Monday, July 30, 2012

Mahna, Mahnam!

This is my Song of the Day. I think it is pretty much a perfect fit for a Monday off of work. Enjoy! It certainly makes me grin and laugh. I dare you to try and watch it and NOT smile! :)


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rare, please.

I stood there in my tall, crisply starched chef toque and dress whites slicing roasted beef for the mass of happy, celebrating friends and family of the bride and groom. As the hour passed I continued serving 240 guests a total of eight full Prime Ribs that I and my team had prepared during the day. I watched the lines of people slowly retreat from the buffet to return to the Grand Ballroom to eat, enjoy each others company and start the party that would last well into the early hours of the next morning. It looked as if dinner was a smashing success.

My hand were cramping as I put down the meat fork and slicing knife and I stepped back from the carving station, smoothed my apron and stood at ease, listening to the music with a content smile on my face. The long line of tables that held all the food we had prepared stretched down the high glass atrium like a silent sentinel standing watch with me. They were still burgeoning with mixed cold salads, pasta dishes, cheese  and fruit trays, vegetables, rice dishes, roasted potatoes, breads and the different chicken, pork and beef dishes, though a bit depleted for the efforts of the hungry guests. I stood just out of reach of the bright warming lights of the cutting board and now that I had time to pause and reflect after twelve hours of cooking, I have to admit, at the very moment of success and elation of a job well done, my heart has never been heavier and more conflicted with the crushing emotions and myriad of feelings welling up inside me.

It had been a long and full day in the kitchens, the culmination of a week of planning, grocery and product ordering, menu structuring, recipe selection and food preparation all building up to the incredibly special night for the joining of these two families by the marriage of their two beautiful children. From the intricate canapes  and delectable hors d' oeuvres passed by the wait staff during the cocktail party, to the dinner that had just been served, to the desserts and cakes that weighed down the table in the Ballroom, our contribution to their special evening had been performed without a hitch or flaw in execution. It felt so good to be back performing and executing the culinary passion that I loved.

My heart crumpled like wet newsprint and still managed to ache and shatter quietly inside me. I have never felt like such an alien and outsider in my entire life. The crushing weight and trembling inner feeling of being "other" and "different" than all of them had never truly come to bear in my mind the way that it did as I stood there confused and battered by the mingled, conflicting thoughts. All of this...these rites of passage, the mingling of families, the celebration with friends, the affirmation and acceptance of our peers, the celebration of love and marriage itself by relations and social groups is not allowed for my kind. I stand on the outside of the circle looking in.

I do not know what it is like to grow up like the vast majority of humans in my own country. I never will experience being teased by family and school friends when I find that special person and their name seems to be falling out of my mouth constantly, never hiding my attractions and worrying if others will still love and accept me. Other like me are not allowed to date openly and freely in public without the worry of violence, condemnation and confrontation from strangers. The blessing and approval of society at young and growing love does not exist for my kind. We are the "other". We are the "different". We are the "they".

Groups of those we love and are related to will not gather to feast and celebrate when we commit ourselves to each other. There will be no happy groups in churches attending and affirming our love and life time commitment to each other. The carefree strolls and public displays of affection for our boyfriend will not be accepted or allowed. By law...our love and commitment is illegal, less than, devalued, scorned and vilified. Groups of people across the country are devoted to ensuring that true equality for other humans like me is never allowed. They condemn and hate us verbally, socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically at every chance they can get. They condone this with their religion and say it is commanded by God. We are not allowed. We are not equal. We are below them and not worthy of even the most foundational institutions of human civilization. We cannot marry. We are denied family. We are forced to live on the margins. We are the outcasts.

I stood there and cried inside myself. I was so conflicted. I was truly incredibly happy for this couple and all the amazing people that had gathered. I did not begrudge them the beautiful and amazing celebration that I was witnessing, but inside of me, my heart was breaking.

I had never felt like a minority in this world until that moment.

Unclean. Unworthy. Unwanted.

Less than. Not equal. Not allowed.

