Secret-keeping is definitely a vice; if it were not, I would be the most darling blackmailer.
My grandmother and I giggle over dumplings and powdered flowers. We talk of many things: of soviet soldiers—and benzodiazepines—and bears in silk sashes, of our favorite reds—and card games, how I have always been in love with my broken heart and what am I to do?
“Mamela” she tells me, “find someone to hold it together and tolerate them.”
Thoughts for December 2018:
Froth feels nice.
I regret everything I said on telephone calls that never connected and wrote in letters the postman skipped. I rue those successful dispatches too.
I forgot to be sad on a wintery evening when it turned into the fourth of July. Oh how this complicates matters.
Listening to Dusty Springfield and other women singing alone helps me to not say what I do not really feel.
Reading material of the month:
My Papa and the Maid of Orleans
Thus Were Their Faces
The Arthritic Grasshopper
Priestess of Morphine
Just to say hello.
Writing again. Sort of. Playing games in my head.
Paris is as I remembered it. So nice to be somewhere where wine is inexpensive and brunettes with sad wet eyes are appreciated. “Sois belle. et sois triste.”
Anna Quin’s Berg is my new favorite book—I would love to loan it to friends, but my marginalia is shamefully intimate. Marisa Anderson is my current soundtrack, her new album and all the rest. Of course, I am pleased to have a story come out around the same time as a fresh Lana del Rey track.
My life and surroundings are fine, but I am not. Until further notice, I will continue wearing black with occasional shocks of red. Maybe I’ll cut my hair.
LA-->NY One week to pack up a half-decade.
The bulk of the contents of my one bedroom habitat I will stow away in a storage unit: most of my books, the Danish modern dresser, the tall silver lamp, a few pieces of artwork, the comfy grey velvet chair, winter coats, an old wooden trunk, non-essential accessories, many trinkets, paperwork, a rug that never looks clean even when it is, my mother's ex-husband's grandfather's mounted head of a black bear that I don't have the heart to dispose of––maybe one day I'll get to bury it in the woods where the animal had been shot.
I'm bringing a blue suitcase to pack with things I'll need in California: my favorite books, the Levis that fit me best, shiny leather shoes, a summer dress, bottles of vitamins, and all the hard feelings that fit.
My ex- boyfriend will take back the haunted mattress and everything else will go to the curb with a note that says "Take me. FREE."
Then I'll fly NY-->LA and re-learn how to drive.
This fickle heart of mine flipped all my feelings again. Forget everything I said. Forget everything I will say. The hurly-burly is boring. Leave me alone. Why aren't you talking to me?
Embarrassed to have ever written anything. Embarrassed to have ever talked to anyone. This is stupid and so am I. Maybe I'll change my mind again next week and get some gumption and momentum back.
After a weeklong jaunt to London, I am back in Los Angeles again.
On the flight there I thought about the contemptible ways men end relationships with women they do not deserve, like David Lynch breaking up with Isabella Rossellini over the phone. On the flight home, I thought about cult leaders and how easy it would be for the right man to recruit me into being his concubine wife.
While in England, my sister finally became a citizen, the weather was suspiciously pleasant--not so grey and leaky, and thanks to the lovely people of Hotel, I had the opportunity to read my story 'Dismember Me' at a sweet little bookshop in Peckham after a number of very impressive poets read their work in accents not at all like mine. And, to divulge too much information in a coy-but-cryptic way, in the grand early-oughts tradition of the online diary, I ran around drinking wine with a man who I like and that was a very good time.
Two books were waiting for me in Los Angeles. The first, a fresh copy of the new Clarice Lispector translation, The Chandelier, which I could not be more excited to read for my two-woman book clue; the second book, a vintage copy of The Forbidden Garden by Ursula Curtiss, the pulpy little novel that inspired the psychobiddy film "Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?" Reviews quoted say "Good shiverer" and "Gives you a shivery shove." The first line of the book is "Mrs. Marrable buried Miss Tinsley on a leafy yellow day in October." I am in for some treats.
Who knows when I will get back to New York again. Soon, I'm sure.
-For two years this orchid in my mother's windowsill has bloomed and bloomed again. I am here too.
-My third eye is bloodshot and needs a patch.
-I recorded myself reading The Minister's Black Veil aloud over glitchy melodies dedicated to the forest.
This cold spell has had me confined to my apartment. I took a break from editing and writing to peek through dozens of old notebooks to see what stories, to do lists, doodles, ideas, et cetera were trapped inside. In one I found a note to myself that said "spend an afternoon going through old notebooks." So funny how predictable we can be when we are always on repeat. .
Prediction for the coming year: Voodoo will come back in style.
Look. I finally did it.