Archives for the month of: August, 2010

A year ago in August in Nebraska – in the glass walled  cold-weather entryway of America’s Biggest Gay Dance Club – a blonde queen looked at my blue skirt and said, “Turquoise and chocolate brown – those were my signature colors for all of 2008.”  She turned to the queen next to her and said, “this girl knows what she’s doing.”

It’s always nice to be told that you know what you are doing, but particularly when it’s a lie.

Yesterday at work, I almost fainted, which was unusual and embarrassing.  I drank some apple juice with an icy washcloth around my neck.  I was fine.

Today, I accidentally touched the poisonous flea medicine on my dog’s neck.  He was fine.

In Washington Square there are so many delis and coffee shops, it becomes impossible to choose.  Even if you think – oh I’ll try that other one today, you end walking the same route up Greene Street, down East 9th, to buy the same cup of minestrone and cappuccino every time from the impatient woman with the big curls.

Some days it’s so much pink grapefruit body lotion and self-tanner and sweat and I can’t remember the way the chapter was meant to go – that paragraph composed between the vegetarian-meat-substitutes cold case and aisle nine ziplock and plastic cling wrap.  Faded into parking lot and grocery bag and public restroom.  William Carlos Williams says you have to live in, be in the world first, not memorizing for later as though the sky, laundry, pancakes are all just more material. There’s so much advice I meant to follow.

Last night, we had pho delivered and my man made me drink Pedialyte – a bottle of melted sugar-free lollypop.  And his arms, body, mouth – none of it material for later, all of it home.  All of it here and now and inside the details so that if I try to write it in the morning, after he’s left for work, I have so little to grasp, it’s just one more lovesick. Love well.  He says, do I need to start a fight with you?  He says, are you too happy?

What city should I be in today? Next week? A clue: on Saturday night I read two poems that are seven years old and I feel so fucking grateful to be here now writing about dogs and Pedialyte and the light at 10:36 a.m. Pacific, sending shafts through the crowded downtown apartments to the redwood stain that smells wet and toxic.

I know there are syringes on the block here and walls so thin we hear the crying lab next door and late at night the boys in leather boots suck each other off and vomit and tug each other’s arms and shout and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and kiss and laugh in the door frames up and down Folsom.  I know the washer-dryer blows lint into the closet and the bathtub drain leak is inexplicably rusting the outdoor light fixture.  I know the keys stick.  I am so grateful.  The dog pees on the carpet.  The kitchen drawers are inordinately narrow.  What luck.  The stairs, the stairs, always something that needs to be taken up or down the stairs.

And I forget to take the leftover tofu out of the fridge where it rots for a week before we figure out where that smell is coming from.  I forget to hang up my jacket.  I leave the curling iron and the hairdryer with their plastic cords all tangled on the counter.  After you’ve organized the kitchen cupboards, I put everything back on the wrong shelves.  I break something new every month and I lose the details and I can’t hear you and I love you.  What luck, what incredible luck.  A clue.  That girl knows what she’s doing.

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I’ve been working in a law office for the last weak and a half. And I will tell you what. I get why a lot of straight white guys don’t know how to dance that well.

When you sit at a desk all day long collecting symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome and cracking your knuckles and saying please hold and using your hand to make sure the back of your skirt isn’t giving anybody a butt show while you lead a two-man parade to a leather couch, you start forgetting that your life isn’t about “holding down the fort.”  it takes you approximately one hour to forget.

this week I am that frozen skull flag.

But next week I am both of those little blondes. cause I get to work from my studio.

1. my makeup.

2. some hairbrushing.

3. half of a cold stove-cooked cheeseburger from last night.

Between the celebratory cooking of pork and oyster mushrooms and the negotiation of a strap-on harness with a leg brace, I wonder what I can tell you that will be interesting.  Truthfully, there’s more bandages and ice than strap-on, and internet effluvia makes both my jobs seem like picking pins out of hay/fleas off my dog/crumbs out of the carpet in our new, many-staired apartment one by one by one. Make a story, make an image, throw it in the pile and hope it swims.

In July, there’s the wedding at which one cow’s moan/moo underpins the vows of a multinational pair of actors and I stumble across the hay floor in my yellow dress, late, after catching a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge with a trumpet player.  Later, I’ll be nearly sick with zinfandel and salty chocolate and the bride’s brother will make a beautiful speech, flown from Cairo, his backdrop a galaxy of lights/sun between boards of the barn wall.  I’ll pet pigs, their ears like sharkskin.  In the dark, my man – his knee yet to be incapacitated – will carry me over potholed dirt, past the goats who jump straight up in the air over and over for no discernible reason.

In July there’s the federal obscenity trial during which I mostly pace the floor of a hotel room in D.C. waiting to be called/iron my court clothes/meet lawyers in the lobby during rainstorms/walk up the road to the Smithsonian Zoological Park where Tian Tian the giant panda sits in a pile of bamboo, eating it by the handful.

The week after the trial, back in San Francisco, my two baby sisters offer a totally different perspective.  I take them to the aquarium where sharks swim over our heads.  I take them to the Academy of Sciences where we walk through a rainforest and watch the universe begin.  I take them back to my apartment where we throw pizza dough in the air and improvise dances and make things out of colored paper, scissors, markers, glue.

