Crossdressing at American Apparel [ch 5 of 6]

My older sister Alexis is known affectionately among those closest as Lex. Her birthday is January 9. A Capricorn like me; one thing they say about us, the second half of our lives is often better. We’re always climbing. My issues with my sister, though, run so deep I’ve projected them onto arbitrary adult women out in the world a few dozen times. My corresponding nickname is Morgs or occasionally Morgy, though in a panic, last year, I insisted on never being called that anymore because it’s what my mom calls me still. Morgan would be fine.

To explain what prompted this particular manic freakout which I might as well just call an episode, and I’ve had a fair few of those by now (Alexis handled this one well), I might work my way back in time to the old days when we used to go on those 14-hour shopping trips with our mom to shopping centers in Minnesota. Our home state is basically known worldwide for nothing, besides that it houses America’s largest indoor mall referred to by Minnesotans in shorthand as “M-O-A” or in my own lone mind, as Moah pronounced like the wails a cow makes in pain.

A bit like when you drive by a field and say “cows”? There’s nothing like watching our mom come down from a spending high on the drive home, to sort of wring out vulnerable emotional territory.

I’m not sure, back then, I understood how much she loved us; though she perhaps loved us, a bit recklessly. Clumsily, confusingly, while my dad loved us all carousingly, you could say with a lilt of the tongue doing easy-ass twirls with words, if you were trying to be a great poet like me (it comes naturally).

*Shuddering on an island* 🗽At the heart of all my work is my mother!

I’ve never considered it a good sign when a guy I date — go on dates with — is so close to his mom he can’t stop talking about her. Or when men pull out their phones after sex and brag to me, with pictures, about other girls they’ve banged. This only happened twice. Even though I’m close to my mother, I don’t do that. Talk about it, ever, to guys!

I have though, probably bragged to her, my mother, about inappropriate things. Sexual victories? I used to tell her all the things. Jewish mom to daughter relationships are very distinct I should think, boundaries-wise. Or are they, should they be.

Maybe our relationship was always more like, father to son; except we weren’t male. I’ll try cover a lot of ground in this piece, or actually — why not cut right to the chase, a chase that never ends for me. I’ve tried prat falls and total falls from grace but the chase never ends. I’m still here, living, I fear for who I’m going to be, or not be, when or by the time she [my mom] is not literally watching over my every awkward trip.

Our relationship might be creepy, or it might just be a working class thing, or just literally normal — to never [quite] betray your mother? I’ve come close to betraying her while writing my poetry.

There are forms of abuse that would qualify with-all-the-backstory as love, acts of tough love, enforced painfully to give the unwilling victim a better shot in the world. Literally to help your kid survive. Why’d you have a kid anyway. 😱😱

So that’s what it’s about, true love? Helping each other survive?

In my experience, so far I think; some years more-literally than others, that’s what true love has been. I can’t imagine, yet, what it would be like otherwise; say if we were above the threshold of “just surviving” financially. More functional I imagine, I could be wrong about this.

My mom told me she was worried about me, knowing who my favorite female filmmaker is (“you aren’t like her,” that’s usually her comment when I compare myself to any famous artist I wish I were, instead of myself, in this case Chantal Akerman who I’ll never be as good an artist as) [not that many, if any, female film artists are much better; maybe a lot different] — otherwise I wouldn’t feel comfortable making such an intense statement, about dreams of suicide I’ve ever danced with in a ballgown purchased from the mall.

Sometimes I’ve wondered if people thought I was trans, not a drag queen, but close, after my body got kind of messed up from heroin abuse in my mid twenties. I’ve had a mustache and literally other forms of facial hair, for periods when I was sure I had Cushing’s syndrome. (Certainly they must have been confused, people who witnessed who’ve never had Cushing’s syndrome.) It’s felt extremely undignified for me, to perhaps problematic degrees considering that’s a fairly privileged thing to worry about: that makes sense to me, at least. It’s privileged to worry about whether or not I can be pretty!!

By that warped logic: ALL pretty people, these days are brats.

Maybe that’s just, how poor I’ve been; honestly, like, seriously poor. I don’t get invited to hang out with brats?

It is true though.

The other day in 2021 I went, with my sister, to get our nails done. One thing I’ve fought about is not to be lied-to, by her on the question of whether or not I’m chunky, or chubby or phat with a healthy pH of 7.4, take your pick of adjective, ugh, when I KNOW that I am not on fleek visually, it’s over for me… (💥) I own a scale after all, don’t lie to me you’re evil. It’s my paranoia, I think she’s trying to win and ruin me. I try not to dwell on what the scale says in my work, ever once, certainly not literally every morning for years in my diaries [~surprise, this is not actually my diary~] because I have the sense it pushes people off, the whole topic, y’know, guys; it’s like, what should people actually say.. I’m proud of you?? -or- I’m better than you?? -or- Stfu you look, okay, it has nothing to do with your weight though. Well, it just is what’s on my mind today my bad that I brought the topic of weight up, oops, what the f*** did I come here to say. I was talking about my sister who’s prettier.

Oh yes I’d like to confess: I still want to someday at least once in my life do a red carpet. It might not be for my own film. I don’t really feel the need to direct anymore, just to co-direct! I do want to be around movies but like a long-term relationship with breaks in it, like Liz and Dick, this one is hard. Shet, I’d work in the bathroom handing out towels in a suit if it got me in the premises of that whole thang. The film thang. I’m unbelievably serious about this, even though I’m talking like in this weird voice. Like, that thang, how else should I describe the beast that is Hollywood. I might not be in a gown, going near it. Might not be, my success I’m celebrating. I have friends, still just one who does films, I do not actually think her success in the field is far-fetched.

If the carpet don’t ever be happenin’ in this life for me though; like Joan Didion who I keep bringing up throughout this project I’ll just live — I’d personally imagine, that the actual Joan Didion might resent the shoutouts hypothetically, from someone-like-me who used to use the word “shoutouts” in print — and maybe I’ll still try to write some good movie scripts. I won’t get my hopes up that it’ll change my actual life, writing. It’s not like, a human right to attend a premiere, of course not, especially not as a star as or with someone gorgeous. I could have done it as a film critic if I’d stuck with that; it’s not a totally unreasonable goal to set, still I guess. But I kind of messed that one up, e.g. like, when I did hard drugs.

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I think being a female person at a red carpet event means some scrutiny is just a given. So like, either I remove that goal from my list, or try to go to some red carpet event specific to my new career in medicine which is, bizarre for me to choose, but eventually might still allow me to live, comfortably. Woop woop! 🏎️ Dr. Wilcock, a bit masculine even, so, not a weaponized white b**** wearing pink named Lola — I do truthfully consider that character a lousy person, I encourage, or sort of aggressively insist, that no one to do that, ever.

So yeah. This piece is really fucked-up.

