Tue Nasty has a real place in Baltimore.
All I am saying is Rae Rae is my living relic of Baltimore history! Apparently “club music” and “Club Dancing” is this new found craze that has me so excited I can hardly sit still. I feel like a raver going to to a rave for the first time. The first time I saw someone dance that way–this is such a new thing. I haven’t gone yet I just hear rumors of what Baltimore is proud of…
Oh yeah and did you notice the way girls rhyme over it!!!! I saw Rye Rye with MIA in Miami a long time ago and here I am in her home town.
TueNasty in the house now touch your toes. I feel like I am supposed to be in Baltimore. I make sense here in the way that I don’t make sense.
Baltimore Maryland is stealing my heart from my heartbreak
Oh heartbreak is a pain in the ass but really great for motivation.
Somehow I got to the city without using the $40. Here I am in someones room I barely know in an empty collective house with heart break the size of the city itself. Even if I could get out of bed where would I go? One thing is for sure EVERYONE agrees that Baltimore is dangerous. There are blue light cameras in high crime areas with police watching one almost every other street corner it seems. So even if I had the strength to grab a bike and go, I am crippled by the fear of ending up on the wrong block.
Cancelled my plain ticket home, cried about the missed cheap ticket to see my daughter and i am officially in the city for a few days with a paid weeks of work. Nothing like a tarot card read from a rapping drag queen to get you out of bed. All I am saying is that I need to drop the heavy armor I am wearing around and enjoy my time here.
Here- I go.
The bike ride we took this morning was incredible. It’s no surprise that my taste of Baltimore so far has been non stop segragation and racism, it’s what this city is built on. The neighboroods are literally seprated by walls and the roads are even blocked off so you have to carry your bike through the neighborhoods. It’s the craziest thing I have ever seen.
I am staying on Green Mount Ave. Check out the census map of how this place works. Zoom in and just follow Green mount Ave!!! There are real walls that still exist to divide this place….
I’m a graffiti hunter apparently. I could spend every day finding graffiti and letting it lead me to the next spot. My friend on the bike next to me led me to a free wall space and before I could even say I wish we had spray paint he turned around with two full cans of spray paint someone left behind for us. What fun!
I spray painted Tue Nasty and Quit your Job See the World. We infultrated the book at the W. Museam of relics and deitys and Tuenasty made it in the book…i just love it. Got to see the armor warriors wore in battle and see how heavy that stuff is and from the tarot reading I was like- I need to get rid of some of this heavy crap I am wearing around, especially when my outifts underneath are so damn cute.
I praised the tooth of Mary Magdolen and vibrated to the site of my diety the sweet tooth dancer Ganesha. Then back to the graffiti hunt. Trees grow out of buildings here…seeing that really makes you feel like good has a chance. When things are left alone life grows and people paint.
The building here date back to the 1600′s here. WHAT! That is old and people just live in them. Oh and there are 5 rivers that run under the city. Baltimore is built over top of five rivers. You can hear them running and rushing. Everyone I have met makes music here. Including the Riot Folkers that I am staying with. Who seem to be the Outkast of folk punk- splitting with creative differences but collaberating. Tue Nasty will be infultrating that project as well this evening.
Wow I really am white and privledged
Here I am a week into this job and I have managed to learn more about what an asshole I was born to be than ever before.
How do I spare the small details.
I work for the asshole who works with the asshole that hires the crews that save them money-not white. I sit beside the other 2 white people although I am just as much a laborer. I hear words like “rag heads’ and “nigger” periodically just as much as “I am not racist.”
Now that I am the ASSistant to the Asses I smile and do my job well, it was the job I was actually hired to do that switched me from women to white. It is my job to make sure the walls are perfect before my boss returns. Perfectionist I am not! But today I got to go around and point out every blemish that should have already been fixed in order to be ready for our faux job.
That was shortly followed by yelling for every person that works in the house to be degraded, yelled at, jobs threatened, put down, whatever other synonymns you can think of for being treated like they are less that human. All day! Several times!
They are getting paid as much as I am- there is no difference than my skin color and for the first time in my life I feel like I actually need the money.
I asked the ass in charge to put his tennis shoes on and go for a walk with me. He is 62 years old and lonely. His life did not turn out the way he planned. I can see the sweetness of him, but only because he thinks I am young and naive enough to tell me. I told him not to talk to people that way and he says he cant pay people $20 an hour to keep doing the same work over and over again. I cant argue!
