I Love You, Mom and Dad

I just returned home to Los Angeles from a week-long vacation to my birth-home, Dallas, Texas.  Although I have lived in LA longer than I lived in Texas, I still consider Dallas to be my home.  I can’t exactly describe why.  Part of it may be my buying into the idea of the Big Texas Ego, but the softer, mushier, part of my heart tells me that it’s because my home is where my birth family lives.  It certainly helps that my parents still live in the home where I grew up.12313602_10153294889491547_5708110910846136622_n.jpgAt my farewell dinner with my folks last night, I sat in gratitude, comfortably stuffed from an amazing meal, and then a curveball was thrown at me.  It was almost as if the TV show Intervention had set up at Kobe Steakhouse in Addison and the camera had begun to roll.  My mother spoke to me on behalf of herself and my dad, expressing how disappointing it is to them that I don’t seem to remember being happy during my childhood…ever.

I emphatically retorted that I do remember times of happiness.  I listed a few great memories, though adding a caveat that basically reiterated my mother’s claim. 

When we exited the restaurant, I pulled my dad aside, knowing he possesses a much better ability to understand me when I speak directly. I told him that no matter what mom said at dinner, he has been a great dad.  Noticing the exchange I was having with my dad, my mom enquired about what we were saying, and I quickly changed the subject because I innately knew that there was a better way to communicate to my mom how much I appreciate her.

I dedicate the next section to my parents and any other parents out there that I may reach who haven’t been honored for their sacrifices and attempts to be good parents.

Mom & Dad,

My first memories of you two are so faint, but inarguably true.  It is more of a feeling than a memory: You were my warm, cozy emotional blanket.  I remember being smothered in hugs and kisses.  It was like I was ready to say “enough already” but quickly flipped to the feeling of “give me more”.  I remember you playing “peek a boo” with me.  It was so exciting to be scared and entertained at the same time.  I remember laughing and smiling … a lot.  It stimulated the incipient actor in me.  I knew if I smiled and laughed, you would return the smiles and giggles and the game was completely addictive and contagious.  Until of course I got tired of it and would suddenly start to cry… and then the kisses and warm embraces calmed me down… at which point I probably crapped in my diaper.

I remember being carried in the air.  You made me fly like a bird and I felt great.  I trusted you. I didn’t question the possibility of being dropped.  Why should I?  You had never let me down. And as the years went by, I continued to have faith that you would be there for me… as you have been.

The following thoughts and memories are in no particular order, just a compilation of spontaneous memories. 

I remember always having your blessings and your praise for every Birthday.  There was never a question that I would receive gifts and a party. 

You trusted me to watch our home with Lara (my sister) when you went out of town. 

You offered your home to me and my friends as a host meeting spot and hangout hub.

I remember the time when I insisted that you let me try out for the play “Grease” at the Dallas Jewish Community Center.  Mom took me to the audition knowing that I like to sing, but I think she may have been a little nervous for me because it was my first audition.  Most of the casting call consisted of people from 16 to about 35 years-old.  I must have been about 13 and the others towered over me.  They all seemed to have brought their music with them.  But I was off-book.  Meaning I didn’t know you were supposed to prepare something to sing.  The director smiled at me with that “how cute” look.  I nervously fumbled through my introduction, then stepped over to have a sidebar discussion with the accompanist lady at the piano.  She asked, “Would you like to sing Happy Birthday”?  I debated to myself for a moment who I would sing “Happy Birthday” to and then noticed the “Annie” score on the piano stand.  Piano lady noticed and reluctantly asked if I knew some “Annie”.  I said, “Maybe.”   It took her a moment to figure out I was referring to the song “Maybe.” “Are you ready Dear?” she asked.  I nodded my head, opened my mouth, and the magic happened.  I not only sang “Maybe,”  but I practically transformed into Annie.  Had my mom not been with me, I surely would have been inundated with adoption offers after the standing ovation.  My mom stood proud, cheering me on with cheerful tears.  I will never forget the look on my mom’s face or the natural high I felt as I shook the room.

