Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Rest of My Life

About how long do you want your next relationship to last?

If you want to date, let's date.

If you want to date casually, let's date casually.

If you want a serious commitment -- one that requires us to be completely honest with our baggage, our flaws and our most insane prerequisites -- then let's play to win. I've never been one for half-measures; you shouldn't be either.

Just be honest with your intentions. Even if we're not one for the history books, there's no reason why we can't create something worthwhile together -- no matter what the dynamic.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The (Not) Fadeaway

Excerpt from The Fadeaway:
When you practice being a decent person, be honest with someone who you’re interested in no longer, you will learn that it’s actually the right thing to do. And eventually doing the right thing will get easier, in dating and in your life in general. Honesty and being a good person actually catches on, so before you know it, the girls you are actually upfront with, will in turn do the same to their next dudes they’re not interested in, and so on.
My two cents:

If you're reading this, chances are that you've done this to someone at least once in your life (I have), or that it's happened to you (it has). Alas, these days (dates?) it seems like The Fadeaway has become a standard practice.

But we can change that. Right now. Today.

Not sure how? Well, here's a good rule of thumb:
IF you've gone out (or have gotten naked) with someone and are not interested in doing so again, and IF this very same person has ***THE GALL*** to ask you out again (UGH!!!), THEN SIMPLY SEND THEM A RESPONSE AND TELL THEM THAT YOU YOURSELF ARE NOT INTERESTED.

It's okay that things didn't work out. In fact, that happens A LOT in the pursuit of true love (or hot lovin'). But please be courteous enough to let the other party in on this key detail. Trust me, the vast majority of suitors are more than willing to respectfully let the matter drop once they are WHOLLY made aware that you're really NOT playing hard to get.


To clarify: When I say "WHOLLY made aware", it means that you are clearly and concisely rejecting them. For instance, "I'm too busy right now" doesn't cut it. It can reasonably be construed that you are literally too busy right now to date ANYONE. Is it really such a stretch for an interested person to assume that you might be swayed to go out again when life isn't so hectic? Is this person really overstepping their boundaries if they were to wait a month and then ask you out once more to see if you're available now?

In essence, be tactful, be sincere and, most importantly, leave no room for misinterpretation. (Another example: If you really don't want to be friends, don't put that offer on the table!) No, you don't need to give a lengthy justification for your feelings -- but you also don't have the right to be dismissive of theirs either. Simply, LET THEM DOWN EASY so that they, too, can get on with the business of getting over you (if required) and put themselves back out there.

This started an interesting thread on my Facebook timeline. Feel free to check it out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wayfarer's PTSD

This article has been making its way around the Internet. It inspired me to write the following mini-essay:

I suffered PTSD when I returned from West Africa in early '08. My experiences were nowhere near as terrible/debilitating as this poor woman's -- I can't even fucking imagine -- but I *can* relate to how vulnerable and trapped she felt upon her return home. I clearly recall how I would be at work and suddenly feel overwhelmed with the urge to smash my computer to pieces or *literally* tear out my hair -- and how I had to grip my desk and convince myself that neither of these actions made ANY sense, that I was back home and had total control of my finances, my schedule, my life (and, thus, everything was A-OK). This went on every single day for MONTHS ON END. I had no patience for ANYTHING; at the slightest provocation I would lash out at the people I loved. (One egregious example involved me screaming at my best friend on a busy street in the middle of the afternoon, then repeatedly kicking a nearby mailbox and coming *this close* to smashing her car window in order to retrieve my belongings so I could walk home.) Out of sheer frustration I would punch walls so often that my hands were swollen and covered in bruises and scabs for most of that year.
I even got into a relationship. She had her own serious baggage and was nervous about getting wrapped up in a commitment; I (obviously) had serious baggage and was absolutely crazy for her, but I was also a ticking time bomb because I still had NO CLUE that I had (or could even be capable of having) PTSD. Needless to say, it didn't end well. It was both our faults, but ultimately my anger eclipsed everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING.
She refuses to speak to me even to this day.
It doesn't take much to have harrowing experiences when abroad, and the lingering effects of such experiences can be far more devastating than what you endured when you're half a world away. There's no shame in seeking help; hell, a lot of time you don't even *understand* that you need help. This is why it's not only important to accept/admit that you have a problem but also to speak up when you see others you know and love not acting like themselves. For instance, my aunt told me after I returned to the U.S.: "Every time you've come back from somewhere far away, you have so many stories, good and bad, to share. This trip must have been difficult because you've barely said anything about it." That was the first warning sign of many. If I had had the capacity to understand this, I could have avoided A LOT of ugly behavior and more than likely have far fewer regrets.

