Category Archives: Either Sadness or Euphoria

Sneaking and Being Proud

StoryWorks is an interesting concept that every once in a while produces a short story that hits me. For obvious reasons, this one was close to home.

It’s funny because I have a similar story. I remember one day in middle school I was at cross country practice and my teammates began making fun of me. And they used a word that I was unfamiliar with: “gay”. I had no idea what it meant or why anyone would call me that and after practice, I headed home. As was par for the course, I cried on the way home. But I didn’t really know why. And when I walked up the driveway, my dad was in the garage and he could see I was upset. He asked, “What’s wrong, Danny?” And I told him that they were calling me names. “What names? What did they say?” “Gay.” He stopped for a second and then followed it up with, “Do you know what that means?” I shook my head and he walked around the car and looked at me and said, “Don’t worry about it. They don’t know what they’re talking about.” He did not explain it to me or try to tell me anything else.

I learned what the word meant and I also disagreed with their assessment of me for a long time. For a long time, I felt ashamed that there seemed to be something different with me. In fact, I’m really only getting to the point where I am good with myself in the last few years. It took a long time and a lot of work.

And this is why it is very difficult to see my life being used a political weapon. Anyone who looks at this blog or my Facebook page or has ever talked to me knows that politics have always been close to my heart. I try to watch the debates and read as much as I can. But this is why there are several candidates who scare me more than anything: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee.

Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t vote for any of the GOP nominees but I don’t feel like my safety or my family is in danger under a Bush, Rubio, or even Trump presidency. However, the hate speech that those three use to describe me is exactly why I came home crying at the age of 11 and why I couldn’t accept myself until I was 30 years old. I am a people watcher. I love seeing how people interact with each other but there is one thing I will never have that most people take for granted: universal acceptance. If you put your arm around your husband/wife at a movie theater or hold their hand on the street, you never have to worry about what others will say; you never have to worry that you will be kicked out of the theater. It must be a nice thing to feel. Yet with three men running for the highest office in the land with such hate-filled hearts, I know that it will not be a possibility for quite some time. Put their economic or other policies to the side (because none of them stand out with ideas different from their Republican colleagues on those topics) and you see exactly what they want to do – tell me that my family will not matter and that I do not matter. And their supporters are focused on those same issues that want to make me a criminal.

It took me a long time to “not sneak” and be happy with who I am because there is nothing wrong with who I am – but three possible leaders of the greatest nation on Earth disagree. At the end of the day, that hurts more than those words that eleven year old boys say.

The Day I Was Afraid of Judy Dench

Philomena is not a scary movie. It’s a heart-warming tale about a woman discovering what may have happened to the son that was taken away from her in Ireland. I wanted to see it as Steve Coogan is one of my favorites. And my mom wanted to go.

I rarely go to the movies with my mom, so this was going to be a fun outing. She had nothing to do and my dad was at a fishing show. She was going to go to my Aunt and Uncle’s house afterwards where she would meet up with my dad, so I could just drop her off and then she didn’t have to drive by herself home.

We headed out to Barrington and got our tickets. I’ve been to the theater many times. It’s a big theater, but a lot of these art house movies will play there for a while due to the 30 screens.

When we walked into Theater 12, there was a man standing at the end of the long hallway that led from the door into the auditorium and he had a backpack on a seat in the front section. My mom and I passed him and sat down near the top of the theater. I figured he was waiting for someone.

But for over ten minutes, he paced back and forth and kept touching his bag and then returning to leaning against the wall at the end of the hallway or block the entrance so people had to go around him to get to their own seats. As more people came in, he continued just to lean against the wall and I became very anxious.

The lights went down and the previews were going to start. It always reminds you to put your cell phone away as to not bother anyone and then AMC reminds you that if you see anything suspicious, let someone know. Those words rung in my ears as the man continued to lean against the wall and then look at his bag.

I told my mom that I was going to go say something to the people at the front and asked if she wanted to come with me. I said I’m sure it is nothing but I was not comfortable. I told my mom to just keep an eye on him and then I walked down the stairs right past him as I tried not to make eye contact.

