07/2/14

that’s a lovely, lovely voice.

Earlier reports that I have “two boyfriends” may have been exaggerated or downright fabricated. The Maritime Civil Engineer left to work on a fishing boat over a month ago. He was gone for longer than I knew him. Like a dead person, I started to forget what he looked like. Every few days he’d send text messages from the only part of the ship that got cell reception. He’d text things like, “I’ve got the ocean madness!” and “I’m worried you’re taking this relationship way too seriously.”

Once he texted: “I saw a bloated, dead dolphin on deck the other day. If you remember our previous conversation you will know how it made me feel.” I don’t remember the previous conversation, but I’m hoping it made him feel… I don’t know, bad?

He finally got off the boat last week, and he looked and acted like some mangled, twisted thing come stumbling out of the woods. He held out his arms to hug me, and then after I fell for it, said, “Don’t touch me. I’m covered in hydraulic fluid.”

Men don’t like to be burdened by boring conversations that help to define the parameters of their relationships. Our interactions are like the first half of Jane Eyre, before they hook up, which is to say, strained and uneventful. I’m still staying at his house more nights out of the week than not. How much longer am I allowed to stay? I feel like if I just keep doing his laundry and the dishes we can go on like this forever. Making a grilled cheese sandwich is worth three days room and board, so long as we’re making this shit up as we go along. Why the fuck not. People who can’t express how they feel are necessarily punished. I have a crush, but is it a genuine like or a kind of allergic reaction to a man whose inconsistent affection mirrors my childhood relationship with my father? I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.

I hope I’m coming across as glib and unconcerned, which is truthfully how I feel. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. It seems like maybe I’m taking a gamble. The men I date are historically uninterested in my blog and who I truly am as a person, generally. Let’s just assume it’s going to stay like that forever and ever.

I probably shouldn’t have given up my job and my apartment without a plan for the future. What can I say, I’m impulsive. It’s not “homeless” if you’re white. It’s “couch surfing.” Many have corrected me on this point.

Let’s go ahead and close out the blog by listing a few of my celebrity crushes, in descending order of severity and importance. My preferred body type is “hulking man who can carry me on his back,” a type rarely represented in the media save for the marginalized categories of hilarious side-kick, villain or convicted child murderer.

3. Chubby Seth Rogen

Seth-in-The-40-Year-Old-Virgin-seth-rogen-13527701-853-480

2. Damien Echols. Part of the infamous “West Memphis Three.” Served 18 years on Death Row before his conviction was overturned. I must confess, I prefer the 19-year old on trial, baby face version, before prison made him sallow and furrowed.

damien

Here he is with the wife he met while in prison via impassioned letters. should have gotten to him sooner.

Here he is with the wife he met while in prison via impassioned letters. should have gotten to him sooner.

1. Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. My #1 crush. 

baneshirtless

girl look at that body


 

 

 

 

05/20/14

oops, I did it again.

First I had to kill all the ants. And I love ants. In my youth I read E.O. Wilson’s big book called The Social Insects, and I remember in horror someone told me that the collective intelligence of a thriving ant colony equals one human brain.

There were tiny ants all over the floor of the maritime engineer’s bedroom and I had to go in there with the shop vac and suck them all up. It’s wartime, I reasoned. The Engineer got this house in foreclosure and paid for it with his own money; the ants are trespassers. Of course I know the ants are really innocent, and let that be a lesson. Everybody’s innocent of everything all the time, but guilty too so what does it matter when we’re sent to our makers. I want you to know I killed those ants with a lot of reverence. There weren’t as many as I expected. I doubt they had the collective intelligence of a dog or a toddler. So it’s only like I killed a dog or a toddler, or else they’re alive and circling around in the dark, dusty shop vac right now, each of them programmed to rally and rebuild. It sounds futile, and it is. Now look at you, going back to school to be a doctor. What if all this time you were trying to be a doctor in a shop vac but didn’t know it? Think about that!

I went to a job interview at a private tutoring company in Bellevue, Washington. They gave me the job on the spot, and like Morrissey it was all “Heaven knows I’m miserable now.” I dreaded it all weekend, then Monday came and to my horror nothing had happened to prevent me from going to the first day. As I pulled out of the driveway I had the very crystalized thought, “I’m going to miss an exit or something, be late for my first day, conclude I can’t be late for my first day and then come home.”

That’s exactly what happened. Why do I even bother with the song and dance of getting in the car and driving? I think I was sincerely trying to make myself do it. Before turning around, I felt the fear of a new job buzzing in various pockets of my body, like a murky sickness. Every fiber said “Danger, run away, don’t go to the job.” Now, is that my intuition talking, or is it the psychotic coward who dwells in all of us and hates change? Yeah, I don’t want to help rich kids do even better on standardized tests designed by the winners to keep the winners winning, but then again, I am aware that people need jobs. I’m not out of money yet, but I will be. Don’t think I don’t know that behind every jerk-off young person who refuses to work for the man, there’s an old, tired parent who knows what the world really requires of us sending that jerk-off kid money for rent and food. I get that my decisions don’t just impact me, okay? I understand that I will have to find a different job.

But first I’m going back to Onalaska, Washington to serve on a 10-day meditation course starting tomorrow. This will be the fourth time I’ve done a course, but those other three times I was just there for meditating and this time I’m going to be on the staff helping the other meditators. I think the difference is like instead of 12 hours of meditating a day I’ll only manage 4 or 5. Serving a course means you level up in the Buddhist community, like I’m about to unlock special shit and exclusive content.

Last time I did a sitting, I felt bored and restless because my mind was filled with attachments and fantasy. I had this thought like I wasn’t doing it right, that everybody else knew how to do it and there was something fundamentally wrong with me. On day eight I had a sobbing fit in the teacher’s conference room that had everybody worried I was going to commit suicide. I think I was on some sort of polite Buddhist suicide watch. Last time, I didn’t figure out until it was too late the true secret of “equanimity.” You’ve got to not mind what happens, no matter what. I mean, you can’t make yourself not mind, but you at least have to know that that’s the goal. I was all “I can’t keep my mind on the breath and that’s the whole goal, I have failed.” But that’s wrong. You’ve got to get in there and not mind the wandering mind.

Always I go to these things with some boy waiting for me on the other side, or the dream of some boy, or the idea that it’s going to do this or that, and this time I feel like I’m doing it for no reason and I’ve got no goals or expectations. Really I don’t even know why I’m doing it, other than that my brain probably would rather go to jail for 10 days straight than work at a private tutoring center. Whatever my brain wants to do, my body’s like, okay, meat and bones, let’s keep this bitch happy.

