Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone out there in cyberland.

I hope you had a wonderful time sitting there witnessing your family make passive aggressive comments about other family members, enjoying your turkey, and talking about memories past.  My thanksgiving was relatively stress-free.  It was also money-free, but that’s a different topic.  A completely different topic.

I’ve been in a funk these past few weeks.  I would say for the past month.  It may feel like the funk has flitted away, or it may simply be that I’m too numb to do anything about it.  Regardless,  I feel like I’m coming out the other side, and that’s all that matters.

So…hopefully my postings will be much more uplifting, much more exciting, and not so negative.  We shall see.  🙂  No promises.  But I will do my best!!

That’s all I have to say here.  I hope everyone is doing well out in the world…and until we meet again.

Dark Side

There’s a place that I know
It’s not pretty there and few have ever gone
If I show it to you now
Will it make you run away

Or will you stay
Even if it hurts
Even if I try to push you out
Will you return?
And remind me who I really am
Please remind me who I really am

Everybody’s got a dark side
Do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody’s a picture perfect
But we’re worth it
You know that we’re worth it
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?

Like a diamond
From black dust
It’s hard to know
It can become
A few give up
So don’t give up on me
Please remind me who I really am

Everybody’s got a dark side
Do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody’s a picture perfect
But we’re worth it
You know that we’re worth it
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?

Don’t run away
Don’t run away
Just tell me that you will stay
Promise me you will stay
Don’t run away
Don’t run away
Just promise me you will stay
Promise me you will stay

Will you love me? ohh
Everybody’s got a dark side
Do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody’s a picture perfect
But we’re worth it
You know that we’re worth it
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?

Kelly Clarkson Dark Side lyrics found on http://www.directlyrics.com/kelly-clarkson-dark-side-lyrics.html

Untitled

This is specifically titled, “Untitled,” because I don’t quite know where this collection of thoughts is going to go.

A lot of things have been swirling around my brain this past week.  Mortality, being alone,  jubilation at the passage of Referendum 74 in my home state of Washington, and a bunch of other thoughts that may or may not make it into this blog.  We’ll see how adventurous I am at 11:59 at night.

 

The first thought – mortality.  That chapter I described in an earlier post , has got me thinking about my own mortality, people close to me, what I want to happen when I should pass on, as we all must.  I already know that I want to be cremated, and perhaps a small portion of my ashes spread at the ocean, the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, and the rest can be thrown away.  Silly, I guess, but there are two very specific reasons why.

The ocean, because water is always important to me.  The ocean has always been a place of refuge, a place where I seek solace, ask questions to the universe, and remind myself that there are things bigger than me when my ego gets in the way.  Not that I necessarily am an egomaniac, but it’s nice to be reminded that there is a force, a life force out there…call it God, call it the Great Spirit, call it Chuck E. Cheese for all I care.  It’s just something that is important to me, and when I die, I’d like to be a part of it.

Disneyland, because for me, it’s the happiest place on earth.  For a long while, my life was a musical.  Even to this day, songs and melodies accompany almost everything I do.  I can be walking along, see the most innocuous thing, and suddenly, a melody pops into my head.  It helps me get through the day.  Some of the songs are good.  Most of them are not.  But the ones that need to be kept alive continue coming back, are refined, and then put out into the world.  It’s how I hear the world, through music.  And to me, Disneyland represents this happiness, this joy.  I can walk down Main Street and suddenly feel like the rest of the world is gone.  I’m not stupid.  I know there is still poverty, and the sweatshirts in the gift shops most likely were made by child labor.  I’m not naive or simple.  But it helps me to forget a lot of the things that plague me, those daily reminders that while everything on the outside may seem happy, inspirational, and upbeat, inside lies a dragon that every so often rears its ugly head.  Like tonight apparently.

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness.  If you were to put two and two together, you could probably figure out what it was.  It marked the end of an era, and a beginning of a new one, probably for the better.  But in it, there was an aspect of my being, a part of what made people relate to me in a weird sort of way suddenly a much more difficult path to be able to utilize.  I’m not saying that my sexuality (the physical act, not the part of being gay) was my defining characteristic, but it certainly was a tool in my tool kit.

