Sunday, January 01, 2006


I never do resolutions but I'm going to now:

1. live healthier (around healthier people, with healthier food, in healthy environments)
2. devour knowledge that's new too me. there's a long list of things I want to just pick up and make my own
3. live in my body - truly enjoy and be present (I used to struggle with this more but have felt it creeping up in me in the last month or so)
4. fuck this city - just move on. there's so little in this city that is awe-inspiring or tangible - why am I here?
5. write, really write. I want to be like those people who win awards and everyone in the so-called "arts" community is saying who is that? and it becomes obvious that the "arts" community is not much more than a clique.

I had a strange day. Cliffy left today. I actually felt good about it. Truly, why would I want to be with someone who couldn't support me and keep herself strong and actually communicate with me? It's hard to do but, maybe because I work at it or maybe because I'm a mother, I still try to do all those things. I spoke with a friend of mine, Love Joy, about what was going on and she told me, straight up, that Cliffy was wrong in the way she behaved. I know she doesn't know Cliffy and so, of course, she's on my side, but it meant a lot that I wasn't the sole voice in my head saying that the way she behaved was inappropriate.

Worse in all this is Cliffy's inability to even talk at a time when she is supposedly clear on what she needs to do. I asked her, in turning the shoes the other way, if she would have left me if she'd become sick or lost her job or had some crisis. Would she so quickly say "It's not fair to you that I be here - maybe I need to leave rather than you support me through this stress"? Of course not.

I revert to my earlier truths : I don't need a traditional relationship (if at all at this point). Rather, I need someone who will truly engage and be open, available and committed. Committed meaning the understanding that everything takes work and compromise.

One thing for sure : I won't be silent this time around when people tell me how good Cliffy is. Yes, she looks good and she says the right things and she openly hugs and offers herself - as long as you don't actually take her on that offer. She played me, lied to me, refused to be clear, sat with me pretending we were okay. She cannot open herself up a little, cannot commit fully even to her own goals let alone to the idea of family as defined by queers. She can't even call her own friends unless she needs to unload. She remains aloof. She wants someone to care for her - someone who doesn't need any care. I won't be La Mala here - I'm tired of playing that role in this fucking town.

She's left me in a worse place than even those who have been verbally abusive to me had left me - because she's quiet and can so clearly see her own side. I knew our relationship wasn't completely even but I didn't think she would give up so quickly. I thought her promise to truly be there with me meant something. She left me not trusting anyone, not even trusting my own ability to choose a good partner or trust my own instincts.

What was bad is that Cliffy's leaving affects Tigrette's future as well as mine. We were completely enmeshed - we three. I don't know where I'll be in one month if I don't find work. Unlike Cliffy, my friends are just as poor as I am and they see me more for who I am, not some idealized image of me that withstands because Cliffy doesn't commit a whole hell of a lot to anyone. So, I could be homeless and with my daughter. I am not trying for a guilt trip. It does burn me, however, that Cliffy can't talk to work something out to such a degree that her decision affects so much. Last time she left me it was mostly my heart and head that ached. This time, I feel the ache even in my belly and I see the pain in my daughter's face. Like she needed any more change.

I told Tigrette I'd have to move her to the nearby school instead of the school she was in this past semester because, with us living far South, I can't afford the time or gas to get her to school 20 minutes away. Cliffy, working near Tigrette's school, would take her in the a.m. Tigrette was incredibly hurt.

But as I thought about it more, I called my mother and asked her to take the little one for a semester in San Anto. If I don't find something here before month's end, I'd end up there anyway, you know?

Cliffy, for some reason only known to her, tried to play like she was still considering staying as a family when, last night, she offered we meet up with two great pals of mine. Yo, toda pendeja, les llamo - I completely bought that she was trying. This morning I had to cancel our gathering. Who thinks to commit themselves to even a simple gathering? What was it Cliffy? It wasn't enough that you hurt me with your inability to keep a promise? You had to also give me false hope with this ridiculous offer? Why have me make this call at all. In fact, why not pack up that very day, when you came home instead of sit in front of the tv and say nothing for hours, then eat dinner, watch more tv, tell me you were going to leave then go back to watch more tv and then sleep in the bed next to me? Cliffy, you did this last time too - you could have at least been original.

Once Tigrette and I had planned out when she would be going to San Anto, we called those friends back and they were so great in reminding me both how blessed I am to have the little one and how blessed to have access to people who know and support me, even if I can count them on one hand.

We went to lunch and played a game of Cadoo that had us laughing out loud. I still have to work out plenty in my head and had to stop myself from crying any more in front of Tigrette. We got home, packed some of her things and had dinner then watched the fireworks as we sat on the porch with some hot chocolate. I am always amazed (but shouldn't be any more) at how she can tell me, with such an open heart and with such clarity, that she loves me and will miss me but knows that we'll be okay. She asked me why our family was only two people but said that it was still family. I've taught her something, huh? - taught her what I had to fight so hard to make in my own heart and life. There are some adults who still don't understand this.

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