Monthly Archives: November 2011

Heute Darf Nicht Tanzen

or You Are Not Allowed to Dance Today

Don't even think about it.

So I’ve missed going dancing. Nothing like being a stupid arse-hole bashing into a sea of popped-collars; letting an endless lineup of mindless, wonderful techno songs reconfigure your brain into oblivion. However, a baby Nazgul does have its way of re-arranging your priorities.

Last weekend though (or was it two weeks ago, time is passing so fast…) one of my good friends’ sister was in town, and the three of us decided we would.

::coughs::

Go Out.

Yup, we would pre-party. We would tart up. We would put out. We would drink and shake it. My friend knew a pretty good little place in the Cockenblock Quarter, and after a tumblerful of cheap Asti, (Asti! Two years have passed since its economical delights have passed my lips!!) we were ready to rock.

And we ride the tram there. And we get out and walk up to the place, ready to get coy with the bouncer–but look at this, wonder of wonders! No line on this ass-cold night; getting in right away…no cover either; the dance floor is so close we can taste it. Except. Except?

The bouncer tells us that:
Heute darf nicht tanzen.

(That’s German for: You are not allowed to dance today.)

You think I’m joking? I thought he was joking.We went into the club anyway, smacking our gum like what-the-fuck. What do we see? A sad bartender pushing dreck with his rag from one end of the bar to another. A couple of long-faced fairies huddled in a corner, nursing beers. A dance floor all spangled up with no place to go while some horribly un-danceable tune droned in the background and every wall was plastered with the admonishing signs Heute darf nicht tanzen.

Why, we were wondering. Why indeed? Because Munich is in Bavaria, and Bavaria is a highly Catholic state, traditionally always has been, and next Sunday morning was All Saints Day, and since a minute after midnight would technically already be on All Saints Day, it is not a day where the Lord would be pleased to find us dancing. And apparently, the law is enforced strictly enough that establishments allow you to come in and drink, but you can’t dance and if a policeman were to do a shake-down and find anyone dancing… god help us all!!
Roasting in eternal hellfires on one hand and the Bayrish popos on the other.

Kind of an interesting quirk of Bavaria. Because we do have these things such as no dancing the night before a saint holiday, and Sundays, every store is closed so that we may all find our way to church and examine our souls. Interestingly though, religion here seems to be much more historical than in the States–you’d think people enforce these rules just cause they’ve been enforcing them for so long, but nobody gets their panties in a knot about creationism or abstinence-only safe sex…. You can’t walk two steps downtown without knocking your nose into a Catholic church, but on the whole, people are super relaxed about all these issues we’re still chomping over back in the states….
You’re a gay black dude who wants to get an abortion from an evolutionist?

Sweet.
Come share our beer, brother. Share our pretzel.
Bavarians don’t care.
But you better not fucking dance the night of All Saint’s Day.

Priez Pour Lui (Pray for Him)

Rest in Peace - oil pastel + graphite + W + coffee made this painting

So… did everyone know about oil pastels and how creamy and amazing they are? Was I like… the last one to find out? The funny thing is, that media has been available to me for months now, and the awesomeosity never really clicked until very recently…

W and I had a drawing session finally, like… the first one in an eternity, and this is what I came up with above. A boy lying in a coffin, because summer is over and the fall brings it’s own sadnesses… And then a conversation about this picture with W reminded me of my true dead love (Juno, before you start getting all crabby, you know, I scream it from the rooftops of the Internets, that you are my one true Live Love) but Arthur Rimbaud is my One True Dead Love, fucking a, I would even be willing to live in the shitty-ass 19th century just to be his girlfriend or his boyfriend or whatever he wants. I could provide. The moof is flexible.

He lies today in a graveyard with a stone that says only “Pray for Him” and now and again, I certainly do that. (One godless being to another!) And now, if you have the time, and  the inclination, dear reader, you can come with me on a little ramble, dedicated to AR, who was a beautiful manpoet who died very very young, because it is very, very late, and for some reason, that’s when I write the quickest and most bullshitty; that witching hour when the sky is the color of dishwater, getting lighter every second and I know: Holy shit, I stayed up another night writing, reading and ruminating about nothing. Nothing, but something, but ultimately nothing. The nothing of today, my gentle moofs:

Beauty.

One (fledgling) Writer To the Defense of Beauty
A possibly incoherent ramble, NSFW!
Will get you possibly hard, tented, and in trouble with your co-workers and BOSS! Read on at your own personal risk.

