Saturday, November 05, 2005
How Old Are You?
I was talking to a friend today and he told me that he ran into a very attractive guy the other day that was seriously cruising him. He said the guy was actually following him through the mall. He then stopped and approached the youngster and asked him how old he was, if he knew what he was doing and if he had any friends in the lifestyle. The youngster answered 17 years old and No, that he didn't have any friends like himself.
So with that my friend gave him some information on where he could meet guys his own age. I think that my friend showed a great deal of respect for himself and this young innocent man. It was all he knew to do...My friend that is. I asked my, why he didn't make friends with them to become a mentor of sorts. No not to have sex with the delicious specimen in front of him...But to help him through the convoluted, unscripted treacherous life waters of our style. My friend didn't feel comfortable with that as a matter of fact he even introduced his roommate who was with him to the guy as to have a witness to the innocence of their conversation in case any repercussions might arise from this encounter.
After he told me about this occurrence it got me to thinking about when I was 17 years old. I came from a pretty middle class family so with that being said I was very sheltered. I had no idea about the things that boys did or anything else that adults did in the real world. Television was not as unapologetic as it is today so there were no images for me to learn from, negative or positive.
I wonder if my friend did the right thing for that young man. Will he contact one of those organizations or will he be too scared to enter the doors on his own accord that will surely change his life forever?
I know I wouldn't have. I would have been too afraid that someone would have seen me walking into the building. So therefore I was left to my own devices as many of us are to figure out the good and the bad paths of this birthright on our own. Needless to say there were many incidences that shaped my life and caused me some pain and some happiness. However, I felt in most cases that I didn't have a choice as I was in a sense finding my way through in the dark.
I think I might have handled things a little differently with the young man. I did once before and am very proud of the young man that I feel like I had a hand in raising. He was 14 years old but looked like he was at least 21. He acted like he was much older too. He was out and about and could handle himself in all the conversations with the elders of any setting he found himself in.
Once I found out how old he was and that he lived in a group home, I was compelled to tell him that if he ever wanted to talk about anything that he could call me. Well I didn't expect a call the next day or anything but after a little while he did indeed call. He told me about some of the experiences that he had been having and without judgment, I just let him talk and ask me questions. I tried to be as objective as possible in letting him know that this was his life and that he need to think about what he actually wanted his life to look like in the future. Well he is now 24 years old and living on his own. Although I have helped him a couple of times when his rent was a little short. He's paid me back every cent.
At one time I was traveling a lot and he would house sit for me while I was gone. After I returned from one trip I found a letter from him telling me how much he appreciated and loved me for being there for him in some of the roughest times of his life. He continued by saying that without me he is sure that his life would have taken a turn for the worse and that he would not have gained as much as he has today. He said more but I won't go into all of that...His final statement was again that he was grateful for having me in his life and for my being his adopted Uncle.
It all goes to show you, you never know how you are going to affect someone else's life. Please be careful when dealing with the young guys who from the all the hormones in the foods today look and feel like adults. You will be touching their lives in ways that you may never understand. And you better ask these boys, HOW OLD ARE YOU???? With Oprah's crusade against child molesters, the next sounds you might hear are the CLINK CLICK of a jail cell.