Dear friends, So i guess i'm not following anyone. i will, though. i'm just lazy.
Storyscape gave me a free t-shirt. i am just as excited by this as i would be if they published my story. You know, if i can be upset by small things, i might as well be happy with small things too. Yesterday there was a street fair on my street, and i got a cupcake with Oreos on it, and that was all i had for lunch. Next time i'll buy a mango. And go to the dentist. i know. But damn - cupcakes!
Tomorrow i'm getting my ear rinsed out again, but i am a coward and had to stop last time because i thought i was going to pass out on the table. You know that feeling you have when you give blood on an empty stomach. It was like that. Your body stops controlling itself and empties into a little reservoir with water running through it. Scary. But, i would like to be able to hear again.
i am really starting to become more apathetic and lethargic by the minute. Maybe i'll move to a house in New England and lock myself up, and only wear white dresses. That is actually not the worst plan i have ever had.
p.s. They're making a movie out of one of my favorite books, _We Need to Talk about Kevin_. i am excited for this and for Lars von Trier's last U.S.A. trilogy movie to come out. i'll probably watch it alone. (in! advisable!)a.b.
Friends, i guess i should send an e-mail or something. Once i figure out how to do links i can link to sweet youtube videos or crazy obscure articles or unbelievably amazing stories. Then i wouldn't do anything else, though. Ever.
You know what's really a great book? _Dear American Airlines_ by Jonathan Miles. Kind of stunning. You don't even have to read it in an airport.
Okay so when i ran away to Chicago that one time, it was scary as hell and maybe i'll tell you about it if you are really curious. But there was one point right before i had an interview at Northwestern (which didn't come to anything that year), when i was on campus and i went to this gelato shop, and i dont remember if i had gelato or coffee or whatever, but i think it was after my mom said she would help me move out of my parents' house and thereby basically save my life. Anyway i was readinhg a copy of "Love Story" by Eric Segal (i think that's his name) that i guess was just sitting there, and for a moment i felt elusively happy. Content. Memories are strange things. Plastic and stretchy. So much more permeable than dreams.
i was at my little sister's graduation party this weekend. My sister is one of the best people i know. She is just so sweet and GOOD. And pure. And patient. All kinds of good things. Only for her would i sit through far too many people taking my picture. There's a *really* unflattering pic on Facebook where i look like i'm about to pull her hair or something.
Anyways. Love you, Sarah! So proud of you. Come back and visit.
Also while i was at my parents' house i found (after some searching) the letter i wrote to DFW. "The sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing" is his phrase, not mine. It makes me think of walking through Antarctica or standing on the Golden Gate bridge or cleaning your room and taking stock of your life. What can we do to get that infinite thing back? L.M. Montgomery called it leaving fairyland and i know what she was talking about but i'm not sure how to describe it. When the boring things in life cancel out the wonderful things. When waking up is sad. You know what i mean.
i think everyone's going to get, like, a real letter from me soon. As in, pouring my stupid little heart out. Because evidently i am making my life as a writer UNTIL SOMEBODY HIRES ME TO DO SOMETHING ELSE.
And the hiring NEEDS to happen. i am not independently wealthy. i am reliable. i work hard. i have a sense of humor and a sense of decorum (believe it or not, i know there is a time and place where 'that's what she said' is inappropriate). i like people. If i'm lucky, they like me too. i have amazing people vouching for me.
My old boss was kind of an amazing man. (i mean - he still is an amazing man). He was at the museum where i worked long before i was and i think he'll be there as long as it makes him happy. More about him later. He's incredible. So were all my bosses there, actually.
And i'm seriously not kissing ass. i doubt any of them read this.
But the guy i'm talking about used to tell us that story where a man saves a starfish on the beach, and then someone comes by and says "what's the point of that, you can't make a difference for all the starfish" and the starfish-saver says "i can make a difference for that one." Aaaawww. So before our boss would send us off to play with the kids he said "Find your starfish!"
You know something else cool? i think starfish have, like, their jaws on the outside of their bodies and they devour their prey from the inside out. i don't know. Don't quote me on that one.
love, amy p.s. starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam ! that was going to be the title of my thesis before i realised it was a Prince song.