Ahem.

So, I was reading this review of a book online (I won’t say who what or where), but after an online reviewer tore it a fresh bunghole (very eruditely, let it be said), one of the minor flaws she gave of the book (which is supposed to be a sort of vehicle for examining gender/feminine roles etc. in our modern reality show and beauty obsessed society), so one of the things she criticized was that it emphasized too much the beauty of the characters, especially the male characters. That it is a shame that even in this society, where we are always teaching girls that ‘beauty is skin deep’, we still balk at reading fiction about ugly people falling in love. (Or, at best, we are willing to accept a story where the girl is the ugly-duckling, but the guy at least must be beautiful) and that this really undermines efforts to empower young women…

And I looked into my heart then, both as a reader and as  writer, but mainly as a fledgling writer, and I said to myself:

GUILTY.

In almost every story I’ve ever written (and I have written many)… I tend to make my characters very beautiful, or at least very attractive. (This is true for both male and female characters, it is also true of when I draw…) …so why do I do this when we’ve heard a thousand times

Beauty is only skin deep.

But now I will argue that perpetuating THAT lie to teenagers (girls and boys) is just as harmful as any absolute. Beauty is your skin, but your beauty affects YOU, and it affects the people around you (conversely, so does your lack of it.) We are animals, biological beings before we are in a human society that taught us about woman’s rights, and equality of the sexes, and while I think it is admirable to fight our instincts and even turn them on their head, it is silly to ignore them all together or pretend they don’t exist.

I love beauty because it is aesthetically pleasing; but it is deeper than that, I love beauty not even with my mind, or my heart, but deeper, somewhere very deep in my cells, where when I look at someone beautiful a voice I can’t even hear in my mind just feel rippling under the skin murmurs to me ‘fucking a, if you made kids with that boy or girl, those kids would rule the world!’

This combination of features is personal; yes, there are ideas of universal beauty (and globalized beauty) but our attraction, on it’s most basic level, has to do with making babies, health, immortality, you know, the stuff that is below but holding up our Art and Technology, the future of the human race! and finding someone who’s features are going to smooth out the physical imperfections and weaknesses we bring to the gene pool (not acerbate them.) If you’re honest about that and admit it to yourself, that that is what is happening on the subconscious level when you check out someone’s ass at the grocery store, I think, is not a bad thing. And then, if we are going about telling girls that they don’t need to be beautiful (or boys that they don’t need to be aggressive), that may be true, they don’t NEED to be, they will find someone to love them no matter who they are, but like it or not, admit it or not, men and woman are different. Yup. On a hormonal and physical level. I’m not making this up. So pretending that there is no differences between the sexes, and/or getting disgusted when someone ‘acts their sex’ (powerful, comfortable man is attracted to young, trophy wife etc. etc.) just confuses me. I think what we should be doing is teaching people that it’s ok to not be like that, not that it’s bizarre to be like that at all. Acting out of sex is our right as members of a free society, but acting our sex is well… fine too. Isn’t it? I mean, people can be stereotypes, if they want to be, as long as they are allowed also not to be.

But if we are supposed to be fighting those baser instincts, I would like to argue that beauty and it’s contemplation has a place even in our higher thinking, just as important as the contemplation of ugliness. Beauty can often be fascinating to non-beautiful people or average people, maybe because we (if you do identify with that group) carry a myth of what being beautiful means, but of course it presents its own unique problems, as does mediocrity and ugliness. And it’s own advantages. (As all three also have their own unique advantages.) Case in point: being funny. When was the last time you knew someone who was really beautiful and also funny? In my experience… well… not so often. I’m going to say almost never… because funny generally develops as an alternative route for acceptance and recognition. ie, being beautiful might be a direct handicap to extreme funniness!!

And I think it’s amusing that people often look down on natural beauty as some kind of perk you were born with, but did not earn… yet this is never done with intelligence. Being born with an aptitude or a talent is not conceived of ever as unfair; there is an idea that a smart person still has to work hard for their intelligence–but you know, if I tried, with my extremely limited numerical aptitude, to become say… highly proficient in math, it would be just as much of a failure as if I embarked on a journey to become a supermodel. Let’s just say, when it came to the beauty of numbers, I fell out of the ugly tree and got assaulted with every branch. So what I’m trying to say is, people should be allowed to make use of what they were born with. If you were born with an art talent, a flair with numbers, a good people sense… a supersonic rack… an amazing porn star dong. Go out and reap the benefits. Why not?