I remember the time you guys brought home a ton of jars and cucumbers and said you were going to make pickles.  I was fascinated by the concept that pickles at one time were actually cucumbers- who knew?  I just figured pickles looked a lot like cucumbers.  It was interesting watching you guys adding to the jars the dill weed, pepper, vinegar, and all that other stuff that apparently turns cucumbers into pickles.  I remember being eager to try one.  But I was quickly taught by mom that they needed to absorb the juice for three weeks (or some other incredibly long amount of time.) I remember observing the jars of gestating pickles until I just about forgot that they were there.  And then finally, that day came and we brought a jar into the kitchen, and dad unscrewed the lid off the air-tight jar. The pickles were crispy, perfectly seasoned, and better than any other pickle I had ever tried.  There were still about twenty-nine additional jars in the garage, and they must have lasted us about a year.  The ensuing pickle-bingeing during that time is a faint memory.  However, I will always remember that first jar, and the sadness I felt when we finally shared the last of them.

Mom made the best chocolate-chip cookies and chocolate cake on a regular basis so my friends and I could raid the kitchen when we had sweet-tooth munchies. 

Whenever I would come visit from college, mom always threw together a batch of her homemade Gazpacho – still my favorite food.

I remember feeling jealous that my friends would sit and talk to both of you for great lengths of time.   The initial taint of envy would quickly blossom into pride.  How amazing is it that my friends felt comfortable chatting with you as they did with their own peers?

Then there are the things I took for granted.  I wore the t-shirt you gave me that read “Spoiled Rotten” with pride and didn’t even understand what it meant.  When I turned sixteen, you gave me your navy blue Cadillac, “The Blue Bomber.”  I drove that monster till the wheels practically fell off.  I have great memories of driving my friends around in it,  and we had plenty of laughs about how I had to pin up the lining of the car’s roof with safety pins to keep it from draping below eye-level. 

Then you bought me my first brand new car… a red Chrysler LeBaron convertible.  I was so excited when I finally convinced you to get it for me.  You were both hesitant because you were afraid that a convertible was too dangerous.  Dad was afraid that I would be more likely to get caught speeding in a flashy red car.  I am so grateful you trusted me to drive safely.  I still swear to this day that I only had my arms flapping in the air like wings for about 4 seconds before I was caught by our family friend who reported me.  And dad was right, I did get pulled over quite a bit in that red, flashy car.   

When I came out to you about being gay, I was terrified about letting you down.  You both immediately told me that you loved me… and I believed you.  But your love wasn’t enough to make me love myself.  I chose to share with you my secret and you chose to embrace me regardless of the loss you felt inside.  I thought I was okay with exposing myself to you, Lara, the rest of our network of friends and family… then the entire world.  But I wasn’t okay with myself.  I was scared, lonely, and wanted to escape.  Frankly, I didn’t want to live, but I would have settled for a deep sleep.

So I left you guys while you were there for me.  I chose a path that led somewhere between being a role model and a near-death tunnel of addiction.  Some would say I lived two lives.  I would say I lived many.  The only life I chose to avoid was my own.

This is where I halt the growing sadness of this letter and redirect to the point I’m trying to make.

You never left me, I left you.  While I was off living my life (or lives),  you and dad joined PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays.) You called to inform me that you were meeting many other people that were experiencing similar situations with their own families.  You would tell me the stories of people in your group and how great it felt to reach out to others as they had offered their hearts to you.

I remember coming home and going to services at our temple and not feeling a part of our Jewish community because they only honored heterosexual couples when they became engaged.  I turned to mom and whispered to her “I don’t belong here.”  I saw a side of my mom that night that I had never seen before.  She looked directly into my eyes and said (without whispering) “We are going to change that.” By the next time I came home to Dallas, my parents had started a Jewish PFLAG group at our temple.  Yes, my parents started that! 

Months later, mom sent me a sermon that she heard a Rabbi share in services about the importance of accepting our Jewish LGBT friends and family.  You read it to me over the phone just to make sure I heard the message that you were hearing.  I read the sermon myself years later… Which is when I probably really heard it for the first time.  And I am so proud that my parents were so forward-thinking for that time. 

