13% [chapter 3]


Growing up in the military, you were accustomed to moving to different places bi-annually. This made it difficult to form any real lasting relationships with people, always getting torn away from the friends you finally managed to make. In some ways you loved, and in some ways you hated being the new girl again and again.

And in many ways, you wished you could seasonally shed all of your skin like a snake, devour yourself tail first, yet somehow avoid ending up with your head up your own ass, so to speak. Oftener, you'd curl up into a protective armoured ball like a roly poly and just roll away.

So much of a child's life is out of their own control. So much of what they are taught is on the importance of learning how to obey rather than learning how to think for themselves. To have some illusion of control over your own mind and body was the only form of autonymous choice you could fully embrace. This is why you told yourself that it is a decision you make, whether or not you allow yourself to fall in love or go insane.

As a rootless kid, you had formulated the ridiculous paranoic theory that every new town to which you were forced to relocate was just an updated version of the same ten people in the same small place, having been elaborately redecorated while you were all stuck up in the air inside that massive military cargo plane.

Since you and your brother were often the only children on board, the pilots let you sit in the cockpit and gave you lollipops to keep your curious hands occupied. You strained your little necks up to get a good view out the front window. You could see the tops of huge thunderhead clouds as you cruised straight through them instead of passing by alongside. This was one of the most beautifully sublime places you'd ever been to in your entire short life, up there in the boundless sky.

While unpacking moving boxes in Warner Robbins, Georgia, you pretended it was Christmas again and handed out all the wrapped items to other people so they could feign surprise upon opening each new gift of that thing they already owned. Your first day in kindergarten, you said hello in thick German. All the kids gasped and screamed, "Hitler!" But you had no idea what this word meant. It must be something hateful judging by their scowls. So your 5 year old speech patterns quickly shifted into the long slow drawl of an American's southern accent.

In Austin, Texas, a tornado came and blew out all of the windows of the house while your family huddled together in the tiny tiled bathroom, gripping the sink and shuddering. Afterward, you all went for a grateful walk across the flat cracked muddy plains that
seemed to stretch out forever beyond the little grassy fenced in yards. You played with some scorpions and knew you should be afraid of them, but you were not. Nor were you scared when your brother threw down his fishing pole after spotting a huge yellow water moccasin on the river. You grabbed his hand and brought him back to the spot where his pole landed unharmed. Then you made yourself conquer your fear of the high diving board at the public pool. Soon, that new found thrill became an obsession. At 7, you were a drug addict just waiting to happen.

While living on the Greek island of Crete, you saw 'Star Wars' on the big screen in an outdoor 3000 year old ampitheater beneath a bright sea of stars. You rolled around happily in fields of poppy and clover and swam with seahorses urchins stingrays and starfish in the heavenly clear blue Mediterranean. At night, you covered your ears to block out the slaughterhouse sounds of pigs being butchered because they sounded like children screaming. Along the edge of their fence lay scattered dry dead hoofs and horns and snouts. In utter glee, you rode many a wide bellied and very unimpressed donkey. For Easter, a goat was hung by it's feet in an olive tree and left to rot for 2 weeks. You inspected it's decomposition daily. At Knossos Palace, you sat in the King's throne but knew it really belonged to the Queen. You also wondered if Jesus was a time traveller from the future, where we all know how to heal each other already, and that he was stuck here, keenly aware of exactly what he had to stoically go through in order for the Piscean Age to unfold in the inevitably brutal and neccessarily ignorant way that it should. You found an Ankh ring on the village street and wore it even though it turned your finger green. While watching an opulent wedding from the kid's table, it made you cry. This lavish act of ceremony glimmered so sweetly in your 9 year old mind.

Ultimately, it was great for your mental health to have lived in so many different places growing up. You were especially grateful to have been exposed to the ancient Celtic, Minoan and Egyptian cultures, where, with the clear third eye of a child, you could sense the presence of memories from people that passed eons ago. These emotional but ordinary scenes
from older civilizations felt far more expansive and equalitarian than that of the non-Native American country you now inhabited; imperialistic genocide having paved the way through these desecrated lands; shopping malls in defecit being converted into private prisons for profit; a poorly housed chemically tainted urban sprawl that, for thousands of years prior to capitalism's arrival, was a communally sustaining well-tended crop of sacred maize.

