Monday, June 6, 2016

Lady in Orange


A whirlwind of emotions swept over me. A cyclone of unattached feelings, settling on anger. No, rage. The lady in orange, was discussing something with my Mother. I didn’t understand anything they were talking about, other than that I wasn’t normal. They were trying to figure out the easiest way to fix me. My Mother worked nights, so a meeting like this, was interfering with her sleep. She seemed irritated that the lady in orange needed to explain how to handle the issue. Later, she would tell my Father that the “N*igg*r should have just done her job and not bothered us.”  The lady in orange explained all the details of my learning disabilities. The symptoms, of my falling behind in class was due to dyslexia. I watched as the two of them debated the problem. As I was a problem to be dealt with.

My rage grew as the lady flatly explained the new education program to deal with “special kids” like me. I kicked the metal legs of my chair. My Mother and the lady not hearing me, as I did not exist. They simply discussed the problem. My knuckles, white from gripping the metal chair, my rage finally snapped.  I bolted from my chair, running through the classroom door, and down my school’s main hallway. Only the cool air that hit my face upon exiting the front of the school, stopped tears from flowing.

A vise-like hand suddenly grabbed my arm, swing me around. “What the hell are you doing?!”  My Mother inches away from my face. The smell of Certs on her breath. “You are just talking about me like I don’t matter!” What I was trying to say was that decisions are being made for me, in front of me, but my opinion, my voice, never came to be heard. Her pure white nursing shoes squeaked on the tile as we marched back to the councilor’s office.

I have always avoided situations where it appears others are making decisions for me. Without, of course a simple acknowledgment to my human existence. I always feel as if I am on that cold metal chair my Mother slammed me into, barking a half-hearted apology to the lady in orange.   My rage always builds, and explodes…  wanting to run. Friendships have been tested, supervisors questioned, if the feeling of an arbitrary choice is made on my behalf.

It was the first really hot, summer day in Denver. We were enjoying a street fair in Downtown. The boyfriend and his best-friend wandered ahead of me. I chased the shady spots, as the boyfriend let the sun absorb into his caramel-brown skin. It was more golden. The way the rays of sun danced upon his broad shoulders. They enjoyed the chalk art drawn upon the sidewalks, I enjoyed this beautiful man, whom for some strange reason, chose me.

At the end of the street fair, they kept walking. I tuned in their conversation. Ideas of what to do next being debated. It was casually decided to end our time at the street fair and go grab drinks at a popular bar nearby. They quickened the pace, as my heartbeat sped up. I was eight years old again. Overhearing a plan where I had no say. My fists clenched. Knuckles turning white.  My vision narrowed. If I quickly turned the corner, would I be missed? I felt my Mother’s death grip on my arm. Rage boiled up, turning my face red. “I’m so sorry… what are we doing?” I purposely attempted to stop every word from being dipped in sarcasm.  Feeling like my anger immediately turns me into an uncontrollable, line-crossing asshole. I stopped - - exhaled. I didn’t hear the response that was given me. I instead began to question myself how I could go from worshiping this beautiful boy in front of me to dragging up, and inserting unresolved rage into the situation? It really is why they call it unresolved anger.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hunter


It was a crisp autumn morning. A sea of flannel and Carhartt covered the field. It had been cleared of its crop recently, the corn harvested. In the early morning light, hunters gathered, the fall air of Colorado showing itself on the breath.  Anticipation also hung in the air. This was the first time all season that the hunters would be able to raise their rifles to fire the polished steel at the migratory geese that pass over Colorado.

I stood at the edge of this group of men. They in their flannel, me in a Wal-Mart knockoff of an OP Ski jacket. It was too large for my slight frame, as the jacket was a hand-me-down, twice removed. I held my rifle in proper stance in the crook of my arm. At twelve years old this was my first trip out. To the field, with the men of flannel. The thought of pulling a trigger, and possibly killing a beautiful creature sickened me. So much so, I had not slept a wink the night before. Throughout Hunter Safety Class, the training class my Father said would “toughen me up” I asked, “why do we want to kill innocent animals?” The teacher shaking his head explaining a Copenhagen infused version of Makumba Matata.

The other boys in the crowed, all seemed excited. The opportunity of finally being able to use their steel sticks of death was all they spoke about. I slowly side-stepped away from the other kids. It was a church event, so a long history of not being “one of the good Mormon boys” was already established. It seemed like hours had gone by since my Brother and I were dumped off in the field, as our Father wandered off to speak to other Bishops from other Wards.  

As I waited for geese to rain from the sky, I began to let my mind wander. It wandered to the very first time I saw a marching majorette in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. One day I was going to be the first male, professional majorette. That was going to be my profession. Majoretting.  Having everyone focused on me.  As I stood in the field, I decided to practice my skills. Using my rifle as my baton. I began to spin my rifle in my hand. Just as I got the feel of the spinning rifle in my hand, my concentration was broken with a loud, “Brother Bennett!! Brother Bennett! Your Son…..!!!” I looked up to see several people, backing up from me and calling for my Father.  My father appeared from the crowd of flannel; running over and grabbing the gun from my hand in mid-swing.

