Freshman year in high school
Teresa Sanchez, well beyond her years, asks if Cooper is a fag. He blurted out No and feared too much defensiveness in his response.
Realized he liked boys when Grady Rogers came over to go swimming. The water sparkling on his all-american body caught Coopers attention. Cooper realized he was comfortable with his body.
Cooper was not comfortable with his body. Was never singled out as a sissy like Bobby Keagan, a gentle intelligent classmate. Even though he suspected he might have a deep secret in common, gay, he kept his distance from him.
Grady’s family was picture perfect and perceived normalcy. Cooper’s family were Jews, but bore little resemblance. His mother was a chain smoker and a little OCD. His father was an attorney, wore sharp suits and screamed ‘professional.’ But when relaxed, his laugher was explosive and he was enjoyable.
One day, Cooper asked his mother was a ‘fag’ was. His mother grabbed him by the shoulders and cried, “Did someone call you that?” Right away Cooper could tell that a fag was a bad thing. His mother never answered his question.
The remainder of school he tried to change his yearning for boys. He thought that if his mother can quit her habit of smoking, he could quit his habit of liking boys.
Lox. Cooper made a face and his dad suggested he should try it. He said he may not be fond of if today, but sooner or later I’d learn to like it. “One’s tastes, he assured me, are destine to change.” Cooper put that in prospective to him being gay. One day, his like for boys would change to liking girls.
Opportunity came when he went to a party. A make up party. All night he kissed different girls, but his eyes always went back to Grady. As he was kissing girls, he pictured Grady stepping out of his pool….wet.
One day, Theresa vanished from school and with her with Cooper secret, or at least the dread that she might have said something.
His art teach...