Sunday, June 10, 2007
Brideshead Revisited. There is no other television show or movie that I have ever watched that has moved me like this mini-series moved me. I bought the series yesterday, but I haven’t been able to open the plastic wrap and pop it in to watch. This mini-series holds a special place in my heart. For you see, when I was just a young lad trying to figure out who I was in this world, I came to the conclusion very early in life that I was gay. But I didn’t quit know what that meant at that young age. I was at an age in life where I was torn between the boy in me who still wanted to cling to his childhood and the man in me who was ready to leave the comforts of that youth to discover what this world, this life was all about.
Even though I had heard the word gay before and knew what it meant and that it applied to me, I was never around anyone gay. Because of that, I had never really dealt with this issue that lurked in the back of my mind. I had gone to school dances and had the obligatory girlfriend. Yet whenever I kissed a girl, it was just a kiss. It had no meaning to me, no passion.
But then one day I saw a commercial for a mini-series called Brideshead Revisited. The preview showed these two men, being close, being comfortable. It immediately drew my interest and I made a note to watch it. I had a television in my bedroom and I waited anxiously for the show to start. Just as the show was about to start, I heard a knock on my door. Annoyed I replied for them to go away. My mothers voice responded to open the door. Since I respected my mother, I did what she asked, but was annoyed that she was going to interrupt the start of the show I had been waiting to watch for what seemed like forever and a day.
I can’t even remember the reason of why she came in the room, but I remember the opening scene started and the theme music started to play and it drew her attention. Before I knew it, she was sitting next to me on my bed watching the mini-series. Now let me mention here, that I was a lucky young man in the fact that I grew up in a household that did not judge someone based on the color of their skin, the religion they worshipped, or their sexual orientation. But as a young man trying to find his way in life and hoping to see something “gay” happen, I didn’t want my mother sitting next to me as I watched.
At the end of the first episode, my mother mentioned that she had heard about the show and that she really liked the show and was going to start watching it. But she never came back into my room to watch it. She did watch the rest of the mini-series but in her own bedroom since my dad worked nights and my two sisters monopolized the living room television.
As the series continued on and Charles and Sebastian became closer, I was mesmerized by the show. I had never seen two men be this sweet, this loving, this caring to each other. It made me feel sensations I had never felt before. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time. I had always known in the back of my mind I was gay. Now for the first time I was able to see two men love each other and know that I was not alone in this world. I realized for the first time, I had proof, I had seen it with my own two eyes, that there are others like me out there. What a wonderful realization that was.
After each episode, my mother would come to me and we would talk about the episode. She even bought me the Brideshead Revisited book and music. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, looking back now, I realized that she knew why I wanted to watch the show. Mothers always know. She understood why I had red eyes from crying, why I gushed like a schoolgirl when talking about Sebastian and Charles, why I was sad when Sebastian died, and that I wanted to go to England to see where this was filmed and secretly fall in love with an Englishman.
While I sat alone in my room watching two men love each other for the first time in my life, my mother sat just down the hall alone in her room with her own thoughts of what her son must be going through and wondering where his life will lead him. Would her son end up like Sebastian? I have no idea what she must have thought or felt inside, she kept that hidden to herself. To me, she never once showed any bit of shame, remorse, guilt, or sadness. She never once told me to stop being different than others; in fact she encouraged me to be me. In her own way, she tried to be there for me as I discovered who I was. It was a learning experience for her as well as for me. As the years went by, my mother was always there for me. She never stopped loving me until the day she died.
I had trouble sleeping last night and woke up early today. Many thoughts are filling my mind. Bringing back many memories I have long since pushed to the back of my mind. Now I sit here, about to open the package and put the mini-series in. But I sit here nervous, putting off opening the package by writing this blog. I know when I see the first scenes and hear the main theme; a flood of memories will come back to me. I will be taken back to a time when I was just a young boy taking his first steps to understanding the man I am today. It was a time of youth, a time of innocence, a time when a mother in her quiet way, was there for her son.
If she could see me now, living in Ireland, in love with an Irish man, I am sure she would smile and be happy for me. I only wish that she were here with me, to sit next to me and we could watch Brideshead Revisited together, not alone in our rooms. As Sebastian said, I’d like to bury something precious every place that I’ve been happy. That when I am old and ugly and miserable, I’d come back and dig it up and remember.