The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

A few days ago I suffered through a crisis of confidence while attempting to gain a better understanding of what direction I am trying to move in with my writing, and my life. During this crisis I managed to convince myself that I have nothing of value to offer a potential lover, and that I was destined to be the man who spends his life writing about love, without ever being fortunate enough to experience it for himself. Realising that I’d fallen into a creative and emotional lull, I decided to write down how I was feeling in a piece that I have since come to know as Dirt. 

I never intended to share the post with anyone. It was simply an opportunity to release some of the angst that has been building inside of me as I continue to work towards establishing myself and my voice within the literary industry. But as someone who believes in the importance of acknowledging that it’s alright to not be OK, I decided to share what I wrote below. My reasoning for doing so is simple: I don’t want pity. I want to give hope to anyone out there who resonates with how I felt. I want them to realise that they are not alone, and that negative thoughts will always come and go; but life will get better if you give it a chance. I promise…


An old Ugandan proverb says that the one who loves you, loves you with your dirt. But it’s not the dirt that concerns me. It’s the scars that are hidden underneath. Dirt merely clings to the surface; it can be washed away. I know that one day mine will be. I’ll find you, we’ll fall in love, and the sins and virtues of my past will become meaningless in the context of our lives. Yet I’m still so scared that when we meet and all the grit and grime of who I am is stripped away, you’ll see the blemishes on my soul and realise that you’ve fallen for a man who hides behind his words because his humanity has been broken beyond repair.

When all the dirt is washed away you’ll see the scars on my hands that were caused by a lifetime of fighting to find my place in a world that has always left me feeling lonely and afraid. You’ll see that my knuckles have been split on the cheeks of my enemies, and that I have torn skin from bone by driving my fists into brick and mortar in moments of frustration. You’ll hear the click in my wrist when it moves, and your fingers will feel the callouses that have left my palms feeling gnarled and worn. I’ll be forced to swallow my pride and tell you how they serve as a reminder of a time when I held onto a life that caused me great pain; and how all I had really wanted to do was let go.

I’ll explain that there are scars inside my head too. And that I can still see them when I close my eyes. There are the wounds caused by driving down a motorway with my eyes closed, wondering how it would feel to simply cease to exist. Or the marks left behind by the nights I spent lying awake questioning how I became a sky that no one wants to fly in.

I never wanted to be the man who was different. When I was younger I never thought that I would be twenty-eight years old and still alone. I didn’t ask to feel an empathy so strong that I was willing to sacrifice my own happiness to protect those around me. People often say that it sounds like a noble calling, but I have had my heart broken too many times by those that I have tried to save to find solace in the decisions that I have made.

All I ever wanted was to be normal; to be loved like everybody else. But as the sun sets each night and my sky turns from blue to black, I realise that even the stars are afraid to shine within me.


And yet my head and my hands are nothing compared to the wounds that lay buried within my chest. My heart has been ripped apart and crudely stitched back together more times than I care to remember. I haven’t even met you and I’m already struggling to find a way to show you just how fragile it has become. How can I ever tell you about the marks left by the infidelities of lovers, and how they make me afraid to love again? How could you ever want me if you knew that a piece of me died when I told a woman I wanted to grow old with her and she left me all alone?

I wish that it was only my dirt that you had to fall in love with…

I wish that I could smile at you with a face covered in filth and grime and steal your heart. But there’s more to me than what’s on the surface; it’s buried beneath the dirt. Life hasn’t always been easy. But I wouldn’t be the man that I am today without the scars that I mark my skin. I wouldn’t know how to love, how to smile, or how to find that little piece of happiness within myself even when I feel like giving up.

I can’t promise that I’ll be perfect when you meet me. Chances are I will be so excited just to see you that I’ll say something stupid, or try to hold your hand. But I promise that I will always think the world of you, and try my hardest to say and do the right thing. I promise that I’ll love you, your dirt, and the scars that hide underneath.

I’ll hold your hands tightly when you’re sad. You may not have the same callouses that I do, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t had to hold on when it felt like life was dragging you down. I’ll kiss your head when you close your eyes and the scars inside your mind manifest as visions that cause you pain. You may have never driven down a motorway with your eyes closed, and maybe you’ve never thought of yourself as an empty sky. But I promise that I will fly in you if you let me. Every day; and every night. I’ll fly one of those little gliders that leaves a trail of smoke, writing love notes across your horizons for as long as we both shall live.

