Young Fathers – See How


Dana Miles Frost
Chief Joy Officer
Forced Joy Project


–Detroit, Michigan

Dana Miles Frost has officially decided to burn it all down.  Commencing 5/1/2018, Mrs. Frost will be leaving her job as Communications Director at the Belle Isle Conservancy to chase her lifelong passion of being a poor, dirty vagabond in the middle of the woods. Mrs. Frost will be living next door to a cranky old woman, whom she plans on driving batshit crazy as she schemes up various ways of stealing her familial home from underneath her.

Currently, Mrs. Frost feels far away from the person she once was and hopes that this personal shake-up will result in her finding the peace and happiness that once comprised her life.  When asked why she was moving hundreds of miles away from everyone she loved, Mrs. Frost replied, “Are you fucking serious?  Just look at my life!”

This isn’t the first time Mrs. Frost has run away from her demons/chased her dreams.  In 2006, Dana dropped everything she knew to move to Detroit and be as far away from her pain/comfort level as possible.  Ever since then, she’s been hiding in stairwells and doing whatever she pleases…because this is her life, dammit, and nobody’s going to tell her what to do!!!


Dana Miles Frost is a flighty, dreamy, scared little girl trapped in a fully-grown woman’s body.  Tall, thin and with great hair, Mrs. Frost is a varying juxtaposition: strong, bold, and wicked-smart…yet somehow simultaneously fragile as glass.  Acutely self-aware, Mrs. Frost works on bettering herself in every form…except for her healthy sense of pride, which she tends to cradle like an unborn child.  Stubborn as a mule, Mrs. Frost will argue with you for no reason, in a way that somehow keeps you coming back for more. In her spare time, Mrs. Frost likes to drink wine, talk shit, and not return text messages in a timely manner like a normal human being.


For more information, see Defending Your Life’s website at

See How
Someday I’ll be a star that’s shining bright in the sky
I’m givin’ up on you bastards…

Give me lovers so I may have my pleasures
and not lose my heart…in this squalor

I’ve never seen wicked ones face their fears
I’ve always seen brave men filled with tears
The older you get
The colder you get

Say yeah!

Sometimes when I feel remorseful
And I wish I could’ve lived a life more less normal
So typical
Over critical

Empty my body just to feel the love
What’s the price of the light when you’re stuck in the shadows
Don’t let me know
See how it goes

See how
(See how it goes)

Emilia Clarke – The Rastafarian Targaryen

My Dearest Dana,

Last summer, when Game of Thrones was at its liveliest, I found myself taking a “Which G.O.T. Character Are You” quiz…and getting the result of Jorah Mormont.


Jorah Mormont.  I can see the comparisons…and live with them too.  Jorah was the former lord of House Mormont, only to be exiled from his homeland due to a dark and grim situation that he holds a tremendous amount of guilt over.

Okay, so maybe I’m exiling myself, here…and maybe the divorce/Brad’s death doesn’t produce too many layers of guilt anymore…but here I stand, a day before I leave everything I know and love.  This glove doesn’t fit 100% perfectly…but it’s happening, nonetheless.

You, of course, are Daenerys Targaryen, although not for the reasons I suppose you’d like to highlight.

“I spent my life in foreign lands. I’ve been chained and betrayed, raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile?  Faith.  Not in any gods.  Not in myths and legends.  In myself.” – Daenerys Targaryen

A timid, naïve girl mismanaged by her own family, Dany overcomes dire obstacle after obstacle no matter what!  She’s resolute in her own manner, making countless tough decisions on her own…while not being afraid to ask her trusted council for advice/help whenever necessary.  She’s stubborn, angry, and impulsive to a fault…yet underneath it all, Daenerys is equal parts mindful and compassionate.

