11/10/15

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.

spaceneedletools

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?

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!

03/25/13

work and money and deer and money.

Let’s say you find yourself at the foot of a mountain in rural Washington, looking for clarity, peace of mind and maybe a little free rehab. Then they say, “There’s no God, go sit on the floor for 10 days straight.” Lights out at 9 pm with no dinner and no talking.

Of course I’m talking about the meditation retreat I returned from a couple of weeks ago. It was great and impossible to talk about. The key to happiness is nothing and the middle path is further away than it sounds.

Since I’ve been back I’ve been busy making money. Money’s my new thing, I’m super into it. I have more money than I’ll ever need. Money money. Give me money. Let’s all find our old copy of Martin Amis’s novel Money and finish it, that’s how much money.

This week I worked in a warehouse cataloging boxes for shipping. They sell novelty items, like magnets and salt shakers. Gi Joe and Barbie packed in the same shipping box, imagine the scandal. You can get any configuration of Flinstones salt shaker you want. You can get a Betty and Fred salt shaker set, and I didn’t even think those two hung out. You can order daschund bobbleheads with or without sweaters. In the warehouse are two little real life Pomeranians who are unequivocally my friends. They belong to the boss, who is kind, but tired. I like the job a lot. Everybody stands around and pretends like capitalism isn’t stupid. But it’s temporary. By the time you read this, it will be over, and I’ll be back to the hustle.

Remember the dreaded ex? Jesse was no picnic, but let’s not dwell. He was good at all the most boring parts of life, and he wasn’t afraid of anything. Before I met Jesse, I was always the bad roommate. I never did the dishes, or if I did, they were all wrong. Jesse used to talk loudly at me about leaving food in the drain, and I felt overwhelmed and misunderstood. I’d tell him, “Most of the time I don’t leave food in the drain. Why are you so mad?” and he’d say, “What are you, a fucking child? It’s not hard, bro. You should be able to clean the food out of the drain 100% of the time.”

He got through, and from then on I did the dishes perfectly. One day Jesse said to me, “You’re going to be so strong after having been with me. Just watch. You’ll leave here and get a nice, patient and understanding boyfriend.” And I knew it was true, and that’s what happened.

This new one is good and peculiar. He loves hip-hop and Buddhism. I probably won’t mention him too much in the future; he doesn’t really want to be a character on my blog, which is weird and reasonable. I wish I had thought of that years ago, but it’s too late for me.

There were a lot of deer living in the field at the meditation retreat. There were a few teenagers and their mothers, and they were very tame. It was evident the deer held a special place in everyone’s heart, but too long away and my mind retreated to dark corners. I became obsessed with the idea of: “What if I took out a handgun and shot all the deer?” It could totally be done. For one, they don’t inspect your suitcase; I could have brought a bomb for all they knew. You don’t have to show any form of ID. I could have just shot the deer, got in my car and drove off.

Fucking calm down. Relax. I don’t own a gun and I would never shoot a deer. I just thought it would be hilarious and weird if I shot all the deer. That’s all I’m saying.

I bought this pack of greeting cards at Value Village with animals on them. Maybe you don’t know this, but I’ve been a blogger for forever. 10 years ago, when I was around 20 and precocious as all fuck, I had a blog at anticon.com/molly. I asked everybody for their address so I could send them postcards, and it went great. Just great. I sent a kid a postcard, and then my brother saw that kid at a hip hop show a few weeks later, and the kid told my brother how much he loved getting that postcard from me, what a fucking ray of light and sunshine that postcard was. And then a couple of months later I read on a message board how that kid took too many pills one night and died.

That almost certainly won’t happen to you! I seriously don’t care who you are at all. Anyone who read all the way to the bottom of this page is a friend of mine. Maybe I know you in real life, maybe I don’t. Maybe we’ve never talked before. Leave me your name and your mailing address in the comments field, and I’ll send you a postcard. You trust me, right? I love you. And I didn’t shoot those deer.

