I'm as much a man now as I'm ever going to be. I have a house, a family, a career. I have responsibilities, a grey hair (just the one though, I swear) and I pay my taxes.

But sometimes, I still feel like a little kid. Feelings and situations overwhelm me, even though I'm supposed to be all grown up now. You know what I think "growing up" is? It's not about having a deeper voice and hair in new and fun places. It's not about being mature. Growing up is the process that occurs when a child loses their innocence.

Take Fay for example - he's older than me. He has wilder sex than me (trust me, we share a wall). But I don't see Fay as someone who ever lost his innocence. It's there in his eyes, in his smile. It's there in the noises he makes every time Dave tickles him. Fay's innocence is bruised, but it's still there.

I wish I still had mine.


Sorry about that, I went downstairs for a second. I was feeling blue (never understood that - how can you feel blue? Oh yeah, I'm calling in sick cuz I'm feeling off white with a hint of aubergine. Oh please) and wanted to spend some time with my family.

My family. In the space of my lifetime I've gone from having no family to being part of the craziest, coolest, most loving family a guy could want. I even have biological family now; Michael and you, my darling Celeste. We have more than love to hold us together.

Michael and Adam were in the living room. I nearly passed out at the sight of them. They were all alone, lying on the sofa and making out like some randy kids in a supply closet. Which ok, I do believe they've done before.

I thought I knew passion until Michael and Adam got together. If you get close enough, you can actually feel them burning for each other. The thought that they have so much passion for one person and one person alone amazes me.

It's quite beautiful what Michael and Adam have. Every love is beautiful, of course, but those two…yeah. It's dazzling, and it's forever.

Anyway, so I went downstairs into the living room and they must have heard my jaw hitting the floor because the disturbing moans (Michael's - Adam knows some self restraint) stopped. But they let their kiss wind down slowly, taking their time and allowing their bodies to decide naturally when to stop.

I won't lie, I was icked out. Not because I'm homophobic (I won't lie, the sex I had with Deo was some of the best I've ever had) or because I don't like Adam. Michael is my kid brother and I could just tell he was dying to get Adam upstairs and make him moan for a change. So yeah, ew.

But at the same time, I was happy for them both. They weren't horny teenagers; they were adults and they were very much in love. Trust me, I know love when I see it. Although as a kid, I didn't see it very often.


My parents liked to fight when I was young. I can't imagine why - maybe because my dad liked heroin more than he liked my mom. I could be bitter and say he liked heroin more than me, but that would be a lie. My dad loved me, but heroin…even though he hated it, he couldn't give it up.

I hated it when my parents fought, and it was something that was happening more and more. I didn't understand why my mom was unhappy - we lived in a nice house, I always had the coolest toys and there were always cookies in the jar. But she wasn't happy and it showed.

They decided to send me to private school. They could definitely afford it and despite their flaws, my parents did want the best for me. So when I turned five, I was enrolled at St Andrew's School (For The Very Rich and The Very Bratty). In kindergarten, St Andrew's worked their very prim panties off to find every pupil's "special quality".

I didn't really have any obvious talents. I suppose I would have if I'd had parents to show of to, and to encourage me. Instead of investigating my skills and interests, St Andrew's shoved me in a music room with a highly paid piano tutor and I began to learn how to play.

It's ridiculous, isn't it? A five year old boy's only interest should be driving his teacher crazy and finding new and innovative ways to torture the girl next door. I wasn't really into piano, but I did it because I thought it would get my parents' attention.

Of course it didn't. My parents' attention was always divided - my dad's to heroin and my mom's to just how unhappy she was. I grew every day, and so did my mother's depression.

My dad and I didn't notice though. I was too busy being a five year old boy and my dad was too busy being a heroin addict. Five was a big year for me - I started school, became aware that my parents were unhappy, I had my first experience with heroin. I also ran away for the first time that year.

Running away isn't always a weakness thing with me. Every time I've run away, I thought I was doing the right thing. Sometimes, it wasn't the right thing. I ran away when I found out Deo was dead.

