Sunday, April 29, 2012

Like a piñata bursting open but keeping its shape as a flower

Oh, right – I was going to say something about going to Steamworks, so that these guys who won't even look at me on the street will suddenly want to make out, or get me on my knees, or make out and get me on my knees. First I better do some feldenkrais, to try to get this pain all over my body to go away. Maybe I should eat more first too, I can't decide about that part. Am I too tired to eat more? Oh, no – if I might be too tired to eat more, then I'm probably too tired to go to Steamworks, right? What's amazing is this piece of art that's right on my wall at eye level when I'm sitting at the desk, if I just turn to the side between the printer and the window – it's so much fun to look at. It's one of the ones that I got framed just before I left Santa Fe, so it's never been on my wall before, and I wasn't thinking that it would be eye level when I was sitting at the desk, I was just thinking that from a distance it looks good with the photo above it and then the other piece of my grandmother’s art next to the photo, but the amazing benefit is that it's amazing to look at while I'm sitting here at the desk – collaged wrapping paper I mean wrapping paper made into a collage of something like flowers and a board game and liquor and a drawing of stone and even words: 500 PER USE RUN. This Design. This. Thi. Boxers. White and silver and pink puffy with a black frame and orangish card diamonds and gray and green and gold-on-white designs all torn up and glued together and look at those blue and pink flowers and then orange and yellow suns and white-on-black designs and somewhere something that looks like a stem. Shinier at the parts in the top corners, silver and even a hint of purple and the whole thing makes me think about growing to the sky on a gray day that feels more like a piñata bursting open but keeping its shape as a flower and some kind of dance in the kitchen after the café is closed. Speaking of trees, here I am again in the park. I know that nowadays queers on the Hill aren’t calling Volunteer Park the park as much – Cal Anderson Park has become the park, but we are the know how I feel about that one. Once it's warmer more often I guess I will have to check it out – packed with people, I know that much, and I'm assuming cigarette and pot smoke too – maybe on a day when I have energy, whenever that is, and I'm feeling social. But for beauty and calm it will always be Volunteer Park, that much I can tell, even if my walk really should end right before I get there, I mean that's when my energy is crashing, and I stand there at the bottom of the hill looking at a beautiful pink flowering tree, thinking: is this enough? Should I turn around, so that I don't get too exhausted? But no, I can't resist all the different textures under my feet, the birds and the trees that have lasted almost 100 years, some of them anyway. I've even started to like the koi pond, the little kid saying some of them are really big, really big – if we can't find them right now, we could always fish for them. And the mother says: this pond isn't for fishing. Why? It's for our enjoyment. And then 13th Ave. with all its curves I love these curves and back down the hill and over to the new park, Broadway Park I think it's called, something that used to be a construction site and then the city bought it, I wish that would happen with all these construction sites, and I realize the meeting at a church to talk about planning for the new park is today but I can't go today. Back at home in my apartment is so beautiful with the art on the walls now – whoever said art should always go on white walls was seriously wrong – these yellow walls are perfect and the light coming through the windows I love my windows and a lot of people are buying flowers today, that's what I notice, is it a holiday? I guess that walk didn't make me feel too exhausted, maybe I even feel better or at least better than I thought.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What will happen to the trees

Today it's back to the yo-yo, which I guess means progress, right? Even if it doesn't exactly feel that way when I'm at the bottom, which would be now, although I'm thinking of going to Steamworks anyway, so hopefully I will swing back up in the next hour or so. I keep trying to go to Steamworks, but then I keep crashing. Or, not having enough energy to start with. I figure I should go there because I keep looking at guys who shouldn't matter to me with something to close the longing, at Steamworks I can see that the end and then let go of the longing for at least a year days, right? Whatever the longing means: today I was thinking that I actually like being by myself maybe 80% of the time and maybe that's why I don't gravitate towards relationships, I mean the romantic/sexual variety, although I guess I'm trying to change that, or something, but first I need more energy. Maybe I don't need energy for Steamworks, will something happen when I arrive? I went once, several weeks ago, and I love the way the entrance is a stairwell that feels like a runway because of the slow incline and the lights on the sides, recessed lighting pointing up I think, or at least it felt that way, and the whole place was sleekly modeled with great lighting although that was lights-off night which didn't seem very off, just red, so I wonder what it's like when the lights aren't officially off. Oh, here comes that all-over body ache, not a good sign, although it does make the steam room sound kind of appealing. Last time I went to Steamworks, I didn't go into the steam room, it sounded too hot. Plus, I don't like walking out into the hallway with all my pores open like that. Instead I waited for this guy who was waiting for me to follow him to come back out, and then he asked me to go into the steam room but I said let's go somewhere else, and we did. The strangest thing was that he was wearing a jock strap underneath his towel, a fetish I guess but a steam room in a jock strap just sounds like jock itch to me and did I already write about this, or just think about writing about this, the way at first all of his movements were jerky and I was thinking that even though he was the one guy I was really attracted to in the place, and here he was with me in some corner they call a room, who calls it that, someone, or maybe a cubby, I'm not sure, but anyway his movements were jerky and I thought about how some people don't quite know how to have sex, a lot of people, I mean none of us really do but some of us do even when we don't and some of us don't, even when we do, and he was one of the ones who doesn't, or didn't, until he asked me if I got fucked and said sure, like it was just something casual, like it doesn't always make me nervous, but it had worked at the Steamworks in Vancouver, so I thought why not here, let's try it, and we went to my locker to get polyurethane condoms and then we were back in the cubby and as soon as he started fucking me he was grabbing me just the way I like it, really holding me like he was holding everything in and I thought maybe this is one of the reasons why people like to get fucked. But then I realized sometimes when someone starts fucking you it's the opposite, they stop touching you at all and it's only about that hole. But this was about touching me exactly the way I wanted, you already know that, and then we came all over each other and he said he was going home, me too, but then he kept walking around with me the different places – the shower, the bathroom, the lockers – and I figured maybe it was because I was talking and he liked talking, intimacy, I was comfortable, this doesn't happen often. But then when we got outside I realized oh, he wants my number – I mean that was because he asked for my number. He was visiting with Alaska Airlines, not a flight attendant but ground services or whatever they call that, but he said he came up here every two months or so and we should get together, then he walked downhill towards the light rail that people keep recommending but it doesn't go anywhere that's useful. I mean he goes to the airport – that's where he was going – but that's not useful to me. And today I learned that the new light rail stop on Capitol Hill is why they keep tearing everything down around here and building bigger buildings on tiny lots – to increase the density. They want to make the big house across the street from me into a six story building, but what will happen to the trees?

