Outward Sign of Inward Devotion

This is quite a good photo of myself taken earlier tonight, prior to the meeting, sitting outside St. Matthias Church. As usual I got there early, because I received an email saying the floors would be re-polished and please, could I be gentle with the chairs, so as to not scratch the floors.

Ok, can do …

I got my coffee perking and looked down at the floor in the hall and thought to myself, they sure did a shitty job if that’s what the floor looks like post polishing. I gingerly set out all the chairs and went about the business of setting up as usual.

Only to find out that no, the floors won’t be reworked until next week. Gee, don’t I feel stupid now !

Over the last little while I have tired of all the critics, the longer sober critics, who always have to critique me in front of others. And seeing how other long sober men react when they hear admonishment come from one of their own. You know old timers stick together.

Earlier today I was doing step work with a friend and we had a very long conversation about Steps One and Two, sobriety and all things sober. And I said to her that to date, not one old timer ever challenges me when I open my mouth in a meeting. They are openly critical about my wardrobe and my body weight, but when it comes to sobriety, they are all tight and slammed shut like a clam in the ocean.

I don’t know why that is, but it is what it is.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Todd:Read:God.

Late last night, I did some cursory online shopping, looking to get some new hardware. The collar in the photo. Shopping in mainline stores at the mall does not produce the right look, with little choice for hardware.

So last night I went to shop at Home Depot. If you want serious hardware that is right and will seal the deal, that’s where you go.

I had an 11 am appointment this morning for step work uptown on the Orange Line and the Home Depot is also on the Orange line going in the same direction and a short walk from Place St. Henri station, a few stops up from my home station near the apartment.

I got up early, with plenty of time to make that stop, walk to the Depot, get what I wanted, and get back on the train and head farther up the line to Snowden, where my friend lives.

Mission accomplished.

The Collar has a storied past.

In the Leather world, where I was born into when I got sick, working at the Leather Bar in Ft. Lauderdale, relationships were formed on the basis of role. Master/Slave, Dom/sub, Daddy/boy so forth and so on.

It was a huge honor if your Master or Dom or Daddy bought you a collar, because in ritual terms, that kind of seals the deal between us. Meaning that we are now taken, off the proverbial meat market. Untouchable for other men who might see us in a public setting. (i.e. The Bar)

For all intents and purposes, in the most meaningful way, of Love, Dignity and Respect, Todd was many things. God, Man, Master, Boss, Friend.

He was the man who stepped up and claimed me when everybody else tossed me to the curb, alone.

There was nothing I would not do for Todd. And He for me either.

The collar for us subs, is an outward sign of inner devotion to the men who took us in, and protected us. Sadly, during those times, there were men who were up to no good. And many of my brothers in leather, were taken into the world of seedy sex, drugs and alcohol.

All of them are dead. Masters and Boys. Memorialized in the Names Quilt for all of Eternity.

Todd had passed a decree behind my back, making sure every men who frequented the bar, that I was off limits to everyone. That I was not to be approached or touched. But Todd did tell me that as long as I did my job well, I could dress any way I wanted either behind the bar or on the floor if I was not bar tending that night.

Todd knew more about character, love, and devotion, like no other man I know or have known since. Even my husband does not hold that kind of place in my heart. He is a totally different kind of human being to me.

I posted the pic on my Instagram and got many comments about what the meaning of it is, I don’t know if I can adequately explain the fine minutia of a leather relationship to straight men, who could not understand, even if I tried. One of my friends tonight said to me at the meeting that it was good, in his view that he did not know me then, because it looked to him like I was trouble.

How far from the reality he had it.

The outward sign of inward devotion is something I carry within me, it is who I was and who I am, because if it were not for that specific leather community and those who cared for me and the others, sadly, they are all dead, and Mark and myself are the only two survivors from that sinking ship.

Nobody here wants to know that story, or mostly any story about my gay life, and every single gay man I know on the English Side of the Fellowship want nothing to do with me. Sunday past, was the Pride Parade, and they all posted photos of themselves at the parade.

Not one of them thought to call me and invite me along. Not that I was expecting that kind of grace from any of them, but that is what I thought after seeing all the photos in my feed.

You can’t adequately describe the gay subculture to terminally straight people, unless they are open to that kind of radical honesty from me.

Only my closest friends who know me, would need to know, in any case.

