Thursday, May 30, 2013

My first drink

Today Sean turns 21, and honey we are going to celebrate. I can't even remember what I did for my 21st birthday. Probably nothing—I'd been drinking since I was 13, right?
But Sean says she wants this to be the best day of her life, which sounds like a lot of pressure if you ask me but she says listen, if you take a look at my life, it's not that difficult.
Sean, what are you talking about?
I'm talking about my life. I only turn 21 once. It better be fabulous.
So here's the plan: we’re going to do a bunch of coke and then drive out with Avery to the Burlington Mall and then we’ll go right over to men's underwear at Filene's to find Abby. Remember, this is Sean's birthday — I'm just making it happen. I still don't believe that Abby works at Filene's, but Sean has called to confirm several times so I guess we'll see.
The original plan was to do ecstasy first, but it's Avery's car and she's fine with driving on coke, but not ecstasy. So the ecstasy will have to wait.
Speaking of Avery, it's like we're best friends or something, ever since she apologized. At first she just said I'm sorry, but I was not going to let her get away with that. I said: sorry for what? She said I'm sorry for judging you. And I said judging me for what? And she said you know. And I said no, I don't know.
She said I'm sorry for judging you for being an escort.
Why?
Because everyone has to make a living.
Okay, and what made you realize this?
I'm going to graduate soon, and I don't know what I'll be doing. Maybe I'll be doing the same thing as you. Or Sean.
Or Sean?
You know. Selling drugs.
Right.
I guess what I want to say is that I think you're brave.
Brave?
Yeah, I could never do what you're doing, or, I could never do what you’re doing, and be honest about it. I'm a thief. I steal things all the time. Little things like candy bars, chewing gum, or bigger things like this shirt, I walked out of Louis Boston with this shirt, and I've never told anyone that before.
Well, there's no reason to feel guilty about stealing from Louis Boston.
I just feel like I'm trash.
You are trash. We’re all trash. Some of us know it, and some of us don't.
Sean doesn't know it. I mean she doesn't know about me.
Well, I'll wait for you to tell her. Thanks for being honest. I've always thought you were trash, but I never thought you would admit it.
So anyway, now that Sean and Avery and I are a trio of some sort, a trio of what sort I'm not sure, but a trio nonetheless, the plan for us to celebrate together isn't as weird as it would have been before. I'm even getting used to Avery picking me up in his Mercedes, although I’m starting to wonder if that’s stolen too, I mean whether Avery really has rich parents or if it’s all a scam and of course that makes me like him more.
Anyway, after the Burlington Coat Factory, we're going to Bertucci's for a Heavy-Handed Wendy special. Sean might be losing it, but she actually asked where I wanted to go for dinner, I mean where we both could eat, and then she also asked if there was anything else I wanted to do. I was so shocked I didn't even know how to respond.
Like what, I said? Well, you're coming with me to find Abby, she said, so maybe we could all go look for JoAnne?
Are you kidding? This is your birthday. I thought you wanted this to be the best day of your life.
You're supporting me. I want to support you.
So, okay, before we go to Bertucci's, we’re going to JP to see if we can find JoAnne. I mean we’re going to the 5 pm meeting, or not to the meeting but outside, just in case. And then we're going to Bertucci's, since I know I'll be a mess after that. But what about Avery? Is there something Avery wants to do?
Avery wants to do ecstasy. Well, that's easy. And so, on the way from JP to Bertucci's, we'll pick up the ecstasy from Sage. The good stuff again, or at least she says it's the good stuff. I feel like I haven’t done ecstasy in years.
And then, get this? We are going to do the ecstasy at Ned’s. Ned’s out of town for the weekend; he said it was okay if we had a few people over. So we're going to do ecstasy, and get ready for the Loft, and then we’ll come back afterwards and sit in the Jacuzzi. After the Jacuzzi, we'll watch the sunrise at the Esplanade. That part sounds fun. I don't know about the rest of this adventure, but I guess it's Sean's birthday, magical 21, is she ready for her first drink?
Oh, my first drink — but will it burn?
What about my stomach?
Will it make me nauseous?
Am I still a good girl?
Will you fuck me while I’m feeling it?
Okay, step one: cocaine!
And: more cocaine.
It feels so great to be high. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, since I’m doing bumps all the time, but doing bumps isn't the same thing as line after glorious white line and we are flying down that highway, runway into Filene's but wait, not that entrance, that's the perfume. Back up.
Honey, where the fuck is the men's underwear? But then Avery spots her, from the distance, and we step behind men's suits like we’re undercover. Yes, that's Abby’s head at the register, that's her tiny face with those big ears. I don't know what I was expecting, I mean I guess I wasn't expecting to see her at all. We had all these big plans before. Sean wanted to go up to her and ask if there was a sale on shit-stained panties. But now we're all watching like it's some peep show tragedy. It is a peep show tragedy.
Finally Sean pulls my hand, and then I reach for Avery's hand, and then we head in Abby's direction. She doesn't see us until we get right to the register, and even then it's like we're miles away. Sean says Abe, what are you doing here?
Abby’s face gets all red and she looks like she's going to punch someone. She says you have to leave, or I'm going to call security.
Security for what, I say. I'm just looking for shit-stained panties.
I can't believe I just said that. It's not even my line.
Abby picks up the phone. I say who you gonna call, Ghostbusters? Miami Vice? The Golden Girls?
And then I’m laughing, I can’t believe it but I’m laughing my ass off but Sean is in a different world, yelling are we dead to you? Are we fucking dead to you? Her jaw is so tense you can see the veins on the side of her face, dark circles under her eyes in spite of all the Dermablend. I've never seen her get this dramatic about something that matters.
Abby puts the phone down. She walks to the back of the store like she's heading to the dressing room, and Sean says what, did you forget your enema? You forgot your enema, faggot. Faggot faggot faggot faggot. And Abby turns in the other direction, pushes open a different door and we follow her, then there’s a different door with a combination lock and Sean tries to catch it before it closes but she doesn't get there in time.
There’s some big guy someone in a shoulder pad suit coming towards us saying can I help you gentlemen? And Avery says I'm sorry sir, but can you show us the way to men's underwear?
She's brilliant under pressure. I can't remember if she actually knew Abby, I mean obviously they met but I don't think they were friends.
Thank you, sir, Avery says like she's British royalty. We were lost.
And the guy smiles like he actually believes us.
What should we do now? The bathroom for another bump, yes this is a nice bathroom, marble sinks or is this granite? And then we’re in that ridiculous parking lot again, staring at the façade of the mall that looks so similar to the mall of my childhood but this time it doesn't freak me out. It's kind of funny, actually. This is good coke. Avery starts pulling things out of her pockets. Ties, Polo ties, five or six of them. She says: I've always had a thing for Polo. And Sean says: I’ll take the one with the enema pattern. And we all start laughing, all the way back to the highway and then I realize we're actually early for Jamaica Plain, should we go to Five Seasons for a snack?
Sean says I don't know how you expect me to eat anything there. Avery says how do you expect to eat? And Sean and I both say at the same time: Marinol. We should do the ad jingle, I say. Oh, you're right, Sean says: but I don't think I can eat right now.
Don't worry, I say, I brought the magic zeppelin.
Oh, fabulous, Sean says, just what I need for my shits and giggles.
And Avery says: Marijuana isn't good for my complexion.
And then we’re all laughing again, I don't know why, especially once we pull over by Jamaica Pond and Sean says why is it already so dark again? It's not even four yet and it’s already so dark. Then we step outside and look, Sean, look, it's snowing.
And Sean says: In more ways than one.
And I say: Sean, it's snowing, it's snowing for your birthday.
And Sean says: Mattilda, you know I don't like the snow.
Okay, then it's snowing for my birthday.
Your birthday's in May.
Exactly.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The bed

