This is my second blog started with one intent in mind but has become something other than I had originally planned. It's gone from what I hoped would be a collaborative effort with contributors interacting, submitting their thoughts and speaking of their regrets, losses, or "Saudade" as I entitled this Wix Site. This particular post is an edited repost from my old blog which I really don't most to much at all anymore, that blog was less anonymous than I'm being in this blog, I'm trying to be a bit more open although I did often speak me mind when I posted I just made it easier for me to be identified, now I'm not as worried writing about panic attacks or drinking too much or mentioning personal subjects like sex because I don't have to worry (as much) that someone I know will read it. Although I did admit that in a drunken stupor one night I made to stupid mistake of sharing this blog with some people I know. I don't know why I did that other than I was drunk and thought that someone out there that I know might actually have an interest in my life. It turns out that the only person that was reading this (and is probably still reading it only denying it) was and is my husband.
I live in the Russian province of the United States of America and under the dictatorship of the Russian Comrade Supreme Commander Trump assigned oversight for this conquered territory by President Putin. When not fearing my eventual arrest by the Trump Troopers after the concentration camps are established I pretty much am an average guy, a hard worker, a man living my life the best way I can until I face the inevitable demise of the biological unit that houses my thoughts and being. I am a white man in the latter part of my life, actually in my early 50's. When I first started blogging at my other site my opening post was about my experiencing a mid-life crisis but looking back I can't really say that what I was going through was truly a crisis, I was just a guy facing the down hill side of life and desperately trying to hang on to my youth. I think I'm more accepting of my age now. What I mean by this is a few years back if I grew a beard it would be terribly gray and make me look (according to those that know me) older than I was so I would dye it to match my head hair (what little hair I have left now, not that I'm totally bald, but I am thinned out up there so I generally shave my head) but these days I have a full beard, well groomed but I haven't bothered to dye it, I just let the gray come out. So I think unlike my first post where I whined about getting old I have learned to deal with it. Maybe that means I did go through the mid-life crisis and its over now, whatever the reason I don't worry that I don't look 40 anymore.
Having suffered from Panic Attacks most of my adult life I have spent most of my waking life preparing or anticipating for that pain that will result in my sudden death, in other words I've only been living to die. Even now I have Xanax and aspirin at the ready to help me when I reach that panic point or belief that any slight discomfort in my chest or arm is forewarning of a immanent heart attack. I'm so sick of waking up every day and with the anticipation and distraction of my death. Everything I see, do, and say just reminds me of life's limitations. I am becoming one of those older people I once had so little in common with, feeling the aches and pains that come with being slightly over a 1/2 century old. I look at my once beautiful and youthful friends, aging, wrinkles and skin blemishes appearing on their faces and hands while they too complain of new aches and pains. I witness my partner's health deteriorating with heart attack after heart attack (5 to date) and wince at news of people I once loved and cared about dying. Death was something other people used to talk about, attending funerals or losing a loved one, it was just not something common to my life experience. But now death is everywhere I turn. One minute you are chatting with a lifetime friend and a day or two later you receive word that they passed away. During my "mid-life crisis" the angst I felt at my impending doom gave me reasons to grasp for expressions of youth, ways for me to fend off if even for a while short while a visit from the grim reaper.
