disorientation is important. and this time, it’s about how disoriented i feel every day in my own home. It’s about physical space this time. I learned when putting the floor in my mom’s trailer that a trailer is never completely square. the construction is quite shotty, so when a trailer is hitched to a truck and moved, it loses its squareness. Mind you, it was square when it was built and warehoused. Everything about a trailer’s construction feels and looks unstable, unfinished, and temporary.

I was orientated to an unstable, temporary existence as a child, and now my permanent, stable life feels surreal and disorienting. My partner and I live in a house – it’s square, well-built, up to code, and its foundation sits halfway in the side of a hill, well-rooted in the ground. It’s a much different image than seeing the wheels on your home as a child. wheels move. hills don’t. It’s an odd place to find stability and permanence unsettling and comforting at the same time. It’s extremely disorienting. I can’t explain anything completely, but I sometimes feel as if the house does not belong to me, and that our 2003 Subaru is far from mine, though my name sits nicely on the title and registration. We still have trouble paying our bills, and I know I’m extremely lucky because circumstances have worked out in our favor, but it still sometimes feels disorienting and wrong. And so I try to help others with what we have – like letting a friend stay here for 6 months while she got back on her feet and ensuring that she had food and transportation to work and school. We take in stray dogs and cats – all 5 of our pets are rescues… a dog from an abusive home, another dog from a friend who was going to send it to a kill shelter, a cat from a hurricane, a cat from under a car, and another cat who showed up at 5 weeks old on my back porch in a rainstorm.

and oddly, my childhood’s physical existence was unstable and temporary, but it was my family that made it stable. I always knew my mom would be there when i got home, and that my brothers would be there. I always knew my grandparents would love me and that my extended family would be there for us. A lot of people I know have memories of a childhood home that makes them feel cozy and warm, but for me it’s the people – my family – that make me feel cozy and warm. I still call my mom when I have a cold, and she still yells at me sometimes. but for me, that’s stable, and familiar. I never attached to things as a child – except a stuffed bunny that I still sleep with (actually I sleep with the replacement my mom got for me after I got mono), but i didn’t attach to places. I attached to people. I still attach to people. I am still the kind of person who builds relationships on a personal level in order to be able to work well with people, and i find myself slightly hurt when my need for a more personal relationship is ignored or shrugged off. I can’t get connected to an organization or a corporation – it’s always the people. Now I run a freaking company and I make all the decisions based on the people – who needs what, why, and when… not the standard, but my staff is incredibly well taken care of – even with very little money. I’ll write more about “controlling the means of production” and “controlling the means of administration” as TPQ later, because it’s not traditional business… but it works, and it’s ethical. In fact, I think it’s more ethical than the way corporations run…

2 Responses to “disorientation”
  1. givemespacetorock says:

    I really like this post. I feel that way too often – I never lived anywhere for longer than a year and a half my entire life, moving around from apartment to apartment since I was a child. I’m now renting a room in a house – a real house! – and I don’t anticipate giving up my cheap rent and leaving any time soon and that’s fucking weird. My childhood memories are not of places and things, instead of movement and feelings. I also attach to people, too, and sometimes it’s problematic.

    Anyway, I love your blog.

  2. thanks for the kudos… I remember moving into a dorm room when I was 18 and off to college (with scholarships and financial aid in hand, of course), and thinking that my shared room was bigger than anything I had ever seen, and feeling like I had more space than ever in that dorm room. Of course, that’s also the year they gave a poor kid a credit card, and I was dumb enough to take it…

    I enjoy your blog, too… I drift somewhere between butch/femme/genderqueer and something else altogether, and I enjoy reading about what it’s like to be fully femme now – I think it’s different than it used to be, though old school butch/femme roles were rooted in working class women’s survival… in order for a lesbian couple to survive, one had to dress/look/pass as a man and work for a man’s salary, while the other could take a lesser paying woman’s job, but had to look that part, too. I try not to romanticize it too much, but sometimes, it all sounds very sexy…


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