Polyester: Week 3

DAY 15

I went out on a date with myself, and came home without having hung out with anyone. I guess I’m let down? I should have called one of the dudes from the club just to have company? Naw, at least some of this still needs to feel like an adventure I’m choosing.

Groups and crews can be really upsetting. When you’re not in, you’re really not in. It’s kind of a thing, the point you might say. It can be so painful to see a crew when I’m lonely. We’ve all felt this way [maybe?] and it’s left over from heinous kid times I’m sure. I mean this root, this I’m Not Loved/love-able root, runs through lots of people. What the fuck do you think motivates clients? It’s not just their dicks, though those help. What fucking motivates people to participate in any of the shitty behavior people do?

Even though I hate waiting on a crew, I love getting to hang out. My crew back home, we had easy times and hard ones. We rolled separate and together. But it never felt exclusionary, that’s the other rub of crews: social capital is an innocent harm [usually] though harm it still does. The crew I check out and am kinda cruising was no where to be found tonight. It sucks not to be invited. Everyone’s felt it. I feel it now. When you know people are having fun and feel unimportant about it and especially cuz know that fun might save my broken heart from cracking further. Bummerz.

This is the reality of changing locations, though. This is why I’m writing, to no one in particular. I used to love to write love letters to my friends [and lovers]. It was a special kind of joy. I’m going to look and see if I have any typed ones around when I’m ready to bear the weight. Most of that shit was handwritten though. SIGH… I’d kept  them all. All my motherfucking love letters and romantic friendship letters and colloquial correspondence. It made me feel alive.

What I know after two weeks: nothing is permanent, not fear, not love, not finances, not home. Fucking nothing. I might have to move my camp soon too, hopefully into a shared spot. A few more shifts and I can.

DAY 16

My spot is getting busted up. It’s harder to glean than it used to be, but still doable. Trash dumps have been opened up, lots by private owners. Some of them have employees and some just open the space up for folks to rent lots to dig through independently. Re-ap-ing plastic’s worth money, and digging is gross-ass work that can get you hurt: sharp shit mixed in with rotten shit mixed in with the various plastic remnants that will never disintegrate. Those that start to break apart become a powder, viscous yet papery.

But there’s trash everywhere, that’s part of being outside a City Zone. I don’t mean all over the streets, folks take fucking care of their spots. I mean there’s streets people don’t live in, empty buildings, and shit that’s never been dealt with in an infrastructural kind of way. This oil shit’s only been bad for a few years. That means I can still, hopefully, maybe someday find my second favorite plastic thing after polyester dresses: astroturf!

Before that, though, I gotta move or redecorate/move things. I have a 4-person canvas tent one of my contacts out here loaned me, tucked behind a school in this kind of traveler hostel situation. Dude I sweat that thing out every night and the benefits of having a solid place to lock my crap up and some random people I’m not even sure I wanna hang hard with are beginning to be outweighed by the sweat and tears in that little tent.

There’s a little café here, and maybe I should get my shit together and go. I mean, it reminds me that I’m dumb for being so lonely. Yeah I’ll totally go tomorrow.

My tent feels safe though. A tiny nook away from the intensity of work, and of the new world outside it. My new world…

DAY  17

Finally! A night staying up until a normal bed time – leaving the tent sure is worth it! Sitting on the hunched corridor of my work area, a mat on the floor, I grew #1 despondent, #2 distracted #3 sleepy, but now I sing “I was born to love her, built my world all around her!” And smiled.

The best thing about coming to a new community? No history means no drama. The worst part? No history means no friends, no trusted crew. I myself can only cry in front of total strangers OR intimates. Anyone in the middle feels so vulnerable. Shit, when i left town we were having community conversations about radical vulnerability. I might not be ready for that anymore. I guess, when I’m strong I don’t care who sees my fissures but when all i feel is fractured its a damn lot more hard. I know this is tough guy shit. But this shit helped me get this far!

I have never ever cried in front of a client. Laughed, joked, made blank faces to divert topics, cum, sure: but in a working life, negative emotions are discouraged. i guess that’s shitty and masculinist and WASPY, but welcome to the world we live in…

Now that I think of it though, I’ve totally cried in front of all kinds of people. Maybe I’m not so tough. But geez, its not like everyone’s face is smiling and welcoming my vulnerability. Surly punks and aloof loners are most of who I’ve met outside of the Club.

The club… Shit, I’ve seen some of the girls cry in the green room. Cherry did that one day and it made me like her more.   Fuck me. Maybe I’m just thinking so much about crying because I feel so close to it. My liquid suitor, an old familiar. A reminder of where my heart is, anyway

Girls are mean but only because they are nervous or wasted. I found a stash of beer and it will last me for days, that’s relieving.

My imperfect skin still has a destiny, people to do something I want to with. That little café was cute, I met someone named Cory. They and I talked for a long time, sometimes that’s so easy with a stranger, right? I drank whiskey and told them I was from Out There and they looked at me with clear brown eyes that sparkled with sadness. Even just a little compassion thrown my way and I feel like I’d run around with them forever.

