Love and Relationships

Love is an interesting matter.

Love, a simple, four-lettered word.

Yet, it has been the reason why wars have been fought between people, sometimes even leaving them forever wounded.

Love, when we have it, can heal past wounds, and make us feel amazing.

Yet, for those seeking it, it is torture. It is something several people yearn for, yet sometimes cannot obtain, or is obtained through immense struggle.

Love is powerful. Love is dangerous. Love is reckless.

Here is a true love story; one inspired by someone close to me.

A girl fell in love with a boy. They stayed together for six months. He changed. He fell out of love. He was determined to break up with her. She cried. She begged for a second chance, wishing she could change her “flaws.” He was stubborn at first, but then eventually gave in. She had him agree that they would take a break: hit the pause button for the summer.

One month passed. The girl missed the boy more than ever. She reached out to him, yearning his warmth. She sent a letter, apologizing hundreds of times for her “flaws,” hoping he would understand, and agree with a now-clear mind. He responded awhile later, cold as winter. She cried. Another month passed. The girl still awaited for his letter, wishing he would initiate some warmth. The letter never came. Then the third month passed. The girl grew sad, and also angry. She questioned her flaws, asking why they were called flaws. The girl then became a woman, as she finally understood that man was not for her. She now understood those “flaws” were what made her herself, and she was no longer ashamed of herself. Instead, she learned that they were her wings; wings that would enable her to find a real lover.

Her heart once broken, the girl, now a woman, carefully spread her wings and flew lowly, watching the horizon. So many men, yet none of them with the wings she desired. Time passed. She once looked back, wondering if maybe she should just try to get back with the man before… but then turned away from the idea, wincing at the pains he’d caused her.

The woman carefully cradled her wings, now knowing their newfound value, and set out to search for the One.

One day, she found him. and he found her. They met up. The woman found herself glowing in warmth she’d never felt before, and for once in a long time, she was happy. The man smiled at her, laughed with her, he embraced her wings with his. She felt safe with him. She felt sure of him. She no longer had thoughts of the shame her wings had once given her. She knew she had found love this time; a shared love.

Seven months later, the woman dropped her journal. And as she bent to retrieve it, she saw a glimpse of a book that she’d made a long time ago. She realized that she’d forgotten the book she’d meant to give the boy. She picked it up, and brushed the dust off the binding. She untied the ribbon and began to read the book, curious to see what she’d written before.

She read the book, from the first word, to the last period. She did not cry. Rather, she embraced it, her past. She knew it had given her strength, and had lead her to find true love.

The Love Doctor

In light of Valentine’s Day approaching, (cue groans..groans that are all coming from me…) I would like to share one of my beloved poems that I wrote during my Sophomore year of college in a poetry class. It’s called The Love Doctor.

The Love Doctor

Let me tell you what I think.

I think this thing they call love,

it’s bullshit.

We women do all this work to get a man’s attention —

hair soft as cotton candy

nails clean with girlish pinks and reds always prim

body right, curves that round the world —

Oh, and don’t forget a personality, we must have a little of that.

Which one should you be today?

The loving girlfriend that gives him massages,

hot meals, alone time for him to be a man?

So he can watch the same shot

being made by the same person on TV,

or so he can criticize that girl’s physique

like it really is that thought provoking.

Or should you be the girlfriend that’s —

oh wait

he doesn’t want you to be anyone else.

That’s all there is to it with love.

I’m telling you, when a man finds out that you

have needs, complaints, wants, dreams, feelings, tears—

They deny ever knowing you,

like a grain of dreary dust they stepped on,

walking away from a deserted beach

holding another woman’s hand.

My advice honey,

the next time you hear someone say the word love,

tell ’em to come see me.

Music . . . wait for it . . . that makes me *gyrate*

So: I’m a hot mess.

Over the past 4 years I’ve been that gay boy who prides himself for wearing the “legalize gay” t-shirt, who loves gay marriage like its creme brulee that people are giving out for free when you’ve run out of money for the week, and I’ve projected myself to mature in a suburban wet dream of picket upon picket fences. HOWEVER, no more. My queerness, thankfully, disrupts these dreadful past faults of mine. I’m wary of all institutions (particularly marriage), I hate the normalization of my sexuality and how its being co-opted into moderate liberal agendas, but I still love creme brulee. That thick, hard, sugary crust of joy on top of the most deliciously creamy and sensuous tasty yum-yum is something I dream about.

Or listen to.Recently released, new music has really made me feel like I become a creme brulee.

Two cd’s, in particular, have really got me moving. I listen to both of them every day: when I wake up, at the gym, on my way to class, on my way home from class, when I study, cook, eat–they are on almost 24/7.

(Shamefully:) Lady Gaga’s Artpop;
ArtPop

and (Pridefully:) M.I.A.’s Matangi.
MIA

I admit. Gaga is someone I have grown to hate, to love, to hate again, and (shhhh) love again. I saw one of her earliest mainstream performances on the TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” where I was solidly NOT a fan–this was 2008. Her album, The Fame appeared, I resisted. She got more famous, I resisted. And then one moment later I was doing the full choreography from “Bad Romance” at my High School Prom (#dark). When Gaga traps you, you find yourself in an unavoidable love game. Years went by and I fought for Gaga, even through that bullshit song, “Born this Way.” EVEN THROUGH THAT. But then when she (or someone) leaked “Aura” and I found her all over tumblr traipsing around the world in a burqa (for fashion) I almost lit all of my Gaga things on fire. I was offended and outraged and so confused. And then Artpop came out.

