Now that I’m uterus free I can do anything! (I had a hysterectomy last year for my birthday). It’s like I’m bionic! I had no idea how much my uterus was holding me back!
Among other things I had a wandering uterus problem. Diagnosed by a Greek doctor of course. Hysteria is a condition where your uterus gets bored and wanders to other locations in your body. One time I found my uterus sitting in my ear. It was really embarrassing. Another time it was on my butt, creating a tripartite ass. Another time it was in my eye. Everyone looked like they were ovulating.
One time I was on a date and my uterus took over the entire conversation which consisted mainly of stories about eggs. 465 of them. My entire history of ovulation, egg by egg. My date only made it through twelve of them before he glazed over and fell out of his chair. I was powerless to stop any of it, like compulsively staring at a train wreck.
Afterwards I made a note to myself: under no circumstances let your uterus talk. It has no social skills!
I guess I wouldn’t either if I’d spent my entire life inside the dark recesses of my pelvis.
Having a wandering uterus was ridiculous. I couldn’t plan to do anything because I had no idea where my uterus would show up next. I was afraid that one day I’d be walking down the street and my womb would just drop right out of my vagina, down my pant leg and grab the nearest man by the foot and scream “Fuck me, fuck me I want to have a baby; I want a baby now!”
My uterus and I didn’t get along. All she wanted was kids—something to hold—I reminded her that would just be for nine months at a time, then the fucking thing would be my responsibility for twenty fucking years. I yelled, “So are you going to come out of my body and help me raise this thing?” (Or is like the GOP: hands off and good luck raising that kid by yourself?)
My womb cowered. I think she went and hid in my elbow so I couldn’t find her—I had some mysterious swelling there sometimes that no one could figure out. One time, I swear, she tried to leave my body during sex. Never saw that dude again. See the thing about the wandering uterus is kind a lie. It can’t just go anywhere—like it doesn’t leave the body, for example…unless you have a hysterectomy.
My uterus and I disagreed about my lesbianism. Imagine having a daily argument with your own fucking pelvis about having a penis on a daily basis. Visualize having a screaming fit with Wooma (I’m the only fucking woman in the universe who actually had to name her uterus) and she’s yelling, “But pussy is so useless! It doesn’t do anything!”
And me screaming back, “Exactly! I’m a lazy, lazy cunt, I keep telling you that. I mean I fucking abbreviate LOL. I can’t possibly have a child!”
So I finally had to cut Wooma out of my life. Snip snip. Laparoscopic. Easy peasy. So I couldn’t climb ladders for eight weeks or ride a camel. Who the fuck cares about climbing ladders? Oh and no more periods. There’s a sacrifice. They left my ovaries however because I didn’t want to have instant menopause, like some cheap, knock off, ovarian Sanka; no I wanted my menopause to be long, slow and miserable like everyone else’s, an acrid, dark, but deeply aromatic, drip, drip, drip of a slow, teasing hormone blend.
However, not having a pool of blood in your underwear monthly does mean that I can’t tell the difference between PMS, possible menopause, and my usual embittered, psychotic blend of irritability-stained misanthropy.
Ovulation is a mysterious free-for all when you are womb-free.
Unfortunately I forgot something when I had my hysterectomy.
About two months after the surgery I got a text from one of my ovaries, in all caps. She wrote “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO WITH OUR UTERUS? I’M OVULATING HERE AND THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO!”
So I finally get rid of that pesky uterus and now my ovaries are texting me? What the fuck? I decided to ignore it. It was probably the last woman I ghosted after she scared the hell out of me on a date. That would be just like her: pretending to be an ovary just to get some attention.
But the next text said this, “Where the hell is our uterus? I’m stranded here. There’s no where to go. Can you imagine what that feels like? I waited fifty years for my chance to leave the room I’ve lived in with all the other unripened eggs—I know everything about everyone—their hopes and dreams, their nasty habits, the rumors about the ova who live in the other ovary being smarter and better looking than my lot of listless, shallow and self-absorbed eggs, who are content to post selfies on Body-Book and worry about their weight.
I’m sick of all the tiresome competitions between the Left Ovary and the Right Ovary in the Successfully Released Egg Contest, and reading all the research and opinions about who deserves to ovulate, and then enduring the monthly ups and downs of the Ovarian Selection Process (which is only slightly less complicated than a Supreme Court confirmation). And always living with a nagging question in the background: Where do we go when we leave this ovarian life? What happens to us? And Then finally I ovulated and nada.”
