jacktellslies: (Default)
I have two friends who have been dancers. One made herself stupid with drugs every night to force herself on stage to be watched by men that she believed were nothing short of evil. She was drunk and sobbing on the sidewalk when she admitted it. It broke her, and years later her wounds are still raw. But in the middle of it she spit, suddenly angry rather than broken, "but the money was good, and I needed it, so I did it." It sickened me, that capitalism can so easily demand our rape, that so often we acquiesce. And yet it was incongruous, almost disappointing. Something in the way that she said it, far more than the words themselves, implied an untruth.

The other was a burlesque dancer in New York in the seventies. Her close friends dated Iggy Pop, started doing heroin with Sid and Nancy when the Sex Pistols fell into town. She kept dancing and ingested many a fascinating poison, but abstained from the needle. Eventually her friends died, or she had no choice but to leave them as empty shells, only learning upon the release of Please Kill Me that some of them actually survived. But she kept dancing; she liked it. Then she got pregnant, so she stopped. She said she wasn't going to be one of those mothers who blamed their children for forcing them to dance. She wasn't going to wait for it to stop being fun, and she wasn't going to blame anyone else for a choice that was entirely her own. She took a long series of simply appalling jobs, but she never thought of going back. She knew the traps of her profession well. She knew her own boundaries better than that.

At my fencing lesson today, I listened as the more experienced women discussed another fencer who had gone into labour today. She'd prepared for a natural birth, but two hours in requested an epidural. Last I heard she was still at the hospital, and they expect she won't birth until morning. One of the younger women was disappointed for her, and perhaps actually disappointed in her as well. One of the older women, who, unlike the first, seemed as if she may have actually experienced childbirth herself, almost slapped her. Thus far I've not heard many stories in which women give birth without the assistance of drugs in hospitals, whatever their original intention. I never want to get pregnant, and I certainly never intend to stay pregnant. But in the event that a massive failure of birth control, a complete lapse of judgement, and my occasional heterosexual experiments should all converge, please note that I'll require the following: a large jacuzzi, an extremely attractive and capable midwife, the presence of at least three of my lovers, and a strong waterproof vibrator. Barring any serious complications, it will not happen in a hospital. And if I ask for drugs, I get the fucking drugs. Because, as I understand it, the point of a natural birth is respecting a person's choices about their body.

Earlier today my partner sat in a cafe, politely sipping hot drinks with a friend who was three centimetres dilated and quite calm.
jacktellslies: (jeanne mammen)
I've not been dancing in months.

I'm atrophying. I get the distinct feeling of late that I'm meant to be hibernating. I'm perpetually exhausted, surly, and demanding that Beth, shoeless and crying, bring me dripping piles of (faux)meats and bread, butter and beer by the bucketful. Fishmongering is rather physically demanding, but that's always the case, and it doesn't always push my body to become a useless fob watch that I never bother to wind.

It's also left me feeling unreasonable resentment towards the DJs of this town: nothing could possibly be queer enough for me just now, no transition even close to well matched.

I'm pining for the trashiest of London fag bars, Berlin street corners at three AM. In turn, I'm struck with the feeling I don't usually allow myself anymore, that time and space are cruel, that the vastness of distance is crushing. What a useless feeling! Missing people who are here because one day I'll miss them, longing so intensely for places that I'm going. I live in South Philadelphia, jagged and winding cathedral of brick and broken glass, in street market temples of spark and ash, under an ever burning post-industrial sky! My friends are brilliant and morally lax! And tonight, possessed by caffeine, by red wine and rum and lipstick, we go dancing!
jacktellslies: (ladies)
Friday was amazing. (There has been more since then, but I've only time to catch you up to a certain point.) My customers were sweet, which is unheard of, and Aiden came to visit, which was awful of her, as she'd brought her guests, visitors from Indiana, Pennsylvania, which is a silly place: if one is near Pittsburgh, why would one not wish to be in Pittsburgh? But, again, it was awful of her: no one's first impression of me should ever be the thing that I am at work: I am made to wear a very orange pair of waterproof overalls, as if I were catching the fish as well as hauling and preparing them, and I tend to be covered in scales and bones and bits of meat. However, perhaps this should be a great many people's first impression of me: for some strange, strange reason, one that makes me doubt my species, dykes seem to think the getup cute. Megan has been telling me this for some time; I thought it just another display of her incessantly bad taste. Apparently, the problem is much more far reaching than I'd thought. So. I worked, and then I went home and drank Jameson in the shower. I went out, and I got lost, walking very, very far in the wrong direction, being yelled at by several large groups of very large men, and eventually being told to meet the group at the next bar to which they were going, which was only a few blocks away from my house. (I am pixieled more often than most people, and I try to remember that I should take that as an honour. But I should also remember to tie a bell to my boot, and to turn my coat. Getting to where one is going should not be as difficult as it usually manages to be.) At long last I met them at Twelfth and Locust and we walked cobblestones to the Tavern at Camac, a place I'd never before been. There were more shots, large ones, and quite a few fags were rather impressed, apparently never having seen an order for Jack and Jameson and Tequila before. When we arrived on the dance floor, a very excited boy that we did not at all know celebrated our presence with shouting and by touching my bum more times than was probably appropriate. I tried to introduce myself, as I sometimes like to know the names of the people who are touching me, and he insisted that his name was Gay Boy. Sigh. His lesbian friend commented that he was even more excited to see us than she was. I danced with a great many bitches, and at some point became drunk enough that I was no longer wearing a shirt and most likely being far too bold. We were all quite drunk when we walked back to Aiden and Meredith's new house, and I walked holding Kerry's hand, but she fell dead asleep immediately, and I found myself with Chrissy, instead, a sort of situation I'd never really expected to experience, and one with which I was greatly impressed. Aiden, please feel free to put me in bed with lesbians I've only just met anytime you'd like. Meow. And thank you.
jacktellslies: (ladies)
i had dreams i felt. i'd needed an operation, and the doctors were too much like me at my cutting board. they took everything out to get to the things for which they were looking. after the operation i sometimes thought the immense pain in my torso was only the result of everything having been moved around so much, and at times because i thought they'd failed to put anything back at all. when i woke i was bloody and cramped, but with the sort that fills me bellow my navel, the kind that i sort of like. it didn't shift to the tight, between the legs cramps until i'd been at work for some time. i like those much less.

