Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Beauty of Necessary Anger: Ode to and in Celebration of the Confidence of the Stripped


Holy crap, today was amazing. My mind is kind of reeling and my body has just gotten itself into my own bed. (Shout out to my razors that have left my legs still super smooth from my shave this morning. I'm into it.  It's spring-cusp-of-summer and I'm all about getting into bed with just a t-shirt and panties because fuck *yes* to cool sheets on legs.)

Let me back up.

Sometimes, things don't go as they are supposed to.  When that happens - when something or someone falls through-  it becomes even more important to be as present as possible to enjoy every sight, sound, smell, taste, conversation, idea and people you're involved with.

First of all, I just want to pause and be  grateful and blown away that I have the job I have.  Today I spent five hours with some of the most intelligent, creative and fag-history-holding people  I could ever imagine being in a room with. Although I am not at liberty to talk about it, I at least just have to say that each of these five hours I caught myself watching people around me and being in total awe that my job lead me to be in the room I was in, making connections with the people I was talking with, and seeing the things I was seeing.   I found myself thinking again to thank my teenager self who decided to just aim to learn and do what brought me joy and hope it paid the bills. I just would never have imagined. Everything from the content to the directions from my team on how to get into the building (nothing short of pulling a brick out of a particular wall of an abandoned building) to even me going to pick up my bag and seeing that someone had left one of my favorite candy bars on top of it: An anonymous wink of attention/love.

Second of all, on the days that things don't go as they're supposed to, I meet any temporary disappointment with Prime Time Witch Boarding and it always pays off.

What is PTWB, you ask?  It has nothing to do with watching episodes of Charmed or Bewitched or any other television program (boring) - it has everything to do with leaning into adventure.  In short, I just make a mini-pact with myself to lean into adventure that is offered and to take it up, no questions asked because, almost guaranteed, it will lead me to exactly what and whom I need. It's my favorite part of life.

It's what lead me to be speeding to get to an untouched destination via transit with less than 60 minutes to get there after Taigé (a person I met a few years ago under pretty bad ass and magical circumstances) mentioned something in passing.  I contacted another friend and they, too, agreed to speed to meet me there also with less than 60 minutes to get there.  The three of us, separately, arrived with 7, 7 and 4 minutes to spare, respectively.  Where we were and what we witnessed was nothing we could foresee.  When we left just over an hour later, we were screaming in the streets (literally) and one of us said, point blank: I will be thinking about tonight for months and years to come. And we all agreed.

Sometimes you see something  that changes everything.  A bright light or a burst of sound that exorcises the exact demon you need it to. It's beyond catharsis. Beyond healing.

Suffice it to say:

Fuck YES to the artists of the world. To the people who aren't afraid to love and hate passionately and publicly. Fuck YES to abstract thought.  Fuck YES to those unafraid to own their own beauty and intelligence. (There is no such thing as "just a researcher". There is no such thing as "just a poem".)  Fuck YES to calling rapists out. Fuck YES to being unashamed.

FUCK YES to people confident enough to be humble and humble enough to be loud.

Share. Share. Share and fucking SHARE. Share yourself. Share your mind. Share your heart. Share your ideas. Because you have no idea who it will ignite.

BRING IT.

Let my body burn.



k.

(image: Christopher Makos, Debbie Harry, 1977)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I Don't Wanna Kiss Right Now. You're Probably Just What I Need But I Can't Stand Your Mouth.



I finally made that recording you asked for

I named it Reciprocidad 

and saved it to my phone

A dead letter file

but still it waits. 



Things feel pretty good.  This past weekend I updated everything I needed to, wrote a solid cover letter, and submitted an application for a job I already know can take up to three months to even get an interview at.  Step by step. We will see if we are an employment match for each other, after all.

Lately I've been feeling relatively grounded in life. Things feel both good and fun and sad at the same time. Sometimes it can be hard to set a limit around how you'll allow yourself to be talked to when someone else is having a hard time. The limit setting isn't hard. It's knowing that, in doing so, things will more than likely end. ("Anything you lose by being honest, you never really had to begin with, my love.") At the same time, it's good to be able to recognize worth and lesson. To recognize what I have and what I want: internally; externally.

It's been interesting to navigate themes related to dating. My heart and mind as it relates to relationships are simply occupied at present. I've learned a long time ago not to force past feelings. It will just get sloppy.

