Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Jesus Year

Lying on my side in my boyfriend's bed, eight-thirty-four on a Sunday morning.  I am thirty-three years old.  My hands under the pillow, his wrapped around my waist.  Warm: enclosed.  I think, I have been here before. I think, I am going to break your heart. 


I am in my room listening to the air conditioner on high.  I am not sure if I am crying because I am sad to lose him, or sad to hurt him, or if I am just sad because I saw a sad movie this afternoon.  I cried in the theater, but I wasn't sure why I was crying then, either.

I told myself that it didn't matter if I thought I would leave him, someday.  If I knew it wouldn't last.  I told myself to not go borrowing future troubles because maybe they wouldn't come true.  I still think I was right. They might not have come true.

And I still want him, just not in the right ways or for the right reasons.  Not the way he wants me.  He thinks he's found what he's looking for.  But he's wrong.  Because staying means lying.

And leaving means hurting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mood Swings

I can't believe I did that.  I threw away my tooth.  Hidden in a napkin so I could eat.  I dug through the trash cans; I didn't find it.  And I have a performance in a week and a half so now I'm hoping that I will get the chance to pay an extra $400 for a tooth I can wear for less than two weeks, if I'm lucky and they can actually get me one that soon.

And I really just want to close my eyes and forget everything.  I want to forget that I did something that stupid, I want to forget that I might be toothless for two weeks.  I want to forget that last night I was electrified but he was insulated and I am worried that I may have handled it badly. 

I want to forget that everything I do is seen through filters that say women are more likable but less competent than men.

And then, I work with a student, and we get it right.  For the first time, his piece looks the way it was meant to look, and I am a new woman again.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another two weeks

There was going to be a post about skirts and dpi.  But now there is just this post about my dentist fucking up because I was going to get a tooth tomorrow and now I'm getting a tooth in another two weeks.

I am ashamed of my face.  And so just the act of being in public, of having a conversation, or even buying coffee, is a little bit harder than it was before.  It takes a little more strength to get through the day.  I forget for hours, maybe, at a time, but then it comes back to me, even worse because I wonder how many times I smiled during those hours, unaware.  Did I smile?  Oops.  Wasn't supposed to smile. 

And I am so very tired of remembering, tired of forgetting, tired of this face that isn't, that shouldn't be be, mine. 

I was going to get a tooth tomorrow. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What happened with that

I did not get into the advanced class, although the reasons were not entirely clear.  Obviously, there are still hoops to jump through, but she did not specify which hoops, exactly, I need. And part of me wants to force the issue, to get really good but still not compete, to show them See look I've been certified on the bronze and silver syllabus, with the same instructors that you use, why do I need to dance in competitions to take lessons when I pay for them and dance at the same level?  But part of me wants to compete, now.  Which is why I don't want to compete.

Because, you might have noticed, I'm really fucking competitive.

Really.  Fucking.  Competitive.

I don't want to compete, I want to win.  I want to win spectacularly.  I don't want to work my way up, I want to train in secret and start at the top.  I want to be The Black Stallion.  I want to be Susan Boyle.  There are times, lots of times, when I want a good game.  When I want an opponent I'm not sure I can beat, an opponent who will beat me three times out of five.  But those are friendly competitions, with friends.  This is different.  This isn't about the fun of playing, this is about showing off, showing people up.  This is about proving something to the cool kids, the beautiful girls, they are all so goddamn beautiful.

And that's why I don't think I should compete.  Because I love to dance, I love it so much, and I'm afraid I'll forget.

(This was going to be a three-part, numbered, update.  About the dance lessons, and the boots, and being someone worth staying for.  The boots are here.  I am not sure how I feel about them now that they're real.  And he is still making good decisions, ones that don't depend on me, but his words were worrisome and made me afraid.  That's all.)

p.s. To the double-space-after-a-full-stop-haters.  To the ones who say, "It breaks up the flow of the writing to add the double space," and the ones who say, "It makes the reader pause when there's a large blank space."  I say, yesThat's the point

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shoes, part one million: Autumn is coming.

