“The monstrous and the formless have as much right as anyone else”  – The Letters of Mina Harker by Dodie Bellamy

I am now an MFA graduate.  Thesis handed over in two different fonts (oops), class reading read, children and parents scandalized, plastic cups of champagne drunk and sucked fingers of frosting.  The following night in the lower east side we drank five bottles of wine and ate things that were cooked in aluminum foil and Chrissy took pictures of us to make us look old.  It rained and I needed new shoes and the Met is still a sacred temple of history and white roses from the institution at Arles.  It’s the blue in the white, there’s pink and green and all these colors in the white, but the blue is what takes my breath away – you can’t see it here, you have to actually stand in front of the thing, which is why paintings should never be reproduced – we forget that we haven’t really seen them.  But that’s elitist I’m sure, and where would I be without pictures in books?  And of course there should never be rules about art except do it and look at it and love it and give Erin Markey your money.

Thank you Joss Whedon for making all my nerd dreams come true, and thank you to my husband for living with my nerd dreams.   The problem with “husband” is that it sounds so old-fashioned and straight and while I can’t help but admit that I’ve taken advantage of that straight-appearing-privilege when returning pants bought with his credit card and talking on the phone to a lady from the bank who hears the word “husband” and is blind to his birth name still printed in her computer, sometimes a girl just wants to be seen.  Maybe this is a problem with living in San Francisco – we all want too much to be seen and it leads to things like “art cars” and “playa time.”  Maybe we should all just content ourselves with being rather than appearing.  Thank you Thoreau.

But Thursday I head to Inside Out in Toronto (which my husband keeps trying to teach me to say correctly, it’s one word he tells me, exasperated by my American accent), and in addition to Toronto, I’m practicing saying partner  – although it is vastly inferior even to words like lover that cannot escape their connotations – because partner is better than “my husband, who is a transgender man” (imagine that second part whispered real creepy-like) (not, of course, that who you’re with defines who you are – we know that by now, right?) or walking around with “queer” embroidered on my skirt-hems.  It’s this strange and precarious and politically useless feeling – recognizing and not wanting your own passing privilege.  Who cares?  What is it for?  Why do we need to be things all the time? In the end, you can forget I said all of this.  And here, of course, is a related essay.

But I meant to tell you about Avengers saving the world with science (thank you JW) and popcorn in soup and the “monstrous and formless” which is more about writing than biological mutation.

But there isn’t time, as usual, so next month – when we spend forty-eight hours with forty-eight Irish Catholics drinking whiskey-coffee and beer all day in grass that smells like hot water and dirt.

I love the smell of dirt.

On the radio, they say that you can tell how socially powerful someone is by how infrequently they use the pronoun “I.”

Thank you Erin Markey for the pink cupcakes with glittery sprinkles – now I know I’m an artist.

Sincerely,

Lorelei Lee M.F.A.

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