the amazing thing that’s happening

February 23, 2013

Here’s the deal: I’m fucking in love. It’s amazing and insane and every day I could post something here about it. But I feel protective and maybe a tiny bit shy about it in terms of blogging and also self-conscious that maybe it’s obnoxious to go on and on about it here, even though I’m guessing its been obvious, anyway. But it’s also why, lately, I’ve not been posting very much. And then this morning, I thought fuck it, this amazing thing is happening in my life, I’m just going to be upfront and write about it more directly, and with that sentiment in mind I’m going to tell a story about a date that happened this past fall.

We were feeling high on each other that night and we’d gotten kind of dressed up to go out to dinner. Ties and nice belts and MTB had on this awesome leather vest. I’d gone to her house to pick her up and we’d bolted from there pretty quickly because the trick or treaters on the street we’re making her dogs a little nuts. In fact, we sort of ran out to my car and then turned the music up loud. Driving to the restaurant, we kept looking at each other and grinning almost every time we stopped at an intersection. We sat side by side at the Indian place and we laughed about how we couldn’t get our chairs closer together because how bulky the arms on the chairs were. We held hands, anyway, though, and we leaned over the chair arms and kissed each other’s cheeks as we talked about how our weeks were going. I remember looking at MTB at throughout dinner and thinking that I couldn’t quite believe this was happening; “this” being that I was going on dates with her and that dates with her could feel so amazing. I’d said as much to her at some point before this date and she’d said something similar back to me.

After dinner we headed out for a drink. Location was our main consideration in picking a place and because we were in southeast, on upper Division, I suggested the Sapphire Hotel, which I was thinking of as a queer friendly place, although I don’t know why I was thinking that. Maybe because I went there once with VR and the waitress had flirted with us. MTB and I were talking and laughing and leaning into one another as we walked into the Sapphire. Holding hands tight. Right away we both noticed that we were getting stared at, as if our walking in that door was like sliding a needle across the record. It was weird and we tried to laugh it off and find a place to sit, but the only two seats, side by side, were at the bar and one of the stools had some kind of schmutz on it. We stood at the bar and tried not to figure out if the bartender was purposefully ignoring. I might have even tried to clean up some of the junk with napkins before we finally got the  bartender to give us a rag. Even with a rag it was impossible to fully clean up the schmutz, which most likely was some kind of mustard. Little globules kept showing up everywhere — on the floor, on the stool rung, under the seat — and the bartender stayed too busy to pay any attention to our efforts. I started to feel like I was in a really bad TV show, which seemed so absurd because MTB and I were so impossibly high on each other. We finally got some water from the bartender and gave back the nasty rag. This is stupid, I was thinking, and I just looked at MTB and said “lets get the fuck out of here.” She smiled so big at me and squeezed my hand and told me good call.

We made a b line to Crush and fell into a small, early in the night, Halloween crowd — a couple of handfuls of people in costumes, the only one I remember being an insanely hot gay guy dressed up as sailor. It was such a fucking relief to be in a “gay” bar. We lamented the demise of the E Room. MTB and I sat close to each other on the couch in the back room and watched people dance and talked and laughed and drank our drinks and made out. Someone got up on the little stage and did some air guitar and we clapped when they were done. A guy who was dancing with a larger group of people came over and asked to take our picture. MTB was immediately suspicious. Why did he want a photo of us? What was he going do with the it? On our very first date at TBA, there were roaming photographers and MTB had purposefully scooted out of the way when this woman was tried to take a picture of us eating ice cream. This gay guy answered that we were hot and really cute together. We laughed. MTB blushed a little bit. I told her I didn’t think it was big deal and also that she is fucking hot and it’s not like he knew who we were, anyway. Not like he could post a photo and say this is MTB and LM at Crush. He took a couple snapshots and said thanks. It didn’t really make sense, but it made us laugh more and squeeze each other tighter and smile bigger. And normally I’m shy about saying things like this, but it was like something magical was happening.


i can’t imagine

February 13, 2013

I say that phrase. When something shitty or fucked up or tragic happens to someone, I say “I can’t imagine  what it’s like to . . .” and then paraphrase the super shitty thing that’s happening or happened to them. Most times, when I say “I can’t imagine” I mean I haven’t experienced the super shitty thing myself, but I can guess what it feels like and it must be feel fucked up and they must be suffering, and I wish all of that wasn’t happening to them and I wish I knew some better thing to say to make it better for them. In short, most of the time I pretty much mean the opposite of “I can’t imagine” because I’m actually trying to imagine the fucked up experience but also I am afraid of failing in my imagination and in doing so, letting the other person down. I think this is true or I hope this is true for most of the people, most of the time, when they say that they “can’t imagine what it’s like to . . .” That they don’t mean it literally.  Because that would be really lonely and sad. If by saying “I can’t imagine” people were saying “I’m not doing that right now. I’m not going to picture you and what that might mean to you to have this fucked up thing happening.” Because when super shitty stuff is happening and you’re suffering and scared, you really need other people to imagine the super shitty thing with you, so that you are not so alone.