Who needs to remember the bed, when you can just enter, and exit. Speaking of entering, and exiting, Ned keeps asking me to move in with him, I mean he's asked me that since the beginning, and I’ve said no, no, and no. For obvious reasons. But, even if we ignore those obvious reasons, the truth is that, yes, his house is palatial, but there aren't very many rooms. The entire downstairs is open except the bathroom. Upstairs, there's the bedroom in back, with two huge bathrooms and two enormous closets, and then the office in front, and another closet. But no extra bedroom. How could I possibly live with someone if I don't have my own bedroom?

But here's the thing: now I hate East Boston. It just feels like I'm stuck there, like I can't get anywhere, like I have this apartment to myself but it’s supposed to be for me and JoAnne —even with the coke cure, I can’t stop thinking about JoAnne. So Ned's getting strategic, reminding me that we don't have the same hours, we wouldn’t even see each other that much, he has to travel all the time for work so then I would have the place to myself. I say there's no way I could live here without my own room, and then he pulls out his trump card and says oh, come to think of it, that front closet used to be a room, I could easily have the closet bars taken out and get you a bed just like the one in my room.
That is a really comfortable bed. And: I can’t live with JoAnne’s ghost anymore. And: looking for a new apartment would be a nightmare. And: Ned’s place has such a gorgeous kitchen, that's for sure. And, free groceries. And it’s close to everything.

And then, just when I’m thinking about whether it would really be possible to live in that closet, Ned says that actually there's quite a large window behind the armoire.

The next time I come over, the armoire is gone and in its place there’s a beautiful view of Comm. Ave, like I'm in some society movie broadcasting respectability. Ned has the room set up already, burgundy velvet blackout curtains and everything — just so you can get a feel for what it would be like, he says — I can always return the furniture.

And the room isn’t actually that small, especially when I don't need to put any of my stuff in there; Ned says I can have one of the closets in his room. Our room, he says. But back to my room, Ned even installed one of those little chandelier-things as a ceiling light. He already had the carpet removed, since he knows I can’t stand carpet, and the floor shines. I sit down on the bed —a burgundy comforter matching the curtains, mustard sheets underneath — I thought you would like the colors, he says. She is one shrewd bitch. I lie down on the bed and look up at the tiny rainbows on the ceiling from the chandelier. It’s that time of day when the light makes everything gorgeous.

I say: It's never lonely in the closet. Ned loves jokes like that. But I have to be honest, I say, I want to make it clear that this is still a financial arrangement. I don't want you to think that we're boyfriends.

The next day he calls movers. And he clears out one of the bedroom closets. I know I shouldn't be doing this, but the coke cure is getting expensive.

Monday, May 27, 2013

For so long

So what drives me to eat more, more when I already feel awful, the bloating pushing my guts forward so I thought I was done eating, but here I am again, sitting at the table, chewing on something, what is it, I don’t even taste it, why, why am I eating? Is it because I know I’ll have to eat in 20 minutes anyway, blood sugar crash that frantic push to eat enough but why, why it doesn’t make me feel better, why if I don’t even taste it, what is it. Pay attention to the texture, that’s what I was thinking, the only positive thing I can immediately draw from this growing awareness. But then it fades so fast. Like the way my head immediately leans back again when I let it go, and is it better just to not let it go?

What does it mean to feel full, full of something other than pain and discomfort? Nourished or even energized by all this healthy food I’m constantly feeding myself, how many comments at health food stores across the country about how healthy, how healthy you must feel with all those greens, all this organic produce, dried beans and grains and nothing else, nothing processed, nothing refined, no sugar or dairy or gluten but everything hurts nonetheless. Generally I think it would hurt more if this wasn’t the case, but what do I know, what do I know anymore, after so many years focusing so much on my health and mostly getting nowhere?

The head closing off, right, like I’m trying to think, trying to write about this, this food, this eating, this terrible place in my head, closing off, just when I’m getting into the flow of writing, thinking, and then where, where again, what, what was I writing, who, who is this, what, what am I except this fog and pain and sure, occasionally I think maybe it would be better without eating, right? But then I know, I know it won’t be better.

I tried not eating for five years or so, when I was anorexic, 12 to 17, maybe, something like that. It gave me a lot of energy; I was always wired. I was frantic and frenetic, my brain bouncing with so many ideas. I hated my life, I felt trapped, I felt I could never get away, there was no possibility. But I would go all day without eating, pretty much every day, maybe some No-Doz or Vivarin to keep me going, okay maybe that was the energy, of course I’m not revisiting this idea, this idea that was about taking my body back from my parents and their violence, my father’s eyes and hands, I have that back now, I think, maybe. Why still does food make me so sick?

