"You get pushed off that pedestal and you scream into the sucking void like a girl on fire but you don’t burn up or turn to dust or disappear, you just keep falling. You count to ten, you count to twenty, you count to thirty, you count to forty. You float out in the liminal, endless, too-big space of everything that is possible and you taunt yourself with a million variations on “What if, what if, what if, just, just, just…?” The new reality he’s laid out in front of you is too much for your mind to take in. And you know how scary-fucking-smart you are. You know you are the kid who frightened and pissed off the worst teachers and intimidated the best ones, but your brain can’t save you here. You are very, very smart, but you are not smart enough to think your way out of this. You clutch the rosary your Catholic grandmother gave you for times like these even though you swore you didn’t believe in any of that any more, even though you turned your nose up at it, the rosary you kept in a drawer, the rosary you started carrying with you once you started believing again. You finger the beads begrudgingly and you’re actually not sure if you believe in this moment, but you would do anything, anything, anything to not hurt this much. You pray it only hurts a tiny bit more than this when you finally land. You pray your bones will heal up okay. You count your bones as you fall."

— 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.


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I spent a lot of my Summer of Heartbreak listening to this song on repeat. It has managed to stand the test of time, however, and it no longer makes me cry. I feel genuinely TRIUMPHANT about this. Like, if I could somehow high-five my own heart, I totally would.

an addendum to “we’re all we’ve got”

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.

Hole, “Malibu.”

(So. I seem to be hitting the “anger” and “acceptance” stages of my break-up grief. This is good, but also rough. At least I’m getting some poems out of it?)

There are all manner of Halloween & Dia de los Muertos parties happening in my neighborhood tonight. I visited the altars at Garfield Park earlier this evening — threw down my coat at Bill Brent's altar, dropped to my knees, & bowed my head in prayer. “You just saw me get really Catholic,” I said to my friend, once I was done. Old ingrained habits die hard, I guess, and it felt right to fall to my knees for Bill. My Catholicism & my kink are pretty intertwined.


My last week has been very rough. I didn’t really celebrate Halloween like I usually do. Too much break-up grief plus too many sad “this time last year me & my ex were wearing fucking matching costumes” memories. But I really love Halloween, and I love All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day/Dia de los Muertos. I’m really glad I got to get in some sweetness tonight, even if it was more somber & reflective than it was fun.

And the house across the street from mine is still going at 1am. They played a (very loud) dance version of this song. I actually really enjoy Adele when she’s pissed-off heartbroken. I’ve kinda needed it this week.

In general, I endeavor to be kind to my tender, squishy heart, to remember that emotions are hardly logical, and to not yell at myself like this. That said? This is, well, kind of the story of my last four months, and I sure did laugh when this came up on my dash.
Or, in other words: The heart wants what it wants but what it wants ain’t always wise.

In general, I endeavor to be kind to my tender, squishy heart, to remember that emotions are hardly logical, and to not yell at myself like this. That said? This is, well, kind of the story of my last four months, and I sure did laugh when this came up on my dash.

Or, in other words: The heart wants what it wants but what it wants ain’t always wise.

(Source: naniithran, via byebyemeinherr)

Outside you, there ain’t no place to go
Please don’t treat me now so doggone mean
You’re the meanest man I ever seen
Oh, Daddy, now, now love me good

Lest I get too maudlin: Antony covering Nina Simone is pretty much DOUBLE HEARTBREAK MUSIC ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SKY (YEAH, YEAH SO INTENSE).

Still. Some nights are for drinking a glass of Four Roses & listening to this.