Should Your Boyfriend Meet Your Friends?

I’ve been in a relationship for almost three years. My two friends of mine met my boyfriend. Just one of them spoke to him. He has seen my boyfriend twice since the first time they met.

Around a year ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. We thought we were not going anywhere back then. It wasn’t a long break-up. Thinking about it, it was more like a pause. Though, it hurt me a lot and, obviously, I searched for solace in my friend. 

He told me that I was better off alone, because my boyfriend wasn’t good for me. He drew that conclusion under the premise that he thought my boyfriend was neither friendly enough nor social enough. My boyfriend suffers from social anxiety. He doesn’t know but I have noticed it so far. I know it because we both suffer from the same type of anxiety.

From that moment, I thought how far from reality the opinion of a friend might be when judging the relationship I shared with my boyfriend.

It’s a quite tough when dismissing someone’s advice, which has been asked due to the affinity and closeness grown through the years and an occasional hardship. But, I learned that the less people are part of a relationship the better it might go. Friends  judge as a spectator.

What comes down in a relationship is between two people. Friends are not aware of the inner struggles. My boyfriend is sweet and thoughtful in his own way. His lack of interest in forming a social bond with people from my life comes from his own insecurities. I don’t see the point of making him feel uncomfortable by compelling him to meet people whose own agenda is to draw their own conclusions without aspiring to see beyond the surface.

My boyfriend and I have developed a dynamic which allows us to enjoy each other’s company. We don’t get bored of each other, not now, at least. We do keep our friends close but free from any interference toward us.

A friends’ approval or disapproval of the person you are dating or sharing a romance with might undermine the intention one has to pursue the company of another person. They believe you deserve better. But, what they know about the person you’re with that you are in the dark about?

My friends’ aspirations of my boyfriend heavily relies on the ones they have for theirs. Based on the different conversation we have had, they also point out if I believe he’s right for me due to his social background and the little they know him. 

Why is it a norm to expose someone to people in order to achieve a level of acceptance? Why has the success of a relationship become synonymous with social interaction?

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I Don’t Have a Coming Out Story

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Credit: Nadia Snopek/Shutterstock

National Coming Out Day was held last week. I read blogpost, tweet, and articles about other people’s stories (famous and not so famous people). I also watched some videos of people telling their story, using interesting, dramatic, appealing techniques to tell their story. Such a wonderful time! I remember the time I was living in when you were supposed to keep that for yourself. Now, it is a celebration to share your story.

However, after watching them and reading them, I just found out that I don’t have a coming out story.

I’m just gay. People know I’m gay. I believe my parents know I’m gay (if they don’t, come on!! I’m 38 and heterosexually single). My father did ask me four years ago. I replied to him with an affirmative answer. And, nothing else happened.

So, I began inquiring: Do I have a coming story? Should I have a story to share with curious straight people when they come to me and ask me: When did you come out? How did you come out? How did your parents take it?

I believe I should not.

Some people have told great stories because they have fought against the odds of an oppression. They have chosen to speak out because they’ve suffered a life of rejection, negation and discrimination upon them. I believe I had gone through similar hardships, but I just stood there, watched around and moved forward. My story is a just a Monday.

I admired people who has put their stories out there for others to watch and read. And for haters to know that we are living and kicking. We are not stepping back because of some haters out there scream at us or try to infuse us with fear. Backing down is not happening.

I have faced some problems so far, for just being who I am, not only for being gay. My personality is not what people expect to be. So, my coming out story is not what other people would expect to read or watch.

Don’t get me wrong, I do support those who have shared their stories, actually I want to congratulate them for doing so.  They are a beacon of light for those who are struggling.

I’m just saying that the uneventfulness of mine shouldn’t be something to talk about. Sometimes people are just curious to gossip around and have some tea to spill (based on my impression from the bystanders who ask those questions for personal inquiry or enjoyment).

 

 

Farewell

I found this, going through some old files, hope you like it.

Farewell

Mingled with verses,

Touched by the heart-threading prose,

I’ve heard your chants,

I’ve fallen over the worn lyrics once.

The fragility of each fiercely pinched in me,

Yet I wondered in distress,

Why have you come by troubadour of winter and fall?

Guilt has come to you,

As a rainfall in the sultry summer.

