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A meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity. The Freezer Door records the ebb and flow of desire in daily life. Crossing through loneliness in search of communal pleasure in Seattle, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore exposes the failure and persistence of queer dreams, the hy A meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity. The Freezer Door records the ebb and flow of desire in daily life. Crossing through loneliness in search of communal pleasure in Seattle, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore exposes the failure and persistence of queer dreams, the hypocritical allure of gay male sexual culture, and the stranglehold of the suburban imagination over city life. Ferocious and tender, The Freezer Door offers a complex meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that relentlessly enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity while claiming to celebrate diversity.


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A meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity. The Freezer Door records the ebb and flow of desire in daily life. Crossing through loneliness in search of communal pleasure in Seattle, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore exposes the failure and persistence of queer dreams, the hy A meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity. The Freezer Door records the ebb and flow of desire in daily life. Crossing through loneliness in search of communal pleasure in Seattle, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore exposes the failure and persistence of queer dreams, the hypocritical allure of gay male sexual culture, and the stranglehold of the suburban imagination over city life. Ferocious and tender, The Freezer Door offers a complex meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that relentlessly enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity while claiming to celebrate diversity.

30 review for The Freezer Door

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    (Matt)ilda Bernstein Sycamore (MBS) is the author of several memoirs and non-fictional accounts of a variety of subject matter concerning LGBTQ culture. In “The Freezer Door” (2020) the style of stream-of-consciousness thought and observation is featured-- from her congested urban neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. Ms. Bernstein Sycamore has lived in NYC and San Francisco and recalled her immense love for JoAnne (1974-95), her inspiration from the Whitney Museum, the writing of author-AIDS act (Matt)ilda Bernstein Sycamore (MBS) is the author of several memoirs and non-fictional accounts of a variety of subject matter concerning LGBTQ culture. In “The Freezer Door” (2020) the style of stream-of-consciousness thought and observation is featured-- from her congested urban neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. Ms. Bernstein Sycamore has lived in NYC and San Francisco and recalled her immense love for JoAnne (1974-95), her inspiration from the Whitney Museum, the writing of author-AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz (1954-92) though was less impressed with the late celebrity author/educator Kathy Acker (1947-97) seen as she roared up years ago on her motorcycle. In many ways, MBS experienced difficulty meaningfully connecting with others (sexually and otherwise) beyond a superficial level. The men she really liked seldom kept in touch, or returned her calls. MBS observed a vegan diet, and had several allergies, that included smoke machines from bars and dance clubs, though she remained sober and avoided alcohol. “The Seattle Freeze”— a term coined in recent years, is a total avoidance and disregard of others typically in community and social settings, and is quite common today. The tech industry has boldly arrived-- Seattle neighborhoods have been drastically impacted by gentrification; as oversize industrial trucks haul debris away from where stately old homes once stood and have been torn down. This makes room for new business, multi-unit housing, and massive apartment developments. MBS was shocked at her huge rent increase; as many lower wage workers are forced out of Seattle. Ms. MBS wrote briefly of abuse by her (deceased) psychiatrist father, it was unclear if she was currently in therapy. Several anonymous sexual encounters were recalled with men behind massive tree’s and large shrubs in a Seattle public park— once, she was almost caught-- by a lady walking her dog, who likely looked the other way. It is necessary to not overlook these parts of the storyline; the confessional graphic details were weaved in throughout the book with her astute situational and emotional observations. MBS has written a previous memoir: “The End of San Francisco”(2013) and is the contributing editor of: “Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers Write About Their Clients” (2014) - also “Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving” (2011) **With thanks to the Seattle Public Library .

