Friday, August 24, 2007

SomeDay Top Ten: Live Through This And You Won't Look Back

So, back on Monday night, I accidentally pressed "return" which became "publish." It may've come up on your Google Reader. Then I had an idea to do this in like, stages. And somehow this now fully-staged oft-edited posting experiment has become its own kind of testament. It's probably one of the longest blog posts of all time, but I like it that way, 'cause it's all here, started & finished: my name is Marie, and this is my heart. And--also--what I've found most stunning about this as it evolved in my head and on "the page" [I feel like such a pretentious fuck using that kind of language, hot!] is that it's such a strange full-circle because as much as I was drowned out at times, I cannot understate the following: She was the best writing teacher I've ever had. And I've had a lot of kickass writing teachers--official ones. She helped me find my voice, develop it, own it ... and punctuate it. And I'm saying that right now with that voice. The indisputable fact of That Gift is perhaps the only thing from all of this that I Know For Sure.


So I published what I had so far, and then I republished as each segment developed. I said: "Ideally this entire process, which will be approximately as exciting as watching paint dry, will be completed within 32 hours. Comment at any point. I'll probs respond to comments quicker than I'll update the post, which I think might be kinda interesting and fun." That turned out to be a big lie.

Also, I'd like to add that because Stef has forfeited payment for her kickass blog redesign, I have one free date with Lozo still to give away. Just something to think about.

I won't regret saying this,
this thing that I'm saying,
Is it better than keeping my mouth shut
That goes without saying.
- Tegan & Sara, "Call it Off"
I'm way behind on email/thank-yous/phone-calls[surprise!] everything right now. Obvs.

Most Recent Update - 8.23/9:26 P.M. EST - Installment # 10


Sometimes, you go through something brief but intense in both good and bad ways and your whole life changes. That's a good first sentence, right? Okay, moving on then: I think I'm developing some sort of bruise on the lower corner of my right palm/wrist connector area from typing too much. I'm going to be injured from typing. That's pretty much the most looserish illness you can develop, besides whatever it is that people get from masturbating all day to Sailor Moon. Or dressing up like a Klingon for any number of consecutive hours.

So lately I've started to notice the wires of thoughts fizzing through my brain that don't take the same paths anymore; some things exploded or burned out or turned liquid on the way from [there] to here. But they feel real, too, and no less honest.

And ... I know there're so many factors going into how I feel here now ... and I'm still limited in what I can say and petrified, too; I learned the hard way that not only is the internet a free place to really go off at someone without any recourse for the attacker or protection for the victim, but it's also a place where you can actually attack someone on grounds that're not only ridiculous, but precisely the opposite of the truth. Reader: I'd've married her. [We considered ourselves "engaged."]

That [redacted] magazine article reminded me of how good things once were. I'd tried to forget, obvs, as The Girl I Chose became a totes mad twatwaffle ... It wasn't just the content that brought me back, but remembering how much she'd labored over the article with me, remembered her bringing home groceries and making me dinner while I sat glued to my computer ...

... and then ... remembering being yelled at for hours, and hours, and more hours, until the hours became my life and where else could I've gone every morning, really, than my life?

"Behold I come as a thief,

blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments,
lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
-Revelation 16. The King James Bible.
So this week's Sunday Top Ten is a reflection, like the kind you get when you gaze into a small pond or other reasonable body of water, on the things that've changed that I didn't even notice were changing. One of those changing things is this blog; I'm trying to post more frequently but with greater brevity. So far my success rate has been about 0%.

On the topic of this Sunday Top Ten, I had Crystal read it, and threw the idea at Stef and Lozo. All three thought I should just say it. I keep trying to organise it, but I can't.

Sunday Top Ten:
Things That've Changed,
Things We Lost in the Fire

How We Live Now
I know what I wanted,

I gave what I gave

I'm not sorry I met you

I'm not sorry it's over.
- Stars
10. I Am Ready to Move to Someplace Sunshiney

Sitting on the subway with Natalie the other night it didn't feel any less true to say "I am so over this city," in the same way I used to defend it as though it's busted arteries were somehow still supporting my heart.

9. I'm Addicted to Email

Now that I have my Dash [Truth: my previous phone, a Sidekick--a gift from my mother--was stolen after (redacted) started a fight on a Philly street-corner, attracting a crowd that ultimately included thieves. Her wallet was stolen. She didn't replace her wallet--she had me instead--and subsequently didn't replace my phone. Besides, I had nothing to say to anyone.] I've become more addicted to checking my email than normal. Howevs, I can't really reply in anything resembling proper English, or comment on my blog, or read anyone's blog, or access Google Docs. It's like I can see in but I can't do anything about it. Like a Read-Only Doc or something. Nevertheless, I must check. I must check obsessively and constantly.

8. I'm No Longer Afraid of Mice.

I'm not afraid of mice anymore. I used to be so scared of 'em that when we spotted one in our Interlochen dorm, I built a chair-bridge from the door to the top bunk and wouldn't let my feet touch the floor 'til we'd been rid of them for many days. Also, the top bunk wasn't even mine. I mean, mice're gross, obvs, but there was a mouse in our kitchen here and I didn't scream or anything. For the record, having a mouse in one's apartment in New York City isn't indicative of anything (bad cleaning habits, infected building) besides that you are alive and life is unfair. Also part of my fear comes from the Sex in the City episode where Carrie wakes up and there is a mouse on her bed.

Tears for fears, fo' real.

7. The Final Playlist. 18 Carefully Chosen Tracks.

Heart/Stars. A Better Son or Daughter/Rilo Kiley.
Don't Cry Out/Shiny Toy Guns. Where Did The Good Go/Tegan & Sara.
Don't You Know/The Sleepy Jackson. Hear Me Out/Frou Frou.
Nineteen/Tegan & Sara. Who You Are/Tears for Fears.
Good Luck/Basement Jaxx. 23/Jimmy Eat World.
Floorplan/Tegan & Sara. If I Ever Feel Better/Phoenix.
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead/Stars. Explode/Uh Huh Her.
Soil, Soil/Tegan & Sara. Next Plateau/Longwave.
What the Snowman Learned About Love/Stars. Ave Maria/Franz Schubert.


6. I Wanna Be a Robot

I got an email Monday morning, oddly enough, from a reader who worked at a law firm I'd applied to for part-time admin assistant stuff right around returning from the cruise -- basically confirming all my worst fears -- it was not cool at that time to google me when you're looking for someone to type and enter data and not cause trouble. Like O.K. it's possible that I'm is totally into Satan and a first worldian douchebag whore, and it's probably not true, but why risk it? I mean, Satan! That is serious business! The devil herself!

I ended up talking to this girl back and forth all day, and ... ugh. Things're better now, thank G-d, and though technorati remains deeply attached to old things, my heart doesn't [ha!], and, finally, neither does Google.

But still, I totes just say whatever I want and my name's right there. This would be fine if I wanted to work in publishing but I don't really -- mostly because I feel it's just more smoke and mirrors and the pay is shit. For some bizarre reason, as confusing to me as my recent desire to live in L.A., I want a randomized robotic office job. Yeah, weird. I always said I could never do it and now, when the temp agency called and asked if I could start the next morning at some office job they didn't even describe to me, which implies it involves sitting on my butt and inputting data while slowly transforming from human to octopus, I was like "WHEEEE!!!!" I think it's because I need some stability.

I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. I'm tired. Also, I think I am not only losing my tan, but becoming perhaps transparent.

I started a temp job on Wednesday morning and said "I am so proud of myself for getting up on time, I'm pretty certain I'll end up being late." Obviously I was. Also I was told at 8:45 A.M. on my first day that I would be serving the next 9 hours of my life WITHOUT INTERNET. And then my phone, which has limited internet capabilities (read: not blogger, not grammar), died!! What the F?

5. I'm Raw.

One of many enlightening activities I accomplished on Wednesday while WITHOUT INTERNET at work was reading through my notebook -- not my journal -- my sketchbook. It's mostly to-do lists, but writing too and I saw that at first, I was resentful & broke & bitter, but also ecstatic in a way, high on my strength at breaking free. I wrote: I'm feeling easier about it all of a sudden, and it's almost not being able to stop myself from stopping myself coming but not certain I ever will come.

I felt sad & guilty, too, a failure, like I could've done more. But -- post breakup, I remained sympathetic & sensitive [through more than either of us will ever say] 'til the online slander started, and that exhausted what remained of my tolerance for mistreatment. So. This's me right now being [semi] straightforward because I realize that lately, pieces of the story've been leaking out of me passive-aggressively, shards, 'cause I held my tongue so well then and it continues its reverb.