After all that life, work and toil I had then been forced to carve my unprepared heart into hundreds of bloody, beating pieces and serve it, slice by slice to be devoured by those who are worthy, who do matter, who are blessed.

I had to smile and like it.

I have to do it every day.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Sex is the Question

To any of my readers who are sexually active, consider taking a few minutes of you time and adding your answers and thoughts to this survey currently being conducted about us gay guys here in the United States. It is confidential and a great way to help the It Gets Better Project.

It only takes a few minutes and our participation will help our community in the education about and the prevention of HIV. Give it a thought. This is about all of us, not some random "they" or guy you will never meet. HIV impacts us all, whether you know a positive person now or are one yourself. As I have grown up in and around my community, I have seen the importance of education, prevention and treatment, first hand. It has impacted my life personally in so many different ways. Just take a moment to care, for yourself and others, as uncomfortable as you might feel about the idea initially. These are conversations we need to be having with ourselves, if not others.

At the end of the survey, you will be able to see the information about your own demographic and how you compare and fit into the gay community around you. The results and information were enlightening and informative for me. Thanks for helping out. We all matter.


About the Survey

If you are going to take just one survey all year, this is the one you should take.

We all know how to keep ourselves safe. Yet, guys continue to test positive. We need your help to figure out why. Your confidential answers will be pooled with tens of thousands more. The resulting data will help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments better understand patterns of behavior- both sexual and health promoting- among men in our communities, and to make sure our prevention resources have the greatest impact.

You have likely taken an online survey before. Maybe it was even related to your sexual health. This survey is different. Aside from being among the largest ever conducted on guys like us in the United States, it's also one of the first surveys to provide immediate feedback based on your answers. We understand your time and information is valuable, so we want to give you some information back.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Turn, turn.

Life has a strange way of shifting. One could call it perspective, or even more specifically, focus, but in the end it all comes back to our own personal view of events and the story we live externally out to others and internally to ourselves.

I have undergone this shifting on many different fronts the last few months. More than likely it has been a series of events and circumstances that has shaped my growth and maturing as a person, but the present and not too distant past leaps more easily to mind.

I shared that I took a break from my patterns and life for a while, to focus and concentrate on who I am, the things I have done and who I am becoming. Some in my life were alarmed at that and others waited, somewhat amused I might add, to see what this break might have in store for me. I could attempt to go into great detail about the myriad of choices, events and emotions that transpired over this time, but that would muddle the waters further about what I am trying to say here today.

As of Friday morning, my break will have ended. Life has come full circle in some ways and I am the most surprised at it all. Through a series of what appeared to be random events I find myself going back to the place I found myself most happy and content. During Pride this last month, I happened to run into Chef Kyle and his extended family at the concert and events we were attending. He was there with his Mom and Dad, as well as his girlfriend, and they had come out to support his younger brother and boyfriend as a family. My friends and I were wandering through the tents and displays when I heard someone shout my name. I turned to find him and his group and I spent some time talking to him and catching up on life. He asked as to how I was doing and what I was filling my time with. I answered in a vague way but he was rather direct. He told me that when my life had settled down, to give him a call and he would be incredibly happy to put me back to work at the Marriott.

Fast forward to this week. I called Bill, my GM at the hotel and conference center and asked to speak with him. We set up an appointment and I came in to talk to him and bring him up to date on all that had transpired since last December. For those not familiar, it was a trying time in my life. Michael, my (I have no idea what label to use here) made a series of choices that culminated in me saving his life, and I was dealing with the aftermath and fall out of those events. When someone you love struggles, everyone hurts and no one is immune to pain. I learned that the choices we make effect so many more people than just ourselves. It is a story I still am not ready to talk about, not even here, but it ends with him currently healthy and well, back to life and work and me single and pursuing my own version of success.

