Tuesday, December 16, 2008

fantastical fame

i thought for a very long time, was absolutely sure of the fact that i was destined to be famous. there was no doubt in my mind, this was what was going to happen to me. it wasn't even something that i was going to set out looking for. it was just going to fall in my lap. i wasn't really sure what exactly it was going to be for, either. i just knew that all the time i spent alone in my room pretending i was something i wasn't was going to add up. one day people wouldn't notice that i had no matrices of what could be considered 'constant intelligence"; rather, hiccups of good decisions that allowed me to live from one day to the next virtually unharmed. well, in one piece. i haven't made a stupid enough decision yet to die or even get an amputation, so i figure my chances get better every day i'm alive.

and, i realized at a young age that my lack of natural intelligence and book smarts was going to hurt my chances of becoming someone of elevated status (=elevated schooling=more years of being forced to do things i thought were useless=no), so i knew for me to get rich it would have to be through me getting famous for something i could do more naturally. like being a dancer. or a singer, like tiffany or milli vanilli. or a model like linda evangelista. and while my parents encouraged me with an apathetic "sure you will, honey." i thought about what it was i wanted to be put on the map for.

i secretly wished it would be singing but i dared not tell anyone that for fear that they would tell me exactly what i didn't want to hear; that i sucked. and i thought it may be for acting, until i realized that acting in your bathroom mirror is not and actual skill; it's just a great game of pretend. it didn't really mean you are an 'actor', it just meant that you are a child. of course, i would be famous for ballet, and i was pretty confident in that one. but so far i have danced for twenty-two years and my biggest credit in dance is unfortunately Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas Extravaganza. not quite the recognition i desired for my artistry when my eleven year old students are asking their mothers (who then tell me, which doesn't make me feel guilty at all about cursing in front of their children or wearing low cut shirts to their performances) if miss kathryne is a stripper for extra money.

twenty-two years of classical ballet and an ungodly devotion to the contortion of my body and i amount inevitably to a stripper. my parents are even more proud than when i corrected their habitual referral to my career as my "hobby".

i digress. i was happy enough daydreaming about being published in magazines and being interviewed by letterman and having rave reviews written about my amazing portrayal of blanch du bois as a tortured yet subtly coquettish soul on broadway's production of a streetcar named desire. this sort of life made sense to me, and i expected the fame as well as the paycheck to have been coming at any point in my adolescence.

at any point. annnny day now. it. will. be. soon...

as you can see, the four of you who are reading this blog (i'm feeling overzealous today) i haven't exactly gotten the recognition i felt i deserved all these years. instead, i'm sitting in a coffee shop, in atlanta, waiting for tomorrow to come. it turned out that i am as bad at planning as i am at singing, and as far as i'm concerned, the days that my superficial beauty can carry me on to the next project of my life are not only few and far between, but they are also waning. the curse of a career in the entertainment industry: age.

not too long ago i was dancing at opera on a 'celebrity appearance' night. Chris Brown and Rhianna were to be showing up and also doing an 'impromtu' performance.
*note: i can't wait until i can get to a point in my life where an 'impromtu' performance will let me walk away with 30,000 dollars of someone else's money.
so they came in around 12:45 and went straight to a VIP booth above our heads. i was amazed at how many people were falling over themselves to get a picture of the two. they were cheering and flashing and crowding and looking in one direction- fame. i was amazed at the reaction of the crowd - utter awe and excitement - but most of all, at myself. as i danced on the box i realized a) how lucky i was to be standing five feet higher than everyone else so i could get a better view and/or chance of rhianna pulling her manager aside and telling him to come down to me on my break and tell me "Ms. Rhianna wanted me to come down and get you, as she would like to employ you to do all the choreography for her next world tour and also be a backup singer and sometimes sing for her when she gets tired. here's my card. we'll send a driver tomorrow morning." ; and b) that i had just become one of the douchbags vying to get a piece of the action, of the fame.

the truth is, i was just a dancer on a box getting paid what one of rhianna's pedicures are worth in a nightclub too big for the town it resided in. i drifted off to sleep that night, starting work on the tour i was to choreograph for her, and from what i remember it looks really great.

but that's just the thing. it's just an image. a facade. rhianna is beautiful and talented and was in the right place at the right time with her talent... and now, she is a representation of herself. a marketable item. she's no longer rhianna, the girl who sang in the shower and got excited about the prospect of singing the national anthem for the city's little league playoffs. she was RHIANNA the superpower, on lunchboxes and schoolfolders and teeny bopper posters... surely she must be disappointed in the fact that her image has gotten bigger than the original. it would piss me off to have to fend off photographers and think before speaking and remember all the words to songs... and i knew, that kind of fame, is not for me.