DAY 18

I think I’m going to make my weeks five days instead of seven. Still with a two day weekend. Ha! Because I’m doing so much I have to take more breaks. Tasks this week included:
– cleaning broken window glass in the glass-filled frame I found. Could be a wall!
– checking and securing hiding place for my treasured polyester vintage clothes.
– meet with D. to look into generator for a new spot. How can I pay? I’ve got some tricks… – organized my sewing and crafting area. Since I have all this time, I might as well like make a punk vest or something.
– began to look at my tablet/cloud stuff. Are there letters? Writing? Pictures? I miss everyone so hard and I might be ready to look at photos and crap like that.

DAY 19

I made a friend. It was maybe a mistake, and I’m sorry. I was so bored and lonely. I am obsessively not trying to obsess about how this could be the opening door. I’m still someone who lays on the floor and wonders what I did in some past life or past interaction that was so fucked up I’m here, now.

I feel the bone against the flesh. How could I lose weight so quickly? My beloved curves. One year, a love of mine told me they were beautiful until I believed her. And then, I had to believe everything good and had to think out being wrong in my second-class silence. Access is so complicated. Priviledge is too. I’m not always sure how the two interact in me.

I want to make a long and complete list of the plastic items I remember that aren’t polyester. For starts:
– raincoats
– leatherette/pleather
– vinyl luggage
– shitty backpacks
– toilet piping
– PVC outfits [technicality!]
– glasses frames
– poles to hold up tomatoes
– glittered earrings
– e-cigarettes
– phone cases
– costume jewelery
– plastic bags [remember those?]
– …

DAY 20

How many days in a row can you wake up crying before it breaks you? This is a shitty question. A better one is: at what point are tears so normal they maybe aren’t cleansing? I guess its been … a month or more? Before the journal of course. Ugh.

I went to a healing thing tonight. I didn’t cry even though maybe I was supposed to?

When I sat in the bar and the news showed the bombing, well the rubble, I cried. Parts of my neighborhood flat, stone chunks instead of gathering places. When my phone went blank, though, I stopped. The last thing that came through that day was an emergency alert system text. Then, blank. Something went hard in me, that part of me which is alert to the dangers inherent in living so digitally. I found a stranger to talk to, we all did. He said, “Damn cell towers!” and I said, “Dude–that’s the kill button on our phones. Not the towers.” In my guts I knew it was true. It was so complete. Sure, service is erratic outside of City Zones, and since this is not where most of us live that’s normal. But.

Everyone pulled out their devices at once trying to contact someone, and everyone put their phone down together in a collective breath. A choreography of stunned and sad individuals. Who started crying first? Who were you around when you heard? Do you feel close to them or want to be far?

I never want to look at the face of the first woman I saw crying again. Her red shirt and crumpled eyes, a heartbreaking mirror. That face reminds me of the first moment I realized people died. Its too much right now. Ive run into her on the street twice. We look away — I must remind her of something too. Will I look at her someday and just feel history instead? Someday will certain faces not make me see blood? What is the solution? i went to the healing thingy for a reason.

The healing thingy was a gathering some folks arranged because lots of us feel pretty fucking bad and church is not a safe option for lots of us. Not for me for sure. I’m not sure if vague witchy woo is the thing I need but Ill take anything that doesn’t hate women and endorse slavery at this point. There were 11 of us together. Cory and Cherry were there, Cory invited me. Jeanette and MeiLing, Chuck, Jones, and a buncha folks I hadn’t met. The lovely witch in charge is named Raven.

We passed eggs around our bodies, hit one another with basil, stated our intentions to the moon. All this in an abandoned warehouse where folks make art sometimes, called Rhizome. Kids groups gather in the foyer before walking expeditions. Older folks gather in a side room to hang out. It’s a space that feels like people still care about each other here, even if they do it by candlelight half the time, and some of us show up crying. I know, I should be strong. It was not so bad for me. Move on. I’m fine. What’s done is done, over is over, gone is gone. But is it really better to be left behind and alive?

Moral harm, along with PTSD is something soldiers experience. Is that happening to us, somehow? The guilt of survival when others’ don’t weighted against the inexplicable randomness of violence and death?

Cherry From The Club said, “I hate when people try to act like theres a reason for everything.” I agree. It’s why I can’t take church. Show me a god who makes this shit happen with intentionality, and I’ll reflect back to you a fucking asshole. Fuck reasons, this is chaos. The random workings of a universe guided by science: molecules hitting molecules for no reason at all. No immoveable mover, no plan, just outcomes we try to narrate with our tiny human minds

DAY 21

Its early and I’m going to sleep soon.

Because one of us has died. Because 13  witches isn’t enough. Because waking up in the city that never sleeps isn’t just for New York anymore. Because I still have all my teeth, but not for long.Because having a man around doesn’t help when you’ve been safe alone before. Because no outlaw can make me rich anymore. Because I haven’t rested in weeks, because sleep is for the weak. Because everything good has a price, because money can’t buy happiness, because I’m infected. Because tired is a state of mind. Because nothing happens real fast. Because I am tired, so tired, and everyone who loves me is far, far away.

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