Thursday, December 4, 2008
snip snip snip.
inches and inches of a long year's worth of p a t i e n c e.
there's some bleach and blond in there too.
falling to the ground, beneath my feet, beneath my swivel chair.
locks of hair float like feathers, barely resting against the floor.
short hair like this, it's just me. who was i trying to fool?
not me no no.
in my sister's bathroom, she wears gloves and separates my new hair into sections and squirts the 'back to natural' hair dye.
brown, brown, chocolate mocha cappuccino hazelnut roasted chestnut BROWN.
i wait the 25 minutes, rinse, condition, and towel dry.
i comb my hair to the side and bring forth my little bangs with my fingers.
ah-ha. mhm. mmm. there i am.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
have been so busy
not an excuse or anything
and my brain just bursting
it really is
now i am "home" in phoenix
at my parents' house
used to be my house, too
grew up here
but my home is somewhere else now, i suppose
my mom is mad at me for opening a second bottle
can ya blame the woman?
but then again, can ya blame me?
long hours, good wine (free wine, for me), excellent company (mother, father, sister, aunt, uncle, grandma, cousin, dogs)
so i gotta pop anotha bottle
my uncle, he's on his Xth beer now
so i mean, another bottle for me, is justified, somewhat
red, dark, red and dark
it's funny when my harmless father gets drunk off of
12 oz cans of miller lite
he's a sweet man
and drinks under pressure
my mom, she wants me to pay her $5 for the pay-per-view on the cox bill cuz i purchased one of those on demand films the other day
and she's mad about it
when i was fucking exhausted and tired and near sick and i just wanted to watch a movie at my purest convenience
and she's mad
so i gotta pay her back
the five dollars
i'm okay with that.
but i feel bad for her that she's mad about it.
overcome by the dollar.
my uncle, on his Xth beer,
now he's fuckin around with his $2,000 lense
takin pictures of my cuz watchin a 3d animation movie
my sister is over there too
and my aunt, my cousin's mother
my uncle just fuckin around with that bitchin lense
now my mom is showing me a water bottle now
"she drinks sooo much water now"
it's that jenny craig business she works for,
they have a water bottle that filters tap water in some form
and you know that water, when you are hungry just drink the water
to fake out your hunger pains
and you will lose weight
water isn't necessarily healthy or anytihng
accessible, drinkable water that is
die water die
i need water
now i am home
just trying to relax my brain
but i see my mom chopping vegetables for tomorrow's 'thanksgiving'
and i see her aloof and alone and chopping
after her third glass of chardonnay
i can't help but think of
why is my dad out by the fire pit, drinking a beer, smoking a cigar,
while my mother
she is aloof
chopping vegetables for tomorrow
and i can't help but think, why is it this way
do we even realize this...
and i lay my head back
and relax my brain
to the thud thud thud sound of the knife against the cutting board
and wonder if this is how it is supposed to be
is anything supposed to be
of course not.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
yeah, might sound weird or silly, but i swear it actually works. you gotta tell yourself that tomorrow is going to be a good day and mean it.
so, tomorrow is going to be a good day.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
"So... someone today told me that "backpackers STINK and are DIRTY." I said "I agree but... get off your high horse you WHEELED SUITCASE ASS BIATCH!!"
-wall poetry in backpackers hostel, roma by gibro from canada
"you speak two languages, you live life twice as much. you speak three languages, you live life three times as much."
-wisdom from an elderly french-canadian woman on the train from budapest to bratislava
Friday, October 31, 2008
who has to know?
hush hush little baby,
don't you cry.
mama's gonna sing you a lull-uh-bye.
oh please, don't cry.
oh but mama please, i've got blood on my knees,
and these tears feel good on my cheeks.
now little baby, why don't you tell me
why you got so much blood on your knees.
oh mama, i just need to breathe. i got all these things
living inside me.
i can't be a harbor for lost ships at sea.
hush hush little baby.
oh but mama please, are you even listening?
hush hush little baby.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
...sent in my mail-in ballot today.
and i also deposited my pay check and some bday money in the ATM.
and i got an early lunch with a friend. the chicken cheese nachos at Bison Witches are a MUST! only $6.25, absolutely enough for two people.
the sun is exhausting. so hot the heat just sucks the life the energy outta my body. i need sunglasses.
so apparently my great great great grandparents or something like that immigrated to canada from england and scotland. some others went to australia. it was my dad's dad who moved to the family to the U.S. after my dad was born. so i have some distant relatives in australia? random, or maybe not so random.
i really do NOT understand the concept/idea/intentions of insurance. okay, i mean, i kinda do... maybe i should go to the library and read about it... this computer screen makes my sun burnt eyes burn even more.
