Being here now: an incomplete catalog of changes
I’m here now. I mean, I’m always here, but I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever to get here.
Here is not much to look at, from the outside, from a context-less perspective, from a bird’s-eye, strictly geographical view. It’s a small room that I am subletting in a two-bedroom flat somewhere kinda southeast-ish in outer Manchester. The room is two-thirds the size of the one I had in Montreal, but the basic characteristics remain the same: the space is cram-jammed with stuff that is for my work, and I don’t actually use the furniture for what it is meant for. The bookshelf holds sex toys and fuckbucket forms instead of books, and the desk is sloppy with random shit, while I am lounging to type this, in extremely poor ergonomic fashion, on my bed.
Other than the seahorse mobile hanging from the light overhead and the fact that the view outside contains no snow, not a whole lot has changed.
I am drinking tea, mostly because the box I threw my plastic coffee drip and filters into hasn’t arrived yet. I could go out for coffee, but the closest place that even pretends like they even know what drip coffee is, it is nearly a mile away on foot, and I am not a coffee addict, I can stop any time, THAT IS TOO FAR TO WALK FOR FUCKIN’ COFFEE.
I am buying cheap-ass—the cheapest-ass—bus and train tickets on web sites whose URLs end with .co.uk, whose user registration forms seem to hesitate just a little over my US billing address. I might be paranoid; maybe I am making that up. I am buying those cheap-ass tickets like I know what I’m doing, even though I don’t, even though I don’t want to know how to do this. What is a driver without a car to drive? My old car, the automotive love of my life, the Deerinator, got towed away from its final curbside spot last week as part of a donate-your-car program. WBUR in Boston, you’re welcome for the $45 my car probably got you in scrap metal and still-usable tires. (Someone shoulda taken the Deerinator when I put the call out on Facebook three months ago; I’m going to be famous someday.)
I am staring down the runway of a week, that's next week, like none that I have ever attempted, three shows in three days in three cities. Admittedly these are Smut Slams, and I’m only lugging around sex toys (remember the bookshelf?) and badges and a sharpie pen and clean panties and my toothbrush and my laptop, okay, there’s a fair bit in there, but it’s little enough for me to lug from the middle of the island down south and then east and then further south all the way to the bottom and then back up to the middle.
I bought those fucking bus and train tickets not even knowing whether British people will like dirty storytelling open mics or I’m just being completely, grandiosely delusional about this. I mean, people like Smut Slams; everyone everywhere likes Smut Slams. But that doesn’t mean anything, because everywhere I’ve been is not here. Tomorrow I send out another wave of press releases and pretend that I’m not thinking any of this.
I have not left the house in over 24 hours, and this does not bother me. At least 90 percent of the work that I do is admin; it’s all on my laptop. This is another thing that will remain true for a while, at least until I get an agent. So, you know, a while. Here, with no phone sex work, I can just DO IT. And I do. I go deep and gather my resources and rally the troops and lay plans, even though my visa here has a limited duration, and I don’t even know yet how I will manage to extend it, but I have to act like I believe that I will.
I have to keep applying for festivals and networking and, at the same time, make the emails and calls begging for help, because nothing is certain but death and taxes and fucking international red tape. I am spending lots of time online, and that’s totally okay. I do that work in order to do my actual work here, actually here, those gigs and shows and workshops. I want to do them here.
Here, you see, is where this tiny room still reeks a little of the lovemaking, and of the man I need in my life. (I can smell him on the pillows that were on his side of the bed.) Here he is not so far away that he can’t be here again soon, to replenish that scent, in less than a day, a half-day. Here his bathrobe hangs on the door and I think he left some dirty socks here, and that makes me weirdly happy. I know he can get them the next time he comes over. When we say good night in an hour, we will both be tired, finally in the same time zone at least. Here is a space where this next chapter of my life is unfolding, and it’s with him.
From here, from inside me, everything has changed.
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