Sunday, July 16, 2017

dear pam

Ohhh pamela mammala,
Fabulous vocabulary? It didn't feel so great when i looked at that "pseudo-lover" phrase for many minutes, trying and failing to get the wording right. I was going for playful and disarming. "Alternate universe pseudo-lover"? Still not right.
I'm actually not good at confrontation, either. I used to be, but when i set about trying to take down my walls a few years back, so i could feel emotions (good or bad) more directly, i succeeded too well. Negativity goes through me now like stones through wet tissue. It can leave me feeling sickened.
What a beautiful photo of your son.
I love that you sent a photo of yourself when you did. Not that i needed to see one to know how to respond, but there was an imbalance because you'd "seen" me. I was impressed with how quickly you righted that, consciously or not. In previous on-line correspondences, i've found that women (people?) can be content to ignore that imbalance entirely, if it's in their favor.
I came to CA without a home because i hadn't found one yet, but my brother had bought me a roger waters Sacramento concert ticket. I came, i'm here, i'm glad. I've got about $8000, and i may need to make that last for a year, as it may take me that long to make any money from my writing. I'm still not entirely comfortable with even trying to do so. The intersection of art and commerce is a perilous one...deadlines, editors and publications trying to "water you down", and then if you DO achieve success, how do you resist the temptation to "give them what they want"? I've been writing for ten years, and have been taking my baby steps in public speaking the past four (the amazing thing about that is not that i've been successful, but that i've been able to please a cranky, conservative crowd just as much as the young and idealistic). Up til' now, i posted all my stuff on a free website, which is how all art should come. It's a little troubling that i've started holding back my really good (publishable?) pieces. But i've made my peace with that. I don't mind living as a relative pauper, i actually prefer it in a world of horrible poverty...but this world will chew anyone up in a heartbeat. Money's security is an illusion, but a powerful one. Also, just as most men don't "see" ugly women, most women don't "see" a poor man. I was in the southern bible belt the past four years, and not coincidentally, that's how long it's been since i've had any real physical intimacy (except for just now, when i was love-assaulted by a cat...i've never been around a cat so aggressively intimate that i feel almost CPRd with fish breath).
I wrote an article recently about being attractive/unattractive...yes, there can be character benefits. But in this looks-obsessed world, it's also an invitation to schizophrenia. Sometimes i'd rather just be "ugly" or "attractive" all the time. You?
The tragedy of the Bay, eh? I did kind of wonder whether i was coming to SF twenty years too late. But it's hard to imagine that Santa Cruz or Austin have the same literary infrastructure. As reticent as i am about art&commerce, i'm ready for as large a stage as my words will take me.
And to think, you still have no idea whether i have talent!
You aspire to way-out levels of realness? Amazing. So rare. And even maybe a little self-destructive, in this world. I'll back you up in any way, and try to offer you just the same. As in, i loved your first photo (and i'm sorry it got swallowed by our thread), but the second one threw me because of the makeup! Yet it almost seemed like you anticipated that response! Oh lawsy, i've railed against makeup in my writing...trying to do so in a light-hearted and fun way, but not always succeeding.
I'm on Facebook...but i ignore it strenuously. I guess i only keep it so that long-lost acquaintances might find me.
And more realness...even though the possibility of a romantic connection between us is fanciful, non-essential, incidental, there's a part of me that's so damaged by how dysfunctional romance is in this society, somewhere inside i cringe at the mere thought. The possessiveness, the jealousy, the beautiful feelings turned to betrayal and disappointment and recrimination...all these thoughts in me have started a new romance poem, with the central metaphor being a blinding searchlight shined on every new love interest, like the bat-signal but with THE ONE??? written across the beam instead of a bat. How we turn such a beautiful, natural thing as romantic attraction into a horror show is quite stunning.
I'm not saying i can never imagine being in a romance again...but that would be a very sane response. For anyone.
Yes, i think humor is underrated too. I mean okay, partly it's just a coping device and not particularly noble in that regard...but i still think that humor is one of the primary indicators of intelligence. Even as a child i was partial to practical jokes and gallows humor. If someone hasn't figured out that we need to laugh to keep our sanity, especially in this world, they're missing something. Some of my more snooty friends have even looked down on my comedy tastes, like the AIRPLANE!/NAKED GUN movies.
So what makes you laugh?
I think romance was ruined even before the internet. I think 70s feminism killed a good way. When women demand equality, ALL THE OLD RULES have to be thrown out. You can't just tweak the system, it's too broken. So it might take another generation or two before romance even starts to become healthy again.
What some people miss about me, is that i'm generally quite the optimist. Even unjustifiably so. I need to believe that we can get past this post-agricultural, post-industrial nightmare.
I also read a lot about the science of human sexuality, and i like the things you say. You seem pretty knowing.
But what do i know?
happy hugs,

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