Memoir piece 14

Rando reader: what if a star were to read a book by a fan and say ‘that’s actually too intense’ I’m uncomfortable

Morgan: I would say I have homework sorry, doubt it’s the first time

Taylor Swift: would you leave school to work for ME

Morgan: I would have haha z

If I hadn’t blown it. left that typo in [z] don’t know why.

Seven Years.. before my probation is up and I can definitely get in to medical school as opposed to maybe-with-a-hella-struggle on the application; I also have some other books in the cooker and one of them is the one with [x] [y] [z] fuckin’ strewn all over the shit. Reminded me..

I am excited to meet you. sweetheart.. [q]

Taylor: *she doesn’t react* since the is the end, can you tell us who Hope was — like you did a few yankee swaps but this scene would be the moment to say it, no..

Morgan: Clearly talhor if you’d gone to college u could tell — I am !!

Taylor: pitiful

It’s time. She came out.

It’s fine, I got a stroke of genius to pull this out all at once but this work is technically not done. I feel like all my existing work definitely feels unfinished. As I develop the sense that I might try to reassemble and rearrange some of these blog posts in a collection of actually published nonfiction, maybe short form, if I ever get enough of a foothold to consider myself a real writer (with my old byline Morgan Wilcock, maybe next year or maybe after death) — I might have to finally deal with my last one for Jillian Carroll whose birthday is in March, but eludes me, and I’ll fix that in a later draft. This chapter was the hardest yet. Like me she has the middle name Elizabeth like the queen and now-and-then has ever been prone to grandiosity; call it mania, call it pride, it’s time to acknowledge it shows up in the work. She says “female ambition” is something that just disgusts people no matter what. I’m not doing much creative work, that I’m worried will change my life today or tomorrow. What might change my life more is the test tomorrow I’m supposed to be studying for. Mother fuck. I’m scared.

By watching a photon, you’re changing its path. It seems creepy that a photon would know it’s being watched. It’s not creepy because, you’re measuring it. But by measuring it, you still affect what you measure. What?

I’m scared, for my Physics test. If I were a photon I’d appreciate being watched my someone who measures me, with more precision than someone who doesn’t know what the fuck.

If I had to predict what will happen after this book is written, it’s that the seminal character will go into denial about a lot because I think it’s so fucked up. She just will go into denial about a lot. I think she won’t want to but it’s just kind of okay. I mean I’m probably more in denial than she is but I still think I’m smart (even while in a state of abject denial about how things are going to go) and she’ll think I was him and bla di da da bing bang boom clang clang waka waka eh ey. Having “clangs” again. If I asked the royal self-measurer who cast semen upon her green green dress, what did he want — I’d not expect him to say this but I would guess: he wanted her ear. Wait, what? He thinks he was king, he wrote his own dick length down. He wasn’t using the metric system. And his people played, along. I’m not saying your dick is small. I didn’t see it. Bigger than mine.

If I had to say a bit more, I’d say she’ll be fine. I’ll meet a lot of people before I meet my match. He’s going to lie so well it would pass a lie detector test but there will be ways to tell. I said my match I didn’t say my maker, because if I had to predict, that probably won’t happen. I might get projected onto including by Hope so, by my own self schizophrenically literally — but that’s better than cum onto; not going to make any jokes. It’s like, getting old; it’s like getting shot, or it’s like being looked at. I’m scared for my Physics test. I might get scareder when I hear shit. I’m not brave but I’m not a huge dick and if people later need me to speak less in code about my experiences as a measurer then I’d be glad to, help with things as we go. I can be reached through my sister not through anyone else, I don’t need you getting mad at me because Truth Hurts. Ba ba bum. Why men great till they gotta be great. Ah she looks for me! Chicken, pastry. Measuring app.

She’s not fine. She’s not making sense. She didn’t make anyone a star, I don’t think misseur wanted it from her. If that happens anyway then fine, great. But remember what I said about the lie tests!! She looks fine, she has an eating disorder. He looks scared she’s not fine but if she were or not he’d still be there. The one who looks scared she’s not fine would still be, not the one who looks scared she’s not still. Even if she didn’t look fine but let’s not make this into the end of the novel Lolita nor.. for that matter, the end of The Idiot. If you haven’t read those books, they don’t have good endings, I’m not all about happy endings but holy F.

A while ago when writing a draft of this chapter I spent some time watching Nomadland after hearing it won the Oscar, my mom thought Frances McDormand came through as always but she didn’t love it because it was so depressing. I’m like sometimes a certain seriousness is necessary to cut through all the fun, but I take seriously, comma, my mom’s opinion. I didn’t watch the Oscars ceremony, that year 2021, and these days don’t understand how viewers can be so happy for people who aren’t even their friends. Literally, strangers. As someone who used to think I could channel people, like a psychic almost, god; these days, I never assume someone’s not a literal stranger unless I have their number in my phone. I grew up working class, not “white trash” — a mostly offensive term which I think I’ve tried to reclaim, as though THAT’S necessary, when there’s plenty, plenty, about white trash America in 2021 I could stand to keep some respectful remove from (including the Opioid crisis and how it’s difficult not to encounter in the poorest parts) [a topic I didn’t see come up in Nomadland, unless I just didn’t notice] — and yet I’ve somehow sympathized with that aesthetic, if an aesthetic is something one can sympathize with.

I said my favorite film was Heaven Knows What. I probably just said that because I have like six other favorite films. The Safdie Brothers are boys and we might have our own beef: your work sometimes sort of Shows to someone who’s ever been on film sets, that it was y’all actually doing the stuff that’s really fucked up inside the films — and it’s like fun, for you; making them as stars now not reliving that shit as nobody-viewers — but that’s actually what makes the films solid I think, how at the very least they’re fucking accurate. I should be respectful.. Where are my boundaries.. oh shit they’re all wrapped up with yours and we never discussed what we were getting into, together as master and slave. Anyway I’ve never felt physically unsafe as a viewer but I wonder about Robert Pattinson with the dog he once co-starred with. Or the dog!

Hope after I leave her: “She hates me” but it’s like bitch I had to watch that whole thing!!! Only thinking of yourself with a damaged theory of mind.

Situated on the verge of powerless and ashamed which is usually the only time hubris occurs, in my experience.. noticeably enough to remark on it as an issue — it (female hubris) hasn’t won me too many. If someone thinks like Naomi Watts in a fictional movie Mulholland Drive they should have just killed me then I am happy to stay safely insane, believing that people do want that and would like to see it, safely powerless, and safely out of your life. So if any band-aids or crucio waxes of my bush need to be ripped off there is one of them. What are the other curses in that set of three. It’s not going to work out because I really got scared. But that doesn’t sound like you so I hope you’re doing better Hope. I did say I’m in denial about a lot; one thing is that I’m important. One thing is that people would care if I died. Probably at my own hand if we’re going to measure all-precise.

Jillian was my evilest friend. When I write about her I often realize “it’s getting weird.” Well now I’m writing about her. I mean we’re getting to the end.

Morgan hadn’t wanted to but this was the last chapter so she was doing one more scene with.. Hope 3.141592.

“Make new friends..”

Hope 3.141592 wasn’t that much of a talker, was sort of humorous but more serious overall, and looked like she probably lived alone and kept some books inside her place.

Morgan didn’t actually know what to say, “I do not want to be a hero. I sometimes feel like I’m giving the story away. But what the fuck is the story, it wouldn’t be a story if I hadn’t written some stuff down.”

Hope 3.141592 opted to stay silent.

“I always feel bad when I’m mean. But I also feel sometimes like it’s what I need to not walk off a cliff.”

Nothing.

Morgan: “you literally never talk. And when you do I’m worried you’re playing. Role. Have you gone mute.”

Nothing!

Morgan: “Everyone is telling me that you’ve become hot and cool and also that I’m not like perfect so maybe I should stop being self-defeating and I feel weird but I think it’s because I don’t know who I am. Right now.”

“You think I am hot.

“I would like you the same if I’d met you as a normal person and gotten a boner and not known who you were. This is literally before everyone else thought you were hot though. I guess I can’t say.”

“Hm.”

“I don’t like it when it seems like you are rejecting me first before I reject you. And I also don’t seem to like it when.. you treat me like a woman or girl,” Morgan admitted. “But that is new and scary for personal reasons.”

Hope-pi, boo pi doo said “you know I don’t care what you think of me. Or basically Anyone but what if I asked how you think I’m doing lately overall !!”

“You keep a low profile so it’s hard to say. But I think a lot of actual girls think you are a hero.”

“Like based on what they’re supposed to believe or what they are imperio’ed to believe or what they want to believe.”

Morgan admitted, “I actually meant based on this book.”

A pause, “why do you keep bringing up rape and killings. In this book.”

“I actually did think You sent killers. But I’m starting to think it’s okay,” said Morgan.

“What line would you write for me here.”

“I think we should meet though *sounds kind of whiny but isn’t that whiny a person.* Even if you did that I need you. I forgive you.”

Nothing.

“I get good vibes from my version of your imaginary family and mine would be fine if I pulled this off and I’m vulnerable because I don’t have a reputation. But it seems like I might want to take things easy and, you need people.”

Hope 3.141592 sometimes inadvertently gave off “you better not mess with me” vibes which paranoid-Morgan took really hard, felt like she’d got tazered or waterboarded.. and then, in physical pain, she became mean.

“Or you can see what happens when I stop defending your legacy,” Morgan said into the silence. Into the nothings. “This is the type of business that absolutely I have no doubt would have ended up a horrible tragedy if good people weren’t on your side and just what if I am one of them. All I’m gonna say..” She actually turned to like leave the room and walked to the door but didn’t leave, like she was hanging around. Sort of. Waiting for this to not work out somehow but unable to accept that. “I am not here for your by-now famously good sex!!”

“I have never met a boy who isn’t. Understand I am confused.”

“Well I think that’s when trans people time becomes a relevant topic.. to throw into the mix here.”

“What does that refer to.”

Morgan: “sometimes I feel people all like ‘she has no life!’ Therefore theirs is more important. But I don’t think I have no life I think I just take it slower.”

“Why do you think that is necessary.”

“Well, I don’t think I know you,” said Morgan.

“..?”

“If I were to make a real masterpiece for you I’d have to.”

“I didn’t consent to that did I.. sir. I am honored but—”

“Please be advised your lines are just to keep the flow here. Not what I know that you’d say. I didn’t ask but I’m just saying. That would take a long time *speaking fast suddenly* and so would like, learning to be a trans.. that takes Forever!!!! When it’s like, a horrifying thing for me that I don’t think I ever wanted and might not have had to deal with it if my life had gone differently in the real world not like online world. EW.”

“What are you asking, if any thing.”

“I’m saying I’m scared and I’m asking NOT to be left alone!! I don’t know what I said I fucked it up!! Was it racist. I just don’t know what to do because you know, it’s like you have to know people are fine and I think I do have a lot of issues. I shouldn’t be worried I’m going to die all the time and I shouldn’t be getting harsher suddenly when we had a good moment. And I’m scared I’m not good enough and I just want to spend time with you.”

Hope 3.141592: “why do you think you’re going to die all the time.”

“I think there was one moment when that might have been real, it just felt so real and then it seriously traumatized me — I jump at shadows and now that could be the rest of my life. But I can’t even do therapy for it because a lot of my life is an act and I act like I’m not cool and kind of dumb in specific ways when I am.”

“It’s okay Forest.”

“*crying* no one knows and I have all these people smarter than me still picking on me and I just want them to stop and when I tell them to they think it’s hilarious and I deserved it.. I don’t know what I did..”

“Will you marry me if I’m the one to ask it and not leave me no matter what you find out over a long period of time.”

“Like in Light in the Piazza but switched. (Because I fell off a horse.) Yes and I think we’ll be good because no one else on earth would be able to kind of protect the other person as good.”

“As well..” Hope corrected; she was just being protective.

“Mhm. If you leave me now that I wrote that one recent line about marrying me I will kill myself.”

“Really..”

“Actually probably. It wouldn’t be dramatic, no one would even know why, I just wouldn’t be able to anymore. I think you’re real.”

“Now what if I’m ready to take a leap of faith on you, too, trans time-permitting,” said Hope. “Or not now but soon enough. I am pragmatic. Trans people are real. I know your friends might not even know a thing because, who knows how I know.”

“I am really traumatized from giving contact info and getting silence so I don’t know what to do, not that though. Not that even if were for some indefinite later date!! No. Also this is really unique and I don’t know what to do. I wrote this and I think I did my best.”

“Am I like, your caretaker now — do I have to decide.” (Everything.)

“No not at all I’m not that incompetent. I’m literally going to be a doctor! I might not get into the best med school ever but I still will get in. I could go to Mayo on home state clout or to Israel or just like some normal state school.. but we’ll see. I’ve had a few people to consult on this, some professionals who would know. I’ll be fine. Hope I’m gonna miss writing scenes with you for however long we are apart. I have a lot to improve on. You could help me edit this and dress a little better and you could be with me through medical school.. and I could help heal you and also work on some serious art. Are these fantasies, who cares. It’s going to be alright but it’s going to take a while but luckily I’m trans and picky and I happened to pick you and then I imprinted on you like in the Twilight series. That’s a joke but I really am going to take care of you, maybe you can help me eat better though.”

“You don’t eat well. I can tell.”

“I don’t cook because I avoid my roommate who is a male who doesn’t eat, so you can imagine why I am scared of that region of the house and homeboy who I’ve been nice to, who knows a lot about abuse and trafficking, it’s just this thing about his story, I don’t know what his deal is but I’m starting to fucking wonder, I could take this line out if he turns out to be a lifelong friend, he still thinks I’m a straight girl when I made clear I am not — I think it’s scary what I’m going through and I change my own mind a lot about what to do. And I also don’t have the best views myself of people who are trans. So there is a lot at stake for like, Art and stuff. I guess I’ll explain later.”

“If you are not a straight girl what are you then.”

“I am just bisexual!! But I want a breast reduction. They’re too big.”

“You are also transphobic?”

“Not that. I don’t think I ever wanted to be a trans and I think the Holocaust is happening and people shouldn’t be trans unless they won’t die. It is dangerous to treat this issue like a human rights issue when it is more like a science and biology thing, meanwhile people are focusing their pent-up pseudoscience ideals on things like controlling women’s bodies and wild-sex positivity when sex isn’t necessary for homeostasis [and that is real science not pseudo]. It is necessary for social survival on the jungle gym that is our world now, or power stuff in your like psychology god knows, and that means the weak ones get hurt, die, or become trans like me. Or there’s a lot of weird intellectual shit that’s not, real.”

“It’s pseudo? Should I send you an email. At some point.”

“I didn’t give my email. And. Elh even that word pseudo. It’s like phony but creepier. I don’t know — I am going to put all my books on my beautiful Instagram by mid to late August 2022 and I expect to revise them but this one’s the most important. I think you’re the next Marilyn Monroe but different, actually with kinky brown hair and I think it’s really important that I step in here, I mean I have to explain that. But maybe it’s not all up to me. You have big enough boobs in a tank top or dress, to be her. It’s all I can look at!”

“I don’t have very big boobs. I have big eyes,” Hope clarified.

“I think when you are yourself not some literally alienated alien version then.. your boobs look pretty big to me, not like big boobs but good enough for these times — and when you’re well your eyes aren’t weird like mine got on meth. And then you will tell the tale, visual storytelling with high stakes. My doll.”

“Doll. That’s not my favorite nickname and I don’t think you know me. What if you’re wrong. When you start talking like this I think ‘stop looking at me,’ crazy girl.. literally.”

“I’m not.. *almost actually fighting RN* it’s just me anyway. Not like the whole ass world. I think you’re a good person. I see it, in you.”

“You look terrible lately, I saw you late last year. They’re going to say you’re insane. I almost just called you Lola it was weird.”

“I look like someone who doesn’t get enough sleep, doesn’t eat well enough, doesn’t bathe, who people walk past and notice smells bad, and I hear that’s a thing schizophrenic people experience. A smell, I give odd fumes. No they think people think they smell bad. So I could be imagining it.. obviously I’m not but I could be! I’m actually not schizophrenic because I’ve been around them and they have it worse and my heart goes out. Terrible. Fuuumes. Lola Elizabeth Morgan’s spirit lingers, did I tell you I almost changed my name legally in 2019. I had a conversation about it with ma folks and almost did it. I don’t mean to harp on that but I do think I spent a lot of time, with this.. person.. and it’s like, well, and it’s like, it makes me wonder if what Taylor Alison Swift said, in her Vogue Questions from back when she was anorexic, was true.. she said ‘karma is real.’ Granted she was younger. My favorite pics of her are the very recent ones. You did a really good job on your Vogue thing. Been doing this all your life. Getting it all out here, that would have very much sucked if I’d changed my name.. Probably some time will pass then at some point I’ll get noticed. Ultimately I’m excited to talk to you and finally after years work our way up to some sexual activity. Is that too much.”

“It might be a little bit you just need help with the social cues.. and some other stuff that is critical. It is critical. As Morgan 2.0 you’re still figuring that out and shouldn’t fuck around. Also do you exercise?”

“I exercise every day. I would look better if I exercised differently is what I’ll say but I don’t think it matters. I’m actually like a real guy? It might be lazy but maybe it is more normal than only working out never reading. What would be most normal of all is reading MORE than I work out and definitely being able to say that’s the case each week. I like how doctors look, they look like adults who would make good dads and stuff. Usually more posh than me. Of course I’m becoming a doctor to look like a good dad and to look more posh. You’re starting to use a sort of wifey voice I actually think is probably fine but anyway. ‘Critical.’ My head injury is doing the tarkin’ now. That’s nice though, and not abusive and it’s true. Yes, ir is like I am acting as though I’m still my age and (IRL I am 28) as though I am not like developmentally a little skewed also with these years I played the mom to a lot of people including, probably, my family sometimes. Maybe.”

“Will or would have your mom like me though.” Wondered, Hope.

“She’ll or she would have probably really help[ed] you. I don’t think she is all fucked up by new age values which might be (I said I’d never use this word) ironic. She should be a weird mom, back when she was hot on drugs she fucked over 10,000 guys!! She was casually like ‘5 a day, for about 9 years— it was more.’ Mostly blow jobs but we haven’t discussed it that much. She says the strangest things out of nowhere like very salt of the earth but.. muh. My sister who’s been like a mom figure to me, too, would like laugh at her startle response; you couldn’t wake her up without her thinking she was gonna get killed! She’d be like “*GASP* like when I got defibbed once. She’s educated and she’s not, weird, she plays games and plays dumb and her thing is: she just doesn’t have boundaries and.. yeah, that’s how I wrote all this without even thinking it was sinful until later! WTF are boundaries? They, my parents might have a hard time with me being not who they narratavized, all those years, for their own storytelling survival love dreams.. their forcing it upon me like a yoke over a mule!!!! I brought us far and then collapsed. They’d be like ‘who paid for all that.’ I am not her [the dream, not her] but they might come around. I’ve almost just transitioned to just speaking in the future tense not the conditional. My dad’s kind of an alcoholic, sorry Dad.. He’s funny.”

“It’ll be okay, too.” 🏴

“I don’t actually think you’re just saying that. And I’m not just saying it either, i see things very medically, this is true not because of school but because ofI would ask one thing and it’s that you don’t get all like ‘I felt bad for her,’ about me because it suggests you’re more concerned with your image. That image stuff has almost killed me and I am being literal. You will lose years and years and years of your life to it, you will fall out from it and wake up in hell out of grace or any chance of striking grace like gold that isn’t one bit diDon’t! I am a perfectly good boyfriend to never let go of.” 🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️

“What?”

“*Actually nervous but not giving up* if I have any additional dreams of you in which I come across like an arrogant, self-pitying freak or fan girl or if I fart or something then be advised I won’t be writing them down!!!! I mean actually this is like my new sense of humor. Fart jokes anyone, the dream shit in this text has been like weird but sorry.”

“And one more time to reiterate what if you just go on solo for another eight years because I don’t exist except in your brain.”

A voice somewhere: “she doesn’t have friends, she’s going insane!!! Please just be a good person!!! And Stop naming names!!!”

New Morgan: “I may still find a way to meet you, not forcing it, no one who reads this book will ever know for certain if Hope was you or other women I encountered and was photographed holding hands with, and I’ll find ways to protect you at a really fucked up unprecedented moment in US history [the male gaze sentry!! Is a fun way of terming the snakes among us screeching “join or die”] where I’ll be damned if you’re not really vulnerable snake prey and REALLY need smart aurors like me on your side and also ur old friends. Make new friends but keep the old.”

“Okay. You said you’d DIE if I left you what does that mean. If I unfollow you?” Hope asked. “I’m innocent by the way but this whole situation has made me gay.”

“It means lose your self because while you’ve plodded on other cocks in your time I think we will always belong together and I don’t know how that shit works but I think I’m sticking to that narrative and it’ll help me. I’ve seen it honestly Usually happen where that’s false — people are meant.. sounds like more rapist-speak in our time, to add to ‘making love’ when that is a rare strike of fate and I can value it when people have it not me ever. I’m kind of a different case because when I go for runs I’m like battered and injured and have all these issues at a relatively young age that make it so no one’s going to snap me up, but deep down I’m very James Bond. Not a rapist which makes me one of a kind for you in these times. She needed her he needed him, excuse some mix ups in pronoun shit. I also also also *hearing Lola in my voice* think some monster is ALSO in ‘love’ with your wife! I think he wants forgiveness because I’m super nice to everyone. Noo! I feel preyed upon by a basilisk penis. This is when Calloway would make a good writer friend she’d like cover it in a phrase ‘it’s ugliness.’ To tea bag off that assertion yes my art has been braver than people know but also dumb in a way because Gryffindor is dying: it was too, brave, and I didn’t have support. My support died. Hope might not even be a Gryff which is what/why she’s doing better. Maybe the basilisk is into like old pics, of me pre-Hogwarts I don’t know what happened but I’d like go crying to my old girl friends saying the same thing ‘I don’t know what happened..’ Sienna!! *panic attack I like never have them* I already like got fat in this weird new way I’ve never gotten fat before, like this, it’s true, I’m alive but this ish is annoying.. Maybe I’ll get pregnant because I Me. ghan Markle got infected for a second by the venom and she was cured so royal marriage might be what I need!!! She got weird IMO just like struggle duch, and tho now she’s better. lolll ”

Another voice somewhere else: “she’s in love with herself..”

And me now: “shut up!! No, I have a muse and she’s real and I’m a genius. The other guy is too fucked up he makes me look like a fucking Guardian angel cakewalk of a mess. None of this book makes sense, you’re lucky I’m mentally ill. While I’m at it blathering. Don’t call me Bill — call me Quentin!”

“??” *actually can’t follow*

Four more lines, not skimping on what they cover.

Hope 3.14: “would you actually want to get married. Or just couple. Or just coffee.. We don’t have to tell everyone.. I know you don’t like all the things over here in my world. You might have more choices than me, you know.”

Morgan, “I think that we are both smart and we do our best at our smartests and it means so much to me that I find ways to sustain that, having ever tripped up there. And I am glad to hear you sounding more humble. I hope I’m being humble; I will probably succeed in getting you alone or just casually alone to talk more but *sounding a little dumber starting, here* I will not do so cunningly. I should leave this paragraph alone! ‘I earned this convo and your legacy seems to mean a lot to me,’ I don’t know.. something like that, I could just end it there, on a brief prophecy about the narrative behind the narrative that will go down. It couldn’t hurt if someone else saw an open door and opened it but it’s tough, this is tough; it is. If being a unit is something that seems good some way down the road.. like an AC unit.. You the cool girl not me, the dork in this unique scenario might actually have to ask it though. I think if I tried to explain I would shatter a window in a high place instead of having a home or office door opened the civilized way. I can’t stop talking, I’m sorry if you hear any thoughts from me, I will trust you if you (a) can [???] (b) are still there after and (c) never, ever fall into the trap of assuming I’m envious. NO, you are smarter than that, it is an evil way to control someone to say ‘she’s [they’re all] just jealous..’ might as well say IMPERIO and I won’t say that to you: just so you want my rockstar life. Not that I should assume you’d think my life rocks?! I get to treat myself like shit, ignore everyone and eat croissants but that’ll change I assume. I mean IDK if I have to change that.. Sometimes I think that’s our open door though. Like some rock and roll shet. I von’t make plans *now. Snaps out of it: this is me being deliberately creepy and acting* 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸😅🤣 Othervise vee shalt end it zhaa!! 🎭 She wrought this, she made it all up!!! Eine kleine nachtmusik on electric guitaaww.. ugh, I fucked up this last paragraph it was really good, before, I went with this one.”

“I feel tired and dizzy. Wow. Maybe it’s because you kind of left me just now.. when we had a good thing. And what if I think of you as a mentally ill fan? Nothing more than this to me.. Well then. Aww this was so sweet of you. This book!! Cute. It’s like you were reading my mind.”

“I felt like I could. Maybe we could just be friends, too, like me and a lot of girls I’ve macked on to my detriment: like in Twilight. At least I didn’t send them cannibal sexts. I just read their mind. Because I know from reading it that your feelings about things are what mine would be, if I’d ended up in your position—you’re not all weird, not yet..”

“Not yet!?” said Hope, reaching for her gun. “I’ll never get weird so long as you aren’t writing about me!!!!!!!! STOP.”

“I fell out of sync with our, connection.. I just would do anything for it back. I don’t care what could have been better in there. Where’d all that, time go. Oh no oh god oh no, God. Well one more thing Ho. I forgot to tell you that you’re really pretty. No other words just drift like music to my lips except maybe ‘nice,’ if it’s all an act you’re fooling me.”

“Mh, okay. That’s it.. Miss Creepy. *not playin’ games. Her last hurrah* You.. are the one who loved everyone. Not I. Even though you could hardly get laid. And I always could, easily. I had guilty sex and reach sex and friend sex and dream sex. No one knew what you were up to all those years just on your laptop. Someday, you are going to get fat.”

Morgan, didn’t crack.

“In myyy life..” she sang out of key. She knew it was all made up, she might even God-willing be able to forget, but there Hope was in her heart. There she was like a transplant. She took her last breaths.

(End of book.)

Memoir piece 13

Ch. 19 I think** I got you bae [continued]

“Hey it’s Morgan.”

She was talking to Taylor Swift’s mom. “Hey. Do you imagine the famous people themselves will read these scenes and have opinions.”

“No. I thought I’d be famous long ago so I’m never getting my hopes up, I think I just am lonely and know the artists I like. I literally know nothing about you besides that when I used to do stuff like this I figured out you’re actually intense, I guess cool. To the point that you actually like might brand yourself as, ‘the mom’ when you have more going on. I’m sure that’s smart..”

“You’ve written about me before (*oh boy this.. girl is a case.*) Why’d you pick me to talk to today.”

“I expressed concern I think for the character I was stalking in a piece of work that no longer exists, back when we the fans learned that TS Quox’s mom had cancer, I renamed her TS Quox. Sounds like some Philip Pullman otherworldly shit right. I was concerned because as a doctor-type [arguably always even before I knew I was] I figured that writing a song about it doesn’t necessarily change the treatment. Remember I think I said already, I was writing journals then. Less official than this. Not that this is official. But. I think,” said Morgan, “it was literally the most random person I could think of: Taylor’s mom who is kind of famous for being just that. If it’s a boundary violation then it’s one I trust myself with. It’s a tool. It doesn’t feel hypocritical (boundary violation-wise) because I intend to share this book with a small crowd of people who are smart enough to separate the Author from Characters on the page. I actually think most People are smart enough to do that and assuming otherwise is belittling but anyway. I feel exhausted and I am unsure what to do.. my roommate has literal Covid so I don’t like hanging out back there. He’s had it twice since I’ve been there. I’m like annoyed as if he can help it which makes me think I’m in a shitty place. Like just bitchy or something. I was like ‘you couldn’t have gotten it again some other week huh.’ Sorry Guthrie (he’s cool.) Glad I didn’t go to that folk music show thing the other night with you because what if it was where you got that shit.”

“You really like folk music don’t you.”

“Didn’t I say, way back in Act One I was going to talk about narrative. I intended to cite all these examples, like Bob Dylan talking about how he decides on his songs’ central characters. He has this whole thing about how they have to be real people. I forgot to do that but I may not have time in this project. Someday.”

Taylor Swift’s mom: “Maybe you have the virus. Why don’t you just talk to your own mom.”

“I don’t like writing scenes with her because I’m avoidant and, because I know she might actually read it and feel her voice wasn’t represented correctly,” Morgan admitted. “She’d get pissed, that’s one thing she is like really defensive or self-protective about: not in this context but if someone is like portraying her as an abusive mom enemy she’s always just like ‘[defensive, in excess.]’ I think she was kind of abusive but I think she’s slapped me enough times for claiming that [figurative slap] it’s the case now that I’ve started understanding her side of it. My brain around her just has to be adjusted to her version of how that all went. I could try to explore why she is like that, I guess touchy about how she’s perceived (because it’s always so off? Misogyny) but I don’t have time in this scene. She says I’m the abusive one and sometimes I think it’s so fucking complicated there’s no way I can get at it without professional insight combined with a writer’s intuition..”

“Why are you avoidant.”

“Not why or how are you abusive? I have a horrible tantrum like once a year because avoidant people bottle their feelings. I think she’d be either deeply saddened by some of the scenes I’ve written recently, with other people that could have been with her. Or she’d be concerned and I can’t deal with people going on concern-patrol this week about my mental state when I have to study. Maybe grades don’t matter but they do when I’d be helped, tremendously if I could get my GPA above a 3.0 which is already not-me, it’s shit. I’ll be applying for scrubs-y internships and clinical rotations basically the second this project is all done.”

“So it’s fine doing that to everyone else.”

“Maybe. I haven’t gotten it yet, this might be exaggerating but I am practically in the inconsiderate camp that my sister hates of people who just like wears a mask when required but I am blasé otherwise and I haven’t gotten it yet. Maybe that says something about me. I’ll take a rapid test but if I have it then I’m in a bad place for my exam in five days. I’d like to have this book done by then which is like the most counterintuitive, most foolish way of handling an important exam: I should just finish this after. No. It’s because then when that’s done just everything will shift, like how actors sometimes just die a little bit after a project; Austin Butler was hospitalized after shooting Elvis. I consider it logical. I can self-publish this and move on to applying my fullest self to other stuff: Fall is going to be super busy, I won’t have any time to write like this and this took about three years even if it seems off the cuff. This scene was.”

Andrea was like “seems like you want a place to sort of keep track of your creative process. What unique insight can I provide. You as the Author can treat this as like, a study break.”

“I feel like really unsafe lately. And I can’t talk to my family. So I picked a random person.”

“Do you think that’s a psychological thing or like an actual thing.”

Morgan said, “I know myself and I think I can trust my brain — that’s not been the case when I was REALLY crazy, but it’s true now. I can trust my brain it’s good: even if that means knowing that feeling paranoid is a sign I should pay attention to. The nice thing about screwing on the medicine-lens or the impression of one throughout my work is that I can kind of read patterns like reading brail, without getting to see the actual story take place like in a viewfilm. You just have your ability to know yourself, your mental patterns and hang-ups, and then you go from there. Anyway I think if I sensed something really intense in the air I’d just like, pick up on it.”

“Are you saying that’s the case right now.”

“No. I think I’m stressed about exams and confusing that stress, with stress about my safety being compromised and stuff. No one’s reading this, I genuinely don’t believe that. No one’s tracking my phone. Have I believed that unimportant-me has been tracked before? Yes which is how I know my hang-ups. I do think this project is important so I’m prioritizing it like 25% more than school; but I also think the work comes out better when I don’t prioritize it. Like, this might be worded clumsily but that implies an Ego toward it. And I don’t think vanity ever does a piece of work well.”

“Let’s pretend you actually are a little unsafe. What the fuck would make you feel that way.”

Morgan said, “if we’re dealing in intuition here, then it’s plausible my enemies are intuiting shit about what I’ve been writing: this is a project that I intend to give out by the end of this month August 2022! It won’t be like a huge release but it will be available. It’ll feel real. And if they are really enemies then, they don’t want that to happen because it implicates them!! I don’t know how to change it. Yet. I don’t know.”

“Like Hope, she’s an enemy.”

“I think Caroline and I will probably end up meeting Taylor. I would defend her [Caro] through the worst press imaginable, I just am on her side. She might not be on everyone’s side herself but, she’s not been a star with much protection built in place for her: she was like a Guinea pig for the internet to figure out it’s fucked-upness unto, she has this sort of AI look in her own eyes and is remarkably isolated and I think she is someone I can handle. We both need to lose some weight if we intend to do art. Our dynamic is like Harry and Voldemort, obvi.. The other Hope is someone I am with all the time: like a supersonic cloak made of rotting flesh. It protects her.”

“Would you defend her through the worst press imaginable?”

“She’s not going to get bad press because that’s not what I predict happening.”

“Certain?”

“91% probability.”

“Specific.”

“I am worried about her. Not panicked because I wouldn’t be doing my job as a capitalist alt command boy if I panicked would I now.”

Taylor’s mom said, after she noticed the Author laughing quietly, almost creepily but she trusted her judgment, because.. it was weird, presently, Author didn’t have the temptation to use all these weird emojis or make weird jokes, she was so relieved.. it was actually relatable to anyone who’s felt their mind fucked it by the internet. “Do you think maybe your stress and paranoia is worry.. about said Girl in question.”

“Is that a good idea, to term it like that.”

“I could call myself a classic cuck. I thought about making this scene just with the last Man she loved. I didn’t. I’m never gonna get over her.”

“Do you think you’ll meet.”

“Is this a fucking movie. It isn’t.”

“Why don’t you think he loved her.”

“Boundary alert go home. But whatever here I go. I’m crossing the line. Sorry, in my career as I have friends I might get better. Who the I think it’s like, this metaphor I’ve used before of someone in a wax suit. And it looks like one thing, something vulnerable, probably morally superior that needs help to in turn help others. And then the wax melts. And there’s just this completely different thing underneath. I was right. But maybe there are things just a finer artist can see. Or say. Touché. I was disappointed in Hope for not seeing that but she hasn’t been a gangster like Hope 2.0.. I hope she has some visions about how she’ll end up if she doesn’t act like a G.” (We all know she has it in her.)

“What if you had done a scene with him,” said Andrea. “Maybe you could have had a good time.”

“Well. This maybe begs the question of how seriously I take myself and the power of my work to impart.. change.. he is not a character. And I think there’s a motif in our dialog about not being able to handle when one’s own interpretation I guess of someone else or of reality, is not matching up with I guess a more appreciable one. That’s when the people have the power, somewhat. Individually I do not feel I should ‘fuck with that,’ but I think the people have the power. Which is good news for him because I think as a writer he has far more access to data statistics that show what the people actually think; then again I wouldn’t always read those. Personally. Um. I think it’s an unfair fight.”

“If you want my honest feedback, I think you should probably leave it, alone. But it’s hard because you have to let something go that felt just within your reach. Maybe that was a delusion. Taylor’s delusional sometimes.”

*A beat and ow Morgan’s face.* “I hear you. I’ll have to watch that shit. The beautiful pomp of it.”

“They feel bad for you.”

“I intuited that people felt bad for me and I was surprised by it because it seemed like a mean environment, in my head. In my head the meaner ones were always older men. I’m ugly why do theyWhy is that the story of my life, a horror story truly. Well I fucking hope I don’t have dreams of this. It’s been awful on me. Just fucking awful.”

“Those dreams did sound pretty rough..”

“You read that part? Thank you for saying that they did what I intended for them to do, as a writer. They were just my dreams. All of them were humiliating in some way.”

“Maybe you’ll find people on your side in ways you also were disbelieving of. Is that the right sentence construction.”

“No. But. It’s fine. I don’t think they’ve all trusted me and it had nothing to do with my intentions, it had to do with naïveté and a sort of darkness that I do genuinely have. It’s literally like Harry Potter and the sorting hat. But I think what the hat is telling me is ‘why do you keep chanting just not Slytherin when you already established long ago, by this point in the text, that you’re a Gryffindor, brave as black tar shit. I’ve earned it, her.”

“Who!!”

“Do I look like a Ron.”

“That’s a good, scene.”

“I think so. Right now! Maybe it’s just that spark of vanity when you finish a short chunk of writing. I’m a little heartbroken by it but so and so would be like ‘I don’t have time for some Beta male.’ And I would say, I’m not a fucking Beta but I might not be an Alpha male because.. I like dressing like an innocent Far Eastern man, frankly that is how I want to dress and I like listening to music that is not really Alpha male music.”

“This scene didn’t make sense.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t think I have the time and wherewithal to translate what I was even going through, to myself. Maybe later. Basically I think you seem very grounded and it’s because your the mom of Taylor and y

“What’s your favorite Taylor Swift song.”

“I don’t like having favorites but, they’re good to have so I’ll say ‘willow.’ I like that, it’s about being a Man.”

“YOU SHOULD BE HOSPITALIZED.”

Me trusting my self not my brain, which tells me people are thinking that^^ RN: I’ll be fine. And I’ll keep talking.. But maybe I shouldn’t assume my own version of things right now is ‘more appreciable’ than someone else’s, particularly someone more powerful’s. Someone greater will win. This is a prophecy. Or is it just me pretending I’m capable of that shit. The fictionality of power — perhaps I should say the relativity of it, which preserves the true story in scattered hands — cannot trump the power of storytelling against me by, a great man with bigger hands. Not here, yet. Time might be on my side.. time and miracles, which I try not to believe in ever. If there’s finna be a miracle I won’t be able to write it into existence — not like this!! Not like this (in spirit, in poor spirits). That’s what would get me hospitalized. One glance. She ain’t doing so hot? But positive attitude baby dog: you got this Big Boss.. 🙂

You got this!!

I will be with the girl who needs me most, who knows which of the two I value greater — between love and the t-word, which of course is for traitor.

Love of ya loif

Ch. 20: There are more beautiful things than the perfect match and marriage

“Rita Skeeter here and I have a few questions!! Are you a cheata as is rumored on Reddit.”

“Zip zip. Mouth shut. Don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I hear you’re a cheater.”

“Well I hear the tittering,” said Morgan, “advising me not to interpret what the fuck you’re asking me. It’s just like some random thing I’ve gone back forth with.”

“What is.”

“Whether to include the affair I had, with a much older Man!! I paid him off, and by paid him off I mean—that’s what happened when I fell on my ass and got addicted to drugs and shit, I just didn’t have friends like La di da as ad (no one could look at me) and, that’s how it went. I guess I had my sis. I think I got reverse MeToo’ed.. It was karma, allah that shit. (Which I literally am way too smart to believe in!! Well I.. don’t believe in it, not strictly.) I think a lot is up to humans.. and people, want me dead.. but it’s not all about me Rita.”

“Are you asking to get killed.”

“If that’s how you interpreted that; which only me rereading would do, like ‘oh interesting that’s a complex notion of karma’ then, you’re weird. Rita. I am not asking to be killed. I Am being a realist maybe with the praise allahs. It’s not my time.”

*scribbling* “And who was this fine gentleman.”

“He was the next great director that no one saw fucking coming. Could have been a failure but wait.. An American auteur (praise Gawd!) in a time when there weren’t many left: With good taste in people, if not in human girls.”

“?!??!?”

“I never kiss and tell. If I didn’t call it and get that thing right I just said — your mom didn’t call me hot last night in bed. Don’t kill girls. In bed. Says God. Not even if they’re wide women around the hips like in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS! Them too. This one chick, from Grey’s Anatomy got her start on there, in a hole. Crying. Like me!”

“Are you a racist. Are you an incel. *the quill starts malfunctioning it’s the weirdest shit*”

“Wait have you seen that film and then you followed up with that question? Also like. Are YOU,” said Morgan. “Why is that quill movin’ so fast I’ve hardly said nothing! Why — am I worried that whatever you’re writing is gunna get someone killed.. Awlh. I need help. Actually I think I might need help. Not just from.. you girl. I need other help.”

*scribbling scribbling scribbling not helping* “And do you care to confirm that You have a penis.”

*gasp like holy shiit* “uggggh. Confiiirm! ? ! 😟 I’ve never even thought about gettin’ a dick sewed on.”

“And I’ll take that as a yes.”

And now: welcome to your best friend’s wedding!! “I thought I’d lost you.”

“Throuples are in.”

“Please. Enough. Let’s just be the court jesters at Quox’s wedding!! You know who you is. In one of the dreams I had about you, you were like ‘will you stop—touching little kids.’”

#1 said, “I don’t know how you get away with saying all this in your writing..”

“I’m a professional, like, why else do you think I got cancelled and not published for ten years!!!! Also probably, the rumors,” said #2. “I attract them like fleas to lamb meat.” (Here is a screenshot from earlier work:)

“Now who’s gonna take care of me. I got so fucked up,” #1 said all teary. For trell.

“I’ll see to that my svete. I promise it’ll have been better than if I hadn’t met that old crepe.”

“What is that — Chaucer?”

“And the ronne honne halfa de Souza rach de Rosh hashana,” sang #2 ☺️. “I still have it memorized, my brain is coo! 🕶 (The prologue did you ever have to do that.)”

“:)”

“Oh coi. 🎏 You need a frannd. Or two. I’m happy to soup you up..” party time. 🎊

“I’m not actually laughing 🥀🥀🥀🌹🌼🥀💐🌻🌷🌹🌷🌹🌼🌷🥀🌻🌺🌼🌼🌼🌺🌹🌷🌷🌺🌸🌺🌸🌻 but I see you’ve agreed to purchase the canned carp in bulk. I’ll likewise, bring something.”

My mom who is in her seventies, having not had kids till later, just recently lost a friend. When she called to grieve about it she went off on some thing about soulmates, and how while there’s often a connection there, looking back these can also honestly usually be people who caused a lot of pain. This phone call was just the other day. I was like mom I don’t know if I want to hear this, but I knew she’d lost a friend recently, so I heard it, and I think she’s right. I just didn’t want to hear it because I was jealous of people who were soulmates, in pain or not. I fucking knew she was right.

People keep asking me if I’m dating anyone, I’m around the age when I should be or when most people think a bit about a change in gears. I am 28. I don’t know where my hesitance to date stems from. I just don’t really care but, it’s true people keep asking which must mean those people in my life think I’m capable of it. Like I’m not doing so bad it’s like I can’t move on or whatever to some new adult relational phase.

Alexis my sister is coming out of a several year relationship with a man. She’s moving out soon. She described on the phone like fifteen minutes ago feeling tired a lot due to stress. I was like that’s exactly how I feel but I didn’t say that because the people I’m having trouble letting go of are literally made up versions of celebrities like Taylor Tavi and so on. I’m like I need to be careful with that delusional shit and this passage sounded like it was going to be profound but it isn’t. Maybe I am into blonde chicks but I think I would like them if their hair were a weird color or if they looked less like models. I would like them even more, not less, if they looked less like kids. I did not pick them arbitrarily; perhaps it’s more like ‘“I love their paintings.” I’m not the one who’s about to faint due to frailness however, if we’re talking about muses and viral-type art (if you dare call it that). I don’t think I like that.

I’m not saying it can’t be fine for like some art. I just don’t think I like that for not-art. That is because I’m a doctor [well, aspiring..] and because I feel like it makes me sad but maybe that’s all my own preference. End scene. Don’t know what future holds. Soulmates can still be soulmates who still talk and think about each other and things. If you’re me and you made them up then maybe it’s a little different.