“Half the Targaryens went mad, didn’t they?  What’s the saying?  ‘Every time a Targaryen is born the gods flip a coin.'”- Cersei Lannister

Danerys and Jorah have a complicated, multi-dimensional relationship.  It goes without saying that Brad was concerned about your well-being.  On more than a few occasions, we talked about how you’d need assistance of some kind, may it be financial, emotional, or mental.  You were to be living a brand new life, one you didn’t request…and after he passed, I felt this innate obligation to be there and help you adapt to your new life as Dana-leesi of the Dothraki.  That feeling always struck me as surreal, because up until that point, I truly believe I didn’t know the first thing about the real Dana.  We just weren’t that close.  In many ways, even though I’m good at being mindful and present…I felt like a fraud, spying on the insides of your pain.  I’d no Varsys or King Robert to report back to…but that’s all mute, because it didn’t take me long to learn that you possessed a heart which, even when completely broken, would be invaluable to me getting back on my two feet.  Last year was such a blur for you, I don’t know if you even realize how much an impact you made on my life.  Honestly, you’re the only person I’m scared to leave behind.  I don’t know how we deal with that.  Maybe I should start calling you more instead of texting you random pictures of my dinner!


That being said, if I dig deep enough into my soul, I know the truth to the above anxiety.  Danerys and Jorah parted ways twice, being flung halfway across Westeros and the Narrow Sea.  A connection that deep though, no amount of distance could cease both of them from being intimately flung back into each other’s lives.  Time has always been kind to me.  I’ll see you again in person sooner than later…

I find that a lot of people fixate on the kind of love Danerys and Jorah share…but in the end, they can’t envision it as anything besides physical or romantic.  I don’t know if that rings true to you, but from my vantage point, you’ve no idea how many people have asked me if we’re dating…or at bare minimum, fucking.  In the beginning, I used to get angry about it…or defensive….or super-explanative…but after a while, I just stopped caring how others defined our love…and just let it be.  I love you, our relationship, and will carry you both in my heart as I traverse the globe.

Dana, just like Jorah protects and believes in Danerys, I shall forevermore protect…and more importantly believe in who you are and what you are capable of being.  This is not the end, just a chapter in our lives where we happen to not exist as close to one another as we’d ultimately desire.  I don’t know where either of us will end up…but I do know that if the Iron Throne is one big metaphor for happiness, I’ll do whatever’s in my control to ensure that tiny ass of yours gets to sit on it.


Your friend forever,


The Rastafarian Targaryen
Game of what, now?
I’m a Rastafarian Targaryen
I got some dragons and they’re
Very scary and…
Been here and there and then I’ve
Been everywhere again
Rastafarian Targa…
Call me Daenerys Targaryen
When you wanna reach me
And if you feel the love
Then you can call me Khaleesi
Got so many names
I’m Queen of the Andals
Queen of the Meereen
Yeah, you can kiss m’ sandals cause…

John Grant – Glacier

My Dearest Dana,

In my runic lil’ world, music and nature go hand-in-hand.  Many find this downright bizarre, because there’s a common, reflective peace that emerges when one’s completely in-tune and connected to the great outdoors.  Music seems counter-intuitive to that connectedness, almost bordering on disruptive.  A bird chirping, a leaf rustling, a breeze blowing, a river babbling – I love interfacing with it all…but for me, there’s something infinitely more magical and life-affirming when I can find the right musical soundtrack to compliment it all.  It’s pretty much why I always had headphones on during our Big Sur hikes.  If I can correctly nail down the mood, time slows down and I immediately surrender all control to something bigger than my selfish, ego-driven existence.  I succumb to Mother Earth.

The following John Grant song (the same John Grant that started this blog) has been playing nonstop on my phone since I discovered it in the recesses of my music library while wandering the Redwoods.  Originally composed to be an ethereal gay-rights anthem, for me, Glacier produced a motivational clarity that helped me examine the pain I’d been carrying throughout 2017, while simultaneously generating enough hope within my shattered lil’ soul to believe there’s a better path for me in 2018 – one that might not align with what everyone else says I should be doing with my life (Find a girlfriend!  Buy another house! Go back to philanthropy!), but nonetheless, is the right path I need to be on for now.

