kitchen_kink: (Default)
Convergences are interesting things.

It’s a full moon tonight. In my sign of Scorpio, too. Tonight I walked, with three amazing women newly of my acquaintance, through the dark New York countryside by the light of the moon. For miles we bounced along, joking about axe murderers and speculating on the testicular descent of one of our teachers, bitching and scheming and trying to figure out what to do next, laughing our asses off as our lives recalibrated themselves in front of us, in the milky shadows.

And today is the last day. Day one hundred.

Now I’ve done it.
kitchen_kink: (magic)
The woman behind the counter wonders if I’m staff, and I wonder if I should say I am, just to get a discount. But she’s such a sharp-looking older lady, and I love the henna she’s had done on her hand.

It’s such a fine line between the things I care about – sustainability, healing, healthy foods, the value of land, spirituality – and the things that just push it over the edge into silliness or self-righteousness. How many people decide not to be environmentalists because of eco-terrorists and PETA members? How many are turned away from paganism because of the fruitcakes?

It’s a love/hate thing, me and retreat centers. As soon as I ever arrive at such a place, on the one hand there’s the beautiful landscape, the healing energy of the land, the beautifully designed gardens and buildings. On the other hand there’s the New Age smugness that tends to permeate everything. At Harbin Hot Springs, over breakfast, a woman told me how she doesn’t put honey in her tea because the hot water kills the beneficial enzymes. Oh, how I longed for some bacon to eat in front of her. Does that make me a bad person? Oh good.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
It wasn’t supposed to happen that way.

I never saw him before.

She said she was eighteen.

I only left her for a minute.

We were only going for a little drive.

I didn’t know it was loaded.

This isn’t mine.

No, I haven’t been drinking.

Nobody ever has to know.

Yeah, I tested negative.

I’m going to leave her.

You were wonderful.

It’s delicious, honey.

He’s in a better place now.

It’ll all be okay in the morning.

You can be anyone you want.

He meant nothing to me.

The check is in the mail.

I love you, babe.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
I lived in Georgetown for a few months, when I was working in Washington. There were so many restaurants there, barkers outside of each one, trying to call people in. Every day I ate at the same French restaurant. I ate the same food! Trout. I would sit there and eat and sketch while I ate. I worked very fast then. I gave those sketches away. Once there was a couple, it was easy, they were so wrapped up in each other, so in love, they didn’t even notice me drawing. I gave it to them. They were so happy.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
She was German Jewish, a refugee. Her body curved like the violin I brought to her every week for nearly a year. Fourteen I was, and she barely spoke the English that was my own third language. My older brother wouldn’t go to her, said, “No, she is too beautiful.” I was still young enough to almost not understand.

One day, I walked the usual way over the dusty trail to meet her for my lesson, but I was told she had gone. “Got married,” they said.

I saw her again once, with her new husband, but she didn’t even wave.

I understood.
kitchen_kink: (feathers)
rough going

When someone gives you a 45-minute sternal rub, you’re going to get a rash.

But it’s one of the things that soothed me on the fast ferry to P-town. The boat flew up and down with such violence on the choppy seas that the bar’s supply of coffee cups went south in a symphonic crash, and the woman behind me sobbed into her boyfriend’s shoulder, shrieking with terror that the boat would fly apart.

My companion rubbed my chest, applied acupressure to my wrist, and, well, loved me. And I didn’t throw up until 20 minutes from landfall!

Not bad.

**
oh the food

Spiritus Pizza must be experienced to be believed. Not just as perfect post-seasickness food, but as late-night haunt, after the bars and clubs shut down at a ridiculous one a.m.

Bubula’s makes excellent fish and chips, but you can get a fish sandwich with killer fries for six bucks cheaper, and leave the bun.

Ciro & Sal’s is cozy and old-school and has, perhaps, the best marsala sauce anywhere.

The Post Office is called that because it used to be a post office. And because it makes the best pancakes in the universe. Shut up, it does too make sense.

**
goldilocks at home

Queens are awfully fun, with their bitchy commentary and flaming affectations, but there’s nothing like bears. Big, hairy, bearded, scary dudes, from whom warmth and welcome emanate like the smell of well-worn leather. P-town regulars, drawing us into their haunts for well-mixed drinks and frank conversation. Letting my guard down, letting myself stand back and not be the center of attention, letting my language slip easily into playful raunch as I talk up my boyfriend’s assets to them. One comments on my beauty, on my resemblance to his last – ever – girlfriend. They honor me – and humble me – with their acceptance.