send some zen-like energy stuff to the Congo.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
and the air was soft and warm on my lips—
it was bliss,
while I sipped on my iced-vanilla-latte with regular milk through my bitten clear straw and rubbed my make-up-free wooden-brown eyes—
I had to squint,
because the sun was intense even in January,
while crossing Highland Avenue,
and there he was sitting in a little grassy patch, next to the parking lot,
with his clumsy feet resting in the lawn and the rest of his body was dead weight in his wheel chair;
he struggled slightly to hold his cell phone up to his right ear
while I was reminded of his scraggly gray-sandy-blond hair and bony forearms…
so I turned down the volume of my music
and he glanced up in my direction and I knew that he saw me
so I passed a smile at him that was brighter than the sun
in acknowledgement of each other’s mere existence on this tremulous planet,
but he quickly looked away before this effort could be effective—
I laughed to myself,
of course he would pretend that I was invisible,
even though I just wanted him to reciprocate my smile,
perhaps a slight grin,
a nod of the head,
or a casual wave of the hand,
because I didn’t even care to hear his voice,
I wasn’t asking for a hello, a how are you, or even a haven’t seen ya in awhile—
I wasn’t requesting any physical contact, not a sympathetic embrace;
because all of that would’ve just been too much to ask for…
… too much,
and I wanted to shout to him “I am alive!” I almost did I could feel my lungs expanding and my mouth opening and my tongue flexing and my voice box vibrating—
but nothing came out,
except silence, yet my mouth still gaping
“Hello! Brooke Fucking Willock, right here!”
more wanting, more silence and I was only on my way to class, goddamit,
it was pure coincidence that we were only five feet in geographical distance from each other,
but emotional distance, or any other form of connection or communication or contact—
was light-years and galaxies away,
I was not even human to him…
perhaps I was an alien
so surreal and
to his diamond-cut blue eyes, that I was absolutely non-existent to his mental capacity and self-produced reality… because I was
I might as well have been on Mars
or maybe missing or meandering in this mess of my life
and I caught him glancing up again as I passed him
because he must’ve smelled my perfume or felt the refracted disappointment beaming from my eyes,
and he acted like he was too busy on his cell phone,
not to be bothered or interrupted,
as if he ignoring me wasn’t his fault—
of course, too busy and distracted to
Monday, October 13, 2008
Employee 2 sucks in one last drag and chucks her cigarette butt into the tub. She coughs and her elbow knocks a warm 20 oz pink lemonade into the utility sink from the cascading table.
Everything drowns to the bottom, where ingredients and chemicals and beverages and snot and grease and nicotine suffocate the drain.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
so, i tried talking to god in my head. what was this? i did not hear anything back. i wondered what i was doing wrong. i asked my sunday school teacher. "am i supposed to hear Him talk back?" i definitely pictured an old wise white man with an incredibly long white beard, bald head, and a staff for a cane who was somehow able to be everywhere at once while being invisible and having complete control of the world. cuz obviously i could not see him with my bare human eyes. and then to top it off, for some reason, in this temple, it was as though god was supposed to be even more present in the building than outside. it really didnt make sense to me, but i did not know what else to do or to think, or to believe for that matter.
"maybe you will hear Him," my sunday school teacher responded, bless her big Jewish heart.
so i thought to myself, maybe? only sometimes i get to talk to him? this did not make sense to me, and did not seem fair, because i was certainly trying to talk to GOD but i definitely didn't hear him talking back. i figured only special people get to talk to God, and that wasn't me, because mainly I didn't really know how, and I must not be so special. which then, i figured was crap, because that seemed to completely defeat the point if only "special" people got to pray and talk with God. why would God exclude me? i tried praying again.
even in the third grade, when i was learning about how God supposedly created the world and stuff, i was like, "seriously? who made this up?" i knew the universe was huge, and all the other millions of species of plants and animals out there... it really could not have all come from just God or humans or whatever. there's more to this existence than only humans. anyway, it all seemed so silly. i guess you have to start brainwashing them when they're really young, like four or five, before the kids actually start to have a mind of their own.
Interesting. (I have always wanted to train myself to be left-handed.) “Are you ambidextrous?”
“No, well kinda. I can sign my name left-handed. And I know how to draw upside-down.
“One day when I was stoned,” she recalls, “I said that I was good at drawing upside-down. I had never really done it, so then I tried it, and I am actually a really good upside-down drawer.”
Put that on a resume.
Tonight she is wearing a pale-yellow, collared, short-sleeved, button-down dress with embroidered flower designs. She is beautiful but not gorgeous. She is pretty but not cute. She is friendly but hard to read. Her dark, olive skin looks like she could be Indian or somewhere from the Middle East. A little jewel on her forehead, in between her eyes, would suit her perfect. She says she’s Jewish, which I don’t really see because I still think she looks Indian. She continues to tell me she’s 18, when for months I assumed her to be at least 24. She’s a restless vagabond. She has lived all over the southwest (on her own). I find out her mom has Hepatitis and her absent father lives somewhere in northern California. She is skinny, big-breasted, and chicken-legged. She has a bright, crooked smile and long, shiny black hair that naturally waves.
She loves dropping acid then riding her bike around Tucson for miles. On her days off she plays dress-up in her studio apartment and steals hats from Savers. “I caught my mom biting her toe nails once when I was little,” she confesses. My apron is getting soaked from the bleach water splashing over the edge of the sink, and I am now imagining her bizarre mother curled in an appropriate, bendy position suitable for toe-nail-biting. Tayler just stands there talking to me.
She thinks empty fortune cookies and wilted red roses are bad omens.
“Did you graduate high school?” I ask her.
“I did an accelerated program and copied answers from everyone. I have my diploma.” Legit. “I want to go to college and be a teacher one day. Teachers are important people, you know? But I feel like I am too young to be a teacher. I need to live life a little first so I have something special to bring to the classroom, to pass on to my future students. Not all teaching happens from textbooks.” She is so sure of herself.