We marched to the truck as my Father screamed. How could I do such a thing after my costly training in Hunter Safety class. How could I embarrass him in front of his church? I screamed back that killing beautiful birds was just wrong. As he slammed the truck door, and expelled me from ever joining church events, both my Father and I learned a lot about each other. I would never be the Son he wanted. He would never be the Dad I needed. But, I would grow up to be the first-best male majorette in the world. That would teach him.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

That Time I was Coached


It was spring time. When I lost my virginity. Well, the first time it was Spring as well. Kevin Allen and I, were rummaging around a pile of tossed out items left behind from tenants who were evicted out of a house next door to Kevin. Pulling open a box, the sun just beginning to set behind one of Colorado’s famous “fourteeners” the local nick-name for a series of mountains surpassing fourteen thousand feet tall. From our small town these mountains were on the edge of the world. The box gave way, and Kevin and I peered into the box. The golden-setting sun highlighting a naked man’s torso on the cover of a porn mag. A gay porn mag. We both attempted to play it cool, yet this was difficult as both our hearts had stopped beating. It wasn’t long before we sat in his bedroom viewing the stack of magazines noticing the rising bulges in each other’s jeans. By the time it was completely dark out, I was welcomed inside of Kevin. Forced deep inside of him to scratch an itch he had just realized needing scratching.

It was also Spring when I lost my “other” virginity. Just last Spring to be precise. From a dashing smile on a rugby player. Built like a brick house, solid in build and mind. He corrected me, quickly when we began to chat. “Not rugby, I play Lacrosse. A coach actually.” He said with a solid voice that made me melt. I then knew how Lacrosse coaches were supposed to sound. He was a straight-up and grounded man. He was straight-up too, about being Trans.

It was in my bedroom when I pulled the tee-shirt from his massive frame. The cotton of the shirt didn’t stand a chance against his rippled and veiny biceps. I stuttered a little. Just as I had done with Kevin. Imagining the unknown. “How would I do this?”  With Kevin, it was easier. I knew all the parts; they were the same as mine. I knew I wanted to be inside him, I knew how to accomplish the task. But…. with the Coach, I… had never seen, I mean not in real life… a vagina. “oh god.” My eyes darted everywhere. “Just relax.” The Lacrosse Coach said. We’ll take it easy. This was unfamiliar to me, as I am always the one in charge in the bedroom. Me the one to ensure my partner to relax.  Now I wanted to be the one in charge, but had to listen for instruction.  I listened intently to how the device worked. I practiced. The Coach praised me for picking up so quickly, assuring me I was a natural.

It. Was. Amazing. I finally figured out what the fuss was all about. Why those vagina things were so popular. Of course, only if they’re attached to a fireplug of a man.  I mean, it truly helps if your vagina is attached to a solid muscle-bound Lacrosse player. If you’re gay, and had no intention in ever seeing one in real life.

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

New York

The most terrifying feeling in the world is the moment when the plane touches down.  You are gracefully sailing through the sky inside a metal tube, then suddenly you're jarred forward as the retro-boosters, or whatever they're called, instantaneously jerk you forward as the plane attempts to land.  You feel the rubber tires skidding out of control, attempting to gain traction. A deafening metallic screech fill your ears. The floor underfoot feels as if it will tear away any second.

Every time I fly, I dread this sensation. Yet, I would never let this terror, as I see it, stop me from flying. Even though every time I take an airplane trip, I have night terrors for weeks. It's simple to understand that you can't have a vacation. A trip via airplane, without this 60 seconds of absolute soul scratching terror. It is the good stuff that happens on vacation you have remember.  The bad part, fades away.

It's been a week since I took a plane to New York. The purpose of the trip was to attend a reception for my ex, Dalton. A wedding reception, for his wedding to his partner. Who he married. He with his new, me with my new. Although; is wasn't that long ago the it was he and I getting married. Well, long compared to the life-span of a Great Dane. If we had received a Great Dane as a wedding gift, Duke, as we would named him, would probably, even with the best veterinary care, died four years ago. But, short compared to my memory.

Please don't get  me wrong, I am not in any way pining away for a relationship from ancient history. It would be like me wishing I could wander the halls of The Great Library of Alexandria. Nor am I discontented. I have finally found someone to whom I mesh with in an astounding amount of layers. So, I bought a $700 suit and showed up on time. My hand in the hand of this amazing individual. What I am asking is, can you imagine standing up in front of your family and friends and make a promise for ever and always, then live long enough to see the other half make that promise to another.  As the reception began, I began to hear the lowering of landing gear; quiet at first, then louder. Know-one else in the reception hall seemed to hear it. Suddenly a thud.  I was thrust forward as shaking rocked the room.  Every word; every speech, drowned out by a mechanical screeching sound. Rubber tires attempting to gain traction. My heart being stopped as it gets forced out of my chest. Then... the tires get traction... The room slowed and the mechanical scream subsided as quickly as it started.

