A Day Not Wasted

I remember, in hazy detail, the moments when, as a child, I decided I hated school and couldn’t wait for it to be over.

I remember standing in the great open hallway of my elementary school after coming inside out of the rain. It was still pitch dark outside, so it must have been during the time of year when the sun takes it’s time to rise (is that summer or winter? I’ve never quite understood how daylight savings time works). I can imagine a squeak on the floor from the wet shoes of kids all around, and the low humming murmur of talk as people went toward their classrooms.

So much of this is based on a memory of a memory of a memory, that I likely blended several different moments together. But I remember talking to a teacher, and I remember her being much taller than me. It’s funny how you forget what the world looked like as a child, when everyone and everything is taller than you, when you’re slinking around just beneath everyone’s field of vision like a cat. You always look up: look up to talk to people, look up to ask to be picked up by your parents, look up to play video games or see the television. I remember a teacher telling me that school lasts for twelve years, from kindergarten to first grade all the way up to twelfth grade, and I would be eighteen when I graduated from high school.

I remember a feeling of hopelessness in the pit of my stomach. I had always felt uncomfortable coming to school. As a young child I was very close with my mother who raised me alone after I’d been through traumatic early childhood experiences of abuse, and I trusted her completely and felt upset when I was away from her. This isn’t unusual, any child misses his mother. But what bothered me so much about coming to school was that it was mandatory, that I was being forced to come here, and what’s worse, five out of every seven days, for all of my forseeable future. When you’re six years old, you don’t have a concept of what it will be like to be eighteen one day. Eighteen might as well be thirty-two. To be in the first grade and to be eleven years away from any hope of escape from something I never asked for was unbearable. It felt so unfair. Why did I have to come to school? Why did I have to wake up so early, why did I have to leave my mom and my home where I felt safe and where I was happy? I was a smart kid, what use did I have for coming to get an education, especially when so much of that education in the early days was stuff I’d already picked up on my own?

Anyone can relate to this feeling. People cope with it in different ways. I don’t remember when I learned that you have the option of dropping out of school at the age of sixteen, but I remember contemplating if I might one day do it. I also remember my teachers rhapsodizing about the importance of a high school diploma. “With a high school diploma, you can do anything in this world!” Funny, the lies we’re told, but I guess in 1996 it didn’t seem to be a lie to the people saying it, maybe at the time a high school diploma really could get you further than it can now. Now there are people with bachelor’s degree who work menial service jobs.

I always looked forward, from the very beginning, to the final ending of school. I had absolutely no desire to go to college, I wanted school, this thing that I never asked for which was foisted upon me without my consent, to be over. It seemed to me that I’d waited with the patience of a saint for it to finally finish, and as the end of high school finally approached, I felt that maybe I would soon feel some grand sense of release, the relief of the final day of the school year when summer break comes, except stretching on boundlessly for the rest of my life. A world of possibilites where I don’t have to be trapped, locked inside of a building for seven hours a day.

When we’re kids, we don’t really understand the concept of going to work. The monotonous routine of school is designed to emulate the monotonous routine of nine-to-five office job. As I said, people cope with it in different ways. Some people love the structure of a school day, and they take that structure into their adult life, thriving on the steady, unending repetition of Monday through Friday, nine-to-five, and the relief of weekends. There were of course times when I too appreciated the routine, even in it’s monotony, because of the sense of security that comes with a routine, and with knowing what to do without being told. Knowing which hallways to walk and which bathrooms to use and which classes it’s safe to break out a sheet of paper and draw on the back or read a book instead of doing your work.

As an adult, I sometimes long for the structure of a nine-to-five job, but the closest I’ve ever come was a few years ago when I worked for an Amazon seller, in their Quality Assurance department, and worked eight-to-four every Monday through Friday. At first, it felt safe, and I relished the weekends, but eventually it began to feel even more suffocating than school, because now there was no purpose the way their had been with school, I wasn’t going to work to earn my way towards something like a diploma, I was just going to earn a paycheck, which I would use to sustain myself until that paycheck ran out, and then live on the next one, and the next one, without end. I had my high school diploma but it had earned me nothing more than a spot being a cog in a machine which so closely emulated the one I’d been a part for twelve years in school, except now I was no longer a child, the object of everyone’s hopes, being praised for how bright and articulate I was, encouraged that I would some day be a great writer or musician or actor. Now I was just a guy sitting at a desk, listening to podcasts and sending emails to Amazon for eight hour blocks, pausing for an hour in the middle to reheat last night’s dinner and read a comic or play my PSP at lunch.

It was all just leading toward nothing.

And really, it hasn’t changed much.

I turned twenty-nine in May of this year, and now in November, six months later, I am still facing the same existential crisis that began a month or so before my birthday: what have I done with my life?

It’s a question that haunts my every waking moment, and a thought that creeps it’s way into every conversation I have. I’m very bad at keeping things hidden, it hurts me terribly to do it, and I have to talk about my feelings, whether I mean to do it or not, and over and over again I find myself confiding in people that I feel I’ve wasted my time up until this point, and on a deep level I feel that my youth is coming to an end. Of course, people older than thirty will say that thirty is still young, but teenagers and people in their twenties, myself included, see thirty as a milestone, a sign that you’re an adult now, that you have yourself figured out, you have your shit together, you know who you are and where you’re going and what you’re going to become.

But I am just as aimless now as I was ten years ago, just as confused and naive and afraid as I was when I was six, looking up hopelessly at a woman explaining to me that I was serving a twelve year sentence in public school. It seemed to me an injustice had been done toward me, that I’d been imprisoned for a crime when I’d done nothing wrong. Adults tell you, as a child, how important education is, but you don’t understand it or care at the time. Even kids who excel at school don’t really understand the necessity of it, and every school child has either heard the words come from a peers mouth or sometimes out of their own, “What’s the point of this? When am I going to use any of this in real life?”

It’s funny though. Because you use everything in real life. Every piece of information you’ve ever absorbed is woven into the fabric of the way you see the world.

I’ve always seen the world differently from people around me, and I know that that’s a pretty common thing to say nowadays. Everyone fancies themselves an outsider and an underdog and thinks that their perspective is so unique that no one else could possibly understand. It isn’t really true, it’s just that the people who do understand are far away, or you haven’t met them yet. And being a bright little boy in North Carolina in the nineties and early two-thousands, who would grow up to realize he was gay, he never truly felt a connection with Christianity, and never saw the world through the narrow, limited view of his family or the people around him, you can imagine how hard that must have felt.

Part of what scares me so much about “becoming an adult,” that is to say, turning thirty, is that I still view the world with the same childlike naive confusion that I felt back then. I’ve learned, of course, I’ve become wiser over time, I’ve had my life experiences, and layers upon layers of trauma, emotional distress, and more anxiety than any person ought to be forced to endure, even though I know there are people who endure much worse than myself. But part of what makes life hard for me is that I have an essentially fragile constitution. Emotionally, I can’t handle confrontation, change, or danger. I have a need to feel safe, stronger than most people’s need, and so I repeat certain rituals to make myself feel that I’m safe. For most of my life this has been playing video games (RPGs especially), while simultaneously watching television (usually sitcoms or other light-hearted comedy shows). It makes me feel safe to come home, eat, and play video games while listening to Youtube essays or episodes of funny shows. I don’t even laugh, usually, it’s just the light-heartedness that makes me feel safe.

My life… it’s been scary. There’s been a deep, abiding fear for as long as I can remember. My grandmother used to stay up late at night, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, and tell me and whoever else was assembled there at her apartment about the traumatic experiences of her life: how she was a long-haul trucker for decades, the people she met, how she met a young soldier on leave from the military riding home on a motorcycle to surprise his family for his own birthday, and how she later found him lying in a ditch, having collided with a truck that’s lights were broken and how she cradled him, dying, in her arms, and in his terrified and hallucinating state thought that it was his own mother holding him, and how she cooed him gently, telling him he was safe, that mama was here. She told us about her abusive, alcoholic husband, who held a knife to throat of his young daughter (my mother), and laughing sadistically, told her that he was going to take away the thing she loved the most, because it would hurt her, and how she held a shotgun toward him, waiting for the moment when he finally pushed his daughter away and she had a clean shut, and then pulled the trigger and blew him out the front door into the yard, and how she dropped the gun and chased him out, grabbing blankets and shirts and pillows on the way, to stuff the gaping, bleeding wound in his stomach and keep him from dying before the ambulance arrived.

My grandmother’s stories were frightening, sad, and left all of us who listened to them sitting in amazement. She made supernatural things seem possible, because she was such an effective and believable story teller that when she attributed something to God or to divine intervention, it was easy to believe she had to be right, because she was so good at telling the story. The most convincing one was about my own mother, who before her birth, apparently died while in the womb. She was told at the hospital that she’d lost the baby, and she refused to accept it, so she just left and went home. After a few days she got sick, and was taken back to the hospital where she was told the baby was beginning to poison her blood stream and had to be removed. She was still in shock, and at the same time she was in the hospital, so was her own grandmother, in a room across the courtyard from her own, so that she could see into the room where her family gathered around her grandmother’s bed, and when she saw them begin to cry and saw someone pick up the phone and heard the phone by her own bed ring, she knew it was her family calling to tell her that her grandmother had passed away. And it was around those moments that she felt the baby inside her kick, and she frantically called for a nurse, who frantically called for more nurses, and a flood of medical professionals and equipment was brought into the room and they began running tests on her, and my grandmother, distraught with grief and confusion, grabbed the sleeve of the doctor nearest her, and asked “What has happened to my baby?” And as though it were a line being delivered in a movie, he said to her, “I cannot offer you a medical explanation for what has happened, ma’am, but I can say this: the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.”

It was, during these moments in the middle of the night, listening to my grandmother tell us her life stories, that I felt something mingled with the weariness of being a sleepy child who stayed up way too late: a consuming fear. The kind of primal fear that there’s something inside the closet and if you look up you’ll see it’s eyes staring back at you, that if your foot escapes the confines of your blanket a hand will reach up from beneath your bed and snatch you under. It was that same fear. I can’t really explain to you what it is, but it’s been with me my whole life. I don’t experience it all the time. But it’s the feeling that right now as you read or write or talk, there is someone standing just behind you, staring, their eyes boring into the back of your head, and that if you look just over your shoulder you can catch them. The feeling that there’s someone in the back seat of the car waiting to come up behind and strangle you, someone whose face will suddenly appear in the bathroom mirror when you close it. The feeling of the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end that have since the dawn of humanity signaled danger from predators.

You might have felt something of what I’m saying and looked behind yourself just now. I did while I was writing it. It’s a common feeling. But it hits me in very acute ways, sometimes. And it’s not an incredibly common occurrence, it’s not something I deal with on a daily basis, but that’s partially because I have learned to surround myself with things that make me feel safe, like video games, bright lights, and most of all, funny TV shows. Like I said, I don’t always laugh, but the light-heartedness makes me feel safe.

For the past few days I’ve been dealing with this fear I mentioned, because I’ve been binge watching or binge listening a Youtube channel called Found Flix, narrated by a guy who goes through the plot of movies and explains what happens, as well as elaborates on twist endings and theories about future movies. He speaks in a somewhat monotonous voice that becomes a little grating after a while because he’s always gently shouting to be heard by his microphone, but the videos are each about fifteen to twenty minutes and they’re addictive, so I occasionally will fall down a rabbit hole watching them. Whenever I do, I usually end up watching and listening to his videos until late into the night while I’m playing video games, and as I get sleepier, I begin to again feel that creeping dread, the sense that someone is just behind you. Walking outside to my car is terrible during times like this because my house is in the woods and there’s very little light, and the cats outside make disturbing shapes before I realize they’re cats.

And so, here I’ve been, the past few days, feeling a little vulnerable because of how often alone I am at home (I live with my brother who is always either at work or in his room with his door closed), and also feeling an encompassing void with how I’ve been spending my time off. I’ve had three days off this week, today being the third (though not consecutive), in which I’ve done more or less nothing on my off day.

When I do have a day off, it usually starts the same, I wake up, I probably jerk off, I get up and drink coffee and play video games and watch shows or Youtube videos for a while, because it’s what I do when I’m relaxing. Then a few hours have gone by and I remember that I need to do something productive with my day. For me, productivity is writing or going to the gym, and I always intend to do both, and often do neither. I almost always drive somewhere.

