goodbye 2014: I am a shadow as the world moves on

I try to post something beautiful every year on the last day of the year. Quite often my choices are haunting, as befits the ghost of time’s passage, like the forgotten circus, or sweet, like this optimistic relationship post, or mischievous, (I really have to find a copy of that file again), or something personal, usually a bit of writing, but this year started roughly and ended the worst it’s ever been, so I’m just going with HERE IS ART THAT SPEAKS TO ME. It is more bleak than usual, but such is fitting, given my broken life and devastated heart, that I would bid goodbye to 2014 with a such a twisted thing.

Type until the red dot appears, then click it. NSFW.

posting because stephen asked me to

Fall from jamie scott.

I’ve been defeated. Bad luck won and this is it, as the cold closes in, there’s nothing else to feel.

Been seeing someone since this summer. It hasn’t changed anything, except that his company’s nice when we’re getting along. Still nothing’s getting in, nothing’s getting out. There’s no love, no shine. My heart doesn’t bump, I don’t lean towards their name. I could say that there’s walls up, except it’s worse than that, as it seems instead that there’s simply nothing left to protect. It would worry me, except that seems scraped clean, too. My internal fires have all burned out.

He’s taking us to New York for New Year’s Eve, an odd, confounding echo of last year. He’s never been and lights up at the idea. I’ve been, as usual, the planner, the toss-things-until-they-stick-er. Finding places to eat, visit, and sleep.

Meanwhile, I remain massively unemployed even though I interview with a potentially life-changing position at least once every two months, frequently as one of the two last candidates. A couple of companies even went so far as to offer me employment before reneging, leaving me panic-scrambling to replace the already scarce gigs and contracts I had cleaned out of my schedule to make room for the new job. At least now I expect my second interview to be cancelled before it even happens, which helps keep the stress down.

where we stayed in san diego

"four poster authentic Chinese wedding bed"

The Orient Express Suite at the Balboa Park Inn, almost directly next to the San Diego Zoo, found in a search for “honeymoon suites” on-line. (Please note their decription completely fails to mention the mirror on the ceiling over the bed. To say it startled us upon discovery is an understatement.) Never having been to a theme hotel before, I have nothing alike to compare it to, but in comparison to the La Jolla Hilton where we’d stayed the night before, it was obscenely comfortable and hilariously decadent. We also scored a New Year’s Special discount. Five stars. Zomg.

complete as the air.

I made a deal with a dear long distance friend of mine this New Year’s Eve that I would toast him at midnight if he would toast me. As the venue I was at was ten minutes late with the midnight, and I didn’t have anything to toast with anyway, I instead made a post to him in reparation right before bed.

This was my reply:

“That’s really sweet, if slightly creepy. You were toasted at the Radegast Beer Hall in Brooklyn by about twenty people in a rolling, gregarious mood. The majority were men. Tequila had occurred prior. It went, word for word, like this:

VS: And to Jane with an H!
Tim: Who the heck is Jane with an H?
VS: She’s a good friend of mine.
Tom: Why should we toast her?
VS: Because she’s my friend.
Danny: But why should we TOAST her?
VS: Sigh. She has breasts.
All: To Jhayne!

What can I say, I know how to work a crowd.”

It’s nice to feel so appreciated.

everything I accomplish is your fault

sanfran leap

This year marked the first time I’ve ever revisited every place I’ve called home: Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, L.A., and San Francisco. A perfect ten.

In each place was a moment waiting for me, as if from the last time I had been there. A moment of realization, of change.
A moment of sublime connection, of time curling back, of traveling forward, of evolution and social magnetism.

In a strange way, it was like following a low key route of the person I used to be. Nothing was a surprise, except for how much it meant to me.

Thank you for everyone who helped me survive this year, for everyone who was there for me.

I can never thank you enough.

famous on the internet

December 31st, I woke to cats sleeping on my legs and chest, purring, their little black noses touching, paws intertwined, tails even curled together. Ridiculous, really. I almost didn’t want to move, but plans were afoot! Great plans! Wonderful plans! Ray had agreed to come to Seattle with me! Begone kitties, take your adorable cute little selves and go sleep somewhere else. I am getting up!

We saddled up and hit the highway around four:thirty, certain I had everything needed. Goth-tastic outfit? Check. Cherie‘s phone number? Check. A basic working knowledge of Seattle? Sure. I’ve been there a whole four or five times. Once even (mostly) during the day. We’ll be fine, right? And we were. We didn’t arrive in time for dinner, but with the help of a gas-station map and a borrowed phone, finding parking on Capital Hill was trickier than finding where she lives.

