Why don’tcha leave me alone? I feel so broke-up…

It’s interesting — I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone can see the traces of someone’s editing process in their writing like I can. And there’s some interesting things I notice…

For example, I got a reply to one of my Craigslist “housing wanted” ads yesterday. Someone who had actually read the ad — a rarity — and followed the instructions for contacting me. She mentioned that she had two rooms opening up (a bad sign for me, because it means moving in with one near-stranger and one complete stranger) and linked me to the ad she had up for the other, more expensive room. The room she was writing to me about was already at my maximum, and I’d be expected to additionally share the cost of utilities, which put it way out of my reach.

But the things that stood out to me were that even though she talked about herself first, it showed that she’d initially given her list of requirements first — in the “Me:” section were things like “I’m also a non-smoker, non-drinker, and vegan” for example, and other stuff that referenced the section down below about “You: must be (blah blah blah.)”

And in that section, she had things like “not a heavy drinker” and something about how “you recognize that housekeeping is a part of life” and how you’ll make sure the house “stays very tidy” and holy shit, the way she wrote it translated so clearly as “I’m an anal-retentive neat freak and likely a control freak as well” and then she ended that section by saying “bonus points” if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

She also mentioned in there that you “won’t have frequent overnight guests.” Okay, look — I really, really don’t understand the sex-hate and the slut-shaming around here. Whether in the (once-upon-a-time) Hippie Central of Berkeley or the supposed “Queer Capital” of San Francisco (though that’s becoming more Oakland these days) or anywhere in the “Gay Area” — the first thing I see is “no overnight guests.” Occasionally I’ll see something like this chick wrote, and it’s “no frequent overnight guests.” And it makes no fucking sense to me! Look, I get not wanting someone to “not quite move in” their significant other. I’ve lived with the Girl-Child and her Boy-Toy who “didn’t live there” — he just stayed over every single night, hung out there every single day, and made the water and gas bills triple in just the first month with all of the hour-long shower-sex sessions they were having. That sucks, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to be okay dealing with that. But having someone over two or three times a week? Someone who leaves in the morning, has minimal interaction with and minimal impact on anyone else living there? News flash: some people fuck. Some people aren’t ashamed of that. Some people don’t do monogamy. Some people don’t have a “steady partner” who has their own home and doesn’t care that “my place or yours” always has the same answer.

But remember, kids — sex is bad, mmkay? Even if it’s part of looking after and maintaining your health! Trying to explain that to people is often not worth the effort. Also — okay, you choose to eliminate a bunch of potential food sources from your dietary intake, as a matter of your overall health and well-being. I choose to give my body the foods that it needs for my overall health and well-being. But in the Bay Area there are more folks who selectively restrict their diets (and many more who have the financial luxury of being able to do so) than there are people like me — poor and not picky. But even if I were rich I wouldn’t try to harm myself that way. Finding housing with other omnivores is another headache on top of everything else.

So is finding housing without animals running around… I’m allergic to pets, and I don’t much like most of them anyway. I may play with your cat, as long as I can get away afterwards, and I’ll avoid your dog (yes, I’m sure she’s the sweetest little puppy in the whole wide world, and I don’t think she’s going to bite me. I’m not scared of her, just not fond of her. Really. Yes, I know that she licks my hands and face because she likes me. Should I lick your hands and face, too? Oh, yeah, that is kinda gross. Welcome to my world.)  The times that I do find animal-free housing, it’s the folks who make everything to do with animals a political rallying point. And I can’t deal with cigarette smoke, either — finding smoke-free places often means also finding people who think that alcohol is a horrible, disgusting thing, that anyone who drinks is a moral failure and a worthless, unmotivated loser who just needs to find a purpose so they won’t need to lean on those drugs anymore. And look, I don’t care if you use pot, smoked or vaped or edible or whatever. I might have even encountered it myself at some point, and I don’t think I could claim it’s a bad thing at all — seems like (hypothetically, of course) it would be rather pleasant. But I can’t live with it, not in the same space I’m supposed to call home. Sure, come home high as fuck sometimes, I couldn’t give any less of a shit. Come home drunk, whatever — I certainly will sometimes! But most folks seem to expect that if you’re cool with one drug, you’re cool with them all, and in any amount, and at all times. Moderation or being selective isn’t possible, somehow… if you’re cool with booze, you’re obviously cool with weed and tobacco and who knows, maybe someone does a few lines when they get home tonight, why would you care? Or you’re on the other end of things: no tobacco, no cannabis, no alcohol, and if you choose to take any of those into your body you’re a horrible person who deserves to suffer because clearly you don’t care about yourself!