I ran to the front after exiting the theater and while stuttering mentioned to the young woman who took our tickets that there is a man leaning against the wall and that I assume it is nothing but it is making me anxious. She said she would send a manager to check in and I went back to the auditorium.

I came back into the theater and he was still there. He looked right at me as I returned to my seat next to my mom as the previews were running. I whispered to her that a manager was coming and she said that was good.

A few minutes later, the manager walked in and began talking to the man. After the conversation, the man grabbed his bag and left with the manager. But then a few minutes later, he returned and sat in the row behind us.

I had to assume the manager checked everything out and he was harmless but the rest of the movie, he would get up, make noises, and rustle in his bag. I kept one eye behind me for the entire movie and we left as soon as the credits began.

I hated that I had to sit in a theater and be scared of what the other people around me may do, but that is the society we now live in. For some reason, people believe if we all live in fear, that is better than a life where we trusted one another. There has to be a warning at the beginning of a movie to ask you to be suspicious of your fellow movie-goers.

This is the hardest part for me to comprehend and truly what I believe the NRA is designed to do. It is not about gun ownership in a responsible manner. It is about scaring people that they are going to be hurt and need a defense tool. It is about scaring people that someone is going to take their gun and therefore they need more guns to protect their other gun. It is about fear and making money off of that fear. And as much as people say that we lived in a better time before, it is because we had a sense of community where we were not scared of our neighbors. There were horrible people then and there are horrible people now. That never changes. But how we react to these horrible people is the problem.

So instead of enjoying a movie with my mom, I have to be afraid of a random man who may have just had leg issues or diabetes because I have no idea who is armed or when someone who had easy access to a weapon will decide to use it.

Two innocent people trying to watch a funny movie were gunned down last night because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We know the reactions we will hear: they should have been armed; crazy people do crazy things; it’s not the gun that killed them, it’s the person who killed them.

Nothing will come of this. More people will be afraid to go to the movies. More people will be afraid of people in their community. More people will assume the worst of their common man.

That’s why I don’t think I can ever see Philomena again.

Stranger Danger

I went for a walk this afternoon. I enjoy fall days and for the last few weeks, I have went out to the Des Plaines River Trails and walked at least seven miles. Since I don’t have the ability to run that far anymore (yet), walking that far is all I have. I put on my headphones, grab a bottle of water, and just walk. I have a whole list of podcasts that I need to catch up on so I can stay up to date with the political, scientific, and just fun news. Two hours of walking works perfectly for that.

My mind wanders as I walk through the brown leaves. I think about work; I think about life; I worry about things; and I listen to the stories in my ears. I find it incredibly relaxing, but also enjoyable. There is something perfect about walking alone with a slight chill in the air and nothing to stop you.

I passed about ten people all morning. Most people walked in pairs, some with dogs. Some rode bikes. And one man was running. There was nothing unique about the path or anything interesting besides a large number of deer running around. Overall, it was uneventful.

But as I got closer to my car, I saw a father walking with his son. They were walking towards me and I smiled. The father’s immediate response was to put his hand on his son’s back and move forward. It was a very defensive gesture and when I was about one-hundred feet away, I turned around and noticed that the hand was no longer there.

I probably shouldn’t read too much into things like that but it always troubles me when people just assume a stranger is a danger. Of course there are bad people out there and I would be lying if I didn’t think at least a few times on my walk that someone could be in the woods, grab me, and I would never be heard from again. But there are also casual interactions with people that I will never understand why we become defensive.

If we were at a mall, the father would not do that. If we were at a Chipotle, he would not do that. But in an open forest preserve, people assume that there is a likelihood, this person I don’t know will steal my child or try to hurt one of us. I have experienced the same gestures in parks.

Maybe it is because I don’t have a child of my own that I don’t understand this reaction. I would like to believe that I would not have that knee-jerk reaction to someone I don’t know and honestly, I don’t think I would as I like to assume that another person is naturally good unless shown otherwise.

We all experience strange behavior based on who we are. One reason I don’t like giving away candy on Halloween, for example, is that I have gotten strange looks from parents in the past, as if I am some sort of leech. Or some sort of Boo Radley.

