Nothing, both ways

Bobo and I went upstate to Wild Cat Ranch (recently renamed but forever thus in my heart) in the Catskills this weekend. How was it? Fantastic. What did it look like?

Lush, verdant. This and many more fantastic photos from Bobo’s Blog.

We went to Woodstock one day. We mostly just hung out on her porch, taking breaks to eat and sleep. Bobo cooked a lot, which was really fucking awesome. Her mom made a strawberry rhubarb pie, which I had never had before and which I liked a lot and would like to have more of.

The mountains were so gorgeous I was literally struck dumb. You might have been able to divine this about me from reading the blog or knowing me in real life, I like to talk a lot. But for the better part of the weekend, without any real cell phone reception or internet connection, I was pretty quiet. I just stared at trees.

And I also stared at Bobo. She is so beautiful, taking photos (of me, in this picture, taking a photo of her with my shitty camera phone).


She is moving to Seattle this summer. And it breaks my heart. To the extent, I mean, that I have acknowledged her leaving, it breaks my heart. I'm kind of in denial.

I don’t know. I’d been really looking forward to the trip upstate. And it definitely lived up to my expectations (I slept! Real sleep! Two whole nights in a row!). I had a really great time. When we came back, Bobo gave me a nice new summer haircut. Which did make me feel very refreshed.

It's too hot for hair, really.

But then I made the mistake of catching up on my internet. Maybe it's not a mistake. Just checking in with all the myriad places I keep myself plugged into. And it really bummed me out! I wish I could elaborate. I wish I didn’t have to. I just got myself stressed out. I feel like “everyone” is moving. Pretty much. Maybe not everyone actually, but a lot of my friends are moving or moving on or something, this summer. Going to school or abroad or to live out some kind of fantasy. Everyone's coming back, I mean. Eventually. Both of my parents are retiring this summer. It feels like, for a lot of people I know, they have some idea of what their Next Step should be. Something that sounds fun to them, and they’re doing it. And I do not exactly feel that way. I don’t know if I feel left out or what.

I think about this clip of video so often. I think it's really remarkable that this was on TV. I don't think Britney was on drugs or even drunk here. I do think she felt like she was missing out and I do think she believes that time travel is real. And I guess I believe that too, but maybe in a different way. Gawd.

Something is definitely up. I don't want to be such a drama queen, but nothing really sounds like the next logical step, for me. Nothing sounds fun. I mean "Nothing" both ways, too. I mean that nothing ("nothingness") actually does sound like fun, like as a thing to do. And I also mean that nothing (nothing in particular) sounds particularly appealing.

I’m trying to function mostly as a Noticer, these days. A participator. And a planner. Next month I go on Real Vacation, to Berlin. Which could change everything.

Oh fuck, that was the real point of writing a blog post. To share the pictures of Upstate and to talk about Berlin.

Tomorrow (6/1) is La JohnJoseph’s Birthday! HOW FUCKING FANTASTIC!

To know an Icon. To know an Icon is also a beautiful human soul. It's a trip, you guys.

I don't know what kind of tribute I could possibly do here, on my blog, for him. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love La JohnJoseph. I wish so bad that I could be there with him in Berlin celebrating with all his friends, but I am so excited that I will get to see him in two weeks to give him a birthday spanking. He is a constant source of joy in my life and I am so fucking thankful for and continually inspired by him. He's a beam of light in my life. I've shared some of the best moments ever with him, and he has proven himself to be a true friend. I wish I was him, so that I could hang out with him all the time. So much love. Happy Birthday, lover. I will see you soon!

I've been so obsessed with this juice lately, you guys.

I think I mentioned that the new Planningtorock album W is out. ("Double-You," get it?). It's obviously all I have been listening to for the last five days since it came out. It is definitely my new favorite record and I think everyone should check it out. I downloaded it for like $8 on iTunes and you get 12 songs plus a remix.

I have what I feel like is a really unique and personal connection to Planningtorock's music. Probably everybody does. That is I think part of the genius of her work, maybe. I think her lyrics are probably really personal, but they're also couched in a sort of universal slang. I mean, I guess you'd have to speak English to get the lyrics. So much of her work, I think, seems to be about communicating, understanding, expressing. Relaying something. How to talk about how to talk. And in your headphones it feels like a coded message. Or, not that. Something which you can understand, but would be hard to describe to someone else. So they'd have to listen to it too.