I told my sister Alexis I was thinking, not for the first time — this has been true ever since I set foot on any campus — of dropping out of school to be an artist because other people, a joker or two, made it work somehow some way WITHOUT school. Ew. It was hurting me, people hated it, they hated educated people, especially grad school students who are triple brats because who can afford grad school. No one, who goes, usually ever the f can. I could hear their voices talking, about their creative practices in interviews, all the time: they might write a little bit every day. Or female jokers might like, use the whole interview to rationalize not always-working or not working at all, I can do that ayh. Or can I actually… I spend a lot of time listening to writers on podcasts. Usually I’m struck by how comparatively normal they are, thrown against the tumult of my own consciousness by comparison; ach my head. 

Alexis recently was all like, “haven’t you learned yet, Morgy 😆🙆‍♂️.. We don’t want to be like dad or mom.. ”

We’ve had conversations that are probably unshareable about how we each have direct exposure to the plagues of being poor and not well in other ways, how it’s scared us into, being more careful. So: we take fewer risks?

It’s probably why I left the arts, honestly. Is this post [not actually in print but I want this all to be a book, in print] a risk. It’s pretty self-contained honestly.

I hoped my crazy times — my lols-times, I’ll call them — could become a thing of the past. Lots of creative people are nuts and bad people anyway, with good senses of humor, our parents have been that; but there are plenty of writers, I’ve heard in podcasts, who learn how to create a decent balance. Balance of what? I’d have to ask, I don’t think they’d respect me, that’s the problem. Not if I’m a bad person. They can be (these hot white women) but I can’t. Just a reality. Face it.

So, I started to see now, why this might actually matter: having somewhat healthy work habits. And never having fun unless it’s by being famous and rich or stalking people who are. I didn’t think I could just jump into their league; now or ever? I’d stick with the safer route, not quite giving up, but walking a different path. I figured, if I ever intended to meet or work with real humans in the arts OR in medicine, I couldn’t still be the paranoid one, always thinking I’d be betrayed by them. (By proxy, not without restraint, I have a policy of not cutting people off; I’ll let them decide, first, I unblocked everyone.) I figured at some point I’d be playing the long game, learning to trust my self increasingly with each year I inched closer to adulthood; hopefully coming to value my younger writing as something that only could have been written by an insane, shameless, mess of a human. Almost, not actually, like the author of Infinite Jest; just.. not as famous, not as talented, and declaredly not-as-brilliant.

I decided officially or really told myself, that I’d decided: I don’t want to be rich and famous, having my ass kissed like I always d-d-dramily DREAMED.

I want to be okay, I want to put up a fight for some peace.

I used to want that FAME MONET 🌸🌷shit 🥀 so bad though, whyyyy!? (I think many Americans are brought up to worship fame and wealth, like literally, above any one.)

My dad and mom both dreamed of being artists, much like everyone, neither of them wanted to be writers like me though. My sister did for some time, then she got a life. So it’s left up to me, I insisted in my head, back when I got started on the road to ruin. If I could go back to a younger-me, about to write something, a novel, and one I thought might ruffle enough feathers 🪶🪶🪶to get noticed then recognized, just-enough and in the nick 🗡🪡 of time to save my life and mind and future as the only ever Lola Morgan (it did NOT do that), I’d have said, be careful with that toxic ego. 💉🩸🩸🩸🩸

I probably knew by then, having been rejected in the film world for my looks, that I couldn’t make it — like almost every other female writer I know of — partly, at least partly if not entirely, for being beautiful externally. I’d have to pull out some other stops.

At the very least, I couldn’t pretend anymore that something about my dynamic around women writers, who happened to also be pretty, got me flagged as a threat; not a threat they respected, probably someone they disliked or pitied or literally 99.99% wanted dead. It had nothing to do with my appearance.

I decided to take the feedback and just write like a man, with some ego, sure, not knowing, I’d become a man permanently!! I guess that’s what karma did, karma for overstepping certain restrictions imposed-on-me by actual reality. What aspects of actual reality? This fact: I’m not a man in 2021. I’m a white female person, and, not the prettiest ever but that puts me in the same boat with like a lot of humans. Unfortunately white women in America are getting sort of, a bad rap; they’re the quiet white supremacists among us? They’re the reason Trump won the first time he ran. I’ve heard this in podcasts. I don’t think it sounds wrong.

Should I just leave that classification of human. Of white women. I’m not a white supremacist, absolutely. Not.

Trouble is this. My odds of meeting someone decent, will be better if I’m a decent person, I mean obviously but — I don’t actually have as much life-experience to support this, compared with life-experience that supports I’ll meet someone, anyone, if I’m hot.

My mom and  father met at a party in Minneapolis and throughout their best years went to the famous nightclub First Avenue together, to Prince concerts etc. Before that though, my mom briefly wanted to be a dancer. “I didn’t have the training,” she’d tell me later in life, “it wasn’t realistic, you at least have a better idea of how hard it is to perform, all those years seeing Alexis get picked apart at Stagedoor Manor [a theater arts camp in upstate New York].” In college my mom though studying social work, took some classes on jazz history or theory, and remembers getting a D or D- letter-grade in Cecil Taylor’s class at U Madison then still traveling with him to New York to be in some dance ensemble. I probably wouldn’t have done that myself — only because my mom would have told me not to waste my own time.

In her early twenties my mom visited home in Bethesda, Maryland, with her new boyfriend, a pimp, wearing her brunette hair in corn rows and an ermine fur coat.

That was the last time she saw her parents for close to ten years. She was pretty lost at sea, as it were.

And it took a while to come back home, so not like, a couple weeks. A while. In that time she’d end up serving once as a call girl to Miles Davis. Another woman she knew while working in New York disappeared suddenly, was murdered; later my mom learned her body was buried, in pieces, in a public park.

When she returned to Bannockburn, Maryland after her ten year vacay and attended some gathering at a local park called Glen Echo, her mom asked to wear long gloves over her hands, by then badly swollen from holding onto ropes on a ship called The Pequod. (Based on her travels, I named the film company I founded in 2019 Def Ahab.) She wore the long gloves, and a dark floral sun dress, to neighborhood events — went swimming regularly, at the Bannockburn pool where she used to lifeguard. Years later again: to get somewhat healthier.

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my mom in the 70s and boyfriend

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my mom’s dad and my dad

I used to think that was cool, my mom’s “rebellious” streak which I got from her, I’m going to emphasize the quotation marks and write it again — ” ‘rebellious’ ” — to be clear I don’t do drugs, anymore, or like to tell girls it’s cool because I don’t think it is but I realize I might come across as paternalistic. I’m in no position to serve as anything but a cautionary tale to them. Any drug abuse is contained in my lols-times.

Look at me the real life person, now — not Cat Marnell.. who’s bald but can afford wigs so it’s fine; I myself (less privileged) wouldn’t be able to afford them if I had hair loss — and just don’t do, the drugs.

Also like what the fuck happened; how do you even, sorry just..

