it hurts to be androg when you're only 14
Everyone asks me if I'm a boy or a girl. This is probably related to the fact that my hippie/ drugged out mother has decided that a too-long bowl cut is the best way to accentuate my johnson & johnson baby soft hair. That and the fact that my boobs grew alongside all the semi-senstitive girl-children who took me under their wing. My life consists of avoiding anything vaguley alpha-male. At least my boobs have distracted them from the fact that my working class family dresses me like a Wal-Mart explodes on me. I draw lots of pictures and make a home for myself in the back of the classroom, avoiding at all costs the teachers who think the best way for me to reach my potential is to proclaim my genius in front of a student body I'm trying to be invisible to.
life is better when sondheim scores it
Almost overnight I go from a shy, in-the-corner kid to being a brazen in your face ACTOR. Even when I say the words out loud, the caps are articulated. I try to find myself in well-intentioned high school slaughterhouse productions of a mostly white cannon of playwrights, drunk on the idea of being the next big thing. This period is marked by the definite I-Have-A-Boner-For-The-Hot-Swim-Team-Cap
hey, if i'm so gay, why am i sad all the time?
I come out like a rocket on speed. In a week or two, everyone on the planet knows I'm gay, and suddenly all the girls love their neutered little boyfriend. I am told on more than one occasion, as I lay cuddling with pretty girls in their beds while their parents sleep with sound minds, that it's so nice to have a male friend who is so sensitive and caring. This statement is always followed by the Contract Signed Statement that they'd be pissed if they found out I wasn't gay. Suddenly being gay feels like a prison statement. I'm the GAY ACTOR (wow, that's a lot of caps), and I haven't so much as held hands with a boy. I figure it's best to play along. I talk about high fashion, even though DKNY was never made for my roundinthemiddle body, and I'm still wearing JC Penny drag my once a year gift certificate shopping spree has afforded me. I try not to think about what my father looked like dead on the bathroom floor. I study Wicca and grow my hair long. I work at Renn Fest. I've been gay for a year, but I've been an outcast my whole life.
i want you to trip like i do
I become a full-fledged suburban druggie. I smoke sheap weed out of coke cans before rehersals, place candy colored tabs under my tongue. I pay special attention to my clothing. I want to be as edgey as Target will allow. I drink absolut straight from the bottle, smoke joints in my basement. I sneak liquor into school in gatorade bottles and ask a boy out. He breaks up with me a week later after making out with my best friend, an awkward girl just short of pretty with orange I'm-a-blonde hair. I jack off the first guy who says he loves me under a bridge, wash him off my hands in the lake my subdivision was named for. I hate it when he touches my roundinthemiddle body. I kiss him as hard as I can when no one's looking and stop returning his calls when I can see he cares. I spend summer nights sucking cock in dirty apartments. I trip all night on the back porches of friends' parents' houses, and am suprised when the sun comes up and my pale face is smeared with Newport ash. My friends are pretty girls with blue liquid liner who sing at the top of their lungs "So close no matter how far/ Couldn’t be much more from the heart/ Forever trusting who we are/ And nothing else matters..." I have no idea who we are.
For three hours before my first RAVE I clean mud off of my older brother's refelctive strip Vans. I know nothing I own is cool enough. In the first fewTHUMP THUMP moments of my first ever RAVE, my best friend's boyfriend hands me a double stacked mitsubishi with a slyness I know immediately thatI want to learn. The next few years are about scoring pills and squinting at the after-the-club-sunlight. I hate my mother and so I move into the guest bedroom of my best friend's house. It's the first time there has been an endless supply of Little Debbie snack cakes and sit down family meals. I feel rich and special, even when I pass out while selling hemp at the mall, even when my hands won't stop shaking, even when my friends use their pussy to score us pills. I'm convinced that RAVERS will change the world, that it's all about the music and the love. It doesn't seem the least bit ironic to me that my friends are allon probation, that they steal from their parents to pay a $30 cover for a party all about the music, all about the love. When I get kicked out my guest bedroom, I can't stop crying. My friends by me microdots to cheer me up.
the big city
I enroll in a state college to get away from my mother, who I still hate. I've been living on a mattress stuffed in a corner of my little brother's room, who hates me almost as much as I hate my mom. At least I'm in the big city now, I think. A few years before I had spent a few months at NYU before the school told me mother had never paid my tuition. Going to a state school has nothing to get an education- I go to this school because the dorms have seperate bedrooms. I apply for as many credit cards as I can and use them to buy as many designer clothes as I can. My roundinthemiddle body has gotten smaller from using grocery money to buy cheap wine in jugs and packets of cold and flu medication, which is a much cheaper high. I smoke glass witha guy who wants me to suck his dick, but he's too afraid to ask. He has a gun in his closet. No one seems to mind when, fueled on whatever is going around the party, I start having sex with strangers on my friends' living room floors. I work at theatre in midtown, and everyone there is really kind. On my 21st birthday a married man I work with feeds me drugs all night and when I can barely stand up he grabs at my crotch and mumbles in my ear that I'm "barking up the wrong tree" only I'm not the one doing the barking. I'm the one picturing his wife's sweet round face and thinking please god someone make him go away someone stop him I can't stand up I want to go away...
the ethics of hypocrasy
For a moment, I think I've found my way out. I go to a leadership retreat my school sponsors because I can't afford to pay for a vacation on my own. For fifty dollars I spend a week talking about integrety. It's like I've found a new drug...I'm suddenly high on the idea of do-the-right-thing. I lose most of my friends when I come back clean, but it doesn't matter because I have new friends who say things like "What I'm hearing you say is..." and "let's try to reach some consensus on..." It takes me maybe three months before I smoke opium so good I feel like I'm melting into my bed. Most of my new leadership friends say hateful things about each other, but keep friendly, community based sniles on their faces while they do.
liberation theory tastes best when served with
My friends start smoking pot by the bushel and where cleverly ironic tshirts they find at thrift stores. I see no problems espousing anticonsumerism while shopping at Urban Outfitters. I come out as a radical queer, and this time coming out isn't as easy. I criticize my friend's drinking problem while I smoke her weed. I have become a walking contradiction. I'm not as radical as I'd like to think, even when I drink fair trade coffee and take women's studies classes. My growing enlightenment is tied inexpicably to the expansions of my gauged out ears. I talk theory like it's a nother language, and it sounds deceptively like my native tongue. I want, more than anything, to find a theory that explains why at 23 I still hate my mom, why I still try to forget what my dad looked like dead on the bathroom floor, why I can't make my heart stop beating so fast, why breathing gets difficult, why things feel better when I'm stoned until oh my god I start thinking while i'm high and my life seems to scary, why even my best friends feel like foriegn countries, whynothing feels like it's going to last, why I still give blowjobs to strangers and tell myslef this is it this is love this the one you'll be happy and middle-aged and middle class with, why nothing feels permanent, why I find it so hard to believe in anything for more than a year or so...