Secrets And Lies

I know I promised not to post about Tim, but that was a lie….and I kept that fact a secret.  See what I did with the title there? 

But in all reality, this post is about me (mostly).  After Tim’s passing in February, I’ve had mood swings like it ain’t nobodys business.  But I’ve kept most of them to myself.  There are days of sadness and crying, days where I curse myself for putting up with some of crap I hated about him, and days where I am actually at peace with his passing. The ups and downs are extreme at times. 

There are a lot of secrets I’ve kept hidden away from people. Some of my friends know a few things, a few others know a few other things, but no one knows all my secrets. And as very few of my friends read what I write (though many think it is “super cool” I have a blog) I seriously doubt any of them will read this.Although, that is kind of the meaning of “secret”.

One secret, that itsn’t really so secret is that I miss him. Not all the time, like I am not sitting around pining over the fact he died, but there are times I do miss him terribly. He was not only my partner, but my best friend for over a decade.  A lot of little things I see or hear and I immediately want to tell him, but he’s not there to tell anymore. 

Another secret is that I do have days that I think about him (probably) more than I should. These are the days I sit and listen to sad music that had a significant impact on Tim and I’s life together. I cry, I get sad, I remember good and bad times, and I long to talk to him again.  I’m not sure what I’d say honestly, but the feeling is there. 

There are secrets about me that have little or nothing to do with Tim as well.  Since I separated from him a year and a half ago, I’ve been a bit of a man whore. I’ve tried some things sexually that I would would never have tried with him, just to see if it interested me at all. There are several “fetishes and/or kinks” That I have realized I do enjoy. I’m not going into that now, though, perhaps that is another topic entirely. 

I’m secretly starting to hate anything associated with what should be called “Family”.  When Tim died in February, his family and I got together and they swore I was family to them and they would be there, that was their lie. The day of his memorial, my family abandoned me in my time of need, in which I in turn abandoned them all together. I do not care to speak to any of them, for any reason.  The friends I once considered my family, since we were so close, also have disappeared into the void of other people.  It’s not a secret that I am alone the biggest portion of my day, everyone is well aware that they aren’t there.  

It is a secret that I prefer to be alone. Every time I’ve attempted to be social, it just makes me miss sitting at home alone. I have a few friends I’ve hung out with one on one, and that is fine, but crowds terrify me. It’s gotten so bad that I’ll go to the fitness center in my apartment complex and leave if anyone else shows up….regardless if I am done or not. I just can’t stand being around most people. 

Lies are dishonesties that are usually told to other people. But at times, we lie to ourselves everyday. I am usually a horrible liar. My face flushes, I twitch, I sweat…but there have been some little lies that I’ve told recently that even I’m starting to believe. 

The biggest lie I tell is that I’m fine.  Fine. How could anyone be fine after losing their best friend, their lover, the other half of their soul?  I’m not fine at all. I’m lonely, I’m heartbroken, I’m sad, but I am not “fine”.  I don’t want other people to pity me, nor do I want to see that sad look on other people’s face if I told them how I really feel.  It seems easier to just say “I’m fine” than have to explain things. 

Another lie I tell is that what I do in the evening.  People often ask how my night went after work or how my days off were.  I usually respond with what I think will garner the least amount of questions. “I just watched some tv” or “I went to the gym” or “I just read my book” are some popular answers I say.  When, in all reality, those may not be complete lies, they are never the whole story.  I often do sit and watch tv, but what I really mean by that is I vegged out on my couch and chain smoked while binge watching tv like a fat slob.  I do go to the gym occasionally, but since Tim’s death I could probably count the times I’ve went on my fingers, I just appear to be going a lot because I don’t eat like I should and I continue to lose weight. I do read on occasion, but not like I used to…I tend to find similarities to Tim in things I read and that hurts, so I don’t do it often.  In all honesty, I spend my evenings and days off either binge watching tv, napping (I can’t seem to sleep enough), or listening to music and singing along with my headphones on. 