*Update: People seem to think that if they put their address in this box, it will show up publicly as a comment. That’s not the case. It goes safe and sound to my email alone. Courage, man. The hurt cannot be much!

 

11/27/12

a depression epidemic.

Well, Jesse is devastated that you don’t care more about “mustached man eats head of lettuce.” He slept until 2 pm today. I took Roy out for a walk, and when I came back, he was hunched over “Best of Craigslist,” the mustache shaved and so no hope of a sequel. At least not for another 2-3 weeks.

The whole month has been filled with heartbreak. I let myself fall in love with this goddamn yellow lab with half a tail. His owner hadn’t called for weeks and I was starting to entertain the idea that I’d be able to keep him. Then his family came and took him for a walk a few days ago, and the dog couldn’t contain his happiness. He ran around in circles and whimpered with sheer joy, and now that they’ve gone again he’s fallen into an inconsolable depression. (His owner will be back for the dog in a week or two, once his new house in Helena is ready.) Imagine a grown woman, jealous and angry that her dog has other loves. A human can get real cocky about her dominion over animals, I tell ya. Roy, I am your God, and I am a jealous God, and thou shalt have no other Gods before me, you got that? He doesn’t get it.

Both Jesse and Roy have fallen into a terrible depression and I don’t know how to make either of them happy.

Meanwhile, the chickens multiplied; now there are eight. There are the original suicide girls: Sylvia, Dorothy, Anne and Virginia, plus four more we got from some weirdos on the Northside. They gave us all kinds of grief before they’d let us take their chickens. They were all “What the fuck do you want with four-year-old chickens who don’t lay eggs anymore?” It’s a good question, I guess. They’re worried we’re going to eat them. How do you convince a stranger of your eccentric personality?

As for me, I’m a step above indifferent. I love animals, and it’s fun to hear them cluck and I enjoy chasing them down, picking them up and putting them in their coop at night. But Jesse. Jesse loves these chickens. The new chickens are wild. They look wild and they act wild. Meanwhile, the suicide girls have become increasingly domestic. They try to come in the house all the time and they eat right out of our hands. Here’s a video of when we first introduced the northside chickens to the westside chickens:

I don’t know. Life is about to be full of changes but I don’t want to go into it right now. I bought a car. No, you’re right. My mom bought me a car. I’m going to “pay her back.” It’s a toyota camry. Who the fuck cares about a car.

For those of you signed up for novel blog… sit tight. There are some paid writing gigs I have to take care of first. I’m hoping to get started in the next couple of weeks. I don’t want to do the paid writing gigs, but what kind of an asshole would I be if I just straight up declined an offer to write 4,000 words or whatever on basically whatever I want for $500? I’d be a colossal fucking asshole, that’s what I would be. Still. I might just not do it. We’ll see.

I need to get my own dog. I can’t keep house sitting dogs. Just grow the fuck up and get your own dog, Molly. Get some goddamn friends, Molly. Stop talking to yourself on the internet.

11/7/12

sorry for all the caps/swears + an exciting opportunity.

This blog is the dumbest fucking idea in the world. What was I thinking? Here’s my impression of me: “Ooh, my name’s Molly Laich. I’m going to post my feelings on the internet all day every day from 1997 to 2012 and beyond. I’m going to use my real first and last name so any swinging dick can read about my misfortune and blame me for it. la la la.” Friendships will be lost, feelings hurt, intentions misunderstood, lives shattered, animals kidnapped and that’s just the way it is. No one can change it. The little boy who lives inside my mouth has got a gun to my head. I know, it’s weird, right?

What else? Yippee, America pulled together and just barely didn’t elect the cruelest, blandest, most out of touch and soulless man I’ve ever seen. I’m so proud of us.

