January 8th, 2020
IV.Polyamory → Understanding Death
Addison What do you think you were in a past life?
Renata A mute, bitch. Which is why I dance.
A You were a mute?
R I think I was a mute [both laughing] and I definitely know that I was a man.
R Various times.
R I don’t know, I don’t know...pero, death scares me when I think about it in a very existential way I can’t think about it. I think about, like, shutting off a TV, like, black all of a sudden. Like you’re watching a really complex movie, it’s climax has ended and that’s when you shut off the TV and that to me is what I think about sometimes in a nonspiritual way of death, like something’s turned off, it’s black and that’s really scary and sad and I wanna believe our bodies disintegrate and our souls...
A Have you had any near-death experiences?
R I have. Well my first death experience was my dad having a heart attack and him being technically dead and then him being in a coma—
A Oh that’s right I remember, yeah.
R And this was kind of my first relationship to death where it was like, I guess I could say it was like, I mean, actually I don’t even know. I was just extremely confused, ‘cause I was in 6th grade. I was confused and it definitely did a lot of damage in retrospect. But my first real, real experience with death was when Emiliano died and that really freaked me the fuck out because how can someone just be here one second and then gone somewhere else. It’s like when they go to jail, you have absolutely no way of connecting with this person and it’s like when someone dies you can’t Facebook message them, you can’t DM them, you can’t text them, you can’t call them—they’re literally not here and that’s still hard for me to wrap my head around, which is why polyamory has helped me, has alleviated this extreme, in a way...But when Emiliano died what I would summarize is that it was really creepy. It wasn’t scary. It’s still not beautiful to me. It was more than sad—it was creepy, it was cryptic. It was confusing.
A Do you think that death is beautiful to some people?
R Oh my god absolutely. Even in my family, the culture of my family in Brazil, they really embrace death. They really see death as a rebirth into another life that you must embody. And listening to these people in my family talk about death also kind of alleviates me a little bit but I don’t know. It’s still scary.
: 38: 58
Addison I think I understand what you’re getting at with the polyamory and death thing—it’s not stated super clearly but I do feel like I understand what you’re getting at. When someone dies you don’t think of it as just utter nothingness, like soul-loss, but that they kind of continue on, horizontally surrounding us, coinciding in this repetition of reality and the possibilities of their continuity. And polyamory, if I’m understanding, has helped you recognize the ways in which things are not necessarily beginning, end, finite, all-or-nothing, but that you can recognize the the lateral dispersion of feelings and experiences amongst different people at the same time, and there’s a kind of echo in that—
Renata Yes, yeah, I think what you said, you know finite. It’s really this because it’s like, to live a successful and healthy polyamorous relationship you really need to understand, the body really needs to understand the true way of releasing and detaching. Well I guess like there’s no detachment if there is no attachment, and I feel like in polyamory there is no attachment or detachment, and it’s just like this thing where you’re coexisting with someone all the time whether this person is in, like, Hawaii or not. And I feel like, I feel like with death—
R Yeah, no. [both laughing]
A Wait... [laughing] Where did that come from? Who’s in Hawaii right now?
R That’s what I’m saying is that if you’re sucking somebody’s dick for mad long and then they just go to Hawaii, you still sucked their dick even though they’re in Hawaii! [laughing]
A Yeah. [laughing]
R And when they come back you’re gonna keep on sucking their dick.
A Yeah. [laughing]
R Or maybe you’ll go to Hawaii.
R Or maybe you’ll go somewhere else together. I think also this understanding of horizontalness—I guess what I’m saying is in a polyamorous relationship you have to be in this constant state of release because if not, you’ll suffer. As soon as you start to attach yourself to somebody you start to suffer and this defeats the whole purpose of being poly and I think when it comes to death, you either really detach yourself from this person because they’re not here anymore or you really attach yourself to this person because they’re not here anymore. With me, I really attached myself to Emiliano because I was like, you’re not here, and polyamory made me realize, it’s just a release. He’s not gonna be around anymore but he’s still here. Like, one day I’ll be with him in Hawaii. One day I’ll be with him in Mexico, you know, it’s this kind of horizontal thing, nothing is finite at the end of the day and that’s why polyamory made me understand that it’s not like when somebody dies you have to completely detach yourself from this person, because they’re still around just like your dick went to Hawaii. This is kind of what I meant.
: 41: 48