Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sun hat strategy revisited

Sun hat strategy is really helpful for dealing with migraine realness. Yesterday I was looking at these faggots with their shirts off and 56-degree weather and thinking oh, how annoying. Today I’m one of those faggots – I need to get my vitamin D somehow, right? Turn the sun hat in the direction of the sun, whichever way I turn. Pull it down further if I’m walking straight at the sun. Make sure to carry an eye mask in my pocket, so I can lie down in the park and block out everything. I think it’s working. Now I better finish packing – I leave today to start my tour, oh my. At least I’m closer to being ready than I was before, or so I imagine.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Support

I want to write about crying, but instead I’m sitting here with this headache, trying not to look at the computer. Trying to get away. But first I want to write about crying, in therapy, about that time when I talked to my parents’ couples therapist and she said something about how my mother looked to me for support when I was six or eight or I don’t know, maybe 12, whenever, she knew that I understood what was going on. She looked to me for support, instead of supporting me, at six or eight or 12, and how do I ever get over that?

The crying felt good, crying in therapy and I hoped maybe that would help the headache but now there’s the computer and the sunlight and I’m here too long, better flee.

New York Journal of Books review of The End of San Francisco!!!

“The End of San Francisco recounts both joyful days and dark nights, and it’s an important socio-historical account by someone who’s been there and done all that."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oh, look – I'm in a press release about gay marriage from the Institute for Public Accuracy!

Here's what they say I say:

Author of The End of San Francisco, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore said today: “Here we go again — as the powers-that-be in the United States devise new ways to stifle dissent, destroy the environment, privatize public resources, and continue the path of never-ending war, another debate about gay marriage between straight homophobes who think that all queers deserve to burn in hell and self-hating gays who think that all gay people deserve marriage — really, what’s the difference? The mainstream gay movement is now obsessed with obtaining straight privilege at any cost — marriage and military inclusion instead of ending these fundamental institutions of oppression; hate crimes legislation instead of abolishing the prison industrial complex; and maybe even ordination into the priesthood, such lovely icing on the wedding cake. What a nightmare — we need to get back to fighting for gender, sexual, social, and political self-determination for everyone, as a start.

And, speaking of public accuracy, there's the treasure trove of brilliance that the genius known as Yasmin Nair has been compiling on her homepage, so do check that out and note that Yasmin is currently fundraising to save her apartment by April 1 – all the ways you can help are on her homepage, so do head on over there as soon as you get a chance…

"A gender-fucking tower of pure pulsing purple fabulous"

I'll certainly take this lovely promo from The Stranger, just in time for my book launch in Seattle on Friday, 7 pm at Elliott Bay Book Company – please spread the word, and hope to see you there!!!

Oh – and here's the Facebook invite, in case you want that as well…

A corner

Okay, maybe I’m turning a corner, but what corner? I mean something is shifting, maybe, even if it’s just my mood. Because yesterday I went to get an eye exam, and afterwards I felt better, not just because they said everything was okay, whatever that means, except they did see allergies evident inside my eyelids, but actually I felt better because they were signing these dramatic lights in my face and I didn’t leave with a dramatic headache. Now the headache is starting again from sitting at the computer, the light coming in from outside on a cloudy day, but I think this is a start. Or, I’m hoping. Hoping feels better than what I’ve been feeling, that’s for sure, although now I need to flee the computer again.

Okay, I'm a bit confused about this red and pink equality symbol suddenly showing up all over the place...

I know that the equality symbol stands for cultural erasure, and I'm assuming the red is for the blood of Christ, right? But pink – isn't that giving straight people the wrong idea?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Out of nowhere

Oh, the headache – sometimes it surrounds me out of nowhere, I mean out of my head, which feels like nowhere, everywhere, this pain. So I’m pressing my temples to see where it starts and I realize oh, this is so familiar, oh, this is that headache from my teenage years, but why now? And my voice so scratchy today, I wake up so scratchy and dry, the last few days actually – could all of this be seasonal allergies?

