Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bibles, Instruction Manuals, and Book Burnings

I spent a few hours going through old books last night, finally separating all my old college books and novels that I have carried around with me for the past eleven years. Always on shelves, then in boxes, then on shelves again. Never opened. Never used. By the time it was all done, there were nearly twelve boxes and one large trash can full of books. I’d forgotten just how many I had. Tons of teaching books. Tons of Youth Ministry books. What I’d forgotten was how many different Bible source books I had—lexicons, translations in Greek, commentary after commentary from a plethora of theologians. The crazy part was how much I actually remembered from those books. All the hours going through them rushing back. I often think of my youth ministry degree as a fluff degree. I forgot that it’s a theology degree. An actual theology degree. I remembered all the courses about how to engage kids. I’d forgotten about the equal number of Bible theory, philosophy, on and on and on. Also surprisingly, these were the hardest for me to give away. In fact, I kept three of them that I remembered the most—the rest taking up several boxes. Even just aesthetically, they are beautiful. So large, all bound in leathers, so masculine and scholarly looking. (I didn’t even mean for that to sound sexy, but it does—guess I know where my taste in men comes from…) If nothing else, it’s hard to cast away things you spent so many hours and hours and hours toiling over.
I would love to hear the people at the ARC going through all I donated. The catty (hopefully clever) diatribe that surely will ensue. Teaching text books, massage and anatomy textbooks, countless Bible resource books, and select gay books (even stuck a couple of my own novels in for good measure—never know where you might pick up a new reader/fan). Seriously? Who is this guy will all these ‘conflicting’ aspects of life?
As ever, I’d like to feel special and more complicated than most. But, really, we’re all like that—at least most of us. One aspect of ourselves in extreme juxtaposition to another aspect. Pretty great really. (So, if you’re looking for lots of Bible resource books or want to learn how to teach (in theory) in your spare time, stop off at the ARC by Casa Bonita—you’ll be in for a good time!)
I do have to say, I am looking forward to burning the ex-gay shit that filled my life for so long. There was a bit of power in the refusal to pass those on. Refusing to let them rip away at the soul of some other gay man or lesbian woman—telling them they aren’t the person God made them to be.
Look at me banning and burning books. Guess you can’t take the fundamentalist out of a boy no matter how hard you try!

Monday, September 26, 2011

the twists and turns

The water heater broke once more last week, water everywhere, much drama. I was able to fix it myself, thank goodness. As a result, the basement has been torn up for a several days. I’ve got it about half way put back. Through the process, I decided to use the opportunity to purge. One of the things I’m getting rid of is shelf after shelf after shelf of old college/grad school text books. Most of them look brand new. I’ve almost gotten rid of them before, but I hate to get rid of books, and they represent thousands and thousands of dollars that I had to pay. Some of the books were nearly two-hundred dollars a piece. Such a racket. However, I’m using a fifth of my storage space in the house to keep these books I barely read when I was in school. Why hold on to them now? The ARC will soon have its own college campus library—full of youth ministry instruction and special education theory.
In addition to college text books, I also came across all the books I had to read during my five years of sexual-orientation reassignment therapy. Most books were published by Focus on the Family and their ilk. There were also a couple workbooks that I had to process through. Those brought back the most memories. I hated doing those. I’ve always hated homework. However, I took them seriously, those and the instruction books. Reading my own words about my acting out behaviors (which were rather funny, all the things small, nearly innocent things) I was so, so guilty about, other parts about all the guilt, so much pain and self-loathing. All from a genuine place. All those wasted years, all that wasted money. It’s like reading about a white man trying to therapy himself into a different race. Not that all the years and money were wasted. I worked through lots of other issues besides trying to be straight. I’m truly thankful to God for not answering that prayer, although the damage done by his ‘followers’ spouting his ‘teachings’ is a different story. I did learn how to look and think critically, how to begin to grow a backbone, how to become a man. Funny, all the things that were supposed to happen when I was straight, brought me to being stronger in my identity and pride as a gay man, giving me a strength I wouldn’t have had before. Talk about learning and grown despite ourselves.
Those books, the ones who were teaching me that I was less than God made me to be, the ones that wanted to destroy God’s child and morph him into their own ‘god’s child,’ will not be given away. Those will be looked at once more, a reminder of where I have been, battles that have been fought, prayers that have been prayed, countless tears that have been shed, a moment of respect for the journey I have been through and the costs that have been paid, and then they will be destroyed—an act of vengeance upon words that cut at my soul, lies that were spoken into my heart, an act of cleansing out deceit and hate. One less copy of each in existence that could poison another as they search for God in this world.
Father, thank you for showing me your love for me, despite my own intent to believe the hate others showed and spoke in your name.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why didn't they teach me this in grad school?

