Last night's reading was a success I would say. I was nervous, and read too fast, but I don't think too too fast. Ben is nice. He called me his "art connection." That made me feel important. He's going to read my poem about the Oregon Trail at his high school poetry reading.
My chapbook from Dancing Girl Press comes out this weekend and will be available at the Marshmallow Roast. I am pretty excited.
Ben asks: I can get the book at the marshmallow roast right? How much money be it? (and dont give me any nonsense about it being free because then I'll stuff money down your shirt)
I say: yeah, you can get it at the roast, and it's $7. $6 if i'm drunk & feelin generous.
Ben says: ok I'll bring a 100 in case I'm drunk & feelin generous.
I wish that's what life was really like. You try to sell a $7 chapbook and someone hands you a hundred dollars. Alternate universe in which poets are rockstars!
I am working on my novel again. Here is an excerpt:
“And I told him, I was just like, ‘And you want me to do what exactly?’”
“Yeah,” I said. “That sucks.” I couldn’t remember what we were talking about. We had smoked a bowl and shared a bottle of Chilean Merlot that saw had cost Nate ten dollars and ninety-nine cents at the supermarket. My white sandals were on the floor of the car, and my feet were on the dash. I turned my toes out and then back together, Dorothy, trying to stay in Oz.
“I haven’t done pot in forever,” Nate said.
“You haven’t smoked pot.”
“That’s what I said.”
“No, you said you hadn’t done it. Like cocaine, or ceramics.”
“Oh,” Nate said, and then laughed really hard without making any sound. He was still wearing his tie. It was navy with long yellow stripes. I bet May had picked it out. I bet May had picked it out and this made me feel profoundly uncomfortable. I hadn’t seen her in an hour, and I missed her, and I hoped she would never grow up to find out her babysitter had spent dusky summer evenings with her father in the front seat of his Jetta.
“I feel really weird. This is really weird. Is it like doing it with your parents? Do you ever do it with your parents?”
I shook my head.
When Tierney’s mother Val had flown in from New Jersey to visit at the beginning of our junior fall semester, she’d asked Tierney what the green stuff was in the prescription bottle on her desk, of course already knowing exactly what the green stuff was, but that was Val’s way of saying she wanted some. This was a woman who had admitted to her teenage children that the six weeks she’d spent out of commission with a sprained ankle years before were not due to a gardening accident, as she’d originally told them, but the consequence of a slippery afternoon spent with their father and a can of whip cream. They were five when it happened. Fourteen when she told them the truth. I had to agree with Tierney that at fourteen this was still too much information.
“But it wasn’t like I couldn’t let her have any,” Tierney told me later. “She pays my tuition.”
They’d smoked in her room, and then wandered out into the apartment courtyard together, stoned enough to think every approaching footstep was a bat, and walked six blocks to buy oreo milkshakes.
Nate activated the moon roof and we watched it recede, fascinated. It was like we were actors in a commercial. A commercial for a car that’s so safe and quiet you can take your kids anywhere and they’ll fall asleep in the backseat so you can have a romantic moment with your husband, or wife, on top of some mountain somewhere, without having to worry about getting eaten alive by a bear.