Memoir piece 8

Beginning of part two

Ch. 5: The Minnesota friends I still have

Texting myself while writing this project

“Sup! I promised my readers in Part One that Part Two would be ‘funner,'” said The Stalker. “I am wondering now that I began it like that, if funner is even a word. What do you think..”

There was a long, loaded Pinteresque pause before Caroline said the following. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Well good news, you don’t know have to know what to say because I’m writing all your lines. Other people have ‘aped’ your voice many a time. Should I feel guilty. If so, I will probably end up feeling remorse. But that day is either nigh or never.”

“So… you can just interview yourself, sort of through me.”

“Jupp. It’ll be good practice for you, to be less self-centered and for me to be more.”

“Mh eh. You think you need to be more, because this books seems to be a lot about you.”

“I don’t think it is, the last scene of part one was about Hope. I wrote it, then did some other stuff, around real humans and I really, was like ‘uh oh’ she doesn’t exist.”

“How do you think I feel about that,” asked Caroline.

Morgan said, “I think we are much more likely to meet and be compatible, either as friends or whatever. Ask me why that is? I honestly don’t know the extent to which these scenes are a joke — but I think I am at least a little psychic and.. well. Let me choose my words carefully.”

“What makes you think that.

“I get stuff wrong about as much as I get it right, but a 50% success rate in reading other people’s minds isn’t that bad. It might be a little generous; I’m pitching myself. To you.”

“And?”

“I think you see my dark, like very dark side and I see yours and unfortunately that means that we can either be soulmates about it or — *makes clicking sound with mouth* just let it overtake us and probably be miserable or ruin our lives somehow else.”

“Okay,” said Caroline, “since you’re being kind of vague.”

“Am I? Am I.”

*to the tune of ‘In My Head’ a track by No Doubt* “Lets talk about the future. Lets talk about, redacted. Lets talk about Caroline call-way. Let’s talk about how much you like me
And all that.”

Nothing from Morgan.

“You’re not calling yourself ‘Stalker,’ eh. Was that just a ruse.”

“No — I think I am a stalker. Let’s get deep and dirty widdit, ask me anything about that.”

“Have you ever broken into someone’s apartment.

“My uncle Toby will read this, and I usually sleep at his apartment like once a week without asking. I feel as though he’d be upset; once his friend caught me, she took pictures of the sort of mess I’d made because it seems like, well. It looked like I’d been crossdressing at my gay uncle’s apartment. I don’t do that regularly, I like men’s clothes more and I would appreciate it if you followed up on that anecdote. It’s because I need space from my male roommate Guthrie… I should write about him, but, I’m being more cautious about, real life characters.”

“What’s that like.”

“Guthrie, we haven’t been intimate, I think there was a question in the air for a bit if we would be — unfortunately when I was shitfaced once, I said ‘I’m not even gay!! I just say that.’ And then I woke up and was like, ‘wait, I am.‘ So I don’t know what that was about. Do I think you are? I really have strong boundaries about not going there; honestly, also, I’ve been writing these imaginary dialog-things for years and this time feels different because it feels maybe 20-30% more likely that they will get read. This really does feel like a draft I shouldn’t tamper with.”

“Do you you can say it, you think I haven’t been a sex star for most of my adult life.”

“I think you seem open to different experiences, like many artists. For me though the gay-thing is different and it’s about establishing boundaries, so I can hopefully be happier in the long run. Let’s talk about something less serious. Ugh.”

Caroline Calloway said, “I don’t want to talk to you if you’re just going to always have a preference for ‘Hope,’ what if I used to wonder if she was maybe me — because you’re manipulative and say you’re my Stalker, etc.”

“You probably know who that is better than she even does. I don’t think that’s been healthy for me though, it has been more a stalker-thing — a cyberstalker-thing. And to explain I just think a lot of people who are like models basically do kind of make it in the world with the help of guys probably and I do not judge that, I might envy it [or I used to] (I really adjusted) but what-I-do-think is it can lead to internalized misogyny maybe a tiny bit if you just lie by omission about something like who that guy really is — and so maybe I went on a vendetta about it but I think it made me do better like I got my life back on track, started caring a little more about my grades, I don’t have much money so that’s not always on my mind; I’ve always thought I’d be a writer who got published sort of later so it just messed with my plans. I think this has felt like ‘not giving up,’ but not on Hope on my fucking self. I understand this is all so ‘broad’ [like it’s unclear what I’m referring to half the time] (I don’t know how readers can decipher it) and it’s because I can’t be explicit; I honestly am pretty forthcoming in this book in ways that I wouldn’t be able to be if I weren’t distinctly, definitely unfamous. I am not a ‘star’ because I do not look like one; I don’t have to worry about that happening, probably ever. But I have put 10,000 hours into certain aspects of my work and if I were to just let people sort of erase those hours from my life: for instance developing a character, writing a tome, how many people do that and go through it: how many women writers do that — not many because you end up like me and sure I used the internet as a shield; I don’t come across as a hot girl in person but I did that — then yeah I’m going to speak up. It is a lot of time just gone; it also is true that I copyrighted it but I didn’t trademark the name and it just lays plain how power is power and that would have put me under so I fought it by I guess thinking about power a bit. Power and sanity and insanity and Caroline Calloway and ‘Hope’ probably got in the mix because, I don’t know, she’ll be fine (she has some really cool, protective people as friends), she brings out an interesting side of me though and she’s like an actual girl in ways I feel I am not and wouldn’t be able to write about: her life-experience is a lot different, and I have people who do love me and it’s just a huge jump-in-worlds that I can’t scale even by stretching my whole mind like the spacetime plane around a black hole in order to reach into places I shouldn’t. She’s really rich. The same probably goes both ways though, someone really rich [I get scared every time I say that about someone] shouldn’t be doing that to my poor-girl chunky starving-artist life experience and, it does feel like people taking touchy stuff and grabbing it and I really feel my boundaries were just treated like I am not a human being. People don’t like me? People think I’m just a crazy girl, a hoe? Literally ask me. Then reject me but don’t force feed me some shit I don’t need, I’ll never get an apology but, there are forms of power that are totally, totally separate from anything actually-material and one is just a thing that you lose if you’re like that: if you do a little flex in your Olympic race before you reach the finish line, you may end up wiping out. I can’t help that and I can’t save other people, even if I wanted to, girls or women who are/were role models or.. I don’t know — I need to help my self — any smart girl already knows that, about how the REAL world works, better than I can explain. Sometimes I go off, off the deep end, off the chain, okay so that was a lot. I proposed to ‘Hope’ in the last section, I bet she’s been proposed to. I just am practicing my game; we’ll say that. Serena Lopez would be like ‘you shouldn’t do that to people.’ I’d be like maybe it’ll humble you a bit, I wasn’t thinking of it like that when I wrote a scene and expected people to not even get it. I kind of liked that manic ass scene but.. what.

A beat. Caroline said like all deadpan, “I noticed sometimes you write about dreams as though they’re proof of something. Are they not private.”

Stalker seemed occupied. “I feel like the Serena Lopez advice was more about you than about Hope. I need to talk to her are you going to get mad.”

“You said you’d leave her alone.”

“I don’t want to lose her.”

“You’re evil,” said Caroline Calloway.

“No,” said Morgan. “I just play my parts. I think the reason I had a change of heart is because the words ‘you shouldn’t do that to people,’ are less about hurting them than about I don’t know someone-like-you retaliating. Because it’s like playing with people’s feelings — I never even put it in.”

“Put what in.”

“My disc to your memory. It’s your memory of what happened, you’re an artist figure it out.”

“Ditto — but actually.”

“I think I’d worry that people are going to think I’m crazy, but I’m fortunate that they aren’t reading. The people who would think that. And I think Hope has been through a lot and I’m really self-conscious about being poor, my gender and how I look; but that’s why it might not actually… be that far-fetched.”

“Okay,” said Caroline. “Because I’ve had an awful life I can be supportive of this. I know that you wrote this line for me.”

Morgan didn’t really know what to say. So she said a Frank Ocean lyric, “I’m not brave.” She made a face like *ha.*

“So you’re actually going after this Hope person.”

“Thanks for setting this up for me. I’ve never said her name even once, that’s a fake name — to reiterate I think Serena Lopez’s advice ‘you shouldn’t do that’ is good advice because you’re right Caroline people are evil. And I think women who understand that, this is a misogynistic assumption probably, are fewer than gangster men in business who just-get-it but if you do then please… support me, and I’ll hit you back.”

*snarling because she’s evil and a woman* “Very funny, how are you going to hit me back if you don’t even have ANY influence, or fame money. You’re not in the Fortune 500 like a lot of people at your school, you can’t do shit.”

“I have a lot to offer people, that’s a fact and it’s something I feel deeply for-myself-I-guess is true.”

“Be more specific,” said CC angrily, “about what you can do.”

