Bromancing The Stone


My son and I have a new favourite show.  Now, the only time I ever indulge in TV is when my six-year-old is watching.  I just think most of the cartoons are ridiculous and enjoy the skew they have towards adults.  And they’re cartoons.  ‘Nuff said.  The show we like watching is Sanjay and Craig.  A boy and a snake.  Besties, as they say these days (human – reptile kind of days).  What I also enjoy watching is how my son plays with a particular kid when I drop him off at the school yard.  I watch as they show and offer each other snow piles and other random wintery objects.  The boys seem to be drawn together by a gentle force, organically, like when floating leaves catch together in the wind and land softly on a patch of grass.

This sort of connection with other dudes was something that had always eluded me during my life.  I went to an all-boys Catholic high school, and all that did for me was push me further away from having any meaningful friendships with other guys.  I was too busy getting pushed around by the other bigger boys and being undermined by the few guys that tolerated my presence.  Being catty and bringing someone down through rumour-ship is not the sole terrain of the Lady Cat.  Why bother with more pain when it would be easier to hide out.  And relationships with girls was just Mission Impossible, really.  Building a submarine out of marzipan, used sandwich frill picks and cigarette packs would have been more manageable than trying to secure a solid relationship with anyone – whether they were XX or XY down in the bones and blood.

Of course, taking cues from my classmates brought a certain code to light – it was okay to roughhouse, to hug, to grasp and wrap arms one another as long as there was some sort of either “noogie” action involved, or a certain machismo pronounced to offset the possible icky-ness of {gasp!} homo-eroticism.  I did see some strong hands-on male friendships blossom while in high school.  I often envied that – to have that sort of bond, that fall back, that soft (albeit hairy) place to land when I felt my world spiralling out of control.  So enter booze – my first bromance, really, even though I placed an anthropomorphic slant on the hooch.  I didn’t claim it male necessarily, but who needed to when it was already done – Captain Morgan, Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker?  Tough guys, guys who didn’t need tears to show you that they cared by just showing up in liquid form and telling you that you don’t need anyone else.  Hug all 500ml of me, dude.  Hug me some more…I love you.  I am the only one who understands you, yeah?

OK, this might be a bit over the top, but it has a sort of festive allure to it.
OK, this might be a bit over the top, but it has a sort of festive allure to it, doesn’t it?

My relationship with men was superficial at best.  I had drinking buddies for years who barely knew the real me.  They knew where I lived, because they dropped me off in different states of stupor-ness (new word, methinks).  But to know me?  The way that I craved to be understood and taken for what and who I was?  Too tall an order.  Might as well climb the Eiffel Tower on stilts backwards.  Stick to rehashing the same inane, overwrought and exaggerated stories over and over again. Keep the bottles heavy and the conversations light.  Connect over the poison and let it wash away the chances of any meaningful dialogue…like “How are you feeling today, Paul?”.  Fine.  Give me a fucking beer now.

So it was a love / hate thing I had with the love / hate thing.  I knew the girl thing was a tough slog, but I naturally thought hanging out with the other hombres would be a simple thing.  Like putting on flip-flops at the beach.  Comfy, no chance of athletes foot.  Low effort, high fives.  I wasn’t talking about rubbing suntan lotion on each other’s back per se, but at least chasing the guy with a wet towel.  Snap snap, let’s jump in the water and just take the sun on our coconut-aromatized skin.  Laugh at the insanity of speedos.  Get a burger and listen to our voices bouncing off our spirits.  But that part of me that thought – too much.  Too “gay”.  Too much information.  Too much for me to take.  Why?

Vulnerability, kind sir.  Vulnerability.

Oh Frodo.  Oh Sam.  Get thee to a room.
Oh Frodo. Oh Sam. You’re taking this a little too far.  Even for hobbits.

Because men are men and we just don’t do vulnerability, capisce?  I mean, we do, with women, but when you are lost in a world of testosterone, biceps-kissing-in-the-mirror and awkward half-hugs, there is no gray area for unsure footing.  You’re on the mountain or you’re not.  Showing weakness to another guy is dude-icide.  Might as well put on a sundress, lip liner and carry a spare tampon because Mabel is going to town.  And Mabel loves her a nice currant scone with her chamomile. That is how I was conditioned to see things, at least.  And yet, I had examples of the sort of bromance we talk about these days all around me.  I just pined from afar, knowing that it would never happen for me.  It wasn’t in the cards.  So back to Jack.  He knew my pain.  He also helped bring me more…that backstabbing bastard.