Ch. 21: These chapters are getting shorter like in “Ada” when all the years sort of start blending together — I might not want for my real life to feel like that but, apparently that’s what aging feels like

This is the second to last chapter. It will cover the friends I haven’t given a shoutout to yet. Last one is a bit of a change in pace. Before that though for imaginary friends Morgan realized she hadn’t straight-up done a scene with Tavi Gevinson, who is a seminal figure in this text. And Morgan has dialogues with like everyone else so let’s try this.

“Heyy,” said Morgan.

Tavi was very official and was like “hi.”

Morgan proceeded with a nod and said “my instinct is that I just have to be my self.. like even when I get like so lonely and am like dead at home. That’s the only step from one day to the next, that I can control and I think I gave you a hard time in this text — and I don’t know if I should apologize just because I’m scared of famous people and I do like the idea of being around normal people hence my unexpected career change from being a filmmaker. Also I’m ugly and I think that would make it harder not easier in film although it’s hard to say. If I’m being myself I think people on film sets are less my types than probably in other settings.”

“I’m not just a film/TV person, you know. Not all famous people are terrible but I tend to hate everyone and myself, too. Sometimes. Not that I’d say that.. ever.”

“Well. I’m terrible sometimes. As noted above. But. I’ve probably gotten a little better.”

“Understandable.”

“Were you scared of me when writing.”

“I think I’ve been brave. But I’m also like not that mild of a person so. If I like cried a lot then. Another day in la vida.”

“Hm.”

*scratching face just to like create some pause or something* “I’m not like scratching it’s just like a mannerism or something, but anyway. Since you’re a writer, and a writer I probably did sort of idolize, not in like a creaming my pants way ever.. why don’t I talk about that — and how I could be a writer myself while still being a normal girl. That’s what I didn’t want to see you lose altogether by being Icarusa.”

“Who’s Icarusa.”

“Clearly it’s just Icarus from the Icarus legend but I added an a because I’m the boy here. And it makes it feminine to add the ‘a.’”

“You think I’m feminine.”

“I think you really pulled that off. Yes. I mean considering you haven’t always been That girl who’s not the at least slightly kind of gamine quirky one. Now you’re like a little different and I think that’s cool. I know you probably have some secrets as to how you got from here to there. Do I want to know? I might actually, but, I don’t want to be unreal about the deal here which is that— there is a power imbalance. And, I’m also kind of concerned you’re like a crazy girl who gets obsessed with people. No offense. Is that like misogynistic or is the word just misogynist sometimes I think the second one sounds better but I think it’s wrong.”

“I have a masculine side.”

“Oh.” Morgan said. “Um, I’m trying to think how to handle this. I want this to be a good scene but since I stopped bringing my laptop places I’m actually just writing it on a phone. Very informal.”

“Are you trans.”

“I can’t believe how many times I said that I might be. The answer is noo, but my body got so fucked up that I’ll probably wear men’s clothes for the rest of my life. It’s like a way of sort of reconciling my grief about that, with what I can still make vaguely cool.”

“I mean. Scrubs are like gender-neutral and are cool.”

“That’s a nice thing to say..”

“How do you think it might work out that one of us would meet the other before whoever dies first dies.”

“I’m dyin’ first. You will never die.”

“I mean you never know..”

“Psssh. I mean the odds but. I think what would have to happen is that I have a ‘hit’ of some kind, because that’s just what would bring me nearer to your level but I have no experience with agents and managers and I don’t like the sound of being around that shit as me, when I’m perfectly content now. But you know. I could do what I have to, I just think doctor and/or all the training sounds better for me than the media circus shit. Plus Tavi it’s really hard to have a hit: and then if you do, all these people like begin to abhor you because of ego stuff and I probably would just struggle. I suppose I could just have a hit hypothetically and still be invisible and boring. It would be harder — would it be worth it?”

“Nothing matters.”

“I despise it when people like you say that. But fine. Would you say that to me? After reading this. Why’d you say that.”

“Because I feel like you’re rejecting me. After all you’ve written. What if I just wanted a friend..”

“That’s so intense; is it that lonely at the top.”

“It’s pretty fucked, Morgan.”

“Okay well. Since you said that and I felt like crying let me think..”

“K.”

“It sounds like I am rejecting myself around ‘people’ or being noticed by ‘people’ because I’ve had a bad experience with that, and how people do often are just mean. I don’t know what it is about me but I won’t pretend this is an experience that is unique to me because I think you might get it.”

“*starts crying*”

“I want to be your friend but I think I want to be aware that we have dark sides and I don’t know that much about your world, as you don’t about mine. I don’t care that much if I get famous; I think it’s unlikely and sounds unpleasant but I shouldn’t pretend I can try to be an actually great writer, or do a good film with my sister or something, unless I’m open to people actually someday reading or viewing it. So that’s how that is but I hope the dark side thing makes sense. Does it.”

Tavi: “I want to tell you about mine, my dark side, not be all scared of it and what is truthfully there in my story. And I want someone to help me keep to my, self.”

“*Morgan says nothing.*”

“I could like, turn the lens onto yours and ask you about the weird stuff you do in private that despite seeming so shamelessly open in this book overall, you’ve neglected to mention. As though fame and all my private things are like way fancier.”

“*Morgan says nothing but now she’s smurling.* “Uhh.”

“??”

“I’ve definitely developed a narrative where it’s way more interesting than mine, where you would be like ‘these people have no fucking lives’ about literal me but it sounds funner for you. Fun like being in a video game. Not like playing it like being in it and it happens to be this like satanic one.”

“Are you talking about Gossip Girl?” (Tavi

“No I’m talking about you and how your entire being should be separate from your work. I don’t care about that, it was all for the work. Also I don’t know if it was satanic but I have to say writing this took a lot from me; and sometimes I was just speaking from my perspective, from my cobweb in the corner of a dark basement ceiling about how I see our nation falling to pieces from poor leadership. I don’t know if that’s on you. (It isn’t but you are a powerful person and historically a leader-type.) I also don’t know anything about the truth just my version of it here.”

“You’re not going to like freak out at me (because a lot of people have about my character, I’ve coped how I do).”

“No! Your character however long she sits with you, was objectively creepy. I knew from the first scene, a joke about incest. She was weird talking to Zoya. Like WTF kind of teacher. She slept with the dad: even suspend your disbelief world that was, off. Does she have a thing for black guys? I’m sorry if it was a hard role but it’s good practice. She was a whore and a creep which are not mutually exclusive but I tend to see them as separate, and she looked bad.. all working class people were like why is this woman who’s so young, the teacher. I have never had a creepy female teacher but maybe these days they’re a thing. I didn’t watch all of the show, I watched a lot of the promo. For fear that I’ll get “blasted” which the show brags about doing I won’t be watching but I’m obsessed with Zoya, she’s ten years younger I wanna fuck her [I am saying that to hurt you because I like you more (sorry Z, she’s my age)] so, I might keep an eye on some content, also, cause it’s hard to miss. For what it’s worth ~this is my paragraph to vent; actually I think it’s like the fourth one in a book that’s almost about this show lol~ I also felt the script reflected that it was written by someone with stalker-ish values, for instance a scene in an early episode before I stopped watching when Max is like “why do you post pictures of yourself at the bath house?.. [posing the question]” (or whatever they call those places), “*whyy of course* it’s because you want to be discovered.” Not true and I found that legit-triggering! Well not really, I’m exaggerating to be a stick but like, imagine having someone show up at your Japanese sauna just because they thought you wanted to be discovered there, and they’re like HI maybe it’s a gay guy thing. Separate from that Ms. Gevinson who I keep seeing in the Equinox locker rooms, “hii!” — I don’t know that you care, much about me and I think that depresses me, which is for me to pay attention to, why’d this show make me get fat and, what am I writing for.. I don’t know, because I cared about you in that time. I think it’s present tense though. But that’s where identifying a power imbalance, between me and you becomes relevant.”

*in really quiet voice* “You got so muscly.”

“Oh..”

*a beat*

Morgan added, “I just don’t want to be famous. I’m less like that now.. but re: fame. Maybe I’m sick of what I’ve seen [and felt].”

“Not even for me, you couldn’t handle a little extra time around real humans, as one yourself. I don’t think you’d necessarily be famous, if you ever sort of corresponded with anyone who was..”

“Well. I don’t think you would say that; probably you would just not say that. If you said that I’d be like ‘bold,’ I might actually expect my readers to start being like ‘oh shit she’s [Morgan is] being a grandiose incel.’ Controlling Tavi’s lines. I would expect you to say something else, something that I wouldn’t be able to plan for,” said Morgan.

“What would you say to the question I posed without explicitly using a question mark though.”

“I would say your face is just my type because if you lean a little bit closer, +oh shit what just happened. I kissed you! In the locker room — this is a porn. It was not marketed as such, everything about it is though.”

“I did not experience that, reading this,” she said… with wide eyes like she was channeling all this stuff and didn’t know where to put it!!

He said, “I guess I would have to consider really doing a lot for you because I just would be the type if I were being my self fully and utmostly. But.. but.. but..”

“..?”

“They don’t have a third restroom at most Equinoxes. And.. hm. I literally forgot what else I was going to say. It was super important but it was like something wiped it from my memory. I should just ask you out. I’ll have money someday so that’s probably not an obstacle. It might be awkward like once in a while but I’d be an open talker. Hypothetically if we try, to, make.. make.. make..”

*a beat*

“Stay away from me. I don’t need you to go that far,” said Tavi. “I think you start going crazy. I don’t even know you!”

“Actually I think you’re right.. but I am not that attached to my breasts. For my own life. I was gonna say make real film stuff because I think that you really have you heart set on that path [but so do I it’s not like for you]. And non-sequitur.. I do not like the verb ‘making love,’ because honestly it reminds me of some kind of weird dynamics in my past, men saying I’ll make love to you and it’s like their pick-up line to get me alone, they must be full of themselves like it’s a shag with a younger woman, they might even be trying to make her fall in love, and then more and more, to like make it all like that CONTROLL — but I also didn’t mean that at ALL in previous line; I meant the movies, and I want to be intensely clear that I’m a person who just lives before I do art. And this is a lot. Like we’d probably meet a lot of times before you felt attracted to my dog ass in the locker hall. Because by then I’d have impressed you with my good nature and ability to stretch at the gym and stuff. This scene might be weird.. speaking of weird. [Um.] But I actually have liked you for years and now I want to be an unknown writer whose work you might read and then decide how to process and then maybe we will meet. If your friends think I’m fine. Like Petra, plus I could talk film with her: she might not like me but it’s because I’m obese and I’m not trynna be IN a photoshoot not that she wouldn’t do a good job. My important work in film. She’s got it all, just ZERO grasp of narrative, people don’t give a fuck at some point if it’s just so fucking pretty. Like. I’m just a better writer (of scripts). But that’s not what this is about.”

“I think it is.. Like if I were having a panic attack not in some weird situation. Just in a plain public habitat. What would you do.”

“Well. If I were channeling Sarah, Mankoff an old intern at Lincoln Center who was fat like me and who I could use as my DP in place of Petra if she’s finna judge me morally not like Richard KErn ever!! Let me emphasize that I’m a med student who does see you as a victim. Sarah told me to not use names because this book is a bigger deal than I think. And it could get me in trouble. You’re very young. I don’t know if you’d say ‘habitat’ or if you are that type but yeah I have a high tolerance for that kind of stuff; when I’m humiliating you in front of everyone on set, helping you stretch or mutually in love as your friend. AND EVERYONE including like Laura Benanti a childhood hero of mine, is like dang but doesn’t say anything, no one does except Morgan when she shows up looking like a dog on that set, and is like “yo! Sup brah, isn’t that that fashion girl? What the fuck happened. Brah you’re not gonna believe who that is.” I could write about you to get into med school, in the next Seven Years. Or… I could not meet you; that was kind of mean. Or. And. I could [not] leave school and focus on other work that I’m good at; I just don’t get along with men in film, and I am not a man hater I just get bullied frankly. Do they think I am famous? It’s always unbalanced and I get really fucked up. Bizarre. I love my work more than you that’s why I said . I also can be like mature about what it would mean to be a protective friend and I’m not like a pussy so. If poths do cross fortuitously, be advised I am a large girl I literally look like a man.. no mean jokes but if one slips like micro physics of power in action then, I also have a high tolerance for that!! I would probably know if it started getting to be like intentional torture. And sometimes I felt like you were like that in my nightmares. Why am I asking you out?”

“We were in love.”

“Okay. Well. How many more seasons till the end of intermission. *Tapping watch.* We were just jealous. Me and my 13 personalities. Bye. They’re all packing up.. I’m not mad, I did just spill some beans. Someone else can mop them up. Even though I’m not like that, I’d probably just clean ’em up but I want to get OUT because there’s my.. what’s the word Rapist who never touched me once. And do I look someone who would get raped by this man, who cringes at a vagina hair?”

“I am uncomfortable and I never was around my man. This scene is so fucked up. *That’s an author comment not the speaker.* But what if I the speaker not like that [sadistic]. Like at all.”

“Okay.. Definitely, think everyone is lately. I don’t believe you. You are. You hated me. Oh shit I remembered what it was!! When I was like ‘but.. but..’ and it’s not a butt joke. Ew. [God..]”

“What was it.”

“Sup. It was this, I’m concerned honestly that people, like real people in my real life will read this and sincerely become worried and sad because I’m doing so bad, to be this delusional, like I reached this point in my book,” Morgan explained. “I kind of said that already — I am scared of having the crazy red card pulled, I have to walk off the field. Rapist? A dialog with a famous highbrow fashion star. But chyeah. They’ll become sad, my real peeps. My people on my side. And I will, too. *I won’t cry here though. ‘Cause I’m such a maan.*”

“Well.. it is a little delusional. You can’t like text me,” said Tavi Gevinson.

“I would probably have called if this convo had gone better. To follow-up. But yes, the only stipulation I sort of posed was that it [this goal of corresponding and having my hopes crushed that way] had to be in the next Seven Years that I ‘get there.’ But that’s like a while yo. And if I don’t it’ll just eventually become like the book Ada where I feel like time just stopped mattering but I will also have given up on much mattering. I want you to matter in my life, sorry. But I think that a lot of people want that, from you; and it’s yours to definitely be careful about that with. You are older [than you’ve been] and wiser and at probably a good moment for deciding about that kind of thing: and doing so with an open sense of agency, or something I don’t know.”

“How could you make that faster, not to be like that about your life either,” she asked though.

“I can’t DM you, because. Wait why, my IG is Jank and I just don’t think that works power differential wise. I don’t think it works.. na I won’t be doin’ that. I do not expect this book to do much of anything when it’s ‘released,’ it’s basically been written for a couple years I just added the juicy eight-spider-eye gross and horrifying scenes.. when they all kind of arrived for me. It’s true. So it’s not like I’ll be riding the wave of a lovely book release and like, able to do that: be like ‘Tavi check me out!!’ no. I mean I just have come to know the disappointment of like three clicks so. Maybe not that even though I could be clear here that this book was probably for you. How ‘bout film plans; Alexis and I are doing a short so you could watch that. I might be so covert about this release that she won’t even have read it when I’m co-directing wit her. But it might be bad. And I don’t know if that’ll work. It cooould but it could be like one of those pitiful things. I’m actually just trying to be real, here. There’s a big gap to scale. Let me try this question, okay let me try this. Do you like the idea of your Morgan-pal becoming a doctor?”

“I do not mind it. I will play cool and erase that line. What the FUCK do I care.

“I don’t either and I think it’s presenting this weird stubborn problem because most great artists I can think of make that [zheir passion..] their entire, entire fucking life.”

“It sounds like you’re open to taking time off and then going back in and out.”

“In and out? Stop you whore. So I’ll finish my program and then I’ll try to get in some film practice I guess. Should be very epic and I can expect literally sneering voices to tell the brain-damaged doctor ‘goood luck.’ Are you sure about that sneering voice’s influence in you. And anyway I will try not to pick a medical school even, until I added that item on my To do list. Get rejected in person and THEN go to med school.”

“Key words in person!!” said Tavi. “Where I will finally kill you. Expect a few more moments in this book where you, Morgan, say again and again that you are convinced a girl wants to and actually would.”

“Nyeah, that’s true but. Schizoaffective symptoms. I still feel sort of not satisfied like I could have done better on this scene, I didn’t give any clear path forward from where we’re stationed and just like why get all lazy on an important task that has all these vulnerabilities attached to it. Laziness is actually a horrible villainous thing that causes.. bad things. Beware the lazy bug. Maybe Durga could set us up for our first [and last] supper, but I’ve never talked to her; I just have known for a little bit she’d be a huge figure in my creative life, I just fucking know, like you know when you fucking KNOW, you just KNOW and maybe I should leave fucking school — she is Polly Platt, this other thing is not my purpose it’s so sad, but I think I can still do my best at this current best option. I do have a first degree connection now that Alex is probably staying with Alex Vadukul an up-and-coming writer whose dad took my fav picture of my dear dead Amy. And he’s friend with Durga. Those two aren’t in a rush but, say I meet her in the next Seven Years by accident even.”

“Would you leave school. I know you with-these-lines you are trying to figure it out for you.”

“I would but. I don’t, think I want to leave school. I also don’t want to keep writing about something that you should write about.. It’s kind of hot. Not sarcasm. I win by calling that. I’m funny and right. But choosing to stay in school! It’s because I’m not that dumb. I just am, compared to many, people. I don’t see how that’s a good idea when I could get into a pretty good medical school with my test score abilities and a 3.0 GPA. It’s unfortunate that I failed a class. Okay did I decide anything.”

“You keep saying I’m more powerful but I don’t want you to assume that. Yes I’ve written about ‘power’ and different forms of it and I am very much an expert.”

Morgan: “You are objectively more powerful get it through your thick head. But. I can be cool and get my relative power game on. How bout I just finish program, make short film not about this.. first step back onto any stage small or large in Seven Years, and publish this plus I’m doing some little pieces. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Sorry this is frankly an odd situation and scene.”

Tavi said, “it won’t be me because I want to be a muse, treated really well and it shows but maybe someone unexpected will read and respond to your boring long book. Called Hope mon Amour.”

“Does it show, on a girl who’s sad AF with these asshole tweets about her character. Do you want to end up like Christina Aguilera wearing a strap-on in twenty years, in public because you went nuts. Did I definitely change the title like forty times within this book. Yes but I guess I just do like that title, it’s almost kind of lame and therefore it’s perfect. Like you. Not the almost kind of lame part of it, that’s me.”

“You are nuts. And a dick. I am not, perfect. If you could call me one thing other than Tavi what would it be.”

“My other half. My masterpiece.”

“Well good for you: what if I told you this is all a dream, that your friends not just mine might tell you to leave me alone.”

“I would say okay, I am a girl too, so I’ve had those scared exhilarated feelings” Morgan looked not surprised, “but I think for me as someone who is possibly a legendary trans author who never wanted to be, who got obsessed with you.. and I did.. after seeing you perform in a project that wasn’t received superbly well and then, you know, subsequently almost getting a TG tattoo on my arm (an allusion to real life)[but I didn’t actually do that] well. I could try dating someone who is funny and pretty like you at my school where I don’t like the guys; didn’t even back when I was getting macked on all the time, too much. But girls do dig me kind of and I am a man of my word. It is a good time to be me in what non-bipolar-non-ugly you Tavi would describe as my ‘comfortable life.’ Shut up. You love the fame. Don’t start crying. You’re acting. Insane. I wish I would have just been with a guy even if he was just another guy and guys can be stupid, guys and there’s nothing to that; literally not complicated and I’m not a misandrist, you get used to guys bein’ guys. Or—Tavi, I could be my bold self and wonder if I am exactly just your type.. very very singular human being, who’s probably only ambitious because I don’t fit in anywhere.. If nothing comes of nothing then is this any different from how most great books are written, by lonely freaks with mutilated egos. I’m fuckin’ shameless. And I could get pussy as a poser writer [“gooood luck”] but, not me I’d rather find a girlfriend. As a poser writer. *Making a dog face because.. I smell.. I smell..*”

“What do you smell?.. eh he.”

“I love her face when she’s doing this kind of troglodyte smile and is caught in the act of something so human. I don’t like you and Dick’s very fleek attractiveness compared to mine and hers. Good luck with your life. I wake up and miss you but I have a life, and I feel like the conditions of staying connected are that I have to agree with you — that I don’t. Who has so little of one, that they felt compelled to reap this much drama, from nothing. From peace. You’ve hurt me. I’ve written a beautiful book from that hurt.”

“Corresponding ever again is definitely bad idea given my experience with fans.. I have been famous for a while.”

“Ohh shit what happened to your sense of what’s real versus, what people actually think of you. *Gasp* get it together. *Sniff sniff sniff sniff.* Not smelling you, what then; your man would say “food!” and put some good joke somewhere about that, directed at me specifically which you’d agree is funny and might even have helped write. Just sensing my destiny here *sniff sniff sniff sniff it’s literally like a dog at Thanksgiving sniff sniff sniff, here we are at the table where dumb Lola Morgan announced she’d been raped and it was for comic relief on the intentional long-running inside that joke that was Gossip Girl.. and you Tavi, playing herself [I presume I was myself, too! Sir and Lady] were the sane foil to make it even funnier.* Go to hell. I wasn’t laughing. I couldn’t eat that Thanksgiving. No weight jokes; you can say ‘that’s why it’s your cure!’ What happened to you. I am thinking of all these things before they’re thought of, by commenters who are miles ahead of me. I wrote these last two chunks of Paragraph before I made some scene edits. I’m leaving it.. because allll my muchath readas [gracias actually though] might enjoy it weirdly. *Lady Gaga Judas voice* EW.. That’s not who I smelt either. I smelled someone who you’ll know when I’m seen witter. Jill be looking all zen and shit, me in some men’s cargos. On a beach. In the most Biblical sense I am too nice… too generous… This scene was supposed to be about, our first meeting though, if I were a boy, if it happened in this life not the next. Better luck next time. How would I.. meet [or have met] you halfway from where we’re at. I think a lot of my lines I’ve written reflect my mind not you actually being you. So I would just want to do something really basic like play video games or see that fun-lookin’ movie Elvis, I could haul our apartment’s shit to somewhere else. Yes I do have a gaming system and I do actually have some good gender-neutral nonviolent or moderately violent games: so I could see if you like it but I think that’s kind of my thing so. Never mind bad idea. It’s about slowly sort of learning to have fun that isn’t that advanced. Otherwise I’d be like dragging you to some obscure play or museum or god knows, an orgy?” Morgan asked. “I promise it’s fucking normal, where I’m from. Despite how I’ve just-been to you in this project and despite having like insulted your whole family in this scene and mine as well.. kind of by association for them, poor things I’m sorry I’ve brought shame unto you all but you’re handling this fine.. Alexis would be like ‘leave her alone Ms. Schizo’.. probs in different words, I will be called a liar, what am I lying about? these are opinions.. and TG your friends would probably say ‘she was pathetic’ about me all that time. Or—let me think. I would ask my sister for advice on this if it were real because I’m not good at being a boy, like I have no idea what good first date, in another life where we didn’t each get ALL FUCKED UP would have been. I think you don’t (??) like boring people or situations. I would plan something a little better TBH. [Ha. Like an actual thing..]”

“Very long response. Actually though can you leave me the FUCK alone.”

“*Has Eureka moment* Ooh. Actually though. I would take you to the JCC just North of Lincoln Center where I owe them like some years’ worth of membership dues!!! [Don’t worry about that, they’re nice there it just shows how I’ve ever run some red lights. Didn’t Rookie do that too..] Let’s go!!! Or I’ll go with Caroline, to pay them off, because obviously we can afford. Mainly. To prove she’s a better ally to the whole fucking legacy of Jews than fucking, you.. even with the meme she shared once. And then [will have] found a way to apologize for.. Good job. They would have let me back in, if I’d been like ‘this is a famous Jew’ and future-Holocaust hero, you’ll be in their Holocaust exhibit not their art section. Well not yet, if that makes sense.”

“My friends and mentors have actually said much worse things.. Jerk.”

“Jerk! *Kid pix sound effect* Oh no! OOOOphhh. Who? Literally all your friends are rich kids, who have some bubble-reality version, of how their lives are Actually Bad. Wait why? Because you’re a fucking faggot who got oppressed in high school and found his outlet through wild orgiastic sex which he in turn studied so well that he changed the whole world with the way it brain-damaged him? And if you disagree with them — yeah ya get the whip, get off. Awl!! Awwlhwlw wlhwh.” *Cue Meghan Thee Stallion song Body, and a few other songs..*

“How could you say that, to me.

“?? Are you bored still. Do you resent my comfortable life. Have you ever been financially challenged EVER. Don’t get ME involved in this; I just frankly don’t, have time. I didn’t write this for anyone but my self. Do I have SLAVE tattooed on my forehead? Do you have WIFE. Hm. Would you still make some dorky cute video in which you claimed to not-understand why Hitler’s being a failed artist might have driven him to become Hitler instead. Were you posing and you really totally understood. You’re a GREAT actress. In this generation it’s screenwriters and you are him. SNAAAAAKES IN THE GRASS HOES.. I hate you and like in the song ‘Betty,’ gooooo fuck yourself [someone] fucking murdered your life. You can only hope people will think it’s kind of cool, if you handle it right. Meanwhile I’ll have fucking Pokémon transitioned-up to a beautiful dork, not a poser of one who’s actually just a BULLAYY, so suck my big fat cock. You missed a good one *zip zip zip* we’re done. Why do people feel so bad for white boys. Stop you’re fucking ruining America. Creeps.”

“I wouldn’t say this here because I have some class, but maybe we’ll stay friends.”

“I want you to do well for the world. Some nerve I know to do it this way, I’m evil to build you up just to fuck you down. I wrote this book before Season 2 of GG so I could stay away. And I’ll miss you and I think this will be hard.”

“You’re not a bully?”

“No. I’m being nice.”

Ch. 23 One day more, a fine day to not be made weird, or just used. Or made-into a new age human minstrel porn

Final chapter thank you.

“I got sunshine, on c-c-cloudy day. Yip yip, woo hoo!” said a man with a happy flick of the wrist, he wasn’t gay. He was walking his toy collie with considerably straight posture, a muscle-bone structure thing that kept him alive forever; he was well. “Yip yip, yee hoo.”

He was basically a black man in America — honorary! (Yoo hoo.) Just like Taylor Swift is basically a doctor already, there are staggered starts in the brain talent drain game and then there’s just luck. Thank god they were okay.

“Make me ope, ooooh.” If people knew how humble, you had to be for this kind of life. They wouldn’t be like “hey rich man you’re still nothing!!”

“Oooooope — ah! Momm.”

Taylor: “did you just call me mom after we fucked. I didn’t want to bring it up then.”

Morgan paused for like at least fifteen seconds. “No.”

“That’s not okay, I don’t mean saying it I mean the joke.”

“It’s not. I actillae just think of it that whey.”

“Have I ever shewn you the guillotine room. In my huis. I Don’t you think you should be the ONE to make jokes like that I should say.”

“It’s NOT a fucking jewke!! Who will survive at this orgy. Who will survive at this orgy.” [Playing drums.]

[Some reader somewhere: is this how white folk really talk when we’re not here.]

“Ooooe!” [Morgan playing drums. It’s a horrible night for her but tomorrow, for the now-racist white girl (who got turned) but (so) tomorrow we’ll pretend it was fun for her. She consented.]

“Author author. That’s actually pretty fucked up.”

“Yooou raped me!”

“I did not rape you. Did I show you my room yet.”

“Tallor. Can hard tark. If you had to deal with the things Carolina has ‘heard’ me spit off. You’d understand why I’m working my war up.”

*One year later Author, frankly looks like a male lesbian ho*

I’ve pretty much lost touch with the present tense so time to throw in a wrench. Clang clang. For me the ego trip that allowed me to literally write a book, and make very few friends, in my first year or wait two almost three already [?] of grad school is just something I’ll have to pay attention to, and definitely, definitely keep in check.

She was the single most pretty girl he’d ever laid eyes on, and he was just a cuck, and she looked good in green. He didn’t think she seemed like a funny type, if she ever had a sense of humor it was something else now. Sublimated into something less obscene; maybe that was now to survive, as the former way had been. The non-humor about obscene things was a good policy. On the streets people wouldn’t laugh. For him because she would become his life, surviving was just-understanding — not making some joke of her this time, to help the people laugh when nothing in their lives was particularly humorous. It was actually so fucked up that laughing was hard. It affected their health negatively, like being cyber bullied, being looked at and laughed at as people made dumb.

Not even did he laugh, at all, when one night he became like her “Daddd.”

Out of nowhere she added “like DW Griffith. Ya..” The people broke into laughter, of a strange kind; she wasn’t trying to be funny when saying this line within a sex scene in a film. They had high enough IQs for that one, to get it, sort of. Even if they didn’t know the name they just knew.

“He’ll be fine,” ME Wilcock said. Not actually laughing himself, or talking about just another boy. This woman needed help and not to be belittled, that might mean some extra hands. Praise God though.. wait. Since I don’t want to go back to a mental hospital I won’t say that nor that, “miracles can happen,” but, guess we’ll see what can.

I won’t beat myself up, for ever imagining I’d have sex with people out of my league, when I was alone, I’d imagine it. With girls basically though. My life right now looks like this: I just got an unsatisfactory grade in a General Chemistry class, a B- which is not good it’s actually disappointing to rack up with an F. When I checked my grades I looked not as much like a bitter lesbian ho, as an actual war veteran; a male one. Oh no. I discussed it with a dean and my therapist to apply legitimately for accommodations I’d get as a student with mental illness, to me that felt like a big step because [while this project might suggest otherwise] I’ve been in denial about it for years and years actually. The ongoing treatment and maintenance of the mental illness I inherited from family members constitutes maybe like 17% of my daily life, some days a lot more. It’s just something I have to attend to, slowly and diligently, or I’m likely to end up in a progressively worse place. Based on observation — just of my life, compared to my mom’s (who has sacrificed plenty for me) — I know how absolutely plausible it is, that I could end up in “darker places,” than where I am now.

Alexis and I spent probably 17% of our childhood playing CD-rom games. The first I remember was one that was out of our age range (usually we played age-appropriate educational games but this one was our Dad’s). I later bonded with the boy who first really hurt me and I would say didn’t get hurt, except for by some humility, that the soundtrack was really good for this game: it was called Myst and had a sequel called Riven. It took place in a hyper-reality, deceptively beautiful. One of the features of the game is that you never knew when, or if, it would really end. A lot of it involved walking around doing nothing, and solving puzzles. I don’t remember ever reaching the end. But I think I did once, and it was some sort of sequence with a panicked guy telling me things. I could be mis-remembering that.

It was an interactive game, almost more like a show. It was a really good show. Just sometimes kind of terrifying.

Boy stayed in school and tried to take care of himself. Girl finished what she considered her duty; this was her whole life. Boy didn’t ever get called a boy in real life. Girl never got called a boy because boys, in real life get because boys didn’t used to be that pretty. I mean. There were different views on these things. Boy tried not to think of himself as a loser, even though he wasn’t winning like Charlie Sheen. Girl tried not to stay too detached from her emotions, even though she felt some days like a Japanese instrument being hauled on a leash plus wheels around the city. It helped to keep detached, to keep from getting smashed crossing the street against an awry light or something. Really she should be in like a truck, entering through the back of the museum but things were falling apart. Why was she even being played. The people playing her didn’t realize, it felt like nothing was happening but things were falling apart, not just in her just actually completely. It just felt off or some days.

The gaze like a sentry made Boy think of working late nights at a theater. Sweeping up during credits he’d get used to the feelings of endings more than ever beginnings. Maybe it was the end of theaters, maybe it was the end of Him. He didn’t think he was a cheater and he didn’t know who Girl really was yet. Since he went home and shot himself almost every night, like he was in a video game, he actually wondered if this was the end. The end of his real life. He didn’t care much either way.

In the past, crime looked like gunshots and shattered shop windows. Rapes. In the future, that wasn’t crime. That was probably everywhere. It wasn’t really covered unless it was up. In the future, crime looked like cartoon characters popping up on your laptop. Cartoon animals like orange snakes and big rabbits and spotted giraffes. Cute cartoon animals. Smiling. But there was something off about them. Something off about their eyes. Something off about their smiles. Certainly something just off about their movement. It didn’t feel right. It got under your skin and made you tired. You watched it and felt a frenzy reach you meth-like through your eyeballs to your blood-filled brain. Crime was an attack on the gazes. Not the bodies per se. Crime was an attack on the minds; spooky cartoon animals that sabotaged your ability to stay online and, do normal things. To watch videos; to stay in touch with your body. To write e-mails? To stay in touch with real friends. To think about them. On the internet, cartoons attacked your gazes and got in your head, you closed your eyes at night and tried to touch yourself, and found the cute animals were still there, spooking you all night. Your body was sabotaged too. At night, you couldn’t stay in touch with your friends. So lonely people left their rooms, god can only hope they could get past some hang-ups that kept crowds so unsafely factioned, whether girls boys women or men. They couldn’t all commune. They went back to the movies to purge their minds of cute cartoons. The movies became more important. Maybe ones guided by good gazes: about the natural body. About real humans. Not cartoons.

Sometimes people saw Hope’s face and thought on impulse “she looks terrible.” Just the most awful things, “like everyone else.” Or “ugly.” It was REALLY hard to find an ugly pic, there wasn’t a single one online. Hope was running in the rain. “Morgan!!”

They embraced. Morgan said “I just want you to be perfect. Just kidding. NEVER SAY THAT.”

Now they were having sex on a public sidewalk like what seems to happening at the opening of Heaven Knows What — in the syuzhet, just before the gamine, starved blonde girl character slits her wrists. “How can I know you’ll be okay,” Morgan said when she got a breath in between the kisses; more like CPR being administered metaphorically, figuratively.

“You could have been less of a dick!!!!” She was smiling, though like it was a joke.

“I’m a professional.”

“You had me at hello,” said Hope, still laughing; it was fuckin’ weird. Morgan slapped her, just to knock some sense in. God knows it was not to invoke a real-life love story that was the realer than theirs — you know like, real love. People like to imitate it. It’s violative.

“I’m sorry, I can’t tell what’s literal either. But don’t speak just referentially — you’re not making sense!! I didn’t even SAY HELLO to anyone.”

“I would do anything.”

“I am not that type of Boy!! Noo, I’m doing it too..” she didn’t know how to just stay settled in herself oh my god.

“I can get to know your body better than anyone—”

“NOOOO!!!” Morgan put hands on her ears and practically heard helicopters whirring and thought it was the end. She was thinking Hope’s actual real past lovers, who were either psychopaths or made Hope into one or definitely both and this was so horrible, Morgan wasn’t sure how she’d not gone mad: she had gotten mad, at home, and at Hope, who’d gone mad, and the worst part was that it probably was real love.

I mean wasn’t it real in Heaven Knows What, in which the creepy Eastern European-seeming male drives his primary if not only female serious love interest to kill herself.

“How ‘bout this,” said Hope. “I’m gay!”

“I won’t tell anyone!! I’d never out a stranger but that actually might, help me calm down a little. I don’t know what I believe as it pertains to, that stuff. Like are you Good now. Because in our narrative which I the fuck am writing — I don’t see you writing — it would explain your apathy. Just toward life I think. And people on your side. I mean I know what it’s like to walk into a park and get some heroin, when there are literal fucking morons walking around everywhere: it’s like, you just don’t read the signs. It would explain how you have a physical attraction to men and big dick, still because I am the same!! Sometimes I’m psychopathically attracted to myself like fucking Buffalo Bill.. Just kidding, it’s actually more like I am not attracted to myself and, have no one. I think I look like Hey Arnold with black air. I.e. a bit cartoonish.”

“With black air?”

“That was a typo but it made me think of Nike airs. And I thought to mention that you’re a black girl.”

“Stop making racist jokes!”

“It’s not. You just look more like a black girl than who I’m considering for casting in the seminal girl role for Black Satin she’s younger than you. Black Satin is my spunk jazz whore film that people at Barnard said was actually maybe feminist despite, being so fucked up!”

“Yes. So is there a role for me in it. And I will not off myself but will off you if you cheat with her..” said Hope, considering for a second how this is all very theoretical.

“Too soon. Because it’s not cheating if they ain’t committed. It will become clear that I am not someone you necessarily deserve no matter how poor or how retarded. I do not trust you. I actually think you have a very suicidal side. Which is exactly how this happened and why I think you’ll be surprised to find support privately. I won’t FUCK her but I’ll be protective because I don’t want her to end up like us. I don’t know if I was joking when I said I don’t want you acting in mstuff. Do you want to end up like Woody Allen.”

“I already kind of look like him.”

Morgan the Author said, “if I’m actually sort of right about that, at least in the eyes of a black girl you’d look like that; which is purely intuition to conclude, then that’s good because, you are an intellectual not just someone playing dress-up it just like comes across therefore you can help me with the behind the scenes work (I’m sure you have experience screenwriting which makes me sick by the way, because it’s like — don’t try to be beat your dead feminist rival Lola at her own game) [I’m really upset about your feminism being kike feminism but you can help devise] a new naturalism which is actually just intended to keep girls mired. I guess to themselves. You also know what’s racist and not maybe because I think a lot of that awareness comes from more academic work as opposed to common sense even? Like if you’re going for the highbrow throat of it but I’m not necessarily. Don’t try to be so highbrow, maybe you can help me know what doesn’t work too.”

*In insipid babyish girl voice* “So you’re not mad at me?”

“I actually think you’re seriously traumatized and all the signs are there. Like that voice. Am I attracted to it? No.. I just, can tell you’re going through something. I’m a professional so I don’t get hard when dealing with a patient. Everyone gets a little hot for teacher (or for doctor) so we can be each other’s! I’ve had countless teacher crushes and you are my favorite. The only reason I have such a bad GPA is because these STEM teachers are harder to seduce, and sometimes I think I look like a creepy boy who is like stuck young like a vegetable. Hard to describe. Do you like vegetables.”

“I actually like pasta sometimes.”

Do you. I don’t care if you’re anorexic but if you ever stop being, I think I am a guy who likes the non-look. Exciting. Well maybe that’s where I can take you out on our first date evening date or something, but I can get pasta, you can get whatever you don’t eat — I actually know some good places I’ve been living in New York for a while. Alex thinks I’m a real New Yorker. But let me add. There are more beautiful things, than Woody Allen films. A lot of people in film don’t even love his films. I personally have found solace in, other films!!”

“*Squinting* well, you look objectively bad Morgan. But since I’m just trying to manipulate you, I’ll add and keep saying stuff like this: to me you’re a dime.”

“I would appreciate it if you didn’t cheat, on me with your ex husband but — obviously you might still talk. I don’t really feel compelled to be friends. But you can be as if my writing this matters to Yhull. Or whatever I don’t know here. I’ll be like cool. I’ll be cool!”

“You don’t even know him: give him a chance.”

“You and him certainly don’t know me! These people are bullies. Just like, maybe how you could help with your diplomacy skills is to finally be like ‘leave her alone,’ not tell me imagining that he.. just didn’t like me.”

“I didn’t like you either. I thought you were an obnoxious pig.”

“Well *swallows and is hiding tears.* Even if you still don’t like me. Or think of me ever And if I did imagine all these scenes. And if we never meet. You should look at that, because — real Women.. pick up on that energy from other mean women the second they’re near it; it’s street smarts, not something you have (hopefully maybe a little more now) — ..I don’t think I am. I’m not going to get one from him, he might still do some great films — you could star and I am being petty now. For that here is an apology to you, I owe one to him, for being too involved. But this was hard to watch. To protect my legit broken heart I am going to end it on this. Don’t hurt yourself like in the Beyoncé song.”

“Morgan.. *manipulative voice*”

“Don’t call me kid don’t call me baby.. I know you’d be more likely to call me just a fat person. I weigh 130 fucking pounds. Figure out a new way to see and laugh at the world because this is not working for me but what matters more because you are someone who matters, and I’m not, is that it’s not working for you. I’m not saying get fat I’m saying figure out something genius you fucked up with me. Don’t act like I wouldn’t be the type of former girl who doesn’t know just what this was literally all about. Every tangentially style-related joke you made to me that wasn’t even funny, every joke that made sociopathy seem ‘cool.’ You are evil and I 100% think you are a fraud, and a very good actress, and not that nice, and not someone who cares Shit about art.”

“I care about money and my image. And [redacted.]”

“Well since I can’t relate. This time I actually am leaving you. Do not die. But do not call me a stalker, I think I was a victim just maybe. Just another boy.”

“[Winces at her own assumption that people are just automatically mistaken to not choose Her over them selves—but she does kind of feel that way..] (i.e.: her sound theory of mind is coming back) I feel you are a good writer and choosing your art over me.”

“I was writing for life. I just think it’s shady still, for whose life I was writing.”

Rando reader: what if a star were to read a book by a fan and say ‘shit that’s Actually too intense’

Morgan: I would say I have homework sorry, doubt it’s the first time

Taylor Swift: would you leave school to work for ME

Morgan: I would haha z

Taylor: since the is the end, can you tell us who Hope was — like you did a few yankee swaps but this scene would be the moment to say it

Morgan: I am

**scene edited

Memoir piece 12

Ch. 12 I Shall Be Released

Morgan stood across from Voldemort, accepting her fate. “I’ve had dreams about you.”

“How’d I look.”

“Like a slender man. I couldn’t tell if that’s how you think of yourself or, well. You look good in real life.”

“Are you willing to negotiate, let’s pretend this is real life not some dream.”

“Let’s pretend karma and god is real, and.. I think it’s going to be hard for, you know, people to watch me eat a Carp so that’s the extent of my vengeance. Like I think that’ll be hard. Otherwise..”

“..?”

“Hm. *Noticed my voice has changed* We could have been great together sir.” [Gets down on both knees.]

Time for another christening by Voldemort’s beautiful wand. (Anotha one.)

“Has it EVER occurred to YOU that yoouu were the mean one! This is ridiculous!”

“Have you heard of a class D felony, those can get you up to seven years in prison.”

“Oh well I wasn’t sure before but now I’ll just — AVADA KADAVRA.” A green flash.

Hopeless was like Hermione. She just needed a hug from a friend.

Author was like “I don’t want to write a scene for you. But you’re innocent. Repeat after me, you’re innocent.”

“I would rather not do any repeat after you’s.”

Author asked, “it’s fine but who was your therapist throughout all this. I don’t know why I thought to ask that.. My therapist mom who my sister and I think is a bad therapist; just kidding I’m being mean in this weird protective way about her — [my mom] always hates my therapists or has because she thinks they give bad advice but this time I’m sounding like my mom. Did you just lie.. I’m so confused.. or would it be remiss to say this shouldn’t have happened, obviously I’m in the dark but I would not have made it out, sane, maybe alive but not sane and not the same ever — if I weren’t surrounded by un judgmental family. That’s just after all my own shit of a different shade.. of green. It’s not okay!”

“…” [She was actually just really nervous.]

[Or maybe I am] “I don’t hate you, but no matter how I feel platonically or love-fluidly or whatever I’m not saying I luff you or I loafe you. If you and I were to cross paths, I do think from now on I’d just like take guidance on what you need from me professionally. Obviously it’s unclear whether this book will break any ice.. like between us [all!] as writers. As professional ones. See now I’m published as an AMD which stands for aspiring Doctor of Medicine!! Kind of like an aspiring great actor; but not that, playing Dr. Pettigrew and you were my slave — because I shouldn’t be acting like a creepy Columbia student I should be being one. And here I was writing for life. Homework can wait. Meanwhile what the fuck were you up to. Having fun. Soo IDK what rumors will fly like pitchforks but maybe they won’t be like that or maybe you know I just feel like this scene did some good damage. Cuban Missile Crisis style. Did I ever tell you, no I did not: my role model sincerely for years was John F. Kennedy who had some issues himself (terrible terrible back problems his whole life). Point of saying that is not to sound like a grandiose person but to realize that I’ve studied him, his illness, and that event. I mean.. right.