I must have been doing something right for a while because mostly through my 40's the though of a heart attack or even the panic attacks I am experiencing on a near regular basis were all but gone. I went most of that decade of my life panic free. Even when I acquired PCP Pneumonia as a result of my HIV infection I did not fear death as much as I do now. I need to clarify my use of the word fear, I don't fear what comes after death because I don't believe there is anything after life. I don't believe in a god nor do I believe in anything as silly as reincarnation. We are just gone. Maybe the energy that was housed in our bodies that make us work, exist with a conscious, maybe that goes somewhere and is used to create something else. Like electric power the current is always flowing so maybe the energy that makes us function is reused as part of nature. Maybe that energy starts that seed that blossoms into a rose or a tree, maybe it is consumed by a male during sex and ejected as sperm to create new life, or maybe it just floats off into space and fades away. Whatever happens to the "it" that makes us possible when it goes away is not the scary part, the scary part is the dying itself, the pain that our bodies endure as it alerts us of the danger we facing, the fear that one must go through during that process, these are the things that scare me. I guess nature built us this way on purpose so we don't just routinely commit suicide, its an incentive to stay alive, who wants to go through the hell of dying. Well maybe those that are brainwashed by their religions, they might look forward to their fantastical presumption that they will stand before the pearly gates or greeted by horny virgins desperately seeking to lose their virginity to any pig of a man able to fit through the eye of a needle.
I work out and have been for several years, working out that is, the problem is that I'm not consistent. I will workout a few months at a time, generally after New Years and then stop. I'm currently on one of my longer streaks and remaining loyal to my New Years resolution with only 6 days missed to date. My body is seeing the effects only not as fast as I'd like. I'm sure I could do a more strenuous workout and get fitter faster but I'm afraid to over exert. I'm afraid that too much of a workout will bring on that pain that I fear so much, the ultimate pain that will crumple me into a mass of dead and useless flesh lying next to my weight bench until my husband finally begins to wonder where I am and finds my corpse hours later. Despite my fear I have been working and I'm in better shape than I've ever been in...in my entire life. I like the look of my chest and arms and was very proud when my husband commented the other day that my chest was getting impressive. The real topper was when a co-worker I hadn't seen in a couple of years commented the other day that I was "looking more buff" than he remembered. So all in all I'm proud of the results so far. And of course, I'm mentioned over and over again in post after post that I haven't been drinking. Being a "binge drinker" I've gone without a sip of alcohol, beer, wine, or otherwise since December 31. I go home at night now and I don't even think about alcohol, not even on the weekends. I used to anticipate the weekend for that first drink that would lead to my inebriation, I lived for the weekends so I could get drunk because I generally would never imbibe during the week and I've talked that subject to death. I haven't quit drinking, I'm just not drinking until May, my first week of vacation. I like to drink and still like it. I don't want to give it up altogether but I want to know that I can make it if I don't want it. The problem is that I want it when I think about, I just don't think about it as often anymore. Its not on my mind anymore, when the weekend approaches I'm not thinking "Damn I can't drink".
I'm not a good person. I used to think I was but came to be aware that I'm just awful. I'm doing my best to be a good, honorable person but I'm am so damned flawed. Forget about my drinking, forget about my panic attacks, forget that I'm tainted with HIV, and forget about my frustrations with my husband and his health, there are a million other reasons I say I'm not a good person. I'm opinionated but afraid to share my opinions unless I can do it anonymously which makes me a coward. I can be highly critical but tend not to be so to one's face unless they have really made me angry otherwise I will vent to others but don't have the backbone to stand up to the instigator or my ire. I get frustrated easily and I want things done my way and try as I might to give in to others I usually end up doing things my way anyway and the pisser is that my way usually turns out to be the wrong way.
I don't do drugs; I don't steal; I'm not cruel, but I'm easily angered. Or at least I was easily angered before I went back on Celexa to balance my serotonin. A drug that was supposed to in combination with Xanax help reduce my panic attacks. It has worked some but I still have the attacks just not as frequently or as severe. I was so proud of myself yesterday because I made it through my entire workday without taking a Xanax, I walked into my house yesterday evening and announced to my husband "I went through the day and didn't take a single Xanax" then I took care of my usual business, fed my dogs, walked with the outside for a bit and then came in and started exercising when right in the middle of my second set of crunches I became lightheaded, a pain went trough my arm and I froze in fright. "Was this is?" Was I going to have that painful heart attack I so dread? Of course I stopped working out immediately and as such recorded another day of missed workouts. I took a Xanax, so much for my proud achievement and sat for the next hour in my chair next to my husband, he in his chair before announcing that I was going to bed.