I just checked the pollen count: 9.5 out of 12. It’s in the red zone, every day now it looks like. Ash, birch, and cedar/juniper. I do remember I had a particularly hard time with the juniper in Santa Fe, but not like this. Oh, my head is pounding. And my vision, so blurry when I go outside and I’m not sure if I need a new prescription for contact lenses or if this is the headache, or both, but the problem is that my contacts are always a little weak, but when I get them stronger, they give me a headache. So what happens now, when I are ready have a headache – maybe one headache will counteract the other? Oh, how I wish.

I was going to go to Santa Barbara on the way from LA to San Francisco, but now it looks too expensive. Maybe I’ll get to San Francisco a little earlier, even though I don’t really want to be there earlier? I’m going to make a lot of dentist appointments there — that should be fun, right? Is my headache worse when I'm inside — yes, I think it’s worse. So maybe I’ll go outside. Will it go away when I leave Seattle? Oh, how I wish — and, especially, the light sensitivity, why the light sensitivity now, in Seattle? When I tell people about that part on the phone, they keep saying oh, well then you’re in the right place. But, honey, the headache started here, or maybe not the headache if this is the same one I had 20 years ago, do they save them in a bag somewhere to insert in your head at the right wrong moment? This headache, this headache started here.

And the light sensitivity: I’ve never had that before. How sad it makes me feel, that I can’t appreciate the sun. Okay, here comes the headache again, better flee the computer.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

From the distance

I’m starting to get really irritated about the fact that so many people refuse to say hello on the street. Especially the gay couples who stare at me from the distance, but then refused to make eye contact up close. Singles too. There was a really nice guy right at the beginning of my walk, I mean nice because he smiled and said hi and that’s all it takes but then there were maybe seven or eight or nine people after that who refused to acknowledge and I just got irritated.

Also I’m irritated by how horrible I feel, now it’s sinking into depression and I think that’s mostly because I have to avoid the light and the light is what keeps me from sinking into depression. I mean I still go on walks, but I’m always wearing sunglasses, and it doesn’t feel the same; it doesn’t have the same impact on my mood, unfortunately.

And then there’s my sleep, a disaster, or actually I sleep pretty deeply but there’s the bloating the whole time, more constant now I mean it’s always present and I don’t even want to talk about the bloating. What did I want to talk about? Something about therapy and how at the end I noticed how separate my body and mind felt. Like there’s someone talking, and that’s me, and then there’s me at 12, feeling like my life is over, like I’m trapped, like I hate everything, like no one will ever help, I’ll never feel any connection, and saying that now is a little eerie because at the time I just thought oh, this familiar place that I go in therapy, but now I’m realizing that emotionally I feel a bit like that now. Frustrated that it’s so difficult in Seattle to find people who actually call back, or to find friends that don’t just feel occasional. Maybe that’s everywhere, maybe people don’t communicate in the daily or dailyish way that I prefer, don’t communicate that way anymore except online and I don’t do that at all, not for personal communication, it just makes me feel more distant.

So exhausted, and that’s the problem. I woke up too early, and then I got up too early because why stay in that if I just feel awful? Except, now I feel worse. But anyway, back to therapy and there was me, the voice speaking from my head, me at 12, and then me at four, silenced, hearing don’t talk don’t talk to talk, and that’s my jaw now, even when it’s relaxed there’s still a clenching internally and when I went to the dentist and he said he couldn’t do any work on me because my jaw was too tense, I needed to see someone about TMJ first, and not just brings me all the way back to the beginning of 2001 when I went to a TMJ specialist and he said oh, you have TMJ, you have fibromyalgia. The diagnosis for fibromyalgia is just pressing all these different points in your body that I guess are not supposed to hurt and then they all hurt and so they say oh, fibromyalgia. Now those points don’t hurt as much, and I’d like to celebrate that, maybe, but nothing feels better overall. Just more problems, and I’m trying to function, and I hate it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When no one really knows what to do

I thought of starting by writing: I hate my life. Because I think of that exact statement in my head several times a day, every day, sometimes just a few times a day and sometimes dozens. I just tried saying it aloud, but I couldn’t tell. I mean I was saying it aloud after it passed, the feeling, although it never quite passes because then there it is again.