All this to say, I’m trying to exorcise this phrase, “I can’t imagine,” from my vocabulary. I have friends who are having super shitty experiences, epically shitty experience, and who have reminded me how it feels to hear that phrase and how sometimes it feels like being abandoned, like “oh shit, things must be really bad if you can’t imagine it.” I felt that way myself after my dad died in a house fire and people said “I can’t imagine that.” I wanted to say to them, “could you just try, because it sucked and I’m angry and sad and I need to be less alone.” I know there’s got to be better way to say to someone who is suffering, that I am thinking of them and holding space for their experience. A better way like lets take a walk or here’s some food or let me get that cup of coffee or tell me about your dad or your daughter or your husband or simply I am thinking of you.

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fuck yes friends

February 2, 2013

A big ass dose of friend love rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously. There was dancing and some kind of of aerobics/jazzercise and whiskey and taking pictures and chicken cacciatorre and wine and a cat and some talking about work and money to unwind from the bullshit of life and trying to sing Endless Love and lots of talking about love because you can’t get enough of that and some talking about sex and being naked just because and the roommates were there for a little bit but then they left and then they came back and big glasses of water were consumed, as well as honey mustard pretzels, and the green chair in the corner was super comfy and it had a great view and, totally, fuck the gender binary and big hugs all around at the end. Riding my bike home at almost midnight, no hands for 4 or 5 blocks, like a fucking kid. And super easy because I didn’t have my messenger bag or my panniers. Sit up, lean back and pedal and look at the stars. Lungs. Legs. Heart. Lucky Lucky. Lucky. Lucky ass lucky me.

A right on Friday night. For sure.


i am a queer person

February 1, 2013

The other night when I was riding the tram down to the waterfront, it was packed with people going home at the close of the work day, and I ended up crammed in next to a couple guys who had been intently talking to each other ever since we’d all been standing together in a long, loose line waiting for the tram cabin to arrive at the upper. I noticed these guys in line, because like me, they were decked out in bike gear, i.e. rain jackets, helmets and carrying panniers, and as I passed by them, one guy was talking about a video he was editing for the Diversity office and the “official” use of the word “diversity” almost always jumps out at me. Diversity offices are complicated because institutionalizing Diversity enforces the idea of otherness, as in there are mainstream folks who are white, and are assumed to be straight, and their gender identity is assumed to fit within the binary, and they not too old and not too blah, blah, blah and everyone else who is not white or not straight or older than 65 or uses a hearing aid, etc is considered to “diverse.” (But I am digressing and I want to note how painful it is to be compelled to make that digression because we have been talking about the same digressable shit my whole life.) Anyway, I also noticed these guys because they were both so caught up in talking to each other and/or so oblivious to what was going on around them, that they did not move from where they were standing in front of the double doors that patients were trying to enter the hospital through. People with kids in strollers and other folks who were not moving so well were trying to maneuver around these guys as they just stood there chatting and blocking the entrance. I thought about saying something to them about moving, but I stopped myself because I I was afraid of being seen as an asshole.

The two guys seemed equally oblivious on the tram, taking up a little more space with their wide stances and maintaining a couple feet of distance between each other, while everyone else around them was standing shoulder to shoulder, like sardines in a can hanging 300 feet up in the air. I tried not to listen to them talk about their schedules and work etc, but at some point one of the guys said something like “when I do have free time, I just do a lot of gay stuff.” In my head, I thought, oh fuck, I have to stand here and listen to these assholes malign the word “gay?” And as I was trying to work through in my mind what I was going to say them and when exactly I was going to say it, I noticed that it seemed like they were kind of sarcastically joking around about actual gay stuff the one guy did, like a gay hiking group or a gay running group. Which made me think at least the one guy was gay, and that potentially both of them were gay, and they were just shooting the shit. I thought about following the one guy off the tram, the guy who said he did gay stuff, and asking him if he was gay, but that felt weird and maybe confrontational in a not helpful way and I didn’t know what I would say if he said yes. But something bugged me about it either way and I don’t know what it was.

I think, in part, I am still kicking myself for how last year on the tram, I overheard students, (i,e. young people in scrubs discussing classes) talking about something being “gay,” as in that lab was so gay, as in that lab was such bullshit, and how I didn’t say anything to them about how offensive it was to use “gay” the way they were using it. I think anytime I am in a public space that is not queer, and I hear “gay” being used as adjective, as in hearing someone on the tram say “gay stuff,”  my ears perk up. Because usually “gay” means something derogatory. I once worked with a guy, who knew I was queer, and who was bitching to me about some glitch with our IT department by complaining that it “so fucking gay.” I had to say to actually say to him, “you can’t say that and you definitely can’t say that to me.”

Anyway, all this got me thinking about what the world would be like if all of us queers and gays and lesbians, etc, wore some kind of signifier of our queerness. And not some secret signifier, like a pink triangle or the color lavender or a labrys. But something like a badge that says “queer” so  that every where we went, at the gym, at the grocery store, at work, etc. everyone around us would know they were sharing space with a queer person. What kind of difference would this make? Because it’s not a post queer world. So I am going to make some queer button/pins and I want to experiment.

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