Monday, June 02, 2008

All of my exhaustion into the street for the cars to run over

It's one of those days when I can barely function at all, I mean really I can barely function. But the radio show turns out amazing -- there are four hosts and me, in the studio of the Clear Channel-owned station. There are a bunch of stations in the building -- this one is called Green 960, it's the "progressive" one where the tech person says she's sorry to give me water in a Dr. Phil mug, but they're aspiring to be green. It's so touching that right-wing mega-corporations are now "green."

I arrive really early, which gives me time to sit at the CalTrain station across the street beforehand, which is actually bright and sunny and filled with air and kind of calming. I should always arrive early.

The person on the show before me is a life coach who helped this one gay man to find the right relationship. When it's my turn, I realize that it's actually much better to do a show in the studio than on the phone -- usually I prefer the phone, because I'm such a mess but in person I can really exude friendliness, and modulate my voice a lot more. I can also sense more clearly how the show is supposed to run -- since this is commercial radio, I know that I'm supposed to deliver soundbites.

All the hosts seem quite confused by anti-assimilationist queer politics, although one host says the book was a challenging read, which sounds pretty engaged. I can't tell how much of their confusion is an act and how much is genuine. They're also very confused by my gender -- two of the hosts call me "Matt" the whole time, one goes back and forth, and one of them sticks to Mattilda. But I don't really care, it just shows where they're coming from -- actually, from beginning to end, especially when one host says dismissively, you really just sound like you need some love, even though everything I've been saying has been so filled with energy and excitement and I think that's so clear, her comment just sounds isolated. She also says she thinks I was born 30 years too late, which might be true.

There are a few callers -- one of them is so flustered that he starts arguing with me about whether marriage confers hospital visitation rights -- even though he's trying to challenge my critique of marriage, it's like he's asking me to make the pro-marriage argument. The host who thinks I need some love, and offers me a hug which I accept enthusiastically but never receive, I notice that when I say that marriage is a system of property relations that originally involved control over property that included women and slaves -- she kind of nods her head like you can't argue with that.

I thought it would be stressful to stay energetic, but actually it all just flows and I'm so present there in that room that all the dismissive comments feel like just another texture helping with my flow, is that strange? Afterwards I'm filled with a sexual charge and my body doesn't hurt like usual, I mean like usually happens after an interview.

Outside I'm in this part of South of Market that still actually has warehouses and it's kind of beautiful just past dusk with the glow of neon signs and all the fresh air, even with the highway entrances so nearby. Waiting for the bus I'm exhausted again, wondering if I should take a cab but then I decide to meditate instead, I'll focus on throwing all of my exhaustion into the street for the cars to run over, that red door across the street is the door to somewhere filled with light and energy, yes it's better out here than in my apartment, here with all this air.

Meditation actually ends up making me more tired, but now I'm relaxed about it, yawning these huge yawns until the bus actually arrives, and then on the bus I’m thinking about the speed of the motorcoach taking me away from fatigue, and when we get to the top of the hill where I get off I'll just be calm and clear and fresh. When we get there I'm still tired, but it's still okay.


Michael Faris said...

My LGBT studies students read the introduction to "That's Revolting." A few wrote their reading journals on it and wrote along the lines: "Wow. I had never considered these things." One even wrote that she's rethinking her financial support of HRC. I was pleased with their openness to what I thought would be read as "what the heck is ze talking about!" :)

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Michael, that's so wonderful to hear!


michele said...

i'm glad to hear that the dismissive commentary worked almost as more motivation. that's so great that you could re-interpret that energy into something you could use.

the fact that they wouldn't give you the basic respect of calling you by your preferred name makes me really angry! it's sad if progressive radio feels it needs to mimic the abusive hosting style of the conservative shows in order to compete.

but congrats on sailing through it... and yay for meditation!

grantatee said...

i love that meditation for yourself. at least cars can be good for something-- in all their destructiveness, they can run right over and crush all that exhaustion you throw out in front of it.

love you-- looking forward to seeing you thursday!

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Grant, that's a good point -- at least they can be good for something, running over my exhaustion yes running running running running over! And yay for Thursday!

Michele, you're right -- it's kind of funny how that worked, I'll have to think about that technique, practice practice practice... and yes, it was completely absurd that they acted like it was just the strangest thing that I had chosen a name that wasn't my birth name, and then they just ignored it at the same time -- exactly, mimicking "the abusive hosting style of the conservative shows" -- and of course they're owned by the same company!

And yes, more meditation I need to remember that one too...

Love --

sulphur bottom said...

i'd nearly be a millionaire if i kept your approach to waiting for buses while living in sf.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

A millionaire? Well that's worth waiting for...

Love --