A young Chicagoan's strange erotic journey around the globe

Life of a Manchild

Chapter 1 – Life Off-Kilter

Chapter 1 – Life Off-Kilter When I’m in public, I don’t know, say riding on the Blue Line in Chicago – or I could pretty much be anywhere else for that matter – it always rubs me the wrong way when I overhear groups of young bros and hos talking about how “cray-cray” they got […]

Chapter 2 – Incompetence in the Workplace

Chapter 2 – Incompetence in the Workplace I arrived in Cleveland on a blustery blizzard of a Friday February evening and spent the night at some downtown hotel where I’d reserved a room in advance via the World Wide Web. I’d never left home on such shitty terms before but I felt no ambivalence about […]

Chapter 3 – I Wanna Jam It With You

Chapter 3 – I Wanna Jam It With You After spending about ten days sleeping in the childhood bedroom of my college buddy Tim O’Shaughnessy while looking for a place to stay, it was brought to my attention that a warehouse coworker named Kevin’d had an open bedroom at his place that was available to […]

Chapter 4 – A White-Ass Dude Visits a Black-Ass Barbershop

Chapter 4 – A White-Ass Dude Visits a Black-Ass Barbershop Back when I’d been employed at the O’Shaughnessy family hose & fitting dynasty smack-dab in the ‘hood of Cleveland at a position my homeboy and his old man had been kind enough to hook me up with, I worked in the warehouse alongside a pair […]

Chapter 5 – The Lost Souls

Chapter 5 – The Lost Souls One day in the warehouse back in Cleveland, this salesman dude named Ken came down from the office and started shootin’ the shit. As it always seemed to among us low-brow blue-collar male chauvinists, the conversation quickly turned from whatever it started as to topics raunchy and sexual. I’d […]

Chapter 6 – The Morality of Hiring Strippers for the Mentally Handicapped

Chapter 6 – The Morality of Hiring Strippers for the Mentally Handicapped Since when I break long stints of sobriety it’s never done so by a single drunken fuck-up but a series of them, the two weekends following Dusty’s and my trip to the Cleveland Organ Grinder’s Ball were marred by similar alcoholic blunders. The […]

Chapter 7 – Cruel Love Affair

Chapter 7 – Cruel Love Affair By the time I arrived in Tokyo with my buddy O’Shaughnessy in September 2012, it’d been five months since I’d last been intimate with my bitch lover. Although I found myself thinking about her all the time, I’d been quite hesitant to get back together with her. Over the […]

Chapter 8 – Masturbatory Bucket List

Chapter 8 – Masturbatory Bucket List After I blew it with that Miho chick in Tokyo and ended up suffering from a massive head injury, over the course of the following couple weeks I had two more legitimate chances at getting with a Japanese girl on her home turf and managed to fuck up both […]

Chapter 9 – America’s Favorite Pastime

Chapter 9 – America’s Favorite Pastime After O’Shaughnessy and I had spent most of the afternoon visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome and the rest of the sights around Hiroshima, we came across a tourist information office and decided to wander inside. There, we found a Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball schedule and for the hell of […]

Chapter 10 – Somethin’ I Don’t Wanna Be a Part Of

Chapter 10 – Somethin’ I Don’t Wanna Be a Part Of I love my dad. When I was a kid, he taught me to ride my bike without training wheels. He always used to help me beat guys when I had trouble knockin’ ‘em out in George Foreman’s KO Boxing for Sega Genesis. He taught […]

Chapter 11 – White Guilt

Chapter 11 – White Guilt In Busan, South Korea, after my old buddy O’Shaughnessy and I had ditched our new buddy Su once he’d drunkenly broken up with his wife over the phone and assaulted one of his best buds who’d been trying to talk some sense into him at that karaoke joint, we found […]

Chapter 12 – Culture of Surveillance

Chapter 12 – Culture of Surveillance No visitors to the DPRK are allowed to travel independently and, back in 2012, Americans were only allowed to enter the country via plane. Whereas everybody from everywhere else in our tour group had hopped aboard an overnight party train leaving from Beijing on the afternoon of September 27th […]