She has a 30-year-old boyfriend who is a pizza-delivery-guy yet an aspiring movie director, and is leaving her in nine days for San Francisco. Consequently, she is moving to Oregon since he won’t let her go with him. She does his laundry and buys him toilet paper.
She wears frumpy skirts, baggy shirts, and no make-up. Her clothes are pastel colors and faded, jaded reds and blues and purples. She complains that her boyfriend is an old man and no-fun.
Don’t doubt it.
Then she leaves the kitchen and I continue to wash out the cheese bins.
Now, it is Closing Time. The music is louder and another baker starts stacking chairs to give leftover customers the hint.
“Do you pet snakes?” She was standing very close to me. I could have leaned in to kiss her.
“Then touch it.” Her hands are held out in front of her like a little child waiting for a piece of candy. She holds a glob of chopped garlic, oil, parmesan, and oregano. It was leftover from a long day of dressing knots. It looked like coyote shit and vomit.
She has a good point. If I would touch a snake, then why wouldn’t I touch a glob of coyote shit and vomit?
“It feels weird,” she says.
I touch it. Squishy, mushy, gushy. It leaves remnants on the tips of my fingers. I just wipe it on my apron next to the crusted marinara, grease, and flour.
Tayler gets frustrated when fellow employees leave the plastic wrapping on a bundle of paper plates. “How long does it take to unwrap them?” she criticizes.
She is always a half an hour early to work. The shift change is at five, she’s there at four-thirty. She tells people she’s bored and that’s why she always comes in so early. “My mom can’t take care of me,” she explains to me. I link this to the Hepatitis even though I really don’t know what the disease is. “That’s why I haven’t lived with her for a long time. When I was little, I would wait for hours and hours after school for her to come pick me up. She was always late.”
And the truth comes out, “So I hate being late.” At least she gets extra hours.
She likes construction paper and being outside in the rain. She once bought a car for $500 cash that she saved up in a little mason jar. It was sadly smashed by another car (not while anyone was in it).
Tayler trots to the front windows and clicks off the neon signs. I scrape the floors while she cleans the baker’s rack quietly behind me, and we both sing along with Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill in guilty pleasure.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
— Cybill Shepherd, at the Gay and Lesbian March on Washington, 25 April, 1993
"We're all we've got. You and I
this war time morality
where being queer
is as warrior
as we can get."
— Cherie Moraga, Loving in the War Years
My mother does not know that I am queer. She's practically the only one. Maybe my Dad doesn't know, I haven't directly said it to him or anything, but my Dad, he would love me no matter what. But my mom, of course she'd still love me, but I don't know. It's different. Sometimes, I’m like, whatever, she doesn’t need to know. She has made it clear to me how she feels about gay people. My mother is homophobic in her own way. If anything, I think that she is merely intrigued, but afraid to admit it. Sometimes I wonder about her. But then again, I’m the queer who thinks that everyone is a little queer, a little bit gay, deep down inside. So I tend to question nearly everyone. They are insecure? Sexually frustrated? Sleep around too much with the opposite sex but don’t seem to care about them? Self-conscious? My diagnosis: poor, repressed homosexual and/or “bi-curious” individual. If only they tried getting it on with their own kind. Their flower would bloom, their wings would spread, they would see the world in an entirely different way. The world would open to anything and everything.
It is important to take into consideration that I am writing this on a good day. On my good days I just don’t care to tell my mother, because it does not seem important to me that she knows, I can keep it a secret, I am in a heterosexual relationship, etc. so that's easy, right? But those are my good days.
Far and few in between.
How long have I been wanting to tell my mother? Since the beginning. Two or three years ago. Maybe even four years ago. I wanted her to be there with me since the beginning. Those nights spent choking on tears, choking on my confusion, on my denial, those nights spent paranoid someone else was in the house, because I thought I was losing my mind, myself. When I thought I was losing myself, when I wasn't sure who I was anymore, I just wanted to call my mother. And tell her. The big elephant in the room is queer, mom. That dark shadow in the corner is gay, mom. But I couldn't bring myself to ever make that call. Where my mother was the only one who could calm me down, soothe me, rock me to sleep like a baby. I wanted her to be there from the very beginning. But I couldn't do it, I know how she feels about gays. How could I go to her for help when she would be the one rejecting me?
I thought about telling her yesterday. Yesterday was kind of a weird day. Almost a bad day, but not quite so bad. What would I say to her?
“Mom,” I rehearsed in my head. “I need you to listen to me. I am queer. (I figure I would just have to say it like that, maybe it seems to forward, but how else could I introduce it without making her too anxious? Those build-ups are awful.) It is important to me that you know this, because you are my mother, my family, and a huge influence on my life. You matter to me. And my queer identity is a huge part of who I am. So I need you to know. No, Mom, I am not a lesbian. No, Mom, I am not bisexual. I know you are confused. The way I see it, Mom, I don’t like identifying with bisexuality or lesbianism because I do not limit myself to only 2 sexes, or 2 genders. There is a rainbow of genders, Mom. Maybe there are more than 2 sexes. Bisexuality limits me to just the male/female dichotomy, the woman/man genders. No, Mom, I am not being ridiculous. Please just listen. Mom, this is not easy for me, and I know that it is not easy for you. I just wanted to tell you, so you could start thinking about it, processing it, and making yourself aware of it. I am a member of the LBGTQ community. This is a huge part of who I am. It will be a huge part on how I raise future children, when I have my own family, when I take part in a career, when I write, everything. I know that I am in a heterosexual relationship. But that doesn’t make me straight. Mom, listen. It’s okay. Don’t you want me to love whoever I want to love, whoever I can love? Don’t you want me to be with someone who loves me too? Yeah of course. So what if Mike were a woman? Mom, no, ugh, I do not try to be different. This is not a spiteful thing. How could you say that? How could you think that I would do this on purpose? How could you even think in that way? Why would I do this to spite you?
