okay, hello. here is an idea for a home movie starring my friend’s 4 year old son:
jimbo is a soft young man from new york who has recently come to a small town named portsville to investigate the killing of his sister. one night at a ping pong tournament, he meets a young woman and takes her out for a drive. she talks to him about her old boyfriend who she refers to as 'mic mac', and suddenly becomes erratic after looking into jimbo's eyes. she asks him to leave her on the side of the highway. jimbo begins to dream of a horribly ugly old man who identifies himself as ‘mac macdougal’ and persuades him to go on a crime spree.
adrian will play jimbo and i will play mac. i'm going to paint some of my teeth black and wrap tape all over my face so that i look scary. a porcelain doll we found around the house will play the woman, with voiceovers by my sister. everyone else will play the contestants at the ping pong tournament.
[pause, he clears his throat, the tone of his voice shifts] this is kostas giorkakis. me and some friends are in west texas right now. i wrote this last night... april 8th, right before falling asleep. i'm going to try the tape thing now. please consider donating to rescue.org's greece refugee relief fund, people in these camps are really struggling. take care of yourselves.
i'm ry and earlier today i hit my head and this flew out along with a few teeth.
i think about continents
black islands scattered
an ocean of yellow water
climate change of moving on
fervid purple decaying to brown
swallowed by regrowth
hi, this is lee-roy and i wrote this at a pivotal moment of my life.
there once was a hole somewhere in los angeles.
my grandmother was a nudist. rather, she was raised by nudists and by the time she was old enough to remember what it's like to be naked the commune she lived in had been cleared out by the government. some stayed and lived through a war, some emigrated to the states where it was theorized one had the freedom to live naked as they pleased - this would eventually lead to a different kind of war. all of this started with the very simple idea that humans had reached a turning point and one could live under the iron rule of capitalism and industrialization or they could live in harmony with nature, nothing separating them from her earth - not even something as seemingly necessary as pants.
my grandmother carried that core idealism with her throughout her life. though she did do it fully clothed because - at some point - one does need to protect themselves from the bugs, sun, and other dangers of nature someone doesn't consider until they've been outside stark naked for more than fifteen minutes. still, on a balmy day she'd kick off her shoes and wiggle her toes in the dirt and she'd wear this expression i can only describe as "contented".
i'd like to think she passed that idealism on to me and my siblings. we've all described ourselves as "forest children" at some point, with varying degrees of aptitude for climbing trees and digging holes. i'd always preferred to climb trees though after three or four hard falls i was forbidden from climbing anything taller than an apple tree (they aren't that tall) and so instead i joined my sister in her exploration of the earth beneath our feet (she was very good at climbing trees, her decision to dig was made purely of free will and not because the alternative was staying at ground level, bored out of her mind). we got pretty good at it. once she described her plans for a particular hole we set out to work in a very organized fashion and soon enough the woods that surrounded our home were peppered with strategically-placed four-foot-deep holes that could be used to trap our big, dumb brothers whenever we thought they deserved it. the falls were never dangerous and it wasn't difficult for them to climb out of those pits to chase us, but the depth allowed us a five second head start for our escape run and the resounding "the FUCK" filled us with joy.
there was a decade long stretch where we didn't dig anything just for the sake of digging. the art was totally lost to me until about two weeks ago while i, cup of coffee in my hand, was thrust a shovel and told "let's dig". it interrupted the incredibly productive staring into nothingness i was doing, but i set my coffee aside regardless and joined her that balmy afternoon until we were four feet deep. the thought of power lines and other manmade dangers didn't cross our minds. thankfully, we remained relatively safe save from the passive aggressive rage of our oldest brother whose yard we had effectively destroyed.
is it possible to be sorry, but have no regrets?
the hole in los angeles in my brother's yard was magnificent. the days it didn't rain it served as a gathering space for fellow lockdown inhabitants. on one particular night, i realized what it meant to have nothing separating yourself from the earth. when i laid at the bottom of the hole and stared up at the sky i could almost pretend that's how the sky really looked, and there wasn't a city around me to mar it with light pollution. earlier that day - in a fit of mania and exhaustion - i had buried my face in the bottom of that hole and wondered what it would be like to have the pressure of four feet of dirt on top of me. i didn't find out. two weeks later, i can recognize that as a good thing.
the hole in los angeles in my brother's yard doesn't exist anymore. there's an outline of it, an oval-shaped patch of overturned earth where sod should be. though my sister and i were the only two to create it, we were joined by two more to help fill it in. we said our goodbyes to it through verbal farewells, bad moods, a time capsule (garbage, really, but sentimental garbage), and an avocado pit which, i hope, will one day grow to bear no fruit. i understand that this is a very spiteful wish to make, but i wish it all the same.
is it possible to be sorry, but also spiteful?
my name is casey, i wrote this in december of 2019, during an icy drive up hollowtop mountain that i wasn't sure i'd survive.
