Wednesday, September 29, 2010


As perfect as I could imagine

The reading was amazing. It was perfect, really. So many people from all different parts of my life here, including many surprises and new people too and so much emotion and support in the room. It made me feel like I’m here, more here actually, which wasn’t exactly what I expected and it was beautiful.

The Q&A was great -- I felt vulnerable and appreciated, even though today I woke up re-wording some of my responses, thinking of things I might’ve said, going around and around in my head, and eventually maybe I’ll write more but for now I’ll just write that.

Today I’m a mess, but that’s to be expected. I guess that means that the reading wasn’t perfect, because now I’m so exhausted, but I guess what I’m saying is that I knew that would happen, and so the reading still felt perfect. I mean as perfect as I could imagine. I could feel my back starting to hurt during the reading, something about how I stand, pressing forward into the podium, or all the exertion and not breathing enough and now it’s time to rest.

Okay, now I went on a walk, tried to take a nap, started pacing around my apartment because I couldn’t figure out what to do and then I fell into bed and started crying because I felt so exhausted, but not enough crying to feel like much release, laid in bed and looked at the pretty colors on my walls, got up and read a few pages of a few books and hurt my hands again, tried to think of what to do when I feel this exhausted, and I can’t do much of those dangerous activities like reading and writing and sitting at the computer. I’m too tired for another walk, can’t decide whether it would give me energy or drain me to sit on the fire escape, and I’m not sure about the phone either. I keep thinking about craigslist, but we all know that won’t give me any energy. Maybe time for a feldenkrais CD.

That helped. It really helped. Now I’m tempted to write all the things I couldn’t write earlier, but already my body is starting to hurt again from reading a few more pages, responding to a few emails, sitting at the computer, so now I’ll go outside into the fresh air yes the air finally feels fresh again -- or fresher, anyway -- and then I’ll see what happens.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Feeling it more

It seems like every day now I start crying right when I first hear the news, crying from hope and hopelessness or maybe it’s more like hopelessness and hope, and maybe that’s how I feel about leaving San Francisco. Today’s my goodbye reading and the heat wave continues -- I just went into the bathroom, thinking the window must be closed so I better open it, but it was already open all the way. The Mission is the hottest neighborhood in the city, and that’s where I’m headed. How hot will it be in the store? At least the reading will take place in the main part of the store, instead of in the back like usual, because I’m sure it would get way too stuffy in the back. I hope people show up, I mean I’m sure people will show up, but I guess I’m nervous about who will show up and what it will feel like, this goodbye, I guess it means I’m really leaving and of course I already know that but now I’m feeling it more.

Here's my friend again!

Oh, no -- this is the foundation of my building...

Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm not sure about this definition...

Oh, my -- my goodbye reading is tomorrow!!!

And wow, it’s really really really hot out -- I hope it’s not so hot tomorrow…

I have a ton of vegetables to serve with a dip or something -- now I just need to make the dip, rosemary red lentils is what I’m planning -- I'm getting kind of emotional, hope the event goes well and feels like some kind of closure and opening...

Here are the details of the event:

The End of San Francisco: A Special Preview Reading
Tuesday, September 28 -- refreshments at 6:30 pm, reading at 7 pm
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia St. @ 20th
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 282-9246

It’s true -- after living in San Francisco for who knows how many years (okay -- 14 of the last 20), I’m moving away this fall and would love to see you at my goodbye event, which is also a special preview of my memoir-in progress, The End of San Francisco. The new book is about the people and spaces and feelings in moments of losses that have made and unmade me -- my political, cultural, social, ethical, sexual and emotional formations, and their undoing. The centerpiece of the book is about moving to San Francisco in the early-’90s, and coming of age in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Providence, DC and New York. Much of that section, and the next, which starts as the dot-com crash gives way to new perils and possibilities, takes place in the Mission just blocks from Modern Times -- what a perfect place for a special preview reading! Includes refreshments before, and discussion afterwards -- feel free to bring something delicious…

When the weather gets hot

The homeopath thinks maybe all this bloating and stomach pain relates to the end of my relationship with Chris. I guess that’s around when it started. And maybe she’s right -- because he stopped me from feeling in the moment, I’ve never been able to cry about it. I cried on my father’s deathbed, sobbed. I cried when my grandmother was dying. But I haven’t cried about the death of this relationship that meant so much to me, more than those relationships except maybe not in that childlike way. In a different childlike way, the place of hope I was able to claim for myself in the new world I was creating, we were creating together.

It’s true that when I thought I saw Chris the other day, coming out of the convenience store across the street, the feeling hit me right in the stomach like someone punched me there, not a cliché but the actual feeling. Maybe that’s what I need now, is to cry about it, to release all this pain inside me. I think one of the first things I’m going to do when I get to Santa Fe is to find a therapist. And maybe I should find one now, even though I’ll only be here for another month or so, maybe I can figure out some kind of closure. Maybe I’ll call Chris again, just to see if he’ll offer anything, even though I can’t imagine he will.

The homeopath is sending a new remedy, one to take once for emotional release, maybe that will help too. At least she’s giving me something new to think about, I mean of course I’ve been thinking about how I’m still traumatized by the loss of my relationship with Chris, how I still feel it every day, how I still feel scared about seeing him, because of the last times when he was so angry, how it goes to that childhood panic, and then I’m still stuck. And maybe that feeling is stuck here, in this particular place in my body, too.

Now that I somewhat obsessively look at the weather in San Francisco and Santa Fe, I’ll admit it’s always comforting to look at Seattle -- cool and rainy, maybe that’s where I’ll end up after Santa Fe. Although it’s way too depressing to experience the seven eight months of dark you get, oh my -- not to mention mold mold mold. Okay, I’ll switch my focus back to Santa Fe. Today I tried out one of my new sun hats that’s actually kind of comfortable, except when there’s a gust of wind it starts to blow away. I think the problem with these hats is that they don’t really fit, I need something a bit larger I guess, although I haven’t found anything yet -- I guess women’s hats are made for people with small heads, or smaller heads than mine anyway.

