Wednesday, February 29, 2012

$hawna with a dollar sign

An excerpt from an autobiographical short story that I wrote,
and debuted tonight, at the Mercury Cafe in Denver, for
*Stories Stories Bring Your Stories*

I made this video last week during one of my rehearsals.
I'm very proud of it; it took some guts for me to read it
in front of a packed room of almost all strangers, but I was all alone
for the making of this video, and so it was much easier.

However, sharing it on the internet: yipes.

I hope you like it.  Peace, Kristin

* * *


By Kristin Angelique

I first met $hawna on the dance floor at The Met.

Located downtown, at SW 3rd and Burnside, The Metropolis is Portland's only all-ages nightclub. When you enter from the front, there is a bar on the right side, you need to be 21 or older to hang out in there, but the left side is open to everyone. Except for the occasional nights that new wave or punk rock bands play, there is usually no cover charge. Parts of the bar were visible from the entrance, and from the back of the dance floor was another point of entry; I had peeked around that corner and I never felt like I was missing out on anything interesting in there.

The real party was on the all-ages side. This is where the kitchen and the counter and booths were at.  There was a big stage where all kinds of interesting performances happened. Most of the performers were regulars in the audience – sometimes they would act out comedy skits reminiscent of Saturday Night Live.

My favorite performer at The Met was a drag queen named Wanda Jackson...

The main attraction on just about any night was the dance floor with its flashing lights: it was just like the one on which John Travolta had strutted to stardom in Saturday Night Fever – the 1977 movie which had brought disco to the masses.

I don't remember The Met ever closing; I was there almost every night of the week. I'd drop by sometimes in the afternoon, but there wasn't really anything happening then. When I wasn't at The Met, I was usually just walking around downtown, riding on a bus, or being really bored at the multiplex where my grandmother lived in Rock Creek.

I'd run away from Idaho in January – this had been my third attempt – and if you only count my making it as far as I did – all the way to Seattle Washington – I guess you could say I was successful. That's a whole other story, but suffice to say: my sincere plan to find work as a fashion model, get my own apartment and paint a rainbow on its wall – had been a miserable failure – except perhaps to demonstrate the scope of my wild imagination and that really: I didn't know shit!

Following that epiphany – after two weeks of making stupid mistakes and accruing regrets I probably will have for the rest of my life – I'd called my grandmother in Oregon. I didn't want to go back home – all the reasons why are a very long story; the story of my life. I was freezing, hungry, scared and tired; I didn't know anyone else to turn to for help.

I guess my mom didn't even ask or offer for me to come back, so my grandmother, Granny Lou, took me in.

* * * * *

I was soaking up the spotlight, dancing myself into ecstasy, as my circle of friends clapped for me and cheered me on, when suddenly I felt a light touch on my shoulder. I had been spinning around – I was also intoxicated by the Rush I had just inhaled – so it took me a moment to focus and see who was interrupting my rapture.

A pasty, skinny white girl, with strawberry blonde hair, stood before me. She told me that I was beautiful and asked me if I would like to dance with her. I was a little nervous; she was dressed really slutty, and though she didn't appear to be much older than me, she looked as if she had been "around the block" a few times.

I was worried she was also coming on to me. I didn't like to hurt people's feelings – I figured that as long as we stuck to dancing – there was really no problem and so I accepted her invitation.

After we'd been dancing for a while, I followed $hawna to a table on the other side of the room. I became even more concerned than before when I saw that there were these two sleaze-bags sitting there.

My suspicions were confirmed when $hawna cut right to the chase and asked me if I wanted to turn tricks with her. I immediately and emphatically told her no. I added – unnecessarily I suppose – that I was only fifteen, and that I was also a virgin.

I don't know what went wrong with my survival instincts in that moment; I guess my judgment was clouded by my compassion. As I had given my quick response to $hawna – I somehow felt guilty – as if my refusal to sell my body for sex might suggest that I was looking down on her.

"We can still be friends," I told $hawna.

A regular at The Met – a girl named "Mama Jama" – was also in attendance this night. Yes, that was really the name she was known by. I never got to know her very well, but I doubt I could ever forget her.

It's hard to describe Mama Jama without sounding judgmental, but I don't know how else to describe her except to be truthful. Like my Granny Lou, Mama Jama was very large; she looked like she probably weighed close to 300 pounds. Because she had a physically hard time dressing herself; she wore loose dresses that looked like nightgowns, and slip-on shoes. I felt a sort of shame at my first impression of her – for thinking that she reminded me of a younger but larger "Aunt Jemima" – but she did; so there you go.

The Met was like an orphanage; overflowing with children that nobody wanted. A sort of "Island for Lost Toys" – in some ways it was our refuge, our salvation – but there was this dark side too: it was a place where perverts came to prey on us.

