Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday Top Ten: So What I Lied, I Lie To Me Too

I think I need a new word for "hangover." Like; my head is fine, my stomach is fine ... but man, other people. My social interactions are fairly limited to people who're willing to come to my apartment, which's a larger group than you might anticipate, but last night we went Out. Out-Out. OUT. Yeah. Out. Here's the thing about going out: there's strangers all up in your personal space with their bodies and/or mohawks, aggressive leather statements, voices, bangs, splashy drinks ... this bar was like central casting for Hipster Emos. [We had fun though, as we are Fun.] In Cait's car on 14th street I looked out the window and said to no one really, but incidentally Cait, Haviland and A;ex Vega: Where did all these douchebags come from? I've got no clue, but you guys, they're everywhere, it's gonna be like Bladerunner up in this city before you even know it. Watch out.

There were a lot of things prophesied in last week's Vlogs, p.s., including the Haviland-Lozo meet-and-greet which occurred, among other stimulating activities, last night at Stef's birthday shebang. We're making another vlog tonight. I know, you can hardly stand the anticipation, you're whet with it, so to speak. If you will. I gotta finish this Top Ten first though, I think, so like, stay tuned. Who knows what I'll do? I'm out of control! Smack me up with some smack! Typetypetype.

But enough about Lozo. It is Secrets Week here at Auto-Win, where I'll be telling everyone else's secrets because I've told enough of my own and my psyche is tired.

Just so y'all know, newsflash: we are all totally fucked up and insane. I am one of you, I'm not judging, also, I mean "fucked up and insane" endearingly, like "drunk slut" is also endearing, really you think you know what a fucked up weirdo I am, but you have no idea. But fo' serious: I've always suspected this about humanity but now I know it for sure ... do you think you're a bad person? Do you think you're alone, do you think you're harboring feelings that might get you in trouble, are you ashamed or embarrassed or conflicted or sad or shy or angry or discontent or content but maybe you shouldn't be? As Michael Jackson, the alleged child molester, once sang: "You are not alone, I'll be here with you." Well, I honestly haven't molested any children, so let me say that in my own words: "You guys are soooo not alone, obvs." We all feel this way. So maybe we're all more normal than we think.

So I sent out a email to a bunch o'people -- friends and readers -- asking for their secrets. I've posted this email on Auto-Universe, read it! Then you'll know what's up and also, if you wanna participate, it'll tell you what to do. If you didn't get the email, it doesn't mean anything besides that Gmail's new Contacts interface is the most retarded thing ever and makes everything harder than it used to be. Life is so hard you know, even when it's easy. If you did get the email it means I love you more. JK. Bla bla.

Also, Rachel, seriously, where are you, I am like, worried.

So basically, here's how it works: you email me your deepest darkest secrets. I take your story and turn it into a story. Some of you wrote really beautiful things with words I'd like to keep intact, but I think that the integrity of this project depends upon my universal application of the project's rules, to make sure that everyone is equally anonymous. So I turn your secret into a tiny piece of "flash [non] fiction" in my voice and put it here.

I'm going to put the first five on this particular post, and I'll be finishing them one at a time, you can um, hit refresh, and then I'll do another installment, and then another, and then another. I've got enough to do the whole Top Ten obvs but um, I don't know, I'm like behind on everything right now.

Because it's Secrets Week. Seriously, I'm excited. Also, thank you, everyone, for sharing your intimate secrets with me, it's really lovely, fo' reals. Hopefully I'll do them all justice.

Everyone's been given a new name. Also, all these names are the names of characters in Judy Blume novels or Baby-Sitters Club characters and all the titles are Tegan & Sara song titles. I'm very creative, I know, that's why you keep coming back. Besides the sodomy or whathaveyou.

1. Knife Going In

Amy's Dad stabbed his brother-in-law; now he's out on bail. Amy knew already that he was violent, he'd beaten her Mom and her brother though oddly never her. This was before her Mom got it together and kicked him out, which Amy thought meant that he'd be kicked out, like all the way, like from her mind.

Sally, her best friend, asks her why he did it [beat them] and she says: "For sport." That's the thing about crazy people is they can be even more crazy than you expected, seriously, try them.

