Monthly Archives: March 2011

high on burning photographs #6, out now!


oh yes. with a lovely cover drawn by the lovely jen cooney.

this issue is more sad/despairing than most of the zines i’ve done. i wrote about:

my time working at child protective services (trigger warning), trauma stewardship, “another zinester goes on a lengthy bike trip”, some ruminations on how self-publishing is just as valid as getting a MFA, even though the mainstream writing world says otherwise, two essays from an unreleased decade-in-review zine (one about being genderqueer & one about falling in love) and a sestina for team dresch!

this zine won’t be available through any distros, as it’s intensely personal, moreso than most of the zines i’ve done (i think) and i need, for my own safety and peace of mind, to control who gets their hands on it. i have NO problem with strangers reading it, so don’t be afraid to order it if you’re a stranger! i love strangers!

this zine is $2.50 (us/canada) or $3.50 (int’l) including postage. for the first time in my zine life, i have a paypal! it’s attached to an email address i don’t really use: many_headed_hydraAThotmailDOTcom.

if you’re my real life friend, my zine friend who i trade with regularly, if i owe you a trade, etc., please email me at escape_wellATyahooDOTcom and let me know if you want one! make sure you send me yr address.

and while you’re ordering, i still have some back issues out!

high on burning photographs #3, published february 2008, lots of writing on death & abandonment & the concept of home, plus a rant on people confusing philly & pittsburgh, and my fave pittsburgh wingnuts. $2 us/canada $3/int’l (postage included)

high on burning photographs #4, published january 2009. i think this is my favorite zine i’ve ever done. the 2 most popular articles are on getting sober & on being happily single. (still get letters about those 2, even though i’ve started drinking socially again & am  happily partnered). also stories on subverting dull workplaces, two inspiring letters, getting over self-hatred & learning to heal. $2 us/can $3 int’l

high on burning photographs #5/asylum #1. this is a split between my friend matt & i. we each would write articles & mail them to each other & the zine kind of involved organically. matt writes a lot of fascinating, sad stories about drugs & prison. i write about my elderly lawyer-boss trying to fake a jackson pollock painting & a love story to NYC, yet they all work together somehow. $2.50 us/canada, $3.50 int’l.

my limpwrist zine, “it’s not the end of the world!: building a life with limp wrists,” about carpal tunnel & the like, is sold out.

the world is a wacky place.


so, like, 15 years ago i was really good zine friends with this girl who lived in tuolumne county, CA, and she would publish bits from her local police blotter and they were utterly hysterical. and, like, 10 years ago i was visiting her (although i wasn’t allowed to stay with her cuz her parents are xtian and i’m an obvious queer. hmph. but i had a damn good time staying with her friend & the friend’s fam on a llama farm with a trampoline!) and came across the paper and LOVED it. and, like, 5 years ago i was randomly thinking about it and found it online and my girlfriend-at-the-time and i became obsessed with this odd police blotter, not sure if it’s the weirdness of the residents or if the person writing this blotter just has a special touch for the absurd, but either way it’s genius.

yesterday i was randomly thinking about this blotter and i had some nothin’-to-do time at work. here is the best police blotter items of the past month, copy-n-pasted just for you, dear reader. sorry if this is long! but i will always love this silly thing. or, as team dresch so brilliantly put it, “sometimes i can’t remember why i wanna live. but then i think of all the freaks, and i don’t wanna miss this.”

8:58 a.m., Sonora — A man reported that his neighbors have been harassing him about the way he treats his horses in the 15900 block of Morris Road.

1:52 p.m., Columbia — A woman was seeking advice on how to prevent her defiant grandson from running away. An officer told the boy to listen to his mother and grandmother.

9:08 a.m., San Andreas — A disturbing Facebook message was reported at the Sheriff’s Office on Mountain Ranch Road.

12:26 p.m., Copperopolis — Food was thrown all over a house on Sanguinetti Court.

  9:22 p.m., attempted theft — A caller said a man wearing a red hat attempted to steal a bottle from a store on West Stockton Road. The man was arrested and said another person driving a white car was involved.

5:13 p.m., Jamestown — Two people arrived at the Humane Society shelter on the 10000 block of Victoria Place to adopt a dog, but when they were told they would have to come back tomorrow, they parked their car and took off running. When police arrived on the scene, the two were returning from a nearby creek covered in dirt and carrying shovels and digging equipment. The two said they were looking for gold. They were advised not to park at the shelter or jump the fence to the creek.