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Schulman

    Somewhere between Proust and Anais Nin, a modern diary of loneliness and the will to connect. Mattilda is a wonderful writer, honest and playful, not afraid of feelings- in fact- in search of them. There is a duet here between an ice tray and an ice cube to help readers imagine what is going on behind the freezer door-that you will not find the likes of in any other work of art. I am a loyal fan and reader.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    My review for the Women's Review of Books: https://www.wcwonline.org/Women-s-Rev... It’s easy to see the pandemic as a rupture with the past. In March of 2020 we entered a new epoch, and yet, in many ways, the imperatives of social distancing are continuous with what came before: a shrinking public sphere, diminished opportunities for meaningful social interaction. Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s The Freezer Door is an intimate exploration of desire and its impossibility, as well as a critique of t My review for the Women's Review of Books: https://www.wcwonline.org/Women-s-Rev... It’s easy to see the pandemic as a rupture with the past. In March of 2020 we entered a new epoch, and yet, in many ways, the imperatives of social distancing are continuous with what came before: a shrinking public sphere, diminished opportunities for meaningful social interaction. Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s The Freezer Door is an intimate exploration of desire and its impossibility, as well as a critique of the waning possibilities for communal engagement with desire in everyday experience. A longtime activist and critic of cultural conformity, Sycamore identified these problems, particularly as they relate to queer communities, long before COVID, but this new book enters a world in which they feel more poignant than ever. As Sycamore herself has joked in videos and interviews, “I wrote a book about alienation and then everything got worse.” Sycamore is the author of three novels and a memoir, as well as the editor of five anthologies, including the collection Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform. Like her previous work, The Freezer Door challenges the culture of queer assimilationism and documents her own search for sexual and intellectual intimacy. This deceptively slim volume is a slow read in the best possible way. I wanted to underline practically every sentence, and Sycamore strews her poetic fluidity with an almost overwhelming abundance of aphoristic utterances. A sampling: “Every gay bar is an accidental comedy routine. The best comedy routine is the one that takes itself seriously”; “I don’t want to become the cops, I want to end policing in all its forms”; “A sexual revolution without a political revolution isn’t a revolution at all, it’s just consumer choice branded as liberation.” As seems fitting for a work that aims to challenge the very idea of the mainstream, Sycamore’s lyrical writing flows like stormwater, expressing her concern that “queer spaces have become places where the illusion of critical thinking hides the policing of thought,” and clarifying her desires: “I don’t want any team to win, I want to end winning.” This is an anarchic and unruly, yet dreamy and languid, meditation in fragments, full of unexpected juxtapositions and white space, in the tradition of such works as The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson and Socialist Realism by Trisha Low. The leapfrogging sections blend concrete personal experience and abstract theory to explore AIDS, cruising, trauma, loneliness, and connection. Gentrification—particularly the cultural whitewashing and social isolation it produces—is one of the major objects of Sycamore’s critical gaze. Seattle, where Sycamore currently resides, receives a much-deserved dose of her disappointment. “This city that is and isn’t a city,” she writes, “but I guess that’s what every city is becoming now, a destination to imagine what imagination might be like, except for the lack.” If the marginalized don’t get washed out, they are pressured to blend in, adopting the trappings of the dominant culture. “When anything becomes homogenous, there’s a problem,” she writes. “When anything becomes so homogenous that people don’t even think about it, that’s worse.” Like a latter-day, radically queer Jane Jacobs, Sycamore offers a biting appraisal of cosmopolitan existence for the twenty-first century. “The dream of urban living has always meant a density of experience,” she writes, “that random moment on the street that changes you. But now, when people say increasing the density, they mean building more luxury housing for new arrivals who only want an urban lifestyle with a walled-off suburban mentality—keep away difference, avoid unplanned interaction, don’t talk to anyone on the street because this might be dangerous.” She shines her wit like a flashlight on all that darkens her bright vision of what urban life should and shouldn’t be. For example, Sycamore is doing stretches, leaning on the exterior of a random apartment building, when “some fag wearing a backwards floral baseball cap tries to give me the straight gay attitude” for trespassing. The building is pretentiously named Onyx, although, “there’s nothing onyx—the building is grey, tan, and beige—it’s like Florida meets the supermarket.” Sycamore slings plenty of zingers, and her targets are righteous, but she’s a lover, not a hater—a lover of trust, of beauty, and of genuine connection in all its forms, not only between romantic partners but between people and their friends, people and their architecture, people and trees, and on and on. What stuns me about her criticism is its gentleness—the ways she finds to be forceful but not harmful, always punching up, so to speak, or really not even punching at all, only highlighting blind spots and inviting her readers to open their eyes to more than the restricted array of consumerist possibilities that late capitalism presents as our only options. “I wonder if I’m the only person who still goes outside thinking something magnificent and unexpected might happen,” she writes in one of many sentences that encourage the reader to wonder too, and not just about that question, but to engage in more wonder in general. If the book opens us up to wonder and to the unexpected, one of its strategies is its formal subversions, such as the titular “freezer door.” The already broken narrative is periodically interrupted by a dialogue taking place inside a freezer between an ice cube and an ice cube tray. The two discuss global warming, elections, the Supreme Court, gentrification, and a number of other pressing present-day problems. In doing so, they raise issues of freedom and community, safety and risk. “The only open relationship is the open door, says the ice cube tray.” When the ice cube asks, “Why do people hate poetry,” the ice cube tray replies “Because it’s like us.” There are a lot of different ways a reader could take this fanciful back and forth, but one of the most liberating seems to be that, in a system that reduces lived experience to a set of commercial preferences that can be easily marketed to, and that boxes people into the tyranny of narratives inoffensive to the status quo, poetry can be a means of dismantling linguistic traps and offering a greater array of prospects for thinking and being. As Franco “Bifo” Berardi writes in The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance—another recent might-as-well-just-dip-the-whole-book-in-highlighter manifesto I happened to encounter shortly before The Freezer Door—“as deregulated predatory capitalism is destroying the future of the planet and of social life, poetry is going to play a new game: the game of reactivating the social body.” Poetry, and poetic books like Sycamore’s, put forth the necessary strategies to open the freezer door. One of the many wondrous aspects of Sycamore’s approach becomes not only what she’s saying, but how she’s saying it. That said, as Sycamore notes, “uncritical consumption of critical engagement is still uncritical engagement,” and there are aspects of her book that some readers may find hard to appreciate. That, too, seems to be part of her intent: to invite readers to reset the way they gauge their own taste and what does and does not strike them as offensive. She uses the word “faggot” a great deal (advisedly and informedly, and to continue her critique of assimilationist gayness and internalized homophobia) and writes quite explicitly about fucking strangers in public parks and bathrooms. Some audiences possessed of “an overinvestment in middle-class norms” might find this material obscene, but that’s partly her point. Rather than employing taboo and transgression as ends unto themselves, Sycamore transgresses in order to urge her audience to interrogate their almost-invisible suppositions and so-called civil decorum. She subverts the hypocrisies that tend to make people—especially self-described liberal people—uncomfortable, particularly the trend among American cities’ mainstream citizens to profess support for diversity while really favoring a bland and superficial aesthetic with little actual politics behind it. Sycamore’s strategic obscenity suggests that the real obscenity might lie elsewhere, like in trying to deny and erase difference because of the alternative it poses to putative good taste or consumerist decency. “Part of the dream of queer is that it potentially has no opposite. Straight is the opposite of gay. Queer is a rejection of both.” The Freezer Door stands as a call to open the door and take a gamble on what might be outside—to reject the illusion of safety and try instead for a re-enchantment of everything, a magic that can only happen by reaching beyond “walled-off insufficiency.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    Like nothing I’ve ever read, in the best way. I often put down the book for minutes at a time just to process what I’d felt. There’s a lot of pain in this book, but also beauty and joy and wisdom. “I remember the playground, where they called me sissy and faggot before I knew what those words meant, but I knew they meant I would never belong.” (p. 49) “When someone asks you how you’re feeling, and you tell them, and then they want to tell you why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling, you wonder w Like nothing I’ve ever read, in the best way. I often put down the book for minutes at a time just to process what I’d felt. There’s a lot of pain in this book, but also beauty and joy and wisdom. “I remember the playground, where they called me sissy and faggot before I knew what those words meant, but I knew they meant I would never belong.” (p. 49) “When someone asks you how you’re feeling, and you tell them, and then they want to tell you why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling, you wonder why they asked.” (p. 51) “Part of the dream of queer is that it potentially has no opposite. Straight is the opposite of gay. Queer is a rejection of both.” (p. 71) “When someone else’s desire is what makes me feel mine, does this mean this is someone else’s desire?” (p. 85) “I don’t just want islands of closeness without a connecting structure, I want relationships that I feel in my body as a cellular possibility.” (p. 89) “Sometimes you play the same song so much that you up hating it, but then one day you wake up thinking: Why don’t I play that song anymore?” (p. 97) “A dominant narrative is always a form of erasure.” (p. 99) “Whenever you think your memory is not as good as it used to be, it’s important to remember there used to be less to remember.” (p. 137) “Sometimes the violence of people allegedly trying to help is the worst kind of violence.” (p. 177) “The best thing about a rhetorical question is the answer.” (p. 178) “A question of aesthetics is barely a question at all. When this is all we treasure, there is no way not to lose.” (p. 199) “I don’t believe in nostalgia because it camouflages violence.” (p. 227) “Love is love isn’t the most helpful rhetoric for those of us who grew up abused by the people who told us they loved us the most.” (p. 231)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim Gladstone

