19 October 2012

When I was nine, they found that I was the only bone marrow match for my grandmother, who was dying from myelodysplastic syndrome. I have O negative blood, which I share with no one in my family (except, it turned out, my grandmother), through some sort of mysterious fluke. I was on the bed when she died, along with a massive crucifix and my grandmother's younger half-sister, a principal and Sandinista who had come from Nicaragua and the first person in my family I felt a real sense of kinship with. 
In a family of women, grief can be incredibly violent. By the end of the morning following my grandmother's death, there had already been vicious fights and I had seen my mother and sister holding hands and wailing. The day before had been spent playing in the sprinklers and learning about bloody knuckles with the neighborhood kids; someone's older brother had found kittens and I volunteered to go under the abandoned house to get them. I remember coming home to pizza and one of my aunts shaking a pill bottle of morphine in a very uncharacteristically menacing way and until I was fifteen, I was convinced my grandmother had been poisoned out of this misery that had turned her the color of burned coffee and made her teeth softer than gold. A huge Virgen de Guadalupe statue, brought over from our parish was looking into the window so She could see into my grandmother's room.
When I was doing something with my friend Cassie Thornton and a couple other people that involved touching everything we could in the interiors of banks on Mission Street, I saw this rainbow piƱata at Mission and 24th, and wondered why anyone would want to thrash a rainbow at their birthday party. I tried to rescue it, but didn't have the $18 to. I told the story to Stephanie (who was living on Capp, off 24th, at the time) and she brought it to a performance I did at the Secret Alley the night before my birthday. The performance involved me wearing a long brown wig (in order to magnify my Latina features, although I don't think I look very Latina at all, to begin with) and lying, nude, with pizza arranged on my body, and surrounded by the predominately white audience.

The opening of my autobiography will find me in Avenal, California, during a thirty minute Greyhound stop at a twenty-four hour convenience store at 3:30 AM, feeling comfortable in a tie dyed t-shirt featuring a skeleton dunking for Lithuania and an ex-boyfriend's very perforated trousers; I am following an attractive man wearing an ABBA shirt around because I just want to talk about how The Smiths' "Nowhere Fast" is playing. I haven't showered since San Francisco and instead I buy a cup of coffee and a roll of Oreos made in Mexico.

If you read/look at this blog somewhat often, you'd've probably figured that I had been in a serious relationship since the beginning of last summer. My former partner and I had a show together at Future Studio Gallery in Highland Park in September, which included photos and drawings by the both of us, and a wall featuring our somewhat obscure correspondence (I can't really think of a better way of putting it). I wish we had actually sat down to write an artists' statement, but I'm terrible at those and I think he hates them and besides, I was completely unable to focus throughout the entire ordeal.
The show necessitated me going down to Los Angeles three times: the first time involving the Perseids meteor shower and me being too wasted to actually be present; the second involving a Korean 24 hour spa and going to the river for the sunrise, and at one point, me using the clapboard bathroom at what I am simply going to describe as an egg factory (???); and the third time involving us sharing a small cheese pizza from Folliero's and taking down our work within a half hour and me imagining myself clawing at time. It was agreed that the end of the show would essentially be the (final) end of our relationship.
The title of the show was Love You Awful, after a line from that movie with Cher and Nicholas Cage (you know, Moonstruck). It closed a little less than two weeks ago. 
When I was riding the Greyhound back to San Francisco, as we made the final push through Oakland, all of my limbs suddenly fell asleep and I felt as if my chest was constricting strong enough to make the titanium plate in my sternum snap and was sure that I was having a heart attack. I vomited in the sad little bus latrine while feeling an ecstatic sense of relief I hadn't felt since the last time I had a near death experience (5 September 2011, flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco, extreme loss of altitude). I turned out to be very dehydrated and was disappointed as I waited for the 27 bus to take me back to my apartment.