It’s hard to explain. I might seem like a crazy person lately, but emotionally, I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced such an uninterrupted calm. I want to keep it going.

See you in 10 days, my loves!

05/16/14

red dead redemption.

He said, “Meet me at the show in Tacoma later.” Then he added, “Wear a dress. Come be my arm candy.”

I can only imagine my more ardent feminist readers are already furious, but whatever, not everybody went to college, calm down. As for me, I was touched to be thought of in that way, and I appreciate gentle reminders. Cuz it’s true, I’d have worn my oversized lucky Iron Maiden t-shirt otherwise.

Not to belabor the point, I know we’ve been over this before—but I own dresses. I own a lot of shitty, weird dresses with crudely cut hems and missing buttons that I buy at Goodwill and safety pin together again. In 2009 I met a witch named Kristen who taught me that second hand dresses are magical, or else I just figured out that men are uncreative and need flowery reminders, but anyway I’ve been collecting dresses ever since. Fashion is interesting, and it matters. When you get up and walk to your closet, those are your clothes. Since you were young, you’ve been amassing a collection of outfits that you picked out yourself. They’re like the cells in your body that regenerate every seven years and yet they always make an uninterrupted you.

Shit changes but consistently I’ve felt the most me in jeans, a t-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt. Hoodies are like tuxedos that make the wearer look thin and invisible; everybody looks good in a hoodie. Here’s how it really is. A girl walks into a bar in the jeans and hoodie get-up. She’s like a walking convenience store with a sign around her neck that says “Sorry, we’re closed!” Put that same girl in a dress and it’s “Yes, we’re open!”

Having said all that, does it surprise you to learn that I have a fetish for women’s shoes? It sure surprised me to learn it! No need to get into the particulars, but long story short, I see a heeled foot, I want to lick it. I’d like to wear these kinds of shoes in public but I’ve literally never in my life had the courage. It’s absurd, right? You’d think I were Ed Wood skulking around shamefully in my apartment dressed like a woman. But I am a woman!

It’s not just that I have a terrible time walking in them, although there is that. They are very hard to walk in. It’s not even that in heels I go from already too tall to a freakishly large person, although I don’t like that either. It’s the audacity. There’s no reason to wear shoes like that unless you want to look pretty and get attention, and what could be more humiliating than advertising that truth. You flip the “yes, we’re open” sign over and maybe they won’t want what you’re selling. I mean, fuck.

I got the idea that I was going to buy some heels at the Goodwill and wear them when I went to Tacoma to meet my new gentleman friend (whose name, by the way, is Philip). I wear a size 11. You can find a lot of sensible loafers in that size, but not as many of the super hot shoes (Plus, I think in Capitol Hill I’m competing with the men. Which is fine.) I found a pair of patent red pumps with an open toe and 2-inch heel. They had the kind of heel that get stuck in soft grass and look good pressed against your lover’s chest. I took off my boots and tried the shoes on my bare feet. I wore the heels and carried my boots, and it seemed okay. I heard them click on the linoleum, and I thought, I can do this. I can wear these shoes in public.

I put on a push up bra and a five dollar black cotton dress with the plunging neckline. Showing my tits embarrasses me a little but not as much as the shoe thing. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I can’t trip over my tits. All of my shit’s in boxes so I couldn’t find my fishnets. I had to wear the sheer black pantyhose and that wasn’t as good, it sort of ruined the whole look and I felt bad about myself. I have some makeup, but not really. All I could find was a maroon tube of lipstick that I continually put on my lips, became horrified by and wiped off, again and again. I probably did that five times before I ever left the house and another five more times in the car. I’m beginning to wonder if I don’t have serious mental problems now that I’m well into writing this account, but what’s the use in speculating.

I took off in the red pumps but I grabbed my black zip up boots just in case. I’d have felt unsafe without them, like what if a tiger came out of nowhere and I had to run a distance; you can’t do that in stilts. Alone in the car in the dark, I thought about the shoes and fretted. I projected myself into a high heeled future and all of the terrible things that could go wrong. I imagined rolling my ankle. I pictured the band suddenly stopping the music to look at whoever’s hooves were making such a racket on the dance floor. I imagined being the tallest, heaviest person in the room and how much safer that room would be in black boots compared to red pumps.

The same thing happened in kindergarten on Halloween in 1987. My mom’s boyfriend went to drop me off at school and I was afraid to get out of the car. I’d gone all out with the Witch costume and suddenly panicked I’d be the only one. My mom’s boyfriend got mad at me. He said, “You’re too old to be acting like this,” which, I mean, that’s debatable, but anyway he took me to McDonalds then home and I spent the afternoon watching TV instead. 27 years later and it’s the same fucking story.

At the exit before the venue in Tacoma, I got off the freeway to get gas. The credit card machine was broken, so I had to get out of my car in the heels and walk to the armored booth. There was one other car in the parking lot, and of course that other car was surrounded by three young men who very obviously watched me walk from the car to the booth, because this is my dream, right?

When I got out of the car, I realized that walking in the pumps with the stockings on was infinitely more difficult than it had been in the store. My feet were slippery, and with every step, my heel slipped out of the back of the shoe. I had to walk deliberately and clench my toes. It couldn’t have looked good.

Ladies, I don’t understand. I don’t know how you do it, and I don’t know why I can’t figure it out.

The gas station attendant turned out to be a 60-something butch with a silver crew cut. I bought the gas, plus cigarettes, because I don’t know why, I like to smoke when I’m nervous. She asked to see my ID, which I thought was a little absurd. I was thinking about all this as I walked back to the car: the shoes, the lipstick, the men huddled around their car watching me—and just then the woman came out from behind the booth and called out to me an ominous warning. She said: “Hey! Be careful out there.”

Who knows what she meant. If I was in a rough part of town I didn’t know it, and anyway, I’m from Detroit, there isn’t a city block in Washington that scares me. I can only conclude she meant, “Be careful out there. You’ve got stilts on. You’re an embarrassment to honest dykes like me the world over. You’re a sitting duck.”

The men watched me the entire time I got in my car. They didn’t call out or snicker to each other, they just watched, as was their right, because my sign said “open.” I quickly concluded there wasn’t a chance in hell I was wearing those red heels into the bar.

I’m glad it happened because I learned something new and important about life that night. I used to think that girls who got all gussied up were compensating for a greater weakness inside of themselves, but now I think I’m wrong. In fact, a girl in heels is the bravest. And in this specific way, I realized that I am not brave. I couldn’t even hang with the lipstick; I wiped it off on my sleeve a final time on my way up to the door.