I lie about sex. I either lie and don’t mention that I’ve had moments of weakenss and actually had sex, or if I do mention it I lie and concoct some story about how they (the other guy) pursued me and it may be something…when the truth is there have been times I haven’t even known their name. There have been a few times that those lies are true, but not always. Even after a sexual encounter I usually feel so digusted with myself that it happened that I don’t tell a soul. It’s like that feeling when you are going through puberty and you start masterbating and it’s another guy that gets you off, but you have that “oh no, I’m gay” guilt feeling. I have not missed that. 

I find myself keeping a lot of secrets and telling a lot of lies.  They are personal secrets that aren’t anyone else’s business anyway, and the lies are little white lies that aren’t really hurting anyone (shy of my mental health), but they are secrets and lies all that same.  I know that it isn’t doing me any favors by keeping to myself, nor lying about it, but it’s how I cope.  I’ve always fancied myself a strong person that can take care of my own problems, but I’m not sure that this is working through my loss.  I also don’t really WANT to open up about it to other people. I think Tim and I’s relationship was private, and there is but one person on this earth that actually knows the story…me. I’m not searching for answers, just ranting. 

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Social Experiment: Grindr Late Nights

I have had grindr on my phone since initially leaving Tim last year. I usually only turn it on on my days off of work, but I do pay for their Xtra premium service, so I get offline messages.  One of the great (or not so depending on how you feel) features is that you can set it to keep your phone active, meaning your phone won’t go to sleep.  I tend to turn it on and leave it on while not paying the slightest attention to it about once a month so my phone will die, then I can charge it fully afterwards.  It’s a weird quirk I have, don’t judge me.

Wednesday, I decided to turn it on.  I have a few chat buddies on there, and I’m not going to lie….sometimes the eye candy is great to look at.  After a couple hours of my phone sitting next to me silently, I quit paying attention.  I decided to leave it on so the phone would die while I took a bath, cleaned my bathroom, and did some laundry.  wasn’t paying any attention to my phone at all for hours.  I figure that if I got any messages, the same thirsty bitches would be back tomorrow when I (might) feel like answering them.  

My phone must have been unattended about 6 hours when I finally noticed it had died.  So I plugged it in and began the charge.  As it was charging, I looked to see if I had missed anything.  I did have a few messages… mostly consisting of “Hey”, “what’s up”, “are you a top?”, and my personal favorite “dick pics?”.  

But the astounding part of this little experiment wasn’t that I got the messages, I get those type of messages so often I have learned to ignore them.  But rather the time I got them (the messages have a time stamp).  Apparently I am the guy you hit on once everyone else has turned you down.  I’m like the homely guy in the bar at last call that only gets spoken to because everyone else has hooked up and went home.  A bit upsetting, but as I am not really there to hook up, I’ll live.  It is a bit hurtful though.  

Perhaps I ought to state clearly in my profile that I’m never going to want to fuck at 3am, but that seems like a waste of space since you only have 255 characters to describe yourself. Maybe I should change it to only say “NO”, but that is rather rude to the people (the extremely rare people) that I do have conversations with.  I’m not a complete prude, I won’t say that I haven’t hooked up, but that’s not really my goal with any app, social media, or chat function on my phone. 

But I’ll keep the app, and keep chatting with my friends from there, maybe even meeting for drinks or something occasionally. But I’ll start shutting it off earlier so I don’t feel like the last minute choice…. 

Dating Is Hard

This blog should alternatively be called “Why Does Everyone Want To Cuddle”.  

I am a member of a culture that seems to idolize youth and beauty.  It’s not something to be proud of really, but there it is.  Gay men in general (not all, don’t get your panties in a twist) seem to all want a young, skinny, pretty boy. Or the extreme opposite, they want a big burly manly man.  Though the majority of us are somewhere in the middle, it’s the stereotypes we have to deal with.  

I recently decided to be open to dating.  After separating from my husband, I went out a few times, Then after his untimely death, I went on a hiatus again.  It’s been seven and a half months since he passed, so I recently decided to try again.  However, it is proving more difficult than I had anticipated. 

