Mirrors

I caught myself recently trying to pump up someone (“you’re a powerful badass; your legs look healthy and fantastic”…) who’d expressed offhand insecurity about their 60-year-old, non-youthful legs.

For I’ve not always been blessed with a good relationship with my body so it pains to see someone mid-rant about theirs. Growing up, I had the equivalent of several Lucille Bluths interrupting my healthy self-image. My formative years were peppered with commentary on how thin I wasn’t and my other offensive diversions from perfection then I ended up married to the male version of the Arrested Development matriarch who’d eventually come to evacuate our union for a younger, skinnier gal (who owned 50 pairs of jeans but I digress), and it wasn’t until my 40’s that I finally invoked the rage needed to detoxify from such high-quality critical bullshit. Because if nothing else, these types of people excel at their work. They’re very thorough, like all catastrophes.

And so sporting my well-earned pair of DIY big balls when I heard my friend looking down at her 60 year old legs, my 51 year old self stood there hearing my mom, my grandma, and my ex-husband telling her what an ugly piece of shit she was and I swooped in ready to beat them down with a tire iron like a thug.

But I quickly apologized.

Because part of being an ally to badass women is standing down and not assuming your squad needs further instructions. For sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and we just need to let that grief out when looking down at the same legs we’ve had for an entire life in sudden realization they’re not actually the same fucking legs at all.

The other night out of the jungle of middle-aged breakdowns, the bathroom mirror exposed itself by flashing my shockingly-grey-haired bun to me and from the kerfuffle of feelings wasn’t my mom or my ex-husband: it was me.

Quarantine has not been kind to my hair. It seems as if the melanin got word that none of us can get our hair colored and wanted to send me a big fuck you because I’ve gotten quite a bit more gray the last few weeks. I don’t have saggy legs but I’ve always loved my dark hair and while I normally don’t color my hair, I’ve always enjoyed the prospect that I could.  My appearance is really the only fiction I can write.

And women are trained to feel shame/embarrassment for so many things by society, and I know this. It’s not just our moms and the toxicity of a Culture that acts as if it’s an auctioneer, its that women get it from so many sides we don’t even know how we feel. To be empowered: “love your gray hair and reject the societal pressure” (or “do what you want to feel beautiful!”).  But what if we don’t love our grey hair yet don’t necessarily want to color it either? Is there space for us to empower ourselves via the culture of our own morphing wants and needs?  Part of my evolution has been making space for my long game, where “look at this fucking saggy ass shit?” isn’t an indication of self-worth but rather a normal vent about watching the body I/we love undergoing the aging process.

And the other night, while I vented in the mirror to Clawed—my volunteer therapy animal—I took about 30 selfie’s trying to get a good look at the extent of it. And I didn’t like it. I don’t like my gray hair. And I don’t have to. I can be a crazy grey-hair-hating bitch without redirecting my own agency to force myself to be something else. I’m gonna feel the feelings, and be myself. Look at my gray hair and Understand that this is how we say goodbye to things. We start to miss them until suddenly one day we don’t even notice them anymore because we’ve somehow moved on.  

And I don’t know how the universe works but things show up.  And before long–in that same mirror–I was smiling and giving Clawed hugs. 

For suddenly, I thought: Look at this cat?  Standing here the entire time while I exclaim to the mirror my stressed out, unwelcome surprise.  Sitting on the counter, leaning up against me, in various poses of listening.  Moving closer to my face with his own when I leaned down to rest my arms on the sink, as if giving me a pep talk in his own supportive way.  

And just like that, I wanted to thank him for his friendship.  And turned on the faucet at his preferred strength so he could get a drink.  

[This is kind of a fictionalized version of real events simply because I’m meshing two different time periods together; the experience with my friend and the kitty go back to last year but the gray hair I’m currently enduring is unfortunately happening right now in every single mirror of my home].

Working that cone

“But if we bling my cone, would I still look sad enough to work the treat circuit?”

Yes. I suggested to Chloe that we jazz up her cone and give it some bling. Because she’d had 15 teeth removed then got 10 days worth of antibiotics to be crammed down her throat plus a cone to wear, and that seemed like quite a load about which some extra TLC was needed. Since that’s what you do for your squad when shit gets real.

