Hello Project, I think I have more or less your age, I’m 61. It’s a while I read the forum and I’m fond of it but also it makes me feel a huge melancholy.

My story is simple because in practice, at the beginning in a less conscious way, but then from 14 years more clearly, I no longer had any doubt, 47 years ago, in 1963! Almost half a century of gay life, so to speak, in practice half a century of dreams and nothing. I have always wondered why we cannot live our lives, because others are afraid of us, but I have never been able to understand it, why couldn’t I fall in love with another guy? What would I have done wrong? Of ignorance you can even die, it simply happened to me not to live my life but to live another one.

At 23 I had also found a serious girl who loved me and I was about to take the step of marriage. Today I cannot say if it would have been good or bad, maybe I would have children now, I would have children of 36/37 years and maybe even grandchildren but I would have had to live a life not mine, maybe now I wouldn’t have a life of loneliness but I would have had a false life, in fact, not mine. Not that I had a life of mine, but at least I was not forced to accept a role that doesn’t belong to me.

Now I’m alone. I have relatives but I don’t see them except on occasions, at some wedding or funeral, at Easter and at Christmas. If I look back I don’t know what to think, could I have done another life? But which one? Years ago it was almost impossible and now I’m almost at the finish line. If I take stock of my life it has been a failure, a bit from all points of view. Even now, in fact, I survive with a thousand ailments and with little money, it’s enough, for charity, but in short, I arrived at sunset and I did not finish anything. I’ve never had a story, just once I happened to be close to such a thing.

I had just turned 50 and a guy 20 years old fell in love with me (and I with him) but I was scared and I pretended nothing but I should say that I did it by choice, in order not to hurt him, because he was a really good guy and he loved me in an incredible way.

Our story has never begun and this is the only serious regret of my life. I asked myself a thousand times if I did well and frankly I cannot give an answer, so, rationally, in the abstract I should say yes and be proud of what I did or rather I didn’t do, but frankly I thought many times (although 10 years have passed) of having committed a serious mistake, both for him and for me. I saw another time this guy last year, now in his thirties, we talked a few minutes at the station and I was totally upset, he didn’t want to talk about himself but it was clear that he wasn’t happy.

With me he was very affectionate, almost on the verge of crying. I asked him for his cell phone number but he didn’t want to give it to me and he told me that he didn’t want to put me in trouble and then he hugged me almost violently, very intensely, and got on the train. We stayed to say hello until the train left. I came home with a terrible melancholy inside me.

I go back to the station whenever I can, at the same hour to see if he is there, if it takes the same train, but I’ve never seen him. I think I made the biggest mistake of my life with him because I didn’t act instinctively, but I got carried away by moralism. Of course, the difference in age between us would have been enormous but I think I would have loved him and about the fact that he would have loved me I have no doubt.

Certain choices that look like the right ones in the abstract can not only be wrong for us, but they can also be very bad for others. I came to the conclusion that I imposed that moralism on that guy and that I ruined his life, and he’s a guy who hugged me like no one had ever done before. I think if I could go back, I would behave in another way. I would still like to tell him that I love him! Even if it makes no sense because I have already ruined his life. Project, publish this email, if you consider it appropriate. I’d like him to read it.

I know that the guys of the forum might not like this email but what I say is absolutely true and I have experienced it and I experience it every day on my skin, true love cannot be reconciled with moralism, it’s absolutely something else.

Thanks, Project, and best wishes for your project!


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Hi Project, I wanted to thank you for everything you do, now I feel really better. I made you spend the night chatting but I understood many things. You’re right, being gay is not just about sex and looking for a guy doesn’t have to become a fixed idea, many other things are needed.

I had never talked about intimate things as we talked yesterday but it was all very easy. For a guy it can be embarrassing because one is used to thinking of certain things only as pornography, in short, as something that shouldn’t be done and that if you do it, you must be ashamed of and you don’t have to talk about it with anyone, you are afraid of being judged badly, to be considered one who doesn’t want to grow up. And then I could not talk about these things with anyone. My mother … I never heard her talk about sex under any circumstances and my father all the same.

Talking with a priest, maybe in confession, but they don’t even listen to you. With a doctor who is also family friend obviously it is unthinkable. With friends it ends up in ironic smiles and stupid jokes. At 21 I never had, and I say never, the opportunity to talk about these things seriously.