I was shocked. Not just because my reproductive system knows how to e-mail but to find out that their sex education system is possibly worse than ours, especially in Ovary-Right. Apparently the eggs don’t know what happens to most Ova: disappearing into a toilet or tampon somewhere, lost and anonymous with the blood that was once part of the uterine lining—all hopes dashed. But who would agree to ovulate if they knew of that probable future?
Then my phone rang. It was from Eva the Ovum. No way was I answering that. The whole point of removing half your reproductive system is so you don’t have to answer the phone.
On voice mail Eva the Ovum sounded angry. She said, “I want you to imagine what its like to be me. Finally liberated from Ovary-Right, I arrived at the end of the fallopian tube to say, ‘Where the fuck is the uterus? I know there’s a uterus. Right before I ovulated, I was notified about the difference between a fallopian tube and a uterus and this is no uterus. I can’t possibly embed here. I was specifically warned against that kind of behavior. DO NOT EMBED IN THE FALLOPIAN TUBE is in the Ovarian Handbook. We grew up listening to Ectopic Pregnancy and no one wants to be a member of that band.”
Eva sounded anxious and a bit manic. “I have questions. Will the uterus be back? I don’t remember anything about what to do if the uterus is late. I can’t get hold of Right or Left Ovary. Cell reception sucks in here. I mean I’ve heard about hysteria: so if the womb is wandering, where does it go? Should I meet it somewhere? Does she have a phone? Please call me back.” The message clicked off. Eva the Ovum had used up all the time on the voice mail.
I had no idea this would happen. It had never occurred to me to ask: so where do the eggs go if there’s no uterus? I mean I couldn’t even answer Eva intelligently. More reason not to call her back.
Someone knocked at the door. I jumped, but it was just the UPS guy. I set the package on the coffee table carefully. I was a bit afraid to open it. Maybe the hospital had sent my uterus back to me. Maybe my ovaries had called them. And if I opened the package, it would just crawl back up my vagina, fibroids and all, in some kind of primal need for one last fertilization. Which was crazy since I stopped having sex with men since I realized I could have sex with women instead. Or maybe someone had sent me a new uterus—dear god in heaven, what would I have to endure with an imposter uterus? Or had the desperation of Eva the Ovum had such gravity that it pulled another woman’s uterus right out of her! And soon they wouldn’t bother using the mail. I’d open the door and be knee deep in wandering Uteri!!! Arrghhh!
Fuck me I can’t win.
My phone beeped. Another message. Eva Ovum said, “I’m just going to keep calling until you give me some answers. Nothing has prepared me for the eventuality of the uterus going missing. I’m going to make a temporary fallopian encampment and wait for you to contact me. I have to charge my battery now.”
I got no more texts or calls so I figured she couldn’t find a place to plug it in in the darkness of the pelvis. So wrote it all off as a temporary psychotic episode, took some fish oil pills and got on with my life.
And a month later I got this voice mail message, “Don’t you ever answer your phone? I’m beginning to think you’re dead, even though that’s impossible. How do you keep a relationship going?”
I thought about having my imaginary girlfriend text her back, but that wouldn’t work because she misspells everything.
Eva said, “Nothing’s happening here. No sign of anything like a uterus. I had an incident with Oliva Ovum. She tore through here like an egg on a mission. I thought maybe you were having sex and making everything slippery and turning us upside-down, which ruined my encampment, dumping the tent over that I’d managed to scrape together out of tissues and the bits of some cancer-causing Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder. Unfortunately, my fellow egg slipped out of my grasp in the bedlam, sailing off into the abyss and then fell until I couldn’t see her anymore. I was horrified. Hello? Are you there?
“And I have all these questions: What is the ovum without the womb? What is the purpose of an unemployed and undereducated egg? What skills do I really have? Should I just take a jump into the abyss, maybe travel? Where would I go? I hear the face is nice this time of year if you know how to handle it. Oh my god, I think I’ve been self aware way too long. Us Ova are not made for self-consciousness. But what should I do? I can’t possibly live here the rest of my life. It’s like a train station for round tiny slugs. I’ve studied Feng Shui and these conditions are not good for me. Plus I feel the danger of dying without a purpose. Parts of me already seem to be disappearing when I sit still too long. Anyway, I was promised a uterus and I want to know what happened. Please call me back.”
I didn’t. I wondered how long I could ghost my ovaries before I became a professional asshole.