I wrote a quick post (more like a question than a post, really) quite a while ago about where were all the dude bloggers.  I had a few responses from the gents, but for the most part, I had to concede that this blogging world, the sobersphere, was female dominated.  And it is what it is. I love my ladies dearly, but wanted to hear from the guys. What I think I was trying to say then was really an echo of those old days, and old ways of thinking.  It was a quick shot in the dark of “where can I rest my head?” when it came time to being in another way, hanging with the Mars-not-Venuses. And since then, I have had the pleasure and honour of fostering some good, solid, wonderful rapport and relationships with some of the guys out here.  We don’t talk every day, nor do we need to.  But there is a thread of something that deepens and changes with every chance we get to talk / email.

I enjoy nothing more than just hanging out with my fellow capricious mates and just picnic in the frolicky grass.
I enjoy nothing more than just hanging out with my fellow capricious mates and just picnic in the frolicky grass. Then we chase each other with grasshoppers and do the hula hoop.

And in being in a fellowship of men and women, I get to hang out with the men in a new fashion.  Gone are the pretences, the images of what a man “ought” to be like, the superficiality and competition with other men, the idea of what manliness is and isn’t.  This is big stuff.  Big League Chew kind of stuff.  I have learned from other recovering men what it is like to love unconditionally, to be unapologetically, to cry and hug and hold hands and say “I love you” without any sort of awkwardness or pretension.  Some of the sweetest, kindest, gentlest people I know are men.  Men who have showed me what it is like to be a man, how to act, to speak…or when not to act or not to speak.  Men who hold sway through their intent and spirit.  Men who can offer others nothing but the captured reflection of their own souls to illuminate and light the way for others.  Men I want to be like.

It would seem strange to be talking about the dudes on Valentine’s Day here today.  And yet, there is nothing odd about it.  The men who I have chosen to surround myself with, face-to-face and even here on the interweb, are the ones who have shown me the way.  They have helped to show me what lifting ourselves to being of service to others is like.  They are the guys I can go to, no matter what.  No judgement.  They tell it to me plain and call me on my bullshit.  That’s how I have grown, and I am profoundly grateful for the guys who have shown me how to do this.

Fight! Fight! Fight!
Fight! Fight! Fight!  (or is it??)

Because being vulnerable brings me strength.  Allowing another man to see me at my most open, raw and rough is how I grow to trust and offer the same to other men.  Sponsoring and mentoring other men has shown me that it’s not about the tough veneer or image that is what matters – it’s the internal landscape, the ability to give and take, to move past the machismo and mechanisms of the mucho.  The men in my life have taught me how to treat women properly, how to self-care, how to deal with tough times, how to listen, how to just be and be okay with it.  They have shown me how to polish that stone of a heart into a ruby.  Let it glow and hum with humanity.

This is a shout out to all the dudes in my world who rock it, and who have lighted the path before me.  This is a shout out to the bruthas, blokes and buddies who inspire me.  This is a shout out to all the men who live as men, and as humans.  Big noogies out.  Because if a snake and a kid named Sanjay can do this dance, then there’s a pretty good chance this guy can do it too.  Love to all.

I got ya, bro.  I got ya.
I got ya, bro. I got ya.

(Special shout outs to my brothers out here – Marius, Graham, JR, Paul, Al, Jim, Good2begone, Glenn, REDdog, Big Mike and all the other guys who inspire me.  Thank you for being a part of my world)

26 Comments Add yours

  1. mishedup says:

    this was awesome, Paul.
    real and vulnerable and I appreciate your perspective, you know, the dude POV!
    I am also floored by the special breed of men I read in the blogosphere..sober, not sober…guys willing to put it out there. I appreciate and learn from them all.
    Happy valentine’s day.
    And I am gonna go there… A boy and his snake? made me laugh!

    1. Thanks Mish!!

      Ugh..boy and snake…ya got me on that one…didn’t even *think* of it like that…ha ha.

      And yeah, the fellas who can dish out the goods like they do – on their own sites and/or in the comments here and abroad…full fist bump and a hug. I know a lot of loveably lugs out in the rooms, but nice to see some that come into the blogosphere. Warm the heart.

      Thanks for the comments…awesome.


