A Graduate’s Post-Mortem College Report

Dear fellow life liver,
Read any further and you’ll know more about me than you did just a few seconds ago.

post·mor·tem
pōstˈmôrdəm
noun
noun: post-mortem
  1. 1.
    an examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death.
    synonyms: autopsy, postmortem examination, necropsy

    “the hospital carried out a postmortem”
    1.2.
    an analysis or discussion of an event held soon after it has occurred, especially in order to determine why it was a failure.
    “an election postmortem on why the party lost”
    synonyms: analysisevaluationassessmentappraisalexaminationreview

    “a postmortem of her failed relationship”

Let’s read that again, slowly now:

–an analysis or discussion of an event held soon after it has occurred, especially in order to determine why it was a failure.

So, you’re now reading this entry of my life because the title is oh-so-too-accurate.


A Graduate’s Post-Mortem College Report

This particular report of mine is to determine why college was such a failure.

I want to know, What worked? What didn’t? What could I have done differently to make things go smoother, to ensure I was doing right by family, friends, my grades, to establish a better outcome for everything.

Why do I feel like The End came and went but left me behind?

Re: To be determined.


On Cinco De Mayo–

So, May 5th, 2018–the day I did not pig myself out on chicken, onions and peppers on a bed of rice, all drenched in thick, creamy and dripping white cheese,

–I graduated college. No fucking way. What happened?

I sure as hell don’t actually feel old. I just tell people that when I notice changes in my life that I’m uncomfortable with, like when I saw my 14 year old brother, after years of separation, to find out that he’s nearly my height. And I’m not short.

Or when it was time to start doing taxes. I would say, Damn I’m old, then I would ask my granddaddy for his accounting expertise.

Or when my 94 year old Nana, pronounced Nan-naw, become bedridden because she broke her foot. Her body gave up on her. She let it. Didn’t do what the physical therapist said. Every time we visit her she always says, I want to go home. Her mind is still as sharp as the needle she uses to crochet, but I’m never sure if she actually knows that this Clorox-smelling room, with 4 white walls and a roommate, is her new home.

It’s one thing to know something in your mind, but a whole different thing to know something in your heart. Perhaps she’s still learning that Home isn’t always where the heart is. Home, sometimes, is where you have to be.

But still, not a day goes by that I don’t think, Wouldn’t it be nice to be bedridden today?

 

I do not get to claim ‘senior’ status anymore, not for a very long time. Not until I start having to ask children to speak up. I don’t even get student discounts anymore. Not morally, at least, I still have this Student ID.

But I don’t even recognize the boy in the photo anymore, why should someone else?

I’m 21 years old, 22 in 3 weeks. I’m getting older by the second and I don’t feel like I know enough, which is funny because at graduation last week, that’s exactly what the President of the University said, You. Now. Know. Enough.

He said it just like that, with unwarranted spaces between words like it gave them more meaning. He wasn’t being ironic, it was his lame attempt at being encouraging and inspirational. He was rousing up a speech no one wanted to hear.

Students in black robes entered that room of family and friends and whoever else was there to celebrate their milestone, but when all was said and done, even I was scrolling through Facebook and texting my family and friends, asking where they were sitting and what they wanted to eat after we left.

It got me thinking, Why is this the tradition? In simplest words, we learn then brag about it. What happened to learning because it made you feel good? Or learning because you wanted to be good at something? Didn’t people like Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and even Albert Einstein–who died in just 1955–have something to do with learning because they liked it. They taught what they learned and discovered and thought-up to share their passions of understanding the world. Their knowledge seems to transcend that of what I learned: How to calculate the time for my next class and whether or not I have enough time for lunch.

My experience in college, the place people swore up and down that once I graduated from it I would be able to live appropriately among those who already did that, was a monstrosity of emotions, commitment, money, effort I never had and a waste of time with my grandparents I wish would rush back to me.

 

Do not get my words completely wrong:

College was life-changing, and needed. I’ve grown so much. I not only learned things I wanted to know, I learned things I could have gone my whole life not knowing. This is neither good nor bad, just a mere observation that some things we learn could be learned at different times, and much quicker if I cared for what I’m learning. But 4 years? Wow.

But I want to know, Was it worth it? Why can I not answer that yet? Impatient or not, the answer should be rather simple, right?

The last four years of my life I lost a piece of me somewhere, but gained so much more of me. It’s rather odd, this whole growing up thing.

If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be over this one. I got over that guy that stole my spot in line, or that I made my first C in college or that my feet are just big and chubby–but growing up: this is just awful.

– I want to be 5 again, when my mom asked, Is it ok if I marry him?

– I want to be 8 again, to take a picture of my grandmother making coffee in the kitchen before everything in the house was renovated and changed around.

– I want to be 10 again, tell my child-fat-ass, Stop eating your feelings away and keep up with soccer!–you’ll really miss it when you’re older.