Of course there’s a possibility of a candida overgrowth, an imbalance in my gut, parasites, all of these things I’ve been investigating and treating for almost 20 years now with no luck, really, so what’s next? Next is this awareness, this awareness that I’m never in my body while I’m eating, that even if I try, briefly, to feel my body more, it doesn’t work, it just makes me feel worse, angry and stuck and hopeless and yes, I know that awareness sometimes brings discomfort, yes, I’m trying to think that this discomfort will lead to comfort but oh I’ve been trying for so long.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The coke cure

Darling, the coke cure, it's all the rage. With six vials in my vitamins, why not? Anytime something gets a tad too dreary — honey, it's time for the bathroom. Come back out and everything’s flawless.
Don't worry, I always cushion my demise with a little bit of Xanax, Valium, whatever’s around, grind it up and take it all slowly, just a little at a time, savor it, even it out, make everything into that moment when you walk into the club and you first hear the music and all you can think is yes. Yes, this walk to the T, yes, this ride with all the homophobes, yes this walk down Newberry, Boylston, Arlington, Tremont, Mass. Ave, yes, the line at Bread & Circus, yes, this conversation with who, who am I talking to, wait, the bathroom, oh so much better. Is it really that cold outside? I can’t even tell.

And Ned, ever since I realized how to channel the hate into a hard-on: how to be in my body without being in my body; now the sex is almost hot. Just a quick bump to mix with the cocktails and small talk on big topics or big talk on small topics and then I’m a porn machine pounding that asshole and Ned thinks he's in love. Good thing he hasn't been around drugs, otherwise he might notice the way my eyes roll back or yes, the telltale runny nose, or yes, that glossy glassiness, forget it, soon he'll be in bed and I can do runway all over the rugs downstairs, adjust the lights, oh that's the way I love it, look in the mirror at every pore, no stop, stop popping blackheads, look in the mirror again, from the distance, let eyes blink no not blink, flutter, flutter some more and then roll back and yes, my acne has even gone away, it’s only up close where I see every flaw — obviously, what I needed was more drugs, a regular allotment, no need to take a break, just keep it balanced, yes, darling, balanced — oh, I love it, balance.

And yes, Sean was finally right about something: Marinol is the answer. I take one of those pills and boom, I'm out. Or, no, don’t exaggerate — it doesn't happen right away. Actually, it takes so long that I think it's never going to happen, but then it's already 10 hours later and I can’t even remember how I got into bed. Ned’s bed. I didn't even wake up when he was getting ready for work. How much pot do they squeeze into one of those pills? New day, new promise. Do I need to powder my nose? I’m so glad Ned has Puffs Plus.

Yes, a little coke can go a long way. And, a lot of coke can go even further. Oh, brown glass vial! Can you see my reflection in your curved surface, maybe just a hint of my eye checking the level? Oh, black cap, such a comfortable place for my nose to rest. Oh, white powder and my head, my head and white powder, power, this house of white walls and white sofas and white marble and white powder and when I open my eyes I’m studying the textures of light on the ceiling, tiny crators, yes, more white.
Oh, Ned who started to worry about me, started to worry because I was getting so edgy, he didn’t want his fuck machine to get edgy so he sent me to the pill doctor. Oh, dear pill doctor, provider for every need!

Oh, Marinol, blackout in white sheets.
Oh, Valium, a toast to all the ‘50s housewives, you were on to something, you are definitely on to something.
Oh, Xanax, a walk with pillows.
Oh, Ativan, so the lights get softer.
Oh, Klonopin -- no, wait, incest flashbacks, both times I try it, take that back to Doctor Pill.
Oh, Dalmane, no, that horrible feeling in my head, where is my head, give me another bump right now.

But back to Marinol, blackout in black-and-white, study the light and shadow, shadow. Side effect: hunger. Or, perhaps that's the intended effect. It’s for people with AIDS or cancer when they find themselves wasting away, right? Nauseous: can't eat can't stand up can't sit down. To counteract the terrible drugs that don't help. Or, I suppose, the drugs that do help. And the other thing it helps with is getting hard for Ned’s flabby ass, I swear, because when I wake up I’m laughing I mean I’m laughing once I remember where the hell I am, try to remember what happened but who cares, this bed is so comfortable. No, don’t exaggerate: I can remember what happened, just not when I put my head on the pillow to drift away. They should put Ned’s flabby ass on the label, right next to the part where it says warning, don't take with alcohol.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A gorgeous review in the San Francisco Chronicle!!!

"The End of San Francisco" is, finally, apocalyptic as Sycamore's flights to gay ghettos, drugs, politics, even gender transformation are all insufficient paths to freedom. At the end of the narrative, although maybe it is a beginning, she is on a hill in Baltimore drinking with neighborhood boys and thinks that "this is when no one knows and no one cares and I'm just everything that matters exploding into the world." The pain does not end here, but throughout "The End of San Francisco" it is recklessly transfigured through language and imagination to be, if not transcendent, at least bearable.

More

I don’t understand eating, I really don’t — it’s like I eat, and I feel horrible, but then a few minutes later I’m eating again. Not even thinking about it, just eating, and feeling horrible, trying to stop but unable because I’m hungry, or is this hunger, and what is hunger, and what is eating, and what would it feel like not to feel horrible whenever I eat, or right after. And how the moments when I feel best are generally when I’ve gone the longest without eating, but then that comes to an end so soon because I get frantic and hypoglycemic and I think that eating well-balanced my blood sugar, right? But it so rarely balances anything, and then the horrible bloating which has been worse since I’ve been back in Seattle, why? Maybe my bed is too soft, I mean I searched for this bed for literally years, something really soft but also supportive that didn’t outgas horrible chemicals right away or cave in within a few weeks and finally I found it, made in a unionized store/factory right in San Francisco and it’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever owned. I’ve had it for eight years now, and nothing has gone wrong except now I think it’s too soft, and that makes the bloating worse, the bloating and the clenching of my jaw so now I need something a bit firmer, but I can’t get rid of this bed that took me so long to find, but then if I put it in storage that will probably cost me at least $100 a month so, who knows, what the hell am I going to do?

