The Incredible Journey.

On the other hand, why would anyone willingly move back to a suburb of Detroit, Michigan?

It became clear over time that life in Seattle with my dog had become fodder for an unfortunate narrative. “Well, thank god you have Dorothy,” my mother would say to me through heavy sighs on the telephone. I may not be a smart man, but I know when I’m being patronized.

Three days alone on the road with my dog. We murdered thousands of butterflies against the windshield. At a Motel 6 in Joliet, Illinois, Dorothy and I ate pizza so gross that we both puked on the bed spread, and you know the legend is true that those things never get cleaned.

Homeward Bound.

Homeward Bound.

There was something pretty seriously wrong with me. The fall leaves, everyone said. Look at all the colors. First of all, autumn leaves are at most three to four colors. Secondly, I’ve seen it. More than 30 goddamn times I have seen leaves die and fall off of trees. Why do they call it change when it always happens, answer me that.

My mom didn’t know what to do so she brought me home a fifth of Evan Williams every other day on her way home from work. After a week or so of that I was all, no mother, this place is a health spa and I am the earth’s humble student, so instead she sent me to the quack family doctor to get diet pills and anti depressants.

A lot of little things made me want to leave Seattle. I remember I was at a service counter at a Safeway in White Center. A customer said, “Why do you lock up the little bottles of booze but not the big bottles.” Before the clerk could answer, I said, “Because they’re the easiest to steal.” She said, “That’s exactly right.” We formed a unit in that moment, the three of us, but then I said, “Bob Marley says that locking your doors is like saying you don’t trust people.” Why do I always say this. It makes people uncomfortable. The customer said, “Right. Exactly.” I held the state of Washington responsible for feeling misunderstood in that moment, but that’s not fair. They respond the same way in Michigan. Of course you can’t trust people. There are poor people everywhere.


Then I took this picture of attractive young professionals my age in Queen Anne and that was basically the last straw. I could hear them speaking. The one on the left explained the view to the other two. “This is the space needle,” he said. If you don’t understand why I didn’t want to share a city with these people anymore, I can’t explain it. I am aware now that I may have overreacted.

The pills aren’t working, thanks for asking. They gave me a tricyclic anti-depressant, the old school kind, because it’s also a sedative and I told the doctor I couldn’t sleep. The idea that you go to a doctor and tell her what medicine you want based on what commercials you’ve seen is batshit insane to me, but this is America and this is how we do it. I told her my mom said I should ask her for a pill called “phentermine” that her friend from work said made her skinny, and that was it, she just wrote it down on a pad and said, “Anything else?” Then I got cocky. I was like, throw in a little ambien.
“I can’t prescribe ambien with phentermine,” she said.
“But I need a downer to go with my upper,” I said.
“That’s the exact issue,” she said.

I thought about the scene in The Departed when Madolyn valiantly recovers after Billy Costigan rattles her in their first therapy session. Theirs is the sexiest relationship in all of cinema. She gives him a script for lorazapem, and then she says,  “Have I done my job to your God damn standards? Because according my standards, you fit the model of drug seeking behavior. And too damn bad if you don’t like my initial clinical reaction.” It was a baller thing to say. I feel that I too fit the model of drug seeking behavior. The fact that I really am overweight, suffer from insomnia and exhibit symptoms of severe clinical depression are immaterial against this feeling that I’ve done something wrong.

“You can’t sleep,” she said, and I agreed. Her next question was, “Do you have kids?” I said no, and she prescribed the amitriptyline. What is the relevance of the question about kids (is a question with no answer).

My mother and I went down to Florida to babysit my sister’s six month old. Her name is Veda and I am her aunt. She stared at me for long, perplexed moments. I look like her mother but I am not her mother. Happy, sad and confused seem to be her three primary emotions. In Florida, my dearth of normal human feeling began to gnaw on the people around me. It was getting to Sylvia Plath levels of despair. I may have had three lines of dried red blood on my cheek, for all I know. I was so dead inside I doubt I cast a reflection in a mirror. Not to mention the tiny lizards that scurried under foot with every step on the pavement. I imagined them falling out of the trees and into my hair, or scurrying up my pant leg. I love every animal but a lizard. After Florida, my mother agreed to pay for my talk therapy.

I’ve known my therapist since I was 17 years old. He’s a smart, funny man who I am probably in love with, but only under the healthy umbrella of transference. It took me several minutes to tell him that David had died. I kept gesturing with my hands and trying to get the words out of my mouth, but they wouldn’t come. Three sessions later my therapist told me that my grief stacked on top of the depression, stuffed inside a pre-existing horror show like the chicken in a turducken, and there is nothing to do but grieve and feel the feelings. Finding out how sad you are: This is an example of progress and a good thing. That’s how bad it is.

lamb of god.

lamb of god.


I wanted to turn my head into an animal for halloween. Last year I was a crow, before that, a dog, and a rabbit the year before that. I tried to make a horse but the horse turned into a bear. I didn’t like the bear so I resolved to start over with a lamb. I imagined the lamb with the machete from the horror film You’re Next, isn’t that terrifying? I went to Goodwill and bought two stuffed teddy bears, for christmas, with a texture like a lamb’s tail. “These are cute,” the clerk said. “I’m going to cut them up and wear them on my face,” I thought of saying, but be proud of me, I didn’t.





bear of god.

bear of god.


