Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Another wonderful Christmas moment was when Josh dropped what was left of my pie on the floor in a house where the air was so clogged with cat hair you had to pick it out of your teeth after you smiled. Sad for the pie, but my God, one of the cats was the most beautiful white beast I'd ever seen. There was so much perfect beauty over the weekend that when Josh and I got back to Kansas City, we couldn't speak for a while.
A package I sent before Christmas was sitting on the porch when we got home. The post office didn't give the package sufficient postage, even though I paid for sufficient postage. I guess I'll have to raise hell, which will consist of me printing my own label and pretending like it never happened.
I'm obsessed with this video. It's like the time Josh and I were at a friend's wedding and Josh shameless danced up on a chair and untied his tie and just did all sorts of sweating sexy moving. The bartender gave him 20 dollars. He was like a lizard who had just lost his tail and the dancing would grow it back.
We can talk about where I get all my ideas, which is in the shower. It's too bad my shower has curtains, not walls, because if it had walls and I had those special markers, I would be a fool for writing in the shower.
It's been a while without rejection talk, but I got a BIG rejection last week. I believe in the story, though, so I'm working its belly away. There won't be any muffin top left. I'll eat it. I will also eat the story's ass. The story will be dizzy and pleased the next time I send it off. I'm just kidding. A story isn't a person. You can't do those things to it.
2011 was a good year for me. It's been the fullest year of my tiny adult life so far. I made a bow tie for every shirt I have. I wrote a book. I was close to people and then I was far away. I hope to be close again one day.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I saw a miracle once when my friend pinned a spider to the wall with her hand. The miracle was that the spider was crushed before it got a chance to bite my friend. I inspected the little body. It was a brown recluse. Their venom can necrotize flesh. My grandmother was working in her garden once when she was bitten by a brown recluse. I saw the bite after it had a while to spread out and eat. It was a black, sunken space like the skin on a bad peach.
I know I already said, but I'm in Kansas City for Christmas, not Kentucky. I'm still going to make sausage balls, though. It's a Southern thing. You either get it or you don't. I'm not here to convert you. I try to keep my roots to myself. I don't speak with an accent, though sometimes Josh says I sound like molasses being poured from a jar. That's about as antebellum as I get.
My literary mistress, xTx, has a book that won't stop. It's called Normally Special and I told you to order it when it came out, but you probably didn't. I bet you're just looking for a reason. At The Lit Pub, I give my reasons.
Wherever you are, I hope you're doing all you can not to succumb to winter ghosts. It's pretty hard because they're everywhere. What you do to survive is you watch anything with Michael Fassbender in it. He's the ginger beard we've all been waiting for.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
There are sometimes attractive clerks at that little store. I can't imagine what they'd be like without the glass divider, though. They all have red eyes and dirty fingernails. It's this attraction to really dingy people that tells me everything I don't want to know about myself. Josh isn't dingy unless we've been eating Indian. Then his fingers are orange from the tandoori chicken and both of us have body odor like curry. It's a controlled sort of dinginess and it works, but sometimes I see a man smoking a cigarette and I want to know what it's like to have that sort of kiss, too.
It snowed this morning. The road was slick as snot even though there wasn't much snow. It's possible I need new tires. It's possible I need a new car. The other day when it was raining, I tried to brake at a yellow light but my car just slid on through. I think Josh thought we were done living. Ha ha! We are still alive.
I have a friend who is being paid a little to go crazy in the woods. I'm so jealous, I cannot tell you. This friend is writing a novel in a cabin and getting her lunch delivered in baskets. I'm writing a novella in my house, laid out on my bed like I'm sick, and my lunch is usually a fried egg. Sometimes, the big dog upstairs barks and walks around and I think someone has broken in so I grab the scissors.
If you paid me to knit something, I'm knitting it today. There's only one of you, so you know who you are. The hints to your identity are as follows: pizza, pizza, pizza.
I have two stories out. I imagine it's like when your kids go to summer camp. The longer you don't hear from them, the less they seem like yours.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thanksgiving was with Josh's family this year. We didn't go around and say anything we were thankful for. I think we assumed the usual. Thankful to be alive and so forth. I wore a bow tie and Josh's sister said, "I like your neck situation."
I had a neck situation circa Christmas 2005. Josh gave me a hickey and I had to drive all the way to Kentucky with it. I tried to wear a scarf indoors. When that didn't seem plausible, I just kept putting my hands on my neck. The hickey faded before my family could ask about it. I will not lie, I was kind of disappointed there wasn't a confrontation. This was also around the time I was making scarves that were multi-pronged. They were like veins or antlers or something. They were not well-received. I'm going to try again and see what happens. I hope someone I love makes fun of me.
The book, my book, you guys. I hope you all read it when it comes out in a little over a year. If you do and you see yourself in it, well duh. If you don't like what you see, just remember I am an awful person and all my dreams are about unfulfilled sex and venomous snake bites. All my stories, too.
I crushed around with this guy some years ago and I woke up the other day with the realization that we never ate together. I don't know what he looks like when he eats. I don't know if he makes weird noises. I don't know if the sound of him chewing would make me sleepy. I mean, I also don't care, but no wonder that crush turned to sand. Eating together is important.
The more confident I get about what I'm doing with my life, the more I find out no one knows what I'm doing with my life. The people closest to me get presumptuous about offering alternatives. Like, "Casey, you're good at making pies. Open a pie shop."
Just so you know, I would run a business like that into the ground. I would eat all the pies. I would keep important documents in a grocery bag. And then I would throw away the grocery bag because anything in a grocery bag automatically becomes garbage. That said, if you want a pie, I guess I'll make one for you for the tiny price of just hanging out with me and letting me have a slice of the pie I made for you.
If you're getting me anything for Christmas, get me an apron. I would use an apron. Also, more pie plates. Pyrex, preferably. But don't get me anything, really, because I'm not getting you anything but paper in an envelope.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Otherwise, I've just been thinking and mourning. Three people in my family have died over the last month. I haven't been back to Kentucky since April, and I'm not going home for the holidays. I don't know why I treat Kentucky like a foreign country. Maybe it's because I made my home elsewhere. Still, I romanticize my hometown. It's the only place I can be sad and then leave that sadness for a year or so at a time. It will be there when I go back. When I need it again.
I know I've said this before, but I don't think you can be happy unless you're fine being unhappy. I just think you need a good place to put it. Another person is probably a bad place to put your unhappiness. Put it into something you can hold and destroy.
Good stuff happened and I'm trying to appreciate it for what it was rather than what I built on top of it. It's hard for me not to write a story over the life I have. One of my friends pointed out I'm getting more white hair. I guess that's age and stress, but I like it. White hair is good stuff, too.
I'm going to Chicago at the end of February/the beginning of March for AWP. I'll be reading at the Beauty Bar with some very talented people. I don't know what I'm going to read. If you have any ideas, shoot, I'll take them.
I'll tell you a Kentucky story. My mother's family lives in the country. We were at one of my uncle's for a birthday. That uncle hunts, I know. We were eating on the back porch, and a fawn walked in the backyard. My uncle got up and fed the fawn from his hands. We watched the fawn play in the backyard all afternoon. It became normal, like when someone has a dog with three legs and you start thinking it doesn't seem so bad. The dog seems happy. The fawn seemed happy, too. A cousin said the fawn's mother must have died. My uncle put his head down.
One of my friends called, and I said I had to go. My aunt asked if it was my girlfriend. My mother said, "He has so many girlfriends." I looked at her and I knew she couldn't help it. I said, "Yeah, one of many." I was out then, but that took longer to become normal. That took years, and Josh, and hearing stuff I pretended not to hear. That took not wanting normal at all.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I saw two friends and a baby today. One of the friends said she didn't recognize me because I was so skinny. She said she thought I was a clone of my other friend. My other friend has been skinny from birth. The first friend is right. I have lost weight. I didn't know how to respond, though, so I just said, "No, not true."