Dates can be another thing entirely, but, it's rare that people know their limits in that arena.  Usually people will say they're cool with something just being a date when, in actuality, they view it as a foot in the door towards a relationship. That's just not gonna happen right now. Fags usually understand this the most and that's why I end up hanging out with them. No sense in making anything complicated. My primary relationship is with reading, writing and studying two particular topics that I am completely consumed by right now.

[Although don't get me wrong. I will always enjoy a bottom never allowed to touch me who knows how to serve: https://instagram.com/p/Bix3m8Fh3vd/]

Sometimes people want to be everything to you.  They can't be. That doesn't diminish the bond. It clarifies and strengthens it.

As always, it's good to know my limits. People may get mad at them or push at them or say stupid shit trying to peer pressure me into going on dates, but it's not going to work. I may be filthy as fuck, but I'm also a romantic. All of these things happen at the same time, and in my time. Your badgering, cajoling, comparisons to your former relationships, and "let's just have some fun/I'll get you over it"s (barf) is not going to get anywhere with a strict faggot femme that knows hir limits, hir passions, hir desires and, most importantly, hir heart.

In the meantime, I've been reading Varamo by César Aira.

It is a thin, well written book so far.

I'll leave you with a sentence from it that I enjoyed:

He too had to cross the square, but first he had to cross the street, which he did with care: it was the moment when the drivers of the senior public servants started up their cars and engaged in all kinds of maneuvers to secure the most convenient positions for their bosses. 




Be well; be loved,

k.



(title: lyrics from Oyster by Jawbreaker)
(image via lezmygypsysoul tumblr )
(quote in the second paragraph from Jessica Lanyadoo)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Fictional Therapy



The three of us were sitting around a circular table in a bar not too far from where her dad lived with his other family. There was a single light bulb above the table, which felt dramatic or as if we were about to plan some kind of bank heist, but it was what it was: It was my first time to this town and the third time to this state. I was still surprised they agreed to meet up with me.

"Aren't you afraid she'll be mad at you for coming to talk with me?" her dad asked.

"She's kind of always mad at me right now, anyway."

He half-frowned half-smiled, considering this, and nodded.

I was sitting at a table with her father and her father's best friend who was named after an amphibian.

"I know you two don't know me. I don't know if she's mentioned me a ton, but she's told me about both of you, and I know you two looked out for her. I've heard the stories. I've seen the pictures. The haircuts. That's why I'm here. Frog, your stories have the most hilarity and wisdom in all of this." His eyebrows went up.  I couldn't help but to laugh. I smiled. "You shouldn't be surprised."

I knew she thought I wouldn't understand him or that maybe I'd judge who he was. How he was.  She hadn't realized yet that people like him are the people who felt most like home to me. We hadn't gotten to how much stretching and weirdness was involved in being closest to the parts of my family tree that represented the police state in a city that has one of the most racially tense histories in the North. There may be perspectives that don't match at all, politics in direct opposition to each other,  churches and bias and tradition and fraternal orders of police, but, if you can't hold onto each other enough to discourse and love, what's the point of anything?

I turned to her dad, "And your stories have been calm, and quiet and equally wise."

He glanced at the floor for a moment, then over at Frog.

Should I have addressed him as sir? No. That would be for when I was asking him for her hand. It seemed silly to say that now, in a bar, under a light bulb. The reverence I feel for the creators of the people I love always leaves me stumbling with hyper-formality. I have always been as traditional as I am sloppy, and such royalty is no joke. 

Her dad silently bit the inside corner of his mouth. He seemed reluctant to get involved.  Frog hit his elbow with his own, looked him directly in the eyes as if to say something, and then turned to me with a serious face.

"I know what you need to do.  She won't like it, but she'll listen to it eventually."  He leaned forward as if about to whisper.  Her dad hesitated but then leaned in, too.

I studied their faces for a moment in the light bulb's bare light. The color of their eyes. The lines on their faces. It was like looking at two characters from a book you've been reading just sitting there, breathing, in flesh and bone right in front of you.

I leaned in. We had work to do, but it was clear that Frog was going to have to steer this plan.




(image: Brice Marden (American, b. 1938), Untitled (#4), 1985. Oil and graphite on paper, 75.6 x 56.5 cm. via thunderstruck9 tumblr )

Sunday, May 13, 2018

We Part to Meet Again

Good morning.  It is currently 7:36am on a Sunday and I am showered and wrapped in a towel typing this.  I am very excited for today and woke up with that feeling of a having a spring within one's heart, scrunching and expanding and just generally causing your eyes to widen and pulse to quicken. I have that nervous feeling in my stomach - the good kind. The kind that makes you think of that Bjork lyric:

Unthinkable surprises 
about to happen
but what they are...