Amy doesn't, and so when she sees his car parked across the street she calls him, tells him that she can see him, that this is his chance to come to the door, and then, she thinks, she'll tell him how she feels about everything, like all his opinions about her and the quality of her house. He comes to the door and they exchange words, it is terrible, for a second his eyes flash crazy and she thinks he might kill her.

He doesn't. She finds it hard to shake, though: that he might. At night, she has nightmares.

"Oh my God," her best friend Sally says on the phone. "My credit card bill is ridiculous, my Dad is going to kill me."

Amy flinches. She sits numbly but alertly in the silence of Sally waiting for her to talk, that little space between the beginning of the waiting and the wondering if Amy's still there. She looks out the window and wonders when all the cars started looking like her Dad's car. She squints, silence thunders in her brain and then claps and she speaks: "Yeah," she says. "Maybe he will."

2. I Know I Know I Know

Stacey's about 30, a company executive -- far more senior than Jessie, which's why Jessie's never spoken to her outside of work. Plus, Stacey intimidates her, which feels funny 'cause Jessie's not easily intimidated: but Stacey's Blackberries, her shiny leather bags, her shoulders and arms and torso and legs and feet and hair and face, her power suit accenting the whole getup.

Do you see where this is going?

Jessie didn't. She realizes some things later, in her shiny leather retrospect: it was Stacey's apartment, they'd been drinking, they were alone. But Stacey was possibly the last person Jessie'd expect to suddenly just kiss her on the mouth (worst kiss ever, Jessie feels at the time), which catches Jessie so off guard that Jessie actually pulls away, also abnormal. Jessie checks the mirror and it turns out they still exist and it's not a dream, and so she goes on.

"I'm so sorry, I don't know what got into me," Stacey says quickly. "That shouldn't have happened."

She keeps talking but Jessie's stopped listening, she's already trying to motivate her legs to walk out the door while shock bears its whole weight on top of her. Jessie finally succeeds, her legs start moving, and she watches Stacey's blubbering confusion transform into a kind of realisation of the legal and other implications: "Inappropriate, so sorry," Stacey adds.

So then, Jessie thinks, maybe it would be okay just to kiss her back. Just to make it mutual, let her know that everything's gonna be okay. Then, because it is the only thing to do, Jessie flees the scene, but not before saying this: "We're even."


The next day, Jessie's at work at her advertising firm when her boss Mallory leans in: "Jessie, do you have your car here? Can you drive me to pick up my car? It just got impounded."

Jessie thinks it's possible she's the only employee at her firm without an impounded vehicle, and she doesn't know what to do with this: "Yeah, where?"

Mallory tells her, Jessie doesn't listen/register, Mallory adds that she needs to go home after, not back to work, and Jessie says, well, I don't know the way back, and Mallory says, okay, I will find you someone to come with us and direct you back.

Mallory returns with a few false leads and --
-- then -- you see where this is going, yes? -- she returns. "Stacey knows."

"Oh, Stacey's always busy," Jessie manages, look who's bubbling now, "She's always busy, I'll drive by myself."

"What, are you scared of having to talk to Stacey? She's not that scary, it's good to leave your comfort zone every now and then."

Jessie can think of other comfort zones she'd rather leave. Also, Jessie's not the one leaving her comfort zone.

Mallory returns, she's with Stacey, and she tells her : "Jessie's driving us."

"Um," Stacey perks up, "Jessie nearly killed me last time I was in her car."

Jessie thinks that this is true, she's a terrible driver, nearly killed the entire executive team. "That's true, I'm a terrible driver, I nearly killed the whole executive team," Jessie thinks fast, "Do you want to just take my car and drive Mallory yourself? Save both of us going?"

Stacey: "I don't have my license with me."

Mallory: "You'll both be fine, ready to leave in twenty."

Jessie goes outside for a cigarette.

Jessie has never put more words in more mintues than she is now: her words are flying faster than her car, containing the two of them. She's a mile a minute, there's no silence 'til they're parked and Stacey fills it with an apology, Jessie offers "It happens all the time," and they share a laugh. Then there's silence, and Jessie asks if she wants to talk about it, Stacey denies her, Jessie asks if she wanted to get a drink after work.

"Not a good idea," Stacey responds.

Jessie didn't mean it anyhow, it's just this power suit made it seem like a great idea.

"I'll think about it," Stacey changes her mind. She does, they do.