I can't be trusted. Not in a thieving way but in a confidante's way, I'm not good at keeping secrets and even when I try my best not to "trotch" as my mother used to refer to it, a German word which she always had explained to me meant someone you can't trust, someone that talks behind another's back but I really can't find a definition for the word, not from German at least so it must have been slang. The Urban Dictionary describes it as a trashy and slutty woman so it must of some sort of common origin. Anyway I often feel like I'm a "trotch". I tell myself over and over again that I'm not going to talk about someone or speak ill of anyone or repeat anything that's been told to me or share my feelings of anger or frustration but then I do it all anyway. I mentioned that I have a hard time keeping friends in a previous post and now I'm admitting to one of the many reasons this is true.
Another reason is that I'm just plain boring. I have interests but usually not in the normal stuff that people like. I hate sports and can't stand talking about it so I can't relate to my co-workers who babble on and on endlessly about some sports figure or some game they had watched the night before. I don't like a lot of the hip and cool television shows (unless they are science fiction) and I don't really like popular music anymore, I like to listen to (YAWN) film scores. You know the theme music to movies like "Shindler's List" or "The Gladiator" or "Inception" to name a few. Who listens to that crap? Oh yea me. So while my gay friends are all dancing to the latest BeYonce, Lady Gaga, or Usher I'm relaxing to the opening theme of "Avatar". People don't like to talk to me because I don't share their interests and generally don't care to hear about their interests either although I will say that I'm generally on the listening end for two reasons, one because the less I talk the better and two because I'm so preoccupied with what I'm going to say to keep the conversation going that it just stops. Then the awkward silence begins. Of course I see the person's eyes wander to someone else and they usually say "Excuse me" and that's the last I see or hear from them. Anytime after that we may wave to each other from a distance but I have nothing in common with them nor they with me.
I have always been on the inside looking out or vice versa. When I was a kid I was the sissy so the little straight boys would call me fag, or queer, or gay even though I didn't know what the words meant. I wasn't effeminate, I never have been, I've just always been sensitive and an easy target. When I got older and wasn't dating girls the jibes got meaner and even came from my younger brother. I became the neighborhood pariah for some reason hated by most of the neighborhood boys, at least the ones I wasn't blowing. The ones that did allow me to suck their cocks generally didn't have anything to say and certainly wouldn't be seen in public with me. So when I found out that I wasn't the only gay person in the world, through television and news magazine because the Gay Rights movement was at its highpoint I couldn't wait to meet all "my people", all the like minded men (I wasn't thinking in terms of women at this point, I didn't even think it was possible for women to even like sex whether with men or other women, I was under the impression that it was an act that they hate and were forced to perform after marriage.) but then I found other gay people and you know what, again I was on the outside looking in, they were nasty, mean, hateful queens that had spent a lifetime being the target of hateful straight people and in turn learned how to "READ" people as they used to call it. When you would "READ" someone you were putting them down in the worst way. It's a long gone term that even OLD gay people don't use anymore.
The first time I was "read" by a member of my so-called loving community was during gay youth when I offered my fellow attendees a mint and was slammed regarding my breath in comparison to their breath which just turned out to be a rude nasty little queen being mean, at 16 years of age. I'm 53 now and I still remember that I was embarrassed, just for trying to be generous. So yes, the abuse we young men shared as youth turned us into mean of odd people, so attacking back, lashing out with cat like viciousness while other of us withdrew into ourselves, defending ourselves from the same community that was had grouped together out of defense. Gay men and women of the 70's were different than they are today, men had to be somewhat flamboyant and women had to butch it up bit. It was the only way we could identify each other, that is until things like the Lambda sticker and Rainbow sticker united us in our cause but I never felt what I had hoped would be love and acceptance from the gay community and to this gay I find, especially since we've become mainstream, that gays still separate, we separate in regards to politics, to races, to wealth, to religion, etc. we are like normal people now. Today young men and women grow up with others to share the burden of life's curse that makes them different from other people, the curse of being homosexual. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being gay, I wouldn't change if I could because being gay is who I am but when you are a child and you are told that gay people are crazy and are going to molest you and you start to realize you are gay then what else can you think other than you are either crazy yourself or cursed? Why would you (especially in the 70's and before) sought to be hated by the public at large? (Something our poor transgendered brethren are experiencing today - of course I've heard on the radio since Supreme Commander Trump (the Orange Hitler) has started ruling us that his Trump Troopers have been attacking gay community centers, but not just us, the Jewish centers and places of worship are being attacked and vandalized too... thanks King Trump for making America great again.)