I fear landings. More than I let on. They terrify me. They leave me a trembling child. Yet, if I avoided the landing, I would miss sailing through the sky.  I get enormous joy knowing that Dalton is truly happy. That I shared a small part of his affirmation to Brian, legally his husband. The bad part will fade away. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Moving On

It’s been fun. No, really is been a lot of fun.
Mike and I moved in together on May 16th 2015. If you are a longtime reader of my blog, you know this move was a major change in my life. I ended a nine-year relationship, and was throwing off the binds that a toxic relationship can wrap around your soul. Suddenly I was free. It wasn’t on the level of Celie gaining freedom in The Color Purple, but for me, it felt like that.

We will soon be in our current apartment for a year. This is the place I had in my mind every night when I dreamed of escaping an unhealthy relationship. My vision of peace.  All that time, painting in my mind how my own place would look like, how it would feel. Now, a year has passed, and the escape is just a memory. It is now the time for the roommate and I to move on with our lives. We have learned a lot in one year. The best lesson is how well we get along. Suddenly we were best friends, and most beneficial critics.  

After a drama-filled search we have chosen a new apartment. The only thing we did not like about the current place is how far away it is from the city-center. The new place is close to downtown.  Literally across the street from the train line, and a station. The only bad news is that we can’t move in until the end of June. I mean, our current lease is not over until the end of June, but I can’t wait for the new place.

I however, am already missing the feeling of the current place. It feels like Miss Celie, after leaving the farm gets a swanky apartment where she can do whatever she wants; whenever she likes. Now it is time to move on. Yes, the new place will be better. Yes, I’m now dating a wonderful and caring guy. It’s a simple matter of a chapter closing. For many years I dreamt of my own home. I imagined how it would feel. Now, we move on. It’s funny; life. If you live long enough, you’ll do everything.  
 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Purgatory

If there is such a thing as Purgatory, in the afterlife, I know what my Purgatory will look like.  If it is like the Catholics describe it; a place of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are expiating their sins before going to heaven, then I can tell what it looks like.

My personal purgatory will be spent wandering around the prepared foods department of a Whole foods.  

Hours are spent with me dazed and confused moving from one bar to the next.  Approaching the soup bar to squish the ladle down in over-cooked chicken noodle soup, or white bean chili. Then, to the deli counter to gaze upon the chicken wraps. Starving for something, yet not sure how the normal people of the world make a decision in a sea of choices.

Last night, I approached the area with the intent to pick up dinner. The boyfriend quickly made some healthy choices, and disappeared. Leaving me to fend for myself. I had the look of an eight-year-old, who after hiding in the middle of a clothing rack full of women’s blouses, emerged to find his Mom, gone. I was alone in Hell Foods. I entered the Whole Foods convincing everyone around me that it was a “soup night.” Only to find none of the eighteen dozen soups to be quite right. Maybe salad…..? no. It was either malaise, or my fear of food commitment that sent me into the desert for a plastic-boxed food vision quest.  

What seemed to be hours later the boyfriend called out from the edge of the desert. “Ready?” He asked munching on kelp-kale fun crisps. I left with a tiny container of tomato soup. My soul still hovering over the olive bar.

 

 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Four-Eyes

After what seemed an insane amount of shopping, I have finally bought new glasses. This is my first pair of bi-focal lenses. And, it's the problem I'm having. I spend most of my day unable to see anything. I am constantly looking through the top part of my lens, designed for distance vision, to read and text. Then using the bottom section to drive. The optometrist did warn me, but really. At this point I would see better without glasses at all. 

I will; however, keeping trying. But, if you see me without my glasses upon my face, you know not to inquire to their whereabouts. If you see me with my glasses on, I won't see you anyway. So I'll probably step on your foot. I'll apologize now. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

So Very

I went to see a new musical last weekend. I hadn't gone to enjoy legitimate theater in a while, so it was a great treat. It was a classic tale, finally turned into a musical.  A story as epic as it is heartbreaking to twisted level that Shakespeare himself would of told.

Heathers. 

Yes, the original dark and demented movie that started all modern writers down the long list of teenage angst movies. The 1989 classic was the cardinal rule on how a generation would see teenage life and hold a mirror up to highschool itself. I waited in anticipation how this story, the world of the late eighties would be re-told in a musical format. I sat in the audience, awaiting the start of the show like a resident of Scotland eager to see how Macbeth would portray the motherland.

As the epic fable began to unfolded, I realized that I was trapped in Happy Days. Not... Happy days, but the television show. See, the TV show Happy Days was made in the 1970's for an audience hungry with nostalgic notions of the 1950's.  Middle aged folks could reconnect with their "happy days." I was unaware that my excitement in seeing this play was to see my high school days played in front of me. I am now in that age bracket where my teenage angst is a historic reference. Tales of my youth to be told by kids born the year Windows '95 came out.