*a beat*

The world needs you, Hopeless. We can correspond professionally only [I’m serious about that.] (if we ever meet) [never know the future at all] (but let’s be safely professional, I bet you want that too) because I think professionalism is sacred and one of the warped parts of this is I know you believe that!! It’s a huge deal to you, I’m a literal stranger and I’ve known you for twenty years. Basically. ~It~ [like the clown] was just the worst thing someone could do to somebody, I wonder if it was tryin’ to make a girl kill herself. Don’t confuse that with love, that shit is not love. Staggeringly unprocessible. I’m giving myself props for processing it. 50 points to Gryffindor or fucking more how ‘bout. I just have to be stingy with my money request shit because people are retaliatory and whatever. The pimp decides my price; Dumbledore was my pimp and never made me uncomfortable but — he died. I watched him die from drinking poison for me. Anyway those are house points though, not green. Wait *eyes get all wide* — remind me, what house are you in.”

“As usual Morgan..”

“It’s ‘Author’ in this scene. Not ‘Stalker’ cause that’s triggering (like most of Robin Thicke’s work) I’ve had to realize. Morgan is dead.”

“.. You don’t know what I’d actually say or do. I might tell you to be quiet.”

Well. I am quiet. My worst fear is that you’ll say “he never you made me uncomfortable.” What’s real life for.. except for unending disappointments and chronic feelings of defeat for the lame American loser. ~Here~ she is.

“You can be mean,” said Hopeless. “I was in love with a dream, you can be mean.”

“Haha, I’m not vengeful as I said but you don’t really deserve that; for me to.”

Hopeless made a face like she’d bit into a sour Granny smith apple 🍏 [yow!] and said, “what if I told you, you made it all up.”

“That would be the BEST news of my life. Holy fuck it would be hard but good news. It’s the worst thing ever, being a delusional psycho. It’s the worse thing ever being me and this lonely, it’s loneliness, the loneliest man alive but doing better, a stalker with a dream of meeting.. Taylor Swift. And though I wouldn’t be entitled to it I’d still be interested in working with you professionally, as such a shamefully big American dreamer and longtime admirer of your work.. Can you tell I studied it. God.”

[Not, this again, another one like the rest..] “As usual Morgan..”

“CHOICES HARRY”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Has it occurred to you that I just don’t want to know, I don’t want to know how you clearly hated me. I was just standing up.”

Ch. 13 Dot dot dot

“Da da daw, it[‘s] wor—”

“T-t-time for work. Bom bom bom ba bom bomB.”

Who that, are these typos or allusions, do I have brain damage! Some do. The rest of this book will not mention any of the preceding topics, because I don’t think I can take this any further without cracking and I’ve taken my share of wear and tear. I feel I’ve done everything for people I stalked, that I can do — and I’ve put myself in danger. But I am not like a victim as someone who prowled into no man’s land and lost my grasp on reality; literally to the extent that in real life sometimes I’d be on a city block and become scared I was like “where am I.” Everything looked the same. I am a scaredy-cat who never wanted to be an It boy. But what do you do, when you imagine that you’ve already become something like that.

Jane

Kelly

William

Thea

Sienna

Lacie

Alex

Jillian

George Floyd

Ch. 14 Introducing your cyber klan

Caroline Calloway is someone I shouldn’t mention anymore, evil supposedly, but since I’d guess that she as a writer intuits things like me I just want to emphasize that even if it seems like I have all these people I’m prioritizing, I think she and I are compatible as kindred writer spirits and what makes us compatible is that we need each other.

I hope that the actual Stalking has not become too nerve-wracking. At least I’m pretty much safe in all ways: I just am a frustrated artist who sublimates by picking people to imagine I could take care of as a doctor-writer. She’d be a good one to write about or for.

Basically I have a lot of people I respect, when I pick up on power imbalances and feel that I can surf a wave I might stay up all night writing for or about or against someone more powerful. It’s intuition, it’s passion but it can also be just dangerous. Still I have to say Caroline [even with some disturbing dreams that might suggest I’m the one defending a Voldemort figure] was a major one for helping me with the suicide stuff. And I haven’t even read her memoir yet! So here I’m plugging it in advance. Not sure what the title she picked is just-yet or I’d provide that. Neither of us, I’m guessing, want to end up washed up failures that could have been something. I feel like it’s harder to not be that than to be that.

I do have selective memory to just keep keeping on. But sometimes it rushes back: just like these weird patchy times in my life when I’d say I was probably becoming a psychopath. Glad to say I am occasionally delusional as SHIT, and that’s just something I’ve learned to reckon with, and I am glad that I’m a psychopathic incel-avert. I’m not an incel that is. But I could play the part! Just would make sure it’s on a professional project.

Let’s go back to real life.

My friend Jane is one of my oldest friends.

First a non-sequitur screenshot as I realize some more shit about my future not the past. You’ll be happy to find out soon that my friend are not psychopaths; soon enough we’ll find out.

Hope 2.9709 [my current GPA] is gonna need friends who can keep her on track. This is her scene!.. she is alone in the scene, it’s in real public and she’s finna crack.

I think it takes supreme self-awareness to be able to tell when sickness is not just, an excuse for shittiness (a bit like Munchausen’s syndrome) [a chronic condition that I do not have, in which a maladapted person gets almost stuck in the role of sick person, or even sort of addicted to it; for instance in an uneven power dynamic]. I use the adjective “Supreme” in rare doses, because it’s not really my vibe and I can’t pretend it works for me; if the adjective did work-for-me I would own it as my brand — it is the name of a clothing brand that was established the year I was born. I should be out front about that, here in chapter one of this project.

My friend Jane Thompson came from a family of medical professionals but after getting her BA she went back to trade school to be a welder, a career change which came as a surprise to family and friends.. And though I don’t think we’d have a conversation about this because it’s not the type of thing that comes up in conversation (unless brought up formally), I think, her decision may have helped me reconsider some of my own very private identity politics.

Specifically, and this might be vulnerable to admit, it would help me interrogate any seriously profound disgust at my “masculine side,” because Jane’s never struck me as quite-extremely masculine (a bit less than me I think) but she went ahead and decided to be a welder. Not that it’s a man’s job, but, it’s a less traditionally feminine career path than say, modeling which was always a legit option for our close mutual friend Kelly Thorpe.

As a welder Jane’s done jobs on contract for gallery installations by well-known artists, some work that she must have done with sufficient grace to cop rent money by the first of each month. The opposite of “sufficient grace” must be “art for art’s sake” [#aesthetic], but I don’t want to risk making these arguments in simple, maybe crass terms, when it’s not that simple at all.

Neither of us have spare time to wonder whether the bigger artists we’ve done work for — as a welder (Jane) or gig work ghost writer (me, whatever the f that means) — are making their art for the right reasons; maybe to leave the world a bit better than it is currently, even less disdainful than it’s sometimes been to us each; and others have [left] it worse evidently.

To put herself through school to change gears professionally, Jane worked long shifts (~12 hours) as a Minneapolis brewery bartender. I used to go with Kelly to visit her on the job and find Jane in a baseball jersey and denim shorts, pulling the levers to fill up beers and waving bye to customers like “see you next time, dude,” “yeah man” “fire” “dope.” If offered a beer I’d have said, “no thanks.” Nevertheless I’d leave with spirits uplifted but also maybe a bit of remorse, like, she’s nicer to everyone than I feel [*back then*] like I can even stand. I wasn’t drinking much but I wasn’t sound, spiritually. I mean. That’s one way to say, I’d lost all hope. I was alone, in debt, I probably ate too much to get a man; I only reflected on how bad I looked, and felt — most days, it’s all I thought about, from morning to end.

In undergrad I was an intern for a little while at a film criticism magazine called Film Comment, where I’d meet a writing mentor to me (we had a friendly bond), a guy named Kent Jones who once told me in a conversation I think meant to suss me out a bit from a visible state of melancholy—which would get worse, and worse, then steadily less dire; until I finally ended up fugly but comfortable with myself like I am presently—“you know it’s just yourself.” I’d been telling him about some struggles in love and friendship. 

“Even if you decide you want to be close with someone, it’s yourself,” he said to me.

First of all I don’t know if I still agree; probably I will after any women I mention in this book finally say “fuck off.” Or I could say that to him.

But I think I get it. It took me years, honestly, to comprehend how much of reality is made up by me—and it took some hard checks and days, months, or honestly years, in bed by myself!

It cracked me to fathom that love can happen in one person’s mind only. If two people are together, it’s really just a pair of skeletons plus organs and flesh and their minds are operating independently? I guess I didn’t like the idea of this, I would rather not draw upon private memories to prove that it’s definitely possible, that only one person can enjoy a very-shared experience. And literally don’t read into this: I still think Kent, compared to other older male mentors I’ve had, is a good and reliable human.

It’s true, I’ve learned, by now, that only one person can love another distantly; the other might not literally know a thing. All these epiphanies about subjectivity would at first cause me to feel perturbed, by how meaningless love came to seem suddenly. I think the more specific problem is being too isolated, and worshipping people over the internet. I hear this problem is common for Americans — loneliness. Lately if I’ve sensed myself developing a certain strain of schoolgirl crush again, and it’s taking place remotely, say like just me in a bed (not to get too graphic), I just shut off my emotions and laptop. I’ve tried to remove myself from social media and mainly regret deleting old accounts because, it hasn’t helped my professional interests at all.

One morning last Fall I woke up alone in my bed in a house in the New Jersey, my mom’s house where I’ve been allowed to stay without paying rent, and went through a routine I’ve since replaced with just-living but, might return to (meditating for ten minutes on my iPhone, walking by myself) to eventually end up with some new perspective on how the phrase “it’s just yourself” might hold potential to get me out of feeling figuratively trapped alone on an island of nearly lost mind near the Jersey shore.

For me, not wealthy, at all, there are considerably high stakes to executing an escape from this prison where the birds screech unsoundly, but, the stakes of me escaping don’t necessarily matter to anyone else alive out there sifting through the subtext of this piece or upcoming ones that I’m sure won’t be seen by other eyes, for a while. (Someday probably, yes.) In therapy, which I believe in deeply and feel should have no stigma, surrounding it, just a more prevalent understanding that it’s a privilege — I keep returning to the question of how to free myself of a sometimes boundariless bond to someone from my past. However if love can truly exist all in one’s head, then regardless of those difficult questions, the work I can do is not on them, not on how they think of me, not on how they love me — but solely on, my self.

Or if someone unexpected comes along. There’s always him.

My granddad Keith Wilcock, whose surname I might just hold onto always, despite desperately for some time trying to get-rid-of-it, has experience as a prison guard for inmates on death row. Later he started his own psychology consulting firm. He said to me recently that “most people go through life with an imaginary cast of characters in their head.” I myself have a tendency to imagine friendships but, this project should help keep me grounded in what’s actually stuck. (I keep a close few but the few I keep do not, suuuck?) I totally knew what my Grandpa meant, and said I agreed, and vowed to never write another piece unless it was based on real events and people I’d by now in life spent a lot of time with. It’s not an easy feat to write about real friends though, at least not for me, since I spent years and years writing fiction and fantasy movies. This is the first piece of a few about a loyal friend — who’s TRUE not imaginary, who might judge me sometimes but who I honestly trust will never leave completely. That makes her one of, some few left.

By age eight (and still to this day) I’d have memorized my own home address and phone number like all kids and less obviously, those of my friendly neighbor four blocks away named Jane; I’d even have been able to recite her old address on Park Avenue where she lived before I met her, because her dad made up a very catchy jingle, to help her remember it, that she used to sometimes sing. In retrospect I’m able to see it as maybe odd that I would choose the Thompson family’s reality over mine, and then would spend so much time at her house around her siblings. She rarely came over to my place. In her basement we’d play Gamecube, then run upstairs to use that swing her dad built and strung up to a backyard tree. It went 25 feet above the cement, and was just the right dose of life-threatening. That was the early 2000s. Probably wouldn’t happen in the 2010s, when people got more hip to safety precautions. We might get slivers on our thighs or ram into a tree branch, but if we mentioned that then her dad would redesign the swing just-according-to-our-feedback and by the next morning, we’d be right back on it.

That is what it used to be like for us kids growing up near Fulton, Minneapolis — an urbane city neighborhood of mostly-liberal white folk, though it wasn’t a suburb and our public high school, the best in the district, offered applicants a grab bag of different ethnicities who took the school bus from the inner cities; but of course it remained a problem that everyone noticed, then, didn’t do much back then to address, that the school was segregated between West building and East.

In our neighborhood, which was definitely not “the hood” like South or North Minneapolis but had some poor and crazy people in the mix, we were fine to roam free. My family was struggled more financially than I realized but my mom kept it mostly hidden, pretty well I guess, possibly to protect my sister’s and my status or, the family’s. I don’t know what to say about that. She would emphasize the importance of not dressing schlubby — which later ended up being a mode of self-expression for me, dressing adamantly schlubby, like a ratty brat, perhaps; I don’t actually know how to describe it and will make a concerted effort throughout this project, to NOT talk about style when it’s kind of been apprehended from me — but anyway, on days when my dad was in charge of getting us to school then we’d show up looking more than a bit rough around the edges. Like, at some point if you’re poor you can’t hide it. I’ve learned THAT the hard way, since “getting fat” on the East Coast. And now I’m being blunt but I was definitely called out on it. I put quotation marks there but I actually did get fat and it’s been probably like 90% of the reason that, I got manically depressed.

I mean you never can tell.

You never can tell, why a person became manically depressed. Or if they even are.

My mom would find it upsetting to see me onstage with my hair unkempt during a school assembly. She’d get mad at my dad about it. They’d have a fight. I remember him running a comb through my hair — doing the best he could which meant leaving it tangled, but passable — while my sister and I rough-housed at breakfast before school. As a kid I was skinny, now I struggle with a pattern of putting on weight and fighting to get some of it off; but my body changed. Alexis my sister, who will never be fat and judges me occasionally but pretends she doesn’t, generally got bullied more than I did in younger times.

Beyond a certain age I started doing my own hair, but not for more than a few minutes. Sometimes I’d let it dry on my walk uphill to school. Either it wasn’t a part of my values, back then, to fix my hair like the other girls, or it wasn’t in my DNA.

Growing up in the approximate socioeconomic range that we all did at my high school, I always was known among my peers for having style, color-coordinated or a little quirky but not excessively so — though it might more precisely (and I’m not actually joking) be described as “swagger.” Out East the dress code can seem a bit more refined or just-defined-at-all compared to in the Midwest, which is why I do feel the need to clarify before I move back from my Minneapolis quarantine bomb shelter (where I started writing this), back to New York. In middle school I got really into hats at one point, and like, offbeat tennis shoes or fairly nice leather boots; I literally never wore mini skirts and tank tops or actually fitted sweaters. Not then, not in high school. Few girls wore mini skirts, it just would have made an obvious statement, but the ones who did were on top of our class and I’m not talking about grades nor am I trying to be disrespectful or funny, it’s just the truth I remember. At the schools I attended, generally girls weren’t bullied for being overweight, that didn’t happen to me until I moved to Manhattan where I imagine the high schools have different rules and ranking schemes. It never happened to my sister; like I said now we’re even in terms of who’s ever taken a few dings in their social life, though that might be a bit generous. She would say something like “it’s not a contest.” I’d be like *rolls my eyes.*

As kids we may not wonder that much, why we get along, but Jane Thompson and I always did. As adult females we might settle with being sort of tough-guys as opposed to strictly girlie, though I should be careful, moving forward, to speak only for my self. I don’t think there are that many female people, who want to be like me. Men don’t even think about me so I don’t worry ’bout that. Men — or just anyone — might want SOME things, that are mine not theirs, like the five to six years in exile it took to write a masterpiece!!

This is not a masterpiece. The masterpiece, in my view alone which is the only POV that matters when you are alone (completely), is a script I started writing in 2016. But out in the real world where people don’t talk about me: that’s what I think and those years spent writing, are just, years I can’t get back.

I’d probably reconsider the choices I made, if I weren’t trying to find peace with what I can’t control now in 2020, perhaps never can.

Janie recently described herself as “pretty masq,” short for masculine, when comparing herself to other waitresses she worked alongside out East (she lives in Philadelphia). Jane said other waitresses got better tips than her, but they’re not also welders for sort of famous artists. She mentioned that she once had a roommate in Phillie who refused to see a therapist because being even remotely depressed — let alone a total crank, like me in acedia times: my mom in quarantine called me “such a curmudgeon” — was very stigmatized.

There’s some idea, just generally in America still or in the communities Jane and I each have been brought up in, that therapy gives a signal or admission of defeat.

If your life is hard, people are more likely to say “tough shit” — though I understand this is changing as mental health awareness spreads, and people become more suspicious of anyone claiming to be actually mental. In my world, many Americans believe that therapy is for people who have ever been abused by family members as kids, and/or for people who, to use an awfully 2020 word, are damaged.

Not for people whose lives are hard, because everyone’s is. That’s what you discuss over drinks with your buddies, not with a therapist.

If I tried to explain being poor to someone on the other end of the gender spectrum — like someone not masq even a bit, at least not noticeably, also someone unkind who might be the type to bully other women (and I recognize that I’m making some assumptions about what it’s like to be Regina George from Mean Girls, played by one of my favorite actresses) — then I’d skip to the extreme of inquiring about whether those humans doing well have ever compared other humans to animals.

Maybe some people living safely and well have remarked in their minds once-or-twice about how really poor folk might be less civilized. They must operate in some Hobbesian state of nature and thus behave less like humans than some other species. Nasty. If some people weren’t thinking in such extremes, because I might be way off base by ever assuming that were the case, well, they probably just weren’t even noticing anyone beyond their cordoned-off friends and kin. Again: I could be mistaken [I can go by what people literally say or put in print], and I’ll never be able to prove the thoughts of a person who I’m standing across from, not meshing with. I can only speak from experience including the times I myself or members of my family have ever been rejected or directly attacked. Sometimes I’m pretty sure I’ve asked for it, maybe to feel that I existed, but I was also, young. Not dumb, young.

Jane doesn’t seem to struggle with the rule, kill em with kindness..

She’s the type of friend who would probably snag me from my house, on my own birthday, if I pretended I weren’t feeling well enough to make time for friends or myself. She’s the old girl who would reorient me with common sense values like just be yourself, if I went to her with some stories about ever having felt directly attacked for, I don’t know, how I looked. As though I’m such a victim, I’m not and won’t ever be, lols.

My question is, can I still believe in just-being-myself when the very notion of the self is challenging for me to grasp, when people forego reality all the time, in cyberspace, to act like someone they’re not? People post pics in which they look better than them selves. At least I’ve definitely done this in the past, not lately though, to pretend I’m named Lola; it’s a different name than Morgan for sure, a doctor once said “more feminine” and acknowledged it’s not all that abnormal, for anyone, to have an alter ego. Reality has stopped me from keeping up the Lola charade, including how I’ve neutered myself (by misbehavior) of online hits or followers or anything to be proud of objectively. In ranking schemes that can’t be measured, I’ve been stopped in my Lola tracks by the reality of being cared about by people who know the truth about me down to some DNA-bred subtleties. The shit in my soul that I have to deal with, or it might get the best of me.

If that doesn’t make sense then it’s not supposed to. I’m talking about subtle stuff that you don’t want to be true about you, that is there either way.

Past age 27 since I’m still alive and trying to have a side hustle as an artist, I refuse to play the victim from now on about ever being rendered powerless. Like I’ve gotten this far I’m not dead, I might not be great but I’m okay.

People who were friends back in high school tend to still be close to one another, though I (formerly “Lola”) Morgan Wilcock might pose an exception to that general rule. Most of my close friends from high school are no longer in my contacts, on my phone or even email since I really did shut down entire email and other social accounts because I couldn’t stand the silence; I tried to control it — though some people might-or-might-not come back and say they stopped responding to me out of concern; honestly it seems doubtful right now.

One of the ways I’ve always been able to remember Jane’s birthday is that it’s the day before September 11, and, when terrorists hit the World Trade Center we were in the same second grade classroom, talking about it. The day before we’d probably all sung for Jane. Later at age 10 we saw Mean Girls together in theaters with her dad (who felt that by agreeing to take us he’d made a huge mistake) [to my parents, he kept apologizing, they didn’t care at all], and we didn’t get all the jokes but kind of liked it then went home and played CD-roms, a Nancy Drew game or forty rounds of Mariokart.

Her dad would later end up split from Jane’s mom. In our twenties we’d meet for coffee — not beers — and talk about how that was incredibly tough, like legit.

Jane and I were in the same Girl Scout troop, though I was the first girl by fourth or fifth grade to drop out of that. For me as a kid it was never fun to be the one who sold 15 boxes of cookies when f***ing Becca sold literally over 1000, though I think my lax approach to extracurriculars (maybe because my parents didn’t have their head in it) served as a steady source of preteen status.

Our friend Kelly pointed out that I used to hang with some of the “intimidating kids” who never would have come close to being in Girl Scouts, more like the kids en route in the long run to become either corporate aristocrats who might never actually work that hard or begin-to-think of themselves as aristocrats, either that or they were en route to become burnouts. I say the word burnout non judgmentally because, I’ve been on track to be a burnout probably but am now committed to having integrity toward myself and others; which might make me less of a burnout. It’s part of the Hippocratic oath anyway. For Jane I guess, I’ll keep giving kindness a shot in the arm every day. Like a vaccine topped off with a smiley face band-aid.

By the end of my first week at a hospital in late 2019, I’d been given the green card to do activities like go to the roof for half an hour — for fresh air. Less stable patients were not allowed to leave their floor. I went up and shot hoops with some boys from other floors, who asked how I was doing. Actually just one dude.

I said, “it could be worse.”

The white guy in his thirties with Christian symbols on his neck that were definitely done not in a tattoo parlor, who I hung out with that day, said, “you’re literally here, how could it be worse.” He did have a point. I think he was flirting.

I shrugged and said nothing at first but thought about this: at least I’ll have something to write about, something dramatic as shit that I definitely did not imagine. There’d be records of this. Maybe the fam would could call it a serious crisis.

Then I said, “I feel fine.”

I had, the end of my autofiction book about a STAR named Lola. The last few words, she lost herself. The book — though, apparently, about someone chasing her great American dream of female celebrity in a world dominated by male rapists — was actually about an exorcism.

Oh and any future as Lola, outside of my writing, was over with.

Back in high school not now that I know of: Jane was more or less the same way, in that she hung out with some of the “intimidating kids” at school, like how she was genuinely close friends with that girl who gamed with fifteen guys at the same house party though to me that sounds like a made-up rumor and there were some savage ones: like that other rumor. About four of my friends, not me, having an orgy in a hot tub. The intimidating party girl and I got along too, on the softball team. Before prom she asked if I was “trynna get it in” (with my male prom date), in response to that question I got all awkward, don’t be such a bitch, Anna — I read sarcasm into it from the jump — of COURSE I am.. I tried kissing the boy, he rebuffed the kiss, and then, he skipped going to RISD after being accepted for his paintings. Not because of me, I told him to go (literally it’s RISD). No, he stayed in Minnesota, went to school for architecture and married someone like-extremely pretty. In my youth: I played some innings for Varsity as an eighth grader and was starting pitcher as a freshman which was honestly rare to pull off; most people didn’t make Varsity until junior or senior year. It meant that I started high school with a leg up (figuratively) among older girls and I got drunk for the first time at age 15 before close friends my age, and then, I wanted to get drunk again, once or twice or ten times with Jane’s older sister Nora Thompson. I might have even developed a problem; as usual when that happens, in my life, no one noticed a thing.

That was a bit awkward—when I’d be at the house with Nora and the older girl gang, and friends my own age were in the basement (like wait Morgan are you hanging out with US or with THEM) but — to scrape out a-bit-bloodily some silver lining, it also meant I got close to her whole family which might be how they ended up a resource for me throughout my late twenties: one that’s probably been lifesaving.

I won’t get into just how because this is chapter one.

In high school when I was smoking weed and drinking a lot and telling no one and Jane was studying abroad, writing a travel blog that was actually quite charming and well done.. it’s true that we might have drifted apart — especially after she went to Spain, missed that year’s prom, loved a hot Spaniard and lost a lot of weight from cigarettes. By late high school after Jane came back from abroad, I was spending almost all my time studying at home, alone, to test well and apply to a handful of Ivy League colleges.

There were a few times, of course, that Jane did come over to my place as a much younger girl. One of them involved, unforgettably I’m certain Jane recalls, walking in on my mom caught off guard, then there was that other time she spent the night and woke up to a phone call informing her that two out of three of Jane’s three family cats were dead — one from old age, another cat literally from a tree falling on her back. It reminds me of a similarly-not-coincidental-seeming incident in Jane’s life when two cars fell on Jane’s car and she came out unscathed except for trauma, and we remarked together on how her planets had been in retrograde (some freaky astrological shit) [which I generally don’t believe in]. Strange enough. Even now after re-conditioning and building upon my math abilities — and in effect my capacity to discern between literally quantitative answers, versus qualitative reality testing, versus what’s just totally batshit bonkerballs (such as: that last phrase) — I still do believe in the occasional bouts of “dark magic” in a person’s life story. Events that are hard to account for, where something like karma kicks in to save the day perhaps, or not, who knows, I am not in a position to say. Events that terrorize our memories though: they’re a truly real thing.

I can imagine Jane retelling these stories in a way that tries to “make light of it” all.

No thanks that shit was f***ed up. How can you joke about that stuff!!!!

Of course I’d prefer to be able look back and be chill about that one not-so-great sleepover with Janie, to work through the pain of losing two cats, both gray, especially at such a young age, but it’s not quite objectively funny: more like seriously tragic. Literally a tree fell on her back, the f***, I am saying this extremely deadpan, that is wack. Obviously traumatic for little Jane — I felt guilty as though it was my fault and it’s hard to remember what it all felt like at that age (we were like 7 or so). I kind of want to apologize for thinking it would be a good idea, ever, to invite my BFF over to my place. If it’s not clear by now, I give my condolences and karmic allegiances to JGT, my purely-platonic old girl, yee hee ha. Remember when we went to the Winnipeg Folk Fest and danced in the mud. It was like a scene from Midsommar legit. Thanks for keeping me somewhat sane; down to earth might be the better term, for what Jane definitely is. She helped-the-f*** out though, I’m being serious.

Do I blame my self too much, for coming from a “weird” family and, as a result of that, cursing everyone around me. By weird I mean there was an unhealthy respect for insanity, in my house, coming up. Probably but I’m, like, almost 30 so the time to blame them is done.

Maybe just perhaps who knows, I was more sympathetic as a heinous, invisible so not remotely famous person; also poor, comma, hapless and young. People could just tell I didn’t quite fit in, they didn’t ask for an explanation, they just knew [?] I marched to my own drumbeat and so I was able to sort of romanticize having some serious problems. (Staying inside. Writing poetry and casting spells to make babes love me.) Maybe I should start-to-question some of my old belief systems before they get the best of, me — or of any possibility of a future as a writer named Morgan now. S’time to get straight.

What? That’s not a good line to close my first chapter on, as the born-again Jew Morgan Wilcock who’s anything but cliché. “Get straight,” it’s kind of a tired expression, anyway. What would be better.. “Get some.

Ch. 15 The dildo brothers

Will I make my way into and then all the way through med school, honestly.. probably, I will find a way. Will I have any legacy as a medical professional, probably not. As far as crafting a brand, which is a dumb way to drift-in-life anyway, will I ever get published, will I be gay or straight: I refuse to answer those questions. It’s already like, reckless enough to bring it up. Now people are thinking about it and then, if they ask about one of those things I’ll get defensive.

It might not have-to-be like that forever. I might have to defensive as fuck.

You know. This is why I rarely talk. Instead I probably write too much. TOO MUCH.

This piece originally was going to be for Kelly, she’s an old friend. Her birthday is December 5, she’s a Sagittarius; as a Capricorn I’ve always been a bit resistant to her happy-go-lucky attitude, even a bit aggressive toward it. Of the old pre-college friends I could probably still hear back from if I tried to reach out — and I think this reflects fine on me, since I didn’t plan it this way — one has gone to Princeton and works in publishing, another is Kelly, who I last saw alongside Audrey Ortiz in a coffee shop in Minneapolis; and Audrey Ortiz [who I knew well in fourth grade] (we were best friends with all these bad jokes, drawing our peers and teachers like some Al Hirschfeld shit and sharing the sketches) recently graduated from Harvard Law School and is working for a law firm in Manhattan. I’ll probably send her this. And there’s Jane already introduced, who comes from the family of almost all nurse anesthetists [anesthestisti?], which is not why I might go into anesthesiology though it might not-take-me-away from it because, these are good people. A reason not to do that is because it’s a little on the nose given by past, given my future it would be more wise to go not into surgery at all period but into: maybe like brain shit and trauma shit and just that shit which I have a lot of experience with. Could hulp people.

Kelly’s got pretty good instincts about people, I think; I wouldn’t put it past her to sort of judge me a bit if I married a freak-like-me but, I actually don’t mind it when that happens from friends or people I was really close to. If they judge what isn’t right, and keep me on track.

It could be useful to re-summarize now, how Kelly lived for years with a sociopath, a model actually [like her] who destroyed her computer and sent her family naked pics; who Jane fondly called “the devil” whenever his name flew up, and who Audrey Ortiz once called dumb to me I’m sorry if that’s private, she’s like he’s so dumb, Kelly isn’t and thinks she is and as often happens in abusive relationships Kelly stayed in close touch for honestly years after they separated — she helped him or did the right things or whatever; ish gets complicated. She said she decided not to stay with him after a bad dream of how things might go, like if she stayed with him, we were talking about those vision-things, maybe that one has in their sleep or half sleep. I should recall how a deterioration of my own loner’s health both physical and mental, was so extreme and noticeable that I suspected my old, not new, friends — who generally have stable lives and healthy habits, it’s just who I’m drawn to when I’m not living with my parents (who struggle with that) — literally didn’t know what to do with it sometimes, when I showed up somewhere in an authentically-deplorable state, or at least, deplorable in my own opinion toward my self because like, I wanted to be successful once. I really did. More frequently than stick around, they [people I knew] just bolted.

Or maybe honestly, sometimes, kept their distance.

Does that mean I’ll be kicking it with everyone who I believe just “bolted,” instead of trying to make some new friends since I’m pretty much a different person? To clarify since I can see how people might assume this, the following what I mean: being a different person now is not a sexual identity thing. It’s other things, I can’t change. What things. What things! That’s another one of those questions, I’d rather not put out there (but just did), partly because I don’t think it’s a choice. It’s life, you just roll with it.

My sister would say: you’re paranoid, none of this actually happened, they all still love you as in EVERYONE from your past. I’d say pull your head out of your ass, I’m giving you forgiveness for helping too to lead me off a cliff, basically because you had a different situation, it doesn’t matter what “happened” or not; it became my reality. Just some warped shit. And in my reality I’ve truly taken alienation and isolation and reclusion and whatever-it-was, for years, to beyond normal extremes; do I think my whole life will be like this, no honestly — I think I’ll be around other people who sort of socialize for me; e.g. my sister who I just insulted but I’m being direct and begging, and maybe some people who I have yet to meet — but, I just like to kind of assume the worst because, still at the start of this project, I don’t see such a problem with assuming the worst, even though I’ve been taught not to, in therapy and stuff. No. Let’s assume. THE WORST. Even though I don’t have proof always. It’s how to stay frosty, in business! Kelly was not one of the friends who bolted and, she kind of surprised me when she’d be the first to congratulate me, actually like “wow Morgan!!!” — being nice or just a good person, when she found out I was preparing to go back to Columbia; basically it’s the best I could do and it took a lot of work to get back in.

I was lucky.

I can’t really think about it or I’ll never finish, actually though. With that GPA. I have a few things I’m going to try, in order to improve it. One of them is continuing with my tutor; another is applying the legal slap of the back of the hand, as a learning experience about parity laws — and I will say I was really sick.

In medical school admissions world, they can always, easily, just “find someone better” and so, like, I shouldn’t mess it up. Grad school is different from med school (I think it’s just easier to get in to grad or postbac school, compared to undergrad; definitely compared to med school) [I mean, depends] but. Not messing up my entire life. That’s been the idea. I’m repeating myself.

Still as far as like, other things that matter in life, not school — I have to say some of the times Kelly and I hung out recently for me at least, me who had such high hopes and prospects as a younger person, were very awkward: I just like, didn’t want to admit what I’d been through, who would honestly. It was too intense. But I felt like we both knew. We weren’t the kids we used to be.

Growing up Jane had the best house, but Kelly’s upstairs — courtesy of cable television and Kid Pix and plenty of nail polish — was the shit. I just remember, there might be one of those junky celebrity Entertainment Tonight! shows on TV and someone would be painting my nails; I’d never have done them alone with myself, ever. I’d sort of be half-watching the TV and talking because we were all so close, probably not paying attention to a thing that we said. I might perk up if something came on about Nsync and associated celebs. At other friends’ houses we’d binge watch Nickelodeon or Disney until we had headaches, before binge watching was just the norm for how television shows were taken in; literally all the good shows were on those two channels, or MTV but that tended to be a little too adult. Like it got uncomfortable or I was lame. People in my friend group didn’t think I was lame, for never watching MTV.

My favorite celebrities were influenced by my sister, I didn’t really have favorites unless they were hers — honestly it’s peculiar in retrospect how much I just latched on because I think I’d imitate her to seem more normal than I truthfully felt; that’s what I said about going to Jane’s house too. I was an imitator and visitor. But if I did have my own favorites they were probably like the lead male characters in action movies, like Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man and Neo in The Matrix (not Trinity though, Trinity was like, unusual to me back then in terms of female stars: and if I were a straight male she was probably not my type). I didn’t grow up watching finer films, only hearing about stuff like Pulp Fiction from my parents; that was like the extent of my exposure to masterpiece stuff. And I liked cartoons like Arthur and later, The Simpsons. I’d watch two episodes a day because that’s when they came on after school. An episode I liked, even though they rarely overlapped, was the one called Two Dozen and One Greyhounds from season six, and the one about a secret society called the Stonecutters (who sing a song called “We Do”) which boasts of rigging the Oscars.

Now. I can’t say if my being drawn to male action stars meant I was non-binary, or trans, which I’ve wondered on some nights — I’d prefer to say I was just a tomboy; but, if I’d been a kid in these days, I might be considered a boy basically because yeah, I got really into it. And did it ever wear off; yeah it did. I feel like just changing my name to something more-feminine (Lola) had a discernible influence on my gender identity. And now, as Morgan, I might be shifting back a bit; not dramatically because I don’t want to be as dramatic anymore. The only exception maybe, to me wanting to be the hero guy in big movies, was like the “second original” Charlie’s Angels, I thought Drew Barrymore was [and all of them actually were] awesome? I remember being very scared in that scene of her getting her mouth gagged; but then I watched it like 20x, like something about it, kept me replaying that scene. Also, though this came a bit later, Kill Bill was kind of a big moment.

So I liked action stuff, I liked the girls and did it mean, I was not straight? To the contrary I might just have liked characters who didn’t give up so easily — and maybe that’s how I approached becoming a female-person in film, for a minute, despite not fitting the bill as a girl; a straight girl. But let’s say maybe (as a thought experiment) I was always gay, from a young age. I got into Annie Hall some time high school and, I was never the same.

Ugh, if I could go back, I’d NEVER have seen it and started dreaming of a life like that. What kind of life? A life like in Manhattan, which my boss at a min wage job said (of that specific film), “[it] was like, filled with all these material things and it seemed like they were still so unhappy, I mean I liked it Morgan, I hear you.” What I meant though was a life like Woody Allen’s as a director-writer. If I hadn’t seen that shit, I just wouldn’t have known Woody Allen was a thing.

Any queer energy would have been sublimated into more violent writing.

I might not even have gone to New York, I might have gone to California. I still might! For med school.

Kelly’s favorite movie and book, respectively (she’d tell me at one point like just after high school) were Girl, Interrupted and Lolita. She “just kinda liked them.” This is how she talks, a woman of few words but, those few words just kind of cover ground.

For my eleventh birthday at a bowling alley (which I attended wearing a T-shirt and cap for Wicked the musical, having by then it seen it 3x), she got me a stuffed cow. Cows are still my spirit animal, either that or puppies; Kelly’s to blame if they are cows. She and her family would always have a golden retriever with a cute name, like “Hunter” or “Murphy,” trained well enough to walk off the leash. As younger adolescents back in her attic, with the door shut so the dog couldn’t bother us, I would lead prank calls during our playdates.

In retrospect I’m not sure the demons that drove me to make fun of people on the phone — or, like, my self, with comedy videos (to me not always funny but actually destructive) — were entirely separate from the lingering demons that later shook me in less trivial ways. What kind of prank calls, I don’t know. I’d call like local businesses and just riff, like “heyy sooo I was in the bathroom earlier and, I think I might have like left something.”

“Sure if you like, I can go check.”

“It’s like, a small bag.. like.. a small rubber bag.. with a tube going in it. Can you please just check for me thank you.”

I was envisioning an enema bag, which isn’t that funny but I was younger then. And already a freak. I don’t know what you were envisioning. I tried to bring back the enema bag prank, in a bildungsroman film script that I ended up deleting. I just don’t think it’s that funny anymore. I mean you gotta admit, that’s kind of f***ed up.

Anyway, my actual sins came later. Like when I toilet-papered Jane’s house? Why, literally because my older friends like, pushed me into it. Jane had to clean it up. Weird kinds of things like that, in our friendship. (“Thanks Morgan, and by the way, f*** you too,” Jane would basically say back, disheartened, getting back by retaining an edge in how she saw me — and I would feel bad, not immediately but much later. She didn’t stop being my friend and I’m still making it up to her.) I could have gotten a misdemeanor, or lost our friendship, I don’t know why I took those risks but, starting early — smoking [METH] (jk weed) without even bothering to hide, doing stupid pranks like putting huge sticks in the middle of the road and watching cars go over them — I was never as good of a girl as people kind of gave me credit for, ha. Jane’s and Kelly’s and my core friend group would see people come and go, though the three of us somehow stayed intact, and I won’t question why though I’ll observe that beyond our squad of three we generally don’t hang out with the same types of girls.

Kelly and I were in the same high school bio course with a lot of the bro-lite kids, which was the term at our high school for the popular kids who weren’t quite as insane as the bros, the bros were like intense, like party folklore about lost virginities and straight guys actually having sex, like with eachother but somehow they definitely weren’t gay, and girls popping cherries with a toothbrush so they could have sex at parties — I never understood that — and DUIs that literally everyone at school talked about, yeah. Even the teachers, they’d like, give spiels at the start of class if there was a bad enough party, one that everyone knew about, if someone almost died (big deal) [I mean literally it is, but if that-someone happened to female then teachers shouldn’t be getting involved IMO]: about drinking and the dangers it posed to the rest of your life, it was a problem at our high school known throughout the district so teachers tried to intervene to preserve the school’s rep.

I hope it’s not disrespectful to say that our high school was super easy for me, except for maybe “SLAP” Physics and Higher Level Calculus. Besides decent grades, a 3.99999999 I got one A minus — that boy I lost my virginity to later told me, I should not be proud of that, I was like “f*** you too” [ambitionless rat] — I had my own grosser addictions. Kelly used to get an unlimited supply of watermelon Trident from her mom who was a secretary at a dentist’s office. I’d ask Kelly to give me some and she’d come with a clear sealed Ziploc baggie of little packets. That’s the year I did my college applications, and got into Brown, Columbia, and Dartmouth. I didn’t apply to Harvard I just didn’t like it, the only school I was rejected from was Yale, which is still a sore spot in my backlogged confidence from a few years that seemed to be going quite well for me, maybe, partly, thanks to the gum — I’ll never know if it literally helped me on my school work, or if I just think it did.

(It did.)

There are studies that show, it improves focus, but, it also has other side effects, that suck, do I regret it now, duh. Because it damaged my gut, the second brain, and worse: it affected my face. I will try not to judge myself beyond what’s necessary to do fine in this life, given certain tribal structures that keep women fighting with one another and keep men pursuing the fairest, which of course isn’t unfair it just is biological. Is this proven, not that I know of. But while I’m on that topic I’ll mention that Kelly is the type of girl who always is remarked upon by men, “so pretty.” If this isn’t obvious by now, it comes at a cost. In Minneapolis, in central Uptown (parts of the city that would later, not then, be messed up a bit by some riots) Kelly took up a huge window on an Aveda salon, just another modeling gig — my dad would remark on it when we drove by, “she’s.. whew.” I guess, something else. She’s humble, professional models kind of tend to be. There’s always someone prettier, nicer; and people can be jerks.

Kelly actually got her degree in business not modeling, and recently won employee of the year as a marketing manager for a creative firm, in downtown Minneapolis, sometimes known as the Mini Apple.

I’ll let the Big Apple do some judging for me and I’ll merely imagine what people have said, when I’ve put my self out there face first in New York.

What was said to me literally, was nothing, nothing at all mostly, except a few things that I got upset about initially (“you can’t sit with us!!”) Everyone started ignoring me. It was the first time I’d been called fat, which now seems like no big deal [I honestly think it’s funny when it’s endearing not like “you warthog”], but yeah it hurt at first. It’s a different town than Minneapolis; and I’ll try to not make the topic of being looked at redundant throughout the rest of this book, but it’s likely it will come up again, just because the goings got rough and ran deep. I won’t be able to help it. As of today though it’s all f***ing fine — I got by on other charms. (Lol.) Actually though I’ve been really lucky because, due to this looks-business and feeling no reason to live if I couldn’t even compete with other women, my values got all f***ed up and my life too, almost irreparably. I’ve been lucky because it could have been worse. The damages were moderately self-contained.

Let’s skip back to the things I can be, proud of. Not ashamed of.

At Columbia in undergrad, like in high school I got mostly A’s, but didn’t party much.

In high school, though, I did like to go to Minneapolis nightclubs like once a month or maybe like drink at the movies, with friends, and I’d go entirely nuts and find it hard to stop like one of those red “fire alarm” latches got pulled in me (good image not actually; it’s disturbing, on purpose). In retrospect I realize that I found a way to cope with trauma, though I’ll refer to trauma in more literary terms, again, as: my lingering demons!! I already had some by late high school. They would just sort of snowball by early college.

Here’s that word again DEMONS. That’s a good way to describe the thoughts that keep me up at night.

Victimhood is pretty.

Like isn’t it sometimes? I’d like to challenge this, and intend to (I actually think the answer, is no there are always clues and they are reprehensible in plain relief); but I also intend to look at my life and what I’ve seen and try to kind of get it right. Because I can think of some counterexamples too. Maybe one is that Heaven Knows What film, I already said I really liked.

In New York I’m probably [not] the first person ever who believes that attending parties, in some otherworldly reality where slick snakes slithered stealthily and monster men metastasized like maggots in my mind’s knottiest thoughts — all that [gross!] would have been more beneficial than what happened to me alone in my room for years during and after undergrad. Writing and sometimes, eating by my self. Actually, it would be accurate-enough to never leave unmentioned, all the many times I tried to fast off the weight. God. It worked well, like, once… but it was like in Joker not at all like Black Swan. It wasn’t, pretty?