These days I try to be more objective about what cool means to me. For instance when I decide because it’s so hard to decide whether or not to be bulimic, I try to be objective; even though I’m chunky and yeah, could stand to shed a few. It’s just objectively bad for you, over time you [Morgan] will come to regret not fixing your broke brain and body, the harder way!! My mom used to be savagely bulimic, it didn’t work for weight loss in the long run or for her, brain i.e. peace of mind. It might work for others. Did I used to be bulimic? You’d have to ask me but no one would assume it. My dad — who’s younger than my mom, and who sadly in some ways not-every-single-way-at-all is my hero, despite his bad style (which I’ve inherited, too, or said I have because I have no self and a very mediocre figure) and drinking issues which he’d own up to as a self-described “alchy” (I’ve let the tame substance abuse be a thing-of-my-past because my brain is too vulnerable) — attended the University of Colorado as a music major and for the ski slopes. He played saxophone, still does, guitar too. Never stops, lols. My mom says he’s always been delusional about how good or bad he is; she doesn’t say that about me, except to let me know my acting sucks compared to those better-trained or better-practiced, which is true. But when I shifted to just writing from anything to do with the performing arts she kind of backed off I think. I wonder if that’s literally why I stopped “performing,” to get some space from my mom’s doting criticism, knowing she never reads books, just Times articles which she sends to me, but — no I think I stopped performing because, I looked bad on camera in films. I mean.

I do, I harp on it, because it’s painful to let this go but I’m not an actor, okay; it has nothing to do with whether I once could have been. Take the L, lols.

You’re not a “Lola.” You’re nothing!!!!!!!!!

“Oh he’s not going to do a thing for you, that motherf**ker,” my mom said, when I suggested I might consult a guy about getting some of my writing published. I’d decided, recently, I was a writer not an actor. She wasn’t wrong when this conversation occurred: this is the kind of real-life dialog, though, that I now take as a cue I’m in a conversation back home I should exit from somewhat gracefully. Why so upset, mom. I haven’t told her a thing about this project, I hardly talk to her except to give her good news. It’s just gotten to be too much. I don’t want her to go off, or just be like “that motherf**ker.”

I don’t give a f*** about bad news anymore unless it’s about someone I love. Like this week I learned my grandpa has COVID-19. I didn’t know how to respond. It’s my job; to pick my own battles. I didn’t tell anyone in Minnesota I applied for a STEM program, back home, until after I got in. But my grandpa, who calls me “dear” on the phone, was very proud of me. I’ve come to feel like an outsider among both the working class and any other class, e.g. of artists who I believe look down on me. But anyway, it’s just like, chill — when I encounter these confusing, older male people — it’s some other dude, a writer who’s not going to help some random-ass, unsexy chick who happens to be poorer than him.

“Who would want to be friends with someone like that anyway,” was her response when I told her about my failed attempts to DM some male writers I’d been recommended either through the podcast grapevine or by friends directly. It was delusional and dumb. “Don’t be so nice to these people..” my Jewish mom — with whom I used to share a Twitter account, featuring a profile pic of a cow (not me.. a drawing I did) — reminded me that, “he posts about Nazis, I mean some really awful stuff.”

Kaitlin Phillips past tense wanted to see me fail but I forgive her and hope she is a great writer because we had some good conversations it’s true. She’s smart just an evil bully hurting people online but I wonder which sin is worse; I’d rather be smart. Sarah Nicole is smart too. There’s some chance I can see this differently with perspective but I’m being careful with these two strangers for now. Strangers. I had boundary issues and still do evidently but please don’t frame me as a stalker when we were literally friends.

“Did you look him up, holy fuck mom STOP IT who’s the creep please, I never do,” I gesticulated wildly like Lenny Bruce, meanwhile (without doing background myself [I might eventually look it up, there’s actually plenty of stuff about Nazis online by successful artists]) in disbelief, about how many well-known New York artists endorsed this brat, including multidisciplinary visual artists who doxed [doxxed?] people, writers — like a younger me, literally before I went nuts and doxxxed my self — by calling them fat and hideous or worse: creepers, when the caller-outers had literally no evidence to support it. He, was trying to kill me. And he will try, try again. I don’t think it’s very kind, but, neither was I, to myself — after I met this male bitch. 👺

“They’re remorseless, toward white trash with poor taste so it’s not relevant, certainly not to you.. not to us I mean,” I said smurling, which is like a frown that shows teeth. My bottom teeth, were yellow.

It was grossing me out, just imagining my mom looking at her daughter. With yellow teeth.

(not defending herself enough, not even at all) “I hardly saw anything.”

Me, silently: f*** off, mother.

She must have heard that because she tilted her head, confused: You’re a horrible daughter!!

Or that’s just what I was thinking, after being reminded again, of these people on the internet who were MEAN but told the truth?

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My dad has seen some of my writing, he said last year, “now you look a little healthier, but right when you came back home you were a mess.” I’d thought I looked f**kin’ great, still emaciated after the ward, even though I’d lost my sensitive face. My eyes weren’t syncing up or some shit.

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Apparently, my dad disagreed that I looked great. We had a long talk, that year 2020, about the past few years for me.

“And your writing sounded so crazy!” (I called it autofiction, been over this *in previous chapters*, called myself Lola and tried to get all philosophical about it, it was literally just narcissism, my superego, also not God by the way, just me-alone-and-nuts.) “I didn’t ever know what was actually going on with you, just that you were either alive or not. At some point I just, gave up.. what else could I have done.”

He’d said my first and better book was awesome, at first, though (*SMURLIN WITH BLACK GOGGLES* 😎) — I was thinking of my writing, nothing else in life matters, that’s my only escape from this!? He didn’t hear me think this, though at the time, I might have been weirdly paranoid that he could hear it.

My dad and I sat in silence.

“Okay,” I said.

I couldn’t answer the rhetorical question he’d posed with no prep time. I’d never been a parent to someone crazy after all, but could imagine it was tough. It’s one reason I wondered whether it would be wise to have kids, even though I’ve always wanted one.

If I have a daughter: will she be just, crazy? It’s not worth the risk.

I guess I won’t have a daughter then, literally, I’ll have a son. Or no kids.

He’d go to bars and cry about me when they played “Like a Rolling Stone,” that one song by Bob Dylan? At the bar other people would cheer my dad up. I was like, it’s nice to hear this story directly from you Pops, about how you GAVE UP ON MY SURVIVAL BEFORE I DID *crying like an infant.* It’s what I took away from our convo.

A guy who I basically consider an ex-boyfriend for how we left things even though we never kissed, considering, all the emotional foreplay I put him through for like five years after we met as friends (testing? what I could stand) [what he could handle really], upon hearing about my mom’s career as a hooker in the 70s, said “oh” that explained how I looked — not sure what he meant, at all, though I doubt he’d say it again like to me, more recently when, I decided I might “go trans.” Don’t know why, he’s the first person I thought of, when I considered actually telling someone: I wasn’t just bi. And it wasn’t even something, I thought I’d been born with. My trans side. Because he would tell me it is absolutely batshit fucking nuts and I’d finally at long last officially lost my mind after he’d seen me come close to cracking up for years.

I’d heard it said anyway, once you “go trans” you never go back. (I don’t think it’s that easy to go back..) While texting that guy in 2019, or talking to my friend Alex on the phone, I’d look at myself in the mirror with my clothes off and assess the damage.