I talked to Bill frankly about this all. He has known me since High School and has been my boss since I started waiting tables at the Stadium Club and on the Plaza. I filled him in on the details and explained where I was at my new job, the goals I had personally with my career, the reasons for my departure last year and my encounter with Kyle, his Executive Chef. We talked about my past performance and he had nothing but good things to say of me and expressed his desire, and the management groups interest in having me back. He let me know he would talk to HR and our VP of Operations on my behalf and contact me with further details.

In short, Chef Kyle called me yesterday and let me know they had my position and place open for me. I accepted, enthusiastically and happily! I feel like I am going home. I have missed my kitchen, my friends and coworkers and the challenges and adventures that the job brought me. I know it sounds crazy, without all the details, but I find myself right back where I started, after a detour through life, love and experience and I have to confess. I am excited. I contacted my current employer and let them know of my decision and to my surprise, they understood and wished me the best of luck. My boss there expressed the sentiment that they knew they would not be able to keep me long. The opportunities and challenges that I thrive on were just not present and we all could see that, even if I was loathe to admit it.

I know my life doesn't make a lot of sense to others. Sometimes the choices I make are confusing and baffling to the friends and family that love and care for me. Life throws us all curves and I usually do not react in the ways others expect or would. I tend to take drastic and decisive action when others would recommend caution and contemplation. I have found, for whatever reason, that it always works out, for me, sometimes in the ways we least expect it to. It has been a strange series of interesting events but I know I have learned a lot through it all, about myself, about others and about the people in my life who love me for exactly who I am.

So here I am again, up early and ready to tackle a new old adventure. A fresh hair cut, vigorous shower and pot of coffee have my day started out right and I have my happy back. Nothing is at it was but things are as they should be. I have no illusions about easy success. This growing up and maturing process is just as baffling as it always has been, but I have learned something. We all need each other, eventually. It is never wrong to ask for help. If we could do it on our own, all the time, we would miss out on all the sharing of life and love with one another. I am thankful for the time I spent away from it all. I am also glad to be back.


Friday, July 20, 2012

The city I call home

I found both of these videos beautiful and compelling. So much captured here that reminds me of my life and growing up. No matter where I may wander, Kansas City will always feel like home.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Same Love

Have time for a listen? Not my usual musical fare but I can dig it. A straight buddy of mine from work shared this with me this morning on Facebook. Support and affirmation feels good. :)


Review and Catch up

I woke up this morning, took a look at the beautiful day and felt I was ready to tackle some writing before I head out and enjoy it. I would like to get some words down to describe these last few weeks, if only to verbally process what I have been feeling and also as an effort to share where I am.

It has been hard. It has also been different. Have you ever had all the events and immensity of life rush suddenly at you, seeming to hit all at once and been overwhelmed by complexity of it all? That is where I found myself. I will try to order these thoughts as they occur to me here.

Time off with nothing to do with leisure and entertainment is not good for me. I feel it may not be good for any man, but I am unable to speak for others. Endless days of what amount to be perpetual weekends left me feeling listless and I was wearing out all of the activities that I always had found joy in. The same things that always brought a smile to my face and spring to my step became ritual and mundane. Since they were no longer special by way of scarcity and scheduling, they had become a routine that pounded the life out of them. This puzzled me. How could I not enjoy all the wonderful, simple things any more? It is like the happy had been sucked out of them and I was left with nothing but force of habit. I learned "familiarity breeds contempt". This applies to both activities and  to people. Too much of a good thing is not healthy. I was missing balance.

I found myself withdrawing further from family, friends and even social activities. Morning would come, I would start my day and never quite manage to get out and about. I was turning down invitations and events, stopped going to my coffee shop or club to hang out with friends, wasn't attending church, in short, beginning to live like a hermit. I threw myself back into books and spent hours reading alone in the quiet of my house. The more I spent time alone, the easier it was to stay alone. With all that solitary time, my mind began to wander. I spent a lot of time thinking and playing piano. Sometimes the music could carry me to different places. All of those places were not bright and life giving. (Chopin and Beethoven certainly know how to emote with sound. Incredibly plaintive and dark indeed, at least the pieces I was exploring.)

