Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Funday Happy Day! Monday Tuesday Happy Day!

Look! Auto-Fun! One of you told me it was better than nothing and I'm hoping at least 3-4 of you agree with that. also your responses to my last post made me feel totally better about life and everything srsly.

I started writing this Sunday Top Ten last week about my Top Ten Non-Emotional Scars, inspired by last Friday night (March 20th), when got drunkity-drunk-drunk and banged my eye on the edge of a door which reminded me of the last time that happened in 2003. But then when I was writing it I started to think that might be gross. What do you think? Don't tell me about your own non-emotional scars, I will need you to save that feedback for the Top Ten if it ever happens. Sidenote; besides a post-H&R-Block-Incident glass o'wine, I haven't drank since the eye-bang, yet I continue to run into walls, doors, and other humans.

Option Two: this Wednesday, while most professional lesbians will be enjoying the sun & surf & drunk-girls-in-cargo shorts at Dinah Shore, I will be going to OHIO! with my dearest Natalie. She's from the fine suburbs of Cleveland. Why? Because I'm a good friend. Anyhow, I was also thinking I could do a Top Ten Most Amazing Things About Ohio. Then I remembered how Crystal thought Ohio was in Michigan and I don't want to alienate my international readers any more than I already do. But who doesn't want to talk about The Beast and The Raptor, you know? RAWR!!!

Q: What should I write a Tuesday Top Eight about?
1. Top Ten Non-Emotional Scars
2. Top Ten OH! OHIO!
3. Both
4. Neither.

The future is in your hands, grasshopper(s).

Soooooo Autostraddle !! FYI, here's what's been going on there this week:
1) Stef's interview with Hesta Prynn of Northern State on her new solo project, in which they start a riot grrrl band called Tyra Mail.
2) Weekly TV Time With Carlytron : Gossip Girl, Battlestar, How I Met Your Mother and MORE!
3) New Photoblogger Robin asks "Queers Shot Weddings Here, Don't They ?"
4) Crystal Loves Kangaroos ! Meet our resident Aussie!
5) Green-on-Meghan O'Malley - interview with the amazing lady behind Queering Domesticity !

Also we're working on making a more easily navigated L Word Recap/Info repository, check out the hottest coolest gallery of L Word cast photos on the entire interwebs (always in progress, obvs), and we now have a fan page on Facebook! Become a fan now !

Quote: "And we will be ready, at the end of every day will be ready, will not say no to anything, will try to stay awake while everyone is sleeping, will not sleep, will make the shoes with the elves, will breathe deeply all the time, breathe in all the air full of glass and nails and blood, will breathe it and drink it, so rich, so when it comes we will not be angry, will be content, tired enough to go, gratefully, will shake hands with everyone, bye, bye, and then pack a bag, some snacks, and go to the volcano!" (Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)

Links:
1. The Celebrity Twitter Ecosystem: "It seems that — just like the rest of us — celebrities enjoy hearing about other celebrities, and Twitter lets them participate in a giant cross-disciplinary mash-up of a conversation." (@the new york times)
2. All My Heroes: fourfour's "mere administration" is our vacation. That rhymed, right? Yeah? Go team!
3. The Web at 20: Not Old Enough to Drink, Yet Drives Us to It: on the 20 worst things about the internet. Twitter and Julia Allison top the list. Oversharing ranks. I'd just say that it prevents sleep by making communication with other "humans" instantly possible at any time. (@gawker)
4. This guy explains why the claims that Internet addiction should be considered a mental disorder are stupid. (@psychology today)
5. These Books Won't Change Your Life: "The phrase implies some instant metamorphic shift in the essence of our character: not just a new opinion on whether something is right or wrong, but a shift in the very fundamentals of our being. The sort of change where you're forced to admit at parties: "Well, before I read Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, I was just plain Steve. Afterwards I'm afraid I found myself to be Stevian, the Magician of the Night." (@the guardianuk)
6. An argument against Twilight, which I still haven't read, but decided it was misogynistic after reading an article in bitch magazine, which might not be the fairest way to judge. (@london review of books)
7. Mythbusting the MTA Fare Hikes (@east village idiot)
8. What a Girl Wants: Some Lesbians Enjoy Gay Male Porn (@jezebel)
9. What is narcissistic personality disorder, and why does everyone seem to have it? (@slate magazine)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Goin'

I'm writing a really terrible Top Ten! Hi internet! What are you wearing! It looks RAVISHING!