Mom, listen, I had to tell you. I am trying to stay as calm as possible. You need to become aware of it so you can educate yourself, then maybe one day change, and embrace it, not reject it. You cannot reject me, my identity. You cannot make me illegitimate. I cannot live like that. I cannot. It is important that you recognize me for who I am, as a queer, as anything. I need that to live. I need that to survive. I need it to thrive. Being queer is not just my sexuality, it is a way of life. I have multiple ways of life. Everyone does. But do you see what I am saying? I cannot be oppressed by my own mother. I want your support. I know this is very difficult for you, and I have been keeping silence, not telling you, because I have been afraid of your response, your rejection, your disappointment, your disgust. I can’t live with this silence anymore. Yes, Mom, I have been with women. Who? I am not telling you.
Mom, I need you to understand and I need you to change and make these realizations that I am asking you. I know this will not happen over night. But it must happen. Because if there cannot be progress with my own mother, how can I have hope in the world otherwise? Mom, what if I were to be with a woman one day, who I would want to marry, and adopt children with. Have a family. But mom, that would not be legal. Do you understand those political and social implications?
Okay, I am sorry, I am getting carried away. I don’t want to overload you too much at once. Let’s keep this personal, individual, me, your daughter. I am queer. I am pansexual. I do not limit myself to who I can love based on any criteria. Sex, gender, class, race, religion. That is who I am. Isn’t it beautiful, Mom? Isn’t it? Please don’t cry Mom. It will be okay. Thank you for listening."
Maybe I would say something like that. Would I tell her on a good day or a bad day? I would have to tell her on a good day. On my bad days, I get so quiet, so numb, so anxious, so paranoid. Sometimes my bad days last to weeks. On my bad days I can hardly put my thoughts to sentences. Put my feelings to words. And that's terrible, you know, fucking terrible because I am a writer and I love words and I love breaking silences. That is a part of who I am. It's a life style.
Could I really plan something like this? Or will I just blurt it out one day, at the "wrong" place, "wrong" time? Will I be able to articulate myself, express myself when I actually try to tell her? How will she react? Could she really get that upset?
I am just hoping she would listen. Listen. I am just hoping that one day soon I can break my silence.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
The air is cool at night, still, and even in the shadows during the day. But in the direct sunlight it is hot, and I sweat a little under my arms and where my backpack straps hang on my shoulders. My skin is starting to darken. I like it better when I am not so pasty. The sun on my face feels so good. I like pushing my hair completely off of my cheeks and forehead to expose my naked skin in the face of the sun. I love doing it in the middle of the day, on the mall, while I stand next to the cacti garden in the grass. The skies are always a perfect cyan-blue and just one or two clouds rest in the sky like stretched-out cotton balls. I close my eyes and throw my head back while I breathe in deeply. I stretch out my fingers. I can feel the summer rays warming the tiny brown freckles on my nose. Then a quiet, refreshing breeze picks up my delicate, white Mexican dress, hecho de mano, and blows my short, brown hair all over my face. Brown like my wooden desk, like my café eyes, like the tiny freckles on my nose. My bangs get caught in my eyelashes. And I smile, then peek at the sun.
I did that today, and thought: maybe Chris will walk by and say Hello to me. You did in my dreams last night. You found me in my dreams and hugged me. I looked into your eyes. Those eyes of yours, like kaleidoscopes, twisting between green, yellow, and brown. They are saucers full of fresh limes, lemons, and honey. And my dreams were so vivid last night, like they actually happened. I woke up missing you, and thinking about your eyes. This is how I started my day today.
So I stood there with my hands sprawled and face smiling into the sun waiting for you to tap me on the shoulder, waiting to hear a spoken Hello. And I thought: well maybe I will see him later because it’s Thursday and I think you have a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at four like I do. Because sometimes I get to see you in the afternoon right up until class at four and you are always too far away from me to say Hello. I know that you see me, too. But you don’t stop and wait for me to catch up, you just keep walking, Chris, you keep walking away from me and pretend that you don’t see me even though I know you do. You walk away from me and won’t even say Hello. You won’t even acknowledge that I exist. And you just walk away and won’t even wait for me to catch up and I’m just left with more wanting, more silence. You won’t even say Hello. I just want to say Hello. Or a tap on the shoulder.
Last week you wore a green collared-shirt. I could see you buildings away. I always liked it when you wore green. It makes your irises look like fruitful marijuana buds.
But I guess a dream is just a dream, and something broken and left in the past just can't be restored in the future. Like an old building made into a museum. Just dead things there to look at, not to be alive anymore in real life.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
when his hands held baseball bats,
when there were blisters from weight training,
and when his fingers squeezed mine.
those fingers are trapped, curled in.
