Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Consumed.

So I decided to leave the house last Friday. But I didn't do anything exciting. I made two separate visits to the public library (I was also at the library today), spent two dollars on a really shitty cup of iced coffee (It's January here and last week it was fucking 80 degrees outside. And! There were bizarro women wearing scarves and coats. WTF?) I then proceeded to a talk held in the Communication building of my alma mater. I recently attended a very interesting talk given by Michele Norris of NPR and because I miss having my brain tickled thought I would give another on campus talk a go. Customarily I would not care to be caught dead on that campus, but more on that another time. The talk was called Challenging Academia's Conventional Wisdom, and the description of the talk was as follows:

"Universities have developed protections for academic freedom, but in practice scholarly disciplines tend to establish a canon and institutionalize a conventional wisdom. What happens when scholars challenge these conventions, in terms of theory, methodology, or practice? What are the consequences of pursuing critical inquiry? What strategies are most effective inpursuing a controversial research agenda in academic life?"

The organizer of the talk was a radical Journalism professor of some local note called Robert Jensen. In addition to Dr. Jensen were a Communication Studies and Sociology professor. I overheard the Sociology professor say that she'd just returned from a trip to San Francisco. Color me jealous. All ascribe to what they termed “activist scholarship”. It was a small gathering. There were around twenty people, all graduate students, and all very full of themselves. I continue to hold fast to the delusion that I may one day return to school for a graduate degree, but it usually only takes a couple of minutes with graduate students for me to rethink that idea. So much blah blah with so little substance to speak of. I'm decidedly turned off by the aloofness which pervades so much of the academy. Who knows? I may eventually overcome this aversion, get my shit together, and become Tiffany, PhD. It could happen. Anyway, at one point in the discussion yours truly decided to ask a question. Mostly because no one else was raising their hand to do so. After I asked my question the moderator of the discussion asked me what “field” I was in. I panicked. I couldn't blurt out, “I'm actually unemployed. I just enjoy attending graduate colloquia in my spare time.” So instead I said, “American Studies.” And they bought it. I should probably feel bad about lying. But I don't. I was just as (if not more) intelligent as the rest of the people in that room. Come on, how often do I pay myself compliments? I posed what I believed to be a very substantive inquiry. I just hope I don't run into of the people from that classroom. Ever. I don't really like fibs.

On the bright side, I was made aware of some other upcoming events to keep me busy. I went to one tonight. Economist James K. Galbraith gave a talk about the financial meltdown, repercussions, and potential policy remedies. Twas quite informative. I may compose a separate blog about the content of discussion. It will probably put you to sleep. I asked a question after Professor Galbraith's presentation. I really can't seem to help myself. I also ran into a woman I had not seen in over eight years. (See what I mean by running into every fucking one?) She was harmless though. In fact, she took my number and said she would keep me in mind in the event she heard of any friends who might be looking for a poor mixed girl to do some of their office type shit. I was grateful. The only awkward moment was when she looked at me and asked, "Are you still writing?" I can only imagine what my face must have looked like. Yes, once upon a time I actually believed I wanted to be a (gasp!) writer. A real writer. I smiled and said, "No. Not really. Not sure I have the discipline for real writing. What made this brief interaction somewhat painful was that this woman was actually the second person in the last month to ask me about my non-existent writing.

Afterward, while waiting for the bus home an attractive pasty gentlemen asked me if I had just attended the aforementioned talk. He said, "I'm sorry, but were you just in the Galbraith talk? You asked a question right?" I conceded that I had. "So, were you satisfied with the answer he gave you?" And from that a conversation ensued. Without realizing it, I became excited. I might actually have a conversation. With a man! A man who was just my type. Nerdy, pasty, and white. I quickly imagined his denuded form emanating the same type of blinding sheen reminiscent of a raw whole chicken in a supermarket freezer. Leave me alone. I like what I like. Plus, he was intelligent. But before any conversations (friendly or otherwise) could continue, the bus came. I held out for the tiny possibility that he might choose to sit next to me and converse more. This did not happen. And why didn't I sit next to him? Why didn't I at least ask his fucking name? Because I'm a jerk ass retard who doesn't know how to do simple things like that.

