Tonight’s podcast will be all about sexual fantasies, very exciting. I think I’ve got my microphone issues worked out better, but then again my first broadcast was in my kitchen, an echo chamber if ever there was one.
But the podcast will come after my dinner date with Carol and Robert, and after that we’re going to go see the Henry Darger movie. Last night I had tea with Mark Pritchard, and that was really fun. You see, I’m trying to make sure I don’t *just* work over the holidays, because everyone is gone, with family or hunkered down for the apocalypse or something. Being from San Francisco means that everyone leaves for the holidays and I just kind of have to find more work to do, more porn to watch and more sex toys to amuse myself with.
I’d much rather do that than put myself through another awkward holiday with someone else’s family. First of all, Christmas doesn’t really do anything for me. The last one I celebrated with what was left of my family was 21 years ago. So I love all the lights and the tress, and definitely the gifts (I seldom get any, but that’s okay) and I like the gay porn stars in skimpy Santa g-strings on the corners in the Castro freezing their huge bulges off in the yearly Toys for Tots drive. But my feelings are pretty neutral about the whole thing. Every couple of years I spend a little too much time looking at my reflection in the mirror and think I should spend the day or evening of Christmas with a family. I go to a house, and eat a lot of mashed potatoes because I’m a vegetarian. The question is inevitable, and I always hope it doesn’t come. "Where is your family?" It’s a lot like when people ask me what I’m doing over the holidays, but it’s easier to explain to friends — and I can lie more easily to strangers.
The question sits in the air while my brain clicks into a rare moment of stillness. I want to say, "Will you make me a salad?" There is an enormous amount of tension in being with strangers, in their house, on a day that is important to them, and having a reply sitting in my throat that would be a torrential nightmare to unleash. But I just want it over with. It’s really hard to lie. Telling the truth is a long, harrowing story that requires a lot of explanation. Not just the story, but not many people know what it means to be at all-night coke parties with your mom at age 9, or how a 12-year old can cook coke into rock for mom, how a 13-year-old decides that she’ll stay alive easier on the streets. Forget explaining four years of sleeping on park benches, in squats, in abandoned cars, on rooftops. Getting food from dumpsters, restaurants after hours, begging for change, sometimes selling drugs. A family that wanted nothing to do with a lying, cheating drug addict of a mother or her daughter, a father who never returned from Vietnam, and a huge question mark every time the mother explained another contradictory piece of information about a family I never knew, names I don’t even know. No, it requires too much explanation over family dinner tables. It’s a story that gets told here, where you won’t look at me for the rest of the evening like a sad orphan, make unhappy faces and say, "awww, poor thing." It’s the same freakish feeling I get, like somehow I got sucked backward through life while everone else moved forward, like when people talk about high school, or proms. I don’t know what that is. But here, instead of me feeling like a freak, you and I sit in a different kind of silence. The odd vacuum of acceptance that I can only find with my blog.
That’s why hanging out with Carol is so nice, too. She knows a lot of my story and she doesn’t need to even bring anything up about my holiday plans. We’ll go out to dinner, gossip like queens, see a twisted movie about a twisted-up artist that makes collaged little girls with penises do Civil War re-enactments, and I’ll come home glowing and ready to podcast.
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