Friday, March 31, 2017

Grace, Frankie and Gravy

Last night the boyfriend and I were watching the finial episode of Grace and Frankie. The Netflicks comedy staring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. We also were enjoying a flavorful treat from a takeout chicken joint. I had just discovered that if you dunk corn fritters into chicken gray it can be heaven in your mouth. Apparently I made whimpering yummy noises just at the right time.  These moaning sounds came as the turning point of the television show climaxed. The boyfriend now thinks I'm deeply connected to the universe or something. I didn't corrrect him as I was still enjoying my gravy shrouded corn fritter. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Death on a Coaster

Remember that time I almost died on a rollercoaster? Okay, so you wouldn't remember because it's just a dream I have. A nightly, reoccurring dream. 

I have three phobias in this life. Roller coasters, snakes, clowns, and Republicans. Four. I have four phobias in this life. And number one is about to raise its night-terror inducing head. No. Not Trump, he's the worlds night-terror. 

In next week the Sweet Baboo and I head to Los Angeles for a vacation.  A very nerdy get-a-way. The main purpose is to attend a Doctor Who convention happening at a hotel close to the airport. Mike the roommate is joining us as well. But, before that we are spending a couple of days hanging out in West Hollywood, going to Disneyland, and most importantly, Harry Potter World. The    Sweet Baboo already has his magic wand at his side. But, there's a dark side to our adventure.  After all this time I'll finally have to come clean on my child-like terror of rollercoasters. Yes, we've been in parks and been around the death coasters before, but this time there is no escape. I feel bad. Going to Disneyland and then saying, "oh. Sorry, you'll have to ride, rides alone" seems like a mean thing to do. So, do I just face my terror quietly to make the boyfriend happy? Or finically admit that I'm a twelve year old girl? The non-brave kind. 

I'm gonna have to just face my fears, even if I would rather makeout with Trump, as he sports clown makeup and holds a snake. I wonder if there is some way I can get over my coaster phobia I six days? Only God can help me now. 


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Birthday


Remember that time that Oscar Pistorius wished me a happy birthday? Realizing he had to have me, he then murdered his girlfriend? Okay, I may have editorialized that last bit. 

But, he did wish me a happy birthday. Swoon. 





Friday, January 27, 2017

My Girlfriend

It started rather innocently, at first. Just small talk. It has grown since the first day, around the end of August. It was when I started to work just West of the city. My habits changed and I needed to find a new gym. Although I will always miss the gay gyms of the past; my first in Denver, then Dallas. A new gym is always, to me, starting a new chapter in my life.  

With the new gym, came a new path in leaving the new job and forcing my body to drive to the new gym. I’m sure it’s common, when you leave work you begin to tease yourself into just going home. You say “I can skip the gym today… I’ll work out extra hard tomorrow.” or, I’m really tired tonight, maybe I shouldn’t go..” or there’s always my favorite… I wonder if I can work out twice on Saturday, because I’m really hungry.” Meanwhile, the best thing to do is to not listen to these voices, the ones that want you to fail, and just drive. Just get into the car and drive. Because, nothing stops this voice of failure than walking into the gym. Your body is there anyway, you might as well just push some plates. 

In my worst days, I make a bargain in my stupid head. A full workout first, then fast-food. Nothing buys my loyalty like the promise of food. These are the days I turn to her.... It is cheating really, an affair of the heart. It started rather innocently, at first. Just small talk. But, since our first meeting I’ve been in love with a girl. Did I mention that I’ve been dating a girl. I know it can’t last, It shouldn’t last, I’m in a relationship already. Damn me and my polyamorous tendencies.

My baby-girls name is Destiny. I mean the name on her name tag is Beth, but she’s Destiny to me. We are truly and deeply in love.  The conversations were easy, about our hopes, dreams, and desires. I found it effortless to sit and chat. Me in my Jeep; Destiny in her window. It always ended with her giving me all she had to give. Exactly what I wanted and needed. A three piece chicken strips and a biscuit. Yesterday she was down, apparently she was being evicted from her house and had to find a place to crash. So goes the life of a KFC drive-up worker. It’s about once… maybe twice a week that I drive up to the window, usually around  5:15pmand the drive through is slow. This means we have a couple of minutes to chat. I’ve learned about her schooling. Well, her plans to go back. I’ve supported her in her dreams. We do that in our relationship. So it was a shock to see her so down. 