I’ve met several guys that just want sex, but that would be normal for any demographic. I’ve met some that “just want to be friends”, translating to “I want to get to know you before we have sex”. You usually know this type right off, they don’t really like to make plans ahead of time, and they want to “hang out” rather thango to dinner, a movie, or any other activity.  Granted, I am a different type of date. Taking me to dinner is fine, but I’d rather go hiking, go to a museum, or go to an event where we can talk, but there are things to talk about should there be a lull in the conversation.  I don’t like movies for dates in the beginning of a relationship because you are essentially two people sitting quietly in the dark.  There is no fun in that. 

Another type of guy I am encountering is the over talker.  There are two types of these. One, they want to talk about themselves constantly without an reciprocation in the conversation. It’s like they feel compelled to give you their entire life’s story in a couple hours.  Two, the ones that asks so many questions about me and my life that I go away from the date not kowing anything about them.  Conversation is a two way street.  It’s fine to ask questions, but you must be prepared to answer them.  As a general rule in ANY conversation, I try not to ask any question about people that I am not prepared to answer myself.  But a great conversation is a give and take. You need to talk and be open as well as listen to what the other is saying. 

Then there are the cuddlers.  Sometimes the fall into the first group, where they think that is a precursor to sex, but I’m finding several that legit just want to cuddle up on the couch and watch tv or something. I. Hate.This. I have a hard time sitting still. Very rarely can I ever sit and watch a show or movie for more than a half hour, let alone lay there holding onto someone for the length of a movie. I’m not opposed to people that want to cuddle, if it’s your thing, go for it.  What astounds me is the people that get all bent out of shape because I don’t want to. It’s NOT my thing, I don’t like to remain idle that long.  I am an active person,  be respectful of that. 

There are the guys that ask you out, you go, then all the sudden they think you are in a relationship. Hold on there buddy! One date doesn’t constitute a relationship.  I’m not that fast moving.  Take me out several times, THEN we can discuss where things are going.  These type are usually the ones that think “OMG, I found a guy. I must plan my future with them immediately!” I just don’t operate that way.  

My personal favorite is the guy that asks you out, is a great conversationalist, talks and listens…but then asks about why I’m single.  So I tell them an extremely brief synopsis of my past relationship, (I have this down “I was with my ex for 13 years, married for 11, I left him due to his personal issues, then 10 months later he passed away”….short and to the point).  Suddenly after that one sentence, I am either too hung up on my past, I am not over my ex, or I talk about him too much. Even if I do not mention him at all otherwise.  The thing is, I’m not ever going to be “over him”, but I realize that he is gone and I need to move on with my life. I am exremely conscience of what I say about him, so as not to talk too much about him.  But with that being said, he is a large part of my past and he or the experiences I had with him are bound to come up at some point. I do NOT present him as someone I am sitting around pining for anything like that.  

I am not desperate for a date, nor a relationship.  I am perfectly content on my own.  I’m not one of those people that need to be with someone and can’t stand to be alone. You know the type, bouncing from one relationship to the next and not taking any time to learn from them or realize what they want for themselves.  The type that meet a guy and they are “so in love” two days later.  I’m just like that. I don’t understand the ones who are. 

Surely there are guys out there that enjoy the dating aspect.  Taking time, getting to know one another, and respect the fact that everyone has a past and some kind of baggage attached.  

Dating Wishlist

As of last Thursday, July 20th, I have lived alone for one year. Though I left Tim in May, we cohabitated for a couple months prior to my moving. But having spent a year alone, I’m ready to date again.  Sure there have been times I thought that before, numerous times in fact, but I don’t think I so much actually wanted to date, but I was bored or lonely or just sought some attention from someone that wasn’t a cat. Tim’s death put a definate setback in my dating.  It was sad, and I’ll always have a place in my heart for him.  But with that being said, I’m at a place where I’m ready to get back out there and have some coversation that doesn’t entail a “meow”.  

Having had over a year to consider dating again, I’ve realized that not just any Tom, Dick, or Harry is going to satisfy my needs and wants in a relationship.  It will have to be someone special, someone who puts forth an effort, and is patient with me.  I’m difficult to get to know, I’m somewhat reclusive, I’ve been through a major loss, I’ve been burned by love before, and I’m approaching “gay death” (turning 40).  So it will take a special individual to win my heart. It will also take time to do so, I’m not looking for a quick journey here. 