It was this loss of sacred nature, replaced by the punitive hard line formation of strict angry man-god and woman hating laws to obey that turned you against organized religion's Just Do As I Say. You shut the Bible immediately after reading the passage that if a man cheats on his wife, he pays for his crime with a camel. But if a woman cheats on her husband, she is buried up to her neck in sand and has rocks thrown at her head until she is dead. Although you were still a kid, the stink of this injustice was not something you would ever be able to obey, much less worship. Christianity was no safe haven. Even it was calling you a whore before your 12th birthday.

So you curled up and rolled away.

Traveling induces egolessness. It invites you to befriend the present moment as something from which you need not seek permission nor escape. It will begin and end as it does regardless of your participation, so you might as well be there and appreciate. Listen to what you might hear it whisper in the wind, what it might show you while gazing out from that oval hole on the plane. Traveling awakens empathy for others as you see them from the bus lane, struggling on the streets to get home with their overflowing burdens before it's too late. It instigates the truest feelings of spiritual freedom you've ever known, as motion and light never discriminate. It induces a timeless sense of psychic connection to the organic structures of conception birth life death and decay. Air fire water earth and ether are moving in space, in swirling patterns that are all exactly the same.

And you don't even have to be totally high for motion to make you feel this serene, this constantly changing, this anonymous, this ok.

*u can call me ph!*

13% [chapter 2]


After the twin abortion, you left Ben.

His guilt over cheating on you preempted him to propose marriage. But you wanted to live now, not die some more. And honestly, you knew he would probably be happier with someone else. Someone else who was way better at doing this girlfriend thing than you were. He seemed to be alright, as he sat there watching you pack up your shit. But he knew nothing was going to stop you. He cried a little at the kitchen table. You cried too, but not until after your suitcases were loaded into the cab and it was pulling away onto Commonwealth Avenue. You had already become way too preoccupied with partying constantly to hang out at the apartment with him, all sullen and serious and sad. You could no longer see the point in discussing the unspoken issues of distrust this failed relationship now had. But you did keep his Joy Division 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' tshirt as a momento and wore it into the ground for the next 20 years in tribute to your one and only experience of domestic bliss.

By some twist of predictable fate, a few weeks after ending it with Ben, you found yourself hanging out with Adam, a guy who happened to be supplying you with all the LSD you could ever want or need. He had fallen for this new passionate vitality you now embued, but couldn't profess to know the Actual You, or that death had so nearly just claimed you. Usually, your starving mouth was too full of crullers from the latest Dunkin Donuts dumpster dive to talk about the past.

Adam's house was the kind of place where your circle of misfit friends gathered in groups; making art out of everything including shit and puke (as college sophomores do), playing chaotic music through random amps that invaded the basement, watching bizarre cult movies in the couch and bong infested living room. And sometimes just fucking, exploring each other in unisex groups of more than 2.

Don't overanalyze it -- it's what happens when everyone's young and uninnocent, drunk and on drugs, searching for something that always remains unclear. Just another bunch of punk kids in some other definitive-only-after-it's-over year, learning how to navigate and trying to dance on the dangerous transitional seas of a carelessly self-aware youth.

Tripping made you giggle at everything, including Adam. He was a tall lanky slim jim of a stretch toy with purple dreads, a drug dealing comic book dude. He had long fingernails, a lot of scars and a beautiful ancient sword mounted on his wall. Dead Can Dance, African Head Charge, Sleep Chamber, and Current 93 filled the room as he slipped a silver lizard ring on your finger. He said he wanted to marry you. That struck you as incredibly hilarious too.

One morning, whilst gently gliding back down to earth after tripping balls all night along the Massachusetts shore from Magnolia to Manchester-By-The-Sea, you watched the sunrise alone over the Atlantic ocean. In an instant, you decided you wanted to watch the sunset on the Pacific. Your first thought was "my parents won't let me." But then, the realization clocked you: you're on your own now. It's a fact. No longer do you need permission to live your life in whatever way you see fit.