The play itself was decent enough. The costume designer obviously had never seen a single episode of Saved By The Bell. You would think that there would be decent Guess or Z Cavaricci jeans at local thrift stores.  I had to physically restrain myself from walking up on stage and re-tight rolling the male leads jeans cuffs. But, all things considered, I bet viewers of Happy Days thought that Fonzie was dressed in a non-authentic manner. So, I silently judged the cheap knock-offs of the shoulder -padded blazers, and off brand jeans to enjoy my youth played out in front of me.


 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Adventure Time

 I realized that I am an old gay man. This moment in my life occurred as I stood in front of the soda machine of my local Panara Bread. I was sporting my new cardigan sweater, sweats, and Uggs. I was dressed for comfort. Let's just say, that I would not be snapping a new Grindr profile pic in the Pandara bathroom. In my comfort driven ensemble, I approached the wide selection of iced teas. I was looking for a nice herbal tea. As it was 8:30 at night, I didn't want a tea that would keep me awake all night. I glanced over and spotted the Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi. Great! I could have it all!

This is when it hit me; in the recent past my nights were filled with dancing, boozing, and urban spelunking. Now I'm excited about caffeine free drinks. 

That's it! I need to get back to scaring myself. I've gotten way to comfortable. I need to get back into doing things I love. Thinks that require risk. That's why I chose the fully caffeinated soda. I will drink the caffeine and go have an adventure. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Looking Ruff at the Airport

I think I've stumbled upon a great design idea. Elizabethan Travel Pillows. 

My job has me walking around the airport all day long. Lately I've noticed something. Well, beside the fact that people will attempt to pull their luggage through you like you are Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Although he would never receive roller-bag marks on his new Nordstom wing tips. What I've really noticed is that everyone who travels has a "C" shaped travel pillow wrapped around their neck. 

So, here's my big design idea. Elizabethan collars, that are also travel pillows. Think of it, how great would you look heading towards your gate like a mid-sixteenth century to the mid-seventeenth century noble-person? This new fashion trend will leave our airports looking like the fashion houses of the high Elizabeth era. Families heading off to  visit grandma, will look like the cast from Love's Labour's Lost. Maybe this would spark a whole fad. Lute shaped travel bags and the like. It's going to be huge. 


 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Birthday Eve

I like to think of today as, “Birthday Eve.” It’s the anticipation that something good is good to happen. Although whenever I think of it in these terms, I begin to sing the old Kate Bush song, Cloudbusting Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen… I don't know when, but just saying it could even make it happen.” The simple fact about is, I love for my Birthday. And the anticipatory thinking is just one of the best parts. The best part began last night….
We were walking through the grocery store. It was “date night” and my idea of a great date was a hamburger, followed by Krogering. I casually mentioned that I needed to pick up a boxed cake mix, because I wanted to bake a chocolate cake for my birthday. The look that was upon my date’s face was heart-melting. He had already planned to bake me a chocolate cake from scratch. God, I love my Birthday.

My day will bring adventures around the city. With one notable exception. Readers of my blog over the years will remember that there is one restaurant I go to on my Birthday. It is a historical fact, and unwavering tradition that I eat my Birthday Dinner at Le Central, Denver’s legacy French Restaurant.  That will change this year. After thirty-four years in business, Le Central closed last September. My Birthday tradition is gone… just like my youth.

But, I will eat cake. And celebrate. My friends, will gather around, regardless of the physical location. I will celebrate the forth anniversary of my fortieth birthday. Meanwhile I will quietly sing… “I just know that something good is going to happen… saying it could even make it happen.”


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Back to Class

Monday marks the beginning of the Spring Semester. Just the thought of this makes my head spin. It seems that just moments ago I was celebrating the end of the 2015 fall semester. My MacBook has not even cooled down from the massive amount of writing that I did, now it is time to crack it open, and log on to my on-line classes again.

Today finds me feeling a bit nostalgic about going back to school. There is no longer a formal return to the sacred and hallowed halls of my college, since I began taking all on-line classes. I somehow forget during these times of misty eyed revisionist history that the physical returning to the University also brought months of sitting in a class headed by close-minded idiot professors, droning on about their personal agendas. Although, if I am honest with my self, what I miss most was sitting behind hockey players who had allergic reactions to wearing pants.  If I really examined my attending of classroom based classes, it was a trade off. Yes, I now avoid the close-minded Professors by taking my classes via computer, but I also miss hockey players falling asleep in class with the gym shorts slipping lower and lower.

But, I don't regret switching to my electronic class room. This means I can do my school work at one of the cities gayer coffee shops. With a wider variety of boys in gym shorts. On Monday I will have to scope out my territory. My new classroom.  I will then quickly begin to countdown the days until May 9th. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Heteronormativity and Oral Care


Being in a same-sex relationship has it challenges. I know that was the understatement of the century. We all know that living in a hetero-centric society, when you’re not the norm is ripe with issues. Yet, is seems that most of the time being part of the GLBTQ rainbow is down-right amazing. This different view on life, makes us happy to be unique.  When asked about her struggles in life, Carrie Fisher stated "Find your tribe. Don’t wander around feeling different than everyone else.”  This speaks to beginning a relationship with someone. The romantic path seems to be the same for everyone. Yet, in a society that sometimes unknowingly gives easier steps to male-female stereotyped relationships feeling different is sometimes hard to avoid.

