I'm slightly concerned that A;ex and I will be elbow-and-shoulder-to-ass-to-elbow with about 50,000 insane lesbians, or 49,998 not including us. [UPDATE: We were.] And I know from insane lesbians, hello, I was raised by one. Hm. I mean, all lesbians are insane because so many are deeply in love with the same woman: Leisha Hailey. Seriously, tell me one lesbian you know who wouldn't sleep with her.
Anyhow, speaking of insane lesbians: Amanda from Tila Tequila, how much did she look like Eminem's brokedown Mama by the end of the episode? She was one broken acrylic away from going "I gots to get my baby daddy off the crank. Everyone wants love, y'all, I just wanted a shot at love. But now I'm ready for another shot of Jack!" Also, I think I'd be able to tolerate Tila's voice for about five seconds, she has no emotions, is possibly a Maxim robot.
OMG you guys. I've just spent like, four hours editing this vlog, and the i-movie thing -- which I'd been saving with remarkable compulsion about every ten minutes cause it crashes all the time, just crashed, somehow taking with it the two minutes of funniest footage we've ever produced, which I was editing at the time of the crash. I think that was the deaf community telling me that it's not funny to do a Jodi voice. But it is! Isn't it? We are all funny creatures, hello. Ever seen What's Eating Gilbert Grape? I didn't see retarded people protesting that. Probs 'cause they're retarded. JK, I love retarded people, seriously. Like, I've got retarded friends, like Haviland, she just hides it by being pretty. No seriously. I did have a retarded friend once, he was way more fun than everyone else cause he still thought he was 8 even though he was 16. I was like "I am totally down with also being 8."
Anyhow, secrets secrets. What's my secret? This merch is gonna be hot!!! Sooo ... this is just a mock-up and therefore not what it'll really look like, nor does it reveal the item you'll be purchasing this fine design on, but whatevs , it is late, and I'm pissed about losing that fucking footage. I seem to have a problem with losing files. I think it's just statistically likely, if you think about it. What real things will I ever lose if I never leave my computer, I can only lose cyber-things. Wheee!
I put this quote in the auto-fun of the day, but I thought I'd add this here, now, with the next graf too, forevs and evs:
"I have never been able to understand the complaint that a story is 'depressing' because of its subject matter. What depresses me are stories that don't seem to know these things go on, or hide them in resolute chipperness; "witty" stories, in which every problem is an occasion for a joke, "upbeat" stories that flog you with transcendence. Please. We're grown-ups now, we get to stay in the kitchen when the other grown-ups talk.I liked that, is all.
Far from being depressed, my own reaction to stories like these is exhilaration, both at the honestly and the art. The art gives shape to what the honesty discovers, and allows us to face what in truth we were already afraid of anyway. It lets us know we're not alone."
(Tobias Wolff, from the Introduction to The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories)
For those of you who don't know the rules, this is it: people sent me their secrets, I turned their secret into a third-person story mostly using my voice but sometimes some or a whole lot of theirs.
INSTALLMENT PUBLISHED AT: 11:54 P.M., FRIDAY DECEMBER 7TH
21. Fun Home
Nigel attended law school in Louisiana and by 28 was engaged to a nice girl with a younger sister who Melrose enjoyed playing Barbies with. Then Nigel came out as gay. Melrose doesn't remember this specifically but she knows it happened. One day the engagement ended, the fiancee vanished and stopped speaking to her brother, and sometimes on the phone Nigel would say things like "I'm going to buy a skirt." She would ask who it was for, he would say for himself, and she would laugh and store it away.
At 11, Melrose asked her mother about a news story she'd seen about gay groups upset that they weren't allowed to march in the Southie St. Patrick's Day Parade. Her mother saw a door and walked through it -- told Melrose that Nigel'd come out that weekend he visited two years ago, the weekend her parents, bless their hearts, had rented JFK, and they'd watched it together as a family.
"I didn't want to hurt you, I didn't know if you'd understand," her mother explained the two year gap of information relayance. "I don't want people to hate you over it."
Melrose agreed on that and that alone: her friends, indeed, would've hated her over it. They were conservative Irish Kids in Massachusetts, and years later she'd describe them to her friends as the Future Alcoholics of America. She wanted her family to be perfect but most of all didn't get how two boys could do it 'cause when she played Barbies she'd mostly just mash them together. The Kens wore briefs.