Driving is the thing that makes me happiest. I usually feel the excitement someone might feel about going to Disneyland when I know I have a long road trip ahead of me. I love getting my car cleaned out, getting a trash bag ready for all the food I’m going to eat along the way, and stopping at the gas station to get snacks and soda for my trip, then starting up a music playlist or an audiobook and starting my GPS to prepare for a drive that may take hours and hours. I feel an incredible sense of hope and potential when I’m on the highway, and when I’m inside my car I feel safe from the outside world, where I can control the temperature and the music and the entertainment, and I can pull over whenever I want or go to a rest stop or a restaurant whenever I want. I feel most in control of my life when I’m driving. My car is a safe and happy place for me, the place I feel most at home, probably more so even than in my bedroom, because my bedroom is at my family’s house, and being with my family is not something that makes me feel safe.

I have so much that I need to do.

My greatest regret in life is that I haven’t gone to college, and it’s not just because I need a degree, but because I want to have the experience of being in college, of being around other young people with fresh ideas who want to go out and live life, to find a friend group, to have a lot of sex, to try drugs and drink, to meet people who share something with me, to feel a sense of belonging I’ve never had, to have the ability to go to someone else’s dorm or apartment and just sit on their couch or lay in their bed. The commune, the safe brotherhood of other people, their friendship enfolding me. This is what I’ve pined after my whole life, and what I’ve never truly experienced, instead spending my days alone, on the couch or my bed or in a chair, playing video games and listening through headphones to music, to audiobooks, to podcasts, to Youtube essays, to TV shows.

My goals for today were to begin, yet again, the process for applying to college, which I’ve started many times but never finished, to go to the gym and do some kind of physical exercise to help me toward losing weight and overcoming both the type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea I struggle with, and to write in my blog, this one in fact. I’m writing this over on Blogger, rather than on my usual WordPress blog (although I’m likely going to cross-post is there), because even though I’ve been blogging since 2010, I often feel the need to reinvent and start over new. I’ve tried on several occassions to number my blog posts, so that I can say “I can’t believe I’ve actually reached number one-hundred!” or something, but there’s just no good way to do it, because my blog entries have been written at different times for different reasons with different potential readers in mind, although always they’ve been for me, and not really for anyone else.

I’m not influential enough to have my posts read by a wide array of people, but I like to imagine that one day I will be successful and people will care about what I have to say, and they’ll scour the back logs of things I wrote throughout my twenties to see what I had to say then. In the current 2019 climate of combing through someone’s back log to find incriminating evidence with which to label them problmatic and decide someone is “cancelled,” I’ve made some of my old posts private or deleted them altogether. I don’t think it’s wrong to keep your old thoughts up online, I think it shows growth. I don’t want to be judged in my thirties for something I thought in my twenties, but that’s the world we live in, and I’m hoping that pretty soon people will come around to the idea that everyone is problematic, everyone is always growing and evolving, and people shouldn’t be held responsible for an insensitive or bigoted thing they said, particularly without intent to offend, years and years ago.

So, I’m hoping this post will be entry number one in a new chapter. My old blog isn’t going anywhere, but I’m toying with the idea of trying things out over on Blogger and starting a “new” blog, which is something I’ve actually done in the past and ultimately gone back over to WordPress, but I’m going to try it again just to give myself a bit of a reason to keep writing. With a fresh slate I can keep coming back here and journaling, which is essentially all that my blog has truly been all this time.

I often feel that the past decade of my life has consisted of so much wasted time and potential. It’s a harsh thing to say because it implies I wish I hadn’t have met the people I’ve met in the past ten years, and there are people who I love today who I wouldn’t want to disappear, but still, if I could go back and do it all again, I might do things very differently. The first thing I’d do is find any way, no matter how difficult, to get far away from my family and stay far away, something which I still haven’t managed to accomplish today. But college would have helped me find friends, find a support group, find a way out. I wish I’d gone to college when I had the chance to do it without so much fuss, and without needing to juggle a full-time job along with it to survive.

A friend of mine from high school is now an English professor at a local community college who promised she would help me to get applied, and now all I have to do is just do it. I wanted to start the process today, along with putting in applications for a new job as I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable where in my current job, but I didn’t get any of that done. I did, however, write this, meandering as it may be, and that is something. My friend, the English professor, says that she knows I’m a good writer, that she can tell I’m talented. I know this too, but it’s hard sometimes because of an issue which I’ll talk about at length another time, the fact that I have difficulty finding my own voice, in every avenue of life. I assimilate the styles of my friends and influences and emulate them, and I don’t know if there is a truly unique voice within me, unless of course I’m wrong about what the concept of originality really is, and every unique person has always been reinterpreting the world around them and reflecting their influences through their own prism, which of course I know is true, but it’s still difficult because I don’t know who I am yet. I don’t know my own voice as an artist. I appreciate my innate ability to emulate the writing style or musical style of other people, but I also have the fear that someone else will see right through me: this passage reads just like Anne Rice, this song sounds just like Tori Amos, that kind of thing. And the reason I’ve been writing tonight in an ornate, circuitous style is actually because I’ve been reading Anne Rice, and there’s a particular quote that really struck me today, from Interview With The Vampire, that I feel really captures how I feel about the way other people affect me, as a writer, as a musician, and as a person:

“I didn’t know I thought these things. I spoke them now as my thoughts. And they were my most profound feelings taking a shape they could never have taken had I not spoken them, had I not thought them out this way in conversation with another. I mean that my mind could only pull itself together, formulate thought of the muddle of longing and pain, when it was touched by another mind; fertilized by it, deeply excited by that other mind and driven to form conclusions.”

The narrator, and my favorite character in Anne Rice’s chronicles, Louis, also in the next paragraph refers to “the great feminine longing of my mind being awakened again to be satisfied.” I feel that way too. I have my own thoughts, my own style, my own music, but it waits to be touched and fertilized by someone else, that’s the starting point, and then I’m off. But I don’t have the starting point. It’s funny, because as I hope I’ll write about at length, I have a real reverence for the male aspect of life, for the male form and the male mind and the mind being, and I wish so dearly that there were a movement like feminism for men, that was about the empowerment and appreciation of men without the toxicity and chauvinism that tends to ordinarily imply, a wholesome place where men could appreciate and respect and love themselves and one another as men, and to organize around the issues that face men which need societal addressing (i.e. male victims of abuse, circumcision, the favoring of the American court system toward mothers even when they are unfit parents, etc.). And here I have what Anne Rice, who herself has said she doesn’t really identify strongly with any gender or see people with any gender, might describe as a feminine mind, a feminine longing to be fertilized by another. Tori Amos fertilized my musical mind, Anne Rice fertilized my writing mind. And I hope there are more and more who will fill me ideas that I can transform to create my own stories, my own music, my own voice made up of others, as all voices really are. A chorus of voices in one person.

We’re all made up of the experiences of our lives: the squeaking shoes on the floor of the school as the kids march in from the rain, my grandmother recounting her harrowing life stories through the smoke of a cigarette, the days and nights sitting in quiet, sedate calm with a video game controller in my hands, looking in the eyes of the first boy I fell in love with on my fifteenth birthday, the moment another, different, young man first pressed his lips against mine two years later, the shiver up my spine and weakness in the small of my back as I was kissed and finally, finally, felt safe. The aching hours spent in regret that I’ve done so little with all this time that I’ve been given.

Struggling, even on a day when I feel I’ve accomplished next to nothing, to believe that the life I’ve been wishing for, the day when the loneliness will finally end and the world will open up like the highway on a long drive, when I will feel the warmth and safety of smiling and laughing friends beside me, and the warmth of lovers in my bed at night, will finally fill my life with the meaning and the purpose and the hope that I’ve been longing for since those first days of sexual awakening when I was thirteen and thought surely it would be years and years and years before I ever felt the satisfaction of someone who loved me. I thought that by thirty I might have begun to understand, but I am confused by life’s questions now as I was then, and afraid, afraid of being alone as well as being without purpose.

This is my small attempt to find meaning in a day that doesn’t go wasted.

Wings With Leaves

Once upon a time, I woke up in bed with my boyfriend, and I kissed him and snuggled with him and I probably sucked him off, I don’t really remember the exact details of this particular day.

But as time wore on and I rolled around in bed or walked around the house, it became clear that I needed to take a shower. I didn’t smell great, my hair was a greasy mess, and it was time to get clean. But I kept putting it off. This is not a problem I’ve had my whole life, just something that’s developed over the last few years, where I keep procrastinating about taking a shower for so long that I go a few days without one.

Finally, my boyfriend told me he wasn’t going to kiss me anymore until I took a shower. I tried pouting and acting cute, but finally he said that’s enough, and with both of us laughing, he marched me over to the bathroom, opened the door, dragged me inside, and took me fully clothed and put me in the tub, then closed the shower curtain and said don’t come out until you’re clean.

It’s a really sweet memory, and it’s one that I love.

Writing is a little bit like taking a shower. It is utterly essential for me, and if I go more than a few days without doing it, my brain gets all foggy and unfocused and lethargic, and I just keep saying things like “I’ll do it tonight,” or “I’ll do it tomorrow morning, right now I’m going to play Pokemon.”

I came to the realization a couple days ago that there has probably not been a single day at least in the past few years that I haven’t thought about what I should write that day. There have been times when I sit down to write and I’m just not feeling it, so nothing happens. But more often what happens is I just jot down the central idea of whatever it is I’m thinking about in my notes, and never get around to writing in my blog.

This blog is my journal, as well as my notebook for stories, poetry, and everything else. It’s my home. If I died tomorrow, this blog would be the thing I consider to be my legacy. As such, I really ought to fill it with more stuff. There are plenty of poems I’ve never shared, pieces of stories I’ve never posted.

This month is November, and every year something called NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, takes place. Anyone can participate. All you have to do is challenge yourself to write a novel by the end of the month, at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. Usually you can set yourself a word count to write every day (fun fact, the current word count of this blog post is 482 words), but people do different things. Every year I consider participating. After all, I’ve been working on a novel, mostly in my head but sometimes in my notes or on “paper,” for several years now. But my novel isn’t the kind of thing that I could write in a month. At least, not that one anyway. But there are other ideas banging around my head, ideas about boys falling in love, about sex gods who go around causing mischief, about a modern world where magic exists, or even just about telling the story of my life.

A big problem for me is the constant feeling of not having achieved anything. I’m twenty-seven now, and I’ll be twenty-eight in another six months. My life is still not where I want it to be. There are things that worry me, things that haunt me, things that I want to say out loud or write about but I can’t, other things that I need to write about that I’m not ready to. There are so many things to say. What I always wished is that I’d written more over the years, so I could go back and read about what I was thinking on a particular day.

And that’s what this is. I realized the little story about my boyfriend putting me in the shower would be a good way to start a blog entry, and here it is. I brought up NaNoWriMo because I’d considered the idea of kind of half-participating by writing, not a novel, but in my blog at least once a day. I don’t know if I want to do that yet, but I do know that I need to start writing regularly again.

A common piece of very important artistic advice I like to repeat comes from Kesha, “You have to give yourself permission to suck.” And I think what that means is that sometimes you’re going to feel inspiration, and you’re going to sit down and try to turn that inspiration into something beautiful. Sometimes you are successful on your first try. What is likely to happen in my case is that I feel inspiration and I sit down and try to turn it into something beautiful, and I find that I’m too rusty, I haven’t been practicing enough, I don’t know HOW to express that inspiration in a good way. I sit down at the piano to try and channel my inspiration into a beautiful song, but I’m still stuck on the last song I was playing, I haven’t been practicing how to move around the piano and play something new, and I’m stuck, and I can’t get my inspiration out in the way I want it.

So sometimes you have to write disjointed stream-of-consciousness blog posts like this, so that when inspiration strikes, you can sit down and write something REALLY good. You have to keep exercising your muscles, otherwise you won’t be able to… wait, there was an athletics metaphor but it got away from me. See what I did there, I pretended I’m so dorky that I don’t get athletics. Well actually I don’t but that’s not the point.

I’m fat. I’m creative. I’m pretty. I’m scared. I want to adventure. There are so many things about me that I want to express, but I have to keep writing if I want to be able to write anything decent. And maybe this is as good as a first step as any. Maybe I’ll write more tonight, or maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow, but as of this moment I’ve written something today, and now my day off isn’t wasted.

