I am in love with her writing, and resisted the urge to dog-ear every page. Told in the briefest of snippets, sometimes numbered (up to 536), sometimes titled (“And Another Thing”). A 40-something mother of 2 (Mev and Paulie), dealing with her relationships current and past, a “new boyfriend” named Dix, a perma-friend named Hollis, her Deaf Lady Neighbor, the perpetually lost cat, eating jars of speed and not sleeping, working on a movie script about Bigfoot with Penny and Belinda in LA, always holed up in hotel rooms avoiding work, flying back to Louisiana, driving all night to small towns across the south. Dealing with the devastating crime that happened to Paulie in NYC (let a stranger in to use his bathroom, ended up taken prisoner, hung up and raped).
Snippets from the book:
I’m sitting alone in my vehicle, on the street before my place. It’s only just after dawn, yet here’s Hollis, strolling up, munching from a box of Cracker Jacks.
He stoops at my window and says to me, “uh oh, I hear Marianne Faithful.” He straightens, shakes his Cracker Jacks box empty, scrunches it, and lobs it into the side yard. The shirt Hollis is wearing has a pattern of skylarks, I believe they are, depicted on it.
He plants a hand on the car now and drums his fingers. He stoops again and says, “I’ve been reading an interesting book on John Wayne. You are what, here? Feeling neglected?”
“No,” I say, turning to look at him. “No. Nor do I feel hungry for apples, Hollis.” I say, “Those are two among the feelings I do not have.”
I was spurred further to autograph and personally inscribe all my books. My handwriting in them experiences a change or two and can seem manly or decorative or as if I were rushed.
The inscription in Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks reads: “Party girl. Bring back my VCR.”
All We Do Is Argue:
“I know what you’re thinking,” I say to myself.
“OK,” I say, “What?”
“It’s that thing in your hand. You’re thinking that it goes someplace.”
“Then where does it go?” I ask.
“Well, not up there…,” I say as I’m climbing the stairs.
“So important to you to be right,” I say, climbing back down.
Across from us is the cashier’s counter. There, a girl in a black T-shirt stenciled with the words “Jezebel” is wagging her head at a woman in a muumuu who’s sadly, slowly, reluctantly writing a check.
Now, with this couple here in the gold Ford Taurus I sense strain. Her chin’s tipped up and she’s looking to see if he’s mad and if maybe she should say something, and he’s shaking his head, no, there’s nothing wrong, although his face is a sour mask of regret.
I pray, “God, hear my plea. May I please never have anything to do with anything like that ever and never participate in that type of thing again.
I’m wondering about it, and I’m in bed and preparing for sleep, telling myself it’s fine that a terrific baby stayed here before me and there is no reason to believe the stay ended in tragedy just because the baby left behind its shoe. There. On to the next thing. I’m wondering, when do you ever see the truly attractive Christian men? I want to ride to church in a black van full of French-ski-champ-looking Christans. That, to me, would be the way to go.
“Something tells me I need a nap,” I say.
“That would be your brain,” says Hollis.