Here's the thing: it's hard to maintain a personal blog for a long time. One reaches a juncture when one must either pop out a fried chicken baby or eight (therefore providing lots of baby stories, nap/diaper opinions etc.), stop blogging, or stop writing about themselves and start writing about sports, or shoes or something.

I feel a lot of anxiety that I haven't updated in many days, maybe 'cause I'm all about the follow through? But at the same time, I'm so just really truly happy about this new project and I've been waking up feeling more energized about my work and excited for the day's unraveling than I've been in as long as I can remember, perhaps since some really engaging classes I've taken in college and high school.

This comes at a time when I recently had a final straw of sorts with a girl I considered -- and said as much, to her -- my sister. She was a big cheerleader for me. Even if it wasn't true, it helped me and it felt real and empowering. I mean don't forget: when a madwoman shouted nonsencial insults to me, it too felt real and still feels real. I haven't forgotten a word of it. Whether any of those conversations were real -- the good ones I had with (uh huh) her, or the bad ones I had with another Her -- their emotional impact was cavernous as sky. Of course I'm lucky to have plenty of amazing friends in my life who've always been there and I know always will be -- Haviland, Natalie, everyone on Team Autostraddle and more ... but that doesn't seem to lessen my sense of what's missing.

I've sort of hinted at this in my last few posts, and it feels tacky to say it all outright, or even to go into any more detail than that, but it's left this strange hole inside me. But I think I have most of my feelings in this weird gray matter that doesn't have its own noun yet because that space is like the "opposite of "noun," it's "adjectives waiting for a noun and they will never find it but that's FINE." So it's just always a bit harder to navigate in the fog.

I don't know why I feel I need to apologize for taking five days off when only two or three people have expressed anything remotely similar to demanding an apology. Because I don't know how the new facebook works I'm not sure if Lozo has registered a complaint quite yet. So I ramble. Typetypetype.

When I said two weeks ago that I'd be back to a regular schedule here within a week, I was totally wrong -- if anything, every day has contained more and more things to do -- good things! - but things.


So what I'm saying is that I've been doing this long enough that I hope -- despite my complete weirdo-hood -- that you know I'm not going anywhere.

If anything I hope that going forward my posts here will be better than before. They will be more necessary.

Writing on the internet is fucking scary because I have about a bajillion words in the archive of this blog that probs haven't been combed over in months. I write something new and the old fades away, and that can be disheartening, and the temporary nature of it makes it easy to get away with sucking sometimes.

And I'm in that same spot I was in this time last year where I felt like I'd already said all the stuff about myself I was willing to say and every Top Ten I started to write required 40 searches of the archives to be sure I hadn't already said it. That's followed by an hour of self-doubt -- "Who am I kidding? Who would even remember what I said in June 2007?"

[That being said, when I don't update for a week, check out the ARCHIVES!]

I don't want to say something just to say something, I want to say something because I have something to say.

So if you've been here for a while you know that I never run out of things to say, and I haven't. I just need a bit more time to figure out how to say them, or for it to come to me in the night.

And I do hope to be back up to reasonable speed (aside from autofun, I haven't really been doing more than one or two full blog posts a week for a long long time now) once Autostraddle is established enough that I can stop freaking out about the financial risk I'm taking (and I wouldn't even be where I am with it were it not for the generosity of readers like you) and when things are running more like those well-oiled machines I hear of so often. I comfort myself, as I so often do, thinking of how Emily Gould doesn't post as much as she did before she became Emily Gould, but when she does, I think it's worth it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Ambition Was to Live Like Music

[picture/lyric concept forthcoming has been shamelessly co-opted from my cryptic friend Juan at Achtung Baby!, who I interviewed tonight because I wanted to, 'cause it was related to what I write about here. I'll put up the brief q&a tomorrow on autostraddle, first q at this post's end.]

[I thought I was gonna have time to edit this today but then all this stuff happened. So I hope it's okay. I guess it's like a blog, so there are no rules, just right.]

I started with music like everything, like girls: it was on and I was there. I loved it from where I stood but I couldn't get close, so I mouthed the words while everyone else sang.