Maybe I can keep pushing myself, and keep creating, every day, something little, until a moment of lightning strikes me and I create something big and magnificent and beautiful. And then people can see that I’m worthwhile, that my mind and my heart are worthwhile, that there is something in me that is worth loving and appreciating. Because I think what’s we all want, especially writers. Writers want their ideas to be loved.

Here is something I created today that I’m proud of: every day, I write down something in my notes on my phone. Usually it’s just a line of dialogue, or an idea, or something to remember later. Yesterday’s line in my notes was “wings made of leaves.” That means someone having wings where the bones are like tree limbs, and the feathers are like leaves. Today’s note hasn’t actually been written down yet, but it’s a quote, a quote from a character I don’t know yet. In the little scene that played out in my head today when I thought of it, I was speaking with the voice of River Song from Doctor Who, but I don’t know if and when this line will appear in my own writing. The line was this: “A grown man trying to fight death is like a child trying to fight growing up.” It means that death is a natural and beautiful part of life. At least from one perspective it is. I’m still afraid of death. But this is something that a character might say, to argue with another character. No, actually, it would be to argue with me. I think writer’s have characters just so they can argue with themselves. And I think that’s beautiful.

So those are today’s contributions to my future work, today’s small ideas that can be planted and blossom later. A wingspan made of wood and wings, and a voice speaking about death. Today isn’t wasted. It never is, but this way I have a record, this way I have something concrete, this way I’ve done something, this way I’m taking a step toward the life I want to have, one where I’m a writer and a musician and I’m surrounded by love and support and I’m not afraid of where I am or where I’m going. A life that I can love and believe in again. A life as good as anything I’ve felt before, but much, much better.

Operation Organize Everything: Part 3 – Progress Reports on Life

This is a collection of Facebook posts from the past year or so, from within a group of supportive friends. I tend to go there to talk about what’s happening in my life most of the time, rather than writing about it here or in journals, so I’m collecting some of them here, in an order that forms something of a narrative about what my life has been like in the past year. This isn’t at all a complete record, there is much more to sleuth through, but this will be a nice time capsule for me to look back on later and see my words about what was happening in my life at these times.

September 6, 2015


September 7, 2015

*takes a deep breath*

Hi. My name is Jesse. These are the things I’m too scared to say out loud. But I’m going to do it anyway because this group gives me courage. I’m 25. I still live with my family. I have a lot of trouble working because of my extreme anxiety and depression. I have low testosterone and vitamin D which cause me to be more depressed, and the depression meds cause me to be weak and tired. All of the aforementioned things lend themselves to weight gain and lethargy, and I weigh 250 pounds, so I’m at risk for hypertension and heart disease. I haven’t ever gone to college and I feel more regret about that than anything in my life. I want to experience college life, I want to be SURROUNDED by people, I want to have roommates, I want to always have a place to go and something to do, and also I really want to learn, to spend my days going to classes, not driving to a menial job I hate.

I haven’t accomplished anything in my life, not truly. I have a blog where I’ve kept my writing and poetry, and I’ve composed some songs but I haven’t released anything or published anything genuinely, and I haven’t started school. I’m terrified of life. Ever since I was thirteen years old I’ve spent my time sitting alone in my room, wondering when things will change. I’m just not strong. I’m not strong enough to change the things in my life that need to change, and it’s slowly chipping away at me, killing my self-esteem. I have a bad relationship with my family, my mother is abusive toward me emotionally and mentally (and sometimes physically) even though she’s often allowed me to live with her and helped me financially (despite kicking me out several times). I can’t keep a relationship because I’m either too clingy and needy, or I need SO much independence and space that I want to sleep with other people or just be single again.

I’m terribly lonely, all the time, and it only seems to get worse. I have so much love that I want to pour out on someone, but there’s no one here to give it to. I think I may be asexual and I love wearing stuff that wouldn’t be considered “male” dress but I get so many looks and I just feel like a freak. I have an incredibly high sex drive that scares people away. Strangely during the times when this could help, my meds cause me to have a LOW sex drive. And it fluctuates at the worst moments. I don’t believe in any kind of spirituality anymore. Sometimes I’m happy with being an atheist, sometimes I’m not.

I’m afraid that I’ll die and leave nothing here, that life will be a fleeting breath and my existence will mean nothing. I’m afraid that I’ll never know the feeling of a lover calling me into the next room and putting his arms around me and kissing me for no reason, or laying my head on a friends lap while I’m surrounded by people getting high or drinking or laughing or having fun. I’m scared that I’ll never be a good musician, or write a novel, or amount to any of the things I thought I could be when I was a child. When I was little everyone thought I was bright and brilliant. Now they just think I’m strange and odd. I don’t understand humans, I really mean that genuinely, laws and customs and belief systems don’t make sense to me, they all seem so arbitrary and flawed.

I’m fucked up, emotionally. (Trigger warning). I was physically abused, molested by two different people, and all before the age of five. I have an unhealthy view of sex, it means so much to me that at once it is meaningless (once I have it I feel empty and alone), and it means too much (I become overly attached to the point that I can’t maintain myself emotionally). I have weird fetishes and attractions that scare me and make me feel like a freak. Sometimes I think very dark and destructive things that make me feel like a scary person. I smile, I put on a nice customer service voice, but everywhere I go, I am constantly being sucked clean by a void inside my chest and I don’t know how to ever make it go away. I’m in therapy but I’ve only had a few sessions and I don’t know how it’s going to go.

I’m scared. I’m alone. But I’m trying. For me, even moving a centimeter is sometimes the most I can do. I’m trying.

September 15, 2015

Today my mom told me that I’m lazy and that it’s my fault that I’m miserable, that I’m ungrateful and that I have no responsibility for myself, and a lot of other things. I’m broken. She’s broken me. I really want to die. That sounds overdramatic. But I really give up. I’m going to try and do some things to make things better, get in touch with my health insurance and try and schedule affordable therapy, I’m going to the doctor tomorrow to find out about getting a doctor’s note to try and get disability because my anxiety.

But honestly, if someone pointed a gun at my head right now, I’d ask them nicely to shoot. There’s only so much one human can take. At a certain point message of encouragement just lose all meaning when you know that you’ll never achieve anything, and that you can’t really hope for any chance.

September 17, 2015

We were together for 3 years. He hurt me. He ignored me. He made me feel worthless. He hit me. I hit him too. It was bad for everyone. I wanted to get out but it was so hard. I was so miserable. I wanted anything else. I finally got out of it.

It’s been a year now. A year. Days upon days, weeks upon weeks, months upon months. Yesterday I was driving and a song came up on shuffle. The memories hit me like a ton of bricks. I went and looked at his picture online.

Why can’t I stop loving him? Why can’t I move on? I have so much love to give and I can’t find anyone to take it, and when I do, he’s all I can focus on. I don’t want him back, but I can’t stop being in love with him. Why? Why can’t I stop? It hurts so much. I carry him around like a weight on my heart, and the worst thing is the chains attached to him are broken. I can throw him off any time I want. But I just… can’t. I keep him there. I suffer. But I would rather suffer missing him than not feel him at all.

I just can’t stop loving him. And it’s killing me.


October 7, 2015

Guys… tonight is very hard. I’ve been doing SO well lately. I made a resume, put in applications, I’m changing antidepressants to help myself do better, I have a phone interview tomorrow for a new position, I’ve been losing weight, I quit drinking soda, I’m writing and reading more, due to a weird circumstance a family friend is going to give me 5,000 dollars to use for college and my own little camper to live in… but tonight it all fell apart. My mother told my little sister (THREE times) that she wished she weren’t her mother. My little sister was crying and I kept trying to stand up for her but my mom kept telling me to get out of her house, and she told me to take my sister with me. We drove away and I went to my ex’s apartment, but his new boyfriend answered the door (he wouldn’t even OPEN the door, just cracked it slightly to look at us) and then when I explained the situation he said “Sorry” and closed the door. When we came back my mom was in bed, and I turned on my stupid noise-maker (rain setting), my box fan, and got in bed to try and go to sleep.

But for two hours, I laid there and no matter how hard I tried, all I could think about were all the ways I could die. I imagined taking all the pills in my room and in the medicine cabinet and overdosing in the kitchen floor, but then my sister would have to find me… I went through the list in my head of all the nearby bridges, which was the highest, which would be the most painless to fall backward off of. I started writing suicide notes in my mind. I got into angry, violent, loud arguments with people in my head. My body twitched and shook as I tried to make my heartbeat slow down. I thought about running a knife across my throat, I thought about crashing my car, I thought about what I would say if my suicide attempt failed, who I would leave things to. What my funeral would be like. What songs I wanted played. The things I wanted to say to my family that I never did.

Finally my eyes popped open and I just couldn’t take it anymore and I sat up and opened my computer. Now I’m trying to calm myself down and make myself go back to sleep.


October 7, 2015

I’m homeless again. My mother bullied my little sister and I tried to stand up for her, and I’m homeless again. And I have a job interview on Friday, but nowhere to go to live until then.

I know I’ve talked about this before and I don’t want you guys to just keep encouraging me and then hearing me act like I don’t appreciate it, but I’m shaking all over and I’m really thinking about killing myself. I just can’t. do this. anymore. Either I’m going to hurt myself or someone else. I’m at the end of my rope.


October 19, 2015

So I haven’t posted about this yet, but I have big news. I am officially moving 🙂 My mom told me to get out of her house for about the hundredth time a week or so ago, and two amazing people have offered to let me come and stay with them. It’s a long way away, in Delaware, but I really think that this is going to be a great start for me, and that I’ll be able to get away from this toxic environment, be near friends who are supportive, and have a chance to work hard and make something of my life. I’m so excited 🙂

October 20, 2015

Guyyyyys I just bought my train ticket, it’s really happening, I’m leaving my horrible mother and moving to Delaware to start my life and be near friends and support and hope.

I’m so fuckin’ excited!


November 7, 2015

“Going to see Eisley in concert! Also, guess who is alive and well?” – Zack


December 15, 2015

Feeling worthless right now. People always say “You can do this, you’re stronger than you think! You’ve got the power inside of you!”

But you know what?

I’m just weak.

People give, and they sacrifice, and they try for me, and I do nothing to repay them. It’s no coincidence that people who begin as my friends end up hating me. I drive them away. I’m tired of even PRETENDING to be strong. I’m never going to be. And I don’t even want to be.

This kind of world just isn’t meant for people like me. Natural selection weeds out the creatures who can’t survive in this world, and keeps the strong.

And I’ll just… I’ll never be strong. And it isn’t self pity, it isn’t hateful, its just the truth.

I’m weak.

And I’ll always be.

And the world will always be too big for me.


December 19, 2015

So, I’ve definitely come a long way from earlier this year when I was homeless and you guys gave me money for food and shelter. I recently created another GoFundMe page, because I’ve been living with my slothy saviors, Robert and Zack, for almost two months now, and it’s been difficult to find a job, and I don’t want to be a financial burden on them. So far a couple of people have helped and that’s AWESOME.

However, I have REALLY good news! Robert told me not to announce it to anyone because it might tempt the universe and jinx it, but I want to be honest with you guys like I always have. I was up for a position working for a really good company, and I almost got the job, but the hiring manager chose someone else at the last minute. I tried to take it in stride, but honestly, I was really torn up about it. I thought to myself, “Well I guess I’ll just have to make do with scanning people’s groceries or making people’s coffee for the rest of my life,” and I really never thought things would get any better. I was prepared to take a job somewhere that I hate (should one even have been OFFERED) and just deal with it so I could survive.

However, a couple of days passed, and the hiring manager called me back. One of his associates is leaving at the end of the year, and he offered me that person’s position. I came in yesterday and had my FIRST DAY AT MY NEW JOB! I never know how much is appropriate to share here, but I will just say that it’s a FULL TIME job, with benefits and everything, and it’s in an office building, where I’ll be in front of a computer and playing with numbers and things (a.k.a. introvert Heaven, not dealing with the public, no rude customers, etc.). I have my own little desk, an area where I can bring in little knick-knacks or pictures to customize stuff (a really nice lady in the office gave me a wolf figurine from her desk, it now watches over my keyboard). I’m going to be working Monday through Friday with weekends off, and honestly, I’m so relieved I can’t even begin to really process it yet.

