Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unhappy Happy

Being happy isn't the reason you're alive. If you're unhappy, it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. It's not always an omen. This isn't directed at anyone. It's directed at everyone. This is me being unhappy and being OK with it.

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

No News Is This News

There's a man who grows spearmint in the strip of his lawn between the sidewalk and the road. I pick a sprig whenever I walk by. It's been growing there every summer for years. A man brought me a sprig once like you bring someone flowers. That seems like so long ago. I was writing poetry then. I wrote a poem about the sprig of mint and the man who brought it to me. Anyway, I write fiction now.

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

Vine Climb Time

It's stormed here every night for the last week or so. Summer storms. I like a storm to get me to sleep. One night, I stood on the porch talking on the phone and watched a storm come in from the south. There was lightning first. It was the sort of lightning that makes night light up like day for less than a second. Then thunder. Then rain. Before the rain, I walked around my car and counted the skinny cockroaches on the roof. There were three. I told Josh about it when I went inside. I forgot he would be disgusted.

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

Summer Cakes

I'm going to make a cake today. Eventually. It's going to be a cornmeal cake. I imagine it'll be a lot like cornbread but sweeter.

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

Beer Blood

Part of taking a shower is shampooing my hair and thinking about greater themes. In recent showers, all the Jakes became Johns, except the main Jake who is still Jake. The greater themes so far are SEX WITH STRANGERS and GAY MEN AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM. I don't know how fair it is for the female character I'm writing to literally be every influential woman I know slammed into one body. That seems wrong when all these different men get their own bodies. BOOKS! Ha ha. I tell you.

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

Poor Jakes

Abbi is here and safe and sharing her tiny room with a snake. So far, Abbi's had to endure my cooking, my drinking, and my unorganized closets. It's only just begun.

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 have a little container I use to catch spiders. I study the spiders. I try to figure out what kind they are. If they're good, I put them back where I found them. If they're bad, I take them outside and put them on the white porch railing so a bird will see them.

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.