I started thinking and pondering my friends and families lives.  I began comparing and contrasting what they had and who they were with who I was and what I had. I started making judgments about why they were more successful and happier than I and found myself in a vicious cycle of longing, jealousy, covetousness, and self pity. I saw all these people that had  love and people.  Love, husbands, wives, children and full, productive lives that seemed to be going somewhere and in juxtaposition to my life, I seemed to fall very, dismally short. My mind turned back to my past and slowly began ticking over all the happier more full times in my own life, when I had a boyfriend  or a partner and huge plans for my future. Then I would look at my life in its current state and begin to despair all over again. I did not have a partner. I am alone. I didn't seem to have a future (or at the least the one I had imagined) and then the incredibly huge task of life and all its tiny little details would attack my mind and make me feel even worse. Was I wrong? Was there something irrevocably flawed with me? Why did my life look so different than everyone else? What was wrong with me?

The long and short of it was, without something constructive to do with my mind and hands, without the challenge of learning and creating, my mind and heart turned in on itself and became self destructive. I only saw myself in the mirror and then I turned to looking at all the things that I did not have instead of being grateful and thankful for all the amazing people, things and experiences I did have. Life had lost its magic, its spark and allure and I was falling deeper into a pit of my own making. Being a prisoner in ones mind is no enjoyable thing I can tell you. The very life is sucked out of each and every day and no end or solution seems to present itself. I cannot begin to explain all the things that upset and bothered me, because to be honest, some days I did not understand the feelings myself. They were without words to quantify.

One morning,  I decided on a change. Just like that. I woke up early feeling completely different with absolutely no explanation for they. Something had to give and the only one piloting this boat was me. I knew I had to fill my time and life with something constructive and creative, so I accepted a Sous Chef position that had been offered to me about a month ago. I had been offered some more prestigious and challenging positions, once people in the business knew I was free, but this one compelled me for different reasons. I have been there for a week now and I can already tell a huge improvement in my life, emotions and demeanor! I love cooking! It has always been a passion.  It is my art.

My last position and company had drained the life and love out of me due to various reasons (schedule, responsibility, staff, work load, creative constraints) but it had not killed that drive to make, experiment and work with food. The first week was hard, as any kind of change can be, especially for me. (I am and always will be a creature of habit and patterns, though I am always changing them. A paradox, I know.)  It is lower position than the one that I left (title, pay, power, advancement, bragging rights as a Chef) for a place not quite as successful or well funded, but it is honest work and an excellent challenge. The loss of position or cut in pay does not bother me, in fact, working in a smaller place with less corporate oversight, personal responsibility, management and training of staff is a welcome change of pace. I go to work. I cook. I feed people. I work with my kitchen crew, who while very young, are certainly motivated, enthusiastic and respond to leadership and coaching well. I certainly have my work cut out for me, but I do enjoy a good challenge. I have some of my joy back and for that I am thankful! It feels good to put my Chef toque on, get into a kitchen and have my knives, tools and pans back in my hands every day. :)

Today is a day off, for real. I can't have a day "off" unless I am working, so now the prospect of getting into the city and enjoying myself holds some actual promise! I don't want to spend all day buried in a book or working around the house, I know what that feels like. I can't say I have totally whipped all those conflicted feelings about others or the bewildering confusing emotions that come over me, but I can say that I am making a conscious choice to be thankful and grateful for the people and things I do have. My life truly is blessed and there are so many people in this world who would love to have my life. I am finding satisfaction in my station and place, regardless of what others may have or be.

I may not be in love or have a boyfriend or partner right now (and in some ways, I am okay with this, as strange as that may sound coming from me!). I may not have children and a family of my own.  I might not have all the answers that I seek and wonder about. I might not be the must successful, richest or most beautiful person I know. I may not be able to do some of the amazing things or have the skills that others can and have. My life might look completely different than others.

It should.

It is mine and I am going to keep living it. :)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Life and time

Everything in life is a blur right now. Exciting, scary, full of all the things that change brings to us when we least expect it.