When you hiked away to praise

A new young emperor of a forgotten kingdom,

I stopped listening to the words

You once devotedly halted in behalf of a dream

Upon my feet.

Summon the grace of earthly forgiveness, troubadour!

Beg for what the divine grants, o’ silly troubadour!

I have passed by the world,

Yet far from the divine once and once more.

Don’t take that guitar of yours

Which killed long ago the idealistic hearts of a king and his love.

Roll up back your tongue

And take the prose of yours

To a knight and queen who rest in amity at last.

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Giving the Right Advice

good-adviceFriends, acquaintances, co-workers and strangers–any person is in need of some words of wisdom and encouragement in time of distress. There is always someone who is willing to share his or her life knowledge to give the little kick in the butt to raise anyone in need from the mud, be cleaned up and ready to move on.

Everybody has something wise to say about any problem anyone is facing. Everybody has the answer to any of the problems anyone faces. Such a beautiful world, inhabited by the most knowledgeable, empathetic and sensible creatures this world has ever seen.

On the other hand, people tend to be so vain that they believe they have all the correct answers. They know what to say and when to say it. They might believe that they are the answers for other people’s problems. What they have gone through is an example of what pain and self-determination could accomplish. Therefore, they are always at your disposal in case of ever needing someone to talk to. Their stories are inspirational enough to get anybody up of their feet.

I have been going through some difficult times lately. I’ve been in need of a ME time so desperately. By letting any restraint that has been holding me break free has obviously had its consequences: feeling worse.

Today I made the mistake to let my feelings and state of mind go all the way to a text to two old friends–one of them is one of the two people whom I can talk about anything I might go through and the other just happened to be online. However, I honestly believe that most people are not capable of giving the right advice at the right time for the right person.

The old friend, after reading my text that explains the situation I was going through, started texting me back with the same old phrases that people use to make someone feel “better.” She wrote things like “You’re great!” “You should be proud of yourself” “You are a professional man” “You have family and friends who love you” “You are intelligent”  “You… and you… and you…”

At the end of the conversation, I was just typing words by default. I didn’t care of what else she had to say because there was not any insightful or revealing truth in her words that might prompt me feel a little better. She just tried to  cheer me up with cheesy lines. I’m a football player in search of some words from a cheerleader or an encouragement from a withering coach.

The other person, I had the transgression of texting too, started using his life as an example of human accomplishment and survival. I replied some of his text, but I was in a confusion of reactions at the moment that I couldn’t reply them all. I wanted to laugh and to get mad at the same time. I was reading tons of long messages about his life and what he had become. He never read and thought my problem through, he started to text me about his amazing life. I didn’t feel bad, but I wasn’t feeling any better.

I wondered on the fact that when I’m going through a tough time, I don’t believe that I should listen to people praising me or letting me know the obvious things that I own at the moment. Those are the things that I know for sure are there. I might take them for granted from time to time, but they are still there. Unchanged, at times. On the other hand, I feel bad because of some inadequate decisions that I made. Or, perhaps, I don’t feel good because of some specific or more existential issues. So, a reminder of how great you are is not an effective advice when someone is in need of a deeper approach of your issue.

Those people, who you go to ask for advice to, are not always acquainted with you. They know who you are and what you do and what other things are in your interest, but they are in the dark when knowing who you really, really are. They know what color you are in the outside, but your true colors are just a blur for them.

That’s why I believe that advice giving should point at helping to solve an issue, but not to remind you constantly that you can accomplish whatever you are set to do. If I had a solution for every problem that I have, I would not have felt depressed. So, tell me the truth, I know that the truth hurts, but something else hurting right now anyway and don’t know what to do with it.  I might feel a little more helpless at the moment a friend is more than preaching. But if I’m mature enough, I will be able to change everything around and grow from it. Knowing what you have been doing bad, even though it would piss me off, I’ll eventually resolve a way to turn everything around.

Giving advice is more than saying the right words, it is actually to know, to care and to embrace your words and intentions of helping others. Helping other by finding solution is the final destination of providing words of encouragement, not by listing anyone’s ‘what-I-would-do’.

