Unforeseen Feelings

Today I encountered an emotion I didn’t quite expect. After I registered for the next semester it occurred to me (after reviewing my “requirement grid”) that I only have one class left and I will be eligible to graduate with my AA. This is something I have been working toward for four years, ever so slowly chipping away at my necessary classes. When I began it seemed so daunting like I could and would never get there. And it became exceptionally exhausting when I found out that I couldn’t just jump into the math class I needed, but instead start at the very, very basic math course and work my way up. And even with that detour, here I stand near completion.

The feeling I felt was not one of accomplishment for having reached my goal but one of panic and terror. It struck me as odd because that isn’t the array of emotions I SHOULD be feeling. When it began I just accepted it and let the feelings run cold through me and well in the pit of my gut, but then I began to question them. Why? Why do I feel this way? It took me some time but I realized that I feel them because it means I will cross another threshold in adulthood. No more will I be the boy that pissed away his first attempts at college. Instead I will be the man that finished his task and with high marks (the second part was not foreseen or planned.)

Growing up sucks. I don’t think we ever really do to some extent. It’s strange, however, when one sits back and sees it happening. I suppose that’s why I fear it.

Now, in typical josh fashion I could fuck this up for myself and do a shit job at the next few classes to prolong this journey. In the end though, who would that serve? The child in me that doesn’t want to let go.

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The Night I Met My Husband

On this November the first, I celebrate my husband’s and my 4 year wedding anniversary and 14 years as a couple. It’s weird to think about how much time we’ve been together, yet here we are. And what’s most peculiar is how we were introduced purely by accident.

I have told the story numerous times on my blog, but I will do so yet again because it is one of those tales that intrigues me for the utter random happenstance of the whole thing.

Picture it, it was the height of AOL days, 2004. I would spend my late-teen evenings chatting with my friends online through IM or through a typical chatroom known as BakersfieldM4M. My friends and I would log on and broadcast one large conversation in the room, while simultaneously having our own individual private chats. This is where my now husband, then unknown, logged into the room and happen to see my username: MelancholysChaos. (Yeah, I’m rolling my eyes too.) He then confused me with someone else and decided to message and inform me that indeed he and Diego were still together. Being the sarcastic almost-eighteen-year-old I was, I acted as though I knew what he was referring to and carried on a conversation until I got bored and flat out asked him who he was. He told me his name, Charlie, and I added him to my buddylist after I learned that my very recent ex, Travis, had been a big fan of his. However, Charlie had not been attracted to my ex in the slightest, which brought me joy. (And when I say recent here, I mean a week to a couple days.)

For whatever reason, I would message this stranger whenever he came online, which wasn’t that often. Almost a week after letting me know he and Diego were still a thing, he let me know they weren’t. To which he proceeded to ask me out on a late night date to Denny’s.

It should be noted that I was still living at home and attending high school, in my senior year. So, for me to do a late night date I had to sneak out of my bedroom window and “borrow” the station wagon. To give the illusion that I was still in my bedroom, and not out galavanting around town, I put a coat hanger on my door-knob to where it slid in between the crack of my dresser and the wall. It was the most white-trash lock I could concoct but it served its purpose. To add to the illusion of my presence, I put on one of my favorite Disney movies, Sleeping Beauty. I quietly backed out of the driveway, started my car on the street, and made my way across town to Denny’s.

Again, for whatever reason, that night I chose to wear a pair of kahki’s and a red polo shirt with blue stripes. I tell you this because it was VERY out of character for me at this stage in my life. I was very much “goth” at the time. I wore nothing but black t-shirts, black dickie’s, black converse, and black eye-liner. I even dyed my hair black to match how I felt on the inside. (I was going through a phase.) Like I said, for some reason I did not wear any of that. As I later learned, if I had our relationship would very much have ended that evening. My husband liked him some preppy boys. Anything that remotely deviated from that path was shunned.

I pulled into a spot facing the empty street and as I got out of my shaggin-wagon I saw this white mustang drive by and turn into the same shopping center. Somehow I knew that was this dude. He hadn’t even told me what kind of car he drove but I was certain of it. (Those are the kind of thoughts one has when they encounter fate.) And I turned out to be correct.

