The last few weeks have been tumultuous, and I’ve worked my hardest to fight all obstacles head on with tenacity and defiance. When I felt at my weakest mentally, I carried on reconstructing, rebuilding, and fighting for damage limitation, even though I knew the damage was already done. When my account was first closed down by PayPal, the life I’d grown accustomed to stopped in it’s tracks. I knew that, but I fought forward anyway, in the hope I could save it, even though I knew it was unlikely. Shortly afterwards I had to deal with the secondary blow of my actual website being closed down, and so then I knew it was a total destruction of my livelihood, and I would have to fully rebuild from the ground up, and that I’ve done. I built a new membership website in 7 days. I’m actually in awe at how I managed it. It wouldn’t have been possible without a guy called Marc who was sent from above to help me in some miraculous form of good karma. It took the weight off, but after the site went live again, there was silence. I’m left with a feeling of nothingness. I feel like I’ve been robbed. My house has been burgled, and it’s all my fault. I’m a slut, so I deserved to have my business taken away. I couldn’t fight PayPal for freezing all my accounts, & blocking all incoming payments, because I broke their rules for being a slut. Even though sluts have hefty future tax bills too. When Weebly told me they were closing down my website for being a slut, I had to nod & agree, no arguing, just move my stuff elsewhere, to a slut friendly environment. Through all of this, I’ve lost thousands, weeks of lost energy, but ultimately, a huge part of my self respect, confidence, and dignity has been damaged. I’ve been punished for being a slut, and now I’m left to clear up my own mess. The evil I face online all the time conquered the good, and I did lose everything for being a slut. Their dreams came true, and although I stood brave and rebuilt in the face of censorship, behind closed doors a part of me has broken because of this. I had never thought that what I was doing was obscene or disgusting enough to legally have all my work & living removed. The dawning of these thoughts has created a hazardous environment inside my head. I don’t have a choice but to carry on. I’ve built a living for myself, which was successful and thriving. I don’t have any other option but to carry on. But it hurts. Every day I look at the ruins of what PayPal & Weebly did to me, and I feel dirty. I had no protection. I had ‘he broke the rules, he deserved it’. Through it all, I’m a slut who deserved to be closed down. I’m a slut who deserved to be silenced.
a mental house fire
I opened my emails to do the hourly ritual amongst friends of discreetly checking your updates incase anything important lies amongst the nonsense that might need your attention. I scroll through and come across an email from PayPal – ‘Your Account Has Been Limited’. My heart sunk and I started shaking. Everything around me blurred as I read through the email that laid out the information that my source of income had completely stopped, and I was now in Germany, looking for a place to live, alone, with no means to fund myself. I started grabbing my things. ‘I’m sorry, I’ve got to go’ I said to my friends. ‘Something really bad has happened.’ They looked worried but also couldn’t tell if I was joking. ‘Really bad?’ One of them said. ‘Yeah, really bad, I’ve gotta go.’ I had hired a rental bike that day, so I grabbed my bag and mounted the bike, while trying to work out where the hell I was so I could ride back there and take this damn bike back. While manically peddling through the streets of Berlin, eyes half on my phone, half on the road, I managed to find the bike shop. I threw him 5 euros and started running home. I messaged my mum, and she called me straight away to try and calm me down. I couldn’t breathe. I was running so fast and my mouth was dry. My allergies were really bad and I could feel myself wheezing. I don’t know why I was running, I figured the quicker I got home the quicker I could sort things out. This wasn’t really the case though, because these things take time and patience, the latter not being one of my strong points. ‘First things first, you just need to find a new payment processor.’ My mum said. She was right. I got home and started googling, everything was blurry and I couldn’t see properly. I was crying so much and in such a state of shock it was hard to concentrate. My entire business I’d spent 2 years building had been taken away from me, and I now needed to start from scratch. My stomach dropped and I cried. I cried for hours while trying to sort a processor. I managed to find one, and I had to frantically sort through paperwork, ID’s, rates etc. I had to compile a list of hundreds of emails of people to let them know what was happening, and after I’d done everything I felt I needed to there was just silence. Nothing. A deadness. Everything I’d worked for over 2 years had gone. I’d lost my means to make a living because I broke a ‘certain sexual content’ rule. I broke a rule about being human and at one with my sexuality and body. I chose to use my own body to express myself, and PayPal took away that consent. I now had no income. Brand new in Germany, few friends, no place to live in a few weeks, and I now had no income. Luckily I’d been sensible and had put away savings for this sort of emergency, but it didn’t hurt any less. I felt degraded and robbed. I felt punished and abused. I hadn’t harmed anyone. I had brought only happiness to people, and for that I was punished.
As I write this 4 days later, I’ve attempted to process my feelings. I’ve found a payment processor that will work for me, and who is on my side, but things like site integration, website coding, and credit card approval takes time. It’s also not cheap, so I’ve had to slightly increase the pricing of my website (while also introducing new pricing options which is exciting & more accessible for some). So for now I’m trying to accept the things I cannot change. I can’t change the fact that I lost my entire business with one click from PayPal, but I can move forward with optimism and hope. I will continue focusing on my work because that’s what I do best, and that’s what no one can take away from me. I will now have to find patience, and trust that things will resolve, and that I will rebuild. I’m scared, really scared, but there’s nothing I can do but have faith. I believe deep down that I can get everything rebuilt again. I just need to breathe, and take each day as it comes.
the 8 instructions
I’d just moved into my new accommodation after a last minute extended trip here in Berlin. It was the first time I’d been alone in a while so I sat down and opened Grindr. We all know those kind of nights. I got chatting to a few guys but overall nothing really took my fancy and I was starting to think the evening was going to be a waste. Until this one guy started messaging me. No name, no bio, just cute dark haired boy with dark eyes, pretty, boy next door type. We started chatting and he started throwing out some ideas of what he was looking for. I’m pretty open minded and was excited to hear something different for once in the sea of monotony that is the grindr conversation arena. Firstly he said he was into public fun, that turned me on but also scared me being in a foreign country and not knowing my boundaries etc. He then moved on to role play. I’ve always flirted with the idea of role play but it always makes me a bit nervous, like preparing for an audition or stage performance. He mentioned a script, which I wasn’t keen on. He was a top, and besides being pretty versatile, I was feeling kinda submissive that evening so I went along with what he wanted. He then came up with a semi-stripper role play fantasy, he was master, and he had instructions. No speech was allowed, only hand gestures, and he was completely in control. The exhibitionist in me was rock solid, and so we started developing a plan. He wanted to be the only one to gain pleasure out of the encounter, and i was simply his play thing (obviously this wouldn’t be the case because the whole thing turned me on like gas to a flame), he would cum when he wanted to, and it would be on me. He would then instruct me to leave, covered in his cum, collect my clothes and go. The instructions which would be gesticulated by hand, I had to learn by heart. They were as follows;
1. Take off one piece of clothing.
2. Stretch my body, dance/yoga stretches etc.
3. Touch & pleasure myself.
4. Dance to the music.
5. Close my eyes for 20 seconds.
6. Smell wherever he points to on his body.
7. Taste wherever he points to on his body.
8. Lay down & get prepared for cumshot.
Hand flat: Slow down.
Fist: Show ass.
Thumbs up: Get hard.
Thumbs down: Get soft.
Hands together: Time to leave
I got an uber to his at around midnight. He gave me instructions to his apartment, told me the door would be open and music would be playing ready for the show. I was nervous I would forget the instructions, I hadn’t had long to learn them and they were really fresh in my mind. I kept muddling a few of them in my head. I got to his floor, I was a little out of breath, through nerves and the amount of stairs I had to climb. His door was open and so I went inside. I took my coat & shoes off, and stepped inside his lounge. He was fully dressed sat in a chair touching himself through his shorts. I stood in front of him. He didn’t move for a little bit then he gestured number 4. I felt awkward but that was all part of the act. I danced for him a bit. He gestured number 2. I’d forgotten which one it was so i stood there for a bit trying to recall. I remembered. I started stretching. I bent over and stretched my arms above my head. Each gesture seemed to last forever. He was taking his time taking it all in. He gestured number 1 and I took my hoody off. I did it slowly incase he’d ask me to slow down. After that he gestured for me to dance & stretch again. He gestured number 1 and I took my top off. I danced again. He pulled his dick out and gestured number 5 so I had to close my eyes. It was frustrating but it made me so horny. I opened my eyes. Number 7. He pointed to his armpit. I walked forward and as he leaned toward me, I licked his armpit. Up and down. It was musky, manly. The smell turned me on. He told me to stretch again. Number 1. I took my bottoms off. Number 3. Finally I could play with myself a bit. I was so turned on. I rubbed my dick through my underwear whilst looking him doing the same. The tension was crazy. Fist. I turned around and showed him my ass. Number 2. I stretched over forward and so my ass was spread into his face. I stood back up around and he put thumbs down. I was hard in my underwear and he didn’t want me to be. I stood and looked away from him, concentrating wholeheartedly on trying to go soft. It was so difficult, but it went down a little bit. Number 1. I took off my socks. Number 1. I took off my underwear. I was now completely naked. Number 2. I stretched in front of him, head over my legs. He was jerking off now. He’d taken his dick out of his shorts and was fully jerking. I was rock hard. Number 3. I started jerking off in front of him. He was staring at my dick while sliding his own hand over his. Thumbs down, and so I faced the back and tried to concentrate on going soft again. This time it was more tricky, but I focused and turned back around when my dick had gone down a bit. Number 7. He stood up pulled down his shorts and spread his ass, he pointed to his hole. I leaned forward, on my hands and knees and started to rim him. It was even muskier than the armpits, I felt really like his slave at this point. I slid my tongue in and out of his ass as he groaned. I secretly played with myself while he didn’t notice. He turned around and sat back down. Fist. I turned around on all fours and showed him my ass. He was jerking off much harder now. His dick was dark with a really pink head. Big. Number 2. I bent over and stretched in front of him. He was jerking off frantically and pulling faces like he was edging himself. Number 6. He pointed to his dick. I leant forward and smelled his dick. It turned me on. It was a tease to be so close and not put it in my mouth, and he made me linger there for a good while. It didn’t smell too much, more like saliva because he’d spat on it a little. Number 7. I slid his dick in my mouth, it felt soft and smooth. It slid down my throat so easily, and i could tell he was getting close. I sucked his dick and played with the head in my mouth, my tongue doing circles around it while he moaned. He pulled away after a little bit. Fist. I showed him my ass. He jerked off, and moaned while looking at me on all fours from behind. Number 8. My heart raced. He stood up and I flipped on my back on the floor. He stood over me, over my chest and jerked off hard. I saw saliva coming out of his mouth and he spat it into my face & mouth. I was laid on my back with my mouth open, and he started cumming. He shot all over me, my face, chest, mouth, hair, a lot of cum. It seemed to never end. He kept squeezing his dick to drip every last drop on me. Flicking it onto me, off his fingers. I laid on the floor. He put his hands together. I got up to my feet and walked to find my clothes. I picked them up and walked into his hallway. I could feel the cum still dripping off my beard. I got dressed, smearing most of the cum off my face down my body when I put the tshirt over my head. I left his apartment and shut the door behind me. I slid my shoes on in the hall and walked down the residential stairwell without the lights off. I was too horny. After 2 flights of stairs, I looked for CCTV and couldn’t see anything. It was dark so I pulled my dick out and jerked really hard. It only took about 10 strokes and I came in the hallway up the wall. About 12 shots of cum, I literally exploded. I couldn’t wait til I got home and I figured the cum would dry and no one would notice. I left his building and called an uber. I could smell his ass on my beard and his cum in my moustache. My mind was blown. I’ve had a lot of sexual experiences but this had to be one of the hottest. I figured I could keep it in my head, or I could write it all down, if it’s anywhere nearly as hot to read as it was to participate, then it’s worth sharing. I’ll remember those instructions for a good while, and I’ll definitely interpret gesticulating numbers differently in the future. Next time someone asks me if I have a favourite number, I’ll probably say 8.