“It’s just a down to earth thing that I can give back to people who really lost it, no offense if they did. It’s like, I only keep friends who are like that and, would be cool. Also if someone abuses me occasionally because they’re having an awful day, I just consider that fine — but honestly I probably wouldn’t even be like that [like controlling: of them because I love them (I’d probably be like worried all the time which could be confused as controlling)] and I think I play this sort of Stalker role a lot as a tool; because I factually have gone to a loony bin once so it means the only people who would *see these words by mw on the page* and not just be blind because they’re written by someone THAT nuts… would have some self-interest I suppose; I try not to make it all like ‘it’s their self-interest,’ because then I go into this self-pitying mode about the only reason anyone supports me. I don’t think they support me, if they do, for any reason other than… well…. Caroline I’ll say this to you, and that’s why it is great I discovered your work in the knick of time for me. When I say there’s potential for horrible tragedy hanging over my whole life, it’s not some writer’s twisted fantasy. It is just kind of, true. So it gives the work some stakes; I guess in ‘watching over me’ or if you hate me, and I think people do, in watching me hoping that I don’t make it. That’s very dark.”

“You think people want to see you fail.”

“I think people want to see Hope fail, and want to see Serena Lopez fail, and want to see Caroline Calloway fail — and they want to see The Stalker fail because, if I say those two words at just the right moment it sounds so stupid and juvenile. I am not that bad.”

It seemed like a good place to end the scene but Morgan just like, didn’t leave.

“Why didn’t you end the scene there.”

“I think I’m younger around you, and I really am dick-crimped for that dynamic. I don’t mean I want to hook up with you I just mean I like your woman energy, like all the guys who have probably ever just like, kept talking to you in real life when you’re like ‘ha ha… okay!!’ So I’m staying here this isn’t funny.”

Caroline was like “that’s fine. I don’t know what to say either, or you don’t know what I’d say.”

Morgan said “I’ll probably get a lot more quiet. I just think, to answer your question from earlier, it goes like this for how I sort of get reoriented with what might be plausible back down in real life, [I] dreams are helpful tools for gaging it, sometimes I wake up and in literally like the five seconds after is when I realize what I need, not that I think deterministically that they’re prophecies, they can also be influenced by fear and desire and can be deceptive but they still rank number one for how I get to know myself I guess because half the time in real life I’m protecting myself or just trying to get through the day alone, [II] writing compulsively which is why I probably never shut up with it, and [III] talking to people I trust but it’s only 3 because I do not have many.”

“Why don’t you say who they include.”

“I wouldn’t be able to tell a single person about the contents of this scene, it is more ‘plausible’ that they will shut it down (just like if I were to explain what this project is), they’ll shut down the thing about how I realized probably after a dream last night not a dramatic one: that even though I have all these things that put me in a lower league I stand a chance with the girl, and it’s because neither of us actually want to be like those New York bachelorettes who end up having three or four marriages, in that narrative I’m the one who ‘turned them gay’ by the time they’re on their third. I know that’s common and the weird-part is I actually kind of am drawn to ‘crowds’ like that because they’re just smart, secular-minded intellectuals who are educated and go to the Hamptons.”

“You’re drawn to people like that.”

“I am drawn to that Caroline, it’s probably why I thought we’d get along but I think if I made a good piece of art about it, about just that aspect of who I’ve been, a sort of Dorian Gray-influenced story about “aesthetic” with visual bioethics inlaid as a theme because I’d have the education to pull it off, it would be very very sad at the end. Because I’ve never been that person… I talk about getting bullied, and getting fat and stuff, the drugs and how that shouldn’t have happened (now I’m really fucked up, right) but, it was always so much more subtle. I just am not that person.”

“I’m not crying from how you conveyed it in this scene. You’ll end up with someone abusive about how you’re not that person. You’re fine, aren’t you becoming a doctor.”

“Honestly I probably actually will be a doctor yes, with long hours at a hospital who wears scrubs. Someone who might do some film work because I’ll keep my mind on it, and go on a shoot every — I mean, I am scared to say the private life things I’d want, I don’t want to be working always —

Caroline was just like, “how would you feel if someone came along and acted like how you have to me, on the internet?”

“Well. I don’t know Caroline; the are actually art people you could ask, who I’ve stalked as The Stalker, who could become friends if they cease to judge you for reasons that I think have been related to your mental health. I think if I were you I’d be worried about my book and self-conscious about who’s a better writer, and since you seem to have a good sense of people — and aren’t doing it for the reasons everyone has always assumed you’re doing it, I think you just wouldn’t take risks at this point. You have a lot going for you.”

“Anything to add. About my elitism or racism perhaps..” She wouldn’t say that, why go there but it’s good to not-pretend these allegations haven’t affected Caroline’s career.

“I think you got baited and I think Hope did too actually, maybe not just by black people. I’ve had good experiences with black people not calling me racist, when I talk about it openly but I think that could change the queerer I get [I mean that’s what has happened, so..] hm and my guess about why is that, black queer people are less about ‘someone being a CHARACTER’ because they do that to survive, too, like I used to get along fine being a bit of a character but that is one way I could ‘hit you back’ (I’m being blunt here, sorry); I could replace you, just kidding. I wouldn’t say that’s just black queer people it’s probably also a thing in class situations, being a character, it’s like, fuckingidk, that shouldn’t be happening at the office. So truly I know white people and I know racist white people and poor white people who everyone thinks are racists and actually racist dumb, white people the worst thank god there are so few of them, as a writer say if I were in a writer’s room though that’s probably one thing I really have actually explored deliberately, taking risks and I know people who think they’re Oskar Schindler for #BlackLivesMatter like Hope stfu before you lose her and I know that in the spread of all white people I’ve experienced that I think.. you’ll be fine: *I am nervous* and it’s not that you should be let off the hook, not that I should, I’m not on the hook I just put myself on the hook, I baited myself basically. Well sure, I should add, I think that East Coast thing-I-said was all I ever wanted, is not what I want anymore and I think it’s because there are snakes in the grass in places and in ways that… first of all, I don’t think were always there or were always true respectively… the Hamptons are like being infiltrated by corporate snakes who aren’t the same type I’d have been drawn to growing up; half the time they know they’re changing or losing their mind [like something’s off, check under your porch for the snakes because they’re everywhere] and they just confuse ‘survival in their worlds’ with ‘having the right priorities’ and people make mistakes from this climate and like-I-said they lose sensitivity and it’s a shame… secondly I’m not sure I used to know, what it was like before, among ‘these types.’ It’s kind of a joke right!!! I mean I’ve traveled out East since I was a kid. But I don’t have to get all upset about it. It’s kind of just like, what I’m drawn to.. is people with class *says that word unclassily* and apartments, full of books that have a little messiness to them because the person’s too busy writing to clean off their desk. And just like, real people who get it right in their writing — where they’d all go.”

“This is very deep. Sounds like you wanted to be a journalist in an office not working at a pristine clean freak person hospital.”

“I think you respect me, but I also have all my theories about what happens when I write dialogs with people and one of them is — the dialogs are ‘controlled’ sort of by my fears and desires.”

“So they are like dreams.”

“I want to end this scene soon I just think you might think I’m a creep, at least if you said I was you’d get it tight like your long ‘in fact perfect’ ass. I didn’t think that picture was that bad [the funnier part is your facial expression]; sometimes it is funny but when I laugh I think, like.. I think my sense of humor ‘could be doing better.’ The caption is funny. Half the time I can’t tell if you’re trying to be, these are the types of questions I’d ask in an interview when I’m a published writer and I’m ‘hitting you back.’ Pun probably intended. I am like, not sure where it comes from or why. The sex, jokes? I think one thing about you that I don’t want to see gone from ‘history’ I guess (in case you do end up getting more not less famous from your memoir and the film rendition) is the dramatic irony of you like doing ‘nudes’ [they’re naked pics on a phone] and talking about guys as a younger person [I wasn’t reading back then]: when it just really took you down hill because you might have been naïve in a way that’s only endearing until you start faking it. You can’t go back and recreate that, honestly ‘thank god’ because why would you want to relive it. Like Lauryn Hill says on her one masterpiece album:

See my soul was weary
But now it’s replenished
Content because that part
Of my life is finished.

Maybe it wasn’t quite that bad though [Lauryn’s struggle that is]. Speaking about ME again this isn’t Les Mis and sex work is not like back-then in that narrative written by.. a MAN.. na ni no? I said I think, you think I’m a creep — first of all I don’t think you care that much about other characters, unless they’re like side characters to set up a scene, if I seem like that too it’s not true, literally I would be so grateful for the day I can stop that, it’s like being trapped but ~if that were true~ I’d hope for insight from your interpretation of just-why [I’m a creep?] when I don’t think I know myself. You asked if these dialogs are like dreams. A lot of art is like dreams. Not life though, life is not ‘but a dream..’ Row Row row.. ow, my arms are GONE. Does this ever end? Did I just row so that you could have a good dream life and mine was like really shitty. I am not asking that to put a dick crimp on my possible future where I take care of Hope, not sexually — I’m actually saying it as someone trying to court her still… but that’s something that has to happen off the page. This is art. This is art.”

This is art, you’re not brave. You’re writing your lines, by you for me, they’re not me. What does that make me.”

