What Does It Mean To Dream

Recently, I realized: I don’t dream big enough anymore. Part of that is just the function of time; as a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. As a teenager, I wanted to be a famous artist. After I turned 18, I just wanted to be able to buy the things that I wanted without being under threat of serious financial strain. Now, at 31, I can say that I have successfully accomplished the dream I had when I was 18, but…but now what?

I guess part of that is admitting that I let the basics of survival shape my dreams. Or, rather, I let them limit my dreams because who can dream about being a famous artist when being a famous artist doesn’t necessarily mean you have a stable place to live or enough food to eat every day. The shape of society today morphed my dream into wanting to pay rent on time and splurge on hamburgers rather than speaking truth into the ear of millions of people. I think this is what they refer to as “selling out,” especially because writing and my vision for my writing has fallen to the wayside.

I regret this. I feel like I let myself be cheated by a system that I didn’t even really believe in. I kowtowed to someone else’s idea of what I need to do in order to be happy, and here I am, functionally surviving, but spiritually starved. Because my dream was too far away for me to even see, let alone for it to feel real or attainable. So it withered.

I kneel at the grave of a beautiful dream, wondering when the fuck did it even die? Surrounded by the monster of my reality, which is beast that I no longer want but can’t get rid of. Do not ask me if I would die for my dream – the only thing that I could let kill me now is time.

About An Abortion

Seeing as the debate over abortion has reached a fever pitch in this country, I figure it’s time for me to throw my two cents into the fire.

I grew up in a conservative Catholic household, so I’m familiar with the rhetoric that is used in the argument against abortion. What strikes about the language they use is that it is so clearly religious. Even today, when the religiosity has been scaled back, the argument for abortion hinges on one fundamental concept: that life begins at conception. As I watch the debate over abortion unfold and then catch on fire, I’ve always bee perplexed by that tenet. To say that life begins at conception is something that many people can get behind, but it’s still something that can’t be scientifically or objectively proven. The debate over when life begins hinges on other arguments from both sides: when does a soul enter the body (here, a wildly religious argument that is less popular nowadays but shows the religious bias in the argument because that’s what’s great about religious freedom: you don’t even have to believe in a soul, so why should someone else’s belief in a soul dictate your access to abortion care?), fetal viability, fetal heartbeat, the ability of the fetus to feel pain. However, after having grown up hearing this argument over and over and over again, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: this is not the debate we should be having. Arguing when life starts is an argument that can never be won because it can never be proven. Throw it out the window. The argument isn’t about when life starts – it’s about whether or not abortion should be legal, and getting wrapped up in the argument about when life starts automatically cedes ground to moralizing a topic that shouldn’t be argued on primarily moral grounds. This is about the law, not religion. When you argue about when life starts, you lay the groundwork for arguing that abortion is murder. Instead, we should allow each person to decide for themselves from a religious perspective when life begins, but we should also acknowledge that such a subjective, unprovable perspective shouldn’t write laws for people who don’t believe that life begins at conception, or for people who don’t know when life begins, or even for people who believe that life begins at conception but that abortion isn’t wrong.

What I find so striking about the religious right’s arguments against abortion is that it also seems to hinge on another fundamental: that life is sacred. I find this to be fairly ironic seeing as we live in a society that doesn’t reflect the idea that life is sacred – just look at the border, at Black Lives Matter, at Flint, Michigan. The list goes on and on. It’s difficult to hear religious conservatives claim that life is sacred, but perhaps we should all ask ourselves: what has the religious right done to prove to me that my life is sacred? As someone who grew up in that culture, let me tell you: they did nothing. Even if we take the idea that ‘life is sacred’ to it’s most extreme and claim that murder is immoral and illegal – well, I have news for you. Murder is legal in this country. It’s just not legal for you. It’s legal for police, military, and anyone rich enough to get away with it. In fact, murder is a fundamental aspect of our humanity – survival of the fittest, baby.

Anyways, back to abortion. One of the clauses on all these new abortion bills states that abortion is still acceptable if it threatens the health of the mother. This has made me ponder: what is health? Does health exist merely in the physical realm? What about financial health? Mental health? Professional health? Social health? The health of relationships? Can we argue that a baby threatens those things as well? I had an abortion, and my professional and financial health were a huge part of the decision. My housing situation was unstable, and I knew that having a child could put me at the risk of homelessness or joblessness because, oof, the Bay Area is a hard place to survive. With that in mind, I know that my situation pales in comparison to the situations of many other women, many of whom can’t afford to take sick days when the morning sickness acts up because they live in states that don’t mandate sick pay, or they can’t afford to take maternity leave because they don’t have access to workers’ rights or lawyers who will help them get their jobs back after maternity leave. Missing work means being late on rent, skipping meals, or making other sacrifices that threaten the mother’s health. Isn’t that a valid argument?

And what about social and relationship health. What if a woman has gotten pregnant by a partner who beats her and having his baby means that she can’t leave the relationship. What about the ensuing mental health – what if staying in that relationship and having that baby makes her want to kill herself. There are so many things that are far less than rape and incest that threaten a woman’s health, and so many of those problems can be compounded by an unwanted pregnancy. Having had an abortion, let me tell you: this wasn’t an easy decision. But it was a decision I made for myself. Nobody wants to be in a situation where this kind of tough decision needs to be made, but if someone is there, give them the freedom of choice.

