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Dennis Coming Out to Roommate


Snowy weather is good weather to come out to. The transition is easier if your closet is poorly insulated and drafty. Unfortunately, my closet featured a space-heater, so imagine my shock when I stepped out my comfy closet for the first time once my roommate and his boyfriend unlocked the door. 


Icy conditions aptly threatened the hoopla surrounding the upcoming Valentine’s holiday. Despite the inclement weather, my roommate went out for some groceries and ended up bringing back some boyfriend that followed him home. The boyfriend’s offensive personality and monstrous gait made me doubt my roommate’s taste in men (or perhaps, in charitable causes). Despite my disgust, Cupid struck their hearts, and one stray arrow hit their centers of rational thought. Romance suddenly invaded the room, littering it with Valentine’s Day flowers and contaminating the walls with love notes. The nightly barrage of snuggle sessions induced nightmares. I endured their stomach-churning sweetness with as much grace and patience as any third-wheel could manage. They’re lucky to be alive.

The torture they inflicted was as ceaseless as the snow engulfing the outside world. But why hold my breath all through their noxious displays of affection? I rolled my eyes at their every puppy-dog face, but why was I powerless to avert them when they warmly embraced? I hissed at every coo issued from their syrupy mouths, but why did I remain silent when they gently kissed? Why was I simultaneously loathing….. and longing? Mixed emotions were puzzling me.


The question preoccupied me greatly. I spent numerous hours at disciplined, ancient meditations and exotic breathing exercises, listening to recorded audio of wise flutes and rustling reeds, in a room smelling of chai tea. My blood pressure went down, but my investment in a designer yoga mat did not yield enlightenment.


At last, one snowy night, as I lay in my bed deciphering my hieroglyphic feelings, I uttered to my roommate the heaviest words available to humans: “Can we talk?” The ensuing conversation took low, serious tones. I laid facing up, looking at the darkness on my ceiling—my roommate sat nearby, absorbing each hesitant word. For each statement enunciated, several silent monologues resounded within me. I recounted memories and dreams in such febrile intensity that emotions and fatigue overtook me. Finally, my voice was so burdened that the last words I voiced were nearly inaudible, but most definitely indelible…”I think I’m gay.”


Silence. All my imagined lives converged. My universe contracted, now confined within my darkened room. Everything seemingly invisible suddenly blinded me. Everything intangible now jolted me. Yet somehow, perhaps with the bed-side vigilance of my roommate, I was relieved from the intensity of the moment by the numbness of sleep.


The next day found me brooding on the ratty yellow couch my roommate esteemed as a dorm-room luxury. The view through the window unhinged me. The arctic landscape poignantly characterized my departure from the closet: cold and unfamiliar. Cold because I no longer had my fur-lined closet to shield me. Unfamiliar because it had erased any signs of the previous world. In one single night, a tabula rasa had been created on both sides of the foggy window.


Despite the condensation, the snow shown brightly as the sun’s light radiated off the crystalline powder. The effect was blinding. And despite irreversible retinal damage, the view outside my window was much more promising than that behind my closet door.


Now it just remained to sanitize my room of the lovey-dovey drool my roommate and his boyfriend caused, or at least, plan to add my own come next Valentine’s Day.








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