... and he was well on the path to carrying that into adulthood. But there were things that happened when he was 12 or 13, and I've only recently, day by day, come to see their significance. I have lived in a prison of my own making for six decades. Or was it that kid? While I went on about a life that wasn't mine. But he didn't go away. And he didn't die. He tried so hard to get my attention... the self that had gone on without him. In recent years, he was merciless. He would kidnap my voice--shout curses at me, in my own voice! "You fucking asshole! You pile of shit!" Every morning I'd wake like that, my gut tied in knots. If only I'd listened to what he went on to say... after the words... in the silence. "... your depression, the anxiety--you don't need to drink for that. You don't need pills. Remember me?" he'd say... in the silence. "... remember that queer little kid who got beat up coming home from school? You thought playing football, learning to be 'manly' had got you a new life. No, no, no... it was all wrong. All wrong! Embrace your queer little kid... embrace the queer that you are. That you've always been!" ... I have never felt such peace. I haven't cursed myself since I came out--not once. THe physical anxiety, the turning in my gut, my pounding heart that once landed me the hospital cause I thought I was having a heart attack. Gone. Let me tell you, it's never too late. It's never too late.