In 2009 I was 19. I lived at the Eugene V. Debs co-op in Ann Arbor, MI, less than a mile from the house I grew up in. I cooked vegetarian dinner for 23 people once a week and I ate full milk vanilla yogurt for breakfast and dessert and argued with my housemates about whether or not cereal was too expensive. In 2009 I had just dropped out of art school and I was beginning to grasp the full extent to which that decision damaged my connection with my family, who had anticipated a different course for my life. I woke up each day with my heart racing, excited and terrified to be so alone. In 2009 I thought they would probably come around. In 2009 I worked full time as a cashier at the People’s Food Co-op. My best friend was a grocery stocker and we had the same haircut. We would leave work on our bikes and race home to call one another on the landlines of our respective co-op houses. In 2009 I was beginning the relationship that would determine so much of my life for the next five years. I was beset by crushes, at home and at work. I was in love. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was queer, I was QUEER! I WAS QUEER! and I had cut all of my hair off to prove it. In 2009 I painted life-size portraits on cardboard on my lover’s bedroom floor and had my first art show. At the co-op. In 2009 I thought Mirah and The Blow were the same band and they were my favorite band, along with Daisy May.
In 2019 I am 29. I live in Chicago, IL, in a hundred year old apartment building 250 miles from the house I grew up in. I cook everyday and bake bread when I’m moved to. I still think cereal is too expensive, but make concessions for bulk granola. In 2019 I don’t have a degree in anything and I support myself partially on my own work- as a knitter and a quilter and occasionally I will deign to say: an artist- and I work a few days a week as a studio assistant. I wake up each day with my heart firmly in place and my tall-ass wife brings me coffee in bed to get it racing. In 2019 the only room I don’t work in is the bedroom, but all other floors are fair game. In 2019 I am five years into the relationship that I plan to determine the rest of my life within, and I am beset by crushes and I am in love. I’m a lesbian, and don’t let my long hair fool you, I’m still QUEER! as fuck. In 2019 my computer thinks I only want to listen to Bauhaus and half of an album by Shannon and the Clams and I don’t think I’ll correct it.