Just got three texts from my roommate. In order, they are:

  1. Fuck Off
  2. Fuck Off
  3. Im going to buy you yak trax

There’s been some new animals. There’s a big yellow lab mix named Roy, and he loves the orange stick. So there. We’re in love, but I don’t get to keep him; he goes back to his Dad on November 20th. We also got four chickens, and these are for good. I named the chickens Sylvia, Anne, Dorothy and Virginia, so that if/when Jesse decides to eat them it will be sad, sure, but also a tragic and beautiful inevitability. TRIVIA QUESTION: Who are the chickens named after BONUS SUB QUESTION: Which one of these unlucky ladies never actually killed herself but just thought about it a lot? Leave your answers in the comments field. DON’T ANSWER THE GODDAMN TRIVIA QUESTIONS ON FACEBOOK, YOU LAZY MOTHERFUCKERS.

in case you don't know what chickens look like.

only known picture of the orange stick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the exciting opportunity:  I had this idea that I wanted to run by you. I love writing blog posts and I hate writing everything else. So I thought I would trick myself by starting a novel and posting it in a serial, blog format with sort of a bloggish voice. Now, it’s a FUCKING NOVEL, which means that even if you think it’s based on shit in my real life, it’s not, or if it is, you still can’t hold me accountable for it. THOSE ARE THE RULES OF FICTION, I did not write them.  I don’t want everybody in the goddamn world to read my novel. I just want some people to read it, so that’s how come the subscription thing.

So that’s that. Email me here at mollylaich (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested in subscribing to my novel blog. I plan to get started sometime early next week. Be sure to use whatever email it is you want to use as your login name to email me with.

And please, only sign up if you genuinely want to read this shit. Don’t do it out of politeness cuz you think I’ll be mad at you if you don’t. I totally don’t care. My goal will be to update the blog around 3 days a week with around 1,000 words per post, but really I have no idea. You have to do it this way because I’m not going to promote it on Facebook. This is an exclusive, private club you’re entering into.

To review:

1. This blog is a terrible idea, I’m an idiot, why do I keep doing this, somebody put a bullet in my head. 2. Mitt Romney does not care about black people. 3. When Jesse and I are not together, we’re texting, but it’s dark. There’s dark things you don’t know about. 4. We’ve got a dog on loan and four chickens for keeps. 5. Email me to sign up for my experimental novel blog.

10/9/12

four dogs, two humans.

My brain still doesn’t think my life is real life. I don’t know why, cuz I mean, look around, it’s the realest. We eat a lot of potatoes and tonight I’ve got big plans of steaming up the rest of the red cabbage. We’re like the Bucket family in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They were pretty hardcore vegans until they got their hands on an unlimited supply of milk chocolate. “It wasn’t even really a chocolate river,” the kid who played Augustus Gloop later told reporters. “It was cold, dirty water.” At least, that’s what my friend Alice says he said; who knows if it’s true. She does the Austrian accent and everything, it’s hilarious!

The point is, four dogs live here now. The mini poodles are a contract pet sitting job from craigslist. The rancher who owns two mini poodles will be back in three weeks to collect his pups when he returns from the oil fields. There’s no reason to think the rancher won’t come back for his mini poodles.

 

Here are some old cranky poodles named Corky and Roxy. They think that my lap belongs to them. They are the prince and princess of my free orange chair. Everything in this picture but my satchel is curtesy of craigslist.

In an entirely separate incident, my roommate found the beagles in the “for sale: general” section of craigslist listed for one dollar. It’s fate, he argued. Who else would find an ad for two perfect beagles when they were so miscategorized? Like our love—like our improbable craigslist love, when you go looking for a roommate and instead find a loveless marriage—the dogs were meant to be ours. So that’s how we went from having zero dogs to four emotionally needy little animals in a single Sunday afternoon. They’re squirmy and hard to photograph, I’ll say that for them.

After some big important scent, I'm sure.

 

The beagles came to us with the names Bella and Buster, which is too much alliteration, anyone would agree, but then again, they seem to know their names well enough and who are we, their new slave masters? Jesse likes the name Bella but wants to call the bigger one Edward. He thinks it’s hilarious to reference Twilight in this way. I don’t always get my roommate’s sense of humor. He also thinks it would be really funny to go to the polls and vote for Romney. Ha ha. Voted for Romney. And there’s all the Nazi stuff on his Facebook page. Ha ha. The Third Reich. We’re still getting to know each other I guess.

