Oh, my brothers. The shame. The all-encompassing humiliation. Not the blog I’d planned on writing just after getting married, but I am not here to be antidotal with you — only honest.

This may very well be the worst decision I’ve made to date. Perhaps my desperation may help even one of you reading not to repeat my mistakes . . .

My Best Friend: Elias

I have not written about Elias yet, but this boy became my best friend after my journey out West ended. My fiancée took another trip in her van across the country, and I fell in love with this boy while she was gone.

It was innocent and scary at first. We prayed a lot, cuddled a lot. He became the image of everything I wanted in a best friend. He was committed, sweet, and honest with me.

We had such similar stories, and I found myself deeply relating to his pain. We both had such shame from our male relationships, and we could be truly ourselves with one another — which looked thoroughly homosexual to everyone else.

People were very confused, but I was free.

Now, I must explain something. Whenever I step into anything at this point, I try very hard only to do so with prayer and hefty time in Scripture. I know that I am a fickle man, and so I cannot trust my own judgement.

Abba has always been faithful to answer in ways I could not possibly dispute. Usually, I wait for Him to say the same thing three or more times, or else I won’t step.

Is this testing God? Perhaps, but He has never not answered in this way, so this is where I am in my faith journey with Him.

In this friendship with Elias I asked, “Lord, should I really walk through this wilderness? Are You truly leading me to this?”

Then I stood up, opened my Bible blindly, and the first words I read were:

“And so the Spirit led him into the wilderness.”

This was just one confirmation. So, I was ready to figure it all out.

When my wife returned home, it was truly easier than I thought to balance the two of them. The three of us spent a lot of time together, my heart so full it literally felt like it would burst.

With my Jesus, the woman I love, and this boy, I felt truly full, more than any other time in my life. My fiancée lived across the street from Elias, so we often toggled back and forth. It was wonderful.

Elias and I talked a lot about our physical relationship. We deeply felt that if we crossed any lines sexually, it wouldn’t fulfill our longings for brotherhood. Additionally, I pushed myself to tell my fiancée every little detail so there were no questions.

Eventually, after much longing and deliberation, I asked my fiancée if she’d be comfortable with my kissing Elias platonically.

I know, that sounds insane. Truly platonic kisses, though, have been my heart’s longing for most my life. It’s completely separate from sexual affection for me.

I just have a longing to peck someone on the mouth, to brush my lips against theirs as a physical way of saying, “I love you.”

Romans 16:16a (ESV):

“Greet one another with a holy kiss.”

After a bit of time, my fiancée decided to leave it up to me. I questioned it and questioned it and questioned it.

One windy day, I sat on a large rock plateau praying for a couple hours. I asked God to show me something to improve.

God said many times that I was slothful. I didn’t know exactly why at the time, but I remember His saying that.

I walked down the plateau to a rocky path and stopped. I felt like Jesus was standing right behind me. I turned and asked Him point-blank whether I should be allowed to kiss Elias.

I waited and read Scripture and asked Him to guide me to any passage saying no. I asked Him to tell me explicitly, because I was ready to abstain if that was His will.

After a good bit of time I looked up and said, “Alright, Lord, since you have not spoken against it . . . I am taking this as a yes from you.”

The second I said that, I looked up at the plateau and there was Elias — his silhouette with wavy black hair blowing in the sandstorm as the sun set, making the sky turn smoky yellow. I ran frantically up the rocks, held his face, and kissed him as the salty canyon winds whipped around us.

We just sat and held each other until the mountains turned black and the wind grew too cold. Every so often we placed another kiss on each other’s lips. This was one of the purest and most romantic moments of my life.

I had not stepped without the Father’s word, and when I received His blessing I bounded forward.

I know this may sound unbelievable, but to this day I still believe the Lord blessed these kisses. I do not believe it was wrong, and neither did Elias, nor my fiancée. There was complete peace.

After that kiss on the plateau, Elias felt more like my brother than ever before. It’s like the kiss was the punctuation mark, the last unanswered question. The last will they, won’t they?

Now that the question was answered, there could be peace. We could relax without worrying as much about pushing boundaries. We were content.