I don't remember how or why I heard of her first album, Have it All, but I downloaded it in late 2006. I think because I knew she had some connection to Chicks on Speed? I downloaded the whole album of it except for one song, "I Wanna Bite Ya". I don't know how it escaped my attention. Anyway, the other nine songs are also excellent, and I remember my first real winter in NYC after college was very harsh, and I had a really shitty winter coat, and I would take my lunch break at Pratt (where I was temping), and walk around Brooklyn in really cold weather just totally blissing out to Have it All. It felt like it was the sound of someone making up their mind, changing their mind, noticing it, and celebrating it. It was insane, to me. Just after this time I went home with this guy, and he put on the Planningtorock album and I knew I was smitten. And then this song came on. I knew it must be Planningtorock, but I had never heard it before, it's called "I Wanna Bite Ya."

So I sort of associated it with sex, magick, fate, romance. It became my favorite song of all time and I had it play at the end of this performance piece I made call Lover, Ferocious because the piece was sort of about someone wanting to eat somebody else. But not in the way Janine sings about.

Anyway so I waited five years and there's a new Planningtorock record and it is so good, you guys. I could get into it all right now but I will probably be talking about this for a while. If anyone wants to talk about this record, you know where to find me. My favorite song on the album is probably "Jam" but that might change. My favorite moment on the whole record is in that song ("Jam") when she says "I'm passionate, how 'bout you?" and then these really deep distorted voices come into some kind of mutant harmony, and she leers "..ooh how 'bout you?" It's insane. It makes me want to change EVERYTHING.

There seems to be a sequel, at least emotionally, to "I Wanna Bite Ya" on this record. It's called "The Breaks" and it's the second single. I wasn't so thrilled about it the first time I heard it, but the second time I heard it (right after I heard it for the first time) I was floored. I don't know what happened! It's really smart, heavy, sad, beautiful, and sweet. And there's a really beautiful video for it.

THE BREAKS from planningtorock on Vimeo.



So obviously I write this blog and also have a Tumblr. I'm a total late-adopter to Tumblr and am pretty bad at it. I feel like a voyeur, mostly. I watch a lot. I don't know how I heard of this person, but some months ago I started following the Tumblr page CalloutQueen who is aka the Chicago-based artist Mark Aguhar.

Femme Realness Queen

I am a total fanboy for his work. He makes sculptures and drawings and takes photos and makes performances. And he utilizes the internet in a really interesting way. I think maybe the idea of "Internet Art" is possibly difficult or something, but I think something approaching that might work here, too.


Here is his Artist's Statement: "Mark Aguhar’s work is a continuous exploration of queer expression and what it means to have grown up gay on the internet. Aguhar collects visual artifacts from queer online communities and uses them in his work to define and redefine who he is and what his body is. Aguhar works primarily in drawing, making bluntly gay works that combine porn, fashion, textile patterns, optical effects, trans identities, and queer jokes. He does not intend to make teaching work, or art to represent the entirety of the LGBTIQA community, he just wants to express his own realness."

One of the things that I find really exciting about his work is that it makes me self-conscious, in a way. It makes me aware of my viewership. His work makes me feel like I am paying attention. I don't want to try to presume an intent or anything, so I will just talk about my total adoration.

I read his Tumblr every day. A lot of times, I feel really overwhelmed by the internet. There's a certain tone that's achieved-- maybe it's just the people who I follow, maybe it's a cultural thing among queer people or something-- sometimes we get kind of weird. I don't know a nice way to describe it. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing a lot of complaining. I'm not exempting myself at all here, I'm just saying that there's a difference between complaint and criticality. Criticality is one of his often-used words.

My point here is that out in the noise of the internet, when I read his writing I feel like he cuts through it. He's found a way to speak and also speak about speaking, somehow. It's like he's talking through a megaphone or something. His slogans, slurs, and calls to arms make me feel like this is the real benefit of our technological culture, that eventually people will be genius enough to be able to utilize the emerging systems of information to find and explore new ways of communicating.

It makes me think that Chicago must be a really cool place. And it makes me wish I knew more artists like him. I keep returning to his writing, because every time I see it I nod. Yep. Yes. Yeah. I'd even hazard a Right-on.