I may be giving the wrong impression of myself, I am certainly not a hermit. I will occasionally socialize and do participate in the gay community, I'm just disillusioned by what I had expected and what I've experienced. Today there are so many gay people (not that there weren't when I was growing up its just they were afraid to admit it) now its normal, seeing gay families, men and women with children living the normal type life I had hoped to have when I first met my husband some 35 years ago but the populace wouldn't have permitted such a thing to happen back then, the notion of a male couple raising a child was so perverse and scorned the only men that really had children were those closeted homosexuals that married believing it was what they were supposed to do, ruining both their lives and the woman (or man) that they had dragged into their self-hatred, self-lie, and while their wives were home preparing dinner for their working man he was stopping at adult bookstores for a quickie to satisfy what he really needed sexually. I'm sure there were those men that were so confused that they didn't act on their impulses but eventually the issue always comes to a head and the marriage ends. The gay father (or mother) pursues the life they were meant to lead and they have a child or children that are now part of the gay community. So in a way these men and women helped bring some normalcy to what and who we are because their children grew up knowing there was nothing wrong with their parent, knowing that they were normal in every aspect other than the fact that they wanted a partner of the same sex.
So I am a person made of my experiences. Growing up I wasn't attacked to the extent that so many of what are now some of my friends in adulthood were attacked. Boy were tripped, rammed into lockers, had eggs thrown at them, were beaten up, were faced with daily abuse not just from one bully but many bullies and they were encouraged by all the other students that huddled around and laughed at the expense of the youth that didn't understand why they were doing this to him or her or why they were like the way they were, why were they gay? We did they have these feelings? No I didn't get the abuse I had witnessed so many receive however I was on occasion the target, when others weren't around, the more effeminate boys or boys that were even more shy than I. I remember several bullies in particular especially one that made my life hell during high school because for some reason he gravitated towards me with his attacks (I think thou doth protest too much).
So here I am, this guy who is gay and middle aged, a bit of a loner but not so much that I'm a recluse, this guy that is married to another guy and lives with his dogs and a somewhat comfortable home with a semi-good job (that I hate or like depending on the day), this guy that hates his life, this guy that doesn't like the world, that despises religion (for all the hate it has caused in this world - your collective hate far outweighs your good), this guy that thinks he is a horrible person despite his best attempts to be good. This guy that doesn't like himself nor most anyone he meets. This guy that drinks too much on the weekends and suffers from panics attacks, anxiety, HIV, Crohn's disease, psoriasis, rosacea, folliculitis, and now being told he has Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease. This guy that is worried about what his country is about to become under the dictatorship of a madman. This guy that is watching his country becoming "Great Again" as its people are being attacked by the religious, the loving, the patriots of what apparently was not a great America. It's minority of racists and bigots now in control of the silent majority. America is a lot like this guy. A loner, a reclusive land that doesn't want to be bothered by anyone else, an America where the people live in somewhat comfortable homes, with semi-good jobs (not quite making enough money) an American that hates its current life and doesn't like the rest of the world. So this guy is a lot like his country. Mixed up and confused and just trying to get through day to day, trying to be good but too confused to know what good and right is anymore.
This is a reprint and edit from my Wordpress.com blog originally published: May 12, 2013