Born At Age 40.

 

Luna Dulcinea Photography 2017

If I were to be locked up for at least three months, I’d like to read the autobiographies of Sonia Sotomayor, Angela Davis, and Condoleeza Rice, then, A Farewell To Arms, the works of Heidegger regarding being-in-the-world in a technological age, and the Baghavad-Gita. That’d help construct a conceptual framework towards crafting an idea. I don’t want to say ideology, because that assumes I am interested in the delivery and execution of said idea. No. Just for now, I’d like to craft a well though out idea.

In a confined space, in the time between the “mandatories” – wash, medications, meals, exercise – I could dedicate my mind to deep thought. Deep thought is hard to do when you’re able to move, because you want to avail yourself to any activity that doesn’t restrict your freedoms. Confinement is alluring in that, knowing that you cannot entertain liberties, you are tasked to attend to the “urgencies,” the struggles of everyday society and politic.

We’re so feverish with mundane engagements, we gloss over the burgeoning disparities which contain our shared oppressions. Due to collective cognitive dissonance, it is easy to forget, even deny, that there is a pulsating monster living within our midsts. We are one/ but we’re not the same, as Bono sings. Should we continue to punish each other for lack of sameness (which is not equality)? Why do we adhere steadfastly to the cubbyholes of which desperate societies of the past have built? Why should we fortify past pains and sufferings as opposed to fortifying past achievements and successes? Could we not be more solution-oriented when talking about past horrors? When does the who-had-it-worse pissing contest officially end? We’re out of pee and yet, the contest continues.

As I contribute information on gender identity and cultural sensitivity for the next NAMI guide, I realize I do not have the lived experience of someone who identifies beyond static gender and sex assignments. This makes me revisit my knowledge of sex and gender assignments. I realize that these are particular cubbyholes which I’ve gotten accustomed to, even steadfastly adhere to. As someone who presents herself as open-minded and socially engaged, I’m kinda embarrassed for myself right now. I’ve gone through the exasperations of both gender and sexual identity, and it is indeed that, an exhaustion. To prove what, exactly? That I have a sexual identity? That I have a gender preference? Do I really need to secure such labels at this point in my life? I’d like to think not, but gender and sex assignment are feverish topics that the overarching society rabidly kicks about. I’d like to think in my human development I have accomplished an important thing and that is, I am a sexual person. Anything beyond that seems like fluff. Why? The satisfaction of my genitals and the method of delivery of such satisfaction are irrelevant to the overarching struggle.

As Johnny Saucedo puts it, “What does my fuck game have to do with anything?”

Luna Dulcinea Photography 2017


In my final act of suffering before Contentment, I am destined to live out my life as a petite, intelligent, woman born into a servant class. However, I can relate to the “male experience” because I have lived many roles which are typically designated male in our society – car mechanic, household provider, security guard, and others. I can’t deny my masculinity; however, I am genetically capable of producing offspring, a role designated to those assigned female of our species. Have I generated spawn? No. Have I engaged in activity that could merit procreation? Sure. Have I the want to be a mother? Not at all. So, if I only acknowledge my biology, and not my heritage in the omniversal sense, then I can successfully acknowledge that my gender assignment matches my biological propensities.
Does this make me a female? Societally, yes. Does this make me a woman? Well, I don’t know. My gender expression parallels my social engagement. For example, If I’m with the testosterone-dominant, I freely curse and talk about hard-ons, not only because it’s fun, but because it makes sense in that environment. I don’t feel compelled to emphasize the social meaning of my female form. Again, the stimulation of my genitals is irrelevant, in terms of the overarching struggle.

Luna Dulcinea Photography 2017


When I’m around the estrogen-dominant, I get a sense of camaraderie. My shoulders lower. Only because I feel more accepted by women. My entire lifetime, I’ve been intimately rejected by the testosterone-dominant, largely trying to deny me the “female experience,” which I acknowledge I enjoy. Thus, I find comfort in my sisters moreso than my brothers. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but I assure you, I’m working on tolerance.

