January 29

The myth of the Virgin Nerd

Cardboard Knight
Cardboard Knight – Source Unknown

There is a common myth, still persistent, even in this enlightened age of the post jock dominant world, that Geeks, Nerds, and other titles given to the smart, socially awkward among us are virgins, and this is a bad thing. This wraps up several misconceptions and stereotypes into one prejudicial statement that I would like to address. Let’s go back to front.

  • Virginity is Bad, but only for boys

The pressure on adolescents to have sex is pretty damn strong. It is perpetuated in media, which uses sex to sell pretty much everything, is blasted from music and movies, and, why not? The human body has evolved to pump hormones into the developing body that seem custom tailored for marketing departments to be able to push the latest energy drink or cosmetic product. Complicate that with small town America who think that any activity that includes teenagers will lead to sex and/or drug use, and, therefore, must be shut down, and what are you left with? That’s right. Sex is the measure of a young man among his peers.

So, a young man is made fun of if he has not “scored” with a woman. Zod help him if he is attracted to boys! (I digress… this is not about homosexuality). So, virginity is bad for young men among his peers, in the same way it is a virtue for a young girl among her peers (The old double standard, still surviving, even now).

This cultural pressure is so bad that it has become a culture of forced sex. Rape culture is so pervasive that it is distorting not only how we raise male children, but how we raise females as well, and how we deal with sex altogether.

  • Interests are only good when Accepted by Society

This one has always irked me. I am not a big fan of football. Sure, I go to Superbowl parties. I could care less about the game. I go to be with friends. Do you know how many games I have gone to in my life? Two. One was with my mother when I was about eight. We were at the Hoosier Dome, and were literally at the back wall of the stadium. The field was so far away I could not make out the numbers on the jerseys. The second game was in high school. The only reason I went was because I was waiting to go to the dance afterwards, and they would not let me wait outside the game. Other sports are similar. The only sport I got into at all was soccer, and, even then, it was only barely. But, it was clear when I was younger that the football players and the basketball players were the ones who got the good treatment. Why? Here’s the thing.

It’s a cycle of pointlessness. All sports are entertainments. The owners pay the players to entertain the fans. The fans pay to be entertained. Nothing other than entertainment is produced. That’s all well and good, and the same thing can be said of computer games. But the thing is that the amount of money, and the way it is handled is what is the issue.

Take the average grade school football player. Maybe he has some talent. He plays in high school. In high school, he is shown special treatment. They have special transportation to and from matches. They give him a letter for his letterman jacket. He can get a special ring. He goes on to college. He plays there. There is a multi-million dollar industry supporting him. He goes on the the NFL. Now it is a multi-BILLION dollar industry. All along the way are perks, special treatment, he is groomed, treated like a prize pony, and is recognized the world over. Children are taught by their parents to idolize him. The stadiums he plays in were built using taxpayer money. The tickets cost an enormous amount. Television networks fight for the right to broadcast the game.

At the end of his career, what has he produced? Statistics, highlights, videos, memories. That’s all well and good. But society puts him and his activities on a pedestal. Why? We need heroes. Fine. We are not in any good wars, so that makes sense. At least, no wars that make sense and produce heroes.

Why, then, do we have to stigmatize those that do not choose the same path?

Thankfully, things are changing. Now that people are realizing that being a geek pays a lot better than the average jock, they are waking up to it.

  • Geeks don’t get the girls

This one, I think, irks me the most, because it is the least true, and the one most based on faulty knowledge. It presumes that girls cannot be geeks, and that all girls want non-geeks.

Guess what, jocks. Geek girls not only exist, but they are a lot more fun than the girls you like to date.

Think about it for a moment. Joe Average Jock asks Jane Average Cheerleader out on a date. He spends the evening talking about his Sports Team, which she knows a little about, since she is a Cheerleader. She starts talking about what she is into and he blankly stares off into space. This is what their marriage is going to look like.,

Meanwhile, Tom the Geek is out on a date with Meredith the Nerd. The spend the evening sharing a Butterbeer and trading Doctor Who and Monty Python quotes. On their thirties wedding anniversary, they share a booth at Gencon, promoting their new card game.