I even got into a relationship. She had her own serious baggage and was nervous about getting wrapped up in a commitment; I (obviously) had serious baggage and was absolutely crazy for her, but I was also a ticking time bomb because I still had NO CLUE that I had (or could even be capable of having) PTSD. Needless to say, it didn't end well. It was both our faults, but ultimately my anger eclipsed everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING.

She refuses to speak to me even to this day.

It doesn't take much to have harrowing experiences when abroad, and the lingering effects of such experiences can be far more devastating than what you endured when you're half a world away. There's no shame in seeking help; hell, a lot of time you don't even *understand* that you need help. This is why it's not only important to accept/admit that you have a problem but also to speak up when you see others you know and love not acting like themselves. For instance, my aunt told me after I returned to the U.S.: "Every time you've come back from somewhere far away, you have so many stories, good and bad, to share. This trip must have been difficult because you've barely said anything about it." That was the first warning sign of many. If I had had the capacity to understand this, I could have avoided A LOT of ugly behavior and more than likely have far fewer regrets.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Letter Never Sent: La Reverie Kikanamaso

This evening Kalamazoo entertains a notion and delivers in torrents. I watch in awe from my perch at these wide windows and experience a deep and satisfying pang of nostalgia for something that hasn't happened yet, that is fated to happen sometime, somewhere -- with you, ideally -- or may never happen but is still lovely to contemplate anyway.  And for the first time in my stint within these clinic walls I don't mind if time slows down, if dawn takes a bit longer to arrive than days previous.

This is now how I think of you:

Stormy weather that offers more than a hint of savagery.

A genuinely warm welcome to a surprise appearance.

Haunting melodies in an empty pool.

Lengthy late-night IMs filled with promise (but never any promises).

A tuxedo cat suddenly petitioning for the very affections you declined.

A spontaneous yet fleeting interest in me in the space between seemingly a million moving farewells and exactly one hundred and four blood draws.

A grand exodus to Gotham, to commotion and close friendships, to bright lights and fifth-floor walk-ups, to exhausting yet fruitful rehearsals and an enviable future where your talents will be much lauded -- and rightfully so.

A meandering drive to all points west, to the loneliest stretch of highway and the smell of sagebrush, through meteor showers in the high desert and ominous fog that sweeps in from the Pacificto finding a sense of belonging in the frigid depths of the bluest lake as well as in the eager embrace of junkyard scholars who would only think to celebrate -- never chide -- intense feelings and hard pursuits -- and rightfully so.

(Jesus, we can't even seem to head in the same direction, let alone cross paths.)

I don't care for squandered opportunities, or passing fancies, or derechos that never live up to their full potential because we couldn't make the time to fully appreciate their fury. There's already too many excuses to let things fall to the wayside, and as it stands they probably will. No matter what I might offer, you will graciously smile and nod and likely never give it a second thought. Meanwhile, every time there's a downpour, I'll wonder where you might be.  When this fever dream hustle of a summer passes and our routines reestablish themselves, I'll wonder if you'll make an effort to keep in touch.

I'll wonder if we'll ever get to a point where you'll call me in the middle of the night because you're lonely on the road and know I'm the only one still awake, or because for the first time ever you want to hear my voice, and the enthusiasm in it when I see who's ringing me at whatever ungodly hour it might be.

