Posts tagged writing
Posts tagged writing
When I was fourteen, I wasn’t sure any boy could like me if he looked long enough to realize that I was barely half the person I pretended I was.
Now, ten years later, I’m celebrating my first wedding anniversary with Kurt Hummel, the very first person who looked right at me and saw everything I didn’t even know how to be.
Kurt was the last person who should ever have been interested in me. Because we became such close friends after we met, it didn’t take long for him to see that I wasn’t just some squeaky-clean charismatic guy fronting a tidy little show choir at a private school. I was insecure, I was scared, and I was charming because I had to be. You let people see where you’re vulnerable, and they hit you right where it hurts. Sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally. And Kurt…he saw it all. He saw all the annoying things about me, the stupid and childish things, the misplaced enthusiasm and plastic smiles. Kurt was a good friend and a safe friend. And he certainly wasn’t boyfriend material, because he knew way, way too much.
Kurt is breathtaking. He always has been. He has always had to be exactly who he is, because there was very little choice for him. And from the very first day I met him — scared, lonely, exhausted — he has never once apologized for who he is. He doesn’t hide, doesn’t change himself, doesn’t tone it down or tone it up or wear different masks around different people. I’d never met anyone like him. And that was when he was feeling low and needed shelter. When he bloomed, when his color came back…there had never been anyone like Kurt Hummel before, and I knew there never would be again.
He never should have been interested.
But we came to each other at a particular time in a particular place, and we were exactly what the other needed. Kurt was air; Kurt was life. I was solidarity and comfort. And it’s nothing short of absolutely beautiful the way we continued to grow and change and still, somehow, always remained what the other needed. I’m not the same person I was when I met Kurt or when we started dating or even two years ago. Neither is he. But though we grew as individuals, we grew together.
I don’t know who I’m going to be in a few years or a few decades. But I do know that I’m going to be with Kurt. And even though I don’t know how he’s going to change, I know that he will still be my perfect partner, and I’ll be his.
Kurt, sweetheart — I love you so much. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for making these last seven years vibrant and happy and safe. Thank you for making this last year the most fulfilling yet. Thank you for being you and letting me be me, always.
I just don’t feel like I’ve said enough.
I’ve known Kurt for nearly eight years now, which actually doesn’t sound very long when I write it down like that, but day after day lined up after the next, it’s been a long time. When we first met, Kurt was struggling. There was a lot going on in his life, and while he’s always been a standout in many ways, he was just looking for somewhere to blend in for awhile. He wanted someplace where he felt like maybe, for once, he belonged. I really don’t know how he came to find me during that search, but that’s another post altogether. He was feeling beaten down because people couldn’t stand the fact that he was different from them, so I met him at a really difficult time in his life.
Since then, I’ve had the incredible honor of witnessing him become the person he is today. I saw him fearlessly express himself in a room full of people committed to tradition. I saw him shaking backstage before completely wowing a crowd. I saw him confidently return to the very place that tried to stamp him out, and I saw him shine there, even in the face of further adversity. I saw him move to a city of a million faces where somehow he just knew he was going to make his name stand out. I saw the nights where he was so stressed out he couldn’t do anything but cry, and I saw the following mornings where he kept trying. I saw him leave on a plane to London for an internship he hoped would give him a leg up against the competition. I saw how lonely he was there, how hard it was, how much he wanted to come back to me and his family. Then I saw him get his own fashion line out of the internship, which grew and grew — from small stores to Harrod’s to the United States.
And tonight — after weeks of stress and doubts and sweat and tears — I saw his designs in the spotlight of a stadium that was being watched by the whole world.
I know it’s not my victory, but I just want to take this night and shove it in the face of anyone who ever couldn’t stand to see him be himself. That’s not the kind of hate you can just brush right off. It sticks with you and it weighs you down. But he worked against it, and he never, ever stopped, and I just need all those people to know that he won. The Olympics aren’t just about the victory of the athletes; tonight was a victory for Kurt Hummel, the boy who was chased out of his own high school and the incredible man I married.
