Sunday, November 13, 2016

Proud to be an American

Am I proud to be an American?

When I was a child I was asked what makes me proud to live in America. I am certain I had some generic answer such as, " freedom," which I didn't fully understand at the time. Ask any child in America to talk about freedom and their answers might lead you down the path of stories that seem unfathomable to the child telling you the tale, almost as if they were reciting an allegory of legends from long ago. To fully understand what freedom is, I believe you have to not only have to fight for it, but you have to respect it.

As I grew and accepted my life as a homosexual man, something the soon to be VP thinks is something I can "fix" or "change with shock therapy," I started realizing that I was not a fully free citizen. You see the constitution guarantees me the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But yet as a teen in the 90's, I saw a flawed system in which certain states would be allowed to discriminate against me legally because I am gay and I was certainly denied 1100 federal rights of marriage that my heterosexual neighbors were afforded. I saw a lot of older straight people saying things like "gay marriage affects the sanctity of my own marriage." I could never wrap my brain around someone who doesn't know me thinking that if I were to get married they'd be diminished in some way. And I also heard people say things like "the next thing you know people will want to marry animals," something heard during the civil rights movement when international relationships wanted to be sealed by the ties of matrimony. These people troubles me as I saw them as the majority and rarely felt that there would ever be a place for me in this world.

I contemplated my options. 1. Suicide. It seemed so hopeless but something in my gut told me I had more to accomplish in this world. 2. Move to Canada, but that felt like running away. 3. Somehow turn to politics to voice my opinion but I felt discouraged that no one would ever elect an openly gay man. And 4. Continue living my life as if I were free.

I chose option 4.

I live how I choose. I live how I want. I live how I love. And no one will stop me. No one is allowed to throw anything in my way of living my life, liberty and my pursuit of happiness.

I grew and my idea of what made me proud to live in America changed. I started seeing the world through open eyes that not everyone is accepting or tolerant. The ideals I was taught as a child to treat each other as you would like to be treated is a myth for adults. Adults are evil. Adults are petty and adults will act worse than petulant children to get their way in life.

And now there has been a shift in America.A man is about to be sworn into the highest office that used hateful speech in his campaigning that has invoked a sense from some people that violence against minorities is acceptable. They feel that this land is just for themselves. It's the spirit that because the incoming leader says it so it must be ok. Well let me assure you it is not.

I spent this week watching news reports of children chanting "build that wall" to minority students at school. I've heard friends in NYC talk about their mother's car being spray painted with a swastika and the words "go back to Mexico immigrant." I've also heard my friend saying that they've been told to go back to china( even though they're Korean) and usually things are followed up with a sensible "this is trump's America now!" I've heard of women being threatened by groups of men shouting "grab her by the pussy." And in my own life someone screamed "get out of my country you fucking faggot, trump America now" and threw things at me. Rest assured I am physically fine and have reported the incident.

However, this event shook me deeply. There is a problem going on that the media is missing. Trump and Obama are missing it, too. People are hurting and people are afraid for their lives. We are scared that we might not actually see tomorrow. There is a tone to the world right now that is difficult to explain.

It would be easy for conservatives to just cast it off as overdramatized liberal whining of losing the election. This is different. I've been through elections that my side lost, it was fine. I live through 8 years of a bush administration and a republican house and felt a million times more safe than I do right now. I'm not afraid of losing my rights as a gay man, I lived almost 35 years without them, a minor set back isn't ideal. However, what I'm afraid of is losing my life to some crazy person who thinks killing me or violating me is acceptable.

And that's where it is.

I know many republicans who voted trump because they are anti Clinton and/or establishment. But I implore you to open your eyes to see what your vote has done. Yes, you will see your part of the world just fine for economics and fossil fuels and possibly or not possibly job creation. But what was the cost of your vote? The man elected inciting violence and intolerance with hateful remarks towards many groups of people. People you are related to and people you are friends with. You know, people you love and hopefully respect. Open your eyes. No you are not bigoted or racist or intolerant, you were just mad. I'm mad too. I hear you. But hear me now.

