Polyester, week 12

DAY 78

Fuck me. It’s the fucking holidays. Everything about this is bad. Well, as usual clients seem to have more money flying around, but the rest of this is bad.

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The people who made this time of year tolerable for me are not around. My magical old roommate who’d decorate the apartment in wrapped fake presents and tiny santas. There are a few tolerable people but I would rather stay home than do their rituals. My little crew here — my new family, I guess — are making their various loner and non-loner plans. I feel like an alien, like living out that Bikini Kill song Alien She would be preferable to being this kind of alien.

Even the good stuff is kinda broken: I always loved xmas lights but without a ton of reliable electricity they are few and far between. The cafe puts them on late at night, gives a real romantic feel and makes me miss my apartment back home really bad. I had xmas lights in the windows most of the year. I thought they were…cheery. I am 100% not cheery these days.

I am putting my face on and working and thinking about how my mom used to make lasagna for Christmas because fuck expensive traditions you can neither afford nor have the energy for and I’m looking at the people around me and getting a little bit farther from anyone who’s talking about fancy food even if that food is in the past because hello we’re all eating pretty weird things these days.

DAY 79

I went to Rhizome’s work day today; I wanted to talk to the mesh network folks. I was thinking about trying to catch Etle and heard she hung out there, at -Rspace, their hacker room sometime.

Rhizome’s tech crew [called “-r” for a recursive Linux command, ha!] really has their shit together, there’s a network working group that has a mesh network up in their area, hopped on to a broadcast line that now runs 20 miles, which is pretty hard to implement. it took two months to get all the nodes in place, Josh says. “Who got the line up”? I asked, obvs curious about how the infrastructure got into place, “how long has that been around?”

Josh, my techy pal there, and another person I didn’t know, exchanged a look, and one of those moments where being vaguely clean-cut translates into people worrying that I’m secretly with the FBI happened. It’s fair, there’s definitely people who infiltrate from the government into anarchist communities, and COINTELPRO is real, but I am not that person. I realized again what being new to people means: there’s nothing to trust you on. My face and little punk vest are not enough; should not be enough. I said, “I’ve been talking with Logan and Xtine at zSquare about their network, and I worked in community open source tech stuff back home. I’m super curious cuz I want to do work to integrate my motel a few miles away.” They relaxed and said, “We did that.” Well, fuck. Get it done, anarchists. We started talking tech nuts and bytes.

Thinking that it’s possible to get hooked up at home, even if the generator would need to get run more, is totally exciting. The folks who work on this stuff at a larger scale are fucking cool. That’s vision. Fuck the feds, fuck the internet companies, fuck a world in which communications are controlled by one source which can switch an off button. A decentralized network intranet, like this one, is very very difficult to kill. All our generators would have to go off at once; every last one. It’s still worth thinking about setting up a backup somewhere but, still.

One of the cool things they have is set up is intranet. Instead of the world-wide web [www], it’s a neighborhood-only web. Whoever is on this network is automatically, and only on it: there’s no www access, its like we’re travelling on a totally different road. It’s kind of amazing. There’s a calendar up where people post events, a trade/free stuff/travel list, some news, and some blogs. Etle’s is one of these hybrid forms for sharing information, part news, part skills, part strange dreamy monologues that are frankly really beautiful and unsettling. That’s my favorite part to read. There’s a diaspora-like setup for people to connect information.

Anyway, I feel like a nerd stalking this person online, Etle, but what could I do. Once I realized that she was doing all this writing, I had to read it. I could access it over at Allyia’s place and she and I stayed up late a few nights ago looking at everything: photos, news, personal writing. She has a lot to say about organizing, about strategy, about the tactics we’ll need in the future. I’m really fucking curious what she knows, cuz she’s on a survival train I’m more and more ready to be on too.

After the nerd wrangling, I went into the cafe to hang out a bit. I like it alot there, and keep seeing enough handsome strangers and interesting people I hope to know or talk to that it seems smart to just station myself here as much as possible. So now I’m here with my coffee, thinking about addiction, about making it to the future, and about how much there is to do and know. I get super overwhelmed. And then I clear my head thinking about plastic. Whew. Tomorrow at work I’m gonna see about setting up a clothing swap. Is it possible this will not be a greed shitshow? I think there’s at least one dress I could see on someone else instead of me. Someone who metabolizes carbs differently than I do.

 

DAY 80

Today at work two things happened:

  1. I got the shakes and tried out working through them, and it was ok,
  2. I talked to a few of the girls about having a swap of work gear get-together.

The new girl, Sasha, who started last week is already confusing me a bit but I’m trying not to worry about that too much. I just can’t tell if she’s a lifer or a tourist in this work and that’s something I like to know so I can orient to the person. “How long have you worked in the biz?” I asked her today, cuz that seemed direct enough. She kind of looked through me and said “I got my dresses a long time ago, but I used to wear them different.” I literally got brain fog from that statement so I let it go. But I invited her to the get-together I’m having. She’s not a normal about it all at least.

The faces of people around me are starting to forget, I can see small knots loosening and brows less furrowed, the ‘haunted’ look is so last month. How did clients avoid this? Or did they, perhaps they were putting on a happy face as much as I was through all this pain. That’s a sobering thought — I was part of someone else’s “forget” strategy. Clients had to make it through, too.

Things in absence: I only notice the shakes when they come; after they go I often don’t think about them. This is how I know I’m getting better. Time is passing. I can begin to forget. This is what they mean about waiting, about time healing wounds. Some things calm down.

Except some wounds are timeless and will come back to haunt you. Spacetime only controls four dimensions, but we exist on multiple planes. This is the source of intuition, magic, alternate realities, ancestral pain, soul tears. The nonlinear nature of spirit is not necessarily tied to the healing aspects of time. Forget until you remember again is more like it.