I bought more shoes.

They are so baggy on the calf of the model that I think even I will be able to get these over my calves.  Not too equestrian, not too fashion-y, and will look so much better with a skirt and leggings than my Chucks.  It will get cold before I manage to get a working pair of mary janes.  (Note to self, MUST call the mary jane people and discuss my sad state of affairs.)

They get here in 4-5 working days.

Don't Bet on Me


Have you heard nothing that I've said?

You can't.  You can't.

You can't stay for me.  I can't let you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I should probably learn to write transitions

Especially when my lists are actually themed.  But lists are so much easier...

Notes on the intersection of gender and my life:

1. I am turning 33 soon.  Like, in fifteen days.  Which is four days after I get a tooth.  (Not the finished product, but at least I won't have to take it out to eat.)

So I made a Facebook Event, likeyado, and invited anyone it wouldn't be creepy to invite.  And, looking at this list of People I Think Might Want to Knit or Eat Sushi With Me, I notice that, out of 27 people I invited, three of them are men.

I do have one other male friend who wouldn't be weird to invite, except that he lives in Chicago and probably isn't going to drive for 10 hours on Saturday so he can spend two hours eating sushi with me.  But that still only brings my total up to four.

I had something written that explained why this is, or at least some obvious and influential factors.  But, meh.  The reasons are not exceptional.  I just thought the results were kind of interesting.

2.  I really hate it when people use "male" and "female" as nouns.  I don't quite know why.

3. I was not a feminist in college.  I defined feminist as being someone who A) agrees with basic feminist theory, and B) often looks at things from the point of view of gender and power.  Actually, I still define it that way.  Feminism, to me, is not just agreeing with tenants of feminist theory, it's using those theories to look at the world.  Ideally, it's attempting action, but I'll settle for awareness.  I had part A down, but I didn't pick up B until the last five years or so.  I think, really, I didn't pick up B until Iowa.

4. I was talking about self-identification, specifically in terms of what categories do we prioritize in our self-image.   I think, in order of priority, from high to low, mine goes something like this:

33 years old (I always round up in my head)
Somewhat Asian

Something like this, at least.  I had "Liberal" in there, but I was kind of going for non-voluntary attributes, except that I kept "Atheist."  Liberal seems like what you get when you add everything else together, though, a derived statistic instead of a primary one.  Because, honestly, I don't see how it's possible to have this list and not be a liberal.

In high school, Queer was much higher on the list, and Female would have been at the bottom.  In college, Somewhat Asian was above Female and possibly Queer.  These days, it seems as if everything in my life is gendered, sometimes happily, sometimes not.  And every time it happens, Female moves a little higher on the list, and now that I'm (almost) 33 years old, I think it's my primary self-defined characteristic.

5. A few links that came up today, unsurprisingly appropriate (see above about everything being gender-related these days):

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rain, flannel pj's and Vicodin

Listening while drifting in a Vicodin half-sleep to my classmate's radio essays.1  They are so very, very, good. 

I was in pain when I came home from the dentist this morning.  And I was exhausted and terrified because there is something at work that might be wrong, the kind of wrong I can't even say, not to anyone, because I am too horrified to even say it in my head.  And I hadn't slept a full night for days, and I didn't know when I would sleep this weekend, or how to handle all the food, there will be a lot of it this weekend, too, and it was not too much but only barely.

What I wanted was my bed, my stuffed walrus, maybe my friends later when they come home.

And it's funny, but I'm proud of that.  Because I didn't want him.  I didn't want his apartment.  I wanted the things that give me strength, and it is my life that does that, my home, my bed.  Three years ago, I loved Satanist Dan for the escape he provided.  I ran away to him.  Now, I don't want to escape.  Not anymore.  I'm home.

