Clippings

He took a haggard breath looking up from his deathbed with complete clarity as the beeping of the machines fell silent around him.

“I’ve made many friends in this life, some of them for a short time, others for a lifetime. I can even remember my first friend from when I was five, but it is you that I’m glad who gets to be my last friend.” 

his grip slowly softens and the light fades out of his eyes as he expels his final breath.

Converting a Straight Guy

I pull up just as the first few snowflakes start to drift down.
“Here” I text.

Moments later a tall slim figure emerges from the house and glides down the driveway. He pops the car door open and gets in. A smile spreads across his face, “Hey man, long time no see. How you been?” his dark brown eyes matching perfectly to his fuzzy bomber hat

I smile, elated that this is finally happening. “I’m doing pretty good man.” Trying to act as straight as possible. We gaze into each other’s eyes for a moment, a sense of longing perhaps, before he breaks eye contact and sputters off into what he’s been up to these last few months.

I do my best to concentrate on the road and his talking while thinking about running my hand up his upper thigh. Ever since I met this guy I’ve wanted to jam my tongue down his throat. He’s nervous, I can tell from the slew of words that have not ceased coming out of his mouth since we broke eye contact.

“So you said you thought you were gay?” I interjected wanting to get to the real reason why we were here, “What makes you think you’re gay?”

“Well it all started when I was at the gym with my buddy, Tim” he paused as if contemplating if he’s really going to tell this story, “And then he like showed me this work out technique and touched my body and…..I don’t know….it just felt, funny”

I instantly go into therapist mode validating that these feelings were indeed real and that he was in an enclosed space with hormones, pheromones, and testosterone floating around in the air. Sexuality is fluid so it’s very normal to be aroused or turned on when you’re around a bunch of sweaty bodies working out.

He turns and looks at me deadpan and says, “I didn’t contact you to talk about this.” An almost hunger in his eye.

Damn, wish I would have known this before I picked him up. I’d have at least brushed my teeth and reapplied deodorant.

“Oh…..kay??? So, uh why did you contact me? You said that you had so many questions and I had all the answers.”

“I want to get physical… with you… and you know…see if I like it.”
God damn it, where were you when I was in high school?
He keeps talking all the way to my house. We get inside and awkwardly sit on the couch. I sit with just my knee touching him. He’s obviously very nervous. He pulls his knees up to his chest and wraps his arms around his legs. I put on some Netflix to try and relieve some of the tension.

I keep trying to get him to talk letting him get it all out in the open and I start caressing his arm and ask if this is alright, he’s hesitant at first but then shakes his head yes fully letting himself enjoy the attention. I lean back on the couch pulling him with me so that he’s the little spoon with my arms around the front of him. He rolls back into the safety of my embrace and looks up at me as we kiss. Nothing passionate, just a simple kiss to test the waters and see how he feels about it.

“This feels amazing,” he says and I smile remembering back to the first time I got to cuddle with a guy and it just feels so right.

After a few moments, I can see his brow furrow.

“I’m sorry,” he says regretfully biting his bottom lip.

“Why?” I ask leaning down and kissing him on his lips again this time more passionately.

“Because you’re gonna hate me.” He looks off to side. “I’m just not looking for a relati-“

I can see the look of guilt on his face from a mile away. “Let me guess,” I interrupt, “there’s some guy you think you might like and you wanted to use me as practice before approaching him?”

He sat quietly confirming my suspicion.

He looked like a puppy from an ASPCA commercial and I can’t help but laugh to myself and say, “Look, you’re not the only one here not looking for a relationship. I happy to help you anyway I can whether that’s answering questions about coming out or whether that’s helping you determine if you’re gay.”

A look of surprise and relief wash over his face as he can’t believe I’m ok with this scenario.

“You’re seriously the coolest,” he says as he hugs me and kisses me again embracing me for just a second longer.

Nothing but some making out and heavy petting happened (Sorry to disappoint) but he was able to figure out that he definitely enjoyed it and decided that he was gay. Not the exact way I imaged helping someone come to terms with their sexuality but at least he was able to figure it out before I did.