I’m trying, I really am. In some ways, I think I’m already making progress. (Why does progress always have to come with some type of pain, sacrifice?) I am doing my best to live in the moment, have faith/hope in the future but not live there already. I must say, however, that if I was more certain and guaranteed about the future, I could much more readily enjoy the moment. I know, I know. I’m sure I’m missing the point of the journey, not the destination, blah, blah, blah. I get that. Mostly.
The main thing I think I need to do is to starting having realistic expectations. Not low expectations or ones that cause me to compromise who I am and what we can and should be, but realistic. A part of me, a rather large part of me, has unrealistic expectations about everything. When you’re in a relationship, the other person calls/texts about every two hours. When you’re in a relationship, you don’t really enjoy anything unless the other person is there. When you’re in a relationship, you wait with baited breath until the next time you’re together. (Dear lord, I wish I was exaggerating.) Apparently, that’s not really how relationships go. At least, that’s what every single person tells me. Stupid, know-it-all everybody else! It seems healthy relationships don’t call and text every ten seconds (or two hours, or even every day during work). Rumor has it, people are able to fully enjoy other parts of their lives even when their other half isn’t there. Turns out, people are able to breath (and think clearly) even between times of being with their love. The legend goes that these things even make your relationship stronger! That’s what I’m discovering as I talk to people. Sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus to me. But, that makes sense that it would—the test results have come in and they show irrefutable evidence that I tend to fall on the overly needy, enmeshed, clingy, suffocating spectrum of things. One of those cases where if the rest of the world is saying one thing, even if it goes against everything in my gut, I must be the one who isn’t normal. Lucky Smokey (who is now over two weeks sans smoking), send prayers for strength and patience his way.
There are lots of prayers, lots of tears (that I’m doing my best to keep to myself, really), and lots of pain as I attempt to shift my thinking and actions to a ‘healthier’ reality. Both of us have stated many times that we want ‘this’ to work out, that we want to be together. Figuring this out is my part of nourishing and loving our relationship. It may be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but the pay off is beyond anything I’ve ever worked for before! As much as I know I need to focus on the moment. I know where I desire the end result to be, and where I believe it can and should be. However, for that to take place, the moment is where I need to stay.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

my shit

I keep waiting to figure life out, for it to reach some kind of point where I can exhale and then simply be. I’m not sure why I even have the slightest hope for that to happen. I have yet to meet one person, of any age, that has that experience for long.
Even with my folks, now that the house is cleared and sold, when we should be able to finally say, ‘thank God, that’s over,’ we now face bankruptcy anyway, due to the legal bills uncured while fighting the evil bitch woman. You’d hope that you can relax now that there is a lull in the custody battle, since they reached an agreement that is supposed to last a few years. No such luck. You think when you type that last word of the novel that its over, you can move on to what’s next—but it is only the beginning of fighting for the life you birthed over a period of years. You think when you’ve found the man you believe you are meant to spend your life with, the man you want to spend you life with, your heart will stop hurting. So far from the truth. My heart is alive again, and therefore, remembers how to hurt. And love.
Smokey and I will be fine, at least I’m holding onto that. I’m so tired of my shit getting in the way. My neediness, clinginess, and emeshable traits are wearing him down. I’d like to blame it on my personality (which it is a part of my personality) and leave it at that. However, then I become my first boyfriend, who was so abusive, in every way but physically, and then would blame me for not understanding his hot-Latino nature because I’m white. I have to figure out how to love with all of me without suffocating the very essence of the one I love. The process hurts so much, but there’s not a choice. I have to figure it out or lose him. Have to figure it out or return to when I lived behind stone and ice.
When you think of it, say a prayer for us (sometimes, I get angry when I still ask for prayer, but what else can I do, what else do I believe in?). That I will deal with my issues and learn to love without suffocation, and that he will be patient and find me worth the wait and effort as I figure my shit out.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