In any case.  More later today. I have an appointment with said surprises at 8 am sharp.

Happy Mother's Day to all of those who have mothers, are mothers, have lost mothers, don't ever want to be mothers, have strained relationships with their mothers, are mothers who have strained relationships with their kids, and/or who are just badass mtherfuckers who love fully with clear eyes and open hearts.

(pause; time elapse)

3:27 pm - The same day.



I am slightly sunburned and happily so.

It was hard not being with a person I love for so many reasons today. A hug. A sprawl in the grass in the sun. Fifty questions about her favorite things about her mother. Fifty stories to hear about what made her laugh about her mother until she cried about her mother.

But what else can you do other than step out the garbage can you've been placed in and maintain that even broken glass reflects light?

Bling out that garbage can, albeit sadly, and let's go.

"1. Letting go, which is represented by the bones."
 A list:

Early morning bakery for warm pastries. Good coffee. Good conversations with a sailor.  A three mile walk and conversations about mothers and sisters. A bookstore. A lighthouse. A picnic. The genderqueer fabulousness that was walking along the shore with their parents. Conversations about the appropriate type of products to use on your car. The moment in an artist's jewelry studio when three dykes rolled up on their motorcycles and walked in and the hilarity when the gray-haired dyke looked at my handkerchief hanging out of my back pocket, then up and me, and we both just smirk-smiled in that coded and hilarious way that we do. Conversations about love, consistency, exercise, health, happiness.  We riffed for a while on the invisible but visible hostility we've seen strangers throw towards read-as-masculine-lady partners we've had and the invisible but visible way we intervene- sometimes with our masc partners not even being aware of it. Laughter that felt really easy and good. Gold nail polish in the sun. Me driving while my co-pilot navigated. Dust on our shoes. Flowers everywhere and sun. Lots of sun.




This is life.  You absolutely have to live it.





be loved; be well,


k.






(Bjork lyrics from  It's Not Up to You)

(images: Mine, although the art piece is by Morgan Brig Sculpture. The quote is from the piece, which has three components to it. One held bones, another roses and another poppy seed pods. All of the parts were on miniature copper ladders that all had wheels on them. The statement with them read, There are big lessons in my life that are ongoing. 1) Letting go, which is represented by the bones. 2) Learning to love better, which is represented by the roses. 3) Acknowledging that many of my assumptions are actually illusions, which is represented by the "opiate" poppy seed pods.  The wheels are for the coming and going.)

(title: A very good friend of mine and I have matching necklaces of scissors. We met when I was 19 and have been friends ever since. We have never lived in the same town or even the same state.  The scissors, which she bought for us, came with the quote that is the title of this entry.  It represents all of the people I love who are sprinkled throughout the world. It also represents people who are not able to be in my life at a given moment in time. The love continues; Our lives continue: We part to meet again.)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

In Love and Ode to the Top Shelf Billers

Currently:

1) Excited about my resume re-vamp and where it is going.

2) Very excited and chomping at the bit to go on an excursion I have been planning for tomorrow. The weather is perfect for it.  Ferries, water, a packed picnic (I can't take credit for this one) and a map of all sorts of stuff to check out.

3) About to slip into the exact night I have been craving for a very, very long time.

(pause)

I had the best conversation with a long time friend and ex of mine today who is one of many genius hearts I am blessed to have in my life.  He somehow has these genius gems that he comes out with all of the time.

This time, it had to do with the concept of "Top Shelf Billers".

To break it down: We all know that top shelf alcohol is the most expensive kind. So, if you were to order a few drinks and have them automatically made with the top shelf shit, you know it's going to be super expensive.

Anyway, he was talking about the concept of *people* who are Top Shelf Billers.  Meaning people who, when they are upset, go straight for the top shelf. No middle shelves; no well alcohol.  So what happens with them is that, any time their feelings are hurt, you get billed to the maximum. Every single time. No matter if they were hurt that you showed up later than you said you would or if you straight up sold all of their shit while they were away from their apartment: It is all viewed through the same lens, and it is all going to be billed Top Shelf.

I found this to be both hilarious and entirely accurate.  With Top Shelf Billers, what you learn is that - without some kind of intervention- you can't keep going to their bar.  It's just too expensive.  Sure, you may love the shit out of the bar and  might want to go in there but, if you do, you have to do so knowing that you are going to walk out with a huge ass bill that you will probably never be able to pay.

That sounds about right.

I've dated a Top Shelf Biller. And, while I know she meant well and that there are plenty of painful/understandable/heartbreaking reasons for her top shelf billing, it's just not sustainable if left unchecked.