Make us believe you.This is your time to put your money where your mouth is. If you see injustice, stand up to it. If someone you know is in pain, help them. If a friend needs to talk to you about their fears, listen. Most important that you take them seriously. This is deeper than not getting the fairy dust, unicorns and rainbows that Clinton promised us. This is our safety and our livelihood at stake. That is the reason for the protesting. That's why we are sad and crying. It's why we seem hopeless and afraid. Because some of us don't know how we will find tomorrow alive.

Make sure that you don't stand idly by watching your loved ones be attacked by crazy people who now assume it's their right to be a despicable human being. Because the second someone dies in the name of trump, I promise you will be asking yourself why? Maybe not when it's a forgettable name in the media, but when it's your friend, your co worker or your son, you will question everything about your choices. You will wonder "did I do enough?"

If someone dies, the answer will be a resounding, "no."

So I think again, am I proud to be an American?

Yes, I am. But as an adult it's much more complicated to answer. I respect the voting system. I respect people being able to have a different opinion than me. I urge everyone to respect the ideals they hold dear even if I don't share the same. Know that your ideology, religion and sentiments that vehemently differ from my own can coexist without detracting from either side. We can do this.

At the moment, I'm scared to live in America. I am proud to be here, but I am scared, words my 12 year old self never thought my adult self would admit. I dreamed of a time to just live my life openly and in peace. And I have done so until now. I remain cautiously optimistic for the future, but in the back of my brain I live in fear. I fear for the safety of human beings in this country. I fear for the future world we are leaving for our children. And I fear for the lives of those so fueled by hatred they can't do anything but intimidate, persecute, and kill.

So I ask you, are you proud of your America? Are you truly? Make me believe you. Because right now I don't. Right now the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is at stake.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


So, I wrote the following piece a couple of years ago. I'm trying to get back to writing something that started me down the road to healing from a difficult year. The beginning of the piece I write about my first plane ride. I remember fragments of the whole day, however, I filled in the rest that I can from the writer in me. So, if my parents read it, I'm sorry if I don't have every detail correct and my creative brain took over for a moment. Anyway, I'm going to try over the next few weeks to post the pieces I've worked on. Thank you for taking time to read what I've written and supporting me in my writing. This was the first thing I wrote. The more I write about that part of my life the more I come to terms with how things went. So, yes, this was an incredibly emotional thing to write, but I'm well beyond it and that's why I know I can share it here.


From about the time I was little, I was always a little bit scared of planes. The very first time I flew, I was four. I remember getting on and thinking it was so cool that I was getting to travel by this crazy mechanical thing that flew like a bird. I was, like every four year old child, enamored with the idea of flying, because I also liked Superman comics. Not a typical thing for a gay adult to admit, but I was pretty into comics as a kid. Now, I didn’t follow them like the other kids and know everything about them, I just liked the pictures and all of the superhero comics, because they had powers, and Superman could fly. So, I was naturally very excited about my first flying experience. However, it didn’t go that smoothly.

My poor mother, was only thirty years old, it was the mid eighties and she was carting along three kids. My sisters ended up sitting on one side of the aisle, and since I was younger, I sat with my mom on the other side. Keep in mind that in the eighties, people still dressed up for traveling. And since this was a “dress up” occasion, the behavior ante was upped as well. This was to be treated as a church-like type of dress and behavior code, and my mom meant business. I was not raised by the type of mom who exists now, that has to be your friend one hundred percent of the time, oh hell no. My mom was my mom, and her word was final. So Sunday best? Check. Behavior top notch? Semi check. See, as excited as I was that we were going to be flying to see my grandparents, I was equally unprepared for the physical transformation that was about to onslaught my body.

The plane engines rumbled to a start and immediately scared the shit out of me. I yelped very loudly and grasped my mother’s hand in a death grip because I was certain we were going to blow up. My mom gently told me about what was happening with the plane and started to explain what was happening with the engines and how we were going to sail smoothly to my grandparents house and that all would be well. Then, cleverly, she started pointing out things outside the window, like the men loading up our luggage, or the men directing the planes who had bright orange colored cones. Anything to distract me from what was really happening. Then the world exploded. The plane started moving. I clutched my seat and tightly as I could and felt my stomach flailing inside my tiny little body. The game no longer distracted me. This was real and some shit was about to go down.