I was one of the only girls I knew/know who couldn't sing or dance or play an instrument, and I was jealous of the girls who could. That was one reason I never felt like a girl but more like this half-breed androgyne child on the outside of things girls could do. All I was sure of -- I mean unsure -- was girls and music.

I started this blog for a girl. Girls are a lot like music, I think that's why my favorite love songs are written for girls. Lesbians specialize in achy raw gutted acoustic love songs [songs you either ADORE or completely despise because they annoy you] and gay boys put out the best pure happy thumping pop songs you'll ever hear. Because when girls make music for girls there's so much room for drowning, it's bottomless ... and a man can write a song for a girl that splits your heart right open. But it won't climb inside your heart and claw at the inside of your gut with a guitar string like a girl-for-girl song will. Girs-for-girls can be wide open and not worry about losing political capital in the process. They can just wail wide open.

But I think I grew up listening mostly to boys. I liked my parents' big record albums, heavy things, but I couldn't make the record play myself. I had a portable cassette player I'd carry around with me so I could listen to the right music all the time, record things, or, later, provide a soundtrack to our music videos. Just because.

On Saturday mornings we had Carole King and french toast with Shabbat dinner's leftover challah. It sounds so fucking cutesy now, like it's about music AND food, like the Jews with the hippie music and flat, sweet slices of bread. The sun shining on us like dust.

James Taylor. The Who. Pink Floyd. The Beach Boys. The Allman Brothers. Some big brassy showtunes, like Gypsy. Mostly though I loved The Beatles. That was where music began for me. There was The Beatles, and then there was other music, and all other music was considered as it related to or differentiated from The Beatles.

The Beatles sang songs about boys -- about what it was like to be boys who liked girls, but it was more about the liking itself than the object of their liking -- and so I grew up listening to these songs about boys sung by boys, their yearning animal mouths almost kissing the round bulbs of their microphones. There was a period where The Beatles started writing songs about teenagers and sometimes songs about men who were dying, but you could still hear the Boy in it. After The Beatles I had a phase of The Bangles and Paula Abdul and Debbie Gibson. Then The Police and INXS and Phil Collins, and then junk throaway pop like New Kids on the Block. Then a period of love songs -- big uncomplicated love songs with simple names sung by women who knew a few things about life like I Will Always Love You and Total Eclipse of the Heart and Save the Best for Last and Now & Forever. The first cassette tape I ever bought was Madonna's "Like a Virgin."

But I grew up with The Beatles. We listened to children's music too -- Raffi, Free to be You and Me, The Gemini Brothers, The Song Sisters, Really Rosie, alleged recordings of muppets singing. Those gigantic records were bigger than my head. We had every Beatles record.

I remember the wild trippy colors and pictures on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover. I wanted to memorize it, and then later announce it to a room like I was just guessing. A lot of growing up is finding places where you can just memorize something instead of doing too much work.

Then it's nearly the mid-nineties, and I move on from the uncomplicated by-women-for-men love songs to songs by men about misery and being scared about the increasing distance from being a boy. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails. Then we got softer as the decade itself soothed out. The Lemonheads, The Fugees, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, the Grateful Dead, and the first threads I ever heard of Ani DiFranco. Then onto mostly Billie Holiday and Gorecki and musicals, just music too fantastic to not be theater.

Then I just listened to music made by my friends, or soft poppy girl-boys singing about cartoons, like Belle & Sebastian, The Sea & Cake and Heavenly. From there it's been all over the map. Every year I have at least one period of Just Hip-Hop Hop Hop Just Hip Hop and at least one period of Ani & Chris Pureka & Melissa Ferrick and at least one period of dying men like Jeff Buckley, Martin Sexton, Rufus Wainwright.

My relationship to the girl-on-girl music is more private than the other songs. We just can't belt Fiona Apple together, that feels lonely, you can only belt it alone. But there's other music I feel safe belting in the car - I was remembering earlier about the night we drove home listening to The Killers and I knew you'd tell me later that you felt infinite and then you did and I thought then we were safe for some reason. But that was just girls and music and the drunk airless night.

Thanks for telling me about your favorite songs last week.

Some time later, a Beatles-themed restaurant came to Ann Arbor called Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club. They randomly booked good shows at night, all the good indie bands. The catch is you had to play a Beatles song. These bands -- mostly boys singing about girls or girlish boys -- skinny/fat boys with bangs on purpose and so many feelings -- always chose Hey Jude. They liked it's mournful, young thudding spirit. My friends' band did something else. Twist and Shout, maybe.

