Monthly Archives: June 2008

scrunchyfaced

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i haven’t sung karaoke in a week, which means i haven’t screamed straight from the gut in a week. i am feeling the effects; screaming is very theraputic. one of my fave things to do back when i was at purchase & surrounded by woods was to organize group screams. i wish i had organized them on larger scales, like hundreds of people instead of just me and a handful of stressed-out friends. i am bored at work, sitting here making faces at my computer. it feels weird.

what things do you miss about your old life? my life changes frequently, so i have lots of old lives to think about. i miss stifling summers when i was a kid; i miss wandering around the supermarket with my mom to get cool. i miss the whole block (30+ people) getting into my neighbor’s small aboveground pool and it being so packed that nobody could move.

i miss the smell of a slightly sweaty girl in her bed (strangely, i don’t miss this actual girl much at all.) i miss the angle of my head while offering my cheek for a girlfriend-kiss, casually, while flipping a page on a book or stirring vegetables on the stove. i miss feeling the exact spot on my cheek that needed a kiss, & her finding it, and feeling better.

i miss cigarettes dangling from my lip. i miss everyone i stood in the cold or the heat with, coughing, smoking, talking. i miss dancing at gay clubs with eric. i miss screaming with kastoory, i miss dancing at the mall with nora, i miss laughing until we fall over with erin b. i miss doing stupid shit with my siblings.

what will i miss about this phase once i’ve moved on to something else? i think i will miss the way the vines creep up the side of my brick house. i will miss laying in the hammock at sunset surrounded by plants. i will miss the stacks of good books, the long quiet, the words everywhere, in every dimension. i will miss good music coming through scratchily on my clock radio while i work for hours and hours. i will miss the particular friends i have now & the way we all configure at this moment. i will miss the small adventures, the dance parties, the drunken nights, the loud conversations overheard by the wrong people, the river-sits.
i don’t want it to go away, but i know it will eventually. not necessarily to be replaced by something worse, but still, it will change. it always does.

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p-r-i-d-e!

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okay, so, usually i dislike pride a lot. i’ve never had a genuinely good time before, it’s usually painfully hot (or, during the philly dyke march, 60 degrees and pouring rain), and i am socially anxious and see all manner of annoying people.

but in places like pgh, being openly queer is far more important than it is in new york or even philly. so i went to pride and i actually had an amazing time. i am far too tired to write anything coherant about it, so here is a list of random highlights:

*freakin’ out the squares downtown, maaann

*someone in my party coming up with the term “lesbiyinz”

*mis-reading someone’s “lesbians for obama” shirt as “lesbians for drama.” i nearly fell over because that’s so goddamn honest and i am not used to such unleashed honesty in shirt form. (anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with lesbians knows that there ain’t no drama like lesbo drama cuz lesbo drama don’t stop!)

*milkshakes!

*productive processing at the lesbian bar

*buying a whole pile of really cute dresses at a yard sale that actually fit (which NEVER happens) and having a fashion show

*dancing with ladies, turning acquaintances into friends

*having this boring generic lesbian hit on me while i was leaning against a wall on the dancefloor by seductively running her glow stick throughout the length of my body, starting at my collar bone, going between my breasts and ending about an inch below my belly button. needless to say, i was not turned on, as this girl a) was not my type at all b) earlier had asked me if i would hate her if she peed in the bathroom sink! c) used a fucking glow stick as a means of seduction! her best friend, a long-haired butch, started yelling at me. “man, that’s my best friend! why aren’t you going for it? she’s so hot!” i was like, “uh, she’s not really my type. i kinda like, um, butch-er girls.” LHB/BFF was all, “like me?” and i was like, “no.” and then she became indignant, yelling, “come on, man! i’m just trying to hook you up! it’s pride weekend! i’m being so nice and you’re being so mean, etc.” eventually they gave up on me, much to my delight.

*meeting a girl who lives in the house that i came extremely close to moving into! i always always wonder what my life would be like if i’d lived there, and now i have a potential new friend who lives there!

*afterhours events in lawrenceville=hee hee hee hee hee. i can’t really elaborate further as anyone can read this blog, but i will say it was just the ridiculous adventure that i wanted to have this weekend.

*dreaming that the march started at 2 and waking up at 12:30 and realizing that, in reality, it started at noon. and i missed it!

*running into branden and aaryn just as they were leaving & branden’s mom was getting a pic taken with some leatherdaddies

*seeing a generic dyke wearing a shirt with a pride flag that said, “these colors don’t run!”

*sitting on the curb eating frenchfries and looking for friends, i was seated next to an older gay dude. a man with a handlebar mustache came up to him and said, in a very dignified voice, “what are you, some kind of guttersnipe? why are you on the curb!?” i will try and use the word “guttersnipe” as much as is humanly possible from now on.