Tomorrow I am attending a documentary screening and discussion about James Baldwin. He is one of my favorite authors. I wonder if Chicken Boy will be there. I wonder why I wonder.

I am lonely. Without wanting to acknowledge it, I realize that I am very lonely.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Say, you remind me of a man . . . "

I no longer have a job again. It's a long, depressing story. All I will say is that one should more closely examine a budget before assuming you can hire. I would be lying if I didn't say that I am not in low spirits again. But when am I not?

Nothing remarkable to relay. I went to a party last weekend. I had to convince myself to leave the room. I spent more than three hours in bed trying to talk myself out of the whole idea. Why would I want to go to a party and be surrounded by strangers? Worse, I don't know anyone in that part of town and would be forced to crash on the host's couch. Ultimately, I decided to give it a go. I regret that decision.

The party was hosted by J. the femme-bi boy (who I have learned is actually just a horny little bastard) with whom I had the lapse several months ago. It was his birthday party. Silly me for thinking that someone would want to celebrate their birthday with a tame partaking of drinks, food, and perhaps a bit of booty shaking. Um, I learned rather quickly that I had walked into some kind of desperate dork swingerfest. Essentially, the party was populated with a strange array of science, tech, and role play dorks who had discovered their genitalia and somehow now figured themselves "cool" because they were willing to let their best bud screw their wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend. Not my bag baby. J. proceeded to disappear into his room on at least four different occasions with four different people (male and female, some married, single, or attached), came out of his room, sat on his couch and proceeded to make out with whomever had not yet gone into his room and was (un?)fortunate enough to be sitting there. Mama mia! This kind of sexual musical chairs proceeded throughout the night. I also learned that one of the married women there was J.'s second girlfriend, as in she is a girlfriend in addition to one he apparently has at present. He would introduce her to people as "Girlfriend Number Two." Umm, no. I wanted to ask him straight on, "Does she not have a name?" Toward the end of the night J. was asked by one of his drunk, lingering guests if the "blonde girl" was his. Just like that. "So the blonde, is she yours?" What.The.Fuck? I felt so weirded out. Let me explain why.

I'm not against people doing their thing. I'm not out to judge J. for how he chooses to express his sexuality. More power to him. One tiny thing for me was that I wish I had been provided with some forewarning as to the nature of the festivities. Not so I could trim or shave my legs or anything, but so that I could prepare myself for a lot of alone time. At the very least I would have been able to better communicate that Tiffany was not there to play, if you know what I mean. Because I wasn't privy to the nature of the fiesta I did have a couple of people make unwanted advances. As lonely as I am, uh, no. I've made out with men and women, been in love with a woman before (who was foolish enough to love me back), but ultimately I think monogamy is extraordinarily sexy. If people want to group, swing, or do whatever with a willing consenting ADULT, then that's fine. Me personally, I'd rather be alone, or belong to just one someone. And since that's not happening ever, well, I'm afraid I'm not interested in signing up for anything else.

So, the party freaked me the fuck out. I am getting old. I have decided never to leave the house again.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hidey Hole.

I brought in the New Year alone. I sat in the room I sleep in, drunk, watching the Sci Fi Channel's Twilight Zone marathon, CSI episodes, and a DVD of the ballet of Romeo and Juliet. I had, and have, no desire to be around people. Hell, even my mother and baby sister had something to do to bring in the New Year. My mother has met a new friend, if you know what I mean. This makes me so very happy. Mostly because it leaves me hopeful that when I leave again she won't be alone, but will in fact have a special someone to be with. Hell, someone in this family should be happy. For once. I learned of my mother's new friend last weekend. My baby sister didn't take it very well. I found her in my mother's room, sitting in the dark in front of the TV, some obnoxious teenybopper show reflected in her glasses, a single tear falling down her cheek. I sat next to her and asked her why she was upset with the fact that our mother had made a new friend. My sister broke down, leaned her had on my shoulder and said, "It's always just been me and Mom. I want it to be that way." I held her hand in mine and tried my best to explain to her that nothing or no one would ever weaken the bond they had. I wouldn't allow it. Now, this is not easy for me to say. You see, my mother once left me with my grandmother to be with a man. We had lived in a battered women's shelter for over a year and even after all of that, she went back to him. I was twelve. I told her very directly that I would not be accompanying her back to an abusive lover. So, she left me with my grandmother. I never really got over it. Being older and having done dumb things for love, I guess I understand a little more; but truthfully, I still believe she made the wrong decision. I was her child and she left me for a man. A man whose love came in the form of a bleeding head wound and drunken tirades. I still remember being nine years old and having him call me a whore. It was a most frightening experience. His lips were covered in beer-caked spittle, his uneven, yellow teeth were all I could see, and his voice was so loud. My mother left me for this.