    Almost indescribably eclectic in both prose style and cornucopic social content, the sometimes dizzying, frequently devastating memoirs and au-tobiographical novels of Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (Sketchtasy, The End of San Francisco, Pulling Taffy) prickle and tickle all at once. None more so than his latest, in which the genderqueer logonaut takes his pen to the gentrification and whitewashing of our cities and our bodies. What at first may feel like an unedited stream-of-consciousness turns o Almost indescribably eclectic in both prose style and cornucopic social content, the sometimes dizzying, frequently devastating memoirs and au-tobiographical novels of Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (Sketchtasy, The End of San Francisco, Pulling Taffy) prickle and tickle all at once. None more so than his latest, in which the genderqueer logonaut takes his pen to the gentrification and whitewashing of our cities and our bodies. What at first may feel like an unedited stream-of-consciousness turns out to shrewdly loop back on itself as the author exposes harsh ironies of con-temporary American LGBTQ life. On post-PrEP urbanity: “We live in a far different world than the one where an HIV diagnosis meant imminent death, but we also live in a world where public demand for a cure is nearly nonexistent.” On internet hook-ups: “The best way to avoid bad sex is to search for good sex online, until you can’t find anything but the search-ing.” Mixing horror with humor, this is a book in which the author’s painful memories of being raped by his father jostle up against his hoariest of dad jokes. Experimental, yes; and the test tubes get thrillingly fizzy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Shaw