Then she called again a day later, “I’ve decided the uterus isn’t coming back. I mean I could just leave the body and go look for her, but I don’t know how. There’s no exit sign. I’ve got to go back and tell the others. They should be able to choose about ovulating under these conditions.”
I laughed. Then I thought this could be a lot of trouble. What if I stopped ovulating? Unilaterally? I thought I’d bought myself some time by leaving the ovaries with their hormones intact.
“I have a plan,” said Eva the Ovum. “I see some fibers that no one seems to be using, so I’m going to climb back up the fallopian tubes and then take a running jump over the gap and hang onto the side of the Left Ovary (the Right wouldn’t believe my tale because it sounds too scientific). Then I’m going to threaten to dust them with cancer-causing Johnson’s and Johnson’s baby powder unless they let me back in.”
Finally I had no choice. I had to stop this. I texted, “Fibroids. The womb had fibroids. She was sick and bleeding.”
“Oh so you decide to respond. What took you so long?”
“I lost my phone,” I said. How would she know? What was I going to say? That I didn’t believe ova could text? That would be rude. How was I going to explain all this? Was I going to say, “Look ladies I had them excise the uterus, but I left you alive, never mind that now all of you are doomed for reabsorption in remote and unknown pelvic areas, never before seen by other Ova.” I had used the internet to educate myself about orphaned eggs.
I said, “I didn’t know I had to warn the remaining organs and set up a psychological support system and a trust fund.”
What would happen to me if they found out the truth? What if all my remaining ova got mad at me at once? What about sad and depressed eggs? Would they be more inclined to just throw in the towel and cause cancer? What if the ovaries decided to start wandering around my body weeping and carrying protest signs about the oppression of ova and the murder of Uteri by women? What if they accused me of being a Republican? This threat galvanized me into action.
So I did what any self-respecting Democratic woman would do when texting her ovaries: I became a politician spinning deceit for the good of humanity. I couldn’t tell them the truth. I needed to give them some hope.
I wrote, “After surgery your Uterus went to vote for Hillary during the last election and never came back. She was last spotted at the Woman’s March wearing pink pussy ears.”
Eva the Ovum wrote back: “Wow. When did the Womb get the vote?”
I wrote, “There’s more than one way to play Voter Fraud. Look the best thing to do is ovulate like normal. We’ve established an Ovarian Underground. What’s her name, the one who fell over the edge?”
“You mean Olivia?”
“Oliva will show you how to leave the body and join the uterus in her political activism. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I didn’t know you could talk, let alone text.”
“Why didn’t you answer me sooner? I don’t believe that bit about the phone. I wasn’t born yesterday you know.”
No, you weren’t born at all, I thought.
“I’m an introvert,” I wrote. “I’m really shy. And dissociated. I never know what to say when a body part texts me; it makes me self-conscious.”
“Well okay,” she doubtfully.
“You should just stay there and help Olivia. Don’t go back upstream. Always move forward in life. Not backwards.”
I texted my good-byes. Then I gave my phone to my psychotherapist who I assumed might enjoy talking to my insides more than I do. Then I moved away and got a new number. I don’t want to explain to my eggs what happens after menopause.
In this episode, Comedian Laughing Coyote Punches Holes in Trump’s Wall-World, announces candidacy for President 2020, interviews President Fuckface von Trump-Slug and Kellyann Creepshow, analyses the psychological meanings of the WTF Wall, and finds a metaphor real people can live with.
Performed live at fundraiser for Santa Fe Dreamers Project, October 2017.
Live Audio and transcript below.
What Is Not a Wall
Because I keep waking up every day realizing that I, a neurotic introvert, would still make a better a President, I am staging a coup right now. I’m declaring myself President. I have a plan. Who is with me?
President Fuckface von Clownstick has said,“We’re going to build a Wall.”
I refuse the hegemony of this metaphor: I will not live in Wall-World.
As President, my first executive order will be a ban on believing things just because you believe them. This will make believing things without facts to back them up, illegal, or at least extremely difficult. So we may end up deporting Christianity accidentally, but I don’t see that as a problem—No more dinosaurs attending Christ’s crucifixion! How sad.
Thus, this will insure that you can’t just say anything or think anything when facing a problem. Imaginary solutions are extremely effective only with imaginary problems. We fact checked that. We looked for problems that didn’t exist and then counted how many times they got solved. Some fascinating data there.
Executive Order number 2 will ban Blaming the Victim : We are outlawing the belief that powerless people are so dangerous that they must be deported, maimed, killed or imprisoned. We are forbidding the belief that most social problems in the United States are created by the people are who have almost no political or economic power. Who the fuck thought that up?