That summer, Melrose, her mother and her sister Carrie drove down to visit Nigel and his boyfriend in New Orleans. They sat tensely in sticky soupy Southern humidity, eating appropriate foods and not knowing how to interact with each other.
"He's an odd duck, that one," Carrie said to Melrose in the ladies room.
Indeed: he never became a lawyer. He moved to the West Coast and would mail Melrose birthday gifts that were always just slightly off, like a copy of a book she already had (it was her favorite) or a lamp that broke in the mail. They were cool and thoughtful but never perfect. In the ensuing years, he dated Asian men exclusively, becoming fluent in Korean, then Chinese, Japanese -- he'd always been very smart.
Melrose is 18 when mother gets a phone call from Nigel's ex-boyfriend -- who they'd met at Carrie's wedding -- spurned and angry and vengeful. "Your son's a drug addict," he told her. "He's promiscuous and irresponsible and also, you should know that he's HIV positive."
Melrose is 20 when her mother tells her about the phone call and the HIV. "I didn't think you could handle it, you were already so depressed," her mother explains. Because around the time that Melrose's mother learned that Nigel's blood had begun rejecting him, Harvard had rejected Melrose , and Harvard was everything to her -- it was what she wanted. She also wanted to not feel like she was being lied to all the time, or that she wasn't even a part of Nigel's life.
Nigel moves home and his timing is uncanny 'cause Melrose has just graduated college and is doing that thing where she's sad and doesn't know what to do with her life, and her parents are doing that thing where they just ignore her (none of her siblings attended her college graduation, for her, that was the nail in the coffin). They never had to worry about her after all; she's always been consistent and perfect, a straight-A student, easy to ignore, Rory Gilmore with her scholarship that enabled their early retirement. So she's sad, deathly sad, and he's yelling at furniture and switching meds like whoa.
Once he straightens out he works his ass off and gets a good job. Melrose still sees him sometimes: they bitch about family gatherings, she thinks about how she wished she'd visited him that summer in San Francisco or when he lived in London and sometimes she hates him and hates her mother.
She respects his determination to go on and live his life and knows how liable he was to snap if he hadn't done so. She thinks it would've been so much different if she'd been the gay one -- it would've been after Ellen, not the early 90s when his oppressive environment led him -- like so many other young gay men of his generation -- to become a wanderer, bearing his severed life and a terminal illness.
Melrose isn't close to her sisters -- they weren't there when she was growing up. One ran away to Europe and married a wannabe ex-patriot. They come home to bitch about their parents.
"Mom cried every day when she was pregnant with you," they tell her.
So she's been dealing with non-functional depression all this time, getting therapy, relying on friends like so many of us do without rock-style family. She's a little in love with her best male friend, he's a musician, he taught his younger brother all about music and cultivated his talent and now they've got a bangin' rock band together. When she looks at them she feels first just sad that she is not either brother or the brother of a brother like that, and then that coldness burns out into something that could be a crush or could be a lot like love. This friend doesn't know how she may or may not feel either.
Meanwhile, her actual siblings bitch that she didn't send a birthday card to Finland. It's just that it costs so much.
Megan and her girlfriend Amanda have been together for thirteen years and they know how it works: Amanda is the hot one, Megan is the smart one. Occasionally Amanda -- the hot one -- feels that little kick inside telling her to run off with older men. In the spirit of qualification, Amanda does always return and Megan, knowing her role too, does always wait. In 2003, Megan was teaching at an all-boys school in California with a staff that was 95% male. So she developed a 95% male social group there, a small tight circle of colleagues she'd hang out with on Friday afternoons that included Jay, who'd been on staff pretty much since graduating from that very prep school.
Jay was 40. He'd never been on a date. He'd never kissed a girl.
And he looked JUST LIKE DANNY TANNER FROM FULL HOUSE.
The students found this ample fodder for mocking and humiliation, but Megan found it endearing. She found him practically irresistible, especially during the lonely days when Amanda'd run off with someone or someone else, and Megan knew it was only a matter of time before Megan couldn't restrain herself from doing to Jay what no-one else had the courage to do all his life.
And so she did it. She totally did it with Danny Tanner and it was ... fine. But the important thing is that deflowering Danny Tanner has become something of her secret, some kind of super-hot shame.
