I’m in a laundromat right now. So I can say for certain that Way #1 to get rid of lewd stares, nasty comments, tailing, and general feelings of uneasiness from creepy men on the streets and in various establishments is: push out a hacking, disgustingly sick-sounding cough, OR rip a giant fart. I can usually produce a cough more reliably than a good fart, but sometimes I manage a twofer which is actually a foolproof way to get a weirdo to leave you alone and stop following you and talking about all the things he and his 4-foot 5-inch frame are gonna do to you, giiiiirl.
This morning I met this awful girl, and the moment she walked up to our group to say hi to the person in the group she knew, I got this nasty feeling like not only did I not want to meet her, and hope that she didn’t reach out and introduce herself, but I also wanted to get as far away from her as possible in that very moment and never see her again. For almost no reason whatsoever! I mean, she hadn’t even had a chance to DO anything stupid, she just walked toward us and my entire being went ARRRRGGHHHHBLERRRF!
Her name is Sally. She has straight blonde Barbie hair down to her shoulder blades. She was wearing black sunglasses and just about enough foundation and powder to make her face look like an art experiment or a crime scene that had been thoroughly dusted for the rapist’s prints. Her voice was crusty and deep like she’d heard someone make fun of a deep voice once and and just re-created it constantly to be funny, but it wasn’t funny anymore! Not to me, anyway! She was over-layered in leggings, some kind of stocking that went over her ankles, ankle boots with snappies and clips all over them, a skirt, a long shirt, a coat, a hooded thing under the coat, a scarf, and fucking black leather bike gloves. When she reached out to shake my hand, “HIIIIII I’m SAAAAALLYYY,” her tone condescending somehow, quickly looking away from me and to the next person in the middle of my introduction of MYSELF, I cringed because I had to touch her bike-gloved hand. And I thought, “Well, of COURSE you’re wearing a bike glove you don’t need to be wearing. Fuckhead.”
I found out she’s this art student from the most expensive and notoriously snobby art school in this city, a school this city is just about known for. I’ve never met anyone from that school that I’ve been able to stand for more than two seconds, who hasn’t managed to make my skin crawl with their thick stink of pretention. I mean, there’s this guy, who I ripped to shreds in the comments because I couldn’t fucking STAND that there are people in the world who get paid to regurgitate the pile of steaming shit this guy’s spraying (comments have since been deleted, THANKS INTERNET POLICE). Then there’s this guy who read a story I published and proclaimed it shitty and proceeded to try to hit on me by telling me I owed him a meet-up since he was pretty sure it was based on his life, then changed his story and called me an idiot and reminded me the story was crappy, all because I called him on his ass crap. Now we’ve got fucking Deep Throat Sally who, I’ve heard, submitted as her master’s thesis an art installation that was only 8 screens lined up, the same girl getting fucked in different pornographic ways on each. That’s fucking art. No, really, it’s fucking, and it’s also art, WHATEVER YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND BECAUSE IT’S SO VISCERAL. We’re 0 for 3, shitty art school. Things aren’t looking too good for you.
I’m totally over the fact that people pay any fucking attention to these ass fucks. Author dude gets a STUPID amount of pussy. I mean, every time I turn around, some chick I know is just slobbering out her hoo-ha, trying to get in his bed. And Deep Throat is one of those girls that nobody seems to like and everybody says that nobody likes but their excuse for paying ANY attention to anything that comes farting out of her stupid face is “Yo, you don’t want to tell that girl you don’t like her, she is fucking CRAZY, man.”
Let’s remember, for a moment, that people usually think a woman is crazy if she talks, at all, about anything. So naturally Deep Throat, who cannot shut her stupid mouth about how “visceral” things are, naturally fits that category, possibly through no fault of her own. But I wish we lived in a world where people would fucking be honest with these stupid assholes. Stop fucking them and stop listening to their fucking bullshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
I stayed home on Saturday night and heated up the ol’ TV TUBE because I was behind on about a million years of housework. How lame is that? Anyway, I have been staying over with The Pants for just about three weeks so every time I’ve dropped by my place I’ve just dumped shit on the couch or the floor, or just opened the front door for long enough to toss stuff inside. Umbrellas, jackets, half-slips, bags of Cherry Sours. It was time for a major cleanup.