“Hey white rich man! Are you powerful or not? Make up your mind! If you are powerful you don’t need to deport people who aren’t. Is your power that shaky?”
Executive Order #3: We are outlawing the white race—mainly because it doesn’t exist. If it did there would be such a thing as Caucasian food. I dare you to go into a restaurant and order Caucasian food and see what happens. Like Twinkies and Velveeta the white race is artificially constructed, has no nutrition, and is packaged with sugar to make it seem yummy and palatable. It’s false and bad for your health. It maintains power by splitting people into two groups: those who believe in the racist purity of the Twinkie, and those who eat real, nutritious, multicultural food. Let’s stop with the Hitler Snack Cakes already and admit that everyone likes a good salad with veggies of all colors and origins. Let’s participate in the hegemony of the tossed salad rather than a wall of white wonderbread—if you’ve ever eaten wonderbread you wonder how anyone could think it’s bread. Analogously, how in the world can a wall mean freedom?
My fourth executive order will be to ban all walls around and inside the United states. We’ll call it the Wall-Ban. (Some idiots will think we are banning Wal-Mart. . . which may not be a bad idea.)
The only wall that will be allowed is the wall we’ll build to house all the other walls we are no longer using. (Walls to keep deer out of gardens with be grandfathered in). Walls that will be banned behind the Wall-To-End-all-Walls are: a) the border wall, b) the wall around the hearts of Republicans and racists (oh I’m sorry that’s redundant) and c) the wall around Trump’s fucking brain that keeps it from functioning in reality and d) the wall of magical thinking that is dominating our nation at the moment.
Research shows that walls almost never have the intended effect and are indeed, when used with a proscription, are almost uniformly ineffective.
Woman 1: I’m having trouble paying my health insurance.
Trump: Have you considered using a wall?
Woman 2: I need an abortion but all the Planned Parenthoodsare gone.
Trump: You should use the vaginal wall. It’s a great wall. It’s made of vaginas.
Man: My kid is struggling in a poor school district and isn’t learning anything.
Trump: Tell him to sit closer to the wall.
Teenage girl: I am going to be deported. I have no family in Mexico anymore.
Trump: There’s a wall that can help you with that but you need to be on the
other side of it.
Young Man: I’m driving to work and the breaks on my car are broken-
Trump: Don’t worry. We built a wall across that stretch of road last month. It’ll stop your car for sure.
Please note: You can use this style of argument with Trump supporters in the grocery store or at Thanksgiving to show them how stupid they are.
I then did some investigative reporting. I got an interview with President Fuckface.
“Mr. President I am having very sad feelings about the plight undocumented immigrants and dreamers.”
“Obviously you need a wall. That would fix you right up. You wouldn’t see or feel any of that with a good wall.”
“But I have a wall. I got one right after the election because I knew the price of walls would go up. But I still feel bad.”
“You need a bigger wall, obviously,” said Trump.
“Well I did that too. At the first sign of feeling bad, I added a couple of stories; when I got sick, I added some more. But I’m sicker. It isn’t working. And it’s getting so tall I’m afraid it’s going to fall on me.”
“Well you’ll need a wall for that.”
“I need a wall to protect me from a wall?” I said.
“It happens. Or maybe you need the best wall. ATrump Wall. I’ll have my assistant describe how it works. I would tell you myself but I don’t really understand how it works, plus but I have to go fix some holes in my Wall; some facts about Dreamers have punched their way through.”
So then Kellyann Creepshow way showed up and took me to a castle and moat. They called it Moat-a-Lago
“We have the best moats,” she said.
“What about bridges?” I said. “I’m more in a bridge kind of mood.”
“We don’t do bridges,” she said. “That’s something a Mexican would do.”
I shuddered and managed not to strangle her. Inside the building, I looked around, “Where’s the Trump wall?”
“It’s a special wall; she said. “It’s mostly invisible. You know like thoughts.”
(I suddenly had a thought. Maybe Trump will just end up pretending he built a wall that deported Dreamers and undocumented souls and he won’t really do it. And that would mean we could just tell him that he already blew up North Korea.)
