Here's the thing:
Me to Someone: How have you been?
Someone: Well I'm still at [job] and I'm dating [person] and [other person] [got married, had a baby.] You?
Me: Welllll ... in April my then-girlfriend went manic and decided to re-create Don Quixote in real life, I got to be Sancho .... etc etc ... in July I wrote this gay sitcom with a girl I met on the internet and then I went on this gay cruise 'cause my BFF was singing "Mama Who Bore Me" and we did a staged reading of our sitcom on the boat and the girl from Annie read the lead but now we've got this web version and a broadcast thing and we're developing ... etc etc ... in October I got fired for doing drugs and vodka bottles with people from the teevee ... etc etc ... then I didn't leave my room for about six weeks, I built a cave out of bookshelves ... wanna see my boyshorts? They're hot. I'm never doing laundry again, I'm just gonna wear my own merch forevs and evs.
You know? Like, I just don't know what to say. I really don't know what to say. Unlike words, there are no stories I'm able to abbreviate just yet, so I end up just sounding like an asshole.
My aunt and uncle have lived in the same house in rural Ohio for as long as I can remember. At 4 A.M on the 24th I was out there on the backporch with my cousin (the view: endless cornfields, cold, windy, acres) smoking cigarettes and he said, essentially out of nowhere, "You know, I won't judge you, Marie. You can say anything to me, whatever, there's nothing you could say that would change my mind about you being tops, Marie." (Imagine that said in a post-20-beers voice, though.) We'd just spent a few hours watching old videos and discussing our family's attribution of the "genius" label to various cousins at different times (my father was a genius, truly was, we remain awed, want someone to carry it on). It was perfect, him saying that. That was everything to me, even if I didn't say what he was probably getting at to begin with.
I can say people won't accept me for who I am, but that's bullshit, they totes will, I go into everything assuming from the get-go that everyone secretly hates me and seeks to affirm that, but actually maybe they really love me and all my weirdo-dom! Really! Even though we're all! So! Different! I just don't know who I am, and "quirky crazy writer artist girl" seems to be the easiest category to sit inside and speak from.
I took this while driving:
So anyhow! I'm in Somewhere, Ohio in a hotel. The woman at the desk had a lot of flair. I'm kinda emo right now, just a warning. I know that comes as a total surprise after reading the first two paragraphs.
... in which my entire life changed.
WTF 2007 EVENT #2:
Being told I'd have to move out of my apartment, which I loved.
WTF 2007 EVENT #3:
Not selling the book. This is 50% the fault of this book
which came out at the exact wrong time.
K-Lily visited, from Reno, the first weekend in March (which burdened her with the responsibility of playing the "What should my Top Ten be?" game with me all weekend. Our final choice: Top Ten Things You Should Know About Your Friends). I think it was because of her and Tara I even became open to the idea of making real friends on the internet. K-Lily and Tara, both legitimate people with plenty of real-life friends and no deep affiliations to the Star Trek franchise, had plenty of cyber-friends who they'd never met but nevertheless felt super-close to and spoke of with an assumption of legitimacy. Thus, I realised these friendships could matter deeply and that that was okay -- it was possible, or just simply valid. This would end up helping me when later in the summer I couldn't share as much with my 3-D friends as I needed to in order to go on.
On March 8th, OurChart asked for guestbian nominations. Because I always leap at the opportunity to write free stuff for the lesbos, I asked everyone to nominate me, and they totally did, it was awesome, I felt like the super-cool winner of the lesbian Olympics. Wait, that actually exists, doesn't it?
I didn't know what to write about so I suggested writing about bisexual stereotypes/issues and Tara countered that'd be like "making a giant bullseye and putting it on your forehead." We joked I could write about the gayest shit ever instead, which became the Gayest Shit Ever Top Ten, which I must've completely forgotten about when Carly and I put together the Top Ten about all the gay shit that'd be missing from our brill GLBT sitcom, because there's a lot of repeated topics: cats, processing feelings, etc.
I was on fire then! I was falling for this girl, you know? And that became, obvs, my OurChart column: "How I Met the Girl"... I wrote about cyber-sparks and I'm actually totally proud of that essay. I must have written it really fast too. I don't know, like when your world gets totally shook up like mine was then, your mind has to go fast to keep up.
... and just like that. Public. It was the first time since I'd started writing that I'd been open about who I was dating and it felt dangerous and possibly unwise but the material was so beautiful and consequently easy to write about and quickly ... quickly ...
At my first "In the Flesh" reading, I'd met an editor at [redacted] magazine and he called on March 13th about the possibility of replacing their long-time sex&dating columnist. I said we could talk about it, 'cause I knew it'd be a fantastic opportunity, but I'd essentially have to lie about everything since I'd just sort of stopped dating like, that week. Not like I'd been dating. But you know what I mean, whatevs. A few days later he called and gave me my first major unsolicited magazine article assignment of all time. 3,000 words. $1/word. Seven days of my "crazy bisexual life," like Chapter 11 of my book which he'd really liked. [Chapter 11, not to be confused with bankruptcy, was about the one week of 2005 that I actually went out a lot]
But I don't have a crazy bisexual life anymore, I wanted to say. Instead of saying that, I figured I'd just lie, but my bad habit of lying and "lying about a fact to get at an emotional truth" was already tricky ground w/r/t my book -- my agent had already expressed concern that I was gonna have to come clean about a lot of serious skeletons if I did a straight memoir, which is what all the editors wanted me to do, we were finding out as they rejected the half non-fiction angle one by one. James Frey, that asshole, fucking it up for us all. So there was that too: if I lied for the magazine, then would I have to tell the same lies in my book? There were already so many I was trying to navigate then ... "'I can't imagine anyone caring enough about my little book to go on CNN and say I [fill in unimaginable acts here], like it's not like I'm going to be on teevee or something." My agent said, No, you are. This is going to be big, if we do it right.
