Scenes of Idolatry and Resentment (2004)
Summer ’04…One hit out of this, three good hits to go, for last, already out of bud, the resin tastes like opium without the flower aftertaste, some sweet bitterness, the insensitivity without the pain, the lack of caring of course really, reminds me of Zoe, reminds me of going with Victor after a year of his absence, going again, down like nothing, like old days, going with guys cause they wanted to, and I felt nothing and no guilt when I first came over here without a care, ’92…and I was just nineteen, filled with dreams and youthful confidence, an angst imploding in me, and time would tell, either way end up in debt.
Hi there Zoe, remember, it’s me, saved from abandonment and streets, one that got away, too bad I’m always too late, afraid, writing this story, seeking for it hard in my mind, privately, but continuously interrupted, invasion of individuality, I feel non-existent with Victor to the point of really wanting to vanish, that is unbearable right, way worse than sleeping on your cold hardwood floor on empty stomach but bottle of red wine in start of Winter ’98…though L.A., your empty room without furniture, before the bed and all your lovers and friends, our two sleeping bags right next to each other and how did you end up in my corner anyway if it wasn’t for longing.
I’m sorry I was so ignorant as to deny you in your own bed but don’t take it badly, I really denied myself, I’d take it all back now, you should have made your move more aggressively like you do with every one else, but me, and you say you like me more and read your poem and were flattered, and it was your turn a sweet nineteen, some six years too young for me, your turn to feel so intensely, becoming outspoken beyond your shyness, you hit your head against the wall later for your naivety, that’s life.
So I’m writing some about you too, when I write about myself, so thought I’d talk to you, though I started a good year and a half back in Hollywood, last time I’d heard from you ’02…out of the blue, after almost two years of not seeing each other, telling me you’d been thinking about me lately, it’s been three years and I have nothing to go back to and think always in the past and about opportunities lost, you see. I am always trying desperately to capture, as if I’ll lose some more, the ongoing drama of my soul, in the moment, to put down in words the impenetrable, so impossible task in my head always as I talk to myself in tape recorder, selfish confessor, all alone in freedom, space, even peace in dimly lit from outside apartment lights, street lights, the moon, cubicle of ’78 Chevy van, at this point comfortably until bud wears off, book I always wanted to write, like I’ve said about every little book, the sum of my experience to know myself and let it go, this free flowing without crutches and rewrites, my silent thoughts one step ahead and painful heart shriveled numb because unbearable, that’s why tape recorder, like practicing voice in the dark, phone after hours, alone at night you cannot lie anymore, it’s always best and most interesting when you’re honest and go all the way.
Head high like coming undone, releasing cause unraveling, revealing whatever it is that afflicts the soul, I mean of course that which makes you wander with heavy heart and cry, and hold back to think right during the day. I am not very practical now, trying to break through, I have no job and pawned my last and only collateral, DV camera, to pay interest on pawned sax Victor got his hands on and with intent of eventual selling but never played and also intended to do cause Jack dug Charlie as I dug both already for years and aimless traveling because of it, and so when we met at theatre job Spring ’93…already sophisticated in his eyes somehow, money gone, for bud too, gone but sitting secretly on ten bucks to share baggie with hook up, and eating nothing but pizza out of Damiano’s dumpster behind Fairfax, that is the situation, fraction of it, you were there when it was really all going on, or down, not recognizing cause naivety too, the betrayal, but I screwed up on a little bit of happiness with you, deep in denial because resenting, didn’t see you lie belly down under the sheets, piercing green eyes, sex smile at me, but with heart so big to save me, giving me poem in return, I’d wanted to smell your fingers as you handed it to me, that is roving secrecy, all my mad fears coming through, or do I know myself that well, that I am a coward who fears to be loved and I crave for the sensation, of being in love, a sense of nervous fear, flame of anxiety, and a reason to be alive, sole purpose and dream lustfully and write poetics, like being nineteen.
You actually drove that little, blue Toyota up PCH to the Palisades where we walked in stormy high sand to lifeguard booth, talking about making it in this town, believing still in our place in the world with righteousness and I say some sense of hope because I was heart broken like never again.
I’d dreamt of you seducing me like he really did, but his was forced you know, that’s why this confession, I was actually aroused by your heart beat and breath.