"i... i have to tell you something, howard. i... i... i hate you," she says, rose petal soft, her eyes glittering. he smiles, happiness tugging the corners of his mouth skyward.
"i hate you too, lucille... i always have." he takes her hand, and she trembles, smiles through the tears. they kiss. the end.
my name is simon. i wrote this in the spring, when i felt hopeless and lovesick. i was in between places and timezones and nothing mattered.
it started with a thread, just a thread, bonnie. i saw it and of course i tugged at it, and i intended to break it off, but it unraveled so quickly. i thought the quality had never been good, and perhaps i knew that, but i thought that... with care... i could preserve the best of it, the beauty and the lace. but it all unraveled so quickly, this lovely woman that i loved. she is nothing now but string and lace, and bits of leaves stuck to her.
i still love her, do you understand? i still keep her in a sack, where i can tangle my fingers in her threads and remember the softness of her.
hi, i'm july, and this was written two years ago.
[read in the style of christopher walken]
chad cox calling in from the pits of hell. this has no date but i can promise you it's from the early 2000s, this handwriting is shit and has smudges from what i hope is chocolate. [beat] fuck, i really spelled of o-v-e. right. [deep breath, pained sigh] dear—that's d-e-e-r, by the way—diary, today was bad. i hate school. miss byrnes said because—b-e-c-u-z—of bad grades we have to take the [beat] it's all scribbled here, i really struggled figuring out how to spell quiz because i just wrote small test. miss byrnes clearly should've been working on my spelling and not making me retake quizzes. unless it was a spelling quiz, in which case, carry on, miss byrnes.
on the morning of february fifteenth—oh god. y'all, this was last year, i hate this already. [beat] so i wrote: what's it called when you get that urge to physically come at something or someone for being too cute? it's a word, i'm not looking it up. dear future me, handle this, memorize the damn word because it's too real, too me. he came back. looks like he's not planning on quitting, still slaving away over those coffee beans and looking the kind of cute that send me into vicious attack mode one. should i pull his hair? push him down on the playground? maybe i'll just throw hot coffee in his face and stab a lead pencil into his arm before leaving him my number. god, crawlin out a fuckin window, you're such a charmer.
april fourth, two zero two zero, sitting in an apartment like:
split a bag with me
sit with me
i didn't mean to be
didn't want to be
already miss the we
today is april eighteenth, i wrote this yesterday. a whole page of four simple words: corona you cockblocking bitch. page two gets a little more into detail, though. remember when we lasted a whole eighteen years without crumbling? yeah, me neither. it's been, what, three? four months now? you got this bud. except, no, i don't got this. i ain't got any part of this. there's nothing else happening, my days are repeats of the same long, boring, aimless shit so i'm left to my own imagination which, surprise surprise, leads right into nasty day dreaming and the continued realization that, oh, that's an itch that can never be scratched. and then at the bottom it's a sticker. a real angry looking egg toast.
post-it tacked to the upper corner of an entry from november twenty-twelve that reads: how low is our self esteem that we let this continue? what would our ancestors say about the absolute disrespect of letting him insist it's just the same. chan me not, bitch. sort it out, joo wong.
i was looking through some notebooks and found this stupid thing i wrote when i was about 13... it's a ride. so, okay. here goes: i’m sitting here watching godzilla and thinking what would i do in this situation. well firstly, i would probably shit my pants because i have never in my life seen a giant lizard terrorizing a city. secondly, i would tell the army to stop being idiots and shooting at it because you clearly can’t kill it that way and obviously you are just pissing it off. next i would follow it back to its lair and see what it was doing and when i spotted its little eggs i would come up with a plan on how to kill them because let’s be real nobody in their right mind needs more then one giant lizard friend. i would lure it to a secret place where i would already be hiding the stay puft marshmallow man, darth vader, megatron, and the alien tripod fighting machines from war of the worlds so that i could form my own super villain league to defeat godzilla. the end. i win. movie over.
i dug back in the archives of my livejournal to find this and went through a LOT of cringing to get there, but here's one update i found especially amusing from late 2003.
I made it back to NYC after a horrible trip home that I won’t get into here. In fact, I think I’ll just acknowledge NYC as “home” from this point forward because I relate to everything here a lot more than I ever did there. All I can say is thank god for friends like Emma. I landed at JFK at like 10am and by noon we had already purchased bootleg DVDs of Will & Grace from some guy in Battery Park because she’s never watched it and I couldn’t believe that. I’m sure she’ll be obsessed with it and talk about it nonstop and make it a cornerstone of her personality in about a week, because that’s what always seems to happen when I talk someone into enjoying something I love.
