10/15/14

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.

05/2/14

may day.

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

A Witch

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

A Series of Sports-Related Injuries 

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

knee

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

hand

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

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 12.58.49 PM

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

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

Your Feng Shui is fucked, brah 

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

photo 2 (1)

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

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

photo 1 (1)

Helloo!

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

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

Date Night resumed 

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

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

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

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

This post is private, don’t read it.

08/22/13

nothing to see here.

The dogs are like little touched children. They are low to the ground children who are covered in fur and can’t talk. When people aren’t around, the dogs are dormant and listless. They curl up on the floor and wait until I come up the walkway, a hero! No human is ever so happy to see me. Herman, the little bulldog terrier runs around in circles and picks up his toy and shows it to me. He’s like, “I just wanted you to see this toy!” Which makes sense at the time but now I don’t get it. The white and brown hound have huge grins and people are all the time saying to me, “Why those dogs so happy?”  Nobody knows why smelling a lot of different things outside makes a dog happy. What’s in the scent? All I know is, the dogs like the walk so much, and I gave it to them. I hardly see the point of writing anymore.

But seriously, my laptop died. Then went the plants, my pride, the pride of lions, the grass under their feet, the osprey, spots on the sun cracking and fading away like flashbulbs, a native language every 9 seconds or something, all of it died, died, died.

Also what is the point of this website again? It’s embarrassing. I’m so embarrassed.

Got a new boyfriend. He’s a mathematician who listens and hopefully doesn’t know how to use the internet.

I’m so happy. There’s a library around the block from my house. Their computers move as slow as a turtle and use internet explorer. It’s like my hell and I don’t even care.

Going to Montana later on today for the weekend to float in the river and try to not hate myself. Same thing I do every day but on a river this weekend.

I am long overdue on my letters. I love you. We love each other. Maybe you’ll get a postcard.

 

07/25/13

my boyfriend’s back (and you’re gonna be in trouble).

Too much time has past since my last confession. All the quality people have died or moved on. So much has happened, where to begin:

1. Becoming a full time dog walker/pet sitter is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. It’s as easy as you imagine and weirdly lucrative so long as you work all day every day and sleep in a stranger’s bed with a pug under each arm every other night of your life. My enthusiasm is tempered only because dog walking is a well known loser job, as evidenced by this recent onion video, “Friends Don’t Understand How Man Not Depressed.”  Three guesses for what this sad, pathetic man does for a living. I’ll give you a hint: He’s not a doctor. If you saw the way the dogs look up at me from the leash with total devotion, you’d understand.

2. An attractive, newlywed couple moved into the upstairs of the house I’ve been living in and are converting the space into their own personal love nest. They dismantled the pool table and threw away the television. Day by day, the ugly tile is covered up with pretty hardwood laminate. Imagine a Charlie Kaufman film. Every morning I wake up thinking, “Oh God, my life.” But I move into my new place in Greenwood this weekend and I have big plans to throw away everything that isn’t an elephant. Speaking of which.

3. In a surprise twist, Jesse moved to Seattle a couple of weeks ago with my first and last name tattooed over his heart. He rolled up with everything he owns in the $300 Subaru, and now he’s making $500 a day roofing, like a game show screaming, “All this could be yours!” But money’s only fun when it’s buying you freedom, right? He moved in with his second choice, a young, rich, beautiful girl in Kirkland. She has no idea what she’s up against. He hates me, he wants to marry me, I’m a whore, I’m beautiful, I don’t know, it changes on a dime. Jesse Casado is Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood. He is Brandon McCarthy from Welcome to the Dollhouse. He’s Mark Wahlberg from Fear. He’s the guy who killed McGinnis in Jesus’ Son. He is Raging Bull.

“Will you believe me when I tell you that there was kindness in his heart? His left hand didn’t know what his right hand was doing. It’s just that certain important connections had been burned through. If I opened up your head, and ran a hot soldering iron around in your brain, I might turn you into someone like that.”

The last time I saw Jesse he’d started drinking at 5:30 in the morning. He bought me breakfast at Denny’s and I sat across from him on a bed of eggshells thinking, forgive me, please. I’m sorry I hurt you. Forgive me. Love me like you used to. Let me love you. Just be my friend. Guess what’s never going to happen? On the way home I puked up the Denny’s in a plastic bag, and it’s like, what the fuck is the point of this? What am I doing? I quit.

4. The worst of it is that I haven’t been writing, but I’ve been off the Jesse for a few days now and I think I’m coming out of the fog. I’ve got my sense of smell back! I can feel myself having ideas again. I want to write essays on dogs and how to be nice. I want to write you free letters and a novel and a million short stories and more film articles. Now it’s just a question of where to start.

Where do I start?

02/27/13

onalaska, washington.

First of all, I want to assure you all (Dad) that I’m doing really well. It’s important to remember that mollylaich.com is kind of a horror story on purpose. The new testament sucks because good news is boring. Here’s an example of what I think is a bad story: “Molly made vegan pancakes and they were delicious and the dog ate all of them.” Here’s that story a little better: “Molly made vegan pancakes and they were really bad. She has no pets.” Actually never mind, the first story is better. Forget this.