**
like night and day

Saturday night we slide, after closing time, down to the place on the beach known as the “dick dock” to help our new friend look for someone who’s wandered off. Secure in his safety, we move on, a while longer laughing in the streets, in new-found comfort.

Sunday morning, the streets are full of tourists, Mother’s Day in full swing in blinding sunlight and noise, dogs and kids underfoot everywhere. A woman in front of Town Hall plays a zither and sings corny folk songs.

A hetero-appearing couple, we don’t stand out like sore thumbs. We just feel like them.

**
belonging

I was a quiet outcast in high school. Drama and choir fag. Gay best friend, but not gay. Black clothes, but not goth. I wasn’t athletic. I was smart. But not a gaming nerd or science genius. I felt no one really knew me.

Poly, bi, pagan switch artist. No particular clothing style. I blend in, though I’m six feet tall and some say stunning. In some communities I find temporary respite, a place where parts of me can shine. It’s freeing to be so chameleonic. And lonely to have no true place.

P-town, embrace me in your shifting seas.
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah...

And two by two and three by three and in teeming swarms. Kitchen counters, the rim of the bathtub, and now on my living room couch. Nowhere is safe.

Of course you realize, this means war.

The ants aren’t as out and out disgusting as grain moths: no webbing in my food or little yellow worms crawling about. But they’re so insistent, and so many.

One never truly hates an insect until one’s house is infested with them.

Is this how an invading army grows to feel about the hidden enemy?
kitchen_kink: (Default)
I wonder what’s going on inside his head.

He walks, a slow, rocking gait, up and down between the tables at the Whole Foods. Rag in hand, he searches for cleaning to do – little spills to clean, specks of crumbs on the tables. A small, eternal grin paints his round face. The work seems enough for him, seems to make him happy, and when he finds no work, he sits at a table, rocking back and forth, self-comfort.

For a moment his expression changes, as he peers under a table, looking for something to sweep. Then, back to the grin.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
She walked alone, her hands in her pockets, holding her coat out like a cape to play superhero with her shadow. Listening to the vicious incantations of schoolyard songs sung by girls afraid to touch hands with her. The boys, from another planet entirely.

“Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack...” Sometimes she could get into the middle of three-man jumprope, or play hopscotch until she got kicked out for winning too often. Once she played “I Spy” until, with her greater size and strength, she accidentally knocked a girl down. The girl cried, and she cursed the immortals who made her.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Even when I don’t want to. Even when it hurts. Even when I’m exhausted. Even when the only words in my head are “sleep.” Even when I think I’m the least creative, most uninspired, worst hack that ever there was. Even when the only thing to get me going on it is to type “even when…” and see where it takes me.

Even when I don’t get it right. Even when I don’t come up with something that will get me petting and positive comments. Even when one hundred words seems like 100 thousand. Every day. Every day. Every day.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Maybe this is all there is. Happiness, that is – being that feeling of being dog-tired and worried about how your lover will do on a very important test tomorrow, but deeply contented from having come over and helped him study, and having found and brought him anti-anxiety meds, just for this one morning. Maybe it’s knowing there’s a soft bed to go to, and people to snuggle while you’re in it. Being warm and safe and fed, and having a computer to write things on and a trip to the seaside next weekend. And love, so much love.

What more?
kitchen_kink: (Default)
I can’t help it. When her hair falls over her eye like that, just on the one side – I can’t help it. I know I’m staring, and I can only hope that she doesn’t look up just now. I take the opportunity to drink her in, sitting at her desk, her eyelids just a little darker than her skin, her lips moving softly as she whispers small frustrations to herself, looking for something in her desk. The little worried wrinkle between her eyebrows. I feel myself almost sweating. Ridiculous. It’s January. If she looks up right now, I’m done for.
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
Day 4. We were about to abandon this post as too hostile when the food source appeared. We located three separate stockpiles when we sent our scouts out. Couldn’t believe our luck. Workers have been out in shifts since then, reconning and recovering the supplies.

Day 5. Since late yesterday, troops sluggish. They’re getting disoriented, and many have fallen on the trail. Queen pleased with our find, but seems distracted. Possible she has fallen ill; her guards won’t say.

Day 6. My shell feels thin, stretched. Trail harder to scent. All are sick.

A trap? Is site hostile after all?
kitchen_kink: (spiral)
Cora Anderson, Mother of Feri, is Dead

Oh sweet soft sharp unfathomable Life I praise thee
Oh deep black timeless fortunate Death I honor thee
To the veil that’s billowing where I stand
To the ushering through to the darkened land
To our mother finally meeting the Mother
To the joyous, endless twining of hands
Raise a glass to her passing and pour some for she
Who is free
Who is free
Who is free

The blind shaman greets his queen
Our tears pour onto the earth
Her body melts into the green
Her souls skip toward a new birth.



***
Cora Anderson, co-founder of the Feri Tradition, died on Beltaine. She was 93. Many have written about it in the past few days: my favorite is Thorn's description of the death watch, here.

Happy travels, Cora. I only wish I had ever gotten to meet you.


(Image by [livejournal.com profile] veedub)
kitchen_kink: (Default)
My perspective on the room shifts from vertical to spinning, then horizontal, in the space of a second. My face is to the floor, again, and he’s twisting my arm behind me. I tap out, roll up to face him.

His eyes are less weapons than tools of disarmament. The cool blue is friendly and inviting as an August swimming pool. But that diving board’s higher than you think.

“Go again.”

He’s always faster, and always smiling – that infuriating smile! – and I’m down, breathing hard, for more than one reason.

It would be worth it to beat him just once.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
“See, when people ask me what I do, and I say, ‘I play chess,’ they immediately want to know what I do for a living. Because that’s where everyone’s mind is.”

“Well, sure.”

“This culture – I mean in case you hadn’t noticed – it’s a work camp.”

“Well, I –“

“But the best thing about the top one percent? They’re vastly outnumbered. That’s why they all live in gated communities. Checkmate.”

Dammit, Guy, how’d you do that?”

“I play this game a lot.”

“And you don’t let a person think while you do it.”

“Where would the fun be in that?”
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Shyness somehow blossomed into schmoozing. Delia Sherman, n ex-Diesel-denizen, is doing an anthology – yes, please? Nancy Kress introduced me to Connie Willis. She’s terrible at pool – but I got to play pool with Nancy Kress!

Michael Moorcock, ftw. Joe Lansdale is a very funny Texan. Bad steak, good cake. Cash bar only? These are writers!! More than two hours of schmooze exhausts me.

I ran out of business cards.

The local beer’s not bad! Michael Chabon is adorable, and even after a Pulitzer and a National Book Award, his hand shook when he accepted the Nebula.

I met a girl.
kitchen_kink: (words)
“Does anyone besides me remember when they used to butter your fucking toast before it reached the table? I mean, is it me?”

The question is so obviously rhetorical that Janice doesn’t bother answering; instead she takes a long, athletic, and nonetheless fruitless pull on her milkshake straw, idly fantasizing that it’s a tailpipe.

“I remember, as a kid, toast nearly soaked through with pre-melted butter. And bagels! Bagels that they’d put cream cheese on for you! More coffee,” he adds to the service drone, as he apparently thinks of the waitress.

“And what the fuck,” Shane adds, loudly enough to make Janice push her hands, palms-downward, toward the table several times, “happened to 24-hour diners? Do I have to move back to fucking Jersey to get a Greek salad at 3 am anymore?”

Janice does a quick mental calculation of how far away that would put Shane from her.

“What’s so funny?”

“How many Jerseyites does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”

“Hit me.”

“Three. One to screw it in, one to bitch about how light bulbs get screwed, and one to move away and rhapsodize about the great light bulbs back in Jersey.”

“Nice. That’s nice. Check?”
kitchen_kink: (hawaii sign)
Among the circles of hell overlooked by Dante due only, I’m sure, to vicissitudes of chronology, is Newark Airport. By the strict diabolical design endemic to New Jersey architecture, it has both large windows and a crushing sense of claustrophobia. To maximize confusion, there are two gates on each end of the terminal, stuffed into windowless corners down two escalators leading otherwise nowhere. (Because fuck the handicapped, anyway.) A desultory shopping mall dots the remainder of the Stygian landscape, in the center of which mercifully hulks a small slice of Elysium: a real New Jersey diner.

The omelet’s pretty good.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
The breeze drifts across my face with the kiss of rain. Here in Austin everything seems slowed-down, suspended. There couldn’t possibly be anything to do but sit on this patio, watching the movement of leaves and listening to the cries of unfamiliar birds. A thin, crowish one with iridescent blue feathers leaps and squawks and shows off on an empty picnic table. David Bowie’s taut, machined voice percolates through pre-thunderstorm air. Three-bladed electric fans, off now, spin clockwise at the pace of the wind. In a moment, the leaves will show silver.

It would be hard to be unhappy here.

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dietrich

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