Josh and I saw the fox again. She was standing on the curb like she needed to cross the street. I said, "I bet that's a good omen," but then I felt stupid because I never say the same thing for squirrels or opossums. A squirrel has never made my day better by running out in front of my car.
A couple of my stories were published this past week in great places. The first story is in Annalemma. The second story is in HOUSEFIRE. I'll let you guess which one has my sex dreams stuffed in it. (The answer is: both of them.)
There's so much more I want to tell you, but it's all stupid and embarrassing, so let me tell you this: I'm going to have the last beer in the fridge.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Josh and I went to a Halloween party on Saturday. We went as the demons of homosexuality. I did the thing where I got drunk too fast and turned stupid. I talked to a lot of people. Some of those people make comic books. I read an X-Men comic book last week and the guy who wrote it was at the party. That was fun and weird.
There was a couple at the party I know pretty well. Somehow, they didn't know I was a writer. They said they thought I just sat around all day and played with toys. I have no idea what their reference is for that, but it's not reality. They are the sincerest couple I know. I told them I was working on a book and they acted like I'd hit it big. I let them think that.
I should have left my phone at home. It's a problem when I'm drunk. If I drunkenly sent you a text message, I just want to say I'm sorry, and I love you, and don't judge me.
At the party, someone was wearing a costume that had gold tinsely shit all over it. The gold tinsely shit kept falling off. The host's cat ate some of it and then threw up this ridiculous tinsel ball. Poor cat.
I'm in PANK Magazine's second annual Queer Issue. My story is a couple shades away from being the color of non-fiction. Chew on that, you little weasels. It just got real in here.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday night, I was at a party and this guy tried to talk to me about writing. He wanted to talk about how much he struggles to get anything written. I said the process of writing is different for all of us. The guy repeated what I said but in different words. Then he was like, "You know what I mean?" I just looked at the thickness of his legs and thought about his lucky girlfriend. His lucky girlfriend was standing there not saying anything. A drunk woman came up to this guy's lucky girlfriend and said, "Your job must be to stand there and look pretty." The lucky girlfriend did not respond in any way.
At the next party, I sat on the world's smallest porch and listened to a cute guy play guitar. The cute guy had a gap in his two front teeth, so I forgave him for everything he said. There was a banjo, too, but no one could play it. I drank a lot of beer and wine to catch up with everyone else. All the glasses were dirty, so I drank out of a coffee mug. It had a big A on it. A is for asshole. I don't know anything I said at that party, but I know everything I said after. One of the things I said after was, "Hello," to the toilet. I said this about three times.
It's that time of year when big, black snakes cross the street and look like pieces of animated tire rubber. I beg you to keep your eyes open. I ran over one of these snakes last year, and just today, I saw the remains of another poor snake. I have a heart for snakes, which probably means I'm evil. So be it. Wrap me in snakes and see if I don't ascend to a higher, shadowier plane.
Speaking of evil, I have a black dot on the bottom of my left foot. I think I'm marked for death. A few centuries ago, my lover would've seen the black dot on my foot and called me a witch. We would've been burned at the stake together, because duh, gayness wasn't allowed then. I'm so grateful to live in a time when you can be gay and a witch. You can be a gay witch. Or a gaywich, which is a pastry that resembles a macaroon, but when you eat it, it tickles the roof of your mouth.
Since all the leaves on the ground are cracking, I can hear whenever someone walks between our house and the neighbor's house. I'm usually in the shower when I hear it. We open the window when we shower to discourage the growth of mold on the walls and ceiling. Because of this open window policy, I would wager someone has seen me naked on accident. We have curtains, but they're thinner than tissues. If you've been creeping outside my house, I must ask you this: how did I look?
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Someone's going to tell me there aren't bobcats in this city and I'm going to tell them there are. But don't ask for a picture, because I didn't take one.
As for foxes meaning something to someone, there's a man in town who dresses like a yellow fox everywhere he goes. When I see him, I try not to make an event out of it even though it's a very special occasion. The man is not like a fox in any way. He's maybe more like a fox on the inside. He wears jeans and t-shirts but also fox parts and makeup. I would like to know if he wears fox eye contacts, but I've never looked him in the eyes.
We had some mice in the kitchen this summer. Two of them. Abbi named them Chester because we thought there was only one. I set out some live traps, but Chester was uninterested. When Abbi left for Oxford, I put out the meaner traps. I don't have problems killing mice. I feed dead mice to my snake every two-ish weeks. Before my snake eats the mice, I have to thaw them in warm water. I like how simple that is for me and the snake.
My great-uncle died. We used to visit him every summer when I was a kid. He lived in Tennessee. Once, he lived in this big, old house with his wife and her daughters. The house had so many rooms and it seemed like they were always changing. My cousins and I went into a room once and there was a hospital bed with an old woman hooked up to some machines. No one told us to look out for that. I don't remember who the old woman was, but her bed was sitting in the middle of this huge room. I think there was a piano and a chandelier in the room, too. Everything is bigger when you're scared. My grandmother tells me that house burned down. She has different memories of her brother, of course.
Last Christmas, my family got me home even though I resisted. They rented a car for me. I drove on ice the entire 600 miles. No one knows this, but I was on the interstate going down a hill and my rental car spun across the median and into the opposite lane of traffic. I've only ever thought I was going to die in a car.
When I got home, I stayed at my grandmother's and so did my great-uncle. Our bedrooms shared a wall. Sometimes, I could smell my great-uncle smoking a cigarette early in the morning. I would wake up and feel like a kid. My grandmother's house is the house I started growing up in. My grandmother bought it when we moved. There has never been a house that smelled more like home to me, like cigarettes and soap.
Speaking of home, I'm more and more tangentially related to people from my home town than I ever thought I'd be. I'm now "related" to some people I crushed on in high school. That's how it is, I guess.
I looked for the fox again this morning, but we were thirty minutes late, and the fox has a morning routine, too. It wasn't waiting for us. There were just people and their dogs, and they were standing around like they might see something other than each other.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
You can buy tickets HERE if you're in KC and want to see my boyfriend act like a singing and dancing corrupt senator. If you don't want to see that, I don't know what's wrong with you. What are YOU running from?
I sat on the porch last night and smoked a single mentholated cigarette with my friend and sister-like equivalent from Arkansas. We watched an opossum cross the street. The opossum did not look both ways. This is probably why I've seen the inside of an opossum more times than I can count.
It's been a while, but I have a couple stories coming out. Neither one has a ghost in it. One of the stories is sexy and the other is funny. They're both pretty gay. Pretty, pretty gay. And the book! The gay ghost book! It's the gayest, ghostiest book you'll ever read. If you're uncomfortable with ghost penises, maybe don't read it. Or do read it. Challenge yourself to face your ghost penis fears. They're just ghost penises. They'll go right through you and you won't feel a thing.
You should know I'm about to go make one of these fake sausages.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I have a few friends who are disgusted by fish--not as a food item but by the creature itself. Maybe it's the dead eyes and the weird mouths and the snaky slick bodies. Maybe it's seeing one fish nibble the corpse of another fish. Maybe it's knowing there are fish out there that grossly outsize humans. I don't know. I'm not offended by fish like I'm offended by opossums, and even then, I think I'm just jealous of how opossums can be so shameless about their ugliness.
I was at a restaurant the other day with Josh and a friend. Every server was male and attractive. I developed three distinct crushes. One of these crushes had a gap between his two front teeth and incomprehensible tattoos up and down his arms. I kept drinking all my water so he would have to bring more. When he would reach across the table to fill my glass, I would stare at the almost perfect squareness of his fingernails. Then he started talking and I got over it.