I wanted to deliver this song to you yesterday…and who knows, it might take on a completely different context seeing the heartbreaking news you were forced to deal with last night…but I’m hoping Glacier will resonate within you the same level of comfort and assurance it did for me.   If you could do me the favor of humoring my ways, wait until you have your earbuds firmly placed into your canals before hitting play.  John Grant has dueted this song with everyone from Sinead O’Connor to The Villagers to even Kylie Minogue…but the original recording is the best…and it won’t work its magic unless you surrender all control to it.


You just want to live your life
The best way you know how
But they keep on telling you
That you are not allowed

They say you are sick
That you should hang your head in shame
They are pointing fingers
And want you to take the blame

There are days when people are
So nasty and convincing
They say things beyond belief
That sting and leave you wincing

And to boot they say their words
Come straight down from above
And they really seem to think
That what they’re doing counts as love

This pain
It is a glacier moving through you
And carving out deep valleys
And creating spectacular landscapes
And nourishing the ground
With precious minerals and other stuff
So, don’t you become paralyzed with fear
When things seem particularly rough

Don’t you pay them fuckers as they say no never mind
They don’t give two shits about you. It’s the blind leading the blind
What they want is commonly referred to as theocracy
And what that boils down to is referred as hypocrisy

Don’t listen to anyone; get answers on your own
Even if it means that sometimes you feel quite alone
No one on this planet can tell you what to believe
People like to talk a lot, and they like to deceive

This pain
It is a glacier moving through you
And carving out deep valleys
And creating spectacular landscapes
And nourishing the ground
With precious minerals and other stuff
So, don’t you become paralyzed with fear
When things seem particularly rough

The Beatles – In My Life

My Dearest Dana,

When’s the best time to write a Ditty?  When you’re curled up in bed, feverish, dense, and absolutely dying from food poisoning, that’s when!  And away we gooooooo….


I’ve this intense joy, this passion, which defines who I am.  This Love, it often makes me come across as irrational and foolish…but frankly, I learnt a long time ago to stop caring what others deemed was an “appropriate” amount of enchantment to own.  I simply dance to the beat of my ever-pulsing heart and leave it at that.

For the longest time, I dedicated all my delectation to Melanie, who eagerly soaked it up.  The fun surprises, impromptu vacations, Suneil gifts, the thoughtfulness – who wouldn’t want  all that?  It was one of the few shining attributes that made me a semi-decent boyfriend, fiancé, and finally husband.  Alas, as our union dimmed, so did my joy.  Maybe it was the loss (or more aptly, the absence of a shared true love), maybe it was the pain…either way, a darkness took residence inside me, shaking me so fiercely that it literally rearranged my core emotional make-up.  All that bliss and joy got eclipsed by selfishness, moroseness, and acrimony.  (One vital note: it didn’t ERASE my joy, just eclipsed it.  Many assume I’ve entirely lost who I once was.  Not true.  The felicity that I used to openly share is still inside me…it just got overshadowed by the blackness and bleak, snuffed out every time it surfaced to the top.)

Time heals all wounds.  That trope is trite, cliched, and eye-rolling…but it doesn’t stop it from harboring truth.  In retrospect, I don’t think I’m as miserable as I was in 2016.  Like everything chaotically life-altering, as the months rolled forward, I found shards of my old self floating back to me – in waves, of course.  Granted, those shards were definitely not the same, exact version of the Suneil I once knew…but I recognized pieces of me in them…and as such, I tried my best to embrace them and everything that once made me complete.  More often than not, I failed at this, but sometimes I got it right.  And on those rare occasions that I succeeded, life felt better than bearable.  It felt hopeful.



