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The shifting shape of home

I have written about the concept of “home” frequently and at length. As a touring artist, I am understandably a little obsessed, while at the same time trying to be chill about it. I’ve tried to be all, you know, I’m tough, I only need a couple of suitcases to get around. If I can make theatre out of a toaster oven and a cordless phone handset, surely I can make home out of my old Pike Place Market apron and a mini-screwdriver in my makeup bag.

This has worked. For the past seven years this has worked. Less well over time, I mean, I regularly have to fight off the undeniable appeal of knowing where one’s container of flour is, but mostly, I have been able to stay light on my feet, and have felt that to be an important part of my M.O., if not to say my actual identity.

Home was always the hardest thing to shake when I needed to travel: boxing the stuff, transferring the utilities, packing up the room, arranging the sublet, forwarding the mail, finding a foster home for my cat… it was all a source of additional gravity, holding me down, pulling me back. In many ways it was a relief to let those things go, bit by bit.

But all of this was predicated on being a solo agent, a person who, of necessity, had to move through the world and launch myself in various directions on my own. I talked like I wanted to, but the reality was, I had to, or so I thought. I had to hold my relationships lightly because I was never going to be there. What kind of lover would want to sign up for that? I had to learn how to be strong on my own, because no one would ever be there for me in the bad times. Yes, I found support among friends and a few lovers, both on- and offline, but for the deep-down core moments of both pain and joy, I did not think I could not expect anything more than that.

Sometimes I wondered if I was afraid to ask for anything more than that, if I was afraid that my new life was just too full of drama and complications for anyone else to really want to share it. I didn’t have much luggage, but I had a lot of baggage around my desire for home.

And now that all is changing again. I still have the baggage, but I’ve found someone to share it with. I still have the touring, but I am in a long-term, core-deep relationship with a man who thinks I’m a joy, not an inconvenient weirdo. I have met my match and my muse, who proofreads my posts and asks if I am drinking enough water and knows exactly when I am going on stage without having to ask more than once.

More of my stuff is in storage near him than is with me in Berlin. What if I need to get at that stuff, I asked when we moved it there. “I’ll figure out a way to get it to you,” he said, and I exhaled a sigh that felt like it had been held in for years.

What I call home of course includes logistics: it’s the boxes and the insurance source and whatever visa I posses that gives me access to being in a place. But “home” is so much more than stuff. It is where I want to come back to, at the end of a late-night, exhausting show, or a far-traveling tour. It is the cup of tea he will make for me. It is the joy in his eyes to hear my triumphs, and the strength in his hand holding mine when he listens to my frustrations and fears, and knowing that I can do the same for him. Home is, in short, everything that I already know how to do for myself, but I don’t have to do it by myself anymore.

The only shadow is we don’t have our physical home space yet. But the feeling is already here; that, at least, doesn’t take up any room in a suitcase at all.

*****

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Calgary Herald: “exquisitely, unflinchingly acted” for nerdfucker (Aug 2016, Calgary Fringe)

"... beautifully and insightfully written, precisely directed and exquisitely, unflinchingly acted. ... Cameryn’s play is the kind of show you’d expect to see off-Broadway or in London’s pub theatres as is her performance and we’re getting to see it here in the little Artpoint Gallery space."

Read the full review here!

CALL OF THE DAY: “What are you wearing?” is not an open-ended question

"What are you wearing?"

I never had much patience for that standard phone-sex question. Without warning, it is awkward as fuck to provide narrative context for wearing anything around the house other than pajamas, jean skirt and a t-shirt, or just a robe and panties, but at least the panties are clean.

“What are you wearing?” is one of the most common questions to pop up in the first 30 seconds of a call. Doesn’t mean I’ve gotten over it, though. If the caller is someone I already have a card for, then I’ll know what I should be wearing; it’ll be right there on the card. But if it’s a new guy, I have no way of knowing what he wants me to say. A generic, lowest-common-denominator sexy is ridiculous, given the time of day, you know, hey, you reached me at home and I am just lying around in my black lace negligee and stilettos. I always want to say, but that doesn’t make sense. There's a continuity editor in my head, and she gives me a fucking headache.

So, I never had much patience for that question, but after seven years I now have none. What difference does it make what I tell you I’m wearing if you think 44B is bigger titties than a 36DDD, or if you’re just going to tell me to take it off within 30 seconds? How much detail do you even want? Why on earth would I be wearing a latex catsuit and seven-inch-high heels around the house on a Tuesday afternoon waiting for you personally, Mr. Subby McSub?

This question was never easy, and now I just bite my lip in irritation as I tiptoe carefully around the potential narrative tangles and sartorial slips. Fortunately for me, there are regulars like Mr. Softcore, whose attitude is basically the phone-sex equivalent of “you look so beautiful without all of that makeup on.”

With Mr. Softcore, and Bilingual Papi and a few of my other regulars, I have let myself relax. A little. They think I’ve completely let my hair down, so to speak, and they love it. “What are you wearing?” they ask. Nothing, I say, my voice carrying the suggestion of a sly wink, or, I haven’t gotten dressed yet, what would you like me to put on? (Usually to that last one, they’ll say, “don’t bother.”) With these same people I am comfortable answering the other common question—“what are you doing?”—with very simple and true commonplaces: baking, writing, lying on the bed looking at the internet.

Mr. Softcore frequently says, as these natural-core fans do, that he loves that I am “just myself” with him. These callers want to believe that I am not myself with everyone else on the line, that I am being fake with everyone except them, that my natural nakedness and real-life activities are precious gifts. They are, actually, because these callers are the only ones I half-trust with the half-truths. For example, most of my subs have not been impressed, shall we say, when I mention my cowboy boots and not the leatherette thigh-high boots. (They should actually be a lot more scared of the cowboy boots, I think, but I digress.)

In phone sex, the PSO can “be oneself” only within certain established parameters of selfhood. My pastimes have to fit into certain categories of behaviors that match an only somewhat expanded definition of sexy and appropriate. And I can “be myself” or “be natural” because I tell these regulars—and they believe it—that I am whatever their version of naturally beautiful is. Bilingual Papi thinks I have a big round butt; of course he’s fine with me wearing some crappy old shorts or whatever. The toe-sucking mommyfucker doesn’t blink about me always wearing the same green satin pajama top and nothing else, because my toes are always painted candy-apple red.

And Mr. Softcore, well, he has waxed lyrical, on numerous occasions, about my perfect breasts and my perfect pussy. It is important to him, my natural perfection. If the clothing or the image were important, as it is to other callers, then I would have to “go to the extra effort” of dreaming up some clothes to wear.

As it is, for Mr. Softcore I only have to conjure up my “natural beauty.” It seems effortless to him, but for me, it’s just another outfit.

*****

You can get more of my natural beauty by becoming a patron of mine over on Patreon. So natural! So real! So ME.

Jalapeno peppers and vaginas

My ex-boyfriend fingered me (I have a vulva) without thoroughly washing his hands after cooking with whole dried jalapeno peppers earlier that day. It was extremely painful and he felt horrible and was very apologetic and put cream on me afterward.

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