Within the week, you sold some crap for cash, grabbed what few possessions you still had left, shoved them into a bag, headed for a plane direct to LAX, and told Adam you'd be right back.

*u can call me ph!*


13% [chapter 5]


It begs for fulfillment and has always begged for fulfillment since the dawning of humankind. Throughout history, all manner of things have been used to fill the Hole: drugs, booze, money, sex, power, risk, crisis, relationships, religion, gambling, materialism, nationalism, etc. for the sake of feeling a purpose, in order to feel Real Love.

Your Hole was filled with some of these things too, but only ever Felt Full when filling it with music, art or other compulsive acts of creativity. Akin only to the bellows of being boiled alive or the scraping desire to tear off all your skin and bash your skull against a brick wall til your brains seeped out, this uncontrollable burning urge to Create Something always instantly derailed the equally strong impulse to Destroy Something, most likely yourself.

These compulsive acts of creativity never held sway over the resulting expressions they produced. They never turned on you. They never abandoned you. They never ridiculed you for being too depressing, too brutal, too sad, too aggro, too political, too victimy, too intense, too strong, too cold, too feminist, too emo, too stupid, too you. Being in their midst seemed to be the only time you could catch a fleeting glimpse of that tiny beautiful spark hiding in the depths of your abysmally dark heart. This essentially made the Hole a necessity. Each time you filled it with creativity, the feeling of Real Love that shone forth was that of the miraculous and unconditional kind. It made you grateful for the Hole lies herein.

Although it would take many years to learn not to take for granted this face, once you began talking to it, spending more time with it and developing a resonating respect for it, you found yourself devoted to being its lifelong companion. Not until semi-consciously painting this phrase onto paper, did you realize it's ugly truth: "the only time i feel happy to be alive is when i am alone."

Because being alone meant being creative, not trapped under anyone's thumb. Being alone meant being uninhibited and standing naked in the light of your spirit not your sex. Being alone meant doing no harm to anyone including yourself. It meant channeling all that rage and aggression into something somewhat atrocious that also housed little slivers of a mysterious tranquility, an indiscrimate hint of redemption. Being alone meant being transported away from the meager repetitive trivialities of your own traumatized ego into a realm of pure thought, heavily populated with energy, ideas and that revitalizing feeling of Real Love.

It should be said that this sense of expansion and connectedness could only have happened after gradually shedding it's contrasting skin -- that tyrannical grasping at the feral act of expression as if no one within a ten mile radius was permitted to engage in their own creativity. This thing, this face, was the only thing that you felt was truly yours. And you hoarded it. Hiding it away as if it might be suddenly stolen or betrayed. Then putting it on blast upon completion, splaying it out to the whole world. But 'the whole world' seemed to only consist of that one dude that was currently fucking you, plus a couple other dudes that wanted to fuck you whenever that first dude had decided he was done fucking you.

No draw. No fans. No love. No duh.

Still, you'd put out more work than put out sexually (while remaining present in the room) and just kept hoping. Hoping for validation. Hoping ideas might be brought to life without all the junkie-slut judgements and false rumors that haunted you -- rumors that originated from the butthurt mouths of men whom you had refused to bow down and deliver some sacrificial oral sex to. Hoping your work might be seen and heard on the merit of The Work Itself, not only after taking into consideration that the person who made it has a cunt. Hoping you'd exist as something Before Cunt or After Cunt or Other Than Cunt. Not a woman artist, but an artist. Not in a girl band, but in a band. Not a female filmmaker, but a filmmaker. Hoping that your presence on this earth was even worth spit.

However, more often than not, splaying out only seemed to further the alienation. It most assuredly caused all sorts of schisms that ended every relationship you had with men who felt it was your duty to nurture their creativity rather than spend so much time and effort exploring your own. Relationships with women ended sadly as well. For what reasons you still can't tell. Maybe after you pull the broad axe out of your back and crawl out from under the bus, all will be peachy, swell.

Most other people ignored your work. Or belittled and denigrated it. Or just got more weirded out by you than they were before. And sometimes, they felt so moved that they'd send you pictures of their dumbass dicks. How terribly fascinating that is to someone who has seen nothing but the mediocrity of dicks since the age of 4?