not too long ago someone told me i'm the most famous person they knew, and my head swelled with compliment. all my flashbacks of being on set or being in the makeup chair swirled back in my head, loving being the center of attention and having people tell you how talented and beautiful you are... and then i remember, those people get paid to tell you that shit. the bigger you believe your image is, the more other people believe it.

and it is with that, that i confess. i don't think i'm famous, nor do i think i'm exceptionally talented. so in direct parallel, know that you shouldn't either. a person's worth isn't based on how many other people value them. otherwise, we'd all turn out to be britney spears, even though she did make a bitch of a comeback. all i know is, my days of wishing for fame are gone. instead, what i wish for is it's paycheck, and when i figure out how to get one without the other, i swear i'll let some of you know. so keep reading. one of these days, the secret will be your reward for making it through.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

bringing home the bacon

"his name," she said with a slight curl in her voice,"is jeremiah bacon."

how oddly fitting, i thought, considering his line of work. i was googling the name of the man who is nat's latest interest, who also happened to be the executive chef at the new restaurant she'll be working with. in an effort to save money for our newfound desire to conquer new york city, the restaurant industry was once again the only sure bet for a good payout at the end of the day. it's funny, she has a degree from one of the biggest universitys of the south and a new certificate as an estetician, and she is still going back to serving. which is equivalent to what i'm doing, which is making a living off of go go dancing in clubs. this is what our lives have come to.

ugh. back to the bacon. i was presented with a picture of a man surrounded by a halo of pots, with "don'f fuck with me or i'll cleaver your skull" eyes, looking into the camera lens with not so much as a gleam of interest in what the viewer thinks of him. very intense. and very familiar. "you make sure he's not a virgo yet?" i asked.

"not yet. but if he is, there's no way in hell." if you like crazy, you'd like a chef. if you like crazy with a side of neurosis, you would LOVE a virgo chef. *ding* orders up!

i had a series of virgo chefs in my past. the first one, and most integral, was one i'll call the 4th. he was the catalyst of the chefs that would follow... portland, the best friend, mohawk, mooseface. all culinary artists; all virgos. i was sixteen when i met (well, re-met, but that's a different story) the 4th, a line cook at (ironically enough) the same restaurant i met mooseface at six years and one state later. it was my very first job as a hostess and he was perfection to me... quiet, brooding, and beautiful... and being sixteen, i thought it would last forever. "forever" lasted on and off over the following six years, until it finally occurred to me that he was extremely possessive slash controlling, not to mention BAT-SHIT CRAZY. i blame not knowing this important observation on the fact that we were long-distance the entire relationship, not my fukkin thick-ass head.

i digress. during those six years, during the off seasons of our long tirade, i met and wooed all the rest. no one really stuck, because as it turns out, they were all either possessive or not that interested. with the exception of mooseface.

mooseface was everything that my boyfriend before him was not. he was tall and hadsome and he made money. he made a lot of money, actually, and at twenty-one i was working five jobs to support the unpaid ballet company i was working for in south atlanta; i wasn't aware of the concept of having money in excess to spend. before that, i had dated a guy who treated me horribly and fucked with my mind so that i thought he treated me fair. he should have been in school for law, if it wouldn't have interrupted his plans to be a schmuck dropout pothead. so coming off this relationship, money and nice dinners and gifts were all the more attractive, as one could imagine. mooseface expressed his attraction to me as a friend first, but soon the friendly glasses of wine turned into flowers and romantical dinners.

this is the catch. he was sleeping with natalie, and i knew that she liked him. we found out later that he was also sleeping or had slept with the other half of the attractive female servers at or around that time, so it makes me feel a little better, but i was still a dick and karma has since never stopped reminding me. long story short, she eventually gave us her consent, and mooseface and i embarked on a year long journey that i like to refer to as, my medevial period.

mooseface and i had things in common. we both liked to smoke pot and drink wine. we both liked good food and pretending like we were wealthy. what else...hmmm... we both liked sex. that's five things in common. what else should i have looked for? what he lacked in conversation he made up for in dick, and i was okay with that. i was a rebound for him, and he was a rebound for me. we decided after much deliberation that i would move in with him the following year, and at that point is when things really started to sour. he was depressed with his life, and he had gotten back into doing cocaine, and gotten me to start doing it more that what i condider to be a healthy vice, even now. you know, given the warning signs... the unpredictable mood swings, the restless nights in bed, the frequent nose bleeds... i should have probably guessed that he was doing something that was detrimental to his health. but la la la i just went about my life, wrapped up in how i was going to make it as a ballet dancer, how i wanted to be thinner, how i wanted to get famous so i could have money to spend instead of just pretending like i had all the money in the world, that i really had no idea that he was coked out of his mind every day.

