Who am I? I’ve wanted to know the answer to that question for as long as I can remember. The answer I’ve reached is that I’m a young man trapped in a middle-aged man’s body. Even though my knees creak and hurt, I still want to run. Even though my back hurts from lifting, I still want to work in the garden. Even though I need reading glasses to read a book, I still want to read books. So I’m going to keep railing against this aging thing and try to remain young, even if it is only in my mind.
After looking around, I think it’s a good time to be alive. The world is a wonderful, magical place filled with fascinating and mysterious people and places – and I want to see as much of it as possible and meet as many of them as possible. In my travels I’ve visited 46 of the 50 states and I’ve been to 26 foreign countries. As I see it, that leaves a whole lot still to see. But I honestly have no idea how I’m going to check off Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, or Kansas.
Another thing I love is men. Men are incredible creatures. They can be so many things, from an utter nuisance to a pain in the ass, to a sensual creature whose beauty you want to simply caress (not to mention licking from head to toe, but I digress). A handsome man in motion can demonstrate confidence, sensuality, sense of purpose – all things that can come together to make an incredible sight. There is great fun to be had watching shirtless young men play vigorous games of volleyball on hot summer days, kicking up sand, flying to return a ball, and frolicking with their friends, not to mention pouring buckets of cold water over their overheated heads when they take a break. Let me tell you, that is a really erotic display to observe. I’m sorry – where was I? It’s getting awfully warm in here, isn’t it?
I’ve put elsewhere on this site some of the pictures I’ve taken of a few men, some playing volleyball, some running, some just out and about. Sometimes when I want to write I just look at a picture of a gorgeous man and I try to see his story and start writing what I see him doing. Probably if some of them knew what I’d done with their likeness they would blush – too bad.
I grew up in a very rural area. Upstate New York has been my family home for generations going back to the Revolutionary days. Living in a rural area can be difficult for a young gay man who wants nothing more than to find another young gay man and explore some of the desires he’s feeling. I had to take a bus five hours to New York City to get laid for my first time. It was good but it was over so fast.
So, back to the core question: who am I? I’ll give a few things I like to do:
- travel the world
- read books (lots and lots of books)
- write (more about that soon)
- look at beautiful men
- take pictures
- take pictures of beautiful men
- enjoy beautiful men (do you see a theme here?)
- photograph waterfalls (my sister got me started on that)
- play with electronic gadgets
- build websites (no two created with the same software)
- investigate my family’s history and see where I came from
- bake (sweet things which I hardly eat)
To get to do those things it takes money. To make money, over the years I’ve done more things than I can count. I’ve sold tickets for horse races, I’ve made copies (lots of copies), I’ve cooked hamburgers (lots and lots and lots of hamburgers), I’ve been a preacher (I’ll tell you about that another time), I’ve washed cars, I’ve written computer code, I’m created websites, … pant, pant, pant, … I’ve typed billing statements (thousands and thousands of billing statements back in the days before computers did all the manual work for us), I’ve been an accountant, I’ve transcribed dictation, I’ve put up fences, I’ve moved boxes in a warehouse, I’ve done manuscript editing and proofreading, I’ve … well, let’s just say I’ve done a whole lot.
After spending years dreaming about being a writer but never quite daring to do anything about that dream, something happened. When I turned 50 (gasp!) I realized that there were more years behind me than there were ahead of me so I knew I had better get busy and start doing some of the things I’d always wanted to do. And one of those things was writing.
From the earliest days of humanity, we have been storytellers. From the days of hunters painting pictures on cave walls for others to see to the days of traveling minstrels who entertained people with their story-telling. From the people who act on stage or screen to the people who write books, we are at our core storytellers. We love to hear stories. And I love to tell stories.
When I had these life changing revelations, I tried writing. I didn’t know what to write or how to write. I remember watching an episode of a TV series that I enjoyed and think, “That was so stupid! They should have done x, y, and z instead of what they did!” I also thought that they should have put the two male stars together to explore the homoerotic undercurrents that I saw throughout their interaction. So guess what? I did!
I wrote a story that started where the TV episode left off and I made the changes I thought needed to be made. No one ever read that story because I didn’t show it anyone. I used someone else’s storyline so I didn’t think I should share that tale. And then I got an idea for something new to do with the two main characters. And I wrote that! While not perfect, what I wrote wasn’t half bad. So I tried it again with another idea. And that effort was even better.
For a couple of years I felt I had found my home in the fan and slash fiction worlds. I “published” (i.e., shared for free) stories that I had written and, based on downloads and hits, I did rather well. My writings have received more than 165,000 hits from just one of the two main sites where I’ve shared them. People read what I wrote, they commented on what I wrote. And I thought, well, maybe this isn’t such a crazy dream after all.
So I tried my hand at creating my very own original characters and my very own original settings and my very own original scenarios. And I liked it! So I did it again. And I liked it! So I did it again. And that time I sent it off to a publisher for their consideration. I got myself all built up prepared for the inevitable rejection. But guess what? They didn’t reject me! No, they said they wanted to publish my story and offered me a contract! I learned of this while reading my e-mail on my iPhone on the subway ride to work one morning; I think I scared the man sitting next to me when I squealed with delight. I might have hugged him; I don’t entirely remember. When I got to my office I did the happy dance, first by myself and then with a co-worker.
By day I’m a mild-mannered computer geek who helps people spend money to build custom programs that they probably don’t need, but hey, who am I to judge. They pay me a nice salary to do it and it’s not my money, so what the hell. It pays the mortgage and buys dog food and occasionally gives me nice trips and quiet times between projects and lots of flexibility.
And that brings me to today where I’m three years older and still a young spirit trapped in a now an older body (I’ve tried ever so hard to keep in good shape and in good working order – I might have no choice about being my age, but I don’t have to look my age!). I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up so I guess I’ll just have to keep exploring and looking for the answer to that question. Life’s a journey and I’m loving the scenery I see along the way. Come. Sit. Let me tell you about what I’ve seen.
Picture it. It’s Santorini, Greece. The day is hot, the sky is clear, not a cloud in the sky. The young man painting the wall next door to my villa took off his shirt about an hour earlier. Oh, what a sight. He looks hot, I need to take him some water. Talk amongst yourselves; I’ll be back … in a while.