I won't let something like that happen to my baby sister. And well, I spoke to my mother and made her promise me that she would use her head. I told her the truth, and the truth is that I am happy she has made a new friend. I don't want her to be like me--alone. Even so, I expressed the need for her to remember that her daughter needs her more than any man. I hope she will listen. Anyway, they spent the New Year with my mother's new friend. He invited them to the movies and then to his place for food. Good. And I stayed alone in the room. All I can say is that my New Year's celebrations have been good indications as to the forthcoming year, and well, 2009 looks to be as shitty (if not more so) than 2008. I'm used to it.

I fell asleep at 4am watching Aston Villa and Arsenal on Fox Soccer Channel. I don't know who won. I didn't wake up until 2pm on New Year's Day. I awoke to the sound of a cousin sitting in the living room with my sister. I stayed in the room. I hid there for over two hours until one of my aunts finally came in to use my sister's computer, discovered me lying on the bed, and forced me to interact with her. I was terrified. Let me explain why.

I rarely, if ever, interact with my extended family. I grew up with them, but truth be told, feel like a stranger amongst them. For one thing, we have nothing in common. Not one thing. My extended family's idea of a good conversation involves gossiping about who's gotten fatter over the last few months, what was the result of last week's America's Next Top Model, and how many times anyone's been to the doctor in the last year. On the few occasions I have been forced to interact with them I do my best to pretend to be interested. It never works. Most of them find me aloof, odd, and unapproachable. I have even heard it said that I believe I am "better than them." On the contrary, I simply find that I am unable to be around them because I can't seem to meet their standards. They see me--college graduate, without a husband, no home, no car--and smirk. They judge me for lacking material goods. They judge me for having cerebral interests and aspirations. They judge me. As a result, I avoid them.

I used to consider myself a people person. But I am realizing that I prefer to be alone, with my thoughts. Being a deficient human is fine so long as I only have myself to deal with.

Resolutions are for suckas.

I don't make New Year's resolutions. Never have, never will. What's the point? If you really want to do something with your life, you'll do it. And well, mostly, everything I've ever wanted to do with my life has been out of reach or not the kind of thing a person like me is meant to be doing. You know, good things, things which will make a life seem worth living? Well, those things are out of my reach. Nevertheless, here is my list of expectations for 2009, along with a list of things best left forgotten in 2008.

Best Left Forgotten in 2008:
-Having to come back to this shithole of a wannabe city in this shit stain of a state.
-Having met, and foolishly fallen for, yet another man whose only concern was treating me as a life support system for a vagina.
-Sleeping on the street.
-Friends. I have made the conscious decision to do all of my friends the favor of receding from their lives. In the end, they'll thank me for it. My skin crawls at the thought of someone having to acknowledge me as a friend. I don't care to put anyone through that type of embarrassment.
-Botched attempt at offing myself. (Note to self, buy more pills, or just get a rope. I can't afford a gun.)
-My father's dying on my birthday and being found behind a dumpster in a shitty Texas town. (Thanks for that, Daddy! It's not enough that our relationship was complicated while you were alive, but your death made it that much more bizarre and hard to deal with.)

Things to Remember about 2008
-That Sunday in Dolores Park with Jenna, Lincoln, and Spencer. I'll take the day with me to my grave. There's no point in describing it. You just had to be there to know how damn good it was.
-Every time I had a chance to watch Jenna dance.
-Making a couple of new e-friends. These are a lot less hard to handle than real friends. E-friends don't have to be seen in public with you. It makes a huge difference.
-Accepting the fact that I just don't like being alive. And that's okay. It really is okay.
-Watching Barack Obama become the 44th president of these United States of America.

Things to Look Forward to in 2009
-Getting the fuck out of Texas. For good. Otherwise, life is just life. No better than yesterday.