Chipped, calloused pieces of skin
have formed rough elephant scales on the outer palm
where he grinds against the rubber of his wheelchair.
I wonder why
he just doesn’t wear gloves
and his tired eyes tell me
I won’t ever be able to understand this notion of pride.
Monday, September 22, 2008
She lost in all in college, all the weight, at least. She’s never gained it back. I’ve diagnosed her as chronically anorexic, and I think she binges in secret when no one else is home. Her weaknesses are dark chocolate and buttery biscuits. She prides herself on how little she eats—and the only time I make her proud is when I eat as little as her, too. I, on the other hand, pride myself on how I can eat as much as my Dad. Two plates of spaghetti, really Brooke? she’d yell at me during dinner, Your Father eats two plates of spaghetti! That was third grade, when I was a skinny little thing, a tom-boy.
But now we’re talking 17 years old.
“You’re going to school like that?” she said to me while she was lying in her bed, her body tangled in the rumpled blankets, watching the morning news. She was still in her night gown, her hair all a mess. Every day I tried to sneak past her double doors to go to school, to evade her. Usually I could make it, but Fridays were her day off.
I turned to her, angry on the outside, and started to speak, “Yes…”
She looked so small in her huge bed. A seething person, she was merely 5’3”, her beady dark eyes beaming on me. “Every day you go to school with your hair in a pony tail, jeans, and a t-shirt,” she snarled. “Are you wearing any make up? Do you appreciate anything I buy for you? That brand new mascara?” My mother smacked her hand against the mattress, her lower jaw hanging open revealing her jagged teeth.
I stood in s i l e n c e, my battle-cry against her, which would destroy her little by little as my high school years spun me upside down. I stared at her.
“Don’t you have any respect for yourself? Any dignity?” she barked. “Is this how I’ve raised you?”
Yes, I do have dignity. The words pounded against the inside of my skull, rhythmically and repeatedly, harder and harder. I stood in silence.
“Huh?” she shouted. “Answer me!”
“Can’t you even say good morning to me?” I snapped at her. “Jesus.” And I walked away. As I skipped steps down the stairs, I hooked my pointer fingers through the belt loops of my Lucky’s so my butt crack didn’t fall out. The pants were a size 7.
You can barely squeeze into those jeans, she spat at me last week, accusing me, eyeing my body up and down, shoulders to feet. Why don’t you wear shorts anymore? Huh? Why? Do they even fit you? The ones I just bought for you? Do they even fit? My mother, she was just worried. This is how I could hold my silence. I knew better; I knew that she was afraid, afraid that I would get fat like she was fat. She was projecting her own fears and insecurity onto me, the psychotherapist explained to me, and that I was not actually fat and that I did not actually disappoint her. They were her problems, not mine. But more importantly, my mother’s told me that, obesity runs in the family, and what you look like is important.
So, I’m not fat, I would tell myself, You know that, you eat healthy. Who was I trying to convince? I knew I was at a healthy weight, and I understood it, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel not fat. I wondered, how could any mother in the world say things like that to her own daughter?
I pushed through the front door and dropped my backpack at the bottom of the stairs. “Hello?” I announced to the house. Anybody home? Only the little Shih-Tzu came sliding across the tile to greet me.
“Awesome,” I said aloud to myself. I headed straight for the kitchen. I gazed into the abundant pantry full of low fat, nonfat, fat free, low calorie, sugar free, and/or low sodium processed foods. It was early afternoon and the house was shining bright. The blinds were pulled on the windows and the sky was hot and clear.
My eyes squinted, searching. I wanted to eat something. I was not even hungry. But my mother was gone. Now was my only chance. I pushed aside some boxes of whole-grain crackers and Slimfast meal bars. And there was a brand new package of Double Stuffed Oreos.
My Dad liked to sneak in treats for my sister and me.
The plastic wrapping crumpled in my hands. I thought about how my mother and how I would never talk to her. It’s not that I didn’t want to talk to her, but what could I possibly say? She didn’t care about anything that was important to me. She couldn’t look past my clothes and the number on the scale. I mean HELLO, I thought to myself, I play Varsity Soccer for chrissake. I weigh 135 pounds! I am 5’7”!
I read the label. Double Stuffed Oreos, two cookies, 140 calories, 7 grams of fat. I had become a calorie counting machine. I ran upstairs to my room with the unopened package of Double Stuffed Oreos tucked under my arm. I locked the door, and sat onto my bed eating the Oreos one by one, alone, in silence. The chocolate cookie smooshed into the crevices of my molars and stuck in between my front teeth. The Double Stuffed cream splooged out of its sandwich against my cheeks. My tongue pushed the food around inside of my mouth, and as I swallowed, a strange satisfaction overcame me that was not nourishment. I looked down into the three rows of cookies and one row was entirely gone. I swallowed hard and thought, Oh shit, not again?
