I Testify …

” when we became alcoholics, crushed by a self imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade,we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is,or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?

God Is … And God is everything …

Last night, I let go of the last vestige of who I was. Today, I took the last action, to turn all of myself over to my God. Over the past few days, I have been reflecting on my past. The other day I re-acquainted myself with music that really meant more to me, than any other music I had ever heard.

When I was a boy, and I told this story the other night, I was introduced to God. And His son, Jesus Christ. We, all of us, young people, on a particular Saturday night, in Lake Placid Florida, on retreat, were invited to commit our lives to Jesus.

That was a tall order as a teen-ager. What did that look at and what kind of life could we live, given the times we were living in, with all kinds of people, criticizing us, and mocking us openly, in front of our classmates. It was just untenable.

And my family, alcoholics they were, and abusive, were no role models, to speak about.

And I mused on this event today, while reading my Big Book with a woman I am reading with now. And for the first time in almost 18 years now, my Big Book exploded in my hands as I read the chapter – We Agnostics. Chapter 4.

Ag – Gnostic ( Ag – Without) (Gnostic – Knowledge) We are without knowledge.

For the first time reading this book, having read it over and over, in as many years, I became enlightened. I had words I never had before. I had insight I never had before. And I testified my faith to a woman who trusts me to guide her through the Book.

It was, simply, a Spiritual Experience. I had God on my mind. I prayed, and meditated on my way there. I know what I should do now. And for a little while, God was there, on that balcony as we read the book, because I’ve never read the book, in the way I was reading it today.

It was such an exciting day today. I think about the altar call, and thinking about turning my will and my life over to Jesus, and become “Born Again” with friends, whom I loved more than any other friends I have ever had. I cannot tell you how tight I was with all of my friends. The best years of my life, were spent in Youth Group with this group of young people. I’ve never again, in all my life, have had that kind of relationship with anyone.

And I think today, about getting sober. And both experiences are very similar. Because in order to get Sober – You must find a spiritual path. A spiritual experience, is the only thing that is going to save you. God is part of that experience.

Alcoholics will find any excuse, if you allow them, to wiggle out of the word and being of God. I’ve watch a multitude of people see that word, and are repulsed by it, surely, because, like the book says, we’ve had a bad experience, and God left a bad taste in our mouths, and really, why do I wanna go back there an be reminded of something that totally turned us off.

God is so much more than just a word.

I knew this chapter was in the book, but I’ve never really felt enlightened enough to relate what it says appropriately. Today, God gave me the words to do that. I started talking and the words were coming faster than I could think them.

We call that “Inspiration.”

We are told that when we are empty and we don’t have the words to use, God Puts Into Our Spirits, the Words we Need.

I so know that I am on the right track. For the first time in a long time. I feel so full tonight, that I am about to burst. Because I know, when I pray, that God listens. And my relationship with God, is particular, because God has always been on my side, WHEN I particularly listen to Him. And I know what happens when I ignore Him.

Life goes sideways.

Knowing Todd: Read:God … Was the most blessed time in my life, because for that little while, God was incarnate in my life. I lived. I survived. And I am still here. And the only way I can explain it was this … Every night, before work, I turned my will and my life over to the care of Todd:Read:God as I understood Him.

Todd spoke my language. And he still speaks my language, as if he were standing here with me. Because I hear him in my heart of hearts, and I know what he said to me was true. he never once, ever lied to me, or conflated the truth or the reality that I just might die, before this was all over with. He knew that was a possibility. But on his watch, he swore he would do what he could to make sure I survived.

Well, I survived.

God saved me. And it is God I turn my will and my life over to tonight, like the night I stood with my friends at that altar call, and we committed ourselves to Jesus.

I know today, being sober, what being Born Again, really means.

I know the truth. And they say the truth will set me free.

God Is everything. And that is true.

If you don’t know what to do, get on your knees and pray. Because Bob told me, to my face, that every time we pray we ratchet up our spiritual lives. So if you are not praying, then why not ?

Prayer changes everything.

I love my God and the life I have and the people I know.

Tonight I met a young man 2 weeks in before the meeting. I gave him my number and a Living Sober, and he is supposed to call me tomorrow.

Let Us Pray …

Memory – One on One

And Now for something Entirely Off Topic …

I started High School in 1982. That’s 37 years ago. That first week, we would walk off campus to the Catholic Church that was just a block up the street from our school. There I met a lot of people and the leader of a rag tag bunch of youth workers, who ran one of the best youth groups, the Miami Catholic Diocese had ever seen.

