Long Time Gone, Pig

Jesus, I don’t know where to start.

Don’t start like that, it’s not nice.

Okay, Jilly.

Start this way…

Well, it’s been awhile. I have moved back to Chicago and am pursuing my dreams again. I think I stayed away from the blog so long because it was excruciating to write about my life as a loser while living it. Shit was difficult, yo. Very difficult. The break up that moved me South devastated me and I had to learn to be myself again. I don’t know if this goes for everyone but re-self-discovery leads me down a lot of roads that aren’t me, never would be me so that I can realize, through paws-on experience, that I am not, in fact, that person. A kind of process of elimination, if you will.

Down South I reconnected with old friends who had 9-5’s and big empty apartments. I drank margaritas out of cans in the back of broken down cars. I fancied myself an athlete (shut up!) and ran daily on a tread mill beside my elementary school lesbian gym coach who called me “Hollywood.”  I brought the party with my dance moves at a local saloon and befriended the bartender til he gave me shots!shots!shots!shots!shots!shots! and I woke up hours later locked in the empty saloon. I tried to draw murals in parks, but Lillie bit a black Republican and we had to nix the project. I wanted to teach kids theatre, but the director was a half wit and he scorned me.

I was lonely too so I scoured the gravel parking lots for boy friends. I hung with the toothless, the recently incarcerated, the lonesome alcoholics who drove huge trucks with balls hanging from the bumpers. I danced in pool halls with old men with dip in their lips, much more fun than the young marines who were a taaaaad over zealous. I tried on the skins of many friends, dating several just for shits and giggles. After a little while of seeing various Timmy No Goods and John Baby Mans, and deep talks with a very soft- talking therapist, I’ve realized that I am woman who loves too much. (A little vomit inducer for my male friends.)

But it’s true. And though I knew in every micro-wrinkle of the animal- spirit-love- heart part of my brain that I was not meant to mate with an obsessive-compulsive, deer-hunting, Libertarian divorcee, I had to give it a whirl anyway.

What happens to a frazzled thirty year-old Liberalace (pronounced like the Michael Douglas icon) on a soul excursion down south? She tries to become one with her environ. So she does. So she makes house with Libertarian at the end of a dirt road (literally called Dirt Rd) and helps set up pig traps and clean turkey bodies. I did mention I’m vegetarian?

It wasn’t a good move peeps. This was not a match made in heaven, just a match made in Spartanburg. The camo combination of leaves on leaves jacket paired with sticks on leaves pants that I once found sexy, soon made me queasy. Our lifestyles did not match. At some point Daryl, let’s call him, was shop vacc-ing a mouse body that he had caught in the car port, the whole living room filling with the exhaust from the shop vacc, while I waited for him to take me to a bar that he promised had a stripper pole on the dance floor. How hilarious my life had become, I thought But it was that sad kind of funny that you can only laugh at afterward. Not now. Not when I had these wedges on, slowly breathing in gas, waiting for Daryl to take us to “Libby’s.”

I made it through the pig trap. This little sow did not get stuck there. This piglet went through hours of intense therapy, miles of hikes on trails, and notebooks full of wailings and frustrations til her heart near imploded and she packed her sty up and came home. To Chicago.

This is not to say that I was discovering myself through who I dated. That would be girl-weak and petty. But I did think that for awhile. And I thought I could make myself something unnatural to me. I hung around different friends. I tried different jobs. I willed myself to transform into the body of a soaring red tail. But I when I tried to fly, I saw my little hooves splay out in front of me. When I tried to regurgitate nutrients to my young, I just threw up.

I am not John Man Boy or Daryl Republican. Try as I might’ve, I’m not June Carter either. I am Jill B Swine. And I have come home to myself.

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