Our mechanical bird suddenly didn’t seem so magical and awesome as it did before I’d gotten on and and I wondered if there was time for me to get off the plane. Obviously there wasn’t. We paused briefly before jolting forward, to fly to our deaths, I was certain, making our way to the take off area of the airport. In reality, this probably lasted a mean four minutes at best. In the reality in my head, an eternity. The flight attendants were standing in the aisle talking about seat belts and safety features and pointing at manuals that I was too young to be able to read, and I didn’t know what to do. I began squirming in my seat, uncomfortable and unable to hold much in any longer. I knew that my mom had told me to be on my best behavior, and I desperately didn’t want to disappoint her, but I knew I was about to.

The flight attendants disappeared and the plane began moving faster. I looked out the window. Huge mistake, as I saw the horizon start to tilt, I began to panic even more fiercely. I closed my eyelids tight and clutched the arm rests on either side of me and pushed as hard as I could into the seat as I could. The plane accelerated even more and I felt the arm of God start lifting us into the air. I held my breath. I couldn’t take it. I was either about to scream or vomit, and I couldn’t decide which was worse. The rumbling in my stomach was so strong it wouldn’t take long to find out which was going to happen. And then I let it go.

I opened my mouth wide and screamed at the top of my lungs, “We’re going belly up! We’re going belly up!” Suddenly everyone around me was uncomfortable, nervous and anxiously awaiting me to shut the hell up. My mom was beside herself trying to calm me down, mortified, I’m certain. However, there were a few people around me laughing, though I wouldn’t know why until later in my life and to listen to my mom tell the story, perhaps she, too, was enjoying my meltdown a little bit more than I thought she would. I was certain I would be in trouble for making a scene, but my mom has a bigger sense of humor that I like to credit her for.

The morning I boarded my flight to attend my grandmother’s funeral, almost thirty years after my astoundingly triumphant first trip, my mood was similarly excited and nerve-wracking as that first flight so many years ago. My heart was torn to pieces over the loss of both a lover and a loved one and getting on this plane at this moment, I couldn’t wait to feel the acceleration and sounds of the nautical beast force out the pain of my heart and drown out the voices in my head. I was a shell of a human. Desolate, isolated, frustrated, and angry. Why in the world was this happening to me? But, I refused to let anyone see it. I smiled at the flight attendant on my way in, and even shook her outstretched hand. I pretended with the family three rows in front of my to be interested in what some toddler was showing off on his iPad to the passengers walking by, and gave a knowing nod to his mother that he was, in fact, the cutest child in the world. It seemed as if the world was turning around me, as all I could think about was getting to my seat, putting on some slit your wrist music, and wallowing in my heartache. And hopefully falling asleep.

Luckily, I was the only occupant in my row. It’s always a blessing to be sitting alone. No one next to me to make small talk with, or a child to annoy me with the crying or the shrieking, or worse, their stupid electronic babysitters. No, I was grateful to be alone in that moment. I thought of the first time I flew, and almost each time after that. I calculated, roughly, fifteen flights to Indiana over the years. Usually to see my grandfather, who had been ill my whole life, and eventually passed seventeen years ago, and now, making what seemed like my final trip to say good bye to my Mammaw. She was the glue that held my extended family together, and most likely, would be the last reason anyone who had moved away would have to come back.

I could see the overly eager flight attendants begin their safety demonstrations. I could hear the voice of a very friendly man begin his schpeel about listening and following safety features. I started to zone out. All I could think about was flying and my Mammaw. How when I was a kid, she’d come every year to Wyoming to visit us and my sisters and I would anxiously await her trip. Then the day would come, and we’d almost wet ourselves from excitement at the airport seeing her plane land, and racing to the gate to greet her. In my youth, we were allowed to go all the way to the gate, and somehow, it seemed so tragic how much the world has changed in the last twenty five years, and even more sad that I’m around to see it. My mortality began to sink in. My mind had succumbed to the darkness that’s always lurked, but never surfaced. From then on it was a downward spiral into the grim, bleak world of what am I doing with my life?