Seventeen years after I came out, I insisted that you help me mark history by doing an interview with me and allow me post it to youtube.   I wanted to demonstrate four perspectives in our family of my “Coming Out” story.  I think I had put you through the proverbial ringer long enough for you to know that I wouldn’t take “No” for an answer.  I first interviewed dad, who said something that makes me tear up every time I watch it.  “I just don’t understand how parents can just throw their kids away like a piece of tissue.”  It’s extremely powerful to hear and see you say that with rage and tears in your eyes.  Mom baffled me when she said how difficult it is at times knowing that she most likely won’t have grand-children.  Yes mom, it hurts to hear you say that.  But it is honest and it is 100% real. There is no way I would want to trade your painful truth for a fake reality.  Life is too short to pretend and sometimes the truth hurts… but it also sets us free.  And Lara’s interview… there is no one in the world that I love more than my sister.  We are twins that were born two years apart (she’s older.) Thank you mom and dad for giving me my big sis.  The one person that loves me unconditionally, understands me, knows me, and detests me (lovingly, of course.) In the fourth interview, Lara interviewed me… what it was like for me to come out to myself.  Interestingly, I was extremely uncomfortable with my interview.  It is clear now, that I continue to think I know who I am.  But it is even clearer now that there is still plenty of work to do.

Sometimes I think God granted you two gaybies because he knew you would be able to handle it. 

Mom and dad… you have been dealt a difficult hand and turned it into a full house.

Please know that you did a great job raising me and that I will always love and appreciate you. I will continue to be your strongest critic when necessary, and also your most ardent defender. I will continue to do my best to change you, while simultaneously loving you just the way you are.  As long as there are obstacles in my life, I may continue to blame you for some of them. But I will also come running back to you for help when I need it.

When I share about my difficulties publicly, I am honoring the gratitude of my ongoing recovery, and the strength you both instilled in me that has allowed me survive and move through life with a sense of purpose.

Sincerely and Grateful,

Jonathan

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The Shoe and the Doormat

ishot-62I think obsessively.

I wish I didn’t, but I do. I offer my heart and time to pretty much anyone. And I like that about myself. I eagerly empathize with souls around me – even if it takes me to dark places – simply because I care, and because I have probably been there or nearby.

I don’t know when to stop and have a tendency to overstay my welcome, and this hurts me. I need to break the cycle because I have been focusing on a soul that sucks in my energy like a black hole and leaves me with little energy to take care of myself.

It has been my choice to feed this soul and I am left starving for reciprocation that most likely will never happen.

I am angry because I am sad.

I have a choice to make: do I linger in purgatory or do I step into the pain of freedom?

I reluctantly choose to block this soul on Facebook.

I reluctantly choose to delete this soul from my contacts on my phone.

My choices are not ones of spite or detest for this soul.

It is an act of love for myself that has gone buried in petty thoughts.

Nine Years Off Meth: What Happened

despairNine short-long years ago (Monday, March 27, 2005), I found myself sitting on the steps in front of my apartment complex feeling nothing.  I had been on a final walk after being awake for nearly six days and I knew the marathon had come to an end.  My body and soul were beaten into a comfortably numb state of shock.  I didn’t want to go to sleep, knowing that my body would need a few days of a xanax-induced coma just to begin recovering from the damage I had done to it.

Earlier, the first stop on this shameless walk had led me to the apartment of some guy I had met in an AOL chat room.  He greeted me with a bright smile (give or take a tooth).  I didn’t want him sexually, I just knew that he was partying (ie, high on speed) and that I could have some brief companionship with another human who was also high.  I snorted some of his meth, watched some of his porn, tinkered with his projects, and – insultingly – departed when he wanted to breathe a cloud of meth smoke onto my penis.  I didn’t enjoy smoking meth because it always gave me pneumonia, so I certainly didn’t want to know what that stuff would do to my penis.

