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I have a stalker, (legitimately). When I was slightly younger than I am now I was sexually assaulted. Both are two completely different situations but the scars have some eerie similarities: there’s a lot of blaming yourself, being unable to fully participate in life, constantly looking over your shoulder, and seeing your assailant’s face everywhere, (including etched in your brain). Well, push has come to shove and I realize that silence is no longer an option because there are others out there like me. Unfortunately, you or someone you know has gone through a situation like this – it’s all in the staggering and infuriating statistics. I am eternally grateful to Dan Shea and the Boston Hassle for being brave enough to give me a platform to speak upon this issue.
COLLECTED THOUGHTS: VOYEURISM IN 2015
“I consider myself to be a private person. I can repress a multitude of thoughts and feelings within a single sigh. What I’m saying is, if you’re dying to express something with, to, or in the general vicinity of me I’m probably not going to want to talk about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fantastic listener/responder/advice-doler-outer, okay? But if you’re looking to listen to me, like really listen to me, be prepared for an awkward silence. This behavior has become too damn habitual to actually disappear altogether, but I’m learning. Call it a syndrome of being an only child to a talkative single mother or a result of fear of commitment, daddy and/or trust issues, or the inability to let go – WHATEVER – if you’re a human alive today, you probably know very little about me because very few are close. It’s really not as sad as it sounds.
In a world becoming more and more viral, digital, incessantly squawking, this is kind of an amazing (bad and good) feat. So when this air of privacy became compromised on Christmas Eve of 2014 at 6:20AM, I was, not surprisingly, a bit shaken.
All of my roommates were away visiting their national and international homelands; it was just me and the cat. I was awoken by the doorbell; confused, I rang my mother but she was already at work. I went downstairs to find a package and a card addressed to me. Longer story shorter, words like “love” and “friendship” were tossed around in the scrawled note. Odd further still was who it was coming from, a person who was more of an acquaintance of the family than a lifelong pal.
It didn’t stop there, over the course of 2015 this person came to the house unannounced and at strange hours, banged trash cans, sent notes, gifts, called and texted repeatedly, left cryptic Facebook messages, even coming to my place of employment with a large and expensive bouquet of pink roses, sending me a picture of them to make sure I knew who they were from. He appeared at a random assortment of shows that he knew I would be at, (most recently at a Psychic Readings gig in November in Providence where I had to “make a scene” and have fellow attendees stay close). Apparently his own marriage and a child held for him no restraint.
I was not flattered. It was not cute. I had never led him on nor had any romantic interest in him, (and isn’t it sad that I have to say that anyway?). SO, WHY THE FUCK AM I TELLING YOU ALL THIS? Well, firstly because as I was being dropped off from work this morning by a co-worker, he was there behind us in his own car so no, this isn’t over. Secondly, because I’m tired of keeping such heavy shit to myself when I know there are others out there like me, who are keeping things to themselves as well and thirdly, because I need a platform to say this:
To the individual in question: STOP. LEAVE ME ALONE. THERE ISN’T A SINGLE THING ABOUT ME THAT BELONGS TO YOU.
To other victims: You don’t have to be polite and go through something like this alone. Reach out to people, build a support system. If you’re in the Boston area, check out Jane Doe Inc. (Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence) for a list of your rights and resources.
To me, a promise for 2016: I aim to be more visible in my community, to reserve more time for my own projects, to go to more shows, to be kinder to myself, to be a little less polite, to take more risks, and to breathe. Just fucking breathe.” – via Boston Hassle
LANKVILLE TALKS BACK
The Lankville Presidential Election is heating up. Incumbent Pondicherry is currently in the lead with Royer and Hadbawnik tied for second. Polls close on Thursday and the winner will be announced on Friday via this publication as well as through our sister pundit, The Boston Hassle. You’ve seen the attack ads, now let’s see what Lankvillians have to say about the candidates.
DAVID HADBAWNIK, GOURD
“I voted for David. Think he’s been running a strong campaign from the very beginning. He obviously has concerns about the environment. Nobody else has even mentioned the Lankvillian smog. He just seems like a regular guy you’d go and have Kombucha with at the local artisanal cheese shop. He’d make a fine President. Now, personally, I took issue with the fact that he helped to out my affair with Ashley Pfeiffers’ boyfriend but in hindsight, I’m glad he did. (He) was an absolute bore anyway. It just goes to show you, how uncompromised Hadbawnik’s ethics are – he can’t be bought, believe me I tried!” – Sarah Samways, Samways & Fick Consultants
ALBERT PONDICHERRY, MODERATION
“Great men should remain in positions of power for as long as possible. Change is overrated. Besides, Pondicherry is the only person to ever come down to my basement to browse my extensive vintage electronics collection. He even bought an old model Reckoner! He’s a man with great taste in polyester and has never once made me feel awkward about my sweat gland issue!” – Neil Cuppy, The Electronics Cranny
“The Pizza-A-Round fully endorses Albert Pondicherry for President of Lankville. He supports local businesses, mostly the back of the house where there are good hiding places and a couple of random holes in the wall but nevertheless, he bought 72 pizzas for our little league team! Now, this is the off-season but he hand delivered every single one of those pies to each player’s home. Yes, it was 10:30 at night but his heart was in the right place – it always is.” – Pizza-A-Round
RANDY PENDLETON, LANKVILLE HERITAGE
“Goddamn motherlusting idiots! Pendleton is the only man for the job! He ain’t afraid to speak his mind. You got a problem with that, pal? Go back to whatever hut you were born in. Lankville needs to get back to its roots and become number one again. Pendleton is a guy who can roll with the punches and I like that, I like it a lot.” – Dick La Hoyt
AMANDA JENNIFERS, MORALITY
“I hereby declare myself as the most qualified candidate for President of Lankville. While the other candidates have their hands in jars of old money, mine are clean and ready for your examination. I don’t need to pay for endorsements; Lankville is ready for a new voice – a clear, well-educated, hard-working, voice that will stand up for them. Plus, I’m female and we all know what an asset that is in politics.” – Amanda Jennifers
RIC ROYER, HELL
“Ric’s been a patient of mine for some time and I’ve gotta say, he’s made some tremendous strides. Just yesterday, while doing some breathing exercises, he purchased a Feelings Trigger-Sphere (basketball), and a carafe of stale ginger ale, which at a combined total of $39.99 is an absolute steal. I spoke with him softly, merely above a whisper, as he explained his horrible dreams for Lankville. Now, I’m not registered to vote, because I feel competition, in general, can harbor some of our more yucky feelings but I’m not opposed to you doing so, Brock. In fact, I have these nice, antique quill pens that you can fill out your ballot with for a limited time offer price of $27.85…” – Dr. Kevin Thurston, Men’s Feelings Expert