Monday, March 30, 2009

Lostmissing #24


Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

And here's what lostmissing #24 says:

I’m sick of thinking about what I want to say when I see you. I’m sick of thinking about seeing you. I wish I would just run into you already, so I wouldn’t have to think about how I’ll look when I run into you. I want just the right amount of sun so that my face glows, but not too much so there are more shadows. Now I wait four or five days to wash my hair so that it doesn’t get too dry, and then on that fifth day it’s perfect. I want to talk to you like you’re a distant threat, something just outside of the hairbrush.

I did figure out the one sentence I want to say when I see you: the way you’re treating me is disgusting. Simpler and more direct. Of course there’s so much more, but it’s good to have one sentence. The way you’re treating me is disgusting and overwhelming and it goes against everything we built together over so many years and I still treasure all of that, even if now I hate it too and it makes me more lonely.

This project is not about letting go. This project is about expressing myself. It’s about you and me and what you mean to me, what you meant and what you will mean once I get done with you, done with this project. What I will mean. I won’t be done with you, once I’m done with this project. Although I wouldn’t mind. I’m not trying to let you go. I’m sick of what’s necessary. I’m sick of you.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Late at night, the angles...



Lostmissing in Buena Vista Park!



Some kind of progress

Today I wake up and think of new strategies of taste. When I drink water, I’m going to try and sense the texture, the flavor. I need to eat slower, take more time with each bite. Standing, maybe I can sense my tongue in my mouth, the air.

All of this interrupted by a project with my mother, for some reason I agreed to take a look at the bio she wrote for a new brochure about my grandmother’s art, this is an ongoing project so elaborate and frustrating that I can barely even write about it, but basically it involves my mother’s attempt to market my grandmother’s art, which seems to involve thousands and thousands of dollars and sometimes an elegant creation like a website or a show but mostly this endless cycle webbing my mother and grandmother together in a fight disguised as unity. Remember: this is my father’s mother.

Anyway, I take a look at the bio and it’s a mess, so then I’m frantically looking at the website and the catalog for the permanent collection of my grandmother’s art at the University of Maryland and then I’m already so drained I can’t even function. And I haven’t even talked to my mother yet. Why did I agree to do this?

At least I figure out what I want to say: you shouldn’t involve me in your stress. But then we’re talking and my mother’s frantic and I’m editing the thing for her and she’s still frantic and demanding, she wants me to look it over again after she types it up so then we got off the phone. At least I have this feldenkrais CD, calming me into the ground and when I get back up I can think about taste again.

Back to my mother’s stress, but then I do say: please don’t ask me to do something like this again, I mean here you are trying to do something that isn’t what you do -- you’re not a curator or an agent -- and I don’t think you should agree to do these things, although that’s a separate issue and what I’m saying now is that I don’t have any energy and when I do something like this it’s the only thing I can do the whole day and I don’t want you to involve me in your stress. My mother listens, and then tries to explain, and I say that I don’t mind giving advice, but usually when I give you advice you don’t even listen to it, and even with this bio you’ll probably take it to Rose and she’ll say she doesn’t like it at all and then what will have been the point? Or, when I said a long time ago that what you needed to do was to find a gallery to represent her, instead of spending your own money to promote her work because that’s what galleries do, you don’t have to spend your own money, and it’s only now that you’re trying to find a gallery. Or when I suggested that you get her neighborhood paper to do an article on her, because that’s the point of neighborhood papers and she’s lived in that neighborhood for 50 years and I’m sure they would be interested, but you never did that. And my mother doesn’t even remember that suggestion, so she says you’re right that’s a good example, and I guess I’m glad that even if I did this thing that drained me at least I could articulate exactly why, and tell my mother right away and so that feels like some kind of progress.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Surface that feels like the depth

It’s weird I was in Goodwill earlier today and I noticed this stuffed animal almost cute but not quite because it was a little stereotyped towards bear with googly eyes but so soft I would’ve snatched it up except it smelled like a scented candle and I imagined it in my apartment scenting me. I almost thought of getting it for my mother because of how she wanted to keep my childhood hippo, isn’t it strange how I can want to give her kindness to replace something she didn’t want to give me? I wanted to hug that not-quite-bear at Goodwill so soft I felt kind of child happy like last night, 2:30 am and this cute dog with someone texting maybe to get in the building one of these little dogs like maybe a bulldog or a pug I don’t know anything about what dogs are called really. This was the kind that waddles with sleek brown fur I bent down to pet it and it made kind of a snorting sound it made me think I should pet more dogs, let go of my fear of their smells.

Then today I’m talking to my mother on the phone and just when I think she’s going to ask if she can stop giving me money, instead she asks what she can do to help. It’s always surprising when she actually sounds concerned in a way that isn’t only about her. She wanted to know if I wanted more feldenkrais, or a different acupuncturist, or other options she kept using that word options you’ve thought of three more options, she said. To get you out of that cycle, it’s hard when you’re in that cycle.

I almost wanted to keep her on the phone because I was confused that she hadn’t yet said anything fucked up. Except that one of her suggestions was more time talking with Amy, remember Amy? Amy was my mother and father’s couples therapist before my father died and my mother kept talking and talking about how maybe I could do phone sessions with Amy, since once I’d talked to Amy about my parents’ relationship, and I kind of liked her. So then I decided to talk to Amy, just before going on tour and it was kind of helpful to talk about how to get my mother to create the account she’d promised, the account that Amy couldn’t believe my mother was promising and refusing, the refusing part was what shocked Amy and that felt supportive, since Amy was basically the same person as my mother, I think she said that. No, she said: I am your mother. Meaning: same profession, same class, same age, same geographical area.

We were talking about my hopelessness when confronted with this choice my mother could make to give me something like comfort or safety and instead her retreat towards power and control. Amy and I were talking about facilitating a conversation with the three of us, that’s what Amy wanted, but I didn’t think we were ready. When I visited my mother she started freaking out, saying suddenly your health care expenses have gotten so high or maybe that was over the phone, after I visited. And the only thing that had changed was that I had scheduled those appointments with the therapist who my mother had tried to get me to talk to for years, the therapist who was certainly double or triple the price of anyone who I would ever see, and even though I told my mother that she still kept repeating: your expenses have gotten so high. And here she is, suggesting Amy again. She would never pay for a therapist of my choice -- they give you false memories, right?