I mention the manic making of the masks because I have to admit that this focused attention on an ultimately irrelevant task means that I am probably getting better. I punctured my thigh with a pair of scissors, but that was a harmless accident. The masks make me feel safe and desirous of your presence. I want to hover over your bed with the head of a lamb and watch you sleep.  I’m renewing my interest in things I once enjoyed.

Is that good? Are you proud of me? Have I done my job to your goddamn standards?



My friend David went missing in late July. I’ve known him the longest of anyone, since we were 15 years old, and we stayed close even after I left Michigan for school in 2009. Always we were united in misanthropy and sadness, but somewhere along the line, it was like I went out the front door into the world and he slipped unnoticed out the back.

It started during the college years, when we were all in our 20s. He kept having these frightening breaks from reality. One time on acid he went mad on the Wayne State campus and allegedly attacked a security guard; I found him strapped to a gurney the next morning at Detroit Mercy Hospital. Another time he flipped out in the middle of a 10-day meditation retreat and the buddhists had to send him home. At first we didn’t know what was wrong with him, because there were all these confounding factors: drugs, the stress of meditation—but eventually he got diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic episodes. It’s an affliction that looks a lot like schizophrenia, with an equally dismal prognosis.

He was never really the same after that. The medications clouded his brain and made him lethargic and unmotivated. It stopped the mania but somehow made the depression worse. He couldn’t work, which meant he had to live on a pitiful disability allowance. Then his car broke down, leaving him stranded alone in a tiny apartment in Hamtramck. One thing stacks up on top of another, and after awhile it becomes a case of how much can a person take?

Lindsay texted to say she hadn’t heard from David in a few days. This was standard protocol. Many times before he’d gone off his meds and disappeared for a time, but always he’d resurface, the hospital would pump him full of meds and he’d be back where he started. I checked our gchat history and found our last conversation was about a week ago. When I saw he hadn’t logged into google in more than five days—I think that’s about the time that I knew in my bones that he was dead.

A day later, neighbors called the landlord to complain about a smell. They found him decomposing in his apartment with a plastic bag over his head. That’s how he always told me he would do it: with helium and asphyxiation. He’d told me many times before that he wanted to die and he wasn’t scared. He stayed alive as a courtesy to his parents. If you’re thinking I should have said or done something, you don’t understand. I am the friend you can tell your darkest secrets to without judgment. This is one of my few, unequivocal gifts. In the aftermath people said things like, “I wish we’d done more to help him,” but those of us that knew him best knew that it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t for a lack of love. It was something deeper, hideous and ultimately unknowable.

I flew in for the funeral. Somehow, my friend Travis and I landed the task of identifying his body at the coroners. I expected them to open a large drawer and then dramatically unzip the body bag, but these days you just go into a room and look at a picture on a computer screen. He didn’t look at all like himself. His face was black, bloated and without expression. When the lady asked us, “Can you make a positive ID?” we lied and said “Yes.”

Lindsay and I spoke at the funeral to a packed house full of people weeping. David was a gay man from a conservative Christian family. His spiritual beliefs were nuanced and intelligent and beautiful, so when the pastor said a lot of generic bullshit about how David had repented and embraced christianity in the moments before his death, my friends and I were, how you say, annoyed. Lindsay even got up and walked out of the room in protest. The worst part was when they played the most god awful rendition of “Amazing Grace” the world has ever known. It was dumb and sad, but I had the feeling that David would have understood and pitied his family for clinging to superstition. I weirdly thought of the part in the bible when Jesus says, “Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.”

If I had to choose, I’d say the most surreal thing about David’s death was when his mother handed me a felt pouch after the funeral service with a mini urn of David’s ashes inside. I said, “Oh. Thank you. I wasn’t expecting that.” Later I watched her give one to Lindsay, and she said the exact same thing. “Oh. Thank you. I wasn’t expecting that.”

I don’t mean for this to be a well thought out and beautiful essay about suicide, or an advocacy piece for people with mental illness or anything like that. Those are fine, I’m just not up for it. More than anything else, I am filled with an ordinary, overwhelming sadness. I miss hearing his voice and seeing his face. I miss his dry humor and cunning, compassionate intelligence. I inherited his army green satchel, a few books, his tarot cards and his crystal balls. We had this in common: our obsession with the divine tempered by a nagging skepticism. Since it happened I haven’t dreamed of him once or seen him as a floating aberration above my bed. It makes me sick in the stomach, this feeling that he’s lost. That I don’t know where he is.

I’m not angry at David for hurting us. Nobody has an obligation to stay alive in pain just because we don’t want to face the suffering of living without them. And I don’t subscribe to common ideas that suicide is selfish or cowardly. I don’t think it’s noble either, but don’t tell me that the scariest thing in the world doesn’t take courage.

When I got home to Seattle, it didn’t feel like home any more. David’s death turned Seattle into the loneliest place on earth. More than that, it forced me to take an objective look at my own depression, how I’ve been letting it run my life unfettered for more than three years. I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t making it. My friends and family kept saying, we miss you. Come back. So I said, fine. Thank you for still wanting me. And here I am.



clap along if you feel that it’s perfectly reasonable for rooms to have roofs.

So much has happened since January that we might as well not even talk about it. Jobs, am I right? I spent four months in a basement for broken families and then another month chained to a desk in a terrible brain sucking factory. I don’t think it’s wrong to always hate your job so long as your job is always awful, and what job besides “revered author” isn’t awful? Eventually you just have to throw up your hands and go back to dog walking.

