Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I’m not supposed to look at my email before I leave the house, but there’s that little window that opens up that shows the five most recent messages, why do I stare at those names with some kind of fear in my chest, am I feeling more anxious lately? I should make a plan to go to the reading with someone, tomorrow’s reading, I haven’t called anyone yet because I haven’t felt like calling anyone. I call Jen, Katia, and then I figure I might as well call Donna back to give her the recipe for chickpeas and change our feldenkrais appointment, and then the doctor’s office to make a follow-up appointment since they didn’t call me back, and then the homeopath to tell her no, nothing different has happened, I just feel much worse, and I think it might be because of taking the thyroid medication just twice, one dose on the first day and a quarter on the second. I don’t say: when I speak in the way that I’m feeling, people get worried.

The laundry arrives, I lean down to smell it, just to make sure that it isn’t filled with toxic chemicals and oh no, why did I get so close? Fabric softener right into my nose and rushing to inhale eucalyptus oil doesn’t help I already have that crunching in my sinuses. I hate that I have this privilege that’s kind of a necessity for me, I can afford to send my laundry to a place where they supposedly don’t use any chemical products, and then the laundry arrives and it’s like a blast of the end of the world, right here in this unbleached cotton bag.

I guess I’m not supposed to notice. I try not to notice -- I really try. Sometimes the odor is much fainter, I try not to notice there’s a rash below my eyes right where the freshly-laundered eye mask hugs my face. Freshly-laundered because it gets moist while I’m sleeping and if I don’t wash it frequently then I’ll get a different kind of rash. I try not to notice when my pants smell more like fabric softener than my shirts, maybe the fumes won’t reach my nose. I try not to notice when the fumes reach my nose anyway.

I can’t believe that this horrible toxic product isn’t illegal -- I can’t believe that they keep telling me they don’t use fabric softener, not even in any of their machines, and obviously that’s a lie or they’re sending the laundry somewhere else and this time it’s so bad that I’m going to have to ask them to wash these clothes again, please wash these clothes again, please.

Maybe a shower will help -- in the shower, I’m fantasizing about my own laundry machine which means fantasizing about some kind of apartment that I own, since there isn’t even enough water in this building to run a shower, and sure enough, just as I’m thinking this, the hot water stops running and then it turns to cold, and then it gets hot again but there’s no pressure and when I get out of the shower I turn the news on again, Free Speech Radio News, a worker-owned collective, and today’s first news stories were about Peruvian cops murdering indigenous protesters in the Amazon to make way for oil and gas development, and horrifying conditions in camps for Somalian refugees, and now they’re talking about gay marriage in New York state and I don’t want to hear anything about gay marriage ever again.

There was a time when I actually liked critiquing the hypocrisy of the gay marriage agenda, but now I don’t want to talk about marriage ever again -- I just want it to go away. Yet even on this progressive radio program that I listen to almost every day, the program that gives great in-depth coverage of US colonialism here and abroad, here on this progressive radio program there’s nothing but fawning support for gay assimilation -- marriage, military inclusion, hate crimes legislation, whatever -- they just throw it down with no critique whatsoever so when they say “the question of marriage equality is coming down to a few key lawmakers,” it sounds like they’re reading from a pro-marriage press release. What the hell is “marriage equality,” other than a scam by certain “nonprofits” to feed an endless machine for more more more money, what do they say every time they lose they say we need more more more money -- we lost once we lost twice we lost three times give us more more more money and we’ll try the same strategies of exclusion, the same strategies of presenting a sanitized, straight-friendly version of gay identity that silences anyone on the margins, we know these strategies will eventually work because eventually there won’t be any margins left, we’ll make sure of that!

And, of course, what do they say when they win? More more money we need more more money! Meanwhile, Free Speech Radio News wants me to know that “Brendon Fay wants his six-year-old Civil Marriage Trail Project to become irrelevant” -- luckily I’ve never heard of this project before, but searching for it on the web I do find that yes, they are invoking the Underground Railroad that helped bring slaves to Canada “where they found the freedom and equality denied in the U.S.”

Get it? Freedom Trail = Civil Marriage Trail. Freedom = Marriage. Wait, the movement to help gay people to go abroad to get married is a continuation of the movement to help slaves to escape servitude? Of course, I should never be surprised by the willingness of marriage advocates to appropriate civil rights discourse for their own gain, but still -- I’m surprised!

