Since retiring on disability in 1991 it has been particularly important for Officer Wes to have some rhythm to his daily life, and also to have the flexibility to address health matters as they arise. (For those interested, here is more on The Officer's Day.) 2001 was a great example of both.
For those of you who don't know, our 2000 was very full. One of the many things was a change in our relationship with Tim. At the end of 2000, there was an open question about what we might like our future relationship to look like. Also, back in November, Officer Wes had some allergy testing done. As part of that process, he needed to wean off of nortriptyline (PamelorTM), a medication that had done wonders for the neuropathy in his feet two years earlier. Well, when the allergy testing came and went, the neuropathy did not return. It appeared that the nortriptyline was no longer needed so Officer Wes remained off of it.
Fast forward to Spring 2001. Officer Wes was tired and blue. It seemed normal: In the previous summer his mom had died, the relationship with Tim had fizzled, and we moved again. Now Officer Wes' dear friend Richard Brazwell was very sick, and Officer Wes was concerned about body changes he thought he'd been seeing.
It turned out that the removal of the nortriptyline -- which is normally used as a tricyclic antidepressant, but which also seems to help in some cases of neuropathy -- had dropped Officer Wes into depression. It took us months to figure this out, however. Meanwhile, our
doctor asked if we'd be up for trying something for Officer Wes' nagging fatigue. The suggestion was to try reducing the neuropathy-suppressing medications, specifically NeurontinTM (gabapentin). In the months-long trial, the neuropathy came back up out of suppression. That, in turn, added to the depression. Finally we figured out what was going on: The depression was partially chemically induced. We added back in the nortriptyline. We ramped back up on the NeurontinTM. Add in a change in antidepressants from WellbutrinTM to ZoloftTM and Officer Wes was back to baseline. It was a long process -- taking us into August. Austin
What Officer Wes' previous experience has taught him is that in depressive periods like these it is important for him to keep trudging forward; and to try and help others as a way of turning outward, adding purpose, and helping put his stuff in perspective -- basic spiritual living that still does not usually come naturally for him. Officer Wes is extremely good at keeping commitments, so both Tom and the Officer tried to keep things on his calendar to help him move forward. A good portion of those were leather activities. Here's how the year progressed:
Work on our newly purchased
house continued, including having a new heating & air conditioning system put in plus buying a leather sofa. Previously we'd had the carpet, vinyl and appliances replaced. We put the Houston Home on the market. We also sold our medical exam table and a suspension harness. We had dinner with a local Master and his leather slave. Hooking up with a local non-profit organization and doing a few hours of service work on Mondays each week helped add structure. Weekly yoga classes also helped both body and mind. And several meetings a week helped Program work. Officer Wes also began twice-weekly allergy injections related to the Fall's allergy testing. And his biweekly Officer haircut at Sportsman's Barber Shop always brightens his day. Austin
More structure began February 6th when Officer Wes started attending the Austin Citizen Police Academy, a twelve-week program on Tuesday nights designed to give the public a working knowledge of the Austin Police Department. "Understanding through Education." It works. The whole class seemed impressed in some form or another about the many, many different aspects of our impressive local police department and its community policing approach.
On the 21st Deputy arrived for a five-day visit in which we celebrated our nearly-joint birthdays.
On the 29th we both visited
to see the condition of the house & for Officer Wes to get a Dr. Kosoy appointment in. Houston
April 7 Officer Wes took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's "Experienced Rider Improvement Course." It's a skill-improvement class one takes on one's own bike. It really helped his cornering. Since then his riding has been even more enjoyable as he is more confident. This particular spring in Texas had perfect conditions for wildflowers, so there were many more than usual.
April 11 was the first Austin GLB LeatherBDSM Social.
The 24th was Officer Wes' Citizen Police Academy graduation.
Then Officer Wes was one of the faculty for boy's Training Camp 3 April 27-29 in Dallas. It also gave him an opportunity to see his sister Alice's new home.
When the Officer returned from bTC3, he had decided he was ready to move forward again with having a consensual leather slave. But he wanted to make sure that he wasn't mis-reading Tim as being disinterested. They lined up lunch for the 10th.
At lunch with Tim, things became clearer. Here's the update on Officer Wes & Tim from 2001.
On the 12th the Officer again took a country ride to Wimberley, this time with leather acquaintance Ssara. The route had gently winding roads and some gentle hills, with the smell of things like mist, or a whiff of plants, that one wouldn't catch in a car.
On the 15th Officer Wes had lunch with friend Hromovy. The next day he had his first shiatsu massage lined up. It rocked.
On May 18-20 we enjoyed the 20th Annual [Gay Men's] New Braunfels Tubing Trip.
Later in May, Officer Wes consulted a nutritionist for feedback on his diet. It was essentially sound. On the 21st, we began a five-week Introduction to Ashtanga yoga class that met Mondays & Thursdays. On the 22nd, the Officer began a weekly morning sculling with his acquaintance Carl and kept this up until August. On the 23rd, we saw Riverdance. The 25th was a moving APD cadet graduation. The 27th was an A.A. pool party. On the 30th Officer Wes rode to Marble Falls while Tom came in the car.