Heat wave drama -- at least today it’s not so humid but my head is a mess -- allergies for sure, although today they say the pollen count is low. Maybe the pollution -- in the middle of the night there was all this smoke coming into my apartment, I almost got up and went in the hall to open all the windows, just in case. Not enough wind, I guess, wind to blow away all the pollution and maybe my downstairs neighbors are smoking in their apartment again, or someone else, but at least I’ll be gone in a month -- I just hope I don’t get any neighbors who smoke. I’m starting to wonder about car exhaust, since I’ll be so much closer to it -- pretty much everything in Santa Fe is one or two stories, mostly one in the neighborhood I’m thinking of moving to. Maybe I’ll have to look for something insulated a bit from the road. Have I ever lived on the ground level? I’ve lived on the first floor, but even that’s always been up a flight of stairs. Except in Provincetown. Then I had a little cabin behind a big house, that was nice. Maybe that’s what I’ll get again.

I guess this is kind of like a hot day in Santa Fe -- dry and warm, but when I go outside it’s okay because of the shade from the buildings, at least at 11:30 am. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think there will be any shade for my morning walk in Santa Fe -- definitely not much shade from the buildings, since they’re so small. Maybe I’ll leave when the weather gets hot.

An update on the philodendron...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The way the weather works

I like when I notice new things about my view from the fire escape, just because it’s earlier in the day. Like the pigeons gathering on the building behind the building behind my building. Or, I turn to the side and I see them socializing on sun panels. Then I look at the corner of that building, red brick and there’s a tiny triangle of light that will become larger as the day goes on until it’s a long rectangle and then it’s dark again.

Then I start thinking about why it isn’t mandatory for every building in the city to have sun panels on the roof, or even better would be a city-funded program, but we won’t be getting a program like that any time soon. Instead we get a gas line blowing up and destroying a whole neighborhood just south of San Francisco. Makes me wonder if a similar gas line was buried underneath that ruined area I visited with Randy to accessorize with Lostmissing posters, little flags in the ground that said warning, pipeline buried here.

Outside, everything smells again -- not as bad as yesterday, when I walked down the hill where there’s always less air, but still gross. I guess it’s this new humidity, which also isn’t as extreme right now but still extreme for San Francisco. We need some serious rain, serious rain that we probably won’t be getting for a while, that’s the way the weather works here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Farmers' market

The homeopath suggests I stop the remedy for a few days, don’t take anything, which isn’t usually my favorite thing to do because then I worry everything will get worse, but then I sleep a little better, the time when I get wired is later and when I get out of bed I don’t feel immediately destroyed, go outside for an early walk, 11:30 am. It’s still ridiculously humid out, but not as ridiculously humid as before. My sinuses are a catastrophe. I walk too far, which doesn’t feel like too far until it’s too far. I get home and I feel like yesterday, no not as bad as yesterday but still like how will I do any of the things I thought I was going to do, just a few minutes ago? I guess there’s time, time when it’s so early, more time to feel exhausted, I guess, although not really more time just earlier. Somehow I’ve started to like the idea of getting up in the morning, going outside for a walk before noon -- I guess it’s exciting just because it’s different, even if I feel worse somehow I feel like I might feel better if I keep this schedule. More time.

Maybe if I could focus more on the process of eating, not just this food entering my mouth, going down and then I feel worse. Or better for a few minutes, until I have to eat again. And again. Chewing. Tasting. Sometimes I’m not sure whether I do those things. No, I do chew, but do I taste? So much eating that it’s hard to, and then I feel worse, and then I wonder.

I go to the farmers’ market for the first time, not the first time ever, but almost. Because in the past I was never up early enough. Walking down to Civic Center, there’s way too much light, I should never go out in the sun this early in the day without a hat. It’s before noon again, the next day. Walking down the hill, everything smells -- piss and shit on the sidewalk and then everyone’s rushing around kind of desperately and my eyes hurt from the sun, I’m trying to stay in the shade but there’s not much shade. It’s going to be too sunny in Santa Fe. Andee says I’ll need to start wearing sunglasses, and I do have a lot of sunglasses, although I’m not sure any of them are really UV-protecting.

Anyway, I get to the farmers’ market and it’s kind of overwhelming -- too much sun, too many people, something else smells. I get some berries that look kind of exciting -- I’m wearing a coat with big pockets, because otherwise I won’t be able to carry anything back. I hear something clucking, chickens -- oh, no, there’s a towering pile of chicken cages, that’s what smells now. The berries come out of their boxes while I’m walking, getting smashed in the bag and I try to rearrange them but then I realize I’ve put them down on a stoop that smells like shit, so I just leave them there -- someone will enjoy them: raspberries, blackberries, goldenberries which I’ve never seen before. I taste one. It gives me a stomach ache. I walk back up the hill.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I love this!


Even homeopathy, the gentlest of medical traditions, can make everything worse. I started a new remedy on Friday, and it did clear my head a bit, improved my mood, but then the bloating got worse. Much worse. It moved up into my stomach, and I woke up the other day with so much pain it was hard to walk. My sleep has gotten worse too -- I wake up completely wired at 5 or 6 am, trying to comfort myself by saying that now at least when I wake up wired it’s still dark, easier to fall asleep. Except it’s not easier.

But I want to tell you about the dream where I’m in an amphitheater filled with people on all sides -- Magdalena leans over from maybe 10 people away, and says what do you want from this circle? Somewhere nearby is Zee, and Jen Cross way across on the other side, and when I wake up I think about these people from my past, present, and future and think oh, that’s what I want: a circle. All this pain and exhaustion keeps me isolated and then there’s my self-imposed exile from everything drains me, just so I can function. I feel more a part of something every time I leave San Francisco, meet random people who really to my work or dreams. I want to feel a part of that something again, not just a broader something out there in the world but something in my everyday life. Not a life so isolated, intersections with friends here and there. This is part of why I’m leaving, and maybe in leaving I can sense more of this circle.