Friday, April 27, 2012

That kind of air anyway

Forget that progress narrative I was developing: today there is no progress. In terms of how I'm feeling, that's what I mean. My apartment is progressing, looking more gorgeous and calculated and I love when I step outside without an immediate agenda and I can stare at the trees and buildings and people or stare at the trees and buildings and pretend not to stare at the people, right? But then there's the way I feel, really, I mean not the way I feel when I stare at the trees and buildings and pretend not to stare at the people, then I kind of feel okay, but otherwise. Like I'm just trying to do something that's only a tiny bit of what I'm trying to do. And it's so overwhelming. Meanwhile, I haven't found someone to hook up my reverse osmosis water filter, so I go to QFC every day and carry home a gallon of water and produce too and maybe I should ask someone to help but I've been asking for a lot of help in getting my apartment ready, that's what I've been focusing on, and now that things are getting ready I do need to hire someone to help me once a week with basic chores like groceries and laundry and cleaning, so that I don't end up hurting my body so much just from carrying that one gallon of water home or whatever but I'm starting to feel relaxed, otherwise, or I was starting to feel relaxed the last two days and that was the progress narrative, but now it's over, right, or not over but I'm over, hoping it's not over, but it's over today and this newer version of the voice activation software inserts periods and commas everywhere, which is fucking annoying, funny too because wasn't Stephanie telling me that it wouldn't mark punctuation for her at all, that she had the name each item like comma, period, that sort of stuff and I wish it would do that for me, I know there's some place to turn off automatic punctuation, maybe I should look for that now. Oh, wait -- that wasn't hard at all: I just had to go to the tools menu, and then auto-formatting and the uncheck “add commas and periods.” And then the computer crashed, but I'll leave that part out. Or, I almost left that part out. But it didn't crash for too long, I mean it recovered itself, or something like that, and if I turned to the side while I'm writing this, turn to the side and look at the trees, then I'll notice that there is a metal wire hanging from the telephone wires overhead and sees this guy in jogging shorts eating a sandwich while walking downhill, people really like shorts here, I mean it's absolutely freezing today and people are wearing shorts, trying to fight it, I guess, because it's supposed to be spring and it is spring, you can tell because the birds are chirping and sometimes the sun comes out, but the weather is closer to winter and I like that kind of air anyway.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The clouds rolling and in the distance

I'm feeling a bit like a yo-yo today: wake up feeling wrecked but then I'm energized by all the air blowing through my apartment, yes, actually maybe I'm a little bit wired in my head with new ideas but I won't share them now in case I crash I mean I will crash, that's what I'm saying, that I crash hard but then I'm running out to catch the bus, and somehow I have energy again, maybe they air and can you believe the sun is coming out? The sun on a cold day like this is so elegant and charming, just a hint here and there to brighten everything. Then I crash again, but actually not as hard, I'm still suffering from the paint fumes in my apartment or I guess fumes might be the wrong word because they finished the painting 23 days ago but still I wake up every day with a headache, mostly in the living room it doesn't smell but unfortunately in my bedroom it's worse and that's where I sleep, right? Here comes the exhaustion, but wait, I was going to dare to say that at least this back and forth is better than just the knocked-down crisis overwhelm push through it to try to do something, anything, or no, something specific, but always pushing through that wall and the wall is still there. The yo-yo is better, I will take the yo-yo, especially last night when somehow I felt okay and actually made it to the reading even though all day I was thinking I wouldn't make it: I made it, and I actually had energy there, and I met some interesting people, had good conversations and then I was standing there at the end trying to make sense but all the air was stuck. I mean it was hot and humid and stuffy inside and people were smoking outside and I went outside to get some are but you already know that people were smoking, right, so then I went inside and got ready to leave and when I left I felt like I was fleeing, running from the smoke, some of the people I like smoking just over there and I guess I see what someone was saying, who was it, about how, when it's raining out, it's hard to tell people to go further from the building and anyway, I just needed to get away. At my building it’s the same, all the smoking outside – yes, the house across the street too, which I think is more mental health services than assisted living, maybe some of both, I'm not sure except that the smoking happens during the day and I’ve thought about asking them to move the smoking area out back but I just looked out back and there isn't really an area, and when I was walking past the front there was a woman collapsed over her walker, there are a lot of people that go there who use walkers, I said hi and when she looked over I could see that overmedicated stare and I felt so much compassion, her hi took maybe five or six times longer than you might think and the expression in her eyes was so far away and I couldn't go there, but I was there, on the corner with her and I wanted to stop and talk some more, she wasn't smoking, but it didn't look like she would be too capable of talking and it's strange that the fact that she seemed so lost made me want to talk to her, maybe try to get through the glaze, I don't know, but now I'm back upstairs looking at the trees in front of that building, they have a beautiful one with pinkish white flowers blowing on the sidewalk, and then a smaller one with the red flowers on the side, a yellow and a green one in between and did I mention how I can see the sky above the buildings, the sky through my window, the clouds rolling and in the other direction the tall skinny pine trees shaking, there’s a black and white striped awning on one of the buildings, that's pretty too, CenturyLink wants to make me a special offer on DirecTV and I don't want any kind of TV but they keep calling me so maybe I'll try to do laundry and get some groceries even though I'm in the crash the crash doesn't feel so bad right now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm wondering about this window…

