Our joking-exchanges were limited to in school, where I witnessed his jovial, court-jester nature. He was a giant energy of sweetness in a body smaller than mine. In junior high he often wore man-tailored shirts with the 'fairy-loop' on the back. I often wore the same type of shirts. My favorites.
In junior high he wore penny loafers, nice straight slacks with his shirt tucked in, and he neatly combed his hair that was dark brown, thickened with some waves. He always threw me kisses, while asking, "Will you marry me?" He enjoyed making me laugh, even as I knew I wanted to be with a girl, and not a boy. I think he may have known that deep down, but I never revealed such feelings to him, and not many young people spoke from the heart at those ages, especially back then.
Thursday was called 'Fairy-loop' Day for a reason I am clueless. The little loop on the back of man-tailored shirts were torn off by anyone spotting them. They were called 'fairy loops'... again I have no idea why. I started to wear more man-tailored shirts like Keithy's in junior high. What I wore started to take on a deeper sense of what I felt going on inside my mind. I felt like a fairy: different and invisible as I flitted around other junior high and then high school students. Maybe Keith sensed this in me. I'll never know. I'd like to think he did get a glimpse of the real me inside.
I was thrilled when my high school changed the dress code for girls in the late 60's, and allowed females to wear slacks. Imagine that: ALLOWING FEMALES. It was not that long ago that women and girls had very little choice over their own lives. It is still that way in so many countries. So how could I expose my deeper feelings of liking girls when I was not even 'allowed' to put on a pair of slacks in school until the late 60's? I can only hope it has been easier for today's youth, but I know it is still a hard and difficult thing to share.
I miss people like Keithy. We missed out on being life-long friends. Peace sweet man.