Whether they know his name or not, millions of people across the entire globe saw the product of all those years of hard work. But you know what the best part is? He’s not done. There’s going to be more from him, and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do next.
Do you remember what I said to you almost exactly six years ago? When I sat down and put my hand on yours and prayed and prayed that I wasn’t about to completely mess everything up? “There you are. I’ve been looking for you forever.” I think about that a lot. Because forever is a word we use often, you and me. We’re going to be together forever, we’re going to love each other forever, we’re going to have each other’s backs forever.
And it seems a little silly, doesn’t it, that as a teenager I could have been looking for you forever when it’s obvious that the forever we see for ourselves is so much more. But when it comes to how I feel about you, I’ve never said a word I didn’t mean with every last bit of me. Because I had been searching for you, Kurt Hummel, forever. Even when I didn’t know it. I’m not sure when my searching began but it certainly never stopped. I will always be reaching for you. In crowded rooms, in empty rooms, across oceans and man-made borders, and in abstract ways, too, always trying to bridge the gap from me to you.
The forever I was looking for you and the forever we see for ourselves are exactly the same, I think. That’s what forever is. It is constant, ongoing. With no discernible beginning and absolutely no end. It can’t be measured in time or distance, it can’t be plotted on a chart or calculated down to the last decimal point. Forever is, by our human standards, impossible to fathom. It’s beyond our grasp and beyond our understanding.
And yet, somehow, it’s exactly what I have with you.
So, Kurt, I vow to be yours forever.
I vow to be your shoulder to lean on forever. I will always be there for you when you need me, and even when you don’t, too. I will encourage you in every endeavor from now until the last, and I will be proud of every victory and every failure, for that matter.
I vow to trust you forever. In the darkness it will always be your hand that I seek, your breath that I listen for. I put my heart in your hands a long time ago, and you’ve been so careful with it, so gentle and caring that I want it to be yours for as long as it beats. My faith in you won’t ever waver.
I vow to share my life with you forever. I will spend every day learning more about you, watching you grow, and understanding you better. I will always make decisions with you in mind, because from this moment on my life is inextricable from yours. We’ll always be you and me.
I vow to love you forever.
No discernible beginning and absolutely no end, Kurt. Forever. I have loved you forever and will love you forever.
I know I’ve touched on this very briefly before, but I’d like to take a moment to be a little less brief, if that’s all right.
Kurt and I are lucky. For many, many reasons, each greater than the last, but right now I’m talking about the fact that we’re here in New York about to get married. Because we can. And there’s this part of me that thinks it’s insulting for me to essentially stand before the capitol building on my knees, head bowed in supplication for being given a right that I should never have been denied. That’s the part of me that’s angry and angry all the time for having to live in a world that can’t promise protection for all its inhabitants.
But there’s another part of me that recognizes that being thankful for my ability to lawfully marry the man I love doesn’t have to be a humble kiss to the feet of an oppressive government. Instead, I choose to be thankful because it’s a gesture of respect to those with whom I cannot share the same rights. It’s my way of nodding to the people of the past who could not imagine a country where someone could be openly gay, let alone profess that love in front of a justice of the peace. It’s my way of acknowledging the thousands and thousands of people who are still fighting, who will die fighting, who have been and will be defeated by an unaccepting world.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for me, nor has it been for Kurt. I don’t think anyone like us has ever had it easy, whether opposition came from outside or within, whether their oppression was recognized by themselves or not. But I’m here, I’m openly gay, I’ve fallen in love, and I’m getting married. That sounds like a fairy tale in comparison to what others have gotten. And though no one’s life — certainly not mine — could ever truly be called a fairy tale, it would be ungrateful of me to not recognize that here, right now, I am — yes — the lucky one.
So I’m thankful. Because not all stories end this way.
But somehow, miraculously, I’m doing what so many never got to do and will never get to do. And never for one second will I forget that.
We teasingly make little “marry me?” comments all the time, so I didn’t get that this was planned and he really, really meant it, and how could I have known he wasn’t just being cute, because we’re already engaged and getting married in three months, but then he was all, “Blaine Anderson, I love you with all that I am, and I’m asking if you’ll marry me.” And then — then — oh God, there was a ring and everything and he crawled out of bed so he could get down on one knee and looked up at me like I was the only thing in the history of the world that meant anything, and just…a ring!