  2. byebyebeer says:

    Great post. Awfully sweet shout-out and your comfort makes me happy to read about. And my youngest loves Sanjay and Craig too. I love the photo of Brett and Jemaine. (a little too much perhaps) Happy V day!

    1. Thanks Kristen. Yeah, some creepy pics, but how can you not love them all? I am glad that the shout out resonated with you. I have certainly grappled with getting along with guys and not seeing them as someone who will eventually put me down or take advantage of me or ridiculing me. Old stuff, I know, but the more I can do this, the better it is for me. 🙂

      Hope you had a wonderful V Day!


  3. What a fantastic post. I truly love to read your words and gain perspective on things I see in my every day life, too.

    “Because being vulnerable brings me strength.” You so hit the nail on the head, especially as you shared the difference between what that looks like when vulnerable with a female vs. vulnerable with a male. I’m saving your post for my hubby and my son–I’ll be sure they get their share of noogies and wrestling in first 🙂

    At the risk of self-promotion…you should hop over onto my P&Qs site today. I photographed my son and his bestie. They share a man-brother-beast friendship that is a good example to us all. What’s not shared on my post is how I crouched in the weeds while they dove hunted and listened to their discussion on life’s mysteries. They encouraged each other (“dude, you’re really good at math) and they supported each other (“don’t worry about high school. we’ll get through it together). It makes my heart sore to see a bond like that. Thanks for pointing out the importance to your readers.
    xo, Michelle

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and wonderful words (as usual…I should just make that a standard disclaimer on my comments back to you). Wrestling and noogies are important. It builds oxygen to the brain and gives ripped abs (warning – ripped abs may not actually happen…but you’ll bust your gut laughing at least)

      I loved the story behind your picture (which I did see and love – self promote please!) The mother-justified listening (we call that “eavesdropping” around here…ha ha) and the way they support each other. Brings a good guy tear to me…wonderful bond indeed.

      Thanks again for being here 🙂


  4. Even though I’m not an “hombre,” I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to you, Paul, say Happy V-Day, and tell you that this is a great post! I agree that there is a great deal of vulnerability to opening up to anyone new, whether same sex, or opposite, although it “seems” like a same-sex relationship is supposed to be easy. Far from it, and I find that as time goes by, opening up to a new relationship gets to be more and more challenging. It’s worth the fight, though, because the rewards are worth the effort!

    Also, quick funny side story. My son was watching the cartoon you speak of in the beginning of this post. I am distractedly watching it with him, and he mentions something in the plot line to me. Not fully paying attention, I inquire, “What are you talking about, Sanjay and Gupta?” instead of the correct name “Sanjay and Craig.” My 11 year old son, having never seen the esteemed CNN chief medical correspndant, proceeds to laugh uproariously throughout the rest of the episode, because he thinks the name Gupta sounds so funny.

    Which, when you take it out of context and put it as a name of a cartoon snake, it is.

    Enjoy the holiday, Paul!

    1. I agree that opening up to anyone period is a big thing for us folks. I think that for the guys, that macho things gets in the way sometimes. I don’t usually run into it, even in the “real” world, but now and then it does. I think we have started to shift in terms of gender roles and stereotypes ensconced in them. In a good way.

      It’s funny what the kids get giggles from, eh? Especially if mom or dad make the boo boo and that makes it even funnier for them. Hilarious!

      I hope you had a wonderful VD yourself!


  5. lucy2610 says:

    It’s funny you should mention Jack (Daniels) today as me and Mr Hangoverfree were talking about our first Valentine’s only today. Fourteen years ago I had a bottle of JD delivered to his work saying that we went together like JD & coke (the drinking kind). Said a lot about our relationship and where booze figured in it even then. This V Day he received a box of Belgian milk chocolate salted caramel – no booze as we don’t do that anymore 😉 Maybe I should get him to drop you a mail – seeing as he is another sober male 🙂

    1. Bring Mr. HOF over for a proper sausage party…lol. Would love to have him for sure, Lucy 🙂

      Yeah, nothing says love than a 26 oz bottle of the Jackster. No need to put a ribbon on it – it will wrap YOU instead. And as for the salted caramel…say no more! That’s the real love vibe right there, my friend!

      Hope you and hubz had a great day.


  6. NotAPunkRocker says:

    “Building a submarine out of marzipan, used sandwich frill picks and cigarette packs would have been more manageable than trying to secure a solid relationship”

    Oh man, I am full-up on popcorn and lasagna and I read this. Tummyache from laughing…but it’s so true on so many levels.