Anyway. The conversation was needed and hilarious.

My absolutely favorite combo:

Loving, laughable, and completely fucking on point.



Now that is something I will always toast to.



Be well; be loved,

K.

(image: via jerry's eyes tumblr Striated Inna B-G)
(song lyric that influenced this would be me saying "I realize I'm just too much for you" from Beyoncé's  Don't Hurt Yourself )

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Rom-Com Mixed with Kafka's The Trial

Today/tonight has been magical and weird. 

The universe dropped not one but two situations in my lap to address that I was recently rightfully called out on for not addressing. It created one of those moments (times two) when you do the right thing - no matter who is watching and no matter whose life you are currently banned from.

The universe is funny and consistent in how it moves swiftly and surely to make sure that I am delving into my best self.  It just felt odd to have both situations dropped so plainly into my lap to right/address.

But I raised to the challenge. And, no matter the witness-less auditorium, I was successful.

(pause)

Sometimes it can take me up to a week and some change to talk to someone I care about or am in the process of knowing about something that has made me uncomfortable. 

I had one of those conversations tonight.

It was short, deep, necessary and understood. 

The strangest part was that I had bookmarked the conversation for tonight by telling her I had something to tell her.  But she had also told me she had a question to ask me but that she'd wait until we were in person.  It turns out we both had things we needed to get off of our chests- albeit very different in their content. 

It felt good.

In the midst of what she was saying she said "...and I knew you had a good intention, so I wasn't worried about it...". And there it was: That weird healing that happens when someone assumes the best running its tender finger across my heart. An assumption of goodness simply because...why wouldn't they?

It is important to build with people.

Piece by
piece
with lots of
peace.

(pause)

These days, in general, have just been filled with weird things.

Things like not being able to figure out what the mystery trash smell in your spotless house is. Then you open the washing machine and just start fucking laughing because you ran a load of laundry a week ago and never moved it to the dryer. (So much for presence.)

Things like getting flowers and your heart jumping in hopes they are from one person, but them being from another. You feel kind of guilty for the let down, but feel it nonetheless.

Things like being in a room with 18 second graders and overhearing conversations among multiple kids about their interactions with ghosts and it both fascinates and scares the shit out of you because they are speaking about it so matter-of-fact-ly. 

Things like having a taste of joy with a person you love on a rooftop in the sun with good food and hilarity and, somehow,  it tanking anyway.

(pause)

I've been thinking a lot about commitment as of late. How it is built and not just said. The depth of it. How long it lasts.

I've been thinking about words versus the value of simply spending time with someone.

"I care about you"

versus

standing on a bridge together, chucking rocks down into the uncertain waters below, and the threads that lace us together in the simple experience of it. A memory solitary and shared, all at once. 





be well; be loved,

k.

(title: a general summary of things)
(image: Pierre Soulages, Peinture 260 x 202 com, 19 juin 1963 oil on canvas via yvonneconstance tumblr)

Ode to the Beauty of a Stubborn Daddy's Boy


For years, and when things are right, I fall asleep with a small smile on my face. And, when I wake up, the smile- which is still there- spreads. I wake up excited for day in a way that is a child being curious about every potential that exists.

That has been last night.

That has been this morning.

Things are just easier when you believe in the impossible.

Something I heard during a lecture, that remains and continually proves to be true:

When your actions are inspired by love, you are able to do less while accomplishing more because nature is held together by the energy of love.

It is just, simply, true.


(pause)


I am looking forward to ferries and nature and art and conversation this weekend. I am looking forward to the sun, the air, and more of these nighttime smiles that lead into the next day.


be well; be loved,

k.

P.S. I have been reading some of the words of Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, a Queer Xicano poet/activist.  The lectures and interviews have been serious and smart, sly and charming. Here is a quick poem by him that makes me blush on more than one occasion here )


(image: Marel van den berg via vjeranski tumblr)
(title: a wink to the poem I have linked, above, and to the stubbornness of everyone I love.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Take Seven




I came home from work today, took a nap, meditated (I never know what I'm doing but I've been doing it a ton and it changes so much!), and lay across my bed to record a necessary audio letter.  All of the above was cathartic.

Then I got up, took a long shower that I shaved my legs during, got out, put cocoa butter oil all over my body, combed my wet hair, and looked myself directly in the eyes in the mirror. It had been one of those showers where you didn't just wash the dirt off, you somehow inadvertently washed off the weight of something that was never yours to have to hold in the first place.