Just… Ugh. No men, no pets, no smoking. Yes to meat, yes to sex, yes to booze. I’d ask why that’s such an incredibly difficult concept, but then I remember that it’s only incredibly difficult when you’re trying to spend over 90% of your above-the-table income on rent, and you’re not likely to find even the bottom-end options for under 150% of your income.  I’m too broke to ask for basic access needs, and if I do, I’m somehow a super-picky bitch.

I just wanna go home.

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Somebody bring me some water!

I’ve been up a little less than 6 hours now. I slept for about 10 hours before that, after finally knocking myself out with NyQuil.

My head has been absolutely THUNDERING PAIN since I woke up, and at first I figured I was probably dehydrated, and possibly a little bit hungry too. I went to get something to drink just after I was awake, but I had so  little energy that I just drank a glass of milk because I didn’t feel like pouring any more than that. I got some leftovers out and heated them, and after 3 minutes of heating I didn’t care if it was warmed through or not. Hungry. Took that back upstairs and ate a little bit, but had no appetite and finally dragged the rest back to the fridge…

Then I figured since the headache was still around, I’d take a bath. I was already feeling irritable because when I was trying to microwave my food, I didn’t have anywhere to set things as I was wrangling with the haphazard house-of-cards mess that comprises the fridge contents, because The Rabbit had left her mess of stuff all over when she went to bed (she doesn’t tend to clean up behind herself, though, which is a continual frustration for me.) So I go in to the tub with a headache and a foul mood…

…and then I spend almost 15 minutes cleaning up after her so that I could take a bath! She had left her shampoo precariously balanced on the edge of the tub the other day when she took a bath this week (she seems to only bathe weekly or less,) and that must have been the crashing noise I heard when I was using the toilet a couple days ago. I didn’t think to check, because I’m pretty much fed up with constantly cleaning up after her, with that work never acknowledged or thanked or possibly even ever noticed. Well, that shampoo bottle wasn’t in the tub anymore, but the long trail of shampoo that had poured out across the entire length of the tub down to the drain was in the tub.

That stuff makes a hell of a lather, I’ll tell you that much.

Took my bath, nice and hot the way I like it (and the heat actually lasted through the entire time filling the tub, which is unusual.) Head is still POUNDING. All the coughing I’ve been doing hasn’t helped, either. The worst of this cold was fairly short, but this fucking cough has been killing me still, almost a week after the rest of the symptoms have gone.

So I sit down to write about it the headache, and as I’m looking at the numbers, I realize that from the time I ate dinner on Monday night until the time I pecked at a tiny bit of my leftovers was over 24 hours without food. And the worse part is shrugging my shoulders at the knowledge that it’s not unusual at all for me. I don’t have very much in the way of food I can eat here, and even when I do, it’s not much help since I’m usually trying to get the fuck out of here to attempt to maintain my sanity.

I still have no idea how I’m going to find a place to live. I can’t afford the luxury of a safe roof overhead, and I can’t afford the constant sensory assault, the complete lack of time alone, and the consistent stressful interactions with the people here, living on someone else’s schedule. I don’t have enough energy to throw myself into any significant work, and all of the things I need to accomplish require help or input from other people. Even something that should be simple, like cleaning this room I’m staying in I can’t do alone; it requires The Rabbit to get her stuff cleared out more (and she’s promised and promised that she’ll make some closet space free so I can at least put my clothes away.) That doesn’t happen without her actually putting in the time and effort. And when I’m not sleeping well, or enough… and I’m not eating well, or enough… and I’m not masturbating regularly even when I’m horny… and I’m barely scraping by in far too many ways… I don’t have the energy to do more than that.