We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve kept this portion of my life, the gritty details of it beyond some of the stories I tell in community, close to my chest where only I can see the cards.

And I’ve decided that I’m tired of hiding a crucial part of who I am. My fluid kids are all over the place, and they might get it.

More to come.

What Will The Newcomer Think?

Today I was wearing a variant of this outfit, in Blue, rather than Black, but Under Armour in any case. I saw this photo in one of my streams and decided on replicating it in my wardrobe. I have several different iterations of said color scheme. Any color goes with white 3/4 tights, as long as your sock and shirt colors match.

I devote myself to breaking the mold of just what a 50+ year old man can wear in public. And the men who know me all have smart ass remarks about my looks. I really do not care what people have to say about my looks or my methods.

I’ve learned not to care what others think about me. I have more people who support me, rather than deride me openly.

Today in particular, my old sponsor who is up in the twenty six year range was sitting outside the church with another elder friend at thirty years sobriety. My old sponsor looked at me and said:

“You know you should really stop wearing your underwear out in public, I mean really, what will the newcomer think if they see you dressed that way?”

I should have pulled down my pants and showed him my brightly colored patterned underwear that I WAS wearing underneath my white tights.

But I digress …

I had posed a question to my elder friend sitting next to him, and he turned his face away from me, and answered my question by posing the answer to another man standing ten feet away, as if to say, he acquiesced to my old sponsors admonition about my wardrobe choice tonight.

I noticed …

Newcomer won’t come near me because they all think me a little strange, but I do have my friends in the younger bracket. I mean, I will socialize and I do, and I share when necessary, but overall, I am interested in their progress and mainly keep tabs on my kids where ever I go, on any particular night.

I told the story about the boy I cornered with the three, seven, eleven shuffle last week. He’s been MIA for days and skipped all the meetings we used to share in common. I hope I did not scare him away because I asked him to pray, as the Book Says … and that He does not DO GOD.

Oh well, you win some and you loose some, I guess.

We spoke about Step Seven tonight:
Humbly Asked Him to Remove our Shortcomings.

I always tell the same story when talking about Step Seven.

Many years ago, just after I was diagnosed, and getting sober at the same time, I have said before that Todd knew more about sobriety than any man I knew or have known since.

He was in essence: God. As I understood Him.

One night, on a busy weekend, I was on duty and the main bathroom was packed and someone put a RED CUP in a toilet backwards. The toilet was overflowing with shit and piss and other sundry fluids.

Todd called me over and said to “Clean the bathroom.” My response was “I don’t do toilets!” He said a second time “Clean the bathroom” Which my response did not change. He went into the kitchen and brought out a pair of rubber gloves and demanded quite forcefully, that I should reconsider and go and Clean the Bathroom.

I had nowhere to go but to follow orders.

I did indeed don the gloves and attacked the bathroom and the backed up toilet. At the end of shift, Todd spoke to me saying this:

Do you know why I had you clean that messy toilet? Everything he told me to do was connected to some lesson about the present and maybe the future. I said No…

His answer was loving and kind. He said that if I could clean a shitty toilet, that if I got really sick and ended up in a shitty diaper one day, that I would then know what to do for myself.

Lesson learned. Humble Pie it was …

Many men I knew who were vibrant and alive, ended up sick, demented, and lying in their own shit. I had a friend for a while who was damned to diaper living and it was demeaning. It was terrible for him. And I swore then and there, I would rather die than to end up sick, demented, and lying in a shitty diaper.

Thank God I never saw that kind of sickness in my own life. And for that I am forever grateful for small mercies.

Humility … for me, is knowing my place in the world. I am not better than anyone else, I know what I know, because I’ve studied life for the whole of my life and I’ve been sober quite a long time now. You cannot take that away from me. My life experience nor my sober knowledge.

I am not the center of the universe and my belly button is not the center either, and finally:

There is a GOD, but I am NOT GOD.

I know what enough means, and I am ok with having enough. Because for many years in early sobriety, we had very little, and for a long time, we did not have Enough. And we had to make it work.

Enough is not lost on me.

Keep it simple, Help someone else, because you can, and not because you expect something in return.

Last week, I went to intergroup to buy a chip for one of our men at the men’s meeting on Wednesday night. I did not say anything about it, but I got his cake, card, and candles.