Stef is at SXSW. I went last year with Crystal, Cait and Tara, which feels a lot like yesterday even though clearly -- look at us -- it isn't. Cait & I were dedicated to the "Uh Huh Her - and - Uh Huh Her - only" Project and Crystal & Tara got out and saw lots of bands including a band called "The LK" 'cause of the name and it turned out to be really good.

Even though I've never known how to do music, I've always ended up with musical people, good dancers or musicians. Except Chris. I'm remembering a bar on the main road in Ypsilanti -- which I remember as always gray, rainy -- Theo's? Cheap, with red lights, Hey Ma and Ludacris's Growing Pains and Jay-Z's booming swagger got inside these kids like hormones themselves -- something untouchable, something they could never shout that loud themselves -- this desperate sex filled the air. It was gross power; the kind that felt right at the time.

I'm not noble, there's always a girl or music or both. I think one of the first songs I ever really knew was "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."
I'm glad I was raised on The Beatles because it made me hopeful, because I think their music was inherently likeable & pleasant. Their music even at its trippiest or most indulgent was an earnest beating thing you wanted to bop about to. You kinda want to french kiss The Beatles. Hard! "I Saw Her Standing There" was my favorite. What magic -- the way she looked was way beyond compare. Way beyond compare!

Because music is more real than anything else, it's like it doesn't exist 'til you turn it on.

But now that you know so much of my fact, it seems even more naked to dare to write fiction, or to write like music. Fiction which I hold so dear. Which come to think of it was probably also for a girl, to some degree, and because of music. I don't trust writers who don't have music happening all the time in their head, like in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter [quoted in that picture -- "All the time -- no mattter what ..."] and I don't trust musicians who don't read. I trust nearly everyone, because Paul McCartney told me I was way beyond compare.

Do you remember when you were first allowed to pick your own music? Or girl? Even if you've already made a choice, the permission is rich, as endless as music.

Question #1 from my Exclusive Interivew with Luna Dot Typepad Dot Com . He's in Austin, Texas right now too but he always is.

Q: "I thought you were a female lesbian or bisexual when I first read your blog. Does this surprise you? Why or why not?"

A: "It did not surprise me because for some reason since around a year into the blog's existence, I started to get emails from some people assuming I was a girl. When it first happened I was surprised because I could not step away from the source and inspiration of my posts and think of it in any other way than a guy writing about a girl. If I read it objectively I can now see how it could appear as a female lesbian. With one objection though: Leonard Cohen worships women but in my mind his point of view is distinctively heterosexual so I would expect quotes from him ( and Charles Bukowski or Bono among others) to lean more towards the fact that a guy was writing the blog."
[the rest of this Q&A will be on autostraddle "tomorrow"* with maybe some other stuff about gender/art.**]

[he picked: Love is a Battlefield ]
[I picked: a catalog of increasing disasters, sex for depressives, the art of losing -- god! I'm morbid tonight!]

There's a lot of blogosphere people at SXSW. I hope you're all about to have a kickass time. If you're there or not you can answer a question: what's something you want someone to say to you tomorrow? Or you can just say something else. Or music.

*I have a very loosely defined concept of "time."
**Usually when I split posts up, it's to make all the comments in one spot on one blog or the other, but this time it's 'cause I genuinely wanna add some stuff to it before I put the rest up "tomorrow," it's not like a gimmick.*
***FYI we made Advice Vlog #35 !!

Friday, March 13, 2009

and if you call, i will answer

ETA: New H&R Advice Column Vlog on Autostraddle!

Q: What are you doing? Why haven't you updated since Friday?

A: I've been working on Autostraddle ("girl-on-girl culture for weirdos") all day/weeks. It's a new website, probs eventually will be the best website of all time. I'm doing it with my team in preparation for the revolution/the factory/the dream. Right now it looks like an L Word shrine 'cause that show just ended and that's all the old autostraddle content. Pretty soon it'll look like an Awesome Shrine, and we'll do a dance around it, like they did in early 90's movies with lesbian & witchery undertones.