Intent in tent

A new neighbor

How that works

Today it's cloudy after those gorgeous sunny days – the clouds are pretty too, and the air is so fresh, but now I'm fading already. I guess that's better than yesterday or the day before, right? Before I was fading right when I got up. Or, wait – maybe that was what happened today. Today I get the wax taken out of my ears, I hope that helps with my headaches, allergies, jaw tension. What else did I want to write? Now I can't remember. Maybe something about the smoking festival that happens every day across the street, outside the assisted living facility, mostly at certain times in the morning and it's not as bad as the people who smoke outside the door to this building, maybe they should go across the street and join that festivity, or go anywhere except below my windows, why does it have to be below my windows? There's a cute little park right next door, no windows on that wall of the building, but you know how smokers are. Once I was a smoker too, but that was a long time ago, 17 years I guess. Now I'm ready to get back in bed, but I have to leave for the ear doctor in an hour and a half. I thought maybe today was the day when I would feel better, but you know how that works.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

This is not a film

Actually it's my best night of sleep in a while, and it's the first night in my new apartment, so I wake up feeling excited. Into the living room where light is streaming through the windows and I realize I even have direct sun through my eyes and on my body too if I pull a chair right up to the sofa in the window, or sit on the sofa backwards, which means forwards looking out, or even if I lean back into the corner of the sofa. Everything looks gorgeous, and people are walking around outside in short-shorts because it's 60 degrees. The funny thing about this apartment is that people downstairs can see me as well as I can see them, but I don't really like curtains. Then when I turn on the new seasonal affective disorder lightbox I get a headache, or maybe I got a headache from the sun, or maybe I already had a headache when I woke up because of the lingering paint fumes, Andee says paint fumes only lasts for two or three days but I didn't ask how long they lasted for her. It's been more than two weeks here, and last night was the first night when I didn't smell the paint right when I opened the door, so at least there's progress. But then there's this headache, and of course the horrible bloating, worse than usual, clenching in my guts, now I have my contacts on so I can watch people outside with more detail and everyone is walking around with towels and coolers and ice and I know I should go on a walk but I want to write first, hopefully after my walk I'll feel better not worse but right now I want to say something about how I feel worse and how hard it is, especially on a beautiful sunny day the warmest of the year so far when everyone is outside celebrating but I don't know if I want to be around people although I hope I make it on my walk to Volunteer Park and that will be packed with people. And yes, one of the good things about this apartment is I can watch everyone from inside, and also that makes me want to go outside, so it goes in both directions, but then I also don't want to go outside, except that it's so nice out, and I need my morning walk anyway, noon is almost here and I can't decide whether I should wear shorts so that I can sit in the sun without getting too hot, even though it's only 60 degrees so the shade must be pretty cool, right, but that was easy – now I know that I need to wear shorts, at least for my walk to the park so okay, now I'm going. There go the church bells announcing noon, and I'm still inside. Don't worry: this will still be a morning walk. My hair looks greasier than I want it to and my desk chair won't go back far enough with this sleep sofa behind me: I'll have to get rid of the sleep sofa. I wanted it for guests, but luckily I can find other places for guests to stay. Maybe it will be better not to have guests sleep here, so I can leave my bedroom door open because it's hard to sleep when I don't know the air is circulating or actually it doesn't matter whether I know, just that when the air gets stuck my head clogs up and then I'm awake. Or maybe I'm awake first, but anyway I'm awake, and I don't want to be awake. Now either. But I'm going on a walk, I'm going on a walk anyway. Okay, now it's 62.6 degrees out, so you know I'm still inside. Because I know that. It's 12:11, and I need to do a little bit of feldenkrais before going out – my back hurts from sitting at this chair, is it because I can’t roll it back far enough, or just because? Oh, right: outside: it's incredible. The most beautiful day on earth, slightly too chilly for shorts but not so chilly that I need to turn back and when I get to the park it’s warm and not that crowded actually and I find a spot by myself or kind of by myself to lie in the grass in the sun and almost fall asleep I'm so tired and when I sit up I feel so calm and clear, staring at the little white flowers and the yellow dandelions in the grass and the way the light looks in different directions, and even keeping my shirt off as I walk through the park, why not, putting it back on as I enter the shade and then I'm walking back and I'm exhausted again. And then I'm more than exhausted, I guess that's exhausted from being exhausted? All this pain in my head, throughout my body actually, allergies in the air or the residue of the paint or sleeping in my actual bed I don't know, all I know is that I can't do anything. Luckily I can see the sky through my window in two directions, blue and soft with tiny translucent clouds and there's a super-tall skinny pine tree with a crow at the top, almost like Santa Fe I think although I'm glad I'm not there. What I'm saying is that it's incredibly beautiful and I feel awful. What I'm saying is that I love my apartment, it’s almost perfect, even the kitchen that I thought would be too small feels fine, I love my apartment and I feel awful. I want to go to this Iranian movie, This Is Not a Film, because I haven't seen a movie in a while and I think I might love this one and even though my body hurts and it might end up hurting more from watching the film that's not a film, my favorite kind, still I am in that blown-out exhaustion overload disaster zone that makes seeing a movie seem like the perfect thing, right? My eyes are burning now: must be seasonal allergies. Maybe that's what all of this is, because of the warmer weather – or, not all of it, but some of it. I've been trying to stop myself from taking a nap, so now it’s too late to take a nap, and maybe that's a good thing. I guess I'll get ready to go out, and see what happens. Or I won't get ready to go out. No, I'll get ready.

Friday, April 20, 2012

So many other kinds of softness and comfort

Desire is so strange. I'm not aware of feeling even the slightest bit horny, but then this jogger shows up, running shorts and shoes and nothing else just that pale buff chest exposed to the chilly air and heading right in my direction, I could say erection but it's not physical in that way, more the sort of longing in my chest and I'm remembering when I went jogging wearing shorts and shoes and nothing else although that was Provincetown in the summer so not quite as unexpected but maybe people looked at me in this way too although mostly I just remember the sweat pouring down my face and loving it. Soon after was when all the pain started or became overwhelming and then jogging became something briefly explored in the distant past, there’s one picture someone took of me in my jogging outfit, upside-down in a yoga posture but all tan and sweaty and that's what I have left.