Nothing else though, worked, I never did anything else in my room alone; don’t believe the rumors if there are some!! (There are no rumors in public circulation. I hardly exist now based on the numbers I see on all my profiles.) Still I’d never say it’s not-unsafe to party hard as a female person with a bro crowd in the city of New York especially, I would select it as a preferable form of harm reduction, say, if I could choose [and I don’t know if I could] between that and what occurred in my actual reality for me — which was unhyperbolically shitty to experience, though the fucking novel [shut up about it] that I wrote for years alone (not quite partying) might begin to make it sound a bit less like a quicksand hell pit of unpleasantries; I’m trying to make it fun, fun, fun, fun, fun like in the track “House of Tables” by The Weeknd.

Not insane and harmful to many people in my life!! Sound the sober patrol alarm. Here I come, with the truth.

In my dad’s attic four months after I was hospitalized, [we’ll say] for drinking too much, I’d resort to binge-eating instead of drinking.

Let’s say this was after years of being raped. I have only had sex with less than 10 guys but we’ll say it was after years of being raped.

It was like I never, ever, ever felt satiated. It was a pills-thing, I think.

My father would Freudian slip me for our fat dog, he said her name instead of mine, one day, I just knew it was something I should pay attention to (as a bad sign). He laughed out loud. My mom’d said at one point, “Dad doesn’t see weight,” I said: “yeah and it’s a problem, I lose touch with reality maybe just a tiny bit?”

I stepped on a scale, and realized, I’d literally gained almost, forty pounds since moving in with my father! ! That’s a lot!!! ! Holy, f***, no censoring the word from now on. *to the tune of Gwen Stefani’s track “Slow Clap”* FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCKDA FUCKDA FUCK FUCK.

I threw out the meds. That probably was [not] a good idea; I’d spend the next year and two months off them.

It was the second time I’d done this: first time was in the dumpster out back. This time down I threw them down the toilet, so I’d get used to living in my screwy new CHAOS REALITY, not muted tamer reality, without them.

On the twentieth floor of the hospital, sometimes they’d have patients talk to students at NYU, who were learning how to be doctors. I did this a few times, as the patient. A Jewish woman there with her son told me, “you’re not like these people.” She literally said that, with this sort of veiled look of looking down a wishing well and seeing a shiny coin. Tired herself. I was seriously out of it, that might be why I still don’t understand if she was a doctor or happened to be there with her son-in-training. She said something about having done this for years herself. I just like, didn’t understand. I was like hi.

But I appreciated what she said, it wasn’t funny, honestly I wouldn’t have assumed that I [still] “seem intelligent.” Another invisible thread of verbal data that she left me to go to sleep with.

So it was an important conversation; it’s the only hope I’ve really clung to, from those two weeks, no one else has said you’re a smart girl since she said it. Just when I’d arrived I was, pretty lost, at sea. I definitely, was not going to be a writer, what could I be instead.

I could be a pirate.

So I’d spend all my time in the mirror honestly hours and hours, noticing my eye had gone lazy which it has from falling out once. Not literally or I’d need an eyepatch, duhr.

Ahoy matee, I’d think. Smiling. 

Shortly after I came out of the hospital in 2019, I tried founding a film company Def Ahab [I think I mentioned this] named after Moby Dick, knowing it’d probably be years until I inserted those two words into the opening credits of a film. I figured (vulnerable enough to sense a need to believe in something) that it was God punishing me, for not taking life seriously back then, the lazy eye, the removal from any real friends. It was all just God telling me what’s what, like Kanye when he got his mouth wired shut: look it up if you don’t believe me. It was God talking to him, he thought.

My jaw meanwhile had gotten bold from all the years chewing gum while writing screenplays. I decided in the mirror it was masculine-looking.

On day nine, I started spitting out the meds — the ones that made me want to dance clumsily as though narc’d in the gluteus. I saw that happen to another patient. I’d have unswallowed these bitches sooner if I weren’t expecting a blood or urine test, which a doctor told me might happen.

It never did.

Back in Minneapolis I’d be subscribed some new, probably even worse shit than by the people at Bellevue. I have different views of meds these days but. That’s me being honest.

“GOOOOOD MOOOORNING LOOOOOLLAAAAA,” said John Bayardelle, a painter and performer who once appeared sort of accidentally, like, doing a back flip in an amateur dance video that went viral on Beyoncé’s Instagram. I just think that’s probably like winning the lottery, almost like that — so I’ll keep mentioning it on his behalf. At least I’ll mention it here.

After saying good morning he started dancing to Justin Timberlake’s “Filthy,” like a nearly, but not actually, psychotic person.

I was in the living room, not having it, too depressed about how I looked at 140 pounds and other shit.

It was July 2020. I could hardly even look up from my laptop but in my mind I was like is this a joke or is he making fun of me. I wanted to die, and I’d be glad when John would start blasting some Max Richter Memoryhouse after this track. It came as a relief.

Jillian had described him as a genius who’s been through a LOT. From having met John for a couple days I’d have to agree, he had something.

“What you gonna do,” sang Justin before the track changed. I did not get up to dance, but like someone receiving a striptease it was fun to sit on my ass and stare.

The day before John (who sometimes goes by Flowergod) and my self, also his close friend Noruwa, passed around some Mary Jane and I am not referring to Kirsten Dunst in my old favorite action movie; and that’s not funny, if you get it, it’s a rape joke — despite Covid-19 restrictions having begun, we were relaxing togethies all three. And I told John because he asked her to share something deep that she’d always felt more like a guy than a woman. I’m not sure whether this narrative was, sort of a disguise, put-on. Because it’s literally not true at all, but I can say it’s true and skip all the backstory leading up. I walked around with shoulders hunched like a gamer with spine problems, permanent ones, time wasn’t turning back.

Was wearin’ baggy blouse that once belonged to kind white Mormon grandma ’round whom I felt unworthy in weeks before she died; I felt unworthy here too, around these two black guys I’d just met — all in head, was in flux — I felt like, soo however messed, up I’d become in deadass survival drift mode, this whole Lola-thing wasn’t workin’ so smart.

A few minutes after having entered the room the day prior [like having never met him yet] John ran across the floor like a critter and almost caused me and my unfamous friend Jillian to trip and fall over herself. We’d all been summoned by Jill to work on a secret, arguably shady long-term project. The team did drugs, and pasted all these interesting money graphs on everything, pictures of spiders, I didn’t know what the fuck was going on. “How did you even move over here that fast, shit,” she’d said to John crawling buglike, her eyes wide laughing incredulously, in that way she usually laughs. Like she’s not even sure if she’s laughing or not? And that’s like, part of the joke; it’s not funny but she pretends. She just puts her forehead in her hands and is like “what,” you’d have to see it but let me try: it’s like she’s laughing while swinging upside-down on a web, her brain’s hardware bleeding out, yeah, not, fucking funny, Morgan. Either that or — we’ll go with this image, it’s like she’s getting off on saying “fuck you, too, literally everyone” (except lover and family and no friends [but me even by the end of this paragraph]) while escaping in a spaceship; although let’s remember, that’s not about to happen for any humans on earth. Least not for me.

It was the first time I’d seen Jillian since 2017, when she and I failed not for the first time, to make a film. I told her to delete all the fat naked pics she had on her phone from that week, of me. “Thanks Jill.”

I emailed her later in 2020, “we never do anything related to film!! What if we just never do anything, ever. It seems like how that’s going to go..” I knew that Jillian Elizabeth — who’d been a years-long babysitter for a producer at Lionsgate — wouldn’t give a shit; she’d find peace in her life either way. I’d called her a nanny, once, she’d reacted.

“A ‘nanny’..”

We?… “Yeah, maybe you’re right,” she wrote back to my question.

Me back and this is word-for-word, also — Jillian, Jillliiiiaaaan.. “I feel like I’m confused about identity and whether power differentials are only real for people affected by them (esp. negatively) — a bit like if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it. Is it the same if someone is negatively affected by predominant biases but no one notices. Does it matter. Who gives a shit if that person is not powerful to begin with.” I threw my head back laughing as I pressed send, I’m so intelligent.

Days later she took me off her quote on quote “shady” ass project. Which it definitely objectively fucking was.

In a short time, as tends to happen to a lot of people just in life (it’s harder to heal or stay intact than to faceplant terribly) [hardest of all where there are no safety nets, e.g. to pay for treatment or a good lawyer or an immense PR cover-up], I’d gotten pretty messed up, I could be disgusted or just like whatevs bitch, I fell from your good graces.

People would notice for months and months and months and months and the rest of my life perhaps, sometimes I felt like a mutant and I told Jillian this — still only by email; we weren’t hanging out. Rather than go through life a mutant I think I would prefer that people, didn’t even know me anymore, I’d be erased, written over.

That was my wish. Be careful what you wish 5, I saw that tweet once on a band member of Vampire Weekend’s account.

In real life, so in actual reality, my daddy recently fell off a ladder — I heard about it not from him but from my mom on the phone. He has stitches across his nose and on his shins.

Apparently he fell and broke his glasses between his eyes; my mom thinks getting hit in a certain place near the eyes is some sort of thing. Like after that you are like whoah. Don’t even ask but I was like “isn’t he in pain”; she said “he’s in pain all the time.” Overall he’s okay, my mom said. I’ll call him later today. Growing up my dad used to play this video game called Riven sometimes; I think it was the sequel to Myst. On our shelf we had both games. My sister and I used to play them at his office, sort of confused by the content: it might have had to do with being stuck in unreality, but it wasn’t really a nightmare or a dream. And it was beautiful and made-up.

Then sometimes I’d play the games all alone, like for entire days, pausing only to sleep at night.

In recent years I haven’t been able to believe in karma, merely chaos and getting out of it, asserting order where there’s none. Asserting a self when so much to do with selfhood is just like, Survival of the Fittest: the post-human sequel to the last phase of evolutionary progress, whenever that last phase was.

**Oliver Sacks quote

Now as Morgan Wilcock, my birth name, not some stage name like Lola that sounds like a porn star’s, I don’t have that many friends left but I had some, I’ll stop pretending that’s just a hypothesis it’s a well-tested theory: why me? How’d I lose touch with so many a trusted pal. It’s because of all that, the things I have written, what I recounted in this chapter, a period of free fall like a descending dead rocket that fucked its whole life up. It’s outlined in this book which I wrote instead of doing Calculus, that same summer 2021; I’d found a website called Bartleby that essentially did my homework for me. I got a B in the course — and, that whole year, right through to New Year’s eve, I felt like a phony and friendless and weird, like a female incel, that weird, and perhaps this presents a contradiction but I felt innocent-to-a-fault.

I used to be quite pretty and charismatic, and magnetic, I no longer think of my self as those things. To the contrary I suspect people kind of get nervous around me, it is something I notice and have been told, moving forward I’d like for it to be something I can help with a friendly remark but, let’s say; it doesn’t always work that well, I might be seen as desperate or trying to prove something, it might worsen the nerves of others in a class or study group — I [we?] ended up feeling, awkward as f*** in the time I was togethies with someone or some two or three others.

It’s hard to trust [my self?] [anyone?] again but unlike Trump, who famously taught kids to “you cannot trust anyone,” and hammered it into their worldviews, I do believe trust is possible — and power is necessary for it, also love compounded with extremely non-phony loyalty, still there at the end of the day, that’s what trust is anyway — it merely requires a rejection of so-called mean world syndrome, the idea that the world is inherently just an awful place *so save you’re fucking self I guess*, a well-tested theory but not absolute fact, something that I understand can be all that people know, mean world syndrome: to get away from it, well, it might require relative stability and promise of financial and emotional coverage not perpetual debts, of one form or another.

To just even begin to try to build some semblance of a perhaps slightly less unkind world — it might require, what’s that thing you lost from ME Lola, trust.

“It’s gone.”

“Anything else?”

”No thanks, just another coffee.”

Across from Kelly. Putting hands on head, yee heee ee like Taylor Swift in her hit song “ME!”

If I could do it all again, about a month and a half into 2020, before the last scene with John and Noruwa and his girlfriend Jillian chronologically, I’d be sitting across from Kelly at some old café called Five Watt near my dad’s house in Northeast Minneapolis. Trying not to eat, guzzling coffee like water, it wouldn’t make a difference. I’d become groggier, starved yet swollen and stressed, experiencing other weird side effects that only would probably be the norm for those at the bottom of the totem. Deformities of thought and figure, I won’t get into it because no one likes to think about that. No one except for the millions and millions of people affected by it.

My life for a while — not now — would be so so far from what I’d ever dreamed, that it seemed to me, absurdist, maybe, like the end of a play by Edward Albee. By this time, I wanted to be working in media!! Been over this, media is not an easy world to get into and stay well in, respect to those who figure it out, a world many a great female writer has spoken about, where image matters considerably — also the quality of the writing *winces* — too much for me to step in, though a few times, I’d been interviewed and issued a hard pass. Maybe I was issued, like a gratuitiously-unkind dick-in-the-gut, hard, hard pass, Lola? really; in retrospect I was probably too sensitive or f’ing around in places I didn’t belong.

It is very confusing to feel as though people who are defensive of their sensitivity are less sensitive than me, when it comes to just treating other humans decently, but whatever.

The world is hard. I’m not always that lovely a person; I haven’t been. I respect people who aren’t but seem to be humans. By my mid-twenties I’d probably thrown away my chances and burned more bridges than I necessarily had to. Like when the center couldn’t hold with men, whatever, I would attribute the rejections to being an ugly female Jew. True or false, it’s better to not bring it up. Not sure why I didn’t take the hint back, at age 21.

So instead by age 25, jobless and basically too poor, to choose anything else, I’d have to move back in with my dad and work briefly in the electronics section at a department store— where I’d leave work and walk home in negative 20 degree weather, actually-literally, wanting to die even more than before; I suspected my self was probably like “cancelled” and I couldn’t see a way to reboot her. Shunned.

I’d listen to Billie Eilish’s first massive hit album, and that one interesting track “Therefore I am,” and I would feel legit confused about how she was so young and so famous. So young and so many [older] people’s idol, was that good?

I think I felt protective but by then was careful not to get too close to stars in my head not even Billie; not because they were stars, also not because they were ten years younger with much different backgrounds, but because they were in my head: therefore they were my art. At my dad’s house I’d do nothing rather than just, self-destruct further than I had in those four unmentionable “Lola” years from 21 to 26; it was unclear which would be more efficient.. Doing-nothing or hardly existing at some other odd job, where I was basically a number that logged in and left at the end of the Workday (which is the name of an app for logging hours). I spent hours and hours and hours and hours, doing-nothing. I emptied my mind of its self-contents so thoroughly that in the morning I couldn’t get up. Felt dumb. And that was sort of, bliss, like being lobotomized I’d guess — I did not exist that much at all, hurray, then the pandemic hit me.

It hit ME. I’d be granted unemployment which was a game changer, I could say; yes, yes!?

I wasn’t sure if this emotion was better than that other one, grief about a pandemic killing hundreds of thousands [would be tens of millions] of humans [globally]. Which feeling was more apropos.

I turned it all off. Like a soul caught in a mode of A.I., body lost somewhere perhaps even dead: I sacrificed my humanness — just to focus.

To get out of bed, down the stairs with my kind of fat ass.

It’s true, yes, yes I consented to being dumb, I’m assuming that’s how a lot of people get through lousy jobs or three of them, or a tough patch, life — SNAP, brain off — a tough year, I may’ve had an edge when it came to next steps.

My dad might remind me, when I complained about a coworker making comments about my baggy outfits, not even sure if I imagined it, that “you know that job’s all they’ve got,” basically it would be a bitch move to judge them too much for being unkind perhaps. And I felt like, I heard him. I was pretty deadbeat by then but knew I was supposed to like, use this moment and not just, let it go like weed seeds in the wind. Dandelions. Yes. Yes. I felt like I could remember, how not to be very stupid. Didn’t mean I wasn’t dumb, like: I was, I just, could remember. I could remember what it was like to have a mind. To have a body worth fighting for. Worth hanging on for.

And that was something to work with, the memories left. So I could act like I was not. Was not what. I used to be sort of an actress, didn’t I, in that one life, the one that didn’t work out. I used to want to be, therefore didn’t I think?

In 2020 I’d begun to feel like: what the fuck is going on. I had not yet identified a term for it, but by now I have.

Monstrosity. Just the beginnings, don’t hate the messenger.

“You’re not my real mother, and you’re not my sister,” I’d said repeatedly, looking Alexis Wilcock in the eyes from a hospital stretcher, actually feeling like I was on a ride, finally (relieved to be safe on some plane of anti-reality, an island in my head) in care of people who I figured could see, and maybe not tell me, what the fuck was going on. They could try to understand, what was up, and maybe help with their expertise.

My mom had driven in from New Jersey to make sure I was fine. I’m not sure what she thought.

When I came out I started acting like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, on a car ride home. I jumped out of the car and my sister had to run after me. I don’t like remember this time that well, I do remember some things.

If there is such a thing as karma in this world, I’ve only found access to it by taking accountability for my contributions to relationships that were unhealthy, that is: driven by hate, bitterness, unfair competition, ambition, ambition, ambition. And speaking of relationships, I’d still never quite believed in it for me, seriously beautiful sex. I think I’ve only known something a few keys lower than beautiful. Like way lower. Sex driven by something else. It doesn’t seem to work to just screw someone loosely, unless you sacrifice sensitivity to others. And in effect to oneself. To one’s family, probably them above all — though I should speak from my own experience. I mean how do you think I ended up in a psych ward; I’d spent like five years as “Lola” a part-time method writer by night. That does not mean having sex. I did have some sex, and I did once do it for money, and I did once run out of a man’s bedroom having stolen a wad of cash off his dresser, and I brought it to the real guy I was with to hear him say, “you did really good, honey,” and I slept with him not having sex that night.

But, with all that I did in the 2010s with the vanity of my white girl youth as fuel, I was/am lucky to even be/stay alive. Not everyone really has siblings who show up, help their sister out in a pinch. I’m not even sure she knows all this. I am emphasizing that some of this shit is still serious.

And that’s how it should be; serious, not funny.

I’ve decided to become a medical professional (even though it’ll be many years before I’m doing it for a reasonable salary) [that would allow me to stop taking out loans] because I’m probably drawn to hospitals and think I’d be able to help some people other than, my self — and that doesn’t begin to cover my reasons for sticking with it — but sometimes sure I still might go through life like a film writer. And if I were to develop a scene about my love life currently at 27, it would feature me in a desert in all black fabrics including over my face, eyes unconcealed, more focused than they’ve been but still groggy to effectively get through this phase. And because I wouldn’t know which way to go, and because I’d been there so long, I’d reach a point where I’d stop walking aimlessly and start channeling my instinct; including whether it was worth it to even keep trying or whether I might be wise to surrender, to rest and let thirst and heat get the best of me. To die not quite literally. To convey all the above, I might fall to my knees with one hand reaching up to the heavens, just kidding (that would be way, too dramatic). I’d remove my mask and take a few breaths, not too many because I can’t afford to stop moving, and in those few breaths standing still alone I’d consent to just, I guess, being stared at. For better or, detrimentally.

Not for the best. But I would have, not expressly given, my consent. It just would be kind of definitely felt by viewers. If the scene were done well.

Ultimately my sense today is: many Americans are making choices based on what they think they want, which might not be what-or-whom they actually, want. That’s due to ambition, programmed in their heads so deep I don’t think it’s my job as medical professional to dig that out. Not mired in their bodies, held down — honestly I don’t think I can pretend, anymore, that the project of getting back into my body is all that disconnected, from being a better human. But being beautiful. What do I say on that. I’ve been beautiful; maybe that’s not all I want, but it’s not unimportant (for survival in places) [for more reasons I can’t say]. It’s not, though it is relative. I think it could help to fathom those relativities, and how my work as a writer might be different from a star writer’s [including the looks piece, how in all my experience it indeed matters how a (female) writer looks]. It could begin to help me find some balance and just peace; then again, that’s merely my hope, and I still don’t know honestly, basically what to live for.

I may never know. I still do have to keep living — even on days when I can’t make sense of chaos, reality. As long as it’s not “gonna be fun” I know I’m on the right track: it’s just not fun. Like being on the funnest drug you can imagine. Or like being Amy Winehouse, I don’t know.

Hopeless time. “What dreams have you had of me. Let’s just get it out of the way, maybe just in case or something.”

“Just in case whutt. There was that one when you like shined a phone camera on me and I cowered under it like the creature in that painting by Goya where he’s eating his son. I was pitiful whatever. And there was a fucking, there was a fucking, bottle of pills in the dream.. Your best friend was in it, [she] was, so protective..”

“What was the WORST one. You had.”

“Actually that might of been it but. There was this one where, back in real life before bed I’d just gone out with my mom, for fat people dinner and I made some posts on my retard Instagram that actually I’ve assumed some years doesn’t get looked at because — like if I post a video then it gets like REALLY low hits so, I don’t know.. but I’d made a post about some Phillip Glass music and it sounded stupid and then I had this dream that you just like turned on me. You were in a floral dress, not a dark one and I was like ‘she is the Queen,’ and I woke up and was like oh god. It’s over. It was a terror film. Not even a horror film.. like I don’t think there’s a word. I think you were going to get laid.”

“What’s over.”

“Basically the world lol, or my world. But I just got up and weighed myself, I weigh 130, but I look fatter than THAT even. How ’bout I ask you your dreams!!”

“My favorite one was the sex dream where I realized you were hideous. And then you couldn’t get me off. In all the times I’ve tried you it takes like five seconds.”

“… really.” [THANKS for telling everyone.]

“Yeah.”

“Well. I don’t have that much experience like with a dick, I think what trans people do is like flay open the clit and enlarge it.” [This is what I mean by ‘over’ guys it’s scary. That’s what happens when a superhuman mates with someone under her league: it isn’t meant to be. But it’s funny because it’s over already so we can just laugh at shit like that.]

“Can you think of any more,” Hopeless threw in and someone reading, somewhere, threw up. They wretched out loud, probably a good sign about their heart.

“This is actually helpful,” Morgan admitted pretending not to hear that. “Because no I do not cover any of this in therapy. Here there was this one, one that became a leitmotif or fixed idea call it what you want, it was said you ‘were free to marry him.’ You almost go married to your best, trans friend. OH Shit. That reminds me.. of another one.”

“Yes.”

“The one in which I *laughs like smeagel literally* I killed him. Like I did, like I blew up a car and, just knew he was dead and I was like, running.”

“Sounds very cinematic.”

“I have had no dreams that confirm whether or not you have a son. We’ll cross that bridge over troubled blood (which I know you lost a lot of) when we get to it. Interesting though that the man I killed does not come across in dreams like in real life, and I think it’s really insightful. In a horrible way frankly. But a good way. Like it’ll be fine. AMY 2.0, just kidding you’re still Hopeless.”

“Is he that bad,” axed Hope -0.0. She wanted to believe!

“Himmler.

If you want my honest answer. I don’t think it’s his fault., that must be why you liked him so much. God you’re a piece of shit. I’d better go. I’m just getting upset.”

Ch. 16 No one is alone my ass, get away from me, it was nice knowing you, you are alone

I’ve begun telling people I want to be a nurse anesthetist, after failing a test when I thought killers had been sent to get me. A store clerk who gave me his number told me it would be a good fit in a way and on a day that felt prophetic and in sync with my entire destiny; and though I’m obviously skeptical that the feelings of attraction there weren’t just fleeting (they were), I think it could have been good. That career for me. It sort of covers how I might still come across as tradesman-like in public at, say, Trader Joe’s where I met the guy (also I’m feeling quite “chill” as it were, not feeling hot hence my approachability at the food store), and, there is actually a sort of cinematic moment to assign the epiphany that I wanted to be a blood doctor as opposed to mental health professional or neuropathologist. The morning of my aforementioned “long walk on the beach”: I’d just fought with my mom, a horrific fight, unmelodramatically, all the worse considering it was 7 or 8am. This was literally standard by the end of our quarantine, together — a bad fight with cussing and tears, it’s not merely one climactic moment in my life’s movie. I left the house a mess.

Usually I’m dressed like some sort of crazy man.

This walk adopted a different method of crazy, I was wearing depressingly tight Nike workout clothes; too tight literally by a size at least. Like figure it out; it’s what I sometimes wear to sleep. It was a hot day, I was sweating with my hair up, I’d never walked this far from my mom’s home near a New Jersey beach, I didn’t love this part of New Jersey. I saw a fisherman approach me, and I gave him eye contact unbiddenly—it was awkward for me.

The quarantine’d bit me up. So when he said quietly (but I could hear it) that I was “beautiful” I, don’t know what was up!

I’d never judge someone’s odd taste for lady bugs. Or maybe his preference for me was a working class thing, I’ve always been aware of those things, and how the best way to describe them is to not really describe them: I couldn’t see this thing he saw in me ever since I was like 21. What was probably certain is that I let my guard down too soon, when I said it was fine if he walked a ways in the direction back home with me.

The cinematic epiphany and breakthrough I mentioned before regarding my new career (detached from any dreams I left with my old life back in Minneapolis), happened back in the closet at my mom’s place in Jersey. I was going through some old suitcases, with more diligence than I’ve ever done when packing up for a move-out to the city of New York simply because I had more time. I wasn’t running. By then I’d found the tempo of my days had slowed noticeably, in a way I could live with but wouldn’t describe as pleasant. By “live” I mean not-die. I found a bag on a shelf that contained sterile needles, not used — except a dull one tipped with blood, which I got rid of, safely — and the rest of this paragraph would only go into a more officially published version of this project. Or not because I’d be glad to share it and be done with it.

But still not like on a blog that’s already got casual viewers thinking the worst of me, Alex too. I actually don’t think people who encounter this slipshod sometimes incoherent text, in heavy blocks, will bother to read. But that’s what lets me go there so to speak.

It’s been hard to gage audience response from the black hole I’ve existed in for some time.

Looking across the water I heard from the fisher guy about his own years of life indisposed by toxic waste — it sounded like, he’d been exposed to exhaust fumes constantly and used to have to wear a hazmat suit, at work in “the tunnels” (I assumed he meant the NYC subways, when he kept talking about tunnels), and he used to go home feeling sick. He did this for years, and years, and years, until he finally moved away and now he was allowed to sometimes go fish. I took it this [walk] would be the highlight of his day, maybe week. (It reminded me of an analogy Trump once mentioned in an interview with Playboy magazine, about men who worked in coal mines: “the coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son. If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines.”) The man with me; he kept talking about how he wasn’t as strong as he once was. He really lamented getting older, so much, I was like *thinking to myself in the second person* “how many times are you going to say that, dude,” but some days I already feel it my self as I reach age 30 and start wondering if — due to financial struggle, broadly and blandishly speaking — I’m aging faster than a number of my friends seem to age. Like, it sucks. I wish that weren’t true but it seems to be.

He was probably like 50 years old. When we reached a boardwalk paved with cement, some other people walked by. As soon as they were out of sight, he looked left and right, saw there wasn’t anyone around, and then, he hugged me like he was about to die. It’s not like, the first time I’ve had something like this happen with a guy older than me who I’ve just met, it’s much less scary than when it happens with someone I’ve known for some time, I think but I’m not sure about that, oh and also I don’t think I felt even a tiny bit scared maybe-more-like “alright, again I don’t know what these people see in me” (it would make any mediocre-looking white girl full of herself); so yeah, less than an hour into our chat he got a bit touchy about where the conversation was heading — but I was kind of like “alright” like-I-said this feels like my fault and I’m unsure how to proceed.

As I said but didn’t describe: usually on my walks I’m not sporting white stripes or a swoosh, I’m wearing massive jackets and jeans and glasses and clowny ‘do. At some point only a psycho would dress like that, and I know clowns of one sort or another have been trendy in the arts: it might have begun with Heath Ledger, it didn’t end with Joaquin Phoenix. I wish it would end sooner than later. (God.) For me it got to be more messed-up, I assure you, than it’s been for men. Ha, I’m making assumptions but what can I say. It was not fun like when an artist dresses like The Joker; I mean I can’t say. I was stuck and a stranger to anyone who saw me like that. Honestly I have to be real, and insist that it was undignified for me to be wearing those clothes and get stuck deep in that shittiness. I’ve been down toxic time drains in my mind, trying to escape from horrors in the present tense. And I think the dress code I’ve assigned myself has been part of that—it’s been abhorrent, more or less. It might feel, necessary, or like what an artist would do; a serious one I guess.

If I were literal Joan Didion, who in all ways was stunning and had worked for years at Vogue by my age 27 — I might have an easier time fathoming how “just living” is enough, when all I’ve known is survival, for periods lasting up to half decades. It’s like time is sand running through a sieve, and the holes in the sieve I got assigned from birth were much less refined than someone else’s.

To be at peace with my innards (from deep inside of which, I believe still in artistic integrity), I’ll say it’s never been intentional, certain outfits that I think my friends have judged, certainly my Grandpa Wilcock who even noticed a change in my shape and gait [and I’ll come back to him in chapter 6] (he’s not all bad), because my friends tend to have style and their style isn’t broken and lame. Instead of lame I could say unwell, but that would be generous: maybe I looked lame, okay Grandpa *crying.* I could have chosen to dress better and go out, with guys who would have taken good care of me, instead I like, went insane; but yeah, I’m not going to pretend I’ve never like, regretted some choices because I’m basically like 55% male now and if I’d done things differently and, to be blunt slash aware that it sounds resentful whenever I bring this up, I could have kept the weight off at all effing costs (a choice for someone like me, five years ago, that might have resembled the ways-of-life decided upon by the protagonist in the actually good 2020 student film Shiva Baby wherein it’s made clear that the lead character sort of starves herself) [no shit I’ve done that, but I think it’s too late to throw back — and to get that power back]. Currently I’m less vain than a lot if not most of my male friends; vanity though is distinct from clinical narcissism, and I’ve struggled with the latter for phases.

These days I don’t think about clothes beyond what I need to leave the house, which is SO sad but true. I lost a part of me [tragic as f***] but, lots of people lose things in their lives and move on. Anyway, if it were too intentional as opposed to unclear-to-me whether it’s intentional, then I’d know for sure whether or not I was acting like a freak, whenever I chose a bad outfit in my history. Whenever I’ve overeaten, for a chick. I don’t know, at some point I don’t even want to think. I wonder if that’s the problem or the solution, to not think too much about the little things or even to try to forget them, especially when those “little” things (mistakes I’ve made that brought me to this point) are basically — or not basically, [because they ARE..] –small pixels that make up horrifying life events.

And what did that last paragraph even mean. I’d rewrite it but again this shit is self-published; like why.

Just forget it. Just move on. 

Just wait for someone else to say “this book needs rewrites.” That person will be some spinoff of an important person in my life: I will not say anything like soulmate or twin flame. Just someone on my side.

I try not to put-up-with let alone spread unselfaware and unending drama, call it the real life melodrama bug (though I find that it plagues my writing — like right now, bugs bunny-style, a catchy TV commercial I don’t want in my head, then might end up barfing onto the page and by page I mean computer screen), because I think it confuses people in their own unstorylike, actually quite ordinary lives.

I know, though, on the other side, for the .001% of surviving bacteria out of the 99.999% that are killed by hand sanitizer — this is a metaphor for the growing wealth gap, how I’ve seen it on my most cynical nights alive [a bitch as I write this tonight] — that getting-high-and-floating off some petri dish of flowery excess and fun fun fun (of so much fun to be had that it’s boring) might become, um, kind of dangerous. It’s a dangerous place to float and laugh and get off. It’s a dangerous place to be high, glorified, adored and badly spaghettified. Dangerous for everyone.

Hold up though, what the hell word did you just use: spaghettified?

It’s a term Stephen Hawking came up with his in his book, A Brief History of Time.

“Spaghettification tears at the matter’s very atomic structures, elongating them and stretching them until they are atomically and cellularly unrecognisable.” **

Spaghettification is not a term that means eating spaghetti at a NY restaurant such as Forlini’s (which I learned about from reading work by Alexandra’s writer boyfriend Alex Vadukul); or not-eating but taking pics of the food there, suggesting to your loyal following that you did indeed eat it. Spaghettification means something else, that I am not qualified to explain here — but I can imagine it is an adequate analogy to use in my own account of how social capitalism works and harms people: how it involves pretending-so-much in order to survive around people whose entire reality depends on being pretended on (not as victims, but as perpetrators) [see this alreada don’t make sense! *slurring words, talking to myself*] that you end up, all fucked up.

And they’re a mess themselves but, as myself, I wouldn’t see someone who fucked me up as a victim.

I’m not going to require myself to qualify that. I’ve been fucked over; usually in my experience of hearing, from women, about “that one [or x’th] time they got fucked over” — it’s something they don’t want to discuss.

I am speaking for my self, from my own experience; I don’t get invited out that much. I wonder why. To be fair and entirely accurate, I probably decline more invitations from Alex than accept them, but it’s because I am a loner naturally!

Alex Warrick invites me out a lot and is a very inclusive person, generally. In other words saying “I don’t get invited out that much” might be whiny. I do not make hardly any effort, I’m like it’s not even worth it.

At home I talk to myself, confused.

This might be a lie; it depends on what you mean by talking to yourself. Am I talking to myself, right now yeah but I’m going to send this out which is different from how I’ve done this in the past. My audience is like the last group of people who need to hear this intervention about destructively overdramatic art. It is big art that’s not even about the art, as much as social gains or obviously their financial self-interest: one’s advancement at the expense of the “little” guys. (Note: Alex has never been like this toward her creative work, though she also hasn’t gotten much in the way of validation that it has any artistic merit.) Sometimes the wiser route — to stay alive as one of the little guys — is to tiptoe around people’s vapid, insane, extreme self-delusion; for instance about how good of artists they are, when they’re lying to people.

It’s scary to be so high on shallow frivolity-up-the-ass that you forget what it feels like to feel. So you don’t feel scared but, perhaps you should. I can’t think of an example offhand, of someone I look up to who talks about knowing they should be scared but not feeling it. Alex has spent time around that stuff, socially and in her kind of covert work life; I don’t know as much about those ropes as she does — e.g. the types of personalities drawn to boutique fashion, or to Bemelman’s for a not extremely formal night, or to nightclubs like The Box [these people really love her; they care who they’re seen with] — and I think my sorethumb outsider status shows (to be specific, there aren’t that many people with 10 followers online who still make posts) and I guess I’m self-conscious about that.

Alex isn’t even that intense at all, as a social climber or object of platonic guy-friend crush desires, despite expressing constantly (not remotely as a joke) that she’d make a skilled dominatrix. She did a good job of it in a revisionist college production of Frank Wedekind’s play Lulu. It wasn’t bad — she’s not even that intense; what I mean is that, if Alex never ended up a dancer like her mom because of her attention issues, what she inherited is the ability to balance, tightrope-walker-like, all the dark outcroppings of a particularly uncomfortable situation like someone at a circus. She helps calm other people down, with a performance and it affects her.

Someday the sort of unseen self-sacrifice will pay off. It’ll be a little bit!! Although she’s unknown, not famous, because none of my friends are, and I keep relatively few — I’ll say Alex Warrick, is the only writer who might “get it” in herself and from exposure, who I deeply trust. What do I mean by “get it,” get.. h’vhatt?!!?

I’m gay, now, or will be by the time I get married I’m sure. I am not in a war zone of colorful corny excess though. I’m not in the line of fire; I’m not setting myself on fire in any crazy person protests, because I just have to watch that or I might actually fly off the handle. That said I might know about excess, and I feel like writing about i t— excess: either of riches or classlessness or whatever — runs the risk of sounding resentful in a way that’s unhelpful and that shows a certain disrespect or ignorance like what I might have toward actually-academic astronomy; I’ve taken two courses and averaged a B- (not the best). I don’t know what to do, sometimes though, as an unseen artist [and I got A’s in most arts classes ever, not that it’s rocket science]. I’ll speak for my self and try to speak for any other people who right now are feeling confused while reading news about frequent shootings — that definitely, without any question in hell, did not need to happen and should not keep happening. It is hard to write about though, I will say that up front.

I mentioned excess, I’ll start by talking about an excess of drama; say, in big art.

People talk about so-called aesthetic, a term that’s taken new weight in Generation Z and Generation Alpha, the online gens [collectively among who-or-whüm the word might be thrown around, not even ironically as a hashtag on posts that are considered visually appealing; the cream that rises off the crop and gets people off] (and that’s a bit simplified, but it’s simpleminded, sort of). I wanted to give a shot at defining aesthetic since I’d say whatever aggravations and grievances I possess might have to do a lot with this thing and what-I-see as someone who considers herself ugly and probably is; but who has always been floored by how much it can be subjective, what another human finds beautiful, or so not.

It’s like you either exist, or do not. (I mean, as a female human.) It’s not that big of a deal but you have to get creative when it comes to protecting your rights; or even your whole existence, if you hardly are seen. To me, maybe that’s just how it feels. I also don’t even know if I’m strictly female, I’m just a human. I don’t know. I think it’s easy to stay on the self-pity wagon and that can cost a lot of time. It’s time you’ll regret losing.

Just move on. No one uses wagons anymore. I’m picturing like, a prairie schooner.

This certain subjectivity about beauty might even be similar to humor, a subject I’ve probably spent longer on, and which my friend Alex wrote about academically and won *checks to see what it’s called* the Andrew Sarris Memorial Award for Film Criticism for, at Columbia, where she’ll now be immortally classified as a scholar on a weirdly relevant topic for our times, in my view: considering events like the Charlie Hebdo shooting in 2015. I think the year after this we took a class together with Rob King, a super popular professor and historian at our school who’s written about comedy and once said he liked Alex’s work. My mom thinks I’m “more like SNL than [Alex].” That might feel a bit boundariless to share, I have no idea why; because it reveals plenty. My mom likes Alex. I’m here to talk about “aesthetic” not even humor. I wouldn’t actually assume that they’re mutually exclusive topics. I would want to have a nice grasp on my intention as a visual artist, if I were to make films — oh and yeah [I should add], I’ll be doing film with my sister Alexis Wilcock, who I’ve hardly introduced but I could say-here-now she is not mentally ill, never was. She wasn’t ever known as a class clown, I was insofar as that I got bullied on the softball team once for saying “I love Tina Fey”; their response was “do you like her or love her.” I probably writhed uncomfortably on the spot — it must have been funny. Ha.

The films my sister and I do as a team might honestly suck but neither of us want the films to suck: if they were to it might be an issue of budget honestly (just thinking realistically), but one thing we have in common is that we’re pretty picky about what we consider good work. I think we’d both agree, too, on what we consider good work; we both find ourselves in awe [not quite envy (if it’s possible to do this, as patrons of the arts, we’ve outgrown those envious feelings)] of the same good movies, plays and musicals. Growing up my sister liked movies starring Anne Hathaway; I was probably drawn more to new films starring Scarlett Johansson, the ones that were critically acclaimed. Later after college, we’d develop some slightly more niche taste — by then we might even decide what shows to attend or watch based on whether we personally knew someone involved; not extremely often, but occasionally. Of the work we’ve actually made, I’ve been critical of Alexis’s plays [she directed] for various festivals: I think the best two have been one about a boy with autism and another written by the playwright based closely on first-person accounts of what it was like to suffer mental illness. Respectively they were called Shapes Like Things, A Soup Play and Grieving for Fish, both titles that I immediately would have classified as shows I’d not like to see, if this weren’t my literal older sister. I do not doubt her ability to do a good job was related to how she despite-my-paranoia does seem to care about me, her mentally ill-ass sister. Perhaps similarly  — as far as not seeing or wanting to see the same things — I remember Alexis said my student film Dark Lady Blues (co-starring Alexandra) was “graceful” which is the last word I’d use about it; my sister was complimentary, and said, good job. I’d only refuse that adjective “graceful” in retrospect, because of the feedback I got from strangers based not really on the film’s aesthetic but on mine, as the ratchet female star who basically [minus a cast and crew’s paid time on the sets I reserved and rented] made the whole thing alone.

I don’t know that it was grandiose of me — I was young and bold and being myself back then. I would dissuade anyone from doing that: writing, directing, acting, then killing oneself, not exactly in one fell swoop but over time. I think Alexandra Warrick could also direct and perform not just write, but as I said I would discourage anyone from doing all three at once unless they’re willing to lose hold of intentionality when it comes to what shows up in the project, for everyone else to witness and feel unable to critique due to (or thanks to) their basest sensitivity — in response to someone else’s loss of it toward them self.

In response to someone’s personal chaos: “get over yourself,” people might think and secretly judge. I can only say that because I feel like I’ve been there. People didn’t say much to me about any of my autofiction work as “Lola”; the criticism I got was usually veiled as something else. The veiled criticism across the board in subgrams and subtweets, not on that show, included digs at my intelligence and how there’s something I just don’t get, an inside joke among smarter people. That’s not the same as being unintelligent: not getting the joke.

Anyway I thought being called dumb all-the-time by these people who were [by definition] bullies, who are successful fucking artists, was odd because I hadn’t thought of myself as dumb, ever, until the end of my twenties by which time, like literally at this moment, I took it for granted that I surely the fuck was.

And to this day and moment I try to roll with it! I work on my brain, very hard. I don’t think I’m insane. 🤷‍♂️ Despite having not much say or influence, I try to support young women-artists and writers who I think are okay or pretty good. I try to support my friends most of anyone — of course I don’t have that many who are actually full-time artists in New York and I think I’ve covered the reasons already in hardly tacit terms. The good news for me as an outsider who takes care of my brain is that I think plenty of people who aren’t artists, do have an emotionally intelligent side that’s just supportive of “the arts”; especially when it’s honestly, uncomplicatedly just good.

It resonates, they might say something like “I can’t even explain why.” And usually normal humans [me included, if I’m doing well] have a sense of when it’s not good; when it’s unhealthy.

The thing about comedy as opposed to much finer arts is that, you can easily tell if you’re good or not, by whether people are laughing — or I suppose in these times, hitting the like or share button. Having a ball on Reddit or on far worse websites; hitting the upvote button (ba-da ching). It’s not the same as laughing, but, with the exception of live comedy shows it’s how humor works — these days, isn’t it.

I take laughter seriously, I think, because it’s proof: people are trying to get the jokes, therefore listening. Therefore interested even at all. There’s room to help people’s brains; I wouldn’t overthink that part. The thing about rarely going out with Alexandra despite talking to her frequently is that I’ve sought refuge entirely from other humans, like the ones who I used to think saw others [such as me] as subhuman or like fat or something, though Alexandra has razed from inside of me, a dead belief that trust and intimacy in friendship can have healing properties, maybe, clinically for one’s brain and stuff. Probably, also, for the circulatory system. So far in premed school I’ve only learned a little about the heart, the muscle not the love thing.. “urhm, uh, ugh..” [Okay, stop.] Regarding A’s searing kindness to literally everyone, though, including people who I daresay DON’T deserve it, I don’t want to lose my footing, say, with inaccurate compliments projected from a tender place inside Alex’s heart when I wonder if her +/- delta H (delta H= symbol for entropy, which, although it wouldn’t be totally accurate could be used in place of the word CHAOS) has a much narrower range than what I felt while working the night shift at a Minneapolis Target store, which, 100% sucked, but for me it was a fling in my career. For me only; not for everyone stuck in a job of such a distinctly not fun, shitty, character-warping nature. I met incels working there, actually just one, Adam, and he was like “I’m glad I stopped.”

We were in love. No, generally my sense with guys like Adam is that I’d be the type of female person (and this is one of my only superpowers: I listen) who he’d actually open up to. I kind of wonder why that is. It’s almost as though I were a guy friend — who isn’t gay either. And I’m fine with how this seems to describe most of my current relationships with men. Deep discussion city. I’m like “are you [guys] alright.”

They’re like. “I’m fine.”

