Writing a book has been such an experience. It’s been all-of-the-above: exciting, scary, anxiety-ridden, frustrating, fun, and above all—it’s been something that has kept me going. Without my love for the written word, I fear what would have become of me during this pandemic-laden-pre-dystopian-world.
Writing has been my savior and for quite a while I felt guilty for doing it. With all the pain this world is experiencing right now, I thought, what right do I have to write and publish at this time? What right do I have to creatively do something that brings me joy? It took me a few months, and articles written by other authors (a huge thanks to them; my writing crew), to answer myself emphatically, I have every fucking right to create and publish. Especially now. When the world is conflicted, spinning out of control—that’s when artists writers, troubadours, musicians, misfits, and rebels are needed. Through art in all forms, our inner glow is turned on and we light the way.
Originally, I didn’t have a book introduction until one morning when it wrote itself. I was merely a channel funneling ideas onto paper via a car dealership pen. Here it is. Short, bittersweet and to the point:
Intro to Train Gone
“BOOK INTRODUCTIONS BORE ME. As do acknowledgements, forewords, prologues, and prefaces. My brain gets impatient. And here I am forcing an introduction on you. I promise it’ll be quick and painless.
This book took me years to complete. It still doesn’t feel complete. How could so many pieces of one’s life be complete? I can say, the writing process was not nearly as painless as the introduction will be for you. You, lucky bastard.
Reliving the particulars of my sordid life in such detail, so as to paint just the right picture, felt like tearing skin—layer by calloused layer. Kinda like much needed therapy does.
This book isn’t meant to bash anyone’s individual faith. You can praise a head of lettuce for all I care. Your relationship with your chosen entity is between the two of you. If you think you might take it personally when I reveal ugly truths about how I was raised, and the havoc one denomination’s version of god has wreaked on my life, then this book might not be for you.
While writing, I wasn’t looking for absolution or using it as a means to clear my conscience. The things I’ve done—no matter how shameful—are a direct result of the calculated mind control I experienced, and the very tight, theocratic, misogynistic chains I was trying to break free from. I found it increasingly difficult to make good choices—critical thinking was a foreign concept to me. I grew up in a culture of every decision being made for me, and when I left, experienced decision overload; I had no idea what I was doing once I was left to my own devices.
I’ve done many immoral things, while tangled up in my own insolent rebellion, simultaneously baffled by my severely damaged moral compass. That being said, this book contains sexually explicit content; consider yourself forewarned.
If you think you might be comforted knowing you’re not the only one who’s been betrayed, exploited, abandoned, or afraid of anyone who’s forced you into blind submission—I hope you find solace within these pages.
If you also have Deaf parents—or parents requiring you to grow up in a hurry and protect them in some way, while being subjected to nonsensical, religious dogma, or any other systemic oppressive body—then turn the page, my friend. This one’s for you.
I only ask one favor: give each character a chance, including mine. It’s much easier to vilify than it is to deify. Every person described within these pages is real (names have been changed), and real people fuck up. I couldn’t have gotten here—to this place of self-acceptance—without everyone in this book. Especially one very special four-year-old.
I’m proud to be who I am, and it took me years to be able to say that. Although, I may not be proud of every choice I made, I’d like to think those choices led me here, to writing this book. Even if that means I’m seen as mentally diseased for creating and publishing apostate literature. Fuck it, I healed and that is why I wrote this. To heal. I hope my story helps you heal whatever you may need to heal.
Cheers to the heroes and the villains.“
Short, bittersweet and hopefully gives you an idea of what you’re in for.