Sunday, June 03, 2012

My chance

Then I run into Kelly and she’s all worked up about some guy again – I thought we were going to be friends when I first got back, because it seemed like she had actually had a life, but all she ever talks about is some guy who she's obsessed with, like I'm going to be fascinated just because I'm a faggot or something. I don't really try anymore, especially after that time when she was ranting about how someone had described her as that Asian girl with bleached hair, and I said really, he called you a girl? But it turned out it was the Asian part she was upset about, and on my way home I was thinking about how to describe people without mentioning race, and whether this was necessary or just fake, I mean of course this happens for white people all the time and I guess that's the point, and then I realized that actually Kelly was talking about me. Because I had described her as an Asian woman with bleached hair to someone, and then for a few minutes I felt like the most horrible person in the world. But then after that I felt angry, like why couldn't Kelly have actually confronted me, so we could have a conversation?

I do kind of obsess about that question now, though – when do you mention race, and when do you not? Because sometimes if you don't, it actually feels like you're participating in cultural erasure. But then, you don't want to objectify someone in that way. And then I get confused – I used to think that any guy who called a woman or girl or used the word bitch was a misogynist asshole, but then in San Francisco I started to think that when a fag called a straight boy a bitch this was one of the most beautiful things in the world, and I saw the way that when one queen said bitch to another, it could be a gesture of love, and could it be that way between fags and dykes too or was there always that dynamic of privilege that needed to be confronted?

I get home and pick up the phone and it's Melissa, who says: what would you do if you thought AIDS was a government plot? And suddenly it's like everything in the room is vibrating, too dark and too light at the same time and when I go in the bathroom I get that feeling like someone’s behind me, my father, and I know my father is not behind me but I scream anyway: get the fuck away, GET THE FUCK AWAY! That kind of makes me feel better, and then I go in the kitchen and make miso soup with shiitake mushrooms and daikon radish the way Melissa used to make it, and rice noodles and broccoli with sesame oil and tamari, scallions just at the end. Jordan’s coming over tonight although I still can't tell if he's flirting with me or just some straight boy identifying as bisexual, actually we haven't even had that conversation yet and Margaret says he does that with everyone, he'll lead you on for a while and then disappear.

Brenda comes home, but before I get a chance to say hi she's screaming at Jouki. You asshole, she says – you fucking asshole! Because Jouki dragged rice all over her room. But what do you expect when you leave your dog alone all day? I just hope Brenda isn't going to put him in a cage like when Jouki ate the sofa in the living room even though it's not like we were using it or anything, we spent so long painting that room when we moved in, remember I was joking about that 9 pm to 5 am shift and then I stayed up all night to regulate my sleep but we never even use the living room.

Brenda goes outside with Jouki without saying anything, like she's mad at me too, but then I hear her saying hi in that cheerful voice at the door so I guess Jordan is here. We hug hello and I put two bowls of miso on the table– he says: I didn't realize you ate seafood. What do you mean, I say, kind of scandalized, but it turns out he thought the shiitake mushrooms might be scallops. Really?

Then we’re talking about Brown and I don't really understand how he's been there the whole four years, I mean how has he survived? He says he goes home as often as possible – to North Attleboro – and that helps. I say I don't want to go home ever again, and then we talk about why everyone at Brown is so cold and brutal and vicious, and I'm saying something about how I just need more slutty fags in my life and he asks if there are any dating possibilities, and I kind of want to say you, but I don't want to scare him away. And just then Brenda comes home, and when she gets upstairs Jordan launches into his endless questioning that happens whenever he meets anyone new and then I’ve missed my chance.

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