Without going into too much detail here, I could simply say that I thought that the person I was with and I would be together forever, as we were in the same boat.  Yet, five years later, he decided to try to pray the gay away, and I’m here, looking in the world, like a kid in a candy shop.  My eyes are big, but I feel the big hand of THIS telling me that I cannot, and should not ever touch.  Fuck.

This thought became issue number one after the whole death of a former boyfriend thing, and has seemed to magnify over this week.  I think about it and know that I’m still the same human being underneath, despite having THIS.  The dread IT.  The whatever the hell you want to call it.  Yet, because I’m also a nice guy, and an honest guy, I recognize that finding someone who is willing to accept that part of me as simply part of me is a difficult task.  Add to that the joys and desires of starting over at age 35…where my boyish good looks are no longer eye-catching, my hairline receding, and what could essentially be referred to as “gay death,” it seems insurmountable.

A friend and I had dinner, and we were talking about life in general, and about referendum 74.  It was bittersweet for me, the passing, as I thought that he who shall not be named (apparently I’m dating Voldemort) and I were going to be together forever.   We had discussed marriage.  And now that it’s an actual possibility, a real, live possibility, I see many acquaintances getting engaged, announcing it to the world, and yet I sit here and wallow.

I mentioned to this friend that I would die alone, probably a crazy old cat lady.  Why?  Because I’m one cat away from Junior Cat Lady merit badge status, and because of the previously aforementioned reasons.  The IT.  The THIS.  The nothing that is destroying our world.  I’m glib about it, but it is something that weighs heavily on my mind.

Add to that a dash of non-typical gay, and the fact that my job that I despise isolates me from the world in ways unimaginable, and it is the perfect recipe for isolationism, or to end up like this.

Thirty-five, and I seem to have no knack for connecting with people.  I don’t drink.  So, I feel stupid going to bars, by myself, where I can meet people.  My job literally is the most soul-sucking employment on the planet…honestly, I feel like being a garbage man would be better.  And frankly, more rewarding.  At least I could see that my job is doing something instead of just being a simple cog in a machine, no hope of recognition, no thank you, not even a raise.  Dear god, I need a new job.  A direct quote from one of our managers, when speaking about the boss, “She views you all as Kleenex.  Disposable.  To be used and thrown away.”  That gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies.

And then, there’s the fact that I am simply a nice guy.  A nice guy who would do anything for people.  Because I’m nice like that.  Or, if you want to get into my psyche even further, because I have an insatiable need to make people like me due to sexual abuse that happened when I was five by a jerk-of-a-guy babysitter, and have been playing catch up ever since.  Having to be the grown up, having to be the caretaker, making sure that people were all right before myself.

The funny thing is, I would go to the end of the earth for someone with no questions asked, simply because that’s what I know how to do.  If I were a robot, it would be part of my programming.  I would be the “iFixIt 2000.”  That’s what I do.  Take care of things for people.  I don’t need you to do anything for me.

But Jesus (or Buddha, Allah, Mary, or crazy man on the corner who spouts biblical nonsense at me all day) I could use a break.  I could use just one break.  Or two.  I don’t mean to be greedy.  But I could use one.

Every day, I post something on my Facebook wall that is inspirational, a quote of the day, if you will.  Via Twitter.  (@turpinharry if you’re interested).  People always comment about how they love them.  How it brightens their day.  Great.  I’m happy.

But the thing is, I’m not happy.  That dragon that I mentioned earlier lurks just under the surface, brimming with his sadness, ready to break out of the skin, and take wing, overwhelming any sense of happiness, joy, or positiveness that I could possibly contain.

Because I realize that I am alone.

People don’t answer my calls.  Maybe because they’re rude.  Maybe because they don’t get to the phone in time.  Maybe because they simply don’t want to talk at that time.  Who knows the reason.  I certainly don’t.  And yet, I still continue to call, hoping that someone will pick up, we can exchange pleasantries, and I can feel that human connection that seems to be missing in my life.