I wish we didn’t live in a world where a father would see a random person just minding their own business and smiling and didn’t think that this person could come after my child. I wish I understood why people always jump to the conclusion that a solitary person is trouble.

As strange as it seems, for over two hours, I was in a peaceful and pleasant piece of mind, but the minute that happened, it ruined it for me. I felt bad. I felt bad for this father for being so untrustworthy. I felt bad for me because as a childless, unmarried man in my thirties, people make assumptions. And I feel bad for our society where we fear everyone until they have convinced us that they are okay.

We don’t talk to each other on buses or trains. We don’t make conversation when we walk or run by ourselves. And maybe it was the headphones – I know those things are a menace to social interactions.

Brian always smiles when I wave at someone on the street when we walk somewhere even when I don’t know them or how I say hello to anyone we pass. I try to smile at strangers because I like to smile. And in return, we always seem to meet interesting people who like to talk to us. We talked to a couple as we ferried across Lake Champlain. Some old ladies showed us all their favorite spots of a toy train showcase in Madison. We met a woman from St. Louis who traveled by herself to Salem, MA to relive her youth. And each of these encounters enhanced our experiences. We may not stay in touch with any of these people but they added something to my life for a few minutes and will always be in my head as people I have met. I have lots of stories of people doing this and making conversation with me and maybe it is because I try to be open to that possibility by not showing defensive maneuvers.

I guess I just wish more people would try that. Most people are good. And you never know what you may find out about someone. It could give you a whole new perspective on life.

So, though, this hurt me, I know it won’t change me. There are too many interesting people out there for me to change how I act based on people who live every day in fear. I hope others move past fear as well.

Why I Like to Write

My favorite writer.
Sinclair Lewis

I write poems. I write short stories. I write personal stories. I have written short little stories for as long as I could remember. I would write these little plays about animals and their friendships when I was a small kid. I created a comic strip with a friend where she would draw it and I would write the word balloons as we said in this pile of tires that for some reason was considered part of a playground in 1992. Writing gave me an outlet that language never did.

I am not a talker, sometimes. I can talk a lot. You ask me an opinion on politics or a recent issue of a comic book or the work of Jack Kirby, and I am off to the races. But I have never been good at talking about how I feel or what I’m thinking. It’s one reason why I like going to a therapist. I know that whatever I say, it won’t leave that room.

I write a lot about what I’m feeling or thinking. It’s fun to create characters of people I wish I knew or whom I wanted to be. It’s fun to imagine a world that is like the one I live in but that is completely different. I try to put Dan-like characters in all of them. Generally, I create a Dan I wish would exist. A Dan that could do small talk without getting short of breathe and the sweats. A Dan who had his own apartment and a group of friends who lived next door. A Dan who actually was a dog.

But more importantly, I write because there is nothing that relaxes me or lets my mind flow more than typing words or writing something on paper. I feel freer than I ever could in any other medium. I used to feel that way sometimes when I would run. But even on my favorite runs, I was creating stories in my head. There is something that makes me feel good. And sometimes there is something about it that makes me just feel.

I wish I did it more, but when I write anything, I’m happy for the rest of the day. I’m lucky to have something like that in my life and I hope to continue writing more often in the days to come.

Jeopardy Quiz or How I’ll Never Be A Contestant

I always get nervous about the Jeopardy quiz. For the past four years, I have taken the Jeopardy online test to qualify for a possible random selection for an interview and a practice game to possibly appear on my favorite game show. I take it because I love games and want to test my knowledge on so many fields. I have a few wholes in my knowledge – geography, liquor, and classical music. Last year, I read Othello and part of Wuthering Heights to prepare for Jeopardy. No questions on either of those this Jeopardy quiz. There was one on King Lear. I think I got it right. But I would love to appear on the show. I think it would be amazing to meet other people who love trivia and have little nerdy qualities. I would love to compete against them in fun categories about minerals and TV theme songs. Not just look at the website after the Jeopardy Quiz and make small talk with a few other contestant hopefuls.

