Friday, August 31, 2012

Elizabethtown North Carolina

I have, as of this morning, 39 mosquito bites, 7 red ant bites, and 2 hickeys. Everything in North Carolina is trying to eat me. It's hurricane season, which means it rains every 30 minutes, and the plants have become predatory, they are swollen with hunger and need, and they desire only to take over everything in that single minded way that all plants have, the personality of pioneers. Mine Mine Mine every tree and vine and flowering shrub is screaming. Walking down the street, it's easy to understand why we once conceived of sentient jungle vines that carried us away into the darkness. I think given half a chance, every piece of foliage I pass would happily strangle me and bury me deep in its roots for food. 

Rural North Carolina gives the impression of familiarity. Oh yeah, looks just like Ohio. Only something isn't quite right, something's off. The picture leaves an uneasiness in the corner of your eye, and if you look closely  enough, you'll realize that the trees are wrong. The leaves are wrong, the trunks are too skinny, there's a weird fluffiness on the pine trees, and the weeds are tinged with yellow instead of the natural Ohio blue tone that makes our greens so green. I think the yellow tone comes from being so close to the ocean, it's the suction of salt through the ground, the ocean air. If Ohio's greens have grown to match the deep glacial blue of Lake Erie, then these greens are made to match the lighter aqua gray blue of the ocean and lightest sand, a color that I hadn't expected to be different, but was in fact a shock, a blue brand new to the girl from the bluest state. 

It's best to not fight against the burgeoning verdure, it comes steady and creeping territorial, not a disease, but a super power, a mutation in the genetic code of the scenery, a latent metabolic push. It's greedy, selfish, devoid of care or hesitation. It takes over buildings before they've even fallen down, wraps them in thick vegetative walls that keep them standing even though they want to die. This is pure natural ambition. Taking the heat, the humidity, and absorbing it, letting the nutrition soak into every pore, letting nothing go, using every last bit. Someday there will be another summer drought, and unless you've grown as big as you could when you had a chance, you will shrivel and die on the vine, turning into mulch for the newer growths. 

I need to stop letting things bite me. That's 46 holes in my body through which the world sucked out blood to feed on. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Various Sexual Fantasies I Have Involving Republicans (SFW)

Update: The extended director's cut of this piece is available over at The Moustache Club of America, so I'd say go read that one. The Kasich one makes me hot.

Last night's Republican Convention reminded me of one thing: how I have the worst taste in men. The things that get me hot? Clean cut. Obsessed with money. An overly confident dominating a-wad who thinks he is a master of men, and also capable of doing anything spectacularly. Anyone who thinks they're smarter than everyone else.

People who regularly fall in those categories: lawyers, cops, salesmen, political science majors, bartenders

You don't know me personally, but for contrast, let me point out that last night I stayed up till 2am watching Grimm and just got out of bed 30 minutes ago. At some point today I *may* put in a job application and/or buy an umbrella.

Sexual Fantasies I Have Involving Famous Republicans

If Mittens believed in divorce, and got rid of that horrid woman he calls a wife, then he might actually have a shot at winning this election. Which I definitely don't want him to do, so I guess that makes me a fan of Anne Romney? I'm definitely a fan of her twitter account.  Anyway, according to some website with too much Flash on it that I just now googled, mormons are okay with divorce, so here's what should happen: Mittens should divorce/kill Anne, then go mend his broken heart in New York City by disappearing into the dirty sexy social circles of trust fund kid wannabe magazine editors, a six month blur in which he is spotted wearing skinny jeans and screaming at a homeless guy in Queens, culminating in a torrid affair with Peaches Geldof. Peaches and her band of merry klonopin addicts allow Mittens to live out the dream he always had in college of becoming an artisan cocktail designer, but when his first recipe book, in which he rants for 30 pages about the bourbon conspiracy and how the chinese are stealing our gin industry, is panned by critics, his new friends abandon him. He starts wandering around the country, hiding his billionaire status and playing steel guitar on street corners for bus fare. We meet on the Wrightsville Beach Pier, where I completely fail to recognize him until we're three beers in, because he goes by Will. I convince him that his attempt to solve his existential crisis with a hobo odyssey is just another way of running from his problems, and then we spend the next three years engaged in a protracted conversation/biography writing mission hashing out all his latent childhood issues with mormonism, rejection, being groomed for destiny ect. We move to Moscow shortly after the book hits the NYT bestsellers list, and spend the rest of our days reigning over the Russian literary scene. He is fond of telling people I'm the smartest woman he knows.

