This has been stewing in my head for a few weeks now. As much as I try to tell myself not to get upset over it, as much as I try to push it down and call myself stupid for even thinking about it, here it is. I have been irked on several occasions over the past year by this certain guy at church. He is your typical chats-through-the-service-with-his-friends kind of guy, and he's painfully straight with his big arms always crossed across his big chest, his swagger, and the ease with which he fires off judgmental glares at people and flirts shamelessly with the ladies. That's not so much what bothers me.
What bothers me is that he is the only person in the whole congregation who has never said one word to me, even when I've tried to talk to him. I get a grunt followed by an evasive maneuver.
But a few weeks ago was the last straw.
I go to a Lutheran church on campus that is for college students, and it's "open and affirming" of gay and lesbian congregation members. Hell, one of our ministers is a lesbian. Anywho, if you've ever been to a Lutheran church (or any number of other denominations who do this), we do what is called "the sharing of the peace." We go around the congregation and shake hands and give hugs and say "God's peace" to each other. It's really a ridiculous practice, I think, and it's always made me kind of uncomfortable, but we do it. And being that it's a college campus, we do this with an exuberance you don't see most other places.
Well, a few weeks ago I went alone because Robb was working, and this guy, who we'll call Jake (mostly because that's his name), sat two seats down from me. When it came time for the sharing of the peace, I thought I'd be the bigger man, shake his hand, and make sure this whole thing was just in my head. I stood up and turned, holding out my hand, and he looked at me. He turned. And he gave the person sitting next to him a hug that included several glances at my outstretched hand and lasted until I turned around and walked away because I felt that familiar twinge I last felt in junior high when I was picked last in gym class.
He fucking snubbed me. At church.
And now that I think about it, he's never shaken my hand during the sharing of the peace in the whole year I've been going to that church. Never.
I am at the point where I want to approach him and ask him if he has a problem with me, if there is something I did to him that makes him clearly uncomfortable around me. And I know it's not worth it. I know I should let it go and just chalk it up to him being a straight guy who is super uncomfortable with the gay guys at church. But I say fuck that. I let things go more often than I should, and I am a very likable guy. I have no enemies, honestly, that I know of (besides my father, but that's a whole other therapy session). I don't make it a point to make them. So...what gives?
It tears me up enough that I had a dream about it last night. He made some comment in this dream about how I was hitting on all the girls, and I turned to him and said, "Ummm...memo! I'm gay!" and he said he knew that because I was always staring at him. To which I responded, "News flash. You have nothing to worry about. You disgust me, honestly, and the only reason I'm looking at you at all is because I'm amazed at how big of an asshole you can be without even trying!"
But it was a dream...and this is reality...and I'll probably just tuck my tail and hope he doesn't show up next week.
Social creature comforts.
14 hours ago