Wednesday, November 18, 2015

bitches gotta read: carry on.

yoooooo, did you guys ever read eleanor and park!? i was late to that party, but when i finally got my grimy hands on a copy i read that shit in approximately thirty-seven minutes, ignoring my towering workload and my unmade bed and my idiot cat, book pressed to my nose from the first page to the last. as soon as i finished it, tears streaked through the frito dust on my cheeks, i was like WHO THE FUCK IS RAINBOW ROWELL then put on some outside pants and took the bus to women and children first and bought everything else she'd ever written then read every single one back to back in two days. I DIDN'T EVEN PEE. she's amazing, you guys. and now, after some mutual twitter stalking, we are friends. like for real. i have her phone number to prove it. i mean, i could totally text her n00ds if i wanted. anyway, my friend wrote another YA book and it just came out so let's read it for this month's drunk YA book club. then maybe you could tweet rainbow after and tell her how smart and pretty she is.

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in person. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and motherfuck that. you don't have to worry about carla's gluten allergy or that amy doesn't like gin. no cleaning the cat box or vacuuming the drapes or hiding the dirty laundry in the oven so your company doesn't realize what a huge slob you are. just you in your house glasses and gravy pants sobbing into your pinot grigio, the way john green intended. getting together with people you don't live next door to is hella stressful. plus, a bunch of old bitches sitting around talking about fictional teenage romance is lame. OR IS IT THO.
2 we are never going to discuss this, ever. i mean seriously. i'm going to derive pleasure from knowing that people i might possibly enjoy spending time with if i ever could bring myself to meet new people and i are falling asleep and drooling on the same book we'll probably never finish. maybe we'll talk about it on twitter or something. but even thinking about organizing that is a daunting task and i'm already exhausted. mariyam suggested making a facebook group, but is that dumb? the internet is so hard sometimes.
(shit i never made that fb group am i terrible?)

3 we are never going to shame each other about not reading the fucking book. this is the beauty of never having to meet or talk about it: i ain't gotta come up with "thoughtful questions" and you ain't gotta pretend to remember what happened at the end of chapter seven while a bunch of wine-drunk bitches you don't even like that much wait expectantly for your answer. i'll read them, but that's only in case i run into you at the 
farmer's market and you decide to pop quiz my ass.

(did you like "everything everything?" i fucking loved it. but don't ask me why.)

brief internet synopsis: simon snow is the worst chosen one who's ever been chosen. that's what his roommate, baz, says. and baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right. half the time, simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. his mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing simon's face. baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here--it's their last year at the watford school of magicks, and simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.


so i started reading this already but then i realized i need to finish broken monsters by lauren beukes (it's so good!) because i still like reading adult books too and my own adult book STILL IS NOT FINISHED and i have some other things to write and i still kind of want to figure out how those of us who want to can talk about these books online somehow (WHAT IS A CHATROOM) so fingers crossed that i get everything done before i have a complete emotional breakdown. jesus god, 80% of the essays i've written so far are straight trash. if my book just ends up being an annotated list of reasons why i couldn't write a real book you dudes have to promise to buy it anyway, deal? okay cool. see you around the water cooler.

UPDATE here is a virtual playground amy made for us that i have no idea how to operate but whatever see you there. (ps i am terrible at hyperlinks so if this doesn't work goodbye forever, i guess?)
drunk YA book club group!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

last night a man eating out of a garbage can called me ugly: a play in three acts.

act one: the protagonist. last night, at just past reasonable to be awake on a weeknight o'clock, i decided i needed an ice cold can of ginger ale. so i haven't been to a proper grocery store in, like, three years. scratch that: i went into the jewel on chicago avenue eight months ago to try to get a dvd from the redbox but was too fucking stupid and impatient to figure out how to use the damn thing so i ended up just kicking it and sulking off and not buying any food. (i didn't really want to watch horrible bosses 2 anyfuckingway.) and while i've pooped in a few, i haven't purchased groceries in an actual supermarket in three years. since i'd already had a handful of borderline-rotten spinach and the lesser bruised half of a banana for dinner (JESUS GOD I HATE BEING ALIVE) it seemed like a waste to try to order takeout and i had just missed the window of opportunity to sneak in a latenight instacart delivery so i found myself faced with an unenviable decision. DO I 1 find my goddamn shoes; put on a house bra, not to be confused with a work bra (utilitarian, reinforced with 18/8 steel) or a sex bra (flimsy, lacy, 100% ineffective); remember where i last saw my debit card; check the weather to see if i need a jacket because i haven't been outside all goddamn day; make sure my phone is charged so i can listen to music; have a 30 second internal debate over whether or not to haul the recycling down to the dumpster since i'm going out anyway; watch some love and hip hop, momentarily forgetting how goddamn badly i wanted some fucking ginger ale a minute ago; walk to the corner store; weep silently while lightly running my fingers over all of the delicious forbidden snackfoods i no longer eat; wonder if the dude behind the register can tell that the left underwire in this bra popped six weeks ago; spend three real minutes contemplating an overpriced brick of cheese; return home to realize this is not the fucking hoodie i keep my keys in; drink 1/4 of my soda before passing out on the toilet OR 2 TAKE AN ATIVAN AND GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP. alas, the heart wants what it wants. i began my search for two matching shoes.