We were artists, only, that was different, Victor thought he’d seduce me through literature, though I still haven’t seen him read one book all the way through, he is after all a musician, and like he did L. when being on a God trip, preferring to be a sinner but she was supposed to be pure or something, unlike me, reading Miller and Nin, or Mia I guess, reading, devouring quietly the dirty bird stories wrapped in movie theatre flyer, when all three of us worked on 2nd street Santa Monica, if it wasn’t for the theatre, and you there too nearly five years later, magical art and sex and drugs and freedom, her eyes green just like yours but not that sparkle, makes all the difference in the world, just like you olive skin and hazel brown hair, near shaved, and high cheek bones, just like you but sad and secretly mad, I really like you better cause you have no shame about it, but blushing for me, or covering or outdoing shame for what is that holy quest to define true love, you have no guilt I think and like to screw and drive me wild, when skinny dipping in the night ocean on opium, I was a low idiot still shaking for being a coward, certainly not a man, flashing pangs of pleasure and pain.
A good clean hit out of clear scraped glass pipe reminds me of any night of hitting it and zoning on your own life, willingly or not holding on to memories, we used to do lines in the exit halls and pull ourselves up through opening in ceiling, to smoke behind screen of theatre 1, I was not wild but reckless having nothing to lose and just not thinking, not even consciously fearing loneliness with Victor always at my side, smoking heroin in projection booth of theatre 4, and touching and getting caught but not fired when inviting hook ups there with us, I now experience the same heartbreak and bitterness to emptiness of sad truth over and over, and I thought not even too long ago making it was gonna set me free, but I am thirty one, Victor going on forty, the journey is inside and money a lobotomy, I am not even hungry now. Victor denies the intensity, that’s what he called it, of us back and forth according to whatever I accuse him of, I mean which detail of his great revenge, or passion, in my jealousy and envy of what he’s capable of experiencing, and I am not, and, plus, the break of total trust and friendship, and promise, deepest desire and deepest shame, between the legs, Zoe being the only one I’d willingly share with the world because there is no need to capture her, only woman so beautifully alive she can take over, courting me the way she did, the role of man, she is too happy free, unfaithful and honest, really too meaningless , possessing qualities, not unlike Mia or even myself, with which to seduce both man and woman to fight amongst themselves, in front of her Victor asked me before “Isn’t she cute?”, “Real cute” typically answering arrogantly nervous me, if it isn’t he wanted me to share “my” girls with him, like secretly he’d hoped for Mia.
I am fully aware of my fantasy, started, or rubbed off maybe, in the heat of his affair ’97, some two years later I’m living at Zoe’s, her bed or if somebody’s turn to screw, explore, on the living room floor, yet she’d always come to me quietly questioning love, while I’m hurting, lusting and remaining full control of my shame, so over one breakfast tells me she’d want to in the long run settle with a woman, someone slightly older, had talked tome this way, had whispered I love you’s, resting her hand on my burning thigh, and had waited, and I waiting for, with her, and still, and almost forgetting what we used to talk about lightheartedly, what a fool, a miracle. I don’t protect my emotions anymore, remember with sweet agony melting down in the cold sand, shame and embarrassment no longer and can write about all this in self imposed freedom and necessary in afflicted situation with Victor, even now realizing the limitations as an artist, human sexual being really, the extent of the inadequacy to express myself truly completely, uninhibited, so I can set myself free to really go do things, I know I could only write after the fact.
Just woke up after luxury of tossing and turning, not having to get up for anything but a swollen brain from the heat turning the van into an oven, without insulation or anything a freezer in the Winter, and real reality sets in again of waking without passion, trying again to adjust to Victor’s reality, his plans and actions, without a thought or care for my secret needs, sticking together out of helplessness and old attachments, fights and make ups, and sad, once mad, not acted on sense of vengeance, I have to, should really go look for a job and play that again, to swallow all pride and inner growth or I know where I’ll end up madness, and go play kid to the big fat boss, to be motivated to work for money, what did God have to say about it.