– I want to be 11 again, and care to listen to Obama’s inauguration. History was flashing by then.

– I want to be 13 again, and tell my siblings upfront why I moved away from them. Then maybe I would tell my mom I wasn’t happy before things got out of hand.

– I want to be 14 again, to know that gay is ok, and try being ok sooner.

– I want to be 15 again and tell my best friend we were going to know each other for a very long time, but there will be lots of fighting and growing up to do. Then I would inform myself that, though all the students around me have iPhone 4s’s, that the even the iPhone 7, 8 and X aren’t worth begging and crying over.

– I want to be 16 again and tell myself I didn’t need a car, You’d have had 3 different ones before you’re 22 but you’ll really like driving.

– I want to be 18 again, where I was barely legal and couldn’t remember if Nana was 90 or 91–either are a milestone I’m truly proud of, maybe it’s in our genetics.

– I want to be 19 again, and tell my grandparents I’m gay before they went to Alaska for way too long. Writing a note to them wasn’t bad, though, just unexpected, unplanned, almost unwanted at the time.

– I want to be 20 again, without the job and responsibilities. My hair was longer then, too.

I want to be 21 all over again. A redo sounds lovely. This year was hard, but here I am, wanting to make things better, to push harder in certain areas and let go of others. I want reassurance and understanding.

I want me again.

AND THAT’S WHERE THIS REPORT CONCLUDES. For now.

See, through this spilling of my life and uncertainties, I realized along the way that one cannot simplify a life that is not simple. One cannot tell the full story of a life that hasn’t concluded.

One cannot survive in the present and hope for a future if they sulk in defeat of the past.

 

With all due further explanation,

Ryan J. Allen

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No Bad Thoughts Go Unthought.

His smile holds me under a spell. When the air whips past us, I hold his scent in,–his strong, overused body spray–getting high off how he smells and the way it makes me feel; I could live in that sunny daydream forever.

My roommate’s body is perched on the seat of his bike, his legs spread evenly apart, like he’s ready for me to “take a peek.” Why do other boys do that? I’ve never just held my legs so far apart that my dick is it’s own peninsula to my body. That’s just weird and, frankly, uncalled for.

He truly does smell good; but I’ve smelled this scent too frequently. Our bathrooms are so close together, I swear as soon as the spray nozzle releases it, it’s in my nose. I’ve memorized it. If I was a mile away, I could find my way back to him because of this fragrance. I begin to plan a trip to the nearest drug store to help assist in his new manly smell. That trip will never happen. I’ll make sure of it.

So what if he’s cute? He just 1/1000 other boys I find attractive–and that’s on a daily basis. I just happen to live with particular cute boy. Cute aside, he’s such an asshole–in the cute, petty, immature, but loving kind of way. His goldish-blonde hair covers his entire body, and when you see him in the sun you can see just how much he has of it. Especially in his armpits: Once he wore an athletic tee and stretched his tall body in front of me and I saw the curly, wet coils of armpit hairs. I should think it’s disgusting or something, but I don’t. His happy trail wasn’t half bad either.

I’ll definitely have to look into this feeling, but I suspect it will go away with time. It needs to. The ill thoughts of “just maybe…” burn in my brain’s pockets.

(Like $1M in cash offered to me if I just suck him off in the mornings before class.)

Financially Anxious.

There’s not enough money in the world to fill this endless void of spending that I’ve seemed to latch onto lately.

Everything has a price, but I ignore it and the consequences that are so bound to it all. I feels good to spend–on me, on others, on worthless junk. It all feels so good.

Somehow I convinced myself I need to. I’m still working on it, after I had promised everyone I was better at it. I’m stable, I’m independent.

You though, bitch.

Lunch.

I knew I should have brought a book. At least I could have been reading at this lonely table. Instead, I’m accompanied by two forks, a knife, a glass of water and a basket of bread I shouldn’t be eating. Not because I don’t want to, but because it’s the most healthy thing at this table so far. When the spaghetti makes it here, I’m not so sure anymore.

If I’m being completely honest, I’m not sure how to feel about being alone when eating lunch. Being alone in general I tough, but I’m at lunch! Where people eat and converse. I’m a warm and welcoming place that should feel relaxing, but I’m sitting on the edge of my seat wondering if eyes are on me.

But I’m the plus side: the salad takes good.

Hopefully I can come to comprehend this feeling and why it’s so perplexing and uncomfortable. Daunting even.

I hate this flaw of mine.

Sober.

I turned 21 in June, the perfect excuse to just let go and have fun. But having too much fun was never the plan. Not my plan. I feel like I’m following someone else’s plan. A plan of destruction.

Self-destruction. Oh, the irony.

