My Face for the World to See (Part II):
The Diary of Sherilyn Connelly
a fiction

August 11 - 20, 2004


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Friday, 20 August 2004 (downing birds of prey)

Ten years ago today, The Ex and I loaded her car and drove from Fresno to the City. She returned to Fresno alone. My first night at San Francisco State University was pretty rough, because my roommate was determined to make our residence apartment Party Central. It became very obvious very quickly that I wasn't fitting in. Less than a week later, I'd gone stark raving mad. In classic William Faulkner style, no less. I'm doing much better now, though I think I'm way overdue for a visit with The Nice Lady.

I was still closeted in those days. Had all things remained equal, I suspect I would have found the courage to come out within a year. It was one of the reasons I moved here, though nobody else knew. The events of the next nine months, however, would push me back four years.


If you're a poet or spoken word artist looking for gigs in San Diego, drop me a line. (sherilyn at sfgoth dot com.) I have some cautionary hearsay to relate. If you're not interested, then I won't tell you. For the record, I'm not claiming to live there or be involved in booking shows.

As of this writing, the July 29 entry on this page is still there. It is also seventy-five degrees in San Francisco. These are facts.

sometime after midnight

so impressed with all you do
tried so hard to be like you
flew too high and burnt the wing
lost my faith in everything
like you said
you and me make it through
didn't quite
fell apart
where the fuck were you?

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Thursday, 19 August 2004 (in the presence of something)

I misremembered; the ad in question actually reads "Good Taste You Can Trust." Call me humorless, but that's actually worse. It's just something about combining the word "trust" with an image of a blindfolded woman being fed a piece of plastic which feels very troubling.

We taped Zippy again last night. It wasn't an actual performance night, so the camera guy could do closeups and medium shots and stuff. If I wasn't so great when he was taping before, I really sucked last night. During the first take I followed through on the flub I'd barely avoided Saturday, I underperformed what should be The Big Laugh, and actually had to call "Cut!" during the second take because I was just screwing things up too badly. It didn't help that a rather important a sound cue went wrong, sending me careening off the track. Couldn't keep myself from laughing, either. Horrible, horrible, horrible. I'm no professional, but I like to fancy myself as being fairly professional as rank amateurs go. I know my lines, I hit my marks, and I give it my all. If last night was any indication, however, I'm little more than a troublesome diva. (I told them I didn't want to see any brown M&M's backstage, but did they listen? No.)

I just hope we get a decent crowd this weekend. It would suck to end with a whimper.


we were as honest as lovers
we lied through our teeth as
we shined in each others' eyes
I wore pigtails and a skirt to Lynnee's show tonight. It's the first time I've worn as skirt in...gah. A very long time. Possibly the first time this year. I wore skirts to Wicked Messenger a couple times, but I'm not certain if any of them were this year. Anyway, in addition to the growing ennui and loss and depression in which I'm mired, I've been feeling plain and ugly and downright boyish lately. Stands to reason. So, a little femming out was in order. It's necessary for me every so often, probably more than I actually do it. Further proof that I wouldn't make a very good butch. I'm entirely too vain and shallow.

The fact that the skirt had an elastic band and thus was far more comfortable around my e'er-expanding waist than any of my pants was a motivating factor as well.

As for whether or not it made me feel better—well, it's the effort that's important, right?

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Wednesday, 18 August 2004 (stoneglasssteel)

The disappearance of over two thousand emails dating back to early '01 hurts, but I'm surviving. It's a funny thing, loss. You fear it, then it happens, and you find you can continue on just fine. That fact should allow me to purge more possessions than it actually does. I'm very weak.

We watched Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me last night. Maddy seemed shocked by its darkness, maybe even slightly traumatized. That's a valid response to such a vivid depiction of a descent into Hell. (I guess she'd forgotten my recent entry about it.)

I'm not sure what bothers me more: that Time magazine would be so blatant and exploitative, or that I find the girl on the left to be quite a hottie. I hate that I'm so easily manipulated.

Street cleaning and roadwork prevented me from finding a parking spot in the Inner Sunset, so I found myself at the gym near my house. Unfortunately, both gyms sell space to the same advertising agencies in their mutually tiny restrooms.