Ch. 17: Why everything that’s supposed to bad

When I began on this chapter in 2021 , I’d embraced defeat: I was scared of “artists” honestly, and wouldn’t even mention I was one if I was meeting people who I may or may not ever see again.

I’d tell them I was a premed student and librarian; which is factually correct.

I was scared of visual artists who I must have assumed, without asking about their priorities-as-artists, took some modicum of loveliness in their surroundings and social interactions, every day, for granted in a way that had become foreign to me. Working in a library was nice, aesthetically which (I’m being sarcastic) is the single only reason I considered it nice, but I hustled to get there; before that as noted I’d been a Target Tech saleswoman — a Karen — and the person behind concessions at a rundown movie theater, and, some other gigs on the side. The reason I’m back in school is because my uncle Steve has helped cosign my loans and pay for a lot, including some medical bills. That’s probably TMI.

These were not the jobs I expected after college: I’d probably envisioned something in an office, specifically a media office; how many times do you have to harp on how you were exiled from this world in NY. The term “media” like “the arts” is a bit indulgent in that covers a massive swath of career paths but, that’s because most people in media are not just writers. My suspicions were then and continue to be that I was not viable material because working in media, these days, means having an internet footprint. It means having clickability. If you’re clickable you’re working in media. By then I’d already acquired a bit of a footprint, and there was dead human skin on it: some art projects I’d done all Han-solo that may not have been what hiring staff wanted to glimpse or if they did it would be laughingly. In that regard I’m not a victim. I am someone who might have partaken in too much unweighed behavior, not really having been taught something different by my parents. I honestly think that I was closer to my dad, living with him, when I was working those “gigs” I mentioned before; maybe it’s because, that’s what he did — he never worked in say, an office above the 6th floor. He did used to work alone on the 6th floor of a building in downtown Minneapolis called The Sexton Building, which is now the Sexton Lofts; he’s always worked in busier if not-yet-ritzier parts of downtown, and lived in Minneapolis, despite the urgings of his father (and actually at one point, of my mom) to move to the suburbs. So that’s kind of been part of his legacy on me; I’m a city girl, a lone soul and maybe an outcast. My dad used to get bullied; I’m not sure he’s open about that.

Since the last chapter was ostensibly for Alex, who I’m not done with in this book, I’d like to make this one for Sienna Cohen instead. She also used to get bullied, and though she may not remember or would pretend she does not, I think I bullied her once. No, it wasn’t the time all three or four of her closest female friends turned on her suddenly and she left school, high school, for an entire half-year (which isn’t normal in high school; it was fucked up). It was just some little thing I said, when I think that I even bullied her: I was critiquing her paintings, believing then I’d be the boss on a small movie shoot and would hire someone I knew to do the posters for my stuff. She’s not a painter per se, but she’s good enough, and we haven’t actually talked since the paintings-thing — Sienna do you remember what I said —  except once by email, not because I know that she’s mad at me for this (I also think she’s maybe paranoid too and this is like a “Dear Prudence” scene: she used to spend a lot of time indoors alone, like me). I am bringing it up because I know, now in retrospect, I was going downhill.

That was the beginning of the end, when I was just like saying weird shit to people who have better things to do than listen; or if not always TO people then I was just saying weird shit constantly, in my head.

I literally don’t remember what I said to Sienna but I don’t like that we haven’t talked honestly for years, when she’s someone I used to open up to. I guess, what’s art for if not to break the ice on tense areas of difference, or for that matter indifference. So, quickly and openly I intend to cover some of what happened or changed all at once, on my end — and if I feel like it’s for Sienna it might come across a bit more sensitively than if I just decided “she was so hot,” or something ridiculous, not ridiculous because it’s untrue, no, only because it would be just me parroting all these people at our high school for reasons that remain confusing to me as I hash this out. I don’t know; I guess what I’ll say now is “show some f’ing respect guys, kay.. damn..?” Not that it was ever us versus them.

I do remember being kind of an outsider too: it would be nice to have other people confirm that this isn’t some fiction, because it’s not something I’m ashamed of.

Sienna was half-Vietnamese and half-Jewish; another thing we had in common [ha. good joke.] was that she had an older sister who sort of the theater star. (We are all of us half-Jewish — I don’t know the precise percentages, of our Judaisms.) Sienna did a play once, I have no recollection of what play but I remember everyone was like “she was SO good in it.” I thought Jade was the better actress, well, a better performer, but it’s interesting that last I knew Jade Cohen ended up becoming a doctor, or maybe I should say, a doctress. Ahhaahh 🤘 rock rock rock.

I know how to do smoke screens. In my own mind too. I know how to put them up and focus on just surviving. I’ve always loved my girl friends so *cleaning some blood off my wolverine daggers, dead serious about all I’ve done to get this far* we did what we each had to.

But I think everyone who’s ever cleaned blood off their claws has some self-righteous narrative, that sounds a lot like this: I did what I had to.

And maybe we should each think about that.

I love being invisible — but much like describing good and evil as light and dark, that’s no solution, or for me it probably is not. It’s just a form of not-doing and not-thinking and letting oneself off. It’s like wearing a ghost outfit or sheep’s skin, staying invisible. Don’t pretend you’re on someone’s side, if you intend to ghost, or fuck her up then let her go, it’s really fucked up. Basically a way of keeping things how they are, when “letting things be” is bystander syndrome.

Speaking up is just, hard to do when no one’s listening, or when the dominant language to keep good people safe literally needs to be broken or tampered with. That might just be my opinion?? It’s not just my opinion though, it’s not, even an opinion, it’s true and poets far greater than me such as Audre Lorde have said this famously — “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support” — and then, they’ve taken the painstakingly slow and arduous step of actually-doing-it, and then they’ve taken another step, and another. You could call them “baby steps,” but that wouldn’t be the right term, it just wouldn’t.

In talking about racism with Alex in mid-2020, from Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed, I had to start asking myself what Common Sense is—and why it’s telling me that “murdered” is a more appropriate term than “killed” even though when I wrote most of this it hadn’t been proven yet that an officer from my hometown, a hometown I know quite well though I’ve dealt more with New York cops thank god for me, absolutely intended to take this man’s life, it could have been unconsciously, but still absolutely —on one hand because I think a lot of people try to disabuse themselves of racism by saying that it’s just-common-sense not to loot a Target, on the other, because “common sense” on an instinctual animal level (common sense that only a commoner might possess from growing up basically if not liiiterally, on the streets) would allow someone to understand hitting a threshold and cracking and doing something regrettable. Everyone thinks they have street smarts but I’m talking street genius, not everyone has a PhD or is born with an aptitude for it. The brain has a remarkable capacity to rationalize what isn’t rationalizable; but the thing is, maybe everything’s rationalizable. Actually though I’ve had teachers warn me, you can argue or talk yourself into like, anything. And that’s why being an intellectual—who talks about her beliefs, openly [like this!!] (or say if I did have a life and readers)—is potentially dangerous, evidently to me. It might be dangerous in that it’s a waste of time. People’s lives are happening. Writing and writing doesn’t do that much to rewire people’s brains in a more animal state or position or however you prefer to talk about gut instinct that helps people not-die or in George Floyd’s case use his last moments, unthinking, to probably live forever.

It would take some GREAT fucking art to make an actual difference.

I’d prefer it literally as a consumer with some conscience, who likes to not be force fed horrible footage, though I do not regret watching it because it was just the truth, but as I was saying, I’d prefer it if that “art” weren’t a video of someone dying. That’s literally not art, that’s someone dying, how can a country treat it, almost like a performance and watch it like a film. I just take issue with that being what it took, for people to notice what everyone’s been writing about in words for years, and demonstrating in their actions collectively (and sure: saying in films or other art maybe melodramatic 3-star art but occasionally good stuff too), because it suggests that nothing’s considered real until there’s blood on the streets.

I know there wasn’t blood. I saw the video, everyone saw it in America.

Post-March 2020 I think everyone started reading and viewing art through a somewhat different lens; for better or in some cases, for worse. Like putting up blinders so you could just get through a horrible time. Then getting comfortable with the blinders up, on the sides of both your eyes. (You’re ignoring the harder challenges, when is it going to be time to get to work on the harder stuff.) In the past when I was doing just a little worse, than now, I’ve been cautious to my own detriment about the self-subsuming will to prove how unracist someone is, my self — and/but I’d be hesitant to adopt the BANNER of pop culture anti-racism when (let me finish: or literally don’t) it might for me specifically be a concern of what is or isn’t practicalif I intend to ever get picked up as a writer, albeit a controversial one, and then I guess if all goes according to plan, to someday live a somewhat stabler life than the manically depressed one I’ve led violently toward myself when I guess that is what felt appropriate. My failings still flare up and tempt me to relapse on (say) substances or to fall into slightly less unhealthy acts like overshopping on Amazon, when I actually can’t afford it, less than someone else who actually 100% can’t at all, but anyway, I don’t currently believe it was ever anything other than clinical narcissism which convinced me that buying the right junk at the right moment would make me, a better person. This paragraph is probably the most misunderstandable and problematic but I have a lottt of other work through which, if I’m not cancelled for it, I might still have time to rebuild a somewhat decent legacy though my goal is probably more just to keep my own Self, or I guess a sort of revised version of me that at least feels, human. That’s my priority.

It’s why now I feel drawn to the idea of learning a trade, instead of trying to make it on my own, as an artist. My friend Jane would say of me her friend that she’s “casually becoming a doctor” but, I might be a nurse and also; it’s not casual. It’s an immense, extremely stressful commitment. The side of me who wants to make films, though. What happened to her. Her. Did she leave this planet when she was past her prime.

That side of me has been a critical section of myyy identityyy I’ve sort of, put on hold while living in certain areas of our great nation in a fog of some many hundred million foggy unrealities that were not even mine. They were someone else’s. Male fantasies, or not, most-not-all of my favorite artists who I’ve lived through vicariously on Instagram are women, who know how to look good, I don’t know, I’ve set it aside, to merely keep my head on and survive; my will to engage with great art, a masterpiece, and understand what went into it. Not her.

I said it because I’m talking about art. Not her.

For most of 2020 I couldn’t even stomach anything fine. Any art that’s actually deserving of the adjective, stunning. I could sometimes, not actually to my detriment, stand to binge.

My Jewish mom, who is, obese although that shouldn’t be relevant, and a therapist who struggles to keep young clients, still has some clients near my age — and she says that a lot of people are walking around, not sure what the fucking is happening. I don’t know. If I can find someone who isn’t like that, and who also pressures me to be a better person, and who somehow gets along with my mom maybe even better than me, as I myself (unlike my mother, a terrible optimist) have a tendency to be bitterly logical to stay sane at the cost of any hope that humanity can do better: I’ll marry them even if they’re not like the manliest hunk. I sometimes feel like a female hunk myself, honestly. Do I contradict myself throughout this project on whether I’m LGBTQ or just S for straight. Yeah, but Walt Whitman definitely sort of says in his poem “Song of Myself” that it’s probably fine to contradict oneself? I’ll figure it out when I fall in love, again. Sure.

If Alex herself has ever once thought or spoken negatively about me Morgan Wilcock it was probably more or less well-meaning (like along the lines of, “why is she damning herself like that, it might actually be unnecessary,” the d-word) or maybe she’s been oddly protective, building the types of smoke screens steeped in cleverness I’d truthfully need to be fine, perhaps I don’t want to know but ultimately: I won’t allow my paranoia to influence this piece or, like, my choices too much—I should however mention the paranoia up front, so that it’s not surprising when it surfaces as a motif I didn’t intend for, in our friendship again and again until hopefully the trust flays it bloodily to shreds, yielding NOT pain but, flowers and good parties, a wedding or two, and sometimes happy moments????

No one gives a good pep talk like Alexandra, but I’ve seen her tap people who I don’t like as much as she does, namely her exes who treated her cruelly!! 🔪  Alex will never be the Cruella, in those tales, even though she’d look just fine in that costume. I am not schmoozing though I should also be up front about the following: I envy her beauty. Who, with good taste, who’s seen her in real life, would not. I think it’s subjective, actually, but she does look better up close; and some people like, don’t look better all up in your face, they look better [or worse] on posters; not saying it to terrorize anyone okayy. Okay good moment to stop talking.

Oh and P.S. I wrote this before all the Emma Stone Cruella posters showed up like every few steps in the city; the second I wrote it they started showing up. So, like. I’ve always been a step ahead of what’s hot.

Alex, Warrick, I used to tell her, those boys (her exes or sort of exes), were selfish and unkind, though they billed themselves as heroic via their own internet profiles, self-subsumingly [btw: that’s just a roughly pretentious term I made up] (self-subsuming means “selling out”), lending themselves to popular sentiment and never questioning whether Alexandra was the good influence on them despite her well-meaning bitchy remarks now and then.

As for my role as Alex’s underground friend, the literal savage beast who always told the TRUTH as brutal as it might seem; and my need to explain why we got along right off the bat despite being so different—maybe  despite how I’ve genuinely lost faith at this moment in true love because my history with guys has gotten increasingly crappy each year, at least, I can say this much for sure about me and Alex: there’s chemistry. Yes she scored slightly higher on the SAT, on the ACT I got a 33 I could have done better. However, I’m proud of my work ethic and improving ability to work with numbers not numerology which I think is pseudoscience, garbage, yuck. The moments I’ve hurt Alex were sourced from an unchecked resentment toward others, now foregone, toward all People but especially people who maybe aren’t, like, struggling as much as, I don’t know, my parents?

My parents! I hhhhaaate them! Sorry to mention all this really private stuff it’s literally all necessary. (It’s not.) I think, if Alex and I could stay lifelong female allies and proverbial whores — the proverb I’m thinking of is “whores before hims,” isn’t that, the right one — ultimately, it would be fairly spunk of us to pull that off, because it’s true we come from opposite ends of various spectrums including the spectrum, of love. Not that we’ll end in different places. Team building tip from where I’m at, like the furthest edge of the spectrum about to faceplant again: yo girl not a lesbian-thing! Or non-binary or whatever I am.

Let me tell you, it’s a good thing not bad to be different, as long as you can forgive the occasional misunderstanding and become a cooler (correction better) person from developing: sensitivity toward, a will to honor, slash intimacy aided by — those differences. If you’re really close frands [shut up, we’re friends, we’re not broken up] maybe you can make jokes about the various differences and stuff. But let’s not be d-words or c-words from now on, I mean let’s not be c***s. Because we’re not and people like, notice fraudulent stuff.

I know about all of Alex’s screenplays, I’ve read them and don’t always understand the brattiest New York jokes like legit, but I could learn-to-understand the way I learned over time from Woody Allen’s films. That said: until the day I learn to talk some hard smack, to the bone I am kind. I am Minnesotan. For a while I woke up early to dance alone, I was fat, I am nuts; I am not that graceful, I frequently regard me in the mirror with self-disgust. True mee is a stranger to most everyone. I am not sure why I keep mentioning the dancing bomchikka wa throughout this project, or what I’m saying so I’ll just keep talking, I think we’re almost done here.

Bing bang bum.

I’m having clang associations.

The fiction feature screenplay of Alexandra’s that I think is most potentially powerful also has the most potential to get her cancelled is called “Baby Baby!” which isn’t actually set in Manhattan. It’s set in America. Like a road trip. Anthony Bourdain thought his good friend Darren Aronofsky’s best movie to date was “Mother!” and though I used to be a fan of Darren Aronofsky, I’ve let my pure obsession go for some of the same reasons I lost summa cum laude my respect for Woody Allen. I judge by the work but what if the work has weird stuff, impure. Ulch. By the end of “Mother” I have to say I wasn’t sure, the point of certain blood all over the sidewalk. (The “Where’s My Baby” scene literally, wtf … who on earth needed to go through that, I thought it was too much.) Anyway I my self didn’t have much fun, watching Jennifer Lawrence give the performance of her lifetime, supposedly, but really just like get dragged or something — within the film? — and she didn’t deserve that. I thought he [the director] deserved, to get just a bit more well-meaning flack than I actually witnessed; not within the film. I know that directors and their actors sometimes fuck. Does it bother me? Not if I don’t even know them. I just, wouldn’t do it, if I were directing a film. Because it doesn’t actually make the film better!!

I can think of like 40 counterexamples and one thing I love about Darren Aronofsky’s films is, the performances he gets his actresses to give. It takes two to tango, a man and a woman: I didn’t say a man and a girl. I just take issue with it because, I can’t think of that many counterexamples of when it wasn’t just about the artist and his legacy, comma, a father.

But whatever, I used to say JLaw was my favorite actress. She already has an Oscar so like do I feel BAD for her or him. Okay kiddos, call it a masterpiece if you like.

No one is going to say anything about how fucked up that was, a film about a literal baby killer played well by Javier Bardem with that particular ending, but *shrugs, with emotions off* I missed the part where that’s my problem. The reason however that I believe “Baby Baby” might be solid is for how it might start to deal humorously and precisely with at least some of said weird stuff, including the internet and social apps and the evil it’s probably incited for 99% of young women and others. By others I mean kids.

Of identifying and surviving online abuse, Alex is probably a seasoned vet by now. I’m probably kind of browbeaten, maybe pitiful but like narcissistic about how pitiful I am which is off. My mind, is presently half-gone: I’m literally just being honest, people can and will call me a baby for whining about what happened to me from about 2015 to 2020 when I didn’t get published even once despite identifying as a writer, l’ve reached a point where I’m self-pitiless. People, they might kind of be right.

It was hard for me to write this somewhat cogently; some chapters are better htan others. If that’s not obvious then I’m proud of myself. But I think it’s pretty obvious.

Lol, I could probably try to stop dressing like a strange clown. By strange I mean reprehensible, misfit. Did I ever give a shit, that people didn’t like it. Actually I could pretend I didn’t but I 100% did. And it sucked to be cancelled and probably, hated on, and I lived through that shit, and it’s done!!

In Lena Dunham’s first feature film vaguely about being in undergrad as a white girl pre-2010s, called Creative Nonfiction, she looks younger. My understanding is that it was her own passion project which got picked up by The Criterion Channel sometime after Girls; this would situate the making-of-it at the top the gold rush of good-seeming fortune that carried her, as a young creative, from being the daughter of a sort of famous artist to Oberlin to a solid cameo in a Quentin Tarantino flick. By sort of famous artist I mean, I hadn’t heard of Laurie Simmons her mom who appeared on Gossip Girl in its earlier times, but people Lena grew up with probably knew and thus (I imagine but can’t confirm) might have paid artists, fine artists involved in the arts, visual artists too, women artists, at least some due honor and respect; this might be something I pick up on, in a good way I think, in interviews Lena’s done about her creative process and all the measured steps that ever went into a piece of work, including room to try one thing and then another because (I heard Meryl Streep say this once about a Brecht play she was in, and according to the internet, Meryl Streep was someone who Lena’s mom worked with on fine art) “process is messy.” That was a messy sentence; don’t ever assume I’m very smart and I won’t assume, you were privileged, that you had it better than I did and that’s the only one reason you made it, Lena Dunham.

Whatever Lena Dunham put herself through, she got through; I know from a screenwriting professor that Lena was picked up after a BAM showcase, and that Judd Apatow (I don’t know the specifics) had been keeping his eye out for a girl, so not a young male artist: something to do with the actual producing mainstay. Anyway I don’t feel that her art — which she indeed was at the helm of, as a writer and sometimes-director — made the world a worse place. Would I have said that about my own work if it had gotten through; which is a scenario that kind of requires magical thinking on my part, if only just to feel better. I would not have ended up overdosing, probably going downhill worse and worse. Bombing. I don’t actually know, and I can’t guess; I can cease to be resentful because I don’t think I am currently. But I can recognize the dangers that star worship of any kind might actually present, to young people in much different situations without enough context to go by, when they’re trying to be the “next” whoevs: I think I have a protective side and, like Amy Winehouse said she herself possessed a “maternal” side too, honestly. I don’t like to see people just be dragged and dragged.

I’d also have the perspective now as a writer who’s ever attempted [and failed] to leave a dent to wonder if Lena Dunham herself is “a Hannah,” even. It’s got nothing to do with looking the part, or with bringing this upcoming hyphenated term and topic — being-looked-at [insert Laura Mulvey reference]— into any discussion.

I was probably not quite trying to be the next Lena Dunham, but did I watch all her work and consciously try to do things my-own-way, yes: absolutely.

I was younger then, like in the Sondheim song “Someone In a Tree” (since I’m just mentioning all my influences or idols, and Stephen Sondheim is an idol) — I could climb n’ shit, I saw everything — and it’s hard to remember my intentions as 21-year-old artist, especially one who developed a drug problem but was still sharing my work here and there, even if that meant sending it out to all my mentors at Lincoln Center Film, somewhat classlessly, and to a few girl critics, sharing it places it might never have belonged: I think my intentions were to be remembered at all. And that’s it.

To that end (and this might explain what I meant about Lena’s now, definitely-iconic character Hannah), I remember sometimes choosing takes that I thought were “stronger” [and not “younger”] that were stronger not for the reasons a girl would pick a profile pic on Tinder. But in this paragraph I am discussing film and fiction film, not real life. In this paragraph, I am not talking about Tinder either, please be advised. Lena Dunham, when I was a white girl in undergrad, was the writer-director on everyone’s lips; controversial. Not totally beloved in the circles I walked in, as a lower middle class person (a mess at first sight), not even discussed by the men I worked with at Film Comment — but supported by pretty much every famous female person I’d ever either encountered or looked up to. If I could do something differently as a white Jewish girl I thought it would be related to my hot takes on race, and sex, or sexuality: I started writing a screenplay called Black Satin, based on this weird anecdote I knew about how my mom in her thirties and in the seventies had once been a call girl for Miles Davis. I am not sure it’s something she’s open about because it is shameful, for her, the whole story of what happened and the years after; I am sure it’s true. She was younger, when this all occurred.

I actually knew this was the film I wanted to make back when I tried one out in college with a Billie Holiday soundtrack (Miles had a thing for Billie). But Black Satin didn’t work out. Plenty happened — but not a second film shoot for a script, by me.

I do spend a lot of time wondering what it’s like to already be famous and all-the-rest before age 30, as a female — I think some of what I’ve identified, that would be different, is stuff that I could attain just as well as a doctor by twenty years from now, including well, a partner for life. I think if I were a star (and artist) my sex life would be more exciting, and the sexy narrative capital would be something I used in my art, and being unable to f*** for a long time is something that has given me more grief than I’m willing to disclose here, but I guess in the ways of some silver linings gleaned in my prison years, I now think humanitarian work on behalf of women could be done by me as a physician, probably more effectively than me as an artist: I just spend a lot of time writing, because I don’t know how to make friends when I feel like weirdass shit all the time. I’ll be mad at myself if I don’t plot my way into medical school (honestly I’ve made it remarkably far considering what a mess I was when I started after god-knows-how writing the application) [the writing was much worse than now, and I don’t think my writing sounds “human”] (beep beep boop); I’ve already had my share of pitfalls as a student since starting school due to idiocy and laziness — arguably just me not dealing with mental illness, further arguably me just not facing the fact that I didn’t imagine things like men [not on campus but nearabouts] spitting as I walked past in my weirdass queer clothes; maybe it’s also because I looked like a mess, a way without overthinking on their part of saying “you can do better” which is true, I know it is, but I also could do better in school and I only have so much energy per day. If I decide it was only mental illness I’ll build a good case, looking at my own symptoms. The facts. What I can begin-to-say for myself, before I build a good case that doesn’t sound idiotic, is that the idiocy was always genuine, including that moment I made a video ranting about idiots: a mad girl’s rant. Picture me wincing as I clarify the following, because it’s a bit like “why’d you think to say this Morgan.. creep” (I have paranoia that lots of real writers, real artists with active sex lives, on the internet, think I am a creep and actually would campaign about it in their gossip rings): I am not becoming an OBGYN, I should say since I began to mention medical work on behalf of women.

I was serious about doing that, how else would you do it [?] in a post-Roe landscape (there are lots of ways, one way might be trauma work), but I am friends with someone who wouldn’t appreciate that joke about me-even-if-I-were-becoming that — that’s actually kind of creepy and I hope that someone who went in there in their heads would question their chains-of-associations: this is real life, here now, as I write this feeling exhausted as shit about how these kinds of misogynistic incel meme-style jokes, be them about pregnancy or looking pregnant when you’re not — or about any great-even-legendary female artist’s body or I guess I can say their entire sex life not the guy’s sex life, have become commonplace online if I’m not totally off base and it’s getting worse (I only know because I’ve been at the butt end) [I think it made me go nuts!]. The friend’s traveled to

Now onto the question which I feel is important of whether I’ll be a female doctor, as opposed to female artist (which is indeed what I used to be), or what. The last time I had to confront this head-on was out with some other premeds; a guy I’ve gotten to know said “Morgan, whether you’re gay, non-binary, whatever I’m happy to serve as a wingman”; he knew that by then I’d tried the pronouns “they” because he sat by me once when we had to pass around a form identifying each of ourselves. Does anyone, give a flying fuck in the cunt.

Benny Safdie, a famous co-director of mainstream films who sometimes acts and has worked with The Weeknd, was going to study physics but switched to film; I am the reverse in all ways of his brother Josh and himself. My older sister is the smarter one, and if we do a film I’d be the one with a cameo as a trans character, not her. Another way I’m a reverse is that I wasn’t a sincerely great film artist by age 25. That’s the age at which Chantal Akerman (a less famous director but regarded among cinephiles, as an auteur and legendary, a major deal to film gals who do their history reading on how big of a deal this person was), made a masterpiece, a film known in shorthand, as the name of its leading character Jeanne Dielman – a film that’s probably saved lives but/and/which is boring as fucking hell.

It is boring — unless you are really in the mood to be brought back in touch with women’s real, lived reality. Then it’s like, a cure for being out of touch with it: with what? I guess though, just the truth for women or girls. I should add, white girls. I could add, Jewish. Who’s making films about the real lived reality, which reflects that reality in the form of the work: a not-always-just-so-pretty reality, that of course changes in each decade? Not anyone since Chantal Akerman, that I know of: if I had to say the closest thing, I’d go out on a limb and say Lena Dunham.

But Lena hasn’t made a film or show, in years; just podcasts. I know that Caroline Calloway (who I still like, too, even though she’s listed, I think, on Jewishwomen’s.org as an antisemite to watch out for) prefers podcasts because they are harder for the press to misconstrue. She — we’ll say each girl — was a big deal in the 2010s, at least among women in media. I used to want to be a woman in media so, as I’ve gone over in depth, I wonder if I regarded her resentfully, partly out of envy, not entirely out of envy. One thing each can say for her own self that I can’t, is that she made history and it wasn’t all horrid like it was for Fat Hopeless.

I will never call you Fat.

When I’m all torn up about something usually I think of what my dad would say.

Like just really frank statements like “well he’s not beating her up or anything” “he seemed kinda gay or something..” only if someone actually was. About the *paraphrasing* “I’m a tranny now” thing, from me, he would probably just be like “wait didn’t you say you were gay” and “you just can’t seem to make up your mind” and I’d take that as a green light to be in a relationship where I can dress pretty much like a guy-or-something but probably never get, like, surgery: that is too much, I would be a freak and would lose everything. If I told him about some guy I HATED he’d probably just be like move on (I guess), you never even liked him (did you? No)—and I literally would consider that good advice. He is not much of an advice giver but I’d be like “hm.” This is that true feminism. I could point out that I haven’t had a single successful relationship since passing adolescence despite having options and that my depression has gotten worse, then maybe I could wonder if there’s some valence to the me-being-gay thing, at the very least bi. That is: gay, and bi, people are real. I’ll just use the word queer and give myself some room to be serious about what to me always seemed like a community I’d never quite fit in with, as much as with a literally more conservative straight old school world [I did not say white Old World], where I’d have just kept straight to pass through undetected (no one would have noticed me) if that plan hadn’t gone awry, yes even me-undetected, or maybe that’s exactly what makes me me; my skill for being undetected, as me who shouldn’t fuck around with that New Money Old World (it’s scary, when you get into the icky nitgrits, and now I am scary, like my eyes sometimes turn red like Hal the Robot, that’s what I get for just “staying in” and not pulling weight but staying in tangentially, spending a lot of fucking time in a room with a laptop), because I don’t like feel comfortable at all with sex, my own body—no, I’m not comfortable with my lunky frame let alone with some cyborg spin-off of the sixties free love out in the Tinder world, where it’s really easy to fuck any gender or any number, of genders and just try it out. I am not being critical either, really just self-aware of what I’ve done.

You know who else were probably gay? Homosexual. Not whatever else terms. This is something I would say not my father but it’s true—like, I’m not the first to say this or actually study it. The Nazis were.

Rather than get my hands dirty there (look up Ernst Röhm, bro I’m serious) I’ll just, let you assume that I’m a far right Christian who’s saying that to persecute gay people, and women NOW. Moving on.

My dynamic with Taylor if I were to guess is that she’d see me as lame (I make this assumption based on the imagery in her video for “ME!”) [I think the lame guys, look like me] [they also look like the rightfully cancelled Ryan Adams, who looks fucking horrible in real life, now I’ve never seen something so hideous] and then I’d prove that I’m not lame and I wouldn’t do so with visual, verbal, physical-domestic, or actual violence. But that’s a total approximation of the truth.

It’s an approximation because I don’t know what our dynamic would be.

So I’ll add to it. It’s true, furthermore and factually, that I am not dead and I have not raped or killed anyone. I might have made people anxious, or been extremely mean; but some close people have stood up to me. Some might call this chapter ABUSE.

I could even harp on it. But *says this stoically* I’ll let that be it.

[Pauses for five minutes, stretch break. Gets some water.]

And then I will add that I get weirdly defensive in this very-literal-damn way about a phase of Taylor fandom. I am like, her songs and social media were designed to trick my brain’s chemistry. Sometimes I’m like, she knows who I am, we’ve basically been friends!!! And that’s what I call: delusions… of grandeur?

Maybe even… entitlement?? I’m entitled, I was entitled to her behaving like a pal from very far away.

It is probably something she’s a professional at doing.

What would I tell my family, if I felt empty one day, because my headphones weren’t working and I couldn’t listen to my friend Taylor.

“Seriously it’s like I know her!! I wrote about her abusively, affectionately too. It was a cycle. And I figured everything out, about how she’s nearly a seeerrrious artist, but she isn’t quite, no. And there might be something at stake with all this fucking weird humor that’s violent and, and..”

“Morgan leave that shit alone. You’re acting like a meth addict and your meth is weird stalking habits of famous people.”

“I am offended and extremely taken aback by that statement,” I’d have felt like saying in my Jesse-Eisenberg-as-Zuckerberg voice, with a slight snarl — back in my twenties. Younger, not stupid. Less mature though.

In all honesty though we in the family never WOULD have had this conversation, because having a conversation would’ve yanked me right off my delusion; like a creature being wiped off a cliff. I’d have stayed cooped-up in my room like a pet, taking meals there alone. (This is true.) Any conversations we would have had, might have caused me to feel ashamed of myself for being legitimately mentally sick: still categorically depressed like everyone or most people, not yet diagnosed and treated for more specific issues. The only times it truly seemed real, that these celebrities were friends of mine—Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, more recently Tavi Gevinson, and further in the past, solo male artists with big egos [usually rappers whose lyrics I might know better than any poet’s oeuvre] (these were my “friends”), The Weeknd, Kendrick, Asap, Jay, Drake, and should be I scared to admit Kanye West; I know all their stuff —[oh and I was saying, the only times they became my “pals”] might have been times when I was very VERY alone and could not communicate, not even with my sister and mom.

I’d be so far off, in a painful lonely place. It’s all I could take. I was getting sicker. While getting sicker I would find that I listen more to music than any other kind of art (counting video games, phone games); music is the easiest to do while bedridden. Anyone who’s had addiction problems including online addictions, who finds themselves bedridden, not yet in old age or injured physically, in-my-view-with-its-perspective should at least consider psychotherapy — and should might be a judgmental word and I might be forgetting some people who would be bedridden and not actually mentally ill but; I don’t think that’s a good sign, if you spend days in bed feeling ill. I might be a cautionary tale, please listen then. Even if you’re comfy with your laptop there. Don’t get too comfortable, friends. And if you did for-some-reason [whoever the fuck reads this and reflects someday], realize you got too comfy cozy fuzzybird (tell those happy thoughts “STFU”), it’s not too late to leave the house and do some birdwatching, or whatever: now and then is good.

Expect the world to be hard if you’re not just staring at birds though.

Birds aside, real birds or fake — there are good, nice people left in the world, and welcome to the club; you can be one of them yay.

You might even be part an exclusive, fucking club. Depends, I mean, unfortunately myself along with Viktor Frankl (author of a Holocaust memoir Man’s Search for Meaning, which I’ve mentioned already) both might agree on this point: truly, truly good men are the minority. But I think the choice is a no-brainer if it’s not too late, to choose the good club….

People aren’t going to listen to this chapter because it’s not stylishly DARK or smart enough but then, they’ll think about it later. Perhaps.

Flash back to me listening to music all night IN THE DARK. All it took, was a five minute conversation with someone real and relatively down to earth after using my laptop as a substitute-brain for ten years, for me to be like “oh shiyt, what did I just say ouch… holy shit… crashing burning, in real life so not on the TS page of this incel forum…” (reminder that at-this-time I’ve never actually been on a site scarier than Reddit and I was only there to crack the nut that is Caroline Calloway) [but I’m illustrating a point] (and the point is that my voice, from listening to music and commenting and having that be my life, did not match who I was in reality). In the real chats with some real human beings, on the ground in public, I would not be able to mention my love-hatespeech problem behind the screen and how I’d probably accidentally masturbated to the song “I Can’t Get Enough.” Eww, it’s a song with a video that I also thought, was nearly serious art but definitely was not. I’m sorry and this is not a joke.

On 9.4.2020, before an argument that left my mom with hurt feelings — a fight which started quiet when my mom said, it’s good Morgan if you want to be a surgeon that you aren’t on meds that give you the shakes [a bipolar thing] — my sister Alexis, initially horrified at my mom’s insensitivity to how hard it’s been for me to try out various prescriptions that caused any unwanted side effects (tremors being one of the possibilities), later suggested to me, that, “it just seems like you keep putting off taking care of yourself.” I wouldn’t quite disagree though I’m reluctant to submit to my sister’s guidance, despite how she’s been my go-to for feedback within our immediate family. (I no longer go to our parents.) The specific implication, I think in this context, was that I probably could have benefitted from finding a psychiatrist or therapist or both, long ago, e.g. starting in Minneapolis where I lived for close to a year starting in late 2019 after the hospital. I had to pause momentarily and listen to my instincts. Why hadn’t I been seeing a therapist? Oh yeah. I didn’t feel willing to explain to my sister, how I just didn’t like the one I was assigned through the outpatient program I’d been attending in a suburb of Minneapolis. It was a 12-week program, from which I was discharged about a month early due to problems with my insurance.

They found out, I was still on Medicaid in New York; it complicated the situation of being treated in Minnesota. I couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket of course. I remember feeling relieved. I didn’t feel I’d been treated as an individual human with unique needs. More like, “just another case,” which is fine; I wasn’t receiving preferential treatment, which is how it should always be, duh. Right? It might be true that I still looked (or dressed) like a roughnecker, sodden with distress, and that’s where my sister was coming from when she said, “you keep putting off taking care of yourself.” The previous sentence might just reflect how my insecurities sometimes get in the way of good advice. I didn’t say anything, when she said that, as I tend to avoid speaking up to anyone in my family when I have complicated feelings on correct next steps in my own life. At the very least I can say for sure, I had a defensive reaction internally. If I would have spoken up (and maybe I’ll still say this, now in this chapter which she might confront me about including), it would have been to say something like: I’ve actually taken good care of myself, the best I hardly can, considering where I’ve been.

As younger girls: I’m not sure how Cece found her way in that crowd without ever wearing mini skirts. Actually I do know. Even more than me back then, she was funny and crazy like one of the guys. She wore T-shirts that said “Hummer” on the front, and would take me in her basement and pretend to bag my virtual corpse in 2-player WWII video games on Xbox, each time I was killed by her which was not really ever vice versa. hI remember sometimes feeling upset but not speaking up, and then we would do stuff like buy remote control cars at Walgreens and place them on the roofs of other homes on her block and drive them to the top until they fell off and broke on someone’s back patio. As we got older I’d keep a bit of distance from being with Cece 24/7, probably knowing that her house at night would host parties dangerous enough that she once called me in seventh grade weeping, because her own older sister had thrown one where Cece’s Xbox and all games were stolen. This was the same older sis of Cece’s who would be hospitalized, for high blood alcohol content, at least three times in high school. In the hallways, this drama would be discussed by strangers but Cece would describe it to me more graphically; how she’d been passed out on the floor, in their front hall with the staircase and grandfather clock, how her parents were on the ground slapping her and thinking she might be gone. She’d had her stomach pumped, once; then it happened it more than once. If this were a secret I wouldn’t mention it. Later Cece would be the one throwing parties, but it was maybe kind of different; at least, she called her own shots. Sometimes I remember, her dad the heart surgeon would stop in the basement and say “killing Nazis?”—a quick pat on the back before leaving his daughter to shoot ‘em up.he hood. From then on I was only funny and crazy, for role play; like, if it was for a performance, for a talent show or sketch comedy.

As younger girls: I’m not sure how Cece found her way in that crowd without ever wearing mini skirts. Actually I do know. Even more than me back then, she was funny and crazy like one of the guys. She wore T-shirts that said “Hummer” on the front, and would take me in her basement and pretend to bag my virtual corpse in 2-player WWII video games on Xbox, each time I was killed by her which was not really ever vice versa. She was the killer. I remember sometimes feeling upset but not speaking up, and then we would do stuff like buy remote control cars at Walgreens and place them on the roofs of other homes on her block and drive them to the top until they fell off and broke on someone’s back patio. As we got older I’d keep a bit of distance from being with Cece 24/7, probably knowing that her house at night would host parties dangerous enough that she once called me in seventh grade weeping, because her own older sister had thrown one where Cece’s Xbox and all games were stolen. This was the same older sis of Cece’s who would be hospitalized, for high blood alcohol content, at least three times in high school. In the hallways, this drama would be discussed by strangers but Cece would describe it to me more graphically; how she’d been passed out on the floor, in their front hall with the staircase and grandfather clock, how her parents were on the ground slapping her and thinking she might be gone. She’d had her stomach pumped, once; then it happened it more than once. If this were a secret I wouldn’t mention it. Later Cece would be the one throwing parties, but it was maybe kind of different; at least, she called her own shots. Sometimes I remember, her dad the heart surgeon would stop in the basement and say “killing Nazis?”—a quick pat on the back before leaving his daughter to shoot ‘em up.

I was Jewish too, relatively though by then I wasn’t practicing anymore, and was half-Mormon on the other side (also not practicing). On Christmas as kids still, Cece called me about thirty times and said if I didn’t come over now to play Xbox, she’d stop inviting me. I was like, “I can’t today, Cece, it’s Christmas.” I’d be back over next week, not to get shot but to help shoot them up. At some point we got into WWII Nazi Zombies, a 1-4 player game separate from the solo campaign in Call of Duty 3; after that we were a team not competitors. We never kissed on the couch or anything but a mutual friend with strong gaydar later told me, he suspected we always had a bond that ran deeper: Cece and I. She made me into a killer, combating genocide.

“Who wore it best,” was my mom’s other incursion last night [in 2020 when I wrote this part], which still weighed on my mind this morning after too little sleep. My sister had just revealed that the shirt she was wearing, was one that we’d salvaged from Grandma’s belongings. Alexis and I both caught each other’s eye; all I could think, for once not alone with this kind of thing, was how nice it was to briefly have some company. Reinforcements. Even if things would go back, and my sister was just going to say for a day, and get my mom’s best side, and learn driving from me, so she and her boyfriend could go to the beach more frequently and not feel beholden to carpooling through people in our legitimately dangerous family, with which I hoped to identify less each year but sometimes felt I could never ever escape. Usually if my sister came here with her boyfriend, I would slink into the shadows, unwilling to fight for dignity in the power dynamics that probably didn’t exist, but somehow didn’t go away. My mom clarified, “it’s awful when celeb rags say those things,” then said to just me that Alexis wore it better (than our grandma). Again, I pretended not to hear; my mom knew I was pretending, and I knew she would take that as a slight and be upset with me, I guess for not laughing. Being an old professional, my sister upon overhearing something that we both agree might be weird, or crossing the line, tends to help defend the densely walled-off mental emotional fort where I hold out alone 7 days a week. But she also might not care to think about me, in there. I think by now in this book I’ve taken her and other family members, unflinchingly, to court.

Whenever I’ve let my own resulting weirdness overflow beyond castle moats, my shame has been something I can only deal with retroactively—ideally in safer spaces, therapy, or if that wasn’t possible or comfortable for me, in screenplays written while half-asleep [writing that might admittedly, cross the line]; otherwise it’s just too much for me to even comprehend without the walls cracking.

If I used to think my mom was the bee’s knees, and be convinced of that reality — which I did as a kid for all the years I slept in her bed 7 days a week, because I couldn’t sleep alone — at some point, in the past few years through all the treatment and exposure to new ways of comprehending the world and my trauma, it’s possible that I slipped one toe into a new set of beliefs. In 2019, I thought I’d landed a job as a paralegal with a resume that said “Lola Morgan Wilcock,” though I must have behaved presumptuously in the aftermath. It was a decent interview, we were in contact for a short while and discussing next steps, but, that can be a head fake and, I know I’m in denial when I start acting on blind certainty. Unfortunately that is how I acted.

The details this time should not concern anyone but myself. I should be clear before continuing, also, that my parents were, in ebbing and flowing phases, the best any kid could wish for (truly like the dad in a  classic film The Bicycle Thieves, each of them at moments). If financial hardship was the main source of their turmoil, it’s only something I came to understand with perspective: in how I saw things, it is hard to cite a point when the gauze over my eyes was pulled off to the sounds of me wailing, when I lost my voice and then my sensitive face, and started feeling that rejection and heartbreak were too terrible to choose to fight through, or fight for ultimately — my humanity felt not worth-the-battle-for-it — compared to fighting substance abuse and other addictions including some really sick ones. Those too I have seen in my parents, and don’t have to write about; that way I can rationalize that I’ve actually been, at moments, generous in how much I’ve disclosed on the page.

So now before I go back to real friends, not non friends, I’d like to clarify that Hope all along and how I acted toward her — toward this imaginary woman — was how I couldn’t act toward my sister, without the words or sensitivity to do it, to confront her about everything that, well, factually has happened. This book is my consolation offering, probably better kept from now on in conversations in real life. Hopeless you aren’t a homosexual; don’t kill yourself, goodbye and good luck.

Ch. 18 Honestly I made it for fun

“Has it occurred to you Morgan Wilcock, that you’re just a crazy person,” said Anon.

Morgan hesitated before answering: “I think that would be a good card to pull. For the other person, yeah.”

“For the enemy side.”

“I’m not trying to make enemies.”

“Well you are.

“I might have one or two by now. Maybe I am trying to amp it up, for the work which functions like a puzzle I think. Maybe I went crazy in the process of writing this.”

“What do you expect to come of it,” said Anon.

“Well it’s about nothing. It’s all in my head and nothing can come of nothing,” said Morgan Wilcock. “I clarified somewhere at the start that I’m not sure love is a real thing, and while I don’t believe that I also just think it is something that you only come to appreciate like fine art once you’ve realized what the other thing is.”

Anon said, “what’s the other thing.”