The way he talks about power and identity is really inspiring to me. I've often seen him talk about self-care, and I think he makes a really interesting point. The world and culture we live in absolutely privileges certain identities, and if you are not of those identities (and don't directly participate in maintaining these systems of privilege and oppression) then you are continually punished. So to privilege identities which are not the mass-cultural norm is a radical act.

But that's not the same as saying, for example, that loving yourself is radical and thinking you're awesome is political. There's, again, a difference. And the difference is one of consciousness, I think. CalloutQueen is able to reveal the "radical possibilities of pleasure, babe" (this is a maybe unfair quote to use here). What he's doing is showing how to do this radical self-care the right way, and explicitly asking about who gets to and who has to do it. I don't know if I can adequately convey how cool and brilliant I think this is.

Girl Gangs and Role-Playing Games

His indictment of masculinity and maleness is also really exciting and inspiring to me. For a long time I had this kind of sticky idea that men can't be feminists, because that would mean us necessarily co-opting feminism somehow, some aspect of female identity. And that to do so would be a function of male privilege. Like, I thought that if men could identify as feminists, then pretty soon you would be able to go to some fucking University or something and head Professor of the Feminist Studies Department would be some shriveled old white Freud-looking male feminist.

But Mark's work makes me feel differently. He is pretty explicit and open about man-hate. You know what? So am I. I think it's okay to have this discussion, and I think it's definitely okay for this discussion to include socially-deemed "male" persons. I think there's real power in explicit language, and in making clear the (radical?) notion that male privilege is entirely a social construct. It doesn't have to be this way. It's a kind of optimism, in a way, and I really like it a lot.

Little Girl Type

still from performance Realness
My work is about visibility. My work is about the fact that I’m a genderqueer person of color fat femme fag feminist and I don’t really know what to do with that identity in this world.

It’s that thing where you grew up learning to hate every aspect of yourself and unlearning all that misery is really hard to do.

It’s that thing where you kind of regret everything you’ve ever done because it’s so complicit with white hegemony.

It’s that thing where you realize that your own attempts at passive aggressive manipulation and power don’t stand a chance against the structural forms of DOMINATION against your body.

It’s that thing where the only way to cope with the reality of your situation is to pretend it doesn’t exist; because flippancy is a privilege you don’t own but you’re going to pretend you do anyway.
Yes. Gosh, I wish I could have seen this performance!

Anyway. I think everyone should follow him: CALLOUT QUEEN.


Friday night PLD and I got gussied-up (medium-guss, mid-month guss) and went to go see dear heart Cole Escola's solo show at Joe's Pub. Directed by everyone's favorite good-vibe guru and show queen lion tamer Ben Rimalower. Such a treat! We got to sit with thee inimitable Erin Markey and AndrewAndrew, it felt very glamorous. Cole's show was fucking FANTASTIC. He did a bit more conversation between songs, which I personally thought was genius. He's a powerhouse diva in a teenager's nubile body. He's excellent. If you live in NYC, go see his show this Friday night.

Afterward feeling a little overwhelmed, PLD and I sneaked down to a benefit party for the Feminist Press, DJaned by the adorably Satanic WHOAMONE RISING kids, Savannah and Nath-Ann. The Feminist Press just put out the newest Karen Finley book, which kind of changed my life, and they are also publishing Mx. Justin Vivian Bond's memoir, TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels which you can pre-order here. Totally cute jacket quote by Miss Yoko Ono, too.

The world is so connected to itself, and to each other. I guess.

Saturday I was excited and nervous all day for the SCORCHER zine release party, which was at Blackout. DJ PuR Moods and DJ Laura Dern performed, and the hilarious Caroline Contillo wowed the crowd. And I think everybody had a good time. I know I did. I didn't read from the zine or anything. Blackout Bar is really fun, but I just wasn't feeling like I needed to do a reading this time. Go figure. The night was epick and really just so much fucking fun. So thankful for everyone who came out to it. I was really nervous leading up to the event. I didn't go crazy promoting it this time, because I sort of figured that nobody would want to come, that no one would want to read the zine, that no one had any interest. So it was nice to be proven at least a little bit wrong.

And also, the new zine is out! You can buy a copy at BIRDSONG MICROPRESS.

