Tag Archives: #Chicago

A Prostitutes Guide To Becoming A Role Model

I mean, really, I was an escort which we all know is a hell of a lot classier then a prostitute, right? Ha.  At the end of the day if you gotta take the dick outta your mouth before you go home from work, you is a ho.  It wasn’t my proudest moment. In fact it helped stick me into a deep depression that fed my drug addiction and insecurities. Oddly enough at the same time it fulfilled this need I can’t seem to find an ends to, called adventure.  It wasn’t all bad.  You get to be who ever you wanted to be for that moment in time.  It was mysterious, and it was bad.  It turned that scared boy into a man in a very short period of time and gave me plenty of other opportunities that became positive experiences in life.

I never thought getting into sex work was going to effect me in the future.  Maybe that’s the beauty of being in your 20’s.  You’re too stupid and clueless to realize how your actions will shape your future, so you do them, have fun, and pay for them later.  It’s pretty much the young adult mantra.  It didn’t stop with escorting.  Movies were made and pictures were taken.  This thing called the internet was starting to catch on.  I had no clue it held the ability for these videos and pictures to last FOREVER.  So naturally, I thought it would be a good idea to become a teacher.

First I became a hair stylist.  My fast lifestyle fit right in with the crazy, neurotic lifestyle and culture of doing hair.  The industry did so much for me.  I was in sex work for 10 years, and there was no place I could think of other then a gay bathhouse that my resume would stand a chance.  Cosmetology gave me a second chance.

I wanted to be a teacher for the people that wanted their second chance.  I do it so I can make a difference. I tell them that I was once beat down and broken and pulled through to tell the story.  If I can do it, then anyone can, and I am sure to remind them of this whenever they need motivation.  Anyone can facilitate the information.  It takes something extra to care about the people that you are giving the  information to.  Sure getting “Happy Fathers Day” texts makes me feel like an old, wrinkled fool, but it lets me know that I am doing exactly what I set out to do.  When the administration is getting down on me and I start to get discouraged, I quickly remind myself that I am here for the students.  I’m protective of these guys, I get attached and I cry when they graduate.

It’s  kinda awesome getting to be this guy.  Someone that gets respect and someone that people look up to…as long as they don’t find me butt ass naked on an internet search at least.

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Happy Birthday Fool

It’s my mother fuckin’ birthday!  It’s my damn birthday.  Who really is excited to turn 37.  What the hell kinda joke is 37? Has anyone even anticipated their 37th birthday?  Shit.  Has anyone ever anticipated a birthday after 21?  That was so long ago I can’t even answer that question.

My thirties have been odd.  I finally had a birthday without Tony, and then I decided to take my drug use to a whole new level and call in an addiction. I created an empire around a drug called meth, sitting on top of the world, or so I thought, and then unexpectedly got knocked down so low, I couldn’t get up without help from rehab, outpatient, family and friends.  I lost not one, but three “best friends” in a year while repairing relationships with people I thought I lost a long time ago.  I wanted to die, I thought I would die, I KNEW I would die, and then I saved myself.  I got stuck some place in between young and old, daddy status and being a daddy chaser.  I recovered, but never really felt whole until a Vegas vacation changed my view of life.  Right when I got comfortable being alone, I met the man that I plan on spending the rest of my life with.  That’s how the story goes.  Today I don’t feel like I have all the answers.  I’m smart enough to know that I won’t have those answers tomorrow either.  I went back to school, and started a new career, going from being my own boss to having 50 bosses and living in constant fear that I may loose my job because my maturity level won’t ever match my age.  Basically, I’m growing up.

My wish for myself if that I continue to see the progress made and not to backtrack ruminating about my life that has passed.  Sometimes the lines between being an addict that’s on top of the world, even if its superficial, and being this new, seemingly boring version of myself get dangerously close.  Thank god someone taught me how to play the tape through, always saving the day when I think I want to go back to the thrill and excitement of the games I used to play, and the playgrounds I played them on.

