Growing up, it was simple: “Are you American?”
If you weren’t American, the next question was, “What are you doing on our base?” If we didn’t like your rationale, we took our American liberty to whoop your ass.
If you were American, the next question was, “What base you from?” To which, you’d want to offer a city we liked, else we whooped your ass.
See? Simple living.
I didn’t grow up with the tendency to cubby-hole all the social interactions I have, like insular Americans (what I call Americans who have ONLY lived in the United States) put in full practice in their modern living. The working vernacular is “marginalization.” That’s defining your comfort with a person based on how they appear, what color they are shaded, how they smell, and which socially acceptable attributes they display.
Because it is not natural for me to pronounce my race/sex/ethnicity/nationality/sexuality/etceteraetcetera, I don’t do it with my art. You don’t see emblazoned across my website banner VON SIMEON – ULTRA-BLACKTINO NON-NATIVE WOMAN WITH SEXUAL TENDENCIES YOUR PARENTS DISAPPROVE OF… I mean, honestly, that’d be a busy header! Instead, I go with Plato, Socrates, and Cato: Von Simeon – what I do, thus what I am/who am I to others without intention/where my mind is when affected by society. Nice ‘n’ Neat.
I promised myself when I released my novel, I would not campaign with an adjective before the word ‘author.’ I am merely that – the author of my book. The last two months I did decent with general sales but absymal in representing my work without getting forced into a social cubby-hole. I received derogatory statements regarding my sex, my race, my ethnicity, and those statements then erroneously defined the quality of my book.
Bookstore owners demonstrated the same abject marginalization. There was an opportunity for I Blew Up Juarez to be featured in one of Tampa Bay’s [adjective] bookstores. According to the bookstore owner, she is well connected in her sub-population and felt her endorsement for my work would be a step up in the [adjective] reading community. A bystander to our convo in her store looked me straight in the face and pronounced, “We need to support all [adjective] authors”, then provided a heavy nod to indicate insistence, or maybe because he summitted that soapbox too quickly? To which I blinked my large brown eyes to him and replied, “Thank you for that, I have copies in my car, would you like to purchase one?” The bookstore owner looked at him, and he said, “I wasn’t prepared to purchase a book today.” Ah. Yet you’re in a bookstore…for…?
Like so many other [adjectives], everyone’s ready to politick about what should be done, but no one necessarily wants to be the one to take action. I retrieved my review copy of I Blew Up Juarez from her last week; I didn’t care to play to grandstanding, even if they are my “people.”
Don’t get me wrong, there are some hilarious moments. I gave you some negative examples, but my common exchanges are mellow; if anything, people tend to react much like Brian does at the dinner table:
As in ‘go’, as in ‘green light’…clean ups on every page. Especially check out my I Blew Up Juarez tab…did I answer your questions satisfactorily? Think I covered ‘what is the book about?’ and ‘where can I find it?’ as succinctly as possible. And please do Like the page, but only if you mean it ;)
You know how you look at a thing too long you don’t know if you’re done? I’ve updated two of my Pages, “All About Von” and “Make Contact”. Well if you could just dance through those, offer edits where necessary, so I can stop looking at this, I’d really appreciate it!
Going to walk away and shower while you do that. Maybe eat lunch. Yeah, lunch…
This Mem Day Weekend I chose to tackle the leaning bookcase, see what we could alleviate from its shelves. Let’s discuss this stack that made the “donate the local library” pile (top to bottom):
1) Izzo, et al. – You can tell how much you mature as a person when you no longer feel the need to purchase books with titles including the word “guide.” Age-appropriate book, it’s geared towards the fresh out of undergrad chick population. This book provided me that most money of lines, “You can have a great job, a great boyfriend and a great apartment. But only two at once.”
2) Bank – This book was a reco by my first grad school roommate, a deranged, self-congratulating MFA student. I should’ve known the protagonist was a naive, vulnerable, indecisive retard desperate for a man to rescue her. Daddy issues out the wazoo, just like that asshole ex-roommate.
3) Moore – This is a shit book. Shit story, moves slower than molasses uphill. But I held on to it for so long because I bought it at Old Tampa Book Company off of Ashley Drive in Downtown Tampa. I kept a book to keep a memory of Florida, but now that I’m here, why the fuck do I still have this shit book??
4) McLaughlin, et al. – One of the few books I owned that made me laugh hysterically. Very fun, neatly self-deprecating, and just love how the protag earns her quiet victories. They made a movie of this, right?
5) Wood – Another Old Tampa Book Company find. This was a boner crippler. The title was a pull, the synopsis was intriguing, but once I engaged, it was dumb! The author had a great premise, had a great back story, but then slapped too much jargon in it in an attempt to demonstrate, I dunno, technological competency? with the consequence of sloppy story delivery. Glad I only paid a dollar for it.
Which means more skin, more outdoor activities, and more bad decisions!
I’m gonna pull random make-out sessions. Think of a drive-by shooting, but instead of filling you with bullets, I’m just gonna grab your face and fill it with my tongue!
1) Ayn Rand said so, and The Ultimate Warrior backed it up. On Objectivism, my favorite wrestler defined (source OpenCulture): “In essence, a concept where man is a heroic being, and his life is an end in itself, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” In quick, text-able interpretation: I’ma get mine.
2) Time’s too short, baby. Guys have zero game, terrible conversation skills, and they wouldn’t recognize an open if a neon blinking arrow was hanging over my head.
2) It’s the closest they’ll get to live porn. American males acquired their sexual “technique” from watching hours upon hours of porn, so they expect a woman to put her mouth on his body part within 8 seconds of meeting. Holding a pizza pie would be a bonus.
“The Random” does present its challenges. These are the ones I’m wary of:
1) Smokers. Everybody smokes. EVERY. BODY. SMOKES. And not good tobacco…CIGARETTES. Have you ever kissed a person who smokes cigarettes? It’s like licking the bottom of your mom’s kitchen garbage pail she’s been using to throw away YOUR diapers. Blech! So if I see a guy I wanna Random, I gotta check for box-shaped bulges on his person, as well as how frequently he steps outside the venue.
2) Girlfriends/Wives. There is an innocent way to pull a Random on a married or committed guy; make out with the chick immediately afterward! Then they’ll both be alright with it. Unless the G/W is a Smoker, then it’s a sacrifice for the payload. But then you gotta consider…
3) Insecure Girlfriends/Wives. Is she a human blood pressure cuff, darting evil eyes at every passing uterus? Is she constantly reading over his shoulder or trying to take away his phone? Is she pounding down the brown liquors? These situations make for primo Random targets, especially if he’s sexy and visibly annoyed with her. If all relays signal a go, then the moment she takes off to the restroom, I enact OPP, just like Naughty By Nature taught me.
There’s special considerations, but they require closer proximity, thereby cancelling the drive-by effect of The Random:
1) Lip Condition. My first beyond-eww-groadie-and-now-liking-the boys kiss was terrible. His full, rosy lips were chapped along the bottom, and although he was measured and passionate in delivery, all I could feel was my face being sanded down to a pale sheen. Since then, I’m very aware of a man’s mouth. First his dickprint, then his mouth.
2) Height-distance ratio. The key to a successful Random is to be able to run up, get my arms around his neck, and pull him close in one clean move, increasingly difficult if he clears a full foot or beyond. Failure to be smooth means he is calling the police and charging me with assault. So be courteous if you’re 5′ 11″ and over and position yourself near a chair, or even better, a set of stairs.