Dangerous Compassions

the Hanukkah party

a few basic things I like to know when I wake up

1.  who I am

2.  where I am

3.  what day it is

Yesterday afternoon I took a nap.  Those three hours or so I slept, I was having this horrible repetitive dream about death.  The creepy trainstations, the sophisticated lady, so much darkness.  “No one wants that dream,” I told Ming afterward.

I woke up thinking it was the next day.  Ming had to remind me what the hell was going on.  It was Saturday.  He was going to a 8pm party.

I tried to get back into the regular world.  I was not feeling good.  I didn’t cherish the idea of being alone.  My good friend was advising me–was there anyone in the compound I could hang out with.  Or someone I could txt with or call.   She’s in another time zone and was headed to bed.  I decided to go out and work at a starbux while Ming partied.

So I went with Ming to pick up D at the Worker.  And we traveled across town a bit.  At the starbux, we saw it was closing at 8pm.  Oh no!  I said I would go to the party.

We were the first ones to arrive.  I was the very first, with D.  Then M came.  “This is my husband,” D said, hugging Ming, to the host.

“Hey!” I said.

I was trying to figure out the place.  It’s a house where lots of events happen for Jewish young people.  The person on the lease gets a rent subsidy, to hold these events.  She was making latkes.  It’s not a community house, just an event center that’s also someone’s home.  It’s a big organization, so this was just a manifestation of it.  An instance.

I’m not Jewish or young.  Ming is a pagan Jew.  D is a gay semi-recovered Catholic from Venezuela.  We brought fliers to promote the Sacred Peace Walk and Nevada Desert Experience.  Our nametags had a place for pronouns, which I appreciate.  They were plasticy nametags which we wrote on with dry erase marker and attached to our clothes with paper clips.  Brilliant!  But D’s fell off a few times.  He helped me attach mine to my collar.

I met this wonderful philosophy major.  We spoke of her favorite philosopher.  I said I have a friend at University of Glasgow who does aesthetics.  She mentioned what she might like to specialize in, in grad school.  She’s returning to Utah to get her GPA up.  She mentioned epistemology–I knew it had to do with theory of knowledge.  I was a philosophy minor, long ago.  I really like ethics, honestly.

We talked about gender in philosophy.  Part of why I quit was that being the only woman wasn’t my idea of fun.  So much posturing and self-importance in the room, white guys loving the sound of their own voices.  I loved ideas, but I didn’t love how lonely I felt, and I was a B student in philosophy, which felt pointless. 

I think I was good at philosophy, but the professors weren’t always good at hearing me.  Like I needed to talk more like a man if I wanted to be understood.  I still feel like that, walking around in the regular world, at times.

But my new philosophy friend is trans, and she’s pagan also, from Las Vegas, but was raised a Jew I guess, which is why she was at the party.  She handed me her phone and had me fill out my contact info.  I promised to mail her zines, as she’s moving back to Utah on Friday. 

She asked me what fat liberation is, and I was happy to explain.

Not letting others define for us what health is or what we’re worth.  Loving ourselves at any size and getting on with our lives.  What do you think?  Not bad for two sentences?

I want a FATTIES AGAINST FASCISM teeshirt and D saw what I was looking at on my phone.   They have sky blue on black in my size, which I guess is an option, but I was hoping for pink on purple or pink on magenta.  They’re handmade in someone’s kitchen, $20 with shipping included.

D objected to “fatties,” and I said I like it.  I told him it’s good to reclaim language, like queer.  He asked if I would pose nude for photos at the beach.  He thinks that’s great.  He’s a regular sized person.

I bailed at the one hour mark, as more and more people showed up until it was really noisy in there, like a club.  I said I would sit in the car for half an hour.  I didn’t know it would be so cold.

“Did they say–you’re too old, don’t come back?” I asked Ming afterward.  I was craving a heated up brownie.  I ate it all before we made it home to the milk.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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