Going In Means Coming Out

I sat there, intently staring through the cracked windshield of my old 1987 Pontiac Catalina. Gigantic raindrops fell from the evening sky, splattering on the roof of the car like massive water balloons. The clouds had opened suddenly with this torrential downpour just as I was about to make my way across the parking lot. It was as if something were trying to keep me from getting out and venturing into the mysterious, unknown world hidden behind that single, unremarkable door. It forced me to sit and reconsider the necessity of this, not so accidental escapade. I looked intently at the front of this ordinary looking, cinder block building. It was a bar, a simple little corner bar. The faded rainbow flag draped across the inside of the front window was the only thing that announced its “open gayness” to the outside world. To me it represented a “welcome home” banner of sorts, even though I had never set foot in the place before. Yes, I had driven past, many times, and I had even stopped and parked a time or two, right here in this very spot. Afraid of the unknown, I had become an inconspicuous voyeur, watching, wondering and waiting, although, just exactly what I continued waiting for was unclear; A sign, an invitation or perhaps divine intervention may have been my expectation. At any rate, I received none, and yet, there I sat, staring at the worn and battered wooden door. On this rainy night, something felt different, unusual. Today was the day, I could feel it. The courage peaked within me, just as lighting ripped across the murky August sky. I slipped the keys out of the ignition, took a deep breath and pushed the Pontiac’s door open. Tonight, I would find the strength to leave the security of my own sheltered world, face my fears and pass through that menacing doorway. I had no choice because I realized…at that very instant, that the only way for me to ever “come out” was to actually go in. I slammed the door and smiled as the raindrops fell on my face.

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