There is something so brilliant about this album–it’s so weird. I am and am in the process of becoming more and more eccentric everyday and so this space-sounding, electro heavy, sexual album of glory speaks to my soul. “G.U.Y.” is not only catchy but fucks with gender insofar as she reverses the gender of her and her male partner while affirming certain aspects of her identity: “I (Gaga) wanna be your ‘Guy’/’G. U. Y.’” includes her being both a guy and being a “girl under you” while, at other points of the song, she calls her partner a “G. I. R. L.” Now, there is nothing too exciting about this as a concept but that gender confusion, mistaking, crossing, etc., happening in this song is so refreshing. (Or acts a justification for me to like it, whatever . . . ) Similarly, “Sexxx Dreams” (the current song I wake up to) is talking about Gaga more or less seducing the girlfriend of some guy. I love that Gaga talks about her sexuality and her attraction to women in a sexual way (rather than some oblique reference). “Donatella” makes me want to dance on a table while champagne/sweat/glitter is pouring from a disco ball. Yes.

And then there is M.I.A. I first did not like or understand M.I.A. “Paper Planes” came out in 2007 when I was a sophomore in high school. But as I got older I rediscovered her and heavily listened to her Maya album. M.I.A. fully entered my life (she’s here to stay), again, this past July. A friend offered to drive me, and some friends, to the M.I.A. concert in Royal Oak and I thought, “yeah, should be fun.” When I left the concert I couldn’t because I was a pile of love, feelings, and desire for M.I.A. and her music to never stop.

M. M. M. I. I. A.

When Matangi came out I was instantly hooked. Every song is perfect. “Y.A.L.A.” and the line, “bombs go off when I enter the building,” is what I listen to on repeat when I do interval sprints at the gym. “Double Bubble Trouble” is my everything song. “Bad Girls” and “Bring The Noize” will be my anthems for years to come. Every song pushes the boundary of what music is supposed to do and so I don’t see her music ever going out of “style/fashion.” At least not for me.

But not only is M.I.A. aesthetic perfection embodied. She is spot on with her politics, in my opinion, about life, which can be summed up in this beautiful article (http://noisey.vice.com/blog/mia-matangi-ayesha-a-siddiqi). She is ironic, she is direct, she is everything she needs to be about discussing the global south, western hegemony, feminism, etc.

Now, while Gaga’s album might be good for those stereotypical “rage” nights, parties, even days, M.I.A.’s album clearly wins and has me dancing as I party, burn structures of oppression, fight for liberation, write my thesis, and forge a future for myself and others outside of the void of undergrad life.

Debriefing (In)Justice.


(In)Justice. I read this as, “all justice is unjust because the system in which we have justice is flawed. It even perpetuates what we would call ‘injustice’; in fact, justice means nothing now because our society has corrupted the very linguistic notion of ‘justice’.”

But I think that was just me.

I went to the Word of Mouth Story Slam event on Thursday and was met with differing opinions on what this theme meant. I contributed anonymously via ‘my story in a sentence’: “Hither and thither: to revolt learn read become more, but less unbe burn unlearn–Thither and hither.” It was supposed to be a Joycean commentary on how concepts are cyclical and that we take, for example, injustice to incite revolution and learning and helping “progress” society by working through mistakes. To do so we must unlearn all that we’ve been taught, burn all that we’ve loved, and keep on pacing back and forth.

Because what we fight for today might not be what we fight for tomorrow.

All the people that presented were white, arguably heterosexual, of (at least now) upper middle class standing, arguably cisgendered. I’m not trying to say that injustice can’t happen to people of privilege, since that is whom the system was made by and working for, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. The emcee framed the event by placing it within the context of MLK day and Black History Month. What came as a result were talks of upcharges on meals, inner greediness, and sharing stories that weren’t their own. At one point people made fun of the prison system, criminals, religious identities, and intersectionality.

The space was unjust for those that were there. The space got unsafe for potential stories and potential learning. The space had so much potential.

Having the event at Work Gallery was the best decision. This was an aesthete’s version of heaven. The band, The Good Plenty, played by the entrance and welcomed you into a space that was filled with white, blank walls and a few pieces of artwork. The light reflected off the white tin ceiling into a spectrum of color. Upon moving to the heart of the space, cheese and crackers and punch and dessert lined the aisle way. My mouth was greeted with red pepper spread and goat cheese. Doubling back to view the entrance, my face saw the beauty of the band playing and the people mingling.

What was beautiful: the sense of community. In one story someone shared that what they needed most in their moment being unjustly treated was love, family, support, and community.

In this terrible world what else can we strive for?

It’s now that I realize that one thing I can do in my life is to strengthen my relationships. I can work harder at being there for my friends, to provide a stronger support network. I can try harder to not hate love and all the trouble and mess it causes. I can seek out new relations that will help fill the void that I feel as a (cough cough) modern subject. So even when the last story was shared, the last cracker eaten, the last note played, the last coat grabbed, I could feel that even if I didn’t enjoy the stories (or their messages) I could still come away with a new goal. I could change myself into someone who loves more. Who is positive more often. Who shares and listens to stories, with open ears, everyday.