the show must go on
I feel a rare sense of relief when I am on the brink of being sacked from a job. I have a serious dislike for authority, and mixed into a cocktail with my anger for mistreatment, injustice, and generally bad organisation or unnecessary wasting of my time, and I’m like a Catherine Wheel at a firework night party. I used to be a total firecracker when I was younger, the kind of child that would stare at you with insolence written across his face, with a hint of disobedience, sarcasm, and nonchalance. The kind of face that would send even the calmest person into a state of irritation. Recently I’ve noticed my anger increasing, similar to how it did when I was a teenager. When my anger rises, and very small things seem to push me over the edge, I tend to know theres a deeper problem somewhere, usually identifying it is a little harder. I spent the last few weeks complaining, and shouting, falling out with family & friends, being generally aggressive and rude to people, and being sick with the flu on top of that, was just an equation for disaster.
After a few drinks one evening, I sat down and spoke to a friend of mine. She played therapist for a few hours, and we came to the conclusion, that I need therapy. This isn’t news to me, I’ve been saying I need therapy from around the age of 16, it’s just something I’ve not taken really seriously until now. We were talking about my online vs real life persona, and how the lines are becoming blurred, very Black Mirror esque. I’ve known this for a long time, but I’m so glued to my phone at all times, that it’s hard to focus on what real life is to me. I recently deleted all of my dating apps and it was a small step in moving slightly away from virtual living. I feel refreshed, and almost socially, and sexually, rejuvenated. Everything that I do online I run myself. I built my website myself, and run everything, from all the admin, features, and accounts, and obviously the content. It’s a heavy workload, and I’ve been working 24/7 for 2 years and haven’t really noticed until now. My attention to Instagram and my website is essentially on tap. I have to be attached to my phone for all hours of the day and night, and it’s exhausting. Often you just plough through it without actually understanding how it’s affecting your mental health, while little by little it’s chipping way at your psyche. I’m constantly posting, and delivering content, and have been doing so for about 5 years and I have a body of work on my Instagram that goes mostly unrecognised. Everyday I’m thinking about what content I’m going to shoot, should I take my camera here, and there, and is my body good enough, do I need to go to the gym, should I be eating better. It’s a never-ending self assessment of the physical state, and it leads one to seeing oneself as a commodity rather than a person. I’ve come to the point of looking at myself as a product. I am a person that does something that people look at, and I’m completely disconnected from that. I remind myself that this is all part of the experiment that I started years ago, but I find myself lost within it. I’m not distinguishing between the two. Who is ‘justsammorris’ and who is Sam?
My friend said I need to disappear somewhere. I need to come offline and go and live in the middle of nowhere for a while and reboot, and I agree. I don’t think I will do that just yet, but for now I’m taking a definite break from IG. I will continue to update my website, but at arms reach.
I know that in the future I will remove everything of myself from the internet, change my name, and it’ll be as if I never existed, but until that day, I’ll muster on through as this crazy ringleader, puppeteering the circus that is my alter-life. After all, the show must go on.
my new friend, Liam
I got back to my hotel room after a really long day of rehearsals. I felt totally drained and mentally exhausted after a day of nonsensical tomfoolery you find on a rehearsal set for a commercial involving large groups of dancers. It all felt so pointless and wasteful, of money, talent, and time. I’d set my heart on ordering room service because I couldn’t face going back out for food, but alas I got back to my room and learned that this hotel didn’t offer room service. Awesome. I put my coat and shoes back on and returned into the cold to go find some dinner. I walked through Manchester City centre, which was a lot colder than London, and somewhat unfamiliar. A few streets away from my hotel I walked past a regular looking homeless guy who was sat on the pavement of a bridge, staring into space. I often feel extreme empathy for those who find themselves on the streets, but as many do, I walk past, often as a loss of what to say or do. I walked past this guy, but felt a sadness pouring from his heart. It was like an unspeakable energy I was drawn to. I kept walking to get some food, and I said to myself, if he is still there when I walk back, I’m going to talk to him, I’m going to talk to him. I’m socially uncomfortable anyway, so I find it difficult to spark up conversation with any sort of stranger. I picked up some food and walked back the way I came. As I approached the bridge I could see him. He looked up at me from afar, and our eyes locked. It felt like my heart skipped a beat. I walked closer toward him, and as I did he started clambering up to his feet. He looked up and I said ‘Are you ok?’ He smiled and said ‘yeah I’m ok.’ I asked, ‘are you sure?’ ‘Yeah, my legs are just going numb in the cold ya know? I’ve been sat here for hours.’ I felt a wave of emotions rush over me. ‘Do you have somewhere to go? Like a hostel or something?’ I asked him. He was standing up now, and I could see his face properly. He had warm eyes, and an innocence about him. ‘Nah, the hostels are £16.50 a night.’ he said. ‘Are there no free shelters or something you can go to? Its so cold.’ ‘No. It has to be specifically minus 4º for us to be allowed free shelter, and even when it was snowing over Christmas they still said that we weren’t allowed.’ I took my wallet and handed him £20. ‘Take this and get yourself a hostel for tonight, I can’t have you sitting out in the cold like this.’ He was overwhelmed with gratitude, the kind of gratitude I’m unfamiliar seeing in my day to day life. ‘Are you sure? Thank you so much. You don’t know how much this means to me. I was sitting here for hours praying someone like you would come along, and I was just about to leave. I can’t believe it, thank you so much.’ He showed me the loose change cup that’d he’d had down all day. His hand was shivering ‘look, all day, and I made 30p. The other guys say I have to ask people, but I can’t face it. They told me to go to a busier area too but I’ve just been sat here because it’s more hidden. I thought eventually someone might come along to me, sent from god or something, and then you arrived. I can’t believe it.’ He then introduced himself to me. His name was Liam. He asked for a hug so I hugged him. He thanked me again and again. ‘How did you end up on the streets?’ I asked. ‘Its been a lot of different things all piling up to be honest’ he said, ‘I couldn’t pay my rent anymore, or look after my son properly. My brother died of a drug overdose, and then my other brother couldn’t cope with his death so committed suicide. I used to have drug problems years ago, but not anymore. I’m totally clean, I don’t even drink.’ I knew he was telling the truth. This man was honest and clear. He was vulnerable but he knew it. ‘How old are you?’ ’33.’ He said. My best friend is the same age, and that small relatable fact just pummelled me straight through the heart. ‘I’m bottom of the food chain mate. A 33 year old man on the streets. You get no help whatsoever’ he said. I knew I needed to help him but I wasn’t sure how. I asked him if he had a phone, it felt like a stupid question, but he did. He had £10 credit on it, and I asked for his number and told him to take mine. He said it was the first time he’d used it or even taken a number. I wanted to know that he had somebody he could call on. Besides everything that someone who is homeless goes through, loneliness can sometimes be the worst. ‘I’m not based in Manchester, but I want to help you. I don’t really know how to, but if you have my number and I have yours, maybe we can start giving it a go. How long have you been on the streets?’ ‘3 months now. I’ve spoken to some guys out here that’ve been out here for 20 years. I don’t want that to be me.’ ‘Its not going to be you.’ I said firmly. ‘I’m a trained chef, and an artist. People have called me a world class artist. I sit here looking at the zombies walking past me like I don’t exist, and I think to myself, what the fuck am I doing?’ He said. ‘Of course, and people just walk straight past and ignore you because it’s the easier option, when becoming homeless could happen to anyone at anytime.’ I said. ‘It really can. I’ve been through so much, and I’ve had addiction problems in my past, but I’m clean now, and I’ve just ended up here because I couldn’t cope.’ We chatted a little more, and I told him to text me whenever. He thanked me again for giving him the hostel money, we hugged and we said goodbye. As he walked off I felt like I was waving a loved one off to war. I’d given him enough to stay warm tonight, but what about tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that? I cried walking back to my hotel. The food that I’d bough had gone cold, but I’d totally lost my appetite. I text him as soon as I got back saying that it was nice to meet him, and that I’d like to help him if I could. I also offered to buy him breakfast in the morning before I caught my train back. He replied quite quickly saying that he hadn’t ‘had a good brekey for months’ and that he’d text me in a bit. I honestly felt at that moment that I’d made a true connection with someone. I’d made a new friend, and in some ways, the instinct that told me not to walk past him was a sign from above. Whether spiritual or not, I felt like in that moment, something about his energy told me to stop. I’m not quite sure how I might help, or if I even can, but I learned a little something about humility today. I broke down the wall between us and those we walk past on the street, and I made a real human connection, and a new friend.
As I looked down at his face straining to squeeze all of my cock into his mouth, I knew it was over.
I’d been seeing my ex on and off again for a while. We’d be going for dinner and hanging out, and it’d been really sweet, same as usual, tactile and loving. Same conversations, same amnesia of the issues we’d faced before.