For the next hour we sat in a booth having lame conversation as we attempted to get to know each other. He had a silver Motorola flip-phone that he kept spinning nervously in between his other facial tics. He kept rubbing the middle knuckle of his index finger along the side of mouth, like someone does when they have a goatee. Later I found out that he had briefly had one and developed the habit. My husband also has a tendency to twitch his nose in the most adorable way when he’s nervous and that night it didn’t stop.

As the evening wore on, neither of us having eaten anything at Denny’s, (I imagine he got a diet soda, his drug of choice) we decided to go back to his place.

I don’t remember if I messaged a friend to say I was going over to a stranger’s house in the wee hours of the morning. I want to think that I did, but more than likely not because I was (and still am) an idiot that thinks nothing of potential dangers.

He lived in this old brick face building downtown that had once been an elder care facility back in the day. It was also located across the street from a former morgue-funeral home (which is where we would later hold our wedding reception.) He lived on the second floor, at the front of the building with a beautiful view of downtown. Bakersfield isn’t much, but the view he had was wonderful.

He fancied himself a collector of DVDs at the time and was showing me the small tower he had amassed. The film he chose that night for us to watch had been decided at Denny’s when I told him that I had never seen “Philadelphia.” Now, he claims he had never seen it too, but I distinctly remember him saying that it was one of Hanks’s best roles. He popped the disc into the tray and we watched the 2 hour long movie about a man dying of AIDS. How romantic.

A remnant of my former relationship with Travis, some thin rubber wrist bands, chose that evening to break and I ended up throwing them away. I think they split when he discovered that I was ticklish and I was wrestling to get away. What a surreal picture to make a romantic connection with someone as we watched a man waste away from a deadly disease at the height of its terror.

When the movie ended he walked me to my car, like a gentleman, and I kissed him. I was annoyed that, that was all we ended up doing, but he wanted to wait until I turned 18, which was only a few weeks away.

I drove away that night thinking I would probably never hear from him again. Oh, how wrong I was. The dude blew up my phone. He was an over-the-road trucker at the time and had looooong hours of nothing to do, so he would call me and keep me on the phone late into the evening.

Looking back, I was so young and stupid. I had no idea what I wanted or who I was. Yet, we seemed to work. It is true that our lives have gone up and down over the past fourteen years. Nothing is ever perfect. For a brief year we ended our relationship yet continued to live together and sleep in the same bed. We were crazy and confused. But, there is truly no one else I would want to go through this with than Charlie. He is perfect in the strangest ways and we compliment each other like a broken window pane. Apart we are two jagged pieces of glass, but together we make the other whole. It’s sappy, but it’s true.

Australian Same-Sex Marriage

So, an article came across my yahoo.com newsfeed (yeah, I know, the eye roll is appropriate.) It told of two gay men in Australia that were against gay marriage. Immediately I was enraged for a couple reasons, mostly because I know that this “news” station is using these two men to justify the other side’s opinion that it should be illegal. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s step back.

When gay marriage was being endlessly debated in the states I read and shared every article on Facebook. I joined a couple groups and would try and get all of my friends and family on board. One of my cousins, an out lesbian, never joined any of my groups and refused joining the fight. While she never outright said it, I knew she was against gay marriage. I was incensed. I couldn’t understand why. All I could conclude is that she’s 1) a nut-job and 2) a republican, which I assume is just to be “different.”

One time when I was taking a basic English class to “get back to the roots of writing” (god, I’m an idiot) I was put into a group that had this one little shit in it that was full of opinions. I have since seen him working at a movie theatre as a ticket taker, so, looks like he’s doing well for himself.   Anyway, I took this class during the heated ‘Prop 8’ in California and the topic was on everyone’s minds. This particular person informed the group that he had gay friends that didn’t want gay marriage because, and I fucking quote, “they didn’t want to get married.” Um… Excuse me? If this was even remotely true (and god I hope it isn’t) all I could think was that this is the most selfish reason to not want legislation. You don’t want to get married? Much like our hetero counterparts they don’t HAVE to get married. They can stay single until the day they die drunk and alone, to be eaten by their hundreds of cats. But to vote against your own community because YOU don’t want to get married is some bull shit.

