You people are weird.
Why do you want to know so much about me? Am I not suitably forthright? I don't often enough speak my mind, reveal my innermost self in outlandish word streams provoking, contumelious, foul, vituperative? Apparently not. I now quote the eminently talented, equally kind, exceedingly eleemosynary William Michaelian: "Annie shares her thoughts shyly and demurely in her blog, Unfiction."
Now let me for a moment unbutton my Victorian neckline and brazenly exhale upon dear William's statement an analytical breath: If I correctly interpret him (and I'm assured by myself that I do), he's saying that despite my reserved, hidebound, puritanical prose, my sentiments on mine-self shine through—and clearly.
Well . . . fuck yeah, they do!
And yet . . . people continue to ask questions, want to know more.
Hear me sputter, "Why? What more could you possibly want to know?"
My chaste composure conceals too much?
Fact is, nobody knows everything about me and I prefer to keep it that way. I don't believe anyone ever knows another down to the marrow; people are innately cunning, devious, foxy and that isn't a slight against humanity: rather, a testament to the fittest and how they survive. Besides, who would we be without our secrets?
"The secret of boring people lies in telling them everything."
Indeed, Dr. Chekhov. Indeed.
Now, to the game. Late afternoon Monday I received a message on Ye Olde Facebook inquiring if I could be bothered "with a list of questions I'm interested in knowing the answer to! Call me Mr. Curious!"
Okay, you're Mr. Curious! "Sure!" I replied. "Go ahead."
Two hours later, the response: "Cool! Here are a few simple ones to start with."
I did not, at all, expect 19 questions, much less inquiries of such a strange range. A few? Simple? Mr. Curious you are, to be sure, one curious cat.
Two things you, you, you oughta' know, Jagged Little Readers:
1) I do know Mr. Curious, but only via Facebook and he's a recent addition to the friends list so really, I know him not at all. Anyway, I promised to keep his identity anonymous. And why not? As of late, my Facebook inbox receives messages of a Mr. Curious sort semi-frequently - new friends wanting to know more about me — and once I saw the questions numbering 19 (a few? Three is a few!) and their rather delicious invitation to, well, go on about myself and in creative fashion, I requested of Mr. Curious that my reply be made in blog format. He happily acquiesced.
2) While I did not, in fact, invent sarcasm (I know, I know — this is astonishing news but it is, indubitably, fact), I did perfect the Language of Legion: we, the many, The Silver-Tongued Devils, Rabelais' Rebels, Wilde's Ones oh! woe is us for sadly, there is no goddamn sarcasm font — italics, as close as we get. And still! so often, we don't translate clearly to even the most fluent in the sardonic!
This suckameth, mightily. For people get hurt, unintentionally.
Puh-leeze note: you're dealing with one wicked, wicked satirist who, when confronted with an issue she'd either rather not discuss or material not at all applicable to her, will spew venom. But all in good fun!
One day, Professor Frink will give up to me the specs for that Sarcasm Detector . . . and I shall rule the world! With a Sarcasm Detector? Ooh - a Sarcasm Detector. Well that's a REALLY useful invention!
If you're not a "Simpsons" freak like me, just ignore that.
So, ironic as Alanis (which is not at all!), here I go! 'Cause I got one hand on the keyboard and the other is flickin' a cigarette!
1) Where is it you reside?
Groan. You'd think this an easy answer, wouldn't you, Mr. Curious? "Brevity," be with me . . .
Sarasota, Florida, aka, God's Waiting Room. If you like to golf, sunburn, develop and succumb to a lethal addiction to methadone or sit around, wrinkle, wither and die, this is the place for you! The yuck part of this answer is I reside with my mom and stepdad in a renovated loft (née barn) over two horse stalls. (The loft is actually lovely.) I live with my parents because I fucked up my life in grandiose ways, with O. Wilde flourish due to a number of factors which . . . I'm not wont to go into now. 'Cause I'm all demure like dat. Ahem.
2) Are you truly as beautiful in person as you appear on Facebook?
Sorry, sorry, I think it, I write it and that was my thunk. I'm assuming you're referring to aesthetics since you coined the term "appear" but I could be mistaken - there's always a first time. If it's physicality you speak of then I say you are very kind, Mr. Curious, for thinking me beautiful, and I thank you for the compliment. The easy and TRUE answer is absolutely not, no, not at all, can I get a "fuuuuuck nooooooo!" up in heeyah? May I tell you how I appear, right now, this second? I may. I will!
Unwashed hair pulled back into slovenly ponytail; oily skin that's sprinkled with itty-bitty zitties because I haven't yet showered today and won't until I step away from this missive for a break; covering my stubbled legs, the silliest pair of patterned, purple pajama pants (I am not making that up for alliteration's sake — I'd upload a pic if I had a camera) that I do believe are of K-Mart manufacture; a hunter green Guinness t-shirt over which is pulled a grey men's sweatshirt of enormous size over which is belted, tightly, my boon companion, The Fluffy Pink Robe. TFPR leaves my side(s) only when I leave the house, which is almost never. TFPR is *BEDAZZLED!* with coffee stains, cigarette burns and rips/tears of varying lengths that gape at me sadly, as if to mouth, "Why?"
You, too, may ask why — why all the layers? Because I'm so damn skinny these days, I'm freezing even when positioned under direct sunlight. Not "slender," the pretty kind of skinny; "cachectic," the nasty kind of skinny. An ugly consequence of necessary medications; I gorge as often as possible to counteract them, but to no avail.
There. Ain't that just the picture of she who walks in beauty, like the night?