PANK interviewed me about my crushes and my future second husband, Sufjan Stevens.
I want Ariel Hart to create a tumblr called GIF SERIOUS where she posts all the GIFs she's found/created. Ariel Hart is biracial, which means she's part mermaid, part heir to the Blacula family fortune. It's almost true we knew each other in college like it's almost true we know each other now.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I saw aerated chocolate the other day, which is just normal chocolate with a million tasteless little air bubbles in it. When I want airy and tasteless, I'll eat one of those chocolate wafer cookies or watch anything in our collection of TV on DVD. Chocolate with a million air bubbles in it seems like a factory mistake that was so large Hershey's had no choice but to package and market it as something new.
Speaking of chocolate, I made a chocolate cream pie today. The meringue was out of control. It was so tall it was reaching for the stars. I was like, "Reach for my mouth instead!" and it was like, "No," and I was like, "I made you. I eat you." And then I burned my hand because I always burn my hand when I stick it in the oven.
Did I tell you the story of how it's been kind of chilly here and I'm not ready for it? It's the worst story you've ever heard. I've been rolling my jeans up all summer like I ride a bike or something (I do not), and now I have to wear socks and boots and I can't show off these legs. How will men know I have these hairy legs? I'll show them is how. Even though it's chilly, I'll pull my jeans up to the knees like I'm going to show these men a scar or a tattoo, and I'll say, "Yeah? Yeah?"
Anyway. I won't do that.
Josh tells me I need to do more research for the gay ghost book. If you want to go any gay places, let me know. Like gay bars. Or my gay pants. Ha ha. Just kidding. My gay pants are really just skinny jeans. When I wear them, people ask if I've gotten taller. The truth is I've just gotten skinnier, but I feel weird saying that. There's no good way to say you've lost 40 pounds in the last year. See? I just said it and it was no good.
Friday, September 9, 2011
I was buying sugar for desserts. Josh's mother was in town. I cooked until I felt gross, and then I cooked some more. The meat of roasted eggplant looks like octopus parts. The seeds are like little suckers. I made an eggplant quiche. I tried to make a fancy pastry crust for it, but I was impatient and didn't let the pastry crust chill. It collapsed into a sad, flat biscuit. Abbi said it still looked delicious, but when she left the kitchen, I threw that butter mess away. I made a quick oil crust instead. I'm a wizard at the oil crust.
All of this is to say I've been restless, and cooking forces me to slow the fuck down. I've been working on the gay ghost book and a longer short story about a demonic possession. I started a short short this week, but it's getting chubby too. When I cook, I put a lot of work into something and then I get to eat it THE VERY SAME DAY. I won't see the end of this gay ghost book for another six or seven months. And that's how it should be, of course.
I'm trying to be social again. I get like this around the full moon. Let's be friends. If we're already friends, let's be friends again. I made peanut butter fudge yesterday. I'm trying to limit my consumption, so please, come over and sit on my porch and eat this shit. I will watch you eat it while I drink a glass of tap water.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Another person asked me when I was going to be published "for real," which is to say "in print." I don't know. Whenever I get around to it. In the meantime, I've been published online in some pretty stellar places. I was asked to write a book because I was published online in some pretty stellar places. I want a pizza instead of all this explaining.
I received a rejection this morning. I submit to this place three or four times a year. I love this magazine so much I'm a subscriber, which is saying a lot because I'm dirt poor. It's a magazine for weird, beautiful fiction. The stories I send are either too weird or not weird enough, depending. Always beautiful, though (if I may). The editor remembers me from submission to submission, and she always says the nicest stuff, but nowhere in that stuff is, "We'll take it."
Enough about writing. I made peach salsa yesterday. There's a good amount left. If you want peach salsa, come to my house and eat peach salsa. Bring beer.
I had a dream I was hanging out with this girl from college. We were eating nachos in my kitchen, and then my family came over en masse. Each member of my family asked this girl an inappropriate question, and after each question, this girl covered herself with a blanket. She became a mound of blankets with a face. My family sat on her and told me how much they liked her. What. I am so sorry about that dream, girl from college.
Some of you are tough-timing it. Let me know you're OK.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
No one wants to hear me talk about racism, but whatever. I grew up in Kentucky. Someone in my family did the genealogy, and in their own words, "We got black blood some generations back." It's still treated like a weird family secret. I was first told about it after I turned 18, which I hope was coincidental and not an example of "Now he's old enough to know."
Roxane Gay, who once sent me boots to lick, had THIS to say about THE HELP. I can relate. There are times I can't stand to be around straight people. I'm talking about weddings. If you're getting married, at least have a cake iced with something that doesn't taste like ground aspirin. Might I suggest a simple buttercream frosting? Yes, I might. Also, forgo the kiss and give each other high fives, or just go ahead and have sex right there on the altar because we're all wondering what you look like naked anyway. I'm only sort of kidding about that.
I'm in dark moods again this week. I can't decide if it's because I've eaten too much hummus or not enough.
At a party Saturday, someone said, "It's not art if I could do it." That's the worst thing to say to drunk people who went to art school. We showed collective restraint. It could've been worse. We could still be in art school.
The government is tearing up the street outside. Our house is shaking. It's an old house. I'm worried about its foundations. I'm worried about my ugly couch and the one penis cushion I sold this week (I was featured on Regretsy again). The woman who bought the cushion is a long-haul truck driver. She bought the cushion for her grandmother.
I'm becoming weightless. The dark moods are lifting.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Anyway, John Lithgow asked me for directions to the American paintings. He was already standing in the American paintings. I have no idea why he was in Kansas City. That's pretty much the story of anyone who comes to Kansas City. It's a good place, but it's not the best place. I wanted to shake John Lithgow and say, "Why aren't you in LA filming a Campbell Soup commercial?" None of the visitors in the gallery recognized him, which made me feel like I was having my own precious moment.
Here's another precious moment. One of my writing friends was talking about her lesson plans for the coming semester. She mentioned some of the writers her students would be reading. I was one of the writers she mentioned. One of my stories will be required reading. This is me raising the brag flag. Brag, brag, brag.
This past weekend was a steaming pile. It was a full moon, so it's best EVERYONE FORGET EVERYTHING. I drank so much stupid beer that when I was making bread today, I smelled the yeast in the dough and I got a little dizzy.
OK, fellow fatties, I'm making potato gnocchi with three different sauces for dinner. This is mostly because I feel like showing off, but also because Abbi doesn't like basil. I know, I know. Is she human? No, she's English, or will be very soon when she's at Oxford rubbing herself all over with musty books. I hid some basil in a recipe the other day, but Abbi could tell it was there. I could tell she could tell. Neither of us said anything about it, but she's been looking at me sideways ever since.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I started reading a series of books this week. It's a fantasy series. There are funny names and maybe dragons, but not yet. No dragons yet. I want some dragons before this book is over. Please tell me there are dragons, because for some reason, I need dragons this week.
I was asked to write a thing for a thing. I'm terrified. I'm a fearful little creature, which means my terror is cute, except that I'm 26, I'm actually pretty tall, and my beard looks like it's been glued on (not cute). I don't know what that has to do with anything. Weird moods this week. Like the red-black color on my old mood ring. It's a color you only ever see on bruises and t-shirt stains. It signifies fear.
Sean Lovelace was very nice about one of my stories. I pulled on my ears when I read what Sean had to say. You know, because my ears were burning.
Traditional wisdom is to recite the alphabet as soon as your ears start burning. The letter you're on when your ears stop burning is the first letter in the first name of the person talking shit about you. I don't know what you do after that. Guess away, I guess.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Casey Hannan is a gin and tonic with eyebrow ice. I drink him poolside. He is effervescent. His bubbles cloy my throat and I don’t even care. I take him in. I take him in my throat. I swallow him. Until he is gone. Wedges of lemon and lime yin yang the bottom of my glass; pulpy, citrus abortions.
