December 7th, 2007

corset & bougainvillea

catchin' up with depeche mode (written 12/13/2003)

actually, no. i’m not listening to it. but i am thinking of catchin’ up, since i’ve largely been silent for the last week or so.

but i have been writing. on BART, a lot. i’ll post some fragments of what’s come up later. but first, i’ll post what i wrote today, while sitting on the train at 2:20 this afternoon, heading into the city to look at an apartment, and then later, riding back to work in walnut creek:

the people who ride the train from concord to the city in the middle of gray, rainy days scare me. they’re so… white. they’re so… suburban. living my life in the bay area, it’s easy to forget that these people, in their j. crew sweaters and rosy cheeks, exist. currently, there’s a guy sitting just over my shoulder saying he doesn’t understand feminism. “women are actually in the majority, so why should they need our sympathy?” he says it, just like that. he’s got that salesman sleaziness about him: a too-easy smile, a neat, republican haircut. there’s oil in his voice. if he’s not a salesman, he must be a lawyer.

(no offense to the lawyers i know, but you guys went to law school. i’m sure you know what i mean.)

i’ve been thinking about law school a lot lately. while my roommates and i were crafting a letter to the landlord about this place, i realized i was pretty good at it. i’d already done a bit of research into california housing code and the legal remedies for tenants whose landlords refuse to perform repairs. so much of it comes down to logic, which can, at times, be my strong suit. at the same time, something about it all scares me. that day in particular, i was pretty stressed out, about work, my meeting the next day, my apartment, and my family, not to mention my feature that night at the berkeley slam, from which i’d just returned when we wrote the letter. on top of all that, i was tipsy at the time. i could see myself being so cutthroat about it all, so mercenary–not that i didn’t have good reason (and still don’t) to be pretty pissed off about my bathroom flooding, constantly–but still, i’m not sure i like myself in “legal” mode. which would be my mode all the time if i went to law school and became an attorney. uncompromising, tactical-minded, and combative.

maybe i’m already all those things. if i were a man, i bet no one would mind, including me. but i’m a woman, and we’re not supposed to be law enforcers, but peacemakers. we’re supposed to be placating and soft and easily manipulated. we’re supposed to bend like willows.

i’m not those things. i have sharp edges.

i am hard, unforgiving, strongly-principled, and often self-righteous. i’m too stiff to bend, but i’m brittle and break often, far more often than i’d like. my hands blindly reach for the pieces, and i pull myself together, somehow, over and over again. as i get older, the chips are more obvious, the cracks more apparent. i imagine that light passes through me like pine needles, or stained glass. i try to find the beauty in that prism, but it’s getting harder as the days go by.

like me.

—-

… i just signed a lease on a tiny studio apartment in the mission. i think i’m in shock. the space is pretty small, but it’s clean and freshly painted. three blocks from BART, two blocks from dolores park, one block from daphne, and across the street from the elbo room. the landlord is a strange guy with a thing for writers, but he’s friendly…. i don’t know if i trust him, but i’m quickly coming to the following conclusion: fuck trust. give me a JD.

Mirrored from www.laurenwheeler.com.

corset & bougainvillea

catchin' up with depeche mode (written 12/13/2003)

actually, no. i’m not listening to it. but i am thinking of catchin’ up, since i’ve largely been silent for the last week or so.

but i have been writing. on BART, a lot. i’ll post some fragments of what’s come up later. but first, i’ll post what i wrote today, while sitting on the train at 2:20 this afternoon, heading into the city to look at an apartment, and then later, riding back to work in walnut creek:

the people who ride the train from concord to the city in the middle of gray, rainy days scare me. they’re so… white. they’re so… suburban. living my life in the bay area, it’s easy to forget that these people, in their j. crew sweaters and rosy cheeks, exist. currently, there’s a guy sitting just over my shoulder saying he doesn’t understand feminism. “women are actually in the majority, so why should they need our sympathy?” he says it, just like that. he’s got that salesman sleaziness about him: a too-easy smile, a neat, republican haircut. there’s oil in his voice. if he’s not a salesman, he must be a lawyer.

