// Sex And Paralysis

Sex is something most everyone enjoys, and I’m no exception. In fact, after thinking about it, I fear I might be a bit of a sex addict. There are worse things to be; at least I don’t collect human body parts or smoke crack. But is it healthy? Thinking about sex 24/7? I don’t know the answer. I’ve always been like this, but it seems these feelings intensified after being shot.

Certainly there are questions regarding my injury in conjunction with sex. I would want to know. It’s something very personal, but I am an open book, so I feel most comfortable writing about it.

The first question is usually, “does it work?” It being my penis. It sure does (with the help of a pill). It’s not the same as it used to be, but impressive enough. Once ready it’s good to go for quite a while. This is a good thing (for both parties).

The second question is, “can you feel it?” The answer is no. Well, a bit. It’s definitely not the way it once was. My brain tends to fill in the gaps. And a visual usually helps. As long as my partner is happy, I’m happy. I can still use other things just fine and can feel that. Thank goodness.

Thirdly, “can you ejaculate?” Nope. No muss, no fuss. This is a double-edged sword. On one hand, my partner can go to town (with repeat trips, if needed). On the other hand, I never get a release. Ugh. This ensures I’m horny. All. The. Time.

This is where the sex addiction comes in. More on that in another installment. Until then, I’ll be looking at naked girls on Tumblr and not masturbating.

JHS

// A Post About Not Posting

All apologies for not having an entry worth anything today. Some of my days are not the best days; this happens to be one of them. I will return tomorrow, hopefully. Dealing with this gigantic stone is proving to be harder than I thought. Hang in there with me. It helps more than you know.

JHS

// Thoughts On Crime

I’ve lived in a relatively small town for the past 18 years. It’s a place that looks charming and beckons people to visit. It’s quite beautiful. It’s been documented in many books and been in many movies. People have written songs about it and flock here every year. But there is a darker side to this seemingly quaint and quiet Southern town.

Crime is very high. Being a college town, there are plenty of potential targets for would-be thieves. The college, a prestigious private art university, attracts students from around the globe. This equates to “a bunch of rich kids” around here. A fact that is not entirely accurate; I attended this same school and was far from a “rich kid.” But this poses a problem. These kids are held up at gunpoint a lot of the time. It seems that this is the only way the perpetrators of these crimes know how to operate. There is no etiquette. They have no charisma. Most of them think of themselves as tough or in control. That they are, by some stretch of the imagination, a man. They are wrong.

Going around and wagging guns at scared kids doesn’t make you tough. It definitely doesn’t make you a man. It does make you one thing; a fucking coward. Any mother would be ashamed to call someone like that a son, much less a man.

They are out there; these so-called men. Lurking in the shadows, waiting for a group of defenseless kids, or accosting a mother who’s trying to carry groceries into her house; busting through peoples’ doors, demanding things they have no right to.

All I know is that everyone should be on the lookout. Take precautions to protect yourselves. Be smart about where you go and what you do. Anything can happen. There is darkness in all this beauty.

JHS

// A Death In The Family

Tido was one of a kind. Black as pitch. Wide yellow eyes. He was 13, yet behaved like an energetic kitten most of the time. My roommate, John, was Tido’s mother. In Tido’s mind this was quite literal. He’d spurn affection from anyone else, but as soon as “mother” walked in it was all over. It was lap cat from then on, and John would have to tear him away in order to move.

I lived with Tido for almost two years. He’d slyly visit me every now and then, on his terms, of course. We’d converse in his preferred cat/bird/wookie language for a bit, then he’d saunter out of the room, still chirping to himself. Adorable.

I know John has a lot of memories of Tido. They’ll linger forever, as with anything special. I learned to love that goofy fucking cat. A lot. I’ll miss his jingles around the house. Goodbye, baby-ding.

JHS

// Shot By A Black Guy: Am I Mad?

Racism and intolerance are rampant in America these days. It seems every time I turn on the television someone is bashing someone else, whether it be based on religion, sexual preference, race, gender, or just plain jealousy. It’s rather sickening.

I was shot in the neck—at point-blank range—by a couple of young black men in a predominantly white neighborhood. The shooter and his partner had chosen this particular street for a reason: a “perceived wealth” of its (mostly) white inhabitants. An incorrect notion (I didn’t live in the neighborhood; I was visiting a friend, and was by no means wealthy) that changed not only my life, but theirs as well (the two were later apprehended, tried and convicted to lengthy prison terms).

Does this mean I should hate all young black men? If the perpetrators of the crime had been a pair of young white men would it have made a difference? No, the outcome would be the same. I’d still be paralyzed from the chest down; a quadriplegic. Understandably, I could dwell on the fact that the duo was black and hate them for it, but why? In fact, I’m almost sorry they were black. It only serves to perpetuate the myth that all young black men are, indeed, thugs. This is far from the case. To condemn an entire race based on the actions of two misguided kids would be a tragedy… for me.