“It (a) looks like you’ve imitated Trump’s tweets which concerns me but same as with Hope and Elizabeth Holmes — yes I’ve stalked you each this much to like have thought of all these things; same with like a lot of women, as Tyler the Creator once said “god damn I love women” [look up song] — but anyway like you girls with those evil business-monsters, I actually think, for you it was, different, and (b) this all makes you a big name, not a big name to me when I found you just inspiring despite your unpopularity, probably to my detriment for a while honestly because I picked up on weird energy and I would have to like sit down on a bench when I was walking it consumed my mind so much, I was sick, but because I’m discerning I could filter-out what I thought was good about you, I actually like it when I get glimpses of something ‘white trash’ about you. Your ‘work’ sometimes has been, more like a good thing to look at for survival skills that were actual survival skills (maybe like: if you are a suicidal female human being, with a sword on her NECK), I don’t know if you’re brave — I also think I’m too generous about all above because I’m frankly a better person than you which is why I’m not famous. If I were a bad person I would be by now like for real? Hope has issues but she grew up in astoundingly unique circumstances so it’s forgivable because she became hot basically overnight, she wasn’t before and it created a sort of Venturi effect catchup game to play, to play and get sucked into, to just account for all the power she got, whatever the fuck that means.. someone else would have handled it worse who wasn’t powerful-before; there’s a before and after thing but she’s still the same person — and you my third mistress of like a hundred are someone who’s probably used to getting hit on from when you were too young and you are probably who I never-was-as-an-online star poser and you are probably antisemitic, has it literally ever occurred to you to apologize. I think if you calm down in your adult life and have a good reputation then you could find a lot of peace in privacy and not crazy-freak-privacy like your only remaining claim to non-material power. I don’t even know what that lyric ‘I’m not brave’ means but that’s a good album.”

“Blonde?!”

“And now it’s up to you — DUMBZO. *in Lola Morgan porn voice which is how I’ll go down in history* I think Frank Ocean’s got a boyfriend… no one knows much about him, about Frank either and Frank’s famous so these things can happen and not be some for-image thing. I mean they’re both, handsome.”

“Do you actually think that things will work out via your dream dialogs..”

“Good question good question good question. I want the next scene to be with Taylor Swift but, instead I’m going to make it… about real people again. I don’t think the dream dialogs will be the means to anything because, I just know betta. Know-betta blues. (OmG) I think people despite Dark Lady Blues and the fucking role I got stuck into after that nothing ass, film, I WROTE MY OWN ROLE.. people might have to believe that I’m a catch, first, and, that is a life-thing not a dream-thing, and I am not currently convinced that hardly any of my ‘star’ characters are capable of seeing beyond self-interest and it sounds like I’m talking in this chipper optimistic voice but that’s really for real. I know that the 48 Laws tell us to try to appeal to people’s self-interest, but like ALL the artists who openly say they subscribe to those, are people who are always fleecing other people of their own self-interest until they don’t have a self left, sometimes don’t have a life. So ultimately.. — this is so pretentious SHUT UP, no one says that to Robert Greene author of The 48 Laws of Power, a staple in rap lyrics ever since Jay-Z endorsed it in his — … yes since power is real, therefore not fiction I would be a fool to just, forget that power is real. That’s the one thing I liked about the Robert Greene book(s), just how up front it was about this: ‘you know you will get your head chopped off on the playground if you aren’t careful around these kids.’ End scene.”

“Your head or your dick.”

“Someone said once that I was, like Lorena Bobbitt, he was a guy who had a framed photo of me as Lola by his bed who I talked to once and cried in front of as Morgan, because he was fucking weird [people in my life know who he is because he contacted them, he was trying to keep me pure like he wanted me] and I think that’s why men get really scared of me and do strange, strange things. They like really got scared of me.. but probably ’cause I was a fraud not because I’m like that.

There is a war happening by AI on the human mind already, I have thunk. Matthew Gasda made the claim in his 2020 play Dimes Square that “We are living in the dumbest time in human history.” Having come from a different background than this playwright, who I found myself envious of when my best friend’s boyfriend wrote him up in The New York Times and not once but twice gave him credit for being our generation’s Chekhov, potentially, I have to say I heard the quote and felt perturbed because I probably agree, but can remember people being probably not short of oppressive toward dumb people like me and my poor family.

I think those people have included some of the people I’ve tried to “court,” who shouldn’t underestimate my cleverness — as someone who really, really didn’t think I was a lesbian for most of my life let alone someone who might even be given a pass with the trans community. However I think Matthew Gasda must be onto something, and must be brave, to be willing to just say what everyone knows, but doesn’t want to deal with because the real life narrative stakes are staggeringly unprocessable to human minds.

Like it’s really bad.

Albert Einstein very famously said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots” but when I went to copy and paste this quote — for some article to add to the many, many published articles online that have quoted Einstein saying this — I found a much-larger swath of evidence to support that he never said this, compared to virtually no believable evidence to confirm that he did — and the reason everyone thinks he said this, is because of a viral Facebook post that blasted around the world, unchecked for god-knows-how-long until literally a ton of people, not morons [maybe people with no self-agency to Google it a bit] (or people either too tired to, and I’m serious that they might be too exhausted to do this; or not educated on how to fact-check) thought Einstein once said “The world will have a generation of idiots.” He never said this.

Now because it sounds like I’m on another one of my scathing indictments of more successful artists, who I am jealous of merely due to “a class chip on my shoulder” — a description Hilton Als gave of Eminem in White Girls [I just recycled it because I wouldn’t mind being like Eminem] — I’d like to suggest that the very mistake I made as someone poor, and dumb-feeling, was thinking too much.

Wait are you telling me I was the arrogant one all that time. The one all these rich white bitches were telling, “be humble.”

What would be the difference between feeling dumb, and being dumb: I really want to get this right.

But first let’s go back to my second great art class.

“Who put this in the trash?” asked my teacher Mr. Palm, the only black teacher (though there were some staff who weren’t teachers, like custodians and lunch ladies) at our entire elementary school at the time — a body builder with such wide arms that he couldn’t clasp his own hands behind his back. He would drink water straight from a gallon on his desk: he gave me detention more than anyone else, too. I got detention maybe five times in grade school, once was in first grade for picking on a girl who came to school wearing her mom’s pants because she couldn’t afford better (it was first grade why are you wearing your mom’s pants rolled up), and Lake Harriet Community School wasn’t a big “detention school.” That time wasn’t from him though. From him it was other stuff. Like what?

“Oh my god!! I’m so sorry I’m so sorry,” Emily and I spilled a 128 ounce tub of gesso on the floor. I think she had dared me; once I’d dared her to knock over a shelf of pottery. I guess for the rush, or because the pottery sucked. “It was an accident!!” He didn’t buy it.

This shouldn’t have happened..” He didn’t even look at me questioningly he just knew.

For about a week I came and scrubbed the floor. Actually every other day so my friend Emily and I were separate.

Before that though, on the page not chronologically: “who put this in the trash?” I was scared.

I consider admitting — “that is mine, I am a painter sometimes” — instead I kept quiet.

“This, should be in the recycling!!”

People like my mom talk about people these days being unable to laugh at anything, her theory being that a lot is changing in the world, and I think the rascal behavior of me as a kid doing this stuff for fun — please don’t read into it too much, I was a literal child; if I did this in a college art class I’d be concerned — is not meant to do anything but set the tone for the rest of this memoir: I intend to get in some actual memories. But I do think if I were talking to my mom again I’d add that people, like a lot of people just really, really aren’t doing that well and so dog-eat-dog wise in America, being a bitch is what it takes to not die: when really what it would take to be funny is to be humble. People who are generally good people are careful with jokes because they don’t want someone in the room they don’t know that well to go home and commit suicide. People who are doing better [maybe I don’t know] and deciding what jokes are funny, don’t have the same sense of humor as me because humor is subjective, and I wasn’t doing that well in my twenties or in the years leading up to the 2020s — I wasn’t going to laugh at something that was punny, which Aristotle thought was the finest form of humor (puns), when I just wanted relief from my pain: I could hardly like, think. But this is awful pontificate-y.

In his book Planet Funny Ken Jennings says this about it all: **you need to reorder this book to finish your memoir

By our third grade art class, still taught by Mr. Palm, I was the one dropping the Santa Claus bomb on my gal friends who  — by that age!? Were definitely old enough to find out. “There is no Santa Claus, sorry guys it’s just how it is.” Jane was the friend who stood up to me and said, “well I still believe it,” close to tears.

Actually I remember it pretty well and she wasn’t “close to tears”; she was crying. Frikkin’ weird. GROW UP JANE. SANTA? Santa.

Seems I couldn’t stop just when I was told. And it seems-to-me like my most vivid memories are the times I’ve ever made someone cry or even scarred them for life when I was, merely being myself!! Myself who scars the ones I love or want to help, the most, of anyone. Myself who doesn’t take “no.” It’s just me! I have to be right always. Ha, no — I’m not sure I’d still be the type to check someone’s reality, with my own. There’s no real victory in saying, to a loved one, or for that matter a stranger, “I win,” “I’m right.”

Therefore everyone else is a loser, got ‘em. Felt good for a sec.

I hope all the rest of what I write down here now, on my life, does not come across like the Santa Claus fight. Anyway, it was literally was some bullshit, ask Jane about that, one day in our lives. She’ll confirm, it f***ed her up. Enough to still even remember it, even though we were each still so young.

We are still friends, but, it probably was arrogant of me, and callous — not what you’d ask for in a friendship where there’s mutual understanding of the other one.

Ch. 6: Lunacy, lunacy, never again

“Caroline I need to talk to you again.”

Caroline the projection in Author’s head said, “I suppose I don’t have a choice..”

“Na you don’t. So I realize it isn’t going to work out with Hope.. but instead of rewriting all those scenes I’m just going to let you replace her. Is that fine with you.”

“I suppose I don’t have a choice — again, since you’re writing my lines. But what do you think I would say.”