And when your heart hurts as the wounds of lovers passed make you question who I am, I promise to be patient. I’ll lend you my ears, a shoulder to lean on, or just give you a kiss to show that I don’t ever want to lose you. I know that I said that I never wanted to be different. I know that I told you it has caused me a lot of pain. But I’m hoping it’s all for a reason; that maybe when I find you, and you look into my eyes, those differences will be what makes you take a leap of faith, and risk falling in love one last time.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll be perfect. I would do it if I could. But I promise that I will spend every day loving you, even when you’re covered in dirt.

114 thoughts on “Dirt

  1. DFMGhost says:

    This is beautiful! 💙💖 And 28 is young. I’m 40 and working on rebuilding my life. There’s still so much time to live and love and learn for me and even more for you.

    1. L. Rorschach says:

      I completely agree with DFMGhost.

      I’m 47, divorced, and am still trying to figure out love. I remember feeling the same way as you in my mid 20s… like I was never going to find love. Who would love me? It seemed too profound, too inconceivable. Yet it happened.

      And keeps happening.

      You deserve love and you will find it. You will have a lifetime of love… maybe with one person, maybe with many.

  2. lucyjstone says:

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time, from the time you were full of anger and hurt, but have never commented. Just wanted to say it’s good to see your progress to a much happier and more open place. Best of luck finding the person you dream of.

  3. z3ng33kgr7 | zGGy says:

    Having been in a similar place, at a similar moment recently, and understanding the struggle…nothing is left out within these words. Well done.

  4. Thank you for posting this. Sharing your thoughts, feelings. I am in a constant battle of the highs and lows. Trying to build confidence and hold the faith that I will find my place, my voice in love as well as passions (writing, photography, and painting). It is known that I’m not alone, but it is nice to be reminded that there are others out there like me that struggle as well.

  5. Beautiful heart piece. Someone will be very fortunate to grow old with you.

  6. The passion is flowing out of this piece. It’s beautiful. My friend, if you’re only 28 years old, what is the rush? Never rush perfection. I have a wonderful example. I love chocolate chip cookies! Always have, always. From the time I was a small child. Soft or firm, texture of the cookie, almost a sweet sand, along with the bitter-sweet chocolate! Perfection! And when they’re fresh out of the oven, still gooey inside, the chocolate, an ocean of sweet creamy love…dear god! Yesterday my brother, a chef, was teaching my daughter how to make them from scratch. She loved every moment. When they came out of the oven, I wanted one right away but, they were huge! My brother said, wait for them to settle and cool from the heat of the oven. I waited, but not long enough. I rushed it! It stayed together as I picked it up but walking with it, it collapsed upon itself…all over my fingers and onto the floor. I ruined my perfect cookie. The one with all the chocolate chips and pecans that made my mouth salivate. Because I rushed it. Yes, I know love isn’t a cookie. And 28 seems like forever…but the picture of how things are ‘supposed to be,’ those expectations placed upon us from our youth can be the cause of so much misery. Take my word for it. Let nature take its course, you perfect chocolate chip…uh, love of your life is baking. Let her settle… great post my friend! Beautifully written!!

  7. Your…perfect chocolate chip

    I hate spelling mistakes…sorry

  8. So beautifully written and so young you are clearing the issues and the limitations from your life. This dirt we all have it and we must acknowldge it and release it. You are a very special young man and you deserve to be with an equally special young woman. You will know her when you see her. Let the shallow ones pass you by.

  9. legreene515 says:

    I love your honesty here. Such a beautifully written piece. You have so much time, and the wounds are what makes you human. I was also in a similar place recently, feeling very lost and alone despite all the loved ones in my life. Great blog.

  10. thebrunetteinthepinkscarf says:

    You will find her, Chris. She will love all of you, as you will love all of her. You will see one another as a whole. She’s hoping to meet a man just like you someday. Have hope, but continue to be yourself and live your life. Things happen when they are supposed to, it’s hard to wait for a love that you desire so badly. It is worth it though. 😊

  11. George F. says:

    Only 28? Your consciousness will ascend until you feel no pain and laugh at what you once considered important. But keep writing. I’ll be glad to follow your flow…

  12. I once wrote about finding true love, does it exist and is there that special one out there. I left mine one paper, never to share. You’re correct dirt can be wiped off, no one can see it and it depends on how good our acting skills are to cover what hurts inside. Find yourself first, be true to who you are, the rest will fall into place.

  13. I think it is perfectly understandable, Chris, that one year on you should be so introspective. Time does heal. I’m sure you are not as raw now as you were this time last year. That perfect lady is still out there, just waiting for you to discover her and sweep her off her feet. Enjoy the looking!