It’s one of those free therapy blogs. How exciting. Ugh.
I’ve spoken quite often of my dogs, Dunkyn and Dolan. Both as opposite as you could get. Each perfectly embodying both sides of my personality. Personalities, maybe… Sadly, my more unstable one, Dolan, is the one who most often holds up a mirror for his daddy. Typically around areas that drive me crazy about him. Dolan often can not enjoy the moment he is in due to his unending focus on what is next. Are we going to keep walking longer? Are we ready to run yet? Will you keep petting me? Never enjoying simply being on the walk to the point he’s not focused on the last minute run. Never truly sinking into being petting or cuddled with because he’s too focused on you not stopping. Quite literally begging to be petted as you are petting him. Whereas Dunkyn lets himself sink into every situation at hand.
I am Dolan.
Smokey is Dunkyn.
Each moment is a moment to be savored for Smokey, seemingly existing all on its own. Making what comes better, but the moment itself being the point. Not the next.
I drive myself crazy. My feelings get hurt. I start obsessing. It weighs me down and is a constant source of stress and oppression. Even through countless deep breaths, prayers, and reality focused self-talk/reality checks.
Smokey could spend every moment focused on me, telling me all the affirming words I want to hear constantly, assuring me of his love and commitment until the world ends. Like Dolan, I can’t sink into the moment and let it nourish me they way it ought—I am worried about when it will stop, maybe forever, maybe for five minutes. It’s exhausting on me, and I’m sure it’s exhausting on him. At times, I think, this is a normal relationship, I should be able to handle this. However, then I realize it’s not normal. Smokey is a MILLION times more attentive, romantic, and assuring than any other man I’ve ever met—more than any other person in a relationship I’ve ever seen. The very fact that he deals with his Dolan-like boyfriend is astounding. And still, I can’t put down the worry, fear, and compulsion that I’m going to drive him crazy, annoy him, cause him to fall out of love with me. (If anything would make him do that, it is this very character trait.)
I, truly (not even said through rose-colored glasses), have the best boyfriend I could ever imagine. He blows my mind with the love he shows me, and the grace he gives. I hope, wish, pray that I could give him the gift of a boyfriend who can rest in the moment, let it feed him instead of only focused on the next ‘meal,’ support his man with grounding arms that hold him close while raising him up to help him fly and soar to his dreams.
On our four month anniversary (which feels like years, in a good way), babe—even though you don’t read this—this is my gift to you: My commitment to strive to be more whole. Rest in who you are, who I am, and who we are together—so that you will be better, I will be better, and we will be better. I love you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

concerns of a distant planet

The past couple mornings have been out of this world beautiful. Especially Monday morning. As I drove to work, headed West on I70, I felt like I was traveling in a distant planet. A full, glowing, iridescent moon, so big and clear that you could see the craters with the naked eye hung inches above the jagged mountains that boasted a vibrant purple, sparkling with the pinkish orange reflecting from the sun rising in the East. It honestly was the most beautiful sunrise/moonset I had ever seen in my life, kinda felt like a once in a lifetime experience. I was so angry that I didn’t have my camera, but loved the moment, the brevity of the beauty, the magic of our own world.
It’s an emotional time right now. Work absolutely sucks and is so stressful, not because of the kids—who are doing the best they’ve ever done. (And, as worried as I was about the new principal… she’s amazing! I was prepared for this to be my last year at my school since often new principals ruin a special education experience, but she is phenomenal. It’s nice to know I’m still ‘home.’)
Smokey is quitting smoking (guess I’ll have to come up with a new alias) and is on a ten day cleanse, which means no food for ten days, plus. While he’s emotional, he’s handling it a lot better than I would. No food for ten days! Good lord! I’ve done five when I was fasting for my best friend in Missouri, but ten! I’m so proud of Smokey—his resolve, making good changes, his strength and hopefulness. I, as ever, am working on my neediness/smothering tendencies. I’m so thankful how patient and understanding he is, and how strong he is.
The closing on the short-sale is supposed to happen on Wednesday, which is great, but there are details with the bitch that MAY not be over for a long time, we are discovering. Fun stuff.
I have created new covers for the novels. I’m much happier with them, as they were simply templates before. I finally figured out how to work my computer to make my own the way I want them. I hope it will help attract more attention and get them ready for the book signing.
Maybe someday I’ll get back to using this blog as a more creative, venting tool, instead of just a diary, but still needing to just get things out of my systems sometimes….

