Thursday, June 11, 2015

In which I receive a Secret Name

I have gone on so much with the Santa Fe back story partly because I think it's interesting, but also because Santa Fe had more back story than any other place I had ever lived. Because of the complexities of the culture of Santa Fe, because things were never quite like they seemed on the surface, it encouraged me to explore my own back story. There really was water underground: it oozed out on Cienaga, by the public library. There will be several posts about Santa Fe, but not in any necessarily chronological order. I don't even know how long I lived there. I would go, and return. New Mexico is the land of entrapment, and it's a kind of faerie entrapment.

Not long after I moved to Santa Fe, I fell in with faeries. Radical faeries. Lin and I had passed through our Dharma Bum period, and were now living on the fringes of the more or less historic district, on Don Diego. I had taken a job at Kinko's as a lark to supplement landscaping for the rich and famous during the winter months. It turned out to be a wonderful job: the computer graphics revolution was just cranking up, and we had all the newest equipment. Soon I was the queen of the color-corrected, microscopically  adjusted, color copies that we sold for $2.00 and the artist sold as numbered prints for $200. Kinko's was in a little office mall on Montezuma and Guadalupe, and the plants were maintained by a guy who was pixie-cute, and who introduced himself as a radical faerie. I was invited to one of their shindigs, out on a mesa near Cerrillos. Fire and drums and feathers and sarongs and talking sticks--it was woo-woo Santa Fe--and magick and enchantment and everyone was drop-dead gorgeous. Oh. My. And I was hardly more than a little girl from Little Rock. Indeed, as a little boy from Jonesboro, I felt less.

There are a lot of tales about the Bad Boys, as we radical faeries called ourselves. We were the B List. Mostly what we did was dress up and put on benefits. Eventually, my house would become the center of Bad Activity, and the Bama Bong would actually reside there. But this story is about a field trip we made, soon after that first night on the mesa, to what is euphemistically called Tent Rocks on maps and tourist brochures but which everyone actually calls the Penis Rocks. For this trip, we did not dress up; we dressed down. We went on a long, hot, naked hike to the top of the highest penis, and were given names, names based, sometimes, on back stories. When the little white talking stone--shades of biblicalism, but there were no sticks on top of the gypsum penis--came to me, I explained the influence of and awe I had had for my grandmother, Susan Dillie Jane Wood Johnson, and that I had always thought I would name a child Wood, but hadn't, so I wanted my faerie name to be Wood.  No such thing. Impish looks all around. I became Dillie. To this day, when I go to Santa Fe, some of my dearest friends call me Dillie.  I suppose being named Dillie helps me embrace my feminine side. Shortly afterwards, when the New Mexican wrote up the Bad Boys, I appeared on the cover of Pasatiempo wearing a red dress and pumps. But they kept my secret name out of the papers. After all, a proper lady's name is not published.

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