The new issue is titled WHITECHOCOLATESPACEEGG. Obviously after the Liz Phair album, but also named for the response to the Liz Phair album. The title, she said, came to her in a dream. In an interview in Spin in 2005, Courtney Love once said, reacting to the underwhelming response to her own America's Sweetheart, "It’s not exactly whitechocolatespaceegg, fuckers." which is hilarious. The new issue is probably the most fictitious issue yet (but it's still all true). In the past, every issue has had kind of a theme or M.O. The first couple issues, compiled as Je M'Aime, was about developing and experimenting with a new style, a new voice. The next issue, Be Billy, was about identity (the fiction of it). I made a voice and then I killed it. Yay! The last issue, I love you, you little crocodile was about romance, essentially. being sweet.

The new issue is about contending with expectations. Yours and also other peoples'. So therefore it's in keeping with everything I write about which is to say FANTASY. It's a lot about journalism, maybe. There's a response to that one awful article about me in it, so check it out if you want to know what really happened.

Sunday basically I slept. Too much, actually. Then last night PLD and I played a show as B0DYH1GH and then I didn't get enough sleep at all! I will never be able to make this balance work. I feel like I am really wearing myself down.

Good thing I am going upstate with Bobo and Meli Darko this weekend to visit WILDCAT RANCH for what will be the last time in a while, I guess, since Bobo is moving to the West Coast in the Summer.

Everyone is moving. Except me. I'm moving but only on the inside, I think.

All I have to do is get through this week and then go to this rad dance party on Friday night and then go be part of this glamorous photo shoot on Saturday morning and then pack and get in the car. And then relax.

I think it's a lot easier to be nice to other people when you feel good about yourself. And it's a lot easier to feel good about yourself when people are nice to you. This is why we have books and records and movies and plays and paintings and dances and yoga. This is why the bourgeois have such beautifully ornate methods of self-distraction. I'm really into calling things bourgeois, in case you haven't noticed. As a way of addressing and neutralizing some of the guilt I have about being a white American male. I dunno.

I want to end (I am super loopy) by saying how happy I am that today the new record, W, by PLANNINGTOROCK is out. You can buy it HERE.

Planningtorock is definitely my favorite artist in the world right now and a big reason why I am so excited to go to (know about) Berlin next month. And also just excited to even have a language with which to address or process my feelings. Everything is everything. I love this lady and her art makes me feel really happy and present and alive. Highly recommended.



Um, this Portland band FINESSE? It's Avalon Kalin, the original drummer for Glass Candy ('member when they had a Shattered Theatre and she wore earmuffs onstage? Such a cute Luke) and, of course, the amazing SUSAN PLOETZ aka PASH(ly). I think they're just fantastic. Here's their video for their new single ELEVATE:

Finesse - Elevate from Experimental 1/2 Hour on Vimeo.

I love this video so much. Susan is absolutely 100% killing it.
Actually, wait. Can we stop saying "KILLING IT"? I've heard this a lot lately, from a lot of people I love and respect. Including me, myself. I've been saying it a lot. And just typing it right now, I feel like: do I really want to be conflating "killing" with "being cool"? Nope. I am hereby calling for us to stop saying "killing it". I'm going to stop saying it, anyway. Whatever.

So whatever, Susan is totally BEING REALLY COOL AND AMAZING in this video. Sort of Life-affirming, too. Giving me some serious Scandinavian Witch vs. Deee-Lite Lower East Side 1990s vs. Citizens from the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz vs. Sylvester effects. So inspiring. I watch it every day when I get dressed. Seriously.

My friend Ben directed this fantastic show called PROJECT: LOHAN at La Mama. It was fantastic. Really. I loved it a lot. The show is comprised entirely of real interview quotes, and tabloid headlines. So it’s pretty factual. I was really deeply affected by it. The fucked up thing about Lindsay Lohan is that she’s aware that she’s a train wreck. You know? Maybe not e3ven a train wreck. But she’s really self-conscious. Probably because she grew up in the spotlight. She is aware of the eyes trained on her. She knows what the expectations of her are, and she knows when she is meeting these expectations. She knows we think she’s full of shit.

