Memoir piece 2

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Broadimage/Shutterstock (12440275w) Tavi Gevinson Rodarte show, Spring Summer 2022, New York Fashion Week, USA – 11 Sep 2021

One of my worst hang-ups as a writer undoubtedly, in the past at least, has been a hesitance to just be honest. There are two reasons for this worth explaining. The first is that I’ve felt if I don’t “sell myself” I will slip through the cracks, or worse-than-that, if I don’t make a bad scene that’s at least memorable, I will slip off the face of the earth. The second cause for any dishonesty has been actual superstition related to something close to voices in my head that I hear while writing; William Carlos Williams, a doctor and writer, actually according to a sort-of mentor of mine wrote an entire book himself about the voices he heard in medical school. Those voices are like “if you say that..” people will think all sorts of bad things

So whatever.

I am not in medical school and I haven’t read it yet; if I were a writer, full-time, I wouldn’t even mention that without having been sure to just read William Carlos Williams’ book The Doctor Stories which my own Dr. Friedberg recommended. (He probably saved my life and despite being a doctor, also just sees me as an artist-type.) The problem with doing both school and writing for my own purposes, not for a paycheck or for any clout or for anything but to figure out my identity, is that I don’t have time for what I’d consider “merely what it takes” to be a great, professional writer; doing your homework for that, instead for for Physics or college-level Calculus.

If I were to leave medical school it would be influenced once again by superstition, and it would be ridiculous, this time related not to any voices in my mind but by a post an internet celebrity named Caroline Calloway made once; approximately near when I even started paying close attention. She was visiting Cambridge her undergrad alma mater: she also went to NYU briefly. It was about discovering a fake cadaver in a room being used by Cambridge medical students, before the room was converted to a writer’s lab or something; I thought it seemed embellished like all her posts. But I was like “this is a sign, that I won’t be a doctor I’ll be a writer.” That’s also embellished: my thoughts are not that dumb or over-simple. My thoughts are much more elaborate and sometimes awful to sit with, but I know that if my thoughts are generally less awful or even sort of good, for instance after reading something that meets me where I’m at, then I should not run away from it! That said, and maybe this is confusing, I like it when the thoughts are both “good” and “elaborate” — so not just good, and dumb, as I suspect “good and dumb” is what happens when you’re ignoring the harder shit. It can totally backfire, like treating a fuckin’ bullet wound the wrong way just to make it feel better at first, to go with the easy thoughts and to never go deeper, ever, ever. At times it feels like an ultimatum between “awful and elaborate” thoughts and “good and dumb.” I hope that I can find a way around it, and that will influence my next steps: for instance if I were to decide to continue studying to be a doctor for the access it will give me to higher education, even if I wish I had time to write and pursue only a career in the arts and nothing else.

It’s true that an earlier draft of this book was named something a bit snazzier, Stalker, based on how Caroline Calloway (who unfortunately and to legit creepy extremes, I have stalked but never once corresponded with) almost titled her memoir Scammer or maybe she did. I think that’s a good title and she should stick with it. I changed my title twenty times or more as I changed my game and decided I don’t mind-that-much being a nerd and also, not a stalker of someone like her. I wouldn’t mind being someone like her and I think a lot of her fans feel that way, but she’s assured them “you don’t want this.”

I don’t know if I actually buy that but I might; it would depend on who I was compared to her. I think she’s a good artist, and unfortunately for her that’s the unpopular, contrarian opinion for a poor girl like me to hold — according to the internet and beyond. She promotes elitism and shit. I could argue that she’s misperceived and she quickly becomes the butt end of abuse, on the online jungle gym, and it is abuse that is actual abuse not well-meaning remotely; and I would tell her not to take that the wrong way because she’s different from other female artists who I might claim are “misperceived.”

I think my reluctance to be open about star worship habits, including I suppose of various memoirists who I one day hope to call contemporaries, altogether comes from a certain self-awareness that I’m old enough at age 27-28 when I wrote this to know that these people are probably [underneath my external shell, and theirs] more or less like me, not entirely but humans too: they too just want to be good at their work (unless of course they want to be THE BEST TO EVER HAVE LIVED, which would be grandiose), and so worshipping them is not the same as being [more than I have been] just respectful.

Therefore as I move through this actually, maybe close-to shareable draft of On Becoming a Doctor Instead of Someone Insane, an apt title, I’d be wise to be more honest than I have been of just what “stalking” people online, the highs and lows of it, has meant exactly for me. I don’t think it has to be all that dramatic or shameful.

It has been a pattern, probably noticeable to female writers out somewhere in the world. If I’m known to them, it is as a stalker-of-sorts. Not as some sort of queen.

I think the ideal case scenario would be that a plug from me in any of my work, despite how I’m not famous as I write this, would someday in the long run would an okay thing. I will not speak negatively of people I could or would like to describe as people I studied, in order to motivate myself to do something like this. To write something.. not something fancy but; to finally, I guess, write something truthfully. It’s not trying to seem cooler than I am.

Anyone might get tricked by cool-seeming shit and wake up wishing they’d never used the internet.

Our minds are universes no less mysterious than the actual universe, just as vast and filled with regions of slippery slopes to oblivion — where nothing comes of nothing and where loneliness slicks our wounds worse, bringing us further out from.. the truth. Excuse me if this is beginning to sound pretentious or just highfalutin. It is.

I will throw back to some memories, some real ones, to get my mind back on the ground.. time for a reality check like shooting Narcan up someone’s ass.

2022: Idk what you’re up to Toobin .. but you better stop fast

My favorite song is Frank Ocean’s “Close to You,” and I can’t think of anyone who would listen to it and not-wonder why the fuck that is my favorite song. I think having favorite songs or films is kind of stupid anyway but. This is how I’ll set the scene to introduce an actual memory or aggregate mass of some wonderful mems still in my head: not actually dramatic-feeling, the memories en masse. The memories now feel to me, altogether unseemly, like a pest I don’t particularly want to hold in my hands.

In my room on the eleventh floor of the Broadway dorm for upperclassmen undergrads, at Columbia, I used to wake up to a Mouse Trap boardgame-like arrangement of drug paraphernalia, strewn out on the floor. Before going to class I’d sit down eagerly like a kid ready to play it. Then I’d go to class. If I wasn’t in class though, I would listen to music in bed. Very infrequently, but enough times that I had “friends” down there, I’d make trips to Midtown to restock on my board game supplies. I knew a guy in my phone as Benny whose name I suspected was a street name (I actually had a street name, too..); I’d give him a call to make sure he was there, then I’d just hop on a train and be back within the hour. I was frugal with how much I used and spent and I could have lived like that forever, or it felt like this, literally like I was connected to something greater than me, though it’s unlikely I would have survived. I’ve had two overdoses, they both took place around then, and one of them, because I remember the specifics of dosing up I do-go-ahead and describe as a suicide attempt. Like in Heaven Knows What, like the scene when she fucking wants it all at once; oh but the next time is so much, worse. I wouldn’t describe this all as a “dark time” in my life as much as a time characterized by emptiness with no emotion there: I didn’t care what came next for me, time didn’t really seem to pass, people used to remark that I looked good because my weight was lower and that’s about the extent of what I remember of my social connections. Am I doing a lot better now? I’d say I am getting there. Occasionally I even feel nostalgic for all this, because it seemed like my physically abhorrent, secret world inside my room, the blood where I’d maybe stepped on a glass apparatus was all, like, my dear friend. It was so cool.. It presented sort of a challenge to keep it hidden (and of course, to survive, very cool: again, not really “a dark time”), not a challenging time that kept my brain busy, but it was enough of a challenge that I could keep playing and playing and playing, like a video game I guess: about a rockstar whose heroism came down to not giving an abject shit. Meaning-in-life itself was an enemy, the thought of it unutterable; so I continued to drift and if the number of shits I gave could be recorded somewhere in chalky tones as a negative number, they would have been. But no one cared to chalk me down or up, to influence me in any direction I could sense. They left me at it or just left, honestly like, get away.. I got my first F in a class, didn’t care remotely. Used the internet. I never talked to any friends. It wasn’t that bad until it was. I had nothing left.

