Friday, October 31, 2008

hush hush

the things living inside of me.
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


you can find me here.
swinging in your thoughts.
askin' you to push me higher and higher.

will you catch me at
the bottom of the slide.
i'll burry your feet in the sand,
down far where it's clumpy
and moist
and a little damp.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

le tired

i voted!
...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

used to be so close

I was listening to Juanes on my headphones
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
be human.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

what's in that water at the pizza place

Employee 1 starts the dishes and the soap suds tickle his nose. He sneezes into the sink and mucus plops into the water. Remnants conglomerate and it all forms to mush, clogging the drain completely, preventing any more polluted water from escaping into the rotting piping system. The soggy dough, curdled cheese, dismembered tomato sauce and the loose sausages, slippery pepperoni, leftover flour and the grease from soiled hands, migrating bleach, a cap from a sipped AW root beer swish throughout the rinse water. Dishes clang and bang into the metal framing.
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

killin' this bottle of red

the perfectly romantic Tuesday evening with mikey:
-bicycle adventure
-southwest sunset
-szechuan omei to-go, our FAV sesame chicken (spicy)
-a bottle of merlot
-two fortune cookies
-a sticky pleather (sea green) couch
-Tom Brokaw
-The Debates.

Monday, October 6, 2008

religion/brainwashing... same dif.

my mom didnt send me to sunday school until i was in the third grade. what was she thinking? clearly i was too old to be brainwashed by then. my time of "make-believe" and "invisible friends" was over. when i was 9 years old and sat my little tush in synagogue for the first time to pray, i thought, what the heck am i doing? how do i do this? do i fold my hands together and put my head down? do i talk out loud? how can "god" hear me talking in my head? can "god" really hear my thoughts? strange.
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.

living is learning

It is just after the Dinner Rush and I am washing dishes. Tayler walks into the kitchen and laughs, “I tried tossing a pizza left-handed the other day.” We make $7/hr after a couple raises, plus tips from the tip jar split between five or six bakers. This is how Tayler pays her bills each month.
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.
“Uh, yeah?”
“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

confessions from one who has no limits, who has multiplicities

“The first person I told that I was marching was my father. He said to me, ‘But, Cybill, they might think you’re one.’ And I said, ‘Who cares?’”
— 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
and female
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.