Here’s what happened when I got inside: First of all, why was I worried the other girls were going to be hotter and better at wearing clothes than me? I was at a shitty rockabilly concert in Tacoma. The aesthetic for that crowd is 1950s pin up, but chubby. Almost every single girl on the dance floor had coiffed hair, a shit load of makeup, deliberate outfits and high heeled shoes. I could see every one of them in the mirror beforehand getting ready, and in them it didn’t seem like anything to be ashamed of. They seemed like nice, happy girls. Why I can’t cut myself the same break, I don’t know.

Philip had on an oil stained t-shirt and squinty eyes from drinking. He looked happy and uncomplicated. He whispered in my ear,  “You look phenomenal.” Isn’t that nice? What am I going to do with a man so nice. Later on I said to him, apropos of nothing, “I don’t like horses.” He looked glumly at the ground and said, “My name means ‘lover of horses.’” It was too bad. I wish I could go back and say the opposite, because really my feelings on horses is mixed. Instead I shoved his face in my tits to show him once and for all how not shy I am.

05/2/14

may day.

What is this shit. This shit has cobwebs all over it. This shit is a clipper ship filled with plague rats adrift in an ocean that never happened. Here’s a sample of my thoughts and feelings since February.

A Witch

I was walking down a residential street in Queen Anne trying to cast a pretty spell on myself. To cast a pretty spell, you just imagine a big salt shaker full of sparkling pretty suspended over your head, shaking down on you. A moment later, I saw a man up ahead skulking around in someone else’s bushes. He pulled a glass bulb out of the ground, the kind they sell on TV that water plants. When I walked by he tried to hand the bulb to me, like a bouquet of goddamn flowers. In what I hope was a kind voice, I said, “Put that back. It doesn’t belong to you.” He said, “Okay,” and stuck it right back in the ground where he got it, then we walked off in opposite directions. Now try to tell me that I’m not a witch and magic isn’t a fine, black art.

A Series of Sports-Related Injuries 

I keep getting hurt. First I skinned my knee pretty badly on the wet moss on the sidewalk trying to walk a blonde tank of a dog named Baxter. The fall ripped my flesh open and made my jeans look cool.

knee

Next, I burned the top of my hand on the broiler trying to make waffles. That’s not a cool story but the wound hurt. I ate 20 magic gummy bears and lost about six hours to the creepy void dealing with that one.

hand

At the Mastodon concert I got my hand stomped on, a lot of bruises on my arms and legs, and a big ugly shiner on my left eye. My friend was like, “I bet somebody punched you on purpose.” But I don’t think a fellow fan would straight up cold clock a girl in the face and then retreat into the shadows, I mean, I’m actually a very nice person.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 12.58.49 PM

A security guard on the light rail said to me, “Who did this to you?” and then, “I hope you really fucked up the person who did this to you.” But I had forgotten about the eye and didn’t know what he was talking about. I thought he must be referencing my ruined life. I said, “No. I don’t know. I did it to myself.” and he said, “You did it to yourself?!” Then I finally caught on. I said, “No, my boyfriend did it to me,” because I thought he was hitting on me and I panicked, but then that was weird and it became this whole conversation I had to stand there untangling for what seemed like hours.

I know not a lot about metal music. I mean, I’ve been listening to it for years but have failed to develop a discerning ear. I go to metal shows because I like banging into a bunch of sweaty, bearded dudes. I can’t think of anything more fun or erotic. I don’t know why everybody isn’t lining up to do it every minute. Afterwards the men are like, “The first band sucked. The second one was better.” And I’m thinking, “Both bands sounded exactly the same to me, want to fuck?” The point is, we all have different gifts. Some girls can buy pants and shoes in normal sized stores, and I’m a meaty, 6 ft tall girl with a sturdy base conducive for organized violence, everybody wins.

Your Feng Shui is fucked, brah 

Slowly, I’ve come to know my tiny, weirdly-shaped studio apartment as a prison . The blinds are cheap and dirty and they remind me of broken teeth. I’m worried they’re facing the wrong way and people will look inside and see me eating pasta out of the pot while sitting on my bed which is, let’s face it, a mattress on the floor next to the refrigerator. You could say without lying that everything in my apartment is next to the refrigerator. My shower stall looks like a place made for hosing off meek rape victims, and the water doesn’t get any warmer than luke. We call it the “freddy kreuger shower” or the “jeffrey dahmer shower” or the “david lynch shower” or the “holocaust shower” and every one of them applies.

photo 2 (1)

You can’t have the foot of the bed facing the direction of the front door, lest your spirit crawl through the bottom of your feet and out of the room. You’ve got to have two nightstands on either side of the bed if you want to have a boyfriend, but all that furniture contradicts other basic feng shui principles, like, “don’t have a shitload of furniture in your apartment.” Any guest of mine can just set their beer on the carpet next to the bed and if it spills it spills. I’m not trying to live a fear based life, are you?

I found a paper skeleton in a box on the side of the road. This is my lucky day, I thought, and I taped the skeleton to the outside of my door. The skeleton waves at the other tenants on their way to the laundry room and it makes them wonder what great person lives inside.

photo 1 (1)

Helloo!

My pet sitting clients, without exception, live more comfortable lives than I do. Everybody wants to get a lot of money in this life because otherwise you have to be uncomfortable and cramped and it’s hard to keep things clean. The size of my apartment is a problem. All my stuff piles on top of me like an avalanche. I feel like Woman in the Dunes (a film about a couple in Japan who have to dig their home out of sand every night for reasons I can’t remember) except I’m digging myself out of clothes and books and garbage. With money you can make more space in between things. You can sit in a chair in a room without the chair touching anything else, and once a week the women come along and clean off all your surfaces. You can take off your shoes, feel the plush carpet under your manicured feet and know that you’ve made a comfortable life for yourself. The contrast between decadence and squalor began to gnaw at me, like life was taking me and dunking me in and out of hot and cold water to cure my schizophrenia. I started to lose my mind. So.

Long story short, I gave up my apartment, quit my dog walking job, and now I’m staying with a maritime engineer in his house in Seatac, Washington by the airport. I haven’t told my mom yet. Don’t tell my mom yet. I’m going to call her soon.

Date Night resumed 

There was no reason to be hung up on the mathematician. This was a man so committed to living in the present moment, he wouldn’t so much as quicken his gait to catch a bus. His wardrobe is gray, gray, gray. I don’t think that man told one good joke the whole time we were dating. Fuck that guy.