I see his frustration, but there is something lacking in him. He just doesn’t know how to admit that he is not happy. He has money, cars, houses, work, and is dating plenty of women none of which will be around longer than a month. He’s alone, and he will die alone because he was fed the line and he bought it- The American Dream.
All of the men I have met in this house have something to prove! The date I went on was so strange it was like he needed to prove to me he was worth something not knowing that I already knew that. The ass needs to prove that he is in charge and that he is in control of everything but his own life.
To leave or not to leave
I went down stairs crying after the one who I thought would console me just made me feel silly for not walking out the door making some loud statement and proving some point- that I am sure would have followed with “dumb bitch.” I mean what would leaving solve? I went downstairs and apologozed in tears for years of abuse that the construction feild has put on the workres and then joined the whiteys for dinner- crying of course.
“okay so I am doing “what girls do” and crying at the way you treat your employees”
“What? This is about money and I cant pay them 3 days of work at $20 an hour to keep redoing the same spot.”
We finished dinner with our new routine of walking where I am called the life coach but also taunted with stupid comments ike “that tree would be an amazing dresser set.”
But something started happening these walks were an open space to become life instead of work, play instead of work, and getting to know people outside of the rule of money.
It was apparent that once they told me that once I leave they will never forget me and that I have a set of morals and values that they have never seen before, I am unique and different and am a light around the house-I realize that leaving would have never worked but maybe just maybe I have planted at least one seed.
I returned to my comfortable life of white privilaged now being moved into the pool house, $400 dollars for a week off of work and given $40 to take a cab to the city. I have never been treated this bad or this good and it’s allowing for a priceless education and a new found identity.
What the hell am I going to do about it?
How I turned from a princess back into a tiny being
Today is my first day in Pikesville, Maryland (outside Baltimore.) I have traveled by truck and trailer hired as a faux artist to make things look like things they are not. This seems ironic now.
I tried to convince myself that this is an adventure of fun and awakening and if I can just enjoy it (which sounds so simple) this will be the trip of a lifetime.
My new home is a 10,000 square foot mansion (well it’s a mansion compared to my 800 sq ft home) that is 25 years old but made to look and feel like it is 100 years old- which is why we were hired to make it modern.
The house is filled with 20 laboring men, 5 of which live here as well. They have all secured work for the last six months by the disguised blessing that people blessed with an exuberant amount of money cannot make up their mind and re-do everything. There is no blue print for them- only finished work that they can actually see enough to hate it and start over. For some this is a blessing for me I am terrified-Have I landed in a time warp away from my 3 year old daughter and friends who are family to never know when I will return again? I feel like I could be stuck here forever in a devilish paradise.
I am stuck somewhere in between prince and pauper. I look like the rest of the help, but am treated better. Maybe it is because of my skin color but mainly it is because I am an artist- not a painter. There is a difference. And last night when I arrived and walked into a room with 2 twin beds, no running water in the sink, crisp air, no blankets, unfinished walls, and all hope of a bubble baths after long days of work disappeared, I realized that this in not a vacation and I wanted to scream, “I am artist not a painter!”
The door creaked open inviting me to kneel by the bed (since it was the only thing in there) and to just to kneel and pray and DO WITHOUT for the next month like in a monastary. The tears welled up before I even grabbed my bags out of the car as I, the newly discovered diva, raced from room to room…trying to find the master suite we were promised.
Tears turned to anger as I realized that the men in the house had rooms of princesses with comforters, empty dressers to put their things in, flat screen televisions, and yes! bathtubs (that they admitted they never use.) Who the hell do they think they are, dont they know who I am? I cannot live like this for a month! The money is not good enough for me to have no closet space, bed where my feet hang off, and no desk to write in my journals.
I wanted to call and cry to my friends but they would be disgusted at me! They would be honored to sleep in the room I was given and they would certainly never understand how important a fancy bed is to me. My boss and I left and consoled each other through a glass of wine, bitching about the man who hired us and how he cut the bill down $9,000 dollars with the promise of certain accomodations, and for once I was the voice of reason saying we should just try it for a night and maybe something good will come of all of this.