Driver: Watch out for the weirdos, girls.
Nancy: We are the weirdos, mister.
Anyhow I have lots more to say about that to y'all and recruitment to do, but I have to get it all on lockdown first. meemememememememe!

Q: When will you go back to being the most reliable blogger ever besides Lozo who doesn't even read his comments and often quits?
I'll be better at updating autowin starting next week, sorry I've neglected you just like your first wife and maybe even your mom. If your Mom neglected you, you should write a book. Some things will change like this blog will be more emo whereas vlogs will go on new Autostraddle but I'll tell you about it so you can read that too.

Q: What about Stuff I've Been Reading?

Soon! I'm gonna scare away all my readers except brooklyn boy. JK srsly hello I was not awarded best lesbian personal blogger for nothing. I mean I'm not even a lesbian.

Q: Do you ever think about things you're pretty positive you'll NEVER do?

A: Omg, all the time. Like I can't really ever imagine being seriously overweight, or becoming a Baptist, I guess. Do you ever think about that?

Q: Yeah. What are you really thinking about?
A: I've been trying to think differently.

Q: Is it weird?

A: Yeah it is weird, everything's weird. Sometimes it's weird how even though I am writing for everyone/no-one, I find I'm often really only writing to one or two people and just hoping it's interesting or compelling enough for other people to feel it could also be about them or interesting to them or I don't know, I guess everyone just wants to be something to someone. Then people disappear and I don't know who I'm writing letters to anymore.

I think what happened is the balance tipped into a spot where I missed all these "yous" so much, so intensely, so all-over-my-body like, that when just one more person I would have to miss like that was shot into that spot it just overflowed, and the power of that has made me too sad to be anything but totally alert and happy all the time. It's something, I mean, it works.

Q: Remember when you used to shut down your blog sometimes?
A: Ha, yeah, maybe like ten people know what I'm talking about. It would usually be for like 12-24 hours or something. My relationship to my MacBook Pro isn't as intimate as my relationship to my MacBook. MacBooks look like cute pets so I think you feel closer to them. This machine is a MACHINE. It kicks ass, like witchery.

This has happened before -- these little lapses. When Pekor and I had a three-day silent fight, when I lost B. When I lost "Olive." And again. When I lost track of time. When I lost my footing and changed my location, ultimately, from "Warlem" to "couch-hopping" and then back again. When I've been on the Rosie cruise, when I was in Malibu and right before I went to Malibu, maybe even when I was in Texas, I can't remember. When I was working 60 hours a week for a few days I lapsed.

Anyhow I just wanted to say this isn't like, the part where I slowly taper out and just vanish, that's something I've never wanted to do, and never will. So yeah, I'm just working on this website and super focused and we will be back to regularly scheduled programming more or less I hope next week. Okay? Okay! Yay! Hi! What's your favorite song right now?

Friday, March 06, 2009

a blog post for my blog. some of it is fun. you will probably want to comment.

[illustration: keren richter]
i need to write a blog post
because people will read it if i do
and usually i write more blog posts than this
because i am not spending all that time
writing about a really terrible teevee show
and starting my own rocketshow on the internet for cyber-performance art
and other death defying acts

to be honest i always hated the circus
because it always seemed dirty
like the other kids especially
and i prefer clean entertainment
i want my entertainment to smell like windex


i was trying to think of something to write about so i took out this old diary from 1989, it's a "Beezus and Ramona Diary" and it has prompts in it because kids can't think of a whole book of diary stuff on their own because not that much happens before the insomnia kicks in. instead of answering one of these questions i'm going to just transcribe an already-filled in section 'cause my answer in 1989 is better than any answer I could have now. I guess I was 8. spelling and grammar is truthful to the original.

i think most of what people have to say when they are kids is boring and the same, but i think this might actually be funny (?)
If I ever have a son or daughter I will always: Hug and kiss them, take well care of them, like, pretend they were part of me.

