I've been putting off the online journal until I had something to say...This is it...when I can't take it anymore, I must write.
|December 16/17, 1997||March 1, 1998||March 11, 1998|
|January 27, 1998||March 2, 1998||March 16/17, 1998|
|January 29, 1998||March 3, 1998||March 18, 1998|
|February 24, 1998||March 9, 1998||April 16, 1998|
|February 28, 1998||March 10, 1998||April 25, 1998|
either very late or very early -- life is all a matter of perspective.]
Ms. S.O. Gyny
I'm pissed off. It wasn't the men who said, "Ohhhhh, a chick fight!" and made fighting cat noises at the mere mention that someone thought two women were too much alike to get along. While that seemed an awfully lame reaction on their part, I wasn't angry. It wasn't the fact that these guys not only live in oh-so liberal San Francisco and work at Forests Forever and should see the connection between the exploitation of the environment and misogyny. No, it was neither of these things.
What finally set me off? It was a woman, a friend even, asking why I was so angry in a way that insinuated that it was inappropriate to be so. I had not yet become angry. If I become angry with you, believe you me, you will know it and you won't forget it. Before this woman tried to correct me, I was in a temporary state of mild irritation, far from angry. I hear and see sexism around me constantly and it is my duty as me, as Erica, as someone smarter than nearly every man she's ever met, to correct those who would pass on misinformation and stereotypes about women. I do understand that while I can lead an idiot to the truth, I can't make them think. What I can and what I must do is put them on the spot. It is my right and it is my fight
expect every woman to be as adamant nor as constant in rooting out sexism,
but for crying out loud, why the fuck do so many quietly accept being
second-class citizens? Why don't more women assert themselves?
Why try to make men feel less threatened when, they, in fact need to be
threatened more? Women live under the constantly hovering
threats of rape and being excommunicated for the simple fact of having
an opinion. , if that is threatening, tough. Sorry to all
you sheep out there, but my Ericaness is much more
important to me than fostering already-too-large male egos. In fact,
it is such a dominant and intrinsic part of my nature that it cannot be
quantified or explained to most minds.
Maybe it is time for me to leave San Francisco. When I visited New York in the spring, all the women I met had sharp wits and fast tongues, traits I had thus far only encountered (in women) on HBI. Quite the contrast from women in SF who seem, in great numbers, to talk soft and stupidly; their voices are so thin, airy and barely there that I would not be a bit surprised if they suddenly fluttered away. Too many people here sit around in over-priced apartments and coffee bars and hide beneath the trendy cloak of liberalism while simultaneously making snobbish remarks usually regarding the Tenderloin, Oakland or anywhere else poor and brown people live. Like the environmental twits I met this evening, they talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Frankly, I think that straight men in SF get laid too much. We straight females perceive a shortage of straight men and thus we do not demand the respect we deserve from the ever-precious males in our lives. We let them get away with murder. I'm not suggesting becoming Senseless Bitches, using "pussy-power" to manipulate men. Quite the contrary, what I propose is that all women have enough self-respect not to sleep with men who don't respect them on a basic level. It really doesn't matter your sexual practices, respect is a primary part of any possible type of relationship.
I just want folks to grow up and be themselves, be real. I want men to treat women with real respect, not just butt-kissing when they want to get laid and bad-mouthing afterward. I want women to ask themselves, "Would I take this crap from a woman?" If the answer is no, and it should be because they shouldn't take crap from anyone, . It's really rather simple. If we all just stripped away the b.s. and acted like good human beings it would work out. But too many people find comfort in sex-based role expectations. I can't fathom why limiting oneself is more comfortable than being oneself.
I guess the truth is the hardest thing of all to deal with. Playing games and acting out old roles while wearing hip new clothes is so ingrained that anything resembling a new idea is immediately suspect in most circles. I'm a lesbian if I tell a man when he's being an asshole. Oh, I see the logic in that. (For the sarcasm-impaired, I'm employing a little irony there.) I guess my standards are too high, I actually expect respect, basic human respect without regard to sex, gender-identification, race and any other superficial distraction most other people seem to be all wound around. Call me an idealist, but I don't just mimic those phrases, I believe it, I live it. If you don't like it, I'm sure you can find your way to the door. It's no skin off my back...As my friend Krystine says, I can do more with my right hand than you can with ten years of practice. So what do I need you for? It is this self-positive attitude that allows me to thrive without male approval. I sure wish more women would try it on -- it's one size fits all, I assure you.
