Monday, July 23, 2018

Getting Dressed

Sometimes I manage to find amazing ways to fill time voids that don't really exist. I might spend an hour or five sitting in a hammock reading a book which is time I could use to do...anything, I suppose. 

But then, I'll not do anything. 

Saturday I managed to rather spectacularly overbook myself. Having done so, I set an alarm so I would wake up around 6 a.m., even though it was the weekend, in order to have time to get up, get dressed and get the day going no later than 10. On a weekend when the commitments are not work related, this is a real chore. 

However, having set the alarm, I managed to wake and even abide by all the rules. I got out of bed, I made coffee and had a bite of cheese, a normal weekend. Then I contemplated the clothing I would where that would need to get me through lunch, a possible three hour bike ride, and then onto a date. I wanted something that would be cool, as it was insanely ripe and humid out, but also something goth and dark and flowing. 

Sadly, I had to admit that what I wanted was a dress made of material I had picked up in Brasila that I hadn't managed to get around making yet. 

I checked the time and saw that it was only 8 a.m. I ran a quick calculation in my head. I new exactly the cut I wanted. This was a pattern-less dress that I was basically copying off a copy of another pattern I had copied and modified. All together I needed only three puzzle pieces plus the wrap, and I figured if I started cutting now, I'd have time to make the dress, get shower, and get out the door by 10 a.m. at the latest. 

Any sane person would just go into the overflowing closet of close, finish their breakfast, watch a bit of T.V. and then go to the doctor. Sadly, I am not this sane person. 

Hence, scissors, fabric, cutting, setting up my machine and from cut to finish putting together a wrap dress for the rest of the days randomness. Random is the best description, for the day went wild indeed, but at least I felt well dressed for it. 

For some, getting dressed is an act of making a decision, for me, it is often the act of making the clothes I need to walk out of the door in that day. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Pumpkin Hour

"So, I hate to tell you this, but I saw something in the kitchen on my way back in, it was round and orange and -"

"Shit. Like a pumpkin?"


"Were there like, singing mice in little carts?"


"Gods, don't tell me there was an old lady."

"In a blue dress, yes."

"Did she have wings?"

"Rather iridescent wings."

"Gods, she's such a bitch. The positive attitude, too. She won't leave until I do."


We snuggle back into an embrace we hadn't wanted to leave in the first place. I giggle into the warm strong arm wrapped around me.

"Did she have a crown?"

"Yup. And a wand."

"Ugh, she's relentless. You have no idea."

We giggle, our giggles stopping as our lips meet and do what lips do together, so slowly, so very slowly, with the quiet patience of being in the here and now and the not going anywhere. With the realization that we both knew before we started that eventually one of us would have to go back to their own beds.

I don't want to leave.

I'm the odd bed out, so it's my turn to go home.

We snuggle back and look at the stars.

"I guess I should probably get dressed then. I wouldn't want to upset your flatmate with the old lady and the talking mice."

"Uh-huh," laughs, arms around my shoulders.

"We are ridiculous, you know."

"Oh yeah."

"This should be a play."

"But it would only be meaningful to the two of us."

Perhaps, I think and perhaps not. The moment feels too warm, too real, too lush, too right to be a moment that exists only between two lovers wrapped together in arms unwilling to leave. We are in the trap all lovers find themselves in at some point, of wanting each other and wanting to get on with life and wanting sleep and wanting to be independent and wanting to lose oneself entirely in the other.


Wrapped in black, and thorns, and roses, I navigate narrow spaces, and find myself wrapped again in arms before I can make it out the door, and for a moment my mind is blank and there is nothing but strong arms and an even stronger desire to stay right where I am and let this moment exist until the end of time.

And like all moments, this one refuses to do so.

"It's pumpkin hour, darlin' and I have to go."

"Yes, you do."

It takes another five minutes to leave, and by then the kitchen is full of muckrakers, fairy godmothers rolling around the ceiling, and mice pacing too and fro worried about the time, and me, with one shoe on the foot, the other in had, disappearing into the night and out the door.

Friday, July 13, 2018


I was reading in passing somewhere tonight and the mention of "deleting posts" put a tremor of terror in me.




Destruction, demolition, debris, detritus, deletion...

There was a part of me that was horrified by this. To take it away, delete it? I couldn't imagine. I would never (when I know that like Nin before me there are parts here and there that have been witheld from the public whole).

All of the words that make up the journal, that make up the thing that exists here, the emotions, the moments, the strange, the weird, the sad, the girl, the woman, the thing, the object, all of it in some way encapsulated here and to curate that to an extent that it just...never...existed?

