09/4/14

I’ll gaze your navel.

It’s starting to become a problem. (“Your looks have become a problem!” #namethatfilm) I get in these funks where I wait too long in between blog posts, and pretty soon every day I just feel sick and sad that I haven’t posted anything. It really gnaws at me! It causes a lot of undue suffering. Like one week of not writing equals one dead cat in my backpack, and then one day I wake up and find I’m carting around 5 or 6 dead cats. Then I try to write and I’m hypercritical and self-conscious about what I’ve written, I throw everything in the garbage—anyway, it’s this whole gross, boring cycle.

Long story short, I solved the problem by finding this inexplicable list of free interview questions on the internet. For a change of pace, I tried to answer these questions as plainly, honestly, and un-sarcastically as possible. Next week: My novel, in its entirety. ha ha ha. l o l. It turned out really long! All free! Enjoy!

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?

Walking dogs is mind numbingly easy. I’m good at it. I like animals. My job burns calories. The pay is okay.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST?

I have a fucking master’s degree; this shit is humiliating. Particularly when I see my friends publishing their books and/or talking about writing their class syllabuses. It makes me feel sick. Every day I feel like I’m wasting my life.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS?

A little over a year.

SHOULD YOUR PARENTS HAVE BEEN MORE OR LESS STRICT?

I chose my parents before I was born. They got divorced when I was 4 which I don’t think is good or bad, contrary to what we’ve been brainwashed to believe. My mom wasn’t strict at all and I turned out okay. I do wish somebody had told me to brush my teeth and sit farther away from the television, cuz now my eyes and teeth are fucked up.

HOW WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD?

My hair was snarled; I was always covered in dirt. We took the boat out to the lake. I played a lot of soccer at my best friend Dylan’s house. I used to stay up late at night and write fake reports from topics in our world encyclopedias. I idolized my brother and was mystified by my sister. I had the feeling that everybody thought I was special, in both the good and bad way. We rode our bikes to the woods. In my memory it was good, but I'm sure at the time it felt like the present moment, which usually feels bad, or at the very least, uncomfortable and incomplete. I know that as I got older I had more and more social problems in school. I was often sullen and at night I would make myself sick with worrying about why there was something instead of nothing. It scared me and still does. 

ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

If I’m happy, then the word happy has no meaning.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?

I’d be more careful with men’s hearts. And I'd try to not be an obese teen.

IF YOU HADN'T BEEN BORN IN THIS CENTURY, WHEN AND WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE LIVED?

I’m a woman, so anytime before say, 1968, no thank you.

WHO ARE YOUR HEROES?

Any artist who overcomes their depression enough to make good art. No specific names come to mind. I see a person who’s smart and kind and cool and I think: I want to be like you.

WHO DO YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR?

I think everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

Beat myself up.

ARE YOU POLITICALLY ACTIVE?

Nah. I think the best thing anybody can do is to develop her spiritual self/moral compass. Policy is actually very nerdy and complicated. People imagine there are malevolent forces out to get us when in reality I think it’s just a big dumb machine and the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. I’m resigned to just keep my head down, stay out of trouble and try to carve out the best life given what I have.

DO YOU DO ANY VOLUNTEER WORK?

Not unless you count this circle jerk of a website. You’re welcome.

HOW HAS AMERICA CHANGED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS?

We’ve pretty much come around on the gays; that’s nice to see. Looks like video games and computers keep getting better. Good job, America.

HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED?

I haven’t that much.

WHAT'S THE SIDE OF YOU THAT THE PUBLIC NEVER SEES?

I think in real life I can be very sweet. I don't know if that comes across as much on the internet. And maybe it's not even true.

DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL THAT THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT

________________? (SUBJECT'S NAME, PLURALIZED)

Yeah. There’s the Molly that is me and the Molly that is a dumb ass drug people say dumb shit about that my brain won’t let me do anymore.

DO YOU WISH YOU HAD MORE PRIVACY?

If I did, that wish could come true.

If you haven't figured out by now, these questions are written with celebrity in mind, so. I will say that I don't think I would mind if my tits got leaked on the internet. (See Morgan Murphy's hilarious stand up on this topic.) But of course, it's also totally okay to mind.

DO YOU THINK THE PUBLIC AND CRITICS EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM YOU?

No. I’m flattered whenever anyone expects anything of me at all. It’s a compliment.

HOW HARD DO YOU PUSH YOURSELF?

Not very hard.

WHEN ARE YOU COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH YOUR WORK?

Never really. I come close when people compliment me a lot.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A FIELD WHERE SO MANY OTHERS HAVE FAILED?

I genuinely consider myself a failure. As for my few piddly successes: They were because the work was really good. That’s the only explanation. It’s not because I’m good with people or networking or any of that shit.

WHAT'S THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR SUCCESS?

Work really hard + be really talented + know the right people.

I don’t know if that’s the right order or not. It’s more like a circle than a linear line.