I am lucky enough to have some phenomenally wonderful men in my life. I think this is the main reason why I cannot tolerate the idiocy and sex-role crap most men seem to want to lay on me. My male friends are good human beings, that's what it all comes down to. None would presume to put me in a box and file my opinions, reactions, ideas any differently than if I had external genitalia. As I told the man who acted like he was doing me a big favor and letting me "go first" in line, "the fact that I have a vagina is unrelated to the natural order of this line. You got here first, you toothless twit." (Again, irony, the fact that he was toothless is irrelevant to his being ahead of me, so I thought I'd throw it out there to confuse the stupid.) As it turns out, he was already being helped and was waiting for his order, so his claim of "letting" me "go ahead" was as bogus as his connection to logic. You can't give me what's already mine, ya patronizing idiot.
do not understand, nor is anyone offering any truly compelling reasons
why I should be disrespected, patronized, "protected," silenced or otherwise
restricted to a narrow set of opinions, goals, roles or behaviors due to
the biological fact that I have twice as many X-chromosomes as the next
Introducing the Theatrically Bent Professor
My Novel and Playwriting instructor had us act out scenes from his plays. This made me uncomfortable. What if you don't like his writing? I'm not saying I don't, but it really puts you in an awkward position. Moreover, I'm not interested in acting. I had a couple of minutes to review the script as I was the last person to get one and I'm sure I couldn't do his vision justice. My part was a nun from a man's past pulling him by the ear and calling him a pervert, sodomite and fornicator. High camp, but I was too self-conscious to care. One side of me is very shy and the other is outgoing. I'll be damned if the shy part didn't take over tonight.
I can understand his assertion that a playwright should do some acting to know how a play will work. But I didn't take the class to become a playwright, I was interested in the novel portion, though I cannot understand why on earth the classes were not separated. Certainly I have read enough books to know what I like, what I look for and what I want tosay.
We had been assigned the previous week to write a pitch for a play or novel. I had an idea I've never seen before. (I'm not telling what it is -- I'm still interested in writing this story. Mine was oneof the pitches he read aloud, At first I was thrilled, then a bit annoyed that he didn't get to the hook, which made it another story altogether and finally a bit disappointed that no one had any response. Indifference is the worst thing -- you always hope to inspire passion, one way or the other. But that wasn't the worst part.
He stopped reading and began lecturing about niche writing and how maybe self-publication was better for some people.. While I know not everyone would think to read a book that doesn't have a main character that looks like them, I know I have important, universal messages that transcend color, sex, and all the other superficial identifications people too often get lost in. I may never become a millionaire as an author, but I know the things I write can, doand will continue to matter and help others.
What I could not fathom was where John Grisham or Michael Crichton fit into this equation. I certainly know a lot more women in difficult positions than I do white males who graduate at the top of their class at an Ivy League law school have to beat prospective employers off with a stick. I haven't come to know many paeleontologists dealing with real dinosaurs or upwardly mobile doctors suddenly tied up in intrigue. That is niche writing, somehow, we have come to relate to handsome hot shots e than to the concerns of real people. I guess I want a revolution.
Wow, over a month...I'm as flaky in my online diary as my paper one. But when I need to write, I do. I do it until the urgency is lifted. I've wanted to update this page, but dreaded it at the same time. It's a fine line to walk -- what the hell else do I want every looney like myself with a computer to know? Yet, if I've any hope of making it as an author, it's absolutely incumbant upon me to get accustomed to having my thoughts out there for the world to see. As a friend put it in that most rare thing, an eloquent email:
You must share you gifts with the world or at least get it out on the page (or however you choose to express yourself) and give the world the opportunity to discover what you have to offer...they may very well just ignore it, or criticize it, or embrace it, but you have to make it available...no more pouting...get your shit together and make the world a better place, at least for Erica...