This was one of the sweetest times of my life. Everywhere I looked I saw people whom I loved deeply, and who loved me just as much, and I could even show them how much I loved them in a particular way my heart had always longed to do.

But I was slothful. I was gluttonous.

The night before my wedding, Elias and I shared a bed as we had done many times before. But this particular night a cruel sadness hung over us. A sense of finality to it all.

We both knew everything would change after this night. We knew there wouldn’t be any more nights of cuddles and waking up beside each other; we knew this was the peak of our physical relationship.

Throughout the night the length of our kisses grew and grew, and I didn’t even think about the fact that I had promised my fiancée this wouldn’t happen. Eventually, my friend said one longing sentence, not to coerce me, but simply to say what he felt in that moment.

His longing was too much for me to handle. I cared too much about him and felt terrible that I was abandoning him with my marriage.

Thoughts rushed through my head: If this is our last night together, I want him to know how much I love him. If he has to remain single and celibate for the rest of his life, I want his last kiss to be from someone who truly loves him. Just this one kiss.

In that moment, I gave in and gave him as much as I could with my mouth, and he reciprocated fully. This continued off and on the rest of the night.

I hold to the fact that I did not start making out with him because of sexual temptation.

But once we started making out, it became very apparent what we were doing with our mouths was everything we wished the rest of our bodies could do.

There was a very “get it out of our system” feeling to it — and it did not, in fact, get anything out of our systems, thank you very much. Our making out only reawakened everything that had been put to death in me over the past couple months.

The strangest part was how absent from my mind any thought of this being wrong was — a violation of my commitment to my soon-to-be-wife. Even when we woke up the next morning, reality still hadn’t dawned on me.

But when I looked in the mirror, I noticed my eyes looked different. I focus on eyes a lot, and usually if I’m confused about how I’m feeling I can just look at my eyes to figure it out.

My eyes looked sad that morning, like they did in high school when I was insecure and in a constant state of terror lest someone find out about my sexuality.

I did not like that look. Especially to start my wedding day.

As I showered, I collapsed on the floor in tears. I yelled at God, because from my perspective He had led me into this. Why was I feeling so much shame?!

I kept it together well enough for most of my wedding day. People congratulated the happy couple, and we had a lot to do for the ceremony that day. But as the remaining moments of my single life dwindled, I found my dread growing and growing.

Jonathan, Elias, and I went to the venue to finish up some things for the wedding, and I told Jonathan about what had happened. Elias held me in the back seat of the van as I tried not to melt down and run from it all.

The last thing I wanted in that moment was to get married. I had this sick feeling that I had already failed too much. I hadn’t even been able to write my vows yet, so that was another looming failure.

As we were all getting ready for the ceremony, I just needed a moment with my bride — who I wasn’t allowed to see yet. I knocked on the door, and she gave me her hand.

As our bridal party continued frantically getting ready all around us, we prayed, and she could feel the heaviness in my heart. Then we left for the venue. I wrote my vows on the way there, and some of the heaviness lifted as I looked at the setting sun.

The vows went differently than I expected, as I had been stripped of any promises I could make other than the promises of Jesus, and His promise is this:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV):

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Thankfully, the Lord blessed us with a perfect ceremony and meal that we will always remember fondly.

A moment I will remember less fondly was that ensuing wedding night, followed by the next morning when I told my wife what had happened. No secrets.

When you are one with someone, you must give up the luxury of secrets. You must.

My one stupid decision before the wedding derailed our honeymoon, brought us both rivers of tears, and made our first two months of marriage nearly unbearable.

When I look back, the way I have to view it — even with all my “pure” reasons for kissing him — is as an affair. Even though we hadn’t had sex, every bit of my emotions were turned toward him, and his were turned toward me. And that is sex. The same unbridled intimacy.

If Jesus says that a man who looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery, then I absolutely had. I began my marriage by being unfaithful, because I’d given myself an inch.

I trusted myself too much. I also trusted him too much. It took me a long time to stop blaming only myself and to remember that blame is shared.

I now understood why God had told me I was slothful. It wasn’t my lust, my past, or anything else that caused this problem; it was my slothfulness.

I was not vigilant. I didn’t think, and I fell.

