Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: butches, exes, femmes, love, memory, random ramblings, the ex: cohen, writing
it’s almost something sacred. the word “you,” when you speak it in reference to me. it is one word in a sentence made of many others, but it’s the only one that hangs on your tongue like the way honey drags down the length of a spoon – slow and thick at first and then rushed and ribboned towards the end. my punched down, plumped up heart doesn’t care about the sentiments or about the words that surround this mention of me in your mouth. i am focused only on the way it feels to be cradled by your lips like that; attention paid only to the feel of your breath grazing when you exhale me.
this is about absence. the kind that causes me to rock away grief. because sitting still with it is just too great an ache.
i am responsible for near tidal waves.
when we were a part of one another still, i noticed not the way you held me in your mouth – pulled me in, pushed me out – but more the sound. the gravel of your generations-deep, southwestern pennsylvania, coal miner family accent and the way it snuck out between the cracks of a crooked smile passed down from a grandmother every bit as pretty then as you are handsome today.
my concentration on the way you spoke me, the way you still sometimes do when i let my guard down a little too early, is about the ways i loved you. i wonder now if something as simple as how you wore your lips when you grinned – practically a right angle instead of a more even, upwards bevel – should have been a sign of the unpredictability of you.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blah, butches, exes, femmes, love, memory, nolose, the ex: cohen
prompted by sinclair…
1. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that the reason I still seem so not over her is not because she was that incredible, but because I’m bored with the other options.
2. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that I voluntarily participate in aggravating relationships because I value the really good sex that has been a part of them…and I worry what that says about me.
3. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that I’m most likely not going to make it as a professor once I finish my Ph.D.
4. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that I really did kind of feel it when I met them those two brief days and told my friends I’d met my future husband…even if that’s completely ridiculous.
5. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that I think I’m kind of a catch…despite the occasional self-deprecation.
6. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that sometimes I’m a judgmental bitch and that’s not always ok.
7. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that my greatest fear is not making an impact.
8. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that I don’t think I always mean it when I say “I love you,” but I’m working on it.
Filed under: arg, butches, cancer, dad, death, exes, memory, mom | Tags: arg, butches, cancer, dad, death, exes, memory, mom, the ex: cohen
this afternoon, my mother called me from the hospital in nj. my dad has been admitted for vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath. he’s undergoing some tests, specifically an m.r.i. of his head to see if there is anything to be suspicious of there. my dad’s had cancer for the past several years. it started with his kidney, which was removed and he enjoyed about a year and a half of remission before it crept back up again in his spleen and liver. through chemotherapy, those tumors wound up shrinking significantly, but it’s always been made very clear that there’s no more opportunity for him to “beat” cancer. it’s more just a waiting game of where it will pop up next and with what kind of vengeance. earlier in the year, it was discovered he had a spot on his spine. it wasn’t particularly large or intrusive, but once cancer hits bone, especially spine and its column of connecting fluid, it’s not the best of signs. needless to say, it seems the dr. is going straight for scans of his head to see if there is any brain tumor or lesion to be found there.
i’ve always feared this moment and i’ve been pretty realistic in knowing it would probably come soon, at some point. spine and brain are so connected and usually once one has had a taste of the cancer stuff, the other is next to follow. all the reading i’ve done has told me that brain cancer is a quick and slippery slope with fatal results. it’s strange to write these words. my father’s and my relationship has been so strained my whole life. there have often been times since his diagnosis several years ago, not to mention times before that when he was still a healthy man, that i’ve thought of how it would be easier, especially on my mother, if he passed away. and now, with that reality staring me in the face, part of me regrets ever thinking it and the other tells me not to forget the long history of emotional violence that stems from him.