Last night Rob asked me if I was excited. And yeah, excitement is a part of it. But the majority of what I feel is profound relief. For years I’ve said that my dream job would be a full time, 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, office job, working in front of a computer, sitting down, getting tasks done on my own. And… that’s honestly what I’ve been given. I don’t even know how to process it, to be honest.

So, that’s the story. I wanted to let you guys know about it for two reasons. First, because I love sharing with you all, and second, because I would feel dishonest if I kept my GoFundMe page up asking for help when I finally found a job (career, dare I say?). I’m going to delete the post, because I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, but the GoFundMe will still be up in the case that anyone wants to be awesome and generous (I still have a lot of money to pay back to Rob and Zack, after all).


December 21, 2015

Feeling sad tonight. It’s been over a year, and I still fall asleep missing him.

December 22, 2015

My little sister is 14, she sent me this today. I’m so proud!!

The Killing Type

January 16, 2016

Today sucks. I hung out with someone last night and in the middle of sex got rejected, then had to spend the night awkwardly sleeping drunk and alone in his bed.

Then today I got pulled over and got a speeding ticket. And now I’m sitting on the cold floor in a Rite Aid because my phone is almost dead and I had to buy a charger and plug it into the wall.


January 22, 2016

Holy shit you guys. I’m sitting at work and my phone starts vibrating. It’s a call from an unknown number. I declined. They called again. I answered and someone asked for someone whose number this is NOT (sidebar: I have been receiving calls from people thinking I’m this woman for months because she refuses to change her public number). I hung up. He called AGAIN. I answered. This is LITERALLY the exchange. Keep in mind he was copping an attitude the entire time.

Him: “You hung up on me ma’am.”
Me: “Who is this?”
Him: “This is (blahblah I don’t remember), I’m calling because I have some court documents I need you to sign.”
Me: “Who do you think this is?”
Him: “………..uh…. Ivy?”
Me: “Nope. This is not Ivy. Stop calling me.”
Him: “Oh… who is this, ma’am?”
Me: “This is Jesse. And I’m not a ma’am.”
Him: “Oh….. are you transgender?” (note: he pronounced the word with a particular venom, as though he was disgusted to utter the phrase)
Me: “Are you an asshole?”
Him: “….no, actually…. I’m smart.”
Me: “Then hang up.”
Him: “…..you hang up.”
Me: *click*


P.S. I don’t know if I really made it clear but this has REALLY upset me and I’m sitting at work just trying to calm down.


January 30, 2016

You know how when you’re out visiting other people from the Patron group and you’re having fun and laughing and singing and everybody is amazing, and then suddenly one little thing sends you down a spiral of depression and you have to smile and pretend to be happy around everyone even though now you feel miserable and alone and you wish you had just jumped off the bridge when you had the chance and you’re sure that you’re never going to mean something to anyone and you’ll never have someone to love and you regret ever taking the trouble to breathe?

Yeah, me too.


February 16, 2016

I’m having a tough day at work. Nothing particularly bad has happened, but I just don’t want to be here. I feel miserable, I feel unhealthy and like a failure, and I was reading Sandman at lunch and Delirium makes me so sad because I identify with her so much. I know there’s only three and a half hours left until time to go home, but it feels like such a long time.

I feel so weak, and alone, and scared.


February 20, 2016

Two things. First: thank you to everyone for being so supportive of me the last few days. I’m about to sit down with a book, two coloring books, colored pencils, a pen, two decks of tarot cards and their books, a blank sketchpad and a notebook and just SEE WHAT HAPPENS art-wise.

Second: today I managed to actually sum up all the reasons I’m single into three concise paragraphs.

Polyamorous Musings

February 22, 2016

Of all the presents I’ve ever received in the mail, this is by far my favorite. I present to you a riveting tale by my straight male best friend (I have gathered a few straight male friends but he is still the title holder) entitled “Matt and Jesse Charge the Moose Fortress With Their Army of Warrior Giraffes… That Clearly Have Different Intentions For Eradicating The Last Fortress Held By Moose-Kind.”

Note, Noble Lords and Ladies, the many sub story arcs, including the Giant Duck hired by the giraffes (presumably low on funds due to the moose war) to eat the moose, the elaborate designs decorating the the drawbridge to Moose Manor, the smiley-face flag of peace flown by the moose which clearly our giraffe crusaders care nothing for, and even the Ambassador Moose who seeks to quell the rising tension. One may even notice the lone defecting giraffe who wants to give up his life as a soldier to be a dancer, or the giraffe commander who leads his own squadron of rainbow ninja giraffes.

Yeah, DaVinci was good, but let’s be real: THIS is art. I heart Matt so.


February 22, 2016

So, nutshell version of life updates: went to new doctor today. Verdict: my old doctors were doing a shit job of managing my health. Not that it’s all their responsibility, but still. When testing someones blood for low testosterone, you are apparently always supposed to draw blood in the morning because there is supposed to a testosterone spike right after waking up, and the blood work is supposed to be done after not eating for 12 hours.

Next, they shouldn’t have just been giving me testosterone injections without knowing the reason. There could be a problem in my testicles or my pituitary gland, but those are very different problems with different solutions, just injecting me with testosterone isn’t fixing anything. The doctor even said that of all the possibilities, one is that there could be a tumor in my pituitary gland (though there’s no reason to suspect this right now, it’s just one of a myriad of possibilities) but an MRI was never done on me to see.

As for my depression / suicidal tendencies: clearly my antidepressants, in addition to being more expensive than crack ($180 for one months supply) weren’t doing much to help, since I’ve still had severe depression. As for the anti-anxiety medicine, I’ve been taking Klonopin EVERY DAY for three years. I have informed my doctors of this and not once did anyone say “Holy shit don’t do that, you’re only supposed to be taking that when you’re feeling a panic attack coming on! All you’re doing is building an immunity to the effects of the medicine and making yourself chemically dependant.” But my doctors never told me that, they just kept their heads down, gave me drugs and sent me on my way.

So this weekend I’ll be getting blood work done, and I’ve also been taken off both my old meds and given new ones: a new antidepressant to take daily, and an anti-anxiety to take as needed. I have a bad headache already because when I don’t have my Klonopin I withdraw. So the next couple of weeks will probably involve me behaving as erratically as a pregnant woman, but hopefully this will help things get better.

Mentally, I feel a little better. I sincerely hope tomorrow at work isn’t a bucket of stress. Otherwise, I just want to start really trying to lose weight, eat healthier, and feel better.
Okay so that wasn’t very concise, nor was it in a nutshell. But it was an explanation.

March 9, 2016

Hi guys. I apologize for posting so many threads today. I haven’t asked because I was saying so many other things today. But I started listening to Machete earlier and I’ve pretty much had it on an infinite loop. That song just broke me completely.

The tears have been coming like an ocean for hours. I’m about to go to sleep. I’m exhausted. I’m sitting here in the darkness. It’s so lonely. All I can think about is death, and loss, and loneliness, and sadness, and tears, and disappointment. The bad thing about getting away from your abusers is that you start to realize just how much they destroyed you and you have to go through a new kind of trauma.

It’s so hard. It’s SO hard. It’s. So. Hard.

Being alive is so difficult for me. I wish I didn’t always want to die, but I can’t control how I feel.

Please. See me. See me. Please see me.

March 9, 2016

This is a message to Amanda. I posted it on her page but I’m also posting it here in hopes that she’ll see it.


I know earlier you were hoping more people would have Machete questions and comments. I hadn’t heard the song yet so I didn’t say anything about it. I started listening to it a couple hours ago and I’ve had it on an almost constant repeat.

I just wanted to say thank you for this song. It means more to me than you can know. Bigger On The Inside, Lost, Want It Back, and now this song, they have been constant companions and friends to me. You can’t know how I’ve clasped your music close to me in all the fear and darkness I’ve wandered through in the last couple of years.

Sometimes every day is a struggle just to want to be alive. But your music is my friend, and it comes and sits with me in the dark, and I don’t feel alone.

Thank you.

March 16, 2016

You can’t read this because you aren’t a member of the group. The group is where my family is. I don’t really trust saying personal things on my wall, I only really trust the group. You can’t see this because you aren’t in the group and you have no idea that I’m talking to you in a post somewhere on the internet, but I am.

I’m saying this because I have to say it somewhere, to someone, even if you don’t see it. You left because I asked you to. We stopped because I said it was over. And I meant it. And I still don’t regret it. We loved one another for three years and I guess I figured I’d just stopped loving you. I didn’t realize my love for you would only grow deeper once you left. After I broke up with you you decided to move home to your family, hundreds of miles away. I agreed it would be the best thing.

I woke up one night feeling like water had been spilled on me. My back was wet. Then I realized I was warm, and that you were holding me. Our shirts were off and our skin was sticking together the way it did in the summer. And your tears were going down the back of my neck and in my hair. And you were singing to me. You were singing a song we had sang for fun, it had never been “our song.” It was never something romantic we sang to one another. But you were singing it. And you were crying. And then I was crying. I felt so guilty. I just wanted it to be over. I wanted you to go home so we could heal. I was ready to be done with everything.

I went to my mom’s house for the weekend, right after you left. Your sister came and picked you up and I watched her drive away with you. That weekend I slept alone for the first time in three years. I hadn’t realized that not once in all three years had I ever slept alone, not since we moved in together. When I got home I stood at the door to our bedroom. It was closed. I had closed it before I left. I lifted my fingers slowly and I knocked, and I called out your name.

You did not answer. I don’t know what I had expected. I walked inside and there was such a mess. We’d torn the room apart packing your stuff. I said don’t worry about it, I’ll clean it up later. Now it was later, and there was stuff everywhere. Papers and clothes. and music and books.

And a shirt, slung over the armchair. When we first met you had worn that shirt to class for a couple of days and then given it to me, because I wanted something that smelled like you to hold at night. Ever since we moved in together it just got worn every now and then. But you’d worn it for the last two days before you left, and you’d left it sitting on the chair for me to find. I picked the shirt up. I started singing the same song you had sang to me that night, holding me and crying into the back of my head.

“My last night here with you, same old songs just once more. My last night here with you, maybe yes, maybe no. I kind of liked it your way, how you shyly placed your eyes on me. Did you ever know that I had mine on you?”

I sat down in the floor and I held your shirt close to me and I cried. And I’ve never really stopped crying. At first I would wake up in the night and reach over for you, but you weren’t there. I wasn’t used to having so much space in the bed. The first guy to ever come over and spend the night was hugging me in the night and in my sleep I said, “I love you,” followed by your name. He was a little annoyed. I thought it was sweet that my subconscious was still talking to you.

I still think about you. I think about you every night when I go to sleep. I still can’t get used to there being so much space. I sat down on the floor and cracked, and the yolk ran out all over the floor, and I still haven’t stopped crying.

I still don’t regret my decision. But I just thought I might stop missing you one day. That day just hasn’t come.

March 21, 2016

I have a full time job working in an office-ish environment. On one level, my job is easy peasy. I get overloaded with stuff but ultimately I come in, sit at the computer for nine hours and go home. Weekends off. Health plan. Sounds good, right?

I thought so too at first. But the thing is I HATE my job. It’s still retail, which is what I’ve been doing all these years. I don’t mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, because there are plenty of people who would love to have full time work and don’t. And it could be way worse, I could be behind the counter at McDonalds or ringing up groceries at Wal-Mart. But I just can’t help feeling so completely unfulfilled.

For example: before I moved to Delaware I cleaned houses. My mom has her own cleaning business and I’ve worked for her for a long time. Apart from my mother being there (she’s a crazy person), the job was great! Five hour days for like four days a week, and all I had to do was turn on an audibook or a podcast and silently scrub, polish, vacuum, mop, organize, dust, and clean for five hours. It was simple, it wasn’t incredibly entertaining but I still felt I was good at it and I could do productive things with my time like listen to lectures or audiobooks.

Now… I just sit there for nine hours and see how many different ways I can count the hours until I’m done. If I start looking for other jobs I don’t even know what to look for. I’m terrible with crowds and lines and rushes and pressure, I don’t like food service, I don’t like retail, I might like another office job but I have no degree and little experience apart from my current job. Won’t i just feel miserable at another job too? Do I need to keep trying or just accept that work time is always going to feel like a useless void that prevents me from ever feeling fulfilled or happy in any other area of my life?