Jocks, geeks do get girls. We just don’t need to brag about it. We’re too busy having fun.

January 27

For Addi

I’m looking at my ring finger
Chipped enamel still pale pink
Remembering Leelah
A year ago, my finger would have not been painted
Would not be a memorial
For a teen I’d never met
Fifteen years ago
Two became seven
As I broadened my understanding
Twenty years ago
Experiencing so many new things
Ways of being
Twenty five years ago
Sitting at the McDonalds at the Merchants Plaza downtown
Looking at the woman whose Adam’s apple gave away her birth gender
Surrounded by my eighth grade class
Few of them noticing
Perhaps the teachers
More of a curiosity than anything
The deep blue eyes
Of the man my parents befriended on campus
Whose flair was a stereotype

I still would change nothing
And I am very proud of both of my sons

Category: Poetry | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 27

Week #1, Day #2

The 7th Guest
The cover art copyright is believed to belong to Virgin Interactive.

Sorry about the delay, my pretties. Bit of an IRL issue, I’ll go into it later.

So, 7th Guest.

Getting past the fact that the game is more than twenty years old, and the graphics make me have flashbacks to when I was a teenager.

I tried to reduce it to a window, so I could continue to write this. Instead, I ended up irrevocably exiting my game, which meant I had to sit through the VGA resolution five minute intro movie, which could not be exited out of. Thankfully, I can run it in the background while writing, and just listen to the story.

Here’s the gist of it. Old drifter who is a right bastard (robbing stores to survive) robs and apparently kills a woman coming home from choir practice. He then has a dream about a creepy doll. He whittles the doll. He has another drteam, making another toy. He makes the new toy. He opens a shop selling toys, and becomes rich. Everyone wants one of his toys! But then the children start dying. He builds a house, and then invites a bunch of people to the house. They all criticize the house when they get there.

It appears to be a series of basic puzzles. The first one I encountered was a cake game, where the player has to divvy up a cake by the symbols on each piece. Two skulls, two tombstones, and one piece with just icing. One done, the player is treated to a small cut scene of the young woman and the older married guy, with her hitting on him, and his head exploding. Not gross blood exploding, but stretchy cartoony exploding.

So far, the acting has been amateur community theater level. Not surprised. The game industry of the 1990s was tiny. They did not have the budgets for decent acting (or writers, apparently)

Okay, that was good for about an hour’s amusement. Now, in 1993, I was 15, and this might have been interesting for a few hours, but, to be honest, the cut scenes you cannot exit out of and that are painfully long are a deal killer for me. I know I was going to spend a week on this one, but I’m throwing in the towel. For a twenty two year old game, it just cannot stand up. Maybe a revamped version would be better, but with all of the issues this one has, it just isn’t interesting to me. But, while I was playing, I was wondering what audience would be interested in it these days. I am not sure any would be.

Tomorrow, I will start 8BitMMO.

Category: Steam | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 18

Week #1, Day #1 – The 7th Guest

The 7th Guest
The cover art copyright is believed to belong to Virgin Interactive.

First off, yes, I know this is a older game. I am a big fan of game bundles, and this came in one some time ago. Deal with it.

A bit of history. The 7th Guest was released by Virgin Games in 1993, about twenty two years ago. At the time, I was in high school, rocking a 486DX2/66. My computer could have handled this came well at the time, back before there were too many titles that required massive hardware to run. Currently, my computer has over 10,000 times the hard drive space, over 1,000 times the memory, and over 300 times the processor power of that little machine. We won’t go into screen real estate or video cards right now.

The game was widely hailed as an amazing game, accelerating CD-ROM drive sales (If you are under the age of 20, those are like DVD drives, only with much lower capacity), and even Bill Gates praised in as “the new standard of interactive entertainment.” If you want to read more, here is the wiki on it.