Paul Ryan and I meet at the Airport Marriott after responding to a craigslist casual encounters ad. He wants me to slap him repeatedly and humiliate him, just like those girls in high school. Afterwards, we sit around the hotel room for two days discussing womens rights, and I totally turn him on to Nick Cave. We never talk again.

Chris and I meet in college, when he's working part time at the car dealership next to the bar I go to on Sunday nights. We have a series of one night stands that make it seem like we have a real connection, but he is incapable of admitting any weakness, and leaves me heartbroken at the end of summer. Years later, he contacts me. He is going through his first divorce and misses me. I hate him, but the pain is old enough I think I can take it, and we meet for drinks. Immediately we fall in together again, but even though he starts paying for my apartment, and buys me a car, he refuses to say he loves me. We fight constantly, but he always expects that I'll come back, and I always do because he expects it. We continue this affair for decades. He moves me to a Washington townhouse, and I cheat on him with every lobbyist I can pick up. He knows, in fact I think he likes it, he likes winning over them again and again. I feel completely powerless. He never lies to me, or cheats on me, but at his funeral years later I will recall that he only ever gave me three compliments in 40 years. 1) He told me I was sexy the first time we slept together, 2) that he thought I was brilliant, once, in the first week we met, and 3) when he told me I seemed "well adjusted."

After he dies, I immediately marry a 24 year old grad student who is only using me to write a tell all book about our affair, but I don't care because he thinks I'm fascinating and tells me so all the time.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Excerpt: Windmills

There was the first one that grew up next to the Rock Hall.
Then another one sprouted where the Atomic Playground used to be. Which was more impressive, because it was a privately owned one.
And then the biggest one of all, the impossibly huge seagoing one, with dangerously curved clawed blades, and when it got going, you could believe that should even one screw slip off, the whole head would go spinning down into the earth like a saw, splitting the world in two.
Now there is a new younger one growing next to it, just like a sapling off an oak tree.

Here's what will happen when they are all done growing up. The sharp tips of their blades will break and fall off, floating off into the wind. And where they land, they bury themselves deep in the soft topsoil of Ohio, and little metal tendrils grow slowly, like potato roots, down down down through the bedrock until they find the aquifer, that cold calm airless place where the water rests heavy and hidden. There they wait, in that quiet primeval hormonal death called hibernation, until one unpredictable day when the vibrations of the earth are just right, and they start to wake up. Who knows what it is that shakes them, the currents of local politics, the offhand comment of a swing voter, a mild winter that scares everyone into believing in global warming? But wake up and shake up they do, and it's quick, they grow like weeds, taller and taller until their shiny little heads poke through the crusty half frozen dirt of an empty lot, and within months they are towering above our highways, reaching into the upper atmospheres.

 Windmills are not inherently dangerous, but they are not inherently safe either. Most beautiful things aren't. Most really beautiful things can kill you without even noticing. That's the sort of thing that inspires worship.

Twitter and I are Getting Married

4 Words After Intercourse

Fuck, where's the condom?

On a scale of...


No, they're happy tears

Wait, try MY kale

Rabbits. So many rabbits.

Is that Cheeto dust?