We woke up this morning freezing (since we had no blankets or no heat), and having to spit our toothpaste in the toilet everytime we forgot that we have no sink water. We had it! We were going to march downstairs at the 6:30 am meeting in the kitchen over coffee and demand a hotel room (not that the home owner was there) but we had made up our mind…
We met in the kitchen, just the Contractor and his foreman who reminds me a lot of my father and is kind of handsome in a 52 year old married-with-kids way. We sat down at the round table that is actually square and they explained what we were dealing with. Somehow I stopped feeling sorry for myself and beauty sleep and started feeling sorry for them. The poor things away from their families as well (since November) and having to redo every piece of work they do every step of the way. I became a wall flower as we walked from room to room looking at the progress and the non-progress. In between the contractors sob story he would place us on a polite hold while he would yell at the ‘help” he hired to embarrass them in front of us. What I soon realized we were dealing with is a group of white men sobbing about their woes of time delay, because of the richer white man, while those grateful for the work faced ridicule in trade for job security.
But we all have something in common- we are all now completely depended on a someone with a lot of money to change his mind on how many times the toilets are put in, how many inches the floors are raised, where the closets are put, and tearing down and rebuilding walls, someone whose real worries either never existed or are now replaced by the worries of what color to paint his walls- or even more tragic his walnut casings.
Ever been in a house with walnut door casings, moldings, chair rails, base boards, hand carved with little flowers? Whether it’s made to look like it was from the age of (some of) our ancestors or if it is really from our past- the beauty comes from the trees that once existed to make them and the craftsman who took the time to make them beautiful. The huge oak trees that enhances this house must have been amazing. They must have been solid and sturdy, and housed plenty of wildlife, faeries and sprites- like me. Once upon a time I would climb and sneak around those oak tree branches but I was only the size of a fingertip tip who would laugh making frowning people smile always hiding above them- now I am a small giant leaping from room to room in a maze of wasted money,shedding a little light and nature to the men lost in their paychecks and separated from their families…
As I watch the 20 men scrape and spray and sand and hustle, missing their women and children I also watch them prime and paint a white oil paint over all of the oak that was once my father. There are no longer trees here inside or out. All of that is being covered- being made to look new- being made to look like glass, and I am somewhat responsible. To everyone but us this funeral is job security. The insanity of re-doing work over and over again just means a steady job, but for us it means a serious delay. I just passed my daughter to the grandparents, sub-let my room, and when the homeowner apologized and said, “It’s my fault whatever we need to do to get you home let’s do it!”
Reality hit me-
I sublet my room! I gave up my work, I just left everything for a reason-$$$ I can’t just go home! So 30 minutes ago I was crying that my bed wasn’t cushy enough, and i deserve a bathtub with bubbles after I work so hard, and now I don’t want to leave. I don’t even know why I don’t I want to leave. I am not even sure what is here for me besides nothing I am used to. I started to like the time warp I fell into, that no one knows me, and that I pretty much think all the people in charge are jerks. And then I heard it-
“I have work for you if you want it!”
My boss left me this morning drive back home, she will return in three weeks to start our 4-6 week job. I stood waving as if this was now my home. Next week I move into the pool house with my own kitchen, washer & dryer, and my own quiet space for my sanity. I have a job with a small pay cut that involves entering receipts, running errands for the boys, and an extra $100 bill slipped in my pocket to protect the contractors Yorkie from getting into trouble. I have the keys to a Lincoln Navigator for the weekend and I am all alone in a mansion full of manly men- near a city I want to explore.
I was warned to not go into the wrong neighborhoods because they are filled with low-income black people- do they not realize I am low-income- surley you would think they do by what they are paying me. The tile guys that are now in the pool house are from Mexico but flown in from Florida and are never to be invited to our warm amazing dinners in the dining hall. It makes me feel like I am part of the royal court eating a feast we could never finish while we throw the scraps in the yard for the peasants. The foreman is a chauvinist who I had great pride in showing off my leg hair for the first time ( I actually hate my leg hair shhhhh!), and asked him to call me “sassy” instead of “Sasquatch” from now on if he didnt mind. It’s as if I am this rare beauty in a house full of typical beasts and for some reason I am so comfortable here. I don’t miss anyone too much (YET) and I could have ran home to them if I had. I feel like I want to start a compost, invite the laborers for dinner, help people play who are only here to work, and enjoy being in a place that seems like it may need me.
I can only hope to inspire these gentlemen to become gentlemen- and not to me-To each other!
I am still a little wood sprite who is about to turn this place upside down in a super sweet way I have just grown a little bigger through the ages so no one notices. The princess in me I thought had dies until I found out I had the pool house and I must admit that although I am humbled quite a bit I cant deny my desire for comfort.
The best part is that because of the home owners major mistake I will get to fly and see Onalee more than a few times and maybe even home to see my friends…we will see! The worst part is I could be gone longer than 2 months!
The other best part is out of all of these men….there is one I am very attracted to! Hallelujah