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Tanuki Racoon

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I just read the story (obviously) and I think that (although I may be alone in this opinion) Nick is the better character here. Who hadn't heard any of the things Joel had heard? Did he expect a red carpet to prove his popularity? :icon10: I don't like self-pity that much, but I'm glad that Nick is a good best friend.

Anyway, nice job. :)

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Joel learns he can take an unpopular stand, and still be right, and respected, and liked.

Joel learns things are not as bleak and lonely as he thinks; that perhaps he underestimated some people, including good friends.

Nick learns that his thoughtless words hurt someone he cared about so much, that person would risk everything, or even give up on life.

Nick learns he can change his thinking and his actions and become a better person.

Both guys learn that popularity and other people's opinions do not count as much as our own self-acceptance and acceptance of our friends' strengths or even their faults or what we don't understand about them.

Both guys learn that being manly means being able to show your emotions and not hide them, and being manly has nothing to do with being a big, strong jock, and everything to do with heart and guts and mind.

Am I reaching, on some of those? Maybe, maybe not.

Anyway, I liked it very much. This has to be one of the best stories I've read. (I read it a while ago.)

My truest, best friends and family are people I can talk to and pick right back up where we left off, whether it's yesterday or many days since we've last talked.

In the past few months, I've learned that some people like/love me no matter what, and I can trust them with absolutely anything. Even if we disagree, that friendship and love is still there. I've also learned some people I thought of as friends or family...weren't dependable or weren't the friends I thought, when it comes down to crunch time. (And that is about things other than being gay, too.)

"Popularity" is among the stories that someone should sit down and read, or get others to read, to answer some of the big questions about being gay and coming out and accepting others.

Great job, Graeme.

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Actually, at first I was with Joel. But that changed because of his self-pity scene. Believe me, I hear those kind of words all the time. Maybe I just became immune to them that's why I have less sympathy for Joel. It's true people can speak hurtful words but most of those are because of ignorance. They just need a chance. That's my take on it, anyway. Joel seemed to think that to be popular everyone has to love him. Nobody is that loved.

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ls being sensitive and pensive the same as being self-pitying? Is bottling feelings up over time and figuring out the best way to deal with them being self-pitying? Is using what popularity a person has to make other people think about themselves and possibly change their ways, possibly see things is a different light, the wrong way to approach things?

And isn't it delightful that so much disparate thought, so many ways to look at things, so many interpretations, can come from such a brief snippet of life? This is what good writing is all about.

Cole

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Thanks, everyone :smile: I still remember the struggles I had with this story. I wanted it told in third person, but it was coming out stilted, so I did what I've been told should always be possible to do: I wrote it in first person and then 'migrated' it to third person. It was an interesting exercise, but it worked. I was a lot happier with the final result than my initial drafts.

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