exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Month: March, 2017



Date of Interview: March 3, 2017

Name: MJ

Age: 29

Pronouns: Your Choice

Location: Baltimore, MD


How often do you bathe or shower?

Like, if it was a work day I definitely showered. If I’m sick I like to bathe.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

A crab. I think that crabby is an endearing quality in some people ::laughs::.

What are you passionate about?

Well. This year somebody asked me earlier what my theme for the year was going to be, and I sort of decided it was going to be brutal honesty. It’s not just for myself, but it’s also for the people I engage with and the things I’m trying to do with my life. So, I guess that extends to career stuff and I fucking hate the term “career” but life, geographical places, just… Not buying into the expectations that are put on you generally by your place of life and career. What everyone is expecting of you, for what you should be doing.

How do you live that out?

Well… I’m in the middle of a lot of legal stuff right now. And it’s sort of felt very liberating for me that I feel a lot less engaged in the workplace and that’s okay, I’m making space for myself. Before all this happened, I thought that I would be on my way, moving out of Maryland right now. But I’m pretty stationary right now, for at least another year. I think becoming more open in the way I handle interpersonal relationships, I’ve also thought about with moving state, if it’s a realistic thing or long term, should I think about leaving the country because I don’t know if I could live in the United States to be an old person without being in jail again ::laughs::.

What led you to this point in life?

Umm. I think it’s a lot of timing of things. I can’t say I was necessary doing anything different. I remember, after the elections, some friends were talking about how we think this new era is going to be impacting us on a personal level. And I was serious when I said it, but I was kind of joking, “I think over the next few years we’re going to see a lot of our friends go to jail” ::laughs::. It turned out to be very real ::laughs::. Yeah. And having problems with renewing my work licence because the governing board will see my charging documents and stuff. I don’t even know how my… Like, if I’m going to be able to keep my career and thinking more about workplace agitation and what it means to be a productive member. Like. How I’m going to live going forward after this.

What do you feel accomplished with?

My first few years out of college, I worked my ass off and I saved up enough money that even though the future is frightening, I don’t feel an immediate sense of scare if I lose my job because I have this cushion of being able to figure things out. I want to be able to take care of the other people I was with so we can all be in an okay situation. I got out of a crazy relationship in 2014 and I definitely built up some coping mechanisms. And when you think of coping mechanisms, you think of unhealthy but it’s really been serving for myself. I’ve reached a point where, all of a sudden, I’m poly and it seems super natural to me. I thought I was gonna be an old spinster before ::laughs::. Now I’m realizing that the love I have for somebody, or that somebody has for you is not diminished by simultaneously loving another person. And I feel safer and I rely on dangerous things and self destructive behavior a lot less.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise?

I have love for everybody that I’m involved with. We might not be actual relationships and stuff, but everyone that I’m involved with has a place in my heart. An endearing place. But I really love being independent and I really get off on that. I finally am wielding that. I’ve lived alone for a very long time and I am mostly alone all the time. But I definitely love intimacy. A lot. I guess I’m shy to talk about sex stuff ::laughs::. But yeah, it’s my favorite, I love it, it’s great. Everything’s great. ::laughs::.

Cody Valentine


Date of Interview: February 27, 2017

Name: Cody Valentine

Age: 33

Pronouns: He/Him

Location: Washington, DC


How often do you bathe or shower?

I try once a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?

Mythical for sure. I would be something real, but people would think I was a myth. Yeah, yeah I would like it that way ::laughs::.

What are you passionate about?

Umm… The easy answer is music. I’m passionate about that. I’m passionate about making people uncomfortable, well, making people comfortable with being uncomfortable. I like to make people kind of let go of their comfort zone and realize that life’s okay if they step outside of that. I do that through music. I try to make music that incorporates all different types of feelings. Not just like, happiness or just sadness. Yeah, and also through my conversations. Like, I try to read people and if it seems like somebody is uncertain about something I’ll let them exist in that uncertainty for them self and try to figure it out instead of trying to guide them through it, like holding their hand through it. Unless you know, somebody needs that kind of approach, then I’ll be there for a child or something like that. For the most part, adults don’t trust themselves that much.

Do you trust your instincts?

100%. It hasn’t always been that way, but I’ve grown to accept it.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Hmm… I think, well… I can say something that I made with my hands. But biggest can mean different things, like biggest in terms of what somebody else may say, which they may say the music that I make is my biggest… Biggest for me was making the handheld flood light. It’s 100 watt equivalent floodlight. I made it myself at my friend’s workshop. It took me about 20 hours altogether. It showed me that I can make stuff with my hands. Since then, I’ve made much bigger things that people have really liked but that… That thing in particular was the start, it was the thing that showed me I can do whatever I want to do. Like I could accomplish it or I could build it. Yeah. And then also, working sound at the Flaming Lips and Miley Cyrus show. That was a big fucking, a big fucking deal. They’re coming to town this weekend and I just found out that I’m working both shows again ::laughs::. The Flaming Lips are my favorite band, I found them 20, 22 years ago on a soundtrack and I’ve been a fan ever since. They just make weird music that is vaguely spiritual but also really intuitive and beautiful.

What is something that you still struggle with?

That I struggle with… I think maybe listening to other people’s opinions, that they actually hold value in my life. That’s not to say that other people’s opinions aren’t valid, but more to say that I can do whatever I want to do regardless what anyone else says or thinks. Anything like that. Some stuff from my past comes up sometimes, overall that’s about it. It’s usually how I relate to other people, where I find difficulties. I want to be there, I want to understand them, but I also don’t want to let people dictate what I do. What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise. I think they’re all kind of an extension of the self. So like, how you deal with somebody else is kind of how you deal with yourself in that space. So like, if you have self acceptance and accept every part of yourself, when somebody comes to you doing something that you find annoying you’ll find a way to connect with them and understand where they’re coming from. Whereas if you don’t and somebody is singing and that’s something that you hate, you hate the part of yourself that sings. You’ll probably go to them and say “shut the fuck up” or something like that. Yeah. I mean, they’re the way that you find out who you are. You can’t really know yourself without some type of relationship to something.

What is something that brought you joy this week?

The 7Drum City grand opening festival. That was incredible. Yeah, I ran sound on one of the stages, set up the light curtain. It was fuckin’ sweet. Yeah, so many of my friends were there, so many people that I’ve known for a long time. Like, people that I’ve known for the past five years. But not all my friends, but the circle of them I’ve known for a good bit. I think I’m starting to recognize that I’m a in between person. I’m the kind of person that can see people in their own space and appreciate that. I see a lot of people in their everyday space and like… I’m not there every day, I don’t have the same kind of motivation to be a part of something everyday, that I’m not passionate about. But some people can do it. Some of the venues that I work at, people are there everyday and that’s their lives. They make a lot of money from it and they’re very happy but there are few things that I can dedicate my life to. That’s making music. Making music for sure.

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