The thing is, I wasn’t really into spooky games.

The closest thing to this was that my mom had a copy of Myst, and I liked it.

Well, I will be endeavoring to play this game, and will review it at the end of the week. Yes, there will be spoilers. Guess what. It is a game that, if human, would be legally able to drink, so, get over it.

January 16

Projection

The Scales of Justice
The Scales of Justice

I know, I know, I should just let it go and move on with my life. But, the whole situation is bugging me, and I think I am beginning to figure out why.

The indiscretion with the estranged wife aside, one of the accusations that my former friend lodged was that I fed her information, and that it contributed to him not being able to see his kids. On the surface, this was an offhand remark that was overshadowed by the perfectly justified anger that my friend felt about the other issue. However, now that I have gotten past the previous issue, I have had more time to examine this combination claim, and realized exactly the implications of what it means. I must say, I am surprised and dismayed at what it reveals, but I think it does shed some additional light upon his mindset.

Let’s look at the first part. Set aside for a moment that, after she used me to attack my friend that I didn’t want to have anything to do with her and move on to the presumption, for the sake of argument, that I was still in contact with her.

Let’s look at the situation at the time. She had moved to her own apartment north of Indianapolis with her son and daughter. He was living with his mistress who was going through her own divorce (as far as I knew. They weren’t talking to me much, either, as they blamed me for revealing the affair to both her husband and his wife).

In the mean time, I was trying to get my life back together, and was focusing on my own business as much as possible.

In the rare incidences that I talked to anyone, I tried to remain neutral, not give anyone any information that they did not have, and basically just be a friend and not a gossip. At some point, my friend and his girlfriend moved out of town, and I found out soon after from the girlfriend it was because he had spent the night with his estranged wife, and had gotten her pregnant.

At this point, I lost a lot of respect for him. He had not only cheated on his wife, the mother of his son, but also then cheated on his mistress with his wife, gotten her pregnant, and then left town. Frankly, at that point, I would have been content to just cut my losses and let him fade into the sunset. He seemed to be in a self destructive spiral, and there was little I could do about it.

However, the girlfriend told me that I should be patient with him, that he was dealing with a lot of emotional baggage, and I should wait for him to deal with it. So, I did.

I got a message from his ex-wife, asking questions such as where he had moved to. At the time, I was not certain, only that he had left the state. I knew that the divorce had gone from messy to bench warrant contempt of court messy, but there was little I could do to help the situation, so I stayed out of it.

I got a call from the girlfriend’s ex-husband, with similar questions, as his now ex-wife had left him with their daughter. Again, I had no information to give.

Soon after, I found out they had moved to Minneapolis, but I tried to stay out of it as much as possible. Had I been called to testify, I would have had no choice but to do so, but it never came up.

So, in the end, there were a lot of factors in the two divorces, none of which had anything to do with me. First, the fact that my friend got his estranged wife pregnant may have changed the nature of the divorce. I am not a lawyer, and am not fully versed in the laws surrounding divorce in the state of Indiana, but I seem to remember having to certify that my ex-wife was not pregnant. Let’s toss that one out, since I do not know enough to say anything about it.

Next, the fact that he moved out of state without (based on the communication with both exes I got) informing the court, considering there were children involved, could be considered contempt of court.

Finally, that his ex-wife refused or is still refusing to allow him to see his kids is a legal issue that he needs to address and has absolutely nothing to do with me, and is solely between him, his lawyer, the court, his ex-wife, and her lawyer. That he is somehow trying to blame me for it is nothing more that projection.

In summation, he is trying to blame me for telling on him for 1) possibly being in contempt of court, possibly for trying to skirt the divorce laws of the State of Indiana, and 2) for not standing up and fighting for his right to see his kids.

I am sure that, if he reads this, he is going to blow a gasket, get pissed off, swear some sort of petty vengeance against me, but, since I have not once mentioned him by name, it just shows how petty the whole thing really is. Instead of standing up, being a man, and fighting for his rights, he wants to waste his energy and time attacking a handicapped man he has already thrown under the bus just to keep from admitting to himself he made a mistake.