The point is, I’m fine. Seattle winter is temperate as fuck, and I’m into the drizzle since I’m so goth. My roommates are awesome. I got a really cool rubber shark at the thrift store the other day. It’s not even that everything is going to be okay. Things are totally okay right now.

Still, there is this curse that needs lifting, and the only way I know of to lift a curse is with sober repentance. Starting this evening I’m going on a 10-day vipassana meditation retreat in Onalaska. I said I was going this summer and then I went to Texas instead, but this time I mean it. I’ve been twice before, in 2010 and 2008. People become very grave when I talk to them about it. The simple act of sitting on a mat in a room doesn’t seem like it should be a dreadful thing, but we all feel dread about it anyway. It’s more than just being bored, right?

I feel exhilarated. It’s good to do insane things now and again. I hate having to talk to people sometimes; I’m psyched I don’t have to talk to anybody for 10 days. It will be nice to be fed. Remember what Whitman said about death? He said that to die is different than what anyone supposed, and luckier. I’m not afraid; do not be afraid for me.

It’s inconvenient, for certain. I was in the middle of things. Had some collaborative art projects going. Had to delay the start time of a job. I’ll miss all your tweets about what I’m missing at AWP in Boston. You know. things. Important things. I wish I could hire someone to check the seattle craigslist dog section for me every day. Wish I could find someone to print out copies of my resume and then throw them in the garbage over and over. Wish I had a maid who could not write for me. You get the idea.

My story Nobody Tell Sandy She’s Dead is live today at Snake Oil Cure. The title is also the message.

Thanks for reading my blog. I know this is a one way conversation most of the time, but I feel like we’re friends, and I love you. Talk to you when I get back.

 

 

02/23/13

driving while hooded and other tales of terror.

This probably isn’t a very healthy or useful way to frame the situation, but I think somebody put a curse on me. First of all, I keep losing stuff. My wallet, slips of paper, these things seem to vanish into thin air. At work I lost an important key and my cousin fired me. How could I have lost the key? We looked for two hours. It was like god came down from the heavens and swallowed the key so I wouldn’t have to clean houses anymore.

I get turned around on the road a lot and I give bad directions. Under my navigation we become hopelessly lost. And I have a problem with money. Like everybody else, I fucking need it, but I feel like it’s evil, and I’m not good at making it, and that makes me mad and bitter. Missoula is still raw about that time I ran the stop sign on my bicycle. I keep getting parking tickets. It’s hard to get ahead when you don’t have any money.

Had a little trouble with the Canadian border patrol the other day, but what else is new. My aunt has a timeshare she wasn’t using in Whistler, British Columbia, which is about a 4 1/2 hour drive from my place in Seattle. I thought I might take myself on a vacation, but that turned out to be wrong. The Canadian border patrol thought I was high on marijuana. I wasn’t, but they were right about me overall. You really shouldn’t wear cargo pants and a hoodie when you’re crossing the border by yourself in a shitty car on a whimsical adventure.

They put me in handcuffs and locked me in a room for a long time. The room had a pretty bad energy and why wouldn’t it? Nothing good ever happens in that room. The woman who couldn’t be convinced that I wasn’t high on pot seemed like an interesting person. She was severe and pretty, with a tightly wound braid and dark lipstick—she was exactly how you’re picturing her. I wondered what she was like at home, in her own clothes. She was kind of ruining my life, but I think I sort of wore her and the others down with my calm, go-fuck-yourself demeanor. Toward the end I could hear some kindness in her voice. At one point she and another female guard escorted me to the bathroom. For a moment the door was jammed; we all got locked inside, and she giggled. She had great teeth.

They gave me a slip of paper that officially said they thought I was high on drugs. The slip said I was prohibited from driving in Canada for 24 hours, which pretty much made me be like, “fuck this Canadian vacation.” I was escorted, on foot, back across the US border.

If you want to know how I feel about it, well, it makes me feel really bad about myself. I spend a lot of time worrying about how weird I am, but what can be done? I’m fidgety, it hurts for me to look people in the eyes. Sometimes the world lets you know what it thinks of you, and it’s not pretty. Still, it’s important not to take things personally. You wake up, you put on your clothes and you hope for the best, and sometimes the day ends with you in fucking handcuffs. What am I supposed to do about it? Who do I get mad at?

I don’t know why I write about stuff like this on the internet.

I feel haunted by my ex boyfriend’s ghost. I found a picture in my phone of his back at a football game in Missoula. It was taken a year before I met him. I was there reporting on a story for the Indy. I remember it really well because that was the first day of what would turn out to be my 10 month stint of sobriety. It’s a terrible photo. Lord knows what I intended to capture at the time; my finger looks like an alien. Jesse’s the one in camouflage shorts. I’m pretty sure it was too cold for shorts. What a fox. We are never ever ever getting back together.

photo (42)

I’m collecting clues and I haven’t a thought in my head of what to do with them. My life is like The Legend of Zelda and right now I suck at this game. How do you lift a curse? I don’t know what to do except try to be careful and love everyone anyway.