I slipped the tray of Oreos back into the plastic wrapping and tucked it into my pajama drawer. I flossed thoroughly, brushed my teeth twice, washed my face and hands to erase any evidence. I knew she’d be home soon.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
anyway, so, i'm trained as a baker but last night i was scheduled for COUNTER, meaning i am the customer service queen and i take orders all night from the customers (including their money), wipe down tables, refill red pepper shakers, and pour drinks or open beer bottles. that's about it.
early in the evening an elderly diabetic man, who struck up conversation with me about diabetes because i was wearing last year's JDRF (http://walk.jdrf.org/) tshirt. SO GET THIS, this man told me that he was diagnosed with TYPE 1 at the age of 40. this man has an identical twin brother, who was living on the opposite coast, and his identical twin brother was diangosed with type 1 at the SAME TIME he was!!!!!! that's just crazy.
then, there was the spunky outgoing and overly friendly woman with a new yorker accent, big dangly earring and long pink and green finger nails who just spent 15 years in south florida but has a hollywood area code. "you got a beautiful smile," she said lookin' straight at me after ordering her salad, chicken parm, and water in a bottle, please, sweetie. "whaddya do for fun honey?" she said to me. "uhm, i like outdoor stuff..." "...oh and there's plenty of that to do here! huh?" "...yeah." 45 minutes later after she finished her meal, she re-approached me at the register and leaned forward over the counter with a napkin in her hand. "my name is millie," she said, "and, i'm new in town. here's my number, we should hang out. hang out with me."
the night ended strangely, with a whiny dude trying to get me to give him free jalapenos and peppercinis on his cheese slices. i said, "those are toppings. it costs extra." "...what? seriously? two slices with two toppings for $7? what? seriously? that's a lot of money!" if he weren't so rude and annoying maybe i could try to sympathize with him a little. i like to "hook-up" customers where i can, with coupons they don't have, drinks they didnt pay for, etc. but he was getting on my nerves and trying to take advantage. "yes, a single cheese slice is 2.25. each topping is .60 per slice. do the math." oooh i wanted to kick him out. especially after he came back a SECOND time, ordered a THIRD slice with jalapenos, and when he got his slice he complained (lied) to the baker on ovens that he had ordered TWO slices, not ONE, and she looked over at me wondering if this was correct, and i said NO, HE ORDERED ONE. he said, "i wanted two." "...then come over here and pay for another." he left. and supposedly the girl on ovens said he tried taking another order that didnt belong to him.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
but i mean, it really interests me. "women's studies." the ideas, the causes, the theories. i took a women's studies class for one of my general education requirements... under humanities, or something, and i was hooked.
my WS 305 Feminist Theories professor (a wonderfully intelligent gay man) said something the other day... i wish i could directly quote him, but, to the best of my memory, he said something like, "we have these ideas, these social constructions so deeply ingrained in our heads that we do not even realize they are there. we think they are natural, but it's no such thing. we created gender. we created gender roles. girls are not supposed to like pink. boys are not supposed to like blue. marriage is an institution. women do not belong to men. we are here to learn about these social constructions, to question gender roles, and to understand what we are capable of as human beings."
so far i've read some simone de beauvior and monique wittig. monique is a radical materialist feminist lesbian and simone de beauvior takes a stab at writing about woman. both are from a few decades ago... both women born in the first half of the twentieth century. now, i am in a heterosexual relationship, but it is not heteronormative. i just have to keep telling myself that when i am reading philosophies by women like beaviour and wittig. basically, in many aspects, beaviour says that women are "The Other" and are essentially owned by men: politically, economically, and socially. i cannot delve too deep into this without losing my mind, but what i am trying to say here is that, when i was reading her article, i felt like little bugs were crawling all over me, that i all of a sudden became helpless, and i just wanted to scream scream scream "GET THEM OFF OF ME!! NO MAN OWNS ME!!"
well, beauviour is intense. and makes her point. i admire her work and that she is able to write about woman in the way that she does and really makes herself clear. but geez... when i was reading it... i got sucked in... and i felt like my world was caving...
because, yes, luckily i am in a heterosexual relationship without it being heteronormative (the political, economic, social thing where the man owns the woman), but outside of my personal life, i was easily able to see where she was coming from on the grander scale. and i know that all women are not as lucky as i am to have found a gentle man.
so, whew, once i start questioning gender roles in my head, things just keep spinning and my thoughts run. run. run. i start to think, that i can really be whoever i want to be, but then, really Who Am I? and shit, i am not going to fucking let myself get trapped in that hole. i am honestly just about letting it be. don't think about it too much. i am a very intuitive person... ya know, go with what your heart tells you to. sure it's not that easy... but sometimes people think too much... and forget to feel.
anyway... starting this blog, i really wanted to talk about chicana women and the chicana identity. but yeah i got a little off track, kinda.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Mike dropped me off at work the other day and as we drove into the parking lot we exchanged glances...
"What's that on the roof?!" I blurted out as I lean against the car window, my neck bending awkwardly with my cheek smooshed against the glass, my eyes squinting into the sky.
"I don't know, maybe for solar panels?" Mike hypothesized. His educated guess did make sense with the way these metal rods sort of angled off the roof, shot out into the sky, the framing for what could be solar panels.
"No..." I replied, only thinking that such a thing would be too much to hope for. SOLAR PANELS?!?!
Mike shrugged his shoulders and scrunched his face.
"Yeah... I will let you know," I said.