I thought about all this as I stood in the oral care isle of my local grocery store.  I was getting to the step of buying a toothbrush for my Sweet Baboo. If you have never been in love before, this is a critical step in mating. You wake up at the other person’s house and discover that they have gone out and purchased a new toothbrush for you. It means that they think you’ll be sticking around. It symbolizes a bond; a next step in the dating world. I was ready to make this plunge and declare my deep “like” by presenting him is his very own toothbrush. It was a huge step, and I was nervous.

This is when I noticed how toothbrush manufactures were a bunch of heteronormative jerks. Jerks I say. Every two pack of toothbrushes had a perceived masculine color and perceived feminine color. Oral-B- Purple and green, Colgate- blue and pink, even Reach had only blue and pink. It was a straight couple toothbrush conspiracy. From standard to electric brushes, if you wanted to save money and by a two pack, you were forced into hetero-centric roles. Sure, it’s easy to buy to separate blue toothbrushes, but it’s the point of having to buy two separate toothbrushes. To cram them together, like your just like everyone else.  Straight couples don’t have to buy separate packaging. They don’t have to decide who gets the blue brush. What? One of use should be forced to decide to take the pink brush role?!?! Outrageous.  

Being in a same-sex relationship truly does have challenges. But, I refuse to wander through the grocery store feeling different than everyone else. Carrie Fisher wouldn’t want me to do that.  For now, my same-sex partner and I have separate packaged toothbrushes.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Run Towards Something

Over dinner a friend was detailing the cycle she was in over breaking up, then getting back together with her girlfriend. This was a relationship where it seems impossible to create a solid, healthy connection, and seemed impossible to end and moving forward. It was explained as an endless cycle of mistrust and conflict. No matter how painful the situation was, it was explained that it felt safer to continue the conflict than simply committing to ending the connection. Like the idea of being single, ending a toxic relationship was simply life-ending terror. More terrifying then the endless emotional abuse, relationship rollercoaster that was over-taking her life.

This puzzled me. Like ending a relationship somehow is an indication of failure. Like having the strength to let go is less important than the perception of the outside world judging the relationship. It truly isn't a case of running away from a "good fight" it is a case of running towards a "good choice."

“You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.” ~Guy Finley

We have a tendency to crave and depend on external emotional support, we get this primarily from our relationships. Then, when we need emotional support because of our relationship, we feel there is nowhere to turn. We wait and re-live the same damaging issues over and over. Somehow expecting another external means of support,  so that we don't have to be strong. This is a means of bypassing the perceived lack of inner strength to rely on someone else’s. Meanwhile our inner voice continues  to scream that it is all wrong. This starts a vicious cycle of self-abuse. Feeling to weak to change your own situation, secretly wanting someone else to fix it.  Giving the conclusion that the problems and obstacles appear to be insurmountable.

What is needed is a possibility. A vision of what life could be. That safety and happiness can grow away from the confines of the relationship. Of any relationship, and on our own terms. This leads to a simple choice. A rational decision to seek happiness, and go search of it. The fear of ending a relationship is soon replaced by a unshakeable conviction that there was something better out there, and an unwillingness to ignore that knowledge. This rarely comes form external forces, but a commitment to one's own well-being. It’s about finding clarity on what you want instead. Giving yourself a goal to go toward rather than run away.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bangkok

The boy I'm dating has gone away. To Thailand. On vacation.

I was very excited to learn about his exciting adventure when it was first shared, so long ago... I believe it was our first date. Sitting over pizza hearing about the far distant future plans. As I got to know him, the date of the over-seas trip still loomed so far out in the distance. He would share plans, how his group of college friends planned to all take the trip together. The person heading up the plans for the group was a "A-type" trip planner, I had full faith that the trip would be safe and fun.

Suddenly it's January. At the last minute the couple whom were instrumental in coordinating the trip had to cancel. When I first heard of the cancelling of the coordinators my Daddy Bear protectiveness wanted to kick in. I asked if the boy friend was still going to go. When I was told, "yes" I started asking, Do you know the hotels? Do you know were you're staying? Your flights? Have you packed?  That means that the Sweet Baboo was flying to Thailand without a lot of the preparation. He had relied on others to plan.

Last Friday I kissed him goodbye and set him off on a plane. This was after he forgot his own luggage, realizing it upon check-in at the airport... I told him that I wasn't worried... There are certain times when you realize that you have fallen in love with someone... times when you don't doubt that love for a second. I am positive he and his friends will have a blast in Bangkok. But, just don't tell him how much I am worried, or how I miss him. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Four Eyes

It is time for new glasses. I've been putting it off for months, and by months I mean a year. But, my procrastination ended yesterday. I was excited more for the idea of shopping for some sexy frames, than being able to see again. I wanted something "Clark Kentish" I imagined pulling my big, chunky black framed glasses from my face. Maybe to prove the importance to an issue I'm discussing with a co-worker. I'd whip my European frames from my nose, pausing, then expressing concern to this quarter's budget. Holding my chunky frame in one hand, I'd say " Look Alex! We need to push the P&L in third" or.... something like that. I don't actually don't know anyone named Alex. You you get the picture; its 20:20. 

