there's a man asking questions of me.
he wants to know if i still believe in fairy tales.
i can tell he wants me to.
he pours a glass of wine and smiles and says, "you're guarded".
and he's absolutely right.
tonight at work, i looked out the window and thought i saw X sitting across the street, yelling and ranting, and the core of me turned to ice. i peered at his form through the window, careful not to get too close to the front of the restaurant, afraid to be seen, afraid to be noticed, afraid to provoke... the deepest fear one can feel... that old hook rusted into my heart since childhood...
can i give it a name?
can i write a person's name rather than an X?
it wasn't him. when i realized my eyes had deceived me, the most wonderfully warm sense of relief flooded my entire being and i could be myself again. i no longer had to hide.
and then there are the emails i've ignored. the letters from ex-boyfriends that will always flap in the wind like an inadequate, threadbare flag. i remain silent because the tiniest squeak will be misinterpreted. i do not want certain people to ever think of me in any other way than absolutely cold. i am frozen through. at least when it comes to you, you, and you.
i look up and am stunned that it's already May. the new job is keeping me busy. the new job and these new questions from a new man. i scratch my head and i twirl my hair. i buy shoes. i paint my nails. i fall into a rhythm of self-pleasure and contemplation. i've never known such a wide-open, hot and hopeful pleasure as this; my ability to spend money without explanation, without guilt, no boyfriend or father to make explanations to, nobody sneering at me and rolling their eyes. these days i go to work and get high-fives from the other girls in regard to the new boots on my feet. and can i say, it feels fucking good. it feels fucking good to be entirely self sufficient and free. it feels good to revel in this independence. to know that every penny in my pocket is a penny i earned. to know i have a right to spend it however i choose and that i owe nothing to anyone. no debt of sniveling gratitude. i am beholden to no one.
and so i guard it.
i guard it because i prize it. this freedom, this life devoid of expectation and obligation, all the horrors i inflicted upon myself trying to make others proud, trying to make others satisfied. i pour myself a glass of wine.
but i don't know where the line is between being independent and being an island.
see, it's a double-edged thing learning that a broken heart won't kill you. it's a double-edged thing learning how to live without love, in general. i have no father and i have no mother. i know how to stand on my own. i know that i will not crumble. i know how to take the next breath. and the next. and the next.
still, i find myself smiling at the budding of that old schoolgirl hope.
these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.
thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.
my artist website is here.
my artist website is here.