Chapter 13 – The Brighter Side of Evil’s Axis

Chapter 13 – The Brighter Side of Evil’s Axis While touring through Pyongyang, we were shown monument after monument after monument dedicated to the greatness of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. We were shown the Arch of Triumph which had been modeled after and looked quite like France’s Arc de Triomphe – only […]

Chapter 14 – The Ultimate Mindfuck

Chapter 14 – The Ultimate Mindfuck In addition to the three North Korean guides, our group was also led by a Western guide named Richie from Young Pioneer Tours which is the company through which I’d signed myself up for this off-the-beaten track adventure. Veering far from the mental image I have when I think […]

Chapter 15 – David Tells Me to Do Things

Chapter 15 – David Tells Me to Do Things When I showed up in Beijing after getting Kim Jong “ill wit’ it” for a little less than a week up in North Korea, I’d made plans with my buddy O’Shaughnessy and his girlfriend to meet up, do some touristy shit and then go out to […]

Chapter 16 – The Super Sleepover

Chapter 16 – The Super Sleepover The Big CK was simply large and in charge – a legendary page of grade school lore about whom many of my peers will one day tell their grandkids as corncob pipes dangle out the sides of their wrinkly old mouths. I can already visualize their geriatric exaggerations being […]

Chapter 17 – Money For Nothing, Chicks For Free

Chapter 17 – Money For Nothing, Chicks For Free Just before I’d visited Beijing back in the fall of 2012, I got in touch with my high school buddy Richard who was back in Chicago at the time, but had recently spent about a year working and living in China’s capital. Of course it’s not […]

Chapter 18 – My Tenure as a Punter

Chapter 18 – My Tenure as a Punter Following wild alcoholic nights where I end up in questionable situations, I often make false promises to myself that I’m gonna quit drinking, change my life, take all the money I would spend on drinking and use it to take homeless guys out to dinner as well […]

Chapter 19 – It’s a Small World After All

Chapter 19 – It’s a Small World After All It was the last night of my first trip abroad. After three weeks of draining our bank accounts as well as ourselves pounding all the wine and beer we could handle along coastal Spain and southern France, my buddy Clough and I had decided to take […]

Chapter 20 – Tibetan Hospitality

Chapter 20 – Tibetan Hospitality On the afternoon of my first full day at Zhilom Hostel in Kangding, China, I sat around chatting over tea with a couple Welsh chicks who’d been accompanied by one Welsh dude. Somehow we ended up discussing a trip to India they’d taken several years beforehand. “We were all kinds […]

Chapter 21 – A Feast of Human Flesh

Chapter 21 – A Feast of Human Flesh During my last day in Kangding in China’s Kham Tibet region, I’d been sitting around the lobby of Zhilom Hostel trying my damndest to stay connected to their erratic mountain-ass internet connection so I could research where I wanted to spend the next ten or so days […]

Chapter 22 – Nothing is for Keeps

Chapter 22 – Nothing is for Keeps A post-Sky Burial reflection on mortality…   Nothing Is For Keeps Clothes and furniture are fine and dandy My blanket’s warm and snug The check in the bank puts food on the table While the kids play on the rug I’ve got shelter from the storm That keeps […]

Chapter 23 – With a Mind Stuck in the Gutter

Chapter 23 – With a Mind Stuck in the Gutter The day after I’d arrived in Litang but the day before I’d gone to the sky burial, I woke up and found out exactly why the hotel I was at – which had probably been the nicest in town – was less than ten bucks […]

Chapter 24 – Poo-etic Justice

Chapter 24 – Poo-etic Justice After spending two weeks hitchhiking around the remote mountain terrain of Kham Tibet and getting in touch with my spiritual side, I couldn’t wait to get back to civilization where I could dump a whole mess of drinks in my system in the company of fellow alcoholics. Via email, I’d […]