Sometimes, they make out in the elevator. Actually, Stacey's not really her type, but it keeps happening. Other things, too, and she doesn't know why she keeps doing it, especially because there are other people she thinks about with greater seriousness of emotion and intent. Not like they're just riding the elevator all day, but Jessie feels that actually, she is, even if Stacey's not always on it with her.


"I turned down the management position because I've got feelings for you," Stacey says, angry and elevated. Jessie is stunned again. This woman keeps stunning her, it's stunning.

They sleep together for no reason.

The consequences, too, are stunning.

3. You Went Away

Sometimes Kristy goes onto craigslist missed connections hoping to find someone talking about her. Allison does this too, and Rachel, and Stephanie, and also, Tracy. They all do this. They all look at the craigslist missed connections and Kristy does this because she's hoping for affirmation that someone notices her in this world. That there had been a moment when connection was specifically desired, with her, and she'd just happened to miss it.

4. The Con
Claudia has the same secret that everyone else has: that she's not okay. Sometimes there's too much to feel so she decides to feel nothing. She's got a lot of secrets, like that her Mom is gay, that her Mom's an alcoholic, that she's starting to forget her Dad and that she doesn't even know what that word "Dad" means anyway, it's not like she can say it or anything. And she's got two songs from the musical Wicked on her top 25 most played list and loves Hanna Montana.

Also, she hasn't told anyone yet about her best friend being a lesbian, because they're hooking up.

5. I Bet It Stung

[her photo]

Everyone told her afterwards that Rosebud was William Randolph Hearst's nickname for Marion Davies' vagina, or that Citizen Kane was a really overrated and stupid movie and so, she took a photo of the tattoo, published it in her school's erotica magazine, which helped, a little bit, but just a little bit, to help her think that this thing she'd done to show her dedication to economic disadvantage in favor of artistic excellence, this thing that she'd done in Prague, in Prague!, had been a mistake.


The Brooklyn Boy said...

Dear Riese,

I totally missed the Regulators reference in the actual email. That is my favorite song of all time. Like all time all time. All. Time. Alltime. You are now even more my hero than you were five minutes ago, and officially pulled away from the pack. That is all.


Also, first time first comment EVAR. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

caitlinmae said...

now i am getting nervous
about what I sent you
and about how we're all crazy fuckups
and the internets.
but at least we're not addicted to black tar heroin?
(note: if you are indeed addicted to black tar heroin, that's okay. different strokes for different folks.)

riese said...

BB: Usually if you think i'm being clever, it's a song lyric. That's a good rule.
that statement was meant to
inspire calm, like,
don't worry guys,
we are all lunatics.
I am also a lunatic.
I am also fucked up and insane.
We all are.
Does it sound like a condemnation? It shouldn't.
Maybe I'll tweak it a little right now.

caitlinmae said...

maybe i like that all the stars in the auto-universe burn especially bright, like the mad people jack kerouac loved so very much, "the only people" for him.
I'm being weird, and I rode horses at 4 AM again, so I'll chalk it up to that. 'twasn't read as a condemnation. you're good people

Jo said...

Definitely looking forward to the top ten. it will be (as it always is) the highlight of my Sunday/weekend.

sidenote/fyi/btw, the correct Tegan and Sara lyrics (according to the CD booklet) are "so what I lied, I lie to me too"

kazzie said...

ahah here i was not replying to your email because i thought my 'secret' would be way too fucked up. i'm looking forward to this, such a good idea/concept/whatevs.

anyways, i just remembered that i never gave you an explanation for dead-set so here it is. ok, 'dead-set' pretty much means 'seriously' or 'no bullshit' or you could use it to just flat out question something.

for example-
'John Howard is a dick... dead-set' or 'this is dead-set the most boring day of my life' orrrr
Person 1: i went to the rummy (a bar) and there was this massive fight and some bloke got his head split by a pool cue. (side note: i do not talk like that in real life.. ok maybe i do)
Person 2: Dead-set??!?!? Dude, i wish i had of been there to see that.

there is seriously like a kajillion ways you could use it in a conversation, so go for gold.

dorothy said...

wow. my heart. beautiful words.

Anonymous said...