There is a poem by one of my favorite living poets, titled after one of my favorite actors. The poem is called “Philip Seymour Hoffman” and it is by Nick Flynn.

*** finish

**dream

If we are to take violence as an escape from depression, then how would I ever sift through the feeling I got when ___ came rushing back of “wanting to shoot someone.” It literally was not directed at anyone specific. I just remember that feeling, once or twice. I feel like if I weren’t a bit self-awarely masculine I’d never have felt it, or been willing to admit that I had felt it.

I don’t think I can be much of an effective speaker on eating disorders when I just, look so bad these days by my own estimation (I’d become an example of why to have an eating disorder and stay a drug addict), but as someone with exposure to both the fields of Information Technology and medicine, who knows the negative effects that the internet can have on girls’ self-esteems and also honestly on the past century of feminist progress [in that men are getting a lot of control “back” in what values are considered most desirable: looking good, not being ungrateful either if you do or don’t] (men can be just as vain b.t.w. or deranged by expectations to look good) [or to have someone.. and you’re lucky to have him], I would, in the name of medical technology that allows us insight and some freedom, optimistically encourage learning or teaching the healthiest plausible approach early on — while thur yung; calling all mothers! — even if yur girl does end up a fox which I know you secretly want for her, she’ll have en edge overall if she knows how to put her real-life health including mental health over some image or some guy’s image of her. Better if he knows how to mind his boundaries too! That’s what I’ll say on that one, mentioning, a second time, that I can’t be seen as the expert here because inherently, based on how I look I won’t be seen as one.

However I can call in famous supermodel Emily Ratajowski who I once heard say this on a Times podcast called “Sway,” hosted by a famous tech writer named Kara Swisher. I think I could easily be seen as the foil to wiser women in the world like Emily Ratajkowski but she writes well, about being looked at, and says this in her interview:

“Yeah, I don’t really think it’s about beauty. I think it’s just being a woman. I think you go through the same negotiations every woman does when she’s getting ready in the morning and deciding, like, how much of her body she’s going to show or not show and how that’s going to empower or disempower her. And the other thing I’m really interested in exploring, and the question in the book [My Body], is what is empowerment, and what is power?”

Recently I implied if I weren’t self-awarely masculine I wouldn’t bother to think about gun violence in America; at least not from the perspective of someone actually kind of violent. My favorite films growing up included Kill Bill both parts and the second remake of Charlie’s Angels starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. Those films aren’t not feminine, but it’s also true that I like films such as No Country for Old Men: it might be in my top three. It’s a bit violent, directed by the Coen Brothers who grew up in St. Louis Park within 25 miles of where I grew up in Minneapolis. That reminds me — speaking of director brothers, who are Jewish and have a sharp sense of humor — to mention that I like [sometimes violent] films by the Safdie Brothers, whose longtime producer and friend Sebastian Bear-Mcclard is the husband of Ratajkowski, and a co-parent with her, though literally the second I Googled his name to get the spelling right just now I see that after four years they are breaking up. I swear I had a premonition; that is sad to hear though.

I am not even a huge fan or anything of this person, but I saw a film on Youtube about Ratajkowski’s pregnancy and just what I remember is not that it was directed by Lena Dunham — and probably worth a watch; what I remember is one of the comments that might have said “her pregnant lol is how I look when I’m not.” I was like dawg.

In college I met a screenwriting friend named Jillian Carroll who I used to refer to as Jules in earlier written work about her; these days I call her “Jill.” We lost touch briefly after I said some insulting things, probably implying that I didn’t have time to help with creative work on behalf of a stock-trading house she and her boyfriend Noruwa Agho, a former college basketball star, were trying to bring up from nothing.

I do remember the day we met, though it actually might have been the second day we met because I didn’t even notice her on the first day of class. I feel like she doesn’t introduce herself to that many people, but I was struck by how her eyes looked possessed. I was like her eyes.. literally wtf.. later I learned she had in colored contacts.

What she said was “I looked up your student film and couldn’t stop watching it,” she said it was “good” so I was like “oh she’s just a lying kissass” and then we ended up close friends.

I would tell her about reading signs in posts by Selena Gomez, like a birthday post once for Taylor Swift. Jillian would actually spin me further into imagining that shit meant something. I thought Selena Gomez knew who I was.

There are moments in New York still, coming off a year when I “studied” and practically abused some dozen women on the internet, when I’ll be sitting in a Starbucks in my area and a remarkably put-together woman, tiny, comes in after a workout and picks up something she ordered already and sits down as though no one’s there. It is at moments like these I am reminded [as though fielding an intrusive thought] of how literally at my most mental, I projected a lot onto a writer and performer, famous in New York and getting more famous, named Tavi Gevinson — who might possess some of the same traits as that random stranger I saw or I might have been using my imagination which I’ll stop doing after leaving in this paragraph, a paragraph which I liked but which I might regret having left in, because it sort of implies that I am here to stay as a fan when I don’t really want to feel beholden to that: I do like good work though — [and] who of course would be someone I’m drawn to as a star for how she has worked with the late Stephen Sondheim, and I-think-she-might-like David Foster Wallace (another idol of mine, for better or for worse), and who’s half-Jewish and turned out to be a screen actress who I think could be really good but shouldn’t be leaning into compliments like that from me when I am a psychopath and it would reflect negatively on her self-esteem. Deep down I think she seems very confident which is something people will want to stifle. I don’t really know what to say about what follows, it will come back once in this book: I think for a year I made a fool of myself on the internet, about the long-running TV flick Gossip Girl a show she stars on; I am not up to anything clever by describing it as a TV flick. And there is not much else to say about it to her ever. [Actually it was less than a year so.. that’s like nothing: people lose their whole lives to worse things.] Anyone who would write a piece for New York Magazine standing up to Scott Rudin, is incredible; I’ve also looked up to some of her other pieces. This girl is a real writer. 

It would seem [however?] that since Tavi has played a teacher who stalks students on a reboot of a show called Gossip Girl — which apparently obsessed me, she has become a part of my dreams maybe fantasies, but mostly nightmares related to a sort of female pedophilic shitstorm that I can’t get out of my system. Probably is more childhood and shit but. Sometimes it’s like, I look around and I see it. So if her names come up, in the rest of this book, first of all yikes it’s not something I intend to go too lite with. I mean I always write as though I might die so…

In the event that I ever do get recognition prehumously I’d hypothetically caution her from engaging with me because this all is very uncomfortable for me, I was a jerk and it is not about me. It is not about anything. That is not being stated defensively: the best case scenario is that I am as infamous, and unfamous but still infamous as I think I am — which might be not at all remotely [the best case scenario], but I’ll continue to stick with that because that would mean I have control of a narrative that right now feels very touchy and all in flux. Some narratives are probably self-defensive; honestly the more self-deprecating ones

It’s like a shield and ultimately I feel a lot of envy for You Tavi. Ugh! I can’t how much I wrote on this.