When Josh is gone, I take over. Casey is my bottom. He doesn’t care. He thinks I’m pretty, even when I’m angry. I make him cook for me which isn’t even really “making” because if someone has an obsession, they would do it anyway. But still, I threaten, because I know he likes it. “BAKE ME A PIE OR I WILL TURN OVER THIS TRASH CAN FULL OF COFFEE GROUNDS!” “MAKE ME A QUICHE OR I WILL PUT THIS GLASS COVERED WITH ICY CONDENSATION ON YOUR NICE COFFEE TABLE WITHOUT THE USE OF A COASTER!” “LASAGNA FROM SCRATCH OR I SPILL NAIL POLISH!” and “CHUTNEY BITCH!” He cowers, scuttles about, yes ma’ams, puts on a show of one abused and scared but I can see his smile reflected in the black gloss of the microwave door when his back is to me. Oh, that Casey Hannan!
You can see what I like about him in the creases of the day. How his beard grows in uneven and patchy. The upward tornado spiral of black pubic hair, the way he hangs his towel over the shower glass, how he hums made up songs while he sifts flour, how he calls out to me from the kitchen just so I will answer, just so he can know he’s not alone, the morning smell of him and how he hugs like I am something keeping him alive. I now know what Josh knows and it’s like we’ve read the same secret book and it’s our favorite.
I put up with the snake. I put up with the ghosts. I am fine with both. One night he takes me to see the Ghost Light. While we wait he talks to me about water. His voice is like waves. We sit in the moonlight like it’s the sun. The night is backwards and our eyes cling the tree line eager to learn how one day we may have to carry the light.
One day, when I am drinking him by the pool, Josh and I will laugh at how imaginary it all is. He’ll tell me how he never thought Casey would bring someone like me home to him. Someone so much older. Someone so motherly and female. Another person to siphon his sugar water, his sweetness. I raise my glass to the word, “sweetness” and wink and sip in tribute. Josh laughs. Does the same. We both drink him. Casey just lets us. More of him in Josh’s glass than mine which is exactly how it should be should always be will always be.
Monday, August 1, 2011
This heat, I tell you. I'm wild with dumb impossibilities.
One of my college friends was in town for the weekend. She lives in Chicago. She's used to the Midwest, but I feel like we still bored the shit out of her. Josh and I are the old gay couple who party once every thousand years to celebrate the mystic secret of our eternal youth. We drink the blood of raw summer tomatoes from a chalice made of shed cicada exoskeletons. There are pictures on Facebook of this rare occasion.
Some muddy people came to our house to clean up after they ran an obstacle course in a field near the airport. The women left their muddy panties in our bathroom trash. The men didn't shower together, though they should have. Instead, they took all the mud from their bodies and put it in the sink. One of our white towels is now gray. These people should be a little embarrassed to read this, but they've never been embarrassed by anything in their entire lives. You can't shame the shameless.
I got a rejection that was exactly the rejection I should have received. I'm working on the story. It's about a couple of men in a muddy field looking for the Ghost Light that manifests on a country road every night near Joplin, Missouri. I've been a few times to see the light. The first time, I didn't see it. The second time, I saw it, but the people in my car freaked out and demanded we leave. One of the people in my car actually said, "I have a bad feeling about this." All the other times blend together, but on one of those trips, I saw a ghost dog running alongside my car. No one else saw it. It was a white dog as big as a pony. I've had the insensitive thought that maybe the tornado killed the Ghost Light, and God forbid, that ghost dog too.
I have a story up in the August issue of Hobart. It's the one about a man living on the water with his cat. You guys are so understanding, so understand this: I don't want a cat. That's not what I'm trying to say with this story. What I'm trying to say is I want to die surrounded by jellyfish.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Otherly, I need to look for a job that's exactly like the job I had at the museum, or preferably, the same job I had at the museum. "Otherly" is not a word. "Job" is a word I keep hearing every time I talk to my father.
My job right now is making dinner every night and taking Josh wherever he needs to go. It's not a bad job. It's not really a job, though. I don't want to ruin the illusion for you, but cooking's not really that hard, especially for two or three people. That said, Josh can't cook.
I had this daydream about a giant snake with a diamond in its brain. I really let the giant snake have it using a stick and some magical powers. Then I dug into the giant snake's brain with the stick and got the diamond out. I sold the diamond on the black market and lived comfortably near the ocean where I wrote a successful series of books about my battle against the giant snake. The battle only lasted a few minutes, so I had to flesh it out a little for the books. I constructed an elaborate mythology and invented some characters who would later visit me in a vision on my deathbed.
I'm in a constant state of daydreaming. This is probably evidence of my inability to cope with reality. REALITY-SCHMEALITY? I'm a Taurus and change is one of those things I deal with by flailing the arms in my head. Imagine I'm a bird and all my feathers are little arms. Flap, flap, flail.
I will see you soon. But first, I must make it out of this library alive.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
We were at a party where this guy kept singing a Christmas carol. It's July. Something about the joys of Mary. Each joy was numbered. The first joy Casey had was the joy of beer. A girl gave me some cigarettes. The second joy. The girl was nice, but of course she's moving to Nashville like tomorrow or something. She writes poetry but doesn't read it. I said, "I don't read poetry either," but I really do. I have a bookshelf full of poetry. Sometimes I lie to people I'll never see again.
I got an acceptance recently that made me almost sick with happiness. I'll tell you about in a week. It's the story of a man living on the water.
I'm writing the script for a comic book. Shhh. I haven't done this before. It's like the audiobook version of porn right now. No pictures yet. You may never hear about this again. It could be so awful. Go about your lives! Eat a box of toaster pastries and forget I ever brought it up.
It's only a matter of time before I'm tangentially related to everyone from my hometown.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The Midwest isn't so bad, except sometimes the Indian food isn't spiced enough. Middle Americans are pussies, I guess. I cook a lot of Indian food. Well, I cook a lot of food, but it's mostly Indian food. I assume our house is just thick with curry, but I don't know. I don't smell it anymore.
I have to make Italian bread here in a minute. It'll make our house smell so good, but no one will say anything about it because I'm the only one here right now. Well, the snake's here, but snakes don't give one shit, two shits, three shits about bread. Unless the bread is made of mice. Like a mouseloaf.
We watched a movie last night and there was a high school reunion scene in it. My ten year reunion is coming up. I have a tiny, hardcore book coming out that year, so maybe I'll go to my reunion. I told myself I'd go if I had a book published. I don't care if my classmates have babies, because hey, of course they have babies. I just want to see how everyone looks now. I look pretty different. I don't wear hoodies all the time. My hair is mostly better. Anyway.
I have a guest post on xTx's blog, NOTHING TO SAY. Summer lovin' and such. xTx is my "online friend." The rumor is that she's a bearded lady in a traveling circus, but that's impossible because traveling circuses don't exist anymore. Maybe in California.
Friday, July 15, 2011
The last Harry Potter movie is out, but I'll be quiet about my excitement because I believe magic and religion are very private matters.
Abbi is going to Denver for a fewish weeks to be a governess. I'm not kidding. She has a carpet bag that goes on for miles. One of my college friends is coming to visit while Abbi is gone. This college friend used to tell me I baked too much and didn't I know what sugar did to my body? Also, when I shaved my head, she said, "Maybe your forehead pimples will clear up now." Lest you think my college friend is evil, I used to tell her exactly what I thought of her boyfriends. We also peed in a jar as part of an art project. Another college friend helped us get enough pee in the jar. It was a large jar. The pee turned brown because it was in the jar for so long.