Make sure to subscribe to me, I have big BIG news in the next few months.

Clippings

I’m not sure what to call these, but I’m calling them clippings.

“Don’t worry you’re young, you’ll love again.” She tried to console

He looked at her thoughtfully, drying his eyes, considering this.

“Life is full of many different kinds of love, each of them as unique
and different as the person you loved.  Even if we were to get back
together, the love we had is forever gone. Changed. Different. It will
never be the same. I’m not crying because I fear I’ll never love again,
I cry because I’m mourning this very unique and special love we shared that’s forever gone.”

~An excerpt from a book I’ll never write

My Brief Moment as a Sugarbaby

Living a dull life has never been for me. I moved to New Zealand at 21, I moved to Delaware for love at 25, I’m trying to convince a boy from Kansas to let me come see him. I don’t ever want to spend my life wondering “What if.” I NEED to know the outcome because I only have one regret so far in life and that’s for not coming out sooner and getting to be happy for a change.

Needless to say, much like everyone, some extra money would be nice to pay down some debt, but how do I get it when my 40 hour a week job zaps all extra energy I would have for a second job. I decided to put myself on seeking arrangements MONTHS ago. I was contacted by a ‘sugar daddy’ named Ben who seemed normal and a no bullshit knew what he wanted, and didn’t have time to waste. He was supposedly in his 40s, lived in Manhattan New York, and owned a construction business.

We’ve talked for about a month, not too seriously and I never sent one nude pic (scandalous pics are a different story). He never asked me to come up and see him and replied intermittently throughout the day and when he had time. Things instantly seemed fishy when he didn’t lose interest in me like most daddies would have.

That’s when the weird requests started coming in.

“Open a checking account with my bank baby and make sure to opt for clickswitch and overdraft protection. It’ll make it easier to get you your allowance” Was the first weird request he asked me to do. “Ummm if I sign up for a checking account I’m not doing the overdraft protection, I minored in finance and my job is a finance administrator. I’m pretty sure I can maintain the balance of the account and not overdraft.”

He didn’t push that one on me and slowly I forgot about it. Then on Wednesday, he sent me his bank account info to pay off two of my credit cards. I have never met this man in person nor spoken to him on the phone and he openly and willingly gives me his bank account info… Okay?

I messaged him this morning (being a good sugar baby and pretending like I actually gave a shit about this guy) and said good morning, he then started acting completely different. Started talking about the accounts he paid off and asking me if they posted and I said yeah both posted (but I didn’t tell him there was a hold on it) and he wanted me to go get “20 or so” $100 separate Amazon gift cards because he had supplies he needed to get for his job that he shorted himself by paying off my shit. I told him this seemed fishy…

How could someone who supposedly has lots of money to just drop $6400 on someone else’s credit cards not have kept a reserve in the account or said: “pay off one card but wait until I get payment from this client tomorrow before you do your next card.” I even checked with him before I submitted the payments and he told me to go ahead.

Further on, he started name calling me and trying to manipulate me. Saying he’s got enough for his employees or enough for supplies but not both. Wages were 4700 and all he had was 5k cash and supplies were going to be at least 2k (conveniently almost the exact amount he supposedly paid off.)
He told me I was an ingrate and continued name calling and dropping large vocabulary words like obdurate but consistently used the wrong form of ‘your’. Things just weren’t adding up and so I had to call my besty to get an outside perspective. I explained part of the situation and she told me uhh no sweetie, this is a scam, pull your head out of your ass.

I won’t lie, I was almost suckered into it. That is until I noticed that my bank had put a hold on the funds since it was a large pay off amount and I LUCKILY only had 7 dollars available of my credit line and he doesn’t know how much my other cards limit is so I just kept quiet about it. He started demanding that I get these cards before noon (or else, basically) and I told him I called Discover and they said my current line of credit was 7 dollars until the payment fully processed in 24 to 48 hours.

