Politics.

Politics. Difficult topic, isn’t it? It can tear people apart faster than a wishbone on Thanksgiving afternoon in a nice, country home in the great state of Indiana. I made that analogy for two reasons: one, it is almost fall, and I can smell the pumpkin spice in the air, and two, Indiana is my home, and it is also the setting for this story. More specifically, I will be describing what happened one Thursday evening during my freshman year at Purdue University.

Now back to the topic of politics; I had invited a fellow freshman over to my dorm room to watch House of Cards that evening. We did not know each other very well, but a few things about him intrigued me. He played percussion in his high school band for three years, quite interesting to me since he also was involved in ISSMA, the Indiana State School Music Association, the sponsor of marching bands in Indiana. In fact, although I cannot recall an exact occurrence of this happening, it is quite possible that we were at the same event, perhaps even multiple times during a year. On top of that, he is a computer science major, the same degree that I am pursuing. Despite the two of us not being in the same computer science class at the current moment in time, it is highly likely that we will be in the near future. However, I also realized that I found him quite attractive, without knowing his sexual orientation. For these reasons, I messaged him on Facebook and began to have small talk with him; simple things like us having the same major, music, etc.

A few days pass, and he asks me for TV show recommendations. I, being a huge fan of House of Cards, suggested the Netflix series. He claimed he had never seen it before, prompting me to hail it as one of the best series to date. I jokingly offered to watch it with him to get him started on the show, and, to my surprise, he obliged. I was so taken aback that I had to collect myself and review the situation. This boy that had so much in common with me and that I found attractive was willing to watch my favorite show with me; it goes without question that I was ecstatic. We plan to watch the first few episodes at my dorm room that Thursday evening.

And boy did that Thursday evening come so sluggishly. But my phone eventually displayed “Thursday” on its screen, leaving me in a fantastic mood all day. I message him during lunch to make sure that we were still on for tonight, prompting him to reply in the affirmative. I get out of my last class of the day, rush back to my room, make sure it is tidied-up, and I head to the dining court to grab a bite to eat before our viewing session.

He arrives, and I let him in, leading him up the seemingly endless flights of stairs to the third floor. We enter my room, get comfortable while engaging in small talk, and we sit down to watch the show. The opening scene catches me off guard, as it does every time I re-watch it, my guest taken aback as well. The first episode goes through, the two of us making little interjections of commentary every so often: “The score is really good!”, “I forgot to warn you about that aspect of the show.”, etc. But looking back on the situation, I am not sure if I was focusing more on the show or his body language and movements. I notice things about him that I had not before. His occasional deep breaths, his moderately blonde hair-covered legs, his shorter than usual golf shorts, his beautiful blue eyes, etc. left me catching glimpses of him when I usually would be glued to the television screen. Did I have lust for this boy? I didn’t even know if he was gay or bi or pan or whatever! If he is attracted to men, am I even his type?

These questions have been plaguing my mind for the past few hours as I write this note, leaving me with many emotions but not a good way to express them. I can’t help but to question his every move and see if it can lead to a conclusion of him feeling the same I do. His arms were crossed most of the time, so he either was insecure or felt out of place, or he possibly sits like that often. He shuffled a lot too, for the same possible reasons as stated previously for his arm crossing. Whatever the case may be, he claimed that he enjoyed me having him over and watching House of Cards with me. I offered to have him over again, him replying, “Definitely,” so there may be hope for me after all. All I can say for sure is that I will be seeing him many more times than just this evening, and I cannot wait for those occasions, hoping that they are more often than not. My next goal, however, is to engage in more conversation with him, learning more about his personal life and becoming closer friends. Only then can I determine if he is into me, given that he is even gay.

— Andrew