My mom saw a psychic, and the psychic told my mother, “Which of your kids is the writer? This person should write a book.”

The world has high hopes for me and I fucking hate that. How come psychics never tell people, “I see your daughter, sitting on a comfy orange chair surrounded by spooky clouds and music. She should continue to fulfill her destiny by watching “The Dog Whisperer” and “Animal Hoarders” for hours a day, Ooooooo……”

09/27/12

On Not Writing

Writers will say, “There’s no such thing as writer’s block,” or “I don’t believe in writer’s block.” Okay. Well. What’s it called when every time I write a sentence it’s the worst sentence I’ve ever written, and this happens so consistently that soon I become afraid of the page itself, until the doubt gives way to fear and anxiety as I watch the month of September slip pitifully through my fingers with nothing to show for it? But what can be done? Another day, another dollar. Just go grimly on.

I thought getting out of my house on Phillips Street would help, so I took a greyhound to Seattle to write and hang out with my friend Laura’s dog. I did one out of two of those things. The greyhound driver out of Montana went ahead and told us all sorts of facts about the 1913 fire that apparently ravaged St. Regis and the surrounding wilderness. Her facts were morbid and came in unpredictable spurts. Just when I thought I could relax, she’d get on the horn and say, “Just past that tree line you’ll find a cave that collapsed in the 1913 fire, killing 13 men and all six of their horses.” People on the bus were really into her and who could blame them. The driver on the way home was boring. He didn’t have any wildfire facts. All he did was remind us after every single stop that there was no smoking on the bus. Dude, does anyone in the year 2012 think that it’s okay to smoke anywhere at any time? What a dumb, boring bus driver.

Here are some things that I’ve been doing instead of writing:

  • Craigslist is the new Submittable; all told I’d say I spend around 2-4 hours a day perusing it. I look in the jobs section and weep. I look for open apartments, sublets and roomshares (as if lightning is going to strike twice and I’ll find a roommate with an even BIGGER picture of his face hanging from the wall). Mostly, I look in the pet section where I mourn all the lost dogs and dream of buying all the puppies. Somebody advertised that they found a 3-legged dog near Russell Street. I wrote them to explain that no, it was not my dog, but if they didn’t find its owner than surely I am destined to step in, because I have reoccurring dreams of owning a 3-legged dog. They did not reply. It makes me mad to think about it. I should have found that dog. I never find any dogs.
  • My roommate Jesse and I continue to play house, but is it really a game? I do the dishes and think, “Ha ha, pretending to be in a domestic partnership, doing the dishes.” I think if I get married and have children it will be the same in my head. “Ha ha, brushing my daughter’s hair. Ha ha, second mortgage.” Back when I delivered pizzas I used to pretend that I was a serf in feudal times, working for pennies. I asked my coworkers if they ever did anything similar, and they were like, “What? No.”
  • Jesse asked me to marry him on facebook chat while I was in Seattle, making him the second man in 2012 to propose to me on the Internet. This is what happens when you get older. You can’t just casually date anymore. Everything is a fucking catastrophe. Men are all, “You’re going to rip my fucking heart out of my chest!” It’s grave. To his marriage proposal I said, “Probably,” and that made him mad, so I said, “Sure.” Then we walked around a table holding hands backwards  and now we’re “married.” My roommate is like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman in that he doesn’t like to kiss on the mouth.
  • We are so poor. Every day I ride my bike across town to my post office box. I put my key in the lock and pray, and every day, there’s no check waiting for me and I ride home defeated. It’s always a dreary bike ride for some reason; I have terrible thoughts.
  • The smoke that lingers in the hills of Missoula is disconcerting, definitely, and sure, it hurts to breathe, but the truth is that I like it. It seems like nothing affects me anymore. I used to cry when the music swelled in movies and now I feel nothing. For awhile there, the busses were free, but I had to pay this morning, which. What the fuck. Riding the bus should be free. Everything in the world should be free.
  • And to think, just a couple of weeks ago I quit smoking. Here’s the classic joke: “Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop smoking!” That’s not funny at all.
  • Reading books, watching films, listening to music. Just trying to get through this thing. Trying to remember how to write again. Trying not to panic. The world is a just and orderly place, right? And to die is different from what anyone supposed? And luckier?
08/23/12

Missoula is for lovers.