Most of the things my parents and I disagree on fall into one of two categories: Things Erica Has Imagined and Shit Erica Has Made Up.
I was going to fill those boxes in, but for me, that's going too far. Today, anyway. It's enough for me to know the boxes are there if I ever need them. Besides, I hate to be whining about my parents at the ripe old age of 26.
Someone told me once that I had a persecution complex. Hmmmmmm...I'd never thought of it that way. Is that why J said I had to read Confederacy of Dunces? I will say I don't trust people, or at least, I try to watch my back. It's easy for me to slip into a state of naivete too early in (any type of) relationship. I put my trust in someone who isn't trustworthy and I get screwed. I know this, so I try to cut out Mr. Pain's commission. A lot of people are just out for themselves...hell, I guess we all are, but I like to think that those of us who come together for all the real reasons are also part of a larger community. Two things I love most in life are accomplishing something on my own and looking into the loving, supportive eyes of a friend.
My friends say the best things to me when I need it most, when I've lost sight of my dreams, when I've let the world beat me down a little too much that day. It's just the thing I need when I'm stuck in that smallest of cycles: negativity. It's only three or four steps and they're all in shit. Just when I'm up to my ankles, I see something that makes me laugh at the absurdity of this thing we call life or that makes me feel connected to someone else again.
Lately, my college roommate Dorothy and my friend Ken have been the anchors preventing me from getting lost on a stormy sea (apologies for the trite analogy). It's so very simple: they believe in me and think the best of me and I of them. Ken has been privy to my most grandiose dreams and he honestly thinks Erica Jackson can and will soar to great heights. Dorothy agrees and has been telling me just the right thing at the right time almost daily the past few months. Maybe I'm just an egomaniac (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I think we all need a little bit of that. Maybe it's weak, maybe it's some sick, codependent need for validation.
But what I think it is that we all need a sense of belonging, of home. It's all well and good to have an independent streak. I know I'm thankful for mine that allows me to break out of the mold of mediocre thinking. Status quo thinking only leads to status quo, ad infinitum. The reason I need for people to love me (again, not all people, but a selected few) is because otherwise I become rather negative. Was it Einstein who said the world was never changed by a pessimist?
A lot of people call this low self-esteem. I don't know about other people, but for Erica Jackson, it couldn't be farther from the truth. What I get is low other-esteem. If my life is only filled with disagreements or completely oblivious, stupid people standing in the middle of the [sidewalk, bus aisle, store, etc.] -- I start to think the world is divided into only two groups: assholes and idiots.
Screw all the superficial labels people always seem to want to slap on [e.g. race, sex, or other manipulative divisions the conservative-biased media whirls into "polar opposites" on our very narrow political spectrum], those are the real, important categories. Idiots and assholes should have the appropriate label tattooed on their foreheads so we know what we're dealing with, right off.
While this outlook initially brings on a sense of elation and smug superiority, it's not my truest, best self. How can you contribute to a world you don't believe in? You wouldn't want to bother and then you just start hating everyone and everything around you and pretty soon you're feeling pretty fucking exhausted, because that's a lot of stuff to hate. No, I'd rather use my energy to make the world a better place, at least for Erica.
Just when you thought it was safe to check my diary...
Return of the Theatrically Bent Professor
Argued with Theatrically Bent Professor (TBP) about the whole Political Correctness thing and how ironic it is that, while claiming to be persecuted and stifled by a system that he claims says "white people are stupid and must go to people of color to learn wisdom" [since when does it say that?], he said my pitch for a novel was appropriate "maybe for a 'target audience.'" First you hide behind the expression, PC, which I personally wish I could strike from the post-modern lexicon, and then you yourself use coded language, rather than condescend me directly and tell me that only negroes (or should I target white supremacists, like the heroine? Hmmmmm...tell me, please, who exactly I'm "targeting") will read what I write.