So I turn on the TV and holler like my neighbor does when there’s some kind of sports on TV, because TBS is showing Disney’s Beauty and the Fucking Beast! YES. This delights me to no end because I only watched it about 60 million times as a kid so I know every word and distinctly remember every single cell of animation. So I’m running around vacuuming the drapes and spreading potpourri in the drawers and other stuff that fancy ladies do, and I’m singing along to the chirpy giggle-pated Disney melodies. Then I’m stricken by a very Adult Thought.
Okay, know how all the ladies in town are all about Gaston, and he’s clearly a piece of crap on his inside parts, where the feelings are? Imagine how jealous they were after the horrendous, ferocious Beast gets turned into a hot dude? Because he hasn’t been a normal dude for a long time, he’s been basically a gigantic wolf/lion/dog man. Superhuman strength and all that. And judging by the fact that he can stand immediately after his transformation, his muscles haven’t atrophied or been harmed in any other way during his human-to beast-back to human metamorphosis. So he’s probably got some pretty good strength and muscle tone, amirite?
Look, what I’m getting at here is how awesome it must have been to get your bones jumped by a supermodel who was very recently a full-time werewolf. Just think about it for a few minutes. If you need a Kleenex or two to ball up under your bathroom area, go and get them now. I’ll wait.
Man. Belle really got the nice end of the deal. Hot beast on-all-fours lovin’ with Disney’s version of Alcide from True Blood, and a whole library of her own. The kind with rolling ladders. GIVEN TO HER. Like, this is your library. One can only hope that the royal collection policy from back in the day included some good YA and that Belle didn’t pay for the library in beastly urinary tract infections.
Could I trouble you for a more accurate description of a stillbirth?
When I was in college I had this creative writing class with a girl who was like Narcissus when it came to her own writing. She was pretty much convinced it was the greatest poetry anyone had ever written and she COULD NOT BELIEVE it came out of her. Here’s how the class went: either 3 poems or 1 short story were passed around to the class every week. The next week, we’d all be ready with positive feedback, as well as any constructive criticism we had for the story/poem. So we’d go around the room and everyone would talk about what they liked (which was sometimes so painful, “I really loved the cover page you made for this! It’s so SNAZZY! Do you use Corel WordPerfect?”). Then we’d go around the room and everyone would pretend that they didn’t have anything negative to say about a short story called “The Pool” or “The Fountain” or “The Pool by the Fountain” that basically consisted only of a girl who died of cancer and a guy who vowed to never marry another person…you know, the kind of story Boyz II Men would write if they just put their lyrics into paragraphs instead of stanzas. So the instructor would start us off on that part every week by offering some really polite criticism that could be taken or left and usually ended with “didn’t work for me but maybe it worked for someone else.” Then we’d all meekly take turns with our gentle, easily ignored, well-masked non-criticisms.
So about halfway through the course, the cellar doors got blown way the fuck off this little organization and the shit pretty much hit the fan when this girl brought in her poetry. She had made it clear that she’d been writing poetry for a really long time and reading e.e. cummings pretty much all her life and so she was actually a PRETTY good poet so if we could just skip to the compliments part, please. She gives us the customary reading aloud of her work, the week after it had been given to us to take home. Then she sat there almost pooping her pants with excitement, wriggling in her seat, pushing her hair behind her ears compulsively, clicking her pen, waiting in dire ecstasy for each next polite little gem of attention to trickle out of someone’s mouth.
As for the poetry, it wasn’t that good. It just wasn’t. The ones that weren’t straight-up parodies on the cummings style were just failed attempts at really deep, aching love poetry that just swirled down the toilet of cheesiness the moment she brought her boyfriend into them. That’s because her boyfriend was this wheezing, zit-encrusted sack of dung who delivered pizzas for Domino’s and she chronicled their love affair by making silly little plays on words and cutesy references to him as her “knight with white pizza boxes.” I mean, the poems were just hilariously bad. And it was sad because I think if she hadn’t taken herself so assfucking seriously, they could have been really good. Fuck yeah, write a poem about a guy who delivers Domino’s pizza and has zits. I’d read the hell out of that. But there was something about it, her demand to be placed instantly on the level of Walt Whitman & Co., that was just really off-putting. It all stunk of little effort and great expectations.
(I also wrote some really horrible shit in that class. Partially because I was also taking myself very seriously, and I thought I was hot shit because I wasn’t as bad as Narcissa, Queen of Pizza. So on my week I submitted a story I’d written in 3 hours, a fact I thought was a testament to my excellent ability as a writer, in the week before I’d started my period, when I was experiencing some of the weepiest, whiniest, most sentimental pre-menstrual syndrome I’ve ever experienced in my life. Anyway, my story was about this girl who got knocked up by her boyfriend and her mother wanted to force her to have an abortion and she wouldn’t, so she ran away (waaaaah!) and hid from her evil mother, and her mother made her think her boyfriend didn’t love her anymore (aaaaaaaagh!) and then he came to rescue her and then she gave birth to a stillborn and they hugged it and later got married. The End. I would like to say I have never written anything that crappy again—as I deserve to be punched in both eyes for making people read that schlarbage*).
So after the initial round of friendly “I like the, ummm….title!” comments, during which everyone took what you were going to say so you didn’t want to puss out and be like “Oh I agree with everything that’s been said, ” we started in on the negative. Nobody really needed a prompt, but we got one from the instructor. I don’t have the copies of this girl’s poems (which I kept because I kept everyone’s work because I keep everything), but I remember that one from that week went something like this:
in the garden
my mother’s purple necklace
that she gave
…and so forth, and so on. So the instructor was like, “I just don’t really feel like you’re using your own voice, and that’s a shame because you have such a strong voice,” and of the other poem, which was the famous pizza delivery lover one, she said “It just feels at the end of the poem like it’s more of a limerick.” To Narcissa’s horror, people agreed with this sentiment. That it seemed like a cutesy little fart about a relationship that would probably better fit in a prime time sitcom. Of course, she told us why every last one of us was wrong for feeling the way we did. She basically said we just didn’t get good poetry. It was just so far over our heads, we couldn’t understand a word of it. Her poetry was going to stay that way and that was THAT. And the next week she emailed us all a poem she’d written about our criticism, a meta-poem, which basically re-iterated everything she’d spat at us in class that day, but this time, it rhymed! Also, she made a point to say something truly crappy to each of us on our review day, just because. (On my big day, she said “And I don’t know if anyone’s bothered to like, tell you this? Or if you even bothered to do any research? But your description of a dead baby is way off. That is SO NOT what a dead baby looks like. My mom’s had two stillbirths, so I know about this.”) So that was the end of the polite orchestration.
Maybe that was for the better, as it was my last taste of honest criticism. I went on to get a writing degree at an arts school where I hated everyone (save 1 or 2 women) and just about broke my teeth from grinding them every single day, surrounded by people who were just like Narcissa Princess of Pizza in that they thought they were great, their parents thought they were great, and then they came to school every day at this open enrollment arts institution and they were told, yes, in fact, you are great, possibly even the greatest that ever lived. So they’d just walk around shitting out of their mouths and writing down every goddamn thought that ever crossed their minds and you’d have to sit in a class and listen to them being filled with sweet-smelling smoke, purchased with tuition dollars and pumped right up their fancy little b-holes. It was during this time of my life that I came to be really uncomfortable with praise. There were absolute clowns in my classes who were just fallen all over and assured that they were THE shit. Like this guy Patrick: he couldn’t be bothered to spell his name correctly, and wrote “paTRtiCk” in pen on the tops of all of his short stories. He complained about things like how he’d been telling his mom all morning that he was going to puke, and she kept saying he wasn’t going to puke, and then he PUKED! So the teacher would nod politely and then tell him how impressed she was with his work (which was about a girl who got cancer so her boyfriend brought her a stuffed cat and his mom threw it at him, the end), then she’d tell all the rest of us how much she loved our work. I mean, how could anyone trust that logic?
I started to really want someone to rip into me. I felt like I was ready for it. Tell me I’m crap. Tell me what doesn’t work. Tell me who I’m trying to be when I write this! Make me find my voice! THROW THE STUFFED CAT AT ME FOR CHRISSAKES.
Where was I going with all this? Oh yes.
I mentioned my own idiocy in commenting on a blog post last week, which I knew was a bad idea because the post was written in this glib, flippant tone, a tone that just suggested to me that this person didn’t want to discuss, just be agreed with. It was a tone I should have recognized since I’ve read so many of Narcissa Pizza Princess’s poems! JUST NOD AND THINK I’M COOL FOR THE WORDS I SAY GODDAMMIT. But I offered my two cents, which were that marriages that end are not all failures, and that when we’re sad about things that happen to others, it usually means we’re sad about something we fear for ourselves. That’s all. So my reply spiraled into, I think, the writer taking offense with me even bothering to suggest that, so she followed up with this post, which was meant, I think, to express that you’re a dummy if you think she gives a shit about anything that comes out of her own head:
I didn’t think it’d be necessary to say this but here it goes… Sometimes, when I write about something, it’s because it’s a noteworthy occurrence. This doesn’t mean I necessarily care about the item at hand.