  12:05 p.m., Twain Harte — A man was acting like a monkey, picking up rocks and acting like he was going to throw them at a woman and her family on the 17900 block of Robin Road.

  9:02 a.m., Groveland — A home owner in the 19300 block of Pleasant View Drive thought his house had been burglarized. It turned out his brother-in-law had just entered the home to drop off some gifts.

4:51 p.m., San Andreas — Someone threw a skateboard at a caller’s vehicle on Gold Strike Road.

2:10 a.m., public intoxication — A man reported to be passed out inside the post office on South Washington Street turned out not to be drunk. He cleaned up the beer he spilled and left with two others who were in the post office. [I guess he was just pleasantly buzzed?]

10:24 a.m., traffic accident — A patient from a health and wellness clinic on South Forest Road hit seven parked cars and a fence while driving. No injuries were reported.

3:10 p.m., Sonora area — Five people were fighting at Phoebe Lane and Cedar Road North, and at least one had a bloody mouth.

  8:02 a.m., Crystal Falls —A man on the 22100 block of Crystal Falls Drive said someone uprooted his mailbox and displaced several decorative rocks.

10:38 p.m., theft —A male patient at the hospital on Greenley Road allegedly wandered off with an expensive piece of equipment attached to him.

    4:16 p.m., Jamestown — A man allegedly kicked in the headlights of a vehicle at Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street, threw a tantrum, and took off his shirt.

  2:55 a.m., Tuolumne —A woman was advised to invest in a better disguise after she was discovered trespassing at the casino on the 19400 block of Tuolumne Road North. According to Sheriff’s logs, the woman had been previously issued an indefinite exclusion from the casino, but returned in a disguise. The disguise failed and she was escorted out of the business. [I love how the real crime is that her disguise was bad, not that she was trespassing!!]

5:09 p.m., Twain Harte —A man reportedly drove his truck into a snow bank on the 22600 block of Twain Harte Drive and then got out of the vehicle, stared at everyone around and “took off running,” down Twain Harte Drive.

12:39 p.m., suspicious circumstances —A man on North Stewart Street said a woman was at his fence doing “voodoo.”

   12:12 p.m., West Point —A caller reported a man on Jurs Road standing outside talking to the snow.

11:39 a.m., Sonora area — A plastic 8-by-10-inch envelope with “To Law Enforcement” written on the outside was found outside a building on the 1000 block of Morning Star Drive. It turned out to be a letter, which was thrown in the trash.

12:10 p.m., Tuolumne —A group of juveniles allegedly placed Twinkies in the road and watched cars run them over on Carter Street at Buchanan Road.

5:29 p.m., Don Pedro —Two men got into an argument over dirtbike riding on the 2500 block of Merced Falls Road. One man apparently tried to put out a cigarette on the other man’s face, and the other man allegedly responded by punching the first man in the face.

6:06 a.m., Valley Springs — A naked man in a baseball cap was reportedly running around McAtee Street at Baldwin Street.

11:56 a.m., pedestrian check — A transient reportedly passed out on Sanguinetti Road turned out to be sober and waiting for a bus.

4:48 p.m., prank calls — An employee at a business on the 1100 block of Sanguinetti Road reported phone calls from people claiming to be the police looking for an escaped convict.

  5:08 p.m., suspicious circumstances — Police arrived on South Barretta Street to find that what an anonymous caller reported to be a group of 30-year-olds smoking marijuana was actually a family barbecue.

7:41 a.m., Jamestown — Two turkeys were chasing cars on Campo Seco Road at Campbells Flat Road.

12:22 a.m., assault — A person on Mono Way pushed a television into another’s hand, causing it to bleed. The reporting party declined to press charges.

    8:48 a.m., vandalism — Letters on the marquee of a school on the 800 block of Greenley Road were rearranged to spell foul language.

1:48 p.m., suspicious circumstances — A man in a green dress shirt was running by the police department toward Coffill Park. Police determined the man was just looking for his girlfriend.


    9:11 a.m., Jamestown — A woman was making death threats at a veterinary office on the 13500 block of Lone Bend Road. When officers contacted the woman, she appeared calm and said the situation had been exaggerated. The woman complained that the staff didn’t do all they could to treat her terminally ill cat.


10:33 p.m., Don Pedro — A woman reported that a tree just came through the roof of her house in the 1900 block of Zarzamora Street.


