So here I am August 10th, Sitting at Union Station in Chicago getting ready to depart for Washington DC for 10 days. I’m very excited for my vacation. I was dropped off 6 hours early by my very eager to get rid of me husband. I’m not happy about that as he doesn’t seem to love me at all. My room mate and I don’t see eye to eye on much of anything, So I’m pretty sure we won’t be living together much longer. We’re best friends, but living together just doesn’t seem like an option. I got to help a couple Japanese girls use a phone in America for the first time, the payphone wouldn’t work, So I handed them my iPhone. The number their supposed ride gave them doesn’t seem to work and I feel bad for them being abandoned here in America by someone. I told them they could download Skype on their phone and use Skype over Wifi to call their friend since they needed to find another method of contact. I do feel genuinely bad for them. Ahh well. Only 4 more hours until I board my train! I’ll go outside and chain smoke since I got a bit of a surface charge on my devices. On the bright side right after I hit publish, the girls came over to ask me a question to translate the sentence for them, and their friend called back. I guess it was the right number after all.
If I ever did anything right on time, my personal friends would be shocked. I promised a post on June 1st and here I am, 11 days late! Being in Chicago has been an adventure to say the least. I have an app that tells me how much I should be eating, I ignore it most days which is counter productive. As of right now I haven’t even started doing P90x because my endurance sucks. I’ve started with walking every single day of my life. I don’t have a choice, I live in Chicago if I want to go anywhere, I have to walk, and walk a lot! I get in 2-3 miles a day, without even trying, most of it, is walking from one coffee house to another while I search for a job in the city that’s full time. I’ve found a part time job teaching people how to use a computer, and how to build a computer but it’s only 8-12 hours a week depending on the class load that week. If at least 3 people don’t sign up and pay for a class, I don’t work that day, and get told to go home
None the less it’s been a pretty slow start, but an amazingly fun start to say the least.
As I sit here, on the eve of the last day of ever living in Joliet ever again, I am reminded of the 33 years of pure hell this city has given me, by bullying me, and telling me not only what I should do in my bedroom, but my own house. While I don’t have many good memories of this city, I do have good memories of some of the angels who have come to my rescue when I was down. Some have been mentioned on this blog before, some have not. I have already thanked them on my personal Facebook page for everything they have meant to me in my life.
But I will take the opportunity again to thank my husband. He’s proven to me I didn’t have to travel the universe to find the one, I just had to look in my back yard. But I did have to travel the country to fight for love.
This is the beginning of the path of walking across the path of broken glass. So many things in our past define who we are as people. Some of us choose to block things out as if they never happened, but the only way to ever truly move forward, is to face those ghosts. I was 10 years old with the F5 Tornado stuck Plainfield, Crest Hill, and my Subdivision, hitting nearly every house, except mine. For years continuing paranoia that I was not injured or hurt in those storms, but instead hurt by other humans threw vicious hate convinced me, that I was supposed to die then, and I dodged a bullet. I otherwise was intended to suffer the rest of my life because I didn’t die when I was supposed to. I am writing this while sitting in the Joliet Public Library reading a book called Winds of Fury the Will County Tornado August 28th 1990, this is after reading all the newspaper coverage of the same Tornado. I needed to see these peoples families and devastation one more time, to remind myself that I was lucky, not cursed. I s4urvived the tornado, and I survived Joliet. I’m finally getting out, I can taste it, feel it. Every cell of my body is so excited about this move and change that I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am becoming over this change.
It was a insanely hot Tuesday and for Joliet public grade schools, it was our first day of school. It was so hot and humid in the school that didn’t have air conditioning, I was ready to faint. We got out at noon, and it was my birthday. My mom picked me up from school holding a Mega Man game out to me as I ran to the car. I went home and played the video game while she finished making the food for my birthday party dinner which was supposed to be around 4:00PM that day. Instead, the sirens almost went on for a whole 8 second before they sounded like someone cut the power to them as they whined down to nothing. It got cold, very windy, the trees in my backyard were U shaped dipping over the fence into the neighbors yard. I grabbed my most prized possession, my Nintendo and dashed for the basement. This marked the first, of a tradition that happened for most of my life at this house anytime the sky got dark until we moved to a ranch with no basement. The destruction was seen even at my house 3 miles away from the path of the Tornado, as we were picking insulation out of my pool the next day, and pieces of siding was on our roof that didn’t match any houses in the neighborhood. My favorite was the pairs of shoes you saw all over the power lines in the vicinity of the tornado.
