Saturday, January 26, 2008

The truth is...

Every day I wake up and have to force myself to get out of bed. It's embarrassing how out of control I feel of my life and my own mind sometimes, because I want people to believe I have everything together, that I'm fine. I never feel fine. I rarely feel happy. I feel like my life is too complicated to hold together, even though it's really not... I fantasize about living in a cabin at the edge of a mountain and doing nothing but gardening and milking goats all day. I crave freedom, simplicity, and hate myself because I feel that it's a cop-out. I feel homeless, lost, unsettled, nervous, directionless. I feel extremely alone. I think I've felt alone since my mother moved away. I have nightmares and I wake up with my muscles tense and my mouth open and dry and I lie awake at night, afraid to close my eyes because I feel there's something staring at me. I can barely sleep. It's like I'm searching for something all the time... there's an emptiness I can't describe or fill or change, no matter how much I will myself to feel good or what pep talk my mind gives me. I feel incomplete and unlovable because how can anyone love a person who isnt themself? I don't feel like myself. I don't feel anything, really, except a desire to run away and a fear of doing anything, of failing at anything. It's paralyzing. I don't know what's missing. I don't know if it's God or art or a fucking chemical in my brain... but something just isn't there. I'm this shell that walks around, trying not to touch anything for fear of being shattered. It's pathetic.

I wonder how long it'll be before I delete this post.

"We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can't be my own
I'd feel better dead"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nathan was in town this weekend, which was great, and it was also Christina's last weekend in town, which was sad. Nathan is the "new guy", for all of you who follow my life on here with such enthusiasm. I like him. And he's hot. Girls mack on him at bars and waitresses stumble over themselves in restaurants. I don't care if it makes me shallow--I completely get off on it. Of course he's also a lot of other things besides hot, including a good cook. There is nothing sexier than a man who can make amazing stir fry with meat that he hunted and butchered.

Today I'm hungover. Having dinner with Tessa in a bit. Going to try not to drink too much sake and end up miserable again tomorrow. Stressing out about so many things... I need to get working on my gallery, I need to make a bunch of money this week and I need to get my car fixed...

Last night I was out and a guy came up to me when I was with Nathan and said, "I'm not used to seeing you with your clothes on." He was a customer. The way he said it made me want to punch him in the face. I mean I know guys are going to recognize me. Lafayette's not that big of a town. But what makes them think they have the right to say two words to me in my real life, especially in front of the man that I'm with? I probably saw 7 customers between the two bars I went to last night. 4 of them spoke to me, the other three just smiled and waved. It's not like this is the first time... it's happened while I was buying art supplies, groceries, at a coffee shop... everytime the same conversation. "Do I know you?" "Do you think you know me?" "Where do you work?" "Where do you think I work?" "Wait a second... you work at..." I need to find another town to dance in. It's not so much that I care who knows I'm a stripper--everyone does, even my parents--but I didn't anticipate assholes accosting me when I'm standing in checkout lines.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Last night I was out with Bonnie, her co-worker Keith and his friend Joe. Bonnie's new boyfriend was our waiter, and I complimented her on her taste because, frankly, the guy was hot--very masculine and competent at his job. This spawned a big argument about, essentially, why women are attracted to masculinity and competence and whether those things are important. My approval of Bonnie's boyfriend seemed to trigger the insecurities of Keith and Joe. Keith is good looking, but self-professes his "sensitivity" and aversion to being "forward with women." This translates into, essentially, that he wouldn't have the balls to talk to a woman if she was flinging herself at him naked. He is constantly self-deprecating and feeling sorry for himself because "women only want to date assholes." (I argue that maybe if "nice, sensitive guys" actually asked us out once in a while, we might have other options.) Joe is overweight, a self-professed nerd, generally negative and a little arrogant. Joe believes that self-care, confidence and ambition aren't nearly as important as "what's inside." Guys like he and Keith apparently don't have girlfriends because girls are too stupid and shallow to "look at the inner person."

I call bull shit.