I picked up again with an old boyfriend, the first guy I dated when I came to Seattle but this time we’re “poly,” which means he has two girlfriends and I just wander the landscape like that bird who fell out of the tree looking for dicks to land on and then marry. Last month he went on a trip, and I said, “how are you getting home from the airport?” He was like, “The other woman is picking me up.” I sold my car, I can’t pick anybody up from the airport, but I became insanely jealous anyway. That’s the kind of unexpected shit that pops up with non-monogamy. Your boyfriend’s other girlfriend picks him up from the airport and suddenly you’re like, Fuck this polyamory, what is this shit, I’m putting my head in the oven. But then you’re just like whatever and you feel hungry again.

He brought me home a plain blue shirt made of soft material that I hope isn’t cashmere but might be. He said, “I thought about buying you a pretty floral scarf but concluded that the present I picked out for you instead was much more indicative of your personality.” (I’m paraphrasing; he talks like a normal person.) “You would never wear a pretty floral thing,” he added. Now, I can’t even count the times that I have self consciously paraded around this man in one of the many, print floral dresses I own in an attempt to get him to regard me as a feminine person, but never mind. The truth is, he was right about me and in the end I think it was a very nice thing. Accessories are confusing. I can’t wrap my head around a scarf.

I’ve evened the score, everybody. My new Seatac boyfriend wears coveralls on the daily and has a million rusted out cars in his backyard. He’s not on Facebook, can you imagine? I was like, “What are your favorite books about the sea?” and he said, “I don’t really read.” Sometimes I do things and he says “You’re being a total Taurus right now.” I like that a lot! We’re nice to each other for now, but I’ve been tricked before. Now I’m just waiting for that inevitable moment in our future when we tear each other’s hearts out and eat them savagely, in the dirt, like wolves.

This post is private, don’t read it.

02/27/14

the depressed person’s guide to Seattle AWP 2014.

Interspersed among the misanthropy are a few genuine tips but it takes a special person  to tell one from the other. Are you a special person? I love you.

1. The Space Needle

There’s no point in riding the elevator up to the top of the space needle, what are you, a child? Firstly it costs like 30 dollars. To go up an elevator in a building. Have you never seen a skyline? It’s gray and terrible and seagulls circle below for scraps. Think if things were different. In the next life, you could be the scraps. Also parking is shitty there and all over the city and it’s two busses from the convention center, why do anything ever.

But seriously, if you insist on a goddamn view I hear the Columbia City Tower at 701 5th Ave #4000, Seattle, WA 98104 is taller and cheaper.

2. Street Persons

A guide to the variety of street persons you will meet include, but are not limited to:

  • The working hobos sell “Real Change” newspapers for 2 dollars. It’s a legit newspaper that you’re never going to read, but don’t be a prick, buy at least one Real Change. Use the Real Change to line the walls of your self created prison of despair or to wrap up fish at Pike’s Place Market or some quaint shit like that, I don’t care.
  • The environmentalists with clipboards are very upsetting. They’re the most annoying people in the world and they know it. Do you think your tax deductible donation is going to save the polar bears or your immortal soul? Look out the window for hope and you’ll find none. It’s no wonder we’ve been driven to this state. The sickly sadness inside of all of us is more easily explained by every wilted revelation.
  • There’s a guy on the street wearing an adorable plush purple dinosaur hat who every day holds up a sign saying “I Need a Fat Bitch.” I pride myself on understanding people but I can’t unwrap this guy’s motivation. No one gives him any money. He’s the least charismatic street person I’ve ever met, and I’ve met men with no jaws. What does he need the fat bitch for? His dogged commitment to the cause at once perplexes and devastates me.
  • Me and my dogs. I’ll be hitting the streets on Thursday and Friday during the day, tweet me @mollyl !

3. The Seattle Seahawks

Think of the gall of these people. Not only do we break records in making loud noises, we’ve declared ourselves the 12th member of the team. I think half the people in this coffee shop are expecting to receive their SuperBowl ring in the mail. Any day now. Guess what, Seattle. If you don’t know how to play football you’re not on the fucking team. Nobody looks good in a football jersey and there’s no God.

4. The Seattle Freeze

People here are so stuck up and unfriendly they had to come up with a name for it. I like it. I’m glad.

5. Land and Water Duck Tour

This looks like a lot of fun. It costs about 40 bucks to take a tour of the city in a white car that is also a boat. I’ve never seen where the boat goes into the water. That would be fun to know. How many people drown in the Puget Sound every year and what can we do to increase those numbers? Sometimes when I’m walking the dogs, the boat cars drive by and I really want to wave at them, but then I’m afraid somehow the wave will reveal how black my heart is. Win a date with me on the Land and Water Duck Tour! The entry fee is the cost of my ticket and everyone who enters wins.

[number 6 edited for getting a job purposes, I bet you fucking wish you knew what it said now!]

7. Starbucks

HI WELCOME TO STARBUCKS WHAT CAN I GET STARTED FOR YOU. I don’t know what they’re like where you live, but every Starbucks employee in this city is the last cylon.

8. The bus

All the busses that run through the stop just outside the convention center will get you to Capitol Hill, where I live in squalor in a tiny studio apartment. My refrigerator is in my living room which is also my bedroom. After reading that sentence I encourage you to look at your own life and all the choices you’ve made that have led you to this pitiful moment. In Capitol Hill you will find that hot gay men are the new hot girl. These hot gay men pride themselves on sneering at my outfit and providing terrible customer service. Welcome to my neighborhood! I am invisible here and so are you.

The 49 and 43 go to the U District. If you need to go North to Ballard, Fremont, Northgate, etc. there’s a bus depot a block over. Use the One Bus Away app to find the bus times. It costs 2.25 or 2.50 depending on the day. Bus drivers are the kindest people in the city, unless you’re unlucky and draw a moody one.

9. Our many, many neighborhoods

The people who live here always talk about how each neighborhood has its own unique culture and flavor but all I see are murky tones of pain, pain, pain.

10. Ludi’s Restaurant

My gift to you. The best place for shitty, greasy food to match your shitty, greasy disposition can be found at 2nd and Pike. Also they sell crack and black tar heroin just outside the doors, but be careful. You buy crack one time and you’re on their mailing list forever; it’s a total pyramid scheme. Do you want to eat someplace nice? Go fuck yourself, you don’t need me. Use Yelp, you yuppy fuck.

Sorry to end on such a sour note. It’s not you, it’s me. I love you!

 

02/11/14

The only ‘top 10 films of 2013′ list ever written.

10. Room 237

This is a good movie to fall asleep to if you want your dreams invaded by raving lunatics who’ve gotten their brains on esoteric bordering on conspiracy film theory. The Shining is my all time favorite horror film, and this documentary featuring multiple bizarre and supernatural interpretations from real live humans is scarier than the original. I liked this netflix documentary more than Gravity, that’s what kind of an asshole I am. 