And I will never: Spank, Shove food down their throt, hurt them for fun, kill them, give them drugs, teach them bad ways, shove a cigar or cigarette in their mouth, Treat them like trash, hate them, Let them do something dangerous, not get them any presents, ignore them, eat them, give them posin, make them do something that they don't consider fun, make them do some dangerous stunt, let them take drugs and not let them dy their hair green, purple, orange etc.
Also there's a part that asks what do you do to "let off steam" and in addition to screaming, singing, jumping, dancing and running, I wrote in "talk to my stuffed animals."

two nights ago there was a fire
mostly i was proud of myself for correctly identifying the smell
before reaching the scene.
i'd gone out to get food, i forgot to get food and instead just stood in front of china place
and looked at the fire
then went home & ordered food from china place for delivery.

the problem with writing down every thought that comes into my head is that most of my thoughts aren't interesting

i would like to trade brains with an iguana and then with my future children, that way i can change my mind about what i want to do with them
also i didn't like the zoo for the same reason
i thought it smelled weird

i have completely neglected email after email
i owe like 100 emails to people
probably i have lost readers and everyone thinks i'm a jerk

I think from now on this blog is going to be just for weirdos
and when i want to be normal or "good" or "appealing to readers"
i will write on new autostraddle which is this online magazine/blog thing i am going to start and it will start on sunday at a different url and i
don't know what url stands for
underwear revolts lusciously
up rocket launch!
so that is why i have been so busy and
i haven't written a blog post.
sooner this will work better for everyone
like a relationship that gets fixed

my hair looks like andy warhol
no andy warhol looks like my hair

if it was legal to deal drugs i think i might like to be a drug dealer
it would be nice to always arrive with something people want
or edible arrangements

i am running out of people to talk about that won't read this
it used to just be haviland that i couldn't talk about
now it's everyone

i was lying, i've tried to watch 30 rock before
i just never got into it
i'm sorry

yesterday i started reading you are a little bit happier than i am
by tao lin who will read this because he googles himself
and then i'll feel weird and tell myself it's okay 'cause he's a little bit weirder than i am
and he's Famous
anyhow i really liked it and finished it today and now am going to start&finish another one of his books
he mailed it to me you should buy one and read it for fun
if you've read his books you probably can tell that i just read his book
i'll talk about this in my next "stuff i've been reading" which i almost am done writing

those are all the thoughts i just had
i'm sorry it's not a real blog post
the reason for that is that those are the thoughts i just had
if you just started reading this blog last week you might wonder what the fuck is going on
and when i'm gonna talk about underwear and the Breakfast Club again

i think a lot of writers write because they want to talk to people just like everyone wants to talk to people
but they don't really know how.

i like reading things on the internet to exercise my brain, i'm gonna do that now and tell you what i like
some things that would be fun for you to auto-read too
- i think my own font would be embarassing but i want to see it and be embarassed
- i can't fucking believe i live in a world that thinks titles like this are acceptable
- artists are losing jobs fastly and furiously more than anyone else, obvs
- david foster wallace: wiggle room (fiction). i just remembered how we weren't really talking this one time and then you texted me to say david foster wallace killed himself and i felt really sad and i was in cvs which made me even sadder.
- in new york magazine sam anderson writes about the "mini-biography" of david foster wallace published in the new yorker
- the next few links have to be more optimistic than those ones but you should really read those ones too okay
- i can't believe i just noticed this but susie bright was on pot psychology !
- and rachel maddow is on the view! i didn't know she was 5'11, that's taller than me.
- haviland's gonna do a concert in l.a go watch her sing songs!
- the recession is AWESOME !
- the secret lives of new yorkers !
- i like this mcfaul studio design blog !

how are you? everything good? what did you have for breakfast? was it good? i had a hot pocket and a nespresso.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Autoportrait 3.0

[Autoportrait]

It's April of last year. This is where I've started to begin; April of last year. We're in Malibu and the wind is as perfect as wind has ever been. You're looking at the beach because you recognize a celebrity and her dog down there and she's huddled in your hoodie, her whole body squeezed up inside it 'cause she's always cold and even colder now smack between the pool beside us and the ocean below. She's so tiny in there, like a girl, and now looking back I remember it like this: it's because it was your hoodie, that's how you made both of us feel sometimes, like a girl all wrapped up. And alternately, like something torn of its surface and alone. But maybe that was just me. It's just easier to imagine or remember that it wasn't just me. I mean I feel smarter that way.

The wind picks up. We put rocks atop our construction paper and our crayons throw caution to the wind.