I Hate Your Glasses.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

According to You, I was Never a Heroine, I was Always a Villain

I got all riled up about this article this morning, which shows us how Disney has "slimmed down and prettied up" it's bad girls for a new doll collection. Which is sort of funny, because after I got all riled up about it, I remembered that I had gotten all upset about it when the article first came out which was like 6 months ago. But such is the life cycle of the internet. 

It's not so much the "slimming down" that bothers me, as much as the "prettied up" part. Every single doll from my childhood has been slimmed down. We all want to look like alien wraiths, okay, whatever. You've been making my princesses that way since I was little. Though to be fair, Snow White looks like a plus size compared to Belle, and Sleeping Beauty was willowy but didn't have Jasmine's improbably tiny waist and giant boobs. The princesses have been drinking lots of cow hormones and getting their periods earlier and earlier. So it sucks, but if you're going to put My Little Pony on a diet, then there is no hope, and parents are just going to have to be more discerning. May I humbly suggest Playmobils for your daughter? Best toys I ever had. 

No, what bothers me the most is something A.S. Byatt referred to in her now infamous essay about the easily consumable tame fake darkness of Harry Potter.  

"But in the case of the great children's writers of the recent past, there was a compensating seriousness. There was -- and is -- a real sense of mystery, powerful forces, dangerous creatures in dark forests. Susan Cooper's teenage wizard discovers his magic powers and discovers simultaneously that he is in a cosmic battle between good and evil forces. Every bush and cloud glitters with secret significance. Alan Garner peoples real landscapes with malign, inhuman elvish beings that hunt humans. 

 Reading writers like these, we feel we are being put back in touch with earlier parts of our culture, when supernatural and inhuman creatures -- from whom we thought we learned our sense of good and evil -- inhabited a world we did not feel we controlled. If we regress, we regress to a lost sense of significance we mourn for. Ursula K. Le Guin's wizards inhabit an anthropologically coherent world where magic really does act as a force. Ms. Rowling's magic wood has nothing in common with these lost worlds. It is small, and on the school grounds, and dangerous only because she says it is. 

 In this regard, it is magic for our time. Ms. Rowling, I think, speaks to an adult generation that hasn't known, and doesn't care about, mystery. They are inhabitants of urban jungles, not of the real wild. They don't have the skills to tell ersatz magic from the real thing, for as children they daily invested the ersatz with what imagination they had."

Of course, Ms. Byatt's point about Rowlings totally applies to Disney as a whole, and has from the get go, but I take it to heart especially here, as a last indecency. We have systematically erased any seriousness from our evil. We have dumbed it down and made it funny, and now we want to make it pretty too. That isn't teaching any child how to prepare for real evil when they have to face it, it isn't hammering home any points about good and evil, and it certainly isn't promoting any kind of real heroism. 

What bothers me most about the makeover of my villainesses is that by slimming them down and covering them in poofy skirts, we have erased even the personality from them, and with that, the source of their power. They have gone from being actual forces of evil, dangerous things who will do bad things to you, to being pretty little girls who aren't blonde and maybe overpluck their eyebrows. They have become interchangeable molds instead of real people, the only real people in any of the damn Disney films.

Now maybe I wasn't supposed to look up to Maleficent, Ursula, or the Wicked Queen as a child, but I certainly had nothing in common with the princesses - pure and good creatures whom everybody loved because of how pretty they were. I was not a pretty child and I was not a good child. I am not a pretty woman, and I am not a "good" woman, I get angry and yell and cry. Nobody is ever going to want to rescue me or take care of me because of my physical beauty, or my angelic calmness, and I knew this from a very young age, because my stories taught me. They taught me that magically good things happened to very pretty people, and the rest of us had to take power if we wanted it, especially if we were brunettes. If the system is going to fuck with my head and condition me to feel this way as a little girl, don't then take away the one good lesson I managed to get from the whole vile mess, which is that real women were maybe not pretty, but they were smart and strong and lived by themselves in really cool castles.