The merciless disaster of a relationship. My precious woof and our many homes. The moon, the sun, the moon, the sun, again and again and again.

What’s the expression? Working hard, hardly working. But things have improved. My big head is back, which you need to be a successful writer, I’m pretty sure. Last week I went to Missoula and hung out with my old friend Alice Bolin. She is so regal now, like a statue you leave gifts for on a silly superstition of good luck. I couldn’t stop laughing at her jokes, it was pretty embarrassing. Tim and I lost our hands at the Oxford’s poker table. Never mind who is Tim. We floated the river four times and saw one of every animal. I talked to Skylar about a new feature at the indy, although I wouldn’t hold my breath. Don’t Tell Mom The Flat Tire On the Way Home Overdrew My Account.

In July we work on tans and letters. When I hear my name I think Irish-German, but when I look at my red-brown arms from the sun reflected off of last week’s river, it’s German-Irish. It doesn’t matter where your parent’s parent’s parent’s came from, of course.

I am excited and eager to make new art. Here’s some of the things I’ve shared lately.

1. Doghatesfilm.com


Hark the dog and the films she hates. The site is in beta but what can I say, you get busy. This piece about 50 Shades of Grey is probably the best literature to date.

2. After the Rose Podcast 

My friend Megan and I made a podcast about ABC’s hit romantic reality series “The Bachelorette.” Many wonder: Do you have to watch the show in order to understand/enjoy the podcast? At least one source besides myself says no. You may find that a good podcast feels very much in the brain like finding great new friends.

3. Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up to No Good 

I have a story in this collection with Joyce Carol Oates and Aimee Bender, no big deal.

4. David Gates interview

I read his book with my mouth hanging open. All other writing is made of garbage. When I finished the last story in the collection I sat in one place and stared at a wall for two straight days.

5. Oh, Canada

A 3,000 word personal essay about an okay time I had with a girl.

6. okey-panky

A 1,400 word personal essay about a fun date with a cool guy, and an interview from the aforementioned editor Alice Bolin to follow.

7. Twitter @MollyL  



best of 2015 already why not.

Dorothy Parker

First you’ll be wanting to know about my new Rottweiler, Dorothy. She’s an 8 year old spitfire with an old hip injury and a brain full of mysteries and secrets. The moment’s been about 7 years in the making but always in the past there’s been some dumb reason I can’t get my own dog. One day, I got that unequivocal, supernatural feeling about a certain craigslist woof, and I said, “This is the girl.” Also, when I got home from my Christmas vacation in Detroit I found I’d lost my dog walking job in Seattle, and I realized that this made me a person with a little bit of time on her hands. Maybe you’re thinking that the unemployed shouldn’t run out and get an animal, but hey, fuck you. We all of us do things in our own special order.

precious woof.

My friend Will and I drove to Mount Vernon to negotiate her purchase on December 30, 2014. It’s about two hours north of Seattle and a beautiful mountainous place that looks and feels like Montana. The dog’s owner was a hearty looking tomboy (or lesbian, not sure) who revealed that she ran a dog kennel and was a breeder and this rottweiler she’d acquired a year ago under mysterious circumstances was good for neither. When I first saw her she barked at me from inside a fenced outdoor kennel, but it seemed half hearted and even then I felt that if we weren’t in love at that moment we would be soon. So me and this cardhart wearing, curt, efficient if not unfriendly woman got down to the business of negotiating the sale of a living being. “I want to buy your animal so that I can love it and manipulate it into obsessively and single-mindedly loving me in return.” The action seemed to say. Of course, that’s what happened. I brought her home for 100 cash american and changed her name from whatever it was before (you don’t need to know) to Dorothy Parker, a wild guess really but the dog has turned out to be the spitting personification of the late great author: she is big, clumsy, smart and mostly sullen, with just a hint of suicidal whimsy. I always thought I wanted a boy dog so he could be my boyfriend, but it turns out it’s just as easy to pretend your girl dog is your boyfriend. She’s the best friend I ever had and my heart swells to think of her. I’ll conclude this section of the blog post with this poem my dog wrote about her feelings.


There’s little in taking or giving,
There’s little in water or wine;
This living, this living, this living
Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
And rest’s for a clam in a shell,
So I’m thinking of throwing the battle-
Would you kindly direct me to hell?

My New Job at a Women’s Shelter

Getting fired from the dog walking beat was dumb, but it had to happen. I’d love to be candid and tell you all about what went down but the thing about the real world is, you’re not supposed to go on record ever admitting to any dishonesty or irresponsible behavior. I guess the first best thing is to live a life beyond reproach, but who can do that all the time. The second best thing is to lie about your life or maybe just don’t keep a blog with your first and last name, you god damn idiot.

Around the first of the year I started working the graveyard shift at a shelter in downtown Seattle that caters specifically to single women and their children. The hours are shitty, the work is emotionally trying and I had to take a pretty substantial pay cut, but it’s all worth it because honestly, the truth is, fuck rich people. I would rather clean toilets for the homeless than spend another second feeding off the crumbs of some upper middle class family in their $3,000 a month capitol hill apartment. I don’t want to fucking tutor their kids and I don’t want to make them fucking coffee. The kind of people who make you take off your shoes when you enter their home. People who order fois grois out to dinner and never once feel bad about it. People who are so afraid of confrontation they’d rather call the police for a noise complaint than just come over and talk to you. I’m not saying we should round them all up and put them into camps, I’m just saying I’m not trying to be a stepping stone to further their world domination any longer. Somebody else can help Tiffany game the SATs.