Jeopardy QuizI used to show up late for cross country practice to see Final Jeopardy. I have taped it every day since law school started. I watched every episode of Ken Jennings‘ long run on the show. I had a Jeopardy! handheld game. I had the computer game. I had the Super Nintendo game. I just love trivia. I love the game and I feel lucky to just take the Jeopardy quiz each year.

Of course, I would love to appear on the show one day or at least meet Alex Trebek and tell him how much I enjoy the show. But if that never happens, I’ll survive. Most people don’t get to appear on the show. And the quiz really makes me realize where I am in my knowledge and what I’m missing.  I know my television and musicals. But hard knowledge – not so strong. I generally guess my way through with basic knowledge. But I always forget about Mt. Etna and have no idea where any desert besides the Sahara is. I think I got 33/50. I probably should have paid more attention to The Hunger Games…

Here is a YouTube video of the Jeopardy quiz for an idea of what you missed out on:

Marijuana Legalization

I remember in high school that I was once on a run with some teammates and they were talking about marijuana. Because they knew I liked politics, they asked me if I was for legalization. I was never a popular kid and I did want people to like me. I honestly had no thoughts on the matter because I didn’t even really know what it was besides what I learned from after school specials. I had never encountered it. I had never encountered any drug outside of the time this girl would hide her cigarettes in my locker in middle school because she knew that no one would search my locker. I went through all of high school without seeing anyone with a red Solo cup or tasting a beer. I definitely never saw pot.

Marijuana Rally 2007-09-15 34So, I said, yes. I did support legalization. I believed them when they told me it was no worse than alcohol. I believed them that it was a way to relax. And if nothing else, I didn’t need to seem even more square than I already was. It didn’t mean I was going to try it. But I wanted to show that my liberal credentials were solid.

Unfortunately, I still feel I need to do that on this topic.

After Colorado and Washington legalized small amounts of pot, it has become a hot topic. And strangely enough, the only real connection to marijuana use happened in 2013. A few days ago, I wrote to Andrew Sullivan of The Dish the whole story.

I don’t know if it is worse than alcohol. And as someone who doesn’t drink, I have no frame of reference. I have never been drunk. I have never wanted to be drunk. I had only one drug in my past – antidepressants. And I never want to have that loss of control feeling again. I hated it because I lost myself. And as hard as I am on myself, I like myself. Maybe I am not supposed to be relaxed. I might be tense and a bit of a stick in the mud. I may not be very social and maybe a drink would calm my nerves but I have made the decision to not do that to myself. It isn’t good for my social life, but I am content with being the guy who reads and writes.

I understand why people want to use drugs. I understand the want to relax and basically shut your mind down. I do the same thing with reality television and superhero comics. But there is one thing that reality television and superhero comics don’t do: create addiction. Yes, alcohol is legal and creates addiction. And maybe pot should be legalized with the same thing. But to just write it off as a given and a good thing ignores one big problem. And I have not seen anyone pointing this out. I don’t know if it is a gateway drug and honestly, I don’t care. My biggest concern about marijuana legalization is that addiction is forgotten. Marijuana is addictive.

People addicted to things aren’t bad people. People are addicted to lots of things – good and bad. But addiction creates a dependency on something that seems to extend past boundaries. And that was how it affected me in 2013. I don’t know how to talk about this without going into the details and I don’t want to get into the details, but it hurt more than I can really say. I saw someone on marijuana say and do things that I couldn’t comprehend. It is why I am torn about legalization.

I understand the tax arguments. I presume the “no worse than alcohol” argument. I presume the crime statistics are true and that there are lots of individuals arrested for marijuana possession. But there are going to be people hurt by legalization, just as there are people hurt by alcohol legalization. And that will be something I will never understand. I don’t think I’m meant to.Marijuana Tax Stamps

I don’t see this as some big civil liberty win. I see this in the same category as abortion. It is something I wish never happened. I wish no one got high. There are so many beautiful things in the world to see and explore. I will never understand why it is more fun to sit in a room and get high, just like I don’t get why it is fun to get together with friends, get drunk, and then forget what happened the night before. I honestly believe I only have so many hours on this Earth and I want to be aware of as many as I can. I need my sleep but otherwise, I want to be alert and ready to go.