Oh, my brothers, how I wish I had a different story to tell. How I wish I could say it all worked out, and that Elias and I are still friends, and that my wife is completely over it.

I wish a lot of things were different.

But this is the hand I have been dealt. This is my story and my cross. It’s no use complaining, because at the end of the day it was my own decision that brought me this pain.

So, my brothers, all I can say is this: know thyself. When you are the best version of yourself — that is when you must trust yourself the least.

Our enemy is crafty, and he is waiting to turn all our mountains of joy into rivers of sorrow. But the power is in your hand. Our King stands by with His universe-forming hands, pierced and bloodied, outstretched, ready to guide you.

I do feel lost right now. Nothing is simple. No one trusts me, many don’t like me, some vehemently hate me, and I am broken in a deeper way than I can type.

But I have been broken before. And I know how this story goes.

There is a third day. A day when all sorrow and death is flipped on its head, and light pours through you like living waters.

My brothers, overwhelmed by pain and sorrows too many to count — I see you. I am broken alongside you. Come cling to this hope with me, for it is all I have left.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV):

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Do you regret any physical, emotional, or sexual encounters with another man, particularly a dear friend? Has God redeemed any of your mistakes, or do you feel lost or overwhelmed by them?

  • I have had loads of wild oats to sow in my day and it has been absolute hell for me to come to terms w/ who I am, where I want to go, how I want to live and who I want to be with. I have had to hit rock bottom many times and I’ve made A LOT of mistakes and hurt A LOT of people in this quest to “find myself”. However, through it all I have come to do just that: find myself and I am a completely different person than I was 20, 10, and 5 years ago. Thank heaven!
    There are no mistakes I regret more than those I made when I was serving as a missionary for my church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) in 2001-2002. As missionaries, we are expected to dedicate 2 years of our lives and control our passions, appetites, desires, lusts, etc. and focus on bringing people to Christ and losing ourselves in His service. While I really worked hard and kept myself away from most temptations and self satisfying behaviors for the first year, Satan had other plans for me during my second year and worked over time on me. He knows just what buttons to push and I’m sorry to say I fell into many diverse, awful, disgraceful and revolting temptations and sins. Rather than look back on my mission with fondness and pride, I unfortunately look back on it w/ regret, sadness and so much shame and embarrassment.
    Truth be told, I am not the same man I was 20 years ago, and I understand I have had to taste the bitter many times to know the sweet and that those mistakes and sins have shaped who I am today (good and bad). But I will forever carry those horrible, dark feelings from my mission with me in my heart and it makes me bow my head w/ shame and regret. Even though God may forgive, we are still left with the memory and regret of our sins as a remembrance and reminder to not do it again!

    • Thanks for being so vulnerable my brother. “I have had to taste the bitter many times to know the sweet” if that isn’t the best way to describe life I don’t know what is.

      After five months, the lord has truly ripped the shame from this awful situation from me. When I look back now, though there’s still that painful pricking in my heart, I now see such beauty that has supplanted all that bitter filth. I know it’s very difficult, and I’ll be honest, as I walk into new friendships, my mind often comes back to Elias and I will shut down or have a panic attack, but… “we do not despair as those without hope.” God has settled my heart and shown me how complete the work of Christ is. Because his work on the cross is so complete, his cleansing blood so perfect, I can now look at my whole life and the only words on my lips are “Holy, holy, holy,” and “thank you.” Like you said, tasting the bitter has made the sweet sweeter. Now when I feel sorrow, or fear, or guilt, or shame, I rejoice, because I know that even in THAT exact moment, the work of Jesus is still complete. I am a new creation. And one day we shall be free from the weight of sin and join our heavenly father in a deeper union than we have ever experienced. Sorrow and joy begin to sing in unison and it all sings Holy. It all sings of the beauty of our God.

      I am praying my brother that God will slowly wash the old stains of regret and shame from you. I know he can, and I never thought he would be able to with me, but he has. I’m praying he will for you as well.

      MUCH love my brother. He has cleansed.