I joined the ballroom competition team, and the gold shoe girls smiled at me and introduced themselves.  I will never be as good as the girls with real training, the ones with ten years of ballet and modern, but I am good.  In nine months, I have learned to waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba, hustle, country two-step, nightclub two-step, cha-cha, and in two different parts each.  Well, I can't lead a country two-step yet.  But I will.  Remember that salsa step that kicked my ass?  I can do it now.

And Born This Way?  It's totally a hustle.  And it's SO. MUCH.  FUN.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

TWoT got some things right but some of it just pisses me off.

(Or, I am Not a Rosebud)

I hate saidar.  I hate being told to "open up" to possibility, to magic.  I hate being told to "not force things."  I hate the rhetoric of passivity.  I hate the idea that, for things to happen, I only need to be receptive to them. 


Really.  They don't.  It's science.  Things happen because other things happened, and those things happened because other things happened before that.  And, lots of times, we didn't do the things that led to the thing we wanted, it happened seemingly randomly, out of our control.  We were looking the other way and WOW HAPPY.  But looking the other way isn't what caused it.

And trying is not the cause of failure. 

Three things for a Tuesday

Bad dreams. 

Money and weight are increasingly uncontrollable. 

But the first UI ballroom lessons of the semester (for me, since I had to miss the first set) were last night and I totally rocked it.  I am a good lead. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

"You're superlative," says the cute girl in Hugo.

The sum total of what I have to say:

He did something endearing.

He said something endearing.

I'm like a new parent, except, luckily for all involved, I don't have a virtual stack of photos in my phone to show off.

I do have his Sonic Youth t-shirt.  The one he got at Lollapalooza and left on my floor Saturday night. 

I'm totally going to wear it before giving it back.  Sort of like giving a casserole dish back with a casserole inside it.  He gets his t-shirt back smelling like me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Something happened, nothing happened

I've sought him out for fun.  For drinks and making out.  I've sought him out for sex.  For the shiver of need that cuts through me, out of nowhere, nodding off on the bus or reading on the couch.

But yesterday, it was comfort.  Because the thing I wanted most in the world was the feel of his t-shirt against my face.

This is how it happens.  No fireworks, no swelling music.  Just a slow creep of comfort, like moss, softening rough stone.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What was I talking about again?

Besides the obvious, I mean.  I'm sure there was something I was talking about that wasn't about dating, but I can't remember what it was.  I think it was shoes.

(I ordered a pair in 6 1/2 wide.  They are too small, in both directions, although hopefully stretch-able.  Then I ordered a pair in 7 extra wide.  They are ENORMOUS.  Way too big in all directions.  The fuck.)

Anyway, it's not like I interrupted anything serious with this new frivolity.  I interrupted the frivolity with more frivolity. 

I need a pen name.  Not for me.  For him.  Because I did decide that true names were powerful enough to use only with extreme caution, and that means that I've left his name out of this space.  But replacing a proper name with a generic male pronoun is getting really awkward.  He's been named He-Man by others (because of a charming story from early on involving the power of Grayskull), but something about the name doesn't quite stick with me.  Boy and Boyfriend are obvious choices, but common, and thus potentially confusing.  I could use his initial, but some letters just don't lend themselves to speech very well. 

I could give him a pet name, except that my usual sleepy term of endearment is Sweetheart, which doesn't stand up while I'm standing up.  Or even sitting up.   Perhaps I will simply pick a name.  A completely unrelated name.  Like when I changed Evelyn to Olivia when I was writing a story about someone I knew when I was growing up. 

The problem with all of this is that whatever name I pick will probably become his name because that's how names work.  Which makes calling him something like Sam kind of awkward and likely confusing.


Maybe I'll call him "Sam," but with scare quotes.  Or Sam (Not His Real Name).  I could shorten it to SNHRN.

Or I could just stick with He-Man, since that's what my friends already know.

Sigh.  Boyfriends are complicated.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Like bunnies.

You will be happy, as I am, to know that I do not have HIV.

