Monday, August 01, 2011


Two messages from my mother, at 10 pm and 10:03. That's after midnight for her, and she usually goes to bed around nine. She says: I feel bad about our conversation. Which drags me back down into that sadness, that sadness I was trying to escape. I need to write this before I call her, but now there is this exhaustion, I need to write through the exhaustion so that I can call her. No, I mean: and then I can call her. I need to write so that I won't feel this sadness, or won't feel it so much, won't feel like it's dragging me down but I'm already down I can’t deal with more dragging.

The conversation, a familiar one, each time it takes a slightly different form but it's always there: my mother is worried that if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling by Tuesday, she'll have to liquidate some of her assets. She's been spending too much money. And so, for the next several months, she'll have to stop sending me money, the monthly amount she's committed to sending, committed several times over the last several years although the amount keeps changing, now it's lower but she needs to stop sending it for a while, just until the stock market goes back up.

And no, this doesn't matter like it used to – I'm not dependent on my mother anymore, now that I inherited the money from my grandmother. But still it's helpful for the long turn, keeps me from worrying that I'll eventually run out. And, it's something that she promised, something I appreciate, that promise. Even though a promise from my mother is never a promise.

She's telling me all these details about her accounts and things she’s spent money on recently, or needs to spend money on soon: her condo fee that she pays for three months at the end of each year, so that it's paid for the next year; her trip to Spain; taxes. That's where I fall on the priority list, somewhere below condo fees and a trip to Spain and taxes. My mother wants to know what I think; I say we've had this conversation so many times and then every few months it happens again – you’ve committed to sending me this money, it's supposed to be figured out so that you don't have to worry, and I know that your financial planners think that I'm the first thing to go, I know they keep telling you that.

My mother says: so you feel like I'm listening to them too much? No, I say – I know that you listen to them too much, that's just a given, but I feel like I'm at the bottom of your list of priorities. My mother says: that's just not the case. I say: it sounds like you've already made up your mind. And that's the first time my mother says this is making her feel bad, can we talk about something else? No, I say – that's just fake.

Then we’re talking about the same things again, not this bottomless pit of sadness which is childhood, which is our relationship and somehow this relationship has come to mean more to me because I feel like I have less, emotionally I mean, and then in a way I depend on her and this is where it always leads. I know I already felt sad from the exhaustion of traveling, sinus depletion and pain, coming back to this place where sometimes I feel like I have nothing.

But what do I need now? I need to get out of this sadness, so I tell my mother how it feels to be back: I hate the dryness, even when it's humid my skin feels dry and I go on a walk and no one's around and I have a few friendships that mean something but it's not enough. My mother wants to know where I'm going next. Probably Seattle although I won't be able to be there for more than 15 months I don't think, because of the winter and I'll get too depressed and I'm sick of moving but I don't know where I want to be. My mother wants to know why Seattle. Because it's always felt calming to me, although compared to here, I don't know what it will feel like anymore and I'm not making a decision until I go on my book tour, but I know exactly where I could live and be right by the co-op and a good bookstore, a park, and something else – what was the other thing?

The cruising park, but I don't say that. The sex clubs, but I don't even know if that means anything to me anymore. My mother says oh, well that makes sense, and I say but then there’s the mold. And my mother says oh, that's not good. Like she didn't realize there was mold in Seattle, with all the dark and rain; like we haven't already talked about this. And then she needs to go to bed, but she thanks me for talking about other things. And stays up, or goes to bed and gets back up, I'm not sure.

I go on a walk through the clouds that look like rain but there's only a few drops, back at home I have an email from that guy from earlier on, the one who said let's get together around five or six and I kept staring at his picture because he looked so hot, it seems like I never hook up with someone that hot online, and now he wants to get together, okay, and then I'm so edgy walking around the house, brushing my teeth and then pissing, and then pissing again, keep thinking I have to shit but I don't, wash some dishes, he’s late and he already said he had to meet some friends for dinner, could only stop by for a few minutes and was that okay, maybe he's not going to show up.

And right then it starts to rain, really rain, not just a few drops – I can hear it on the ceiling, the skylights, and I want to go outside but I don't want to look like I'm anxiously waiting, so I just look outside through the back door, open already for air circulation. Maybe I'll wash another dish, piss again, brush my teeth. Then I give up, open the front door to see the rain and oh, there he is walking towards me right at that moment. So much for trying to look like I'm not anxiously waiting.