I hate that I get better and better at taking care of myself, but overall I feel worse and worse. I hate that I keep developing new health problems and the old ones don’t really dissipate. Maybe the pain in my surface musculature has become easier to manage, the pain that first gave me this fibromyalgia diagnosis, in all of its lack of specificity and was it helpful originally, this diagnosis, yes originally it felt affirming that there was some way to describe everything that was going on, but now it just feels vague and irritating, especially when I think about conventional medicine or not just conventional medicine but healthcare overall, and how there’s so little that helps me, and there’s so little that helps anyone with chronic health issues, however they are diagnosed, however they manifest, however they layer around us until we are waking up thinking: I hate my life. I hate my life. I hate my life.

I would like to continue writing, but I need to take a break. From the computer. A break to eat something. My mouth is dry. First I will drink something, another glass of water, maybe this is the fifth or sixth one in my first hour of waking, that’s normal. There’s a lot more to say: I want to write about how I make this feeling pass, even if it’s always there, like I watch the wind and oh, the leaves blowing on the trees, the branches bouncing and there’s so much joy and yes, that’s somewhere inside here too but so difficult to get out when there’s everything else weighing me down, beating me up, breaking me, suffocating and strangling and — oh, I don’t know, I didn’t like those last two words, they scared me. There’s fear too, and what is all this mean, like I realized oh, the headaches I had for all my childhood, or five or six years I think my teenage years, they were different then this headache because not brought on by light sensitivity but then I’m at the neurologist and he says those were probably migraines too, and what good is this word migraine when no one really knows what to do?

But if those were migraines too, all the time that headache, all the time and I swallowed all these pills that did nothing and then eventually the headaches went away when I remembered I was sexually abused. That was 20 years ago. Is there something I’m about to remember now, and am I ready? Will I ever be ready? I know I’m ready to feel better. I know I’m ready not hate my life, even when things are going well, I mean things externally that started internally like this new book I have coming out that I’m so excited about what is so hard to feel that excitement when I feel so horrible, planning a book tour even though it’s hard to leave the house, planning to travel for over a month and I thought it would be better that way, spread out, but now I just feel like I’m in San Francisco and LA for way too long. I want the internal and the external to connect. I want to feel connected.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

BOOK TOUR for The End of San Francisco (I will keep updating this page as new events emerge)!!!


It's time for The End of San Francisco! Kirkus Reviews calls it “blunt, dynamic and original.” SF Weekly says it’s “a wonderfully messy mix of memoir, social history, and elegy.” And the Stranger calls it “a tender good-bye to a San Francisco that doesn’t exist anymore.”



Here's the blah blah blah:

The End of San Francisco breaks apart the conventions of memoir to reveal the passions and perils of a life that refuses to conform to the rules of straight or gay normalcy. A budding queer activist escapes to San Francisco, in search of a world more politically charged, sexually saturated, and ethically consistent—this is the person who evolves into Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, infamous radical queer troublemaker, organizer and agitator, community builder, and anti-assimilationist commentator. Here is the tender, provocative, and exuberant story of the formation of one of the contemporary queer movement's most savvy and outrageous writers and spokespersons.

Moving kaleidoscopically between past, present, and future, Sycamore conjures the untidy push and pull of memory, exposing the tensions between idealism and critical engagement, trauma and self-actualization, inspiration and loss. Part memoir, part social history, and part elegy, The End of San Francisco explores and explodes the dream of a radical queer community and the mythical city that was supposed to nurture it.