    So many insights on desire, intimacy, writing, beginnings and endings. Such flow between thought and scene. One of those books that makes you want to write a book like it, in how it feels interior and outward, speaks to itself and you so closely. Love the character of Seattle in the book. A few quotes I’m keeping with me: “The most expensive art is a sense of belonging. The best way to remember a sense of belonging is to remember incorrectly. The correct memory is a memory of nothing. Nothing co So many insights on desire, intimacy, writing, beginnings and endings. Such flow between thought and scene. One of those books that makes you want to write a book like it, in how it feels interior and outward, speaks to itself and you so closely. Love the character of Seattle in the book. A few quotes I’m keeping with me: “The most expensive art is a sense of belonging. The best way to remember a sense of belonging is to remember incorrectly. The correct memory is a memory of nothing. Nothing costs more than nothing. Remembering nothing costs more than remembering.” “How the present becomes a presence, a presence we don’t want. How history works this way, our own histories, internalized without our consent. When we believe in the lie, we make it impossible to imagine the truth. This is obvious, but why is it not obvious?” “When the writing stops, and suddenly it feels like I have not access into how I actually feel. Or maybe I mean I can only feel. There’s so much guilt in not writing. Or not writing what you want. Or not writing in the ways you want to. People talk about the blood-brain barrier, but there’s also the text-brain barrier, and the glory of writing is when you cross it. You’re inside the gaps, and they are windows. But then these are windows into other gaps, and you’re stuck. But the glory of writing is when you suddenly realize a way out, which is also a way in.” “There is so much potential joy in the dynamic between writing and thinking, thinking and dreaming, dreaming and fear, fear and loss, loss and writing.” “Vilma says, ‘A queen was anyone who was gay and didn’t try to hide it,’ and I’m still with her.

  7. 4 out of 5

    W. Stephen Breedlove

    CITIES AND CONNECTION In The Freezer Door Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore ruthlessly investigates the obstacles to connection in queer life that the gentrification of cities causes. Cities, including Seattle, where Sycamore currently lives, “now foreclose the possibilities for connection in the spaces and places where we’ve always found it.” I turned each page of The Freezer Door in anticipation of where Sycamore’s stream of consciousness style and her non sequiturs would lead me. I was never disappo CITIES AND CONNECTION In The Freezer Door Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore ruthlessly investigates the obstacles to connection in queer life that the gentrification of cities causes. Cities, including Seattle, where Sycamore currently lives, “now foreclose the possibilities for connection in the spaces and places where we’ve always found it.” I turned each page of The Freezer Door in anticipation of where Sycamore’s stream of consciousness style and her non sequiturs would lead me. I was never disappointed or bored. The Freezer Door is full of Sycamore’s trademark spot-on and frequently humorous observations. For example, “Every gay bar is an accidental comedy routine.” And, “Remember when common wisdom told us marriage was on the way out? Then gay people stepped in.” Unsurprisingly, Sycamore can shock: “[S]uddenly I’ve mastered the art of getting fucked in the park.” But Sycamore also describes how the fresh air found among the trees in the park is a refuge from the fouled air found almost everywhere else in the city. The Freezer Door contains several priceless conversations between an ice cube and an ice cube tray. Their interchanges are witty and wise and wonderfully enrich the book. As with every book I’ve read by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, such as Sketchtasy and The End of San Francisco, I was sad when I came to the end of The Freezer Door. I wanted more, much more. The Freezer Door has received a lot of favorable acclaim and will deserve every award bestowed on it. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic art by David Wojnarowicz, a dedicatee of the book, that appears on the cover of The Freezer Door.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sam Cristol