GENERAL QUESTIONS, PART 2

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT REINCARNATION?

I totally believe in it. I feel it in my bones and I’ve seen it in my dreams.

HOW ABOUT ASTROLOGY?

Bullshit. Or even if it's not, most people don't know how to decode it. The enneagram rules!

WHAT ABOUT LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS?

Lots but far away.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?

Weed.

IS THERE A BATTLE OF THE SEXES?

Only in people’s heads.

WHO'S WINNING?

Depends on the head.

ARE WE RETURNING TO A MORE ROMANTIC TIME?

I don’t know about this “we” business. I know I’m not. The older I get, the less romantic.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE MACHO?

Anybody who can carry me on his or her back is macho.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE TRADITIONAL ROLES FOR MEN AND WOMEN?

Nah but there’s something to be said for division of labor. One person chops the wood, the other peels the carrots. Shouldn’t matter who does what of course.

IF YOU WERE A MAN (WOMAN) HOW DIFFERENT DO YOU THINK YOUR CAREER WOULD HAVE GONE?

It’s hard to get hired in this city as a dog walker if you’re a man. People think women are more trustworthy, which in my case is hilarious. If I were a man I’d probably be some sort of day laborer. Maybe somebody would have taught me a goddamn marketable trade when I was a kid.

If we’re talking about writing, I don’t know. I think it bodes well for me that I’m a woman because I don’t think I write like most women. I think people give me a harder time for navel-gazing because I’m a woman, but I mean. I can’t really deny that I do that. I’m interviewing myself on mollylaich.com right now, for example.

WHAT'S THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE RUMOR EVER PRINTED ABOUT YOU?

I wish. Closest thing I can think of: Somebody once wrote in a comment section on one of my indy articles something like “Molly must be sleeping with the editor in order to keep getting work” which I found, you know, incredibly insulting (and really untrue, I should add, if anyone was wondering. Robert and I are great friends but we don't fuck, christ.) That same person left a comment on another article. They were all…wait, let me get this verbatim: “Great interview? I don't think so. The interviewer insinuated herself nearly a dozen times in this brief dialogue with the words I or me.” I often jerk off at night to an image of this person hunched over their free weekly paper counting the number of times I used the words I or me.

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE?

I don't know.

DO YOU WORRY ABOUT WHETHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU FOR THE REAL YOU, OR BECAUSE YOU'RE A CELEBRITY?

Haha. No.

DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS EASILY?

Also no. I don’t think I’ve ever successfully pursued a friendship on my own. If we’re friends, you did the work. Thank you. It means a lot. Unless we’re talking about the internet, in which case, I consider myself wildly popular.

WHICH DO YOU ENJOY MOST: A NIGHT ON THE TOWN OR STAYING IN WITH THAT SOMEONE SPECIAL?

To answer this question would imply that life is one way or the other when we all know it’s always both and neither. Side note: I'm enjoying the inverse of "special someone" here.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PIG-OUT FOOD?

Gross.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR EXERCISE?

All kinds of boring stuff.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM?

My fantasy football team “The Detroit Lions.”

DO YOU THINK AMERICANS PUT TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON COMPETITION?

Every American is different.

IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT, WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU'D DO?

Resign.

SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT __________________(SUBJECT'S NAME) HAS IT ALL. WHAT DON'T YOU HAVE?

It all.

QUESTIONS FOR AUTHORS

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED WRITING?

I was really little. In first grade I wrote this thing about how I wanted to be God. Everybody thought it was cute and wise. I remember filing that away under “This is a way to get attention and love.”

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS WOULD BE YOUR PROFESSION?

First of all, I don’t “know” anything. But I decided to make a go of it and take it seriously around the end of undergrad when I realized I thought I was better than everyone else in my workshop. So far I’d say I’ve pretty much failed.

WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR?

David Gates.

WHY?

I worked with him in grad school. He helped me publish several stories. He called me shallow once. His writing is really smart and good. On the sentence level: calm, poised and true. Funny but not annoyingly witty. It's like every line winks at you under the surface with the knowledge that the world is bullshit but we still need to carry on and try to love one another anyway. His writing is like if David Foster Wallace understood the virtue of brevity. Seriously, read one of his books if you haven't yet. I'm mucking it up trying to explain it.

ARE THERE ANY WRITERS WHOSE SUCCESS MYSTIFIES YOU?

It would be unwise of me to name names in a town this small, but a lot of people seriously bore me.

DO YOU READ MORE FICTION, OR NON-FICTION?

I used to read way more non-fiction but that flipped once my heart died and I decided I knew all I cared to know.

WHAT ARE YOU READING LATELY?

Wild by Cheryl Strayed and some garbage novel I won’t mention by name.

WHAT ARE A COUPLE OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS?

The Road to Los Angeles by John Fante, Jernigan by David Gates, Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson, Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill, The Catcher in the Rye by you know who, and so on.