Chapter 25 – Breakdown

Chapter 25 – Breakdown During a weeklong stay in Hanoi back in November 2012, I fell in love with a girl. Well, hold on a minute, that’s not right. You can’t truly fall in love with someone that fast. Perhaps I fell in lust with a girl… Shit. That’s not it either. “Lust” suggests it […]

Chapter 26 – Reflections

Chapter 26 – Reflections There’s one way of seeing our relationship… 云, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry for pushing you away and being so defensive all the time. I’m sorry for making you feel like you didn’t matter in comparison to my writing and my travelling. I’m sorry for gloating to you […]

Chapter 27 – Fap & The Norwegians

Chapter 27 – Fap & The Norwegians When the bus came to a stop on one of the two nights I spent on the thirty-five hour nightmare of a trip from Hanoi, Vietnam, to Luang Prabang, Laos, not taking into consideration the welfare of those around me, for dinner I selfishly decided to consume a […]

Chapter 28 – Midget Stripper Extravaganza

Chapter 28 – Midget Stripper Extravaganza Just a bit down the block from my hostel in Chiang Mai, Thailand, had been a large warehouse-sized building called the C.M. Entertainment Complex. Inside the entertainment complex are around twenty or more bars, many of which have pool tables and all of which employ a decent-sized staff of […]

Chapter 29 – A Close Encounter of the Homosexual Kind

Chapter 29 – A Close Encounter of the Homosexual Kind After taking in a night of midget Muay Thai at the CM Entertainment Complex and then wandering the streets of Chiang Mai getting drunk all by myself until the break of dawn, I felt too shitty to get out of bed the next day and […]

Chapter 30 – Only in Thailand

Chapter 30 – Only in Thailand Back in Chicago, after a night out on the town, my buddies Jack and Kutasi ended up going home with a pair of broads they’d met and stayed up all night partying. When push came to shove in the wee hours of the morning, they each paired off with […]

Chapter 31 – The Internet is for Porn

Chapter 31 – The Internet is for Porn On the morning of my first full day in the city formerly known as Rangoon which had formerly served as the capital of the country formerly known as Burma, I’d awoken with the intention of replying to a handful of emails that I’d been ignoring over the […]

Chapter 32 – Jimbo With the Steal

Chapter 32 – Jimbo With the Steal After my stop in the pornographic internet cafe, I took out a little tourist map I’d obtained back at the hotel and began walking the couple miles towards a popular attraction known as Shwedagon Pagoda. Shwedagon Pagoda had been a fuckin’ magical place with some of the most […]

Chapter 33 – A Beeline Reaction

Chapter 33 – A Beeline Reaction One afternoon while in Yangon, Myanmar, I ventured over to the local bus station to buy a ticket for the following day to a town called Bagan that’s famous for its vast array of ancient Buddhist temples, stupas and pagodas. “So, uh, how long does the ride usually take?” […]

Chapter 34 – Bah, Humbug!

Chapter 34 – Bah, Humbug! When I went home for the holidays in December 2012, as per usual, my mother had been making a big fuss about what type of presents she should get everyone for Christmas that year. “…and you guys are older now and you’re so hard to shop for and I don’t […]

Chapter 35 – Vengeance Unfitting

Chapter 35 – Vengeance Unfitting While travelling through Sri Lanka with my Chinese girl Yun during January of 2013, our room in the guesthouse at which we stayed in Nuwara Eliya had been the nicest we’d experienced during our two weeks in the country. In addition to a dependable WiFi connection and hot showers in […]

Chapter 36 – My Appearance on Bangladeshi Television

Chapter 36 – My Appearance on Bangladeshi Television When I went to Bangladesh back in February of 2013, it hadn’t exactly been the best time to visit. Well, lemme clarify that a little – if what you’re looking for is a traditional American style vacation to a foreign country where you’re in some pampered beachside […]

Chapter 37 – “I Drink Midget Piss and I’m Gay”