I may not have what other people my age have, but I’m only aware of the world around me because I stopped doing drugs.  I have a hell of a lot more then I had two years ago and that is a FACT.  Everything else is just a thought or opinion that needs to be shut down on the bad days that I have them.

I need to promise myself this:  I promise to continue to grow and not let minor set backs break me.  I promise to not be afraid to say what I feel, and to always do my best with my relationships I have and the people around me. I promise to not get upset about not being perfect.  I promise to continue to be weird and eccentric for these are the qualities that make me who I am.  If I can’t be myself at 37 I never will be.  A fool at 40 is a fool forever, and my momma didn’t raise no fool.

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Learning Love

So I’m in this relationship thing, right??  Yesterday was the big 3 month mark of being “official”.  It might sound crazy to you, because it IS crazy, but we have been living together for almost that same amount of time.  Even before he officially moved in with me, we were together every day and every night.  I didn’t want it any other way.  I still don’t want it any other way.  He’s my life.  I have never seen such a real future with anyone like I do when I look into his eyes.

I’m emotional.  I’m an over thinker.  Both of these can break me, unless I use the tools that I have to stop myself from ruining something beautiful.  I just now realized something that can put a lot of things in perspective.  This is my first sober relationship.  On top of being my first sober relationship, this is also my first healthy relationship.  This is my first REAL relationship.  I was petrified of the first one, and was a drug addict for the second one.  How could I look at these relationships as comparable to the one that I’m in?

Three months to me is a big deal, because when  I make it to three months, I make it to a year.  The past two weeks were a little rough on me to say the least.  I was questioning everything.  The dynamic of the relationship has started to change and my guy isn’t really a communicator. It seemed to me at the time that the romance was dying and it crushed me because that man was the most romantic person I have ever been with.  He had all the right things to say and always at the right time.  After a few failed attempts of communicating my way, I didn’t know what to do.  I just wanted my boyfriend back.

While the physical and romantic part of the relationship was subsiding, something new was happening.  He was becoming my best friend and I was too caught up in my emotions to even realize it.  When it comes to him, I know I will never give up, so I waited things out.  I never have doubted his love for me.  It was worth it.  It was worth feeling that feeling again when he grabbed my hand to hold it while sitting on the couch.  It was worth it to be with him on his important 1 year sober anniversary.  It was worth it to be able to feel him kiss my neck on the escalator while shopping at Kohls. I love him.

I’m learning not to over think things.  I’m trying to learn the best way to communicate with him without letting my emotions over take me.  I want him to learn how to communicate with me as well.   I’m learning how to love the right way, for love is a lot more then the crazy feelings you go through at the beginning of a relationship.  It’s more then I can even write or comprehend.  I want us to be together forever, but for now I will take it one day at a time.

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Empathy. Blessing or a Curse?

Being an empathetic person has plagued me long before I even knew how to define the word.  As a child, it was easy for me to cry thinking about the misfortune of the world around me.  People used to call me an “old soul” while referring to the sad look I carried in my eyes and the troubled expressions I made growing up.  As long as I can remember, all I’ve ever wanted to do was make the world a better place.  I could never understand war, hunger, or hate.  I could not comprehend human suffering or why we were doing nothing to stop it.  As I grew up however, and learned the politics of the world, it made sense and began to trouble me in a whole new way.

My mother had an awful childhood that I knew about far to early.  I feel like I have always known about the abuse she suffered her whole life.  Her childhood is a nightmarish story of sexual abuse followed by the physical and emotional abuse she endured while being married to my father.  When I look into my mothers eyes I can see that pain, beyond the smile and the laughter and it physically hurts.  I can literally feel that pain deep down in the gut of my soul.  These feelings of empathy have a lot to do with the mama’s boy I am today.  My heart breaks for her.

