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?

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!

 

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.

01/19/13

sleepless in seattle is a real thing.

Dear Diary,

I can’t remember why I moved to Seattle. I know I must have made the decision at some point, but I don’t know what prompted it. Why Seattle specifically, I mean. Nevertheless. I’ve been here since January 2nd. Jesse and I broke up right after Halloween, but we kept living together and behaving as a unit, so it didn’t seem worth mentioning. It was probably shortly after he threatened to kill my dog if I went to the movies that I started to think I should leave the state for good.  I took my plants with me, which was a mistake, because they died in transit. Jesse had already started eating the chickens–there were six when I left, but then an animal came in and murdered four more, leaving only crooked-toe and Dorothy. (Or is it Sylvia? I’m not sure.) It feels like the deaths are my fault. I still love Jesse and I miss him like a drug, but whatever. Nothing ever works out. It’s fine. Sometimes you have to just say “fuck this shit” and move to Washington.

I live in a shoebox-shaped room set off from a house with four other roommates. They have eight chickens and a pitbull mix named Manny. I’m working for my cousin’s organic cleaning business, which is both okay and soul crushing. It hurts to be so close to other people’s nice things. First of all, the houses are often already clean when we get there. Secondly, they have all these neat paintings and statues and figurines all over the place. Their appliances are modern. It all reminds me of a moment from Jennifer Egan’s great novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad. It goes:

“Finally Bennie came out. He looked trim. He looked fit. He wore black trousers and a white shirt buttoned at the neck but no tie. I understood something for the very first time when I looked at that shirt: I understood that expensive shirts looked better than cheap shirts. The fabric wasn’t shiny, no—shiny would be cheap. But it glowed, like there was light coming through from the inside. It was a fucking beautiful shirt, is what I’m saying.”

That’s how I feel about cleaning other people’s nice things. I’m sure I’ll get over it.

The honest truth is that I don’t feel very good, but please don’t worry about me, because I’m going to be okay. Right now I am soulsick and listless. The mayans were right: Breaking up with Jesse was the end of the world. But here’s the thing about the end of the world–it isn’t an end at all. You just keep going on with all the color drained out of everything.

It hurts to be around people for very long, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in my room reading and trying to teach myself art history. I like the renaissance era religious paintings because they’re filled with magic, mysteries and secrets. I think my favorite painter is Botticelli. I got drunk and ordered a shitload of art posters, but I should have thought it through. They’re all dark and horrifying. You can’t hang The Garden of Earthly Delights where you sleep and expect to lead a happy life. I need to find pretty paintings to protect me but there’s the rub because I used up all my amazon money and I don’t like the pretty paintings as much. To me, a good painting looks like hell.

I prefer paintings to people, because I can’t hurt them and they can’t hurt me. I don’t have anything to say to anyone, and I don’t care much what other people have to say. I’m lonely but not at all interested in a cure.

The last few days in Seattle have been hopelessly foggy. It seems that I’m living in a long, boring dream that I can’t wake up from. The legend is true about the rain and Nirvana. They play a lot of 90s rock on the radio, which is comforting but maybe not representative of the overall milieu. I only know the one station right now.

The crows! People here are so stupid, they have no idea that crows are running the entire city. Every afternoon you can look up and see hundreds of them flying overhead in a northeast direction. Last week in a parking lot I watched a man watching them, and I thought, what a great man. Great because that’s what I was doing, and I think I’m great.

What I need right now is a writing project. I need to start working on something and see it through to its completion. It’s the most important thing. But I just don’t know what I want to write yet. I know I talked about writing a novel, serially, in blog format, and some of you in fact signed up to watch me fumble through that, but I’m just not sure. What if I did personal essays/memoir instead? What if I quit writing forever and started a hotel for dogs?

It’s 2013, and here we are, all of us, alive. Presently, it feels to me like anything could happen.

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.

11/12/12

this is what I think I look like.

There are these terrible, symmetrical sores on the crease of both my thumbs from raking the yard the other day. They are both ugly and painful to the touch. It makes handling things a challenge; I feel like Edward Scissorhands. With these sores, I’m pretty sure that I don’t deserve nice things. I should sleep on a bale of hay in a tower. Here’s where I tried to document my ruined hands using photo booth:

On the other hand, It’s winter and I feel hearty and alive. When the weather gets this bad, the only people left wandering the streets and waiting at city bus stops are the ones who don’t have any other choice. We eyeball each other, all, “That’s right. It’s 24 degrees and I’m riding my bike, what now?” It’s class warfare out on the streets of Montana (in my head). Bundled up is a good look on me. This is what I think I look like:

I went to see a fortune teller at a weird crystal shop on the corner of Orange and Broadway. The fortune teller read my tarot cards and said vague things about “going through a lot of changes.” She told me I was a hard worker. Oh my god, I know! Just look at how quickly I tore open my hands with a simple garden rake. I am hard as shit.

I told Jesse that I went to see a psychic. He said, “How much did it cost?” and I said, “Thirty dollars.” This figure baffled him. He looked at me with wide eyes and said, “You could have given that thirty dollars to me and I could have put it in a video poker machine.”

So that brings up an interesting thought experiment: Which is the more insane vice? Spending 30 dollars to have a stranger tell you encouraging shit about your life with no hope of a payday, or pinning that 30 dollars on the hopes of a lottery?

Thanks to everybody who signed up for my secret novel blog! I’ve been thinking about it all weekend, and I hope to start sometime in the next couple of days. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s fine. Everything’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with anything.

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.

10/24/12

The Shinning!

Every now and then I go a little too far in the gloom and doom direction… my last post may have been an example of that. Thanks to everybody who wrote me emails, said nice things or looked at me from across the room with eyes like yellow labs. I love you very much as well!

Anyway, things are looking up. I got three job interviews this week, the most promising of which is a housekeeping position at a retirement home that begins every morning at 5 AM. Do not feel sorry for me! I really want the job! After all, I’m not looking for a goddamn career. I just want a job that I can shut up and ignore, and all these woes will serve for sweet discourses in our times to come. I can already see myself looking back fondly on that time I had to cover my tattoos so that old people who are confused about the time and place won’t think the robin on my forearm is a pterodactyl about to eat their medicine.

They said they would call me about the job after they do a background check and call my references. So, as long as “background check” just means a cursory search in a police database to see if I have any felonies, I should be good. If background check means “google search”… well.

Yesterday my roommate made me mad and I announced loudly on twitter that I was going to kill him and then go on a murderous rampage through the neighborhood killing everyone in sight until the police took me down (like a Halloween thing!) I was totally JK about the second part; I’m not a monster.

At night, we watched The Shining alone in the dark on my laptop. I said, “Take this melatonin, Jesse.” It will help you sleep, Jesse. Go ahead. Take the capsule. And then we cuddled and talked about how awesome Shelley Duvall’s outfits are. Take a look at those yellow boots!

It occurred to me a little too late that if Jesse were to suffer some freak, inexplicable death in the night, it would be hard to explain away my tweets. I should be more careful.

But really, in all seriousness, I poisoned his melatonin. Jesse convulsed in his sleep, foam dribbled down his chin and his limbs contorted in terrifying ways. He has such pretty eyes when he’s hurt and scared! It’s a rare look on him! No, I know. You still think I’m joking. Ha ha. No really. Jesse is dead. I murdered my roommate in his sleep and then dragged his lifeless corpse into the garage where he will enjoy a long, lonely winter.

Oh my god, one last thing: I’m worried that I eat too much tofu and I’m going to get breast cancer. It raises your estrogen, you guys. Seriously. This is serious. I should really start looking into healthy alternatives to soy.

To review: 1. Sorry for being a crybaby earlier. 2. I am clearly a person who hates money, as evidenced by my repeated and systematically self sabotaging behavior with regards to the job hunt. 3. The Shining is a really good movie. 4. I killed Jesse as a halloween prank.  5. Send me your soy free vegan recipes!

 

 

10/20/12

the beagles were kidnapped.

Let me just get this out of the way and tell you, in case you’re not my facebook friend or you missed it: Our beagles were kidnapped. The lady who gave them to us on craigslist had a change of heart and scooped them back up. It’s very sad. That afternoon while we were out I found this orange rubber stick for a dog in the street and I brought it home for them. Of course when we went inside they were gone. It’s like something out of a novel written for children in the seventies. (Seems like there were millions of kids books back then about boys and their dogs.) The orange stick makes it so embarrassing. The orange stick says, “Aw, look at this fool who let herself love something. Look who earnestly expected things to go well, or at the very least stay the same.” Anyway, the beagles are gone. It’s sad, but there’s nothing to be done about it, and I do NOT want to talk about it. Don’t ever mention the beagles to me again.