March 23, 2016

So a thing happened yesterday. Someone said something on Facebook that hurt my feelings and in a moment of annoyance, rather than respond I just deleted Facebook off of my phone.

Then it was quiet. And there were no push notifications drawing my attention away. Suddenly my thoughts were my own again. And it felt so free. And I thought, oh my god why don’t I feel like this all the time?? And I realized that I waste so much of my creativity on Facebook. When I’m feeling creative, I could be writing, or drawing, or singing, or playing piano, but instead I get on Facebook and use that inspiration to make a few silly comments and turn into a vegetable on my phone.

Now don’t get me wrong, this group of sloths means the world to me and you all happen to be accessible mostly through Facebook. But Facebook in and of itself, when I’m over on my wall and not here within this very safe and nurturing space, is a little different, even though I make it a priority never to keep friends who upset or hurt me. The problem for me is that I have interesting thoughts and observations that I WANT to preserve, so that one day I can look back on my days from years past and know that my thoughts still matter, that my ponderings and musings still have some meaning, even if only to laugh at how silly I was.

This next part might sound vain or pretentious but it isn’t meant to. Wherever I go, people laugh and smile. At every job I’ve had, in every social group, people always laugh very loudly when they’re around me. I am told almost daily that I should be a stand up comedian. I love that people experience that around me. I’m also totally mytified because I’m actually an incredibly dark, somber person. But I seem to have a way of making people laugh, and my presence in the room is ALWAYS a strong one. People notice me. If you say my name, people will always instincigvely laugh, raise their eyebrows, roll their eyes, SOMETHING. I just don’t blend in with the wall. I’m saying all of this because it’s something I never REALIZED until recently. I never noticed that I had this effect on people.

I guess partially I’m just rambling, but partially I want to say that this slothy community means the world to me. No, genuinely, it does. You all ARE my family and there is just no two ways about it. So that’s why I wanted to take the time to let you guys know that I may be somewhat sparse on Facebook, and it’s NOT because I’m leaving the group, it’s NOT because I’m mad, and not because I’m causing a scene (unless this post counts as a scene, it probably does, I am kind of incapable of doing things in a subtle way). I deleted Facebook from my phone and I feel so FREE afterward.

I’ll still probably get on here a fair amount, and there may not even be a noticable change. But if there IS, if you don’t see me posting and I don’t respond to your messages, it’s not because I have abandoned you all.

I also want to point out part of why I want to stay off Facebook is so I can direct my creative energy toward writing. To that end, I will plug my blog, it’s my name, Jesse Colton dot com (my roommate bought me the domain for Christmas). I want to use my creativity to write, to chronicle, and also to work on myself.

Thank you for your attention, you may now return to your regularly scheduled Facebook.


March 24, 2016

So today I’m sitting at work and all of the sudden I just broke. Like I didn’t start screaming or crying or anything, but I just knew I was done. I just realized that I can’t keep doing this. I’m working this full time job and I absolutely don’t have the strength to carry this burden. I’ve been taken care of my whole life. Even though my mother hurt me and made me want to die, she was still giving me food and shelter. Sure, she kicked me out every few months, but during the time she didn’t kick me out she was taking care of me.

And that’s the thing, I never learned how to take care of myself. I just can’t. My only hope is to marry someone rich because I just. Can’t. Live. Like. This. I can’t wake up at 6 in the morning and go to a job I hate, and come home tired and afraid and unable to cope, and repeat, repeat, repeat, FOREVER. My roommates have been so kind, they took me in and gave me safety and shelter. And I know they can’t afford to take care of me if I’m not working.

But guys I just can’t. I am not quitting my job, I’m not jumping off a cliff, I just… I’ve given up. It’s easier to have no hope, and nothing to look forward to. Because if you have hope then you can be disappointed. And I’m so tired of being let down. I’d rather just feel nothing.


March 29, 2016

Laying in bed. My head hurts and so does my body. Dealing with a lot of fear right now. It feels like just as soon as I think the world has become a loving and forgiving place, I’m constantly reminded that everyone everywhere is telling me to toughen up or just get over it. And I just can’t do either of those things.

I’ve tried to make a change. I started putting in applications to other places. I can’t keep working at a job where my soul is just being crushed every day. But I don’t know if I’ll even have the courage to make it through the trials of the next job or the next. What are my options? I could keep looking for new work. I could give up entirely and go back to my family. That would be akin to dying. Because I would rather die than go back there.

I’m so lost. I’m so hopeless. And no matter how much encouragement I’m given, it doesn’t change the situation. It doesn’t change there being something fundamentally wrong with my brain that prevents me from being able to function. I am just so useless. What good does it to me to be a talented writer or play the piano? People won’t give me food and shelter in exchange for poetry.

All this way that I’ve come and I still feel the same. I’m still rotting away inside. I’m still mangled and broken.


April 1, 2016


You know how I hate my job and just being in the building is like standing in a massive black hole that pulls all hope, creativity and energy out of me and makes me want to die?

Well, I’ve been putting in applications without much success. Today I stayed home from work and worked on more applications, then printed out some resumes and went into town to hand them out. The result were pretty bleak, place after place just told me to go online and weren’t interested in talking to me. Finally, I gave up and decided to go eat lunch. But I stopped just before the parking lot and gave it one last shot, at Staples.

I went inside and asked if they were hiring, someone told me they were but I needed to go online. Though they quickly ran off in the other direction, I didn’t give up, went to the back and found the manager, who I handed my resume to, and she pulled me into the office to interview me. Both the assistant manager and the store manager said they loved my attitude, they thought I was positive and they liked my energy, they were impressed by my resume, and they hired me on the spot.

I still have to fill out an online app and let them know, but they’ve basically given me the job on the spot. They’ll be running my background check as soon as they get my application and then I can finally work in a place where there is sunlight and talking and hope, and not a dark hot warehouse staring at a computer for nine hours and hating life.


And thank you especially to those of you who have been sending me good vibes. As a weird duality of Pagan/Atheist, I have no clue if I believe that positive energy has any real qualitative effect on the world around you, but regardless you kept my spirits high and maybe if you all hadn’t been so encouraging I wouldn’t have thought to try one more place before giving up. Thanks guys.


May 5, 2016

I want to express something but I’m afraid it’s going to be controversial. So before I say anything, remember I’m just stating my own opinion here, and I’m not attempting to put down anyone else’s opinion by doing so.

tl;dr: I don’t want to give Amanda any more money for cover albums and ukulele ballads.

I have the greatest respect for Amanda Palmer, she’s an incredible artist. Machete really proved that she’s still just as much of a powerhouse as she was before. But honestly, I’ve been very disappointed with her in the past year. She really put a lot of effort into Who Killed Amanda Palmer and Theatre Is Evil, but the majority of what she’s done other than that has been silly ukulele songs or one-off live performances. The music she’s released through Patreon has been, in my opinion, very sub-par. Bigger On The Inside was a fantastic song, so was The Thing About Things, but most of what she’s released in the past year has been live webcasts, ukulele diddies, and random collaborations and covers. The only song that seemed like a “real” song was Machete.

I’m not trying to be the fraud police here, and I think Amanda should make whatever she wants and not worry at all about how I feel, or anyone else feels. I wouldn’t want her to read this and think she’s obliged to me to make what I want to hear. That isn’t really my point. She’s been through so much awful shit in the past couple of years that I’m amazed she has the fortitude to perform at all, so that’s fantastic. But for my money (and I really mean that, because even if it’s not a lot, I am giving her money for her work), she isn’t putting out top-quality stuff. It feels like she’s using the Patreon mostly to fund live shows and then paying back the Patrons with a webcast (by the way the webcast with the string players was AWFUL quality, which I was particularly surprised by because she raved about how great the quality of the recording was. Maybe we didn’t get the same recording she did, because the webcast sounds like it was recorded on a VHS in 1994).

This new album really, REALLY bugs me. I have never liked the way Jack Palmer sings. He has a very Johnny Cash vibe, and I get that some people love that but I hate it, and it bores me to tears. I accepted it when she put out a single with Jack at Christmas, but now she’s doing an entire folk album of covers with her father, and it just feels like an unnecessary vanity project. Now, granted, she can do whatever she wants and she doesn’t have to please me. But it just makes me sad that we’ve been waiting around ever since Theatre Is Evil and we’ve gotten: a kickstarter album of birthday improvs and Lou Reed covers, an album of live performances with Neil, a handful of webcasts of Amanda playing old songs, two low-quality live bootlegs, nine singles on Patreon, most of which are covers, ukulele one-off’s, or collaborations, and only ONE of which is a full band song, a cover album, and now a second cover album. I can list for you the original songs she’s put out since Theatre Is Evil on one hand.

So, I’m really considering dropping my pledge. Not because I suddenly hate Amanda or because I disapprove of her doing what she wants to do with her own music career, but because this new album is WAY out of left field from anything I would enjoy, and I enjoy a really wide variety of music. The Patreon has mostly been used to put out vanity projects instead of working on a real, concrete album, or at least real concrete singles. I’m still incredibly excited to see Amanda in New York this year, and all of you guys, but I’m just really aggravated by this whole “Jack Palmer cover album” thing.


May 6, 2016

So, two years ago I started having a variety of weird symptoms. I was incredibly tired no matter how much I slept, and no matter what I ate I still felt sluggish and malnourished. Whether I cut soda or sweets or ate healthier, no matter what I kept on gaining weight. I started having serious depression and suicidal tendencies. My anxiety was coming back. Things were getting bad and I didn’t know why. I went to the doctor and he did some bloodwork, ultimately informing me that I had low testosterone and a Vitamin D deficiency. I started taking Vitamin D supplements and getting an injection of testosterone every month (something that every doctor since has said seemed like a very bad decision on my doctor’s part to start giving a 24 year old hormone therapy before trying any other avenue). Things improved a bit, but the majority of my symptoms remained. A year later I had a sleep test and learned I had really severe sleep apnea, which I now have a CPAP machine for.

But a lot of these symptoms remained. Sometimes my body will just crap out on me, I’ll be so weak I can’t get out of bed, other times I’ll drink too much juice and I become so shaky that I feel like I’m having a seizure. But I’ve done what my doctors told me, and apart from a variety of medicines to keep the anxiety down, nothing much has solved any of my problems. I keep gaining weight, I keep losing energy, I keep feeling malnourished and there’s just a general sense that there’s something WRONG going on in my body. My newest doctor ordered blood work two months ago. No one ever notified me about the results. I went in a couple of weeks ago and when I asked, they seemed to have completely forgotten about their responsibility to follow up on my blood work, no one had gotten the results OR bothered to call me. So when I was on my way out of the office they were on the phone getting my results. Still no call. Nothing from them. So today I went to the hospital with Zack and got a copy of my bloodwork for myself. The results: Vitamin D is within normal range, testosterone is just BARELY in the normal range, by only one point. Glucose, however, should be in the 70-100 range and it was 190. That’s WAY too high. I called the doctors office and let them know about this, the nurse was surprised that they STILL didn’t have my test results, despite calling in to get them twice.

Then I told the nurse about my high glucose, and she very calmly responded, “Oh yeah you’re definitely diabetic.” And then scheduled an appointment for Monday.

Look, maybe I have diabetes. Honestly, two years ago that is EXACTLY what I thought was happening, but my doctors have really mishandled my healthcare up to this point, and the only reason I know anything today is because I took the initiative to get my own test results and have Zack look over them. If I DO have diabetes, then that means we can actually TREAT it, and maybe I can finally get out of this rut my health has been in for two years. What bothers me is how in two years, not one person has said “Oh, maybe we should check to see if you have diabetes.” I have a copy of my old blood test results from last year and they didn’t even look at my glucose. I’m also not crazy about the news being delivered by a nurse saying “Oh yeah, definitely diabetic.”