I had this idea for a different kind of nightlife, where you walk into a bar and it’s all dogs. Dogs working behind the counter, dogs playing poker in the corner (obvs.) Dogs sitting up like humans at the bar and lapping beer out of mugs. And then I walk in and take one of them home with me. It’s not a sexual thing. You just go to this bar to pick up dogs and then the two of you start a life together.

There’s a story of mine in the new issue of Corium Magazine called “Make Do.” It’s a fictional telling of my real life friend’s untimely suicide; I feel okay about it. That same story will reappear sort of in the spring 2013 print issue of Carve Magazine as the featured Reject. It’s pretty neat, they sent me a spirited rejection for “Make Do” on my birthday, and then I got to write a little essay about the story and how getting rejected felt.

Note my 21st century tweaks. You can now share my posts on twitter and facebook or whatever, and I added an email subscription thing. This was a pretty long post, I’d say.

Nobody said this life was going to be easy. I think that’s the lesson, here.

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.

10/11/12

don’t send help.

Yesterday morning we were out of coffee, which I hate. It took everything I had to power my body down to the Safeway. I thought I’d take just one of the dogs with me, so I took Edward, the handsome beagle. I tied him to the bike rack as if he were the horse I rode in on. He barked louder than I’ve ever heard an animal bark in my life, and then I paid $2.25 for the world’s worst coffee. (Safeway, what the fuck? You burn your coffee every single time. It’s not an anomale at this point, you just serve burnt coffee.) A man loomed by the bike racks.

“That dog’s got some anxiety issues,” he said.
“I know that.”
“Looks like he’s got some coon hound in him.”
“He’s a beagle.”
“And some pitbull.” the Man added. “You can see it in his face.”
“No. He’s just a beagle.”

Mind you, I’m not inordinately attached to the idea that my dog is a purebred animal, and he doesn’t have fucking papers or anything, but for some reason I found it incredibly irritating that this guy didn’t know what a beagle was. He persisted again:

“I’d say he’s part coon hound, part pitbull.”
“Sir, you’re just describing what the parts of two dogs add up to, which is a beagle.”

I tried to look up dog training videos on how to train your dog to be tied outside of a business without crying, but the searches just came back with “Don’t tie your dog up outside of a business.” You can’t win.

The dogs love me. They follow me from room to room; they whine and cry when I leave. I am the new love of their life. I take them for lots of walks. Earlier, the smoke had cleared and the wheat colored hills to the north had no cows on them, but now the smoke is back and there are cows. I think they’re cows, anyway. They could be black mounds with legs, but who would go to such trouble.

The dogs love me, but they fear and respect my roommate. The beagles got out and wouldn’t listen when I told them to come in. I said, “Jesse, call your dogs.” And Jesse said, “Get in the house” and it’s like they understood English; they just ran inside single file. Jesse said to me, “Here’s the difference between you and me: You ask them to do things, and I tell them.”

I hate that, but he’s right, and I don’t understand the difference. There’s a finality inside of Jesse that doesn’t exist in me, and I don’t know how to find it. I read about dog training all day long, and Jesse just does it. It pisses me off.

I might have to stop writing about my roommate so much, for a lot of different reasons.

1. It’s weird to make an art project out of your relationship. It’s just plain weird.
2. He said in the beginning that he wanted me to write about him, but that always has its limits. He was a little sore the other day. He said “I just wish you wouldn’t write about me with your emotions” to which I said, “What the fuck are you talking about? That’s how I write everything.”
3. I can never get to the heart of the matter. The really good stuff is classified. To really get to the heart of Jesse, you have to rip him open, and then he’d be dead and it would be too serious.
4. My roommate is damaged goods. He’s an abused pitbull who snarls and bites people who try to get close to him. He’s misunderstood and he’s been hurt in the past. It sounds condescending, but I don’t mean it that way. Jesse is smarter than me, and he knows how to take care of himself, and it’s thrilling to watch him navigate the world. I love him exactly how he is, but there’s something wrong with him. He’s not like normal people. I think he might be the three-legged dog I’ve been dreaming about.
5. I should save him for the book.

One of the mini poodles escaped today. Two hours of unmitigated anxiety, plus imagining that phone call: “Funny story, I killed your dog…” But he came back. After that I had lunch with an author in town who invited me out specifically to remind me of my potential. He said, “You could write anything you put your mind to.” Being reminded of your potential is fine when you’re using it, but when you’re just sitting around not writing, it cuts like a knife. I’m not mad at anybody, I’m just anxious. Not writing feels like your dog ran away and you don’t know if he’s ever coming back. I should put an ad on craigslist. My beloved book has gone missing! Send help.

Casey Hannan and I did this story exchange thing for Story Tapes. Watch it! I am robotic and my eyes are all wrong, but I think look pretty.

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……”