My head still hurts, so I really ought to publish this, get some more liquid in me, take some ibuprofen, and maybe throw in some cough syrup to the mix because this stupid tickle in my throat is driving me crazy.

A love sonnet

Someday the world will see our love as such
And understand the beauty that we share
No whispering (afraid to speak too much!)
No more denying what is plainly there
We know the feelings deep within our hearts
And seek out other hearts who beat the same
Such agony, such doubt! When first we start
Alone, we dare not even use love’s name.
We reach out — only subtle hints we leave.
We speak in riddles, deftly-chosen words
Which give a sign to those who would receive
Then echo back, with recognition heard.
Such little choice: to love in secrecy,
Or brand ourselves as monsters openly…

There I can ask any question; I hear the answers, if I listen.

Sometimes I realize just how far ahead of the crowd my parents have always been on a few things, for as frustratingly out-of-touch as they were on others.

For example, when I was 12 years old, my therapist at the time suggested to them that it was probably time for “The Talk” after I asked her about something I had read in The Diary of Anne Frank — a euphemistic reference to menstruation of having found “seed” in her underwear.  Not long after, my dad and I sat comfortably in his room with the door closed, and he said to me,

“You’ll probably have some questions during our talk, and I want you to know that it’s okay to ask me anything, and it’s okay to use whatever words you feel comfortable using.”

At 12, I understood completely that he was creating a safe space for us to have a conversation about a topic that might otherwise be difficult, and that within the bounds of that space, the outside rules didn’t apply.  I knew that, had I been comfortable using the terms, I could have asked, “So… your prick gets really hard — like a bone — and that’s why it’s called a boner?”  I could have even used “The F-Word” if I felt it was appropriate.  It wasn’t an excited feeling of getting to break all the rules; it was an understanding that those rules were being set aside temporarily, because they worked against the purpose of that safe space.  Now, I also knew that even if the words themselves were allowed, that they were only allowed in context — I couldn’t tell my dad he was a prick, or to go fuck himself, and if I did I’d expect him to call me on it and for there to be consequences.

I learned the word “prick” in second grade. I knew exactly what it was, I knew that either a “D” or a “P-R” could interchangeably begin the word, and I knew easily half a dozen other names for a penis and nearby genitalia.  “Sperm” came in third grade, when I was left so puzzled by the other kids giggling at a certain species of whale that I asked what was funny… and although the concepts and details were lacking as far as how the overall process worked, I quickly picked up “spunk” and “jism” as synonyms.  Singing Oh, Suzannah became harder to do with a straight face after that!  “Pussy” — well, I’m afraid my understanding of the anatomical usage came a few years later, but I certainly knew the word… that was the one yelled as an insult to a boy who was perceived as having failed to perform his societally-assigned gender role!  I don’t recall it being hurled at me in specific, but I knew that it easily could have been.

These and many more “bad words” were in my vocabulary for years before I sat down across from my dad, and he knew I’d been exposed to at least some of them.  He spoke honestly and openly, and tried to give me that same privilege.  I wasn’t comfortable using most of them, but I knew that I could — and that was pretty damn significant.


Now, I find many places, both physical and online, which call themselves “safe spaces” or “support groups.”  These tend to follow the pattern of being organized around a particular topic, and have a standard “speak freely, ask any questions, discuss what you wish (sometimes “what you wish as long as it falls under our organizational topic”) using the language that is comfortable for you.”  In essence, the same things my dad said as he invoked that space for us.  The trouble I’ve run across, though, is that too often those concepts are just words.  “That topic is too deep,” and “this question isn’t okay” — or at least it wasn’t when you asked it yesterday… but when someone else asks, they get lots of information that you were looking for.  “Stop trying to throw your voice into the conversation,” and “those words aren’t allowed here.”