Occassionally though, others said the things you made inspired them. You later read somewhere that the best thing any human being can do is inspire others. This surprised
you because you always felt insulted by the compliment; preferring they book you a show, buy some merch or share their tour contacts and technical knowledge with you rather than just get inspired. You translated this into meaning they now felt motivated to go make their own better version of what you just made because nothing you do is ever Good Enough.

And how could anyone argue with that kind of logic?

Inspiring others didn't garner you any of that sought after support from "the community" either. You only noticed it bringing repulsive levels of disdain, rejection and other grossly competetive behaviors your way. This, of course, is inevitable for anyone willing to put their underpants on display. But so reviled by the hypersensitive; to one who's grown so weary of those odorous unlovable traits that kept being force fed into your already stuffed up face. It only gave you more reasons to hate. Even though you were now a fully grown crybaby who had the capacity for hard reflections and real profound change.

Unfortunately, change only actualized after it was already too late. And that thirst to feel part of some imaginary creatively sustaining group, like those photos of surrealists in Paris circa 1932, never bore any of the hoped for fruit. Truthfully, hope had blinded you to all the fallen fruit at your feet. While you pouted and stomped around, spouting out your enormous expectations and warbly angst ridden images and sounds, those modest but sweet opportunities were just laying there, rotting on the ground.

After all those formative art fag punk years spent being ugly overbearing arrogant awkward anxious and weird, you're fortunate that this artistic devotion was never completely smothered in those heavy handed, desperate-for-love clutches. At some point you had to let those things you created walk away and go live lives of their own. Watching your little creative children from a distance as they went on living gave you a beaming teary-eyed mother's sense of pride -- if this is what a mother's pride feels like.

Eventually, you'd come to see through the stunted hierarchal power play for recognition that occurs in every creative "scene". You despised that word since you never really felt part of one. And if you were, you were completely unaware of it. Pretty much mirrors the feelings you had about your family. Every conversation was always instigated by you. The only time your phone rang was when someone's butt or bag called to make muffled noises and squishy sounds. Ha Ha! Loser. Perhaps your mom was right when she said, "You're such a downer. It's no wonder you go through men like water." And if your own mother doesn't really love or support you, how could anyone else be expected to? Yup. There's that yoke too.

However, when others did absolutely love your work and asked you to autograph something, fawned over you with dilated pupils or began liking every single thing you posted on social media, you got creeped out by the attention and felt as if your virtual personal space was somehow being infringed upon. There really was no way to win with you. Essentially, no matter how other people responded, you consistently felt afraid of everyone and suspicious of their motivations on both sides of the ditch. It was just as difficult to deal with violent opposition as it was to deal with sincere admiration. Either way, you'd be a disappointment. Right, mom?

So Fuck it. Stop trying so hard to be anything to anyone.

And when you finally felt that transformative joy of letting go of those wobbly notions of control, discovering that the Less you clung to your own need for an ego boost via creativity as if it Belonged To You, the less you tried to control others or allowed them to control you, the More that energy would recharge the environment itself -- setting the room and everyone in it alight, turning a small free noise and doom show in the living room of an old slum (affectionately dubbed bleakhaus) into a generating storm of lightning bolt positivity for electromagnetic acres around. One might notice this with any live music venue. Everyone feels, not only high on whatever they're already on, but also noticeably more aurally alive during the course of that sonically cleansing night. And those were some of the happiest nights of your life.

Perhaps creative energy is a lot like a woman. When you try to Own it, Control it, Make it Conform to Your Needs, it can no longer breathe, so the spark of love withers and dies. But if you take a step back and Let Her Do Her Own Thing, she is a wonder to witness, a joy to behold, a time to admire.

You liked to liken this more approachable attitude to being a radio. The radio does not Own the show it broadcasts any more than you Own the creative energy that just so happens to flood through you, tapping into your veins whenever it feels like. Being receptive to its sudden company is always a welcomed high.

Like those moments when the music moves you to tears, when a unifying psychic awareness of the tenderness in the present moment makes colors shine bright, when the sweltering heat is tamed by a summer thunderstorm's downpour, when every vulnerably fractured emotional toll doesn't seem so tragic anymore and your heart's willingness to feel springs back to life.