After I told him this and he wanted screenshots of my account calling me a liar and putting words in my mouth, I offered to have discover call him and tell him what they told me and then he wanted my credit card number and full social security number and the last correspondence I had given him was that I would be reversing both payments as soon as they processed and he can have his money back (basically that this isn’t going to work)

Once I confirmed my gut feeling was correct about this being a scam I wasn’t sure what to do. This man had more info on me then I have on him. He’s got my resume (which has my address and work experience), luckily all of our conversation is saved in my text so if I ended up using someone else’s account to pay off my credit cards then I at least have all this shit in writing so they know I didn’t intentionally steal someone’s identity and bank account number and stuff.

I talked to Discover told them the situation and they told me I did the right thing by not giving him my information (at least my cc # and SSN). They noted my account so if/when the payment comes back as denied or the cops show up and start asking me questions I can at least say I took the necessary precautions and alerted my banks to this unfortunate mishap.

I like to consider myself pretty smart and steps ahead. I knew the entire time this sounded fishy and exactly like all the craigslist scams I’ve heard of. But the allure of being debt free and hanging on to a tiny shred of hope this was legit left me vulnerable. The person tried to bully me, harass me, manipulate me, and scold me into submission and quite frankly, it almost worked. You need to be vigilant and as the Discover person told me, “If something seems too good to be true…it probably is” (Also, fuck you dude, I just had my debt paid off and now I have to call you saying reverse the payment and put me back in debt, you just had to add salt to the wound didn’t you?)

Has this ruined my experience? No. Am I going to get off Seeking Arrangements? Probably yes. Not because of my experience or that I’m bitter for this experience just because I met someone I actually truly care about and was reason enough for me to delete all the old pictures of my ex off my digital drives and phone.

If you guys are thinking you want a sugar daddy, by all means, Seeking Arrangements is the site to go on and see who in your state is offering up money for companionship and intimacy. I just want to remind everyone to be careful of who you talk to on the internet and never ever give out your personal information.

The final thing to leave you on, my ‘sugar daddy’ just tried calling me and has sent two messages saying “Hey” and “Can I see your face baby” and quite frankly I’m a bit afraid. If I end up murdered the guy’s name is Ben and that’s about all I know.

If you enjoyed hearing how I wreck my life be sure to subscribe! (it’s either above on a desktop or below on a mobile device) I’m kind of like a train wreck; you don’t want to look but you can’t look away. Go like my Facebook page and feel free to send me messages asking questions, telling me your stories, or telling me what you want to read about. Until next time…

Am I Becoming A Cranky Old Man?

Well, last week has come and gone and I didn’t post anything, whoops. I was dealing with more issues with my roommate and I just didn’t have the capacity to write and deal with all that shit. I’ll be the first to admit it’s not his fault, and he might actually scoff out loud if he’s reading this because he thinks that I hate him. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I just honestly don’t care (a byproduct of my depression), I don’t think there is a single person in this world that honestly deserves the energy it takes to hate them. There’s a famous quote that is rumored to be said by Shakespeare,

“Love me or hate me, both are in my favor.
If you love me I’m always in your heart.
If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.”

So the opposite of Love is not Hate its indifference. Which is how I feel about most things. Pretty indifferent. It’s gotten so bad it’s spilling over into my romantic life too as I’ve had former people who I thought it was perfectly clear I was in to say they had NO idea that I like liked them in a romantic way. I even had a date with a guy on Saturday who left thinking I wasn’t into him (I know because I text him saying I really liked him and he said he thought I didn’t).

The problem is I don’t really care if I hang out with a person or by myself, both are going to end in basically the same manner. I don’t care if I go do anything on the weekends because I’m just as content sitting on the couch (probably more so in fact) than I am being in a room full of strangers that I don’t care about, for some happy hour or function that I still don’t care about. These are all things my roommate can’t understand because he’s the opposite, He would rather go do something but doesn’t want to do it alone.