 I do hope to get back here soon and update on what's been going on, just haven't had the time or words. Time to be off again!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Saying is hard

I have tried to write here a few times the last few days and those efforts haven't made it past a few random sentences and the "are you sure you want to delete this post" stage. It is frustrating when I know I have thoughts, issues and concerns on my mind but am unable to articulate and communicate about them even here, with myself and possible a few observers. I feel bottled up in many ways so this post will probably be a random spewing of words that fumble towards some sort of coherence. If they make any sense along the way, it may be completely incidental.

I miss Michael. I haven't see or talked to him for three weeks since we last went to the market together and he has become silent to my calls or texts. It felt strange that last Sunday because he acted as if we had just met or barely knew each other. I literally felt like a stranger in his presence, from the time I said hello to the time he said goodbye and walked back to his car. I don't know what to think or feel about that, especially in regards to this last turn of events in our lives over the fall, winter and spring. I am confused and hurt but don't know where to find the strength to keep reaching out to him. And of course, I just picked up my phone and texted him now. *sigh*

Any attachments and bonds with Brian I am over. I still don't quite understand what those weeks and months spent with him were about, but I did learn some lessons about myself and the choices other people make. I saw him the other day with another ex of mine and couldn't help but smile to think they had found each other, out of all the other guys in this city. Funny how life turns, yes?

My life patterns are different now. I spend more time at home now than out and about. This has been a big shift for me, but it happened gradually. I don't have as many obligations, events and people to attend to so much of my time is now mine. That seeking, looking, wondering, wandering feeling isn't hanging over my head as it once was. I always felt I was on the verge of missing out on something and had to be going, going, going all the time. (random thought: Why are boing and going not pronounced the same?) Instead of rushing around every morning to get out of the house and be somewhere else, I spend more intentional time at home, working on interests and things that had faded for a while in my heart and mind. I am studiously busy without having to be out and about, every waking moment of every day. I don't really believe I am missing anything and this different pace, I still have yet to make my mind up about it.

I need to say stuff, to get emotions about about stuff that is bothering me and I just can't seem to blurt it out, so I am going to shut up now. It is like everything is crammed up against this little hole poked in the damn of my brain and there is no way it can all get out and the pressure is building up. Whatever. None of it makes sense. Is it possible to be depressed and not know about it? I have been waking up worried lately, with a ton of things on my mind and stressing about the future and all the millions of details I cannot control. I hate being alone. I hate admitting I am not okay all the time. I am anxious that the life path I have chosen isn't going to lead to the future that I had planned for me. I need to shut up.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

I agree

With me

Morning is here and I have started my day early, once again.The promised rain of last night did not appear and all seems quiet and peaceful in the neighborhood. My coffee is made. It is properly doctored (cream and ice) and being sipped and I find my thoughts turning to these last two months of time that has passed.

This week marks 60 days of doing my life completely different and I can confess that I am pleased with the results and also a bit surprised at the things I have learned about myself in this time. I am a quiet person and am at peace. As the days passed by, I found myself turning to more solitary pursuits and enjoying simple things in my own company. While I am not entirely a non-social person, when left to myself, I observe that my best thinking and living comes from time spent entirely with myself.

This pattern is nothing new to me. I think that we all as humans have certain rhythms that mark our lives as the days pass us by. There are times when we are out and about, meeting new people, choosing to spend our time with others and the swirl and hubbub of activity. These seasons of extroversion can be fulfilling and cast our attention nets over large groups of people and events, but in the doing so, our focus on ourselves and true presence at each singular instance is lost in the diversity of it all. Other days come where we then step back from it all and focus inward. Sometimes these changing patterns can be induced by the weather, the cold, inclement days of winter for instance, or even these increasingly hot dog days of summer are a good example as well. For whatever reason, people come and go in our lives and we pick and choose where we place ourselves and for differing reasons.