And I think that’s really sad and beautiful. I don’t know. I don’t mean, in any way, to compare myself to Lindsay Lohan. I’m a lot taller than she is. But I do have the same sense of, like, it being an okay thing to complain about: what people think about you. That complaint (what people think about you) makes you a narcissist. It makes you even less likable. It’s totally crazy. As even casual readers of the blog will note: I’m a huge fucking baby. A big baby with an ostensible project or goal in life. Lindsay often says that she is “just trying to act” and of course has not been thought of much as an actress. I, also, myself, think of myself as an artist. A performer and writer. But am, like Linsday, known mostly for not living up to these expectations.

I really like this idea of a personality or identity being up for grabs. Like, someone who is aware that you are laughing at her and can respond to it. It’s not that she doesn’t care—she totally cares. That’s why we hate her. Because she’s listening. Lindsay reveals the callousness of the public. And it’s complicated, too. She is a party girl. She does mean shit. She’s fucked up sometimes. She knowingly and willingly breaks the law. We’re repulsed and fascinated by her. These are things I would think of myself as striving towards. But I would refer to these phenomena as “audience engagement”.

Maybe what I am saying is that I want to be like Lindsay Lohan on a much smaller scale. I feel too old or something. I’m just really fascinated by this idea of someone who is a beautiful fuck-up. Who is gorgeously unlovable, and knows it. What do you do with that?

I did this reading last night with some amazing people: Gerry Visco (she organized it), Gio Black Peter, Slava Mogutin, Joseph Keckler, Jennifer Blowdryer, Michael Weiner, and Dale Peck. Everyone really blew me away. It was at the Munch Gallery. Just so much fun. And Miss Gerry had the event sponsored by Perrier. Which was so classy. I felt like I was in France or something. Monaco. Anyway it was a great time.

I read from this new piece I'm sort of working on, ENCOURAGER. But of course, wouldn't you know, I fucked it up. I printed the wrong version of the piece I wanted to read from. And I left some stuff out. So I am reproducing it here. It's from someone (Billy Cheer) calling the complaint department.

This big time book publisher wants to talk to me but not about my writing which is fantastic but about my ass. My capacity for taking it. He wants me to know that he used to be a bottom but now he’s a top and he wants to ask me how I like it? Do I want it to hurt? Do I want him to stop? How does it feel, with him inside of me? I’m thinking I don’t even need to be here. It’s like a puppet show. The loop is closed he wants to do the questions and the answers. Doesn’t wanna see my manuscript but wants to see something else.

He wants what any Publisher or Gallerist or Journalist or Poet wants. He wants revenge.

It’s like the television gets angry. The TV’s mad because all they ever want to watch on it is Westerns. Shoot em ups. The TV’s so tired of depicting violence, masculinity, some fake Western fantasy. None of this ever happened but the TV shows you pictures of it and then you train your guns on the TV. To shoot the enemy through the screen. Just unplug me. I have a headache. How do you say “TV” in French?

I kind of had to make up what I thought I left out. i didn't get it exactly right but I liked the way I got it. but I also like the way I meant to get it. So I guess you could say I like two things equally, they are:
- What's I get (the reality)
- What I want (the fantasy).

Maybe it's the same thing.
Writing horoscopes before bed, while 5HTP kicks in.


Like on Super Nintendo

In early 2008, actually right around this time, mid-May (graduation season), I stopped sleeping. At first it was just that I woke up throughout the night, at the slightest noise. Then I'd wake up at noises in my dreams. Then I sort of just stopped sleeping altogether. I kind of lightly napped. I was aware that I was exhausted and was lying in bed with my eyes closed, but also acutely aware of time passing and the fact that I wasn't asleep. Overall it was about ten days. I am sure I got quick snatches, little 30 to 40 minutes at a time. But for all intents and purposes I was a zombie and was done.

I reached out to my network of feminist lesbian witches (like you do) for a solution. I made an appointment with an acupuncturist. An extremely sweet and very woo-woo white hippie lady who lived on the edge of Chinatown. She was totally effective and definitely altered the course of my life, etc. I won't get into it, but part of my therapeutic regimen involved moxibustion and using a Tiger Warmer on certain parts of the soles of my feet every night before bed. It worked.

What I think was so insane was that we had an intake session beforehand where she'd ask me really strange questions ("Can you describe your burps?") and took notes about different parts of my body, past illnesses, and then finally the reason I was there to see her: insomnia. I told her I was very anxious, and woke up often in the night. She nodded slowly and made a very sympathetic face, and said "So, you are being visited by panic, in the night?"