“Why am I so muscular, huh,” I’d ask my self with one hand on my chin, naked, contemplating the problem — but, of course not allowing myself to stop working out compulsively, not even to just slow down a bit, for reasons synced up to the unrelenting stress I was under all the time. Like: it seemed dangerous to, stop. I sympathize with people running in the park who aren’t thin at all and just look like literally so miserable doing it the whole time but they still do it every day (a dysfunctional attitude toward exercise?) because, they probably are in the same place mentally, that I was in or forever will be in. I can’t stop or it’ll just get worse [which is, probably absolutely true]. So it sucks, and stopping might even literally be healthier, but, it also might not be so we still fight.

I remembered my mom and the swimming and then — that quote from my sister Alexis, who doesn’t exercise that much, about ending up like our parents.

“Oh way ell. Take what life throws at ju.” I sighed to my self. Soon I’d start another workout video, a HIIT class by myself. Too muscular, this was a privileged thing to have to worry about too.

Literally, I took what I could.

I’ve always wanted to write a whole FICTION story about the humiliation of working at a Target, which might have happened in real life. I saw people I knew, teachers from my high school who weren’t actually that nice (back in high school), but I’ll just do some paragraphs now. The same songs each night. Boo hoo. I’d restock shelves containing 14 different versions of a Taylor Swift album. I ended up buying one, why, I could have stolen it but, perhaps superstitiously [or just common sensically duhr] (I sound, dumb) — I myself had decided not to steal ever again, by then. Just be stolen from? I didn’t buy all five versions, I bought one, I thought it was a nice-looking product: the album in its physical form not streaming. That’s actually true I liked the box and how it was sealed in corporate factory seran wrap etc.

I was a creep for the product being sold, I bought it. The role she played on the album. Someone declaredly in love. Awh.

At Target where Taylor was all over the place, like literally there was no escape — and I did come to not-always-love her, girl you win against me [like Wagner versus Satie] — I’d also listen frequently to that Post Malone track “Circles” on the store speakers, I might kind of weep under wraps. Not sure if it was the music or just envy toward people famous and rich.

“If I saw him working at a gas station,” said the Target Security guard [of Post Malone], “I wouldn’t even bat an eye, I’d just assume that’s the only job he could get. At least with Drake if I saw him at a gas station I’d be like — dude you can do better, it’s time to get out of this.”

“Mh,” I said, realizing this is exactly why Post Malone had millions upon heaping millions of supportive fans, who knew what it was like to be sized up like that and then only hired by brats for min-wage jobs in which, they were, classified as white trash; unless they figured something else out. Like ME figuring shit out just in the knick of time to not get caught by the poor bug. I wondered what torture track by Maroon 5 or Gwen Stefani’s Christmas album [featuring her new man from The Voice] would come on the stereo as I contemplated ending it tonight, right on time an hour into my 8-hour or occasionally longer shift — which according to my coworkers crew of almost all guys, was how I’d feel every night no matter what: certain, like very certain, I would end it. In the morning too.

I really got to thinking about stars and their fans. From spending all that time, wanting to be a star, and from watching Bojack Horseman, I learned that the ones who persisted were the stars who took care of their fans. I just couldn’t respect it quite the same way, once I started noticing the methods of pandering; maybe as usual I just couldn’t respect it due to aforementioned envy. I looked for stars who weren’t quite-so-much like that. Stars with whom getting involved, as a fan, didn’t feel or sound like cult worship. It was hard to find those stars, I will never say their names in writing (that would be too generous); one day they could switch and end up, just like the rest of ’em.

*whispering not screeching* By then I’ll be gone. I already know it, know it. 🎧

What if I said this [bitch]: as though I were an incel, insulting some girl’s appearance. You KNOW I used to like Gwen more — but, like something about your eyes, they’re *gesticulating in front of face* not syncing up with me down here on planet EARTH, like are you on crack or is it me.

It was me and this was the type of star I’d never meet. I was talking to myself in the back room, I didn’t know how I got there and I was in a corner facing the wall.

WTF? This min wage job shit was messin’ me up.

They were right, lols, my coworkers about waking up suicidal. Whatever let’s not dwell on how awful that was, it’s really NBD for that to be the norm, waking up like “uhr,” 365-day streak moving out of 2019. Waking up in 2020, was like waking up in a coffin.

Most of my coworkers were college students working part-time, some were single mothers like Debora who showed me pictures on her phone of a son who was “huge” (a bit brawny for a five-year-old, almost how I look honestly, or just how I see myself?) [IDK, if I were writing for readers I’d say, IDK guys], another one of my coworkers was homeless with Asperberger’s, he was a sweetheart my age who would wear black jumpsuits and wait for a ride to the shelter in the break room from another employee when his shift was done. The guys would talk about rabbit holes they were falling down on Reddit, threads on Elon Musk and Bach in metal music. One said he almost became an Incel, I told him don’t do that! Ha ha.. don’t.. I avoided the metal music the homeless one kept recommending; I could have been missing out, but I never listened. They’d have smarter opinions than I could offer up, and I told my mom their intelligence — like IQ-wise, considering they worked here — was honestly for me, disturbing as f***.

Maybe I was talking to my mom too much.

With the worldview I came in with, my ego about having graduated [actually: quite proudly on a full scholarship] from Columbia — having to realize that these guys were pretty much super smart, like smarter than me, in plenty of ways, e.g. in how they’d figured out how to be slightly less jaded. Were they more religious, or something, I’d have been religious if I’d have gotten rich and famous before, like, age 25, I’m sure I’d have developed a different worldview and narrative to explain how this happened to some people while others ruled on high. Yeah it fucked me up, this whole *gesticulates* situation. No offense to anyone who would’ve loved working at Target at that age, at that moment.

In job training they taught us how to defend ourselves from a shooter (RUN HIDE FIGHT: I thought that was classified information until I saw a film poster with that as the title, it’s probably what they teach students in school, too) [I just thought it was an odd title, like I have to wonder, literally why are people even making films about shootings; I guess it’s not to make people safer, or maybe that’s just how I think of things — don’t tell everyone or new ways of violence will come up but you know, this is why I have to work in film to make my own stuff]. Apparently the man who’d recently brought a gun into a Walmart in El Paso — a few months prior — had been a disgruntled employee; they said it’s how he was even able to pull it off, planning it carefully including a path through the store. These types of things, shootings in public venues, were meticulously planned — more meticulously I’d assume, than a lot of big art I’ve had to witness leading up to and immediately following the year 2020. It’s something I hadn’t realized before until the job training, where they told us to report anything remotely suspicious among employees.

So, I hadn’t fathomed how these shootings were never just like, an impulse acted on one day suddenly as I’d kind of probably assumed before; no, they were a man’s “inspired” plan carefully developed over time then finally come to acted-upon fruition. Clearly I was disturbed, to like, be thinking so elaborately about such f***ed-up shit, including the movie title thing.

“HEY look ma I MADE it!!!” sang the ceiling stereo at that Minneapolis Target. (It wasn’t the same Target that would get looted in May 2020, but it was not very far from it.)

Whorrre 👻, sang my brain, still-recovering from overclock, not rested and not medicated at that time, shouting words at me that didn’t make sense.

I went to the back room and drank some water. I was still frost bitten from my walk to work and felt the sensation I was floating, where is my self.

