I recently went to an alternative lifestyle (i.e. sex) club for a free erotic art show. This was not my first time at such a club, nor my first at this specific one. I’ve been (mostly) passively circling alternative lifestyle events and groups for a number of months now – since spring when I began to consciously take healing from sexual trauma on with focus and intention.** You can learn a lot about your sexual triggers when you step out of the typical Western sexual paradigm and into one that lives by different rules – the primary ones being 1) “no” means “no,” 2) overt consent is mandatory, and 3) don’t be creepy. Continue reading
Category Archives: Memoir
I am so thrilled to announce that Julietta Boscolo, writer and director of the Australian short film adaption of Let’s See How Fast This Baby Will Go, won the Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival this weekend.
And the incredible Liv Hewson, who plays me in the movie, was praised for her mesmerizing performance – which, in my opinion, should win every reward ever.
Liv is a force. Watch her, she’s going up, up, up. You can catch her currently as Abby Hammond on the Netflix original series Santa Clarita Diet.
And, of course, I must extend a word of appreciation to producer Eva Di Blasio and the rest of the brilliant cast and crew of this gorgeous film. Thank you all so goddammed much. You have no idea what a powerful experience this has been for me. And there isn’t enough gratitude in the world for how respectfully you handled this very personal story.
To my friends and family: I know you’ve been asking how you can see this film, and the answer is: I don’t know. It is licensed only for film festivals and I’m unclear whether there will be a wide release after it’s made its rounds. I promise to keep you up to date.
It’s late June 2017 and I’m standing at a kitchen sink in Antioch, California cutting mangoes. It’s dark and cool in our rented Airbnb, but outside it’s dry and bright and pushing 100 degrees. Much hotter and drier than our hometown of Portland, Oregon nearly ever gets. Our curtains are drawn, the AC is on, and my twin teenage sons are sweaty puddles on the floor, vegging out after 3 days and 900 miles on the road. Our family road trip – easily the best, happiest time we’ve ever spent together.
We’ve just settled into our new digs, having first checked in, unloaded, then run to the nearby grocery store for supplies. Fruit was on sale, so I bought as much as was reasonable, plus a little. An entire array of delicious, fresh fruits: mangoes, bananas, grapes, and oranges. A welcomed change from the heavy, nutrient-poor road food we’ve been eating. We got the groceries inside, then my sons tapped out, stripped down to their skivvies, and positioned themselves over AC vents on the floor. They’re not used to this heat. But I am.
I’m running a sharp knife over the soft green and yellow skin of the mango in my hand, gently peeling it away to reveal the bright orange meat underneath. The sticky juice runs slightly between my fingers as I peel. Suddenly, I’m hungry for this mango in a way that surprises me. Then, I remember. I remember the hunger for mangoes.
“There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
They don’t let me write publicly about them anymore. Not by name, anyway.
They captain their own ship now. Except, of course, when they’re steering toward rocky cliffs or when the sea is too stormy, then I get the helm. Or maybe they are the stormy sea, and I’m the boat. Or vice versa. Or maybe I’m a particularly powerful head wind, slowing their course, and try as they might they can’t steer out of it.
Or maybe I don’t yet know what metaphor to use for this time in our lives – a time when our intertangled selves, which has been one whole thing for so long, are disentangling into three separate beings. (But whatever the metaphor is, it involves being yelled at for “all my rules” in the same thirty minute period that I have to remind them – yet again – not to leave trash, dirty socks, and a pile of papers strewn over the living room floor.)
All of which is to say: they’re teenagers now. Continue reading
G-mom: a woman, four days from her 41st birthday, who is just finishing her work week and her week on as a single-parent of her 15-year-old twins she shares custody of. It’s been stressful, which is normal, but the amount of stress she faced in the last 7 days was extensive. Her period is imminent. She’s tired and has cleared all of her previously scheduled plans for the weekend, with the exception of the sleepover with her two oldest grandsons, the seven-year-old and the four-year-old. Today is the seven-year-old’s birthday, which is the primary reason she’s gone ahead with the sleepover. Her adrenals are pretty much fried, which she’s pretty sure is not an actual thing actually proven by evidence-based science, but she uses it anyway.
The seven-year-old: G-mom’s oldest of her three grandsons, who was born to his mom, G-mom’s daughter, when she was 17. The seven-year-old is a red-haired, blue-eyed, smart, headstrong first grader who lives with his dad, his dad’s girlfriend, his four-year-old brother, his dad’s girlfriend’s two school-age children, and two small dogs, Zelda and Marcy, in a two bedroom apartment. The seven-year-old has been struggling for quite sometime with toileting, and he often has a stomach ache. Today is his 7th birthday.
The four-year-old: G-mom’s middle grandson, but the youngest of the two born to G-mom’s daughter and the dad of the seven- and four-year-old. He’s also the youngest child in the household. He’ll be five in June, and so will start kindergarten in the fall. The four-year-old is a red-haired, blue-eyed, slight boy, who G-mom used to think was the cutest child to ever be born on the planet. Then he started whining – about everything – and crying when he doesn’t get his way. Now G-mom thinks he’s the cutest child on the planet only when he is sleeping. Continue reading