Later on, I would learn Mama Jama's true name, a beautiful name: Janette. As it turns out; $hawna had a real name too: Edie.

I don't know how this arrangement was made – I wish I could forget the whole experience completely – but I guess it is a part of me as much as any other... Somehow Mama Jama became included in $hawna's proposed situation with these two white-trash males, who appeared to be somewhere in their twenties...

I don't even remember how I was talked into tagging along with them all. $hawna was determined to keep me by her side; as if I represented some sort of promise for her future happiness.

I didn't know that Mama Jama even turned tricks. Maybe this was her very first time or maybe it was her thousandth. I didn't ask.

$hawna appeared to have no shame – whether she had become numb inside or it really didn't faze her – is hard to tell.

I felt an overwhelming sadness for both of my friends. I hated these men.

We drove over the Burnside Bridge: the four of them squished into the cab of the truck, which one of the men was now driving. I rode in the back; I had insisted on it. I felt anything but trusting of the situation; I didn't even know where we were headed...

When we arrived about 10 minutes later – I realized we must be at Mama Jama's – she unlocked an apartment door with her keys.

It was a kitchenette; her double bed took up most of the floor space. I asked her if she had a bathroom, she pointed to it. I went in there and shut myself inside, locking the door behind me.

I heard one of the men ask: "What's the deal?" I couldn't hear everything they were saying but I gathered that $hawna was only now explaining that I wasn't part of the deal. I tensed up, worried that they wouldn't go along with that, but a few minutes later it grew quieter and I could hear the filthy sounds of sex coming through the door. I covered my ears and waited for what felt like so long, but it was only in reality about half an hour, judging from my watch.

It was almost 3am...

I heard the front door shut, and then $hawna spoke to me, through the bathroom door. She wanted me to let her in; I didn't want to have to look at her, but I unlocked the door. I was crying; $hawna could see that and she asked me what was wrong. I didn't want to anger or offend her by telling her exactly how I was feeling – I wanted to get the hell away from there – but I didn't want to lie to her either…

"This is making me very sad," I sobbed.

Something about my baby face and my baby voice misleads people into believing that I am the epitome of innocence. I had suffered through way too much and carried around too many feelings of guilt to ever feel this way; but it didn't seem to show. I was incredibly naïve and somehow this did show: like a tattoo on my forehead.

It was a rare occurrence, but sometimes this inspired people to treat me with a fantastic kindness – as if I brought out their parental instincts – but unfortunately, it most often marked me as their perfect victim.

$hawna looked at me in disbelief. "You really are just a sweet little girl," she said to me, without a hint of sarcasm. In fact: she spoke those words as if experiencing some sort of a revelation.

"I'm sorry I made you come along; I just didn't want to leave you."

There wasn't much room for the both of us in there, but I felt frozen to the toilet seat cover. $hawna began to remove the contents of her purse and began preparing herself for a drug fix. Suddenly I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I couldn't bear to watch her shoot up, so I hurried into the main room.

Mama Jama was changing her clothes and I diverted my eyes from her. We stood there in the darkness; both of us silent.

The first to speak, she asked me, "You OK?"

"Not really… I shouldn't have come... Are you OK?"

"Yeah, I'm OK," she answered, somewhat cowardly.

* * * * *

$hawna and I sat at a booth at The Original Hotcake House on Powell Blvd. This was the first time I could remember going inside there, but I remembered it from my past; I had lived in Southeast Portland as a child of six and seven... Its neon sign had always caught my attention.

$hawna invited me to order whatever I wanted. I was starving and I didn't have any money of my own, but I didn't feel right about $hawna purchasing my meal – knowing what she did to make money – I felt that if I accepted her offer – I would be almost as guilty as the men who had paid her.

"Hey," she said to me, "Don't feel bad; please..."

It was like she could read my mind; I didn't want to hurt her feelings.

“I do what I do by choice; I work for myself. I know it's different for you – I understand – really. Can you try to understand, that it's different for me... I can see that you care about me; that's beautiful. As soon as I saw you: I thought, ‘What a Goddess!’ Now I can see you are even sweeter than I'd imagined; you really are an angel, Kristine.”

“Kristin,” I reminded her.

“Kristin: I'd like to take care of you, if you'll let me.”

$hawna seemed almost desperate.

“You're just what I've needed.”

$hawna’s words reminded me of the lyrics by this rock band I very recently used to love: The Cars…

I thought about the day I had taken their record over to my friend Lynn's house, and how her older brother Jim, had tried to rape me.

I kept these thoughts to myself; I squeezed them down and tried to stop thinking them.

“I guess I will have some blueberry pancakes.”