I would soon join this church. My parents were still excommunicated from the church for my mother choosing birth control after my brother was born in 1970, in Connecticut, because she was RH Positive and the doctors told her she could not have any more children, so she had a Tubiligation.

It was a really good thing my parents stopped at two, because I imagine what kind of abuse they would have suffered like I had in my life.

The church was not pleased at all. In my later years of High School, they would meet with the Pastor or this church and he would absolve them of their sins and welcome them back into the church fully.

But I digress …

Some of my BEST friends came from that Youth group. All of them have moved on in the world, I’ve only contacted one of them, and the others have no digital footprints. So I don’t know where they all are, but I wonder. Some of the best times I’ve had in my life were there, and I still have a handful of friends off Face Book that I keep in touch with on Messenger

This music reminds me of them from so many years ago.

Yesterday I was napping and my mental stereo was on and I was singing an old hymn that we used to sing on the world famous retreats that we used to go on, as part of this rag tag youth group.

I got up, and loaded my I-tunes. And I searched “The Imperials – and Petra” both of these bands are contemporary Christian artist of the mid eighties and early nineties. The other one was Children of the Light, “Come on in the Water’s Fine.” This song, would play as the dining hall was readying for diners who were waiting outside the doors.

This song would start as the serving team were standing on chairs clapping their hands to the beat, welcoming diners into the dining hall, it was ritualistic and the most amazing event I’ve ever attended.

For all those years we listened to a lot of Christian music. We went to concerts together with other parishes and other denominational churches like Old Cutler Presbyterian Church which was not far from home.

I was listening to my music I had loaded on my phone this morning while grocery shopping, and there are a handful of Imperials tunes that are sacred and special to me, and 37 years later, I am listening to the song and I am singing the words, as if it was yesterday …

I remembered every single word of every song I listened to.

That first year on retreat, we were introduced to Christianity, and turning our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him. I did not know that concept in tenth grade, but I do today, because I am sober.

Imagine a rag tag bunch of kids have just spent a weekend at a camp talking about Jesus, and on the ultimate Saturday night, there was an Altar Call and we all committed our lives to Jesus. We had gone to the mountain and met God, for the first time in our lives.

Then we had to come home …

Sunday night at church, I spoke to the congregation, I was sobbing uncontrollably because I’d never felt such love in my life as I had that weekend. And I had to carry that feeling into the world with me on Monday morning when I went to school, a New Christian Soldier.

What do you tell a rag tag bunch of kids who proudly carry their bibles into battle for the souls of your friends, and everyone is looking at you like we were all crazy. What did I know about proselytizing ?

My Satanic friends who believed in the Devil came out of the woodwork and the even threatened my math teacher and his family, that was not good at all. It was not pretty at all.

But we had to carry Jesus around with us for all eternity. It did not go as planned. Because I would love Jesus and Hate him in the span of just a few years when I would enter seminary and Love Jesus, and then by years end, when asked to leave said seminary, I hated Jesus more than I loved Him.

Now sober almost eighteen years, I know God. As I understand Him. I met and had a relationship with God through the human visage of Todd. He was the most sainted representation of God I will ever know. That man saved my life, and also, God spared me from death and suffering.

Why ? I have no idea, what made me so special to save?

You’d have to ask Todd that question.

Be Still my Soul and Know that He is God…

I remember how I stood and sobbed as I said the prayer that brought me into life with Jesus as a Kid. And now, when I say my Third Step Prayer daily, I say that prayer all over again, in different words, but the thoughts and actions are the same.

Every Day I commit my life to God in Sobriety, because He is in control of my life and my sobriety. And If I help one person in this life in the ways that Todd taught me to do, then I have done my job.

I have done that, and continue to do that daily, as I am able.

Why Chastity – Part 2

If you asked me this question a year ago, I would have thought you mad. Are you serious, you wanna take my most precious practice away from me, No Way !!!

I had been talking to a friend over the years, well, two of them actually, in our leather men community, and both of them, are attached and they play around, and both of them, within a space of a few months, got the chastity bug.

Because chastity is all the rage in the Leather/BDSM/Master/Dom/Mistress community.

