forward and sighed so I started to rub his back, gliding my hand gently around to comfort him, eliciting a giggle.  He said I gave him chills and he had me feel the little goosebumps on his arm.  Just then Michael came back and as quickly as it began, the moment was gone.  I was immediately agitated.  I was so thankful and honored he chose to share with me, and it seemed like something not only me, but Ruby needed and I was frustrated it had to be cut short.  I hope we'll be able to create another moment like that again soon.  I assured him that I'm here for him whenever he needs someone to talk or lean on and I intend to do just that.

Ruby is such a special kid and I can't help but think about him all the time.  Not only is he adorable in every way, but he's kind and loving and seemingly needs someone to be there for him, which works out well since I need someone to be there for.  I truly believe God brought us together to fit in the puzzle of his master plan.  Looking beck we've already had such incredible moments together that I'm left with a hopeful smile as I look toward our future.  I don't know whats up ahead but as long as Ruby's by my side I know it'll be amazing.

Friday, October 7, 2016

12:31AM


With Danny's failed summer trip long behind us we continue to play online video games nearly every single night.  At around 10PM he simply Skypes me "games?" to which I reply an enthusiastic affirmative if I can.  And, with him being the person I love most in this world I almost always can.  He beats me at nearly every video game, and being just a boy, he loves winning and playfully poking fun at me about it but his infectious giggles make it far more than worth it.  We have though found a game where I'm able to win a little less than half of the time and so each night we play best of 3 rounds.  And when I win he hilariously rages, over exaggerating in a goofy playful fit that always generates laughs.  Then we switch to a team based game where we work hard to refine our strategy to best all of the other online teams.  Its in those moments when I feel closest with him because we have a sense of pride that we accomplished something together.

Being homeschooled Danny gets to make his own schedule, but being a boy that often means computer time all day, especially now that I remotely helped him pimp out his new room with a killer setup.  So his dad setup automatic internet control and every single night at exactly 12:31AM our hilarious brotherly bond is severed.  And while I was originally afraid I'd find it frustrating it has the complete opposite effect.  It's practically a beautiful love story.  I'm at work during the day but when I get home I have him for a few hours until suddenly his voice cuts out and I'm left all alone with nothing but the smile I've worn since the moment he answered the skype call.  

We often race to beat the clock and try to finish a game before the time limit collapses only for the game to display "disconnected" across the screen, his character frozen in mid air in the background.  Sometimes he's in the middle of a laugh or cheer and sometimes we repeat goodbyes as we watch the clock tick toward the inevitable conclusion leaving us separated until tomorrow.  

The other night I had been busy and unable to play but when I got home I saw that it was 12:26.  The direct line to my dearest Danny boy was open for another 5 minutes and I couldn't let the night pass without reaching out to him..

Me: yo
Danny: Hi
Me: just wanted to say goodnight before you get sucked into the void
Danny: Thanks, you too. 
Me: i realized that while i say it to most of my friends, i never do to you so...no homo but i love you man :) laters
Danny: No homo. hahaha 
Danny: Love it
Danny: and you
Me: <3 div="">
Danny: Night bro
Me: Night

It's a simple conversation between friends and days later I'm still kicking myself for saying the "no homo" part but...he loves me.  I know he does.  But we don't oven vocalize that to one another.  And I'm so thankful for the time he gives me each night.  It's something to look forward to and cherish.  

He wasn't able to visit me this summer but we still play every night until his return early next year.  If I'm able to make it work I hope to maybe visit him in the winter though.  The other day he posted a picture of us with the caption "Caden better come back!".  And I'm not interested in disappointing my boy.  But we'll see.  Either way just hearing his voice and occasionally video chatting is more than enough to warm my heart until the next time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

National BF Day


Today October 3rd was National Boyfriend Day.  Though for most of us boylovers it tends to be more of a National Wishful Thinking Day.  But sometimes it's that hope that makes each day more interesting.  As for me, all Danny has to do is ask and I'll be his forever.   The offer's out there Danny boy.  If you want to be the happiest boy on the face of this Earth I'm right here.  Or perhaps I'm not who you want.  Either way I'll always be here for when you need me.  If only I knew God's plan...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Best Hugs


I don't get to see Caleb nearly as much as I used to which is always a bummer.  But over the years we've been able to build a bond strong enough so that no matter how much time passes our friendship never diminishes.  In fact each time we meet back up we only feel closer.  And the blank spaces in-between are kept vibrantly alive with random texts or snapchats that always bring a smile to my face.  When he was younger I always imagined we'd have a friendship like this as he grew up and I'm incredibly thankful it's no longer just a dream.

It had been a couple weeks since I had seen him and we were all going to a friend's birthday dinner at a sushi restaurant.  I had arrived late thanks to the long commute from work and got stuck at the far end of the table where Caleb could not have been further away.  But the moment he saw me walk in his eyes lit up.  He got all excited and was clearly happy to see me.  Throughout dinner I watched him just being Caleb and it was so calming.  He's nearly 19 but he's still so clearly the little boy I fell in love with almost 6 years ago.  Sure he's more handsome than he is cute these days on the outside but all of that bubbly, adventurous, boyish charm that I was so drawn to has never been brighter.  He's got these wild eyes full of excitement and pure joy for making the absolute best of every moment no matter what it may be that I can't stop staring into.  At one point while chatting with another friend not so far from me Caleb kept making flirty motions my direction.  He'd adorably wave his hand...well, his fingers, in a feminine way to be goofy, or make kissy faces at me.  It was so fun and ironically thrilling that I had a hard time focusing on my other friend, which only encouraged him further.  I turned to ask him "Caleb, why are you crazy goofy tonight?" and he replied "Caden, you just make me so happy!" and joyously giggled.

When dinner ended I was planning on making my way over to him to figure out how I could get a hug, since he's not always in an affectionate mood.  But before I could make it a couple steps in his direction he had already dashed over to me and said "Man, I just wanted to hug you all dinner!". And so we embraced so strongly and passionately that I never wanted to let go.  We held on tight for a while, rocking back and forth and loving one another the best we ever could.  With my arms fully surrounding my boy and his head cuddling my shoulder he quietly said into my ear "You always give the best hugs".  I nearly teared up I was so overjoyed.  I spent 5 years of my life pouring my heart into this boy, a boy who would never be able to feel the same way for me as I do him.  Yet here he was, proving to me that it wasn't all for nothing, and that he loves me the best he knows how and thankfully somehow, that's enough.