See, the key to the Disney Bad Girls is that they aren't girls at all. They are all older women, who have had to fight and scheme to get to whatever position of power they have now, and don't have any qualms about taking advantage of some young girl's stupidity to keep that power. You can say whatever you want about Disney painting these women as evil and what that means, that's a valid point. But they also made them the coolest character.  The Wicked Queen, she's a fucking chemist and a master of disguises. Maleficent TURNS INTO A DRAGON.  Ursula is a politician, who could choose to be a  pretty young thing if she wanted, but long ago recognized that beauty wasn't real power, talking people into owing you was. Being able to be a wrathful sea goddess who destroys ships was. 

And there's an important point - none of these women is really ugly. They have all made the decision to sacrifice being thought of as pretty for being in power. Being pretty when they were young worked for a little while - the Wicked Queen married Snow White's Dad, Ursula was a favorite at court - but then they got older and had to turn to their other more lucrative skills to stay on top.  This is a real lesson for young girls about getting older, that you can't stay a princess forever no matter how much pink you wear.

The Villainesses are basically what the Princesses turn into when they stop being hot young teenagers. And if they don't wise up, the only other path available to them is death, because any older "good" woman in a Disney film is dead, ie EVERYONE'S MOM.

My brother Nick said it best " The market Disney wants to court, evidently, are people who fantasize about an endless fractal procession of beauty queens murdering beauty queens. "

Some of us managed to learn, despite your best efforts Disney, that being a beauty queen ain't shit. So stop fucking with us.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rivers Till I Reach You

I woke up at 6am yesterday, since I had decided the day before to bike the long way to catch a bus, instead of waiting for the one two blocks from my house. It was, of course, raining. It's rained every day since I got here, being hurricane season and all, which would be fine except that it only rains when I'm on my bike. When I'm not on my bike, it gets sunny and super hot. So I guess I could complain about it some more, but the truth is maybe North Carolina is just trying to be helpful.

 So I was all awake and active and shit, proud of myself for getting through the bus routes and not getting run over by a car, and ending up on campus at the right building for my first class...90 minutes early. So I went to pick up my school ID. Good lord, you should see it. It was taken at the height of my West Nile episode, and I look like I'm a heroin junkie. Which, turns out fevers make my eyes really blue. But also I look like I have jaundice. I'm smiling all wanly, like "okay yeah let's get this over with so I can get my methadone scrip". Next I went to the bookstore and managed to get in first to pick up my books, as a long and longer line piled up behind me. So that was okay. I was feeling pretty effective, so far.

 Went to my first class, and the grad student teaching it reminded me of Angela, my very first trainer when I started at Progressive 7 years ago. They could be twins, in both face and function. I like the synchronicity of that. The only girl I talked to at orientation is in that class, and she seems lovely. We had to go around and talk about why we were taking Creative Non-Fiction. I was all "well, I've basically been doing it for ten years with this fucking blog, so maybe I should get good at it?" A lot of the younger girls said "I really like poetry, but I'm not any good at it, and I don't have cool enough ideas for fiction, so...." I tried to find the place to register my bike on campus, but it was all the way on the other side, and the quad was crowded with tons of kids just milling about, making it hard to bike through at all. So I sat at the student center, ate a sandwich, and talked to my friends on gchat, who were all at their adult jobs. That felt pretty okay, the feeling of realizing this was my new pattern, that I was creating new life patterns with every path I chose to take, every bike rack I chose to use, every minute I budgeted for finding classrooms.

 After classes, I tried to find the correct bus back. It was raining again, and I missed the bus and waited 40 minutes to get the next one, with lots of little bugs being assholes around me. An older woman who works at the Einstein Bagels on campus came and sat waiting, then a younger girl with one blue eye, one brown. They both called me sweety, then talked to each other in super intimate polite tones. The girl was talking about how hungry she was, because she had gone out drinking and forgotten to eat before rushing to class. So the older woman forced some pretzels and grapes on her. The bus came and I rode it the whole route around the mall and back to the main bus station. The driver was careening around, and I was sitting there quietly freaking out about my bike sitting there precariously on the front of this madman's giant vehicle of civic destruction, in the pouring rain.