I have a story up in the July issue of PANK Magazine. I wrote it when I was obsessed with crushes. Right now, I'm obsessed with crocheting enough granny squares to cover the coffee table. The colors I'm using might induce seizures, which is too bad because I honestly do have epilepsy and I haven't been medicated for over three years.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Some people still call Josh my "friend." They are so close. BOYFRIEND.
I'm working on a gay story. It's so gay you'll want to roll up your pant legs after you read it. You'll want to wear shoes without socks. You'll want to get a fork tattoo given how much you'll want to eat this little gay story up.
I was involved in some hard-hitting internet journalism this week. Mike Kitchell, Tim Jones-Yelvington and I compiled this list of hot indie-lit gents for HTMLGIANT. I'm going to tell you a secret. All of these guys are hot, but the last three guys on the list are the hottest. I could write an article arguing why I'm right on this, but I'm not nearly that obsessive about people I've never met.
I'm reading some good books, including one that isn't even out yet. Shut the front door.
Seriously, it's summer and the outside is filthy with bugs and birds.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I just found a piece of raw garlic in a tooth crevice. The Indian lunch buffet just keeps on giving.
Here's the story about how I started smoking. It's probably a story I've told before, but I'm going to tell it again. A few summers back, I was obsessed with smoking. Not the act. The image. I bought a pack of Marlboro Reds in Virginia when I was on vacation with my family. The pack cost $6.66. The clerk asked if I wanted to buy anything else. I said, "What, why?" And she said, "Because of 666. You know, the Mark of the Beast?" I said, "Oh, I need a lighter, I guess." The clerk said, "Thank God."
I had that pack of cigarettes for like a year. All told, I've only smoked three or four packs of cigarettes in my life. I don't really like smoking. I do like leaving parties and sharing confidences with other smokers. I also like having something to do with my hands. I don't always know what to do with my hands. I've learned a secret, though. If you put your hands down by your side, it doesn't look weird. It feels weird, but it looks completely normal. I'm just a guy standing here not doing anything with his hands.
I'm being quiet about the book for now. I don't want to ruin it by saying, "The main character is a gay ghost." WHOOPS. The main character is a gay ghost. Not this Gay Ghost.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Now I'm happy again. I finally have a tea kettle that whistles. It's a sporty red. Abbi uses it more than I do, and that's OK. She needs the practice, going to Oxford and all. Josh never uses the tea kettle. He hates any liquid that isn't pure water. He'll sometimes drink wine, but only because everyone else is drinking wine.
Some quick announcements. Brian Oliu's going to be in Kansas City reading at The Writers Place Tuesday, July 5th at 7:00 PM with some other great writers (including super fine local poet, Wayne Miller) for Joplin tornado relief.
Also at The Writers Place, but on Saturday, July 2nd from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, is the opening of Extreme 3-D Interactive Blog, "an exhibition of zines and art by Eve Englezos, Brigette Poniewaz and Alex Schubert." Eve Englezos is my only best friend who owns a bird. The first thing she said to me was, "You have really nice arm hair." She possesses the sight for that kind of thing, thank God.
I've recently discovered I want boots. If you have a fetish for buying boots for young gay men, buy these boots for me. I'll wear them while reading a book. I'll have my boyfriend take a picture. I'll sign the picture in the fluid of your choosing.
Sometimes, I think I say what I'm thinking, but it turns out I don't. I'll say, "Those were good," but I won't say what "those" were. I'll think I've been talking about cupcakes, but I won't have actually said anything about cupcakes yet.
Anyway, those were good. Those cupcakes.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I'm in the sort of whimsical summer mood that will lead me to buy wine and drink it on the front porch alone or with others. I'm nostalgic and warm. My grandmother and my cousins are almost off to Virginia and North Carolina. I'm so jealous, I could do something stupid like buy wine and drink it on the front porch alone or with others. I'll put candles in the empty bottles and me/we can drink the whole night through. I'm jealous because my grandmother and my cousins are going to a lake. I have this thing about bodies of water, excluding rivers. I have this thing about the people at this lake. I love them all.
My other forearm is itching for a tattoo. One day, other forearm, I will give you the rectangle or blood splatter (or both!) you so desire. One day.
I tried to dress like a space cowboy in the fall of 2008. I had suspenders and dumb boots and a pair of cap guns. The space part is that I had a cell phone that lit up in colors when someone was calling. Josh has a pair of "special" boots. They're special in the sense that he's never worn them. I'd like to wear them. I'd also like to wear suspenders again one day. I still use the light-up cell phone. Maybe a few pounds down the road I'll try again. Maybe in 2012.
I'm crocheting a pink striated square to cover our coffee table. I think it's going to look like a geometric cut of meat. Oh wait, oh yes. I'll trim the edges in a way that looks like dripping blood. I'm mostly a vegetarian. Until I'm not.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Our new landlords tend the yard. There's a growth of poison ivy on the back stairs. It's climbing up on the porch floor. I guess the landlords don't know it's poison ivy. It's the red kind. It'll only keep growing in weather like this. When it's at our door, I might say something.
Those two stories I submitted a hundred years ago are still floating down a lazy river somewhere. I imagine they'll come to shore and be bitten by a nest of water snakes any day now. I've been imagining that for a little while. I watch from a tree and worry about my own safety because certain snakes climb trees to hunt birds. I wouldn't want to interrupt that in any way. I wouldn't want to be mistaken for a bird with sunglasses. I watch my stories float on down the river away from me.
The book is turning into the ghost story I've always been trying to write. It's to the point where the book is all I think about, not just when I'm writing it or when I'm in the shower, but always. If I've been an awful friend, this is why. If I look at you but don't look at you, it's because I'm picturing words in place of your face. It's gross. Don't bring it up if I see you at the grocery store.
Abbi's been here nearly three weeks doing the things Abbi does. Mostly that's work on her computer and glow at the mention of Oxford. There's been some mail from Oxford. I hold it and pretend it's mine before I give it to Abbi. She reads it and puts it in a cute little mail rack. I wish Josh and I had a mail rack. We have a closet full of mail in plastic grocery bags. This is probably how hoarding starts.
I'm ready for tomatoes. I would hoard tomatoes, no problem. I would hoard them in my mouth, because God, tomatoes in the summer taste like they're full of the juicy Sun. Josh will be disgusted by this too. He hates raw tomatoes.
I know. I know.
I like xTx a lot.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I don't have a writing desk. I want to shatter that illusion right now. I write on my bed. When you read anything I write, know it was written under the covers and I was only wearing underwear and maybe not even that.
I've started having dreams about specific writers. When I start dreaming about something, it means I'm getting comfortable with it. I had a dream Roxane Gay came to visit me. I made veggie burgers. Roxane asked for a bun and I didn't have any buns. It was so embarrassing.
I made hamburger buns once. They turned out more like biscuits. I like biscuits, so it was fine.
The other writer dream I had involved naked lounging. If you send me money, I'll tell you who the writer was and what their bathroom looked like in the dream. This is the second dream I've had where I lounged naked with this writer. I'm not a nudist, I swear.
I'm not going home this summer. I usually go home. There's a family reunion at a lake. All the cousins drive in and eat and drink and tell stories and trade pictures. There are boat rides and fireworks and bottles of wine. There's a midnight swim across the lake. There's at least one venomous snake. One year, my father and my uncle teamed up to kill a copperhead. They chopped its head off with a shovel. I got to be smart and warn everyone that snakes can still bite for an hour after they've been beheaded. We ate lunch. After lunch, someone threw the dead snake in the water.
I once saw a headless snake swimming in the lake, but no one believed me. My father, my uncle, and my grandmother once saw a bald eagle on the Fourth of July. No one believed them either.
The Fourth of July is Josh's birthday. He'll be a certain age this year. That age rhymes with "dirty." The big DEE-OH.
