01/23/11

sorry for being sorry about being weird.

I am touched by the outpouring of support the Internet has shown me w/r/t my weirdness. I hadn’t meant to project such an air of pity and desperation, but if I don’t mean to do that maybe I should choose my words more carefully. (Example: public declaration on The Rumpus “Oh God I am so alone.”) Many men who are already in relationships with women who are not me wrote to tell me that I am special and how incredibly likely it is that I will have a fulfilling relationship soon. I am comforted by this, but not really.

Let me tell you this stupid story.

Yesterday I was driving around Missoula in 5 o clock traffic like a retarded person, looking for a restaurant to eat my first meal of the day in because I’ve never heard of a grocery store. I made a terrible decision and went into a loud, crowded, too expensive restaurant, but there was no turning back, my car was already parked.

I pulled out a big ass yellow legal pad and started making lists. When a writer doesn’t want to write, they list. That’s my experience, anyway. This very normal group of four sat down at the table next to me. A pretty blonde – like, Walmart pretty but pretty enough – kept turning around and looking at me, which made me mad. It makes me mad when people look at me at times when I want to be ignored. I felt that she was trying to read my list, a list I was making for my class next semester and not at all personal but I don’t like people looking at my lists.

She just kept turning around and looking at me and it was getting inside my head; I couldn’t concentrate and it made me more mad.

“What are you writing?” She asked. “Are you getting ready for school?”

“Yes,” I said.

I went back to pretending to write, because I couldn’t actually write because this woman was in my brain. Attention is a real force that can be wielded on others like an axe.

A few minutes later she turned to me again and asked a series of questions about the list. I told her I was teaching fiction next semester and I was preparing. She was a very bubbly person and I was unable to mirror her enthusiasm like I sometimes try to do. I should mention that I was at the time profoundly sad and not in the mood for this.

“Why do you want to know these things?” I asked her. “Are you in school?”

“I’m just interested in everything,” she said.

How can you be interested in everything? That’s a stupid thing to say. I concluded that this girl must be in love with me, because why else force such a benign conversation with a stranger when you have three perfectly good people to talk to. I thought about what a burden it was that everywhere I went, men, women, and children were falling to their knees in desperate inexplicable love with me.

I said something like, “Well, anyway. I’m leaving.”

“I hope I didn’t break your concentration,” she said.

She did do that. It’s her fault. But I also don’t live at that restaurant and may very well have left shortly after anyway.

This story is pretty anti-climactic. Really, that’s it. Nothing else happened. I think now maybe the answer is a simple one: some people are just friendly. Maybe she felt bad for me for eating dinner in a restaurant by myself. That is an unbearable thought.

I should wear a sign that says, “I know I’m weird but I’m cool with it and I have a lot of friends, they’re just not around right now. Also I have a website. It’s practically like having a television show. If anything, I feel sorry for you.”

I’ll workshop the sign and get back to you.

01/20/11

Sorry for being weird.

I have a lot of regrets of course but mostly I just wish I wasn’t such a weirdo. No, really, I’m awkward as hell. I’m tall and gangly in a way that makes me not understand my body in space so I am always running into or falling over things. I am covered in bruises. I know all the wrong trivia facts and none of the right ones. When I go to parties or other events I have a hard time knowing where to place my hands or how to stand. Once I tried out a bunch of different ways to lean against a wall in what I hoped was a casual way, and I looked up to find the whole party had been watching me and laughing. I am like a little kid who thinks they are invisible when they put a lampshade over their head. Since I’m so weird I spend a lot of time ruminating over the last thing I said. I try to imagine someone saying that to me: would I think that was weird? Do they think I’m weird? Do I care? I just feel sorry for myself is all. It’s weird, being so weird.

“You just keep acting like a goddamn spook all the time, James.” -Wonderboys

Doubtless you remember my story “The Significance of the Bear,” from previous posts. You can find it here at Monkeybicycle.

And here’s a blog post I wrote for Thumbnail about writing called “Never any Money.” The message is that there’s no money in writing. There, that’s it, now you don’t have to read it.

Declared new years resolution: be less narcissistic = epic fail. Unspoken new years resolution: eliminate/severely limit use of the word “like” in both writing and speech = going a little better. That’s all kittens. I love you.

01/12/11

Housekeeping.

This website is useful to have. I think. (I don’t know why everybody doesn’t have a http://www.elaboratehomemadeshrinetoonesself.com) But I need to rethink some things. Really make it work for me. It’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity. For example, I have all these stories linked, and they’re cute, they’re fun, some of them are better than others, blah blah blah, but I get nervous about them being there. People will say to me, “hey, I read one of your old stories that you publicly link on your blog,” and my response is inevitably something along the lines of, “what are you, retarded? go read Proust.” So anyway, just putting that out there. Thinking about What Not to Wear, whathaveyou. What do you think, void? Do you have any opinions on the subject? What is this blog for? What should I be talking about?