In New York, there is record-breaking heat.  In San Francisco it’s the coldest summer in forty years. I shiver so badly, waiting behind the curtain on Saturday night in my pink ruched “dress” on the Mermaid’s Cruise, I’m afraid that my teeth will chatter during my first dance.  But the bachelor is surly and unobservant, and the best man gets so wasted he stops speaking, his jaw locked and eyes an unfocused, watery blue.  Over their shoulders, the black bay rolls past the boat window.  The skyline shifts and smears light with each swell.  Home finally, seasick and wrapped in sweatshirts, I drop fistfuls of ones onto the couch, shower, and walk the pup up Folsom Street, my make-up an unscrubbable smear of greys. The two-a.m. condensation is somewhere between fog and rain, fat and wet.  Two men in tight cotton t-shirts grip each other on the corner, squeal at Whisky Wilson’s leash-tugging curiosity.  A blond in cowboy boots bends to scratch my little dog’s ears without acknowledging me.  She whispers, her voice thick and boozy: “Hello little one. Hello.”

DESIRE, ladies and gentlemen.

since it’s my birthday month, I’m gonna talk about what I want.  today I’m talking objects.  But stay tuned for mystical and title-based desires.

I take desire requests.  topically.

1. a used bicyle. and a bike lock.

I’ve been riding double as bitch on a one-man bike for a  couple months,  and as much as I feel like I’ve scored a free ticket to Six Flags when pot holes bounce my crotch on Flushing Avenue, I do enjoy my own set of pedals and some leverage.

2. a refurbished computer.

In April, I sat down for a little coffee and a little work with Jess and Emily.  Two laptops. Three totally-worth-it four dollar hot espresso drinks.  one table.

a paper cup. the back of my wrist.  an impact. an explosion.  a devastated mother board.

and so ended my four year relationship with my macbook pro.  and so thrust to the fore my romance with the spiral notebook.  but you can’t fit a garage band into a spiral notebook the way you can an aluminum notebook.

thus, a birthday wish was born. and that toothless mug is the father.

3.  a commercial-grade garment rack.

A couple weeks ago, I was at a tantric sex workshop in an office building in Grammercy. Barbara Carrellas was coaching me and twenty nine other folks through a  “breathgasm.” So as you can imagine, everybody in the room was differently placed on a matrix of screaming, crying, laughing, feeling frigid and getting premature rigamortis of the hands.  We took a lunch break afterward and this text from Murphy appeared on my phone (shown). A two year long fantasy-come-true.  A studio space of my own. I feel like a Woolf.  And I’ll tell you why–all that breathgasmic howling.

So now I have a studio to work from. and i’m really excited about separating home and work.  I honestly don’t know who would be church and who would be state in that relationship. but. I pledge allegiance to the fact that I need a place to hang and arrange costumes in a compositional sort of way.

Today there was an accident on my street. It took me a while to figure it out. I noticed a really deep hole in the dirt next to the sidewalk on Bushwick Ave and my mother thought to myself, “somebody’s gonna fall in there and get hurt.” Then i saw a bunch of snaggle tooth rod iron fence pieces lying on the ground. I didn’t really think anything of it because I know where I live and I know what it looks like around here. pretty snaggle tooth. Then i saw a white cargo van parked in the dirt near the mom hole. I saw a crowd of people. I was passing the scene, just focused on getting to the deli with the seltzer. schweppes. it was a thousand degrees outside and it was a thousand degrees in my apartment that i had just slept in all night and i knew both the deli and the seltzer would have central air conditioning. i wasn’t raised with a window unit.

after i passed the hole and the van, I looked behind me, and it was the pool of blood that finally had its way with my powers of deduction. a pool of blood coming from the tire. like the van was bleeding. the van was the only body i saw. and some nervous, pacing people’s bodies that seemed uninvolved directly in the accident. they were sweating. but we all were. there was a pool of sweat on my mattress this morning. like my egyptian cotton sheets were sweating. there’s an ink stain on them from when jim leija left a pen on my bed. there’s a blood stain on them from when god decided to give me the kind of private parts i have. and have always had. and probably will have forever.

you can’t really do anything when you see an accident except for have feelings about mortality.

during all of this, i was walking with becca and i thought she should probably start wearing a helmet. cause she rides her bike a lot. but i also felt real fuck a helmet. part of what’s thrilling about riding a bike is treating it like it’s a foot crank convertible. can you imagine wearing a helmet in a convertible? can you imagine wearing a seat belt on your throat?

what’s more dangerous? a head injury or never feeling the way Leonardo Dicaprio felt when he took the mermaid position on the Titanic and screamed “i’m the king of the world?”

I was president of a twenty two person vegan co-op in Ann Arbor, MI called Black Elk and come December, we had this holiday-sensitive gift-exchange activity called Secret Satan.  It’s just like Secret Santa but with a touch of Rosemary’s Baby thrown in for the oversensitive and ironic radical Big Ten college sect.  My Secret Satan, Caroline, surprised me with a skirt she made out of a Sesame Street pillowcase.

As I was looking for something to perform in for June’s Our Hit Parade, I found the skirt in my plastic china town bag full of coconut bras and old stripper clothes.  Nobody could have known this back in 2004, because we all had some serious style issues at the time, but i discovered that it makes a better dress than it does a skirt.

Desperate to cash in on this discovery, I made it my business to think about what pillowcases and Daddy’s have in common.

I don’t know what I discovered, but please note that Columbus thought America was India.

I didn’t kill anybody to sing this song though.