I can’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t have the connection to the unconscious, to all wisdom and timelessness of truth, who have in other words no passion suffering to live and fight for but just glide along to the end, laughing as if they were happy. I have no more patience or, having spent ten years trying to believe I needed him to make me feel worthy and womanly, Victor urging me on behind closed doors where exes wouldn’t find out because unbeknownst to me not truly exes, but experimenting with me out of his own repression, what do I know, enthusiasm to construct anything like a story because all knowing, all seeing as on acid there is no story, just flashes in random flow of the high mind, I write down few impressions, small tiny tiny book cause short of breath, running out, I have black outs and have to remember not to walk for too long in the sun on empty stomach or too high because I’m not finished, anxiously probing for truth between the lies, when I’d let go you’d like me, always fascinated by every word I didn’t speak, hacking, when will I let loose, was actually mad at you for offering your body to Victor to draw, draw inspiration from, he has history of drawing women he seduces, and leaves faces blank as not to get caught, not realizing in manly ways that cunts and bodies are different too, I used to find his sketches along with private coke stashes and condoms and San Francisco school schedules, since she’d convinced him to move up there with her after he threw me out of our apartment he lost cause she wouldn’t work to pay the rent, who’d be so stupid, but me back then, and came back with schedule after a year, ’99…she threw him out likewise in Winter for undoubtedly not working to pay her for sex, and I’d hoped and thought even after all these years Zoe you’d grow up to finally match me but are long done from what I heard, finally settled down with someone else.
The difference between Victor and me I guess Victor moves forward to nothingness because scared of too painful past, to have to admit he was rejected, betrayed for other too and is not self sufficient but angry cause humiliated, I mean he did force me in subtle, not so subtle ways to be with him, I never lied about who I was and who I liked and in the process became my excuse for not having to find true love cause he was in the way and so on, he could not stand rejection and will not touch me out of own free will but orders frustrated to be with him, can no longer surprise me.
He fears I need him and will go crazy like her, how thoughtful, deep feelings of denial are not actually felt, but goes on pretending positively nothing’s wrong or ever personal when you have big balls though forgot your passion, I cry how can you carry on fighting the bad fight, so I believed him blindly when L. just happened cause people make mistakes a lot, life has no meaning I guess, and this from a God fearing man, where do you get your energy then cause I believe in love and I am spent.
Tonight, for once, I didn’t give in, didn’t open the door for you and look how you got, now I’ll get that restraining order off your back for the sake of our one future but see clearly how paranoid you really are, it wasn’t old affection for Mia, or maybe it was, nor my taking sides with Ray in upstairs apartment, hook up from homeless theatre days got us caught leaving his bike downstairs for manager to see, so why would I, nearly got us fired, manager walking in the door middle of night, shady business, staying over our place to dig to see if he could lay me, makes no sense at all, it was your money friend buddy, a hundred morning joints shared between us before breakfast, a hundred nights for free, who convinced you of my supposed betrayal on coke high cause trying to get some more from you for free, making sure you’d stay single like himself so you’d, your looks his money hook up some girls for both of you, see.
You don’t remember we’d laid out our two garbage bags and Mexican blankets in down the stairs hole in front of Santa Monica High theatre department you first kissed me September ’94…your loneliest birthday, in sign of mutual trust and protection, from money friend and anyone else who chose not to know us those days we hopped fences, rooftops, same respectful friendship you rubbed in my face and rightfully so when I claimed I was with you for sex, same sex you denied later ever happened between us or meant anything more than general loneliness, the circle of denial, and ex left for future, and freedom or love, you snuck out two homeless days even when claiming I was your first and only true love to see her again in San Francisco, irony too of sad relationship with most beautiful town all whores and exes end up, I might live there myself.
I had certain gut feeling I forgot on drug mix and believed you were mine when you surrendered yourself to me.
I wanted to tell Victor everything, want to say everything now except it comes out ugly, these memories I’ve tried to penetrate as ten years went by all drafts destroyed in favor of yet deeper meanings, all for chaos and jadedness, where’d the dream of love and strength and greatness go, did my mother and father mess me up that much, Natalie the calm, the quiet and smart turned out to be a nutcase, neurosis seeping through the cracks to finally break the walls.
