Archives for posts with tag: queers

I am at a café and now my digestive tract is coated with cappuccino. It is hopefully my last brush with espresso.  This year I was self-diagnosed with “hypochondria of the liberal” which means I know too much about food I love to keep on letting it inside of my body. A big thank you to principles of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

I have psoriasis. I have noticed with wide silent eyes in the mirror that it is getting worse as time passes.

I went to an herbalist in Chinatown who put his thumb on the underside of my wrist for some moments. I let my heart beat for him and then he said the word “Liver.” Liver it is. Cappuccino is very bad for the liver, says my acupuncturist. Her name is Famous. That’s what she told me to call her. So I do and then I let Famous stick pins inside of me and tape aluminum foil to my back while she shocks me with an electric wand.  I leave with tiny thumb tacks taped in a circle around my lower back, and when they fall out I put them in a tiny jam jar my mom gave me. She has every kind of jar you can save.

This summer, I brought The Irish Horse home to meet my mother and she gave us part of her old jar collection for our new home. They say that Psoriasis is genetic, but I am the only person in my family that has it. I have my dad’s cankles and my mom’s hershey kiss tits but I’m the only one with the linebacker jaw and the auto-immune skin disorder that goes by the name “White Dagger Sore” in Chinese Dermatology. I get what this means.

In high school, a boy accused me and my best friend of being Ellen Degeneres and Anne Heche. He said that I was Ellen. For some reason, it was way more humiliating to be the Ellen of that relationship. If I was going to be accused of being a lesbian, at least let me be the one that wears dresses.

My mom really loved Ellen’s first TV sitcom, Ellen. Ellen is also my mom’s name which was part of the reason she liked it. It must be cool to see your name in lights. On the show, Ellen came out as gay over the loudspeaker at the airport by accident.  I’m not sure how accurate this is, but it is inside of my memory that that is the moment my mom stopped liking Ellen. It was years after this moment and before Ellen’s comeback that that boy accused me of being Ellen. It maybe was the double whammy of being accused of being the most notorious lesbian of all time and of being my mother, Ellen. Two things women who fancy themselves as straight don’t like to be accused of. 

I am not allowed to drink anymore. Or have coffee. or wheat. or dairy. And that’s mostly what all these thoughts are about. But the cappuccino is inside of me right now. We are hugging goodbye.

Lorca as translated by Carlos Bauer.  Lord how I wish I spoke Spanish.

It’s gotten colder and my dog wants to always stick his nose in my armpit while I write.  Why does he do this? I wish he’d open his mouth just once to talk to me in words.

I plan things and plan things.  Appointments for blood tests and x-rays and dinners with poets.  Flights to cities with airport codes I’ve memorized.  Reading assignments for the students I’ve yet to meet.  My library card gets so much action.

Wednesday I wade through the Market Street river of orange-shirted bodies, armed with my pink totebag stack of Baldwin and Dickenson, Notley, Bersenbrugge, and Wright – both James and C.D.  It’s a weirdly hot day for November and the people are walking on broken cups and crushed brown-bagged cans of Sparks.  In front of the Blick off Sixth, a teenager – so skinny like a clapper in the bell of his wind-filled t-shirt – climbs a streetlight to either hang or tear down a black and orange flag – it isn’t clear which.  Fifty people gather to chant at him and I can’t get through without holding the books in front of me as a shield or a weapon.

On Friday I bring mudcake to the bar and carve it up with plastic spoons and cocktail napkins.  We play slaps and I bust my foot on the heavy wooden door.  Nicole laughs her way through another birthday.  The first girl who tries to sell us lighted silk roses from a heavy tray reminds me how much better it is to be writing a syllabus than to be treking up Broadway in heels. But then Saturday night comes and I’m gathering dollars from a hotel carpet. I’m riding the elevator with fur-collared tourists on their way to the Top of the Mark, knocking on the door of an 11th floor suite with Lilah beside me, and between us our bags of heels and costumes, rolled lights and wet wipes and sharpies and cans of whipped cream.

The bachelor’s single friends have brought girls up to the room.  Female guests at a bachelor party can go either way – as Lilah and I are setting up I hear one of the girls say: “how much would you pay me to strip?” And I think: really? Do you go out to dinner and barge into the kitchen to show the chefs how well you can cook?  But the girl turns out to be sweet and curious, if naive.  Lilah and I lock ourselves into the bathroom to count out and the girl is in there with us, peeing.  The girl says, “So how did you guys get started? Did you take classes?  I want to go to your class.”  And while I’m glad for the recognition that this job requires skill, I can’t help but laugh at the image of a girl in a four hundred dollar hotel suite asking the stripper where to take lessons.

In the suite’s bedroom, men who are younger than me smoke cigarettes out the window.  They’re wearing khakis and button down shirts and they still have money in their hands.  Outside, it looks like Gotham.  Like every lonely hotel movie sequence.  As we’re leaving, one of the guys, slurring over a plastic cup of vodka and ice, asks “Where do you girls go to college?”  He turns to the guy slouched next to him on the beige couch and says, “All strippers go to college.”