Now Jay is married and has a kid, so they don't talk much anymore. She knows Amanda wouldn't understand.
But if she did talk to him about it, or to Amanda, she wouldn't tell them the real reason why she did it -- because to her, all that time, he wasn't Jay. He was hands down totes Danny Tanner, and who the hell doesn't want to sleep with Danny Tanner?
23. Blue Angel
What's my secret? Since his health started declining and the actual tangible pleasure of his company diminished, I sometimes know that I spend time with my grandfather mostly because I'm afraid that he'll die and I'll feel guilty for not spending more time with him. It's like Guilt Insurance. I think -- I hope (?) -- that at the base of it is deep and rootless love.
24. Surface Tension
Charlotte leads a double life: on the one hand, she's all spiritual and self-restrained. On the other, she's a "crazed Shane addict lesbian" who "indulges" in media addictions. She's far away from it now in India -- but -- the sacrifice! Oh! The Sacrifice!
Emma's most serious problem is that she's such a prude, she's got no material to work from. Most of her life involves not having sex. She doesn't have orgasms with other people anyhow. Like: not having sex because Tyler's perfect studio apartment was full of Refugee photos from his photojournalistic work in various disaster zones of Africa, and really, who wants to fuck under photographs of decapitated hands? Not Emma. She had a scandalous affair one summer -- her lover was an athlete, her boyfriend back home was in something more drab, but he was really smart, she liked talking to him -- but she didn't even fuck this lover, they just made out and she pushed his hand away. She may as well be Jesus the way she behaves. She would like to sign a chastity pledge in retrospect. Also, she has a boyfriend. They're totes in love, for reals.
25. No One Belongs Here More Than You
At first when she met Lorrie it was perfect, there were requisite butterflies, as there so often are. And then less so. And Lorrie keeps Becky vulnerable and puppet-like but not minding the submission.
"Can I vent?" Lorrie asks,
"Um," Becky glances at Catherine.
"Are you alone?"
"Yes," Becky answers, without meaning to. It's just that the word comes out of her mouth and then sits there. The thing is that Lorrie drives her crazy, that Lorrie is what she'd like to vent about if anyone wanted to hear her vent, if there was someone like Lorrie to Becky who she could call and ask to vent and get what she needed from it.
Becky tells Catherine it's an emergency and she'll BRB and Catherine smiles and chews happily because she's got no idea, as we so rarely do. This is probably, Becky thinks, looking back, the first betrayal that enabled all the ones to come--listening to Lorrie complain about a shitty situation she's gotten herself into but can't seem to be bothered extracting herself from. Lorrie talks and Becky thinks about how she'd like to lie in bed with Lorrie that night and possibly forever.
The weeks go on -- Catherine sleeps over for the first time, and then again. And then just like that they are together in this relationship. She thinks about Lorrie but doesn't think as much about making out with Lorrie as she used to. It's effortless with Catherine, drama free, like it was when she first met Lorrie.
She's cute, she's smart, she's funny, she makes her laugh. It's that feeling you get when you've just extracted yourself from someone you were mad over for someone who treats you well -- like how for a few months, the stability is refreshing and surprisingly beautiful. You find this kind of love is possible, even for you, even though your friends told you that you maybe just liked the drama (you disagreed). Now, look, here you are: functional, happy, comfortable, no drama. See? It wasn't you, it was her. No more crying and screaming and the hills and drops that made your life a thrilling and gorgeous rollercoaster through hell.
Becky wakes up one morning next to Catherine but before she opens her eyes she believes for a moment she's with Lorrie, because she just dreamt they were in a room together, surrounded by people, and the room emptied, and then they kissed like in the movies when the whole room circles around the kissers. She kisses sweetly but wants to fuck. They undressed, they made love, all that, it felt so real that realising that it wasn't real broke her heart all over again, and then Catherine's expectant eyes were just really too much and she turned away.
At night, Catherine likes to listen to music. Lorrie did too. The first time they make love it's to As Tall as Lions.
"You are just ... so ..." Catherine says. Lorrie shuts her up with a kiss, because she's already thinking its likely she's gonna break Catherine's heart, it's just a matter of with who (Lorrie, or this sexy girl from Soho who keeps calling) and when.
“Love, Love, Love (Love, Love)” comes on. It makes Becky want a cigarette or Lorrie. It makes her want to be alone if she can't be with Lorrie. Instead, she turns to Catherine and summons a great deal of wanting and it becomes real. Here is someone, it is easier to like her than she thought.