I’ve a confession to make…  As I prepare to leave this city, I’m carefully detaching from everyone I care for.  It’s something that has to be done if I’m ever going to prepare myself for the next stage of my life.  Detroit is my home (and yes, as long as I don’t get murdered or thrown in some Bolivian jail, I’m sure I’ll be back here permanently in 2019), but if I’m to blossom into a better version of my present self, I have to let everything comfortable go.  I’m going to miss everyone – especially you – but I can’t keep stewing in my grief and taking the easy way out.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning, look at the $40 broken-down futon that I rest upon in my partially-unfinished basement, and think to myself, Suneil, you’ve finally built your makeshift tomb.  You could spend the rest of your life down here, alone and comfortably numb.  Wouldn’t that be the greatest?!   ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

There’s a strange juxtaposition occurring here, because while I write on this blog a lot about misery, grief, and abject loneliness, like I said earlier, it doesn’t erase the inherent ecstasy that resides within my heart.  It’s still there…and it cannot be contained.  Sure, the darkness muffles it from time-to-time, but like a boiling kettle, it doesn’t take much for it to bubble up and shoot out, often sporadically and without my consent.  I tend to not give much thought to it all and let whatever happens happen…but I’ve found that my Love can lead to trouble, especially in the dating world where it’s often interpreted as being “In-Love”.  There’ve been more than a few times where I’ve indirectly led suitors into becoming emotionally attached simply because I gave them attention or Love that they’ve been so desperately seeking from the outside world.  This is equal parts my fault as it is their own…and while I don’t talk about this often, the women who’ve fallen head-over-heels for me this past year are personal lessons that I must re-learn over and over again as I attempt to get a better grasp on modern dating.

Since we’re on the topic of confessions, here’s another…  I must confess that while our friendship has grown to become one of the greatest gifts of this craptastic year, sometimes when my Love bubbles to the top, I tend to shove it into your (currently) gaping black hole of a heart, mainly because I know I don’t have to worry about it being misinterpreted.  HARD TRUTH: It’s easy to share your Love with someone who often feels nothing save for her own grief.  You don’t expect anything from me…nor do you anticipate.  Yes, that might be the foundation to one royally dysfunctional friendship, but it’s reality and I couldn’t be more grateful for you allowing my weirdness into your life.  ANYTHING to get through this fucking year…

Don’t get me wrong, that’s not the sole motivation behind why I share my Love with you.  There are plenty of net-positive reasons, and since I just shared with you one that’s dysfunctional, here’s one that isn’t:  Dana, even though you listen to bad modern folk rock, watch college football, and like to wear plaid, you’re still an incredibly bright and amazing woman that deserves joy.  And happiness.  AND NOT LATER ON, YOU DESERVE IT RIGHT NOW.

So here you go.  I don’t always get these things right, but here’s your Christmas present.  Really, it isn’t a Christmas present, because I could care less about the fucking holidays – especially this year – but it’s an excuse to shove a little more of my Love into that black hole of yours, while hopefully eliciting within you a tiny slice of joy.  Sure, it won’t solve (or resolve) anything in your fucked-up life…but that’s not the point now, is it?  One can be absolutely miserable and slightly happy at the same time – this I speaketh from experience!


In our own, specific ways, next week shall be the worst…but for right now, as I lay dying on this futon, filled to the brim with 100 degree fevers and nauseousness, my joy is bubbling up, so deal with it, chica.  I’m grateful for you being my friend and allowing our bond to grow.  And as always, this is probably helping me more than it is you, so thanks for being there for me, even when you think you aren’t.


In My Life
There are places I remember,
All my life though some have changed.
Some forever not for better,
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments,
With lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living,
In my life I’ve loved them all.

But of all these friends and lovers,
There is no one compares with you.
And these memories lose their meaning,
When I think of love as something new.
Though I know I’ll never lose affection,
For people and things that went before.
I know I’ll often stop and think about them,
In my life I love you more.

Though I know I’ll never lose affection,
For people and things that went before.
I know I’ll often stop and think about them,
In my life I love you more.

Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone

My Dearest Dana,

For an individual psychotherapist, Bruce The Goose really doesn’t feel like one, at least in the traditional sense.  When I first  started visiting him, we discussed the usual surface-level problems, most of them having to do with my family, marriage, or work.  But as the months pushed on, I found myself repeating the same ol’ stories and headaches, avoiding the topics I desperately wanted to discuss with an objective professional.  Often I found myself dancing around the topic of existentialism – not from a place of Suneil’s Having An Identity Crisis…more from a place of what it means to be truly mindful and cognizant.   One of the more headier themes we discussed in today’s session (that I didn’t know how to elegantly relate to you at Craft Work and will probably do a poor job of transcribing down into this blog post) is the notion that we’re all playing  flimsy, socially-inflicted caricatures of our true selves.

Most naturally assume that people like Jim Carrey…or you…or me…are mentally losing it, either from battling forms of simple depression or a complicated, existential dread.  That couldn’t be farther from reality.  The truth, I believe, is that we’re all birthed into a society which, from day one, molds us into static versions of ourselves, based solely on assigned (or self-prescribed) traits/characteristics.

Like I said, I’ll probably not do a very good job of clearly explaining myself, here.  Let me try and use an example…

Last year, I’d a very close neighbor ask me, Suneil, who are you?   The way I constantly like to reinvent myself, there were way too many versions of me for him to contemplate…and as a result, it made it quite taxing for him to relate to me.  Was I,  Suneil Singh, the Nonprofit Executive Director?  Or was I, Suneil Singh, the languishing screenwriter?   Was I, Suneil Singh, the successful real estate developer?  Maybe I was just Suneil, the lazy, pot-smokin’ bum?  Or the sexually active philanderer?  Or the  contemplative, kind introvert?  For him, I’d to specifically and solely be one of them, so which one was it?  I replied that I was all of those people, but really none of them at all – a timeworn and threadbare Buddhist turn of phrase that I wholeheartedly believe to be true.

He rolled his eyes and switched topics.

I normally don’t talk about this stuff with most (and refrained from going deep with the Potters/Bracken earlier tonight), mainly because my views come across as wildly vexing to those who find immense comfort in labels and roles.  Yet, for some reason, I can sense that as a result of your grief, this is something you’re actively struggling with (if it’s not something you’ve always had on your mind).  I’ve heard you say multiple times before that you feel completely lost without Brad – but without stepping out of bounds here, I think the deeper quandary here is much more simpler: you just feel completely lost.  Your grief’s struck a chord within you, clarifying that you’re no longer the version of “Dana Frost” you once were circa 2006-2016. The Thunder Stealer.  The Closet Confessional Fashionista.  The Model D writer.  The happy-go-lucky, in-love wife.  Like it or not, those roles you played were all temporary in nature…and as life had it, this often-foreboding universe stole them away from you without a second regard.

But without extensively lingering in the pain and sorrow, all this begets a larger question…if those prior versions of yourself were always meant to be temporary roles, then who’s the real Dana Frost?

Enter the wonderful world of Sociology.  Karl Marx said that we all wear social/character masks, based on how we choose to react to our surroundings.  Erving Goffman  philosophized that when we come in contact with others, we attempt to control the impression they have of us by changing our settings, appearances, or mannerisms.   The end goal of this finely-tuned charade is to gain acceptance from others through carefully conducted performances.

We do it all the time.  Hell, remember how weirdly positive and thankful I got at Craft Work when Claire popped into our night?  Frankly, as nice and beautiful as she is, I really didn’t want to talk to her in that specific moment.  Alas, I’ve been trained by my parents, my peers, and my society to hide my true feelings, BE POLITE, and create a nice moment of small talk…because well, that’s what she expects and that’s the right thing to do.

And so I put on a mask and played the role of a good lil’ Suneil.

