Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dwelling in Possibility

This past week I have found myself going back to my roots. I am back to reading Emily Dickinson, a poet I enjoyed in my teen and college years. I even almost was a Mount Holyoke woman, the place that spawned this great literary voice and US Postage Stamp Poster Gal. Okay, she didn't view herself as a great beauty but oh well. She was a shut in. Can't blame her after her minister husband up and left without telling her.

Lately I have felt like being a shut in. The world often just seems too much. It seems like I bang my head against people I know who are wrong but in my heart I know I am right. I fight tooth and nail against hate, unfairness. I am a Libra. Am I supposed to be balanaced? Yes, but I also fight for fairness and justice.

Yesterday I found myself fighting on a feminist message board on the essence of what femininity was. One aged lesbian feminist kept calling lesbian transwomen he which I thought was downright hateful. She claimed that they were men appropriating the feminine identity. I said gender was no concrete but rather fluid. It was an online bloodbath. I called her a bitch. I think they blocked me from the group. I just couldn't deal with the hate. When I stick up for women it's not just those who are biologically female but those who identify under that pronoun, that umbrella, as well.

I find myself the poster girl, a sort of Esther Greenwood anti-hero, in a campaign called Panic Girl. We had the photo shoot this week which was fun. I want to serve as an example to young women. I want to tell them use your voice, don't fear the hederosexual male agenda that wants to see you swinging from a pole. Then again, girls swinging from a pole are making more than me. So who am I to talk? Still Panic Girl is a role model for the broken toys, the damaged women. I am that role model. So ladies, fight back against the man who oppresses you. Fight back against the society that has a supermodel on one billboard and a big mac on the next. Fight back against the world that preaches that bulimics are the perfect citizens.......

On the other hand did I mention I am trying to date again?

Yes it has been a disaster. It ended badly with me and Kindred Spirit last week. I gave him a half assed apology which he took in stride. But I am never hearing from him again. What I did was so crazy it should have won an award. He is telling everyone how crazy I am. I can feel it. Nevermind, I wasn't worth that much to him and it's okay. Still, old behavior was creeping up. I was cruel because I could be. I figured, I might as well get it over with. I might as well reject him before he throws me away. I don't know if he was going to throw me away but still. He was like the guys back in the day who used to ask me out and then say, "Just kidding." I felt like the same old punchline. I want the poor guy to pay and he has done nothing but be nice to me. Nevermind, men don't have feelings. And besides, I know I didn't bruise him that much. He gets around. There are ten more bitches in the wings waiting to take my place. (Bitch being the thought in the male mind when it comes to cheap encounters of the third kind).

Still, I feel awful for being so cruel for the sake of being mean spirited. If I see him again I will run in the opposite direction. End of story.

On the other hand, I heard from someone from my past this week. I crushed mad on this guy in high school. He was older and all the girls wanted him. He liked them easy and sleazy, just like most guys. One girl who was especially mean to be was the apple of his eye. I remember going out of my way with my thunder thighs and my braces in order to get his attention. I was bold despite my acne. Anyway, he told my brother, "Man, I wouldn't touch your sister with a ten foot pole. She looks so much like you it's disgusting." Knife to heart, bleeding on the ground, broken woman, hurt, pain, despair, REJECTION. Yes, that word and I were best friends in those days when it came to men. They stil are on some occasions. I cried when that happened. But these days I don't cry. No man is worth my tears or energy I tell myself.

Well the other day he wrote me to tell me he enjoys my videos. Wowsa. It was like the butterflies were right back in my stomach. I was thirteen again, sheepishly saying hi. I want to say hi again, but then I still remember his words to my brother, "Man, she looks so much like you it's disgusting."

Of course the cherry on top of the cake was saying goodbye to Holden Caulfield. Yes we all know the story. He is on the run. He is in trouble. The whole thing only has the capacity to end in a high speed chase. Yet you canot help who you love. And it's different when you are friends before you are lovers. It means there is a bond which makes things special. It's not a lie and some more cheap lines like it is most of the time when it comes to guys. He was proud of me for my career, he was proud I was writing, he was proud of me for being smart. And when he said he loved me I know he meant it. He wasn't a reader but I got Holden into books. I know had he stayed I would have been doomed to become LM Montgomery, a brilliant writer with a simpleton for a husband who couldn't understand her brilliance or drive. But Holden loved me anyway.

I know he is not bad but sick. People tell me to get over it, buy a new heart. It is so easy to say and not so easy to do. Still, the fact people use mental illness and active addictions as punchlines makes me sick. Holden was beautiful, more beautiful than I usually ever get. For as much as I want him to walk through my door and to hold me, I also know what else he brings with him. Then suddenly he doesn't look so pretty. Rather, he looks repulsive. But I tell myself these things are not Holden but rather his sickness.

Still I run. I ran when he said he loved me. I would have run even if he were perfect. People tell me that my choice in men is a disaster. Okay it is.

But when you have been engaged to someone who hates everything you do and wants to control you, when you get someone who loves you for who you are you will always remember that. Then again, only a broken toy could understand those feelings.

I am not good at talking about my feelings. Whenever I have to express them I just want to write a blog or make a video. I actually enjoy those two things more than standup as of late. Standup is male dominated, and oft I feel I pay because I don't play the game the way the boys club wants me to. I don't whine like many a woman comic about her period. I can't. On the other hand, I feel there is only so much I could do there.

On the flipside, I love the videos because I have more freedom to be creative. I can do songs, do puppets, rant. No one tells me how. Standup it's a construct, a box. It has to be a certain way or the doors slam and you are not welcome. I have not been as passionate about it for sometime. Rather, I do it when booked but don't chase after it like I did when I was a kid. There is no money in it and little chance to be discovered. With my videos I reach people on a larger scale.

The weird thing is, a year ago when I was getting burned out and I was on network tv a bunch no one was knocking on my door. I felt bitter, I felt jaded. But I also wrote a book, became a talking head, got fans from around the world, and did I mention am now doing music? It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I didn't let the construct limit me or the structure confine and label me. Rather, I moved freely in a forum with no rules where I could be as experimental as I wanted to be and still am.

As for my videos, some are fun. Then others are serious. Some tickle, others offend. It's not because I am crass or crude but rather honest, brutally honest and shoot from the hip. This is a trait seldom instilled in women. My mother calls me Road Warrior, telling me there are kinder, gentler ways to get what I want. But I am me, a voice that will not be silenced or squelched.

Those who have tried to silence me have always met with opposition. They don't forget me because I fight. I don't just fight you, but I fight you through my art. I fight you through jokes, poems, essays, puppets, and videos. I do not take my hits lying on the mattress like a scared school girl trying to seduce. Rather, I take my hits standing like a man in a bar room brawl.

If only I could tell the guys I liked how I felt through an essay, a poem, a blog, a joke, a puppet, a video.......

But they would shoot me down and be back to some easy, sleazy girl with no brain who could just nod and say whatever. They would think the poem was a waste of paper. They wouldn't think the joke was funny. They would tell me how I sucked as a ventriloquist. They would deplore the video. It would all be an epic fail. And then I would write an essay about how they screwed me over. I would write a joke about what a dick they were. I would make a puppet lampooning their masculine, overinflated ego. And then I would make a video screaming about how men suck.

Emily Dickinson, you feel me woman. You know what I mean.


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