I’m 40 but have already gone through 40 mid-life crises.

I wanna tell you the stuff I’m not supposed to.

But what do you care I couldn’t help myself from finishing the chocolate pretzels after eating the apple pie but before eating that bowl of cereal.

You’re probably too busy thinking about your own body to care how farty I am and how bloated my stomach feels.

I love my wife so much. AND my eye wanders. I fantasize. When I can’t handle the mental strain, I turn to porn (often sometimes frequently). I never cheat, but I do fall in love. Sometimes that love hurts. I shouldn’t write this for your judgment, but I can’t help myself. I’m a polyamorist in a monogamous committed relationship – my heart bursts with love and longing.

I love my kids so much. AND the non-stop-ness of responsibility to them is overwhelming.

I get pissy. And frustrated. I quit jobs. Leave companies. Hold grudges. Get jealous.

I fantasize about a more beautiful world. And bemoan how little I’m doing to create it.

I’ve never been beat up.

I’ve never been in handcuffs or a cop car.

No one I know has been murdered or tortured.

I have a growing portfolio of investments.

I eat whatever and whenever I want.

I’ve worked from home for over a decade.

I’m completely uncomfortable with the N word. I’d never dare say it out loud, but it echoes in my brain.

Until recently, I didn’t even refer to black people as black. I tried to avoid saying anything directly. If I were forced, I’d say non-white.

I’m not comfortable around police, but I don’t fear for my life around them.

I have all sorts of backup plans. Backup plans for the backup plans.

I have a penis. It’s white.

I’m a white man. For so long, I just wanted to blend in. I loved the idea of color-blindness. I tried to convince myself that’s what I was, but it never fit because OF COURSE I SEE YOUR SKIN COLOR. I see your breasts. Your hair. Your height. Your muscles. I see your body. I try to make it seem like all I see is your eyes, ideas and soul, but I’m always checking you out whoever you, whatever you look like.

I see your body. Through all sorts of unconscious lenses that I feel powerless to change.

The first layer is attraction – do I want to sex you? Or is the first layer safety – must I protect myself from you? Or maybe the first layer is greed – do I want your stuff?

I’ve suffered in my mind and heart. But I’ve never starved. I’ve never gone without water. I’ve never had my bones broken in rage.

Does that make me fragile?

What’s your reaction to my fragility?

I’m a deeply selfish being. So much of what I do ultimately comes back to making sure I stay safe. It’s not that I want you to suffer, but I sure as hell don’t want to lose what I’ve got. And so I’m morally compromised.

Maybe this is my apology. Maybe it’s a guide to dealing with people like me. Maybe it’s just a bunch of random thoughts typed into words.

I’m afraid of what you have to say back to me. I’m far less afraid you’ll hate my whiteness or man-ness than you’ll hate my me-ness.

Please don’t hate me: That’s some bullshit.

Do you. Be you. Feel what you need to feel. Please.

I’d like to say that I’m here and willing to engage in any conversation. But there are so many conversations and interactions I’m afraid of.

Instead, I’ll say… I’m here. I’m doing my best to listen. And I know my best is a joke. And I’m still here listening anyway. What do you want me to know?