The Little Engine That Could

Monday, June 20, 2005

Big Girl on Temp Jobs

Recently I have gone back to work. It is exciting as the first day of school-- are they going to like me, are they going to become my friends, will they think I'm funny, competent and nice? Are they going to be nice, competent and funny? WIll they be kind? How much are they going to pay me?

I started this position on my birthday. Yes, my birthday-- the day I usually lay around the house in maribou slippers and a black silk robe eating nothing but all things chocolate. This year, I had spent a little over eight months like that, having been out of work for way too long. So instead, I poured into some pantyhose, slapped on my happy face, and tore over to New Jersey to start working.

New Jersey? New Jersey, you say? Yes, the big NJ, the Garden State, the most beautiful place in the world. Here's what I like about working in New Jersey....

1) Everything is cheaper
2) I get to take a boat to work every morning, and take one home every night
3) The view is of Manhattan-- the skyline is amazing. And I do not have to be in Manhattan to enjoy it. No sucking on bus fumes, no running around at the crazy people. I get to watch it all from here-- with Vinnie, and Toni and Gina and Danielle.
4) Everything is a little bit slower, except driving. That's faster, but, somehow it works.
5) Big hair, big shoes, big men. No cardboard cutouts, no clothes hangers, very few metrosexuals. Real people, with real jobs who are nice and friendly and hold the elevator for you. And call you sweetheart. And mean it.

Here's what I don't like about working in New Jersey
1) .....
2) I heard that the winters aren't great.
3) No payless shoes around the corner.

Other than that I am at a loss.

The job itself is interesting, if a bit on the easy side, with a lot of man power work behind it. But it will be fine. It will give me ample opportunity to write to my little darlings (that is you, mon ami), and take a gander at the beautiful skyline. Every day. From my cubicle.

Oh, did I say I had a cubicle, because I have a cubicle. An actual cubicle. I will be able to put my stuff up, and lock my drawers, and have a space that is mine all mine. Yes, yes I will.

I love looking at the men on the ferry with me. Big hunky men, who have hunky jobs, that smile at me. I am relatively interesting, bombshell-esque, and am a new face, so really I am fresh meat. I like that. Apparently NJ likes a little meat on their bones.

Hmmm. Maybe a move is in order.....

Friday, June 10, 2005

Millsie Posted by Hello

Big Girl on Goodbyes

Recently I have had to say goodbye to two great friends.

Saying goodbye is never easy. Well, saying it is-- goodbye. But the memory is still there. And really putting them to bed is a whole different story.

Someone once told me that being with someone, even for a short time, and having nothing between you and them is a gift. It is pure. Both of these men were taken quickly and had short lives. Both of them I loved, albeit in different ways. Both of them I had nothing inbetween.

Eric. Eric and I met in a class. Eric was the first man I ever asked out. Let me take that back. Eric was a guy when I met him. He was laid off from his job, struggling to be an actor, full of laughter and frolic. We actively ignored each other in a class, until the final day when I said "You would be stupid not to ask me out." he did, although he waited two weeks, calling and saying "So, am I stupid?". Yeah, for sure a guy.

We went out for a minute and a half. That's as long as it took me to realize that Eric was going to be a great friend. Not in that "oh, not dating material" because he was; cute, funny, smart as hell, full of laughter, great friends with both men and women. But he was more of the kind of guy I wanted to learn from, not be with. From him, I began to understand men. Really, men are simple, at least simpler than I had previously experienced. They want for very little; to be useful, to be loved, to be praised and worshipped at times, and to be providers. I was not in the space to actually have this in my life, so friends we were.

Eric pursued his dream, and moved to LA to become an actor. We had many conversations about him moving-- what would it take, how he would do it, where he should live. How he could market himself out there. Having been an agent and manager, I set him up with an agent friend out there, who sent him up with someone else, and I believe that is how he got work. He would call or email me to let me know how he was doing.

I went out to LA to visit family and friends in 2003, but didn't call to tell him I'd be there. He tracked me down, and we spent the most glorious day at Disneyland together. We tried on hats and made funny faces into Desha's camera, we sang the Muppet's theme song over and over, and had drinks with Diane and the crew from Disney. When we said goodbye, I let him know how much he meant to me, that he was the first guy I had ever asked out, and that I was very proud of him for following his dream. He said "I'm a man, not a guy.". I told him that when I asked him out he was a guy, but now he was a man for sure. We kissed goodbye, and he tooled off in his little car.

I said then, not knowing how true it was, that that was the last time I would see him. Now, I see him in dreams, in memories and in pictures, but interacting with him now is a little more difficult.

And then there is Mills.


David Mills and I met through friends of friends, lots of drama at a time when we could have all done with a little less. Mills and I would spend out wee hours of the morning on the phone talking about pop culture, screenplays and life in general. Our first real conversation was when he called at 1am, coming home from a gentleman caller's house, and telling me he had broken his promise not to sleep with anyone until the third date. I just listened. He said:

"You're not going to shame me"
Why should I? Do you want to be shamed?
"No, it's just... well, call Kim, and you get no judgment."