Much of my adult life has been spent in the company of others, and I am sure that is the case for most, but as I  intentionally live and consider where I most enjoy my investment of time and resources, I find myself more alone than some would be wont to admit. I relish reading. While it can be done in the quiet company of friends, as I often do at my coffee shop or lounging around the pool or in the breezy solace of a park, it is something that is best enjoyed alone. Non-reading people, whatever they might be called, never seem to think one is engaged in much while reading and tend to delight in constant interruption, as they feel that we are not "doing much at all". That is where they err. In reading, I am traveling, thinking and pondering, placing myself in and out of story, a quiet observer or active participant in whatever adventure or information the author has felt of import enough to share with us all, one at a time.

I enjoy music and also spend time listening to it. Over twenty years of my life have been devoted in part to learning to communicate with my piano and hands. I play for hours at a time, when so compelled, and in doing so am able to express and release some of the inner feelings and emotive experiences that so often fail my words. If one is always talking, one cannot truly listen, so while we all share the common experience of public music, we often do so in our own silence, as we absorb and move with the sound that engages us. I truly do not know what music is, but my life is all the richer for it.

Driving is another activity that I participate in, that for me is both entertainment and cathartic. It soothes me and take not only my mind but my body places while doing so. I have devoted a large part of my earned income in life to the machines I enjoy and while not a suitable or comparable replacement to sailing on open water, they share many similar qualities. I do not often place people in my car when I am driving. It is something I prefer to do alone. Every vehicle that I own and have owned over the years are convertibles and there is nothing in this world quite like the top down eating of miles I love in a machine that has been lovingly maintained and enhanced by skills and tools that I have been gifted with from my Dad. Cars and all things automobile are a passion and truly a part of the rich family life and history that make us who we are.

I need to enjoy these seasons that come and go. All too soon, my life will be full once again with the noise, activity and cacophony of shared life with friends and family. In treasuring this time that I have carved out for myself, I find myself. In knowing myself I am then able be present for those who need more than themselves. I will keep these quiet times close to me. The are my interior life and foundation that everything else seems to be built on. The time for sharing once again will soon be upon me.

I am growing. I can feel it.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why I don't care.

So...I tend to be all over the place for the majority of the time, not only physically a wanderer, but also philosophically. One only needs to peruse the few years of my blog here to realize, at best, I can be self-contradictory about many ideas and issues. The one thing that does not seem to alter with time is the fact that I hold my opinions and thoughts in a rather strong manner. I rarely hesitate to speak up and ramble on about whatever topic or event has gotten wedged into my head. Obvious statement is obvious, especially to those friends of mine who bother sifting through all the nose and random crap here.

That being said, I have noticed something about myself in the last month that started with a blog post and has started to take root in my own life. I am intentionally choosing not to engage with the people and ideologies that upset me or that I feel are unjust or flat out incorrect. Usually, when I see something that I believe to be false and harmful, my first instinct has been to attack it and attempt to voice my opinion and beliefs about why I feel it is inherently untrue or damaging to myself or others like me. As the days have gone by since my blog post about a paradigm shift, This Post, I have seen a slow tapering off of such behavior. I cannot say it has been instant or even consistent, but as I read different news articles, engage with friends and strangers in conversation and peruse other blogs with differing world views, I have found myself refusing, at times, to waste my words and energy engaging with people who have no interest in dialogue beyond convincing me in some fashion that they are right and the sole holders of "Truth".

Now, looking at posts after that, I can see it hasn't always been a case of a clear shift towards a less argumentative and less volatile daemon, but it is happening, both in the world of social media and my day to day life. When I encounter things that upset me, people choosing other paths and at times, blatant lies and harmful rhetoric, I am choosing to not even bother engaging them. They don't want to hear what I think and believe. Nothing has ever been accomplished by argument. No one has ever changed my mind and heart about anything by verbally lambasting me, so why have I wasted so much of my own time, attempting to do the same?

I have this new calm voice in my head that speaks up now and says, "I don't care." When people want to argue about politics or religion, it says, "I don't care." When they try to emotionally get me invested in their poor choices and guessed it. "I don't care."

