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My High School Boyfriend is now available as an ebook at Amazon and Smashwords.

In 1983, Glen Farris, a poor teenager who was bullied at school and ignored at home, believed he was destined to lead a life of loneliness and solitude until Shannon Dupree, a handsome and stylish young man from the city, moved into the abandoned house next door. Shannon lived alone because his recently divorced mother liked to travel, and the rambling old mansion near the ghost town of Thurmond, West Virginia, built with coal money by Shannon’s great grandfather, provided a refuge, a place where the boys could relax and not worry about those who would judge them. They became close during the summer between their junior and senior years of high school, and in the fall, they became boyfriends. They planned to run away together after graduation, but their dreams were almost destroyed when Glen’s father, a fundamentalist preacher, discovered they were more than friends.

An except:

They didn’t card us at the bar. The doorman merely asked if we were at least nineteen, which was the drinking age in West Virginia at the time. When we told him we were, he took our money and let us go in. It was dark in there, the music was loud, and I was excited…as well as a little scared. The moment we were inside, Shannon took my hand. I was surprised by that, but then I remembered it was okay for us to be a couple there, and that’s why we came.

We found a table and ordered Cokes. Shannon was driving, and I had been raised to think drinking was a sin. I didn’t actually believe that, but I figured I was there to be with my tribe, not test my tolerance for alcohol. I could do that some other time.

Shannon and I pulled our chairs together and put our arms around one another, and no one seemed to care. Because of the music, it was difficult to hear, so we didn’t say much. Instead, we sat there and looked around at the crowd.

At first, the people I saw made me feel uneasy. There were drag queens in the place, along with girly young men whose mannerisms were overtly effeminate, and there were big, stocky women who wore flannel shirts. They were so obviously different, so obviously queer. They would have been spotted a mile away back home. I had spent my life trying to slip by unnoticed, and there I was in a gay bar seemingly full of people who were all too happy to tell the world who they were. A part of me wanted to run for my life. I didn’t want to be associated with those people. How could I survive if everyone knew I was one of them?

But Shannon was sitting beside me and holding onto me. I think he knew I would be disturbed and wary initially. He was from the city and much more cosmopolitan, so he was unfazed.

I got over my shock within a few minutes, and I began to notice there were, in fact, all kinds of people in that bar. I even saw a few good ol’ boys in worn coveralls and greasy ball caps. They would have fit right in at my father’s garage. The longer I sat there, the more comfortable I felt. It pleased me to see that the bar was swarming and so alive.

Shannon leaned over and said in my ear, “You’re smiling.”

“I am?”

“You sure are.”

“It’s good to know there are so many of us.”

A few minutes later, we danced to David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, and I found myself actually wishing I had a pair of red shoes. It was wonderful to be there with the boy I loved and to let a bunch of strangers see me dancing with him. I never felt so free and unrestrained.

panic/anxiety attack





  • breath in for 4 seconds
  • hold your breath for 7 seconds
  • exhale breath for 8 seconds

repeat once or twice more.

This causes an autonomic nervous system shift from a sympathetic (fight or flight reaction) state to a parasympathetic response.

Use this for panic/anxiety attacks, exams, presentations.

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Read this earlier, and it helped me a lot tonight.

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