Sunday, October 26, 2008
A history of this type of behaviour
This past Thanksgiving was the that I've been able to spend with my family in four years. I've missed a lot of holidays, even a couple of Christmases, and there was a wonderful ordinariness of being about to spend a Turkey Day around relatives. This was also the first time I'd managed to come home since I moved at the beginning of September, and it was great to be able to spend time together now that I am officially Feeling Better (sponsored by Big Pharma!). When I was home in the summer, I was actually incapable of really enjoying their company. I was all miserable, all the time. Now, with a little time and a lot of psychotropics to the good, a small shaky happiness sprouting somewhere in the compost of my heart, I was much better company.
My brother's lovely girlfriedn, Kacy, was also in attendance, even though she's just undergone oral surgery and had her jaw wried shut. I had a great deal of fun with my mother, figuring out how to liquify meat (unsuccessfully) and pumpkin pie (successfully!). Since my parents were in a giddy mood, and I seemed unlikely to slip into the Black Abyss My Own Fucking Angst, my parents through that this joyous occasion would be a great opportunity to bring out a couple of family albums and to show Kacy what Michael and I were like as children.
I am usually not very fond of pictures of myself from when I was a child. I have an Ugly Complex, something I have chronicled on this blog before. I am greadually getting better, slowly shifting my mental weight from Ugly into merely Very Fucking Weird territory. Still, looking at pictures of myself from when I was small reminds me of the absolute horror I went through during that time as a quantum magnet for bullying, and taps into my Ugly complex in ways that tend to make me very uncomfortable.
There are two pictures of me, though, that I rather like, and it just so happened that the book my parents brought out contained it. The pictures were taken on my brother's fifth birthday, which would make me seven. My borther and I, along with about ten party guests, are doing some kind of crafty activity in the basement. All the of the other kids are engaged in what they are doing, attacking peices of contruction paper or trying to glue sequins to each other. I am sitting at one end of a small table by myself, my feet propped up, holding a marker as though it were a cigarette in long holder, twirling it between two fingers. In the first picture, I am staring into space, in my own world, as I bring the marker to my lips and pretend to inhale. In the second picture, I have noticed the camera and am the only one staring into it directly, now pretending to blow smoke rings at whoever is behind it (probably my dad).
I love the strangeness of this picture. By seven I already had a rich inner life that often felt more vivid and varied than my real one, and was perfectly content to escape into it anywhere and anytime. Even a child's birthday party could be transmuted into the bustle of a Parisian cafe. I also love the comfortableness
I exude in it. I love how perfectly content I am to do my own thing, no matter how it looks to anyone else. My skin might be strange, but it is mine and in those pictures, I own it.
It's only now, only very lately, that I can say I feel that comfortable again. That's not to say I am still not wrestling with my Ugly complex, but even through this fight, I am finding something that feels like peace. It started, oddly enough, when I got rid of the last of my oldest clothes and started to really love just about everything that I wore. I've gotten bolder with my hair, and my new, very pink, very very punky 'do makes me happier than I can express. Yesterday, I caught myself singing aloud on the subway, caring not a whit for who heard me, and then actually startling myself with how comfortable I was in that moment.
I feel like I am seven again, reinventing myself every moment and fearlessly living in my own internal ladnscape. This time around, however, anyone who trties to beat my strangeness out of me is going to have a bit more trouble on their hands.
Labels: Ancient History, Clashes with Dominant Culture
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Welcome to my Garbage Kingdom
Yesterday I turned my hair pink again, ate an almond dream bar from Live ( a kickass raw-vegan restaurant), and spent my evening hanging out at the Trash Palace.
The Trash Palace is an absolutely amazing underground cinema that I discovered when it was used as the venue for the launch of Derek McCormack's The Smow that Smells
. Last night, we watched Flatfoot
, a dubbed, 16mm cop movie equivalent of a speghtetti western. It was 3 amazing reels of a very fat man slap-fighting skinny criminals, eating spaghetti, and dispaying his hairy chest for all to see. Then, as a bonus, we watched an ancient episode of Hammy the Hamster
All this takes place in a crazy little basement cinema that doubles as a printing studio and seems to be made, papier-mache style, out of old movie posters, decaying props, and action figures. The two guys who appeat to be in charge are called Stacey and The Mouth. There is popcorn, Pabst Blue Ribbon, shots of JD, even homemade chocolate chip cookies. It's a place that seems to have been pulled directly out of the darker, MST3K-er recesses of my brain.