We hadn’t had sex for over two years, so the ultimate test for our relationship surviving a reprise was to see if the sex was still alive, but unfortunately it was served up as something a little less than breathing. We always used to have the most amazing, passionate sex. He’s pretty hung and he would fuck me really deep & good. We chemically connected and our scents intertwined to create a cacophony of senses. Our sex was wild. We would roll around for hours covered in oil, fucking over and over again. It was mind blowing, and so regardless of our others issues, I could always count on bedroom time to save the day.
However, the reprise was not what it used to be. Our connection was off. Our kissing was disjointed, and every time I looked into his face while he was fucking me I saw the crying mess on FaceTime that repeatedly broke my heart. As he sucked my dick I looked at his face and felt weird. My dick went from hard to totally soft in about 10 seconds, while in his mouth, and it felt out like a noodle onto a plate. It was not cute, at all. I urged him to just fuck me, as he still had his hard on, and it would let me escape the mortification of what just happened. We fucked, it was alright, the bed was creaking like crazy which just added to the awkwardness of the moment, and instead of being in a romantic sequel, I found myself in a situation comedy.
The following morning we had coffee together, and then he left. With a kiss on the lips, and a close of the door, I’d found peace in knowing that it was over. After 3 years of non stop drama, extreme thoughts of sadness and love, heartache and pure passion, it was finally over. I was ready and able to finally walk away from something that had changed my life forever. I had been given the signs that I needed. I finally understood what closure meant, and how when it is delivered to you, you can’t even question it, it’s just apparent, it’s there, and it’s visible. I was free, finally. It was just me again.
be that guy
The boy was too beautiful, I couldn’t possibly approach him. Statuesque like an Adonis. The height of Michelangelo’s David. The face of a GQ model. He appeared alone, just dancing with his girl friend. There was an innocent fear in his eyes, at least that’s what I interpreted it as. Someone who didn’t want to be approached, while also seemingly lonely. I wondered if the ugliest guy in the bar had the a lot in common with the most beautiful. They were both unapproachable for being out of somebody’s league. I never knew where I fit in, I was probably somewhere in the middle, but the hierarchies of image in the gay community has always fascinated me, so I’ve always pitched below and above. Sometimes I will fuck the guy who is seemingly less attractive than me, and sometimes I will fuck the guy who is more so. I feel socially inept when I walk past this boy. His flowing hair and chiselled face intimidated me, probably like most people in the club. I imagined what I’d say to him. I thought about approaching him, telling him how beautiful I thought he was, asking how his night was going, but I couldn’t. The fear of inadequacy and rejection stopped me. He was out of my league. The league I’d built for myself was inadequate. I felt like a small, average looking man, with awkward growing facial hair, oddly shaped features, sporting a bad hair day. I listened to the negative opinion of myself inside my head and I left the bar. I walked out of the club and felt sad. I wondered if he’d be ignored all night for the same reason I ignored him, simply because of his beauty, or maybe I was being naive to the confidence of other gay men.
If any one of us goes to the club alone, doesn’t meet anyone new, and goes home alone, nothing separates us. If you’re not approached because of your image, in a good or bad light, it’s all the same.
On apps we’re all brave, but in the club we’re all cowards. On an app, you’re a dick with a face attached, in a club you’re a face, with nothing attached.
Should we speak to the guy who catches our eye, no matter how much we judge him on face value? How long should the eye contact linger before you know he’s worth speaking to? At what point do we stop waiting for someone else to make the first move?
I think it’s time we all made the decision to be braver. To step up to the guy we fancy and say, ‘hi, how are you, you look really nice tonight’ and see what happens. I really doubt it would end badly. We’re all waiting for that guy we like to come over and reassure our self esteem with a simple ‘hello’, but we’re all too scared to be that guy. Until we participate ourselves, we’ll never see a change. I guess, now, I just need to tell myself that a few times.
the constant buzzing
I was up all night again with painful stomach cramps. They seem to let off in the early hours of the morning to give me some sleep time, thankfully. However I’ve woken up feeling very foggy and low. General depressed feelings of uncertainties, anxiety about my place in the world, and my future. Often I can control these feelings to a suppressed level, but when I feel low, it gives them the power to fight me and come out on top. I have a heavy depressed feeling resting on my forehead pushing my eyebrows down into a frown. I have a coffee, it helps disperse the feeling of unease a little. I go on Instagram and see others doing well, and looking happy. It makes me feel worse. I go to Twitter and see current politics and terror attacks, and it makes me feel worse. Everything can be a trigger when you suffer with these mental spurts of ill health. I struggle to escape it until it’s lifted. Sometimes you can just feel it lift, giving you a small relief. Other times it’s a slow ride out of it, like the tired feeling your feet get after walking on sand for a long time. I know that what I’m doing is for the greater good, and I know that I will look back and be proud of what I did, but in this freeze-frame it’s hard to see it like that. I need to push myself, be pro-active, and work harder. I know that if I didn’t have so many issues with self esteem, confidence, anxiety, and depression, then I would’ve been more successful a long time ago, but such is life. We are all dealt our cards and we have to play the game. I have a lot to be grateful for, and I try to list them to myself. It helps. Just writing this small memoir over my breakfast of super buttery crumpets and a banana is therapy in itself. It lifts the darkness a small amount, but anxiety is like being in a small room with a mosquito, it may not always be buzzing, or biting you, sometimes you can’t even see it, but you know it’s there, hiding somewhere, and it’s going to get you when you least expect it.
the Weinstein trigger
These recent Weinstein revelations had me thinking about sexual harassment, assault, and rape, and how it can happen so subtly that you don’t even realise it’s happening until it’s already too late to defend yourself. Women have had to deal with this treatment for centuries, it’s something I know most of the women in my life have experienced, from my close friends, to my own mother. After having a lengthy discussion with my mother it brought up some thoughts in my own head. Powerful straight men aren’t the only ones exploiting their positions, but also powerful gay men. I have been sexually assaulted, harassed, and raped, by photographers, magazine editors, and others. I have had my naked body touched without permission on photoshoots, I have been verbally harassed on shoots, and this year I was raped in the house I was staying in on Fire Island. I’ve yet to speak out about this before because of the potential repercussions, and putting my reputation in jeopardy, the exact reason why all of these women stay silent.
My Instagram is overtly sexualised, and I have a website in which I celebrate my body in it’s entirety, but within the safety of my own space, and under my own control. My body, my rules, after all.
When people invite me to shoot with them, unfortunately it’s often not because they want to shoot me as a model or artist, but because they want to fuck me. I can normally judge this within the first contact, but sometimes it catches you off guard and it can be extremely unsettling.
Recently I gave some advice to a new & upcoming, younger, Instagram boy. Being almost 30 I sometimes think it’s my responsibility to look out for those younger than me. I said to him to be aware of people’s intentions, to be strong in your boundaries, and make it very clear to the people you work with what is and isn’t ok. He immediately said that if anyone ever put their hands on him he would just knock them out, well, it isn’t quite as simple as that, I said.
One shoot I did years ago, I was shooting in the basement of a photographers house, I really loved his work, and I had wanted to shoot with him for a while. I had a boyfriend at the time, and I was being strictly professional when I arrived. We shot some stuff, and then he asked me to wear a pair of briefs and stand up against one of the walls in his house. Up until this point it was a very normal shoot. I did what he said for the shot, and he took a few pictures. He asked me to turn my head to face the wall and lift my arms up, I did as he said. He promptly came up behind me, pulled down my briefs and stuck is fingers up my ass. First of all I froze. I didn’t know how to react or what to do. I was locked in this guys house, in his basement. My clothes were strewn all across the room, and there was no way I could’ve made a move that quickly. I insisted to him that I couldn’t do what he wanted, that I had a boyfriend, and that we should be professional. It makes you very uncomfortable, and embarrassed, so while you’re saying these things you’re usually smiling, or doing an uncomfortable giggle, which can usually make them ignore the ‘no’ and just continue their pursuit. He backed off and I slowly started collecting my clothes up, I said I had to meet my boyfriend pretty soon. As I was collecting my clothes off the floor, he picked me up (the guy was about 6’3 and I’m about 5’8) and threw me on his couch. He opened his trousers, pulled his dick out and shoved it in my face. I kept my mouth closed, and kept saying, I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this. As I was saying this he was hitting my cheek with his hard dick and saying, ‘come on, you know you want to’. After about 15 minutes more of various forms of sexual harassment I managed to leave. There were a lot more attempts he made, and I was lucky to get out before he raped me. I left that shoot feeling like a whore that’d asked for it. I had to meet my boyfriend afterwards, and all I felt was guilt. I felt shame, and embarrassment, so I never told anyone and I kept it to myself.
Since then I have been sexually assaulted on many shoots, from people grabbing my genitals without asking, to making unwanted advances, to simply, & you might say innocently, just asking to touch me.
I have been sexually bribed by famous photographers, magazine editors, fashion designers, and more.
I was recently asked to be in a spread of a very well known gay magazine. I was really pleased and excited, but after the initial message, it soon turned into a sexual bribe, and I had the editor sending me dick pics within about 4 messages.
When I finally addressed the fact that I was sexually assaulted/raped in fire island, the word got out amongst the people I was staying with, and the owners of the house we stayed in actually attacked my friend for sticking up for me. I sent a lengthy email to the owners, mentioning that, not that it was any of their business, but if they felt they needed to know what happened, then I would give them a detailed run down of the events, which I did. To which I received the response ‘I do not wish to comment’. They not only chose to turn a blind eye, for the sake of their friend who raped me, but prior to that had insinuated that I was lying before they had even heard my story. I left it there after that email. They were all lawyers and I was scared I was going to be sued. Isn’t that crazy? Me, the victim, was scared I was going to be the one who would be sued. So what did I do? Closed my mouth & pretended it never happened.
I have many more stories like this, but the point mustn’t be deterred by the grotty details of each incident, but the psychology behind why this is always happening.
Gay men use their power to fuck. Straight men use their power to fuck. The victims always stay silent because they are scared they’re going to aggravate the power which will ultimately lead to their own demise.
