September 30, 9:05 pm:
In three hours is my forty fourth Birthday. I google myself. Discover the birthday surprise of top billing.
“You arrived when you were meant to arrive” a mutual says on Twitter. Finally, I am the most famous Andrea Lambert. At least at this moment. After decades of dedication. It thrills me beyond belief. I don’t even know what to say. Don’t say anything.
I curl up in a sheet on the bed. Watch “The Royals.” Drink cold black coffee. From a disability supply cup. Eat blackberries. A few days after the last day. Folklore says one is not supposed to eat blackberries on this day. The Devil kisses blackberries after the autumnal equinox. Ave Satanas! The berries are ripe and juicy. It is a full moon. I will silently howl into the void. Howl at the moon. On this page.
“It’s my time,” I declare to great aunt Theda’s hardwood floors and the cats. The blue moon above. Throw away the blackberry carton. Consider the project. To write through counting down until my birthday. For this blog entry.
My Entropy column, “Dining with a Cursed Bloodline,” is on hiatus until 2021. Given how much is in flux with the election. How dangerous it is to be listed as a journalist these days. How much of a soul sucking disaster 2020 is so far.
So much will change in the next quarter. I won’t know what’s going on politically, personally or literarily until 2021. I do not anticipate a smooth transition of power. Given the circumstances. Prepare for a coup. Or infrastructure collapse. Or the apocalypse. Spend my birthday money on a an apocalypse prep sized tub of brown rice. A water pump purifier. To use in the stream out back. Stream water looks and tastes wonderful. Is lovely to swim in. But drinking unfiltered fresh water will give you giardiasis.
“Be prepared,” is the Girl Scout motto.
I have an optimistic cottage core agrarian survivalist plan to living off the land. This family land I live on. This land was Mexico long ago. Belonged to the indigenous Washoe.
Laura Ingalls Wilder books gave me a lot of ideas. I wish I realized as a child what a horrible settler racist Wilder was. I didn’t understand race. A child raised to think I was white in Southernmost California.
I am a person of ambiguous mixed race: Spanish, Mexican Indigenous, Italian, Swedish, English, Slave owning white. My closest living white relative has a nose job. There’s a lot going on. I don’t know what to call it, Other people decide that. Based on who and where they are. Men said I looked, “exotic.” I think know what that is code for. What I think about that doesn’t matter. I don’t have enough information. Without a genetic test.
My DNA is likely already on file somewhere. I do not doubt the efficiency of the Federal government. If they wanted me dead, I would be. I don’t plan on giving them any reason to make it so.
What race I am doesn’t matter to me. I’ve always been this person. Lived in this body. With skin this color. Hybrid vigor. Or white adjacent. That matters more to other people. The current president. Second civil war on simmer on the national stove.
I am not trying to do anything other then what I am doing. Of have done in the 6.66 years since I have been sober. From my substances of abuse. Cannabis is excellent harm reduction for alcohol and harder stuff.
Some of the harder mistakes that makes my first novel Jet Set Desolate, so controversial. I am not embarrassed of my past. It just is.
I hunger. Microwave frozen chicken strips that my ex wife left. Her frozen food contributions were a dubious divorce settlement. When the apocalypse comes, that ham would be good barter fodder.
I take the hot breading nuggets out of the microwave. Try to eat. Am not even sure if there is chicken within. They’ve been in the freezer for a long time.
That divorce feels like a lifetime ago. Feels farther away then the pain of my domestic partner’s suicide. My life has settled back to pre-legal wife rhythms and calm. I realize I can’t be a wife to anyone. Of any gender. Or none.
“It’s the first take on the female stag thing,” Dante Zuniga-West, author of Rumble, Young Man, Rumble, said of Jet Set Desolate. At CalArts. In 2006.
I put the hot empty plate in the dishwasher. Of the House of the Rising Sun.
“It’s not for me to say,” as goes the Johnny Mathis song, whether or not Jet Set Desolate was ahead of it’s time. No one at CalArts in the late 2000 was okay with a queer cis femme conducting herself as I did.
Jet Set Desolate is available internationally, through Amazon and IPR License. In my website stats I note new countries, lately. Am thrilled.
“Wilkomen, bienvenue, Welcome,” as begins Cabaret. In Weimar Berlin. In Weimar America, to other parts of the world, my writing could represent Xennial American decadence. I don’t know. Mais bienvenue, restez un peu dans mes mots, si vous voulez. Il y a si plus de choisir de. Amusez-vous bien.
In one hour I will be forty four. In this year of our Horned God and Three Faced Lunar Goddess, 2020.
In the bathroom I consider what witchcraft to involve in the transition, if any. I had planned on doing a hoodoo spell to break the psychic tie to my ex legal wife. I might be hallucinating that These periodic psychic flashes of where she is and what she is doing.
To break ties with an ex lover, hoodoo suggests burning my public hair, Angelica root, rosemary and onion skin. I’ve been gathering the materials since this phenomena first occurred.
In tonight’s episode of, “Psychic or Psycho,” I shave my pubic hair. Grown out it for the first time in twenty years. Wash it down the drain. I’m not doing that hoodoo this full moon. In times this dire, all intel is… something. Dubious entertainment.
I mentally sign another vow of celibacy. This one for however long I solely shall live. My first first vow of celibacy began when I began growing my grey hair out. Documented in my Entropy essay “Dinner Whore Celibate.” I decided when the grey touched my shoulders I would take a lover. Kept that vow. Married her. It didn’t go so well. This time the question is whether my hair or my body flatlines first. I’d like it to be the hair.
My first Facebook, “Happy Birthday,” comes in. From a CalArts mentor in the United Kingdom. Par la magique des fuseaux horaires, it’s October 1. Already, in European time.
Imaginary fireworks go off in my head. Nine minutes until October 1, 2020 in Pacific Time. I cut a slice of Raley’s Tiramisu. Pack a bowl.
I impulsively take a creamy bite of birthday cake a few minutes before midnight. Tee hee. Delicious.
I put on red lipstick. Grey eyeliner. The rest of my face. A long gown with stars on it. A gold doubloon necklace from my Latin grandmother.
It’s my birthday! So it begins.