I'm going to make this cake now, and if it's good, I'll pretend it's an old family recipe. I'll say my mother made it for me every summer. I'll say how my grandmother made it for my mother. And so on down the line.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Two of my stories are still landing on editor's shoulders and biting them. Hopefully the stories will draw blood and the editors will be like, "What the fuck bit me?" And the story will be like, "Just this story by Casey Hannan, that's what." The editors will hear it like a whistle through a sleeping person's nose. I hope.
In other bite news, I was outside drinking beer with men who probably all have more chest hair than I do, and I caught a mosquito biting my hand. I smacked it and there was blood. I thought about whose blood it might be. I looked around at the other men drinking beer. I thought it might be his blood or his blood or his blood. There were also two dogs and I thought about how it was probably dog's blood. I wiped it on the arm of a chair and it never turned brown like blood does when it dries. Definitely dog's blood.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
This week. Oh, this week. I made a quiche that was so green it was like taking a bite out of the ground. I found out I have three days left at work. I got pulled over for having a faulty brake light/an expired registration. I made bad margaritas. I had that brief moment of terror where I thought I might have to sell everything I own and disappear into the wilderness.
That said, I do make stupid things and sell them on ETSY. It's a small selection at the moment, but I can crochet anything on request. That's not a lie. Some of the recent things I've made: a gargoyle, a banana split unicorn, a human skull, a chesty blue mermaid, a harpy, a five-headed snake, an octopus lighting a cigarette. I bet you had no idea I was so frivolously talented.
I have a couple stories sitting on editor's faces. I should hear back about one of these stories any day now. The suspense is making me rapidly gain and lose weight. Just kidding. That's summer. That's ice cream and beer and walking and not walking.
The book is growing up right in front of me. This must be what it's like to have children. Other people can have children. I'll have this.
Right now, every man in the book is named Jake. There's Jake One, Jake Two, Jake Three, and Jake Zero. Jake Zero is the main man. I'll give these Jakes other names when I start dreaming about them. For now, I'll just be an awful father. No, I don't mean "father." I mean "god." I'll be ruthless to some Jakes and merciful to others. I'll take credit for thunder. Thunder is me pushing some of these Jakes down the stairs.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I received a rejection this weekend. I made the story better and submitted it somewhere else. It's a story about a ghostly light, but really it's a story about failing to prove your parents wrong. One of the words in the story is "naked." Another word is "Facebook."
I've been getting asked about my tattoos a lot lately. By a lot, I mean a few people. By a few people, I mean two coworkers.
My tattoos mean nothing. I got them when I was in college and my parents were getting divorced. I shaved my head and got these square tattoos. When I'm 70 I won't say, "Squares are for young people."
If my tattoos mean anything (and they don't), they mean I'm a little sexier. Don't fight me on that. Tattoos are hot. I saw some bad tattoos on the back of a guy's calves the other night. They made him hotter. He was at the ice cream place with another hot guy. They got strawberry ice cream and sat outside. The ice cream melted under their hotness. They couldn't eat it fast enough.
I woke up this morning and I couldn't hear. I spent all day flushing black wax from my ears. I called in sick to work. This happens at the start of every summer. I have narrow ear canals. I don't know which parent to blame. Maybe it's all my fault.
I expected to find a bunch of spiders when I was cleaning house yesterday. I didn't even find one. I'm all spidered out.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
People are starting to get the letters I wrote them. I'm anxious for responses. Politely anxious. Anxious in the way of looking out my window hoping this thunderstorm doesn't become a tornado.
Book, book, book. Working on the book. I'm obsessed with rattlesnakes right now, so there's a rattlesnake on the first page.
I have snake bite dreams at least once a week. In these dreams, I'm always trying to catch some sort of snake. I never just leave it alone. The last snake bite dream involved a cobra launching itself at my neck. I'm always envenomated in these dreams, but I insist I'm fine. I go through the rest of these dreams refusing medical care.
In states with lots of rattlesnakes, there's special training for dogs on how to avoid rattlesnakes. Dogs are naturally curious/stupid.
I don't know anything about wolves. Are they smarter than dogs? In one recent dream, I did battle with a wolf. I tore his jaws apart. It was a gruesome dream. I was on my way to get pizza, dream pizza, and the wolf came at my throat. I'm having a lot of throat anxiety, apparently. According to something I read once, the throat is the power center for Taureans. OK. I'm a Taurus. I have a throat. Spooky.
I have a nearly imperceptible Adam's apple. Maybe I'm ashamed of its size. Maybe a snake bite would make it swell. Maybe I just made a smoothie with yogurt, prune juice, blackberries, a banana, and a little Kentucky honey. Maybe my bowels.
I have two pieces of pencil lead embedded in my right hand. When I was in elementary school, I put my hand in my pocket to grab a pencil. The pencil was sticking lead up and I was stabbed. The nurse went picking through the wound. She assured me there was no lead in my hand. When my hand healed, there was a little black piece of lead under the skin like a dead bug. I was convinced I would get lead poisoning at some point in my life. I tried cutting it out with a pocket knife, but I couldn't go far enough in. Then I found out pencil lead is graphite, not lead, and I quit worrying about it. My hand is now a sort of time capsule.
The other piece of lead is from working at the museum. We're supposed to have pencils in our pockets in case visitors need them. I had a pencil sticking lead up again. I was stabbed again. It's small, just the tip (ha ha), but it's history. It's there if a visitor ever needs it.
I have learned my lesson about pencils in pockets.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Josh has been gone all week. I've been home alone. I've been industrious. I made pesto. I made a quiche. I wrote like a dying deer, just me and my black gumball eyes. My novel(la) has grown a plot. Characters have names. Cigarettes have smokers. Museums have sculptures. Today, the story got away from me. By the time I caught up, someone was dead.
I wrote some letters using an ink that probably looks like dried blood. If you requested a letter, you're getting one. If you didn't request a letter, you still might be getting one. I went crazy, folks. Drawings and everything. And I cannot draw.
Josh cut my hair last week. My female coworkers finally noticed today. I'm not complaining. All my female coworkers have bangs. Like on-the-brow bangs. I hear you can catch bangs from kissing. I want to blow on these bangs so they sway like grass skirts.
I woke up the other night with the fear that my car would not make it to work the next morning unless I got gas RIGHT THEN AT THAT VERY MOMENT. So I got up and got gas. It was like when you have to pee in the middle of the night. It seemed so necessary. I came home and went back to sleep and had a love dream. I've been holding Josh's pillow between my legs every night since he's been gone. We've been together seven years. People tell me that's a long time in "gay years." I want to pinch their cheeks and say, "You are just so precious and stupid."
The septennial is traditionally celebrated with gifts of wool or copper. We could use some copper mugs. I have enough wool. I once went to a sheep farm to learn how to shear a sheep and clean the fleece. The shears get so close to the sheep's skin, they sometimes make the sheep bleed. The sheep farm had a guard llama. The farmers went out one morning and found the trampled corpse of a coyote. There was blood on the llama's toes. The farmers cleaned the blood from the llama's toes and the llama chewed on whatever it had in its mouth. Grass, probably.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
My favorite reaction about my book has been indifference. One of my friends said, "Writing books is your job. Why are you so excited about doing your job?"
Everyone has two jobs these days. This one and that one.
I hate it when people say they love their jobs, because then it means I can't trust anything else they say.
At my other job, the one I love, the supervisors keep saying they hired a hot new man. I haven't seen the proof, but maybe the proof is in the pudding, in which case I have to eat all the pudding and then maybe there will be a hot new man on the bottom of the dish.
Sally says hot new men are trouble. I say only if they open their mouths. Sally says they always open their mouths.
I would like an entire shelf of preserved animals in jars. I'd like to think the stillness of dead animals is beautiful. Maybe someone could draw me a squid in a jar. I would put it on my wall. I would like more art that's not mine. I don't need any of this, but I'd like it.