I didn’t mention that my mother isn’t creating the account, I mean it’s not going to happen. Another conversation with her and her financial planner and then they talked about it and decided it wasn’t a possibility, more or less. Lies in between, always lies. The strange thing is it actually made me feel some sort of relief, relief that I didn’t have to hope for this kind of security anymore. Now I can hope for other things that I’m not going to get, but at least I know that they’re fantasies, right?

That’s the surface that feels like the depth, and beneath it is probably the familiarity of endless sadness dragging me down into sleep please more sleep it doesn’t help. Then there’s the sadness about Derek and I wish I would just see him so at least I wouldn’t have to think about what happens when I see him for the first time. Then I wonder why I’m so exhausted, here are these core things that are empty.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lostmissing in Calcutta!!!




(Apparently the Bangla on the wall reads "Meghamallar
Porishkar Rakun," which translates to "Keep Musical Cloud Clean")

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm so stunned by this I can't even speak

Here you have it -- teens are being prosecuted under child pornography laws for
distributing topless pictures of themselves!!!

This is particularly troubling:

[District Attorney] Skumanick told an assembly of students that possessing inappropriate images of minors could be prosecuted under state child porn laws. Anyone convicted under the laws faces a possible seven year sentence and a felony conviction on their record. Under a state sex offender law, they must also register as a sex offender for 10 years and have their name and photo posted on the state's sex offender website -- the latter requirement will include juvenile offenders when the law is amended later this year.


Did you read that? Students are warned that they could be prosecuted for possessing nude pictures of their friends (or even themselves)! Sex offender laws will be amended to include juvenile offenders!!!

Obviously, this illustrates the danger of child pornography laws (and sex offender registries) in the first place -- of course they’re not used to empower children, but to prosecute them! And to legislate some backward vision of morality.

A commenter on the original post says it best: “We have to prosecute the children to protect the children... Think of the children!!"

The photos in this particular case sound slightly less lascivious than a Victoria’s Secret ad, and certainly more tame than your average American Apparel faux-child porn. But one thing the article (and the ACLU) seem to be neglecting is that of course kids should have the right to send out photos **of themselves** -- partially clothed, nude, or dressed up and fucking -- to their friends, right? While the school administrators mention potential bullying and targeting in schools, the problem isn’t the photos -- it’s the way sex is stigmatized and criminalized.

Oh, will he ever live in a culture where teenagers are seen as independent sexual beings?

(Thanks to Bill Dobbs for forwarding)

The people who always have their lights on

I’m tempted to say that today I’ve made the most disgusting pot of beans ever, but of course they’re not ready yet. They could still get worse, although there is something interesting about all the beans mixing together in the bottom burnt then not burnt then burnt part, kind of like chocolate. I’m not going to get out of the house before dark today, and I don’t care. Yes, it’s one of those days when nothing matters because everything splatters. And so I’ll focus on things that are getting better, to distract me from everything that’s getting worse: I’m able to go on longer walks at night. I’m able to read 20 or 30 pages of a book at a time without hurting myself too much. That’s about all.

I just started a new homeopathic remedy -- sometimes everything gets worse right at the beginning, that’s how it works but I just hope it’s not my sleep fragile sleep that falls by the wayside even though it never feels like rest it’s so so much better to get in bed and know that I can go somewhere, for a while, for as long as possible, but then when as long as possible gets shorter not long enough like last night and that wired moment that felt like time to get up but then when I did get up I realized it was at that dangerous point for sure the wired moment I mean. When I got up it was dangerous too, so dangerous that talking on the phone I got overwhelmed and had to get back in bed again.

Usually I wake up with the blinds drawn, but when I wake up from getting back in bed I can see the sky fading to softness and somehow I feel softer too, especially when the blue night curtains above white lights and I watch the traffic on the highway way in the distance, I’ve never noticed before that I can see the cars curve around and exit into the city. I dreamed this sofa here just so I could sit and watch, but the truth is that this sofa isn’t comfortable so here I’m sitting on the ergonomic chair behind the sofa and what’s that flashing in the sky almost like a bug oh it must be helicopters again, competing with the reflection of the chandelier in the window panes and when I look lower there are the people who always have their lights on even when everyone else has their lights off.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lostmissing #23

Become air

It’s all about that first song of the day, when suddenly I can dream. Or okay, not the first song but the first song when my body starts my body, track three in this case it’s 3:23 pm. I’m thinking about all the clubs I should start, clubs outdoors without walls so the smoke can blow blow away, whatever happened to the sunset parties on the beach I never went they were too early. But back to my body wrapping around oh no already I’m in fog again not the fog of fresh air breathe fresh air just the fog of my head stuffed with no not-dreams let me turn that track back on yes it’s the build the drums the build like opening windows you keep opening opening until we can’t call them windows anymore just wind. But still my head. Down here I don’t want it back down here when the track ends not fog which is breath this is clogged, three minutes and 36 seconds and I only got up high for maybe a minute or two up high rolling through the sand slipping backwards and under and back around the way static in my head can become beats can become my body can become window can become air.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Whose Goodwill?

Everyone knows that Goodwill is a scam, right? Their mission is to give poor people job skills, and here’s how they operate: rich and middle-class people donate the shit they don’t want anymore, so that they can deduct it from their taxes (that shag area rug is totally worth $750), and then Goodwill takes this shit and sells it at overpriced rates to poor people. In 2007, Goodwill made $2 billion from this shit. Did you hear that? $2 billion went directly from poor people and bargain shoppers to this “nonprofit” that supposedly exists to train poor people in job skills. This nonprofit where the CEO is rumored to make over $1 million a year and regional heads make several hundred thousand or more. Why not just give the $2 billion out to poor people? Oh, right -- because it’s work that will set you free.

I go to Goodwill all the time -- there’s a store three blocks from my house, and if I go often enough I can find all sorts of things that I need and/or don’t need: glasses, plates, a lamp, an end table, children’s books, plastic flowers. So I love wandering around -- it’s a good distraction from how terrible I usually feel.

Unfortunately, in an era where public space disappears faster than you can say billionaire bankers bailout, Goodwill contains probably the most interesting cross-section of people in San Francisco -- tons of tweakers and transwomen and working-class people of color, young queers and old queers, toddlers and grandparents, people with homes and people without, people new to the city and people who’ve lived here forever and people who grew up here. Lots of madness -- some of it festive and some more desperate, but all somehow contained and enhanced by piles of discarded items now arranged for our consumer thrill.