But then I feel myself getting worse, how will I feel better if my health gets worse? I want to clear this bloating before I leave, but it becomes more and more ingrained and I don’t even know what to do, what to look for -- I know what to hope for, but hope is not enough, in spite of what certain people tell you. I can hope that I have enough energy to write what I want to today, even as my energy fades-- I mean before my energy fades. Once it fades, I just feel faded, sinus tension, struggling with my eyes to keep them open and pull these thoughts together. This I can write about, just briefly before I lose my energy again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here's last week's interview from Out in the Bay...

It was fun -- and, you even get to hear me read briefly from three of my books, oh my -- listen here...

Looking in, from the fire escape...

"Deep inside our womanly souls" (my book industry entry, it seems)

Here I am at the bookstore, reading a few passages from the Patti Smith book -- I open it four times, and what a mess -- every excerpt I read is so formulaic and overwrought it’s like a joke. Not a good one. I mean Patti Smith doesn’t notice. I’m sure there are still some interesting parts, but really I’m wondering about her editor. And her -- first I’m wondering about her, and then her editor. Anyway, I can certainly wait to get that book used. Still, I’m so grateful for this bookstore, even if it is the pompous type of place that gives independent bookstores a bad name -- you know, a showplace for the NPR crowd -- still I discover some gems. At least this time. Like a book called I Hotel, Karen Tei Yamashita, about the struggle to save the International Hotel, a residence hotel central to the Filipino American community in San Francisco, targeted for demolition in the ‘60s and the site of decades of battles. But this book isn’t a history, it’s a series of 10 one-act plays that form a 600-something page novel -- Coffee House Press is one of the few publishers constantly welding the stylistically experimental with the politically engaged.

Then I decide to get a copy of Bookforum, which has become so dry and rarefied, no wait it’s always been rarefied but not so dry. Or, okay, now I notice that the articles are actually kind of good, it’s just their choice of titles that’s dull and predictably high-culture. But anyway there’s an article in this issue (or the last issue, actually, since I didn’t realize I was buying last month’s -- but, not a problem, since I found this great book essay right at the beginning) -- wait, I already told you in parentheses what I was going to tell you out of parentheses, but I can’t figure out how to fix that. And why, anyway? So let me give you a quote from the end of the essay, “Liberation Impasse: Taking ambivalent measure of the legacy of modern feminism,” by Kerry Howley -- the essay covers three books, the last of which is the tenth anniversary edition of Manifesta, by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards-- I would link to the review, but it’s not available online unless you are a Bookforum subscriber, which I’m guessing you’re not -- anyway, here’s a quote that I particularly like:

It’s never all that clear why Baumgardner and Richards are so set on apologizing to their mothers or so upset about that one time that Betty Friedan was mean to their friend. To the question “How can Third-wave women negotiate their independence and still remain part of the family?” one can only ask why it is so important that there be a family. The Manifesta authors offer a more confident vision of feminism than that of their immediate predecessors -- less brittle, more welcoming of dissent and secure in its ability to integrate popular culture. But for all that, it’s a remarkably cloistered, orderly vision, totally lacking in imaginative scope. There is no anarchy here; each cry of rebellion is quickly quieted by the need for consensus. We keep hearing that feminists don’t hate men. Shouldn’t some of them hate men? Doesn’t the world have room for a man-hating feminist action?

Manifesta is eager to please. It is too fearful of discord, too quick to soften the edges of its subjects, too insistent that if we all search deep inside our womanly souls we will find that we are all sensible moderates.

Gorgeous, right?

I guess this is my book industry entry, because now I’m thinking about the phenomenon of small presses printing these gorgeous full-color books, but then they’re always printed in China-- the way I look at it, if a book needs to be printed in China in order to make it “profitable” or “beautiful” then I don’t think it should be printed. And I’m saying this while thinking about doing an art book version of Lostmissing, knowing that that eliminates pretty much every press doing that kind of book. PM Press has a beautiful full-color book, Paper Politics, Socially Engaged Printmaking Today, which is printed in the US, although it’s still on paper that certainly smells toxic. AK is one of the few presses I’ve noticed doing books on 100% postconsumer recycled paper -- not all of their books, but I just got a review copy of one in the mail -- Black Bloc, White Riot: Anti-Globalization and the Genealogy of Dissent, and it does say “100% recycled, acid free paper with union labor” right at the front, -- not only that, but the book is gorgeous (and, it happens to be designed by Josh MacPhee, who edited the Paper Politics book) -- I haven’t read a word of Black Bloc, so I can’t necessarily recommend it -- seems like it might be a bit distant and theoretical, but certainly gorgeously-produced -- to be honest, I can’t understand why every small press, or every press really, isn’t printing on 100% postconsumer recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. Of course I’m sure all this relates to “cost,” but we all know about the larger costs too. Now I’m curious about most of my books, but I’ve already packed them -- 12 boxes of books so far, oh my!

But look -- here are two new titles from Arsenal Pulp -- Krakow Melt, by Daniel Allen Cox, and Missed Her, by Ivan Coyote -- both on 100% post consumer recycled paper -- and, gorgeously designed with elegant, striking covers too -- who else is printing on 100% post consumer recycled paper? I know many magazines are -- including make/shift and I’m assuming Left Turn, although looking at Left Turn I can’t find anywhere that says so -- so much to think about…

Saturday, September 18, 2010

For better, or worse

Usually when I wake up, one of the first things I think about is what music I should play, and I love it when I just think of some simple beat in my head, and then I’m able to connect it right to the CD, I press play and there I am, I mean here I am, here I am in the music. Today it’s foggy out but weird, kind of warm and sticky too -- not warm like the East Coast or anything horrifying like that, but strange anyway. I guess it was that way yesterday too, until Randy and I got to the radio station, and out there it was so foggy that when we stepped outside it looked like rain, huge drops on the cars and when you looked up it was like fog in a movie, look, we’re in a movie. That neighborhood is kind of movie-like, with steep steep hills but not the fancy houses of the neighborhoods known for the steep hills, but anyway we’re driving around to various dead-ends in the fog and then we find the right way, the street that follows the highway and then you could be anywhere, chain stores and industrial decay, and then we’re back in the part of town that feels more familiar, for better or worse.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's official -- I'm leaving San Francisco!!! Come to my goodbye reading...