Tonight's discussion was how Poor, Persecuted White People (PPWPs) can't write about minorities. They are being forced *gasp* to write about more than stereotypical characters. Why, that's like indoctrination under the Nazis, we have to listen to the muds now? Sheesh! "In this climate, which has had it's day and will be ending, soon I hope," he droned...[sarcastically paraphrased] all you PPW Writers will have to also include minorities who are not stereotypical. *cringe* The horror! The horror! You mean white people would actually have to pay attention to what's all around us? Shit, man's inhumanity to man [sic] -- it's just not fair!
I argued with him for over an hour, pissing off nearly the entire class. He would not concede the fact that there are plenty of stereotypical characterizations of minorities. I for one, am entirely exhausted from telling people that no, I don't like rap music, I don't eat watermelon and yes, this is how I really talk -- I'm not a sell-out, I'm merely a genius. Go figure, a genius with nappy hair and brown skin? Mon dieu! Incroyable! The Bell Curve proved that impossible, didn't it?
Shameless self-promotion and nothing more
Kicked aggressive panhandler in the balls...see my rant for the details.
Introducing Cool Bus Guy
Bumped into Cool Bus Guy (CBG) *sigh* for the first time in I don't know how long. I don't think I've seen him since I was dating the Skinny Yemeni. Selfish bastard that I am, I was in one of the individual seats in the front of the bus, staring absent-mindedly out the window, barely seeing my all-too familiar street. CBG saw me as he walked to the back of the bus. We exchanged greetings and I followed to the back of the bus, oblivious to the possibility that maybe he didn't want me to.
I shouldn't say that. If he didn't want to talk to me, he could've kept walking, rather than draw me out of my reverie. I'd never have noticed. Heck, I've been ignored by a guy I lived next door to for over a year. This was not a watch- the- freaks- on- the- bus- night, it was a stare- out- the- window- and- ponder- deep- thoughts kinda night because I was coming home from my writers' group.
CBG might have wanted me to scram. "Now, don't miss your stop this time," he chided.
Of course I did. I don't mind, I told him, "Intelligent conversation is hard to find." He agreed.
When we got off the bus at his stop, I somehow found the nerve to invite CBG to have drinks in a bar by his apartment. OK, I had water, not sure that counts, but it's all I drink most of the time.
We talked about writing [it's not a "happy day activity," we agreed] and reading. We agreed that books are a uniquely intimate medium -- it's just you and it and if it's any good, it creates a world for you. I've been struggling to figure out how to write a novel, I think that's the right form for me, and he unwittingly did me a huge favor.
CBG crystallized the whole
concept for me, finally. I've been trying to absorb what it means
to show, not tell. In his favorite books, he said, CBG identified
with the main character to the degree that he became them.
The line between the written word and the material world disappeared and
he was right there. Thank you, CBG -- I owe ya one.
Thank you, HP -- I'm forever in your debt. [HP = higher power, which
I haven't chosen yet, it does not mean Hewlett-Packard.]
Last summer I was standing on Haight Street and saw a guy who I lived one house away from that year on Ashbury. Nothing. I figured he just didn't hear me, sometimes I'm not too great at regulating the volume of my voice and I alternate between mumbling and shouting.
My college roomie was visiting and I just had to take her to the Red Vic theater (not to be confused with the bed and breakfast) so she could experience popcorn in wooden bowls and stretching out on a sofa.
As it turned out, the Vic was pretty crowded that day, there was only one couch left. Low and behold, we end up next to David (I don't change names to protect the guilty), which I thought was fortunate because we'dbea little squished. Figuring it's better to be squished with an acquaintance than with a complete stranger, I sidestepped, crouching so as not to block the view of those behind me, felt around for a spot to set down my little wooden bowl of popcorn and finally put it down on what may be David's couch, but I hadn't found the arms in the dark yet. I whispered [Maybe I shouted, hellifiknow] hello. Nothing.
Actually, there was something. His eyes moved, but his head didn't. It flashed momentarily in my head that this was odd, but the movie was starting and I had to sit down quickly or miss the subtitles. La di da...enthralled by the movie because it's black and white and in German, I try to figure out the translation by cognates -- I love language. Still trying to get settled.
From the corner of my eye, I notice David looking at me from the corner of his. I think I felt his eyes on me first, truth be told, and that made me look. He took my bowl of popcorn by the very edge with his thumb and forefinger, spreading his other fingers far from it and holding it out like a diaper full of steaming shit. Ever-so-slowly, his wrist turned and I was covered in my own popcorn.