And to go back to that online critic, who wanted to know why nobody wanted to write about ugly people falling in love, I give yet another reason, purely from an artistic standpoint:

Beauty is heartbreaking. Ugliness is not. Why? Because ugly is forever. It is solid, like a rock; it is not going anywhere; except for maybe up. If you’ve got ugly stock, that shit is only going to get better and better as the years go on; the wine and cheese will open their luscious bouquets and… ok, moof, we got your fucking metaphors, stop! Ok, ok, so ugly is forever, only getting better day by day, but beauty is a moment. That’s what makes it precious. And that’s what makes it fascinating, to me personally.

When I walk on the street and I see a beautiful girl, or a beautiful boy and I admire them covertly, or even better, even worse! If I see some beautiful youth smoking (! looking so sexy and killing themselves all the same!!) it’s like I can hear my own heart breaking and tinkling and scattering it’s little tinselglass shards into the wind. It’s not sexual, get that, people?! It is the simple, sad knowledge that this person is so right now... and I think to msyelf… if I saw them in ten years, they will look so much worse. It will not be their fault, or maybe it will; too many cigarettes, dope, booze, disappointments, long nights, work, betrayal, Big Macs, illness, death, life, life, life, life, life–and it will mar their face. And I will SEE it on them, and that little spark of wonderfulness, that everyday divinity will be GONE. Intelligence does not go away (save at the very end, gnawed by dementia.) If you’ve got intelligence, you’re set for life! If you’ve got beauty, people scorn you for getting an easy ride, but you’re sitting on a time-bomb.

Oh, but so what? What is the big fixation with beauty?! The fixation is, beyond everything else I’ve said, is that everyone can enjoy it. I can look at a girl with nice legs and enjoy it for one second. I can enjoy a girl wearing a tight shirt for the few minutes we’re walking near each other. I cannot enjoy on the street that you are a philosophy genius… or even an excellent cook–those are wonderful talents, excellent traits that further mankind but I won’t get randomly exposed to your genius on the bus or in line at Starbucks, while beauty is populist. If I can see it, it’s mine to enjoy. (or yours, or anyone’s). Beauty is democratic, it is by the people, for the fucking people!

You do not look at a middle-aged accountant and wonder what happened to him, but you do think that when you look at a middle aged teen idol. Some lucky people with good genes or rigorous regimens, upend this rule, but most of us have a little window of looking from anywhere from good to fucking hot for a blink of an eye and then it’s snuffed out. Bye bye beauty.

Sure, it’s not deep, it’s just skin, it’s not life AND death, it is not starving children in Africa, it is not cancer. Beauty is just frosting, but face it, literature is frosting (the beauty of words) and art is frosting (the beauty of forms) and physical beauty is just the sudden flash of the tiny extraordinary flickering out of the ordinary.

That is sad. That is life.

Fiction is mirroring life, or life is mirroring fiction, I don’t know, it’s gotten so twisted up, but the truth is that real life is not synonymous with boring life or not noticeable life. Fiction does not have to be foofy and mind-numbing just because it features beautiful people. (I hope not, or everything I write is mind-numbing and foofy..and maybe it is, shit!!) And I am absolutely FINE about reading fiction with ugly people ::laughs::… absolutely fine with it! But while ugliness has it’s own twists (and it’s own champions, god, read Flannery O’Connor, every person in her stories is deliberately fuck ugly and with a fucking ugly personality too and she is a phenomenal writer!) while butt-ugly it has it’s own champions, it can’t make me ache the way I ache on some physical .. subconscious….
aesthetic?
Cellular?
Molecular?
Divine.
Everyday.
Level?
For something beautiful, vulnerable… breakable that I know just can’t, won’t last forever. Forever?
Not even a decade.
A minute? Will it last a minute?

Because life will come around and break it.
And knowing that, a little bit, breaks you.

Thoughts, if any of you have made it this far? :D

[Omg, I went over the 2000 word mark, I officially need help.]

V is for Va-ni-ty….

This week it’s ‘Vanity’.

Here’s what I came up with, peoples, in ‘code brown’.

Rough sketches, but this is a distracted week. : /

Inspiration taken from the art-book ‘Neue Menschen’, an amazing photo compilation of beautiful and righteously vain people.  My battle against hands and their tyranny continues …!

