Tuesday, January 05, 2010

These relationships through our actions

Ten days after hot pink turned blood red, Kelvline got arrested at one of the anti-war demos, and ended up spending nine days in jail. Everyone wanted to visit her inside, even people who never seemed to like her before. Apparently jail makes you popular. Somehow I managed to show up at the required hour of 7 am in a long plaid polyester skirt with contrasting plaid shirt and coat, and glitter covering my eyelids -- I was third in line, I kept saying welcome, welcome to the club. Maybe that’s why Kelvline says: back then, you were dressed up all the time. Or maybe because I always got dressed up for actions -- what could be more intoxicating than arriving at a demo in ball gowns made of torn-apart prom dresses and thrift store excess, shaped into a sculptural concoction of decadent collapse?

In prison, Kelvline was still making jokes, trying to entertain: the food here is great, she said -- they served fried chicken. That was before she was vegan; maybe it wasn’t a joke. The woman next to me was passing contraband to a guy who looked like a pimp; I guess that means the woman looked like a hooker, boobs carefully arranged to flash underneath something passing as office-wear. I wonder what I looked like. But Kelvline, I asked -- how are you?

I’m trying to map these relationships through our actions. So I can show you how I got to this place where now I’m lost. So you can find me. At first I thought Kelvline’s arrest happened before the Center, because of the way I arranged the sections in that earlier essay. But then I looked more closely. I’m so glad I wrote that history -- otherwise the timeline would be shuffled; this might not matter, but it feels like it matters. Feeling is what I’m after. I’m trying to establish the tensions, so I can establish the tensions inside me. In the earlier essay, I didn’t write about my relationships. Now I wonder: when did I meet Darryl? Because later it was like Gay Shame became a project between Kelvline, Darryl, and me -- I mean we were the ones who kept it going. And those were the relationships that kept Gay Shame going for me. But here we are, almost two years in, and Darryl hasn’t even made an appearance. I mean, she’s the one who showed up at our demos with Gay Shame buttons, actualizing the dream of participation we were invoking, but she lived in Santa Cruz so it took a while before she started attending meetings.

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