Stories have an effect on people.
We are captivated and drawn to stories, both reality and fiction, but none are more interesting than the ones about others, the people around us, and the essence of their lives. These stories have an effect on others, they can inspire and change a person, like the details of classical poetry. At times, we are troubled by them and likewise, the weight of these stories are merely a sign of their effect; for people to relate, it is to identify with what we interpret as truth, no more and no less.
Lately it has been difficult to eat or sleep. I think during my entire time in Las Vegas, I’ve only actually ate one meal a day along with periodical snacking. There are times where the words do not come out and nights where a sense of loneliness and deep reflection exhausts me. Sometimes I wish that these stories weren’t true, that the people I’ve met aren’t real, but to deny their existence would be an unforgivable sin. Ignorance is bliss as people say.
At such times, there is a single object that is as important to me as my passport and the flag I carry. It is a little green book, a seemingly trivial item, in actuality a wedding guest book; within its pages there lies a vast multitude of simple messages, each of them belonging to people that I have since come across so far. These are well wishes and moments of gratitude and every day they lift the burden from my shoulders in memory.
Gentle words from gentler hearts can mean so much to a person at little a cost. To a lone traveler, far from home, they are a potent source of influence, a reminder of this adventure. They are the motivating force to every step, the kindness and support of others, making even the hottest summer afternoon and the coldest of nights seem irrelevant at best.
These people come from a variety of backgrounds and experience. Most of them identify and relate to the BDSM scene while some others are simply outside of it. This book, this small unidentifiable book, is to me what a bible is to a preacher – a token of passage, the manifestation of human hearts and compassion. The very purpose of this quest revolves around their meaning.
There have also been countless numbers of handshakes and fist bumps, hugs and kisses, maybe one or two fierce bouts of lip locking. Other times people took considerable effort to add to my agenda or write e-mails with written instructions for where to go and who to meet. People have even offered me money and other gifts to which I politely decline.
“God bless you. May you never thirst.” one entry reads.
“Be safe in your travels.” Another entry begins. “Thank you for what you are doing, and remember us as we have for you. Represent us well.”
“You are doing what people have often tried and never accomplished.” A leather man said, shaking my hand firmly. “You remind us of what it means to care for others, where we’re from and what connects us to each other.”
“Call me in NYC.” One person wrote, along with their number.
“Hey, uh, you remember that girl in Vancouver?” One deviant said to me. “She says hello and that you owe her a spanking.”
Another leather man said, once, “I would walk with you if I was younger. I would shoulder the flag with you every step of the way. Know that you will never be hungry if you visit. Know that you will always have a place to stay here. Know that you will always have a friend.”
“Go with honor.” A Gorean Master said, clapping my hand in his. “You have honored us with your presence and your honor is measured by what you are doing. For that, I am grateful to you. Well wishes and safe travels.”
“Amos, you glorious bastard, I’ll see your ugly mug one year hence.” Another person wrote.
That disgusting motherfucker, Yeti, wrote: “May the Minotaurs always follow you and keep you safe from all OTHER evils.”
A homeless man, after I spoke with him, and encouraged him to be strong wrote: “I envy the man with the strength and discaplin to use his god given 2 feet to walk across the roads that the men and women paved before him. May your journeys be safe and storys be great. Good luck.”
“Enjoy your travels.” Another entry reads. “May you find homes in many homes.”
A leather woman wrote, “Yellow, may your journey be wonderful and strong. Live love and laugh with honor, integrity and respect.”
From time to time, I have received messages from FL and my e-mail about how this journey has inspired others to follow suit. One woman wrote about finding the courage to step forward and come out to her family about her sexuality. Another woman messaged me about how after reading about the Portland scene, she had packed her bags to visit during the summer. One anonymous gentleman wrote, simply, that the journey and the message of it has inspired him to pursue his explorations more devotedly.
One person wrote:
“Dear Amos, greetings from Europe. Forgive my english. It is my second language. I am follow your journey and love it!!! It is very good. I am a father and my wife together want to explore the scene. You are very brave and honest to do what it is you are doing.”
It continued, “We are both shy and scared of explore the bondage scene together. She say that the writing is meaningful and I agree too. Last month we go to a party together and have friends. We are happy of what we like to do and proud to be part of the scene. I feel closer to her and knowing myself.”