How much will become clear. I think a lot of it was like drafts but at some point it’s like damn stop.

For me ever since listening to all of Oprah’s Master Class podcasts, my life choices have never been a goal to do anything for the sole purpose of “meeting more famous/successful people” who I admire deeply and have studied and stuff, because it might be upsetting, they probably saw something I wrote about them online, and, we are all just ourselves and in some ways we can relate to one another but if you’re not successful and you’re around successful people it’s more of a challenge. I think if you’re pretty and not successful then it opens doors and I would fathom the actual distinct subtleties of that as someone who used to dress up to do that; it’s like getting dinner with a pedophile. At age fucking 18, did I know better. Look how much it fucked me up. If I were richer, or just a little prettier not like sexually viable material would I have gotten less fucked up. Is it not true that those were good stories? They might be but I feel like I messed up. I am on my own path and trying to meet people, and doing it differently after learning from mistakes can sound like trying to shove oneself onto someone else’s path like the wolf character in Into the Woods. Never mind that your red outfit is too young for the real you deep down. Honestly it is a reason to avoid meeting these stars in my own life experience but that’s been my own experience as someone who took a while to sort of concede that I’m an outsider. I’m aware I’m a wolf. I am actually kind of serious about all this.

I don’t think people know how to talk to me Wolverine [that’s why I inserted that weird pic earlier, so you can scroll up and compare it to Hugh Jackman] and I end up leaving feeling very bad. It wasn’t always like this. But other things might have gotten better; I do actively resent myself trying to be the old-me because it’s kinky or something.

I am honestly just trying to save myself time and grief in preparation for never because I got obsessed as a gay stalker and I do not mean to play the victim of a literal celebrity — how are you the victim, they deal with so much.. however my evidence to the contrary might start with Billie Eilish. According to themes in a number of her tracks, it’s a bad idea to basically go near stars: you might hurt them too. I’m thinking of her songs “Ilomilo” and “Your Power.”

It is the best way ever to go mad in America, to chase the hare and compromise your own ideals constantly, in the act of chasing them: though you may indeed succeed that way.

I think the amount I’ve written about the same topics, would make it start to seem that I have early onset dementia. So I am sorry about how redundant it is. It’s really like: if I were a filmmaker I’d have one film about this weird thing, another about that other thing, and so on. Instead my writing — probably like Tavi’s early shit — is just something [no offense to her] you’re lucky if someone reads all of because it’s just like a diary and you might have minced words carefully and it might have felt super meaningful, but at the end of the day you look back and are like “oh. I’m [she’s] not even like, the same person anymore — and what the fuck does anything mean. It seemed so important before.”

I like David Lynch films and my favorite is probably Eraserhead, which is the weirdest just perhaps though a lot of them are “weird” so who knows, they do calm me down. Sometimes I base my aesthetic as a nearly trans girl on that film: it might be a phase, my family can only hope that I don’t show up to every dinner with my hair like that. That was a [not funny] joke because my family wouldn’t notice and we don’t have family dinners where it would matter. We’re actually kind of poor, not poser poor.

I got into school initially on a full ride. A therapist I had, who was recommended to me by a professor, Margaret Vandenburg, once said that envy is the cause for some of the worst things humans are capable of. My mom says a lot of grief or even anger is caused by yearning for what was lost that was good like a good friendship, a good connection that at some point went off the rails. What if I experience a bad dream featuring a friend of 14 wasted years: a dream that literally feels like getting shot in the heart, or something. If I seek that in dreams for the rush or god knows — getting shot in some way — like in dreams about a Hollywood black book, or dreams with this girl Layla I grew up with, then that would explain why I keep having them but I usually am right about this kind of thing. It’s not gonna work out, we won’t ever be friends again. It is too deep a betrayal, whatever kind of happened, maybe not to me. But it’s not all about you. This sounds unfair. Losing a friendship, one or two after the drug addiction, has been harder for me historically than break-ups with guys. To be fair being stood up to, left that way, is probably the reason I got sober even from alcohol (I don’t drink), which might really limit my options for who will be friends but I’m pretty much medicated enough [compared to your normal Joe] to be lucky to have any in this life, or to have a good albeit abnormal life, and there’s just something about it, about these dreams of losing friends, that sucks, and maybe that something is reality catching up..

Or maybe it’s a side effect. If you read between the lines of the above few paragraphs, I thought based on dreams that people were sending killers!! If that is the case, to whoever lol, good luck with your lives, maybe you can write a good film or a piece sort of about it. I mean I can too. It is not my job to make you feel better that you’ve hit that much of a low. I promise the later parts of this memoir will be less abstract and not just sort of a psychiatric monologue from me: the monologue is happening live and might become insightful later. Unfortunately the rest of this chapter kind of is still me on the chaise like The Clothed Maja: skip to chapter 7 if you’re not in the mood for it anymore — not in the mood for me rambling. — or skip to chapter The End if you’re not in the mood for it, ever again.

I was saying. Perhaps, these are all just gay pervy love dreams catching up with me in the night. The murder fantasies included. To be blunt sometimes they’ve been like that and so bad that I’d consider meds to make them less fucked up. Just kidding. (Ask me what meds I’m on.)

If so then I’ll find someone I can be gay and pervy with, that shouldn’t be too difficult but it might be, it truly might be: we’ll see, I’ve seen a lot of people who seem like they logically should never find a mate be the ones who end up in really good things. They are the lucky ones.

My favorite classical piece is “Love Dream.” Using the word “classical” can betray one’s ignorance about piano compositions and classical music, because there are so many different sub-genres and periods. I think it falls into the Romantic period which makes it easy to memorize for a Music History test. Love Dream –> Romantic.

Sort of picking up on the tune, for the first time, which resembles a bipolar headache, was not quite the same type of wonder as a younger person I experienced upon rehearsing the Suite Bergamesque, which first of all should be different because it is different, it’s a piece from the next century: but the way it is not different is that it’s something most kids know by name, and it’s known for a reason. It is known, because it’s beautiful and you can’t resist: I wonder the same way if muses can be like this — beautiful and impossible to resist — but I know as a former straight girl, maybe a closet case, one can become attached to the idea of having a boyfriend more than the boy. So I wonder if there’s a difference between wanting to have a muse and having one that’s real (for the guy that is). I say it all here, not situated in some different context, because, a certain mystique behind a number of great, irresistibly great classical piano compositions has to do with how there was a muse behind it. I haven’t heard that many people trash on “Clair de Lune”; if they do it’s because it has become a bit cliché I guess, ever since Debussy’s most famous piece made the soundtrack of the huge Hollywood blockbuster Twilight, to use that song as the soundtrack to your own love life. Something like that. (NB: I loved when a rendition of “Clair de Lune” by Isao Tomita made a sequence in the middle of the Safdie Brothers’ film Heaven Knows What, which stars a muse who did a good job being a muse: Arielle Holmes.) [It is like literally one of the best performances in a film I’ve seen in the past decade; maybe just because I think the opioid crisis is a big deal and it’s like the only finer film sort of very approximately about it.] I know that Debussy the composer of that timeless smash hit love track had some muses in his day. They seemed like real muses and, it might have helped the music!!