This article (which I will post a link at the bottom) brings back that rage. How can these fuck faces sit there and tell all the others in their community they don’t believe in marriage because they don’t see themselves getting married. Are you fucking high on poppers? Maybe if you take the bottle away from your nostril for a couple days you might gain some clarity. This is not just for you, it’s for everyone. To sit there and purposefully harm someone else THAT DOES WANT TO GET MARRIED is beyond cruel.

That’s the thing about politics that confuses the hell out of me. People pass this legislation because it either will or won’t affect THEIRSELF. Fuck the other people that have hopes and dreams.

I truly hope this “couple”… I mean, can we call them that? They’re not… I mean… They’re men. That word is reserved for heterosexual couples that aren’t living in sin. They shouldn’t even be allowed to share a bed. They’re not married. They’re just friends… I hope these “friends” are ostracized by their community. Fuck having they’re “own opinion.” “Everyone should be treated with respect.” No they fucking don’t. You’re not showing any courtesy to those who want to get married so why should these “friends” be given any?

Here is the match: https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36960765/same-sex-marriage-wollongong-gay-couple-oppose-marriage-push/

 

Same Cake, Different Frosting

Evidently, it is human nature to do the same thing and expect different results. Einstein defined this as the definition of insanity; however, I think it applies to everyone. There are areas of our lives that we need to learn hard lessons, and even then it doesn’t mean it will prove to have any effect on our way of life. I say this because yesterday a bakery in my own hometown declined to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding day because it was against her religion. I get enraged for a number of reasons, not just, because it’s discrimination (no matter how you cut it) but I thought we had moved on. Clearly, we need another round of lessons. So, settle in class.

The thing that hurts me the most is that this is happening in my very town. No matter how liberal or crazy someone outside of the state of California views it’s residents it doesn’t apply into my pocket of bloody red that resides at it’s heart. This town is bleeding republicans. Which is why I am not surprised that it happened, but at the same time in shock. I get so comfortable in my own bubble surrounded by people that love and accept me without question. So, hearing that someone else has refused a service to one of my community members resonates on a whole other level because I know that I could very well have been in their shoes. It also makes me feel guilty, because I have very rarely come across any kind of hatred.

One of my good friends posted how he understood but it made him uneasy that government should have a say over private businesses. You mean, like laws? Where businesses have to have disclose all things in their food or how they have to abide by cleanliness? I’m confused. Where do we draw this supposed line?

My thought is that if you open a business there is a legal and social contract that is understood and accepted; unless the patron in your establishment is acting irrationally, you have to serve them. “The customer is always right,” has been echoed in retail since it was coined (by JC Penny I believe…). And unless you’re establishment offers a niche service there is no reason to say “I can’t do this.” For instance, if I went to a vegan restaurant and demanded a steak. Well, they don’t serve steaks. Or If I go to a Christian book store and demand the latest Stephen King novel. Those things don’t exist in that realm. So, when I walk into a bakery and ask for a cake, unless I don’t have the money or am calling you every filthy name under the sun (and speaking to a man that isn’t there), then the owner has to serve them.

It’s petty bull shit. “My religious beliefs….” Okay, what if this is that person’s third marriage, after she has been divorced twice for adultery? Are you still going to serve them? What about a couple that has had multiple children out of wedlock and is only now getting married? Their morals don’t exist then. They just see dollar signs. But, God forbid (pun intended), that they make a cake for a gay couple.

Now, in this event in my own hometown the baker at least was a “good Christian” and directed them to a bakery that does. Bless their heart. Doing the good Christian thing. However, here is how I see the situation. Let us say I have a coffee shop. And this same faithful baker comes in wearing all the trappings of a “Christian” and upon seeing them I pull her aside and say “I’m sorry. I don’t serve Christians here. However, there is another coffee shop across town that does. You’ll have to go there. Sorry.”

Everyone and there cat knows that woman would be infuriated and raise all kinds of hell. (Pun, again, intended.) Moreover, she would have every right to. No one should experience discrimination for any reason. Ever. At all. No matter what. Unless they’re just an outright asshole. Then let the denial of services commence.