LAST NIGHT

I met David Gates for dinner at the Depot around 6:30. I heard he was back in town and I wanted to talk to him about literature and maybe ask him what I should do with my life. David wrote two books in the 90s called Jernigan and Preston Falls. These books are so good they make my heart ache to think of them. He’s probably my favorite living author, so it’s pretty lucky for me that he teaches in Montana and we’re friends.

I asked him how his summer was, and he said it was terrible because his girlfriend broke up with him and he didn’t write anything. I told him to shut up and write a new novel. He said, “What the fuck for?” or its equivalent. “It’s hilarious how unambitious you are,” I said, and he said that it was worse than that even, that he wished people would just forget he ever wrote anything. He talked about never wanting to finish another story because one more story would make enough for a collection and it would be terrible to publish another short story collection. If I’m making him sound grumpy, know that he said all of this with a great deal of charm.

I told him how everybody in town keeps telling me to shut up and write a memoir. Even people who hate everything I write and wish I would die tell me to shut up and write more embarrassing non fiction. But I have this unfinished novel, also, so I just wanted to ask David Gates if he thought I should abandon the novel for a collection of personal essays or what.

He said there was no point in writing either things, but he implied that a novel is more salient in the long term, and who cares about people like David Sedaris or Sarah Vowell? “My god, the last thing we need are more personalities!” But really, the last thing we need is more of anything so this point doesn’t mean much.

He concluded by saying that I should just write both. Why wouldn’t I just write both? He said, “Why are you asking me when you’re just going to do whatever you’re going to do anyway?” No bullshit, this guy.

We talked about all kinds of other stuff, like how good The Godfather is and how Toni Morrison is very sexy and flirty in real life. My ex boyfriend Cody was in David’s non fiction class the fall after we broke up, so we talked about him for a second. I said that Cody was a super talented filmmaker but I had to break up with him anyway, and when we broke up he said “never talk to me again” and it’s been over a year since I saw him. And David said, “Of course you broke up with him. He’s not hot and you’re shallow.” What a card, that David.

I let David buy me dinner because he’s got way more money than I do. I suppose that makes me a really shitty person. Somebody should take me out back behind a building and beat the shit out of me with hammers for doing this awful thing.

After dinner I went to karaoke with people who I know and love as well as some incoming MFA students. I’m a fourth year MFAer at this point, which is to say I fucking graduated and what am I still doing at these kind of gatherings, but whatever. I sang “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse, then “Dancing in the Dark” by Springsteen and finally “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder.

I was going to sing “Welcome to the Jungle” but a nice girl named Rachel wanted to sing it and I let her because I’m such a kind person.

I was surprised to see my friend John who I used to be in love with was at the Golden Rose next store, because he’s been in North Dakota for weeks making tons of money on an oil rig. He’s still handsome, which is annoying. We hugged twice and made plans for coffee. I’m not in love with him anymore but if he asked me to marry him tomorrow I’d probably say yes.

I talked to the bouncer about my writing and we smoked cigarettes. I forget his name, but both times he said, “thanks for the conversation” which is a nice and weird thing to say, I think.

My other friend John asked me if I felt okay about a fake problem and I said I did. I said, “Don’t worry about me,” and he said, “Why would I not worry about you?” I said that I didn’t want the summer to end because I love my friends and I’ll miss them when they’re busy with school and I don’t want anything to change.