    I got absorbed in this. I have lived in Seattle almost my entire life and this book perfectly portrays the cold flakiness of this city that I love-hate, gentrified and disfigured beyond recognition, and full of connection without connection. Maybe it’s just that I’m another queer and trans person with chronic health probs but the layers of isolation that Mattilda explores here really reached me. I love the sense of place she conjures here, woozy scenes weaving together, dreamlike moments of almo I got absorbed in this. I have lived in Seattle almost my entire life and this book perfectly portrays the cold flakiness of this city that I love-hate, gentrified and disfigured beyond recognition, and full of connection without connection. Maybe it’s just that I’m another queer and trans person with chronic health probs but the layers of isolation that Mattilda explores here really reached me. I love the sense of place she conjures here, woozy scenes weaving together, dreamlike moments of almost-connection with others that frequently fail to achieve any real intimacy, and language that turns in on itself. And there’s still a sharp, truly queer critique of assimilationist gay male culture beneath it all. When I was done, I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d just read, but I think I want more of it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Ranard

    I don't know where to start, but I am sad because I finished this book and I am happy because I loved every word of The Freezer Door. I don't know how to describe this book - rumination after thought after diary entry after joke after something else. I guess I'll just leave you with a few quotes from the book because why not? Here: "The problem of living. The problem of living in spite of it all. The problem of changing the larger world if we can't change ourselves. The problem of changing ourse I don't know where to start, but I am sad because I finished this book and I am happy because I loved every word of The Freezer Door. I don't know how to describe this book - rumination after thought after diary entry after joke after something else. I guess I'll just leave you with a few quotes from the book because why not? Here: "The problem of living. The problem of living in spite of it all. The problem of changing the larger world if we can't change ourselves. The problem of changing ourselves, if we can't change the larger world. The problem of existing in this world anyway. The problem of not existing." And: "When someone says the body never lies, I wonder if they have ever had a body." And: "I suppose it was inevitable that I would have a dream where Donald Trump hires me as a hooker" And: "When people say something like oh the youth or oh the elders, I really just want to laugh because it's not like anybody's doing a good job of anything." And: "The thing about the dance floor is I'm fearless. To find this place in my body where I can let go of dreaming and just feel. Or let go of feeling and just dream. I lean against the wall and it's pounding, I'm pounding." I loved this book in the way that it made me want to go out dancing and meet a hundred people and have sex in public and cry in the bathtub and sit in the sun and be honest about the ways I hate the world and have people over for dinner. The Freezer Door is absolutely one of my favorites, which also means that I am simply going to have to read everything Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore has ever written. I feel less lonely after this book, but also less afraid of my own loneliness? What can I say, I am in love.

  10. 5 out of 5

    grostulate

    Personal account of public sex and the desire for intimacy against the backdrop of the rapidly gentrifying, capitalist city. The anxiety of how even your most personal relations come to be cauterised by platforms and systems. Lack of any means to address trauma or any sort of difference meaningfully. The slow creep of gentrification that demands ever increasing commitment to homogeneity. A parallel dream vision of the city as endless possibility for new encounters and relations everyday. The them Personal account of public sex and the desire for intimacy against the backdrop of the rapidly gentrifying, capitalist city. The anxiety of how even your most personal relations come to be cauterised by platforms and systems. Lack of any means to address trauma or any sort of difference meaningfully. The slow creep of gentrification that demands ever increasing commitment to homogeneity. A parallel dream vision of the city as endless possibility for new encounters and relations everyday. The themes that underpin the book are ones that I am intensely interested in, and I imagine that they will only grow more necessary to examine as the COVID emergency abates. I like the device of having sentient consumer objects, but I didn’t understand the significance of the freezer door and its ice cube tray. Structure was highly fragmented, to the point at which the style read like a hybrid of unedited diary and twitter account, each paragraph studded with aphorisms. I wanted more of a defined structure to engage with, or a map sometimes it felt like ‘internet brain’ translated as a style. But as it turns out: 'I believed [desire] was a map. But no one believes in maps anymore’