I am now in my grandparents house, the only house without damage, where I was supposed to be around 4:00PM. I have been terrified to live here for years, scared to unpack any of my things, housing most of the things I consider precious in bank vaults and climate controlled off site storage. Every house plan I’ve ever looked into to build a house includes building 2 sides of the house into a side of the hill so that I may be safe, and have lower utilities. Even now as I move to Chicago, I wanted a garden apartment because I’m so afraid of Tornados. I feel that the only way to truly blossom is to work in baby steps away from this fear.
I want to dedicate this post to Ryan R. Glaser who would have been 16 years old on September 27th 1990. He was walking delivering the evening edition of the Joliet Herald News, and none of his customers were willing to allow him into the house to take cover. Proof that the newspaper industry for as long as it has existed, has shit on everyone, except the shareholders.
The people who died in this tornado were students and teachers; young and old. They were quietly at home; they were hard at work. They only shared one common thread — they were innocent victims of one of nature’s cruelest works. Their lives ended in the storm that rolled in on Tuesday August 28th 1990, but they will live on in the memories of family, friends, and in the way we each live our lives since the winds have shown us how fragile life really is.
One thing is for sure, these pictures still choke me up, looking at, as someone in the library walked up and handed me a tissue. Maybe the people of Joliet aren’t as bad as I’ve always believed, and maybe monkeys might fly out of my ass.
Hello Dear Readers,
I know I have very few of you right now, and hope with the project which I am proposing, I will be able to attract more readership. I’ve always had a mentality of the glass is shattered shards laying on the ground. It’s not half full, nor is it half empty, it’s just shards laying everywhere on the floor so any step forward or backwards would just cause you to leave a trail of blood, therefore you’re paralyzed and stuck. I’ve felt this way due to living in Joliet,IL most of my adult life. This town is an absolute shit hole and there is a reason why so many famous people do not look back into this town, including Thom Thayer of the Chicago Bears, or Anthony Rapp an actor from Rent. Lionel Richie doesn’t even mention he graduated from Joliet East High School.
This town is an embarrassment to humanity as the only real industry we have that can provide a real livable wage is the one hospital in town, the one power plant in town, or the two high schools. As most people know even school teachers are not paid enough to be an actual living wage after all the supplies they end up paying for out of their own pocket just to make the teaching experience a productive one in the classroom. If you don’t work for the city, you end up working minimum wage making barely enough to support your family, but to much to get any type of assistance. But enough on this shithole that doesn’t even deserve to be a city anymore, and should just be sucked in and merged to Chicago proper, along with the rest of these worthless bedroom community suburbs.
I’ve decided, I will make my life better, every single day! You my readers will be able to chart my progress as I write a no holds barred daily diary on how I will make sure “It get’s better” The mental struggles as I get a better body, a better health, and a better education and professional career that is capable of supporting a family. I have a husband whom I love dearly, but right now I’m to paralyzed by the shards of glass on the ground. I need to channel my inner Diva, stand on my own, and walk on broken glass. Annie Lenox says that the one who abandons you is the one who causes the wreckage of broken glass. Madonna says the one who inflicts the pain can take it away. Those are both qualities of someone who is co-dependant relying on someone who hurt me to make me feel better. To many people in Joliet have caused me pain, telling me that if I would just be straight they would quit harassing me, beating me up, or otherwise making me hate humanity. I know these people will never change, but as long as the only thing I see every day are the ghosts of the pain I’ve been caused I will never be able to move forward.
I love my husband with all my heart, but right now, I want to grab a handful of his sexy red hair, and bash his face into the dining room table over and over until he quits arguing with me and realizes I’m right on every topic I even bother to talk about. I normally don’t like to talk to him because it avoids conflict, so the only time we talk is when I want sex, which is often, but he doesn’t want sex. This angers me deeply. My entire identity if wrapped around which gender I’m sexually attracted to, which gender I want to dance with, which gender I want to have sex with. I took black eyes, broken noses, jaw, shoulders, knee caps, legs and ribs to stand up for my right to have sex with another man, and now I feel that work was useless and I could have just “been straight” and made it go away instead of fighting.