For me I’ve never had a ‘good’ living situation, when I lived with my family I was miserable and made them miserable in the process. I don’t know how to tell someone what I need or want from them when they’re living with me until it boils over and I explode over something minor. My family will fully attest to that, I’m sure. When I try to bring a problem up I just get told I’m too sensitive or that I sound like an ass hole.

Here’s a perfect example: My dog is 11 and he’s a mixed breed of a Yorkie and a dachshund and dachshunds are prone to slipped disks in their back in their older age. To me, it seems like it should be fairly obvious if you pay even an ounce of attention to me interacting with him. You’ll hear me telling him down if he’s jumping, you’ll hear me say NO if he’s getting ready to jump off the couch, you’ll see me constantly making dives for him when he does go to jump off the couch, and you’ll never see me scoop him or nudge him off the couch if he’s in the way. I actually pick him up and place him on the floor like a crane machine because I don’t have the money for an emergency surgery if he jumps off the couch and literally breaks his back.

I’ve had two experiences where he acted very lethargic and in pain and not his usual self and I’ve taken him to the vet where he seems to bounce back in the waiting room (Fucker). The vets I have seen don’t really know what to tell me. They say, “Well he’s acting alright now…” and I wasted 150 dollars on an emergency vet visit. The first vet told me he might have a pinched nerve in his neck and that I should use a harness for the rest of his life instead of a collar. I told my roommate this and he then bought a harness for his dog (and accidentally a harness for Bosley).

On Friday we were talking and I watched him nudge Bosley off the couch. I didn’t say anything at first because Bosley is rarely ever by him and he doesn’t do it often and I figured it was a fluke and not to make a deal over something so small. Well, he did it again the following day when we were having a discussion and I asked (in what I believed to be very reasonable and calm manner) that he not scoop Bosley onto the floor (Like that) because he’s 11 and I don’t have the money for a back surgery. He then countered saying it’s like I look for the smallest things to blow out of proportion and that he had forgotten and didn’t think about it and blah blah blah.

I didn’t raise my voice, I didn’t say it with sarcasm I just simply stated what I wanted and it was like I was this huge ass hole for saying anything. Granted—the context of the conversation may have had something to do with it, but how else do you bring up a problem? You bring it up as they do it, right? Not 3 weeks later when they have no memory of doing it, especially with my roommate who can’t remember the things you told him the day before.

It’s not that he does this on purpose or to be an ass hole, he just genuinely likes me as a person (for some strange reason) and I can’t wrap MY head around WHY. He just wants to hang out with me, or have a conversation, or help me out in any way possible and I just want to be left alone. Honestly, it’s like having a little brother that just wants to hang out with you and your friends because you’re so cool and he looks up to you.

When I get home, on the day’s he doesn’t leave to give me some alone time, he’s sitting on the couch and starts talking about a package I had delivered, or how he took the dogs on a walk already so I don’t have to, or how he’s cleaned the bathroom, or he took the garbage out for me or how he stopped at the store and picked up the things I asked him too, or asking me if I would want to go to the zoo, or the beach, or to dinner and I just don’t know how to deal with that other than reacting like an annoyed older brother would.

Maybe these are normal things for people who live together, but for me things are different and I honestly have no idea why. I hated my sister when we lived together. We were constantly at each other’s throats and it’s because of the same reason, she just wanted to hang out with me, be a part of my life, tell me things happening in her life and hear things happening in my life. At one point when we lived in the same house, I got so pissed at her over something she said that I didn’t speak directly to her for literally MONTHS I acted as if she didn’t exist.

I still haven’t figured out why this is. Maybe it’s because I’ve had “You can’t live with your best friend without winding up hating each other” drilled into my head that I subconsciously think that you’re gonna hate everyone you live with and so I hate whoever just based off that. Maybe affection at any level makes me uncomfortable being unable to return it so I try to sabotage their affection for me by being as big of an ass hole as possible so they treat me indifferent and I don’t have to feel so bad for being unable to return their level of affection or interest.

