I'm always losing you boys. You come like moths to a flame, and then shear off when it gets too hot ... just like moths.

Look, I didn't divorce your mommy. I didn't touch you inappropriately when you were little. I didn't drink, or shoot up, or snort all the baby powder in the house in front of you. I didn't lie to you and tell you there's no such thing as the boogeyman, and then leave you screaming as soon as the boogeyman showed up. I didn't beat you, or mommy, or the dog. I didn't do any of these things, but these are the things that drive you to me. You want daddy to be good, but more than that you want to sleep with daddy.

I'm not your fucking daddy.

Boys, you're all fucked up.

That's what I wanted to help you with; why did that frighten you so much? I wanted to take away your pain, not remind you of it. I wanted to treat you like the adults you all should be, not let you snuggle down into me and be a little child. Life is tough. You can make it, if you try. You don't need drugs, you don't need sex, you don't need money, and you definitely don't need a gay father figure that you can feel safe having sex with because you're too fucking scared to admit how deeply your father's presence or absence hurts, scares, thrills or chills you.

I bear the evil looks cast my way, by gay and straight alike, because our age difference is considered inappropriate, even though you are every bit as an adult as I. I hear the titters, the gossip at the office, the backhanded compliment flung my way by my dearest friend. I take it, and turn the other cheek, because I know, like no one else you know, apparently, how deeply you feel things, and how afraid you are to express those feelings. One of you, he's standing right over there, even took his own life a couple of weeks ago because he was too fucking scared to be a man, to stand up for himself, to be strong, and face his life and the consequences of the choices he'd made in it. And do you know how that makes ME feel? Do you even care? Do you ever listen to my problems? Do you even know I have problems? Of course not.

I'm tired of helping you all grow up, when all you want to do is remain children. I'm tired of watching you leave when I do something or say something that conflicts with whatever fantasy stands between us when we face each other.

You all want a daddy, and I want a peer.

I can't have that as long as I'm also too scared to stand up for myself. As long as I let you burrow and snuggle and let yourselves be enfolded in me.

As long as I'm the daddy, you're the ... boy.

Forasmuch joy as you've all given me, I have cried oceans of tears worrying about you, I've spent sleepless nights over your youthful thoughtlessness, and felt cathedrals full of guilt over the things I've made your bodies do in the middle of the night. My maturity is every bit as stunted as yours. I love the things you give me, so I've ignored the things you've taken from me. I've no right ever having one paternal or lover's moment of pride or joy or love in any of you. I'm just like you, and yet because I'm older, usually much older, you look to me for strength, when I've none to give. It's all been a sham, boys.

One of you died right after I, the last, turned my back on him. Well, now I'm showing ALL of you my back. I'm walking away, from all of you. It's time for me to grow up. I'm tired of living in a high school locker room or a college dorm. I'm tired of looking in the mirror and wondering if why I look young for my age is due to my being a stunted adolescent. I'm tired of seeing Joe the first time I see one of you. It's time to move on, and truly embrace adulthood.

I don't have any choice but to go. To leave. To stand on my own two feet. To leave you all behind. To lose the boy ... in favor of the man.

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