About April

I'm a writer operating out of Portland, OR.

Updates, good and bad.

Left off here on a rather ominous note, I suppose. It’s been a busy few weeks.

No sugar coating it: my manager is trying to fire me. Claims he’s not, but that’s shit. I was a good employee with a stable record until I landed on his team, and within 24 hours I was on a PSP (Performance “Success” Plan–what they do to under-performing employees) and my trajectory never recovered. There’s no statute of limitations with this man. Every mistake you make is with you forever, and then they’re looked at in aggregate to make a “pattern of under-performance.” He’s trying to fire me, and I don’t care what pretty lies the senior management spins to cover his ass. I wrote a letter to HR about what was going on, and a few days later I saw him returning to his desk from the front office with a sick look on his face. It was better for a while after that, but I think it just made him craftier. I’m on two separate final written warnings at the same time. Didn’t even know that was possible. I’m looking for another job as fast as I can. Hope to find one soon. I’ll leave if I have to, but I don’t want to be fired. I hate this feeling of helplessness, of not knowing when the ax will fall. I need to save up enough money to be able to move back down to the Bay and be with my sister.

(Oh, by the way, I have a sister now. She’s wonderful. The queer tradition of a chosen family didn’t make sense to me until we decided to be siblings.)

On a brighter note, I have been awarded a scholarship to attend the Cascade Writer’s workshop this year. I’m very excited. My main fear is that my situation up here will fall apart and force me to flee to California again before I have a chance to attend. There will be other writers there, serious, committed artists. I haven’t had a group like that since college.  I can’t wait. There will also be professionals from the publishing world. I look forward to learning a lot from them. I have to say, as well, that it is immensely rewarding to have been awarded a scholarship. It was in part based on need, but a part of the application was based on a 1000-word sample I submitted. Someone I’ve never met who has no reason to care about me decided that, among those who submitted applications, I was the one they wanted to support. It gives me hope.

I’ve been submitting my application to agents. Nothing but rejections and silence so far. This is to be expected. No serious writer gets through life without  a thick sheaf of rejections. Still, having something, anything, break my way is very nice.

My cousin seems to be having trouble. It would be quite dramatic to say that madness is the family curse, but no. We live in a more civilized age, where mental health is more sterile, and better classified. We’re not mad. Simply depressed and scared. No matter. I’m pulling for you, cousin. I wish you all the best.

Advertisements

The Definition of Insanity

More and more, I find my mind returning to the possibility of graduate school. It’s foolish. It’s hopeless. My time there is done.

But what if I could figure out a way to apply Power Transition Theory to domestic political violence? What if I could get funding? What if I could enroll in a program that fit me better?

No. It’s absurd. It will never work. Shouldn’t waste time thing about it.

But what if…?

Anesthetic

The anesthetic didn’t work. I rubbed the cream on my face, but the timing was wrong and it didn’t have a chance to work before we began electrolysis.

On the way to the appointment, I’d seen my reflection in a window.

So as the needle burned hot under my skin, and the sharp, crystallized bases of the hairs sliced skin as they were pulled out, I thought to myself:

You are gross and disgusting and you deserve this.

‘#’

I’m at the Taco Bell, and at my local Taco Bell they’ve got a gimmick where they write down your name as they take your order so they can call you up by your name as if they know and care about you. It’s silly and contrived, but also a little sweet, and that’s pretty much how you could describe Beaverton in general.

So I give my order and I pay my money, and the assistant manager taking my order is this middle aged fellow who asks me my name and I say I’m April. He hesitates for a moment, and then instead of writing down my name he writes ‘#’ and tells me they’ll call my number soon.

He looks at my face. At my boobs. Thinks about my name, and how it doesn’t match my voice. And writes ‘#’.

That’s when I realized he was scared of me. Anywhere else, any time else, he’d have told me to jump off bridge, or shaken his head disapprovingly, or something like that. He’s scared of my gender, and that fear, in another climate, would translate to poor treatment. But he can’t do that now because he’s at work, and he works in the service industry, which means his job sucks and is held at the pleasure of people who come in to drop five bucks and then never come by again.

So he writes down ‘#’ instead of my name because he can’t bring himself to say my name aloud and validate my femininity, but he can’t be too much of an asshole, either. Middle aged guys are terrified of trannies. They’re scared we’ll make penises less important. (And we will.) They’re scared we’ll recruit their children. (We don’t recruit; we liberate.) They’re scared we’ll make them gay. (That hot chick you see? Her dick’s bigger than yours, and that turns you on, doesn’t it?)

I’m glad he’s scared. He should be scared. That’s a healthy fear.

We’re not shutting up.

We’re not going away.

We’re part of your life for the rest of your life.

I am your goddamn future.

Be terrified.

Bonjour, Motherfuckers

In the past two days, I have gotten almost two hundred hits from France.

I don’t know what’s caused the sudden interest in my blog from our continental friends, but welcome. Feel free to stay a while. Send more wine.