“You know if I didn’t know better, from behind I’d mistake you for Adam” [that was the name of my coworker who’d been there a couple years]. I decided, not without some hesitance and self-restraint, to cordially accept this statement about me as a COMPLIMENT from the store cop, who was lean and bald like Gary Oldman in the film Meantime. Meanwhile Adam was a measly hemophiliac with a sort of pallid vampire-look, bruises all over which he showed me one night lifting up his shirt unprompted when customers were walking by — and along with the sexy bruises he had a decent disregard for style which at the time I didn’t mind in straight guys, especially not in Incels who hated themselves (?) just as much as I’d come to hate myself as a woman. However I’d like to still believe Adam was Incel-averted.

I see the ways I might across as one, an Incel, throughout this project, via the savage stock I take on my appearance as a chick. I’d say, to apologize for if it ever got annoying, it seemed like a necessary form of consensual self-destruction in favor of rape by others. If I could explain my almost-transness — well. Maybe it’s a response to how I’ve been when I’m manically depressed, just “casually” negligent toward the act of looking remotely presentable at all.

It’s been savage to lose that privilege, basically from mental illness so bad I couldn’t focus on it. Yes it was savage, at least for me at least; I used to really get into my outfits. And to make matters worse and worse, the harder I tried to get it back the more my womanhood left me, like losing a soul-mate the second you know, know, know it. [Also like: losing any remaining belief in soul-mates, no one cares that you didn’t die by 27 like Amy Winehouse and instead wrote this shïtt.] But anyway, that would kind of be a misunderstanding of, (this is sarcasm) everything good ever about queer self-expression, and how I feel like the depression started there: at the boundary between a self celebrated and a self fully obliterated.

I didn’t think I looked like my coworker, but, who the f knows, what Gary Oldman saw. A hand was brought to my heart, and I said to the store cop. “Thanks..”

“How would you rate your performance, on a scale of 1 to 10,” a substitute manager asked me around midnight. Usually I got along with my boss named Angel — I was told all the upper tier staff had different names at work, than in real life — but this guy whose work name was like Jamey or something with weird spelling was just having me feel all like, no, sir don’t fuck with me tonight. “Because Lola, I see you taking 15 minutes to zone this shelf, it should take you only a few.”

“Um,” I shrugged, he was right. “Like a fiiive,” I said in low tones. “Sorry it’s just been a long shift.”

“What would it take from us, to get you up to a ten.”

Wait, Jamey? Hold up — a hand was brought, then, from my breasts to my big head. I thought I might fall, on my ass. From fainting.

How pathetic that would be, I thought of getting home after 1am, sleeping in the attic of my dad’s place, probably binge-eating on whatever food he’d made for dinner; I’d probably not have eaten all day, then resorted (in such desperation) to what was sitting out. Frozen stuff he’d baked up, he never cooked — neither did I, the woman, living with him poor on my 5/10 ass and sinking, down.

“Honestly, [forgetting the sir when I said this] I don’t think it’s a good fit.”

(When I said the word fit I thought of how my pants were feeling tight.)

“I’m not sure I understand? Lola,” the manager said, still looking at my name tag.

That’s not even my NAME, krr, I thought, my voice really deep now, the psycho soundtrack playing in my head just like in chapter 3, quietly though this time — me realizing this ain’t a joke this is serious; I was finna CRACK, or I was just cranky — I just hadn’t wanted people shopping here to confuse me for someone male, or transgender, literally, that’s why I’d gone with that stupid nametag.

“Yeah I am definitely going by Morgan again, and good, bye, bitch.” (Didn’t say this, but I did calmly quit.)

“Everyone just does the best with the options they have in front of them,” my sister said to me, in Spring 2021 after I’d bombed a chem quiz.

“You mean like multiple choice,” I said blinking my eyes boop boop with no feelings left.

“No like in life, we do the best we can.”

“Ohh..” I paused confused, then said, “I just don’t even know what they’re talking about, in the class,” I said. I was able to do well on math problems but the concepts went over my head.

“Have you called the building yet about how freezing you room is at night?”

“I feel like that’s a burden, I’ve been in those jobs–”

“–Morgan (!!)” said my sister, “that’s literally what these people are paid for, you have to put in a service request, now.”

“[shrugs] Kay Alexis, I feel like a fucking burden, but, I will before I get off the phone with you, otherwise I’ll just pass out and wake up frozen.” I wasn’t really joking, I wanted to die in the cold.

“L-o-l.”

Later I might tell her about a conversation with my University Housing’s superintendent.

“As school policy we all have to put he/his/him at the end of our emails? Yep,” he’d explained, standing on a chair in my room taping up the windows, he was probably close to 250 pounds, liked Sci Fi shows about people who fell in love with both genders and didn’t make a big deal about their identity they just loved. “The only time I’m interested in knowing that about someone is if I’m interested in that person, in like a sexual way.”

“Yeaah.”

I couldn’t think of literally any times in my own life that I’d been interested in someone sexually and couldn’t tell whether they wanted to be a he or her but I’m certain it happens all the time. I was wearing a wool sweater with unisex black shorts from American Apparel and two layers of wool tights underneath them, like a character in King Lear. He told me stories about University Professors having mental breakdowns in the best real estate the school had to offer, overlooking the Hudson in the West 80s or upper 70s, where my building superintendent had one night been summoned to help fix a heater or something, but “[he] just got out of there FAST and called for medical staff so I wasn’t blamed, people can say anything.”

“I think that was probably, smart,” I figured this was a good guy despite having some interesting opinions, like my mom almost — not me — opinions, wise. Misperceived now and then? For articulating his opinions in rough-hewn, American English? Hrm.

I wondered why he was telling me all this but I felt I didn’t mind, I think the word for this was having a conversation?? Duh, it had been too long, since I’d just listened to a guy for two and a half hours.

The next day I’d get my lip and chin lasered for hair at a salon called Romeo and Juliette — in Midtown East where the shop windows are great but depressing to me subjectively. Usually I avoid that area for how it reminds me of times I used to shoplift [at Macy’s] — which wasn’t fun actually, it definitely felt pathetic to take a dress or XS Nike sweatsuit off a rack and find out, later, it didn’t fit; especially around my abdomen which is especially not thin. Why did I take the XS? (I should be asking, why did I steal?) [I haven’t in three years.] I kept it to give to my daughter at the right age if I have one accidentally.

And P.S. again for the sixtieth I’m not a tranny, I am defensive about it, I am not transphobic. Literally what, is wrong with my body, though.

“Have you been taking anything,” they’d ask me at the salon, noticing how much hair was on my face. “It’s okay.”

“For bipolar yes, but, I was living, somewhere during, Covid, and I think my hormones honestly, like shifted just, to get through it,” I said truthfully of living at my mom’s place. It was horrible and I don’t think I can explain but, everyone does the best with the choices they have in front of them and “I’ll pay the extra thanks I just want it all off.”

