To say that I was scared shitless about bringing all this up would be an understatement. But I had a choice, which was to stuff my pissed feelings and just concentrate on everything that was going unbelievably well and hope for the best, or, to find out what the hell was going on so we could either talk about it and work it out or, worse-case, figure out whether we had a future together. I didn't want to end up getting really hurt even harder later on if it was something I couldn't deal with. And the whole drug possibility was totally freaking me out.
So, I got up my courage and told him we needed to have a serious talk. We were already planning to go on this picnic hike on a State wildlife reservation north of Boston on Saturday a few days ahead. Matt had been before and he said it was never crowded with lots of people. And there were these really cool secluded areas in the woods just off the trail.
He asked me what I wanted to talk about (fair question). I didn't want to get into it then so all I said was something like, "I just want to tell you how I feel about you -- and us. You know, our future together and where we go from here." He looked relieved but I could also tell he was a little confused. This would be the first time in the month we had been dating we had ever had a "sit down serious talk." I think he could also tell I had this serious look on my face. He asked if I could give him a hint, and I just grabbed his hand, gave it a squeeze and repeated what I had just said. He raised our hands to his lips and kissed my hand. All he said was, "Well, anything having to do with you is worth the wait."
I tried to make everything normal until Saturday, so we got back into our usual flow, even though I felt like we were both a little more chill than usual.
When we got to the reservation on Saturday, Matt led us to the trail he said would lead to this little clearing in the woods that was kinda private. Luckily when we got there, nobody was around.
Matt had packed this really cool picnic lunch. He knew I loved these "subway" sandwiches with lots of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and peppered ham. Plus he brought some lemonade (which I love) and -- most importantly -- plenty of your good ol' junk food (every teenager's delight!), such as potato chips, chocolate chip cookies and some kind of moist cake made mostly of chocolate!
We spread out our picnic and began eating and talking about how beautiful the place was. I felt like it wouldn't do any good to delay our talk, plus, even though I was scared as hell, I couldn't just pretend this was "just another walk in the woods," so to speak.
So, I just said something like, "So, I guess you're wondering why I called you here?" Matt smiled but had this worried and freaked look on his face and I just said, "Well, I want to tell you some stuff I've been thinking about and before you respond, I need you to let me get everything out and then we can talk about it. No questions, no interruptions, no discussing till it's all out. Okay?" He kinda smiled and said, "Sure. No problem. It might be kinda hard to not say anything till you're finished, but, sure, I can do that." I told him, "Well, that's kinda what I wanted to talk about."
I won't go into a detailed transcript of what I said, but I basically summarized how happy and lucky I felt to be boyfriends. I gave some examples of what our relationship meant to me and how happy I've been over the past 4 or 5 weeks.
Then I told him I wanted to know him even better but said I had been finding that hard to do. I said not to take this wrong, but, "sometimes you come on kinda strong. I mean I always want to soak up everything you say and have these great talks and everything. But sometimes, you know, it's hard for me to take it all in. Maybe you're just a lot smarter than me or something, but I don't feel like I have a whole lot of time to run everything you say through my brain. And then you just keep going and before I know it, I feel like I've been left behind."
So far Matt had just been sitting there listening to me, like I asked him to. He was looking right in my eyes and it seemed to to be going in. So I just said, "You know how we joke with each other a lot. Well, I don't know whether to give you a pet name like "Motor Mouth Matt" or if there's something else going on. I guess I'm confused sometimes because I don't know how to think about it. Sometimes you're fun to watch like you're this excited little kid and you just want to tell me everything that's going on in your head. And then other times I start getting kinda pissed cause you're words fall all over me and I don't feel like I have a chance to jump in. Does any of this make any sense or am I just being overly sensitive?
At this point, Matt looked down at the ground like he was thinking how to respond. Then he looked up and I swear to God his face was pale, and, oh shit, his eyes had all these tears in them. I thought he was going to start crying and felt scared like I'd hurt his feelings. He looked crushed and I didn't know what to do.
He then said something along the lines of, "Brad, I am so sorry I've put you through this. I totally apologize for making you feel all this. The last thing I want is to hurt you or make you pissed or anything like that." He had some tears going down his face and I wanted to take back everything I said. I had never seen him like this and it was killing me. But he went on...
"I've been called 'Motor Mouth' so many times it's not funny. Sometimes I feel like I can't control it like something gets control of my brain and I can't stop talking."
Then he said, "I want to tell you something that's hard for me to talk about. It's always been embarrassing for me. I'm not saying this is an excuse, but it is what it is."
Then he explained that when he was a little kid, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I knew a little bit about it but he went through a step-by-step explanation. He said he sometimes took this medication and even though the doctor said he might outgrow the "hyperactive" part of it, it was still there but not as bad as when he was little. He said he had learned ways to control it on his own, but he still needed the medication at times.
He explained that when he got "revved up" or overexcited about something it was like his brain was hard to control. Then he said that meeting me had been the most exciting thing that ever happened to him.
He also said he was still ashamed or something about having it. When he was a little kid, before it was diagnosed, teachers would get so frustrated with him because he couldn't sit still or stay focused on his work. He said he got called all kinds of names like "troublemaker," "brat," and yes, "motor mouth." One teacher even said he would probably end up in juvie because he was always talking back and getting in trouble. Plus the other kids didn't like being around him.
Well, by this time I was crying. I felt like I had just added to all his troubles. He could tell it and held my hands and then put his arms around me and told me I did the right thing by bringing all this up. The difference, he said, in me bringing it up and all this teachers when he was a kid, was that he knew I cared about him.
We talked and cried a little bit more and he said he didn't want to loose me. All I said was, "I want this to work."
On the way back home I told him I had been worried he was doing drugs or something. He assured me the only "coke" he had ever done was "Diet Coke" and he had no interest in doing drugs and had never tried any. I mentioned the thing about him going to the bathroom a lot when we were snuggling on the sofa watching movies. He laughed and said that was because he probably drank too much soda and had to pee a lot, and, well he always wore boxers instead of tighter undies when we snuggled and he had to, well, go adjust himself.
Anyway, there you have it. Our first "crisis" in our first month together. I felt drained and relieved and, well, good that we had the talk. It seemed like we might have a chance after all.