I left his apartment and vigorously yet aimlessly walked down Santa Monica Blvd. at about 8am.  Knowing that I only had about one line left in my final stash, my mind was mapping out my journey home (about a five-minute-walk).  I held my flip-phone up to my ear and pretended I was having an intense conversation so passers by wouldn’t strike up a conversation with me.  I knew a lot of people in my hood and feared someone might notice me on the walk.  Looking back, I realize I was just like the crazy man I used to mock, the one I’d frequently see talking to himself on a payphone. My next stops were Los Tacos – a 24-hour Mexican restaurant so I could provide myself with some of the nutrients I’d deprived myself of for nearly a week (a tamale and enchilada combo with rice and beans), and then one last stop at 7-Eleven where I picked up some Gatorade and a bag of Nantucket chewy chocolate chip cookies.  I then floated home and found myself seated on the walkway steps that led to my apartment complex.

I sat peacefully, plastic bags of food at my side, as the bright morning grew even brighter. Finally, I made my way to the dust-filled apartment that I called my home.  My cat cried out for food as I entered.  I immediately tended to Kiki and pried open a can of Fancy Feast for my neglected baby even though my hunger pains screamed louder than his deep meows.  Fortunately, I was an addict who treated my pet better than I treated myself so he remained pleasantly plump. Physically, my body was speckled with infections.  I had small, itchy bumps on my arms, legs, and ass- jestingly I would call them my speed bumps.  Once again, one of my eyes was infected with mild conjunctivitis.  The edges of my nostrils and the corners of my lips were cracked from days of dehydration and poisoning myself with meth.  My asthmatic lungs were slightly filled with fluid making it hard for me to catch a full breath without yawning.

My friend Greg was in my living room, where I had left him before I had set out on my final journey.  He fearfully watched as I gorged on the food I had purchased.  I could tell by the look on his face that my eating manners reflected an animal that was consuming its first meal after a long period of starvation. I pushed the bag containing empty containers of food aside and told Greg I was done.  He had witnessed my week-long party and it was clear he doubted that this was my finale.  I looked him in the eyes and said:

“Seriously, this time It’s over.”

I reached into the pocket of my jeans and pulled out the Bic pen-cap that contained a rolled-up miniature zip-lock bag of crystal.  Then I opened the bag and poured the remaining contents of my crystallized speed on the table where I proceeded to smash the meth into powder form.  I used my California Driver’s License to line up the substance, rolled up a somewhat crisp dollar bill, and snorted my last line of meth.  I looked up at Greg and said:

“That was it, that was my last line.”

I threw away the bag of food along with the empty bag of meth and proceeded to shower off my filthy body.  I cleaned up well enough to be seen in public and put on my signature going-out outfit (jeans and a white t-shirt.)  I cleaned my apartment to the best of my ability and spent the rest of the day organizing things. The evening approached and I told Greg “It’s time for me to go to the meeting”.  Greg insisted that it would be rude for me to show up at a recovery meeting for crystal meth addicts while I was still high.  I replied that it was my only option and that I had to go.

I was greeted at the meeting by bright smiles, hugs, and “welcomes.”  The speed had worn off so I was struggling to return the smiles. It didn’t matter, though: these people understood me.  The meeting started and the leader introduced the “chip guy” – someone who presented little key chains to reward members who were celebrating sobriety milestones.  When he called upon those who had less than 29 days of sobriety, I stood up, dragged myself to the line of newcomers, and hugged the chip guy (who whispered in my ear “Welcome, keep coming back.” I faced the crowd of about 70 men and women and said:

“I am Jonathan.  And I am a crystal meth addict.” 

The crowd replied, “Hi Jonathan, welcome”. The lights dimmed which meant it was time for the main speaker.  I can barely remember what he said.  My mind was so spun and kept tuning in and out – I just wanted it to be over.  Then, something he said caught my attention: “If you are new here and used meth today, I thank you for being here.  Without your presence, I would not remember how bad things are on the other side.” After his share, I thanked the speaker – his name was Donato – for addressing me personally without even realizing he had done so.  He invited me to come to his home the following night where he hosts a recovery meeting for alcoholics every Tuesday in his backyard in Hollywood.  Although I didn’t realize at the time that I was also an alcoholic, I said yes.

