A pair of lips and a cape sip a cup of tea in a Paris cafe and then they leave. Later, a very pretty diamond choker is forced to open a safe.
Re: “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk”
I don’t know what to say. I thought we were friends, more than friends, really. I even wrote you a letter a while back, and you answered it. Your letter contained a typo, I’ll admit, and now that I’ve read, “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk,” I’m beginning to think the typo had been deliberate. You’ve become quite a powerful manipulator with that bulging little brain you’ve got packed in there. You know you can effortlessly charm a chuckle out of even the most damaged and disillusioned among us. The chuckle feels like an innocent tickle at first, but it soon grows into some kind of manic hysterical rapture, and then comes the searing loyalty and the constant need to call and repeat your every line to friends and relatives at all hours of the night, just for the chance to relive them.
For years you’ve delighted and embarrassed a desperate generation of truth seekers with your cunning humor, your uncanny female impersonations and your slaughtering insight. And now, because you’ve left us starving for more of your affectionate wisdom, (Your last book was published in what? 2008! That’s two years of sitting and waiting!), we flocked to the bookstores en masse only to learn that your intention all along was to coax us into your little literary lair and then whip us mercilessly with your blood soaked pen. What the hell?
Talk about the pen being mightier than the sword. I honestly never believed it until now. I was more of a “sticks and stones” type girl, but now that I’ve been so deeply wounded, I see how much fun this must have been for you. Seeing us line up at your door like so many hungry little mice, while you anxiously sprung and licked your kitteny claws on the other side. Did you think we would just stand there and take it while you described, in excruciating detail, how that poor bear in a skirt had his teeth hammered out with a rock, or how families of maggots were living in his knees? Did you think we’d just keep on reading and continue paying tribute to your little emotional massacre after that poor baby lamb got his eyes plucked out?
Okay, fine! I read them all. But I couldn’t help myself.
The combination of your dead on description of an unscrupulous furry creature nonchalantly pulling a burr off her thigh and the lightness and accessibility of my new Kindle, coupled with the fact that I relish every single one of your brutal insinuations, (Yes we are a pack of selfish, complacent, deceptive, racist, animals!) made it impossible for me to turn away.
But I will never forget this betrayal, David Sedaris. I feel like a fool. And yet I’m willing to give you one more chance.
Therefore, can you please tell me when your next collection of short stories is coming out? I’d very much like to preorder it. That is if you’ll allow me to do so. In the meantime, I’ll just reread this one more time.
Recently someone close to me said when she turned 50 she suddenly realized she was comfortable with herself. She knew who she was, and she felt good about that. That’s very interesting, I thought. But what about me for crying out loud? Who am I? Certainly I am not someone who should be allowed to go around saying, “I’m fifty!” A person like that should be taller. She shouldn’t be eating cookies for breakfast, or singing her own made-up songs to her dog, and she should have at least learned how to sew. She should be able to put on a dress and lipstick and look more like a lady than a chimpanzee. At the very least, she shouldn’t pee in her pants every time her husband says something funny, and yet…
Maybe I’m on to something. Maybe fifty is the new five. Maybe it’s okay that I never pay attention to people when they’re talking or that all I care about is watching TV and eating cupcakes. And so what if my favorite color is still pink? All shades.
It’s quite possible that growing up is not for everyone and that it’s time for those of us who run for cover whenever we’re expected to act like adults to come forward and just admit we don’t understand what anyone is talking about half the time. I’m sure I’m not the only one who prefers her pajamas over all of her other clothing. And surely there’s someone else out there in my age bracket who wouldn’t mind a bath toy or two. And forgive me, but if eating Frosted Flakes is wrong, who in their right mind would want to be right? I just want to have fun and write books with spelling mistakes in them. Every year my daughter reminds me, “Hopefully this will be the year you’ll be able to read ‘A Catcher in the Rye’ without crying.” But that year never comes.
I have this vision of myself riding the subway alone, (I’m actually too scared to do that, but the vision keeps coming) casually pretending to be reading the Wall Street Journal when I feel someone staring at me from across the aisle. I turn my head and there’s Holden, carrying his unread books, wearing a very grown up flannel overcoat and a red hunting hat.
“Oh my God, no way! Holden?”
“Yes, it’s me,” he says.
“I can’t believe this!” I say.
“What? What can’t you believe?” he asks me, looking around.
“I can’t believe you found me. I’ve been looking for you everywhere, for my whole entire life. We need to talk. There’s something terribly wrong with me and I think it’s the same thing that was wrong with you.”
“You’re having a nervous breakdown and suffering from depression?”
“No, no, it’s nothing like that. I’m actually a little too happy. It’s just that I keep getting older but nothing inside me develops or changes. I still feel like a child. I think like a child and I have children of my own who have outgrown me. I think perhaps you’re the only character I’ve ever been able to relate to. And you’re a seventeen year old boy. I have a son your age. What I’m saying Holden is that there’s a possibility that there may very well have been a catcher in the rye. And he caught me. I can’t relate to anyone my own age, and I just keep getting older.”