This woman totally got me.
What sense of enormous relief. On my way home from my first appointment with her, I called my boyfriend at the time, whom I'd been sort of fighting and breaking up with.

Scott: How was it?
Billy: Oh, my god, Scott. It was amazing!
Scott: Are you sleepy?
Billy: I'm not exactly sleepy, per se. But I feel like something... shifted, or something. I feel like realigned.
Scott: Hmm.
Billy: You should totally go.
Scott: Did she tell you that? Was the acupuncturist, like, 'You shouldn't be with someone who doesn't believe in acupuncture?'

It was a dumb, snide joke, but I remember realizing at the time that that was totally true. I could never love someone who didn't believe in acupuncture.

Anyway I've been pretty much unable to sleep this weekend. Except Friday night, somehow. It's awful and I feel pretty miserable about it. BUT I am home in bed now, and my Thai food just came, and I am going to watch cartoons and take a big bright blue sleeping pill and I am going to e-mail my acupuncturist in the morning and give this whole thing a hard reset.


Days End Days

Today I sent out a big mass e-mail with information about the Scorcher zine release party as well as some other things, and felt really accomplished. If you want to get this e-mail then write me. But if you are reading this you probably don't need to get it? I'll talk about all the upcoming events here too, I guess.

Anyway I was really proud of finally getting it together and sending it out (it took like two seconds, I'm a total baby), and immediately remembered what I forgot to tell everyone about, which is this awesome interview I did with with Bridget Everett for EastVillageBoys. It's been a little while in the making, and I think it came out really well. Bridget is, for those of you who don't know, the best thing ever. She's a really fantastic performer, and a hilarious and awesome person in general. I'm really happy with this interview. You should go read it.

Feeling just generally forgetful the last two days. Hmm. Definitely the type of feeling where I would blame my ditziness on Mercury Retrograde. Would that it were! Anyway, I've been out of it and I feel myself getting back into it. I'm sitting in my kitchen, cooking noodles with broccoli and peanut sauce for dinner.

Listening to one of my favorite records of all time, Gal Costa's live LP:

Burning some new Lotus incense I got:

This weekend was really great but sort of exhausting. It was the big Comme des Garçons sale uptown. I got a t-shirt from the GOLDEN BOY 2005 collection. I feel sort of conflicted about how tacky it is, but I like tacky things. I mean, I think that's the point?

My summer 2011 look is American Eurotrash, so I think this goes along pretty well with it. I dunno.
(I'm happy to unpack that aesthetic for anyone who's interested/anyone who needs things unpacked for them). I don't ever wonder if I should go back to school, graduate school. Nope. Not once.

I was in a really shitty mood today, for like no reason. I went to the gym and it helped a lot. I also had an idea for something to write. Not as much something to write about but a thing to say. I dunno. Just noticing. Such a relief. I am working on this new stuff from the ENCOURAGER project. to debut at this reading next Sunday night, May 15th at MUNCH GALLERY in NYC. We'll see if it comes together or not. The event is called Munch It! and features Readings by (alpha order): JENNIFER BLOWDRYER, JOSEPH KECKLER, SLAVA MOGUTIN, DALE PECK, MAX STEELE, GERRY VISCO, MICHAEL WIENER. It's in conjunction with the exhibition "I Check You" a two-woman show by Finnish painter Rauha Mäkilä and the inimitable Gerry Visco. It's a stellar line-up and I can't wait to do it. More info about the event HERE. Here's a recent photo of Gerry and I:

So, there're some exciting things happening. The big reason I sent out the mass e-mail was for the SCORCHER #6 RELEASE PARTY. Just saying.

Yesterday I went to the dentist and got a filling replaced. This time, for real, I think I'm done with my dental work for the time being. It was pretty painless, and I'm glad I had it done. I felt kind of out of it when I got home, and decided not to tend to my huge list of chores. Instead I went to Jess Paps' house and I hung out with her cat and she gave me a haircut. Her downstairs neighbor is my old college friend Stephanie, who I hadn't seen in years. So it was really nice. Steph kept telling me she had this huge pile of photos of us in school and asked if I wanted to see them. I sort of do want to, and I sort of never want to. Does that make any sense? Is it possible to be incredibly vain and ashamed at the same time? Maybe that's the whole trip with that.

