I. My fest fam and I have had plans to do a mini-fest at the cottage for about a month now, but recent events had me bowing right the fuck out. I just didn’t see how I could do everything I needed to do for work while I couldn’t stop shaking like a leaf while I couldn’t even *feed myself*, let alone do laundry, pack, and run errands so, I canceled.
But they came after me.
Dani is packing enough clothing for the two of us (we wear the same size + aesthetic). Food is covered. Kimi helped me run the errands I needed to run (pick up meds in Kitchener) and do the LCBO run (because we *neeeeeeeeed* Bailey’s in our morning coffee, okay?). I can bring the dogs. I have a bed to myself indoors (so no tent required). I just have to show up.
So now I’m going. Because they miss me and I need them.
Love knows how to show up.
II. The shaking, though. I now understand why whenever Hollywood portrays someone who is having a ‘nervous breakdown’, there is all this shaking.
There *really is* all this shaking.
We’re calling it a breakthrough, though, because that is what it is.
III. There are stories I’m telling right now (true ones) that include moments so unbelievably ridiculous that I find myself able, even this soon, to laugh out loud.
Me to him as he’s helping me into my Uber: “Men are shit.”
Him to me with a nod: “Yes, ma’am.”
IV. The way Renee stayed on the phone with me the entire way home. The way all of my people are circling me, many of them with exhortations of ‘it’s about time’ and ‘goddamn, I’m proud of you’. No one will let me hang my head, not even for a moment. I’ll never forget that.
V. I visited with my lovely Sal today. We sat in a triangle, me, her, and Kimi, on the back deck so we could visit without masks, sipping coffee, and getting caught up. Out of the corner of my eye, while I was talking, a hummingbird came to visit the bush that grows in her yard. I was talking about how what I’ve done and what I’m doing is an attempt to reach back in time and rescue the little girl I was while simultaneously ensuring that someone else I deeply care about need no longer experience the kind of cognitive dissonance (and, frankly, gaslighting) that my younger self was all too familiar with and damaged by.
That bird hovered and posed for a good few minutes while we ooooh’d and ahhhhhh’d.
Y’all, I could have cried.
I had only seen one once before, and that was in Austin, Texas in 2002.
There’s more to this story – the hummingbird has deep meaning for me and always has, but it’s too personal to share.
Suffice it to say I’m taking it as a sign.
VI. I am the storm.
VII. I’m deeply afraid that she’s going to die. I know that’s cryptic as fuck, but I just needed to put that somewhere because I can’t hold it alone. If she dies, I don’t know what the fuck. I feel like I was almost there, wherever ‘there’ is, but I feel like I’ve reached some kind of tipping point and I don’t know how to navigate what’s left to navigate without her.
Light the candles. Pray the prayers.
VIII. I have moved out of dreading the coming gathering (like I always do) and into craving it. What I most long for is the laughter I know we’re all capable of when we are together. I am also longing for the fire, for the shenanigans, for the absolute certainty that every pair of eyes I gaze into are eyes that love me like I love them. No subtext. No questions. Unconditional. No matter how fucked up I am, no matter how badly I fuck it up. Loved.
IX. Celibacy. Shields up. The Holy No. There has been no more destructive force in my life than romantic entanglements with my masculine counterparts, and I’m eschewing them indefinitely.
I have a good vibrator. I will be fine.
X. I choose me.