would like to seek refuge in exchanging emails and text messages with friends but instead am being good and *only* writing here. if you are one of the people with whom i would otherwise be communicating, i apologize. currently, i am supposed to be taking photos and explaining exactly who i am, as the majority of the guests at this party are confused by my presence: my stepgrandmother is introducing me as a grandchild and her friends know that i am the wrong age/gender/appearance to be related by blood.
so, i’ve been in the white wine and am beginning this list of drunken thoughts:
– most of the time i feel most my father’s daughter: we have the same nose, the same hair, the same penchant for criticism, sarcasm, cynicism, and inappropriate yet amusing comments. here today, however, i am channeling my mother: i have her height, her laugh, her love of adventure, her ability to chat with strangers as though they are friends. also, her awkwardness, which i think she has outgrown but know had a huge impact on her life when she was younger. none of these party guests have ever met my mother.
– i am glad that i have the body that i have, instead of the ones that my sisters each grew. i sincerely wish them well and hope that they are enjoying theirs, but would not want to have chests as large as the ones that they have. mine is as girly as i’d ever want, while still fitting comfortably into most clothes i choose and not distracting from my conversations with people. no, i won’t tell you what my kid sister is wearing.
**** LATER ****
– one of the old ladies told me that she likes my dress. “thanks,” i replied. “i got it for $4 at salvation army.” my stepmom was standing next to me at the time. “you’re so bad!” she exclaimed with a laugh. she does not approve of 2nd-hand clothes. i smiled, and the old lady did too, then said in a reassuring tone: “well, it’s very nice.” i don’t think she would be caught dead in a salvation army.
– i am wearing boxer briefs under said dress. this makes me feel like i’ve got a terrific secret, and am capable of anything. heh heh. magic!
– i am so fucking tired. i could go out dancing/drinking with friends tonight, but am not sure am up to it. i want companionship and understanding more than i want to lose myself. this is probably because pretending to be a member of this family all afternoon has been enough of an escape from reality. i want to be real again but am not sure i have the energy.
**** LATER STILL ****
– kin as experiment: it is a crapshoot that i should end up here with these people, drinking wine on a patio in the warm august twilight. we have stumbled together through the most unintentioned of legal and genetic events. i am feeling this “perception of their perception of me”, to paraphrase an email from a friend… and right now it is not the oppressive force that it usually is, but instead one that seems freeing. anything could happen to this group of people: we are outside the chosen paths we have each selected in our lives and yet we are together.
– i am desperately grateful for my chosen family, as in the people who love and care for me aside from the blood/legal kin. they are especially important to me as a queer and an anarchist: even as i feel loved by this family of origin, i know that they have trouble making leaps of understanding to meet me at the places i need them to, at times when i am in crisis.
– simultaneously, spending time with this family of origin reaffirms my desire to have children of my own. i want to know the continuance of all my variations of family.
– the song i now have in my head is “somedays” by regina spektor (www.youtube.com/watch
**** LATER AGAIN ****
– i have a limited tolerance for spending time in the company of others. this has always been a challenge for me in living situations, especially ones that find me sharing a bedroom with another person. it’s also difficult when in situations with family whom i rarely see. there is an expectation that i should spend as much time with them as possible, actively participating in conversation. i cannot do this. so, currently have retreated to living room, where my sister is chatting with one of the few remaining guests, who is close to her age. i will sit and ignore them, and read my book. they will be my cover: if anyone comes in, i will pretend to be socializing with them, in order to avoid the otherwise unavoidable commentary and questioning regarding my mood/sense of place/whatever. i am not bitter: this is just how it is. harry potter, ftw!
**** YEAH, IT’S LATER ****
“…We all thought that if you came back, it would mean revolution.”
– Neville Longbottom, to Harry Potter
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pg 468
a revolution, sure, sounds great! count me in!
i’m pleased and enjoying it… but in that i’m-only-laughing-cuz-otherwise-i’d-be-crying sort of a way, because it’s the same old cliche of patriarchy and oppression. dear jkr, must i spend my entire life in the potterverse desperately hungry for some intersectionality?! you keep touching on it, brushing gently against themes of slavery and racism, and then oh! denying the opportunity to chance the depths that lies beneath it all. it’s so maddening… and yet of course, fucking hell: i’m loving tearing this book apart.