Saturday, November 07, 2009


When I got back, there was melted candle wax on the sofa in my room -- Garrett said oh, that’s wax Zee poured on someone at the party, they were having sex and it was part of the scene. I guess I must have already hated parties, that’s why it took place while I was away. I lifted the sofa and tried to push it out the window, the window was big but still the sofa wouldn’t fit. So I dragged it downstairs and outside to the street -- that’s how I was feeling. I’d originally found the sofa on the street anyway, back in the Inner Richmond. I can’t remember if I got another one -- I think somewhere there’s a picture of JoAnne and me sitting on a sofa in my room, I’ll have to take a look at it.

Since Laurie had invited Garrett to move in, I told her there was no way I would move out. Everything was tense for a while and then Laurie moved out; maybe our relationship was over. Laurie moved in with Angie, who was starting to have a lot of power in our little world -- she would hold court at parties with her tarot cards, telling people what to do, she saw it in the cards. Angie made movies that were like rants and when someone she liked performed at an open mic or at someone’s house or showed their art at the dyke café where everyone went for coffee and drama, Angie would say: that was amazing. Sometimes it was amazing, but sometimes it was awful; soon there was this whole group of dykes who followed Angie around, they were constantly congratulating each other on bad art and bad relationships and bad behavior that they thought was truly amazing. When Laurie moved out, Angie decided I was abusive, so that’s what everyone who followed her around decided too. I didn’t know exactly what Laurie thought, because we weren’t really speaking, but I felt like she had a right to be as angry as she wanted. Angie and I barely even knew each other, but you remember what I said about loyalty, right?

The strange thing was that Garrett and I actually ended up becoming close, we would sit in each other’s rooms and talk about flashbacks and desire and our fathers and the masculinity we were horrified by; we talked about consent, and whether it was really possible. Garrett couldn’t believe I rarely got fucked, and I couldn’t believe he thought getting fucked was the only radical choice for faggots like us. We got arrested writing anti-police graffiti on a bus shelter -- the ad showed a stick-figure drawing with a gun, shooting at other stick figures, black lines on a white background: “Children Draw What They See, and What They See Is a Crime” -- we made a simple alteration, labeling the stick figure with a gun as a cop and the victims as unarmed people of color, and then we went to a nearby café. It turned out that some store owner called the cops, and since Garrett and I both had bright-colored hair we were easily identifiable; they took us to jail, overnight, first to a holding cell by ourselves, once they decided we had sugar in our pants, that’s how they put it. I was grateful for that sugar, once I took a look in the other holding cell, everyone arranged almost on top of one another, there was a fight and someone started screaming and the cops ignored it. After a night in a blank room with those crazy-making pale green walls, we ended up in the queen tank, where everyone assumed we’d gotten arrested for prostitution -- I stayed awake while Garrett dozed; some guy was screaming on the phone to his lawyer, probably he was the only one with a lawyer. Eventually the cops took Garrett and me to separate interviews where they tried to get each of us to say that the other one was the problem but neither of us did -- we ended up with time served and 40 hours of community service.

Maybe that’s when we really bonded. We decided to practice French together, even though we thought French was snotty we also thought we shouldn’t forget the language we had spent so much time learning, with all of our high school dreams of expatriotism. Garrett made those stickers that we loved, his favorite was TRASH because that’s what people had always told him he was, white trash but this was when people in the Mission were always having white trash parties, even though none of these people had actually grown up white trash -- these were the people who had grown up kind of like me and so I avoided them, not just because of their white trash parties but because I thought they would never learn anything I wanted to know. At the kitchen table, we would talk angrily about those parties, not just the upper-middle-class fetishism but the emphasis on whiteness. Garrett thought the two of us should have sex, but I was never interested -- I still noticed how he was trying to be me, at least when he was with me, and I was trying to encourage him to emphasize his differences; sex wouldn’t work between us, I said, even though at this point we used the word love to describe one another I just wasn’t attracted to him sexually.


stephen said...

I'm glad you stood up for what you believed in. That is always important. I'm heading to NYC this week to OD on live theater for 10 days. I have 1-3 plays a day scheduled for everyday I am there. I miss you love. I've been soaking my precious feet in vinegar like you suggested awhile back. xoxoxoxo

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, sweetheart -- 1 to 3 play the day, that's insane! And yay for vinegar! And your precious feet! Call me anytime you're in the mood...

Love --

Anonymous said...

...and I couldn’t believe he thought getting fucked was the only radical choice for faggots like us.

I hear this so much! Then when I talk to people about not letting tricks fuck me that often, they just can't believe it. People are never satisfied when I describe dicks in my butt as "meh". I would rather you rub my feet, thanks.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

"I would rather you rub my feet, thanks."

I'll have to try that one!

Love --