All is a cover up for sex and the lack of it, I mean respect of course, all’s a cover for insecurity of the dick, I’d wanted to be nice to you and share stories and feelings and things I’d read I related to, experiences and music and laughs and we did, I can’t do it anymore, even the theatre let me off the hook ’01…selling movie tickets sipping coffee, toking on smoke breaks round the corner, writing my little heart out under the counter, kickback amongst the beanbags all screwed up in their own ways, the ghosts of kickback loneliness empty theaters on Sunday afternoon like midday bars, it really takes some thing to go out and pay to soothe the senses, fill the void, fuck writing itself’s become a bothersome thought since L. thought she could fit there too, you were ecstatic over adulterous pussy on dirty rug and now she’s become ugly cause I said so, now she meant nothing because she only wanted salvation and is suicided by sex’s absence.
How is it that the poet of love, in under educated voice, and every word written is a word not spoken, feeling anxious to express, every word a little word in world too big for me to grasp, and just a way of coming up for air etc., should end up with a would be killer, wanna, need to be killer I should say for there is nothing wrong in this world if it wasn’t for the obsessive need to not feel humiliated but desired instead eating away at all of us, and all into it in first upstairs apartment, how should it end for it’s not over yet until I hand over the van I paid to register under his name, always making moves in the name of insecure love, that is compromise so backfiring, I’ll be out on my ass and eating garbage by my lonesome self, how is it we wander this world alone but have no privacy cause people’s desperate need for worship and our goodness mistaken for the ignorance it really also is, I am not crazy but sensitive and must be left to rot, the insensitive ones avenging without consciousness, without noticing a death. It’s truly a desperate repression these days, truly since everything’s been accepted yet nothing goes, vanity and excess so true sensitivity is not appreciated any longer, how is it that I was the only child, sensitive little kid with key tied around neck, dad busy at work in denial of his own desires and guilty to top it off, and mom out and about in manic frenzy not yet officially diagnosed at the time, all alone sneak sip of rum and rolling tobacco when I wrote from imagination not yet experience, skipping class in favor of movie theaters and didn’t even like to read books until the artist life hit me and I skimmed and read and reread the classics and underground, or not now everything’s been hip, unable to cheat on someone I didn’t necessarily desire with someone I did and who wanted me even more, but moved on from this fascination with the struggling artist when I showed no sign to some normal fun and release in the night to get through the day and vice versa.
Every so called good intention comes back to take me down, starting with Mia whom I thought I loved and could help snap out of her morbidity, I get the chills now over the revelry which ignited Victor’s resentment, stupidities of how I wanted your skin so light, yearned to wake up by your side, died and went to heaven when you offered me the shelter of your very home, mine deemed unsafe by cops or so after ’94 earthquake out of all things, became at once my illness and my cure, became the life I would endure, regret my blessing turned to doom when no longer I could silently adore you, regret when love made me obsessed and I wearily confessed, after thinking back and forth, and all simplicity went dazed, woman child with strange smile on your face, and I told you that I loved you.
And what vision, how the mind’s eye works in advance of the future and in remembrance of the past, I don’t care anymore whether the sun shines or not, if it will always be dark, night, cold, if I will be poor, living in a van because refusing to pay rent any longer for it will prevent you from your true artist life and intention, integrity even, and many evictions later etc., etc., defenseless against judge and system naturally, how would you like to pay, and I haven’t, that’s borrowed time so in my own way I borrow little piece of time, stand still in alleyways to smoke my bud and zone, and live to write out my deepest experiences and leave the shallow ones for I have no more time to waste stumbling over half truths but must break through instead, she is gone, crept out through the backdoor with sex book, my love letters sticking out, like a meek thief in the night, at same time Fall ’94 …I stole Victor away, innocently unaware because insensitive, Victor over to sleep with arms around me, Mia in next room where I’d just confessed my addiction for her, not knowing if she’d cared or lusted after him, I didn’t care, felt very excited, even devilish flattered by first sex needs, and I knew then that writing was only an excuse for a life that cannot be lived, nothing but confessions of the heart and ugly ego, when will it realize that it is not the need for sex but the need for the other to need sex from you only and desperately that keeps jealousy alive like some terminal disease, seeing it now in everybody suffering their own shameful betrayal, humiliated or denying guilt, boasting of power instead, lost in image of self male or female sex pride, but drowning in self defense, I see the image and energy of idolatry all around and people talking, blaming each other’s sex, the worship born of insecurity, and the fear of losing and betrayal, not a give and take, but the ego forced to create lie upon lie of being superior and untouchable, I never aspired to that existence but it took hold of my life too and up goes the defense of shallow buried resentment creating lies and having to undo them and add to the confusion, the corruption of lies covering lies, forging in desperation towards the urgent need to breathe the truth.
