The Process

Tag: essay

Boring Ways to Say What I Feel Amidst the Better Written Articles Being Published These Days Sponsored by the Fact that I Almost Cried About Four Times at Work Today but Didn’t Because I am a Strong Man Lady but Mostly Because I Feared Overseasoning the Food

  1.  I am profoundly sad.
  2. I don’t know that much about political history, but when was the last time an election left masses crying for days or weeks straight.  First at the outcome.  Then at the fear for the future digression.  Then at feeling of soft spot in heart when a stranger smiles knowingly.  A grieving process is talked about.  But this is not.  Void of acceptance at the sight of all of us.  A grieving is for a forever loss.  This is a pain from an abuse.
  3. I am not ashamed to be white, and I am tired and sad of hearing people say they are.  This is Regarding Race, all this being [The United States Presidency, as it devolves].  This is also regarding gender.  Sexuality.  Religion.  If you must be ashamed, be ashamed of everyone else who voted Trump, but be not ashamed of your skin color.  Or gender.  It’s as though Being Alive has become some sort of thing requiring a background in High Math.  There are still allowed to be white, straight, cis-gendered men and women.  We’re still allowed to like them.  Everyone on our side is necessary.

    See, I’ve had problems understanding things in the event of disaster.  A great example is the tragedy down in Orlando.  After the fallout of the shooting, and after the fallout of so many hate crimes this year, the affected group is riled up against “others” sharing their pain or joining in the grieving process.  In that case, specifically, many gays were offended to see straight/not targeted citizens of Orlando mark themselves as safe on Facebook.  Later on, I read a post by someone livid that a straight person was trying to apply for funding to create an artistic memorial for the victims.   Well, I for one was glad that my family in Florida was safe.  And what’s the real issue with someone outside the targeted group commemorating the victims?  What we are afraid of is someone outside of a targeted group to commandeer the oppression as their own.  We are concerned that people will disrespect and misrepresent our hurt.  But pushing away those who support us most and who are doing their best to fight by our side–our friends and allies–is counterproductive.  Divides us further.

    And now.  People are scared that black, Asian, Mexican, Middle eastern, etc. etc., people will be disgusted with our whiteness?  My brother started an email the other day with something like, “I know I’m a heterosexual white male, so I don’t have much of a say.”  Well fuck that, quite frankly.  That brother of mine is smart, compassionate, thoughtful, and someone who should be able to be my and our ally without being ashamed.  I know who I voted for, and I know who I stand by and with.  My girlfriend is Middle Eastern  No matter how westernized anyone is, all the hate and bigoted comments about people with brown skin–many kinds of brown skin–is terrifying to me.  She doesn’t say, “oh well you have nothing to worry about, because you’re white.”

  4. How am I/are we supposed to afford the amount of alcohol we deserve to get through this whole month if not the next four years.
  5. I wanted to get married my whole life.  Not in the way that I imagined a fantasy wedding with a fancy white dress and horse–well of course; I never really imagined myself in a big, white wedding gown–but just because I wanted the ability to have what my parents have.  The greatest love turned into an exciting partnership with many milestones.  I never thought much of it.

    I didn’t pay attention to marriage equality throughout my teens, because I was busy being a normal, confused, horny teenager focused on competitively achieving impossible female beauty standard of being under 100 pounds on any given day.

    | Sidebar: can we not have a president who pushes the most ridiculous idea of the female ideal on the public?  I thought we were getting somewhere.  Finally, we were getting to a place in society where I thought, hm…maybe I can actually have kids I will encourage to just be healthy and they’ll be like, ‘good idea!’  From more or less six years of experience with eating disorders, I can say that it’s not that fun to go to bed so hungry and in pain, not cushioned at all with my knee and leg bones touching each other, thinking, ‘I’m afraid I might not wake up tomorrow.’  But at least I was skinny.  And I’m kind of chubby now, but I’m also kind of like, ‘fuck you, Trump.  I hope you were right when you said Alicia Machado likes to eat, because I definitely do too, and I’m having fun doing it, assclown!’ |

    I dated boys and never thought that much about it until I met my long term college boyfriend.  He was so great and is to this day, but ultimately, we went our separate ways, at which point, like many do, I found myself smack in the midst of exiting my “possibly a bisexual person in conversation on my most blackout drunk nights” into full fledged homosexuality in one night’s time.

    I say homosexual, because that’s what I am, day by day, every day, especially in my current committed relationship with my girlfriend, Bettina.  But there’s always my broader view about the whole thing of sexuality in this article I once wrote.  And basically, what I’m getting at, is why the shit can I not get married?  And gay people could, by the time I was out of one closet and deep into another one full of Birkenstocks.  But only in some places.  I remember when Marriage Equality was passed.  I was so pleasantly surprised but also felt like, ‘right on, America–keep on pushing!’  Like this was a logical step in our progress.  Because it was.  And now, based on the politicians Grabbing The White House by The Pussy, we’re potentially about to go back to an old world style of not letting us homos get married.  And I’m sitting here like I THOUGHT THINGS WERE LOOKING GOOD FOR MY RELATIONSHIP!   And also…

  6. Not letting ladies govern their own bodies.  Ha!  First of all, let’s just all take a moment to bask, at a distance or as close as we feel comfortable with, in the inferno that Trump’s fucked up rhetoric about women left burning forever.  Like, if I’m even allowed to have children in the future, I don’t know if I want them to read what he said in their history text books.  But then again, at the rate we’re going, maybe we will be lucky if objective texts are still allowed to be taught.  So now that we’re all aware of pussy grabbing, defamation of women based on their weights and ethnicities; sometimes even pregnancy, we know where the basis for this sort of government control on reproductive health comes from.