My father always told me that I was going no where in life because I have always hung out with the underdogs.  To a degree this was very true.  I have always identified with the different, obscure and weird people of the world, I am one.  This is what lead me to the road of addiction, and the ability to not feel my feelings kept me there.

In a relationship, I think I’m pretty selfless.  Who knows what he would say about me, but when it comes to matters of the heart, I feel like I loose all control.  I die inside when I make a mistake because I can feel what I have done to that individual. It hurts and I get upset not only because they are upset at me, but also because I don’t want the person I love to feel the feelings that I know that they are feeling.  Its very hard for me to lash out or say something mean because I will instantly regret it as I watch those words tear into the person I love.  When it comes to an argument, I appear to be a pussy, not contributing to the verbal beatings that are taking place.  The phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is the most ass backwards thing I have ever heard in my life.  Bones repair themselves while words cut deep into your soul and scar your brain forever.

I’m a teacher because I want to change someones life.  I want to make a difference.  I want my empathy to be a good thing while I try to understand and relate to my students when life has them down and they want to quit.  Its beginning to make some sense why I am the way that I am.  We all have strengths and weaknesses, mine just happens to be the same thing.

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Letters to Joey….4

Oh Joey,

Happy New Year.  You know what you did?  You set me up to have one hell of a 2016.  I even got a post about it calling it 2016. The Best year ever.  Thank you.  I know you did what you did so you could save yourself, but boy did you ever save me.  I can never loose the memory of what it felt like to loose you.  To loose EVERYTHING.  In rehab they taught us to “play the tape through”, meaning when you start to romanticize about how it felt to get high, be high, you play that tape through in your head all the way to the end.  My tape always ends with you.  I never want to feel like I felt when you closed the door on me that hot July day.

It’s CRAZY how far removed I feel from that crack head of a mess that lived at 413 Main St. It nuts how much someone can actually grow the fuck up when they sober up and stop doing drugs.  July 6 will mark 2 years since I gave up on the old me and started to become the man that everyone knows today.  I wish I could go back in time to prevent July 1, 2015 from ever happening, but it happened for the best.

I hear you got a boyfriend.  Dann likes to throw little “Joey” comments out there once in a while.  You know what an insensitive dick he can be sometimes.  I’m happy for you.  I hope its everything that I wanted you to find.  I knew you could find more then I ever was back then.  It still sucks and hurts a little that you won’t talk to me.  I wish you could see me today.  I bet I’m more then you could have imagined I could become, however a part of me believes that you always saw the potential that I had.  I also am dating someone.  It’s more then that.  I love him.  He has the same birthday as you.  He’s moving in and everything which is a huge step for me!  We adopted a cat named Mars and it was a little bittersweet because it of course reminded me of Chola and Sherwin and how quickly I was able to loose my “family” before, but I’m a different guy now.  I really feel like time works itself out and Anthony came into my life at the perfect time.

We both have back rounds in addiction.  He’s almost a year clean.  It scares me.  I don’t know how you put up with me.  Not only were you patient, but you believed that I could stop using Meth.  I mean, fuck, you didn’t even know what it was until you met me.  I am not sure at all how I would handle if Anthony went back out again.  That’s one of the scariest parts of this relationship.  I do, however, believe strongly in him.  I’m pretty intuitive and my gut tells me that it’s gonna be me and him for a long time.  It’s hard though knowing that the kind of trouble I got in, he did also.  I was so damn manipulative though, the worst human EVER.  I tattooed it on my arm even!  I get all quiet when something about drugs comes up in conversation.  It’s like I obviously know we did them, but I just can’t talk about it.  Not with him.  I don’t want to know who he was then.  I don’t want to think of him as that guy because he isn’t.  I’m not an idiot and can figure out on my own what kinda bullshit went down.  In fact, it gets me angry.  Maybe jealous.  Anger is a secondary emotion so maybe that’s what I’m feeling.  Regardless, its hard for me in general to talk about drugs with other users.

