Archive for December, 2011
man, does this guy have a presence.
when i started at new college, friend fifty, who i will refer to here as “RKD,” was an older student who loved the work of augusto boal. he offered workshops on theater of the oppressed which was his passion. in high school, theater in general had been one of my passions, so i was excited to participate. the interactive participation of theater of the oppressed was a fun way to be introduced to new college, its freedom, and the ways its students were passionate and thoughtful. i didn’t pursue theater of the oppressed much after that workshop, but i always had a positive perception of friend fifty.
i first met friend one when we worked together in seattle’s pike place market. our little crew there were all young, good-natured, silly folks, with a wonderful store manager who was a little bit of a mother hen to us. or at least she was to me, bearing the full brunt of my “omg, i’m completely diagonally across the country from my entire support network, my dad died last year, and even though i’ve been going by cubbie since coming out here, i’m only half out about my gender and i keep getting nasty periods” dramas. there was something really special about that job and all the people i worked with there.
this fellow was doing sound work at venues, and when we’d talk, he’d frequently use terms that i didn’t understand about the technicalities of his work or who was hip at the time. he was way more punk rawk than me, and always wore a bandanna in a back pocket. one day, a man with a big bushy beard came in and hit on him. he was amused but not interested. “your pocket was telling him that you like anal fisting,” i told him, referring to the “hanky code” that all the hip queer zines were writing about at the time.
he’d been working at the store longer than me and was in the process of learning all the ropes of opening and closing the shop. he had keys to the shop and he would say the next step was “a wife and kids.” he was ambivalent about his responsibility to the shop. his favorite parts of our job seemed to be making the paper bags pop (like the guys did at the donut shop), giving people weird advice for how to use our spices, and telling funny stories to the rest of us. that was what we all liked to do best. oh, and WORK HARD, of course.
as i was transitioning out of working at the store because i was moving to olympia, he started a relationship with a girl who, i think, met him at the shop. according to facebook, they are married and have two little ones. he seems happy and punk rawk still, even if he’s that adult that he was worried about becoming.
creative. dynamic. a little intimidating. someone with a very strong presence who stirs up the positive energy when she enters a room, i wasn’t surprised to learn that after we went to new college together, friend forty-seven, who i will refer to here as “april danyluk,” went to clown school. a snazzy dresser and fantastic performer, at college, if friend forty-seven was there, i knew whatever event i was at was going to have a beautiful and fun level of unconventionality. we lived in the bay area for a little while at the same time, and ran into each other at an event out here, but we’re still in that “friendship potential” stage of things.
friend forty-nine, “april doner arts,” is not a person, but instead the facebook presence of the art of friend forty-eight. unblinkingly real and unabashedly imaginary, her art is a beautiful addition to the town i grew up in, the kind of town where much of the art is purple pottery created by middle-aged rich white women in kimonos (she’d like me to let you know she values their art as well).
recently, i had the great joy of getting to dance with friend forty-eight, who i will refer to here as “april doner,” for the first time in years. she was visiting a mutual friend out here in the bay area, and we took her to the fabulous (as long as you aren’t wearing shorts) harry denton’s starlight room. somehow friend forty-eight was like a ray of fierce florida sunshine as she danced. there’s something missing in the way most of people dance, but new college reminds you how to stay joyfully in your body when you dance, and that was what i saw when friend forty-eight danced.
at college, we shared similar circles of friends, and i always appreciated how she managed to combine an open heart and goofy demeanor with a deep level of gracefulness. kind, artistic, political, brave, and, like i said, graceful, friend forty-eight is one of the rare people who stuck around in sarasota after graduating college. she loves it and i’m glad she’s found her home.
this post is going to be about many ways in which i am and have been a giant dork. i fear that it will implicate friend thirty in dorkiness, but maybe she will pass through unscathed.
throughout my adolescence, my main obsession was l. m. montgomery, the author of anne of green gables. meanwhile, my prime mode of socialization was letter writing. there was an article in the school paper when i was in high school about me and my 200 + pen pals.
one of the most faithful and interesting was friend thirty, amber. she published a beautifully designed and well-written newsletter about the “road to avonlea” television series that was based on the works of l.m.m. i gobbled the newsletter up whenever it got to my mailbox and would send in useful things like book reviews.
then, when i was starting my senior year in high school, i finally got my first non-commodore-64c computer, and i could get on the internet. basically the first thing i did was look up “lucy maud montgomery” and discovered that there was an email list for her fans. i joined, and discovered that there were a few of my pen pals there, including friend thirty. there was a chat room (where i spent my prom night, btw) and there were lively discussions about things like whether valancy and barney had sex, whether walter blythe was gay, and whether emily or anne were more compelling characters. my role on the list was to be youthful and annoying and frequently self-centeredly off-topic.
but friend thirty and i soon joined forces with two others because we realized we shared a crush on gus pike, we were silly, sometimes made hilarious typos, and were generally kindred spirits. the four of us became the qwindered qwints (“kindred quints” full of misspellings based on typos we’d actually made), and i would email them constantly about drama with boys i liked etc.
eventually i went to college and started to have an actual social life and dropped off the list. only recently have the qwindered qwints reconnected, and it’s been pretty lovely. we comment on each other’s posts regularly and are goofy with each other. l.m.m. rarely gets mentioned, though i try to pull her in whenever it’s pretty much inappropriate.
friend thirty is living her beautiful store-owning dream and i’m really proud of her for that. it’s been a rough time for her “because of the economy” and also people being despicable cads… but even so, her posts about her trials and tribulations are humorous and fun to read. i’m so pleased we are back in touch.