I just had a really incredible weekend. And I was excited for it. I'm still excited & charmed by the web of cyber-intern-love we've woven. The context was ideal because the point -- really, truly the point -- of autowin -- was to get to autostraddle. I couldn't -- can't -- keep on like I was on here forever.
I should tell you that the point of my life was to get to the writing, the point of the writing was never to get to my life.
But the point of the work -- the knowledge, the community, the material itself, and the conversations -- the point of the work was to get to the magazine. And here it is.
See back then it was exactly like being naked. Perhaps you also felt naked but really at best you were like a censored movie on teevee -- all blur and suggestion and hope -- you were just the idea of nakedness and I was open and cold like a pitted grapefruit.
When we were 15 my friend Andrew wrote a poem about heartbreak and it opened like this and employed alternative lifestyle formatting: You have dug me out / with grapefruit spoons / and I am left as only the shell of me, / like a rotten peanut / salty and compromised.
You knew things about me and then there we'd be at a party or a restaurant, like the worst places on earth to talk to anyone about anything real, like we were people from the middle ages transported into Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. And on top of that, we were generally people all too aware of that particular obstacle but somehow braving it just the same.
And I felt like you wouldn't like me if you met me.
See there's two memememees: let's say one of them is Riese and the other is autowin. Autowin is the writer part. It's weird to give that part the name "autowin" because autowin is a new/knew name and the writer-part of me is the oldest part of me. But whatever. I'm writing this so I make the rules.
Autowin is scared a lot and doesn't want anyone else around. She writes this blog but doesn't talk to people. She's somewhat incapable of interacting with normal society because she finds strip malls fundamentally ridiculous and organized professional sports somewhat baffling and nuclear families hopelessly boring and outdoor barbecues where straight people hold drinks close to their waists and talk about rooms or decorations they're planning to add on to their house to be sort of embarrassing and sad even though everyone at the barbecue is smiling and happy and full of confident, flowy energy.
She is openly convinced that everyone she knows may undergo a metamorphosis and become Old Navy overnight, and so she does not depend on them to ever join her revolution, which is a disorganized revolution anyhow and often drunk.
She has trouble with phone calls and friendship and employers. She likes to smoke just about anything and doesn't think anyone gets her and there's very little anyone could do to prove otherwise but if you can convince her that you do get her, she sometimes falls straight lickity-split in fucking love with you.
Her sexuality is not incredibly relevant, it's just another kind of nakedness or aggression, depending.
There's been a handful of people who knew the "autowin" personality as she exists in normal everyday life. None of them are people I see or speak to regularly right now. I don't know if that's good or bad, it just ... is.
And even though this weekend I knew I'd be hanging out with people who knew autowin's writing (including some people who primarily knew me through autowin), it was in this other context of Autostraddle -- and THE TEAM!, who you should defo like more than me because they are cooler -- which made me feel safe, and happy, and like everything had come together perfectly ... like I wouldn't be a total weirdo ... like either I'm totally a weirdo who scares people like I scared people when I was younger because I was intense and they had Barbies, or I'm a normal social person which secretly I am totally fine at too.
... not nervous at all, but excited. And in the weeks leading up to it I was wondering why I felt so excited whereas when I knew I'd be meeting people via autowin in the past, I would feel mostly awkward and scared, but ever since Autostraddle started I've loved meeting people. Like I want to talk to people about the future! Maybe because I have one and I am not constantly attempting to obliterate myself or die or tell a really funny joke or something.
Maybe because Autostraddle has a greater purpose, and because it is a business, and so there's something solid to hold on to as human beings. A starting point. We don't have to begin with the meaning of life.
And there was a purpose, and there was a team, and that's one of the reasons why this weekend managed to combine all the things I love about people who love autowin with all the things I love about people and FUN FUN FUN in general.
'Cause sometimes you don't have to talk face to face about how you GET IT to have fun, but you can have fun face-to-face because you GET IT.
So anyhow. It was so beautiful! I have never felt such overwhelming positivity about a group of people before in my life. Seriously it was almost transcendent and in a strange way totally incomparable to any feeling I've ever felt before.
So thank you intern army who came to NYC this weekend and risked getting gay grounded and slept on couches or on top of each other and who fliered madly and walked in the sunshine and said lovely things, thank you alexandra, ashley, daphne, elizabeth, emily, heidi, jessica, katrina, laura, lola, nicole and tirna and to the team for an awesome weekend.
I mean I spent like 50% of the weekend feeling totally sick in one physical way or another and still think it was one of the best weekends of my life, so that says a lot for
I am proud of everyone, happy to work with these people and be associated with them; alex, brooke, carly, robin, nata, stef -- and also laneia, crystal and tess even though they couldn't be there physically.
I want Autostraddle to be really successful so we can afford to have another party that's longer where we can play Truth or Dare like I suggested ten THOUSAND BAJILLION TIMES as well as strip poker, but what no one knew is I wasn't talking about your clothes, I was talking about your feelings! JK, I'm not a lesbian, I'm a bisexual like T2 (that's my bro-name for Tila Tequila), so all I want in life is for everyone to make out on television with microphones on their butts. I was talking about your clothes! Where was I. Waiting for the parade. Yes!
this photo is called "interns" and it's by robin roemer, obvs
Once we had this idea to take the interns upstate to Alex's cabin and blindfold them and leave them in the woods and whomever came out alive got to transcribe an interview with charlene from "gimme sugar."
Right about that anyhow: I felt safe and not scared or heavy and open and cold like a pitted pit. Like it wasn't just about me and my secrets. It was about all these people together. It was about all the things we actually don't need to lie about when we're around the right people, which are also beautiful things. So I wasn't even nervous like I was to meet people I'd met before via autowin, but excited and already totally comfortable. Which is a good place to start from, especially if one will ever get to autowin.
What I mean is that doesn't mean that like everything is on the table, but everything is DANCING on the table. Make out and wait for the next joke etc. And I had these other people -- which is a technique I've entertained since the start (here, look at my BFF, she's pretty!!! read my words, but dream of her!), only now it has a very concrete form & structure & purpose.
We had a party! We marched in a parade! It was a ridiculously short period of time doing weird things!
I have some things I should say to you, some disappointing things: I don't always remember exactly. I want to have the time to remember, or the capacity to remember. I do get a lot of emails -- not THAT many -- but like, a good 3 or 4 a week, and they are always really full of feelings. I have a hard time responding because I have a hard time feeling important. I don't have a vocabulary for it. I don't want to let you down. I love the emails and I wonder if just saying "thank you" is enough. Like this paragraph already feels weird so
and it's hard to say "your emails make me feel better about my existence" ... and then I feel I cheat you if I don't address, you know, your existence ... or mention that like ... my existence was compromised by this blog in SO MANY WAYS that i didn't/can't talk about. It hasn't been easy. Mostly though i can't talk about it 'cause I can't diminish the positive things it brought! Such things!!! ... and where we are ... and I've tried to fucking structure this goddamn post and I can't. Oh well. Maybe TInkerbell will comment! !!!!! this isa blogtherearenorules look ican write whatever i want POTATO!
Also, it's hard to feel important when everyone around you thinks you should give it up and make some fucking money for once. Money matters, it matters all the time. I want it! 'Cause it's fun and you can give it to other people when they need it too. But I'd rather die than temp 9 hours a day 5 days a week for a paycheck that just barely covers my basic living expenses because if I have no time to write or create things than I might as well be dead. You know? I'm convinced by something greater than all of this that we'll find a way.
Anyhow, those are my feelings. The whole truth is like the story of a wave unfurled, ET-effin'-CETERA.