I come back to this beginning [Malibu, April] because this is the scene that opens the novel [fictionalized, of course, with everyone playing someone else, including me] I assume I'll eventually finish, otherwise this whole thing [my life] is kinda anti-climactic. In the novel, we are there with our crayons when I get an email on my phone from my other half, who I haven't heard from in years -- I've lost him, that much is true -- and it turns out he's in LA but he doesn't know I am too.

When I tell vosotros, you say, Clearly we are going to stalk him right now. My friends love me like that, drive faster for me. It's a novel. This didn't happen.

++

Malibu in April was a place where everything felt perfect except me. And you and you and you and you and you, and her. It was like crying and laughing at the same time, it was the opposite of fucking & laughing at the same time. The air and the sky, and how at night the stone floor would get so cold, and how I slept so easily next to her because I trusted the silence so bad. I was torn up from all sides, like a fistful of frayed rope.

The three of us in the sunshine; three jellyfish with hoods up and phones out but unimportant, dream on, shades shading.

See -- I'd decided to go to Malibu only a few hours before I got on the plane to go to Malibu. I was still packed from the trip to China I never took, and though that dream had been dashed a few weeks prior to Malibu I had not yet unpacked because I was very busy self-destructing in New York, crawling with blades flared across those creeping warm dumb almost-spring days. Then you called me from the airport and said do you want to go.

That was the week when my heart crashed. I don't mean broke. I mean everything breaks my heart but my heart still works though, I mean that my heart crashed.

I was alone at the time of the crash. There were no witnesses. Or there was one witness; later. Your finger on my skin, and maybe I told you it was your fault and maybe I didn't but it didn't really matter, it wasn't her fault, I mean it wasn't your fault, I mean it was my fault, I mean nothing is anyone's fault except my own and cracks like blades and I had a magic pill that made me forget. It kills me now not to remember.

++

In Malibu we spoke in little bright charges of electricity and then retreated like lights going off. We drove like nothing bad had ever happened. Does she know, she would ask, does she know? Does she know?

No, of course not. No one knew. We thought we knew and we didn't.

Something changed that week inside me. I mean it changed before I went. In a way I knew what I had to do but I decided instead not to do it because I was scared that if I did what I had to do that I would end up alone and heartcrashed. I mean that writing this I have to pretend like you'll never read it. You, and you, and you and you and you and you and you it was not just you, or even just you, vosotros, you, you ah'tem, ah'ten.

I mean that now as I write this I am heartcrashed to know two or three things I know for sure: that you will not read it, and that you won't either. You weigh against one another like steel and iron, like fire.

++

In the past week, three people have mentioned to me that it's still hard to see themselves, here, sometimes, in the right kind of light. If I get you at a bad angle. If I was in the right place at the wrong time. I was, I guess. I love the wrong time. I am the wrong time, you're a circle and I'm a fist and an angle. No, I'm a circle.

It's just that I don't know that much about the right time except that I'm determined to prove to you that right can come out of wrong, that right doesn't need to be new. Like I don't trust my own decision to always prefer the blank slate. Like I don't know what I want so I just feel like right now I am trying to remove myself from everyone who could be impacted by that decision.

++
I was someone else before you and you. The red bulb and drawing on her back, the girl who lied and the girl who cried, Brooklyn and Harlem and red red red and smoke in the air and the secrets you share alone and naked that you can't explain, which is what makes everything exactly what it is.

And now when we talk about the way we were back then (before you, and you) -- before I knew the jellyfishes I know now.

I don't think I could do shit like that anymore, I said, I mean. Now you can't pretend like you don't get what you deserve when you get it.
Dra-ma, she said.

I don't want to do anything we won't remember, I'd said then.
But it's fun, she'd said.

I don't know that girl back then. I was all desire, no want. I was patient and fast. I dug that Radiohead last night, she said the next morning a chunk of years ago. I love the things there isn't time to say at the time. That was years ago. One day I too would no longer want to remember.

++
I was born with three wishes, but I didn't know any words. My head like a cannonball and flames to the brain. I wasted my first wish on words. My second: no one can leave before I'm ready. Third wish = Infinity.
++
Now she's picking glass out of her foot with tweezers.
I missed the part when she stepped in the glass.

"Don’t hurt me," she says.
Her first wish.