“Just pure ambition. Vanity and ambition. All is vanity, I’m never surprised to be reminded.”

“What do you want people to take away from this piece of work.”

“Just be a good person. I don’t know what else.”

Noelle was the mother of an arbitrary famous person. She’s a character Morgan has been developing since 2017, when Morgan first wrote about a famous person and felt like shit got “realer” than she’d intended honestly. That star had been Selena Gomez but in this case Noelle is just an arbitrary mom figure. She had a few questions.

“How did you know my daughter was having a hard time, besides that it’s not really something that famous people keep private anymore; that they struggle.”

“I don’t think your daughter even knew. To be honest Noelle I think I was very shaped by the experience of receiving an email from Woody Allen, it was a life-changing moment for the immediate shift I observed in how much power I had. This is what I looked like back then, I think I sent him this picture, it’s alright in retrospect.” (My mom actually suggested it; those are my uncles in the background, one of them killed himself.)

“Do you trust your mom.”

“I trust her on some subjects; my sister and I have a complicated relationship with her, each. And it’s helpful in bring us two closer.”

“Okay, so understand this has been hard on us two.”

“You mean like your family? Honestly Noelle this project was done on a blog where I’d check my views just to be sure that I had zero views. Sometimes I’d get like one like. So it’s hard to say if it’s been for me; or if writing is more powerful than just, putting words onto paper or running your fingers across a keyboard.”

“Can you say a bit more about how you knew she was having a hard time.”

“I didn’t even care,” said Morgan. “Like I’m not that much of a star chaser, it’s true ‘you are the company you keep’ so writing about people who are successful is a tool I’ve used to remedy how no one wants to hang out with me. But it was like one of those things where, honestly I woke up in the middle of the night. Like holy shit this is not okay with me. Recall that my background includes drug abuse, having been raped (badly) but not really sexually abused in a more sustained way, and plenty of encounters with famous powerful people — and with men. So something must have come together like pieces in a puzzle, just like in my unconscious. Granted I do not know if I handled it that gracefully. It was really costly to me. So then after it was really costly to me I was like: well I can’t just go back to my old life. I needed to seal some loose ends. Unfortunately that’s when I started realizing things and it got worse, and worse, and worse — and voila. Here is your book Noelle. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in your position, as the star of someone that brilliant who was acting like someone 1/4 of her level.”

“Why do you think she was functioning at 1/4 her level.”

Morgan paused. “I think you’d be the type for me to be direct with. Can I be direct.”

“Sure it’s fine, be direct.”

“I think there is such a thing as being pussy programmed to need something, and it runs so deep that people pick up on it in this disgusting hedonistic way: and it’s not her fault that she got pussy misprogrammed from a young age. And I just have only sympathy for her, because I understand. It’s kind of gross overall; I’m not going to pretend it isn’t. But what is art for.”

Noelle was like tired but she said “what is art for.”

“I think it’s for things like this that just don’t make sense in any other way. It’s not for helping people achieve their American dream, especially when America is literally like the worst bad guy in the world — we’re so fucking stupid. At least the other villains on the world stage know their countries are fucked up and admit it. And again: none of this added up for your daughter, I’ve been a fan of her work and she knows all of this, so why is she doing all the American dream bullshit. I just don’t know how it happened. I know that no one is reading this and I know it isn’t over, hell I’ll probably meet this person.”

“You think,” asked Noelle, who had like brownish hair originally.

“I’m not defeatist about these kinds of things. I think I’m a real writer and stuff. I don’t want to repeat that I think they were going to try to stick together: maybe Noelle I was just an actual stalker, possessive and jealous like fucking Robin Williams in One Hour Photo, but when I mentioned this in therapy she laughed softly like no. I don’t talk about specifics in therapy. No one knows shit. I don’t come across like that. Someone else, might! Sinking feelings in my gut. Swear to god.”

“Are you wondering how I didn’t do anything.”

“Fuck, No because — I don’t know anything, here, I have my mom and she totally would have supported this… but then again I don’t know, I think it got really weird and veiled and methy and beyond bizarre and I don’t think she’d do stuff for exposure; certainly not BAD exposure. That said I’d encourage you to be less certain that some glamorized fucking ideal about what it means to be an artist, a revolutionary cool fucking artist, is anything close to what it’s actually like: this was some bullshit. That’s why I got upset. It was copping something from me, my genuine struggle as an artist — making it into something creepy and retarded, then calling that ‘what it takes to come up with something legendary.’ Let karma decide on that one. Genius. So maybe it has been self-interested; to seek justice I guess.”

“So it wasn’t love.

“I think we’re in a weird fight. I can’t write the answer to that. I don’t know why I asked it, besides to say that he never loved her. I am really careful with love — that’s probably like, surprising because I’ve confessed my love to 40 women in this book. Including you! I just did. (I’m a player; you know it too. Not even a gross gigolo just like a player.) I just am careful with it though for real. I don’t think I can say that and feel like, it’s just a front, now that I’ve calmed down and I’m writing this scene,” Morgan said to Noelle. “It’s true.”

“You’re insane.”

“Actually I’ve wanted to write more about why I think this is, and when it changed. I guess now could be a good moment. It changed after I went to a psych ward, and after that I knew my brain was just pruned to the shits. Like it wasn’t working the same and I didn’t tell anyone that: because it was just depressing you know, I avoided people, it was the loneliest time in my life, even though I was surrounded by support from family after a sort of tragic thing I went through. And what did I learn. I learned that I could sort of only read people’s minds to the extent that MY version of them, was THE version of them that got picked up by my brain. That definitely went against my OLD ideas about writing, where I’d just be rawer about it: I’d take a character and become them or something. After the ward I couldn’t be like that, because I couldn’t believe I wasn’t just kind of hurting myself with writing some lies basically. And that made me immensely solipsistic and lonely; but in a way it was also freeing. Because it meant that if I could get some control over that, I would be less chronically vulnerable like the retard dog at the dog park to being mauled. Literally all I had to do was stay away from people like that, the maulers. And I could write my own narrative in my head about me. Well. Turned out it wasn’t so easy.”

“So you were just self-defending.”

“I don’t think you care enough to ask me questions like that and I respect that. No one, no one, nooo one in my life — thought this was a big deal. I was scared, also actually from having seen celebrities do this maybe even, this is like a stretch, but maybe even BECAUSE of my writing, I was scared.. that said celebrity in question was going to get surgery she probably didn’t need!! So I guess that was not MY problem but it felt..”

“Do you think that you thought that happened?”

“No no no let’s not talk about surgery I think she’s really fucking lucky. That’s my ANSWERRR. I think when I consider it this way, ‘they were really in love,’ then I feel my heart breaking but. That’s why I’ve become careful. If my heart is breaking for a stalkee, and I’m talking like someone younger than I am ‘stalkee’ ga ga goo then it’s time to make some changes. And like, stop stalking I guess. But that was hard because I kept just fucking having nightmares and stuff.”

“Just about my famous daughter.” (Said Noelle.)

“Nooo I’ve fucking been having celebrity dreams for years, sorry I wrote this scene a little bit ago so it still has this kid voice. But I hear that’s normal, to dream of ‘stars,’ usually they represent either your friends like in real life: or just something idealized. Thing is they were never really idealized in my dream-versions and sometimes these dreams were just, so upsetting because I was like shit ‘I am soo unhappy and powerless,’ so clear in such short time in the dream, you know how dreams can be like that, they just announce the truth and then you get on with it, I was so powerless compared to these people that I just woke up and wanted to shoot myself or write some weird Instagram post [I have 3 followers]. I was like my life is not worth anything to the world. Basically that’s it.”

“Currently. How do you think I feel.”

“You’re the mom of [famous]! That’s how you feel.”

“She can be a real handful. Well not her but this.

“It’s worth it, don’t question.”

“Mmmmh.. lately you have no idea.”

“I think I probably do, a great writer can write her way out of this. Noelle Noelle, lol, I don’t think I’m psychic per se, I think I just do my homework. And a lot of the homework I’ve had to do out of necessity is homework on tracking the difference between fantasy and reality, because — literally I’m someone who’s had psychiatric treatment for losing touch with it. With reality. And with all my friends and better values and so on. With my.. self.

“What’s your opinion of what you’ve intuited Kiddo.” (Said Noelle beginning to sound like a crazy person herself.)

“God, I think that’s giving me a lot of power over a narrative that I have very information on with some official stamp to verify that it’s not bullshit. But I’m generally not a judgmental person because I am so fucking off. (No I’m not.) Of course I just want space from that one famous person, that one who I don’t like. That’s my answer I guess. I don’t have to be like fucking JFK this time, at some summit of the nations. I just want my fucking life, I’m a stranger this is creepy. I am. Do you think that’s unfair.”

“??”

“I do wonder if there is some fantasy in circulation that we’d all just get along. That must be his! We should all give ourselves a restraining order against his narrative interpretation of events. He told me in a dream I was ‘fabulously beautiful.’ My answer is resoundingly no. Those aren’t the words. No. This man is a fag, he’s not even a pedophile — that would be like his out from the worst things he actually is!! Okay, just from being experienced with my self, I know myself.”

“You rely too much on dreams.”

“I’m aware. I agree,” said Morgan.

“You think you’d be mad all the time. At him.”

“Wow Noelle did you go to college *in Anthony Hopkins voice,* I know nothing about you!! Let’s get to know each Other. Don’t ask stupid questions. I think I’d become quickly depressed not angry just sad about my self within some dozen feet of this person, you just don’t think of me because you’re thinking of your daughter, I am already depressed near him from miles away, wilted like a rotten Lotus by this boss boy who I have so much in COMMON with (no I don’t, that’s like a really vapid interpretation of what makes someone who they are: maybe I became like it because this shit was fucking weird) [and he gives me the ‘weirds’ down to my toes.. AWH AWH AWH.] no scenario where ‘we help each other out’ kumbaya-style could solve that: yes I have had payoff or payback fantasies about it too. Mainly, comma ones that were sexual and that I didn’t fucking want to cum to. I’m sick over it, I don’t know about you Mom. Ew. Literally like in that Chantal Akerman film. Literally it’s a masterpiece. I think your daughter did this to hurt you. *says Anthony Hopkins*”

“Whoah a masterpiece? I don’t know what you’re talking about, but say I did and say I thought you were talking about Je tu il elle.

“Alright we can end the scene on that; it’s a little cringe. I’ll throw in that I think your daughter is talented so that’s another thing that puzzled me, of course like everyone hated her and just, I’ve seen that go SO wrong and never end for the person and just ugh. No one deserves that but especially not someone who basically just got molested [by another Shithead everyone still loves] and handled having been raped so many times by men and by the media quietly, that she just finally gave up. It was obvious to me; that’s what gave her that-thing like someone on literal meth. Not uncommendable how she’s just a survivor. But then it started getting sad. Just so, fucking saad. Maybe I was worried she wouldn’t make it. I died about this just WATCHING, so sad. Like literal Amy Winehouse again (obviously different with different things in place of one thing, still the same overall plausible trajectory). I never thought I’d have to see that again but a hundred times worse. I didn’t know, what to do… What to do, besides call her a fucking whore so I could get on with MY life. I’d never have sex with it, I wasn’t attracted anymore; not even like a flea to a warthog carcass. That would be more like her to me: and actually let’s be real she’d be Timone not a mere flea to me. We’re talking about an arbitrary celebrity. Okay. Nice talking, Noelle: I can hear you telling me to get a life. Watch me. I’ll be around and alive as long as I can last. I’m not the next Amy [who in her time got a huge boob job!] (that’s not a big deal..) I’m basically a trans like IDK how the fuck this happened. I’m sorry though.. :)”

“These emoji things 🙂 — I’d rather skip those at this time. And do not ever write a scene using my ‘likeness’ again, you do not know me *like dead fucking serious* and that is very clear.”

“Did I use your likeness.. no not really. I’ve never gotten to be the type of writer who describes people. That’s for sensitivity reasons. Anyway if you don’t like your lines it’s probably my internalized misogyny, very subtle, we all have some and it’s terrible and — Noelle who I said honestly [someday people might confirm] is a character I’ve been developing since long before you even knew who the fuck I was.. I won’t do that but the fact that I intuited your previous line might suggest that I do know you a little.”

“*You’re making it worse you sound like a boy, this like Mr. rational devil’s advocate bullshit.* You lie to yourself. [This is not all about you.. Author Author. Auth-ur Auth-ur.]”

“How many minutes, till the end of intermission, whether that is true or not — I think this is my book, and it can make sense to me alone and there are things that I don’t know that are probably going to make me puke all lady-like in front of you when you do tell me. So how is it not about me: besides that I obviously don’t fucking care at all and I genuinely would like to emphasize that I think this could have been worse. Why is that. I’m going to release this book under a pseudo, then change the title LATER to Out of Nowhere and also put my name on the bottom and in that period of change I can clean up this sort of purely procedural scene!! These might be dreams but it’s hard to write — in a vacuum, which is one of the devices I could use to suck it up while cleaning it up. I DO definitely, take on a voice that’s like very waxy or something, waxy poetic!! Not even but it’s because when I peal back like all six waxy lesiony layers of what I’ve been doing: I start shaking like a leaf on a tree! And not.. ’cause I’m dancin’. I start sweating as well.”

“[This is just the author setting up Q&A: no voice to interpolate into someone who doesn’t appreciate it, or deserve it I should say] (you’re a jerk) What’s your timeline for that.”

“*not sure for what, the rewrites?..* I may not go to medical school, right after I finish my program. But if I finish it it’s good because then I am set up to go to medical school when I do decide. I have an F on my transcript but that will go away after 7 years definitely, 7 years, and probably sooner because I just have to appeal it and I actually despite coming across as miserly loner with no prospects have a lot of support for just making this work. Will tell a sympathetic story in the appeals process not some shitty-sounding over-apologetic thing when that would just get im off; I guess we’ll see but that’s the short, easy A!!!! I generally can handle a lot and that’s one thing we can bond over Noelle; over cocktails like weird East Coast women with their hair straightened at age 55, sometimes I do stuff these days like sit down in a coffee shop and see someone and just shudder because I’m like OMG that wretched wife type is the thing I almost didn’t incel-avert [<– verb not noun here –>] with all my never-stop-Cocking. Bawk bawk. Yawk yawk yawk. Remember what I said about God not being a pedophile. I’m the bitch who Woody Allen liked so, get off your high horse; she’s done a really good nose job on her self, protecting her self that is. And you don’t know SHIT about what I’ve been through with this. In those pics I love in a floral dress she looks like a fucking sunbaked meerkat carcass about to disintegrate with a fart. I can’t anymore you know. I like don’t even wanna know. [She actually looks really good. I’m just being my self.] All the press about it sounds bought. Literally just don’t fly ANY closer to the sun, I am fucking warning you all. As I presume you’re not–“

Noelle was like, “stop. You look really bad.”

“You’re right. Thank you. I am a sinner, who’s probably finna sin again. On fucking purpose. In response to what you been sayin’. It doesn’t have to be like that.”


Morgan: Hope 2.0 do you remember who you is

Hope 2.0: Sir yes I can be fair lady in waiting

Morgoth: This is an intervention. I need you to stop, like, monetizing your intimacy.. Do you mind..

Hope 2.0: Anything for you

Morgan: You’re mocking me and I just got an erection. But listen

Hope 2.0: [oh god]

Morgan: The nightmare-you just doesn’t know the difference. You lose track that way. I know you’ve been poor but shit, people think you’re a fat sociopath

Hope 2.0: Me, fat, me, poor

Morgan: Fatter than me.. I don’t know about poor

Hope 2.0: [She means it] (and you can take that advice ånd..)

Morgan Wilcock: you looked in your screen test, Edie. You know what MY type is and all you want is MY affection [by that I mean erection]. Just keep the faith

Hope: hmh *cringes with that big ugly face*

Morgan Wilcock: you’re not just a beautiful fat girl [to me] but if you used that as your brand, hmh, I think you’d make a lot more money. In the mooovies! ‘F that’s what yer afta. You just need a stylist, clearly that ‘flick you were on was like.. what’s the word [going crazy, dumb].. I can’t remember the word. Tth are all fucking things like this? Makes my original beef seem like a fluke, it could have been ANY flick. This book is a fluke like a fucking whale

Random people tittering who are actually on Morgan Wilcock’s side: she’s been a terrible friend

Morgan: You always know I’m up to something more than it seems like. I mean don’t like overestimate that. I trust the tittering though thanks. The date is June 6 2022, I just woke up and watched just the end of Not Okay, and I’m going to study Physics all day because I have a final very soon: v soon I should say. Kaitlin used to type emails that said “v” this and that instead of “very.” And I woke up feeling like something wasn’t right, about, it.. about the Physics or maybe about “Roe v Wade” or just. I woke up. Better diligently check the work for typos! Actually I won’t be..

Me later In a session with a shrink recommended to me by Vandenburg your thesis advisor during her office hours, during which I mentioned you [wasn’t stalkin’]: SHE just wanted ME to crack and was sabotaging ME by telling me, too much at once (I cracked), not kind of letting fate run of its own accord!!!! I’ll never forgive her god. Is there anyone I can trust anymore.

Ch 18: She’s a pedophile

“I know you [used to] like Justin Bieber but what about The Weeknd.”

I shrugged and answered, my friend Lacie said she didn’t like him.

“That makes sense, honestly I thought you were gonna say it’s cause he’s black.”

“Well, that too,” she said, perhaps unsarcastic. It was unclear, I smirked, eyes veiled by chronic exhaustion like: when you hear about someone you love, screwing someone they shouldn’t. And it’s not the first time you’ve heard them doing this.

Lacie sealed the jar of red nail polish she had brought and applied to my hands, swiftly and simply, on the deck of a coffee shop I’ve always liked, Dunn Bros on Xerxes Avenue, which wasn’t at all in sync with Lacie’s shit, her brand. She preferred another Twin Cities original coffee brand called Caribou. “Maybe you should try to lose more weight, Lola, and see what it does to your face before you commit to surgery.”

“I guess,” I said quietly, before changing the subject. I’d recently been to a consultation, without telling anyone, the surgeon creeped me out a bit. “How about Selena Gomez, are you a fan.”

We agreed some of her songs were pretty dope, but, that she might be another brat.

“I know it’s literally retarded,” I might have said, referring now to the phase from ~2017-2019 when I imagined I understood Selena well enough to write roles for her in a musical porno. “But I blocked her on Instagram, just for good measure.”

“Really.”

“I get really into that celeb stuff. I was writing her creepy DMs.”

“I swear your phone has something spooked on it because whenever something bad happens to you it syncs up to her.”

“Haa,” I said again, knowing that this was not truly the case. To review my celebrity addictions and provide context, for when Lacie rereads the above conversation [after which she’ll probably confront me for making her sound racist when she isn’t actually]: I literally believed I was fated to work with The Weeknd on film/music and to help give him a quote “male makeover” to appear onscreen alongside Selgo, back when they were still dating. Justin Bieber, I used to love, but after he got married at 25 — and therefore, couldn’t marry me — I found, queerly, I couldn’t listen the same it was the saddest thing. That’s kind of a joke, but I really liked him growing up; a bit like Billie Eilish, who I didn’t know about yet, Bella Hadid was cool but was a bit far-up-there in the stratosphere of beauty for me to even go there mentally back then; it was terrifying or something. Probably exaggerating. Both were younger women. The rest of my imaginary dream collaborators were 20s-30s women (age-wise) who for the most part came out of New York City. None of them were as crazy as me clinically-speaking. These days since recovering a bit from delusions like these, I’m able to frame it all as me thinking like the psycho I still was, short for psychotic not psychopath (it’s an important distinction); named Lola. She hadn’t yet been effectively treated for all-the-above “dreams” which in this case would be a euphemistic term for impossibilities that drove me to rock bottom.

I swam froglike out of the deep end, somehow alive and driven to recover my self—god knows how I made it up—named Morgan Wilcock again. No longer a fraud but no longer a rockstar in my head! A flawed but functional human, definitely female by sex. I could only pray I’d be in touch with the truth from then on, as drab as it was? As Morgan: I didn’t have many friends left, they didn’t want to catch the cracker bug, and I might have been this desperate but — Lacie B was actually one of them.

It had been just four months since I “came out of it,” so it was all still raw: I was hearing voices when videos of George Floyd came up on Twitter and the gram.

The voices kept saying, “stop staring at me” or “I’m staring at you.” I didn’t know what it meant, that’s kind of how it works having schizoaffective symptoms. I didn’t have an Instagram but for some 180 scattered followers, an account I deleted, because most of those followers were fake-seeming accounts of people I hadn’t met. I didn’t want to be pretending like that. I’d used a service at one time called Gramblr, to make it appear that some people were liking my posts; no one ever did. I figured I’d been cancelled, at some point, after making a film in college that I’d taken just a bit of flack for from guys on the internet. Oops.

I hardly existed and felt like a ghost non-existing in the presence of the new posts I saw in 2020, on racism, were these more of the same such posts. Nothing ever changed. Videos of a guy in cops clothes looking deranged with his knee on the neck of a black man, crying out for his mom (to me it seemed insensitive to even let such sounds kind of echo in my brain, at that moment sending out all the wrong reverberations). It was hard to watch so, I didn’t watch it initially; later I’d be essentially forced to like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange‘s final scenes. It just was everywhere, no one could avoid it, the outcry online, for me, was indistinguishable from the voices telling me I looked like a child with down syndrome and other really bad things: unless you assume, for some reason, that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes reassuring things, I guess, I heard it all. In my own voice over the voices I insisted that the others are racist, not you Morgan. You’re not racist, anything but that. You might have no friends and it’s because you’re clearly weird and awkward on the internet and just everywhere. You might be a creepy Jew who can’t keep her dick in her pants when near black chicks, not necessarily because she wants to screw but because she always parties way harder.. harder, than anyone (around her) wants to deal with, and she ends up naked. You’re helpless and might qualify as a stalker, of pretty famous people, with potential to become a rapist if you were hypothetically naked in the same bed. You might have a face that people on Zoom mistake for that of a post-op tranny; the people on Zoom have never said it, but you’ve suspected this based merely on the voices in your head.

All of the above, can get a pass.

It’s paranoia, you’re fucking fine, you’re forgiven for even thinking so because it’s literally due to [sometimes self-] diagnosed severe mental illness.

And you’d never ask someone if they thought you resembled a trans person; if they thought so, you’d roll with it, work it into your brand, a brand which is currently non-existing: a word you once heard Justin Bieber use that made headlines. It might be nice to have something to fall back on, as like, your brand.

The freak. Fine!!

The one thing you’re not, though, is a racist. Damn, anything but that — you could even be a miserly wretch for the rest of your life and remembered as a horrible person in all other ways Morgan, Morgan, Morgan. You’ve heard people think that, the voices have said it: she’s a freak, who’s both a freak and, apparently transphobic, a loner, dyke, she’s Jewish ulch, the f-word, et cetera to infinity and beyond with a round face like Buzz Lightyear’s.

But you’re never going to let yourself be known as a racist. Just so long, as you’re not, that.

And then all my voices spoke at once, like fleas coming in fast upon a lamb meat left in a Greek food cart. 🤠 Is there anything else…. we need to worry about?? 🤠

‘Round the Iron Range from where Lacie came way downtown, with a 2-year-old at age 21 — Bob Dylan grew up. Her hometown Eveleth was actually better known for housing a Hockey Hall of Fame, including the world’s largest free-standing hockey stick. In the time I spent there, I heard a few stories about untimely deaths. Murders, almost definitely, they said: girls falling down mineshafts “drunk” while out with longtime boyfriends. All women in Lacie’s family were married with at least two kids, chain-smoked, claimed they were psychic, possibly “witches.” Yeah huh. I kept getting eye contact with her family. Lacie asked why I kept avoiding it.

I shrugged, couldn’t answer the question.

“Yep, you have some big stuff coming up,” said Lacie’s mom Corinne, finishing up her fifth Coors Light and setting aside the can. “But it’s not in New York, you know.” I wondered if she was just convincing me to stay, because she knew Lacie liked me back home in Minneapolis.

“And since I’m honest this way, I’m gonna tell ya this too. You’re gonna have some more struggles.” She said it in her thick Midwestern accent, which I have some of myself. When I moved to New York I changed my accent with some practice.

Wow, yuck foo, I thought (sarcastically, to myself), feeling lost up in those parts.

Is it that obvious, my future is fucked up. Lacie had been certain I’d get along with her mom and sisters on that side of the family. They all lived in Northern MN. You know like when a friend says “you’ll love them!!” about someone they love? And you’re like, “well I generally don’t dislike people I’ve just met but, they haven’t met me, yet..” (That’s always been my response; I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone.) Truth be told, I felt nervous about what they saw, my glum comportment. My weight, my BOYISH frame, my kind of fat butt. After putting in a few hours at Lacie’s niece’s joint birthday bash with some other girls, her daughters included, an outdoor party complete with bouncy house and egg hunt — I took a break inside Corinne’s North Star rambler.

I felt comfortable inside, alone. Wood walls and stained beige carpet, baskets filled with gift wrap and laundry still not done. Lacie came in and gave me some sort of birthday cake in clear seran wrap; I put it in my the Coach bag, a gift from her, for later, still in 2018 unwilling to eat in front of literally anyone — a problem? (It’s one authentic feature of an eating disorder, it’s called Deipnophobia.) Most of the interior space was crammed with baby toys belonging to her sister’s not-quite newborn son. Lacie kept lifting him up to the ceiling, singing “Everything is Awesome!” She bumped his head on the ceiling, accidentally, and was like “ope.” He frowned as though thrown off for a moment, from having fun, but didn’t cry quite. Lacie kept lifting him, he laughed. Which was cute, I remember thinking it made me want to weep; like a religious experience, almost.

It reminded me of my childhood, the toys and noisy air, all the people’s dizzy gazes. The decor, it wasn’t fine art. It filled the space up. I wondered if Lacie’s brother-in-law hunted, hung the taxidermied buck head on the wall himself. I didn’t ask, but—I kind of liked it, the guy art. Made me feel grounded, n’ shit.

Lacie’s mom, according to her oldest daughter’s confessions in group therapy (before we were friends), was somewhat of a bystander while she and her two younger sisters were being badly abused by her mom’s husband, sexually. Lacie thought the man abusing her, physically and verbally, was her dad by birth. As an adolescent she learned — her father was a different man, though this other dirtbag was the biological dad of her younger sisters, who she loved so much she might (and apparently, did once almost) die for them. The abuse started when Lacie was around age 8, and her stepdad used to have men over for band practices in the garage. After practice the men would come into the girls’ bedrooms. The garage doubled as a meth lab where the drug was made and bought by Northerners, and Lacie’s stepfather was a meth addict, which might begin to explain why he was such a heartless fuckcunt, skeezetard, a sad excuse for a male adult and while I could try to think of a good word na I’ll just he was evil. Lacie’s real biological dad was a paranoid schizophrenic who woke up at 4AM to indiscreetly go shopping at the grocery store. Not a loser but eccentric sure. Having issues myself with agoraphobia, I wondered if that’s why Lacie was able to get along with me better than almost everyone. Her father had also self-published a few books, or something. I was ”oh god no.” I didn’t meet him. When I went to visit her family, the mom’s side that is, her sister (bombed at this point, slurring words) made a comment about how Lacie was schizophrenic now too. And Lacie got upset.

This was Lacie B, whose middle name was literally just a letter. It was on her birth certificate — her mom picked the name . Lacie B who had once taken a baseball bat and trashed the entire house of her ex, on the spot when she found him cheating. Lacie B who got knocked up by a much older man, then left the hospital back then wearing the same jeans she wore pre-pregnancy. She who called my family when she realized I was alone, having an episode in 2019 (thinking I was being watched through the walls [actually by the celebs I’d been writing about] and poisoned), to have them initially tell her she was wigging. By my sister, treated a bit like a weirdo. Fuck her!!

“Do you want me to show you my papers!?” she said to her sister, because she’d been diagnosed with generalized anxiety and depression after weeks of assessment from medical professionals trained in the process of diagnosing this shit, literally i.e. clinically.

Officially with the help of professionals I’ve come to identify and accept that I have bipolar — I’m fine with it I guess, have mentioned by now in this book, and, I tend to think it’s more obvious than it would be if I didn’t confess.

Lacie sort of one-upped me on that one, her diagnosis was less intense. Neither of us think being some crazy bitch, despite all the songs and films about hot ones (like by The Weeknd), is quite actually ever glamorous. Not sure why men go for that, it’s something I look for in their exes — before I confess to them that I’m bipolar — as a bad sign definitely.

Like the chicken and the egg, where does it all start and end?

In 2018 Lacie’d give me a Tarot reading, even though I kept saying I was “scared” in a voice like Selena Gomez outside of Starbucks, telling paparazzi to give her space in a video I saw once. (“You’re scaring me,” she said in that video, worth looking up if you haven’t seen it.)

I was all like, “I am very fragile the devil’s on my BACK you literally met me in treatment, Lacie, I don’t know if this is a good idea.” She dyed my hair black like Selena Gomez’s in her bathtub, and said I looked like I must weigh 110 pounds; I said, honestly, I don’t use the scale at this time of my life. Yo, I’m trying not to live my life based on the numbers. I’ll never win against someone like Selgo.

My tarot reading from her would confirm a collapse of expectations and ideals, frustration with the slowness of progress, a possessive male figure holding me back, dishonesty in my past which I figured might have to do with writing about people (like Lacie right at this literal second and Selena in other work) and never telling them I was on their ass. The tarot reading, further might reveal, that others viewed me as burdensome, and then it promised better things on the horizon—including better future finances which I’d be like-I-said scared to believe in, scared of the repercussions of hearing that shit and letting it go inside of me, but of course like literally everyone: probably wanted more than having nothing.

“Rappings, stars. Turn it ALL off puliss. That tarot card could refer the movie projects, the dreams and delusions related to ever meeting celebrities,” I remarked to Lacie laughing like the crying cat emoji when she pulled the Tower Card. “And I was just texting my parents, kind of about how I felt like a financial burden.”

“Have you been eating,” she said, suddenly concerned that I’d become anorexic.

“Why.”

[Actually, I had been.]

“Have you,” she kept interrogating.

“Those meal preps you gave me—yes. I’m not going to tell you my eating schedule but I ate them all last night at 4am.”

“Your face has thinned out.”

“For now,” I mumbled, honestly confused because I didn’t see it and was sort of sure my face was damaged irreparably from chewing gum instead of ever eating as an actually-probs-anorexic undergraduate student. Right so. I no longer chew gum; I literally have come to see it as a gateway drug, to worse addictions.

Lacie showed me pictures on her phone of women in specific sort of indigo hues of blue skinny jeans and linen shirts and sunglasses, I won’t try to sound like a style writer. They were uncomplicatedly pretty and happy and chill: prettier than either of us women. She gave me a book by reality star Whitney Port and told me to read it, I did later that week on a flight back to New York. She said if I wasn’t going to wear make-up, one day, then I had to straighten my hair. I couldn’t do one or the other. And she didn’t want me getting looked at in public, because I was wearing a skirt in winter! Wait, Lacie literally, don’t people wear skirts in winter.

“I don’t get that,” (I actually still don’t know what she meant) “fat girl skirts?” I asked.

Feeling like a cunt again, I turned away to watch the news on TV.

Lace, who ain’t be perfect no sir, tended to let out quiet squeels like “ooh” whenever someone unstarlike was caught by the HD lens. I wasn’t sure if her coos and caws were (1) sympathetic or (2) just unkind. I didn’t mind that much because I wanted someone discerning to probably unfair extremes to be in charge of the makeover thing, still not a foregone “dream”; I didn’t want help from someone who didn’t notice when HD just wasn’t right for a woman. Which turns out: it usually, was not. I knew that being photogenic on film was a specific skill set, not fathomed by like, most humans definitely, certainly not by her at that time or she wouldn’t have been so harsh. Maybe it took some hella fails one-one’s-ass to really fathom, how tough it truly was. By then, I felt I’d been there, and could stand to not lead a life where it happened again and again and again and again and again: being humbled like a bitch. Poor female celebs on their asses, no wonder they sometimes stay inside, in a bathtub with the curtain pulled and lights off. Ugh.

“This is why I need your help, Lacie. When I lose a few more pounds. We can do screen tests.”

“Did you vote in the last election,” she asked me, watching the news.

I shook my head, shifting moods suddenly; like someone with bipolar. “I feel fucked by that choice of mine,” I said.

“Who would you have voted for.”

“Hillary. I mean–”

She said back “–I voted for [🙀 PSYCHO SOUNDTRACK, PRELUDE 🙀] (he’s probably finna win twice. I mean. I don’t always get it right.)”

“Oh,” I said, how charming 😿, I died — I wondered if not-voting was exactly the same?

“Only cause Hillary got on my nerves. I don’t even know why,” she threw in.

“Because she was ugly,” I asked. I wasn’t sure if I was being a bitch, or she, was the bitch, or if the world had any good people left in it. I wanted to kill myself and die.

“I watched the debates and it was just something. But I regret it now, I do, cause of all the garbage that’s happened,” she said.

“The garbage.. Lacie. Literally what can I say,” lols!! 😹

And, that’s when I gave up on the makeover, it felt irrelevant to me and (more importantly) to my duty to the world. My repentance and so on. In the next election I’d be a bit less wishy-washy about what I stood for: I might even repeat many times who I’d voted for, so long as it wasn’t DT. Byee no thanxx I’ll put back on the Spanx, I said, suddenly depressed and confused about why this makeover felt like a moral failing, when what I’d been wearing for Lacie wasn’t shit I’d ever the fuck wear if I were being true to my self who-at-the-time wanted a bikini wax but only for the right one. Is this relevant to the narrative or not?

Otherwise it, hurt too much; it wasn’t worth keeping up. If I were being true to my real spirit I’d just be naked. But alone? So like, not naked in the middle of Times Square. Being filmed. No.

Also: maybe not someone legitimately mentally ill.

Having diagnosable-ass issues with exhibitionism. Fat.

Skimming the literal Bible, we went back to doing confessionals in silence, two deplorables enjoying the other as one disgusting friend at least. Everyone else female of course, sensing me talk like this, spitting and sneering viciously, had left me in the dust. I was certain, by now, they thought, I was, a racist creep and moron-fuck.

Lacie was enrolled in a Christian college, online, which she herself was uncertain about. She kept asking me if she should transfer and I was like, it’s up to you dumb kiddo. I spit in the dust where I imagine she’d soon run away from me.

But you know, it was convenient and affordable (as advertised) and fit into her schedule. It’s alright you can do it, not fine but alright.

I was listening to Drake’s Scorpion while doing Lacie’s homework, for her, that summer. Later she’d do it herself. She wanted a career in social work, not car insurance sales which she was actually good at.

She made a small killing and had a house in Edina which is like the Upper East Side of Minneapolis. Lacie asked for help with assignments including something called, confessionals yes, as mentioned, which I actually enjoyed. I was like, “here I am, good at school, I’ll help—in exchange for the pressure to get out of the house.” Lacie told me the makeover was going well, however: the resurrection of Lola Christ was cut off suddenly, as though by an extremely sharp knife. Shing!!

I abandoned her to interview for a job I didn’t get at Sony Classics in N-Y-C.

I strode into the Sony lobby in an outfit Lacie had planned, to a garage door-sized screen playing Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss” with surround sound, a video of Calvin Harris with a tray in his hands, music blaring like supersonic angels reverbin’ all loud on white marble floors and walls and stairs and still insane I was led to one of those elevator enclaves without buttons even (some sort of like read-your-mind system that gets you to the right floor, somehow), by a doorman who hit on me with a smirk plus the up and down-down — yeah, and that’s when I knew already, I wouldn’t get in!!

For a New York media job interview, with another woman, I looked like raw clit. Alllll woman.

Not a fleck a fashionable masculinity in me. Wrech.

Friends don’t just have sex constantly, I don’t believe that at least. “That’s quite a switch from trying to become a doctor,” I’d text back my sort of ex in a way he perceived as condescending — I’d thought at the moment I could knock some sense into his nogs.

He’d recently decided to become a cop instead of a doctor. I don’t know why, with that choice-of-his I had some sort of problem.

“You literally don’t know how much I hated that the whole time I was studying,” he’d responded. Actually as a premedical student I did, it absolutely sucked. “Don’t make assumptions it causes you to make errors.”

What the fuck do you know about error analysis, like what did YOU get in Gen Chem lab. BIYTCH?

Wasn’t funny even a bit. I’d later apologize to Dude, which was not his name, my mom said it was good he was becoming a cop, he could go far with his degree and make a meaningful difference that way. I did get along with doctors generally, not cops. Maybe that’s why I’d fucked him all those years, I thought it might lead him somewhere. Him or me, I don’t do that lightly. Eventually after more texts and the sense that he wasn’t doing well, rather than try to be a “friend” to him again — I’d do what I usually do with people, these days feeling I owe no one a thing, yeah, when something just isn’t working: I block the person on my phone and, if we did, I try to forget we’d fucked in the first place. Also I try to forget they exist.

Falling out is a term I used to hear Scully say often. Scully was a drug dealer I might have mentioned in this book, not mine ever but someone I’d met through a guy who knew him that way. Falling out, it’s another word for overdosing on the wrong medicine.

It’s not quite the same as dying, but if you’re about to fall out and know it, you might as well just plan to be basically dead for some years, decades even — if you’re unlucky a lifetime: but you best fucking believe, it won’t be for some days or minutes.

In Minneapolis, still, my mom entered my room at 2pm even though the door was shut with a sock up in it. And she asked one day, after finding me in bed with the covers on, “Moooorg?”

[me: ohh shit pulls up the covers] “No..”

“I just wanna know something. Can I ask you something.”

“I said no.”

A scary pause.

“Mom!! I said GO, please hurry up–”

“–I wanna know… what I need to do, so that you can get your head back on.”

I looked up. And sighed like a ghost with his head off.

“Hmm?” said Rose Ellen.

I don’t ass the fuck, know… “MOM. SHIT. Holy fffuuuuuck. I don’t know if I can, this time. It’s like, is this my life, I fucking found diarrhea last night all over the walls of a bathroom stall [working at a cinema in Edina for old creeps]. Who the fuck does that literally.”

“What do you mean when you use the word old creep.”

Did I say it in those words? If so I forgot what, I was emitting from my mouth, projectiling, it wasn’t you mom it was me! My mom went on about how setting the bar here (*puts hand near the floor*) versus here (*raises hand high*) was important and changed one’s approach to this life. Then she left me, her daughter, to basically let myself go more-and-more alone and to finally die without a follow or a mention or a single fan. Very few friends. [In the present tense I whine.]

An old friend, again NOT my dealer who used to take me on dates to the McDonald’s on W 34th street once said Lola I’m not racist but they cut my face, that’s what he said. I said Scully I believe you (I can see the ugly scars). You’re not the same as the character played by Necro in Heaven Knows What, you lost weight at Riker’s and you’re a lot more grimy in a way that I think weirdly appealing. Everyone on the street has told me you’re a piece of shit, literally actually a pedophile, someone said that once, but I don’t think so Scully. You’ve been so kind to me! I never thought it’d be something I’d have to worry about myself, as Lola, getting my face fucked up by that word you said, a word I never could imagine myself saying out loud, like you just said to me.

What word?

“Pig.”

“I mean I’m not gonna shave your bush for you, what do you expect Lols.”

“Holy mother of fuck, Lace m’damely ho. *In monotone* Sheer thongs and leather straps. I never, said, a thing about my black pussy how dare you assuuume it needs any help. You’re the one who was swiping right for ratchet trashy fucking hos on Tinder, I don’t know what you’re into, Madame Tussaud’s wax dolls, if you wanna see it Lacie.. L-M-K it’s here waiting honey, le dark silk. But I’m really holding out for someone — obviously, I mean, the right guy in marriage, so. Someone who would just, make a good dad. I’m sorry I’m wearing a large made-for-male polo. Let’s get this makeover MOVIN’ ayy bom chikka waaa wikki waaaw *quack quack*.”

“What are you into, then.”

I showed her pics on my phone, people’s Instagrams. No! said Lacie, uh-uh, just one of them was Dude from college. “A cop? That’s not a friend to you.”

“You’re right about that.. I sucked his cock in an empty lecture hall,” I said. And this was the whole truth.

“–I’m just gonna put on my sweatshirt and glasses and go studyyyy,” said Lacie, mocking me a bit like she was imitating someone with down syndrome; that’s just how I heard it, though. “I’ve got a read on the real you,” she said, “you fucking whore.”

“Whore? It ain’t me, you must be confused,” I said, before turning around to cover my face, like my waist on the wider side, forevs, not sure where to go but, back to sleep during the opening of Natural Born Killers — one of her (the real, evil, violent Lacie’s) favorite films. I reminded her that I was the greatest fan [actually, at the time greatest-ever career incel stalker] of *Oprah introducing-voice* Selena Goooomez.

“After this we should watch that one horror film, featuring Timothée Chalamet,” I suggested.

“Jumped a hundred feet down, aiming for a rock. Fractured my ribs and arm, didn’t die. Tied a rope, put it round my neck on a fourwheeler, kicked off the four wheeler off the edge of a hill. Woke up three days later in the hospital. Friend cut me down. Didn’t die. Swallowed a bottle of Oxycodon, laid down to go to sleep. Woke up with tubes down my throat. Three bags dope, bottle whiskey — blacked out, opened eyes. ER that time, ain’t dead. Grenade detonated ten feet from our truck in Afghan’stan. Can’t serve more time cause my hands shakin’. Can’t even fire a gun no more.

“Oh no. That’s tough,” I said outside our treatment place called Prairie Care. “It sounds like you’ve really tried..”

“—my son’s here in the child inpatient program. Can’t be around the house with his mother, my ex-wife, without hurting her. Fraid he might kill her. He’s hurt a couple employees. They put him on drugs, he can’t hardly open his eyes.”

“I’m sorry, that’s tough.”

“I’ve had it all. House with seven bedrooms. A 12-square foot walk-in closet, for ma wife. Had it all,” said one my treatment fellows, showing me pics on his phone of his ex-wife.

“Wow, she’s beautiful.” (She was, pretty.)

“You shouldar seen Emily weeks ago, she couldn’t even speak. Last week before you got here, she didn’t show up, turns out—she tried to kill herself.”

“The athlete, the anorexic woman? I think her name’s Amy. I like her a lot, but if today was really her last day… I’m not sure how she’s gonna, do..”

“No… she might.. nawt..”

Some silence. I changed the subject, “What did you think about the morning’s talk. I couldn’t stop crying I was embarrassed.”

“I don’t care what they say. I’m not forgiving my mother. My ex-wife. I’m not forgiving them. Never gonna happen, for what they did ta me.”

“Huh,” I thought, thinking of my, self.

“What are you doing for lunch.”

“I think, I just kind of wanna, chill, alone. I don’t know, I mean..”

“No one’s actually tarkin’.. With fones n stuff. I like talking. It’s gotten bad, out there.”

I hesitated and said, “I think that life right now is like weird… if no one knows what’s weird anymore then like… oh shit, who knows though ha, I can’t compare it to any other time. That’s one reason to stay alive, though. Maybe you can like, help, people out a bit, right. I seriously don’t know..”

“I still just try.”

“Yeah,” I exhaled, honestly eager to leave, “what else..”

“It makes me feel lighter, I get stuff done.”

“Can you put some fucking clothes on?”

“No one’s looking.”

“There are people up and down the block, they’re gonna see you through the window. Get a grip.”

“It is weird,” I chipped in with my hands on my hips, wearing an orange crewneck and shorts with an elastic waistband. At the time I had a problem with sleeping, too much. “Can you let me agree on this!!”