Dear Friend

These messages were sent while you were offline.

i love you… and maybe i’m wrong… but i just don’t trust you anymore.

Dear friend.

I would write you an email, but that would put pressure on you to respond.
So I write here. You’ll probably never read this, but if you do, it will be because you looked for me and not because I forced you to. It’s not hard to find anyone anymore these days. Nobody disappears. And then I’ll know you wanted to read this and wasn’t compelled by your inbox.

I’ll just say that I miss you and it’s hard.

What have I done to abuse your trust? I don’t know. I told you how I was feeling–when I was feeling good. And when I was feeling very bad. I tried to be there for you when you needed me, not as much as I could have, maybe, and not as much as is possible from such a distance. But I tried and kept in touch with you better than any other friend. More than my family even. I considered you to be my family, and still do.

To me, that means that there is nothing you can do, could ever do, that would make me not want to speak to you again. Nothing.

And it hurts that that is obviously not how you feel about me.

You think I am hard, unfeeling, opportunistic? You can tell me to my face? Well, I’m not made out of stone.

You think I have an easy life– I don’t seem grateful enough for all the good things that have happened to me. Maybe, on that point, you are right. My life is Easy, I was born Lucky–definitely. But there are always more fortunate and less fortunate people. I find people who feel guilty about their privileges silly–starving people can’t eat guilt and lonely people can’t lay next to guilt at night. Guilt = useless.

I try, in my own way, to work hard. To bring a little happiness to people I know. And I try to enjoy the one life I have. That’s not much of a life philosophy, but it’s the best I can do.

I enjoy it much less without you around, that’s for sure.

Sometimes, I get very angry. I think go get fucked, why do *I* have to wait around for you? Have I ever made you wait? For me? Maybe you say ‘yes, you have. Many times’. But if I did, it was never intentional. The difference is, if I hurt people, or you, it is out of distraction–never cruelty. I am distracted, selfish, bored, scared a lot of times–but I am not vicious.

I am sorry.

I am also not sorry. Sometimes, I miss you enough that I think I’ll just call you and say: Whatever I did, I’m sorry! Whatever I did wrong, I won’t do it again! Let’s just talk, please! But what would that do, if you have a problem with me?

This is who I am. It is always who I am. I did not change recently–incrementally, psyches shift when you’ve known someone for almost two decades, but the core of myself is the same, like the core of yourself is the same, I believe. I don’t ask you to change yourself for me, and believe me, being your friend wasn’t always easy either. But I never felt like it was a sacrifice or a burden to be with you. True friendship means accepting everything–true, soul friendship, where you know every shadow in someone. Not just the happy things. Not just an empty chat at a cafe.

Though I do miss talking with you at a cafe, very much.

Take care, please.
If you can’t forgive me, what can I do?… but life is short.
I wish you would change your mind.

I love you too.

He Screams Like a Nazgul at 50,000 Feet….

Do you remember those times when you were still young and beautiful, and you flew to exotic locations that involved the boarding of aircrafts and the sitting in of seats? And if you do remember such times, I’m sure at some point while you were boarding and sitting, you recall saying a little prayer to whatever god you worship; an incantation that might have sounded something like so:

Dear God In Heaven, Oh Ruler of The Universe.

Master of every beast that crawls on the earth and every fish that breathes in the sea….
Please let them not run out of my preferred option at dinner.
Please may the inflight movie not involve Rob Schneider.

And please, please make sure that the following people do not sit next to me:

An obese man spilling into my seat.
A chatty, lonely old lady.
A raggle of kids with tender gag-reflexes.
But above all, oh Lord, please make sure that I don’t get seated next to …

A BABY.

Since the bright dawn of commercial flight, millions of people must have evoked an entire pantheon of gods to make the just-outlined prayer, and as you step on the plane, you realize in a flash of horror:  You face a legion of strangers who have just called upon a higher power to not sit next to YOU.

The baby dangles from your arms as you move through first class into business, and you sweat. Nobody makes eye-contact with you, and the few who accidently do shy their gaze down. Believe it: You’re SHUNNED! You’re a leper! In the hierarchy of airplane boarders, you and your mini-me are the most dreaded seating companions, ranked under the compulsive conversational and the festively farty.

Timidly, you ask the stewardess if you may not sit at the bulkhead, to be a little more comfortable for the flight. Oh, just ask someone to switch with you, she watts you with her smile and you cringe. This game! She doesn’t want to be the bad cop, the angel of death, so she delegates the task to you.