*defying the one-at-a-time rules for the bouncy slide and jumping off holding hands with ali’s girlfriend colleen. scraping the fuck out of my elbow & getting yelled at by the attendant but still glad i did it.

*seeing this super-awesome queer youth theatre group, featuring lesbian twins whose mom was wearing TWO buttons that say “i love my lesbian daughter”!!!!!!! so cute!

*meeting a man wearing this beautifully drawn home-made shirt that said “hugs 4 free” or something like that. hugging him and having him give me a pamphlet (pulled from a fanny pack, of course) that he’d made listing “hug facts” like “the human body needs four hugs a day for survival!”

riding my bike home through the strip district i realized that i have become my best self within the past year. i’m not really sure how or why that’s happened, but i am glad that it did.

plea of the office worker

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i am at work, but can’t bring myself to do any, you know, work. such is the perils of having an absentee boss & hardly any co-workers, i guess. i’m going home to NY soon & i am super-excited about that.

a few days ago tiffbop was weeding her garden & found a plant growing in a crack in the wall & was going to pull it, but then decided not to because i’m always talking about how much i love the plants growing in cracks here. & it’s true, i do. they’re everywhere–sprouting out of walls, in the tiniest tiniest cracks in the sidewalk. down in my ‘hood, which still has brick roads in some parts, it’s like a lush jungle, and i love it. absolutely love it. she named it the “ocean capewell against all odds” plant, which makes me smile.

so close to being done with my zine! i am just waiting on my voter registration card, so i can get a PO box & not give my home address out to hundreds of strangers. i just have to write an outro, trim some odds & ends & then it’s copyfest 2008. look out, world. this is going to be the first zine i’ve ever done that is about something other than myself (carpal tunnel syndrome!) and i am a little surprised that i went through with it. i’ve only showed it to one person, but she really liked it, and even though i honestly don’t respect her opinion too much anymore, it was still encouraging.

i need to do more yoga, in the hopes that it will untangle this knot in my lungs. i need to drink more herbal tea and less coffee. less boozing & more writing. less pining & more hoping. more goddess dressing, less cheese & sugar. is sanity boring? does fun kill? maybe, maybe.

these bars are filled with things that kill. by now, you probably should have learned.

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this past week has left me crazy, for no particular reason, which is perhaps the most maddening of all. sunday night i got too drunk, had a gigantic freak-out, worse than i’ve had in so long. years. bad things almost happened, or they would have had i the strength to crawl into the kitchen. luckily i just passed out in a bed that isn’t mine, and i didn’t feel good when i got up in the morning, but the really bad things had passed for a while.

i thought maybe i shouldn’t drink anymore; but last night i drank and it was mostly fine. yesterday i was okay for the most part, as long as i kept my lungs expanding to their fullest capacity. last night i drank, just a little bit, just enough to feel good and not enough to go straight down that slippery slope. before that i hung out in tiffini’s backyard with tiff, branden and aaryn. tiffini and branden lay like cats and i made everyone do a photoshoot with flowers and safari nets. i could see the very edge of the beautiful mountain sunset underneath the clouds. then to the bluest moon for a $4 long island iced tea, then to the thunderbird.  i couldn’t sing the spin doctors because it was too crowded. a lil’ nerve-wracking, a little awkward, but ultimately fine.

& now? i am sleepy, i was woken up in the middle of the night and had a hard time going back to bed. the challenge of this particular time period, i think, is to learn to accept the things that i can’t fucking change. it’s hard though, especially from the vantage point of an empty house & empty bed. but really, what else am i gonna do?

the soul station is playing even better music than usual & this morning, before anyone came in, i was dancing so fucking hard. i love dancing, but i usually hold back because i’m embarrassed. i dance for real around eric g., my sibz, and amanda. and even more so when it’s just by myself. something about dancing in an empty law firm is just so fucking fun. so freeing, so magical. a little bit lonely, too, i’m not going to pretend otherwise. but also, really great.

strange little days

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yesterday i met a man named boxcar billy. he was old, and walking with me, and complained about these annoying dogs that bark at everyone walking down this particular alley. when i agreed he shook my hand and asked my name & said, “i’m boxcar billy.” then he paused and said, “bet you don’t see too many boxcars rolling around on the street, huh?” and that made me like him. i was borderline annoyed before.

then i watched queer as folk & went back to the post office & was denied a PO box yet AGAIN & got grumpy & read books & then tiffini & i went to the classy water steps:

in which i wore my miracle bathing suit: the top and the bottom were purchased separately, two different stores, two different brands, two different states even. yet they match perfectly and combine into the first non-frumpy bathing suit i have had in many years.