My friend Kurt told me again how much he liked it when I said “No yolo!” on Facebook, and I agreed it was a great thing to say, because I emphatically do NOT believe you only live once. I told my friend Kurt who is having some relationship problems that he’s handsome and smart and funny and women will be lining up to date him soon. I hope that wasn’t weird. We also talked about rap music but that wasn’t as fun for me because I had no idea what I was talking about.

Jeff the karaoke DJ tackled me toward the end of the night, in a fun friend way. I rode my bike to my new place on the west side. I had been sleeping in a tent out back, but I’ve decided to become an inside dog and move in for good. I don’t have a bed yet so I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor and it was just fine.

TODAY

I woke up with the sun and read some stuff on the internet. It looked cold at 9 in the morning so I put on fleece sweatpants and elected to take the bus into town instead of my bicycle. There’s a bus stop right in front of my new house, it’s really convenient. Waiting for the bus, I saw Jeff the karaoke DJ and his beautiful one-eyed dog across the street. It was neat because I didn’t know he lived there. He gave me a ride into town. I mean, why the heck not.

Jeff dropped me off at the corner of Higgins and 3rd. I started to walk down the street, but then in the distance I saw my ex boyfriend Cody, the one who said my love was like a loaded gun. I got scared when I saw him and ducked around the corner like a moron. I quickly realized that was a moronic thing to do and tried to recover. I came back around the corner and approached him as normally as possible. I said hello and he took out his headphones, begrudgingly. He looked pretty good. I said, “I hid around the corner when I first saw you, that was stupid.” He didn’t say anything. I said, “I didn’t know if you were still in Missoula,” and he said, “I still have two more years of school, why wouldn’t I be?” I haven’t seen or talked to Cody in over a year, but I still know him, and I know that he was seething with rage and I certainly ruined his day. I said, “Okay, I’ll let you go,” and he said, “See you later.”

I headed further down Higgins to the Hob Nob and my friends Greg and Kirsi were outside eating breakfast. “I just saw Cody,” I told them. They told me they watched the entire thing unfold, including the part about me getting scared and ducking around the corner. “If I saw you do that, then Cody definitely saw you,” Kirsi said. You can’t do anything in Missoula without 5 of your friends seeing you. It’s great. My friend Brian walked out of the Hob Nob while I was talking to Greg and Kirsi and I said hello to him.

The line was too long at Hob Nob so I walked down the street to Bernice’s, where I sat outside with a coffee and a not ripe banana. I tried to read a book but an old man reading the paper started talking to me about the weather and wolves in Wisconsin, how they’re getting along really well with the elk. Then Jeff came by with his one eyed dog and we talked about people in the neighborhood we both knew.

I walked down the street to Shakespeare and Co. to see my friend Garth who owns the store. My friend Erika who is also the arts editor at the Indy was there shopping and we all talked about something for a minute. Erika asked me if I would write the movie review this week and that made me happy because I love writing movie reviews. I made plans with Garth to have lunch next Wednesday and then I left.

I decided to head back downtown and see about finding something to eat besides the not ripe banana. There was an osprey flying circles over the river and I stopped to watch him. The osprey landed on a pole, and then both me and the osprey watched a crow circle around for awhile. I wanted to know what the osprey was thinking, and it drove me mad, to stare at an animal knowing that I can never ever know what they think about.

To be a bird for a day. I’d give anything.

It wasn’t even noon yet and I’d already been in so many awesome adventures and seen so many cool people. I thought it would make a great blog post. I thought about how much I like my life in a very real and uncomplicated way, and the idea felt fragile in my hands, like something too good to be true. I walked to the christian coffee shop to write this blog post, and here we are.

07/3/12

getting the ball rolling on subtle cult initiation proceedings.

It’s a full moon tonight. My concerns about the moon are pretty real. There’s that thing Gurdjieff said about earth and earthlings being a slave to the moon, and then there’s the fact that every year the moon moves 3 cm away from earth, and without the moon holding our orbit in delicate balance, we’re doomed to spin off madly into space. Which I guess would be fine.

