Monthly Archives: April 2012

the feeling isn’t fear, it’s just tellin’ you to move

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so. as many of you know, i’ve been pondering moving to the bay area once i get laid off from my job. there have been numerous setbacks to this plan, but i think i am really going to just fuckin’ go for it.

last week i was, for the first time, like: “no. maybe i shouldn’t go. maybe i can’t go. i love my job, i love my friends, i enjoy the several cute and charming people i am sort of seeing, i don’t want to have roommates, i don’t want to move all my shit, i love pittsburgh, i can’t go.” but then i found out that my job is pretty much definitely going to be eliminated, so when we get laid off, that’s it. no cushy, well-paid, fulfilling job to come back to. there is a slight chance that i’ll still be able to squeeze in (long, boring story). but it’s nowhere near guaranteed. so.

and then, as i was pedaling up the hill to my house, what appeared to be a gay dude couple, with one trans dude and one cis dude (again, this is all just first impressions), said “hey” to me. one was holding a baby. i was all, “!!! a queer family, on my busted-ass block!’ no way!” i went outside to dump my compost in the woods* but also to say “hey” more thoroughly. they weren’t on the porch, so i was like “whatever” and kept on truckin’. on my way back from the woods, i saw them again, but there was a woman holding another baby with them. they avoided my eyes. they didn’t seem queer at all, any of them. that’s when i realized that pgh really doesn’t have a whole lot of queers making families. the bay area does.

so. i have $ saved up for the first time ever, i’m stagnating, my cute dates are not cute enough to make me stay, nobody in the world is cute enough to make me stay actually because i’m quitting romance along with nate and amanda, i’ve survived my saturn return (hopefully?), and maybe i should go. at work today we learned we’re getting laid off on may 18th, 4 weeks from now. so what is stopping me. that’s still enough time to enjoy my summer on the east coast, get my queer ass out to the bay in time for the sublet that i kinda have lined up on august first.

montreal? toronto? phila? NY? ohiopyle? purple hair? biketrip? PADA? ACLU? memoir? storage space?

why does everyone living in affordable housing on sf bay craigslist seem to own a pitbull? can i really live in a scary, expensive city again? am i cute enough to date people in the bay? will my life actually be any better on another coast? how will i survive without my friends and community? what the fuck am i doing?

but, despite all those question marks, i’m ok. i’ll figure it out. someone once told me, in a writing workshop in college, that i overuse exclamation points. now i am overusing their wriggly cousin. but, it’s ok. one of my favorite clients at work has the same name as a shitty us president. the client has knuckle tattoos that say, “DGAF.” i asked him what it stood for and he whispered, “don’t give a ….F!” in a totally hilarious way. so lately at work i am fond of saying, when things get especially annoying, “just like [crappy president], i DGAF!” it’s always good for a laugh, even if just from me, and it’s sort of true!

*yes, i live in a major urban city, only 2 miles from downtown, and yet there are woods less than 2 minutes’ walk from my door. this is why it’s hard to go.

untitled, untittied

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yesterday,  at a work meeting, my creepiest co-worker sat too close to me. i was wearing a cute dress because i was going to sister spit after work and wanted to look cute. but, i forgot that if i look cute that’s just a fucking invitation for every creepy man in the world to try & look up my skirt. pgh  is not like new york or philly–guys will look, but not touch, or say anything. for a while, i thought that was good enough.

but not this guy. he has such bad vibes. such sexual-assaulter vibes. there are times when a man looks at me and i feel like he just thinks i am attractive. and there are other times when i can hear him raping me in his head. and yeah it’s just a feeling, not an action, but it wears on me.

the meeting went on & on. he was so close. one side was him. the other side, a lunchroom table, jammed into my ribcage. across the table was another middle-aged, possibly aspie man who was openly staring at my tits. i hunched over and crossed my legs. of course, this put me with my back to the director, who was speaking & who already thinks i’m a disrespectful young whippersnapper anyway cuz i have piercings and tattoos and don’t look like a girl. but fuck. i could not allow this man to see my thighs anymore.

the worst part was not being able to escape. surrounded on every side by men, & it’s a serious meeting so i can’t just get up and leave. and if i did, they’d just see more of my body anyway.

afterwards, i was visibly upset. my friend b. asked if i was okay and i said no. i told him a little of what happened. my friend agreed with me that he is creepy, and said, he hasn’t gotten laid in a while, everything catches his attention. i said, please don’t refer to me as a thing. my friend is a straight white dude from the sticks. sweet, but hasn’t thought about a lot of things. i’m glad i said that because i think it changed his perspective a little.

i saw my lover later that day, when i was on break. still upset. still visibly upset. he asked what was wrong and i couldn’t tell him. because he doesn’t get it. because he’s a man. i hated him for being a man in that moment, even though he’s sweet and nice and respectful. i just couldn’t talk to him. so i was quiet and fuming and weird and it was awkward. but the gap between us just felt so wide then. and i just knew he’d never understand. (note: i have since talked to him about it and he did understand, kinda).