I turn up to a photoshoot with a very well known photographer. I spend money and go out of my way to travel to the shoot, I know the images are going to be amazing, but after a while of being there I get told that he will be feeling me up, and he did. What am I supposed to do? Punch him and run out? Say that I’m not comfortable and politely leave. What people don’t understand is that your brain doesn’t work that quickly in these situations. By the time you’re thinking of what to do, it’s already happening. You think of the consequences, them tarnishing your reputation by word of mouth, you never receiving the pictures, you wasting your time and money, then you think that maybe you deserved it, or you are asking for it by agreeing to pose nude for a photographer. All these things are running through your head, and before you can choose one to focus on, his tongue is up your ass.
I’ve had very strong, successful female friends of mine who’ve experienced the same on photoshoots. Asked to stand in a particular pose and then subsequently sexually assaulted. They also freeze, let it happen, and then stay silent.
If someone is brave enough & believes that they should be vocal about something that has happened to them in regards to a sexual assault or a rape, then they should be listened to.
Men in power can be dangerous, gay or straight, and the victims of their deviancies should be supported, always.
I’m sharing this condensed version of my story now as way to not be silent, and hopefully raise awareness that these things happen in the gay community, regularly, just as much as the straight, and we must not be silent, we must be vocal.
My distraction’s not forgiving
it’s my core that you rattle
I live through your needs
Your skin and your seeds
an addiction I see
In you and in me
The choices I make
I despair and I ache
After you’ve partied
And ate all the cake
I’m left with the bill
while the air has gone still
And I stare at you vacantly
Missing the thrill
Sure, we had fun
The boys and the sun
but when its all done
It’s just me and the gun
My sweet reminisces
I cry when I think
Of how out of sync
We are with each other
Myself and the pink
I’d kill for your freedom
Your love and your passion
To use and abuse
With little compassion
But now its just me
left to clean up your act
And we can’t use each other
As a way to distract
its always me giving
But please, for a moment
The future of an ex dancer is a blurry one. We slowly stop using the muscles that pushed the skeleton to deform itself, and when we stop using them the way we trained them to work, they atrophy, and the bones no longer have the support to hold the deformity. People see dancers as dreamers, whereas dance is far from a dream. The pain I felt while training as a dancer will never compare to anything. The feeling of my shins bending underneath me with every step, while the calf muscle tore away from the bone. The inflammation in my wrists that would feel like a broken bone with every door I pushed open. The small tendon that I snapped at the top of my hamstring, which although wasn’t painful, gave me a bizarre sensation of something not quite being attached properly in my leg. All these things shape us as adults. Standing in front of a mirror through your formative years, studying yourself, and only looking for flaws. The praise is useless, it’s the things that need correcting that need your attention, and this notion doesn’t stop at your technique, but also into your physical aesthetic. They say that once you’re a dancer, you never stop being a dancer, I agree. Although I may not dance anymore, I have an affinity with my body that someone who has never trained or danced professionally will never have. I know the difference between good pain and bad pain. I know the warning signs that my body gives me if there is a problem, it’s an intuition that only a dancer will understand. The small amount of time a dancer spends enjoying their craft, can be anywhere between 30 seconds, to 2 hours, but the time sculpturing the body to be able to cope with enjoying these moments is arduous, expensive, and exhausting. Where do I see myself in my own future as an ex dancer? I see my spine collapsing, and the lumbar lordosis that developed while I was in training is only becoming weaker with age. The bones that I pushed so harshly to create such beautiful lines do not have the muscle strength to hold themselves anymore. I miss the art of dance. I miss the connection of my body to the music, and the feeling of freedom when you disappear into the dance, because you really do, disappear. It’s as if nothing else exists, and we are truly at one with our body and the music. Dancers are a rare breed, we have a connection to our bodies, and to music, that is incomparable. I am grateful to be a dancer, in my past, present, and future, but I think it’s time to start looking after the body that I abused so badly in the name of art.
Last night, shortly after I went to bed I woke up to horrendous stomach cramps. I was curled up in a ball on my bed wondering what drug I could take to ease the pain. I popped a couple of paracetamol, an omeprazole and even considered taking a tramadol. All respect for dignity went out the window and I searched through the drawers of my Airbnb, I found some heavy duty ibuprofen, so I popped one of those as well. It didn’t seem to do much, I was still in pain, and every time I laid down it would get worse. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I walked around, got in the bath, had a shower. Did everything I could to take my mind off the pain. I was worried I had appendicitis, and I was completely alone, in Madrid, in an apartment which needs about 5 keys to get out of. God only knows what would happen if there was a fire, and I couldn’t find the keys. I had visions of the episode of Sex & The City where Miranda chokes in her apartment, and has a panic attack about the reality of being alone, and the possibility of also dying alone. I thought about everything that night. I walked around my apartment, thinking about my family and my friends, my ex boyfriends, my career, all my realities came flying at me all at once. I was in a beautiful, beautiful apartment in Madrid, alone. It almost didn’t matter how much I’d spent to live here, because when you have no one to share it with, it almost makes it seem invalid. I’d started speaking with my ex again, which I know was a bad idea, but I felt like I needed familiarity, and I needed to speak with someone who once loved me, and cared for me, and knew how my brain worked. When your health isn’t good, life’s realities become so much clearer. Everything becomes transparent, and you suddenly realise what you take for granted and how little you take notice of all the small, but important things that exist in your life. When I woke up in the morning I contemplated going to the hospital, I didn’t have my European Health Insurance Card with me, but in a moment of pain & madness at about 3am I went online and applied for one, so I knew I was covered. I left my apartment and went to a local pharmacy. The pharmacists in Spain are a lot more like doctors than the pharmacists in the UK, so I figured I’d go in and ask. She thought it was probably trapped wind. The sexiest of all digestive issues. It’s funny, as she said it to me, while I was hunched over in pain, I still managed to giggle as she suggested what medication I should take. I went back to my apartment to hide, I didn’t feel well enough to see anyone or do anything, so I stayed indoors on my own and it had me thinking about a lot. I’d been in Spain for a few months, and speak very little Spanish. I was picking up basic words and phrases, but nothing close to being able to converse. It was very isolating. Even meeting Spanish people who could speak English felt like hard work. The language barrier was a big one, and as much as I was pretending it didn’t exist, it did. I’m an insular person, in the work that I create, and in the life that I live, and so being alone doesn’t bother me, to a certain extent, but when I spend too long alone I start to feel a bit manic, like an unsocialised dog. I almost forget how to speak or connect with people. My parents always thought I was slightly on the spectrum as a child, I’m not sure about that, but I’m definitely not ordinary. I overthink and overanalyse myself, and every situation, which makes my anxiety increase, and the more time I spend alone, the easier it rises. I question my life choices, and the way I project myself to the world. I worry that the message I send out to the world is the wrong one, and the decision that I’ve made to share my body so freely is going to be a future regret. I judge myself for being lazy, and I hate the idea of me wasting my talents. I think about the fact that I’m misunderstood, and the disconnection between the reality of my life, and the person that people see online. I feel guilt about how ungrateful I feel while I’m travelling the world, and experiencing things that some may never, because I somehow still feel unaccomplished, and like a cheat.
I think about my future, and I worry about the things that may or may not come. I worry every day that the small world I’ve built for myself will collapse around me. I worry that no one will ever love me because of how much I share my body. And I worry that I will never have it all, and I will have to settle for one or the other.
At what point in life do we have to accept adulthood and start behaving like our parents did when we were children? I still live life like a child. A child with a few more responsibilities, a lot more freedom, and a bit more money. So many things scare me. Taxes, property, health. And all it takes is one of these things to flash up like a red light, and my whole sanity is triggered.
But what’s the point of growing up? As a gay man, I don’t see responsibilities in my future like heterosexual people do. I don’t really see children in my future, and at this stage I’ll be lucky to ever buy property. So why not just live in the moment? I’m living an odd life at the moment, but I’m also providing for myself. No one is paying for anything for me, I’m self sufficient, and I live a pretty enviable existence at the present time, but I somehow still feel unfulfilled, embarrassed, and envious when I see people my age buying houses, getting married, being promoted, and preaching about innocent simplicities.
I know how much I secretly love what I do, and I love creating pictures, and films, which celebrate my body, my sexuality, and my person, but sometimes I wonder who I would be if I’d never made the decision to do this, and who I will be because I made the decision to do this. Life is so different for everyone, we should never compare to one another, but for some reason we all do.
My stomach started to feel better after I took the medication given to me by the pharmacist. Nothing miraculous, but enough for me to behave like normal again. Still, I stayed in my house and decided to make a film. I thought this was a moment that I should share. A still moment in time, that was honest and truthful. Not erotic in the slightest, but authentic and hopefully an opportunity for you to further connect to me as not only an object of your desire, but as an English boy, who lives in Spain for the moment, who is real, and who deserves to be connected to in a real way. I’m not perfect, but my life is a living truth, it is real, it is honest, it is greatness, it is hurt. My life is the honest journey of a gay man who may not meet the expectations that this world has laid out for him, or who may not replicate the archetype of the successful 30 year old gay white male, but the individual reality that I live is still valid, and it is still lived.
the funny affair
After arriving in Barcelona, to my beautiful apartment in Eixample, I was excited. Excited to see the city, visit the beach, taste the food, but mainly, taste the men. After a few days at my new place, a cute local boy offered to come over and make me food at my place. He introduced me to gazpacho for the first time, and after the first few mouthfuls, I grew to like this cold, tomato juice, soup, although I did insist that I think it’d be better with some vodka thrown in. After food we were cleaning in the kitchen when my Airbnb host came home. She seemed very cool when I spent some time with her on the first few nights, and so I had no qualms about bringing somebody over. She was very polite, but decided to go to bed early. My new local Catalonian boy and I decided to watch a movie, then he grabbed his motorbike helmet and went home at around 11pm.
The following day I got up and went for coffee. It’s one of the things that always gets me out of bed in the morning, going outside and grabbing a local iced coffee. After grabbing my €4 sweet milk coffee, I get a WhatsApp message from my Airbnb host outlining that I cannot have guests over whatsoever. She apologised that she didn’t make it clear when advertising the place, but said that I was welcome to find somewhere else to stay if it was an inconvenience. Well, to be quite frank, I was a little pissed. I’d spent a small fortune for this apartment in Barcelona, and I wasn’t even allowed someone over for a drink? Or dinner? I understand nobody staying the night, but it seems bizarre to ban someone from socialising in their own home, especially in a country where this sort of socialising is very common behaviour. However, I wasn’t about to make myself homeless and start looking for somewhere else to live, so I apologised and said it wouldn’t happen again.
