Thursday, October 31, 2002

PS

Gold Dust, the new song from Tori Amos, makes me want to have a vagina, and equally feminine vocal chords along with it.

ROTC Madness

Yesterday I sold my old clothes to a vintage store so that I could buy cigarettes and coffee. A pair of Armani pants, one Kenneth Cole shirt, two cowboy-esque shirts with pearly white buttons, and a GAP sweater got me thirty dollars, a pack of Camels, and a Venti Latte. The very unsympathetic salesgirl at the vintage store, however, turned away a couple of Armani shirts claiming that they weren't "Fall enough". Rightfully, I argued that tan was very Fall and urged her to brush up on her fashion knowledge before making uneducated statements. Not having it, she turned her pudgy face towards me and said, “Don’t argue with me. That’s not how it works.” If I had not been in such a desperate need for money, I would have gathered my clothing, raised an eyebrow, scanned her from top to bottom, and said “Neither does that outfit honey”, and would have walked out of there exuding pride as if I had just ended world hunger.

Today I spent an hour and fifty dollars I did not have at the Berkeley Navy and Army Surplus store. Besides piecing together my sailor suit for Halloween, I spent my time thumbing through used fatigues and combat jackets, dreaming up the lives of the men whose bodies once filled and animated them. There, among the gas masks and camouflaged water canteens, I became so incredibly turned on I was tempted to grab the 18-year-old surplus store manager by the collar and ask him if he wanted to reenact Desert Storm but with an added homosexual twist: “Listen, Jake. I told you; it’s not gay if you’re a soldier, like its not really murder if you’re at war.”

At one point, I was also tempted to shell out thirty dollars for a leather-bound case that was used by soldiers, as Jake the surplus store manager aptly informed me, to carry important documents, letters, and lists of the deceased. The idea of it thrilled me. Who was the poor soul who had lugged that thing around his shoulder, filling its pages with the names of killed-in-action soldiers, stuffing it to the brim with letters bound for sweethearts in Alabama, or even carrying wrinkled maps tattoed with red marked X's indicating enemy bases as shrapnel and dismembered bodies hurled through the dank air? I couldn’t contain myself: “Could I put this on hold???”

Evidently, you don’t PUT things on hold at the Army Surplus store.

God I want a boyfriend in the military. I don’t care what that might say about me as an individual, or even what that might say about him for that matter. Combat boots make me moist with passion, and that’s all I have to say about that subject.



Tuesday, October 29, 2002

My legs are still sore from yesterday when, at seven a.m., I decided to run up the Berkeley hills towards a patch of, I think, immature Redwoods. The city of Oakland was visible on my left and a slowly appearing San Francisco city line was making itself known as the morning fog eventually burned off. I sat on a fallen tree trunk and thought about the weekend: Kirin's face as an angry Filipino came her way during a fight, the cable cart ride, the homophobic man on the cable cart making gestures toward John, and Monday morning when, because of my great sense of time, John missed his 6 o'clock flight and I wound up at the Oakland Bart station not having money to board the train.

I don't know what made me run. Maybe it was begging for quarters from elderly women in lavender jump suits. Maybe it was the many sleeping heads on the train, each of them swaying right then left to each turn, their newspapers barely clinging onto their laps. Maybe it was the woman on her cell phone describing last night's date to a mother on the East Coast. Maybe it was my way of making sure I was still alive and kicking---still capable of life.

That morning I wrote a Russian novel of a post, both in length and emotional verbosity. It talked about the uncertainty of my life, that where the hell is it going? concern that can consume one like claustrophobia at times. It spoke about time, the way it runs along like a rabid dog: without control. But I deleted it minutes after posting. At first it was an impulse, a "what the hell is this bullshit" intuition that made me click DELETE. In hindsight though I see that it was something more. It was me not wanting to be that person who dwells on the heads of people in trains, the sad mood of the rising sun, or the sound of cars passing beneath my window. It was me wanting something else.

