What if you were a spy who was so good at keeping a secret that you didn't reveal your identity, even to yourself? Is that even possible? I guess what I mean is; what if you had subconsciously changed and didn't realize it? What if you weren't who you said you were? This, I think, is the beginning of me going through my Saturn Return.
Which is ridiculous. I feel like Saturn Return is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I used to live with a bunch of really cool older lesbians, and I was 21 they were all 28 and Going Through It. Or so they said. I thought they were making themselves go through it. Now I see that they were not, that the impulse to Go Through It is deep, and immediate. I want to change. No, I want to be done changing.
I feel like I'm going through puberty except instead of gaining pubic hair, I'm gaining wrinkles. Laugh lines. Should I quit smoking? It's too late, I already have a wrinkle. I saw it this morning in the magnified mirror in our kitchen. Unmistakable. A wrinkle on my face. I'm not who I used to be.
But who even am I? I look around, I look at the things I used to do, the feelings I used to have, the ways I liked to think (or didn't like to think) the art and writing I used to like to make. It all seems so distant. I feel like a foreign exchange student in my own life. I am walking on eggshells around my host parents, afraid that I'll unintentionally offend them. It's like I don't know the customs here.
And who are the rest of the people I suddenly find myself surrounded by? Where did you come from? These people who just moved here to claim yet again yes again the aesthetic culture that was never there. To make a scene that seems vibrant and encouraging and accepting but not, of course, accepting of me. Where am I, even?
Do I even want to make art anymore? Do I even want to be alive anymore? I'm not going dark I'm just saying I think it's so important to constantly interrogate yourself and your desires. Even if the answer is "I don't fucking know." I don't fucking know. I don't know who I want to be or what I want or how I want to get it. I really don't. I think I might be moving towards a theory of narrowing-down. Moving on from what I do not want.
Like: I don't want to get famous. I've actually never wanted to get famous. I've been more or less entirely willing to participate in whatever's happening around me, though, so long as it strikes my fancy. That seems to be confusing.
There's only one rule in improvisation, and it's this: "Say Yes".
Liza knows what I'm talking about.
But really, I've never wanted to get famous as such. I just have always felt more or less resolutely that it's more fun to say yes than to say no. Other people have accused me of wanting to get famous, and I feel like I've been punished for that, but I never wanted it. So, while keeping the idea of always saying Yes! I feel more than ever that I do not want to be famous. That's not what I want. Not that it's an option for me, but I feel like it's important to me to be clear about it: I don't want to have to appeal to everyone. I mean, sure, of course I want everyone to like me, but not if I have to pander to everyone. What about people who are assholes? I don't care if they like me. Like, if someone's a total jerk? Whatever, they can stay away.
I used to think that if someone was a jerk, it was because they were unloved. Maybe they didn't love themselves enough. I think that's probably still true, but I no longer feel that just because I notice this about someone means I have to have the ability to address it. It might not be my mess to fix.Noticing and being able to affect change are different skills and I might not have both. Sorry to say. Not all the time.
This might be new or might not be a new realization. I think, recently, how I'm changing so much I don't know who I am anymore, but I feel so left out. But y'know, I've always felt that way. Left out. Especially over the last few years, but for a long time before then. Going to back to when I was a little kid and no one would let me play with them because I was the new kid and I was really queer-seeming (duh). I've always felt like I was on my own and not included. In a way, I can't trust anything that I don't have to make myself.
For a long time recently I stopped making things, because it was too painful to feel like a fuck-up all the time. But I feel like a fuck-up whether or not I'm making something. So I might as well make stuff as long as it makes me feel better. But how do you know when you feel better? Better than what? I'm lost. I am unmoored. I've been reading Colette's collected stories all summer. It's been my summer reading project. I'm nowhere near done, but summer is done. I'm behind.
I'm behind in everything else.
What to do? What to do.
I used to think that if only I got more attention things would be better. But I got all the attention I could have ever hoped for, and more. Which is, in a way, worse. By my mid 20s, I had accomplished so many of my wildest fantasies. I got what I wanted and it didn't make a whole lot of a difference. It just taught me about wanting things. I mean: my life has not appreciably changed. The quality of my life isn't so much greater, on a day-to-day level. I still have a day job. I still have my student loans. I still feel lonely. I still don't know how to fit in. Now, I have wrinkles. Now, I have the memories of these fantastic things, and they are in the past. I'm not trying to be snide or downplay how much I've enjoyed my life so far. I'm trying to say that it's great to want attention, but it's not enough. What happens when you get what you want? You have to want another thing. That's what I'm saying.
I think I used to know what I wanted, or I used to be able to imagine things that would be fun for me, but I can't really imagine any right now. Which is kind of cool. I get to have room for new things to happen. But it's also a little bit scary. Like maybe my imagination is dead. Maybe I'm a ghost. Would that be so bad, I wonder.
Sometimes I think that all I am capable or, or good at, or that my seeming vocation in life is to piss people off. To inspire one of two reactions in people (sometimes both, one after the other). I feel like I'm only capable of:
A) making people resent me outright for having something they imagine they want, or
B) making people love me to the point where they want to destroy me, whether or not they're conscious of this.
But it's hard to measure yourself by how you're treated by others. How would a ghost measure herself? I think what I want, more than attention, or more than imagination, is to wake up and to wake other people up. I keep talking about this. I'll talk more about this later, too-- but the point, the goal might be a bucket of cold water. It really could be that simple.
Today I got my new shoes in the mail, after waiting more than a month! They're official German Army Trainers and I bought them from Germany.
Loads of very fancy designers make versions of these shoes but if you can find them, the originals are pretty cheap. The last time I was in Berlin I found a pair of deadstock shoes, unworn but very old, at a Berlin thrift-store. I've worn them pretty much every single day since then, and they need to be replaced.
I hate throwing out shoes. But I have to. So I got a new pair. They're just the greatest.
Now, thinking of Berlin and what I want from there (other, of course, than my dearest La JohnJoseph) is some Club motherfucking Maté.