CAN AN AUTHOR WRITE FOR THE PULITZER AND THE PUBLIC AT THE SAME TIME?

Any author “writing for the Pulitzer” can fuck right the fuck off. I know people like that. They’re gross.

PUBLISHING HAS BECOME BIG BUSINESS. HAS THAT HURT?

It has? Oh god yes, it hurts. It burns.

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR LATEST BOOK?

I’m going to cry.

DO YOU THINK TELEVISION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ILLITERACY?

I’m not a doctor, but I think literacy rates are at pretty much an all time high. I just looked it up; the internet says literacy rates in America haven’t changed in 10 years. It also says Seattle is the most literate city in the US. I thought it was Boston. Anyway, that would explain why everybody here is a smug fuck.

WHEN YOU GO TO SEE A MOVIE, DO YOU TRY TO READ THE BOOK FIRST?

You know, sometimes. Particularly if I think I might be assigned to review the movie.

MANY SCHOOLS HAVE BANNED CERTAIN BOOKS FOR VARIOUS REASONS. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE LINE SHOULD BE DRAWN?

No line. Leave it up to the librarians. They’re some of the raddest people on earth.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER'S BLOCK?

I look up bullshit interview questions on the internet and answer them.

HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR OWN BAD HABITS?

Oh lord, yes.

DO YOU EVER FEEL FORCED TO WRITE?

Like there’s a fucking gun to my head pretty much all the time.

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF A PUBLISHER WANTED TO CONDENSE YOUR WORK?

Good.

07/24/14

murder the bird.

Do yourself a favor: Take however you’re feeling; hold the feeling in your hand like a baby bird and then fucking murder the bird. Squash the bird with your bare hands and smear the blood and guts all over everything while screaming. If you can’t do that, I mean, if you don’t have it in you, just take the tremendous wealth of your feelings and scale it back by about 80 percent. Behave as though your feelings are controlled by a series of knobs and levers and turn that shit down. It works.

Of course I’m talking to the pansies. If you’re one of those hardened people who’s all “I haven’t cried in eight years” you should take this advice and reverse it. Obviously in this case you should put the bird in a cage and pet it and feed it worms and tell me you love me and call me your girlfriend.

I really need to stop writing about my crushes on my blog. Seriously, they’re going to find out, and it’s going to be really embarrassing. The other day the maritime civil engineer was like, “Maybe I should just break down and get a Facebook.” And I said, “NOOO!” (Even that is scaled back 80 percent. If I were operating at full capacity I’d have flipped over the table while crying.) He said, “Um.” Then I said, “Okay, well, you can get a Facebook, let’s just not be friends on it.” And then he said, “Why don’t you want to be friends with me on Facebook?” and I said, “NO REASON.”

Here’s when I knew I was really done for. I stopped by the engineer’s house at around 10 am on a sunday morning, after a long weekend away. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings stored in my chest and hands, and when I walked in, I saw a foreign pair of brand new converse tennis shoes and some adorable, baby blue robot socks sitting next to them.

“These are the shoes and socks of a woman,” my brain immediately concluded. I looked at the engineer’s closed bedroom door. “Whoever bought these shoes is in bed next to my crush.” I wrote the whole story in my head. He met the love of his life over the weekend, they got drunk, he brought her home and now they’re wrapped up together in one big blanket. It’s not like he’s cheating on me, since we’re only dating in my head, but I do technically live with him. If he brought home another woman it’s not wrong, per se, but a tad indelicate. I felt like a person who had been wronged a little but not enough to cry or flip over a table.

I didn’t know what to do, so I did all the dishes. After I did the dishes I went back and looked at the receipt sitting next to the slut’s shoes. They were purchased at Target at around 1 in the afternoon the day before. It was just the shoes and the socks, nothing else, paid for with a 100 dollar bill. The shoes were 60 percent off. I’m a goddamn detective and these were important clues.

I still didn’t know what to do so I went outside to talk to the guy who lives in the garage. It wasn’t my first choice; he’s not a mean guy but he’s not exactly friendly, either. I said, “Did Phil bring home a girl last night?”

“I don’t think so,” the guy who lives in the garage said. “Why do you think that.”

I told him there was a pair of girl’s shoes on the floor in the living room. “Did you see him last night?”

“He came in here this morning saying he was super hung over. He didn’t mention anything about a girl.” I think there was actual kindness in the garage tenant’s voice. I think he felt a little sorry for me.

“I don’t want to just barge in on them,” I said. “I mean, kind of I do…”

The guy who lives in the garage laughed. His english bulldog whinnied at me. I pet her big weird head and went back inside.

