How to Get Lost

I missed my blog post last week.

IMAG1063 (1)

I know what I really need to do is write those heartfelt things, those real things, the kind of writing that’s worth sharing, and not some bogus fluff entertainment. Although sometimes it’s time for that bogus fluff entertainment just to remind you that I’m still here. Every week, I’m still here.

But I haven’t been here. And I don’t know if I will be here.

This will come in starts and stops.

I think I’m losing myself? Maybe? I think I haven’t figured out yet if losing myself is something I do. You know, those sorts of things you maybe kind of do on purpose because your brain is so huge and it does things to organize itself, to maintain itself and grow itself. It takes you awhile to figure out if getting lost is just part of your process, or it’s some sort of crisis, or if it’s a one-time transition.

I’m not really sure if I’m changing, or just the world around me. Oh, I call it “the world,” but it’s really only my world. I look up and the people surrounding me are different people.

Stop. Start again.

There’s this image, this vignette, this set of ideas and sometimes the same words that I return to, and it is… Three years ago on a moonlight night under the oak trees of Pauma Valley, I landed, not with the sense of arriving somewhere new, but of coming home. You could say I found myself. I still have my soaring highs and my dipping lows but I feel chained to this precipice, this night of landing, that gives me this vista. I sit on the rock above the city (my city of self) and look out at purple twilight.

So, maybe, right now, I’m down in the brambles again, getting scratched, pretending to lose myself. Yet I can follow the secure anchor to my lookout, I can tug the line, I can know its there.

Stop.

I’m blurring over the part where sometimes I am so scared.

Start.

Maybe getting older is knowing how to get lost. After a quarter century, I know the mind that waits at home for me. So, I do something completely different. Despite my voracity for change, I falter in it, every time. This faltering is a risk I take, to learn something new — to learn if I am capable of this. I think I am.

My dear, sweet readers… I need to make a little hole. A space for growth. And that means sometimes I won’t be here.

Write to me, this time.

—-
New posting schedule: Every other week, with occasional answered questions or other filler in between.

P.S. I’m going pink for one week because I #StandwithPP

Advertisements

Not pointed at me, not a problem

statue-sculpture-male-roman-marbleKatie Seibert’s friend (mine now as well, I hope!!), Chris Fawkes, instinctively apologized to his lesbian entourage for the ubiquitous penises around the bar. Specifically, he indicated the ones in a revolving slideshow on the main TVs, though many more peckered peppered our surroundings in graphic statuettes, wall paintings, additional cathode-ray tube televisions mounted face down at us from the rafters and showing man-on-man porn videos, and a line of greco-roman orgy murals across a steel beam that I had missed on my survey of the room.

Katie dismissed the apology. “I really don’t have an issue with them if they’re not pointed at me.”

“Not pointed at me, not a problem;” Fawkes made the catchphrase.

I agreed, as did Katie’s girlfriend. I’ve had a rant developing for some time now on the shaming of genitals that occurs in the gay community. I don’t often miss an opportunity to express my dismay for the way we insult the bodies of the opposite sex.

Gay men, for example, sure seem to love the “C-word” and talk about vaginas like they’re steaming snot pockets.

From a post of mine in 2014:  I hear the most misogynistic crap come out of the mouths of gay men.

Part of me wants to give them a break. If the world has been trying to force-feed you women on a platter like they’re juicy delicious burgers (every Carl’s Jr ad, ever) and you finally want to express your right to want something different in life by proclaiming, “ewwww vaginas,” who can blame you, right?

Gay women tend to pair the adjective of “gross” with many aspects of men, penises not excluded of course. Considering the great lengths to which I am forced to fend-off presumptuous men (e.g. with dicks), I don’t begrudge a lady her need to generate an electric fence of penis-hatred to keep out her foes. Our (reality-based) fears of sexual harassment and assault give us negative reactions to the male body, sometimes if not always.

Side note: I wonder what it feels like to have a part of your body, e.g. the naked and aroused penis, inherently seen as aggressive? (Powerful too, to be true.) It makes me a little sad for the gentle, consent-loving, yet desire-having men out there who have to live with this perception which is largely out of their control.

There’s also another aspect to our squeamishness that is more personal, more complex, and related to the force-feeding I mentioned before. Despite my diatribes of body positivity, I very recently squicked out beyond self-censorship when I touched an (extra-soft) “packer” for the first time. A packer, or a facsimile flaccid male member that is meant to be worn inside clothing, can be found at many LGBT-friendly sex toy shops, which is where I was. “Eww eww ew,” I whispered loudly to my compadres, my eyes squeezed shut and my hands wringing.

When the prevailing narrative expects you to enjoy the bodies of the opposite gender, and you do not, you will feel the pressure in the moment of now and you feel the pressure from all your memories through childhood and beyond. You might feel or have felt a vague discomfort, a dissonance, you might have tried to entertain the idea for some time, or you may even have had sexual encounters or long term relationships. For me, my revulsion is the remnants of having to renounce this original heterosexual programing. It’s like growing up and remembering you used to eat boogers. Eww eww ew.