I can’t remember exactly when this Goodwill first hired a security guard, but I think it was about five years ago. Now, it’s hard for me to imagine something more grotesque than a company that supposedly exists to provide services for poor people, hiring a security guard to make sure that these same poor people don’t steal any of the merchandise that Goodwill got for free! I mean -- how much are they paying the security guard? Anyway, from time to time he follows me around but I ignore him -- since we all look kind of suspicious here at Goodwill, the security guard actually follows most of us around.

But then the other day I was walking out of the store and someone yelled hey! Hey! I wasn’t paying attention, because there’s always a lot of noise in this neighborhood, but then it turns out it’s the security guard yelling at me, asking what I have underneath my arm -- this is my scarf and mittens, I say, the scarf and mittens that I wear every day! I hold it up to the two people working, who stare at me like they don’t know what to do, which is probably the worst part -- I mean I’ve smiled at these people literally hundreds of times at this point, and they can’t even say yes, that’s the scarf that lady wears every day. Of course, part of the Goodwill training seems to include making sure that the staff members treat customers like trash -- I’ve seen people start at the store all smiles and within a few weeks they’re making fun of customers with strong accents or yelling at people for taking too much time to pay.

I leave the store, and now I’m just angry.

Hilary's orientation

Hilary says, "I wasn't going to pay for costly hotel parking -- I was pretty sure the erotica job orientation was not validating.".

Monday, March 23, 2009

Walking in the grass, I should do this more often




Lostmissing #22

Here I go again

Killer said to me last night: I wish you could relax your values and try animal protein. That kind of surprised me -- not that I haven’t talked about it in my more desperate moments for at least two or three years, almost the same thing but then someone else saying it to me -- and not a healthcare practitioner but someone who I actually relate to -- at first I thought: what are you talking about? But then: me too. And at this point it’s not exactly about values -- obviously I already make any number of horrible compromises in order to survive in this monstrous world on a daily basis, and after several years of thinking okay, I’ve tried everything absolutely everything except eating flesh, or something like flesh, and would it be so awful if I ate a piece of fish once a week or whatever and it made me feel better?

And yes, it would be awful, but not necessarily more awful than giving PG&E more money to wreck the environment or publishing books that tear up forests -- you know, maybe an awful compromise in order to survive? I mean, for as long as I can remember people have asked: do you feel better? Do you feel better because you’re vegan, or do you feel better because you’re so healthy, and no no no I’ve never ever felt better I mean it’s almost like food feels less and less nourishing.

But then there’s the act of actually sitting down and eating something that horrifies me on such a visceral level, even if I’m just doing it for a few months to see if it helps, or something like that -- my mind goes to the restaurant where I would sit and what I might order, but then always back to that experience of chewing flesh. Of course I grew up that way, but nothing like it for 18 years and I guess I could eat something with a meat-based broth but what would that be? I can hardly eat anything at a restaurant without shitting afterwards for days. I think: what about some kind of organic broth in a package? But nothing in the package works for me. Six months ago I tried to eat an egg, a hard-boiled egg from an actual free range farm that doesn’t kill any animals and mostly sells vegetables -- I took one or two tiny bites and tried to chew it and then my belly turned into a balloon.

So then my mind goes back to that restaurant, the restaurant that serves delicious roasted beets that’s the highlight for sure, and they always have some kind of fish special that actually sounds like the best thing on the menu except for the fish -- but right, then there’s the fish. Maybe a soup, what kind of soup? I could try it -- whatever it is -- for a few months, and if it doesn’t work, then I can stop again. It doesn’t make me a horrible person to eat meat, I mean I don’t feel that way about other people, why do I have this different standard for myself? I mean of course I want different standards for myself, but it’s getting to the point again where I can barely cope. Every day I wake up and think how can I be this exhausted? How can I need to eat this many times? How is it possible that everything, absolutely everything drains me? I need to try something new, and there aren’t that many things to try. Yes my thought process is circular, yes this goes on and on in my head, yes I’m still conflicted and yes there are deep core issues like a childhood surrounded by violence to such an extent that it felt like the core a childhood of never experiencing safety in any way except as more violence and no, eating flesh is not going bring me a sudden forcefield it’s not going to answer any of my questions about how to find the kinds of beauty I want but maybe it will give me energy. Maybe every day won’t feel like a struggle to do nothing, a struggle to do anything, a struggle to feel worse and worse but keep struggling, okay? Maybe flesh will give me nothing, or maybe it will make me feel worse, I mean it’s true that I already feel worse just writing about it, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s the things that I’m afraid of that are the most important to say, even if that’s practically a cliché in artistic circles I've also learned that what makes me feel the most vulnerable also makes me stronger, and even if writing about this now makes me feel awful just awful like I’m writing about giving up. Even when what I’m trying to do is not to give up. I know someone else will look at all this and think lady, why so much drama? Or: I know exactly what you mean. I don’t even know what I mean, but I just went back and read this entry from a while ago and it pretty much says everything else.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Energy to rant

Waking up ready to rant about the bonuses the bonuses they act like the only thing wrong with shoveling every resource possible in the wrong direction is the bonuses, but then I’m cooking and everything feels edgy, I’m just waiting for the music to end so there won’t be any music, waiting for the beans to boil so I can get back in bed. I don’t even understand why I’m so exhausted -- I mean, I actually slept for at least eight hours in a row, that’s why I got up a bit early, but still after 10 hours in bed, and I’m a complete disaster. I mean, if I stay up any longer I’m just going to lose it, finally the beans are boiling so I close the lid and turn the heat off, wait first I’ll order my seaweed so that at least that’s done too.

Then in bed of course I’m wired until actually that fades and I do kind of fall asleep, wake up an hour later than usual instead of where I started an hour earlier but at least my food is almost ready. Why do I only feel good for a few hours, a few hours and it’s not even that good just okay just not demolished just able to focus just not particularly awful and then, and then of course I am demolished everything is awful I can’t focus at all I don’t even know what to do, answering emails browsing online gives me energy for 15 or 20 minutes until then there’s the pain and then I’m listening to a feldenkrais CD which calms me but why does my lower back hurt?