I stared at the shoes again. Whoever this woman was, she was a giant. I tried on the shoes and they were just a little too big for me, and recall, I am a giant myself. Also, not to stereotype, but what kind of woman goes to Target to buy a pair of shoes and socks and nothing else with a 100 dollar bill? I looked again at the shoes and wondered why I ever thought they were women’s shoes in the first place. The maritime civil engineer never buys anything at full price. And surely you don’t fall in love with a girl on a Saturday afternoon and then immediately go out and buy a pair of shoes and socks together, right?

I opened the door to the maritime civil engineer’s room and of course it was just him lying there, his long, gangly frame stretched out across the bed like an open hand. He said, “Hi Molly!” as though not a goddamn thing had happened, and indeed, for him, nothing had.

I turned down my emotions by 80 or 90 percent and laid down in bed next to him in what I hoped was a casual way. Eventually I said, “I thought those shoes on the living room floor were a girls.”

He was like, “You did?” and then, “Aren’t they sweet? I got them for 60 percent off.”

And that’s when I knew for sure how completely fucked I am, that I’m not the boss of me, and let’s face it: I probably never was.

05/16/14

red dead redemption.

He said, “Meet me at the show in Tacoma later.” Then he added, “Wear a dress. Come be my arm candy.”

I can only imagine my more ardent feminist readers are already furious, but whatever, not everybody went to college, calm down. As for me, I was touched to be thought of in that way, and I appreciate gentle reminders. Cuz it’s true, I’d have worn my oversized lucky Iron Maiden t-shirt otherwise.

Not to belabor the point, I know we’ve been over this before—but I own dresses. I own a lot of shitty, weird dresses with crudely cut hems and missing buttons that I buy at Goodwill and safety pin together again. In 2009 I met a witch named Kristen who taught me that second hand dresses are magical, or else I just figured out that men are uncreative and need flowery reminders, but anyway I’ve been collecting dresses ever since. Fashion is interesting, and it matters. When you get up and walk to your closet, those are your clothes. Since you were young, you’ve been amassing a collection of outfits that you picked out yourself. They’re like the cells in your body that regenerate every seven years and yet they always make an uninterrupted you.

Shit changes but consistently I’ve felt the most me in jeans, a t-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt. Hoodies are like tuxedos that make the wearer look thin and invisible; everybody looks good in a hoodie. Here’s how it really is. A girl walks into a bar in the jeans and hoodie get-up. She’s like a walking convenience store with a sign around her neck that says “Sorry, we’re closed!” Put that same girl in a dress and it’s “Yes, we’re open!”

Having said all that, does it surprise you to learn that I have a fetish for women’s shoes? It sure surprised me to learn it! No need to get into the particulars, but long story short, I see a heeled foot, I want to lick it. I’d like to wear these kinds of shoes in public but I’ve literally never in my life had the courage. It’s absurd, right? You’d think I were Ed Wood skulking around shamefully in my apartment dressed like a woman. But I am a woman!

It’s not just that I have a terrible time walking in them, although there is that. They are very hard to walk in. It’s not even that in heels I go from already too tall to a freakishly large person, although I don’t like that either. It’s the audacity. There’s no reason to wear shoes like that unless you want to look pretty and get attention, and what could be more humiliating than advertising that truth. You flip the “yes, we’re open” sign over and maybe they won’t want what you’re selling. I mean, fuck.

I got the idea that I was going to buy some heels at the Goodwill and wear them when I went to Tacoma to meet my new gentleman friend (whose name, by the way, is Philip). I wear a size 11. You can find a lot of sensible loafers in that size, but not as many of the super hot shoes (Plus, I think in Capitol Hill I’m competing with the men. Which is fine.) I found a pair of patent red pumps with an open toe and 2-inch heel. They had the kind of heel that get stuck in soft grass and look good pressed against your lover’s chest. I took off my boots and tried the shoes on my bare feet. I wore the heels and carried my boots, and it seemed okay. I heard them click on the linoleum, and I thought, I can do this. I can wear these shoes in public.

I put on a push up bra and a five dollar black cotton dress with the plunging neckline. Showing my tits embarrasses me a little but not as much as the shoe thing. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I can’t trip over my tits. All of my shit’s in boxes so I couldn’t find my fishnets. I had to wear the sheer black pantyhose and that wasn’t as good, it sort of ruined the whole look and I felt bad about myself. I have some makeup, but not really. All I could find was a maroon tube of lipstick that I continually put on my lips, became horrified by and wiped off, again and again. I probably did that five times before I ever left the house and another five more times in the car. I’m beginning to wonder if I don’t have serious mental problems now that I’m well into writing this account, but what’s the use in speculating.

I took off in the red pumps but I grabbed my black zip up boots just in case. I’d have felt unsafe without them, like what if a tiger came out of nowhere and I had to run a distance; you can’t do that in stilts. Alone in the car in the dark, I thought about the shoes and fretted. I projected myself into a high heeled future and all of the terrible things that could go wrong. I imagined rolling my ankle. I pictured the band suddenly stopping the music to look at whoever’s hooves were making such a racket on the dance floor. I imagined being the tallest, heaviest person in the room and how much safer that room would be in black boots compared to red pumps.