But I was trying to write about eating, you see how I get easily distracted. Just thinking about it makes me exhausted, maybe it’s time for bed again, I slept forever last night and I feel horrible, kind of like I’m slipping into seasonal depression but it’s the end of May. Seasonal depression because I can’t get enough light into my eyes since I’m always wearing sunglasses and a sun hat to prevent the tragic migraine atrocity which is always lurking, especially here in Seattle, especially when I’m looking at the computer and writing, now, but I know there was more I wanted to write about eating.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Colored hairs in the carpet

I can't stop crying, all the time, crying whenever I think about JoAnne and how she'll call me when she's ready. How she didn't even leave a number. How I don't even know where Tina lives. How everything was going so well, and then what happened? I went away for a week — no, not even a week — I went away for six days. I went away for six days, and I even called every day to say hi and leave a message and tell JoAnne what was going on, like when I thought it was all with Ned and maybe it still is but at least I got the manatee sign. I knew JoAnne was at Tina’s, but I figured she would check the machine, right? I mean I know she was checking the machine, because she told me Tina didn't want her to give out her number. That it was triggering for Tina when someone called who wasn't in the program.
But JoAnne wasn't in the program either. I mean it was a joke, right? I know it was a joke, because we were drinking practically every night. We were having so much fun.

I guess I could look up all the AA meetings in JP, or maybe there's only one lesbian meeting, I could find that one and show up outside — but what would I say? I don't know, I don't know what to do because I can't stop crying, crying every time I go anywhere JoAnne and I used to go together, which is everywhere, right? Even in Ned’s house I get upset thinking about the times when JoAnne used to come over in the afternoon and we would cook in this kitchen we could tell had never been used before, with the lighting just right for modeling over the six-burner stove, six burners for what? Camera’s ready, prepare to cook. Before Ned met me, the only things in the refrigerator were bottled water, sparkling and still, wine, white and red, milk, orange juice, and moldy cheese.

Anyway, JoAnne would come over in the middle of the day and we would open all the curtains to let the light in, oh how Ned’s place suddenly sparkles in the light I mean I guess it sparkles all the time but in a different way and I thought for sure we would find dust in all the corners but there wasn’t any. And then JoAnne and I would talk to each other like we were just so used to all this wealth, and one time Ned came home when we were getting ready to eat, I guess we’d lost track of time or something, and I thought he would be upset but actually he got excited. He kept asking JoAnne all these questions, and she was so good at answering with the most inane lies that sounded like casual truths. Yes, she was hoping to start at BU in the fall, how did he know? Oh, her parents — yes, she really missed her parents, they were in Seattle.

And then Ned said that maybe he would sit down and have a sandwich with us, we were having tempeh with snow peas and a miso dressing on five-grain bread, and I couldn't tell whether Ned thought it was disgusting, I mean he always eats really slow, but then at the end he said: you know, I think Tyler’s going to make me healthy.

And then the next day he went back to eating hamburgers.

But back to our house, our house that used to feel so calming. I look at those purple walls, and I think: that was for JoAnne. I look at the sofas, the table, all our art, and I can't stop thinking about my dreams and how I thought they were coming together. And then I look in JoAnne’s room and there’s still plenty of Abby’s stuff, but nothing of JoAnne’s except some colored hairs in the carpet.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Not quite distance and not quite presence

So there’s that moment where I enter the part of the park where the action takes place, if that’s what you call it, action, I mean I see it up ahead, the shadow inside trees and there it is, this guy sucking cock and you know how I need it now or I’m going to die. They are playing shy or uncomfortable or distant or whatever it is that makes them leave this tree right by the paved path like it’s hidden.

And then later, this other guy comes up and says: I want to hug you. And I say: I like hugs. So then we hug, and it’s nice, calming, now I’m tired actually and ready to go and he is telling me stories of guys who mostly like to cuddle, come over to his place and cuddle and then he brushes his hand through my hair and I notice I moved inside, quiet, it’s not quite distance but it’s not quite presence and so I need to leave, not stay in that place of letting them touch me, why? So I say goodbye, and he says: if you see me around, feel free to say hi—which is nice too, rare, and then I’m walking home.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Balance