“You guys… it’s fine. Listen. Do you and Dad want to help carry this dresser downstairs to put into storage.”

“I don’t want to, if that’s what you’re asking.” A pause, I realized in horror, I was starting to sound like my father, it was true. “But ch’knowww I’ll firkin do it,” I said, “Gawwwd!!” I threw up my hands, they felt all stretchy like a wacky waving tube man.

“How are the meds honey.” (Antipsychotics.)

“Girate,” I said smizing, flying batty off the edge.

“Let me know about the side effects, let’s keep an eye on them.”

“Absolutely, mom. Liiiiiiiterally what side effects thouuuugh..” my eyes rolling back in my head…

“I’m so smmmmarrttttt,” someone named Alou had said in the psych ward before I met Lacie in outpatient. He was sitting next to me during coloring time, arts and crafts hour. I’d gone to be a good sport but was probably flirting or more accurately insourcing some power. From the male gaze. I wondered if it was because he was sitting next to me, that he even said it. Soon I’d leave to take another bath, what else was there to do. I drew two llamas, one of them was purple and the other black and white with stripes.

They were lesbians but not like dykey ones, I spent a lot of time getting the colors just right.

If they weren’t fem lesbians they’d be more, or less conscious of their color? Their images? I didn’t know, I just knew they wouldn’t identify as quote “dykes.” Just as in love. These were the two female llamas I’d drawn, queer ones, or maybe one [the rougher one] was more a tranny. And, as noted they cared about their style together. Like me alone, not noticing that I was acting at least 20 years younger than my real age… at coloring hour.

My sister Alexis wouldn’t be there to visit for a couple hours still but time was so stretched, two hours felt like a good amount of it to allot to prepare for her visit. So I went back to my room with my llama drawing and hung it on the wall. I was shaking a little, I noticed as I used a bit of stale toothpaste to stick it up on my bedside, I wasn’t sure why. I’d get fixed-up in the bathroom for two hours before my sister arrived. I was just happy to have my weight down, everyone said when I came in that I looked like I hadn’t been eating, they said they’d need to get some food back in my system. No one ever stuck tubes down my nostrils, let’s not get all dramatic!! Wasn’t that bad. Armed with just the two or three outfits, just my complimentary blue fucking gown and some other new clothes (a shirt from a guy, we’ll say named Peter—I’d been pals with him like actually just pals), I hadn’t enjoyed getting ready this much, in such a long time. I could even dress up in private and sometimes dance, more than a bit clumsily on the pills I’d been swallowing. It felt so good to dance again, even if it wasn’t well, the dancing, even if I was alone with my self.

In hell. Dionne, my only friend there: she was 45 and gave all her clothes, to me too, on the day she left — the tank top I wore in the hall, black Nike airs — she said, she just never wanted to remember a thing from her time there. I saw her son come pick her up and shared a glance; he must have been my age, she must be hard to have as a parent you love. Actually I could, probably, begin to understand it.

A male nurse once asked “how old are you,” and Dionne said, “25” (in front of me, she knew how old I was actually), and he said back “you’re beauuuuuuitful.” She laughed madly. By the time she left, we were friendly enough that she told me about thinking there were darts flying through the walls and, even if she wasn’t, that she was about to die or get killed. She’d phoned the cops on herself to get out of her head. Yeah I’d done that too, for what sounded like a milder breakdown actually— but I didn’t go into all that sitting across from Dionne on her last day. I said, it might still be okay Dionne, sounds like you might just be sensitive to, stuff, just don’t give up on your self. I’m not sure what she was thinking.

Literally with his pants down in the hall, Dionne said she’d seen Alou. She ran and used a phone to call 9-1-1 when none of the nurses, who generally did very little to protect us, didn’t take her request seriously that he please be put on one-on-one (which means being monitored closely by staff). I didn’t see him in the hall and was glad — but I myself got in trouble once for wearing a tank top in the hall, something I’d never have worn outside the hospital.. where it went against the dress code enforced heavily, against patients.

Soon after that incident Dionne said she knew someone, on staff who was nice, and because I’d stopped talking much by then, she spoke to him for me and, got me into a more-private room. So I didn’t have to worry as much about all my friends down the hall.

The bed was electric but not plugged in; the more-private room Was more like a storage closet that wasn’t being used than a decent place to subsist. In the room next door someone who’d been there for months, clearly, with a sign on her door that said “no dogs allowed.” She would throw things and scream the words filthy ho in the middle of the night. She wasn’t yelling at me but sometimes it felt that way, not that she’d have been right.

I thought of Dionne fearing she’d get killed.. I knew exactly how many days I had left, I practically knew how many seconds though I could sort of adjust the tempo I experienced each moment. I was there for two unbearable weeks which compared to some others was not terrible, but compared to others still was a pretty bad sentence. I remembered this time as a kid, at a birthday party for my friend from preschool Lea, the first best friend I ever had: they’d had us play a game where all the girls tried to say “now” at the closest moment to exactly two minutes after her parents said “start counting in your heads.” I’d spoken up at almost the right second, precisely, to hit the two minute mark. All the other girls had said “now” too soon, but I’d not been swayed by their premature shots at it, and I ended up hitting it at just the right second. I had a strong internal clock, her parents had emphasized and told my mom, and I never forgot that from Lea’s parents—I guess it meant something to me or by now I’d have forgotten.

I’d never called someone a nigger until someone there called me fat. He didn’t call me fat, he told me to stop eating. And I hadn’t been. It was the first thing I’d eaten since I got there, and he told me not to eat it. A piece of white bread. And I called him a nigger. Not to his face. But I figured, if I went back to my single room and said it, I might feel better, I definitely didn’t. It’s the only time I’ve ever used that word and I still feel sore that I did; even in complete private from me like that.

“You’ve been looking at me and giving me a hard time, ever since I got here” (which was true he wouldn’t get off my case—or that’s merely what I perceived) “and I just am asking you, to please leave me [the fuck] alone,” I said to him after he’d waved a finger at me while trying to eat a second time, I wondered, just from his vibe, if he was a pimp. I’d been around one or two of them. I never asked but I did overhear, when he was talking to staff, that he was homeless.

I turned away, then quickly turned back, just as he gestured a punching motion in my direction.

“Dr. XYZYX, so – I’m confused about why it’s next Thursday, I feel like, I’m fine. GET ME out OF here,” I didn’t say this but wish I’d spoken up. I’d gone mute by then (after saying the n-word that one night) because, yeah. Not in a good place.

A number of patients, who I’d interacted with a bit, were admitted then released within one or two nights. My mom apparently tried to negotiate but, they wouldn’t listen to her, and, also I didn’t want her visiting (she did once anyway). I preferred just my weirdo sister Alexis witness me, that way.

“I don’t think you’re a lost cause, all the doctors have remarked on your intelligence,” she said like a creeper.. in my perception. Why do you keep coming back. Are you like getting off on this.

“To you?” [Didn’t say that to me.]

XYZYX was the head of the almost all-white and mostly female staff in this region of Bellevue Hospital Center, who struck me as uncaring but also overworked. My mom thought their outfits were inappropriate for a hospital; I honestly don’t remember. If they weren’t overworked they might be nice, they might focus more on their patients and just wear uniforms but I took it no one enforced the dress code on them; some of the women honestly DID seem to have some style and yeah boys there hit on them. I remember that part. Of the twenty or so patients on Floor 20 West, the shittiest horror-floor where I’d been admitted for having no insurance, I was the only white female person who was a patient. Not the only white guy, there were a few white guys. Older white guys. I tried to say just enough to make it through my stay, thinking always, every second, jesus what the fuck is this place, how did I end up here. My mom and sister had wanted me to go to Sinai, thinking (probably correctly) the facilities would be better, but since I’d been the one who called the cops on myself, I had further insisted upon Bellevue nowhere else, not really knowing why I was so deadset on that point specifically. Maybe I was racist and going by the titles.

I also had no idea I’d be admitted to the psych ward; I thought it would be just for a night not two weeks.

What changed those plans was my confession, in the ER, to doctors not my family, that I’d actually, that I’d actually..

Probably the most important choices I’ve made were the ones that came on whim. Like one day I’d be like, I’m just finna finna finna DOOO IT. Boom. I scheduled an appointment with my school’s Academic Resource Center to help plan a schedule even though I anticipated feeling shame about how boring it all is (compared to other students), my life; beyond writing like this, about the past; horrible things. I almost cancelled the meeting in to avoid that nippy dose of shame which might put me over the edge but probably not, I have a high tolerance anyway. It wasn’t always like this, so boring; so what if my life is boring, now — I prefer it that way to chaos or mania, which given any momentum, never ends.

Still I seemed to be ashamed. Of just having no life to flex.

It was a life-changing decision, just for how much more productive I’ve been probably, and, for how it helped me conceive of structure, especially toward time, as something quite sacred. Like placing notes on ledger lines and putting scores in a key just right for the lead singer—for real, have some respect if a woman deserves the honor, truthfully.

It truly did and should still matter. Honor!! Rightfully allotted to good, dependable and ethical people, humans. It wasn’t just nothing, it isn’t.

A similar statement, I guess, to the one I started this section with: the most important goals I’ve achieved were the ones that came to me. Avoiding shame is what’s ever caused one to set goals beyond their means, i.e. to set goals very forcefully — basically in my life wanting to rise above what has felt like it was, beneath me. That’s a mishandling of one’s maimed ego; it results in a need to be great, not always for the best though. Not selflessly, not remotely — rather: for oneself alone, to leave a dent on history. On humanity, sometimes at the cost of one’s own.

That’s who I wanted to be, someone who left this earth having made a masterpiece. I at least have begun to see, setting goals is not always about leaving dents, maybe, it can be about healing bruises where a denting hit the skin, which starts with saying, “this is not very good,” and then doing the good thing because why wouldn’t you want to be good. (The question’s rhetorical but maybe it is not to ambitious people—like younger-me, the me who changed her name to Lola, a name I left behind at some point with its infamy: then saw buried and freaked like I still wanted younger-me back. E’no.) By after a progression, once you can discern good from just not good, it’s just kind of like, not a tough decision. Pick what’s good and stay on the balance.

It’s not a tough decision. To do the good thing, when posed with a choice between that and something definitely not good for you, or definitely not good for someone else — e.g. someone you want to see do well.

A lover you want to see do well for you and thus for others; not to just do you well. Yes. To be a good lover, what overhaul would that require from me.

At rock bottom, so alone. I had to ax my self. What the fuck would that require from me.

We all die alone so I try not to dwell on it. But still, I dreamed for years of not-dying, alone, a one woman show safely solipsized by her narcissism, enough to ever change her name to something “greater.” In the past that’s who I’ve been. Now I’m just Morgan. Now I’m just a human, and a no body.

Just a hater.

“You there,” a patient on my first day at Bellevue had pointed at me, “fuckin.. cocky.” I weighed near 100 pounds and thought I looked terrific. This was the one who cried out the word “rapistses” regularly and got in fights with staff.

When I left I got her hooked up with the more-private single room. That insult landed, though, somehow, like if I were to be called insane, now. It would land. It still rings in my head, a reminder, people notice real shit.

From the jarring moment I had my phone and laptop taken, and realized they could tell more-than-I-could how suicidal I literally was, not just playing (I guess my sister thought): this is what sunk in. First of all I felt like there’s good in the world. There is, that is, good—such a thing as it. To be taken care of. To be helped by people who know their good stuff. But what’s it like to feel otherwise? I’ll try to recall as accurately as possible for this neverending monologue.Yawk yawk.

Everything is projection and nothing is certain at all. From the imagery that makes up our dreams to the way we interpret posts on social media and emails and texts, to the way we might mishandle our relationships. But — behind some projection device modulated by our brain’s chemistry, we sometimes get glimpses of actual unsubjective harrowing facts. The projection is sort of overruled by something too real, not to be just-how-it-is. It’s the reason I pray these days, y’know sometimes, knowing that must be the crazy thing. At least it keeps me believing, not in God but in truth. Not in God but in objectivity, maybe, though that word itself — like the word “literally” — can be thrown around by humans as though to force truth when it’s not something attainable by force. It’s just not.

Neither are the words “I love you too.”

“Say goodbye to your sister,” said a nurse in a Bellevue hall protected by two bored male guards watching videos on their phones.

I said, “please Alexis, vouch for me now. I’m not going in there!”

Alexis said nothing to stop them. They gave me my blue cotton dress, more like a sheet with a clip on the back; I went in.

“If you ever feel unsafe again—just let one of us know, okay Morgan,” said XYZYX a few days later.

“Okay..”

Alou asked me to be his girlfriend, I said no, he said “what’s your deal,” I was like omg but I agreed to just hang out. We watched Entertainment Weekly on TV and talked about Meghan Markle. Alou said she’s so beautiful, I was surprised at his, tenderness? At least from him, to me, it came as a shock but the good kind. Using words like she’s beautiful just, in casual conversation; where I’m from, I didn’t often hear men do this. (They used words like hot or bangin’ or sweeeet, or pretty.) I told him, the last time I’d been to a hospital—must have been when I’d fallen out! He said “that’s so intense.” I told him I’d been through more than people assumed, say, from ever encountering me in my flannels and winter skirts with a loose waistband. I was more intense, than how I dressed up. In the psych ward I tied my blue sheet so it fit almost like a dress I’d have actually worn; I guess, I felt like myself.

God. Alou’d been admitted after hitting his head, though the story behind that was never fully elaborated by him. He said he made a move on some girl in Times Square, who called the cops — I could believe it, his come-ons were pretty strong. He kept asking that question “what’s your deal” and telling me about the time he spent in his room wanking off; I figured he was out of it. Gave him the benefit of the doubt. “Don’t tell me that, ha,” I said. “I don’t wanna hear that.” I wondered what would happen in the rest of his life. I guess at some point I’d decided I was on his side, an ally not an enemy — and it’s true I’d never forget him. Sayin’ a prayer for him now.

“There was a time when being here” (it was his second stay) “was better than where I would have been.”

“I get the impression that some people come here and just hang around, or something,” I said.

“Yeah it’s true. Was that your sister visiting?”

“Alexis? She’s a friend.”

“Okay.”

“I don’t like, that guy. He thinks I’m fat-and-beautiful but was better off as Chihuahua he basically said it I’m like, you know what I can’t right now, what the fu..“

I wondered, if Alou might now have thought the same thing, I’d just said before, don’t tell me that.

He actually said, “your face has gotten chubbier, since last night, but,” he looked down and then up, “you’re good,” he said it (or I heard it) like yeah you pass.

“Oh. Already since last night..” I repeated, thinking this, that’s observant; not buying-into his reassurances in my own heart, but, probably sort of nourished by the moderate compliments. “Kay. Thanks Aloou.” ❤

I used to sort of take pride in how I could never stop writing. These days I see it as a sign, I wasn’t a real writer. Apparently real writers don’t ever write. I said it before in this book, and, I’ve heard it said and then confirmed by real writers. Realer than me. More published.

I never understood that, until I felt it. Like, why.

Why would you even, when you’re that type of person, who has a life beyond their work. Who has friends or a true lover, or not even that but. Experience being around people and learning from them and kind of, feeling time pass but also feeling it stop. The life [to me] worth fighting for, writing about. That awareness, I guess, of subtleties, of good nuance say in love while it lasts, those things that are worth sharing to keep others “there with you” by reading? To keep them from falling off. From falling out. Or to take them back. Having nostalgia for that, peace.

Why would you even write, you might get a paycheck but otherwise why, literally why would you ever do that to yourself: writing, it’s like wasting time from being alive — being alive and actually, a human and your self, still. Why like, waste that precious time.

This is boring. I have a General Chemistry professor who, when asked a question unrelated to chem — say, about the course logistics, or exams — he shuts it down. Like flat out says, “I’m not answering that [you moron, implied but not literally stated].” This happens frequently, and since our lectures during the pandemic are being administered by Zoom, hundreds of students in the chat type the letter “f” which is internet slang, a bit like saying RIP or roughhh. Usually I put a window over the chat so I’m not distracted by some jokes that I don’t need to understand.

I have to pay attention because this is my second chance; I’m already a late bloomer in medicine, and on top of that, not a natural in math or science. Who am I then!

I’m the type of girl who (when I wrote this) gets up at 5:30 or 6am to exercise, sometimes I do old school actually mellow stuff like shoot hoops or kick a ball against a fence, alone in the dark and not very well, just to improve my hand-eye coordination because it got off-kilter due to “nvmenies,” which I’ll go ahead and define as all my enemies from earlier in this project. I don’t even care. I’ve gone into enough and given them hell, you too, it’s all connected though, the harrowing events which brought me back to school which.. [cue Will Smith’s track ”Switch”] — I’ll insist — became a truly lucky turn of fate’s key. For the first year my heart wasn’t in school one bit. I struggled, and I figured (vulnerable enough to sense, a need to believe in something) that my struggle was God punishing me, for not taking life seriously. When he gave me a lazy eye, I still am convinced, and removed me from having true friends. When he made it really hard for me, to think clearly.

Some things are complicated, like deriving formulas for Chemistry and Physics (at least for me!!); some things only become overcomplicated because people make it that way. There’s such a thing as a formula that just isn’t the right one. It should be self-evident, but not everyone’s going to notice if their answers are totally in-or-out of bounds — to naturals in math and science, it would be insane to not notice. I’m getting better at noticing insanity, in the worlds of math or chemistry; though, I may not ever be great at anything other than being a survivor, a survivor but always, lowkey unwell. I just can’t take care of myself. Even as someone lowkey struggle bussing, still as an artist I believe in hitting one’s marks. That’s how some people feel about fashion and how others feel about value systems.

Of course they’re not confluent —art and value systems and the right words at the right moment— is that the word for-now even, confluent? When I woke up the morning after writing most of this part of the book, I was crushed by, the truth, a feeling I often get upon waking up but some days it’s different. What feeling? Truth that slaps like holy fuucking shit.

This was the reality of how alone I actually was, crushing this time more than the usual. Whoah. I’d be a character in the Beatles’ track “Eleanor Rigby”: I could just imagine a funeral for me that no one attended, a boom box for the sad tunes I asked for please if even that. I doubt my mom would let that fly—but it would be a betrayal, to die in time for her to plan something better than that.. In attendance would be, like, my family and an additional one or three pals including Lacie and Jane and Kelly; Jillian’d be there definitely if it weren’t from an overdose, otherwise I don’t know it might dig too deep the wrong way, we might be too sore about what should never have happened. I hope we can move beyond it. And then there’s the people I’ll mention when I’m done with the WORST parts, next section. (I guess yeah it gets worse. Let’s go!..) But ya sure if I’m trying to give a good ballpark estimate of what I sensed as-of-then, 2021 maybe: as noted and fathomed already, I would absolutely, be dyin’, alone.

It takes a while before it hits you like a dusease. The sink. The sink that makes you fonna stay in all day with her worst parts ploddin on you, as if, you were, her master and she your slave, n she a jigsa fonsa see ya happay. You can feel it, when you, find the kumquat sun. But, feels like when you just awake, it’s so far away. She’s a like, all muscle, and fuckin, fat, like, moffun tops, fuckin, sunk fat, clock shape, not fin be how she stay, she’s yars to gitt okay, viz a viz, time games insida me, all day—stop trying to make me feel better, she a say, in a dracoollae voice lower than her last-year voice, she just wonna fuck, trulae—and a lak, why does everythan feel so much heavia than ut all dud when you was late aduluscent. She jox boud duh ratardd thungg buddd yar noissus in fuckin soundin almost like ritard fungss. Ritarda ma. Keep ma inside and fucka me all smurdah. Fasta rap mae in yar dizy chains til she a black out & scramm. Keep our frand insade to plae, your frand actillae, actillae not mine yours cos yar, possessive, not okay, let him stae, dopin-up on hormones and smilin lika dracoollae, he a so happay to gitt ascape. Issa fin take flash-ating h3ll scape, to git you 2 okay. Like cainbal sux, fon be wud taki save wirld 2 dae. Jissa 2 31 boom. Or 12, priss plae. But, don worry, bae, she gon speed up time a loose not gain. The clocka dillodae whirr fastha, when she gitts you to came. She the onalay fang, can spudd up time agin. Make her stay. Her pussy, is like actually, your salvation, okay, so. Don’t assume, she is effer okay. Make sure, she okay, cos it ain’t sumple or aisy. Okidy cay? So get her ploddin on her tick tock and let’s get whew! goin, and you hear jenius in dah killin yur track by Ye (ma bae to bring up da craist man, aw. but like juh ga still fonzy!! sorra) where he turns up, the spaid, high voice, gainsta, slow failins, he ßetta git safe. I’ll take a hit for you my baist. And this the kinna shid that macks you think Lolus jissa same. She was borna sacrifice, so you fon treat her more than gr8, cause the sink fon git ja even you don’t fuck her up to gr10 or gr11 or gr69 or beyonda (starring, Nurse shock– nuh, uh– she bites it sharky) so, fuck it up dhen. Gr9nd, puhlissy.

Somewhere North of the Twin Cities IIIII took a breather. Then climbed back on the passenger’s seat, she was resting in the driver’s, her daughters had just gone in the gas station, a pee stop, shugger break. What jur gurls want, trolli brites? Weeze our way on home from da Iron Range.

On the SUV playin song by Taylurr!! I put my hands up. My dunce, bell sa ringun, perfect times to be a life.

“How bout her, do you like her,” I asked Lacie from the front, me still double duncin’ back then, octupah. Hah? Not nuh, don’t know wurtt. Not zukah high no mar, just sky. No boda, if there ever warsa 1. Yaaah hoi hoi hoi, ruh roh. Get me back on my purry vibbies. Hee he he. Worrrds!

“No,” Lacie said to my question, in 2018. “Do you.”

“I don’t know, I don’t, know LACIE I can’t tell you out loud,” screeching na inside my deep hurrts, “I don’t want to throw gross dirt on my NAME by endorsing her when she’s like, a chisho pathic witch, whatt? I just, don’t know, actually I literally, curn’t even. Brr. But.. I dooo like this track, I musta say so,” in my Eeyore voice which is how anyone can tell when I’m, just being honest.

“I think the idea of soulmates is romantic, that’s not exactly what the Bible says. But you find someone, you stick with them, no?”

“I. don’t believe in that, shit.”

“What!”

“Huh, what [the fuck] about—the Bible?” I hissed through phlegm and venom, my therapist kept chipping away at me sitting there in a chair, piping hot.

“50% of marriages end in divorce. And of the ones that stay together, only… I think… 20% are content?”

That’s the gist of what this Minnesotan therapist, apparently a Christian, told me a few days prior to my trip upstate to meet Lacie’s family in Eveleth.

🙂 Oh also that I have executive functioning problems. And meth eyes. 🙂

I interpreted the news like this, “yeah, you’re re*******.”

A few years prior, to nuh uh, eh, I would have found this a dismal fact hands off ho. But now I see some hope tharin. If more n half all marriages are trash not content, if no man is really ever going to be “da 1″ for me (nuhr not even Hope if that exists any Mo) then it takes some of the pressure off being culpable for literally everything that’s ever gone wrong nunca ever since Eve first got a taste of the app and jacked it, ALL, op.

Last year 2021 my sister visited my room one time, we did not bond over how I have a picture of Caroline on my wall, currently. It’s one from The Cut piece because I printed it out in-Sept of that year and marked it up a bit, and — this is true and how I’ve gone and will go about decorating, until I can afford art or have friends who are artists, slash until I have friends — it was on my floor anyway and I was like “I’m gonna fucking do this.” I just took same tape and put it on the wall. My sister was like “is that Caroline da-da-da whose friend wrote about her in The Cut, I heard her on a podcast, “Haha, yeah.” I have some other things that are just like black and white printouts — including (I said I would do this when I was still writing those horrifying Goodreads reviews) page 21 of White Girls because it has this passage I like that was like ooogga booga, it reminds me of my psychosis. I was like here hee he can be the little passage that helped me explain my whole Spunk genre-thing, you know, of like; it’s only in my head. Right. Don’t assume you know what I’m talking about. I’m trying to connect worlds; like creating an anal fistula. Whatever I said. It’ll come back out the other end. In the next room, before I switched rooms within the same apartment, I had this kind of drab poster for the film Vagabond which I don’t even like but learned a lot from; mainly I learned from watching it, just what I don’t want to become. Caroline will be the first to use my name which she says “you creep me the fuuuck out,” shit. I haven’t let anyone into my room since moving into school other than Alexis and my parents once because they wanted to see it; not even my roommates. We have convened in our living room area, which currently looks like shit.

I do think I used to embody a nervous seductress but the more I talk about my self, STILL as we approach the very end here—the more I think of this Hilton Als quote from White Girls which could only have been written by an essayist who spent his whole life writing essays, and reading, and being around artists; documenting what he saw and [I’d say] what-specifically he discerned as someone with a unique way of seeing — so.. not also doing STEM homework which takes hours and hours each day and in some way makes me into half a fool, when I could be looking for my other half. (I’m just wondering if I should leave school still. As long as I don’t become a sociopath; that’s what will ruin any art I do, the absolute most.) I might have just answered my own conundrum [a great real writer word that Grammarly provided]: studying STEM will give me my own unique way of seeing!? Other artists don’t got this on me. But I don’t actually know. One reason I want to end this memoir-thing? (It’s a diary, kind of, not completely in that I edited it quent you tell. Not enough but a little.) So that, whatever happens in the next five years can be kind of elusive and just something I keep especially, no strings attached, absolutely just the fuck private.

Oh. Right the quote I have in mind to include-here-now is actually from Diana Vreeland not even him, and the real her, not to be confused with another character in the book called “Mrs. Vreeland,” and I could kind of touch on the queer performative aspect of having a “celebrity” name or alter ego, or street name hoes, even if it’s a fantasy, sort of, I don’t know.

Here is the quote from the actual Diana Vreeland below, included where-I-first-saw-it in Hilton Als’ essay on [since January, the late] André Leon Talley..

There’s nothing more boring than narcissism — the tragedy of being totally … me.” (159)

I am wondering if I should still act in the short films I do; I think the reason to do it would be to access a very specific touch of “mentally ill queer character” that I might not get right if I hired an actress, or actor, and I am thinking about aesthetic too (or just just just [*unjust] a lack thereof, of any aesthetic to speak of). Did I get satisfactorily at a definition, an answer to why this thing ~aesthetic~ which might be a broad swipe at the-word-for-it, is so serious—how Cat Marnell, probably from having a doctor dad, considered serious questions about bioethics in her fucking self-centered assss memoir (without ever the f realizing it herself: what she was writing about, not herself) [get off your high horse though, Cat you’re not the next Hunter S. Thompson, you’re a fucking (party) girl] (and my Calzone is not that fat: but, she does have some clinical grandiosity or something fucked so I can see.. I can see why..)—[anyway] after writing a while ago from some other angle about “aesthetic,” without mentioning books by Oscar Wilde basically about aesthetic – or after reading all the definitions on Urban Dictionary for what that damn word aesthetic aesthetic means these days?? Did I hit it on the head. Duhr. The drawback of acting would be that I don’t think I look good onscreen and this is considerable in dealing effectively with the knotty parts of making a halfway decent nano budget film. It is “considerable” because it was hard for me to git bullyied nyeh nyeh but, also because I think there’s an expectation on screen actors to look presentable or wear prosthetics and I’m hardly at that point. I have friends who were at moments dead-serious about becoming professional actors — I haven’t talked to Gabriel Schwartz in a while, we used to be really close, we fucked but he was pretty good at being a villain [literally like a German or cop] (not same as the aspiring cop I was fuckin’ who vasn’t a vhite min!! ) who also somehow renders pathos and I like the idea of working with people who have been through a lot, Alexis would probably have to reach out first to some people like, “so my sister is not the girl she used to be”; a lot of people I know, by the way, on the bottom working shitty and miserable, have lost friends to suicide including Gabe who if he hadn’t raped me by the delicate definition of what that means, would be cast in the seminal role of Roger down my back and possibly pussy so I had to resort to Plan B. That’s probably like a dealbreaker for getting to work with a woman. Don’t rape her. Even if you don’t even you did anything wrong. It is hard being a failed artist.. Alexandra I think, if she accepts that she has a serious side, would be really good in my movies. But not me in hers because I don’t want to appear in a film called Nance and the Ham, as a beautiful girl. Not all that complicated; we’ll be alllll güt. These are all reasons to prioritize being an artist over [my] rock hard cock beauty which is not meant to be mine. I gave it away. It’s like. It’s not meant to. be mine

I’m competitive though. 🏴󠁪󠁰󠀳󠀴󠁿 Bombs away bom bomb bom.

Ch. 19: I got you bae (but I’m scaring you? Too much pressure just tell ME but I’m not that loving.) 🏴󠁪󠁰󠀳󠀴󠁿

Idk what I was on when I wrote..

Memoir piece 9

Ch. 8 I’m fine

A heart surgeon’s assistant with that sort of grisled New York thing about her, not mean, said “why you got to sell me out Doc. Don’t put words in my mouth, you know.”

“I didn’t sell you out,” said a heart transplanter, James Pettigrew AMD, literally on his way to put a heart in the freezer for storage. “So don’t sell me out. And please just take shit seriously, what the fuck are you wearing — I don’t care how you look in the OR and your mind is the best thing we got.”

“You don’t even care how I screw??”

“I don’t care how you screw… unless it’s causing you to screw up people’s lives. Or worse.”

“Have you ever done that.”

“I mean I’m a heart surgeon,” said the Doc with dark humor almost, actually not really. “But I’m not impartial to different people, I don’t give my best surgery for the bigshot guy, I certainly don’t retaliate against my patients. Like Mengele you heard of him, yeah no thanks: not my guy. I’m happy how I am ha, the idea is helping as many people as possible. I know that I’m a good man who makes mistakes. And I’m not doing it for the glory, dear. I’d never call you dear because — I’m married. But I’d also never call you some other [worse] things to me.”

“Would you give your best surgery out of fear. I feel like that’s when I do best.”

“*Bitchy voice, it’s subtle humor and the assistant laughs at this* You’re cute…” said Dr. Pettigrew sarcastically (in fact he feels pity for her).

“I try, a little.”

Pettigrew shook his head. “Let me think. I don’t really get scared. Ever.”

A beat.

“What if you did and then were programmed to avoid feeling anything, you were that scared.”

“Maybe that’s how this heart hospital works. It’s how love and war work too. You’re fortunate that you’re so young, and so good at your work. Sorry if I’m being paternalistic, you know I don’t mean to.”

“*pees her pants* Are you good at your work? Sir I wore my best clothes for you and you just insulted me. Overall you sound kind of fucked up sir.”

Doc said *PRETENDING not to notice, not listening, not open to listening anymore* “yo if by fucked up you mean fucking brilliant, yes, suck my big fat Cock. These are jokes — remember I’m married? I’m married to Hope we’re super compatible. And my game today is ON. I’ll meet you in the backroom in five and if you’re not there, you’re gone.”

“I literally just want you to like me. I’m like your cyborg, I love you.”

“I’m gonna be a dick for a second. You’re not the same as when we met. And I don’t like you as much. I’m bored. But I’ll be cool and we’ll work on it. You would do anything for the work, for me I already fucking know it.”

“Yes sir I would. Sir yes.”

*Explaining it later to a doctor friend, naked her name is Morgan* “It was pity sex.”

I’m going to recount my time as Morgan Wilcock, an insuranceless patient in Bellevue Hospital in 2019. It was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me — that would make it worse than what felt like it was happening to me not anyone else, just to me in my head, in 2021, the underpinnings of which make up the more disturbing scenes inside this project. To bridge into those memories from 2019 I will recycle yet another riff by writer Cat Marnell from 2012:

“[…] while stars are infamous for their hard partying, their dizzying downward spirals, their headline-making binges, the truth is, when they use most heavily and subsequently die, it’s usually in their most private places, where they can relax, be in quiet, and don’t have to appear functional to the outside world … I don’t know what killed Whitney [Houston], but if it was something that she used to put herself to sleep because the agitation of being awake was too great—remember this, drug users: staying awake will never kill you,” writes Cat.

The title of the essay I took all that from is “ON THE DEATH OF WHITNEY HOUSTON: Why I Won’t Ever Shut Up About My Drug Use.” It was considered groundbreaking for being pretty much unlike anything female readers had encountered, for its openness, a piece maybe a bit rough around the edges in its delivery — but many of her exclamation point and italics-ridden essays which were similar to this one but impossible to find online now in 2022 were groundbreaking specifically [well..] for their influence on the spunk movement of writers influenced by Cat, and later by Morgan Wilcock, a gay-not-trans author who used to go by many pseudonyms including male ones. Indeed Morgan almost turned Cat gay, but reminded her a lot of women past their forties are whatever, and some of their early work collectively on a timeline that sort of accounted for all the years they lost emotional maturity due to abuse, of drugs, was probably groundbreaking work — even though all this “groundbreaking” work by women writers in my The Author’s own not biased view tended to happen best when it happened off the map; because otherwise the women had to shift their focus from the writing, to other modes of surviving.

Cat of course is a Beauty Editor who was made into a star by the likes of successful women in media such as Jane Pratt, and Jean Godfrey-June who I once saw on Hilton Als’ Instagram and his Instagram is like the fucking shield of Achilles (it’s beautiful content, with a queer dint upon it); so it’s not like Cat wasn’t always doing both beauty work and her work with words. But what-I-said should all make sense to people who have ever stood next to a model or movie star or star of a TV flick, if you’re not “with” him or her. Hilton Als has mentioned going to premieres as a big gay black man with famous women like Rachel Weisz, to accept awards that might help immortalize his writing. I think that’s nice.

Durga Chew-Bose said in Morgan’s version of her, “I have reached out to people before to say I liked their work, but let’s suppose in your situation I was put off by some things you wrote about me.”

“Did you see any of it?”

“What is the answer you’d write for me.”

Morgan said, “probably.”

“They were making fun of me.”

“No, I think just like with Big Tech — or not just like that, because like what power do you have Durga Chew-Bose editor of SSENSE, but basically — when I say that it’s not that cool to sort of endorse a twee aesthetic or sort of willful younger-ness, when it becomes just an act and people are seeing through it, well, most people are seeing through it, THE people are seeing through it, maybe not the people you depend on in more-literal ways… you are at some point not being responsible. That said I think there’s a fine line, between art that’s just prettier and are that is just the male gaze [like literally that’s the only thing that fuels the art] which in turn becomes internalized by women who ‘depend’ on a career in the arts for their income, their livelihood supposedly though they end up in situations where they’re ‘pretending to have fun.’ Do you think Art is fun?”

“Sometimes I describe myself as not a critic but as an enthusiast. I like going to museums, it’s fun, sure.”

“Well I think there’s a problem when some people on the same project, are ‘going to Fun’ while others are going to work. It’s just like this weird thing, where your job is essentially to make sure your bosses are still having fun. And it is extremely dark for lack of a better fucking word.”

Durga said nothing.

“I think I’d bring out a feminine side of you, and since I don’t always feel comfortable writing lines for people who I actually might meet I’ll just add one thing. I said something earlier in this book, I wrote this project in such a disjointed way that I can’t remember where or use autofind to locate it — but I was talking about what it might look like to be a feminist filmmaker. Maybe I could say that Lena Dunham was groundbreaking, actually a big deal because I think if women are acting their whole lives in bed, they lose themselves. I kind of cut to the case there: like I could explain that more, but I think she really introduced a mode of filmmaking where you could dare-to-suggest that women aren’t always obsessed with how the sex goes? I think men feel that way too and she did give the male perspective so I don’t understand some of the flack, then again I think a lot of men right now have anger and they tend to be sexually inactive: and expecting some great sex off the bat, I don’t know Durga I don’t know. I DEUNT KNEUWW. I can’t think of that many films that actually have BAD sex in them, and this is the hard part to write in a book like this that is not a novel, a girl in her mind can be in a place where sex if-watched[?]-by-someone-else would be just obscene, and the guy can be in a different place, like light passing through a triangular prism, spiraling off in different ways and while it’s different in literature (James Baldwin has some complicated sex I suppose, in his novels — also-this-is-a-good-moment to mention a new novelist named Ocean Vuong, who ‘writes the body’), it bothers me to think that hasn’t been done much in cinema and when it has it’s been such a clear struggle to escape abuse and censorship because … it actually might mean that all these male directors legitimately have a different experience of sex with women!! And the gap has grown so, I guess huge that something’s gonna give. Like something’s gonna give. I am scared of your friend Sarah Nicole Prickett but she’s written some incredible essays, albe-them by a kinky fuck for publications hardly anyone knows about, on the topic of film including pornography, and gender roles in porn, and sexual violence and the ‘greatest incel(s) ever to have lived’ which remember Durga is me. Like: if I’ve learned anything from being a guerilla performer using platforms in this weird creepy way it’s that all your creepy tweets ever that disappeared can turn up in a much-better way in like the second or third draft of some writing. I didn’t say in order to CANCEL you someday. They just come back. I would be able to look up to Sarah if I saw her step up at this moment in literal history. And you Durga, this brings me full circle. I know you like Polly Platt and have some experience writing screenplays or scripts because I’ve watched all your interviews or listened; you’ve just mentioned this. I think if there have been ‘distinctly feminine’ film artists who were Jewish, you over time became a critic who wasn’t male who out of the blue was able to give recognition to, well, I guess to actual white women like Barbara Loden and your first book is a big deal for being… genuine. [I think that was a joke in poor taste. I think it was, I don’t know.] And you just like art and it’s not for show, it’s not for some moral show of how good you are including for ‘giving platforms to women’ (and like: the one picking the women-artists is not a woman or is a woman who feels threatened or I don’t know). I fear criticism is in a precarious place and I tend to be forward because I just don’t have time to waste, I heard Anna Wintour say the same in an interview with David Letterman: she is just direct so I was like “nice” I’ll try to be. I’m being direct that I think a lot of women in high positions who were helped-in-some-complicated-way by equity laws are actually kind of insecure, men too, not her thank god. That one movie about Anna Wintour, I fear, not quite like The Social Network, sort of really changed the landscape for films about media offices in a way I didn’t like. Remember all those stupid 90s or 2000s romcoms like 13 Going on 30 where it wasn’t like, a moral thing whether you leveled-up to get the job? Leveled-up in ways that could be shown in romcoms watched by teenage girls. I don’t really know what I’m saying but OPE yess I remembered what scene it was that I was talking about ‘feminist film’ and I didn’t even use those words; it was my dialog with my ex Eric. I said I thought women were inherently more attractive — well that definitely wouldn’t be true if you were my actually-straight sister, or if you were like, photographer-director Petra Collins or something who is able to make men look a certain way under the female gaze. Her music videos are really good. So, if I am truly gay, and I am, then there need to be people on my team who aren’t or I’ll just have a very limited perspective of the world: limited to my gay girl eyes.”

“Are you sure you’re gay Morgan.”

“I’ll never be sure I am gay. If that is something you’d ask. I have had some good things with men, really good things actually and as Lola Wilcock or Lola or whatever I was able to morph into a different person: to kind of keep it separate from situations where being pretty honestly would get me in trouble. See I’m being direct, and since I am I’ll add, I actually, do, think, I lost my looks, they’re not coming back but I could have chosen that over being a real writer. I could be wrong; I don’t know, there aren’t ways to like, prove that kind of thing. Hilton Als wrote an essay in White Girls about Louise Brooks that I found relatable: I could reference it at this moment, or just mention it. Goes to show ‘the self’ is a delicate thing. More relevantly to the thesis of this book ‘it’ is a sacred thing, the self is a sacred thing and the body is something else. I don’t know what the body is. I don’t think I was born to write the body. I do think I am fortunate that my sister Alexis, say if I do intend to direct with her, has an awareness of how art as a medium is so often basically about looking at bodies [you know, in some context or in relation to each other or to the artist or..] (Alexis is smart) but of course that is not the only thing that art is. And I think rather than make it into a sexual-identity thing I would encourage people to make it into a love-thing and not overthink it until they fall in love with someone else: that probably is a little more complicated because for me love isd been sometimes a horrible thing, literally horrible. And *on a soapbox looking super feminine that day* I think I will choose to commit to people (like a girlfriend and one day a spouse) and they are more likely to be women, and it is probably because I am in love with my work.”

“Oh, so. With your self.”

“No, would anyone care if I were though and that became my norm, I am bipolar though so I either love or despise myself — oh and that’s another reason I might do better with a woman, they wouldn’t ever call me crazy for things that are just probably trauma-influenced. I don’t know if that makes sense.”

“More in love with work than with like, the idea of a family or something.”

*Morgan was making a face like she just woke up and forgot she was on an airplane.* “I know, I would like a family. I don’t know how I’ll have time for all this but becoming a doctor [a neurologist or mental health practitioner] in all honesty is to keep.. me, sane. And let’s pretend I started crying when I realized I wanted a family at age 28.”

“??”

“That’s when I realized it. I don’t know how to write your lines but … you’ve been editor to a magazine, I’ve only pretended I’m a leader … you are interesting because I think people just get behind you but then you are a real writer so you must pick up on their ulterior motives. At risk of getting carried away in a dialog with someone I don’t fucking know, I’ll just say that I expect we will be meeting again and we can talk about some of the things that actually need to be addressed because people’s wellbeing, and lives might be at stake. I am sorry if that is too much.”

“Pun intended..”

“Yes and here’s another pun. Who da boss, also. Say hello to my little friend.”

*Durga winces because it’s so bad and Morgan is like ‘I’m not going to say it’s not that bad because I’d be being actively dishonest maybe to make [you] feel better or to make someone ‘like’ me, someone who’s involved in this situation that I think has been kept safely self-contained beneath this scene like a diabolically-designed field of landmines; but I do not care if people like me to the point that it can become self-destructive and just-destructive and if people can forgive times I’ve been just-destructive it is true that I just need people [women] to know that I do need them too, I would rather take this very very seriously than kind of pretend, it’s fine’ (what if that’s not true)… if we meet IRL, Durga Sweet, we’d just have to negotiate boundaries [between art and life] and be strict about that. I’m talking in director-mode now, not like a lesbian mom or dad which is what that last pun was about. End scene.*

“It sounds like you’re talking about some sort of crisis, are you?”

“I don’t think people want to deal with how hard it might be to make things work, and I am talking about MeToo maybe and I am talking about how hard it is to create a better world. It is the much harder thing to do undoubtedly. Progress that is good progress does not come easily. Have you been eating?”

“??”

“I don’t know, I was going to maybe ask you to go out because I can’t keep doing this book, these scenes. It’s not how people actually should be talking. It’s literally like slave songs, talking in code — making bad jokes, did I just cross the line.”

“You’d have to ask if you just crossed the line and I could tell you.”

“Here is a good start because I’ve learned it’s good to just ask for what you need.. since I am a student at Columbia and he’s been a longtime professor here — could you maybe help facilitate something where I meet Hilton Als. I think that would be a good start.”

Durga said.. “I don’t, know. You could meet me. I don’t know what you’re gonna show him.”