Honestly, this is something I’ve been struggling with since probably about 13 or 14 years old. I would really appreciate any kind of insight, suggestions, or other people’s experiences with roommates. I’m petrified that I’m incapable of cohabiting with other people and that as a result, I will drive anyone I actually love away because of my inability to share space with someone else.

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Lets Talk Sex.

I just spent my Monday afternoon with Nurse Cougar again at my study. This visit was just as entertaining as last time. This time it was more like Sex in the City between us and I felt like I should be sipping a cosmo spilling the tea to her than having an IV sticking in my arm like a cancer patient. Not to go into TOO much detail about our conversation I’ll just say that she told me she had to deal with her first STI since her 20s.

Now, we’re all adults, we all are sexual beings, so it shouldn’t be a big deal or surprise, yet when she told her younger partner she had contacted something from him he was in awe about it because he “doesn’t understand how this sorta thing could happen”. So I’m going to have a conversation with you that your school or parents or county nurse should have had with you and it’s about sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

Did you know that the most common STI’s are site specific? What site-specific means is that if you have gonorrhea in your throat and you ONLY pee in a cup, the test is going to come back as negative, they need a separate throat culture to test for it. What I’m saying here, boys & girls, is that if you’re a sexually active adult you need to, in addition to peeing in a cup and giving blood, have your butt holes and throats swabbed as a gay man or hetero woman (with different Q-tips of course) to get fully checked for STI’s.

Did you know about 75% of all people infected with an STI don’t show signs or symptoms? You can be perfectly healthy or have obscure symptoms that most people don’t associate with STI’s. In fact, a few years back I went to a gay youth retreat where we discussed STI’s and one story stuck out because the guy was an average guy, he wasn’t shooting up drugs, he wasn’t having anonymous sex in clubs, in fact he had been celibate for over a year when he spoke to us and mostly been in monogamous relationships before that.

He went in because he had a minor wrist ache that was unexplainable. They ran a series of tests, x-rays, MRI’s etc. and everything they thought it could be was coming out nada and just as suddenly as the pain appeared after about a day or two its disappeared completely. So the doctor “for fun” said they were going to test him for gonorrhea because that can cause unexplained joint pain. The guy said he has been celibate for a year and was tested 6 months after he decided to be celibate and they all came back negative. The doctor knew this guy was gay, whereas planned parenthood did not, so the doctor quizzically asked if they swabbed his throat or anus. The guy said no just peed in a cup and the doctor explained the site-specific part of STI’s to him.

Sure enough a few days later the doctor called and confirmed that he had gonorrhea in his throat. He tracked his last sexual encounters and estimated he had it for at least a year if not longer and even though he WAS going in for regular checkups they weren’t doing a full check because he was unaware of site-specific. It was actually his story that prompted me to go in to get checked after Seattle pride. I had no sore throat, no burning sensation when I peed, nothing. The ONLY indication I had was an unexplainable achiness in my wrist that, had I not gone to that retreat, would have just thought I slept on it funny or overextended it in yoga.

I went to Planned Parenthood and they saw I was coming in for an STI check and they kept asking me if I was having any (common) symptoms and I was half offended. Like no? Do I need to have symptoms to be a responsible adult and get checked? They asked what prompted me to come in for a visit then and I told them I was a hypochondriac and heard a gay guy say he had gonorrhea for over a year in his throat and the only symptom he had was an achy wrist and that my wrist had been aching but stopped as suddenly as it started and I wanted clarification that I was fine instead of assuming I was fine just because the symptom went away.

They were all very impressed with me and praising me for being so on top of this and being informed and blah blah blah, they told me that if I don’t hear from them no news is good news but to call if I didn’t hear from them in a week. About 5 days later I had a missed call from them and it was my midwest nurse, “Zak, this is Kathy your nurse from Pl… your doctor’s office, say we got the test results back and I was hoping to go over them with you today. Give me a call back at 406…..”