It’s true -- I’m leaving San Francisco, and would love to see you at my goodbye event…

The End of San Francisco: A Special Preview Reading
Tuesday, September 28 -- refreshments at 6:30 pm, reading at 7 pm
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia St. @ 20th
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 282-9246

And, a blurb about the event:

It’s true -- after living in San Francisco for who knows how many years (okay -- 14 of the last 20), I’m moving away this fall and would love to see you at my goodbye event, which is also a special preview of my memoir-in progress, The End of San Francisco. The new book is about the people and spaces and feelings in moments of losses that have made and unmade me -- my political, cultural, social, ethical, sexual and emotional formations, and their undoing. The centerpiece of the book is about moving to San Francisco in the early-’90s, and coming of age in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Providence, DC and New York. Much of that section, and the next, which starts as the dot-com crash gives way to new perils and possibilities, takes place in the Mission just blocks from Modern Times -- what a perfect place for a special preview reading! Includes refreshments before, and discussion afterwards -- feel free to bring something delicious…

I'm on the radio, today!

The show is called Out in the Bay, at 7 pm PST on 91.7 FM in San Francisco, for a full half-hour -- I'll be talking about So Many Ways to Sleep Badly and That's Revolting! and The End of San Francisco and who knows what else -- you can listen live here -- of course, feel free to tell me what you think...

The colors of the fog approaching

So when I asked the acupuncturist whether she thinks the treatment is helping, right away she says no! With an exclamation mark just like that, and then I like her more. Because she’s honest. She wants to try one more herbal formula, and then it’s time to think about whether acupuncture can be helpful for me at all right now.

We’re starting to get that soft moist fall air all the time now, 5 pm and the light is already dimming, for some reason I’m going to the Nob Hill Theatre. Now I’m there. Now I’ve left. Not quite that fast, but fast. On the way back I walk past the restaurant where I keep wondering if this guy working inside is cruising me, it’s this tiny little place that I never used to see open because mostly it’s for breakfast, very cute inside but I can’t imagine there’s anything for me to eat -- oh, there he is, outside, smiling at me, I say hi but a bit too late and my voice gets kind of stuck but when I look back he’s smiling and that makes me much happier than anything else on my walk, much better than those dour looks at the Nob Hill Theatre, on my way I was horny and then as soon as I got there I thought oh, I’m not horny at all, I mean it drained me just being in that dark downstairs with bad music and gloom, even when the music got a little better that just helped me to get out of there, it’s still beautiful outside, and then a beautiful look, whatever it means, and then I’m back home, looking out at the colors of the fog approaching.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I do like the light at this time of day...

Just to see

The air is so fresh today -- I walk outside, and it clears my head. I don’t necessarily feel better than yesterday, but clearer. Maybe that’s better. I love this air, soft and smooth and cool and moist-- I guess the air in Santa Fe will always be this clear, although not moist -- and sometimes much warmer. When my head clears, like today, then I actually start getting excited about moving.

My mother calls. It’s early, but I answer anyway. Maybe I have enough energy to talk. I guess this person who was my godfather, even though Jews don’t have godparents he and his wife were the ones that would take care of my sister and me if our parents died, even though I can’t remember ever meeting these people. Maybe at my bar mitzvah, that’s where I met a lot of people who I never saw again, relatives. Anyway, this guy’s a doctor and a scientist and my mother was telling him my health problems and he offered to have a phone consultation with me. For some reason I say yes -- is that really a good idea? My mother doesn’t even know what kind of doctor he is, doesn’t think he ever practiced medicine, he was a researcher before he retired, he’s very detail-oriented and has a great sense of humor and is very caring and obviously he takes a special interest in you because you’re related.

Wait, that sounds terrible. Why did it sound like a good idea over the phone? My mother said he wanted to take a look at all my blood work and tests, if I was interested -- she was just asking me to think it over, and then I said yes right away. I guess I’m just looking for ideas, any ideas that might help. I mean I’m desperate. I feel like maybe if I could just end this bloating problem then I might start to feel a little better. I don’t need any more health problems, right? Somehow it seems easier just to be overwhelmed by everything that I’m always overwhelmed by, which never really feels easy but now there’s an extra layer.

Hopefully he wasn’t a researcher for the pharmaceutical industry. Oh -- now I’m just thinking of all the disastrous possibilities, everything that could go wrong in our conversation. When I was talking to my mother, I kept thinking I should mention that if this guy asks me what I think the cause is, the cause of all my health problems, then I’ll have to say that it definitely feels like the root is the fact that I was sexually abused, by my father who he’s related to, that I never experienced safety as a child and I didn’t have a way to express everything that was awful that was happening, and I put it all in my body. It’s still stuck.

Then I thought why, I don’t really need to tell my mother that, I mean she knows that’s what I think but I don’t need to tell her that I’m thinking of mentioning it during the consultation. But then I think why not, otherwise I’ll just keep thinking about it in my head, that I should’ve said something, or I’ll worry when I’m talking about it with him, and I don’t know how I can have a detailed health evaluation without mentioning the sexual abuse. I just wouldn’t be being truthful. I guess some doctors don’t give you the space to say anything like that, but if it’s actually in-depth in a meaningful way then it will come up.

My mother says it’s okay with her, but she doesn’t want anything getting in the way with the consultation, and it might get in the way. I say I’m not asking you for advice about it, I just wanted to mention it now, so that if they came up later then you wouldn’t be surprised.