I feel like an astronaut sometimes, you know? Of feelings.
Mine and also other peoples'.
He told me that this guy, Cookie, hated me. That Cookie casually mentioned that he hated me. I thought it was fucked up, and a little bit random, that he told me this. I thought Cookie and I were cool! It really ruined my night, the night he told me. And it made me not want to get in touch with Cookie in the intervening months.

(But I totally thought about it. About just NEUTRALIZING the SITUATION with the following fantasy e-mail:
"Dear Cookie,
I heard that you hate me or something. It really bummed me out, because I think you're really rad. I hope I haven't done anything to offend you. If I have, please know that it was unintentional, and let me know if there's something I did to upset you. If you want me to leave you alone or whatever, I respect that, too, but I want you to know that I have no ill will towards you.
Yrs Truly,

I totally didn't send that e-mail. Instead I let the "knowledge" that my friend Cookie hates me be totally "true" and I got really bummed out about it for a long time. At least a couple of months.

Anyway over the weekend I ran into both Cookie and the person who told me Cookie hated me. Cookie doesn't. Cookie was actually really sweet and told me he missed me and asked where I'd been, and invited me to take the aerobics class he teaches. So the person who told me Cookie hated me was lying, to get me on his side. Or whatever.

And this should be proof that maybe everyone I think hates me doesn't actually hate me. Right? This should clear things up. This should make it a little bit easier to focus on something else. It ought to.

The world is such a big and beautiful place. It is literally: unknowable. Literally a mystery.
The inside of my head is, by contrast, really fucking small.

I wish we all had better compasses.



In the dream last night I was hanging out at a video game store near Astor Place. I don't know why. I think I was friends with the guys what worked there. Or, they weren't my friends, they were friends of friends. They were nerds, and they didn't like me at all.

They were doing this weird thing that boys do, which is be really insecure and overly masculine about themselves. They were like jock nerds. Nerds who were snobby about video game technology. In the dream I kind of milled around the store, watching them play video games with each other. They were teasing me. It got boring and it hurt my feelings so I decided to go start my show.

I did a show outside the video game store, on the sidewalk. The show involved me telling a monologue (I don't remember what it was about) while I had my purse, a big brown leather number, open. I had it sitting on some kind of pedestal. It was there to collect tips. In the way that a musician would leave his guitar case open or something, I had this big leather purse open on a pedestal. People walked by, heard my speech, and threw money in.

I'm a really good performer so I made a lot of money in my dream. Sometimes people would try to take a couple of bills out of my purse, but I'd give them a sort of scold-y look and cock my head and they'd feel appropriately shamed and wouldn't steal. They'd even give me money for catching them. I think I had something like a wand. A wand for a magician or a conductor. I don't remember what the speech was about but I think it had to do with Tipping and Goodwill.

A well-dressed business lady walked by, felt around in my purse, and left me a crumpled $22 bill. Wow! I thought, I've never even seen one of those before! I'm making so much money! She seemed to really get what my performance was about, and she communicated this through her support.

Then this guy with a ponytail walked by. First he reached in and he took out my phone. I reached over to him to get it back, but he was smiling in the sinister way that older kids at school do. For them, it really is just a game. I got scared. He wouldn't let go of my phone, and he was stronger than me. Then he really easily just grabbed my purse, with all the money and looped it over his shoulder. It looked like a backpack on him. He slowly turned around and walked away. I guess, I mean, I could've tackled him. But in the dream I didn't. I was in shock, and then I was terrified. Fuck.

I went back inside the video game store and started explaining what happened to some stupid nerd employee who was fighting a grin. He thought it was hilarious. It occurred to me in the dream that the nerd video game store employees knew the guy who took my shit. Or were cut from the same cloth. I started totally freaking out at this guy. I was explaining how there was a $22 tip, and my phone, and my wallet and -- oh no! -- my housekeys in this big brown purse. I started wondering how and why I had such a big purse. And the nerd video game store employee was getting bored listening to my dumb tale. I began to realize that it was only a dream, and he looked at me like "Duh".



A: Do you know him?
B: No.
A: He sucks.


A: He sucks.
B: No.
A: Do you know him?