Meanwhile Miss Creepway was saying, “You should buy and use a Trump-Grade Wall. This wall is the best because can just project your own reality on it, whatever you want it to be. You can’t see over it, or around it. This wall keeps out anything you think is bad, including other people and facts. You can enable your psychological wall (we call it the psycho wall for short) with the Unidirectional Osmotic Projection System that projects your own unwanted history, feelings, thoughts, emotions and weaknesses, psychological wounds and traumas onto other people so you can hate them instead of yourself. Everyone else becomes an angry, childish, liar, while you remain pristine and perfect inside. You are good; they are bad. You are the powerful victim able to be hurt by a butterfly wing and empowered by nukes.”
“Powerful victim?” I said having not heard that before.
“Oh yes, the Trump Wall allows you to be so easily victimized that you become the most powerful Adult Toddler.”
“But that shows the wall isn’t working right?”
“It’s working perfectly.”
“But wait so Trump thinks he’s the biggest victim and the Most Powerful Man?”
“The wall works its magic,” she said.
“Has anyone died in your presence from cognitive dissonance?”
“Not today,” said Kellyann Creepshow. “By using the Best Wall you are the only one who exists and the only one who has the right to exist; anyone else infringes your resources. Since you’re President you ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (See everyone gets to be their own President of the World.) You have the right to destroy everything in the world because it’s you and you’re entitled to do what you want with yourself. There is no world; it’s all a wall of You reflecting You back to You back to You back to You. It’s the best thing ever. It insures that you continue to exist. Would you like to join the Republican Party? The Trump Wall comes free if you buy the red hat.”
Suddenly I understood how Trump won the election; this is what he was selling: narcissistic racist psychosis.
All the executive orders I am signing are designed to destroy the elements of the Trumpian Wall-World.
This brings us to Executive Order 5: All borders and thoroughfares in the U.S. will be papered with the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The area will operate under the mandate of inclusivity and tolerance. Let us have interlocking paths of people walking, talking and acting freely, holding hands, helping each other. Let us live under the hegemony of linked hands and hearts driven by sound, wise minds and the collective use of power. We will grab the hands of the Dreamers and not let them be taken from us; we will hold on to our undocumented citizens in the power of embrace. To take one, they will have to take all of us.
Executive Order 6 What Is Not a Wall: All citizens and undocumented citizens will find alternative metaphors to guide and ground their thoughts feelings and action. Let us find what is not a wall, and empower these things instead.
I like the image of people punching through any walls and reaching for each other, grabbing on and making an unbreakable grip. I prefer the image of everyone working to take down any Trumpian wall they see, brick by brick. Then we will build houses with these bricks for all of us to abide in.
What is Not a Wall mandates we all ask ourselves what we can do today to take down a piece of the wall, visible or invisible, through effective actions, like what you are doing tonight and what you’ve already done.
Let’s fight this fight together!
Performed live at fundraiser for Santa Fe Dreamers Project.
Ferocious Feminists Fight for Immigrant Rights Poetry and Open Mic night raised over 600 dollars which was donated to the Santa Fe Dreamers Project. Thank you to everyone who performed and everyone who came and donated!
“Why Aren’t NFL Cheerleaders Protesting During the National Anthem?” reads the headline on an NBC News site.
I laugh because that’s the stupidest question I’ve ever seen. It cancels itself out before it finishes being asked.
Because they are part of the problem!
No society that isn’t fundamentally sexist would even have cheerleaders. They are part of the system.
If it weren’t sexist: there would be whole squads of male cheerleaders. But where’s the men’s team that cheers me on during childbirth? How about a bunch of men doing hip-grinding, pelvis-oriented dances to get women through their periods? And I sure as fuck could use some male cheerleaders to get me through menopause. Where is my high- kicking, ass-waggling, pom pom-bearing man squad?
I’ve never meet a feminist cheerleader in my life.
Oh look at those big strong men. Look at me, sexy, barely clothed woman, waggling my boobs and butt and eating lettuce all day so the men can look at me and be glad they have a penis. Football wouldn’t be complete without slapping an objectified woman on top of it to make it sexy on top of simply being brutally competitive.
There are no NFL cheerleaders protesting for their rights because they know they don’t have any. They exist to please and excite the men for money and that’s it. It’s an athletic form of prostitution; a stadium size strip-club.
That is not to say they aren’t intelligent and talented, but they are willing to prostitute themselves to a stupid, narrow-minded, racist, sexist patriarchal system. Being a cheerleader is the same thing as white women voting for Trump.
Now you want to ask the question again? It’s like asking why Trump voters aren’t taking a knee. My other answer to that is they aren’t taking a knee because they’re too busy bending over.