A few weeks later it’s winding down to my departure. I’d booked to go to Madrid and my Barcelona trip was coming to an end. One hot Friday afternoon, while sat at home, I felt particularly horny, so I opened up the old faithful, Grindr, and had a look what was on offer. My host worked full time so I was home alone and feeling like the world was my oyster. There was a guy online who I’d hooked up with a few weeks earlier, and he was available and also horny. He told me he hadn’t shot his load for about 5 days, and so that had me at full mast. He was only around the corner, and I said I could host. He could be there in 10mins, but it was more like 5. I left the door open and waited on the bed for him, naked. He got undressed in my hall, and walked in, also naked. He had a beautiful dick. He walked over to me and I started sucking. His dick was the perfect size, a husband dick, the kind you could take every night. I wasn’t in the mood for anal, but he turned me around and ate me out anyway. It got him super horny, and it wasn’t long before he turned me around, and as I was sucking him, he blew his load all over my face. He stepped back, out of breath, and in broken English asked if he could use the bathroom. I nodded and pointed to the hall. As he went to the bathroom, I finished myself off, with his cum still over my face. The smell is usually enough to make me want to blow. I came into my hand and then grabbed some tissue to clean it up. He had put most of his clothes back on, and walked back into my room to get his watch. As he stepped back into my room, while I’m wiping his cum off my face, the front door creaks open and I hear my Airbnb host say ‘hello?!’. I absolutely freak. I ran to my bedroom door, slammed it shut and locked the inside bolt. Omg omg omg omg omg omg omg is what I repeated to myself about a million times over. I turned around and the boy I just blew is sat on my bed with a face of pure horror. Immediately it made me laugh, I couldn’t help but think about how tragic the situation was. We were both now locked in my bedroom, panicking. I asked him where his stuff was and he said his shoes, jacket, and bag were all in the hall. I was trying to come up with a million different excuses and attempting to pick the best one to get me out of this mess. I was now getting panic dressed, in front of this boy who was asking me what to do while nervously pacing around my room. I kept saying to him that it was fine, and that I would just say that he was a friend of mine and we were just popping back home to pick something up before going out again. It was at that point I leant forward and said, ‘what’s your name??!!!?’ I couldn’t stop laughing, and the fact he looked so nervous made the whole thing even funnier. I waited for the apartment to go quiet, which would hopefully mean she’d disappeared into her room, so that we could make an escape. He was ready, I was now dressed. I told him to just grab his stuff in the hall, and we both leave together. I opened the bedroom door and we made a run for it. I opened the front door, he grabbed his stuff, I closed the door behind me, and then he finished getting dressed in the stairwell. ‘You are a disaster’ he said to me in a thick Spanish accent while shaking his head. I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. As we left the building, before we said goodbye, I asked him if I had any cum left on my face before I went out. He giggled and shook his head. As funny as I found the whole thing, my nerves were shot to pieces so I went and grabbed a coffee, but to be honest I really needed a neat whiskey. I had dried cum tissue stuck all over my hand which I spent the walk to the coffee shop trying to pick off, bit by bit, and then after I immediately called my best friend to tell him all about it. It was only in hindsight that it occurred to me that the boy didn’t know who had actually come home. Maybe the reason he looked so panicked was because he thought maybe it was my boyfriend, and he was about to get beat. This made me laugh even more. It was like one of those scenes in a comedy film that you never believe would actually happen.
Oh, and his name was Sergio. Thank you Sergio, for a great facial, and a very funny afternoon.
Never have I felt beautiful. I think the last time I truly ever believed that I was beautiful was when I was 12 years old. A picture of me smiling, happy, before I started puberty. The innocence of youth beaming in my face. I think I looked pretty. From there it seemed to go downhill, and rapidly. I was a late developer as a teenager, and while I didn’t really get the usual teenage acne, I did develop this seemingly gormless appearance. I suddenly had a huge nose, a sprouting chin, and an aggressively protruding Adam’s apple. I used to sit on the train everyday on the way to school, looking at my side reflection in the mirror, internalising a building hatred for the way I looked. I used to think I was disgusting. I remember thinking I looked like a wicked witch. I would spend an hour on the train every morning looking at myself in the train window, depleting any confidence I had left by the time I made it to school.
At school I was an individual type of person. I didn’t have a lot of friends, just a few close ones. I was usually in my own world, taking in the environment, and observing people’s behaviours. I’ve always found people very odd, the way they communicate, and socialise, all trying to please one another so as to make themselves feel/look better. I never wanted a part of this, but I did used to envy their confidence. I was discovering I was gay around the age of about 16, and it was another heavy burden weighing on my mind. I remember thinking, why do I have to deal with this as well as everything else?
The first boy I ever had a crush on, I didn’t know how to go about it. I was newly finding my sexuality, so I remember finding his number through a friend, and texting him, just to let him know how I felt. He ended up telling everyone, and it soon became common knowledge that I’d naively confessed my love to a hot gay boy (who was quite obviously out of my league). I never really thought that I’d ever find a boyfriend because I perceived gay confidence to only be found in beauty.
Until one day when I was approached by a guy who was doing the lighting for one of our college shows. He was so beautiful, so classically handsome, and everyone at the school had a crush on him. I had been shyly looking at him for a few days, but never thought in a million years he would care for me. He came up to me one afternoon, gave me his card, and told me to message him so we could go for a drink. I remember falling back down the stairs, turning around and running to my friends to tell them the news. I was elated, but also confused, somehow I felt it wasn’t real. He ended up being my first boyfriend, or gay lover I would say. It wasn’t love, but it was my first gay experience, and it was very important.
I’ve had 3 serious gay relationships since then. I’ve broken my heart a few times over, and with each relationship it seems to get more painful.
I have reached a point in my life where I have found love for myself as a gay man. I feel proud of my sexuality wholeheartedly, and if anything I want to be a beacon of hope to any young gay men who may not fully love themselves.
My self image is something I’m still trying to learn to love, I have found a way to make myself look beautiful, through the art of photography and film. I know which angles will celebrate my body rather than shame it. Does this mean I’m confident in my beauty? No. Does it mean I’ve reached a point of contentment in the way that I look? Almost. The demons that enter your life in your formative years often stay for a good while. It’s taken me a long time to accept the shell that I’m in, but I hope that I’m finally getting there. I don’t believe that I’m at all beautiful, I also don’t think that I’m ugly anymore, so maybe for now, I’ll just be, just Sam.
You see this?
This is an experiment
All gaze on me
To the detriment
Living in the lens
Is an element
Of the 80s
And the millennium
You can judge the things you see
It’s a relationship between you & me
Just know that I see the things that you see
The judgement is a proof of the accuracy
I am just a pawn in the game of this
Pawn as in chess not Porn as in this
You can make a choice with a flick of your wrist
Touch that, make it wet, give it a kiss
Are you wet when you see this?
Do you often bite your lip?
Do you slide the foreskin down
and rub the cum around the tip?
I can touch you but you cant touch me
My life is changing indefinitely
I am freezing a legacy
With a fraction of time caught in ‘purgatory’
my choice is your choice ultimately
I can control what you think and see
reaching you by delivering me
You can’t hold but you feel the key
Is it the artist or the muse that makes history?
Is the self portrait a modern mystery?
Is narcissism the truth behind artistry?
Is narcissism the brains behind artistry?
Is narcissism the veins inside artistry?
Is narcissism the blood that runs artistry?
these flaws I call my own
I recognise and often moan
but never would I disown
the things that always make me groan
my fingers serve me well
and I see the tree from which I fell,
the poems on my hands to tell
the stories of a little girl
the smells on us we wash away
but some they linger in our brains,
of people, things, and lonely days.
The naked smell is one that stays.
my nose, my biggest enemy,
so hated by the rest of me
but loved for it’s intensity
of choosing what is best for me
the hair it spares the thoughts of those
who linger by the feet and toes
ignoring flaws of yester-woes
and deliver so the ebbs and flows
the little freckles, spots & moles
join the dots of stories told
and within the darkness of the folds
are bronzes, browns and rose gold
the extremities did feel the storm
tore, and cracked, the rose and thorn
the broken lovers I will mourn,
who gave it up to be reborn.
lines and greys, we wish away
but I will welcome them to stay
the things that I have heard and seen
will live upon my head and gleam.
embrace the drips, the reds and pinks
the jagged, spots, and twisted kinks
the holes, the skin, the parts that stink
the big, the small, the overthink,
the marks, the tits, the mind, the guts,
the massive, and the tiny butts,
the hidden, and the surface cuts,
the yellow teeth, and ugly nuts.
just love yourself. You’re enough.
the love you give need not be tough.
Just love yourself, it’s just above,
the amount you think, is just enough.
Cold water running in my veins
At least that’s what they say
I run the heat to hide my face
Re-energise the snails pace
A coffee, love, can hold me dear
But hot waters always running near
A quiet trickle, sliding through
My body’s always thanking you
I feel it washing over me
Through my hair and whilst below
My blood is pumping, vitality
My head is first to go
I need this clean vitality
For my mind, body & soul
The darkness washes over me
And down the down below
The water hot and steaming
See it reddening my skin
The pink it throbs and flourishes
Seeing and feeling is not a sin
I feel my brain is clearing
And my muscles closing in
A stretch from deep within myself
And I clear the thoughts of him
I live in clouds of distance
Just existing over there
Sometimes it’s nice to disappear
To the feelings most despair
The shower is a gift to me
A moment for reflection
A time to focus properly
Without an intervention
We take for granted little things
For life’s given pleasures
Are our saviours and our graces
And given at our leisures.