More advance praise:

Mattilda is a dazzling writer of uncommon truths, a challenging writer who refuses to conform to conventionality. Her agitation is an inspiration.
—Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

Delivered in a free-form, associative writing style, Sycamore’s effort to exorcise the demons from her past is blunt, dynamic and original.
—Kirkus Reviews

Bring on The End of San Francisco! And Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, whose new book has reinvented memoir without the predictable gloss of passive resolution. This book is undeniably brave and new, and the internal energy churning at its core is like nothing you've seen, heard or read before. I swear.
—T Cooper, author of Real Man Adventures

We hear so much about coming-of-age narratives that we seldom think about going-of-age—the shutting down and closure, the making sense of where we've been. Written with grace, reserve, and the honest tremblings that come when things matter, Mattilda shows us that The End of San Francisco is really the beginning of joy.
—Daphne Gottlieb, author of 15 Ways to Stay Alive

And, the events!!!

SEATTLE, WA
Elliott Bay Book Company
Friday, March 29, 7 p.m.
1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle WA 98122
www.elliottbaybook.com
(206) 624-6600
Facebook invite

PORTLAND, OR
Powell's City of Books
Monday, April 1, 7:30 p.m.
1005 W. Burnside
Portland, OR 97209
www.powellsbooks.com
(503) 228-4651
Facebook invite

EUGENE, OR
University of Oregon
Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m.
Ben Linder Room, EMU
Eugene, Oregon

Loyola Marymount University
Thursday, April 11, 4:30 p.m.
Los Angeles, California 90045

LOS ANGELES, CA
Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.
Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
www.skylightbooks.com
(323) 660-1175

Cal State Fullerton
Wednesday, April 17, 5 p.m.
Fullerton, California

SANTA CRUZ, CA
Bookshop Santa Cruz
Sunday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.
1520 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 423-0900
www.bookshopsantacruz.com

SAN FRANCISCO, CA
City Lights Bookstore
Tuesday, April 30, 7 p.m.
261 Columbus Ave. at Broadway
San Francisco, CA
(415) 362-8193
www.citylights.com

BERKELEY, CA
Pegasus Books Downtown
Thursday, May 2, 7:30 pm
2349 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510)649-1320
www.pegasusbookstore.com

SAN FRANCISCO, CA
GLBT History Museum
Thursday, May 9, 7:00 pm
4127 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-1107
www.glbthistory.org

OLYMPIA, WA
Olympia Timberland Library
Wednesday, May 22, 7:30 pm
313 8th Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 352-0595

Midwest and East Coast coming in the fall -- let me know if you want to bring me to your town or university…

Headache inducer seducer

I hate it that now I’m afraid of the sun, can’t really appreciate it at all when it comes out on those rare moments in Seattle. Can appreciate it at all because it’s just a headache inducer, no longer a seducer. I mean hopefully soon, back to the seduction, but I just realized maybe it’s been almost a month since this headache started. Because I keep saying two weeks, but how long can two weeks go on? It’s more manageable, but is that just because I know what to expect, and what to avoid?

Acupuncture just give me energy, though, and it’s kind of confusing. I mean the needles were in too long, the acupuncturist left the room and I was sitting there getting wired, sweating even though all I was wearing was a tank top and boxers, until finally I decided just to take the needles out myself and walk downstairs and then the acupuncturist said she was just about to check on me, really?

How long have the needles been in, I asked, and she said 10 or 15 minutes but I knew that wasn’t the case, I was so angry sitting there thinking about how awful it is when I do something to take care of myself but it wrecks me. Except actually, maybe, maybe this time it didn’t wreck me, just made me wired and hopefully I won’t crash into some horror, just calm, okay, calm. The sun is going in, so maybe I’ll go for a walk.

I love it when an interview gives me so much insight into my own work!

In this case, I'm talking about an interview with Jessica Hoffmann for the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she described The End of San Francisco as "the opposite of nostalgia" – and, I'm paraphrasing here, a radical way of documenting memory. She talked about how the conventional memoir follows the path of a loss of innocence, but The End of San Francisco starts when the innocence is already over, and then it's ending over and over again, every chapter is another ending, bringing up complicated questions about the possibilities for emotional truth and accountable connection between people – to more of these conversations, to more!