I'd say I want to scream and what I meant was: I am screaming.

I wanna clear what I can because air is a vast & tricky thing; it's hallucinations, ideas, the fog, the fallible mailable ridiculous air, which is, p.s., never enough.

I wanna clear the air so I can step out of it, go walking beneath the enormous sky.

I had such a reservoir of non-judgmental acceptance. So what happened was such a unique, maddening way to get to me. For one: as a writer, I've just naturally got a lot online. But mostly: this space'd become remarkably precious, both because it'd brought her to me to begin with and because I'd been so intensely private about my sex & dating life on my blog prior to her precisely to avoid any possibility of having to explain a breakup online, which's like my worst nightmare. I mean, I took sick days in junior high after breakups. I hate having to bring all that personal nonsense into the light. It's impossible for anyone to judge. Breakups are personal, complicated, subjective things.

I've always been careful how I tread the line between honesty and "dirty laundry," and I was pissed to see her try to demolish that in her mania, get to me, break me. I didn't want to air mine. I don't. But it's still out there, it's still flapping, I still see it, am asked about it, feel it, hear about it, know people wonder about it, remember it. So, I think there's enough behind us and enough before me to warrant some kind of something... said.

I didn't read her blogs for a long time. I still wanted what I'd always wanted: for her to be well. But I got really angry, too, that everything at that point had been left in such shambles and that there wasn't even mercy here. In permanent public space. That there was so much I had to say in response but didn't.

That anger's hard to shake: that 24/7 cyber-slaughter--the commenting on my stuff [the subsequent moderation], the day she asked everyone I knew to be her myspace friend. When she was emailing and commenting everywhere -- other bloggers, my readers, my friends, my family, drunken heterosexual Lozo. The phone calls, the texts. Those effin blogs.

Oh I wish my arms were wider
I wish that I could hide you
So you can rest and repair
-The Cardigans, "Feather and Down"

My natural tendency towards loner-hood amped up a bit when her hospitalisations started, and the social isolation reached it's peak during the last&longest one. I was traveling to Suburban NY every day. People stopped understanding altogether and the more things I gave up (jobs, money, stability, friends), the more I fought to cover up and keep it all together -- the more this blog meant to me. I let it become an actual outlet for the first time ever.

It'd been up and down like that for a long time, and I'd done everything I possibly could to help her get better. After all, in health she was What I'd Wanted, she'd been So Good. Even in mania, I'd loved her. I justified putting everything aside to be there. I incurred expense. I stuck around because I loved her, because she was devoted wholly to me, because she told me our whole lives before that point had existed to make our union possible and I agreed, because she loved me, because I saw glimmers of her old self and she made promises and I always hoped. And the more I threw in, the more I needed her to come out of it.

*How do you know when to let go?
Where does the good go?
Where does the good go?
-Tegan & Sara, "Where Does The Good Go?"*

We'd joke: "This is the longest relationship I've ever had. We've been together for 100 years, totes." Because we'd already been through so much together.

So then I fell apart, and I had to, before I could call it off. Thunder, Perfect Turtle:
From Original Draft of "Naked on the Internet" Panel Recap:

I squat on the heels of my cowboy boots, pull my dress over my knees, lower my head into my neckhole like a turtle receding into it's shell and--though this sounds as if it's going somewhere sexual, it's totes not--tell [her] I wish I was dead. I'm not going to the panel. Can you tell everyone that you killed me?

Her: Jeez, death death death's all you can talk about. I don't want you to die, is that okay? Why don't you want to go anymore?

Me: I just don't wanna. I don't have anything to say. I'm stupid and annoying.

Her: Aw, Auto-Win, [strokes my hair tenderly] Why're you being thunder perfect turtle right now?
Actually, I do know why death death death's all I can talk about: Kathy Acker. [She]'s advised me to stop reading everything she's been telling me to read, as clearly it's "too much for [my] little baby mind to handle." Don Quijote, Nietzsche, Kathy Acker, The Art of Love, Marquis De Sade, Bartimelle, et al. I have this thing where the voice of whomever I'm reading seeps into my mind and becomes my mind.

4. This Blog Like, Means A Lot To Me

So, I zoomed in here. I realized when I was out for dinner with Natalie last week that Wow, I say "blog" every other word, which's a lot for someone who only updates twice a week. It's become a big part of my life, which is really seriously hilarious considering my intentions when I started.

And it's resulted in so many fabulous things; my readers, who've become friends, many of them in "real life" -- I met K-Lily through my blog, and TB of course, and, obvs: Carly.

Rachel, who at one point was the only one who knew what was really going on via a private blog called "Too Much Information" later re-titled "Not the Mountaintops." Stef who's redesigning my website, Jaimie who invited me to read at her theatre.

Crystal, who not only fiercely believes in me and my choices/talent in a way that inspires ME to do more, but has also gotten me the most reliable freelance gig I've ever had and listened to me whine for about 50,000 words while enabling the development of new career skills.

Team Caitlin [Caitlin #1=Our Producer!, Caitlin #2=Santa Claus/Magic!], who hauled ass to get an audition space for Carly and I ... and then we found out that we need to join SAG or something, urg/whatevs. People who've read the teleplay and given us feedback, like Crystal and Abby, and "m" [who I actually knew in college and then re-found on the blog, true story].

I could literally go on forever. Wow. I mean -- I really could. To even begin to fathom it would be impossible. If you think I've forgotten you because your name is not in this paragraph, you are wrong.

All the people who've responded to my call to financial arms ... and anyone who's ever commented, or emailed, or offered a connection or a gig or a job or a girl or just advice. Or a story. Or an undercover-in-a-museum flickr photoset.

And Lozo, my masseuse.

3. Then I Became Not Too Proud to Beg

I've had many conversations recently, re: The New Starving Artist. I know several others who're misconceived to be "going places"-- at the top of their game, career in possible overdrive, just exploding everywhere. But truthfully they've got maxed out credit cards, tore-up shoes and a lot of Ramen. Also sidenote I love Ramen. TB taught me the "secret" which is to put an egg in it. I know that sounds gross but seriously try it. I know, I was skeptical too. Except you Carly, I know you don't like Ramen.

The internet's created a funny kind of psuedo-"fame": the Broke Successful Person. People no longer have to make a physical effort to find your work via library or movie theater or art gallery. You've volunteered to come to them, they can find you and enjoy you at their leisure and consequently appreciate you without incurring financial cost. I'm not complaining, I'm just getting to this point: now more than ever it is possible to appear as if you're doing good when you're actually not. It's beautiful because I think it's a meritocracy, unlike the other kinds of archy-s that've plagued the art and publishing worlds.

Oh yes: and credit cards. Are often vital.

Certain things imply success: you've worked with well-known people. You've been to some particular events of distinction. Perhaps you seemed, for a time, to forego work altogether to take care of someone you loved, who claimed to understand you couldn't afford to do this. You've been scraping together the most random kinds of income to support all the free writing and then one week everyone keeps calling to say wow! You're doing so well! And you're like: Whoa! But I'm broke!

You've appeared places, with it is what you do, beaming, well-received, glossy. You've become a "name" which is now possible, in certain circles, to just come up.

But also; you're broke. It's your fault, you feel. Not everyone would've been so pliable as you'd been. Not everyone would've been so vulnerable, embraced the smoke & mirrors. People ask you if you're getting by, you respond affirmatively, you can't admit the smoke, because you're choking on it ...

When it's not your industry, it's easier to imagine that things are going better, or are about to go better, than they actually are. I look at people who claim to be broke and think, "See, even as you're saying this I can't really believe you. How on earth could [seemingly successful artist or actor] be broke? They're doing so well right now!" but then you think; of course they can be! Because I sure am.

It doesn't mean anything that I was in a major women's magazine [the payment for that goes to the editors of my anthology, not to me] or that I have a sorta-popular blog. Even I assumed incorrectly that TLW Online was a profitable venture, when it's actually just their labour of love. But I heart LW recaps and all that's come into my life because of it -- things money can't buy. "Priceless" as Visa might say, ironically. I wish there was no money. Then we could just trade things according to worth, and depend on each other maybe, even, to get by.

You can be in a video watched in 1.2 million homes and it's entirely possibly you're to earn not a single dime from it. [I'm not, obvs, but some people are, I hear of these things.] Certainly no physical book or public theater could gather that kind of momentum and popularity on it's own accord, be transported via body and space, like the internet can. So.

Dacia wrote about this in September and I remember it distinctly. And kottke made some valid points about what we do as bloggers, and so that contributed to my fundraising drive. It's hard -- underneath it all I always feel like a fraud, which's perhaps why it's so easy for someone to attack me and I'll take it because maybe i feel that even when they are wrong they are secretly right, they've uncovered me, and what they see is worthless and undeserving. I do good things, but underneath is bad things.