But her eyes here seemed to speak another truth and when she toodled out the doggie door as vibrantly as ever I thought that maybe in some ways she’s managing this turn of events with an ingenuity humanity itself is incapable of reaching. For if you look at the big picture, being this pathetic is an opportunity which comes around once–maybe twice–a lifetime and it’s almost maniacal not to be given the chance to fully work its little heart out.

And at that point, I rapidly changed my perspective, and reaching for yet one more treat, decided that Chloe is actually her own bling.

2016 Liberation of Boobs


I’m walking Quinn and we had to sprint past a very angry sprinkler for the length of one house and in that short burst, My bra decided it’d had enough of this gd shit (didn’t sign up for this level of jiggling, etc) and starting with the left strap, began to shimmy it’s way off of my body.

And until 2016 I was willing to take one for the team and sign on to my responsibility for making America “decent”; before then protecting the world from my nipple (or period blood or any normal thing that occurs that isn’t indecent at all just part of my body you stupid shaming shit) was just doing my part to protect society from my personal freak show. But after being called names, told to “hand in my woman card” and other variations by Dem women and men for supporting Bernie then going on to vote for Hillary/corporate Dem and still having to swallow a racist, inheritance-sucking, sexually-assaulting asshole as president, the ship loudly crashed into the shore of upholding patriarchy’s delicate sensibilities about my bod.

Because at that point I realized that if the world wanted me to be decent, it wouldn’t reward my former conformity with this huge pile of leveled-up bullshit. Where it says it wants to be decent (and I’m quickly sold some dignity) when what it really wants is control.

And after that, my new rule was that no one gets to make my rules and I released myself from the idea that my body was a walking public health crisis.
So if you’re prone to freak out at such things as I head down 4th Ave wearing contempt, a nip slip and some spider veins, then look away.

For my body isn’t your business at all and excuse you but maybe a little privacy while I tuck my boob back in and also give me a few extra secs because my bra is kinda pissed.

Quinn doesn’t judge and neither should anyone else. WWQD.

Spider veins like a samurai


Spider veins: one of the lesser-known signs of the apocalypse.

A moment of gratitude for joining me on this journey especially if you’re here without judgment and aren’t either full of shit or full of yourself which are actually exactly the same thing. I personally hope I am neither of them yet could also entertain the notion that I’m both but at the very least, my spider veins and inability to currently feel the societally-approved requisite amount of shame about them are doing their best to keep me humble. I’m body-positive today, bitches. Flexing all the way to fuck it; next stop: fully-loaded samurai.

Here it comes

Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s all right. Nineteen pet sits today, up at 5, lots more dogs than cats (this irregular/imbalanced truth often arrives like the rush of retail), Greta and Tala’s (and Sophies [see Come See Me, Sophie]) family leaving later because new baby is teething, colder day, easier on the dogs, new shoes, old car, star rising, melting ice of (emotional) winters, sun, sun, sun, here it comes, tricking minds into living inside the surprising joy of a moment of NoThing, smiles returned to faces, waking the safety of our soul its taken years for us to clear. [Its a Beatles kind of day]

[in memoriam to 2019]

Some Little darlin’s from that day

7/20/2019

Smrt Shopper


“Do you need a bag for this?” when you’ve forgot your reusable.

Like I’m gonna ruin my planet for a plastic bag not even strong enough to scoop the cat box offerings into. When, obviously, I don’t need a bag, dumbo; I’m perfectly fine doing what I always do which is carrying it exquisitely stacked just like this until I get out to my car and can’t open the door and the pile topples all over the shopping center’s parking lot.

So no, sis, thanks. But I’ve got it. And the lesson for you as I try and fail to find all these fucking cans under the cars is that I guess I’m a dipshit who apparently doesn’t need all of them anyway.

Calling it

I don’t buy things for myself very often. My deal is that when you keep buying–thoughtlessly proceeding into consumerism–you never calm your self enough to discover the truest source of happiness. It’s not about the shoes; it’s never about the shoes.