“Sir?” A voice was beckoning me out of it. “Sir?” I couldn’t tell where it was coming from, but I heard it again. “Sir?” This time I felt it. A hand on my shoulder and I was startled and jumped in my seat, ready to attack. I jolted my head to the left to see one of the flight crew looking at me. “Sir, I need you to buckle your seat belt please. We’re about to take off.”
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.” I buckled it quickly, and couldn’t believe that I’d forgotten to do it. It was my flight ritual of always buckling myself in the moment I sit down. I realized the attendant was still looking at me. I looked back at her blankly.

“Sir, are you ok?”

“I’m fine, thanks.” I replied coldly. “Why wouldn’t I be ok, you stupid bitch?” I thought cruelly. “Don’t I look like someone who’s flown before? Oh my god, Steve, get a fucking grip on yourself.” My mind clearly had a mind of it’s own, and I was happy for once that my mean thoughts were trapped in the construct of my head.

“Well, if there is anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask.” I didn’t notice until she squeezed, that her hand had been on my shoulder the entire time. She meant well, but I was still confused at why she was so concerned. And then I felt a drop on my hand. I had been crying and didn’t even know. Somehow in my deep despair for myself, the waterworks began and there was no way of stopping it. I could only hope in that moment that no one else had seen me, and I wiped away the tears and put my headphones back in. At least, if I couldn’t listen to music during take off, I would deter anyone from thinking I was ready to pay attention to the world around me.

I tried to bunch up the hood of my hoodie so I could cover my face and also use it as a pillow, but it wasn’t working. I settled on just covering my face. I didn’t want anyone else to see me break out into a violent sobbing mess if it happened. Outside the window, I could see the wing and the engine fire up as we started moving forward. I felt the usual pull of the place as we began to speed up. I lay my head back on my seat and stared out the window. As the ground began to move away from us, I looked up at the engine, then the sky and whispered, “please let us crash.” I waited a moment and when nothing happened, I stared at the engine and commanded in my head, “break, motherfucker, break.” Over and over again. I wanted so desperately to just not be, anymore. I longed for the release from life. This was too much for me to bear. And it hit me, I was begging for a plane to go down. Never mind all of the people on board who had families they were excited to see or were with them at that moment. Or how many people would mourn the loss of each life on this plane. I was a man consumed with the idea of an easy way out. I no longer wanted to face the struggles of my life, or my shortcomings. I wanted to just start over.

For whatever reason, I felt that I would like to die and come back as a famous person’s child. Hopefully, I’d still grow up to be a gay man, because let’s be honest, it’s a lot of fun. But, I wanted someone else to have figured out all the hard stuff, and maybe having a charmed life would be better than the life I had lived. And maybe by having the fame and fortune would somehow ease the struggle and pain of life. And there would be no problems for anyone. And somewhere in staring at the engine and pleading that it fail, I fell asleep.

I woke up to the same woman from earlier asking if I wanted anything from the cart. Apparently, I’d passed out for almost two hours. I looked at her and asked for a ginger ale. As she poured it lovingly into a cup of ice for me, I asked, “Can I have some vodka as well, please?”
She looked at me and nodded. Then pushed the cart slightly past my row and moved in and sat next to me.

“Do you think a drink right now is what you need?” At first I couldn’t believe she was asking me. It’s my life and I will drink if I want. As my head said before, what a bitch. But she grabbed my hand and I knew deep in my heart she was just trying to be nice. I’m sure when I got on the plane my eyes were filled with tears as it’s been uncontrollable lately,she noticed. I looked at her, directly into her eyes and saw her kindness. And saw her for the first time. Her eyes were a remarkable shade of blue, lighter than the sky, but not icy. Her graying brownish hair was pulled back neatly into a ponytail, and she had a lot of accents on her uniform. A highly detailed small brooch on her left side, an elegant scarf tied perfectly around her neck, bracelets, and a ring the size of Texas on her finger. Clearly this woman was loved and had style.

“I probably don’t need it right now,” and of course I didn’t, it was eight in the morning. I felt like I did need it, though. And I was somewhat mad that she was asking. She wasn’t my mom.

“Are you ok, honey?” Just the meer question made my eyes sting. I could feel it coming on and couldn’t stop it. She slid her arm around to my opposite shoulder and pulled me in for a hug. I couldn’t believe this woman who I’d just been so cruel to, granted, in my head, was being so kind to me.