I feel like I wouldn't like me if I met me
I feel like you wouldn't like me if you met me
-Tegan & Sara, "You Wouldn't Like Me."

All this good work is leading up to something. I love this & the people, and I wanna build an audience for future ventures that I imagine to be profitable. Lately I've had people providing concrete support, and now, also, even more people that've put money in the Damn-the-Man jar.

"I'm so broke" jokes and "I can pay you with a Lozo, but not money" jokes are fun jokes. But on Sunday as I pondered this paragraph, I've realised my pride and inhibitions related to talking about money hasn't actually changed. What changed was circumstances, some sort of touched upon in this blog in many areas of this post.

Broke people sometimes annoy me because they never want to do fun things, so I try to pretend like I am not also a broke person. Visa can tell you all about this.

It's true that I write full-time, but not with a full-time income, and I don't know what to do about this.

I won't go into the specifics of what's gone down recently in my life; I am now, and always have been, happy to do this for free--I believe in making agreements and mine here is: "This is my work. It is free." I never intended to make money from blogging because I do not have any exclusives on Britney Spears' sexuality or Judith Regan's latest book deal. And when I do get similar information, Haviland makes me promise not to say anything. Also, my ex slept with Maggie Gyllenhaall. JK. I mean, JK about being genuine about releasing that information as an exclusive. It's a joke.

So there's a lot of things in here that kind of explain what led to my question like, well, maybe if I could just get $5 from everyone, my problems'd ease up a little. My Mom said she'd read about someone doing it. So that's that. [Kinda?]

2. Um,

I don't know why I think this is the most amazing book cover of any book I've ever been in, but I do. I mean, the title, the FONT! Wow. My story "Fucking Around" is in this book:

everything i love get back for me now
everyone i loved, i need you now
so conned, i lied i lied to me too (so what?)
hold out for the ones you know will love you
hide out from the ones you know will love you
-tegan & sara, dark come soon
Formerly "#7"
A True Story:
Live Through This,
And You Won't Look Back

One morning I woke up knowing something was wrong, and so I went to New Roc. I'd never been there before so I just got on the Metro-North to the stop called "New Rochelle" and then I got off there, and got into a car, and asked the driver to take me to City Hall, wherever the jail was, and so he did. I think it cost four dollars, it seemed like a bargain.

It was an impossibly sunny, warmish-spring-perfect day, I walked up the marble-y steps of City Hall and went inside the sanitary, chalky building. Everyone inside it looked tired. I was tired. I'd grown less good at eating and sleeping. I gave them her name and said I thought she'd possibly spent the night there. The woman told me she'd actually just left but: Oh, she was just walkin' all over the place talking to everyone --

And so I decided to find her. I didn't know how I'd do that because I'd never been to New Roc before. So I just started walking, and I asked G-d, because I knew of that for sure, to lead me to her. I walked down a few sidewalks. This wasn't a good part of town, I could see that already. All the stores sold booze or greeting cards. Like, drink some Jack Daniels, then get a card to apologise to your wife for what you did afterwards.

And I walked down these streets and then I saw her, waking out of a store with a fresh pack of cigarettes. There she was: my girl, she was right there. I'd come there and found her, and so I thanked G-d for that. I jogged a little but she was in her own world so she didn't hear me coming up behind her. She had a million bags, it seemed like, always carried five or six books with her at a time.

I caught up and blocked her in the street. She looked up, saw me, stopped.

She said: "Hey," as if I'd been planning on meeting her there, as if she'd spent the night in jail simply to be nearby when I made my first visit to New Rochelle. She seemed surprised but not surprised enough, as if strange things like this happened all the time because of her or for her -- they did, after all. Of course I would just psychically know where she was. Of course I would just find her with no clues whatsoever and no knowledge of the area.

She hugged me -- a quick, tight, glorious flash of real -- she held me, said she'd missed me and that she was sorry they hadn't let her have her phone in jail. She kissed me. Those were still her lips. I thought her arms were still her arms but I looked closer and they were covered in bruises, even more than there'd been on Friday or Saturday, when we'd covered them in foundation for the photographer from the magazine for my article.

Then she stopped walking. I stopped. I turned and took her in: she was a slick black shark that day: in her sunglasses & Trinity black leather jacket, like her fingernails might shoot into laser beams and then burn me up, like in a fancy movie. Sometimes, when she wasn't around, I had a strange urge to sit on my bed and stare at the wall and move my lips in the shape speaking usually makes.

I stopped walking too, because she'd stopped.

She commanded: "Walk. And don't look back."

She let me take ten steps ahead of her and I started walking. She started walking behind me. This was easy. I didn't look back. I started thinking and then I remembered that thinking wasn't the point. The only point was to obey.

We were at an overpass that went over the highways. Cars drove beneath us like it was an ordinary day in an ordinary world. Though I've been to New Roc for real now, I still can't figure out where we were that day: somewhere between City Hall and the train station, I guess.

It was a beautiful day, brilliant bright beamy sunshine. It was for us.

Then she told me: "Okay Lot's Wife. You can stop now." And so I did. "Knock knock."

"Who's there?" I receded, she neared me.

"I love you!" She said.

"Knock knock." She said (that's her second line in a row).

"Who's there?" I said.

"Interrupting weirdo!" She said.

"Interrpting we--" I started to say.

"I love you!" She said.

I smiled. I knew those words, I knew that person.

We walked together to the Metro-North. I knew that's where we were going but she didn't tell me, I just knew.

She told me she'd given herself the bruises to punish herself for being prideful and judging everyone. Then she gave me her phone and told me to call her work for her and tell her boss she was sick and wouldn't make it in. She told me she had no time for work; she had to to learn Proto-Indo-European.

"I feel like yelling at people," she told me. I didn't really grasp then that she meant that. This was the very first time. This was the day after Easter.

That's when it started: on the Metro-North, heading back into Manhattan. She started yelling. I was there on the seat with her in this normal train, with normal people, being normal, and I realised I'd just stepped into some kind of something scary. I remember I was reading The Book of Daniel that day off of paper, printed out from the online Bible @ bartlebys -- because the fact that I hadn't read it was becoming a major issue in our relationship. I just kept thinking I could try to go along with things and then maybe I could fix them.

She started in on me then for a minute because I'd said "Be quiet." She asked me why she needed to be quiet. Did I not want people to know that G-d is coming to condemn them, that Buddha was NOT hallucinating and we can WORSHIP our MIRRORS and we can go worship Angelina JOLIE and the BUSH AdminiSTRATION while in the THIRD WORLD people are HUNGRY they don't need ANYTHING because my GOD IS GOOD and my GOD IS KIND and my GOD IS WATCHING and MY GOD IS COMING ... she was next to me but her cadence was riding up up up up to elevated language, I thought this person was my girlfriend, where has she gone ...

I was eager to get off the train so we could start over out there in the station with new people. Maybe we'd have another chance in a new crowd.

We were pushed out into the station. All of me panicked for a second, like I was a mouse that'd just found itself in a brand new city all alone in a big train station. I wanted to scamper for a corner but all I could do was follow, I wasn't going to leave her. There was no way. I was going to get the Real Her back. I was going to do it.

Why would I leave this woman? I had to wait for Real Her to return so that we could talk, because I missed her. You lose your relationship to reality and the people who exist in it, you have to re-orient your social group to fit the insanity you've gotten accustomed to and usually there is only one other person in your group.

She apologised for yelling at me and said: "Let me buy you a flower," and so then she did. I carried it close to me like someone might pluck the bud right off it while I stood waiting for her -- she'd decided to "trannie it up" and duck into the men's room to save waiting in line. It worked. I thought she was clever. I held my flower to my face.

She said she wanted to go to Bryant Park. I said okay. She stopped to give money to every homeless person. I did that too. I like giving my money away. I bought $20 of fruit roll-ups from some kid on the street who seemed really down and out. She wanted to give the fruit roll-ups to homeless people but later I'd also see her eating them, poking out little cartoon figures, sticky on her thumbs.

So, she'd give, and then the next person wouldn't, and she'd yell: "Don't walk by homeless people like ROBOTS!"

I winced. I wanted to walk away and I also wanted to tackle her onto the ground and hold her there til help came, so instead I just walked beside her, my whole body totally evaporated. Tense vacancy.

We were sitting in Bryant Park and she hadn't stopped, she started preaching to everyone to from her seat, told me the secret to poaching/preaching was to call someone on your cell phone and go like this: Hello? Father? Is that you? What did you say about my gluttonous worship of Angelina JOLIE?