The same thing happened in kindergarten on Halloween in 1987. My mom’s boyfriend went to drop me off at school and I was afraid to get out of the car. I’d gone all out with the Witch costume and suddenly panicked I’d be the only one. My mom’s boyfriend got mad at me. He said, “You’re too old to be acting like this,” which, I mean, that’s debatable, but anyway he took me to McDonalds then home and I spent the afternoon watching TV instead. 27 years later and it’s the same fucking story.

At the exit before the venue in Tacoma, I got off the freeway to get gas. The credit card machine was broken, so I had to get out of my car in the heels and walk to the armored booth. There was one other car in the parking lot, and of course that other car was surrounded by three young men who very obviously watched me walk from the car to the booth, because this is my dream, right?

When I got out of the car, I realized that walking in the pumps with the stockings on was infinitely more difficult than it had been in the store. My feet were slippery, and with every step, my heel slipped out of the back of the shoe. I had to walk deliberately and clench my toes. It couldn’t have looked good.

Ladies, I don’t understand. I don’t know how you do it, and I don’t know why I can’t figure it out.

The gas station attendant turned out to be a 60-something butch with a silver crew cut. I bought the gas, plus cigarettes, because I don’t know why, I like to smoke when I’m nervous. She asked to see my ID, which I thought was a little absurd. I was thinking about all this as I walked back to the car: the shoes, the lipstick, the men huddled around their car watching me—and just then the woman came out from behind the booth and called out to me an ominous warning. She said: “Hey! Be careful out there.”

Who knows what she meant. If I was in a rough part of town I didn’t know it, and anyway, I’m from Detroit, there isn’t a city block in Washington that scares me. I can only conclude she meant, “Be careful out there. You’ve got stilts on. You’re an embarrassment to honest dykes like me the world over. You’re a sitting duck.”

The men watched me the entire time I got in my car. They didn’t call out or snicker to each other, they just watched, as was their right, because my sign said “open.” I quickly concluded there wasn’t a chance in hell I was wearing those red heels into the bar.

I’m glad it happened because I learned something new and important about life that night. I used to think that girls who got all gussied up were compensating for a greater weakness inside of themselves, but now I think I’m wrong. In fact, a girl in heels is the bravest. And in this specific way, I realized that I am not brave. I couldn’t even hang with the lipstick; I wiped it off on my sleeve a final time on my way up to the door.

Here’s what happened when I got inside: First of all, why was I worried the other girls were going to be hotter and better at wearing clothes than me? I was at a shitty rockabilly concert in Tacoma. The aesthetic for that crowd is 1950s pin up, but chubby. Almost every single girl on the dance floor had coiffed hair, a shit load of makeup, deliberate outfits and high heeled shoes. I could see every one of them in the mirror beforehand getting ready, and in them it didn’t seem like anything to be ashamed of. They seemed like nice, happy girls. Why I can’t cut myself the same break, I don’t know.

Philip had on an oil stained t-shirt and squinty eyes from drinking. He looked happy and uncomplicated. He whispered in my ear,  “You look phenomenal.” Isn’t that nice? What am I going to do with a man so nice. Later on I said to him, apropos of nothing, “I don’t like horses.” He looked glumly at the ground and said, “My name means ‘lover of horses.’” It was too bad. I wish I could go back and say the opposite, because really my feelings on horses is mixed. Instead I shoved his face in my tits to show him once and for all how not shy I am.

12/30/13

date night: permanently cancelled.

That blood you’re looking at is my ex boyfriend’s blood. I didn’t want to break up. I wanted us to get married and have babies. The grief is terrible. I feel like I’ll never get over it, but I’m sure that’s wrong. He says things to me like, “You’re a beautiful person who will positively impact the world,” and “Get out! [of my apartment.]” He thinks that I’m too negative and I make myself miserable, but. I mean. Look how painful life is. I know not seems, madam, nay, it is!

This grief has followed me around for weeks now. There’s nothing to do really but wait it out. I tried going on a couple of dates, but the men don’t move me, and the idea of sex with some non mathematician makes my stomach turn. I went out with one guy who immediately said to me, “You seem awkward and uncomfortable.” I was actually totally relaxed, fuck that guy. He asked me how attracted to him I was on a scale of 1 to 10, and I said “6.” He screamed back, “6!” and I changed it to 5. He pounded his fists on the bar and yelled louder, “5?!” I fucking hate extroverts. And anyway, I explained to him that if 1 is “you are a dirty shoe” and 10 is “you’re jennifer lawrence covered in glitter,” then 5 is pretty good. But he didn’t listen.

These men, what were they raised in a barn? I’ll go on a date with a man and he won’t ask me a question the entire time. They just fan out their peacock feathers as if I give a fuck, it’s maddening. And all the while, they’re on a date with Molly Fucking Laich. They all act like they’re smarter than me, because why, they’re a man and I’m a woman? I’m beginning to see just how pervasive and under the surface misogyny really is. The only thing worse than a misogynistic man is an overly feminist one, but that’s a topic for another time.