Now that I’m in a sexless marriage. I could have married a woman, denied who I am for most of my life and occasionally cheated on the wife with a man to feel fulfilled and still gotten more action than I’m getting from my husband. I feel that if he can’t love me, and make love to me when I’m at my worst, and feel the ugliest, and struggle every single day with deciding if I should kill myself, if I should flush all my blood pressure and diabetic pills and sit and gorge myself on candy until I go into a diabetic coma or my heart will explode from blood pressure overload. I feel ugly and depressed and don’t feel like life is worth living, because if the person who is the center of my universe can’t show affection towards me, I must be hideous and ugly and not worth breathing. I don’t think these thoughts daily, I think them every other minute of every single day. These thoughts wake me from sleep, make it impossible to sleep when I’m trying to go to sleep. These thoughts distract me from doing school work, house work, or even actual work. I am consumed every moment of every day feeling ugly, feeling like I made the wrong choice in marrying a man, and maybe I really should have faked a straight marriage, there may be the same amount of sex (none) but at least I would feel some affection, some empathy…something so I didn’t want to blow my brains out or poison myself.
IN ONE YEAR MY GOAL IS: To be 100+lbs lighter, To Finish 48 credit hours of college education as I have continued to fall behind every single semester, and barely scrape by on keeping my financial aid. Which I must improve so that I may graduate without running out of aid. I also want to be mentally happier as a person. I want to quit fighting with my husband, but I’m also hoping distance makes the heart grow fonder even though I will only be 45 miles from him. I hope it works, and I hope you read the journey with me!.
They say you can’t go home, but I myself and several of my friends have returned home after traveling the country, and the world in search of fame, fortune, knowledge and love.
I was lucky that I never had to leave my hometown to find love. So when I went to venture out into the world, I already had a traveling companion.The journey becomes a lot more amazing when you have someone there by your side from your same background to point out some of the things you tend to miss as well. It becomes a situation of two bodies sharing one soul.
I’m not going to even begin to sugar coat it that we’re like peas and carrots, or the perfect relationship. In fact most days Fire Crotch tends to make me explode like a can of Aqua Net. That’s after I’ve had my coffee and become nice to the human race which most days doesn’t happen quick enough as I’m normally woken by a phone call each morning, which thankfully isn’t from him.
But after 15 years both of us are starting to regret this long journey we’ve taken together. While good times do happen, they don’t tend to happen often enough or last long enough. My life in the past 9 years has been filled with nothing but headache, heart ache, and medical miracles dealing with my family. This has caused a lot of tension for both of us, as I’m fed up with dealing with said family member, but he isn’t, he’s fed up with me refusing to deal with said family member whom I want to put in a nursing home and change my number.
The best way for people to understand, is to know that my house is divided. I rule everything that occurs on the far North side of the house, the other family member rules what happens on the south side of the house. The problem is the only entrances are on the South side of the house. Every day coming or going into the house, I hear the “Where you going, what are you doing, when will you be back?” questions that drive me, someone with very severe ADHD very crazy! I’ve asked this person to stop, pointing out my partner never get’s the same questions, and also pointed out just how much I hate dealing with this crap. Now these are the questions to leave the house, when I come home I normally get bitched at for trying to leave quickly.
Luckily for me one of my best friends has decided to move back to Chicago, So in mid May of 2013 I will be living most of my life in Chicago with said room mate who is a fitness junkie who has swore to make me thin and sexy with a beach body. I have decided to record all the struggles on a day to day basis starting June 1st 2013 and running until the lease ends on May 31st 2014.
Most of all, I finally will have some time alone.
Gay men are blessed to have their chosen family, and their blood family. My chosen family lived in apartment 814 West across the street from the best gay bar in Chicago, and next door to the drag queen stock up shop. The first time I ever walked into this apartment, I was being yelled at to hold the door open by a drag queen named Evian Waters in a fish net body suit, and something she stole from Cher’s closet from If I could turn back time. I didn’t know what lay before me in the next best three years of my life. While most of us still talk, All of us have not been in the same room since the passing of one of the members of the “Family.” If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t change a thing except to have written down more jokes!
Every circle of friends in every generation finds that one show that they each idenfity with. My generation, and this circle of friends were a living, breathing Will and Grace. Within the apartment of 814 West, lived Will, and Grace. Grace wanted to sleep with Will so badly, but Will was to busy chasing the boys around the neigborhood that just graduated from school,high school. Grace on the other hand just kept hoping for bigger breasts and she got them when she used extra rice or bird seed.