  • Thanks for being so honest and vulnerable with us, Christopher. I am at a loss for how I can comfort you but you are right, the “third day” will come. Keep pressing on.
    In recent months, I’ve been introduced to the idea of platonic cuddling, kissing, nudity, and sleepovers with other Side B men. At first, the thought was tantalizing. Heck yeah I want to do ALL of that! Especially if it doesn’t compromise my relationship with God or lead to sin. Since I’m the only Side B guy in a 500 mile radius, there is little chance I will ever experience any of that, but I still explore the idea in thought.
    I developed relationships with Side B guys online who expressed interest in sharing that type of platonic affection. We’d talk about it over text. They’d tell me they wanted to be close to me, cuddle me, kiss me… It felt good to be wanted in that way. Of course, these conversations left me painfully aroused which most of the time I navigated pretty well. Other times, not so well. I’d take advantage of the arousal and quickly masturbate, making sure to not think any lustful thoughts.
    I remain skeptical of the types of platonic affection many of my Side B brothers preach. I’m not skeptical that such a thing can be done innocently, I am skeptical that I, personally, can do such a thing and not go too far with it. (Historically, I’m pretty slutty.) If I didn’t fall into sexual sin with the person, would I still allow my emotions to fester to the point that I make an IDOL of any person willing to do those things with me? I don’t know the answer to that. My intentions appear innocent but I have my doubts.
    The more I observed the Side B guys that engage in those activities, I noticed how it is a slippery slope for MANY, emotionally and physically. Lots of the guys are so emotionally wrapped up in their cuddle partners that it’s all they can talk about. Several of them I think it would be safe to say that they want their cuddle partner more than they want intimacy with Christ. Others I met got wrapped up in sexual sin with their partners and the whole thing blew up in their faces. Despite all of this, they still insist those activities are healthy, good, and right. If something blows up in my face I’m not so sure I’d give it my support anymore…but to each their own.
    Nevertheless, I still want those types of interactions with other guys. Everyone keeps telling me how wholesome and right it is. I don’t want to miss out! But I’m skeptical of my intentions, so one day I asked God to reveal them to me. He pointed out something very interesting. All of the Side B guys I have those intimate conversations with are people I find attractive. There have been other guys that tried to establish the same type of intimate conversation but I wasn’t attracted to them so I resisted. But once a cute guy shows up, I’m all aboard!
    During a conversation with a Side B guy I said I would like to be nude with a man and it not be a big deal or sexual in anyway. The guy (who happens to be very cute) agreed. Right as I said that, the Lord brought to mind a close gay friend of mine, a good guy but not in the least bit attractive. Almost in repulsion I said to myself, “eww, I don’t want to be nude with him!” Right then the Lord spoke to my heart, “So, you only want to be nude with attractive guys? Don’t you find that suspicious?”
    It is suspicious. Supposedly the act of cuddling, kissing, and the like, is to be close to someone, get to know them on a deeper level, to show a special type of support for each other. Theoretically, that can be done with anyone regardless of their physical appearance. If my intentions were pure then I would be willing to kiss and cuddle EVERYONE. But since my intentions are not pure, I am only willing to do that with guys that stimulate me in some way.
    Remove the potential for stimulation and I have zero interest in kissing, cuddling or being naked with anyone. It’s for this reason I resist the strong urges to kiss and cuddle my Side B friends. Like you, Christopher, I HAVE TO stay vigilant, because one false step and this dog is returning to his vomit, first emotionally then physically. Even though the closeness I can experience in those intimate relationships is probably amazing, it’s just not worth the risk. I reserve those intimate longings for Christ, this is my daily sacrifice…. Reading over this, I’m starting to think it has little to do with anything you wrote. Sorry. I love you! In heaven, where sin and corruption are no more, I’m going to spend many afternoons basking in the warm sun with you, cuddling and kissing for hours (wether you want to or not!) Until then…

    • You are right to be suspicious of these things. While all of us on here want to believe that these behaviours are innocent and healthy, they are a very slippery slope. If a man and woman were kissing and cuddling, it would be considered foreplay. While a hetrosexual couple may stop short of actually having sex, everyone would acknowlege that they are engaging in sexual behaviour when kissing and cuddling — and certainly if they were naked together. Let’s not deceive ourselves about our motives.