Whooooo. I get so philosophical. Polyester calms me down from these small rages, while filling my mind up. It’s plastic and I like it cuz its illegal. Polyester was barely available to me – but my mother wore it ubitquiosly, and her mother saw it’s inception and heyday, and what a peak it was. All color – polyester isn’t meant to be black like the oil that fathers it. The fruit is nothing like the seed.

 

DAY 81

Does the fact that this day – using my numbering system – can be reduced to a prime number, mean anything? Lets see, I certainly encountered the Holy Trinity of New Gen today: plastic dealers, border cops and Employees. My status is triply dubious: displaced, ho, queer.

The end of the world was so fucking boring. It was all lights and shrapnel; wine and gruel. Starlets trying to make a final last buck got swept away in the enthusiasm of a death-fuck. The enthusiasm of the end looming strong for the first and only time. Unlike sisterhood, the end of the world is a powerful connection. It’s not the explosions that bind us, it’s the whispered notes for survival that are exchanged afterward. Don’t look at the light, tell me where to get underground for the day.

Screaming men in chariots, that is, reconditioned cars are the new rage. They roam the streets both before and after dark, they look for flesh pots. They look for an extension of their anger disease. The lifeline. Killing softly is a kind of joke around these parts, like fresh flowers or longevity. They take the soil of youth and turn it into a playground for disorder and knives. This, I guess, is like it was before.

I tried but haven’t run into Etle at the cafe, but Josh came in and we hung for a bit. He knows about the building side of things more than I ever have, or cared to bother learning the details of. Circuitboards. Solder. Silicon chips and resistors, transistors and energy. Give me software, and I’ll make it sing. He’ll build what it sings on, which is cool too.

Most of my day today was organizing crap in my room. It has been a really social few days and I feel fragile. I hate that this is true but it is, so I got some whiskey and stayed around my little spot, where my talismans and my collected treasures make me feel cozy. I think Alison is going to come by later, I want it to be nice here, for my vibrations to be calm and not exploding heartache like usual. Even if it’s just neutral, I’d settle for that and some company.

 

DAY 82

If you were not waving but drowning then I was doing performance art. If you were just waving I waved back and if you were drowning I lent a hand.

Some people see paradise as an island, warm and quietly peaceful. I think, that’s boring because when I imagine paradise it’s a space where all the people I love are having a party, and it’s loud and hot enough to sweat it out.

Definitely there’s the fact that I’ll never have that pretty lady perfection people talk about after you’ve walked out of the room. But ha! Look how far its gets most of them, anyway. They can only spend an hour a day in their precious homes and cities before having to return to underground transit. Old travel for the sake of expensive wanderings is over, as is cargo and shipping. You want a local economy? Hope so.

But we are digitized, plastic in the form of silicon microchips still exists for that. My ink smells funny, it must be old. Remember that when you used to use plastic it would smell off or chemically? Remember that people used to use horrible jelly dicks for fucking or slipping into their cunts to ward off pregnancy? Everything offgasses, it makes you part of it by sucking in your nostrils. It wants to live a little bit longer.

 

DAY 83

Is going to work the opposite of being alive? Because the last few days I felt alive and now I’ve shut that part of me off to work.

It was a slow fucking night at the club. The fish were busy, with wives and holiday parties and there’s been seasonal anti-choice rallies, and the war effort is still slowly draining the pockets of everyone but the most wealthy and therefore ridiculous of tricks: the plastics moguls.

These guys think they are God’s gift, when they’re most certainly a curse of the opposite camp. The moguls were of two varieties: licit and illicit, and you could smell the criminalization on their skin when they got drunk. The legal operations were run through the City and placed on the outskirts; the underground ones paid the plasti-scabs who did the dirty work of digging through the ever shrinking dumps and quasi-recycling facilities, pulling out mounds of never decaying bowls, wraps, toys, appliances, chairs, utensils, homes. Anyway we hate them but we want their money.

“If I want such a loser asshole I’d probably have an easier time of it,” Alison burped and smiled with one side of her mouth.

”It’s not that being an asshole is a problem…and losers aren’t really objectionable anymore,” I countered.

“Yeah, but the combination sucks.” She surveyed the workfloor and tugged her dress down to expose more tits.

It’s true – geeky and adorable nerds, or hot and cool assholes are one thing, but it’s hard to know what to with people who are a combination. In activist worlds I can tell someone to step back, in tech worlds I can tell someone not to mansplain, but here at work there’s no language like that these dudes will comprehend. There’s just will I or won’t I interact with your dick in a mediated way. A mediated, yet jolly, yet end of time kind of way. FML.

 

DAY 84

I’m heading to Alliya’s later today because it’s fucking Christmas and I do not want to think about it at all but even more I do not want to be alone, so I’m writing more for ETLE and I hope she likes it. I hope she sees it. I want to be seen a whole different way in a world of women:

After not going to work yesterday, I’ve been walking around the neighborhood, around town, seeing who got touched by what’s being called The Disappearance. There are little notes all around, small altars and vigils by the abandoned bodies of these women – all women – who seem to have left though part of them stays. Is this mind body dualism?

The notes read things like:

In the future there will be great tribulation, storms of metaphysical and heartwrenching proportions that match shifts on the physical plane.

You will mutate to survive.

How may people wonder if they’re the Next? It really takes a certain kind of single-mindedness to even be considered. I want to be Next. I want to go and see where they go, even though I’m terrified.

I tell myself: You will handle it. You will not handle it alone. You will be given choices, and every choice has a consequence. You will not press pause, rewind, replay, or reshoot any scene.

You will handle it. You will mutate to survive.

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