 I finally got home, covered in sweat and rain, which is my general being now, I am nothing but sweat and rain and bug bites and heat. Anytime I leave the house and come back, I have to immediately go up to my bedroom and completely strip and just not be covered with sticky hot clothes for at least five minutes before I can even think about accomplishing anything. I lay there staring at the ceiling for 15 minutes, then showered and got dressed again, oh god not again with the bra and the cardigans and the makeup, I resent all of it now, I just want to be bare and stripped all the time. And alone. I desperately want to be alone, with my cat. Living with other people is an adjustment. I like them all, but I am starting to practice willful ignorance of their presence. Like, no I'm sitting here typing at the table, I don't have to talk to you the entire time you're in the kitchen.

 I went to the Hipster Bar, where it turns out they also have coffee, so I can sit there and drink coffee and jameson with my headphones and my little netbook, and freak the fuck out over not being a funny person. I did that for like an hour, then signed up for the stand up open mic. I chainsmoked for an hour waiting to go up, unable to feel my chest or eyes, and certainly not able to actually have conversation with anyone, it was like I went into this mental coma. I put myself in the middle of the list, thinking I didn't want to be in the beginning, but then stupidly ending up after three really strong practiced guys who do it there all the time. It was okay. Every one always tells you that you did good, because they are trying to be encouraging. But I know better. My delivery sucked. I had a hard time making eye contact with anyone in the audience because the lights were so bright, I sort of froze up body language wise, and I kept letting the mike drop down, so my punchlines drifted away. I know I got some laughs, but I was incapable of hearing the level of the laughter. The only people I could see were these 5 stone faced plastic looking college girls in the front row who glared at me the whole time. Man, college girls just hate me it turns out. I think they are upset I'm not a guy who's going to make some pithy comments about their boobs. I think they are offended by the idea of anyone paying attention to a girl who is not like them, young and hot and trying.

 But afterwards, some strangers came up to tell me I was funny, and some of the experienced guys gave me the pat on the shoulder and "good set". The host came up and introduced himself. The one comic I already have a fan crush on came up and told me that he had expected me to not be funny at all, and he was sorry to have doubted me, and which specific bit he liked. The long and short of it is that I went to bed feeling kind of badly about it because I hate not being great at something, but then when I woke up this morning the first thought I had was that I should go to this other mic on Monday. So I guess, we're going to try and do this. I'm not even entirely sure why. Why do anything these days? I deliberately changed my life around to give myself more freedom of choice, and now I'm sort of just bouncing around pinball style. A really slow pinball. I need some big event to happen, something game changing. Like, instead of pinball, I'd like to suddenly be catapulted into a chess game or Marco Polo.

My friend got a windfall recently and he's been playing around with the stock market, telling me about it on chat. I cringe, because I feel like every quarter that slips through my fingers these days just brings my inevitable failure and disgraceful return home closer and closer. It's hard to convince yourself that what happened when you were 19 is not what's going to happen when you're 33.

 The rest of my non-school days are becoming patterned like this: get up, shower, put in a job application somewhere, spend the rest of the day working on the book/playing around on facebook/trolling OK Cupid. Winter is coming. There's a hurricane forming somewhere South of me. My hair is getting long and I think I'm losing weight only it's making me look lumpier. I wear flip flops practically everywhere, because they're best when it does rain, which is every three hours, seriously. All the trees and bushes and palm plants are swollen and green and overgrown. The world is trying to eat all of us, it's carnivorous and mindless and predatory and beautiful the way everyone here is just clinging on to the edge of the world. .

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ew Cougars

"Wasn't there a football team somewhere that had to stop using the name Cougars because people thought it might be offensive to women who call themselves cougars?"