I loved your douchebag comment (kinda how I loved the night in general... esp Lozo.)
It's not like any particular pedestrian on the street provoked this sudden outburst from you either.
Good form.

also, I need this vlog... stat.

frank said...

i'm not sure what's going on here, nor am i sure if semicolon just said she loved me or thought i was a douchebag. either way, i was just wondering if anyone wanted to come to the bathroom with me.

asher said...

i'd rather be jessie.

DH said...

I hope when I get to NYC you can point me in the direction of the Hipster Emo bar - you sold it with agressive leather statements.

stef said...

crystal - it's pete wentz's bar. i already promised we're taking you there. it's glorious in all its douchebaggery, and the drinks are cheap. how did we end up there? why did that even happen? i have a lot of questions. thanks for coming though, really.

i like this format. i can't wait to see where claudia factors into all of this.

DH said...

Stef - oh right, totally already going, I'll gear up to out-emo them all.

Anonymous said...

i have a many many thoughts and feelings about this post, but i need to process them overnight and report back tomorrow.

riese said...

caitlinmae: burning like bright roman candles, awwww obvs.

jo: Totes fixed. Ideally it'll make for a good Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday too.

kazzie: Haviland is listening to Boyz II Men in my living room right now ... dead set.

dorothy: (thanks)

a;ex: Yeah, totally, especially Lozo. Getting you what you need ... stat.

lozo: see what you did there? that's what you do. Also: LOL!

asher: that wouldn't be half bad.

crystal: south. It is somewhere south. of here.

stef: I had to use Claudia next, obvs. I wish she coulda used puffy paint ...

Bridget said...

the secretary is an amazing movie - and i'm digging the blog-as-we-submit flow of things

Bourbon said...

What is it with hipster/emo joints and splashy drinks? I always end up with just as much alcohol in my shoes as in my bloodstream and trust me that is a lot of damn alcohol.

Really enjoying what you have done with the secrets thus far...

stef said...

sister riese, psychic to the stars:

ok the one problem with this format though is that when i try to put a visual somewhere in my brain, i'm seeing the babysitters club as they appear on the book covers... i obv don't want to insult the person who sent in this particular secret, but i can't help picturing the craigslist missed connection that would describe kristy:

this morning around 9 - we were both on the G from metropolitan to court square. i'm 28, 5'11, dark hair in a hipster douchebag fauxhawk mullet thing, wearing one of those awful american apparel shirts with the deep v neck so i can show off my chest hair, skinny jeans. you looked about 12 or 13 years old, 4'10 or so, red flannel, grass stains on your jeans, untied sneakers, carrying an arts and crafts kit and a baseball glove. i couldn't stop staring at you and you smiled at me as if you knew what was going through my mind.. i'd like to take you to dinner sometime.

you know what, she's a pretty successful businesswoman and into sports, maybe she'd be good for lozo?

Anonymous said...

im trying to think if i have a secret that id be willing to share with the internets, even anonymously. i have to say, although i have things i generally dont like to talk about, i dont feel like i have any secrets anymore, ever since i came out in high school. i mean, really, after worrying that your family might disown you (and then having that not happen) what can possibly be so bad about saying anything, admitting to anything? but i have at least one thing that i might send to you, maybe tonight when i get home.

also, thanks for the link to the sugar rush videos. i have watched up to part 20, i like it. everyone is totally cute, but i wish kim didnt keep screwing things up with her self-doubt and jealousy. i want to see her be happy.

Anonymous said...

Lozo: Careful what you wish for - if I keep LOLZing at your comments, who knows what could happen... I might even ready your blog.

Anonymous said...

...and obvs I meant "read your blog."

Adam Tiller said...

They sleep together for no reason.

The consequences, too, are stunning.

I just wanted to say that I live for lines like that.

In other news, am I the only one who actually reads Lozo's blog? First Hav, then A;ex. I mean...really folks...the story about taking the trash out? How can you live without that stuff?

riese said...

bridget: Also an amazing book -- Mary Gaitskill, "Bad Behavior."

Razia: I know right? It's hard to balance drinks and hairdos at the same time.

stef: This comment is a winner. I mean, totes, auto-winner, this comment, this is good stuff. I'd declare you the winner of the comment contest, but that'd be too easy.

a;ex: You should think about "ready"ing the blog too. You know, getting it like, warmed up?

Adam: I read Lozo's blog obvs. Seriously, he even wrote about feelings today you guys!