Monday, September 01, 2008

This push and pull

So I'm lying on the floor doing the feldenkrais movement that's more like meditation in order to find the center I mean my center my head is usually far to the right that's something to notice. I'm also trying to let all of my exhaustion sink into the floor but it's not working I just feel like I'm going to have to get back in bed, I hate getting back in bed after so many hours already there. Especially before going outside -- if I get back in bed, I won't get outside until dark. Oh, bed -- last night I wrote an entire story in my head -- I mean it was a great story, except I'm way too tired now to possibly write it out. Or even remember it, really.

I'm wondering if my laundry is actually going to arrive today. I searched all over for a laundromat that doesn't use fabric softener anywhere in the place, and I finally found somewhere -- it's really expensive, but at least it won't destroy my life I mean that's my hope. It took three days, which was longer than they said it would, and then they canceled the delivery yesterday so now I'm really wondering if they're going to show up. I mean I'm trying not to wonder, at least while I'm doing this feldenkrais movement, trying not to feel overwhelmed and hopeless and the good news is that right when I get up the phone rings and yes, the delivery person is here, interesting that it seems like a bunch of tall, broad-shouldered white guys who work there, or at least two of them. Guys you would see in the Marina or I guess North Beach also, where the place is.

It's important to remember how much feeling helpless impacts the overwhelm I find myself in every day, I mean today I'm totally exhausted from lack of sleep I don't know if I can do anything but then the laundry arrives and I open up the bag and it doesn't smell like chemicals, not even a hint and it's like something clears from my head a lightness to my eyes and now I don't have to get back in bed.

Of course, something so simple like laundry shouldn't be so hard but it is. I go outside, take a few buses a few blocks and walk a few blocks and then the store I'm going to is closed, which is okay because then I can walk back but the problem is that I walk four blocks and then my life is over again, it happens so quickly I need somewhere to sit down and there's nowhere to sit. I sit on the stoop in front of the gate, it's not quite a stoop just four or five inches to sit before gate but the gate’s okay because I can lean against it except now someone needs to get in. I stand up, and he makes sure to shut the gate behind himself so that I don't get in. It's amazing how suspicious people get, just because you're sitting in public where you're not supposed to.

Eventually I get home, takes another hour to recover, this push and pull between collapse and kind of functioning. At least my head clears again and I start thinking about sex, which isn't going to happen, and really that's okay I just like the moment when I'm back on my stretching mat and I start laughing about an imaginary dynamic with some guy I've never met, the cute things we would do like hugs like laughing like maybe lying on this stretching mat together no it's too small and I'm too tired anyway.

23 comments:

Lisa Harney said...

Your vignettes make me nostalgic for San Francisco, and I've only been there twice.

I had an opportunity to move there once - I'm half regretting it and half thankful.

Plus: Yay for safe laundry. :)

grantatee said...

i'm glad your laundry came. remember, you can always ask me to threaten them with a bad yelp review if they don't deliver when they say they will.. ha.

love you,
grant

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lisa, that's amazing -- nostalgia, even though you've only been here twice! I'll keep delivering the vignettes, and maybe you'll return...

And Grant, thanks so much -- and I know I can always rely on you for sandwich appointments too :)

And yes, yay for safe laundry -- here's to safe laundry!

Love--
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

Oh, I want to return soooo much.

Both times I was there just long enough to get a good taste.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lisa, I hope it hasn't gotten too much worse, I mean with all the ongoing gentrification atrocities...

Love--
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

Yes, the gentrification is why I'm half thankful.

I've heard little good, and not just from reading your stuff.

The first time, I was with family and 15 years old - it was the summer before the Challenger exploded - anyway, we're in Chinatown and my mother's now-ex husband (not my father, thank god) decided we had to stop for lunch.

So he looks for a place selling burgers.

In Chinatown.

The life of adventure, it was.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lisa, at least they're still isn't anywhere in Chinatown to get burgers, it's important to stay thankful about some things, right?

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

I finally found a reference I was thinking of - Susan Stryker talking about Dewey's Lunch Counter being the kind of place that'd be safe for people like her (white trans woman with a history degree???) while at the same time actively participating in gentrification by trying to get rid of homeless queer youth who really would've been safe there.