There's one ad in particular...the picture is a medium shot of a woman in an evening gown, wearing a blindfold. Her arms aren't visible, but something about the way her shoulders are hunched suggests that her hands are tied. She's being fed something with a fork, and tagline reads "Good Taste You Can Count On."

A high-end restaurant, one immediately assumes. There are often ads for limo services and private planes (including ones specifically for the purposes of joining the Mile High Club) (you know, fucking in the air), so why not? That lasts for about a quarter of a second until your eye reads the rest of the text. It's an ad for an online casino. And what is on the fork heading into the blindfolded woman's mouth? A poker chip.

Words fail me.

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Tuesday, 17 August 2004 (worst case scenarist)

Two cardio-licious hours at the gym this morning. An hour on the treadmill, followed by a half-hour each on the stairmaster and exercise bike. Coulda kept on going—and I was blazing through Live From New York by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller—but in about ten minutes my car was going to get ticketed for street cleaning. Besides, I do have better things to do with my day. In this case, it meant going to Private Breedpal's to help him with computer issues and work on booking more shows. Afterwards, I picked up Maddy from work and went home, only to discover all twenty-five hundred or so messages in my sfgoth inbox went away. Poof. Gone. Whee.

It's a good thing I'd already decided not to go to the auditions for Duck Soup tonight; my mood would have been all wrong, just like the unsuccessful audition for Clue. In any event, I'm not going to try out for it at all. There simply isn't a role in it for me, and I'm not up for assistant directing. So, unless Lynnee gets cast (in which case I'll be helping with his dialogue), I won't have anything at all to do with this play. (A play which happens to be based on a movie which I associate with one of my favorite acid trips. Funny how these things work.) Just as well; I need the time to work on my own stuff, write more, hit open mics, et cetera. And, of course, keep an eye out for promising-looking auditions elsewhere. Broadening the horizons and all.

While at Maddy's office yesterday afternoon, a realization hit: I hate offices. They're horrible places, by and large. Lord knows I've learned the hard way that an office job does not guarantee getting paid well. Doesn't mean I'm not still applying for them, of course, and if someone has a lead I certainly won't turn it down, but, ick.

This is a period of great change for me. It feels like a different personal epoch entirely from just a year ago. I have no idea what the future holds.

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Monday, 16 August 2004 (rubbing inward)

I finally went to the gym this morning, exactly two months after I restarted my membership and at least a year since I last worked out at all. Instead of my usual location, all of a mile away, I went to the branch in 9th Avenue between Lincoln and Irving. Three and a half miles. Across from the Canvas, and in between Le Video and Kiki's, our current favorite sushi place in town. Fate always returns me to that block.

Anyway, I think I like it better than the closer location. More equipment in better condition, a single-seater unisex restroom, and while the stereo is louder than it need be, it wasn't on a commercial radio station, nor was the speaker directly above my favorite machine. Even at seven in the morning the parking is tricky at best (my pal Joe Donohoe, a cabbie by trade, says parking in the Inner Sunset is more difficult than even North Beach), but, well, that's what I get for driving.

I'd forgotten how good it can feel to exercise, to sweat, to actually make your limbs and muscles do something. Yay endorphins. More, please? no more ruses... I'll take them however I can get them.

I'm ultimately doing this because I'm unhappy with my body, and it scares me. It scares me a lot. I know recent photos of me (like the one on this page) suggest that I'm doing fine, but I don't feel fine. This last year has been terribly entropic, mainly because I didn't have the willpower to readjust my eating and exercise habits to compensate for the desk job. It's not like I was unaware that my metabolism is sluggish; I can only imagine where I'd be if veggies and tofu weren't such a staple of my diet. Still, it's nobody's fault but mine. I let myself slide.

My expectations are not unrealistic, however. All I want is to go back to how I was June of last year.

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Sunday, 15 August 2004 (i want you to kiss me again)

Zippy was quasi-professionally recorded last night, so it just figures I would screw up twice. Although I ultimately got the line right, you can hear me almost saying "Zippy" rather than "Griffy." you and zi—griffy are opposite metaphysical poles... It's the only time I've even come close to blowing a line during the run of the play. The similarity of the two names has been a recurring problem for much of the cast. Ironically, since the theme of the play is a blurring of identity between Zippy and Griffy, it actually kinda fits.