And I know, Turnip. I know how such talk makes you anxious. But, please, don't be. This is only a reverie -- my reverie -- and it's about all I have seeing as you're not here and likely won't be anytime soon. Or maybe ever.

But how I wish you were here.

On a night like this where the rain comes down in buckets and we both have nowhere to really be, I wish you were here. Not to pin you down and keep you forever. Not to twist you up in my desires and steal your heart. Not to sway you to be wholly at peace with my unbridled admiration and then demand that you match my fervor.

I wish you were here.  That's all.

I can give you a million reasons why this isn't such a bad thing, but I'd much prefer that you come to this conclusion on your own. Someday, somewhere farther down the road. Or maybe never.

Damnit, Turnip.  Just get here when you can.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Slut-Shaming (It Happens to Guys, Too!)

July 21, 2013 - 1:16 a.m.
Justin: I keep thinking of getting out of here and finding you waiting for me at home. We could lounge on the couch, eat good food and then fall all over each other.

July 21, 2013 - 1:19 a.m.
Justin: I miss you, Amber. I miss my lover and my friend. Those were never mutually exclusive things. I miss you confiding in me. I miss being someone you trusted, and wanted. I wish I knew the right thing to say/do to win your (seemingly fickle) favor again.

July 21, 2013 - 1:23 a.m.
Justin: I can't believe of all people you were so quick to write me off. Such a shame.
. . . Fuck.

July 21, 2013 - 1:26 a.m.
Amber: You know what turned me off on you? It was two things - first that you wanted me too much. Second is that you have such a fucked relationship with every girl you know. You've had sex with every single girl you're friends with. Girls come into town, fuck you, and leave. And you go to visit girls . . . You just sleep with every girl. I don't think you know how to just have girl friends. And I really felt uncomfortable that every time I met a girl you know, they felt like they had ownership of you. I just, I just won't deal with that.

July 21, 2013 - 1:27 a.m.
Amber: Two moments ended it  for me. The first was when you just showed up to my house. The second was when you told me **** had that dream about you.

July 21, 2013 - 1:30 a.m.
Justin: You invited me over for lunch. I came. I didn't know the offer was no longer on the table.

July 21, 2013 - 1:32 a.m.
Justin: Also, no one has ownership of me. I would have given that privilege to you - if you were actually serious about a relationship. We could have discussed all sorts of boundaries. But you ran and then blamed it all on me.

July 21, 2013 - 1:33 a.m.
Justin: I can't believe how judgmental you've turned out to be. Throwing stones at glass houses is never the sensible route. Tourist.

July 21, 2013 - 1:39
Justin: Really, I was hoping to recapture the magic that I truly thought we had. But now I know how little you really think of me, which is a terrible shame because I truly think the world of you. What a dummy I am for thinking that you could possibly mean what you said/did, right? *I'm* the asshole for taking you at your word. Got it.

Good riddance.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Easy Fix

I don't want to have this conversation online or via text. It's tedious and non-productive.

If you're serious about engaging me and really working our shit out -- which is all that I've wanted -- you know how to reach me.

And I think it's time you seriously consider why having me as both a lover and a friend is so detrimental. 

'Cause from what I know in my own personal experiences -- in my experiences WITH YOU -- I do both things incredibly well.

I want to be in your corner, and I want you to be in mine.

So if any part of you is curious about how we can accomplish just that, call me. Or don't. I've done everything I can to let you go. You're welcome to come back, but I'm done campaigning for your attention.

This is something so easy to fix . . .
That's what I find most frustrating.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


July 10, 2013 - 10:57 p.m.
Velander: Of all my romantic interests, you're the only one who has ever had a will to come back and work shit out. That either speaks volumes about them or me.

I fear for both of those scenarios.

July 10, 2013 - 10:58 p.m.
Oshinn: you're a piece of work, jus
not all of us have any strength to even want to deal with it :P

July 10, 2013 - 10:58 p.m.
Velander: Yeah, go me.