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachal

    I am speechless, but also feel so much connection from someone who writes about the longing for connection and the dynamics of queer relationships that get close, yet not close enough. This feels cliché to say, because I feel it whenever I read a really good book, but it felt like I knew the author, Mattilda, and she knew me, and the words were thoughts and feelings I often feel, but hardly let escape. It’s always the raw, authentic, vulnerability that gets me. And Mattilda does it, freely.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Mattilda has a unique way with looking at the world, and with words, turning a phrase on its head, or is that heading a phrase on its turn? She (hope that's the right pronoun, it's in the bio) looks at gentrification, Trump's election, friends and friendship, sex and how to find it and that whole nightmare in the world of technology now. I think what I liked best about this book (and I've read more of her writing, too) is that it forces you to look at your own perceptions of similar things in yo Mattilda has a unique way with looking at the world, and with words, turning a phrase on its head, or is that heading a phrase on its turn? She (hope that's the right pronoun, it's in the bio) looks at gentrification, Trump's election, friends and friendship, sex and how to find it and that whole nightmare in the world of technology now. I think what I liked best about this book (and I've read more of her writing, too) is that it forces you to look at your own perceptions of similar things in your own life, and maybe you get a chance to look at something from a really different angle. I loved that, love this window into how another person thinks. We're all different, of course, but then again we're all pretty much the same on some very basic levels.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Glen Helfand

    Behind the freezer door there is an ice cube tray and and ice cube. They have a relationship that involves form and fluidity. Towards the end of this book, in which they appear sporadically, the two ponder disasters, what might happen in various difficult situations where clearly the result would be melting. That is one topic of this book in which Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is on a lamenting quest to find satisfying intimacy, a merger of mind, body and emotion. The author is a queer person who Behind the freezer door there is an ice cube tray and and ice cube. They have a relationship that involves form and fluidity. Towards the end of this book, in which they appear sporadically, the two ponder disasters, what might happen in various difficult situations where clearly the result would be melting. That is one topic of this book in which Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is on a lamenting quest to find satisfying intimacy, a merger of mind, body and emotion. The author is a queer person who is open to many forms of intimacy, and writes of friends, lovers, family members, strangers on the street with an eye towards how to connect. There is much sex, so many anonymous encounters, some leading to moments of tenderness and maybe even repeated trysts. There's also a lot of disappointment and joyous dancing. It's complicated, but also simple, or at least rooted in ordinary moments of life. There's so much truth to Sycamore's elliptical observations of loneliness and interaction, which are ultimately cycles of longing. Questions rearrange and reverse themselves, and if there are no solid satisfactory answers, Sycamore embraces the conundrums. She isn't giving up, just plans on continuing the quest without a map.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was unsettling. There were heart rending discussions about seeking connection and trying to have a connection that wasn't sex and connection with sex. These were intertwined with raw cruising for sex scenes. Then going to clubs and venues trying to find a place you belong. With incandescent moments of feeling a connection and belonging only to have it disappear. This book was unsettling. There were heart rending discussions about seeking connection and trying to have a connection that wasn't sex and connection with sex. These were intertwined with raw cruising for sex scenes. Then going to clubs and venues trying to find a place you belong. With incandescent moments of feeling a connection and belonging only to have it disappear.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Titus

    A really interesting and challenging read, for me. The content is lots of memoirish reflections, and there are great sections ruminating on gentrification and cities. The authors experiences are significantly different from my own but I really appreciated their commitment to expressing feelings of loneliness and how they approach relationships. It's a really beautiful book. A really interesting and challenging read, for me. The content is lots of memoirish reflections, and there are great sections ruminating on gentrification and cities. The authors experiences are significantly different from my own but I really appreciated their commitment to expressing feelings of loneliness and how they approach relationships. It's a really beautiful book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meekly

    A unique strong yet vulnerable voice. There's a touch of Henri Nouwen like need in these words that I don't think the author would understand nor are they meant to. A unique strong yet vulnerable voice. There's a touch of Henri Nouwen like need in these words that I don't think the author would understand nor are they meant to.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Kim

    shouts out to Noah Crandell <3

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette Courtines

    read about half of it

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Unlike anything I've read before. Unlike anything I've read before.

  20. 5 out of 5

    tim

  21. 4 out of 5

    Esleal10

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  23. 5 out of 5

    GRTOAL12

  24. 5 out of 5

    Meseje12

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ten Soh

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaxson Eli

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

  28. 4 out of 5

    Octavia Rose

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  30. 5 out of 5

    Almeda12

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