I strolled into Brooklyn Pizza Company: located on the alternative, off-beat 4th Avenue ( http://www.fourthavenue.org/ ) consisting of Mom and Pop shops dedicated to local artists, local farmers, local beers and fair trade. Brooklyn Pizza Company was started by a man named Tony who at the time was in his late twenties. He is now thirty-something, nearing forty. Tony graduated from the University in Wisconsin, and during his undergraduate years he studied abroad for two semesters in Italy. When I told him I was studying abroad in Hungary he was very happy for me, and gave me my job back right when I returned. He volunteered for Teach for America for 4 years, working two years in the Bronx and two years in Houston. Then he came to Tucson where he had a short-lived career as a middle school Social Studies teacher to gave it all up to start his own pizza place. Every year he travels back to Italy to visit family as well as Long Island, NY to visit family. Brooklyn prides itself on the quality of food at fair prices... We (I say "we" because I feel as though Brooklyn is a restaurant but also a family... I love my co-workers and I respect my boss, the owner...) anyway, so, We also hang up art around the restaurant from local artists as well as our own artists at Brooklyn. It's all for sale. We also welcome the homeless in for ice water and bathroom use (as long as this privelege is not abused), and sometimes we give them pizza. Anyway, Brooklyn is awesome, I've had lots of interesting experiences there. The food business is always exciting.
So, I strolled into Brooklyn and clocked in, still wondering what these metal rods on the roof were. Tony is a very liberally-minded man, always talks with me about politics and always asks me my opinion on current issues. Last year he specially ordered an energy-efficient toilet that does not flush for his house to test out for the restaurant. We haven't gotten one yet, but I am sure we will soon.
Tony always greets each employee individually at the shift change. He also says Goodbye to each employee individually when they clock out from their shift, or when HE is leaving the restaurant in the evening. The managers close up each night.
So, Tony greeted me after I clocked in. Instantly I asked, "So what's that on the roof?"
"It's for solar panels," he responded while checking the schedule.
"Seriously?!" I exclaimed, smiling wider than I expected.
"Yeah!" he responded, making eye contact.
"Oh my gosh that's amazing! Wow! When are they going in?"
"Tuesday and Wednesday (September 2 and 3, 2008)."
I was so shocked and excited at the idea of Brooklyn Pizza Company being powered by Solar Energy that I sent out a mass text releasing the information to at least 15 people. As I topped pizzas on the line next to Tony while he tossed out the dough in the beginning of my shift, I just could not stop thinking about the solar panels. My more predominant thought was: How is the community going to react? What kind of message is this going to send? What will people think?
I am still simply amazed at this initiative by my boss. It's about time, really, that businesses start running their companies more efficiently. And, to show that Brooklyn is right next to other buildings, other businesses, surrounded by neighborhoods, and the building itself Brooklyn is in is kinda old... that... well... this kinda energy efficient stuff IS possible... that you don't need a brand new fancy building in a secluded area to be powered by the sun... to get "off the map/grid"... Now, I do not know how much this is costing Tony initially, but I imagine that the long-term fiscal benefits are worthwhile not to mention the actual environmental benefits and political statements. SO, this supposedly starts taking place tomorrow, and Tony isn't sure what time the guys are coming to install them, but I am going to call my work, and be there with my camera...
I MEAN COME ON!!!!!!! THIS IS SUPER EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It should make state-wide news!!!!!!! I mean, it's a Pizza Place!!!!!! But really, now... more than ever, Brooklyn is MORE than a pizza place..... This is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so excited on the community response. My first assignment for my Senior Non-Fiction Writing Workshop is this kind of journalistic piece... and this is what I am going to write on... maybe I will submit it to the Daily Wildcat... or the Tucson Weekly... or the Arizona Republic... If that's okay with Tony, of course. What's even more cool about the whole thing is that Tony is not doing this for the attention. He is a true environmentalist taking a chance... progressing forward, and taking action. I really admire him for that. He's not spending his profits on a new, huge car or something else wasteful like many "rich" people do... but on solar energy. AND, actually, he JUST recently purchased a Smart Car and drives it around with the little Brooklyn logo on the car doors.
Yeah, I'm really excited. I will post my Writing Workshop assignment when I'm finished with it and I will upload photos.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Is it just male/female and man/womyn? Then, what makes a male a male, a female a female, and a man a man, and a womyn a womyn?
First of all, when I say male/female I am talking about the sexes which are biological. When I say man/womyn I am talking about genders which are mostly socio-political.
I understand I could write an entire fucking encyclopedia on sex/gender issues. But I mean let's keep it basic. First just think about the sexes. Biologically, the three main things on the checklist of sex is 1) physical (i.e. vagina/penis), 2) chromosomal (XX/XY), and 3) hormonal (estrogen/testosterone). Now here we have the dichotomies of mankind, night versus day, black versus white, sitting in front of the television with a brewsky versus slaving over the oven. Yeah.
Okay quick side tangent. Last year I took WS 400, a seminar about women's rights and activist movements. One of my fellow students, Sally (not her real name) was a dedicated member of the Southern Baptist Church and reminded the class on several occasions that the "reason [she] takes [these kinds of classes] is to stay open-minded." I respected her for this, I suppose, but later on in the semester she passed a comment during discussion that will always stay with me: "If you are born a male, you are a man. If you are born a female, you are a woman. The human race is heterosexual. That is just the way it is. Anything else is unnatural and not right. You are not supposed to be attracted to the same sex. And for transgendered and the transexual, that is completely wrong." Sally sat to my left during discussion that day and I can still feel the vibrations of her voice trembling against the skin on my forearms. Hairs raised.
