I am googling for space in Toronto.
I am looking for a dirty hole wherein I can produce a workshop of a new piece of mine. I know there are dirty holes in Toronto. Problematically, none of them are available for my existence. Or for my work.
My dog and I took a walk around Toronto, location scouting. Numerous options appeared: “How about that shitty little closed up space? How about THAT shitty little closed up space?”
There are so many shitty little closed up spaces but I am afraid to call and ask the apparent broker (name and number found on a sign in the window) if I can inhabit their shitty little closed up space for two weeks for the sake of developing my artwork because I am afraid of rejection. I am afraid that rejection will cause a feeling of failure and therefore anxiety and therefore hopelessness and therefore death.
I would very much like to call these brokers.
I would very much like them to pick up the phone.
I would like to say “Hi! I saw your name on a sign in the window of a shitty little space on Queen W. and I was wondering if you would let me and an actress and a director, all women, all reputable artists, just go there and be in there for two weeks. We won’t live there. We just want to sit there and be.”
I will hear the word no and I will say ok and thank the person who rejected me. I will move on to not having a space. I will wonder about rejection.
Why do we thank the people who reject us?
Last night I swiped past Original Eddie on Tinder.
He told me a while ago that he would call me when he was back in Toronto . Original Eddie and I met last year, we loosely dated for a couple months and then he left for an extended period of time to support his friend’s family as they mourned the death of said friend. Sad. It took forever. It got sadder. I never heard from him again.
I contacted him again in January. I hadn’t heard from him but I missed him, mostly due to a series of other men who I just didn’t really like as much. He replied to my single word message, “Eddie”. He said he missed me, he was thinking of me and he wants to see me again. He said he would be back soon. I tried contacting him several times after that but I really, this time really, never heard from him again.
Original Eddie does not want me. He never wanted me. It does not make him a bad person nor does it make me valueless, he just had other shit to do, other people to know. He just couldn’t have me in his space. He rejected me.
I wish he would have given me a coherent “No”. I wish men were as frank and honest with women as realty brokers are with squatters: Please leave. I cannot entertain you. You do not fit in this space and, further, I feel you cannot owe me what I need. It’s okay that you came here but please leave.
Wouldn’t it be great if rejection were as succinct a process as uttering the word “No”?
Wouldn’t it be great if the word “No” didn’t feel so personal? If we just could say “No” and hear “No” and be ok with “No”?
Wouldn’t it be great if I knew months ago that he really just didn’t want me here?
Why am I asking to exist where I am not wanted?
Not everyone is comfortable with a woman in their space. And that is fine.
I swipe past him on Tinder last night. Tinder says he is 10 KM away. He is in Toronto now. I have not heard from him, I have not contacted him and, frankly, I rarely think about him now but his name and his face are on my screen.
I have a furtive awareness, now, of his location and it isn’t anywhere close to me. He does not want to be close to me. He is not here. He is only, and mostly only ever has been, a presence in my phone. There was always space. But, it was never shared.
Last night, I felt grateful. I momentarily wished I could tell him that it was fine.
“Thank you, Eddie. Your rejection is purposeful. I do not belong with you and so you turned me away and that’s fine.”
Rejection is not an ending. It’s just an opportunity to gaze at what’s really here.
The space that I really want in Toronto is unaffordable and so I will have to compromise and inhabit a cheap studio. And that’s fine. I will raise more money next time.
There is nothing wrong with what we are given.
The only thing stopping us from appreciating it is the thought that what we are given is a marking of Who We Are.
Rejection is fine. It might be personal but, if we assume that it isn’t, then we can be grateful for all the shitty little space that we already have and all the shitty little people we share it with.
Thank you to the space I am in and, thank you, Eddie, for leaving.