“Like ALL my fucking writing and I’ll spill my soul. You are reminding me of my sister, dragging her feet on these things. She could come to the meeting? Say if we’re a duo and we are. Okay though how about we meet first, I don’t know. Literally you’re a leader right. But I do know I can’t just e-mail Hilton Als from the school server because it wouldn’t work: I just feel like it wouldn’t work. This book is literally designed to not be read unless someone is kind of willing to consider taking me seriously. For how people respond to it I expect ‘silence’ to be mostly what happens, and Nietzsche said *paraphrasing* that ‘silence is the worst form of truth.’ That’s how I took it because the silence has been all I had to go by, that I meet be onto something. Well let’s assume again that I am not onto something, it’s not a good-something to have picked up on, but that I might be right. That seems like a good balance to strike. And Hunter S. Thompson said ‘The truth, when you finally chase it down is almost always far worse than your darkest.’ God has that been true for me recently, and I think I’ve handled it well but if I get no help at some point I’ll crack and that could just be something you end up feeling very guilty about, when you could have stepped in at some point, sooner, what is a bystander, you don’t want to be one: I am not saying you have been so far. Just do the right thing, that wasn’t an allusion I just mean ‘do the right thing’ please god or capital-g God if you like are offended that I said please god in lowercase, someone show some humanity to this woman. I don’t care if she has a fucked up jaw or what she’s done, just like fucking do the right thing, now at this point since I’ve said that 3x it’s become an allusion.”

“Besides you around Hilton do I have to worry about you hitting on me or all my friends.”

“I think a lot of your friends are vain people who I’m scared of to the same extent they think I am a loser. If you think I am a loser then don’t come around, I’m sorry I wrote, about you [plural], I have no life and I will be in a relationship with someone who it’s a good relationship with — not with someone who will always think they’re doing me a favor. That is like my one criteria ‘not someone who always thinks they’re doing me a favor.’ I would rather be dead and I do feel deeply I deserve something normal by now in what’s been not an dreamy life and a lot of people want that and I want to stay away from it. I do think the world is going through a lot and I’m trying to do the right things and when I say ‘do the right things’ I think of being teased sexually about how I don’t know how to by people I wouldn’t be compatible with. They will have their separate lives and their art, but life and art and collaboration should all be separate things. I am sorry I said that I think a lot of your friends are vain people. I can only think of a few. This was a good scene.”

Ch. 9 It’s a tragedy

“She knows my body,” was the idée fixe that obsessed the Author so perturbedly that he wrote the last scene for his baby. Not his daughter. She was such a little girl, how could no one say “enough.”

If you ever steal my or my girlfriend’s work again, I will take this to the next level. You will know how it feels to be cancelled, how it feels to be MeToo’ed.

“Spoil sport,” was the cherry on top, a thought that obsessed yours truly like some rotten forbidden vegetable. Is that all I am to you. Is that all I ever was.

It was the right thing to do, just admit it. I saved the life of someone who ruined mine. I used to want to meet under “honorable circumstances.” Maybe we can meet as people who could have been in love. It would have been fun, but what is justice anymore, if there’s no place for it, in the historical record, call it ‘the narrative’ if you want.

The end of the story is not about me either liking you or not living, it is just the history.

In my history, my one and only Hope’s, hers too, “she isn’t gonna help.” That was the last fixed idea, what kept me Morgan from killing myself. It had been a choice after all, he had been [there] all along, and there was no way around it: it wasn’t the right one.

“That’s disgusting,” said Taylor Swift quietly in my schizoid head, literally while I wrote this scene in a lecture on August 3rd, not paying attention. And it was really deeply meant. And that’s where this short chapter ends, and another one begins.

End of Part Two

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

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 **

Memoir piece 4

[this continued from previous parts of memoir]

“Are you gonna be able to graduate!?”

“I don’t know!!”

Jillian who I met in undergrad knew more about all the white male philosophers than I did, because as far as I know it’s all she would read. Almost all she would read. That is probably a good hook in a synopsis of this person. I’ve noticed that writing by people who are well — people like Durga Chew-Bose, whose first book of essays Too Much and Not the Mood was something we both enjoyed and shared in; Durga must know via the internet that I am obsessed with her writing, for its.. narrative?? wait.. for, helping people, ss-s–low down **reee ree malfunction from the computer-girl** and it helpins them-people value the right things [and it’s also good writing] (and in this passage I am keeping a shell up, tortoise-like in this Hobbesian brawl to the death ../ watch her go), which could be awkward or could be something surprising when we finally meet, if I should say since you never know anything at all; it could be awkward what is actual versus, what’s just been perceived — might be what sick people are drawn to, whereas people who aren’t might be drawn to the stuff by minds on the verge of going mad. I can’t really speak to that; to being drawn to art by people who are well as the diagnosed-crazy one. It’s just a hypothesis I have, and hypotheses are distinct from theories in that they’re much less absolute.

It still should be concerning, probably, that Jillian and I were both sick in the head in the years we spent most of our time together: double trouble.

I’ve blamed her for being the bad influence then caused me to break down at the same age most people who struggle with serious mental illness do (around or before age 25), and I might feel differently about the past if self-belief had been all it took to carry me to victory; occasionally that does happen for people in America including great artists. One thing I’m grateful to have learned from staying in New York and in a prestigious setting, a setup that was hard to swing, is that humbly [and not cunningly] accepting the role of patron instead of trying to be a star when you can’t carry the show is commendable, in a way that’s almost objectively apparent — like if you’re all in a room together. I am speaking for myself, it’s better to be the one who knows she looks terrible than the one trying to cover it up; otherwise, honestly in dreams and other places, you just project your ugly insecurities onto people and in real-life it doesn’t make life better. When Jillian called me “Lola” and souped my confidence up, I think honestly I was replaying dynamics with my mother growing up; how she pushed my self-belief to a higher level. (I don’t think that was a bad thing — my mother also was a realist, about how the world is hard.) It just wasn’t the same quite with Jillian, whose own mother sounded even more hardcore than mine with the pressure to succeed, not crack, to succeed, and there are two variations on the short synopsis of my friendship with Jillian: one is that those were some of the wildest years of my life, that I was lucky for them, and the other is that I met someone insane, and it threw me, that one girl — Morgan from your high school with all the accolades — completely off.

I do not think it’s the case that my audience, readers of this book, will appreciate the number of times I use the word ugly in it; but I also don’t have an audience, and if what is written down comes across as shameless then it’s because it is harder to pick up on what people would say, and how what I say might matter to someone or reveal too much about my dark side including how I see most of real life or how I’m able to relate to women, deeply to some more-like-me which might explain why I want people to be more-like-me, when that’s dangerous. Writing this, there just aren’t people there to prevent its being written. One of the quotes about me that I’ve flushed out until I wrote it down on my own terms could indeed be, that I’m ugly — which would sort of disempower all the earlier passages in which I played the victim on that one: why are hotter women calling me ugly and making it clear? What I think now, trying to be objective, is that maybe those people who mentioned it were in some warped way where we weren’t communicating online and instead as friends, trying to be nice. It’s hard to get in some places. (Take the in, particularly if there’s room there for you to still be a good person. Take the in.) I’ll never know what happened in the time I’ve demarcated as my fall from grace because to me this time is a blur; I’d be lucky to know what it took for someone actually great to have “it” and I think the point is that it can be subjective what people are drawn to. It can be subjective until you are actually working around people somewhere like film or fashion. And perhaps I did once stand a chance as someone who plural people were drawn to, before I became so obscenely mentally ill, for some time, years really.

So I fell, people are not drawn to me and there’s a fine line between becoming mentally ill from grandiosity and from abjection. I don’t think it matters that much what happened: what matters is that I write as not a star or genius, and not as someone defending my dignity, but as someone aware of how my insanity might have given me insight now into what’s-become-socially-acceptable that is actually (not exaggerating) a form of sickness — as defined by professionals who have studied countless similar cases.

I don’t think I am trying to save the world, or declare what better art is. That would be grandiose and it would also undermine the methods of various brilliant genius people trying to do that, sometimes rationalizing their actions with an end justifies the means argument.

No, I am not up to that but what I keep track of could be helpful to someone else not just to me; so they too could stay out of it. Even if it is everywhere, seemingly.

I am extremely close gal friends with a girl whose mother was a principal dancer [“the prima”] for years for the New York City Ballet, which doesn’t mean much for our friendship but it does mean that her parents known I’m insane, and I’m embarrassed because they’re legit, and once I heard Alex requote her parents saying that they’d seen all the girls come and go through the ballet: the ones who didn’t make it, their struggle, and how I think it must have informed Alex’s family’s decisions not only related to that career before she stopped which wasn’t quite right when Alex was born. (So it must have affected Alex.)

My variation of that spiel from my own parents would be, recounting television advertisements from their day for The Olympics which would say “The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Defeat”; or hearing them recall slogans from The 12 Step Program to me, since addiction unfortunately runs in the family. Since recovering I’ve heard recovery podcasts about how some people in America just from birth don’t really stand a chance, of not becoming addicts and I wonder if I can say I’m one of them. I think I’m luckyish. My dad comes from a family of alcoholics — who might just be guys doing their thing; from their points of view — but it must be why I don’t drink these days, ever! As a strange girl in a process of coming to terms with a future that’s not the same as what I’d always dreamed. (Alexis Wilcock my sister is the one who got saved completely and may have a somewhat normal life.) [Sometimes I look around and think this in my mind, “normal people,” but then I remember that it’s kind of dangerous internet slang to think of oneself as not a quote “normie.” And I try to change my thinking.] It’s crossed my mind a number of times, more recently, that I fall into the “Agony” category of the Real not Par Olympic ads as someone who used to be sure I’d find victory as a writer, only to find repeated instances of failure pool up around my feet, like pee; no just kidding like dream a so bad that I peed the bed, like passing out in paradise, to wake up to a beach littered with muck and trash. Morning glory.

Oliver Sacks the neurologist whose brilliance involved his ability to connect his work-with-patients to literature, in his own well-written books that reached a lot of people, apparently had a brother who said to the family that “he went insane so that you all could stay sane.” I wonder if that’s what I did, for my sister; or maybe that’s how it currently seems as I do at least try to pick up the trash pieces all over the beach I’m stuck on. As much as I feasibly can. Alexandra Warrick and I have been through a lot and each time I work on this, I feel guilty because I think I used to keep track of my life in a way that was almost petty — I’m almost sure she knows I’ve been writing on a dark twisted island alone; this project like “admitting” in the 12 Steps, is the first step out of the dark with it — but I always knew I’d want to write memoirs and some of what we-she-and-I went through, or what it felt like I was going through, was just too remarkable and distinctly fucked up; in a way that I couldn’t pretend didn’t happen. If I didn’t know what the fuck was even going on, back at the time, then maybe I could reflect on it later: Oliver Sacks used to take so many hallucinogens that they say his slogan was “every dose an overdose,” and some of those experiences made the pages of books by him, but it’s true (to the extent that he didn’t) he could have lost his mind. While I doubt it was entirely premeditated that he’d have all those experiences to draw from, sometimes in order to help other people [honestly as far as what motivated that kind of drug abuse never as a social thing you could say: he was just a weird guy] — he turned out fine [and lucky] by the end when his whole legacy was said, done, and kept track of by friends who lucky-for-him knew how to write.

The last time I mentioned Oliver Sacks I was quoting one of his friends, talking about Mount Carmel; the person I quoted was Lawrence Weschler a staff writer for The New Yorker, and Oliver Sacks — probably not exactly who I intend to end up like because of all my own unique obstacles — was good friends with a number of great Jewish intellectuals from his time as well as writers who weren’t Jewish like the poet Thom Gunn. While this memoir by me is probably more like cleaning up trash on that figurative beach I keep mentioning, and/or reckoning with embarrassing memories so I can not overvalue them and can move forward (no matter how life-rendering they felt at the precise moment I went through them) [I won’t assume that real life is anything like the film Castaway and that some piece of literal trash will be what gets me off this island], it is true that it’s also a means of clearing space for some dreams, the feasible ones, recovering some from the overwhelming wreck of them: so I should mention that it would be nice in adulthood to have writer-friends who I could talk to and write about, without feeling as though I am betraying them by asking them to be intimate in a recording or something. It seems like a habit that I can’t help, to keep track of minutia about humans I’ve met and grown fond of. I feel as though it’s something I see happening more easily among older people: being described accurately (basically). If I have to wait until I’m older to achieve that, then, I guess I have to get older not just die or something.

There was a moment that I think was probably one of the most important periods of my life, if not the most pleasant at all, when I was in touch with a guy from college who I wondered briefly if I’d marry (I feel like it must have crossed his mind too) [if not then fine..]; I would discuss with him openly how he’d arrived just in the knick of time thank god thank god because I had been thinking about becoming, comma as I pause for this, “a dyke.” I guess that says what kind of guy he was, too — not just me, saying that word in my writing; I’d discuss it openly — or maybe it doesn’t say a thing. I think that word is derogatory. I would spend most of my time in my room back in Minneapolis, in a house owned by my dad, convalescing from the one time I went to a psych ward. It really was striking how the only things in life that seemed to matter, were the things that probably matter to everyone: just like, having a good life and hopefully meaningful relationships and being good at your work. What struck me I guess was how many people don’t get to have that. I was excited to have that look very likely for me. Of course I was thinking about whether I’d still be able to do films but I didn’t care quite as much as I did from age 17 when I went to Columbia for the film program, to 25 when I cracked: my dad wouldn’t care either way what-I-did, my mom who’s always been my biggest fan would say “sure you can.. later, someday.” It suddenly was an “NBD” kind of thing. It wasn’t like, do it while you still even can because.. that biological clock, gurl. Is tickin’. I wasn’t sure, and I still am not sure the future holds — I’ve heard older people say, no one can be sure — but I think the idea is that the films I did, if I did them would unlike-before be for other people. I also don’t mean for like one friend.

Not for me; not with me as the unlikely, underdog success story behind it, which viewers cared about more than the 90-or-so-minute film. I think that’s one of the dreams I could stand to let go of, a film kind of about me. There’s always a worse underdog. Harvey Weinstein used to describe himself as one, and he said that perspective informed the movies he produced.

In any case, it might be a good moment to introduce Alex Warrick a bit more: she’s actually a very private person, just talkative which is different. This is probably why keeping track of texts or times we met might have felt like hedging boundaries. (“To hedge” actually means to protect.) The first time I showed her a draft of some of this was just under two years ago in 2020 when I’d begun fulfilling prerequisites for medical school by online-only classes, and Alex who’s back in school herself to get an M.A. had started dating a bit — this is to remind us each, that some of our lives have changed since then and so I’ll try to account for the catch-up I’ve had to play from the recent past to present. Don’t worry I lost most of our texts but I have some screenshots and they’re usually interesting, sometimes, in a good way.

I don’t know how many dreams it took in which I embarrassed myself, tripping when I intended to do something funny, or unknowingly harassed someone causing them to sit back and give me the more-sensitive dream equivalent of a jaw drop — nothing slapstick about it — for me to decide resolutely that I’m not a comedian.

It’s true that the extent to which I used to really be one, forced me to reflect on it: how it’s indeed, a survival-of-the-fittest thing for girls who don’t quite fit in; say in environments that are cutthroat in a unique way like on a women’s Varsity team. I became the resident “Freak,” and became very good at it. I just found at some point it didn’t land the same, and I’m surprised I still haven’t gotten it out of my system. We’d do fucked up stuff like go to paintball as a women’s team, and everyone would be joking around and I’d be in like a full military get-up that I found in our costume box. Like “hi guys.” Like I didn’t get the normal dress code: just something normal like pants. “Hey, it’s your bodies.”

However now that I’ve said that I can clarify that, I wouldn’t be the first to identify a changing landscape for humor in the past couple decades: kind of, especially since the Internet. Around the time I was convalescing in a room in my dad’s house, Alexandra gifted me a book for my 26th: Planet Funny by a man Ken Jennings who’s won Jeopardy! more times than anyone in history. He also writes books. I read the book which closed

**Genealogy mental

My mentor at Lincoln Center, director and former head of the New York Film Festival Kent Jones, said to me that I didn’t strike me as “the funny-type,” just from talking to him; and he’d be the type to give honest feedback. So I don’t know, really, what to do besides actually sort of wonder what the fuck I’ve said in the past five years that seemed funny to me but was probably vaguely awful. My boss at the time Gavin Smith saw a Jenny Slate film and abhorred everything about it; I actually kind of was on the same page, but then, I showed him Dark Lady Blues, a film in which I played a fat girl. I never got out of character. Furthermore I never went back to the office after some morning I handed some notes out with the URL, not even once; actually wait, I did go back once the night Chantal Akerman died. That was a big deal, it wasn’t that big of a deal that they didn’t watch the film I’d handed out some days before I went back for the release of No Home Movie. The best feedback I got on this student film was from my intern friend there, the accomplished critic Max Nelson, hopefully still a friend, who said the tagline, “a period film,” was a really good tagline for the film.

*In insipid white girl voice* PS. Since I can say this kind of thing now. I always sort of had a crush on his best friend David who helped co-found that film magazine, still technically active at Columbia, Double Exposure. That was our Cahiers, and my friend of maybe a year worked for them named Maya Rosmarin, whose friend Christine is an incredible.. violinist I think; she was also friends with an aspiring director Nick Lieberman who (sorry Nick) I once emailed in an ego trip when I was having a psychotic break because, it’s hard to explain but if we meet again I can explain — ..someone I’d consult about film score stuff. Remember when we were hanging out in our first week at school and saw someone die outside Lerner Hall near the entrance to WKCR? Like a car crash, and remember when in our first week in John Jay a girl jumped out and killed herself. I swear that these times are the wildest.

HBA

Memoir piece 5

I remember being toured around Wesleyan by an extended family friend’s daughter: that school has a great film program and is the alma mater of Lin Manuel-Miranda. She wryly was like “I just don’t find it funny,” about improv comedy (in reference to the clubs there), and my roommate said the same thing two days ago, I think about basically all improv ever. I bring this up to recall the experience of taking some classes at Upright Citizen’s Brigade, where it seemed to me as though the teachers were instructed to laugh in this sort of encouraging way, you know, probably like “good job good job good job!” Ha ha ha ha ha. I found it deeply unsettling — just kidding that’s hyperbole but, it’s something I think of now and then, when I’m the only one laughing in a room at something. Doesn’t happen that much because I don’t laugh anymore, at, well, just about never at anything. I had a dream though that supermodel Cara Delevigne (who I’d probably been looking at pics of late at night, hence the dream) sort of did that to me: in the dream I was eating a bagel and did a funny dance for her and she was like ha ha ha, like being nice. My presumption if I read into it is that, she was being altruistic by even laughing. And that I was the low status individual.. another one of those dreams. That’s fine because Selena Gomez is the one I’m really after.

If I could be apprentice to anyone older it would be Lena Dunham and maybe that’s a dream because is an extremely famous name which never hurts, or maybe thinking it out like a thought experiment is helpful to help find words for the following: as I get gayer against my will and worst desires I find myself sort of swept downstream into some unseen swamp-like interstitial space like a valley after flooding, on one side of which is either gender [not what I am strictly], on one side of which is my old family’s support and on the other side distance from them because there was a lot about their influence which didn’t make me feel safer as just-me. Who knows if there is some version of just-me that is the best, ideal version. As me in my present condition I don’t feel unsafe but that’s because, I’m fine, I’m just okay. I could be worse off completely. I feel like Lena would get what I tried to just say — the trouble is I didn’t even like her that much at first because I wasn’t laughing at the show; my sister probably did more, and Alex Warrick and my mom both observed that Lena and her writing allies got it right: the characters on the show were attuned sometimes almost precisely to what was happening at the time in New York or Brooklyn or wherever, in Ohio, and of course it was groundbreaking for what it exposed about girls’ lives almost to the same extent Chantal Akerman’s work was (and hers was far less commercial; maybe more of a masterpiece in the eyes of critics like the ones I worked with at Lincoln Center). I’ll add though the world on Girls wasn’t my world; it was Alexis’s or Alex’s. I am using them as examples of how I’ve felt alienated probably as a queer person, not using them to make some easy argument in this paragraph. Remember when I said I didn’t want to work on films “just for me” or “for one friend.” Probably you don’t remember [lol] but, I said it earlier in this book. (I would not want to write a role specifically for someone, not even a muse to me or my BFF ever; I think that was a fantasy I had as a younger artist, to just do that when everyone was doing that, which might have worked then. Now-I’m-like they GET a role that is a good role for them, then cool.) Well that is or would be at least partly because (a) my writing is sacred to me and I’ll write the characters to be accurate to my real-life observations, not any professional actor’s life because then it would be too steeped in my imagination and I’ve learned that can cause ruptures [people get mad, including me if it were to happen to me], (b) I’d rather probably still make [my art which is separate from my other work and the other work might be how I pay the bills; I will have to worry about money as far as I can see ahead] little art approximately kind of still for women, not for me. See, I don’t know, we’ll have to see. My mom actually says that she thinks that is what I care about most say maybe over my other commitments; the way Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook (now Meta) might care for women when she says a cause for retiring recently as the company’s chief operating officer or COO was to do philanthropic work for women. It might sound a bit broad but there’s nothing like ’em.. right.. uh, that is a joke and it is not that funny: yeah, I don’t know. I’ll work on being a professional doctor and still a woman and then like-I-said we’ll see.

“I am not entirely sure what the future will bring — I have learned no one ever is,” Sheryl Sandberg wrote on her social media at the start of June in 2022. “But I know it will include focusing more on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women.”

A moment ago she’d been in a dune with her eyes closed, tracing patterns in the sand, wishing it were the skin of a real guy near her age. She’d been aware that people were watching her and that she was alone, and basically topless in this bikini which didn’t fit right, but she didn’t give one if she was being watched all the time. Especially because she just assumed it wasn’t true, she didn’t have proof they were watching her, those dudes over there, they could be looking across the water not at her. The fleeting euphoria that heavy liquor gave her was enough to forget about the painful phase of post-drunkenness that left a girl feeling melancholic and self-disgusted.

At Jillian’s when I wasn’t at the country club bar — and I wish I could say I was more drawn to the aesthetic more than the actual liquor: the aesthetic of being drunk, young and not ugly at that age, half-naked on a beach chair in Texas with a golf course in the backdrop (sounds very American, it ended up a scene in my novel [above]) — I was listening not-actually-short-of religiously to jazz music from the sixties or seventies, in addition to Amy Winehouse. I was still grandiose enough to be conceiving of a great jazz film. This was just before La La Land would be released; by grandiose I mean, I actually probably was, realizing now in retrospect that I wasn’t situated to sell a big film script or shoot a real-budget short but was vaguely in touch still with guys from my old internship on level two of the same Lincoln Center building where ballerinas sometimes took the elevator to rehearsal. My stop was the film floor. Jillian’s family the Carrolls at the time lived near Rice University all around which there was a few-mile running path; one time I was doing the rounds listening to Amy Jade when I was lapped by Jillian’s sister Jessica doing circuits — jog, then sprint — on her phone. She stopped to say hi.

Jessica was **FIneesiceh

I am not sure what I hope to achieve in writing this book: maybe I am earning my chops as they say, before I get my hands bloody and start dealing with patients and, if I can do this, I would like to develop a finer voice. That wasn’t the best combination of images. In the time since I began it I’ve worked out more, figured out a hairdo that I can live with that’s kind of like a lesbian intellectual look (from back when lesbian Jewish intellectuals were still real pre and post-WWII) [so I would not dress as an actual adult man: which might have been my look for a few months, I tried it] — but since I said that and I think it would bother people who are more-that than I am, I can point out something I’ve noticed about our times versus way back, before WWIII came to feel like an encroaching possibility: hopefully a mere head fake.

What I’ve noticed is a trend I see in big artists where they talk about being artists as though they’re imitating “rockstars” “actual movie stars” “folk stars” “normal real humans.” Factually they are stars: I’ve been using the word factually in place of literally. Factually they might even fall, believably or somewhat so, into the category of posthumans. I have dreams about celebrities sometimes; I am not at liberty to say who they are unless I consider them minor celebrities. So I’ll say — and this person might not be surprised, if she’s glimpsed the extent to which I’ve stalked her online — Caroline Calloway is one of them, a woman I’ve never met who in real life caused a scandal once because she ignorantly made a post that was deemed anti-semitic, because it was, but which struck me as something I’d have done if I were famous or sort of famous and posting a bit manically or just not thinking. Of course Hannah Arendt said “There are no dangerous thoughtsthinking itself is dangerous,” as well as “Evil comes from a failure to think.” Those are two separates quotes but they might suggest that people are scared to think too deeply: because it’s dangerous. You need tools to make it less dangerous. Maybe if you’re mentally ill you need therapy. In the dreams Caroline, a Cambridge University alum with a low undergrad GPA, who barely graduated due to financial obstacles presented after her father’s suicide but who was known in her time there as the Cambridge Gatsby, comes across to me as a woman of remarkable class and composure — maybe it’s a deep-down thing — excuse me, also… dear *suddenly speaking, in British*, if I got the biographical details a bit wrong; there’s a lot of conflicting data on the internet. (Some of the more forgiving articles, of her sins, are in The Atlantic.) All that information I threw down might not quite add up with the impulsive-seeming person I’ve witnessed behaving boundarilessly online, but it also might. However only because I do kind of trust my dreams in a certain way, not as though consulting a history book or a textbook as tested by time as Grey’s Anatomy [I’ve had mental health doctors who I trust more than my dreams, dreams about killers being sent for me, assure me that the important thing is not to interpret signs in them as though they are magic (they’re not) but to question “what they might mean”], one or two dreams — minus (not sarcasm) the one in which she described me as sort of maybe “Woody Allen-like” except, probably like dumber; a nightmare truly, I woke up wondering if she would kill herself — have allowed me to get behind Caroline as someone I want to see succeed as a writer, as a writer and maybe not everything-else to ever succeed at. I don’t think being just a writer sounds like the worst thing; especially since I’ve seen how all-consuming it is to do school on the side and even try to still be a writer. I am not in school to be a writer. I think there was a time when it was clear the difference between “a writer” and all the other art forms “and writer.” If that’s right about the old landscape, the new landscape is unwelcoming to a lot of writers who could have done fine. While I’ve made a lot of changes to this book and tried to give it an air of effortlessness — like, “Morgan definitely could have cut a few lines in that [or ~this literal~] paragraph” — I opted at some point to include Caroline Calloway as someone I am willing to mention beyond the reach of one chapter. Obviously I’ve researched her a little, and I did all that research on her in late 2021 when I would spend probably an hour a day if not more, rewriting a post about her on Goodreads: it’s a website I used to use for hours for guilty pleasure evil fun. If I did that to other writers — if I wrote posts — then I decided they are people I should pretend I didn’t stalk, because as Alex once said, and excuse me Alex if you don’t like me sharing this and I’m definitely paraphrasing, “if those [referring approximately to the Dimes Square crowd] people assume you did that only for them, you don’t owe them your compliance (?) to their narcissism about it.” (See this is why it helps to record someone talking, so you get the word-choice just right. She wouldn’t use those words.) I wouldn’t put it past my own self to be a bit manipulative in how much of a Stalker, of Obsessor over someone, I’ve ever played… A creep? Only like in the Radiohead song “Creep,” and I like the band Radiohead for how they sometimes write songs by putting a bunch of slips of paper in a hat and picking out the lyrics they end up using; at least they did this on their best album Kid A, considered by many, many people a masterpiece. Just shows that something considered genius can be so random.

I feel the reasons for my playing the worshipper of some chosen people are mostly irrelevant because I was younger, it wasn’t planned, it was just a role I fell into, and it might be probably inconceivable to people who haven’t familiarized themselves out-of-necessity-for-survival where hierarchies exist with something called patronage [in my defense I think I was actually dumb, but did let people string me along until I became discerning who I gave my poor girl patronage to]; but since class is becoming a theme in this book, a book in which luck of the draw determines what stays and what gets cut out, totally luck, I’ll mention that I only learned after experiencing it a few times where my name Morgan Wilcock was dashed out in the ledger lines of even some small record of real history, that I only put my foot down when I feel someone values their own Selfhood over mine to the extent that they consider all tiny minutia related to their Selfhood and freedom to express it more-important than another person’s ability to even exist still. Dasher outers: very tacky thing to do, I really don’t like you and I doubt that will change, ever, in this life. Get it through your thick skull(s). Don’t kill me just because I don’t like you, either. Fuckin’ guillotine shit.

To make that less about me a victim, I think in the same way there’s a fine line between mental illness related to toxic levels of grandiosity [where your own Self you perceive is greater than what the facts show] and mental illness related to years of abjection [where you act as a mere stepping stone for someone else to advance their own career, either that or you don’t exist] (pick your poison, I pick the fat pills, not a moment “too soon”]: there is a fine line between treasuring your own story and bleeding out some bad fumes into an environment in America where literally some people’s lives, millions and millions of them, don’t matter.

When I talk about narrative and how much I think about doing some overhaul on my approach to it, I remember reading stories in The Times Magazine about a man who almost killed his best friend because he became so convinced that the man had cheated with his wife when it was his mental illness completely. **WHAT article though*** In other words: if in the old days the sort of narrative timeline of a writer’s life was easier to trace, like in 1200s Italy when the exile of Dante Alighieri meant his actually being exiled, I think a lot of what ruins people now is merely what they perceive is happening to them — when let’s try to not-forget all the people who are in actual prison, whose stories are never valued remotely. Their lives might have been valued at a price in dollars, not any bit of the narratives that brought them to disappear!

It is creepy stuff, here. That other story [about a guy who did something to pay for his family just to find himself in prison and erased from history] just wouldn’t rake in the bucks the same as another documentary or biopic about a megastar like Jay-Z who didn’t meet that fate, good because I listen to him, or Diana or Elvis, or Taylor Swift (who would probably get defensive about me namedropping.. I am not that worried: if I were famous honestly I might be worried because she’s well-connected and well-worshipped), or about Justin Bieber, pick your poison; but what is or who’s a real storyteller. What is the American dream, write it John Steinbeck, or I could say since Taylor likes this writer and alludes to his work, write it F. Scott! I do not mean to suggest those real star-helmed films about ambitious dreamers who sacrificed a lot from a young age, are always so bad. The synapses I am still connecting from scratch are nascent just as far as what needs to happen to help people stay sane, instead of contributing to a sort of inescapable sentiment among many Americans of having been wronged which isn’t false-quite — a lot of poor folk or people sick in the head, are being ripped off constantly or abused and made dumber, numb-er and phatter by people who will never care, at all, who define success only by their statistics: more is more to them — but it can result in violence directed arbitrarily at someone who aggravates someone’s mental or physical ailments and I think a lot can happen in one’s mind; so ultimately it doesn’t help to sort of limit the array of narratives to look up to, as the ones that can only [without some mental pyrotechnics to escape this position] be envied by people like me Morgan.

I am trying not from literal island prison like many a legendary writer but as someone in-recovery to make sense of it all. That is who I am compared to a celebrity, and that is a sort of grandiose thing to do: it is a waste of time potentially, and the one thing I have going for me is that I’ve learned a lot by reading up on them or for-that-matter watching biopics about the risks taken by successful people who are just humans too.

I am not doing that bad; I have been in very bad places. I am not sure yet what a better narrative, to look up to, would be for myself specifically. Would it be the one where the star says “oh but you have all these things I want.” You can write it but maybe you shouldn’t be a screenwriter if you’re fucking not a screenwriter. I would not write that script because I just wouldn’t want to feel ripped off by a story that isn’t truthful; and, I wouldn’t be able to write it because I wouldn’t know what to say. If I could though say I’d say, “leave her alone” and have that be the whole scene and I wouldn’t even give the speaker a name. I also wouldn’t say that, “you have all these things I want!” to someone like the guy delivering my Amazon package, staring out at his cart of items wrapped up like a gift from Santa who I no longer believe in. That would be nuts. I’ve probably decided only because I do think the work ends up better if you limit your scope somewhat, that I am primarily (a) a doctor who took a while to get above B’s in my undergrad classes then (b) an aspiring feminist filmmaker as opposed to who-knows in the arts. I don’t consider it bullying to say that celebrities like the ones who I am fascinated to see in my dreams, to the extent that I’d want to hang out with them because they seem like fun and good people, will be, just fine; I should focus on me and I should focus on the real humans within my scope. Never on them again.

Never, again. I should focus on doing what I can, to make things not-worse, essentially before I die because you never do know when.

My claim to fame for a moment in undergrad studying film at Columbia was that I managed to get an email response from Woody Allen. I was having a psychotic break — actually my first glimpse of clinical psychosis; it can be both horrifying and transcendent to go through (kind of both at once, which reminds me actually of an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function”) — under serious stress during my first finals week. I wrote a one-page letter which I promptly sent to a professor who knew him. She forwarded the email and, to everyone’s surprise, he literally responded to me and CC’ed the professor, a well-known Holocaust film historian. It all happened in about 24 hours. I am not sure I’m glad it happened, looking back.

If it hadn’t happened I wouldn’t have changed my name, pursued comedy briefly, become close and lost touch with Kaitlin Phillips — who is the reason I got an internship at Film Comment; Kaitlin told me to apply and her friend who worked there got me in, which is all very generous because she’s the reason for a lot of woe too, but whose best quote from an article about Lena Dunham’s first big book deal is “[Dunham] has the right to be deterministic now (if that weren’t already the gift of her privilege); most successful people are.” Pretty extraordinary to claim that some people have a right, to be deterministic: what would it look like to be denied that right. Maybe denying it would help open doors to acknowledging the role of sheer luck, and also privilege.

I think Lena Dunham is one of the few people who’s openly spoken about how she used to not understand the extent of her privilege; but I also think Lena gets scapegoated and I actually would be hesitant to walk up to her and claim that I’m envious: in theory she does have literally, exactly everything I ever wanted including a husband and a legacy that isn’t better-off forgotten. It is a good legacy, I would say the same about someone famous blonde and hot who I like even if she were to trigger my worst side. She’s just done too much good, for women.

About all that, for now or for good I’ll move on. To those fans or probably-confused former fans like me, who know of Woody Allen’s complete works (actually I don’t, but I’ve watched the better films over and over — Manhattan included, Annie Hall the most), it’s no secret that he and his mother had a tumultuous mother-son relationship: there are just a lot of jokes about it. I’d say the same of my relationship with my mom Rose Ellen — it has seen tumult; however unlike Woody, and unlike Ernest Hemingway who famously and openly hated his mother (and whose mother dressed him like a young girl, growing up), I feel like I’ve come around for my mom, despite wondering how I ended up such a gendersexually misguided suicidal fucking pariah mess. At least I don’t have a drinking problem.

In the way of details about our personalities that separate me from Woody Allen, besides my non-success by my age, I am not scared of death [another recurring joke for him]: if anything I sort of can’t wait for it, which I think is a problem. I also don’t like little girls. I am not here to make this about that, though, just because I don’t know Woody Allen: if you must know I shook his hand once at The Carlyle after handing him a note which he responded to, and I think he knew “who I was” for a little bit in 2013, sometime before his worst, worst scandals had a second coming, because we did email almost like pen pals for a very short time. Later I learned he had a pattern of this with younger women: I wouldn’t have been his first pen pal ever. I think if I hadn’t received an email and had the true story, of how that all went down, a fluke because my professor who forwarded the note thought I was a boy [based on my name on the class roster, not on how I looked at age 19] (I might respect her more not less for these details: she clearly didn’t know who I was and quickly sent along the email), I’d have been less likely to be hired by Film Comment and correspond in a more-personal as opposed to secretarial way with men in the industry. I’d talk to people, tell them that, and they’d listen or talk and we wouldn’t have sex or be flirting even. In case I need to throw in some defense of myself, for what I used to write about my week with Woody [none of that writing has been published but I’d submit it places], I think I was really young: not even just as a human but as a younger writer. My dad though said “he did a nice thing for you,” including to proffer the advice in an email to write for the stage. What I’d say: it was a short-lived flash in the pan of what it might feel like to be taken seriously in film.

I did not take Woody’s advice to write for the stage because I thought it was dated — his reason was that otherwise you won’t have control of your work, in the hands of someone else. I was like “isn’t that why people do film now, as opposed to writing for the stage: they can direct their own work.” Honestly the correspondences weren’t that personal but they were life-changing for me, and I can see why stars become careful about their power because each time they press “send” they have the potential to cause someone to spin off the rails. It was good to learn that the hard way: and to learn that power is real. I probably won’t pick up from where I’m at now at age 28 and write for the stage, because that feels like encroaching on territory that’s never been mine, but I can be a writer still if not a playwright, and a real one. That probably means allowing myself to be competitive with people who are actually good, and therefore literally eliminating the good competition — like by cancelling them; I might as well say “by poisoning them” — would be unwise for my own odds of maybe barely making history as opposed to being remember for five or fifteen minutes by someone who already has: say because they got a literal endorsement from a reigning star [by literal endorsement I mean financial benefaction], as opposed to from the people. Or from some people, who really do like you and aren’t just kissing ass.

I’ve read James Baldwin say the following about power in his Letter from a Region of my Mind: “power is real, and many things, including, very often, love, cannot be achieved without it.” To quote that out of context would be doing the truth about how true power and true love stories function unitedly in history, a disservice.

I am quoting it out of context, but I’ll do my best to describe how I read it. Baldwin only says it to clarify how people he loved who he trusted with his life sometimes, or often, failed in their project of changing the world for the better: “For it would seem that a certain category of exceptions [referring to people who did manage to change the world] never failed to make the world worse — that category, precisely, for whom power is more real than love.” A part I took away, years later actually, is that power yes, is definitely real: and that whether gay or straight I probably shouldn’t compete in courtship where more-powerful people are also trying to court someone. To avoid those dangerous situations, the types I used to be drawn to as someone with a suicidal ideation problem that’s gone on for years, I have to be self-aware of when I’m legit not as powerful as someone else; I’d also be wise to not pity myself about that, and in order to temper all the inevitable tears which will be had I can read up on privilege, because I haven’t in every case had as much as someone else who kicked me down a few rungs, who “won.” Won what? If I were to compete [with that shit] it would be [agreeing to be] grandiose, and I would be more likely to lose my mind and that’s my big obstacle I’ve identified in life. (Not losing it.) I’ve lost my looks, I don’t really have much: but I got back to my mind at least like Odysseus on a beach and I just am saying that as an allusion not so you picture me with a man’s body on a beach. Love not just power is definitely real, can work wonders and is also dangerous — James Baldwin’s novels would reflect this much, in which real love sometimes manifests as severely abusive relationships, sometimes interracial ones too; usually the abuse is due to powerlessness, their lives being shit — and in my real life not a book I don’t want to end up poisoned, cancelled, gaslighted and insane. All the awful rest. I almost wrote a screenplay scene the other day in which one character probably someone weirdish but sympathetic like me says to another, clearly more-powerful and prettier one, “it’s so I don’t go mad,” in response to the question “why would I ever not be [friends] with you.” I honestly don’t want to be because I am too weak, you have a lot going for you and I want to see you do and be well. Still for me keeping up for the next x years until you drop me just isn’t worth the stress.

Ch. 4: She didn’t assume

Me, insane though

Memoir piece 6

[continuing from memoir piece 5]

I decided not to screenwrite that scene about telling the pretty person that she’s got some ego problems because I’ve wasted a lot of time on writing that I’ll look back on later and say sounds “younger,” and I won’t have gotten paid for it and if it’s not going to get made as a movie then it probably just sits there as a regret and makes me feel worse. Anyway, who knows what it would be like to actually love — like be in love with — someone more powerful who is more powerful not just perceived as such, who knows you well too: that’s why those relationships don’t happen often except secretly, and for me they’re something I can steer clear of without handling it so emotionally, the steering clear part. I can still have relationships with more-powerful people not romantic ones: mentorship can be a lovely, positive thing in my experience, with the occasional very awkward moments that are forgiven quickly.

**bridge into next scene [put something here]

There was an incident at my school in November 2021, around the time I was my most incelesque and abusive in comments sections, facing toward celebrities I’m envious of — who I realize only when sitting across from a doctor in a submissive position myself, do not have it easier. I claimed earlier that some people might be “posthumans” and that causes me apprehension as someone whose mental health might want to lead me to become a writer only appreciated “posthumously,” but the truth of the matter is — that might not be all bad, I think there are good people overseeing technological progress, stuff like chips in people’s brains which to me sounds Dystopian — the more I say that about me the more-redundant it seems, the part about my work only being appreciated much later, and it is a fear I think. Oh well: I’d just be happy even if I were dead and people liked some of my work after I was dead. Kind of grandiose, to think it wouldn’t disappear: why are you reading this if it’s just to tell me I’m grandiose though. That’s weird.

As bland as it sounds a person’s least appealing redundancies are often what completely defines that person and determines who is an ally or not; the ones who get it and can not excuse it but still do get it are the ones who you can, hopefully with time if there’s something worthwhile-about-this, come to trust.

On trust. Probs couldn’t hurt to say a few words, on trust. I don’t think having trust in one’s life has to be a fantasy; this is an opinion but I do think the value of it was significantly diminished when Trump was in power and his American dream narrative took us all by storm, there was no looking away from it, for instance a detail I couldn’t forget about how he taught his boys from childhood do not ever trust anyone, least of all him their father, and these kinds of stories fascinated many of us: just like really damn wtf.

How the f*** did he become president, just saying the stuff he kept saying out loud, with no political experience, even if he wasn’t quite a rags-to-riches trajectory and there are plenty of ways to counterargue that he’s the American dream: he did somehow become president. He’s a man, I’d caution myself from automatically saying, “he’s right!!!” when reviewing articles about how Trump is a non-trusting person and himself a scapegoat when everyone who knows shit knows to *please son..* be street smart in business; he also says to “hire the best people and do not trust them,” but seems like he only hired yes-men and that contradicts his own compelling, intoxicating sells on just how to be a smart and sometimes cunning leader. I think a lot of people liked him, and so I try not to judge people being evil. Oh no, I meant to say I try not to judge people just being people. I’d argue that Obama who was seriously despised in and after his time as president had that kind American dream narrative on his side, to explain some of his appeal to We-the-People proper, but that is not what defines leadership and it’s also not what necessarily gets written in actual history. I am not sure what does; I am impressed though by how sacred a thing the Truth came to seem only after I lost my mind, because I think untruths piled on and on to a narrative about me or what I truly believed in, what I was fighting for on this earth, that couldn’t hold up were what caused me to break eventually: under pressure, crack. The perform storm had been set up.

I also get tired of myself going off on tangents like in that whole paragraph; I never am the one at the table talking politics, let alone getting up and storming off about them.

Slowly and surely I’ve found my way back into wanting to be a doctor and writer both and that is how-or-why I wrote this book throughout my Postbac Premed program: I suppose in the process undermining my own performance, only to come to terms with how it should and will matter. How my life might matter even though it’s not obvious yet how. At my hearing with the Columbia committee that decides your fate [this was all very intense] I pretty much “took the L”; and after that, still adjusting meds, I had another psychotic break because it was so stressful and I hadn’t slept and all the kindling was there for another small episode: I thought that everyone I’d sought out advice from was colluding against me. I also at that whole time of my life kept-thinking people were sending killers after me — particularly at that moment I emailed literally every single dean in my program about a security threat on campus, and literally told my dean, technically a mentor, James Colgrove [who I haven’t spoken to since except for a couple times: to admit I was mortified after-the-following and then for the hearing] that I’d identified pedophilia among people in Hollywood. This is the example I’ll give of picking battles way beyond my reach. My sister was on that Zoom call too. (See, people were there for me.) This in italics was either a white lie — no I hadn’t; god knows I don’t want to make my life’s work to take down shitty people… in Hollywood — or it was just a god-awfully awkward moment for anyone who wasn’t an enemy to witness [and sometimes I’m not sure about my sister: are you an enemy, Lex!], because, it didn’t make sense and it was clear I was having a weird time, I could hardly see straight, but it’s getting better. My balance, my brain’s balance. Either way my dean didn’t seem too ruffled — he was just like, “if you need to take time off.” I think it made me respect him, a good person who all my premed peers liked and it made me reconsider a certain sanctity about true professionalism.

Now let’s