“Maddie?” I heard to voice, but couldn’t tell where it came from, but looked up to see Maddie, the woman hugging me, shoo away her colleague with the soda cart, as if to tell her, ‘get away from me, I’m busy.’ And she continued to hold my shoulders until I stopped convulsing. I was mortified that I’d let a complete stranger see me in that state, and even more humiliated that I’d made such a scene on the plane. Once my eyes were clear, I could see everyone looking at me and could feel the burning questions of, “what is going on over there?” Maddie knew I could see everyone staring.

“Pay them no mind, sometimes, you just need to cry it out.” And it all began again. She was so nice to just sit with me and talk. I told her about my Mammaw, and my ex and losing my dog, and she listened patiently. She gave such knowing nods and caressed my hand at just the right moment. And finally she looked at me and sad, “I am so sorry for your loss. It’s a tough road to bear. I have to go back to work, but you need to know this. You are a beautiful soul. I can tell. And sometimes in this world we are given obstacles and challenges that make us stronger. And never forget, the good Lord only gives us that which he thinks we can handle. So, he thinks you are a tough as nails badass.” She hugged me once more and got up to walk away.

I sat in complete and utter shock. I could not believe that someone just gave up their time to sit with me and listen and just let me share my own problems. No one has even been so blatantly kind to me in my life. I looked out the window and gone were the feelings of wanting the plane to crash. I wasn’t feeling one hundred percent better, but I was definitely over the hump of wishing death upon me and a hundred other people that I didn’t know.

A moment later, Maddie returned to my row with cookies, pretzels and a second ginger ale in her hands. She set them down in front of me and said, “Here, honey, these will make you feel better.” I sat back and enjoyed every bit of those treats, and she was right, I did feel better, but it wasn’t the food.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Riggle me this, Why friendship is bad

I recently confessed my feelings for someone I've known quite a long time. Almost a decade. When we met, he was with someone and I was just out of something with someone else. Obviously the wrong time. We spent a few months together working in a small little town. By the time we finished our job and came back to NYC, he and his boyfriend had split. We remained friends with nothing ever happening between us.

Over the years, we run into one another from time to time and always had a wonderful time together. On my end, at least, there was always a little bit of a crush developing on this man. He's simply wonderful. A really great person with a beautiful heart. Obviously, we both ended up in other relationships, and now it seems it could be the serious plot for a Gary Marshall style rom com. But it's not.

See, the thing is, we kept missing moments in which we could have probably ended up together, but I'm not aggressive enough in those moments to really make them happen. I just let life pass me by without saying a word until it's too late. I even recall my ex telling me how much he hated that I hung out with this guy because he hated the way we looked at one another. I've had friends ask me over the years why the two of us never dated. And this is now where I'm at. I don't know. I simply don't know why we never figured it out.

I know, from my perspective that it could be wonderful. Then again, it might not be. However, going back to the confession, it was met with far less enthusiasm than I'd hoped. I was told, "I see you as a good friend and it's difficult to see you as more than that." Done. I'd rather have had him say I just don't have feelings for you like that. Because this is the thing. Friendship is the best place to start a relationship. If for no other reason than you are already starting something with a foundation built. Trust, respect, honesty. That, in my opinion is the best thing you'd want in a relationship with someone else and why wouldn't you want to risk that. Yeah, you might end up ruining a friendship, but you could end up with someone you never thought possible.

On the flip side of this whole thing, someone recently also came to me and asked me on a date. I've also known this person for a long time and have always navigated around his advances. And the only thing I could say was, "I've never felt that way about you." I felt like I had to be honest about it. I didn't want to say I only see you as a friend, because that can leave open a grey area that I don't want. I finally had to be honest and say, "Look, i'm not into you like that, and I appreciate your feelings, but it has to stop." I had to. Because I'd rather be honest and risk losing someone because of honesty rather than keep them around with false hope.

So, the moral of this whole thing is, friendship can be tricky. There's a reason why straight men and women aren't typically friends, it gets messy. Same goes for the gays, it gets difficult to know if you're being hit on or if you're just making a new friend. But when a long time friend comes to you and expresses feelings, and you know you've been a big part of the flirtation for so long, be honest, don't leave it open ended, and try to be open when you know it could be the best thing that's ever happened to you.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Riggle me this, I know not why people hate

Too many times in my life I've experienced hate. Either towards me, or in mass arenas like what we've just witnessed in Orlando. I am sick. I am heartbroken, and I am done.