"What the fuck is your problem?!" This time, I was sure I shouted.
"Shhhhhhh!" hissed the couch behind.
David said nothing. In fact, he continued this elaborate passive-aggressive intense game of looking at me from the corner of his eyes, as if facing front meant he wasn't looking at me at all.
Pissed though I was at the senseless waste of popcorn, I wasn't about to stay there and drown in David's waves of inexplicable hate. I got up, crawled over my ex-roomie. Just as I made it out to the aisle, a guy rose from a small couch up front, walked around the back of the theater and sat on the corresponding couch on the opposite side. Thank you, HP
This was a wise move. Why let some passive-aggressive, post-hippie, Haight Street wannabe, hanging onto the world's worst British accent after 20 years in San Francisco, ruin my evening? After all, I still had my black cherry soda and an entire couch to myself. : P
I laid back on the couch, awestruck. Wings of Desire became one of my favorite films. If you haven't seen it, find it. I don't know what took me so long to see it because, afterward, it turned out that several of my friends had it on their fave list as well. It is beautiful, both cinematically and philosophically. Peter Falk, an angel? And you thought he was just a dippy detective.
Back at the old couch, David brushed popcorn at my college roomie until the end of the movie. Then he arose and pronounced, "She made quite a mess, didn't she?"
"No, actually, you did that," my roomie reminded him.
Humans 1, David 0
Cool Bus Guy,out of context
Stayed home from work sick, nauseous all day. Stayed home from class, too. Thought I was totally off-kilter, when I finally wandered out to get something to eat, but I'll be damned if I didn't bump into CBG, our first out-of-bus experience. It's weird to see someone out of context for the first time. It's one thing to end up on the same bus when they only run every half hour, but to bump into someone on a given corner, when the light would've changed any second -- what are the odds?
Even stranger, seeing him from behind, I was sure he was my good Canadian friend, Ken, coming to spend the night at my apartment. As Ken's wife says, BART has this Cinderella quality -- if it's after midnight and you're on the wrong side of the bay, tough tookies.
Theatrically Bent Professor jonz
I didn't miss TBP much tonight...except he ticks me off and it makes me write. So I guess he's good for me, after all. Besides, several other people in the class are lost or irritated as well, so we're bonding.
Introducing the Swiss Bartender
Why I don't date Security Guards
I've been here for three years and, finally, my big brother- in- spirit is coming to San Francisco! His band plays here April 24, I can't fucking wait! It will be interesting to see him here, less than a mile from my place, rather than going into Hollyweird, as I've done 80% of the time I've seen him play. I'll be able to take a bus to the show, that'll be a first.
My class tonight rocked,
we're in the get- in- a- circle- and- read- to- the-class stage, finally.
That's when it gets good, interactive, exciting, stimulating and deep.
I also needed to write. Ended up at the bar by CBG's apartment because all the coffeehouses I know close at 10 or 11 and bars are too dark. I was the only customer. I thought I was being so continental asking the bartender what part of Germany she was from.
"Switzerland," she replied. She was cool about it, though.
CBG, you may recall, lives nearby (yeah, borderline looney of me, positioning myself there like that -- I know). When he walked by, I actually had the cojones to go outside and call after him. Oh well, he didn't run away or anything. Actually, we talked for a few minutes and he gave me his email address. He said he still had my URL in his wallet, but hadn't checked yet. *sigh* Soon he'll read this and I'll be shutting down diary production, in utter humiliation.
CBG went home, I returned to the bar and stayed there talking to the SBT until it closed. As it turned out, I hardly read or wrote at all because the Swiss Bartender (SBT) is brilliant. She's smart, wickedly funny and really has a kindness and a glow about her. She even reccomended The Heart is a Lonely Hunter -- how's that for kismet and shit?
Had good bus luck and was home in 20 minutes. Rounded the corner onto my street and there was a friggin' Dominoes Pizza semi stretching half the block. It being 1:30, the sight rattled me, though not quite as badly as the "Got Porn" marquee on the local adult, er, supply store hit me walking home in the morning when I worked the graveyard shift. "Jesus Christ!"