    We need to be able to obtain affordable birth control.  Who knows what the final call on this healthcare provision will be, since Trump is now apparently up in the air about it.  I mean, when you are a dude known for getting with women all over town, it would probably be convenient to have birth control OR abortions be accessible instead of neither.  There are so many reasons for women to seek birth control, so what if it becomes harder to access affordably?  Period pain and symptoms, excess hair, unbalanced hormones, bad skin…who cares?  Right!  Whatever, man!  Women, right?   LOL.  And let’s not forget the icing on the cake–reconsidering Roe vs Wade!  And sidebar, is anyone familiar with the theory that unwanted pregnancies can lead to neglected kids who can become criminals?  It comes from the idea that crime dropped significantly a couple decades after Roe vs Wade was passed.  If Trump wants to reduce crime, I’m just sayin’ there’s kind of a theoretical shortcut here– don’t force women to bare children they aren’t ready or equipped to take care of.

  7. Am I supposed to be afraid to be Jewish again
  8. I know adults–not only young ones–but grown ass people who were so scared about Trump winning that they called their parents for comfort.  Many of the parents didn’t understand the drama.  To me, this was sad.  I have family who have suggested his campaign is nothing, that he will focus on straightening out (see what I did there!) finances and bounce without affecting social issues.  But then it’s like oh, Mike Pence, hay gurlllllll~~~~  And all the other people crawling into the festering, old Trump cabinet to take all the good away from us.  Most of us don’t have a comfortable sentiment about this.
  9. I imagined killing myself.  Why stay in a world where this stuff is fine and wins an election?  Basically, half of the country conveniently to actively doesn’t give a flying fuck about us.  The jokes we all mad about moving elsewhere if Trump (LOL!  Obviously kidding!) would ever get elected feel empty now.  I, among many, feel weak and nervous about the idea of leaving the beautiful, multicultural country we grew up in.  Our families and friends live here.  We like it here.
  10. We’re all people, people.  I’m so disappointed that the best credit I can give Trump supporters is that they’re after the financial side of the deal.  Well, I guess I didn’t realize money was so valuable to everyone that our neighbors’ safety and rights were up for reconsideration.  Not just our neighbors, but in many cases, our friends and for some of you, your goddamn children!  Shame on that.  But for those of you who share those views–the xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, racist ones that are making us all scared right now, shame on you so hard.  You are not Americans.

6

At night we argue until I decide to spend the next day cleaning the house, and what I do is hire someone else to do it while I clean the crevices in my teeth, because I thought I smelled the dying person smell on them, because my agreement was to become gone as soon as the old breath happened in this life, and it’s too early as just the other day I got home first and was alone and the cats were out because they’re not here and I was shocked and disabled by my solitude and as a result shocked and upset at the inability to be around nobody, not even fur balls and skin balls with legs, and I walked around and around and laid down and was forced to go inside my own body, which I rarely have to do.  She got home a few minutes later, and I could come out again, and I didn’t have to stare at my own hands anymore; I looked at her, because I like to, and she is not me.  Today we drank coffee and ate pasta and I put on an alpaca hat and scrubbed her skin in the shower because I had already washed my hair because I had gone to the gym to exercise in vain, so vain, because I know I will be stopping soon and have so much more weight to gain than to lose, because that is usually the case for most people, and there’s a long way to go until the opposite is true, and this concept forces a person to realize This Fat Ass is the smallest version of itself left in this lifetime, and that forces a person to befriend it or even to just stop dreaming of looking like a skinny Asian or white man.  The hat in the shower got damp, and I figure my hair smells a lot like a barnyard animal, which is probably gross to everyone around me, which is no one, so it’s alright.  And I worry, a little, about the cleaning person coming in, because I hope it brings its own soap and stuff, and paper towels, too, because we are out.  But when I was four, my babysitter washed my brother and sister with shampoo in the bath, and she told me it was the same thing as soap, and she was right, and I liked it, and to this day it makes me think anything is transferrable, like any glue, and my girl says there is shoe glue to glue shoes back together and ceramic glue to glue ceramics back together, and the only ones I knew were Gorilla and Elmer’s and the two questions are “why are so many things breaking?” and “if shoe glue is for shoes and ceramic glue is for ceramics, then is Gorilla glue really for gorillas, or do gorillas just trump everything, and if part A is true, then who is Elmer, and is he fine?”  But I’m more worried about talking to the cleaning person, because I am not supposed to leave it here alone, in case it steals all my broken shoes and ceramics.  I don’t know where I’m supposed to hide while it cleans, so I chose not to have my bed made so that I can use my bed as a private island.  Can I tell the person that the private bed island is sound proofed?  Does the cleaning person supervisor role allow me to get drunk on the Isle of Bed while the person is there?  Do I have to give it a drink if I’m having one?  Should I  offer it a snack?  Should I get cash for a tip?  Can it use shampoo to wash the floor?  Is it voting for Trump?  I’ve eaten 6 slices of turkey and some poofy but not puffed Cheetos today.  My dad said he eats canned beans and broccoli for lunch, and I agreed with him that sometimes I just eat food that barely qualifies as it in the name of energy or even health, such as the time I ate mainly chickpeas out of the can for days because of poverty but actually because of being lazy and disgusting.  But if I want to get something with good flavor in it, I will have to go quickly in case the cleaning person gets here too early while I’m flossing and listening to Patti Smith and breaking and glueing and having sore muscles that make me want halal food which is so delicious.  And my sister wants to talk on the phone–and that is what I’ll do!  I’ll Skype my sister so that I can ignore the cleaning person!  And she can watch me in case it is secretly a killer on the loose and that way she will have all the clues!  I like it, I like it a lot a lot.

