Today I’m reading Goodbye, Vitamin, by Rachel Khong.
Today I’m listening to Dirty Computer, by Janelle Monae.
Today I’m considering sharing my words (it feels disingenuous, somehow, to call it poetry, even though that’s what it is) with a group of strangers tonight. It’s something I did a month ago and afterward I felt very happy and excited and empowered but since I went in without expectations it feels a bit different, this time.
Today the phrase “I live much of my life inside my own head” turns over and over again in that same head and I know it’s true and I kind of don’t want it to be but I have ambition block, which is like writer’s block but worse.
Today I wonder if it’s contradictory of me to feel pleased when at least four co-workers complimented my slinky, crimson, sleeveless top with lace that honestly looks more like lingerie than something one should wear to work but when paired with wide-legged black dress pants and flats seems appropriate — if it’s contradictory that the attention I receive in that setting makes me feel powerful, but when my mom tells me I look pretty in that same outfit, it makes me feel sad and annoyed. Is it the difference in the people asking the question? Or is it the difference in the compliment: you look pretty today versus I like that top?
Today I said the phrase “my girlfriend” to a near perfect stranger without even really considering the ramifications, and despite a small, tiny smiling acknowledgment (barely noticeable, probably not actually there, but I thought I saw it) this stranger didn’t react and neither did I. I didn’t flush like I usually do, or furtively glance around to see if any homophobic-looking people were around, like I usually do. (No, I don’t really know what I mean by that.)
Today I got out my planner again after leaving it dormant, closed, not collecting dust but not being cracked open either. It had traveled with me, been carried around for days and even weeks but only just decided it was ready to be used again. It feels good to empty out my brain a little onto those pages, even if I’m only writing down facts and schedules. I record things that have already happened. “Tattoo consultation with Lacey, 11a.m.” It serves just as much as a repository for memories as it does a reminder for future events. So that later I can look back and marvel at what I was doing, or wasn’t doing, or how happy I was, or wasn’t.
Today I started researching grad school again, even though I had already decided I’m not going back to school, not in the United States at least, because of my phobia of mass shooters. I guess phobia isn’t the right word, because that would imply that the fear is unjustified. My fear. I’ll just say that. But maybe people in Oregon are less likely to snap or have hateful, violent leanings? Except for that attack that happened in Portland a few months ago, when some pedestrians were plowed down. I hate following the news, but that’s literally my job. I need to remind myself of that when I start to slip into the ease of where I am, the situation I find myself in at the moment. It sometimes seems easier to stay here, and on some level it would be, but on other levels it most definitely, definitely would not.
Today I really want a doughnut.
Today I’m relating to the book I’m reading. It’s about a woman near my age (she’s 30) whose fiance breaks up with her and she’s devastated. Her father, a college professor, is in the early stages of dementia, so she goes home “for a year, to help” supposedly. I’ve read half of it just sitting in the library. It’s short, but very good. I’ve read many of these such books, where a person “goes back home.” It’s almost a genre (or maybe a trope?) but I guess it means the situation I’m in is not so uncommon. I wonder if I’m doing it right, and I think maybe however you do it is right for you but that seems too easy. The logical conclusion is that I should write a book about my experiences being home, but I’m not sure what it would be about. My parents are building an enormous shed in the backyard, and a pool (for next summer) and my brother’s going off to college and we sometimes say my girlfriend’s name in strained voices but never, ever mention the implications of queerness or what it means outside this singular person. Maybe as far as they’re concerned there is no queerness in me outside of her. I’m sure my family is unique and strange and has their idiosyncrasies, but they’re not problem drinkers or philanderers, they don’t have a mean streak. They’re extremely loving. Does that make for a good book? Does it matter when mostly, all people want to read about is an experience that’s like their own?
I can’t be the only one.