And now, for some really bad break-up writing!

And now, for some really bad break-up writing!

Oooh. Here’s a deep cut!

When I broke up with my last ex-BF about 12 years ago, it took me a long ass time to get over him. I don’t think I really am; it’s just a feeling I’ve learned to put into a different compartment. But, the concussive effects of that first wave of emotion were very new to me. I never understood why people would lose their shit after a breakup, but I learned quickly. My friend John sent me a mix CD labeled “Music for a Bottle of Merlot and a Razor Blade,” featuring such sad singleton hits as “Alone,” “All By Myself,” “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted,” etc. We laughed, but I found myself spiraling out of control shortly after.

I kept this little Moleskin notebook during those first months, which I hid a few years later. It reappeared during my Pandemic-induced decluttering of my home when we shut our office doors until further notice. That was about two years ago. (We’ve reopened them since, by the way.) Finding it was like the surprise you feel when you run into an old school friend’s mother during a Target run where you’re not looking your best, gussied up in chanclas and a chorizo-stained hoodie. Reading and revisiting the version of yourself that penned each entry was like being hit by a car driven by a deranged doctor’s wife from Texas seeking revenge. How do we all turn into Janis Ian or Phoebe Snow when boys break out hearts? I was surprised I even was capable of such maudlin displays in the first place, but how could I not? After years of favoring telenovelas and Douglas Sirk films, turning into Natalie Wood in “Splendor in the Grass” shouldn’t be a stretch, right?

So, I am willing to share one choice bit of writing, appropriately titled “Alone.” Put on your favorite heartbreak ballad, wrap yourself up in that warm comforter known as nostalgia, and see if this hits a few emotional notes you recognize!

There’s a strange void in my heart as I look out the window from an empty house. I feel the start of a dream, always the day you first came into my life. I came to you first, though, searching for a gentle man.

You were that dream come true, and I was your saving grace. How did we get to this place?

The first years were unlike any happiness I’d known, yet in the last months, we’ve become strangers, barely able to see face to face. How did we get to this place?

This isn’t about fault. You loved me, then loved another. I can’t believe I’d be so easily replaced. How did we get to this place?

We can count the memories, but that’s just wasted sentiment. We can count our blessings, but that’s just wasted destiny. What I would give to make this day turn a different way. They say time heals everything, but I still can’t stand the thought of losing you.

I didn’t want to tell you how I felt or what I thought I should do. But that won’t stop me from crying an emotion or two.

You walked out the door for the last time. I hope he treats you fine. It isn’t the loss that hurts so much. It’s the silence of this space. How did I get to this place they call “being alone.”

Reading it back now, I think it is safe to say Taylor Swift has nothing to worry about here. (Cue laughter.) But I’m not ashamed about displaying my red scarf in this context. (Swifties will know what I mean by that reference.). If anything, I’m proud of what that experience taught me. I stopped romanticizing the past, choosing to live in the present while respecting the lessons learned from being in a relationship. Whenever that miracle happens again, I’ll be ready.

“I Resolve to…Understand That The World Goes ‘Round” — #theclosingoftheyear

“I Resolve to…Understand That The World Goes ‘Round” — #theclosingoftheyear

God, how long have I been basking in the glow of hyperbole?

It’s like I don’t know any other way to express myself or view the world. Everything to me is:



Must have!

Must see!





It’s all just a cover-up, really. This endless search of non-information that clutters my brain, distracting me from the narrative that I really want to express, not just to the world, but to myself. If there is anything to offer as a resolution for 2015, it is to abandon the hyperbole and focus on what matters in defined terms. Fuck these endless social media streams, I want truth again.

I haven’t been too eager to promote many entries on this blog of late. It’s been a combination burn book and teen girl journal for weeks. “This family member talked so much shit about my me!” or “Those family members had the nerve to make it all about them!” or “This date was just another Harry Houdini! Now you see him! Now you don’t!” I bet even Taylor Swift would go, “Fuck bitch. Get a new theme!”

What happened to self-reflection and understanding, to humor and positivity?

What happened to the last third of 2014?

Well, a lot.