What?

What?

9. This is the End 

At one point, a man’s head comes off his body and the camera switches to the severed head’s point of view as the boys in the film who are playing themselves kick the head around on the floor. And then they go to Heaven and everybody sings “Backstreet’s back!” which is a pretty good song but not great. This film’s major influences likely include but are not limited to: Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, The Seventh Seal, The Craft, George Washington and the TV series Quantum Leap.

I want to fuck all these guys.

I want to fuck all these guys.

8. Upstream Color 

This movie makes no sense. It acts foreign but it was made by the guy who made Primer, a film I plan on getting around to watching sometime soon. People are very affectionate with pigs in this film and thats a thing I like to see. Every night we as humans are afraid of worms crawling in our ears that make us do terrible things, and yet nobody talks about it. This is an important film visually as well as socially and politically, as it raises awareness about worms crawling into our skull and taking over our minds. Now streaming on netflix; somebody pay me for these hyperlinks.

upstream-color-2-580

my vision board.

7. Before Midnight 

I don’t like it when Jesse and Celine fight. If you can’t be happy in Europe with your beautiful children and novelist husband than there is no such thing as happy. Any future joy ahead of us will come in a series of fleeting moments, like the way it is now, like we’ve always suspected, and I still cannot believe that bitch said she didn’t love him anymore.

Life sucks.

Life is awful!

6. Blue Jasmine

Here’s some things about this movie nobody ever talks about. 1. Alec Baldwin’s character struck me as nice and easy to get along with. He really is in love with the French au pair and probably believes it’s okay to steal money from people because life is a game and having a lot of money is how you know you’ve played the game well. What does this say about you? Are you nice? 2. All the scenes taking place in the dentist office are poorly written and unfunny. 3. What happens to Jasmine at the end? I think prescription drugs turns into heroin and she’s dead in six months but look at me with my head in the clouds.

Her clothes cost more than my face.

If you have a problem with me putting a Woody Allen film on this list I’d be more than happy to not talk about it!

5. Dallas Buyer’s Club

People become unraveled by death and I don’t like to see that happen. It reminds me that I’ll die someday, and if it’s not something unexpected like an anvil from the sky or a sudden elevator shaft, then I might have an inkling it’s coming for me. I might get very anxious and start juicing vegetables for some reason other than trying to make my skin glow so my ex boyfriend will like me, and I don’t like thinking about that feeling. This movie would have been a lot more earth shattering if it had come out in 2002 or something. I remember in 1999 when I was a junior in high school a woman came to our school and gave a lecture on HIV. Afterward I went up to her and shook her hand and asked her if I could get AIDS from my tongue piercing. I knew that was a stupid question but really I just wanted to touch someone who had AIDS. I had this thought that it might be my only chance, and so far (as far as I know) I was right. Is that fucked up? I don’t know.

Jared Leto's steller performance = proof that acting must not be that hard.

Jared Leto’s stellar performance = proof that acting must not be that hard.

4. 12 Years a Slave 

Forget about the social and historical relevance or whatever. Now that it’s been a few months since I’ve seen it, I think about the way the cotton looked against the sky, the weird soundtrack and that fucking snow globe hurling through the air at the pretty slave’s head, holy fuck slavery was awful. Also, did you see the fun movie game I made up for Unstuck magazine, GOD or NO GOD?

cheer up everyone.

Just nine more years buddy.

3. The Wolf of Wall Street

This movie’s only controversial if you believe the film glorifies and celebrates the lead characters, which it doesn’t, so calm the fuck down. It’s not 12 Years A Slave for chrissake, it’s not going to beat you over the head with its thesis. Look at the face of the woman who’s having her hair cut off at that Charles Foster Kane like party. That’s where you’ll find the morality. Contrast Wolf with something like the Goodfellas rip-off Blow from 2002. Now, that’s a movie that celebrates a guy who profited off of millions of people’s drug addictions and misery and never ever once felt bad about it, and never once did the movie invite us to feel bad about it either. The fact that people have misunderstood Wolf isn’t the movies fault. Who didn’t know before today that people aren’t smart? Leonardo DiCaprio is a crush gone rogue, I want to lick him.

I didn't realize men could be so into their wives but look at this.

I didn’t realize men could be so into their wives but look at this.

2. Her

I knew I was dating my computer before I saw Her, but now I really know. I’m in a relationship with all 786 of my twitter followers, so long as we’re including parody accounts, literary journals and local chiropractors, which we are. I feel as though movies are unpacking the truth of existence at a quicker pace than the average man on the street, which could lead to breakdowns later but there’s no point in dreading a future we can’t know about, is there? Did you know that no one ever really loved anyone else? That we’re nothing but slaves to our piddly sensations and even these are fleeting and without a master? I don’t act like I know it, but I know it. Parades are in order for this, the best mainstream film of the year, with its pink sadness and creepy wisdom on the nature of relationships and what they do to us.

her-film-02

In the future writers live in nice apartments.

1. The Act of Killing

I can’t pretend I didn’t see this documentary just because my brain doesn’t know what to do with Indonesian women dancing outside the gaping mouth of a wooden, house-sized bass. Werner Herzog said that after watching 8 minutes of Josh Oppenheimer’s footage, he knew he’d seen something extraordinary, and he and Errol Morris signed on as executive producers, a fancy term for $ $ $ and getting shit done. The film stars men who are making their own movie about their personal role in killing more than a million communists 40 years earlier under a tyrannical government regime. They’re proud and gleeful about what they’ve done and it makes you think, “Wait, I thought I knew what it meant to be a human, this is confusing.” In vipassana meditation, you sit still for days at a time waiting around for unpleasant sensations to come bubbling up to the surface. They’re called sankaras, and it’s weird! That time you lied to your friend in high school and didn’t feel bad about it shows up 15 years later in the shape of a scratch on your nose.  Think of the sankaras coursing through your veins after killing thousands of people with blunt tools and wire. In The Act of Killing I liked when the kids wouldn’t stop crying after they said ‘cut’ and the way the lead character couldn’t stop dry heaving when the cameras followed him back to the death pit. I mean, not “like.” You know what I mean.

hilarious

Hilarious! Wait no, a different feeling.

