It is exhausting having a foot in both worlds.
This week I was a therapist and a patient. (Humble plea: Yes. Hospital workers can be brusque and harried. I know and I’m sorry. But please try to be gentle with us. We sometimes come to work as sick as the patients.)
Sunday I sat at home alone begrudgingly doing housework and later I was a partner, far less begrudgingly listening to jazz and story idea and fears over wine. He was much a far better partner to me days before, making sure I had food and wine (there are commonalities in both my worlds) and love and rest.
Saturday I was a single mother and a performer.
I watched my son accept an award for his art.
It is a better drawing than I will ever accomplish as I have zero artistic capacity in this realm. I was as proud as if he’d stood up and criticized a Congressman. Surrounded by conservative values and history, I stood observing and silent.
Hours later, I was on stage myself, performing a movement and poetry piece I created entitled Bare. I stood among an incredible collection of women, femmes and female-identified artists. They opened their souls and bled poetry and performance art about feminism, gender roles, heartbreak, self-abuse and body positivity. We loved naked bodies and what they can portray. I spent the night alternating. Attracted then repulsed. Laughing then crying. Unable to look away then covering my eyes because there were moments that were simply unbearable to watch because they were so raw and real and pained.
I don’t know if what I offered of myself on stage was any good. It know it hurt.
And that’s usually a good sign.
I know I was honored to share space with these mavens.
The day reminded me of how much I try to keep myself in two places, be two people, fulfill two roles.
Straddling worlds means I am trying to keep a grasp on everything between my legs. My thighs may be thick and strong but they can’t maintain this tonic contraction forever.
Metaphorical muscle fail also brings to the brink the eventuality that as these two worlds shift, I won’t be able to bridge the gap and I’ll rip down the middle. Torn into halves. Unable to make meaning in any plane of my existence because I’ll be in pieces.
I want to pull the worlds together. I want love and inspiration. Bedtime stories and burlesque with fake blood. School projects and hearing my own plays read. Kisses with passion and quiet handholding when the fears come.
I want to be madam of my own house.
I want to be the madman that brings the wildness in so the ones I hold close can see the feral beauty and learn of bravery.
Madam and Madman.