Yes, apparently the Civil Marriage Trail Project was founded to assist same-sex couples in New York to travel (underground?) to Canada, and more recently Massachusetts and Connecticut, to finally receive state support for legally becoming each other’s property. Well, not quite the Freedom Trail, but, according to Fay, some people are “too ill, too frail, or too disabled… or maybe those who are too poor, or who can’t afford to take the time off from work” to make the trip to Stamford or Toronto -- but, guess what, if civil marriage passes in New York, these poor disabled couples will finally be able to wed in their home state! Apparently this will solve all the problems related to poverty, illness, or disability -- now these lovely couples will have… marriage! Yes, marriage will help you to get a personal home attendant. Marriage will help pay your bills. Marriage will help give you enough healthy food to eat. Forget about providing basic resources, what we need is -- I know -- marriage marriage marriage! Say that again: marriage marriage marriage! More money for marriage! More money for marriage to help people with more money!

Fay wants to add that, apparently, a legal marriage helps you to immediately “get in track for legalization for immigrant purposes.” What track, exactly, is this? That’s right -- no need to change laws relating to immigration, just let more people get married! Need a new hat? Get married. Need a home? Get married. Need a job? Get married. Is that ICE at your door? Put down that gun, officer -- I’m married!

And how does this progressive newscast end? I know -- by telling us, without any critique whatsoever, that, if this bill to legalize gay marriage in New York passes, the state will “gain $210 million annually through increased wedding activities.” No critique of the same consumerism that drives all of the exploitative tentacles of government/corporate profiteering that Free Speech Radio News is always busy challenging. Sorry, if it’s gay, it’s okay -- just get married!

But wait -- before I get married, I need to get out of the house to get to the office supply store before it closes -- all of my pens have run out of ink, except for the ones that hurt my hands. So I rush outside and luckily the bus is just pulling up and I get to the store with plenty of time, although they have no answer as to why my pens run out of ink within a week or two, and I’m constantly having to return to fund the plastics industry, but then I’m home and even though I just ate something a few seconds or minutes ago I’m already hypoglycemic, maybe I should try some of these nuts -- macadamia nuts? I try one, my eyes get a little glazed but it’s not that bad so I try another, and then a third, and then I’m eating something else and I start to get that scratchiness in my throat -- I used to just think of it as a swallowing allergy, I can’t stop swallowing, but then my sister said something about hives in her throat and I thought oh, maybe these are hives, and then my nose starts running and I drink some water, but now it’s not just an itch in my throat it’s a pain, and then it’s like there’s something stuck on the roof of my mouth, some kind of skin, but there weren’t any skins on these macadamia nuts-- this is my skin, turned into something sandy.

I call Rose to thank her for the birthday gift, she wants to know if I’ve tried anything, she means any drugs. I say well, I did actually try something new, a thyroid medication, but it didn’t help. She says do you have a thyroid condition? I say I guess so, I’m slightly hypothyroid but the medication didn’t help -- I guess I’ll go back to the doctor, but I’m not that hopeful. Rose says: you need to go back, they’ll give you something that’ll help. I say I am going back, but I’m not that hopeful. Rose says: I don’t know of any thyroid problem that hasn’t been helped.


Piers Gaveston Jr said...

Is there a fancy word for hearing so much about something that you never want to hear it again? Or when so much hatred has been dumped on you by other people in the guise of this subject, that you just want to drive them and their problems off the face of the planet. Gay marriage, Jesus, the black white thing...so many personal problems, so few public issues to cover them up with. Is that why people say issue instead of problem now?
On a lighter note, I and am using my fun handle again.

kayti said...

nothing like a helping hand or a slap in the face to lift one spirits.

rocko bulldagger said...

Thank you for this. Rough day. This helped me, believe it or not. I feel like I am being brainwashed into wanting marriage, brainwashed every day by this constant droning nonsense then sometimes I come up against, well, being discriminated against as a lesbian and I think to myself marriage wouldn't help this situation... and wait a minute, why am I thinking about marriage at all? Because I am getting brainwashed, brainwashed, brainwashed... never wanted to get married but it's all anyone can talk about. So thanks for saying so. xxoo

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Piers, yes -- what is that fancy word?

Kayti, yes yes a slap in the face!

And Rocko, oh no not brainwashing but yes yes so true this "constant draining nonsense" so much constant draining nonsense, so great to hear from you through it all!

Love --

Anonymous said...

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, darling :)

Love --