Lots of productive people smoke marijuana. Lots of smart people drink. Lots of amazing people do both. I will never be one of them. Just like abortion, I understand why people want it to be legal. But just like abortion, I wish that we lived in a world where it didn’t have to be. So, if it is to be legalized, I won’t celebrate it. I don’t think it will be the end of society or the beginning of some sort of US crash as the Chinese become more productive than us. But I will continue to wonder why people need something to escape.

2014 Goals

Goal LineAs 2013 was derailed early, I didn’t get much of what I wanted accomplished done. Well, not this year. I’m going to make a few changes and actually get things on track. So far, 2014 has started

  1. Write 4 short stories (at least).
  2. Return to my novel, The Release.
  3. Write on this blog at least once a week and write at least once a week on my comics blog,
  4. Continue going to the gym and running. I want to run a 10K this summer and be under 8 min per mile pace. It isn’t an insane goal, but I want to shoot for doable.
  5. Just enjoy life. Sounds easy. It usually isn”t.
  6. Redesign the blog. Make it more of a personal page with blog outlets. I just need to think of a good homepage!


Book 5 of 52: Denial by Jonathan Rauch – I’m…Part Seven

 Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five Part Six

The Future

I am not writing this for pity or sympathy or for anything besides as a reaction to a book. I cannot express how important this short book was to me. It opened my eyes to the fact that I did not grow up wrong or as a monster like I have always assumed. My mindset was not unique. It is easy to say that I was and still am confused, but when you’re growing up different from everyone else and you can just feel the difference, you have no one to talk to. You just assume that you will get to the place where everyone else resides. I didn’t know how it felt to love someone or to have a crush on someone. I had crushes on lots of people over the years but they didn’t make any sense to me. I would hear guys talk about the girls that they liked and it wasn’t how I thought, so I assumed that I was just different. I have no idea if that is truth or what I could have done differently. And in truth, it doesn’t matter. All that I can do now is live the best life I can live.

I had to accept this fact: “What I was in the dark about was something which in fact much or most of the world still misunderstands: homosexuality is not about what you may or may not do for sex, it is about who you fall in love with.” My life does not have to be the sexualized version of homosexuality that Hollywood and the media like to portray. I have never been to a gay bar, I have never gone dancing, I have never gone to a parade, I have never walked around even with my shirt off. Ask my old teammates – I never ran without at least a t-shirt on. There is nothing wrong with any of those traits, but at my core, they aren’t me. But I thought, just like I thought that a heterosexual has to talk about girls the way I heard guys talk about them on runs or while riding a bus. I assumed if I was a homosexual, I needed to like those things that I am told to like and that those qualities define who I am. I hate parades. I hate crowds. I hate bars. I hate dance music. But I want to fall in love. And I want to be loved.

Christmas - 2012

It is still incredibly difficult. I still cannot have all of those things I imagined I would have. Getting married is not a reality yet. I am sure it will be, but as of this writing, it is not. Finding someone to marry will still be difficult, just like it is for everyone else. Having a family – that may be where it gets harder than normal. It is expensive, time consuming, spirit crushing, but, in the end, rewarding. I suppose it is why I get upset when I hear parents complaining about their children or how hard raising kids are. I suppose it is why I get upset when I see people treating their children like crap. I suppose it is why I want to be a father. I listen to people talk about their children or grandchildren and I want to be kept up at night by a child. I want to bring a grandchild over to my parents’ house for them to enjoy. I want to see the joy in their eyes when they see something new and the hate in their eyes when I won’t buy it for them.