At a gym in the basement of a hotel in the West Forties called The Beacon, where (in the locker room) a poster of Marilyn Monroe doing a bench press confused me, I’d go to group fitness for a while in mid 2019. The instructor seemed almost shocked, by how strong I was (naturally?) — I’d done weight training before, in high school softball and again after I sobered-up, I knew I just had “it” basically in any sport including Capoeira and Swimming and Soccer and even Basketball on the top floor of the hospital, if I put my mind to it, I could bench a lot if I wanted but didn’t particularly love this mode of working out.

At some point midway through that year I just texted him in a total freakout and cancelled my classes, “I can’t afford this anymore [basically I feel TOO strong, lately, this is not how I want to feel], please let’s stop,” even though he was always so friendly-seeming, he was a professional actor. He told me when I said was too weird to be an actor, that weird is subjective, and Danny Devito had been an actor. I was like yeah I don’t know about this, I can tell you’re trying to seem sweet, I’ve just literally gotten so weird, that you’d think of Danny Devito and say that to me. *so I left, not without a little fit that it was his fault I felt like such a freak, misgendered that is*


In 2019 I lived in hotels and AirBNB’s for a while, wasting a messy amount of cash, before I’d be shacked up with grad student roommates in Harlem safely away from any family, or close friends for that matter, “don’t blow all your money from your Great Aunt’s will!!” — my mom had said. I’m like “no way, mom I’m not, I’m staying at the shittiest hotel this week,” the Hotel Penn in Midtown, not as bad The Bowery Hotel which is the shiftiest in the city. The Hotel Penn, though a major upgrade, was not the best ever, mainly because it was near where all my friends used to hang out at the McDonald’s on W 34th Street.

At the time I’d listen, literally, to a lot of Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift and that Drake track “Take Care” but not the whole thing, just a part at the end [“To save you, instead they say..” at 3:15, cue the part I liked to dance to] (this kind of specificity, I’ve learned from writers on podcasts, is extremely important). No wonder I always felt sick, I was dancing drizzily, oh and overeating food from the “grocery store” version of CVS — the one in Harlem, I don’t remember the cross streets but right off the subway stop that gets you into the main drag, you know by the Apollo, where else would the main drag be, I’m genuinely not sure. It closed at 10pm so usually I’d have to go to corner stores, I got a good sense of what it means to be in a “food desert” after walking a while at night, to find one I liked, they might have some old apples and maybe canned food (which I’d opt for if they had it) but mostly just sugary stuff.

After going on a walk, I’d write on a blog that I sincerely hope, literally more than this one, was secret. And if someone read even some of it and still was able to like me I’d be, quite disturbed by that. But hypothetically I’d be able to live with their disturbingness.

My roommate Claire said, “you never eat!” I said yeah I do it’s just in the middle of the night when I go out.
“But… hey, since we’re talking in the kitchen, I’ll be staying inside my room for the next 23 days,” I added, I’m working from home. This was 2019.

And then, I did stop eating for that period +/- a few weeks after that, for the first time after trying on-and-off for years to pull off more than like 72 hours without breaking. I might have lost some weight, finally.

“Turn around so I can see the back, oh thoooooose are adorable,” my mom would say in the dressing room of a Twin Cities Macy’s about a pair of brown corduroys that I’d picked out. My sister might be in the dressing room next door, or out in the store browsing for herself. She preferred camis, which I never wore, though generally my mom always used to give her a (REALLY) hard time about how she had less style than me — comparing us a bit like fans of GIRLS might compare Jessa and Lena, unfairly [like one got judged for her clothes and the other for being annoying as a lead character]. I used to be like the Jessa in our sisterhood, no one fucked with me; Alexis though was probably not a Hannah but a Marnie, in fact I know she related to some of the relationships on that show. Y’know like whiny guys? She’d been with them or something.

Later at Limited Too, paying for a modest selection of items at checkout, we’d be handed tons of coupons that were like ‘Spend $300 get $75 off’ and my mom would use these to somehow rationalize bringing us back before the next change of season, or probably, before the end of the month. I didn’t like this store as much, as (let’s say) the shops in New York where we’d go to once a year when visiting her side of the family out East; places like H&M which hadn’t popped off nationally, yet, and then those shops in Soho. They always felt a bit rebellious to step into —  as though, we didn’t belong, which I guess if you were to evaluate what-we-could afford literally was super, super true.

I think it was in high school, maybe even after my sister abandoned me for college (how it felt), that we found out my mom had a little bit of credit card debt.

Like 180K or something diagnosably screwed-loose off the batwagon. At least for our world. This might explain some of the stress just floating around always like musty scent from unchanged furnace filters; the fights, between my parents — but I’m trying to talk about and process my childhood without succumbing to the aspects of our upbringing that were, almost by definition, larger than reality (I could just say “larger than life”). The way we lived versus how we should have been living, more poorly. The tempo of it, the speed. Either worse or better than the reality of others, characterized by my tendency to have a GREAT year followed by times that were, well, rough.

*from here out needs editing, the sentences just kind of don’t make sense**

So nearer to the present, in my life, for years, after about age 19 — my back-and-forth bipolar reality became different from the reality I saw a lot of my friends take for granted, the calm I’d later seek out in poems and podcasts and writing and films and symphonies which I call my favorites these days [even though I used to, and still maybe do, like violent-stuff, i.e. NOT symphonies]. Basically I’m making an effort to change my ways. That is like my goal in life, to calm down. It has to do, partly, I think, with the art I consume.

As for the art I produce? Now.

No one’s reading but, I think my essays still contain vestiges of a certain larger-than-life LIE that scares me when I notice it creeping up on me like tanks rolling in on their enemy’s base. What is the lie? I’m a great writer, that was a great metaphor and image.

Actually though. It’s hard to kind of, face the ways I haven’t been a fine artist. Fine artists don’t talk about war, they talk about clits. I’ve heard this on podcasts.

To me as mentally challenged as it might come across to do another paragraph, here: it seems most appropriate at this time to say the name “Lola” was a lie, from the first time I tried to change my name to something with sort of sexy connotations, yeah no, it wasn’t me because it didn’t add up with who I was on the ground, standing on two feet. I wish I could describe the name as a shield or an innocent joke. But that might be dishonest. It was really intense. I’d rather just describe it much less glamorously as a carcass of an identity — a whore role, or silly gross person, not that I think whores are gross, I just think I was, and I think that whores are often playing a tough role informed by the modern American dream for female people. I must have inherited from my poor mom an unkind dream of vanquishing men (the result of certain, sexual trauma, that ran deep), and I also got-from-her a latent value system that sought out the victory march that proceeds a killing: yes, this role was hard to sustain and became so costly for me that I wish it’d never happened — and now, *drum roll please* Lola’s a mere name that I can use to cast off my old shitty id and just say, with some ego, I’m Morgan, not your ho anymore, fuck off, literally stop bothering me about stuff that only a ho should be bothered about. Even then!! Don’t text me to send you nakey pics when there are other people who do that for a living and are cooler and better at it, and mean to me as Morgan. I am still resentful. I will catch my revenge like lobster claws. Why did bitches hate me so much. Not the ones who don’t even know what I’m talking about, the ones who kind of do and remember what they did to me last summer — when they sat on my face!! I coughed up blood.

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Don’t ever say I love you, Morgy. Remember the acceptable names please!! I’m Morgan.

