gratitude and stringbeans

October 2012 seems like it was so long ago. I had recently signed a lease in Phoenix, and immediately knew I made a big mistake moving there. I was driving up to Flagstaff once a week to go to work at the university. I had no place to stay in Flag, so I was sleeping on the floor in an empty room of my ex-partner’s sister’s house while up north. I felt as if I was completely disappearing and was possibly more alone than I had ever been in my entire life.

It took all my energy, all my hope and strength to pull through that year.

A few people reached out to me, and I am grateful for their efforts and love, even though I may not have been able to show it at the time.

circa 1995 - getting ready to go-go at Flamingo East
circa 1995 – getting ready for a go-go show at Flamingo East Cocktail Lounge.

Today while cleaning off the desktop of my computer I found this piece I wrote after talking to a manager at a restaurant I applied to. Money was unbelievably tight at the time, even thinking about it now it is hard to imagine. At 41 years old I found myself retracing my steps – where I made the wrong choices and the right choices, all that I had been through in my life up until that moment, how it matters and doesn’t matter at the same time.

Who really cares about the dues a person pays in a lifetime? And who do the dues go to anyway? Maybe it all makes for a great story (or not). Or maybe in a broader sense, our own experiences that no one else knows about, are the things that help us have compassion. Who knows what anybody is really going through? Who knows what anybody’s story is?

October 5, 2012

Gimme a chance, gimme a bone,
Gimme a stringbean, gimme a loan —
I got this mind, I got this mind, I got this mind
I got this past, I got this past, I got this past

“Sometimes we have trannies, grannies, and business men all in the same room — can you handle that?”

Fuck you! Is all I wanna say, but instead I pull my lady-like self together (why do you think I’m here???) Yes, I’m wearing a polyester dress made in India, it’s the best I could fucking do for this interview at your fucking restaurant.

I wanna scream!!!! Who the fuck cares????

I got this past, I got this hair, I got this skin.

And I’m thinking today — I miss my carney friend, my freaks, my freakiness, my geeks. I miss Eak and our conversations about the world and what it’s like to be a Capricorn at this time, in this place, too much thinking now – not enough sharing, daring, caring.

Strange morning hours when the roaming crack heads are winding down, before the suits come out, when subtle dawn sweeps in a clean smell before the night’s piss and garbage warm and waft in the sun – those brief moments of tense potentiality before the release of gases, masses, and money.

That bubble, that surface, that pierces the depth between tenderness and violence, humanity and scrutiny, emptiness and capitalism; that brief pause before the next inhale.

* * * * *

* I forgot to mention – I got the job (three months later)