My exam went as you would expect a exam would go. Well, until the Optometrist, as he completed my written forms, stated out loud, "God, I can't spell today." And I slowly and loudly recited "T--O-D-A-Y" After what felt like an eternity of him staring blankly into my face, attempting to soak in my.... humor, he calmly explained how I needed bi-focal glasses. 

With my written prescription in hand, I now still seek those perfect new frames. Who knew it would be so hard to find Clark Kent's glasses? 


Monday, January 4, 2016

Apple Watch

I honesty didn't see the reason for an Apple Watch. Mostly because my phone hasn't actually left my hand in over a year. Well, when I sleep I guess. Then it's on the pillow next to me. Seriously. I guess during sexy time, but sometimes even then. Don't ask. The only time my phone isn't on my person is when I'm showering. So if my phone is always in view why would I need another version it it on my wrist? 

That all changed when I unwrapped the most amazing Christmas gift ever.  Well, after my Slaughterhouse Five tee shirt. As soon as I began to bond with my wifi enabled friend, I learned what all the hype  was about. It's simply amazing. The best part, other than looking like Dick Tracy as I send texts; is the ability to send and receive texts in the shower. And, change songs by simply touching my wrist. 

Using my Apple Watch during sexy time  will leave my hands free. Think of the possibilities. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Goodbye 2015

You hear a lot, this time of year, on how New Years sets the tone for the entire year. New Year's Eve of 2014 was a bad time, full of bad choices. But, that very night served as a catalyst to rewrite my whole world. My New Years resolution for 2015 was to rebuild Steve in a whole new way. And, as I stand on the door step of 2016, I'm happy to report that I successfully accomplished it. 

I shrugged off a toxic relationship, a toxic job, and a toxic life. In spring of 2015 I closed a lot of doors behind me. I said goodbye to a home and relationship that was serving to feed unhealthy and abusive behaviors. I also resigned from a job that had me stuck on a never-ending treadmill. It took until June to discover me again. In a new home, surrounded by unconditional support. I had a new job where I was rediscovering what progress felt like. By the end of December 2015, I was figuratively a new man. 

The re-set button has been pressed; let's see where 2016 takes me. 

New Year

It seems that New Years has an almost magical quality to it. A time when everyone takes a moment to check in and take an inventory of their lives.  An off shoot of this movement is all the "New Year - New You stuff. It can be easy to dismiss this as a bunch of bull, mostly because it thrown around as a catchphrase. Tossed out by advertising to capitalize on half-dedicated folks that may not take a New Years resolution all that seriously. 

During this time of resolution making, why not focus on committing to treating your physical body, and soul better? But, here's the catch; it is super easy to say you'll go to the gym. There hardest part is showing up. The follow through. 

Resolutions aren't built on the deciding of a new path, they're forged by walking down that new path. Over and over. So ignore the resolution hype, instead just decide to take action. To take actions to build a better you. Let me quote a master  of committing to new principals when I say, "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

School is Out

Have I mentioned that this is my last week for my semester?  I know I haven't blogged a lot about my classes this semester. This was due to the fact that I had a Science class which attempted to kill me, and a creative writing class that left me bored. Horridly bored. Both classes were painful. Not in a "oh I gotta write 1,000 words on Lucius Tarquinius Priscus" kind of pain, the "make it stop, this is idiotic" kind of pain.

My Science class was entirely on-line. This meant that the tiny bit of fun in doing labs was even taken away. It was eight weeks of drawing diagrams of molecules and energy waves. I am a Right Brain kind of person, the go with your feelings kinda guy. I quickly discovered that a Science class, on-line was the wrong choice. I would be on route to failing the class miserably if not for the help of the Boyfriend. He happens to be some sort of medical scientist statistician working of HIV programs.  So, he may-or-may-not have helped me. But, your associated with my University, he didn't. At all. Totally. And, why are you reading my blog, you've got university stuff to go do.

The writing class was just about "finding your voice" and "setting the scene." Those are the last things I need to think about my writing. The second I think about "finding my voice" I seize up and won't blog for two months. The last time I thought about becoming a better writer, it took Patrick from Pacspad blog a week to talk be down from the "I'm done with blogging"  ledge.

So, this week marks the end of another semester at school and good riddance. Onward to Spring semester and Ancient world Religions...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Tree

To begin our celebration of Christmas, the roommate and I decided to head to the mountains in order to get our own live Christmas tree. We had decided that we would go massively overboard for Christmas this year, so this was the first step. This choice stemmed from me having just ending a nine year relationship with  Mr. Scrooge himself, and the roommate, whom had roommates for years, never had his own celebration the way he wanted it to be done. First step? Go murder an innocent tree and drag it back to the house. I declared this trip into the woods triumphantly to the boy I’m dating, (still known as TMBBE, or “The most Beautiful boy ever” for the lack of a better nickname) as a normal, healthy super-Christmasy thing that normal people do. This is when he calmly informed me that he never had a Christmas tree before. Like ever…ever. 