but what really gets me every time i worry about him or start to contemplate his death and what that will be like for me, i almost always lose sight of the reality, the right now. i eventually, without fail, always wind up overlooking him and land up at the fact that i will take care of and console my mother, what’s needed anyway, but who will take care of and console me? every time i think of his illness and his passing, i come back to this right here…and i miss you terribly; in ways that make me clutch my gut with the pain of your absence. because despite everything we went through and regardless of how you never knew what to say when i was upset over his illness, you were and still are what i think of when i think of comfort. when i consider all that i might need when his final decline begins, it’s only you that comes to mind. you, the person who struggled most with knowing what to say to me in times of sadness. you, who thought i needed more than just your silence and support or the physical strength and safety of your arms and shoulders. i have every reason in the world not to trust you and this won’t change that; this won’t find me dialing you aimlessly at 2am needing to hear your voice. yet still, it’s your absence i’ll cry for right now and not the eventuality of my father’s.
you were my safety net despite all of your fears that you were never strong enough for me. did you ever really know that?
Filed under: exes, love, mom, reciprocity, resistance, therapy | Tags: exes, love, mom, reciprocity, resistance, the ex: cohen, therapy
when i started going to therapy three months ago, i wasn’t sure what i was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t what i got – an amazing queer-friendly, sex-positive therapist with pretty progressive politics for a heterosexual professional who looks like a nicer, cuter version of ann coulter. it took only about three sessions until she had me pegged and left me wandering home, mouth agape, with the realization that after 26 years, there was no denying i was my mother’s daughter.
i had suspicions this was going to happen. i laugh like my mother – loud, unchecked, and with legs stomping if you really get me going. when i’m upset, my words pour out 100 m.p.h. and my new jersey accent is as thick as molasses (…or maybe toxic, newark sludge). my feet are near mirror images of hers…save for my slightly wider instep and far superior baby toes. she is strong, she is loving, she is smart, she is beautiful. she is my heart and i am hers.
unfortunately though, being my mother’s daughter also means that i have been witness to a cycle of emotional abuse that i have not only endured personally, but through her pain and heartbreak as well. my father, a manic depressive, has made 33 years of marriage a task worthy of receiving sainthood. i mean, it would be if you absolutely had to stay or, like, you would die. the fact is, though he has caused us hurt for decades, she has only participated in this violence through her decision to stay married to him and living within the same home. despite her reasons for not leaving being (somewhat) understandable, her continued involvement has enabled a cycle of anger, depression, and neglect. years of debating our staying and going manifested itself into an inescapable pattern for her.
and here i am now – 26 years old and on my own, living and loving the butches and the bois that come and go in some repetitious narrative (dare i say it?) of life that finds me – the strong one, the loving one, the smart one, the beautiful one – playing second fiddle to a conductor without ears. the lack of mutuality, the ungratefulness, the emotional ineptness is staggering, but i have taken it from you. i have participated, i have enabled. i have tried, like my mother, to unsuccessfully make good times out of your bad times. i have put my hurt aside to fix you, to care for you. i have loved you, i have listened to you. i have made you lemon bars, pastina, brownies. i have sent you flowers, taken you shopping, made you care packages. i have kissed your eyebrows, i have sucked your dick. i have raised your self-esteem, i have inflated your ego. i have been your saving grace, your biggest fan, your desire, your love. i have been what you said made you feel whole….
to me, you have been a dearth of reciprocity.
i am my mother’s daughter because i believed you, despite the lack of tangible evidence and despite the harsh words, mood swings, emotional voids. i stuck with you. i let it happen again and again.
except then it stopped.
because i was not going to pay one more $200 cell phone bill to hear you tell me that you loved me, but that now was not the time (5 years from now, you say? go fuck yourself!). i was not going to spend one more long weekend/holiday/spring break without you because you couldn’t get time off of work, but could, in fact, find time to go to nyc and see your mediocre best friend…and her harem of strippers. i was not going to spread for you on saturday, sunday, and monday for you to tell me on tuesday that you “hated” me. yes, even if you meant it ironically.
you see, i am my mother’s daughter, but i am not her twin. i have learned from her mistakes. i have meticulously studied her scars.
i say to you now what my mother should have said to my father at 26:
you, sir, are fired.