We gave him the whole ritual of cake and chip.

On Saturday morning, my sponsor called from Vermont. I missed his call because it was early and I was still sleeping. He called to tell me that he had heard about the anniversary celebration, and he said: “Well Done.”

I had not told him about what I was doing, because he’s out of country right now, but several of the men in the group called him to tell him what I had done, a good thing for someone else.

I did not expect praise nor did I do it for the praise, it was the right thing to do for someone. Kindness goes a long way in making friendships work.

But it was nice to hear the words … Well Done.

Something Todd would have said to me.

It made me smile inside.

Sobriety Challenge

Procrastination is “Sloth” in five syllables.

We’ve heard over the last little while, what one needs to do to get sober, and then stay sober. One of my friends tonight said that when he came in, a few years before me, that at that time, he was so tired and burned, and mentally empty, that he had to just chill out for a while, and allow the message to seep into his addled brain.

After a little while, and going to meetings, he began to get involved a little deeper. At a particular business meeting, he was not sure about taking a service position, and an old timer looked at him and asked, “Why did you not take a position?” He did not have an answer. She then said to him:


That really riled him up to the point where, Fuck You could be heard within his head. For a while he ruminated over that judgment. But not long after he decided he should bite the bullet and get active.

When I came in in 2001, I was just as tired and my brain was mush. Thank God I could go to the same meeting, seven nights a week, in the same location, at the same time, a 10 pm meeting, not far from home. A walkable distance.

For months, I sat in those meetings, and listened to people read me the books, because each night was a different presentation. So at least I was sober, albeit, a little bit, and I was hearing the Big Book being read to me.

When I moved to Montreal and got situated at Tuesday Beginners, I’d been going to meetings all over the island, and met my next sponsor. At eleven months I was ready to engage, and I asked about step work of him, and his response was “well I don’t do step work.” Much to my surprise.

He did not remain my sponsor very long afterwards. And that man eventually drank again.

My next sponsor bought me a fourth edition Big Book, and got me involved in my first seventeen week Big Book Study. One of many to follow.

Over the years, I’ve read the entire book, cover to cover, five times in as many years. A full read cover to cover, in a meeting setting, takes about fourteen months in total.

I did my last round last summer into the fall. And I hit Big Book meetings, and a Step/Traditions meeting as well. So I am reading both texts during the week, and dong step work in the Twelve and Twelve meeting on Wednesday nights. I’ve got anew sponsor now, and that is working for me.

Thursday night, we heard an old timer speak truth. He said that if you come in and you don’t stay, then you just Keep Coming Back, until it sticks. He also said that at some point warming a chair becomes useless, at some point you are going to have to start reading the Book, and doing the work.

Because once we stop drinking, the reason why we drank was a lack of power. And in sobriety, lack of power can be our downfall, unless we do the work necessary to change that trend to find a Power Greater than Ourselves to help us make sense of sobriety.

He also said, to those of us with some time and experience, that if we are further up the pike than others, and we have something that works, a method, a path, a way to really step up your game, then it falls to us to share that with somebody else, and not put our lamps under a bushel basket, to use a biblical analogy.

I’ve been talking to a new young person as of late, because we hit the same meetings, and he has a little light, and is receptive about The Work and The Book. So we’ve been talking over coffee and before meetings as of last week.

A few nights ago, I presented him with a sobriety challenge, since he was so keen to share about the book and how important to the book and work was to him.

After following Bob’s Three, Seven, Eleven shuffle … The prayers right out of the book, in steps three, seven and eleven, that changed my life in spades a few years ago, the very same shuffle I still do to this day, I gave him this very same plan. Bought him a journal for his tenth step inventory, and directed him to a You Tube Video of Lorna talking about Nikos Kazanzatkis when he says that:


Bob says that if you don’t pray, then why not, because every time you pray, you ratchet up your spiritual life and your sobriety. He said that if I prayed my life would change, and I believed him and I did what he told me to do, without fail or complaint.


If you are always going to the easy path, and not stepping out of your comfort zone and reaching for the Brass Ring, then why bother, you are not going to learn anything new or see something new in sobriety.

I had it all written out on index cards. With the journal, and the step work.

When I asked him about his prayer life, he said he had one, but it was the easy out. He did not prescribe to the book. So I asked him for thirty days to do the Shuffle with me.