So, if one has a hang-up about making a goddamn cake for a couple of homos on their wedding day then don’t make cakes. Make muffins for a coffee shop. Sell JUST cookies. If your morals are “so strong”, do not go into a job that would infringe upon your beliefs. It is common sense.

If this couple had gone in and lied about what the cake was for and they had made it, the woman would have done just that and they would have taken the cake to their gay wedding. Has this woman now participated in their unholy matrimony? Has she tarnished her “spotless” soul and barred herself from the gates of heaven? No.

The mental gymnastics must get exhausting.

To quote their own faith at them, what about the parable of the Good Samaritan? It was told by Christ to his followers and it detailed how a man lay beaten and bloody in a ditch and was passed up by all these holy men and strangers and wasn’t tended to until a Samaritan (a group of people who were seen as disgusting) finally came to his aid because he saw a man in need. They would say, oh, well the story is about helping out someone in medical need. True, but that’s not how parables work. They are miniscule lessons that impart an overall message. The thing you learn from the parable is HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN NO MATTER WHAT.

So, like most of everything that is happening in our country, here we are, once again. Same shit, just a different day.

Nothing to add, merely to relay

As much as I don’t want this to turn into a political blog it will inevitably trail that way sometimes. Especially because people insist on making laws or having ideas for change that will or won’t hurt a community I am a part of.

It’s funny because before the whole election I had little to no interest in politics. What was happening beyond my bubble was far beyond me. Which is what I feel so many Americans felt. We were disengaged because we had always trusted the system to work for itself and it was in that complacency that things began to go haywire.

The only law that mattered to me and my life was gay marriage. I wanted the knowledge that I could one day wed the person I wanted to be with. When that finally happened, for me, everything else became moot. And, again, I was complacent.

As it turns out this was the week to attack the rights of anyone under the rainbow banner of LGBTQ.

Let us begin with tRump’s pick for the head scientist of the department of agriculture. He is a gentleman that believes that homosexuality is a choice and that we are on the same level as pedophiles. It’s lucky that he is headed for the department of ag because he appears to be useless anywhere else. What terrifies me is that he is not the only one that thinks this way, and I imagine that most of those that inevitably will fill the remaining administration will probably have similar ideas on the topic.

For a brief moment I understand where they’re coming from with the logic “it’s a choice.” Yes. To some degree it is in fact a choice as everything we do in our life is a chosen by us. However, by choosing to conform to the straight life because it’s the “right way” would cause harm to the person doing the choosing and those around him. In addition, who the HELL would want to knowingly choose a life of pain and heart ache if they had ANY want/desire/attraction to the opposite sex. It would stand to reason that one would just choose the “normal” way and be done with the whole issue. But they think it’s for sexual pleasure, and yes it is, but what if I told a hetero man that he could never have sex with a woman again, but only men because it was right? They would say absolutely not because they’re not hardwired that way.

When I get to the pedophile shit I just cringe because his statement is accusing me of doing just that, and there is nothing I despise and loath more than a person that sexually abuses a child. As having been abused myself (not by an adult but by an older neighbor boy) I find it insulting. I am too an extreme that if I knew someone had harmed one of my loved ones as a child I would seek vengeance however it may be. I’m like a rabid dog when it comes to protecting the innocent, so to lump me in with someone that abuses a human, that is still struggling to understand what it is to be human, is infuriating.

It just shows me that most of those that fly the Christian moniker tend to be the least empathetic people, especially when an R is attached to their political affiliation.

Now… This last issue is not one that I am super strong about because I am not transgendered. I don’t know anyone personally, so that fight is not one that I feel I am in. However, I know what it’s like to be ostracized by society because of who I am, so I know when the bully on the playground picks the next victim I have to stand up to defeat him. Trump going after trans in the military is pointless and just dumb. They want to pretend that it’s about keeping a cohesive unit or that the other soldiers are in danger, but again it is because they lack any semblance of a heart. If they tried to look at it from the other person’s side they would see that their fears don’t even exist. Most trans people are more terrified of being outed because it could result in an even harder life.