“I think it’s one of those things where you’d think first of your career — like could this endorsement be a good thing? Second of your legacy, and third of your actual real life relationships.”

“Hm.”

“I think I’d be very unhappy if I were famous like more than now. I look like a mole or monkfish and people aren’t that nice — plus I’ve already managed to have all this drama with famous people without even being famous, like I wake up absolutely heartbroken.”

“Famous people have different lives, I think you should leave them alone. Stop playing the victim though.”

“Okay. I’m thinking of my career first probably.”

“And your career is doctor, slash writer who maybe does some work in film. And you don’t want to be famous. So if you’re a man of your word then stick to it.”

“Good plan,” said Morgan. “But just so you know from now on when the name ‘Hope’ comes up it’s you. Is that like abuse?”

“Because it’s like controlling and stuff?”

“Yeah lol.” (Various reasons.)

Caroline shrugged. “To other people or to me.”

“I don’t think anything’s happened until it’s written into history. Some things never make it, I might not. You already did I’d say..”

Victim turned away, and looked for a moment as though she might start laughing. She just hid her expression from Author’s sight.

Morgan E. Wilcock seemed puzzled but pretended she didn’t see it, “I’d be a good friend. I know it’s hard to trust anyone and like W.B. Yeats said, things fall apart, that’s also the title of a novel by Chinua Achebe (arguably more well-known than the Yeats poem). But I like that we are both writers. At the very least we could talk about… being writers, actual ones. I think at some point you make a choice to be an ‘actual’ one and you’re someone who did that. I think normal people would see this book and say, it’s insane. But not all my work is.”

“.. Thanks, for saying I’m a real writer.”

“It wasn’t like passive aggressive toward other people who are writers too. It wasn’t passive aggressive toward you! I feel like I pick up on you not-believing in yourself and it’s ridiculous. I just might be starting to put my legacy before career, in terms of priorities. I don’t know how much time.”

“I think you should chill out a little. Please, I’ve put up with a lot from you too,” said The Victim. “You’re fucking fine.”

“I think you’re funny and pretty but pretty in a way that wouldn’t make me have to be totally dominant all the time, like I don’t have more-power because you the other person are constantly vulnerable without me [that’s how I’d explain ‘being pretty’ to people.. HATERS like Natalie Beach who *sarcasm* never have been pretty] (it’s true I don’t have that many friends left; they’re all in this book, I’m picking up the pieces of what crashed), and I don’t have no-power either despite not having money and not having friends, we’re not in such different worlds, Hope 2.0 that it’s like trying to jump via sports car from one edge of a canyon to the other side — I can imagine a lot of Americans right now doing that just for a follow or mention. And I think you have potential to help a lot of people, don’t just say ‘people are morons.’ That might be a metaphor, the car crash; it sounds like something I’d do doesn’t it. So maybe I am just doing it for my work in a way, just ~this~ but you can take my true word on the page: I want to get to know you in real life.”

“We can just be friends. *looking over all above* Because what if I want to be pretty — it sounds like that’s not how you see ‘our’ dynamic.”

“Doubt you’d say, unless it was you-acting. You might ACT and be bizarrely obscenely unappealingly full of oneself to not be stripped of your real self and that is not a pun for the surgery website RealSelf — actually a helpful resource, for real people trying to make informed decisions but whatever. I’d probably get surgery still, if I were trying to be famous; my face is kind of fucked up, like it is. It is a rite of passage to the big leagues to not have a fucked up face [either gender, TBH these days] but I do not want to write about it because it’s not what I want to write about ever for a lot of reasons. I just meant that I respect someone independent, the best advice I’d give a newbie to the scene is ‘save yourself,’ which doesn’t mean be petty because you are on a moral high horse. That’s something I need to watch out for myself, not getting on the big white horse (or into my sports car) and blasting the track ‘Consideration’ like Rihanna. It’s too much.”

“I don’t know if it’s ‘too much,'” said Caroline, not sure she felt comfortable. This was so clearly written in very extreme isolation, without any editors to lay eyes over it.

“It’s a known-thing among heroin users that Rihanna music has like drug abuse references embedded in it that only devoted users would hear, and perhaps that’s misleading but I did hear it [guess I understood that it’s not classless to play it if you’re like, on the corner] (being ‘classless’ is not on anyone’s minds but don’t play Lana del Rey if you don’t intend to, die) in my years doing non-humbled unhinged not unturned or unwidened literally nonsensical bitch field work. And I listened to it a lot, that album: of all things to stay down to earth. It might look good in an opioid crisis movie; a sequence not of someone living large but of someone about to die: from being disconnected from their real, own life. But it’s hard to get the rights to Rihanna music, so I guess we’d have to do something different. How are you feeling. If I wrote your line for you by now I’d have you roll your eyes.”

“No I would say this — I think I’m too weird for you.”

“Well who knows if you mean weird as opposed to cool, or weird as in like gone crazy in the mind but I’ve gleaned that you have a weird side, like didn’t you do an OnlyFans pose wearing elf ears. I mean if you’re into that, I’m not but. I just was like..”

Ch. 7: The American brain and back damage museum

“How do you have time to write this?” asked Taylor Swift, just in Morgan’s mind slash — this was Morgan’s version. Taylor is not “the only one of her” as she claims in her misperceived track ME! because there are everyone’s versions of Taylor, but only one of her belongs to Joe Alwyn. Not that the track was for him; you never can tell.

Morgan said entirely honestly, “I’m literally on the phone with my uncle right now, doing Physics.”

“How..”

“Well I’m going over a problem with him and we’ve each been working on it independently for like 15 minutes.”

“That’s rude.”

“?” said Morgan. “I used to get texts from boys when I stilled texted them, when I was being all full of [himself] which I genuinely am sometimes that were like ‘??’ — I was like ‘did I say something confusing.’ If I were as coarse as people perceive me then I’d just say this, the first part is something I overheard a guy in my neighborhood say on the street telling his friend to MAKE THE PHONE CALL ‘you ever taken a shit?… [Read between the lines moron, and get your shit together because this is not cute.]’ Anyway I also currently have a job in a library at a desk, and it’s very.. what shall we say.. slow in the summer and I wrote this all Summer 2022. But since I’ve finally decided I’m not quitting school even though I should, I ruined my name here, recently I think I just went ahead and set a deadline to finish this. Why, because I have to do work in hospitals, it is required and once that gets going I will not have any time: unless I genuinely intend to fail all my classes, and if this isn’t PUBLISHED yet in some way I’ll just go home from working with real sick people [who by the way, are where it’s at — ‘sick people’ are where it’s at these days] and I would just go home, and change my weird misperceivable book all written in the voice of someone full of her SELF. Nota benne I am not copping your work which I hate because Sartre says we don’t like what’s better than us — even though I might saying something like that to kiss ass? when I don’t always feel it sincerely, about big artists’ work — I do think I’ve been your stalker but I’ been a lot of girls’ stalker and that is a cold, slimy joke. Because having a real, real stalker is one of the worst experiences any VICTIM can go through. I am starting to capitalize some words in my blocks of text like Trump used to do when writing tweets.”

“Have you been a real, real stalker.”

“I’ve been a real stalker. I’ll use one ‘real,’ and I will let the histories be written. I am a stalker, it would be my version of the Radiohead track ‘Creep,’ and no one would have to know all the tears and bloodshed that went into it.”

“Bloodshed.”

“I used to basically have a cutting problem, not like razors like CCs. This is intense to share but I liked the violence of it, I liked watching my body decompose. It was really dark, but you know.”

Taylor made a face like Marlon Brando sneering in The Godfather, but it looked different on her.

“Hm. I’ve written a lot of scenes with you but I’m sorry you are not Hope. And I’m the one who has to worry more about becoming like Marlon Brando or like Baby Jane.”

“??”

“You ever taken a shit — LEAVE. You didn’t make the cut.”

She didn’t leave, she did wince though.

“Scram. SCRAM. I don’t trust anyone, you’d be the LAST PERSON ALIVE I’d trust not just to destroy my career! (If I ended up having one as an artist not something else.) Staggered starts in this race, sure I used to be a criminal and INCEL but I have done a lot to get this far and if you were to say ‘get a life,’ I’d say that’s the wrong charge against me you should be saying ‘get a self,’ because the reason people have no lives are because they’ve lost themselves. I feel judged by people like you.”

Morgan ran outside to go to a corner store — her neighborhood was on the spectrum, not meaning everyone had autism: that was just the start of the clause.. it was, on the spectrum of food desert to not-at-all, probably closer to ‘food desert’ zone. So the only thing she could find were sardines and sometimes they gave her stomach aches and diarrhea — always an old go-to though. Trouble was, her intention had been to get away from Taylor Swift and the store was playing an old song by her. Morgan was like “literally what the fuck.”

*Eye roll* “She’s just being herself.”

Morgan, from the corner store looking up at the security cameras afraid she was about to have another psychotic break because she thought she was being watched, said this, “literally bitch I don’t fucking care, if I sound like a creepy incel saying the word ‘bitch’ nor, about your opinion, of me.. but since I’m not famous I am going to treat this as another episode because who the fuck would care to even HAVE an opinion. I am going crazy, fine I concede. And I’m probably gonna overeat tonight. Again I don’t care. [I mean I kind of do] but I have to finish my problem set due at midnight. And I’m going to make this bitchy, like sincerely bitchy, petty comparison I’ve made before between you-and-me, in my own mind alone just so I could rationalize listening to Satie instead of your music [or Wagner which I kind of like..]: I’m Erik Satie you’re Richard Wagner. Because Satie was unfamous his whole life and had like one muse and was miserable and then he died. Sounds like our biographies, his and mine could have some actual similarities — I’d settle for that over Van Gogh of course.”