My mouth dropped open. I stammered. “Like growing up you never had a tree?” He flatly informed me that no, his family had never. The next question that came out of my mouth will forever be noted as the stupidest thing I have, or ever will say. Please note the stupidity level… I said…. “But… where did you put your Christmas presents?”  Oh. My. God. There is not a more ignorant thing I possibly could of said at that point. And I said it. I was an ignorant baboon asking someone raised Hindu where they kept their Christmas presents if they didn’t have a tree. The Most Beautiful Boy Ever was polite in response to my stupidity.

What I learned is that if you take a grown man, who was raised Hindu, to a Christmas tree lot, and ask him to pick out any tree he wanted, you're going to see a lot of Christmas repression un-cork. It was non-gentile to Santa elf in 3.5 seconds. I have never had so much fun picking out a tree. 

I had spent nine years with someone who saw Christmas as a hassle. A chore that involved assembling the same artificial tree over and over. Then, suddenly I was standing in a muddy field watching someone search for the perfect tree. I watched the grin on his face grow. A grin that comes from the magical act of family going to the tree lot and taking home for the perfect Christmas. I was cold, I was muddy.  I was never so happy. 


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Summer Nights



This is my favorite photo of myself. It was taken by my most amazing (and available) roommate, Mike. It was late summer and Mike and I had just illegally launched some Chinese lanterns in the middle of Cheesman Park. It was truly an amazing night. We laughed and joked as we entered the park, close to the parks closing time. But, our tone became more and more reserved as we watched the glowing lanterns drift higher and higher into he night sky. We stood alone in the middle of the darkened park. Witnessing the glowing light of lanterns fade away.

We sat in the grass and watching the full moon (pictured in the photo) slowly come out to join us.  In this shot you can see me in my natural habitat. Texting away. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving

There have been two times in my life when Thanksgiving taught me what I'm thankful for.

The first was in 1993.  My fellow gay waiter, and best friend, Nick suggested that all the family drama that I was coping with could easily be avoided by just not participating in the poultry based holiday. Nick, my best friend was a Buddhist at the time, and always suggest simple answers to complex problems. I simply said "no" to the holiday. This was truly the first time I felt like an adult. By shirking responsibilities and going my own way.  This choice led me to be in The Buddhist's 1990 Nissan Altima for a long drive around Denver as we searched for a Chinese restaurant that would be open for lunch on that Thanksgiving Day. We dined that afternoon on unexplainable Chinese delicacy.  That Thanksgiving found me enjoying pickled pig ear and chicken feet. I learned two valuable life lessons that day.... One: you create your own happiness. Two: never blindly accept food prepared by a one-hundred year old Chinese woman. It truly is one of my happiest Thanksgiving memories. The Buddhist and I, sitting in a Chinese restaurant, truly thankful for the gifts we had.

The second was in 2001. I had moved to Dallas, Texas. My best friend and roommate, Jamie had recently discovered the joys of Methamphetamine.  Slowly he had changed from a happy wonderful person into a creature on the night. Barely recognizable has human. In one of his on-going empty promises he promised we would spend Thanksgiving together. For some reason I felt this dinner would be my chance to rescue him from Meth. I would use the time to make him see the horrors he was creating. I passed up invites to return home, or spend time with friends in Dallas. Instead we would meet for Thanksgiving dinner at the only restaurant open Thanksgiving day on Cedar Springs. I sat in a booth. Alone. I would find out later that Jamie woke up in an abandoned house across town. As I ate pumpkin pie alone, I learned two valuable life lessons. One: you are truly in change of your own happiness in life. Two: there are things in this life you will not be able to change. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bed Time

I know it may sound lame, but I can not express how much I love my bed. Just the other day someone commented on why any grown man would need eight pillows on his bed. Apparently, I do. 

Growing up, it wasn't until a whole herd of sisters left the house that I was able to have my own bedroom.  Once that happened, I finialy was able to experience my own bedroom. This has made me appreciate the luxury of an oasis a bed can be. Truly it is the only place to have quality and safe personal time. I urge you to consider not taking the gift of you bed for granted. 

I have eight pillows, and two down duvets on my bed because I know that the bed I curl up in, the one I invite others to share, is my best place for comfort and security. Sleep well. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

TMBBE


“I need to think up a nickname.” I said from the kitchen, directed to Mike, my eligible roommate, sitting on the Super-squishy-elle-shaped sofa of love. Mike cocked his head. “I mean when I blog. I’m sure I’ll be referring to The most beautiful boy ever more often… if all goes well.”  Sitting at the bar, the most beautiful boy ever raised his head from his MacBook. He gazed over at me. “I have a name…” I then had to explain my blogging history. How “Fuzzy” my Ex was called Fuzzy for blogging purposes. How the names get changed to protect the innocent. The most beautiful boy ever, continued to look blankly at me over his glasses. “What did you nickname the apparently long string of twenty-two year olds that came before me?” Mike, my eligible roommate, laughed from the couch.

