April 7, 2011
Last night I went to a Sister Spit show at Amherst. San Francisco-based writer Michelle Tea was the main draw for me initially; I saw her recently at the Hampshire College Queer Conference where she gave the most BAD ASS keynote speech ever, basically schooling me (and the entire audience) pretty hard. She was funny and intelligent and didn't bullshit. She was stylish and fearless with her words (even upon realizing the last page of her speech had failed to print!). She said about Paris, "It's just better there", and at that moment I wanted her to be my queer auntie. But Sister Spit- what is Sister Spit? I didn't exactly know, and on the ride there the six other people in the car admitted they didn't know what we were about to see either. I'd spent a split second on their website-which is poorly designed/contains broken links/makes my brain hurt in general- and come to no solid conclusions. I mentally noted that, at the very least, Michelle Tea would again be a delight and I could go up to her and gently tell her my concerns about the website and offer to redo it. Because bad design makes me sad. And as payment she would agree to be my queer goddess mother (actually I don't know much about web design at all, so that's a reach).
Anyway, HOLY BANANAS, I'm so, SO happy I went. First of all, we got delicious burritos beforehand. Then it was like, SURPRISE, Sister Spit is an awesome collective of awesome people and they're all going to read stories and poems to you, and show you awesome photographs, and make you laugh until you're practically peeing. I was super smily when MariNaomi, who I've been a fan of for ages, read bits of her graphic novel. I had no clue she would be there. I blushed when Amos Mac sauntered on stage and introduced himself, because for the past hour in my head I'd been all "Gee, that boy in the red hat is cute. He sorta looks like Amos Mac". I had that feeling of uber-joy in my stomach you get when you go to see one of your favorite musicians and then ANOTHER of your favorite musicians just happens to be the opening act, and it's like some mysterious magic of the universe conspired just to make your day! Michelle read a blog that she wrote about fashionable lady writers and I sighed at our mutual adoration of Joan Didion, Lynda Barry, Zadie Smith, S.E. Hinton, Anne Rice, and Susan Sontag. She said her weakness is thrift stores and I thought, were we separated at birth?
Afterwards I hovered around the merch table biting my nails, cursing myself for having no cash. Then Paranoid Park author Blake Nelson (yep) informed me that they were accepting plastic!! So I decided on one of Ali Liebegott's "Emily Duckinson" posters, Michelle Tea's Fashion Week Poems, and MariNaomi's Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume Ages 0 to 22. The drive home was snuggly and warm. I'm almost sure I fell asleep with a grin on my face.