Once again, I have been asked to be patient with him. I was once. I am beginning to think that the second chance I gave him then was all he deserved.

January 15

Funny arguments of the week

Crosseyed
Ever get the feeling that your opponent in a battle of wits is a little less than armed?

Some of you who know me personally know that I tend to like to argue. While, in my early life, this led to a lot of stress, tension, and headaches for my parents, as an adult, I eventually learned to channel my natural impulses to debate into a more constructive (or, at least, a bit less destructive) use on the Internet.

No, seriously. Arguing on the Internet is a good outlet for me. I found that I argue less with my wife and kids, less with my parents (well, unless it is online, but that is another issue), and less with my ex-wife.

Sometimes, it can be a bit humorous. For the past five years or so, I was an admin on a Facebook debate group about religion and atheism.

But, a few months ago, the group was deleted by Facebook for [reasons]. Oh well. At that point, I decided to try and wean myself off of the debates. I felt a sense of loss, sure, but I felt it was time. I had better things to do with my time, like working on my webcomic, Fred the Dot.

But, I missed it. Rather than get as deeply into it as I had been, I decided to limit myself. A group here, a debate there. Well, one area I started dipping my toe into was Youtube debate.

The first thing that comes to mind is the quote from Episode IV. A hive of scum and villainy. Even so, it has been oddly satisfying.

Recently, I got into a heated debate on a video regarding the portrayal of the LGBT community in games. It devolved into a discussion of how HIV spread. This individual was somehow convinced that HIV and other STIs were caused by (wait for it…) feces, and that anal sex was the cause of it, not just the transmission route. After he launched into insults and the like, I showed him an explanation of how one got HIV from the same website he had been using for his argument against homosexual men.

During the same series of discussions, I had people try to convince me that I worshiped Satan, that each generation could determine meanings for words at their discretion (to which I responded with current slang, and the person got pissed off because he thought I was using nonsense, made up words), and some of the stereotypical lame arguments against homosexuality. What I do with my private parts is none of your damn business (unless a being is involved that does not legally consent), and vice versa, and that is how I feel about everyone.

But, in the end, I realized that it is ultimately not satisfying. Imagine in a game that when you beat the final boss, the boss just stops moving and sits there. That is what it is like to argue online. So, no more. I’m moving on.

Currently in my Steam Library, I have 149 games. Some of them I have never even played. So, I will be playing and reviewing each and every one, one game a week, from now on, posting my progress here. I may even post videos. Who knows! We shall see. Super fun awesome game time!

January 12

The first shots in Cyberwar I

Yeah. This is just about as likely.
Yeah. This is just about as likely.

Last month, allegedly, North Korea hacked Sony.

Right.

I’m sorry. I just don’t buy it. I mean, I know Sony has a pretty lackadaisical view of security (like just about every major company in the US that is not a bank, a university, or an actual computer security firm), but, come on. North Korea? I’d wager they have more goats per capita than hackers, and tech that is probably ten years (or more) out of date. They get most of their stuff from China and Russia, the former which has an active interest in keeping them a bit backwards and the other who is still trying to recover from eighty years of bad management at the hands of Faux Communist dictators. They lack the means, the opportunity, and probably the motivation.

That aside, there is a MUCH more dangerous group that has been able to fly under the radar that has the  financial backing, the motivation of religious zealotry, and the opportunity afforded by stupid proxy wars waged by the ORB Party (Oil Robber Barron, also known as the GOP).

Consider this: None of the attackers on September 11th were from Afghanistan or Iraq. Yet, we have spent between $4 and $6 TRILLION on wars, nearly a half million people have died, and the only people benefiting have been Halliburton and oil companies. We all know this; it’s not like it is a huge secret. Yet we keep ignoring it, because the information is just too painful and crazy for us to deal with.