I’ve always had a lot of complexes with a word that was a bit my torture from sixteen years old onwards, the word is “normal”. Is it normal what I’m doing? If I react like this is it normal? Etc. etc .. Then the idea of having a guy even if I’m not in love with anyone, having a boyfriend just to have sex with him, because this is normal while masturbate is not normal, it’s a young boys thing, … stuff of this kind. And I think if I hadn’t arrived on your blog I would have ended up looking for a guy anyway just to try to be normal at least as a gay.

I never asked myself whether being gay was or wasn’t normal, let’s say that for me it was not, but it was my way of being and I ended up accepting it, also because the idea of going with a girl for me doesn’t really exist, I couldn’t do it at any level. I never thought of a girl in terms of sex and even as a friend, perhaps, superficially, it could be okay, but as a true friendship, that you can tell her everything, with a girl for me it’s impossible, because a girl understands certain things her way, maybe even a straight guy understands the same things from outside but it’s anyway more acceptable.

I’ve always seen the fact of being gay as a sexual only matter, or rather, I tried to devalue to the maximum the feelings towards other guys or, better, towards male people no longer boys, because my obsession with not being normal, you made me understand it last night, it’s really related to the fact that I fall in love with adult men and I never considered normal such inclination. You don’t know how many times I told myself that I would be left alone because the men I like would never be interested in me. First of all, they’re all heterosexual, they’re married, and then they’d consider me a guy who must grow up.

I tried in every way to get interested in my peers but they seem superficial to me, even gays for what I know, because I don’t know them in person. I fall in love with adult men, even sexually, and this is not normal, I think that maybe if an adult man falls in love with a young guy at the end it can be normal but the opposite just I can’t see it as a normal thing and instead that’s exactly what happens to me.

With my peers I can’t create a real relationship and I don’t even try. Last night for the first time, talking with you about the fact that I fall in love with men much older than me, it seemed to me that it was not abnormal, at least in a sense, that it was something of which I shouldn’t be ashamed, in the end that my sexuality has a dignity, a value even if it’s strange, at the base there are real feelings and not perversions. You don’t know how much it puts me in difficulty the fact that I consider myself a non-normal, that is, not even normal as gay.

I think a normal gay guy if he falls in love with another guy and makes his fantasies and masturbates thinking of that guy doesn’t feel guilty about it, but when I make sexual fantasies about adult men (in practice all my fantasies are about adult men) and I let myself go to masturbate thinking about these things I feel disgusted, it is as if it were the confirmation of the fact that I’m not normal and that I will never share my life with another person. These things dig you deeply. Above all I feel that while other gay guys can look for a guy, they can somehow think about their wishes and put them into practice, I cannot think about it, there will never be anything for me.

An adult man would just go with me searching for sex or he wouldn’t take me seriously, while I need a serious affection, that is, I need not someone who is sorry for me or who considers me a sexual game but someone who takes me seriously and I would be willing to do anything for a man like that. Talking about these things is not easy and in practice they are always kept inside me. Last night, talking with you, I felt respected, treated as I didn’t think it was possible. Yesterday, in fact, we started talking about things related to sexuality but then we ended up talking about something else, about my family, about the relationships I have with my parents and about how I would like them to be and I really broke the ice, we have been talking almost until dawn, time has passed and I haven’t noticed it. I need to talk, to throw out everything that I have kept inside for years.

You say that often from situations like mine one can come out and that over time also sometimes comes a sexual interest towards peers, or at least that could happen so, but on this I have my doubts and I think you told me it a little as a consolation, but I’m glad you told me because you know these things and you might even be right. Sometimes I think that I’m coming out of my mind and that it could also be or become a real neurosis, but for me sexuality is that.

Last night I felt at ease, thinking and seeing concretely that talking about yourself in a very direct way is possible and that it is also possible to be heard and understood and this transmits so much serenity.

And you told me then so many things that I felt that I wasn’t alone on earth, I didn’t feel as the only “abnormal”. It is wonderful to think that my life can really be lived! I don’t know if it will really be like that, but I feel less trapped, it’s as if the future could bring me positive things too. Thanks Project for setting up the project, you don’t know how such a thing is important. I hope to hear from you when I have a little more peace of mind, now I’m also very busy for the exams that are coming but also this period of overwork will pass. See you soon.

p. s. If you want to publish this email, do it, I don’t know what effect it will do to those who read it but what I wrote to you is all true.