And that's how it was.

Mills and I also spent some time out in LA together, just an afternoon I had off of work, and he was out visiting friends. I took him to the San Fernando Mission, where we sat on the great lawn and smoked cigarettes, where I told him the story of my gramma and grampa's wedding at that very church. We went to the Madonna room, where there are several Madonna's of varying sizes and colors-- which was hysterical because Mills, well, being gay, loved Madge. Anyhow, as we were trying to pick out the Madonna that best represented ourselves, the lights went off, the music shut down, and we booked out of there. Both of us thought it was because we were being sacrilegious, however, it was just a room on a motion sensor with a timer.

"I for sure thought there was a bolt of lightning with my name on it"
Me too, sister.

We drove back to LA, blaring Eva Cassidy on the rental car's stereo, feeling the music. We spoke about her untimely death, and said words to each other. That we should know, ever in case of anything.

"I love you. I want you to know that."
Me too sister.

Mills and I drifted, no real reason, just drifted. We got back together at a friends wedding, and had a great time, just doing what we did well, taking orders, giving orders, and making things happen. Mills and I met up on the dance floor for some "Holiday" and boogied until our feet hurt and all the cheap champagne had sweated through our designer clothes.

In hearing of his passing, I was speechless. In a daze. No more Mills? No more Mills. No more 2 am phone calls about Britney, no more faithful MTV watching, no more fabulous facial products to scour. No more crashing in the West Village when I have had too much to drink, no more laughing about anything. Gone.

But he's still here. They are both still here. I have two angels looking over my shoulder, one guiding me into great relationships with former guys who are now men, making me laugh, letting me be vulnerable and another who I can hear reaching for the high notes as Eva soars into a gospel number-- and then points out the best styling lotion for my over frizzy hair-- on sale, in stock, with a coupon. In pictures, in memories, in goodbyes.

In goodbyes for now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Big Girl on Community

Why is it that as women we tear each other down?

I am looking at a post I was working on, one about my former boss, and in reading it I saw that all it was about was tearing her down, making her less of a human to account for my in-humane-ness. Can I fogive a former boss for wearing purple blush-- yes. Can I let go that I was let go for no real reason-- sure. But what are reasons anyways-- they are just little excuses to tell ourselves why we can or can't.

But back to women on women (no not like that). Recently I helped some friends move, and I spent the whole time judging and criticizing my friend for not having her stuff perfectly set to be moved. That she was unorganized, and a mess, controlling and overly concerned with the hand mirrors getting put in the right room. Who cares? Actually, she got ready to move in less than three weeks, while working a full time job and cleaning out another's apartment (David, we miss you). Six years of stuff accumulated, seven different roomates which on first glance of move out, looked liked they moved, however left remants of their lives behind -- cleaners, food in the fridge, books or electronics that never quite worked, etc.

This is my friend I love. She would do anything to make sure I was doing okay.

I give up. Why do we have to tear each other down?

Just recently, Mama Sugs moved in. It is like being in a womens studies, queer studies, African studies class all the time. It is the best part of education, where I am developing ideas, learning and growing. She points out injustices I have never noticed, never seen, nor never done anything about. And what keeps coming up is why do we tear each other down?

So I ask, instead of tear down, why not celebrate?

My mother, on the eve of me going to college warned me about women that wore scented oils and didn't shave, and listened to Melissa Ethridge (before she was out). She said "Please don't be like them." So I stayed away from womens studies, I stayed away from any woman who was too manly, too alternative and instead surrounded myself with men and women who were anything but that. I felt like an outsider, always wanting to express something bigger than where we were going to eat, or who was dating who. I wanted to get at the life stuff, the what am I here for stuff. The stuff that may make a difference. I spent the first weekend of Melissa E.s album release listening to it, connecting to it, feeling like "Yeah, that's right!". I was concerned it was making me gay. I was concerned for the stolen kiss I shared with my down the street neighbor years before, for my lesbian drama teacher, for all the women I had met who had treated me in kindness and respected my opinions-- who I found out later were part of a community that I did not belong to.

This community, my mother was so scared about, is just women. Women who love women, who are trailblazers, who are out there just for being themselves. Women accepting women, just as they are.

But broaden it out, what if, just for a moment, women took the day off from gossiping about one another. They spoke only about positive aspects of each other. We celebrated our differences, that I wear my hair long, and you short, that I am large and curvy and wear red lipstick and you are small and wear no makeup and eat food only from plants. What if we took on that we celebrate each other, for the ability to give birth, for our size, for our ability to communicate, for our hearts and tears and our profound love for one another. It is not about, as my mother thought, being with women who sleep with other women. That hasn't made me gay, and I am sure it never will. But what if it was about creating women as powerful loving beings, no matter what our skin color is, no matter what our tags inside our clothes say, no matter how long we spent in school or how much money we make.

What if, for just a day, we could get past all that other stuff, and stopped tearing down. Once I heard that if you are not expanding you are contracting. So let's expand our hearts, and accept women just as is, no matter who they love. No matter what they wear. Even if it is purple blush.