I actually forgot to say yes. I was a big mess of disbelief and admiration and you’d honestly have to ask Kurt what I was saying before he finally repeated the question for the third time and I said, “Oh, shit! Of course. Of course. Yes. Oh my God. Yes, Kurt, yes.” And he got back in bed and back under the covers and kneeled over me to put the ring on my finger before wiping my eyes even though his eyes were pretty wet, too.
And then we kissed and kissed, and do I sound like someone giddily describing their first date with a boy who gives them butterflies? I don’t care. We kissed and kissed and I did have butterflies, really, because he is the most incredible person I’ve ever known and it’s kind of overwhelming to think that he chose me of all people to spend the rest of his life with. He’s so good at making my heart race with so many feelings that I don’t know how on earth I’m going to handle them all, and then he knows just how to wrap me up in his arms so that I melt into him and remember that I don’t have to handle it, I just have to be, and it’s completely okay, it’s more than okay.
I don’t know if a lot of this makes sense to anyone because Kurt and I have already been engaged for nearly eleven months and it’s not a surprise that we’re getting married, so you’re probably wondering what the big deal is. But I wasn’t expecting it at all, and it was just a confirmation of how we feel about one another and our readiness to commit our lifetimes to one another, and just…I’m so, so happy and it’s because of Kurt and that’s really all that matters.
I guess I just didn’t realize until tonight just how much I wanted to be proposed to, too, and how much I wanted to be able to wear an engagement ring. And now I’ve gotten both and I’m so happy and so overwhelmed that I think I’ll start to cry if anyone so much as pokes me.
This is the best birthday I’ve ever had.
I love this man.
I love him.
If other people don’t like that, that’s their problem, not mine. And if they don’t understand that, then I feel sorry for them. Because if you can truly look at the way I love Kurt — if you can see the way that I think he hung the moon and all the stars — and not understand it…that can only mean you’re lacking some basic understanding of what it means to live and love.
He is what makes me happiest in the whole wide world. And so I can’t stand to see anyone hurt him or make him cry. I can forgive people for their transgressions toward me, but I have to admit that my forgiving nature has one weakness, and that weakness is Kurt. He is everything this world ought to be. I know I can’t possibly protect him from everything in this world, but I wish so, so much that I could at least protect him from ignorant hate directed at him from the way I love him and the way he loves me.
I don’t get it. I really, really don’t. I live with him day in and day out and our love is so simple, so easy, so completely natural and wonderful and it’s the best damn thing that’s ever happened to me, will ever happen to me, and it just completely astounds me when I remember (because I do forget, living with him) that there are people out there who don’t see my life with him the same way I do.
It’s not like it’s going to stop us, though. Or change anything.
I love him more than all other things I’ve ever loved in life combined, and I don’t care if that bothers you or makes you uncomfortable, because we don’t exist to please you or make sure that you’re okay with how we live our lives. I love him, I love him, I love him, and nothing is ever going to tarnish that. So get used to it.
These past few days have felt like a week.
But if it’s been a week, it’s been…I think it’s been a good week.
I was obsessed with winning approval from the people around me. I always thought that if I wasn’t actively doing something to demonstrate my worth as a friend or a son or — or whatever…that I was going to lose people. While it lasted, being in the Warblers was good for me because there was a very clear-cut path to approval: follow the rules and sing well. It was exactly what I needed after the neverending disapproval — sometimes dangerous — at my old school.
And this is the part where you’ll have to forgive me for my use of cliché, but…then I met Kurt.
At first I thought I had to be perfect for him, too, but I couldn’t be. We spent too much time together for me to maintain a flawless facade. And yet he stuck around. He didn’t choose to be near me because I was useful or talented or all the things I thought I had to be for another person; he just liked Blaine. Oblivious, pushy, overeager. But he liked me.
And now he loves me.