Yesterday I went to a sleep workshop and it actually felt kind of affirming to sit in a room with 35 other people who are struggling, mostly middle-aged women, and the facilitator was nice enough I mean at least he made jokes about how much he was trying to sell his system, and one of the middle-aged women liked my clothes a lot, the people who run the space were friendly and engaged and helpful also and when I woke up today I thought maybe that engagement helped, maybe I should go to more workshops, maybe I’ll meet interesting people. Now I just want to get back in bed; my body hurts again, so I guess I’ll turn the feldenkrais CD back on, maybe it won’t make everything hurt more at least it’s a different kind of hurt -- staring at the computer screen it’s the full body ache, lying on the mat the ache fades and then the pain is something more specific; one of the feldenkrais practitioners last night was telling me about a study where they poked people in six different places in the shoulder, maybe there were electrodes and when someone could distinguish between the six points, that’s when they could get better. She wanted to know how long I’ve had fibromyalgia -- nine years, nine years since the diagnosis. Something about seven years and all your cells are replaced -- that’s what they say, right? And I laugh, we laugh together. She says something about how when your body is always inflamed your cells are broken and your body makes new cells that are also broken; the awareness helps you to get out of that cycle. I wanted to talk to her about that more, but someone called her over and I ate a few more almonds from the table in the back, I was kind of surprised that I was digesting the almonds but then later on the bus it was like all the little pieces were still in my throat. Lately I’ve been feeling so awful that it’s like I’m fading away all day long until maybe an hour late at night but by then it’s time to fade so I’m glad for it or no not really glad unless there’s some kind of calm I’m always glad for the calm but I just want a day when I at least have enough energy to rant, to write a rant and feel like it doesn’t drain me even more.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Erasers

I wonder if I have enough energy to walk to the top of the hill again so I can sit in the sun at the time of day when it doesn’t bother me, but then I walk a half a block and already I’m too tired, searching for somewhere I can sit anyway. On that fire hydrant? No, it’s rounded. In that alley? No, there’s someone sitting in a car right there, and everything smells like garbage. Oh, up here by the parking lot, on that curb, as soon as I brush this glass away, okay -- it’s not as comfortable as the back steps of Mitchell Brothers those green steps, but it’s closer. But why are tourists so loud?

Maybe it’s just that I’m quiet -- people are looking at me like maybe I’m a junkie, and it’s true that I am kind of nodding off, into the sun. It’s nice that I can lean against this square pole, and I have my own little area next to the parking spot where the attendants keep moving cars, the three attendants in blue uniforms I’m glad they don’t harass me. Maybe it’s because I don’t look like a junkie, even if I’m nodding off, or maybe it’s because I look like a junkie, even though I’m not nodding off, or because I buy a Street Sheet when someone leans down, or because they don’t notice I buy a Street Sheet, or because they don’t care about any of this and that’s the best option. 5:30 pm is my favorite time in the sun, softening the features and lighting what’s inside and more tourists people keep saying there aren’t any tourists anymore so maybe that’s why they have to talk so loud, especially on this block the end of the strip, hotels say don’t go below O’Farrell -- that’s where I live. Now I’m one block up, on Geary. Tourists like Indian food, and there’s a lot of Indian food between Geary and O’Farrell, so maybe that’s why they say O’Farrell. It’s worse when you hear normal people repeat that shit like it’s actually good advice, like it actually means anything, like you can skip this area of seven square blocks and you’ll be okay, just hurry back to Union Square. Meanwhile, the hotels keep crawling further down and eventually there won’t be any don’t cross.

The sun is even better at 6 pm, especially now that the time changed but then I realize wait, I walked 2 blocks so Walgreens is right here, it’s important to get something practical in addition to sun on not-quite-sidewalk, even if it’s Walgreens that’s what we have in cities now. Two erasers, even though I only want one they only have a package of two. Clear tape that you can rip with your hands, a new product. Plastic hooks to help my plant grow in the right direction. White-Out, two again but the generic kind -- they don’t even have anything called White-Out anymore, I guess Liquid Paper took over the market and then outside I guess I’ll cross the street to the barbershop and ask them how much just to trim my sideburns, more than it should be but not enough to argue about and this place is trendy, there didn’t used to be anything trendy on this block now I’m a patron of gentrification, consumer tasks when I wasn’t even looking for them but somehow they make me feel better no maybe that was the sun yes the sun what would the sun be like somewhere else, without consumer tasks, without parking lots, without tourists although if I was there I would probably be one of those things. Even if I didn’t want to be. Back upstairs, I’m exhausted again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Look how gorgeous -- lostmissing in Portland!!!





When I get really suspicious of the voice activation software, part two...

Okay, I keep trying to say tourists, but it types "Taurus."

What they're saying...


Lostmissing thank you, thank you lostmissing -- thank you! And to more...

Okay, even on my worst worst days it’s lostmissing that makes me feel hopeful -- hopeful because of the connections I’m making with people like you -- just a comment or email or note or call about it -- or photos, yes photos -- and I feel this connection that somehow strengthens me in all this sadness it really really strengthens me on a deep emotional level and makes me feel like this project is something important and communal that tears and builds and heals and grows and demands and bends and extends and helps me to dream.

So, on my worst worst days I might not be excited about anything else, but I am excited about lostmissing! Thank you -- and here’s to the future…

Lostmissing #20



Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

Wetter

There are so many things worse than taking a shower with five drops of water, but it doesn’t always feel that way, especially when you’re in the shower with five drops of water, and then suddenly it’s 500, but only for 10 seconds, and then back to five, you have to keep turning the hot on and off yes we’re talking about hot water, okay? Meanwhile, I know that someone upstairs is getting more, I want to pound on the ceiling until they stop stop stop! Stop taking all the water! Or I could run up there with a towel and say listen, I’ll dry you off -- I’ll dry you any way you want, just as long as I can go back downstairs and get moist, okay? But no -- it’s not the fault of anyone upstairs, but down down downstairs to the manager’s apartment STOP TELLING ME IT’S A PROBLEM WITH THE CITY WATER SYSTEM or all the way to Burlingame where the building management company allegedly exists, I’ll flood their office with tears, tears for years! Five drops and then 500 isn’t a shower it’s not even a show, maybe it’s a wer, almost in the past and I’m ready to go there too, first to the near-future and then I can look back, wetter.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The beach, briefly

My favorite alley

And then I’m in my favorite alley -- Cosmo, remember? I guess it’s not as dark in the back corner as I thought, you would still be able to see people if they were having sex. I stand back there to piss in the dirt, and as I’m walking away a silver sedan drives up, my first thought is undercover cops, window opening in the rain and they’re looking out at me, my second thought is I’m going to get jumped, what am I doing in the only dark alley in the neighborhood and they came in right after me, right? Last time I walked through here, a cop drove right behind me, but that one was marked. But the time before was when I sucked that guy’s cock.

