The Blue Footed Boobie in the Room

I’m the Blue Footed Boobie in the room.

A long time ago, Todd taught me the lesson about approval. In short, the lesson of approval was this … I don’t need approval, (in the context of work) from anyone, if I know I did the best job I could.

Because one day, you might work for an asshole who will abuse you and not respect you, nor say anything nice to you, so you need to learn how to be nice to yourself, in any situation, by doing the best job you can all the time.

That lesson still sticks with me today.

I’ll tell you a story. When I was a kid growing up, my parents were really strict at what I could have and what I could not. For the longest time, while I was an athlete in school, over the years, they did not allow me to have certain clothing items, shoes, cleats for sports. If I bought them, I had to keep them in my locker at school, for safe keeping.

They also kept us on a short leash when it came to clothing. Not that clothing was that big a thing back in the 80’s. I did go through my Duran Duran clothing phase in high school, and that was allowed, but only to a certain degree.

When I moved to this apartment, I became a collector. I love shoes. Especially shoes my parents would never allow me to buy, let alone, wear outside the house. I have a modest shoe collection, for every outfit, I have corresponding shoe color or style. And also several sneakers sets.

A few years ago, when my Diabetes was in good shape and I was loosing weight by the month, I met a few men on Instagram who made clothing. Athleisure tights and shirts. I was like, I could rock that look, and since that time a couple of years ago, I never looked back. My tights collection is quite extensive, and I wear them all year round, even in Winter, with the appropriate under gear, warm base layers beneath.

Like I said I am the Blue Footed Boobie in the room. I see some of my straight friends rock tights, WITH SHORTS on over them, because they would not be caught dead, wearing tights alone, for the “man factor.”

That’s what my friend Jeffrey calls, “the modesty pad” that comes with his clothing line for those men who want to be a bit more discreet, with their packages.

Most men like my clothing, although some crotchety old timer, traditionalist call me the “wearing my underwear in public guy.” They just cannot fathom wearing something like that themselves. I buck the dress code for sure, and some traditionalist think I am a bit irreverent, and non-conformist, and inappropriate for social gathers (read: Meetings).

I’ve learned in sobriety that “What people think of me is none of my business.” However, I do get upset when someone makes an unsolicited comment in the negative to me. I bite my tongue and walk away. I try not to respond. Then I come home and I ruminate over it all that night long. And have conversations in my head about what I would say if I had the balls to say it.

My collar – like a friend said this morning that “It locks me to the most important relationship I have, with (Todd:Read:God). I’ve written about this in another post, but, the collar is a substantial piece of clothing, re/Jewelry that a Dom can give his sub. It marks us a “Taken” “Loved” “Respected.” it is the highest honor a Dom can bestow on his sub, because our Dom’s think us worthy of wearing an item of clothing that links us to our respective Dom, in a way others are not privy to.

When I got my collar, it was just that; a linking back to the time when I was most loved and cared for by the one man who knew me inside and out, good and bad, good kid and trouble maker. He knew I was up for trouble, and so to curb that, He claimed me as His, in the way Doms do.

The Dom/sub relationship is part of the Leather subculture. Folks today, in the rooms, would not get it. The one word I heard from a Lady Friend the other Sunday morning when I was working at the Old Brewery Mission, Homeless shelter was this … she said … “Oh that’s all about BONDAGE.” I did not correct her, because she need not the deep dive story in full.

Leather is not all about bondage, where I come from. it is partly that, but not all that. Where love in concerned, Todd loved me. And I knew that. He took me in and cared for me, and marked me as His, because, for all purposes, I was.

My community was dynamic, while it was still alive and viable. But in the end, only two of us were left standing when everyone else had died. Mark and I are the only two survivors from that sinking ship. If it were not for Todd, I would have been a casualty myself.

I told my friend John, on the way home last night, I don’t know why I lived, because those first two years were hellish and we really did not have the medication to keep us alive. It was all Todd, 100%.

