Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Plumb Tuckered Out

I'm back. It felt good to share Kentucky. Before I left, I saw this begging in the eyes of my family like, "Please don't leave." It was hard to see those eyes. I left anyway. The thing my family knows is I always leave. Kentucky isn't home anymore. Kansas City isn't home either. I don't know what home is, but I think it's the person you love. Whenever I'm with Josh, I'm home.

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

Naughty by Nature

I drove 600 miles today. Josh rode shotgun. He didn't help me drive on account of that DUI. Just kidding. Josh has never gotten a DUI or a driver's license. We're in Kentucky now. There are rolling hills across the street. I'm lying. There are duplexes. My grandmother used to live in one of those duplexes. Now she lives in my childhood home. I don't know who lives in her old duplex. Probably someone. I hope they use the fireplace more than my grandmother did.

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

Creepsters Union

When a man expresses his attraction for you, it doesn't make him creepy. If you aren't attracted to him, that still doesn't make him creepy. If he's older than you or bigger than you, that doesn't make him creepy either. What makes a man creepy is if he expresses his attraction, is rebuffed, then continues to express his attraction in a way that makes you uncomfortable after you've CLEARLY expressed that discomfort. By clearly, I mean saying it in words that aren't ambiguous. Nervous giggles are ambiguous.

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

What I Don't Know

Maybe there's a scene in my novel where someone gets stabbed. I've had nightmares where I'm stabbed in public and no one stops to help me while my guts are spilling out. I don't know what that means.

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

People Who Need People

I've been thinking a lot about fear. I've been thinking about it in terms of writing and who we are when we're writing and who we let read that writing and if it matters what they think about us after they read that writing. I came out to my parents in a letter when I was 15. I was afraid, but not anymore. You don't fear responses to your writing after that.

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

A Very Rigorous Correspondence

A friend is coming to live with us for the summer. It sounds like the plot to something. I can't wait. Summer is the best time.

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.