This guy even looks at me in a curious and not-so-straight way, which makes me not quite look away and then of course from the back I'm taking it all in, all of it seems almost impossible the perfection of that type of body that I don't even long for anymore and that's a good thing but right now I'm longing. Then I find myself studying the curves of every guy’s body, ass mostly I guess because it's easier to study when they are turned away and that's the part that sticks out of clothes when clothes are covering and today it's cold. I guess I was doing this yesterday too, the way desire sneaks up on you and then you don't know what to do with it exactly, I mean especially when exhaustion is right around the corner and yes, desire can push it away for a moment or two but not necessarily for enough time to get to Steamworks, or not yet because I'm focusing on packing I mean unpacking, getting everything ready in the new apartment because tomorrow I move in. I want to move into desire too, and so many other kinds of softness and comfort or that's what I'm thinking now. The longing part I can do without.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Generations, and regeneration

Today I'm thinking about generations, and regeneration. Maybe this started yesterday when I was thinking about the 25-year anniversary ACT UP protests, and I realized that for someone in their 20s now, the heyday of ACT UP is as far in the past as the '70s were for me in 1992, when I was 19 and coming of age in ACT UP. I mean, the '70s were already unimaginable to me in 1992, and I'm starting to understand the older queers who looked at my bellbottoms in 1992 with bemusement. It's that dislocating sense that something so foundational to your understanding of the world means something so entirely different for someone of a different generation. Sometimes this is exciting, like with the sudden renewal of interest in ACT UP. Sometimes it's frightening, like when someone talks about all those ACT UP protests in the '70s. Um, ACT UP started in 1987, you have to say, but now maybe people are starting to know that again and I guess what I realized the other day was that oh, 1977 wasn't that far from 1987 or 1992 even if it felt unimaginably different to me and part of that was about coming-of-age as queer at a time when it seemed like everyone was dying and it would always be that way, until you were dying too and now it's not that way, or not that way for queers who inhabit the descendents of those same worlds, and I wonder what that means too.

I was four in 1977, and yes sometimes I wonder about the possibilities for communal celebration, radical engagement, and sexual splendor in that particular time that I missed out on, but of course I've also learned the limitations that existed then that might not exist now -- and, all the limitations that exist now, that might not have existed then. If we are told in high school that a generation is about 30 years, I think a queer generation is maybe five years, 10 years max - I'm thinking about this too while reading the manuscript for Sassafras Lowry's forthcoming novel, Roving Pack, about transmasculine queer kids coming of age in Portland in the early-2000s. This is just 10 years after I was coming of age in early-'90s San Francisco -- so much is different, and so much in the same. Gender in particular, that's what's particularly different. Early-'90s queer San Francisco was still a dyke world where binary gender was rarely questioned. But then, the way peer pressure eerily wharps visions of chosen family -- that's what is so familiar. Where do we end up learning how to change this, not just in the moment, not just generationally but intergenerationally, that's what I'm wondering also.

A short Q&A for Broken Pencil...

Here you go...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A gorgeous interview over at Lambda Literary...

Despite conservative queerdom’s best efforts to hide its “otherness” behind a velvet wall of “same as you” Tom and Hank and Jill and Janes, Mattilda and her like will not be ignored. As parades of neo-nuclear same sex families mug for the cameras on courthouse steps, queer body boys parade and flex impossibly taut muscles across our nation’s gym runways and circuit parties, and far, far too many proudly proclaim in knee-jerk defensiveness how “straight-acting” they are across the net, Sycamore blows raspberries at the forced mirage and holds up faded pictures of yesteryear boys and girls whose one claim to fame once was their difference.

Closing my eyes

Here I am again, trying to decide whether to take a nap, which I guess means that I'm going to take a nap. The voice software just crashed, but now I'm back. You didn't notice. I did.

But back to trying to decide -- you know the story: I don't want to take a nap, because it will make me feel terrible, but I feel so terrible that I can only take a nap. Or else. Or else just sit here and stare into space and noticed the smell of mold surrounding me. This is my temporary apartment, luckily -- it's pristine for the most part, but then on those moist cold days comes that musty smell surrounding me, especially here in the back corner at the desk with the computer.

I say my temporary apartment, luckily, because hopefully in my new apartment there will be no such phenomenon. Unfortunately, though, unless I can figure out a successful intervention, there will be cigarette smoke floating into my windows, dammit. Across the street there’s some sort of assisted living where everyone comes out at a certain point in the day and smokes and it all blows into my window.

Or, not all of it, but enough to make my voice scratchy and give me a terrible headache. And then, there are the people who smoke right outside the front door of my building, and I'm just one floor up. Or, the ones who walk to the closer corner, and that's where the rest of my windows are. I know I'm going to be thinking about what it would be like to be a few floors higher, I'm going to be thinking about that a lot, that's for sure, unless I can think of a successful intervention but right now all I can think about is closing my eyes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

LGBT-unfriendly

I'm reading the Seattle Gay News -- what a nightmare! It's pretty much all ads, including the articles about marriage, and the ones about straight entertainers who are so LGBT-friendly -- and, speaking of LGBT-friendly, the Seattle Gay News does this thing where they put little banner ads at the bottom of a full-page ad, advertising something else -- I don't know how that works exactly, I guess more money for them but it's kind of distracting -- I'm trying to focus on the ad, okay? I mean the other ad.

But, anyway, one of these banner ads tells me that "The Seattle Gay News is proud to support LGBT owned and operated businesses, and those that are LGBT friendly. We hope you do too. Shop our advertisers and support our community." Really -- what kind of business in Seattle, in this day and age, doesn't support gay I mean LGBT dollars? The Seattle Gay News definitely makes me feel LGBT-unfriendly. Maybe that should be a new catchphrase or at least the name of something delicious and defiant -- LGBT-unfriendly -- should the “u” be capitalized? LGBT-Unfriendly. Maybe if it's the name of a group.