The guy on my side of the car is younger, almost cute if bashers can be cute he says hey bro. The one next to him is the more standard huge guy with a mustache. I can sense something about to crack on my head. Hello, I say, in my casual voice that I guess usually comes up when I’m having sex, hullo instead of the queenier, more emphatic hello or even the simple but more formal hello. He says hey bro, do you know where I can get some meth?

I laugh in spite of the threat of violence, in spite of my casual act in my sofa tapestry coat I don’t want them to know I know they’re undercover cops, but I laugh anyway, and then no with an exclamation mark. They drive off, I exit the alley and I’m glad they didn’t ask any more questions, like do you know where I could find some? And then what if I said go over to Polk Street, and they jumped right out and snatched me up? The problem with a set-up is that anything you do can set you up. Maybe Cosmo isn’t my favorite alley anymore.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oh the night, beautiful night...




Lostmissing #19



Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

And here's what lostmissing #19 says:

Losing you, I can look back and see so many beginnings not the beginnings I used to see that cemented our relationship but the beginnings of our relationship ending. Even some of the things that could have made us more intimate, like that time when I said I thought I might want to have sex with you, I mean for so long I’d been trying to figure out ways to have sex that didn’t just feel like escape or desperation or lack so I thought sex with people I trust, and you made the most sense. You were the one I trusted physically too. It wasn’t a craving I thought it might be comfort. You were trying the reverse -- not to sexualize your friends, and so it didn’t make sense but I was glad I could say it. I thought it would make us closer.

Even if immediately I sensed you pulling back, I wanted to think I was imagining that. You knew how much I treasured the physical depth in our interactions that particular intimacy my other relationships lacked and I could sense it slipping away you became more distant. I thought: maybe you were just feeling distant maybe it wasn’t about me at all. You’d even told me my sense of boundaries was too rigid, that I was missing out on opportunities; I started to wonder if my boundaries were letting me down, keeping me from some of the intimacy I wanted from my other relationships not just ours.

I might as well go back to when we first met, we would sit at the same cafe and your best friend who was a dyke thought my best friend who was a dyke was hot but snotty and I thought you were hot but snotty, and I remember the duct tape on the back of your leather jacket or maybe it was your boots or maybe your boots and the back of your leather jacket and how it reminded me of one of the first guys I had a crush on the back of his leather jacket. Eventually we danced together at the bar where a certain group of dykes went to dance, and a much smaller group of fags who hung out with dykes, and then we were making out and sleeping together and already it was a dream. This dream of sluttiness shared, the dream we were enacting in crumbling apartments painted clashy colors to suit our moods this was the period when I would sign letters: crave intensity, don’t shun it.

The thing with you is that it just immediately felt like a shared experience of dreaming: really you were the one with more of that experience I’d just escaped who I was supposed to be. So we spent a lot of time in your kitchen, cooking. Cooking, and making out. Later when I met the person who became my first boyfriend and immediately you pulled back sexually but I didn’t understand that it was because you needed a boyfriend you would never have said that. Remember that dream of sluttiness shared? Still we got closer and closer, I remember when you would wake up in the middle of night screaming and I would soothe you back to sleep. Back then sleep wasn’t so much trouble for me. Or when you would eat nondairy ice cream and vomit it back up, and then eat it again, and I thought it was gross but kind of funny you had a lot of habits like that. There was a certain kind of intimacy seeing everything you would show me.

And then of course there was the anger, the anger that felt like strength, with you it was soft like holding hands while throwing bombs but I also got angry at the people I loved, like that time with that first boyfriend who later became your boyfriend, we were arguing and I threw something against the wall and he got scared I didn’t understand why. Back then I would routinely borrow pint glasses from cafes so I could drop them out my kitchen window just to listen to them shatter let the rage dissipate, of course I was scaring people too. I wonder what would’ve happened if I stayed angry like that.

I’m glad you changed your voicemail recording, briefly it got so friendly I started thinking wait, why didn’t you ever have a friendly message before? But now you say to leave a text message because your caller ID isn’t working. Maybe I’ll call you now, and see if you’ve changed it again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My favorite tagger at the moment, in case you were wondering...




Beautiful words about disability

From Wheelchair Dancer:

Dare I go so far as to say -- *disability* is the wind in your hair, the sun on your back, the fuck you, the acceptance, the culture, the art, the humour, the rebellion, the work, the pleasure, and, yes, the living in pain; this is living unbounded.

Even if it's just this moment

Then there’s that moment of clarity I get in the middle of the night, in the middle of the night which is the day which is the night, after sleeping several hours and I wake up to piss and I think I oh, maybe this is the night when I’ll be okay. And then: maybe I’ve slept enough. But I resist looking at the clock, turn to the other side and then I realize no, I haven’t slept enough, but then I can’t fall back asleep and I keep thinking maybe, maybe I’ve slept enough or maybe I haven’t slept enough but I’ll feel better if I get up now, but what happens that makes me look at the clock and then a crash through anger wired anger at myself, why at myself I just wanted to know what time it was that’s not such a terrible thing the terrible thing is that I never feel rested but it’s not my fault that’s what I’m trying to tell myself even though at this point I’m more frantic thinking I’ve ruined the next day I hate it when the next day is ruined, how will I function if I don’t fall back asleep? But then eventually I do fall back asleep and that wired edginess is replaced with something like calm and when I take off the eye mask I don’t feel obliterated by the light it actually feels exciting and then I know yes, yes it was a good idea to go back to sleep, yes it was a good idea just for this moment of calm even if it’s just this moment.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Here's when I get really suspicious of the voice activation software

When it types Hertz instead of hurts.

The effort of engagement

I wake up thinking about the bar I didn’t go to last night, the bar with the backroom -- last night I didn’t really want to go, but it only happens once a month and then I never go. Of course I never go because of the smoke, or smoke machine, or smoke and smoke machine, and at least the air is fresh today it wouldn’t seem as fresh if I went to the bar with a backroom last night, clogging my sinuses today. Maybe there’s somewhere in between.

Actually last night I didn’t want to go, I was too tired until that moment at 2 am and actually that would be the moment to go, right? I wanted to stand by the dance floor and look at people, by the dance floor with the smoke machine. But now, just thinking about it I’m already more tired, the space heater is invading my sinuses.

