First of all, if anyone sees me in the next few days, which is TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE BECAUSE I LIVE ON AN ISLAND CALLED NORTH CAROLINA, and I have bruises under my eyes, this is not because of elongated S/M play or domestic abuse or sloppy mascara rending, but because I have just fucking RUN INTO A DOOR. I have a bruise on my nose and my forehead. Luckily this made me feel dramatic, after I was done being on the floor sobbing in a showy way because I wanted Genet to crawl all over me in concern like I assumed canine companions were supposed to do, but Genet is a lot like his namesake with Janey Smith in Acker's Blood and Guts in High School, cruel and always putting me in the abject position. So I went and put half of my jewelry on and my new, large and floppy, extremely showy black and white striped summer hat. And am sitting outside, typing this. Also in skinny capri jeans with zippers on the side and black-heeled boots, despite the muggy heat, because I'm going now for a look, some wounded and cinematic heroine.
Running into a door though is very madcap postfeminist heroine, though isn't it, all Anthropologie dresses and clumsiness.
I am sitting outside now and have been reading Mary Gaitskill's story collection Bad Behavior and it is BLOWING MY MIND. It is everything that I wanted Lena Dunham's Girls to be, I know that's unfair, but it's true. How oozey and perceptive and gorgeous it is, her dingy worlds of fuck-ups trying to escape their stuckness through desperate contact with cruel yet never unfeeling people. I wonder if it's partially because Gaitskill was documenting a New York where it was possible to be broke and fucked-up and lost, where I'm not sure that city really allows for that possibility anymore, that you have to somehow be a mover and a shaker to exist there, and for me, movers and shakers are not the most interesting characters in fiction. Although (maybe I'll get in trouble here) I'm actually really taken by this sense that the descendants to Mary Gaitskill are Tao Lin, and also some of the writers he publishes, like Megan Boyle and Marie Calloway, because more than anything Gaitskill's stories are about people caught in absolute tedium, a desire to lay waste to the day, and chronicling how they fill up their days, through drugs or falling in love or fucking, and how empty it all is.
I received a few emails, from people I love, even though I'm not sure they know how special I think they are, with words of encouragement towards my current state, as I was more than a little I suppose self-pitying in my last post when I stated I did not consider myself a genius. NO I do not consider myself a genius - that is still my gut reply - but then I remember the end of Heroines is actually a tribute to all girl-writers, all writers who are unpublished, that they need to have a belief in their own genius, and how I end saying that I tell myself I am a fucking genius in the mirror, wearing absurd platform high heels and usually eating something. So I suppose I am a mess of contradictions. I guess I'm saying - I was saying - I'm glad I'm not a high-functioning thinker of original thought - as I think that would be exhausting. I'm more the type of person who slinks around and considers, who is low-functioning, always dreamy, who might never invent a new form or pioneer a new concept - that maybe I could be that person, but I would have to be a completely different person, one who was able to work all day on ideas, and to me there is a sort of purity to that, and I'm glad I'm impure, I really am, I'm only interested in notions of the impure, I watch and read junk, I toxify I detox, when I skim theory I usually FEEL it more than UNDERSTAND it, or I understand it through feeling it, when I have been in an institution of higher learning, always as a vagabond, I tended to babble in the classroom environment and make little sense at all, but there's this part of me, a huge part of me, that takes pride in it, that chooses to be an outlaw, that likes being a failure, that cultivates myself as a failure, who is now writing a BONKERS essay about Girls that is now not about Girls at all, and some part of me would like it to be rejected, so I can just publish it on my blog.
In short: you should read Mary Gaitskill's Bad Behavior. Mix in some Leo Bersani's The Freudian Body. Don't run into doors. Drink lots of iced tea in the heat.