John Kander and Fred Ebb composed a song for Martin Scorsese’s “New York, New York” called “The World Goes ‘Round.” I’ve had it on a loop these last few weeks. It helped shape what I decided to write today, summing up exactly what sort of year many of us experienced in 2014.

Sometimes you’re happy, sometimes you’re sad
But the world goes ’round…

And sometimes your heart breaks with a deafening sound…
Somebody loses and somebody wins
And one day it’s kicks, then it’s kicks in the shins
But the planet spins,

and the world goes ’round….

I thought a lot about what this closing blog entry of the year should contain. But, as I sit here in my bedroom (More teen girl imagery. That has to go in 2015), I find that I don’t want to replay any of it. I want to focus on the reality that the world will continue to spin — and that hope matters.


My boss Alan and I got into a rather revealing discussion about hope, an ideal my friend doesn’t seem to think exists.

But I do. I really do.

Hope, like love, has lost its power. It’s a brand. It is a campaign logo.  It has been appropriated by the self-help contingent, those annoying life coaches and magazinespeak spinners. It is that blanket statement too many of us use to cover up our woes, disappointments and our other beautifully weak and frail moments. “Don’t worry. There is always hope.”

Hope, like love and happiness, takes effort. It takes work to NOT let yourself fall prey to the myriad of distractions and stupidities that dominate our daily lives. You can’t use hope blindly. Hope needs to be seen clearly. It isn’t like prayer. “I hope” is not like talking to God. You are talking to yourself. You are being your own source of faith and courage to face the challenges that we face. And the challenges, particularly at this age, will arrive with the efficiency of a high speed train.

Hope, like love, is not for pussies. And hope needs to be taken back from the legion of those wanting to cash in on our gorgeous neuroses for their own gain. Before any of us can begin to understand just how important love is in our lives, we have to reeducate ourselves in the power of hope. Where there is hope, you will find love. You will find them exactly where you left them before you let all the static of modern life cloud your own beliefs and true self.

In a few hours, 2014 will join the album of detritus that is memory. It will be relegated to the tales we tell whenever we reunite. Those who are lost, will be remembered. Those who hurt us will be reviled again, but ultimately forgiven because they just don’t know any better. Those who made us laugh, will make us laugh that much harder. And we will all be glad that we survived to tell the tales again and again.

I also found great comfort in another song, one composed by Hans Zimmer and Trevor Horn for the film “Toys,” performed by Wendy & Lisa and Seal. It features this lyric:

This is a Time to be Together
And the Truth is somewhere here
Within our love of People
At the Closing of the Year.

I spent these last months in a state of free fall. I haven’t hit ground yet, but I see it below. I have not lost sight that it is with my family and my family of friends, new and old, here and abroad, where I did find my truth in 2014.

I can’t wait to find out what I will learn in 2015.

Wednesday, December 31. Written and posted from Wayne Avenue Manor in South Pasadena, CA.

How You (Don’t) Get the Boy — #themanthatgotaway

How You (Don’t) Get the Boy — #themanthatgotaway

Man, I hate when the end of the year starts manifesting itself. The holidays always seem to trigger a certain sense of loss in my heart. It’s a nagging sensation, on par with your Mom berating you for not cleaning your room before company is about to visit. But, in this case, it is just me still grappling with  “The One Who Got Away,” even though that event happened more than four years ago.

Right about now, my own group of friends is rolling its collective eyes over this admission, followed by this utterance: “Ayyyyyyy! Get over it already!”

Yeah, I know.

But my own Charlotte York mentality is at play here. I do believe you only get one real love. The rest are variations of that indelible experience. Some men are better, some are worse. Then, you click with someone enough to recognize your heart is still in working order. Still, I don’t think you ever forget the first moment you realize the person sleeping next to you makes you feel like the luckiest guy on Earth. And for a good part of four years, he did make me feel that way.

I’ve moved away from the Judy Garland-scored sense of loss that I’ve fostered with great care these last few years. Although, just to hear the first few bars of “The Man That Got Away” does encourage me to reach for a mental martini. The reasons for our break up have evolved over time. I see it today with a much calmer perspective than during the first year after I walked out his door. While I’ve been able to process it without the melodrama reserved for a cliffhanger episode of a Shonda Rhimes show, it may forever resonate strongly in my own life’s narrative.