I’ve been trying to transition back into adulthood, and it sucks. I am severely underemployed. I have this tutoring gig that starts at the beginning of November, but it’s part time, and everybody needs money; that’s why it’s called money. Is there anything more frustrating than looking for work? It’s become obvious that my six month experiment of not owning or operating a car is coming to a close. I can’t seem to find a job that doesn’t require reliable transportation. Meanwhile, winter promises to come down hard on Montana at any moment and my bike doesn’t have fenders.

So I need to get a car loan, which means I need to open up a bank account here in Missoula. I showed the lady at the bank my passport and a piece of mail in order to prove residency, but all I had was a handwritten envelope from my friend Mike from that time he sent me his poetry chapbook. I held up the evidence, and the lady said that it was not good evidence. She said I needed something more official looking. “Do you have a Montana drivers license?” No. “Are you on your lease?” No. “Do you have a registered vehicle in Montana?” No. That’s why I’m here for a car loan. I am nothing and own nothing. She told me she couldn’t do anything for me without a more official looking document on my side. Blocked at every turn, I thought. She said that my voter registration card would do, which I’m supposed to get in the mail any day now. The crux of my life has been whittled down to waiting for a voter registration card.

Then I did something that up until now I never would have done, an action born from some new and terrible place inside of me I didn’t know existed: I stared at her. I looked her right in the eyes without moving until I could see just a little bit of fear and panic looking back at me, and I kept staring. I tried to bully her into letting me open an account at the credit union anyway. It didn’t work, but it made me feel powerful. I learned this from Jesse.

I had a student who did that to me once, too, after I told him that he couldn’t write a third paper on steroids. “Your first two papers were on steroids,” I said. “You’ve already demonstrated sufficient knowledge of steroids.” This guy had arms the size of my thighs, and he didn’t like being told what he could and couldn’t do, and he stared me down. I was scared, but I didn’t let him write his third paper on steroids. I saw on facebook the other day that now he’s a model for Hollister. I guess he’s a good-looking kid, now that I think about it. His last paper was a personal essay about bad things that happened to him in his life, and it’s to date the only essay from a student that’s ever made me cry.

I’m getting off track, which is fine. I came here to write about how hard it is to find a job and how terrible life is. It’s just this dumb and sad state of affairs where I have a masters degree and a resume filled with writing accolades, editing jobs, publications and teaching, in a town where that’s all anybody is fucking good at. I’m applying for housekeeping jobs, office work, custodial work, dishwashing, fucking anything. Half the people in this town have been telling me for months (via anonymous internet heckling) to quit thinking I’m fucking special and get down in the dirt and work like everybody else. The other half tell me to pursue my “passions” and write a book. Neither half is willing to actually give me a job. I want to die. I can’t write a book. My writing hasn’t been good lately. I’m no longer good at writing, and no employer is willing to take my word for it that I just want to put my head down and do some goddamn dishes for minimum wage.

It’s frustrating. My self esteem is at an all time low. Even if what everybody tells me is true, what’s the point of being so fucking talented if I can’t even take care of myself?

I told my parents about Jesse, my roommate/boyfriend. (Individually, of course, do you think I’m the product of dual parenting? Please.) I said, “I’m living with someone but I think he might be a little insane,” and they didn’t bat an eye. They were both relieved and thrilled that I’d found a strong man to live with and I was no longer out on the street or living with a bunch of shitty, dirty children in a punk rock anarchist collective.

Even more unrelated than the anecdote about my student obsessed with steroids: Of late I keep finding myself plagued with this weird, unpleasant memory from five or six years ago, back when my friend Ed killed himself. He was having some relationship problems, one thing led to another, he got into heroin and he shot himself in the head. It was terrible, obviously. The overwhelming feeling was that it was a terrible mistake, that it shouldn’t have happened. I even had a psychic tell me once years later, “Your friend Ted wanted me to tell you that he never meant to kill himself. It was a mistake.” The memory I’m talking about is from the funeral. I’d never met his mother before that day, but there she was. She looked very much like my mother. She said to me, “I’m his mother,” and her eyes welled up with tears and I hugged her. And then after the funeral service I was walking down the aisle, and we were suddenly face to face, and impulsively, without thinking about anything, I hugged her again. It was a supernatural hug. In that moment she was my mother and I was her daughter and I was telling her how sorry I was for accidentally killing myself. I can’t stop thinking about it. I wonder if she remembers me at all, but we’re not in touch and I have no way of knowing.

Jesse is fed up with Missoula and life and I can’t say that I blame him. He wants to move to a tiny town in Minnesota and build a boat.

I don’t know what’s going to happen.