Regardless of whether or not you were high on drugs, it was always there, that clear-seeing energy within alpha state, that unconditional love that softens off the jagged edges of pride, that forgiveness that opens you up to what is outside.

At last, comprehending what this enigmatic Hole face had been trying to show and tell you the whole time -- that Creativity IS Mysticism, doofus.

Now go start a fire!

*u can call me ph!*

13% [chapter 1]


Depression's been a constant dull ache since you were in 4th grade, so you always welcomed the presence of rage. It supplied you with the energy required to destroy whatever was in front of you in an effort to create positive change. Rage was such a regularly occuring emotion, you consistently recognized it's face. But it was so prevalent that by the age of 14, drugs began to build for you a buffer zone so as not to see this face so fucking often. An additional coping mechanism was also instated at this time called vigorous physical exercise.

Anyone born into a kid that receives ample abuse and neglect from those who are unable or unwilling to nurture and protect, intimately knows this horrifying red rage-filled face. They also know a child's instinctive longing for calm kneejerks them to grab the nearest broom and clean up the huge mess that the red face inevitably makes, regardless of whether it stems from elsewhere or is a self-made mess.

Who could blame you for being confused? The need to bond with others opens the oxytocin floodgates in our brains and sends warm fuzzy hormones careening around all over the place. However, in your case, twisted mental pathways interpret this hormonal release as a signal that someone is going to hurt you, so you turn away. To survive and protect yourself, you learned to turn away. For 40 odd years, you kept turning away. Yet at the same time, you so deeply yearned for that feeling of connection that continually eluded you. Seeing successful connections being made everywhere around you produced even more confusion. So you'd hide from the face of rage under your buffer zone drug blanket and bury yourself under quilted cries from wanting to be held but knowing that you cannot be held. There's a fabulous joke in there somewhere that you might one day find.

Whenever someone was engaged in the act of beating the shit out of you, they were also screaming bloody murder and visibly in pain. For this reason, you preferred violent physical abuse to the sexual kind -- preferring also to be the target of the attack rather than to watch someone else getting beaten. It felt far worse to witness your brother being hurt than to psychologically dissociate while going through it yourself. Also, your brother never discovered this secret weapon which proved to be your most powerful deterrent: urine. A few punches in, you'd let loose the bladderful you'd been saving up for this special occassion. And, like magic, yelps of disgust would replace the torrent of scorn. Instantly, the hitting would quit. You found pearls of joy in those tiny triumphant moments sitting on the kitchen floor in a peaceful puddle of tears spit piss and glory.

But the scars of sexual abuse were far more insidious. The sights, the sounds, the opaque presence of a person's intense feelings of pleasure while causing someone else terrible pain displaced that pain into a realm much colder. A hurt that hides deeper, in a distorted trench just below, but too close to, your own pleasure zones. Violence might find that cold hurt's hiding place but cannot hold a candle to it, nor can it ever cure it. Bruises, broken bones and burns prove violence occurs, but hidden are the scars of sexual abuse beneath the molten words, "I will kill you if you tell."

Enter the deathwish; swimming down there like an invisible shark, constantly stalking a freedom that is absolute -- a freedom that can only come to you from somewhere outside yourself. Deliverance via suicide, they say, only traps your soul in that state of wretchedness, confining it to that time and place instead of bringing you any of the desired relief you so desperately crave. And maybe that's all bullshit, but the benefit of the doubt must be given to all the ghosts of people who successfully committed suicide and later crowded around you asking for help. Clearly, they were not resting in peace.

Being a woman with a quick temper, an iron poker opinion and not much respect for authority, your chances seemed pretty damn good that you might one day receive this gift of deliverance from some angry asshole's bitch-killing hands since America is #1 in the world for acts of violence against women. So hooray for that.

But shit happens.

When long slow periods of cowering in fear suddenly transform into an overwhelming shockwave of action, critical mass occurs. Well directed, that shockwave of shit is capable of altering and healing lives. It can flip the switch for the victim -- to give up the ghost of victimization, to shift the mind out of that passive frozen in time emotional vortex it is stuck repeating, to actively crack open the present moment and lean you into the inertia of growth that naturally throws you toward letting go.