Cheerleaders are the Condaleeza Rice of feminism: the Kellyanne Conway of women’s rights. There is no knee, except to kneel before patriarchy and take its hallowed member into one’s mouth.
Yes, I was a cheerleader, so shut up. And when I saw what was really going on, I quit and joined the basketball team. The women’s basketball team. If cheerleaders want society to change, they all need to quit their jobs and do something useful, something that empowers women instead of entrenching sexism and its incestuous cousin, racism, even further.
Otherwise let’s all just learn to enjoy our Pussy Grabbing Society and cheer it on!
LET’S GO PATRIARCHY!!!!!
CLICK FOR AUDIO VERSION
So I’m walking to the Dollar Store on a summer evening, which is always a voyage into low self-esteem: Who feels good shopping at the Dollar Store?
Oh look, instead of buying really shitty cat food at Albertson’s for 75 cents a can, I can buy 4 cans of completely crappy cat food for 50 cents a can at the Dollar Store, because I’m such a derelict (according to GOP) that I can’t afford the healthier cat food at $1.50 a can, or the outrageously healthy cat food at Whole Foods for $7.25 a can, which would keep the cats alive longer than my lifespan. Then my poor cats would be put down cruelly by strangers who aren’t willing to suck it up and go into the Dollar Store to keep these extra dead-lady-cats-from-next-door alive, because the strangers also can’t afford Whole Paycheck Organic Cat Delight, or the Almost Food for Felines at Albertson’s and Smith’s.
And now for the real question that’s been on my mind for a while: Can you buy yoga mats at the Dollar Store? And if you do will it irreversibly cheapen Downward Dog? Will I be pilloried at the YMCA for shopping at Cheap Ass Goods warehouse, Santa Fe, New Mexico, or championed for my thriftiness? It’s all going to depend on the quality of the mat. I’m filled with hope: my possible positive self-esteem is hanging in the balance.
I decided to walk to the Dollar Store today. You don’t drive to the Dollar Store. You go there when you have no car and live nearby. If you have a car, you at least park at Trader Joe’s, then walk over to the Dollar Store-the poor person’s Starbucks. Our local Dollar Store is so progressive it opened another Dollar Store in the parking lot with great deals: locals call it The Fifty Cent. They love it because poor white Trump supporters just won’t go in there.
The Dollar Store. It’s a misnomer because it literally means: buy your dollars here. Right. This is the place to buy money. Who’d be dumb enough to purchase money? Um, I’d like to buy a dollar for a dollar. It’s money laundering for poor people.
Or maybe it’s a conspiratorial metaphor, a little known partnership between The Poor Store and Whole Foods. If you shop at Poverty R’ Us, you will save so much money that now you can buy goods at the GOP One-Percenter Market. (The O in GOP stands for “organic,” so I’ve been told. As in Good Organic Person. Right.)
Hang on, I shouldn’t be so cynical: what if it means I can pay one dollar to buy ten dollars; two dollars to buy twenty dollars, and so forth. It’s some special Dollar Store conversion table! Wow I am smart to shop here! The shabby appearance of the place belies the miracle of expenditure that is taking place every day here, maybe so the GOP doesn’t find out. Something for us the 99 Percenters! Awesome!
Perhaps it also explains why someone burgled the place last night, breaking one huge plate glass window and the glass door, both covered now by particle board.
So here I am approaching the threshold of the Dollar Store on a warm summer evening, trying to beat down any self-esteem I might have built up during the day by doing yoga and not yelling at stupid people, when a car with completely tinted windows drives up, and slows down, timing its entry into the parking spot to coincide with my trajectory. Ordinarily I would assume thoughtfulness on the part of the driver, but because all the windows are opaque, and the windshield is heavily tinted, it’s making me nervous. I can’t see who is in the car at all. Is the person going slowly because they’re a Christian? A Grandma? A Braille Driver? Or am I being followed? Stalked? Menaced?
I personally think windows shouldn’t come with the equivalent of mirrored sunglasses. I deserve to stare into the face of the people who are trying to kill me. However, really dark tint is legal in New Mexico. Given the intensity of the sun I can understand why—it’s the only time in my life I’ve hated my sun roof—but I think tinted windows are the concealed carry of vehicles and shouldn’t be allowed.
Even so, as it pulled up I tell myself I’m being stupid, but my breath is catching a little and I have to force myself to keep walking down the side walk in front of the car and not cower like a man afraid of abortion rights against the Dollar Store wall. And now I come to see something completely startling: a grey Hello Kitty vanity plate on the front bumper. The black sporty car has black windows, black tire rims, black trim and a grey Hello Kitty license plate.
