— New. Rough. We’ll see where it goes.
The summer you left, I went from being an adult with a bedtime and an alarm clock, an adult who ate three square meals a day, to falling asleep well after the sun rose, if I managed to fall asleep at all. I lost ten pounds in 6 weeks because I lost all interest in food unless I was stoned, and when I was stoned I mostly ate the chocolate cake, bourbon, & tiny wedges of exquisitely fancy cheese that friends set out in front of me. I subletted my apartment in San Francisco and I took a plane to Portland and I house-sat for kind strangers and I stayed on generous friends’ couches. It was ostensibly to work on my novel, but really it was because I couldn’t bear to be in the city where we’d fallen in love during the season in which we’d fallen in love when we weren’t together any more. Summer in San Francisco felt like The Greatest Hits Record of our failed relationship, an entire catalogue of This Time Last Year, oh, god, get me out, get me out, get me out!
I was so broke that summer, but I threw caution to the wind when I could. I couldn’t afford Lush or Sephora, so I went to the Fred Meyer by my Portland house-sit and bought a $6 sample assortment of bubble baths marketed to tween girls, bubble baths that were supposed to smell like vanilla cupcakes and Fudgecicles and raspberry truffles but that just smelled like soap and vague pink sugar. It didn’t so much matter. The packaging was pretty and they bubbled up like bubble bath should, big and frothy and shimmering. I listened to Lou Reed’s entire discography while soaking in the hottest water I could stand and shaping the white clouds of foam into piques and valleys. I placed Craigslist ads I had no real intention of following through on, just to try to remember, dimly, abstractly, what it felt like to have someone actually want to fuck me. I read Tales of the City and I cried. I watched Golden Girls and I cried. I masturbated and I cried. I read over emails you’d sent me, g-chat conversations we’d had when you were swoony about me, and I cried. I could hardly believe my body was capable of producing that much salt."
— New. Rough. And just an excerpt. But at least the dam on my writer’s block burst.
So, I wrote a post called “we’re all we’ve got" on Xmas Eve, and I put it up here. It’s personal, vulnerable, and still fairly rough. I talk a lot about relationships, break-ups, building family, disability, and what we call community. I was a little scared to put it out into the world, but I’m also proud of it.
And I want to add this addendum: I especially want to say a humbled, happy Thank You to all of the beloved friends who have been my rocks through what has been one of my hardest years to date. But I also want to say thank you to those of you who are not as close to me, but who have still stepped up for me in amazing ways. Everyone who contributed to my health fundraiser over the summer, whether financially or just by spreading the word. Everyone who comes to Girl Talk and Sex Workers’ Writing Workshop. The extended St. James Infirmary and Center for Sex & Culture families. My amazing students in Writing On The Body this semester. Dodie Bellamy & Donna de la Perriere for being amazing professors & mentors in my graduate program. Everyone who’s offered up support and connections and laughs and, yes, love in the hardest times. You matter. It matters. I’m so humbled, and so grateful.
Also? I ended up having the best Xmas I have ever had as an adult this year, even as I spent much of it home alone and sick. I rested up enough to get to have some lovely, low-key, and downright magical times with old friends. I’ve spent the past few days in general feeling held, buoyed up, beloved, and cherished. Like I’m building up reserve and energy for The Next Big Awesome Thing. It is a great way to feel at the end of this year and the beginning of a new one. And it couldn’t have happened without all the people I hold dear.
Grazie mille, beloveds. You really do mean the world to me.