I need to break up with Destiny, I know. But, her chicken strips keep calling me back. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Run Stevie Run

It has been 19 days since signing up for the Big Gay 5K race being held on June 17th, 2017 as part of Denver's Pride celebrations.  This means that I have 148 days until I will be jumping from the starting line for this race. It will be my first every competitive race, and I am quite proud of the fact that at 45 years old, I will be completing (hopefully completing) a road race. The course of the "5K" seemed so exotic and professional until friends who run all the time explained that 5K is just 3.10686 miles. The course of this race leaves from Denver's Civic Center Park uphill through Capitol Hill, around Cheesman Park and back down the hill to Civic Center, so.... the end of the race literally is all down hill. Still, for me it 3.10 miles will be my 26-mile marathon.

You'll ask how I am preparing myself for this epic race to celebrate my 45 years on the planet?  Well, I have had pneumonia for the last couple of weeks... so no training yet. But there are 147 more days to get prepared. Step one; take the first steps and get running shoes on and take my first steps.




http://www.runguides.com/denver/event/big-gay-5k

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Small Town Boy

There comes a time when you realize that your youth, no matter how far back on the calendar, is officially ancient history. For me, it was when I received the news that Carrie Fisher had passed, but even closer to my heart, it was when I heard that Larry Steinbachek, keyboardist with pioneering synth-pop trio Bronski Beat, died at the age of 56.

Never heard of Bronski Beat? Yeah, it's truly a generational thing. Bronski Beat was a band starting in the 1980's British synthpop scene. Never heard of synthpop? Yeah. It was just one of the most distinctive subgenres of new wave. A sound heavily influenced by David Bowie.  During this generation, a trio achieved success with their distinctive sound and lead singer, particularly with the 1984 No. 3 in the UK chart hit "Smalltown Boy." They made a video for "Smalltown Boy" and it was late at night when a twelve-year-old me, watched it for the first time. It was a message in a bottle washing up on the shores of my deserted island.

All members of the group were openly gay, their songs reflected this. It was pop music with a commentary on gay-related issues. In a generation of subversive and double entendre messages, Bronski Beat was clear in message.

Pushed around and kicked around, always a lonely boy
You were the one that they'd talk about around town as they put you down
And as hard as they would try they'd hurt to make you cry
But you never cried to them, just to your soul
In 1984 I was twelve. I had already come to terms with being gay. What I could not comprehend, nor functionally comply with was how to operate on a rural ranch outside of a small town in the middle of nowhere. Within a dysfunctional family with Mormon ideal. I was failing to cope. Then, late at night, as I sat crying, the Bronski Beat video came on television.  It was a bolt from the blue. I could. I had to wait, but I would get out. I would have the life I wanted. The life I needed. Thank you Larry Steinbachek, rest in peace. You saved my life.






Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Death to Steve

Since the day after Christmas, I had been fighting a cold. But, since it was Christmas, then New Years, I ignored my body and added Dayquil to my choices of holiday refreshment. This is when the sharp pain in my chest added a delightful appearance every time I began to cough. Still, I was too busy showing off my new Burberry coat I received for Christmas to take care of my lungs. This was until last Friday when an intervention was staged. Well, the intervention from my closest friends was staged because I started a fun new quirk where I would cough so strongly it would pull all the air from my lungs, causing none to reach my brain. This initiated a trick, of me blacking out. Yes, I would cough until I blacked out. Driving was fun. 
I was kindly asked to seek medical attention. By this I mean; my Kaiser card was ripped from my wallet and an appointment was made for me. After all the tests and a dramatic scene of me blacking out on the exam table, It was diagnosed; Pneumonia. Yay! I spent three days at home, unable to drive as I had promised not to kill myself. I simply just let the drugs work, and healing began. In this un-plugged state, I am reminded how I run non-stop. All the time. On a typical day off, I’m up and out of the house as soon as possible. This is followed by days filled with activities and adventures. So, when I was forced to stay home and rest, I quickly found the lack of movement strange. 
I did practice my video gaming skills, I’m sure you are wondering how that’s going. Well; I can now fire a weapon and move at the same time. So, I can add that to my resume.  I had to stop myself from re-organizing closets or the kitchen. As I was ordered to not “exert myself.” And, the Sweet Baboo and the roommate cooked all the meals. It was a strange couple of days. Breakfast at home, followed by just quality time hangout with my little wonderful family. 
By Sunday night I found that I was sad about going back to work on Monday. The cocoon was beginning to make me happy. These feelings were based on the fact that I so enjoyed being around my people. It wasn’t the physical home (spending time at home, doing home-stuff) it was the great people I had around me caring for me.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I Am Not One With the Force

I have never played a video game. Not Really. 