I've filled my fountain pen with a reddish-brown ink. If I've promised you a letter, you'll get it this week.
There's a tiny hair on one of the labels at the museum. It's in the display case with the Chinese porcelain rabbits. The rabbits are white with green glazed ribbons around their necks. They have precise little claws and red eyes. One of them has pink skin inside its ears. The other, blue. One boy, one girl. Ladybugs get in this case in the summer and I have to call someone to get them out. I want to call someone about the tiny hair on the label, but it's just a hair, after all.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I do trust I've had a big, unbelievable week. I had a story at wigleaf. It used to be a poem. Then I quit writing poetry. People freaked out over this story. Eat it up, people. This story contains the precursor to venison. I don't know. Can you eat a deer you've hit with your car?
I also agreed to write a book for Tiny Hardcore Press. Oh my God, Tiny Hardcore Press. Readers, I have alerted you to the existence of xTx before. Also, Roxane Gay. They are writers I love. They are the writers publishing my book. xTx says some unfathomable things about me in her latest blog post.
I don't think about it very often, but I have moles all over my body. They're cute like brown marker dots is what I tell myself when Josh presses them like buttons. I bet it looks like chocolate chips have melted flat to my skin. Don't worry. You'll never see me shirtless. You don't have to know.
This is the season for shirtless men to run past my house. Bonus points for hairy chests and hairy legs and any sort of bizarre tan line. I like contrast.
One of my friends fetishizes Adam's apples, so I'm writing a story about one hell of an Adam's apple. Adam's apples remind me of the lump in a snake's body after it eats. Josh has an Adam's apple like a little fist knocking from inside his throat, like he's swallowed a baby who wants out. Oh, Josh, let that baby out.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I don't have a concrete mental image of how I look. My weight fluctuates so much. Today, I look like this, where "this" is a slight chinstrap of fat. Tomorrow, I look like I can wear a t-shirt and be OK because the t-shirt won't strain at my belly. I'll exercise this evening. I'll eat vegetables, primarily, for dinner. I like vegetables. I'm sorry some of you don't like vegetables.
We have new upstairs neighbors who are also our landlords. They walk around like they own the place. Ha ha. They do own the place.
Josh got a subscription to Annalemma. I just read Salvatore Pane's story, "This Is How the Century Is Born," from issue seven. OH-EM-GEE, it's a good story. I cried. There's a scene at the end where a character who has died appears online available for chat. The narrator knows it's not his friend back from the dead, but he also wants to believe it's possible for them to chat anyway, death be damned.
When I was a freshman in college, one of my friends from high school died. Someone signed onto AIM using her screen name the night after her death. I knew it wasn't really her, maybe her roommate or something, but I sent her a message. All it said was, "Why?" There was no response. That's all I needed to know.
I need to know how I sound when I speak out loud. A girl asked if I was coming to her art show on Friday and I said, "Sure," but apparently it sounded unconvincing. I had no idea. I say everything that way. Only now, at 26, have I been made aware of my disingenuous voice. When I tell you I love you, I mean it. Even if it sounds like I don't.
We were in Josh's hometown over the weekend. He did some face painting for a school event. This one girl asked for a peace sign. Josh used the biggest brush. The lines inside the circle were too thick. They made the circle into a dot. Josh asked the girl if she liked her peace sign. She looked in the mirror and said, "Yeah, I guess." Josh shrugged his shoulders. It's just face painting.
One boy asked to have his face painted like an opossum's face. He was given a black nose and black whiskers. He went around hissing at people. I don't know if I've told you, but I don't like opossums. I'm sorry, opossums. It's your teeth, if anything.
I've finished the boat story. I'm sending it somewhere I trust. I'll let you know what happens.
All day I've been trying to track down four things I've ignored for too long. I may have found them. I need to make some phone calls. Hold please.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I got sick on bourbon. I will get sick on bourbon again. We did a bourbon tasting. I found my favorite bourbon. It's called 1792. That's the year Kentucky became a state. If you meet me and you have nothing else to say, you can say you know when Kentucky acquired statehood. I will give you a kiss on the hand.
I must have been looking in weird mirrors in Kentucky because I didn't notice the weight I was gaining. I went to the bathroom when we got back to Kansas City and I looked in the mirror, my mirror, the one that shows my true reflection like no other, and I could see the roundness returning to my face and belly. Oh well. I walk for a living pretty much.
My sister uses the word "plumb" quite a bit. As in, "I'm plumb tuckered out." Which is to say she's exhausted.
I want to use more Kentucky words, but I already don't like the faces people make when I speak. There were moments this past weekend when I started talking and the person I was talking to didn't know what to do with their face. It takes me a while to say anything. Josh calls my speech "melodic and deliberate." OK. It's more like I have blocks of words in my head and I'm trying to put them in some sort of order even as I'm saying them. The end result is a sentence that usually works better backwards. Imagine if people listening to me had to contend with that AND folksy regionalisms.
I ate a hot brown. It sounds gross, but it's tasty. My mother made fun of Josh for using the word "tasty" so much. I guess people in Kentucky don't say food is tasty. They just lick their fingers.
There's so much more Kentucky stuff and almost none of it matters. What matters is I developed a miniature crush on a bartender and I saw him on three separate occasions around town. The basis for the crush was the bartender's accent and how cute he looked wearing an apron. I cook all the time. Where's my apron? Where's my accent?
My seizure/museum story was accepted for publication by a magazine I've been crushing on. The story is bare bones and cold as a skeleton made out of frozen milk, but it's good. I'll tell you where it is when it's there. For now, I'm here again.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Today is my birthday. I'm 26. Facebook people sent me wishes. I'm trying to reply to each wish. This girl told me to plant a tree (today is also Earth Day). I made up a lie about planting a tree. The tree in the lie grew a vagina-shaped hollow. I bet you've seen a tree like that. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Mushrooms look like penises. Mother Nature is a pervert. Spring has sprung, which is why I saw a cat chasing another cat in a Taco Bell parking lot today.
I'm writing a play about a couple who only want the best for their child.
There's a place in my hometown that sells only olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I want to smell this place. There's a gallery at the museum that smells like olive oil. There's another gallery that smells like Fig Newtons. I want to chronicle the smells of each gallery and help design a tour brochure explaining the science behind the smells.
My body is still moving at 80 mph. I'm in bed, but I can't stop moving. I will dream that I stop, but in the morning, I will wake up in the ocean.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
If you complain to me about being hit on, I'm going to say, "I'm sorry someone took the time to let you know you're attractive. How awful that must have been for you. Sit down, you must be exhausted. Do you need anything? Anything at all?" Then I will lick my hand and slap you on your face. You will feel hurt and disgusted. You will feel how I feel.
I'm rarely checked out, at least in any way I notice. Men don't often hit on me. Still, I'm a sucker for the rare occasion a man says I'm attractive. I'm happy to hear it, like any other human being on the Earth planet. I don't even have to find him attractive to be flattered.
I find some of my friends attractive. I hope they're flattered.
I had a dream last night about a hot redheaded man named Diffrick. He was shirtless and smoking a cigarette outside my childhood church. He had a dotting of shoulder freckles. It pressed most of my buttons. Diffrick is a real name people have, says Google, says my brain when I'm dreaming.
If you asked me to name the nameless characters in my stories, I'd name them all Jack, even the women and children. Jack is no name for a child, though. You could name a dog Jack, but you'd have to tie a bandana around his neck instead of a collar. This dog would catch criminals. He would look like he was smiling when he panted. It would sound like he was saying your name when he barked. He would open doors with his mouth. He would be Velociraptor smart. I'm not a dog person. Naming a dog Jack would give the dog the wrong idea. Don't give the name Jack to anything you love.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Work is weird. No, not work. People. Work doesn't care either way. I got a headache today at work. There's this colonial American room with these windows that are backlit to look like it's a nice day outside. The lights are fluorescent. If I look at them too long, my forehead feels pressed like something inside is growing and shrinking, growing and shrinking. I don't know anything about the human body.