Your baby squalls, he’s hungry and has recently soiled himself. The reek of newborn shit mixes with your shame as you bleat at the bulkhead: I have a baby. (In case they can’t see him. Smell him. Hear him.) Would anyone travelling alone be willing to switch seats with me? Im in 35C… it’s right over there…

Five pairs of eyes swivel at you in naked fear.

I’ve got bad knees. The owner of one pair of eyes and knees confides to you desperately. I wouldn’t mind switching with you, but I have to sit here. I’ve got bad knees.

Bad knees… bad knees….! Suddenly, weak joints are more contagious than this year’s flu as everyone nervously assures you that they would switch, they would be, in fact, the very first to switch with you and move into the ass-end of 35C if it were not for the curse of Bad Knees. The baby remains squalling and you look around, craving some authority, but the stewardess is nowhere. Defeated, broken, you move through economy plus, with its roomy bulkhead and its bad knees endemic.

Move through it.  Cross through it. Leave its demesne.

You are now officially in the seating area of the damned.

Once there was a bulkhead, but it got eliminated, probably when they axed complimentary booze on transatlantic flights, and bags of peanuts on domestic. An audience of human sardines stares at you with hollow eyes. Here, there, an empty seat gleams amongst them and they are all waiting to see who is the condemned. That role falls to two young men sitting window and middle. You and your baby will be occupying aisle.

They look at you: God, their eyes say, do we have to sit next to a fucking baby for eight hours?

You look at them: God, your eyes say, do I have to sit next to two douchebags who are gonna get buzzed on economy red wine for the next eight hours?

You mutually hate each other. The baby caterwauls. His diaper festers. You wedge yourself next to the young men. All three of you are miserable, but you can’t change his diaper while the aisles are all blocked with boarders still…

Excuse me, a kindly elderly gentleman two seats ahead says. There are two empty seats next to me; he indicates them with his hand. I don’t think anybody will be sitting there. Perhaps you will be more comfortable with the child?

You stand, gratitude flooding your heart. Someone is not resenting you the hubris of populating our overpopulated world with more people related to you! A small step forward, yes, eureka, two free seats, middle and aisle, with one elderly lady at window. Her bag and magazine are occupying middle, but surely, she will move them and let you sit, she will enjoy the sweet smile of a little baby who perhaps reminds her a bit of her grandson… old ladies, tea time, flowers, sunshine, dearie, grandchildren, golden reminiscent years…. Doilies, doilies, doilies….

Quicker than a black adder, the old bitch starts wallpapering the two seats next to her with her cheap gossip magazines. Someone is sitting here! She rails. Who that is, you don’t know, but someone is sitting there, and she is saving their seats with a generous coating of magazines that makes you wonder if her seatmates might  not be an army of parakeets with parakeet diarrhea. Oh fuck you! You want to yell at her. Nobody is sitting there and you’ve never had kids! You’ve never had grandkids! You’re going to die alone!! I have a stinking, screaming baby, but you’re going to die alone!!!

The reason you don’t yell this is that on top of everything else, you’re a big fat coward.

Shenanigans ensue….

Silent

I swear this song, some form of it at least, will haunt me until I die. I suppose it’s a testament to my Peter Pan syndrome that the lyrics still compel me when I’m rapidly approaching Foge Land.

when you were here before
couldn’t look you in the eye
you’re just like an angel
your skin makes me cry
you float like a feather
in a beautiful world…

Usually, it’s hard for me to come up with something for the IF prompt. This week, it was very easy. The biggest challenge was transferring the stupid drawing into the computer… my battles with Scannie continue. I plan to use this brown sketchbook for a while now (until it’s filled, actually) and then give it back to my mom, since she likes my thingies and its her sketchbook to begin with (but she claims to never use it.) But I’ve started using it, been filling the pages, killing the white pens, grating the graphite.

In other news, just a few more days now and then I’m a leavin’ this here Oregon. Happiness to go back home and see my peoples; sadness to leave my parents and the evergreens behind. But that’s life, I suppose. Happiness and sadness always together and inseparable.