2:12 p.m., hurt dog — A large dog appeared to be injured and was lying in down on Maple Street. It turned out the dog wasn’t hurt, “but was just old.” The owner took him back home.


  8:14 p.m., free coffee — A man threw a coffee cup onto a woman’s car while she was in the drive-through lane of a business on Old Wards Ferry Road. [italics mine!!]


3:43 p.m., Valley Springs — One juvenile pulled the screen off of a window and climbed into a residence on Kirby Street, then opened the door for two other juveniles. Officers determined that the juvenile lives there.


    6:35 a.m., Twain Harte — A woman was walking east along Highway 108 wearing pajamas and no shoes.
    11:52 a.m., Sonora area — A buffalo was ramming into cars at Murphy and Lime Kiln roads. The owners were on their way to retrieve the animal.

12:05 p.m., Jamestown — A man was hiding in a tree in a woman’s yard and acting strangely on the 18500 block of Jamestown Road.

9:03 p.m., Twain Harte — Two women were fighting over a candle on the 22700 block of Black Hawk Drive.

11:03 a.m., Columbia — A woman on the 22600 block of Valley Quail Road reported that she was told her trailer had been demolished.

  11:23 a.m., Sonora area — Someone saw a man in a gold truck who appeared to be grinding on a bell on Mount Brown Road and Shaws Flat Road. Officers determined the bell had not been tampered with. (??!?)

  11:43 a.m., East Sonora — A man woke up to find a bag of walnuts on his porch on the 14600 block of Mono Way. The man didn’t know who left the walnuts, and was afraid there was a bomb in the bag or that the nuts were poisoned.

  11:36 p.m., Jamestown — Four men were drinking and making noise while fishing at a marina on Jacksonville Road. When approached by an officer, the men agreed it was a good time to go home.

4:17 p.m., suspicious circumstances — Someone reported seeing a man with tattoos and a pony tail slashing at the hood of a Toyota Corolla while its car alarm was going off in a parking lot on Sanguinetti Road.

12:50 a.m., Jamestown — A resident reported loud music being played in the 10100 block of Peppermint Circle. The person responsible for the music was playing a piano-organ and said he didn’t know the noise carried so far and agreed to stop playing.

    8:23 a.m., East Sonora — Someone posted harassing signs outside a church on the 13700 block of Joshua Way.

  10:09 a.m., Sonora — A caller reported that during a meeting a marijuana pipe fell to the ground in front of a group of employees. It was unclear who owned the pipe. The caller was told that it is not illegal for an adult to possess a pipe.
    12:17 p.m., Jamestown — An officer stopped a person for staggering down Seventh Street near Ninth Avenue. The man said he was looking at his MP3 player.

4:39 p.m., Jamestown — A 79-year-old woman was bleeding from the eye in the 24400 block of Quarter Horse Drive. The woman refused to give her name and wanted to take the “fifth.”

7:17 p.m., Jamestown — A woman reported that she is being harassed by an unknown traveling entertainment company on the 10700 block of Wigwam Road. The woman said that since she moved to Tuolumne County she thinks some people are playing pranks on her and wanted to know what to do.

10:04 p.m., strange behavior — A man wearing glasses and a baseball cap was approaching people in front of a business on Greenley Road. The man was telling them he has dead bodies in his vehicle and is looking for a place to dump them. Police determined the man was suffering from a delusional disorder and was asked to leave the area.
    10:09 p.m., marijuana smoking — Two females and one male were smoking marijuana behind a business on South Washington Street. One of the people was playing a guitar.

hail & sexism & jobs & other things.


on tuesday evening i was taking the bus from my job to the main library. the bus was crowded & loud, and all of a sudden, the sky got really dark, almost like it was night, even though nightfall was hours away. the bus quieted down, and you could tell that everyone was having the same creepy feeling, that something was going to happen. what is it about extreme weather that does that to us?

when the first piece of hail hit the bus, it did so with a loud thwack, ice vs. metal, and everyone freaked out–screaming, laughing, crying–pure pandemonium. i love pandemonium, of course, so i was happy to be stuck in the thick of this odd scene. the hail kept coming, and it was a little scary because it was so damn loud, but more of an experience than anything. when i was a pizza-bike-deliverer in philly, i delivered in a hail storm once. it was really scary, but i made like $20 in tips in about 15 minutes, because people felt so bad for me, plus i got to one-up the dudes i worked with (we were always swapping stories of all the extreme weather/circumstances we delivered in).