The valleys and the waterfalls
The rivers and the lakes
The rough parts and the smooth parts
And the filling in the cakes
I lick my lips and feel the surface
The imperfections over
For bits of me will drop & fall
And I will never own her
I touch myself. It’s soft to touch
My stomach and my sides
But moist and musky does become
The warmth between my thighs
Take off the armour, show the pink
The wetness and the silver drink
The smell envelopes, thoughts & things
Familiarity is teaching me
To taste the smell to test my brain
And linger while im there
I softly hold the warm inside
And play with all the hair
A temple with a field to play
A meadow and the sun
I’m free to roam the streets of me
Through the beige I run
The flaws I find will govern me
In my love and in my art
But never overwhelming me
Enough to sell my heart
I love you perfect wonder
Of the world in simple form
There’s nothing I would change
For it must only come within
So here I love and cherish
The body I will own
Until the day I leave it
And it lays upon a throne.
la la life
After dealing with the nerves of ordering a glass of red wine for myself, and then battling my internal social issues to make my way through the bar to take a seat by myself, I’m now in a safe place. Sat, on my phone, drinking wine. Not making human interaction. As alone as I would be at home, but more romantic I guess. I just came out of the cinema, I went to see La La Land, alone. It was beautiful, and I cried most of the way through. I always cry at movies. I cry at the beautiful things just as much as the sad things. Get a whole cast singing & dancing, jumping off cars in sync, and that’s me, crying, alone at the back of the theatre. La La Land was a sad story. I was expecting to be uplifted, but instead it reminded me of my own struggle as an artist, and my own struggle in love. I related to Mia (Emma Stone’s character). I always relate to the female characters. There’s very few films in which I’ve related to the male character. It’s odd. I guess I’m quite vulnerable in love and life, and maybe that’s why I find a connection more easily with the female hero in a movie. I’ve always connected to women more. May have something to do with having 3 sisters, and a mother who wears the trousers. My dad is wonderful, he’s caring and understanding, but he’s gentle. I guess I’ve never had a man in my life that is vulgar or aggressive like the ones you see in the movies. I’ve always had girl friends, more than guy friends. I just find the female species easier to understand. Which maybe is why none of my relationships work as a gay man. Hmmm. I just finished my red wine. Now I’m wondering whether to buy another glass or go home. Fuck it. I’ll get another glass. I don’t really have any gay male friends either. I find alpha males really difficult, maybe because I am one myself? I wish I could connect better with more gay men. I just often find the lines blur too often between sex and friendship, and then I never know where I’m at. I’m shy, but I’m opinionated. I’ll be silent at a party until my ears perk up when I hear a topic of conversation or something that I feel compelled to comment on, and then that’s usually where people get their opinion of me. Aloof, opinionated and arrogant. When really I’m funny, a little mischievous, and quite melancholic. Hence why I’m sat alone drinking red wine in a bar after going to the cinema, also alone. I don’t know if I’m odd, but sometimes these blue & lonely days can be delicious if you just allow yourself to indulge and romanticise your own life. Life is but a story, and you’re in the driving seat. It can be as glorious as you want it to be, in both it’s darkness and it’s grandeur, you just have to really start experiencing what it feels like to live in that moment.
Written in Starbucks – West Hollywood – October 2015.
I think if I stayed in LA for long enough my brain would atrophy or I would develop an insidious mental illness. Before I came here I was on my travels to New York. A journey to escape heartache, as one does, jumping on a plane, somehow hoping that flying across that ocean will heal the shattered fragments of a broken heart. I struggled at first in New York, with the understanding that no matter how far away you run, you’re not really running at all. You’re running on a treadmill with the memories of your troubled past playing in your ears like a fitness CD. I went on so many dates. Date after date. It’s the best thing to do in a new city, people take you to places that you’d be otherwise unaware of, and you get to meet new people. The only real issue with dating is the immediate agenda of love, and not friendship, so developing friendships from this scenario is a tough one. I met a guy at first who was a great rebound, I had all the feels, and he was very quickly involved. Rebound flings are odd. Your brain somehow redirects all the love you had for your previous partner, into a prism, and it somehow refracts into their direction, but as soon as the sunlight dies, you no longer feel anything for them. Anyway, the sun went down, and I moved on, a few weeks after this fling, to another boy. He made me feel relaxed, and I felt no sexual pressure. I was really attracted to him, but more so his personality. We connected and it was easy. It developed and grew quite quickly, and on my last night when he pulled me in and kissed me in the middle of Times Square, I really thought ‘fuck. I moved to New York to get over a boy, and now I’m going to LA to get over another boy.’ However, I quickly learned that LA is not the greatest destination when trying to escape, but on the contrary, is a great subject for assessment. When I arrived in LA, it felt bleak. It was like entering into another dimension, void of emotion, authenticity and reality. The very idea that a city exists without melancholy is an alien concept to a European. There is no sadness here, and it is disturbing. It’s like every person here is a character in a movie, and every day is a new scene. They ignore the realities of the world, and they concentrate on the next worldly-irrelevant thing that they can disappear into. I haven’t seen one book store since arriving in LA, and I had to go to supermarket just to buy a pen. You can find literature, art and culture on every walkway of London, Paris, Barcelona & every other major European city, and here all I can find are Starbucks and dog grooming centres. All of the Starbucks are full of people writing on their laptops, but I wonder what about? Are they all as confused as me? Writing about the lack of inspiration or culture? I just don’t know how a native, or a resident of LA, could write anything of worth, in a city so devoid of history. The closest this city comes to struggle is drought, and with people driving their range rovers two blocks to get an iced coffee from Starbucks, even that seems irrelevant to them. In some ways I admire the overall ignorance of the city. They ignore world struggles, including their own homeless issues, and they go on with their life, with the spirit of ‘I want, and I will have.’ They wear expensive feminist t shirts, and the gays paint the road crossings rainbow. They have sponsored walks for AIDS and vans parked up raising awareness for animal cruelty, but in my British cynical nature, there’s something about it all that seems insincere to me. These people don’t really seem to care about anything but themselves. Of course they’ll go on an AIDS walk, but only because it’ll get them fit. In my opinion, this city is mentally ill. LA is like a patient, loose out of rehab, and having a party at Lindsay Lohan’s pad. I literally feel like I’m in Mean Girls, and I should only wear pink on Wednesdays. This is a place that hasn’t been exposed to war, or suffering, and it’s very apparent. In someways I envy the people here. They live their life in such privilege that they are blissfully ignorant to troubling world events, and that, in theory, must make for a happier, and more peaceful life. I am grateful that I’m only here for a short time, but it is my mission before I leave, not to visit Venice Beach, or to heal myself from my personal troubles, but to find a book store, buy a classic, and then give it to the first person I see jogging past me with their toy poodle and venti caramel frappuccino.
it was love
My hair always goes limp in the heat. My hair sticks to my forehead and the sweat makes my roots curly. I was trying to fix this as I walked through the blisteringly hot streets of Bushwick. There was a mixture of smells in the air, an overpowering and lingering smell of garbage and a cacophony of coffee and hot meats scenting the environment. I was heading to meet a guy who I knew from Instagram, I had no expectations, I just knew I was lonely as hell and needed some company. I came to New York for escape. I had one of those terrible break ups in which you lose a part of your identity and you need to try and search for it again. I wanted to disappear from England, and the next best option seemed to be New York. I’m one of those attention seeking, exhibitionists online. The kinda guy you hate. It’s become a big part of my life and it’s given me the opportunity to escape as and when I want to. I don’t know anyone in New York, but I figure everyone is a stranger until they’re a friend. I certainly wasn’t looking for love. Some days I still cry thinking about my recent relationship, so I definitely am not in the right place for a companion. The funny thing is, when you’re in the most vulnerable of places, it’s at that point you need a companion the most. We’re told by society that love is something you should have as a bonus, something only rich people deserve. If you’ve got your career sorted, then sure, you can get married, but if you’re unemployed and aimless, then forget about it. I have no agenda when I meet people I know from online. I was always the kinda kid that was looking for love. I lust in the strangest of places. My life is driven by love and lust. I see the art in every conversation. The flaws and the strengths. The chemical connection compared to the mental one. I often believe that every relationship is connected on a chemical level, then you have to work out the mental bullshit after, that’s the test. If you can make it through the gruelling mental connection after the chemical one connects and you lose the excitement of the initial reaction, then you’ll make it. I often think of it as a cup of tea. When you pour the milk into the black tea, the milk folds and unfolds in the most beautiful fashion. This signifies the beginning of a relationship, the beautiful & natural chemical reaction. Two bodies mixing for the first time. Then the two liquids form and you’re left with a singular colour. You’re on the same page, so you add some sugar into the journey and life stirs things up a bit. Then we’re left with the taste. Sometimes it’s too sweet, too bitter or too dull, but sometimes it’s just right. A good relationship is like a good cup of tea, warm, heartfelt and cosy, but the true formula is somewhat unknown. The only thing about being in New York, is the lack of tea. I sometimes think New Yorkers need a good cup of tea. They need a little northern lady to bring them in, sit them down and offer them a brew, maybe they’d chill out a bit. One thing they do have in New York that brings me joy, is doughnuts. Sometimes a doughnut can be just as fulfilling as a cup of tea. I prefer the simple, glazed variety myself. In typical American fashion they do go a little overboard, adding jams, nuts and creams into and onto almost every kind of doughnut, but still, I can’t complain. That’s where I was off to, to meet my Instagram friend. I knew he was in town so I figured I’d like to hang with someone, rather than just myself for another day. I walked into the doughnut shop and was a little overwhelmed. The racks and racks of doughnuts, the smell of the sweet dough, the coffee, the hipsters walking from one side to the other to sit with other hipsters with open MacBooks, probably writing a thesis on the gentrification of Brooklyn. Then I clocked my Instagram ‘date’. I wouldn’t call it a date. We had had some flirty back and forth action on Instagram and Facebook, but nothing to suggest this was a date. It was simply a meeting of two worldly boys. I say boys, I am 27 and he’s about 30. I think I’ll always call myself a boy though. The millennial, Peter Pan syndrome is definitely alive and well in me. I noticed his eyes, they beamed through the café and hit me in the back of the head. It was almost like when a kid shines a laser in your eyes at a party, that stumble backwards and cover the eyes motion. Obviously I didn’t stumble backwards, because that would’ve been weird, but inside my head I did, a little. He was smiling. Beaming almost, to have seen me in person. It was one of those exotic moments in which you catch eyes with someone and it’s as if you just allowed them to read some of the files stored in the back of your mind. They look into your eyes, and you somewhat feel they’ve been allowed to go on your computer and look through your external hard drives. When you have that kind of connection, when someone can see into your soul from across the room, it’s way deeper than what we understand. I made my way over to his table and he got out of his chair and made his way to me. We met in the middle and he threw his arms around me. We had exactly the same body type. Slim, athletic and hairy. His grip was strong, and I reciprocated. It was as if we’d met before, like two old friends. I could smell him as his arm was around my shoulder. My heart beat faster for a second as I smelled him. It was sweet and musky, but manly. A smell you get from spending a day in the sun, or going for a jog and not showering after. It wasn’t an offensive smell, but one of pure sex. He took a step back and held the back of my head. “It’s so lovely to finally meet you” he said, staring straight into my soul. I stumbled on my words back to him, “you too, it’s been so long, we’ve been talking online, I mean…” He was confident, and engaged, and I was floundering and nervous. I sat down with him at his table, and he started talking, maybe he was nervous too as he was talking a lot and it was all fairly nonsensical. “Do you want a doughnut?” I asked. He suggested that we shared one, so I went to the counter ordered two doughnuts and a knife. I didn’t realise that the doughnut shop we were in was vegan, which bemused me when after ordering a coffee the barista asked if I wanted soy or almond milk, to which I stood there blankly staring at her wondering if I’d accidentally asked her for something odd. It’s funny, if I was in London I would’ve said neither, but when you’re in a different country you automatically feel more dumb and bewildered. We split our doughnuts and chatted for a bit, talked about life on and off Instagram. I’d managed to gather that he was a bit of a Chatty Cathy when he was nervous, but I was ok with that. All the while we were talking I was checking out his being. I’m sure everyone does this when they’re into someone. I was looking at the locks of chest hair that were poking