Cherie lives upstairs, apparently, neighbour, through a quirk of urban planning, to my friend Ellen, with a husband, Aric, a fish, Howard, and a cat, Spainy. All of which I was aware of through her blogging, though never so immediately.* Added to this charming mix was Aric’s “heterosexual life-partner” Alex, who I met by walking into the livingroom while taking my shirt off. Go me.

After lacing ourselves in to various clich̩-yet-fabulous required black, we split like atoms and went off in two cars down the hill to an odd little anonymous back alley with an industrial door at the end, on the right, the entrance to a private goth club named The Mercury. A thing which I did not think existed. Really because, well, why would it? The answer Рsmoking laws. When public smoking was banned in Vancouver, most people either dimmed their filthy habits down or went and huddled outside in the rain. Not so in Seattle, where some sort of cabaret license has granted private venues the right to shelter smokers, similar to the odd-ball restaurant laws of California.

It was dark inside, low, with cement floors, narrow halls, fake red velvet everywhere, and not quite enough seating. It reminded me of an illegal basement apartment as done up by a I’m-so-spooky runaway with an Ikea addiction. Absolutely perfect, like a silver bullet crucifix clutched to the heart of fourteen year old Sisters of Mercy fan.

We pinned down a corner all to ourselves, just off the dancefloor, (incongruously, it was a swing night, so the music was mysteriously superb), and cheerfully settled in with terrible goth mockery and some silly attempts at fake swing dancing. We had tremendous fun. Alex, how excellent, even found some cherries. Also of note was Cherie’s magnificent tumble, being her abrupt discovery with the frictionless effect of multi-layering with taffeta on a bar stool, but she didn’t spill all her wine, just some of it, and not on her so much as the rest of us, so the verdict was that she did okay.

Somehow, in the midst of everything, midnight crept up on us. This resulted in a tremendously over-complicated drive up the hill, then a complete and utter abandonment of the car when we discovered the fireworks had already started. We ran, whooping, wonderfully nutty in all our finery, past terrible hipster parties, (you can peek at Cherie’s post to see what they shouted at me), to discover, at the roundabout at the end of the block, that something had gone incredibly wrong and the fireworks seemed to have sputtered into a start then quit. “Hear that?” I asked, “That’s the sound of five pyrotech’s having panic attacks.” Later we discovered that there was a computer error, but at the time, there was no way to know. We were standing, chilly, laughing, and turning down offers of champagne from strangers, uncertain how long we should stand there until we gave up and turned around. We hadn’t met the fellows at the pre-agreed fireworks watching spot, after all, we were just standing at a rather random intersection. Thankfully, our perseverence was rewarded. It kicked in again with obviously programmed cues being set off by hand by people who hadn’t planned for it at all. I tried to take a picture, but I think I was laughing too much for anything steady to have come from it. The fireworks had the exquisite shape of people swearing, of trying not to think of the obscene amount of money that had been spent on the show that obviously wasn’t happening. I loved it. Those people have my utmost respect.

We regrouped at the apartment to schism into the booty-shakers and the people going to bed. This is where we lost Ray, Ellen, and Cherie to the monsters of sleeping-at-night-like-sane-people. Aric, Alex, and I went back to the club, where the music had shifted into more traditional stomp the floor flat industrial. I don’t know how long we were there, I lost track of time in dancing, but it was awhile. Hours, at least. I was introduced to some rather nice people with violently red hair and to the unpleasant fact that there will always be someone who shows up dressed as a trashy fetish santa. Eventually the smoke got me, though, and it was time to go hunting for something to eat.

People spiralled off in all directions, leaving Alex to prowl me about town, trying to find a 24 hour place with the temerity to stay open on New Year’s Eve. Eventually the clever thing found us a kosher hot dog stand where we were rudely muttered at by a slightly addled older man who sounded astonishingly like Tom Waits. We stood there, blinking back laughter as best we could as he swept leaves around us, swearing, Alex singing the first few bars to The Piano’s Been Drinking. It was terrible and we loved every minute of it. Even the hotdog.

*(Seeing Ellen was a treat rivalling her legendary cookies, and it turns out Cherie is possibly the most bubbly person I’ve ever met, instilling new life into that overused word, awesome, every ten minutes. I will never be able to read a word she writes again without her voice in my head, excitedly reading it to me.)