I’ve put together a wishlist of things I’d like to find in a mate. I’ve left off a few obvious things like being male (I’m gay, duh), and physical characteristics that I find attractive (as they are not necessarily requirements), and comon sense things like don’t be a thief or murderer (for obvious reasons).  But I’m listing things I’d like to find in a personality, in a life, and in a soul. 

Here it goes:

-I want someone who is supportive without being judgemental. I have several things that I enjoy doing, that is who I am. I don’t want someone who is going to judge because I read too much, or that I am far more entertained staying at home rather than being in a crowd of people.  Accept me for who I am

-I want someone that will not try to change me. I have a rather strong personality and I am pretty set in my ways.  Don’t try to change me, but rather care enough to respect my limitations and let me make the decision to try new things with you on my own. I don’t want to be changed by you, but allow me to change myself to keep you happy. Relationships are a give and take, compromise is a key element. But forcing someone to change is a no-go for me. 

-I want someone acepting of my past. In the past year, I have become a widower. I’m never going to not love my husband, but that doesn’t mean I cannot love again in the future.  Accept that he was a big part of my life and realize that he will always be in my memory and in my heart. There is plenty of room for more than one there.

-Be respectful of my limits and wishes. I am a recovering drug addict, and I lost my husband to drugs.  They are a definite turn off for me. I do not want them around me, nor in my home. Crowds of people are very hard for me, at times I can handle them, other times I cannot. Do not make me be in one if I am not comfortable doing so (forewarning is a good way to get me there). 

-Be adventurous. I do like to try new things, but at my own pace. I love to hike and I like to discover new trails and see new places. I want someone who I can share this with, and maybe find a new hobby with. There are several things I thik sound appealing, but I have never tried, maybe our lists cross or I would discover something new.

I want someone encouraging. I am a former fatty, I once topped the scales at 312 pounds.  I’m below 200 now, but I am still working to achieve my goals.  I don’t want someone that is superficial and can’t get on board with the fact that my body is not perfect. I am a work in progress, and I will have many years of hard work to get where I want to be and to maintain it once I get there. Respect the fact that I do work hard towards my goals and be encouraging to help me get there. 

-I want someone open minded, sexually speaking. There are a lot of things I have heard of or seen that I would like to try. I’m not saying I’d like all of them, and some I may not like at all.  But after spending over a decade with the same man, having the same sex, and not having any variety (his biggest downfall prior to the drugs), I’m ready to have an exciting lover.  Spice it up!

-I want to be able to have a conversation. I’m not saying we have to agree on everything, but being able to talk to someone that isn’t an unsufferable know-it-all, or close minded on new topics, or has a limited range of knowledge is a turn off.  I’m not looking for a genius, just a man that can hold a conversation. 

-I want someone that has their own life. I don’t want to be with anyone 24/7. Hell, I even annoy myself sometimes. I do not want anyone that can’t accept that I like to be alone at times.  I have hobbies (reading, writing, and hiking mostly) and I like to enjoy them alone sometimes. I would hope to find someone that his own hobbies apart from mine. Maybe we can do them together at times, maybe it is your own thing. But I don’t want to spend all day every day with anyone.  

-I want someone honest.  Too many times I’ve met people, both dates and not, that are not truthful.  Sometimes they are just saying what the think you want to hear, others they are trying to spare your feelings about something. I hate that. I am a very upfront person, if I don’t like something, I say so. If I have a character flaw you don’t like, say so. If I am anoying you, say so. Maybe it’s something I don’t even realize about myself. I will definately let you know if there is something that bugs me.

-I want someone loyal. Obviously when I meet someone I don’t expect you to cease talking to others, but should we begin to get serious, I don’t want to compete with someone else for your attetion. Exclusivity can and will be discussed at the appropriate time.

-I want someone caring. Everyone says this, but I mean it this way.  Not everything I enjoy doing is going to necessarily appeal to you, but if I am excited about something, be caring enough to listen and be supportive even if it isn’t something you care about directly.  Care that I care. 

