them/id

FADE IN: two men.

And then I would be a cis hetero male.

What does that mean?

I am a person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth, align.

So, no more calling yourself straight guy?

Nope.

There’s also agender; we refer to them as “them”. They see themselves as existing without gender.

Gotcha.

And we have a queer and a couple of lesbians.

Gone are the days when I used to say, “we’re here, we’re queer, let’s go have a beer.”

Yeah, you can’t say that anymore cuz you’re not queer and you’re making a joke at the expense of a queer.

But I’m not, really.

No, I get it, it’s just times are changing.

Right.

FADE OUT.

5 days

5 days

FADE IN: two women sit facing the ocean.

It was 5 days of hell. You don’t even know. And we’re not even completely out of it yet. I can never tell anyone what we’ve done. I mean, this is unorthodox in America. Oh, it kills me. We’ve had to endure this alone, not even my mother wanted a part of it. Listening to him ugly cry for up to 40 minutes before we could intervene – it sounds like I’m torturing my child, but believe me there’s a method to the madness. Five days and then he finally slept through the night. I wanted to run in and stop this, smother him with all my love, but that would push us back to square one. I don’t even know if I’m doing the right thing. I blamed that Nazi sleep trainer every day. But I did what she asked. God, she’s tough.

She had to be or you wouldn’t get through it.

I think she’s Argentinian but she has a German accent, I swear she does. She was relentless and so unempathetic. But her methods worked. Five days and now he sleeps 12 hours straight.

And how’s he doing?

Great! So much better. He’s so happy now and energized when he’s awake.

He was so cranky at first —

— Yeah, that’s cuz he wasn’t sleeping. We both weren’t.

He’s a trouper.

You know, this experience has shaken me. If it took him 5 days to completely rearrange a structure that was in place since birth; five days to change his life and he did it? Imagine what we’re capable of. If we only just commit. This little boy is an example that there really is no excuses.

Yup. Can you sleep through the night?

Not yet. I’m still worried I’ve done something wrong. I hope that changes..

FADE OUT.

velocity

velocity

Velocity.
Extreme focus ready to rock the day.
Mind at the service of the body.
At the ready,
What do you WANT to do today?

God, I get so overwhelmed by possibility.
Today’s explorations are endless!
It is like energy bottled, and ready for drinking.
And then here’s the thing:

I fear someone will take it away.
I fear I have to give it up, take on someone else’s wishes.
It haunts me. I stiffen at the idea of it.
And then (the irony), I yearn for it.
Maybe some rest, or going over there is a better choice.

Dog,
Lover,
Family,
Bills, calls, dishes, laundry, etc,
The unexpectedness of life,

Freedom is having the choice
To use my own velocity the way I want to.
To make decision deep within the soils of the soul
So I can birth strong roots to grow a magnificent plant
With leaves that stretch for days,
To nurture not just her,
But all those around her.

hell on a hampster wheel

hell on a hamster wheel

Name: Nick from San Francisco
Occupation: student of hair
Age: 26
Tattoos on his face

Why the lapse in time? I relapsed, went back to rehab. Yeah, I’m 1.5 years sober, third time now. Did you know 3% who leave rehab go back to using, and only 1% kick it after 5 years? Yeah, it’s no joke. Opioids are the real thing.

I mean. When you’re on it. It’s like you’re being hugged by God. The feeling. I mean, I can’t explain it. But here’s the thing: the first few times, you get that God-hugging feeling, but then, for all the other times, you’re trying to feel normal. You’re doing what it takes to avoid the detox feeling. And that feeling, is like death, 10x. It’s the worst kinda flu that just doesn’t go away. I mean, it does after 3 weeks but that feels like an eternity. We all dread it so we keep using. It’s living in hell on a hamster wheel.
You know, I think that’s what happened to Michael J and Prince and even that actor guy, Phillip Hoffman. They detoxed, they tried to kick the game, they went back to the same dose they were taking before — bang, bang — it tips them over the edge. Heroin makes you sleep, so they went to sleep.

