10/21/13

Never be a doormat

I met my friend uptown on Saturday morning, at one of the many houses he has. I was exceedingly hungover from the night before. I had been part of Guy Branum's hilaruous Talk Show the Game Show event in long Island City, which was a ton of fun. I stayed out later than I meant to with Miss Max Bernstein, sipping whiskey drinks that other people bought for me. It was kind of a lot. On the way home I realized, I'm not proud of this, too drunk to get into a cab. That's what friends are for. So I woke up super early the next morning and hoofed it uptown to meet my brilliant mentor writer thinker friend chum. The occasion for our meeting was this new whipped cream vodka he's obsesed with. We drank it with iced tea at 11am in the morning. It was a completely novel experience and did make my hangover feel a whole lot better. We were talking about some projects I had done recently, and about some things I'm working on right now, and just some questions I had. My friend made a point of telling me that he had me over to tell me something. What he told me was: he growled. For almost a minute. I said "I know... I know, but--" he shushed me so he could finish his growl. The growl was part of what my friend had to tell me. When he finished his growl (it was a long one), he said "I'm just going to tell you this: Don't ever be a doormat." It was kind of striking, because he's not the only person in a more wise and experienced relation to me who's told me that lately. I've had similar feedback from other people in other areas of my life lately. And it's funny, because I never think of myself as a doormat. At least not consciously. I would not consider that to be something I let myself be.

But, if I'm really honest with myself, I do often think that being a doormat is the best use of my time and energy. Like, I think people just want me as a punching bag, and since I seem to be good at that I let people do that to me. And then i get really bummed out that people just want to use me as a punching bag. I think this is what my friend was saying. So, while I'm not interested in being demanding or self-important, I need to stop acting as if my ability to withstand torture (which isn't even such a great ability, it's not even something I can do, really, not comfortably), I need to stop acting like that's the thing that I have to trade on. There are no prizes given out for putting up with trouble. I mean, there are, but not in this context. No one who wants me for a doormat is going to love me for being their doormat, unfortunately.

My friend also described Berlin, hilariously, as "Nazi bottoms and Turkish tops". I told him what Dr. Miss Vaginal Crème Davis usually says about Berlin dicks, how it's a size queen's fantasy, but they're all kind of ugly. My friend agreed. I skidaddled from the Upper West down to the Brooklyn Museum, to see a talk with Colette, K8 Hardy, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, and lead by my old prof. Judith Rodenbeck. I was too organized. I tore through the Museum's entrance, paid a nominal entry fee, ran up the stairs to the forum, and got into an argument with a very made-up Russian security guard lady about whether the talk was happening and where. She directed me back to the information desk. After much fussing we discuvoered that in fact the talk was not on Saturday, but this upcoming Saturday. So maybe I'll go back and see you there? I was pretty mortified that I drunkenly accosted the staff at the Museum, but then I realized that no one would know I was drunk, because who ever heard of getting drunk on Saturday morning and going to the fucking museum, right?

I wandered around Brooklyn, went to that vegan Jamaican juice place, and made my way home for a nap. I felt pretty awful by this point. Pickled. Eventually I moped out to dinner by myself. I don't know how I get into this position. Yes, I was hungover. Yes, I was underslept. But I was pretty miserable. I thought; how strange and sad my life is. I have nothing to do on Saturday night. No friends to hang out with. It was kind of intense. I wasn't very organized about reaching out to people, but you know how it is when you feel bad physically, it's hard to connect. Anyway I came home and had a drink with Ptrck and then we decided to go to Metro. That bar was kind of lame, but we had fun and ran into my friend Cute Erik and it was good I'm glad I went out of the house that night.

Sunday I got up pretty early, felt FANTASTIC for not being hungover, went to the gym and had a really amazing workout. I went grocery shopping and cooked myself a sort of epick meal of tempeh and green beans and pasta. I went to PS1 to see the fantastic Dirty Looks performance dear Bradford organized with Luther Price. So Christmassy and scary! Really trippy and great. A total happening. Worth the hype, etc. I also checked out the Mike Kelley show. How sad! How really gorgeous and sad and surprising and sad and beautiful. And sad. I felt so bad for him. I felt bad for everyone. Not in the lonely way I had the night before. I felt bad in the sense of, like, how Kelley's work is sort of about the gorgeous and awful fact of being alive. Innocence being lost, growing up, etc. It's just excruciating and inexorable and so gorgeous. It's unbearable. None of us can bear it. Those of us that think we can bear it ultimately have to give up, when we die, right? Such a fantastic show. I would maybe even go back? Who wants to go?!

After that I met up with PLD downtown and we got a drink, then went to go see miss Erin in "God Hates This Show." That show was so fucking crazy. I love, in a way, seeing Erin in new and different types of shows or projects. God Hates... was really funny, obviously dark, but really funny and weird and unique. I hope it gets more of a run somewhere. Erin stole the thing, for me, as well she should. I loved the songs and I loved the monologues. The whole thing really.

Here's a fantastic video of Erin in a new webseries called The 3 Bits:



After the show, Erin and Becca and us went out for another drink. It was so nice to see Daddy Bex too. I got home and felt a little dizzy from accidentally getting drunk (again!) but then I ordered thai food and watched the beginning of this Russian sci-fi movie Solaris.

Tonight's a quiet night, I hope. I'm going to write this story for a new collection and I'm going to bake an acorn squash and also bake a yam. I think I've sort of figured out, this thing about not being a doormat. Or, this thing of working towards trying to be less a doormat, is in some ways also about getting out of the way. If you know this is where people are wiping their feet, then don't lie down there in your nice whites, right?

There are things that I can rely on to piss me off, and I can avoid them. Or, when they come up, I can get pissed off and then it go. I don't need to be the boss of my feelings of anger. I'm so cautious about reminding myself of that thing, "you teach people how to treat you." Because it sort of makes it your fault if people are mean to you. And, look, I've been picked on my whole life. Er, not my whole life. The last twenty years. And, as bad of a person as I am, I know, rationally, that I don't deserve it. So I don't want to be like "I should just teach people to be nicer to me!" because it's not my fault. But at some point, I guess I do have a responsibility to take care of myself, the way anyone else would, without thinking about it. Where it's a thing of "Okay this is what I can deal with or what I want or what I cannot deal with or do not want." and then if someone wants to be mean to me, if someone lives to get a negative reaction out of me, then I think it's time to move away from them and just cut it out, you know?

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