  14. TJ Fox says:

    I’m glad you decided to share this as it is just beautiful. Scars are only the signs that we’ve lived, that we can handle all the crap tossed our way and survive. They are signs that a person was strong enough to last. They are not a weakness.

  15. I love the way you write! And I agree with your point on how some days we will feel better about life but also those scars will resurface at times. You’re so strong for mentally going through those times and for writing and sharing it with us. I too think wow I’m 28 and now what, forgetting that I’m merely just leaving the teen years, only ten years from high school. I don’t know about you but I feel this way because life has handed me so many challenges and experiences in my short time that I do feel exhausted and lost at times. You’ve been an inspiration though I’ve just began my blog. Thanks for that!

  16. galby68 says:

    Strong stuff!
    You’ve got tons of time! I’m pushing 50 and ended my last relationship after 4 years thinking it could very well have been my last. I’m still single and my ex has a new serious relationship. We’re both happy and better friends for not staying in a relationship until it completely broke us.
    Who says the love of your life has to last your entire lifetime?

  17. jennidayton says:

    This is absolutely stunning….

  18. Dominic Sceski says:

    Hey man…I’m praying for you…there’s not much else I can say. Some advice that I’ve heard is that when you learn to live comfortably by yourself and accept who you are, without anyone else’s help, THAT’S when you find the person you’ve been looking for. I know it’s not easy advice to follow…but it’s what I can offer you.

  19. Kelly says:

    There’s always such beauty to be found in true authenticity. Thank you for sharing.x

  20. jossynana says:

    This is just breath taking amazing, reading it i felt goose bumps all over me and somehow wanted to know the person behind this article……

  21. Kacy says:

    Still waiting on that romance novel, Chris. I promise you’ve got what it takes.

  22. This is heartbreakingly beautiful. Remember my friend, life is not a race. You’d rather wait for the perfect love than having the wrong one sooner. I know of a couple that didn’t find each other until they were in their seventies. SEVENTIES! Neither had been married or even in a long term relationship prior to that. It was a special, beautiful love to behold and both confessed that it was worth the wait!

  23. Let out whatever, whenever, however it comes.
    Everything is eventual, I really believe this but write as much as you can about how you feel now as once things change you’ll be consumed with this feeling instead – that’s the beauty of feeling things so deeply.
    Enjoy your dirt, it is yours and yours alone, when you accept it so will others follow

  24. woeful2016 says:

    That was really beautiful. And I think a couple of people have said that 28 isn’t old, I’m a few years older and it feels like life is only getting started. Not only does everyone deserve to be loved and it might not come in the form that you expect but it will come.

  25. So sad. There is someone out there for everyone and sometimes when you aren’t looking it just happens.

  26. Venusian Cenobite says:

    Respect bro. Very beautifully written. Best wishes

  27. Lauren Craig says:

    I know other people have said this, but that was beautiful. Truly. I don’t have any advice because I’m 22 and have never been on a date, but I wanted to tell you how this moved me.

  28. SunFreeStar says:

    To be able to express such emotions and feelings the way you do is Real Talent. It is not easy at all to touch people’s hearts with the right words, and you do. Love is with you already.

  29. Dewy says:

    Hugs. Beautiful piece .

  30. Twenty eight? That’s all? Relax, you’ve got plenty of time for love.

  31. Ben Morais says:

    Baring your soul and your inner most thoughts is a good way to purge the negativity that is troubling you deeply. The ensuing catharsis is certainly helpful. in such situations.

  32. Chris, Has “your humanity been broken beyond repair” It does not seem to me that it has. You sound most human. You sound like you are longing for the same thing most of us long for. I’m 57, married for 32 years, a lovely daughter….but I still have to find strength, joy and peace within myself as an individual. It’s lovely that you are so willing to share your life with others…there’s a great generosity in that act. I believe your honesty and generosity will be rewarded. Hugs, M

  33. Apart from this write being very appealing it speaks the thoughts of many your age. I have a daughter who went through the same emotions you did at that age. She felt no one understood her and stuck herself in a cocoon claiming she was different and no one was there to love her. She too wanted to be normal. Well…. this is normal. You being you is normal and feeling concerned about others is above normal. Now she is married and hopefully has found her purpose in life. This is a passing phase and if you open yourself you will soon find what you are looking for. Wish you the very best and may God bless you.