Speaking of language, can I tell you how much I hate the word "ally?" Do we need to constantly create vapid, unthreatening new terms that mean absolutely nothing? Makes me think of a story someone was telling me about a woman who complained about the posters for my Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots talk at the University of Washington, and identified herself as an ally. Hi, I'm an ally, and I'm very offended by that word "faggot" on the poster -- I would never use that word to describe anyone in my life. In fact, it offends my dignity to see that word posted anywhere in my breathing space. Can you please take it down -- I'm an ally, can you please take it down! Listen: I'm an ally, and I'm offended!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Like a windup toy that sounds like a bird

It's hard to imagine anything more beautiful than spring in Seattle -- every day you step outside, and something new is blooming -- those tulips were barely there yesterday, all those tiny white flowers in the grass, where did they come from? Spring on the East Coast only lasts for a few days and then it’s summer already. In New Mexico spring brings all that wind and dust, and in San Francisco it takes about five years before you even notice spring. In Seattle it's winter in the morning, then spring, then winter again, then five more days of rain and a hint of sun and the air is so fresh it tantalizes. Some people would say summer in Seattle is the best, I mean I'm sure most people would say that but even in Seattle it gets too hot for me in the summer, and the air gets stale and humid and smoggy. Here in the spring when the rain is just around the corner from the rain I mean the sun is just around the corner from the rain the sun the rain the air and oh the chirping birds you know how I loved those chirping birds in New Mexico and they are here too those birds I mean I guess different birds no some of the same birds like crows and some different ones like the one that suddenly starts doing some crazy thing like a windup toy that sounds like a bird, in the distance, above the trees and what was that. Yes there are a lot of planes too but we will ignore those planes and think about the birds.

Anyone want to help with unpacking?

Hello Seattle -- I'm moving into my new apartment on Capitol Hill, but my assistance for the next week has fallen through (and, as you know, because of my chronic pain fibromyalgia drama I can’t do the physical labor of unpacking). And so, I'm looking for help tomorrow or any day April 16-21 (and maybe the following week too) between 1 and 9 pm -- if you're available, certainly let me know!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

But can I add that I'm so glad I wrote this, even if that ruins the flow, I mean sometimes I'm too exhausted to write and then when I write anyway I really write, and that's how I'm feeling now.

I'm trying to decide whether to take a nap. Since you already know how naps make me feel, you know how I'm feeling. Oh, why pretend? I already took a nap -- I wanted to write before I took a nap, but then I needed to get in bed. That's what happens. In spite of the guaranteed results. It's not exactly that naps make me feel worse, even when they become an absolute necessity, but that certain things become worse: my sinuses, my head. Beforehand, I can barely speak because I'm so tired, eyes closing while I'm fading away, but then after I can barely speak because I'm so tired -- I'm not fading away, I'm already faded. My head is blocked instead of closing. Which is better? Which is worse?

But, I already told you that this nap was a necessity, so I guess the result is a necessity too? Maybe that doesn't make sense. I thought I had this whole moving thing planned out pretty well. I mean that's how I have to do everything -- figure out what kind of assistance I need, and make sure I arrange it ahead of time. I rented a truck, and hired a friend to drive all my things here, and then I hired movers in Santa Fe to pack the truck, and movers in Seattle to unload everything, and then hired my friend to stay here for eight days to help me unpack everything, after two nights of rest. I thought I had it figured out so that it would be kind of leisurely, or at least not too overwhelming, right?

But then eight days became one day and that was yesterday, 11 hours in a row of unpacking and now all this pain in my head from that nap in order to recover, or start to recover, or no not really for either of those things but just because I couldn't do anything else. I want to write about the interplay between privilege and disability, friendship and work, care and conflict and so much more I mean I'm behind on writing about sex and Seattle and I keep saying that I'm glad to be here but I feel horrible. I mean: I feel like I've made the right choice, and this will be a good place for me, but at the moment I can barely function I'm so exhausted and then something like this happens -- and, strangely, during the 11 hours of starting to unpack, planning and strategizing to get as much possible done, the most important things, during that time I felt calmer actually or maybe not calmer but more directed, that makes more sense, more directed and now I'm suffering the consequences or let's not call it suffering let’s just say strategizing, I was going to put out a call earlier for help with unpacking but then I got too tired and now I'm still too tired so I guess I'll put out the call later on, now maybe another feldenkrais lesson on CD although I'm bored of all those CDs, too repetitive but something to help with this pain, right, did I mention that does before my nap, or when I was trying to decide whether to take a nap, I ended up plunging the toilet 30 times or no, more than 30 times because the water was about to overflow, luckily only water and a little bit of urine because then I ended up flushing it accidentally and yes, that meant the water came pouring into the room and then I had to clean that up before or no I think after I called to see if I could rent my temporary apartment for another week, because my actual apartment is filled with boxes and too draining to live in right now unless I need to, but luckily I don't so I wanted to see if I could rent this place for an extra week, then I wouldn't have to stress out about moving into the new place in two days, that would be a mess, right now there isn't even enough room for me to chop vegetables or open the refrigerator. But anyway, I did make that call, and a follow-up email, and friends have volunteered to help tomorrow and on Sunday, so now I just have to put the word out for more assistance, I think that should work okay or actually I guess what I'm saying is that I'm too tired to think about it right now I mean I am thinking about it right now but I'm too tired and my body is starting to hurt more, arms and jaw and wrists especially and I'd like to go on a walk because one thing that almost always makes me feel better in Seattle is a walk, I mean the other night it was like night and day, I'm using that phrase intentionally even if it makes no sense because I already told you it was night, right, but before I left the house I wasn't even sure that I could leave the house I mean I felt so tired, drained, exhausted, overwhelmed, the bloating in full force but I went outside anyway, and then as soon as I had gone a few blocks I felt like a different person, a different person with all that air around me and that's when I know I've made the right choice, people ask me about the culture and the people and that I don't know just yet, I mean I know but I don't know. I mean I get excited just looking at people outside, all the interesting and not-quite-interesting people but I don't know anything about them or us and I do know about some of the people I've met but I don't know exactly because we’d just met I mean I don't know whether we'll actually see one another or what that will mean and that's how I feel about the people who I do know as well, but when I walk outside and the air clears my head, the interplay between urban and non-urban in this neighborhood, the trees and the views and the skies and the park and everything growing, that's when I know this is the right choice and I know this is a long sentence because this is a long thought and in this thought I also realize that I was excited about all of this in Santa Fe too, the exterior beauty, the landscape, the sky and the light and the air, right, so I guess the real difference will be the people and for now just seeing people on the street and the interaction of the everyday and even the way fashion molds into and away from compassion, somehow that's enough or not enough but less lonely for now, hoping for way less lonely but not ready to work on that yet exactly because first I need to get settled. Settled in my body, settled in my apartment, settled in my sleep, settled in my dreams I was going to say and of course that's about sleep too but so much more, and that's why I said it.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Soon enough