I ask her if she wants a the middle or the end of the sandwich
and she says she wants the end. She says she likes the ends of things.
"I like pretzel ends, I like hot dog ends, Twizzler ends. The ends of things."
++

When she wrote me and said It's stagnant, and you don't like that, I said you're right even though I'd never really thought that before. I never thought I craved change because I didn't like staying still. I always assumed I craved change because where I am never feels right. By "assumed" I mean "I've always known."

But did I tell you about how the air in Malibu was so perfect, how everything was so perfect and airy, how slippery it is on top of a rainbow and skating.

I'm telling you the air was perfect. I mean it when I tell you that I think it was in the air. In Malibu, remember? Where we were when this story began, and a place we will never be again. Those were the last moments of that dream. So there it is. Behind me. I had mentioned, after all, the ocean.

++

I've never been good at describing the weather 'cause it always just seemed so obvious. Now I'm obsessed with it. I want to know about the wind and the ocean and all the things that people who like life like to be close to.

Maybe that was because that was the week I realized that everything was so much larger than me. The good and the bad. That's when things started changing in me. In the fall I decided I wanted to be infinite. In the winter I hid in the middle of everything.

Now there are so many yous, there are so many shes, it's like the universal you. The universal she.
The memory, which we can forget if we want to,
or change when we re-write it,
or eat it, and keep it in our guts forever
like o
like h
++
When I re-write you, I will make the breeze breezier. I will make your eyes bluer even if they weren't blue in the first place. I pick blue because it's the color of sky. You will laugh at me when I say this.

And now I feel like you laughed at me from above and she laughs at me from below and here I am in the middle, nowhere near the ends of things. And I can't hear. Because isn't the wind terrible.
++
Which is to say none of the pronouns I so carelessly employ necessarily apply to anyone specific, I mean that.

I wish we had a proper vosotros.

I'm sort of on my own right now, in a weird way. Not for reasons I can explain. But I am, in my head. Oh, no one ever makes sense.
It feels almost like when I stopped taking the anti-depressants years ago,
like coming up from underwater onto a shore that looked black to you but golden to me.

++

The night before I left for Malibu (before I knew I was going to Malibu), I was on the phone with her and then you arrived and I told her my Mom was on the other line but she wasn't, and never would be. Not at that hour.

And I saw you. And we were together for a moment or twenty in the darkness. And then you left. I felt like a very very bad person, which was sweeter than saltwater. Maybe that happened or maybe you didn't.

I called her back. "So anyway ..." I began.

And we spoke like only simple things had transpired between before and now, like nothing had changed, maybe she'd had a snack or I'd put on my pajamas, like we are two little rocks of love that are stronger than time or change or memory or anything. That's something. You need two or three things you know for sure, a person and maybe two or three more people who are like rocks. Then you can have wind on top of the rocks which don't move. The trouble begins when you mistake Malibu for forever. When you mistake anything for forever.

And the next day I slept until I couldn't sleep anymore because every waking moment was hard. I woke up and you called and asked if I wanted to go. Of course. Of course all I ever want to do is go. I didn't tell you that I'd gone until I got there and you were mad at me for going. But I was safe.

And I went.

++

We came back laughing. We took two Valiums each, or maybe you took three. Then we were really flying. Nothing hurt. I'd always hated flying but I wanted that flight to never end. Our seats were large, we pretended to be rich people because you pretended to be a rich person all the time and I went with you wherever you wanted to go.

And I loved you so much in that moment. As a friend, perhaps I had never loved you or needed you more as I did in the air that day, coming back from where you had taken me and feeling you'd never take me anywhere again. I always knew, you know.

Hiding in your hoodie, and the Valium you put into my palm.

The food they brought us on trays. We flew through sky and clouds and the world was as perfect as it had ever been.

++

Nobody ever really changes. So you take it or leave it.

++

I've always wanted to run away with someone crazy.
Instead I came back to someone who made me smile.

Instead now I

++

I think of Neal Cassady,
I even think of Old Neal Cassady the father we never found,
I think of Neal Cassady, I think of Neal Cassady.


I've got a postcard super-glued to my desk of William Burroughs trying to stab Jack Kerouac with a dagger. I did that 'cause I opened a super glue bottle and it got everywhere and so I had to put something new on top of it, so I put this postcard on top of it and after all this time it is still here on the desk from the whorehouse. "That's what you call it?" She asked me, once. "You call it 'the whorehouse'?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," I said to her.

++

The ends of things.



Then you left, and I wasn't ready.