out of this vest, his cute blue hair that was sneaking out of this baseball cap and most importantly his eyes. He had the most beautiful eyes. Pools of light brown that had so many stories, but most importantly I could see love. I could see a warm soul. He suggested we went for a walk, he had to visit the Apple Store to get an adapter for his laptop. He was in town visiting from LA. It was a weird meeting, two souls, one from London, one from LA, meeting in New York. It was the future thanks to the Internet. I didn’t have any plans anyway, so I figured I’d go with him. I was definitely feeling something, so I wanted to follow through on that a bit. We left the doughnut shop and walked to the subway. Every time there was a moment of silence or a dip in conversation, we would catch eyes and smile. He made me nervous. So I would say “you make me nervous.” He would giggle and say back to me “I make you nervous?” I agreed, just nodding and smiling. We were like two giggling school girls. Walking by his side I realised how similar we were. We were the same height, and exactly the same build. Well, I was a little skinnier. He had a beautiful complexion. This golden skin gifted to him by California, a clear face, almost glowing. He talked about how important his Instagram was to him, his goals and achievements. How much he still wanted out of life, and how little he cared what people thought of him. I found him inspiring, but also I saw myself in him. We were very similar in life as we were in looks. I didn’t take my Instagram profile as seriously as him, maybe I should. I see having a big online presence as Monopoly money. Having loads of followers is great for the ego, but doesn’t do much for the bank account. He was very serious about his online following though. It was a typical conversation between an American and a Brit. The Brit taking all in life with a pinch of salt, and the American taking everything with a side of fries, coated in salt and sugar. However, I couldn’t help but think I could learn something from this person. What was the point in me coming to America if I wasn’t going to learn something from Americans? We were like the town and country mouse. We were both from big cities, but I figured I automatically got country mouse status being from England. We hopped on the subway and went to Chelsea. He had his computer sorted and then he suggested I walked with him a few blocks to where he was staying. He was talking about how he saw something in me, in my online presence. He mentioned how I looked like an energy, ready to offer the world something exciting, but the door was still locked and somebody needed to unlock it. I felt the same, and it wasn’t the first time someone had said this to me. I don’t know where my energy is placed, and sometimes there is art in that, but he was right. How long can I flit around for? Do I want to be the guy who is 37 and at a party, and when someone says to me what do you do, I reply, ‘a bit of everything’. We’re in a weird place right now, in which you can have a career from being famous, for nothing. Whether it be from a reality show, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube. It would be vacuous of me, and a dishonour to say this is what I wanted from life, but I do like the personal freedom that the Internet allows for one to express oneself without economic drive. I’ve had many doors shut in my face, in an industry which thrives on beauty, height and physique. My Instagram is my own release. I can express myself on there, via my writing, music, or just myself as a human and sexual being. It’s honest and pure. There are no advertisements, I’m not being paid to post things. What I do is just me, and nothing is more authentic than that. However, the people in society who choose to not take up these opportunities, and choose to live a more honest life, are a lot more judgemental of people who do. I get aggressive words sent to me online by people who are angry that I perceive myself as a model, they don’t deem me attractive enough to think of myself as such. Why can’t I be a model? If thousands of people want to see my pictures on Instagram, why shouldn’t I? If I can use my body as a portal to open up people’s eyes to see the beauty in real people, people who aren’t paid for their beauty, but just want to celebrate their natural state, then of course I will. Beauty can be seen in the ugliest of places. I see beauty behind the hatred of someone’s words. Jealousy has a negative connotation, but everyone feels it. What you mustn’t do is lower yourself to that emotion. Don’t act upon it. You can be mindful of it, and know that everyone feels it, but don’t lower yourself to it. Jealously and fear can be great tools to make oneself a higher achiever. Which is why our society is based on fear. Fear of failing, fear of disease, fear of hurt, loss, love and crime. So when we see other people rising above that fear, showing their bodies, singing, creating art, we feel jealous. How can they overcome their fear but I cannot? Well you can, just divert the jealousy into a place of practicalness, create something. I get way more negative feedback online than someone who is beautiful does, and it’s because I’ve overcome the fear of caring what society thinks of me. I don’t think I’m ugly, but I’m not a model, I just know I’m a sexual being with a stimulated brain that sees the art in life maybe more than the usual person. No one should be a slave to any one thing, person, emotion or state. Life is way too short to spend time thinking about what other people are doing or achieving, and I’m guilty of wasting my time on this to, but as long as we are mindful of the things we are feeling, then we are safe. Often when I meet people they have this overwhelming desire to mother me. I have a vulnerable aspect to my personality. I’ve had a lot of personal disappointment, and with that comes melancholy. I would definitely describe myself as melancholic, and I always have been. I swapped schools four times, and was usually the last kid in the playground holding onto their mother’s leg. Whenever I left friends behind I would cry for weeks. I would sit in my room and just sob. I don’t necessarily enjoy sadness, but I definitely revel in it. Sometimes I see the most beauty in life when I’m sad. Being sad is way more real than being indifferent. The emotion that can burn in ones soul when grieving is so poignant and powerful. It can shatter your entire body until you are a shaking, inconsolable mess. We forget about the physical effect that sadness has on us. Being unhappy is way more physically demanding than being happy. I dated someone who is bipolar for a long time and it was particularly difficult. 80% of the time I was inflicted by his sadness, 15% extreme happiness, the sort of happiness that can only be compared to a kid in Disneyland, and then 5% of indifference. The time I hated the most was indifference, it was the bleakest. It was the absence of emotion. I often go through times of indifference, in fact I feel like I’ve spent the past few years in a state of indifference. It’s the scariest time. It’s a time in which you feel nothing. You could walk into the road, be hit by a car and think ‘meh’. The reason I came to New York was to feel something again. To escape the feeling of indifference. When I arrived in New York it didn’t disappear, it only made me feel it more. I was questioning how I could be in the middle of Times Square and feel nothing. Every person I’d meet made me feel more alone. The only thing that can make you feel more lonely than being alone, is spending time with someone you have no connection with. Well, that was a palpable feeling until this day. We walked up 9th Ave until we turned off to find his apartment. Well, it wasn’t his apartment, as he was crashing with someone, just like I was. It was weird that neither of us had a permanent base in the city. It almost felt like we were two runaways. I liked it. We went up the stoop and into his friends apartment, it was small but cute, and no one was home. I sat on the couch and took my shoes off. My feet were killing me from walking so much in the city. He sat down next to me and asked if I smoked weed. I do and I don’t. I have periods where I smoke more than others, but I’m a little nervy in the drugs area. I always think I’ll be in the 1% that’ll die from taking one drag of the wrong stuff. Anyway, he decided to light up next to me, so I no doubt got a little high from passive smoking. He was beautiful, and the more time I spent with him the more I noticed his beauty. When he was high he only got more giggly and warm. His eyes were transfixed into mine, and he made himself more comfortable on the couch. There was a serious sexual & chemical tension between us. I was shy and nervous, I could tell I liked him and I didn’t want to kiss him because of that. When you kiss someone, the tension breaks, and the brewing of the tea begins. I wasn’t ready. The connection felt too good and so I wanted to hold on to the feeling. I could feel that we were just seconds away from that first kiss moment, and the doorbell went. His friend had just got back. I was relieved, not because I didn’t want to kiss him, I just didn’t want to just yet. His friend came in and we chilled together as a three for a bit. They were going to a fashion week event, they wanted me to come so they got me on the guest-list to go in with them. I was a little hesitant, as going out with them meant I was blowing my friend off who I’d sort of arranged plans with. It was now evening time, and I hadn’t really planned on staying out this long. I blew my friend off. That’s what we all do when we’re into a boy right? It’s the oddest thing. I could meet a boy a like, and then the only think about that one boy for days after. I could be with my best friend and be thinking in the back of my mind, ‘I would literally throw you under a bus right now for the chance to be sitting opposite him instead’. It’s sick huh? Maybe I’m the only one who thinks like that, but I’m pretty sure I’m not. It’s like chemically your body is only letting you connect mentally with that one person, so when your friend is with you talking about their favourite restaurant or some drivel, all you want to do is gun them down mid speech. Maybe a little extreme but you know what I mean. We went to this fashion party, and he was there to work, he was photographing and his friend was gonna keep me company while he walked around. His friend and I grabbed some free champagne and stood around pretending we knew at least one thing about the event, I didn’t even know the name of the designer, and by the looks of half the people in the room, they didn’t either. Fashion week is a circus. The people who have to be there for work, find it sluggish and boring, and the people who are there for leisure, which is probably 70% of people, are dressed to impress and looking for a purpose. Very odd. I could see him walking around the room, photographing the models and attendees. He was being pulled around by people trying to get a snap. Occasionally he would glance up, look through the crowd, and I would catch his eye. I’d take a sip of my champagne and smile. I’d look down, then look back up and see him still smiling at me. For that split moment it was as if the room stopped, everyone and anyone in there didn’t matter. It was a slow motion moment between his soul and mine. Stopping in transit to reconnect from a distance. His eyes would catch mine, and a bit of him would pour into me. Enveloping my senses and stirring my desires. He walked across the room and suggested we go soon. He slid his hand around my waist, the same way as ivy clings around a building. I felt like he owned me for a moment, like I was his. His property, not in a negative sense, but in a way in which I felt like I belonged. He liked running his fingers through my hair. Every time he would glide his hand towards my forehead, and his fingertips flew through my hair, my knees buckled slightly underneath me. It was a sensory overload, and he knew it. Every time he was near me I could smell his pheromones. His slightly unwashed and musky, sexual aura. His breath smelled kissable, and his beard was full. We left the party and headed downstairs to hail a cab outside. The three of us squeezed in the back and I was sat inbetween him and his friend. He put his arm over my head and around behind me, and I slid my hand down onto his knee. It felt natural and normal. It felt right. When his friend was talking, I’d turn my head to him, and we’d both smile. There was an unspoken love that was glimmering in his eyes. Obviously it wasn’t true love, life isn’t a Disney film, but there was a certain amount of love there. He loved what he saw and what he knew so far, and it wasn’t unrequited. We’d stare deeply in each other’s eyes, and would do so until one of us broke a smile, then the other would smile and usually turn their head away. The coy and bashful flirting of humans. We got out of the taxi and headed back into this friends house. His friend was tired so we decided to head out and leave him be. We walked out of the apartment and he said we should sit for a little on the stoop. It was very American pop culture. My love interest and I, sitting on a stoop at midnight in the Manhattan west village. For some reason I felt scared. From nowhere this overwhelming feeling of sadness and fear crept over me. I stared up to the fire escapes and the black NY sky and I said “I feel nervous, you make me nervous.” He asked me why, but I said I didn’t know. I lied. For so long I’d felt nothing. I’d felt nothing because I’d been so broken down, and I’d taught myself to feel nothing. If you feel nothing, then you’re not emotionally open enough to be hurt again. It’s a protection. The less you have to lose the freer you are. Living with sadness is a lot easier, and more tangible, than living with the fear of losing your happiness. Single people can be much happier than people in a relationship. Often when I’m in a relationship I live in fear that they’re going to leave me, cheat on me or let me down in some way. When I’m single, I feel indifference and life is more exciting in a way, and when I’m single but after a break up, I feel deep sadness, but sadness is less troubling than fear or panic. Many more people live in a state of fear or panic when they have something to lose e.g relationship, money, job etc than those who don’t. I sat on that stoop and I held back the tears. This year had really knocked me down and sitting there at that moment felt like a happy moment that I didn’t deserve, and one I know I would lose. “This is such a beautiful moment but it can only end in sadness,” I said. He seemed confused. We both lived so far away from each other, and even if this was a fleeting moment, and not the start of a great romance, we would eventually have to say goodbye and take separate paths. People often say to me, ‘just take it easy’, they tell me to enjoy the moment and not get so serious. This is an impossible notion for me. I do everything or nothing. If my heart tells me to give something my all, I will. No holds barred.