I wonder if I’ll ever feel better, better enough that feeling worse won’t seem so scary. I guess I felt better for a few weeks, but I didn’t feel like I felt better because I still felt so terrible, but remember I went all the way to the top of Buena Visa Park, now all I can imagine is getting back in bed. I wonder if it will ever help, getting in bed. I mean I guess it helps a little, those 12 hours of lying down and lately I’m sleeping for most of that time, right? Why do I still feel worse and worse, it becomes harder and harder even to think of an escape. Now I don’t even want to take a shower, it just sounds annoying -- it’s never sounded annoying to me to take a shower, so I guess that’s the depression adding to the exhaustion to the overwhelm. Although I guess it also sounds tiring, tiring to take a shower. Tiring to call someone, because it’ll just make me more tired. I mean it does -- I talk and talk, and even when I’m connecting I feel the exhaustion right at the edge of my sentences and then my sentences stop and everything hurts again. I think it’s that effort, the effort of engagement.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beautiful words for beautiful people...

Erick Lyle on Bolaño and Obama.

Yasmin Nair on friendship and love.

Davka on the Ghost of Class Anger Future.

Lostmissing in the philosophy department at Oregon State University!

More hopeful places

My grandmother raises her hand and says what do you think of DC, I smile and say you already asked that question and she does that thing with her lips bunched up and her headshaking back and forth that means oh don’t answer, but now everyone else is here so I turn to the circle and say DC is a city under clampdown, I would never live in DC, but I guess you either love or hate the place you grew up and I hated it -- of course when you grow up somewhere you only have a limited frame of reference, but for me that frame is so filled with dread and loneliness and sure I still have dread and loneliness today but then it was a different type: the type with no windows.

My mother and I are taking my grandmother to the clinic, she’s never been to a clinic and I wonder if it’s because she’s trying to save money or if it’s because she doesn’t have any money. I go to the bathroom, when I return she’s filling out the paperwork and she smiles when the nurse says this visit will be $30. I still don’t know if that means she told the nurse that she doesn’t have any income, or if it’s because she doesn’t have any income.

Then I’m crawling through the streets on all fours, balancing two leg/arms to two leg/arms shifting head from side to side and making noise with my tongue I’m a little deer it’s for a performance piece kind of feels joyous and silly and childlike I didn’t do this when I was a kid and eventually I get to the theater in LA -- the hardest part is getting to the back with the other people pretending to be animals and eventually I’m crossing everyone’s laps of friendship up at the top, including my sister, and as I’m waking up I think wow that was a tiring dream, but also I like it when my body can take me to more hopeful places.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Static

But oh the white noise generator, my home away from home -- I mean, when I’m away: here it’s just home, I guess. Is that what I have here? Something I can rely on; I can’t rely on much. When I’m traveling I use just one, but at home always two yes two, and tonight one of them is doing that annoying wave thing instead of the constant sound that I love: TV static, why is TV static so comforting when I would never turn on the TV? They call it rain. At first I think I’m imagining the wave thing -- I mean I have it on the right setting, what’s going on? The problem with the waves is that every time I start to relax the sound changes and then I just want to pick it up and throw it against the wall. I fall asleep anyway, but then when I wake up to piss and lie back down and my brain kicks in and I’m listening to the waves to calm me but it’s not working I just want to scream but maybe it’s not really the waves maybe I’m just aggravated from being awake too early but then I am screaming so I get up and turn it off. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem really because the other one will still be on, right? But guess what -- the switch goes to the other side and oh right that’s how to get the wave sound to stop so simple how did I forget so simple no need for this panic it’s already back to TV static and my brain’s still on but back in bed I feel so much better anyway.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yes yes, that shoe misses you too...




Some incredible new way

Lying in bed, there’s the smell of smoke -- now that I know the person diagonally downstairs from me smokes a lot I figure that’s where it’s coming from, although can the smoke really rise through the only line where our apartments intersect? Maybe it’s coming from somewhere else.

Then there’s the pot smoke from right downstairs, or at least I think it’s downstairs -- I keep thinking I should tell them to open their windows, but then I wonder if it would be worse with their windows open. Just when the air starts to feel okay, there’s a sudden rush of some burnt animal from the tandoori ovens down the street, usually it just smells charred but not necessarily like an animal, I mean even if it is an animal it just smells charred but today it smells like a charred animal and it’s stuck in my apartment. Later, which means after I get out of bed, I open a DVD case and the smell is so toxic that I have to open a window but I wait too long and then I’m just sitting in the chair staring into space and wondering about the smell that somehow I can’t get rid of oh wait I can open the window right I can open a window but first this tension in my jaw sudden sore throat okay let me get up.

The next day is the day when I’m thinking about all the things I want to write but I can’t write because I don’t have any energy. Oh wait that’s today. I’m trying to write anyway, sometimes it makes me feel better. I wish I started writing earlier, started writing right away instead of checking and responding to email and social networking sites and all the other distracting things that are easier to do when I barely have any energy, even if they take what’s left of my energy away. No sometimes they work as a distraction or even a motivation, but then always more pain. I want to write about how at Goodwill the security guard accused me of stealing my own scarf, the scarf I wear every day. I want to write about this terrible piece in the Nation trying to get someone off for a crime he might not have committed but the strategy is to declare that any abuse survivor who shuts the memories out of their head for a while is lying if they remember those memories. And how hopeless that makes me feel, the way this critic from the left is using a total backlash tactic -- all of these survivors are liars, right? -- playing by the rules of the criminal legal system in order to win, and at what cost? I want to write about editing Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots, the process of editing and how it’s so hard when I can hardly focus and I have to make my mind so sharp anyway. I want to write about all the places where I can go to escape, I mean all the places that don’t exist. I want to write about how I don’t want to write about my mother. I want to write about sex and how it keeps letting me down, and whether I can get back to some place where it inspires me. My body. I want to write about how exhausted I am, but find some incredible new way to describe this overwhelm and then maybe I won’t feel so overwhelmed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The shape of your ear

Sometimes I feel like I’m on both sides of a funnel, the sand or salt or something is pouring in but I don’t know which way, will it become dense and compact and clutter me or expand and pour me out? Maybe it’s not a funnel, it’s one of those traffic cones that you hold up to your ear or mouth: hello! Hello! Hello.