“God bless you.” The message ends. “Be safe and good luck!”
You’re probably not going to believe me.
My name is Yellow or Amos. I’m from Canada. Vancouver, BC, actually.
I walked here.
Actually no, I took buses between the mountans and desert, the freeway and forests, but I walk cities. I’m a city walker. I walk around flying the flag at cities to remind everyone that we’re not alone, that nobody should feel out of place who may identify.
I’m on a kinky walkabout. I set out to explore the rest of the kink communities. I went off to see it with my own two eyes and witness the parties and events, meet people such as yourselves.
Listen, uh, I don’t represent Vancouver. I’m here on my own accord. I do stick the Metro Vancouver Kink group though. There’s one or two fetish nights in Vancouver, mostly club nights though, Sin City and Noir.
But listen, um, I just want to tell you that you’re not alone. Greetings and well wishes from Canada and elsewhere, hello from the other brothers and sisters out there; thank you for having me, but I just want to say, keep it up and keep going. The fact that you guys have a munch/party/workshop is evidence of your community. If you ever need anything, as one kinkster to another, let me know if I can help.
One woman wrote :
“When we met that night at the event, I apologize if I stared at you. I’m not trying to sound crazy but I have a gift as a spiritualist. You asked me what it was I was staring at and what it was is your aura. An aura is the projection of a person’s vibe. Some people call it the color of a person’s soul.”
“You asked me why I seemed upset but I wasn’t. Your aura was brighter than any I’ve seen in a while. There were some negative parts, blotches in of grey and red, like anxiety, anger and guilt within – it shows in your writing and FL profile. However, these emotions were tiny compared to the rest of the aura about you. The primary colors were white, the color of wisdom and goodness, and most of all hope.”
“I’m certain that you might have seen the depictions of medieval knights and angels in renaissance paintings. These beings, representing good against evil, triumphant in their victory have that same color above their heads, like a halo. I believe you have the makings of a young knight-errant, someone fierce with rediscovered passion.”
“It is a color that exists only for short periods of time with people. It usually manifests when someone recovers from depression or some sad chapter in their life. Some people have that aura but deep within they manipulate that for their own benefit.”
“It should not be as bright as it were with you because you are still very young. I believe you are undergoing some deep spiritual transformation. You struggled to conduct yourself with a modest attitude and from the way you try, I’m guessing this wasn’t always the case. I watched as the aura shifted as you became worried about me. It shows how capable you are to concern yourself to people you meet. When we spoke, there was some bit of arrogance and pride when you talk about yourself and your adventures. Now that I think of about it that same pride was not from yourself but for the people that you’ve met.”
“The way people have affected you so deeply is rare and for that effect to last is rarer still since your aura is seemingly nourished by others. The darker colors are a sign of hardship from within. There is guilt and doubt in the clouds of grey. I have no reason to doubt that you have seen and heard many things that few people would ever want to entertain the thought of. Despite these experiences, beneath cynicism, there remains without a shred of doubt that you are still capable of displaying humility to others.”
“That evening I was not upset at you but rather for myself. There were things occurring behind the scenes and I was at a dark period of my life. I was upset that I began to give up. Your presence and aura reminded me not to do that. You reminded me to be strong such as you have. Thank you.”
“May you always carry the color of hope. It will reach out to others and bring it out from within. They will discover a kindness within that even the most jaded of souls find. May the Creator bless and guide your path. May you triumph in your quest.”
Hey. What’s up?
Are you alright? Uh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to win any favors or get into your pants. Listen, I don’t know you or what you’ve been through or what you’re dealing with, but try to believe me when I say this. It’ll get better. It always does. If you need anything tonight, hit me up unless you owe money to the mob, in which case I gotta go back to my hotel right away.
Hey, let me help you with that. What? No, its no trouble at all. Just a 200 lb dungeon equi-HNNGGHH. There. Better. Need anything else? No worries. Just let me know.
Oh shit, are you alright? Jesus, your heels just broke off. Need a first aid kit? No. Okay. Hey, listen, uh, she’s got a scraped knee. Sorry to interrupt you, uh, your partner over there is inju- Okay. Push right by me then.