note to self: two selfish people in a relationship will never work out.

we fought constantly. if we weren't fighting, we were in silence. i would get so bored next to him. it turned out that everything i initially liked about him i hated towards the end. i hated how he chewed his food. i hated how he shaved his body hair. how he laughed, how his mouth opened up wide with his tongue hanging out. how he belittled me in front of other people. on that last morning of us living together, it was not even ten o'clock before the fights began. and i told him i wanted out. i packed a bag and my cat and left down the street to live with sarah and natalie, my ever saving graces. that's right. nat took me in after i stole her thunder. i was a total douche and she acted as if it were all his fault for fukkin me up. that's a true friend.

a week later i got a text from mooseface thanking me, that i had showed him that he had a substance abuse problem. i had no idea what he was talking about. when i called him he confessed that he was dealing with an addiction to cocaine and that he had told the restaurant, and that they were paying his way for a thirty day stint in rehab. the substance abuse center was located in miami, and he would be leaving in four days to recover from what he called his "last chance at sobriety". he asked me to stay with him, as i was the only thing that would get him through, that i was his guiding light and the single thing in his life that he felt he had done right... and of course, i did what any girlfriend with a heart would do.

i said i absolutely would not be there for him, and for him to go fukk himself.

i was pissed. i couldn't belieive he didn't tell me about his problem. and still, because i never really noticed for whatever reason, i'm not quite conviced he ever had one. i have this theory in the back of my mind that it was an elaborate ploy for me to stay with him. it was all too convenient; the move out, the impending break up, the habit that i never saw. like rehab was the only dire circumstance that would judge how much i loved him and was willing to fight for the relationship's survival. but really, for a couple who's relationship is based on little more than how you want to decorate your future kitchen and different sexual positions a female partner can climax in, it was probably pushing it to say i was going to stand by him due to the strength and nature of our love.

i felt foolish and naive. how could i have trusted this was going to work out again? none of the virgo chefs beforehand ever did. the 4th was all over the map, moving from possessive to cold in under 60 seconds, and then there was portland, who wanted me to move to oregon to be with him, and the best friend, with whom i had no desire to begin a relationship though he called me for about a month in hopes thats where things would go... it was a rise and fall with the virgos, like the tides. it's funny, i have always prided myself on the ability to look at someone and feel whether or not they are good for me as a friend. well, i either am severely disillusioned, or that ability only extends to plain friends, because my history of men has been way over par.

we get lost in projection, i think it's a problem that we all have a tendency towards. the person that you choose to be with has been that person their entire lives. of course, the beginning of a relationship does bring about change in both people. but it's mostly temporary and once it dissipates a little, begins to manifest projection. this is where the phrase, "i don't even know you anymore" comes from. what you actually mean is, "this is totally not who i thought you were and it's your fault for making me think you were the way i wanted you to be". think about it, especially if you have ever said that before or had it said to you. it's infuriating... if you say it, you feel as if you had been fooled. if it's being said to you, it's a direct blow to your character and/or personality.

the human mind will complete certain things if they are missing. there were a whole series of tests we had to do in one of my psych classes in college in which we looked at cards and said a word that was on the card. in most instances, we would say the word and upon closer evaluation, would realize half of the lines on the letters were missing. it was an excercise in understanding that the mind projects what the image really should be so that it's host won't become confused and disoriented with the patchy information the mind is receiving. like this:

Olny  srmat poelpe can raed tihs.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod  aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of  the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde  Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a  wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat  ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and  you can sitll raed it wouthit a  porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef,  but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot  slpeling was ipmorantt!

this paragraph defines what i've done in every single relationship i have ever been in.

the truth is, if i find something i want, something i have wanted for years with ALMOST all the parameters necessary to be a "dream come true", i complete the lines so that it fits inside nice and neat, even if the framework is loose and slack-strung. it seems that if i believe hard enough, things actually are what i want them to be, even though in the end, it is not something i ever would have desired. i have been left with a trail of disappointment, a string of lovers that i believed were everything i wanted in life, and only because i wanted that life so bad i could taste success in the food they fed me.

sometimes, the only thing we have is desire, and sometimes, that desire overcomes our reality. it's about as healthy as gourmet food every night for dinner, and that kind of gluttony is only useful if you want one thing; to be fat.

and so it was. natalie called me a few days after working with jeremiah bacon and told me it was over. "he's a total douchebag. his name isn't even jeremiah; it's jerry martin bacon. i fell for a man who uses a stage name in the kitchen because his isn't 'marketable' enough. how could i ever be so stupid?" and all i could do, was lower my head in shame.

i know how she did it. i fell in love with my chefs like that too. and even though mine didn't use a stage name like old jerry martin, they didn't ever have to. i might as well have made up one for them. they were never real to begin with anyway.