I could take this further: a seashell, echoing back, the shape of your ear. Either way I’m crushed.

Lostmissing #18



Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

And here's what lostmissing #18 says:

Tonight after the rain stopped I walked all the way up the hill to the top and it was so beautiful I could look down in three directions, the streets were already dry I guess because the rain just rolled right down them and everything was clear and still and I realized I could never ever ever give up this time of night, beautiful deserted clear gorgeous night and then I realized maybe you’re turning 40 this year, and I wondered what that means to you so I called and left this message.

But then I remembered wait, you turned 40 last year or maybe it was two years ago and it’s so strange how six months without talking to someone you’re so close to for so long makes you forget these simple things I mean I remember the date but I don’t remember how many years, and maybe that’s good because I don’t think about that kind of thing so much. From the top of the hill everything glowed and I used to live here for people like you but now I guess I live here for the views, the air blowing in cooler and fresher through the darkness.

Later I was leaving the house, daytime now and I glanced into the residence hotel at the end of the block and there you were, or someone like you, taller actually but you know how when you haven’t seen someone for a while you start seeing them in other people I saw your tattoos on his arms and the cigarette in his mouth gaunt face obviously tweaking I wondered if you had gone in a different direction than I’d imagined. I mean I imagined many things, but I never imagined I’d lose you to AA. I guess drugs didn’t make you inhale a different worldview they made you forget, and then remember. I wonder what you remember now.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Daylight, okay bye

Why is it that on the day when I sleep the worst, I wake up feeling okay? Excited about the sun instead of just overwhelmed by it. But then I go outside, and it only takes half a block for me to feel overwhelmed, I guess the energy was only in my head and now it’s outside somewhere blowing underneath a car driving by or into a corner where later maybe someone will give me some graffiti, hopefully something glamorous. I sit on the stairs at the back of the Mitchell Brothers theater, because it’s one of the only places to sit in the sun in the neighborhood, but now the sun is too much already and I don’t know why I walked three blocks, should’ve just turned back around once I got outside -- yes, it’s daylight, okay bye.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

On the menu

Waking up from 12 hours of sleep yes sleep I guess sleep I’m remembering what 12 hours of sleep feels like: nothing. I mean it feels like I haven’t even begun. Staring at the hairs on my arm sheltered by the butter yellow sheet no not butter something softer what do they call this yellow? This arm? My fingers are spongy, sweaty, clammy like a little kid’s fingers I touch my nostrils that’s something I did when I was little, inhale.

Somehow I’m thinking about those books I read in sixth seventh eighth grade, all the big classics I was ambitious and everyone was always going to the sanatorium. I’m ready for the sanatorium.

Of course no one recovers at the sanatorium, that’s part of the point it’s a metaphor for trying to get away but you don’t you gaze up at the trees at the mountains at the sky or down at the grass into the lake maybe you even swim if you’re not too sick or you’re getting better but everything is inside it’s society crumbling in your nostrils you’ll never breathe again. Maybe I need to go back to those books, the only one I’ve read again since then was The Brothers Karamazov, I don’t know if anyone makes it to the sanatorium in The Brothers Karamazov.

Someone is smoking pot and it’s filled my apartment, is that why my whole face is cluttered with helplessness and hopelessness: disgrace, somehow a rhyme might help. I stand outside on the fire escape and peer down, sure enough all the windows of the apartment below me are closed, do people smoke pot with the windows closed? Why, why with the windows closed, their walls lead to my walls my nostrils, society crumbling. I look in the sink: two pots, two pots soaking. I need to get those pots out of the sink.

Whenever I tell someone about a particular day when I feel like I’ve done nothing, somewhere in that day there’s at least two hours of cooking and that somehow feels like nothing to me, I mean something that I just have to do, no matter what, because I have to eat. I can’t escape outside to buy something, it’ll just make me sick. There’s even a vegan restaurant directly across the street: everything on the menu makes me sick. Everything.

I’m trying to replace hopelessness with hunger -- I don’t mean eating, that doesn’t feel like hunger to me it’s just avoiding collapse. Hunger is sucking cock. Making out. Those eyes. Spit in my face, I can eat that.

But desire fades so quickly, and then I’m back to hopelessness. At the sanatorium they cook for you, right? I wonder what’s on the menu.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Lostmissing #17



Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

And here's what lostmissing #17 says:

I'm not good for your recovery I might make you feel too much I might make you cry I might make you think about whether recovery isn’t just avoiding the liquor I might make you question things you don’t want to question I might make you think about the past. Because when you’re in a relationship for 16 years that means most of the 16 years is the past and that’s one of the things that makes everything mean so much. I might make you think about what everything means. I might make you think about me. I might make you think I’m not good for your recovery even though I’ve spent years longer without the liquor without the drugs I remember that time you said: you don’t understand what it means to be an addict. Maybe that was the beginning of losing you.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The other side

Options, there are always options -- that’s what they tell us. I could sit here and write about how terrible I’m feeling. I could try to figure out why -- maybe it was the smoke machine at the show the other night, actually I don’t have any other ideas. Why was there a smoke machine? I mean you barely even noticed it, until that burning smell and I thought maybe it’ll be okay, there’s not that much and the theater is huge. But then. But then of course it was too much. I’ve been sleeping better, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less exhausted, just maybe less frantic and more overwhelmed, does that make sense?

I could sit here and try not to write how terrible I’m feeling. At the vintage store where everything is overpriced but sometimes they have gorgeous coats, actually the coats aren’t as overpriced as everything else and right now 40% off that’s 22 dollars for this great jacket, that’s the good news -- it’s a bright floral pattern on plastic or something like plastic, and the salesperson says no one else could wear that jacket, I mean no one else would look good in that jacket, I mean there’s a compliment in there somewhere.

Then on the bus there’s a guy in the back with a big red dog that looks old and friendly, we’re getting off at the same stop and he says: Gemini? Yes. Me too, he says -- but you’re living it!

When I first moved to San Francisco in the early ‘90s, everyone was obsessed with astrology and I was not feeling that particular part of West Coast realness, especially the way people would do these tarot readings in order to get their friends to end relationships with certain people or to exert power in other ways. I tried to ignore it, not the fucked-up dynamics but the tarot that seemed to fuel them. But I will admit that there is this particular type of flaming crazy maniac that often does seem to wind up to be a Gemini, and of course I know we’re supposed to see it the other way around.

