haha. it is true that i go to livejournal many more times than the average bear, yet it was only today that i really thought about how amusing this text on the mainpage was. my journal hardly seems the story of my life, and it is very easy to not click on the lj cut of my saga, as it were. if one judged by the content here, my life seems to consist of bizarre exercises in color contrast with occasional commentary on social stimuli.
today i thought i'd take a break from the relentless photobarrage and attempt a bit more of a narrative. ye have been warned.
*rolls up 3/4 sleeves, begins*
i used to paint a lot. not so much because i wanted to, but because it was assumed to be so. i was a messy painter. the kitchen was a roil of bedsheets to catch my drips, and my pants were soiled with the fruits of my looms. my art teacher (who now has a "day" named after him in maryland--walter bartman day) had seven sons, give or take, and brought a rooster named Kurt Schwitters to class for us to paint with expressive inkbrushed strokes. i walked around the halls of my mall-like high school (aqua-white tiles, with strange calming plants stucco'd into the wainscottings which resembled fancifu cannabis leaves) to the beat of the bell, skipped 5-7th period to get strawberry smooothies at Everything Yogurt, had a bevy of girlfriends (oddly enough, i have few girlfriends now. in college i discovered that i was much better at befriending boys. or, as blur says, girls who are boys who like boys to be girls. the no-bullshit girl. the girl who will discuss mice testicles over dinner and pee in the sink.), and quickly discovered the joy and liberation of paragraph-length sentences with little hope of termination. there.
my parents were (are) not religious. my mother likes to talk about the church of the individual. how one can be spiritual anywhere without having to sit in a stuffed box filled with squeaking strangers and existential crackers. my father used to tell me stories of living in a real haunted house when he was 27 which sent fretful porpentine chills up my 12 year old gooseback. i had long blonde hair which i didn;t know what to do with. my environmental science teacher told me i looked like a modern-day joan baez when i brought my acoustic to class, and then he invited me to swim in his upper-boonies-maryland swimming pool. my mother, being born in minnesota, missed the sixties entirely and was confined to riding her bike up and down one city block where her own mother (now clinically insane, we think) could watch and tend the pot roast. she went to the prom with her brother's friend. my grandfather died at 52 from a heart attack and from living with his wife, a frustrated intellect and gin-guzzler.
my father hit a boy once when he was nine. my grandfather, a gentle swedish giant and butter-tycoon (really) threw him in the bathtub and ran cold water on his head.
i didn't find out until i was 17 that dad had been married before my mother. he married young, at nineteen, to a nervous girl named janice who cheated on him a month into their marriage. my mother was his colleague and a twenty-two year rebound relationship. i'm not sure why dad waited to tell me until we were at a stoplight on the way to CVS.
i have no reason to have low self-esteem. i don't know where i picked it up, like a habit. (cloak and pastime) i used to write operas on an electronic keyboard a la Tommy, transcribe Disney cartoon musicals and star in them. i once thought it was an excellent idea to host an elaborate birthday party for my cat, and made my guests bring him gifts and dress up like cats themselves. i thought people would come. i had no doubts. i constructed elaborate feline-themed board games complete with double-dare cards out of cardboard. of course these would be fun. why wouldn't they be? i realize now that i probably wouldn't even host a birthday party for myself. i'm not sure where i lost the confidence in my ability to compell.
when i was nine, wearing pink wide-wale courderoy pants, i had the first realization that i was female. this sounds odd. but can you remember the first moment of "there's something under these clothes, and i'm not sure what they're for, but exist they do, and that is what i am?" at 14, in a college-town in france, in the bathroom of the teenage friend of my host-family, i made out with the notorious lothario of the group--i believe he was in his early twenties. i had been strictly warned against him--"Mark, il veut embrasser toutes les filles!" but i was also quite decidedly soused for the first time in my young stupidity. i knew enough--for some reason, though my parents were not sex-talkers--they threw a copy of "my body" or some facsimile at me when i was 10--that the skirt must decidedly stay on. i was emphatic about this. oddly enough, it was a rather safe first experience. safer than mark's reputation would assume, that is. i remember that the pressure was to resist things he wanted to do for me. rather than my being forced to actively serve him. (i apologize for the frankness of this paragraph.) and of course, as is always the case, (i think?) i was wearing one of those godawful "lightly lined" brazzieres at the time, as my "figger" was about as curvaceous as a poplar until the age of maybe 17. i'm not sure it ever got much better. the oddest tangible memory is of him carefully pulling it back down into place, like putting a dish back in the cupboard with the preciseness of an artisan. thank god for "skorts." remember those? looks like a skirt, the security and noli-me-tangere of a shorts.
before i burn out the patience of whoever made it this far, i'll stop. more to be written later, as i digest the madeleine.
nice to meet you all.