As much as I try to neutralize the need to declare a -ness or -hood, people are simply too attached to the -ness or -hood. I’m not an -ist, or up to celebrating a -ness, or interested in promoting a -hood. Too may portholes to have to look through just to admire the same water! These types of conversations are beneath me, and way too often than not, it is people who tattoo their identities to their reproductive organs who force me to mute my intuition. The declaration of -ist, -ness or -hood allows the easily persuadable to exert the one other inherited trait of all biological species on this planet. I’m talking of course about the need for power.

While we are the most sophisticated as far as intelligent rigging, we certainly are feral when it comes to associations. In a social setting where the priority is to be about something, the best we could accomplish as a species so far is asserting our dominion over the whole Earth biome. Where do you go when you’ve reached the apex of the mountain? Start over? Decimate all, start clean? Shall we grow intellectually, as to be able to achieve all the visions we have, played out in science fiction cinema and books? Can we make our technological dreams a reality, or is the war over gender purposefulness – purposing? – so damn important that we place our intellectual development on hold? Why encourage a dialogue of global community enhancements when someone giving birth to octuplets can dominate the world discussion? I can’t say how many times I’ve yelled out, who the fuck cares?? after reading an article on the inane behavior of a cubbyhole celebrator! These cubbyholes, these socially-cast definitions and/or assignments, we wear like an iron mask. We find comfort in the ability to communally suffer in the pattern of, who-had-it-worse.

Oh, how celebratory it would be, to live knowing that one’s unique experience with genitals has nothing to do with the meaning of being ALIVE. I’d like to think we have sophisticated enough to crack out of the cubbyholes and enmesh ourselves in the spherical, pulsating, hexagonal field of light which welcomes species advancement. I’d like to think that, but then the image of people grasping their genitals floods my vision of the future. Let go of this need for genital stimulation and instead, launch ourselves in the direction of contentment. Sophisticate ourselves in a manner that goes against biological constructs? – gasp!

Luna Dulcinea Photography 2017


I can’t dedicate myself to protecting your cubbyhole. What I can commit to is a solution-oriented, transcendental purposing towards advancing humankind into the next natural stage of intelligent development by joining our relatives and neighbors operating at that level of sophistication. Leave the bleeps and blorps concept behind, and leap forward into our technological destiny: an existence worthy of our cosmic heritage, learned by our time-space delivery of achievements, bound to the concept of wholeness. I worry about calling this “divinity” because of its many contexts, but it is the best word for that which serves all intelligent forms of life. So if I run around extolling the virtues of “embracing your divinity,” I would, without a doubt, stimulate the fortification of existing cubbyholes. Instead, I shall exert, “You are greater than what you allow yourself to be.” IF you can’t take charge of that, if you can’t own that knowing, then I don’t know how else to serve except empathize with your unique lived experience. I can’t grab my vagina, I can’t devote myself to rituals, and I certainly cannot climb down this ladder to stop and wipe frightened noses. I’m not designed to go backward on the time-space continuum and I’m out of breath for apologizing for it! These insights amalgamated over decades of living in the Miseries, the rigid grid of cubbyholes, taking up precious space, like a wall full of inboxes which only get filled, never checked.

I suppose I’ve been struggling with defining a purpose, but I’m just only now sorting out that I have many purposes yet only one opportunity. That opportunity is ascension. Not in the Biblical context at all, but the natural process of intellectual development and acculturation in its most benevolent sense. I can be purposeful towards Ascension.

My other purposings are merely to satisfy my life expectancy. Other than committing suicide (which I’ve proved three times already I’m bad at) I could simply fill in the gaps between cubbyholes within the context of unity. Peacefully discharge my learned behaviors and social conditioning in a manner that encourages the concept of Ascension as a purposeful reality instead of its dark thick glass bottle called Hope.