On my front door I still have my little blue key that you gave me.  That’s probably one of the most sentimental things that I have today.   I got a new car, and now that my apartment is about to become OUR apartment when he moves in, I’m going to move it to my car.  You keep me clean.  You still keep me sober.  You made me better for him.  I miss you everyday.  I hope this is the year I get to see you again.

Love Always,  DD

 

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The Trouble With Love Is…

The Trouble With Love Is- Kelly Clarkson

Music is my best friend.  It always has, and always will be until the end of my days.  Any time of my life that I felt discouraged, felt like I didn’t belong, felt like I was all alone in the world with my thoughts or feelings, music was right there letting me know that my feelings were valid.  I don’t know if it’s my personality or the burden of being a Pisces, but I’ve always been an overly emotional and sensitive person.

One thing that I noticed worked very well for me over the past few years in suppressing some of the crippling emotions that take me over was staying single.  Even when I was dating, no one and I mean NO ONE had my 100 percent attention the way that Anthony does.  In fact, I know that part of the success of 2016 was that I didn’t allow myself to fall in love.  There was no one really worth falling in love with.  I had confidence and knew my self worth.  With that said, having finally met my match, I find myself feeling a rage of emotions that I haven’t had to feel in many years.  Love, desire, adoration, just to name a few.  Along with the good also comes the bad.  Insecurity, feeling vulnerable and what I consider to be the ugliest emotion: Jealousy.

Even though I let my thoughts run wild sometimes, music teaches me not only that I will be OK, but also that I am far from alone.  Think about it.  Not only does the artist who is writing or preforming the song have the same feelings as I do, but also enough people in the general population feel these feelings for it to even become a contender for a place on an album.  Sometimes these masterpieces even become number 1 singles, further proving one fact.  You are not alone.

In conclusion, I am not alone in love.  It’s natural to feel the good and the bad.  As long as I know that I love him and at the end of the day I know that he loves me, we will continue to grow and move forward in our relationship.  Love IS being vulnerable.  If I wasn’t vulnerable then I would be incapable of feeling love.  I love Anthony, and I’m going to give this all that I got.

 

The Trouble With Love Is

Love can be a many splendored thing
Can’t deny the joy it brings
A dozen roses, diamond rings
Dreams for sale and fairy tales
It’ll make you hear a symphony
And you just want the world to see
But like a drug that makes you blind
It’ll fool ya every time

The trouble with love is
It can tear you up inside
Make your heart believe a lie
It’s stronger than your pride
The trouble with love is
It doesn’t care how fast you fall
And you can’t refuse the call
See you’ve got no say at all

Now I was once a fool it’s true
I played the game by all the rules
But now my world’s a deeper blue
I’m sadder but I’m wiser too
I swore I’d never love again
I swore my heart would never mend
Said love wasn’t worth the pain
But then I hear it call my name

The trouble with love is
It can tear you up inside
Make your heart believe a lie
It’s stronger than your pride
The trouble with love is
It doesn’t care how fast you fall
And you can’t refuse the call
See you’ve got no say at all

Every time I turn around
I think I’ve got it all figured out
My heart keeps callin’
And I keep on fallin’
Over and over again
The sad story always ends the same
Me standin’ in the pourin’ rain
It seems no matter what I do
It tears my heart in two

The trouble with love is
It can tear you up inside
Make your heart believe a lie
It’s stronger than your pride
The trouble with love is
It doesn’t care how fast you fall
And you can’t refuse the call
See you’ve got no say at all

Songwriters: EVAN A. ROGERS, CARL ALLEN STURKEN, KELLY BRIANNNE CLARKSON
© Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind
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Countdown of tears

I remember back in 2010, before I decided to become a meth addict and after I left Tony, the day that I decided it was time to live on my own again.  It was such a surreal day, walking into my sun drenched studio on Pine Grove Ave.  From my window I could see the Chicago Cubs sign that glowed above the entrance to the bleachers section of Wrigley Field.  In fact, when there was a night game, the bright lights illuminated the hallway of my building, casting unusual shadows on the imperfections of the plaster walls as I approached my door after a long day of cutting hair.  Looking back, this is when I created a new identity that somewhat still defines me today.  It’s the beginning of an era when I stopped worrying about what people thought of me and started to love myself.  Up until this point I was still that scared little boy that hid in the shadows of insecurity an uncertainty.  Recovering from the wounds inflicted by life, becoming a target for someone like Tony to sweep down and catch as prey.