My inevitable break-up with Phil

This really should have happened a lot sooner, but I kept holding on, maybe because his lips were so beautiful and he kissed me so infrequently. One night about four months ago I saw a glimpse of what I thought was our future. He was standing in his kitchen and I had a strong feeling that we would be together for years; that this thing would just go on and on and on. So every time I thought about breaking up with him after that, I’d remember that psychic vision and think, keep weathering the storm. It’s a bad habit of mine: rearranging the entire world to fit one anomalous idea. I wasn’t seeing THE future of course, but one possible future of many, like imagine a Star Trek graph that splits off indefinitely with all possible outcomes. It was dumb to get attached to one future. And of course he read this blog, eventually, and it made things pretty awkward. Here I was in real life stuffing all of my emotions down into the pit of my stomach but telling the truth on the internet to a bunch of strangers. He said to me, “I read your blog. That stuff should be in a diary.” But if I trap my feelings in a diary how will I get credit for them? It was weird to confess my love for him on the internet and then try to pretend like I didn’t feel that way in real life. It was really weird. If I learn anything from this break up, maybe I should learn not to do that.

Candy Crush

I’m addicted to the game candy crush and I don’t know if that’s okay. I play candy crush as a way to avoid intimacy and uncomfortable feelings. I want someone to try to stop me. There’s been a lot of articles circulating the internet on the true nature of addiction; it’s not about the drug, it’s the life you’re trying to run away from. They talk about it in terms of environment. Give the rats a cool maze and lots of rat friends to hang out with and they won’t lever press so much. But I’m thinking it’s more about what’s going on inside my head. I don’t know how to get away from my head. You have the thought, “Chop off your head!” but of course that just leads to bigger problems. You can’t win.

I worry about the atrophy of my brain, generally. On the day Phil and I broke up I saw a bed ridden future and so finally went ahead and bought a flat screen TV for my bedroom. Setting up the TV I managed to knock my electric typewriter onto the floor, most probably breaking it beyond repair, and if that isn’t a metaphor for my withered priorities in life these days then I don’t know what.

Dismantling mollylaich.com

I’ve been thinking about discontinuing the blog portion of this website for a lot of reasons that should by now be obvious. I want to talk about the real things and I don’t care too much about myself at this point. I mean, humiliating myself, big deal, this is just one idiotic life of many, but it’s not just about me. Always you have to consider other people’s feelings and that tends to water down the truth. I know I’ve been bad about this in the past but I hope you believe me when I say I’m trying to do better. A lot of interesting things happen at the shelter but it’s like, illegal to share, and yet this document persists as a breathing temptation.

And then there’s money. You can’t go around telling the truth on the internet without worrying that someone will read it and it will cost you a job. Is anybody out there going to let me teach middle school after admitting my addiction to “candy crush?”

Thirdly, in this world, you have to maintain a combination self. If I keep writing this god damn blog it’s going to blow my cover.  I spend so much time in real life trying to manage my weirdness. It makes me a total liar. I kind of can’t believe how often I lie sometimes in an attempt at guessing what normal behavior looks like. One thing I do a lot is pretend to care about things I don’t really care about. Like, “Oh, there’s a lot of crime in this neighborhood. Yeah, I’m totally worried about getting robbed or raped.” That’s a lie. I’m not scared of those things because I don’t care if I live or die, but that really makes people uncomfortable. To pretend to fret over dangers I don’t really fret over is in service of the larger lie that I value this life. Having said all of that, I promise to try my hardest to stay alive anyway. I don’t think it matters, but life is still a game that I am competitively in pursuit of winning.

So I’m considering shutting down the blog but I don’t know, I probably won’t. Right now I’m still trying to decide if this life is worth salvaging on a professional level, like do I want to pursue a professional career or keep doing shit jobs forever? I want to start another blog soon on the subject of movies, something with universal appeal that could one day parlay into more commercial writing gigs. Keep holding your breath for that one! but really, I hope to launch my second blog in the next week or two. Stay tuned.

February. The year’s very worst month. Do not fret, friends. I have my own dog that I bought with my own money, and for all I know, you are also doing well. Just go grimly on!


top ten thanksgiving horror films

There’s no such thing as a thanksgiving horror film. Here are the ten “best” of the 12 or 13 spooky movies I watched this October and beyond. The Halloween season spans from January 2nd to the day before Thanksgiving. This is a time when corpses rise from their graves and all murder is legal. A lot of people don’t know that. Thanksgiving through New Years is the Lord’s time.

The order’s been thought through a little but not too much. I include the movie’s taglines when they exist. What an art. I hope to someday get a job writing horror movie taglines.

10. Devil (2010)

Bad things happen for a reason

The PG-13 makes me not want to put Devil on the list. Murder is rated R. Any life worth dying in gets an R rating—whatever. All these bad people get trapped in an elevator. The lights flicker and then there’s a dead person, on and on until one or two are left. It’s an Agatha Christie-esque whodunit. One of them’s the devil. The devil is in the elevator. Mindy Kaling’s TV boyfriend Chris Messina plays the detective tasked with bringing the lord of darkness to justice. You can’t tell that he’s too short for me when everybody’s shrunk down inside the television. [Netflix streaming]

gurl, look dem lips.

gurl, look dem lips.