    I don’t think I have paid attention to the ratio of male to female bloggers I follow. Now I am curious because it seems the males I follow post more often, but IDK.

    1. Glad you enjoyed, Sheena! Hope you feel better today…ha ha.

      The ratio I was referring to was more in the sober / recovery circles. I know that in the “normal” (whatever the heck one can define as normal) circles, it’s pretty split evenly. I think for those who are seeking a solution to drinking / drugs, the gals are more apt to seek and fine commune with others than us knuckledraggers who have their way of finding same.

      Anyway, thanks for being here…hope you’re having a groovy weekend 🙂


  7. Annabelle says:

    This post is super rad-and I’m sure all your dudes appreciate you as much as you do them.

    1. Thanks Annabelle! I just found your blog and look forward to reading more 🙂


  8. stacilys says:

    Oh Paul, I really love your style of writing. You know how to take a serious and intimate subject and add a sense of LOL humor as well (I literally laughed out loud in this paragraph: “Because men are men…backstabbing bastard”, not to mention the pic of the two picnic guys and what you wrote beneath. Still laughing at that – seriously).
    “Laugh at the insanity of speedos.”
    –This puts a smile on my face because, being a fellow Canadian I appreciate your aversion to speedos. However, I’ve lived in Brazil now for almost 12 years and speedos are the norm. Can you believe that? Yes, that’s right, the norm. hehehe=) And you know there are a lot of awesome beaches here. Be warned if you should ever consider vacationing here.
    -It’s also ok for a Brazilian man to wear clear nail polish.

    But seriously now, it’s so awesome that you have found the way to finding your “real man”. And partly, I think that comes with becoming more and more comfortable with who you are as a person. I used to be a real tom boy. I was also a total wreck emotionally and super insecure. I had to go through my 20s like this. It was only after much inner healing, prayer and growth that I have been able to be comfortable and confident as a person and as a woman. I just turned the big “40” in November and I can honestly say that I have never been so happy, confident, secure, content and comfortable in who I am as a person and as a woman. This girl that used to wear big heavy wool sweaters, Jeans and doc martins to church, prefers her pretty skirts and dresses now. And not because I am a girl, but because I love them.

    Here Here to letting men be men and women be women.

    Blessings Paul=)

    1. I have to say that I love seeing you post comments here, Staci – ya bring some good fun and a nice Canadian perspective (all Canadians are nice, right??) I still can’t really think about speedoes…but somehow they still exist. We have to thank your newly adopted country for that. And the Germans.

      I love your story there of transformation. It’s amazing how much freer we become when we are who are are meant to be. And that is always preceded by a length of time NOT being free to be who we are meant to be. So sweaters and docs to church, young lady…but then you go to where you are needed to be in your own skin. Some of us go through hard times too. Many of us seek that artificial barrier reef to skin our knees and elbows enough times to want to come up for air and lie on the beach. A nice Brazilian beach, perhaps 🙂

      Welcome to the 40’s, by the way. If it’s comfort you seek, it’s in these days…with just enough rebellion in there to light a few candles too 🙂

      Thanks for being here…means a lot 🙂


      1. stacilys says:

        Hahahahaha. Yes, I agree, we Canadians are so nice. That just may be why Canadians like to wear the Canadian flag when traveling because they know that they will be respected and like (big smile).
        I hear you on the speedos. When I first moved here I was somewhat appalled (for lack of a better word).

        “And that is always preceded by a length of time NOT being free to be who we are meant to be.”
        -Tell me about it. Imagine growing up in a household where you are free to be who you really are and everything is beautiful and you grow to up healthy and whole in every way, as well as secure in who you are. Can you imagine that?

        Ummmmmm, a nice Brazilian beach sounds just fine to me. Nice water (that isn’t cold to enter, by the way), great waves, relaxing, eating the best fresh made fish one could ask for, beauty, sipping coconut water from a straw right from the coconut. Not too mention, close by. Am I making you jealous yet? Sorry about that. I’ve seen your bike in the snow. =) Ok, now I’m just rubbing it in.

        Blessings and thanks for the kind words.