Another guy spit in my drink once. I think he thought he was Charles Bukowski and that he was the only one on the date who knew anything about writing or the human condition. I told him I had an MFA and he informed me I was a privileged asshole. I actually worked really hard as an undergrad and won a full fellowship, but that’s fine, sometimes its easier to just not correct people. He spit in my drink and then looked at me like, “Eh? What did you think of that? Here’s what I think of women.” Honestly, I’m grateful that happened because it’s such a fun thing to tell people. Everyone is horrified, and they all say, “I hope you didn’t go home with him afterward.” I have two different versions of the ending of this date story and you don’t get to hear either.

The next morning I ran into mormon missionaries on the street. They sang a hymn to me and prayed that I would find a good apartment. I did, but of course it’s impossible to say whether or not the prayer had anything to do with it. I looked on craiglist; it didn’t fall from the sky. But yes, I am aware the lord works in mysterious ways and those mysterious ways might certainly include craigslist.

The last date didn’t have a prayer, poor thing. I haven’t shaved my legs in three months and I wore a sports bra under my extra large guns n roses t-shirt, what does that tell you. He was good looking and normal, but a little bigger so I think he showed up to the date feeling bad about himself. Man, I feel sorry for anyone on a date who gives a shit about the outcome, what a miserable position to be in. This guy didn’t ask me a lot of questions either, but I think it was more out of social clumsiness than anything. He’s the designer of a super nerdy, cult video game. He’s got his own wikipedia page and everything; it’s genuinely impressive. I talked to him about video games for most of the date, which in retrospect was pretty unfair. Afterward he texted that okcupid had picked the perfect girl for him. It’s not even close to true. I was only talking about video games with him to get him to like me. It’s just a parlor trick I learned hanging out with gamers for most of my 20s. I know all the words and it drives the men wild. But there’s no way I’m going to keep that up for the next 30 years, please.

These men don’t know my last name and none of you better tell them. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. Daniel never read my blog once because he was a shitty boyfriend. I told him that my online persona is different from me in real life, which isn’t actually true, I just wanted to trick him so he’d love me. Here’s a glimpse of his aesthetic preferences as contrasted with mine: He likes to post pictures of geometric shapes on facebook, hashtag godseye. He thinks The Number 23 is a really good movie. I know, right? I would pay 1 million dollars to make him love me again. I’d sell my hair and get a second job. It’s like In High Fidelity when John Cusack screams up to Catherine Zeta-Jones’ window: “You fucking bitch, let’s work it out!” Daniel doesn’t like Peter Gabriel. If I were going to stand outside of his apartment holding up a boombox it would have to be some ambient techno track.

Fuck. Fuck fuck. My fucking life. Fuck. I probably shouldn’t post this, but if you’re reading it, I did.

With a sinking heart I have to admit that I’m not ready for a relationship. There’s something about me + another person that starts to eat away at my core until there’s nothing left but a fat person who doesn’t write stories anymore. I get lazy and unambitious. I’ll do anything for them. I like them best when they don’t like me. Tale as old as time. It’s a truly depressing illness with no cure, this aching for another. The only solution I can think of is exercise and green smoothies. Eye of the fucking tiger; I’ll get on that real soon here.

I was going to apologize for all the dreary, personal posts of late, but then I remembered, fuck you, this is my website. You read this far of your own accord and I’m really grateful! But I have lots of ideas for the future with more universal appeal. You will like them and then you will like me and this will make me feel better for a second until I remember some new bad thing, rinse, repeat.

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!

 

02/12/13

celebrities I’ve talked to or sort of talked to on the internet.

1. This one time in 1999 I aol instant messaged Wiley Wiggins, the star of Waking Life. He was in the middle of a chat with someone else and half the sentence bled over so he had to talk to me. It wasn’t a very good conversation.

2. Again, sometime circa 1999, Matt Bellamy of Muse was on tour in North America with the Foo Fighters. I had just bought his first album and I mentioned that I liked it in my aol profile. He messaged me pretending to be someone else. He asked me questions about the band Muse and I was like “yeah, I like them a lot.” Then he switched over to the official Muse aol name and was all, “Aha, it’s me!” and I was like “Oh, okay.” Understand, Muse were not yet the arena rockers you know them as today. We chatted off and on for a couple of weeks. He was actually very boring to talk to. His tour didn’t come through Detroit, but he said he’d put me on the list and let me backstage for their Wisconsin show. I decided not to go because I figured we’d both be pretty disappointed when he found out that I was an obese teen.

3. This kid I used to talk to a lot in Canada got into an email fight with Will Wheaton around 2002 over whether or not Will Wheaton was still a relevant fixture in pop culture. My Canadian friend felt emphatically that he was not.