today isn't quite my new year. it usually feels more like a new year sometime around halloween, even though this halloween was awful. were i a better heathen than i am, i'd better utilize the opportunity to create a more auspicious end and beginning, or i'd at least do a better job of using anyone's holiday as an excuse for a party. but i'm a bit ill again, and i mostly just want to be at home and quiet. i might try to get a bit drunk, and robert promised to kiss me.

today lindsay and i posed a serious question: why can't the people who live here tell the difference between failure and music? they are quite different things, really.

the above was written moments before brandon, lindsay, robert, and brandon's charming and sweet straight girl friend amanda convinced me that i should come out with them, just for one drink, just to one place. i spent the evening in two steven starr restaurants. we walked past both lines to get in to the continental when brandon simply opened the back door and let us up the kitchen stairs. a boy waiting in the cold yelled, "hey, can you get in that way?" and lindsay, in classic form, simply yelled, "no." we drank and danced and a cocktail waitress in doc martins brought us our drinks while we danced, which impressed me very much indeed, and we flirted with all of our friends, dressed as and gangster girls and playboy bunny drag queens and whatever hot thing bill was supposed to be, as a great many of them work in both places, and i paid for nothing. (i'll spot some people back today.) we were the first people dancing, and we danced with each other and with girls and a friend of mine, a tiny and cute thing named billy, was on stilts, on the floor all night and still dancing better than most of us can off of them. we went to jones, where newel was a hot little greaser thing in his starman hair and a tight white t-shirt, black vinyl trousers and absurd stompy gothy boots, a black and a white studded belt, and his light up belt buckle, like the one i have, where the words, "drink more!" scrolled all night while he barbacked. we wore the hats left on the table, and we danced at our table and at a dance floor we decided should exist, and we drank a bit more of the free champagne than we deserved thanks to newel's influence, and, for some reason i never quite understood, due to confusion or more of said influence, we found ourselves in possession of a free round. midnight came around, and i kissed robert more than once as he is a lovely kisser, and i kissed newel, who kisses like a boy, so i put an end to that immediately. he danced to michael jackson, though, and the entire restaurant yelled and clapped for him, and he pointed us out to every person to whom i saw him speak, and it was adorable. when we'd had enough of that we found our way back home, my arm around the hip of brandon's straight girl friend. (she had a lovely waist.) once there, megan made us mojitos and tea cups of champagne and where i left my remaining saki on the stove. i kissed bill when he got home, and hugged everyone who found their way into my house, and i succeeded in my quest, getting drunk enough that i pulled megan upstairs to convince her that kissing me was clearly a good idea, and that talking and missing one another and crying was obviously an even better idea, because we did a bit more of that. i am a fool, i am a fool, i am a fool. she always made me such an honest thing, but now when i speak to her, it is one or the other extreme of a truth. i hate her or i love her, and neither of those things is quite right, now, but i cannot find the middle space, which is strange for me, as that is usually where i exist. much of this happened in my bed, which was convenient, as very shortly thereafter i fell asleep in my clothes. now i can hear the mummer's parade from my window. i should do something about my hangover and go watch for a bit. so. it was a good end and a good beginning, i think., and a fantastic excuse for a party. i'll keep this new year, rather than the last one.


jacktellslies: (Default)

August 2009

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