I guess I feel better mentioning it, although when I get off the phone I’m exhausted again, more exhausted, my arms and chest and jaw hurt and I’m worried I won’t have enough energy to write, but look, here I am writing anyway, maybe I don’t have enough energy to write to Democracy Now and suggest a debate about gays in the military, because lately they’ve had some good debates but only fawning coverage of the gay agenda, but I’ll get to that later. Now I need to do some feldenkrais, moving out of pain so I can get to acupuncture in time. Is acupuncture helping? I don’t think so. That’s another thing I’m trying to figure out -- I think I’ll ask the acupuncturist. I guess I’ve asked her before -- I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t try any more herbal formulas, none of them are gentle enough. Which is funny, because in the past the herbs were the most helpful thing, and I couldn’t even do the acupuncture, but now it’s the reverse. I mean I’m not sure the acupuncture is helping at all -- I can definitely say that I have not seen any results -- the only difference is that it doesn’t wreck me as much as it did in the past, so I keep trying, just to see.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Before I crash

Sometimes I look at my hair right when I get out of bed and I think oh, bring it on! Then I look a little bit later and I think oh, what a mess. Maybe that’s after I crash. It only takes a few minutes. The music stops because this stupid stereo isn’t working anymore -- it’ll play like two tracks from an album and act like that’s all. I guess I got it for not much more than $100, over 10 years ago in New York after the landlord broke into our apartment to steal everything, so now it’s time to get another one, although probably that won’t prevent me from crashing. If it did, then it would be quite a good investment.

I guess I’ll try another CD. Oh, this is the right one, except my sinuses still hurt, really hurt. But the CD just started, let me give it some time. Outside, I’m watching this guy from across the street, grabbing his crotch, adjusting it, looking to the side, hoping he’ll be looking for me when you looks this way, after he looks, he looks. I look back. No one else does. Sometimes it feels like a horrible injustice that here on the streets in the light and air isn’t where we find one another, why can’t this be our sex space, that guy up ahead, the way he’s studying something, is it my hair or my face or my eyes but just come here and we can hold. We can hold one another, it’s okay.

Up at the next block, I’m kind of getting hard in my pants, just walking up the hill, this so rarely happens. Maybe that guy with the floppy hair across the street, no he’s straight, talking to his straight friend, like the guy up at the corner who does look at me but then looks over at another straight friend, all these straight friends but we’re not friends and maybe I should go to the Nob Hill Theatre. I’m not sure if I really have enough energy, but I’m getting closer -- should I keep walking, or turn around? For half a block my dick get soft, then harder again and it seems like I might as well go, just for a few minutes, I’ve definitely never been there at this time of day, noon, really noon, noon, how strange.

I guess the Nob Hill Theatre is pretty much the same at any time of day -- the same people working, lurking. A tweaker in the hallway, texting, she’s cute enough except for that angry expression on her face. I go in a booth, and right away someone sticks his dick through the glory hole-- pale skin, I don’t have time to see who it is, dick curving into my throat, okay this is great. Then he pulls away and leans down to face me through the hole, do I want to come in his booth? Yes, much better for my neck, that’s for sure, when I get in he wants my dick but I’m not exactly attracted to him in that way, middle-aged guy with gray hair, a tension but soft his need or desire or whatever it is, I get back on my knees, yes his hands on the back of my head, yes the way his dick curves upward, he pulls up his shirt, I rub because I figure that’s what he wants, soon he’s coming in my mouth and I guess that’s what I want, before I thought I wanted to come but this is safer anyway, I mean safer for my energy, I rarely crash from eating come, except sometimes when I end up with a digestive nightmare, but we already know I end up there anyway. I stand up and kiss him on the cheek, then on the lips which is what he wanted before but now he’s shy.

Back in the hallway it’s just me and the tweaker, I’m grabbing my dick through my pants and he goes into a booth so I go into the next one, someone comes in right after me, a short cute muscley Asian guy, where did he come from but now he’s here and I stand up to hug him but then he’s scared of the tweaker watching, he leaves and then it turns out the tweaker only wants to grab my dick through the glory hole and that’s boring like I could come and definitely regret it, so I leave, back upstairs, past the tweaker working who tells me something happened on September 11, she can’t remember, what was it -- that’s what she was saying earlier, now she says oh, Ramadan, which would be fine except then she says I like pita bread, a little bit of pita bread with my grenade. I try to think of a way to illuminate her racism, but I can’t think of anything in time and then I’m back outside and actually I do feel better than before, I actually have enough energy to get home before I crash.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not to worry

To figure out a way not to worry, and that doesn’t work for me. That kind of advice. I need more information. I’m talking about the nuclear contamination. I can’t just tell myself not to worry. But actually that is a way not to worry, that’s what Socket means -- I like when you can talk something through with a close friend and figure out each other’s language, and then feel better, more connected, hopeful even.

The problem with nuclear contamination is that it’s invisible, I won’t notice that it’s affecting me, or I probably wouldn’t anyway -- until it’s too late, right? Of course there’s radiation here too -- I live right across the street from several cell phone towers. And I guess that’s what other people mean when they say there’s pollution everywhere, you can’t worry about it. But if I’m moving for health, to try to feel better, then of course I have to worry about it.

I wish there was someone I could call and figure it all out, I mean someone who would tell me exactly what the risks are from various behaviors and exposures, and then I could figure out how to minimize them. Of course, it’s a bit of a problem that Los Alamos was top secret from the beginning, that definitely gets in the way of information. When I was in Santa Fe, and asking about it, a few people said you could go to the museum, the museum at Los Alamos. No, I said -- I’m looking for information. There’s a lot of information there, these people said -- it’s a great museum.

A museum of lies. Is there any other kind? Some lies are worse than others. Although 12,000 people work at Los Alamos -- some of those people must have this information. Not that they’ll be sharing it any time soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I’ve already crashed, but I want to tell you about something that happened before. I got up, and got out of bed, and something felt different, different in my head. I put on music, that Green Velvet album that sounds like a satire of religion but I guess apparently he actually got religious but anyway it’s those beats and I’m feeling that place in my head, yes it’s the beats but also that place, can’t I just keep this place for a little longer? That runway, dancing in my living room, that runway my living room and I’m thinking that when I move I should have some kind of thing that happens every week at noon or sometime one day a week where people come over and we dance, just for an hour exactly, although what if I don’t have any energy, maybe it should be for 20 minutes? But what if I don’t have energy for 20 minutes?

Anyway, I have energy now, now while I’m dancing and then I realize I’m getting tired but not as fast as usual so I’m cooking, but something stays, stays in my head, the possibility of feeling, feeling the way I want to. Then I’m editing The End of San Francisco, and wow this place is so good I start crying a bit, crying and thinking I can’t die, can’t die before I finish this book. Not that I’m planning on dying, but you know, sometimes that’s how you feel when you write, and its working, and you write. How I feel.