9. Buried Alive (1990) 

One of them put an end to the marriage, until the other came back for revenge

The worst tagline of all of them. I’d blame it on an unpaid intern but I don’t think they had those in 1990 for made for TV movies. Frank Darabont fucking directed this, the guy who wrote The Shawshank Redemption. The creator of TVs “The Walking Dead.” I remember seeing this movie on TV in my apparently unsupervised childhood. Jennifer Jason Leigh wears shoulder pads. Good dog acting by the Rottweiler; holy fuck I want my own Rottweiler. Movie’s a classic noir setup. The wife hates her husband, plots her death with her lover, people are betrayed, he’s “buried alive,” there’s a lot of woodworking. If Buried Alive were in black and white and starred Humphrey Bogart, we’d be talking about it in college. If you’re looking for this movie, beware: there are about 10,000 other films with the same title. [I can't tell you how I found this film.] 


If the widow looks like this at the funeral, she did it.

If the widow looks like this at the funeral, she did it.

8. Resolution (2012)

Why is this a horror movie? The horror elements of this are not even. I can’t even. Michael’s friend Chris loves crack so much and who can blame him, but drugs ruin your life and turn you into a bad friend, so Michael chains him to the wall to force him through withdrawals. Then some stupid supernatural shit happens, I don’t recall exactly, a haunted video tape or witch or something. But in between all of that, they manage to say poignant shit to each other about what drives a man to the pipe and the human response. What’s Michael’s true motivation and is life really so precious, really? This movie is a documentary about what I would like to do to my friend Will, but who has the time. [Netflix streaming]

Dick move not having a tagline but really good poster.

Dick move not having a tagline but really good poster.

7. Hider in the House (1989)

You can’t lock him out. He’s already in.

 Made for TV movies from the golden era of cinema are nothing to fuck with. Gary Busey doesn’t exactly play against type as the recently released mental patient who builds himself a room in the attic of a nice family’s new home. The new family has a dog. Do you guys think the dog is going to be okay? Busey wants to be normal so bad. He just wants the Dad to be gone and to marry the Mom but he’s Lenny Of Mice and Men and people in his way are frightened girls squashed dead under his thumb. This is a buy-the-numbers horror story but suspiciously well written and acted. The characters are 3D and smart. Everybody Hates Busey. Good body count. [In full on Youtube.]


6. Ravenous (1999)

You are who you eat 

Hey, this one’s about food and it’s set in Civil War era America so it’s basically a legit thanksgiving horror movie. The turkey’s made out of people, though; everybody running around with their mind’s lost. The best thing about the film, unequivocally: the score. What instrument even makes those sounds. How tonally inappropriate. And yet. Check out these idiots arguing about it on the imdb message boards, subject: What an Annoying Soundtrack… Comments include, but are not limited to:
“Halfway in I wanted to stab my already-busted eardrums, it was SOOO loud and annoying. :(
“I find the music utterly unfitting for a movie set in the 19th century”
“Sorry, I actually like interesting soundtracks in my favorite movies.” [Netflix streaming]

The next three films are directed by Ti West, a hip new filmmaker that people may very well be talking about.

5. The Innkeepers (2011) 

Some guests never check out 

A film about a couple of hip young people with sexual tension. The hotel is haunted. Not particularly scary or memorable; I don’t know why I included this. [Netflix streaming]

Creepy basement, second only to creaky houses.

Creepy basement, second only to creaky houses.

4. The House of the Devil (2009)

Talk on the phone. Finish your homework. Watch TV. Die. 

This, on the other hand, is a legit 1980s horror film throwback. Shot in digital I’m sure but they threw on an instagram-style old school film filter. [correction: turns out I was exactly wrong; film is legit shot on 16mm. That makes me want to put this at like 1 or 2.] Tom Noonan needs a babysitter for his mom. Girl wears a walkman and Greta Gerwig plays her friend. The babysitter eats pizza for two straight meals. Things start off one way, then shit gets dark as fuck. [Netflix streaming]

The pizza's out of frame.

The pizza’s out of frame.

3. The Sacrament (2013)

Live as one. Die as one. 

Sometimes it pays to be stupid, but for this example I’m about to deprive you of that luxury. I didn’t know this film was basically a modern adaptation of the Jim Jones, everybody drinks kool-aid and dies cult story. So when everybody in the cult got together and drank poison kool-aid, I was horrified and surprised. (I clearly did not read the tagline, either.) It’s a palpable series of scenes. They scared the shit out of me; I dreamed about it for days. Beyond that, meh. It’s a “found footage” movie which is just unfortunate. Bunch of Vice journalists visit the cult, they get camera access that they would never ever get in real life—such a dumb conceit, I hate found footage, why they gotta do that for a film that could have been so, so good. Instead it’s pretty good. Awesome Gene Jones performance as “the father,” just an unfortunate coincidence he has the same last name as the real guy. This movie’s proof that liberals can be scary and batshit, too! The box says “Eli Roth presents.” Not a compliment. [Netflix streaming]

a real People's Temple cult member.

a real People’s Temple cult member.

2. You’re Next (2011)

Forgive me for being so mainstream. Of all my pics you’re most likely to have already seen this one. Maybe you’re one of those people who takes pride in not having seen any movies; go fuck yourself. I appreciate the savage simplicity: A rich, grown up family get together for a dinner party and people outside are trying to kill them with arrows. At first you don’t know why, and then a motive’s revealed and it makes perfect sense. It’s not some ridiculous bullshit. They hear bumping around upstairs and somebody says a line about this being an old creaky house. I know that sounds terrible but in fact it felt like a breathing organism of a wink. [Netflix streaming]

animal masks frighten dogs, try it if you don't believe me.

animal masks frighten dogs—try it if you don’t believe me.

