American History Why

HIS VOICE.

I had to hear it again.

UGH.

Not that I wanted to, AT ALL, but I had to.

Phone calls from the mortgage company, asking for my ex-husband, were growing in repetition now over a month. I’m not involved with the Texas house anymore.

I said to him, peacefully, I didn’t want any argument, I just wanted everything having to do with our past shared property to be his business, not mine. I didn’t expect anything more than peace in the matter. X said he’d handle it in a voice that I wished I could trust. I did tell Turkey Neck thank you for addressing the problem. Speaking in a fang-baring tone, the Michelin Man reminded he wasn’t doing a damn thing for me. I let my kindness override his irritability, knowing he’s the kind of person who constantly seeks out battles; his preferred weapon, the telephone. He must hate the Internet now that social media has taken over.

We have been divorced four glorious years and I sold my share of the house for a $1. I don’t even remember receiving that $1, but that’s just how much I hated him, how much trauma I was experiencing, I couldn’t give a shit about no dollar bill. Because of him I am this way, and today is a post traumatic stress kind of day. At least the eyebrows can perk up a bit because the issue with the house is no longer.

Regicide was the WOTD. Means ‘death of a king.’ X was no king; with his nasally, holier-than-thou, mawkish New Yoork accent he reminded me what a fat, dumpy, hair coated asshole he is.

He remains such.


With a, “you do you, bye bye!” I ended the call. In the next room, my angel begins to rouse from sleep. I asked for a hug. He lifts the sheets, inviting me in and I curl into my favorite position: head on his hairy chest, one arm wrapped over his torso, my legs tucked up against his thigh. I feel as if set ablaze from within. He feels like he’s fireproof. His embrace absorbs my flashbacks; with continual kisses to the forehead, the memories disappear.

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Due to my ex’s bleating goat voice, I feel as if my soul’s been thrown through tempered glass, impaled everywhere. Every loving hug received I feel a shard push out of me, emerge ooze-covered, to dissipate in whatever hell space X resides. At this point I should be crying, but what’s to cry about? I told him flat out I want to be left alone, and I don’t want him to give out my phone number. I want peace and privacy, two things I could never get from X, two things I’m joyfully experiencing from Why.

“Why are you with me?” is my check-in question.

“Because I love you,” is always his check-in answer.

When he says that, whatever hate I feel in my heart finds something else to do.

X wavers but Y remains.

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