If “The Sun Also Rises” Were Written by a Woman

I open my eyes. 6 am. I close my eyes. I open my eyes. 8 am. I’m almost late. I leave at 8:20. I get on the wrong train. There are also delays. I arrive late at 9:10. The old man stole my chair. I got him another one. He gave me my chair back. All is right in the world.

I’m in a detention center. A place for criminals. A place where hearsay is rampant. Mundane but I keep busy. In the world of internet, how can anyone be bored?

Except for the old man. He has no phone, no computer, no internet. He sits. He stalks. He paces. But mostly talks shit. He’s a mystery.

Today I sketch. Illustrate. Set up for watercolor. Maybe some pencil work. Man, it is good to have some control back.

Yesterday I went to Bluestockings. I found some queer photos. People like to see themselves in pictures, so I’ll draw them too.

After, I went to Bonnie Vee. I met Isabelle from Miami. We complained about men and our mutual friends. We had three champagne cocktails each. They were weak.

I met Andrew after. Also weak, but charming. It’s been a while since someone didn’t try to shove their tongue in my mouth the first time I meet them. So I appreciated him.

Saturday was Miguel’s (who is not Spanish) birthday. I meet Ralph, Elizabeth, Sandra, some fat queerish lad with a shirt of fauna, some long haired, maybe-gay* photographer whose name I can’t recall but is rather easygoing; I liked him enough but not as much as Ralph, Sandra, and Elizabeth, in that order. Nicole was cross-faded so she was not herself, at least I hope so because she was acting terribly strange and disconnected, rolling her head closing her eyes at times in what seemed to be half-nap, half-ecstasy; Hotel Delmano is a little too nice for that behavior. It was dark and secluded enough for it not to matter too much.

*he wasn’t gay

I was overdressed, as usual. I thought I was going to Manhattan later—Isabelle invited me to the Garrett and Max invited me to Skyroom—but I overestimated my energy and heels tolerance: my feet were kiling me by 1am. I couldn’t even dance, which bothered me greatly. I don’t know how anyone dances to Japanese disco but flailing seems to be the method of approach. Sometimes one must flail. If everyone is flailing, flail. To flail or not to flail? It’s not a difficult question.

Sandra is a new undergraduate student at Columbia University; that’s how we bonded. she’s transitioning (I’ve graduated). She’s studying geology. She’ll end up in a fishers boat in the arctic. She’s a real American type but also an enigma; she has depth and honesty and humility and personality*. She’s unassumingly strong and I’m fond of her and her nails, which are shaped like sharpened almonds, which I envy. She says the key is to file them as they grow. I need to buy a file. I need to carry it everywhere I go.

*There is nothing worse for a woman than to have no personality 

Sarah has short black hair to her chin in a bob and black eyes and the whitest skin I’ve seen*. She’s thin and wears black. She has a deep if not goofy voice that seems to escape from her cheeks rather than her throat or lips. It’s difficult to imagine going back to school, especially when I’ve been so many times. I praised her for it, sincerely. She was talking of employment. She seemed to settle for what’s in her skill set rather than her passion. Why start over just to settle for what you were good at? She told me those were words she needed to hear. Needless to say, you have to get your foot in the door. If you’re changing your career, don’t settle. Commit.

*Actually, false. Nicole’s is whiter

Elizabeth is blander but I attribute this to introversion than any true shyness. She was boring because she didn’t trust me or know me. She wasn’t rude; she just didn’t have much personality. I have personality always. There are people who reveal themselves like flowers and there are people who are like evergreens. I am an evergreen. I can’t say it’s better. I can’t say I enjoy it. But it’s me and I enjoy who I am. Elizabeth is bland. She had more character when talking to Miguel about work.

Miguel and Elizabeth are in photography. She’s a producer. One of her first words of the night were: “I’m Miguel’s boss.” Well! Maybe on paper. But you certainly aren’t. Michael wants a raise (it doesn’t come from her). She laughed. “Good luck”. She said she’d been trying for four years. He said something along the lines of “with all due respect” but he didn’t say that he said something like “professionally, or in my professional opinion.” He said, in so many words, what I was thinking: “I’m more valuable.” His skill set is so much more valuable; he could certainly negotiate a raise. He spends hours and hours retouching, editing, and perfecting the product; that requires special education; it’s a much more valuable skill; he can’t be so easily replaced.

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