People do, however, call, when they need something.  Remember “iFixIt 2000?”  He has practical purposes.  Call him, and he’ll get it done.  Because he doesn’t say no.

Even at work, I say yes to the point where it wreaks havoc on my body, afraid that if I say no, they will no longer ask.  And then, I’ll be out of work, and even more destitute than I am right now (and believe me, I’m living so paycheck to paycheck that if that were to happen, I would be homeless in a matter of minutes).

This is a lot of stuff to carry.  And if you’ve made it this far, I applaud you.  Maybe I shouldn’t be writing it for the world to see.  Though, as of this time, my blog has -1877911 followers so I don’t think I need to worry too much about it coming back to haunt me.

So, now perspective.

Tomorrow, I will wake up.  I will totter to my desk.  I will sit down, put my headphones on, and lose myself in the sorrows of other people as I do my job that I despise.  I will answer any phone call that comes my way, in hopes that someone wants to spend time with me, but knowing that they probably want something specific and I’m the guy to do it because I’ll get it done.  I’ll finish work.  I’ll wait for the evening to come so I can go to sleep, so I can start all over again.  This machine is permanently set on wash, rinse, repeat.

I’m tired.  I’m tired of being the person that people come to for advice.  I’m tired of carrying the weight on my shoulders.  I’m tired of having the THIS.  I’m tired of a lot of things.

And yet, I’m not so tired that I give in.  Because I hope that someday, somewhere, someone will see me for what I am — the most perfectly flawed version of myself that I can possibly be, someone who recognizes these thoughts, and does his absolute best to change them within the confines of the reality that envelopes him like darkness.

I do my best to remain as light.

But even lights burn out.

 

Finishing a Chapter

Yesterday morning, I learned that someone who was once very close to me passed away.  It was a shock, and the news came via Facebook (are we sensing a trend here?  Maybe I should spend less time on Facebook and more time experiencing life…though that is a subject for another blog posting).  He was 33 years old, and his passing is surrounded in mystery, as the doctors don’t know why his body gave out, as he was a fairly healthy man.

His passing brought up a lot of feelings that I thought had been resolved.  And as I sat there, reading the news, wondering what happened, I discovered myself crying over the situation.  Anger, frustration, sadness, shock, grief, all of these things. 

We had dated while on tour.  If you have never been on tour, let me explain how it works.  You’re working, living, traveling, playing with a group of people for however long your tour is.  When you’re dating someone as well, the microcosmic proportions of your time spent together seem exponentially bigger.  one day feels like three, one week feels like a month, six months feels like a couple of years, and so on.  You get to know things about people that in any other situation, it would take you months to find out.  Their eating habits, their grooming habits, their sexual proclivities, their thoughts on various items.  All of it is jammed into a trunk, and magnified to levels, leaving you exposed and sometimes vulnerable.  

This particular relationship was rocky.  And we did not end on good terms.  I will not relate the stories here, as those are my personal memories, and I have made peace with them.  Needless to say, the relationship had caused me to doubt my self-worth, my own esteem, and my own place in this world.  

Eventually, we were able to iron out our differences after recognizing we weren’t a good fit and going our separate ways and become what is commonly referred to as “Facebook friends.”  We had seen each other on the streets a couple of times, and said hello, caught up on pleasantries, and then continued on our merry way.  

So to hear that he was suddenly gone was somewhat jarring.  My feelings came flooding back — all the self-worth, self-doubt, and questions about why our relationship went the way it did, but painted with a stroke of sadness and disbelief that he was gone.

The experiences with this man have left me forever changed — heck, we got tattoos together (no, not matching ones).  There’s a memory of him forever etched literally on my body, as well as figuratively in my heart and mind.  Those experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world, as they have brought me to this place where I am tod

ay.  

I am forev

er grateful that I 

 

knew him, and blessed to have been part of his story.  My heart goes out to his sister, her children, his mother and the rest of his family.  I only hope that he is in a better place, looking down on those people who loved him, for better or worse, and at peace. 

