Michael Perry

August 2001

Knowing Me, Knowing You

"He fell to his knees and he cried out for mercy; heartfelt confessionals to an angry mob. But vengeance was theirs as they bellowed for justice, 'Death to the man who has sinned against God'. I joined in the chant feeling so high and mighty, pointing the finger from up on my throne. Then I looked in his tears and I caught my reflection, and I knew that I could not cast the first stone."

Susan Ashton "Better Angels of Our Nature"

I write, knowing that this is my first piece that any of you in the cyber-world have ever read about me and there are so many things that I would like you to know. I am not static or stagnant; in contrast I am a dynamic individual...or at least I strive for it everyday sometimes missing the mark as I settle on mediocrity. So, in this introduction I would like to make the disclaimer that you must at least read next month's article to give me a fair trial at this while writing gig. Know that when I write, it comes not only from what I experience, but also what I think about and what I dream about and what has been passed down the grapevine of knowledge. I write to express my thoughts and ideas and feelings. So this article is beneficial to the both of us because I get a chance to share my heart and hopefully you can walk away with a little golden nugget of truth. I will share the "good" with the "reality" so you will learn that I am multi-faceted while trying not to be two-faced. Most of what I do comes from a passion inside to do the right thing and to find contentment. I think we all have this passion in us and that we stumble when we go against our conscience. I hold nothing back and do not worry about what the reaction is too what I write because it is a monologue being put out for presentation and consumption.

Sometimes I feel like I am a combination of polar opposites juxtaposed in one mind and one conscience as sort of an experiment to see if my diametrically opposing traits can work themselves out or co-exist in some fashion. Some examples of this: I'm gay yet I still hold firm to my Christian roots; I can very shallow at times and at others VERY deep; funny and fun-loving; I was a stripper at a club and worked with children in musical theater at the same time. I call this multi-faceted and that's what makes up who I am and what I would like to consider and what I would like to consider makes up others around me. I am hard working at times and very lazy at others. I would like to consider my work ethic to be in tact; I do in fact hold down three jobs and two volunteer positions. I am the type of person who comes of as good-natured (too the point of "Oh my God, is he for real?") and VERY shy in certain situations. I am usually ALWAYS family and friends oriented but there are those rare moments that I isolate myself and become numb to the world around me. I love nothing more than to hear the laughter of someone I care about. At the same time I can acquire what my ex-boyfriend has come to refer to as my "serious face" in which there is a notable change in demeanor as the subject or the situation turns more serious. When people first meet me they tend to think that I am selfish and stuck up, sticking to the more to the shallow end of the conversation pool. This avoidance of depth and disclosure is one of my masks that I put up. Everyone must guard their heart to an extent and use discernment in everything they do.

Another issue I am working out with the world is a feeling of discontentment and meaninglessness while, at the same time, overcoming the boring, redundant chatter that people have spewing out of their mouths. This banter is best epitomized by what drools out of peoples mouths (or their fingertips) on gay.com everyday. It is a chat site but I find many people saying the same things or nothing at all or just looking for sex...it is also this way in many groups and clubs and bars. That is why I keep a variety of friends and acquaintances in my arsenal so that I may keep those around me and myself in a fresh and vital mode (not becoming dull and apathetic). One has to wade past a lot of garbage that comes out of people's mouths and get to the heart of what they're saying and see if it is worthwhile. My mask tends to creep up sometimes out of discomfort and boredom and I can babble about anything from the weather to pop culture to sex.

