Hi. I am having an odd sensation. In general. I can see better. The focus is crisper. The colors brighter. The edges sharper. Like I’m high. And I’m certainly not high. I can hear better. I can feel something is different, but I can’t put my finger on it. My shoulders are back. I am standing tall. My creaky body isn’t…. well, creaking. I feel young. Am I that old? Jesus. But this feeling, it’s real. Is it a coincidence that 460 people just sent me emails saying the gushiest stuff to me? I got a metric ton of response from my post relating to being molested as an 11 year old (“Well… this is uncomfortable”, 6-21-09). I think that there is a certain amount of squishy Berkeley hippie doodle doo relief that comes with me putting the box that says Dennis on that shelf. Sure. But for a salami sammich guy like me to so much as nudge at the power of p-… pr-…. prah-…. Jesus I can’t even say it. The power of mother fucking shit ass prayer. There. I said it. If a salami sammich guy like me can so much as even nudge at it… well…

No, I’m not gonna go off on some fucking Marin County flowing robes schpeal. I’m not gonna take a Learning Annex class on shockra toning or whatever. And I’m not a gonna try to quantify anything or allow myself to do anything but just sit here and enjoy it. The response from sending out that post was astounding. And I have to respond. Not only to tell you guys that I’m having some kinda physical reaction to *something*, but also to show gratitude. I am not a crier. I make other people cry. I know, I know, I’m workin’ on it… but man… I’m a tough guy. I’ve hired a few hundred people. I fired most of ‘em. Which is hard. I’ve sold hubcaps on Ebay. I carried my girlfriend down 5 flights of stairs when she od’d so the ambulance guys could get to her quicker. She didn’t make it. I dug my tractor trailer out of a snow bank with my bare hands. I’ve lent money to Jim Mason. I’ve had to say “no more” to junkies 100 times. I have endured the shame of a being a pedophiles plaything. I’ve had my tools stolen, my liver fail, my ideas hijacked, I’m the sole survivor of a 40 person squat in NYC (HIV), I’ve had the pain of divorce without the bliss of marriage and I’ve been, at times, rejected by my own dog. It makes a guy calloused and hard. And all I can do for the last 3 days is read and re-read the letters you all have sent me. And cry. I had no idea.

Over 200 of the mails are from other survivors of child abuse and the stories are chilling and awful and there is little to do but sit with the sadness and be overwhelmed at the volume. Words, powerful words were tossed about in describing how some of you felt upon reading my story. Words like brave, hero, inspiring… on and on. Stunning. The gratitude was intense and easy at the same time. 30 people or more told me they never so much as mentioned it to anyone before.

I knew that child abuse and molestation statistics were staggering… but those are statistics of OTHER people. It became different when I can recognize the names. Hear the voices. And to hear your voices saying these complimentary things… well… it makes me kinda squirmy like a 6 year old. But to hear the voices relate their stories one by one was an intense immersion that I did not see coming and could not have prepared for even if I did. All I can say is that I am humbled and filled with grace. I don’t know how or why, but I feel very lucky to have read all those awful stories. Every one of them a box that needs a shelf. Every story belonging to 2 very small hands brushing tears away. Every story connected to an adult in a severely disadvantaged position to have a healthy adult romantic relationship. Every one of those stories ten thousand packs of cigarettes smoked trying to figger out how to figger it out.

If there is something I can do to get you to get a fucking pinch of what I just got… well, that is the intention of this. I got no instructions for ya, but if I can relate my story and if it’s of benefit to you, exploit it. But do the work and like Harvey Milk said in his Long Island accent… “ya gonna feel bedder.”. Almost everyone commented on “the box” analogy. I truly and sincerely wish that people find shelves for their boxes. The feeling I am having is nothing less than sparkly.

I had little idea that this was even the right thing to do. I had doubts, for sure. But I’m learning that doubt is kinda bullshit. Doubt is total bullshit. You gotta either surrender or fight, whatever is appropriate. Anything but doubt. Decide, and own it. And remember ya can’t do it wrong. We’re all amateurs here, anyone who says they’re an expert at being a human is an idiot. The history books are full of ‘em. I wish I could do more than hurl more words into the ether. Ya know, it’s all I got right now. But I feel like I just made out with God or something. It’s really odd. And really, really good. The quality of light is stunning. I have tilted smile. I wonder if there’s a crash in my future or if this is permanent? Maybe a little of both… just a little crash and I get to keep a little of this feeling.

That would be cool…

But if any of you fuckers make fun of me for nudging the power of prayer, I’m gonna smack ya…

paying close and careful attention, chicken



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