It was something that I could find outside of myself. Maybe something beneath the sun, among trees, something in the air. I wore my running shoes and left the sap resting on my lap top where it belonged. I used to say, "something without a smile isn't worth doing" and, even though I look unattractive when I smile, I feel like doing more of it. Sure there's times for the tears, the reflective moments in the kitchen by the toaster, but, for the most part there's humor, life...activity.

In Fisherman's Warf we had a man write FAGGOT in Asian calligraphy (along with Wop, Indian, Queer, and, Kirin's favorite, Cock Sucker) on a strip of paper, and I've tacked it above my bedroom door. Bad Humor? Maybe. But I think it reveals something about our perspective on life, that lightness of being we're all after, even if we admit to it or not.

So each morning now I walk underneath FAGGOT, sleep still in my eyes, knowing that to some it may be distasteful—obscene—but that to me it's something playful, light, and maybe, even, a cause to smile.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

To add to Usher's song, you know you got it bad when you contemplate making love to yourself in the men's restroom in the University library. Not that I would ever actually materialize this quick but stimulating fantasy, but the thought did cross my mind as I glossed over the homoerotic etchings on the bathroom stall. Pat 8' cut. like to suck and get sucked. To the top right of it hung a disproportionate semi-flaccid penis, the testicles appearing somewhat shy and lame.

Last night George called me (refer to May 21). At first, the (909) number perplexed me, as I had quickly removed his number from my phone for obvious reasons. Answering my phone, I was met with dial tone on the other end. Calling back, I was met with George who admitted to accidentilly calling me, though he also admitted that he would be in San Francisco sometime this month and would like to see me.

There's not much to George save for his soon-to-be status as a police cadet, the first scaffold on the way to cop-hood. When I confessed that I was happy for his faux pas of calling me, he responded with a "foe what?" Delightfully, I remembered that conversation and sex do not necessarily walk hand in hand. And when it is committed, discourse is limited to requests or, in more favorable conditions, demands. You want my legs where??

On an (un)related note, John will be visiting me this weekend. I was tempted to caution him of this pilgrimage. Luckily, he will be spending his nights at Kirin's apartment and will thus avoid the horrifying possibility of my penis landing in his ear in the dark of the night...

Yeah. Good times.





Monday, October 21, 2002

Dry Spell

During a nap today, I dreamt that I was on a date of some sort. He was slightly middle-aged, wrinkles around the eyes barely visible, and he drove something akin to an El Camino. I woke up from my nap feeling quite depressed. Not only was I displacing my lack of a dating life into my dreams, but I was also settling for a schmuck in an El Camino in them too.

This sudden anxiety about dating might have something to do with the fact that I just might be the only Homo sapien on this plant not dating. Danee, realizing my desperation, took it upon herself to search the yahoo personals for, as she put it, the man of my dreams. Of course I protested, arguing that (a) who does that?!? and (b) even if we managed to spot some witty personal ad with a halfway cute picture, I would NEVER agree to meeting in public. There's something too lame about it. We would meet at some agreed upon restaurant, I of course would be wearing something to identify myself with, maybe a red shirt or, to be ultra cliché, a rose tucked behind my ear, and we would sit there, both consciously ignoring that fact that we had, in our communal lameness, resorted to personal adds.

Of course, I might be going about this the wrong way. The other day, I spotted four, FOUR, Lowered Expectations couples swaying down the street in that we-just-had-hardcore-butt-love walk. You know, that hip-swaying, arms-locked kinda walk. The thought that each of them had somehow managed to bump into each other while thumbing produce at the market and developed a Tolstoynian love affair was too much to handle as I worked my way through a plate of hummus. In my mind, they screamed Yahoo Personals.

I don't get it. I'm not missing any appendages; I've got both my eyes. I've been good looking enough to have sex with, but not enough to date? Is that it? Have I been slut stigmatized? Am I branded and ruined for life? I'm I that girl who, having enjoyed the attention from men too much, would never enjoy the joys of marriage?

Am I tainted goods?