“There was no catcher. I made all that up. If you go back and reread the book, you’ll see it was just a wish. It was something I wanted to be. You may, while reading that passage, also recall that I was out of my mind.”
“I never thought you were out of your mind. I thought…”
“What? You thought I was right? That’s pretty funny if you don’t mind me saying so.”
“At times, I admit, I did. I still do. So go ahead and laugh all you want.”
“Excuse me for being rude, Miss, I mean Ma’am, but I was just saying all that stuff because I was going through a very tough time in my life. I refused to accept the inevitable, and I didn’t want to do my homework.”
“But you saw through everything before it was too late. You knew!”
“Again, I was headed for a mental institution.”
“Tell me, Holden, what do you see when you look right through me? Tell me the truth. I want to know what I look like, inside. To you.”
“Why should that matter? Are you in love with me or something? Because that would really be something. You being in love with me.”
“I never said I was in love with you. I said I could relate to you, which troubles me at this point in my life. I should be over you. I should be over everything. And yet, I’m not. And I believe it’s because I was caught. I’m perpetually teetering on the verge of adolescence, despite my jowls. It’s a curse this never growing up thing. It’s also a little embarrassing at cocktail parties. I always think people can tell I’m faking. I don’t even like wine. And I despise conversation. Small talk embarrasses me and yet adults seem to really enjoy it. They have such a flair for reveling in the obvious.”
“You give adults too much credit. They don’t ‘revel’ in anything. They’re incapable of real emotion. They’re just a bunch of phonies.”
“Oh Holden, that’s just the kind of thing I always imagined you’d say. But the truth is I wish I were one of them by now. It’s time.”
“Well, here’s something. You asked me what I see when I look at you and I see a middle aged lady. I see someone I can’t trust.”
“Really? That’s awesome!”
“Is it? Is it really awesome?”
“Yes, it is! All this time you were holding me back, I felt some kind of strange loyalty. You did this to me. It wasn’t the catcher. It was you. You made me like this because I believed you. You made me afraid of what I’d become. You made me afraid to grow up. Even though you were just a kid. Just a messed up kid.”
“If by messed up you mean barely functioning for most of my life then you are correct. That is exactly what I was.”
“Just a messed up kid who couldn’t relate to anyone his own age,” I mumble.
“Exactly! And guess what else I was.”
“I don’t believe that, Holden. I believe you are only saying that to me now because you think I’m an adult and therefore you want to hurt my feelings by trying to make me think everything I believe is a lie.”
“Look Ma’am, I don’t know you from a hole in the wall. Therefore I have no interest in hurting your feelings. I’m telling you the truth. I made it all up. I don’t even like to talk about that book. It ruined my life.”
“What about your brother? Did he really write a story about a little kid who didn’t want anyone to look at his goldfish? If that’s not true than I’ll just get off this subway and never talk to you again.”
“That part was true.”
“Cross my heart.”
“Well, that’s good. I really liked that story. I mean I liked the idea of it. Mostly I liked that your brother wrote it and how much you loved it. My sister and I are the same way. We both love anything the other one makes. Take her Brussels sprouts for example. I love them.”
“I miss Phoebe when you say that.”
“I know you do and I’m sorry.”
“I miss her because she’s unencumbered. They didn’t get to her yet.”
“I know. And one day she’ll be fifty.”
“And then what?”
“And then this,” I say, pointing to myself. “She’ll be the same as she was that day you slipped into your own house in the middle of the night, and she was all spread out in that great big bed of hers. She’ll be a little girl trapped in a woman’s body. Because of you. Because she believed you.”
“I’ll always love her for that.”
“I know. And it’s terribly unfair.”
“I can’t help myself.”
“Neither can I.”
“So now what?”
“I think you can go.”
“Do you want to see me again?” Holden asks.
“Yes and no.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means I want to, but there’s no point. You’re a dead end.”
“Not if you believe that time is a continuum. Run away with me, Ma’am! We can live like this forever.”
“I’m already living like this forever! And I can’t run away with you. I have a wonderful husband, and two extremely interesting and intelligent children whom I love and adore. And I have a dog who needs to be walked. And I have more books to write. And I have a million and one errands!”
“Oh, brother. I guess that’s it then, for us.”
“For now anyway. I’ll probably see you again next year.”
I was just browsing comments that I hadn't seen on old posts and I think someone put some kind of Japanese porn on my site. I'm dying. I have to go fix this little problem immediately, but in case you were wondering, none of those girls are me.
I’m only blogging because I lost my twitter password during a computer malfunction and also because something that takes more than 140 characters to explain finally happened.
