"We [Bikini Kill] heard this interview with The Slits, where instead of answering boring questions in a standard way — questions like, ‘What’s it like to be a woman in music?’ — they had a tape-recorder and they were playing back witch laughter noises."
Passage from Zippermouth by Laurie Weeks, writing about her teenage obsession with the actress Vivien Leigh:
"Part of her allure was that she spelled "Vivien" with an e, not an a, the e more refined and seductive, the a somehow thudding and crude, witness the barbarian Vivian Vance.
Each day after school I’d lock my bedroom door, open the closet, and stand with my peanut butter sandwich, staring into Vivien’s green eyes as if my gaze, held long enough, could jump-start the pulse in her throat, compel the hand with that cigarette off the page and up to my lips to offer me a drag, her body following to step gracefully into my room, suspended tobacco smoke drawn back into the chamber of her mouth as she starts to breathe again for real.
Jesus, I couldn’t imagine: Mom vacuuming the same spot suspiciously outside my door while inside there’s this movie star thing looking into your eyes….”
I Went to a 'Death Cafe' and had conversations about the Afterlife
Did atheism make me more or less terrified of death?
I ask the group if they have heard of DMT. It’s a psychedelic compound found in trace amounts in plants, animals, humans. When extracted and smoked it becomes a powerful hallucinogen. The guy who introduced me to DMT said everyone he’d turned on reported no longer being afraid of dying. There is also that documentary about DMT which posits that it’s the chemical released at death, and also during some stages of sleep.
“I am a pretty strong atheist,” says the man in academia. “I find it curious as a secular buddhist practitioner how talk of the afterlife distracts us. We exist now and it is certain that you will die, but how is that going to affect how you live now?”
I nod. For me this is part of the DMT experience. Or any spiritual experience. If you are embraced by something larger than yourself how could you not only see a better view of your own life?
“For some it is comforting to think of after-life,” says the therapist.
One of the ‘death doulas’ interviewed for my story talked about a hospice patient who was having a hard time letting go. Through energy work, the doula sensed she was already living a new life in another dimension. Hearing this that helped her pass.
“I know one woman who is going to be made into jewelry when she goes,” says the therapist, eyes darting equally between the group. “She’s going to give the rings to her kids. I mean you can become a coral reef…”
“Or a tree.” I offer.
The professor sits back in his chair. “In some ways it is aspiring to a sense of immortality. Being an organ donor. Being a book. It is to say, ‘my life had meaning,’ maybe it is a way of theorizing this natural instinct… to have a meaningful life.”
“But if you pass through this life and no one remembers you does that strike you as meaningless?” asks the New York Times journalist.
The way I’ve been thinking about it, I say, is on a most basic level the point of life is to continue it. By having kids or recreating life in art, writing.
“For me the ego is coming in big time here,” says the academic.
Just randomly found this journal/dream log entry, kind-of liked it:
I woke up hungover and tired at 8 am. My mouth was dry and stained purple with wine. I was dreaming that I was living in the big apartment with Carmen and Alex again, like before I was married. We were all wearing silk pajamas and everything felt smooth and good. Carmen was making us get healthy, making us quit smoking, and eat raw kefir seeds.
In the dream [my first boyfriend] had sent me an engagement ring. We were laughing at this. Why would he think I would want to marry him? I would not want to marry him!
I write this and sigh. Missing them, myself, in the era-of-living-with-girls.
Just now I was watching my cat look out of the window. The cat from upstairs just appeared in the backyard and he began murmuring at her through the glass. He watched, en-rapt, as she padded back up the stairs then he then grew violently upset that she was gone. He moved the curtains out of the way with his paw, as though moving the curtains back and forth would make her re-appear. He kept doing it, even though she was gone each time. Murmuring and moving the curtain again and again.
I wrote a personal essay about polyamory, it was originally on spec for a major women’s magazine… but this ended up not working out :’( What should I do with it now? Here are some out-of-context bits from the piece….
Our therapist closes the door to her office “So,” she asks. “What is going on this week?”
I say, wearily, that there was the ‘glitter fight,’ a visit to Sephora, in which my husband stormed out because I was buying loose glitter which I knew he hated, he said. I had been depressed, I said, and the glitter was cheering me up.
“Why did the glitter upset you?” Our therapist asks, voice even.
“You open glitter, and it gets everywhere,” he says. “You can’t stop it.”
He is a tidy person. I am not. He puts things back in their proper place, I throw my clothes on the floor, where they stay for days. It is an orderliness that I find infuriating, and when he expects me to mimic it, controlling, yet somehow it can be deeply comforting.
