I got tattooed in Arizona at a place called the The Bookhouse. By a man named Alex Empty. He runs a place called Copper State Tattoo now, I highly recommend looking him up.
It was my first sisterhood tattoo. T’is a crown, because we met in Ontario and she loved that we have crowns on our licence plates, and for fun and to commemorate our secret language, we put a bird on it*.
She is neither here nor there. I miss her, but sometimes we just have to miss people.
I remember sitting in the waiting room, seeing the name of the place and being filled with this uncontrollable mirth and bubbling joy.
I asked Alex in a hushed tone (just in case I was wrong) “is this place named after Twin Peaks?”
It was, and my happy cup runneth over.
I love those little moments of camaraderie shared with strangers, that light that goes on in their eyes, reflected in your own at the recognition of something relatively obscure. Like a tiny secret.
I loved Arizona for that. Everywhere I went, there were my people. But I couldn’t stay, and Sedona was on fire.
My boys are the bookhouse boys. There is evil out there and they stand against it and just do what needs to be done. Chivalry is paramount.
The card for that tattoo shop sits next to my desk on my bookshelf just to the far left of my peripheral vision. Nestled in with jars full of sage and rocks and a ceramic flower, with a bird on it.
3 shelves up lives my collection of old/vintage/antique books. 3 collections of fairy tales in varying states of decay. My prized first illustrated edition of The Water Babies. Not old but precious, a book that was given to me at age 13 by a slightly mad woman who has since passed away. A bible, The Handbook for Attendants of the Criminally Insane Copyright 1912, The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis, a pocket sized Iliad and my mother’s Bookhouse Books. A dozen of them, bound in navy and gold.
I wrote a long time ago in an article called “Not at all like the Movies” that I had heard certain phrases, song lyrics, passages from books and never knew why they pleased me so much until later in life.
It’s happening again, so sayeth the giant from Twin Peaks.
Write the book, buy the house.
I christened my current apartment Equilibrium. It is where I decided I would try to stop swinging so far from one side to the other, and I have. I found a cozy little nook and instead of massive fluctuations full tilt to the far sides of content and discontent I gently sway from side to side.
Hot Neighbor and I share a philosophy in that sometimes we hear things are read things or just have a thought and we immediately recognize this thing/thought/idea is THE truth. Not that it’s true, but that it is the truth. And how we have deciphered this certain phenomenon is that we are not learning something, we are remembering it.
I am remembering.
I want my bookhouse.
My psychiatrist is always asking me what I want. She recognizes what I have and had, knows I was in a state of discontent and tries to pry me open and revel the truth in there.
He asked me too. What do you want me to do to you?
It had been so long since someone asked me that, I didn’t know how to respond. Then slowly with great trust and effort I began naming things, remembering little pockets of bliss. Remembering what my body and psyche are capable of in a state of love and trust.
I wanted an answer too. I had to start somewhere, so I looked at what made me happiest of all.
I had a taste of happy healthy butterfly belly feels in the spring.
Then the exterminators came and left poison in my guts.
But in the way that nature goes and grows, taking back what is hers…the garden is once again full of butterflies. All blue and gold.
I have had many adventures, tried the red pill, the blue pill, both sides of the mushroom, tiny vials named drink me and cookies labeled eat me. Slept on the ground and in the most opulent of feather beds. Walked miles barefoot and leagues in stilettos and what makes me happiest of all is that sense of home I have felt from time to time. I love being home.
In all of my gypsy wanderings the happiest I have felt is being around those who accept me as is. No guards, no masks, no work needed on my part to be lovable. I am love. I love, it is just what the fuck I do.
I love sex. I realized the other night as his hands were wandering over my skin how starved I was for human contact. I made a game out of ‘can I kiss you here?’, “how about here?” and the answer was always yes. My lips are still bruised and I couldn’t be happier.
I love writing. Those books of my mothers have very little in the way of illustrations and I still read them ravenously as a child. Words have always been magic to me. I love creating visions out of nothing, I love exploring places I have made up in my head, when my muse sits on my shoulder and babbles faster than I can type.
I finally have an answer for them both.
I want a place I helped buy and build with the words I wrote, that I share with the one who always answers yes when I ask if I can kiss him here or there. I want to write books and do good work. Cook dinner, stack wood, rescue dogs, grow roses and just be happy and laugh with my people.
I want to come home and stay there.