Thursday, September 08, 2011

New York Publishing House : Boulder Book Store (Tomato : Tomauto)

Well, it’s on! To the cost of a little over $400, I am taking parting in a book talk/signing at the Boulder Book Store in Boulder, Co. Originally, I thought it was just a book signing. Found out today that I have twenty minutes (up to twenty minutes) to talk about my book. Uhmmmm…. Terrifying. It seems the other two authors participating have written a poetry book and a Christianity book. Slide a gay urban fantasy novel to the panel and you’ve got yourself a jolly good time!
As nervous as I am, I can’t help be excited. It may come to naught, but at least I feel like I’m moving a step forward, demonstrating that I’m willing to fight for this dream.
It will be on a Sunday in October. I’m not sure which one yet, but I should know soon. One of the qualifiers is that I have to submit at least fifty address of people that they can send my book signing announcement to. If you have any interest in helping with this, please post a comment on here with your mailing address—I won’t post it or make it public. I’ll even erase it after I write it down. Thank you for your willingness to help with this.
Fighting for my dreams: Round 8878…

lessons in thankfulness

Completely rushing around already, but I had to take a moment for thankfulness.
Things went our way in court yesterday. While there is still a week for the evil bitch to pull something to mess it up and cost my family more money, she is supposed to be evicted within the week. As long as that happens, the closing can happen and we can deal with a short-sale and avoid bankruptcy awhile longer. Hopefully the other families she is doing this too fair as well.
Things have also been agreed upon with my nephew for the time being—hopefully until first grade, which would be a relief. The past year and a half preparing for this stupid legal drama was exhausting (and expensive) on my family (and Gavin’s only two!)! Time will continue to increase every couple months until we have him half time, just like we did in the beginning before other’s showed their true colors.
I’m very grateful for both of these things, so much. I’m struggling with doing my best to simply be thankful instead of resentful of things lost and the unfairness around settling in both of these cases. However, they were looking soooo much worse. I can be thankful for tragedy avoided. I am thankful for tragedy avoided!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

fall of gluttony

It’s that time of year again. The time that is either my favorite or my least favorite time of the year. The weather beginning to grow colder, where you can almost wear a jacket but really don’t need one. The leaves are just hinting at morphing hues. The streets wet with early morning mist. The pumpkin chai or pumpkin white chocolate mocha warm in my hands as I drive, listening to my latest vampire romance (JR Ward, at the moment). Wrapped in cozy warmth. The days are still long enough to keep me sane (relatively), while hinting that I’ll soon be decorating for Christmas. When things are rough, this time of year is the hardest, knowing the long dark evenings and nights ahead alone, facing a forced Merry Christmas, the glaring of all that I’ve lost in my life nearly impossible to ignore. What a change this season in when surrounded by love, when happy and content, when living a gift. I’m so very thankful.
Today, in addition to being wonderful outside, is a key day in the drama of the evil house stealing lady in Estes. Eviction court is today. If it goes well, the short sale should go through. If not, my parents have no more money to fight her and will have to declare bankruptcy. I’ve never battled hatred as much as I feel for this woman. After years of sucker punches my family has endured over and over and over, fought and fought and fought. For this evil bitch to come in and rape away the rest of our dignity and resources. I never knew I could feel this way toward another supposed human being. We will see what the day holds. I need to stop this conversation, show some restraint, though I would at least love to use words to destroy her. In all my lack of faith, ‘Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord’ continues to ring in my head.
Throughout the continual rejection letters of agents, I have decided to move forward in a more proactive, less cost-effective, manner. I am in talks with the Boulder Book Company (an amazing book store on Pearl Street in Boulder) to do an Author signing and have them display my books for three weeks. It’s expensive and risky, and kinda fun. It could blow up in my face and cost a lot of money for nothing, but you never know. Someone might be there. An agent, the wife of an agent, the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of an agent/publisher. Who knows? I’ve got to keep trying.
Selfish, I know. To have found love and still reach for my other biggest dream? I guess I want it all. Call me glutton.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

breathe in smoke

One of those perfect weekends. Truly. Perfect, especially due the three days. Smokey and I had tons (Tons) of friend time, family time, and boyfriend time. While I’d love to take an hour to go on and on and on and on about how happy I am this morning and wallow in the joy of breathing again, I will do that on my own. Plus, I’m already overwhelmed with things I need to get done. But, yay!!!!!!