Goodbye, my enemy

I think I’m going to have to unfriend you soon, and it makes me sad. I wanted us to be friends. For 25 years, I’ve longed for a world where you & I could be friends. I don’t know much about you now, but for the sake of the person I so admired long ago, I’ve kept trying.

You should know that you are a major character in my backstory. The memories of my interactions with you all those years ago have continued to influence me, for good and for bad. The academic competition between you and me gave me a taste for intelligent companions and stimulating conversation. I discovered Twin Peaks, Metallica, and Saturday Night Live – in some of its best years ever – because of you, and I am forever thankful. I wanted to be more like you. Even the pain I endured at the hands of you and your friends forced me to dig deep and find a strength that I may not have ever found otherwise – though it took me years.

But now things are changing rapidly, and I don’t know if it’s safe for me to continue to pretend that you and I are friends. Right now, I have a certain amount of privilege keeping me safe, but I am preparing to step out from behind as much of that as I can, and fight for those who remain even more vulnerable than I am. I would like to think that when speaking out for the less fortunate becomes a crime, that you wouldn’t sell me out to the Gestapo – but the guy I knew as a kid would have, and I haven’t seen enough in the man who exists now to make me think that’s changed.

So, as much as it hurts me to give up on something I’ve wanted since I was sixteen, I think I have to finally end this superficial show of a friendship. I wish it could’ve been otherwise; I truly do.

Flag Day

21 years ago today, I was a bridesmaid for someone I loved very much – who soon afterward faded away, to be replaced by a stranger.

Today, the U.S. flag flies over internment camps – which we are politely asked to call “detention centers” – for kids that ICE soldiers forcibly took from their parents, for the mere act of showing up at our border to ask for help.

The bloated orange puppet in the Oval Office celebrates his birthday today as well.

June 14 can kiss my ass.

I dreamed about Cheo last night. I just remembered.

It was good. It was… comforting. It was friendly, and warm, and loving.
In the dream, he was still gone. But I got to say some things that I wish I could’ve said.

Dream A Dream

D-Rex has a hard time turning his brain off to go to sleep (he’s my kid!) So when he was little I used to tell him to lie down and imagine what he wanted to dream about. And I would give him suggestions involving animals doing silly things, and he always said “No!” to every suggestion.
But I still do it from time to time.

So tonight I told him to go to bed…

Me: …and dream about goats jumping on a trampoline.

D: NO!

Me: How about camels drinking root beer?

D: NO!

Me: Flamingos with hula hoops?

D: NO!!!

My husband: Would you stop? Now my dreams are gonna be all messed up!

Skin

This piece grew out of my lifelong adversarial relationship with my own skin. I’ve picked at my skin since I was a kid – I still do – I can’t stop. As a result, my arms and legs and hands are covered with scabs and scars, and I’ve never been comfortable showing my skin.

I was well into adulthood before I discovered that there is a name for it, and it is one of the many symptoms of an anxiety disorder. I am so uncomfortable in my own skin that I have literally spent my life trying to claw my way out of it.

I started reading about tattoo artists who cover self-harm scars, and was inspired. That, combined with my love of doodling and my tendency to turn any surface into a canvas, gave me the idea. The spark came when my friend Amanda announced the opening of Nether Lands waxing salon – a joint venture with two of her friends and coworkers. I wanted to help them celebrate, and it seemed like the perfect occasion to bring my idea to life. A woman’s body, naked but covered with intricately swirling lines. Since it was for a waxing shop, I focused on the lower body. I used my own body as a rough model for the canvas.

I drew the body in and painted it very roughly, then I spent forever drawing the tattoo patterns. I would photograph the piece in its current state, print the photo in black and white, then take it with me to my overnight job and draw more designs.

Once I got a design I liked on paper, I transferred it to the canvas in pencil, then painted each line twice – once in burnt umber, and once more with metallic copper.

This was my first NSFW piece, and my first piece to make any kind of a statement. This is about body positivity, and about learning to love the skin you’re in, and about creating art in unexpected places and on unexpected surfaces.

Someday I hope to learn to tattoo in this style, so that I can help other people make their skin amazing, even if it has scars.

“All right then, I’ll GO to hell!”

— Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

When I was alive, I believed — as you do — that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said ‘one o’clock’ as though I could see it, and ‘Monday’ as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year’s Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls. 

– Peter S. Beagle
The Last Unicorn