Vitamin-D(2)Tuesday night at Donato’s has since become my recovery home group (ie, a meeting that I attend regularly.) My first day of total sobriety was March 28th, 2005.  Since then, I have had to change just about everything about myself and my life.  Some times have been extremely rough, while other times have been so full of joy that I am overwhelmed with happiness.  The main difference now is that I am living rather than surviving.

Each day is a gift and I thank God regularly to be blessed with the next dawn.

One For The Team

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-robertson/just-because-he-breathes-learning-to-truly-love-our-gay-son_b_3478971.html?icid=maing-grid10|htmlws-main-nb|dl2|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D338528

To really understand the following, please read the link above.

2013-06-21 Ryan

I am grateful for Arianna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianna_Huffington). It seems like not a day passes that I find something significant in #TheHuffingtonPost. It is pretty much all-real down to the core. The response I received privately and publicly to this post is very soothing. It’s soothing because straights, gays, lesbians, and #Republicans were emotionally affected for at least a moment. We all had similar responses – shock/sadness/empathy/anger. For me, if you haven’t heard me rant, I get quite emotional when I hear of homophobia and don’t sugar-coat my feelings. Let me explain… From my experience… I flat out cheated death. I wanted to die. I hated to live. Every dawn was a nightmare. A little dramatic? Absolutely not- I hated waking up. I hated the walk to the bathroom to piss. I hated looking in the mirror knowing that the guy standing before me was the same guy that was going to be sitting by himself at lunch. I hated picking out my clothes. I hated that I had allergies, asthma and Attention Deficit Disorder creating even more distance between me and normal. I hated that I got pleasure out of seeing people trip and fall (when it wasn’t me which happened quite often because I was a klutz). I hated that I didn’t understand what the teachers were talking about. I hated that I had to pretend to like girls when all I really wanted was their friendship. I hated when the girls I tried to be friends with would call me a fag. I hated when they stopped being friends with me because I smothered them with too much love. I hated carpool. I hated getting home and not having anything good to report to my parents. I hated that I had to close my bedroom door and cry my eyes dry into my pillow. I hated that I had to compose myself before sitting down at the dinner table. I hated pretending like school was fine. I hated feeling like I had to come up with something to say that gave my parents hope. I hated that my sister had friends. I hated that I couldn’t play with them. I wanted the boys that my sister used to mess around with. I hated being graded. I hated that I wasn’t a jock. In a nutshell, It wasn’t easy growing up closeted in a heterosexual only world. When I hear about a mother pushing religion onto her child that had the strength to be honest with her when he was twelve-years-old… I can’t help but think, “you stupid fucking bitch he’s going to kill himself”. And then he does… To me, drug addiction is death row… a delayed suicide. I’m not saying that the kid wouldn’t have found drugs if the mom hadn’t forced her ridiculous old school beliefs on him. But the chances of his survival would have been heightened. I have to give my parents credit… as much as I hated myself, and as much as I knew they would hate my homosexuality- I never doubted that they loved me. So my anger turns to sadness… the mother didn’t have the strength to pry open her eyes and her heart- at least not before the son’s tragic end. I feel intoxicated. Do I hate the mom? Yes- she’s a cunt! Do I love the mom? Yes- she’s a child just like the rest of us. Do I think she has redeemed herself for not giving her son proper nurturing? Yes, she has passed on the message to future dickhead parents to stop being assholes and realize that they should appreciate the child they brought into this beautiful world. If she were to read this… I would thank her for coming forward and sharing her part. As for the son, Ryan… I have a message for you. Ryan, I am so sorry to hear of your passing. You were so brave, braver than myself at such a young age. And you didn’t have the help you needed. I am you and you are me. The difference is … I am still here fighting for the both of us. You took one for the team. It is sad but true. Until we have human equality, there will be many more deaths. Every civil war ends in devastation before there is a “win”. Your mother would still be the beast she was had you not ended your life. Your action, your sacrifice, will save lives. Thank you. I’m not saying thank you for killing yourself… I am saying thank you for opening thousands… maybe millions of eyes. Thank you for your life story that will save others’ lives. Thank you for turning your mom into an activist. Thank you for letting me share.