If you think the gays, have the market on Chastity, you would be WRONG! Because the straight community has a huge stake in Chastity. I’ve tested gear for straight sex shops over the past few months, and I know many Mistresses who use chastity with their bois. They have taken a fetish and really run with it, seriously. Fetish crosses the divide between the gay community and the straight fetish community.

Back when I worked at the bar, there were very few Mistresses who came out with us, but while I worked in a sex shop for a friend in Fort Lauderdale, I learned all I need to know about vibrators and sex toys from a Mistress names Miss Carla. She was a gem of a Mistress and a very kind soul to me when I really needed it. She taught me a lot about women and sex and all kinds of other good natured topics we used to chat about often.

I said this before, but if chastity had become a thing, in the nineties while I was working for Todd at the Leather Bar (The Stud), that would have taken off like wild fire. I mean there was simple idea and construct for chastity back then, but not like it is right now.

Todd is the only Master I will ever know, and a good thing too. I’ve seen too much abuse in as many years, and Todd was not that kind of man. I’m sure, if he had it, he would have employed it with me.

Chastity is a form of submission. And submission, in my opinion, is something I craved for a long time, and I needed, for a long time, and Todd was the Master I needed to submit to. I would give my life for him any day of the week.

I’ve studied this Fetish/Way of life for months now, and I’ve read all the blogs I can, and have researched this topic intimately. Men and their boys, Mistresses and their bois, Masters and their subs.

I would have never thought that chastity would become such a driving force in my life, but it has. In the beginning I gave up my keys to my best friend, until I hit that medical wall. Then he went away for the summer, and I was bouncing between the CB-6000 and my Bon-4. Then I added The Curve. Now I am back in my CB-6000 until later this week, when my Rage Cage arrives and I go full bore Permanent Chastity in that steel cage.

You know, taking porn out of the equation, and turning to chastity to force me to stop focusing on my dick is life changing. The main focus of chastity is to rewire your brain, to stop touching yourself, and give your desire to touch yourself over to your Dom/Mistress. Or give that control over to your key holder.

One small drawback for me, is that I am Diabetic and HIV+. So I have to keep a close eye on my body and the problem with the CB-6000 is that it is a closed cage, that one has to remove at least weekly to clean. And because my body is specific in what it can do, I have to be on top of it 24/7.

Which is why I chose the Rage Cage to go full bore, because it is an open cage and I won’t have the attendant problems as with my CB-6000.

In the beginning I couldn’t wrap my mind around 24/7. But the longer I wore my cage, the less often I touched myself. And the longer I wore my cage, the less I thought about touching myself.

Now, I have no desire to touch myself, because that physical pathway has been rewired. And once you remove the stimulus for masturbation, that is almost all of the fight. Remove the stimulus, and rewire that pathway, and your desire to touch yourself begins to disappear.

I don’t think about sex as often, because I know I am locked up. And you know what also? I have so much more free time to do other things, things I like to do for myself, in a good way. I don’t think about my cage, and for a long time I forget I am wearing it, because it has become a normal item of my wardrobe. Once I get the Rage Cage, it will all be over. Finally !!!

For us in the leather community, sex was a given, I mean that’s why we “coupled” with someone. And like I said, if cages existed back then, in that particular venue of men, it would have been all the rage. For Sure !

In order to curb ones sexual appetite, you take away that which feeds it; Your Dick. The more time you spend in chastity, the more you are apt to focus on the one Mistress/Master/Dom who holds your key and the fate of your dick in their hands.

It heightens your sexual desire, for when you are unlocked or when you next have sex, the longer you stay locked up, the better the next time you get to orgasm. In the beginning I did not remain locked all the time, because I had not gotten over masturbating just yet.

Once you take off the CB-6000 and you masturbate, the chances of getting back into it are slim, then I had to revert to the Bon-4 and then back to my CB-6000, what a nightmare. And at some point I just bit the bullet and deleted the stimulus from my life, and locked into my CB-6000 for the haul until my Rage Cage gets here in a few days.

So I’ve been locked, for a few months now, 24/7. With no breaks and no cheats. Since I’ve removed the porn and the hard drives and the web sites, like I said, I am MUCH MORE focused on my life and other things I was not doing, now that I have A LOT more free time to myself.

I cannot believe all the time I was wasting editing, and filing and fooling around with myself, it is just incredible.

If you’ve got a problem, and you want a solution, we here are all about solutions, be they addictive or sexual. If you are in a Dom/Mistress relationship, let’s chat. If you are in a chastity relationship, tell me about it.