one thing i remember loving about being a bike deliverer was the days when it was sunny and under 85 degrees, when i’d traipse into offices carrying bags of greasy styrofoam and cardboard into giant office towers. everyone in there was so pale & miserable looking, and i was tanned & happy & free. (as a side note, i REALLY wish i was familiar with tribe 8’s song “daredevil delivery” [i dunno if that link works, i’m at work and can’t actually listen to it] back then. it would have been my JAM back then. “they pay me to ride my bicycle! they pay me to live free! runnin’ reds, killin’ peds, bus exhaust all day…”)

don’t get me wrong. i didn’t want to be a delivery lady forever, as much as i loved it. i nearly got killed or severely injured at least once a week. riding your bike for 10 hours a day in a major urban center known for its bad drivers and assholes, for $4/hr plus tips, isn’t really the best situation. still, it remains my most beloved job to date, remembered and missed fondly…

in other work news, today i was eating lunch in the lunch room (NEVER a good idea, but it’s too cold to eat outside & i don’t want to spend money). the roof caved in on one of the other welfare offices, so a lot of the workers moved in here, so there’s a lot of people milling about our office who i don’t know. a whole gaggle of them were eating in the lunch room, talking loudly, but not a big whoop. one of their friends walked in. a guy from the gaggle called out, “hey, [name], i hear you’re a misogynist!” he said it in a sarcastic-yet-admiring tone. the other guy responded, “yep, i guess i am! whatever the hell that is,” sounding proud.

from the rest of their conversation, i ascertained that the misogynist had a poster in his cube that offended some woman/women. i wasn’t sure what it is, but the guy who originally spoke said, “after you went home yesterday, a whole bunch of angry women came by looking for you. i had to plead with them for your life!” uproarious laughter all around. ha fucking ha.

this is a relatively minor incident, of course, but just another drop of the poison. i don’t really know what to do. amanda & i had a good talk about this a while ago–how work is unbearable for us because things that 90% of people don’t give a shit about bother us profoundly, and when we talk about how it makes us feel, we’re branded as whiners or crazy or too sensitive or causing trouble or any other of things that we (mostly) aren’t. we just want to be able to work in an environment that isn’t like rubbing salt on our wounds every fucking day. but where do we go? amanda works at the library, an idealized work environment (for me, anyway)! the library is one of the coolest places in pittsburgh with a delightfully diverse staff of wingnuts! if she’s having such a rough time, well, where the fuck can we go? (i work at the welfare office, which is rough by pretty much anyone’s standards. usually when i complain about the depressing things going on, i get a reaction of, ‘well, what do you expect?’)

so what to do? right now we’re doing what we always do. surviving. dealing with it. staying mostly silent because speaking out just seems so pointless. (amanda speaks out more, she’s good at it. i am learning from her.) fighting back in little ways. what else can we do? what do YOU do, faithful reader?

erie, schmerie


for reasons strange and complicated that i don’t feel like going into here, my boyfriend had to do something in erie, pa this weekend, so i decided to go with him. i needed a roadtrip, plus erie seems kind of magical on the internet. it has cute street names (parade street, sassafrass street, etc) and for some reason it seems really gay and there are these 2 guys riding  around town on a tandem bicycle–they’re a queer couple, they dress wackily and go everywhere on their tandem and live in a beautiful strange house with lovely pictures painted on the outside. i admired their courage and cheerfulness, but now that i’ve actually been to erie i REALLY admire it. it was SO depressing (not to mention bike-unfriendly). the next time i hear someone complain about pgh being a depressing pit i’m gonna recommend they drive 2 hours north. pittsburgh looks like a haven of love and contentment! i am so happy to be home, even with a broken furnace!

but i’m getting ahead of myself. we had one of those good drives up, where you talk about things and it all feels so meaningful, when you feel like you’ve got a good co-captain in your life. the only sour spot was an overpass with “FORNICATION IS A GREVIOUS SIN =)” spray painted on it. the smiley face (which was the right side up, of course) was the creepiest part. i’m glad i don’t live in a condo by the side of the highway where every house is painted beige. why do they do that? because they’re afraid. i’m glad i don’t think fornication is a grevious sin. yeah me too.

pittsburgh on friday was gorgeous, so warm. i found out it was 71 degrees not by checking the weather channel or looking at a website, but by observing a man in front of my job wave his iphone in a woman’s face and yell, “see, i told you! 71 degrees!” the woman responded with an angry, “your FEVER’s gonna be a HUNDRED and 71 degrees when i’m done with you!”

