Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A sense of renewal

My mother wants to know what I'm writing about, if I've gotten any new ideas. I'm working on this project of trying to regain a sense of hope in my own sexuality, it's a long-term project. My mother: that sounds interesting. Me: it's about the public sexual cultures I inhabit and the ways in which they let me down. My mother: what don't you like about your culture? Me: Not my culture, but the sexual cultures that should give me hope but instead feel limiting and exhausting. My mother: why does it feel limiting? Me: because of the way people treat each other, it just feels like the endless repetition of dissatisfaction and there's no accountability or care. My mother: that definitely sounds interesting.

Of course this conversation gives me another wave of hopelessness, because here my mother is asking me questions about something she doesn't really understand, probably wouldn't really want to read but in some ways she's trying to connect and I sense that and then just sadness and longing. What I really want is to tell my mother how I'm really hoping that she creates this account for me, in January she's talking to her financial planners and she doesn't know but she's going to ask them. How in January I'm going to be a complete mess, an absolute disaster and it would be especially helpful if I could feel some sense of security, here I mean financial and she knows that but I feel like I keep needing to remind her, does she forgot or does it just roll to the back of her throat and get stuck there, my throat I mean it's why I can't speak and then I think about calling her back, just in case, maybe I can ask her if she'd pay my January rent it's kind of stressful to keep spending money while knowing that eventually it will run out, I do have time but the limitations of my body make everything seem less hopeful, there's that word again.

So I call my mother back to talk about the mundane, there's that stressful tone in her voice that comes whenever there's money involved, yes she'll send a check for my rent. And I say that I’m sure she'll check in with me as soon as she talks to her financial planners, but she cuts me off before I get to say I know she's not doing that for a few weeks, so then I say: I know that won't be for a few weeks. I say I’m thinking about it now because I know I'm going to be a disaster when I get back. She says you're going to be -- what's that word? I can't remember it, something that sounds like disaster but it means a financial mess.

Destitute. How ridiculous -- here I am asking my mother for support and she wants to know if I'm destitute.

I say no not financially I mean my body, and she says what are you going to do to feel better, which isn't a bad question actually and I'm not entirely sure, other than feldenkrais, but then my mother really surprises me when she says: I think it's unbelievable that you made this trip, your spirit and your courage, that you were able to do it is quite excellent and you should give yourself a pat on the back -- no, more than a pat on the back for a great achievement, you should never forget all of that and maybe when you get back it can be kind of like an inspiration to carry through with more of your work.

What? Who is this person? She says: the other part that's important is your connection with people and I know you've been feeling terribly disappointed and this connection from your trip probably helped you a lot, this contact and a sense of renewal.

A sense of renewal? That's actually kind of eloquent. Then she wants to talk about how maybe I can start a study group to talk about gender and sexuality, how people think of their own sexuality and gender and even sex work, by forming your own group and joining others, and at first there’s something slightly interesting about what she's saying, even if it's just that she added sex work as something casual and maybe even positive about my experience, but then she goes on and on about this study group and eventually she says: I'm on a roll, listen to your mother, I'm on a roll, and I'm not sure that I entirely disagree.