"That's the right guy to be praying to!" A very large security guard slithered out of a motorlodge's driveway.
I've never heard Jesus Christ referred to as a "guy," a bastard, yes, but a "guy," no. That threw me some more.
"I wasn't praying."
"So, how are you doing this
evening, lady?" He had That Look in his eyes.
"Do you go to the, uh, uh -- school?"
Hmmmmm, good guess...there are only several dozen schools in San Francisco. "Huh?"
"I see a lot of the students walking around, the cooking school is close by."
"Oh," I said. He was looking at my pants. CBG is a chef and he thought I was wearing chef's pants as well. "No, I don't go to that school," I replied. One time I had a massage session with a culinary student who, coincidentally, has the same name as CBG. I think that guy was gay, though. But I didn't mention any of this.
"My name is ______," the security guard said, extending his hand. "What's yours, gorgeous?"
*retch* Were my legs supposed to fly up the minute he said all the words I'm supposed to want to hear? I started to shake his hand and realized in the middle that I didn't want to, so I took it back.
"Look, I have utterly no interest in talking to you at 1:30 in the morning, I have to work early today and...well, I've gotta go." I was going to say meaner things, but I didn't have the energy. In the eternal struggle between security guard or sleep, the guard didn't even place.
What the hell is it with me and security guards, anyway? A year ago, there was the clueless guy who wanted to make me ex-wife #4. Only I could go out for a one-niter during Fleet Week, fer crissakes, and find Mr. Commitment. He couldn't understand why I didn't want to spend our first date naked in a hot tub. Last fall I actually dated the skinny Yemeni for a few weeks because, at least I thought he was smart for a while. On Valentines Day there was Bob, even more bland than his name implies. He insisted I wanted to walk up Nob Hill and see his new "mountain bike." While I've never heard it called that before, I don't know how much more clearly I could say the word "no," so I just said it loudly. I really should've known the moment he said he could be my daddy. I have a dad and even he isn't a security guard any more.
The other trait they all shared was machismo, making their lascivious attention to me thoroughly misplaced. All but SY seemed to think taking me out and spending money on dinner [like I can't cook or buy my own] meant they didn't have to listen to a word I said. Can you imagine? Not listen -- to ME? Now, there's a match made in heaven.
With SY it ended when I couldn't take the double whammy of no touching after his ritual cleaning and no daylight sex during Ramadan (you can't be that picky when both of you are working two jobs). But every one of these twits has his Own Private Ramadan.
I really don't get it.
Why security guards? Do I look like I need protecting? With
these boots? I'm thinking of having a box of calling cards
printed, which would read something like:
Picturing the TBP
It struck me in class tonight [heck, I've got to keep myself entertained while he prattles on] that the TBP bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain mod, TV warlock. Calling Dr. Bombay...
I liked the SBT so much, I went back to that bar tonight. We talked about love, loss, payback and everything under the sun. The thought flitted briefly across my mental TV that maybe CBG was sent to me to get me to SBT, I was just saying how I need some women friends offline. Ain't that a kick in the head?
Third time's a charm.
|I wasn't going to return
to the bar for the third day in a row -- really, I swear.
But I realized I forgot to pay for my two pear ciders when the SBT and
I left the place last night. Geez, this is getting utterly desperate.
We talked about men and their over-inflated egos -- why do they all think they deserve threesomes? SBT said she told a guy who invited her to join one, "you weren't even enough man for me -- what the hell are you going to do with two women?" Do you see why I dig her so?
Although I didn't mean to, I ended up there until closing once again. Tonight, though, SBT offered to share her cab. It pulled up just after the bus passed. We got in, went about a block and then another cab driver pulled alongside. We were in the wrong cab; the one we got into just happened to be passing by.
"It's my fault, I'm sorry," SBT said.
The second cabbie insisted we get into his cab instead. Our guy turned left to get away, but the Psychotic Cab Driver tried to cut him off. We lost him and continued downtown.