When I returned her call she confirmed that I tested positive for gonorrhea in my throat and scheduled a treatment that afternoon. I went home from work ‘sick’ because I was sick to my stomach hearing this. I felt disgusting, I felt trashy, I felt like a whore, the nurse assured me I wasn’t a terrible person, I wasn’t garbage, and she was impressed I was being so responsible about it and not assuming no symptoms meant I was fine which is most people’s assumptions.

Now, I have to get tested every 3 months for PReP, whats PReP you ask? PReP is a pre-exposure prophylactic that is 92-99% effective against the spread of HIV. Yes, that statistic is correct, just google Truvada for the facts. It is honestly surprising to me that there are people who are willing to risk HIV when there is a total preventive commercially available medicine with minimal side effects available.

If you haven’t been checked in 6 months call your local Planned Parenthood today, believe me, your future partners and yourself will thank you for being responsible when slutting it up. Sign up with your email (No spamming! Guaranteed!) to get the latest posts delivered straight to your inbox. Like my Facebook page and Instagram. This was a quick post today so excuse any blatantly obvious grammar mistakes and poor writing skills.

The Origin

Is it Zak-a-ree or Zak-a-rye? This all started this last weekend when I was texting my mom and she asked, “So, you know how you came up with Zak Awry (Zachary) and it’s a play on words?” I couldn’t help but smile at my mother’s naiveté and quickly corrected, “No, no, no, it’s Zak-a-rye, not a-ree.” I thought it was just my ex that misunderstood and pronounced it Zak Awww-ree but as it turns out many more people don’t understand the symbolism or the pronunciation behind my name.

So in the famous lyrics of Britney Spears: “it’s Britney…erm… Zak Awry, bitch.”

Believe it or not, and some people actually do, but Awry is not my real last name. You see, it was January 2nd, 2015 and I posted pictures of me in makeup and a dress because some friends and I got bored and drunk New Year’s Eve. I let the girls we were hanging out with do my makeup and gush about how skinny I was in comparison to them and find me a dress. May I just say how flattering that dress looked on me? LEGS FOR DAYS!

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My famous side glance
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I posted the pictures on Facebook so that I could share it with some of my friends, in Spokane, who do drag, because my boyfriend and I were going to be visiting there at the end of the month.  It ended up being a popular post and I had significantly fewer friends, only like 350 maybe, and it was one of my top liked posts at the time. I seemed to be getting a lot of good feedback from it, people seemed to mostly understand that 1. Alcohol was involved and 2. That it was all in good fun.

The next day, my uncle posted this as his status,

“Why would the gay, lesbian, transgender society primp like they do. You want equality then quit wearing high heels put some work boots on and man or woman up. Men dressing like women, and vice versa keep it to yourselves. Do what you want on your own time. I don’t plaster pics of myself so in good taste and equality keep them to yourself.”

It was clearly directed at me, so I simply posted a picture of me in the dress saying, “Love you too, Uncle.” To let him know I received his message loud and clear and I wasn’t going to go back into the closet quietly. I fought too fucking hard for 22 long years against my inner demons to get out of that fucking closet and I sure as hell was not going to go back in for the sake of my uncle’s view of “equality”. I didn’t even bother calling my mom or aunts to tattle on him, his ignorance was proudly displayed on his Facebook for all to see. Besides, I had better things to do than to worry about what my small town uncle thinks.

Unfortunately, I was the first comment on it, so MOST of my aunts and cousins had already seen it and connected the dots between the timing of my posts and his and who his was directed at.  One of my aunts called him out on his shit for his post and mentioned me and I realized I shouldn’t air my dirty laundry on Facebook, so I removed my comment after about an hour. It was too late though, as my family all talked and my uncle kept his post up out of stubbornness the family quickly picked sides, which was mostly my side. I received more and more messages from family members telling me not to listen to what my uncle said and my mom was even pissed at her own brother. I didn’t really care what my uncle thought or said I just wanted to basically say, “Fuck you, tag me the next time you want to subtweet to me.”