But back to the computer screen time machine, making my jaw hurt because I lift my head in this particular way to look, up I guess, but how to avoid it? I wonder if that’s part of the pattern -- flaming and dramatic on the outside, collapsing inside. I guess what I’ll do is soak my feet in vinegar again, the original goal was to get rid of athlete’s foot and it actually works, but right now I mostly want to clear my head, the other side.

Look!



Lostmissing #16



Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

This one may look familiar because yes yes, it's #11 altered with the addition of someone else's story, to form #16 -- yay for all the layers!

Here's what the additional note says (you can also read a longer version in the comments on #11):

I really relate to lostmissing 11 --

One of my own friendships went lostmissing 7 years ago. She was someone I thought would one day attend my funeral or vice versa it had that type of permanence. For years my shoulder was her therapist, she cried on it so many times and often needed me to take care of her and it never bothered me because that's why they came up with the idea of a family of choice.

I usually preferred to fall apart in solitude, like the way you wrote that you feel like you have to look ok on the outside.

Seven years ago, my inside broke through and I was suddenly unable to function so of course I turned to this friend, family of choice and whatnot. The first time I literally needed her as in needing someone to maybe bring me some food or take me to a hospital or just sit in the room with me to remind me I wasn't dead, that kind of need, and she came over for a little while. Our friendship of many years ended the very next day via email.

Her email said I don't want your issues dragging me down and besides you've become so self-centered all of a sudden, so maybe we shouldn't be friends anymore. And that was that. Someone who had moved across the country just to be near me and a relationship I thought of as stability and permanence and it ended with an email. I would have been less shocked if Orion had emailed me to say I am so over this part of the universe so I am outta here, don't bother looking up at night because you won't see me there.

I never saw her again either.

Over the years the confusion anger and sadness subsided, and now I sometimes think about things we did together and how much fun I thought we were both having, I mean, I had a blast. I think about how she could make me laugh so hard even when I was secretly dead inside, or that sometimes I would get angry because it hurt to laugh that hard but she wouldn't stop it so I couldn't stop either and so I got pissed off...angrily laughing my ass off, which sounds impossible but I know it's real because I experienced it. I think.

So what you wrote about the memories that are supposed to be happy but are now just sadness and re-living moments as painful that were once beautiful really resonated with me. Just wanted to share that with you.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!

Just went to Penny Arcade’s show and it’s hilarious, cutting, sexy, and eloquent -- sure, there are parts that are annoying, simplistic, or undeveloped (for better and for worse), but all in all it’s a wonderful spectacle and I would definitely recommend catching one of the last three shows if you’re in San Francisco. Getting up on stage during the dance break is definitely a highlight, even though it features some of my least favorite songs in the whole world (“I Will Survive,” "Pride -- A Deeper Love")-- dancing with the rest of the audience and the strippers was a ton of fun, all that sudden connection! When Penny comes into the audience to chat with the lights off, that’s a beautiful and intimate time. And the monologue by the phone receptionist at the brothel is sharp throughout. Some of her insights about the limitations of gay male sexual culture are scathing and intimate. And the part about people with intimacy issues -- I was screaming there. Oh -- and the video where Penny confronts her mother about beating her -- amazing. The show is definitely long (2 ½ hours), but featured cabaret-style so you can get up and walk around with no problems -- and the dancers are beautiful and funny. I don’t agree with what Penny seems to say at the end about how more unity is necessary on the fringe, or that love conquers all, but then this show is strongest when it’s about dissent -- that’s for sure. Go see it, and tell me what you think…

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A delicious recording of me yes me!

This is from my reading at Moe's Books in Berkeley -- I'm reading the chapter "Sharks" from So Many Ways to Sleep Badly -- it's about 20 minutes...

Light in water on the asphalt



The ear doctor pulled out my wax, but my ears keep popping popping popping popping -- but the ear doctor never said have fun before, really he said have fun! Usually he just flirts with the women and treats me like an odd creature, maybe mentions that I’m eating and you can tell he’s not pleased but this time he was taking the wax out he said it always comes back like the sun, unfortunately and fortunately so I asked about the fortunate part. But then he realized his analogy didn’t make sense because we want the sun to come back, right? So we were laughing together, yes together and I was wondering about his accent one of those East Coast royalty accents that people get when they’re trying to hide the accent they grew up with or the royalty part comes if they grew up around but not with those accents but needed to distinguish themselves, like something British with a twang. In the elevator everyone was getting off work and the woman complaining about her boss asking her to stay extra because she hadn’t found anyone yet, she smiled at me actually most people smiled and then outside the wind was blowing my hair up and then when I tried to fix it it blew back up again until I just thought it was funny, smiling at the wind and the tourists I love the wind because it clears out the air and then the rain started but at first it was just a drop here and there like if you were really flexible and aware you could dodge it. By the time I got back to my house it was harder but when I got into my apartment and started slamming down in round droplets like tiny marbles except they didn’t smash anything.

I love watching the rain, and then it ends and there’s sun so bright but only 10 minutes and then more rain, still those big drops I go out anyway to get a swimming cap in case I end up going to the pool I found that has less chlorine but still too much it’s a sodium chloride mixture and when I dipped my hand in the water it didn’t smell like chlorine but the air sure did, actually the whole gym smelled like it. So I figure if I decide to swim then I’ll need a cap to make sure my hair doesn’t smell like chlorine afterwards, or dry out and fall, these days I try not to get my hair wet too much or it turns to straw.

All the shower caps feel horrible, an immediate headache and my hands are already burning from trying them on and then I get to that moment when I’m standing there and I can’t figure out what to do, that combination of allergies and blood sugar crash and hopelessness because I’m already hurting just from trying them on and I probably won’t be able to go swimming anyway without all that chlorine in the air and I can’t decide whether I should get one of these caps even though they hurt my head and they ripped out at least three hairs, three hairs seems like way too much I mean three hairs every time I go swimming or even just these three, falling to the floor where are they now?

Then I realize I need a bathing suit too, but all they have are weird tight things I just want shorts, trunks I guess they call them, like trees growing on your legs I guess or your legs are trees, rooting you through the water. $6.50 I might as well just get one when will I be here again I can return it later, outside I don’t like the rain anymore, especially when I miss the bus and this bus stop is too close to the curb all the exhaust goes right into my nose and I can’t believe so many people smoke, I just sit there in the rain not too much rain really but too much also, sit there staring at the reflection of the light in water on the asphalt and trying to get it to make me feel better.