But I could change; I swear. I could be that girl who sits with ankles held together. Could be that girl who hems, stitches, cooks an occasional roast or two. I could sit in the kitchen languidly stirring a pot, say things like "Look at you; you big sloppy man you", and wipe away at my husband's crumbs with sheer joy on my face.

I could do it, really.

I could be that girl.




Sunday, October 20, 2002

Give me a reason to stop loving you because I can't find it on my own.

I spent the night in the city last night with Korina my program coordinator from Oakland. Besides spreading pamphlets of our program, we got to see Sarah Jones and the ex-poet laureate of San Fancisco, Janice something at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. However much I like Korina, I couldn't help but wish that she would somehow disappear and that some man in his early thirties with sandy blonde hair and a slight Australian accent would take her place as we strolled past the Yerba Buena gardens and the water fountain and the happy couples who were busy with each other's lips on the many park benches nearby.

We crossed the bridge and, once on the other side, she asked that question that I always, always dread: So who's the lucky guy in all your poems?

I could've lied, of course, and said he was some Joe Shmoe from Indiana, patiently waiting as I finished up my degree in Berkeley, but I told her it was some Joe Shmoe who had to move to Alaska to care for his elderly parents who were slowly dying of pancreatic cancer.

She thought it sweet of him.

I bought champagne tonight for no particular reason. I was in a celebratory mood, but for god-knows-what? There's nothing to cheer about, no cause for joy...no love to speak of.

I've been spending my days listening to bad Sade love songs and writing bad I-Miss-You love poems. I'm in quite the mood. I'm in the mood for something slow and wet. In the mood for something with a slow, gentle drum beat. In the mood for something honest, warm, and eyes full of forgiveness.

"I could tell you were that kind" Korina said as she pulled up to my door. "The kind that would sell his soul for love."

I don't know much about that, but at this point, I'd be willing to sell this love to have my soul back.




Friday, October 18, 2002

THIS is my role model.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I am SWAMPED with work,

The anxiety is strangling me like a boa constricter...
and I'm currently taking applications for complimentary blow jobs.

See below for applications.
Females and 50+ men need not apply.

I have yet to cross that desperation threshold.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Martini Night

Seeing that taco night was such a huge success last night, I've officially set aside this night as a night to celebrate a drink most sympathetic to the gays: The Martini. Be it with an umbrella shooting from out its red liquid or a hula dancer or, even, maybe a Pineapple, The Martini has provided solace, comfort, and love to gays of all types when the men in our lives have decided to bail out on us as if we were quickly sinking ships. With or without them, we've been able to, sternly and confidently, order our Tartinis, our dry-sour apple martinis, and, without a smidge of doubt in our straining voices, held our drinks up high and toasted: who needs them anyway?!?

And it is for this reason that I honor The Martini and it's soothing, healing powers. It is the mescaline of the 21ist century, the Mecca of the Gay Community--the crutch to which all Banana Republic wearing faggots will learn to lean against until, gradually, evolutionarily, it will become a part of us: a mutation, our fifth appendage.

Shaken or stirred, it is our communal liberty and, god damn it, our liberation has been long over due!

Friday, October 11, 2002

PS

I've just been instructed by Kirin to wear a sombrero if I have one. That or a neon I Love Mexico shirt. This only reinforces the fact that the only people who have themed dinners are people who don't go out on dates.

Instead I'm bringing my straw hat.

And tequila.

Boredom

I wish I were a roller coaster in Amsterdam. A nuclear power plant in Brazil. Maybe a parakeet in the Trobriand Islands. Anything besides what I am now: listless, anxious, as restless as a graduate student.

There's this voice hovering over me (Bob Barker?) telling me to throw down my books, strap on a dirty pair of jeans, and head out onto the open road in a Grapes of Wrath manner. I feel as lifeless as a can of tuna. And the odd thing is, there's nothing but exciting things to do, plays to see, people to meet, etc., but I can't bring myself to do any of it.