So then it's a week after that and Lorrie calls Becky while Becky's at a party with Catherine. She didn't think she could do this, but she does: she leaves to talk to Lorrie (and Catherine walks home alone, about a mile at 2 A.M. in Detroit). Is it just that she knows Catherine will wait at home, but she doesn't know when Lorrie might call again?
Lorrie and Becky wander the streets of the sagging sad city. Business as usual. Becky pours her heart out, Lorrie feels the same way. Becky wants to do something with how she feels and always has but it's always been Lorrie's thing to have feelings and declare and insist upon them but then not take the proper subsequent action.
Becky: "I can't shake you."
Lorrie: "Me neither."
Becky: "But it wouldn't ever work." She knows this now because she has something that does work.
Lorrie says: "You're crazy to think that, why do you think that?"
Because it's the only hypothesis that's proven true every time: Lorrie would break her again, and she'd be dead again, but this time alone too.
"I should go home."
"Please don't. Keep walking with me." Lorrie makes eyes at her, Becky concedes, shakes her head, Lorrie laughs. Becky laughs too. It pisses her off that Lorrie laughs at everything but also Becky laughed at Lorrie the first time she cried, so.
Becky kicks the guardrail in four different places, kicks the fence. "What the fuck? I left Catherine to walk home alone -- she's great, she makes me happy. This is so fucked up, you make me crazy."
Lorrie shrugs. "Can I kiss you?"
Becky says no, Becky says she wants to, she says she can't do it, they don't.
They drive back to Becky's apartment, they hug for too long. Subsequently, they also kiss for too long. Becky digs her hands into the pockets of Lorrie's hoodie. It's terrible/awesome.
Catherine answers the door, upset and tired and confused. Eager, though, to accept the lies that Becky offers and to make love for two hours. Becky decides she is definitely an asshole and lies in bed thinking about what an asshole she is all night, gets coffee, wants to puke, looks at Lorrie's text again: I want you, I can't stop thinking about you.
And it goes on: Lorrie wants to know why Becky won't be with her. Becky tries to want Catherine, Catherine has homework, Becky and Lorrie sit on her roof in Lorrie's quiet neighborhood and they talk like they did when they first met. They cuddle in lots of locations and do a lot of pining and wanting and it's unfortunate that Lorrie couldn't have realised that she wanted Becky until Becky had someone else but also kind of predictable too, I guess.
Becky thinks of ways to explain to Catherine that she never stood a chance, really. That there's nothing else she could've done or been that would've made anything else possible.
So, then the next day Catherine's on the phone talking to her new sorority recruits, doing this thing where she massages the roof of her mouth with her tongue that's always driven Becky crazy. It makes this noise that Becky begins to think is probably driving her insane and driving them apart, and there's no way that she could ever be happy with her, absolutely not, omg, she's doing it again, omg, she has said "like" 40 times in this conversation, Becky hates the sorority lingo, and also. also. also. She hates that Catherine destroyed the cast iron skillet by putting it in the dishwasher twice. Becky doesn't like the taste of Catherine's toothpaste, either, now that she thinks about it.
That's the moment when suddenly Catherine becomes something Becky isn't certain she can scrape from the inside of her own mouth, something unsavory and annoying. Suddenly all her tiny quirks become The Things Becky Will Think About When She Misses Lorrie, which is all the time. She just knows she'll keep wondering, if she doesn't go for it.
And so she goes to Lorrie. She spends the night. And things go on.
And so she was scared that things would be different now -- her touch, for one thing. It is, it's better.
They can't tell anyone because Lorrie and Catherine work side-by-side in their campus's GLBTA organisation. Because it maybe doesn't seem like the right thing to do even though Becky knows that it is the only thing she could do. She doesn't know how it'll seem to people, what they'll think of her or of Lorrie or of Catherine or if it's just so much dyke drama. Whatever it is, she's happy now. She's so happy that she can't really even feel bad, but seriously, like, what do you do, you know? Because this is just how it so often is. There've been many songs for it, it's the oldest plot in the book, it's an easy way to become an asshole lightning-quick and like whoa because what do you do, really? We know that obligation never saved anyone's relationship, that sticking around with The One Who's Nice never really works out because still, always, there's the one you can't seem to let go of. Then there's the one who works with the more tangible and logical life that you've set up for yourself. Who's the liar? Who's the asshole? Who's keeping secrets, who's not playing fair, is there anything fair that could've happened really anyhow? Life isn't fair, love isn't fair.
