In the photos of my 21st birthday party there are two people who have died since, who we have mourned and turned into memories, but it's beautiful to find them there by chance, on the side of the dance floor that was happening in my kitchen, teetering on a chair in my old backyard, smoking a cigarette on that back deck, as alive and in the moment as all of us, before the selves we went on to become.
I stayed in tonight, away from the sharp edges of what my 'immediate queer family' has become, and spent it instead talking to my housemate about who we are, and who we were, and how we find ourselves these days. Raiding old photos and realizing that despite all the many, many things that have changed, I've still got the same goddamn haircut I had then.
I was 21 year old who knew who and what I was, and who and what I wanted in the world (I went after it in hot pursuit, and found it in sufficient quantities to keep me well occupied). A 22 year old who traveled to the United States in hot pursuit of the hot leatherdyke sex I was sure I would find (and did). A 23 year old back home again, in full-plume return, settling myself into a life here. A 24 year old who toned herself back from the mad keen femme princess archetype that had done me so well up til then, who stuck her hands in the dirt and discovered whole new meanings to the world. A 25 year old who learned how to ride a bike for the first time, who puts on these old pink outfits, these new pink boots, who still wants to be that way but is other ways as well, and can't quite figure out how to make it all fit.
I don't feel jaded or lost, but I feel in-between times. Energy comes at me and I have no way to catch it, so I let it slide by. I wonder at the difference between being something, and enjoying it sometimes (am I the 24/7 Daddy's girl I was then, or someone who likes that kind of play on occasion? Am I a Gardener, capitalized, or just someone who likes to garden? A Maker Of Things or a part-time dabbler in objects and how they fit together? A Femme, or a girl with a dress-up fetish?).
What interests me right now travels, so I find myself traveling. I have found magic on Lismore farms full of Sydney queers, in Sydney living rooms full of Brisbane & Melbourne imports, in Ballina brothels full of queers from the whole Eastern sea-board. I don't find it when I stay still, right now- there is magic here, in my house and my city, but it's not for me- this is someone else's golden moment, someone else's perfect place. So in some instances I close myself off, not joining in with the building of this time-and-place here (the regular bar with the regular people and the regular heartbreak), but throw myself into the creation of the time-and-place that is happening in the far reaches of my known world. I go up to the farm this weekend, maybe Broken Hill in September, and in between people from all the other cities will be here, and so far those have proven to the best times.