This may sound like apathy at a first glance and that in some way I have become resigned to the injustice, abuse and ugliness in the world that I live in, but I beg to differ. The difference lies in what that same voice says, "I do care" about. I am choosing to care about and support those whom by their choices, words and actions show me they want a different and better world for themselves and others. The are not reactive as I have been in the past. They do not let other small minded and exclusive individuals pick the stage and arena for their abuse, bigotry and hate, whether it is cloaked in the mantle of faith or politics. They care to do, say and act in ways that bring about life and peace for themselves and those aligned with them. They choose not to waste their time with others who seek not truth or equality, but distortion, obfuscation, falsehood and discrimination. To engage with such people wastes our most precious commodity in life. Our time.

So now when people get under my skin, when their words hurt and malign me and others like me, "I do not care". I choose to care for what I believe in. I choose to engage and live life with people like myself. I do not accept the role of an adversary but am concentrating on living my life by what I believe in instead of letting my time be defined by what I am against. I want to live for, not against. I do not bemoan the time I feel has been wasted, for in it, I have found myself a different path. When we stop engaging with those who dream or posit themselves our enemies, both real and imagined, we become less than authentic and resign ourselves to living beneath who we can be.

This isn't happening over night. I still get upset when I see mean spirited and cruel people trying to control others for their own motives, but I am trying to remember to stop, step back, disengage and then use that energy to motivate me to do something that helps another person. When we stop resisting those who yell, scream, kick, condemn and taunt us, they lose their audience and in that...their power. Their worst nightmare is to be ignored and I hope to help make that happen for all of them. A self proclaimed martyr with no persecutor is nothing but a person committing social suicide. To care for them more humanely is to not add any fuel to the fire they have started to immolate themselves for their perceived cause. If they want to burn, then that is their choice. I will keep walking and looking for open hands to hold, open minds to engage with and open lives to share.

If I can remember to do this, my life and my world will be all the richer for it.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The signs we are

My brain is not awake and yet I am writing. I had the oddest thought this morning when I woke up. I saw or imagined myself standing at the light of a busy intersection in my city, as panhandlers and the homeless often do, holding a sign that stated, "I do not need anything from you. I only wanted to know what it feels like to be ignored, to be invisible, to be the guy that you avoid eye contact with. I am a person. Look at me if you realize this."

That got me to thinking just now of all the people that see me everyday, who know my face, who inhabit my pattern of life, who see me as part of their pattern and yet do not see me. I know that I see them. I am always looking at everyone, all the time. I wonder about them and who they are. Do they wonder about me? Do they muse to themselves who all of these different people are, as I do?

I go to my coffee shop just about every day, when my life and schedule permits it. It is hard to believe that it has been a part of my life in this city since I turned 16 years old and started to drive. It really was my first window into an unknown world of strangers. Each time I have moved away, I have missed that place, not only for the coffee and time spent there, but for the emotional lodestone that it has continued to be in my life. A part of my pattern if you will. I can distinctly remember watching the sunrise over the ocean on immensely difficult mornings in the Navy and hoping, wishing I could think myself back there, back to home if only I thought long and hard enough about it. Each time I tried it never worked but then one day in 2006, while watching the sunrise I realized I was there. I was here. I was back home.

There are times in my life when it is full of people. Different groups I have been in, circles of friends, people who have made my daily existence rich with their presence and there are other times when I am rather solitary. Some years I have lived my life reaching out and letting others in and other seasons I withdraw back into myself and tend to keep my own company. I like seeing people. I do like knowing them but rarely have I ever let them know much of me.

The facts of my life are always rather easy to share with others. What I have done, where I have been, the choices I have made and the experiences I have had, that is the simple part. The emotions and feelings behind all those collections of days, now that is a matter altogether different. There lies the rub. Letting others into that space, to know how I feel and ponder is a small circle indeed and usually only inhabited by one person at a time. No one lives with me right there. This seems to be a season of walking alone.