I’m sure it started as just a social thing, then I became aware of my courage after a couple shots. I’m not myself when I drink, which is the point. I started seeing someone else in the mirror. Someone more happy than I’VE ever been. I started falling for the man in the mirror. I wanted him more than me.

But then people’s approval became an excuse. People’s invites were a death sentence, and I gladly accepted to be able to see him.

Many of my friends aren’t 21, their eager minds forming a liquor store grocery list. Worse than that, I’d always pick something up for myself. I wouldn’t just stock up, I’d overstock like the apocalypse was on my front porch. “This might be the last time.”

A voices whispers to me. I’m mad at the voice, but find myself saying thank you.

Sweet Poison.

Why is it that when I take a shot of vodka my mind whispers to me, “I’m Sorry”? 

I want to enjoy the moment when a shot of 99 Proof scratches the inside my throat, tickles my every nerve and eases my mind to a blissful paradise. These are the seconds I look forward to after a long day of my mind running like a hamster on a wheel, chasing something that’s never quite identified. When my body lifts to release the energy it’s held in, my head throws back because my body forgot how to stand on its own for a few seconds. The feeling is then greeted by a burning sensation near my heart, something that may feel like love, but I remind myself it’s just alcohol.

You can’t love alcohol. You shouldn’t even try. If Alcohol Love was sold in stores, we’d all have the image of a label engraved in our minds. It’d say: Don’t Try This At Home.

It’s just alcohol. And I love it.

eighteen.

gay-chronicles


18.


MY FIRST KISS went a little like this:

It’s October of 2014–sometime during Fall Break of freshman year of college. Not all of my high school ways have left me, including my insane obsession with boys in the hopeless-romantic, desperate and single (and fat and loud) kind of way.

My undying, figurative boner for this particular individual hasn’t gone away for months. I’ve dreamt about him, some wet. I’ve imagined how I’d hold him or how we’d sing together in the car as his long, regularly dyed black emo hair flew in the wind. In school hallways, it was hard to spot him in a crowd of over-sized children (high schoolers) because he stands at five feet five inches. Even years later, he’s not grown an inch…

For this entry, I’d like to give him a code name: Diamond.

I met his sparkly blue eyes in theater class. Freshman or Sophomore year–I don’t remember, but it’s not super important.

He regularly wore a hoodie, baggy gym shorts and an old, worn-out set of Crocs on his very pale feet. I can’t recall what color. His “best friend” at the time was very fun to talk to–oh, god! she has a baby, now. She was a senior ready to graduate and didn’t have much care for what grade she’d get in an elective theater class. She was there because she had to be.

Not Diamond. There was something in him that signaled he needed to be there. In the halls, he’d walk with his head down, distracted from whatever high schoolers think about, but when he entered the threshold of this particular classroom, he’d be smiling from ear to ear.

Our friendship grew slowly. We’d share things about ourselves, some things we haven’t told to very many people, some things we haven’t entirely admitted to ourselves. I told him why I live with my grandparents or why I hate my stepdad and he told me about his family and his girlfriend.

I still remember her.

She was good at art and had a beautiful smile. She was going through the “emo phase,” too. Once, I wanted to do the emo phase thing, but that would never fly with my grandparents. Plus, I’m already an outcast: an awkward, overweight, biracial theater kid that can sing soprano parts in choir. If that’s not a phase in itself, I don’t know what is…

Diamond’s girlfriend and I became friends, too. She often had red highlights that I envied. But one day after school–just like in the movies, the three of us were near Diamond‘s locker. People fled by to go home, some running into us. We held our ground, we fought the crowd and we were doing the cool after school hangout thing, but when the conversation ended, they kissed. (As any couple does, I’m sure!)

They held on each other’s lips for longer than a peck, and I think I saw someone’s tongue slip. They must have been masters.

I became apprehensive.  I didn’t really know how to act–do I look the other way? Do I stare? Of course not, that’d indicate I like what I’m seeing. All I knew is that this kiss blew her red highlights out of the fucking water. I was red with envy.

My closeted ways prevented me from showing any jealousy. All I gave was my absolute support of their high school relationships that wouldn’t last.

I was right: They didn’t last.

Months later, he has come out to me as bisexual. During theater class when the bell hadn’t yet rung, we were behind a thin curtain on the “mini stage” where we’d often perform small skits. He begins fantasizing and drooling over this boy who dances in after school theater. This boy is a complete twink; equally blue eyes, skinny, blonde hair with the buzzed sides and just a little on top that hangs over his right eye. He’s the type that dances to Gaga on the regular and started smoking weed before it became cool.

We name him ‘Diamond,’ as a code word between us. Diamond explicitly states how he wouldn’t mind having unprotected sex with Diamond or that he has a fetish of being choked; yes, we are at this level of comfort with each other now. I raise my eyebrows at him, the whole “go for it!” thing.

