Book Love Art for I Was Told There’d Be Cake

January 6, 2013 at 2:20 am (In So Many Words, The Whim) (, , , , , , , , , )

Quoting I Was Told There’d Be Cake


Photograph by AK Klemm

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February 11, 2010 at 1:07 am (In So Many Words, Reviews, The Whim) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

(Book Review meets a Life Review)

Jasper held my hand as we eyed curtains at Dillard’s. I said “Oooh” and she “Awed” a moment, and then continued on. Bustling through the food court on the second level, she stopped and looked at me and began to giggle, “We know our way around by food and draperies. We’re fat old women, Andi, fat old women whose husbands are either dead or really, really rich and having an affair.”

We had continued walking and I tried to picture that, looking into the window of some overpriced clothing store geared towards people our age… the twenty-one and almost twenty, actually more for the sixteen to twenties to be correct. I looked at our slender bodies, linked together at the elbow as we walked hurriedly through the one place we despised equally – the mall.

What would it be like to have a really, really rich husband who was having an affair? Probably because you were overweight and did know your way around the mall by the food court and the draperies, a little too well. That would be awful.

A man on the sidewalk told us we had beautiful eyes as we burst out of the palace of materialism and into the warm autumn sun. It was too hot outside to be November.

In the car, we probably played Bright Eyes. Jasper was obsessed with them. Jasper was “obsessed” with everything she liked. She didn’t just like The Nightmare Before Christmas, she had a collection of Jack dolls. She didn’t just like Bright Eyes, she had to go to all their shows. She didn’t just like men, she had to devour them – and Jasper needed a good ‘wing man’ (one like myself). That’s how I found myself going to shopping malls with her arm in arm, listening to songs like “Lover I don’t have to love” as loud as the stereo would go, and hanging out at karaoke bars on Maple Point.

November 17, 2006, finishing one of the many books I dived into post college-graduation, Narcissus Ascending, I sat stunned by how reminded of Jasper I was. I felt like Karen McKinnon took a year of my life and hyperbolized (if that’s not a word, it should be) it into two hundred and twelve pages.

Jasper would catch you with her eyes; men fell towards those thick dark lashes batting around the intoxicating green of her iris. I’d watch her then touch their arm while saying something witty, rude, seductive, or maybe all three simultaneously. Before they knew what hit them, they had caught her scent, rich perfume, hair product, and what my virgin self assumed was sex. It was a good scent, a teasing scent; years later friends would mutter to themselves or to each other in crowds, “I thought I just smelled Jasper.” She stays with you, a sexual assault on all your senses at once – I don’t remember seeing anyone meet her for the first (second, third, fourth…) time without seeing their face express just that feeling.

With Jasper, there usually came drinking, drinking to be with her, drinking to get away from her. Many of my liquor experiences I either associate with her, or I blame on her, I blame my blaming on being histrionic. She would like that, me letting her be my bad guy, knowing that its what I do as to not dismiss her from my life entirely; even if I never speak to her again, she would at least have my guilt. She’d say something like, “Oh Andi, its because you’re histrionic like me. Here, I’ll blame you, too. Let’s blame each other, it’ll be fun.” We’d make a joke of it or something, and tell people in each other’s presence, maybe when introducing or being introduced, “This is Andi, I love her, she’s wonderful, I blame her for all my problems. We’re both histrionic.” Or vice versa, “This is Jasper, I love her, she’s awesome, and she’s the bane of my existence.” Everyone would laugh and find it funny, because we’re crazy enough to find that funny, and everyone else would be drunk and have no idea what we were talking about.

In that way she conquers us all, becoming her own legend. If she read my book, which she would if it got published, she would hate me for these words, call me up, disown me as a friend, call me a bitch at what I have done to her, saying she didn’t think I would say something like that about her. Or maybe, she’d do the opposite, call me up and tell me she loved me and thought my book was wonderful. Either way she would really love it, knowing that the world now knows who she is, she would tell stories about her bitchy friend who wrote about her in her bitchy book. If she ever did get mad about anything I wrote, she’d probably call back later and want me to explain, forgive me without saying the words and love me all over again. She would be proud. So, I have to be honest. It would be easy to say she’s like Callie, that she’s that screwed up and leave it at that, and it would be easy to pretend I’m Becky, capable of walking away.

But Jasper is Jasper and even if I can’t be around her all the time like I was then, I’ll still always love her somewhere in the strange corners of my heart. I needed her friendship then, I needed her so I could still be the good one, the tease, and the better person. My sister even told me that after she met Jasper, told me that I needed her because I don’t like things being my fault, because I needed to get a mean streak out of me, but I didn’t want to be responsible for my actions. I let Jasper lead. I handed her the reigns for almost a year. And then I was done, and when I was done, I was able to say I had done those things because of Jasper, even if it was only half true, even if it wasn’t true at all.

My friend Danielle thinks I read her wrong, because I’m usually good at knowing people when I see them. I didn’t. Jasper was exactly what I thought she was, and I was narcissistic enough to want her to be my friend because of it. Just like my first boyfriend, who wanted me around because it made him feel better, in the end he knew things couldn’t go on that way because in the end it just makes everyone feel worse. In the end, we all realize we’ve been narcissists at some time or another, falling in love with our own reflections – or the reflections we created for other people to see.

We’ve grown up since then. I married my love, she married her’s – and no they are not cheating on us and we are not fat old ladies shopping for drapes. But I can’t see drapes without giggling or hear Bright Eyes without sulking, and we still call each other every few months to make sure that one isn’t up to no good without the other.