Still, I find it off-putting when I go on a date with a woman and she over-emphasizes her distaste for dick like it’s a guaranteed fact that I’m going to agree with her. First thing that comes to mind — I date a lot of bisexual women. I imagine them listening to my overzealous date ramble on like penises are pestilence which infect everything they touch. Insulting men’s bodies can transgress into insulting the women who love them. Next, we have the problem of we’re now talking about men on our date. If our lesbian date fails the Bechdel test, I’m out. But, most importantly, I am bummed out on body shaming.

We are talking about people’s bodies, here. Their parts which they carry with them, which are used in daily life, which they use to love others. I think of the hate we have for our own bodies, and imagine someone else hearing mine for theirs on top of that. Okay, sure, many of us will be able to shrug it off, thinking, ha, that lesbian thinks penises are gross how subversive and yet obvious. At the same time, I’d rather we see each other with more humanity. I’d rather we didn’t resort to pinning a slew of complicated personal and societal issues onto the type of genitalia or sex characteristics a person happens to have.

So, please, think about the language you use. Are all beards universally gross, or are you just reaffirming your own sexuality after years of being told the wrong thing as a child? Are vaginas inherently disgusting and scary, or are you disgusted by the way the hyper-sexualization of women is pushed onto you and scared by the intensity of this pressure? And dicks — are dicks a problem if they’re not pointing at you?

The Routine of a Black Rock City Dentist

image

Black Rock City, 2015. Dr. Dentata, a young woman with pink in her hair, a teal scrubs top with fairy wings sewn on the back & cut open in the front to reveal a sparkle bra, and galaxy print leggings, rides her bicycle. A tent pole arched above her bike reads: “Show me your teeth.”

Enter Patient.

Dr.

You there! I bet you have a dirty mouth. Let’s clean your dirty,  dirty mouth.

(Dr. retrieves a small white bench from her bike and unfolds it onto the playa.)

Sit down right here and let me see what I can do for you.

Patient 

(Sits with some trepidation and maybe a little excitement.)

Dr.

(Dr. unzips a case labelled “REAL OFFICIAL DENTIST STUFF”.  Sharp implements and other tools such as a dangerous-looking set of pliers, are visible to Patient. She starts opening a display box filled with adult molar teeth.)

We’ve done a lot of extractions today. These are – Oh whoops…

(She apparently pops one of the teeth into her mouth. Patient does not know it is actually a corn nut.)

Anyway these are the molars I have extracted today. Very successful. Let’s take a look at you. Open your mouth.

(Dentist chews corn nut loudly in Patient’s ear as she leans close to his face to inspect teeth.)

Oh, oh no, you will not need an extraction. Just a cleaning. Your mouth is really filthy, you know. Okay! Can you hold this for me?

(Dr. hands Patient a funnel attached to a tube. The other end of the tube leads to a milk carton labelled “SPIT” which is attached to the bike.)

If you ever need to spit, just spit right in there. You’re a spitter aren’t you? Well I’m a spitter. You just spit out that gross gunk right into the funnel.

I’ve got some protective gear for you. Protect you from your own spit! 

(Dr. hangs a blue bib around Patient’s neck, using a small alligator clip jumper – the kind used in testing electronics.)

And these. Protect you from my headlight shining in your face. Watch that hippie mace! 

(Dr. puts wrap-around sunglasses on Patient. Next she will remove a toothbrush from its cellophane wrapper. This she will set out on the silver spray-painted tray in front of her kit, as well as a single water balloon.)

Patient

What’s the balloon for?

Dr.

Don’t ask me questions. Just let me do my job honey. 

Ok! I have a gross of these toothbrushes. That’s 144 toothbrushes! Alright now; now I need protection for myself! Protect me from your filth.

(Dr. struggles to put on blue nitrile disposable gloves.)

These are powder free. Playa dust is the best powder, anyway.

Now, you have your choice of flavors. I’ve got this blue one.. It tastes like bubblegum. It’s called tootie fruity but it’s really bubblegum. Then there’s pinkie pie. Tastes like a joly rancher. I love that one. Or we have boring adult mint toothpaste. Whad’ya say?

 Patient

I’ll take the mint. 

Dr.

No, no you’ll use the pink one. Everyone uses the pink one. It’s better. It’s fine. Ok.

(Dr. applies toothpaste and starts brushing teeth.) 

This is the part where I talk to you and ask you questions you can’t answer because you’ve got a fucking toothbrush in your mouth! What’s your name?

Patient

(muffled) Gary.

Dr.

Hi Gawy! I’m Dr. Dentata. But I bet you saw that already. On my name tag! Oh boy, this would be more fun for you if I had bigger breasts.

(Dr. looks down her own shirt.) 

Do you need to spit honey? Here this will help. It’s water.

(She pulls out a spray bottle.)

It’s so hot. I should just spray you all over the face. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Ok spit! 

Gawy

Thank you.

Dr.

Ok hold this for me. Like this.

(Dr. unspools a generous length of floss. She holds it up, then threads it through the eye at the base of the toothbrush. She ties the ends in a knot, then puts the water balloon over the bristles. She hangs this toothbrush necklace on Gawy’s neck. Then removes and discards her gloves.)

There! All clean now. Let’s get your safety gear.

(Dr. puts away everything, including the bench. So, Gawy is now standing.)

What an ordeal! Do you want a hug? Yeah, a nice hug. 

Scene. 


 

Note, I will not be posting next week as I will still be travelling back from Burning Man!