I spend the holidays doing recreational drugs, crying my eyes out and connecting with those I love in ways deeper than I could ever have imagined.
One night after work my friend Brandon and I go to my friend Selma's house to have a triangle healing. I bring my tarot cards, Selma provides the marijuana and the natural oil essences and Brandon brings stacks of colored vinyl and exacto knives. We sit on pillows in her living room as her one-legged cat hops around our plates of dim sum and goat cheese. We close our eyes and pick out oils with our fingers and intuition to make blends that we will wear throughout the New Year. The name of my blend is Fresh Eyes/Fresh Heart. Two bottles of wine later and I am holding Brandon's hand and cutting suns out of purple and red.
At the non-profit where I work, all around me people are dying. People so humble and beautiful that I start to look in the mirror daily and wash away the worry lines. My problems are nothing. My ego constructs are shit.
After Thanksgiving my lover and I make hot buttered rum batter and sit in bed together, filling out one of those "Questions About Us" books. The answers require brutal honesty and I realize that love isn't pretty. It isn't easy like attraction. It isn't the sexy bongo player at an event I cover for the paper; or a poet boychild who feeds me neurotic, raspberry colored bruises with my coffee; or the local radio station owner with the denim surfboard butt; or the girl I kiss at a holiday party after dancing on her dining room table; or Billy Corgan in my mind's yesteryear role where he played a sullen Piscean fantasy Romeo crooning out words to unreleased songs like "My Mistake". I tell my lover that the first time we fucked I was nervous and unsure and he tells me that the first time he saw me he thought I was cool but not his type.
Real love isn't perfect. Real love is so new to me that I spend fifty percent of the time in Maslow's fear circles trying to figure it out and do it right.
We drive to L.A. one day out of the blue. We head through tick tock poverty with a hypocrite's integrity on the way to Topanga Canyon, full of cardboard shacks, where the windy wails of ghosts follow cars down to the Malibu Shore. We spend a day on Pacific Coast Highway glimpsing every inch of coastline possible. The freeways near the ocean have ivy growing on the walls. Ivy walls with berries that look like Margaret MacDonald paintings. We drive south watching the sun set over Santa Monica, through Long Beach, San Pedro. Little towns that produce a surf bum delirium itch in my belly. Little towns where children braid your hair for ten dollars on the sand. We find a seedy hotel in the frigid sea air of Seal Beach, dine on terrible Thai food and sleep.
The next morning I am afire with menstrual insecurity and I leave the hotel room early to walk down towards the beach. I sit on a blue bench down by the water feeling unstable. Feeling filled with bones that are slowly building one after the other in brand new places while the old ones shrink away. The calcium readjusts just like thoughts and patterns and systems. Girls run by and say hello. Life reverberates on the concrete as they run. Pum, pum , pum, pum. And the boats -- there are over one hundred boats in the harbor. Their masts and poles all join with the wind in a tin and brassy multicolored song. A big bobbing sea mobile. My smile spreads out like a baby's. The clarifying blues of the water became like a lie detector and I laugh and I cry.
We should all laugh and cry every so often down to that place where the belly aches. Down to that place in the soul where the parasite squeezes right out.
Christmas comes and for once I have the holiday spirit. I find myself in a grocery store aisle looking at row under row over row of papers and packages and loud, screaming colors. Like an Andreas Gurski snapshot where product becomes art out of context. Everything is stacked up and beautified, a vivisection of consumerist garbage and rehashed design. I decide to make gifts this year.
I spend many nights lighting up a joint and painting. My living room becomes a mess of blue tubes, silver flecks and sweat. Truth comes out in vivid colors on candles, posterboard, canvas, flesh and down comforters. I create finger labyrinths for friends to meditate upon and personal candles with bleeding red tissue paper that lends an appearance of veins. All of my gifts are breathing.
I visit Brandon to give him his candle. He has hung prayers in the wind in the small backyard garden of his apartment in the gay boy district of town. Prayers on a clothesline. Tibetan scarves sheer as our intentions. Pink, blue, yellow and red, transparent and in fours, on a clothesline in his garden. We hold hands, nod our heads and let the cool wind wash through us.
A New Year is right around the corner. Blank canvas. Fresh eyes. Fresh heart.