The End...

kristin at age 15, oregon coast trip with granny lou, photo by aunt janice

Sunday, February 26, 2012

epiphanic thoughts from the way back machine

illustration (c) kristin angelique

...i managed an active website for my fanzine for 5 years (before aol hometown quit hosting sites, they made this announcement with less than a month to deal with such consequences) ... i am reviewing all these "rescue" discs i made and - holy cow - when did i ever sleep! i published so much stuff! there's going to be so much for me to sort through and decisions to be made about what to add at my new page at facebook... but just now i read these three "reports" in my news archives and i want to share them with you. you don't gotta read them but here they are just in case you ever want to:

Attention Elaine (LOL): as i told you, this is how i very first suspected i had asperger's syndrome (in 2004, i'd never heard of it!)...

fyi: i wrote my (squirrels! squirrels! squirrels!) song "self-portrait of a fuck-up" right after this epiphany.

>> >> >>


"We are very relieved that Craig has received an unconditional discharge in relation to charges of assault and malicious damage stemming from an incident at the Annandale Hotel in Sydney in May, when he allegedly kicked a photographer’s camera during a gig.

The last six months has been a very trying time for The Vines and those close to them. Craig was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a neurobiological disorder which is a mild form of autism. People with AS are generally considered exceptionally intelligent (and often obsessively focus their attention to music or art), but have difficulty reading social situations and are often accused of being deliberately rude and antisocial. They also have difficulty coping with change and only find security in a familiar routine and environment.

The band has NOT broken up and Craig looks forward to doing what he loves and lives for - getting back to writing and recording music with The Vines. On behalf of Craig and the Vines, thank you to family, friends and fans for their continued support, understanding and compassion."

Winterman & Goldstein management, November 20, 2004

illustration (c) kristin angelique


...and this is me experiencing the ultimate conflict one eventually will when publishing a fanzine:



november 01-03, 2004

hey people (o:

on thursday evening i flew home from nyc to portland, oregon (via denver, colorado).

the planes didn't crash and i am very grateful.

portland is very incredibly different from nyc.

they are both fantastic cities. i can't stop thinking about nyc and it's weird, i was there and now i'm here, just 8 hours and everything is changed for me. i get to be home in portland for 8 weeks and then i go to denver for at least 7 weeks and then i have no idea what will become of me (o: but i hope that i go back to nyc as soon as i can. i hope this so much.

hey: happy halloween yesterday.

so, i have something sort of random sort of not that i feel the need to say and then probably i hope to never have to think about it again.

you know this whole stupid story about ashlee simpson lip-synching on saturday night live last week (october 23, 2004)? well, it's weird because i actually saw that happen. i haven't watched tv in a long time but i was pet-sitting that weekend and slacking and watching that show...

well, for me, the thing that really freaked me out when they f**ked up and ashlee got busted on live television, was this: it was like total deja vu.
i was thinking why does this seem so familiar?

and i knew right then. last april at the vines shows in seattle and portland, but especially in portland it was more obvious, there was this weird incident (at both shows) when there was like this awkward technical difficulty involving the sound. in seattle, it was too fast and i don't know at all what happened. in portland, i remember distinctly, thinking: what the f**k was that? are they lip-synching and faking it because i think they just started playing a recording of one song while the band was doing something else...

i brushed it off, sort of, saying, "no way." and i still hope it wasn't what it sounded like - prerecorded music playing when it shouldn't be.

the vines are one of my very favorite bands ever. i *love* craig nicholls.
but now i'm not so sure i was wrong. maybe that was lip-synching (or vocal "backtracking" whatever)... only it wasn't vocals. i remember it was music that stopped abruptly, whether vocals would have followed or what it was i heard i don't know. honestly.

but i wrote a huge long story about the vines which included some reporting on these concerts and i decided it was safest to just say there was some technical difficulty and a false start and a couple of glitches...

and maybe that's all it was. but what i left out is how awkward it was in portland and how there was like this instance when there was the wrong music or something or at the wrong time and how for a moment it was weird and people laughed and craig laughed but looked nervous and then they just played the next song and no one ever talked about it and i haven't talked to the band since before the show except to say goodbye.

that they may have had some technical assistance live doesn't change how awesome the records are or anything except that i think that's so not cool to fake it live.

i can't help wondering about so many things. but never mind what they are because maybe i'm wrong. and i don't want to be an asshole either way. my dad is like "you gotta bust them!" and i said how i maybe already did if anyone reads my news page.

i don't have to bust anyone - i've passed that up a lot (o: but i did report on that show and i do regretfully now realize i wasn't completely honest when i mentioned the technical difficulty. i censored myself because i really didn't know what had happened. and i still don't - but after seeing saturday night live and that "moment" all i know is that seeing the vines in portland is the scene that rushed to me and the first thing i thought is "what really happened at that show?" and the answer is i don't know but at least i am admitting it.