“Since I’d prefer we never speak again, and I know you’ve been writing scenes for years with me — like let’s pretend I found out — is there anything you want to say before I sue you and destroy your legacy. 3, 2, 1..”

“I know this is in my mind. There is one thing though and that is that, I do not think anyone ‘lost’ me and that I’m acting up out of resentment. I think I’m a practical person and less self-righteous about that, than some people might suppose — and the times I’ve stood up for myself are practical. I don’t believe in karma entirely but I think it is bad blood to take someone’s work as helpless as me to defend herself without making a scene that’s not dignified; that gets misjudged and makes me probably end up in worse health, with fewer friends. I do not believe in karma except to the extent that, well — I mentioned I liked Jane Goodall and it’s known that monkey families or groups of them take care of the ones in older age who were ‘nicer’ when they were younger: I was like that is a pragmatic way of thinking about why you should be good to the people around you. And defend them don’t defend literal enemies, don’t defend people who don’t even like you: it would suggest you’ve become brainwashed like a child soldier to fight for a cause that is inherently wrong. And maybe I lost you there but. Pragmatic is a good word for what I’ve become, around when, I became a dork and I let the street smarts fall off a little bit. Just let me do my homework honestly.

I am not lying that I don’t want to be famous, I think I’ve managed to hurt a lot of people and I think they just wanted it to stop. If that is a delusion, or a fixed idea or idée fixe, then I am being open about it: I think I have remorse about having managed to hurt people, who I envied. It’s literally childlike. Do I want to be a child my whole life, no; I don’t.”

In a dissertation by a professor from St. Cloud University, a college located in a suburb of my hometown Minneapolis (which I think is how I found his published dissertation in one of those free bookshelves on a street corner), a Guy who is not famous named William H. Butler cites Judith Butler’s writings in the process of developing his argument about how each individual’s unique experience in the world constitutes their identity, that “brains can adapt to noncatastrophic damage by, in effect, rewiring themselves and locating functions outside the usual regions.”

It’s relevant that William Butler is not famous because, there is someone by that same name who is or was at one time supremely famous. A painter.

If I was ever worried that Taylor Swift would be the one to cancel me and guillotine me, I should clarify that I’m actually more concerned about Selena Gomez doing that — and then I realize I’m becoming manic.

Maybe I say this just-to-feel-better but I am glad I’m not famous even though I used to want to be: I made a joke about looking like a mole-rat or something, but I also have this thing where I look like one of those oversized vegetables you might see in the produce section and immediately know “does not look natural,” like that shit had some vegetable hormones put into it. That is how I look. I know that Elif Batuman wrote her first novel The Idiot around the time it is set (about a girl who falls in unrequited love during her undergrad studies at Harvard), and only came to edit and release it to positive reception years later. I think she is a better writer than myself; it might be true that she has had the privilege of a community of writers that always supported her, and told her what she didn’t always want to hear, but that is not something I resent or envy, because I thought the book was good and that her work has influenced mine. What makes her work better is that it is finer-tuned [I’m aware only when I read work by someone like David Foster Wallace of how limited my vocabulary seems to be, it’s kind of sad and if he had been my writing professor he probably would have mentioned it]; if my work has ever been blathering like someone composing on lean, a popular drink among brain-damaged artists like me, then Elif Batuman’s work is closer to analog music. It has an appreciation for the unique, the same thing I notice in Tavi Gevinson’s early work as a prodigy (like actually probably in this case) for Rookie Mag or magazine, which I never read — I am not sure why I didn’t, but the honest answer is that I don’t think I was drawn to it. It wasn’t like because I’m stubborn and contrarian even though I can be that, too.

Tavi is going to think throughout her career that I’m against her — if she thinks of me or knows who I am even, because I’m someone who was creepy once but it was about the “Gossip Girl” thing; it’s a paranoid delusion that small elements of the show were designed to hurt me when the plot of the whole show is kind of about cyberbullying so I probably gave its genius too much credit if it were intentionally autofictional or something, with all its clever names and gimmicks, including-like if Tavi were playing herself (how lovely). It is true though just for evidence sake that this person who-I-perceived-crying-in-a-fit as the Gossip Girl child soldier general blocked me; and I’ve made countless troll comments leading up to that, during an episode. Here below is proof I was having an episode. I will take that as my cue to stop, to stop watching and to take care of my mental health. I’d appreciate it not being aggravated intentionally [!]: Child Soldier Girl, please note that men aren’t the same to you as they are to me, I have my own battles with “men” and sometimes I get picked on by different men for my weight and stuff, by talented ones for thinking I’m an artist and stuff, and I will just never win. But don’t be on the side picking on me, with them or yes I’ll troll back like Soldier Girl Tell ‘Em; and then I’ll leave, and you’ll have lost one fan. Or you’ll have lost your stalker? But I feel like that’s unfair, it is, we do mad-things for art and you, haven’t met me and I might do a lot with my own narratives about stuff. Vanity is a dangerous thing, to be around in either sex.

Lol. Here the proof I was actually out-of-control like I said. If it was all in my head then, good. I still have this book. Yikes I guess. Anything that happened around that time should be interpreted as the behavior of a person who wasn’t well.

I know that our Progenitor of popular memoir Mary Karr, is personally acquainted with and likes novelist Elif Batuman: I think they’re buds and I’ve mentioned Person A a few times already. I have failed to mention, like a lie by omission which according to Mary Karr is “how most people lie,”**[Lit?] that I spent a lot of time sort of wondering how David Foster Wallace could be so obsessed with someone who didn’t seem to want to be with him: obviously because it was relatable to me, given my love life and the only way it’s ever gone for me (my self, still just a woman). He also allegedly had a violent side, and I should be open about that too — I once got violent with my sister before I was hospitalized, I pushed her and she got scared. A little weird. I think I prefer to write this myself because it’s better that way, it’s true I don’t even trust my sister since she told the doctors that I was “getting violent” which I thought was an awful thing to do to me, to tell them; three years later I’m fat as fuck because they put me on those meds. The doctors at Bellevue don’t care, about their patients that much. So that’s my fuck you in writing the history, my own way, and that was her fuck you, and it’ll also hold me accountable for being responsible for not going insane again and again and again due to fixed ideas that I could just cross out by identifying them as “delusions.” I was obsessed with Kaitlin Phillips for years in a way that I didn’t understand, and while I don’t think we’re compatible as friends I do think she will, not could but will, be a great writer. She’s fine. I think we were actually really close for a year; maybe that was just my interpretation and that’s not me being salty. It might have actually just been my interpretation. It’s not true though that she and I hung out once, or something — we met in my first week and kept in touch, sometimes really talking a lot, until the end of that era for me: I think this could get petty on-my-end-too but she would be the type to just, tell it her own way “it was probably the best night of her life” like some revisionist history. What can I say, yes is that it was a meaningful era for me. Getting drinks with her once [I wrote about it, back then, I was 18 or 19] and, years later seeing Tavi in Assassins dressed like a brain-damaged security guard were maybe the two best nights of my life, along with one specific night [for the orgasm I might have had] with the guy who I lost my virginity to named Eric. He was in it for the sex but later said he had some feelings.

Eric whose whole look I copped: literally like Silence of the Lambs, now we’re even

I’m leaving that pic. Hopefully I can top that for best-nights-of-life because. That’s pretty pathetic, it’s pathetic. Now leave me alone, too, I am severely mentally ill! And you can’t say you didn’t know, back then you may not have [known I loved you]. ~Here~ was the last time I used those names; usually when I say “this is the last time” in this project I’ve been alright about sticking to it. Swag — is that an okay word for me to say? not really — we’re all on the same page. Glad [she’s] doing better.

Eric my sex friend wanted to be a composer either of film scores or of Broadway musicals (his role model was Jason Robert Brown [who isn’t totally my favorite but I can see how we got along, and I loved his mom Ann]) and I can imagine that Eric and I would cross paths again but the others I can add to the list of people who made me want to die, as long as they promise to put me on theirs. So we’re even and this is all so ridiculous.

It’s ridiculous because I’d never hurt a moth, I doubt some of these people would do much other than make a bitchy post at their evilest, but please take this seriously. Don’t bother me; I am severely mentally ill and, it reflects negatively on someone else to fuck with a boy with a terminal illness [a potentially terminal illness]. That’s me Morgan and my illness is my mental shit: I guess if you want me to take my own life then keep fucking with me but that seems like a risky, bad joke to make. This project has a lot of moments that are just like, “that was a bad joke or a bad thing to say.” Well, it affected me negatively too but that was one moment okay.

A song that Eric could do lyrics for


“What do you think has changed since you last wrote a whole book?” asked Eric, who used to be validating about how he didn’t see himself working as hard as I was working constantly.

“I think I’m writing for an audience this time, and I do worry some scenes are still kind of impossible to understand but I think that’s forgivable because it will be true I’ll have done this all myself with no editor. It just couldn’t have an editor, they’d tell me it was sick and I’d have to take out all the good sections.”