So, right now I’m nervous. My anxiety will doubtless convince me before Monday that not only am I diabetic but I will surely go into a coma before I can get to the doctor on Monday. I’ll try not to panic as best I can. Basically, I just wanted to let you guys know this. I’m nervous, and I just want to have a chance to fix my health. I don’t want to be overweight and unhealthy anymore, I want to be able to function in my own body. 25 is too early for everything to start failing

June 6, 2016

This is Jake. Jake is my roommates’ dog but he loves me a lot and has bonded with me very closely. He follows me from room to room wherever I go (right now he’s sleeping in a corner of the kitchen because it’s where I happen to be standing), when I go to the bathroom he waits outside the door and sniffs underneath, when it’s his dinner time he follows me and watches me put all the food in the bowls (I like to say he’s “helping me make dinner”). He brings me his tennis ball and makes me throw it, especially when we’re outside.
He sleeps in my bed with me every single night, curled up on the passenger side of the bed. He gets very upset when I have to leave for work and whines at the door. In the morning Zack gets him out of my room so he can have breakfast and then he immediately comes back to my bed and lays with me. He likes to put his nose against my chest and sleep. Oh yeah and he snores a lot (just like me!)

Fun fact, between the last paragraph and this one I moved to the couch. He followed and is currently next to me. Oh yeah he loves licking my feet. I don’t know why, he must like the way they taste. He is VERY well behaved, he almost never gets into mischief and always comes when I call him.

This post is just to share Jake with you a little and recognized how great of a puppy he is. He’s a big furry black lab (when Zack and Robert adopted him they were told he was originally brought into the shelter with mange and had NO HAIR, now his fur is in every corner of our house and especially on my sheets and in my room) with a long spotted tongue who is always happy to see everyone. I love my family’s animals but I don’t think I’ve ever had an animal bond with me as strong as Jake. I love him very much.



June 7, 2016

Hi guys. So, I posted something last night, there was a very brief amount of discussion, and I threw my hands up and walked away. Now that it’s the next day and my thoughts are a little more together, I’m going to try and make my point again, more concisely and a little bit calmer.

I’m not going to repost the article, but there was a blogger who wrote a very creepy angry post about the kid who raped a girl and was acquitted (is that the right legal term? You know what I mean). I think we all agree this was an egregious miscarriage of justice, and the little bastard doesn’t even seem remorseful for his actions. So I totally understand being angry at him or even hating him.

However, this blog post was literally titled “We With The Pitchforks,” and in this post the woman swore that she would amass an online mob to stalk and harass him everywhere he went, to slander his name in every way they could and make his life such a living hell that he would rather be imprisoned. It was incredibly creepy, seeing someone respond to this rapist with an attitude that felt not-altogether-unlike-rape. The way she spoke in her post with seething anger sounded like a serial killer tormenting their victim before killing them. It was INCREDIBLY disturbing.

More disturbing to me was the positive reaction the blog post was receiving, and I saw someone from the group share it. I was honestly really disgusted reading the article. What that kid did was wrong, the way the media portrayed him and his amount of white privilege were all terrible, and it was a total miscarriage of justice. However, stalking and harassing him is ALSO wrong. He escaped conviction, but that kid knows what he did and he has to live the rest of his life with it. Forgive me for being so sympathetic toward a rapist, but I can’t help but think, wow that is a fucked up kid who made a really terrible choice and NOW, because he isn’t even being forced to pay for his crime, he has to live the rest of his life not truly understanding how he hurt another person.

You may think it’s silly of me to show sympathy to a rapist, but I remind you that this is a group who applauded Amanda Palmer for showing sympathy toward the Boston Bomber. And who also has lyrics talking about sympathy for terrorists and the 9/11 attackers. So I would say having sympathy for this kid who committed a rape is well in line with that kind of thinking.

My main point here: anger against this kid is justified. Loathing of this kid is justified. Hatred of this kid is even justified. The desire to want to stand up for that innocent girl he raped, and to punish him for it, is a natural and human desire. But that doesn’t make it OKAY to do so. I hate to see this group, which preaches so much about loving thine enemies and showing compassion even in the most dire of times, turn into a pitchfork wielding mob.

Sometimes justice is not served. That doesn’t make it the job of everyone else to ruin the kids life further. Trust me, being known nationwide as a rapist who got off scott free will already do enough to damage that kids life. But to be honest, watching a bunch of people respond to this by promising to BULLY him? He’s already fucked up enough, let’s not lead him to committing suicide or something. He clearly needs help. The response here is to BE ANGRY, but not actively try and harm him. Then what you’re doing is just as wrong as what he did. You have no right to dislodge that kids life and future, just as he had no right to dislodge that innocent girls life and future.

(Note: The “you” in this post is rhetorical, or if you prefer, aimed at the woman who wrote that blog post, and people who agree with her.)

June 12, 2016

Alright, I have a confession.

I got swept up in Bernie mania. I really do think he’s a great candidate and probably the best when it comes to real change. And I bought into a lot of what a lot of the Bernie supporters on Facebook were saying. And you know, I DO find it very strange that Bernie fills stadiums and yet even though it seems like EVERYONE is supporting him, he’s somehow losing in the polls. It reminds me of the rigged American Idol season when Adam Lambert clearly lost because the producers decided he had to lose.

Today, I saw Hillary Clinton’s autobiography (not Hard Choices, the older one), and of course, for fun, I turned straight to the chapter about Monica Lewinsky. Just listening to the way she spoke in her book, even if it was written by a ghost writer, I couldn’t help but find her really solid and trustworthy. She didn’t seem like a manipulative con artist doing whatever she could to lie her way into office and into power, she seemed like a person who was skilled at being a politician and was willing to play politics to get shit done. I wasn’t reading any malice or corruption from her.

And then I remembered a few years ago when I knew even less about politics than I do now, and I was totally ready for Hillary. And I thought, I like this lady, I trust her, I like the Clintons, and I’ll be happy to vote for her. How did I end up calling her a voter manipulating power hungry harpy? I blame myself, but I definitely got swept up in the wave of anti-Hillary sentiment. But the question still remains: if Hillary is so unpopular, how is she winning in the popular vote?

Maybe it’s that the Bernie supporters just happen to be the LOUDEST. It doesn’t mean they’re the most numerous, but it does mean that Bernie’s supporters are the same people who use social media to communicate their every thought, so of course we’re hearing mostly their side of the story. “We Are the Media” is a powerful tool at times, but it can also lead you to making just as many errors by assuming what is popular is what is true.

So, I’m still on the fence. I couldn’t care less about “defeating Trump,” I want to vote for someone I believe in. Do I believe in Hillary? No, not yet. But I could deal with her, and even support her as president. And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t into the idea of having a female president, as long as that female president was capable. If Roseanne were running again, I’d probably vote for her, just liked I planned to in 2012. But at the moment, I’m genuinely not sure. I might write in Bernie just because that’s what my conscience tells me my real and honest choice is. But I’m going to stop demonizing Hillary Clinton. I managed to fall into the same trap Republicans do by demonizing one candidate and sanctifying the other.


June 14, 2016

My whole life I have lived in fear because I’m gay. My boyfriend’s have refused to let me touch or hold their hand in public because they were genuinely afraid we would get shot. People can say what they want about change or progress, but through my eyes, the world is a place that abhors and hates gay people. It isn’t about politics or points of view. This is a world in which being gay is a crime punishable by the bloodiest death imaginable.

If you are gay, you have to get out of bed in the morning and fight the entire world. If you are gay, you have to live in fear everywhere you go. If you are gay, you have to drive past church billboards and protesters and rallies of people all plotting ways to kill you. Every piece of homophobic rhetoric is an incitement to violence. Every person talking about “traditional marriage” is inciting violence, every time any person abhors homosexuality they are inviting the most unstable of us to kill. There is no debate. There is no middle ground. Homosexuality is real and homosexual people are worthy. If you don’t agree with that, if you fight against that, your actions are inciting death.

Am I angry at the man who killed fifty of my brothers and sisters? I don’t know. I don’t know what I feel. But right now, in THIS moment, I feel sad for him. I feel sad because he was afraid, he was afraid of what this entire homophobic world told him. I understand the desire to hurt someone. I understand what it’s like to be fucked up in the head, and to not know how to take out your anger. His anger overpowered him and he took it out on those innocent people.

It’s said that he pledged allegiance to the Islamic state. I did not grow up around Islam. But I can tell you what I do know, and that’s Christianity. I ask you to please remember that I am sharing my personal experience here. I have seen Christianity. I have seen every kind of Christian. I have seen my grandmother, who was kind and loving, who never let me leave her house without kissing me and telling me she loved me, even when she was mad at me. I have seen the Westboro Baptist Church, and I ask you to please, PLEASE believe me when I tell you that as a gay man from Charlotte, North Carolina, you would be very surprised to know that the sentiments written on those Westboro Baptist Church placards are shared by MANY Christians.

Now hold on. If you just rolled your eyes or thought “That’s a minority of people,” or “Yeah but that doesn’t represent everyone or even that faith,” or anything like that, just wait a moment. Please listen. This is my experience. I’m telling you what I’ve seen.

Even the people who are kind, who take people in and help them, who feed the poor, even those people have no qualms about talking candidly about “niggers” and “fags” the moment the door is closed. (As an example, there is a woman I knew from the time I was a child, who loved me and whose grandchildren were my friends, who was kind and smiled and laughed and who gave me food every time I came into her house. This was a patently good person. And when I mentioned offhandedly that I was gay she laughed and said “Now Jesse, you are too much of a nice boy to be a fag.”)

I have seen the face of Christianity. It is self loathing, it is fear, it is embracing worthlessness, it is absolving yourself of personal responsibility, it is denial of pleasure and joy, it is hatred of the world around you, it is a loathing for the world and a longing for death and for a paradise beyond death, it is a fear of anger and retribution and fire, it is a longing to be unworthy, it is an obscene lust to be persecuted, it is a desire to prostrate yourself at all times before a master who condemns you, it is a sadomasochistic fascination with being unclean and hating yourself. This is the Christianity I have seen, and I am telling you the truth. I am not surprised that the shooter claimed an allegiance to Islamic ideals. And it isnt because I’m Islamophobic (at least not anymore than I’m Christophobic). It’s because I understand what Christianity can do to people. Islam is a sister religion to Christianity. Christianity and Islam share many things, and there differences are often only superficial: both religions contain the same calls to violence and the same condemnation of anyone who opposes their views. They also both contain beautiful poetry and wise people. But ultimately these religions are no different.

Let us not get sidetracked by focusing on the man with the gun who killed those people. Remember that he killed those people in that club BECAUSE THEY WERE GAY. If you deny this then you’re burying your head in the sand. And did he do it because of Islam? I have seen Christianity make monsters out of good people, so yes, absolutely it could have been because of Islam. It does not make me a bigot to realize this. It does not make me a bigot to stand up and shout that religion has been targeting my people and killing them for millenia. Christianity has targeted and murdered gay people specifically because they are gay for centuries upon centuries, and Islam is a stone’s throw (pardon the irony) from Christianity.

I am gay. I told everyone I was gay the moment I understood it to be the truth when I was 12 years old. Believe what I’m telling you, I have seen good and decent people become monsters because of their homophobia. I should be angry at those people, and I should be angry at the gunman.

But I’m just sad. I’m just sad, and exhausted.


July 9, 2016

I’m really trying. But today is hard. Being suicidal isn’t something you ever really overcome, but I’ve just been through so much in the last few weeks and ive had no time to decompress and process it all. I went from thinking I was going to have to leave my home, to working at two locations for my job, to finding out they still wouldn’t give me the hours or money I need. Then someone offered me a place to live and to help me go to school, and when I made the heartbreaking decision to take them up on the offer and leave my home, they retracted their offer. Then I found out I was hired for a full time job, but my full time job has been kicking my ass. It’s 8 and a half hours a day, usually six days a week, so far I’ve received exactly one day off in two weeks, and I’ve been scheduled for ten days in a row. I’m told this is par for the course, that it’s what I signed up for.

I’m also dealing with my health. I have diabetes now and I’m trying to live with it, but right now I’m being physically pushed beyond what I thought I could handle, working in the heat every day, carrying mattresses and heavy merchandise, and standing on my feet. Most of the people who come into the pawn shop where I work are poor, homeless, or on drugs, and they’re very difficult to deal with. I’m being honest here. A lot of the people are loud, obnoxious, confrontational, smelly, and rude. A lot of the merchandise we have in the store is filled with roaches and you can see them scurrying across the counters and floors.

