What We Feed Grows


I’m going to do something I rarely do. I’m going to share my Morning Pages. The main reason that I almost never share them is that part of the beauty of morning pages is that they are written with the knowledge that they are for their own sake and not written with the purpose of sharing. That way the writing doesn’t have to be “good” or make sense, or even be spelled correctly— as often in my case they are not.  Do you know what Morning Pages are? It’s the thing I took away from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, which is a spiritual guide to the creative process. The point behind Morning Pages is “brain drain.” The suggestion is for three pages first thing after you wake up but since I do mine in my Moleskin journals (I now have ten years and a suitcase full of them), I write on the timer for thirty minutes. Most of it (I feel like I’ve told you this before) seems like it could be admissible evidence in my commitment hearing. If so, so be it. Some of the great minds (and many of my heroes) have been incarcerated. If my lot is to slide my missives through cracks in the cell door like The Marquis du Sade, then I’ll take my cold bowl of porridge and rock-hard bread and scrawl on as best I can.

Stick around after the Morning Pages because there is something else I want to add. (And to be clear, yes, the Pages were written in the Moleskin upon awakening and I’m copying them here onto the magic electronic light window which is the physical device through which I attempt to connect my heart with yours.)

16 December, 2014, 05:50

What if you started to write and you never ever stopped until you died? I mean that’s actually a physiological impossibility because your hand would cramp up and stop before the rest of you shut down but I mean other that than, if you could keep writing and writing where would you get to? The purpose of the writing is to say— and why all the need to “say?” It’s not just the need to say but to say honestly. Why the profound need to say honestly? Sometimes things like this are about feeding a longtime deficit.  For so much of my life I felt like what I had to say was of no interest to anyone or worse that if I spoke honestly about what was in my heart, I’d put myself in danger. Almost no one would now describe me as someone who doesn’t—

I have a fantasy about killing that redneck

From Solid Image Fitness

Execution style

So obviously— well, see? Right there! That is an example.

There were a million such incidents from my youth

When I had been traumatized and bullied

And there was no way to say it to—

Who? My parents? Ha!

They would have—

Well, my mom would have anyway, Dad lived in a different paradigm

Mom would have gone to the—

to the

to tha

And tha and tha

and and and

And after all that—

Then there I’d be again. Alone with

The bullies—

and then what

and then what

And that was

elementary school

But Middle and High

Middle and High

middle and high

Scott and Randy Crump

And that

What was that?

And their friend


Or some shit like that?

Now my life is


Hot men find me hot

(that’s the point, right?)

And they’re like me too

Magic, special,


We never knew

because we were immersed in so much cruelty

I look around

Alabama now

And try to see


How far we’ve come

With regard to the

Magic People




I can’t really see

Can’t accurately


Because the “the” is me

So I look to race

To the darker face

And ask

“How is it now?”

And I can see


And better

And so much farther behind

the place

they— all of them—

white, black, and others

Have deluded


Into thinking

We are


So I can’t even


In fact, the opposite

I can assume that

Alabama has not

evolved that much—

and there end the Morning Pages as the timer chime sounded.

I’ll finish my thought:

So it is my assumption that Alabama (and a thousand other places like it) has not evolved around queer issues as much as it has evolved around race issues.  And we still have a helluva long way to go around race. So if I subtract forty years— and place myself at nine years old— and think about that kid— trying to survive in an Alabama that is today minus forty— it’s a goddamn wonder I’m alive. And although that little Marine-in-the-making had to have the resilience of a Spartan, I was not the strong man I am today. And I am strong. Despite my struggles.

So “things happened.” To me. During those malleable stages of my development that had longterm effects. They are the longterm effects of bullying. They are the longterm effects of living— during a time which can be difficult even for those for whom the culture is set up— in a world that does not create space for people like me—the hypersensitive, the relentlessly empathetic, the “magic,” the queer. There are longterm effects when the source of all we need as human animals— food, shelter, community, praise, nourishing, encouragement, education, training (and the list goes on)— when these things get hardwired to the source of such confusion and pain. Is it any wonder that we often, as adults, seek out people who will hurt us also expecting that that is where we will get what we need? Is it any wonder I married Adam?