The fire escape and the sun, today’s a beautiful day and these raspberries, these might be the best raspberries I’ve ever tasted, filled with flavor in all different directions. Back to the fire escape to eat, I can feel myself crashing as soon as I buy into the teff, maybe I should in eat teff anymore, there’s always undigested teff or other small grains in my shit and I stopped taking the digestive enzymes to see if they were helping, I don’t feel any different, so my guess is they weren’t helping although maybe now there’s more undigested teff in my shit. Other grains too, the smaller ones -- quinoa and amaranth -- the ones that are supposed to be the healthiest, but maybe I shouldn’t eat those grains for a while. Maybe it’s time to bring back buckwheat and millet, the grains I cut out after the allergy test, when I cut out 20 or 30 foods and that didn’t help. But that was more than six months ago, after six months usually you’re not sensitive. I mean as sensitive. Or, maybe you’re not sensitive, after six months, but I’m still sensitive. Maybe not as sensitive.

Of course that makes me think about Chris, yesterday I took the J for the first time in a while and whenever I’m on the J I think I’m going to run into Chris, so I started planning it out, this time it didn’t feel stressful, kind of excited but the whole time I was looking around, looking around for Chris but he wasn’t there. I need closure. If he would talk to me, I would ask him to roll a marble down the hill at Dolores Park, I could watch that marble and think when it gets to the bottom of the hill our relationship is over, done, I don’t need to think about him anymore. Or we could meet, and right when I saw him I could drop something beautiful and delicate to the ground, it would shatter and I could think that’s our relationship, it’s done. Maybe I can do this without him, but I haven’t figured out how, yet. Maybe I’ll figure it out.

But anyway I crash, on the fire escape, on the fire escape while I’m eating, and then it’s back to normal, pushing through this heaviness in my head and I’ll keep pushing.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

To say something

Here’s my life, today: I succeed at bringing a stool sample into the lab. A stool sample? Yes, a stool sample. That’s after the feldenkrais CD that allows me to feel my face, when I walk over to the lab there’s more weight on my feet, I’m walking differently, this is interesting. Then I’m home, trying not to read because it will hurt my body again but what about just a few pages? A few pages later, and now I’m back to where I was before the feldenkrais CD, all this pain in my arms, just a few pages, maybe it was reading about a dog killing a hedgehog and the blood splattering the tree -- I don’t like reading about killing. I don’t even like writing about reading about it, not even that one sentence, but the book was so good. I mean it is so good, but I don’t like the way Eileen watches the dog kill a hedgehog, right that’s the part I really don’t like. I don’t mean critically -- for this moment I’m just talking about my reaction, which isn’t about the book it’s about my reaction to the action in the book. It’s a novel. Now I’m tired again. I was tired before. Now I’m tired and sad. I was tired and sad before.

Reading this new Eileen Myles book, I started wanting that Patti Smith Just Kids book again, because it takes place at the same time -- the 1970s in New York -- and probably includes some of the same people. I was wondering about the different ways each of them represents this period, although I did start the Patti Smith book at one point in a store, and she talks about how when she heard about the death of Robert Mapplethorpe suddenly a Tosca opera or something like that came on the TV, or something totally ridiculous and hackneyed like that and you know she’s lying because she doesn’t even say I know this is the most hackneyed and ridiculous thing, but this Tosca opera suddenly came on TV. So I thought okay, this book must be crap, but that didn’t necessarily make me less curious -- it’s about her relationship with Mapplethorpe, which I never knew about, and I guess that’s maybe one of the reasons she wrote the book.

Okay, time to lie down again and stretch, stretch to try to limit this pain, then maybe I’ll take a shower and go out to look for the Patti Smith book, there’s no point in looking for it used anymore because it’s one of those books that everyone’s using, not used yet, or used so fast you can’t find it but of course I can find it new, those are the books you can always find new. Yesterday I got lucky, went to the used bookstore to find another Eileen Myles book that takes place in the ‘70s that she talks about in this book, and there it was at Aardvark -- I love the way they don’t watch you at all at that store, no sensors or paranoia they don’t care whether you might steal or if they do care they don’t bother trying to stop you, which is the way used bookstores should be, it’s not like anything cost them more than a few dollars, and then their prices are pretty fair too and I like going up to the register where you have to say something to them to get them to look up from whatever they’re reading.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Over advertising

I’m in the shower, fading. I’m not sure why I’m fading, that’s why I’m still here. I’m also still here because there’s so little hot water, I’m waiting for it to warm up my body. Sometimes the shower clears my head, but today it just makes me feel sad and lonely, like I was deluding myself before when I thought today was better. But what’s making me sad about this shower? Is it just the way I’m present in my body, or something about all this moisture, or maybe there’s not enough air.

Oh, no -- I closed the kitchen window for a few minutes, and now everything smells like mold. Time to open the window again! Outside, is this really outside? It doesn’t feel outside enough. Diesel fumes. I walk a block further than usual, I mean usual on a good day. I like this block, it’s flat but up high like you’re floating. Actually that’s the next block, but I’m not going to walk further.

Today downhill is more fun -- the air feels fresher, my body is more aligned over my feet, I can feel my pelvis actually rotating in the back, the way I think it’s supposed to, there are pigeons with white and black feathers, kind of startling and pretty, that graffiti corner is getting very glamorous -- I’m a little suspicious that they have some deal going on with the gallery down the street, since that person who made the stencil with the three-dimensional confetti hat has something in the gallery too. Now there’s a big hand, a face eating diamonds -- before I thought it was a wheatpaste, but there’s paint too. That’s when I get suspicious. But at least the store owner doesn’t keep painting it over with beige, cream, tan -- anything but beige, cream, tan, right? Except advertising -- I’ll take beige over advertising.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Yay -- I finally found someone who stands just before the corner on a hot day, to avoid the direct sunlight -- before, she was staring at me like I was a nutcase for taking pictures of some gorgeous yet subtle graffiti, but now we’re friends. I still haven’t figured out what exactly makes one of my walks a success, I mean what separates the ones that give me energy from the ones that drain me. Like last night I went out in the cool air and it wrecked me. Usually it helps when I have some kind of interesting interaction, with buildings or people or graffiti or that cat or someone’s dog or the light, but I can never figure out when I have enough energy. Sometimes I can feel it slipping, and that means time to turn around, but other times I start out awful and then it gets better.