“Which sections?”

I say to him, “I’m probably trying to ask some girls out and either I’m fantasizing or warming up so I can actually… do that.”

“Do you think you’ve always been gay?”

“No but I think it makes sense to do-it-now because I don’t have much experience sexually, like honestly I don’t — I had some years I’d get it up. And so even though there’s like this big pause in my love life which I can’t pretend might not move me back against rival courters, of girls, I also think if I’m pretty sure I basically have always been gay and people have been saying it since I was like 17, people who were gay and have good gaydar presumably. So yeah now’s the time to get it together. Sexually I mean.”

“I’m not sure how I should feel that I slept with a gay girl.”

“You’re fine you always had a thing with that one kid, what’s his face with sort of curly hair and the interesting smile, like a gap tooth. You and I were good friends who had like one good week sexually but I really fell for you.”

“That’s what they say happens…”

“With virgins? I wasn’t that young I just took a while to actually break my hymen and I picked you, if anything I sort of used you. What are my sex dreams like? Usually they’re about not wanting to be, but being attracted to women. I’ve had plenty of them about men and in those ones it was literally always just me seducing them, well, pretty much yeah with like my boobs or whole nakedness or something. And I’m like a psycho on the power. That actually makes me think I am gay. I know [or once knew] how to do all that Eric.. You were a bit different. To me it seems like, I’m making the right call and, it’s because women are inherently more attractive in all ways and men can get away with not being — I’m just kidding I actually don’t think the world is like this because I’ve seen gay male cinema— but say it were like this, maybe that’s what happened.”

“What’s what happened.”

“I could have been ‘bi’ but I do feel I lost my looks and, maybe it’s the meds.. I think I fought not to, and the goings got so rough that I made a lot of mistakes but also came out with all this insight that probably suddenly helped me see all these things I didn’t want to about women out of my league; like when they Loved getting surgery because I was about to getsum without even telling my family and I would have stayed at Jillian’s. If I’d come into some money it would have happened. I think my obstacles are money but it’s a known faux pas to even mention that, and I could turn that around. But I’d have to keep my mind up. I am not a defeatist person, Eric but I’m a realist and sometimes I worry that when I edit my own work I start adding self-defeating new lines into passages that were confident, the first time I wrote them.”

“Do you think your friendship with this black girl Jillian was sometimes dysfunctional.”

“All caps YES but she’s a genius, like she’s a genius just the type who … God, if she gets on the wrong track, she could become diabolical. I hope if she reads this she considers what is at stake — she says she doesn’t want to be famous. I don’t buy it because she’d always get it up the second we had a bit of a chance at some exposure. I did like two or three years of my life with her. Telling her everything. It’s just sad to see that happen — the diabolical-shit — with people who had good lives before; I wouldn’t feel too bad for them, they made their own choices. Everyone does except for like, kids.”

“Jillian can help save the world then. She’s dark-smart. Bad jokes. When did you write ‘self-defeating new lines’ .. ??”

“She’d like that. She also liked that kid Gabe who TOOK OFF the condom and ceased to respond to me the second I went a little bit trans, maybe it was I got fat and I know it’s because of his beliefs; he didn’t mind me fat but IDK. I just ate everything. I think sometimes you can tell, (this part wouldn’t go in a later draft [and]) was written by one’s own self and I sure wish I could just ask the people the real questions and rant in their face — I don’t feel comfortable writing their lines as longer rants, unless it’s in a novel and the character is indeed mine and someone, me or he or she [boundary thing when I am getting real-published and decide to actually have them] who over time has become increasingly fictional not just clearly based on so and so — but I can’t, not an option period, I’ve even tried to make that happen so this truly is for me to discover things and what that means is: I discover a lot of anger, I think toward people who just want me to be who they want me to be. Wow so profound; actually it kind of is probably why women used to get Pissed.”

“Yeah?”

“Now it’s happened to me, now I get it. My character ‘Rose’ didn’t like that, well, I’d named her after my fat mom, but in fact Rose is more like the obnoxious person that is me, than thinna Lola Wilcock ever was at my fleekest: okay this is getting redundant. My mom will probably read this and even though she hasn’t read a book in twenty years she’ll still somehow be able to read between the lines and not get hurt. She might say I’m overdoing it on certain topics that just show I’m insecure and self-doubting about how things will get better, maybe they won’t. I still getting fucking texts that are like ‘hey Lola!’ Almost a trigger because it reminds me of more recent events, I’m like over it it’s pretty much not that big of a deal. These roles and characters BY ME that never caught on were ALL me but … I think I actually occasionally told people ‘oh yeah she’s based on you’ and they would freak, not be like ‘it’s brilliant how much will I get paid to accept this role’ because [no] some loser who didn’t have perspective was getting it wrong. I was thinking you should be honored, Jillian was ACTUALLY like ‘(a) you are too nice to these bitches and (b) maybe you could buy them out.”

“You’re not doing that now? To Hope and stuff.”

“Being too nice? I’m not going to be too nice by the end of this. I think Hope is kind of a joke, I made it into one and I did such a good fucking job of that as someone who’s been copping people’s narratives for years because I had no life, I used the internet to imagine I could have had one, like Scorsese watching films or sitting staring out his window as a sick boy, anyway, some nerve to compare myself to him — he’d see me [my writing] as trash, but I appreciate his having made Jodie Foster a star — I did such a good job making it all into a joke that I sort of rendered less powerful that whole scary three-headed dog narrative (where I fit in as that trash crazy girl who freaked out who Hope got worried about not because she cared remotely, about me, but because she cared about her ego and her name self-preservingly). And I think that’s a good thing! It’s over. I would have liked to leave feeling a little better but I’ve been through stuff like this a lot of times.”

“So Hope isn’t real.”

“I have none, no but I like those scenes because they’re complicated passages, good to leave in a first book. What’s bad about it is that is clearly an obsession. I can’t stop. ‘She’ [lol at this] is better than what I wrote.. though, I just can’t possibly get it right. If I had the social position, to do so I would ask her out the right way to get rejected the proper way. And if she said no no no that’s how it works. As my mom said when I accidentally liked a pic by writer Durga Chew-Bose and felt such shame, I felt like a creep, like she must know that one time.. I was stalking her filmmaker husband (who looks just like me).. sometimes it’s better to just feel how things truly are. In that case, oo na ni na ni. It is indeed very controlling to manage my fantasies or ‘crushes’ this way. Maybe I’ll get there; to that level maybe not, I think Hope’s scared I’ll judge her and that’s not all the truth, here, but it is partly why she would hypothetically stay away. I am ten times worse a mess but my concern is that there will always be this love story playing in her mind with the guys she could have been with and that is totally valid: he’d always, always have sort of ‘got’ her. I can’t compete with real men, the issue might be that I went all stalker for another straight girl, again. I wouldn’t [judge, or retaliate] because I know how that feels to get, I know how to be a good female friend too, I don’t have to be friends with your ex just because you still like him but that might look like helping check someone into rehab for what I think is a problem: someone’s, cocaine abuse. A lot of great artists do a lot of cocaine but we don’t want to lose you man!! I almost hope you were on it woman ‘cause it’s a mean grandiose drug. Note well: I would rather not be like a ‘mommy’ though to a cocaine-abusing moron girl because I feel like that’s one of Hope’s fantasies and mine to-.. oh shit sorry if that’s too personal. But having it be my fantasy, not hers unto me, sure beats how I come across in dreams as so much OLDER than I fucking am: I don’t mind being a caretaker I’m literally in school for that but I’m not a sex mother: if I wanted to be I’d just date guys in my generation who want that which is everyone. I just don’t want to kind of conform to that I guess and I’ve done my work here on my dreams via my writing, yey. I was weird as fuck and I think this book is the least weird draft I’ve done in a long, long time. If that’s sad okay okay.”

“Is it like when I sent you my idea for my own script and the character based on you was named Paige?”

“Am I a ‘Paige’ to you I was like whoaaah. I definitely am being too nice to you in this scene. I think you got one part right and that’s how Paige’s grievances with your character were in fact her sexual traumas plural… it wasn’t like you raped her, you definitely didn’t but it wasn’t fair to know you that you didn’t have very strong feelings for me and to go for it. I was so vulnerable Eric, remember I’d just come back from London.”

“[Never responds to my texts or to this book or just ever again.]”

Morgan added, “Well what can I say. Maybe I wish that’d never happened but I listened to some fucking Tarot Bitch that you were my soulmate — I liked that you weren’t judgmental, I never knew where it came from but I thought it was from you being a bit crazy toward girls in high school, texting the word “clitoris” and stuff. I heard about all that. Now after my stuff we have that in common and — can we be friends, like Justin Bieber once said.”

“Morgan. This scene doesn’t any make complete sense to me. Get out of it? PS my mom liked you.”

“Obvious police, I know that Ann liked me and you blew it! You could have kept me straight in all several realms of what ‘keeping straight’ can mean. But I think, well, I’d go harder on you — I don’t know if you care about women but we’ll say the issue was ambition Eric, you have none of it: people like try to win by killing theirs more effectively and then projecting their killed ambition in an evil masterpiece onto the world. I used to not get that either but now I do. I lost mine when everyone hated me no matter what I did, even people I was nice to and praised and liked, I was just like ‘fuuuck thiiiis.’ I was an incel like Eric Rodger.”