Once again, it begets the question.  If these are merely masks we’re wearing, then who is the real Suneil Singh?  Who’s the real Dana Frost?

I don’t have the answer to that question, at least one that can easily fit in this blog post.  I do know this much though:  it’s scary, when one strips away all those comfortable masks and lives fully in their own skin.  (And, as you can tell from a year’s worth of direct experience, it’s scary and awkward for everyone else watching you go through it.)  But, the thing you might not be seeing here is that with every single one of your FB posts, podcasts or blog entries, you’re slowly uncovering the real Dana, the one who’s willfully choosing to live a life of true authenticity.   And more than ever, when someone comments on how “wise” or “inspirational” your words are to them, yes, part of that reaction is because that’s what they’re supposed to say when playing the role of “Dana Sympathizer”…but it’s also because you’re putting your heart out there and connecting with them on an extremely sacred level – a level deeper than I think you’ve ever publicly gone before…or even given yourself credit for.

If any of this sounds condescending, it’s not meant to be.  Just know this, even though it might feel like your grief is causing you to go insane, YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.  You’re just choosing to grow more self-aware with every waking moment, that’s all.



Like A Rolling Stone
Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal

How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you’re gonna have to get used to it
You said you’d never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He’s not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain’t no good
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
But you’d better lift your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Joe Esposito – You’re The Best Around

My Dearest Dana,

Your miserably empty life?  I know you’re down in the dumps right now, but please.  Our lives may currently suck…but never forget how freakin’ awesome we are.  Seriously, we’re the best!

I just spent the last ninety minutes navigating through a high school reunion that showcased the truly empty and miserable.   Aside from growing old and aimlessly reproducing, nobody had anything productive to show for themselves.  Which is fine – we’re all still relatively young(ish) – but, come on!  If you don’t have much to show for yourself, then show your dreams…or passions…or goals.  Have something meaningful to say, dammit!

Instead, it was an onslaught of miserably empty filler-questions:

  • Where do you work? 
  • Where do you live? 
  • Do you remember me? 
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have any kids? 
  • Guess how much money I made last year?
  • And oops, will you look at the time?  I’ve gleamed enough glossy, superficial information about you.  Onto the next one!

Granted, Livonia, MI is no hub of cultural enlightenment, but 95% of these people are carbon copies of who they were two decades ago.  No spiritual growth, no increased self-awareness…not even a random international adventure or personal tale of vested interest.

And yes, this much is true: You and I have had a hellava lot of bullshit poured over us lately, forcing us to adapt and change…but, I say!  It’s not just our environments or experiences that mold us!  This is the fundamental truth of what separates us from the herd:  we’ll always be learning, we’ll always be growing; we are two incredibly creative and joyful creatures who can’t help but embrace life.  Even when we’re trapped in our own, depressing lil’ Private Idahos, we ooze passion…and as a result, attention.

So you’re correct.  Life is the worst, right now.  Feel shitty, ’cause neither of us deserve to feel this much pain and sorrow.  Just know this much…I’d rather spend the rest of my Saturday evening typing you an over-the-top, motivational blog post than spend another minute in that crappy bar, faintly listening to old peers droll on about how “Nopenever left L-Town.  Never really traveled either.  Never had time for passions or dreams.  The job is a job – nothing to write home about.  And the kids?  They’re alright, I guess – they just keep runnin’ me ragged.  But, hey, that’s life, right?”

Not for us it is.



You’re the Best Around
Try to be best,
‘Cause you’re only a man,
And a man’s gotta learn to take it.

Try to believe,
Though the going gets rough,
That you gotta hang tough to make it!

History repeats itself,
Try and you’ll succeed,
Never doubt that you’re the one,
And you can have your dreams!

You’re the best!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down!

Fight ‘til the end,
Cause your life will depend,
On the strength that you have inside you!

Ah, you gotta be proud,
Starin’ out in the cloud,
When the odds in the game defy you.

