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The Culture of GA

Mark Arbour


I woke up this morning, pretty late for me, and started hustling around my place getting organized. I was supposed to have office hours today. Then I logged on and read Snow Dog's post. It hit me hard. We were good friends. I relied on his intellect. His left brain complemented my right brain.


I spent the day depressed. I cancelled office hours. I did my class and came home and went to bed. Alone. I swore again that I would never allow myself to get close to another person on the net. I vowed that I wouldn't leave myself emotionally vulnerable again. I kept checking my mail to see if he'd left me a message. Nothing. I'd watch the TV and see another massive hurricane heading towards our shores, yet another disaster for our country. Finally, focussing on my work, then smoking a joint, made it possible for me to log on and write this. If I'm boring you, that's OK. I'm doing this part for me. I needed to vent to people who would understand.


Anyway, I started to think about the culture of this board, and how so many of us have contributed uniquely to it's forum and blogs. Snow Dog was always there with a caustic but logical viewpoint. We can always count on Michael to give us a kind word. There seemed to be a nice balance of testosterone in here. With GoBears around, I don't feel so outnumbered by gay guys and women (that's a joke, don't flame me). That ignores so many others that make unique contributions. And then of course there's Connor and I, the resident assholes. Slaveboy, you'll just have to fill Snowey's shoes now. You grow up fast around here.


So thanks for letting me vent. I'm not generally one to express vulnerability, and I admit that I approached this blog entry with some trepidation, but sometimes you just can't handle all of life's challenges alone.


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Sometimes I though that you were going to choke Snowie but I forget that we're GUYS.


We can fight like heck and then 10 minutes later we're chasing the ice cream truck.


We may get older but... we're still guys.


..and it's a damned good situation if you ask me.



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It has been quite a week....Matt announces he has serious health issues and Snow Dog has announced his departure from the Forum due to serious family issues.


I believe both have had serious emotional affect on all of us. In our own way, we have become a 21st century family (dysfunctional but still loving including fights, love and respect for each other, arguments, personal announcements from love gained/lost, health issues, etc....the latest being Lore will be a Mom).


I also think of Kitty daily in the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina leaving her homeless/jobless and the effects it had for James and Kitty and their communities.


In the last few months we have become for lack of a better word feel connected and close to each other(since I am not sure there is one for a Group that by and large have never met in person)


In our own way we have become a "family". I can't speak for others on that point, just for me. But I feel as if in our own way, we are a family.


It is heart breaking and sad and painful to read about Matt, at age 22 (well anyone at any age) having serious health issues. The same is true for hearing about Snow Dog's troubles. Knowing both Matt and Snow Dog they are strong and will "soldier on" to do what they must do and not ones to "share their pain"...just not their style.


But we can keep them in our thoughts and hope for the best...and know that they shaped our hearts and minds and souls...and hopefully, we did the same for them and will continue to do the same.


I don't believe that Snow Dog, Matt, Kitty and those who have had major trauma in their lives want us to worry..but we will...and of course, that is only human nature, but we can be optimistic, pray(prayers to me are good thoughts, good karma and sending out positive energy) and honestly knowing that with time life will get better for Snow Dog, Matt, Kitty and everyone here we have come to know....


I believe Snow Dog will do what he must...and I also hope that as Vision expressed that Snow Dog finds happiness...and yes, the happiness he wants and needs....co dependency also can be debilitating...one I relate well to and done my own share of therapy in...but Snow Dog is smart and will get through it all. One thing that Vision said that I hope for Snow Dog is that he finds happiness as a Gay Man but that happiness must begin with him and his own recovery, which I have learned is one day at a time. It is a precious gift and thankfully, I believe Snow Dog, who is a precious gift to us all, will be able to find his way. That is what matters....the rest will take care of itself.


On that note, I best end this post.



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Conner, you always have the best sense of humor (or humour for those who speak English of a different kind then American English:)


Hugs sent your way for making me smile and laugh:)



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My sympathies, unfortunately I know exactly how you feel. :(


I too suddenly had my best "Net" friend drop out of contact in the past month due to things beyond our control. Reasons were different than what happened with Snowy leaving GA (and you, as collateral damage), but the end result is the same. He's gone, leaving sadness and depression. I'm sure you'll work your way around to the other emotions if you haven't already; like being bewildered that such an important change could occur in your relationship without you being warned, feeling pissed off at the world because he's not there to share something you KNOW he would crack up over, wondering what you might have said to possibly change the current situation, realizing at the same time it was outside your control anyway and ultimately hoping contact will be re-established. It's a remarkably vulnerable time.


I can't tell you it gets any better, I'm not there yet and it's been just over 4 weeks. The sting of it has lessened slightly, but the raw emptiness has remained. I've since spent time online with some terrific people , yet not one person "gets" the whole of me like he did, just bits & pieces. :( We would often type the exact same words at the exact same time when IMing. Sometimes it happended 3 or 4x's in one evening alone, that's how well we knew each others thoughts and thought processes.


Reaching out to others has been the one thing that has saved my sanity these past weeks- that additional connection does help. If you ever feel like venting, give a shout. I'll know exactly where it's coming from. Been there, living that.


:/ Kel

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