Today I feel worse. Yes, my sleep. This time I look at the clock when I'm awake too early -- I've actually slept six hours I guess, but that doesn't matter -- even when it's interrupted slightly early like this then the next day is a guaranteed mess. That's today: I'm a guaranteed mess.

When I'm a mess like this, doing errands is comforting. No: doing errands is a mess, because I'm a mess, but getting them done is comforting. Afterwards. Because they're done. Right now I'm just thinking about doing errands, which isn't that comforting, since I need help doing them and all I really want to do is to get back in bed. Except that I hate getting back into bed. That's when you know it's a really bad day: when what you hate is the only thing that sounds appealing.

Yesterday I got back into bed. And yes, actually I do like getting back into bed, it’s just the part about getting out of bed feeling worse or not worse but zombified, like part of my head is missing, the part that does the thinking but the part that does the feeling awful is definitely still there. Anyway, yesterday I got back into bed, and then I wanted to go to this party or actually I didn't want to go but I wanted to go and then when I got there I felt fine. You know how that works. But then I knew I shouldn't stay long because I would start to feel exhausted again, and then it would be awful getting home, and then I did leave before I felt exhausted but still it was awful getting home or maybe the getting home part was okay until I got almost-home and decided to stop at QFC to get some groceries and it turns out that now they don't have any cashiers at night, or later in the night, just those self-checkout machines and I was so annoyed about that I mean it wrecked me because I was so exhausted looking over and over again on the menu or the display of the machine, whatever it's called, looking for the right kind of kale which wasn't there and the person working for those six self-checkout machines didn't know what to do and eventually I just chose something else, but it wrecked me because I was already wrecked, right, and I'm always angry about those self-checkout machines because they just mean more people have lost their jobs but at this point hypoglycemia was kicking into my exhaustion and I was getting ready to lose it but fortunately I got home in time to rush into bed but not soon enough.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Familiar

It's beautiful out today, and I feel awful. I didn't realize how awful I felt, until I started walking towards the park for the first time in several days and I got about a block before thinking I needed to turn around, then I thought maybe I would just sit in the sun in the park that’s a block away, a small grassy part of a hill that looks like it was a construction site but then somehow it became a park, or it’s in the process of becoming a park, and I need to find out more about how that happened but I wanted to walk further because otherwise when will I walk, and the strategy that works is just to walk slower and slower, then somehow there’s Aloha and then my brain knows I'm almost there.

There's some kind of bike race going on, caution tape around trees that doesn't make sense but I guess it's to make sure the bikes don't go off the path and I notice the grass is wet like maybe they watered but that doesn't make any sense so I guess it must have rained earlier on. Now it's sunnier than it's been since I arrived, and up at the top of the park they are playing some kind of mid-‘80s or early-’90s or maybe it's mid-‘90s rock music, familiar lyrics and whiny male vocals, some bottled water company and AlaskaAir are sponsoring the race and it looks like the winners just came in, three women and somehow one of them already has a baby in her arms. A lot of the contestants are really young, maybe a youth race and it seems innocuous enough until I hear the announcer say: a dude with a dog in a pink jacket -- I don't know about you, but that just doesn't sound right.

Now I'm heading out of the park, past daffodils that look thicker than the last time I mean maybe there are more of them, up 13th which is my favorite because of all the curves, and then I'm back to that new park, there’s a lean-back chair in the sun and yes I'm sitting there, mittens and scarf off first, then jacket and shirt and sweater and I'm trying to position my house so that it blocks the sun from my face but that doesn't really work with this hat because the brim is too small but anyway I'm sitting in the sun yes the sun and maybe this park will work after I move into my new apartment, since I won't have a patio or a balcony or anything -- and mean I'm fantasizing that the building manager will let me sit on the roof, even though he already told me that no one's allowed on the roof -- but if not, I guess I can come here, or actually there's a tiny park right next to my building but I can't tell yet whether the sun actually reaches there.

Then I'm home again, or this place that's home for now, trying to decide whether I'm too tired to do anything except get back in bed. I want to call someone to get groceries, but I'm too tired to make any calls right now, that’s when I start thinking about that but maybe for us all sit on the patio in the sun, more sun, better get it while I can. But maybe I need a nap first, why am I so tired, sad too, tired and sad and I wish this wasn't so familiar.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Basking

The sun can be so tricky in Seattle -- here it is, I'm sitting outside basking, as they say, I know you're supposed to say basking in the sun and what does basking mean without the sun anyway I'm not sure. And yes, the sun is bringing all this light inside and it's tempting to think oh, it will never go away, even if I know that in a few minutes it might. Actually, there it goes. And then it's funny to think that, even when I was so excited I started worrying that it would get too warm I mean not now, now it's only 40-something but in the summer which here is always so sure but still sometimes those hot days and I was already worrying, even while hoping that this particular sun would never leave.

