"'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all," is a common adage in some of our modern poetry and literature, but I must express my vehement disagreement with this ridiculous conclusion. If I may make a parallel, I would say that I don't have cable television. Having only lived with the basic channels for all sixteen years of my life, I am content and could care less that I don't have cable. However, any of my friends who do have cable, were it to be taken away from them, would be devastated by the loss of something they enjoy so much. Human beings are content with what they have until they find something better, and then they can never return to the contentment they had before. The loneliest feeling in the world is to have love, then have it taken from you, and have nothing to fill the void that's left. Perhaps I am being a bit too hasty in calling what I had love, but nonetheless, it was at least a crush, and it has impacted my life more so than any other event to date.

The year was 1997, and it was a hot mid-August day. I'm not sure if it was hot for everyone else, but I remember distinctly how hot the day was for me. My brothers, five of their friends, and I had gone to Kings Dominion for a calm day of relaxation before school started up again and before my brother and his friends went away to their first year of college. This day was meant to be theirs, but in the end, I seem to be the only one who remembers the day clearly. The reason is simple. One of my brother's friends, Dave, began a joke on the first roller coaster that we went on. Everyone else paired up, so we were stuck together in the tiny seat. His huge, muscled frame barely fit into the seat next to me, and so he put his arm around the back of my seat. When the attendant was checking the seats, she looked at us a little strangely, and Dave said, "We're gay lovers." Blood rushed to my face as I laughed in embarrassment, and of course I was embarrassed- ever since childhood, I was taught by my family, my peers, and the Catholic church that being gay is wrong, and that you were supposed to laugh at gay people. I was naïve, and I shared their view. His arm felt good around my back, though, even if he was a man and four years older than I was.

This continued on each ride of the day, and to me, the joke was beginning to feel good. Some of us wanted to go to the water-park, so our group split up, and I followed Dave into the changing room. I must have subconsciously made the decision that morning not to wear my swimming trunks under my shorts that day, which is what I usually do, but instead I brought them along and used the changing room. Dave and I were the only ones who needed to use the changing room, and although it was filled with other men, I felt like I was alone with him. He faced in the opposite direction, so I was able to look at him without him knowing. When he removed his shirt, his face and neck were covered with beads of perspiration, and the smell of it was intoxicating. I realized what I was doing, and that I was about to watch a man get naked, and quickly turned to face the opposite wall. I dressed quickly, because I felt that my hormones were beginning to lose control, and I walked out first. I didn't actually see anything, but I just began to realize that I felt depressed that I hadn't.

We walked out to meet my brother and Katie, the other two people who came to the water-park. Since we really just wanted to cool off, Dave, Katie and I went to the Lazy River, which was a pool that snaked around the length of the park and that you floated in with inner tubes. Dave and I splashed each other for most of the trip, but then we reached a certain spot where the Rebel Yell loomed far over our heads and exotic trees were all around us. Dave was looking into my eyes, and I was completely sucked in, and lost myself. I grabbed his hands, and pulled his tube towards mine. We were alone, and nothing could come between us in that moment. I leaned forward in lust, my small hands gripping his larger ones, desperately wanting to press my lips to his, and be happy forever. In a moment, the world shattered when his leg kicked off of my stomach. The last thing that I expected was for him to push away! I felt like I was going to die right there, if not from embarrassment, then just from the fact that he didn't want to kiss me. I blinked, and panic coursed through my veins, until I realized he was laughing. He thought that I was just continuing the joke that he had started. He swam quickly to catch up to Katie, and gave her a deep, passionate kiss. I didn't know until then that they had been dating. I wanted to fill my lungs with the heavily chlorinated water and end the pain that I felt, but couldn't bring myself to do it. I suppose that the Catholic teachings on suicide made up for their teachings on homosexuality.

After leaving the water, we went back to the changing rooms so we could go meet back up with the others in our group. This time, I watched him remove his bathing suit, and took a more extensive look at his body. He was heavily muscled for a man of seventeen years, and puberty seemed to have already passed him by. He had a lot of hair on his butt, but it wasn't unattractive. Rather, it was quite the opposite, and when I realized what I was thinking, I hurriedly pulled my boxer shorts on and dressed in the rest of my clothes. I barely got them on in time to quell the erection that swelled up, but I don't think anyone noticed. I purposefully kept my back to Dave, but then I heard his deep, rolling voice behind me, "Boy, you sure changed fast." I blushed, keeping my face where he couldn't see it, and laughed nervously. I picked up my stuff and walked out, which I knew would soothe my hormones.

Though I felt dejected, I was still in a good mood. He was still joking around with me, and it was a lot of fun. We went on the Scrambler next, which is a ride that spins in circles, and then also moves around within a larger circle. It's hard to describe the configuration of the ride, but the effect that's created by it is that all of the weight in the seats is pushed very forcefully to the right. Dave chose me on this ride too, and I was sitting on the right side of the seat. Dave, though he wasn't fat, had a lot of muscle, and so he weighed nearly two hundred pounds, and when this weight was thrown into my hundred pound body, the pain was excruciating! The ride threw him into me, then relented, and then threw him into me again, over and over until it made me dizzy. My ribs felt like they were on the verge of cracking! Yet, even amongst so much pain, it felt good. His warm chest was pressed against my side, and we were both laughing. I couldn't help it. If I had to describe it in four words, I'd have to say, "It hurt so good." This is the last ride that I remember us going on that day. Before we left, though, we made a stop at the acrid urinals at the front of the park. There were two urinals and one stall, and my brother took the stall, and Dave took the urinal. He invited me to use the urinal, but we had had a conversation earlier about how weird it is to use a urinal right next to another man. I waited until Dave finished, then used the urinal. We washed our hands and went back to the car.

As I sat alone in the backseat on the way home, I thought very hard to myself. I couldn't deny that I had a huge crush on Dave from spending just that day with him. Then again, I thought that it was wrong to have feelings for men. What was I to do? All I could do was think about how much I wanted to have sex with Dave, and then think about how I could only see myself dating girls. My mind was torn! Dave wasn't the first guy that I had ever felt attracted to, he just happened to be the first who I wanted to date. Eventually, my racing mind realized that it was only running in circles, and so I came to a conclusion. I decided that I had to be bisexual, and that there was no other way to explain it. While my feelings have changed since then, this day was the first step in my journey of accepting myself, who I am, and who I want to be. Without this day to show me that I wasn't sexually attracted to women like I was to men, I would probably still be in denial, and trying to find the girl who pleased me. I would probably be happy, though. Why? I wouldn't know what I was missing.