What will my interactions be like in Santa Fe, where there are barely any people on the street except for in tourist hell, and where there aren’t any buildings to shade me. Maybe there are more trees than I’m thinking, since I was there at the end of winter. I do love winter, I’m excited about that part. I think I’ll end up there, at least for a while.

First I end up back in bed -- I’m doing feldenkrais on the floor, and when I get up I’m too far in the direction of needing sleep. When I get in bed, I think of unplugging the phone and turning on the white noise generators, but for some reason I don’t, so then every time I start to fall asleep there’s some loud crashing noise outside-- maybe demolition or a tire blowout or a gunshot, I wouldn’t think a gunshot except that I’m in bed, probably not a gunshot maybe a firecracker -- but I’m too close to sleep to get up, and it goes back and forth like this for a while until I get up, at least when I take off the eye mask there’s all this light, I can look at the art on my walls from here, with my contacts on. Not sure that was a good idea either, but at least I can see the art better.

I hope I have a lot of spaces in my next apartment to hang up all the new art I got from my grandmother. Now it’s sitting in boxes -- I don’t want to unpack it, because then it will be too hard to pack. But what if I arrive, and I don’t know whether I’m staying? Or for how long? Will everything stay in boxes? I hate when that happens. I want to stay somewhere for a while. I don’t want to move again, not too soon. But I don’t know if Santa Fe is the place where I want to stay. Because of the nuclear contamination. And because I just don’t know. I guess I won’t know till I get there, and till I get there I have these boxes, more and more boxes, they are accumulating as I remove books from the shelves, that’s all so far but soon the closet, and the dresser, and everything else I guess too.

Oh, that feeling in my head from a nap, bruises on the back of my skull and what’s that dryness inside, like everything doesn’t quite connect, my sinuses or something around there a dryness in my throat too and I need to eat more, right away, even before I drink more water.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Annihilation and escape

Ouch, all this pain -- where is all this pain coming from? My intestines, I guess. I don’t understand sleep. The first time I woke up thinking maybe now, maybe now just because I feel so awful but it’s not getting better. Not the pain in my intestines -- I didn’t notice that until I got up. Then it was just the feeling in my head, will this ever get better I don’t think it will get better maybe I’ll just get up. I looked at the clock -- too early, or maybe not too early. Plenty of time to continue resting, or trying to rest, I’ll keep trying.

At least there was that moment where my father pulled the shower curtain tighter, after I asked him to give me the first layer, which was my laundry bag, he slid it through and I wondered about how tight he was pulling the curtain, not the curtain to the actual shower but the curtain that was the door, and then I wondered if he was reading my blog. Sometimes I wonder about other people, pretty much everyone else I’ve wondered about at one point or another, but never my father, until now.

In the other room, my sister’s sleeping, maybe we can all sleep, maybe I can sleep, and somewhere in here I realize I’m sleeping, maybe not until I wake up more and realize oh, hilarious, I thought I was still awake but I was wondering if my dead father was reading my blog, because of how tight he pulled the curtain door vinyl thing that was the same as my laundry bag. And then I got out of bed, into all this pain.

No, first I was wondering if I’ll ever wake up without the smell of burning charcoal surrounding me, that’s what it smells like in my apartment. I mean I will, I will wake up without that smell, somewhere else. Although in Santa Fe, will I smell all the wood-burning fireplaces -- everyone seems to have one, I think it’s a status symbol. And then I get out of bed, into all this pain.

There’s the fire escape -- today it’s no escape it all. I’m thinking about escape. I did move somewhere else primarily for health reasons, once -- Provincetown. I was living in New York and it was the third or fourth summer and I thought there’s no way I can ever live here in the summer again, I need to go somewhere with fresh air where I can exercise a lot and still turn tricks for a living, and that’s how I ended up in Provincetown. Provincetown is beautiful -- I’ll give it that. Definitely the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived -- it’s way out there surrounded by water and oh the light, I’ve never seen so many different colors of sky that don’t just look like pollution. Walking through the dunes to the tidal pools to the ocean.

But then the culture of Provincetown, Provincetown in the summer, Provincetown in the summer and the most horrible gay people from all over the country -- fratboy realness assimilation nation. Beyond assimilation. What’s beyond assimilation? Annihilation. Some kind of proto-straight gay identity that made Chelsea clones look edgy. The way gay identity could become nothing but a rabid quest for sameness combined with a delusional fever for the emptiness of consumerism masquerading as escape. And then that New England close-minded cliquishness, vapid racist misogyny sex-closeted normal-crazed xenophobic

Anyway, that’s where all this pain started -- I mean where it became so unbearable that I couldn’t function, starting with the pain in my wrists and now I’m moving for health reasons again. I guess I moved back to San Francisco in part for health reasons -- I wanted healthier air and queers I could relate to and hookers who politicized sex work and a sex life without walls. I got the first three, for a while at least. That’s one of the things I’m thinking about now -- there are plenty of amazing people here, but that doesn’t mean I feel connected, held, hopeful. The truth is that I might not feel that anywhere, I mean unless I can feel more energy first, more energy to engage. Although sometimes feeling connected, held, hopeful can give you energy, right? Yes yes of course -- although often with me it feels like everything ends up draining me, everything.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Wherever and whatever comes next

I wake up surrounded by cigarette smoke, where is all this smoke coming from? Someone must be leaning into my windows at night, blowing it in my direction. There are days when I wake up, and I can kind of breathe, and then there are days like today. There are days when I go out on the fire escape and it clears my head, and then there are days like today. There are days when sitting in the sun gives me energy, and then there are days like today.

