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!

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.

12/12/13

a day in the life part million.

Before we begin: Does the new theme decoration make you nauseous? Perhaps I’ll have changed it before you read this, but right now know that the background is bright red slabs of meat with a real life bloody bathroom scene as the header photo. I can explain: I don’t have photoshop installed to tone down the reds. If anybody wants to help me design something prettier, by all means, come at me.

Never mind this crippling fear of the blank page followed by an avalanche of projections into a bleak and unrealized future. I went to bed with this “never mind” in mind and tried to wake up in the morning still thinking it, but the mind wanders. I had three dogs to walk today. I said to myself, unconvincingly, “I choose to be a dog walker!” This is one of the new head tricks I’ve learned, in a nutshell: Act like your life isn’t horrible.

There’s a coffee shop about a block from my new studio in capitol hill. I don’t like it because the drip doesn’t taste good and you can’t get anything bigger than 12 oz (classic joke: The food is terrible, and such small portions!) but it’s on the way to the bus and I’m trying to be a good sport.

Inside the soundtrack featured christmas music sung by harmonizing black voices, and I was listening to the music while staring at the girl’s hair in front of me. She had hair that looks like she tousled it in the morning on purpose, like if you snapped a picture of Kate Moss when she first stepped out of bed and she still looked good.

The girl with the hair said, “Is this Beyonce?” and the man behind the counter with the skinny tshirt, beard and glasses confirmed, “It’s Destiny’s Child.”

It was just as I suspected, and in my sudden commitment to be vulnerable and genuine with the people around me, I said to everyone, “I was really enjoying the music, and it caused me to confront my true self and my previous beliefs about the entire holiday season and the meaning of Christmas.” I pointed to my heart while saying this.

The man behind the counter corrected me: “It’s pretty horrible.”

The other guy handed me my shitty 12 ounces of coffee and said, “Yeah, it’s bad.”

Let me just reaffirm once more that the music was gorgeous, I mean empirically, you’d have to be some kind of monster. I thought, “Am I on candid camera?”

Out loud I said, “Then why are you playing it?” but no one heard me.

The girl with the tousled hair agreed with the coffee workers that the soulful, joyous rendition of “here come the bells” was terrible. “I like the RUN DMC Christmas album,” she said, and followed that with, “Are you playing this on vinyl?”

It didn’t seem like she was kidding, but how can that be? They said: “No, compact disc,” and the three of them talked about vinyl right up to the moment I walked out the door.

That’s actually what unfolded during my first attempt at openness with people in my neighborhood. I’m like a raccoon who climbs out of his hole at the first thaw with a longing for spring only to immediately get hit by a truck.

On the way to the bus downtown I thought to myself, “I need to start saving my money so I can go on vacations, have experiences and meet new people.” Shortly after on the sidewalk I ran into a panhandler for probably the third or fourth time, but she tends to only remember me if I’ve got a dog in tow. She’s a tiny, pretty thing, and she’s always nice and I always give her money. She said she needed four more dollars to get a subway sandwich, and I handed her five dollars out of my empty dreams fund.

She said thank you and told me I was tall. Being told I’m tall usually feels like a pin in my belly but I’m starting to recognize that people think they’re giving me something nice when they say this. They think they’re complimenting me, so with this new information I have to sort of pull out the pin and clean off the blood.

The odds suggest the girl is a drug addict, which is fine. I am happy to give her five dollars for whatever is going to make her feel good. What I find is that I’m craving to know her better. What kind of drugs? How did she get into them? Will she ever change or will she die on the streets? I know that she’s special. I’d like to follow her back to wherever she goes at night and crawl into the sleeping bag next to her, but I hold back! This is why I’ll never be a crack addict; I’m too shy.