The last one is what pisses me the fuck off.  I have been frustrated to have to leave a few online spaces recently which claimed to be safe, supportive, welcoming areas set aside for discussion, because “those words aren’t allowed here.”  In each case, the posts were deleted, along with the supportive comments made by others, and I got a message from an admin asking me politely to censor myself, “because there are minors here.”  Mind you, these are online services where the minimum age limit is 13 — not little children, but young folks at or near puberty.  If there are minors present, then I as an adult would think it wise to show them the value of safe spaces — to demonstrate in actions that the words we use in creating that space are not hollow lies.  We do these youth a disservice to offer the opportunity to speak freely, only to chastise and censor any speech we don’t like.  We make those spaces unsafe when we dictate the exact manner in which expression is allowed, when it is either explicitly stated or implicitly understood that some subjects may never be discussed and some words will always be silenced.

Any space where I am censored, or asked to censor myself, is not a safe space — and I will not stay there.  Exclaiming “but think of the children!” does nothing to help me feel safe; the same smokescreen has been used to silence discussion of many other topics, and it’s equally bullshit no matter what issue you’re trying to distract attention from.  If you want me to think about the youth, I’ll think about the reason I left home — because I was not free to speak about the things I wished, using words which were comfortable.  If you want me to be mindful of young ears, I’ll keep in mind the sense of shame and guilt I attached to certain vocabulary when I was young, because the adults around only wanted to keep them out of sight and out of mind.  If you politely ask me to refrain from using curse-words, I’ll point at the button on my purse: Fuck Censorship! Then I might just follow that with “…and fuck you, too!” before walking away.

Here they take their sweet repast, while house and grounds dissolve

Already the guests begin to arrive.  All boys — that’s all the company she keeps — slowly trickling in, one and then three and soon to be followed by many more, if history and routine have any bearing on the matter.

The rich, spoiled bitch-child celebrates 20 years on this earth today, a day often used to celebrate fools, to mock and laugh at the gullible and to take glee in the guile by which we can trick those we deem more dim-witted than ourselves.

What better day for her to party?  Let the fool celebrate. The booze will flow, the weed will burn, likely other substances will wend their ways through bodies and brains.  As I left the bath moments ago, the sweet perfume of pot smoke hung thick in the air — good shit, it seemed, from the moment of scent I sampled.  Deep voices conversing, the basses and baritones carrying their banter and chilling my bones.

It does seem quite the shame, though — she may be a year older, but she’s not one second closer to growing up.  Her verbally and emotionally abusive relationship with her boyfriend frightens me, to regularly hear how she screams at him, telling him how stupid and worthless he is, almost as often as she lavishes praise on him — the “best boyfriend ever” just hours before he’s verbally lashed — “how could you do that? I told you, and you fucked up again! I’M NOT YELLING AT YOU! I’M NOT YELLING AT ALL, DAMN IT!”  It sickens me to understand completely and intuitively why he stays, too; great sex as often as he wants it?  Score.  A place to live away from his folks? Hot damn! Cost-free room and board — and no “crust of bread, cup of water,” either, but the finest gourmet that money can buy? You might hang around, too!

If it means having her laugh to all her assembled guests that “yeah, he breaks all the glasses, and doesn’t clean them up.  We clean them up, at least, because we’re not like that.” — well, what’s a little public humiliation in exchange?  If she insists that he sacrifice his health for her codependency — telling him to skip his psych meds because he is making them late for the rock concert by trying to go back and fetch them, spending half an hour telling him how dumb he is for forgetting them and refusing to move an inch until he capitulates to her every demand so that she doesn’t have to spend a single moment functioning on her own… well, again, why is that a problem?  Plenty of awesome shit to balance things out!  Besides, she’s always right… he must just need to work on understanding that, right?

Still more boys coming in, even as I write this.  Tonight will be loud and potentially very difficult — but I begin this night with wonderful preparation, with a day full of beauty and joy and fantastic good things coming to me throughout.  I’m in a good mood, and a good space.

I also have a secret weapon… acquired later than initially intended, as I had planned for it to be my birthday gift to myself in mid-February, but I now have my own Tango III vibrator — and tonight will be a good, relaxing, fun night no matter what else surrounds me.  Perfect peace amid the tempest, filling me completely… even if my toy doesn’t!

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