Karen McKinnon’s book still sits on my shelf. I’m quite certain I’ll never read it again, but I like having it around.  Buy it here:

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The Mean Reds

January 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm (In So Many Words, The Whim) (, , , )

A blast from the past – this is an excerpt from a zine I used to write called The Toilet Bowl Diaries (issue #7):

Blower’s Daughter is my favorite song this season… along with Deftones’ Change… (both of which are featured on my Too Cold Outside 2005 mix) they suit the mean reds of winter, which I get quite a lot.  Anyone who has melancholy tendencies, is a writer, artist, raw and genuine, or blatantly a theatrical fake suffers from the mean reds at times.  Which is why Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s is such a well-loved character.  Capote wrote himself  a pure classic to stand the sands of time along with Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Harrison’s Legends of the Fall.  It speaks to everyone, because in everyone there is a Holly Golightly and a Paul Varjak, the dichotomy of being human.

What do I do when I have the mean reds?  I go to Barnes and Noble with my journal and order Starbucks Caramel Chai Tea Latte with extra caramel syrup and sauce.  I find myself a corner under the painted eyes of Kafka, Steinbeck and all the other greats and brood about how I’m not one of them yet; and after a few hours of scribbling away in the journal of the month, with my extra fine precise black ink pens that bleed just perfectly (not so much its hard to read, but enough to feel like you are writing in ink as it was meant to be written in), I’ll smile and feel better.  My most creative thoughts and the beginnings of my most meaningful ambitions have come from  a day of the mean reds.

And there is nothing better than a bottle of jack while casually strolling the house naked/in a robe still soaking wet after a bubble bath in candlelight.  They are some of the most poetic moments of my life.

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Journal Entries from Christmas Past

December 20, 2009 at 9:26 pm (In So Many Words, The Whim) (, )

I’ve been going through my old journals, looking for scraps from stories that haven’t quite made it into my computer, pieces of characters for the books I’m writing that already exist on paper somewhere but are not yet official.

Instead, I find this:

Carlos said he’d grow his hair back if I’d be his girlfriend.  I told him I can’t because I’m getting married, I’m just not officially engaged yet.  Carlos has done nothing but proposition me since the day we met which makes me laugh because nothing will (or even would have aside from Jon) come of it.  But he is a good guy, fun, and attractive.

Ironic, I don’t remember this.  I vaguely recall the person I’m referencing, but I don’t really remember the particulars aside from a fleeting memory of him grabbing my hand at college and saying, “Let’s skip class and go make out instead.”  I remember that moment because my ears burned red and I pulled my hand away, flustered, and said absolutely not.  I can’t remember why not, but  honestly, until the re-reading of my old journals, remembered it as a one time occurrence.   Interestingly enough, it wasn’t.

How do we forget these things?  How do we not know them in the moment.  From my journals, I would tell my younger self that this was a man that was truly interested in something – maybe just physical – but something about me.  Yet, in my journals it is also clear that I was perfectly unaware of it all and I wrote about him as though he was scenery.

What else did I miss?

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Collegiate Moments

December 2, 2009 at 5:47 am (In So Many Words, The Whim) ()

“I love his butt dimples, babe, you know what I’m talking about?”

“Yeah,” I responded, not paying attention as I typed words into a book people would probably never read.

“Butt dimples,” JJ Golightly snickered.

We were talking about the dog, as my husband playfully slapped him around and JJ pretended to complete her homework assignment, “You are not beautiful,” she muttered to a textbook picture of a naked British man. I wondered if the picture featured his butt dimples, I never took my eyes off my computer screen long enough to notice. I thought about my butt dimples.

We continued to discuss the fat Asian children also featured in the same textbook. “We should adopt Asian children, we could have our own fat Buddhas!” We quickly got over the excitement of the chubby Chinese kids and proceeded with a discussion of flopping genitalia when hanging out in the nude, and whether it hurt or not.

I have a “Love Buddha” on my night stand that Davey Barnes gave me with my wedding gift.  I love him, and his little mahogany belly. At Honey Tree he was perched a top a fountain, those kind they sell at Hippie nature stores that “soothe and relax your senses.”

Buddha always makes me think of butt dimples now, I’m sure he had quite a few.

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Remember Xanga? December 26, 2005

November 22, 2009 at 5:54 am (In So Many Words, The Whim) (, )

I dream of an orange painted room with a distressed green four drawer dresser, black futon bed, Asian lanterns, candles, and bettas swimming in bamboo.  Steamy room with a wicker fan blowing overhead, the sun streaming through ivory cotton lace curtains onto a girl in satin, bare legs exposed.  Waves of long hair tickling bare shoulders as her husband takes it all off and flings it aside.

Those sexy blue eyes of his staring down at me and taking me in.  Me taking in the sight of him.  And knowing I will love him forever and he me.

We’ll stumble to the kitchen when we’re done, on an orgasmic high, and eat finger foods and leftovers, preparing for another round.

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Bit of Nostalgia

November 21, 2009 at 3:11 am (In So Many Words, The Whim) (, )

How sad is it that when I remember you – I remember me.
I remember me walking down the trolley, knowing you’d asked for me.
I remember I had curly hair that day, a rare occurance, and you commented on my poney tail.
Now you don’t answer and I always really did mean to be friends.
I suppose it’s for the best.

How sad it is that when I remember you – I remember me.
I remember me walking out into the cold, knowing you’d asked for me.
I remember my jeans were tight on my skinny little thighs, and you commented on my ass.
Now you’re elswhere and I’m glad, because I never meant to be friends.
It’s definitely for the best.

How sad it is that when I remember you – I remember him.
I remember crying in the car driving to your house, knowing he’d ask for me.
I remember that song playing, never ending, and you commented on how we both wanted something else.
Now I’m finally happy, because there were so many of you and now there’s just him.
Not sad at all really.

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