and now i have to wonder if there's more going on to what i do know as a fact - that the vines "don't really do their own soundchecks anymore" (the crew told me this and the band confirmed it) and i'll never forget how weird it was when "ride" came blaring from the venue but the vines weren't in there. and i've always pondered that whole idea, "what do you mean, you don't do your own sound checks?" i did mention that in my story at least.

i am starting to question this whole having a fanzine thing. it may be more responsibility than i can handle and lately, though there's been SO MUCH COOL STUFF - there has also been some very disillusioning stuff. writing for harp magazine - i thought that was disillusioning?

i was so excited to have my own fanzine where there'd be no bullshit, and i've enjoyed this a lot. but there's a certain amount of bullshit that will always be there getting in the way of your freedom of speech. whether it's replacing letters with stars so you don't cuss and get censored by aol or making a choice to report on everything someone said or did or only the stuff that won't make them look bad to anyone.

it's really important to me to be nice. and this is a fanzine and since i only would really choose, myself, to write about someone i like... i didn't see any problem.
and as frustrating as it was, writing anything for harp, i have to admit that i am beginning to see the validity of what both of my editors at harp said to me right away. that it's better not to write about your friends.

i couldn't understand that i guess until i'd tried it. just a few weeks ago i was saying how i had writer's block on my adam green story which was half-finished, and which getting through just part one (which i'd just published) had been so hard. well it's because i kind of knew adam better than when we first did an interview last june. well it didn't get any better and i ended up having to call the whole story off, and mostly this is me copping out because i didn't want to deal with the stress this was causing me at a time that i was remembering the death of my friend who died a year ago and was freaking out about the election and having to make a bunch of changes sooner than i'd been planning on. it was the easy way out. but it was also probably the right thing to do as i have lost pretty much all objectivity when it comes to adam green. and i don't think *part one* was written objectively at all, which because this is a FANZINE is ok. i know that. but i think that by the time *part two* was supposed to be getting finished, i was way beyond feeling starry-eyed about adam.

there's been a couple of incidents where i learned something or saw something or heard something - about the music business or about the artists themselves - where i have felt totally disillusioned as a fan. and i love being a music fan and this is supposed to be fun and it really is a lot of the time - mostly it's been really cool - but i'm really sensitive and i just don't want it to end up that getting this close to music ruins anything i love about it for me.

is this a fanzine editor's melt down?


i don't know. i hope not. i have so many cool pictures to share and tons of interviews with cool people planned. but i'm definitely reconsidering the whole reporting and essay writing thing. just interviews and pictures is cool, right?

(o: i always thought "who cares" about a lot of what i write anyway :o)

but i really liked it when someone said what i wrote was great so i thought maybe it's not important but it's still worthwhile. and it is i think, but i'm not sure i want to keep doing it.

i have enough material for several years of this fanzine even if i never write another story.

oh - and i have more than 20 interviews to write. and so many pictures.
so - if anyone reads this page - i don't know what you must be thinking (o:
what happened at that vines show?

what the f**k?! i'm so confused.

hey, please VOTE!!

peace, kristin

* * * * * * * * *

november 03, 2004

we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked. we're totally f**ked.

[this immediately followed the announcement of the (stolen) election of george w. bush for another term as u.s. president]

illustrations (c) kristin angelique

Thursday, February 2, 2012

i love you timothy ryan shipp

dear tim,

tomorrow is february 3, but today is the first thursday in february: two ways to treasure the beautiful and special moments we shared a year ago. a magical day which i will always remember. i remember when you looked at me with such sincere sweetness like you did and you held me in your arms like you did, that moment my dream came true...

a year ago today: that is when i knew what was happening between us was not just my imagination or my fantasy... and no matter what has happened since that special day, through all the hurt i still feel and all the tears i keep crying, not for a second have i wished i never met you and fallen in love with you...

yes, everything is pretty fucked up and i maybe won't get my wish to see you again someday, but i truly cherish the friendship we have shared and i am super grateful you made an appearance in my life. i will always love you tim; i will always be your friend.

je t'aime, timothy ryan
au revoir, kimberly kristin

* * * * * * * * *

i built up walls

so strong

how did you get through them

it's like these hidden doors

i never knew were there

just opened up

all by themselves

you are like a magic key

a magic key to my heart

-- kimberly kristin angelique, a poem for tim, circa february 2011

... this was me when i was more like you...

* * *

* i added these pictures (which i took especially for you) on 11/26/12 *
( be continued...)

always and forever, kimberly kristin

[ ]

this is a page i write to you at often. it has helped a lot. peace!
*well i used to write there: i suspended most of the words and kept up the art and other pictures*