11/12/12

this is what I think I look like.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

 

 

06/30/11

Hi, I’m a wreck.

It seems like we’re being dramatic, and we are. Writers, I mean. Everything’s a matter of life and death with us weirdos. When we’re writing, we feel bad. When we’re not writing, we feel worse, and then there are these vague periods in between where life just has a vague film of “ugh” on it. Maybe I don’t speak for all of us, but personally, I can’t think of a writer who I both respect and is “happy” in any conventional sense.

 

a quote I was willing to make fun of as little as two weeks ago.

I am particularly torn apart by horses, even more than usual, because I haven’t been writing. Correction: I write 27 hours a day for my job (at the Missoula Independent – I don’t want to hyperlink for whatever reason) and I come home weary and exhausted. On the one hand my silly little 300 word articles are read by lots of people I know in real life and it can be super rewarding. But then the locals get mad at me when I fuck up their event listing and I have to go cry in the bathroom. Molly hates having people being mad at her more than just about anything.

I’m trying to think of what else I’ve been doing besides working, worrying about not writing, tweeting and feeling sorry for myself. Let’s see.

I broke up with my boyfriend, and it was terrible, and exhausting, and heartbreaking, and I feel like a monster! I want to lock myself up in the attic. I’m 29 and every relationship I’ve been in has ended, either because I broke up with them, did something monstrous, or both. This leads me to believe that I am incapable of maintaining a relationship, which is not so much a belief as a cold, hard fact, empirically supported by the data. Anyway, I hate myself. And I know I brought it up and everything but I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve been told that one day he and I will be okay.

Lastly, I’ve been gorging myself on A&E’s Intervention, Obsessed, and Hoarders. Addicts I get, that’s easy, of course you can’t stop drinking. That’s why it’s called drinking, but the hoarding and the OCD stuff feels way voyeuristic. I’m like the anti-hoarder. I’m liable to throw away my toothbrush for no reason and then be all, “oh shit, I needed that.” I am like certain hoarders in the sense that I’m kind of a slob. To paraphrase my friend Alice, who is the same as me: “I seriously just like, don’t see dirt.” I watched six episodes of Hoarders back to back hoping it would somehow pull me out of my existential torpor and convince me to do my laundry, but instead I just decided it could wait, since I don’t shit in a bag and then throw the bag in the corner. God, a lot of those Hoarders are total assholes, especially the old women. At least a drug addict has the good sense to hate themselves. The hoarders are all “this isn’t garbage, it’s somebody else’s fault you found a flattened cat behind the refrigerator, blah blah blah.” If one of those old women were my mother I would stab her. Seriously bitch, your doll collection is tearing this family apart.

So there, I wrote something. It’s not my novel but it’s a start. Celebrate the small victories.

 

05/24/11

oh no and other poems.

The most thrilling thing about Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World is watching all the people in the movie who are living on purpose. You don’t find yourself one day at 55 years old taking milk samples from sea lions in the South Pole unless that’s really what you want to do with your life. You’re not like, man, I could go for being an accountant in Houston about now. These crazy winter people are hippies without the sandals. Go stream the movie on Netflix if you don’t know what I’m talking about, because it’s really neat.

I get jealous of scientists, like any self-respecting artist should. I like the idea of goal setting. Actually it’s not any different from writing. Step 1: work really hard in school and be trusted to continue your research in Antarctica with the help of a grant given out by the money people. Step 1: work really hard at your writing and find someone who likes it enough to turn it into a book.

My new job is cool but I don’t really want to talk about it specifically. I just started working, lickity split, haven’t had time to miss the academic life. I work in a building that looks like a log cabin. I’m in the basement with a bunch of other writers and editors, which is mostly the same thing but sort of like are you an Elvis or a Beatles person.

The last office I worked at back in Michigan was terrible. I mean, truly awful. Two things come to mind when I think about that place: Thoreau: “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation,” and the great existential film Joe Versus the Volcano. I wrote product copy for sports equipment. I had to go to meetings where they asked me if I had any innovative ideas on how to help the jackass who owned the company make more money. Why would I care? Why would anybody ever expect me to care, and how was everyone around me able to generate so much enthusiasm? They were like bullshit windmills.