July 10, 2013 - 10:58 p.m.
Oshinn: so yeah anyway it's like 10 hours from here to chicago
let's think about that
because you are not shitty and it is not worth wasting even a second of thought on

July 10, 2013 - 10:59 p.m.
Velander: Thanks for saying that.
It's really appreciated, seeing as I was especially contentious with you at points.

July 10, 2013 - 10:59 p.m.
Oshinn: well you're not now, and now is all that exists, so let's not fret

July 10, 2013 - 11:00 p.m.
Velander: I'm sorry.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I'm probably the furthest thing from your mind these days, but rest assured you are still very dear to me.  I don't know if that means much of anything to you, but I gotta believe that it just might.

I'm still here, Beth.  Despite all the bad breaks and hard hits, I'm still here.  

And I still hope for the best.  Every single day.

I hope.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Again, she holds back. She offers another disclaimer so as to make things less complicated.

"Fair enough," he says. "But what good is life without risk?"

He takes a step closer and states firmly, "We have chosen to be here of our own accord.  There is a level of attraction here that is unmatched anywhere else.  And so what if the timing is all wrong?  In my experience the timing is always wrong.  Why give it even more precedent to sway us from cultivating something worthwhile?"

Another step closer. "Are you not the least bit curious to discover what great things can come of this?  Are you really so unmoved that you'd rather not try at all to make the most of it while we still can?"

His voices catches in his throat.

Then, finally, once more, he asks, "Am I really that much of a bad bet?"

Monday, June 17, 2013


If there were just one place where I was truly wanted, I'd be there right now. I'd drive all day and night, only stopping to fill up gas and empty my bladder. I'd listen to sad songs on repeat and sing along 'til my voice went hoarse. I'd cry my eyes out for all the bad breaks that brought me so close to madness, to violence, to surrender. So many tears to shed for those missed opportunities and misunderstandings, for the willful ignorance and unmerited disbelief that I encountered so often that I wondered why I even bothered trudging on. Across state lines I'd cry and rage and mourn for the years squandered in countless attempts to build partnerships/fellowships/communities/worlds with others who ultimately couldn't be bothered to give their fair share, who refused to come together when things stopped being convenient for even just a second.

I'd cry because it never had to be this way. It never had to get this bad. There was no reason to brand me as the player, the villain, the rebound, the creep. They had no right to be so dismissive, or apathetic, or cruel. Not to me they didn't.  Not ever.

They had no fucking right.

. . . But maybe this time it would be different. And maybe this time I'd get a fighting chance. Maybe this could be a someone who was naturally adept at distracting me from opening old wounds long enough to let them actually heal. And maybe, just maybe, when I got wherever I was supposed to be, this someone wouldn't ask why my hands kept shaking, why my eyes were so damn red or why I insisted on driving without stopping to rest, or eat, or take a moment for myself. This someone would only have to look at me to know that the distance I covered to get to her couldn't solely be measured in miles but also trials and tribulations. And heartaches – so many heartaches. After such a long and punishing journey, this someone would discover a man laid bare on her doorstep  frazzled, tortured, haunted  and still love him without hesitance, without fear.

Maybe this someone would then take me inside, wash my face with a cold, damp cloth and put me to bed – all the while assuring me that I'll feel so much better once I get some rest; that although the possibilities that await us in the years to come are exciting and scary and unknowable, we can look forward to experiencing them together; that one day soon – far sooner than I could ever imagine  I'll wake up next to her and finally accept that this someone wasn't going anywhere  that this someone had made the choice to hitch her wagon to mine the moment I decided to begin that great and terrible pilgrimage to her door  and until that day she would be happy to remind me again and again  as many times as I needed to hear it  that I was home.