I get so excited when I open the front door, step inside our purple living room, all this art we've created together, through the kitchen to put my stuff in my room but where's JoAnne? I left a message saying let's go to Bertucci's when I get back, my treat, and everyone loves Bertucci’s, even Sean. I guess I'll take a shower — planes always make me feel gross.
None of JoAnne’s toiletries are in the shower, not even the oatmeal soap but I guess that makes sense since she’s been at Tina’s. Yes, this shower isn’t as nice as the ones at the hotels in Florida, and definitely nowhere near as nice as Ned’s blue-tiled paradise, but at least it’s mine. These towels are kind of ratty — I should get better towels. I’m dry and dressed and every hair is in place andthere’s still no sign of JoAnne, let me check the messages. Oh, a note.
Dear Matt:
Dear Matt?
Dear Matt,
Okay, it's a comma, not a colon — that makes more sense.
I can’t keep depending on you like this.
Why not? I told you it was fine. I'm depending on you too.
I'm moving in with Tina.
You’re what? You're moving in with your sponsor? The same person who you said was as creative as a doormat? You're moving in with Tina?
I'll call you when I'm ready.
When you're ready? What do you mean when you're ready? When you're ready for what?
Love,
Love?
Love,
JoAnne.
Yes, there’s a period at the end, just like that. I keep looking at that period. This is not happening, I keep saying. This is not happening. It's not happening. This is not happening.
Wait, what is happening?
Maybe I'm overreacting. Why am I holding my breath? Breathe — yes, JoAnne, I’m breathing, I’m breathing, let’s breathe together. Maybe there's a message — okay, yes, a message. Oh — it’s just Sean, she wants to go out for cocktails when I get back. She wants to hear all about it. Sean, I've already told you, I don't get cocktails unless I’m eating! And you're never eating — are you ever going to eat?
Okay, I need something to eat. Let me read this letter again. There's nothing to read. I don't know what to do. I call Sean.
Sean, you won't believe this.
What, you're pregnant?
Yes, I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant with twins.
Who's the lucky father?
My asshole.
That's not what I heard.
What? What did you hear?
Relax — I'm just kidding. Sounds like your trip wasn't as relaxing as Daddy Warbucks said it would be. Did your asshole get tanned?
Girl, I was waiting for you.
Let's get cocktails.
I thought you would never ask.
Don't worry — we’re at Bertucci's. Heavy-handed Wendy is working. Sean is actually hungry. No iceberg lettuce salads. I show her the letter. She says is that all?
What do you mean is that all? This is my best friend.
What about Abby?
What about Abby? What about Abby? Really — what about Abby?
Mattilda, you're taking this too hard. It was obvious that she was using you.
What do you mean she was using me?
She wasn't even looking for a job. You were her sugar daddy.
I was not her sugar daddy.
Okay, sugar mama.
I don't think you understand.
I do understand. I just don't think you were paying attention.
What about Abby? You were going to say something about Abby?
She's working at Filene's.
That's ridiculous. She's not working at Filene's.
It's true. Elana Del Monte saw her there. Filene's in Burlington.
Elana Del Monte?
Yes, she's back. She was back. And then she went to rehab. But anyway, I called the store.
And what did they say?
Men's underwear.
I don't believe you.
This pizza is good. You were right. I'm glad I can eat again. I was losing all my baby fat.
You do look better. What happened?
Marinol.
Where did you get Marinol?
I have my sources.
Well, I guess whatever works.
Want a bump?
A bump of what?
A bump of you-know-what.
Sean, I'm not doing coke right now. You know that.
I thought that was for JoAnne.
Sean, you are such a piece of shit.
So you want a bump?
Dinner’s on me. Let's go to Luxor.
Now you're talking.
Speaking of talking, Sean's right, this coke is good. I don't know if it's because it's been so long, or if Michael's connection is a really good connection.
Michael's gone, Sean says.
Gone where?
Jail time.
Are you serious? How long?
No one knows.
Is anyone in touch with her?
Not that I know of.
I always thought she was kind of hot.
I think she had a thing for you.
Really? You didn't tell me that before.
I didn't want you to end up in prison.
Oh, right – you're always thinking of me.
And, speaking of you, if you want to know where to get coke.
I could use another bump right now.
I mean any time.
You mean you want to sell it to me.
You're awfully pretty, but I don't do trades.
When did this happen?
Mattilda, you've been gone for two months.
I guess I'm back now.
Welcome back — tonight it's all on me.
Sean, you are awful.
Speaking of awful, let's go to the bathroom.
Oh, honey — let's go dancing. What’s tonight? Thursday — yes, Paradise, I haven't been to Paradise in so long.
Man Ray.
Man Ray? Don't even say that — we are not going to Man Ray.
The music’s better.
You did not just say that —Michael Sheehan is at Paradise on Thursdays. Michael Sheehan. Are you really telling me that listening to Starship or Huey Lewis or Michael Jackson with a bunch of twelve-year-olds is better than Michael Sheehan. The taxi’s on me. Both ways. You’ve got the coke, I've got the taxi.
Mattilda, they do not play Huey Lewis.
And the News. Don't forget the News.
Or Starship.
What does Starship even sing? I can't remember.
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”
Oh, honey — they totally play that.
They do not.
Anyway, the Mass. Ave Bridge, give me the Mass. Ave bridge, day or night or whenever, here we go. Another bump before we leave the taxi? Oh, of course — Sean, you're a new lady.
And then that snotty bitch at the door who acts like she hasn't seen me a hundred times, asks for ID. But then Sean says Kelly, Kelly, it's Winona, and Kelly looks up and says Wi-no-no-NO, and she waves us both in, says oh, you're actually cute as a boy! Sean leans over and says let me know when you need a bump. Oh, Miss Thing is moving up in the world.
But the music, yes the music, that's why I'm here – oh, it's been so long. Rush to the DJ booth to drop off our coats and then I'm in the back corner with the dancing freaks like I never left, yes for a second I think oh, I wish I didn't do drugs, I mean remember Paradise on Thursdays without drugs, but I guess the tradition is over and I'm flying in the air with all my old friends and yes, friends is an overstatement, but friends right now oh how I'm shrieking with that new mix of “Walk for Me” so fast you can't possibly walk which is better here with the sweat children, Jon B giving me the usual glare but that's friendly for her, then there’s Elana, a kiss on both cheeks and oh, honey, how are you, I guess she's back from rehab, and then my favorite, Marc of the flying feet and I do a quick spin on the floor right under him, I can't believe that actually worked, he gives me high five, really, high five, can't you do better than that, I kiss his hand and then we’re twirling around and he actually leans on me, I take his weight on my back and lift him in the air and his weight feels so good, now he’s back on the ground and maybe something’s changed or maybe nothing until he swings around and and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen him lose his balance until we’re almost falling into someone's arms, who is it, doesn't matter, we're all here, we’re all here together.

The way you want

When the song comes on that brings you into your body in the way that you want, no not almost, always, the way you want, your body, yes, here, here in the kitchen where music is discovered, no longer that crowded dance floor this is it. But why is this beat different from other beats? How do we know when the space inside spreads out into gestures so wide and frantic and expansive and familiar, oh here it goes again, what is it about this particular beat, the one that’s approaching, I can feel it in my solar plexus, correcsis, tendexis, repunexis — don’t look those words up just the sound, now, now this beat in the kitchen, oh here it is, down into the floor the way arms fling up and out and then it’s over.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A better angle

Yes, the same restaurant, three nights in a row and this time Ned gets tired right away, says he's going to bed. I can tell that he wants me to start something sexual, but the problem with doing something so boring so many times in a row is that eventually it gets harder and harder to do it again. He keeps telling me I don't have to do anything I don't want to, but I know I'll have to do it sometime soon anyway. Seeing him so often just makes me annoyed, like how do I get away? I knew this would happen. I told him this would happen. He didn't believe me.

Tonight's the night for the big gay club, Liquid, Sunday nights just like in Boston. I go over around 2 am and the music’s pretty good but the crowd is frightening, wall-to-wall muscleboys, mostly in their 30s or older. I'm not even dressed up, but I feel like an alien. I try to dance, but it just feels fake. Some guy rolling on X comes up to me and says you look different. No kidding. I'm not attracted to him, but we start to make out. Then he says he's going to the bathroom, will I wait for him, sure. But then he doesn't come back, so I go to the bathroom, which is huge, a whole row of stalls. The handicapped stall is shaking, so I look inside and sure enough it's some guy getting fucked, pounded really but when I see his face it doesn't look like pleasure just like he's not even sure why he’s there, and I realize I'm not even sure why I'm here either, so then I walk back to the hotel, in bed before 4 so maybe I will actually be able to get up at noon like Ned wants to, so we can check out and drive to Saint Petersburg.
Oh, my – St. Petersburg, what are we doing in St. Petersburg? The place where we're staying looks like a big pink castle, but then it turns out our room is in a different building, and that building just looks like your average tacky motel. Ned says he chose this building because it's closer to the beach, and he is right, that is the beach, right out there. The water is quieter here than in Miami, and the sand is so soft. You can even find the kind of shells that I've only seen before in stores.