Seventeen years ago, we saw the horrible massacre at Columbine. And it has just gotten worse. Recently, anti Trump protestors lit bottles on fire and threw them into the crowds of Trump supporters in San Jose, California. In what world is that a rational thought of a behavior that is acceptable? What scares me even more is those people doing that, are on the same side of the political fence that I'm on. And they think they are right. And they are fueled by such a deep hatred of someone that they wish to hurt other people, as if that is going to stop the person they're mad at.

This young man in Florida also hated. Hated so deeply he needed to kill fifty people and then kill himself. Well to him I have this to say. You are a coward. You knew what you did was wrong, so rather than face a consequence after, you killed yourself. You are a coward and not worth it. And here I am writing about him. Because I'm angry. I'm heartbroken, and I'm devastated.

It is too easy to succumb to the hate and the dark inside ourselves. Far to easy to just throw our hands up and say, "You're an idiot and I'm packing up my toys and leaving." It is much harder to offer kindness to someone who doesn't believe the way you do. Well guess what. People on the same side don't agree with each other either. I don't agree with the people for their actions in San Jose. It's not right to hurt other people, and it's against the law. Not only that, they shouldn't have to be reminded of the fact.

There is far too much hate in this world. It is a difficult place to be in for most people to begin with. So why can't we just somehow find a way to be kind to one another? Why can't we love in the name of God, instead of destroy in the name of God? Why can't we use God's name to build simples of hope and love, instead of using his name to claim land and abuse power? And why can't we just accept that we are all deeply flawed individuals and accept that it is not our right to judge the sins of others with a book written thousands of years ago? Why can't we just look at one another and say, "I see you, you may be different than me, but I see you. And you are my friend." Why can't we actually, as adults, act the way grown ups should. Too many times, I see adults scolding small children for actions they themselves exude as an adult. So why is it not okay for a child to have a tantrum, but it's perfectly acceptable for an adult.

I don't know where hate comes from. But I know it needs to end. It just needs to stop. And this whole thing about killing each other. Just stop.




We need to stop killing each other and justifying it by religion or whatever you think makes it okay to kill someone else. Please just stop killing each other. It's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok, it's not ok. Got it?

LOVE is the answer.

and if you need biblical proof...

John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Riggle me this, Thank you for being a friend...

"Can't we just be friends?"

This question rings true one of my biggest pet peeves ever in the world. Recently, I had a man I was dating state this after I decided to end our dating whatever it was. The conversation went like this.

"I really think you're an awesome guy. I'd love for us to stay friends," he said while devouring a taco. We were having Mexican food.

"That's a really sweet idea," I responded slowly, "but it's not going to happen."

"What? You don't want to be friends with me?" He seemed to be surprised.

"It's not that. It's just that you struggled to get me to commit to more than one day a week with you to date you. How do you think being friends is gonna go down?"

Let me put it more bluntly. There is no way in Hell we are gonna last as friends. I have to be very clear about this. I think remaining friends works for some people. I'm friends with all but one of my exes. There are times and places when it works. My ex from college, we spent almost a full school year as friends before we dated. Cut to three years later, we broke up, and eventually went back to being friends because that's exactly how we started. That's a pretty decent example of when it can work.

But usually, it doesn't. This situation in particular, I couldn't imagine what the hell was going to happen. I could fathom what he thought we would do. Oh, no sorry, we aren't going to work out, but let's have slumber parties and pillow fights, gossip over wine, braid each other's hair and gush over boys??? Are you mad?

So no, I don't want to be friends. No I don't want to see you move on to the next person and be happy. No, I don't want to be bombarded on social media by your new found happiness, when I'm still struggling with "hold the door" from two weeks ago. No, I don't want to deal with you from this moment forward. And finally NO, I don't have to feel bad for not wanting to be your friend. Because this is how it goes. Your life story is from your perspective. You get to write me into it however you want. My life story is from mine. I get to do whatever I want, and feel however I fucking want to feel about it. So no, I won't apologize for not wanting to be your friend. I wanted more from you, and when I don't get that, I reserve the right to have you in my life to whatever degree I choose. And the same goes for you.