“This moment is pure beauty. It’s something out of a book or a movie. Two people from opposite sides of the earth, sat together on a stoop in New York City, having a moment. It’s not too hot, or too cold. Both sober and living in the seconds that tick by. Consciously watching every moment go past in slow motion. I would never have predicted in my deep sadness two months ago that I could’ve had this moment here today. It’s the wrong place, wrong person, wrong time, but right moment. A happy moment that is so fleeting, that you know it will pass you by. I feel like a boy handed a balloon in a hurricane. Is this my test? Do I struggle to hold onto the balloon, or do I see the beauty in watching it slip from my fingers and fly away in the storm. I’m sitting here feeling happy, but when I feel happy, I feel sad. I want to learn the happy story of two ships passing in the night, and not the tragedy…” He stopped me with his lips. My eyes closed and his beard touched mine. His lips rested upon mine and I felt his hand on my cheek. A tear released inside my eye and fell on the inside of my cheek where no one could see. I had been officially broken or awakened, and I couldn’t see which yet. His kiss hurt my soul, but cleansed it at the same time. “I think you’re beautiful. Come on, let’s go for a walk,” he grabbed my hand and lead me off the stoop. We started walking toward the river, and we held hands. I was nervous but it felt right. We reached a highway, and he just started running. “Come on!” He shouted. “We can’t run across here!” I said. I was super scared. “You want a real New York experience, well here it is! Run!” He proclaimed. I ran after him, I wanted to be braver. That’s what I’d come to New York to achieve. He looked at me in my eyes as we stood in the middle of the highway, cars speeding past behind and in front of us. I turned around and closed my eyes. This was so real. It was so authentic, yet so movie like. I didn’t believe that these things happened to real people. There was a gap in the traffic so we made a run for it. We ran across the highway and climbed up the grass side, on the way to the Hudson. We climbed over the ledge and I could see New Jersey glistening on the river in front of us. There was no one around and I ran toward the railings to lean over the river. I looked back and he was walking towards me, smiling. “I can’t believe this is happening, it feels like a dream,” I said. “The town mouse and the country mouse running wild in a foreign city, finding familiarity in an unfamiliar place.” There was a giant sculpture of a bottle which he ran over to and climbed on top of. It looked quite high so it made me nervous, but I went over to him anyway. I put one foot up and he reached his hands over to help me. He yanked me up onto the nozzle of the giant bottle, and we both straddled it facing each other. He leant in to me and the brush like texture of his moustache tickled my lips. I held my hands on either side of his face and I pulled him in toward me. We were kissing and smiling. It was romantic and adorable. Every time we would pull away from each other my brain would question everything that was happening. Asking me if this was real, and if I deserved it. I couldn’t be in a new relationship right now. I’d come to NYC to learn more about myself, not meet another boy. I’m addicted to loving people. Sometimes life isn’t about fighting for success, but if success comes to you because of your talents then great. If it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve love. Love is the greatest unexplainable art form in the world. Something that is just a feeling, an unexplained chemical reaction, triggered by smells, thoughts, tastes, visions and feelings. The feeling of being with just one person, while they touch you, look you in the eyes and admire you for the person you are inside the shell the world sees, is worth a million. I let him in that night, it wasn’t intentional, it just happened. It was an unexplained moment. Certain people take a room in the hotel of your heart, and then they reside there until you die. I believe we have a lot of rooms, and no matter how much pain we feel, or how much we grieve, they always keep a place there. I felt like he took a room that night. Two people in New York, no room, but the room in my heart. I stared into his eyes and I could see the lights reflecting off the Hudson. This was a true romance, like something from the movies, but it was happening to me. I felt like my battery had charged. I felt the colour yellow fill me up from my feet to my head. He jumped off the bottle, and held out his hands to help me down. We walked a little further south down the river and saw other couples on benches or leaning by the pier. I wondered what stages they were at. Our stage? The first stage. Maybe they were at the rekindling stage, trying to bring the romance back at the fear of losing each other. Maybe they were fighting and talking things out. Maybe it was an anniversary. Life is like a film, and everyone has their part to play. All these different storylines going on around us, but all we think about is our own plot line. I fear but cherish the emotions that life throws at me. When I felt the happiness I did by the Hudson that night, I equally felt dread. The dread of losing what I had experienced that night. You finally open your gates, you let in all the yellow colour and it’s so bright that you can’t see anything around you anymore. You can’t make correct decisions. You can’t act like the person you were before you opened the gates. You were changed. I don’t think we change by looping back to the person we were before, I believe we change into a new phase of the person we’re meant to be. I don’t see this as a spiritual way of thinking, I see this as reality. We experience things, we get hurt, we grieve and we move on, as a changed individual. We learn things, but we don’t learn from our mistakes. If we learned from our mistakes we would never love again. We have to be willing to make all those mistakes again to open ourselves to love again. Love isn’t like a skill, or a talent. It’s chemical. You don’t get better or worse at it. It just happens or it doesn’t. There is no wrong or right time. You just have to let it consume you, then when you are consumed, you find a way to control yourself within that consumption. Love can’t be dictated. You can’t say that you’re not ready for a relationship or a lover, because it will come regardless of your mood. You can meet someone in the most unusual of environments, catch eyes, and know that maybe this is your time. We strolled back through the west village. We walked past a Mini car retailer, there were London telephone booths in the window and union jacks. It made me feel at home, and calmer than I already did. This was the first time I’d been in NYC and felt calm. We held hands and walked. We kissed occasionally, and we arrived back to his. I didn’t want to stay, and I couldn’t anyway because it wasn’t his apartment. I wanted to charge my phone so I had enough battery to know how to get home. We creeped into his place and sat down on the sofa. I plugged my phone in and he turned around on the sofa and laid his head down on my lap. I stroked his hair and forehead and he started to fall asleep. When you go through a break up, you feel so hopeless, there’s never the hope that you’ll have a moment like this with someone in your future. He started to close his eyes and I closed mine. I moved my leg and my phone dropped off the table, it was loud and it startled us both. He sat up and next to me. We held each other, and were kissing. We were admiring each other for the first time, it was innocent and precious. We could hardly keep our hands off each other at this stage. The tension had reached such a level with which we lost control. He climbed on top of me and he kissed me passionately and intensely. My hands were around his waist and his on my face. We really started going at it, but I was hesitant as I didn’t want to go there with him at this stage. I knew that if we had sex, it really would be two ships passing in the night, and I wasn’t ready to accept that yet. I pushed myself away from him a bit, and said that I didn’t want us to go there. As disappointed as we both were, he agreed. If you give up the sex to soon, it ends the chase. You’ve locked the chemical connection in, but then it dies soon after because the initial solution wasn’t mixed with care. Sex with a stranger can happen anywhere, but to catch eyes with someone and your lungs forget how to breathe for a split second, that’s much rarer, and it should be handled with care. I reluctantly said I’d call a taxi, and so I did. We stood up, held each other and kissed goodnight. He let me out of the apartment and I left down the stoop and toward Broadway to catch my cab. I got in the taxi and the driver asked me what music I’d like, I said classical. I wanted it to be perfect. We drove through Manhattan, over the bridge and into Brookyln. The lights were passing me in slow motion, and I was trying to process what had happened in that day. I passed signs and suburbs and I felt happy. I felt content with the fear I felt in that happiness, and accepted that maybe that was just my brain and I needed to deal with it. I had actually come to New York City and found love. Maybe the love would last, maybe it wouldn’t, but what I did experience today was love. Short love or long love, no matter how small or insignificant it may have seemed in the grand scheme of my life, it’s something I will carry in my heart forever. It was easy, it was art, it was love.