I can tell when people have not read my blog entries. I usually prefer this; when people have not read my past blog posts. Nothing is worse than when I’m half-way through an exciting story in regard to the life and times of StevieB, when they correct me on a detail as they remember it from my on-line diary.  They most likely are correct, as my memory distorts as my dramatic retelling gets… dramatic.  Other times it is comforting. I don’t need to tell Patrick how ten grade was for me, he already knows. He read the transcript.

But, for the long string of twenty year olds, I honestly couldn’t tell, nor remember, if he read about them, along with nicknames, in my blog. I honestly don’t remember blogging about them… other than the Olympic Swimmer. The Lebanese wrestler, whom I was afraid to talk too… The Amazing Mexican. Oh, God.. The Ginger… Mike, my eligible roommate, noticed how I began to drift off in a haze of ex nicknames. He snapped me back, just in time for me to lock eyes with my most beautiful boy ever. Head turned a slight to the left pondering his choice in me. “You could call him The Indian?” Mike blurted. “That’s raciest” I snapped. I guess your nickname for the blog will have to be, The Most Beautiful Boy Ever. TMBBE?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Eight Years of StevieB

I am amazed that November 11th marks my eighth year anniversary for blogging.  I have been rambling on about nothing in particular for eight years. Eight amazing years.

If only I had known the places I would have gone, eight years ago. It truly leaves me with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Okay! Show of hands, whom has read my blog for all eight years?! Anyone? Anyone?  It's okay, there were a lot of years where I didn't read it either. I can say that it has been an epic journey. The growing up of Stevie B. A journey filled with five jobs, four cars, three houses, two relationships, and one Steve.

It goes with out saying, but I am going to say it... Thank you. Thank you for stopping by and reading about the good and the bad that happened along the path that the last eight years took us. Together. With the help of colorado's best gay blog, Mile High Gay Guy. com and blog buddings such and Patrick over at Pac's Pad I feel like I can take on another eight. Let's try.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Time I Watched Ice Fishing

It had been too long. Way to long. The excuses in my head played like a broken record. Over and over I gave the lame reasons of why I couldn’t go. Until I stopped the excuses and just went. To the Doctor. I had put off the visit due to a strange fear… The fear of the test.

When I had just turned twenty, my family went to our cabin high in the Rocky Mountains. It was on the shores of Grand Lake, Colorado. It was February, so the lake was frozen over. As I sat on the sunny back deck, I watched the ice fishermen drive their 4X4s across the solid surface of the lake. Bound for their recently drilled holes through the ice in hopes to catch some fish. I wondered what would happen if the ice cracked. The lake swallowing the truck whole.  I shuttered from the thought and turned back to my book. My new book I picked up before leaving town as a way to waste away the afternoons. My family was all inside watching some-sort of football game on the battered television set. I can’t remember which book in the Tails of the City series it I was reading; but, Michael Tolliver just started his journey as a survivor of the HIV epidemic. Every paragraph dripped with fear of AIDS, of HIV. But, our protagonist was strong. The epidemic was spreading. The strength to survive was there. In the pages, as I turned them one-by-one. With every page I turned, I realized I had made a huge mistake. And, I had to get through the longest week of my life.

A couple of days before bumming a ride with one of my sisters on the way up the mountain to the cabin, I took my first HIV test. Now, I was on the frozen shores of a mountain lake awaiting the results. Unable to speak to anyone about it. It was just me and Michael Tolliver. Every instance of where I put myself at risk played through my mind. I was playing lose and easy, messing around as a twenty-year-old does. I sat around the fireplace, my mind a thousand miles away. My large extended family at times angered at my aloofness. My detachment. My only thoughts were on the clinics opening hours the next Monday morning. Only a fictional character in a far off land understood.  

Flash-forward twenty-three years. I have had countless tests for HIV, but this one way different. I had blocked it out of my mind, really thought much of it, at the office.Then when the needle entered my bloodstream and the phlebotomist filled his cylinder, I was twenty again. I had waited too long. Was it the nine years in a serodiscordant relationship? Or, was it the playing lose and easy, messing around as a forty -year-old does? I thought of the promise I made to myself on that grey February morning. Play safely and test often. Somehow I had forgotten that promise. The one I made to me. It’s funny how time lets us disconnect from our selves.

The Doctor entered the room. All fear of the test was gone. Now it was time… I debated if the doctor was alive when I received the results of my very first HIV test. He read all by results like a grocery list. As he explained about good and bad cholesterol, healthy choices I only saw the ice fishermen, driving their trucks upon the ice. Wondering what would happen if the ice cracked and they fell through the ice. “…you’re undetectable for HIV…” I came back to the room. “that means I’m negative?” He calmly stated that yes. I was. Negative.