anyway, upstate snow was still on the ground and it was in the 30’s. we rode around presque isle state park, riding straight into the wind and the gray. it was beautiful but sad too. when we got to the lake erie side we were kind of surprised to see it was frozen!

i realize this makes me sound like an idiot, but you gotta understand, i grew up on long island, totally taking the ocean for granted. i’m used to big roaring bodies of water that never ever freeze, no matter how cold it gets. so, we looked out on this body of water and felt appropriately small. the wind sluiced right through our coats and got into our lungs. time to go.

we accidentally went to an anti-choice thrift store after that, and were feeling discouraged and grossed out (didn’t buy anything, thank goddess). driving around feeling dejected, we saw the guys on the bike! and waved to them. “i feel like that’s a good sign,” said ray, and then we found the salvation army, which had not only a waffle iron, but the exact waffle iron i had been dreaming of, for $3.50! it’s the kind that makes waffles that are kind of heart-shaped. i was so excited to see it, i gasped loudly and people looked at me like i was going to fall to the ground. but i didn’t!

okay,, that’s enough. i also saw “jersey shore” for the first time in a long time and i don’t know what to think. why isn’t ronnie kicked off the show for being an abusive asshole? and why, on a show where people talk about shitting (and even show their clogged-up toilet on camera on more than one occasion) is menstruation the last unspeakable taboo? bitch magazine wrote an interesting piece about it a long time ago. oh well. i’m from long island and i grew up with TONS of people just like the jersey shore cast members, and even though they’re total idiots and really annoying and stupid, they’re also funny in this particular way that i miss, that i don’t get out here.

oh, and today the sun came out, so we rode our bikes some more, and then ate some really good sandwiches and met a british woman who said that when i’m in europe i need to drink coffee in a sidewalk cafe and watch life go by, because americans don’t do that enough.

and now we’re home! our furnace broke (?) but who the hell cares, winter is over and i’ve lived in colder houses. drinking ginger tea in my insulated carhartts. hooray.

and i was locked/into being my mother’s daughter. i was just eating bread & water, thinking, “nothing ever changes.”


i wasn’t really paying much attention a few months ago when the blogosphere was blabbing about the “it gets better” project. in case you didn’t know, it’s a project started by sex columnist dan savage where QUILTBAG (queer, intersex, lesbian, trans, bi, ally/asexual, gay. my friend alicia made this up, i cannot take credit, but isn’t that amazing?!?) adults write stories and make videos for QUILTBAG teens telling them that life doesn’t always suck as badly as it does in high school, basically a plea not to kill themselves.

a lot of peeps i know critiqued the project, mainly because life is hard and, you know, it’s always gonna be hard, and selling teens a sparkly gay future isn’t always the best idea, the most responsible idea.

i agree, sort of. i was thinking about it today, mostly because my job bears a stunning resemblance to high school (i get in trouble for thinking for myself, the stupidest/meanest people are the most popular [and the loudest!], i get summer vacation!, and people make fun of my outfits on a semi-regular basis [mostly clients on the elevator or in the hallway. no co-workers have made fun of me to my face, yet]) and i was wondering if anything has really changed in the 10.5 years since high school ended, in the 10 years since i left my parents’ house.

but then i thought, of course it has. and even though this past decade has been um, challenging, it’s still way better than being an angsty suicidal high schooler. even though i am still struggling, every day, to keep the fuckin’ faith in a hostile environment; to not hate myself even though i am surrounded by forces that say i should; to keep living and fighting even when it seems so pointless. even though these are the exact same struggles that i thought maybe would be over when i left high school and my family’s house. not that i thought everything would be perfect; i thought i’d have new problems, different problems. and i do, and i have; but the old ones keep on cycling back every few years.

but even though, even though, even though i’m still in this swamp, there are some ways that it’s easier. like, i now have indisputable evidence that there is life out there worth living, instead of just a vague notion, a silly hope. like, i have a home that is actually a sanctuary now, somewhere i feel safe and loved, somewhere that is not just an extra nightmare at the end of a long hard day. no violence, very little judgment, none of those awful things that just seemed so normal for so long. and i don’t ever want to take that for granted. and i don’t want to de-emphasize the effect that has had on me, on my well-being and general happiness levels, to finally have a safe space. it has changed my life so, so profoundly.