Do you see how everything can be so complicated? For example, I had those few moments of excitement while sitting outside, back inside thinking today I feel okay, but then as soon as I ate I felt awful. Shouldn't be a surprise, since this usually happens, right, but still I feel so awful: everything is a surprise when you feel awful. Or, not a surprise, but still overwhelming. Now I don't even want to go for a walk -- I called to get an appointment for an STI screening, but I guess they don't take appointments until 2 pm. There were all these things I wanted to do, still want to do, but now I don't have the energy. Should I make a call anyway? I can't decide. That's another problem with feeling so exhausted: it's hard to make decisions. Should I go back to bed? No way in hell -- I don't want to go back to bed. I better get outside, I guess, or maybe over to my new apartment -- now I have the keys, I can start measuring to see where everything will fit. I was going to call someone to see if they might want to help with measuring, that's right, but already told you that making a call sound completely overwhelming. Maybe I will try anyway, although should I get out of the house first? A call or two won't take much time, then I'll feel accomplished and maybe going out will be better -- it's funny, or not funny, but even going to the park doesn't sound appealing, why am I even more exhausted today than yesterday?

Wait, I actually made some calls, and it made me feel better. An email about a new book contract certainly helped as well. And, the sun's out! Now I think I'll go for a walk, maybe even to the park. So long, gray day -- I don't mean the sky, which could switch to gray at any moment, I mean the gray in my head, which could also switch back at any moment, but let's hope anyway.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

This review of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots in Bookslut is incredibly gorgeous and intimate and insightful and loving and perceptive -- thank you thank you thank you!!!

This is just the beginning:

As I've already been swept off my feet by the potential of queer creativity displayed in Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity and So Many Ways to Sleep Badly, the latest anthology of narratives edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Why Are Faggots So Afraid Of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, came as the sweetest punch in my lovely straight-acting face. Challenging the assumption of binary and assimilationist norms that make lesbians and gays buy into heteronormative schemes and performances and building a political discourse around one's sex and desire doesn't exactly make for the perfect bedtime story, but again, making queer people share their most intimate and terrifying experiences and asking clever questions about hardcore subjects has never been easy. "We've come to terms with our deviance, our defiance, our love for fucking and flowers. We've pushed inward and outward at once; we've learned to hold one another even if it's only that moment, that taste, that tongue to tongue or the imprint of sweaty fingertips. And still, we are losing hope": this is, shortly, the pulsing reason and context for each of the essays included in the anthology. A legitimate critique mixing writing styles that vary excitingly as you browse the pages, celebrating queer nonconformity, explicitly engaging with sex, and exposing the hypocrisy of mainstream gay culture and its objectifying norms, Why Are Faggots So Afraid Of Faggots? is a literary rabble-rouser questioning prejudices, preferences, and hierarchies, offering some quite tempting hints on what it would feel like to reclaim and reoccupy our sexuality only to make it more fluid and take up some space for its new expression.

Manhood as accepted by general society is a status that must be achieved and constantly demonstrated through specific qualities that have been labeled as manly and masculine. There's no wonder why these particular characteristics, including having dependents and people to provide for, being tough and courageous no matter what, marriage, and a constant declaration of dominance with or without fireworks shooting in the background, have also placed so much pressure on the mainstream gay culture, a culture that has become obsessed with deifying masculinity and erasing any femme identity or expression. Basically, the essays in Sycamore's collection challenge these very ideas of masculinity as routine accomplishments that "happen" only to men, but only to go much further and link trans bodies' desires to ideas such as poverty, safe sexual behavior, open sexuality, body image, AIDS, terrorism, gender, religious upbringing, nationality and nationalism and colonialism, drug use, and acceptability and make sure that these intersections provide the sharing experience, storytelling, and insight so needed in radical queer culture and communities.

A review of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots in Original Plumbing...

Here you go...

Never enough

There's always something displaced or misplaced about cruising for sex on the internet, the way time squeezes out of feeling. Eventually, someone comes over for a few minutes, he just wants to jerk off and I guess he said that beforehand, but I didn't realize that would mean no body contact otherwise. It's kind of hard to jerk off without touching anything out but someone’s dick, not a skill I am cultivating. He doesn't call himself straight, just inexperienced -- he’s hard but nervous and awkward, about to come but he doesn't want to come he wants to get me off and I don't want to come like this so he decides it's not working. He apologizes. A few times. I give him a hug, even though he says he doesn't like hugs.

Trying to hook up, is that the misplacement? Hooking up: displacement. Today is the first sunny day in a while, warm enough to sit outside without a shirt, beckoning the sun to heal me, feel me, and then it's up to Dean's house to have a conversation that makes me feel so much more connected and then I think about walking to the park on my way back, I mean I'm headed in that direction past some lovely orange cats ducking into an alley but I'm at that point where I know that walking to the park will be too far, and this time I decide to go home instead, maybe I need to eat something.

My throat itches and maybe it's allergies but also from sucking cock at Steamworks a few nights ago, when you feel that stretching and yes that’s when I always end up with a sore throat. But now my eyes are burning and that's definitely allergies, the food tastes so good and then immediately more bloating, a stretching in my intestines pulling my skin and organs out in that awful way and yes, now I notice that my jaw hurts too but at least my head feels better, my head feels better from a conversation that means something, a welcome to the neighborhood, a friend new and old and the gorgeous light as the sun is setting on my way home.

Oh, no -- now I'm online looking for sex again. Wasn't I supposed to ban myself from online cruising for a week – that’s what I was thinking earlier, but see how quickly I forget. I mean: I can tell that I'm too tired to go to Steamworks or Volunteer Park, but then the internet beckons. Not because I'm horny now, but because I was horny earlier.