I was out of my mind with grief and at first I thought it was a joke, a mistake. Deo couldn't be dead. I ran blindly in the dark till the sun rose and the tour manager found me, sitting on a curb, crying. I didn't run away that night because I wanted to be away. I was looking for something. I was looking for Deo.

I think it's safe to say when I ran away, in some abstract way, I was looking for something. When I ran away to Scotland (beautiful place by the way) to deal with Heroin Addiction Number 2, I was looking for a cure. When I found out Angel was pregnant with you, Celeste, the best thing I've ever done, I ran away to the home of my therapist, Dr Bernadi (who would probably be stoked I'm doing this, I should call him and tell him). That time, I was looking for answers.

So what does a five year old boy go looking for?

To put it simply, I was looking for a new family because mine was clearly broken. It was a Friday night, and Gayle had gone home to tend to her sick mother. I was sitting alone in my playroom, glancing absently at my red fire truck and sometimes out the window. It was raining, great sweeping sheets of rain that soak to the skin in seconds.

I could hear my parents' fighting. Not only were they doing it more often, they were doing it louder too. Well, it sounded that way. Maybe I just hadn't been aware of their fighting before. Either way, I could hear it and it hurt my ears. I tried to block it out, to sing some of the nursery rhymes Gayle had taught me to myself, but it just wasn't working.

"You think I want Matt here?! Around this, around you?! We've never done anything good for him!" My mom screamed at my dad, and I felt tears trickling down my cheeks. I wiped them away, and got to my feet.

I couldn't stand the shouting, and my parents clearly didn't want me. I could find a new family, couldn't I? It happened in the stories Gayle read me, so why couldn't it happen to me?

Well, I told myself it was because in those stories, the kid went looking for a new family. A new family don't just appear, I thought. You have to find it for yourself (I only fully realised how true that was later in my life).

I had a little red backpack that my dad had put my toys in when he'd take me to the park. I unzipped it and went to my closet to get some clothes. When we were going away for a few days, my mom always packed my clothes. I'd sit on my bed and watch as she folded my little outfits before placing them in my bag. She'd want me to fold, so I folded a few pairs of pants and t-shirts, and placed them in my red bag.

It was still raining, so I took my winter jacket from the hanger in the closet. It was a warm thing, lined with some sort of fake fur and waterproof. I pulled it on and zipped it up - I didn't want to catch the dreaded cold.

I was ready to go, or so it seemed. I looked up at my fire truck, wondering whether I should take it with me. I decided not to, there was no point. So I pulled my little bag on and headed down the stairs.

My parents were still fighting, screaming at each other. I heard a distant smash, and the sound terrified me. I ran to the front door, and they didn't hear me or even notice that I wasn't in my room. The front door was heavy and I had to put all my strength into opening it. Eventually I got it open, and I ran out into the dark.

I had a friend called Alexander who lived about fifteen minutes walk away. Alexander's parents loved each other very much. His dad was always bringing flowers home for his mom, and she'd always smile warmly at him and kiss him on the cheek. Alexander's parents weren't as rich as mine, but they were very happy and so was Alexander. His dad built him a tree house, and we'd spend hours in it, until his mom would bribe us down with cookies and candy.

I thought that if I had to choose a new family, I would choose Alexander's. Even his big sister, Lynn, was nice. She had a cookie jar in her bedroom, and she'd always give Alexander and I some if we asked nicely. I headed in the direction of Alexander's house, full of hope.

But his house was swamped in darkness by the time I got there, everyone was asleep. I tried knocking on the door, but my tiny fist barely made a sound. I sighed, thinking I'd have to ask them to be my family in the morning. In the meantime, the rain was getting heavier and I didn't want to go home.

So, I trotted over to the big tree where Alexander's dad had built the tree house. I clambered up the foot holes he'd made in the trunk of the tree, and swung my bag up into the tree house. It was dry inside, the roof didn't leak and there was a little wooden door to close over and keep out the bad weather.

I settled myself on the wooden floor, using my bag as a pillow. I feel asleep very quickly, with the sounds of the wind and the rain and my parents' screams still echoing in my ears.