I think to an outsider it might sound as though, my sister and I were born to a crazy stage mother not unlike Momma Rose from one of my favorite musicals “Gypsy.” This is all the more terrifying when I highlight again that yeah, my mom’s first name is Rose. But I think my mom herself would just say: she believed we were born to be great, or, maybe that she was meant to have kids who would be great after somehow surviving a decade of whoredom and dope.

Either way it all seems like clinical narcissism, to me these days. The decisions I made thinking I’d be great. Why did my mom encourage me to change my name to Lola Morgan and try to be the next female Woody Allen, dude!! Why’d you do that to me. You know: if we’re going to pull the mental illness card on my crazy mother, which was a card lost among many in her wallet, she might deserve some sympathy — I do have a hard time framing her as just an enemy for making me feel like a star (which I’ve tried to do, frame her as an enemy and, be a star, I’ve found people respond skeptically to both) [I’ve never had it go differently — where I feel not judged but it’s true I don’t really talk about all-the-above “publicly,” partly because I still hide behind pretenses, to avoid being with people ever in public] (and I’m basically always at-this-time doing this, why? It might be due to shame about how I’m not a star) [a vicious cycle] (parentheses) [brackets] (yo momma can’t keep up). I realize that sometimes a larger-than-life imagination is the best way to handle the bummer that is life, and that sometimes one has scheme and pretend before dreams come true.

But, it just hasn’t worked for me; what else can I say dude.

For those marginalized, escapism (storytelling!! imagination!! lies!!) can be the only way to handle that bummer I just mentioned, and, miracles almost happen with just the power of the mind; not sure my mom counts as someone marginalized, but she’s Jewish and a woman and a sexual abuse victim, who doesn’t play the victim — or if she does then, I’m in denial that she’s been playing the victim, all the time I’ve ever known her? I just can’t be the one to conclude, as her daughter I’m too close. That’s not actually sarcasm. And I don’t know if it’s worth the extra eval. I just don’t know.

She’s figured it out somehow some way, how to live, barely-perhaps-some-days (the most abusive days) but in a way I do feel deserves to be honored nonetheless, hence why I write neverendingly, and in the process try to fathom my past as objectively as I can stand to — e.g. so I don’t go back into Lola-mode and start abusing somebody, my kids if I ever have a son. Yeah, I don’t know if I can do that, now that I’ve written a piece like this and discovered some risks; I’ll just say, I wouldn’t become a mom to fulfill some need to be needed by my kid his or her self. I’d like to be sane enough if I do meet a man, to consider the act of starting a family — openly, sincerely and honestly, never just wishfully assuming it’ll be good for us or for the kid.

The answer to the question of whether my sister and/or I were meant to do anything as great women (or whether that’s just fiction my mom fabricated to push us, maybe even to protect us, though it would take me until now, to realize this and try not to resent the lies), I think is irrelevant as I move away and hold fast to my space: my distance from that past, the craziness it contains. I’m trying to find peace not disgust in my individuality, a bit sick  around the edges, at this time. I’ve mentioned that, I think? Some people think it’s a choice, they judge me as much as they feel is appropriate. I no longer defend myself because people do technically have a right to judge me.

I personally no longer believe it, at all, that we each have a purpose or even a stable [gender] identity, or I’d be a filmmaker wearing the pants, just like on my first botched film shooting; if that had gone better I would not be writing essays instead of making films — we do the best with the options in front of us. For a few years at least I’ve had the experience of being invisible, not beautiful by the way. I’ve learned to be that person, the invisible one, far more than I’ve navigated feeling like that-someone online or wherever who people found compelling.

To have had experienced both, the times I was “on” and everyone seemed to want a piece, powerful men especially, or lesbians in or out of the closet not-to-make-it-about-that; compared to times I was locked out in the cold [or just, condemned in a hideous state to my dad’s attic] — probably makes it worse to realize I’m honestly so, so the fuck alone as I approach the last chapter of this project, a chapter on Jillian.

Some great minds have said, you can tell the true nature of a human by how they treat someone who can do nothing for them. I guess that means, a fair few humans I’ve encountered have some lousy true natures — no, offense, to people who just suck, you WICKED EVIL BRATS and I of course with a heart swollen and brain damaged from that second incident of cardiac arrest, am able to forgive them but will just kind of let around people I like and that might not include my bullies — however. That all said. Maybe it’s more polite (to myself) to say human nature is constant for all people no matter whom, and you just have to work with the more unsavory aspects. Instead of thinking as humans as individuals, unless I know and trust them, in my alone time I think of myself as someone interpreting a formula, that always spits back the cold hard facts assuming I put in the right data. I don’t just leave out data, either. It spits on me sometimes, yeah, and I just am like: I’m a human, damn, was that necessary. The formula has no feelings for me. I’m someone whose brain maybe got corrupted by some algorithms that, as a female brain, it wasn’t made to handle. It’s not personal that people [including powerful men and very pretty people, the prettiest ever] are so terrible sometimes — to freaks — it just is.

At least I’m the type they bother to notice exists beyond them. I might still be making the adversity I feel I’ve been dragged through — too much of it, but no less than my closest friends and probably lover; I think that’s how it works, you attract people who understand all the kinks — about or all to do with image image image. (Or for that matter those having to do with the real me!) Sometimes as-we’ve-seen shitty “lowbrow” people have made the best friends to me, just, deplorable humans. But that’s complicated too, why am I describing people as lowbrow and, how would they describe me. There’s a hierarchy wherever-you-find-yourself stuck up to your neck; in some parts of America it’s steeper a mudslide, in some parts of the world like a 90 degree slope down, I suppose, toward being forgotten.

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Globalization and the straight shot online to a place overseas has its downsides — I’m riffing now, and manically depressed, don’t read into this part — the power differentials aren’t (like) getting smaller, not from my point of view on some planet in outer space called lonerland. I think feeling powerless [and I truly do, now] is painful but when I look at how crazy I start acting, writing madly and too confessionally for my own good ever, just wanting redemption or attention versus/from higher-ups: I find comfort in just, submitting I suppose, not fighting anymore, which I’m going to say means effectively letting myself not-in-a-corny-way be human.

I hear the suicidality among people with gendersexual confusion is higher than among strictly straight cis folk, so… maybe I’ll start taking that as proof I’m not straight, never was since I hit adolescence, I actually don’t know, I think that might be an easy way out of a much more complex series of causes, for my depression, e.g. how the world, and humans, can just be terrible; and how mental illness is in my genetics. There might be a gay gene, research supports it. Still, and I don’t doubt this is a problem (I’m playing devil’s advocate): I feel like it’s a privilege to be able to even use the word gendersexual in reference to one’s own identity, like chill? Just focus on being a person, I’ll speak for myself.

As a half-female half-goat I’m certainly not in a position, to become homotransphobic. But also not, to even have anyone care w.t.f. identity I am. No one wants to get close to it.