In almost every species, the man is bigger, more colorful, and louder than the female in order to attract her. This is our primal mating ritual. Am I going to be attracted to some mopey fat guy sitting in a bar who won't even look me in the eye? Fuck no. I don't care how "special" he is inside. If he wants me to know, he should be doing something to let me know he's interesting and amazing. Yes, to attract a desirable mate you have to have something to offer. What is so wrong or outlandish about that concept? Yes, I expect men to care about their appearance, have jobs, ambitions, interests and a personality. I expect them to be confident in who they are. When did women become shallow for expecting men to actually make an effort? Men don't have to do that fucking much anymore. I mean it's not they're going off and dying in battle in order to prove that they're "real men." In fact, any ideals of courage and heroism and masculine strength we once exhalted have all been lost to my generation. I'm pretty amazed when I go out with a guy under 30 who actually pays for dinner. What I want to say to these guys is, "Okay, I'll pay for dinner if you go out and slay half an army and bring me someone's head on a your shield."

Keith was upset at his friend Nolan because they were both buying drinks for a waitress and Nolan got her number first. Keith, apparently, interprets this as "cockblocking." It's called NOLAN HAD MORE CONFIDENCE THAN YOU AND ACTUALLY TOOK INITIATIVE. Guess what, guys? Woman LIKE that. He refuses, however, to engage in such immature "antics", and is pissed because the waitress doesn't acknowledge him now, even though he barely raises his head to look at her when he goes into the bar. You have to compete for mates--it's been that way ever since we evolved into primates. All he has to do is strike up a conversation with her, or at least say hello, or even flat out ask her if she'd like a drink when she gets off work. I'm not going to pursue any guy. I'm going to expect him to have the courage to pursue me. I mean, hell, if I'm single, I'll usually go out at least once with a guy I'm not even that interested in just because I'm impressed by the fact that he approached me. Confidence and initiative is much more sexy than brand name clothes or hair gel or "sensitivity."

All of these stupid little emo guys are sitting around reading Lord of the Rings and playing videogames and living in their fantasy worlds, but none of them seem to connect the fact that the same reason they are attracted to those sorts of examples of male heroism and strength are the same reason women are. Men are supposed to be strong. I don't want to hear about some guy's self-esteem issues and how special he is if only I'd look closer. I want him to show me. FUCKING SHOW ME! DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING!

When did men get this pathetic? They should give off their fucking couches, take off their headphones, actually learn to wield something sharp and dangerous, work out a little bit, and go out and fight for women like it's been done since the beginning of time. Or at least learn to have the balls to ask a girl for her phone number.

Monday, January 14, 2008

When I started dancing, I remember thinking that I wouldn’t get jaded. After all, I like people, even creepy men. Lots of my best friends are creepy men. I figured I would be able to handle anything. Well, yes, I can handle anything. Whatever a customer says to me, good, bad, disgusting, obnoxious or pathetic rolls off me like water. It doesn’t have any effect on my self-esteem or how I view myself. What it does do is give me a sort of contempt for them. It makes me think while I’m smiling, “You fucker. I can’t wait to take your money. You are drunk and awful and you deserve it.” It’s made me a better hustler. I just don’t care anymore about the ethical or sociological aspects. I’m all about the money.

There’s an attitude that strippers are money-grubbing and amorally greedy and I don’t understand this. It’s a job. Of course we want to make money. Doesn’t everyone go to work to make money? Don’t waitresses expect tips for their services? Doesn’t anyone in the work force expect to be compensated, whether they enjoy their job or not? Why is capitalism wrong only in the sex industry? If you disagree with the sex industry, that’s fine, but if you’re actively patronizing it, why would you expect anything other than an equal exchange of currency and service?

Ironically, I think strip clubs exploit men more than women, and I think men are deeply, uncomfortable with this. Lots of men justify spending money at strip clubs as charity—“helping poor, single mothers”—and they love to make us feel like we’re lucky that they’re giving us THEIR time. What a joke. Even worse are the guys who want to be my sugar daddy—and probably mean it. I want to say, “I make more money than you, asshole. What are you going to do for me?” If I wanted that, I would be out at the campus bars every night looking for some engineering major to marry me and not working my ass off for a bunch of dirty bastards. I also hate when guys act they’re making some big gesture by giving us a dollar bill, as if we’re Chinese factory workers and think that’s a lot of money.