He's kind of shaking – or not shaking, more like bouncing – and at first I wonder if he's tweaked but then I think it's just nerves. He doesn't look exactly like his picture, older and puffiness around his eyes but he's cute enough for sure. What are you up to, he says while he's bouncing around, eyes bulging in and out and then he says it again: what are you up to? Um, waiting for you. So that's when I kiss him, big lips and he seems to like that part, I pull up his shirt so he takes it off and I rub his chest. He does that thing where right away he grabs my dick, pulling and tugging like that's going to get me hard so I say rub my thighs, but then as soon as my dick does get hard he's back there again so I reach for his, pull down his pants and underwear, take his dick in my mouth and immediately I taste pre-come, suck for a minute or two but not too long I think because I know he said something about wanting to suck my dick but now he's just tugging.

You want to go over there, I say, pointing to the sofas and he sits down, my dick in his face but he’s still just tugging, I could come because it's been so long since I've had sex I guess, a month I think, but it would be annoying and now he doesn't want to suck my dick anymore, even though that's what he was talking about before, and this is where I wonder if he's closeted, or just not that experienced, there's a lot of that here in Santa Fe, that skittishness about sex, and now he's covering his crotch so I don't suck his dick, I'm not sure why. He just wants to see me come. I have to go soon, he says, my friends are waiting. Okay, I say, and then I'm standing over him – just rub my balls, really soft, I say, and I'll come like that, but he doesn't want me to come on his chest because he's going to dinner. What about a washcloth, I say – and then: okay, how about if I sit in your lap, just rub my thighs, and then I stand up and shoot it on the floor, he says something like: that was pretty good.

And then he's all jumpy again, do you want some water? A towel? He goes to the bathroom, and when he comes out he has that bigger-eyed goofy look in his eyes, brown pants rolled up to the knees, running off into the no-longer-rain and after he’s gone I think that was silly, pointless – I could write him an email saying let's get together again, just because he was hot, and maybe if he wasn't so rushed he wouldn't be nervous, but I already know I won't hear from him again, just like usual.


Campbell B. said...

Hey Mattilda, Sorry about the sadness and frustration with your mom.

Just from reading your blog, it doesn't seem like there are many queer people in NM--at least not openly queer people anyway. Do you think Seattle would really be that much more moldy than the Bay area? I really like Seattle! It's on my list of possible future moves.

Also, thanks for calling me and letting me know about the queer foster care anthology. I will definitely check that out!

AlexXXY said...

Just moved to Albuquerque from Portland, OR. Sounds lame but maybe try Loved all your books, even the hard time find ones. Good night darlin.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Campbell, lovely to hear from you! There are definitely queers in Santa Fe, although practically no fags on the queer continuum, that's for sure! But, everyone is more spread out and isolated, often by choice… And, no street culture of any sort except tourism.

Seattle might not be that much more moldy than San Francisco, but it's way darker – San Francisco is sunny every day at least for part of the day, except for maybe two months of the year, and Seattle is the opposite – seven or eight months of rain and dark, a few months of sun if you're lucky – I lived there for a little over a year, way back in '96-'97, and before then I never understood the effect of sun on my health – I thought the more clouds, the better – but then oh my, the seasonal depression, dammit, and the whole town sinks into it for those 8 months. But, who knows…

AlexXXY, welcome to the Southwest, what brings you here? I'm so glad you enjoyed all of my books -- and yay, even the hard-to-find ones, that's dedication! I don't even know what is, but I'll venture a glimpse for sure, thanks so much for saying hi!

Love –

AlexXXY said...

Hello Matilda, first I'll just say I fell in love with your books of essays-the entire style. I came across you, after meeting a radical tranny fag (his words) in Portland. I was just a newly emerging androgynous intersex fag at the time. Your books really opened up my entire feelings about "not passing". Its something I consistently re-read. To answer your question though, I moved here after a horrible move from Portland to Minneapolis. I couldn't handle the winters or the home affiliations. I like Albuquerque's low cost of living, hopefully gives me some free time to make art, be an intersex activist, and finally get my massage license. Sad to see you leave NM, if that's what you do, but hope that you find a place where you do feel more at home.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Yay -- so glad to open up your feelings about "not passing" – and, I'll be here at least until January, so hopefully our paths will cross before then…

Love –

kayti said...

maybe your mom could sell her coffee table and sofa. that would give her more money then most people make in a year.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Kayti, but where would she sit?

Love –