  34. I love this more than words can properly express. Beautifully written.

  35. In all honesty, you have beautifully expressed it. You know what, its alright to bruise a little . We have all experienced it at different intervals although some fear expressions. You are courageous and brave to release such emotions.
    I assure you it only gets better.Let not your soul be bruised for your have blessed things coming your way. Look out for the light at the end of the tunnel.The hope brings you a new promise and all things are renewed. If its love you are finding it holds no accounts of wrong and love never judges you. Live for today for the past has gone and the future is not seen. Let the love in you flow endlessly for you are magical.

  36. Greg says:

    This is beautiful, amazingly written and emotionally charged, anything I read that makes me feel is instantly a favourite (and as a fellow wolf fanatic I love the image on your blog) keep going, instant fan over here

  37. zareenn3 says:

    I know you don’t want pity but would you accept a compliment? You’re broken. But your words are beautiful.

  38. Your emotional intelligence is awe inspiring. It takes a lot to put yourself out there like that. Your words touched my heart with feelings I haven’t been able to express. Your use of the word Dirt and how you connected it made me feel a connection with your piece. Please never stop writing and don’t give up on finding love.

  39. Love it Now says:

    I don’t believe in: “the sins and virtues of my past will become meaningless” because of love. Most people believe that the moment they find the one who will love them and accept them with all their scars will be the moment of entering the door of bliss and happiness. There’s nothing more illusionary.
    If you look at the mirror and you don’t like yourself – do you try to change what you see by changing the mirror? Or by cleaning the image in there? it never works this way. You can find 100 new mirrors and they all will say the same. And the partners are your mirrors.
    If you want to feel happiness, bliss and love and to be loved you need to cure yourself first, from the sins, scars, traumas etc of the past.

  40. Phil Huston says:

    Read some Byron, discover the truth that no man, even you, is the Lone Ranger in all of this. When you’re as old as dirt you’ll look back and wonder why you spent so much time worrying about how you would be perceived as worthy in another’s eyes and not how you perceived your own worthiness. Your crisis is man-made, and man fixable. Don’t be a self indulgent fatalist when you have things to accomplish with your gifts. And seriously, read more Byron. A broken heart never stopped the sun from shining on a spring day. So you were an asshole. Maybe. Fix it. Next.

  41. You are a very sensitive and expressive person. You are very young really, the lifetime ahead of you will surely see a better life and and fulfilling love will come to you if you continue to respect yourself and other people.

    1. Where did the date come from????

  42. neakris29 says:

    I know the feeling, but you will find your love 🙂 such a great man can’t stay alone.
    P.s. great writing

  43. neakris29 says:

    I have a question though… are you really looking for love? Or you just waiting on a miracle? I remember when some time ago, I read one of your posts for the first time, I thought for a second that it could be destiny (yes, I was in a bad emotional state at the time). I wanted to love and be loved so badly. I sent you a personal email: some words and how I relate to your feelings. You never replied. And I bet many girls send you emails, like I did. It is okay not to answer, I found my happiness already, but I am just saying, when you are desperate for love, you don’t just dismiss little things, which can grow into something bigger *shrug*

  44. I know what it feels like never to meet the right person. I’ve never had even a non-serious relationship. It’s just so hard to connect with someone when you’re such a complex being (at least it is for me) I try to remind myself, though, that it is I who choose it. You can be together with someone easily enough, if you put yourself aside, but that’s not something I want to do. So yeah, perhaps you’re one of the more complex people on this earth, and it is because you are more ‘one of a kind’ that it is harder for you to find someone ( Typical for Highly Sensitive Persons, for example)? 🙂 You are definately not alone though, remember that!

  45. It was your beauty & pain laid bare for all to see. Though I’ve found love, I struggle with revealing my scars in case I scare people away. I’m sure you’ll find love, you clearly have so much to give.

  46. Raney Simmon says:

    Once again, you continue to amaze us with your well-written words. I know exactly how that feels, looking for the person who completes you no matter what all you’ve kept buried in your heart. I think I’ve found that person already who sees me despite the dirt, but won’t know until I see what life has in store. And I’m surprised to have found this person because like you, I had my heart broken and definitely didn’t expect this person to come into my life when he did.

    I wish you well and hope you find your person soon!

  47. I especially loved the line “Maybe you’ve never thought of yourself as an empty sky.” Beautifully written post.

  48. Your writing is beautiful! My comment seems inadequate in comparison…
    But you’re only 28. You’ve got time.

  49. alexxa says:

    Absolutely vulnerable and raw!!! This touched my heart as I read the words that have dwelt in my heart for years. Thank you for having the courage to share this with us!!!

  50. uchenah says:

    “it’s alright to not be OK” : I agree.

    An old Ugandan proverb says that the one who loves you, loves you with your dirt ; beautiful.

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