Chapter 37 – “I Drink Midget Piss and I’m Gay” While wandering around the Shahbag protests, there was no shortage of faux deceased Jamaat-e-Islami members with ropes strapped around their necks as they dangled from trees and streetlights. There’d also been, sketched out in sidewalk chalk on the blacktop of the streets, renderings of demonic […]

Chapter 38 – Suffering Incomparable

Chapter 38 – Suffering Incomparable While walking up and down the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, during the three weeks I spent there back in February of 2013, I came face-to-face with some of the most disturbingly deformed human beings I’ve ever seen. I’m talking more disturbing than I ever could’ve imagined. Sure, there were barely […]

Chapter 39 – Trying to Make Amends

Chapter 39 – Trying to Make Amends One morning at the guesthouse in the relatively upscale neighborhood of Banani on the north side of the Bangladeshi capital, a Canadian dude named Nabeel and I decided to visit the historical Old Dhaka area down along the banks of the Buriganga River. To get down there, we […]

Chapter 40 – My Mom Said I’m a Male Chauvinist

Chapter 40 – My Mom Said I’m a Male Chauvinist My time spent in Yemen had been a pleasant surprise. I mean, sure, I had the good fortune of not being kidnapped by tribal warriors or AQAP extremists as some other unlucky tourists had in the past who undoubtedly had a way shittier experience than […]

Chapter 41 – Indecent Proposal

Chapter 41 – Indecent Proposal When I went home for the holidays in December 2012, I ended up spending New Year’s Eve at my buddy the Luzzbuster’s house with two or three other dudes. “Oh my god, Luzz,” Sweeney said as he spat out a wad of chewed-up pizza back onto his plate, “what is […]

Chapter 42 – Let He Who Is Most Intoxicated Cast the First Stone

Chapter 42 – Let He Who Is Most Intoxicated Cast the First Stone On my first night in Lebanon, I began the evening by going out to a CouchSurfing event at a bar in the Gemmayze district of the capital that I’d been invited to by a British dude named Azhar who I’d met at […]

Chapter 43 – The Perils of Couchsurfing

Chapter 43 – The Perils of Couchsurfing Although I’d ended up meeting quite a few cool people whose company I enjoyed during my eight-day stay in Lebanon, the two that I’d hung out with the most had been a dude named Efren from Mexico and a local girl named Elizabetta. I met Efren at the […]

Chapter 44 – An Alternate Perspective

Chapter 44 – An Alternate Perspective During one of the nights out with my friend Elizabetta in Lebanon, we ended up going to a bar called Antidote in the Gemmayze district of the capital. At the time I’d been wearing my beloved Yemeni scarf that I’d purchased several weeks beforehand from some back alley bazaar […]

Chapter 45 – A Stealth Bombing

Chapter 45 – A Stealth Bombing On a heavily overcast afternoon in Istanbul, while on my way to Hagia Sophia, I was overcome by the sudden urge to grab some soft serve ice cream from the service window of a shop that I encountered in a public square near the Bosphorus. Shortly after receiving my […]

Chapter 46 – Mormon Recruiters in a Muslim Country

Chapter 46 – Mormon Recruiters in a Muslim Country While I was visiting the travertines of Pamukkale, Turkey, I met a Canadian man and his wife with whom I began chatting that ended up inviting me to meet them out for dinner. They were in their fifties and Mormon. Over kebab meat and pide, they […]

Chapter 47 – Overflow

Chapter 47 – Overflow During my senior year of college, my buddies and I went down to Cancun, Mexico, for spring break. And even though Cancun is ridiculously close to a bunch of Mayan ruins – particularly Chichen Itza – it makes me sad to say that I spent all five of my days down […]

Chapter 48 – Theft, Herpes & Maybe Even Sodomy

Chapter 48 – Theft, Herpes & Maybe Even Sodomy The first Saturday night of the three weeks I spent in Turkey had started off at a place called World House Hostel near the Taksim area of Istanbul. Earlier in the day, I’d been hanging out and watching episodes of How I Met Your Mother on […]

Chapter 49 – “Have You Been Able to Jag Off Lately?”