That annoyed me. Sorry to bother you by prompting a discussion on your post! I didn’t realize you didn’t give a shit. Just tell me that, then! In the comments! Where I’m trying to talk to you! “Oh, actually? This was all some crap I wrote but don’t really, like, CARE about.” Why start a whole new dramatic post and tell the wooorld? Then I looked over the rest of the site. I saw a lot of that thing I don’t like, that thing my old supervisor Turdburger used to do: he’d say things like “Well I’m rockabilly so I like this and that” or “I’m rockabilly so I’m totally not into that.” He’d call himself out as part of a group and tell you to your face that his personal style, which he’d absconded from masses of other people with the exact same personal style, dictated his choices in music, movies, cell phone carrier, and every other goddamn thing you could possibly think of. So here I saw a lot of the same thing: indie this, indie that, hipster, indie, hipster blerrrrrrf. Band name, music style, band name band name band name, music style. One of the tags for the post was even “unpopular opinions in indie,” which is pointless because what does “indie” have to do with anything? Nothing! It’ s a buzz word. There’s also lots of self deprecation (“I’m a slut!”), and lots of talk about how much drinking, etc. the writer does. Oddly enough, the exact same shit I used to write back when I was 3 years younger and single and just drinking and fucking around and writing about it in grand detail just to titillate and tease and attract and push the envelope and be this carefree, don’t-give-a-fuck, hardcore, badass version of myself that I now realize probably annoyed the bejeezus out of a lot of people. I mean, to the letter I wrote this stuff. (Except the “I don’t actually care about what I write about” part.)
Now I could probably write a paper about the phenomenon that is Young People Who Feel The Need To Discuss Their Use Of Alcohol and Sexual Experiences, Completely Unprompted By Others. And I’d be the first one to submit data to my own study: if you could read my old blog and somehow not know my favorite kind of beer and how much vodka I’d consumed on a particular night, and how badass that made me, woo doggies, you must not have read my blog. You must have just looked at all the pitchers of me in tight clothes!
Are we all destined to be forced to watch copies of our younger selves flap around in the same ways we did? In five years, will I read something like this that someone else has written and be like, “Oh, you stupid twat.” It’s like getting a Delia’s catalog when you’re 35, I’m sure. What the hell is all of this polyester crap and why did I ever buy it?
Also, on another note, if there’s one thing I can’t stand more than people who label themselves, it’s librarians who label themselves. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen “punk rock librarian” or “super nerd librarian” or “hot librarian” or “snarky librarian” blah blah blah used as a personal description for speakers in conference flyers, About Me’s on professional blogs, or every fucking where else some younger generation dipshit librarian is told to describe him/herself. Then you meet these people who fancy themselves the hot one that everybody wants to fuck and also have intellectual conversations with, and they have mustaches and wear Twilight t-shirts with pit stains and kilts (for the irony, not for the heritage) and they stay at home every night petting their cats and blogging about the ice cream they made and how it was the bomb. And because they are a stark contrast to the older generation of librarians, who have mustaches and wear sweaters with apples and schoolhouses and candy appliques and stay at home every night petting their cats and reading, they are suddenly, immediately cool, and they christen themselves “Indie Librarian.”
There’s this one librarian who refers to herself as “punk rock,” and she’s quoted on just about every librarian’s blog, and she’s totally smart and knows what she’s doing, but what rubs me the wrong way is that she tries to come off like she’s Iggy fucking Pop or something. Then I met her once in the real-worldosphere, outside of the blogosphere, and she’s fucking bald and 6000 pounds and wearing a pilled, saggy dress shirt with a scooped front and snowflakes embroidered around the waist (in March), and it goes so low in the front that one of her wide, flat tits is hanging out of it. She was just this big slob who spent more time writing about the image she wanted you to have of her than she did just being her whip-smart fucking self.
Oh, it’s just a mirror image of real life, isn’t it? If someone cannot stop talking about how cool and different they are, they’re just pissing themselves inside, just all over their insides, because they’re boring even their own brain. And it just goes to show you that you should not trust an internet presence, especially when a person has a lot of things to write about what they’re like and what they think of themselves.**
*schlock + garbage
**Case in point: I am a cyborg.