Honorable mentions: Gravity, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Frances Ha, August: Osage County, Out of the Furnace 

Special Jury Prize for a movie that technically came out in 2012 but otherwise probably would have been 4 or 5 on my list: The Place Beyond the Pines 

Terrible films that I moderately enjoyed anyway: The Counselor, After Earth, Elysium 

Top 5 worst films of 2013 I happened to see: Movie 43, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Secret Life of Walter MittyKerouacThe Company You Keep   

Don’t think I didn’t see these films, I just didn’t like them: Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Blue is the Warmest Color 

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY LIST? 

12/30/13

date night: permanently cancelled.

That blood you’re looking at is my ex boyfriend’s blood. I didn’t want to break up. I wanted us to get married and have babies. The grief is terrible. I feel like I’ll never get over it, but I’m sure that’s wrong. He says things to me like, “You’re a beautiful person who will positively impact the world,” and “Get out! [of my apartment.]” He thinks that I’m too negative and I make myself miserable, but. I mean. Look how painful life is. I know not seems, madam, nay, it is!

This grief has followed me around for weeks now. There’s nothing to do really but wait it out. I tried going on a couple of dates, but the men don’t move me, and the idea of sex with some non mathematician makes my stomach turn. I went out with one guy who immediately said to me, “You seem awkward and uncomfortable.” I was actually totally relaxed, fuck that guy. He asked me how attracted to him I was on a scale of 1 to 10, and I said “6.” He screamed back, “6!” and I changed it to 5. He pounded his fists on the bar and yelled louder, “5?!” I fucking hate extroverts. And anyway, I explained to him that if 1 is “you are a dirty shoe” and 10 is “you’re jennifer lawrence covered in glitter,” then 5 is pretty good. But he didn’t listen.

These men, what were they raised in a barn? I’ll go on a date with a man and he won’t ask me a question the entire time. They just fan out their peacock feathers as if I give a fuck, it’s maddening. And all the while, they’re on a date with Molly Fucking Laich. They all act like they’re smarter than me, because why, they’re a man and I’m a woman? I’m beginning to see just how pervasive and under the surface misogyny really is. The only thing worse than a misogynistic man is an overly feminist one, but that’s a topic for another time.

Another guy spit in my drink once. I think he thought he was Charles Bukowski and that he was the only one on the date who knew anything about writing or the human condition. I told him I had an MFA and he informed me I was a privileged asshole. I actually worked really hard as an undergrad and won a full fellowship, but that’s fine, sometimes its easier to just not correct people. He spit in my drink and then looked at me like, “Eh? What did you think of that? Here’s what I think of women.” Honestly, I’m grateful that happened because it’s such a fun thing to tell people. Everyone is horrified, and they all say, “I hope you didn’t go home with him afterward.” I have two different versions of the ending of this date story and you don’t get to hear either.

The next morning I ran into mormon missionaries on the street. They sang a hymn to me and prayed that I would find a good apartment. I did, but of course it’s impossible to say whether or not the prayer had anything to do with it. I looked on craiglist; it didn’t fall from the sky. But yes, I am aware the lord works in mysterious ways and those mysterious ways might certainly include craigslist.

The last date didn’t have a prayer, poor thing. I haven’t shaved my legs in three months and I wore a sports bra under my extra large guns n roses t-shirt, what does that tell you. He was good looking and normal, but a little bigger so I think he showed up to the date feeling bad about himself. Man, I feel sorry for anyone on a date who gives a shit about the outcome, what a miserable position to be in. This guy didn’t ask me a lot of questions either, but I think it was more out of social clumsiness than anything. He’s the designer of a super nerdy, cult video game. He’s got his own wikipedia page and everything; it’s genuinely impressive. I talked to him about video games for most of the date, which in retrospect was pretty unfair. Afterward he texted that okcupid had picked the perfect girl for him. It’s not even close to true. I was only talking about video games with him to get him to like me. It’s just a parlor trick I learned hanging out with gamers for most of my 20s. I know all the words and it drives the men wild. But there’s no way I’m going to keep that up for the next 30 years, please.

These men don’t know my last name and none of you better tell them. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. Daniel never read my blog once because he was a shitty boyfriend. I told him that my online persona is different from me in real life, which isn’t actually true, I just wanted to trick him so he’d love me. Here’s a glimpse of his aesthetic preferences as contrasted with mine: He likes to post pictures of geometric shapes on facebook, hashtag godseye. He thinks The Number 23 is a really good movie. I know, right? I would pay 1 million dollars to make him love me again. I’d sell my hair and get a second job. It’s like In High Fidelity when John Cusack screams up to Catherine Zeta-Jones’ window: “You fucking bitch, let’s work it out!” Daniel doesn’t like Peter Gabriel. If I were going to stand outside of his apartment holding up a boombox it would have to be some ambient techno track.

Fuck. Fuck fuck. My fucking life. Fuck. I probably shouldn’t post this, but if you’re reading it, I did.

With a sinking heart I have to admit that I’m not ready for a relationship. There’s something about me + another person that starts to eat away at my core until there’s nothing left but a fat person who doesn’t write stories anymore. I get lazy and unambitious. I’ll do anything for them. I like them best when they don’t like me. Tale as old as time. It’s a truly depressing illness with no cure, this aching for another. The only solution I can think of is exercise and green smoothies. Eye of the fucking tiger; I’ll get on that real soon here.

I was going to apologize for all the dreary, personal posts of late, but then I remembered, fuck you, this is my website. You read this far of your own accord and I’m really grateful! But I have lots of ideas for the future with more universal appeal. You will like them and then you will like me and this will make me feel better for a second until I remember some new bad thing, rinse, repeat.

12/12/13

a day in the life part million.

Before we begin: Does the new theme decoration make you nauseous? Perhaps I’ll have changed it before you read this, but right now know that the background is bright red slabs of meat with a real life bloody bathroom scene as the header photo. I can explain: I don’t have photoshop installed to tone down the reds. If anybody wants to help me design something prettier, by all means, come at me.

Never mind this crippling fear of the blank page followed by an avalanche of projections into a bleak and unrealized future. I went to bed with this “never mind” in mind and tried to wake up in the morning still thinking it, but the mind wanders. I had three dogs to walk today. I said to myself, unconvincingly, “I choose to be a dog walker!” This is one of the new head tricks I’ve learned, in a nutshell: Act like your life isn’t horrible.

There’s a coffee shop about a block from my new studio in capitol hill. I don’t like it because the drip doesn’t taste good and you can’t get anything bigger than 12 oz (classic joke: The food is terrible, and such small portions!) but it’s on the way to the bus and I’m trying to be a good sport.

Inside the soundtrack featured christmas music sung by harmonizing black voices, and I was listening to the music while staring at the girl’s hair in front of me. She had hair that looks like she tousled it in the morning on purpose, like if you snapped a picture of Kate Moss when she first stepped out of bed and she still looked good.