Arielle or “Ari” Holmes is someone I heard about, as though she were a celebrity, from real people I met on the street — before I even knew who the Safdie Brothers were. I heard about how she would go into hotel rooms and pistol whip guys who were creepin’ on her; not herself but the guy she was with. This kind of shit. Can you believe it.

I am scared of famous people, I have not had the best experience with famous people beyond a certain checkpoint around my grand entrance into adulthood as someone battered and gross: it was probably after I left Lincoln Center — the place that discovered the Safdies if I’m not entirely wrong.. I think that Filmlinc helped a lot — and while interning there I kind of had the whole-thing of press conferences demystified, disenchantified for me. Once Kathryn Bigelow was nice to me, and Jessica Chastain was like “write something for me!” It was like being a kid around stars. Yeah. I felt that going back would be a very negative experience because of just everything. I am an anti-poster child for the ravages of time if you don’t find ways to surf them.

I am self-conscious at this second of how almost every sentence starts with the word “I,” which is how my dad criticized a note I wrote to Idina Menzel at age 13 — not a muse but someone I was a fawning fangirl of. I am 28 currently; I feel like I would like to not be a “fawning fangirl.” The famous people I’ve had good experiences with were the ones who I connected to about the work, not about being their fan. That said, I think I like a good film and it seems like the star system has changed so it’s more about creating good stars, than creating good films. I don’t know if there’s a problem with that besides that it seems a bit like commodifying real living people, and for them that must mean going to extra lengths to hold onto themselves behind their performing work.

Jillian would remind me that they put up with a lot and it’s a self-sacrificing thing to be: a performer. A star.

Makes it harder to be an actor, I’d guess. Because you have to protect your Self at the same time you’re playing a fucking role. I don’t know if this is making sense but it’s something I’ve thought about. Maybe that is why the Safdies’ films which often involve “real people” as leads, not trained actors, sort of shine at this time as unparalleled, though they wouldn’t be the types, of films, that won Oscars e.g. for fuckin’ real acting.

My suspicion among people who I meet in my school program — who I don’t end up friends with on social media because they don’t ever have it unless it’s for business or to stalk and because mine is never for friends.. I don’t know what it’s “for”.. to hurt myself?? (probably to be passive aggressive and to abuse my powerlessness to the extent that powerful people think of me as a sociopath.. and recently with some posts I’ve done a pedophile.. [they might]) do some background on me via sleuthing, and ultimately somehow people actually do figure out without me stating it that I’ve been cancelled. I don’t even know either if I’ve been cancelled, and I would not be honored if I were, I think it’s horrible in all ways to have one’s reputation destroyed but I can keep the facts in tow wherever I take my real self in my bodily form which has gone downhill I would say pretty fast like someone who got sick.

That is my suspicion, about what people think — I’m kind of a mess.. — but it’s just as likely that they don’t care and have never tried to figure it out: that’s like, narcissistic to believe.

I think with the internet there’s always this white noise of shitty nihilism about not caring what’s done online because it’s just the stupid internet: but then people constantly are hypocrites in the choices they make based on how it will alter their internet presences, if not their brains and their selves, and I am not judgmental of that because I think a lot is at stake which is the strangest part.

It is a professional requirement practically to have killer social media. Killer.

They become enactors of AI villainy by merely signing on to the gram: next thing you know they’re all becomin’ cannibals, baby killers, molesters and, like me, kind of trans.

I don’t even use it but damn.

How’s my own experience been with the gram been when I had up to like 300 followers [woo!], not great: some people in real life will remember the old-me and they might have some opinions, either about the old-me or about the new-me compared to the old-me — so I am seizing the narrative to the extent that I can with my own hands, so my hands which are not chopped off like Lavinia’s when seizing-the-narrative successfully before it’s rewritten by people I don’t like who do not care about me, much less whether I care for them or their work or their own life stories.

I don’t care but that’s because I am practical and have thought about it so compulsively; I have definitely overthought about how lucky I am to sort of be able to start again. Not that many people know who I am. That’s not always how it goes though, the non chopping off of any hands, when people hold you accountable “for the truth.” But it certainly is how it works, when you’re unknown and no one fact-checks or checks anything about my writing — they might check my emails to them, stuff like that but most people generally don’t believe you when you have a bipolar diagnosis and awful paranoia and a tendency to make everything up and the stuff you make up is like, horrible: I actually am not playing the victim on that because I think it’s all so authentic even the typos-I-make usually.

I imagine a lot and some of the things I imagine are you-don’t-wanna-know just horrible; that’s not actually a bipolar thing, it’s more “schizoaffective” but.. if that sounds scary: I’ve been through comprehensive psychological assessments, honestly literally years. (Which makes it less scary, right?) I went off the map and now avoid people because I know their first thought will be she looks a lot different.

I’ve never been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I am sorry if this all sounds very procedural like record-keeping and I know, always, that I am talking to myself: the good news is nothing’s on the line with this project. Oh and the good news about not having schizophrenia — besides that I can’t imagine literally anyone who would want that horrible disorder except maybe someone bargaining from a worse illness for a lesser one [there might be worse illnesses probably; more lethal ones] — but still, anyway, having glimpsed down those rabbit holes is that I’m not that judgmental of things in real life that are you-don’t-wanna-know just horrible like that Tavi Gevinson became a pedophile [can you imagine something worse, ’cause I can’t]; chances are my dreams as mentioned have been actually been that bad. Not always though, meaning sometimes I see the beauty in topics like murder. As Kanye West once wrote of his experience with severe mental illness, “the most beautiful thoughts are always [beside] the darkest.”

That line is from one of my favorite tracks by him — disturbing but it helps me understand egotistical men who haven’t been the kindest — even though the whole second half of the track (“I Thought About Killing You”) doesn’t make sense; I am not one to judge word salad, I am one to eat it up!? Like Anna Mae.

Everything that proceed in this memoir — particularly the later parts: the oxymoronic upcoming memories of my past — happened exactly as it all was meant, that is being stated in self-defense.

When I think about the posts I made, or the DMs I sent, before essentially coming to terms with my mental illness including yes-a-STALKER-side that I have since brought up in therapy where she was like “no big deal” (and, when I think about finding help for all this; probably only prompted by a stark fall from my even keel decent-performance in Science/Tech/Engineering/Math classes), I honestly do know the posts were really weird and I get upset, but, I realize people don’t care and that’s hard too, then after teetering on the edge of another episode, I assume something along the lines of “none of that even got seen,” and this is so I can move on.

I was going nuts. It was probably more or less obscene [I know because I looked back at some of them when I was doing slightly better and was horrified; the best one was the garbled, Sophie’s Choice-themed post that I distinctly remember saying out loud while I typed, about an arbitrary girl that was all like “Eine Kleine! Nacht butsch”] (and that is when Sophie blocked me.. a fateful moment) — I am embarrassed but, life isn’t that long — that wasn’t even a joke, the Sophie’s Choice thing, it actually is not funny and; as I was saying it is kind of probable that this shit I said didn’t get seen by many people. The probability is high that most of it was, not seen only some of it was, and this is something I suppose I can live with. It’s just a little awkward. And why should I care when I don’t have followers.

I should care because that’s why I don’t. And some people DO have followers and say weirder stuff that just seems less weird.