The other one is even more embarrassing. During the curtain call, Seanetta and I emerge from backstage either side of the curtain, meet in the middle, join hands, walk to the foot of the stage, and bow. Simple enough. For some reason, though, my hand was pointing the wrong direction, and holding hands was very awkward. No, really, I know how to do this. Honestly.

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Saturday, 14 August 2004 (botox death mask)

The extended run of Zippy began last night. In truth, the entire run of the show has been fairly on-again off-again for me, what with have missed the one weekend because of the tour. Anyway, a pretty good crowd, even if very few of them stuck around for Lynnee's show afterwards. Oh well, not for lack of me trying.

Although I changed back into my regular clothes after the play, I stayed in the wig and makeup from the play. Except for Erin Obriant, who's already seen it, none of my friends who came for Lynnee's show said a word. Not even the femmes. I mean, okay, I understand the butches and trannny boys not saying anything—dudes don't comment on hair, unless you're a super-sensitive guy like Lynnee—but, wow. It was weird. I mean, hell-o! Frosty pink lipstick and Mary Tyler Moore hair! Not my usual look, by a long shot! Sheesh. Sometimes I don't get this town.

My submission to Jennifer Blowdryer's book is due this weekend. She suggested a thousand words max, and I just cracked three thousand. It would seem I have more to say on the subject than I realized.


Yes, we do get our money back, and we get to keep the marriage certificate. Cool.

sometime after midnight

suddenly I turned around and she was standin' there
with silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
she walked up to me so gracefully
took my crown of thorns
come in, she said, i'll give you
shelter from the storm.

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Friday, 13 August 2004 (that illiterate light is with us every night)

I still get asked occasionally why I tend to wear only black. Even beyond the most obvious answer (the slimming effect, duh), there's a much more practical reason: I spend a lot of time in the Mission, and I don't want to get shot. You won't see me wearing red outside The Dark Room anytime soon, that's for sure.

Auditions for Duck Soup start next week. I'm considering auditioning for, all of people, Zeppo. It's a useless, blank character, but maybe that's a good thing. The trick will be to bring it alive. And I mean, come on. It's Duck freakin' Soup. I have to have at least attempt to be involved. Meanwhile, Lynnee has been offered the role of Chico. The mind reels at the possibilities.

Speaking of whom, Lynnee has asked me to start acting as his manager, booking gigs and whatnot for him. I'm going to give it a shot, even though I don't have the foggiest idea what I'm doing. Guess I'll just have to make it up as I go along. There aren't any Dummies books on the subject, unfortunately.

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Thursday, 12 August 2004 (inlitterati lumen fidei)

Well, there you have it. All the same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco, including ours, have been voided. Quoth the California Supreme Court:

We agree with petitioners that local officials in San Francisco exceeded their authority by taking official action in violation of applicable statutory provisions. We therefore shall issue a writ of mandate directing the officials to enforce those provisions unless and until they are judicially determined to be unconstitutional and to take all necessary remedial steps to undo the continuing effects of the officials' past unauthorized actions, including making appropriate corrections to all relevant official records and notifying all affected same-sex couples that the same-sex marriages authorized by the officials are void and of no legal effect.
Two questions. First: do we get our money back? (I doubt it. I'm sure the word "non-refundable" was used at the time.) Second: is Gay Shame happy about this? I mean, they're just as opposed to the notion of queer marriage as any uptight xtian you could care to mention. More, really, since they oppose marriage across the board, not just amongst their fellow sodomites. So I imagine Gay Shame considers this a victory for their cause. Yay them.

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Wednesday, 11 August 2004 (slowly learning)

Wanna know what the scariest thought in the world is? To me? That next paper cut. Seriously. You wince just thinking about it, don't you? Or a stubbed toe, if you prefer. But paper cuts are what seriously squick me out. Occasionally I ask myself, what can I do to never get one again? Unfortunately, the options aren't so great. I'll probably get dozens more before I die. Hundreds, maybe. Those, and a lot of other kinds of pain and discomfort as well. Fuck it, though. It's worth the risk.

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