The girl with the hair said, “Is this Beyonce?” and the man behind the counter with the skinny tshirt, beard and glasses confirmed, “It’s Destiny’s Child.”

It was just as I suspected, and in my sudden commitment to be vulnerable and genuine with the people around me, I said to everyone, “I was really enjoying the music, and it caused me to confront my true self and my previous beliefs about the entire holiday season and the meaning of Christmas.” I pointed to my heart while saying this.

The man behind the counter corrected me: “It’s pretty horrible.”

The other guy handed me my shitty 12 ounces of coffee and said, “Yeah, it’s bad.”

Let me just reaffirm once more that the music was gorgeous, I mean empirically, you’d have to be some kind of monster. I thought, “Am I on candid camera?”

Out loud I said, “Then why are you playing it?” but no one heard me.

The girl with the tousled hair agreed with the coffee workers that the soulful, joyous rendition of “here come the bells” was terrible. “I like the RUN DMC Christmas album,” she said, and followed that with, “Are you playing this on vinyl?”

It didn’t seem like she was kidding, but how can that be? They said: “No, compact disc,” and the three of them talked about vinyl right up to the moment I walked out the door.

That’s actually what unfolded during my first attempt at openness with people in my neighborhood. I’m like a raccoon who climbs out of his hole at the first thaw with a longing for spring only to immediately get hit by a truck.

On the way to the bus downtown I thought to myself, “I need to start saving my money so I can go on vacations, have experiences and meet new people.” Shortly after on the sidewalk I ran into a panhandler for probably the third or fourth time, but she tends to only remember me if I’ve got a dog in tow. She’s a tiny, pretty thing, and she’s always nice and I always give her money. She said she needed four more dollars to get a subway sandwich, and I handed her five dollars out of my empty dreams fund.

She said thank you and told me I was tall. Being told I’m tall usually feels like a pin in my belly but I’m starting to recognize that people think they’re giving me something nice when they say this. They think they’re complimenting me, so with this new information I have to sort of pull out the pin and clean off the blood.

The odds suggest the girl is a drug addict, which is fine. I am happy to give her five dollars for whatever is going to make her feel good. What I find is that I’m craving to know her better. What kind of drugs? How did she get into them? Will she ever change or will she die on the streets? I know that she’s special. I’d like to follow her back to wherever she goes at night and crawl into the sleeping bag next to her, but I hold back! This is why I’ll never be a crack addict; I’m too shy.

You’re reading the words of a girl who’s interested in change and right action. I joined a cult recently. I hope it helps. It’s not my first choice for a cult because I think it’s a little corporate-y, and they’re super aggressive about trying to turn me into a little soldier who recruits other members, but overall I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor, at the moment. Think of the kind of compassionate capitalists with glazed over eyes you see in the crowd of a Ted Talks video, these dolts who have just discovered for the first time the value of mindfulness, and that’s the kind of peeps my new cult is largely made up of. I think I’ve got something to learn from these people. If you think I’m selling out, well. The girl from two weeks ago who didn’t join this cult hasn’t finished a story in over a year and a half, so what the heck. Let’s see if this helps.

I’m single again. Lost another one to God, what else is new. Going to Detroit this weekend. I tried to go to the post office but the line was too long and I couldn’t understand how to buy stamps out of the self service machine. That’s a true story. If you’re still waiting on a free letter, what can I say? LoL. Keep waiting. 

11/19/13

interview with famed author j. robert lennon about his book Happyland.

In 2003, my friend John wrote a book about a maniacal doll tycoon named Happy. It was a good book, but some people got mad about it, and the book stayed unpublished until now. You can read a description of Happyland here on good reads. (Be my friend if you want, I just joined!) I emailed John some questions and he answered them.

1. In the novel, Happy Masters visits a tiny fictional town in New York. She decides to build a kind of living dollhouse/tourist attraction out of the place, thus effecting the lives of many of the shop owners who live there. I liked especially Dave the on-the-wagon bartender and Janet the lesbian college student in love with Happy. It’s quite a thing to encapsulate a whole town in a book. I wondered if it took courage, if it was ever too hard and you wanted to give up. Is it an especially long book? I wasn’t sure because I read it on kindle. (Most cursory of research after the fact reveals the book to be approx. 325 pages.) The scope reminds me of Preston Falls by Richard Russo and maybe some other books as well. What were you reading and thinking of at the time you were writing this epic saga and just who do you think you are in general.

I’m your worst nightmare, missy, that’s who I am. Seriously though—I think this is a little longer than the novels I’ve been writing lately, but I must say that it was incredibly fun to write. I’d set out to intentionally create a set of extreme personalities and stage a bunch of over-the-top drama for them to suffer through. I think the problem with trying to evoke an entire town in a novel is to make it seem populated by more than the people and things that are the focus of the story—to give the place an overall personality above and beyond your immediate literary concerns, and without cluttering the whole thing up. The first draft was extremely different—it had an art professor, and The Oldest Man In The State Of New York, and a ghost, and a little crowd of precocious children, and no real narrative drive. I’d just been amusing myself, really, in the hope that a novel would emerge. It didn’t, not right away. For the next draft, I basically kept the first 20 pages and started over, and the result is more or less what was published.

2. More about the characters. Did you have some kind of model in mind when figuring out the combination of personalities? For example, it seems to me that Kevin is a classic “chaotic neutral” if you’re into Dungeons and Dragons. I think I read you say somewhere that the ineffectual apple orchard keeper/mayor is akin to Colin Powell.

The characters aren’t strictly allegorical, though I did think of Happy as an expression of Karl Rove’s politics, and yeah, Archie as Colin Powell, the man doomed to commit sin after sin of omission. Mostly, though, the characters grew out of the other characters. What kind of person would Happy really hate? An old-school feminist like the librarian. What kind of man could Happy humiliate? A sexually insecure bundle of nerves like the college president. Who would worship and desire Happy? Someone shy and malleable, like Janet. Once I had the major players I could invent secondary characters designed to vex, tempt, or otherwise ruffle them. And yes, I am into Dungeons and Dragons.

 

3. I don’t want to give too much away, but do you think any of these characters found redemption? Is Happy Masters a better person by the end or has she just learned how to be more cunning?

I wasn’t really aiming for redemption—I think everyone stays more or less who they were at the beginning of the book. Except for Janet, I guess—Janet is the character who finds herself, or invents herself, or at least appears to have done so in the coda. I didn’t have any real goals for this novel other than to wind up these people and watch them bumble around. It was a challenge to tease a plot out of it all!