What's the real secret? I don't know anything. Like seriously nothing. But I think that it's possible we work like this: 1.gut, 2.heart, 3.mind, 4.body. It's hard to get your mind to conquer your gut and your heart, I think they're just like, stronger things. There's always inevitably a moment when the truth becomes the only thing you can do, and sometimes it comes sooner rather than later. Well ... some people aren't like that. They have mind first, which gives them the power to confuse your gut with their mind. Do you follow? I'm not making sense anymore. It's been a while since I got this story, I hope you guys are still going strong and in love. Love rocks. Don't walk the streets late at night in Detroit, that's where Amanda from Tila Tequila lives.
"In one of the dialogues," I said, "Phaedrus asks Socrates whether it's better to spend your life with someone who you're compatible with, like a friend, or someone who you're crazy for, someone who'll make your life a living hell."
"And what does Socrates say?" Henry said.
"He says you should be with someone you can get along with, and he spends thirty pages proving it ... logically ... like a theorem." I watched the shadow of relief cross the faces of both men.
"Then," I said, "he changes his mind."
"And says you should be with the person who makes your life a living hell," Henry said.
"What he says," I said, "is that when we fall full tilt in love with somebody, it's because our soul recognizes another soul that it was mingled with on some previous plane."
"Socrates says full tilt?" Carter said.
"He says, but what is man's logical reasoning, compared to the power of divine madness?"
[from "The Moon is a Woman's First Husband," by Pam Houston]
Let’s be honest here. No one wants to read about lame secrets. So you ate a whole angel food cake once when no one was looking. Big whoop. You chew your toenails off in bed when your partner’s asleep. Yawn. Bottom line: Some secrets are more interesting than others. There exists a meritocracy of transgression, right?
The most interesting of human emotions, in my opinion, are guilt, regret, and shame. I want to know what makes you feel guilty, what you regret, what shameful things you’ve done and never admitted to anyone but me. Now that is what I call a great first date. But no one ever goes for that kind of honesty these days, do they?
What a shame.
Right now, in some lab down a darkened hallway in an empty building on some campus in some town, a scientist is trying to extract the chemical marker that flashes shame as a red blip on a line chart on a computer screen that ultimately means nothing out of context. That blue line is regret. That green dot is guilt. But when those results are published in some obscure science journal, critics will say that the system that drives it all was not in the equation. You can’t feel any of those emotions in a vacuum; other people define when and if you should feel ashamed. They tell what to regret. They judge your guilt.
I call bullshit on that.
Do you control your own destiny? Can you decide if you will feel shame? Can you choose not? Who knows. Philosophers have debated the intricacies of guilt, regret, and shame since the days of Socrates or some other old Greek guy who got his robes in a twist when his wife found him in bed with his son. Now you know the real story of why Oedipus had issues and the mother of all secrets.
So, yes, back to secrets. The best involve one of the following: sex, drugs, crime, violence, and a big dose of shame. Without the latter, it wouldn’t be a secret, it’d be a boast. If you can’t tell someone what you did, you have the makings of the perfect secret. If you can’t tell someone what you did because their view
of you be irreparably changed forever, you have achieved the pinnacle of secretocracy.
Go you! Go me!
Here’s a partial list of my best secrets, some of which are very true. Others are a total lie. I choose not to feel ashamed of any of them. Other people’s perceptions have no power over me. Though, I have to say, if anyone I knew knew these secrets, which may or may not be true, were mine, I’d be ashamed. See that green dot? See the blue line? That bouncing red blip is me.
1. I once spent a New Year’s Eve bent over in a small supply closet getting fucked in the ass by a stranger.
2. Cocaine, crystal meth (accidentally), LSD, marijuana, mushrooms
3. I have committed a felony that would have resulted in jail time had I been caught. If necessary, I would commit another. Those crimes may or may not include theft, distribution, mercy killing.
4. If she asked me to (she has), if she wanted it (she does), and if I could make myself do it (I’ve tried), I would hit her for real and it would turn me on.
Does this change how you feel about me?
Check out the new Autostraddle trailer vlog.
xoxo gossip girl