    • Man, lots of honest self-reflection here. Thank you for sharing, brother. I just started a cuddling blog series, and you hit on so many points I plan to get to down the road with my story. Namely that I only ever want to cuddle with attractive men. A self-seeking of that “stimulation” you described. What a sobering realization that was a year or so ago. But all part of the journey in (hopefully) developing healthier, more honest relationships.

    • Thanks for your well thought out response! Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. Had to take a hiatus and get my life together. Thankfully, the third day came, hallelujah! God really redeemed everything and set things back to his way.

      You make some very good points. As I sit now, I don’t know how I feel anymore on cuddling, kissing, or the whole lot. I know for sure that I had become too wrapped up in Elias emotionally and everything else followed. I also know that the only times I have felt TRUE complete victory from my vices have been times in my life where I have had physically intimate relationships with my brothers. I’m realizing it is a balance between these two things, and I can’t neglect either one or I will fall.

      God keeps bringing me to the scripture “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.” I don’t think the question is really about right verses wrong, but helpful verses not helpful. I don’t think kissing my brothers is “wrong” but it’s something I now have to kiss goodbye (heh) because I know where it has lead me. It is an intimacy that I drink too deeply of and is never satisfied. I will still kiss them on their cheeks, their foreheads, their hands, but not their mouths. At first I thought “is this giving in to fear??” but I’ve since realized that no, I just have the potential for great evil and when I look back, evil was all around me in my relationship with Elias. I should have been more aware and kept stricter boundaries.

      In regards to attraction: It’s interesting, there are maybe six people that I truly want to cuddle, and only one or two are people that I find attractive. And some I find objectively attractive, but I feel no pull towards them just like my sister who is an objectively beautiful woman. If you find yourself only drawn to men your feel attracted to, I would say it’s good to assess and be extra cautious. With one dude who I DO find very attractive, I’m having to set a lot of boundaries so that our friendship is very public and we both have people keeping us accountable. When you are isolated and alone together is where the enemy will work the most. Elias and I grew our friendship from the very beginning alone and it was very hard to bring that relationship public. Other friendships, the ones I feel the most healthy in, our affection remains the same whether we’re in public or private, and it was grown in public.

      Nudity is another one. Honestly it’s changed very much since marriage. I feel I can be naked around men, but personally I don’t think I could sit or rest with them and be naked. Something like skinnydipping I could do because there’s motion and no sitting, but if any form of rest was involved I don’t think it would be helpful for me.

      I wish I had some more solid answers, but yo, it’s all a balance. I’m glad now that I fell too far this way so that I am now able to walk closer to the middle of the road. I’m praying the same for you my brother.

  • Inspired by your honest retelling of this story, brother. I know it must have been difficult to string these words together for all to see. Know that I’m grateful for you and look forward to seeing where your Jesus-journey takes you (and now your wife) next. Prayers and love, my brother!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. It has such a beautiful tension of sorrow in sin and hope in Christ. That is life as a human- mistakes and messes drowned in God’s healing and mercy. Looking forward to continuing this journey with you.

  • Soemtimes I feel like I am doing too much with my best friend, my brother, my soulmate. Like I am putting myself in tempting situations with him but sitting close, snuggles, holding hands, ect. But at the same time, I feel like I am fine, and that it is bringing us closer under God. Any advice?

    • My advice would be, keep it public, and keep boundaries. I think it’s important to face temptation and not run from it. I know for myself the more I “Starve myself” of my brotherly affection, the more I binge on it. I have my brother Jonathan who I am very close with physically. We will walk down the street in the city holding hands. We’ll snuggle up next to each other in movie theaters. BUT, it’s very different than other relationships. I don’t feel any sexual pull when I’m with him. The thought of crossing lines repulses me because he feels like my brother, not my lover. BUT… I’m still reevaluating some boundaries even in that relationship because I know how subtle it is for things to creep in. It’s like you just naturally get more and more comfortable with each other and naturally you just don’t think as much, and in my experience that’s when things start to happen. I know for me personally I have to draw lines at sleeping in the same bed, at least for more than one night a week, but even that may go away, not sure yet. Sure I’ve failed at my boundaries before, but remember that whenever you cut something out of your life, it must be replaced by something better or the desire will still be there. Your heart will always want to fill a void left even by boundaries.