June was also full. On the first we saw the
Central Texaspremiere of Out of the Darkness: The Reality of S&M, a work by friends and acquaintances of ours.
Then we made a trip to Houston. Our renters' one-year lease was up and we wanted the house empty to sell better. So on the 3rd we did a walk-through. We also had dinner with leather acquaintances Roy H. & patrick c. While we were in Houston we also had some painting done in the house and had the carpet removed from three rooms to expose the handsome wood floors. And, of course, we went to see our long-time physician, Dr. Salvato.
Back in Austin, on the 10th we had leather friends Leo & pantera over for dinner. On the 12th Officer Wes received a petition to serve as His slave. On the 13th he had dinner with Ssara and inquired if she might be interested in being his female demo-ee at his upcoming electrical presentation July 14th.
On the 15th Officer Wes headed to Dallas-Fort Worth to see a community project his father had been working on for two years. He also met with the petitioner for coffee. The petitioner ultimately flaked within a week.
On the 23rd we attended a private leather Master/slave collaring by our buddy Bamm!
The 27th found the Officer riding the Harley Police Special out to the tiny Hill Country town of Blanco to meet Hromovy for breakfast at the Blanco Bowling Club. Yes, you read right. The Blanco Bowling Club. It was actually charming in a small-town-diner kind of way.
June 28 - July 2 Tom went and stayed with Mom while Dad had his blood thinned for a clot in his leg. (Dad recovered nicely.) The Officer got another massage on the 29th.
July 3 Officer Wes had the computer search the 3,000+ profiles on LeatherNavigator for the word "service." It returned 69 entries, we kid you not. Four of those used the word in the Master/servant context he was seeking. He dropped them each a note of introduction. One of them corresponded for about a month before Wwe all three decided Wwe weren't a full match.
We spent the 4th of July at Melton's, enjoying his gracious hospitality and beautiful view of the fireworks. The next night Officer Wes did a full moon row down Town Lake. When Saturday came, we took Bamm! & t & t's kids to Austin's beautiful Barton Springs for their first time.
On the 13th Officer Wes did a rare ride in full uniform (SFPD, so that he was not using a local-jurisdiction uniform) for a High Protocol leather dinner being given for the eight presenters at the next day's Group With No Name (GWNN) Birthday Bash "We love to be 8" The following day was Officer Wes' ninth major erotic uses of electricity presentation in nine years, and the first to incorporate both a guy and a gal as demo-ees. It was very well-received. We were both thrilled that Deputy Dave flew in from San Francisco to see the presentation, visit, and attend the later play party at the secret rural location.
The 25th Officer Wes had his second shiatsu massage.
The next day he worked on putting run pins on a denim vest which he took with him July 27-29 to Masters Retreat 2001, Atlanta, which also included a High Protocol leather dinner.
Officer Wes was both deeply saddened and relieved when his dear friend Richard Brazwell died July 30. In their last two talks Richard had said "It's time" and then "I'm ready." His death hit Officer Wes hard.
So, on the 3rd we began lining up therapy, asking for kink-friendly referrals from our leatherfriends. The Officer also took in another massage on the 4th.
Then Tim and Officer Wes met for lunch on the 8th to discuss a self-improvement question the Officer had posed to him: What could the Officer have done better?
On the 10th Bamm! gave a great single-tails presentation at the SAADE meeting. He has the rare ability to use two or three simultaneously. Exquisitely skilled.
Then Tom, who has historically been a bit shy, did something very intrepid: He went to
August 10-13 for the monthly Discipline Corps gathering there. He had a great time and good fellowship. Dallas
On the 12th Officer Wes began attending a gay men's spirituality meeting at our acquaintance Dean's.
On the 15th the Officer had another lunch with Hromovy. He submitted a Master/slave ad to Collars [which ceased printing with its June 2003 issue] on the 16th, and also ordered some new electrical gear. : )
Then on the 18th we had breakfast at our delightful leather friend Mary M's. And the Officer received a petition.
Officer Wes began Monday/Thursday weight training with a personal trainer at High Tech Bodies on August 20th to reverse a 13-pound weight loss that happened during the depression. At first the weight drop was of no concern. But then one day, Officer Wes realized that it was painful to sit. It was painful to SIT! He realized instantly what was going on: He had crossed a threshold, and had lost a crucial amount of ass mass. Thus began a long and difficult process to rebuild what had been lost. (Also see Built to Survive in October, below.) Officer Wes' doctor also increased his testosterone supplementation to successfully restore lost appetite. And Officer began an aggressive eating campaign.
Toward the end of the month, after 7 years, Officer Wes was finally able to write about the death of one of his best friends ever, Burt Picone. He also added a section to our memorial page to remember not only the people he knew who have died from AIDS but also other ways, including his leather mentor Dan Kalin.
We had our friend Clay L. over for dinner on the 24th, and discussed an Austin gay male leather gathering.