But I gotta say I think I’m calling it on these ratty pieces of complete shit.

My new Sanuks—which I buy then use to death every year—were dutifully purchased in advance of my busy work summer but this year ended up being killed—also in advance of summer—ahead of their natural death by the new set of teeth we adopted in March. Which was a mercy killing really because Sanuk “upgraded” their soles to pieces of worthless garbage and for the first time ever—over the few days I got to wear them—my feet would be tired at day’s end.

So I detoured back to the holy/-ey Toms you see here but only for a month before realizing that I don’t think I’m ballsy or attractive enough anymore to pull this level of shabbiness off.

And while, yes, it does kind of hurt to acknowledge that, I’m at least excited that soon I’ll probably not have to look down at my toes and realize over and over throughout the day that my most proud accomplishment so far was that I managed to don matching socks.

Epilogue: I don’t even remember what day it was that I finally couldn’t take it anymore and rushed mid-workday into DSW to buy a comfortable pair of Roxy’s. But in an ironic twist, the new Roxy’s also didn’t even end up lasting the summer, and though I’m still kind of wearing them—the holes in the toes were smaller than the holes in the original ratty Toms—and they’re generally less shabby, there is a “calling it” point zooming into the horizon much sooner than I’d like. So I think I’m back to square one but that the hidden nugget in this story arc is how it helps solidify for all of us that threading it’s way through the larger fabric of our society is the vital importance of socks.

The new set of teeth we adopted in March

Spray of Diamonds

[Just popped in a Paul Simon CD, and now St Judy’s Comet rides shotgun, rolling across the skies and leaving sprays of diamonds in its wake. Music, poetry, words left out like cat food for homeless cats….it’s all part of love].

I’ve been waking up at sunrise to love like lightning shaking til it moans and rainbows in the high desert air.

For I’ve got a Nikon camera that gives me the greens of summer, and from the light across my room, follows the music seeping through,

saying. “honey take me dancing” but instead we love like lightning and sleep
In a doorway
By the bodegas and the lights

on Upper broadway


Wearing diamonds on the soles of our shoes.

And I watch the night receive the room of my day late in the evening, taking photographs about the arc of a love affair. —Paul Simon (abbr. 😌)

[Edit for Paul Simon novices: St Judy’s Comet; The Obvious Child, Hearts and Bones, Kodachrome, Late in the Evening, Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes].

Animals in order of appearance: Sadie, Cat, Lucy, Skippy, Tux, Boyfriend, Tala, Mildred, Snaggle, and Izabela. I sit for these creatures—or at least I did, pre-pandemic—and no matter how much time passes, they’ll live always in my hearts and bones.

Pride/Proud

When my sister “came out” in the mid-1990’s, a few family members made like it was a huge deal how accepting they were about it so when my own kids started dabbling in what they felt their sexuality was and it was right during/after a transformatively-dark sojourn for our little family, I was traumatized and protective and I thought “no. we aren’t going to ‘come out’ so that totally fucked up, white heterosexuals can wave the wand of “I’m such a wonderfully superior person to be above all of whatever it is you are.”

My kids and the kids in this post want your love and approval and it shouldn’t be an ego-defining moment for you to offer it. Because I don’t know everything about the issues but I know that kids kill themselves because of the self-proscribed “moral” authority of those who kick their children out of their love and I’m not going to validate it by seeking to understand “both sides.” There’s no valid side to not loving your kid.

Donated shorts

Sometimes when you rise in the morning, the light in the room holds echoes of the ancestors and other worlds, and in a speechless wisdom of such purity you can hear them saying: “No. Don’t wear those shorts; they shrunk and you’re already bloated.” And sometimes you’re wise and you listen, and sometimes you gotta go ahead and be that dumb bitch as if you’ve completely forgotten how unpleasant misery is.

In honor of my ancestors, I commemorated the dumb bitch event by snapping a pic in said shorts, and because the wearing of them hurt both my thighs and my feelings, the moral of this story is a combination of promises to my ancestors to do better as well as the deep shame and humility that accompanies all bloating.