Now my hands are burning -- is that rash coming back? Better put some more oil on, before I wash the dishes and dim the lights to start winding down. Winding down from winding down, maybe that's what happens with internet cruising, you lose track of the day and that's okay but you also lose the possibility of engagement because you're only engaged in this one thing that never or almost never leads to the feeling that you want. And then you want it again, the feeling that you never get. Wanting that feeling, you aren't feeling -- just perched above another profile, an email leading to an email leading to an email. And then you remember: oh, to breathe is to want no to breathe is to feel and that's what I'm not feeling enough in this quest for that certain type of feeling that is never enough.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Elaborate

Oh, the new digestive enzymes: more pain. Thank you, digestive enzymes, for this pain. I want to go outside, but truthfully I'm too tired. I want to take a shower, but I'm afraid of drying out my skin. Today is a day of laundry: no detectable scent in the machine, so I'm trying to wash as much as possible, in small loads because otherwise the dryer takes hours, literally hours. The sun is coming in and out, teasing me and my headache. I wonder if this headache is caused by the mustiness in this apartment, mildew I can sense when it's moist out. Of course, it's always moist out.

Walking back in from the laundromat no not the laundromat just the laundry in the basement, I look up at a puffy white cloud floating joyously through blue sky: I should be out there, I mean I am out there, but then I'm back inside, wondering about this headache, wondering about outside but too tired. Maybe a shower will help, should I take a shower? Somewhere there's another world where all of this isn't so overwhelming, where I can go outside and it will help. Or, where I don't need to go outside for it to help, whatever it is, help me.

Yes, I took the higher dose of the homeopathic remedy when I got up this morning. It seemed to help. But now maybe that's what's making me catatonic. Last night was a terrible night of sleep, but I had really interesting dreams at the end, which now of course I can't remember. Before the interesting dreams, I wrote this amazing story, I mean in bed in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep, and now of course I can't remember that either. Maybe the story was part of the dreams. I know you want to think that the dreams were part of the story.

I did write something down from a dream a few days ago, when I woke up singing the Beatles’ “Eight Days a Week ” – I luh-uh-uh-uh-uhuhve you. That was fun. But where is the piece of paper? I thought it was in one of these notebooks, but where exactly? Something about Phyllis Diller's five rules of health, but what were the rules? Back in the dream, another dream, and out here I wish I could stop eating whenever the bloating started, it can't be helping me to eat while my guts are pushing outward, hurting me, but what if I'm still hungry? Should I go outside, or get in the shower? One leads to the other, or actually that's not true -- getting in the shower will lead to going outside, but going outside will not lead to getting in the shower. I mean not tonight.

But why would I take a shower when all I want to do is go to bed? Maybe so that I can do something else? If I close my eyes, I can hear the sound of the refrigerator, planes flying overhead, the twitching of the computer or what is that, you can't really call it twitching, not movement but this sound internally, someone might call that breathing but I will not. What else can I hear? Someone's music. Church bells -- this church does have really pretty bells, elaborate. The computer is getting louder, softer again, louder, softer. There’s the bigger noise, that one's more like a hum, the cooling fan or something like that. There’s a car. Another plane. I don't really have the energy to go on a walk, or to take a shower.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Yes, an understated house -- something easy to take care of, not too showy ( front and side view)...


Tempting

The berberine extract has not yet arrived, but I’m at the store anyway -- Rainbow Natural Remedies -- they used to have a grocery store too, but now it's just supplements and they carry most of the companies that used to only sell to healthcare practitioners -- now you can get any of those on the internet, but that's so annoying and it hurts my body and I'd rather support an actual store, right? Unfortunately, they always have some horrible intense incense or scented overload drama going on, and then I get spaced out and start staring at all the things I didn't know I wanted, end up with a sinus headache but at least this time I get an essential oil blend of lime, orange, lemon made by a local company, organic and only $5.85, that's a good deal. Much better than the tiny container of borage oil for $15.95 but I haven't tried borage oil in so long that I think maybe it will be my first test, to see if I can digest oil with these new enzymes. Wish me luck.

But, wait -- back to Volunteer Park. This time with Marisa and a car because the sun has come out beneath the clouds and we want to get our sun exposure, right? Just before sunset -- that's the way it works, you have to take it when you get it. So lovely the way the water from the reservoir reflects the light and the clouds turn purple, red, orange and I start talking about the clouds in Santa Fe but I don't miss them really, do I? I mean I'm loving the clouds right now, loving this moist air although my voice is a bit messed up from talking too much, is that what it's from? Now I mean -- I didn't notice this at Volunteer Park, but maybe that's because I was talking.

Something about generational experiences of youth, that's what I was thinking about -- the way, when I was 15 16 17 the last thing I wanted to be was young. I was already going to bars and pretending I was 23, sophistication and invulnerability and worldliness -- that's what I was after. It was only when I first came to Seattle to stay with JoAnne for a month in 1994, just before I turned 21 I guess -- that was the first time when I kind of felt like it was okay to be young, like maybe I was young. Because Seattle had a youth culture that I had never seen before -- not like DC where it was privatized or San Francisco where it was invisible -- there was a culture of teenagers dressing up and hanging out in cafés until 4 am, queer 14-year-olds reading each other at the Lambert House during the free meals. It’s these glimpses of a past in Seattle that I forgot about, or didn't forget about but I didn't really feel like they were a part of moving to Seattle now, my history here in a new town that isn't quite a new town.

But the thing about generational experiences -- I wonder if that feeling of wanting to be older and independent, was that something generational? Or just a familiar feeling among outcasts and incest survivors, but no -- that's what I'm saying. Often I don't sense that feeling now among queer kids who are okay with being kids, a good thing I think but also kind of confusing to me. No, that's what I like -- but then sometimes there's the way a culture of nonprofits turns kids into permanent dependents on social services, or maybe not permanent but dependent nonetheless and that confuses me -- the comfort in that dependency.

It's sunny out again, but before I went on a walk in the sun but by the time I got to the street the sun was gone and then it was freezing and now I'm waiting for my laundry to be done, too tired for another walk but it's tempting when you see the sun, right?