Meanwhile, the power vacuum caused by us lopping off the heads of these two states has allowed some rather nasty groups to crop up. ISIS/ISIL, for example.

I won’t go into the background and history of these, as much better educated and informed people can provide a much better view of the situation, and that is not the point of this post, anyway.

The issue is that these groups have a lot of financial backing, whether in the form of oil money, opium/other drug money, or other sources. The lawlessness of the area allows for equipment to be brought in. Oddly enough, some of the efforts of the West to bring Internet connectivity have also helped provide an avenue for their new method of attack.

Cyberwar. Before I continue, I am going to digress for a moment to discuss the term.

I hate the prefix ‘cyber’. It is overused, badly used, misused, and often flogged into meaninglessness. Cyber comes from the term cybernetic, which denotes the marriage of man and machine. It specifically denotes “the science of communication and control theory that is concerned especially with the comparative study of automatic control systems (as the nervous system and brain and mechanical-electrical communication systems).”

Okay. Digression over.

Now. The event that has prompted this post is this:

CENTCOM Twitter Account Hacked By Individuals Claiming To Be Part Of ISIS

Couple of things to remember with this:

First, Twitter is civilian technology on a civilian network. This is not the government being hacked. This is a civilian network being hacked.

Second, the source of the hack is not confirmed as of the writing of this post.

Finally, the account was compromised for less than an hour before it was taken down, presumably by Twitter.

However, this could very well be the first shot in a larger “cyber”war. *goes to wash hands after typing “cyber”*

If it is, then I have a feeling that ISIS/ISIL (if they really are behind this) will be a catalyst, but not a major combatant of the war, and will be poorly remembered. Ever hear of the Black Hand? No? Not surprising. They only fired the first shots in what would become the first global conflict in history, spawning two major wars that killed 80-90 million people and whose effects are felt even today.

The thing is that an actual Digital War (sweet relief!) will be a horror to those who do not know what is going on, which will be just about everyone born before 1975 (With some exceptions, don’t get me wrong). We rely so heavily on accurate and reliable computer data systems that, when these systems become fallible due to malicious attacks, we will become disoriented. The only thing that has saved us thus far is a quirk of human psychology, which is the same quirk that keeps society from tearing itself apart from selfishness. Humans really are not that bad when it comes right down to it. The problem now is that a small group can effectively hurt a much, much larger group. Imagine twenty talented, organized “black hats” taking out something that could hurt hundreds of thousands of people or millions overnight (And you thought five hundred in Washington hurting 310,000,000 over the course of their terms was bad!).

Now, transpose that on to an entity that wants to harm the western world in some way. I don’t do details, because I am not here to scare you, nor to give blueprints to the “bad guys,” but it is conceivable that a small group, with enough funding and skill, could cause major damage. With enough attacks, it could be used in warfare. The US government, as well, I am sure, as many other governments, are working on this if they do not already have electronic warfare groups in place.

The big question remains. Is the US ready to defend itself, both governmental and private sector? Sony wasn’t. But, then again, Sony’s sin was false pride.

January 11

A realization about what it means to be human

Nexus
Nexus of all things Aaron

I had a realization this afternoon as I watched the Game Theorists and played Minecraft. Human beings are nexuses of their interests and then process those things into a synthesis of creation into new things. Sometimes, these things capture the imagination of others, and, it turn, become fuel for new creation, like a chain reaction in a multi-thousand year long chain. Some people fault religions for being based on previous religions, or fiction for being based on previous fictions, but it is all part of the great panoply that is the human condition. The phrase “There is nothing new under the sun” sounds, at first, to be a sad and defeatist truism, but it can also be just a realization and celebration that, in a very real sense, everything is at once new and familiar at the same time, new shoes that fit like the old comfortable pair of sneakers you mom wanted you to throw away. Does the fact that something has a familiar air to it mean that it is bad or less than good? Look at the image. The light reflecting through the piece of art has familiar colors you have seen before. Does that make it less beautiful? You have smelled roses before. Does that make them less sweet?