  9. Brother Beast, I come bearing oil-soaked telephone poles we can bonfire in your backyard, a bejeweled furniture ax, as well as these negligently-constructed Chinese fireworks to risk eye and limb with. Indeed, my arms are full of manly mayhem, and I’ve come to lavish these upon your steel-toed boots. Huzzah!
    Your days of wandering the wilderness are over. You’re among friends now. Your brothers.
    On behalf of all men in sober comradeshiphood, let me welcome you home, by bringing a bunch of dudes over to your house.
    I want to reassure you (well, more your wife, I want to reassure her) that none of the guys are going to dial any out-call strippers from your land-line. We took a vote and from now on it’s policy. We also brought moving blankets to wrap around some of the more delicate household furnishings. So she has nothing to worry about as she is whisked off to a Spa Day and Spending Spree Jubilee! That’s right, all courtesy of me and the boys, and the credit card we took the liberty of opening in your name.
    I can see you’re beginning to cry, and that’s alright. It’s okay to cry around here. Since it’s a big part of being real. And a man is nothing, if he isn’t real.
    Hold on. Okay, Bucky-O needs more power-strips for the band equipment, Pauly. Where do you keep those? “Check the garage!”
    Anyway, I think it’s great that in sobriety, you’ve been able to feel some buddy love. And not just the back-slapping and beer-swilling variety, but the kind you feel when you open up to some guy, and he doesn’t try to sneer or shame you.
    As you know, a lot of that depends on who and where you hang out. The guys I hang out with these days, recognize the bravery required to be vulnerable, and they react accordingly. Only the sociopath sees it as weakness to be exploited, and you can pen those guys out of your social calender real easy-like.
    Speaking of sociopaths, the band’s here. Look, I have to be straight up with you, Pauly, these guys are still active alcoholics. Very much so. But I figured we won’t have to carry the message as far if they set up right here in the living room. “Watch the onyx chess set!”
    By the way, you spelled it right about the disproportionate amount of women recovery bloggers to males. It’s awesome, isn’t it? I feel like I landed in the middle of Zumba. Let the other dudes think I’m a sissy. I have no problem with being completely surrounded by women.
    Just not right now, because it’s time to fire off the cast-iron replica pirate cannon and bring on the band. “Point that thing away from the neighbors!” So cool getting to hang out with you like this, bro.

    1. I was just cleaning up after the bash, Marius. I have to thank you first and foremost for cleaning up after the llama. I didn’t think the band had it in them to bring it in, but there it was, spitting up a storm, and to the beat. No different than some of the mosh pit dwellers you’ve come across in your time, sir. Spittle laden, hoofs to the head kind of action. It wasn’t until it started into reciting the Illiad and the Odessy in Spanglish was the subterfuge discovered. But enough of the llama – I think the highlight for me was when we all got together later – you, me and the lads and just had a good handshake and hug when the spirit moved us. Nothing preordained or set up. The mood just hit us and we huddled and high fived and said some magic words and knew things were right in the world.

      I know the band looked at us like a bunch of hippies on a pirate ship, but that’s their perception, isn’t it? I know where they are coming from, though. I had the hate in the heart, the fear, the unknowing of where I would land next. But the chord of D-minor is always a good start and the punching of the walls and throats didn’t do much more to lessen to the tension on stage. I know that they need that pain before we can give them what has been given to us, yeah? You know what I speak of, brother M. You’re a stud in that category. The Dirty Dozen kind of leader, if you catch the drift.

      I love what you say, captain. You really know how to dial in on these things – say the things I am thinking but can’t word (even though I yap incessantly like a Jack Russel terrier). That’s why I need you on the flag football team next week – you are a maestro at capturing what we’re carrying and laying it out on the line.

      Anyway, as I sweep the dust from the cannon and the ashes from the fireworks, I am reminded at how lucky this scrub is…lucky to have a great mate like you in the corner.

      Big hugs,

  10. I’ve got the XX thing happening, yet I get it: that powerful desire to belong, to be vulnerable, but not quite sure how to step into the inner circle. Reminds me of the college days when it felt like everyone joined sororities and fraternities and I was just a drunk in my dorm room.

    I didn’t quite get why I had such a hard time being a part of the sisterhood of the traveling tissue boxes until an old-timer woman, with experiences in both drunkenness and sobriety that would make most people’s toes curl, pulled me aside and said, “Honey, the women will save your a**; the men will pat you on the a**.” She’s also the one who told me the male friendships in AA teach us what we want in men “out there” in the normie world.

    While I have male recovery friends, my go-to-in-a-crisis people are women. The men teach me to respect myself. The women wipe my snotting nose and stand me back on my feet. Sometimes I still keep them at an arms distance, but I know when I’m falling, they will catch me.