My Blogging Challenge

blogging-businessA month ago, I made the decision to write a blogpost per day. I challenged myself to find a space in my weekly schedule to sit down, stare at my computer screen and type whatever my mind and mood felt inspired to putting into words. I didn’t think this through a little longer when I stepped in the arduous, time-consuming, emotionally exhausting quest of finding something to write about every single day for a whole month. A little dramatic I guess! Well, life sometimes needs a sprinkle of drama in it!

There were some moments when I didn’t know what to do. There were days when I wanted not to blog anything because I intuited that the idea I was brewing didn’t quite make the cut for a nice post, under my newly-found blogging standards. I am not the greatest blogger there is, but I guess, in my own perception, I must have some sort of requirements before publishing a post.

Thirty blogs or so and one hour of writing daily later, I stumbled on some setbacks for every time I started typing a new post:

  1. I felt compelled to write a post per day not taking into consideration the quality of my writing. In my opinion, the posts were well-written, but they were not exceptionally composed. Reading some of the posts again, I’ve noticed they lack certain proper closure or idea development.
  2. My anxiety grew. Since I wanted to keep on with the challenge, I saw myself in the position of staring at the blank page of my screen with the cursor blinking constantly. I felt incompetent against the fact of not having anything good enough to write about. Some days, the stress and anxiety were so strong that I felt that I was punishing myself by being under this kind of pressure. My arms ached and I had one of two severe cases of migraine as an imminent symptom of my anxiety.
  3. Good ideas are hard to come up with. ‘Not every idea is a good idea,’ people say. I believe it’s the execution of that idea. Though, I found myself incapable of executing certain concepts because they were not resonating to me at a personal level. I got to the point to delete 500 words all at once because I didn’t connect to what I was writing, thus wasting precious time to achieve the goal of publishing a post that given day.
  4. I didn’t find a niche. I have read different blogs as reference to what makes a blog to become a really good blog. They all point out that I need a niche to be more specific and to write more attractive and compelling blogs around a denominating idea.  During this last 30 days or so, I wrote about politics, strikes, anxiety, fiction, life, and more topics, at the end, they don’t tie up as one. It turned out to be like a recollection of kindergarten newspaper I guess.

While rampaging about the aggravation this process brought upon me up till now, I can assure that all that work wasn’t in vain. Also, I have ended up with some enthusiastic results since I started this recently revealed challenge.

  1. I found out I can write: not writing as a physical action, but as a mental endeavor. Every time I sit in front of my laptop, I push myself to become a better writer. I believe, as a language teacher, pushing outside of one’s comfort zone is the only way to reach a level of mastery in what is set to accomplish. I know I might’ve endured some unpleasant moments along the way, but I felt that I managed to deliver at the end of the day.
  2. I’ve spent my days thinking of what to blog out. I noticed a growing interest in certain areas I didn’t consider my own or part of who I am as a person, as a professional and a self-proclaimed blogger. Though, I have had to immerse myself in those topics in order to find the proper words to put together a worth-reading post, learning is part of what writing is also about.
  3. After writing almost 30 blogposts, I’ve created my own set of rules. I read a lots of blogs to find the proper path to follow, yet I didn’t succeed to come up with a  decent idea of how to make this blog better. Though, I’m happy with the results I have gotten so far. I believe if I keep blogging, I will find my niche soon enough. At least, I am blogging.
  4. I learned a valuable lesson that I need to take it slowly in order write a good post. Writing is a long process, from the drafting to the editing. I can’t just expect that a good post would be composed in a simple hour I take out of my schedule. Maybe two hours (Just kidding!) But, I do desire to provide some quality writing through my blog. Therefore, no more one-post-per-day month challenges. It was exhausting!
  5. Finally, it got me writing again and remembered how much I used to love writing. Writing became a passion of mine back when I was in college. I still love it. Due to this, I came across with a little feedback I was given around 5 years ago, that person loved a story I wrote and she was impressed. It was the kick that I also needed to stop doubting myself. Through the process of finding an idea, I was given the feedback I needed. I don’t want to say I don’t wish to make some coins out of writing, because I truly do. But, I still think that I need to work at little more on my craft. So, publishing some content might be a good way to gain some improvement.

I would like to promise that I will keep writing no matter what, but life has been a little tough with me and I have seen that promises are sometimes hard to keep. Though, I’ll do my best in order to please myself and others who enjoy what I write and what I have to say. At the end, this experiment reminded me of what I had forgotten: I Love Writing.