I know so many people who’ve died in my life. Oh man. My girl, her boyfriend – I mean, they never really broken up cuz he died – his death rocked her. And she was a user, that’s how we met. She was in a rehab in Milwaukee and then transferred to the San Francisco one and yeah, that’s how we met. She’s one month ahead of me but she’s really miles beyond me. I think it’s the combination of having a rock like her, and purpose. That keeps me outta trouble.

Don’t think my parents are whack. The two of them are the only sober ones out of a family of users. We have a good relationship. We talk every day. You gotta understand, opioids they’re non-discriminative. It’ll swallow anyone who wants to dance. Anyone. You too. [he shyly laughs]

sucks the air thin

sucks the air thin

There’s a silence that’s almost deafening.
The kind where, at a party, the music stops and everyone looks up and says to no one, “Hey, what happened?”
The kind that the body shutters from its piercing.
A Void.

I was turning 16. I wanted a big party; bodyguards, a live band, DJ, pay at the door, the whole shebang. I worked hard; I got my artistic sister to create the flyer, gave them out at my and my brother’s schools. A week before, everyone was talking about it, the word spread quick. The band was known enough to build a crowd, I was in love with the drummer who should’ve been the lead singer he was that eccentric.

I rented a trophy room off a big sports facility, facing a big oval where my brother’s school played footy. The party drew a huge crowd, a long line waited around the bend even until 11pm, an hour before close. I was shocked. I barely knew anyone, and when I did, they were intoxicated and in the throes of what it took to be a teenager at a party in the 90s.

Flash forward to afterward. Mum, bro and sis, and my best friends, with black trash bags and rubber gloves, helped me clean up the evidence. Well, enough to get our safety deposit back.

I must’ve sat down somewhere, took it all in. I hope I did. I’m hoping I popped a squat facing the oval of lush greenery and tsunamic eucalyptus trees. Muscles spent and feet regaining circulation from improper use of heels. A mix of pride and exhaustion. A mix of elation and isolation.

And then silence.
The Void.

How it sucks the air thin.

I can’t drive my new car in jail.

Woman and Mic.jpg

FADE IN: a woman at the mic in a bar.

I just woke up one day and thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to kill my supervisor, is what I wanted to do. And the only reason why I haven’t already done so is cuz I can’t drive my new car in jail.
Yup, I shop.
I’m a complete consumer and I described that as poverty deprivation.
“I need that because it’s going to do something wonderful to my life,” or “Ooooooh, that’s shiny” or “Oh, I know that’ll come in handy one day.”…. and then that shit just sits there. The Amazon Echo Dot? Don’t get it. Waste of your time and money.
What I want is travel and to do things that don’t pertain to products.
I want experiences.
I want to face fears and follow my gut.
I want the Unknown, even though it scares the Holy BeJesus outta me.
But right now
I can’t because I’m always in poverty deprivation, buying and buying and buying.

There’s a calling inside of me.
I can feel it.
But the not knowing makes me cling to what is tangible, the little things that bring little comfort right now, and eventually finds itself in my garage.
In a box. With a box, within a box.

I’m 50 years old.
Someone is pressing fast forward on my recorder, man.
I feel a calling.
A tiny voice,
And I wanna bring that to life.

I need to think outside the box.
Get out of the garage inside my head.
Step away from my computer, and outside my door.
Take some Unknown steps.
Yup, that’s me.

why not?

She doesn’t say thank you.
It’s mindbloggling.
We took her to the moon and back, showed her the stars; live music, delicious eats, Nature, space, room to breathe, ears to listen, shoulders for padding — we have been the best hosts.
And yet.. no thanks.

How about:
Thank you for buying dinner.
Thank you for making me tea.
Thank you for driving me around.
Thank you for the company.
Thank you For. It. All.

I’m watching myself retract from her.
I’m watching myself not wanna care.
Something so simple.
Three words that make all the difference.
And yet.
Why am I so attached?
Why do I need that gratification? And so immediately?

I let it go for some months.
Let this new light fester.
And then..
Out of the blue, she reached out and asked what I wanted for Christmas
To say thanks for making her first West Coast visit one of her favorite memories.

I died.