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Hello Project, I think you have more or less my age, and then I think you can understand certain feelings I feel. When I was a boy nobody talked about gays, at least not as a normal thing, so, also because of the absolute isolation of gays at that time, I never had a partner, only in recent times, in practice as an old man, I met gay friends of all ages, they are quiet people and I’m fine with them, but obviously, except for the few afternoons we spend together, loneliness looms. There are also relatives it’s true, but with them it is as if I was living another life totally formal. By now I’m the old uncle about whom nobody cares. 
The health is what it is therefore I begin to get used to the idea that the future will not be very long for me and then I would like to achieve something before closing shop, but I have a thousand doubts, well it is in these moments that I would need a partner to decide, to give me an impulse in any direction, but over all to get me out of the continuous oscillations that lead me to never do anything. Now I cannot procrastinate, there is a time for all things and now it’s time to choose and to achieve, but basically there aren’t things that have more charm to me than others, I don’t have to share anything with anyone. Among my gay friends there are also guys of 25/30 years and they make me tenderness, they treat me with respect and also affectionately but for me they are like children, they have a future ahead and have a concrete world to achieve, I am at sunset. 
What to do? Have I to avoid choosing, as I have always done, postponing everything endlessly, or Have I to throwing myself somewhere to do something concrete? Project, I don’t talk about sex or love stories, now I live in another dimension, I talk about going to live somewhere else, in another neighborhood, maybe, more than in another city, in a place suitable for elderly people, but it would still be going to live alone in another place and it does not make too much sense, maybe it would make sense to live in the countryside, but alone in the countryside at my age it’s risky, having doctors and hospitals too far for me it’s dangerous. I begin to see in front of me the years when I will not be self-sufficient, if I don’t go away even before. 
It  is strange how things are still indefinite and I irremediably continue to waste time, even when time is objectively short. At least I have gay friends who sometimes call me and luckily I’m not in the hands of a caregiver. I take my liberties, I get up late, I only use plastic dishes and glasses to avoid washing them, I buy things already cooked to avoid cooking, I plan my visits to the post office in order to go there as little as possible, etc. etc. . What’s left of gay in my life? In practice there are only my gay friends, it is not a trivial thing and I’m happy that they are still with me, however, now life has gone and things ended up this way.
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Dear Project, practically your forum is the only one that also speaks of old people with a bit of seriousness, but it lacks one thing: it only talks about old gays who are all in all in good health, Unfortunately I belong to those who are not in good health, I don’t speak of psychological distress because at my age it is a category that has been outdated for decades, I speak of physical health and bad ills in the serious sense of the term. 
I often think that my road will bring me to the end in quite short times but despite everything I don’t feel anguished, I wonder what may be the best way to do something good and there are many uncertainties. I’m not afraid of death, perhaps of physical suffering yes, because what I’ve tried until now, after all, was relative, but then you become fatalist and you lose the desire to fight, in some way you accept your destiny. After all, I’m old and I lived my life, so other five or other ten years don’t make a big difference. I think that to the new generations we must first teach to live and then we must also teach them to die with a certain basic serenity, with the conscience of having done at least something good.
This is to make you understand the situation, but you don’t imagine how comforting it can be for me to read the forum, read the emails that guys send you and see what the guys answer to the stories of others, it’s like to open one’s own mind to the meaning of life that continues, because these guys will also carry inside themselves something of us, especially if they feel loved and respected by us. After all we have to try, each one of us, to make the burden of others less heavy, this is the meaning of life.
Of course in these guys I see myself, they are lucky because they have at their disposal means and possibilities that didn’t exist in our time, but I see that they still have their melancholy and such a melancholy derives largely from the absence of love, from families which became disinterested in them or have been so much interested to become oppressive.
I live alone, even if I still have relatives who in their way love me and don’t abandon me and I feel lucky for this. In my life, of gay I had only the imagination and some fleeting adventure over fifty years ago. But it was my previous life, which is now very far away and it seems almost like a dream lost over the years. In recent years, when I was a little better than now and I could leave the house I also met young people, obviously, I think, always or almost straight, young couples with children and even guys who worked and I tried to be kind to everyone, especially with the guys who worked, sometimes there was some mutual sympathy, they treated me well, maybe just for the age, but I don’t think only for that, I think especially because they saw themselves as an object of attention and respect, what I don’t think happens very often.
Now I’m happy to read the forum and it’s not a small thing and I thank you very much for this. I would love to send a positive message to the guys of all ages: “put aside your fear and look inside and you will find the right push to first of all do for others what you would have done for you.”
And then we don’t live for ourselves only, but to live all of us humans, and not only humans, a bit better. A spontaneous smile helps us live and makes us live better. I embrace you, Project, and thank you for what you’re doing.
(Publish the e- mail, if you want, in fact I would like it.)
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Hi Project,