What am I supposed to do? I can’t just quit. I have to pay my bills. My mother, who is a narcissistic homophobe, keeps begging me to move back to South Carolina, but going back there is like signing a death warrant. I promised Rob and Zack I would get a job that would pay the money I owe them for all they’ve done for me, and I can’t disappoint them by showing how upset I am about this job. I’ve been trying to keep an open mind, not to be judgmental, and to be patient and work hard. I get a few hours every day to fit in absolutely anything I want to do when I’m home, I get virtually no days off anymore, I don’t have time to write, to buy food, to do anything but work and sleep. It’s times like this that I just don’t see any way out and I just want the anxiety to stop, I just want to escape. I just dint think I’ll ever be able to survive in this world.

July 14, 2016

Every night our black lab Jake sleeps in my bed with me. He snuggles my arm and snores. Note that he is never far away from a tennis ball. They are his favorite thing in the world. (His sister Roxxi is currently visiting the bed)

Jake and Roxxi

Operation Organize Everything: Part 2

(Note: Some of the following journal entries have some really explicit sexual stuff in them. I didn’t want to slap a “NSFW” in the title, so I thought I’d just include a little note/disclaimer. If you want to read some sexually explicit tales from my life, have fun!)

Journal Entry: Nov. 12, 2014

I spent the evening with a boy. Wow. It was pretty unbelievable. We met online, he seemed sweet and clever and he made me laugh. When I met him, he gave me an affectionate hug. He came over to my place and brought in a six pack of beer. I had one. We talked. He seemed to be a little awkward being in new surroundings, but when I invited him to come sit on the bed with me, he came right over. He actually wanted to watch Will and Grace instead of a movie, which was awesome.

We were watching an episode, chuckling, and then I turned to face him. He knew I was going in for a kiss. He kissed me. It was a deep kiss, he likes to use a lot of tongue. He likes to bite my lip. I held him close. He offered no resistance when I ran my hands along his lean body, feelings everything. He was the first one to make a sexual move, he pulled my pants off and sucked my cock. It was pretty awesome. When it was my turn, I was amazed at the size of his when it bobbed out from his underwear. I could taste his precum when I put it in my mouth.

I licked his asshole. It was his first time. I fingered him, and he loved it, it was his first time for that too.  As we tumbled around, kissing, feeling, sucking, touching, I asked him if he wanted me to fuck him. Through his heavy breathing he nodded and replied he did. I got him ready, I fingered him, let him get relaxed, and then I entered him. I was the first to ever be inside of him. I’ve never known what that felt like. It’s not that it gave me some kind of sexual pleasure to know it, but an emotional connection to him. I whispered to him that he was safe, that I had him, that I was taking care of him. He became accustomed to the new sensation quickly. We ended up fucking in several positions. As he came closer, his moaning became beautiful whimpers of pleasure. His orgasm was beautiful, and mine followed soon after. We spent a long time each other’s arms.

We held each other close. I whispered that I liked him, he said he liked me too. He told me I was cute. He didn’t say very much, but the few little compliments he paid me made me feel so happy. I held him close, his hairy, lean chest against my own, feeling his heart beating fast, kissing him, giving him soft little kisses on his cheeks and anywhere else. I laid my head in his lap, I absently played with his cock and his balls. I kissed them affectionately. I kissed him just about anywhere. We talked more. He told me about himself. I shared my stories. We finished our episode of Will and Grace and I held him close.

My whole life since I started dating I’ve been putting pressure on things. The first time I fell in love, I sat down and wrote my thoughts on a wordpad document, like I’m doing right now. And things happened on their own. I did some of my usual needy things, I asked if he liked me, asked if I’d see him again, I even asked him if he would consider us “dating,” (meaning that we aren’t boyfriens but we’re seeing each other), and he pretty much agreed that we were, though he doesn’t like labels. He said he didn’t plan on seeing anybody else right now. I told him I didn’t either.

I’m tired. I’m fulfilled. I’m calm. I haven’t even had my medicine and I’m calm. I’m relaxed. I’m sitting hear, my body spent (we had sex a second time too, he was the one who wanted to do it, how wonderful that I’m not the only horny one around here), my head swimming, my eyes heavy, feeling so relaxed. It was nice.

He said my name for me just before I came. And his name, by with way, is Tyler. I call him Ty.

Journal Entry: Jun 25, 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The last couple of months in my life have been full of change. Until a few months ago, most of my energy was dedicated to overcoming my recently failed relationship, and coming to a better of understanding of what I believe about spirituality and the Universe.

There was a day when, for whatever reason, I decided I was simply through looking for love. I wanted it, sure, and I felt a desperate and consuming loneliness. But then, I’ve always felt that way. Since I was a child, I’ve lost myself in my memories, and felt alone, and sad. It’s just the way it is for me. There are certain things about myself that just are the way they are: I can only do things in extremes, I either fully love or fully hate things, rarely can I find a middle ground, even about things I truly don’t have much of an opinion on. It’s just more comfortable for me to choose a side and switch later if I need to.

On this particular day, I decided it wasn’t worth it to keep searching aimlessly for a partner. I probably wasn’t ready for a new one anyway, I was still getting over the last one, and projecting my fears and insecurities the last relationship had left me with onto new people, all of whom it seemed weren’t the right match for me anyway. But then, no one had ever seemed like a real match. It was possible that I was simply matchless, and I do think that all people are unique so why couldn’t I be so unique that I just didn’t have a perfect match? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in having a predestined soulmate or even really the idea of having a “match,” but it did happen that I hadn’t yet met anyone who aligned with me even to near-perfection, much less perfectly.

This realization came with sadness. I was going to dedicate my time and energy to better understanding myself, to educating myself, to searching for my own beliefs, discovering my truest identity, making myself into the most authentic version of myself I could be. But this came at a cost: even in the most unhappy of times I’ve kept hope alive that I can still find someone who will be good for me if I just keep trying. It’s not really in my nature to give up hope. It’s happened to me before, and there have been plenty of times when I’ve given up through my actions, but rarely has hope been entirely extinguished for me, if ever. I found myself curled up in my bed, listening to sad music on a loop, and crying until I fell asleep.

When I woke up I felt a little better. It was the first day of the rest of my life. I was dedicating myself to me now.

I really don’t like how they say that love finds you when you stop looking for it. How cruel is that, that if it were true, only the people who didn’t appreciate love, who didn’t care enough not to give up hope, would be blessed with it, whereas those who sought it tirelessly and never stopped hoping could never find it?

For whatever reason, it’s one of those weird little addages that seems to constantly happen to everyone, the idea that you can finally find something when you’re not looking for it. I don’t know if it’s a cosmic joke or something to do with balance in the universe, or if life just sucks that way, but for whatever reason, things changed for me that night.

I was on Facebook and I happen to be part of some group that’s purpose is to connect LGBT people for dating, and this particular one happened to be for gay men, including transgender men. I had joined a lot of these groups when I became single, and I found such freedom in doing so. I saw a post from a guy who said he and his boyfriend were looking for a third partner in the hopes of creating a polyamorous relationship. I’ve really loved the idea of polyamory and particularly on some spiritual level the idea of three people in a relationship, there’s something inherently mystical about the number three, and a long time ago I came to the conclusion that if I were to be comfortable in a relationship, it would have to be one where I’m free to explore and feel whatever I want to, with no limitations.

At any rate, I wished this guy luck on his quest, and said I was sure he’d find someone because he was a cutie. I don’t remember exactly what happened next but I must have went to go have a look at his profile because I found him attractive, and that’s when I realized that he lives nearby. So nearby in fact that he was only about fifteen minutes up the road. I sent him a message and decided to chat with him, and within an instant we were conversing, and it was really good. There were so many things about him that I found attractive: he was a writer, he was intelligent, he understood the things I made references to, he had great taste in music (and it also happened to align pretty well with my own), we had so many similar interests. I found myself getting really excited. Could it be that on this day, when I had decided to stop looking for love, the right guy had just wandered into my life and found me?

I called him and talked with him a bit. His boyfriend was nearby and the first thing I noticed was that they laughed a lot when I spoke to them, they found me interesting in funny. I’ve always found that to be missing in my relationships. My high school best friend always ends up with people who have a good sense of humour, and who she laughs with. They have inside jokes and they smile and laugh and have fun around each other, but I’ve never had that in a relationship before, and there have been times when I’ve seen them acting that way and it’s made me feel incredibly disheartened about my own relationships, which usually involve me and someone else peacefully coexisting at best. Maybe I did love those guys, but that doesn’t mean we had fun together, or that I was fulfilled.

This new guy on the phone told me he and his boyfriend were going to go get something to eat so he should probably go. It was the middle of the night and only a few restaurants were open so I asked if they wanted to meet up, and they were both very excited about the idea. My best friend did a little bit of research on this guy, as he is wont to do because he worries about me and wants to make sure I’m safe, and he pretty much gave me his blessing by saying that this guy seemed really interesting and had published a lot of books online. I was actually starting to get very excited, but I remained skeptical: something will come up. Yes, he does seem to be an incredibly good match for me, but I’ll discover something unpleasant about him that changes it all, or we’ll meet and have no natural connection, or something. Things don’t just fall into your lap like this without some kind of consequence.

When I met him, I literally found myself unable to speak in the middle of sentences because I would get distracted by how beautiful his eyes were. Both he and his boyfriend were attractive, and the more we talked, the better we all got along. We ended up going back to their place and having sex, and it was the most incredible and sexually fulfilling experience I’d ever had. I felt so safe and affectionate and frankly I just kept waiting for something bad to happen. I shared this with my new guy friend and he said he’d been thinking the same thing.

But nothing bad happened, at least not as far as our connection was concerned. The more time went by, the more we seemed drawn to each other. I found myself missing him terribly when I had to go home to go to work, and spending ever free second with him and his boyfriend. The three of us would drive around town, eat, go to the movies, and everywhere we went, we laughed. That was the thing that really got me: we just kept laughing. We were always smiling. And my new love interest seemed to know all the right things to say and do. It just kept getting better.

As nothing can be without balance, however, things in my life did become incredibly turbulent. My mother became increasingly difficult when it came to me spending time with my new friends, and I wasn’t sure exactly what to call them, they were definitely love interests but I was terrified of making any commitment, or even thinking of calling anyone “boyfriend.” Being someone’s boyfriend had always turned out bad for me, that kind of commitment was restraining and counterproductive, it stifled who I was, destroyed my creativity, and kept me chained to someone else. It wasn’t something I wanted to experience again.

As I said, my mother became more and more difficult to be around. Honestly, I could go into the specifics, I could recount the incredibly hurtful and bigoted things she and her husband both said to me, but what really matters is that it got bad. She kicked me out of the house and made me live outside in a camper. Now, this isn’t actually all that terrible a turn of events, since I used to live in their backyard in a camper for about a year, and I had a pretty peaceful existance out there with my own TV and music and space. But this time was different: I was only allowed inside the house to use the bathroom (and even this was actually prohibited, I’d been told that if I needed to use the bathroom I could drive to the gas station, but luckily I didn’t really get much argument when I decided to come inside anyway), and I wasn’t allowed to eat any of their food.

This was essentially my mother’s way of putting me on the street without actually putting me on the street. From the outside, she’d just made me live outside, where I had my own space away from her and we didn’t collide so much. But in reality, I was living in a sweltering hot camper in the middle of a very hot spring that was already turning into summer, with no air condition, and no food or water of my own. The first night she put me out there, the family had not only made dinner, but there were three boxes of leftovers from eating out nights before in the refrigerator. My mother left a single bottle of water and half a bag of potato chips on the back porch for my dinner, and refused to share any of the food inside the house with me. I became increasingly anxious, there was no way out of this situation. My two new love interests could provide me a place to sleep for a night or two, but they were living with family and couldn’t just let me move in, and though they were trying to get a place of their own, in which I’d be more than welcome to stay, they hadn’t been able to yet.

It was a confusing and incredibly upsetting time, probably for everyone if not just for me. My new boy was talented, creative, interesting, fun, and beautiful, and his boyfriend and I were becoming closer too. We all ended up staying in a hotel together for a few days, and on my new boy’s birthday, I was in bed with him, laying on top of him and smiling down, when I went to say something, and I honestly don’t remember what, but I prefaced it with a “Guess what?” He got excited and told me he thought I was going to ask him to be my boyfriend. At that moment, seeing the joy on his face, feeling the rush of heat through my chest, and how much I already knew I was falling in love with him, it seemed, for the first time in my life, like asking someone to be my boyfriend might not come with the messy consequences of feeling trapped and unable to breathe.

