the art of NO

a girl came up to me and said she liked the sound of the tea kettle boiling at the end... i'm not sure if she meant it as a compliment or an insult, but it's actually hilarious cuz  THE VERY FIRST LIVE SHOW IN SF i took part in was at kimo's, 1998. my friend gabe's experimental noise band was onstage and invited people to come up and scream in the mic, so chupa and i ran up there and did just that. behind us was a single burner with a kettle slowly coming to a boil, and of course, you can imagine the climax. yup. 
it made me want a cup of tea. 

a mere 16 years later at submission, playing to my "draw" of next to none, as my usual draw over the last decade and a half has consisted of the guy i was currently fucking and maybe one other friend.  however, having just celebrated my 4th SAN(e)niversary of Embracing Hopelessness in which i gave up sex + relationships, i have also recently ceased instigating conversations with people who talk to me as if i'm a cardboard cutout of a very scary monster and not a person, so you do the math. it's important to note, shows have never been about "blowing up" for me, i usually prefer smaller crowds so i don't shit myself, but also because it has nothing to do with money or rock star whatever, over the years, it has moved more and more into the realm of devotional, an act done in reverence for the activity itself, cuz there is nothing else quite like that feeling of Being In The River.

20 minutes in, i hit room tone.  i have never hit room tone at this level of massively loud with a sweetly balanced korg analogue synth signal before ~ and OOOOOOOHHHHHH MMMYYYY GGUUUUUUUUUDDDDDD.........for a long series of moments, i sat there feeling all things vibrating themselves apart in that bass frequency.  i was sure everyone's solar plexus felt the same as mine, but i was so in love with Sound at that moment, i wouldn't have noticed anyone or anything else in the room...... other than a couple former coworkers and the girl who asked me to come and play the show (wanted to tell her thanks for inviting me, but she left while i was packing up gear) so, with all the people i knew gone already, in this roomful of strangers, i entertained myself with thoughts of this being My Big Going Away Party. 

then i saw my roommate/landlord come in, the One person who hates my existence to such an extent it has made life at bleakhaus into an absurd french film most of the time.  it's hard to be in spaces where there was once so much joy and light and see it now filled only with darkness and derision. but since my role as the scapegoat/common enemy will of course, have to be filled by someone else once i leave, i'd hate to see how that pans out. it's become a mental mantra, the image of Escaping this Trap of Stagnation, finally being free from the demon-like infestation of all things and people evil. So many objects are marked for sacrifice in the beach bonfire i will build during the upcoming solar eclipse. 

due to the fact that i am "such a downer", this thought of This Is My Life Slash Big Going Away Party was at a level of depressing so deep down in the gorge of abysmal after living here for 20 years, that it was instantly fucking hilarious!! so i laughed a lot with my monumentally melodramatic abandonment issues -- who were now joined by my Total Defiance Of Men Who Want Me To Fuckin Die If I'm Not Gonna Do Whatever For Them -- and schlepped my shit home down mission street, giggling most of the way. 

i am sure i have never felt so alone in my life, but am weirdly ok with it...it's so...weird.

the best part of the night was the sound guy K2, who answered my technical question without the slightest hint of condescension or arrogance and made the entire experience so much more pleasurable by helping me LEARN SOMETHING...and i like learning things. i especially like when other people actually HELP me learn things instead of hoarding knowledge or intentionally misleading my unending curiosities.....curiosities that have never killed any cats in the past, curiosities that keep me just interested in life enough to stop me from jumping off the golden gate bridge, which is good, i think. though some others might disagree. but when i do fiddle with thoughts of suicide, doing the things i am afraid to do in life always seem like an easier option to deal with -- cuz ultimately, It Doesn't Matter if i decide to go there or stay here, or live now and die later, or cut bait or switch, cuz in every single scenario of every decision made ever, all that results from anything is:

unfortunately, i had the formula backwards all these years - i always expected the best out of people and was constantly disappointed, but expected shit from situations and usually got shit, so at some point, it finally dawned on me that i need to flip that around - and stop expecting anything from people, and instead only expect good things from choices and changes and situations in life i can manifest for myself.  reactions to reality you can control, but why waste time thinking another person can or should be influenced by your control?  how up-yer-own ass would you have to be to think you need to control someone else's decisions in life? 