Don’t get me wrong; there is such a thing as over saturation. But that is when something is over done, not just redone. Forbidden planet may be similar to the story of Prospero, but that does not diminish from the wonderfulness of the story. Some stories have the same basic message, but that does not make the message worth less. Back to the Future III has the same moral as Terminator II. When our favorite character comes to the same conclusion we did twenty minutes before, sometimes that helps form the emotional bond between us.

And, in other thoughts…

A: Knock knock
B: Who’s there?
A: Me.
B: Me who?
A: Me. What happened to your door?

Things are funny when they are unexpected, and sometimes they are funnier when they turn out that they are actually are expected, but we expected the unexpected. So, when things are unexpectable, it can be even more interesting.

January 9

The importance of Friendship Harmony

Friends
Friends

I think that recent events have caused me to reflect deeply on some very serious issues and concepts in the realm of friendship. Specifically, the foundations upon which a friendship is built.

When people are young, friendships are easy to form, and can be about shared interests, location, schools, activities. As we grow older, there is less and less overlap, as there are fewer and fewer people, for most of us, that live in the same place as we do and also work in the same place, and also do the same social activities. Look at the show “Big Bang Theory”; the four male friends have jobs at the same place, similar interests, and hang out together in their spare time. This is not as common in the real world, unless we make it so. Adult friendships have to be based on conscious choice rather than happenstance.

However, many of us carry childhood and young adult friendships into adulthood. Sometimes, we have to shed these friendships as we grow and change. And, sometimes, these friends shed us before we think we are ready.

Over time, people have come in to and gone out of my life, sometimes easily, and sometimes not so easily. Recently, a person I considered to be a very close friend left my life, probably permanently. I mourned for the lost friendship. It was a hard thing to take. This person and I had been friends for more than a decade.

But, the more I thought about it, the more I examined our past and his present, the more I realized that I hadn’t lost as much as I thought I had. I’m not going to turn this into a post about how horrible he is or was, or how wrong he was, or any such nonsense. What I want to talk about is more a concept I am working on called Friendship Harmony.

If you think of each person as a complex melody, then any two given people will either be discordant or be harmonious together. One can see this in just about any interaction, whether it be work or play. Either people get along or they don’t. And, as people change, they may be harmonious far a while, and then fall out of sync and become discordant. To be honest, I think this is what happened between the two of us.

The hurt that he cited as being the wedge that drove us apart was a ten year old wound that, as far as I knew, had been dealt with at the time. Either it had, and he used it as an excuse for whatever reason, or it hadn’t, and it just took this long for him to get pissed enough to deal with it, in which case he has issues that he refused to deal with. Either way, we became discordant.

And that’s okay. He has his life, and I have mine. I do not hold a grudge, I do not fault him. Mostly, I do not fault him because I do not and cannot know what his motives were behind his sudden change of heart, nor do I have the energy or time to try and guess what they are. If, at some point in the future, when the wounds on both sides are sufficiently healed, maybe we can meet over coffee and discuss it. Until then, I have much more important things to do with my time and energy. We grew apart, and that is good enough for me.

In the mean time, I have other friendships I need to focus on and grow, friends that are close to me that I can spend my time with. Harmonies that are pleasing for both of those involved, and music to make.

January 8

An Ode to Monkeys

Sock Monkey
I used to like Monkeys

Just under eighteen years ago, I was a very different person.

I was nineteen, pretty stupid, brash, trying to take on a world I did not understand with a head full of what I thought were good ideas and a heart that, although true, was influenced more by hormones than experience. I traveled two thousand miles on a half promise from someone who made a lot of promises, many of which were just to impress, not with the intent to actually keep.

In other words, I had thrown my lot in to some bad situations.

Into the midst of this mess, I found myself in desperate need of some real friends. I found a few. One in particular helped me through that period, a good man, and odd man, a kindred spirit, someone I relied on who grew with me and, when I returned home a bit worn and wiser, tracked me down and continued our friendship.