4. I’ve met and/or talked to a lot of who I would consider famous authors, but it would actually be pretty tacky of me to list them here, given my target demographic and the likelihood that a person like J. Robert Lennon may still have time in his life for google alert. God, I love J. Robert Lennon.

5. I dressed up as Andrew W.K. a couple of years ago for halloween, took a picture of it and put it on twitter. I think he favorited the tweet, which is, I mean. I feel like he could have said something to me or at least thrown me a retweet. I had blood all over my face.

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.

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.

 

09/6/12

my domestic situation so far.

The house I moved into has a white picket fence around it, which is hilarious because inside we’re living out a Raymond Carver story, the early years, the stripped down Gordon Lish horror show years, but with YouTube. We listen to a lot of sad ballads on YouTube.

Earlier in the week, my roommate Jesse encountered a nest of wasps who unmercifully attacked his foot with their sharp stingers, and their poison has been coursing through his veins ever since. He hobbles into the house after a day of working, his body broken. Jesse is a ball of thorns wrapped in thick, dark skin. He grits his teeth and says, “I run on hate and pain!” I think he is speaking literally. When I touch him, I can feel hate and pain brewing under the surface. I’m trying to find the most prudent way to love him.

Jesse’s an orphan and a roofer and he stares at me for what I consider to be uncomfortable lengths of time. He tells me I move through the world awkwardly, which I already knew but it’s always devastating to be reminded. He said to me, “I feel embarrassed for you sometimes,” and well, that makes two of us.

The first week I lived here he asked me where he could read some of my writing, and I told him about this blog. I watched him read through every post, and he laughed in a way I found uncomfortable and a little terrifying. Every day since, he asks me, “Have you updated your blog yet?” He says he wants me to write about him. People often don’t mean that, I find. Actually, most people don’t even say that. We will see.

Jesse is almost always mad at me, and I find it frustrating and exhilarating. I keep trying to learn the rules, but they’re always changing. There are no rules! He’s got bright white teeth and expressive eyebrows. He rotates between a few torn up t-shirts and camouflage cargo shorts. Jesse stares at himself in the mirror constantly. I find him egotistical and difficult.

When I watch Jesse pick the best cucumbers out of a pile of cucumbers, I start to fall in love with him, and then he opens his mouth and says something. So far we’ve managed to avoid the awkward situation of meeting a person on craigslist who then immediately becomes your live-in boyfriend by not calling it that. Fool-proof plan.

Here are two more facts about the house:
1. An old woman who lived here for 30 or 40 years before us fell on a knife in the kitchen and died. The little kids at the elementary school across the street thought she was a witch. I’m pretty sure her ghost lives here.
2. There was a piano before I moved in, but the summer subletters stole it.



08/23/12

Missoula is for lovers.

LAST NIGHT

I met David Gates for dinner at the Depot around 6:30. I heard he was back in town and I wanted to talk to him about literature and maybe ask him what I should do with my life. David wrote two books in the 90s called Jernigan and Preston Falls. These books are so good they make my heart ache to think of them. He’s probably my favorite living author, so it’s pretty lucky for me that he teaches in Montana and we’re friends.

I asked him how his summer was, and he said it was terrible because his girlfriend broke up with him and he didn’t write anything. I told him to shut up and write a new novel. He said, “What the fuck for?” or its equivalent. “It’s hilarious how unambitious you are,” I said, and he said that it was worse than that even, that he wished people would just forget he ever wrote anything. He talked about never wanting to finish another story because one more story would make enough for a collection and it would be terrible to publish another short story collection. If I’m making him sound grumpy, know that he said all of this with a great deal of charm.

I told him how everybody in town keeps telling me to shut up and write a memoir. Even people who hate everything I write and wish I would die tell me to shut up and write more embarrassing non fiction. But I have this unfinished novel, also, so I just wanted to ask David Gates if he thought I should abandon the novel for a collection of personal essays or what.

He said there was no point in writing either things, but he implied that a novel is more salient in the long term, and who cares about people like David Sedaris or Sarah Vowell? “My god, the last thing we need are more personalities!” But really, the last thing we need is more of anything so this point doesn’t mean much.

He concluded by saying that I should just write both. Why wouldn’t I just write both? He said, “Why are you asking me when you’re just going to do whatever you’re going to do anyway?” No bullshit, this guy.

We talked about all kinds of other stuff, like how good The Godfather is and how Toni Morrison is very sexy and flirty in real life. My ex boyfriend Cody was in David’s non fiction class the fall after we broke up, so we talked about him for a second. I said that Cody was a super talented filmmaker but I had to break up with him anyway, and when we broke up he said “never talk to me again” and it’s been over a year since I saw him. And David said, “Of course you broke up with him. He’s not hot and you’re shallow.” What a card, that David.