Hey guys, well done. Saw your work up on the stage. Pretty hot. Did you see my scene? Thanks! Uh, listen, you dropped this just now. No problem, I figured you’d want it back. So! Buy me dinner? Just kidding. See you this weekend.
You run this event? Fucking A. I mean it, I seriously like what you’ve done with this and that; there’s maybe one or two issues with this and that, but yeah, thanks for the invite. You want any help with the dishes or the tear down? No? Okay.
Uh, hey, listen, if that fellow over gives you trouble I’ll be right behind you. That is unless he has a knife or a gun, in which case, uh, you’re on your own. I’m joking! You’ve been nice to me, that’s why, so call me a simpleton whatever. We’re all in this together, right? Okay. Ready when you are.
You gonna get home safe? Are you sure? Want me to walk with you? Yeah, walk with a random Canadian with a big walking stick and a bag of rope, heh. You got it from here? Message me when you’re back home. I’ll do the same. Goodnight.
How long you been out here for? Where are you from? How long have you been out on the streets? Hungry? Here. Have the rest of my lunch. You smoke? Okay. What’s your name? Amos. Nice to meet you. I’m from Canada. Walked most of the way here. Listen, uh, be strong. Find some shade. There’s a casino with a blindspot without cameras that way with a washroom by the entrance. Here, some winnings from the casino slots. Take care. Wait. Let me take off my glove.
I recently got this message:
“There’s this quote, I remember being exposed to it quite a bit as a child/teen. It talks about how some people are meant to be in your life for your whole life, some for years, some for months, some for days or hours or minutes, but everyone you meet has a purpose in your life, or you a purpose in theirs. You’re in each others lives to change things and once they’re changed, you move on, or they do, but you become enriched by the experience and time you shared.”
“I feel like you, on your journey, are a man who is meant to come in to people’s lives, change them forever, and then continue on to where you are needed or called to next. The journey and your encounters change you, too, but I don’t think anyone you play with, or befriend, will look upon their time spent with you and regret watching you walk off in to the night. I do imagine it must get lonely on the road, but perhaps that’s exactly when someone comes in to your life to change it for the better.”
“I personally don’t feel superficial, or unimportant to you for having spent such a small amount of time connecting in the way we have. You came in to my life at a time when, admittedly, I was feeling incredibly low about myself. I have been struggling with something my ex said shortly after we split, and you helped me, more than you could have known. You gave me exactly what I needed, and helped me start changing my attitude about myself for the better. I would like to think that our interaction provided you with what you needed as well, and provided what change and fulfillment you needed.”
“It’s pretty much exactly like the quote says (I don’t really remember it word for word, unfortunately), you came in to my life to fulfill a purpose, and moved on when it was fulfilled. I’ll always be grateful to you for that, and I will never regret nor forget the time I’ve spent with you.”
“I hope that the other people you meet feel equally blessed having been touched by you and your journey, my charming masked gentleman.”
It takes very little to help others. In this day and age, for many reasons, there can be very little room for compassion and for the goodness of others to emerge. A genuine act of kindness, soft words of support, costs next to nothing; it must never be done for merit, but in the end the feeling that follows is a deeper connection and understanding to others.
There is great beauty and ugliness to the world around us. The effort that is required is significant to change and realize that. It is something that is worth fight for, worth struggling for. We must be careful in our behavior and attitude towards others, for as much as words and actions can contribute, they too can destroy and lead to ruin.
There must always be principles set for personal conduct. Chivalry is not for the weak and valor still exists. Honest hearts must be cherished and protected. Patience is a virtue. A quiet whisper must always be reminded that it has a voice and that it will be heard. Defend the weak and unable, follow the path of truth that only you alone may define.
For me to step forward and embark on a journey of this scale alone would be a futile attempt. Your own actions and support have allowed me to progress, inspired me to return it and frankly I would never change that for anything. I will gladly shoulder the weight of your stories and experiences. I would laugh with you, cry with but most all remind you of your voice, and carry this flag in your name.
Thank you for all that have done for me.
For the ones that give to others, for the ones that support and look out for one another, for the strangers that have helped me, this flag will fly.
“The Flag Still Stands”