If I had a point I lost it. Oh well. Sometimes these things just float away…

03/30/11

how I spent my writer’s vacation.

Look how cute. Sorry my 95 Saturn isn't a riding animal.

I live in Montana; it’s fucking stupid beautiful. “The last best place,” important writers have said. You can rent a cabin in the woods at Lolo Hot Springs with a weird bunk bed and an electrical outlet for 35 dollars a night. So I cancelled my Wednesday morning class and I fucking drove myself out here and here I am.

“I think I’m in the wrong place,” I told the woman behind the counter at the hot springs. “I have a reservation for a cabin.”

“You’re not,” she said. She was around 40 and pretty. “Cabin 12.” She showed me a map of the layout of the cabins. Remember No Country For Old Men? It was just like that. (Also Psycho: twelve rooms, twelve vacancies…)

pretty deep into that bottle by the time I got around to writing this blog post, not gonna lie to ya.

“How many?” she said.
“Just me.”
“Oh. Just getting away for awhile?” she said, consolingly.
I tried to decide in the moment if telling her I was a writer would somehow make it less weird, and decided it wouldn’t.
“Yes,” I said.

She gave me a ticket for the hot springs behind her, like at a carnival. It said “admit one.” ‘Are you kidding?’ I almost said, but didn’t. She explained that the natural pool was to the left, and the other one, you know, with concrete and lawn chairs, was to the right. She apologized for the chemicals in the pool on the right, which I found touching. Another thing I almost said: ‘Could I have cabin 13 instead? You see, I’m a writer and I plan on scaring the shit out of myself tonight with dark fantasy.’

Look how tiny. Look at the weird bunk bed.

Whatever, there’s already a couple staying in cabin 13, but man, you should see cabin 12. And you will, for I took pictures. I hate bunk beds. Sleep on the top and you’re suspended in space, the dangers of which are obvious, but the bottom bunk feels like the beginnings of a pressure chamber. I’ve been on a kick recently and everything reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe: pits, pendulums, and people encased in walls. The room has a closet. Tentatively, I opened it, and found nothing inside. No dead bodies, no black cats, nothing. I have no one to blame but myself. After all, they didn’t know I came here to write.

misguided optimism.

The conditions are too perfect. I mean, there’s a fucking babbling brook just outside my window; I can hear it still. I’m writing this at 10pm. I got here around 6. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • I made house. It took about 9 seconds.
  • I went outside to check out the river but the weather is pretty shitty. Driiizzle.
  • I took some pictures of my room and myself. The pictures feature a room full of promise and a girl dreading her future.
  • There could be no more delaying. I started to write.
  • More precisely, I read everything of the story that had come before. Tonight I am focused on revision of this terrible, bleak tale stuffed with pathos. Incest, suicide, betrayal, you know, a greatest hits kind of thing.
  • I finally started writing. I’d say of the four hours I’ve been here I’ve eked out about an hour and a half of solid writing. Unless you count this blog post, which I don’t.
  • The story’s still not done and it makes me sick to think about it. The original draft was about 14 pages. Workshop made helpful suggestions like “revamp this entire character” and “add a hundred more scenes” and “make fundamental changes to the stories overall arch and structure.” Did I mention my friends are assholes?
  • The story is now 24 pages and I’m only just now approaching the third act. I grew weary. I decided to take a break
  • I decided to take a line break.
  • Whenever I start to feel a little uneasy about writing, I like to pick up the short story of an author I respect in order to really bring the feeling home. Without trying it always turns out to be just the right story to elucidate whatever it is that’s gone terribly wrong with my own piece.
  • I read Joy William’s story, “Substance.” I find often whenever I read one of her stories that I am so moved by the experience I want to get up and tell somebody all about it. This is almost never a good idea. It’s almost as bad as when someone starts telling you about something funny they saw in a television show. Actually it’s probably worse. What I admired about the story was the weight of it, and yet it’s told so swiftly. She reminded me how unswift my 24 pages are and still nowhere near the finish line. The story is on my kindle and it’s impossible to guess how long it actually is in “microsoft word,” you know, the unit I measure my life in.