All I had were experimental drugs found in dead folks medicine cabinets, that were passed on to me before I found a doctor in year three. In a different city altogether.

So my collar is a source of consternation, because people have their preconceived notions about it, and some are not shy about sharing those notions with me, even if they are way off base. I do not wear it to wrangle people, I wear it for me, because it keeps me centered on

Todd:Read:God.

It keeps me humble and reminiscent of those years that mattered so much to me because:


“IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES AND IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES.”

Charles Dickens…

I don’t tell the entire story to just anyone, because what will they do with it, tell other people, share it behind my back, would they keep my confession confidential and sacred? I don’t think so, because not everybody is steeped in BRENE BROWN and the ANATOMY OF TRUST.

I dress to look good to me, it has nothing to do with outward necessity of approval or consternation. I might not consciously be thinking about approval, but in the background, like a dos program, I might want to hear that “yes, I look damn good in my clothes.” Who does not want to hear “Hey, you look good in that!”

For that momentary rush of satisfaction.

Flower Basket Tights

Yes, I can rock that look, because somebody noticed and said something nice. One night I was at a bus stop waiting for a bus, wearing my Flower Basket tights, they are RAD, and a guy driving by, stopped his car in the middle of traffic to say …”Hey, I love your tights man!”

I will never grow up to be an old, miserable, frumpy old man, like many of my friends are. They could never see themselves rocking clothing or jewelry like I do today. And maybe, like I was told earlier this morning, it might spark something within them, not necessarily right now, but maybe farther down the road. I just want to be free to be me, as I am.

I don’t know how much longer I am going to live, so I try to live my best life, for me right now, wearing clothing I like, loving the people I love, and respecting the most important relationship I’ve ever had:

TODD Read GOD.

Yes, this is all about me. And if you came from the world I came from, you’d live for you too. Damn the torpedoes, and full steam ahead …

You might not like, or question my choices, but like Brene Brown says, do not become party to Common Enemy Intimacy .. If you don’t have nothing nice to say, come sit by me …

I don’t tell people everything about my life, because I don’t trust them to keep my words confidential. If I don’t know you and you are not someone I trust, I am not gonna tell you my most intimate secrets and stories, Period!!

So I get rattled when someone says something that just reeks of judgment. it is not very sober behavior on their part. I think people should know better than to shoot off their mouths with me, when those folks who do that, are not “Friends” of mine. They don’t know me, nor do I know them either. They see me in the rooms, and because I am always present they feel they can offer me unsolicited advice, because I guess they feel emboldened to say whatever they feel is appropriate at that moment, feelings be damned.

I’d rather people I am not intimately connected to, to just, “Shut the fuck up and leave me alone.” Keep your shit to yourself.

I’m in a meeting to stay sober, to stay stopped. If you are my friend, all the better for both of us. But I know MANY people, I see MANY people on a nightly basis, for years and years, and people know me for me because I am always reliable and there.

I make the room hum, before anybody sets foot in the room for that first cup of coffee. I know people, I just don’t KNOW many people intimately, except what they tell me in confidence.

My collar is a confidence story.

If I am not confident you will respect my story and hold it respectfully, then I don’t owe you that story. People fear what they don’t know, and they don’t necessarily respect a certain backstory. But my story is also a sober story, so we have that in common.

Just not my Todd Story. That’s mine and mine alone.

Just some thoughts.

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.

Hormonal

For a little while now, I have not been feeling myself. And I knew something was wrong some time ago. And I spoke about being a little on edge and moody the other night.

Yesterday I went to my first summer doctors appointment with my Diabetes doctor, Doctor Vanessa. She was glad to see me. We spoke a bit about what happened after my body burned from the inside out and how I’ve never felt pain like that before, especially, for where the pain was …

Men are not supposed to burn like fire in their genitals. But that’s what you get when you fail a Diabetes drug miserably.

