"In the days of Kings and Queens I was a jester/Treat me like a god, or they treat me like a leper/You see me move back and forth between both/I'm trying to find a balance/I'm trying to build a balance."--Atmosphere, "Trying to Find a Balance"
I love that song so much. It feels like my theme right about now.
A flu makes me sensitive and touchy all over. Sleeping away from my wife in order to keep from making her sick makes me feel lonely, even if I did wake up to her dark, concerned eyes watching me sleep. Plus I was so sick this afternoon, my BossLady begged me not to come in tomorrow. So take this for what it's worth.
I want to talk about something that I get complements on. Something I don't intend to change. Something I even actually like about myself. But something that also gets me disliked, and made fun of, and makes me feel freaky-weird on occasion. The thing is, most of the time I don't feel weird at all. I mean, I'm a secretary, I cut out coupons, I like to find recipes that are the holy trinity of tasty, healthy, and inexpensive, I'm a bit of a homebody but like to have some fun. I swim and belly-dance at the gym, I look for deals on cute clothes, I don't think NASCAR can come back soon enough, I'm trying to get interested in hockey for my mate. But then I'm forced to take a step back and appraise myself. I have to say, "Yeah, that is a little weird. Yeah, not everybody does that..."
Not every woman has a wife who is addicted to chess and sudoku. Not every woman shaves her wife's head and has her wife braid or pin up her hair in the morning. Not every woman has friendly debates over politics and religion with her wife.
People like NASCAR and country music, underground hip-hop and newspaper comic strips, alternative rock and Southern literature. Not everyone likes all those things at once. It doesn't occur to everybody that if hip-hop's boring, one can try rock, or if both are boring, listen to country. Not everyone has a conflict when My Name is Earl and an Animal Planet special are both on. Not everyone defends the South to New Yorkers and New York City to Southerners. Not everyone defends gay rights to hip-hoppers and hip-hop to gay people. Not everyone prays to Legba, the Vodoun God of roads and machinery, before a stock car race. Not everyone reads Reason and Mother Jones, and feels that the truth can be seen by reading a variety of newspapers. Not everyone considers orange Sunkist something good to drink for a Winter Solstice celebration. Not everyone thinks they're all lying, crooked control freaks in some shape, form or fashion and enjoys the political process anyway.
And someone who reads this won't understand something in that paragraph, or even know what the hell I'm talking about. I'm trying anyway.
I grew up between social classes. I have lived in a camper and not been able to tell anyone at school where I lived for fear of not being allowed to go to school. I have gone to "the rich" school. I have been too rich and smart for poor neighborhoods, and too poor and socially clueless for rich ones. My parents never had what I consider that "permanently poor attitude." Even when we had no money, library books were free, and I picked up Daddy's habits of preferring non-fictional TV shows to sitcoms where the actors did things that embarrassed themselves and reading five words out of the dictionary every night. I learned how to type by "playing office" with my aunt at her garage-office accounting firm, and a lot of other good skills as well. I was expected to have dreams and ambition. I am so grateful--NOW--that my mom struggled to live in the "good" school districts and my parents made sure I loved books, but it sure didn't seem like a favor back then.
I feel that sexuality can be influenced by environment. I mean, if my Daddy didn't have dark hair and race cars, would I have been interested in Tony Stewart as an adult woman? Probably not. I think my bisexuality and my openness to finding the beauty in a variety of human shapes comes in part from my being between worlds all my life, too.
Yet today, I find out that there is going to be a sequel to that horrible Basic Instinct movie, the one whose bisexual female lead was a clever psychotic murderer. As if Olivia D'Abo's character in Law and Order: Criminal Intent isn't bad enough. And in Newsweek, there is a condescending article about bisexuality and asexuality, with a poll about whether we exist. As if we are ghosts, and our existence is a mere intellectual exercise that affects nobody in the real world. It's upsetting, y'know? (Do you?)
Not just because I'm bi, but for so many reasons, I have been feeling like I don't fit in anywhere, lately. Too New York for the South, too Southern for New York. Too eccentric for the conventional, too conventional to be eccentric. Too conservative for the liberals, too liberal for the conservatives. Too something for somebody no matter where the hell I go. Like I am so open to everything that I can't really have anything completely for myself except my wife, if that makes sense.
This afternoon, I got a real complement. Comparing me to one of my heroines is always a good thing to do. A NYC friend told me, "I know why you like that woman." She was speaking of Sinead O'Connor. Well, I couldn't wait to hear the theory, as y'all could imagine. She went on, "Because she just does whatever she wants, and even if she gets picked on she's still completely herself, and if she doesn't fit where she wants to go, she'll *make* herself fit. Just like you."
So wonderful. Such a blessing. So terrific that I even have friends to tell me things like this.
Yet in the back of my mind, I'm like, you see how Sinead gets treated. You see how well her records do, even though she's natural-born talented and works her guts out. And the things that *I* can do, well, you can throw a rock in this city and hit someone else who can probably do it better, and look better or have better connections, too.
Bitch bitch whine whine rant rant. I'm so sorry to subject y'all to this, but there it is. The days grow longer and all that. I may even see the sun for myself very soon. But I have to deal with the clouds and rain first.