I Was Putting Naked Pictures of Myself Up Around Town
My horoscope app told me this morning that I should "dress up" so I was like "fuck it, that feels right" so I did. I wore a black dress that I got for two dollars at a Goodwill in Tucson, Arizona while on tour a few years ago. It fit me then, when I was twenty pounds heavier than I am now, and it fits me now. It’s so comfortable, it feels like I'm wearing pajamas when I’m wearing it. I can sleep in it. It packs light and small. It doesn’t hold wrinkles. It works well in the summer or in the winter with layers. I can wear it on stage and to work. I wear it around the house. And…I look bangin' in it! It really has been the best dress. It's got a lightly flowy lower half so the dress sort of dances when you walk. When the wind blows, it flies around just enough to feel a lovely breeze but not so much that I go full Marilyn.
So I was walking around after work putting up flyers for an upcoming show. I'm sharing the bill with my poet friend Tawnya and I’m pretty dang excited about it! Through my music and her poetry, it will be brazenly human, sexual, sensual, sad and joyous. The goal is to leave the audience feeling like they're being held tight by a dear friend after spilling some raw emotion.
The flyers for this show parallel the show's vulnerability. Although, I don’t think anyone who doesn’t know the story behind the picture really understands how vulnerable the photo really is.
I'm naked, on a bed, alone in a hotel in Glasgow Scotland, drinking tea with a ukulele covering my bits. My socks, underwear and raincoat are hanging to dry in the background. I had just showered and have a towel under me because I was on my period and didn’t want to bleed on those crisp, white hotel sheets. I had arrived in Glasgow that morning after two nights in Oban, wandering the hills and ocean side and meeting lovely people. I was so lonely that morning in Glasgow. It was the first and only real bout with loneliness on that trip. It was a rough morning. I don’t drink, I don’t like to shop, I don’t have casual sex, I had all my gear with me and didn’t want to wander around far from where the hotel was before I checked in. So many of the things one might (one being me in the past) do to stifle that unbearable feeling of loneliness, I could not do. I made myself stare down that loneliness. I went to a cafe, got a chai and wrote like mad for at least an hour. I was so raw. I tried so hard not to burst into tears in the middle of the café several times. When it was time, I went to the hotel and checked into my room. I had a place to be but was still lonely as fuck. I didn’t know what to do with myself. To be honest, I hard core considered hopping onto Tinder just for the night but I didn’t. I knew that what I was feeling wasn’t going to get any better with company. (It was a very particular sort of loneliness.) And an old friend always said to me, “Dick doesn’t fix anything”. So..I took a shower, hand-washed my undies and socks, made tea and busted out the ukulele. I sang and cried and drank tea. I took this picture. This picture is so raw. The show will be a night of staring your damn demons in the face, making friends with them and perhaps sharing a cup of tea.
Oh ya…I was walking around town, in my awesome dress, putting up flyers with my naked self on them, all over town. It was a warm sunny day with a breeze that was, at times, almost a little too much, which made it absolutely perfect. I'd put up my flyer, the wind would blow my dress around, it made me laugh, I would smile at people walking by and relished the feeling of the sun on my skin (a rarity around these parts). I was on fire!
I've had this thing where sometimes I'm afraid to look people in the eye as we walk past each other on the street. I don’t want to challenge anyone. This isn’t a way to be aggressive or make anyone feel less than. It's a way to connect with the human being sharing a bit of sidewalk with me for a split second. Bellingham is small enough that there are typically few enough people walking around that one could do this at least once or twice within the space of a block. Some people it's obvious that they don’t wish to share eye contact. That's cool. I don’t really care. But if they are looking my way, I like to share a warm smile and gentle eye contact, IF it’s genuine. The fear comes in because I've actually been yelled at for this before. The man was apparently deeply troubled by my offering of warmth. Another fear is that someone might take it as an invite to try to suck me in. That happens as well. Some people are so thirsty for any connection that they cling to whatever they can get. I'm working on not letting that get me. I get to set the boundary there, not them. So…this thing happens every now and then..I meet someone's eyes and in a moment, they are seen. I can see quite clearly when they realize it..that I see them. They are a bit surprised at first but then they immediately melt into it and it's fucking amazing! We share a moment that lasts a split second but feels like a lifetime.
Well, I meant for this to be a short blip about how lovely the wind blowing my skirt around felt while putting naked pictures of myself up around town. But it was probably more about human connection and things I do to try to create space for more of that and how wonderful it is when those things line up and there is a spark. Whether it be on stage or on the street.
Anything we can do to create that fire is a great thing and I fully support you doing things in your world that ignites that even if it’s scary. It only burns for a moment and then you're quickly reminded that you are, in fact, alive! And that is simply beautiful.
If you’re local, I sincerely hope to see you at the show.