"I hate that term. First of all, I hate it when anyone decides they are going to call themselves, identify their whole lives, by one sexual preference. Like, aren't you a fucking person? Don't you have other parts of your life that define you besides the fact you like sleeping with young hot guys? GUESS WHAT we all like sleeping with young hot guys. I mean, most of us. The majority of people on the planet. It's not a fetish. We would never be okay with it if a bunch of old guys who only like sleeping with young girls starting calling themselves the Leopards, and wearing Leopard on the ass of their sweatpants in glitter. And I guess I think if you find yourself in the later years of your life, and you're incapable of getting into a stable relationship with someone of your own age and experience, I think it's fucking sad. Because I'm only 33 and I can barely stand to have a conversation with most 22 yr old guys I know. And I would hope by the time I'm 55 I feel the same way about 33yr olds. Because I want to get smarter and more interesting, not regress back to only caring about base desires and having that addiction define my entire social life. 

You know who ought to be most insulted by the term? Actual cougars. They are an endangered species, and instead of anyone giving a shit, we don't even let them have their name anymore, like if someone says cougar we don't immediately think of a majestic predator, we think of a bony overly made up desperate mom in brightly patterned tunics like a baboon ass, squeezed into some cheap victoria's secret lace and spanx. I'm sure the actual cougars would love a hot young guy to munch on too. I would like to see a Cougar and a cougar have to fight it out over some of the guys in my orientation class."

note: could every guy over 30 please just cut their hair? Please? It's hard enough as it is. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Let Me Tell You All The Things My Vagina Can Do

Things My Vagina Can Do

 -hide my keys out of spite
 -secrete a raccoon repellent
 -recite Sunday Morning in a perfect lilted Connecticut accent
 -predict global grain markets by the direction of the wind
 -reject any incoming lovers that it senses don't like the show Louie
 -nurse small kittens back to health
 -grow to 200 times it's original size and chase cars
 -convert all dimes to Canadian
 -guard me from mean people
 -sing both parts to Islands in the Stream at the same time
 -judge books by their covers
 -chew through plastic sales tags
 -drink more than three Manhattans without getting gaudy
 -shed it's teeth every three months to avoid dentist appointments
 -change it's scent based on it's opinion of your ipod list

 Things My Vagina Can Not Do

 -decide which sperm it's gonna let knock it up

stupid vagina.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wilmington Update Number 2

Oh my god I'm so sick. I woke up Tuesday feeling like I had Dengue fever. I got on gchat with the Prince and somehow managed to lift my shaky fingers enough to type out "am i dying of malaria?" 

I am not dying of malaria, it turns out. In the United States last year they had like 1500 cases of malaria, and 1499 of them were from blood transfusions. Mom, I do not need you to write me an email about drinking. It was probably my air filter. My landlord fixed the central air the day before, and I think some virus or bacteria or alien parasite sitting in the vents came after me while I was dreaming. So for the last 4 days I've been in and out of bed sporadically, eating nothing, drinking tea, and watching a lot of bad Hulu tv, which is the worst kind of bad tv cause it's not even the tv you would pick if you could. I am getting better, slowly. And I DID go to my school orientation yesterday, though I did not take the bus, I called a cab. And I skipped out on most of the presentations to sleep on a picnic table underneath some pine trees and crepe myrtle in the shade, which was easily a better decision than a walking tour of that 2 miles squared campus in 95 degree heat and 88% humidity led by weirdly bright and glowing undergraduate hosts in phosphorescent teal polo shirts, giving a whole new meaning to the word "day glo". But I made it to my advising meeting in plenty of time, somehow managed to leave a good impression on my academic advisor even though I was incapable of actually talking (or perhaps because of), and then took a cab back home to watch five hours of Supernatural with my roommate Danielle. Which is what I'm probably going to do again today. 

I will say this: I was unprepared for how fucking pretty all the little college kids would be. Fucking puppies. Fucking dolls. Where were all the awkward finding-themselves freshmen? Everyone at orientation was a Sears model. Thankfully, they also had their parents with them, to keep the delusion grounded. 

