Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tofu, a gay friend, and kindness










It was around 2001 when my wife and I met Tim. He lived upstairs from us in this apartment building in Alexandria, VA. Other than saying "hello" when we bumped into him on our way in the building, we hardly knew him. He didn't live with anyone, was real friendly, and smiled a lot. Eventually, we had longer conversations than "hello" and my wife and I got to know him better. He worked for a place that did AIDS research in Washington DC and seemed to be doing well in his job. We kind of figured out he was gay before he told us. In fact, when he told us that he was, it was very casual like he was telling us he went to the mall that day. I have to admit, before I met him, I never had any gay friends. So this was weird for me at first. One night we invited him over to have dinner with us. This was during the time we were vegan, so naturally my wife cooked tofu. (On a side note: if you think tofu is disgusting, you obviously haven't tried my wife's. She cooks it REALLY good.) We all had a good time hanging out and talking. Over time we became good friends. He was very thoughtful to us. I remember one day he left a copy of M. Scott Peck's "The Road Less Traveled" at our door because he thought I'd like to read it. When I went in the hospital for depression, my wife told him where I was, and he came and visited me to remind me things will be ok. On Christmas day, he knocked on our door and gave my wife a pet fish as a gift, and he gave me a sweater. He heard me out without being judgemental when I needed to cry during some crazy shit I was going through, as well as my wife. I know homosexuality seems to be a big topic these days. I'm straight, so I don't understand what makes someone gay. But I understand kindness. And that's what he gave to us as a friend.

1 comment:

MJ said...

Had same experience in Pa, not with The Road Less Traveled (although we do like that book). But I went to church every sunday and I was lonely with no car with two kids in a strange place that was very rural. My lesbian neighbors were far kinder and open to receiving me than any of the people I met in church. I just had tofu yesterday at the Indian place we go to in Lancaster....it's not Curry in a Hrry, but it's good for PA. It was really awesome. Go you guys like Indian. we used to live on Newark Ave in JC. I miss NY food. That I will give you. it is just better. We should hang with you guys in Point this summer. We'll go out and stay by my inlaws for like a week. Do you guys still go down there?