Yes, hard to explain. Some narratives are probably self-defensive, in this case probably unnecessary to write up. I do think it’s being done in hope that people will care enough someday to be curious about that person’s psyche; by then I won’t having time for this kind of shit, or I’ll have moved on or died and someone in the family will read it. That’s a dream though, a good one, the part about people caring, maybe beyond the fam. One of the worst parts about going through treatment, and meeting all the people having a hard time, too, is that you realize nothing makes sense at all and the road to hell is paved with self-comparison. Nevertheless you can learn a lot from just listening.. maybe instead of just talking.

In real life I don’t talk that much so here’s where it all goes.

It is shameful how many posts and passages on famousish writers I’ve written and deleted, people who someday can MeToo me and I’ll be famous suddenly as the first biological girl to have ever been MeToo’ed not trying to MeToo someone [yes!] (I can suddenly be comrades with all the true victims with their unmet sex needs..) — but I’m embellishing a little because I’ve already tried to MeToo people and I’ve found comfort as a fan girl, not going to be the it-girl ever, who doesn’t really want to be famous because I would probably go downhill mentally in a snap and people sitting on Versace sofas in my nightmares doing business together would be like “laugh laugh laugh.” I’d be like no one’s listening to me, help.. no help arrives?

There are ways to stay off the map.

In treatment in an icebreaker game once we went around the room and each had to answer someone’s question “Would you want to be famous.”

This was in Minnesota near my hometown: everyone one was like “no.” “Nope.” “Nah..” “No.” (Too much scrutiny, pressure.) Back then in 2017 I was the only one to say, “yes, I want to be a writer,” and as a writer who observes people I thought they were all lying a tiny, tiny bit and pulling off a very good poker face. But now I’m not sure I would assume they were lying. If I were to go back in 2022 I’d say, “no,” like everyone else; and I wouldn’t be lying: I just wouldn’t care, like, enough about my life and some wholistic narrative attached to it, as opposed to my a life as a sort of a vessel that can either be good sometimes or not at all. I think that’s like the depressive human-condition. You just want to feel better, you would do anything.

Take the pills, with weight gain as an almost guaranteed side effect. (Too soon. Not a good joke.) I am someone who doesn’t really come across in any mirrors I look in while sane as a quote “fan girl”-type like I used to, which [back then] would mean someone wearing not quite designer clothes but still visually fleek and willing to stand out a little, self-aware that I’m not one of the elite — so not trying anymore.. — the reverse or converse, perhaps of pretending I’m still not the elite when I am now like what Lorde does. I wish she’d stop.

I like Lorde a musician’s work in case she or Taylor Swift her composer-friend reads this [95% a joke]; Lorde is way younger than yours truly The Author and according to herself Lorde is “like a prettier Jesus” which is cute [I’m not flirting] because her name is Lorde, but, by the way during mental breakdowns this is actually something that very severe headcase patients allegedly dare-to-say they do sort of experience: that they are Jesus.

These days The Author comes across in all ways not just visually like someone either [1] still a bit insane even though I’m not, I honestly just need to wash my face more, take a fucking shower holy shit and get out of this Poor Tom’s a-cold outfit; or I might come across as, [2] more grown up these days than a “fan girl” and no longer a straight girl, a bit Busch though a lot of people in history right now who aren’t gay look like they are gay, and anyway, whatever I just insinuated — everyone’s gone a bit Croix Eee sexual identityw-ise and doesn’t know who or what they are anymore — it is true that I’ve found comfort in the following.. in realizing just how many people online are in exactly the same place. Like moix ee ee [translation: ME!] they get addicted to a person, a stranger, a God or not, whoever it is, some person they met and fucked and lost themself to even like 5% of themself, or maybe to some imaginary entity: it was never love.

It was nothing. It was worship for some star if it’s that kind of thing.. hard for famous real humans who are like “these fans are mentally ill what did I do wrong”.. and people get hurt really badly because they’re not 100% situated inside-and-of their own individual unique snowflake hot or not selves. The stars are like “please just be yourselves” and the fans are like “I would rather be You though!!”

The only way I can imagine that going differently is a really really good relationship where you’re like 50-50 and it ebbs and flows to like 55-45 and 60-40 on some weeks when a person is doing better and then back to 51-49 and it’s just a good loving bond — and it’s real. Not like 90-10 though, if it got that bad I would leave next time.

younger writing in edits, I was naïve

I think the cancelled filmmaker in me once saw potential for a great biopic about this one twisted fiction-memoirist Cat Marnell, because I’m a pervert, and her book which read like a crazy movie, gave me license to be THIS self-centered in my “book.” Her memoir How to Murder Your Life which I don’t recommend to my more academic relatives — like.. this one time when I was working my undergrad desk job in the library and my co-worker, a guy, kept buying all the books I was reading and I was like please just don’t — because they’ll judge my taste.

The book which may not be in my top 3 favorite books but is in my top 50 has some dark scenes of sex and drug abuse such as that one time she.. [no, no no *fingers typing can’t stop.. CANCEL POLICE STORM THE PAGE*] never mind, and I think her rival memoirist Caroline’s entire life story up to my current age has been sold to be made into a movie script by people more experienced and rich than me, and every time I say “people more rich than me” I’m afraid they’ll play the victim on how it’s very alienating to be rich, but the point is I am not even a working filmmaker; otherwise, I’d have just no-pun-intended dogged the enemy Carole Calloway in order to make her life into a film [as though she hasn’t basically already achieved this alone (see we’re not that different! I’ve done that too and can)] for the next forty years, which is how old Cat is. Forty!!

I’ve said that if the “my-life-is-a-movie” method-writing mess that these people embody were a genre, it would belong to the same one written in to history by Cat Marnell, Caroline Calloway, maybe Anna Delvey who I don’t like particularly (how far would you go for attention damn), and then, a sex poet and performer named Rachel Rabbit White who hosts orgies that sound gross to me but hey, and finally Julia Fox who has incorporated her own blood into art shows and used her body as art [etc. look her up] — and then, as myself the least feminine among them, the most like Allen Ginsberg… I arrogantly went ahead and coined this still mostly undefined genre “spunk” thinking of the terms “beat” as well as “jazz” which derives etymologically from the word “jism.” If either Josh Safran or Josh Safdie [who as film artists might also fall into this overall genre trend, kind of like autofiction] doesn’t fuck with my characters who are like my friends in his work, my work which I’ve copyrighted — like god knows I wouldn’t put it past these geniuses to pull off anything and get away with it.. that shit is hard work and I failed at it not you — then maybe I can be seen as a good influence on them, someday, just as someone who humbled myself to the work it takes to heal my brain after drug abuse, etc. Some drugs are grandiose drugs and make you do things like be-mean in your work, for kicks.

I like Josh Safdie’s work more than the other guy’s but that is just my taste. It is more my world. It might just be better but time will tell and maybe I’m scared I’ll get the whip if I insult Josh Safran the guy behind new Gossip Girl — the show that made me think this girl Tavi, who plays new Gossip Girl, is a pedophile and that’s because she is on the show as a pedophile and some boundaries were a little interesting; she also looks like, well, well over a million bucks lately so good choices as an up and comer I’d agree. She used to look ratchet, like me!! But anyway I think I trash on it later in this book at least twice [I’ve done so many annoying drafts that honestly I can’t remember]. So whatever.

