What should I write about?

Taking a late summer break and really considering what I will write about next

Hi Reader: Welcome to Issue 18 of Obsessions, one femme lesbian’s obsession with the body and culture. If you’d like to support my work, promote it on Twitter, forward it to friends, and feel free to comment on the posts. Until I am able to offer a subscription service, you are welcome to venmo me ($Renee-Greiner) to buy me a coffee. I will be taking 6-7 weeks off to work on some graduate school applications and get my financial life as well as my physical life in order. If you struggle with chronic health issues, you may understand better than most that taking care of your physical health can be time-consuming, frustrating, and ill supported by the way medicine functions like a bunch of cut-off heads. My droopy eyes recently have made me wonder frankly what’s going on with my health. Do I just look like this? I have no idea.

The struggle is real y’all to put out content that I like and to do it in a timely manner. When the summer started to bring blueberries down the street and the heat wave crisped plants that had never been crisped, my tendency to wallow and get stuck became more apparent. I personally feel spring like a pressure cooker. In Portland, the mild winter temperatures are heightened by a deep watery, darkness. What I mean: the winter darkness brings out the underground tarot, the hermit, the devil, the empress and the tower. By the time summer arrives, I feel like a New Yorker who actually hates fashion. I can’t keep up with the need to drive two hours away to sleep on the ground in a tiny, tiny tent. I barely know how to pitch a tent, but the thing that makes camping a particular type of hell is this: what do you eat? how much do you eat? what equipment do you need? will you be able to get a Starbucks drink with some kind of sugary syrup nearby? Also, what do you do when all the other people go to bed and you have vampire-syndrome. Do you wonder through the woods looking for a bear?

However, the summer in Portland is loveable. I grew up swimming in chlorinated pools playing Marco Polo and telling secrets to my friends at night in the hot tub next to the pool. However, Portland isn’t really a city of pools. My ex’s ex calls the city of Portland “permanent camping.” It feels like a couple 1,000 houses were dropped from the sky and placed strategically so that they don’t disturb the trees and birds. This city, which exists where the Willamette River and the Columbia River converge, is surrounded by rivers it seems. And summer is the time when tourists fall in love with Portland and decide to move here. By summer, the witching season has passed, the tulips are dead, and there’s nothing good left on television. People blow up paddleboards and tubes that often look like unicorns and dinosaurs. Bearded men in mismatched Hawaiian prints smoke spliffs on the wet, muddy shores of the Columbia River. Big red confident dogs chase little shiba inu. Naked people show off their tan skin and kimono-wearing people hulahoop.

If you are wondering where Obsessions is heading, I thought I’d give you an idea by laying out a list. Writing is vulnerable, but it is absolutely not the case that even auto-fiction lays out the whole person. I am always constructing a narrative and when I land somewhere that feels thin and transparent and full of holes or when I land somewhere that just feels like the insecurity of 7th grade, those posts take more time.

Here’s the kind of stuff I’m interested in thinking more about, and the kind of stuff you can expect mid September when I return.

  1. Glennon Doyle — when someone who has spent their entire live under cis-hetero patriarchy, moves beyond that identity, becomes known as a leader in the queer community because cis-hetero folks and those adjacent to cis-hetero folks deem her so, what does that say about power? what does it say about the fluid nature of identity and who gets to benefit from whose power?

  2. Cancel Culture. Contrapoints.

  3. Lucretia Borgia. For reference, check out Long Reads.

  4. The politics of taxing the very wealthy, but somehow not being able to tax the super-billionaire because of the ways government and late-stage capitalism has allowed super-billionaires to put their money into stocks, real estate, SPACs, special accounts reserved for charities that actually never get to those charities, etc.

  5. LGBT theorists you should know full stop: Judith Butler. Leslie Feinberg.

  6. Consent Culture.

  7. the podcasts You Are Good & You’re Wrong About

  8. James Baldwin

  9. TikTok

  10. Tarot

  11. Cameron Esposito

  12. Frances Farmer

  13. Britney Spears and the history of conservatorships. This is almost entirely inspired by the substack writer Lyz Lenz’s piece on the forced sterilization of the heiress Ann Cooper Hewitt in the 1930’s. I am obsessed with her piece!

  14. What does my reader want me to really write about? Feel free to share in the comments so I can chew on it a bit!

    Thanks for taxing your precious life force to read this!

    See ya when the leaves are droppin,’ Renee