The moon is thirsty for more blood, can’t you feel it? Here’s the call I put out on facebook: I'm organizing a blood drive for tomorrow night's full moon. At midnight, we meet in a field. We put our blood in a bucket and hurl the bucket at the sky.

Feel free to not take any of that seriously. Go ahead and feel free, if it makes you feel better.

Today I went to see a man on the north side about a siberian husky with a wounded leg. To get there you have to ride your bike down a steep concrete slope that takes you through an echoey, underground tunnel. If you’re really lucky, a train will pass overhead. The dog owner and I talked about how busy we both were, which was sort of a joke, at least on my end it feels like a joke. Feeling the need to read and write all the time and actually being busy seem to me to be two different things, but I don’t know; maybe I’m selling myself short. I told him about crows, and he told me a story about his roommate involving crows and an air rifle. I’m saying the world is magic and we’re all connected.

Being too poor for a lot of food and riding my bike all the time is a recipe for a sexy body. Every day that I step on the rusted out, busted up scale at the anarchist collective, I’ve lost another two pounds. If I keep going at that rate, by the end of the summer I will still exist.  You can’t win!

30 years old. Living at an anarchist collective. Alone, alone, alone.

The guy who loaned me his bike at the beginning of the summer is expected to make a full recovery from the broken legs he suffered on the bike he loaned me. Remember in Misery when Paul Sheldon’s legs were just about healed up, until Annie Wilkes performed the ol’ hobbling trick and busted his ankles up anew, thus ensuring that they continued on in their dysfunctional relationship of demented nurse/writer held captive?

Ha ha. Just kidding, dude. I’ll give you your bike back.

In the book, she doesn’t break his ankles with a sledgehammer. She straight up cuts off one of his feet. In the book he has phantom limb pain which I think is a metaphor for missing his freedom and also a very real representation of the pain and horror of having your foot cut off. Why didn’t they do it that way in the movie, I wonder? An issue with special effects? Too graphic for 1990? I don’t think the film suffers from the change.

07/1/12

mid summer crisis

Forget everything that came before. It’s July First and I’d like to make a public announcement: two things matter in the month of July. 1. Crows. 2. my novel. If my feature on crows isn’t done by the end of the month, I go hungry in August. If I don’t finish my novel by the end of the month, I hang myself from the rafters. You care a lot. You heard it here first and you care a lot about what you just heard.

It’s summer, and what could be better than that. Last night I slept in a tent in the backyard in Montana. There was a rock under my head and I still had a good time. There have been dogs in my past and I see more dogs in my future. Pretty soon the river will be warm enough to float on.

Fucking money. Oh my god. Whatever. I might need to get a job. I applied for a job as a “swamper” at a bar this week. What a cool name for a job. It’s not someone who wades in swamp water up to their waist, as the immediate thought association would suggest. It’s just another name for a janitor. You know how I feel about the custodial arts. If you don’t, here’s my position: I am for them.

Here’s something. In a novel or a story, sometimes an upper middle class character will suffer some life change, some unexpected turn of events that will leave them broken and ready to start over. They’ll wander into a place of business and say, “I need a job,” or not even that. Sometimes the owner will just hand them a broom. I think this is how rich people who also write books think the world works. Well. It fucking doesn’t work that way. You fill out an application and then you wait.

I have a masters degree and I still had to give a resume, talk about how good I am at cleaning things and still will wait back to hear if I beat out the other 5 contestants for the job. I hope I get it! I’d rather be a swamper than a copywriter.

Some things about crows: Holy lord, they’re everywhere. They drop nuts in the street, wait for cars to crack the nuts and then eat them. They go sledding on cardboard, for fun. When was the last time you saw crow roadkill? They are too smart to get hit by a car. When you die, your soul doesn’t come back as a crow. The Crow is not a good film.

And there’s more where that came from!

About mollylaich.com: I’m going to try to update more regularly in the month of July and I’m hoping for a site redesign really soon. You care a lot!