Monthly Archives: January 2014

a note on myself.

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current mental status: overwhelmed. increasingly disorganized. experiencing an upsurge in hopelessness. how can i not, when that garbage can outside of my apartment says “hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.” i’m starting to believe in that. i wrote why but then i deleted it. not for this forum.

i got my christmas present in the mail from my mom today, after over a month of change-of-address bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. it was a t-shirt advertising a tree grows in brooklyn, one of my favorite books ever. it made me happy. i’m wearing it at the library right now, waiting for a book nerd to notice it but realizing that that probably won’t happen.

i don’t feel like explaining the book right now (you can google it if you aren’t familiar with it or with its premise) but maybe you know that i have a gorgeous picture of an ailanthus leaf tattooed on my thigh. ailanthus, also known as the “tree of heaven”, is the said tree in this book. it represents survival in bad circumstances, perseverance. surviving. survival. surviving.

it’s a gorgeous tattoo, but i won’t post it here, for it seems like a shitty ex of mine is still reading, and i don’t want him to know what my body looks like now. i want the version of my body in his head to forever be the wrong one. it is a tiny bit of control in an uncontrollable situation that, despite all the work i have done on letting go, still haunts me terribly.

a lot of things haunt me. terribly. i’ve had several bad dreams about an ex-friend that shouldn’t bother me so much, i mean, i knew she was terrible pretty much from the get-go, i listened to her patiently because i was trying to be nice, because i sensed the damage and thought i could help, but her toxicity just swallowed me. and it’s fine, we don’t have contact, she was never that important to me, she is stuck inside a miserable life and as my old therapist once told me, living well is the best revenge. but i still have a lingering resentment that claws at me, that i can deny in my waking life, but when i go to sleep it’s all still there.

i have been experiencing an upsurge in insomnia. new schedule. i sleep extremely poorly next to my sweet sweet lover, and not all that much better when i’m by myself. i’m nearly out of ativan so i bought some stinky valerian root & some lemon balm for nicer nights. i just can’t be refreshed. soon i will adjust or things will change. i don’t know.

i sent a text to ______, my good friend and occasional lover in pittsburgh, this morning. it said, i had a dream that you had cancer and i was your support person. i took you to do fun things and held you while you cried. honestly, i think this has more to do with me, and how overwhelmed i am with my job and my life, than you. but i like to tell people when they show up in my dreams :)” (of course, i mean people i like). he hasn’t responded yet, and i mean, really, how could he. what do you say to that. i sent it mostly as an act of courage and love, because i know that he is not going to be scared away by me being my most authentic self, and that means so much to me i can’t even put it into those words.

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you make me sick, sick, sick, sick, sick. (trigger warning)

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so. today i got a new job (!) (it’s actually my current job, just with fulltime hours & more responsibility & more $$) and went thrifting in the mission to celebrate. i got some really rad stuff (captive genders for $1! an original edition of work of a common woman by judy grahn for fifty cents! etc) and decided to cut through clarion alley to get to BART–partially because it’s efficient & partially because i love the murals there. they’re always changing & always inspiring and rad.

i saw a new one there that i hadn’t seen before. the link doesn’t really do it justice, but it’s a comic about a girl who overdoses on heroin & is saved by narcania! a superhero giving her naloxone, a drug that reverses potentially fatal overdoses. it’s cool, a much needed public service. what was NOT cool was a well-scrubbed hipster family–a white, hetero couple probably a little bit older than i am now, with their daughter who looked to be 11 or 12–taking smiley pictures in front of it with an expensive camera. the dad and the daughter (as i say this, i realize i don’t know their exact relationship. they could all be cousins or friends or siblings or whatevskies) posed around the last panel, where the girl who’s been saved says, “thanks, narcania! i’m not sure that i have anything to live for, but thanks to you, i’ll be able to find out!” that is the happy ending–a heroin addict who states that she has nothing to live for, but is grateful to be alive, to live another day, to find out if there’s any fucking point to this existence. this is what passes for a happy ending in san francisco these days–or at least, a certain segment of san francisco.

the “dad” and “daughter” were on either side of this pale, suicidal, yet hopeful cartoon. they were smiling so big. the dad had a fist curled, on the side of the cartoon’s head, like he was just about to punch her.  the punch line. like this was all a joke. like youngsters dying, like youngsters having no reason to live, is something fun to take your picture next to while on vacation, no different than a picture of a smiling ear of corn in iowa or something. 

i stood, dead in my tracks, a look of abject horror on my face. the woman turned to me and said, “oh sorry, were you waiting to pass by?” big smile for me, because i’m white and vaguely hip and don’t look homeless or strung out. i wanted to say something. as usual i froze.

i had been thinking about freezing, because earlier that day i was gossiping with billi in front of our workplace while we smoked cigs. an argument at the housing complex across the street got heated and a man held a woman by her hair and bashed her face into the gate. i said to him (his back was to them), quietly, “holy shit, look what’s happening…” and before i could even get the sentence out of my mouth he was running down the street, yelling, “HEY STOP IT! FUCKIN’ STOP IT RIGHT NOW!” in all his faggy glory. i stood with my feet rooted to the ground, my voice ground down to nothing. i hate myself for not fighting back more. always. i hated it then and i hated it in the alley. i should have said something. it could have been a moment like this one for that young girl, where she realizes certain things, where it changes her life forever.

instead i just kept walking. can’t stop. can’t talk, my voice will break. can’t start talking too much, what if i say everything. what will happen to me. i walked down the alley, i gave my spare change to the guy who asked me for it, he asked where i’m from but i kept walking, didn’t answer. i just couldn’t.