Dear friends, This is a letter i wrote to Dan Savage (of Savage Love in the Seattle Stranger) in 2005. i love this. i love that i addressed him as 'my dear mr. Savage'. it makes me smile.
My dear mr. Savage,
Forgive me if this letter is more plebeian than what you are used to, as it doesn't involve deviant sexual practices, bizarre behaviours or Bush-era moral precedents. Remember, as well, that I am an ardent fan and long admirer, and at my age and station, small dilemmas loom large.
I am in a place in my life that's riddled with constant anxiety - between jobs, between friends, between places to live. I'm a 23-year-old, terribly shy and not terribly attractive. (I kind of remind myself of Enid in Ghost World, actually.) Recently I picked up some temporary contract work through which I met a gentleman who's everything I'm not. He's cute, confident, exuberant but cynical when he needs to be, a nonstop flirt who always makes you feel flattered but never uncomfortable, and very kind to everyone. He's in a band, for heaven's sake. Of course I developed a huge crush on him. He was indifferent, although still not unkind. Almost all of our mutual acquaintances, whom I trust a great deal, have told me to cease and desist and that he's not right for me. Even though wisdom should have gained the upper hand, I kept looking at him with big baleful eyes and saying silly things and making myself miserable. He's since gone back to his home state, where he's pretty well established and in no need of new friends, leaving me just as miserable and more than a little confused. I think he's closing the chapter in his life that had me in it, and would just as gladly never hear from me again.
So the question "Is it foolish to think that we can ever be friends?" seems a little ridiculous. But since you have advice for all sorts of love - physical, emotional, unrequited, misguided and all the rest - what can you do when you can't stop thinking about someone who will never ever like you back? A good friend told me that proximity is 90% of infatuation, but I've proved that wrong enough times in my short life to know that I may have to resort to more drastic measures. I could look for a job to distract myself but, let's be honest - that sucks. Can I add the caveat "what can you do that doesn't suck..." to the above question? And, what the hell - can we still be friends, if I want to?
You can be mean to me, if you want. I don't expect to ever meet you and won't harbor any hard feelings.
i've actually been watching _Six Feet Under_ lately, not, as you may have guessed from the title, _The Wire_. both earthshaking shows which you should watch in their entirety, starting right this moment.
So i am struggling a lot lately with jealousy. And anger. And other things. Painful, yes. But a good chance to practice emotional regulation skills. Coping skills. Ninja skills. Computer hacking skills.
i know where i live and that i should probably be out doing some awesome free stuff...but really i don't want to do anything but sit here. My new life is terrifying. i hate it. i want the old life back.
It is next to impossible not to compare myself to other people. Seriously. We all do it. We ALL do it. You too. And it's the worst thing in the world for me, but so difficult to ignore.
And yes i am worried that i spend too much time writing when i really don't have that much talent, or trying to be with my friends when i really am not that good of a friend, or climbing up the ladder of awesomeness when it was probably never meant for me. i don't know. i am sad and scared and really really trying to get healthier but it's not working. i just want to love people. And pay rent. i can't help thinking that when awful things happen to me, i get what i deserve.
Of course, the REAL problem of justice, and the evidence that there is no justice in the world, is that millions of children who haven't done ANYTHING wrong are going to bed hungry, or get horrible diseases, and good hardworking people lose their jobs and get in accidents and people my age who have tried EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS I HAVE AND PROBABLY MUCH MORE are homeless and vulnerable and getting attacked. There's a pointless war and ridiculous starvation. Kids sleep under their beds because of gunshots or bombs going off or crazy abusive parents.
i don't know how i can compare my talent and situation to someone else's when the reality is that people surrounding me are in UNBELIEVABLE pain.
Still. As long as i do what i can to help, is it okay if i try to make it as a writer? i know i'm not half as good as lots of people who will never, ever get this opportunity. Maybe in time i can help turn things around for a great talent younger than me. i hope i hope.
Sometimes (often, lately) i just want to give up. Do you ever want to give up? Are you ever tired of trying and not seeing that many results? Even if you're not trying that hard because no matter how hard you try, it doesn't seem to affect anything?
Do you ever get jealous of people who are in love? Maybe people that you are in love with, that love someone else? Do you ever miss people so much you can't stand it?
Of course you do. Of course.
i'll keep you posted.
Until then, be as safe and well as you can. Take care of yourself more than seems reasonable.