So, when I talk about this stuff these days it is usually in spite of her as though she is standing in the room somewhere glaring at me, throwing holy water at me or something.
Sally please. The majority of humans are not born into your two nasueating little categories. It is way more complicated than that girlfriend. And this is important to realize, to talk about, and to be comfortable with. Cuz it is natural.
Don't some males grow breasts? Yeah, it is an actual medical condition known as gynecomastia. Supposedly, at least 50% of males experience gynecomastia at some time in their lives and it is more often than not linked to heriditary causes. Okay, so, manboobs, not such a big deal, but still. There's ovotestes, a condition found in some humans who have gonads with both testicular and ovarian aspects. And what about a man with an extra X chromosome?
According to biology.about.com, in sex chromosomes, nondisjunction results in a number of abnormalities. Klinefelter syndrome is a disorder in which males have an extra X chromosome. The genotype for males with this disorder is XXY. People with Klinefelter syndrome may also have more than one extra chromosome resulting in genotypes which include XXYY, XXXY, and XXXXY. Other mutations result in males that have an extra Y chromosome and a genotype of XYY. These males were once thought to be taller than average males and overly aggressive based on prison studies. Additional studies however have found XYY males to be normal. Tuner syndrome is a condition that affects females. Individuals with this syndrome, also called monosomy X, have a genotype of only one X chromosome (XO). Trisomy X females have an additional X chromosome and are also referred to as metafemales (XXX).
...continue later... sorry.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
what if i sang this or rang this or just untangled this. could you mix it in. just try to fit me in.
the bottle is chilled but it's already startin to warm against my palm and the condensation drips off the side of my hand so i just wipe it on my shorts. cuz you know that's just the kinda female i seem to be.
so please just play those piano keys. you know the 12-pack was on sale. so you got me thinking. but now i need you to get me feeling. i haven't been doing much feeling. just too much thinking and a little bit of doing. but what's the point of the thinking and the doing without the feeling? nothing, really. just nothing.
so here i am thinking about how i can get myself to start feeling again... and i just cant quite map it out right. maybe i should just start talking about all the stuff that i have been thinking about, but you know, that's my pride on the line right there. that's my most personal self on the line right there. and who can i talk to about it without being judged? without being told all the same fucking bullshit over and over? where in the hell is the peace and the feeling in that? just more cold ones. waiting for me in the refrigerator. and i nod my head.
so its like i think and i know what i love so i continue to do that, to do the loving to what i know and think that i love but i am doing it and not feeling it so it is rather frustrating. i love to write and i wanna write and i feel like i got all this shit inside of me, ya know, swirling around at the tips of my fingers, waiting to punch the key board or guide the pen. and i even bought myself a brand new fucking journal and i just stared at the page... and... nothing... came out.
yeah, nothing came out.
so i mean i waited and i tried and i guess i "wrote" some stuff but i mean i didnt really write it. i didnt really FEEL it. i just DID it. do the writing. didnt feel the writing. so i mean that's not actually writing, then. mostly. it's mostly not writing then.
i guess i should just wait it out, or something.
the ring of condensation on my night stand is so close to a little folded up sheet of paper that i threw there a few days ago. i wonder what is inside that little sheet of paper. and i wonder if i should move it away from the ring of condensation just incase they connect. but i mean, it will dry.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I’m doused in red wine (it’s chilled, I know that might be kinda weird, but, I like it. So what… it’s cabernet from
Weren’t (aren’t) all great writers drunks?
Not saying that I am a drunk, of course (or a great writer). Or that all writers are alcoholics (am I contradicting myself?). No no (I’m not a drunk). I just got back from
Don’t worry, I saw the Sistine Chapel, and stuff like that.
But the beer was awesome.
And the café espresso (black with one sleeve of sugar).
Okay side note: my significant other is also slightly doused in red wine (he got his own bottle of merlot, absolutely not chilled) and just assembled his (our) new camping tent in the middle of his studio for my viewing pleasure (Ta-dah!). We’re backpackin’ Havasupai Indian Reservation (the
Well the supposed three-person tent is quite comfortable and spacious for two people (and two kitties). I assume it would be quite the opposite for the supposed three people.
And the Ramen was good.
Trust me, I’m not getting paid or anything to drop all these brand-names. It ain’t like that. (A little extra cha-ching would be nice, though… seeing as I am fucking broke with credit card debt and, in addition, embarrassingly enough fucking broke with my parents and the loans they lent me… in the thousands). Quite frankly, the Euro is kicking the Dollar’s ASS, among other things. But,
I need to go back to
Okay, I can hardly hardly speak any Hungarian (after living there for four months), nonetheless talk about their current political slash economic situation (keeping in mind communism fell there just less than twenty years ago… after I was born…) – fucking crazy, crazy shit.
Alright, I am losing my “train of thought” here. Maybe I should refill my wine glass (purchased at the Dollar Tree… not the wine, the actual glass)? Or maybe I should just slap myself in the face and be like, ‘What kinda writer are you, biatch? Stay on the goddamned topic!’
I’m trying to refrain from the self-abuse (no face-slapping).
Back to the point? Yuh.
Well why don't you just ...call me Ishmael.