But, Diamond and Diamond never had a chance. See, Diamond (the closeted Blondie) also had a girlfriend.

As Diamond and I grew, there was no doubt in my mind–or his–that I liked him.

But, we never had a chance, either. I accepted that.

Until October of 2014. Fall Break.

I’m out of the closet to most friends at this point–it’s incredible how one can be comfortable with their friends knowing but not their own family.

My grandparents surprised me with a phone call while I was away at college. They started by saying, “We’ve got some news, but we don’t want you to get upset.” SHE got a job offer in Alaska and HE was going along for the ride.

They’d be gone for months. I’m 18–much like the number of this entry–and I can make my own adults decisions, now.

I play it off real cool, “Aw, wow! That’s awesome for you guys. I’m not too upset. I promise.”

I did some quick math in my head:

Alaska = An Empty House. An Empty House = A Party. A Party = Alcohol. Alcohol = Fun.

I invited around 8 people. I think? But Diamond was for sure on the list. I forgot who supplied the booze, but I am forever grateful.

So, now there’s a handful of theater kids in both my adult-free living room and my bedroom. We are all having long talks, our words slurred.

I don’t recall the conversation. But I hang off the side of my bed, a friend sitting next to me laughing at my rather large butt. She slaps it. This is Diamond’s best-est friend, now. We can call her Fifi if you want.

Diamond is in the floor near my closet, just a few feet away from my bed looking up at us. I laugh at the sound my butt makes against Fifi’s palm.

I want to be closer to him. The moment feels special, because everyone was happy. I had thrown a successful party already. I was definitely happy. A plop myself onto the floor and place my head in his lap. We look at each other, our upside down smiles entertaining one another.

I lick my lips–they are chapped from dehydration, I’m sure, but that was my signal. He’s already turned away speaking with Fifi.

I reach up to his face, carefree of what she might say and feel the stubble on his cheeks and feel his prickly upper lip with my thumb. Hand eye coordination is surprisingly well.

I lick them again, damn it. This is a subconscious craving being let loose. Notice me. Diamond pays no attention to me, but puts his fingers through my hair. He seems to be ignoring me and talks to Fifi.

After eternity of staring at him, into his sparkly blue eyes, at his beautifully shaped lips, their laughing fades to silence. Fifi is dozes off.

In a rush of heat that shoots through my body, I see Diamond lean toward me.

Suddenly,

Our lips touch.

Upside down.

Like fucking Mary Jane Watson and Spider-Man!

Our lips dance together, much like his kiss in the hallway. His tongue slips into my mouth and for as weird as it felt, I fell in love with how he tasted. I didn’t want it to end.

Sexual tension is everywhere and my thoughts are becoming more and more clouded by the lust I have for this man.

Memory blanks here, but somehow, we’ve mutually decided to get in my Full sized bed–all four of us: Fifi, Diamond, Me and my Fat Ass. The lights are out, only the light shining from underneath my closet door. I’m unsure where everyone else ended up, but Diamond lies between Fifi and I. Fifi snores, a blacked out mess and a hangover waiting to be had.

But he lay awake.

With me. Drunk as fuck, but with me. I touch his chest and run my hand down it. Then over his stomach. I stop.

I remember something.

I feel for his face, graze his chin and slowly reach for his throat. I grab and press against it, then tighten my hand around it and he lets out a moan unlike I’ve ever heard. Whoa. I wanted to hear it again, so I squeezed harder. Another moan, louder now. I place my thumb over his lips; I didn’t want him to be too loud.

I’m not longer in control; something inside me takes over.

I release his throat and run my hand down his chest, then stomach. Then past his waste until I find something hard waiting for me to grab onto. Beneath his shorts, he’s harder than a god damned rock. My imagination soars.

Without hesitation, I feel him up, the only thing separating our flesh was mesh fabric. I feel something grow in my own jeans, and somehow he knew it was happening. He reaches at my belt, assisting my to unbuckle. Then, I feel him lower his own shorts, his ass hanging over the drawstring. He turns away from me, offering himself to me. I do my best to take position and turn toward him, nearly falling off the bed.

To be fair, it’s very cramped. And we aren’t alone…oh, the guilt! What shame! What horn-dogs we seem to be.

Things go dizzy. My dick grazes his ass cheek. He holds himself opens, our hands touching as we hold his ass cheek out of the way. I attempt entering him, my dick kissing his warm asshole, but suddenly…things just stop working.


Dear reader, I’ve misled you in this entry. Not only is this story of my first kiss, but also the first and only time I ever experienced “Whiskey Dick.”

We didn’t discuss this when we woke, nor did we discuss it at another drunken kickback a year or two later. Whatever our friendship status is now, we may never discuss it, but bet your ass my first kiss was a Spider-Man kiss and I almost drunk-fucked my friend at my own party. With someone else sleeping right beside us.