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.

 

04/21/13

two short stories.


1.

I thought I wasn’t going to see my ex boyfriend when I went back to Montana, but that turned out to be wrong. He picked me up in the Orange Street Food Farm parking lot in the dead of night after all the bars were closed. Everything he owned was piled up in the backseat. It was snowing and I didn’t know where he was taking me. He told me I looked pretty in a soft and unfamiliar voice and I knew I was doomed.

The next morning, a couple of old men called my ex boyfriend about the moose antlers he had for sale on craigslist. We got in the $300 silver Subaru we bought together in November and drove to the old Walmart off of Brooks to rondevu with one of the old men. I thought the old man wanted to buy the moose antlers so he could display them on his wall as though he’d killed the moose himself, and it seemed pretty weird and sad, but again I had the wrong idea. It turns out you can make chandeliers and lamps out of the material, and Montanans go fucking wild for creepy antler crafts. My ex boyfriend sold the moose antlers along with a set of elk antlers for $50, but the man said they were worth twice that. My ex boyfriend knows about a place where there are 15 or 16 elk antlers just lying around, and the old man said he would be very interested in that.  Elk antlers go for $8 a pound. I think the elk’s life is worth more, but no one cares, so it isn't.

We’d shared a two bedroom house together on the Westside for four earth-shattering months, but it ended pretty swiftly when I absconded to Seattle under the cloak of night in January. I was thinking that I still loved him, and it was a feeling like if stabbing were something that felt good and people were into.

There was no traffic on the street and the mountains looked cold and right on top of us. we were headed back to his friend’s house to hang out and pass the time until the next thing.

“What happened to my bike?” I asked. We both pictured the black frame and the gold rims. The gears didn’t work so it was a pretty shitty bike, but still it was all I had and I wanted to take it back to Seattle. Nobody thought I'd be back for it; he'd thrown it away or it had been stolen. The bike was long gone and it made me feel tired. With regards to the bike situation, I was back to square one.

2.

The newspaper sent me to review the film adaptation of On the Road. I was glad because I love money, but I never liked the book, and the guy who just dumped me loves it, so it was a mixed bag I guess. I saw the one o' clock showing alone in a mostly empty theater on a rainy Thursday in Seattle. The movie made me think a lot about my life because it’s a dreamy story about writers who don't have jobs and like to get fucked up. The character's don't know they're going to become famous and then die of alcoholism anyway; it's depressing. When I got off the bus on Lake City Way I felt like I was someone else. I felt as though someone had stepped into my body and was taking over, but it's always just me.

A man leaning against the wall near the Value Village called out to me and I walked toward him. He wanted me to sit down and hang out. It seemed like it would make him happy so I agreed. A second mad person approached us, a woman this time. She said she found the man I was sitting next to attractive. If you looked closely you could see that he'd been handsome once, but now he went on and on about a divorce that could have happened last week or never, and it showed.

The lady said I was okay-looking too but she assured me she wasn’t a lesbian. I said I didn’t care. She got a little graphic about what she wanted to do to the guy. Her and the man bickered and I couldn’t figure out whether they’d met before this moment or not. They were like crazy hounds circling each other and sniffing.

The woman opened her backpack and showed us a bunch of pills. She kept waving around the bottles, saying, “Social Security gives me all these pills with the money but I don’t take them.” She really wanted to unload all these pills on me. There were white oval pills and round orange ones. I held out my hand and said, “No, don’t," and then I put the pills in the front pocket of my backpack.  I was trying to get her to show me the labels on the bottles so we knew what we were dealing with here, but she kept flirting with the man and I couldn't get her attention.

The lady pulled out a third bottle and turned it around magically in her hands. I could see by the look in her eyes that the third bottle of pills meant something. A few hours earlier, my roommate had given me a mini bottle of cinnamon flavored whiskey. He said to me, “Use this when the time is right.” Long story short, I traded the mini bottle for a handful of pills from a woman with wild hair and broken glasses.

The man had his own agenda but lord knows what that was. He wanted to go find weed. I said it seemed like a good time, but we were strangers on a city street corner in a shitty part of Seattle, and even though that sounds like a recipe for finding drugs, you’d be surprised how helpless you really are when the time comes. I just wanted to go home and look up what the pills were on the internet. Every pill comes with a unique number and letter, so anything you find in a change purse or buried in the carpet can be identified. It’s as if the drug companies knew what they were doing.

The man followed me down the street for a few blocks. I had a few hundred dollars in my wallet for rent, but his puppy-like energy suggested he didn’t have much power inside of him for violence and I wasn’t afraid. He followed me for a while and then I dodged him in a complicated move involving a grocery store restroom. The other pills turned out to be Lexapro and some kind of stomach ulcer medication, so not worth much, but the muscle relaxers are nice for going to sleep at night.

Do you think you're better than me? We’re exactly the same. On you it just looks a little different.

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.

09/11/12

oh, I don’t know.

There’s this boss moment in The Lion King that I can never shut up about when Mufasa appears as a ghost in the clouds, looks down at Simba and says, “Simba. You are more than what you have become.”

I looked up the Hamlet equivalent, and he’s not nearly as inspirational. The Ghost just tells Hamlet to “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” In the Disney version, Scar never bangs Mufasa’s wife, and when Simba goes back to reclaim his kingdom, he intends for a peaceful overthrowing of the fraudulent monarchy. It’s only by accident and circumstance that he ends up throwing Scar into a pit of flames.

Life’s not really like that, kids! In the real world (i.e. Shakespeare) you obsess over what’s real and what’s imagined. You have no idea what this life is for. It’s just given to you out of nowhere, and now what are you supposed to do with it? Even if you wanted to be fair and just, how do you know what that looks like? Who can you trust to show you? How do you know what the right thing is? Once you think you have it, will you have the guts to act?

The point is that Hamlet’s a good play and I wish I were writing more.

Here’s some more shit about the house I share with Jesse:
As soon as you walk in the living room, there’s a gigantic canvas painting of Jesse’s face on the wall painted by his ex girlfriend. The place is sparsely furnished and sometimes cold. I told him our house reminded me of Xanadu. He hasn’t seen Citizen Kane but when I laid it out for him he seemed pretty receptive to the idea. Jesse says that people always think that their lives are going to work out, that one day they’ll have everything they want and when that day arrives, things will be better. But Jesse knows that it’s not really like that. Here is no different than anywhere else and it will never get better, so accept your marriage, accept your shitty job and try to find some happiness in it. I said I agreed more with the first part than the second, but I’m still working out the details.

There are fires in the bitterroot and the smoke seems to be getting to people. Some nights the moon is pink, which is beautiful but not at all normal and I wonder if she’s enraged or happy or what. The smoke doesn’t bother me but my friends seem pretty upset and I think it’s as good a time as any to get the fuck out of Montana.

On that note, I’m catching a greyhound to Seattle for five days to watch my friend Laura’s dog. Don’t worry, I’ll live-tweet everything.

07/1/12

mid summer crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

And there’s more where that came from!

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

05/29/12

an open letter to visitors of this website.

Technically, I’m homeless. When kids downtown with clipboards ask me to sign their petition, I don’t have an address to write down, so it is: I am without a home. I’m not trying to shy away from the label. It’s a romantic idea, but I don’t know. I have an iPhone. My mom’s not rich, but she could put money in my account if I asked her to. It’s more that I have chosen not to get an apartment this summer because I don’t want to work in order to pay rent.

I just took a bath, for example. How homeless can I really be. This week I’m watching Holly’s cat, Gypsy. Over the weekend I watched Keema’s cat and two dogs. Keema’s house has a flatscreen tv and cup holders that sit on the arms of the couch. It’s like they thought of everything. The cupholders made me feel bad about myself. Also, I burned the bottom of their Tfal pan. Housesitting is harder than you might think.

It hasn’t always been so luxurious though, sincerely. I spent a few days on the lam. The street people of Missoula tend to be the same shade of brown, top to bottom, and I think for a moment I took on this aesthetic. I joined a yoga studio in order to use their shower. Some days, when I don’t feel like doing yoga, I don’t shower. You would think that would be good motivation to move, but meh. Not always.

I lived at a punk rock collective for a week or so, in something like a utility closet. It sounds bad, but the mattress was weirdly comfortable. I promised the nice people who live there that I wouldn’t write about it (yes, it’s just like fight club, the first and second rule). I think they meant not to write about it in the newspaper, but just in case. Let’s just say that I fell in love with the puppy of the house and leave it at that. It was terrible to leave him.

Been spending a lot of time with animals, let me tell ya. Boy oh boy, aren’t animals a trip. I love to watch them up close. Domestic animals, I mean. They must find our human dominated world so bizarre and confusing. Why are we like this? Their humans leave them, and I’m just some asshole standing in their kitchen. With their eyes, they say to me, “We don’t like that you are not Keema. We hate change but there’s nothing we can do about it.”

It’s fascinating to watch animals exercise what little agency they have. “Fuck you, Molly. I’m not eating today. How about that?” How about it. What do I care? No. I care a lot. It gets to me. I’m sure Gypsy will end his hunger strike really soon. Fuck. Holly specifically asked me not to write bad things about her cat on my blog. What’s with everybody telling me not to write things? Guys. I’m not famous. You’re probably not even reading this. Anyway, Gypsy is a beautiful cat and it’s actually pretty metal that he’s refusing food out of undying devotion for his master.

After Holly’s, I have a few more days of homeless. I have a plan. Do you want to hear my plan? First, I make my way to Portland, Oregon sometime between June 3-5. Would anyone like to drive me to Portland? Greyhound might. From there, I need another ride to Onalaska, Washington to do a 10 day meditation retreat. This will be my third time. I blogged about it a couple of summers ago. It’s a creative solution to my homeless problem and also a way to experience the true nature of reality or whatever. Would anyone like to go with me? You can still sign up. It’s not too late. This is a serious offer.

From Portland I’m going to Austin for a couple of days to see about a man. You heard me. That’s where the men are at. In texas. After that, you know. More dogs in Montana. This is getting boring.

Let me just wrap this up by telling you a little something about magic. Everything in my life up to this point I created with my mind. I previsioned it, and now here I am, living in the painting that I drew with my mind’s eye. Everything is going to plan, and I’m pleased. I created it with my head, and then with my hands, feet and mouth. There’s nothing magic about magic.

Love,
Molly

P.S. One thing about not having a car and being homeless is that you require a lot of help and favors from your friends. If you let me sleep on your couch or drove me somewhere, thanks a lot. I really appreciated that. I hope someday that I can do something for you! Friendship.

05/8/12

things that are dangerous. things that are great.

Downtown in Missoula, Montana yesterday, a real live Native American approached me on the sidewalk. Picture the red, ruddy face, as you would expect, then add a shitload of scratches, bruises and gashes held together with medical tape. He asked what kind of money I could spare. My god, are you kidding? The spending kind.

“Got in a car wreck yesterday,” he said. “This keeps happening to me. My daughter is always asking how I get myself all banged up all the time.” He said it jovially, like, “Oh, I’m such a klutz!” The world can be such a horror show, you know? So many unsafe edges and surfaces to smash your face against if you’re not careful. Even if you are careful.

If you went back to my blog entries from fall of 2009, you’d find my first impressions of Missoula: There’s no sales tax, the ducks and crows, for lack of hands hold feathers, a river runs through it, and so on. The place looks and feels made up. All of that is still true, so there’s no point in repeating it.

Here are some before, during and after photos of the elephant in Utero my brother put on me in boston.

Here’s another example of a thing that is dangerous. I asked the heavens/facebook for a bike to use for the summer. Somebody I never met but who knows me through my newspaper writing went ahead and loaned me his bike. He had a broken leg from falling off of said bike but the helmet saved his head and it’s fine. I’ll be fine. He made me promise I’d wear his haunted helmet, and I agreed, warily, warily, warily, warily, and no need to finish the thought.

Your apartment is great, I said. The song you’ve been working on in your diminished condition is great. Your many guitars and broken leg is great.

The hills are great. The pink clouds creeping over the hills are great. Except for the low hanging chandelier directly under the couch I’m currently surfing that I will never remember not to hit my head on again and again, I can’t think of anything that isn’t great.