A friend of mine from middle school was over last night and we got a tad inebriated, as old middle schoolers are known to do from time to time. While she was checking her email, I decided to check mine and there was a letter from some nice person who somehow found my blog and wanted to know how she could get my books in Canada. So I told her to check amazon.com or iuniverse.com for “She’s Got Issues.” I don’t remember what else I wrote. I could have said, “I love you,” for all I know. So then the girl sends me another email saying she has a bookstore called Chapters and how much would it cost for her to buy my books directly from me. So I read the email a few times not quite getting it and then I read it to my middle school friend who is a big time business person, but like I said she wasn’t operating with a full deck cause of the inebriation I spoke of earlier.
So my friend decides to google Charters or Chapters, or whatever, and it says it’s the largest bookstore chain in the universe. So we start thinking, and we get the idea that somehow this person wants to buy my books directly from me for her largest chain of bookstores in the entire universe. But at the same time I’m thinking that the email is a set up to see if I would break the law and sell my books on my own instead of through my publisher. That’s how not normal I am. I really thought that. So she starts looking at my contract to see if I’m allowed to sell my books, even though I tell her I know I can’t, and then we decide that I’ll just have to buy thousands and thousands of copies of my own books so I can legally sell them to the girl who emailed me(most likely from one of the offices in her large bookstore chain.)
And then we had a few more drinks and continued to think of ways we could become billionaires off of my old books. But then Dan came home and read the email and explained that it was just a girl who wanted to buy one copy, to read, and that she was simply mentioning the name of her local bookstore to let me know they don’t carry my books.
So, as it turns out, I won’t be needing my own printing press (we were considering that possibility as well, as part of our plan to become billionaires), nor will I need to reread my contract so see if I can store and sell my own books en masse. I just need a couple of stamps.
Lately I’ve been trying to create that air of mystery associated with women of a certain age. I’ve actually been trying for years but I can’t quite get it so I’ve decided the only way is to stop telling people embarrassing stuff about myself. No more blogging is number one on my list of New Year’s resolutions. Number two is stop telling people what I just ate and number three is stop reenacting my dreams in excruciating detail, particularly when they involve celebrities. But last night I dreamt I punched Jerry Seinfeld in the chest and I’m not about to keep that to myself.
Let me reenact it for you.
It’s late at night in some hotel lounge and I’m standing near the bar with a friend laughing hysterically while waiting for Jerry Seinfeld to come over to buy us each a drink. Since he doesn’t come over right away– because he doesn’t know us– I come up with a clever idea to get his attention—I’ll race around the room and accidentally crash right into him! I’ll apologize and he’ll say, “Oh, no, don’t be silly, it was my fault. Let’s have a drink together and forget about it.”
My friend likes my idea so I start running. As I’m going around in circles, trying to time it just right, suddenly there he is. But as soon as I come face-to-face with him, much to my surprise, I punch him. Not like a hard punch across the face or anything, it’s more like a playful, best-friendsy, punch on the chest.
It gets worse.
He yells out, “Do not touch me.”
You’d think that would bother me, but it doesn’t. I think it’s funny, and I look back at my friend to see if she thinks it’s funny too, and now we both can’t stop laughing because I hit someone.
At this point in the dream, I sort of realize I’m not acting right, but I’m in too deep to be embarrassed.So then, while I’m still laughing to the point that I’m making such ugly faces, it looks like I’m crying, I wait until I know Jerry Seinfeld is in the Jacuzzi so I can sneak up on him. While he’s in there quietly talking to his friends, I go and get a little handful of crushed cereal and sneakily put it in the water behind him. And then my friend and I nearly pass out laughing over it back at the bar.
The thing is in real life if I did run into Jerry Seinfeld in a hotel, I’m more the type to turn my head and pretend I didn’t see him. That’s what I did when I found myself sitting next to Ashton Kutcher at Kim’s summer camp. Kim was there the same year as Rumor, so Demi and Ashton were visiting and they got into the same van that Dan and I were sitting in. When I first realized it was them, I pinched Dan’s thigh and then I looked right at Ashton, put my nose in the air and turned my head. No reason. I just wanted him to think I didn’t like him. And the funny thing is I love him. So much so that I would put a poster of him on my wall right now.
That’s why the dream confused me at first, but I soon realized that my subconscious is simply making up for the fact that I’m trying to be more reserved during my wakeful hours. It makes perfect sense. Eventually it will all balance out and I will emerge into a woman of serious intrigue with little need to reveal things about herself simply because she can’t keep a secret. Until then I will simply have to ignore my impulses.
Okay, fine. One more. . .I once wrote a letter to David Sedaris.
I have much more to say when I'm limited to 140 characters. At least for now. So meet me on twitter xo.
A few weeks ago, I was at the beach, soaking up the sun, loving life when a spider bit me on the leg. I didn’t see it bite me, but I knew. It swelled up and looked like a blistery burn. I’m a big believer that the sun and ocean heals all so I tried to angle my leg so the sun would fire its rays directly into the wound. A few days later it looked sort of like a little bubble so I laid in the pool with my leg up in the air. I soon realized my sun therapy wasn’t working, so I poked the little bubble with a pin. I don’t recommend this.
You can't see Lyle, can you? Well, rest assured it's not because he was made into a handbag. Hold on though, I'm working on it.