And Victor’s fast to catch my truth and call that a lie, Victor who appears more real in life, more raw in reality, confronting the bullshit in everyone else to wipe out his own denial, Victor has not yet adequately developed his muscles to confess, express, and is by now truly bugged.
But I did lie when I claimed in those years already morbidly romantic, setting out to be the hero of my poetic reality, naively lusting without knowing it or wanting to see it that way, that it had been love at first sight, like with Zoe, and I’m glad it’s a lie, it wasn’t til two months after I met her, and sitting next to her in the backseat, coworker driving us home, Mia switching to front seat when one of them gets out, and I feel her physical presence tearing away from me in a first quiet rejection, and in the flickering of street lights going by I melt at the sight of her jaw line with the fine blue veins branching beneath skin’s surface, and long eyelashes, but just a tampered with in self defense memory in the unraveling relationship between Victor and myself, two months Spring ’93… being of vital importance because in that time meeting Victor who did fall for me right away so he confesses a good eight years or so later.
In downstairs apartment ’97… truly forced myself to believe that my love for Victor was really out there, not realizing everything’s just a reaction to protect the ego from rejection, and so felt stabbed in the back and worse, good three years involved and special homeless days by the ocean ’95… at a time I was too young to realize the humiliation of working for pennies and time slipping by, fighting to keep the flame alive because dreams aren’t so young anymore, Victor just thirty so feeling shame setting in, but me a rebellious twenty one, so those four months improvisational breakthrough, a real experience, but upstairs people over all the time not really just to get high and get us high but no place to go of their own and painful need to set us up against each other not to have face their own lonely reflection, I didn’t understand intentions nor hopes and love only behind closed doors cause of theatre connections to ex, think always he betrayed me abruptly, having his mistress doing the break up for him, what are you doing trying to make him feel guilty, he’s with me, been with me, hence all those hickies in his neck causing my breakdowns he supposedly didn’t understand, told me I was too attached, meaning addicted, denying opposite was true and so impossible to his manhood, why couldn’t I find myself a boyfriend, every pain was genuine, I did not play or know the game of feigning tears for power and he swore that was my biggest lie, refusing in all self denial to believe he broke an innocent though self absorbed heart, so why was I always fighting him and pushing him to go screw L. at night, I know now and more than him he should be alone, really mean alone to figure it all out, become a true artist, Goddamn when’s my baggie coming through, all this stress for ten bucks’ worth, and I won’t be an artist til I give it up and screw and give that up and let my spirit live, the pain he left over time leaving me in other room of San Francisco motel, other closed off world, guessing what he’s doing in bed with ex, when taking me there March ’95 for twenty second birthday, the story never ends, way back to him coming over to Mia’s to make her jealous with me cause having liked her first, and surely in nervous mistake by her was rejected, now forever bitter, coming back late ’99… in tears of pity and guilt for me, for place to stay, without passion thinking he could pull it off, he’s really come back to deny me.
We have filled the time with anxiety, even hopelessness, never revealing all because of fear of vulnerability, I had honestly read my Mia revelry to him when we met in hope it would inspire him, he listened attentively with secret arousal turned envy, we have not destroyed each other but are beaten down yearning for love’s surrender, back to safety and to passion, I had truly not picked up on the pain I caused him which made him despise me.
My insecurity is real too Victor can say now safely because my reality was with Mia, so I did my part, his pleasure in the moment as he likes to call it, just a reaction, what pleasure really cause the writings over Mia, and Ray too that one night he pinpoints all reason to so I recognize its’ overgrown significance, but your heart does not get broken overnight though body in dizzying cold sweat shock beyond control, I really mean shaken defenseless, I know there’s more to it, we don’t see the truth, always in denial, three years gone behind my back one night thing gone desperate, my coldness actually did it, yes it did, so I drag this past, this present stunted, but still eventually believe in free flowing.