I know, it seems strange, even to me in this day and age. I had played around with a game back in the 90’s, with Jamie the bestie. But I have never had a gaming system in the house. I have a strange addictive personality, where if I involve myself in something is becomes all-consuming.  This is why I’ve never watch a single second of the television show, Glee. I know I would have quickly devolve into the biggest Gleeck, or Glick. I don’t have time to become obsessed with musicals again… I mean, Betty Buckley still has a Restraining Order out on my ass. 
I can tell you the beginning storyline, and ending story line for every character on Dynasty, Doctor Who, Dallas, and a dozen other shows before I identified my obsessive condition. With the amount of characters in Game of Thrones, I believe I couldn’t spare the brain space.  So, spending free-time on video games, while I should be writing scathing essays on Shirley Chisolm for school, would be a catastrophe. 
Then we got an Xbox for Christmas. 
Can I tell you how embarrassing it is to be forty-five and not able to operate a controller? So, under the pretext of defending my honor, I have begun to “practice” my craft. A remote and icy planet in a remote star system known to locals as Hoth, is my training ground. Star Wars, Echo Base is where I will unleash my Jedi Powers.  I have embraced the Dark Side. This means I can walk around and slash Rebel scum with my red Lightsaber. Really it’s because I can’t aim and shoot a blaster. Yet. I tried, but after having Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, die seventeen times because of my incompetence in shooting her blaster, I switched to the Lightsaber.  Too soon, Leia, too soon. 
I hope to one day be a gamer. When school isn't in session. Right now, I’m a pushing middle-age gay gamer Wannabe.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017

Well hello there. Welcome to 2017. 

Since I started blogging in 2007, I have done a lot of New Year Resolutions posts. This meant I listed things I was to fix about myself the adjacent year. This was all good and fine, and most of the time it worked. This was because they were published for me to review throughout the year.  Today; I have realized that starting a new year really is a great time for this. But, also It's a great time to stop and listen to the lessons learned the previous year.  

I learned in 2016, to just go hiking. Don't wait for others to join in on an activity I love. I stopped waiting for others to acknowledge the things I love to do. I don't need the approval of others to enjoy any activity. I strap on my hiking boots a get on a mountain trail.  So I guess I've stopped being afraid of being alone.  

Speaking of friends. In 2016 I finially learned what being a friend really is. It's not history, it's not statements about friendship; it's actions taken every day. No demands of proving whether you're worthy by sending to proper given amount of text messages. Friendship is organic, a concept that can't mean calculated. Only measured by phone calls for no reason and invites and silly adventures. 

I realized in 2016 that my work life sets a standard for everything else. Don't stay in  a job that makes me unhappy. I encountered the world's worst boss in 2016, and felt there wasn't other options. There was. There are always other options. You just have to uncover them. This advice hold true for the previous statements. There's always other options. In healthy friends and better hiking trails. 

So do I have resolutions for 2017? Kinda. Yesterday I signed up to run a 5K in June. It has always been a dream of mine to run a road race. This year I will do it. Dear God, help me. I better start training, June isn't that far off in regard to me waddling my way through a organized running competition. Step one. Clear out the bad stuff in my kitchen and strap-on some running shoes. 

Come on 2017, you are full of options. Let's go choose the best ones.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

It is time to Fight

Don’t you remember? It has been sixteen years. So I understand if you don’t. In a way, we as a people have had it good. Damn good. Yes, there has been struggle, no denying that.  Yet, Barack and Beautiful Michelle have helped us created more equality, and kindness in the world.  Now it has all changed. 

But, think back to the year 2000. Sixteen years ago when the popular vote went to an environmentaly focused inclusive candidate, but the White House went to Bush. A wave of sorrow swept the land and evangelical hate filled specialty groups moved in to influence the President and American doctrine. I distinctly remember the same wave of defeat that this week has brought to us. Trump, with a potato sack full of segregationist and right-wing hate groups ready to push back common sense and equality. Trump’s winning is just like when Bush came to power. But, now the self-centered and self-interested groups that are, right now, ready to take the wheel and push back the country to a segregation and white-Christian past,  are more powerful. 

The one thing that I remember clearly about sixteen years ago was that after Bush set his Neo-conservative agenda, we also began to mobilize. Now is the time. As the advocates of hate began to tool up and weaponize,  gaining power and influence; We too must advance.  It is a battle of faith. Of words. Of ideas. We have proven our skill in the 2000’s fighting against the far right wing. We have a proven track record and equality is on our side. Having Obama in the White house, we proved that fairness and racial equality raises us as a people. We have this to prove our justification. 