Lately, I've been obsessed with the thought of HARD COPY.

Do I want that. You would think with over 15 years of outpourings here, that when I read through nothing must be a surprise, but I'm always amused about what I was compelled to speak about in any given year. I have to try to find that emotional mindscape again, the who I WAS than vs who I am now, and is the now me really so much different from the then me, and then we start to get off the rails and into the depths of existence itself, tricky.

So very tricky.

No, for better or for worse it's all here, it will be here, and it won't be me that makes the decision on what happens to all the letters in the void that no one actually reads. I might curate it.

But I won't delete it. 

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Past lights

It's one of those blisteringly beautiful Chicago summer mornings. Quite literally my hands sit in sun dappled light, clicking away at keys to bring about letters to create words that illustrate thoughts that communicate thinkings and feelings and it all seems a little mad, and it all seems so very lovely. Today, it makes me think so very clearly about time, life, the life I have lived. My life has change, the beauty that is the light that falls upon my hands from the windows is already eight minutes old. I am illuminated by the recent past as I contemplate my current now and consider my near future. The next eight minutes, the next thirty-six, and then...

What a strange and wonderful thing this life has been. Parts of it now feel like caked over capsules of mirth that are someone else's existence. I can think back so far and deep into the past, a blessing, a curse. I know what memories hide in the dark corners of my mind waiting for even a second of weakness to come chorusing to the surface to sidetrack me from my day, my week, my month. I avoid those old cupboard monsters as best I can, but I know they exist.

And then, of course, all that time when I was not in Chicago. When I was somewhere else. Overseas. An ex-pat. There is something so beautifully haunting about all that time spent in another country. Experiencing different kinds of summers. I cannot imagine sitting on July morning in Korea thinking about how lovely the day might be, when they day might best be described as thick as soup, so hot that you choke on the boiling air, watching the plastics in your unconditioned apartment melt.

There are so many stories.

This thing I have done, this long deep dive into various aspects of me, sometimes more coy than others, sometimes more just a stylist, a journalist living through the moments and trying to record them, this thing I have done captures only minutes or seconds, or sometimes hours of an event, giving me a foothold into some memories, some stories some aspect of who I was then, and who I am now. This thing is both the baseline and the layers on a wall that tell the story and make it easy to see how the narrative has changed.

All things are here. All of me.

None of me.

It's just a funny thing, this life. Barely three years ago when I was desperate to try to reintegrate with this country that was not the country I knew I loved, I would go out of my way to avoid telling any stories of Korea, of the other, of the overseas. If I did, I tried to describe them in such a way that it could be almost plausible that it happened just anywhere in the world. Now, now, I tell the stories and I do not mind that these stories put me in strange places, other worlds, make me otherworldly.

This is how I feel sometimes, as I look at everything happening, everything that happened, thinking about everything that will happen. Otherworldly.

This, then is the funny thing. New people, new places, new names, new faces, new experiences, new, new, new.

But the things that always make me interesting are the stories, and the stories are always old, old, old.

And isn't that funny. And shouldn't it be.

This life is a funny thing and I've yet to tire of it. This funny thing keeps going, with highs that are inexplicable and lows that are skimming the depths of our very human souls, we are of this now and that is enough.

Even as we do it in light that is already old, and already has stories to tell.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Just Hanging Around

Roughly two years ago, just around the time of the somewhat rushed move from New York back to Chicago, I spent a week in Recife being good at my job. Like most weeks spent in foreign countries, I usually manage to do what I set out to do, and that particular week was no exception.

On this particular trip I'd managed to get some cash in the local currency. This happens less and less often now, as I may well forgo getting any cash at all under the assumption that most of the time I'll be with handlers or likely to be able to use plastic to science fiction exchange labor credits for things.
However, occasionally, it seems like having cashy-money is a good thing.

There was a car set to come and fetch me from the hotel that morning, and I still had a few dollars worth of local coin burning a whole in my pocket. The day before, when walking back from the beach I had noticed a gentleman on the corner selling various types of fabric things and made a note to try to stop by before I left for the airport the next day.

When I approached the guy on the corner, there was not much to see. He had a few macrame car seat covers, and some various other types of fabric one my used to adorn a vehicle, but then I noticed some stuff hanging around the other side of the wall which appeared to be tapestries, but I wasn't quite sure. Through a muddled process of 'I don't know your language' we managed to work out a system of communication that eventually allowed me to stumble upon a word we both knew "hammock". So the last of my dollars in the local currency went to procure a hammock. I recall he asked for probably a hundred more pesos than I had on hand, but when I showed him my wallet and that this was, quite literally, all the money I had in the world, he happily took my cash in exchange for a hammock.