First I thought of The Burning Man. Nudity, drugs, blazing fires. I was sure that this would do me some good, but I've been informed this takes place in the summer. Then I thought a tattoo might breathe some life into these tired bones of mine but then came the business of choosing one. An Aztec symbol? a tree? something tribal and leather-esque? And say I finally decided on something, where would it go? The arm, the back, the ass???

I don't even have the motivation to finish this entry. I should take a shower. Kirin's making tacos tonight. I think I'm bringing the wine. The squirrels are still looking for their nuts. And I ran a forty dollar tab at Kip's last night...

...on Malibu Rum and Cranberry drinks of all things: the reddest, most gayest, drink one can have in a "Go BEARS!", linoleum-walled bar on the West side of Berkeley.



Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Why is it that nobody informed me that David Sedaris would be appearing on the David Letterman show tonight?

WHY?!?

Did anyone catch it? Tape it? Be willing to send me a copy if I swore I to love them eternally???

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

The Ex:

I had not wanted to speak of him but certain forces render me powerless; helplessly I stroll toward the subject as unwilling as a West African Zombie not dictated by reason but by the ill motives of the village magical practitioner ill bent on causing tragedy.

First it was the picture I inadvertently discovered in an old leather-bound notebook as I cleared out my drawers in search of old poems for submissions, his arm around me as I gleamed into the focal eye of the camera with, though not an entirely formed smile, a look—that grin—of satisfaction. Then it was the neighbor, my village magical practitioner, who wooed me, who set me in a trance of nostalgia, by setting Billie Holiday’s Best of on repeat while I sat on the fire escape guiltily smoking.

I had not wanted to talk of this because I cant avoid the feeling of being discarded; the mere mentioning of it only affirming the fact that I had been released, given the get lost, and now, in reflection, feeling bitter and half-way shattered. I feel like that anonymous person who shows up in other’s photographs mounted on walls or decorating office desks. That person who, ducking a second too late, has his back forever frozen next to the Johnsons who, eighteen years and two children later, finally made it to their honeymoon in Maui. I’m that anonymous deviant, that unwanted spoiler of cinematic pictures. I’m the one you’d pay a sixteen-year-old computer savvy kid with too much time on his hands to erase me from your memories. That extra piece of scenery you’d rather do without.

And it’s with this mood that I rehash my past with him. It’s with this mood that I wonder how our last goodbyes were, to him, literally are last ones. I understand that people change, that interests fade, that the desire to be with someone burns out as easily as it was triggered, but our relationship followed no such conventions. Three years later of whatever-it-was, we met for a night of goodbye sex, a “I’m leaving you for rehab”, and have yet to hear from each other: no handwritten letters full of apologies, no phone calls occupied by uncomfortable silence, not even a How do you do? scribbled on a I Wish You Were Here postcard.

Maybe I’m naïve: always the last one in on the joke, the one searching for hoodwink in the dictionary, the idiot safe-keeping pictures in leather-bound notebooks? Even if I don’t know how relationships begin and end; even if I don’t know when goodbye really means just that, I know that it shouldn’t be this way.

I shouldn’t have to wait for postcards, shouldn’t have to fill in the words he left unsaid, and I shouldn’t, if anything, have to write this.

Having had to write this is of the most unforgivable of things, and for this I can do nothing but hate him.



Monday, October 07, 2002

The Weather

It's too hot to even think about cooler weather.

It's so hot I wish I were the chicken legs in the freezer.

It's so hot I wish I could stay in my room and do nothing but watch porn all day...

So, I guess, Danee was right when she suggested that I better leave the apartment and snap out of it. I guess I could go down to Strada and have a Raspberry Italian soda. That always cheers me up. Or maybe go to a poetry reading in the city; that would be nice, I guess. Or, oh!oh!oh!, I could sit on our roof, a Rolling Rock in one hand, a telescope in the other, and search for half naked people fanning their exposed bodies through windows!

I'm going to Strada.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Will Power

I had decided to quit smoking this week, and had done relatively well (2 days), until I decided to walk myself down to the grocery store and buy a pack. The walk, I think, did me some good; I had not left the apartment for two days, and I still don’t know what internal circadian clock didn’t want me outdoors. But I listened to it and occupied myself by cleaning dishes, making beds, and coming up with ways to combat this sense of uselessness I’ve been experiencing lately.