I left it alone!! That is the history; even though it took me a year to purge it from my system. How did I even watch that show, I wasn’t doing great in my summer session 2021 and I was sad, eating a Subway sandwich and I watched six episodes in a classroom. I had a visceral response to some of Tavi’s new photoshoots; like I felt extremely affected by them including ones that were a little weird but mostly just good. Josh Safran said her performance on Gossip Girl was “effortless”; I learned this from looking at one of the photoshoots that struck me as absolutely stunning but strange, like hyper-real, and I saw that as a pull quote. I thought she kept twitching and shit, I would describe it as a caricature of how a real human would act in a way that made her face sometimes contorted. I don’t know about effortless, that’s just not the word I was seeing — maybe sometimes, on the show and in that Vanity Fair photoshoot.. but I feel unwilling to close-read this as though it’s Citizen Kane or Persona where every shot notoriously contains answers. I said Mom look at this, do you think something about it seems weird, she said; no it just looks like she lost some weight to be on TV, do you think you were protective. I said probably.. or just jealous. It did seem like some reconnaissance was happening to clear ground for actually highbrow art — but everyone working class who watched the show said, “it’s not as good as the first Gossip Girl,” sometimes they said it sucks and I had to say-for-myself who did study it because I was fascinated by it, that everything about human nature I saw on the show deeply disturbed me to the extent that I felt the will to troll about it — sometimes in manic videos wherein I looked like a warthog. I was cognizant of how bad I looked and how that might de-legitimize me in all ways. On the show: I guess it was like rich people human nature, not poor human nature which I know better. Poor nature is like “oh she’s just a lonely friendless teacher who wants to fit in with the student of color, ignore it sweetheart” … certainly not like, OH this should go in The New York Times, I’m sending in a tip about how an Instagram gossips about students at a prep school. If it did it would be like something Alex-Warrick-who-attended-Hewitt’s boyfriend wrote; he did a write-up on Matt Gasda for The Times. Hewitt the real place I think was an influence on the whole thing that was Gossip Girl which became a year of my life, and that’s upsetting, but really it was a thing way back in middle school when people would read the novel-version in the hallways for scenes about high school kids taking Viagra. Still I didn’t think it was inaccurate, because I’ve been near the rich stuff — I made out with a kid from Horace Mann [not necessarily the most elite school, lots of scholarship kids who probably get the best grades], who had his dick out and I was like “I’m tired” and he was like “I feel like I already raped you” because of all the stuff about that going on, at our school at the time and I was like “na” — but anyway GG2.0, hm. Trash or highbrow trash or not I didn’t think it was human nature and I was apparently bothered by that, like hot and bothered?? Was it cyborg nature? Am I using the word cyborg right? Is that the new Nietzschian übermensch on our hands, ready to be mistaken as something else by some new age Nazis enacting AI villainy on Instagram? I found myself concerned about Honor Levy clone prototypes, or about literal her — the writer-girl with a good name, not a pseudonym, who has some weird lines in some of her pieces like about people just getting pregnant; I’m like is that a thing, in high schools. These things are hardly perceptible and who knows but I feel like good writing is like that; it just contains things.

Who cares but I did care enough to stop studying and focus on this all and I failed exactly two tests — starting to sound now-again like the time I was doing heroin, getting F’s — yes I got an F in one entire class. Like actually though: that’s exactly what kind of decided, I’m focusing on this. And I regret it. If I get into med school, it’ll be from demonstrating my commitment to humans in other ways??

Probably fucked it all up.

This book-thing was part of my fucking it all up. Some parts are good, it needs edits overall.. I would edit all the parts about the same people again and again but I also would just treat it as some weird thing that happened. A dream.

I don’t think I did say to my mom I was jealous in real life of suddenly-prettier Tavi, who dresses like a bit of a suuper dykey teacher on the show (that’s sarcasm), but I said it ~here~ in the narrative: when I figured that out!!! I was jealous not just of that but of her whole situation and things therein, maybe material things, who wants to know but I found ways to, go my own way and just be open to a better future. I don’t think my present life is that good but it’s nice pretending that writing shit like this is a good idea. I don’t know if I’m being mean about the contortionist-acting [literally not believable but somehow there it is onscreen and no one’s getting hurt] because I don’t act I just watch acting. I know enough about it from taking classes; the best acting these days is on longform TV, in films it’s just about being a star who people liked before, but that might all be changing fast. I don’t even watch TV; when I could read or watch films.

I think if I don’t find a way to make them then as a critic I will go crazy and get mean like Sarah Nicole Prickett who should just swallow her pride and help me work on films: and still be a critic but she can also just help make the state of cinema a little better, not causing literal violence or letting things get a little worse each year. She’s been working on it all her life (watching, studying them, interviewing people) and I’d guess she’s a pacifist-type but she would have better words for it because she’s protective of her self and her voice, as one should be. She’s super fucking smart and picky. I stalked her too so Tavi’s not the first and is not the queen…

Tavi is a love-hate type of performer, it would seem. Lots of people dislike. Is it envy. I tend not to underestimate the people’s taste and we’ll see how the role changes or how her self changes but, sure, I got protective. I think she’s actually really good, I have visceral responses [like I said] and she used to just be really specific only this gamine quirk girl but now I don’t think she is: right now she’s at an interesting moment where she looks like a little girl with something in her eye that suggests she’s not, at all. It might be creepy but, it might just be the outcome of her whole story and what I’d project, when I see her.. hm: if I got “over involved” I’d be honored that I got that label, which might be weird but hey. Admitting is the first step. Unfortunately this is not the last time I mention her as someone who I effectively, made up all by myself, as a frustrated artist who spends more times watching complex character-driven movies in my wigging brain than actually really good films on screens.

What I liked when I did read Rookie and which I’d like to pick up on my own art is this sort of affect in the work that makes it feel like you’re just reading it at your house or room or whatever, and you’re still young: but I don’t think that should be the case if you’re not still young and, I wouldn’t look back.. what I mean is just, you’re not all riddled by outside influences yet. I think what I also noticed was that this show Gossip Girl proved black people could work because pretty much a lot of it was being shot and done by black people. Not that it would be the show that did that. There have been tons of shows before that but not tons where Jeremy O. Harris literally writes something for it around the moment he broke through, as a huge name and historical figure in the arts, so, someone who will be studied in classrooms, and this man has a cameo. And just whatever. I don’t think as much as my family assures me “it’s nothing” that it’s such a small deal that they stole my name on the show, when I thought I’d be a huge enough writer that “Lola Morgan” would be this great thing on film posters to go with ~me~ a brunette sort of offbeat American girl, in pants directing, unsure I wanted to act but always open to it: maybe sometimes I became grandiose in writing roles thinking I’d be the role. So it got weird-weird-weird-weird-weird but I’m taking the name back, before changing it to something else in ALL my work that was done in the first person like a specific style of not yet published diary which are IN right now; it just happens to be this thing that made the taking-of-my-character’s-name uniquely, horribly upsetting to me, to just have it copped so easily for someone who has fucking everything [are you fucking lazy or what? Change the name a little bit, to like, IDK Lola Richards or Carrington or Lola Helene Keller just ANYTHING else and let me focus on school not on this boundariless bullshit, Josh Saffron: you might even be a big name, literally a star who got his start later, like.. very interesting how people, I think, do find you fascinating enough to protect] (of course if you want my opinion, I just think you’re a dick) — and in the process I am paying it forward, or, probably being a dumb bitch. Not even just to you. It honestly seems like Gossip Girl was meant to be smart but just ended up feeling molesty to the casualties of it: then people involved — who didn’t want to admit that, because it was really fun for them and beneficial overall, probably like the most fun of their life for a show that wasn’t some sort of masterpiece — just didn’t admit it. Well here is the aftermath.