I am also cleared, as much as anyone can be, of genital herpes and genital warts.  I didn't get the blood test for syphilis because if I have it, I got it two years ago, and I would know.  On the other hand, if I got it recently, it wouldn't necessarily show immediately.  I'm vaccinated against Hepatitis B.  In a week I will have my results on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HPV.


The last person I dated with any seriousness was Mike, and we started dating more than ten years ago.  Even then, by the time we started dating, we were already best friends.  I had no secrets left, no boundaries for him to cross except for the physical ones that I had be hoping for a year for him to approach.  Out of the four serious boyfriends I have had, only one of them was not already a good friend before anything romantic occurred.

I'm not saying that this, now, is serious.  But for the first time in four years, I'm not unwilling to entertain the possibility.  Satanist Dan was the recipient of a kind of desperate, needy, affection, and I had to fight my growing emotional attachment.  But I knew I needed to fight it.  I knew that there wasn't really anything there between us.  I was excited about H— once, but I don't remember any of it.  I don't think it lasted more than a week.  I tried to find a record of him on this blog, but all I could find was:

H: Boyfriend. But not unequivocally so. He might not be that into me. I might not be that into him. That second part might be because of the first, or it might not.

So this is the first time, really, that I've been able to observe things like, which intimacies do I guard closer than others?  The answer surprises me a little.

Because the last bastion of trust seems to be my bedroom.  He can't come in.

This is partly because I haven't cleaned, (despite his own messy apartment, I still dislike him being witness to mine), and partly because I am very self-conscious about other people being aware of the sex while I'm having it.  But those are only the superficial reasons.   I don't want him in my bed because I want it to still be my bed after he's gone.  I don't want a memory of us in that place. 

And, I dunno.  That seems kind of interesting.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nothing stays still, ever

He took me to his place yesterday, not his apartment, but the place he goes, mostly alone, but sometimes with his best friend, where he rests and renews and becomes himself again.  And there were moments when I could almost hear the ocean in the rustle of wings and leaves, the quiet that isn't, and I think I understood.

The night before, I had a frightening moment, when something in the expression on his face, or the exact timber of his voice on a particular word, something reminded me of less-good places I have been, beds I have been trapped in, and for a moment, I felt trapped and afraid, and then it was gone again.  I don't think it was the first time that has happened, but it was the first time I recognized what was happening.  And I told myself, that was a trigger.  I am all right.  And it was true.  It is true.

But, in his bed again the next night, an Ani song came up on the playlist, and when she sang

just the thought of our bed
makes me crumble like the plaster
where you punched the wall beside my bed

I remembered the fear, and I felt angry and broken, because it was nearly half my life ago and that boy has no right to make me feel this way, because he is gone, and not here and now where I am cared for and safe and strong.  I know that people have triggers, I am used to stepping around warning signs, but they were always for someone else.  And what I realized in that brief, nauseating, moment, was that I am someone else.  I am someone with triggers.

And so I pulled my arms in around my chest and turned my face to the pillow and when he tried to kiss me I pulled back and away and he said, "You're trying to tell me that you're tired and I should let you sleep, huh?"

I could have said nothing.  I mean, I did say nothing, but I could have kept saying nothing and everything would have been okay.  But staying silent means I don't trust you, and speaking means I do

I tried to measure the emotional weight of action versus inaction.  Would I have told H— what I was thinking?  Boy One or Satanist Dan?  Am I willing to say something because I secretly like being someone with a dark past, or is this symptomatic of something deeper, something like the immediate familiarity of his bed that lets me sleep in it and really sleep?  I worried because, as much as I've said, I'm in, I'm still not sure how I feel.  Sometimes it's as if I can feel the Sell By date embossed in the palm of his hand. 

But, as he closed his eyes and let me sleep, the words I wasn't saying kept circling around in my mouth, testing the edges of my teeth, my resolve. 

And so I told him.  More than I'd meant to, even.  Because that's what happens.