People were staring, whatever.

I leaned forward on the table we were sitting at and took her hands, which had cuts in the palms. I said: I'm very scared. do you remember when you talked about how you'd kept yourself off meds for so long and done a great job controlling your episodes? Because I feel like you might be having one, right now?

What do you want to do? She asked. Put me in A CAGE? Like JEEE-SUS? Like you killed SOCRATES? For preaching in the MARKETPLACE?

I said: I want you to get help, I think that maybe we should talk about this, I feel like maybe right now it would be a good idea to see a doctor and maybe think about meds or maybe stop drinking or --

She said: I can be alone, you don't have to be my bride!

My body lifted from the chair and I walked away. It's important to mention I was still holding my flower.

I knew exactly where she'd be and for how long just how I'd known she'd be in New Roc that morning; I just knew because we could communicate on invisible telephones wired to our brains.

I went to the subway station and then I turned around and came back.

I can't just walk away, I said.
I need to be alone, she said.
Will you call me later, I said.
I will call you later, she said.
I will see you later, she added.
Okay, I love you, I said.
I love you too. You are my wife, she said. Marie. I will never leave you. You are the last woman I will ever be with. Okay?

I went home petrified. I went home a mess. And I stayed in various states of mess for some time, Haviland came over, we were on speaker phone with my Mother the social worker and I was whining, repeatedly going back into my survival mode where I just curl up and declare my intention to become a starvation artist (not a starving artist, that's different). I couldn't get in touch with her but I tried. She called me on accident once and I heard her yelling at strangers. At some point, her phone stopped picking up.

At 2 A.M., I was lying in bed, un-asleep, and she walked through the door to my room. I saw right away that it wasn't her. Her face changes, she becomes someone else. It was someone else. I saw her eyes flash flint and I knew it, I saw it.

"What happened?" I asked. I was almost crying already, but she'd told me there would be a place where there would be no more tears; and soon.

"Baby, I got mugged," she said, exhausted but not a trace of surprise, like it was one of many things she could've done for entertainment that fine evening.

"How did you get here?'

"I just walked here from the West Village."

Thank G-d she had keys to my apartment then. I was living on 106th. She'd walked at least a hundred blocks, probably more. She made herself something awful to eat. I held her like she'd come back from war. I listened to her and saw the bruises everywhere, absolutely everywhere. I felt like a nurse. I would feel like a nurse for a long time but I didn't know that yet. I told you I was a weirdo, she said.

She'd had everything lost or stolen, it seemed. Me too, I thought. But I hadn't, not then. Here's the thing, I've just realised: control. Pre-breakup, and with the exception of a few briefly topped peaks, she seemed to [usually] turn it off when she needed to; at work, in restaurants, in front of other people, even for doctors. That was the tricky thing. Why was it just me and the strange public who usually enabled it? Did that make me strange?

When was it that she made me throw a glass of water at her in public? Yes, it had been a few days prior, the night after a day we'd spend with the photographer from the magazine article she'd helped me craft into something kinda special but scary too. We were having dinner at Cafe Mode and she asked me to throw a carafe of water at her, I said I wouldn't. That was a lot of breakable weight and water to throw at a person: but -- a glass was not too much.

It was actually like, totally awesome. We laughed so hard about that. I'd really done it, thrown a glass of water at her and then she musta thrown one back because I remember being drenched.

We dashed into the night all laughter, hightailed outta that restaurant, I thought these are the adventures that are now my life. I thought, Choose Your Own Adventure I Choose ----. I felt very Sancho. We wanted to make Easter Eggs for Haviland. We were wet, it was too cold for April. The air beat us, our skin froze.

But also: I learned so much. About writing. Literature. Love. Myself. Madness. Sanity. Self. Spirit. Sacrifice. Humility. Ego. Soul. Words. And, perhaps, an erratic [but, in this case, conclusive] case of compulsive TMI.

So, yeah, that happened.


carlytron said...

i like this. taking stock. i feel like i've been doing that a lot lately without even realizing it. sometimes i wonder if the things i've gained outweigh those i have lost; other times i don't have to wonder -- i know what i have gained greatly outweighs what i have lost. still it is an uphill battle. i know you know this. i am looking forward to seeing where this goes (p.s. it is 58 degrees outside right now. honestly.)

Anonymous said...

I like the frequent updates riese! and the little peephole into the questions we've been asking when we read about you. It is funny because we are all so far away, each of us in our own little worlds. I think someone said this before but you have created a world here that is very complex and your characters "L Word"ish, it is always a pleasure to see more and the illumination of things we are thinking but don't have the words for.

Personally however I am scared of mice still! ;-)

frank said...

hang on. i need to google Sailor Moon.

ummmm. yeah. i won't be masturbating to that. we might need to talk.

also, if you want people to do stuff for you, threatening the date with me is a better strategy. like, as a reward? not so much.

also, can't it just be sex? or just some nice making out? do i have to wine and dine?

also, very brave. wear your kevlar.

stef said...

use of twatwaffle: ten points.

kate said...

Firstly, I feel bad that I didn’t get a chance to comment on [redacted] magazine article because a print out of it has made its way to my things-i-print-and-highlight-parts-of- folder where my favourite bits of other peoples thoughts are stored (yeah, actually exists). I’d love to tell you which parts I highlighted but chances are you’d get bored with how lengthy the comment is. spot on – I think that you really hit the proverbial bi-nail on the head.

Re: this post: instalment #2. currently i’m a bit hostile at google reader because I feel that I may have missed something that I would’ve loved in instalment #1. I might start a petition to re-post.

I love that you hit the return, considering that most people reading this post have been able to see/read about the befores and afters that have lead to this post (#2). It’s really good to see that all is well and good for you right now

The Brooklyn Boy said...

I'm intrigued to watch this post develop. I think I've taking to allowing my new poems to process in public forums (see: here; also: the 'Space). We'll see how that goes.

I totally understand the good/bad super intense experience, partially b/c I caught ill from [redacted] for another blog of mine, and partly because I had one myself hardcore two years back during/after my Birthright trip. I ended up not liking someone and meaning it for the first time in years. Which only pissed me off more because I kept remembering why I got in deep in the first place, and how I felt ... used or cheated or scammed or something. Hopefully this makes more sense to read than it does to type.

Good luck with temping!

lawlaws said...

I'm liking this non-sequential blogging. It's certainly keeping me on my toes throughout my boring work day, of making clipping paths in images of tyres to put into double page spreads.

Who said graphic design was glamorous!

I have you entertaining my eyes, and KC & Elka entertaining my ears. I'm soooo fucking gay.

I look forward to the next installment.

LK said...

Someone[s] does[do] want to say [insert something de profundis here] but paradoxically is paused by an awesome need for a moment of silence.

[Imagine a flatlined episode of 24 ... as in my last 1440 minutes.]

This is some kind of something that is everything and nothing at all -- to both of us.

"I can barely even see the words anymore..."




"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the temping.

I actually quite fancy temping one day because I imagine although you're never there for long, the permanent staff wanna make you feel welcome so you have like Betty from the typing pool saying things like
"Oh that's Jim. He'll be going to the bathroom at 2pm and you won't see him again until 4. We think he sleeps. We hope he sleeps"

Also loved the use of twatwaffle. And the frequent updates. Keep this up and I will feel I have to donate regularly.

Jaime said...

I like that: "Very brave. Wear your kevlar." Something encouraging in it. So I'll second it with encouragement, and await further installments.

Re: mice - I killed my first cockroach yesterday. Yay for living alone.

Re: email - If I'm expecting/hoping for a particularly important email, I'll set up a mobile alert from that address, so that if I'm, for a second, away from my computer, I'll get a little text message telling me the email's come in. So that even if I can't read it, I know it's finally there.

Anonymous said...

I feel although I’ve been reading your blog for way to long now without leaving any comments, I'm starting to feel guilty about it, like I’m getting something and giving nothing back. So today I decided to change my ways and give something back

What I'm giving back however has no real reference to this post, which reading other peoples comments I feel it should, but who cares. I just wanted to say that reading this is increasingly becoming a part of my daily life, its like being hooked on a soap....but obviously way better....there’s something about the way you write, what you write that makes it really addictive and I can guarantee ill be back later to read the finished article....and who knows I might then leave a relevant comment

Anonymous said...

"I am so proud of myself for getting up on time, I'm pretty certain I'll end up being late."

Freaking story of my life.

more frequent posting on your part allows more frequent procrastination on my part, and I'm all for that!

by the way, word verification = orgszz, orgasms while asleep?

hazel said...

