Well I survived 2017, but it wasn’t easy. Amazing things happened throughout the year as I claimed my independence and freedom as a single person. I tried to document my journey along the way, but it was a lot harder to document while still processing the emotions than I realized. Yes, writing helps me process but it also forces me to think about the situation which I wasn’t always ready to do. My last post was in August, and a few weeks later would’ve been mine and The Ex’s official 12th anniversary. Ironically our anniversary of becoming exclusive was 9/11. That should’ve been a sign.

It was also difficult to write about the loved ones who hurt me while also respecting their privacy. But then again, why should I hold back from sharing factors of my own truths; they haven’t considered my feelings.

I made mistakes. I battled a double heartbreak. I was faced with discovering who I really am. Do I enjoy and respect that person? I tried to be honest and open with my chosen family and my lovahs. I gained new friends. I met new lovahs and lost other lovahs. I embarrassed myself. I was proud of myself. I earned a grant and produced a show. I worked hard and played harder. I created a demo for an EP all about my road to independence and performed those songs and some stories for my annual birthday show. It was one of the most healing processes I’ve ever gone through. That really does just prove the power of art. And now I understand the strength and popularity of heartbreak albums in so much more depth.

My experiences inspired my current Birthday Resolution which I realized I haven’t announced yet. During my 34th year I am going on a monthly date with myself. Taking myself on dates is something I’ve been doing for years, even while dating The Ex. But this year I wanted to make a conscious effort to do so regularly, so stay tuned to hear all about them!

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afterTHOT: Just Friends

My Cuddle Buddy broke up with me. He chose to take a chance on young love, and who am I to stand in his way? I wish him all the best, especially because he’s been feeling a little lonely and stressed lately. Cuddle Buddy, aka Lettuce, aka The21yo (although I suppose I can no longer call him that since he just turned 22) pursued me online a little while back. And that was definitely flattering considering I’m literally 12 years his senior. We chatted for a long while before actually meeting, and then the first time I went over to his place, we literally just cuddled. Well, until the morning when we had morning sex. That only happened twice, and then we continued to only cuddle. So I knew very early on that this was not going to be a serious relationship. Once again, I’m not even ready for that. But it was nice NSA intimacy. But then it did start to confuse me a little because I’ve never really had intimacy like that with someone I wasn’t interested in. I now understand why people like labels. And I’m glad that when I went over the night of his birthday, we gave ourselves a label and both agreed that we considered ourselves just friends. And then he proceeded to tell me that he’s about to choose between two of his other guys. Perhaps he felt like I needed to hear that out loud, and I appreciate that. I need communication and honesty—something that’s been lacking from my previous relationships. I’m glad we were on the same page, though, yet it still hurt to hear out loud. I think because it made me realize just how alone I really am. Then I realized that I no longer had my Cuddle Buddy. I need that touch from someone, but I’m so scared of it at the same time. I felt comfortable spooning with Lettuce. But oh well. I will survive. But after our conversation, we both laughed about how we’d kill each other if we were dating. Hell, we already got into an argument at the bar a couple weeks ago (I’m sure that’ll be another post sometime). In a lot of ways, he reminds me of The Ex so this is all for the best. 

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

I’d like to apologize (to all 5 of you) for my hiatus in writing.  This breakup, which is essentially a divorce after 12 years, has been very emotional.  I never knew how many feelings were all rolled up into heartbreak–guilt, loneliness, confusion, anger, sadness, and so many more.  So it’s very difficult to process the feelings so publicly sometimes–or period for that matter.  I also felt like I was getting a little too journally and bitching about my problems.  I’d rather steer clear of the whining and be more reflective so that I can share the lessons I’ve learned with all of you.  And as always, any advice you can share is most welcome!  Those of us going through this will eventually cross that bridge over troubled waters.  IMG_7698

Happy Birthday?

Today is The Ex’s birthday.  (I told you that February was a very significant month.)  And living with him is hard as hell.  That’s part of the reason we broke up.  But living with him and not being with him is even harder.  Toxic at times.  It’s also hard because I still love him.  I have made it clear that we are no longer together, yet he continues to get angry when I tell him I’m going out or when I borrow a friend’s jeans because I stayed the night.  I literally mean a friend.  And I continue to accidentally hug him in he middle of the night because we only have one bed.  And then I have to remind myself that we’re no longer together.  Heartbreak all over again.

But just because you love someone, does not mean it’s healthy to be with that person.  We’ve forgotten how to appreciate each other and sometimes we’re both downright spiteful.  We need some time apart.  Not that I’m saying we will get back together, but it’s hard to imagine my life without him after 12 years.  But it’s hard to forgive the drugs.  Earlier this morning a needle fell out of my jeans pocket.  Well, I sure the hell knew it wasn’t mine.  He looked at me and said it was one he used to slam someone else.  Oh, so it wasn’t you that used it?  That’s supposed to make it better?  No the hell it doesn’t.  It may actually make matters worse.

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Happy Birthday?

We’re supposed to try and go out tonight, but guess who’d be footing the bill? Well, it sure the hell isn’t The Ex who recently quit his job that took him a year to find! Bitch, I ain’t rich! I’m still in debt from the last situation you got us into! Where’s all the money you had from the job you just quit? In someone else’s arm? Why do I let myself get guilted into stupid shit all the time?

Let’s turn this into a reverse-advice column–would you celebrate The Ex’s birthday?

Age of Heartbreak

Given the nature of this blog, how can I not write a post on Valentine’s Day? Even though this was never a huge holiday for me and The Ex, it was still something we would at least casually acknowledge by exchanging small tokens. However, this will be the first Valentine’s I’ll spend as a bachelor in over a decade!