[Now: I believe that is true. Then: unreal.]
And so I thought this would be good practice: with honesty.
The ides of March. I figured I had a book deal more-or-less, I had this big magazine article -- it'd be okay then to quit my job though I had about $500 to my name. [redacted] magazine was covering my expenses. As soon as I finished the article, I'd get a 9-to-5 that fit me better than my old gig. So I quit.
I think March 15th was the official "first night" of the article, the "Seven Days of Dates" (with the same person??) thingie. There was a Shortbus DVD release party, that weekend Tara and her friend had a joint b-day party. I recall a randomized snowstorm and hopping through it, giddy about love and everything.
March 17th, my real journal: "It is amazing how many hours truly occupy a single day. It is remarkable that we bear it at all."
Sunday, March the 18th I wrote on Reasons to Drink During the Daytime -- it was St. Patrick's Day and my girlfriend's birthday. She drank a lot then, eventually she'd drink even more than that, and then even more, and so eventually I'd start flirting with purposeless daytime drinking from time to time, too.
But also I was learning -- through The L Word recaps (obvs I was trashed for 95% of L Word viewings, it is almost completely unbearable to watch sober) and then through this sort of occasional mid-afternoon buzz -- that intoxication does not inhibit my ability to write. I totally did not need to know that about myself. Like when I learned I could take six Vicodin and still drive a car.
So, March the 18th: we had a house meeting, I was told I'd be moving out because my roommate's BFF was moving in from California. I cried like I'd been voted off Tila Tequilla ... fo'reals, I loved that apartment and its location. I loved Maggie and we'd totally been through it together. I didn't want to go. Everything just felt uneasy: in flux. And I'd quit my job on the assumption that I'd be fine as long as no major unexpected expenses occurred out of nowhere ... like moving.
I was totally like "I am not gonna tell Tara, it's her birthday, no bad news today," but I think I told her about twenty minutes into lunch. My eyes were kinda puffy. It was a really beautiful birthday, holla. Later that day, Tara'd meet Haviland and see The L Word for the first time ever ... [the episode in which Henry clipped his toenails henceforth ruining my life forever] ... and this was all (gonna be we thought) immortalized in a magazine article that was making both of us process my feelings and analyze too quickly, and it wasn't until it was over and got killed that we realised how much that had affected everything. But then we still thought all kinds of good things that had started would continue like they'd been, so who cares, you know? Back then, everything just felt on fire, but not like fire that burns things or minds, just the kind of fire that lights the sky.
In the first post that Haviland admitted she didn't read (it was about food, her least favorite topic):
NY Mag said: The Farm on Adderley (1108 Cortelyou Rd. Ditmars Park, Brooklyn)
I say: Arby's. (National Chain)
Hands down totes Arby's. I can never even decide: homestyle or curly? They are both delicious, but in totally different ways. You know, like men and women. That being said, I usually chose curly fries. I think they are just more emotionally complex.
i. Providing gmail sponsored link context for my epigraph:
"Free Trade Purses
Gorgeous Purses made by girls in Cambodia.
You win. They win. $19.99
We all automatically win. Yay child labor!"
"Hands down totes Arby's" is my new battle-cry. Love that sentence construction; it made my night. Totes.
Hands Down Totes: An enthusiastic endorsement of something that seems very obvs to you.
I Win. You Win. We All Auto-Win: A [hopefully] adorable way of saying this is good for me and also good for you!
"I don't want to be in flux anymore. I am very tired. I want rest and respite." (my real journal, 3-18)
See, I'm still on March 18th. That's how the days had started to go, by April I felt we'd been together for years.
And March 25th ... finally (finally!) The L Word's season finale. [redacted] magazine sponsored the party. Ironically, when I did get reiumbursed for my article-induced expenses, I didn't apply it to cover the credit card bills I'd racked up for the magazine ... I had to use it to pay rent.
We go through draft after draft. (I talked about this more in August, when I decided just to publish the article on my blog.) Heather, Craig, Sherri and I go to see The View and Havi in her little adrogynous get-up, it was awesome.
I had to start looking for a place. In that post, in which I detail what I want in an apartment based entirely on fictional apartments I'd liked in movies, I say that I did find a place but actually that fell through. Anyhow, I thought my head might explode and sometimes I'd feel like I was running so fast I couldn't breathe, like I was so alive I might just explode. Not exploding was so hard I could barely do anything besides that.
Tara and I fantasized about the end of it all -- the end of the article madness, the apartment thing, my employment flux. We're also both kinda hermits and loners and so all that socialising was like, weird. We wanted to just lie around, gaze into each other's eyes and have feelings like real lesbos.
So hm. By the end of March, I was like, 95% certain that the article'd get published. They were sending a photographer and everything. The book was totes rejected and I was supposed to re-work it as a straight memoir, that's what everyone wanted, lots of interest, and I thought I'd do that super-quick and we'd be onwards into book deal land: still haven't done it. The L Word thing happened, the OurChart thing happened, like everything was marching happily forward!
You know what: seriously, March kinda rocked. I mean, knowing now that the article wouldn't be published, it rocks less, but I was totally like, walking on air then: I was in love and my writing was getting better and consequently, becoming something I could do for a living.
Go March! Best Month Ever! Because that is the month! In which this happened!
That's the greatest thing to happen to the human ass since the invention of Auto-Straddle boyshorts, which actually came later. But whatevs, I love time travel.