Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday Top Ten: This Might Be It, Actually

"I want to be consistent
with the truth as it reveals itself to me," Gandhi said, and I felt
the hard permission right words give us
to disobey, to become ourselves.
I loved thinking that integrity
might be fluid, and still do,
though the indulgent, rudderless
and without shame, love to think so too,
and the truth is
the indulgent are my careless brothers
half the time.

-Stephen Dunn, from "Loves"

The last non-English-350-related all-nighter I pulled was December '99, and it ended in the same spot that April 28th's wake-a-thon did. I didn't go to Columbia but I took summer school here and still prefer its serious buildings and ancient/earnest embrace of sunrises/sets more than just about any other Uptown Park. One of my favorite parts of the island, fo' sure.

December 1999, Harlumbia:

....we ate the inside of our cheeks, and then each other's hearts. I tapped frustration on tabletops.
"Let's go see Jake," I said, grating my cheeks to my teeth like sanding wood. "Let's go to Columbia and see Jake."
"Let's!" Meg said.
"How far is it?" Ingrid asked.
"One hundred and ten blocks," I said. "We can totally walk."
"Let's do it," Meg said. We ate our cheeks, then our cookies, and then we walked as far as the 1-9 stop to go uptown.

This time: April 28th. 8 A.M. Sleepy sun rise, we emerge on 113th, Rex-Walls style. TB smokes primary cigarettes, makes promises.....I desire Zen, I listen, place faith, I squint because one never anticipates such disasters, never prepares appropriate eyewear: it was night-time when I left, it's suddenly bright I would like to step out of my heart and go walking beneath the enormous sky.

"The times are so peculiar now, so medieval and so unreasonable, that for the first time in a hundred years; truth is really stranger than fiction. Any truth."
-Gertrude Stein.
I'm waiting for edits/approval on the Sunday Top Ten. Because we can only say so much before we say too much, or the wrong thing, or not enough. You never think before you talk, chose your words, be careful:what happens when all I've got left is words? Sometimes it seems really lame that English is the only language I'm fluent in. It's a cop-out. There's gotta be other ways, you know? To say what I mean? Someone in some country is getting it out and I'm not, and I want their linguistics.

UPDATE: Killing the Sunday Top Ten that was in progress for this week. Totes TMI. I gotta hold some things back, yeah? It's hard, always (always!) to determine how much, exactly, I oughta give here. Right now I'm in a new apartment, surrounded by boxes, putting together a new life, or something.


Where's the joke? Where's my punchline, punch-face? Automatic Laugh!

Where's the joke?

Knock Knock.

Because it wouldn't be autumn at Marie Claire without Marie Lyn Bernard,
my essay "Feels Like Teen Spirit," to appear in "The Bigger the Better, the Tighter the Sweater: 20 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image, and Other Hazards of Being Female" [Seal Press/Avalon, June 28], has been picked up by marie claire for their August issue.
Eat THAT, [redacted] magazine.


I had another idea for a Sunday Top Ten:
Since I'm moving, I thought I'd catalogue the top 10 weird stuff I found while packing. For example:

The photographer asked: "You wanna try again?" and I snuck a look and noted: Why, when this one is perfect?

I wasn't actually happy though. I was like, what am I doing with all these patchoulli-pothead-flowy skirted-lesbians? Then I went to University of Michigan and was like: what am I doing with all these Hard-Tail-Pantsed Herve-Bag-Toting (TOTES) douchebag-sorostitutes? Then I realized: Whoever is alone will stay alone, will sit, read, write long letters through the evening, and wander on the boulevards, up and down, restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.



I also found a story--some notes for stories, handwritten and typed--and started reading it, thinking maybe it was mine or TB's, and I could quickly ID and store appropriately. The language was familiar but then gradually the story became that way, too, and it was really really really good, and I kept reading it though I knew I shouldn't, but it was about things I knew about, so I think that's OK. So, you, I hope it was.

I'm dipping my spoon into a jar of Skippy and then rolling it all about the field of mini-chocolate-chips and then eating it like that's not totally weird.

From the currently-under-consideration Sunday Top 10, entitled 'What's Really Been Going On' or 'Nine True Things' :

8. Two-Spirit/Loki/Fire Hydrant/TRANNY PRIDE

T.B.'s just announced she's becoming a man. I'm not kidding, kids.

"I'm getting involved in the transgender rights movement. Totes campaigning. Go trannies! Like is that okay? Can you be--
[erupts into totally non-maniacal laughter]
--straight again? After I just like, totally made you into a lesbian? Is that okay? Can you be straight now?"
"Oh my God. What will we tell your mother?"

She's not cutting her tits off, like Max. Just dressing in drag.

"I usually wear men's clothes. Why, I don't know. I'm not a Freudian."
Kathy Acker, Empire of the Senseless

"I'm gonna be the most hipsterish man ever. I'm gonna be a drag king, like the hottest and fittest drag king EVER. Vita Sackville-West, whatever."


Noah said...

I want a divorce, Marie.

riese said...

Why Noah WHY!!!? Are you seeing someone else?

Mercury said...

I totally want to read that. It sounded like it was going to be way awesome and then you were like NVM, TMI. And I was bummed.

You should finish it and post it in code. Or you should let me read it, because you know that I'm your biggest west-coast fan/most long-distance and longtime reader. Etc.

riese said...

for you rachel, anything.

i'll work something out. stay tuned.

MoonKiller said...

My depression over not reading your Sunday Top 10 is worsening by the day. The only thing preventing me from taking my own life is that hilarious picture of you. My first passport photo was a bit like that. But I think yours might have beaten me. hehe.

Anonymous said...

mercury, i'm sorry, but i think i should win the prize for "longest-distance-longtime-reader-and-fan". i'm from vienna, austria, europe, world, universe.

riese, thank you for all the posts, they brighten my days here. sorry for my bad english. that's all. have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

I'm from France! Can I compete with Vienna girl for longest distance longtime reader and fan?

Anonymous said...

i can raise you all... Australia. I think that adds about 10 hours travel time

Haviland said...

I love all these international fans! How exciting for the Riese girl!

Kate said...

haviland, some international love for you too :O)
(the australian)

riese said...

this is a fun game! I need a listener map like Kelka has. Hm. But I guess no-one actually "listens" to this blog, so to speak....."reader map" sounds more boring though. Hm.

i've been to australia a lot of times. it takes so long that my armpit hair actually grows during the flight and I visibly age. But it's totes worth it.

Just so you know, you all automatically win. Everyone gets a prize, and that prize is yet to be determined. I think slowly, but strongly.

Mercury said...

Okay, I edit my assertion: Longest-time, farthest north westcoast reader. And most often commenting.

Razia said...

I'll meet Australia...Sydney, Australia. And I'm not so bad in the commenting dept for an ex too-cool-for-commenting type of gal, if i do say so myself. *waits patiently for DHL worldmail guy to show up at my door with my automatic prize*