I end many nights thinking that if I wasn’t built this way, I would have those things. I think about how much simpler life would have been and would continue to be if I could just be like the majority of people. It isn’t a self-hatred or because I believe I can change who I am. I don’t hate who I am – I am sometimes not fond of myself or my behavior – but at the same time, I think it is easy to forget how difficult being different is. However, this sense of difference is not like being a comic book nerd or being a little smarter than the average kid. At the end of the day, love is central to life. Almost every song that is written is about love. Almost every book that is written is about love. Almost every day, you think about who you love and how you want to be loved. And on those nights when I wish I wasn’t built this way, I do what I did back in junior high when I couldn’t take the bullying anymore. I grab my stuffed dog puppet, Wrinkles, and question why I was dealt this hand and what I can do differently.

Yet each day, I wake up in the morning believing that life will come together. I have always been a goal-orientated person who does my best to achieve what I want to accomplished. I don’t need a 100% success rate, but I do have to feel like each day I’m moving a step forward towards my end goal. And I am going to be happy that day when it all comes together. I know it will be a hard road and there always will be bumps – there have been bumps already. But as Rauch ended the book: “I am the man who is grateful to fall down because he once believed he would never walk.”

Buy this book: Denial by Jonathan Rauch


Book 5 of 52: Denial by Jonathan Rauch – I’m…Part Six

Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five

When It Began To Bother Me

In your mid-twenties, your friends and family start getting married. Your life is supposed to get started. Just like how I assumed that one day I would be as built as a professional wrestler without doing anything, I assumed that in my twenties, I would meet the girl of my dreams and we would get married like my parents and their parents and their parents before.

Graduation - 2007I was almost done with law school and ready to set out on a career path. All of the hard work that I put towards my goals instead of worrying about who I was going to date was going to come to a culmination. At the ripe age of 24 years old, I had graduated from law school.

Most of my family were there and I couldn’t have been happier. But it was really difficult. Most of my friends had wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, or at least a significant other who watched them cross the stage. Nothing against my family – my parents, my siblings, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins – but it was hard to not have someone like that at that event. Or any event.

I began to question myself. I began to wonder exactly who I was. The hardest part was that I began to understand who I was and I never had a feeling that my parents were going to hate me or that anyone in my family would treat me different. But I just kept thinking that same thing: that isn’t me. I’m not that person. And if nothing else, I feared being differing in another regard.

My therapist and I began talking about it. She would ask questions about work and my job hunt. But the stresses there lessened, especially after I found work. She began to ask about dating. She asked why I didn’t think I could do that. And I explained that it just didn’t seem for me. I explained that I wanted to just be happy on my own – that I never imagined someone else being in my life. I would discuss how content I was. I almost wrote off happiness seconds after saying I would be happy by saying that I would be content in my life by myself. But in reality, I knew I wouldn’t. I built up a circular logic that any first year philosophy student could poke a dozen holes into.

I wanted all those things that all my friends and family were having. I wanted to walk down the aisle. I wanted children. I wanted to have a good job. I wanted to be just like everyone else – for once. And I would go home pleading that I would be normal – that I would just fit in with everyone else.

Katie's WeddingIt took one event for me to really sit down with myself and be honest. It was New Year’s Eve. My parents were with my grandmother but I didn’t want to go. And my sister and her boyfriend were in town. I sat at home watching Veronica Mars on DVD and they came home to announce their engagement. My younger sister was now on the same road that my friends were on. I was happy for her, but I was also jealous. I felt like I was doing something wrong and that I was cursed. “By now I had grown used to knowing that I was the strangest creature in the world, one whose wiring was seemingly random.” But it was time for me to determine if I was as strange as I assumed that I was.

I began talking to my therapist and she told me that I had to figure that out. She told me that it wasn’t going to be easy and that I would have to put myself out there to figure out exactly who I was and who I wanted to love. It took almost two years of prodding and discussion. For anyone who knows me, this is a short amount of time for me to commit to do anything. I have a difficult time putting myself out there , but I did. In 2009, I went on my first date.

About a month later, I told the first person. My brother and I were watching TV and we began the news on an issue I don’t remember, but it involved homosexuality. He said something along the lines of: I guess I don’t know for sure what I think about being around a gay person cause I really don’t know any. He wasn’t saying it to be biased because he isn’t. He was saying it because in our little suburban world, it was foreign. Not something to hate or dislike, but just foreign. In response, I said, you kinda do. He said, “I do?” And I said, yes, me. I told him that I was trying to figure things out and we didn’t talk much about it otherwise. A little while later, I told my sister when she was home for spring break, she was a bit more animated and cried because she assumed I was struggling with this for a long time and that it had hurt me.