I'm going to see an amateur opera performance on Friday. It's happening in a church. It'll be the first time I've been in a church since God knows when. Ha ha. But really, I've never seen an opera. I don't know anything about opera.
I have a story up at Metazen. It's about a Kentucky friend. She's been writing me letters. I read them with the reverence and immediacy of Elizabeth Bennet. I want a new culture of letters. Don't worry. I don't get what I want. I have a few pen pals, though. If you're one of them, I'll be writing you soon. I don't know how to write in cursive anymore, so be warned. I've had teachers tell me I write like a little girl. Every word I write looks like a popping balloon.
My birthday is on Good Friday this year. When I was in high school and "on fire for the Lord," I used to participate in this event where we'd fake crucify someone dressed as Christ. There was this resurrection scene involved. I remember suggesting we make Christ wear a robe that glittered in the spotlights. Someone said, "That's the gayest thing I've ever heard." Well, duh.
I don't know a lot of people I want to know. I have this problem where I read a piece of writing and then I want to know the writer. I guess that's not a problem. I know some writers now. I imagine one of them is my friend, as far as the internet can take that sort of thing. We've shared our tastes in porn. There's no going back.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I'm afraid of spider bites, but not spiders. I'm afraid of the instability of structures. I'm afraid of the largeness of this country. I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing. I'm afraid I want to be a poet. I'm afraid I don't care enough about the things other people care about. I'm afraid I don't play the right social games. I'm afraid there will be no one like Judy Garland ever again. I'm afraid I'll start singing "The Man That Got Away" when I'm in the grocery store. I'm afraid I look like a badger.
I'm afraid of you, but not your hot body, just your (hot) talent. I'm afraid of your book coming in the mail because then I'll read it and decide I have nothing to say because you said it all. No, really, that terrifies me. It will not stop me from reading your book.
This weekend, I had wine on the front porch with Josh and a friend. This is the friend who sings and plays the fiddle. It was a beautiful night for sitting on the front porch. There was a hot wind like I imagine they have in Spain. Josh and my friend talked acting and auditions. I got to sit there in an alien world and be happy I don't have to get up in front of people and sing.
I think my grandmother kind of looks like Judy Garland.
I have a story going up soon. I'll let you know where.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Everything I've been writing lately wants to be a novel. It's because I've been reading novels. Hemingway, of course, but I think Isherwood is next.
I go back to the museum on Wednesday where I will stand on my feet for hours and write stories in a little notebook and develop crushes on attractive male visitors. I have more crushes in this weather because I can see more body parts.
There were some animals in our walls last week. I don't know if they're still there. I haven't heard them. They seemed to be nocturnal. Maybe it's more ghosts. Maybe they read my blog. Maybe they know I'm not opposed to ghosts. Maybe they have claws, because it sounds like they have claws. Ghosts with claws. I don't know about that.
My birthday is this month. Josh and I might go to Kentucky. I'm turning 26. Should that matter to me? I guess it's closer to 30, but I'm not afraid of turning 30. I'll be a better writer when I'm 30. And then I'll be a better writer when I'm 40. And on and on. I don't want to be a better person, I want to be a better writer. I wonder what it means that I don't want children. I want books.
I had a submission get lost. I submitted a story to a lit mag in January and I was supposed to hear back after six weeks. Well, it's April. I reread the submission. If the lit mag eventually reads it, they will reject it. I want to forget I wrote that story. It's not very good. I mean, there's a good story there, but I haven't written it yet.
I submitted a new story this weekend to one of my favorite literary magazines. I'm close to this story. The character has epilepsy. He has a seizure. I've never written the scene of a seizure just right, even though I have epilepsy. I think I wrote it right this time. It's subtle, but right. Maybe someone will agree with me.
A friend sent me a letter, an honest to God letter. She's sending me a fountain pen so I can write letters too. Here's one of my favorite lines from her letter: "I hope we strike up a very rigorous correspondence."
Which brings me here. If you want to strike up a very rigorous correspondence, send me your address and I will write you a letter as long as you promise to write one back. Yes, you, I mean you, all of you, any of you. I don't care if I know you or not. I'll put your letters in a shoebox and when I'm really old and near death I'll read your letters to the people keeping me alive. I'll make up stories about how close we were back then. We were so close, weren't we? We knew everything there was to know about each other. We did.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I spent the weekend out of town. When I came back, the house was the same. Every time I open a door in this house, I expect to interrupt a party. This is probably because I believe the house is haunted. Our ghosts are polite. I think they spend a lot of time reading. They are very quiet ghosts. They are sometimes passive-aggressive. They hide Josh's library card. We have so many books already, going to the library seems like an extravagance. That's what the ghosts are thinking. We are of one mind.
I'm making a pizza tonight, maybe two. We have a pizza stone now. I expect things like that to change my kitchen life, but I pretty much just need sauce pans and mixing bowls. And spoons. God, I use so many spoons.
I have so many literary crushes. My literary crushes are amazing because I know they are sitting at their computers eating handfuls of dry cereal trying to think of something to write. We are in the same boat. My literary crushes just have the added burden of being SMOKING HOT.
If I started writing under a pseudonym, my pseudonym would be Will Suffice. I meet the minimum requirements for everything. I am just good enough.
I have a secret. I subscribe to two literary magazines. They are magazines of speculative fiction. I like reading strange stories. I like writing them, too.
A list of strange things that have happened to me or other people I know: The Spooklight. Spontaneous duplication of inanimate objects. Spontaneous invisibility. Ghost mice. Hearing my name in the sound of falling water. Prophetic dreams. Minor synchronicities. People other people can't see. Occult cupboard. Predicting the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election with a pendulum in 2007. Disembodied growls. A box of magic(k) wands. Art. Roots shaped like hands. A mandolin playing itself in its case. Reflections in mirrors. Disappearances/reappearances. Shoulder tapping. Erotic auras. Crossroads offerings. Air that is heavy with violence. Tarot card pregnancies. Crazy shit.
But really, a guy in a public restroom once confided in me that he was a werewolf. I asked him to prove it. He said he would find me the next full moon. Every time a dog barks at night, part of me thinks it's that werewolf guy looking for me.
Friday, March 25, 2011
On St. Patrick's Day, I got to sit on my front porch and drink beer with a friend. It was very nice. It felt deserved, though I'd done nothing to deserve it.
I feel like I have nothing to say lately. Like I've been saying it elsewhere, which is true, I've been writing a lot. I always write a lot, but right now I'm writing some longer stories and I think they're taking all my language. I've said this before. Sometimes, I just don't have the words.
I went to a delicious brunch last weekend. I feel bad because I didn't have words then either. I'd been up all night, which is a story for another time, but it's a story you have to understand in context. I don't think I can ever tell it to strangers. I certainly couldn't tell it at brunch and that's kind of a shame. The story is about having no shame, so maybe the story itself should have no shame. I do not know. Get me drunk and I will tell you the story.
I have ridiculous hope for the next batch of stories I'm preparing for submission. They are something else, I'm going to say.
I've been listening to a lot of blues, particularly Robert Johnson. I need more songs where the Devil makes an appearance. I think KE$HA should be singing more about the Devil.
I made a quiche last night, like with a crust and everything. When I do that, I see the quiche and what I really want is a pie. I wish I'd made a pie.
Some people can play music, and how jealous does that make me? So jealous. If you can play music, please come to my front porch and play it. Especially if you can play the following instruments: banjo, mandolin, ukulele, fiddle, washboard, spoons, saw, weathered voice. I have bourbon and maybe or maybe not moonshine.
For having nothing to say, I just said it.