Baby Nazgul update!
For anyone keeping track of Baby (–)’s progress (we’ve decided he’ll be Baby (–) until he’s two, at which point he’ll be Little (–). Anyway, he’s got… four (4!) teeth now! The bottom two and then two little fangs, ready to staple your fingers should you ever offer them. He cut them somewhere between Texas and Arizona. And he’s eating solid food now! Trying solid food is more like it, but his reactions to the menu so far:

Food: Squash
“Nom, nom, nom! <3″

Food: Carrot
“Kind of like squash. Nom. Nom.”

Food: Banana
“Not quite sure of this, guys. Fuck it. Nom.”

Food: Green Beans
“Please don’t put poop in my mouth any more.”

Okay moofs, I’m off now to go read Craig Thompson’s “Habibi”…. (with tea!!!)
So excited!!!!
Review to follow.

You Can’t Go Home Again

This was not how I had pictured our reunion.

I wanted to go in there guns blazing, flashing a big How the fuck have you been?, tossing (–) over the counter and having her catch him like a bridal bouquet. I wanted to go in alone.

Instead, I was standing outside, shivering in my boots while my parents tried to feel out the situation. Ahead of them in the line, a woman wearing no coat ordered a perversely big ice-cream cone and later my mom whispered to me: I think she’s insane. I glanced at the woman. Sure, she was sitting there, still wearing no coat, occasionally bopping her head to the side while she finished an amount of ice cream that would have made me puke. I think she’s going to order another one, my mom’s voice was half conspiratorial and half thrill, and then to cinch it, one more She’s insane.

The woman didn’t help her case by going up to the counter then and asking my friend, with a smear of brown on her pinky, if they happened to have a can-opener?

Then it was my turn. My friend came out from behind the counter and the first thing I noticed about her was her new teeth. Her teeth were white and really straight, like someone had gone all Robert Redford in her mouth, and that splash of white in her face was disorienting, because it wasn’t the space that was supposed to be there at all. I remember, she always had snaggle teeth. Well, the word ‘snaggle’ sounds critical, I’m aware, but I thought those teeth looked good on her. They looked strong, like they could fuck you up. They were wolf teeth, which is not a tiny bit ironic, because when she was little, my friend loved wolves and made the mistake of once or twice expressing this love, resulting in a decade long avalanche of wolf paraphernalia , most notably shirts, from her family. She might have been the original Three Wolf Moon. But her new teeth were not wolfy at all, like I said, they were straight and immaculate, making her face look much different than I recalled.

My mom kept talking about me, which annoyed me. I figured, that wasn’t what I had come to talk about. Also, I had a sinking feeling we had only a few minutes left and I had a lot of questions to squeeze into that time. Like, how is your mother? Sometimes, I think about my friend’s mom and even worry about her, much more than my friend, who is vulnerable, but still quite young and that gives you a lot of strength, even when you don’t know it. But her mother has stopped being young a long time ago and already back then had reached the end of her hope. I wanted to ask my friend about her mother and then ask her what’s the best book she’s read this year and the year before. This was not easy.

Customers kept coming in. They drifted in like snowflakes that stick on your face precisely when you don’t want them to. My friend would run behind the counter and serve them and as soon as they were gone, she would immediately turn to talk to me, but I could sense that she was only doing this because I was in the space that customers occupy and she couldn’t exactly ask me to leave.  Her questions were polite and distant, but each requiring an answer long enough that by then, another person would come in– In the space of her serving customers, I made the mistake of not thinking about what I would say next. Instead, I stared at the neat little cards describing the flavor of each ice cream. Trick Oreo Treat. Get it? I wondered if there is a job description that involves coming up with pithy ice-cream puns and decided that it must be an off-shoot of marketing. That is not the type of thing to think about when you’ve got five minutes with a best friend you haven’t spoken to in two years, but that’s how nerves work. They do weird things to you.

I wouldn’t want to be here alone at a time like this, my mom whispered again in the down-time. This is a bad neighborhood. I look up–Across the street, obese people are swimming out of the Skippers and cars are blatting on the big street. Discount food stores and pawn shops have started flashflashing their signs. This is a bad neighborhood, ok maybe not bad, but I know my friend has been held up at gunpoint not once, working the evening shift alone. She puts her life on the line so that people can get Rocky Road at nine in the evening, but she needs a job and business is bad. The owner doesn’t want to pay two people to stand around. That’s another question I don’t think about while I’m reading ice cream descriptions: How’s work? How are you holding up?

