Friday, July 9, 2010

mental traffic

I look and feel like shit. I'm on my period. My jawline is dotted with zits so big I feel like my face spent a night as a foot in an ill-fitting shoe and in consequence my jaw (the heel of the head) is now covered in blisters. I'm wearing blood-stained Blood Stands Still mesh shorts and a tattered old wife beater and i'm not even being intentionally ironic. My hair is growing out into an unflattering shag and has been bleached by the sun into an extremely unnatural shade of orange, which I'll tell you, is not my color. Anyway, on to other things...

Kingdom (my band) is doing shit again! After taking winter/spring off we got off our asses and wrote some new songs. We're recording at the beginning of August. Writing lyrics is taking its usual toll- I'm stressed out, having trouble sleeping, and am hovering closer to depression than I ever have before. When I write lyrics I let myself get swallowed up by the topics I'm handling, and since I mostly write about the horrendous oppression and exploitation that takes place on this planet, it's, to put it lightly, a fucking bummer.

For example: in the new record there's going to be a song about human trafficking. This is something I knew a bit about before but it wasn't until I started reading up and watching documentaries and news clips that I realized the breadth and gravity of the situation. Now it's all I can think about. I have nightmares almost every night that I am being trafficked, and it's so horrible I wake up feeling sick. I'm so upset, so overwhelmed, so... horrified that I don't know what to do. Dave has stopped me twice in the last week from detailing yet another trafficking horror story to him because, for some reason, he thinks it's not good dinner talk. The other day I was at a restaurant watching a film on sex trafficking  on my laptop and I had to pause it so I could throw up. I literally fucking threw up. (Lesson learned. Food + learning about or educating others on human trafficking do not mix.)

I get caught in the cycle of outrage-into-frenzy-into-overload-into-hopelessness and back into outrage every day. (Which is exhausting.) My Grandmother told me to take it easy on myself, and I asked her how I could when just last week there was a trafficking bust in Philly. 30 people (trafficked from other countries) were "kept in virtual bondage by threats, intimidation and rape" working 16 hour shifts for a cleaning business for the last 7 years. (Quote from this article about the bust.) I can't take it easy. Or rather, I am taking it easy by the little I'm doing. What I really want to is bust down doors and liberate people myself. Anyway... take 10 minutes and check out Free The Slaves and Transitions Global (a very cool aftercare program for sex traffic victims in Cambodia), read up, watch a couple videos, and lose your mind.

Dave and I may be leaving Philly this fall. I've been here a long time and I love this city, but I think it's starting to change who I am in a negative way. I'd been thinking I needed a break for awhile, then on the 4th of July when I flinched at every fire work because I thought it was a gun shot, then noticed people around me do the same, then heard numerous people say, "Shit! I thought those were shots!", I realized I absolutely need a break. So we may be moving to NYC (which is actually far safer than Philly.) I texted one of my friends in Brooklyn the other day to talk about his neighborhood and asked if he heard gunshots every night, or saw people getting beat up on the street on a regular basis, and if, in general, he'd call his area "chill". He said, "I haven't been in a fight in 3 years." and coming from him, that means a lot. So we'll see...

And on that note, while people scream and curse outside my window at 1:30 am (as usual), I'm off to bed.


  1. Youre going the wrong way!! MOVE TO PITTSBURGH!!!

  2. i vote austin,texas! full of gorgeous land and lots of water!

  3. Hey hey!! I'm really inspired by this article and how much you care about the issue of human trafficking. I gave a talk about compassion the other day and you're basically the text book example. Except don't let the pain get the better of you. Don't let it paralyse you; use your pain, anger and outrage as fuel for your efforts. I think you're achieving a lot more than you're giving yourself credit for.