    1. I love the old time women! Big Mike talks about it in his comments here about his experience with one…what a wonderful thing. I have heard that expression, and while I agree with the sentiment don’t completely agree with the actual prediction…lol. But I like what you said about being “the drunk in the dorm room”. That can be looked at in so many ways, can’t it? Isolated, not a part of, etc. I get it.

      I love your last lines there…amazing. I don’t have many go-to women, as I usually have kept a distance from them (see what your old timer female said earlier – I don’t want to be seen as one of “them”!!), but certainly the fellas keep me real. As the women do for you. What a gift to have what we have. And what a gift to have you here 🙂


  11. big mike says:


    Thanks bro. I’m honored.

    I figure I’m just lucky or blessed or something. I hang out with a crew of sober guys and girls of various ages and stages of sobriety in an auto repair shop. Its always good to have somewhere to hang and to find good orderly direction and fix cars at the same time.

    Your post resonated with me. Not just for the guy stuff though.

    When I was new and kicking around AA, I used to go to alot of open speaker meetings. I always identified with the guy speakers who were convicts, gangsters, and street guys. When I finally heard my real story told it came from a little waif of a girl. She blew me away with feelings. She resonated my soul with her words. She told ‘my’ story.

    Also, when I was new in AA, I had a ‘worked on’ pretty tough exterior that worked really well at keeping people away. Even the legitimate tough guys kept their distance, which was fine with me. Thats the way I wanted it. A leave me the fuck alone and you will be fine, kinda attitude. The reality of it was, I was a 6’2 210 lbs, tattooed, scared shit maniac, church mouse of a little kid in an adult body. who wouldn’t hurt a flea -unless seriously provoked.

    There was a little old lady-tough as nails-at what would become my home group, named Annie who read right through my bullshit and somehow took me under her wing. Annie and her husband Al, -both sober 25 years or so,- after repeated prodding ,somehow got me to go to the diner with em after a meeting. That was the beginning of my re socialization. Through her brutal honesty, nurturing, repeatedly going to the diner after the meeting and inviting me over to their house to watch TV and eat ice cream and cake, that old lady worked on me day in and day out until she broke me down enough to get a sponsor.

    In this life, no person has done more for me than that old lady did. Looking back at it now, Annie and Al, used to round up the lost souls of AA and lead them to the light of sobriety. If that aint love, I don’t know what is.

    1. Mike – you sound a bit like my sponsor, in terms of size and look. He’s got the big build and shaved head and goatee and all the stuff that goes on when you’re a bouncer and an alcoholic and an addict and run in certain circles. And he has said the same thing you have – he was scared, a little boy in his dad’s clothing. Wouldn’t hurt anyone unless that fear activated in a pronounced way. So I get you. I totally see you.

      And I get that the girl telling “you” story. I remember someone telling my story too – a dude, but he and I probably couldn’t be any different, on the surface, but I understood totally where he came from, because he was me, and I was him. As we all are to each other on some level.

      I love, love that story with Annie. Those are special people, aren’t they? Love embodied, and taking no shit. That’s the kind of thing I want, Mike. I hope one day to be something like that – to just let others be and come to things as they need, and yet shining a light in the direction.

      I can’t tell you how much that meant to read, Mike.

      Amazing what we do and learn in this new way of life.

      Love and light,

  12. The Hook says:

    I haven’t really done the bromance thing, but you make it sound cool.

    1. It is pretty cool, my friend. And don’t worry – ya won’t feel *weird*…ha ha.

  13. Glenn says:

    There is nothing quite like the acceptance and friendship of another male. Whether it be from my love for my late father, my distant love for my older brothers or for my desire to have a deep, meaningful best-friend type relationship with another guy which never came to be, I have always found comfort in male companionship.

    As I have grown and gotten older (two distinctly different things) I have learned to enjoy the scope of relationships that I can now develop. Life allows for only so much time to grow and nurture these relationships but making the best use of the little time that I do have has proven to be gratifying in many ways.

    I have learned much from many and gleaned the most from a self-aware few. You, Paul, have given me a fresh look on my life. You used the term mentor in your article and that is, unbeknownst to you until now, in ways how I view you. You are an inspiration good Sir and like a few of the deep relationships that I have, although I don’t come around often, I am always thankful and fulfilled when I do.

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