Jack, or as he was actually called Hungry, Hungry, Negro. (If you’re reading my blog, you take dick, so you can take a joke) This man would ring your door bell the moment that you pulled something out of the oven. Even at 3:00AM and you wanted garlic bread after a night of drinking! He was always trying to reinvent himself, and would complain “Why does everyone think I’m a bottom” to which the reply (which is still the same 10 years later) is that you move like a bottom, and tops don’t dance like that. I myself was Karen Walker, rarely ever sober, and thanks to good investing and a recent divorce in which I got everything, I was very comfortable, and as such, “Jack” would always ask me to buy him drinks. I thought that was pretty useless considering I wasn’t going to be getting to bang him anytime soon, but I digress.
Just like Karen is lost without Rosario, we all have been lost since the person who held us all together was taken from us much to soon. His name was Joe, and not only did he have the comedic glue to make all of us go from tears of pain to tears of laughter, he had the voice, of an angel! He helped all of us grow in ways we never could have and none of us got a chance to ever really thank him for it. He had a heart of gold and a tongue like a ninja samari sword.
No cast of Will and Grace was ever complete without Beverily Leslie. The person whom I’m basing this off of may disagree and feel that he should have been cast as Grace, or Karen, but he’s half the man the rest of us were. He was alwasy convinved he would steal the spotlight away, but looking back, he was one of the passing charcters (and quite the charcter he was) who would come and go, and for the last 4 years, he’s just gone. He’s getting his life back together, Which I’m thankful for because I do care about him a lot, but while he has the need to be the star of the one man show, the rest of us would rather be a co-operative supporting cast for ourselves.
We had the rest of the supporting cast also, the bothers, the mothers, the neighbors etc. During that time period we used to always say our life was Steel Magnolias. I used to disagree, mostly because the person who kept insisting they were Shelby I didn’t agree with. Looking back, I think Joe should have been Shelby, he held everything together and told you not to panic, just brush it out like a brown foot ball helment and it’ll look fine. Like the real family that Steel Magnolias is based on, I want to be able to know that when the filming is done of the movie of our lives, the actor playing Joe will still get right up out of bed and walk away. Joey, This song was sang for the 5 year anniversay of your passing. I apologize the camera work isn’t that good, it was my first time really using video on my brand new iPhone 5 the day before.
They say no matter is ever lost, it just transfers. After Joey’s passing I gained his comedic timing, his ability to cook really good food, his ability to be a human, and learn to have feelings..and his hips.
I recently had a conversation with someone whom I grew up with that we reconnected with after not being close friends for nearly twenty years. Out friendship actually started around the same time as Runaway Train mentioned in the previous post. This person touched my soul in ways that most people on this planet could only wish to. I considered him an amazingly close friend at the time, before we drifted off our own ways in high school because he taught me not to live in fear, and the world isn’t completely out to get me.
“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” — Gianni Versace
I knew I was different from the time I was 6 years old. I didn’t like sports, and structure and rules. I liked doing things differently, I liked to cook when I was younger, I played with dolls, used to sneak around in my mothers shoes because I loved the feeling of being taller (and the shoes made my legs look great.) I pierced my own ears with sewing needles and continue to have all of those holes. I wore earrings in school, and when told to take them out because I was a guy, my reply was somewhere along the lines of more man than you’ll ever be, and more woman than you’ll ever get.
While I always felt the need to break the rules where possible, there were certain things outside of my comfort zone I didn’t dare do. As a kid I didn’t leave my own block, I had plenty of kids in my neighborhood to play with, and honestly didn’t want to be bothered by them because I was to different and would only be picked on. Why invite the hurt in when I can be a shut in and avoid it right? Well in Junior High a lot more kids got pushed into the same school and I was on overload. Not only were boys starting to mature and look even sexier to me, but now I had to get naked to change in gym class in front of 30 other naked boys.
I was in the seventh ring of hell, and didn’t know how to cope! I knew I liked boys, and thought it was wrong. I couldn’t be friends with boys because I would get mixed emotions, and if I got them to mixed up and attempted to act on them I might just get my ass beat. I wouldn’t even think of risking such a thing. I figured if I make friends with a bunch of girls that would offset the desire to get close to the boys. All of my female friends weren’t all that shocked when I came out, but my guy friends rejected me nearly instantly.