Part of me thinks it’s really flattering and part of me wonders if that’s what people would have done in high school if they’d paid any attention to me so maybe it’s a good thing I kept my mouth shut and did my own thing. Imagine if one of the Mallorys had taken my whole bit on top of their perfect noses and perky boobs and rich parents. They’d probably be here and I’d be sitting in some ugly ass laboratory trying to make bootleg booze out of the beakers and ignoring some experiment I’d probably fuck up anyway and still have to drive to my parents house for Sunday dinner every week. No thank you.
Instead I have Emma and Chinese subtitles and martinis in glasses she stole from that bar that was closing on 76th street. I don’t know if I ever wrote about this story, but I should. I will now. I can’t even remember what it was called, but apparently this was some huge neighborhood staple that was going out of business, so every night they were having these blowout parties to send it off in style. Justin found out about this and he has never once invited us to a bad party (yet, knock on wood) so of course we all went and acted like we were mourning the loss of our favorite hangout even though none of us had ever been there before. Justin’s favorite party trick is buying us all rounds of shots until we’re puking in trashcans on the street, so I’m going to blame Wild Turkey on the way I woke up with 4 really nice heavy shot glasses in the bottom of my purse, polaroids of me with several strangers standing on top of a bar, and several new contacts in my phone with the last name “Barneys” because the one notable thing I do remember about that night is that there was graffiti on top of the bar that said “I just spent thousands on a suit at Barneys across the street and now I’m drinking this $2 drink.” It sounded more poetic several shots of whiskey in, probably.
I need to ask Emma what kind of bag she was carrying to smuggle out the martini glasses when all I managed were shot glasses, but knowing her she just carried it out on the street. Maybe that’s a bit I should steal from her. We can trade in each other’s most charming quirks to express our own allure to the fullest. Or at least pretend to be someone else. Isn’t that what we’re paying all this tuition to learn to begin with? Speaking of acting, later that night Emma and I got last minute cheap tix to see Little Shop for the 3rd time. I know there’s more Important things to be seeing for school research and shit, but damn that show makes me happy.
AND to top it all off?! I MET TOM HANKS. I probably should have started this whole post with that, but this is your reward for sticking around this long to read. He was at the show too and I was in line behind him for drinks and we chit-chatted for like 2 whole minutes, during which time I managed to tell him that if he one day wanted to produce a new film version of the musical I’d make a great Audrey. He’ll never do that and I’ll never do a musical, but hey if you put enough crazy ideas out into the universe maybe at least one of them will come true. Anyway, Tom, thanks for welcoming me back “home” to New York. I think it’s a sign I should never leave again.
hi, i'm fauna. i'm going to share one of my favorite poems with you today. it's called like that by kim addonizio. close your eyes and listen.
kacy speaking from austin, texas. it's may 12th 2020 at 5:54 pm, and i wrote this two days ago on mother's day.
hearing you speak about her is like a lifeline. a light in the dark, like a lantern keeping just that bit of light right in front of me lit so i can see where i'm going. whatever we have is foreign to me i don't know how to embody it. so i'm wearing what i'm given, and i don't know how to let it seep in. i feel it. it's there. i just don't know how to get closer to it. so i hold on.
but holding on brings with it a host of second guessing. your choice doesn't feel like choosing me, but keeping you from choosing anyone else. it's form over substance. i don't know how to vocalize any of this either because i don't want you to think i have doubts. because maybe i do? and i don't know in the face of your certainty how to voice them because i'm not even sure what those doubts are about, or if that's even the right word for it. i just have questions, i want to understand what this is and why. i don't know how to tell you any of this, but i hope you hear it and know it's me.
naz again. i guess we're at the close. i just wanted to say thank you and to please, please keep e-mailing me your voices. the world feels really backward right now but hearing your fucking postcards and your love notes and like, your e-mail drafts to your bosses, they make things feel so much clearer. which sounds really dumb, doesn't it? but it's okay, i don't mind sounding dumb. i'll be back next month, hopefully from a different bathtub. if you're still there, i have one more thing for you. there's something of my own left in the queue, a song i wrote a couple years ago, it was a demo for masochism and then it kinda just floated into the ether, like most of the music i've made.
i wanted to play it for you tonight, so i e-mailed my label and asked if i could, and they said no. so... here it is anyway. it's called one way to heaven.
sleep well, and i'll see you in june.