At some point between Old Fashioned Butter Pecan and Cherries Jubilee (It’s a party, and you’re invited! The other guests are rich cherry ice cream, juicy black cherries and a hint of rum…Contains milk, may contain traces of soy, nuts and gluten), I realized I couldn’t take the tension anymore. I was perpetually in the moment before the ingenue opens the closet door and gets slashed in the face by the psychopath who has already killed all of her friends, eviscerated her boyfriend. While my friend was serving two customers, I told her we had to go, and she waved because that’s all she could do, while serving customers. That’s all people can do then, right?

We walked out, and I felt jittery, like right before you’re about to be really sick.
I wished I could have seen the situation clearer, observe it from somewhere else. I wished I could have rewritten the scene from the third person, seen it objectively. The third person is perfect for that. But here I was, stuck in the first.

The woman with no coat was kneeling by the dumpster. I saw something fumble in her hand–it looked metallic and flat and out of deep space.

We walked past her sharply and got in the car.

See? My mom hissed. I told you she’s crazy, now she’s out here doing something to that dumpster.

We drove out of the parkinglot quickly and I didn’t see my friend’s face anymore behind the window; the brightwhite perfection of her teeth or the two women: Can I just try a little bit of the Pumpkin Cheesecake?

Our car fed into the big vein of cars pulsing north to south and my dad said: She was feeding a cat.

What? My mom. Who?

The woman you thought was crazy. I guess there was a stray cat by the dumpster and she got the can opener to open him some food…

The Man Who Breastfed

Let’s get all of the obvious out of the way: Breastfeeding is natural, normal, healthy blah blah blah, and everyone who doesn’t believe me, just crack open your flesh Bible and somewhere deep in them musty folds you’ll read about how God made tittays for men to suck on babies to get their food.

No problem, right?
Except that evil society has made this dastardly equation. Behold!

bOObs = SEX

That’s why you’re not allowed to walk around topless in public, because then a man mayhap rape you out of the sheer cataract of his desire, or else he’ll go atop a tall building and start shooting people, but the very least, he’ll probably crash his car staring at your rack. That is what boobs mean. They are dangerous because they’re sexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

And sex is baddddddddddddd. (But it’s also funnnnn……)

So what happens when one body part gets two functions?

This is your rifle, this is your gun. This one’s for fightin’, this one’s for fun.

-Your gun is in your pants and your breasts react sexually only when you’re involved in sex with your partner. Yes, Timmy?
-What if you’re breasfeeding and having a baby suck on your breasts?
-Then that’s functional, not sexual.
-But isn’t breastfeeding pretty intimate? Doesn’t having your breasts sucked feel good, even if it’s a baby? I mean, your body doesn’t know the difference, right?
-Then that’s sensual, not sexual.

I love how breastfeeding advocates have made ‘sensual’ the thinking man’s ‘sexual’. If breastfeeding feels good (and we’re talking orgasm good), then we’ll call it ‘sensual’. That way, you can do what’s healthiest for your kid and nobody has to feel like a pervert. Actually, breast feeding has never made me see greens more vividly, suddenly hear violins or opened up a wine’s bouquet in my nose. But it has made me come.

So imma gonna go out on a limb and be one of the few who confessed that breast feeding CAN feel sexual.

Let me postface this by saying that breastfeeding doesn’t, in general, feel great for me. You would think it did. I am someone who likes having my partyhats played with, but hey, maybe (–)’s technique is lacking. At any rate, in the beginning, he made my nipples literally bleed and even now that we’ve both gotten the hang of it, I’d say 98 percent of the times it doesn’t do anything for me beyond bonding–it’s  an opportunity to watch him close his eyes while he feeds, feel his little hand curl over my finger and think about how lucky I am to have such an adorable little Nazgul with a hearty appetite. Feeling him eat feels safe and good and that’s all. But sometimes, once in a while, stars are aligned differently and it feels different good. If you know what I mean, and sure, the sensation is accompanied by some sheepishness. But it’s kind of like getting a hard-on at the massause. You don’t feel like a pervert (at least I don’t). I mean, I’m having someone rub my naked body with hot oil while there’s a chorus of Nepalese panflutes cooing in the background!!!!

[Close your eyes. Can you see it?
rubrubrub
tooo rolooooo tooroolooroolooooooo]

What the hell does anyone expect?!?

