Last Monday, October 3rd one of my best bros of life, Michelle Tea, had a party for her new book Black Wave. I’m 3/4 of my way through and loving it, though I’m an easy sell because baby I love Michelle. I wrote a special piece to read for Michelle at the party, and here it is!
ON THE OCCASION OF RELEASING BLACK WAVE
Look at me. I’m thinking about you, Michelle. Do you see the shape of my version of you on the front of my eyeballs? I’m just sitting in a high-backed tufted upholstered armchair, looking across this perfect French colonial-themed townhouse (I know that seems incongruous, but you have to create the world you want inside the compromised shell you’re given) with a perfect middle-distance gaze. I am allowing the reverie of your success to wash over me like a soft serve tsunami of Summer’s Eve Island Splash douche and Jergen’s Ultra Healing lotion. Sweet, comforting, clean, soft. Oops! You know what? I let my fluffy white robe slip open. There’s my beaver. Or as I’ve come to call it, my Barbie hat. I saw photographs from a wonderful performance artist named Patty Chang who had placed the head of a Barbie doll between her shaved labia. Ever since then I just see a cute pair of earmuffs down there, rolled up and stored between my legs, staying warm. When the warmer is warmed. Michelle you love and support so many writers, and now we’re here to love and support you. You are the earmuffs between my legs.
Michelle. I do love you. I feel the breeze from the small limbs of your popular body swinging in the air like an air traffic controller making love to a wind turbine on a platform bed on a rocky promontory with the full blood moon shining brightly and the waves of the mighty ocean crashing below, as real as they are metaphorically beneficial, signaling me to LIVE OUT LOUD. I’m listening. I want your dreams for me of yours to come true. I want to shine like only a woman with framed motivational drawings from a local art fair can. I feel the lady who made those primitive drawings in my psyche. This lady, who sat at her drafting table and screamed to the rafters, then realized the rafters were but a glass ceiling in sheep’s clothing, so she broke it, hollering I DO NOT HAVE TO DRAW IN A PHOTO-REALISTIC MANNER, I AM MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER, I KNOW HOW TO CONVEY MY POINT USING SHAPES THAT EMERGE FROM MY SUBCONSCIOUS LIKE A BAD TOUCH FROM A DRUNK RELATIVE BABYSITTER. I GRANT MYSELF FREEDOM TO LET MY ANGER AND MY SELF-LOVE DO THIS DRAWING TOGETHER. And if my thighs shall be rendered like a raging bull and my head be small and a little flat on one side, so it is. I won’t wear hats. Lest these feral scribbles speak too much of a depressive nature, I shall splash them with bright non-toxic gouache like Mary Cassatt painting a long-torso-ed toddler on a spring day. But with the color palette of a plastic play yard for children at a fast food restaurant or activity corner at a dentist’s office. I will invoke confidence and self-love like a denim duster swirling around my mother’s ankles as she climbs in and out of her Camaro. With short hair. That has been curled with a curling iron. Starts out clumpy crispy with mousse. Then gets brushed out with a round brush from Walgreens. Like finally getting permission to eat that extra slice of pizza. From yourself. The call coming from inside the house. Which part of the house? Your gut. Your soul.