Cover to new journal, beginning 08/21/2017
Cover to new journal, beginning 08/21/2017
Every so often a wave of belief that I am boring washes over me. I feel as though I must tap dance to be seen. Unfortunately, the dance is all that is seen. In new situations or groupings, I lean into being the “funny” one. While this gets me socially accepted, it limits the depth of my character.
At work, in our team meetings e have anonymous kudos, where everyone is assigned a different co-worker and then everyone writes a kudo. Every time, regardless who gets me, the kudo is the same – my humor makes the office enjoyable. This is pleasant to hear and I am glad I make work a fun place to be, but it seems to place when others’ kudo states a specific accomplishment or helpful act to that person. My kudo is a generic “atta-boy,” the personality compliment given about ugly fat chicks. The generic-ness of my kudo makes it impossible to identify the source; even though it is anonymous. Personality compliments are participation trophies. I want to be recognized for my accomplishments and contributions, something tangible.
The clown is two-dimensional character, whose purpose is to bring brevity so that the story’s plot does not get bogged down. There is no other room for development in the comedienne because then the jokes would carry the weight of the truth
Growing up I wanted to be a published short story writer. My stories would be published in genre collections and magazines. The stories are collected in anthologies, where a shared cosmology – Pentapolis of the Valley – links the shorts, cycles, and novellas. My fiction career allows me to publish articles and essays in literary journals. Favorite topics of mine include: Emily Bronte, graphic novels, social equity, and the works of Caitlin R. Kiernan. I write cultural think pieces for mainstream magazine and newspapers. Eventually, my non-fiction works are collected.
The success of writing career gives me the ability to move to New York City, in its West Village. I get to rub shoulders with artists at weekend parties while spending weekdays in discussion with critics.
My bibliography allows me opportunities to be guest editor, playwright, and historian. I spend 1 year as a guest editor-in-chief at Heavy Metal magazine, selecting critically acclaimed European &Asian translations and indie creators. I lead the magazine in an open submission that publishes two unpublished creative teams. Working at Heavy Metal allows me to work with the premier graphic, fine, and sequential artists in illustrating my NEON/ECN short stories. The decisions acquisitions and discoveries that I make have me become a curator of graphic fiction.
I have been reconstructing the found family I had built for myself, which I unceremoniously tore apart. I began with Heather, by reconnecting with her in recent months. I had met Heather through my first boyfriend, Ben; she is his ex-sister-in-law. When I broke-up with Ben, and other boyfriends, Heather remained a constant. Often, she was a great deal more pleasurable to be around than who I was dating.
Heather is a hardcore reader and deeply empathic. She is the type of friend that is always needed – a person who completely accepts another person as they are. She’s the rare person that shares what she has, and the even rarer person who gladly gives up what she must to improve another’s standing. Heather allows people to drop their masks and be their authentic selves. In the instance of me, I found a person who shared my proclivities and smart enough to grasp references &allusions without explanation. Heather keeps friends to her detriment – even if the friendship is one-sided or toxic.
It has been just over seven years since Heather and I had seen each other. The fault in our disconnection is with me. It was a dark time, and could no longer deal with people around me, so I pushed every support away from myself. I was convinced I had to do everything alone. A family never does anything alone.
As Joey and my correspondence broke down my romantic life became a deconstructed romantic-comedy. Joey’s friend Ben swooped in and began talking to me. we hung out and did dugs. By the end of Spring Break, we were dating and by summer we were boyfriends. Around Thanksgiving Ben wrote an email to my parents, telling them I was homosexual, and that he was in love with me. I found out because my mother forwarded me the email. I was destroyed. I was humiliated. Ben’s letter is a moment I have been internally living down.
I do not know why I continued to date Ben, and then drop out of college for him. Ben was my first boyfriend.
One-night Ben had admitted that the only reason he had spoken to me was because he had a crush on Joey, and wanted to investigate who I was (what was appealing about me). Ben had wanted me distracted so Joey would lose interest. Then, he says, he began to like me and fall in love with me. We were together for three years.
The relationship immediately after Ben was with Frank Maha. I had met Frank through Ben, who was buying drugs from Frank. In truth, Ben was cheating with Frank. Later, Frank admitted to me that the reason for sleeping with Ben was so to break Ben and I up, so he could date me.