when i think back on dudes that i knew had crushes on me, and had that notion for a minute, "i could probably get him to do ____ for me" but within 10 seconds, i felt sick and knew that mindset is against my nature. the mindset of GET. it's all we do most of the time, it's what capitalism has turned us into, animals that have to GET GET GET. never GIVE. (funny thing for a "shady junkie" to say, huh? yup, folks know me SOOOOO well....cuz they've all spent SOOOOOO much time hanging out with me......HA HA HA) ..... so after having been on the other end of the GETTING stick for so long with my Obvious Dumb Girl Crushes on dudes that would then use me for this and that, and show off my gullible loyalty for shits & giggles - i always wondered how the fuck a person could do that to someone else and still be able to sleep at night? and i NEVER wanna be on the receiving end of the OVERGIVING stick either -- cuz it SUX BAWLZ having to say in 8 million different ways that get increasingly harsh with each non-listened to version "I AM NOT INTO YOU LIKE THAT, I DO NOT HAVE ANY SEXUAL ATTRACTION TOWARD YOU (or anyone for that matter) & I DO NOT WANT TO BE YOUR GF, OR ANY OTHER THING LIKE THAT."  playing any kind of game with other people's emotions seems so heartless and honestly, DANGEROUS. no good can possibly come of it, so what is the fucking point of it? it's thoughts like these about people's behavior that make me SO FUCKING GRATEFUL FOR MUSIC & ART, that i can spend endless hours engaged in playful activities that do not allow space in my brain to know how to Play People.

i heard a hipster douchebag walking down the street the other day say to his coworker/friend, "yeah, that guy is SO SENSITIVE about everything, it makes it Really Easy to Make Fun Of Him..." so i guess that IS the goal for most "well-adjusted" individuals...entertain yourself and others by attacking the sensitive - who has almost always been attacked since day one, thus the sensitivity. ugh. gross. and boring.

it's no wonder people go on killing sprees when the bullshit in the sandbox NEVER GOES AWAY throughout adulthood and yer stuck dealing with the same 4th grade shit post 40 yrs old.... but since i do not understand why people do or say the things they do 99% of the time, trying to figure out Other People would be fantastically futile....and that's when i say out loud to myself in one of several thick accents, "Sometimes, it's OK TO NOT UNDERSTAND" or in Hal's computer voice, "This Conversation Serves No Greater Purpose, DAVE" or in a (nothing like) Christopher Walken voice "Forget about it ~~ Now It's The Year For People-Free Thinking" whereupon i will engage in learning how to focus all this never-ending rage i have for society in general & the raping of planet earth by corporate greed into consciousness, activism, lucidity, in communion with music and art, off in my own space, making time sacred.  

you won't need my cell phone number because i know you will never call me. 
also it does not exist. 

and please californian confrontation-phobics, try to learn how to say NO. 
it really is ok. 
no one is going to shoot you, or hate you. they might even like you better. 
it's respectful to say NO, in fact, because it doesn't waste anyone's time, and others can make informed decisions when they know you are NOT gonna do whatever they're waiting for you to do.  once you start saying NO it's hard to stop, cuz it feels so much better to not fuck around with yourself or anyone else. NO has made life more POSITIVE, more DIRECT, less higglety-pigglety, less fearful, less lame...

and thank you, 
i'm glad you came all this way.

*u can call me ph!*



saw this hilarious and inspiring performance by Bridget Everett and Dj Ad Rock on Inside Amy Schumer and decided to turn it into an mp3 to take on the road with me for those low moments of wondering why I exist - cuz so many of us lacked the presence of that strong woman in our lives to tell us "Fuck Em, Don't Be Ashamed, Be Who You Are!" in fact, some of us not only receive very little support from our mothers, we are often encouraged to instead Hide Ourselves, Dumb Ourselves Down and Be Less Visible for the sake of pleasing the men that would have us. 

on my last visit to see my parents, my mom shuffled around serving my father while he insulted her intelligence approximately once every 20 minutes. every time he did that, incredulously, i'd look at her, like Are You Gonna Take That?  and she would sigh, shooting me a glance of poor me... having been removed from this environment, i'd forgotten how prevalent was this air of brow beating and the resulting acclimated victimization, which obviously never bothered her enough to DO anything about it for the last 50 years of their marriage, so why was she looking at me with these pleading Save Me eyes? as if i could do anything about the choices she made in her life.  YOU GET WHAT YOU SETTLE FOR : a personal mantra & life altering reality check that works every time.  as soon as i left their presence, i could breathe again and immediately decided not to see them again.

it's taken more than 20 years to process/heal the damage done to my ability to successfully function in society, and to feel complete forgiveness toward my father. to some degree, he was just repeating the treatment he was exposed to as a child, and that is certainly no excuse, but it does warrant an explanation as to why he would violently beat and sexually molest his children.  why adults of abuse choose to even HAVE children, i don't fucking know.

so now that i've finally cleared away all of the rage i had concerning The Dad The Fist The Dick, underneath that lies this other beast: the rage for the mother and why she did nothing to protect us, not before the abuse, not during, and not after.  
what the fuck is her excuse???  

