Only a couple short but full months into my memoir I find that it’s far from as simple as I thought it would be. I knew it wouldn’t be easy by any means, but as I go through my past writing, my past life, I can’t help but be taken back to that time. The words again become my near-reality, and each carries a blade that slices a small part of my heart.
As if I don’t already have enough scar tissue there.
I have been outed, hated and vilified for keeping my HIV & Hep-C status from public knowledge in the highly sex positive community I was in, my dog & I are a few days away from being homeless, I’m barely surviving, simple things such as eating are a luxury, and I’m terrified – but I still refuse to give up on my dreams, even though I have little idea what they are.
I just went to my first Dresden Dolls show at Cafe du Nord, a tiny basement bar that kept the air of its past, with deep red walls and thick velvet curtains draped opulently around the room. ANd ten foot ceilings, foot high stage. In the prohibition era, they did what they could, where they could – and du Nord kept that…
That was the first time I performed with the Dolls, getting a corset piercing in front of the small stage before they went on.
Whitney is just about to email me, treating me to lunch and telling me about a “proposal”. She also just told me that Amanda has a crush on me, in the shortened time of the memoir.
My life is simultaneously falling apart and coming together, but all I can see is the former. I had little idea what the next few months would hold – a life that had meanst nothing to me or anyone else becoming something I finally wanted to keep living in, a life that made a difference, a life… of value.
I didn’t know that then. I was just trying to find something I loved to do. Something I was good at somehow, something that gave me a reason.
And I did.
The places I decay into while writing this book are no one else’s business, but I’ll try to keep up here, try to write about it. Writing is what I know, deep inside of me, that can bring me peace. The only thing. I’ve been doing it for 33 years – and I’m still, somehow, alive.
It was writing that took my pistol out of my mouth, it was writing that washed away all the other times I decided it was time to end. This is what I do. I just need to remember how – how to keep my mind out of it, listen to the words that blow on the wind through my heart.
I think I do have something to offer… but the challenge is trying to write without worrying about how I’m going to afford to feed my dog and me. Everything was going so well, things were coming together, people were buying ad space on CultureFlux.com – and then my life stopped, was almost gone.
Coming so close to death changes a person. I still feel it, still wear the spiritual and physical scars – but gods, I learned more than I could eve have imagined.
= = = = =
I’m still a couple months from my attempted move to Boston, still a couple months from volunteering at the private refugee camp in Austin, still a few months…
Still a few months from Bean being killed by a train.
I wonder who I am now. I have my past. I have what I’ve been through… but what do I have now?
I frequently think that we live through things just to say “That happened to me.” to me, not someone else. I live in the same world as all of you – I’ve just seen more of it. As I’m certain some of you have, as well.
Sometimes, life can only begin with the understanding of death. Of dying. Sometimes it ends – not physically, but in spirit.
I was told that I was dead when I was 19 years old. A call from a doctor telling me I had the AIDS virus. Back then, over 95% of people who contracted it died miserably, painfully within 18 months.
Think about that.
I lived a good part of my life afraid to try anything that took more than a month to learn, afraid to go back to school and feel like I, again, didn’t finish what I set out to do – and terrified of loving anyone. More terrified of them loving me.
but here I am and how? WHY me?
Here’s a little secret: I felt that the Universe kept me alive so I could finally find my birth-mother. When I was writing my first letter to her, asking if she was – I felt, i KNEW that the moment I met her the one purpose I had been allowed to live for would be achieved, and I would come as close to dying on the spot as possible.
Rational? There is no logic in this, no logic why I am STILL alive. But I am.
And maybe that’s why it so difficult to get this book done.
Somewhere in my life there is that last thing I need to do, and that last thing will take it away.
Now that I think about it – I have had a good life. I am not afraid of death in the least – I’m incredibly intimate with it. We’re buddies.
TIme to get writing this fucking book again.