This Person

Earlier today, I got my sister to go to The Meat Hook with me in Williamsburg so that I could buy a beef tongue. I was surprised when she said yes, considering what a busy student she is.  She’s studying fashion at Parsons.  She told me about a project she was working on concerning modern style related to the new romantic.  She was considering interviewing me for the project, because I tend to dress like a manish lady or something.  Today I was wearing a David Bowie printed track jacket, red jeans, red socks, and crocodile loafers.  The sole of one of my shoes fell off as we walked into the store.

When we walked in the door, we both smiled at the cured meat smell.  So very particular and so very delicious, it is.  It reminded me of the way I feel calm when I’m bombarded by the smell of abundant and great cheese.  Which reminded me of the cheese shop I went to growing up, owned by a man named Rick.  The Ridgewood Cheese Shop, it was called, before it became a subset of a store called “Super Cellars”…

There was hunger involved when I wanted to learn about food most.  Self inflicted, wretched, diet-y hunger, like the kind that makes you loose your mind.  Of course, though, the hunger piqued my appreciation for the food and its nuances.  Which is why I loved visiting Rick.  Rick knew a shit ton about cheese.  He was a fucking obnoxious prick to those normal bitches who came in for whatever mild brie bullshit they needed for an unoffensive night at book club, but for me, he was a big, generous man willing to let me behind the counter to inspect the gooey, dank cheeses often unappreciated by the upper New Jersey clientele.  Of course, Rick could sell it anyway, because he always had some great, crowd-pleasing pairing of cracker, jam, and (insert cheese) or a truffled this or that for fancy motherfuckers.  He was a large dude who was seemingly tired of the people, but he did the work for the love of cheese.  And I saw him smile when he would tell me about something good.

Once, Rick told me that he would take a particular cheese–now I can’t remember which but I imagine it was point l’eveque brie or traditional French Muenster–and set it on top of his clock/radio while he listened to Jazz, his favorite genre of music.  After the radio warmed up from use, it rendered his cheese gooey and submissive for his eating privilege.  And I love that about him.  He was the id to my ego at the time and influenced some the way I roll in life now.   I believed we both hated the world but loved cheese and needed a chance to let life resolve our misgivings with humanity.

I bought some beef tongues at the shop, as well as some bread and pastrami.  Sydney and I tried the pastrami once outside the shop.  It was so fat-streaked, that I considered letting it warm on the heat of my thigh at home, a la Rick.  But it seemed wrong to do or something, all alone.  Sydney did the interview outside of someone’s apartment before we got back to the train, asking me about my aesthetic, inspiration, and why I like menswear.

All I could do was say, “what exactly is the new romantic?”  “Oh, Boy George?  Mom says I look like him.”  I talked about how I seem to model parts of myself after the real Pocahontas, who, as I’ve come to learn, is often portrayed as more of a dyke-y Native American lady with some Spanish Inquisition style than a princess canoeing through the wild in a turquoise necklace.  And of course, that’s just based on drawings rather than pictures, which did not yet exist.  During this interview, I failed to mention my obsession with Peter Pan’s lost boys, but I talked about a lack of conviction on feeling gender-strong.  Having spent the first six-ish years of my life imitating male role models, I can’t assert with confidence loving and choosing womanhood.  I wanted to be Kocoum long before I wanted to be Pocahontas.  Sometimes I wonder why my nanny didn’t tell my mom I was a tiny lesbian or boy or why my mom didn’t think so.  And yet I find myself very blasé in the genital changing category.

Strange, how it’s all so related and unrelated.  It is so hard to separate what we want from what society expects from us.  Like wanting to be skinny but knowing that eating all the cheese is more fun.  Or wanting to dress like a boy while simultaneously being a girl who wants to have a boy’s body but also not be a boy.  And not turning into Boy George or David Bowie but rather retaining a self.  While braising a beef tongue for dinner.  This print is an ode to this thing, this being in a skin and thereby having to do something about it, such as talk.