1. The Signal (2007)

This is not a test 

It doesn’t get any weirder. A psychotic poet I know, a man who’s one dirty look away from killing everyone recommended this film to me. We might as well have met in an underground tunnel at night. He handed me an envelope with a slip inside that said “The Signal” on it, followed by, “the 2007 version. Not the new one from 2014.” Anyway, TV’s are sending out a signal that’s making everyone go on a murderous rampage. Never mind the why, it’s the how it plays out that matters. The film stars AJ Bowen, who irrelevantly enough is in four out of the ten movies on this list. (He’s the cutie pie with the beard.) It’s hard to make a movie with a slippery reality whose puzzle doesn’t also bore you. I decided this film was number one under the influence of ambien. Now I’m just like. I don’t remember, but probably I mean it. [I can't tell you how I found this film.]

Dead person at a birthday party.

Dead person at a birthday party.

There’s the list. That’s it. Do you like it? Why don’t you like it. Be my facebook friend if you aren’t already! Creepers creep me out. 


a day in the life of depression.

You feel like a fat piece of shit I guess. When it’s really bad for me it makes my limbs feel heavy and it hurts to move. Dog walking is a good job for the sullen. The dogs are nice to me; I let them drag me down the sidewalk.

Drugs and alcohol help so long as you have no interest in getting down to the root of the problem. The drugs bide the time between how you feel now and how you hope to feel in the future. If you can stand it, though, it’s better to feel the feelings and grieve. Otherwise you just grieve the same things over and over, stuff them down again and nothing ever changes.

Feeling blue all the time is a moral failing, I think, because it takes so much energy to be kind when you feel like human garbage. And always, always, you’ve got to try your hardest to be kind. For example, one bad thing about walking dogs is that animals bring out the best in others. Strangers smile at me and want to talk. It takes everything I have to smile back, and look, I was saving that smile for myself. That was mine and you took it and now I feel deflated and resentful. A person all out of fucks to give is dangerous. They snap. So that’s what I mean when I say that figuring out how to be happy is a moral imperative and to not try is derelict. Think of your parents, what they wanted you to be, and now look at how you’re acting.

Some days it really seems like the dogs can tell and they care. They look at me with concern without asking what’s wrong. Depressed people always answer this question roughly the same. Something like, “Oh, nothing in particular,” or “It’s everything and nothing,” but I’ve actually never found that to be true. You say there’s nothing specifically wrong because to go on about what’s really bothering you is impolite and embarrassing. But I can tell you exactly what’s wrong: I want to be a teacher and instead I’m a dog walker. I should be writing more. I’m broke. I miss my old friends. I’m trapped in a body I hate. I’m in love with the guy I’m dating, and to quote Jerry Maguire: “He sure does like me a lot.” That’s what’s wrong. Make even half of those things right and I won’t be depressed. That’s just a fact, like melting ice burgs are facts. On the days you’re depressed those problems are circled red and underlined and that’s the only difference.

Who ever said life was supposed to feel good anyway? Ask the Buddha, she’ll tell you that life is made out of suffering. You can’t concentrate on the book you’re reading so you think you have ADD? All God ever promised anyone is one good skull; the brain inside doesn’t come wound up right. Brains are born wild and usually they die that way.

I don’t take anti-depressants, do you? I’m not judging, exactly. Some people really need them. But most people I know on meds are self-medicators to begin with. They take their Effexor and pile the booze and drugs and shitty food on top of that. A pill is a short cut and there are no short cuts. The very best thing to do is eat real food, exercise, meditate and get enough sleep. It’s hard to find the will to do that, I know. I don’t mean to lecture, all I’m saying is try. You gotta try that good stuff first. I’m talking to both of us right now. All of us. You know what the fuck I mean.

Anyway. I’m fine. See, I wrote something today. I’m feeling better already.

In other news: It took over a year but I think I’m all caught up on my outstanding free letters. I’ve got my typewriter plugged into the wall and my lips are feeling real loose. Send me your address, let me sink your battleship.


I’ll gaze your navel.

It’s starting to become a problem. (“Your looks have become a problem!” #namethatfilm) I get in these funks where I wait too long in between blog posts, and pretty soon every day I just feel sick and sad that I haven’t posted anything. It really gnaws at me! It causes a lot of undue suffering. Like one week of not writing equals one dead cat in my backpack, and then one day I wake up and find I’m carting around 5 or 6 dead cats. Then I try to write and I’m hypercritical and self-conscious about what I’ve written, I throw everything in the garbage—anyway, it’s this whole gross, boring cycle.

Long story short, I solved the problem by finding this inexplicable list of free interview questions on the internet. For a change of pace, I tried to answer these questions as plainly, honestly, and un-sarcastically as possible. Next week: My novel, in its entirety. ha ha ha. l o l. It turned out really long! All free! Enjoy!



Walking dogs is mind numbingly easy. I’m good at it. I like animals. My job burns calories. The pay is okay.


I have a fucking master’s degree; this shit is humiliating. Particularly when I see my friends publishing their books and/or talking about writing their class syllabuses. It makes me feel sick. Every day I feel like I’m wasting my life.


A little over a year.


