Memorial Daze

picnic barbecue celebration
full of friends, family, loved ones
music laughter joy fun

what about the one
looking in from outside?
what about the one
without friends
without family
without loved ones
crying sad alone?

you wave your flag
and tie your yellow ribbon
and grab your gun
and swing your crotch
but none of those
makes you more of a man
or a better citizen

what do you hold in your memory?
what will remain when you have gone?
what memorial are you building?
will it be forgotten in a day?

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Housing is hopeless.

People have short-term sublets, couple of months, in my price range. Nobody does month-to-month anything anymore, it seems. And if you’re moving in with other people, you have to meet an absurd list of contradictory demands: interact and hang out, but do your own thing. Be working or in school full time, but don’t bring work or school home with you. Laid back but not lazy. Tidy but not a perfectionist. Chatty, not a chatterbox. Not using the kitchen but not eating fast food. Don’t eat meat, do white-people-appropriated yoga and subscribe to a particular set of politics and “woo” so that you’ll be welcome. Eat meat, but don’t have THAT set of politics and don’t let your spirituality be seen or heard. Don’t have friends over, but don’t be a homebody. Don’t drink alcohol, smoke pot but not cigarettes. Smoke cigarettes but not weed. Don’t smoke anything at all and don’t wear perfume or cologne or deodorant or use cleaning products or laundry soap.

Don’t, don’t, don’t.

I remember when I had an acquaintance literally laugh in my face when I told her that I had four criteria for looking at a place to live: no men, no pets, no smoking, $500 a month. She told me, through her laughter, that she knew she shouldn’t be laughing but was just so absurd her that I wanted “so much,” that I was being picky. All I need is to be safe. That’s not being picky.

My maximum is up to $575 monthly, though that’s still really stretching things tight, and still almost 70 percent of my monthly income. I don’t know how to do this, and I’m not sure I can keep hoping it will work out somehow…

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So much on my mind.

All the constant stupid interactions with men. All the little stuff that I keep trying to shrug off because if I gave each one the thought it merits, I’d be so weighed down I couldn’t move.

The unavoidable heteronormativity, assumed monogamy, and adherence to stereotypical gender roles in everything around me. From the cute girly shirts and panties and whatnot that say “I ❤ my boyfriend" to the "every girl doubts she's beautiful until that one man shows her she is" motivational images, to lockets with flowing script that say "only one man has the key to my heart." Plot lines that revolve around The Guy cheating on The Girl with The Other Girl and that's the source of all the rest of the story. Pop-culture BDSM references that mention "Daddy" and "his girl" but only in that configuration, especially in the form of "that moment when…" memes supposedly describing a universally-understood experience.

Depression and how it fucks with my brain, my ability to perceive the world… or doesn't.

Sex, wanting sex, needing sex, going without. Sadness at what was almost a really wonderful relationship ending before it even got going. Knowing how long it's been since I had some particular needs addressed (3 and a half years for some things… as long or more for others) and how my current situation makes it more difficult to get out and get laid, keeps me isolated instead of out and about and potentially meeting people.

Home, what home is, what I want it to be, whether I should bother wanting it to be anything, whether I'll ever have it. Whether I could handle having that stability.

Why people insist that I should be proving that I have a right to live by toiling at a job, to "earn a living." What makes people think that being a full-time student or a full-time employee are the only two things that qualify one as a Real Adult. How people don't seem willing to acknowledge that "no overnight guests" is the same thing as "you should not be having sex" and that direct communication can work wonders for keeping things running smooth between roommates without preemptively banning entire categories of behavior or activity.

And so much more. Any of those could be an entire blog post on its own, and there's always more fighting to get out of my head and onto the page, but I'm usually stuck in a hellish environment and trying to hang onto sanity instead of doing the writing that I need to do.

I hate it.

You don’t know how hard it is to be a woman in love with you

I have frequently found it amusing
and also somewhat confusing
that so many people would ooh and ahh
over what they saw as my


(or “frubble” depending on who you ask; same thing.)

I can’t count the times
I heard from someone close
that they were amazed at how
I’m apparently never

pissed off

about relationships, about who has or who doesn’t
never passive-aggressive, manipulating,
cold and calculating

it’s funny that they offer such high praise
and bizarre that they don’t ever gaze
at even the surface of what they see
and certainly never beyond it

I’m an incredibly jealous and bitchy woman
I’m angry at what I lack when everyone around me
has in unappreciated excess
I throw verbal daggers with precision
meant to wound
but not fatally
just enough to leave a lasting scar
an old ache that will linger
years later

don’t tell me how much you admire in me
something I never have possessed

Fresh bread every single morning, and sweet magnolias in the breeze

A 12-inch frying pan, half filled with refried beans, half with ground beef. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts fried up before and added back at the end to heat before serving.

Spaghetti noodles with “vodka sauce” (which I was disappointed to learn had no alcohol) and plenty of chorizo mixed in.

Egg flour soup — ordered from the local Chinese food delivery — spiced with paprika, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, chili paste, Sriracha, sambal, and black pepper just for good measure, with toast on the side.

These are foods that have been the tastes of home with different lovers, in different times. Tonight I find myself craving any of them, all of them, hungry for more than food alone.

And I find myself wondering what home tastes like when it’s just me, or if I’ll ever have the chance to discover…

I’m homesick for a home I’ve never had, and hungry for food and comfort and companionship.

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