On a cold November Saturday evening, a blonde lad waits with anticipation
This very first solo night of debauchery brought forth feelings of elation
For this boy sought adventure, to stray from his usual conventions
An introvert though and through, aware of tonight’s socializing intentions

On the car ride there, his nerves begin to dissipate
Arriving at the social club, he is well aware of choices that could seal his fate

Small talk and light dining set the scene for a while
But when the clock strikes 10, he ventures to the dance floor in style
Radiant friendliness attracts some moments that are wholesome
Elderly couples become comfortable with the boy who dances to the beat of his own drum
But soon the environment and aura begins to change
He encourages himself that adaptation is within his range

Suddenly some strangers draw his attention and introduce him to their friends
They are older men that believe he is out of their league, and this confuses him to no end
Compliments like “You’re gorgeous!” send him into a state of disassociation
External validation seeps into him like acidic precipitation

Because for some weeks now, he has been hearing the foreign phrase from several women and men
But his insecurity in his appearance would ultimately spell out his end
Because no matter how genuine, the compliments always go over his head
In his mind, he is always the rotund individual that people made fun of instead

These fluctuations in his appearance and their judgment made him feel like he had lived two lives
Disdain towards the fickle nature of people upholding their “standards” with unflinching pride
Those childhood days and adult trauma had become intertwined
Whether in a “small body” or “big body”, dysmorphia had always plagued his mind

Leaving his head and back into reality, the lad hops back onto stage.
He encourages others to shine with him regardless of their age
However, he soon receives more attention from many wandering eyes
Their gaze of lust permeates through their transparent disguise

The first is a silver fox that snuck in with dubious intentions
Rumors of a lover scorned he had “conveniently forgot” to mention
Desiring to inject his partner with venomous envy, the boy desires none of that
Evading this ceaseless pursuit, he swears not to be a part of this lovers’ spat

The second is a burly man who hails from Music City
So the lad decides to play along with his uncouth ditty
The man says “You’re so gorgeous. You’ve been dancing for several hours straight.”
In response he says, “I’ve just been drinking and having fun. It’s no feat for me to keep dancing this late”
Drenched in his own sweat, he is locked within the man’s gaze
A sudden fleeting kiss received leaves him in a daze

The last man he encounters is through a peer spotted in the crowd
He makes small talk with their group despite the club being so loud
Feeling an arm around his waist, he locks eyes with a man so alluring
He is beckoned off the stage despite circumstances not being so reassuring

Giving chase, it is unfortunately discovered the man is interlocked in someone else’s hand
So before the bar closes, the blonde lad decides to make his final stand
He locates the Nashville native from earlier, knowing he still isn’t ready to go
He then reschedules his ride and decides to just “go with the flow”

He thinks he’s inept at this, for all of this is new
The only experience he had before was a situationship that fell through
As the man prepares to leave, he is stopped by a selfish request
They initiate with another kiss at the youth’s desperate behest

But it was far from over, the young boy has not experienced many things
A mix of Catholic-guilt and situationship trauma had always pulled on his strings
“You’re too innocent” an insultive echo replays from 7 years ago
He is so unsure, but convinces himself that this is necessary to grow

Trudging down a twisting staircase, thoughts spiral in his head
He’s not so sure if he’s rebelling or if he’s choosing to hurt himself instead
Doors closed and knots intertwined, he looks up to see the writing on the wall
He witnesses his former convictions burn down amongst several personal sentiments he could recall

Closing in, a bellowing voice suddenly reverberates throughout the vicinity
Thus concludes his night of ditching his usual proclivities
Joy and shame fill his mind, but so does a deluge of doubt
“Were these old morals personal or what my religious trauma was all about?”
His phone reads 2:17 as he waits for his ride
Yet his mixed feelings and yearning for his old self, instills uncertainty on the inside

© Michael Kevin Olegario