Where to Meet Prince F***ing Charming?

Before reading, a foreword: I think I was a little mad when I was writing this post. 

Isn’t it either funny or mockingly naive how we tend to look for the one in the most erroneous places? And, after we find and share more than one hot-sex date, we complain about how shitty and disappointingly mature immature our men are. They stop calling, texting, skyping or liking your posts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Finally, we realized that he is clubbing and dating someone else. We believed his words that he would be with us. We believed that we were everything that they have been looking for in a guy. BULLSHIT! It is all bullshit in the end.

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So, why do we keep looking for the Prince Charming in places that we have already learnt they only attract the nearly worst kind of boyfriend material a dating site would probably have on its list? My mom says that only animals stumble with the same stone twice. I believe animals are not that stupid, but WE are. We continue going to places to find the same shitty guy who can give us just a drop of his affection to our thirsty hearts. Pathetic! (Sorry if I insulted you by using WE, but if you don’t feel related, don’t be insulted!) So, what I did was to stop paying any attention to those assholes anymore.

For instance, this last Saturday, I went clubbing with a couple of friends. I ran into with a former couple that I met when I had recently came out. They were very into me and I was really into one of them. The older one. We said hello, we hugged and there was some ass-rubbing at some point. My ass was being rubbed by the older one. I felt so good, because I thought he wanted with me and I had a chance. Then, reason struck me real hard on the head, ‘He’s rubbing your ass. There won’t be anything more than a night of hot sex and no texting the day after.’ For this reason, I came back to the party mode.

Later that night, I ran into with a former boyfriend of mine. There was some kissing, but nothing more. He wanted to take me to his place, but he wanted to party HARD before leaving. And party HARD is not my style anymore (I used to, but I realized that there’s nothing cathartic about it. Let’s take a look at Linsay Lohan. I used to party like she “used to” party). So, I decided just to continue my night along with my two friends, who were in the search of a boy. I wasn’t, but I was the luckiest bastard that night.

Then, a guy was checking on me. I didn’t know because I’m not very good at reading people that way. I always believe that any guy who is apparently hitting on me is actually doing so to the guy next to me. I realized that it was me he was looking at, because one of my friends tried to approach him by quasi-dancing towards him. The guy who was probably in his forties, just turned around, then I knew it was me he was hitting on. We went for a couple of drinks and we passed by him (I didn’t know he was standing there. Honest). And, when I was just passing by, he slapped my ass. Really Hard. I thought his hand got tattooed on my ass. I just wanted to turn and yield something at him, but (not in fear of comfrontation) I decided not to. I was in a club, people do so. I was wearing pants that make my ass look good. So, I deserved it. I provoked it. Shame on me.

So, for these three different Princes Charming, I started wondering, if there’s any place to meet nice down-to-earth ready-to-commit guys. At clubs, they only have one thing on their minds, GET LAID. They are hunting. They are hunters. And we are the deer. If you meet a guy in a dating site, he, most likely, has only one thing on his mind, GET LAID. Come on! Jesus!

Well, are there any places for us to meet anyone. So far, I’m at point to become an unbeliever, or a nearly-born cynic. At the park, sex. A soccer game, closeted sex. At the theater, apparent intelligent disappointingly-cold sex. At a wedding, desperate sex. At a funeral, even more desperate sex. At the fucking granny’s deathbed, come on! Wherever you meet a guy, he wants sex. So, is there any hope? I still have faith that there is.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to fool anybody. Sex is good. Extremely good. But, I don’t want a random casual sexual encounter. I just want more than one sexual encounter with the same guy who is falling into me as I fall into him.

So, I believe I don’t have to give up hope. A nice guy would come along. Someday. In the meantime, I just need to pay attention a little more, just in the case the guy has already passed by, but I’ve missed him more than once because of the ass-grabbing morons.

Red Gown (Part 3) Final

“Gina and Grace agreed to perform before you. I already asked them and they are ok with it.” Gregg implied by passing through the doorway, waking me up from my melancholic slumber. I assented with my head. I grabbed the red dress my mom had inherited to me. “Are you ok, hon?” attentively supplied. I looked toward him and explained to him my need to remain alone for getting ready.