So, you guessed it -- it’s not a good day. I would like to live someplace where every night my nostrils don’t get so stuffed up while I’m sleeping. I know that’s possible because usually when I leave San Francisco, that happens in most places where I stay. Unless the heat is on, or there’s obvious mold or dust -- then it can be worse. But usually it clears at least part of the time. My sinuses actually got worse when I went to Santa Fe, because of all my allergies -- my allergies were crazy -- but that will probably be true almost anywhere new. But then there’s also that dry air, I’m not sure about that dry air and my sinuses. Except that incredible moment when you open up the door and no way, it’s almost unbelievable, unbelievable how much air.

I was talking to Hilary last night about moving, where am I moving, and she said something like hopefully you’ll just feel much better, much better in a different place, and I realized I don’t have that much hope for that. I mean that’s what I’m hoping, but I don’t have much hope-- for the physical part, I mean, since everything feels like it’s getting worse -- I can’t even do anything about this bloating, and that piles onto everything I’m already dealing with and it just starts to feel so overwhelming, and true -- maybe I’ll be able to get away from the mold, that’s possible. And that might help. But what about everything else? I guess when you have one less thing to deal with, sometimes your whole system gets better, right?

So I guess I have more hope about living somewhere else, that that will help, maybe not so much with my physical health although wait, I do want to hope for that, okay I’ll keep hoping, even though I’m scared. But I have more hope for just getting the fuck away for San Francisco -- I hate it here, I hate being here, that’s what I’m thinking right now. Everything just feels like a limitation, suffocation, heartbreak -- yes, there’s familiarity; yes, there are beautiful beautiful places; yes, there are moments, but even in those moments I don’t really feel like I want to live here. I need a few years away, to see if I want to come back, I mean come back to live. At the moment that seems unlikely, but I might take a look at the other options and end up right back here -- I did that twice already, right?

This time it’s been 10 years, 10 years of living here and that’s by far the longest I’ve lived anywhere except where I grew up. For several years it even felt like I would be here for good, more or less, but now I’m so ready to get away -- and I guess that’s what shifting, that I feel more hope about my emotional health shifting, when I leave maybe I won’t feel stuck in my relationships and failed dreams. That’s why I’m drawn to Santa Fe -- one of the reasons, anyway -- more than physical health now, I think, since now I’m scared about the nuclear contamination. But I feel possibilities in relationships there, new relationships that maybe will feel more like what I need, what I need right now, in my everyday. Not just closeness on the phone or occasionally in person, or the old relationships that sometimes feel comforting but more often just like walls. Of course I also need more energy for new relationships -- moving to a new place is always incredibly lonely -- I might feel worse in every way, but whatever the case I know I need to get out of here, and fast.

I wish I could travel to a bunch of places, all the towns that sounds kind of interesting, spend some time in each one just to see, but that would be way too exhausting. Maybe I can travel for a few weeks in the Southwest on the way to Santa Fe, to see what I think of Denver and Boulder and maybe some smaller places, just in case. Denver doesn’t sound that appealing, but it is the big city in the area. I hate college towns, so Boulder doesn’t seem that likely, but I might as well check, right? If I have enough energy. I guess the train goes in that direction anyway, I mean if I take that train instead of the one from LA, which actually gets to Santa Fe. That was my plan before -- if I take the train the other way, I have to figure out how to get from Denver or Boulder to Santa Fe, I guess by bus. And I also have to take some horrible train that leaves at some hideous time in the morning, which I was trying to avoid. Maybe I can take a bus somewhere in that direction, and stay somewhere for a few days, and then pick up the train at a decent hour -- I was planning on stopping at a beach town on the way to LA, maybe a desert town instead?

I will say that whenever I think of the place that’s most beautiful to me, I do think of the beach, so yes it’s a bit strange that now I’m planning a move to the desert. But I feel like I should at least explore, to see if it’s what I want, or even what I want for a short time with new experiences and possibilities and intimacies that lead me to wherever and whatever comes next.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

In the chest

Now I know what they mean when they say it hits you in the chest -- emotion, that is -- because I’m walking out of my apartment into the noontime sun, crossing the street and for a second I think that’s Chris, walking out of the corner store and looking right at me and that’s when my belly pulls up in pain like someone just hit me, really. And I stop breathing, takes me a few moments to stop staring with whatever frightened look is on my face, and now the guy, who doesn’t really look like Chris, is staring at me to figure something out, figure me out, and then we both keep walking.

When will all this clear from my head -- maybe when I see him, and we have some kind of interaction, or maybe just when I move. I need some kind of ritual, a ritual to banish him from my interior -- that’s kind of what Lostmissing was, or is, but I’m not sure if I want to make any more posters. I still want them to go up all over the place, but I don’t think I need to make any more. It’s just that I’m still stuck, stuck in all that fear and pain. So I need another ritual, maybe something I could create in therapy, therapy I don’t have, or something I could smash, like he’s smashed me -- but all of this sounds familiar, not that different from what I was thinking almost two years ago when he stopped talking to me. People say San Francisco is so small, but I haven’t run into him since, unless you count all these people who I keep thinking are him, hitting me in the chest.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Is someone playing games with me? Because my whole apartment smells like a forest fire hit, I guess from the tandoori grills down the street, I mean unless there’s a forest fire somewhere nearby. I’m thinking I should call whoever’s responsible for outdoor air quality in city government, just in case there’s something they can do. But then I go out on the fire escape, and it smells like fabric softener. I know they’re not going to do anything about that, but really -- all these fumes in the air, seven floors up.

Noon is really too early in the day to go on a walk -- the air quality is terrible. Until there’s a breeze, and my head starts to clear as I’m walking up the hill and the air gets fresher, but then -- oh, no -- perfume! How could that person be wearing so much perfume? I keep walking -- yes, it does get fresher, the further up the hill I go. Until a truck drives by -- diesel fumes. And then I’ve walked too far, and I have to get back.

The bus comes by just as I’m contemplating sitting down, but then it sounds awful to get on, for some reason, so I keep walking. Downhill it’s hard to avoid the sun in my face -- I need a better hat for this time of day. All of my larger hats blow away in the wind, so I wear the small one that stays on, but it doesn’t really shield my face. Mostly I just wear it so I can go on a walk early in the day, before doing my hair, but what happened to my sinuses? Nothing goes through.