"[T]otes mad Twatwaffle"...thank goodness. I know I don't know you, but I read your blog regularly and I'd really been worried that you didn't realize that she's rather crazy. And I certainly didn't think it my place to inform you. Hopefully your friends did, but there's never been a reference to it yet, not until "totes mad twatwaffle." And just so you know, lot of people fall hard for mad twatwaffles. I've done it. Anyway, I'm glad that you wrote about knowing that.

caitlinmae said...

your newly redacted story- make it come back?
i had a migrane last night. at around four, I checked to see if there was a sunday top ten.
And now, it seems as if all of that insight, that penetrating look into your reality, was but a dream.

So here's the comment I wanted to leave you last night-

Thank you, Riese, for sharing.

riese said...

Carly: Honestly. I'm feelin' [today] like the gain/loss equation, ultimately, is impossible to assess, which I guess is why that time machine we're always dreaming of doesn't exist, lest humans be trusted with such ideas/whims. We know/we don't. Speaking of we should have a time machine episode in LIO LLC Teamtron. I was freezing all day. Shoulda brought a blazer.


e: Thanks! I love the L Word comparisons! Your fear will, eventually, go away.


Lozo: That's 'cause you're not a loser, that's why you masturbate to Dr. Ruth instead of Sailor Moon. Good call on the date. But date means different things to different people, probs ...


Stef: Best. Word. Ever.


kate: Um, obvs I'd dig the hell out of a recap of my own highlighted passages. Seriously/obvs. I have a file folder called "other people's words." I hadn't thought of "return" in that way -- v.interesting, v.true.


Brooklyn Boy: Oh, I know all about your um, illin' on the other blog. Really the way it all went down is, in retrospect, effin' hilarious. You guys were on top of your game. And horses. Ha. That does make sense to read. I totes get it. And ... yeah [nods head like "totes."]


lawlaws: You are so fucking gaaay. My first thought: is there a new podcast? Graphic design is glamorous. Or you should design it that way.



I think futureperfectprogression might be the best description of what I'm aiming for. New geometry, new grammar, new new ...

Did you know that I didn't know those were the next lines? And how ... [silence] [or fall?]

I want it to be. Some kind of something. For all of us.


anon: I know, yeah? The cool lady next to me didn't start talking to me til right before the end of the day but I'll get more later ... will discuss in my frequent updates ... ;--) Can't handle the no-internet though. The dash just don't do it.


Jamie: See, that's why I'm afraid of living alone! Though I'll kill cockroaches like nobody's business. I'm the bug-killer. I don't know what I'd put alerts on. Probably responses to overwrought emotional confessionals to people I don't know?


Avartillo: I love giving back. Thank you, for giving back. Relevance doesn't concern me, obvs. Look at my blog!


emo: I was obviously late, and story of my life too!


ms.malaprops: Love your usage of [b]rackets there, even if it was a grammatical choice rather than erum ... specific? Ha ... and yes, they did. But we were fallen. And ... I'm glad you wrote that you were glad that I wrote .. etc. :--)


caitlinmae: And just for you, I will. Hope you got some sleep eventually. xoxo

lawlaws said...

nope, no new podcast, just re-listening, over and over and over and over, like a monkey with a miniature cymbal.

Anonymous said...

This is all really good, and you're kind of becoming the perez hilton of blogging, with the updates and all.. I mean that in the best possible way..

I can't believe a law office won't let you have internet, that is horrible.. I get the shakes after about 45 minutes of being disconnected with the world.. but sometimes it's also super refreshing...

So yeah, obviously this is amazing.. and in other news, I didn't cancel Stella yet, cause I got scared that no one will ever give a definite yes/no, and I didn't want to make a decision yeah, I can cancel or not... yay or nay?

AK said...

ms. malapropos summed up so nicely about how "she who shall not be named" was frankly more than a few screws loose, so I really have nothing more to add except to chime in with the chorus of comments expressing relief at being offered the emotionally satisfying phrase "totes mad Twatwaffle". It really does put the proper perspective on the whole episode.

And I, too, have been relieved of lifes most stressful turns by some really good dull data entry temping. But I agree with lawslaws that graphic design is not nearly as glamorous as that art degree I got was making it out to be. Much more fun to clean out someone's garage and help them send to a good cause their dead ex-wifes bridal veil. Well fun isn't exactly the word, but it is intense and never boring. And I can't ever blog about my client work because I'm sworn to confidentiality, except the piece I did about working with my mother which may or may not serve as a marketing piece.

You know you have a nice crew here commenting that I hardly miss The L Word universe. You've even tamed lozo.

Adam Tiller said...

You've even tamed lozo.

Sweet Jesus, don't let that be the case!

( commenting on other people's comments on someone else's blog is probably bad manners, but that one was just plain alarming!)

frank said...

wo! i've been tamed? i just wanted to comment. hmmmm. i'll let the responsible party handle that.

i just want to point out that i don't fall under the categories of bloggers, readers, friends, or family according to you. what am i then?

finally, people are offering you girls?

p.s. i saw No. 7 up here last night and was too tired to read it. stupid me.

riese said...

lawlaws: that is GAY. Slash awesome.

cait: "Riese needs to be the -- the -- THE Lesbian Perez Hilton!" (-Susan Powter)
Oh and it's a nay, I guess. I'm writing you an email right now actually.
It's like, they have all these security things so I need a passcode?!! Obvs I am bringing my laptop tomorrow and hoping to hijack wireless.

ak: I'm like, getting proud of myself for the phrase "totes mad twatwaffle." Agree, re: perspective.
Seriously, you should see my desk
Re: You know you have a nice crew here commenting that I hardly miss The L Word universe. You've even tamed lozo.
1. Thank you for noticing that I've tamed Lozo. (don't deny it, Lozo, you know it)
2. That's such a sweet fantastic thing to say, re: L word universe. Thank you!

adam: He has straightened up a bit since the ol' Elliot-from-Scrubs-whoa-you-have-a-girlfriend? Days. I'll give him that.
Of course no one can ever tame the incredible fire of burning love ... ok, I have to stop.


I was kidding about the girls.

Check up there, I added you.

The Brooklyn Boy said...

I'm really enjoying this. And by enjoying, I mean "compulsively rechecking for more updates." (NOTE: Enjoying was totes an awful word choice. NOTE ON THE NOTE: Totes was not.) You're laying yourself out hard here; it's raw. (Wait, crap - that was No. 5 ...) The great lines hooked me in, and the honesty in your writing is what keeps me coming back, even when it's not specific or explicit.

As for starving artist syndrome, the stability of my situation is great, but wildly limiting in many ways. I'm an irregular work personality type in a very regular position. However, it gives me the time to read all these wonderful blogs. I totally wish I was brave enough to take that plunge myself, but don't know that I can - or will be able to. This next year/step is going to be quite revealing. I've still got spoken word, I guess ...

Anonymous said... can't admit the smoke, because you're choking on it...

I'm glad this made the cut, seriously, this sentence is ace.

I've been watching your predicted completion time escalate, and it's been better than watching paint dry.

Anonymous said...

Lord God, Riese...this is astonishing. Just. Yes.

caitlinmae said...

ditto haviland, and also-
Thank you, Riese. Thank you for gripping reality.
More x and o, because I feel like you deserve them for putting this out there. You're so strong, but not in the cliche sense that "everyone says that." like, I really respect your strength.
So I'd usually sign off with xoxc
but you deserve more for this (and for my ocd checking for updates--)

The Spaz said...

How could I miss temping and out of synch randomly updated posts?

I don't know who said it before but I really do love your posts, I can just totally relate to so much of it.

stef said...

i don't care if this just became a really bad pun, this post fucking wins and you are awesome. it's too late at night for anything to make sense but this does. ten thousand more points.

lawlaws said...

I stayed up as late as I could to be able to read the end part of this. I have a 'refresh' finger blister. In the end I gave into my closing eyes, which I think is a good thing, seeing as this was posted at like 5am UK time.

However, all banter aside. I feel numb after reading this. Not a bad numb. Just numb.

I feel like I have been eavesdropping on a private conversation. (I listen in, yes i'm guilty of this, you should know this - is spinning around in my head).

Over the past week, you have produced some of your strongest writing. And it is beautiful and scary and intriguing and truthful; it's beyond truthful.

The words I want to find, just won't come out. This is probably why I'm not a writer.

sic itur ad astra


MoonKiller said...

Yet another Stars lyric in the title.

I think Haviland summed it up really.

When my nan can't find something she prays to St Andrew. When I can't find something I do the old 'If I was a brush where would I be?' Because currently I can't find my brush.

