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I told Kyle that my New Year's Resolution was to be better. I figured he would laugh, or make fun of me in some way. He didn't. I think he might have actually known what I was talking about, for once. And I do (want to be better, that is). I want to sleep more, exercise more, eat better, procrastinate less, get a job, raise my GPA, get into MUSC, stop wasting money, keep in touch with my friends, and do other things that would make me a better person in general. I guess I just want to grow up.
"By definition,"he reminds me, "a tragic hero must die."
"True... so if you killed yourself, you would be the tragic hero, who, by modern definition, is the asshole/loser who commits suicide."
"Well, fine. But if I killed myself, I'd be the tragic hero. You'd be the forlorn girl, left without father or lover. You would, of course, be driven to lesbianism."
"Of course. Not that it would be a long drive. And if I killed myself, I'd be the tragic hero."
"I wasn't always like this, you know."
"Moody. Irritable. Depressed. Volatile."
"Tragic. I wasn't.-
It kind of caught me off guard. I guess I was the only person left who didn't think they'd ever do it. I don't know if that's because of what happened between Erin and I, but apparently everyone else was expecting it. I yelled at Kyle, "Goddamnit, they beat us!" To this he responded, "I didn't know it was a competition." I reminded him that of course it was a competition, silly, we're female. I should say I'm happy for them, but I won't lie. I want
ring, and I want her to admit that those nights were real.
Kyle got a job with Capital One today, and he's pretty excited about it. The job itself might end up being crappy; he'll be calling people all day to remind them that their credit card payments are long due. But the pay is worth it- 12 fucking dollars an hour. The schedule isn't bad, either; he'll be working 4-10 Tuesday-Friday, 8:30-5:30 Saturday, and off Sunday and Monday. He gets three weeks of paid vacation, and benefits and health insurance after 6 months. It should work out well, because we'll be able to save some money before the big SC move.
The word is much more appealing. It rolls off the tongue; it's not staccato. It even sounds more personal, more like a real description of who I am. Now, I am aware of the social implications of this identity. Just like no one really believes the married-with-kids man who has secret gay sex is really straight, no one would take me seriously if I identified as lesbian. I don't think Kyle would ever care to understand. But it hit me today, and it's not that I don't like heterosexual sex. It's my identity to choose. I'm just a dick-happy lesbian.
"You'd rather fuck her than me,"I say, a statement more than a question.
He smiles; "Yes."
"I'd rather fuck her than you,"I say, sounding cold instead of my usual vulnerable.
"I know,"he says. And he does, and he doesn't really mind.
And I realize that I am in limbo. I'm caught, off-guard, between straight, bi, and lez. I don't know where I lie between those nations, but I imagine that it is in a very awkward place.
Later, he walks me around the book store, aimlessly. I wonder why I always look for happiness in book stores.
I turn to him and announce that we're getting married in 2008 instead of '06 or '07. He goes on about how far away that is, and I gently remind him that we aren't even engaged yet. We've only been living together for a month now, and most of it has been spent schlepping between cities for the holidays. I want to get married on the 27th, because it's our anniversary date. We both want an October wedding, and I want a Sunday wedding. So, we end up in 2008. I have a lot of ideas; I just need decisions.
I love coffee; most mornings I am too rushed and tired to make it. I usually end up spending too much in dollars and calories later in the day at Starbucks. So when he brought me a cup while I was showering this morning, I started thinking that it might be nice having him around. You know, in ways I hadn't yet considered. He'd made a cup for each of us; steaming and with just the right amount of creamer. Later, he installed some sorely-needed vertical window blinds. I've been toying with wedding ideas, at least on days like these.
I retort, "Well, now I'm going to make fun of you!"until I realize that he is serious, and feel like quite the ass. And with that beginning, we delve into Deep Dark Secret Land. He tells me the history behind it, and I reel from the shock of his managing to keep something like that secret from me for three and a half years. We begin volleying secrets back and forth, but he knows mine already; I wish I had something deep and dark to offer in return. I am glad that he trusted me, and I'll never tell.
"The problem is,"I wanted to shout at her, "that you're not making an effort to be happier. You're addicted to the sadness; you're addicted to the life of sleeping too little and working too much. You're addicted to missing him, because it's the only filler you've found for that void he left.-
I didn't say that, of course. I did tell her that it hurts that she only calls when she's depressed, and that she gets more defensive and sarcastic with every suggestion I make toward allowing in some happiness. It's a weird place to be, daughter and friend.
"49% of Americans agree with 99% of the rest of the world."
"Better a bleeding heart than none at all."
"Bipartisanship- I'll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass."
"I love my country, but I think we should start seeing other people."
"These colors don't run...the world."
"National Health Plan: Don't get sick."
"Politicians and diapers need to be changed, often for the same reason."
"The road to hell is paved with Republicans."