Friday, March 15, 2013

That big fluffy cloud

How strange when I wake up at 6:40 am and I know it's too early, but is it too early? Then I lie in bed for another hour or almost two, and feel worse, and worse, until maybe better, maybe, I mean my gut instinct is that if I'm wired then that means I'm drained, but what if lying here for so long trying to get somewhere in bed in my head, in my head in bed, what if that's what produces the headache, or enhances it, intensifies it, and will I ever know?

I know the sun makes it worse, that glare, ouch, will I ever get to appreciate it again? Please, please – this is only temporary, right? Came on so suddenly, will it leave suddenly too? Or linger, I mean now I have tactics and strategies then means and methods to soothe so if it happens in the future then I can hold it off, right?

But there's still the present: now it moves. Out to my temples and yes, yesterday's acupuncture treatment didn't drain me, but maybe today’s did? Maybe not so much, since I was already drained – I had to go, because the headache was taking over and there was no other choice. Then I walked down the hill, now I can watch the sunset by looking in the opposite direction, don't look directly at the light, don't let it get in my eyes. On the way I buy a xerox of a drawing of hands on top of hands, five dollars and they have little hands into clay too but they seem somehow gory on their own. Stop into the vintage store that's never open when I walk by, I mean I didn't even think of it but then I saw someone go in. Walking up the hill, that's when I see the sunset by looking east, the glow of the flowers and that big fluffy cloud in the sky.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"The word queer and the word poetry both fail us, which is why we are using them here"

This sounds fun…

One day

But it led to me singing, in the part of the park where the cruising now takes place although I don't know why, why this part of the park that's so visible? It doesn't make sense. And these people, why so skittish if you're going to have sex in public? Really, if it's public then let it be public – don't run away just because someone comes closer to look, me, I'm coming closer.
But what was I singing?

One day, I'll be done. One day… One DAY… One day… One day… I'll be DONE. Jumping up in the area and flowing between trees and laughing and groaning and yelling and, one day, one day, one day — will I? Will I please?

Bending and trilling and twirling my voice and of course everyone looked at me like I was high, like this way of communicating was something twisted. Or, actually, most people just acted like I wasn't there. When it's the horrible lack of communication in these spaces that brings me to such pain among the disdain, you see why don't want to write about it, not really, even though I must? Even though I have, even though I keep doing it, even though I keep going, keep going although it's gotten to the point where even what masquerades as connection makes me so desperate in the horror of my participation no not my participation but the limitations, the lack of possibility, I know I've been thinking about this for so long. For so long and last night one of the things I thought about was that place of hut in childhood, that broken tattered never going to survive but still surviving, that yearning for something my father would never give and does this relate? I mean he would never give, he would never provide, that safety of embrace instead it was just a trap his desire and will I ever get out of that desire for what he would never give?

Before last night, I don't know if I would have thought this related. I mean everything relates, but in a direct way, I don't think I would've thought about it in a direct way. But something is shifting, it just gets worse, these spaces for me. And I think about the structural and familial and societal homophobia that leaves so many like me but not like me in these spaces so broken and searching for or maybe not searching for, maybe that's the problem I'm searching but they're not, they’ve stopped, no, some are searching, and some have stopped, and some are stopping while they're searching and some are searching while they're stopping but the problem is that it's horrible. All of it. And still I'm drawn there, but why? Why can’t I just let it go, this horrible world of masculinity grabbing for what it wants, cocks and mouths and holes, not even bodies really just some part and will sex ever be something else? I know sex in these spaces will not, but sometimes is, once in a while, but even then I don't think it's worth it.
I might as well tell you about this moment, the moment when I realized that there were four people here, maybe we were finally having sex together or apart I'm not sure but I realized oh, that's the guy who said you really like being held, while he was fucking me or maybe it was afterwards, and then there's the one I walked home with and we talked, even exchanged numbers, and then the third one, he was fucking me in the rain. And you know, realizing this connection should have felt nice, right, like there's a history we’ve shared, here in this park creating something splendid together but instead it just felt gross the way there was no communication, I tried with the one from the walk, the one who works in high-end retail but he didn't say what exactly so I don't know, I asked him about the two guys underneath the tree a little bit in the distance, are those two straight guys? And he just looked at me like I wasn't even a human, no I was a human but why here, not here, don't try that here.

