Entitled to It

Is it my duty in life to feel something?

… … …

Nowadays, I’m often surprised when I get more than a little excited. It’s jarring. It feels like I’ve grown immune to these types of feelings, to truly experiencing anything other than survival emotions and extremes. You’re depressed. You’re euphoric. You’re engulfed in love.

You’re dying.

It was getting to the point where any feeling other than complete and utter panic was nonexistent. So it is really surprising when something like an episode of a show I like, a conversation, a thought, a game, a smile, when those things make me FEEL. They make me feel small snatches of something and I’m thrown off balance. Really, anything other than one terrible extreme after the other feels alien.

But I don’t mind being able to enjoy amazing stories again (hello Game of Thrones, Hi Man Seeking Woman, what’s good West World, nice hat you got there Stranger Things). I don’t mind reading great stories and loving characters (you’re awesome Saga, great reading The Good House, let’s chat again Youth in Revolt). Even rereading things I read while I was deep underwater is a treat.

There is so much that you lose in depression. In giving in to what other people think is right for everyone. I found myself in this big house in Alabama, in these rooms that I’m decorating slowly and awkwardly. I find myself in the clippings from extra books I have, from the second copies I purchased by accident. I live in dark, brooding paintings of squid or men with tentacles for faces.

These little things, they make up for so much lost time. Rajesh talks and I can truly laugh. I can stand with him in the kitchen and tell him stories about my childhood, show him a tour of bookshelves and explain why I like these books, encourage him to collect things. Urijah jumps in the bed with me in the morning and I tell him about the day we’ll have while we stare at the windows, at the ceiling, at the walls. We laugh and cuddle and then I carry him to the bathroom for his morning pee, and I open the door to his playroom so he can start his own adventures.

I can live like this. And I honestly didn’t expect this to turn out this way. I expected this war with my own self to be the great war of my life, the war I would agony over into old age. Maybe the war I would lose way before then.

I like these little feelings, these variations of feelings. This life.

 

Ah-ga-ssi

It’s 5:20AM and I didn’t sleep.

 

Yesterday was an off and on day. In the world outside, there were fires. There was chaos somewhere, as there always is. There were dreams being smashed and lives being ruined. Somewhere, maybe someone was happy.

Inside my house, in the very new Alabama environment, it smells. It smells like there’s maybe something wrong with the pipes in here. Sewer gas, maybe. I only smell it very late or very early, and usually only after it’s rained or the washing machine has run. But I couldn’t sleep. In fact, it’s not just the smell keeping me up. I’ve been transforming back into something I recognize from childhood, mixed in with something I recognize from my teenage years. I keep making all these lists. All these plans. I keep thinking about who I am and how I look, but in a more introspective way. Current events make me feel heavy and broken – dating is not important to me in the least, and all I can do is think about the three of us in this house.

I’ve been watching the things I like and working at the same time.

I’ve been going after leads and thinking about who I am. Who Dude Ranch is. Who The Boy Chin Wonder is. And what we will become in our current climate.

And I’ve been slowly delving back into the things I used to love, that I loved for so long.

That means, of course, Asian Horror Films have been high on my list of ‘get back into me, doll’. And I made the excellent choice to watch The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) at around 2am. Park Chan-Wook is one of my top five directors. Shit, one of my top five human beings. I salivated when I heard this movie was coming out last year, but life took over and I swiftly forgot.

This movie was a number of…great things. It engulfed me in a way that only movies on my ‘best of’ lists can accomplish. And this movie might not have aimed to change anyone, to convince anyone of anything, but I find myself changed by it. The style and delivery of it. The story, simple but still complex enough to throw you around a bit. The accurate portrayal of how men can become demons even when they fancy themselves just normal human beings.

Just normal human beings trying to get money.

Just normal human beings working out their sexual frustrations.

Just normal monsters.

The delicacy of each women, and the sudden aggression. These characters were fleshed out so damn well.

Eh. Watch it. Love it. Experience the magic that is Park Chan-Wook’s movies, his style, his way of helping you become the story.

Feel like you’re alive again.

 

 

Feed Your Head

So.

Once upon a younger Trey (back when Dude Ranch was just a tiny, big eyed baby), I stood up at a black ass block party to perform karaoke for the first and last time. Ever. I stood there, in front of a slew of black neighbors that I didn’t know (mostly young) and picked a song I knew by heart.

White Rabbit. By Jefferson Airplane.

This decision would hit me as a terrible one almost immediately after I started singing because:

  1. It is a hard song to fucking sing.
  2. I was in front of a crowd of people who had no idea who the fuck Jefferson Airplane was.

I powered through. To this day, I have no idea how I did it. It’s one of those moments that you get stuck in and can’t really stop, so you just go and go and go. I sang it terribly. As soon as it was over I heard a loud ‘THE FUCK WAS THAT WHITE SHIT’ and then just complete silence. I slunk back to where the young sir was and stored it in my ‘you are weird as hell but that’s okay’ painful memory bank.

I’d still get up and sing this song, that’s how good this song is. Grace Slick singing it makes me feel like I’ve just drowned in a pool of super strong coffee. Black with very little sugar, very little cream. She sings this shit like her soul is crawling out of her mouth.

Have I ever mentioned how much I absolutely, positively, ADORE and LOVE Grace Slick? I do. Whenever I wear straight hair it is usually in her signature style.

 

But yeah, listen to her singing this, vocals only, and tell me you don’t end up pregnant within the hour.

 

Read This, I Guess – A Letter to my Mother That She Will Never Read

This is something that was written with so much heart, wrapped around so much skill, that I tear up just thinking about it.

I know I’ll think about this often.

I haven’t been in the mood for holidays, or really any celebration, this year. They all seem so empty. Maybe it’s because I’m 29, I’ll be 30, and things still seem the same.

Reading this felt different. The way it unfolded, the story of a mother who is suffering, who is passing down suffering without meaning to, it felt new. It felt old at the same time.

It’s worth it. Read it. It really is worth it.