“The Lord works in mysterious ways.” As I was finishing up Morning Pages I got a text from a man I met on Scruff. He is ridiculously hot in the way that appeals to me most— not a pretty boy at all but rough and rugged and manly in that blue-collar construction worker sort of way. When he first hit me up on the gay dating and/or hook-up app, I was sure I’d met the husband of my dreams. When we figured out that we are both sober alcoholics, I took that the mean the deal was sealed. And then he sent me a pic of him and his two beautiful sons and I started picking out china. I have always wanted sons and it’s too late to start at zero. And then I found out that he’s a newcomer again— five months sober after a previous period of continuous sobriety that lasted a few years. Bam! Deal breaker. After my nightmarish experience with Adam, I will never, ever, date anyone who is newly sober or newly re-sober or someone who needs to get sober. “Fool me once…” So this guy (his name is Daniel) and I have— oh! and then I learned he has a boyfriend and is not even supposed to be on Scruff much less jacking off on Skype with some crazy redneck poet and I figured that even if it didn’t work out with his boyfriend and even if he managed to stay sober— that’s still  a deal breaker because if he would do these things to the current boyfriend, then he’d do them to me as well. That’s not fair of me to say. It assumes we don’t get better as we stay sober and the possibility is that my new friend Daniel will pull it together in a way that he will be able to go on and be true to his commitments and not “cheat” (even a little) by being on Scruff or showing off his unbelievably hot body on Skype. This is my prayer for him— hell, it’s my prayer for me too— because no matter how shitty Adam was, I had my part in it too and I had my moments of weakness as well—and as you all well know by now, I’m still working through my very complicated and difficult issues around sex. But I was always honest about my struggles with Adam. And that — this is very important— that was the most threatening and crazy-making component of my marriage— the lack of honesty coming from him. It’s where I sustained the most damage. I understand that people struggle. I understand that gay men struggle especially in the area of sex because of the pitiful excuse we have for “positive examples” as we try to sort all that out. Furthermore, I understand that addicts and alcoholics struggle with addiction for the rest of their lives in one way or another it seems— some to a greater or lesser degree than others. But dishonestly and secrecy threaten me to my core— and that’s the reason why Adam (a self-proclaimed compulsive liar) was never the right man for me and why Daniel isn’t either. Probably. (See? SO hard to let go of old limiting behaviors. “Fixer-uppers” are good if they’re houses, not if they’re men.) Come to me with a heroine needle hangin’ out of your arm and your trick’s cum still on your breath. But don’t lie about it.  Be honest and we’ll deal with it. But don’t—fucking—lie. All this got set up when the man who molested me was also molesting another little boy (we were both in the seventh grade) and that little boy was my first love— puppy love yes, but it was love— and I knew about it and the molester kept molesting my first love and kept it a secret from me and slipped around and it set up what is probably the most anxiety provoking paradigm IN MY LIFE. 

Boy, did I get off track! But that was all shit that needed to be said, wanted to be said, and now it’s out. Moving on.

So the reason I mentioned Daniel in the first place (we’ve now switched from Scruff to text and our conversations are about sobriety) is that as I finished my Morning Pages, I got a text from him asking for prayers for his family.  And I was sitting there ruminating over what I’d just written in the morning pages and wondering to what extent the bullying had affected me in ways that I might never get passed and I heard myself say to Daniel into my iPhone the words that I needed to hear!  And add to that the words that Daniel said to me— more of the exact things I needed to hear. That’s the reason we don’t come to the planet one at a time. Again, “the Lord works in mysterious ways.”

DANIEL: Heavy heart here this morning. My family is so sick.

ME: What are their names? I’ll pray for them.

DANIEL: Just cover the whole family. I have seven brothers and sisters, my mom is a drug addict and my dad is a master enabler. I am the only one in recovery.

ME: Wow. I’ll pray for the whole _______ family then. Remember when you pray for them to pray consciously for the desired outcome rather than focusing on what is not desired.

DANIEL: Thanks. I get stuck on the part that makes me sad and overwhelmed.

ME: There’s a reason for that. I mean the physical world, to include our biochemistry, is a reflection of the metaphysical world in my opinion— but on a real, anatomical level, you and I got addicted to certain things— if our body’s got used to secreting the “feel better” chemicals in response to trauma to try to help us survive it, we will often go to traumatic thoughts in an attempt to get those same biochemicals flowing.

DANIEL: Makes sense. Those neuropathways also run deep.

ME: They do. And like trails through the woods, if we want to make new ones, we sometimes have to avoid “the road most traveled by” and plow through the underbrush blazing a new trail over and over until it becomes the most natural choice.

DANIEL: That for me is— sharing the pain, giving it to God, and just being grateful that I’m seeking another path today. Relying on others instead of my own thinking.

(boy he hit me square in the heart with that one! how much am I relying on my own thinking because there was so long I felt like that’s all I could trust?)

And then I got the notification buzz (wow, I’ve never really thought about that—“buzz”) that my phone makes when someone “woofs” at me on Scruff. It was from a dude whose user name is “Loving Life.” 

ME: (to “Loving Life”) Thanks for the woof bro. Solid profile name too. What we feed grows.


The Lord works in mysterious ways.

See y’all tomorrow. 

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