What is the music of life? Silence, my brother.

My maternal grandmother was moved early this week from the “independent living” place she’d been for the last several months into an assisted care facility.

She’s old. I think she’s in her 90s. Realistically, she probably doesn’t have a lot of time left. It’s already been years and years since I last saw her… and that was a literal lifetime ago. She’s never seen me, just the boy I used to be. And that may never happen now.

I’m trying not to think about that too much, because when I do, it hurts. And it leads to thinking about all of the extended family that I’ve never seen, may never see, nieces and nephews and cousins…

I hear a lot about the value of “chosen family,” and how it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to create your own association of people that you’re incredibly close to when your “family of origin” has failed you. That whole thing has always struck me as an attempt to find a pony in a heaping pile of manure — to find some way to spin a terrible situation as actually a really good thing to be grateful for. Maybe it’s just because I’ve never had much in the way of positive, close relationships, or because so-called “community” has frequently felt hostile and unwelcoming, but “chosen family” has never felt like a real thing, like a real possibility.

Growing up raised by Mormons, we called every other church member “brother” or “sister.” It was a title, a form of address, but I think it was supposed to evoke — and invoke — the same sense of “chosen family” that I’ve heard spoken of by so many queer people in the Bay Area. It never rang true, until…

Skyrim. It’s a testament to the quality writing and voice acting, I suppose, but honestly? Babette, Astrid, Festus, Arnbjorn, Nazir, Gabrielle, and Veezara… they all felt more like family as fictional characters than any real people I’ve dealt with. I think I could’ve been happy living with any or all of them.  It felt right, so perfectly right when they called me their Sister, and I cared for them as sisters and brothers. That’s the first — and only — time I’ve had a glimpse of what family might feel like. Of what home could feel like. And it’s just a fantasy.

Home and family are just fantasies.

 

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Untitled poem of grief

The scent of silver solder
Mingles with the incense that I burned earlier
And the hint of rum I’m still considering drinking
Just a little more of.
Small comforts amid great loss;
The second time in less than a month that my
Attempts at solving some long-standing issues with my cellphone
Have resulted in large amounts of
Irreplaceable, valuable data disappearing.
I had planned to get myself out of the house
Rabbit out of town and a moment
(Not nearly enough) to breathe
But I hadn’t eaten anything all day and half of the previous.
Instead of escape I found myself
Trapped by technology
Malfunctioning, unable to hail a ride
Unable to summon food delivery
Unable to get out of this miserable little hell.
It’s been nearly 6 hours now
Of trying to get anything resembling functionalaity
From this damned device
And just now I find that the partial backup I tried to make
Seems to have vanished as well.
So much for “hey, at least I haven’t completely lost everything!”
So now begins
The long, laborious process
Of reinstalling and reconfiguring
Setting up and starting over
At least I have, for now
A modicum of solitude
Plenty of liquor,
And the scent of silver solder
Mingling with incense.

We have found a witch! May we burn her?

Edit: I’ve added a link to this post that was supposed to here, but was inadvertently omitted when I posted it.

I find it so completely mind-boggling that the simple private possession of words or images within an individual’s home is frequently enough justification to lock someone in a prison until they rot, to forcibly physically violate and permanently alter a person’s body, to severely restrict any and all forms of speech, and to subject them to a lifetime of constant, close surveillance — or even to kill them outright.

That’s to say nothing of the glee with which all and sundry gather to shame and mock and hurl every manner of bile and hatred when it is made known that so-and-so stands accused of having words or images deemed heretical and vile and of no possible value to any sane, rational, “normal” person. The near-immediate blow with which one such accused is left without employment, community, shelter, dignity. The cries for blood, the warnings to avoid evil ones like them, the insistence in scrutinizing an entire lifetime of complex, nuanced acts in order to find the malice and cunning and evil in every single thing a person has ever done.

I marvel at the apparent inability of so many people to reconcile “this person is claimed to be a word-and/or-image possessor!” with “I believed they had made positive contributions to society!” and to be unable to allow both facts to coexist — and to fall, nearly without fail, on the side of invalidating the latter because of the former.

I watch with wonder at the apparently intentional conflation of “having in one’s possession one or more words or images” with “has actively brought harm on one or more other individuals,” and the assumed implication that even if there is no evidence of harm, that a word-or-image-possessor is always so imminently poised to cause harm that they must unequivocally be prevented from carrying out this imagined harm for which there is no evidence beyond the accuser’s own projected discomfort with some particular words or other particular images.

Even where there is clear evidence that there has been measurable positive effect, that is inevitably spun into some form of harm; if a person possessing images or written words deemed by an arbitrary third party as indicative of witchcraft, or communism, or homosexuality, or belief in Islam, or dissatisfaction with a tyrant ruler, or of being a heretic — anything which is not the dominant narrative — makes the claim that there has been no wrongdoing, maintains that no harm has occurred, this is held up as an indication that they are damaged, broken, incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and they therefore deserve any punishment deemed fitting by those in power.