This was supposed to be a spa, but it turns out that really it's just a resort with spa services. The first day I get a massage, and that's relaxing enough. Then the next day I decide to try a seaweed wrap. I have this idea that you sit in a tub and they wrap you in seaweed, which sounds wonderful, but it turns out that you lie on a hard table and they scrub your body with some annoying orangey apricot oatmeal stuff that happens to contain a little bit of seaweed, and then they wrap you in sheets of mylar, and turn on a heat lamp. I'm probably getting cancer already.

New Year's Eve and we’re going to a gay bar known as The Resort. It’s a converted Holiday Inn on the side of the freeway. Inside, there's a courtyard with a tiki bar, a leather bar, an antique store, even a lawyer's office. There’s a little store selling postcards and a bunch of other crap, including a big road sign that says Manatee Crossing. For some reason it's $39.99, and Ned doesn't want to buy it for me. I say I just want a souvenir of our trip, and he says okay, but I feel like I'm arguing with my father.

The main bar is like every terrible gay club in the world, why are there so many? Disco ball, TV screens, dance floor, stage, mirrors, awful tacky people wearing too much cologne and guzzling cocktails and trying to look distant and someone wants to know if I'm wearing a wig, that must be a wig, that is a wig, right? Half the crowd is wearing Ned's wig, and we toast to the new year with the fake champagne they're handing out. Ned doesn't want to buy a bottle of real champagne, because he doesn't want to drink too much, since he’s driving back to our room at the pink castle — or, next to the pink castle, anyway. At least we’re not staying here. We toast to the new year and he kisses me on the lips; I try not to pull away too fast.

The next day’s our last day at the beach with all these horrible straight Europeans, what are all these Europeans doing in Florida? It's not even the Europeans that were in South Beach, partying in designer clothes — these are the Europeans that are more American than Americans, walking around in straw hats and khakis, holding their kids close when Ned and I walk by. And the restaurant — oh, the restaurant — did I tell you about the restaurant? Iceberg lettuce salads. That's all you need to know.

We go for a walk on the beach after dark and I actually feel calm, the way the waves are so soft here and the sky spreads out in the distance. Until Ned says: I feel like every time I touch you, you cringe. And I can't think of anything to say. We just keep walking, and eventually I say something about how pretty the stars are, that I really do love the beach, that it was nice to get away, thank you.
And then I'm thinking shit, what the fuck am I going to do, shit, it's over. This is my financial stability; how am I going to support JoAnne? I told him that it would fall apart if we went on a trip together. But why did I agree to go?

We get back to our room, and Ned asks if I want a drink. He takes out the mini liquor bottles, and pours me one. And then another. We’re not saying much, just staring outside at the water and he reaches over for my leg. I move closer. I kiss him on the lips. I lick his lips while I look him in the eyes. He moans. I start to unbutton his shirt, move down to lick his nipples, biting just so slightly on the tip of one and then the other. I pull off his pants, his boxers, start kissing the rash on his inner thighs, licking his balls, taking his dick into my mouth.

The whole time I'm thinking: I hate you. I hate you I hate you I hate you. If I think about it enough, there’s even a beat in my head, the bass shaking the floor. And I'm hard, yes I'm hard, finally, I move Ned's hand over to my balls and he squeezes like this is his toy, he's testing it out and I'm thinking I hate you. I hate you. And then I say let me get a condom. And the expression on his face is like a little boy dreaming big.

When I get back in the living room, I kiss Ned like I'm carried away by passion yes passion. Then I lean on the sofa and I push Ned’s face to my crotch. He still doesn't know how to suck cock, but he likes it when I take charge. Now he's on his knees in front of me, and I wonder what one of those Europeans would see if they looked up from the beach right now. I stand up and smack Ned's mouth with my dick, back and forth and he’s moaning yes, Tyler, yes and then I put the condom on. He says do you want to go in the bedroom?

No, I say, let's do it here, on your hands and knees, and he turns around on the carpet, facing the balcony so I can see something beyond this room. The condom is on, and I'm still hard. Ned's on his hands and knees, and I'm thinking I hate you I hate you I hate you as I slide my dick in his ass, as I slide my dick in and out really slowly at first, yeah, I'm saying, I'm going to take my time, do you want me to take my time? And he's moaning yes, Tyler, yes. I’m pushing all the way in and upwards and then out and then slowly going faster and yeah, now I've got him on his stomach, my hands pushing down with all my weight but I need a better angle so I pull his ass up and start slamming it, I could come right now but then I slow down again, yeah, this is good, oh yeah, I can't believe how good this feels right now, yeah, yeah, oh yeah, damn, oh yeah, oh, and when I come I’m practically screaming I mean I’m not even pretending now it’s real and I can hardly believe it and Ned’s still moaning even though I've pulled out and for a moment I think shit, now I’ve really messed this up, but then I look at his eyes.

Watch out, world – as of today, I'm back at work on my new novel, which takes place mostly in Boston in 1995/1996 although the part I'm about to work on takes place in Miami before a return to Boston...

I'll be posting what I'm writing soon, so don't get this fiction confused with my reality, okay? Here I go…