So if nothing else, at least I'm learning to choose the better option for myself. If I can't date you when I want to, then I'm going to just walk away. I have friends. I have lots of them, and most of them I don't see as often as I like, so don't expect me to the friends with someone when I don't really want that from you to begin with.
Recently I was seeing a young man who could have changed my life. He is kind and generous and his heart is open. For anyone who knows me, when it comes to dating, mine is seemingly not. But he was gracious with his attempt at being patient with me. We both talked about how easy it was to be with one another. But for me, my hesitation was strong.

See, for me, my heart is much more open than I pretend. Because I am able to fall in love with someone or something every single day. But when you are someone like that, sensitive to the bone, your heart also gets broken a little bit everyday. So when it comes to love, I've stopped trusting my heart. And in doing so, I've missed out on more than one person who could have been significant in my life. Maybe not a lifetime love, but significant nonetheless. And of course, people give me the usual friend speech of "oh he wasn't the right one." Or "you'll know when you find it." Well once upon two separate times, I thought I had. It turns out they were just significant moments in my life. And one of those people is still significant to me now, just in a different way.

So this recent man, had every quality in someone I would like to date. From A to Z, he fulfilled everything I desire in a human companion. Yet I remained afraid. On our last encounter he told me he felt himself falling in love with me. And surprisingly, it didn't scare me away, it made me quite happy. However, in true Steve Riggle fashion, I shut it down. I couldn't let myself take that risk to maybe someone how lose down the line. So I chose to lose immediately before there was too much heartbreak. But the funny thing is now, I've realized the heartbreak is all mine. I'm the one who did it. On the flip side though, just a mere 7 days later I left a message with him(I assumed he didn't want to hear form me) saying that I was wrong and would he forgive me for being an idiot. To which there was a long pause, or a seven day delayed response to be exact. He was now dating someone new, and out of respect of his new relationship, didn't want to really talk to me anymore.

It took him only 7 days after me to find someone else to love! For real? What kind of witch doctor voodoo love potion number 9 bullshit is that?

So there it is. How am I expected to truly fall in love with someone when no one yet has allowed me the time to truly get to know someone? To fully let things happen in a natural and unforced way. The impact someone can make on your life in just a couple weeks is wonderful, but how they impact your life once the honeymoon is over? That's a different story

And here I am. Trying hard to keep myself open to whatever comes my way, but the hope is hard to find. Because it just keeps seeming like everyone is so quick to jump into a relationship without taking the time to make sure the person they're jumping with is the right one.

I've recently seen a dear friend of mine enter into a relationship. A first in the time we've known one another. And watching them take their time getting to know each other, eliminating distractions from the world to explore with one another has been a beautiful sight to witness. Because of how my last relationship failed, I've lost hope. But seeing my friend in their newfound happiness has restored hope for me a little bit as well.

Look, I will put up a jaded front better than anyone I know. And those who know me well know how sensitive I truly am. I believe in love. More than anyone I know. But my hang ups still persist because of the logical mind I was given. So for any future loves, I just request this. Be patient with me. Be kind. Try to be compassionate. And don't be afraid to push me into the unknown with you. I'm a sucker for anyone who doesn't let me give up on myself.

Sounds like a lot right? Well Riggle me this, maybe I am.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Riggler of the day...

I am not living my most fulfilled and valuable life. And I know it.

I want to fix it now.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A poem for today.

I found some pictures in a box.
A box I hide away.
I click the lock up nice and tight
But somehow it never stays.

I see the face of the man I was
though it doesn't seem like me.
I see the man I was once long ago
and wonder how it could be.

These faces of the men we were.
Are now the signs of strangers
I try to remember the love we had
but all I feel is anger.

You are different now than you were before
And somehow I am too.
You etched yourself right on my heart
my permanent tattoo.

This reminder of what we shared
I can never let it go.
And even though I hide away
I'll forever be on hold.

Do you think of me as I do you?
And the way we used to be?
Or do you run and hide away
Pretending we're now free?

Some days are hard, for sure,
The nights are lonely too.
I can only hope that someday
We both begin anew.