These are the tings I wish for. Obviously there is going to be some give and take in any relationship and no one (not even I) is going to check off every box you want in life.  You have to take the good with the bad sometimes and that is as good as it gets. But hese are just a list of wishes that I thik are obtainable goals in a relationship. 

Writing 

I have started a separate page for my writing. Though still attached to this page, I think it will be a good outlet to display the creativity I usually hold back, but keep it separate from the rants I may post here on the main page. 

It will be mostly short stories, but I may include some fan fiction I have rattling around in my brain. I do have a few stories with reoccurring characters that I have on paper (yes, people still use that), that I may type here. 

Most have to do with the supernatural, as that is mostly what I read as well, but there may be a few other genres thrown in. 

If you would like to follow, click here. It’s a bit bare at the moment, but in still typing furiously. If only I could stop re-editing as I type…I am my own worst critic. 

Thank you in advance!    -Jason

A Year Of Selfishness And Sadness

***I wrote this on May 28, 2017, but was unsure whether to publish. I’ve decided to do so now, to clear my conscience and attempt to move forward in my life.***
One year ago today, May 28th, I chose I to separate from my husband. The decision had been building for a few months prior, but today marks d-day. There were several factors that influenced my decision, and I’ve hinted at or sugar coated a few of them over the last year (though sporadically). But today, I’d like to set the record straight in order to clear my conscience and start to move on. 

I loved my husband dearly. I will always love him. I’ve stated numerous reasons why in past blogs, and those that know me personally have heard me speak highly of him over the years, and especially since his death in February. He was funny, kind, adventurous, creative, and loving. Not to mention, extremely intelligent and gorgeous. 

But, with that being said, no one is perfect and he had his flaws. Early in our relationship, he suffered, as the result of an accident, chronic pain in his back. It took a while, but he finally found a combination of meditation that allowed him to get through the day, though the pain never left. He managed well for several years through his pain, as well as his diabetes and insomnia. 

His downfall began in stages. First the insomnia started driving him a bit crazy. There were several nights he woke me up, because he had gotten to the point where if he wasn’t sleeping, no one else was either. He tried exercise and other forms of things to exhaust himself, even tried a few different sleep aids. Nothing really helped much. I strongly suspect that it was mostly mental, as he was never great at working through his issues, but I wasn’t in his head so I cannot say for sure. Eventually he turned to drinking before bed. Every. Night. He would drink and drink until, many times, I either had to carry him to bed or leave him wherever he passed out. As a recovering addict, I saw the warning signs that he was becoming dependent on the alcohol. I brought it up a few times, but the argument wasn’t worth it. I thought to myself, at least he’s drinking and not being a drug addict, laying in a gutter somewhere. 

After years of unfortunate events in Indiana, where we lived, we decided to move to the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Once we moved, his downward spiral went further. Until this point, though he was drinking, he wasn’t abusing the medications he was taking. The first few months, things seem to carry on as usual. But then I started noticing that he was being twitchy at times. I asked, he said he had run out of his pills. There were a myriad of excuses, hard day’s at work, helped move this or that for a friend, must have slept in a weird position, etc. The list of reasons he “needed” to up his own dosage went on and on. But the fact he wasn’t taking them as prescribed was a giant red flag for me. I expressed my concern, often and loudly. But I loved him, and I believed his excuses. I was thankful he was not buying illegal drugs, thankful he was only having a few days of withdrawal rather than turning to substances that could kill him. 

Then, the shadiness started. Missing money, periods he couldn’t give a reasonable explanation of his whereabouts, middle of the night calls or trips to “the gas station”, coming home from work and staying in the bathroom for an hour. I knew he was up to something, I just wasn’t sure what. I wasn’t sure if he had started doing something illegal, or if he was buying more of the pills he was prescribed, or what the issue was. By this time, I had argued with him enough. If I was going to confront this, I wanted definitive proof, so there was no possibility for excuses or lies. Every time he left the house, I would go through his things. I looked for pills, money hidden away, other drugs, any physical proof that he was an addict. Shy of the mountain of wine bottles and empty liquor bottles that made our trash clink. 