      I’m walking into a new friendship with someone currently and I’m having to ask all these questions and provide for the worst version of myself. I might “feel fine” right now, but I know how I get when I’m hurting, tired, even hungry. I need to put up boundaries to provide for me when I’m at my absolute worst. It’s hard, but it’s been good for me to be honest with myself.

      You can never fully ensure you won’t fall, but emotions are STRONG my brother, not wrong, but strong. They’re like a river current and they can pull you in. It’s nice to be carried by the currents for a while until you get to the waterfall. You’ve just got to be aware that there IS a waterfall and the currents only get stronger as you go along. It’s wise to get out of the river and dry off. The river should be refreshing, but no one lives fully in it.

      I hope this helps a bit my bro! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • What got me most is the thought that the wedding day is supposed to be a magical cutoff where life is supposed to change in such a way that it literally becomes a tragedy for a loving friendship. It just feels wrong. I fantasize about having a wife and children and still finding time for honest intimacy (like cuddling or sleeping together) with a close loving friend like Elias was to you. It does not feel to me like one must exclude the other. It probably requires tough negotiation with everyone involved, but love does not come easy.

    I know we are Christians, but something resonated with me that I’ve read from Buddhists. They said that sex is lack of love. I have in a very rough period of my life yearned for a hug from my male best friend (heterosexual guy), and after being denied a heartfelt hug from him, I remember it inciting in me for the first time in my life sexual desires for him. To be honest I resented him for that and distanced myself from him ever since. Probably explains why I feel for Elias in this story.

    Nobody is perfect, dear brother, least those who judge. I wish that the love that you need finds you quickly again… Thank you so much for sharing

    • Yoooooo, yes!

      Currently processing my friendships with my brothers, and it certainly comes down to transparency, and honesty between all parties. I know I cannot exclude my brother relationships entirely, like you, that has often led to sexual awakenings. I’ve found its a precious balance of caution and confidence. Longing is a dangerous thing. Fulfillment is a dangerous thing. Both are not bad on their own, but it’s east to be intoxicated by them.

      Also I can’t believe I have become THAT stereotype, but it also comes down to just accepting that I belong to my wife and quite honestly I just gotta listen to what she says in regards to this area of my life cuz on my own I can come to some whaaack conclusions.

      What a journey.

      Oh! and just to say it, the love did find me again. Fell head over heels in love with my wife again, and along the way God has brought new brothers and deeper intimacy with them than before. It’s crazy that the intimacy I feel with them is deeper than Elias even though there was such a physical dependance.

  • “The Bible is a spiritual and psychological compendium and should never be interpreted literally.” – Joseph Murphy, Ph.D, author of ‘Songs of God’ and ‘How To Use the Laws of the Mind.’

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, Christopher. But I’m afraid you are placing way too much guilt where you could use more analysis than judgement…

    I would like to share a link with you, besides the book titles above:

    http://www.touchpractice.com/blog

    I greatly admire your daring spirit and the fact that you try to fulfill your deepest desires. For that, I feel you are such a great example of how a healthy mind functions.

    • Hey thanks man! Trust me, there has been a whooooole lot of analysis the past few months. It took a while to get past the judgement of it all, the judgement of others, but now I truly can analyze and it has brought much peace.

      I would argue that the lord usually does use scripture in a very literal way with me. For instance I’ll often ask whether or not to speak to someone and he will bring up a specific verse about remaining silent. I could never say it should “Never” be interpreted literally. I think it’s important to recognize which sections are poetic and which aren’t. For instance, one section the lord brought up to me was a section where a man kissed his brother, but also stabbed him in the stomach and killed him. That verse was literal in how it happened, greeting a brother with a kiss was normal, but for me it was a very clear analogy that I had “killed my brother” with a kiss.

      And YO, thanks for the brain compliment! Hah! I just try to let go of how I think things should be in favor of what the father says.

  • Christopher

    I'm a Jesus lovin' hippie in my twenties. Newly married to an Elven princess. My story is of how God continually breaks me down to the quivering nerves of my own vulnerability, then lovingly builds me back up, makes me a man, teaches me to run, and makes me run wild. I will tell you no tall tales, but oh the tales I have to tell!

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