June 3rd

June 3rd

In high school, my friend Maria and I founded the Gay-Straight Awareness Club.  Administration told us we couldn’t use the title “Gay-Straight Alliance” because it sounded “too militant”.  Our high school was just down the road from a military base, and during my first three years there the word gay was only whispered, or shot derisively across the quadrangle along with a wad of spit or a launched handful of orange peels or french fries.  However, after we started the club, every single homeroom teacher had to say the word gay out loud in front of their first period class every single morning, as in: “Gay-Straight Awareness Club will be meeting in room 201 during lunch period today to discuss zine publication.”  For reals.  It was a big deal.

Pride weekend (June 25-27), in San Francisco, is Gay Christmas.  What we don’t have is Gay Advent.

With these things in mind, and in celebration of June aka LGBTQ Pride Month, I will take and post one gay picture every day.  The definition of what is gay, of course, being totally subject to my own whims and inclinations.

May 30th: pre-holiday tractor

May 30th: pre-holiday boots

June 1st

June 2nd

Let me tell you how it is to be twenty-nine (minus seven).

It’s like having the stomach flu for five days straight and eating nothing but crackers and diet sprite, still hating David Foster Wallace, making phone calls from the gathered wrinkled sheet nest, not bothering to re-charge electronics, a productive day is re-polishing nails.

I am still an expert procrastinator, which is always what you read on the internet because this is where people go to procrastinate.

I owe stories all over the place, and can not bring myself to finish chapters by writers named in triplicate.

Also, twenty-nine means still forgetting to pay my rent on time.

Means still seeing my face in newly published photographs and trying to remember exactly where that was taken and exactly who was being blown.

Now that I’m twenty-nine, I’m still no good at asking for help with things like obtaining diet sprite for my ill belly, and I still want very badly to see the butterfly exhibit.

I’m thrilled to screaming by concrete slides ridden down on torn hunks of corrugated box.

I still, even now, want my mother to notice.

I want cake with buttercream and shoes with buckles.

I want your face in my hands.

I want three-flavor ice cream.

I want to learn how to do this.

If you ask me whether taking the Q to the J train on a Thursday in mid-afternoon in March shows you just exactly what New York wants from you I’ll tell you yes.

And if you ask me whether a monthly blood test leaves small bruises I will answer yes to that also.

I will tell you that the condition of having badly to piss in an airport or a nightclub or a highway diner or a school administrative building and not pissing from fear of harassment fills me with worry.

I will tell you that synthetic hormones still make my hate list even while I appreciate their uses.

I will tell you that I am comforted by both Josephine Bear and Hello Kitty and will continue, despite your belief that they harbor disease.

I will tell you : never again will I attempt to forge a relationship in a bar.

Things I have already given up include: black lipstick, the fear of eating, every color but blonde, the love of poverty, powdered milk, the fear of dancing in front of you.

Even if I do it badly.

Even if, at twenty-nine the only dance of which I’m confident is lap.

Things I will give up include: not calling, ill-fitting shoes, not bothering to look.

I will give up trying to keep the polish off my cuticles.

I will give up not telling my mother about my life when what I really want is to TALK to her.

I will give up being disappointed when she is quiet on the other end of the line with the television or her cooking sounds or the sound of nothing in the background.

I’ll send the pictures when I say I’m going to send the pictures.

What I won’t give up is: diet soda, reading in bad light, high heels, trying.

What I’ve learned is: how to be slow, lemon relish, the color of your eyes, I’m sorry, costuming, how to make a pirate sandwich.

What I want now, this year: an end to nausea, lettuce that isn’t cellophaned, your hands on me, things made waterproof – both mascara and  boots, a bright path home.

Roles I have played in the last two weeks include:

“artsy bombshell” San Francisco swinger seductress

naughty psych-ward nurse

sexy housewife

hypnosis victim

Valentines Day dinner involves pecans and pre-dinner sheet destruction.  Pink food dye.  Tiny, ball-shaped pasta with charred peppers and smashed olives.  Turnips turned orangy with pimenton.  Cut paper and new underpants and broom-swept ceiling fan and all-Springsteen karaoke.  Photo exchange.  Cave-grown albino asparagus.  Timmy and Maria dirty-dueting into the champagne-bottle microphones.

This winter, I have missed every snowstorm.  I’ve ridden down 101 in February with the windows down, bare legs and no sweater to Moss Beach Distillery where puppies steal twenty-dollar sandwiches off deck tables and my friend X “The Mayor” T deals with the rude comments of our staring, pointing, drunken fellow restaurant-goers by looking them right in the eyes and stating quite eloquently: “you’re just going to have to get used to the fact that people look all kinds of different ways.”

My man, only a little less calmly, says: “Listen Eddie Bauer, don’t mess with my girl just cause you’re stuck in khaki.”

California is astoundingly beautiful and solipsistic.  Sunny and cool and utterly unaware of the weather conditions of others.  On Saturday morning mid-winter, there are one million dollars worth of palm trees and fifty people in the park eating bagel sandwiches, sucking up the skyline.  Surrounded by grass and babies and gay fathers in thin t-shirts, it is impossible to conceptualize snow. Back in Brooklyn on Wednesday night, I’ll have to remind myself to pull on tights and sweaters before I leave the house.  I’ll have completely forgotten the numbness of an uncovered face on the train platform, tired and hungry and made impatient by an after-class pint.

And here is what you’ve all been waiting for