“It’s Eliot.”

“Mommy!!”

“Hi Morg!” said Rose Bilanow Wilcock.

“I’ve been doing this for like seven years and I’ve never written a scene with you!! I’ve only been kind of mean, bitching about you to other characters — literally.”

“What did you want to talk about? The scene’ll probably come out better if you just call me; can transcribe it.”

“Well I’ll try to get it sort of right, without doing that.. I do sometimes listen to conversations like a fly on the wall listening. Or I record them; I wouldn’t do that if I weren’t a failed filmmaker and if I weren’t just basically trying to direct, I guess myself in recovery or something. I don’t know. I’m talking about how I’ve been making these weird videos of myself for years but I wanted to just ask some questions. I think this all needs rewrites, do you agree?”

“I couldn’t get through it.. sorry..”

“Agreed so. That’s forgivable, I had a dream that people think I look like a horse, do you think I look like a horse.”

“I saw some women working at Key Foods who are much stronger, since the pandemic the other thing isn’t as in.”

“Mom that’s not me, I don’t work at Key Foods and also that’s not even true. When you say stuff like that I’m just like this is why I don’t bring it up in real life.”

“Oh. Was that weird? I understand.”

“But you don’t think I’m trans… every time I say that I feel like you’re like, definitely not.”

“Have you said that? I don’t remember you coming out to me as trans..”

“I’ve said I’d ‘basically be like a boy now,’ but maybe I didn’t mean boy because boys are younger than me at age 28. Ulh.”

“Are you a flipper?”

“… maybe. I’d rather stay a girl TBH. And I do want to lose some weight but I think I could end up in something either abusive or just kind of like not it just because of my weight shit.”

“Well you know if you said that to me I’d say something weird as shit, about all the clients I’ve spoken to who know it doesn’t matter — if you can get the guy.”

(First of all.. I agree.) “Yes but what about getting the girl mom, what about getting the girl.”

“Are you scared she’ll give you a hard time about your weight, or that you’ll become butch. Tell me.”

Morgan said to her mom, “You’re a couple steps ahead of me. I just laughed because I’m afraid some people will take this wrong. Maybe the issue is that I still have issues.. I just want to not gain a ton of weight.”

“I mean living with dad I got obese!”

“I remember you said that when I was complaining about living with him, myself. With my roommate Guthrie I feel like I have to hide my eating because HE doesn’t eat and judges me, I hope it’s in my head but I’m also maybe on the side of needing to lose some weight.”

“He’s not thin.”

“Well I’m just saying that’s like a huge component of your whole life. Alexis and Nick were normal.”

“They had other issues.”

“Sometimes I think all my scenes with Hope are just scenes with Alexis.”

“Really.”

“Kind of.. I mean obviously not completely ulh.”

“Do you feel like you had this thing happening while she was going through stuff with Nick? (And their relationship ending.)”

“No I never dare to validate my own kind of stalker-y behavior as an online person — as “real” things I’m going through. Of course it affects my life in all ways but I feel it is my fault. No one was holding a gun to my head forcing me to watch that Gossip Girl show, the show you said was ‘so bad’ that I kept harping on in this book.”

“Do you think anyone cares? It just got boring, going on and on and on bleh bleh bleh.”

“My book? My trainer Anthony cared. I just thought a lot was going on there, more than I should write about. I saw a trainer when I really started putting on weight, honestly around then I just had no control of like anything I guess, dropped a class to pay for that without really explaining and I did lose ten pounds.”

“Oh that must have been when you were getting too buff! I noticed. Anything else for this scene.”

“No, too boring Mom. I kept thinking AWFUL things about other people, younger people who felt demeaned by my concern. And then I decided to just cap it off and recast Hope as Caroline Calloway. I think that fixed everything.”

“Are you trying to work with these people? This is confusing.”

“I mentioned her once, an internet star, and you said this ‘why don’t you just be a good girl friend’ (I guess I made a convincing case she and I would meet, I hope so) — you said like, I always had girl friends growing up. I don’t know. Remember Maddie Joneser though, whose famous rockstar boyfriend I met, once? I was such a loser, you would tell me too.. I was kind of right about that whole thing: but it was weird and she told me to fuck off, Alex did too. Leave these people alone. Anyway I’ll try to make the rest of this memoir different. Less stalker-y.”

“Hm. How could you tell it was weird.”

“The second he sat down I was like, tingling on my neck and I always listen to that, he had like fucked up his eye and was like ‘how did this happen ow fuck’ and I’m thinking probably because your band [which was actually pretty good] smashes shit, something probably got in your eye at last night’s show (I didn’t go I just knew he’d had one); meanwhile she the real star here Maddie was, fine, she was just-performing the whole time [for me actually, I was so out of it, too I was like IDGAF, stop smoking hookah this is our first (maybe not last..) meeting, we had like some good understanding eye contact like twice and when he left she was like ‘he’s being a baby’ I’m like he’s like a little kid.. ha eh — fucking left that meeting wanting to die [before that depressing shit YES I WAS THINKING OF CASTING YOU AS CORINNE in my film Oblivion Funk] he had her like indoctrinated they were like insane it was like no one else existed but them two; he was the love of her life, he had an ego she had none, she blocked me after I wrote her an email that used the word ‘finna’ — very cool; probably something like ‘I’m finna be here’.. [in NY] — and I thought she and the older boyfriend were trying to poison me later that week or somewhere along that timeline, maybe it was later, very hard to explain how TIME STOPPED; granted I think my insight into these things comes from a dark place, like daharrk and I was about to really clinically-speaking lose my mind. And I did! That was the first official time it became psychiatric. In other words that was the first time of the psychosis-level paranoia bad stuff, as opposed to just a flash of crazy artist thoughts. Interesting maybe it is my superpower or… maybe, like Damien Rice (some random folk artist I like) once sang in his song ‘Elephant’ this has got to stop. I am not your type obviously or we’d have fucked — Ms. Joneser, my-own-fantasy I made up just to reject her, a bit like you-know-who.. Joneser might be my type and so might Caroline Calloway so, I seem to go for sociopathic Instagram models who make all their money on OnlyFans literally — no no, scram, trash, I’m not your type IRL, only it would seem in MY fantasy world which could have been the title of this book, Fantasy World, hold up.. it sounds like a piece for Rookie magazine, maybe I should pitch it!!.. but as I was saying I am not your stalker police when that’s, not it. This was consensual lovemaking, you made lots of love, I’m violating boundaries here: I just mean I don’t know — and I’m also not your stalker. I don’t know what I was playing, what role, and furthermore I don’t know what Rookie was all about [I thought it was a magazine and blog and whatever about giving teenage girls a voice not like training them to be vulnerable sexy prey; and it’s about feminism? Don’t read those pieces they’re just a front to get out of trouble] you know? I’m starting, to fucking wonder. Maybe I’m glad I didn’t get published in it, it’s cursed. I could make a worse joke, I can think of some evil jokes for here. Tavi Gevinson, editor of Rookie who is near my age, I know that you were mean to me. Don’t act like I was meaner at the end of the day. Don’t flirt with me ever, don’t waste my time. These women with their heads screwed on backwards! Stop selling me out to the enemy are YOU A NAZI.”

“Don’t make a worse joke..” said Morgan’s mom, “don’t start trouble. — *all blasé she doesn’t even care, she might care later if it becomes necessary* who knows.. you aren’t like these people, you’re more like the non-white women I mentioned seeing at Key Foods near where I retired for a good house price in hoebunk New Jersey who you resent the comparison to. Better I compare you to them than to anti-white Antifa. I would never say these lines. This does NOT sound like my speaking voice. None of it, but I’d probably give the same gist of a response about at least ‘not starting trouble.’ It’s true you must have some sort of savior complex [big white horse] just because your life and entire attitude about sex got all fucked up, very young, coming to New York from somewhere else, including by lesbians who wanted a piece of inexperienced-you, a sexual piece of you but I think with Alexandra’s friend Maddie Joneser.. and then later one time, you were just having a psychotic break so if you said something really crazy (online.) [like something they saw] then you can just tell them that. Why do you think it bothered you so much?”

“I don’t think Tavi is a bad person and I wanted her to be alright. I actually think her article on Britney Spears is one of the best things I’ve ever read, like actually and — I read stuff like I don’t skim it. And something just.. wasn’t adding up!! Not about the article I believe it; something about her subsequent sort of timeline, you know, given that she was the author of that?”

“Who?”

“Okay mom, I said who she was, you said calmly that you thought I had a crush on her [a celebrity] and knowing you, I don’t know what you’d say now because I haven’t told anyone about this, this book was the only way to say it and you might actually give more specific advice about how NOT TO BURN EVERY TROUBLED BRIDGE EVER BECAUSE I Despise EVERYONE AND HAVE NO FAITH, however … people need me I can’t get killed even if I hate everything about how I look and women bully me about being dumb, and fat and just so much bullshit, actually I do have some faith in people and, not even fucking like Mariel Hemingway encouraging Woody Allen creeper dog to have some faith in people, tth, no I believe in responsibility and I’ve made mistakes, just various very lame G-rated ones, I’ve described them all by now, yeah I’ve attempted suicide Mom, that’s what I did when I shot up a whole bag of heroin that was from the same batch that I basically knew had fentanyl in it and you gave me this advice in different words earlier, ‘it’s a good card to pull..’ [The bipolar card, that’s what makes you do stupid shit.] Yeah I’m pullin’ it and leaving this losing game with a stranger.. I am not anyone’s victim myself and I think, well, I think that’s ‘cause I can handle a lot. But I also request that people help me stay off the map so I can finish med school, stay safe. I will protect people who protect me, I won’t sell you out to the enemy if in this case it’s THE PEOPLE who can become the enemy, it is the closest thing to karma I can believe in given my not-great experience with ‘karma’ and how bad things happen to good people — taking care of people who have your back and sometimes paranoia can make it hard to tell [that’s what karma is to me, pragmatically-speaking]— that’s probably how it goes probably far more than bad things happening to actually bad people.”