Can you feel it? The call to fight. A fight not with fists, but words. “If you join us, you are welcome to stay and we will all work together to ensure our survival. I understand if you feel you can’t. But as for us, we are going to fight. We will begin training immediately…” Jennifer Outwater. 

















Friday, November 11, 2016

Nine Years of StevieB

Today marks the ninth anniversary for the Nice To See StevieB blog.  This means you’ve been subjected to nine years of my teenage girl angst.  I’m a large bear with a raging teenage girl trapped inside. A teenage drama queen that needed to write in her online diary. Nine years of documenting the ups and downs of your average gay bear. Although I deny that cliche title. As I’m truly an otter trapped in a bear’s body.  

But, damn! nine years. I first began blogging via the electronic means, recently invented, of MySpace. Seriously. I quickly noticed other bloggers using blogger.com and hopped on the bandwagon. I sat at my Apple G4 Power Mac on November 11, 2007, and began to online diary. 


So here we are; nine years of me, rambling on. And on. Let’s see what happens next. 





Sunday, November 6, 2016

When They Go Low

I'm sure you don't need to read my take on the 2016 election cycle. Americans are overwhelmed with adds, speeches, and propaganda. I for one; have isolated myself from the daily tsunami of information. What we cannot isolate ourselves from, it seems, this year, is the vile, defeating, and degrading hatred that has attached to this year's elections. All civil discourse has been distroyed. 

To quote Michelle Obama, "When they go low, we go high." And, as most mature adults find out, seems to work. Most of the time. But, the lowbrow slander and lies, seem neverending. 

No one will ever be moved to your way of thinking by posting negative slander on your Facebook page. So, why do it? Spreading negativity in the world must be a symptom of self-hate. So you hate Hilllary Clinton... I hate your hairstyle. How does that detente improve anything? Just move forward feeling what you feel. But, know that others, like me, feel differently. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Job

Have I mentioned that I have a new job? In late July I pretty much hit a wall in my job. The busy restaurant management company drove me over the edge and, as I felt my mid-life crisis was starting early, it was time for me to run away. I had the luxury to stepping away being finically secure enough to take time to explore. This led be to talking most of August off. Sleeping in late, long workouts at the gym, hiking up in the mountains every day, the whole gainfully unemployed game. It was strange; having all this free time to just relax and rethink my career choices. I have been a Human Resources Manager most of my adult career, or for what seems like an eternity. During my down time, mostly hiking about Boulder, Colorado, I thought about my next career, what I really wanted. And, even with the bad taste left in my mouth of the last HR job, in mid-August I was recruited for another Human Resources gig. Yet the feel of the role was completely different. 

During the initial phone interview I really bonded to what would be my future boss. It was also just the change I needed, a corporate position with short and long term care facilities. Teams of educated doctors and nurses in the role of caring for people in need. A far universe away from attempting to maintain dignity around Bartenders and ego-driven Chefs. Goodbye high end dining, hello medical field. 

So far it’s like being on vacation every day. The work is very hard, don’t get me wrong, but I went from Bar Managers dropping bags of cocaine in the kitchen, to verifying medical degrees. It’s early days, but I feel like I have a purpose again. So, maybe the mid-life crisis can be averted for a couple more years. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Train

I always thought living in proximity to a train track sounded romantic. I once had a house out in the country. At night, when the wind was just right, I could hear the far away call on the train whistle. Its lonesome call in the middle of the night evoked a call to iindividualisticwandering on a Jack Kerouac scale of fiction. No matter how stressful my life was, I could sit in my bed late at night and escape to a dream like world as the drifting call of a train whistle mixed with the late-night breeze. Blowing the sheers. Calming my busy brain. 
When the roommate and I were looking for new place to rent, I was excited to see an opening in a building within walking distance to a train stop. Just two blocks down, and we could be on a train platform that would whisk us to either Denver’s city center, or Denver’s Airport. I was also secretly excited that my train, the one from my late night visits would be back. 
The first night in the new place I drifted off to sleep with the window open. 
HHHHOOOOONNNNKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!
I startled awake! The frickin’ train sounded as if it were running through the driveway. Why would moving next to the stupid train tracks be a smart move? All night a train horn blared every fifteen minutes. All night every night. Since this Jack Kerouac nightmare started in June, I have now become accustom to the late night train whistle. I drift off to my dream like world as train cars full of passengers make their way to and from the airport.  Horns ablazing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Part

