Mushy

Ah, edge.

Have you figured out that I’m an edgy kind of person? Sure, I’m always thinking which makes me a bit jittery, but I also am an edge, someone who sees the lines between the rationalizations and the truths and likes to cut between them. The cutting edge, the bleeding edge, the edge of night, all liminal places where the transformation really happens.

I was thinking about self-sabotage, about playing small, as I drove down to the Bi-Brunch, a local tradtion. How do I set myself up for failure by avoidng being big & potent?

I came in with my Pannetone Bread Pudding and saw the crowd. It was six women, most in sweatshirts, who have been coming together for a long time. This was the crowd, over two dozen Dunkin Donuts and some bagels.

We talked about the nature of Smallbany. I noted that when faced with the choice of a sharp person with experience in another field and a mediocre person with experience in the same field, employers here usually take the less sharp person.

“Albany has no edge,” another woman agreed.

I also spoke about the pastors of our local MCC, and how I found them “mushy.” “Yes, they were mushy when I was working for them,” another woman laughed.

How do I self sabotage? I do it the normal way. Rather than being edgy, I get mushy.

That’s not usually how I am seen, though. One woman laughed when I talked about another tranny and said “You could take care of her!” Apparently she saw me as powerful. And Ari Kane, now living in the area, actually remembered a conversation we had on a bus over a decade ago. Apparently they see me as potent, unlike the vanload of black guys who cackled at me as I walked to my car, who seem to see me as a joke.

I drive back and my brain has turned to mush.  How does anyone keep sharp without constant honing, not being buried in muck but coming up against quality steel?

People love their mush, they do.

And I rust.

The Fecal Matter Contacts The Rotary Ventilation Device

I took the risk.  I chose to risk driving though the rain, to use precious gas, limited funds and scare energy to try to go to the Erotic Show opening at the Tivoli Artists Co-Op tonight. 

Tivoli is about 70 miles south of here. I left at 5:50 after lots of preparation — a night or two putting my outfit together, makeup, building a CD to replace the broken radio in the car I use (the half hour loading the cheap MP3 player was wasted time), and lots more.

I knew what I wanted.  I wanted to get there loose, open and funny.   That’s one reason I never responded to Ms. Rachelle who offered to have dinner before.  I couldn’t imagine leaving my parents house at 4 PM in high drag and then enjoying the early bird in some resturant, and I didn’t want to have hard schedules & expectations about getting there.   I wanted to feel it, to be present and pretty.

I also had to turn down my ex-brother-in-law who called today to see if I wanted to see TransAmerica tonight. Seeing that film will be an emotional experience for me, so emotional I have avoided watching the bootleg copy I found in December.  The last time I saw a film with him was Hedwig on my birthday, 9/10/2001.  I wasn quite sure why he offered, but while I was thankful for the offer, I had other things in mind.

The road was tough tonight, it being dark and rainy.  People were slow, like the ones who formed a rolling roadblock down Route 9, or the pickup that blasted by me on the right, making me miss the exit to Rensselear, or the woman who felt the need to honk long and hard so she could pass me on the right on 9W.  Normies are so assumptive: they want what they want and assume they have the right to take it.

I was jangled and off my game, pounding down an emergency bag of peppered jerky, but I figured that as long as I stayed on 9W, I’d make it to the opening, and maybe, just maybe meet some smart & insightful artists.

But then, one wrong turn and I was crusining along route 425, dark and slick and twisty.  I dig a pair of filthy old glasses out of my purse and tried to follow the white line along the right side of the road, as I was taught to, but it really wasn’t there.  The broken seat didn’t give me much support, but I cruised hoping against hope that I was still going south along the river.

It was 6:45, almost an hour of driving in, that I realized I was going west.  All my effort and focus had come to naught, because there was no way I could make it to Tvioli now.

The next half hour was spent breathing the fumes of hell.   I was hurt, frustrated and in a lot of pain, shot again.  But there was nothing I could do but keep driving.  What else could I do in high drag in the boonies?  It wasn’t easy to stop anywhere, I tell you that.

My mind took charge, just like it does everytime the shit hits the fan.  And as my head got hard and solid, my heart was shattering.   I sang my ditties of death as I pounded on through the dark, wet night, knowing that it was only death, now most often sold as drugs, that could get me beyond this.  I knew I was going to be alone and isolated again, and my heart would collapse a little more, my life would seep farther away from my core.

It is who we are in times of greatest stress that is truly who we are, and if that’s true, I am nothing but an overgrown brain which can only force out putrid piles of text when everything else is torn to shreds.

I drove and I drove and I drove and I knew all that was waiting for me was isolation and emptiness.  I did call Val, and she wished she could do something, but the only choice is a shower and a drink.  And I can only have that after 45 minutes on the phone with my parents in San Antonio, who bought a whole pie at Marie Callenders for only $6 (plus .60 cents deposit on the plate.

I try, but the journey is just so wearing that the end never comes.  The right place may exist, but the road there leads though every swamp in the nation.

Until I finally make it come, I suppose.