A silk, siren-shaped red gown. Beautiful dress! My mom looked like Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn. She was radiant, full of beauty and glamour as any movie star whenever she wore the gown. It was the one evening gown she owned. But, I could tell she didn’t need another. The radiance that shined from her face when she put it on was enough to realize how satisfied and how attached she was with it. Though she was not planning to go out anywhere, she tried it on. “It still fits.” She would supply while admiring her silhouette on the two-foot tall Victorian-framed mirror. She bought it in a flea market. It didn’t cost much, but it was enough to upset dad. She played in front of the mirror by swaying around the bedroom, staring at her image on the mirror. She would usually begin by combing her hair according to the hairdo fads. Her hairdos never resembled those she had the desire to copy. However, when she did her makeup, put the white long gloves and the dress on; she wasn’t a housewife anymore.

She always played a Tony Bennett’s, her favorite, or Cole Potter’s records. She danced around, holding her imaginative companion in the emptiness between her arms. She addressed him with different names: Carl, David, Tom, even Mr. Bennett. She jiggled as if she was having real one-on-one conversation.

Sometimes, I managed to get in her room, when she was finally resting exhausted for much swaying and spinning, wearing her dress. Once I entered and she was immersed in a profound slumber. I watched her as I walked around the bed, staring at her solemn figures resting with her hair shed all over the pillow. I admired her silently at the end of the bed. I saw, on her night table, an orange pilled container. Valium was inscribed on the label. Years later, I realized what those pills were for since I was also prescribed to ingest them.

Dad never took her out. She always kept suggesting him new places that have been recently opened or any special event, as charity balls, which they have been luckily invited to. However, he declined to one of every proposal she might have mentioned to him. There might have been thousands of different events she had tried to pull out dad from the armchair he was stuck in. Mom always knew the answer, “There’s no money,” “I’m tired. I work my ass off all day,” “They don’t help us, why should we help them?” There were many more complains; even later there were attempts for strong arguments; they supposed my brother and I were asleep when they began arguing in a harsh whisper. Though, mom kept on dressing up in her room.

I was nine when I started spying my mom playing. I loved it. She didn’t know I was watching her, though I thought so. She and I had a secret of our own. We shared it in solitude and amused our imaginative companion’s secrecy. We didn’t enjoy a strong communicative bond. During my high school years, the gap among us grew stronger. I blamed on her nothing. I knew the way we were was how it was supposed to be. She was trapped in an unfulfilling marriage, wishing for nothing more than a window or door slightly left open to flee. Though, she never left, she felt compelled to continue since time was not in her favor, and her mistakes needed to be paid. She prepared herself to bear the cross she had craved.

She didn’t tell, however, I knew it. Moms know when kids do wrong; likewise children do so when moms don’t do well. As if one were the fortune teller and another the craft apprentice. I just knew how she was doing. I thought I had an accurate notion of my mom’s state.

Words among us were fully inspired by the need either to ask clarification of any neighbor’s inquisitive attempts to cognize about other people’s lives or to keep informed about news from school or any other personal affair. This attempt for building a bridgebecame weakened by the lack of friendly knowledge about people from my neighborhood, because of my ignorance of neighbor’s name and faces.

By the time I was fifteen, almost turning sixteen, I still flicked through open doors or outside windows up in trees at her wearing the dress. She danced and danced. I was in love as she was for the red dress. When she danced, how it moved through the room in her slightly tall slim body. I died for wearing it. I know she would allow it. It was her joy and pride, her remainder of beauty, I thought.

A week before prom night, I managed to save a considerable amount of money. I spend it all in a tailored dress, one similar to mom, of course. It wasn’t silk as hers. A blue satin siren-silhouette bare-shoulders-and-back gown was tailored for me. It was beautiful and I felt beautiful. I started to sense by myself the joy it might have brought to mom wearing a dress like it. I chose the color different to mom’s, since a total reproduction of it would be disrespectful to her and the dress itself.

I spent hours trapped in my bedroom getting ready. Thanks to my slender slim figure, the dress made me resemble a young Audrey. I even combed my hair using the style she bore on “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I didn’t place so much makeup, though I did wear some false eyelashes and eye-powder. I would have liked to dress up in another place, but since my “personality” was not in the taste of school fellows, whether they were female or male. I didn’t have that many friends for that matter of fact. My boyfriend, Gregg, supported me. Yet, his parents were too conservative and he didn’t want to draw any attention that could have set us apart.