I let David buy me dinner because he’s got way more money than I do. I suppose that makes me a really shitty person. Somebody should take me out back behind a building and beat the shit out of me with hammers for doing this awful thing.

After dinner I went to karaoke with people who I know and love as well as some incoming MFA students. I’m a fourth year MFAer at this point, which is to say I fucking graduated and what am I still doing at these kind of gatherings, but whatever. I sang “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse, then “Dancing in the Dark” by Springsteen and finally “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder.

I was going to sing “Welcome to the Jungle” but a nice girl named Rachel wanted to sing it and I let her because I’m such a kind person.

I was surprised to see my friend John who I used to be in love with was at the Golden Rose next store, because he’s been in North Dakota for weeks making tons of money on an oil rig. He’s still handsome, which is annoying. We hugged twice and made plans for coffee. I’m not in love with him anymore but if he asked me to marry him tomorrow I’d probably say yes.

I talked to the bouncer about my writing and we smoked cigarettes. I forget his name, but both times he said, “thanks for the conversation” which is a nice and weird thing to say, I think.

My other friend John asked me if I felt okay about a fake problem and I said I did. I said, “Don’t worry about me,” and he said, “Why would I not worry about you?” I said that I didn’t want the summer to end because I love my friends and I’ll miss them when they’re busy with school and I don’t want anything to change.

My friend Kurt told me again how much he liked it when I said “No yolo!” on Facebook, and I agreed it was a great thing to say, because I emphatically do NOT believe you only live once. I told my friend Kurt who is having some relationship problems that he’s handsome and smart and funny and women will be lining up to date him soon. I hope that wasn’t weird. We also talked about rap music but that wasn’t as fun for me because I had no idea what I was talking about.

Jeff the karaoke DJ tackled me toward the end of the night, in a fun friend way. I rode my bike to my new place on the west side. I had been sleeping in a tent out back, but I’ve decided to become an inside dog and move in for good. I don’t have a bed yet so I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor and it was just fine.

TODAY

I woke up with the sun and read some stuff on the internet. It looked cold at 9 in the morning so I put on fleece sweatpants and elected to take the bus into town instead of my bicycle. There’s a bus stop right in front of my new house, it’s really convenient. Waiting for the bus, I saw Jeff the karaoke DJ and his beautiful one-eyed dog across the street. It was neat because I didn’t know he lived there. He gave me a ride into town. I mean, why the heck not.

Jeff dropped me off at the corner of Higgins and 3rd. I started to walk down the street, but then in the distance I saw my ex boyfriend Cody, the one who said my love was like a loaded gun. I got scared when I saw him and ducked around the corner like a moron. I quickly realized that was a moronic thing to do and tried to recover. I came back around the corner and approached him as normally as possible. I said hello and he took out his headphones, begrudgingly. He looked pretty good. I said, “I hid around the corner when I first saw you, that was stupid.” He didn’t say anything. I said, “I didn’t know if you were still in Missoula,” and he said, “I still have two more years of school, why wouldn’t I be?” I haven’t seen or talked to Cody in over a year, but I still know him, and I know that he was seething with rage and I certainly ruined his day. I said, “Okay, I’ll let you go,” and he said, “See you later.”

I headed further down Higgins to the Hob Nob and my friends Greg and Kirsi were outside eating breakfast. “I just saw Cody,” I told them. They told me they watched the entire thing unfold, including the part about me getting scared and ducking around the corner. “If I saw you do that, then Cody definitely saw you,” Kirsi said. You can’t do anything in Missoula without 5 of your friends seeing you. It’s great. My friend Brian walked out of the Hob Nob while I was talking to Greg and Kirsi and I said hello to him.

The line was too long at Hob Nob so I walked down the street to Bernice’s, where I sat outside with a coffee and a not ripe banana. I tried to read a book but an old man reading the paper started talking to me about the weather and wolves in Wisconsin, how they’re getting along really well with the elk. Then Jeff came by with his one eyed dog and we talked about people in the neighborhood we both knew.

I walked down the street to Shakespeare and Co. to see my friend Garth who owns the store. My friend Erika who is also the arts editor at the Indy was there shopping and we all talked about something for a minute. Erika asked me if I would write the movie review this week and that made me happy because I love writing movie reviews. I made plans with Garth to have lunch next Wednesday and then I left.

I decided to head back downtown and see about finding something to eat besides the not ripe banana. There was an osprey flying circles over the river and I stopped to watch him. The osprey landed on a pole, and then both me and the osprey watched a crow circle around for awhile. I wanted to know what the osprey was thinking, and it drove me mad, to stare at an animal knowing that I can never ever know what they think about.

To be a bird for a day. I’d give anything.

It wasn’t even noon yet and I’d already been in so many awesome adventures and seen so many cool people. I thought it would make a great blog post. I thought about how much I like my life in a very real and uncomplicated way, and the idea felt fragile in my hands, like something too good to be true. I walked to the christian coffee shop to write this blog post, and here we are.