Ask a Faithless Street Member


This could be the start of a plot for a movie. I’d be interested.


No. It’s about adding people at the appropriate times. I think you can understand how hearing advice or correction from someone who isn’t your parent and doesn’t think of you as a child would be helpful during this time.

Edited to add, this book is very pro father. This mentorship question is about something else.


He was also a heroin addict. Maybe I should have mentioned that.




So, I smoked my first joint with him, and he taught me how to swear in English, so maybe that’s something for @saf’s question about what I learned. The swearing in English then didn’t help me in the Midwest in the 80s so much, where using “fuck” was a lot more frowned upon than it was in England at the time.


Define exposed.

Seriously, I think mentors can function as a shortcut to various aspects of life. Open your eyes to certain things, but does not necessarily provide a role model. Could be an outlook or a certain sensibility.

Guess I had a mentor when it comes to music in a dude I met at the first university course I took. Have not met (or will not meet) another person who loved music more than he did. We bonded over a very nerdy musical magazine (think Pitchfork on steroids) and he gave me all these mixtapes. He listened to everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) except metal and had a very broad yet very personal taste in music. Above all he truly, madly and deeply loved music. Later, when he got a fairly high-paid job, he worked evenings extra in a record store just to be able to go through all the new albums and singles (this was mid 90s). He opened my eyes to, among numerous things, 70s soul music (philly soul! Gil-Scott Heron! David Ruffin!), Zappa, Van Morrison, 80s British pop, 90s gangsta rap, etc (to say that he loved The Smiths would be like saying Shane McGovan fancies a pint once in a blue moon). Also worked as a DJ. Remember attending one party – horrible crowd who kept pestering him to play this boring artist. My friend got more and more frustrated and started to drink more and more, until he put on the record everyone was asking for. And when the chorus kicked in he lowered the volume and sang: “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you”, turned up the volume. Did it again the next chorus.

He continued to live and breathe music until a couple of years ago when he suddenly died at the age of 60. Had not seen him in a couple of years so I went through his Spotify playlists and it was insane – hundreds of playlists (probably made a new one each day) with everything from soul deep cuts to the meanest, most obscure UK garage hip hop you could find (he was 60 for Christ’s sake). Also funny as hell and when he died there were endless posts on his facebook account with about his shenanigans. One memory: He was a good cook and when he served the food, he liked to deadpan and present the dishes as something like “scrotum-punched rabbit on a bed of anguish”.

Will remember him to the day that I die and and I sometimes go “oh, he would have loved this one”.


Yeah, my husband’s mentor was also someone he met in early adulthood, and ideologically they could not have been more different. I would even say he didn’t particularly like this guy, but his life is so much better for having met him. I’m completely convinced that my husband wouldn’t even be alive today if he hadn’t been working for his racist landlord for those couple of years, let alone married with children.


Hard to narrow it down to one person for me, but I had a few good friends that helped steer me out of - and occasionally into - trouble.

My love of music definitely came from my late brother, who was obsessed with everyone from The Allman Brothers to Sun Ra. He also encouraged me to read underground literature like Kerouac, Vonnegut and Tom Robbins.

My love of art came from a teacher who was a successful painter and left after a couple years to paint full time. She got me a scholarship at the local art museum school for a printmaking class. I had no idea what printmaking was, so she turned me on to so many great artists.


i feel like i had a great many mentors…of all kinds.

my dad wasn’t a mentor per se but he did pack my brother and i with him everywhere on all of his adventures…not always great because he spent most of his 30’s and 40’s high and drunk and really fucked up and he would use us as shoulders to cry on…that was a lot as children.

but my mentors, real or perceived (see Salinger or David James Duncan) were mainly those in whatever social or educational circle i found myself in. early on i found that i loved to work really hard…so i was an arborist for an entire summer and learned from my boss on the job and he taught me to climb trees and use chainsaws…

then i got a construction job building houses the numerous carpenters that i made friends with taught me so much…one of them is still a dear friend.

some of my professors in creative writing and poetry were great mentors, two of whom i am still friends w/ to this day and 1 who i still visit at his house and have coffee and we talk literature for hours on end.

i have sought meaning and purpose since i could count to 10 and i have hopped from one mentor to the next

my mom has been my main mentor for my current job for over 20 years. she is a bad ass business woman.


doesn’t sound like a mentor…sounds like he was grooming. what did he teach you?


How to suck cock. Why?






Perhaps not an uncommon story, but my parents got divorced when I was a kid – early elementary school. My dad left around 1st or 2nd grade. So I was raised by my mom and grandma. I had to visit my dad until I was 13 or 14 I think. There was also that time I was effectively kidnapped by my dad to Arizona when I was probably 8 or 9 (to go see his mom who lived out in Tucson). Perhaps that’s overblowing it, but he definitely lied to me about where we were going that day (and my mom didn’t know either).

Anyway, aside from that digression, I suppose I didn’t really have a mentor – aside from always looking up to my brother – but I don’t know if that’s a mentor, per se. And my mom/grandma did anything and everything for us three kids (I’m the youngest, and 8 years younger than my brother, 10 years younger than my sister). In my younger days, I’d look to pro athletes as idols, to learn how to carry myself through the world. The work ethics of baseball players (and playing at a high competitive level myself until the start of college) has probably colored in my drive in everything I do to this day; I tend to be unrelenting in my work and hobbies.

Growing up, and even now, I always have in the back of my head to never treat a woman (or anyone) the way my dad did; so I carry that with me – though perhaps it’s caused me to fall into the Nice Guy trap when it comes to dating; being effectively undesirable because I’m unwilling to be an asshole to trick women into liking me.

That was a bit of a rambling way to say, “I don’t know” :joy:


Trust me, you don’t actually want to date women who like this. It’s just a coping mechanism to stop them from having to work on themselves.

But also, there is no such thing as being a “nice guy” in the way you’re using it. Whatever it is, it’s not that. People who don’t value feeling safe aren’t safe people either.


sounds like your dad did kidnap you. that’s trauma.

sounds like your brother was a mentor. that’s helpful.

nothing wrong with being a nice guy. so don’t be hard on yourself and don’t write it off as a reason why relationships are not going your way. you sound like a catch to me…i’d fuck you…baseball, music, writing, poetry…uhhhhh right up my alley! if only we were gay! jk :slight_smile: jokes aside, when you say nice guy i hope you don’t mean these kind of nice guys:


haha, well I appreciate the sentiment :joy:

Yeah, I don’t pull that shit; though I have on more than one occasion gotten “advice” from women that I’m too nice – and hence, not an option. Usual buzz-phrases are about “the chase” and “making her work for it” or whatever.

Even in my younger years (HS, early 20s, whatever) I was never interested in the mind games of being just enough of a POS to trigger the attraction. This kind of behavior strikes me as characteristics of someone who’s untrustworthy and not reliable or dependable; so while I’ve had some amazing times with a few women, it comes back to this problematic behavior.

Additionally, for someone who’s already on the fence about having children, this doesn’t paint a good picture for me when I start projecting forward what the person could be like if we tried to have a family.

Anyway, that was mostly venting and unnecessary, but I appreciate the kind words