It seems like we are oftentimes on a similar schedule with one another. When you are kinda manic, I am kinda manic — both writing a lot, getting excited about certain podcasts, books, movies, shows. And then there are times that we both write to each other saying how depressed and uninspired we are, bitching endlessly about shitty weather and overly chatty yoga teachers.
A long time ago, I told you that I thought that we were karmic sisters. Some people call each other “chosen family”. The latter sounds dumb to me, as if they are in a cult together or a shitty cover band.
Nonetheless, I do feel that we are connected by a strong karmic bond. A writerly friend just wrote to me saying that you and I write similarly and she felt that is why we get along so well. That got me to thinking a bit and I started wondering what is similar about our writing styles. I feel that it comes down to the fact that we are both right there on the page. You might talk about orgasms and I might talk about wanting to smash my husband’s skull to pieces — both things that some people might not be willing to write about. We’ve talked a lot about vulnerability and disclosure and shame.
Chosen family is so sleazy, but karmic sisters works. We support each other in an entirely healthy way. It’s almost like it’s re-doing a lot of my toxic and/or codependent female friendships. You’re like a family member to me at this point, it’s weird. I looked up karmic sisters when you told me that, and it mentioned there’s certain people in your life that you often have the same things going on at the same time with and more but i’m too caffeinated to explain.
When I listened to Marc Maron and Louis on WTF Pod yesterday he says he gets choked up when he talks about their friendship. It’s kinda like when I sent you that essay I wrote, Sisterless, and i mention the karmic sister thing, you said it choked you up. I was surprised—actually I don’t know if either of us have cried in front of each other, kind of hard to believe, no?
I know how so far in these installments, we’ve compared ourselves to Marc Maron, Louis CK, Jerry Stahl, and Jack Kerouac. Who do we think we are?
Why the fuck do you think we might have such a fierce desire to be so honest in our work?
I think we both get bored with non honesty. It’s uninteresting, predictable, and it doesn’t make you close to people and I think we both crave intimacy.
Back to usually being on a similar schedule, right now we are both out of town. You are in Austin visiting with a friend and you did a reading the other night. I am down in Mexico with my husband chilling and working on some writing. When I go away, as long as I am in an inspiring place, my mind often expands and I begin to think bigger picture about my work. Something about getting away from the usual routine, the same old fucking furniture to stare at all the time, the same coffee shops, things like this. I’m curious to know where your head is at right now, being away in a super rad city like Austin. I have been getting a sense that you have been coming down from a long couple of months of stress and unknowns around your work, maybe not feeling super spacious or inspired, but I could be wrong. Plus, summer can really be a strange time to write, it’s so intense and distracting.
It’s now safe to say that you have a book coming out next year. That’s gotta be a relief for you in a lot of ways. The shit is finally sorted.
That being said, where are you at with your writing and your head right now?
Yes, I have come down, and it feels amazing. I feel so restored right now. I just read somewhere, someone wrote, “You know that peaceful feeling that comes after a hard time,” and I was like OMG YES. I was at the Ft. Lauderdale airport when someone I’ve never met tweeted and emailed me the announcement in Publisher’s Marketplace so it’s a weird memory. I was so relieved.
At this exact moment i’m on a plane from Austin to Baltimore and I’m drinking club soda and eating honey roasted peanuts. But I feel better then I’ve felt on months. I’m excited and relieved to have months to work on my collection and get it to a point i’m comfortable with and proud of. It was awesome to wake up in Austin everyday and not immediately walk to my desk and open my computer. I didn’t look at my computer much all week.
Summer is my least favorite season to write, definitely. I’m a winter writer. However, sometimes you have to suck it up and do it anyway. Luckily I’m a seven to two or eight to three writer and after that I try to get my ass outside. But, I do have fantasies of checking into a hotel to write. If I ever did that, I would tell the people at the desk not to give me the wifi password.
Okay now it’s a week later and I’m back from Austin. I’m in my apartment drinking coffee and listening to Elliott Smith. I still feel restored. I feel really happy that I’m not flying anywhere this summer. I did a lot of travel this past year. Cali twice, the mid-west, Portland, Austin, Martha’s Vineyard…. I’m excited to root down and work on my essays and do my teaching gigs in NYC. Get grounded. Yesterday I rearranged and re-organized my apartment.
If I were in Austin right now, I’d be heading up to hill country for a tube down the river in a pair of old sneakers and cutoff shorts and a bikini top.
Have you ever been to Mexico?
When you asked me this I WAS wearing cut-offs and a bikini top. Austin was rad. I accidentally ate this salty chili powdered watermelon (actually I spit it out), a few migas breakfast tacos, coffee at Jo’s, did a reading, saw a reading, bought Frye boots, swam. Most importantly I got spend time with my friend Erika and meet her husband and 2 daughters.
I only went to Mexico once by way of San Diego. I think we went to Mexico for like, a day. My brother got food or sun poisoning. I was eight.
I think we should go together to Mexico in 2016. Mexico or Paris. What do you think???
You called me yesterday morning and told me a funny story. Do you want to talk about how you lost then found $800 in Mexico or no?
We should for sure go somewhere together and colab on the project that we’ve been talking about pretty much since the day we met and bonded over our mutual love for the movie Frances Ha. I figured this dialogue would help us work out some material that could eventually morph into a bigger project, maybe a book, a screenplay, who the fuck knows, we’ll know when it is ready to rear it’s head I suppose. But tucking away somewhere other than our usual digs would be a perfect way to get the shit out of our asses. Either that, or we’ll just sit around for days making fun of yoga teachers.
Wherever we go, we need a pool and breakfast included, I am obsessed with breakfast offerings at hotels. If there is not good coffee or breakfast, I get very anxious about life.
Dude, I just got back from Mexico the other day and had an epic trip with my husband. The kid stayed at home with his grandma. The day before I flew back to Portland, I was thinking that this trip was all-time and how I needed it to melt away all the darkness out of my bones. I mean, I could feel the magic sun working it’s way into my bone marrow. So I’m packing and shit to go home, the husband is out surfing and I go into my passport to pull out eight hundo in cash to pay the hotel bill cash to avoid taxes. The shit wasn’t there. I immediately knew someone stole. It was awful and sad and I didn’t know what the fuck I was gonna do. I mean, what a dumb fucking gringa bitch I was, so senseless and dumb. I talk to the manager, I talk to the owner (he looked exactly like George Michael), we brokered a deal that I wouldn’t say shit online if he let me walk. I felt like a character out of Goodfella’s. I felt dirty. But I knew that loot was tucked away in the passport because I am super OCD and never misplace shit. Next morning, I am unpacking and what do I find? Yup, the grip of hundies were in my wallet. In my motherfucking wallet!!!! My stomach dropped and for the first thirty seconds I thought about pocketing that loot, not for the loot itself, but to avoid the shame that was about to wash all over me for telling those people that someone stole.
That morning I had asked the universe to show me a sign. I never did that before and have no idea why I did it. Nonetheless, I did the right thing and emailed the owner of the hotel right away and sorted out an immediate wire transfer.
Show me a sign. And this is what I got.