Now I'm mildly hungover -- one of those hangovers that has more to do with a vague feeling of delicacy rather than pukiness or a pounding headache, and as such is almost pleasant
. I am trying to determine how much of a suck I am -- do I stay in my pajamas, do my marking early, and take a series of naps today? Or do I actually put on some pants and venture out into the world, maybe become better acquainted with a new neighbouthood? Either way, I really need to get this pink off my forehead. The dye never stays exactly where you need it to.
I've been neglecting this blog a bit, which is a shame, something I'd like to correct. The last few weeks have been important in a thousand tiny ways. My bosses seem to love me and my contract was renewed, which means that I not only have an income guaranteed until the end of January, but also that I am succeeding (in whatever small way) at the most rewarding job I've ever had.
The job joy helps, of course, but it's more than that. Little wonderful things have been happening every day. My roommates are some of the best friends I have ever had, and are more loving and considerate and supportive than I knew was possible. The leaves are toasted all buttery warm and I can still get by with my lightest jacket. Yesterday, while leaving work, I found a dragonfly on the sidewalk, probably nearing the end of its life. I picked it up for a moment, let's its prickly feet grip my skin, felt the cellophane delicacy of its wings. A young man walked by me, pink-haired and punky and holding a huge bug, and actually smiled at me. There is so much smiling.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Surrealism in point form
I've fallen behind a bit in my updating. What could be keeping me so busy? In reverse chronological order:
Sunday, Oct 5th: twitched, moaned, and stayed in my pajamas.
Saturday, Oct 4th: bought a 3'x4' canvas, acrylic paint, and drop cloths. supervised the the inflation of 1000 helium baloons. laughed hysterically at my boss' voice under the influence of helium. attended Nuit Blanche festivities, where I witnessed a chorys of poets at St. Thomas' church, a man dressed as Elvis eating a watermelon, and pig heads mounted in potted plants. Ate an entire soft shelled crab at 3am.
Friday, Oct. 3rd: Spent the evening with very old friend. Discovered Thumb Cats, a pair of very cute kittens that weren't just polydactyl but in possession of full-on opposable thumbs, in a sketchy pet store in chinatown. drank at the Victory.
Thursday, October 2nd: got lost on king and bought a beautiful pair of boots. attended the launch of Derek MacCormack's The Show That Smells
at the Trash Palace with Bill and Lily. ate a hotdog and drank Pabst Blue Ribbon; had a shot of JDwith the bartender. Watched the last third of Tod Browning's The Unknown
. Went to Disgraceland and ate a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich. Was accused of treating eating as an extreme sport. Came home at 2am and ate another meal, prepared by a apron-wearing Gennie.
Wednesday, October 1st: attended Influency. met a man named Omaha Rising. studied Meredith Quartermain's Matter.
Learned that Roget was the president of the Royal Society of Britain just before Darwin. Talked about poetry and rhisomes andw riggling things.
Tuesday, September 30th: Went to Staples with Gennie and bought a red Swingline stapler and a pack of cinnamon gum.
Monday, September 29th: watched MST3K and tried to stay off my feet.
Sunday, September 28th: went to the Clothing Show with angela and Lily. walked around for 5 hours in New Shoes (eeep) and bought a ton of beautiful stuff. Mostly tweed. ate crepes and ice cream. cleaned out my closet until sweet oblivion embraced me.
Saturday, September 27th: attended a chili-and-bladerunner party at Sampucker's. Bill brought a spectacularly smelly cheese that various people mistook for the aroma of a) their own body odour, b) their own breath, c) someone else breath, or d) crotch sweat. Walked home with Lily at 3am, all the way up St. Clair.
It's always so strange to point-form my days. Really, all this was happening? It seems surreal, and helps me fall in love with my life by tiny increments.