another good thing is that i now get paid $15/hour to be surrounded by negativity, and in high school i did that shit for free! never again, my friends.

of course, it took a long time to get to a space marked “okay,” many years of psychotic housemates, low-wage soul-deadening jobs, crappy relationships, teetering piles of self-doubt. and even those years, i think, were better than those achingly empty afternoons on long island.

and even those years, those long long years, i still had fun & they still taught me something, i still had a weird hope, no matter how many cigarettes i smoked. no matter how many times i listened to “out of range”by ani difranco (the song, not the album) on repeat. no matter how many times that weird thing she did with her voice on the chorus pierced straight through my ribcage, when i knew she knew, this stranger singing my life. i knew she’d been there too. and maybe i would get stuck too, or maybe i could make it out; maybe i could make it to the other side.

here is the letter i just wrote to the NY times, because i’m sure it won’t wind up anywhere besides a virtual trash bin


but i figured i’d share it with you, dear reader, and anyone else who cares. also, i hate everything. also, trigger alert.


To Whom It May Concern:

I was saddened to read of the atrocity committed against an 11-year-old girl in Cleveland, Texas, in your recent story “Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town“. My sadness turned to anger when I read this paragraph in the story:

“Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

‘Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?’ said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record. ‘How can you have an 11-year-old child missing down in the Quarters?’ “

These details about the victim’s life have nothing to do with the fact that she was raped. Whether or not she was dressing “too old for her age” is irrelevant to the story. The simple fact of a sixth-grader wearing makeup is NOT an indication that she’d like to have sex with any man who wants her.  To put it another way: it is extremely unlikely that anything she wore or did deliberately caused this to happen, because nobody wants to be raped by 18 people in an abandoned trailer. A girl should be able to wear what she wants, and hang out with whom she pleases, without being gang-raped. This should not be a radical concept.

The inclusion of these details in the Times’ article contributes to the general atmosphere of victim-blaming surrounding far too many rape/sexual assault cases–“she provoked it because she looks too sexy!” / “what was she doing hanging out there?” etc. I would hope that a respectable news source, such as the Times, would not add to this.

As to the comment asking where the child’s mother was…if there are any parents who should be ashamed, it’s the mothers and fathers of the 18 men who assaulted her. Why weren’t they ever taught that it’s not okay to have sex with children? Why weren’t they taught basic notions of right and wrong, or the meaning of “no”?

Ocean Capewell
Pittsburgh, PA

promise me, baby, you won’t let them find us


what have i been doing lately? i hardly remember. i’ve been spending much of my time sitting at the welfare office, writing on people’s applications in a careful hand. notes. approved or rejected. pink or purple ink makes me feel less automated. i got in trouble this week because i, and this is a direct quote, “use [my] own judgment too much.” instead of, i guess, being a welfare robot bleeping out policy. instead of thinking these forms are just forms and not filled out by real human beings, with real lives, in real trouble. guess what? i’m not a policy robot, i’m a fucking human being, and as much as my job encourages me to not see the humanity in others i won’t do it. and if i do, it’s probably time to bite the cyanide capsule.

bruce springsteen on my headphones, crooning into both ears, “the whole world’s out there, just trying to score. i’ve seen enough, don’t wanna see anymore,” with such passion and intensity that it both comforts and hurts me. hurts because i wish i had shared it with the one person who would have got it in the same way that i get it, but i didn’t know that song then. & she’s still alive, still theoretically part of my life, but i can’t call her up and say, “listen to this,” i can’t make her a mix cd because it would just be weird now, and the urge to share it with her is so strong, literally a physical ache. but there’s nothing i can do about it.

in my heart, all day, i am riding my bike thru the streets of philly in the early-to-mid 2000’s, i am on a greyhound bus in montana, i am naked, i am kissing, i am saying what i wanted to say but didn’t. i am not there; listening to my co-workers’ depressing chatter about gender [seriously makes me want to die!] or their kids or how they need to lose weight. i am not there.

exactly two months from today, barring any unforseen disasters, i will be on a plane headed to paris. !!! after that, who knows.

last night i had amanda & stephanie over for dinner and i told them this story from my youth that i don’t feel like repeating here. amanda said, “i can’t believe you found your own strength, for so long,” and it was a beautiful moment, having that seen & validated, & i’m writing it here so i can remember it. mostly i’m just tired and numb these days, exhausted, nothing makes sense, it’s all a blur.