Lost and Found

“What would you like to be when you grow up?” 

I love that question now… now that I am growing up.

But when I was a kid, that shit messed me up.  Life was a giggly dream of singing, dancing, napping, recess, snack-time and playing gaily together with other kids.  Back then, everyone was allowed to play gay because masc and fem had not yet been defined.   And then there was that unavoidable day that the teacher decided it was time for us to talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up?  My fluffy dream halted as if someone awakened me drenched in a pool of ice water.  Had I known the phrase “Bitch are you serious?” Or “WTF?”, I am certain that my uncensored ways would have sent me to the mini-principal’s office.

But since I was a good kid, I played along and sat in a circle with the other munchkins and participated in the minor league college counseling session/employment agency interview.  I was amazed and a little confused when each kid had some hint of an idea of what they wanted to do for work before they died (I was a little morbidly realistic).  The professions were shouted out with joy as each kid raised his hand to share his plans for life.  These punks were proclaiming to be tomorrow’s Doctors, Lawyers, Astronauts, Football Players, Pilots, Models, Musicians, Race-Car Drivers…  Each one hit me as if I was the target of a machine gun.  Then it was my turn… and I said “Doctor???”  I felt a sudden calm and free feeling like I had dodged a bullet.  Until of course, the follow up question.  What kind of Doctor?  There was a wave of silence then the theme of Jeopardy as all eyes stared and ears awaited my answer.  “A kid Doctor???”  Then Teach replied back to me, “You mean a Pediatrician”.

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So there I was, stuck in a lie.  Why would you ask a kid, “What kind of Doctor do you want to be?”  I didn’t know all the options at that time.  I wasn’t yet tainted by the reality that we are all going to end up frequenting some sort of Doctor’s office or hospital until we become a worm buffet.  So I left class feeling like I had to start becoming a Doctor… then the day-dream kicked in.  I was surrounded by my family, teachers, friends… (all the people that wanted only the best for me) singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”.  I certainly didn’t yearn to be a pediatrician nor did I have a clue what I wanted.  Rich and happy might have been a safe answer.  But still, for me, this conversation was premature and overwhelming.  Now I’m thinking it would have been priceless to see the Teach’s face if I had spewed out, “I would like to be a recovering drug addict, wannabe actor, homosexual, gay rights activist, self-incriminating writer/blogger, mobile DJ, single 40-year-old man that sells advertisements door-to-door”.

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Pussy, Suicide, and Spring Break

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Due to the seemingly offensive nature of this blog that had some negative after-effects, I feel the need to prepare you for what you are about to read.  Please note that this writing is based on a flashback of a boyish, immature mentality that objectified women and their anatomy.    The boy was well-trained by a straight world that encouraged the objectification of women.  Ironically, my only true friends were women. 

For my second blog writing that I promised to release over a week ago, I had to combine a couple ideas.  I wanted to write about Spring Break because I had just returned from Palm Springs with a couple gay guys (ages 22 and 23) that were on Spring Break from college.  I also wanted to share a bit of my closeted adolescence that adds more significance to reliving Spring Break as a gay adult. 

It is hard for anyone that is not gay to understand what gays and lesbians tolerate growing up in a straight-centric world. 

Welcome to my adolescence…

When I was a kid, I looked forward to spring the same way a suffocating man seeks oxygen.  Like many teens, adolescence was not my friend.  Not only was I socially awkward, but I was a gay kid trapped in a straight guy’s life.  However, I did have myself fooled into loving pussy because it was the right thing to do.  Conversations with friends would frequently revolve around the bases.  It fascinated me to find out what girls had been fingered and what guys were doing it to them.  I’m not sure if I was getting off on it, or was just trying to make sure I didn’t fall too far behind.  It was probably both.

Being a late bloomer, I was extremely evasive of anyone getting down in my business.  Let’s just say I was underdeveloped and spent a lot of time praying to God for growth, girth, and grass on the field.  Oftentimes I would refer to my family’s copy of ‘Where Did I Come From’ for clues on when my next development would take place.  My obsession for pubes led me to my father’s cabinet in his restroom where he kept his Rogaine.  I remember the cool feeling as I squeezed the syringe of miracle grow to my Vienna sausage area.