So anyway, the first photo. Did you know the ocean exists at night! And you're allowed to go by it! And no one will kick you out! And then sometimes you might also see your first shooting stars ever. By the ocean. At night. WHAT. I think getting sick might be karmic punishment for getting that.

The neighborhood bar where I will be spending an appropriate amount of time MOM. I went in there the other day and the bartender asked if I was Bridget, because some girl named Lindsey who I don't remember meeting said there was some new girl in town named Bridget who was cool. So THAT kind of bar. Also Danielle asked the same bartender to make a Mongolian Motherfucker, and he totally did it, so points. 

This photo is specifically for Krissie because I feel like she will probably recognize it from some episode of Dawson's Creek. I myself have nothing more to say about it. Downtown is nice. I'm glad I live closer to it than I do to campus. There are bike corrals everywhere. 

Palm trees. 

After deliberation with Mom, it's been agreed upon that it sounds like I had West Nile. Fever, chills, sweating, vomiting bile, no appetite, swollen throat and lymph nodes, migraine. The Prince remains unconvinced, but I'm getting better by the hour today, like now I can actually make intelligible noises with my mouth, so thank god I didn't have to blow the money on an emergency room visit.

The Cape Fear River, which just seems like the worst name for a river ever. Hey guys, here's this new river we discovered, what should we name it? Oh, I don't know, why don't we just say fuck the river, and remind everyone they are going to die at the end of it. Okay, sounds good. 

I have not gotten to that port there in the distance yet, but I'm a gonna.

And then last but not least, our pet outdoor cat Calliope. Who gets a scoop of food every morning, and you have to make sure to chase off that tomcat that's been coming around. 

Okay, I'm going back to bed. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The First Hazy Photos From Wilmington

Carey drove me down and the ride was 12 hours long. The home stretch, we were approaching Wilmington on a straightaway, and in front of us the skies were black and roiling with storm clouds and giant flashes of lightning. We saw a sign for Wilmington 11 miles. We breathed a sigh of relief. An hour later we saw another sign for Wilmington 7 miles. "I feel like you are driving me to the end of the world and dropping me off into the nothingness, like you are sacrificing me to the sea god" I said to her. "The sea god is not a kind god" she answered back.

 My first day, my landlord dropped me off at the bike shop by campus, 5 miles away from home, to put air in my tire and buy a new lock because Carey had unfortunately driven home with my keys in her pocket. I had directions home from Dan, and got other directions home from Jim. I had a basic idea of which cardinal direction the river was in, and a vague idea which way the numbered streets went. I got tempted by spanish moss on beautiful white porches, and ended up driving through the rich area, where of course the streets were curvy cause the streets are always curvy in the rich area, and that got me properly lost, but I found my way sort of back and it only took me an hour of the worst drenching sweatiness I had ever experienced.

 That night I convinced my friend to drive up and see me, to come for a few days. We found a bar the first night that had 12 million beers on menu, and a calendar of bands on the wall, and a projector screen in their backyard where they showed movies. I met a girl on couch surfing, and we got the name of the best beach in the area to go to.

Next morning he found a very cute hippie diner not far from my house, and we had eggs benedict, strata, french roast. We stopped by Target so I could buy flip flops and a beach blanket. They were sold out of both. A guy at a gas station called my haircut "fetch". Finally, after taking the longest way possible to the beach, I had my first adult swim in the ocean. There was a sandpiper hopping around by our towels. The waves were bright blue and clear and the salt water burned my lips and eyes. I sat at the wave line and pushed my feet into the sand struggling against being pulled back out by the outgoing water. The tide came in, and he had to move our stuff further up the beach, which confused me cause it was the middle of the afternoon and I was convinced tides only came in at morning and evening. He laughed at me.