i bummed a cigarette off a lady friend at work, because i couldn’t stop panicking. such a little thing, really, but it reverberated so deeply. i said, “thanks, r! i feel so much better!’ she said, “yeah, i think it’s the deep breathing.” i said, “i’ve been trying deep breathing all day, it’s not working.” “yeah, i guess you have to go out and hurt yourself.” we laughed bitterly. then she said, “well, it’s better than cutting yourself!” i have big self-inflicted scars all over my arms. we aren’t close enough for her to know my past. i stopped in my tracks. i didn’t know what to say.

left work early because i just couldn’t take it. went home cuz i’d forgotten to take my pillz that morning and i knew that was part of the reason for me feeling so badly. ripped the cute dress off. pulled out my binder and cutoffs. i don’t want to look nice for men anymore. i want to be a genderqueerdo again. i don’t want them to be able to see my tits. i don’t want to let them win. while i was pedaling & crying, towards the bus stop to pick up emily, a girl yelled, “hey, dykes on bikes!” at me. i couldn’t tell if she was validating me or just making fun. it really could have been either.

sister spit was fun and hilarious. pretty much all of the performers had good energy & good things to say. but i was still having some residual anxiety from my day and had to go home. breathe in, breathe out, even with lungs compressed tightly under layers of meshy cloth. breathe in, breathe in. don’t forget, people love you. people think you are sexy who don’t want to rape you. i had written “someday…” on my wrist in red ink and it looks like a cut. it was a reference to a powerful line in the sarah schulman book girls, visions and everything: “someday, i’ll kill a man.”

don’t read it and think i’m advocating murder. don’t tell me you aren’t the problem. don’t tell me i am crazy. think about what has to happen to drive someone to make that statement, what drives someone to appreciate it. think about it and then think of a solution. because i’m tired. i’m so fucking tired.

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that i had a really good birthday party! comprised of my dad & sister, housecleaning stress, over 90 cans of beer (cuz that’s how we roll in my family, i guess), all my favorite people in pgh, this amazing cake:

(sorry, i can’t flip this photo. i feel like a dumbass for admitting it, but it’s true) (but isn’t that cake amazing?!?!?) (even more amazing: it’s gluten free. even MORE amazing, it was partially inspired by my okcupid username, which is “bravelittlonion”).

there were lots of stories and laughing hysterically and too many things to write about. like all good parties, it ended with me drunkenly drilling a xylophone onto a utility pole. i don’t have any pics of the event, but here’s a picture of my sister playing the xylophone this morning, with my dad in the background:

30, here i come. thanks to everyone who helped me get this far. ❤

a few things i have been thoroughly enjoying lately.

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+ SPRING!!!!!

+having very vivid, nuanced and colorful dreams that don’t haunt me.

+this quote by dean spade, who i honestly normally can’t really get into, but it says so much of what i need to hear:

One of my goals in thinking about redefining the way we view relationships is to try to treat the people I date more like I treat my friends—try to be respectful and thoughtful and have boundaries and reasonable expectations—and to try to treat my friends more like my dates—to give them special attention, honor my commitments to them, be consistent, and invest deeply in our futures together. In the queer communities I’m in valuing friendship is a really big deal, often coming out of the fact that lots of us don’t have family support, and build deep supportive structures with other queers. (i originally read this on amber’s tumblr)

+this fucking adorable and beautiful and amazing comic by cindy, about learning how to finally fucking be friends with your demons!

becoming friends with my demons is something i’ve been struggling to do for over a decade, ever since axi & i had a memorable conversation on our front porch in winter 2002, when i was freaking out about a shitty email my abusive ex had sent me, and we were talking about all the bad things, the haunting things, the horrible things, and she said i need to learn how to embrace my dark side. how that’s the only way i’m ever gonna be whole. i’ve got to go there.

& cindy’s writing & art is so fucking perfect, so poignant, because she goes places so fearlessly. that drawing of her holding hands with her demons, on the right, makes my heart hurt in the best best way. i’m gonna take it to the copy place & blow it up. hang it on my bedroom wall so it’s the first thing i see every morning. so i don’t forget. this image is from the excellent book the encyclopedia of doris, which i cannot recommend heartily enough. 

+all the readings i’ve been doing as of late! karen lillis and i just read at pitt and it went swimmingly. my next one, april 22nd at hambone’s in lawrenceville (42nd & butler!). i will be reading at a special library worker reading, even though i am not a library worker. i did go with amanda from branch library to branch library a few sleepy saturdays ago, where she showed up in neighborhoods like mt. washington (douchebag central, if yr not from pgh) and brookline (depressing) and inquiring at the front desk, “are there any writers working here?!” fortunately, i’m a library lurker, which is close enough i guess.

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yeah! so many people find this blog by googling terms like “deleted facebook so happy” or “should i delete facebook.” my answer: YES!

+listening to your heart breaks, invincible, jawbreaker & the fuckin’ no alternative comp that i found at the lawrenceville goodwill for only three dollars! i was just thinking about it and i let out a shriek that terrified my shopping companion when i saw it. holy shit, it’s SO good. i especially like soul asylum’s cover of “sexual healing”. as oliver so brilliantly put it when i played this song for him, “wow, they’re taking it SO SERIOUSLY!”