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The next moment

I’m not sure anything could be more relaxing than a walk through the Seattle nighttime drizzle with the air so fresh and everything so soft yes this is the softness that I love. Except, the next day, when it’s suddenly sunny and I’m in the park taking off all my clothes and sitting on the bench by the reservoir in my boxers to take it all in, eye mask and sun hat as well, of course, and then I’m walking back to my apartment and I think: I love this place. And, that actually happens a lot here, on my walks. I love the little white flowers with yellow centers growing out of the grass, the trees with branches that cross the street and then oh, those pink flowers up ahead and so much green green green yes green, how could I ever live without this green?
So I love it environmentally – it’s a good balance for me, this neighborhood, my walks to the park and back, different textures for my feet and eyes. And it’s when I’m by myself, these moments of loving it here, usually, so what does that mean exactly? How do I stretch those moments into everything else, that’s the challenge, in the this town so entrenched in a middle-class mentality that people talk about gentrification as “increasing the density,” and brand-new buildings filled with tiny efficiencies are described as affordable housing. There is more here than this middle-class mentality, but it’s so so hard to find. And I find myself with middle-class dreams, walking into an open house in a building I’ve always fantasized about, 1920s Frederick Anhalt Tudor-style building and wow, it’s even more gorgeous than I thought with paned glass windows on two sides and air streaming through, even a window in the bathroom and a real kitchen, laundry in the back stairwell which seems a bit strange and a fireplace, who needs a fireplace, but really, these floors, the original floors and so much light and the trees right outside the windows.
Over to the post office with Beth to rescue my mail and then there is more to catch up with and the sun is going down, maybe down enough that I won’t need sunglasses, no not yet, maybe soon, maybe soon another walk and more air, I can feel it coming in through my windows, of course, but also cigarettes and pot and laundry detergent or fabric softener but now it’s fresh, right now, and I don’t know if any of this would really be different in the middle-class dream of condo ownership, right? I would have certain things like my own laundry, but who knows if the neighbors right downstairs with smoke in my breathing space, right? Soon I’ll be ready to start working on Sketchtasy again, back to mid-‘90s Boston, and what will that mean for how I feel here? Only two days back, and already I got that sensation of loving it here, in those moments, and I didn’t really have any of those moments in San Francisco. Maybe just once, walking on Post, flooded by so many walks on that exact corner and the texture of the light as the sun started going down and suddenly oh, so much to remember but it didn’t make me feel calm really, maybe calm for a moment or two, maybe a few blocks as I stopped up on Bush to look at that view that used to soothe me, wondering if it would still be the same, it almost was, in that moment, but then there was the next moment.

Oh, look – here I am talking about City Lights for their 60th anniversary…

Here I am talking about writing, risk-taking, experimentation, and one of the only pieces of wisdom I ever got from my abusive family in the 60th anniversary City Lights video podcast series…

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Back

Immediate impressions, after getting off the train in Seattle. First of all, the station has been renovated after 20 years and it is white, white, and white. Gorgeous too, in spite of all that white – although they have to do something about the tacky seating from before the renovation, 1970s office wasteland. I must return for a photo shoot, bright on white.
Driving down the 12th Ave. gentrification strip, I almost can’t believe I live in this city – so pristine, cold, empty. But then we cross Pike, and I look at one of the ugly ‘60s apartment buildings that’s so familiar and yes, this is the neighborhood that I love. And when we get out of the car, I can’t believe how big the trees are, this one has leaves that go all the way across the street and I didn’t even notice it before. The air downtown was nothing much, but here already it’s so fresh.
And then later, a nighttime walk and everything is so dark, especially a few blocks away where it’s smaller buildings and then it starts to get wealthy and again it feels alienating like really, I live here, here, why? But then Volunteer Park and oh, yes, oh I can’t believe this is so close all these trees.
And yes, even a hookup in Volunteer Park that’s incredible, starting with making out right away and going into that place of frantic calm connection and I even get all three things I was thinking about, starting with the making out, the one that I thought wasn’t going to happen but then look, I’m so glad I thought it through ahead of time. And the sucking cock. And even him sucking me off and of course he’s visiting from Berkeley, only here are a few more days, but what a welcome, this must be an omen, it must be, right? I will not look for more too soon, I promise — I know it will only get worse.
And then the walk back, and I’m thinking about how environmentally I love Seattle or at least my neighborhood, how I’m so sensitive to my immediate surroundings, like I could be 10 blocks away and hate it but right where I live it’s perfect. Except culturally I don’t know: Seattle is so bland and middle-class, people so frightened of most of what’s supposed to make cities splendid: connection, random connection, at least contact, on the street or wherever, crossing paths, making new ones, building something from these gestures. I think I can find what I want anyway, the worlds that mean something to me, they are here too, and now’s the time to figure it all out, I think.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A beautiful review of The End of San Francisco in Maximumrocknroll!!!

It's in the June 2013 issue, and here's an excerpt:

"This autobiography is a story of the way people fail each other, whether out of malice or exhaustion or just not knowing how to be there. It’s a chronicle of the ways that we need each other, and the way that need can be turned around, inside-out, torn in all the wrong places but still the only blanket that you have. It’s about critiquing out of love and loving despite critique, despite failure, until you can't do it anymore, until you genuinely feel as though an entire city has come to an end."

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The giraffe

So I’ve been thinking about what happens when I eat, how I leave my body, how all the energy goes to my head, the first thing I notice is that my chin lifts up a bit and head leans back. And then when I think about it I just feel so sad, so hard to stay in my body, I try the breathing awareness practice from somatic therapy but it’s too hard to do with all the time. Too exhausting. So I try to focus on one or two things, maybe the feeling of my feet on the ground or the weight of my pelvis on the chair or just breathing into the back of my neck and that’s what makes the chin lower, but then right away it’s back up.

An investigation: a realization. How hard it is to eat, still, even though I do it all the time. When does Nathan ask if he was behind me, my father, how do we get to this place? I don’t know because I didn’t write it down right away. Was he behind you a lot, Nathan says.

When we were playing and I was in his lap and I felt safe and that’s when he raped me and what’s the point of feeling safe if that’s what always happens? And then I’m sobbing sobbing sobbing and sobbing so much sobbing on the phone just from breathing into the right places, the places in my body where everything gets stuck, sobbing on the floor of the bedroom in the place where I’m staying in LA, sobbing during this phone therapy session.

Another session, today: how those times when I would go to a trick feeling so exhausted and somehow I would go deep into my body, out of my head, right, out of my head were now I’m realizing I mostly reside, still, after all these years of trying, trying not just to be my head but then still, here I am again. And then when I would leave, I would walk outside in the air suddenly so fresh and I would think oh, I love it here. Or, rushing into a cab on the way there thinking how, how am I going to do it? And then afterwards, another cab, looking out the window and thinking oh this is so relaxing.

What was there in that transformation and then I look up at a bottle of something on the top of the refrigerator in place where I’m staying in San Francisco, this terrible place and it’s a bottle of some kind of oil or vinegar but specks of something sticking to the side and suddenly there’s that incest flashback feeling but why, why now? I don’t want to look at it.

What is it? Death, dead bodies, guts, blood, why now?

And I still don’t know, exactly. But, by the end of the session I can look at it again, I can go up close and read the ingredients: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, canola oil, roasted garlic. Garlic — it’s just garlic. But I still can’t look at it. So I hide it behind a piece of paper.

