About writethecheck

I like to write. I write about things that interest me. People, for example – the way they act can be fascinating. I also talk about automobiles, music, the outdoors, being gay, and anything else that catches my fancy. At times I feel as if I am incapable of having a normal, boring, uneventful day. Interesting things (read: good or bad) always seem to happen to me, and sometimes it’s fun to share them. At least then we can all have a good laugh.

Why I just can’t do Religion…

Very early on in life we are taught about right and wrong.  Various means to this end all seem to have one underlying theme – we all have within us the ability to discern between the two.  For everyone, this is influenced by unique factors but for all the voice is still there – the one that weighs everything we know against a situation and allows us to make decisions.  Sometimes this is the right decision, sometimes it’s not-so-right.  Fox News knows all about the second one.

We are taught that Situation A + Action B = Result C.  We are taught, through consequences, that we have the ability to evaluate this system.  Break the rules, you’ll be punished.  Help an old lady across the street in Russia and someone with a dash cam will make you feel good about yourself.  Make top grades in your class and you’ll get a gold star…whatever.  I believe in this system of cause and effect.  It’s how I live my life and I know that, at the end of every day, my actions will be evaluated by my most scrupulous critic:  Me.

The problem I have with Religion (I have capitalized the letter R, as Religion is an entity which holds so much power over the human race that it deserves a proper name) is faith.  I know of no Religion which doesn’t require one to have faith.  Webster says faith is “firm belief in something for which there is no proof”.  No proof?  In other words, with faith, what you see and feel and touch is trumped by what someone else tells you – whether it be from a book, a pulpit, or a bible verse written on a bathroom stall at Speedway.

I see it constantly.  Under the veil of religion, people look Situation A, Action B and Result C in the eye and tell them to go shove off – that they’ve got a uniquely true version of reality supported by nothing definitive and screw anyone who says otherwise.  Obviously this issue is as infinitely complex as the flaws in our understanding which allow it to continue but the simple truth is this:  We all have, built into our bodies and minds, the capacity to evaluate the world around us objectively.  It is, absolutely, how we stay alive.

Forget the countless conflict that has arisen.  Forget the families that have been torn apart.  Forget that some of the most heinous acts in human history have been committed in the name of Religion.  This is the reason that I just can’t do Religion, and it has to do with that essential capacity which makes us human:  Religion allows us to ignore it.

 

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Are cigarettes good for you?

Of course not. They’ll do less for your health, in fact, than most hideous car crashes.   But that’s not the point, is it?  We already know that they’re unhealthy.  This has been drilled into our minds for what may as well be eons and yet 19% of the US smokes.

But whatever.  These are boring statistics that really aren’t what you’d call “unpublished”.  What I’m more interested in are the aspects of the “tobacco entity” that allow this habit to continue.  Why?

Because I smoke.  It’s expensive, has turned what used to be swimmer’s lungs into the biological equivalent of a tired old leaf blower, and in my circles smoking is more deadly to your social status than it is to your mortality.  But I do it anyway, because (here’s the good part)…

Hot or not?

Hot or not?

I enjoy it.  Genuine enjoyment and pleasure happens when I spark one up.  Turkish Royals, pink BIC, hell yeah.  I love it while driving, while eating, after sex, while at work, while hiking, or after I leave the gym (yes, you read that right).  Pretty much any activity I do, besides sleeping, is made better with a cigarette.

I’m addicted, hopelessly.  I say this with a tiny dash of shame, or much less salt than Emeril uses.  I’ve been smoking my entire adult life, for 12 years.  I’m 24 (hello?!).  Before you count years on your fingers I’ll go ahead and tell you that I was 12 the first time I took a puff – a beautiful, blue, billowing…never mind.  Anyway, this despite being brought up in a good family, in an excellent school (where I did well), and in an affluent area of town.

My next point, and this is the big one, is that I don’t know what life is like without cigarettes.  I have never actually lived adult life without them and the thought of not having tobacco at arm’s reach is downright scary.  How could it not be?

I don’t do drugs, I exercise, and I’m very conscious of what I eat.  The juxtapose of cigarettes in my life is nearly laughable.  I know I can’t smoke forever, but for now I shall.  So if you’ll excuse me, I have something to take care of…outside.

Dating and Mozzarella Cheese Sticks – One In the Same?

 

No.  One is delicious but short-lived and bad for you, while the other is just a snack.

Standing next to the stove, I stared at a cookie sheet with what appeared to be the remnants of a small explosion on it.  You see, they’d started life as mozzarella sticks and ended life, mostly, on the insides of the oven.  Alas, another potential meal had fallen victim to my culinary shortcomings.  Staring at them though, I had a revelation…

I’m not patient.  I just hate waiting.  I want my various tasks, projects, and aspirations to be perfect, right from the start.  This is the truth for my (apparently futile) culinary endeavors, as well as my relationships.  The sad truth is that they won’t be.  I realize this now.

This is probably why I like foods that can be prepared in the microwave.  Nearly instant, more-or-less done well, and guilt-free are how I like things.  This posed a question – As I jumped from one hopeless romance to another, was I searching for something that didn’t exist…a microwavable boyfriend?