Unforgettable was your moment of cracking open at critical mass on June 10th, 1988. Squarely, you thrust your steel toed boot into the charging crotch of your dad who had for so long, shoved that thing in your face and at your punk ass.

At the age of 6, you already had enough defiance in mind to not let his dick penetrate you, though all kinds of other things did. How you had gained this early knowledge of carnal invasion was, as of yet, unknown. But now that you were bigger, you could better defend yourself from the unpredictable hair trigger walking on eggshell eruptions of animosity that bombarded you. At last, you could fight back.

Watching your father collapse so quickly, writhing there on the floor, scrunching his nuts in hand -- you stood so solid and strong, like some kind of engorged proud prisoner of nuclear war! Perhaps this shit happened because it was during your very first very short very scary experiment being a straight edge skin head of the anti-racist sort. A blinding glimpse through a clean drugless window with no buffer zone between you and a world where your rage was a wholly warhorse of consumption that you had none of the skills to rein in.

And when your father angrily jumped up from the floor with his balls still sore, he hurled himself back at you, screaming, "I HATE YOU!" His fists wheeled against your teenage frame. So you kicked him again. In the same place. Harder this time. Your mother cried from the sidelines, then ran to his aid during his second tour of the writhing floor.

Marching off toward the front door, you swung it open. While still in the eye of this purging hurricane, you let loose a stream of FUCK YOUs, puking out all those long rooted petrified agonies at your parents who had for so long sewn them into you. Quaking inside, you felt a subtle shift, the loosening of a crystallized stillborn cacoon. It's newly wet wings just beginning to protrude. Slowly unveiling over several seasons, they would emotionally inchworm you away from that tendency to dwell in your own personal hell and go for that oh so stereotypical due-to-the-aftereffects-of-child-abuse noose.

God forbid, you had never returned that wrath back to the source from whence it came, it would have been 87% more likely that this constant unexpressed chasm of avarice would have mutated into that common concave outlook of My Childhood Was Shit So Now The World Owes Me. This would only have produced relentless passive aggressive manipulations, surreptitious self-interest disguising itself as sympathy and other malignant misanthropic deeds. Undoubtedly, these traits would then cause harm to countless innocents surrounding you for the rest of your suppressed aDult days.

Those innocents include the children you never gave birth to. Abortion was your only inroad to harm reduction. Often, tears of gratitude were produced when thinking back on all the possible atrocities that were avoided; all the scars your younger tempermental fucked up self would have inflicted onto those poor kids because it's not as if you didn't show these malevolent signs during your earlier period of hope's decline.

But that initial critical mass, that shockwave of shit, ultimately saved you from your statistical self. It gave you a 13% chance of having a less than bleak outcome in life. Not being a mother was the sacrifice you were willing to make. Take that to mean whatever you like.

And as long as you resisted the urge to do one or more of these 4 things: prostitute yourself,
commit suicide, get incarcerated for assault,
or overdose on drugs, then you would remain in that 13 percentile. Seems simple enough. But you'd be surprised at self-destruction's tireless jags of acrimony, it's imperious drive to which the only defense is a softening into the impermanence of time and some resolute vigilance, always mindful and kind. No matter how hateful and angry that drive is to end your pathetic wasted life.

Up until this attack, self-defense was characteristically pacifistic, a psychological impasse. Kicking your dad in the nut sack was a heroic act in a heroless tract. By now, you knew no one else was ever gonna come save you but you -- a person that you did not trust even existed. Someone who'd one day emotionally understand how to take full responsibility for their own happiness.

A future you that would splatter and stain walls, vent onto paper instead of people, grow a pair for fuckssake, what's the magic word, be nice, say thank you, stand clear, speak up, have the courage of your own convictions, understand mutual aid, practice, lose yourself, it's ok. Find the frame of mind that differentiates self-pity from self-compassion. Be willing to walk the valley alone between self-deception and self-hate. Remember where you came from. Have a little faith. And feel the majesty of that moment when all fear vanishes and out blossoms the enveloping awe of a justified rage, a pivotal truth, in all her glorious unfurling furies of grace.

*u can call me ph!*