Archive | Age Matters

Actually, I’m Not Ok

me, 1974

The thing about growing up the way I did was I knew I had no one to rescue me, no one to dry my tears. It wasn’t a child’s thought, it was a preternaturally adult realization that I was forced to register as a young person so I would survive the people who had been deemed my caretakers by biology and society. I’ve had that “no room to fuck up” feeling ever, especially since I’m not naturally an underdog. My unique skill set often means I understand others better than they understand themselves (let alone me) and thus owe them patience and compassion even when we’re at cross purposes. And yet: I am human and so screw up with a regularity–most recently by running on a broken baby toe because it never occurred to me it would so screw up my alignment that I’d be injured for a month at least.

Bottom line: I’ve never had a safety net to speak of but the kindness of friends and acquaintances. And during Trump’s reign this fact has proven genuinely scary: I ran out of cash twice, my kidneys blew out after a Covid bout, I immobilized myself twice through stress injuries, and I’ve been unusually irritable, which means I’m constantly poised to alienate anyone who doesn’t have to love me, which in my life is pretty much everyone.

Which is ALL to say that yes, today marks Week 3 of a back spasm so painful that, as I write this, I can’t stand up or sit, let alone lift or clean anything or walk down the stairs of my building. It’s honestly humiliating, let alone dangerous, to be so vulnerable; even I am rolling my eyes at my damsel-in-distressiness. And of course because of Covid my normal healers have long fled the city and I am too broke for the Goldilocks experience of testing out a series of practitioners until I find the correct one. (I saw a terrible one Friday.) And I live alone and can’t drag people over every time I need to eat or feed Grace and of course I am running out of cash because I can’t do readings while I can’t sit up.

What has always scared me most is not seeing the forest for the trees, the escape hatch to a terrible trap. And because everyone is also struggling, worrying (drowning), I genuinely don’t expect anyone to fix or save me upon reading this. But on this very dark November Sunday night (the saddest nights of the whole year) I am still writing this out. Because I believe solidarity helps. And because I know that telling my story always saves me if only because it makes me believe that my story matters too.

Postscript: In response to the very kind offers of support, donations are gratefully accepted here.

The Coldness of Strangers

I’ve never been the type to pick up strangers and bed them. When I was younger, my approach was to take numbers—flirt copiously, then drift away. The occasional follow-up dinner, the potential plus one. But bedding someone—taking them inside myself in some way—always seemed so invasive that I reserved it for people I’d inspected closely, actually loved a lot. Perhaps it was the former anorexic in me. I used to joke that bulimics went through sexual partners like water, but we “restricters” hardly ever let anything inside. God knows I never swallowed when I gave blow jobs—too many calories.

Only once did I fuck a complete stranger. I picked him up at the coffee shop where I have met so many of my lovers over the years. Usually when I met someone there, we would commence a long, slow courtship that would take months, if not years, to consummate. Sometimes these people would become friends afterward, more often they never became anything but friends. Friendship really is the highest form of human relationship, anyway—the most elective, the most gracious.

Part of why I slept with this man was I’d just ended it with someone who didn’t deserve any mourning. He’d been my boss—was still my boss, in fact, and wielded a great deal of power over me. So my goal was to get over him as soon as possible—to get the taste out of my mouth, so to speak. 2011 was doggedly pre-#metoo. Continue Reading →

Miss Grace and the Mouse: A Very 2020 Parable

So I’ve been laid up for the last three days with my now-annual autumnal bad back. This year I chalk it up to being a middle-aged woman who danced all Saturday night and then ran a victory lap around lower Manhattan on a broken baby toe. That, and the Slow-Moving Coup the Trump administration is attempting to stage in the shadow of Biden’s inarguable victory. People I love and trust tell me it’s all going to be ok but anyone with genocide in their family lines doesn’t rest easily while a fascist is refusing to cede office.

On every level, in every way, Donald J. Trump’s mic should be cut. No social media. No quotes reported by news outlets. Yes, document the policies he’s pushing through, the terrifying appointments he’s making. But don’t grant his ravings a platform. The amount of chaos and hatred he can still sow is dangerous, if not lethal. Let’s not exacerbate this.

All to say that while I’ve been largely immobile a certain furry roommate has been acting peculiar and finally yesterday gallumphed into my bedroom with a living mouse in her mouth. After triumphantly laying the vermin at my feet, she recommenced chasing it in a dance that went on for two hours–Grace’s happy squawks and the mouse’s fainter squeaks punctuated by the duo’s dashes to where I was, gulp, lying on the floor. This permakitten was in permakitten heaven. I could tell in her mind she even had named this new playmate. “Herman,” maybe–“Hermie” for short. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy