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?

05/1/13

congratulations on my new job.

I got a job as a server in the dining room of a retirement home. They make me wear black pants and shoes. I bought the whole outfit in the men’s section at Target, because who gives a fuck what I look like? The shoes are excellent except there’s something about the shape of them that makes me trip over my right big toe often and without warning, and every time is a little more perilous than the last. I feel like the shoes are cursed and something really bad is going to happen, but it’s probably just that I’m humiliated about my job and my pathetic station in life.

The old ladies think I’m some kind of big blonde giant lumbering toward them, and they’re all spellbound by my name, which I guess is more modern than I thought. You would think that old people would be more aware of things in life instead of less, but that’s not the case. Like, you’d think that they might have met at the very least a little dog named Molly in their 70+ years on this planet, but no. I tell them that I’m named after my great Aunt Mary, that historically Molly is a nickname for Mary, and it’s as if I told them we’re all going to start tasting with our feet from now on like butterflies.

The thing about being old is that you can’t remember anything. The old ladies hang out together and help remember each other’s orders. (“What is that thing I like?” “You like honey mustard. You like honey mustard so much.”) Here’s an example of a hilarious conversation I overheard in the dining room.

Joan: I’ll go grab your walker.
Ester: I don’t have a walker.
Joan: I’m pretty sure you have a walker.
Ester: I really don’t think I have one.
Joan: This is your walker.
Ester: Are you sure?
Joan: I’m pretty sure.
Ester: I really don’t think I have a walker.

They went back and forth like this for a pretty long time. The exchange felt comfortable and laid back, like the ladies were old friends.  The story ends with Ester wheeling herself out of the dining room, all the while convinced that the walker in her hands didn’t belong to her.

If I’m making it sound like I hate these people, that’s not the case. A few of them are assholes, but most of them are kind, beautiful snowflakes and it gives me genuine pleasure to bring them extra napkins when they ask for them. I have a particular fondness for old people because they’re such misfits. They’re complete fucking messes and everybody can tell. If I have any regrets about the job, it’s that I’m bummed out that I’m a terrific writer with a master’s degree, 60+ publications, 2+ years of teaching experience, I’m 31 years old, and the only job I could find in Seattle after months of tireless searching is working in an old folk’s home for $9.50 an hour. It’s embarrassing because I’m sure the world expected more out of me, but then again, does it really matter? You get up, you go to work, you come home, you go to bed. There’s more to life than a little bit of money, you know. Whatever, I’m sorry. I’ll keep trying.

I have a story at Spork Press called “Black Dog, White Rhino.” If you read that and you’re champing at the bit for more, the protagonist continues her sad life in another story on Monkeybicycle from last year called “What People Without Jesus Do.”

Thanks for reading! Also, am I boring you? What do you think I should write about? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don’t really get this website or what it’s supposed to be about or why I’m writing it.

04/3/13

7 don’t kill yourself tips.

1. There’s no such thing as death.
There’s no shortcuts ever, right? You fall asleep here, you wake up somewhere else. No ghost has ever not regretted that time she hanged herself in the basement. Watch Faust. Read Sartre’s No Exit. Don’t be frightened, but for real, there’s no exit.

2. It hurts a lot.
Every kind of suicide hurts. Lots of pills make your organs shut down, like they’re walking down a flight of stairs and also on fire. A gun, a knife, a rope. You’ve seen a magician floundering in a tank with no key. Did it look like a wet hug? You’ll be so alone; don’t do it.

3. Make girls laugh instead.
Think about it: A giggling girl, and you did that to her. What is better? Start by whispering in her ear some acerbic truth about the situation. If you want to go in for the kill, imply that she’s special and powerful, but in a weird way. They love it. Making girls laugh can be a hobby, like stamp collecting. Bet you never thought of that.

4. Animals.
Anybody can get a dog to love them. You could be a horrible friend to the humans around you, you could murder people in the street or smash flat screen televisions for no reason, and if you walk a dog once a day and give him food, to him you will be the lord of your apartment. Crows: they’re fucking everywhere. Decide to become spellbound with feelings of love and magic every time you see a crow because you love crows so much and suddenly your life is filled with love that can’t be helped.

5. Movies.
Just watch movies all day instead. Watch every Quentin Tarantino movie, every Martin Scorsese movie, every Woody Allen movie, The Godfather trilogy, almost every David Lynch movie, the original Total Recall, Logans Run, Altered States, All the Die Hard movies, Welcome to the Dollhouse, both Bill and Ted movies, half the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, one quarter of the Friday the thirteenth movies, Jurassic Park 1 and 3, all the Alfred Hitchcock movies, Every movie about Christ, Buddha and the devil, all the David Mamet movies, every Charlie Kaufman movie, a lot of documentaries, even the long boring documentaries, just watch all the movies, because even though it’s not the same thing as life, it’s close, and later if you’re up to it you can talk to people on the internet about the movies.

6. Heroin?
Not a good idea. A last resort, definitely. Heroin often causes suicide, sure. But maybe it hasn’t gotten its claws in you yet and you’re standing on a ledge. You want to feel better, right? The point of suicide is to feel better. You’ve already proven you’ve got nothing to lose, so find a man in a dark alley and ask him. Oh no, is it dangerous? You’re not afraid of getting cut. Put the needle in your arm and re-evaluate. Maybe you don’t know the way to do that and you can make a friend out of whoever teaches you how. And if you’re back on the ledge in 6 months, you’ve bought some time. Does time matter? Does it do any good? Nobody knows!

7. Move.
Unhappiness follows you everywhere like a starving animal, sure, but some places are better than others. Waterford, Michigan is bad, but Guantanamo Bay is worse. A prison is bad because everyone is mean and none of your friends are with you, but strapped to a heavy rock at the bottom of the ocean is a thousand times more lonely. If you’re thinking about killing yourself because no one in your town understands you, try another town. The girls around here are snobs; go south, they’re more fun. Go where everybody’s cousin lives. Keep moving at a steady clip until the world decides it’s done with you. That’s the way it is anyway. You can’t change it so don’t try.  And you probably won’t get to hover around and watch everyone mourn. You’ll just upset everybody.

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.

 

01/11/12

my enemies are the russian.

It has occurred to me—more than once, even—that writing about myself so candidly all over the internet and beyond might be a really fucking bad idea. Just so you don’t think it hasn’t occurred to me: the thought occurs. My second major feature came out at the Missoula Independent last week. It’s about magic, you can read it here. And then there was the one before that. I wanted to take a second to really dwell on the issue and explain why I keep putting it all out there, despite the large stones it sometimes lodges in my chest.

The things that we super enjoy about art and literature oftentimes have to do with seedy underbellies. Remember when American Beauty came out in 1999, and it was all, “Oh my god, we can’t believe that seemingly perfect suburban families might have skeletons in their closets!” Well, I can’t believe you can’t believe it. The stuff I write about doesn’t seem particularly shocking or weird to me, because I thought it was obvious we were all messes.

Take the whole struggling with drug and alcohol addiction thing, for example. The truth is, I’m not sorry that I did a lot of drugs and drank a lot growing up as a teen and beyond. I mean, I’m sorry for some of the consequences, but I don’t think it was inherently bad or wicked or something that I should go out of my way to hide. And likewise, I’m not sorry that I decided marijuana wasn’t meant to be my friend for life and that it’s not some snake oil panacea, after all. I think that all humans struggle and suffer and I’m not embarrassed to talk about my own struggles and suffering. I am, however, a little embarrassed that I’m not embarrassed.

My next point is best demonstrated by a moment from My So Called Life, when Angela says:

“What I like, dread, is when people who know you in completely different ways end up in the same area. And you have to develop this, like, combination you on the spot.”

That might be one of the defining quotes of my life. I really took it to heart, and the lesson I got from it is that you shouldn’t have to come up with a combination you. So much suffering comes from trying to manage all of our different personas, and at the end of the day, it just strikes me as kind of futile and pointless. We’ve all taken in good art, so we know that people are messes. Do you think that you are somehow pulling it off and making everyone else believe that you’re the exception? I don’t know. I might be too far in the other direction. I’m still working it all out.

People talk about a lack of privacy in the new facebook/twitter/whatever society like it’s a bad thing. I’m pretty into it. I don’t think people should ever feel like they have to censor who they are to anyone at any time. If you’re doing your best to be kind and true, and you’re living your life on purpose, then what is there to be ashamed of? That’s my position.

More important than any of that shit, though, is the fact that when I write about myself, people seem to respond. Over-using the first person isn’t inherently interesting. I suspect that sometimes I can be too self-centered and boring. But overall, I feel like I’m touching on something. If I didn’t feel that way, or if people didn’t continually tell me to keep doing it, I swear I would shut the fuck up.

I’m currently a teacher at a community college. Any curious student could find this blog or any of my highly personal essays whenever they wanted. How do I feel about that? Meh. I don’t feel great about it! Do I feel like it might undermine my authority? A little. But at the end of the day, it’s like this: 1. Most students are not that curious. 2. The ones that are curious tend to have open minds and won’t hold this shit against me. 3. At the end of the day, oh fucking well. I’m not getting paid nearly enough to compromise my art or my integrity. If you’re a student and you’re reading this, just do me a solid and don’t mention it to me.

Anyway. Sorry this post isn’t that funny. This is just something that’s been churning around in my head for awhile. I’ve been going through a lot of changes. Right now my life is in a hellish dormant period of saving up money, training for a big fight, living at my mother’s house in waterford, michigan, and so on.

Shut up and watch the fitness montage from Rocky IV. I’m Rocky, and my enemies are the Russian.

01/4/12

let’s not make a big deal about the new year, 2012 edition.

Here’s some lists for 2012!

Social lessons I learned in 2011:

1. You know, I don’t think men like it when you are very blunt and autistic about sexual things. Like, say you’re hanging out and it seems as though things are moving towards pants coming off… I used to think they would find it very refreshing if you made an abrupt announcement like, “It’s about time for the pants to come off,” but now I think maybe they don’t like that! I think it has something to do with romance or something.

2. Regarding the art of small talk: Now, I find that people are very boring and are always saying boring things to me, and yet, when I try to reciprocate with more boring, the other person looks bored! I will start talking about how I saw a series of books from my childhood at a Salvation Army. I will tell them how it reminded me of being young and that I considered buying some of the books, but the plot thickens when the books turn out to be pretty expensive, like two dollars a book or something, at the Salvation Army! And the person’s eyes glaze over and they start interrupting you or talking to someone else in the area. The lesson is that even though other people are boring all the time, you still have to not be boring. It doesn’t seem fair but we learned a long time ago that life wasn’t fair, right?

3. People don’t like self deprecating humor as much as I thought they did. It makes them uncomfortable. Jokes should be situational, or maybe based on manipulating language or exposing basic truths in new and pleasant ways. Turns out nobody wants to hear how fat I think I am.

4. This list is silly. I learned a lot of other more important things but I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

Books I read at the MacDowell Colony from Nov-Dec of 2011:

1. Smashing Laptops, by Josh Wagner
2. Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
3. Blueprints of the Afterlife, by Ryan Boudinot
4. Preston Falls, by David Gates
5. The Heart Beneath the Heart, (long essay) by Rick Bass
6. Ray, by Barry Hannah
7. The Devil All the Time, by Donald Ray Pollock

Books I started but didn’t finish:

8. In Persuasion Nation, by George Saunders
9. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
10. Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
11. The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolano

Movies I saw in theaters in 2011, listed here without comment or Ceremony:

Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, Another Earth, Take Shelter, What’s Your Number?, Conan the Barbarian, The Muppet Movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, 50/50

There might be more, but that’s all I can remember.

My top 3 Favorite Blog Posts from 2011, written for me, about me, and chosen by me.

1. Whatever, about depression and the animal kingdom.

2. Sorry For Being Weird, a post about being sorry for being weird. (Honorable mention, its followup: Sorry for Being Sorry about Being Weird.)

3. how I spent my writer’s vacation, authored drunk alone in a cabin in the woods.

2012, yo. Let’s do something cooler!

Happy Time Music Playlist for 2012, affectionately titled: Bring Me a Higher Love. These songs are handpicked to bring me a higher love in both romantic and divine realms of existence.

1. “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood

2. “Something” by the Beatles

3. “You Are the Sunshine of my life” by Stevie Wonder

Talking Book is a concept album that begins with idealized love, goes on a detour into the black man’s experience, dabbles in the loss of idealized love and heartbreak and then finally ends on a note of “try, try again.”

4. “It’s Boring/You Can Live Anywhere you Want” by YACHT

5. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves

Fry always sings this in the shower. It’s adorable every time.

6. “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison

7. “Roll Away Your Stone” by Mumford & Sons

Sigh No More is a concept album about rejecting romantic love for something more heavenly and divine, and that’s why it’s my favorite album of the last decade. In case you were wondering what I thought about it.

8. “Foxglove” by Murder By Death

9. “Everything’s Alright” by Jesus Christ Superstar

10. “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty

11. “Once In A Lifetime” by Talking Heads

12. “This is the Day” by The The

13. “The Greatest” by Cat Power

This song is probably about suicide or something, knowing Ms. Marshall. I haven’t bothered to listen closely to the lyrics. Let’s just say it’s about me being the greatest.

14. “I’m the Man Who Loves You” by Wilco

15. “Happy Man” by Sparklehorse

Yeah, I know he fucking killed himself. Whatever.

16. “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher” Jackie Wilson

12/13/11

a cry for help.*

Chin said he didn’t want to get married after all and Mae jumped out a seven-story window, still wearing her wedding dress. One shoe fell down. They were those high heels that wrap around ankles. Weird, right? How did it slip off? This man reached forward, suddenly. She hung in his arms alive while someone took pictures. Ethical question: should you save women from dying against their wishes? Suicide is often rash, even regrettable. Gifts can be returned. Cake, eaten anyway. DJ’s already paid; why not dance? What do we take into our next life? Tough call, I think.

*Who knows if it’s a cry for help. I think she probably meant it. Her expression gives nothing away, which only adds to the horror. Like any sane person who’s seen it, this image affected me and I wanted to write a corresponding story. I read about this writing contest put on by an important magazine. The rules said to write a 30-300 word story where not a single word repeats. The contest has nothing to do with the picture. I mashed the two together, most obscenely, and anyway, I’m not entering this. That’s not the point. Without rules, this thing would have gone all over the place. The above piece is 99 non-repeating words, just like this bitch has 99 problems, but a loveless marriage aint one! LoLoLoL. I’m sorry.

11/6/11

The Woods, Week 1.

Dear Diary,

Hi. Remember me? It’s me, Molly.

The MacDowell Colony is pretty weird, I’d say. The living all alone in a studio in the woods of New Hampshire is the best part, probably. The worst part is that all the other people are strangers and it’s scary to have to talk and get to know them. It’s a rotating door with people coming and going always. I almost said, “like rehab,” out loud to someone but I’m trying to do things differently this time and not say weird, alienating things right out of the gate. Trying and failing, I suspect, but oh well.

Here is what my days are like:

I wake up every morning around 7:30 AM, which makes every morning a christmas miracle. You have to get up early because you can only get eggs for breakfast between 7:30 and 8:30 and after that it’s continental, which, you know, that’s cool, I’m not fussy, but they only have cows milk for the cereal, and pardon me, but that’s disgusting. Do I look like a baby cow? I am a baby almond, or coconut, or rice or soy bean, thankyouverymuch.

The communal meals have a way of seriously stressing me out, because it seems to me that the other people just love to be in each other’s company, whereas I am terrified of them and only ever want to be alone. Once at breakfast I thought I was very lucky to find that the one table everyone was at was full up. So I just sat at the empty table, but this always makes people flip out. People always flip out when you try to sit at an empty table, like I was crying and feeling so lonely and unpopular when really I was so, so grateful, but they said no, pull up a chair, come sit with us. I know that they’re just trying to be nice and making sure that I behave normally, and I’m not trying to complain. I just always wish I could do whatever I want without worrying about other people’s feelings, and you can’t. Not even alone in the woods at an artist’s colony can you do that.

On another morning, the people with tortoise-shell glasses motioned me to their table, but there were all these hearty, amazing men at the other one, and I thought, yes! The salt of the earth, blue collar writers are here! So I sat down and they were very friendly and easy to talk to, reason being that these were all maintenance men and groundskeepers.

The only thing that would make this place better is if it were me and a bunch of homeless people. Then I would feel really good about myself instead of weird and terrible.

In the time between breakfast and dinner we do whatever we want. What I usually want to do is hang out in my studio writing, or reading, or playing the guitar or eating out of the picnic basket they leave at my doorstep around noonish. Sometimes I walk around in the woods. The woods are filled with little creeks and moss covered stones. There was a lot of snow when I got here but it’s beginning to melt. It’s all really fucking inspiring and beautiful and shit.

Mollybear loves picnic.

I’ve seen 5 deer total, and they seem like very fast, happy deer. Today I walked by one who just stood on the side of the path staring at me. Temple Grandin has an entire chapter in her book called, “Fear is Worse than Pain” and so it’s very important to me that I am calm and make deer in my path feel as safe as possible. To do this I tell my heart to tell the deer’s heart, “I am your friend and I will not hurt you,” and I walk slowly and keep my head down and look deferential. It’s a serious sacrifice because I’d really like to look at the deer. I walked by her twice and both times she didn’t run away and that makes us both happy, I would like to think.

At dinner, again I have to see all the people, and I really don’t mean to complain about the people, they really are nice, they are just such terrible reminders of what a weirdo I am and how poorly my social skills have developed that I can’t help but resent them. On my first night I gave a brief intro where I said that I was from Michigan and had arrived there from school in Montana, so most conversations start with “Where in Michigan.” A girl who is a really nice person and sculptor said to me, “I went to graduate school at Cranbrook,” and she said it sort of apologetically because it’s such a good school. And what did I say? I said, “Cranbrook is a really great school. I used to work as a custodian there,” which is, you know, true, in high school I worked in the bloomfield hills school district and I cleaned the toilets at one of Cranbrook’s satellite locations, but who am I, Good Will Hunting? I mean, it was a Humble Brag, big time, and I can’t even pretend like it was an accident, I pretty much do feel that way. So that sentence has been echoing in my head for the last 5 days or so, plus other stupid things I’ve said that are too horrible and numerous to go into further.

There are plenty of young people here and almost all of them come from Brooklyn. If I want to feel poor, insecure, meek and weird, not just for the next two months but for forever and all of time, I think I should probably move to Brooklyn and try to distinguish myself as an artist there.

My favorite person so far has been a shy, gentle man with a killer mustache and a tattoo on his neck. I thought for a second he wanted to have sex with me, which I love about a person, but then when I asked him if he was happy about going home he said, “mixed feelings. you know, I’m homesick. I miss cooking and I miss my boyfriends.” I told him that I didn’t miss any of those things, and we had a good laugh about that. “I miss my boyfriends!” Oh my god. The best. That night he performed an autobiographical monologue in the library that included a lot of dick sucking. It was pretty great. Of course he’s leaving now.

Most nights they put on a talent show and a couple people present what they’re working on. It’s fun. It’s great to see people other than writers who are very serious about and excellent at their craft.

I miss the internet but it’s not that bad. I have one bar on my phone so I can get text messages in my room and I can check my email. I don’t get enough email and it makes me mad. I would very much like to know if they are utilizing James Spader’s character more on The Office because I very much like his character. I miss The Biggest Loser and The Daily Show, but those are the three shows I watch, and you know what, it could be worse. If things are going badly in politics or whatever, I am happy to not know that stuff.

The library has internet and it’s about a 5 minute walk through the woods from my studio. People at home have been scolding me whenever I check Facebook, like I should be some sort of writing slave who has given up their Facebook privileges. Well fine. I am (mostly) taking it to heart and try not to interact much so that people are content that I am sufficiently suffering.

Not to belabor the point, but I mean, you do know it’s not “Facebook” that I love, right? That it’s the people and the relationships that it allows me to maintain and nurture? Whatever. I’ll try not to use Facebook.

The writing is going really well. I feel good about my progress. The fact that every correspondence I have with people from back home usually contains something akin to, “We expect great things from you” scares me a little but not as much as you might expect.

Here’s what I do: I meditate some, or I just sit still on my bed and think for awhile. I try to very literally get into an unconscious, trance like state. Then I write in my notebook as fast as I can and for as long as I can. At night I type it all up on my laptop and marvel at the sheer number of words I’ve created and I try very hard to delay the fear and panic that the words are all wrong, arranged in the wrong order and amount to all the wrong ideas and sentiments.

I really do think it’s going well and I’m so grateful to be here.

Here is my little house.

Love,
Molly