A gibberish book like this and me probably being friends with Caroline Gotschall Calloway, whose PR for her own individual self honestly seems to resemble some of what Gossip Girl did to roll out their much-bigger online streaming show — and who despite being thaat grandiose didn’t end up hospitalized that I know of, seems maybe interested in film work.. cool. This is someone who I didn’t GAF about until I had to “study” this and it felt like I was dealing with ultimatums about my future, my conscience I carried into the future, and also about my, sexual identity. You can’t be on both sides of a war but you can also just try to stay out of it. I mean, if you’re not gonna win.

I’d highly, highly advise my friend Caroline against engaging at all, come what may [when I said “may” I thought of the song “Sheep May Safely Graze” and I remembered why I am attracted to this girl’s art..] (lol.) and if she can keep that up then I will too after I put this online somewhere and mark it as an “abandoned project,” albeit kind of a messy one still at the point of abandonment: one that I’ll get asked about, by family people in this way that makes me regret doing it. At least it’s making SOME sense which I can’t say for all the posts I did that were probably kind of, drafts-of-this-thing that itself sounds like, a draft. If I had deadlines, if I had editors, if I had a life and a self I wanted deep down to protect, then they would sound less like drafts. Here below is a screenshot of a book I wrote literally in 2018.. always imagining I’d compile the diaries from the poorest shittiest years of my life as a probably-dying American dreamer into something better than that.

Yep, you find ways. This is what I did like when someone writes a song after a break-up: my break-up was with the female-me. I wrote this book and added these lines a little later so it’s a bit choppy chronologically. Where it all began, I got the Subway and a free cookie — I didn’t used to eat that kind of shit casually, now I don’t care and never have to again [it’s not quite freedom: it just is life and it’s honestly better, for me but being pretty is a different good life] — from a ways uptown in a neighborhood where there’s some Columbia Med-specific real estate, where I went to retrieve my bike and there was a kid trying to steal it, “Hey!!” *Me a mongrel running at them, not like I’m going to attack them but.. they flee the scene.* If I have enough of a platform to tweet at Meghan Markle, a historical figure — then she can be a spunk girl too.. It would be honorary!! I know she’s a good writer; I don’t know about performer but, she made it pretty far.

Here is some of an Allen Ginsburg thing. We’ll circle back, later, to him.

Now, since I am making proclamations or kissing ass. Either one. Cat Marnell is the empress of living, hot memoirists, for me second only to Mary Karr: the latter writes about addiction like a boss. The former writes about addiction like a bosh — that second italicized word is slang not a typo.

*REE YOO REE sirens, the cancel police just called in reinforcements. And the bad joke SS stormtroopers flew down by parachute and it’s really quite a scene here, in my brain, as I type this in a dull voice like a newscaster’s. Don’t get too excited.*

I should also pay credit-where-it’s-due to the late Elizabeth Wurtzel, though Caroline Calloway was more influenced by Wurtzel than Wilcock or Marnell. I think it would make sense that I was drawn to Mary Karr starting in college because she’s also a poet and I’ve always been a poet on the side. I actually think Mary Karr is a better poet, than memoirist and her work has not yet been recognized as much as it should, or will be. Like in history. Her poetry, sometimes religious but with a self-possessed air of questioning, I think, is incredible.

Because the cancel police reinforcements just got here I can’t even summarize, for readers, what’s dark and perverted about Cat Marnell’s work on a deep or shamelessly shallow level, on deceptively shallow levels, self-sacrificingly by her because my own book still-at-this-time-in-the-writing-process titled, On Becoming a Doctor Not Someone Insane is Rated PG, for “some violence and, for academic boring relatives of Morgan Wilcock.” Also because, I couldn’t even get it up. I couldn’t get it up, to PG-13.

Cat Marnell is maybe known to the mainstream [like to people who might frequent the Times bestseller list] (I don’t, I’m far more eevil and just read Reddit) as an addiction memoirist — but she is known to anyone with a finger on the pulse of New York media, as far, far more than that, an artist who changed the entire landscape, for people who menstruate!

Gross just above (did you catch it..) is a reference to J.K. Rowling a famous writer’s transphobia. Here below is the tweet she once made in response to an article about creating a safer post-Coronavirus worldwide climate for women, the first tweet ever that got perhaps the world’s leading female writer dethroned and flagged, forever as a transphobic person:

“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

I actually get where the journalist who came up with “people who menstruate” was coming from with that phrase — which J.K. Rowling proceeded to quote [up there in single quotations], though, I can’t be the one to tell judiciously if it belonged in the headline of a piece about female human populations globally and their limited access to basic hygiene where menstrual stigma factually exists. I know that Meghan Markle has written articles on this too, well-written ones on the stigma surrounding menstruation and what is at stake if it is not spoken about. But for those who can’t be like Duchess Meghan who writes sanely, who I sincerely tried to emulate and there’s a record of this all over the place in my journals I guess, “people who menstruate” (a delicate triage of words, very descriptive I’d say), like me if I’m not stressed — what else do you say in an article about people if you’re probing how serious “they” are about wearing guy’s clothes on the outside; I might not want to be called a woman if I’m trans in a community where menstrual stigma exists or a wimpin if I’m a cis female or either-way have my identity made into a joke! Women? There J.K. I said the right word. Happy? I am the someone you asked for in that tweet, to which one user responded like this:

“I decided not to kill myself because I wanted to know how Harry’s story ended. For a long time, that was all that kept me alive. Until I met my husband who helped me learn to love myself and to want to live. You just insulted him to my face. I hate you.”

Rosario Dawson in a production of Two Gentlemen of Verona that I saw as an 11-year-old tomboy — a beautiful, great play by Shakespeare for its use of dramatic irony to comedic not tragic effect — wore men’s clothes on the outside. In that production of a play, she looked better than me dressed up like a male person over fifteen years later. Not necessarily trans but aware the times change fast.

Anyway, where was I posting all that gross garbage, the posts about famousish writers.. My own garbage scribblings, that probably shouldn’t have been seen if-they-were ever!!

Oscar Isaac in Two Gentlemen of Verona

Well on Reddit I noticed that Cat Marnell might be a bit more popular than all other aforementioned female writers, among the plebes — her and other popular artists don’t seem to just automatically aggravate everyone in the same way as some others on not such good terms with the people, including [on good terms] Taylor Swift, who Cat Marnell makes the following joke about in her memoir when recalling her own experience in a psychiatric hospital once: “‘Do you want to die, Ms. Marnell?’ Dr. M greeted me one morning. Her usual posse was right on her heels. (Taylor Swift-like, Dr. M often rolled with a squad — but of medical students not Hadid sisters” (#). This is how it all should be, these hierarchies would still be there if these people weren’t blonde and pretty and that’s not sarcasm (sometimes I am sarcastic but usually I try to make clear when I’m not being). What I mean is that a lot of people try to disenfranchise what’s very popular or sort of popular by claiming “it’s only because this or that or so on” and sometimes it is fine when lots of people just, actually like a star who’s a human being: and one they honestly support. Something about them goes over well; not everyone is appealing like that, someone with-the-fan-support no matter what, maybe an enviable person in some ways but — not everyone can be good performers or other good things just at will. I won’t assume it is because they’ve practiced more than someone else, or because they’re better humans to the core. I won’t assume it is because their karma is good! And I think that last part is important, for all the unworthy-feeling losers in the world who are like “fuck it, you.” Show some respect.