Fortunately, it was not long after that when I developed and harvested a fine layer of hair in all the right places.  But with growth comes responsibility.  I was fearful and excited about my new equipment.  Although I had the sexual energy of a stud, I knew that there was a glitch in the system… the homo feelings glitch.  The plan was to proceed towards the female species with blinders that would deflect any doubt of my heterosexuality. 

Some would say my accomplishments were victorious (or Oscar worthy).  When I was seventeen, I experienced mutual oral sex for the first time with a very special girl (let’s call her Beverly).  I went to her parents’ pad where we decided to go for a Jacuzzi.  We made out and Bev’s tongue entered my lips like nobody’s business and pried open my jaw .  It seemed like it had a mind of its own… practically raping my mouth.  Because I have a short tongue that is tied down by skin to the lower part of my mouth, I was unable to return the “favor”.  A few minutes into the tongue battle, the hot tub became steamier.  Bev reached down to my swim trunks, untied my draw-string, ripped apart the Velcro fly, and her hand began to creep seductively towards my manhood.  I was excited she was approaching my unit because I desperately yearned to earn hand job status.  But in order to earn this high ranking, I was going to have to rise to the occasion.

The initial excitement boner began to mellow in Bev’s eager palm and I knew I was in trouble.  The job was taking longer than expected and it was becoming quite obvious that my kosher dill had become less interested.   Beverly gazed into my eyes with a knowing grin and proceeded to make her way down.  I could practically hear the ‘Jaws’ theme as she went in for the kill.  I closed my eyes and began to fantasize about Ricky Schroeder, Dolph Lundgren, Madonna, my guy friends, their dads, her brother- and the list goes on.   The moist, warm mouth couldn’t fool me… this wasn’t working.  There was only so much Bev could do with my Floner (floppy boner) before she looked up at me suggesting she had done something wrong.

I redirected our session to some reverse pleasure because I wanted to resume control and redeem myself.  I walked my fingers to her wicker basket and entered.  Hearing her respond with deep breaths and feeling her warmth and wetness, I was beginning to feel like a man.  She sat upon the edge of the pool’s hot tub where I proceeded to move my face forward into the enchanted forest.  Based on many porn movies that I had been watching (borrowed from my dad’s secret stash), I had a good idea of what to do.  I guided my vibrating, handicapped tongue into her honey pot and was determined to bring her to total ecstasy.  But then something unexpected happened.   I noticed a strange metallic flavor… the kind of flavor that wasn’t dangerously rotten, but did sort of taste like aluminum foil.  I hesitated at first, but then I could practically hear my peers cheering me on… “Eat the pussy, pussy is good”.  I waffled in thought with my face inches away from the subtle spoilage… and said to myself, “Eat this pussy, this pussy is good”.  So that’s what I did.  I didn’t completely understand the appeal.  But hey, if this is what makes girls happy, consider me a gentleman. I was privileged to go back for seconds and thirds later that week.

I didn’t want to lose momentum, so soon after, I had the golden opportunity to try the cunnilingus on another girl.  I was a bit perplexed by her odorless, almost tasteless vagina and made it a point to tell her that I was so happy her female parts didn’t taste like metal.  Who need flowers when you can give a girl a compliment like that?

 

Adolescence piece seamlessly changing to the subject of Spring Break

 

When you think of Spring Break, what comes to mind?  Road trips, beach trips, and ski trips with the family?  Getting together with friends and doing silly, crazy things?  Maybe you remember playing truth or Dare, double-dare, double-dog-dare, triple dare, and playing “I never”.   For me, it’s all of the above.  Of course adding a driver’s license and some wheels to the equation changed everything. 