apparently, in 1976, my father attempted to get psychological help immediately after the first incident of the sexual abuse occurred and spoke to my mother about it, but she said not to worry, that everything would be ok. in 1991, she said she regrets having said that to my dad. in 2005, she then said she regrets marrying him, she regrets leaving england, and she regrets giving birth to my brother and me. i think if i can reach the age of 60 and not scream out a list of regrets like that one, then i'm doing ok. 

one of my earliest memories is being at a doctor's office in germany due to an ear infection and screaming for her to stop this guy in a white coat from hurting me with those things he's poking into my ears, and she just stood there, looking at me... the same way she would just stand there looking at me during every violent beating throughout my childhood. when i recalled this memory, she said, "that's impossible, how can you remember that? you were only a 18 months old..." so could her excuse be something as simple as the fact that she just never loved me since birth?  shrug. it happens. i can actually understand that, and i think if she ever had the courage to tell me the truth, instead of coating everything in sugary denial, i could garner some shred of respect for the woman. but that will never happen. and the closest i've come to forgiving her is to knowingly decide it's not up to me to tell her the truth, or to even tell her anything at all, i can instead just let her live in the peace that her sweet denial and quiet consensual victimhood give her. 

it's sad to say, but i actually found great relief in discovering that this kind of relationship is most often the case with female survivors of sexual abuse and their mothers. it's actually more common that mothers will knowlingly expose their daughters to permanent damage rather than find the strength to leave their abusive husbands. [sometimes, if the mother is also being beaten, she doesn't leave because she believes there is no way out, that he will find them and kill her and her children, and too often, this ends up being the case.] but the fact that mothers are also more likely to view their own daughters as sexual threats - seriously..?. as if any 5 year old girl has the desire to fuck her dad...??! UGH. i think NOT. 

so, it's like we're fucked from day one, and when we turn to other women for support, but get MORE of the competitive you're-a-threat-to-my-being-the-most-desirable-object-in-the-room-and-now-i-will-be-a-back-stabbing-bitch-and-throw-you-under-the-bus attitude from female "friends" throughout the rest of our lives, it's not entirely a surprise to us since our moms did that shit to us already. cunts.   

one night, in upstate new york in the winter of 1980, my mother woke my brother and me up at 4 am, and told us to get in the car. she had decided enough was enough and said she was taking us to live with our grandparents in england.  we were both ECSTATIC~! finally, our mom was going to do something to protect us!  just before getting on the highway, she pulled into a burger king parking lot, turned off the car and started crying. my brother and i just sat quietly in the back seat waiting... she stopped crying. no one said anything. after about 10 minutes, she started the car. at the stop light, straight ahead was the highway, she turned right, and drove us back to that house. 

at that moment, my brother and i grasped each other's hands with a feeling of the darkest, most utterly inescapable despair, knowing there would be years of this shit to live through with no one on our side, no one to protect us, no one to tell us we should not be ashamed of being alive.

so yeah, i have been one aggro fucker for a very long time, but now that i am aware of the exact time and place in which that rage was born, that pure defiance of the weak victimized woman who would do anything for her man - even at the cost of her own children, and why the instant trigger finger whenever belittlement enters the picture...
it's a lot easier to attempt let go of the aggression and rage when you know where they come from...but i am still trying...

emotionally, i think this is why i was able to connect with the 4 to 6 Muwekma Ohlone women that were killed on this spot of land on which bleakhaus sits ~ circa 1770-1812 during the gentrification "settlement" of white san francisco and subsequent enslaving and genocide of the Muwekma Ohlone tribes.  when it was first established in san francisco, the mission kept native women as slaves having killed off most of the men through violence and disease. if women attempted to escape, they were often captured by other members of their tribe who were convinced assimilation would work and forced the captured slaves to then turn around, and go back to the mission. 

that turning back to the place of torture by those that are supposed to be on your side.  that darkness and utterly inescapable despair, i understood it. although, i was not forced to witness the near total annihilation of 4000 years of my people's culture, religion and language, and it was then i could emotionally grasp the depth of their sadness... and...THERE ARE NO WORDS. 

but i had to act on it...and since i don't possess the language skills or felt i had the right to address them, i relayed all of the details of this experience to the remaining descendants of the local tribe in hopes that they would not think i am crazy, but instead could perform the appropriate ritual to free their souls from this place.  
so whenever i hear people loudly say Be Proud Of Who You Are, i instantly start crying tears of joy, just like i do when someone small wins something big or simply succeeds at anything great. i love that feeling of being told that It's Ok You Exist! it goes straight through me, straight through to the only ones who are telling me things like that...but they are not people at all...they are The Moon, The Music, The Wind and The Water.  

*u can call me ph!*