Which makes me realize: this more about “my body, my choice.” This is about more than the physical ramifications of pregnancy. This is about my life. This is “my life, my choice.” Although, often times the decision to have an abortion is made by both parents. Sometimes it’s “our life, our choice.” Because, yup, cis men have abortions, too. Which is crazy because you’d think that the men would start acting like they have a vested interest in this situation. But instead abortion is treated as a woman’s issue even though it is not a decision that a woman makes in a vacuum. However, it is a decision in women hold most of the power so perhaps it’s not surprising that men don’t want to enter a conversation where their voice is ancillary to a woman’s, even though a woman’s power to make that decision also comes at the cost of bearing the entire physical burden of abortion. Crazy how easy it is for men to be apathetic about decisions they make when they shoulder none of the physical consequences and just as many benefits.

At the end of the day, this debate is about freedom. It’s about freedom to have options, to make decisions for yourself, however you see fit, and for whatever reason. You are free to decide if life begins at conception. You are free to decide if abortion is either moral or immoral for you personally. You are free to decide that your financial, professional, or mental health are at risk. No one on either side is making light of abortion – I found it to be a physically unpleasant and emotionally trying event in my life, but, ultimately, it was the right decision for me. It’s the right decision for a lot of people. We shouldn’t allow certain people to legislate their religious views. It’s just…ridiculous.

Another Evening Alone With Just Me & My Anxiety

Reclining in the darkness, trying to will myself to sleep while the blood in my legs dances a jig of nervousness around what may come tomorrow. I toss and turn, falling deep into a part of my mind where I don’t want to be while my eyes are closed. Every idea of who I am or who I should be comes creeping up the back of my skull, whispering sour nothings about all the what ifs and could have beens and I should be doing better. I clutch onto the pillow and try to run away to somewhere else in my mind, but the anxiety is chasing me as drowsy I dizzy myself into a statelessness of sleep.

Twat Tease

It happened again! It has happened before, so I guess I’m not really surprised. You know what I’m talking about, ladies. Haven’t you ever hit it off with some dude, he’s rubbing all up on you, talking bout how he’s so into you, so you decide you’re ready to seal the deal, and then when you’re about to pull the trigger: he changes his fucking mind.

It’s always such a weird scenario to me: being sexually approached by a man who has no real desire to sleep with me. It’s confusing as shit! I don’t really understand why a man would act like he wants to hook up and then when I say, “Okay” he runs away. Sure, I get it, maybe the idea of sleeping with someone else is what it’s all about. Maybe it’s not really about the sex itself. Maybe it’s about validating one’s own sexuality, proving to yourself that you can still pull game. But, me? It just makes me feel like a creep. Did I misread the situation? Did you not tell me I was beautiful? Weren’t we just making out? Didn’t you say you wanted to come back here? Why have I been lead to believe we’re going to fuck (or at least a little bit of oral maybe) and then…nothing. Why are you still here?

I believe in consent, so, sure, it’s fine if you don’t want to do anything. But, bro, what is going on with you? Why are we in this situation? Why did you step to me with this weird non-fuckery? It’s always awkward to be vaunted into a situation where things get weird, and then I know that this has nothing to do with me, or if it does, I don’t really care, because he’s allowed to change his mind for whatever reason, and maybe he realized he’s not that into me, or I did something unattractive, or he’s still in love with his girlfriend, or he’s cock shy, or something, but…I live in the world of adults. It would be one thing if we had a conversation about why he changed his mind and how to move forward, but in these types of situations it becomes painfully obvious at the very last minute that he had no intention of actually getting down, he just wanted an experience with me that I never would have been interested in giving. And then when I leave, he gets all sad and puppy eyed, like I’ve rejected him. What kind of weird ass mind games are these boys playing? It’s passed the point where I’m even down to fuck, now I just feel like I’ve been disrespectfully roped into some weird mind game that I have zero interest in. You wasted my fucking time. And you knew from the very beginning that you were only interested in wasting my time. Not cool!

r u experienced

In this week’s edition of “Trends in Codependency,” I’ve noticed a rather interesting phenomena among several of my friends. Mind you, all my friends are like me: sexually affluent party girls with pretty faces and no desire to work whatsoever. Sure, we’re aging out of the “fucking in the bathroom” phase and gracefully gliding into our “respectable boyfriends that we fuck in a really disrespectful manner.” (And by “we,” I mean my other friends. Not me. I don’t do that. I still date/fuck scum bags exclusively. But not in bathrooms anymore.)

But over the past week, I’ve realized that the “respectable boyfriends” that my friends were so eager to lock down are not nearly as respectable or honorable as we all thought they were in the first place. I guess there’s something to be said for “opposites attract.” My friends tend to check the “manic pixie dream girl” box pretty aggressively, and all sorts of day ones and rubes and losers are attracted to that. Over time, we’ve learned how to weed out the broke ones, but as I’m observing my friends’ relationships, I’ve come to learn: there are still men out there who have little to no sexual experience whatsoever. Or, only compared to some.

What I’m saying is: my very sexually experienced friends have found themselves in situations where there older, well off boyfriends start to resent the fact that they are sexually less experienced. Oof, it is hard to watch. I guess this is why I’ve never personally liked dating men like that: I don’t need some microaggression, back door (but not in an anal sex way) slut shaming. I hate the idea that a man who made all the “right decisions” in his life would look at me and my free wheeling sexual ways and resent me when in all honesty the idea of a well paying job and financial stability and overall life security seem so fucking amazing. Because what’s the trade off here? What is he really saying by being jealous of my sexual experience at the cost of professional success?

It’s fucking rude. Also, I hate the way men like that act with their money. Always so grubby. Acting like they can’t afford to pay a phone bill or pick up the check at dinner two or three times a week. Bitch, please. These are the same men who act like they’re too high and mighty to pay a sex worker for her services because he should be able to “get it for free” but then he complains about being sexually inexperienced. Well, hello, you didn’t invest anything into your sexual experiences. You’re just out here, dating my friends, and being as basic as you can possibly be. Stop it.

It’s exhausting to hear my friends talk about their boyfriends like this. Their boyfriends expect them to be their sexual chauffeur through the world of sluttery, and it’s just like, yo, we all did that years ago and it’s not very interesting or very fulfilling, and it’s not our fault that it didn’t occur to you to fuck people when you were younger, and we’re mature enough to want love and lasting relationships now, so enough with the insecurities and can I please get some god damn respect, please? I’ve dated enough men like that to fully resent it by now, which is probably why I find myself rubbing elbows and/or genitals with the more sexually affluent men among us because I enjoy fucking like adults as opposed to hand holding some older, richer man through his first time at a sex life. It’s just awkward.

I’ve come to realize that men who are not sexually experienced are fundamentally different from me. They think differently, they approach life differently, their values are different. We’ll just never get along because when I was a teenager I decided to do whatever the fuck I wanted and live life however I wanted, and they did…I guess they did what their parents/society told them to do, and I just can’t relate. I’ve never been very invested in being a cog in the capitalist system, but I’m here, so I gotta make do. Men like that? Eiw, they’re so indebted to capitalism, it’s gross. It’s a boner killer.

I just wanna get dirt nasty with some dude who knows how to slang dick and won’t be weird to me about it after. It’d be nice if he bought me things, but, eh, I’ve reached the point in my life where I buy myself nice things. I want to share an experience with my partner. I don’t want to be the experience that my partner is having.

Anyways, isn’t feminism great? We don’t have to rely on the social structure that dictates that men make all the money. Women can make money, too, and we can put our career first, or not, or fuck a lot, or not, and men who are crushed under the false morality of conforming to society or doing what they want can just…leave me the fuck alone, please.

Indifference

Am I supposed to be into this man? I’m supposed to be into this man. As he plies me with conversation and alcohol, and here I am, indifferent about this man. I could fuck him. I could not fuck him. I could suck his dick. I could not suck his dick. I guess what I’m mostly curious about is: can I put up with him for another 4-6 hours? Oh, the answer is no? Ugh. Why don’t I drink so much anymore. I could probably have drank my way through this when I was 25. I could have fucked him when I was 25. Regardless of what his dick is like. But I know what his dick is like. I felt it through his pants. It’s not three drinks worth of fucking. His dick is…seven drinks worth of fucking. For what? So I can wake up feeling alienated in my own room? Or I can just suffer us both through a few minutes of rejection and wake up tomorrow feeling fine about everything. Ah, yes, dating. Nobody’s favorite sport, unless you’re me, five years ago, feeling glib about the world. Which isn’t to say that I’m jaded today, but, eh, I could fuck this dude tonight and feel nothing, or I could not fuck this dude and still feel nothing, so…what’s the point? Hello, sexual nihilism.

My Heart Is An Empty Room

I was never really into abstract modern art. There was always something about it that I found to be presumptuous, snide. Like it was laughing at me for not understanding that there was nothing to be understood.

I couldn’t imagine hanging something like that on my wall and looking at it every day. I much prefer mirrors. The idea of looking at something that elicits mild disgust and no sense of aesthetic satisfaction all the time sounds dreadfully tedious. Although, I wonder if after a while I would “get it.” And by “it” I mean that subtle stir in my soul that is supposed to happen when you look at art. I’m slightly frightened by the idea of slowly growing familiar with something that I don’t particularly like. I’m afraid that from familiarity would grow fondness. And with fondness, I would see deeper into the painting, beyond the surface where the color lies, and behind all of that, where I start to feel something.

It’s the same with people sometimes. I’m terrified of what lies behind all these passing faces. Not because I’m terrified of people, but when beauty becomes routine – then what happens? When the rouse of beauty slips away, what is left to hold onto? How do you foster fondness for someone you were once in love with – without feeling wronged that the love has started to slip away? How do you see beyond the pretty face – and what if nothing’s there. What if a person without beauty just becomes anger? Bitter days? A reduction to the same seven stories, told over and over again? What if boredom settles in?

Or the nightmare of bliss.