And yes - we didn't find any hamburgers in Chinatown. I just look back and think there were probably a hundred restaurants we could've gone to, but he had to have his burgers.

And I'm thankful for many things, and if I can visit SF again, that'll be one more thing.

I know, I'm terrible, coming back after three days - I hate leaving a question hanging.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Hi Lisa --

Feel free to come back after it three days, any time... but wait, I'm a bit confused about this reference -- you're saying that Susan Stryker is critiquing Dewey's Lunch Counter for creating a safe space for people like her, but actively participating in gentrification by pushing away queer youth of color, correct? Or... of course there are more incendiary interpretations...

love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

I misremembered what I had read, which was not as strong a condemnation as I remembered, but rather questioned what she was saying in relation to what she was doing:

last year i was watching the film about the compton riot in the tenderloin district of san francisco made by susan stryker. while i appreciate her effort as a queer/trans historian documenting the histories of trans people in tenderloin, i felt really uncomfortable where she said (in film) "compton cafe was a place for people like me." i mean, i am pretty sure that none of the people, trans or otherwise, involved in the riot had a ph. d. in history like she does... i was offended by this comment, especially knowing that she is a member of the mid-market (i.e. tenderloin) neighborhood development group that has been waging a war against homeless people, hookers, and junkies who live there.

Lisa Harney said...

I think that maybe I should write some books.

Think there's a market for fantasy fiction with an emphasis on queer characters?

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Interesting, indeed -- I've never heard that Susan Stryker was part of any of those noxious pro- gentrification neighborhood groups, so I wonder if that's true...

And I say yes yes yes to writing books!

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

It could be wrong. I never fact checked that statement, just reacted to it.

So, yeah, I'll just go back to not assuming it's true - it's just the kind of thing I expect to hear about SF and the middle class.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lisa, I do think it's interesting and important analysis in general, just want to be sure of the details in this specific instance...

But yes it's ABSOLUTELY true of so many instances in San Francisco and the tragic story of class privilege and assimilation and cultural erasure...

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

Well, yeah, I want to confirm the details. I may ask Emi about it at some point.

So it's more "not assuming that it's true" rather than "assuming it's not true", if that distinction makes sense.

And that does point out a kind of appropriation that I've been becoming aware of ever since I started looking at queer history - that is who starts the movement, and then who claims ownership afterward, as if being assimilationist and indistinguishable from straight people still means you're just like the people rousted at Stonewall, or the people at the Compton rights.

Or how the movement then looks at the people who did kick off the riots and says "You haven't done the work we have, we deserve the fruits of this activism before you."

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

But wait, Lisa, are you saying it wasn't wealthy white gay real estate speculators driving rainbow Hummers who started the movement, every movement, yes yes yes for white gay real estate speculators driving rainbow Hummers and waving the red white and blue...

love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

I know, I was shocked to learn there was gambling in this establishment!

I remember some ENDA arguments I had that really kicked it off - pointing out that transgender people kicked off Stonewall (Sylvia Rivera called herself transgender - at least later on) and gay men would tell me that it was drag queens - men in dresses.

After that, someone would call me a man in a dress. Then, it pissed me off, but now I'd say, "Okay, so how are drag queens different again?"

Also, it's your writing along with Monica Roberts' that really opened my eyes.

I'm almost to the point where I think there's not much more for me to say about feminism, and I want to start talking a lot about the LGBT movement.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lisa,

"Okay, so how are drag queens different again?"

Love it!

And oh, the comment about opening your eyes -- it warms my heart!

And of course we can talk about the "LGBT movement" through the lens of feminism -- the feminism of challenging power, not accessing power, of course...

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

Oh, I try to talk about everything through a feminist/intersectional lens.

I don't always succeed, but I try.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lisa, of course I would expect nothing less of you :)

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

As you probably saw, I've already started talking about my issues with the gay rights movement!

I'll have more later, but kind of frustrated with how the discussion's gone today.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Unfortunately it often remains frustrating, but continue we must!

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

Yes. Fortunately, this is the intarweb, so I can pace my participation!