I have faith that our particular biome will naturally progress in this manner. I am saddened that I won’t experience it in this lifetime, but gladdened I have actualized this as my truth before the tender marking of Time at 40. May we all be so lucky as to believe in Contentment.

P.S. Please add to my book list The Stranger by Albert Camus and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Thank you.

                • IMES

The Case For Supporting [Adjective] Authors*

Union Station, Washington DC, circa 2004
Americanism requires my artistry to match my organic matter.

 

I was raised an American.

I physically developed, formulated a personality, practiced social graces, and made friends living abroad, almost entirely outside of the United States of America.

Beyond America, as an American, no one gave a shit if your father was this race, your mother was that ethnicity, and certainly, without a hometown to tout, nobody cared which city/town/state in America your people came from. The determinant of a shared drink at the bierstübe or an all-out beat down was simple: conciliatory manners, meaning, demonstrating respect towards the culture one is ensconced in, for the sake of peace. This is how I came to understand “relationship building.”

Thus, my confusion when I arrived on these shores to find the Americans acting rather…feral…towards each other. As soon as I smiled hello, the marginalization began: What are you? What are your parents? Where do they come from? What neighborhood do you live in? Marginalizing box after box after box instead of just a, ‘nice to meet you’ in response. I thought it was a phase, but, twenty-three years later, that fervent need to make a person fit in a narrow-minded box is still definitive Americana.

Artistically, my race/sex/ethnicity/nationality/sexuality/etc does not matter. I have voiced men, I have voiced South Asians, I have voiced transsexuals through my artistry. It’s because I allow myself to be infused by these cultures that these stories and poems manifest, and manifest with respect to the attributes of the culture.

As an independent author, I had to manage my own marketing, so I tried assimilating into the literary world fold without utilizing Americanism, because it belittles me. If I’m only an [adjective] author, then I’m saying my art is only valuable to [adjective] people, which would be me belittling my target audience, the global community!

The last two months During the summer of 2014, I did decent with general sales but abysmal in representing my work without getting forced into a social cubby-hole. I incurred derogatory statements regarding my sex, my race, my ethnicity, and those statements then erroneously defined the quality of my novel.

While I try to respect the perspective of those who protect their “-ness,” I won’t allow my principles to be subjugated to the -ness. Does that make sense? That’s not my crutch; that’s that person’s crutch, and I needn’t lean on it. Here’s a sample of that:

There was an opportunity for I Blew Up Juarez to be featured in one of Tampa Bay’s [adjective] bookstores. This [adjective] bookstore, according to its owner, is the signature bookstore for the area’s [adjective] community. As well, the owner was a contributing committee member for a major area festival celebrating the [adjective] community, and she was THE person to talk to in order to be a featured artist in that festival. Struck gold, right?

The bookstore owner felt her endorsement of my work would be integral to achieving success in the Greater Tampa Bay reading community. It was here in the conversation I started to experience trepidation, as I observed her mentally pushing four boards together around me in the middle of her shop.

A bystander to our conversation felt compelled to declare, “We need to support all [adjective] authors!” He nodded heavily, proud of this statement. He supplemented his declaration by talking about inspiring the future generation of [adjectives], and the struggles of being [adjective].

Very rah-rah-rah this guy! I saw an opportunity and replied, “Thank you for that! I have copies in my car, would you like to purchase one?”

He blinked at me.

He looked at the bookstore owner.

The bookstore owner burned eyes into him.

He looked back to me and declared, “I wasn’t going to buy a book today.”

I retrieved my review copy of I Blew Up Juarez from her weeks later, as it became more evident her intentions were to puppet my [adjective] self, not my artist self. Even if she was a fellow [adjective] person in the literary community, she behaved like a complete asshole.

Unfortunately, it is socially expected to accept marginalization and profitable to -ness it up.

It’s disparaging, but…I suppose I’m the only one who sees it that way.

*: original post 06.24.2014 – edited content and toned down cynicism