But really, deep down, most men know the truth about the job: that we don’t care. We don’t care what they do for a living or how much their marriage sucks or how big their penis is. We care about the money. And men don’t like that; it takes away their upperhand. Everyone knows men like to have more money than women, it’s what makes them providers, primally dominant and important in the species. And so if they’re going to shell out money (as “charity”), they all want to be told that they’re special, that they’re “different” from the other customers, that we’re talking or dancing with them because we want to. If you can learn to play that card as a dancer and convince a man for a moment that this is true, you will make bank, even if you’re missing a limb.

On Saturday a (drunk) customer came up to me and said, “You know, you’re really beautiful. I don’t want a dance from you, I want to take you out to dinner and really get to know you.

I smiled sweetly and said, “I’m sorry. I don’t date customers. It’s not personal.”

He replied, “You know, you girls are all the same. What if this was it, you know. What if I was the guy for you. You’d never know because you’re looking right past it and just trying to get at my money. Here, I’m a nice guy, just wanting to take you out, and you’re throwing it away.”

I said, “I’m sorry. I just can’t. You’re really nice, though.” I didn’t say, “What the fuck, dude. This is a strip club, not speed dating. And you’re a slob that I wouldn’t consider getting near under the influence of anything but money.”

He looked drunk, pathetic and somewhat genuinely scorned. Later on, I saw him buying dances from some other girl. The moral of this story is that men who don’t want to pay for my attention need to stop being emo and go out and get real girlfriends (who will probably just take even more of their money.)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm strangely happy. It's not any one thing. Part of it has to do with Christina being home for her Christmas break--simply the luxury of having my otherwise-absent best friend around at the end of every day. It's that lovely sense of comfort that you only have in really strong relationships where you think "I can get through today because there will be someone there to hear about it." The other thing is that I'm more optimistic about my art and my professional life. I've been getting a lot more clients recently who are leading to other opportunities and more exposure. Plus I have the space, which I'm starting to feel really good about, even though I haven't begun to even tackle the hell of painting it or fixing it up. Third, I'm planning ways to escape, inspite of my ties to Lafayette at present. Going to Europe in March, going back to camp this summer, going to Burning Man. Fourth, I have cats, which make me feel happy and loved everytime they curl into my lap. Fifth, a really hot man who makes me feel like I'm some sort of animal in heat. I won't say anymore. Sixth, my mother's mammogram came back clear, and the lumps in her breast aren't malignant. Seventh, I've been spending more time with my friends than I have in a long time and reading more books and cooking dinner for myself. All good things.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Updates:

1. The space downtown I rented is huge--over 3,000 sq ft with an 800 ft loft. It's not in tremendously good condition and it's going to need a lot of work. The storefront that's going to be the gallery will probably be the last thing I really work on. I'm hoping I can have my studio moved into the back by next week sometime, then I can start painting the walls and exterior of the building. Big project. Big, expensive project.

2. I have more commissions on the burner than I know what to do with.

3. Makenna and I adopted cats from the Humane Society. They're adorable.



4. I found a really lovely guy to date. Someone said he looks like he's in a boy band. Fortunately his mind transcends his body.

5. I need to quit drinking. It's making me fatter.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

This was probably the best New Years that I've ever had. Most of them have been pretty depressing and unmemorable. I've been trying to remember what I did last year on New Years Eve and I actually have no recollection of it. Perhaps I was abducted by aliens and should undergo regressive hypnosis. I spent this year with a sweet and handsome man and his friends and lots of alcohol and it was very memorable.

I think New Years resolutions are crap. I think what people should have are New Years GOALS. I wrote down a few months ago what my goals were for the coming year. Go to Europe, save up a semester's tuition, try mescaline and acid, read a book every week, lose 15 lbs, train for a mini-marathon, grow my hair another 6 inches, take horseback riding lessons, only eat out once a week and cook healthful, meditative meals, go to Burning Man.

Across the street from my studio, an empty store front opened up. I eyed it for a few days, then finally called for information. It's 3,000 sq ft with a perfect workshop and studio space in the back. The front can be turned into a gallery. I rented it. I'm going to make it work, goddamnit.

I've been contemplating legally extending my name... Gwyneth, Gwynevere, Gwyndolyn. What do you think?