Finally, I was home.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


A derecho fast approaches.  It promises high-speed winds and a deluge of rain the likes we haven’t seen in years.  And I know you barely know me, and I know we’re just getting reacquainted after a long spell, but I am struck by the notion of you electing to come over and sit out the storm with me.  We will light an extravagant number of tealights when the power goes out, and as my apartment building sways back and forth just enough to induce you to hold tight to your second glass of wine, we shall catch up on everything that’s happened since we last spoke.  Delightful, well-worn yarns will give way to poignant narratives of lessons learned, which in turn will give way to an exchange of dazzling epiphanies and hard truths, which in turn will give way to empathy – and unspoken gratitude that we finally have someone to talk to for the first time in a long time.

Later you will break out the fabled ukulele and indulge me with a splendid live set – just three or four songs, really – that will make me want to kick myself for missing out on your shows all these years.  But what luxury to hear them now!  You will serenade your enrapt audience of one – two, actually, if you account for the likelihood of my roommate, too polite to intrude yet too spellbound to disregard the exquisite melodies drifting down the hall, listening from his perch at the kitchen table – with such elegance and warmth.  As the final chord rings out (and is all too quickly dispelled by the sound of thick raindrops spattering against the windows), my first instinct will be to insist on an encore.  But I imagine words will fail me at that very moment, so instead I’ll simply reach out to hold your hands in mine, as if your long, slender fingers might somehow contain faint traces of previously played notes.

Just in case the power won’t come on by morning (even though we both know it will) we’ll eat the remaining ice cream in the freezer.  You will sample freely from the cartons set out on the coffee table while I select a few of my favorite short stories to read aloud to you.  I am confident that you will be amused by just how much I relish introducing people to the likes of Clarence John “Pinky” Softitch, a big-hearted, big-boned custodian who finally takes a chance on love; and Rory, a photographer’s assistant who struggles so mightily to find his significance in the elusive world of high fashion; and certainly Seymour and Salmon Boy, the most unlikely romantic duo on the strangest “nonviolent killing spree” ever recorded in the annals of fiction, and will soon find yourself utterly charmed by each and every one of these protagonists as their stories unfold – and maybe even more so by the boy who gleefully narrates their hopes and dreams and noble efforts.

By the time I finish reading the wind and the rain will have let up. The aftermath won’t be anywhere near as bad as the weather reports anticipated – at worst a few railway underpasses are flooded – but it will be late by then, and seeing as you’re stretched out on the couch, eyes closed, surely right on the cusp of sleep, it will be fair to say that you’re not going anywhere.

And that’s when you’ll reply: “Of course I’m not.”

A tad startled to discover that I said that last bit aloud, I’ll look over to find you still awake after all.  You will sit up, stretch your arms over your head and let loose a yawn as further evidence that you have no intention whatsoever of going home tonight.

“Are you sure?” I’ll ask anyway.

That’s when you’ll get to your feet, shuffle over to where I’m sitting in the tattered green lounge chair and crouch down to address me directly. “It’s time for bed, silly – and yours is much closer than mine.”

“Would you like me to join you?”

“Do you even have to ask?”

“I don’t want to be presumptuous.”

“Such a gentleman, even at this late hour,” you’ll tease lightly as you run your fingers through my hair. “Still, are you sure you weren’t hoping that the storm might live up to expectation and stick around just a teensy bit longer so that I’ll have no choice but to stay?”

I will decline to respond to your query.  (Mostly ‘cause you’ve got me dead to rights.)

“I’ll make you a deal, Justin:  I will stay if you come to bed with me.  And if you’re a gentleman about it, I will even stick around long enough to let you make me breakfast.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” I’ll whisper far too seriously for the offer on the table.

“C’mon then.”

A derecho fast departs. It promised high-speed winds and a deluge of rain the likes we hadn’t seen in years. And I know you still barely know me, and I know we’re still just getting reacquainted after a long spell, but I was struck by the notion that when the last of the tealights extinguish on their own as we clamber into bed; when we’re left to sort out and playfully fuss over blankets and pillows in the dark; when we’re properly twisted and tangled and nestled together in a way that only new lovers would be so greedy to demand of each other all at once, there will be a clear blue sky awaiting us come morning – and quite possibly for many days to follow.