He balked.

Oh, I don’t pray. I don’t do God. And I don’t do what the Big Book says, even though we talked over the last month about:


It was obvious my sober young man, is not one of those people.

On Thursday he came to the meeting and avoided me he did not say one word to me or come over to greet me either. Tonight, he skipped the meeting all together.

It was obvious to me that I was barking up the wrong tree, and that I was wasting my time. And I should just let this lie for now.

So you see … If you cannot step out of your comfort zone and push your program forward and you rest on the time you have and you don’t expand your horizons in sobriety, then you are JUST WARMING A CHAIR.

Going to meetings can carry you only so far. At some point, you will have to get off your ass and do something concrete, or you will turn and isolate, stop going to meetings, rest on your laurels:


I know a certain path that works for me, that guarantees me not to drink on a daily basis. I know it works, because I am working on eighteen years this year, and I haven’t had a drink in all that time.

And when I challenge people with something new that I think can help someone get farther up that road …


Fuck me for trying.

Mental Health Thoughts – Sometimes there is not Enough Money

I have problems, that I cannot solve on my own.

I have a collection of old photos of myself, that either I had taken and they ended up with someone who sent them to me, or people have old photos of me that they took, and also sent to me, I look at these photos and I think to myself, I have no memory of any of these photos.

I used to be young and pretty. As a young gay boy, young and pretty went very far, if you had both of those attributes. Add some alcohol, and like my shrink once told me … Fireworks will happen.

And that was definitely the case, until I hit the trifecta of bad alcoholic decisions. I was young, I was a drunk, I was drinking at 7 am in the morning, and I had sex with two men, one of whom shot that proverbial bullet at me, and it was definitely a direct HIT.

For a while, I was still pretty, until I wasn’t.

As I grew older, I hit several key moments in my life, where I looked in the mirror and said to myself, I really don’t like who’s looking back at me.

The first time, was back in Miami Beach, years ago, when I realized I was looking at my father, and I ran to the nearest hair salon, and went from dark hair to platinum blonde.

That was an expensive, I hate myself realization.

That stage did not last very long, because I could not maintain that luxury. Or that luxury I thought I really needed.

Nowadays, when I look in the mirror, I see myself. I don’t necessarily like the visual looking back at me either. My friends would disagree with me on this. Because none of my sober friends would ever tell me to my face that I had “issues” with my looks.

I have not aged gracefully. And in today’s reality, there is not enough money, nor the insurance, nor medical coverage, to correct my personal “looks” problems.

In the last two years, my tooth issues have brought me to an all time low, in self esteem. And I’ve accepted, however terrible that statement is, that, I may go to my grave, looking the way I do, because One, Quebec insurance does not cover major dental, and Two, There is not an insurance plan available anywhere that will cover the massive work I need done.

So I’ve accepted this truth. A bitter pill to swallow.

Let me tell you, I go to meetings, and see my friends, and I see that look. Some turn their heads when I talk to them, others, just nod.

I know.

Instagram is evil. Bot not as evil as Face Book.

I take pictures of myself for my feed, and I think to myself, why do I torture myself with images of myself? I don’t smile, I won’t smile. I keep my mouth shut, and I quietly hate myself.

Things are becoming clear to me about what I want out of time right now. I know that I won’t settle for second dibs on truth and sobriety. I’m not wasting my time with people who do not see me as equal or valued.

Like I said before, being GAY in a Straight Sober World has its perks, but also has its drawbacks. I know who my friends are, truthfully. They would stand with me at any point, for any reason, at any time.

If I had the money, and I know I don’t, things would be better. But nobody is going to loan me $25,000 for major dental work. And that is the cheapest route I can take, with a dentist I have been seeing for some time now. I mean they’ve removed enough teeth that I have to carefully chew my food, in the rear on the left and in the front on the right, because I don’t have enough teeth to do the job as a whole any longer.


You know those boutique dentist offices that give you these beautiful pictures of beautiful teeth, will run you over $60,000 for an entire mouthful of pretty teeth. I went to two of those boutique offices over the past six months. I sure as shit cannot afford that kind of cash and no bank in the city is going to front me that kind of dough.

We might have stellar medical systems here, and I want for nothing medically, because I have two of the best doctors in the world, on my speed dial. I can get in if need be, on a moments notice.