It was then that I realized a crucial piece of a successful relationship that I was lacking – patience.  Not with a potential romantic partner, but with myself.  As always with my (perhaps silly) revelations, it came from something seemingly mundane – a terrible-for-you snack food that should probably be avoided (they’re brilliant at White Castle, by the way).

So I’ve made a decision to turn down the heat, be patient, and leave it in the oven.  As for feeding myself, there’s always Qdoba.

“What-ifs” – Good or Bad?

Sitting on Zach’s bed, I stared at the TV and pondered a timeless question, “How did this happen?” Throughout the day I had been helping him move into a new apartment, and seeing all of his things; the little knick-knacks around his room, brought back memories.

I knew I still had feelings for Zach. I knew I still loved him. I knew that he was the only boy I ever really felt comfortable with. But just as he had expressed regret that we hadn’t taken things farther, he had made plainly clear that “those days are over.”.

But something in me still thought that there might be something between us that was more than friendship. Part of me thought there still may be a possibility for romance. But laying there, a body’s width away from him, I couldn’t muster the courage to take his hand, to look him in the eye, and tell him how I felt.

We all imagine situations and examine them through the filter of an almighty variable “What if…”. My better judgement told me (well, shouted really) to let things go; to forget it; that the spark between us was gone. But my own internal “what if” kept holding me back. As we moved furniture and unpacked boxes in his new apartment, I couldn’t help but imagine how it would feel if this were our apartment; if we were together.

I looked at Zach and suddenly the cold reality of the situation seemed to slap me. We weren’t together. There was someone else for him. Most horribly, I blew it. A year ago when he moved to into the city I completely ignored the emotions between us. As he would later tell me, “I would have dated you in a heartbeat.”

But then I started to think of my soon-to-come move to Chicago, and the new start that I would have there. My “what ifs” began again. Only this time, they were what-ifs for the future. These are the good kind; the kind that give us hope and stir ambition. Maybe I’ll be happy there. Maybe I’ll make great friends, and maybe, just maybe, with a little luck, I’ll finally find someone that I can be happy with.

So as I begin my journey to a new city and a new chapter of my life, will my ambitions lead me to great things, or will they leave me wondering, “What if?”.

Crossing the line between sex and romance (whether you like it or not).

To start on a personal note, I like to be held.  Hugged, squeezed, or cradled… I love it all.  Some refer to this desire as “bottom”, but I firmly subscribe to the idea that labels belong on a can, not a man (although that’s another post entirely).

To get back on topic, I think I come off as a bit puzzling because at first glance I am, as Samantha Jones puts it, in a relationship with myself and can have sex with someone I don’t respect or like… or even remember.  Although nothing could be farther from the truth.

I rather desire affection and companionship – to be held.  That’s where “J” comes in.  We started as, to be completely honest, a grindr hookup.  This developed into several hookups, which in turn blossomed into a friends-with-benefits relationship.  But I wasn’t necessarily interested in a friends with benefits relationship.  That’s when something odd happened.

He picked up on it.  I didn’t tell him or even hint at it.  Yet, he asked me to dinner and made a point to tell me it would only be dinner because that’s what he thought I wanted.  I would include a screenshot of the text, but he did this over the phone. (I know, right?!)

As it turns out, he likes to hold me.  After dinner we went on a lovely stroll on the city’s new “walking bridge”.  It was completely frigid, so we went back to his place and laid in bed.  [Read: Laid, not “got laid”].  I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m a little scared by this.

My favorite way to walk.

It scares me because I feel like he’s holding me, even when we aren’t touching.  We walk down the sidewalk or sit together at a restaurant and I feel comforted by him.  Maybe I’m getting attached….and perhaps I’m afraid to get hurt.  So as this develops, will I be basking in mutual affection, or will I be spitting venom?  Either way, the results will be interesting (to say the least).  

What I keep in my closet…

I love my closet.  Just as an action-movie hero has their secret compartment filled with guns, I have my closet.  It is, after all, nearly the same thing if you dress to kill.

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The source of my powers… The bigger, the better.

I was going through some old clothes recently and came upon an interesting flanel shirt.  It matches literally nothing else in my wardrobe, but I keep it around anyway.

My little brother, Max, has always looked out for me.  Whenever I need him, he’s there.  One night, when I was 18, I was hideously manic.  I was that kind of no-longer-in-control manic episodes.  It was just a la-dee-da, “do whatever comes to mind” type of night.  It was spring, but it was still a cold night, and the rain made it feel even colder.  This next part’s where the mania comes in.

Buzzing high up in mania, I decided that I wanted to walk through the woods behind my parent’s house, just to feel the rain against my skin.  Needless to say, I was soaked and freezing before long.

Wandering around in between the trees in nothing but jeans and a t-shirt, I became aware of a voice calling my name.  It was my brother.  When he came up to me I was shivering violently – my lips nearly purple and my skin completely white and pale.  I began to get upset, just as much with the rain as I was with myself.

My brother, wearing the flanel shirt, took it off and put it around me.  It was soaked in seconds but the gesture seemed to calm me a bit.

These days, seeing it in my closet is a reminder of how unstable things used to be, how well things are going now, and the bond that Max and I share.  That’s why I keep the shirt.