Monday, January 16, 2017

Petals and Water

The smell of rose water reminds me of my mother, although she never used it.

There was a woman, a handful of years older than me, that would use it on her face at night.   A found this woman, a friend of a friend, to be beautiful. Her parents from Argentina; herself born in a town in New Jersey.

One day, I thought, when I am older, I will do the same ritual, in order to look like her.


My aunt, the one woman in my extended family to have married a man with money, sold Mary Kay Cosmetics in her spare time. When I visited their home, which felt like a mansion at the time, she would carefully go over the three steps of cleansing one's face. After washing and toning her face with liquids and pearlized drops of cleanser from the tiny and pink containers, she would tell me that the last step was to moisturize.

She would reach a miniature spatula into a small tub of cream, explaining that it kept the oil from one's fingers from contaminating the jar, then transfer the small dollop onto her middle finger.

She would then dot her face in five places: Her forehead, her chin, each cheek, then her nose.





I would hear in my head

Although there was an extra step.


(image: a close up of a depiction of Mater Dolorosa. I believe this is Dirk Bouts, 1460)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Autobiography of an Engraving

Let me tell you something:  There are the times that you feel completely loved and lovable simply based on who loves you and how much and how complexly they do. Now is one of those times.  Although it was the birthday of someone I love so deeply and who I respect to the end of the galaxy and back, somehow it was me that left feeling gifted.

I've always been of the school of thought that you should surround yourself with who you want to become.  Be around those whose activism, politics, brains, fashion, artistic ability, well-read-ness, creativity, joy, hilarity, sexiness and every single other thing you can think of you wish to emulate, cultivate, and create synergy with.

There will be people who come into my life- for a month here, two years there- who will not be permanent. They won't be permanent because, although they have their own beauty I am certain- they are simply not who I want to be like.  They are not who I look up to.

If you have been in my life for more than four years, I can guarantee you that I admire you. I respect you. I want to become more like who you are and what you put out into the world and into your friends. I am, in short, in a respectful and grounded state of awe of you. "Awe", here, not in the "I could never be like that..." type way, but, rather, in the "holy shit! This person is amazing. I want to live my life in a way that they respect. I want to build community in a way that they would approve of. I want to be a person that they want to have in their life." type way.

It doesn't matter how frequently we talk or hang out.  If you are a person I text randomly every few months to talk about writing or politics or humor or art, you are one of these people.

In any case, it is something on my mind tonight.

Those beautiful and complex and historied lattices that we create that hold us together so that we may fall apart.


I love you.

And to those that are new and flirting about in the margins:  I invite you.  This isn't the lipstick-wearing boar's clubs that I have seen: The ones who keep people out. Who cackle and are cool. Who are careful with their words in a way that only monolingual and monocultural people can be.

We are big. We are beautiful. We are bright. We are complex. We are sloppy. We are awkward.  We are loud. We are quiet. We are jagged. We are smooth. We are loving.

We are loved. 

be well; be loved; be the person you want to be for the people who you love.


(image: Grace Jones via whiskeyboat tumblr)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Fingerprints: A Study in Rebirth and Discovery

Here we go.

2017, and everything starts tomorrow, somehow.


A list of what I have been thinking and talking about a lot lately is: White supremacy, love, activism, being smitten, being driven, being connected, mass incarceration, and really, really good drag.


I will admit that I am savoring the feeling of these moments of "smitten".

It's the way my body feels when you get a hold of me even if I don't have time right in that moment to respond to you.  It's the way my heart leaps when I hear you intermix intelligence with humor. Politics and pop culture. Research and good recipes for juice.

I've been wondering what's been taking you so long, but, I have to admit that I enjoy being the person you chat with just before you go to bed at night on nights like this. Even when there is an event that surrounds you. Even when everyone is there to celebrate you.  It's like being inside of Madonna's dressing room during the filming of the Truth or Dare documentary. Sure, the fans adore you, but it's me that gets to see you with your silk robe falling open and the cosmetic tape on your face.

Both beauties of you are, indeed, beautiful, but I will always covet that you come to me after your spine unwinds. When your wrists and your lips are a bit looser. Bolder. Careful, but with a crass that slowly eclipses your sensibilities: The slow, secret spiral as you come undone.

I could listen to you for hours, and love the self consciousness that creeps into your voice when you realize the ease in which you spill the stories that you share.

Before you go you say to me,

"I'll talk to you soon, I hope.

Thank you."

Unsure but certain at the same time.

It's been over a decade now, after all.

be well; be loved,


(image: Francis Lane shot by Matthew Pandolfe via Endarkenment Tumblr)