(pause)

Tonight I met up with a friend of mine I haven't seen in a while at the one lesbian bar this town has. I haven't been there in years. Anyway, while sitting there, my friend accidentally dropped a blush compact on the ground and it shattered. She got the bartender's attention and told her "Hey, we are going to clean it up, but I have to apologize because I just dropped a blush compact and it may have made a mess", to which the bartender paused and looked genuinely sorry and said, "No. *I'm* sorry. That your blush compact broke. That sucks."  My heart softened a bit at this: It feels so fucking good to be around masc women who are femme allies in this way.  It may seem subtle or even silly, but man, it makes femmes feel so much more comfortable, safe and seen in their skin. A smile and a warm toast to those who are the likes of that long haired butch behind the bar.

(pause)

Earlier today, I dressed in the drag of commitment by calling to see if my life partner who lives with me would be covered under my five free therapy sessions plan.  Does this life partner who lives with me exist? Not exactly. But while I was mouthing the words to the woman on the phone, it felt so oddly incredible, this drag. I felt so committed. So wanted.  So family-having. It was nice.

On the up side, I now know that if a good friend is in dire need of therapy, we can pretend to be a couple and I can just work it so that everything gets focused on them. You gotta do what you gotta do. Creative resource sharing.

In any case, it's been a sad 48 hours.  I've learned some things to take with me, and have the dull ache in my heart to stay.  It will be rough to start imagining a life without a Little Lamby, but what can you do when your love has been deemed too expensive? What can you do when the rain of somebody else's rage never lets up?

Nothing but honesty. Nothing but miss her until you don't.



Be well; be loved,

k.

[image From The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962)]

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Light That Pours Out of Your Open Mouth


Finally, in a low whisper, he said, "I think I might be a terrible person." For a split second I believed him - I thought he was about to confess a crime, maybe a murder. Then I realized that we all think we might be terrible people.  But we only reveal this before asking someone to love us.  It is a kind of undressing. 


                                       - from The First Bad Man by Miranda July





I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness as of late. Of ourselves. Of each other. I've been hiding out a lot lately. I have also been hanging out with both people and contexts I'm not so used to yet.

I remember while living in Columbus, there would be nights that the entire house of six people I lived with would aim to go out to a show but, last minute, I would decide to stay behind. When I finally heart the last footstep go out of the door and the door be locked, I would pause in the sudden silence of a house that was always loud. There would be the banter of my housemates as they walked away from the house, the muffled slamming of a car door outside, the start of an engine, then the car drifting off into the distance.  The far away noises would be replaced by the shifting and creaking of the house- all of the sounds I was rarely able to hear.  I would stand in my room and bask in them for a moment.  They were almost insect-like in their life and movement.

Then, with a spark of excitement in my stomach, I would grab my book and blanket, go into my closet, climb upon its lowest, most sturdy shelf, and read.

Sometimes I would feel insecure about doing this. Never enough to not do it, but I was always vaguely aware that I was "supposed to go out on the weekends". I never really wanted to.  I go enough "social scene" from the house and its members.  I loved doing people's make up or cutting their hair or picking out their outfits before they went out, but, I never wanted to go to the ball, so to speak.  Always a willing Cinderella enjoyably frozen in the moment just after her stepsisters left, and before the fairy godmother ever arrived.

In any case. I've been thinking about this, about these moments of solitude, because they doubled as these odd teeterings between being engaged socially and being in a space of total solitude and self reflection.  My mind has been thinking of these moments and likening them to longer periods of time: Specifically, the periods of time that exist between hurt or betrayal, and forgiveness.

Forgiveness, of course, is never a given, and forgiveness can never really happen without time.  I'm thinking a lot about what that time is filled with; how it unfolds.  What compels a person to forgive someone? What compels a person to forgive themselves?

Compel, of course, is not the right word.  I don't believe that one can be compelled to forgive.  One can have an inclination, I suppose, but  forgiveness is never a decision so much as it is a process. And that process happens in these moments, or collection of moments, that make up the period of time between hurt or betrayal and forgiveness.

What is involved in these periods of time is everything and nothing.  Being by yourself. Being with other people. The mundane. The sublime. The social. The solitary. But no matter what is going on around you, the plates of your feelings are shifting.  Things are changing, moving, solidifying into something you don't, entirely, have control over.

These periods of time are important.  And no matter where the final shift places you in relation to forgiveness

they are something of the act of love

and thus

are

necessary.



be well; be loved,

k.

(image: Franco Kappl via lecollecteur tumblr)