Broken Bird, Part Three

2012 02 04_7465

Him: It’s good to see you.

Me: You too. I haven’t seen much of you since Thin Skin Jonny went on hiatus.

Him: I’ve been around. I’m in school, too.

Me: How’s Bobby?

Him: Back with James Blackheart. He moved out.

Me: Again? That’s a shame. How was living with him?

Him: I loved living with Bobby Finn. I used to say we ran a bed and breakfast. Bobby provided the bed and I provided breakfast. I got to meet so many new people.

Me: I know the feeling. It was a circus here, for the two months he stayed…

Him: Yes, well… That’s Bobby for you.


Me: Why did he turn his back on me, do you think?

Him: (sighs) I don’t know. I couldn’t or wouldn’t say, even if I did know.

Me: Well, I find it extremely unfair. He freeloaded off me for months and now won’t answer my txts, phone calls, or emails. He’s blocked me on Facebook.

Him: Did you say anything nasty to him?

Me: NO! He’s been out of town for about 4 months doing that theater gig in Kansas. I asked him to have lunch with me and go shopping. I wanted to say goodbye before I left for the West Coast.

Him: Maybe he doesn’t want to see you?

Me: That’s clear, but don’t you think it’s a little rude? I give the guy a place to stay, because he’s being “abused,” and then he gets to turn his back on me?

Him: Bobby just doesn’t understand your decisions lately.

Me: So what? Neither does my Mother, or most of my so-called friends, colleagues, acquaintances or whatnot. Doesn’t matter. When someone announces a wedding you pretend you’re excited, at least. You don’t head for the hills, because you are gay and reserve the right to hate all women, categorically, except your mother.

Him: Quite a few gay men operate like that.

Me: I know that, but don’t I get to expect more of Bobby? I took him in. I put him on the most well-respected comedy stage in NYC. I held him when he cried, and bought him lunch sometimes, if it was clear he was hungry. Why does he have any sort of moral high ground, here?

Him: You’d have to ask him.

Me: That’s the problem. Rather than take me for a walk in the park and ask how I’m doing, inquire about my assault and the PTSD that triggered – rather than congratulate me on my marriage, or say goodbye to an old friend who’s moving 3000 miles away – rather than any of that, he just ignores me. No explanation.

Him: Perhaps he feels that sort of goodbye is preferable to an argument?

Me: There’s nothing to argue about. I don’t have to ask his permission to get married, man or woman. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to have a nervous break-down. When women do it, it’s called a ‘rough’ period. When I do it, I need an analyst. I like my analyst, by the way.

Him: That’s good.

Me: Here’s what isn’t good.


Me: I ran into Clive, a few months after Bobby left and moved in with you.

Him: I always thought he was cute.

Me: Me too. Not my usual type, but super cute. Anyway, Clive told me that Bobby wasn’t abused at all – at least not physically like he claimed. Clive told me Bobby smashed the wine glass on his own face. He knew the cops were coming and he wanted to look like a victim. He wanted to force James to let him stay in the fancy apartment.

Him: What’s the difference? Does that make him an awful person?

Me: Are you kidding me? He lied to me about being abused, paid nothing to live here, and started undermining me in the band as soon as he moved in with you. He took my kindness and showed me contempt.

Him: You’re just describing human nature.

Me: All of those things I could forgive. He’s younger than me (but getting older – red heads should stay out of the sun) and I could have forgiven those annoying things, but this… How dare he turn his back on me. How dare he join the ranks of former friends who won’t return my calls, simply because I married a woman.

Him: Quite a few people don’t understand that, Michael. You were so vocal about gay rights for so long…

Me: So what? One doesn’t have to be gay to believe in human rights. One also doesn’t have to be straight to marry a woman. It’s reason to ruin a friendship? He should have hung around and made up with me. Stupid, trusting Michael would have probably made him dinner and opened some wine.

Him: Maybe it’s just not the right timing for you two right now.

Me: Exactly. It’s not the right timing because I finally have nothing left to give that selfish little…

Him: Say it. You’ll feel better if you say it.

Me: Human being. Bobby Finn is a real prime example of a human being.

(Marco Bright laughs. I start crying. Marco puts on a pot of hot water.)


(Soon enough we are laughing and writing songs again.)



eryc perez de tagle

Hey I love your blog and I found it on Google. I do need advice cause I have issues that are bothering me. My bf and I (or I should say hubby – we did a little wedding in France but that does not count here) have been together since I was 11 and he was 15. 

I am 21 now but I feel like he is still treating me like the kid that I was. I know that I am not as strong as he is and not as masculine, but I feel like that should not mean that I can’t be independent, right? He won’t let me stand up for myself and if someone offends me he always gets my battles for me, or sends his friends to do it.

I recently graduated but now he won’t let me look for work he is saying that the economy is not good now and I will be under payed. I feel kept and useless and I don’t like it. But I am scared to bring it up cause he gave me a good spanking one time when I disobeyed him.

What should I do? I feel like its my fault this has gone this way. I got a tattoo when I was 14 saying ‘owned by (first ,last name)’. What should I do? Please help?


Hey J.J.,

I think you realize how abusive and controlling and manipulative this relationship is, right? He beats you. He gives you orders. He’s been having sex with you since before you even went through puberty. This relationship is no good.

Why do you think he really doesn’t want you working? I suspect you already know – it’s because the idea of you being self sufficient terrifies him. It’s the same reason he fights your battles for you. He needs you to need him. It’s a co-dependent power struggle. And, J.J. – you’re not without your role in this. It takes two people to dance this dance, buddy.

I think it’s time to break the pattern. I think you know it’s time, otherwise you wouldn’t be reaching out to a stranger asking for help. You’re becoming a man, and you want to establish your own identity. But up until now, your identity has been ‘property of so-and-so.’ You owe it to yourself to explore who you are as an individual, and you’ll never be able to get that done if you stay with this man.

It’s arguable that he’s been molesting you since you were 11 years old. I’m not sure what the legality of the issue is, but I know there’s a huge difference between 11 and 15. This guy’s been in your head since you were a child. Half your life. You’ve got to get yourself out of this situation.

This isn’t love. This is a cycle of abuse you’re participating in. He’s never going to change, or treat you differently, or realize that you’re powerful. If you try to get him to recognize your independence I suspect he’ll become violent again. He’s already manipulative and controlling. And he’s ‘spanked’ you once? That’s straight up domestic abuse.

Get yourself out of the situation. Stay with family, or friends. Or go to a domestic abuse shelter if you’re able. Get out, and stay away from this man. He’s not a good man. He might be sexy, and charming, but he sounds like a sociopath. I know you think you love him, but if you look really deeply into that feeling, don’t you have to admit that it’s based on fear? Sure it is. It’s because he’s tricked you into thinking you need him. You don’t.

Get away from him. Own yourself. Otherwise you’ll never be the man you want to be. And that’s a terrible thing to have to live with.