I’m reminded over the last few days that I have… I had… friends and loved ones who have, for any practical purpose, ceased to exist. There are some who were in my life and no longer are, because they were accused of privately looking at images or reading words, or perhaps had discreetly shared these alleged words or images with others who wished to see. I’m reminded that even those who are known and lauded for their positive contributions to any given community will be vilified, shamed, and cast out; they will have every possible aspect of their lives — no matter how personal or private — shouted from the hills so that it can be picked apart and weaponized with the aim of helping to further destroy their lives.

And I’m reminded again (though the thought is never far from my mind, believe me!) that there are many who know me who regularly call for me to suffer this same fate. Oh, mind you, they don’t know they’re talking about me; they’re simply joining in the spectacle of cheering with popcorn in their hands as other heretics are burned. If they knew the kind, caring person I am, I have no doubt that they would eagerly do the same to me. I have often said that there are many so-called friends who would love nothing more than to murder me for my thoughts if they knew them, and I think that most of these people have no idea how much they hate me.

I’ve been saying this for a very long time, in various ways, or at least dropping hints and leaving clues when- and wherever I’m able to do so. And fuck, it’s difficult to know that speaking loudly and directly is not a safe option. Here’s me doing what I can, again.

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Pain, and pleasure, and the church-bells softly chime.

My 36th birthday is coming up soon. Still stuck living with The Rabbit. Things are still just as crazy, overwhelming, and stressful as ever here. My birthday will mark 3 years of being stuck in this hellhole, after coming back from my disastrous trip to visit Lime. It’s nerve-wracking, the omnipresent sensory overload here.

Broke up with Moonbeam almost a year ago. Started writing a post about it… 6? 7? months ago, was really zoned in, in the middle of the night, doing some amazing writing, editing, only a few hours into the process (many of my medium-length posts are the result of half a day’s total effort) and was pulled out of all of that by The Rabbit‘s endless cough-gag-snort-hrkkkhrrrrk! in the next room as she started her day. I never was able to get back into working on the piece. The draft is still sitting there; I don’t remember when I even last opened it.

Things have been going well with my current therapist. The beginning of November marked a year of seeing her. It also marked 3 years since breaking up with MFP. Other than the very brief fling with the incredibly immature and naïve Moonbeam, and getting to spend time with Again once every few months, I haven’t really had anything going on in the relationships department. I’ve had plenty of the usual “oh hey, she’s totally into me!” which have predictably turned into “huh, I guess she’s cut me out of her life; would’ve been nice to let me know what happened.” And, as always, there are physically-distant people who would love to share my bed — and I theirs — if not for the fact that these would-be lovers are in different states, countries, or even hemispheres. Can’t go down on someone in a different time zone, or share a cozy dinner at a quiet table for two when there are twenty borders between us.

I’m supposed to be going in to take a bath, then try to make sure I get some food, and hopefully get some rest afterwards. If I’m lucky, the friend who said to check in with her to see if she’s free to hang out will indeed be free today; if not I’ll still see about leaving this place. Don’t know where I’ll go.

Line my eyes and call me pretty… please? (Or, “Maybe More Merry?”)

I got thinking about how surprising it was that several hours have gone by already since I posted before, and how all the crazy-making things about this place really wear me down. But then, I realized — and in fact, nearly commanded myself — I should get myself together, that sitting in wonder shouldn’t last forever.

In other words:

It’s astounding; time is fleeting.
Madness takes its toll.
But, listen closely:
Not for very much longer!
I’ve got to keep control!

Huh. Now for some reason I feel like drinking for a moment. Odd..

At any rate, it really is astounding, just how little it takes of having some time to myself in order to feel a fuckton better. Once she’s gone away, all it takes is a little light reading from an old favorite, an orgasm before that, and a little bit of happy music (or maybe the happy music happened because I was already feeling good? I mean, the suggestive dance performance I was putting on for an imagined partner or several while listening might be an indicator that things were going all right…) Took a bath, found a lovely, large bruise on my leg that I’ve apparently had for a couple of days (I can read the color/age of bruises pretty well, but I’m honestly much more out of practice than I’d like) but that I don’t remember getting. It’s got a nice big bump to it as well, the kind of lump I would expect to remember! Oh well.

I’m hungry. I ate a little bit of food yesterday evening, but that was all I had yesterday. I’m debating whether to try and put something together now, whether to just try and sleep a little bit (it’s less than 4 hours until Again is supposed to get here to pick me up and whisk me away from this misery to a much more delightful locale) or whether to caffeinate myself instead. Shit! As I type that, I realize that I filled up the drink cup at Jack In The Box last night with a couple different highly-caffeinated soda flavors. No fucking wonder I’m still wide awake.

Well! No more caffeine for now, then. Perhaps a mild sedative, then, and see if I can catch a bit of a nap.

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