It’s easy to be against something. It’s easy to hate things (including people) we are not accustomed to. It’s easy to ignore major problems such as discrimination or flat-out racism. It’s hard, though, to face facts, rethink, open up and get involved with people that may not fit into our “normal” comfort zones. It’s hard to swallow our pride and allow change into our hearts and minds. It is, however, very important that we try to do just that. If not, understanding and acceptance can’t exist in this world we share. And we do share it, whether we like it or not. Maybe we will all get it right one day. I guess time will tell.

JHS

// End Of An Era: Divorce, Part II

The shooting was one thing, but the paralysis was something new and completely different to us. In the beginning, Lyra wanted to do everything. She cared for me so much that she didn’t want anyone else to do the things required to keep me functioning on a day-to-day basis. Eventually this created problems.

We basically began to fall apart. We took out our anger on each other quite a bit. We called each other names. When you get to that point, it is very hard to return to something normal. She stood by me for two years. She did everything in her power. We even went to counseling. It did not help. In the end, she needed to be out and I knew this. I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through what she did. It was a life-changing situation. One in a million. And I have no ill will toward her at all. In fact, I wanted her to go. I wanted her to be free. From everything. It was a hard decision on both our parts. The love was still there. This was the hardest thing to wrap our brains around. We divorced.

It hit me very hard. I felt lonely and a bit abandoned, even though I had a huge part in her departure. There were times when I felt like I couldn’t go on. But I did. And for the better. We are still really good friends. We talk a lot. The love is still there. I don’t think it will ever go anywhere. We have a special bond. One which I cherish, and will forever. Her name was Lyra and I adored her. Still do.

JHS

// End Of An Era: Divorce, Part I

Some great things eventually do come to an end, whether you like it or not. It happens every day the world spins. People die. Innocence is lost. Marriages end. The latter won in my case. I was married to one of the most beautiful girls on earth for nearly 16 years. Her name was Lyra and I adored her.

I first saw her in a photograph. She looked so open and friendly; her smile was broad across her face and she had lips to die for. I was enamored. From that night on I gathered info on her: she was 16 (yeah, yeah… I was 20, so shut up), attended high school, had the same art teacher I had (a fact that would prove beneficial), etc. We met briefly at a mutual friend’s house a few days later. My interest had grown. I attended college 6 hours away, so I left my hometown bound for Savannah. Once back, I knew I had to see her again, so I went to work on a love letter of sorts. I sent it care of that art teacher I mentioned. It worked.

We had a long distance relationship for about 18 months. Wrote hundreds of letters. Paid the phone company way to much money. Finally, I asked her to marry me via scavenger hunt (I was holding her ring at the end). We were happy and married in the summer.

For the next 14 years we made a life together. We grew up together. We were best friends. She meant the world to me and vice versa. We planned to start a family in early 2009. Unfortunately, it would never be. The shooting caught us off-guard, to say the least. Our lives changed in seconds. The dynamic changed. We shattered and were left to pick up millions of pieces. Lyra was there for me from day one. Her devotion to me was stagering. Her face lit my darkness each day. In fact, she was the reason I survived. I was angry at the start. I thought my life was over. Fucked. She helped me to rid myself of the anger. She helped me immensely. This, though, would prove to be the beginning of the end.

To be continued in Part II.

JHS

// The Day My Music Died

I’ve played music and have been in bands since I was 15 years old. I have been lucky to have been in bands with some very talented people in Savannah. Immediately following the incident of the shooting, I did not want anything to do with music. I didn’t want to hear it or even really talk about it. It was mainly fear of hearing something that would take me back to a certain time and place when I was able to walk. That was something that I was not prepared to deal with.

It took about a month for me to want to listen to music again. The first thing I listened to was Baroness’ Red Album. From the first note I started crying. The tears were not from sadness. The record had just come out and I was really proud of them and what they had accomplished. It just made me very emotional. There really isn’t sadness associated with not being able to play on stage anymore. I simply enjoy the fact that others can. And I will support that as long as I can. My life would be relatively empty without the sound of music.

JHS

// The Chance Of Ultimate Possibility

Love. It’s something everyone wants. It is elusive, intangible, ethereal and, to be sure, magical. Especially with the right person. I’m lucky to be loved by many, but I am looking for that special lady. The one. Someone I can trust and spoil with attention. I had it once, for almost seventeen years. It was amazing. It ended, but the love and respect remains. This is a fact I cherish. And it’s forever. This I know. It’s comforting and humbling.

The fact is there is someone out there for me. I’m content in knowing that. Until then, I’ll just continue to flirt with girls. I’m pretty confident these days, so something should happen. The chance of ultimate possibility. I like that. A lot.

JHS