I barely took a picture of myself until I turned 40. But I spent yesterday with an old lover and it gave me an inkling of an answer: You really can’t go home again. Not because time is hopelessly linear but because if you keep on self-reckoning, eventually you outgrow obfuscation and objectification, diminishment and toxic possession. Shame. You stop saying, “Daddy, please approve of me.” You start saying, “Daddy, you have no invitation nor right to my deference.” Which is to say: you stop taking or talking jive. And maybe that’s why I take these pictures now. To remind myself that, despite the fact that I have aged out of viability in the eyes of patriarchy, despite the fact that I am untethered to a romantic relationship or biological family, despite the fact that I have very little cash nor clear prospects, despite the fact that I carry more weight than ladies are programmed to allow themselves, I am still here. At 48, I am more sure than ever before of who I am, what I can tolerate, how I can serve, and of the space I claim. So today I put on eclipse-season, mercury-retrograde, dowager-chic armor: a boob-revealing mini dress, platforms, 4D hair, lipstick, big glasses, fannypack—essentially I transformed myself into a 6 foot 4 spacecrone. And what I am saying—what I always am saying in Trump’s fucked-up, cockocratic, white-supremacist dystopia—is this: I’m not just a lover. I am a fighter. And I have earned the right to look back at you.
I am making macaroni and cheese and drinking red wine and trying not to cry. The macaroni and cheese is more likely to be a successful venture. I wish I were watching a 70s crime movie with the Legend. I wish I were sharing my fattening carbs with him. I wish he loved me enough to be here. I wish I wish I wish I wish. Most of all I wish I still had the faith to believe my wishes came true. I cried all last night—cold sad loveless endless November Venus Retrograde nights have that effect on a girl—and when I woke I still couldn’t stop. From Boston Rachel said: All you have to do in the next hour is wash your face and get a coffee. The fresh air and sun on your face will make you feel better—not a lot, but a little. As always, my dear friend was right. I wish that hadn’t been the highlight of this sadsack of a day.
your departure seems like it has to be final this time and i can’t stop crying. i feel like the ground has opened up below me, that everything is going to stay dark and cold, and what is the point of such love and warmth—the feeling i had hoped for (prayed for) for such a long time–only to have it go away again. the loneliness is a lot worse now, worse than it was before, because i thought we were each other’s reward for all our sadness, all the struggle before we found each other. you’re the last person i should be saying it to, but it’s your embrace i want (all that would make me feel better) and i’m an inconsolable small person right now. an inconsolable small person with a new manicure because I thought I would make love to you with these new short purple nails. i press send here but it’s always to you that the lost love is heedlessly, helplessly traveling. the pain, jesus, the pain is terrible. will this venus retrograde never end.