Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Unsolicited Response

What do torture and art have in common? When you work something over too much, it becomes a lie.

One brush stroke too many and you have a vivid fantasy that leaves nothing to the imagination and masks the vulnerability of the subject. All of a sudden the canvas is telling you what you want to hear, and handling your insecurities delicately like any good hooker would. One brush stroke too many is like the makeup and implants of the art world.

So if over-working something leads one further away from the truth, then I wonder where I'll be if I start with the bare minimum. I wonder if the uncomfortably minimalistic essentials will ultimately be a relief- like sleeping on the hard floor and waking up with a better back.

In art, saying too much is like not saying anything.
In life, too.

I don't want to spell it out for people who are interested in cliff's notes- asking someone else to tell them the story, asking me to explain my journey then suggesting ways in which I may make it more palatable for them, ways that will make the whole experience a flashy merri go round of bright colors and happy endings.

Isn't it the truth that the world is sometimes dim and the endings take something from us? Out of us? Isn't it true that we are ugly as much as we are not?

I would offer this as my reason, my explanation, my justification,

but that would defeat the purpose.

So I just offer this.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Human Mystique, or whatever.

Working in bars over the years has given me a unique opportunity to practice keeping my mouth shut. For instance, "But he has a cold sore!" -is something I'm not going to yell out, tempting (and true) as though it may be. But human interaction at its finest is not alcohol's specialty, and often, being the only sober mind, body, and mouth in a room is a decidedly, well, sobering experience. 

 First there is the frustration of hearing the same lines, catchphrases, and stories day in and out. More depressing still is hearing them from all the same people. It's the best anti-drinking commercial you can find, and having the patience to endure it is a lesson in Buddhism. 

 Then, there is the unbridled and all-too-often uncensored human mating rituals. Here's where you will either get extremely good at hurting people's feelings, or sparing them- depending on how they rank on your list of people you can tolerate. The values on this list range between "no way no how" all the way up to "just barely." But really, the most important thing one needs to remember in their observations of drunken foreplay is this: think of the people in front of you as horny dogs and cats, all vying for the opportunity to spray on you and smell your ass glands. Sound gross? It is. But so is the thought of dating someone you've witnessed coming into the same place for years, dry humping several different dates in the bathroom hallway minutes after you heard their date throw up in the ladies room and walk out without washing her hands. Somehow, the magic just isn't there anymore. 

 When inebriated, humans are gluttons for their own emotions, insecurities, instincts, and fantasies. If you squint hard enough, you can peer across a room full of simultaneous conversations between strangers and see people for who they are imagining themselves to be in that moment. Some people are dressed in capes and others like porn stars. Some people become children and all fat chicks become skinny. The skinny ones become Beyonce. Sober while wearing these glasses, you may soon realize you've been doing this too long and become too unapologetic when explaining to people why you don't go out, why you prefer home, why you prefer the loyalty of your relationship. You are unblinking when you say this and now the jig is up. You're not one of them, even though they are your peers. You are an impostor in this scene of social solidarity, and you've come here to judge them and take away their fun and grandeur. 

 But you grew out of their sort of fun a long time ago, having never been fully convinced of your own drunken alter-ego or its judgement. While it never seemed to bother anyone else, it's always bugged the fuck out of you. Now you make money off of the vices you've given up, taken on the role of the nurse with the clean needles, and sneak out the back door on every offer for a free drink. The noise and crowded, cramped spaces become fluid to you as you drift through them, quiet as a thought. And maybe, someone squinting at you from across the room sees you as the ninja on a broom. The fly on the wall. The tiger in a cage. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

the collective whisper


perception is reality, but sometimes your reality becomes dependent on how people perceive you. your reality can become limited by the definitions that people adhere to you through no fault or vote of your own. you find yourself double- checking the clarity of every statement you make, only to find out you've been put on mute. is there something worse than being misunderstood?
 ignored.                                                                                                              and then you might say

fuck everyone else

 and fuck myself too if my reality and self-worth are so steeped in my need to be recognized. and then you realize that you've discovered the philosophy behind being a woman.

that circle with a barbed tail, that little symbolic road sign to evil-

you’ll only ever be known and defined based on your relation to those around you. if those around you are male, you will be referred to as their possession and will be socially stripped of your validity. if those around you are female, you will be compared and found wanting. your flawed way of thinking will cause you to second-guess your own certainties and seek the advice of outside sources for nearly everything you do. you can choose to be independent of these rules- if you don’t mind being excluded from the protection of society’s empathetic glare. “where would you be if not for the sexual revolution and tampon commercials? where would you be if we did not tell you where you belong?”
our feminists are not your feminists, mother. our feminists are 15 and do not apologize to anyone for their pregnancies and bad credit. our feminists don’t wear bras and they don’t play with matches.                        our feminists are stark and shaking silhouettes in the night, not quite ready to give it up. we want to hate each other like men hate us.

but we need them to tell us how. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Privilege


It is a sweet privilege
and a blessing
to not die in a revolution
to not dream of camouflage
and cement explosions
to not train your little sister
in the art of the guerilla.
It is a sweet privilege to sleep
heavy in a quiet bed
where we don’t dream of
dying for the right reasons.
It is a sweet privilege to not
have reasons to die.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You Ain't From Russia...

So, what the fuck is the rush? Has this general area of Minnesota become inundated with the most exciting goings on happening in dark seedy underground joints and warehouses requiring secret knocks, and somehow me taking the time to put my change in its designated coin pocket in line at Cub Foods is hindering the progress of these aforementioned secret soirees? Why does it seem like I alone am constantly getting my space invaded at every cash register counter I do business with? And the person violating my bubble could be any of you. No, really- there's no rhyme or reason to the type of people willing to invade the space of a complete stranger when they feel it's their turn for the cashier's full, unbridled attention. Men, women, and children alike seem to clamor for the opportunity to make me feel like the slowest person on the fucking planet and I feel immediately defensive and guilty about it every time it happens.
And I'm not even catholic.
So as needless as this may be, I'm offering an explanation as to why it takes me a WHOLE 10 seconds to put my money away and grab my purse, and why you should calm your tits about it.

And slowly back up off me.


Whose Job is What?
When I say this phenomenon happens to me often, I mean that it happens about 95% of the time I go to any store in which I am not the only one in line waiting to check out. It doesn't matter if the line sticks straight out behind me, or if it juts off to the side. The over-all vibe I get from the next person in line- if we're counting "vibe" as a menacing physical presence- is that I should be packed up and on my way out the door as soon as my change and/or receipt has touched my fingertips. Well as much as I, too, would like to move with the efficiency of a Twilight vampire, it's simply not possible. So now that we've established my human limits, let's talk about what else the problem could be. Let's address the fact that this Talky McTalkerson cashier right in front of me hasn't stopped jibber-jabbering to his/her coworkers since I stepped foot in front of them with what is probably an arm-load/basket-full/cart-load of crap. Then this inattentive prick will shove my change in my hand and act like they're the ones with somewhere to go, while I stand there staring blankly, waiting for them to end the transaction properly by asking if I'd like a bag.

Oh. I got yer bag right here. 


Meanwhile, what does the person behind me do? They start boxing me out of my spot at the counter like I'm Shaq and they're Kobe Bryant on his fucking period. This is the point in time where I'd really like to hold my hands up and freeze everyone involved mid-idiocy and remind them what their job is.

"Okay so ummm....Gimme a couple Powerballs....yeah, and  10 bucks on pump 6."


Cashier- your job is fairly simple and was described to you on your first day here. I'll spare you the lecture on personal hygiene in favor of my own convenience in this matter and summarize your general duties as follows: pay attention to the person in front of you, scan their shit, take their money, and for godsakes, offer them a bag. Seriously, man. What the hell.  This isn't brain surgery, as I know that you can clearly see the multiple items laid out before you. It's not like you had to whittle them out of newborn baby tears. Come off the fucking bags, dude. 

Person next in line- your job is also fairly simple and shouldn't have to be described to you, as it falls under the heading of common courtesy. Your job is to: stand there and wait your turn. Yeah. That's it. Don't fucking perch yourself on my shoulder, ass, heels, or other areas of my physical presence that wouldn't be appropriate at any other time or venue, and are sure as shit not appropriate in line at Kwik-Stop. I had to wait in line just like every other Joe Shmo to get where I am now, and you'll just have to do the same. I don't care if you think you're in a hurry, because I thought the same thing until this jackwad cashier fucked those dreams out of existence. Now we all have to suffer. And yeah, my fucking change is going in the little zipper thing and you're gonna have to sit there and wait for that to happen, too.

Don't forget- the cashier is the one who's here for your convenience, not me.

Trust me, sweetie. We're all excited. 


My job- My job is simple, as I am the customer, and all I really have to do is show up. I'm a courteous person, or at least try to be, so I'll often have my wallet out and money ready by the time I come up to the counter, provided I have a free hand with which to do so.

I will also concede that my job is to wait patiently while the cashier does their job.

However, if the cashier cannot do their job correctly or at the very least with effort, then the contract becomes void, and I reserve the right to remind everyone of their job.

And for the love of all that is good and holy, get off my ass.



Monday, February 11, 2013

3 Simple Ways to Avoid Being an Asshole in Relationships

Humans are dicks.