(c) JVH

Friday, May 24, 2013


"Your Grace should take my advice and live for many years. Because the greatest madness a man can commit in this life is to let himself die just like that, without anybody killing him, or any other hands ending his life except those of melancholy."
-- The Building Stage, "Dawn, Quixote"

Monday, April 8, 2013

'Til the Rain Lets Up

She sat me down at the kitchen table and fetched me a fresh towel. As I dried myself off, she retrieved a roll of duct tape with a bright cerulean sheen -- likely the unused remainder of an art installation -- from a nearby drawer and then returned to the chair closest to mine, the old black one salvaged from an alleyway not far from the apartment we used to share together on the other side of town -- the place where I still lived until last month when I finally moved out, too.  She ripped off a long strip and then motioned for me to hand over my blown sneaker.  I dutifully complied and, with great care, she thoroughly wrapped the tape around and around again over where the sole had separated from the rest of the shoe, sacrificing most of the dirty laces and scuffed synthetic leather in the process.

When she finished, she offered it back to me and said, "It's not perfect, but it will get you home."

I nodded and slipped the sneaker back over my wet and wrinkled right foot.

"C'mon," she said and then ushered me back out onto the front porch.

It was still pouring outside.

"Do you need money for the bus?"

I shook my head, "Nah, I've got a few bucks.  And I feel like walking anyway."

"It's a long walk home."

Actually, that wasn't true.  I lived just three blocks away these days, although she didn't know that.  Not yet.

I didn't mean for it to happen.  Well, I don't know if that's the whole truth, but it was one of the few places I could afford on my current budget -- and it certainly didn't hurt that the only person I really wanted (still wished was) in my life lived nearby.  As it stood, there wasn't much of a "home" to go to these days.  I mean, I had furniture, plates and utensils, an entertainment center, two bookshelves crammed with books and a high-strung cat that belonged to a friend who asked me to look after it while he went on a three-month backpacking trip abroad (and then conscripted me into adopting it when he found true love on a WWOOF somewhere in Australia).

Essentially, I had all the trappings of a home as proof that life was being lived in an apartment.  I could invite anyone over to show that I had replaced most everything that she had taken with her when she left.  I could reveal to my friends that I was finally "making progress".

But it didn't mean that I belonged there.

"I'll be fine," I replied.  "Once the rain lets up."

From the comfort of the covered front porch we watched the torrent come down.  It had long since washed the cars clean, but the grimy, misshapen mounds of hardened winter sleet that stubbornly clung to curbsides and street signs still remained.

I thought about how cold my right foot would be by the time I got home.

"I don't want this to become a thing."


"You dropping by unannounced."

"Oh.  It won't."

"I know this has been hard for you, Eric.  It's hard for me, too.  You've been really good about respecting my wishes."

"This won't be a 'thing', Rae.  I promise."

I could tell that she wanted to say something more, probably wanted to repeat herself "just to make things clear".  But she held back, which made me both grateful and annoyed.

I took a seat on the front step.  She remained standing.  The rain went on unabated.  Spring was here.

"Where were you coming from?"

I shrugged.  "An errand."  Then I looked up at her.  "I really was just passing by -- and I don't plan on hanging around either."

"Just 'til the rain lets up."

"You got it."

I returned to watching the rain.  It was already letting up.

"Okay then.  Have a good weekend."

"You, too.  Thanks for the tape."

That's when she surprised me by leaning down and whispering right in my ear -- the way she always used to -- the way she knew just drove me wild -- "You're welcome.  Handsome."

Then she turned around and went back inside.

Not sure what just happened, but knowing that it was more than I could've hoped for, I promised myself that I would be gone before she came back out to check if I was still there.