He, in my mind, is monogamy; he represents adulthood, things like driving cars, and paying bills, he can read maps, speak other languages, all things I am seemingly unable to do. My only responsibility in our household is cooking, which I do feverishly, changing recipes half-way through, cutting vegetables directly on the counter; and three years into the relationship, I quit this too.
I have never been the sort of girl to go after the ‘hard to get’ guys, the ‘bad boys’, preferring always to be the bad boy myself. If I settle down, it’s for a guy with love on his face, ever-aware of my own reflection in the dark of his irises. Of course, it isn’t you they are in love with so early on, but a projection of you. And I have been the sort of girl who makes the mistake of chasing the thing they want you to be, in order to keep their love…
~*~*~CALL OUT: Magazine story about female experiences on Omegle or Chatroulette~*~~*
I am writing a story for a national women’s magazine about the female experience of using Omegle or Chatroulette specifically for sexing. I will be talking about my own experiences (which I wrote about here initially…) but I will also talk to lots of women about their stories, exploring how they are similar or different, etc. If you ever hit up these sites, I would love to chat with you for the story! You can be anonymous in the piece, and we can come up ways to secure your identity (changing name, where you live, etc.) Inbox me or e-mail email@example.com
Now we are in the window between late night and early morning when the air takes on an eerie quality, which to my sleep-deprived mind feels meaningful. On the bathroom floor next to a roll of toilet paper and a book about writing are the stems of those grapes from earlier. I peek into Lin’s shower, which holds five thick bars of Dr. Bronner’s soap and nothing else.
Lin has twisted a blanket like a snake and wrapped it around his head. He is telling me about a time he and his girlfriend took too much heroin and then lost each other in public. “I saw her randomly, outside of like CVS or Duane Reade. She had bought shampoo and seemed confused, throwing the shampoo as she walked away.” Lin talks about other times on the drug, being in line at the post office and ‘”nodding out,” vomiting in trash cans, going to restaurants then asking for the meal to be boxed up instead, throwing it away outside, puking. A moment later, talking about Adderall, Lin tells me he doesn’t view himself as addicted because he has no measurable definition for “addicted.”
The light in Lin’s room is pinkish; outside birds begin to chirp but the curtains are still drawn. Lin says he used to believe that nothing happens when you die, but now thinks there might be other possibilities, like you could be isolated somewhere. (A line from Taipei: “Death would seal them into their own private afterlives.”) When my alarm goes off — 8 a.m. — it scares us.
Excerpt from my profile on Tao Lin. Read at NYMag.com
“I’m shocked that it’s all like, sorority girls in the audience,” she shouts over the music.
I look at the candlelit women with long brown hair, and am surprised at the number of bachelorette parties. One table have fairy penis wands, they wave and bop one and other on the head with them.
The show is impressive. There are women expertly hanging from aerial scarves, peeling out of rhinestone mesh, from behind opulent feathers. On stage, a performer grabs a pile of money and rubs it over her body, bills with their faces of old presidents and all-seeing eye pyramids, mouth open in ecstasy. She twirls a five dollar bill a into a rosebud, and with the kick of a heel, slips it in her g-string, it’s a beautiful image, really: Money raining all around her, money growing from her ass.
“When did this start happening, do you think?” Nichole asks.
“Neo-burlesque?” I say, sipping a Basil Haydens, neat.
“I mean,” she says, “Women objectifying other women…”
“I guess… porn wars. I think it happened when feminism split into pro- and anti-porn,” I say, evenly.
“From a feminist perspective, yeah it’s reclaiming,” says Nichole. “But I am curious, what about it from a Marxist perspective?”
“It’s…just another industry, I guess.”
Nichole nods, and we go tip the woman on stage.
I stuff bills into her lacey rosette bra, and let my hand slide along her torso, which is brown and oiled with glitter. I wonder, as I am doing it, if this is fucked up.
Excerpt from new Thought Catalog piece about having sex on omegle, porn, subversion and dominance. Read here.
I am at a sports bar waiting for “Skinny Mini Speed Dating” to start. I am here “undercover” as a journalist and should be mingling with the men who are here to meet “women under size 8 only,” but instead I am staring, sort of detachedly, at sports on TV; men are jumping together in a huddle which must create friction, I think, the spandex rubbing together.
I scan the crowd of speed daters but instinctively look down at my phone whenever one of them makes eye contact.
“Oh my god,” the woman running the event says to me — who, maybe it should be noted, is not a size small or whatever – “I almost forgot! I have to put your size on your nametags. What size do you wear?”
I tell her, nervously, that I am a four or sometimes a six and sometimes a two, although that’s in, like, really stretchy things.
She stops each of the women at the bar and does this, putting a number on their chests with red sharpie.