Tuesday, April 13, 2010


(Maggie and Gail, circa 1981. back stoop of Brosnan Street flat, San Francisco, CA; photo used as my Facebook avatar during early 2010)

So, like, I dreamed about yet ANOTHER ex last night. One about whom I swear to g*d I have not thought in weeks if not months. She had gained a foot in height and was wearing hair glop (neither of which added to her attractiveness) but it was her, passive-aggressive highly-educated bully.

Am I going to survey each of my past relationships during my resting hours, is that what's in store for me? WHY? I have squeezed out every last drop of lesson-juice, and I am definitelu not preparing to "date" again, however you might conceive of it. My major endeavors and challenges are in arenas several city blocks away.

There was a time, around the point where I turned 40, when I worked extremely hard to be in touch with/on good terms with most of my exes. It was a matter of pride to me, some sort of proof that I had not exercised the kind of shitty judgment I in fact had persistently displayed when it came to romance and sex. It's enough for me now that I can be deeply proud of my friendships, my connection to children, my honesty with/about my family, and my writer's voice. I can and do accept that in other areas I reached adulthood profoundly damaged and proceeded to act out that damage with some predictably flawed individuals -- some of whom now it's not worth the kbs to even store a phone number in Outlook. You dig?

The wonderful woman who is kissing me in my profile photo here, Gail G. formerly of Burlington -- that kiss is as much as we ever did. She was one of six women I dated weekly for a while during 1981 or maybe early 1982. I can't remember all the names of the other six, and the only reason I'm sure there WERE six is because it was a joke among my friends that on the seventh night each week (Sundays) I did laundry and called my mama. But Gail wisely hopped into bed with Leah instead, and we remained with an affectionate, easy memory of one another.

My generation of girls was raised to use sex as a means of acquiring love. (I see girls still being raised that way, with an added lie that the sex itself is also a commodity worth selling oneself to have,) The fact that as we came out, we used our conditioned patterns on each other instead of boys and men is irrelevant in the long run. One of the biggest lies about the Second Wave is that we were, in any real fashion, anti-sex. We were fucking OBSESSED with it, and the prospect of sex and romance governed much of our political action. (We're not different from most generations in that regard.)

What WAS different is that we suspected the definitions of sex we had been given were deeply flawed, and we wanted to uncover a human sexuality not crammed into male/female boxes, with male in charge.

But that proved to be a task which, for some, meant they could not imagine a sexuality at all. Rather than face this prospect, they screamed at the rest of us that we were trying to rob them of them erotic rights and got off that train, post-haste.

Hey, you get to choose your battles. But don't tell me I'm anti-sex because I was willing to consider the possibility that EVERYTHING I had been told about human sexuality was a lie, all the way down, and the only way to find bare bones was to include the possibility that none of it mattered. Burn it to scorched earth and start over.

For me, it worked. I found what Skeners would call balance. But I discovered the depth of my own scar tissue, which I suppose is still being revealed to me in my dreams. Scar tissue, in real life, is collagen which is continually replaced by our bodies, a knitting together of old wounds which is never permanent. It takes ascorbic acid -- vitamin C -- to manufacture collagen, and human bodies must obtain it from pure sources in our diet, we cannot manufacture it for ourselves as some mammals can. That is why in advanced stages of scurvy, there is not enough vitamin C available to replace collagen and every wound we ever had will reopen, bleeding as if brand new.

Scars are more than roadmaps. They are active replenishments of self-love. Trace them with gratitude.