If Todd were here, I’m sure he would approve. Because in my heart of hearts He is with me all the time, every day, every minute I am still breathing.

If I can change One Life, as Todd told me to do so, then, I have done my job as His Boy …

I will always be His boy …

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.

146 Days … And Counting

I have the boots, lots of boots. I have the collar, and I have my chastity.

I am complete.

We are now going to discuss a Taboo Subject, reader beware !

I’ve been locked for a total of 146 days, and counting.

For the longest time, I never understood what the rage was, about gay chastity. I had friends who took to it, right from the outset, when chastity began as a very simple kink. A few years ago.

I thought to myself, nobody is gonna take away my freedom to touch myself whenever I wanted to.

How naive I was.

I had a prophetic dream on the last night of March. And the next morning, April 1st, (of all days), I took it as a very serious warning, and I acted upon that dream. And my run with chastity began. I called my best friend, and we met for coffee, and I gave him my keys.

The run began.

Over the last 146 days, I have collected several chastity devices, to see how each of them worked. How they fit. And if they could be worn, long term.

Meanwhile my medical problems began to happen, in the middle of my trial period, and I had to take two weeks off to treat a very serious infection, that could have done real damage to my nether region.

Mischief Managed.

At the start of summer I bought two chastity devices, back to back. One for me and one for my best friend, who is straight. He took to it, and achieved 100 days in chastity, to break a bad habit. He came back earlier this week a changed man. He learned a lot about himself, and his abilities to do more than he ever thought he could do, meanwhile kicking a nasty habit.

On Monday night I ordered my final chastity device. The Rage Cage, which will become my final device, which will turn into permanent chastity, when it arrives.

Phase Three of my purge took place last night, as it is after 6 a.m. on Thursday morning. I took down all my external hard drives and shoved them into my file cabinet, so I don’t keep certain material on my desktop computer. All my storage is off site.

I’ve realized that at this point in my life, I really don’t care for labels any more. I’m terribly disillusioned with the gay community of men in my social circles, who want nothing to do with me. This is not about me, but more about them.

That’s not my problem.

I’m coming to the realization that the less I touch myself, and the longer I stay in my cage, the less I want to touch myself, in a sexual way. With hubby not been interested in sex in more than 12 years, I had to take matters into my own hands, for the duration.

Since my chastity run began, my life has changed.

I regressed into Todd:read:God.

As soon as I put on my collar, I knew what I needed to do, and how to do it, and who to listen to in my deepest heart of hearts. Todd taught me all that I needed, and in speaking to him recently, he reminded me of that, and also that he think of me often, and he spoke to me during our short conversation, in the language I understood.

I understand Todd.

I live my life by his rule, My Master’s rule. Fuck everyone else.

Chastity for me is a reminder of who I was, and who I am. It has brought me clarity and wisdom. Because everything I know about Being good, and Doing good, began with Todd. And that is where it will eventually end.

When the Rage Cage arrives, it will be soldered on permanently. I won’t have to worry about touching myself again. And I really do not miss it.

Since I am purging that side of my life, by my own hand, I know where I am going.

Being locked for so many months, has afforded me the ability to re-orient my life, my values, and my choices. I see wisdom in the act of submission and of chastity. It is not just a kink, or a fetish for me, it has become a way of life, that strengthens my resolve and gives me clarity.

I don’t have to worry about my “mister” or “self gratification” because lately I’ve realized that porn and jacking off has become boring.

The same shit – different night.

Microsoft helped in this area, by killing off my 2012 Movie Maker program, since they are not supporting it any longer, they wiped it from the entire internet, when they forced out their own Movie Maker 2019. THAT you have PAY for, to get rid of the huge watermark the trial product puts on your videos, if you don’t buy the $50.00 subscription.

Since I don’t have a movie maker, the decision to eradicate porn out of my life was easier, because I am no longer able to edit whatever I download. And with that shut down of a program, led to the shut down of porn sites I used to haunt. Bad habits sometimes die easily.

Phase Three is complete. I’ve eradicated bad habits. I’ve cleaned up my life in that area. So it’s all good.

USPS has said that mail will begin moving out of Florida today, due to hurricane Dorian, the mail had been stopped across the state, for obvious reasons. Today my package should begin moving North.

Phase Four will be the grand reveal.

Coming soon. But maybe not here.

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.