I know that people, in many situations, are driven by selfish agenda. I believe this to be innate, for if it wasn't for certain selfish acts, how could we survive? But I maintain that relationships are the perfect opportunities to think of someone other than yourself- and be rewarded for it (which, selfishly speaking, is the best part). But, in the interest of bettering ourselves- here's a few good reasons not to be a selfish prick when dealing with others on a romantic level.



1. Your time on earth is not more valuable than anyone else's. I know, I know- it's hard to imagine that someone other than yourself has goals they'd like to accomplish before they die. But it's true. And isn't that one of the points of being in a relationship? Finding someone with common interests, shared goals, a desire for growth and forward movement, or at the very least the ability to be supportive of your endeavors, no matter if they differ from their own? Right?.........Well some of you (yes this includes women) still just wanna hump an extraordinarily large number of people with your allotted time on earth, and keep your business affairs separate. And I ain't mad at ya. However, problems arise when you can't be upfront about those intentions with the people you're involving yourself with and you end up saying things you don't mean, essentially wasting what precious time they have, by trying to have your cake and eat it too. Look- you're (I'm assuming) a grown person, right? Take some responsibility for what you want and don't be too cowardly to let other grown people know what that is. Why? Because just as you have the right to be a raging slut-monster, they have every right not to date one.




2. Stop asking for relationship advice from bachelors, sluts, and other nosy single people. 

Significant other getting you down? Do you need to get some things off your chest about them and maybe some friendly advice? Who do you turn to? If you just said Facebook, slap yourself.

Here's why. Depending on their attachment to you, people in your life will gladly hash out relentlessly unsolicited advice on a relationship they know nothing about. All you have to do is give them an opportunity. And you can get indignant all you want and say that it's your page so you can post what you want and you don't "care" what other people think. But you and I both know that when the laptops get put on sleep mode for the night, you'll most likely find yourself in a conversation (or awkward silence) that won't end well. No one likes to be put on blast in public, especially not on an online forum where everyone and their brother (including but not limited to your friends, mama, exes, and coworkers) can throw in their two cents and immature comments from the safety and anonymity of their swivel chairs.

Seems Legit.


So if you really need a listening ear and a good piece of advice, here's what I propose. Do your due diligence and seek out couples who have been married twenty plus years. Bonus points if this couple doesn't personally know you or your partner. Any sort of unbiased view from a couple of people who have been working together for years on end towards a common goal would be worlds better than whatever could come from a group of  people whose favorite conversation topics include anything having to do with week-long clubbing, Chris Brown, or why they hate their significant others. These people might be your friends, but if they generally don't have their own relationship shit together, why give them the chance to revel in your (fleeting though it may be) relationship misery?

Or, here's a crazy idea: if your partner is the one you have a problem with, then why not...oh, I don't know....talk to your partner about it?

Which brings me to my next point....


3. They're called your "partner" for a reason. You're supposed to be on the same team!


Know any couples like this?

So, everyone knows at least one pair of people who hate each other (or complain like they do), yet inexplicably call themselves a couple. Friends and acquaintances usually laugh it off and call them crazy but secretly love the entertainment value in their dramatic, never-ending dysfunction. But to laugh at other's misery (however self-imposed it may be) is a lot different than living it. Also, it helps to remember that while nodding along with why Bob thinks his wife is a bitch, chances are you would never date Bob, even if you were in the position to, so go a little easy on his old lady. A good rule of thumb- there are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth. This rule applies to literally every situation in which relationships are involved, because "love" makes people bat-shit crazy, and there's no amount of speculation from an outside source that could ever speak to what really happens behind close doors. So try not to be too judgmental.

Furthermore, to save yourself the headache of finding this out after you've settled down, remember that relationships are investments. You invest your time, energy, emotion, and money. Making your partner your best friend is the best way to ensure your investment pays off. Alienating your partner and openly resenting them to others is the best way to guarantee you waste every one's time, including your own (and selfishly speaking, that's the worst part).

Picard  promotes effective communication.


The point being....

A relationship isn't a competition between two opposing forces who aim to manipulate one another into a sniveling pile of submissive drool. It is a conscious decision on the part of two individuals to share themselves with one another in hopes of mutual trust, loyalty, faith, understanding, and growth. If you want  to act single, then stay single. Why invest so much into a relationship if you're not going to participate in it? If you feel that you're not getting what you need from your partner, discuss it with them! Closed mouths don't get fed just like closed legs don't get spread- don't let the chip on your shoulder keep you from communicating with your significant other.

And if nothing else: don't expect from others what you're not willing to give. Believe in karma, and don't be an asshole.