For Spring Break of my senior year in high school, some friends and I drove to South Padre Island.  The small Island on the Southern Texas border was well known for its party reputation and encompassed a strip of bars and hotels along the coast.    Scott, Jason, and I were best bros self- titled (by Scott) as “Babe Magnets” because we all had convertibles.   We felt way sexy when we packed ourselves and luggage into my fancy, red, Chrysler LeBaron convertible.  I didn’t know at the time that the red convertible Lebaron comes in third place of gayest cars in history following the convertible Miata and Mini-Coop.  Babe Magnets (three Jews) came fully equipped with cash, weed, fake ID’s from Arkansas and Alabama, hair gel, and condoms.   I can assure you that the cash, weed, IDs, and hair gel were used frivolously.  The condoms were a symbol of us being responsible.  Imagine Girls Gone Wild meeting up with the cast of Half Baked (Jewish version-oy!).  Frankly, we didn’t have much game.  But we did talk about pussy all the time like it was some party that all girls had invited us to… but forgot to leave us the address.  Oftentimes, I would find a girl to make out with… but I would bow out of the situation for various reasons.    Sometimes I was conveniently too drunk.  If I was sober (er), I would start thinking about the girl being somebody’s baby… and how my actions may scar her for life (even though I was limp).

Being gay was a complete buzz-kill for Spring Break.   Looking back, I was a fool trying to trick myself into having a good time.  I was always living a straight (dorky) party-boy life that was anti-climactic.  I remember being so jealous when my friends would successfully ejaculate with a hook up.  It was if they had cheated on me.  If I wasn’t able to successfully climax with a babe that was magnetized, then no one should.  In retrospect, I was a bit selfish, jealous/envious, and territorial (very much like the lesbian).

This game of role-play, me playing straight on high school spring break, transferred flawlessly to college spring break.  Even though I was out west at The University of Arizona, It was the same situation with a different cast.  The new “babe magnets” were now in form of my fraternity, Sigma Nu.  The main difference was my fraternity bros didn’t speak pussy with a southern, Yiddish accent.  Sure enough, pussy talk led me and my brothers to Padre Island where I felt a haze of disappointing déjà vu.  The only difference was I had a female friend of mine meet me there who was also “bisexual”.  Meredith and I came out to each other as being bi shortly before this “vacation”.  It was our secret and we had an agreement that it was okay to use each other if we needed to defend our precious heterosexuality.  I was able to impress my bros by making out with Meredith in our hotel’s hot tub and switching bathing suit bottoms with her.  Funny story… young adults acting silly, being stupid- this was all very apparent. 

So let’s flip this humorous Blog/Essay/Chapter and get REAL.

Nothing was real… hookups, drunken fraternity party smiles, beer bongs, spring breaks, religion, relationships…

My life was a fucking joke!  Nobody knew me- not even my best fucking friend and closest fucking blood-relative.  The slightest real feeling I had would be self-assassinated to defend the honor of my family, my friends, my fraternity, my synagogue.  Everything I did was fabricated to hide my homosexuality.  I was so scared and lonely that my only fantasy was death.   I couldn’t pray myself out of this nightmare because my Jewish congregation did not recognize homosexuality.  I sought love and acceptance in horrible places that I can’t share openly about just yet… because I still have such deep shame.  Many, many chapters of shame…

To Myself,

Breathe Jonathan, breathe. 

Life is different now.  Your parents know and love you.  You and Lara (sister) share survival stories that have created a bond that no one else could understand.  Your friends are all real friends.  You change lives by sharing your pain and accomplishments.  You have purpose.  Cry, it’s okay.  You have the freedom to laugh gayly, be proud, be sad, be angry, be wonderful, be cocky, be insecure, be slutty, be a role model, and be real…. Be human.  How many people do you know that can be all of those things? 

In closing of this blog/wave/letter/chapter/feeling….

When you see gay people gathering for gay prides all over the world, feel free to think of my childhood Spring Break.  Feel free to attend the festivals and witness tortured souls that have been freed.

When you see another gay teen suicide on the news… think about all of the gay suicides that didn’t make the news. 

 

When you see a gay couple on TV and feel discomfort, imagine the discomfort that these two individuals survived in order to find one another. 

When you see a ballot that says legalize gay marriage, please check “yes”.

 

 

 

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