Time out for a personal anecdote about me as it relates to the American Girls dolls:

When I was a kid my grandmother gifted me the Molly book series, for obvious reasons. Like me, Molly was in the third grade, but in 1942 with a father away at war. She had stringy blonde hair in braids and glasses, and worst of all, a neurosis to match my own and I didn’t like that. I didn’t know I was cheated out of a doll until a girl in our class brought in her Samantha doll for show and tell. She asked the class to note how much her and Samantha looked alike and it’s true, they were both very pretty. For three years I needed glasses and pretended I didn’t because I didn’t want to be a nerd like Molly.

nerd.

nerd.

great beauty.

great beauty.

4. Which character do you feel most closely aligned with? Whose story do you think this is? Which of these characters are you most romantically interested in if you liked girls? If you liked guys?

That’s a thoroughly bizarre question, the sexy part anyway. I’m most aligned with Happy, of course—I’m the guy pulling the strings! She’s playing the role of a villain, of course, but I find her pretty sympathetic, ultimately. She is just completely impatient with anyone or anything getting in the way of what she wants, and this is an impulse I am always tamping down in my own personality. I mean, there’s a Happy in me always fighting for dominance. She usually loses, but she’s in there. As for romance…is it narcissistic to love one’s own characters? I guess it is. That said, Happy and Janet could be said to represent extremes of the two types of women I’ve tended to date—brash, socially confident self-actualizers and demure aesthetes with hidden strengths. I married a Janet, ultimately, but count a few Happys among my best friends.

Interviewers note: Kevin and Dave are the sexiest men characters in this book because they work with their hands and/or own a bar. 

5. Did you feel hopeless and upset when you couldn’t get your book published back when you first wrote it, or did you have a system in place for dealing with crippling rejection and disappointment? When do we let go and put our precious in a drawer?

I’ve got some novels in drawers, for sure, but they aren’t very precious. This was different—a book everyone agreed was worth publishing, but couldn’t be published because of obscure and unreasonable fears. I was enraged at the time, of course—I ground my teeth at night and cursed the day various people were born. But the experience has taught me to detach myself from others’ regard and accept rejection and disappointment as the norm. Every writer has to eventually, even, I’d imagine, the wildly successful ones.

6. Have you ever tried to write a screenplay? Should I?

The screenwriter Michael Caleo and I have written a TV pilot and we’re gonna try to get a series made. Fingers crossed!

7. What question do you wish people would ask you about the book and what’s your answer to this question?

Q: Are you going to do ensemble social comedy again? A: Yes!

8. Seen any good movies this year? Books?

I haven’t been to many movies, oddly. Breaking Bad was the best piece of filmed entertainment I saw this year—I think Walt and Jesse are extraordinary characters, legendary ones, even. The writing on that show was amazing. And maybe I’m just thinking visually this year, but lots of my favorite books were comics—Anders Nilsen’s BIG QUESTIONS and Adam Hines’s DUNCAN THE WONDER DOG are standouts. I also loved a couple of new poetry collections by my friends Ed Skoog (ROUGH DAY) and Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers (CHORD BOX). 

9. I need you to speak to me now like a sage and an elder. I want to start a book and finish it in a relatively quick amount a time. I’m a full time dog walker, but the grind isn’t so bad. I have a fair amount of free time. What’s a reasonable goal for getting a first draft done? Is that an insane way to look at it? I feel that I need a plan and a goal.

No system is insane, however artificial it may seen. Whatever gets the shit done. Before I taught full time, I could finish a first draft of a novel in nine months—these days it’s more like a year and a half. I tend to do a lot of work in revisions, especially now that I’m older; I’m more willing to ignore what I thought I was trying to write and accept what I discover during the process of failing to write it. When I’m doing a first draft, I try to work on it every day and crank out four or five pages in three or four hours. I just want a pile of pages I can give to people so that they can tell me what’s wrong with them. As for your plan—yes. Set goals. Meet them. Don’t worry if it’s not awesome. It can’t be awesome, it’s a first draft.

 

 

 

10/8/13

oh, shadow!

My body’s been going through some exciting changes. All the walking has made my legs taut and sturdy like trees. At night I go to the gym and hit a bag. I can do one male pushup with confidence, but walking dogs makes me hungry so I still weigh a lot. I look at my body and think, where is all this weight distributed? My tan is fading. Further, I’ve been going to the same gym for three months and I haven’t made a single friend. I don’t think anybody paid my gym fees, so for the last several weeks I’ve just been slinking by the front desk. From this I can conclude that everyone agrees I’m supposed to be there but would rather not talk to me, which is a good position to be in when you haven’t paid your gym fees.

This morning at 7:30 I took Beatrice the bulldog for a walk in the alley behind her dad’s house where we came across a golden, jewel-encrusted turtle sitting on a wet chair. It looked like a trick, it was so perfect. At first I was afraid to touch the turtle because it seemed alive, and then I thought if I picked it up a loud alarm would go off. I decided to leave the turtle for the time being, and if it was there when I came back at 11, I’d take the turtle home and put it under the covers at my new boyfriend’s house so he’d know what I’m like and maybe feel the same way about it as I do. Basically it’s a test that none of us know we’re taking. At this point I’ve put the turtle in my car and the rest of the story hasn’t happened yet.

A few entities have approached me in the last year asking if they can put up advertising on mollylaich.com, mostly for “learn how to write” products since that’s what most of you are into apparently. If there were serious money involved I’d do it—don’t get me wrong—but it’s not serious; it’s like 100 bucks a year if we’re lucky. I was going to say that I’m not going to do it for the principle or whatever but now I’m wondering if it isn’t just laziness. I think it’s funny how the moment you manage to create something remotely interesting, a thing that people want to put their eyes on willingly, somebody else wants to come along and squeeze the blood out of it. It’s like an insect bite. The bug wants to eat you: Be flattered, but strike her dead.

The reality of my situation is creeping up on me, that I only have 729 twitter followers and I might not have the work ethic to make any sort of profound impact on the literary world. I’m coming to terms with my ordinariness, basically. But even as I type it I don’t believe me. I just keep living my life as though it’s about to start to matter as soon as we clear this next big hill. It’s just a series of hills, you guys! It’s like in Homeward Bound when they make it over the first mountain only to see a million more in the distance, and Sassy the cat says, “Oh, Shadow!”

Plus I’m in love with a nice man. How gay is that.

Free letters is still a thing, send me your address! I just sent out a bunch of them. I tried to give everyone a dollar, but toward the end of the pile I ran out of cash, and it’s like, why am I paying you? I don’t have enough turtles to put in everyone’s bed, probably.