And the other one, the one from the beginning, approaching me from behind, are you looking for fun? Maybe. Let's go this way. I didn't realize he was the one from the hugs before, all of these people blend together in their attempts at being nondescript but later I realized he was the one with the truck with wood in it, we exchanged numbers too even though I knew I wouldn't call him, something about when I said why doesn't anyone like to talk here and he thought I was saying why doesn't anyone like to fuck, that's how he was connecting so I wasn't any longer.

But he was sweet, before, and now I'm sucking his dick, I mean I was, and the guy from the rain was watching but not wanting to come over and the guy from the walk was trying to suck that guy’s dick oh I don't know, I'm not doing a good job at describing it because I don't really want to go back there. It sounds fine in a way, but the problem is the way that everyone was reaching for a disconnect, reaching for something they wanted, a body part or as sex act, but not something else, there was no acknowledgment of how it could be something else, that's what I was thinking in the moment maybe, but afterwards when I realized oh it was something else, and that makes it even worse that there was no acknowledgment, that there can't be in these spaces, or there can, but there so rarely is, and why am I even in these spaces, I don't belong, I never have belonged, I've been in these spaces for 20 years and I never will belong, I only get further and further away as I'm closer, further from what I want and I don't know how to get back and so I keep searching past the shutting off that's required, required, required I said required I mean I even wrote that in The End of San Francisco, there's a whole chapter about this but still I can't get past it, the shutting off that's required, shutting me off a when will I throw it away, find something else, maybe even learn to desire something else, something other than what this leads to, the familiar, the public, that's the part I appreciate but what about finding something else, that’s the key as to why I'm still here, there, because I haven't found what I need. And will I ever?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do you feel safe here

Sometimes I feel like I have no way of figuring out when I'm going to feel moderately okay and when I'm going to feel awful. Like yesterday I thought I slept alright, I mean I definitely slept more, and then the whole day I could barely function at all. And then today, similar kind of sleep, I mean I woke up way too early but then fell back asleep, but this time not for as long, although I did feel energized in bed, and I got out right at that moment, maybe that was the key.

Except then I went to feldenkrais, and instead of making me feel better it made me feel worse. It annihilated me. Because of the carpet fumes, for some reason they were back, maybe because the heat was on? In any case I was lying on the table and I couldn't get to the calm in my head or in my body, at some point Sheri said do you feel safe here and no, no, I didn't feel safe at all I mean I couldn't breathe and then when I left my head felt flattened. Because of the poison, and what will I do next time?

Then an interview for the Seattle Gay News and it was fun and connected, it actually made me kind of happy, calmer, here's the calm, getting ready for a walk in the rainy dark, yes turn the lights back off.

"Together," an excerpt from The End of San Francisco on STANCE: a journal of choreographic culture

In one of my early club moments, I was inspired by a beat I hadn’t heard before to climb up onto a black dance cube in the red, green, yellow, blue spotlights and that’s where I first heard the deep droning voice in the song that went “People are still having sex. Lust keeps on lurking… Nothing makes them stop. This AIDS thing’s not working.” This was high school, often in the evening I was having sex with men in public bathrooms but I didn’t call it that, it was a secret world, at the clubs I just wanted to smoke pot and drink cocktails and dance—I needed to get away from everything that’s what dancing was about. It wasn’t true that “All the denouncement had absolutely no effect,” but I could pretend when the floor was shaking with the bass.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Before this headache

Sometimes when I'm in the park I can let go of my life and just listen to the birds, look up at the trees, watch the fish in the koi pond, but then other times this only works for a moment and then I hear all the planes screeching over. Do planes screech? Groaning, maybe. Do planes grown? Moaning, perhaps.