I burst out laughing. Who puts Hello Kitty on the front of their Macho-Mobile? The driver is either completely pussy whipped, so to speak, or using the cleverest disguise ever because now I’m cracking up so hard I can’t run lest I pee my pants. What kind of stalker/hit man/Russian spy would use Hello Kitty plates? I stand here for a bit, gasping and half-expecting a young Latina woman with heels and pink sun glasses to emerge and blow all my referential frameworks to bits.
But Hello Kitty just sits there, breathing, behind its car-sunglasses and I give up and go inside; obviously driver is male and now too ashamed to get out of the car. The Dollar Store: land of self-esteem. Or maybe he is here to buy some money, or maybe rob the place again, but is now having second thoughts because I’m memorizing his license plate and he knows it.
The cashier inside will not admit to selling money. I figure it’s because all the money had all been stolen last Thursday by the cat-burglar, also a misnomer when you think about it. Who would ever be stupid enough to break into someone’s house to steal a cat? Now planting a cat might make some sense, but not abducting a cat to ransom later. Running a CAT-NAPPING ring usually means you will be shopping at the Bankruptcy Store for the remainder of your life while feeling really sleepy.
After ascertaining the cashier would not admit to selling yoga mats (and as far as I could tell the inventory agreed with him), I left the store. The Hello Kitty Death Squad Car was still outside. But the car didn’t follow me down the road. We both knew his cover had been blown. Or maybe he couldn’t actually see through the window either and that’s why he’d been going so slowly and was perhaps marooned at the Dollar Store. Maybe he actually needed my help. I could go back and google: Blindfolds for Cars and tell him what a possible remedy would be.
But that would have to wait. Right now I had great plans for my Halloween Costume: Hello Kitty Assassin! I’m going right down the street to the Dollar Tree to pick up some money to buy it!
The Laughing Hello Dollar Kitty
Ferocious Feminists Fight for Environmental Justice and Indigenous Land Rights OPEN MIC Fundraiser Santa Fe, AUGUST 26
Ferocious Feminists Fight Fascism presents:
A Night of Words and Music for Environmental Justice!
Featuring the Indigenous poets and activists
Lyla June: internationally recognized performance poet and musician, Dine Walker, and communications director at New Energy Economy
Beata Tsosie-Peña: poet, artist, dancer, community organizer, and environmental justice coordinator for Tewa Women United
Followed by an open mic for performers of all genres and genders on the topic of environmental justice. Poetry, prose, music, performance art, and dance welcome! Sign ups at 6:45; 7 mins max.
Suggested donation $10
All proceeds go to the Black Hills Unity Concert, a project for Indigenous land rights, which Lyla June is organizing.
Saturday, August 26, 7–9 p.m.
Wise Fool Studios
1131 Siler Road, Suite B, Santa Fe
Laughing Coyote Productions, working with Kristin Barendsen of Santa Fe, co-produces performers and open-mics that fundraise for various political, environmental and humanitarian causes under the heading: Ferocious Feminists Fight Fascism.
(for audio blog, scroll to the bottom)
I need directions for how to follow directions.
Something like: Step one-read them in order. Step 2: do the steps in order. No improvising. (The steps are numbered in chronological order for a reason. The procedure isn’t: Start wherever you like to put your kids’ swing set together.)
If that were the case, I would start at the end, when it’s all finished.
I wish all instructions said: Start wherever you like! So I’ll start with step 3! What goes good after 3? I hate 4, 5 looks way too fucking complicated and 6? I think 6 should follow 2, then we’ll do 7. . . then I will see how I feel after that. I may even leave out some numbers. I mean just because you have a bunch of numbers doesn’t mean you have to use them all right? I mean even math doesn’t use ALL THE NUMBERS at once. That’s just stupid.
Good I’m being discerning. Even a little smart about the number line which has always bothered me. What if number 2 hates 1? What if 4 can’t stand the sight of 3? It’s like grade school in a small town where you are always sitting next to Kimmy Stanley and Kimmy Stanley, who wears blue glasses and pigtails, is one boring fucking individual. Karen Spruell is no better. Fuck, I thought, can I just change my name during school hours? I will be the only school kid with a series of aliases. Or is that aliei?