Now before anyone starts coming to arrest me/take my kid away from me/say I’m a sexual deviant or a son-lover, let me clarify here: I am an equal opportunity organism. I respond to one and I respond to all. The person who said the brain was the biggest erogenous zone obviously hadn’t met a sexually simplistic organism such as myself. What I’m trying to say is, I don’t NEED a kid sucking at my tit to get off (my def. of a child molester-lacto-pervert), but if someone should, perchance, happen to suck on my tit, I may. Get off, that is. It’s just the way my stupid tits work. They don’t discriminate. So if the sucking is done by the wind, or by a little baby, or you (yes YOU, Gentle Reader!), getting off might in fact occur. Is that my fault? Should I feel guilty about it? Do I like smokey cheese? And you know:

You’ve got all kinds out there. You’ve got

1. The women who love breastfeeding. They think it’s beautiful and healthy and rainbows and four-leaf crovers.  (Word.)
2. The women who hate breastfeeding. They think it’s sinful, ugly, wicked. These are probably the same women who are not wanting evolution taught in schools anymore.
3. The women who want to love breastfeeding, but find it physically hurts so much, they can’t continue. : (
4. The women who want to love breastfeeding, but find it sexually stimulating and it puts them in a psychologically creepy place so they can’t continue. : (
5. The women who love breastfeeding and (quite objectively) find it sexually stimulating sometimes and say fuck it. I just don’t feel guilty because I didn’t ask to like it! *raspberry*
And last but not least:
6. The men who are breastfeeding and thinking: this is kind of cool. I get to feed my kid the healthiest, not to mention cheapest diet Nature can offer and get nipple play at the same time. Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

Isn’t that the least Nature can do after making the process so shockingly not intuitive? And then this whole binary sex OR reproduction choice people expect your body to make is messed up. I mean, my poor (–) started his life with his head stuck up my vag! How’s that for fucking Freudian? (As I and you started our lives, I mean, stuck up in our respective mothers’ vaginas …. you were not stuck in mine.. oh whatever, you get it.)

It’s complicated. If you’re out there, breastfeeding and wondering if you’re the only screwed up person displaying perfectly recognizable but contextually not-okay bodily reactions to nursing your kid, know now that you’re not.

I even invite you to share or not feel guilty about it.*

*(Unless you start nursing in silky teddies with Celine Dion and candles in the background. Then please seek help.)

[God, you know when you feel you've written something totally inappropriate and your brain says: You can't have people read that. And the inner dolphin whispers I'll give you cookies if you click 'publish'?

This is totally one of those posts. Ahh... fuck it.

Click.]

Goodnight, moofies.

Off the Road II

So we made it.

5,000 miles with two men, a moof, and a baby Nazgul.

Before we set even a toe-nail on the road, a little corner deep in our hearts trembled at the prospect of heading out on such a long journey with (–), but
somewhere along the line, he had become a road baby. It was not easy: We had our moments, our frustrations, our pants covered in shit (some of us more than others.) We had our fights, our petty moments when Gryffendor and Hufflepuff clashed, as only married Houses can, while Slytherin blithely drove on and Ravenclaw sucked his thumb. Still, after Massachusetts, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Washington D.C. Virginia, N. Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon (and as a bonus, even Washington state!); after untold amounts of Waffle Houses, strips of bacon, gas station coffees and Frito Lays  dissolving their delicious sodiatic splendors on my tongue, well, after all that, I think we did pretty good. The tiniest taste of our travels:

LIttle (--), big hotel bed.

New Orleansy

The Painted Hills

Greetings from the Sonoma DesertGreetings from the Sonoma Desert

Another delicious roadside attraction.

The family, ie, the Lost Boys

Homecoming - Photo by Jillian Shayer Kling

I have not been back to the United States for an extended period in a long time. It was strange to see this place, so littered with nostalgia…

I just finished a historical thriller called ‘Enigma’, about the English Bletchley Park code-breakers of WWII. At one point, the narrator talks about the general shabbiness of overall life that is the hardest for the average man to accustom to. There is a shabbiness to America I am not used to seeing in my memories, but then, she (he?) is just pulling herself out of a decade long war. The people look tired, but they’ve also got hope.

To J and his family, E in Virginia, P + V + C in the Carolinas,  B + B in Texas, the wonderful J clan in LA, and the two Bs and two Cs of San Jose: Thank you for all your hospitality!! To everyone else we met along the road, old friends– it was great to see you guys =) And thank you to Jill for her beautiful pictures while we were in LA. If you are in the LA area and are looking for a talented photographer for portraits, family or wedding pictures, I can’t recommend her enough. Check out here stuff here!

Catch ya later, moofs!