So the box that I can't lock up
I store it behind a chair.
I look inside from time to time
And imagine you with me there.

This box of mine I hide away
And struggle to keep it shut.
Reminders of how close we were
And how deeply I'm stuck in rut

Will the one day we dreamed of ever come?
Or were you lying then?
I hope, I pray, I hide away
And try not to think of when.

So I push the box aside
And erase you from my mind.
As pointless as it may seem
'Cause my love for you is blind.

I've wished you well, you said it back
but did we mean the lines?
I somehow know, in my heart of hearts
You were forever mine.

And I was yours, at least for then
So why can't I let go?
And turn this box inside out
And teach myself to grow?

I'll carry on and you will too
Reminded of the past
Of how scarred we are, from the love we had
And how some things never last.

I'll push the box aside again
and pretend I don't know what's inside.
The memories will drift away
My heart, closing wide.

And back and forth, again, again
The ending is never near.
I'll take whats mine and give yours back,
this box that's filled with fear.

And once again, I'll close it up
Knowing that I won't mind
If some rainy day you come back again
Our hearts again entwined.

So I'm hiding inside this box
Afraid to let it go.
Afraid of what would happen then
And just how big my heart could grow

Monday, March 7, 2016


There's an epidemic facing people my age and younger. It's called the wonderful attitude of nonchalance. It's occurring on an alarming basis and affects nearly everyone between the ages of 0 and 40, sometimes even older.

Somehow, in the age of self empowerment, it is considered cool to simultaneously keep your emotions at bay about anything other than what you do for your own self. And when it comes to relationships or caring for other people, just forget it. You're considered weird for expressing any sort of emotional attachment to another human in a romantic way. Yes, it's still appropriate to have friends, hobbies, and to want a significant other, but to actually go out on a limb and express interest in starting something with someone, nope, that's just simple not heard of.

Being the king of standing in my own way, I've been grappling with this concept a great deal lately. A few weeks ago, I went on several dates with a fantastic man. I thought to myself, "wow this guy is awesome. There could be something worth exploring here." And that thought was immediately banished because God forbid I actually tell him I liked him. He now is considering weather or not I fit into his schedule. Should I have said something or was I right in staying silent about how I felt? Who knows?

After that j had an encounter with a wonderful man who lives nearby. He seemed too good to be true. Handsome, kind, spontaneous and fun. Sadly that all ended with me engaging in unsavory activity that I'm still disappointed in myself for engaging in. But now I'm left in a conundrum. Do I mention that I secretly wanted to take him on a proper date and knew so long before j met him? Or do I just apologize,back off and move on?

It's this whole weird balance of Caring too much too soon or caring too little for too long. If you overstep in the beginning, you run the risk of scaring someone off, and if you wait too long, you run the risk of them giving up and moving on. And in both instances you are left alone. See, everyone constantly take about how they want to be with someone, but we are too wrapped up in our own shit to know when is the right time to express ourselves. So we've all adopted this attitude of nonchalance as a protection to not get hurt. And this is the struggle.

We all want to be loved. Anyone who says I'm wrong is a liar. Because if you didn't want to be loved, you wouldn't have friends, you wouldn't yearn for a family, you wouldn't go on dates, and you certainly wouldn't hook up with people. Because even in the smallest amount of time spent with someone else, we find a small bit of love on varying levels and that satisfies our need for love and affection. Everyone has that innate desire.

So then why does everyone forego the honesty of wanting more and risk taking by telling someone "hey I like you" and act as if someone else doesn't matter in their life? Personally, I'd rather everyone who crosses my path to have a lasting impact. Whether they stay in my life for 6 minutes or 6 years. Isn't it about quality connection with each other anyways?

So yea, I want to be in a relationship. I find myself falling in love a little bit or multiple times each and every day. Might not be the right thing but it can't be wrong to allow myself to feel things very deeply. No I'm not settling for just anyone who comes along. And no I'm not going to compromise my integrity for someone else. But in not going to give up and I'm certainly not going to pretend I don't care when in fact I care a great deal. I've made plenty of mistakes, and now i can hope for forgiveness from others whole forgiving myself and try to just move forward. But it has to be in a good and solid direction.