I chose my parents before I was born. They got divorced when I was 4 which I don’t think is good or bad, contrary to what we’ve been brainwashed to believe. My mom wasn’t strict at all and I turned out okay. I do wish somebody had told me to brush my teeth and sit farther away from the television, cuz now my eyes and teeth are fucked up.


My hair was snarled; I was always covered in dirt. We took the boat out to the lake. I played a lot of soccer at my best friend Dylan’s house. I used to stay up late at night and write fake reports from topics in our world encyclopedias. I idolized my brother and was mystified by my sister. I had the feeling that everybody thought I was special, in both the good and bad way. We rode our bikes to the woods. In my memory it was good, but I'm sure at the time it felt like the present moment, which usually feels bad, or at the very least, uncomfortable and incomplete. I know that as I got older I had more and more social problems in school. I was often sullen and at night I would make myself sick with worrying about why there was something instead of nothing. It scared me and still does. 


If I’m happy, then the word happy has no meaning.


I’d be more careful with men’s hearts. And I'd try to not be an obese teen.


I’m a woman, so anytime before say, 1968, no thank you.


Any artist who overcomes their depression enough to make good art. No specific names come to mind. I see a person who’s smart and kind and cool and I think: I want to be like you.


I think everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.


Beat myself up.


Nah. I think the best thing anybody can do is to develop her spiritual self/moral compass. Policy is actually very nerdy and complicated. People imagine there are malevolent forces out to get us when in reality I think it’s just a big dumb machine and the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. I’m resigned to just keep my head down, stay out of trouble and try to carve out the best life given what I have.


Not unless you count this circle jerk of a website. You’re welcome.


We’ve pretty much come around on the gays; that’s nice to see. Looks like video games and computers keep getting better. Good job, America.


I haven’t that much.


I think in real life I can be very sweet. I don't know if that comes across as much on the internet. And maybe it's not even true.


________________? (SUBJECT'S NAME, PLURALIZED)

Yeah. There’s the Molly that is me and the Molly that is a dumb ass drug people say dumb shit about that my brain won’t let me do anymore.


If I did, that wish could come true.

If you haven't figured out by now, these questions are written with celebrity in mind, so. I will say that I don't think I would mind if my tits got leaked on the internet. (See Morgan Murphy's hilarious stand up on this topic.) But of course, it's also totally okay to mind.


No. I’m flattered whenever anyone expects anything of me at all. It’s a compliment.


Not very hard.


Never really. I come close when people compliment me a lot.


I genuinely consider myself a failure. As for my few piddly successes: They were because the work was really good. That’s the only explanation. It’s not because I’m good with people or networking or any of that shit.


Work really hard + be really talented + know the right people.

I don’t know if that’s the right order or not. It’s more like a circle than a linear line.



I totally believe in it. I feel it in my bones and I’ve seen it in my dreams.


Bullshit. Or even if it's not, most people don't know how to decode it. The enneagram rules!


Lots but far away.




Only in people’s heads.


Depends on the head.


I don’t know about this “we” business. I know I’m not. The older I get, the less romantic.


Anybody who can carry me on his or her back is macho.


Nah but there’s something to be said for division of labor. One person chops the wood, the other peels the carrots. Shouldn’t matter who does what of course.


It’s hard to get hired in this city as a dog walker if you’re a man. People think women are more trustworthy, which in my case is hilarious. If I were a man I’d probably be some sort of day laborer. Maybe somebody would have taught me a goddamn marketable trade when I was a kid.

If we’re talking about writing, I don’t know. I think it bodes well for me that I’m a woman because I don’t think I write like most women. I think people give me a harder time for navel-gazing because I’m a woman, but I mean. I can’t really deny that I do that. I’m interviewing myself on mollylaich.com right now, for example.


I wish. Closest thing I can think of: Somebody once wrote in a comment section on one of my indy articles something like “Molly must be sleeping with the editor in order to keep getting work” which I found, you know, incredibly insulting (and really untrue, I should add, if anyone was wondering. Robert and I are great friends but we don't fuck, christ.) That same person left a comment on another article. They were all…wait, let me get this verbatim: “Great interview? I don't think so. The interviewer insinuated herself nearly a dozen times in this brief dialogue with the words I or me.” I often jerk off at night to an image of this person hunched over their free weekly paper counting the number of times I used the words I or me.


I don't know.


Haha. No.


Also no. I don’t think I’ve ever successfully pursued a friendship on my own. If we’re friends, you did the work. Thank you. It means a lot. Unless we’re talking about the internet, in which case, I consider myself wildly popular.


To answer this question would imply that life is one way or the other when we all know it’s always both and neither. Side note: I'm enjoying the inverse of "special someone" here.




All kinds of boring stuff.


My fantasy football team “The Detroit Lions.”


Every American is different.




It all.



I was really little. In first grade I wrote this thing about how I wanted to be God. Everybody thought it was cute and wise. I remember filing that away under “This is a way to get attention and love.”


First of all, I don’t “know” anything. But I decided to make a go of it and take it seriously around the end of undergrad when I realized I thought I was better than everyone else in my workshop. So far I’d say I’ve pretty much failed.


David Gates.


I worked with him in grad school. He helped me publish several stories. He called me shallow once. His writing is really smart and good. On the sentence level: calm, poised and true. Funny but not annoyingly witty. It's like every line winks at you under the surface with the knowledge that the world is bullshit but we still need to carry on and try to love one another anyway. His writing is like if David Foster Wallace understood the virtue of brevity. Seriously, read one of his books if you haven't yet. I'm mucking it up trying to explain it.