Suddenly, the PCD reappeared on our right hand side, where I was sitting. He was screaming now, demanding we switch cabs. "Maybe they want to ride with me, you asshole," he shouted, nearly side-swiping us. I assure you, we did not.
"What's he gonna do next?" our driver pondered. "Get out his gun and shoot all three of us?" Really not what I wanted to hear, my precious brains being just 12 inches away from PCD.
"This is why you had to take the cab with me tonight, huh?" SBT said. I like her style.
Now, I won't say which cab
company it was, but the taxi cabs themselves were both blindingly yellow.
Ms. Susie Sunshine makes her debut
Where am I? What the hell am I doing with my life? I wish, I wish I knew. I wish, I wish I could stop quoting Cat Stevens or whatever he's calling himself now. I heard on NPR today he has a new album out, but I don't think they know his name, either. It was like Prince, they referred to him only as "the artist formerly known as..." My life is one big digression.
Actually, I think my life
is a Venn diagram -- intertwined circles, with sets and subsets and shaded
areas of similarity. Shades of gray. I am gray, metaphorically
speaking. What is the point? That's not an expression of hopelessness,
but of wonder. What IS the point? I wrote something I liked
yesterday...wanna hear it, here it go:
Looking for love in desperate
What is it? This
thing that evades us so easily?
Music, I think, is where
I feel it most.
Cat Stevens in my head,
Yet I think songs are
We lose ourselves in physcial
A flower is a symphony
Someone told me today
I went to the John Coltrane church yesterday and I felt love. I haven't the foggiest idear [sic] what I believe in, formally. Love, ever-elusive might be the worst thing for me to put my faith in. It leaves me broken and feeling just on the edge outside the rounded triangles in the middle of the Venn, not quite overlapping. But yesterday, for a while I felt a family. I didn't feel part of it, but I felt the power of love and genuine good will among people. The children are beautiful and everyone loves them so much I could not tell who was who's biological family.
If I weren't so jaded, I'd be an excellent candidate for a cult. But I distrust. When someone is nice, I wonder what they want. Other times I trust and get burned. It must be bad judgement on my part, but I never, ever learn. CBG is a fine example.
Some sappy, warm, idealistic part of me supposes that CBG was a gift to me on a night I need not be alone. He got me off the 38 Geary before I transferred at Park Presidio to the 29 which would take me to that obnoxiously orange, I mean -- Golden Gate Bridge to join the 1,000+ souls who came from all over the world to escape their earthly prisons. People made fun of that suicide cult, but it made perfect sense to me to flee this miserable, terran plane.
But to CBG, it was just another bus trip, another bleary-eyed ride home from work. Fool. My chest aches and swells with the enormity of the pain, my eyes sting at the hurtful thoughts welling up, brimming over...the wave passes. Is it that we feel so disconnected? Is it because when I show love, or try from what little I know how, that this purest of all my urges is somehow strange, misplaced, suspicious, insane? I cannot name all the people who have claimed I stalked them because I tried over and over to relive the few moments of happienss and acceptance I mistakenly felt in their presence. They were just being nice, they said later, as if there were no reason to like me at all. Don't do me any fucking favors.
It seems terribly wrong to me that when I try to express the love I feel for other souls, it is regarded with suspicion and concern. Do I have a look about me? THE look? Lean and hungry and desperate. I must. The look I am sure Mark David Chapman had...is that it? Yes, it must be. I can see the fear in people's eyes and it makes me feel very small and terrible. I want to disappear, but this body will not so much as shrink. It doesn't ever cooperate with me, communicating only to share the great fortune of pain I inherited.
I hate it at times. I'm supposed to feel thankful for this earth-bound vehicle, I'm told. But when I think of this body, I think of the pain it has forced me to feel. No matter how deep into myself I try to escape, the pain of this body somehow finds me. Am I a fraud? Is my strength a shame? So much softer than I let on? Yes. I've been hurt enough, I can survive no more. Instead, I try to steer myself from the things which really hurt.