I am almost 70 years old and I still like to read your forum. I need such things to feel alive and in touch with the world after us. At my age, I can say that I have learned many things and above all one, that our time is short and we must not waste it running behind things more or less absurd, the only thing that makes sense to life is to try to make better other people.

For a gay, of course, it is essential to have a positive function for other gays, being always available to give them help, if needed. Obviously there is a time for each thing, and those of our age, if they don’t want to end up in ridicule, must understand that their role is not to compete with young people, but to facilitate the way of young people, through adequate behaviors: first of all avoiding to judge, then always telling the truth and knowing how to stay in place.

Falling in love with a guy is one thing, and it’s good for young people, but care about a guy it’s possible at all ages. I saw it in my personal experience: you have to sow something good, without thinking of seeing the results. Probably the results will be there even if we may not see them.

And then, I learned something else, the guys, all the guys and the gay ones in particular, feel a strong need to have around a family-like atmosphere, but not in the sense of prohibitions, advices or judgments, but in the sense of non-judgmental presences, of simple but unconditional affections.

Project, I’m older than you and I have a lot of melancholy on my mind, because now that I start to understand just a little bit how things work, I realize I’m coming to the end of my time and I think that all the experience that I accumulated may not serve any purpose, however, Project, even if I’m old, I feel serene, because I have my affections and I feel paid, there are guys who love me, they are two gay guys (a couple ) that I have met entirely by chance, they are more or less 30 years old, and a beautiful relationship was born among us. Obviously I don’t have to be too present because I would be invasive, they call me every week and more or less every week we go together to have a pizza, in practice they have adopted me.

I’m fine with them, I feel like I was in my family, a bit like a dad who is a widower and tries to move on as he can, but has two children who love him. I never imagined that in old age I could have a similar experience, but I assure you that these are things that fill life, give it meaning and make old age an acceptable thing.

I had read on your forum of a gentleman of our generation who was in a situation similar to mine (but I was not able to find that post), he talked about relationships similar to family ones that can be created in a way completely unexpected and that, perhaps in a minor tone, can create something like a real family, because they create a solidarity.

Of course, perhaps, in a family between parents and children there is mutual support (and perhaps so often there isn’t even that) because the ages of parents and children are less distant, but in fact, with my guys (I call them so) I have a good relationship: they care about me not only for my needs, so to say, daily, like going shopping and picking up my pension at the post office, but they also call me without a specific reason, but just for the pleasure of talking a little with me, at least I see it that way.

I am afraid of one thing: the possibility of losing my personal autonomy and practically “forcing” (not for my will, but out of necessity) these guys to take care of me, I think they would do it, but for them it would be a very heavy bond. However, I try not to think about it and to be comfortable with them as if I were their age.

I’m sorry to have to go out from this world right now that I was starting to feel good: I have a thousand ailments of age, also heavy ones, sometimes physically I’m right on the ground and I don’t know what to expect from the future, even in the short term, but I also have some real affections, completely unexpected, I don’t become young again for this and I have to keep all my illnesses, but I don’t feel alone, I also have real affections, I know they are there and they will stay with me until the end, and then when I see that they are well together, are calm, plan the future … well … I feel deeply comforted.

In short, strange and unpredictable things happen in life, which sometimes change your life for the better, even when you don’t expect it anymore. Well, I greet you, Project! Even when you’re old, you can feel good, at least on an emotional level, when you’re not really alone.

James from Bologna.