Understand I can’t write with same patience, anxious to point of lethargic because everything’s shriveled up inside and days and nights last forever, images, nothing more, cause pain, like old upstairs place where one night drinking from big jug of cheap, red wine, chill creeping in through closed window panes, finally we had enough courage to claim our short passion, ideal need I should say, but almost happy, his good looks and sweet talk and interest in me, almost in love, almost loving each other, devilish self worth through sex flattery shatters everything forever, in all different positions, etc., God I miss old Victor but remind myself of no such thing, never to forget with sorrow that every memory’s tainted, little trips urged on suddenly violently, writing about a thing just discovered as idolatry, sex turned to rage, jealousy to envy, the loss and humiliations, which none of it matters now, and still he says no it’s not that, even Zoe had looked at me for sex, piercing, kissing me the night I lost her, goodbye really to him, she believed old love, when he came back to me with his affair already crumbling, but deep in denial about her wanting to talk to me so I met up, and walked together surrounded by familiarity but this time truly distant, while he carried himself in fact lightheartedly.
After ritual phone calls back and forth hanging up mad making renewed promises, the fights started up again, justified and proven guilty, the process of experiencing, and I started recognizing his trivialities.
What am I talking about, we were each other’s burden, but that’s life’s experience and wisdom too, coke and bud and gin, on acid trips banging my head against the wall in first signs of madness when you’d come finally in the early morning, you’d jump in the shower to rinse off the sex.
Dirty games become more recognized as power games by mad and lonely individuals, so hard to beat because the ego is strong willed defensive, hopeless because disrespected.
Sad truth that I’m not willing to accept, oh what are you talking about, about a whole different level because of trust, like first time we got high together and figuring out together, always talking, just getting high and talking, doing things, trying to go places without money we felt free, Victor said intense, once, cause I say we trusted our dreams, he says we were young as if saying because we were young, yes might be, Victor enduring it now with secret guilt joy to trip on, I go crazy, really can’t admit my insecurity, either way the truth implodes itself onto us, all the prophesies in the past, Victor more honest than I’ll ever be he claimed, hiding behind your notebook he claims, while you’re gonna make it, money by working somehow, he’s always trying to save himself of my endless night wonderings why and details and possibilities to get out.
If I could write something that says all I ever feel, you been had by your friend and mistress, L. pursued you not for you but cock power, you went out of your way to make your move and seduce her, and maybe she liked you too but where is she now, not living in your van, and I missed out, one telling me she likes to stick her tongue down women’s throats, one bending over me nervous sharing joint in her car parked outside prolonging the moment while you’re asleep or pretend to in my West L.A. apartment of 2000 and ’01…one kissing me every excuse she can get, and so on til theatre life ends, we’d picked our one book we could relate to and stuck it in our single backpacks, comparing who was the bigger minimalist, we’d thrown out all our belongings save for one book representing us too and comfortable jeans, few shirts, scribbles and sketches, pipes and baggies, yes we were young ’95… San Francisco roamings, scroomings, second hand bookstores with great paperback deals, scrimp cocktails, Jack Daniel’s pocket size in the park, even New Orleans drinking nights, and art house rinkydinks double features, primos and heroin out of glass bottles, like on theatre roof you could see and smell the ocean, and just jazzing, zoning lazy afternoons, you take all that away and I can’t ask why, Victor wants to be alone and needs me around for it, and as a direct or indirect result can’t express, create, September ’97 …we took pictures by the side of the road James Dean crashed, and he thought once he was Monty only fag supposedly he could accept because he didn’t accept himself, or am I, think to myself I impressed Zoe with exactly all this, but could I truly write something cause knowing later, had by you, that same night of our hero’s death Victor would not come home himself for first time.
Ten years going over this, making love in vain, ’03, ’04…year and a half in van now, even art having lost all its’ significance cause of own voice now, way of anxiety, the root of conflict is my own only, never having had someone by my own doing, and which I could so easily now weary knowing it all too well, sex games without feeling, tender make up hugs and kisses, Victor insecure about everything except that he’s a winner, I lie high in court, help him one more time, cause point being could but have done nothing so must face losing only person who still could understand me on the small things in life, don’t have to explain the world is full of slaves and no one bothers to look their own shameful demon in the eye and smile, but to some meaningless, yes, no God, moment of pleasure, Victor still hopes, believing I will tell him where I’ve, my heart’s gone off to anymore, give me strength to be forgiving.
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I am a Writer-Documentary Filmmaker-Producer at Bregman Films, currently in Post-Production of a Feature Documentary ‘The Queer Case for Individual Rights: From International Film Student to Queer and Undocumented.’