Try your best to win them all,
And one day time will tell,
When you’re the one that’s standing there,
You’ll reach the final bell!

You’re the best!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down!

Fight ‘til you drop!
Never stop!
Can’t give up!
Til you reach the top -FIGHT!
You’re the best in town -FIGHT!
Listen to that sound!
A little bit of all you got,
Can never bring you down!

You’re the best!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down!

The National – Guilty Party

My Dearest Dana,

So much change in such a short time!  I naively thought the bulk of my personal chaos was over, but if these past two weeks have taught me anything, it’s to keep an eye out for those curve balls…and above all, keep weathering the storm.

This past weekend at Rutland, Ohio’s, The Mosaic Experiment, I put in the hard work and laid to rest yet another chapter of my life.  Saturday night, as event coordinators lit Mosaic’s effigy aflame, a mile away at our campsite, I donned my business suit for the very last time.  Leading a three-person procession, I marched us from our camp to the rising flames, disrobed, and tossed those tattered threads in the pyre (you’ll be pleased to know that my gross black dress shoes were burned as well).  Business Suneil is no more…or at the very least, he’s buried in enough ash to keep him underground and at bay for the next few years.


Most outsiders deem these “Burner” camping adventures as one relaxing, hedonistic party…but if you attend them from a place of seeking and growth, they can often be draining and emotionally overwhelming.  It’s been over a year since the magic Melanie and I used to nurture, just up and fizzled away.  Before the divorce, we roamed these events as an inviolable team, dancing up a storm while leaving all sorts of joyful mischief in our wake.  Nowadays, we attend the same events, but we experience them wholly without one another.  We dance separately.  We cause mischief separately.  When we bump into each other, our conversations are stunted, almost as if there’s a giant brick wall between us, keeping us separate and very, very far away.  Grief and loss built that wall…and my hope is that one day, we’ll collectively summon the courage to tear it all down.  Still.  Whenever I see her at these closed-area, weekend-long events, it’s not our relationship or sex that I miss.  I just miss hanging out with my best friend, that’s all.

Oh me, oh my – will you look at all this sorrow!?  The reality here is that my world’s finally beginning to feel a little lighter.  The mental fog is lifting…and for the first time in ages, my black-and-white daydreams are starting to bleed in color.  I’m happily closing the doors to my past.  I haven’t the faintest idea what the future shall bring, but it’s time to awaken and be an active participant in the next chapter of my life!

It’s a six hour drive from Mosaic to Detroit.  I attended The National concert with Ashley earlier tonight, so on the road trip back home, I queued up their latest album and let this gloomy new jam wash all over me.  Listening to the lyrics, I grew all emotional and teary-eyed, reminiscing back to the moment when I finally realized that there were no actual guilty parties in my languishing marriage, just two exhausted and defeated lovers who didn’t know how to harmonize any longer.

After a full year of being divorced, I’d like to say my tears shocked me…but frankly, nothing surprises me anymore.   The curve balls, they keep on coming.  We just gotta keep weathering the storm…



Guilty Party
You’re sleeping night and day
How’d you do it
Me I am wide awake
Feeling defeated

I say your name
I say I’m sorry
I know it’s not working
I’m no holiday
It’s nobody’s fault
No guilty party
We just got nothing
Nothing left to say

Another year gets away
Another summer of love
I don’t know why I care
We miss it every summer

I say your name
I say I’m sorry
I’m the one doing this
There’s no other way
It’s nobody’s fault
No guilty party
I just got nothing, nothing left to say

It all, all catches up to me
It all, all catches up to me all the time

I say your name
I say I’m sorry
I know it’s not working, I’m no holiday
It’s nobody’s fault
No guilty party
We just got nothing, nothing left to say

I say your name
I say I’m sorry
I’m the one doing this, there’s no other way
It’s nobody’s fault
No guilty party
I just got nothing, nothing left to say

It all, all just catches up to me
It all, all catches up to me all the time