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Hi Project,
at the beginning of 2017 I thought: new year old life, not only in the sense that nothing would have changed, but in the sense of a life old man style. Things have changed a bit today. Last night we exchanged a few words in chat. I’m a little younger than you, but the way is that. I have long since stopped looking for a partner. In the course of my life I’ve had only one, he was a good man, we were already over 50 and we got together, I don’t even know why, with the usual illusion that putting together two desperations, something good can come out. 
For a while it worked, then he started to feel bad, but not on a psychological level, he had big health problems, it was an ordeal from one hospital to another and after six months of genuine anguish he was gone, he left at age 54. After that story, I said: that’s enough. I never wanted to live situations like that again, because they are really destructive: you see that the person you love is going from bad to worse day after day and you only hope that everything ends soon, because you know very well that there aren’t other possibilities. 
Then, after it happened, a tremendous period of emptiness came to me. Fortunately I worked and I could not let myself go to the melancholy. But when I came home I felt damned alone and discouraged. I no longer have relationships with my family of origin, my parents are dead, my brother lives abroad and we no longer call each other neither for Christmas. In short, I felt desperately alone, and then I was already old and the idea of starting over again I did not have it anymore. I had no objects of my partner. He didn’t write anything, we did not exchange gifts or something, we just lived together. After it happened I gave away his things, everything, basically clothes, he had no valuables of any kind and he used an old mobile phone that he never wanted to change. 
My house is now perfect: everything is almost maniacally standardized. I made an archive with all the papers that can be useful, from those of the condominium to the medical ones. I do everything to myself: wash, iron, clean the house, which is very easy, because I use paper dishes and at most I have to wash two small pots a day. In short, the house is all well arranged but it is empty, just me, indeed it would be better to say that I live there “alone”. Every now and then I read something gay, your forum but also others, and I am shocked by certain stories of the elderly man acting like young guys, that is, old people who have not yet understood that for them the ride of carousel, as Tiziano Terzani said, is almost finished. 
I don’t know what will remain of me. My partner is gone, so no one will have real memories of a bit of life really lived with me … and I have not done anything meaningful that is worth remembering, you could say “an unimportant gay”, and I feel just like that, let’s say it’s my stable tone of mood for years now. But, as I told you at the beginning, lately something has changed, I met, for work reasons, a thirty year old gay guy and we became friends, I underline it, only friends. We see each other very rarely, but it often happens that we talk by phone or on Skype. 
It is not a love story, he is a nice guy but I am very far from the idea of any strong involvement and he (this is really evident) has his own affective and sexual life that involves him in good or bad in a profound way. For him I’m just a friend, an older friend but just a friend. In a year, he came to my house no more than four or five times, and he always stayed shortly. He had lunch with me only once. It would all seem very trivial, but it is not at all. Now, through him, I am discovering so many things that I never imagined. 
According to my classic logic, at 60 you are depressed, but at 30 you jump of joy, this is what I thought, then I realized that being 30 years old is much more beautiful at 60 than at 30, and that guy, I will call him Lucas, has a thousand problems, some are just his own, are problems of character that it’s difficult to overcome, but many others derive from misunderstandings, and psychological games of various people he meets. 
I’m beginning to understand what the true life of a thirty year old gay guy is, which is certainly abysmally different from mine, because he still wants to fight and still believes in love, while I gave up for some time and threw in the towel without regrets. In our phone calls he talks to me about his troubles. He has the work that a little distracts him, because he works at an excellent level in the world of scientific research, but when, in the evening, he comes home he feels alone, and then he calls me and we chat a lot. 
I wondered why he decided to take me seriously, because he really takes me seriously, then maybe he does the opposite of what I would have done. He has no real gay friends, just acquaintances he hardly ever meets, with me, on the other hand, the evening phone call is now something recurrent, every day if he feels particularly bad, or every two or three days. He feels rejected by the guys who really interest him and is affected by a thousand complexes, blaming himself for everything. 
Between us there is not a real familiarity, when I speak with him I always fear to cross the limit, to use words or even affectionate tones that seem out of place. I never invite him to come to my house and I assume now that it cannot be otherwise. Our real bond is the telephone, about an hour in the evening, almost every evening. What can this guy bring in himself? He tells me that he doesn’t feel conditioned by me because he feels that I am not afraid of him, but after all it is not so true, because with him I don’t feel so free and I measure words. 