But there was one lone guy, whom was unstoppable. He didn’t care who or what you were, just treat him with respect and you’ll get it back. We became friends in seventh grade, and it continued until our high school schedules took us to different parts of the large campus. He lived pretty far from me at the time, so when I’d go hang out at his house I was venturing into uncharted territory. I was scared shitless the first few times but that didn’t stop him from encouraging me to come hang out. Eventually we hung out so often, I felt included by his entire circle of friends!
It was nice to have a circle of guy friends who didn’t care that I was gay, If anything I contributed my sensitivity with words to help all of those pre-teen horn dogs score some pre-martial pussy! The girls in the group were the popular girls, the guys the most popular ones. I felt accepted and in some ways even encouraged.
All of us have our crosses to bare, the demons that have made us have relationship issues. Sometimes love and acceptance doesn’t come from who we feel we want or need it from the most, but rather from who is willing to lend an ear, and inspire us. No one is truly damaged goods no matter how they might feel. We’ve all been hurt by family friends and lovers. Scar tissue always takes longer to heal, and longer to penetrate with letting your heart open up. Some of the most intimate relationships I’ve had with people sex wasn’t ever on the table. Because I didn’t have to worry about holding back for fear of rejection of a lost potentiaal sex partner, I could come as I was.
For all the things I am thankful this person did to make my life shine brighter, I still want to slap him for teaching me how to inhale cigarettes!
While doing my German & Calculus work today I was accosted by a memory. The song Runaway Train came on the radio. Now people that the only music I listen to is dance and techno would be wrong, I am a die hard supporter of all the club DJ’s in Chicago,I absolutely loved Energy 92.7&5 and would listen religiously. In fact they helped do some of the programming on Sirius Radio, so when they went off the air I naturally went to Sirius Radio! But deep inside I’m a rocker! Bon Jovi, Nine Inch Nails, Guns & Roses, Megadeth and AC/DC. “Shot threw the heart, and your to blame, you give love, a bad name” Anything with a nice good beat and a better arrangement made me happy,so it should come as no surprise to anyone that this is the type of music that was my personal precursor to the emo rock that exists now in the 21st century.
Every one has a song that has helped them cope. Mine was Runaway Train(Soul Asylum 1992). The video came out in the summer of 1993 and received a ton of airplay on MTV and VH1 (remember music videos?) Depending on where you were the music video listed the names of missing children from that country and how long they had been missing. The video also featured a phone number where you could call with information about the said children.
As a teenager when I was depressed this song helped me cope with my solitude. Most times this depression was due to being gay in a small suburb to far from Chicago to be easily accessible to maintain a friendship or boyfriend. On top of that an abusive father, who not only mentally savaged me, but also physically abused me hindered my quest to belong
It seems no one can help me now
I’m in too deep
There’s no way out
This time I have really led myself astray (Lyrics by Soul Asylum)
I often felt the only recourse to my situation was running away, committing suicide or killing my father. With his bigoted views he stood in the way of my perceived happiness and thus was the root of all my problems.
Over and over I would listen to this song and at that age I would believe that there was no way out of my situation. I was on a one way track to hell with no salvation in sight. These problems in my life made me so jaded that I still find myself slipping into those patterns twenty years later where I find it hard to trust straight men. It is these disasters that have plagued my life some of my beliefs have come askew. While some are quite old fashioned, others are progressive if you look at them abstractly. I don’t accept sports, because sports do not openly accept the LGBTQ community. It seems the only time anyone comes out of the closet is after they retire. Just once I would like to see an active gay athlete who we could look up to as a role model that was lacking during my childhood.
I knew who all the gay artists were and owned most of their CD’s which proved to be a superb defense against my solitude. Today I read that Robbie Rogers of the Columbus Crew Soccer Team came out of the closet. Finally a sport I could wrap myself around, not only the hot guys (hey, I’m still young and horny) but one of them is gay, and the other players don’t treat him like a leper. But immediately following he retired, so it appears he was a leper.
While we all get stronger, wiser, and learn better coping skills to insure that things aren’t as crazy and hopeless as we thought. Soon we’ll be able to ask a guy out and not worry him kicking the shit out of you for thinking he’s gay. Someday he’ll just accept the compliment and smile like a polite gentleman as he says no thank you.
Runaway Train Official Video ( The link to the US release of the video. I could not locate the UK, Canadian, or Australian version of the video)
Editted with assistance from Danny Miller