the water steps are apparently a very romantic location, as we saw not one but two hetero couples with professional photogs in tow taking pictures that seemed like they’d accompany a wedding invitation. one was a truly generic couple where the dude looked very resentful at having to do this couple-y thing, and the other was a genuinely bizarre couple where the dude was bald and the woman looked like “topanga from boy meets world”, as billy (who met us there) said. when we left, topanga and baldy were getting a romantic picture taken at…the bus shelter?!? there was also a couple who didn’t have a photographer but were just making out in a very foreplay-ish way. oh, heteros.

i hardly slept at all last night. not for good reasons, like mayhem or doin’ it, but because i just couldn’t sleep. i guess the espresso milkshake consumed at 9pm and the whiskey consumed at 11:30 didn’t help matters. i tossed, i turned, i sang that old song that goes, “last night, i couldn’t get to sleep at all (no, no)”, i heard the birds chirp and the recycling truck come and generally fretted. now i am at work & surprisingly coherant, but also mildly annoyed because there is nothing to be done & i could be sleeping.

in the hour or so that i slept, i had a dream that my poems got published on a postcard series & i was super excited, but then realized that the postcard series was bankrolled by women aglow (which is a terrible right wing xtian organization. look them up) and felt terrible.

this is just to say…

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…that lately, i’ve had a lot of free time on my hands & i have been re-reading my online diary from when i was a late-teen/early-20’s kinda gal, and it just makes me sick how much i write about hating myself, how much i did hate myself. how every statement i make is couched with a negation. how much this behavior spiked when i was with my abuser, & how it still remained for years and years afterwards. how even after i left her, her modes of control were still completely present, almost as if she were really truly there, because she had colonized me so thoroughly. & peeps don’t take me seriously, because we weren’t together for all that long, because she never hit me. now i don’t hate myself, now i believe in what i have to say, so i can say fuck that noise and not back down from it. what i went through was real. i am over it now, but it did not come easy. it took years and years of self-destruction, hate, processing, endless punishment and even more endless rage. it took years of avoiding my friends when they did the slightest thing to upset me, because the slightest thing seemed like a pathway to that huge bad inescapable place, because i couldn’t deal with the slightest loss of control. because i said, “this will never happen again.” still placing the blame on myself, as much as i try not to, like it’s my responsibility & not hers, and i took extreme measures to avoid it. it took years of not being able to say anything when people did fucked-up shit, just going home and raging about it for hours on end but when i said anything, even the slightest thing standing up for myself, i was so panicked. (this summer, actually, i yelled at a friend for keeping me waiting for hours while she blew coke off a kitchen table with some hipsters, and when i was done yelling at her she said, “i am so proud of you. a few years ago you would have just stormed out and we wouldn’t have talked for six months,” and i realized that she was right.) throat closing up, knowing i was going to be punished in some way.  & i knew i couldn’t keep living like this, but i didn’t know how to stop.

what helped? time. unconditional love from my ex-partner. talking with other people who have been hurt by her & realizing that this isn’t just me being crazy or oversensitive or making shit up, like she said it was. what maybe helped the most was getting a tarot card reading from a wacky older friend of mine about the situation maybe 3 years after it happened. he knew nothing about what happened or any specifics. i asked him the question in the vaguest terms possible. he said, “in this past situation, you were convinced that you were the most evil person in the world. but it just isn’t true. it’s not true, and it never was.” even though i already knew that on some level, i think that hearing that from an external source helped the most.

me and my darling keep love alive, even on texas time.

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so, like, today my eyes are itchy and my wrists are limp. i’m dressed like a cute faggot–not biz cas at all, despite the fact that i’m at work. staying late basking in the air conditioning. i’ve been singing the saddest song to my empty house for dayz. it makes me feel sad and sweet all at once. i’ve made some important life decisions that maybe i will stick with. maybe not. i just want someone to swim in the polluted river with me & someone to spoon with even when it’s unbearably hot. butt curved against hipbone, feeling like puzzle pieces. it’s been so long.

i’ve been thinking about appreciation, about love, about letting people know. today i was reading the guestbook from my old diaryland page (2000-2004, rip) & was confronted with this gem:

i love your voice, when you tell your stories it’s your timber that fills them,and it’s beautiful, and hilarious, and yes, full. You are a story teller, you know. When i come home and hear you talking a smile always creeps up on the corner of my lips, because i know you’re wonderful, and that the day will be so much more worth while because i will be able to share moments of it with you. Know this Ocean Capewell, you are cherished.

from axi nue

6:39 am – Sunday,February 8, 2004

i had totally forgotten that she had ever signed my guestbook–there are a few entries, but this was the best. such a present. & it stings to look at the date & think she’d be dead in less than a year’s time, but back then she was so alive, so smart, so sparkling, so brilliant, and i never told her. i want to tell you, all of you. i am working on figuring out how.