I have yet to write about the Hope Springs Women's Performance and Poetry Retreat that I attended this July, but it seems that an excerpt of the writing I did there is a fitting prologue to whatever I write about the retreat in the future...
The assignment, (as facilitated by Rosemary Daniell), was to "write your story," but using the second person instead of the first. "Your story," was a concept up for your own interpretation... I have always written in the second person when I was most struggling so this exercise satisfied:
You are a little drag queen dressed in giant yellow and fucia prints at a dirty street fair on Delancey street, and once the ferris wheel stops and all the goldfish in plastic bags have cursed another day without being won, you go home and climb under the sheets between your godfather and his new boyfriend Angelo. You are taken with the lightbulb plugged into a cheap Flamnco dancer doll in a red dress and the clock in the kitchen with a hologram of the last supper on its face.
You make little worlds in empty liquor boxes in the basement of the restaurent where your dad cooks. You sleep in lots of beds between lots of men and you don't ever really consider the concept of a straight man until older boys start directing your hands. You dance with trannys ans queens at AIDS walk, refusing to take advantage of the stroller- four year old feet walking eight miles unphased. People die fast and all at once and the only men left want things from you and throw furniture at your mother.
You buy Bette Midler albums and dress as Marilyn Monroe and Lypsinka for the PS3 halloween parades. You get kicked out of your cousins suburban slumber party after a Michael Jackson fan tape featuring that little blonde boy prompts you to tell the other six year olds the four ways to contract HIV.
You kiss girls. Often. You were Doc Martens on the first day of middle school and assume that some day you'll really understand why both Bessie Smith and Abba can keep you from burning deep holes in your wrists. Your dad comes around sometimes and tells you, you only think you're a dyke because you're too fat and ugly for men to want. You empty the liquor boxes into your own mouth before making worlds inside them.
Mostly now you make bedrooms with sand on the floor and santos on the walls.