In October, 2016, I looked death right in the eyeballs and the truth of the universe cracked open before me. From that moment on, I could not in good conscience continue to live by the same rules I’d been living by my WHOLE LIFE. I ended my marriage (amicably). I explored my sexuality (enthusiastically). And I carried on my shoulder a giant, painted sugar skull named Maestro, as “we” lived transiently, voluntarily, for the better part of a year. I felt at peace. I felt in balance. And also... I was a homeless divorcée with no marketable skills. **************************************************Does it feel moderately self-indulgent to have written a memoir? It does. But it made more sense for me to tell my story than to tell YOURS (haha). The idea is that we can use the collective data from our shared experiences to HELP each other! Because, my friends, giving really is getting really is giving really is getting... **************************************************Lifegasm Book I: Marshall’s Promise is the first of a three-book series. This podcast is a chapter by chapter audiobook of sorts, and I recommend you start at the beginning. There are 23 chapters in total, and I will release at least one every Friday. So buckle up, Buttercup, it’s going to be a wild ride!
Chapter 10... Lifegasm Book I: Marshall's Promise
*My Grandma, The Moon* EXCERPT: I prepared myself for a seven-hour stretch in the car, which wasn’t terribly challenging after so much practice. I had Peaches the artist to keep me company (“keep on it, keep on it, you own it…”) and perfect faith that seven hours was no big deal, that I could eat it up, that it was a privilege to have so much uninterrupted time to myself. And so it was. Road-Trip-gasm!
Chapter 9... Lifegasm Book I: Marshall's Promise
*Harriet's House of Healing* EXCERPT: My last scheduled night in Colorado came and went, so I’d have about a week to account for before seeing Gangaji. ‘What’s another seven days of shelter manifestation?’ I chuckled to myself. However, it felt wrong to ask my Colorado people to extend my stay with them. I knew it felt wrong because my gut said so. Or my intuition said so. Or my deepest heart said so. Or God said so. Tomato tomahto, God is good. Leaving Colorado was the right thing to do. I just didn’t know where to go. Yet.
Chapter 8... Lifegasm Book I: Marshall's Promise
*The Birthday Surprise* EXCERPT: I’d never been into a strip club before (except for that one time in Guam…) because I’d always made assumptions about what they represented and what kind of people spent time inside. Now, of course, I was making a habit of questioning everything. Were strip clubs the naughty, gross, exploitive, venues full of lowlifes that I’d been conditioned to believe they were? ‘Let’s go find out,’ said my deepest heart.
Chapter 7... Lifegasm Book I: Marshall's Promise
*Privilege* EXCERPT: The following chapter was written contemporaneously with its release (that is, in April of 2021).... Now that the book is complete and I am releasing it, in standard Evy Wallace unconventional fashion, as this podcast, it occurs to me that the time I spent wandering and wondering and writing were merely placeholders, giving me something to do until I got here. Now. Now I know what I was born to do, and it involves fighting (nonviolently!) to demand that the birthrights of my fellow human, starting with my fellow American, are honored. My deepest heart compels me to play my part in freeing the 2.3 million American humans held as hostages and slaves in their own country. I’m not saying I’m going to do it alone, in fact, I’d rather not. But so far, in all my research of the organizations, activists, journalists and podcasters who seem in agreement about the untenable nature of America’s armed, authorized power being used against her citizens, to brutalize, intimidate, imprison, and murder, not one of them has suggested any action plan more forceful than “vote!” or “protest!” or “sign this petition!” But, my friends, I cannot in good conscience stop there. Sure I’ll vote. Sure I’ll protest. Sure I’ll sign that petition. But do you ever look back at where we’ve come over the last hundred years, or two hundred years, or four hundred years, and feel like we are water bugs swimming north on a tsunami heading south?
Chapter 6... Lifegasm Book I: Marshall's Promise
*Broken Promises* EXCERPT: It’s challenging to explain my level of hunger, because I was many steps away from starving to death. But there’s a wide swath of human experience that lands somewhere between feeling fully satiated and dying of starvation, and while I was never worried that I wouldn’t have enough, and I’m certainly not complaining, I was more grateful for the miracle of food than I ever had been. I loaded up my plate with cheesy eggs, hash browns, and grilled asparagus, go figure, then found a table outside on the veranda. I even took a picture of myself and my full plate lest I someday come to suppose that manifestation was make-believe and that this moment was a figment of my imagination. Then I tucked my phone away so I could put my full attention on the textures and flavors of the food. Breakfastgasm! When my body gave me the signal that it had had enough, I loaded up Peaches the Prius (newly-minted), queued up Peaches the artist, and readied myself for another seven-hour day in the car.
Then my phone rang.
Chapter 5... Lifegasm Book I: Marshall's Promise
*The Spiritual Road Trip* EXCERPT: When I arrived in Utah, I was surprised at how many people were milling about the public park who seemed, by their appearances, to not have reliable shelter. It’s hard for me to call people homeless, because then it becomes their identity, their title, their permanent truth; this same inescapable labeling tends to happen with anyone who has worked as a professional dancer at a gentlemen’s club, which is why all the women I know who have been employed as strippers are exceptionally private about sharing that information. AND DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE PERMANENT IDENTITY WE ASSIGN TO ANYONE WE'VE CATEGORIZED AS A CRIMINAL! But yes, what I’m trying to say is that these folks in Salt Lake City would probably identify as homeless. I thought the Mormons took care of each other and that a fundamental tenant of their belief system was service? How was it that so many of God’s children, right there in that religious capital, seemed to be without a roof? I knew it wasn’t just a Utah problem, of course. So why were we as humans failing so terribly at ensuring the basic needs of our species get met? Why did we drive past heaps of human people under tarps and tents and think “not my problem,” while simultaneously bemoaning the “homeless problem”? *****