As I said, a very good person at the time.

He was slightly bitter and cynical towards the world, and with good reasons to be. I helped him find work for the company that I had found work with, let him live in our home, in the nursery we had started to build for my unborn child, helped find a sitter for his step daughter while he worked with me, went to bat for him with that sitter when he absent mindedly hemmed and hawed about finding a way to pay her back for the service of watching her day after day. When the time came to move his family complete here, I helped shuttle his belongings here, helped his new wife, pregnant with their child, find a good OB-GYN here. I was a good friend to him, as good a friend to him as he was to me. I enjoyed his tiki birthday party his wife so lovingly put together. I watched him be kind of a pain in the ass to her from time to time, but I knew he loved her. Being a tech guy, I knew what kind of pressures he was under, and what kinds of quirks of personalities he had, as I had them myself.

I shook my head as he was so excited about one thing or another, like a kid in a candy store. For months he would talk about nothing else, then move on to the next thing as if the previous thing had never existed.

When he had a grand plan to take over the company we both worked for, I listened. Sounded good. He was a bright guy, and it sounded like he could pull it off.

Two weeks later, after the boss fired everyone involved (except for the one guy my friend had included in the plan who went straight to the boss with the information) and my friend was able to swing some piece work from that boss, I did not begrudge him. I had other irons in the fire.

When my marriage came unraveled, my friend and his wife were my strong and vocal supporters, even setting me up on a date with on of his wife’s coworkers, helping me through some of the hardest parts of the process.

The beginning of the end happened only five years after we met, even though the end happened ten years later. I had started dating a woman in Ohio, and was anxious for my friend to meet her. I had grown to be friends with the wife of the lawyer who had handled my divorce, a woman half his age, full of energy and who liked to hang out at all hours of the day or night and drink coffee and talk, much as I did at the time. So, deeply enamored by my love from Ohio, I invited them both to Denny’s to meet her. She had to head back to Ohio at midnight, so I thought we would call it a night at that point.

My two friends did not do so. In fact, that was the beginning of their affair.

Soon, the two of them were sneaking off to be together quite frequently, with me being the unwilling confidant to the whole thing. As I was friends not only with the two of them, but with both spouses as well, I ended up in a very uncomfortable position. It all came crashing down a few weeks later, while I was in Ohio with my lady love. The wife of my friend discovered the affair, and demanded that I be the one to inform the female half’s husband. As if the whole thing were somehow my fault and responsibility. She ranted and raged at me until I finally cut the connection to her, and I gave him enough information for him to figure it out on his own.

The whole thing imploded (including, eventually, my relationship with Miss Ohio, albeit for other reasons). And, of course, nearly everyone blamed me. My friend’s wife blamed me because I knew about it. My female friend blamed me because I “told on them”. My friend, I think, blamed me for a similar reason. He almost came to blows with my lawyer in my lawyer’s house (Bad idea, by the way). Everyone got divorced.

And now we come to my big mistake.

During the whole kerfuffle, my friend’s now estranged wife called me, distraught about the whole thing, nearly in tears, and asked me to chaperon while she went out looking to pick up a guy at a bar. I told her I thought it was a horribly bad idea for her to do that, considering they were in the middle of the divorce, and that she was in an emotionally fragile state, and it would just complicate things, and that I didn’t feel comfortable doing that to my friend in the first place. It was bad enough that he was cheating on her, I could not in any good conscience help her, in turn, cheat on him. She convinced me that I could help her from going too far, that she just needed some companionship maybe just needed to go out and be an adult for a while. I finally agreed, more determined to save her from herself than to help her get lucky.

Before you continue, dear reader, know that the contents that lie herein are now ten years in the past, are difficult for me to write, as they detail a betrayal I committed and am ashamed of. I have left all names off of this document and will not allow any comments that include any names to be published. The only reason I write these words at all is to clear my conscience, as a way to atone for my wrong doings to an extent. I am not looking for forgiveness from any of those involved, merely understanding.

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