I really miss the guy I was then.  He died forever when I moved to Rogers Park and met what I can metaphorically refer to as “The Devil”.  This label can easily describe a few different things that lead to the fall of the strong man that I was starting to become.  The Devil could be Marc, Peter, Mike Northwestern, or the evil life changing drug itself: Crystal Meth.

It’s 2017, and I was able to escape death by a narrow margin.  I sometimes don’t know why I did survive the fate that I truly welcomed at one point in time but I did.  the things that I saw, the other things that I did and those experiences will haunt me forever.  My innocence was taken from me, something that I will never get back.  I’m happy and proud to be the man that I am, but a huge part of me will always wonder who I could have been if I never hit that pipe.  If I never stuck that needle in my arm, who would I be today?

My boyfriend today has a similar background.  He has felt the pain I have felt, and along with that pain comes the pleasure too.  It’s hard for me to think about that too long.  I don’t want to think about the man that I love being in any of the truly immoral situations I was ever in.  If I’ve had an infinite number of sexual partners then the truth is that he probably has also.  My thoughts get preoccupied on the idea that I will never be good enough, that I could never be better then that high.  Can two addicts recover together or will there always be this demon lurking in the dark part of our being that will want to come out and try to sabotage the love that we have for each other?  Is this real? Did I really find the man I am going to be with forever, because that’s what it feels like.  It feels amazing.  It feels scary.

I’m going to continue to move forward down the cracked brick road of recovery.   Maybe I did loose my innocence through the process of self discovery and had a taste of the dark side, but that has made me who I am today.  Who knows, maybe the desire I have always had, the desire to self destruct will never return now that I fed the thirsty part of my tarnished soul.  Now I can focus on being the best boyfriend, brother, teacher, uncle and son that I was meant to me, because I already know what its like to be the worst and I never want to meet that man again.

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2016. The Best year ever.

moreno-e-emis-killa.jpg

Obviously the first thing I did before I came on here to recap my year, was to take a look back at my previous blog entries from this past year.  On the very first post, https://ziosattic.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/when-things-cant-get-any-worse-thats-when-they-start-to-get-better/  I came across a statement that fully described how I felt going into 2016…

“Life is still in a transition.  I still live with my parents, and I’m still in school.  Sometimes I feel like it’s never going to get better, or when it does, I won’t know how be responsible as an adult.  I know my thoughts are opinions, not facts, but that doesn’t stop them from getting the best of me sometimes.  Especially days I’m on a no carb diet, but that’s a completely different story for another day.”

With that said, all I can say back is that 2016 was the best year ever.  Or at least that I’ve had in the past 10 years.  In April, I graduated from school.  Immediately following my graduation I was offered a position teaching for the school I was doing my training at.  I was given the opportunity to go to Florida the day after I graduated.  I got to see my old friend Nathan from Ft. Myers on that vacation as well.  In July I got my own apartment with my own money and credit, using my charming personality and desire to always move forward as a driving force to get exactly what I wanted.  A new apartment in Oak Park.  In August, I went to Vegas and saw Mariah Carey!  A dream that the crack head 4 years ago wrote off as an impossible venture.  This vacation was the first time in years I felt free.  I got to feel like myself.  As well as everything was going, I was still struggling with the fact that dating was not my thing and was trying to get comfortable with that fact that I was going to be alone forever.  Then just like that, I met the man of my dreams.  I was able to love again.  The kinda love that makes your heart cramp, skip beats and feel so full, you’d think you would explode.   It’s been years since I could say those words, but I suddenly started to hear myself say those three dangerous words.  I love you.  As if that wasn’t enough, I bought a new car.  My down payment, my credit, my loan.  One more very important thing, Tony and I adopted a cat, Mars.