But going back to the walk, it was almost fitting that a salsa party was taking place at the local, of all things, French restaurant down the street. I couldn’t help myself; I had to peek a look inside to catch a glimpse of all the brown girls swirling their hair up, over, and across the cheeks of their burly, equally brown and exotic, dancing partners. Why couldn’t I be one of them, martini-dizzy and not giving a damn if I was as rhythmic as an 80 year old with dementia? I’m young; I’m limber and willing—where’s my fucking salsa party?

And this is where I saw the purple Magic Happens sticker plastered on the back of a Geo Metro. And with a second cigarette long gone and a mouthful of Iced Chai I thought to myself, Magic only happens if you’re a lesbian named Tiffany who, after escaping her parents in Wyoming and landing in the big city by the Golden Gate Bridge, recites Sylvia Plath to her lover on a bed saturated with Mimosa incense and Rosemary herb pouches.

If magic really happened I’m sure it wanted nothing to do with me, the shmuck fumbling for his lighter to the sounds of castanets and bongo drums outside of a French restaurant.

Sobriety

Every Wednesday
my boyfriend will bring me
to his Narcotics Anonymous meetings
to break the monotony of our otherwise
uneventful, monogamous gay relationship.

I can’t complain really.
It could be worse I think
to myself and finger his fifty day chip:
It could have been a fetish for leather,
golden showers, poppers, or even butt plugs.

But this is manageable.

At break I huddle with the other wives
to share cigarettes and testimonies
of recovery. “You shouldn’t worry,” they
tell me, “live the program, then live your life.”

We wear shirts that read One Day at a Time
and speak of the past as if it were a yeast infection
or a high school rumor that will plague us
‘till we’re well into our forties.

Every Wednesday
I see him, cross-legged and serious, lose
himself in conversation in a language,
that Braille of addiction, I will never know.

In the corner, my sticker reads Visitor.

My mother will often ask me
why it is I go. “To know my competition,”
I say, half jokingly, half bitter. But I don’t
tell her how each night now I pretend not to notice
how he stares out our bedroom window and sighs

as if waiting for a dead relative or a lost
lover to round the corner of our street at
any moment, with an armful of daffodils
and eyes busy with planning.

I don’t tell her how each Wednesday I try
not to think of love as being something made
from the stars or violin solos but as something
real, tangible, and as necessary as a kidney.

I can't bear it any longer; online traffic school is making me horribly, horribly depressed.

It's as if I've paid to have my mother remind me of all too obvious and duh practices, like flossing or, even, excusing yourself after passing gas in public.

I am currently in section 5 of 11; each one taking about 20 minutes to complete. When registering for this, I was warned that I would be surely caught if I attempted to cheat, yet the author(s) did not specify how one would go about cheating.

Would I be secretly taking polaroids of my screen to aid me in answering their ten problem reviews at the end of each section?

Did cheating involve drinking a beer, playing Hendrix to further enforce the scheme of rebellion, and mocking at their suggestions to "use arm signals on particularly sunny days"?

I'm confused. The DMV should really be more careful of who it allows to distribute these online traffic school services. There are just too many Implied Subjects to fathom in this writing:

Never drive on a sidewalk in any circumstances.

Never drive off the paved or main-traveled portion of the road or on the shoulder to pass.


And my favorite:

If an exit is missed, NEVER BACK UP ON THE FREEWAY!

So hostile.

What do they expect of me? Yes I might have had that incident where my engine blew up because it never received an oil change all year, and, yes, there was that time when, drunk, I zigzagged through construction cones, leaving but a few standing. But so what?

In what other ways would a teenager in Suburbia assert his liveliness?
What, by hoeing farmland?

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Fag Fridays

I don't know whether it was sharing a urinal with a leather-clad bear named Roger or being whored by best friend to a man with Stevie Nicks tattooed on both his arms, but something was definitely strange about last night.