CBG may bruise my ego with his indifference. He is only the latest in a long line of straw men I set up to make me forget what really hurts the most. None of that matters, mere distractions. Other people drown in liquor, I hide behind a broken heart. Nothing can replace the love I never felt. Even if, miraculously someone saw me as an angel, rather than a lunatic, I fear it is too late. I can never forget nor forgive the Original Rejection. Like Original Sin, no pennance is great enough to chase the massive, dark cloud from the sky.
It looms over my life, taunting
me at every failure, calling me back to my real life from every seeming,
fleeting success. In coming to be I made my first mistake and am
paying still. I mislead myself, pretending love can exist for me
though I was not born of it. Loving oneself, though perhaps the greatest
love of all, is impossible to understand without the first love I never
The Swiss Bartender Rules -- More reasons why
Whoa! Now I remember why my big bro calls it a blessing and a curse -- that downswing is a tricky bastard.
Beware the Undertoad!
I so dig the SBT. She has such a great perspective. I told her about this diary and she was flattered to hear she was mentioned. She said screw CBG if he was any less flattered. "That's his problem," she said.
The funny thing is, CBG has already been outshined by another guy who probably won't give me a chance because I'm not some physically acceptable (others would say "beautiful," but their defintion is too narrow), manipulative, girly-girl. *retch* I only wish I could meet a grown up, someone who sees the games and runs the other way.
Oh well, it gives me plenty of time to write. They say just about everything is sublimation for sex. When I was dating the Skinny Yemeni, though, I missed my personal time, my writing, my solitude, my creativity. What if the sexual revolution is just a manipulative campaign to make women want to fuck, rather than create. As I found out when I created BleedTM, many women feel more creative when they're bleeding -- there are plenty of women out there who don't use their biological state as an excuse to be a wimpy, pathetic idiot. .
A friend from SBT's hostel stopped by the other night. I felt like I was on a game show: Those Amazing Accents. I'm too anti-American, I suspect.
As I was coming back from the loo, I caught SBT telling her friend how she hates American writers.
"Hey! You're forgetting I'm an American writer!" I piped up.
"Yes, but you won't be a bad American writer -- I won't let you!"
I could've kissed her.
She explained that most American writers insult the reader's intelligence, repeating themselves over and over.
OK, forgiven. I'm not such an American anyway. Sure, I was born right smack in the heartland, I've lived in LA, SF and plan to move to NY -- you can't get any more American than those cities (although, I'm told, SF has an European quality). I feel as if I'm a citizen of the world and the legal lines are mostly arbitrary. All this, despite the fact that I've never left this continent and have only briefly visited border towns -- Tijuana and Windsor, Ontario.
I have become more and more obsessed with moving to NY and with travelling. Talking with SBT only intensifies this -- she speaks five languages, has lived in NY, and visited most of the countries in Europe, plus Australia, Morocco and the Middle East.
Her wisdom on the subject of travel:
"Don't wait until you have the money to travel, or you never will."Looks like I've found a new, unofficial HB. Thanks again, HP -- I was just praying/wishing to have some strong women in my offline life.
|April 16, 1998
Letter from flakesville
I promised to update this last week -- for sure! Uh huh. Phyllis is gonna kill me. Is it cheesy to go back through my paper diary and fill in the blanks or shall I just review?
At the moment, I am contemplating doggieside... there's a damn chiuahua yipping and yapping and whining in a hotel room right near my office. Why bring such a pathetic, nervous animal on vacation if you can't take it anywhere outside the hotel, anyway?
As J says, I've been crazy-busy. Trying to have a social life for once. Didn't see CBG for months, then finally got to introduce him to SBT just before she moved to NY on April 15. Miss her bad, but the new bartender is cool as hell. The Theatrically-Bent Professor started to grow on me and I find him mostly amusing. Didn't see CBG for ages...then suddenly I see him all the time. I've seen him more in the last week than in the previous two months. Not that I'm complaining. Oh, except for one thing. He's married. He's read the diary. He knows all and I feel awfully foolish. Still, crazy though it seems, I feel somehow connected to him. Like my good friend Ken, I just knew that CBG was special instantly. He hugged me goodbye, wished me luck in NY, said to keep in touch, how can I refuse that? Who knows if that isn't what it was for in the first place? Friendship: the final frontier.
I also have a menstrual diary. Read it...if you dare!