Communication is the Key to Life

The title above is the driving force of what can bring happiness, contentment, wealth, power and success in life. It has been said over and over again that 'it is not just what you are saying, but how you are saying it'. I took many speech and communications courses in college so that I might be able to grasp more concepts in expressing myself in a more refined manner. Nothing frustrates me more than not being able to properly sate or convey what I'm thinking or feeling and when my articulation becomes mediocre. I skim the dictionary sometimes for new words or write down words I come across and look them up. Vocabulary is becoming more and more important to me in overcoming this frustration. Everyone should actively pursue increasing his or her knowledge of this tool that is used to help us define this unchartered territory we call our lives and helps to lead us further up our pyramid of self-actualization. (Ok, ok...that's about as deep as I get so let's wade back into the shallow end;-)

A lot of that was semi-deep in what I was trying to convey because my process of expressing myself has been at the forefront lately. Next months' article could have been on my career as a stripper or the new sale at Banana Republic or the joys of sex with my ex-boyfriend yet it may have some twist (of lemon preferably) at the end in which we all learn something. That is just how I am. I come as a package of opposites...so just GET USED TO IT!

I would consider my self to be a pretty well rounded individual who is gaining responsibility in my life. My mom just moved out of our house (duplex, actually) after being roommates with her for over seven years. I now have two roommates with happen to be two of my good friends and am living on my own for the first time (definitely more next month on this subject as it plays out). I also just did something I've wanted to do for two years. Two summers ago we put my lab of fourteen years to sleep (poor Sandy), and this past week I adopted a 10 1/2 week old shelty/lab mix from an organization called "Animals in Distress". They found her with her four siblings on the streets of Miami next to their mother who had been hit by a car:(. But now she is mine and she will get all the love she has ever wanted.

Guess that's it for this month! Oh, AND I have this affinity, as do most, for musical quotes (because they can just summarize what I am trying to say) and so I leave you with another quote from Susan Ashton's "Better Angels of Our Nature"

"We are building our world with a fevered emotion, while trying to keep it from coming apart. But as we reach for the dream can we still reach within us, we won't have the hope if we don't have the heart. And we're tossed in the gale of a moral decline, as we drink from the grail of society's wine. And at humanity's table, I hope we choose to side with the better angels of our nature."

PS. A cool thing that happened to me this month is that I got a job working with Red Bull (which is an energy drink) and they pay me to 'scout'. That basically means that they pay me to go to clubs and bars. That is pretty cool and I also took a position volunteering at a nursing home helping them with activities such as Bingo

PPS I want to leave you with a top ten list of my favorite songs, but it ended up into a thirty song countdown

My TOP Thirty favorite songs:

  1. Damaged - Plumb
  2. These R Days - 10,000 Maniacs
  3. From This Moment On - Shania Twain
  4. Reflection - Christina Aguliera
  5. At Last - Etta Jones
  6. Better Angels of Our Nature - Susan Ashton
  7. I Shall Believe - Sheryl Crow
  8. Something About the Way You Look Tonight
  9. Here With Me - Dido/Sarah Brightman
  10. Better Days - Janet Jackson (or anything really...love her new single "Someone to Call My Lover")
  11. Testify to Love - Avalon
  12. Kiss Me - Sixpence, None the Richer
  13. Sun & Moon - "Miss Saigon"
  14. The Power of the Dream - Celine Dion
  15. Hold Me Now - Jennifer Knapp
  16. Anything by Madonna
  17. Pieces of You - Jewel
  18. Adagio - Lara Fabian
  19. Everything I Do (I do it for You) - Byran Adams
  20. How Do I Live - The Monkees, Smashmouth, Eddie Murphy
  21. Jumpin', Jumpin' - Destiny's Child
  22. One Moment it Time - Whitney Houston
  23. Friend in Low Places - Garth Brooks
  24. Stop Fallin' - Pink
  25. Red Letters - DC Talk
  26. Counting Blue Cars - Dishwalla
  27. Angel - Sarah McLachlan
  28. Rain Down - Dryve
  29. Breathless - The Coors
  30. Cruel Summer - Bananrama

Michael Perry is a 22 year old young man from Boca Raton who works hard and is searching to recapture the innocence of his youth while maintaining his adult perspective. His search for Prince Charming continues... Contact him at jonahmichael78@hotmail.com if you'd like to converse.

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