The wine was out and half way gone by the time I was dressed and waiting in the living room for Danee who was busy drawing her eyebrows on. So it wasn't altogether unexpected that we would end up singing oldies and show theme songs like Charle's in Charge on the bus over the bridge--our driver throwing inquisitive glances back at us from time to time.

The Café—homo club in the Castro—was not bad. Cheap drinks. I couldn't complain. At one point, after I had finagled myself a drink from a tall Icelandic looking man, I labored through a sea of Fruit of the Loom wearing dykes and somehow managed to prop my three-rum-and-cokes-into-the-wind body on the balcony. And maybe it was because of the enormous, almost holy sized, rainbow flag flapping itself away into the night, but I felt somber, proud—almost ceremonial. Here I was in San Francisco, I thought to myself; I had made it. And even though I wouldn’t have two cents to rub together by the end of the night, I held my drink up high, saluted the flag, and had a moment of self-recognition I suppose.

The rest of the night was usual. We met a money grubbin’ queen whose sugar daddy gave us a ride to the The Endup in his impressive, I own stocks and bonds, beamer. Before that though, we made a stop at his house on a large hill in who-knows-where to drop off a friend of theirs. He was nice: offered me a beer, and of course I dropped it on what appeared to be freshly polished floors. Had it not been for Stevie Nicks glaring at me from both his arms, I might have stayed the night. I think he’s a florist, or at least wants to be one.

It had been a while since I had gotten sick from drinking, so I couldn’t help but not give the man at Endup who asked, Had a lot to drink? a thanks-for-pointing-out-the-obvious-asshole look as I, embarrassed and knee-faint, rose to my feet and no longer felt fabulous and self-assured.

It had also been a while since I had been out until five in the morning, so this morning I couldn’t help but ponder these words I had once heard in the mall in West Covina the summer I spent selling candles:

You can get the thug outta the ghetto, but you can’t get the ghetto outta the thug.

And how woefully true.

Friday, October 04, 2002

After passing my psych midterm today with, I estimated, flying colors, I decided I needed a holiday.

So I went to the local hardware store and bought (a) one extension cord, (b) a ceramic pot, and (c) potting soil. The extension cord had nothing to do with my latest development of a green thumb but was used, instead, to plug in the hanging lamp in the kitchen I assembled today. Besides that, I re-potted my plants, watered and fed them, and sat back with Greek wine in hand and felt good about myself.

Today is officially me day.

Today I will buy brown pants. Today I will open the windows. Today I will spend money on drinks, shake a hip or two, and maybe, just maybe, let someone go down on me in the bathroom

I'm feeling risqué once again.

I might dye my hair something lively, something that has I will go down on you in the bathroom, too written all over it.

Yeah. That's what I'll do.


Wednesday, October 02, 2002

One Fine Day

From the moment I woke up this morning and had him on my thoughts, I knew that this was gonna be no fine day no matter how many times Natalie Merchant sang it. I guess it had something to do with my dream with him in it, and the one the night before, but either way, I rose from my bunk, rubbed at my lazy eyes, and could feel something peculiar in the air.

This intuition was further enforced and validated when Danee and I were assaulted by eggs on Bancroft Ave. Of course, the eggs seemed to miss everyone present BUT me, resulting in a yellow mess on my jacket. So like someone defeated in battle, I hid myself in the bathroom at Cafe Milano and furiously scrubbed at the E. Coli that was quickly forming on my jacket sleeve.

I told Kirin this and after a quick moment of sympathy, she resumed telling us, in great detail, about her sexual experience with a geeky school teacher this Monday. Kirin has also ceased to respond to my I still miss him text messages I send on a daily basis, particularly every morning. There's something about an unmade bed with only my smell on it that makes me want to weep.

I hate empty unmade beds.

I hate that I still miss him every morning and have only websites dedicated to his nude pictures to console me.

And I hate, hate, hate eggs.

(For a less dramatic version of my eggsperience, visit Danee who managed to leave the battlefield unscathed).