As far as my writing is concerned, I started my “Letters to Joey” series.  It has proved to be, and still will be a very therapeutic part of the creative process, allowing me to let go of what used to be, and fulfilling some undying need that I have to reach out to the guy that changed my life forever.  If it wasn’t for Joey, this amazing 2016 would have never happened.  This reality of mine would have never exsited if it wasn’t for three words from him.  Leave me alone.

Here’s t0 2017.  I hope to write a lot more.  I am planning on loving someone with my whole heart and not push love away.  Maintaining my lifestyle is all I hope to do this year, and continue to grow with the man I love.  Not on my own.  I’m going to be less selfish and I’m going to learn how to say no.  My biggest challenge is going to this relationship.  It’s going to be long term.  We are going to fight, there are going to be bad days, and I hope I’ve learned enough about life to handle all that comes my way with a grain of salt, to believe in love, and not let the small stuff ruin my day.  Happy 2017 readers, here it goes….

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Letters to Joey….3

Hey Joey…

It’s your favorite time of the year, which of course is my least favorite time of the year.  Sooooo… I put up my Christmas tree this week and thought of you.  I remember you made a point to make sure I had a good Christmas the holiday we were together and you did.  I was nervous to put my tree up because the last time I had a tree up was our Christmas together and I knew there would be some keepsakes.  I came across the Chihuahua ornament.  Also was a photo card of you with your brothers.  There really are no words Joey.  I put the card on the tree.  You represent so much for me.   I  miss you so much.  I wanted to avoid the whole situation and leave the boxes all together in Dann’s attic, until Bonnie said to me “So you are telling me you are afraid of a box.”  When she put it that way, I had to face my anxiety to get over the situation.  Your memory keeps me going.  I hope that you saw the good in me and my potential because in the end, you are the one who brought it out in me.

 

Love Always, DD

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The “Boyfriend” Issue

Boys dating boys is where it all begins…

The last two “boyfriends” in my life fell to a similar fate.  Attraction was there first, then the dance.  That high school girl dance of “does he like me?”.  The jump in your stomach when you see a text come through with his name kind of dance.  The dance that happens while you are still actually thinking about what you should wear, especially when you usually prefer high tops at 36 years old.  All dances must come to an end.  After the dance, and the label of boyfriend comes into play, I immediately turn around and run away.  My love life can be easily summed up by listening to the smash Thomas Rhett hit, “Crash And Burn”.

The biggest excuse I use, is that I still miss Joey.  This is true, however it may not be the fact that I miss him that makes these “relationships” fail, but the simple fact that I do compare everyone to him.  Whatever it may be, I use this as an excuse, forever leaving Joey in my mind.  Perhaps that’s exactly where I should keep him, always recalling  how I played a hand in ruining his 2014, and how easily I can get someone attached to me and do the same to them.  It’s that damn Britney Spears sex appeal I have that I am always talking about.  Ooops I did it again…

For so long I didn’t feel right unless I was some ones boyfriend.  How embarrassing.  I’ll never forget how fucking scared I was with Tony.  The most insane part about that relationship is how I felt after it ended.  I honestly felt like a bird that realizes he has wings, but doesn’t know how to fly yet.  It was a whole new life, in a whole new world.  It was a phoenix process for sure.  Now, I hear the word boyfriend and I feel like someone just jumped up, grabbed that bird rising up from the ashes and cut it’s wings off.  Boom.  Just like that, grounded for LIFE.

You can blame it on Britney, or blame it on Joey, but always know the problem really lays with me.  If there is even a problem here at all.

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