Also, my friend used 'totes' in a MySpace bulletin yesterday.

Anonymous said...

duuuude. seriously. this was fucking brilliant. raw. powerful. honest. exciting. just whoa.

i seriously sat here on the edge of my seat like all day waiting for updates. and then i read it like a kabillion times (or 3) and i still can't think of a comment that could truly justify the awesomeness.

you. so. rock.

AK said...

This final installment is a psychological Mt. Kilmanjaro that leaves one breathlessly short of oxygen watching you scale this mother fucker, which you do with characteristic artistic brilliance. The view from the top brings the much needed 360° clarity that made the effort so worthwhile. Indeed a moment of silence is appropriate for the rawness and extremeness of this experience. We do live in exteme times magnified as things are by technology.

The delusion behind the premise of The Successful Starving Artist, however, is as old as the hills or at least as old as capitalism and watching you master this one is just as important, if not more so than the above. It's not nearly as dramatic for sure and doesn't usually pass for entertainment, but it is the compelling underlying theme for those of us who face this dilemma on a daily basis. It's not a mountain with it's spectacular effort and reward; it's a field that needs to be tended to everyday in some fashion so that we might scratch a living. The Market is random; it's a beast that consumes and rewards, not necessarily those that produce something of value or worth, but you could be a "high whore" to quote one of our favortie L lines, if you get it right. You are playing a high stakes game here. But then you have the internet as your stage and that just might make a sliver of difference.

Diana said...

At some point, this blog, your words became more than just reading material and just you, your voice, Riese/Marie/Autowin, and I’ve become invested. And I read this post, and it’s gut-wrenching and I’m heartbroken on your behalf. That is all.

Jaime said...

This is a beautiful and brave post. That is all.

Anonymous said...

i wanted to comment on your previous posts (the article and the donation-thing) but your posts came up so fast, i couldn't follow, because i have to think through what to write (english = foreign language). my answer to your article post would have been: "just wow" und my answer for the donation is: i neither have a credit card nor paypal. but if there is any other way to help financially or otherwise i'd really like to give something back. if you come up with an idea, don't feel "ashamed" to write/ comment back, it would make me feel happy.

this post was breathtaking in a completely new way. i was/ am so touched that i wrote about it an email to my best friend, which i don't normally do. i feel a bit stupid for writing "touched", but why shouldn't i if it is the truth? thank you for writing this and letting us read.

Anonymous said...

I knew i'd like what i was going to find when i returned. Its already been said but its intense, deeper than most would dare to go, i read it and feel like i should stop, like its not my place to know, but i cant help but read on

Stephanie said...

well, marie, I mean...yeah.

I spent about 5 minutes sitting here trying to think of something more eloquent to say, since apparently i've actually worked up enough nerve to start actually commenting, but "yeah" is about all i could come up with.

i've found myself in a similar situation lately, not so much as taking a hard look at a past relationship but I am fucking glaring at the past and trying to make my little brain see how bad it was. "remember how you hid in the bar crying until your roommate hunted you down, stupid girl?" "remember when your boss tried to 51/50 you because you wouldn't stop crying?" and i try to convince myself to keep remember that despite all of the ridiculous things *i* did, it was all in the completely madcap clusterfuck dance that we for some reason call "love"

and you seem kind of like i was, like the caretaker, like here is this adult that i adore, and i have to make sure he/she/they are okay, and i am somehow responsible for them and i have to try and fix things for them and then your friends go "are you completely retarded? why are you doing this? what are you thinking?" and all i can ever say is that no one understands! like i totally understood what i was doing, like i was a logically thinking person at the time.

i mean, maybe this fever is just melting my brain, and this is only making sense in my head, but what i'm getting at is i would totally like to buy you a milkshake. i just kind of feel like at this point a milkshake could fix everything. so i am glad to see you are getting your own perspective and doing better, possibly even without milkshakes

(i thought i posted this earlier but it didn't show up. so if it posts twice...2 milkshakes.)

Anonymous said...

The best thing I've read in about 10 years. I've often felt like I just wanted to grab hold of someone who I suspected had temporarily/permanently misplaced their sainty and scream for them to come back. Never really thought other people felt that way too sometimes. So, yeah, thanks for that.

p.s. You defo gained more than you lost because you gained possibilities and opportunities and they will be what you make of them (which is good stuff!).

p.p.s Sucks about the internet but good job you had your notebook because I'm guessing otherwise they would have had you writing on slate like Fred Flintstone.

Anonymous said...

i feel you in my heart
and i don't even know you

i lovelovelove your writing, your honesty, everything about this blog. thank you for sharing :)

MoonKiller said...

[bows down to Jimmy Eat World - 23]. Favourite. Song. Ever.

That whole playlist is pretty darn fantastic.

ABeos said...

i haven't read anything on the internet that i could actually consider important for at least the last ten year. until tonight. thank you for that. for your bravery and your honesty.

as much flack as us internet junkies get, there is something amazing about the way we connect here. random individuals existing in our own little worlds separated by hundreds of miles or mere inches of drywall. and we all have such similar stories. i've taken care of that girl. and my last ex wrote a play about how she left me for our coworker...and it got produced at festival. i guess, ultimately, there's something maudlinly comforting in knowing that you weren't the only person who could be duped.

so again thank you. you are brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog anonymously since way back when you did the Bi-Girl Survey. I want you to know, after months of taking and not giving back, how much I've enjoyed reading your work. Especially this post, with your story.

Even though you don't see any fiscal rewards, you have the adoration of at least twenty people who comment regularly here, and then the unknowable, invisible audience that I have just (sort of) emerged from. Does it count if I still don't leave a name?

And that book cover is smokin' hot.

(Why is there a handicap icon next to the word verification space?)

--Anonymous Bird

frank said...

gloating that you tamed me, huh? just noticed that. interesting.

i think you and i should have sex, film it, post it on your blog, and title the post "Sunday Top 10: Lozo and I Did It" only the 10 will refer to how awesome the sex was on a scale of 1-10.

i will not be tamed!

riese said...

Um. ::speechless::

(aware that's a cop out)

(will comment back. soon.)

(one more day of no internet!)

(i could use some sleep)


thank y'all for existing.

that's all.

(totes not all at all)

Anonymous said...

Two weeks ago, I’d never heard of this girl called automatic win…I initially followed a link to your inaugural South of Nowhere recap and, after being highly entertained, found my way here.

I hate jumping in the middle of something all willy-nilly, like coming into a movie you’ve never seen halfway through…you get the gist, but are constantly aware that you’ve missed subtle moments of importance and you find the endind never resonates like it should...with that in mind, I figured I’d start at the beginning, aka. the April 2006 archive, and read my way through to the present. (Insomnia provided the time and your voice/tone/style provided the hook.)

Needless to say, those last several months, relentless. As I finally whipped around that last hairpin turn into August 2007 and, especially as I watched this last post evolve, I’ve been alternately emotional, empathetic, inspired and absolutely riveted.

What a strange, funny, cynical, terrible, goofy, blunt, lighthearted, heartbreaking, informative, courageous, perceptive, blinding, sarcastic read. Thanks for putting it out there and I look forward to more.

Anonymous said...

someone who is willing to bruise themselves is willing to bruise you. and take a look at both of your lives, sure she gives to homeless people, and calls herself buddah (LOL)...but how does she treat the people she says she loves? a message to our exes, who are probably both reading this, in their plot/pathetic attempts to get us back or destroy us, whichever comes first....(LOSERS):

Practice what you preach you crazy mean bitches!!

it's so tempting to look back on the good times, remember all those kisses and promises exchanged (for some reason i just wanted to cue that ben harper song i haven't listened to him since high school but the "don't go around giving your forevers away" one...). but like the healthiest thing for you to do besides what you are doing (writing, talking, healing) is to promise yourself that you will never again tolerate being with someone that acts that way!!! which totes clearly you have done, right?!?! rize up riese! just because we have crazy passionate emotions doesn't mean we need to be with someone "crazy", or especially cruel.


Anonymous said...

And cue Kelly Clarkson... ;)

Bourbon said...

Love it.

Cara said...

OK, so I have been reading your blog religiously for over a year now and I have never commented, but reading everything you have written this week has forced me to say something, anything. This last piece was truly beautiful, powerful, emotional, etc. Basically, all the things that everyone else has already said. Please don't ever stop writing!

MSG said...

amazing post! your writing pulls me in so deep that i completely lose track of time when reading!!

Also, 'true story' might just be my favorite combination of two words! close runner-up: do it.

riese said...