How to be able to talk about these memories, all of it, how to talk about it I figured out long ago but how to talk about it while feeling it, without going to that traumatized place, that place of re-traumatization. Somehow we get to the comforter I had as a kid, all the animals that I liked so much because they didn’t hurt me: the giraffe so tall but it could see everything but no one can touch it, those cute hippos in the water, alligators so friendly, the mice under my bed, these were my friends. They knew what was happening, I didn’t have to explain, I don’t have to pretend that I was okay.

Then there was the scary blue blanket, navy blue, that eventually we have to get rid of because it was filled with faces, eyes, monsters, it wanted to suffocate me so how do I go back to those cute hippos, this resource, at one point I went back I mean at that point when I went back I looked for that comforter, the one with all the animals, but it was gone.

There were sheets too, now that I think about it, and those are gone too but that’s not the point, the point is that childlike excitement I feel when I think about those animals so soft, everyone gets along, no one wants to hurt the others, we can all feel and maybe even heal.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

A part of something

So I’m walking over to Jefferson Park for my daily visit to those huge eucalyptus trees, a walk through the mulch that makes my feet feel better, breathing in the eucalyptus and listening to the birds. I’m wearing my sun hat, of course, I’m so glad I brought a sun hat, what would I have done without it? Headache drama, for sure.

And there’s someone yelling hey from across the street and to the left, oh it’s that guy I used to see all the time in the Tenderloin, cracked out and yelling hey, hey! He liked my outfits, and called me Tweety, which was kind of annoying after a while, but there’s something so intimate about the way he greets me today, when we haven’t seen one another in a few years I don’t think, unless I ran into him a year ago when I was visiting on my last tour.

He’s complimenting me on my outfit again, what is he saying exactly, just an exclamation, an excited expression and then when I get to the park I’m almost crying because of that familiarity. It’s tempting to think that as a white person with a certain amount privilege walking through the streets, that the interactions I have with people like this guy, a black guy struggling with drug addiction and who knows what else for at least 10 years, that these quick interactions that have always meant something to me, it’s tempting to dismiss that meaning as maybe something only in my head. A meaning that says we are both part of his neighborhood, together it’s us, maybe, sometimes.

And then I’m startled to see how this guy recognizes me so quickly, yells out to say hello again and how this does make me feel a part of something, a neighborhood or a time of my life, makes me feel like crying, I am crying, a little. Maybe this will be a day of crying. And I’m thinking about how I haven’t run into any random person who I know on the street, and how I haven’t wanted to, but whatever this brief interaction means, it feels reassuring.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Michael Pollan's nursery of democracy

Michael Pollan, on Democracy Now, tells us that the “family meal” is the “nursery of democracy.” And then he goes on: “it’s where we learn and where we teach our children how to share, how to take turns, how to argue without offending, how to learn about the events of the day. I mean, I learned all this at the table. And if kids are spending all their time in their rooms, you know, passing through the kitchen, nuking a frozen pizza, they’re missing something really important.” Now, I don’t know about you, but almost nothing was more horrifying to me as a child than the “family meal.” My parents screaming at one another, screaming at me and my sister. Every meal was another battle: I learned how never to breathe while eating, how to hold everything in, act like this isn’t going on, when will I get away? Will I get away? Can I survive? Is it possible? Maybe I can exist without a body, that’s what I wondered, retreat into my head a certain kind of escape. I’m guessing my experience is just as common, if not more common, than the one Michael Pollan rhapsodizes over, and it strikes me as a certain kind of arrogance, not to mention a deep lack of awareness, when he acts as if the abused kids, the queers, the freaks, those of us who were rarely if ever nurtured at the kitchen table, those of us who fled to our rooms not to eat frozen pizza, but with a mad desire to escape, that somehow we do not exist. Pollan’s invocation of the nuclear family as a model of care actually prevents the kind of communal intimacy and accountability that we all need and desire, that very few of us really experienced at that kitchen table so devoid of nurturing or democracy.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Just to see

Oh, I feel so terrible and sometimes writing makes me feel better, so that’s why I’m writing, why I’m writing right now although I don’t have the energy to write what I really want to write about how sometimes writing makes me feel better. And then what do I feel? No, too soon, don’t check so soon. That feeling in my head, what is it: cloudiness, brain drain, pain, vibration towards the temples, dark dreaming, car horn, okay, like I could just go to sleep right now but I’m meeting Jen in 42 minutes, would it be possible just to sleep for 20 minutes and then get back up, should I try it, should I try it just to see?

A beautiful review in Lambda Literary!!!

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s long awaited memoir... will rip you open; crack your rib-cage and pour glitter into your heart... Brutal and brilliant, the memoir weaves in and out of time, bringing readers into the intimate details of Sycamore’s adolescence and early activist days. Never defaulting to tidy recounts, cleaned with the passage of time, Sycamore invites readers to share in the complexities of growing up and finding yourself. Sycamore doesn’t shy away from pain, terror, or disappointment… There is no rose-colored revisionist memory here. Expertly, Sycamore tells not only the story of her past, but also gives a glimpse into the world of anyone who was ever young, idealistic, and too queer.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Grounded ungroundedness or is it ungrounded groundedness?

Maybe this sounds dramatic, and maybe it is dramatic, but one of the things I’ve realized since I’ve been in San Francisco is that this is the only place that has ever felt like home for me. Twice. Once, for a few months in 1994 before I left the first time. And then, from around 2001 to 2005 or 2006, when I really felt the potential of creating relationships through activism in Gay Shame and elsewhere. Now it mostly just feels like loss, but still there’s a certain kind of familiarity I don’t feel anywhere else. Sometimes that familiarity just feels like longing, but then there will be certain blocks, especially parts of the Tenderloin where I used to walk and I’m flooded with some kind of grounded ungroundedness.

I’ve been gone two and a half years and already I’m a different person. I can’t stand walking on all this cement, not having other options. I don’t understand why there aren’t more trees around, like in Seattle, or a little bit of grass in the sidewalk or even just weeds to soothe my body a bit. I feel more distant, just walking around, maybe that’s what ungrounded about the grounded moments, that when you walk around in a more dense urban environment like this that’s just the way you interact. The way I interact. And I don’t want to interact that way so much anymore.
Plus how exhausted I feel, although I feel exhausted everywhere. But here

I feel exhausted, and think oh, I should call someone, but then none of the options sounds like what I want and then I feel disconnected. I guess that’s what it is here: disconnection. That’s what it feels like, mostly. Disconnection from the place where I once felt so connected. Now I can look at it, and see where that happened, and mostly just feel distance.