I don't mind my own company but I do miss sharing. People come and go out of my life. Usually, for whatever reason they all eventually fade. I seem to have perfected the art of traveling, of moving on, even when I am standing still.

What does all this mean? I have no idea really. I know that I am not invisible. I realize that people see me. When I look up from whatever is occupying my mind and eyes, I see them, seeing me. I still cannot help but wonder why they don't say something to me. If I caught their attention enough to look, look back and continue to look, then why the silence of words? Another question is, when I look and see them seeing me, why do I not say something. The lack of connection lies with us both. What would happen if I start talking to them instead of merely being present. Would it interrupt our lives? Would it shake and disorder the entire pattern? Would they have anything to say? Could they finally ask the questions that I see on their faces? Being known. It has its own worries.

I will not make that sign. There will be no time spent standing holding it at some intersection as my city and world passes me by. I have no need of a poster with words scrawled on it. I am the poster. The words are on my face and body. Who sees me? I see other people. Maybe the answer is in a smile, a simple hello. Maybe it is time to start looking past the words on their own signs and faces and start intersecting with them. Intentionally touching lives. That could be a way to live. It may just change things. It always has in the past.


Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm not a slut anymore

Yeah, weird title I know, but this thought really just occurred to me. I woke up, took a piss, washed my face, looked outside, read up on my news, looked some other blogs on my feed, skimmed some random crap theology thing and decided I don't care anymore and then realized...I am not a slut anymore.

Just tripping back through some time here, the last guy I slept with was my boyfriend. Jumping back before him, also my boyfriend. I know my memory isn't the best, but I honestly haven't hooked up with a friend or some guy I met since, well I am not sure? I remember the last three guys I have dated. I can see their faces, bodies and cocks in my mind and I honestly am trying to remember anyone in between and I can't really recall. I am not saying it hasn't happened but it really doesn't jump into my mind. I am sure one of my friends will read this and remind me of someone or some night that I have forgotten, and I will have to eat some of my words, but I really have cooled it down on being a man whore. When did this happen?

For example, I am single right now, have been for a while and haven't hooked up with anyone, not even one of my FWB's. I have had other things on my mind. My life has been fill of other things, activities and people besides potential sex partners. I still think about and talk about sex a lot, but I don't spend my free time hunting it. I am not really looking for a relationship either, which is another odd though that just occurred to me. I used to abhor the idea of being alone, not being in a relationships and sharing my life with another guy I cared about and who cared for me, but now, I am okay with just myself, walking this road life thing.

I used the word "anymore" instinctively in my title because I know I used to be a slut. I really did nail, or get nailed, by just about anyone that caught my eye and a weeks full of adventures was always a great diversion and past time. I wasn't interested in a relationship with them and just was enjoying sampling my way through all the different guys that came across my life. Blowing off steam, I guess? Having a great time, for sure. I would settle down when I found someone that I liked for a while, but always picked back up where I left off, when those relationships ended. I certainly don't want to talk numbers or details, that wouldn't paint me in a good light, but reality and truth is what it is. A day usually doesn't go by when I am out and about in my city that I don't see at least one guy I have slept with. I don't kiss and tell. Maybe that is one of the reason's I pulled so much tail? Whoever they were knew I was down to fuck and play without the strings of relationship or disclosure. What happened between us stayed with us, unless we pulled in someone else to share. It's not like I was sleeping with total strangers.

Okay, this post is going nowhere good fast, but what can I expect with this kind of title? The truth is, I have been a slut. I am also not saying I won't be a slut again. That usually has been my pattern since High School when I am single. I really don't know what the future holds, but I highly doubt that I will. Should the title read, "I'm not a slut right now"? I dunno...

I really don't have anything else on my mind but there ya go. That is what popped into my head. This is what I shared. Even when I don't like what I write, I should get back to sharing this kind of stuff again. It gets it out of my head and is a more authentic and raw slice of my life. Sorry guys, I am not a slut anymore/right now. I think I am good with that.

What the hell is going on with me?