Every morning when I wake I am terrified what the day will hold. It’s stressful. It is honestly wearing me down to the point that I have finally just accepted that the world is doomed. The life we lived is no more and now the powers that be have an agenda that benefits only them and no one else. That is why I have become very nihilistic. I genuinely hope that they fuck our shit up. I want them to ruin the country so that it will be on their watch, under their command, and all their fault. Unfortunately they will not see it that way and will spin it to be someone else’s doing because no one in politics can just own their bull shit.

I dislike writing about politics because I am not as well versed on the topic as I should be, nor do I have anything new to add to the constant chatter that buzzes around these issues. I wish I did have more to add/say/reveal but ultimately I have nothing. I am absolutely helpless. Knowing that my communities way of life is always in the hands of those who are not a part of, nor care for is soul crushing. It is in this powerlessness that I come to two very different metaphorical roads in my mind. Both are scary. One leads to me accepting myself as a victim under those that seek to oppress me; or I seek to be the one with the power, fueled by my rage. The second is more enticing because it gives me the illusion that some sort of war is being won, but I know that road leads to radicalization and inevitably ends up hurting the overall cause. Yet, on the other path, I have to take what is given to me with a smile and keep moving on, all the while have my spirit torn apart.

My Gay Royalty Proclamation/Coronation

I have decided to name myself the voice and face of the gay community. Why not? Who’s going to stop me? Sure it’s self appointed, and sure most of my opinions tend to run against what most feel, but I find that the ones that have stepped up to the plate are shameful and stupid.

I sat down the other day to see if I could in fact think of gay icons that represent or are the final voice for my homo homies. The ones I could think of were infamous characters who should be banned from ever stepping foot in public again. I speak of course about Perez hellno and Milo yaya-BGB. They made themselves famous by saying off-color remarks and having hard opinions on things, which, to their credit, is what someone claiming to be a voice for their people should have. None of this wishy-washy bull-shit. We need leaders. I can be that voice.

To offer some credentials I have dabbled in most scenes or are VERY aware of them, however I live a very sedate life with my husband, longing for an expanded family through invitro or adoption. (The jury is still out on which route we intend to go.) While I have hard opinions on most things I have a thing that those other gents lacked… what was that word again… Oh yeah, apathy. However, I am by no means a pushover. Sometimes the gays can be so immersed in their own bull shit that they can’t see the pile of shit for the turds. It’s a horrible an unfortunate analogy but I was going for a cohesive image.

Then, my gleaming credit is that for two semesters I wrote a column for my college paper called “The Gay Agenda.” It dealt with a bevy of topics, all of which were discussed within the limited character length. My first column, discussing my coming out twice to my parents, won me third place from the California College Media Awards. Sure, I had to pay $65 for a ticket into the banquet to physically receive the award, but that doesn’t lessen the fact that I did in fact win. (First and second were both columns about Colin Kapaernik, so… That’s way more important than the baring of my soul to an audience primarily comprised of conservative individuals that own guns. So thanks for that.)

One of the gay icons I love is Jonny McGovern, and he has a song called “Gay Questions” where he croons “I got gay questions, and I need gay answers.” Well, Mr. McGovern, while you have the questions I may certainly not have the answers, but I will try my darndest to find them. And I don’t know how the two fisting bottom doesn’t get trunk but. Kegel exercises on the reg? Or Maybe they just made a deal with the devil.

So for my first and foremost “final answer” to end all commentary and questions, I will discuss the comments made by Andrew Garfield.

If you are not in the know he said he considered himself a gay man, just without the whole nasty business of taking it or giving it up the butt. He was a little more eloquent in the way he conveyed it, but I am trying to reach my readers through humor.

How I see it is the man had nothing but love in his heart when he said it. Sure it’s weird, but at the core of what he was trying to say is that he sees through our eyes in such a way that he can identify. Sure he won’t face the same kind of discrimination most of us will encounter (luckily I have found next to none, praise Albus) yet he will be the first to step up and defend us. At least I would hope. What we need are allies. We can’t do this alone and getting angry with him over something he said, when his intent was kindness, is just petty. It appears that at times the community allows ourselves to be consumed by our own victimhood and we let it run our lives.