I warned him. I told him I’ve had serious trouble being in relationships before, and that I often feel stifled, and that I may need more freedom than he realizes, that the terms of our relationship might need to be altered as the need arises. He didn’t mind any of this. And so I asked. And he said yes. We were officially boyfriends. The smiles on our faces and the passion of our kiss told me I’d made the right decision. The best thing was, I could feel all of that doubt and indecision and fear that always accompanied the beginning of a new relationship creeping up on me, but it didn’t hurt, it didn’t cause me anxiety, I just simply saw that it was there and smiled, because I knew I truly didn’t feel that way.

As for my new boyfriend’s current boyfriend, I waited a little while before I was ready to ask him too. I wanted us to have a special moment too, and eventually we did. We reached a point where the three of us were not only in a relationship, but the situation demanded that it might be a good idea for all of us to find a place.

Now, I know that’s not a good idea at the beginning of relationship. The strain of living in close quarters destroys relationships, I know from experience. But we didn’t seem to have many other options: they needed to leave their family’s house, and I clearly wasn’t going to survive living with no food in a hot camper in my mother’s backyard. There are a million details about what happened, but an apartment was found, and a move-in was arranged. The only real problem was that we’d have to wait for essentially another month.

It was a long month. I went back and forth between my boyfriends’ family and my family, and I no longer had a job since I’d been working with my mother before and she, of course, fired me (as she is prone to do at the slightest provocation). Eventually there was a tenuous agreement between myself and my boyfriend’s mother that I could stay there for a short time, but she wasn’t really incredibly keen on it, she just didn’t have the heart to put me out on the street. I say that it was tenuous because not all of this was ever really said, it was more implied. The situation became tense: my bofriends and I started to argue, and moving in was suddenly becoming a very shaky situation where it looked like we might not have the money or the means to move in. I was terrified, I had no other options, even if I broke up with these guys, moving into this apartment was the only option for me, I had nowhere else to go.

The fighting was tense for a few days. It wasn’t physical fighting, just arguing, hurt feelings, but we always made up, and it was real making up too, not the way my previous boyfriends and I had pretended to make up and just endured one another for another day. We got the apartment, we moved in, the arguing calmed way down, and after a few weeks and a failed attempt at working in retail again, I went back to my job with my mother, who has so far been much easier to get along with. Her response to learning I have two boyfriends was probably the response you would expect from a conservative Southern Christian, but I don’t really care.

Journal Entry: July 7, 2015

One very frustrating area of my life is relationships, and that’s mostly because I suck at them. I really do try my best, but not only can I never make them work, they just never feel right. It’s ironic because I can be so emotionally dependent and so overly nurturing and caring that it seems like a stable relationship would be ideal for me, but strangely, I become very quickly unsettled every time. Every time I’ve had the “let’s be boyfriends” talk with a guy, it’s strangely never very exciting. Usually it’s incredibly stressful.

This is the way relationships typically go for me: I meet a guy, probably online or through a friend, and we start talking, usually over the phone. I really love being able to have long conversations with people, and I know that I’m interested in a guy when we can carry on conversations that last well into the night and eat up every minute on my cell phone. I’m talking six-hour conversations here, usually with a lot of “Whoops, my cell phone died and I had to plug it in,” or “I’m just walking around the block in the middle of the night while talking to you.”

When we meet, usually for a meal, there’s a mixture of feelings: on the one hand, there’s an instant grinding neediness that wells up inside me. I may not express it to him, but inside I’m thinking “Okay, he’s cute. Maybe this feature could be better but it’s alright, maybe he’ll love me. Maybe he’ll hold me and whisper sweet nothings into my ear at night, and maybe our warm bodies will caress in the moonlight and my heart will race and his lips will kiss mine and I can spend every night safe with him, not alone, tossing around in an empty bed in an empty room and an empty life with no love!”

I know, and this is just what’s going through my mind while I’m smiling over the chit-chat before our meals even arrive. By this point, I’ve already started to doubt the relationship that doesn’t even exist: “Am I ready for this? What if he doesn’t really get me? What if I end up being the only one who cares? He seems nice, but do I really want to be with him FOREVER? I mean, if things go well now, then eventually I’ll have to make a decision about whether or not to commit to him, and if I commit, well then there goes my chances of ever being with anyone else, ever experiencing the excitement of meeting someone new, ever having another first kiss or a first night in bed together or a first holiday together or meeting his family for the first time, now it’s just me and this guy forever. And what if things go bad? Then I have to break up, and I have to deal with my heart being broken and taking his stuff out of my room and giving him back clothes that he left at my house and spending six months crying myself to sleep at night and having crappy self-pity hookup sex with guys online to try and fill the void he’s left in my heart. Maybe this isn’t worth it. Maybe this was all a bad idea.”

When he smiles and asks what’s on my mind, I laugh nervously and sigh. Try to take a breath, I tell myself, and I just say, “Oh, nothing.”

But that’s the thing, I can’t NOT over think things. It’s just in my nature. I’m not actually sure that I NEED to change that about myself. People over the years have told me to stop thinking so much, but I’m sorry, thinking is what I do best, and I can’t just stop because it’s inconvenient and raises a lot of questions. If things are going well between me a guy, I start to suffer this really bad separation anxiety when he’s not around, and I’ll become really depressed, just eating or playing video games or going to work to have something to do to occupy myself until the next time I see him. I’ll keep on rolling over every question and concern I just mentioned, but I’ll miss him at the same time, and to a degree that is probably unhealthy for having just meet someone. I’ll talk to him on the phone and say, “You know I really missed you today,” and I’ll hear him smile and say “Yeah I missed you too.” But I doubt he really missed me as much as I missed him. He probably missed me in like, a normal way, whereas spent the entire day thinking about our entire future together and how terrified I am of making a commitment to marry him, and exactly how I’m going to deal with raising children when I’m not grown myself, and we haven’t even agreed to a second date yet.

So yeah, I jump the gun, emotionally and mentally. The saddest part is that I don’t do it on purpose. I’ve trained myself NOT to go bat shit crazy on day one, and I do this to the best of my ability, but some things I just can’t avoid doing. Sex is another big thing that I have to deal with. I’ve always had a very open attitude about sexuality, and I don’t mind being as graphic as the other person can handle if they’re willing to talk about sex. When I meet a guy and I think he’s cute, I do this thing that I know is really stereotypical and probably makes the whole gay community, or men in general look bad, because I’m doing something that people might expect me to do, but I just start wondering about his penis. I want to know how big it is, what it’s shaped like, if I’m going to like it. I prefer big ones but I don’t mind if it’s average, but what if it’s just average or it’s small? Now I have to spend the rest of my life with this guy whose dick isn’t satisfactory and I’ll be constantly wishing I could experience sex with a guy who had a bigger one. As I’m writing this I understand how incredibly shallow this sounds. It’s not my intent to be shallow and I don’t actually judge whether or not I’m going to be in a relationship with a guy based on the size of his cock, but I would be lying if I didn’t say these incredibly base sexual thoughts didn’t fly through my head.

Then we actually have sex, and it’s usually VERY quickly. If we don’t have the full-on penetration, there’s usually some form of fooling around on the first encounter. Now, I’m inclined to think that a lot of the guys I’ve met would be just fine saving that for a second or third date, but since I happen to come on to them on the first meeting they don’t mind going there too. The problem is, now in addition to the worries I’ve already amassed in my own mind, I have a whole new load of sexual issues to worry about (no pun intended).

If the sex wasn’t that great, then I’m thinking, “Great, he’s really nice but I don’t think I’m satisfied by him sexually, and now if we end up together I’ll be sexually unsatisfied for the rest of my life,” because in my head we’ve already made a commitment, gotten engaged, and we’re getting married tomorrow and having a baby the next day. I can’t NOT look at the picture, I can’t just live in the moment and leave my worries about tomorrow for tomorrow, because I know that if things continue to go well with a guy, I’m well on my way to saying “Let’s be boyfriends,” which is, in a sad way, like saying “Let’s be in a relationship with no foreseeable end where I have no way out without causing us both incredible pain, and I give up my chance of ever meeting someone who IS perfect for me if you turn out not to be, and I have no sexual or emotional freedom, and I have to edit what I say and do to conform to the way I’m supposed to act when I’m in a relationship, and I can’t hit on other guys or even think about other guys without feeling inadvertently guilty whether you want me to or not, and I start to cause you intense levels of anxiety because I worry about every little thing.”

Now, almost invariably, I express some or most of these feelings to the guy in question, and in most instances, he smiles and says it’s cute that I worry so much and kisses me. And yes, I am human, and yes I will forget about my worry for a little while, and just enjoy spending time with him. And sometimes it goes really well. But in the back of my mind I’ll be thinking, “So, is this it? It doesn’t FEEL like I’ve found my soul mate. I didn’t fall in love with him at first sight. I don’t even believe in soul mates or love at first sight, but is this someone I feel like I’m going to wake up every morning smiling at because I can’t believe how lucky I am to be with him, or am I just moderately happy with him? Am I settling? And if I am settling, why? Why do I continue to be in this relationship if it isn’t filling me with constant beatific joy? People talk about being in love and wanting to tell the world, shout it from the rooftops, but I don’t feel that way. Does that mean this isn’t right? Oh god what am I doing, I already made a commitment to this guy and now I’m not sure if I made a huge mistake or not!” Then I’ll take a breath and tell myself, “No it’s okay, it’s still early, give him a chance, take it slow.” But the next time we’re together, all I’ll be thinking is, “Is this the one? Have I made a mistake? I’m trying to give him a chance but I don’t feel like everything is perfect yet.”

Journal Entry: November 20, 2015

Bad things that happened today: I was very nervous about my new job. My feet hurt and I was feeling pressured at the cash wrap to deliver on the metrics and promotions. I was a bit overwhelmed. I felt conflicted about the bank vs. the bookstore. I wasn’t sure retail was where I wanted to be, even though I like the bookstore as a customer. The bank rejected me after two interviews and a few forms, possibly because of my credit.  Roxie scratched me when I got home, grr. I felt a little guilty for feeling up Zack today when we cuddled. I don’t think Robert would mind THAT much, but I know I was being bad. Even though I liked watching HP and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2, for the record), it changed up my routine, I watched it in the dark, and it kind of stressed me out a little bit, though it did inspire me. I parked too close to the store on my first day of work. I want a lot of stuff from the bookstore I dont’ have money for. I’m running out of negative things to say but I’m trying to get it all out. I’m not crazy about doing a fake-ish customer service persona when I’m at work. Oh I forgot a big one, Kris shot himself in the woods near someone’s house, my mother is very upset. I talked to her on the phone. Just hearing her voice shook and upset me. Guess I’ve learned I’m not really ready to talk to her yet. It is very sad about Kris. I don’t know if it’s inappropriate to say I saw it coming, I noticed he was getting rid of his stuff, or selling things, and seemed to be getting his affairs in order like he was ready to go. I hope he’s at peace. I believe people have a right to choose death. It’s their life, they can choose to end it if they can’t bear living. But I do hope people can also heal and have happy lives. I don’t know, it’s a weird thing. Also I’m spending too much time on Facebook, I want to eliminate that, and get all my writing in one place on a blog, and then put my creative output there.

Good things: I got to play FFXIII-2 when I got home. It was relaxing to sit down after working. I took a nap with Zack. I’m enjoying playing FFXII: Revenant Wings, and also reading Lord of the Rings. I posted on Facebook a brief summary of my experiences so far in Delaware. That should update people. I’m getting inspired just by playing Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. I’m excited to get a journal and write things down in it (I may copy all my old outlines). Random: I have Darren Hayes’ song Talk Talk Talk stuck in my head. I’m enjoying Mozart. I like Sirius XM, they have a Broadway and Classical station. Also, I’m kind of thinking I might get more into Missy Elliot. Though I can’t torrent anymore. That should go in the bad things section. Nah. Okay I’m tired and running out of stuff to say. I have Pepsi! Yay for soda addictions! And I am hopefully going to fall asleep at a reasonable time. Goodnight!