I found nothing. Actually nothing. I couldn’t even find the pills he was supposed to be taking, let alone anything extra. I found nothing but bills he was hiding from me. We were further in debt than I had ever imagined. At that point, I had had enough. I began making plans to rectify the financial crisis he had got us in and if that lead to me leaving, so be it. He absolutely refused to admit he was doing anything, and the excuses about the money were piling up so high he couldn’t keep up with his own lies about it. I took all the bill paying rights away from him, I took care of it, though every time I asked for money to help pay them he never seemed to have any money. It was always a bad day at work, or he gave the wrong change, or what he made went to gas and food (he waited tables and made tip money daily). So I went without personally, until I could get us in a better place. I legitimately went to work, came home and read books I already owned, and rarely ate anything but the food he brought home for both of us. Any bonuses from work and my tax refund money went to playing catch up. He was suspicious, told all of his friends and family that I was preparing to leave him. I was in a way, but that decision really lay with him. If he had cleaned himself up, I would have stayed. 

Finally, in early 2016, I had us in a decent place financially. I had gotten a raise, a few bonuses, and had gone without any luxuries of my own, but I did it. I think it was in January that I gave him “THE” ultimatum. Sober up, or I’m gone. I will give him an A for appearance, he rarely drank in front of me, he didn’t seem strung out, I noticed no calls or trips during odd hours. While I was sure he hadn’t just stopped all of the sudden, he was at least putting forth an effort I could live with. Our tenth anniversary was in February, and it was a fun day. He kept up appearances for most of the month. By mid March, however, he was starting to slip again. I noticed his money wasn’t adding up, or he’d bring home dollar menu stuff even though he’d been at work all day. He’d come home and immediately go to the bathroom for a half hour or more, he was very secretive about his shoulder bag (where he kept his insulin and other medications) and his car. He admitted to being in a pill swap with a lady he worked with, just because they were on the same thing and ran out at different times.  

I could see the problem. As a recovering addict, I know that no one is going to get help unless they want help. He didn’t feel he had a problem. I spent the remainder of March and April deciding what I should do. I loved him, I wanted the old him back, but was I prepared to stick to my word and leave? Every conversation I had with him about a possible dependency issue turned into an argument. I didn’t know his pain, I didn’t know what it was like, etc. But sadly, I did. I had beaten my demons long ago, I did understand the struggle, I did understand the fear of dealing with the issues. I reached out to his family and friends….help me with him, or I will leave. I didn’t want to make it about me, his issues had nothing to do with me other than I ignored them so long long that they had become bigger issues. I used the argument that if I left, he couldn’t make it on his own and they’d be dealing with the same issues that I had been for years. In hindsight, I probably should have used a different tact in my argument. I became the bad guy. Those closest to him hadn’t dealt with him on a day in, day out basis like I had and it was easier for him to hide his vices. It was easier for him to deceive them into believing his stories. 

On May 28, 2016 we got into a fight. I don’t even remember what about, but I told him I was done. I could not and would not watch him kill himself anymore. I loved him, but I couldn’t do it anymore. We were in a lease, but I was willing to finish it out without him, I was already paying all the bills anyway. He was free to go and do whatever he chose. He refused to leave, I wasn’t kicking him out of his own home. I said fine, you can’t afford to live here alone, so I guess we’ll be very uncomfortable roommates until August, when our lease was up. 

And uncomfortable is an understatement. I slept on the couch, he stayed in the bedroom 90% of the time. During those awkward months, he made me out to be the worst guy possible. That I left him because of our lack of a sex life, that I was just an asshole and not thinking of anyone but myself, and that I was being selfish. I was in a way, I didn’t want to watch him die due to drugs, the way many of my friends had. I guess I was selfish for not wanting to lose the man I loved to an addiction problem. I let him vilify me, I made no effort to stop it. If he wanted people to know that I was an asshole, so be it, whatever made him feel better while trying to cope. I didn’t expect to see any change in his addiction while we still lived together, and I didn’t. Though it may have gotten worse as I was no longer keeping tabs on him. I actually expected it to get worse, as it always does before it gets better. 