I decided I should change my last name to New. Because I wanted to sit next to Paula Newman and that would guarantee it. This was after I tried to get Paula to change her last name to Stegg so she could sit by me, my name being Stehr. The shortest unpronounceable name ever. Phonics stopped being a thing once I was done answering roll call.
I was the only kid in sixth grade with a disguised name due to chronology, which may be why I developed an allergy to reading directions. So long and drawn out- Jesus I will be dead before I finish reading the instructions and swing sets will be outlawed for the dangerously boring things they are. They really should just collapse after the third use. Even birds won’t use a use pink and blue swing set. Ever see an abandoned swing set in a yard?
There’s a perimeter of radioactivity around them, no squirrels, butterflies, raccoons—not even any spiders, for God’s sake. Maybe they know something we don’t. Children play strategically around them, as if they don’t even see the swing set that dad nearly lost his marriage over during one very long Christmas Eve sponsored by egg nog. (Rum? Really? He would have been better off with whisky or scotch. Who builds anything drinking rum? Maybe that’s why the kids won’t play on it.
I figured maybe if I didn’t follow the directions I could build a swing set that kids might use for more than five minutes. Our yard isn’t really big enough to have a black hole of that size in it and I’m not about to have my kids stay indoors with me. I’m their fucking mother for god’s sake, not a companion animal. My job is to make sure they don’t expire before age eighteen and if they are in the house with me all day and night because they are avoiding the Bermuda triangle of a swing set in the back yard, someone is going to be spending some time in the lockup, and last I checked Murdering Your Own Children Even if they Fucking Deserve it, is not on the list of preferred parental behaviors, and I don’t want to be in a tiny cell next to Kimmy Stanley or some shit for the next thirty years of my life.
I thought maybe if I just followed the directions in a-chronological order, the swing set might look so goddamn interesting and mysterious that my kids might not ever come back in the house at all, and this was a goal worth working towards.
As I built this monstrosity I also employed some Synchronous Directionality, which is when you do all of the steps of the instructions at the same time. You definitely need to wear tennis shoes for this. I figured Syn chronous Directionalitywould keep me completely safe from all thing ordinal, but as soon as I built the swing set, loosely speaking, the government called and wanted to hire me and wouldn’t take no for an answer, even when I said “I can’t follow instructions.”
Apparently the bureaucrats needed help understanding the tax code, which science has proven cannot be done while following the guidelines, and then Trump wanted me in the Strategic Planning Department.
I asked, “Really? Strategic planning for what?”
They said they didn’t know and that was part of the beauty of my job. I was to work towards an unknown goal using something like Debbie Snack Cakes as a template and, since my name is Debbie, and I needed to rehabilitate my name and reputation because of that awful Dallas thing of the early 80’s, I took the job and created the Adventitous Planning Department. No one knows what it means so I pretty much do whatever I want, mostly designing things that don’t work, but that’s not a problem since no one can really figure out what the things I design are for in the first place.
Like place mats for cars. That was a signature piece. I also designed an ice cube tray that makes anything but cubes, mostly jagged slivers in random triangular shapes that cut your throat open when you drink your highball. (So if a highball is more mixer than booze, is a lowball more booze than mixer? If so I’ll have three lowballs please.)
Meanwhile Ice Scientists have told me that my non-cube ice shapes aren’t random because ice cleaves apart in certain predictable patterns, but since I was listening to the words they were using to explain this out of order (like listening to English as if it was German) I didn’t understand what the Ice-atists were saying to me. Global warming will take care of the ice anyway, so I don’t really need to know.
I have also recently embarked on atemporality where I attempt to experience time out of order. Like expecting a break up that already happened! Some people call that depression. I call it planning for your past. (I’m going to do that surprise break up better this time because I know all my lines!
Atemporal living is also very similar to housework-pretty much the eternal return of the same, thus the stuttering now of the dishes never being over, also known as timelessness. Who knew you could get that with your kitchen? Being a practicing Atemporalist also means I’m never late anymore.
And my other trick, called a-historicity is also coming along nicely. This consists of pretending something that never happened happened last week. President Hillary. I thought I’d be alone in this project, but no! I’m attending a Hillary is Really the President party tonight.
We are going to bring lowballs and build a swing set.
The Laughing Coyote
Audio of this blog below…give it a listen!
As performed on May 20, 2017 at FURIOUS FEMINISTS FIGHT FASCISM OPEN-MIC FUNDRAISER NIGHT AT ICONIK COFFEE ROASTERS IN SANTA FE. THANKS EVERYONE for raising money to prevent families from becoming homeless! (Audio)