(c) JVH

Sunday, March 3, 2013

White Flag


You are the most selfish and self-centered person I have ever met.  And no act of charity or volunteerism will ever make up for the way you treat others, especially those closest to you.

Your mother once told me that I should strive to create a big family in order to "drill the selfishness out of me". But if that's the case, what explanation does she have for you? How does someone that kind and welcoming and big-hearted like her not sway her own child to not just act the same but actually be the same?

Every single time you've hurt me -- and that's been a lot -- you have done so at your convenience.  Rather than play nice, or give me the benefit of the doubt, or show any initiative to work things out in a mature way, you have continually done your worst to secure absolute control of our relationship and, thus, have ensured that no progress will ever be made in it.  Of course, your immediate defense will be to question why I even bothered with you then. The simplest answer: I was fooled into believing (and then fooled myself into believing) that you were worthy of my loyalty and love.  I confused your brief displays of warmth and small doses of affection for sincerity, so I chose to believe in the best of you as you continued to wreak as much havoc as you could.  (What can I say? I thought that I might overcome your ugly and relentless skepticism, which would compel you to finally lay down your arms and embrace me as a lover and a friend. But the fact that you never did speaks volumes of you as a person -- and of me as a damned fool.)  And then I kept coming back because I was weak and hurting -- hurting more than I've ever hurt in my life (a hurt that you're partially responsible for) -- and still in love -- even as I write this, I'm still very much in love with you -- and needed some kind of affection/intimacy from someone -- anyone -- whom I loved so deeply and thought might care about me still.

But you don't care.  You're abusive, and I'm pathetic. That's us in a nutshell.  How proud we should both be, right?

I would tell you that you should be ashamed, but I know that would have zero impact on you.  You are shameless when it comes to getting what you want at the expense of my feelings.  Still, I would move mountains for you.  And it's that kind of senseless devotion to someone so fucking neglectful and inconsiderate that makes my heart hurt more than anything. 

That said, you are certainly right: I deserve better.  But that wasn't a destined outcome, Bandit.  That was your choice.  It was always your choice to treat me the way you did -- and still do.

I hope that one day you'll come to realize that life is more than giving your time and focus to strangers and foster pets who will never truly require (or demand) any serious commitment from you.  You actually have to be willing to give of yourself, particularly to those who choose to take a risk on loving you.  Until you do that, you will never be capable of loving anyone, including yourself, and will only continue to carelessly break more hearts, including your own.

Maybe one day you'll come to understand this.  Maybe then you'll tear down those defenses, connect with others in a meaningful and lasting way and finally evolve into the very person you pretend so hard to be.

Maybe then you'll be worthy of the love and devotion I feel for you (and shall continue to feel for you long after you've forgotten about me altogether).

Maybe then we can create something meaningful and lasting together.  I'm certainly not opposed to that idea.  Not at all.

How nice it would be to have something to look forward to with the someone I thought you were, and maybe one day might be.

Love always,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Man On Fire

"I'm not mad at you. Please don't think that I am mad at you. I am angry at the situation, not you. And forgive me for being so ugly with my rant. I'm just so terribly frustrated by the lack of interest within our communities to make a tangible effort to make things right; by the willful ignorance of the overwhelming majority who know -- WHO VERY WELL KNOW! -- that this is wrong but refuse to stand up and finally say it aloud; by the fact that so many of these people I've come to know, love and respect choose to be led further astray rather than TRY to once -- JUST THIS FUCKING ONCE! -- come together, support one another (yes, goddamnit, support me!) and possibly effect change for the better -- and not just for themselves, or for us, but for ***EVERYONE!***

Forgive me for being disappointed that loyalty is considered to be such a sentimental and, therefore, useless commodity these days.

Forgive me for being disappointed that the vast majority don't truly believe that we deserve better and, therefore, should demand better.

Forgive me for being disappointed that people don't live up to my expectations.

I'm not mad at you. Please don't think that I am mad at you.

But know this:

If our roles were reversed,
If you were the one suffering,
If this had happened to you,