At some point, my dad found out, through either myself or my sister, and instead of trying to diffuse my anger he actually only escalated the situation. Although I know my dad loves me and will always have my back no matter what, and will punch a mother fucker in the mouth for talking shit about me, our conversation felt like he was agreeing more with my uncle than with me. I don’t remember the exact conversation but I remember it ended with him scornfully asking me,

“What am I supposed to tell your grandmother when she asks why you were in a dress? Do I tell her you want to be a woman now? Huh? I don’t know what to tell her, know your audience!”

I calmly through gritted teeth told him to tell her the truth; that I was drunk and broke on New Year’s and some girls asked to put makeup and a dress on me and that it was all a farce. I was seething because of what drama some fun pictures were causing me, and although I wanted to rebel and shove my gayness down everyone’s throat, I couldn’t ignore the last thing my dad had said, know your audience. I couldn’t get these words out of my head while I silently scrolled through my newsfeed realizing just how many people I forgot I was friends with: neighbors, friends parents, previous employers, current employer (although they loved me and my gayness), and heaps of family. I had more than a few people I would be ok with seeing a little bit less of my true personality.

That was when I remembered what a kid from high school did with his Myspace (back when that was a thing).  He had two accounts labeled (John Smith, John Smith for family.) and his normal one was set to private so his family members couldn’t see anything he was posting or saying. I thought; BRILLIANT! I’ll just make a second Facebook, but since I couldn’t create my own headliner like Myspace, I would just create a persona for the select group of people.

Now, I just had to come up with my name. I knew I didn’t want to change my first name because when I was younger I hated my name (Zach). I kept begging my parents to let me change my first name for the longest time, to which they’d always said no and guilt me for not appreciating the name I was given. However, one day in middle school, I realized Zach wasn’t my legal name, that it was just a short-hand for my full name and that I could spell that version of my name any. Way. I. Wanted.

To be rebellious I left the H off my name for a few months and spelled it Zac. That was fine for a while until one day before high school I was in the grocery store with my dad while he wrote an order for work, and I asked if he would buy me a travel mug for school. He said: “sure.” After looking through some of the different brands I found kid’s dinnerware in that section from a ‘Zak! Designs’, and after seeing it spelled that way I instantly fell in love with my name and decided that was how I wanted it for the rest of my life. If I couldn’t choose my name, I was going to choose how my name was spelled.

I tried a couple different name variations for an alias: Zakary Divine, Zakary Diamond, Zakari Divine, Zak Aroo. However, nothing seemed to fit or flow so I tried to narrow it down to which version of my first name I would use and decide from there. I thought back to my first serving job where everyone had nicknames for me like Zaktastic, Zak-a-roo, Zakattack, etc., and I remember one of my managers used to say, “Aye Zak-A-Rye?” and I always liked it when he called me Zak-a-rye.

So, I knew I really wanted my first name to be Zak-a-rye but I didn’t know how to spell it. I thought Zakari was close but thought too many people would think I was trying to do a version of Zachary, which I wasn’t. As I tried to think over the next few days and did some light research online I gave up trying because I couldn’t find a spelling and nothing flowed with Zak-a-rye either.  I wished I just had one name to worry about like Cher or Madonna.  That was when it donned on me, who says I needed to follow social customs and have two names? I mean, fuck social norms, am I right? What if I did just my first name but split into two?

I toyed with the idea and I thought how do I split Zak-a-rye up and thought Zak Arye would be a good alternative, and then I could explain the origin if anyone asked how I came up with my name, kind of like Phil Maccock (get it? Like feel my cock).

I sat staring at Arye saying it over and over in my head and finally after a dozen times or so it occurred to me that awry was an actual word. I looked up the definition, “away from the appropriate, planned, or expected course; amiss.” And it was like the clouds parted and the sunshine came blazing through my haze as angels sang. It was everything I wanted: Only my first name, a play on words, and because my second profile was going to be my party, gay, drag, bar, and drunk Facebook, what happens when you combine all those things? Yes, things go..AWRY. Boom.

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