I know that unfortunately I cannot do anything useful for him, I listen, I never change the subject, I leave to him as much space as possible. It’s a strange friendship, I don’t understand exactly what sense it can have but I think there’s a sense that otherwise it would not go ahead. I am perfectly aware that a friendship of this kind will last until Lucas doesn’t have a boyfriend and frankly I hope that he will soon be able to find one as he wishes. When Lucas will be fine, I will feel alone once more, the ephemeral consistency of this relationship cannot empty it of its meaning. 
Not receiving Lucas phone calls would mean that he was able to rebuild his emotional world. He is not very confident that it can really happen, he has built slowly, by virtue of more or less disappointing experiences, a cuirass made of cynicism and he says that his cynicism has melted only a couple of times, when he has really believed to fall in love. Lucas is not an easy person, he is tormented inside, he is very insecure even if he is a scientist, he tends to give up immediately, to throw himself away, not to believe in himself, I think he has stopped dreaming for years, admitted and not granted that he has ever dreamed, probably, in spirit, he’s older than me. 
This is my life now. At least I feel useful to someone and it’s not a little thing. Do you have any suggestions, Project? Of course you can post the email where you want, because there are no sensitive elements. Thank you for the Project, which is a really useful thing even at my age.
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Hello Project,
you wrote so many things on gay guys! Just an infinity. In many of those things and in many of the stories you’ve published I’ve found something I’ve experienced, but I think you miss something, which is perhaps trivial, but for me today represents the last stage of my being gay. At age 51, dear Project, I feel I have come to the destination: I don’t have a companion and I never had one, I dreamed it, that’s true, but I never worked hard to have one, and if it was that is to say that my interest in the couple’s life was, in the end, quite superficial. If I see really nice men or guys, I still look at them, because they are objectively nice, but now I have no more fantasies about couple’s life. I have my stability, my work, my banality, my daily life, and really I’m not looking for anything else.
About ten months ago, I met unexpectedly a guy a lot younger than me, who was not yet thirty, and for a while we have been dating, but then I realized that it was he who wanted our relationship to go on and that I hadn’t the interest that should have had. It was a difficult situation, he wanted us to go on but I just didn’t feel like it, I would have liked it to be a quiet friendship without any other implications, so I would have accepted it but he wanted something else and didn’t understand that in those things you cannot pretended. We went on for a couple of months and then our story was over, and I’m a little sorry because he’s a good guy, but I wouldn’t go back to those days. Here it is, my state of mind now is this, I want to be quiet, I’m convinced that basically I can live better alone, in theory it’s also possible that I make a meeting of those that upset your life, but these are only theoretical hypotheses.
What’s left of gay at age 51? A bit of porn, just when I want to, which in practice means at most one night a week, a bit of masturbation that same night, and that’s all. Perhaps also the pleasure of reading some themed books, which tell gay stories that end up well. Obviously I have nothing against other gays, which for me are just an unknown planet, now my interests are more vulgar, now I think about making money but not to get rich, something that will never happen, but to have a quieter retirement age. I often think myself at my present age, as the caretaker of another older myself, when I will really need a caretaker, caring for myself! It’s a bit like a form of social security, I’m working more today to be able to repose more quietly tomorrow. I have read stories of men much older than me, but athletic and used to having to do with guys. Frankly, these things seem to me pathetic: there is a time for each thing and the time of the hormones to the highest level has been a long time since! I do not feel one who threw the sponge but one who does not want to pretend to be what he is no longer.
What puzzles me is that a serious friendship, which for me would be great, actually does not seem to interest anyone, that is that a sexless relationship, at my age, is considered pathological, more or less the typical behavior of a loser. But I think that what I read on the web about these things is not the attitude of gays but only of those who are deluding or want to delude themselves to have eternal youth. When I was 40, I was already out of a lot of situations, and I had the clear feeling that the time to fall in love was over. Now that I’ve passed the 50s, the feeling has become a certainty that is corroborated by the facts. I don’t know if I’m a pathological case, it might also be, but I stopped experiencing illusions many years ago and I think I live a lot better.
I like to read your forum, it’s very well done and it’s about real things. If you want, post this mail too, perhaps someone like me could appear looking for a quiet friendship, but probably if someone appeared, I would retire in good order as it always happened. 
Hi Project and thank you for everything you do.
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