My reflections now, on how hard I tried to meet some [one] ideal, might explain how tempting it’s seemed to shoot myself up in the heels or head. I wanted to go beyond, to create movement toward something bigger. Bigger than me. I wanted to do that rather than just die and have less than a hundred people notice; ironically I stooped lower and slipped down like a penny rolling up the walls of a well. Really, I just wanted to be a part of something. I had dreams, just one actually, that Amy Winehouse got frustrated with me, for being too much of a fangirl and imitator. And, dork.

This is true. I also had that dream Caroline Calloway cut me off – or let’s say threatened to – and I started like crying on the spot “no stop!” I’m nothing.

Without her or Amy or Cat or all the single ladies, I don’t want to be a dork, but I’m worried — instead — I’ve ALMOST made myself into a female Incel, of sorts. (I recently encountered the word femcel and I have no idea what that means so I’ll stick with what I said.) Anyway. I guess I’ll jiss aim to meet a damn higher-up who in considering themself a higher-up, might go toward someone literally self less, like me. Poor in America: an Incel avert, god-willing.

Knowing my parents’ struggles, and I’m not sure this has a thing to do with involuntary celibacy — that literally was a joke but I know jokes aren’t always funny — today I feel there’s a danger to assuming that a hands-up given-up mindset is the best way of coping with the old bummer that is life, and the danger is being classified by others as not even human, then merely subsisting as someone subhuman and treating oneself that way; so, not treating oneself like a person with a self to defend, a soul or holy spirit or whatever feels meaningful in some way.

I’ll never resort to violence, despite being an old fan of Kathryn Bigelow, whose movies, are violent. I must admit now nevertheless, having paused to honor her unique approach to onscreen bloodshed — realistic but bearable, that might begin to cover it I guess — I feel bitter tonight, as though just-subsisting is sort of the outcome of some people getting to have larger-than-life identities. (Living their American Dreams, being honored while I watch it, a bit too old now to be inspired like I was at age 16, still watching the Oscars like *whoah, gasp.*) Plenty of Americans have lesser-than-life identities, roles they’ve come to just accept, succumb to.

**this part sucks and needs to be fixed** Plenty, and I mean plenty of Americans I’ve met, might just want to die.

They might not even want to and still end up dying, being picked off by self-righteous people with more power than them.

I’m not talking about race here, I could be but I’m not necessarily, ever actually. Unless those Americans just-surviving-barely [were to] submit to not fighting anymore against people with more power, life in this great land is going to feel like a civil war, for them. That war is taking place either inside of a computer, or in their minds, I’m not really sure all the time of the distinction. Anyway though. Once that submission takes place then it’s just about, lasting. Not rolling over dead. Not letting go of one’s self and kind of being dead.

I feel like I’ve submitted, I’ve rolled over and said “fuck it I’m no one.” Literally what else can I say. And TBH I feel better.

I’ll take a risk here as a writer and suggest that, there’s a balance to strike between holding onto oneself, guiding people to their selves after having lost themselves (which happens all the time to humans, they lose themselves); as opposed to just taking people’s selves from them, just because you ever got too gung-ho on your own selfhood, and you never paused to wonder if that solipsistic worldview with you at the center was not actual reality.

There’s a difference between living THE GOOD LIFE in all caps with the hashtag #gratitude as though God intended for you to incite a wellspring of envy from onlookers, like me, looking at Taylor Swift’s stuff. (Does she use that hashtag? Whatever she can take the flack which is why she is this book’s Kurtz.)

I feel there’s a difference between that and: just, living. Or surviving?

**note from editor: I think you “went places” in your head with the intention of understanding WTF is wrong with America, violence, and you still need to translate it to English.. some research, and quotes might help with that, no rush, stay saner you’re doing fine– define power explicitly**

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Most times I’ve voraciously consumed art, in the past few years, has been to find my self in it.

Sometimes I was literally looking for a shoutout. No, with my platform of 50 dollars and 50 followers I never got it, and, there’s no one seeking help from me despite my offers (!?) to help. But I think that’s more honorable than I’ve been able to recognize: yeah, the act of submission to just, walking around lost inside and alone as shit among people who seem better off — i.e. famous and rich — but as I walked, not dying, whilst being fucked by the world’s worst-eva whore, America itself? It deserves honor.

Maybe that’s why people attack American whores so much. They want their honor back. I’d tell them first of all (1) to stop being an incel and (2) to hold on to some hope. Even incels find girlfriends. Happens a lot. But, (3) to stay grounded in the present, and offline now and then — that’s probably the most important thing I could tell them. It might hurt.

Yaw, on the days I frame the world like a mostly merciless hellhole to those struggling or to those in danger literally always, out in the real world, no offense to people who feel differently but *standing on imaginary soap box SCREECHING* you’re the losers — NOT the most unseemly unfortunate-seeming humans; truly, those who are least fortunate unsubjectively start to look like, some royalty among us. For just lasting as long as they god knows somehow have lasted; who even knows what’s gone on in their minds. I wouldn’t judge if it’s a wee bit wonky, froggy, which is slang for ready to put up a fight.

However to be clear, when setting boundaries for how “wonky” is too far — for instance: isolated acts of violence, including violence online (e.g. verbal) — I would never, ever suggest by implication in some weirdass writing, including movie scripts, that another human deserves to get hurt or die just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or for being a whore.

Or (unrelated to last) for being dumb: in a bedroom, on the streets, on the message board, guhrl.

This project is not a defense of my self, as a still technically female writer who took things very far. It might be a defense of my country — which I think is in a mental health crisis, so, not quite a moral crisis but you can call it you want. F***king normies REEEEEE.

But reelly bro. Put the mask on and gun down, unfortunately [just ta be blunt] it won’t make you any less invisible, it’ll make you more, invisible, and I can’t help that part. Some people might notice, you’ve done the ratt thing. No one will, butt..

If you can’t do the right thing tonight, if you fucked that up somehow, then you’ve still done, alright. You’re still living. You survived! Ree

Therefore you can still do, good things. (Now, in ten years, in twenty, whenever you can, whenever you hit your stride. Just keep living.)

It’s not funny.

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At the very least hold the door for that weirdass dude or lady, even if you can’t tell which gender they are, you KNOW it’s probably someone channeling me. If it seems like the good thing to do, for somebody? Don’t SLAM it on its claws.

Be nice..

I’d hold the door whether or not Mx Weirdass With Her Claws Full — exiting the building a few steps behind — reminded me of me, in hard times but, it’s not my call what others decide. I guess trust your judgment, it might make a difference in someone’s life. One isolated act of kindness can go actually pretty f**king far; I mean, trust your gut. 😱😱😱😱🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

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My momma, she’s calmed down a bit, since my sis and I were kids. But flashback to when she and Dad would be declaring bankruptcy, just before that, she really went h.a.m. on the shopping trips. “Pick out whatever you want, girls,” Lex and I would be told, released like rodents from a cage in the Moah halls, not screeching anymore 🐀, quiet as mice, just ready to shop for some cool outfits, you earned it, baby whores.

“Go on.. go!”

Confused, our brains scattered across the mall’s many floors, we sprinted in frenzy to find better clothes. I found myself on the roof, not knowing how I got there, looking down at her dropping some bags in the van. “Thanks Mom!!” I shouted from the stars. ✨

 

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