12/22/09

Quite Fittingly

I'm flying to California this afternoon for a few days. I think it'll be okay. I don't know what to think of my life, right this second, in NYC. Things are very strange and I'm really ready to have some new things happen to me.

So many ideas this morning. Like that movie with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson and they're in love with each other, but having a fight over AIM and Jack asks Diane how her writing is going and she's sobbing but she writes: "Great. Pouring out of me now." I'm not crying though.

Thinking a lot about new beginnings and designations and starts. And fits. They're making a movie based on a cartoon character named Max Steel, and a lot of press and stuff has been written about it spelled Steele. It's kind of weird. I'm not going to change my name. But I've been thinking about changing my name, for this and a number of reasons.

For one thing, I am working on this project called "Confessions of a Namer". It's sort of a memoir about someone wrestling with gender. Or something. Wrestling with gender and power. And the main way I talk about these things is through the act of naming, calling, designating.

And I'm also always trying to think of new DJ names.

DJ BEAUTIFUL STRANGER



DJ FEEL GOOD TIME


God, who knew that William Orbit was, like, making the sound of my adolescence? Weird. I wonder what kind of music he was making in 1990. Here it is:


Also thinking of possibly,

DJ AMIR O'QUAI

I really love that song. Once in high school they played a free concert and I couldn't go because I was grounded and I very clearly remember listening to Live 105 hype the concert all week by playing "Alright" on the radio every four songs and being so sad that I wouldn't be able to go but I have absolutely no idea what I would have done that was so bad my parents would have grounded me. I was (and remain) a good kid.

Continuing this thread, feverishly, through the detritus of the last ten, fifteen years. Now we are here at the end of a decade and I'm looking even further. Something from being a kid or a teenager to confirm the hunches that I would grow up to have as an adult.

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with two of my favorite people Erin Markey and Sara Jane Stoner, both super famous NYC writer / actress / performance / artist / genius / inspiring women. And we were talking about being younger and Sara Jane recounted a really sexy and wonderful story about being at summer camp, and the older female girls taking young Sara Jane (who, she thinks, already read as a lesbian, even at like 13) and making her give them back massages by walking on their backs, as the older girls laid in a row, on their stomachs.

I'm not doing the story justice, and if and when you ever get a chance to meet Sara Jane you should really ask her to tell you, anyway, but the point of this is that after she told us this memory, she said "And that, my friends, is what we call a root."

A root, of course, of her queerness. A subconscious, repressed or forgotten memory or event that, in retrospect is often both a foreshadowing and product of nascent queerness. Walking on the backs of her counselors probably thrilled the young Sara Jane, though she perhaps didn't know why. It encouraged and confirmed a secret desire in her. At the same time, the older girls would never have picked a straight girl out of the bunks that night-- they chose Sara Jane for her delicious whiff of Sapphic futures. She wasn't even aware of it. Memory is there to help us recognize and reincorporate these things into our contemporary queer identities.

For me, one of my roots was the feelings that have always been and probably always will be stirred in me by Jimmy Ray.




I mean, right?

1 comment:

Jawn said...

as someone who a) was in the target demographic of the original 2000s forgettable cartoon "Max Steel" and b) was born with an amazing first name/last name combo, DON'T CHANGE YOUR NAME.