It’s more than likely that I don’t know you. I’d be willing to bet, however, that if I said something to the effect of ‘my life has been peppered with emotionally charged moments’, you’d be there all quiet except in the back of your head where you’re jumping up and down, waving your arms, shouting ‘ooh! Ooh! Me, too! Me, too!’ and that’s fine, and totally believable and understandable. I get it. Obviously.

Some of the ways I’ve handled those moments in my life seem to deviate from the norm a bit, and even though you may still be that grade-school kid in the back of your mind who’s old enough to realize that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but not old enough to understand that sometimes the teacher needs to pay attention to all the wheels, I want to talk about them in my space. I want to talk about them personally, and without having to overly recognize the possibility that I’m not that different from everyone else. Because y’know what? I sure as hell don’t feel like I’m just like everyone else.

In my mid-to late-twenties I suffered through a slew of poorly thought-out high-stakes emotional investments. And I failed at them, repeatedly. And when I failed, all I wanted was someone to coddle me and pity me and sympathize with me and tell me everything would be okay. And I would ask for it in the most passive ways imaginable because I felt like to overtly ask for those things was socially unacceptable. I felt like my friends would scoff and scorn and shun me. I would present myself as a failure and set up grandiose displays of ineffectual drama in the hopes of luring my friends into my pity traps.

And y’know what? They called me out on my bullshit.

They still sympathized with me, and I believe they coddled me to some extent, but they didn’t let me get away with sucking them into my drama pit. And I’m fairly certain that, even though I probably resented the fact that I wasn’t able to pull the wool over their eyes, I loved and respected them more because of it. (Edit: At the same time I learned very quickly that no one wants to hear about my problems. So I started keeping them to myself. I put a lid on them, so to speak, and that lid has mostly remained in place since then. Every once in a while things inside will start to boil over and the lid jumps and lets out a little burst of steam, but it hasn’t come completely off yet. I don’t expect it to any time soon, either.)

Now here’s the real crux of today’s soap-box: I see one of the very people who called me out on my ill-conceived entrapment schemes employing eerily similar tactics. I can’t say for certain if they’re hoping for result similar to what I had envisioned or not, but it sure as hell seems that way.

And it’s pissing me off.

Because now, not only are they posturing for grandiose displays of ineffectual drama, but they’re doing it from atop their high horse of supposed superior social responsibility.

I feel betrayed. I feel deceived. I feel let down, and angry, and hurt that someone I care about so deeply could do this.

In the back of my mind I have this nearly constant voice that encourages me to try to see things from different perspectives. I call it my ‘Devil’s Advocate’. It can be even more wordy and convincing than I am. It throws out all kinds of ‘what-ifs’ and ‘maybes’. It calls into question everything I think I know about any given situation. And I am tired of listening to it. I’m tired of trying to understand why other people act the way they do because I heartily disbelieve that they reciprocate. I want to be understood, instead of having to try to understand all the time.

I am really angry about this whole situation.

Because it’s all a huge load of bullshit.


These Are Things I Need

Rain on the ocean
A like heart’s swaying motion
These are things I need

Fog in the high hills
Muggy nights too warm for chills
A soft, naked back

Hushed rhythmic breathing
Quiet breezes stirring deep
Safety while I sleep

I will hold your hand
Tightly hold my ragged heart
Never let me go

Anchored in true trust
These are things I want for us
These are things I need

Nobody Cares

Nobody cares how brilliant you are.
No one cares if you have a great smile,
Or if you touch their heart.
Nobody cares about your struggles.
No one cares whether or not
You’re ‘okay’.
Because nobody cares if you make it or not.
They only care about whether or not
You influenced them.
Maybe your influence was good or bad.
Maybe you helped them learn, or maybe you made them burn.
They don’t care about the good you’ve done
unless it helped them, son.
They don’t care about your wrong,
Unless you gave them sight.
No, nobody cares if you’ve loved them
Unless you loved them right.
Nobody worries about the life you’ve lived
Unless you truly made them care
About the money that you gived
For them.
Nobody cares about
Your feelings, rain or drought.
Nobody gives a shit
About hearing you out.
Nobody gives a care
Unless your unaware,
Because they’ll always feel
That they’re better without
Your heart.
Whether in fruition
Or in a drought.
Nobody cares.

My Castle

I hate when things make me cry.

Not because I’m a man and I shouldn’t cry, but because I hate feeling vulnerable. Because I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable to things I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be vulnerable to, without my knowing that I shouldn’t have, and they hurt me. And because of those experiences, I’ve built a stronghold around the most sensitive parts of me.

Not an Iron cage, not a flimsy box, but a castle.

This stronghold doesn’t only keep things out, either. It also keeps many, many things in. A Pandora’s box, if you will.

Why a Pandora’s box? Because even though it seems impenetrable and completely unscathed by all the goings-on outside it, inside is turmoil and passion, empathy and longing. And, believe it or not, what’s inside is at constant battle with what’s not.

Inside I want unconditional love and comfort and forgiveness, but outside all you’ll ever see is someone who doesn’t give a fuck. Inside I am lonely and heartbroken, but outside all you’ll ever see is strength and independence.

I know many of you see the outside battle. I know you see me struggle with my responsibilities and my capabilities. That’s what you see. Because I don’t often let what’s inside out. I want to speak now more to what’s inside rather than what I let you see.

What I keep inside is my longing, my desire, my hopes. I long for true companionship. I desire someone who is as passionate about me as I am for her. I hope that one day I’ll break free of the idea that everything that has made me feel hope and longing is just hopes and longings. I want those to be real.

Here’s the problem: when the insides overcome the outsides I find myself in situations that require the further entrenchment of what’s truly inside. I fall in love and realize that I can never allow myself to be so vulnerable as to let my heart be open. I can’t let you truly know what my heart feels because to do that will let you know exactly how insecure and unsure of myself I am. I can’t let you know that part of me.


Because I have learned by example, and by those examples I have taught myself that no one can truly be trusted with everything in my heart, in my Pandora’s box. Because every time I have let the cat out of the bag I have been beaten, bruised, and bloodied. I can’t let you know the ‘realest’ me there is to know. I can’t let you know my heart. And I usually come to this realization after it’s already too late.

I know I’ve disappointed more than a few. I also know I wish that weren’t the case. But this is who I am right now. This is the kind of shit you’re going to have to put up with for at least a little while. You have no idea that it’s as frustrating to me as it is to you.

And because I know it’s at least as frustrating to me as it is to you, I keep it all locked away. I keep it in my Pandora’s box in the heart of my castle, and I keep that castle under lock and key, because…

You cannot understand the real me.

That’s what I’ve learned because of what I’ve been taught. Yeah, there’s probably more than a little cognitive dissonance associated with that.

Prove me wrong. I dare you. No, I double-dog dare you. Unfortunately the only way to know whether or not you’ve seen the real me is to breach my castle walls and open that Pandora’s box.

Good luck.