It did hurt me, but not in a sense that deserves tears. Rauch put it perfectly: “I never did recover from the loss of my adolescence: from the vacuum where my awakening to love and sexuality and self ought to have been.” But I knew I would survive. I then told my parents and we were off to the races.

Concluded in Part Seven

Book 5 of 52: Denial by Jonathan Rauch – I’m…Part Five

Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four


Surprisingly, all of this had an affect on my mental well-being. I was always a bit of a depressive. I was not a strong person who had a big social net to fall back on.  I had me. But I cracked. First, in college. Then, before law school started.

One morning, I believe it was the fall, which was the hardest time of year for me because cross country season ended. I woke up early on a Sunday morning like I usually did. I would go for a walk outside and just enjoy the stillness as my roommate slept. When I opened the door, on our whiteboard, someone wrote FAGGOT and there was a rope that looked like a noose tied around my door handle. I flipped out and got very scared. I erased the board and pulled the rope off the door as fast as I could. At this point, I was wondering if that was what I was anyways since I didn’t seem to have any feelings for a member of the opposite sex during a time where everyone was trying to get into someone’s pants. I wondered who knew this about me or if it was true or what it was. But I went for my walk. When I returned, I sat at my computer and I didn’t move.

I remember being like a statue – with hands on the keyboard, readied to write whatever paper I was going to write that afternoon. But I could not move. My roommate eventually awoke and tried to get me to respond. Much of this is very foggy to me and is pieced together from what other people told me. He called our RA down, who was a mutual friend, because he didn’t know what to do. They tried to get me to respond and I wouldn’t. Eventually, they called my brother, who was a freshman at the time, and got me to the hospital. I had a panic attack. And they called my parents who took me home to take me to a doctor and try to get straightened out in the head. I was put on a lot of pills but none of them helped. I later found out that the rope on the door was not a noose. As a prank, someone tied our door handle to the door across the hall, which would make exiting impossible without cutting the rope. It was just a coincidence that it looks like a noose once someone else cut it. I’m also assuming the word on the white board was not directed at me. It was just the actions of a drunk idiot.

I had a lot of bad days between then and the end of college. I had another panic attack where I felt crippled in my basement a month before I started law school. Eventually, my dad carried me up the stairs after yelling and screaming to get me to move. FYI: if you have a family member who is having a panic attack, don’t yell at the person panicking because it doesn’t help.  But again I went to the doctor and was given the name of a therapist. This guy ruined my first semester of law school by putting me on a lot of anti-depressants and social anxiety pills. When it didn’t seem like they were working, he told me to stop taking them, but didn’t wean me off of them correctly. Instead of studying for finals, I watched The OC on DVD. I couldn’t focus as my head was a mess.

Hulk Gets Help

But that December, I met my current therapist, who helped me get as prepared as I could for finals and how to deal with the stresses. She has been with me for almost 8.5 years. We dealt mainly with social anxiety and my fears. And then we got to relationships. Rauch wrote, “I saw that no one noticed me, no one desired me, that my position in life was always to be admiring and never admired.” I don’t remember getting hit on. I knew there were a few girls who liked me, but overall, I have never felt desired. But I admired so many people. Strangely, it was not in a sexual nature, which is why I was so confused by it. I admired the ability to love. I wanted to have someone to talk to on an intimate level, someone to hold their hand, tell them that things will be okay, share all the good and bad moments with. I admired everyone around me who had that.

“I could not love, I could not kiss, I had no passion, only resentment and a kind of childish longing and a fetishistic fascination, and I knew that other people did not suffer those disabilities.” I kissed two girls before I turned 27 years old. Once when I was 18 and once when I was 21. For the years that followed, again, while many are trying to kiss as many people as possible, I was untouched. It didn’t bother me one bit though.

Continued in Part Six