One of my earlier memories was getting my haircut. It was in a strip mall in our small hometown.  My Father took my older brother and me to get a buzzcut. I remember the stacks of coloring books and having my very first comic book adventure. Gazing at nineteen seventies Superman taking flight upon the page. This was when my love for comic books was born. I remember the feel of sitting in the huge barber chair; a booster seat to bring me up to the barber’s level. The barber seemed younger than my Dad, but still ancient. In my tiny brain. The image of my Dad wondering out the door, stating he’d be back to pick is up.  I had a scared feeling, wanting to jump from the chair as the buzzing steel clippers came close to my ear. Being comforted by the barber that he wouldn’t hurt me. Softly whispering in my ear that I was safe. His hand moving under the cape to find its way into my jeans. Feeling warm and special because the barber clipping away on my brother in the next chair was not being even acknowledged. I exchanged warm smiles with the barber-man as he cut my hair. One handed. 
This is when it happened, I believe. He cut a side part into my hair. On the left side of my head. I have worn a part on the left side ever since that day. Mostly, this is because I have a massive amount of callicks (or cowlicks) on the back of my head. My hair resembles the back end of a guinea pig most days. Always using a massive amount to product to keep my swirling and unruly hair in its place. 
I recently had to find a new barber, as Nick the Super Barber moved to new town to start a Bed and Breakfast.  I gave in and went to the hipster barbershop that my roommate uses. It is SUPER hipstery. I have a happy connection with getting my hair cut. Obviously, from my past of Superman and having my dick awakened for the first time.  I went in for my first appointment half-hoping there would be comic books. There was not. I met the barber and began to explain my swirl and callicks on the back of my head. He stopped. “It’s because you have your hair parted on the wrong side.” He explained. “Your swirl and callick goes from right to left, opposite of how you’re laying your hair.” He combed my hair over from right to left and all my stand uppity hair laid flat….. Holy hell.  That guy…. When I was just a kid… gave me thirty years of bad hair days??? Guess you are never too old to move your part from the left. I’m all right now.  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Have a Nice Life!"


It is funny; how relationships work.

The more relationships you have, the more you have the opportunity to learn. Learn what works, what does not, and test in action how developed you are as a human. You also have the opportunity to repeat bad behaviors that only serve and self-protection, but create more harm.

This week I reconnected with a friend, completely by accident. And, by accident, I mean by me stepping out of my comfort zone.  Monday, July 4th Independence Day It was 7 am, and I didn’t want to wake up the boyfriend next to me in bed. I was clicking away on Facebook, via my phone. Grumbling as I always do, about how I should just delete my account, as it serves to only one good purpose. That being tormenting my roommate by posting inappropriate photos on his timeline. Truly it’s my life’s work, teasing my best friend Mike.  My mind wandered to how important he is to me, that we will be best friends for ever… then I started to roll back my life to other times I thought that. The feeling of safety that comes from have one friend that will never leave you. Then they do.

Jamie was the closest person to me for most of the nineties until 2002. Late fall, 2002. We decided to move to Dallas together, we lived together. We were inseparable.  But, a lot of dark stuff began to happen. It was as if a black velvet shroud came to envelop him. Pulling him from my reach, grasping for empty air were he once stood.  My Jeep Cherokee was packed and waiting as I sarcastically barked at him from the driveway, “have a nice life!” fully believing that he might be dead soon from drugs, or men, or both.

When some relationships end, a gaping hole seems to be the only evidence left where the other person is torn from your life.  You have to function in your day-today tasks, picking up Chinese takeout, waiting for your number to be called at the DMV, all the while, this dark red wound is there, slowly scabbing over and healing. It took by brain and body so long to heal, it was just a couple of years ago that I opened my eyes and discovered that Mike was going to stand next to me, regardless of the weather. Soon, forgetting the pain of any past relationship.

I thought about my relationship with Mike, how oddly adult is was, treating each other with respect and using open communication, when I suddenly wished I had those mature skills back in Dallas, late fall, 2002. I entered Jamie’s name in to the Facebook search bar. Almost automatically, my mind not realizing what my hands were doing. In seconds his face popped up. “God… I thought you were dead?” I sent a message, “Uh. Hi there.” I am so not eloquent with the written word.  Within seconds he responded with an avalanche of messages. Quickly we were speaking on the phone. We were Jamie and Steve again. But this time around, fourteen years later, it seems we have the maturity to function.

It is funny; how relationships work.

It took Mike to teach me how to be a friend, and I have taken those tools to heal a broken relationship from my past. But, Jamie seems to have taken my advice, he is having a nice life.

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.