Sometimes I don’t drop a subject even though I should know that he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. Sometimes I sleep in until noon even though he’s been up since eight. Sometimes I plan things without thinking to ask if he’s free. And even on those days, he loves me.
But sometimes I don’t have to do anything at all. Good things, bad things, it doesn’t matter. I can walk in the door after a show, having done nothing to prove myself all day, and yet he still loves me. Just because I’m me. Five and a half years ago he came into my life, and ever since that day he’s been teaching me that I am worth loving simply because I am, and I can’t think of a more important concept to understand in life.
He loves me, and I hope, I pray, I beg that he knows what that means to me.
I am, as a lost and fame-hungry not-quite-wizard once said, a sentimental man.
I become easily attached — to people, to experiences, to moments in my life. And while it’s not something that I will ever regret or want to change, it certainly makes endings difficult. This show has not been the most important or most meaningful thing I have done or will do with my life, but that does not invalidate it as the biggest thing I have ever done, in a less abstract sense. I have met people and I have learned things from them and from myself, things which have shaped me, molded me, made me better, braver, more. And after tonight I will leave this familiar stage as if through a trapdoor, gone in the blink of an eye like some great magician whose smile covers up secrets and the loneliness that secrets bring. I’ve had my tricks and I’ve created a bit of false magic, and walking away from how very personal this show has become hurts like walking away from a piece of myself — a piece that I like very much.
You see, I’ve dropped roots here, little tendrils of memory and heart that grew and grew like ivy, holding me, entrenching me. And I spent a lot of time thinking that I was going to have to cut myself loose entirely and feel the ivy die, great rotting memories inside of me. But it’s not really like that. I still have to cut myself loose, and that will never be easy, but I was foolish to think the memories would rot when I should have realized that they would thrive.
I learned a lot from Melchior Gabor. I learned about hot-headed courage, the kind that burns like fire and eats up everything in its path. I learned about the very bottom, that deep dark place your heart goes when it seems like there’s nothing left, like the sun’s gone out and it’s your fault. And then I learned that your world can only end with your say-so, that hope is what keeps your heart beating long after your mind’s given up. It’s hard to say whether a part of Melchior will always be with me or if a part of me will always be with Melchior, and while one option speaks of humility and the other of arrogance, it’s that mix, lines blurred and labels lost, that I like the best.
Everyone I have worked with…this is for you. Because what I have learned from all of you and what we’ve gone through together means that I’ll never forget you. On days when I was tripping all over stage, you were there to give me a good-natured tease and then a hand up. When the music wasn’t coming, you showed me how to find it in myself and in the character and in the theater. You made sure my voice went places. You breathed life into a story alongside me, and there’s a certain transcendence there — a particular one just for us and our Spring Awakening — that we all just knew when we’d achieved, like it thrummed in the wood beneath our feet and all around us. You made my dreams come true.
And Tina Cohen-Chang. I owe you so many words. Worlds and worlds of words. But I’ll keep it short and simple here, because the rest of my life is a good long time to spend thanking you for sharing this show with me. It has been an honor, my friend. It has been an honor to sing with you and cry with you and fondle your breasts and yell at you for taking too many vacations and stand in front of an audience with you, sharing glances as we tried to remember how to breathe despite our shared awe. Oh, and I’m sorry about that one time with the hairspray. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. I love you, Tina-bee. The others will make sure Blake toes the line.
I will miss everything about this show. But I’m ready.
I am standing before a horizon. Not one fixed in the east and the west or the north and the south, but one that stretches all around. I am in a boat in the middle of a great, vast ocean, flat water spread out as far as the eye can see, and beyond. The distance, near and far, is one giant horizon. Whichever direction I choose, I’m going somewhere. And I can’t wait.
This show has opened doors for me, and now it’s time to close the door on this show. I am a mess of emotions approaching my final performance, but mostly I’m excited. I’m excited to do this all one more time, to slip into the life of Melchior Gabor, just as I always am. It’s not over yet.
I’m calling, and one day all will know!
Never underestimate a man whose son is leaving the country.
And for that matter, never underestimate a boy who misses his father.