So, thank you. Honestly, I initially was going to erase "5" and "1" after I'd had them up for a while, but your responses convinced me not to -- and I wouldn't have edited and re-posted "1" were it not for catilinmae, and so thank you for that, and I'm glad I did so.


It's hard for me to know what to say without sounding like a therapist. Also, clearly, I'm typing this in text edit to post later, while looking at it on a computer screen that won't let me on gmail, which means I currently have three gadgets providing equally inadequete services:
laptop-can type stuff to eventually send, no internet whatsoever
company computer-awesome coworker logged me onto the internet--i can read stuff, but i can't interact, and pics won't load. no blogger or email or anything, all blocked. I've considered emailing them, as indicated in the error message, to say: "This is required for business because I am a temp and have no business."
dash-can read stuff on tiny screen, can send email but it comes out formatted weird and typing takes forevs. cannot comment on blogger.

basically none of these machines will access blogger. i need gadget-viagra.


It's funny to be considered "brave" for taking the plunge into really pursuing writing .... I've never felt right about it. I feel like what everyone else is doing is the brave thing. For me -- being who I am, and wanting what I've wanted -- it's the going to work 9-to-5 thing that always seemed terribly, incredibly brave. Maybe because I'm bad at it. I mean, I can barely handle answering the phones. And it's hard to do things that we're bad at.

thus we do reach the stars


To steal some semantics ... over the past week, you've all produced some of your strongest compliments. Ha. I mean, really. Don't wanna get all Sally Field on y'all but ...

When I started writing this I didn't really know why. I knew that I wanted to re-publish the NY Mag article some time soon, and I guess, because I'm a wimp, I wanted to do it before the end of this week, and I couldn't figure out the words to describe what I'd done on impulse (after consulting my Mom, Haviland, Carly, Crystal, et al) about the "fundraising" post and thought, well, now's as good a time as any. Then, combined with the strong correlation between that article, the relationship, my writing, and my money sitch, I guess it just all kind of rushed at me like: Okay, Riese. Do this now:

"'That's exactly it,' replied Don Quijote, 'that's just how beautifully I've worked it all out -- because for a knight errant to go crazy for good reason, how much is that worth? My idea is to become a lunatic for no good reason at all.'"

(thanks for that, you)


So, thank you for listening in, letting it spin in your heads ... ha, this feels so "not me." Like, what? Who am I? How do I talk about these things? I've gone from my initial reaction to any breakup---which is to close off all emotional ties to anything and anyone--to like, the most thorough embrace of "feelings" (which i loathe, p.s.) I've ever had, even though those feelings are feelings like: "closed off," "gun-shy" (to quote Sarah), "hesitant," "scared," and "untrustworthy."


Are you guys all related? All you "K"s? It's like the Brothers K, but instead, it's like, The Commenters K. AK, rk, lk, k-time, mk ...


MK: I also often say 'If I was my hairbrush, where would I be?' Then I'm like "oh, n my backpack from 1995, obviously. WHA??!!"


Today I say: "If I was my notebook, where would I be? ARGHHGHJH."


AK: High stakes games, mountains, all of that ... nice. I don't know. What you wrote just makes me think, that's all I have to say about that.


rk: Yay! Making people feel happy! (I wanna feel happy right now but isntead I'm pondering poking my eyes out with paperclips.) Hmmm ... there's the postal mail. Who wants my address? Are you writing this down, Lozo? No really, email me: I've been horrible at writing back to emails in a prompt manner lately but yeah.


stephanie: Yeah.
Man I can't remember the last time I had a milkshake. I used to be addicted to them, like had one every night. What you said makes perfect sense. And especially about being a "logical thinking person at the time." That was what I couldn't reconcile for most of it -- in the past, i'd make such choices when I was overall being an irrational person, but I a few months ago I WAS like, "with it," had perspective, self-acceptance, etc. Still, love is love is love, or something.


I did gain more than I lost, that is true. I guess I believe everything happens for a reason.


AB: That sounds like the worst play ever! Ew. That's my worst nightmare. Well, one of many. OO. that's my next top 10.


It is amazing; the drywall and the similar stories.


And to you who've written for the first time because this moved you; that moves me. Especially reading my whole archive. That must have been a trip. Maybe that's what I'll do today. I think it might make me cry though. So weird. I think my first post was about ElleGirl.


So yeah, what can I say? You've all said such fabulous things. I feel a little semi-fabulous today. JK, I wanna poke my eyes out, my head is throbbing, and I haven't slept OBVS.


Anonymous: Yes ..... [I just went through three different possibilities of who you are, and I think I've settled on one.] [UPDATE: totes right"] I think that's the hardest thing to wrap my head around: "just because we have crazy passionate emotions doesn't mean we need to be with someone 'crazy.' " Anyhow, she's all better now. I'm still destroyed, but that's neither here nor there. Oh wait, yeah it is, it's here, yay! I guess the semi-crazies need to band together ... yeah?

Any excuse to cue the Kelly Clarkson.


Obvs I've reached the pinnacle of my blogging catharsis and writing and therefore I am done.


(another K)

Lozo: my neck hurts. and i'm thirsty. thanks.

And I'm starting to love the "true story," thing too. Carly says it all the time. Maybe "true story" can be the new "totes." Or, you know what? Nothing could ever be the new totes, what am I thinking.

Tara said...

Well Autowin ... you've certainly painted (not airbrushed) the perfect portrait of mania. Brilliant writing per ush. And humbling, no doubt. Also (again), I'm not surprised, only slightly fazed: your faculty for recall is superb.

Dear Readers--Autowin is not lying. TMI yes, lying no way. Right puppet?


(An inside joke). Anyhow ... safe to say I'm relatively sane right now and feeling ambivalent/wtf-ish about my actions, delusions and unwarranted linguistic assaults. I protest nothing Marie's written here, nor anything in the comments. It's all perfectly reasonable considering how totes mad twatwaffle-y and non-whatevs f-d up I was. Sorry.

Which leads me to ... SORRY, everyone. I know, obviously, that doesn't cut it, but it's the most I can virtually extend. To say that I'm horrified by "my" own actions--whomever that "my" refers to. Like having a beautiful and terrifying dream where you're convinced you're an innocent bystander in it and not the Godzilla character or other Frankensteinian monster only to wake up Godzilla/Frankenstein.

So yeah, it's kinda like that.

At any rate, I don't expect forgiveness, but hopefully understanding. I wasn't in my right mind. Bipolar blows and you can quote me (and Marie) on that.

And Marie: two tiny innocuous/unnecessary clarifications: I never said anyone caged the Buddha. Historically, that'd make no sense. (Yes, as Shakespeare said, "Though this be madness, there is method in't.") I probably yelled, "Like they killed Socrates!!!" Or something.

Also: I didn't ask you to throw the glass of water at me at Le Monde because I said something mean. One: it was the carafe, though you refused. And two: I wanted you to douse me for no reason at all. Historically, that'd make sense--and I couldn't have that. I was going for the performance art whatevs thing. Two girls sitting at a pretentious French cafe, no argument whatsoever, one takes a carafe of lemon water and throws it on the other. Audience looks over like, WTF?

So that's what that was.

And yeah ... shall I end with a quote? (I'm asking your puppet: obey, puppet). Thanks. It's from a study of Tantra by Lama Yeshe:

"In the same way that clouds can temporarily obscure but cannot damage the light-giving power of the sun, so too the temporary afflictions of body and mind -- our confusion, anxiety and the suffering they cause -- can temporarily obscure but cannot destroy or even touch the fundamentally clear nature of our consciousness."

And right now, I'd like to believe this is true for myself as it is, undeniably, for you Marie--because in you I've found one of the purest hearts I've ever known. Thank you thank you thank you.

riese said...


[This's gonna be what it's like when we put our memoirs through final edits, yeah? "No, I wouldn't've said that," 'cept you'll be all, "They never caged Buddha, obvs" and I'll be like, "It was a picture of Shane on my wall, not Bette!"]

I changed the section about the water-throwing incident; you're right. When I was writing it, I couldn't remember how the whole idea'd evolved. [You're laughing at this now, thinking: "Obviously you can't remember why I wanted you to throw water at me, as it started apropos of nothing, Auto-Win."] I don't remember you asking me to throw a carafe first, I just remember finally feeling gutsy enough to throw a glass and then doing so. And in these matters, I defer to your recollection. Changed: the carafe is given it's due, you are no longer cited as saying something mean.

Howevs .... I wrote about the Bryant-Park incident the day it happened [I extracted the bare bones of that story from the locked-doc "Chapter 18" -- named not for it's actual numerical procession following 1-17, but because] and transcribed that particular conversation almost word for word, I thought. I swear you said that about Buddha, because I remember thinking "They put Buddha in a cage? Huh? I guess I missed that part." But perhaps you put it differently? All I know is: 1. Buddha was involved, 2. It was confusing to me, based on the immense pile of Buddha-knowledge I'd already acquired.