Too bad government medical does not cover dental too.

That’s not a high priority for the Quebec or Federal Politicians.

In one breath I hate myself, but out of the other side of my life, I am grateful I am still alive and have the life I do today, and the friend I have as well.

You’d never know how much I hate myself, because I work hard at being genuine to my friends, well as genuine as I can be on any given day.

Money cannot buy everything to make everything better. That is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is the truth. And sometimes there is not enough money to go around to make everything better.

That is the unvarnished truth.

Short Changed …

Do you ever feel shortchanged in life ? Like one is not getting the whole story, or ALL of the TRUTH available ? Do you ever feel like the people you surround yourself with, or had surrounded yourself with were not being completely forthright with you ? Like they had the market on full disclosure and that you were not worthy of that full disclosure ?

Being Gay in a very Straight sober world has its PERKS, but it also has its drawbacks. I’ve been pondering this same truth about myself recently.

I sat with my sponsor the other day, and I shared with him my observations of people in our rooms here. Everything I said to him, about what has been my experience over the last eighteen years, he agreed with me. Because he has seen the same things with his own eyes.

A couple months ago, I changed up my game, and began attending a stand alone, closed men’s meeting, with a handful of men, I know well, and they know me well, because we attend other meetings together, and have been for a very long time.

One of those men, my new sponsor, I really enjoy sitting with him, because every time we sit together he tells me stories about his life. Usually, I leave home on a Wednesday night, uber early, so that I arrive at the hall, early, because I know my sponsor is going to be there. Which is where we began talking a couple of months ago. Talking more that we had been talking because of the spare time we have alone together to chat about life.

I used to hang around a group of long sober men, who, in reality, were not very sober, themselves. I used to go to Vermont with these men for step retreats. Being the only queer man in the sessions, nobody really engaged me honestly, and none of them desired to break bread with me either.

If you cannot break bread with me, I have no use for you.

For all those years, and even before, all my straight sponsors, save, just one, David, never gave me the full truth about alcoholism and The WORK. My step work was always cut short, incomplete.

Last year, when I sat with Noah, I chose to work with him, because I liked what he had to say, every time I heard him speak in a meeting. He knew what he was talking about, every time, with a conviction that was attractive to me. So I asked him to read me through The Book and The WORK.

I knew his sponsor, and he IS a no nonsense human being, who tells it like it is, every time, without fail. I loved that about him. So I knew Noah, got the very same truth, he would tell everybody else.

It was the first time, in all of my years sober, that someone told me the truth, and worked me through a full set of The WORK. He made me think, he asked me hard questions, and pushed me to grow up.

You can learn from many people in the rooms, no matter how long they are sober, if you listen well to them share, and you know just who they, themselves are working with.

I heard a lady share tonight, that “Sobriety, is cumulative. It is not just one thing that you do that makes the difference, it is all its constituent parts that make up the whole experience.”

She is right.

I read, A Lot. I pray as well. I read spiritual literature. I read The Book, and I work with others. I go to meetings, I do service. I do everything that was taught to me since the day I walked into my first home group here in Montreal. And I’ve been able to carry forwards that ritual work for all my years in sobriety. I still do the same thing I did eighteen years ago.

I make COFFEE !

I make coffee because I can get there as early as I want. Usually a hour or two prior to the first human being arriving. Because I know that if I build in that time, I usually get to have a one on one conversation with the first person who arrives as we drink our first cups of freshly perked coffee.

I got to have one of those conversations tonight, and it was fruitful.

The men I know, in the men’s meeting, tell me the truth. They are honest with me, because I try to be honest myself. I learn how to be sober, by doing what good sober people do. Good sober men are few.

There is a difference.

I know what I know today. And I know what I want for my sobriety now. Having thought about it over the past week or so. I’m tired of being short changed by men who think they are sober, but won’t tell the truth or give me all the facts, or give me true sober work.

I know what’s in the book. I’ve read it several times over. I’ve changed up my game enough to give me access to new men and women. Most importantly, the men at that men’s meeting on Wednesday.

If you feel like your sobriety has been short changed, there is a solution.

You just gotta do the footwork and find a meeting where there are long sober men and women who will tell you the truth.

I’ve been GAY a very long time. And I know most uber straight men don’t want anything to do with me, and I know that, by what they do, and what they don’t do, in front of me. If you have to overcompensate, and constantly piss in front of me and tell me how big your dick is, I don’t have any use for you.