I might take the liberty of assuming aforementioned muses are self-aware, to be able to handle the pressure and different interpretations of them versus their work as muses. It must take a lot to not crack under all that: even if they’re hospitalized at some point like man-muse Austin Butler [after shooting Elvis] or god knows maybe I don’t want to. They might have a spiritual practice to keep from losing them selves. That was my pep talk to the layman, to advise the layman to “give credit where it’s due” but don’t be phony if you don’t even like someone because, like brominated flame retardants from a broken computer it’ll go their head and make them confused.. superstars reading stuff online even though they never should. It could enable them to be phony and powerful and evil like our J.K. Rowling (who didn’t grow up reading about Harry Potter, a boy-muse to many: saved many lives) and whose fault is that? Definitely yours you wrote it. Is that all what you want for the world or do you just want a repost or something. I don’t know why I felt a pep talk was a good thing to place right here.

Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

The person I end up with has to be a realist about the bummer that is life, like Ernest Hemingway was in his writing I guess but apart from having a tough life sometimes he had a good love life: like, he wrote about love in a way that made me alive but not like my hair standing on end. Just alive a little. In my life though, which has had its ups and downs sexually, they have to be okay with my not being polyamorous even though I am not judgmental of people who have been, and they have to be able to see who I truly am: the levels to me and sagittal planes. My other half. They have to let me do the same for them and not be like “f you for complimenting me” about their really distinct nuanced good qualities that I really like. Like Hemingway I might get fat, but I also do pay attention to that — I think he did too, quite compulsively — so it’s kind of like a question. It runs in the family. Honestly I wouldn’t even bring that up but I’ve had friends [or ex friends!] say that would influence who they married, “just not someone fat.” Granted that was like when we were bitchy teen girls but because I knew my own genes I’d never have said that.

Half my family, the Jewish half is from Bethesda, Maryland. My sister Alexis and I have zero cousins and only cousins: it’s just something about how the cards fell. It probably gave us a sense of only having each other. Both Mary Karr and Cat Marnell only had one sister, which is another odd reasons I’m probably drawn to these woman memoirists. I’ve heard people say that there’s less of a concept of sisterhood, than of brotherhood, in literature that is sort of universally considered great: I can think of Little Women and Pride and Prejudice, and it’s interesting that these are some of the first mega masterpieces by women writers, but those are books about people who for their time were richer than me: which doesn’t make them bad, not a bit but it does mean in my literature class at Columbia I was more drawn to Virginia Woolf who wrote about somewhat more provincial life than the others and, who also had sisters. Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women under a pseudonym, was famously poor as shit, never married, but she wrote about moneyed men who swept the poor girls off their feet. You can see why I was like “meh” (I didn’t want to be duped by a fantasy, or a fantasy for me); but, I did love the Greta Gerwig-directed adaptation of that novel for what it did, occasionally pulling the rug out from the love dreams but not so much that it hurt.

I don’t doubt it’s made it harder to survive as a woman writer historically, not having a sister bond like the one portrayed in a film The Hours about various female writers including Virginia Woolf, portrayed by Nicole Kidman who was given a Best Actress Oscar for it: so that’s one thing I don’t ever forget to write down as a blessing and privilege. Back when I was doing gratitude lists instead of homework, for the letter “A” I might put “Alexis.” My sister isn’t really a writer now but she used to get A’s on essays she began on two hours before class. I always thought I’d be the supportive sister while she’d be the star, maybe an actress and singer: I think she always had stage presence, she just didn’t seem to be squirming to leave the sights of others like me, and even if there were phases I felt pretty she became the better-looking one longstandingly, but I’ve written enough about that I think. Its relevant insofar as that it might influence whether people would even, ever care about writing by a spunk poet who is not by a hot woman. If not I will have to use my sister and just publish my shit under her name or something: suddenly a publisher somewhere is interested. Alexis would literally never let me so, it shouldn’t get between us — she doesn’t think I’m that good of a writer. Would I resent her for not letting me? No but I might be salty toward her for and find someone more like Virginia Woolf’s sister who believes [in] me and I would be mad that she never believed [in] me, all the times I thought people were stealing my work and felt fine about it.

I have been submitting stuff places for years, have posted it myself online as a habit, which my mom said correctly is stupid, but I got stupid for a while and I needed to keep my brain on its guinea pig wheel and that is how I kept ~my writing~ in great shape. It just definitely is probable that Alexis’s own experience of being treated as a human being — not as a guinea pig to try out one’s own genius Nabokovian ideas on or as a non-entity to just walk all over and leave with almost nothing — would be a different life experience.. by Nabokovian ideas I just mean, someone thinks they’re as good as Nabokov; if I said “Nabokovian” in reference to someone’s sex life I would be misusing the term.

To be safe because I preached this myself earlier in this chapter, talking about the plebes and their preferences, if people just don’t like your writing or whatever then you can’t be salty at them. Maybe I just haven’t had it. As a more spiritual person these days I would not worry so much. I do think it helps though to look good in a very imagistic world and our mom always taught us that. But I’ve seen it happen by now where girls do well even if they’re not the girl next door. They might be a sort of muse to “real people.” That looks cool, but I’d rather be the muser than anything. I feel like I’m being too dramatic.

My mom’s dad used to tell her she wasn’t pretty but she was “interesting.” Growing up I got the word “beautiful” for the first time from a stranger when I was maybe ten or eleven and remember leaving the dance floor at a school writing retreat in St. Paul, Minnesota, which I’d been picked out by a teacher to attend, because I got that weird feeling like when you’re a kid and you touch your own boob. I don’t even know why I was on the dance floor: I never was one for them. I guess you wouldn’t know the feeling if you weren’t me, point is I needed to chill and it wasn’t quite a good feeling. I did not by any means go through adolescence feeling I was beautiful but I would compliments here and there and in college I went on a lot of dates — I never used dating apps; these days I worry the rejection would put me under — and [when I was slightly younger] it just wasn’t a question that I could do that if I wanted, get a guy or be with them; it seemed like Alexis though was always more into boys, or men, and she could get dates. Different types. When we were watching the Tony’s together this year 2022 she said upon seeing Skylar Astin, a Broadway star onscreen, that he would be her type. I was like get it gurl. It’s true, I should cover this here because it comes u,p in a later chapter, that I’d do bizarre things like hang out with James Toback a director, who notoriously creeps on literally everyone. I have been judged for that, occasionally positively by men who actually like some of his films like Fingers. I would order mussels if we went out somewhere and then go home and call my friend Jillian about it; she wasn’t judgmental, I think we were [both] real writers (hence, she wasn’t judgmental). I never had sex with him but it makes me think that I was always ambitious and willing to do anything: to even hang out, that is. I wouldn’t have had sex if he did this but he never pulled his dick out; one time I just left when he was being a dick. He would talk about “Camille Paglia a close personal friend” and I would be thinking like “what kind of feminist is she,” but oddly he is one of the creepy men who, if I showed up looking like I do now, I would feel willing to talk to: I probably won’t see him ever again though. I am not defending him. He had a good relationship with his son who hopefully doesn’t take flack for having that dad.

When my sister showed me some of her writing once I said it was like “a darker GIRLS scenario.” I told her it was good but that she shouldn’t use phrases like and then the world stopped, in her prose, because they were too dramatic and probably had been heard.

Back when I was maybe six **

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