I got another apartment, in our complex. I wanted to stay in the area, and he liked it here. I really thought that living apart after ten years would be the shock he needed to say hey, I have a problem. I didn’t tell him, or anyone for that matter, why I was staying in the area. I didn’t want him holding on and having false hope that I was going to somehow be magically okay with his drug addiction. I wanted him clean and sober. So I moved two buildings away in late July. For about ten days or so, he lived in our apartment alone. While I was moving, we had several heated discussions about who got what. I fought him for nothing. The few things I had prior to meeting him, I kept. I made it clear that we had two tvs, and I was taking one, but I let him choose which. I took nothing he wanted, except the couch. He only conceded that because he couldn’t get it in his storage unit. He kept the bed, the bigger tv, most of the furniture, all but a few items of the cookware, the curtains, the wall decor, mostly everything. I didn’t fight for it because I assumed eventually, he’d be coming back. 

He moved in with an “old friend” (that I hadn’t heard of in the ten years I’d lived with him), and I had hoped he would move in with his family. I wanted them to see how bad he had gotten. I had told them of course, but it’s wholly different to see it for oneself. He only lasted at this friends house for a few months. He lost his job and started working in a bar. He was getting worse from the few reports I was getting from his best friend, Stacee. By the end of the year, he was living with her. She had secretly reached out to me to ask how to deal with him. The concerns I had, she now had. She was finally seeing first hand what I had been trying to say for a very long time. She was concerned he was doing more and more illegal drugs than he was admitting to. She reported to me instances of blackouts, missing money, and several other things I had been experiencing while I still lived with him. I feared for him. My “plan” to shock him sober wasn’t working. Though he and I had spoken a few times, nicely at that, he wanted no part of me. I was just the dickhead that broke his heart. 

On new year’s eve, Stacee called me. She was having a party at her house, and Tim was supposed to be working. He had called her and said his car was stuck in a ditch and he couldn’t get out, could she come get him, he was close to home (her house). Her and her brother went to get him. He was utterly fucked up. He had somehow nosedived his car into a ravine, didn’t know where he was, had lost his teeth (he had dentures), and couldn’t even make a coherent sentence. Stacee reached her breaking point and kicked him out. She called his dad to come get him and she left all his stuff on the porch, telling him to stay in her car, since it was cold. She went to check on things a bit later and he was in someone else’s car, not hers, and he didn’t even know it. He said he was looking for a cigarette. When his dad showed up to get him, he was laying on the cold concrete of her porch. She helped get him, his stuff, and the cat in the car with his dad and brother. I thought FINALLY, he’s going to be in an environment where he can get some help. Surely his dad will get him the help he needs. 

His car had been towed out of the ravine, his dad got that back and his teeth were found in the ravine. I don’t know much about his time at his parent’s house, but apparently he had turned a new leaf. He had started a job he liked, was cooking and cleaning up after himself, and was seeming to be ok. But his parents are over the road truck drivers and they left him alone to go on a run. They weren’t gone all that long when they had a little accident of their own and had to come home on February 1st to find him dead in the bathroom. 

The worst thing in the world had happened. The man I loved was dead. There were heroin packets near his body. He had gotten into very lethal drugs. This is exactly what I was so afraid of. I can’t even imagine what his dad went through that night, or will go through forever. I felt like a coward. This is exactly what I was running from. I didn’t want to be the one who found him. That’s why I tried pushing him away, to jolt him into realizing he had a problem. But he lost his battle with his demons. 

I’ve posted several blogs about Tim, both good memories and of how I feel about his death, so I won’t go into that here. But this day will always be sad for me, as it is the day I gave up. Would the circumstances be different had I chose not to leave? I don’t know, I think he was spiraling out of control and this may have happened anyway. I’ll never know if my decision had any effect on his life, but the guilt of not knowing may forever haunt me. I have a blog from a long time ago stating I had no regrets about my life, that the decisions I’ve made made me who I am today. But now, I have one. I regret not doing more to save my love. I honestly don’t know what, if anything, I could have done, but I do know that I could have tried harder. The decision to do drugs was his alone, but the decision to let it go for so long lies with me. 