My sponsor agreed with me on this the other day.

Even my Gay brothers in the rooms want nothing to do with me. Is it my backstory or that I am not a gay like them? I will never grow up to be a fumpy old gay man. I don’t dress like them, I don’t act like them, and i sure as shit don’t want whatever it is they have.

I sat in a room with all of them for fourteen months reading the Big Book, during the hardest emotional bottom I’ve ever experienced in sobriety yet. And in all that time, not one gay or straight man or woman, ever walked up to me and said …


These are the the most important life saving words an alcoholic has, because we have back stories. Experiences. Life Experience. In all its forms.

I’ve NEVER heard these words come out of ANY sober mouth, anywhere in this city, in ALL of my sobriety.

That is a shame.

Because it took a lady from New York to come here, talk to us, and share those words with us.

I won’t be sort changed any longer.

Lotta Birthdays Today

Tonight my friends sat with me at the men’s meeting and we celebrated my birthday together. However my sponsor is in Vermont, but he called to wish me a happy. Nobody believed I was fifty two today. My much older friends are too kind in saying that I sure as shit do not look fifty two and I certainly don’t dress like a fifty two year old man.

I was standing outside the church with a friend and he commented that I don’t seem like I want to really grow old. He is right.

I got a call at 9 am this morning from my friend Juan, then made a date to have coffee with a new friend. He and I see things very much the same when it comes to the book and THE WORK. That conversation lasted two hours.

I came home for a bit, and my Elder Friend Spencer Skyped me surprisingly and this year, instead of his banjo, played happy birthday on his guitar. Nothing like an Elder Serenade for your birthday.

With a few hours to kill, we watched some tv, however my favorite tv news host was MIA again today. I was like, we can turn the tv off now, because I really don’t care what anyone else has to say about current events.

I departed early with cake in hand for the meeting, and arrived well before the business meeting was to start. We end the month tonight with the Seventh Tradition. Money and Spirituality.

It was a lively discussion of all things money from a sober perspective of men who are much longer sober than I am. The one perk, one of my friends and I have today, is that we both read Our Great Responsibility. A book of compiled talks given by Bill W, and a few others, including Lois, his wife, at the General Conferences from 1940 until Bill’s death in 1971.

The archivists in New York General Service Office, took all of the talks Bill W gave, that had been taped for posterity, and lovingly transcribed them all in a book form. Reading the book, I was struck very deeply with the knowledge I now have of just how important the Non-Alcoholic and the Alcoholic Trustees had for the fellowship, even back decades before I was ever born.

Bill said repeatedly that, We Can’t Screw This Up. The fellowship MUST Survive, and go on, for time to come, because several times they all mention US. Us as in the unborn alcoholics who would come after they were long gone. It was so beautiful reading the words of someone who cared deeply that the fellowship would be here, when each of us would need it.

It also tells the story of the struggle to get the first edition printed, the squabbles about money, and property, ego and of Humility. It was not easy, by any stretch what took place, but in the end, here we are.

And I could not be more grateful for those men and women who served General Conference and took such care to make sure the foundation they had lain down would survive for those of us who are here today, all over the world. They had not a clue, how the fellowship would blossom all over the world, in so many languages.

There were a whole group of us celebrating birthdays today. Who knew so many of my Instagram contemporaries shared the same day together, along with a family friend’s son Noah, who turned a bright nineteen years old today. I’ve watched Noah grow up from his earliest years when I became friends with his dad. He was just a small boy when I met his dad. Now he’s a bright, smart, good, and kind young man, like his father and grandfathers.

I don’t know if fifty two is any different than fifty was, and I probably won’t know for some time, until I get a little hindsight to look back on this day. Which is why I am writing it all down before I go to bed.

I lived, the boy who Lived. Thank you Harry Potter.

More to come, Goodnight.

Happy Birthday Harry

Noah Levy, my friend Carmi’s son

Today we celebrate birthdays. Lots of them. Harry turns 39 today, Noah, my friend Carmi’s son, is 19 years old, and I hit the famed age of 52. I’ve lived longer than anyone ever expected, including myself.

Today we are in good company.

Neville Longbottoms birthday was yesterday, the 30th of July. He would also be 39 years old this year.