act two: the antagonist. according to steve jobs the temperature was around fifty degrees and looking out into the alley my apartment surveys i didn't see any raindrops, so i decided to wear my robe to the store. it's not, like, a sex robe? but it's long and black and if you squint real hard it in the dark and i stand at an angle it kind of looks like a dress. plus it's comfortable and i'll take soft over stylish any day. i should also mention that i was wearing pajama jeans underneath because i'm glamorous. so i roll up to the corner bumping that new goldlink record in my headphones and immediately spot a gentleman across the street maxing what appeared to be a raccoon carcass mottled with human snot that he was enjoying directly from the garbage can. the light changed and as i started across the street i noticed that he was actively bleeding from an open wound on his forehead. seemingly unfazed by this recent injury, he locked eyes with me and motioned excitedly for me to remove my earbuds as i approached, taking a big bite of some other person's trash. i slowed down, praying to a nonexistent god to please hit me with a fucking bus before i made it all the way across the street. WHAT IN THE FUCK DID WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT.
"how do you do, m'lady? lovely evening for a stroll around the promenade, isn't it?" *tips blood-soaked cubs hat*
"well i do say so! pleased to make your acquaintance!" *curtsies while coquettishly raising tattered right hem of dressing gown*

but i welcome any opportunity to be helpful (no i don't) and i don't like being rude (yes i  do) so i obliged; maybe he needed me to buy him some advil or call him an ambulance. i could do that! "hey sir, do you need me to help you?" i asked with a sweetness that doesn't come naturally to me.
he appraised my stunning (pffft) rubenesque figure and said, after ten real seconds which is like a fucking eternity when standing in your stupid robe on a brightly-lit, busy-ass corner in rogers park, "i love an ugly woman with confidence."
LOL PARDON ME, HOMIE? i didn't even know how the fuck to feel! at first i was all "yay! confidence!" but then i was like "boo! ugly!" welp. how could a dude who probably definitely would be spending the rest of his evening wrestling chicken bones away from a rat fuck with my self-esteem in five seconds!? i hung my head in shame as he cackled evilly and took another bite of the used maxi pad he was eating.

so i have a pretty special relationship with the nightshift dude at sonny's. i mean, i don't think i'm on his christmas card list and the one time i ran into him at the neighborhood bar i was so awkward that he immediately just turned and walked away from me, but he's cool and he plays good music and he never appears to be visibly judging the frequency of my spicy nacho dorito purchases. "hey, cat food!" he said cheerfully, looking up from the 700 page novel he was reading at the tinkling of the little bell over the door. "we just got new skittles!" i waved sadly and tried to smile (he told me his name forever ago and i can't fucking remember it and that is the absolute worst, when you can't recall a person's name and you're too ashamed of your shitty memory to ask the first couple times you see him after he told you and now five literal years have passed and it would be fucking ridiculous to admit you've been mumbling "how ya doing, mfgrrarlmmbt?" in his general direction before racing with your blushing head down to the Dry Goods and Ramen aisle every time you need a can of 2am soup) and moped over to the back of the store. even the prospect of new skittles wasn't enough to lift my crushed spirits.

"am i ugly?" i whispered to ben, voice choked with tears, clearing some condensation from the freezer case to gaze despondently at my harrowed reflection. 
"of course not! you are gorgeous!" he replied reassuringly. "although that mustard-splattered housecoat is a bold choice for a woman your age." i glanced down in horror to find that my robe had begun to come unwrapped, the left side gone slack to reveal one jagged edged dinner plate-sized areola and a stretchmarked breast that may or may not have had toothpaste dried on it. 
"i am one magazine subscription away from an episode of hoarders!" i wailed inconsolably, taking out an entire shelf of fabuloso as i collapsed in a dramatic heap on the floor.
"there there," jerry soothed. "everything's gonna be okay, cat food. mint chocolate cookie is on sale two for $8!"

act three: the resolution. there was a dude at the counter with a thick roll of dollar bills buying lottery tickets (dollar straight, dollar box) and i spent the hour and a half it took him to play the birthdays and anniversaries of everyone he'd ever met to think of all the cutting and hilarious shit i was going to say to oscar the grouch when i finally got outside. "i may be ugly but i sure do have a wonderful personality!" or "i know you are but what am i?" OOH, YA BURNT. when i finally got to the register terry or michael or roger (fuck i am a terrible person, shit) looked at me with concern and said, "dang, you seem so down tonight! wanna talk about it?"
"yes i do because i just went off lexapro and i can't afford a therapist," i said in my mind while my mouth said, "oh i'm okay, it's just that guy eating cigarette butts off the curb just called me ugly."
he laughed. "don't pay that fool any mind! every night he calls me 'big charlie'" i leaned in, breath caught in my chest, exhilarated as it dawned on me that i was finally gonna get my chance to learn homeboy's name without having to admit to him what a thoughtless asshole i am, "and i keep telling him my name is--"
the bell over the door chimed and i was so startled that i missed what the fuck he said. danny? donny!? WHY IS EVERYTHING THE WORST. crestfallen, i handed him some cash and took my bag of loose assorted ginger ales. "chin(s) up, cat food! tomorrow we're getting those jalapeƱo cheetos!"

ol' boy was sitting at the bus stop with his shoes off, reading a newspaper upside down while shouting at cars speeding down sheridan road. he smiled at me and i flipped him off the meanest way i could (lots of scowling), and i'm pretty sure he said FUCK YOU BITCH but i wouldn't know because i had my music turned all the way up which is really what i should've done in the first goddamned place. i'm no humanitarian. people, in general, are terrible. when i got home i drank my ginger ale in the shower in the dark and decided that, if i can find it, today i'm going to recycle his apartment.