You’re reading the words of a girl who’s interested in change and right action. I joined a cult recently. I hope it helps. It’s not my first choice for a cult because I think it’s a little corporate-y, and they’re super aggressive about trying to turn me into a little soldier who recruits other members, but overall I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor, at the moment. Think of the kind of compassionate capitalists with glazed over eyes you see in the crowd of a Ted Talks video, these dolts who have just discovered for the first time the value of mindfulness, and that’s the kind of peeps my new cult is largely made up of. I think I’ve got something to learn from these people. If you think I’m selling out, well. The girl from two weeks ago who didn’t join this cult hasn’t finished a story in over a year and a half, so what the heck. Let’s see if this helps.

I’m single again. Lost another one to God, what else is new. Going to Detroit this weekend. I tried to go to the post office but the line was too long and I couldn’t understand how to buy stamps out of the self service machine. That’s a true story. If you’re still waiting on a free letter, what can I say? LoL. Keep waiting. 

06/6/13

you haven’t met yourself yet.

Work

Nobody didn’t see this one coming: I put in my two weeks at the retirement home. I knew for sure I was on my way out when they told me I had to go to a meeting designed to hone our team building skills, and much like Camus and the Myth of Sisyphus, my first thought was, “Should I go to the meeting, or should I kill myself?”

You don’t understand. The lady made us answer ice breaker questions. When she asked me what my two favorite foods were, I said, “Ramen and tofu,” because that’s actually what I eat the most of, and aren’t you supposed to love the one you’re with? I really let the team down with that answer; you could feel the energy in the room deflating down to nothing. You’d have thought I squashed a sparrow under my boot in front of everyone and laughed about it.

Really though, this country fetishizes food and the food industry exploits animals, I’m not in the mood, I hate when people ask me what my favorite food is. The team should consider itself lucky I didn’t elaborate. [In high school, my friend Kevin used to do an impression of me wherein he put on my glasses, waved his hands in the air and said, "I'm Molly. I'm anti-everything!" It's still true! I still wear glasses!]

So ends that reign of terror. I got two new jobs, get this, we’re all really pleased about this: 1. Dog walker. 2. Mentor/private tutor.  But let’s not get into it here. Old people don’t really google, but everybody else does and I’d rather not get fired immediately.

Detroit

I made friends with a poet on the internet and I visited him in his basement apartment. It was a neat room with wood paneling on the walls, important books and hundreds of VHS tapes of violent films. The poet told me more than once that if not for poetry he’d be a murderer and if you’ve seen his beard like I have you wouldn’t doubt it. I feel like I find myself alone in rooms with men like this all the time lately and I’m never scared. I saw his bedroom in a dream ten years ago and I told him so. In the dream we sat on the floor on the edge of his bed. The poet didn’t talk much and I don’t know if he thinks I’m a necromancer or a dumb girl who says untrue things or what.

In a diner not unlike the one in all of David Lynch and indeed many films, the poet told me for a second time about a book he liked called The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell. He told me about turning to a random page (57, he thought?) and reading a passage that said something like “You’re looking out a window at rocks on a Tuesday in 2009” and the Poet swore he was doing just that. I had ordered the book from a second hand seller on amazon not long after the first time he told me he liked it. I pulled the book out of my purse and looked for page 57, but pages 53 through 58 had been ripped out. The coincidences just stack on top of each other without meaning anything. They stack and stack like a room full of dirty plates until you can hardly move but still your life doesn’t mean anything. You want to smash the plates but the plates don’t care if they’re smashed or in tact; you can’t win.

LSD

You’re not allowed to talk about drug use in the present tense, so assume this happened a long time ago, to someone else, in a dream, with a wrench, on a boat:

She took LSD with some old friends for old time’s sake. It was terrible, she just crawled inside her heart and saw how black it was, but her friends wanted to have a good time so she pretended like she wasn’t in a private hell. They watched a lot of Eliot Smith and Sparklehorse videos and mourned their suicides all over again. She'd eaten pizza earlier and spent all night puking up the pizza, and then all sorts of items that weren’t pizza; she puked marbles and spare change and keys with no locks. She felt like she didn’t love anyone or care about anything anymore, and that’s wrong. There’s no point in doing LSD, she decided. Taking LSD felt like arriving at a fun party hours after everyone’s already left and the lights are turned off. Then you put your hands on your knees and spit up a wilted balloon, and there's not even anybody around to laugh at you.

New, better jobs. Seattle stays in the picture. I’m so happy. Look at this photo of me. I’m so happy:

 

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!

 

02/27/13

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.

01/30/13

Now take away the room.

Reason number 237 why I can’t seem to get ahead in life:
I was talking to one of my roommates about how unfortunate it is that I should have to work for a living, but in a cheeky tone, I hoped. We started talking about get rich quick schemes, and I told him about my spell idea. Get this: What if you had a magic spell that turned all of your pennies into quarters? That’s it. Life would be perfect. You could have anything you ever wanted. I’d become a penny hustler and before long it would probably teach me a lesson about temperence or something. One day I’d find myself floating in an indoor pool in a mansion I had built on a private island, coked out of my mind, hookers everywhere, and a trusted friend would say to me: Molly, you’ve changed.

My roommate agreed that it would be a great spell, but then he added that there are for real ways to turn pennies into quarters. By hard work and ingenuity. Moving a little money around. Getting things going. I told him that I’d rather spend my life looking for a magical wizard to cast my penny spell than to ever take the time to legitimately make money. That’s a limiting belief that I should probably re-examine in the future, which is why I mentioned it.

After that I invited my roommate into the shoebox out back where I live so he could see all the stuff I bought at the thrift store. There’s the lamp that is also a brass turtle, no big deal. At my house, you read by the glowing shell of a turtle.

Another big deal is the homemade quilt from the Goodwill store for 5 dollars. One side of the quilt is patchwork, and the other is made from the same material as my sheets from when I was a kid. God, our parents were weird. Why didn’t they just sprinkle LSD on our cereal? These sheets have the same effect. Some old woman made this blanket with tenderness and care, and then she died and the blanket got put in a box. Her children dropped the box off and that’s that. Just like Holden Caulfield’s crotchety old teacher, I got a big bang out of buying a blanket.

Forget your imagination, this is the blanket.

My roommate couldn’t get over the poster of DaVinci’s The Last Supper hanging on my wall. He was really fucking into the architecture, and he convinced me that it creates the optical illusion of a whole other room, connected to my room, just past Jesus and his friends. Here’s what’s standing in the other room.

It's the other me.

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.

12/23/12

words are spells.

mollylaich.com, both the website and the girl, need a little alone time. we’re expecting a full recovery in 2013. (maybe even before; I might want to tell you what movies I hated this year. I know. season your admiration.)

Meanwhile, I love self help/hippy spiritual books, and I’ve been reading one in particular called The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Luiz. Just do what he says and you’ll be happy, okay? The four agreements are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

Here’s a succinct explanation of number four, from toltecspirit.com:

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Here’s a passage from an as yet unpublished story I wrote back in 2010 called “Get Well Soon.”

The nurse wrote a recommendation for her to see the psychopharmacologist across the hall, where they would do their best to help her. He thought about how that’s all anyone can ever do: their best. He thought about it the whole way home, driving in his car: “We want to do our best.” It’s not enough to want to do your best. You have to know what that means, and the definition always changes. Your best might not be someone else’s, and so on. He didn’t think it was likely that Emma would get better.

Eh. I was startled at first, but maybe it’s not actually that similar. I’ve just always felt that when I’m writing—when I’ve caught a current and I feel like I’m really nailing down what I want to say—it’s not coming from me. It’s coming from the little boy who lives inside my mouth! i.e. the netherworld. You’ve written about things and then watched them come true, right?

Mostly I just wanted to say hello and please don’t forget about me. Here’s the second part of that paragraph. And do let me know if anyone is looking for an 8,000 word story about pain.

Some people just have a sunken in look to them, and they will always talk to you from that void. The nurse came home to an empty apartment and made sloppy Joes for himself and his neighbor, who wasn’t home and didn’t want one. He went to bed and had the same reoccurring dream, the one in the meadow with his favorite food: pancakes, drenched in syrup and stacked to the heavens.

I love you. Merry christmas.