the ride from pride

by Nick Roberts

it was about 8:40 when i got on the train to go home 
it was about 8:44 when my phone died & about 8:45 when  
i looked outside to see the tracks flying by 
i sat with my feet up on the seat knees tucked in head leaned back on the  
stiff blue seat a  
kid & his parents played  
it was about 8:46 when i realized that when i got home i had to wipe off my glitter 
it was about 8:47 when i realized that when i got home i had to change shorts 
button my shirt wash off my eye shadow & the two giant rainbows painted across my cheeks like a  
bob ross painting but instead of a lanky hippie with an afro my artist was a  
middle aged white woman that asked me for a dollar for her version of a van gogh 
it was about 2:00 when it started raining that day  
we got to the city late higher than the storm clouds above us & watched the parade outside a  
packed chicago subway shop  
i stood there with my friends short shorts rhinestones rainbow socks backwards hat looking like a  
stereotypical grindr twink until the parade was over  
we walked around the city till it got dark & it was time to go home 
something changed as i got on that train car 
it was about 8:47 when i realized that i was going home 
going home meant going home to small town living no rainbows no 80’s pop music no  
drag queens no busy streets no pride no other gays no pride no pride no being proud of who i am 
where i was what i was doing what i was wearing what i was smoking what i was saying nothing going 
home meant typing this poem going home meant sitting in bed in my sweats messaging boys that would never message back going 
home meant going to work going home meant hiding this again even though i’m out because 
being at home means not being me & at 9:01 a single tear squeezed itself from my eye because all i could think about was the social & literal suicide i thought about at all times in the back of my mind so that’s why i cried that’s why i died a little inside that’s why i  
it was about 11:00 when i got home 
it was about 11:05 when i took the makeup wipes & washed off the red orange yellow green blue & purple from my cheeks peeled off the stickers & got into bed 
it was about 11:59 when i fell asleep 
it was about 12:00 am when i stopped being me