The truth is Andrew Garfield will never understand what it truly means to be a gay man. Ever. Unless he’s a fucking gay man. If he is… bitch… Quit  being a pussy about it and come out. The more people are honest with themselves and those around them, then will change occur. The Gay rights movement has made leaps and bounds in such a short amount of time. I say that with certainty because we seem to be more accepted by people than most people of color. We are still fighting that shit today.

So, kids, when someone says something that seems off-color, stop and THINK! Ask yourself, what are they trying to say? Are they a friend/advocate? Is their message coming from a place of love? People make mistakes in an effort to show their a friend. Don’t overreact with some bullshit about using the wrong pronoun or assuming someone’s gender. (Fuck, that stuff irritates me.)

So sayeth the spokesman for the gay community, J.R.

 

Hello, Writing, My Old Friend

I have missed writing. A lot. It was something I have turned to time and time again because I have this need to emote every thought and the written word is my medium of choice. In the past it has been acting or “singing” (it’s in quotes because whether I can carry a tune is debatable) but writing has always been a constant. Ever since I was a little kid I have wanted to be a writer. And to be a “writer” one has to write, so why have I been so lazy about it?

I am in a constant battle with myself over whether my anti-depressants are necessary or not. While at times they seem mandatory, there are others where it feels like in the end all they do is turn me into a zombie. I have no emotion and the things I tend to feel passion for or about dissipates and I am left with apathy. I hate it. But I have read that it is the “emotional rollercoaster” that those who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder like. They like the crazy manic mood swings that typically accompany the disorders. And I may just be another statistic in that regards.

One of the biggest reasons I hate taking my meds is that I will literally be in the midst of writing, because it has called upon me, and for whatever reason the action hasn’t held my attention or I lose interest the in the thing that was ushering me to the task. So I inevitably hit “save as draft” and it sits in my blog forever unpublished because it’s unfinished. I hate that with every fiber of my being, because in my mind and in my heart I feel like this medication is taking away my personality and my voice.

However, the dark reality is that at times I need them. My emotions become to overpowering that I end up making irrational choices that from a distance are totally out of character and detrimental to my health. So it is that fear which keeps me tied to this prescription.

This never-ending battle has grown in fervor recently because of a particular episode of the “Well Red” podcast. It is episode 15 if you’re interested, which discusses the idea of dreams and dealing with the reality of achieving them. Everything they said I agreed with, which happens quite frequently with me and audio show. At one time I may not have, as I was an artistic dreamer that didn’t see the forest for the trees. Everything was possible as long as I “believed.” My husband comes along and straps blocks to my balloon. Now, that sounds harsh, and it is, but I needed it. He pushed me to think about what I wanted realistically and to not be the “head in the clouds” kind of person. At one time I resented him for it but now I love him more because of his ability to be honest with me. He wasn’t saying I couldn’t do it, he was just giving me a healthy dose of the reality that it may not happen and if it doesn’t to not be destroyed because of that “failure.” (I don’t want to use failure in this instance, but until my mind comes up with another more appropriate one it will have to stay.)

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to that podcast, do yourself a favor and do it now. These gents are super intelligent and such advocates for the gay community. I couldn’t love them more than I do, without knowing them personally. I’ve been binge listening to the whole series thus far and have only come across 1 episode I didn’t like and that was because the person they were interviewing reminded me of a toxic individual I removed from my life. Other than that… they’re hilarious and I could listen to them all day, and have.

Listening to Trae’s story about holding a job during the day and doing stand-up at night, with kids, has reminded me that it is possible to try. Success, however, is all about luck and timing. And that won’t happen if I don’t keep at it or even make an attempt. And this show has reignited that spark in me.

Writing has taken a backseat lately because of my pills, as previously mentioned, but also because of my obligation to complete my appraisal courses and working to get my AA in journalism from my local college. Something had to give and it was writing blogs or working on my novel. But… as of last Monday I have completed my appraisal courses and can now get my license.

It’s funny, the first thought I had after passing my course (other than immense relief and the want to break down crying) was that I can finally get back to working on my novel. And I mean, immediately after. I was walking away from the testing center when it came rushing to my mind.

It warms my heart to know that no matter how much time passes or what obligations get in the way, the thing I return to time and again is writing. If only I could figure out this pill situation…