"We're in big trouble when our bombs are smarter than our president."
"We don't have a democracy; we have an auction."
"Who Would Jesus Bomb?"
The semester won't be too bad, at least not until the very end. I don't have many weeks that contain more than one tests, or more than two quizzes or papers. The worst will be the reading for Queer Theory, and you don't even know I'm talking about unless you've ever taken a theory class of any sort. The original readings, like Foucault, are nearly impossible to chew, let along digest fully. The most difficult weeks will be the beginning of February, rehearsing/performing _The Vagina Monologues_, and the end of April, when I have two term papers and three finals.
It's called an autoethnography, and I am completely thrown by it. It's not a biography, and, as Dr. Crawley specified several times, it's not an overview of our sexual history. It is, however, a ten page term paper due at the end of April. It is supposed to incorporate some personal experiences with the readings; the whole point, I think, is to apply queer theory to our own lives. (Queer Theory, by the way, is not actually just about gay people. If you care to know more, email me.) At any rate, it's a little overwhelming to this dick-happy lesbian.
It was weird that she chose this day, after so many months, to call me. On this two year anniversary, she decided to talk to me. We hadn't spoken much since graduation, but her voice sounded scared over the phone. So I called her back. "My dad got really sick...fast,"she said, shakily. Diagnosed over the summer with a rare brain cancer, he has only weeks now. She transferred to UCF from Berkeley, which only added salt to the wound. I'm meeting her for lunch tomorrow, and we will get to know each other over our dead and dying dads.
It reminded me of that phrase "just like old friends." We began with the usual small talk: the June rain in January, majors and minors, dreams of the peace corps, etc. Rapport gained, we chewed through every detail of daughters who lose their daddies- the walk down the aisle we'll never get, the advice to which we should have listened closer, the sound of his voice that will fade in our minds. We laughed at our mÃƒÆ'Ã‚ÂªlÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â©es with Murphy's Law. We ended the three hours with high school gossip a promise to get together next month for _The Vagina Monologues_.
I've said before that Girl's Nights Out are sanity-savers for me, and they are (last night being a perfect example). Afternoon sex is another sanity-saver, and I am sane as I'll ever be today. We'd been painting all morning, and we were both covered in sticky white splatters. The window was open to let the fumes out, and the temperature was delightfully perfect. We were taking a short break when the kissing suddenly overcame us. We had to pull the covers over our heads because we'd taken down the blinds. We napped afterwards, cuddled together in relaxing, afternoon, post-coital warmth.
Things that amuse me about living with my boyfriend:
Two identical computers on one desk, both of which we both use frequently.
The number of books we own collectively... it rivals the local libraries.
The coffee maker actually being put to use every morning.
That I actually convinced him to JUST SIT DOWN.
I don't have to vacuum anymore- that's his chore now.
Someone is waiting for me when I get home.
Someone cares that I am waiting for them to get home.
I have my own, personal electric man-blanket for nights like the past few.
He's worth the clutter.
Queer Theory is the theory that sexuality is so fluid that no one is really, or ever has been, straight, gay, bi, trans, or anything else. It says that sexuality changes constantly over time and across cultures, and can never be pegged into any one language or discourse. This class came at a weird time; after three and half years of being happily bisexual, I've been suddenly struck with a yearning for non-existent language. I started scrawling across my note paper when the concept hit me. I wanted to scream "I HAVE A SEXUALITY! WHY CAN'T I HAVE A WORD?-
The first time it happened, it was what I imagined literal heartbreak to be. I was in bed with Kyle, and I asked him a stupid question that should have meant nothing to me; when he answered, it felt like it meant everything. The tears stayed glued to my eyeballs, but the literal pain in my chest seemed to explode out of me.
"I'm not worried, I'm horny!"I yell, blatantly lying. I am worried. I tell him I'm sorry I got so fat. He says he's fat, too. I go back to planning my vulva pillow, my chest aching.
I told Kyle about the interview with the six-year-old in The Vagina Monologues, and how she said that her vagina looks like a peach. He said that was a perfect description. Some vaginas are raw and passionate, with screaming deeps reds and pinks and purples. Mine is, like me, pale. Like peaches and cream. My whole body is pretty much the same hue; everything is in various shades of honey blonde or creamy peach. My vulva pillow will be an accurate representation, but I think my painting will be a peach. A pretty, ripe peach with a sweet cream pit.
I make lists when I can't concentrate in class.
I also doodle; the margins of my notes are covered in bad drawings.
I have iron-deficiency anemia, and am always tired because of it.
I am somewhat obsessed with the female body.
I am a daddy's girl, even after having lost my daddy.
I call myself bisexual for the sake of simplicity, but don't like the word.
I wear a 36H bra.
I have never done an illegal drug. Nope, not even pot.
I adore new school supplies.