Friday, December 5, 2008

what's it's like to only count to eight

circles, all
inside of me,
leading me,
kneading my muscles
into orbs of distinct
like balls bouncing
through my arms,
out my sternum
making divots down
my spine,
winding up
up into hands
afloat with air
underneath, a
supportive nothingness
to my boneless
circles in, out
and through my skin,
into the green
of my eyes, slowing
as they float
down two thighs stretched,
as if in water, languid,
and slow.
they lead to be
submissive and
lead me again,
answering questions
inside me, all
around me...


questions. i have always played follow the leader with my questions, allowing myself to run in circles instead of creating them for myself. it's a difficult notion, being submissive to the questions themselves. questions have a tendency to consume me, to allow myself to be jaded into thinking one way, thinking that there aren't any other ways of answering them.

all my life, i have had a hate-hate relationship with math. i see numbers and immediately begin to tense up, beginning with my eyes, moving down to my throat and into my stomach, this feeling of dread. complete and absolute fear of having to add them, divide, or god forbid do anything more complicated such as finding the square root of, or throwing in a positive or negative somewhere along the lines. i have always been like this, and wondered in amazement how the people around me could solve these problems in less than fifteen or twenty minutes.

we had this competition in the third grade called top banana. we all had to decorate our banana and then we would have weekly multiplication contests to see who society thought was more valuable to the system. though my banana was adorned in intricate designs and ornate lettering for my name, it was the only one who moved only one space forwar. everyone else's bananas left mine in the dust to rot and fester like the artist it was on the inside.

i couldn't seem to pull ahead. i would look at the test and freeze. well, i guess really, i would lose any concept of anything i had been taught from any math class, ever. there was a literal hole in my mind. and forget the questions. in math, there was only ever one way to do anything. i hated it more in my later years when i realized that not only did you have to come to the correct answer, but you also had to show the way you got it, and were graded on sticking exactly to the plan.

just stick exactly to the plan. that's all you had to do. learn the way you were taught it and do it in the exact same manner every time you did it. the probem was, on the rare occasion i would actually remember the pattern in which to do the problem, i would usually get the answer wrong. so i was fucked either way. and this was, and has since been, my math career and i.

the problem is, it has extended into other aspect of my life, aspect that i began because i enjoyed them. laurie was talking about the path to the problem today. it's not about being there, at the right answer. it's finding your way to it, finding the possibility that exists within the path. because unlike math, movement has capability that exists out of anything. there is not one right way of doing something, there is every right way. the answer doesn't even have to be the same every time. it's asking the questions like these and interpreting different ways of answering them is what works with me. there's not a sould in the world that can take those options from me.

unless, you're a math teacher, and you are giving out top banana's in the class. in that case, i'm as fucked as i was when i started that journey. thank you thank you thank you... that dancers only ever have to count to 8.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the third day passes

finding the possibility in everything. is it possible to find possibility in anything that you do? to take something so fixed and stagnant and make it into something pliable and synonymous? it's amazing what can happen when you have options... what freedom exists inside a notion that has otherwise never allowed any kind of porousness.

when you work the way you have always wanted to, happiness comes from a place that is underneath your feet, organically. it moves inside your core to manifest into something more than you can make up. the simple joy of movement is the basis for that to exist, which is what i am enveloping myself in, now.

i have felt so trapped, for so long. i know my boundaries. i am friends with them, and with some of them, too good of friends. i have held on to these white taped off lines for too long, let them consume me silently for years. in order for me to be different, i have to be able to release the boundaries hands and let whatever it is inside me, be.

organic thinking. almost as good as sea-salted edamame. yummy.


Monday, December 1, 2008

getting away

and again, i say
goodbye, goodbye,
more or less
whispered under my breath,
it's hard enough
trying to find safety
through disarming pretenses...
different, now,
the past six days,
languid with family
and lucid
with beating hearts;
i grew into a
definition here,
textbook and blonde
and safe,
revisiting is never
kind to my reeling
but this time, no,
this time
my past came to me
with open arms and
i, in my 'big city' visions
and high expectations
was quieted by
the best part of my youth,
one of the only parts
that made me feel.


thank you. i have never said that about coming home before, ever. this coincidence is too coincidental to be coincidence.