My guilt over my decision may never go away. The anger I have at him for getting that bad may never go away. The loneliness I feel from his family that were so comforting in the wake of his death, but are just quiet people I once knew may never go away. The emptiness I have by not having him or his things here with me may never be filled. The love I once shared may never be obtained again. But these are all things I have to deal with and adjust to. My life goes on, though be it guiltier, angrier, lonelier, and emptier. I will find a way back to myself. 

Hold your loved ones tight, and help them fight their battles. Do not let them get swept under the rug. Fight hard to keep them in your life, for you never know when they will lose theirs. 

Dear Straight Men: A Pride Month Information Guide

Every year, June is Pride Month. This is for all my LGBTQ  (and any other letters) brethren. The theme is always the same, equality for all. I can personally only speak for the “G” part of the letters, and not all gay men would agree with me, but that’s kind of the point. We are all different, but equal. But I’ll step down off that soapbox, that’s not the point today. 

I’d like to speak to my straight male readers. Now, granted, I know not everyone of you are homophobic idiots (if you actually read my blog, I’ll assume you arent, as I post a lot of “gay” content), but I’m going to speak in generalities, as this may reach a few newcomers or people that may not know what I’m all about. 

I know a lot of people don’t understand Pride, or why we feel we need to have a celebration thereof every year. It’s a month of celebrating who we are as fellow human beings, we can be who we are, raise awareness for causes that directly affect us, and mostly celebrate how far we’ve come in our struggle for equality. But the fact that we NEED a pride month only illuminates how much further we have to go. 

I get asked every year, “Why do you have to have a Pride Month, there’s no straight pride?” There are two great answers to this question. One, be thankful you don’t need to celebrate your pride. Two, EVERY month is straight pride. Straight people have never been attacked, persecuted, harassed, discriminated against, or even killed for being who they are. There is no need to celebrate something that is expected of you, or that is the cultural norm. 

The common statistic is the 1 out of 10 people identify as LGBTQ, though I’m not sure if this is accurate. For the sake of argument, well say it is. But that means one tenth of the world’s population is not straight. We are talking millions and millions of people. It is not wrong, it is not perverse, it just isn’t like you. If everyone was the same, the world would be an extremely boring place. 

Diversity is the key to life. Just like some of you straight guys are into different things, some of you prefer blondes, others brunettes. Some only like women of your race, others prefer another ethnicity. Some like skinny girls, others a thicker girl. Large boobs versus small boobs, etc. Not everyone looks the same, and not everyone likes the same thing. Simple as that. 

But let me tell you a few things you should keep in mind. 

-Most importantly (and I cannot stress this enough), just because I’m gay and you are a man doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you…you are not all “my type” or even in my sexual radar. 

-Even if you are accepting of the LGBTQ community, saying things like “people like you”, “you gays”, or ANY derogatory term concerning our community is highly offensive. 

-Your homophobia (should you have it) is probably caused by the fear gay men will objectify you and treat you the way you treat women. 

-If a gay man is friendly to you, or even flirts with you, it’s because he feels comfortable being around you. We can’t thank you enough for that, and we don’t actually expect anything in return…just knowing we are accepted is enough. 

-If you are one of those guys that is narcissistic and vain and just want people to tell you how hot you are all the time, there’s a gay out there for you (it isn’t me). 

-Realizing we are just people and have the same issues you do is the best thing you can ever do. 

-(piggybacking off my previous point) We are normal people, who or what we do in the bedroom is none of your business. It does not define who we are. 

There are, of course, exceptions to these points. I cannot speak for 100% of gay people, only myself. I have many straight friends, and my relationship with each of them is different. I know who I can joke with, who I can speak freely in front of, and who I have to edit myself with. I have straight male friends I can flirt with (and know that it’s solely stroking their ego, not an actual come on), and some I cannot mention anything sexual in nature in front of. Gay men are good at reading a situation, and we will act accordingly. 

No one wants to be treated differently. But Pride is a time we can celebrate openly who are. A time to gather together with people that are like minded and do not discriminate although we are different. A time to embrace our diversity. A time to raise awareness for issues specific to our community. A time to show our presence to those that would have us stay quietly in the background. 

Until there is actual equality for all, there will be a Pride Month.