She looked at my labs and asked if I was feeling a bit off and moody. And I was like, “Well YEAH!” Actually.

Seems at the tender age of fifty two, in a few days, my hormones have been MOANING ! All of my numbers were low. My testosterone and my other important hormone numbers. She said that was odd for me, since I have not bottomed out hormonally before.

Ageing with HIV at 25 years later, and Diabetic as well, I am in a new bracket of research, because I have survived so long,

(read: I did not die).

So doctors are treading new ground with me because nobody knows what my body is going to do now, now that I’ve hit the opening decade of Fifty. This is new territory for all of us.

We are learning on the FLY.

Some time ago, I read a book on Ageing with HIV, but I had not quite hit the target age group yet of fifty. I got the book a couple of years ago, because another friend in the states read it first. Mark is a few years older than me and longer on the survival line.

Now, in a few weeks I have to go for a full Hormone Research Blood Panel. She is going to check my brain chemistry and get a full hormone work up and some vital internal organ test numbers to make sure there is nothing going on with my organs, if my hormones are off by that much, they would affect organ output and hormone generation in my body.

HIV at Fifty Two surviving more than twenty five years is new territory for medical research, since I am in a generation that really did not make it. Out of the entire grouping of over 600 men, Mark and Myself were the only two survivors from that period of time.

I see my HIV doc next month on August 15th. He should be able to give me more information, since he is one of the best HIV docs in Canada.

I am very lucky and grateful.

More to come.

Stay tuned.

Conversation

Jacob in Synth Pop LED Queens

It is the last weekend of June. Monday is the 1st of July, Canada Day, and the beginning of my retrospective of July. As usual, I always post the tragic news of my AIDS diagnosis, because I get the opportunity to reflect on another year of survival. Who knew I would live this long, and live well, this long ?

July 31st is my birthday … Also Harry Potter’s Birthday too.

I am chairing for the month at Monday Central, and Chairing the men’s meeting on the Wednesday of my Birthday. Let’s just say that I do a lot of service. Because they say, Service will keep you Sober… It definitely has.

I’ve been hanging around with some long sober men, whom are my friends. I added a Wednesday meeting called Brothers in Recovery, a closed Men’s meeting that reads the Twelve and Twelve. July is Step Seven …

Humbly Asked Him to Remove Our Shortcomings.

June was an interesting month, as we discussed Step Six, and Tradition Six, this past Wednesday. The most important two words to come from the month of reading the Step were the words: Entirely Ready.

Hanging around with good people, who have good lives AND good sobriety is very important. The purpose of Sobriety is to live your best life, sober, and not to be miserable and just DRY !

Tonight, one of my friends showed up early for the meeting, so we had a good hour to just talk about anything and everything. I am uber early for Friday set up to make sure the coffee is perked and ready to pour when the first guest shows up.

We can grab a cup of coffee and go outside and sit on the stairs and just visit with each other. The meeting before the meeting is a very profitable two hours. And if someone shows up uber early that makes it much more enjoyable.

Usually I just sit outside and people watch the neighborhood. If you follow me on Instagram, I posted the pictures of that location.

This week was very eventful. After 17 1/2 years, I finally put down the cigarettes. On Tuesday I was at the mall grocery shopping and down on the ground floor is a Vape sales cube. The cube is a black cube that sits in front of The Canadian Tire store and houses a Vape sales point. You can’t get in unless you are of age and have valid ID. It is highly guarded.

The entire purchase cost me $30.00. For the Vape, that came with 2 bottles of juice, and the UBS port to charge. During the week I went back to buy the Berry Fusion vape juice, that comes in a cartridge that goes into the Vape.

Overall: $30.00

That is the price of 2 packs of cigarettes.

Overall, I am saving more than $130.00 a week in smokes. Let’s just say that saving all the money in the long run is going to be very profitable.

More to come, Stay tuned …