 

Rest in peace, Chad.  

Image

 

 

 

Just because you can…doesn’t mean you should

Happy November, Blog readers.

I noticed a trend on Facebook where people were posting a month of gratitude.  I thought this was a good idea, so I jumped on the bandwagon.  Two days into this exercise, the following occurred.  I now present to you the exchange, with the names changed to protect the not-so-innocent:

****************************

November is gratitude month. The goal is to post something you are grateful for daily. Today, I’m grateful for knowing a kid who is now 16 years old…and growing every day. He’s growing into man, and his thoughtfulness, his understanding, his compassion for others blows me away. I’m lucky enough to call him my son. Love you Taylor.

  • ADH: Why is gratitude month trying to take over Indigenous People’s month?
  • JG:  What it’s indignant people’s month? WTH!?
  • ADH: Are you seriously calling Native Americans “indignant”? WTF!
  • JG:  it was a joke. I initially read it as “indignant” instead of “indigenous.” “WTH” was the indignant part of the joke.
  • ADH:  http://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/

    nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov

    The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National …See More
  • ADH:  Racism is never funny.
    JG:  Good grief, nothing in my joke had any racial or ethnic connotation.  Perhaps you’re getting indigent confused with indignant, which means to be unnecessarily resentful or angry. 
    *******
    This all happened within a matter of minutes on my Facebook wall.  What was originally intended to be a gratitude posting about my son took a perilously wrong turn into some sort of weird racist territory.  But what’s absolutely fascinating about this entire exchange is that both ADH and JG are women of color, both accepting, both some of the most tolerant people I have ever known.  JG was adopted into a white family, and has another sister who was also adopted, of a different race, was raised Baha’i.  ADH is Native American, and also somewhat open and tolerant, practicing what she preaches.
    My post was not intended to upset anyone, to slight the Native American people’s plight (though I’m sure by calling them Native Americans, I’ve slighted them without meaning to).  As a person of mixed heritage myself, I don’t argue that what was done to the indigenous people of this country was abhorrent and unacceptable.  But since November has come to mean a time of giving thanks in modern society, you know…the one that I grew up in, I chose to partake in something and take an opportunity to express my love and gratitude for my son.  That’s all it was meant to do.  It wasn’t meant to discriminate, to belittle, to deny, to cause an uproar.  And what was I hoped a lovely sentiment now has these comments that spiraled wildly out of control attached to it.
    I could delete them, but I’m not in the habit of censorship.  They’re entitled to their opinions.  But geez.  Lighten up, ladies.  Seriously.  Lighten up.
    Which brings me to another point.  Facebook has become a way for people to sit there and share their opinions.  I am guilty of it as well.  I try to post things that are uplifting, often keeping my true views and opinions away from what is on my wall for a variety of reasons.  I know a lot of different people with opposing ideologies, and I want to avoid exactly what happened above.  What was meant to be something affirming turned into something incredibly ugly in mere moments.
    Just because we can post, doesn’t mean we should.  There have been several times I’ve seen a comment, a post from someone I know where I wanted to post and say something snarky, but then this thing called common sense kicked in, and I refrained.  The last thing I want to do is get engaged in a war of words with anyone over a social media platform.  I have too many other important things to do.
    So, since this is not linked to my Facebook account, I’m going to repost my original post here, where I’m fairly certain it will not turn into accusations of racism.  And if it does, or if the spammers try to get at me with their own messages of trying to capitalize on my blog (with their broken English) I can simply bulk action delete them.  Thank you WordPress.
    I wish Facebook would give you the option to mark certain posts as “Do not remark.”  Because then maybe this would have prevented my inbox from blowing up this morning over something that was meant to be positive and uplifting.
    Happy Gratitude/Native American/get a fucking grip month.
    Here is my post again:
    November is gratitude month. The goal is to post something you are grateful for daily. Today, I’m grateful for knowing a kid who is now 16 years old…and growing every day. He’s growing into man, and his thoughtfulness, his understanding, his compassion for others blows me away. I’m lucky enough to call him my son. Love you Taylor.