It would be unwise of me to name names in a town this small, but a lot of people seriously bore me.


I used to read way more non-fiction but that flipped once my heart died and I decided I knew all I cared to know.


Wild by Cheryl Strayed and some garbage novel I won’t mention by name.


The Road to Los Angeles by John Fante, Jernigan by David Gates, Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson, Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill, The Catcher in the Rye by you know who, and so on.


Any author “writing for the Pulitzer” can fuck right the fuck off. I know people like that. They’re gross.


It has? Oh god yes, it hurts. It burns.


I’m going to cry.


I’m not a doctor, but I think literacy rates are at pretty much an all time high. I just looked it up; the internet says literacy rates in America haven’t changed in 10 years. It also says Seattle is the most literate city in the US. I thought it was Boston. Anyway, that would explain why everybody here is a smug fuck.


You know, sometimes. Particularly if I think I might be assigned to review the movie.


No line. Leave it up to the librarians. They’re some of the raddest people on earth.


I look up bullshit interview questions on the internet and answer them.


Oh lord, yes.


Like there’s a fucking gun to my head pretty much all the time.




murder the bird.

Do yourself a favor: Take however you’re feeling; hold the feeling in your hand like a baby bird and then fucking murder the bird. Squash the bird with your bare hands and smear the blood and guts all over everything while screaming. If you can’t do that, I mean, if you don’t have it in you, just take the tremendous wealth of your feelings and scale it back by about 80 percent. Behave as though your feelings are controlled by a series of knobs and levers and turn that shit down. It works.

Of course I’m talking to the pansies. If you’re one of those hardened people who’s all “I haven’t cried in eight years” you should take this advice and reverse it. Obviously in this case you should put the bird in a cage and pet it and feed it worms and tell me you love me and call me your girlfriend.

I really need to stop writing about my crushes on my blog. Seriously, they’re going to find out, and it’s going to be really embarrassing. The other day the maritime civil engineer was like, “Maybe I should just break down and get a Facebook.” And I said, “NOOO!” (Even that is scaled back 80 percent. If I were operating at full capacity I’d have flipped over the table while crying.) He said, “Um.” Then I said, “Okay, well, you can get a Facebook, let’s just not be friends on it.” And then he said, “Why don’t you want to be friends with me on Facebook?” and I said, “NO REASON.”

Here’s when I knew I was really done for. I stopped by the engineer’s house at around 10 am on a sunday morning, after a long weekend away. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings stored in my chest and hands, and when I walked in, I saw a foreign pair of brand new converse tennis shoes and some adorable, baby blue robot socks sitting next to them.

“These are the shoes and socks of a woman,” my brain immediately concluded. I looked at the engineer’s closed bedroom door. “Whoever bought these shoes is in bed next to my crush.” I wrote the whole story in my head. He met the love of his life over the weekend, they got drunk, he brought her home and now they’re wrapped up together in one big blanket. It’s not like he’s cheating on me, since we’re only dating in my head, but I do technically live with him. If he brought home another woman it’s not wrong, per se, but a tad indelicate. I felt like a person who had been wronged a little but not enough to cry or flip over a table.

I didn’t know what to do, so I did all the dishes. After I did the dishes I went back and looked at the receipt sitting next to the slut’s shoes. They were purchased at Target at around 1 in the afternoon the day before. It was just the shoes and the socks, nothing else, paid for with a 100 dollar bill. The shoes were 60 percent off. I’m a goddamn detective and these were important clues.

I still didn’t know what to do so I went outside to talk to the guy who lives in the garage. It wasn’t my first choice; he’s not a mean guy but he’s not exactly friendly, either. I said, “Did Phil bring home a girl last night?”

“I don’t think so,” the guy who lives in the garage said. “Why do you think that.”

I told him there was a pair of girl’s shoes on the floor in the living room. “Did you see him last night?”

“He came in here this morning saying he was super hung over. He didn’t mention anything about a girl.” I think there was actual kindness in the garage tenant’s voice. I think he felt a little sorry for me.

“I don’t want to just barge in on them,” I said. “I mean, kind of I do…”

The guy who lives in the garage laughed. His english bulldog whinnied at me. I pet her big weird head and went back inside.

I stared at the shoes again. Whoever this woman was, she was a giant. I tried on the shoes and they were just a little too big for me, and recall, I am a giant myself. Also, not to stereotype, but what kind of woman goes to Target to buy a pair of shoes and socks and nothing else with a 100 dollar bill? I looked again at the shoes and wondered why I ever thought they were women’s shoes in the first place. The maritime civil engineer never buys anything at full price. And surely you don’t fall in love with a girl on a Saturday afternoon and then immediately go out and buy a pair of shoes and socks together, right?

I opened the door to the maritime civil engineer’s room and of course it was just him lying there, his long, gangly frame stretched out across the bed like an open hand. He said, “Hi Molly!” as though not a goddamn thing had happened, and indeed, for him, nothing had.

I turned down my emotions by 80 or 90 percent and laid down in bed next to him in what I hoped was a casual way. Eventually I said, “I thought those shoes on the living room floor were a girls.”

He was like, “You did?” and then, “Aren’t they sweet? I got them for 60 percent off.”

And that’s when I knew for sure how completely fucked I am, that I’m not the boss of me, and let’s face it: I probably never was.


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


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.


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. 


girl look at that body






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!