Will I celebrate? My independence, yes. But this day? This day, no. This day is for romance. And I’m not feeling romantic. I’m feeling heartbroken. As much as I appreciate a nice date, it just doesn’t seem appropriate during this new chapter in my life–a transitional stage I’ve deemed the Age of Heartbreak.

I never knew that heartbreak was more than sadness. But it is. It’s much more than that. It’s anger and resentment and sorrow and confusion. And worst of all it’s loneliness. A feeling with which I’m unfortunately all too familiar. I also never knew that someone other than your lover could cause you heartbreak. But anyone dear to you can break your heart.

Now this is one of those moments where it’s hard to share my story and be respectful of my loved ones while doing so. But I’ve made a promise to be honest and I’ve made attempts to keep everyone anonymous. Therefore I tell you this:  The Ex and a Family Member both continue to break my heart as I watch them struggle with their respective addictions.

For over two years now The Ex has left needles and cock rings and douches around the house while trying to lie to me and tell me that he’s “holding them for a friend.” Like he’s a teenager hiding his bestie’s pornos under his mattress. No bitch, you had a sex party on the bed that we share!  That’s why you had to wash the sheets. He’s also given my underwear away to his tricks. He’s given away my expensive lotions and toiletries. I’ve confronted him about sleeping with guys he’d bring over, and then he’d deny it. Bitch, I saw the video! And yet I still feel guilty when staying the night at someone else’s house. I gotta get out of this situation.

I can’t run away from my Family Member because we’re flesh and blood. And if I run away from The Ex, I feel like I’m abandoning him in his time of need. But I gotta look out for myself. The countdown to the end of April is on!

February will have a few extra posts due to the significance that this month had in my recently ended relationship. Otherwise you can expect a new blog post every Sunday with a mini post known as the afterTHOT each Wednesday. 

Previous Commitments

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Twisted Love

I was finally in a place where I was beginning to love myself when The Ex and I met. And so I had made these promises to myself early on:

  1. Never become a teacher because school sucks!
  2. Never settle down with your first relationship because you need to know all your options.
  3. Don’t settle down before your career is underway.

Well, I fuckin’ broke all those rules. And I may have harbored some resentment that I projected onto The Ex, which is unfair I know, but I’m only human and this was my first relationship so I was learning on the go. But breaking those rules actually helped me accomplish some goals. Teaching theatre made me realize that my mission as an artist is not only to entertain but also to heal AND educate with my work. And I wasn’t missing out on fun with other guys because The Ex and I would bring other boys into the bedroom on occasion. And my career actually started to develop because of the support from The Ex. I am so grateful for everything he’s done for me. Neither of us would be where we are today without the other, though sometimes he may not recognize all that I did for him. Asshole. Seriously, he’s delusional.  *side eye*

My resentment toward myself for not “following my dreams” kept The Ex at arms length.  I almost always had one foot out the door.  That’s not commitment.  Yet I was committed to this man for over a decade. Don’t get it twisted, though. He was no saint. He made too many mistakes that I couldn’t forgive. My heart was fighting with my brain.  And I suppose that is true love.

Star Crashed Lovers

It must’ve been a Monday because I only ever went to Hydrate on Dollar Drink Night. I’d been in Chicago for about a month, and I was already living the Party Monster lifestyleThis was my Rock Star Era. I was living in the city temporarily for an exchange program, and I was going out every night with no one to report to. I was barely 21 and I used my young, white boy, southern twink charm to get everything for free.

No matter the club, the routine was always the same: Shots at home; Get to bar; Buy first dollar drink; Do reconnaissance lap around bar; See same beautiful boyz; See new beautiful boyz; Locate prey; Settle in at bar next to prey; Time drink perfectly to be finished at same time as prey’s drink; Strike up conversation by asking what prey’s delicious-looking drink is; Accept drink that prey inevitably buys me (I learned a a lot about mixology this way); Go home with boy (not necessarily the same as prey).

So on this one particular Monday night at Hydrate 12 years ago, I followed the same routine. But there was a new player in the mix. It was this black guy. Or this Indian. Or…it was hard to tell in the light. But this guy was conducting sexual health outreach surveys for a nonprofit. (Sexual anything, mind you, certainly does not happen in public in the south.) I noticed this guy was pretty standard when asking others the questions. But when he came over to me, he got quite chatty. Definitely flirting. I was getting good at figuring that out. He started asking some really personal questions about my sexual activity. The answers to which had been much different only a month prior. He took my number in case I was eligible to do a paid survey in the future.

A few drinks and a few boys later, I’m standing in line behind him waiting to use the restroom.   Drunkenly I stated, or slurred rather, “you know, it’s not fair that you have my number and I don’t have yours.”

So he gave me his business card and told me to call him.  Excuse me? No.  I don’t call boys. They call me. But I did. The very next day.  I met him at Roscoe’s two days later. And he was black. For sure. Or Indian. Maybe. And we started hanging out every day after that. Twelve years later, this guy became The Ex and we are living together in a Pigeon Hole. And he’s black. For sure he’s black.

We were doomed from the start, though. The very first time The Ex came over to my cute little studio apartment in Boystown, we got into a major screaming fight. I kicked him out and slammed the heavy metal door in his face. It was two in the morning and this resulted in a noise complaint from the landlord. A week later we were celebrating his birthday. That’s when he introduced me to his loser friend we’ll refer to as Mr. T. I hated Mr. T.  But I always ended up partying with Mr. T because Mr. T was always there.

I never believed in true love. Not in the romantic sense at least. But to stick with someone through all the shit we endured together meant that it had to have been true love. So on this very day 12 years later, I raise my glass to a toast. Though we weren’t meant to be in this moment in time,  I will always love you, my star crashed lover.