It’s 10:30 now. I woke up at 11 this morning. There’s no Internet and I am so very alone. This is what I paid for. There’s nothing to do but go back to the writing. Anyway. God help me. I’ll be back to wrap this up later.

sober determination.

Epilogue:

  • I finished a draft of the story before bed, which is to say, I ended it abruptly. 26 pages, suckers. It’s called “Get Well Soon.” And I hope you do.
  • I came to learn real values.
  • I never used my free hot springs pass. Maybe if I had someone with me, but electing to take a bath by myself with a bunch of strangers, I decided, takes more courage than I could muster.
03/3/11

Day 3 and I am a Golden God.

Sometimes I step back and look at my life and I can hardly believe that I am the person living it. I pulled out the keys to my office, and it was a tough day at my office. I had 8 hours of class and another 4 hours of reading. I took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes. I felt like a grownup. I felt like someone getting ahead by using their head. Rick Moody came for a special guest famous author workshop. The man who wrote The Ice Storm said to me, “I really liked your story. After another draft or two you should try to publish this.”

It felt really good for about 9 seconds, and then I said something way too personal, and then more stuff like that to try to cover up the first thing, and now that thing just echoes in my head over and over and drowns out everything else.

Earlier this year, I got a story published in The Meridian and I was excited. Then I became embarrassed, got drunk at the bar and blew 60 dollars at the poker table in as many minutes. That showed me a thing or two about feeling good. If this were the middle ages I’d be one of the nutbars who think they can make the plague go away by whipping themselves. I am that type.

I mean, don’t feel sorry for me. It’s fine; I’m sure it will be fine. I just wish I could break out of this uncomfortable cycle I find myself in. Lately I am either: 1. saying something. 2. mortified by the thing I just said.

I’ll work it out. Thanks for reading.

08/25/10

Dogs.

You may remember that I am a professional dog walker/sitter, in the sense that I profess a level of competency in the field, based on nothing, really, and I occasionally get paid for my services. These animals, with a few exceptions, love me. They doubtless love their owners too, but it can be startling how quickly they’re willing to shift their affection to any human who pays attention to them. (see: the attention economy.) Theres is an unconditional love – or at least, based on the measliest of conditions. It’s not even “feed me.” Just “touch me.” Who am I kidding, I’m the same way.

The puggles I walk on wednesdays are undeniably adorable, albeit useless little alien pig-like anomalies of nature. They don’t play fetch, sit on command, fetch newspapers (ha!) They in fact embarrass me. At the dog park when people tell me how adorable they are, I scream “they’re not mine!” But still. In my car they crawl around excitedly, like little, retarded toddlers. I talk to them. I have lengthy conversation that I imagine someone is overhearing. (No one is.) I’ve been referring to them as boys, as in “let’s go boys.” “shut up, boys.” etc. although, as I understood it, they were a boy and a girl: Rocky and Jayda. Today I looked closer at Rocky’s heart shaped tag and saw the name “Roxanne.” Hmm. Quick check revealed no external genitalia and gosh was my face red! So Rocky is Roxy and the boys are girls. I’m gonna keep calling them “boys” to be different. Brevity brevity brevity. I’ll tell you about some of my other charges later, resting on the belief that it’s not what you say but how you say it, cuz honestly, other people’s dogs? zzzzzzz.

Except three more things:
1. To a dog, the mouth is like a hand. A hand you can taste things with, but also pick up things with, but only a limited number of things. I theorize dogs don’t long for fingers so much as two mouths.
2. I get jealous of how much they love rawhide bones. I wish I loved something that much. I doubt I love my mother as much as they seem to love gnawing on shit.
3. That shameful look on their faces? It’s always there, but most apparent to the observer when they’re pooing. It’s the same way their smiles are not really smiles. A smiling dog is bound to start whimpering, and the illusion = shattered.

07/15/10

How I’ve Spent My Summer Vacation, Part I

Don’t trust a Molly. They always break their promises. The summer is half over. I can feel it slipping through my fingers like sand. Think of everything I didn’t do. Actually don’t.

