The Exchange

I’ve been friends with Pat and Brenda for almost 15 years. During that 15 years I have watched their children grow up from 4 year old terrors to adults with responsibilities that they take seriously. It has been a pleasure to watch.

For the last few years the Pat and Brenda have been looking forward to the day when their children would be away from the house and they would effectively be free. I must admit that I too was looking forward to the day when we would be able to have more freedom to do what we wanted to without worrying about the kids at home.

So it came as a little bit of a shock when I came to Chippewa Falls this week and found out they were very excited about a foreign exchange student coming to their home in the next few weeks.

I really shouldn’t be surprised. They have such big hearts and so much to share with someone from another country. They’ve always given to others.

For the next school year a young lady from Thailand will be living at my friends house and perhaps even coming to Washington DC in October for a brief visit. I hope she comes to love my friends as much as I love them, and I hope they come to learn a lot about other cultures.

The C Word

Sometimes CUNT is the appropriate word. We’ve all met her, she has no respect for other people, she knows she’s better than everyone else, and she makes sure we all know it. There are specific moments when I want to call a woman a CUNT, usually when she does something that interferes with my happiness.

Now I want to know if it’s ok for a woman to call another woman CUNT? Is it like FAGGOT which apparently is ok if you’re a gay guy calling another gay guy a FAGGOT? Is it like NIGER, which apparently is ok if you’re an African-American calling another African-American a NIGER?

Could I approach a woman who wasn’t offensive and ask her to please call the offensive woman a CUNT for me? Do you think she’s do it for me or would she get mad cause I wanted to call the other woman that? Women can be such CUNTs about this kind of thing.

In my creative writing class we were given a story to read which contained FUCK several times. I can’t recall who the writer was at the time, but the use of the word FUCK offended one of the students so much that she came in to class early the next day and wrote several quotes from other famous writers on the board expressing their disdain for cursing. It led, ultimately, to an entire class talking about censorship and forbidden words. The argument of some, and I was probably one of them, was that the more we use these words in ways that are inoffensive (unlike this post) the less power and meaning they have in the real world.

I would like to think I’m right, but then my memory comes crashing back of walking down 17th Street in gay DC when I first moved to the area. I was minding my own business when car came driving by and the driver pitched his half-full beer can at me and yelled “Fucking Faggot!”. Had the driver had any real courage, he would have slowed down so we could discuss the implications of his being a close minded bigot – but alas, he and his buddies sped away.

So, yeah, I guess words can sting sometimes, not as much as half-full beer cans, but sting nonetheless.

Just one more look… but it’s never enough

It’s when I’m not looking for him that he appears. It never seems to fail. I was walking home from the meeting and I heard his voice, I couldn’t help but look for him – it’s been years since I’ve heard his voice and it’s still like a symphony exploding in me.

Then I spotted him, his closely shaved head and short go-t lost to the majesty of his sparkling blue eyes.

His eyes were the first thing I ever noticed about him, the first thing that made my heart skip beats – there were more reasons later, but his eyes always targeted my heart.

He’s sitting there, casually having dinner with friends or colleagues talking about god knows what, I didn’t bother to try to eavesdrop I just wanted to hear the notes cascading out of his mouth one more time. It wouldn’t matter what he said, just to hear him speak was a joy.

It’s a sappy, horrid way to write how he makes me feel. There may be no way to properly clarify it.

He saw me also, his eyes sparkling one more time at me, his smile grew. That’s almost enough to satisfy my thirst for him, almost. Some times I wonder if that craving will ever go away, will it ever cease to have this effect on me?

Posted in Men

Only The Lonely

Over the last several months I’ve been fortunate (or unfortunate – depending on how you want to look at it) enough to have heard from several different people how lonely, depressed or just out of sorts they seem to be.

My advice to each of them has been the same: Maybe you should go to more meetings.

It’s easy to give the same advice to these people when I met each of them in a 12 step meeting.

Now it came as a surprise to me when each of these individuals gave me exactly the same answer: I don’t go to meetings anymore. I just don’t feel connected there and don’t think I really need to go anymore.

Well, I can understand why you feel lonely, depressed and out of sorts. You’ve obviously become well enough that you no longer need other people, a program of recovery or a power greater than yourself.

I’m not going to feel sorry for you, I’m not going to enable you, I’m not going to listen to you whine. Get the hell out of your self-imposed seclusion and go to a meeting, you’ll feel better, see people and rejoin the path of recovery that will show you a way of life that is indescribably wonderful.

“Yeah but…” A friend of mine says that everything after “yeah, but…” is bullshit. I’m all for that, there are no excuses, take the action you need to take to recover for your disease and quit complaining that the world doesn’t treat you right. It’s not attractive.

If you go to meetings and don’t participate in the fellowship before or after the meetings, that’s half your problem. Whey aren’t you reaching out to other members and calling, emailing or hanging with them?

“Yeah, but emails aren’t the same…” see above
“Yeah, but no one really connects with me…” see above
“Yeah, but my case is different…” see above

You want to feel a part of, you want to feel like you belong? Take the action. Hold out your hand to shake, raise your hand to share, invite yourself to lunch… Do something.