When we left, I had a pound of sand trapped in my bathing suit, and a sunburn. I saw 5 pelicans flying in formation between beach houses. We drove to a barbecue place his friend had told him about, and I changed out of my suit in the bathroom, leaving piles of sand on the floor, which I swept as best I could into the drain.

 I had fried okra for the first time.

 Later that night we went to the main comedy open mic in town, and I drank a lot more than I meant to, because there were 21 freaking comics up doing 4 minutes each, which is a really long time to be nervously drinking Jameson and ginger ale. I talked to some of the comics out back, got the phone number of a girl I'd like to hang out with later, wrote down some names to add on twitter, found the North Carolina equivalent of Caroline Contillo.

 The next day I spent 30 dollars on a pair of flip flops. Really nice flip flops.

Friday night I stayed home to write. I got very lonely and spent most of my night talking to a drunken prince on chat.

Saturday I woke up and rode my bike downtown in the threatening gloom and alternating sunshine. In the seven blocks between my house and downtown I got holla'ed at by three older black gentlemen in late model classic cars, two of whom were wearing brimmed hats and sunglasses. I wrote at a cute little coffeeshop for a few hours which was playing Decemberists and Neutral Milk Hotel covers. I heard two people talking behind me, and the guy sounded like a total bro, but when I turned around, they were both hipsters, only hipsters with southern drawl, which is confusing. A group of guys in basic training came in and waited for their coffees, talking about the hotel room they had gotten downtown for the weekend. I left my bike locked up and walked down the river front - I'll post those photos later. I stopped in a vintage clothing store and almost bought a dress, but remembered my precarious financial situation until I find a job. Went into a used bookstore and bought a herman hesse book for a dollar, also the collected short stories of isaac bashevis singer for another dollar, and talked about bike routes with the store clerk. Biked back to the neighborhood, and stopped in at the localest bar, where it was just me hanging out with the bartender for the first two hours, and then there was a cover band which arrived with their girlfriends and did talking heads covers. I had my first pickleback, a shot of jameson followed by a chaser of pickle brine. I met another Bridget who lives nearby. I ordered a sandwich delivered to the bar, then biked home in the rain, and spent twenty minutes trying to figure out how to turn on netflix on the big living room tv.

 And so here we are. I totally live here now.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Little Prince had his 30th Birthday on Lake Erie and Then I Left Him in Ohio..

    “The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists.” 

“People have forgotten this truth," the fox said. "But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” 

"I should never have listened to her," he confided to me one day, "One should never listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance."

"One must command from each what each can perform, the king went on. "Authority is based first of all upon reason. If you command your subjects to jump into the ocean, there will be a revolution. I am entitled to command obedience because my orders are reasonable."
" Then my sunset?" insisted the little prince, who never let go of a question once he had asked it.
"You shall have your sunset. I shall command it. But I shall wait, according to my science of government, until conditions are favorable."

"You're beautiful, but you're empty.... No one could die for you."

“Please-tame me!' he said.

'I want to, very much,' the little prince replied. 'But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.'

'One only understands the things that one tames,' said the fox. 'Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me.'

'What must I do, to tame you?' asked the little prince.

'You must be very patient,' replied the fox. 'First you will sit down at a little distance from me-like that-in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day...” 

“If you could fly to France in one minute, you could go straight into the sunset, right from noon. Unfortunately, France is too far away for that. But on your tiny planet, my little prince, all you need do is move your chair a few steps. You can see the day end and the twilight falling whenever you like...
"One day," you said to me, "I saw the sunset forty-four times!"
And a little later you added:
"You know -- one loves the sunset, when one is so sad..."
"Were you so sad, then?" I asked, "on the day of the forty-four sunsets?"
But the little prince made no reply.” 

“So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near--

Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."

It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . ."

Yes, that is so," said the fox.

But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.

Yes, that is so," said the fox.

Then it has done you no good at all!"

It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields.” 

“And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure . . . And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!' And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you...”