The other problem is that I kind of really don’t know what this blog is for. I used to have blogs in the past, back when the Internet was in its infancy, and back then it was just some sort of weird teenage to post teenage performance art. Molly expresses an emotion! Veiled shout outs to boys I liked. Complaining about writing. (Perhaps things haven’t really changed…) I just pontificated wildly with white letters on a black background. I wrote all the HTML by hand, and getting 100 hits in a day was a really big deal. It meant something then. Now I get like 60 hits a day doing absolutely nothing. 60 people accidentally waste seconds of their life visiting my website, and what have I to offer them? This is the last time I start my blog post with a lengthy apology about not posting, I swear. Let’s accentuate the positive. Here are some things I did in fact do.

How I’ve spent My Summer Vacation:

1. Work

“We had money. We were grimy and tired. Usually we felt frightened, because there was something wrong with us, and we didn’t know what it was; but today we had the feeling of men who had worked.”
-Denis Johnson, Jesus Son

Suddenly all of us were confronted with the fact that the school year was over and the University wasn’t going to send us checks anymore. However meager the TA salary may be, it is in fact money, and everybody loves money. (That’s why it’s called money, Ho!) As someone who pretty much had all of her hopes and dreams fulfilled when I moved to Montana, I have become accustomed to manifesting pleasant futures. When thinking about a job, I knew what I didn’t want. I wanted to do something with integrity. I didn’t want to aid in making people sick or fat or sad. I didn’t want to abet people wasting money on a service they didn’t need and I didn’t believe in. I didn’t want to do anything that occupied a fair chunk of my mind. I didn’t want to sit at a desk, input data, write things that weren’t my own writing, read things that weren’t what I wanted to read, or teach already privileged children how to pass a standardized test I didn’t believe in. The options were narrowing.

Then one day, while doing the dishes, God (yeah, God talks to me. I know you’re jealous, suck it) said to me, “Molly, why not start an organic cleaning business.” So, I, you know, did.

Firstly, it’s phenomenally easy to start an organic cleaning business. Step 1: buy some cleaning supplies and make products to use via recipes found on the Internet. Step 2: advertise on Craigslist. Those are the two steps. Now, if you know me in real life, it might startle you to learn that I would clean someone’s house on purpose. I am, perhaps, one of the messiest girls alive. (I am recalling an argument I had with an ex boyfriend once: “What the fuck is the problem? I like eggs. I like coffee. Why can I not use the egged fork to mix my coffee?”) So some, and not all but some of my friends and family had all sorts of unsolicited opinions on the matter. My sister, via facebook:

“you + a cleaning job?? um… so that would kinda be like how hairdressers always have the worst hair.. alas, I’m guessing all the jobs descripted as ‘personal tornado’ have already been filled.”

Firstly, it’s always a unique pleasure to have your friends and family so candidly express doubt in your abilities to succeed. Secondly, you were wrong. I am doing it. I have clients. I took up dog walking/sitting as well. It is exactly as God decreed it. Also me. I wrote this on my old blog about a year or so ago:

I’d like to be a custodian this summer. It’s the most peaceful job I’ve ever had. Cleaning toilets, one after another, a long porcelain line like so many beaded pearls = the epitome of zen.

It’s true. Cleaning houses is a little different but the principle is the same. It’s better because it feels more direct, close, personal. These people trust you to come into their home and manhandle their stuff, and you trust them to pay you, and everyone is richer for the experience. I think it’s great for character building. Humility. Humbleness. There is no room for ego when you’re scrubbing floors on your hands and knees like Cinderella. Humans want to be rewarded for their work, to receive some sort of accolade or recognition. This is all going to sound crazy but bear with me. You might scrub a spot on the floor for minutes, (think of all the elbow grease!) and no one will ever know you did it, and you just have to suck that up and move on. Good work has to be the reward in itself. I’m serious.

Next, cleaning for others is an exercise in patience. I have to manually remind myself not to cut corners. Do everything every time, one foot in front of the other. It’s not about cleaning but polishing. The smell. My homemade products smell good and my hands are like velvet. Do with this information what you will.

Finally, hello! Buddhism! Sand painting! Nothing ever stays clean. Do it again and again and never get to the finish line.

To think, there are other items on this list! I went way long with number one, so I will try to come back in a couple of days to continue. Then again, don’t trust a Molly. I don’t trust me.