“You’ll be okay. Do you really not trust anyone.”

“Of friends. I trust Alex and then, these aren’t friends they are strangers in this book: I actually want to meet Caroline Calloway and probably at some point Cat Marnell. These are memoirists, and Cat is from Bethesda… haha. Mom, it would be totally appropriate someday; people would be surprised at how understanding YOU of all people, can be of certain grisly plights. I don’t know if I should say this. Now is either the time or not the time. Didn’t you get raped at gunpoint by two guys and, learn about a girl who you’d declined to have a lesbian sex thing with, chopped up and buried in a park? … then for the last time I’ll ever mention this in my writing did you fuck Miles Davis or just sick his dick? … how did you end up a retired like simple nicer Jewish older woman who gets misogyny from the Wilcock side. Are you lying is this just a role to solicit sympathy. Can I just trust you.. If I’m getting the details wrong then I guess you can correct. Point is you’ve been through a lot and you aren’t that crazy just-considering, but you might be a little, misperceived because I mean, damn. Alex doesn’t like Caroline as much [as I seem to] and, I trust her feedback as my friend, it’s always en pointe but AW and I balance each other out, I’m like a rock so I can like, defend the other side or whatever including maybe Maddie Joneser in some ways who never was my friend she was Alex’s, I saw her near campus, I looked terrible and cared-so-little that I should be concerned [she looked good, she’s cute and normal]; CC would be more like my thing and Alex would like, I don’t know, Phillip Lopate essays. I told her I like Caroline and Tavi in an email. Alex and I have agreed before that Tavi is a good writer. And I like Whitney Peak on that show, they’re both on, an aesthetic piece that changed history — to be fucking frank (I had a moderately creepy dream about her, not a sex dream but, if I were in my Guy clothes it would have been..) and I think for whatever reason she’d be a good leading actress, in some of the film not TV work I’ve been writing for like ten years [Miles music a playing.] and it’ll end up being more years. She’s like really good, it’s something, different. I’m picky so not any actress ever would get at the very least a compliment; I mean I look at specific stuff I guess. So that’s a dream we’ll put on the back burner, the burner that used to be devoted to that-one-day I finally get to meet Woody again, Woody Allen who in the dream Whitney said with an actually really casual NBD smile was ‘as good as it gets!’ for someone I could have met early on in my New York life. Let me make clear that I do not think Tavi Gevinson is a good enough screen actress for my work (or maybe not the right one for my work; that’s kind of real) [that was full of myself], but she’s not that bad of an actress lol or we wouldn’t, all be convinced she’s such a dork — when I actually am, or was convinced of that, you know, after a head injury and anyway I would commend her for trusting herself under unique circumstances, and DFWM.. She was good on stage I thought. I have to admit it feels like a flex to just not be interested though, as me with my kind of gross external affect if I ever had sex dreams about wanting to hook up with TG and she was in the dream power-tripping huh and I did have these sexual dreams, I was hot like a dog can be and I just don’t want that to come even near to happening [ew.]; I’ve fought way too hard to get this far, it might not be as far as you, and she could have published younger-me back as a quirky fug white girl or something before all this made my life worse so I do not feel she is completely, in some abstruse hypothetical trajectory, blameless for how Gossip Girl ruined my life but don’t underestimate her ability to do that to you pretty girl. Sometimes I think Durga CB did that — just like, watched me fall like what’s her face at the end of Vertigo — by never reaching out, but that would be manipulative of me to be-like-that because I feel like it would be up to me to sort of force my work under their eyes. So those two are in the same exact boat with me (are they friends): that is, they’ve escaped Insanity Island and I am still here typing madly, maadly. And I’m, staying, heeere… with Caroline! Do these girls even write? [Do these girls even like me?] I know that Renata Adler says in her work that writers don’t actually write; they do other things. While I guess I’m not a writer and that is the truth I’m an AMD! I keep mentioning TG which is weird because literally no one likes her, lately it’ll make MY work less marketable (*Kid Pix sound effect* oh no!!) but maybe it’ll save her time that would have been downhill-directed [again— full of myself about my potential impact on a creeper situation.]. My tutor Xerxes lol he’s from Ghana says people cancelling each other is like people poisoning each other before the fall of Rome. “+Now in one of those robot voices like Stephen Hawking’s on The Simpsons.* Have you ehever heard of Tiberius. Hee is Wurse
than Woody Allen.

because he’s virtually uncancellable”

*bloop bloop back to Morgan’s voice. I’m brain damaged.*

Don’t poison me I Been cancelled and sent to this island jail and, for real, coming from someone who’s had a TBI I am saying this to myself sincerely right here: don’t keep poisoning yourself to ‘hurt’ other people who are more powerful!!!! You will just slowly make it worse, on your self. You better not take this shit not-seriously, what if someone did send a private investigator to know everything I do so they could kill me or something. That was TAVI who is not dead and I almost had a heart attack—and then she wanted to hook up! *in Kid Pix voice* Some, nerve.. Girl. You are not even gay and don’t you DARE tell me, because you think I’m dumb enough ‘yes I am!’ You’re not, even dumb I believe nothing about the rumors. You’re so lucky I’m this nice but don’t provoke me bitytch.. I KNOW EVERYthing about your racism. Just kidding, tell your adults don’t confess to me. And. Leave me out. I am not as powerful as you. I am not as powerful as you but I’m not powerless. Be careful with that power. Put on your Chanel because I smell lizard flesh; it’s your molten flesh on the floor. And it’s not in my house, it’s in white boy Hitler’s not mine because I don’t like lizards..”

Alexis Wilcock’s voice out of nowhere was like “STOP delusions are just a big part of life.. like, how do you think people came to believe that the Holocaust actually happened?”

“Yeah. You too. What would our English teacher Richard Schwartz say now? He would say I look a bit like Woody Allen. Shame on you. Lizard! You [Alexis] can be friends with Tavi Gevinson.. so I don’t have to, bystanders in the loss of your good Jewish sister. Byee. As a girl still I was on your side and I love how that’s past tense: ‘believed’ all those innocent Jews and fags and disableds died, isn’t it 11 million, no one knows this shit because no one is educated anymore, including you they don’t even know what the Holocaust is—they just use the internet to cheat on everything and there’s a huge industry for cheating on literally all schoolwork ever since COVID: it should be fucking illegal, those slimy take-your-money-running websites 24/7 that I wouldn’t consider slimy if they even gave the right answers! It’s misinformation [disinformation?], the teachers don’t even notice it which is deeply disturbing. As someone old enough to be a teacher taking kids’ classes, I like it when they notice. It’s another corporate-age website run by drug trappers creating retards like me!! Dumb people are SO easily manipulated, not by Tavi ask our mom about her dumbass years on the streets with a pimp older than her! Take this seriously or I’ll call the cops myself ho … Like I did before my time in Bellevue after I drank a bottle of what’s it called, poison, and you were draggin’ ass about calling ’em for me; the second they showed up wearing CAMERAS like dog collars around their necks, I felt safer but also like they were kind of weird not in like a shuddery way in a ‘would I trust these people with my life..’ kind of way, the answer was not really and anyway Alexis even if I am acting crazy, like I AM in this SCENE you can trust that I only do that for like.. a reason! Clearly I’m still mad about that day, just I don’t know, almost as mad as I am at some celebrity who is a stranger; I can get madder because it doesn’t affect anything in my actual life or in the actual world, I can get madder than at you. A lot of people actively want me or have wanted me to kill my self, people who were my best friends in real life. You will say ‘paranoia!’ It all made me sooo smard because my brain, just, it just couldn’t, it just crapped awooout..”

Rose Ellen these girlses’ mom was like.. “First of all — whaait!? — but Morg don’t underestimate your sister Alexis’s insight, she might ‘get it.’ Just stuff, her head was screwed on backwards but she’s always been helpful to you when you’re belligerent and hysterical about killers being sent etc. It’s an idée fixe, what ever that means.. in your bipolar-specific psychosis which since the last shitshow and the subsequent change in treatment your doctor says, should only happen ‘every ten to fifteen years.’ (Episodes such as that one where you can’t sleep and stop leaving the house.) And Morg dear, who’s been struggling up that hill for some time, has no friends and who my brother Toby and I had noticed was gaining weight, and lizard muscle, like a lot kind of fast last year. Give me a call, I probably didn’t read this far in a book published under a pseudonym and who knows if it will reach my eyes in the near future. But if I did I can help you actually deal with some of this stuff you maybe didn’t feel comfortable bringing up in a different way, maybe I have some thoughts!! Woo.”

“Woo? Wait what, did I just crack up. And I’m not a fuckin’ lizard! That’s Alexis.”

“Are you alright..”

Ch. 8 I’m fine

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