(no offense to the lawyers i know, but you guys went to law school. i’m sure you know what i mean.)

i’ve been thinking about law school a lot lately. while my roommates and i were crafting a letter to the landlord about this place, i realized i was pretty good at it. i’d already done a bit of research into california housing code and the legal remedies for tenants whose landlords refuse to perform repairs. so much of it comes down to logic, which can, at times, be my strong suit. at the same time, something about it all scares me. that day in particular, i was pretty stressed out, about work, my meeting the next day, my apartment, and my family, not to mention my feature that night at the berkeley slam, from which i’d just returned when we wrote the letter. on top of all that, i was tipsy at the time. i could see myself being so cutthroat about it all, so mercenary–not that i didn’t have good reason (and still don’t) to be pretty pissed off about my bathroom flooding, constantly–but still, i’m not sure i like myself in “legal” mode. which would be my mode all the time if i went to law school and became an attorney. uncompromising, tactical-minded, and combative.

maybe i’m already all those things. if i were a man, i bet no one would mind, including me. but i’m a woman, and we’re not supposed to be law enforcers, but peacemakers. we’re supposed to be placating and soft and easily manipulated. we’re supposed to bend like willows.

i’m not those things. i have sharp edges.

i am hard, unforgiving, strongly-principled, and often self-righteous. i’m too stiff to bend, but i’m brittle and break often, far more often than i’d like. my hands blindly reach for the pieces, and i pull myself together, somehow, over and over again. as i get older, the chips are more obvious, the cracks more apparent. i imagine that light passes through me like pine needles, or stained glass. i try to find the beauty in that prism, but it’s getting harder as the days go by.

like me.

—-

… i just signed a lease on a tiny studio apartment in the mission. i think i’m in shock. the space is pretty small, but it’s clean and freshly painted. three blocks from BART, two blocks from dolores park, one block from daphne, and across the street from the elbo room. the landlord is a strange guy with a thing for writers, but he’s friendly…. i don’t know if i trust him, but i’m quickly coming to the following conclusion: fuck trust. give me a JD.

Mirrored from www.laurenwheeler.com.

corset & bougainvillea

When hands turn to fists. (written 6/23/2006)

Exhausted but awake. Hi, insomnia!

Thinking about how a lot of what’s been discussed in my journal and elsewhere this week about bisexuality (particularly as it pertains to women) and how it has a lot to do with gender and gender performance–maybe even more than orientation.

Thinking about how identity/politics get coopted for marketing purposes (feminism vis a vis the Spice Girls and “GIRL POWER”; female homosexuality vis a vis t.a.T.u., the Russian “lesbian” duo–who, as far as I’m concerned, have earned a place in hell solely for their cover of “How Soon Is Now?”).

Thinking about growing up with a lesbian for a mom in less-than-tolerant days and places than 2006 in San Francisco–thinking of promotions not given, jobs lost, telling landlords her partner was a “roommate” instead of a lover because they wouldn’t have rented to us otherwise. Hell, that was in Berkeley. Thinking about how shortly after we moved to Florida, two of my friends needed to sit me down to tell me they’d seen my mother kissing her “friend”–them expecting me to what? Freak out? Kill myself? Well, they were really upset by it. And wasn’t I? Thinking about how having a lesbian for a mom meant I needed to go see the “TRUST” counselor in junior high, who ironically broke confidentiality and told my science teacher, who then used that bit of knowledge and an empty classroom as a way of–but I don’t even feel like getting into that.

Thinking about the first girl I knew of who came out in my high school (as bi) and how scandalous it was, how people talked about her–Ew! I can’t believe she kisses girls. How do they have sex? She probably has AIDS–and this in Miami Beach, the first municipality in the country to pass a law prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians. (Progressive, but what of queer people who identify as neither?) Thinking about how a couple of years later, after Madonna had her affair with Ingrid Casares and bought a house in Miami, bisexuality became chic and trendy enough for a couple of the rich girls in my senior class to start holding hands in the hallways because it “made guys horny.”

Thinking about my mother telling me when I was 15 that I was rebelling by being straight. Thinking about her mocking me when I was 20 and told her I was bi–It’s a phase. You’ll get over it. Thinking about my best friend from high school telling me, when I came out to her, that I only thought I was bi because my mother was a lesbian–and then later telling me she was bi, but that she couldn’t ever have a real relationship with a woman because she wanted to work in politics some day.

Thinking about how K almost got kicked out of high school in Huntington Beach for taking a girl to prom in 1991. Thinking about how I got harassed walking with my arm around my first real girlfriend on the boardwalk in Huntington Beach in 2000. Thinking about how a good friend of mine and her trans husband got sexually assaulted and beaten outside a bar in Santa Cruz last year. Sometimes blue states can still give you the blues.

And I think that’s maybe enough thinking for now. The insomnia just cried “uncle.”

Mirrored from www.laurenwheeler.com.