My thinking at the time was that this hammock would make a nice housewarming gift for the Bard and the Electrician. After over a year of languishing in an upstairs closet, a stand has been acquired and the hammock now swings prettily in the backyard. The dogs are in love with it.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Explosions in the Night

"I'm going to go see the fireworks."

"Let me know if you don't mind company."

"Meet me at my place at 8."

The night is a sticky humid city summer night. Chicago edging the thermostat to the top with matching humidity so that I feel slick from even a minimum amount of walking. Holding hands that slip around, but for some reason don't bother that much, we walk across the city towards the beach, joining a parade of people doing the same thing, going to see the light show, going to check out the colors in the sky.

From the sanctioned fireworks to the random people that have prepared for at least a month for this night, we are in good company to watch stars explode in front of us and watch those that want to blow up the night. On the train, I'm amused by people wearing what look as if they are prepared for the end of the world or a planned invasion.

Light is fading quickly against the sky, and we pass out of the streets and into the park edging the lake. There is a large hilltop there, topped with easily a hundred people sitting on the grass and watching the sky light up. We go further all the way out to the beach, sitting on top of a breaker wall, with people on every side around us, views up and down the lakefront.

There were hundreds of children playing on the dark beach, girls wearing bows that fluttered in the dark in neon light up colors, various children spinning around light wheels to add to the creative explosions in the sky. The air tasted like burning metal and the smell of ozone was everywhere on the wind.

"Mother nature's contributing," says the Drummer, pointing out the lightening filling the sky to the east and the south. And so it was, a thunderstorm rolling away from us as the backdrop for the fireworks displays up and down the shore.

In front of us people let of trains of sparkling explosions, while near and far up and down the beach cannons at various local parks, from local businesses, from everyone who was stocked up to participate, filled the night with sounds of popping, colors in pink, purple, blue, red and green, and all around us the whistle-hum-zip-boom of a thousand launches into the night.

"Humans are amazing."


"This serves absolutely no purpose but to entertain, really."

We watch a beach patrol roll along the lake front.

"Your tax dollars at work. So pointless. No one cares, everyone knows it's legal today, but still someone needs to make a fuss about in so that you can have a small convoy of four ATFs rolling down the lake front."

"Especially, tonight. Everyone knows that it's illegal in the city and everyone knows that no one will likely get busted. It's like an isolated mini-Purge. Acceptable levels of illegality to keep everyone in line for the rest of the year."

"It's not the same on TV. There is something about fireworks that must be seen in person."

"That is true."

We lean into each other and watch the night sky explode around us, drifting on the trails of a thousand different light shows as the cool breeze from the storm drifts off the lake and breaks up the choking heat from the day, listening to the music of the light show punctuated by the occasional flash bang and laughter of beauty of so many humans congregating to take in a single moment together.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

This is Our Today

We are in a moment that won't let anyone check out anymore. Everyone has to be on all the time, ready to go, thinking about possible solutions.

"It was just after the election, someone posted something asking if you'd be ready to hide people when it comes to that. And, I shrugged it off. I didn't think it would happen so fast," the Bard says as I sit on the couch spilling out all my various fears.

"And we are ready?"

It's sort of the constant spinning question now because it seems more and more like it's not an if but a when it happens. The last hope is still months away and there is still no real sure way to know exactly what is going to happen, how it will happen and how it will end.

So, what do you do?

For the last two days I stayed in my room, sewing, making things. I'm thinking of how I can make more complicated things. Anything to keep my hands busy. Keep me busy, keep me from thinking to hard about thing.

In the middle of the afternoon my heart started racing and I felt the nervous edge of a panic attack coming on, and suddenly I couldn't really breathe and I wanted to run, to hide, to cry. I felt frozen in it. My anxiety is become so real it is recognizable to me, palpable. The way it freezes me in place and keeps me from being active. I almost couldn't sew, the desire to do bad things was so overwhelming.

There is enough darkness in my life that there are moments when it is really easy to feel it on the surface, but this usually passes and I'm always okay, but lately, it just seems so much more...possible.
Everything horrible seems possible and this is the thing that is possibly the most terrifying.

Nothing horrible happened yesterday, just thousands upon thousands, upon millions of people standing up around the world and shouting that we would not go gentle. And yet, it still seems like the sky is falling and that each today without the world ending is just today in which we have been so lucky yet again.