Also, I started writing for this literary journal called “Thumbnail Magazine.” I linked to it on the side, designated helpfully by a “T” for… thumbnail would be my guess. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. I’ll be sure to link you to my more savory blog posts. Here’s one I wrote the other day called, 5 thing men say to women writers. The title is descriptive.

Um….
The Metro Times (a weekly periodical out of Detroit, what!) published this little flash fiction piece I wrote for them in their new years issue. Travis Wright, the editor, is one of my old workshop buddies and solicited me and a bunch of my other old workshop friends for the job. The piece doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s like when Andy Warhol would paint a can and be like “this is art” and mean it, but then other times he would paint a shoe and say “this is art” and not mean it, and then he’d say, “ha. you believed me. fucking morons.” Also, one of my old friends from detroit said that mine was an “MFA story” and I’ve sort of wanted to kill myself ever since. Actually, why am I not calling him out. Keith Bedore (his story also featured on this page, read it) said that. All vomit all the time, that’s Keith’s motto.

Wrote another little story for The Rumpus, here. You’ll really have to dig around to find it. My name is “Molly Laich,” if you forgot. I like this one a lot better. I think I had the wrong idea though; most of these other pieces are non fiction essay style. When in doubt, write veiled fiction about your friends doing drugs; that’s what I always say.

Oh, and do you know that I’ve had this website for like 2 years and have never bothered to post my email address anywhere? Think of all the book deals I didn’t get! anyway, it’s mollylaich at gmail dot com, email me! I added it to the “about molly” section for safe keeping.

Is that all? That’s all. Still have a week and a half before my last semester starts. God help us. And by us I mean “me.”

01/2/11

Let’s not make a big thing about new years this year.

1. The appliance repairman that came to my mother’s house this week.

A spry, wily guy, he looked like a Milk Man more than anything. He was very enthusiastic about our particular dryer model, the one that wouldn’t shut off and apparently had caught fire several times internally. From inside the front panel he pulled out charred lint, a bunch of sewing needles, and about 10 dollars in change. He told me a needle pricked him and I said, “I’m so sorry” and he said, “It’s part of my job.” It was an easy repair, he assured me. “It’s the older models that last,” he said. I said what anyone in their right mind would have said, which was: “they don’t make them like they used to.” When it was over, he shook my hand and said, “It’s the best dryer ever made.” He loves his job so much!

2. My mother doesn’t understand anything about technology.

I might as well be a Sorceress in a hooded robe sent from the future to set up the wii fit. How does the TV know where the remote is pointing? I don’t understand the technology either, Mom, I just go with it! The flipside is that she has unreasonable expectations, like if the Internet acts up for a second then the whole thing is broken. “Let’s call a repair man over here,” she says, after about 9 seconds. She also doesn’t understand why they don’t make an 80’s shit metal version of Karaoke Revolution, which, fair enough. I’m not saying that wouldn’t be fun to play, just that market forces are not on her side.

3. There’s no place for me in this world.

You can’t go home again, and other truisms as well. My friends treat me like an over educated science experiment, like a floating brain in a jar that is radioactive. It might sound great, but really I dislike it.


4. I saw Black Swan twice already and I have to conclude

That I do not want to be a ballerina.

5. What I’ve read so far from the winter break reading list:

a. Alice Fulton, “If it’s Not too Much to Ask”
b. Ann Beattie “A Vintage Thunderbird”
c. Charles D’Ambrosio “The Point”
d. Thom Jones “Cold Snap”
e. Lydia Davis “Kafka Cooks Dinner”
f. in progress: Samuel Beckett’s novel, Molloy

And I’ll tell you what: they were all great. Every single one of them. And again, in reference to number 3 on this list, I can assure you that the general public couldn’t give a fuck. Nobody cares about literature outside of the university system. You knew it was bad, but I assure you, it’s worse than even that. I’m not saying that people don’t read, but they all read the same five authors. The Girl with The Fucking Airport Book Trilogy, David Sedaris, etc. We’re doomed. The world is doomed. All plants will die. All vegetation will die. Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men…

Sorry I snapped.

I just want to go back to my little mountain town where everybody is a pretentious fuckhead, instead of here in Waterford, Michigan, where it’s just me.

6. This New Year I resolve to be less narcissistic.

I told someone this and he reacted with genuine bafflement. He seemed to think it was a necessary feature of being a writer. Here at mollylaich.com, we respectfully disagree.