I’ve gone into therapy over him. I’ve thought of how I will feel when I discover he has since married the gent that followed me. Sometimes, I am bothered over how we really don’t share much of a friendship. Sometimes, I smile over the good fortune of having him enter my life when he did. Sometimes, I wish I never met him at all.

These are the moments where I turn into a teenage girl, writing my heartbreak into a diary. I wonder if I ever reboot my own heart, does this mean all that data will disappear? At times, that feels like losing him again and it scares the shit out of me. Then, I remind myself that he moved on so completely, I’m a fool for still wanting to hold on to this info at all.

I’ve met quite a few gents since him, two even became boyfriends. Neither stayed. The self-sabotage I implemented made sure of that. I wanted to have the ability to think, “See? If they’re not him, they don’t stand a chance.” I have opted to stay out of the dating fray for longer periods. But, if there is one constant in this world, I can always count on a specific track from a Taylor Swift album to make me feel “this thing” all over again. And the recent release of her monster smash “1989” did not disappoint.

Taylor is certainly peppier than Judy, although I wonder how many other gay men out there are starting to recognize just how we can channel our own pathos through Swift’s music. With “Red” it was the title track that moved to me feel the many shades of emotion connected with losing him in the first place. With “1989” it’s “How You Get the Girl.”

Damn you, Taylor!

The simplicity of this track is insidious, a sentiment so unadorned and straightforward, you are conquered before the first chorus.

I have scripted so many reunion moments in my head. It’s either his choice or mine, a dramatic moment like his wedding or some random party. I’ve envisioned hospital scenes for both of us. I’ve worked out what would happen if he opted to stay with the other guy, complete with telenovela variations where I catch them in our bed. But mostly, I think about finally getting the boy, that love of my life, in the classic sense. It’s when I channel Nora Ephron, George Cukor and Woody Allen. And, these scenes are best underscored by that perfect Swiftian touch, that unabashed blast of earnestness that makes me surrender my rational self.

I’m not ashamed for any of this, but I recognize its limitations. Loss is something we all must learn to process and understand. It’s probably a good thing La Swift pulled her music from Spotify. Maybe now I’ll stand a fighting chance.


But, as I was schooled one afternoon by a friend: ‘You’ll never get what you truly deserve…if you remain attached to what you’re supposed to let go of in this life.”

Taylor, if you’re reading, how’s that for a lyric?

Tuesday, November 5. Written and posted from Wayne Avenue Manor.

“How You Get the Girl” by Taylor Swift

Stand there like a ghost
Shaking from the rain, rain
She’ll open up the door
And say, are you insane?
Say it’s been a long six months
And you were too afraid to tell her what you want
And that’s how it works
It’s how you get the girl
And then you say

I want you for worse or for better
I would wait for ever and ever
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together
I would wait for ever and ever

And that’s how it works
That’s how you get the girl, girl, oh
And that’s how it works
That’s how you get the girl, girl

Remind her how it used to be, be
Yeah, yeah
With pictures in frames, of kisses on cheeks,
Tell her how you must’ve lost your mind
When you left her all alone
And never told her why
And that’s how it works
That’s how you lost the girl
And now you say

I want you for worse or for better
I would wait for ever and ever
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together
I would wait for ever and ever

And that’s how it works
It’s how you get the girl, girl, oh
And that’s how it works
It’s how you get the girl, girl
Yeah yeah

And you-ou kno-ow
That I don’t want you to go
Remind me how it used to be
Pictures in frames of kisses on cheeks
And say you want me, yeah, yeah

And then you say
I want you for worse or for better
I would wait for ever and ever
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together
I would wait for ever and ever

And that’s how it works
It’s how you get the girl, girl, oh
And that’s how it works
It’s how you get the girl, girl
And that’s how it works
It’s how you get the girl, girl, oh
And that’s how it works
It’s how you get the girl, girl

And that’s how it works
That’s how you got the girl

Here’s Taylor Swift talking about the inspiration behind the track, one of many stand out moments of her new album, “1989.”