Maybe it's not the planes that are groaning or moaning, but me, inside. I sit on this tree in a grove that used to house the cruising in the park, before something happened and it moved to the other side which is way less glamorous. Way less sheltering.

Today nothing is sheltering me. Probably I need to put the eye mask back on, where does this headache and? I hate it when people ask me if anything is better. No, nothing is better, nothing is better right now. Before this headache, maybe my headache was better.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It helps to close my eyes

Trying to decide when to get up can be so complicated. Because when I wake up and look at the clock, 7:55, isn't that too early? Especially after the time change. Maybe I'm just wired. How many hours is that? Maybe seven, but I already forcde myself back to sleep once, so six, way too early but then when I try to fall back asleep it doesn't work and I start worrying I'm straining my eyes and that will make the headache worse when I eventually get up, and somehow I've become attached to getting up before nine, which sounds ridiculous because I didn't use to get up before 2 pm, that was only a few years ago, and now getting up after nine seems too late. Too late for what? I guess daylight, in Seattle it's important to get up earlier to see the daylight. Although now the daylight gives me a headache. But so does the night. Last night I went to a party, it was calm, a few people sitting in an apartment just a block from my house with a beautiful view and the lights were dim but still they were too much, I was trying to look at people without looking at the lights but it didn't work. I was trying to act calm like I wasn't worrying, but eventually there was too much worrying and then I left, which is okay, because it was the right time anyway, but maybe not for the reason I would have liked, and then I walked for a few blocks and the streetlights mostly didn't bother me, except for the really bright ones and then I tried walking with my eyes closed. I try that a lot now, it works okay in Seattle, there aren't that many people or obstructions in the way and anyway when there are people they don't say hello so maybe I should just try walking into them.

Now I'm sitting at the computer with my eyes closed, will that help to avoid the headache? Eventually I will have to open, to see if the voice activation software is making mistakes. I mean to see what mistakes the voice activation software is making. I have the newer version, but I can't decide whether I should update it because what if it's worse? Sometimes it's worse.

That wasn't too bad – I mean the mistakes. That's why I don't want to update the software, when it's actually working, and then I would have to follow all the screen prompts and that would mean opening my eyes and looking at the screen, right? I don't want to look at the screen, that's what triggers the headache the fastest I think. But how do I write without looking at the screen? It's working okay now, but eventually I want to go back to Sketchtasy, right? I mean I need to edit the book, continue it, get back into that mode that was so exciting. Now it makes me sad just thinking about it. Thinking about how far away I am now. Or maybe I'm just sad, that's what happened after I was lying in bed and then there was this overwhelming sadness and I didn't want to get up in that. It's so tricky, how everything can shift either way. Mostly the wrong way. Like when I'm getting an acupuncture treatment, and if the needles stay in just a few minutes too long then it wrecks me. Yesterday was the first time it didn't drain me, actually, that was the best treatment but that practitioner only works on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings and I can't go on Tuesday. I wonder if someone else could do that treatment, I mean I know they could do the same points but would it be the same? And, would it be the same, even if it was exactly the same, with the same practitioner and everything, considering I might not feel the same, right? These are the things I think about. I mean these are the things I have to think about.
It helps to close my eyes, it really does help to close my eyes. Right now I mean. Closing my eyes is helpful, that's something to note.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Hooray -- The Stranger picks my Seattle book launch in its Art and Performance Quarterly

Possibly the only author on the planet who has received praise from both Howard Zinn and T Cooper, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is a queer activist who makes waves with even the titles of her books—her previous one was Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Her newest, The End of San Francisco, is a crossbreed of memoir, social criticism, and a tender good-bye to a San Francisco that doesn't exist anymore.

Elliott Bay Book Company
Friday, March 29, 7 p.m.
1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle WA 98122
www.elliottbaybook.com
(206) 624-6600

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