Now I'd like to quote Norman Mailer ...

So let us not talk falsely now, the hour's getting late ...

As Ever/Waa,

P.S. Wait. No. That wasn't Norman Mailer.

Anonymous said...

That description of your girlfriend's behaviour was so raw. I love your writing Riese, I just do. But I'm a bipolar so I felt so much anger and pain reading this. It was reading the other side of the coin. Let's put the equation this way: I hate feeling. We have the mountains and the valleys and huge awful in-between chasms and horrid dreams that aren't. We then go to the nice doctor guy who gives us stuff. We get better. I then feel so much worse because everyone comes up to me and tells me all about it, the screams, the suicide attempts, the misery echoing in the apartment you emptied in the streets for no reason. As TB said, no sorries no nothing can apologize to the innocent bystanders who get so fucking hurt. So I'll just say it here quickly: the pain you cause others feels like falling off the world with no final kaboum sound.It never stops haunting you. Remembering the things little by little quick blurred pain-drenched? Reading this made me feel so awful about myself. I hope you manage to put all these terrible things behind you. All love, Ollie

Anonymous said...

Oh, Riese, I can relate to everything you talk about and I just wanted to unlurk myself (i've been a fan of your blog since the l word recaps, as many of your other fans here,) and say thank you for writing this. it's brave & beautiful. like many others here, I feel like I don't have the right words to respond to yours, so this is all I got for you, girl. Nice work. I do expect to see your name in lights one day and your T.V show on the air, though, don't let us down...;--)

much love,

Anonymous said...

Hey Riese. I hope I don't sound like a wanker or anything here but...How proud are you aloud to be of someone who in no way belongs to you? This is the post I have been waiting for. This is the kind of writing I have been waiting for from you. As much as I enjoy everything you write I started to get a little.... what's the I started to lose interest because I felt like you were holding back. This of course is completely understandable and perhaps a positive in the respect that other things were happening in your life and so your attention was being spread a little wider...or something... But anyway that's just me... And well, this post proves you are a true talent. I could read 300+ more pages of it...And I promise when I am out of my economic slump I will happily pay for my subscription!

Mercury said...

it's taken me forever to read this whole thing. I'd read a section, come back, read another, come back, and so on & so on.

I'm so exhausted right now it isn't even, like, funny, it isn't even, like, real. my hands are melting fuzz. omg.

but beautiful writing, really. and admirable courage. I always buy the Courage sobes because I like that word. I used to have a necklace that said COURAGE and I always translated it heart-rage.

I completely get the being somewhere and being like this is a different city like a different place in the world even though it isn't it's just southside or whatever: that happens to me.

DH said...

You know, I read this over and over again and again the whole week and just now I picked up on about ten things that I didn't see before. I don't know why I can't read properly. But I will say that I think I've upped you by about 50,000 words. And that I think very highly of you for listing The Sleepy Jackson. Not that I didn't already. But, you know.

riese said...

Ollie: Thanks for this--for your perspective, your honesty your raw-ness... you use really fantastic language to describe your reaction ... I appreciate that. I guess the thing is for the haunting to inspire change? To make one want to stay "better," stay "in treatment," "be well," etc ... for the betterment of those around oneself who could get lost in the fire, and who are [or have already been] burning ... for the betterment of the world waiting your untainted beauty&insight ... it can be difficult for the "innocent bystanders," as you say, when you see your partner being "normal" to everyone but you + strangers. It's challenging to initiate the mobilisation required to get an "ill" partner immediate, proper and appropriate treatment when you're the only witness/victim, when they still seem fine to friends, family, and work ... you realise eventually that nothing will "change" until things get bad enough that your partner appears visibly "insane" to other key figures in their lives or their lives fall apart, and that's a terrible way to look at something. You keep secrets, you blame/question yourself, think you can fix it on your own ... It's quite specifically maddening, frustrating ...

Speaking generally: I'm probs one of the least judgmental people in the universe, and I've got a past riddled with terrible mistakes, many done 'cause of my various chemical imbalances ... so I tend to forgive absolutely everything as long as someone apologises, wants to get "better" and does what they can in terms of concrete reparations when appropriate/possible. I think that's really all people can ask of each other. And so I apprecaite that, in all it's various forms and incontinencies ... Yay!

But anyhow...yeah, thank you. I 'd say more, but I think I'm maxed out on TMI, and clearly a lot of this sort of stuff (re: how we go on) is handled between me and her out of the public forum. But yeah. Yeah (I keep saying yeah).

Ultimately, I suppose, hmm ... for G-d sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Ta-da!


jannika: I think you have the same name as the girl who plays 'Papi,' the best character ever on Showtime's hit series 'The L Word.' And that TV show will be on the hair, fo'sure. I wish I was brave & beautiful, like the soap opera kinda.


abby: As soon as you used the word wanker, you eliminated any possibility that I might see you as one. I love that fucking word. I mean, I LOVE IT!

(inside joke for crystal: I'd like to put the "b" back in "wanker")

Okay, but yeah, that's why I wrote it, so I'm glad that you picked up on that and therefore validated me. Ha. I just needed to get it out there so I could stop feeling the sort of apprehension I'd started to bring to the page, which I think is also why it was taking me so much longer than usual to write -- all the "can i say that?" "should i say that?" energy. I wanted that to be done with. But yeah, thank you. I think my memoir is gonna be like 500 pages even though I'm only 25, because I talk a lot.

Let go let go and just get in, oh it's so amazing, it's alright 'cause there's beauty in the breakdown ...


merc: [Here you are at last!] I hope you've gotten some sleep, and relevant dreams. I thought at first "sobes" was a new abbreviation for "sober," like, totes/probs/obvs etc, but then I realise it's those drinks. They sold those at interlochen, everyone went mad for 'em. I like Gatorade with inspiring titles, like the EXTREME gatorades. But thank you. Courage/heart-rage. That's interesting, and I like it.


crystal: I think that speaks both to the depth of my insight, and to my obsessive re-edits. And there is absolutely no possible way that you've upped me by about 50,000 words. I was thinking I've probably upped another 50,000 words over the last two weeks. Hm. Anyhow, back to performing as an integral part of a team delivering sales targets .... (and I've gotta, of course, credit DJ Carlytron for recommending the Sleepy Jackson ... I'm sure I've got an original musical thought somewhere around here ... Hm ...)


Tara said...

Autowin--I have one last thing to mention aside from: nice response to Ollie's comment (I swear you're my forgiving bridge that can't be burnt) ...

Re: memoirish revisions ... dude--is it just me or does my dialogue always make me sound like a dude. Like, "Baby, I got mugged ... hey sugar, I got stoned by a viscous mob at the marketplace, and yeah honey I beat up some bankrobbers, but whatevs sweet thang--"

It's just hilarious, dude. Uncorrected proofs for the puppets, I say.


Anonymous said...

This really is amazing, i love the way you write. I havent commented before but this feels like the right one to start doing so on as it is just... words arent enough.... its just amazing.

Ive been away this week and only just got back, i feel like ive missed something with the frequent updates, but at least i still get to read the final piece, and everyone is right, it is brave, it is deep, intense, and it shows off you talent to the max.

(I also wanted to leave a comment so i could work out the time difference, im sure i could of googled it but i felt this was a better way to do so)

Anonymous said...

i got hit by the mental run-away train from my love and i have been stitching myself back together since. the person who i loved is back, but i will always see the asterisk.

amazing writing, it's like we have been watching through a shaded glass and it finally just shattered. clear visibility = awesome.

Roxy said...

Installment #10: in crossword style, Sailor Moon masturbation illness= tendonitis?

re: #4, my newly made blog means a lot to me too. I'm assuming I have no readers, which is fine w/e b/c i'm don't write on crazy cool stories & what not, but yeah, it's addicting and fosho a nice outlet for ventilation, etc.

Okay re: #6, So today a few of my friends and I were talking about how much cooler dancing would be if we were all dressed as robots. Like, think about it. If you're an awkward dancer or just don't know what to do, you still look semi-cool b/c you're dressed as a robot and can pretend you're being that way on purpose. And if you're a good dancer, then the light will reflect off your tinfoil and look totes BA.

Also, I love that last story. So gripping and relatable [<--i might not care that's not a word]!

Wow this is the first time I've commented on any blog & shitttt it's long.

Anonymous said...

for what its worth, I would def send 5 bucks. Seriously, where is the paypal for that?

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