I am obsessed with Discovery Health Channel.
I call it "Peach.-
I couldn't think of a better way to spend my Saturday nights; in fact, I wish we could do this every weekend. We gathered in St. Pete at one the girl's homes, bringing with us a myriad of paint supplies, sewing materials, and chocolate-based snacks. We began by painting our vagina art on varying sizes of stretched canvas, then moved on to sewing the vulva pillows while watching Eve Ensler's video. We agreed that we are much better than she. After playing an M&M game to get to know each other, we were terribly excited and thoroughly bonded.
I could spend hours watching women. The way they sit, walk, run, dance, stretch, bend, arch, and move. Women's bodies are just prettier than men's. This is not a sexist thing, it is simply nature- women typically have more curves, more fat, less straight, sharp lines. They are more fluid. Yesterday, while painting the various vagina backdrops for the show, I became infatuated with painting. I have never been very artistic, but I can paint. I hadn't felt so relaxed in a very long time. For my birthday, buy me stretched canvas- lots of it. I want to paint women.
How much do individual moments contribute to life? How much do they contribute out of context verses in context? One "I love you"may not seem very significant in context; after all, most people hear it often. But what if it were to become the last "I love you"heard from that particular person? Taken out of context, that is a significant moment.
On the other hand, lovers' quarrels always feel significant in context- in that moment in time, nothing else seems more important. But later, after the subject of the quarrel is all but forgotten, does that moment matter?
How does one juggle idioms when "Don't sweat the small stuff,"is said in the same breath as "It's the little things that matter most?" What, exactly, is the difference between the "small stuff"and the "little things?" I guess you're supposed to infer that the small stuff consists of dull obligations, like washing dishes or doing laundry. The little things, then, are the way your kitten falls asleep on your lap or how your lover rolls over and remembers to kiss you, even in his sleep. The little things make life rich; the small stuff makes it a bitch.
I know it's no one's fault, and yet, I feel neglected. I know it's hard for Nise to get off of work on the weekends; I'm sure it's hard for Katy, too. I know Abby doesn't have a car. I know everyone has midterms; I do, too. But the fact remains that I've visited Gainesville five or six times now, and Jacksonville three or four. I should call more often, but we all should. The play isn't just about me, it's about stopping the epidemic that is violence against women. It means everything to me, and no one is coming.
Things I Said Today, to Myself or Someone Else, in Menstrual/Sleepless Havoc:
"I see those people on TV, those horribly obese people, and I think Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬ËœI'm glad I'll never be like that. I'd never let myself get that big.' Then I think, when I was 130 I never thought I'd be 170, either.-
"They're the two most important dreams of my life; they'd both be shattered. If I found out I couldn't have kids, I couldn't go on being a midwife.-
"Are we just a bad joke, only I missed the goddamn punch line?-
"Fuck it; let's just fucking elope.-
I finished washing the dishes for the third time today, then walked out of the kitchen to be greeted by the eternal chaos of the dining room and den. By the time I hit my room, I was thoroughly irritated. Kyle had lit the multitude of candles I'd put up earlier in the week, and looked at me with That Look. I just sighed and told him it would have more romantic if he had washed the dishes. In that moment, I realized I had become a person I never wanted to be, especially not before I even hit 20.
Your day can change in one second, with one word, or one action. It started out good. Better than average, even. He gave me a tour of Capital One, and we battled to the death playing air hockey. We planned on a movie after he got off work, and I eagerly awaited our first date since last month.
Sometime after the movie, the mood shifted. It shifted, and it exploded after a mistaken joke, a slammed door, and a screamed "fuck you." After the explosion, there was arguing, then crying, then sex. There's always sex when it gets this bad.
Wedding ideas: Cocoa Beach Hilton- ceremony on the beach, free hotel room for us, open bar, fairly cheap; Indian River Queen- river boat ceremony and reception, beautiful boat and view, pretty expensive; elope to someplace far away and beautiful, no stress, family pissed.
Honeymoon ideas: mountain resort- skiing and other winter fun, romantic fireside talks with spiked cocoa, snow; Fiji or similar- relaxing beach vacation, skinny-dipping in the warm ocean, back to our beach roots; tour of Europe- wedded bliss in Cordoba, gain some worldliness, eat spectacular ethic food.
Relationship ideas: uh, hmm, gee, we should really, eh, fix it?
Things that are running through my head:
"Don't waste your time on me, you're already the voice inside my head...-
"A pretty, ripe peach. Or a diamond I found from a treasure and it's mine.-
Monica (the VM director) is ridiculously hot.
I should really start volunteering.
I just want to sleep, uninterrupted, until I wake up on my own. Just once.
Various other lines from the show that I have memorized.
The incessant logic vs. intuition internal debate.
I hate the whirring noise my computer makes like it has a heart murmur.
All I want to do is paint.
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