(That was it so far when Officer Wes wrote this summary: Winter blossomed into Spring, it just took a while, and the help of his friends. He added more, below, later.)
Officer Wes and Tom decided to host a private, bimonthly "Austin Male-on-Male BDSM Party" and sent out an initial announcement by the 26th, with the first party scheduled for October.
Ah September. A month with renewed energy, seeking yet more insight into Mastery/slavery, and more conscious contact with Officer Wes' spiritual nature. Master Steve of Butchmann's was a good friend and guide in his quest. Officer Wes respects the heck out of him. WOOF! Thank you, Steve.
This was also the month we worked to get the "guest" bathroom, next to the dungeon, ready for the October BDSM party. It still had the cream/floral wallpaper from when we moved in back in December. We changed it to a military air war motif. Between the two of us, we ripped down the wallpaper, got the "popcorn" stuff off the ceiling, painted the walls a camouflage green, Tom made a shower curtain out of camouflage material, and we ordered a Monorail lighting system and hung World War I era fixtures -- a biplane, a Zeppelin, and a parachutist -- from it. Much better.
Officer Wes and Tom had a nine-day trip to Disneyworld planned with Officer's sisters, much like our family vacation in 1995. Officer and Tom had also gone on their own in 1993, when Tom moved from Dallas to Houston and Officer surprised Tom with a trip to Disney. Tom cut his trip short due to a combination of factors, including having two (pretty well-behaved) teenage family members on the trip and also just not feeling well. Officer Wes remained, paced himself, and was able to have a great time spending time with some of his family.
Then was a big push to have things in order for the inaugural "Austin Male-on-Male BDSM Party" on the 19th. It was intimate and hot, and thoroughly enjoyable. Tim and his new boyfriend, Paul, came. Tom and Officer were exhausted after the big push.
We also had our Houston House, which had been on the market since January, leveled-up to address the most frequent comment by potential buyers.
October also found Officer Wes reading Built to Survive: A Comprehensive Guide to the Medical Use of Anabolic Steroids, Nutrition and Exercise for HIV(+) Men and Women, available from the Houston Buyers Club. This book explained a lot about nutrition that he did not know, and mapped out a roadmap for regaining the 13 pounds he lost earlier in the year. Highly recommended.
November was full of action.
After two months of hard work with weight resistance training and aggressive eating, Officer Wes had essentially not regained any weight. He and his doctor decided to help his body use the testosterone better by supplementing it with an anabolic (American Heritage® Dictionary: The phase of metabolism in which simple substances are synthesized into the complex materials of living tissue) agent, OxandrinTM. For more information about this approach, read What Is PoWeR? Before we started, though, we took some fasting hormonal bloodwork on the 2nd. Officer started the OxandrinTM on the 16th, and had a "baseline" Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) conducted on the 20th; three months to the day into his weight regaining regimen.
November 2nd-4th was NLA:Austin's Texas Leather Pride X.
On the 10th Officer Wes was in the inaugural group of SAADE's Austin Mentors program. This is a very cool communal program to give a new generation of Dominants a broad-based Mentor/apprentice experience. Each of the apprentices gets matched with each of the mentors for one month -- and each of the mentors has something unique s/he brings to the program.
November 19th, after 11 months on the market, we finally got an offer on our Houston Home.
The 21st gave Officer Wes a chance to ride his Harley to Blanco with new acquaintance Danette, who recently got a handsome new black Harley. We met mutual friend Hromovy for lunch. Nice ride, nice lunch.
Near the end of the month one of Officer Wes' friends, Jim Babin, died.
...certainly started off with a bang: Enron, the company from which Officer Wes has been on long-term disability for 10 years, filed for bankruptcy after it came to light that there appeared that there had been an accounting irregularity in excess of $1 billion. Thousands of people lost their jobs. Officer Wes' disability income policy is safe, but it appears likely he may lose the much more valuable disability health coverage which provides his very expensive anti-HIV medications. We're taking things One Day at a Time.
In the middle of the month Officer and Tom went to visit our delightful Deputy in San Francisco. We also took in a spiritual retreat in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains near Los Gatos. And, the dear man who visited us in early November presented a petition to Officer Wes in person.
Upon our return, we arrived at a price agreement from the initial November 19th offer for the sale of our Houston Home. Closing would happen two days later. So, we needed to go to Houston and clear out the non-BDSM furnishings we'd left in the garage apartment to make it show better. We had many dear memories from the home, and also the garage apartment: During the eight years we lived in the house, the garage apartment served as guest / leatherslave quarters in one of the two bedrooms and our dungeon playroom in the other. The sale of the house really closes out the Houston chapter in our lives, making it feel even more like we're Austinites. The sale also ended a sustained period of negative cash flow in our finances, and replenished the savings we'd had to use when we bought the Austin house before the other sold.
Officer Wes continues his search for a consensual service slave. The dear man in California may be that person. Time will tell.
We hope your 2001 was happy and safe, and that your 2002 is filled with joy.