A limousine parked in front of the house. It was Gregg. He wore a black tuxedo. My parents were at the door staring at the limousine through side window. Nobody came out for a while. Minutes later, they managed to see that someone had stepped out of the limo and acknowledged who he was. My parents looked at him in awe. Their expectations were squarely puzzling of whom Gregg was supposed to pick up.

My parents were at the end of the hall down the stairs. They had the door close and stood aside it, snooping through the windows. Then, they turned around and gazed at me with their eyes frowning amazement. They only stared closely, perhaps scared. I could notice what they were projecting toward me. They remained mute while I was climbing down the stairs.

I positively admired in their stare that I chose the worst way to come out. They remained speechless while I lingered on the last stairstep. I was expecting for any comment or reaction, but nothing came upon me.

“Dad! Mom! I’m going to the prom. Don’t stay up late for me!”

“Hey, hey! Come again!” said dad, bearing a grimace of discontent and approaching closer.

“I’m going to the school’s prom dance,” I stammered while he was still approaching.

“So, what are you thinking?” cried out a strident yield at me, with his reddened eyes full of anger. “What the hell are you thinking? I said” he demanded, striking a firmly heavy punch twice on my face.

“What are you, Dave? Some kind of joke. It’s not Halloween as far as I recall.” He cried staring at me while I was crawling to the stairs, sobbing my jaw and trying not to stain my dress with the blood flowing out from my nose and scattered on the floor.

“No, it is my prom night.” I replied. He kicked on my belly with his cowboy boots.

“You’re a boy; you are not supposed to wear a dress!” he kept moving awkwardly all over the hall. “This is all you fault!” he pointed to my mom and hit her. I reached the banister, “Leave her alone. It’s nobody’s fault. This is my decision,” shouted while pushing to stand up. He came back to me and knocked my head against the wall.

“Yes, it’s her fault. She should’ve seen it coming.”

“You should’ve seen it, too!” my mom sobbed.

“And you! Go and change. You’re not going anywhere.”

“I will. Gregg is waiting outside for me, and I spent months preparing for this.”

“You won’t leave this house…What you mean months?”

We continued arguing for more than twenty minutes. There were screams and sounds of bumps. Gregg tried to get in, but I commanded him to stay out. I managed to leave the house. I ran to Gregg. My dad kept screaming at me from the door. I just heard some of the phrases he was crying. One of them was that I wasn’t his son anymore. I guess I never was anyway. I left home carrying only what I was wearing, a blood-stained tailored evening gown.

Despite of the bruises and blisters with blood coming down my lips, nose and eyebrows, I felt free at last; yet felt a great sorrow for my mother.

“Two minutes, sweetheart!” Gregg said from outside the dressing room. He came closer toward me. I hugged him tight and kissed him. A thank-you followed. I implied later that I just needed some things to do before going out. He was fine with it, and he left the room glowing.

A final stare at the mirror, before going to the stage, a deep breath and a little clearance of my voice. The red gown covered my body superbly. I believe I resembled the goddesses of old Hollywood and my mother. I thought of her while I was witnessing my image on the mirror. My heart pumped faster at first. I realized that I was going to be by myself on that stage.

I stepped on the stage. The curtain hadn’t been pulled up yet. I remained in the darkness of the stage behind the curtain. My pumping heart was settling down. The drums of my heart had found the peaceful gong as my mother had. I twisted my lips slightly portraying a soft smile. I kept a picture of my mother dancing in her room. Now I was in her shoes and in her dress. I was giving the dress its last dance.

Memories came running through my mind, times when I was left alone as a young boy, I ran to the master bedroom and took the dress and wore it on. Every time came to me and when I wore mine to the prom, swaying around my room, waiting for my boy to pick me up.

The curtain was lifted. I stood there without a big hairdo, excessive make-up, drag queen attitude; just a woman playing the ultimate inspiration and representation of what all women are. Neither Madonna nor Cher would’ve fit in my dress, just the magic of an averagely woman and the love of her fabulous daughter.

I hope you liked this short story. I wrote six years ago. If there’s any feedback, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading