Toxic Is As Toxic Does

I guess this is a confession. You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Two years ago, I was in a really feeble and unsubstantial relationship with my fake boyfriend, and I was side piecing with a dude who was ten years younger than me. It was fun (although, it was also the most stressful affair I have ever had for other reasons that will go unspecified), but I always knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that if the tables were turned and I found out my fake boyfriend were fucking a 22 year old, I would be fucking livid. I didn’t let this stop me from doing whatever the fuck I wanted, and now here we are, two years later, and I’m going to marry my [now] 23 year old. Life’s just crazy. It also occurred to me that I haven’t had a boyfriend in eleven years, but now here I am! A feyonce! I mean, just because I haven’t had a boyfriend in eleven years doesn’t mean I was getting it. I was definitely getting it. Nor does it mean that I wasn’t in relationships – I was definitely in some long, drawn out, complicated relationships with a couple of men whom I adoringly refer to as the ‘loves of my life.’ I just never called them my boyfriends. Fuck, my feyonce was never my boyfriend. I have sneaking suspicion that this is problematic. If a man were to just dick around in his relationships for a decade, never taking anyone seriously, running around town, and then suddenly married a woman ten years younger than him? Oh, hell no. I would not stand for that. But if I do it? That’s progress, baby! I think eventually someone will get mad at this double standard, and then I will feel like shit, but until then – fuck it. I already know I’m immature and emotionally vacuous, so that type of accusation can’t really hurt me.

This man eater is coming off the market, fellas! *wink wink* My 18 year old niece did note that her new uncle will be closer to her in age than to me. In fact, he’s younger than my oldest nephew. Maybe that’s weird? Whatever. I’m weird. I guess that’s just how I roll.

Americana

I hate it here, but I wouldn’t leave for all the money in the world. Probably because all the money in the world is here, and that’s part of why I hate it here. But regardless of the money – I’m not leaving. I can’t. Mostly because I’m afraid to find out who I would be if I took myself out of the context of this country. This state. This city. I don’t know who I’d be if I didn’t hate America. And by ‘hating America’ I mean in that special way that only Americans can be self loathing. This isn’t the poor outsiders, looking in, envious of what I have. This is me, looking at myself, enjoying everything that there is to enjoy about being an American, and being vitriolic nonetheless. Apparently no amount of privilege can cure the rancor in my heart. I hate this place because I don’t know how to love this place. There are too many logical fallacies contained within the idea of America. To love America is to pledge oneself blindly to its lies. To hate it is to see the flaws and fume. So I hate it here. But I’m not leaving. Not because I’m dead set on making it a better place – I’m not. I’m just taking up space here because, my god, it is convenient. Taking up space anywhere else just seems so inconvenient. These other countries with their other rules and their other laws. What if I move to a country where there’s something that I dislike – and, then, I won’t be home, so of course I will be miserable. I’m in love with the devil I know – I am comfortable with this apathetic discontent. I am at home with the hate in my heart. It is an elemental part of who I am. If I left, I would crumble. My ego would fold in on itself. Without the hate upon which so much of my personality and morality are built – I would vanish, in a puff. I am good at hating America. I excel at the hypocrisy of sneering at the systems that give me privilege. It is what I do best. And there’s nothing more American than that, is there? I, American. Center of the universe. I, the quintessential American. There is no one more American than me, because there is nothing more American than the solipsistic world view that all of this is me. Mine. Not yours. Mine. Hands off. Don’t touch this rotting corpse of a country – it is mine to devour. I am the most beautiful thing here. The star student. The favorite child. I am the scion of America, which I hate. This is all for me, me, me. Which is what every other American thinks – we are a nation of planets around which the rest of this galaxy rotates. We are a conundrum, a physically impossible idea, an absurdity. Maybe that’s what I hate about it. I hate thinking that all of this is for me, yet knowing that, perhaps, it might not be. I hate that I am both special and forgettable because I am an American. I hate that I live one of the best lives in the world, yet it is still not enough. I hate it here, but I refuse to leave.

The Feminine Palate

“Why would I buy a woman flowers? A gift certificate to Best Buy is way better!”

I can’t help but scoff at my friend. He has no idea what he’s talking about. That there is something ephemeral and enchanting about flowers, something so impractical yet fundamentally romantic about flowers. Men often say things like this – like there is something unnoble about flowers, something disdainful and foolish about them. I feel sorry for them. That they cannot stop and smell the roses. Or see the beauty in small things and waning moments.

I like to buy flowers for my lovers. Just to be absurd. No one ever buys flowers for men, and perhaps that’s why they don’t understand them. But there is something practical about them, too. They are so beautiful. They brighten the room with color and fragrance. You can buy a bouquet for $15 – the same price as a mediocre bottle of wine, but flowers’ effect lasts longer, too.

Fruity. Floral. Sugary. Sweet. Pink, girly drinks. Ah, yes, the much maligned feminine palate. Often reduced to something oafish, unrefined, and ignorant. But this is a misconception. Women have more taste receptors on their tongues than men – their depth of taste is superior to men’s. Which means that the feminine palate is in fact a greater realm of the senses. The delicacy of flavor is wasted on men. Perhaps that’s why men don’t understand flowers – a whiff of oleander and jasmine on the undercurrent of a wine is lost. Instead, the masculine palate prides itself on flavors that hit you over the head – chipotle, black pepper, heat, smoke, peat, brine, saline, burnt oak, flesh.

But flavor, much like pleasure, knows no gender.

My favorite food is steak. Big, juicy, salty, peppery, fatty steak. Ribeye cut. Medium rare. Butter basted. Served with a side of cream spinach and fat glass of excellent red wine, ideally a cab but I’m open to something better if you got it. Light the candles. Get out the good silverware. Put on some music. Feed me steak. Give me luxury. If you love me, feed me steak, and I will love you back.

I was on a dating app recently, and when I told my match that steak was my favorite food, he replied with disdain, as if to say, ‘Of course, everyone’s favorite food is steak.’ Like I had picked the obvious answer. Like I was unoriginal. I forget what he said his favorite food was – people usually say tacos or sushi, which feels so safe. What’s the point of choosing comfort food as your favorite food. Why not pick something risky, something indulgent, something expensive and sexy. How can ‘tacos’ be someone’s favorite food? I can’t stand tacos – there is no fantasy in them. They have evolved into a catch all food, straying further and further from their point of origin, losing their cultural identity, becoming more like white bread and bologna every day. Time passes, and tacos become worse and worse. Made with bags full of industrially made flour tortillas. Topped with mild salsa scooped from a bucket that contains too many chemicals. Filled with all sorts of random ingredients – bland, boiled chicken. Ground beef. Dry carnitas. Dump some guacamole on them, and serve three for $17. What an embarrassment. Same with sushi. Saying ‘sushi’ is your favorite food is like saying ‘sandwiches’ are your favorite food. What does that mean? Cream cheese and rice dipped in low sodium soy sauce does it for you? Bleh. No thank you. Sake nigiri, however – well, that’s wonderful.

In Love With Lust

I am my truest self when I am fucking and cumming. The person I am the rest of the time isn’t real to me – she’s a prop, a tool that I use to get from fuck to fuck. If I could do one thing for the rest of my life, I would fuck. I would fuck someone I love. I would crawl inside and feel what it’s like to be a part of another person’s flesh. I feel safe when I’m fucking. Like nothing bad can happen to me because this is the worst thing that could ever happen to me, even though it is the only place where I want to be. I don’t want to be the person that I am the rest of the time – she’s a concession, an admission of defeat. She’s separated from the one true thing that makes me, me. She’s the shell that I wear when I need to walk around and do all the other things to keep my life in order so that I can spend the rest of my life fucking. Fucking away. Fucking off. Just – bring me back to the person I am when I’m fucking you, and I will love you forever. And ever. No matter what.

End of the White Line

My brother’s standing in the hallway, holding a few framed vintage photos. The photos look like them from the early 20th century – in one, a stoic, stone faced family stares bleakly into the camera. In another, a baby in a christening outfit.

“Do you want this?” my brother asks.

“Who is it?” I respond.

“I don’t know. Maybe our grandfather? Or our grandfather’s father?”

“Nah, I’m good,” I say. For all the times I’ve wandered through thrift stores, ogling the vintage photographs and the portraits, the opportunity to own framed photos of my own family doesn’t intrigue me. Probably because it’s the white side of my family. I don’t know who any of those people are, or what they did, and, frankly, I don’t really care.

I’m at my brother’s house because he has a few final details to hammer out when it comes to my paternal grandmother’s will. So we are gathered there so he can dole out various knick knacks that may or may not have sentimental or financial value. The last thing that he has is a ring – a diamond ring. With a ruby in it. It was my grandmother’s wedding ring, and of course I want it, but I do the honorable thing and defer to my mother. My mother takes the ring, puts it on.

“If your father saw this, he would kill me,” she says. We all laugh. My mother waves her hand around, watching the diamonds glisten.

“But you deserve it. After everything you went through,” I say. It’s true – my grandmother, a waspy, wispy woman whose blood line was 100% Dutch, was never kind to my mother. Mostly because my mother is Mexican and Filipino. My mother nods her head in acknowledgement of my statement.

“That ring is worth thousands of dollars,” my brother tells her.

I look at my siblings, who are gathered there, masks on, socially distanced, and I can’t help but smile. For all the horrible things my grandmother did to her daughter in law, isn’t this the best revenge. We are all mixed race, and my siblings’ children are even more mixed and less white than we are. When my grandmother died, she was the last remaining white person in my family. And now, here we are. The white people may be gone from this family forever, but their money remains.

Saturday January 2nd 1965

My mother recently gave me the love letters that she and my father wrote to each other during their brief 3 month courtship before their marriage. They were both young and attending UC Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement. This is the first one.

Saturday January 2nd 1965 to Dale

Hi –

              I really shouldn’t write so soon – but I hope you don’t mind. Did you get off alright – no consternation of any sort – I hope your parents don’t dislike me very much for keeping you so long – of course it wasn’t all my fault –

              Guess what?! Cause for great excitement – I finally got the kitchen window down! Chills & thrills. My flowers are so pretty – but the bottom petals are turning brown – but I pulled those off & now they look almost new – I also took my black coat to the cleaners & the lady said she’d sew the buttons back on & I cleaned the front closet and now I’m sitting writing to you! I taped the map you gave me to the wall near my bed – oh joy!

              About the FSM [Free Speech Movement] trials – are you going to be tried or merely sentenced? When will you know?

              I really don’t have that much to say – but I thought I’d write you anyways.

              I was looking for your address & I found it isn’t yours I have, but Lana’s – so I called Berkeley information & now I not only have your address – but your phone number too – isn’t that just great?!

              I tried calling my brother today and ask if I could stay with him for the weekend of the 15th – but his number has been – record stopped – disconnected – so I shall therefore have to write him a letter. I don’t know your number so if you would be so kind as to enclose (?) it in a letter (hint) it will be greatly appreciated.

              Thanking you in advance –

                             Always,

                                           Nena

P.S. please write when you have time

P.P.S. I sort of miss you

P.P.S.S. I do miss you

Is this stationery too much?

Oh – are the demonstrations going strong again? – what’s the main objective?

I think my pen needs a refill

Terror

I am afraid of the person I used to be. Because what if that’s who I truly am, and the person I am today is just a passing phase, a blip on the radar. What if I really am as broken and grotesque as that girl who used to go out partying five nights a week, fucking whoever, broke and alone? And my current reality is teetering on the edge of stability and sanity, and if the winds of self indulgence blow in the wrong direction I’ll be back over the cliff again. Falling into my old ways. Being bad. Chasing anything that can make me feel like the whole in my heart has been plugged up for at least five minutes. What if I haven’t grown. What if I didn’t change. What if I’m still merely moments away from blowing all my money on Gucci bags and booze. Or, worse – what if I call him. What if I tell him that I need him. I can’t live without him anymore. What if I go back to the person who hurt me the most, and what if I like it. No – I can’t dare to think thoughts like that anymore. As I survey the life I have built without any of that bullshit, and how beautiful it is to be calm, and mentally stable, and unbothered by the abuse that I threw myself into. Wasted, sitting in the passenger seat of the car parked outside the bar, sobbing, waiting for him to come get me. No, that’s not me. I don’t do that anymore. Not because I can’t but because I’ve changed. I know better now. Right? I deposit money into my savings account every month, I eat my vegetables, I get my exercise, I go to sleep at a reasonable hour, I never get hungover anymore. I certainly don’t engage with men who whisper vile things in my ear while we’re fucking, or take my shit, or tell me I’ll never accomplish my dreams. I don’t do that. I wouldn’t do that again. Or would I?

Worst. Insurrection. Ever.

Ok, I get it, I’m supposed to be mad about all these liberal talking points, but in all honesty I don’t *really* care because I’m an American, and there’s nothing more American than not caring about other people. Really, I’m just mad that these magat Trumpers attempt at a coup was so anticlimactic. They stormed the Capitol Building and then…took selfies?! What the fuck! I thought y’all were just getting started, but, nope, no booms, no bangs, no blow ups. I thought the Q Anons were all about triggering the libs, literally, with their guns, but…sigh. As someone who is a fan of the political spectacle, this wasn’t very spectacular. I was excited about grabbing some popcorn and watching some mutually assured destruction in the form of political theater, but, nope, I did not get to watch the cops versus Trumpers show down that I was so eagerly anticipating. I guess I should say thank you to these wingnuts for finally galvanizing the lazy ass Democrats into doing something decisive – although, I’m not entirely sure this talk of the 25th amendment has legs because the Democrats, in the depths of their hearts, still suck. I should also thank the wingnuts for outing themselves, too – saves the rest of us a lot of work. Hopefully lawmakers seriously investigate the police and their complicity in white supremacy. This is how bad it had to get for the rest of the country to wake up and take this shit seriously. Anyway, that being said, this insurrection was quite laughable, and while I love to laugh, I’m also a fan of the insurrection just as a general concept, so it was disappointing to see it executed so poorly. As an anti-authoritarian anarchist, it was definitely exciting to watch an attempted coup go down, but I must admit that it was a bummer that the fascists were the ones who tried to pull it off. Granted, we did learn a lot. However, today is a new day, so it’s another opportunity to plot moments of subversion and cultural destruction. God, it feels good to be an American.

Is The P-Spot The Devil And Responsible For Everything That Is Wrong With Society?

I woke up with a lot on my mind this morning. Namely, I’ve been thinking about how men ask women, “Does putting a tampon in feel like sex?” Answer: no. But I have a similar question for men: Fellas, have you ever taken a shit that’s bigger than a dick? Fellas, do you get aroused by taking a shit? Did it feel good when you shit it out? Fellas, if you hold your big poops in for too long, does it turn you on? Fellas, are bowel movements gay? Have the men been lying about this the whole time! Does this explain why they’re always thinking about sex – they’re literally having it with their own shit every day? Perhaps there’s a solution to this. Much in the same way that conservative Christians don’t let their daughters wear tampons because they have to save it for their husbands, maybe we should put the men on a permanent laxative regimen. That way they’ll be freed from the daily p-spot stimulation, which is literally the devil./s

A List of Today’s Pet Peeves

Here are a few things that pissed me off today

  • It’s really annoying when people who have no style tell me I look good. First of all, yes, I know I look good because I dressed myself this morning. Second of all, if you can recognize good style on me but can’t execute it yourself, then what are you doing? Stop worrying about what I’m doing and fix your own damn self. Thirdly, it’s just creepy and weird. I refuse to indulge it, mostly because what the fuck do you want from me? You’re clearly not here to have a conversation with my about style, fashion, designers, clothing, etc. Whatever it is you want, I’m not giving it because that’s not how I roll.
  • Black comedy and black humor are not the same thing, and that’s weird.
  • Everyone always hates on that Naomi Campbell quote where she said she doesn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day. Sure, there’s a lot to unpack around how racist the fashion industry was to Naomi Campbell, but also, what the fuck, this is exactly what people say about sports players. Oh, the models are overpaid. Oh, the athletes are overpaid. But no one ever says, oh, the NFL team owners are overpaid or the fashion house owners are overpaid. It’s easy to point at someone like Naomi Campbell, who is very public facing and is a product in her own right, and hate her for making what to us is a lot of money. But relative to the fashion industry as whole, is she overpaid or are the rest of us just settling for peanuts? I’m not a hater. One day I aspire to only get out of bed for $10,000 a day, but I’m no Naomi Campbell so I’m gonna keep my day job.