The winter break of my 20th birthday I met Joey Antinore. It had been New Year’s Eve, at club Tilt. I had been standing watching the drag show when I felt the back of my ear get flicked. I turned around and said, “Hi.”
Joey explained he was following an impulse and immediately knew the type of person I was dealing with.
“Alright.” And turned back around.
Joey got my attention again by asking if wanted to roll.
“Okay,” I answered.
For the longest time Joey Antinore was the elusive ideal; the one ex that all potential suitors were measured against. In attempting to write down our first encounter I came to the realization that there was nothing epic, template worthy, about the encounter. There was nothing grandiose or particularly outstanding about the relationship’s arc. In fact, the mental glorification of that relationship and its beginning is rather obsessive.
What was it about the whole scenario that became #goals? I wasn’t particularly happy. When I recall the relationship with Joey, what comes to mind is his habit of telling him something, then he vehemently disagrees. These weren’t ideological differences, or rooted in arcane knowledge. Rather, disagreements came over individual rights and basic operations of politics and humanism. We’d part in the morning for our separate work, and then return to each other that evening with Joey’s mind changed. This change of mind arose because he had talked to his co-workers, who told him that he was in the wrong; that I was correct. That was the routine of our relationship: Joey respected only his friends and their opinions, and not mine. I never fully understood how and why Joey could never just have faith that I’d know something, or respect my stance as having validity.
It’s been beyond joyous to redecorate – to create this new home a nest made of my life. Having a residence free of memories and past lives means there is only me to defer to; the present is my only reality. My history is riddled with opinions and directions of exboyfriends, family, and friends.
While I am thankful for the people I call friends and boyfriends and family, the route to meet them was not always preferable. I had modelled my actions on the expectations of others, and strayed too far from what had been expected and planned by suburbia: a four-year degree followed by the appropriate entry-level job, then settle down. For me it had been decided I was to be an English teacher. I was foolish and left college for a boy. I did some hardcore drugs and made reckless decisions because of boys; when weed was just find by me. Eventually, I refocused on myself and returned to college through online courses. I tried to be a teacher, but found working with people with developmental disabilities a better fit. I thought I wanted to teach literature, but truly I wanted to teach literacy.
I don’t know if staying on path I would have been as happy, or if I’d have gotten to the same conclusions at an early point, but now my home reflects a better suited narrative, and a deeper character.
The benefit of moving is the cleansing action that comes with packing and unpacking.
The new apartment is smaller – the best possible way. I previously had a two bedroom, and the spare bedroom, (rather than be for guests or an office) became a Monica Geller-style closet. Everything that had been labeled for the curb ended up in that room. The junk in the extra room became totems of my past, the luggage of life that’s weight slowed the journey. Most of the contents did not eve originate as mine. They were accumulated when friends shed them in their own moves. I threw those away immediately, and for the first time in a long time the items surround me I had selected and bought; I am entrenched in my unique aesthetic. The possessions that must be sorted have been amassed through my adventures. The memories attached to them are my perspectives on the world, and not reactionary to gaining affection. The artifacts of life all reflect my experiences and priorities.
This move has provided an opportunity of a clean break from my dusty history. Moving allowed me to toss the collected ideologies and props, and retain the core – what triggers an emotional response in me. My home is now an attempt to show off the best of me.
Moving is a stressful time for anyone, especially nesters like myself. I’ve been in the same apartment for seven years. I am a person that enjoys having roots and growth. The instability of my youth has deepened my desire to have a home, to abandon gypsy life.
The new apartment is in the same building but I’m moving without any assistance. I have friends that say they will help, though so far, after the first day, they have not arrived to help; or had to cancel at the last minute to stay at work. This is acceptable to me because I can move most of the small boxes and furniture on my own, but I do hope that friends are able to come through with their aide on the weekend, when I need to move the heavy furniture.
Friendships have always come difficultly for me. I do not know why. I have always envisioned myself as a nice person. Conversely, I have been horrible I relationships. My boyfriends were always good boyfriends, but they weren’t good boyfriends for me. Being in relationships required greater socialization than I can handle in any given moment. I would rather be home – writing, drawing, cooking – than to be out in the community. My home is a cocoon to rest and recharge. It is a place where I can fix-up and modify the next day’s necessary identity. The nomadic and public life is draining, removing the necessary recuperation period.