Chapter 49 – “Have You Been Able to Jag Off Lately?” Residents of Iran are some of the most welcoming and hospitable in the world. During my eight days there, it’s amazing how many times I was invited into strangers’ homes, barber shops, ice cream parlors and pretty much any other venue just so they […]

Chapter 50 – I’m Not Always a Man of My Word

Chapter 50 – I’m Not Always a Man of My Word While exploring the ruins of Persepolis in Iran, our tour group had been strolling along an ancient stone wall on which there’d been old-ass carvings of lions tackling gazelles and shit like that. And as we walked past one of these lion depictions, I […]

Chapter 51 – Chew Your Food!

Chapter 51 – Chew Your Food! My favorite vomiting story of all time hails from my freshman year of college. It was during our first couple weeks up in Milwaukee when I and a group of guys I’d known from Loyola Academy who’d also chosen to further their Jesuit educations at Marquette University went out […]

Chapter 52 – Just Can’t Let It Go

Chapter 52 – Just Can’t Let It Go After spending a few days walking around Tbilisi, checking out all the sights and even going to one of those debatably homosexual sulfur bathhouses where I sat in a tub full of piping hot water and drank beer with a bunch of naked guys, I could find […]

Chapter 53 – A Taste of Insanity

Chapter 53 – A Taste of Insanity Lately, it seems as if every story I put together should be preceded by the line “Hi, my name is Tim and I’m an alcoholic” and be read from a podium to a group of fellow boozehounds at an AA meeting. As mentally tiresome as it may be […]

Chapter 54 – A Product of My Environment

Chapter 54 – A Product of My Environment For the entire month of May 2013, I’d gone on a tour through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan with a British company called Dragoman Overland. A group of about twenty had been led by two Western guides who were employed by Dragoman as well as a local guide […]

Chapter 55 – The E-Train Derailed

Chapter 55 – The E-Train Derailed When I heard that my buddy Emmett was returning to Milwaukee during my junior year at Marquette for his third visit, I could already tell that the shit was about to hit the fan. It’s not something I can explain, it’s just something that happens every time this kid […]

Chapter 56 – Don’t Fuck With the Family

Chapter 56 – Don’t Fuck With the Family My first day on tour in Turkmenistan, our group was led around Ashgabat by our local guide Shavkat. Shavkat was twenty-five, the same age as me at the time, and spoke perfect English in an American accent. During the tour through the white marble clad corridors of […]

Chapter 57 – Kidnapping in the Name of Love

Chapter 57 – Kidnapping in the Name of Love After dealing with all the bureaucratic bullshit while crossing the border from Uzbekistan over to the Kyrgyz Republic in the Dragoman tour bus, we met our Kyrgyzstani guide Erkin who’d been awaiting our arrival. He boarded the bus as we began heading to a town called […]

Chapter 58 – Above and Beyond the Call of Doody

Chapter 58 – Above and Beyond the Call of Doody On one of those lonely school nights during my freshman year at Marquette University when I hadn’t been using alcohol to drown out the nagging voice that’d repeatedly been telling me that college wasn’t the right decision for me, for a sense of comfort I […]

Chapter 59 – Dining & Ditching

Chapter 59 – Dining & Ditching At the end of May 2013, when the month-long tour I’d been on with Dragoman Overland through Central Asia had come to its conclusion in Bishkek, the Kyrgyzstani capital, I had a couple extra days to kill before flying home on the nightmarish Bishkek to Moscow to Helsinki to […]

Chapter 60 – The Manchild Abides

Chapter 60 – The Manchild Abides Upon completion of my most recent trip abroad, I returned to Chicago to find that nothing had really changed. My parents still drank and fought, my friends all hated getting in touch with their quantified selves at tedious office positions and the remaining majority of the fifty-thousand dollar student […]