The way to stay on a roll is to stay on a roll.
So if you are resisting your own desires, in the end you have to resist desire.
People who don’t do the whole penitent thing have trouble with this idea. They wonder why you can’t just desire a few things and leave the rest alone. They want me to desire on some kind of schedule, on some kind of framework, you know, like desiring on Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 4 PM.
But discipline isn’t like that, at least not in a way that I understand. I am on call all the time here, from 7 AM to 12:30 AM pee runs, and even beyond that for emergencies.
Others have told me that to really relax, they have to spend a day or two decompressing. I don’t have that. Even if my parents are away, they expect phone calls once or twice a day to chatter. That’s good for them, of course; I have seen many lonely old people, even old people who fall into a partner spiral, pacing over the same ground in the same dance over and over again. With me, my parents are constantly stimulated, have something new to discuss, and while that may be a bit irritating, it is also enervating, also lively.
Good things are going on in my sibling’s lives. My brother’s family is adopting a new child, a three year old to go with the eleven year old they adopted, along with 18, 22 and 24 year olds they had. My sister is having a gallery opening of a shared show, back to Art, as with the one woman show I helped her with a year ago.
Of course, few good things are happening in my life. Stairlifts and money loss and travel plans that probably won’t come true.
I will tell you this: I really, really, really want to be soft and sweet, happy for others.
But when you are on a roll you have to be on a roll, and that means I am often, at least on the surface, hard and bitter.
Christine didn’t really like my curmudgeon exterior. She joked I was turning her into a curmudgene, the feminine of curmudgeon.
I really do work to be encouraging and positive for the good things in people’s lives. I have long ago stopped being cynical and cutting to others, instead blessing their success.
But the one thing I can’t really figure out a way to do is to be happy for others. If I can’t be happy for myself, if my happiness needs to be denied, like I deny my own beauty and grace, well, how can I really be happy for others?
I don’t like being hard and bitter.
But when you are on a role, well, that role is you.
4 thoughts on “Hard & Bitter”
As I said to my therapist the other day, quoting Howard Campbell — “You must be careful what you pretend to be because in the end you are who you’re pretending to be.”
While I don’t think it’s healthy for a person to put themselves on hold for someone else’s sake, especially in the long run — there is a certain powerful beauty in the act. It is almost like asceticism, in a way.
Still, I hope it’s not a role you’re on forever.
I first read “Mother Night” somewhere around 1969. Still, for a second I thought you were quoting Joseph Campbell until I got the reference, but all that proves is that some lessons are essential and eternal.
To me, the big blessing of queer is the requirement for conscious performance rather than the unconscious imitation of normativity, as Butler discusses.
So many people don’t even understand that they are giving a performance in their lives, that there are choices they could make in another way.
To become conscious we have to be aware, though, and to be aware is to be challenged, as Gwyneth bemoans.
I do see my life as asceticism, though.
Thank you for seeing the power & the beauty.
To me that is, quite literally, the utter curse. I’m so sick of being conscious of shit that 97% of humanity never thinks twice about, I truly am. I do not find it at all “blessing”. I’ve spent so much of my life forcing myself to be conscious of so much stuff that now I’m simply *done* with “conscious“. I’m trying to find places I can gloss over, reassign to subconscious processing, or just fucking forget altogether.
I kicked around the idea of trying to have my long-term memory wiped, but then I found out electroshock doesn’t work that way. Oh well; I’m sure something will eventually.
Maybe I’d wipe off my transition urges, and cross my fingers. More likely I’d wipe my memory of being male as completely as I could.
I love this:
“I like doing stuff without knowing if I’m being ironic.”
Nina Arsenault, http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2004-05-06/goods_mystyle.php
Normies can’t imagine having to consider why they are doing what they are doing, but we learned to filter so early that it is all the time.
One of the key problems with trans writing is the challenge of exposing the inner discussion that goes on all the time inside of us, the parts that aren’t so easily seen.
The problem with wiping our memories is that leaves holes, and that’s not good either. Look at Geri Nedick (Beth Elliot) who worked with her therapist tried to create a woman’s history, and came up with stereotypes and crocks.
But yes, the ultimate trans surgery is pulling the stick out of our own ass, and to me that means just trusting the unconscious and not living in the filter.
It’s the end of the construction, deconstruction, pomo-construction process, and in this world of assumptions, it’s hard.
May you find your own sway and flow.