The answer is no, Curious Lord Byron, no it is not.
3.) What is it you're writing your thesis about?
I'm writing my thesis about . . . oh, 4 or 5 years ago, when I wrote it for completion of my MFA in spring of 2006, my last year in grad school. It was a mess of approximately 120 pages of novel, some nonfiction aaaaaand . . . I don't remember because I was bonkers and it was garbage. The three professors who comprised my committee shine as the tallest beacons of kindness, benevolence and magnanimity in the history of committee-ing or professoring. One day, I'll repay them: whenever I come into $30 million, they'll each get their third.
4.) What are you hoping to do with your life once school is behind you?
Oh, what I would give for a webcam right now! Between the snorty, guttural, epiglottal sound emitted from my nasal passages and the expression I know overcame my visage — an unseen puppeteer pulled ugly strings of comic disbelief from my face, eyebrows, sneering my upper lip — like hangers yanking my nostrils and eyelids — that's it, all of it — oh, it woulda' been so priceless!
“The University brings out all abilities, including incapability.”
Yes, Chekhov! That certainly holds true, but mostly, only, for me! Oh, but hope! Such a vast crevasse betwixt hope and reality! Between 2006 and 2010! A veritable Grand Canyon amassed, split wide, from there — hope! — to here — reality! and why, how did this great chasm come to be?
“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.”
Yes, Anton — that kind of shit.
5.) Do you usually drink tall cans of Miller Lite or any other liquid beverage when writing?
Yes, Anton — that kind of shit.
5.) Do you usually drink tall cans of Miller Lite or any other liquid beverage when writing?
Sonofa... Is that what I'm supposed to be drinking when writing? Christ! No wonder I suck!
This is a très cool question, Mr. Curious — so detail specific! Not just Miller Lite, but cans of — and tall ones! Sorry to disappoint but no, I'm no beer-swiller. I haven't been drunk off beer since my freshman year of college, FSU, 1994 — and that blackout came courtesy of several 40's of Olde English. Hey! Miller brews Olde E! And 40's are about as tall as you get, though in glass-bottle form. So there you are. And now I feel pukey.
Coffee serves me well and long into the afternoon when writing; then comes water. If I happen to have juice or lemonade, I'll indulge.
6.) What is your favorite band of all time and why?
Judas Priest! No—wait—they're not my fav—I'm expressing exasperatio—
Mmm. Seriously? This is a serious question? So many genres and sub-genres and individual artists that I rank above collective bands — this is terrible. In NO particular order: Rush, QUEEN, Maiden, Queensryche, Megadeth, Collective Soul (ha! Just when you thought you had me figgered out!), Electric Light Orchestra, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Saigon Kick, Days of the New, The Killers — fuck-diddley-uck-this-shit. That's more than enough — too much. Sam Cooke. Nick Drake. Ooh! DAMN THIS QUESTION!
Above all: Joe Satriani. Solo. Bam. And Steve Perry can kick Chuck Norris' ASS!
7.) Have you considered submitting your writing to various literary journals for publication? If no, why not?
"Consciousness is the sister of talent."
Let me say, Mr. Curious, that the entirety of my graduate school years, and a few thereafter, were spent in a complete state of unconsciousness. Consequently, talent accumulated during those years was negligab— was none. Anton knows me too well.
In grad school, I submitted once — and only because it was an integral part of our grade. Needless to say, I was summarily rejected; by whom, I couldn't say, because I barely knew my own name back then. Only very recently — and I'm talking maybe a month ago — did I gather up my guts and send out my work to a few contests. Do I expect anything? Hell, no. My work is unpolished. I need more work. Also, more money. The rub: it often costs to submit. I be broke-ass. Let me emphasize: broke-ass. It tears at the heart just a tee-bit, when you're literally bankrupt and forced to use Christmas and birthday monies you've doggedly held onto for months and months so you can pay to submit your not-quite-there-yet work — especially when you're 99.9% sure you just paid twenty-some dollars for a rejection slip. "Submit," indeed. But . . . publish or perish, right?
Working on the money situation to the best of my (dis)ability. That's the most I want to get into that.
8.) Are you or have you ever been married?
Hell no and you shut your mouth when you talk like that to me!
“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.”
Funnily enough, Dr. Chekhov, so it was for me and my love life for oh, about 7 years, give or take. Oddly, I never attained a medical degree. Hm!
Marriage. I refer again to Anton: "By all means I will be married if you wish it. But on these conditions: everything must be as it has been hitherto—that is, she must live in Moscow while I live in the country, and I will come and see her. I promise to be an excellent husband, but give me a wife who, like the moon, won't appear in my sky every day."
By all means I will be married if you wish it. But give me a husband who, like the moon, lives 238,857 miles up in the sky while I live in the country, and I promise to be an excellent wife.
"If you are afraid of loneliness, do not marry."
Once wedlocked, Chekhov's sky shone bright with alienation. Or so I gather.
"Don't tell me the moon is shining! Show me the glint of light on broken glass."
Broken glass, shards — everywhere, common, dangerous, side-step it or bleed. You need that light to shine down, reflect, refract, bounce spectrums brilliant back or it's not worth noticing.
I am afraid of loneliness. However . . . should someone show me Chekhov's sliver of broken glass, glinting under moonlight . . . perhaps I'd consider a long-term . . . togetherness.
However . . .
At my age, after so many barefoot beats down endless, meandering streets littered — strewn — with busted and bleached beer bottles, my faith in finding that rare-faced jewel wanes near nonexistent. But even if that lunar diamond masquerading as glinting glass fell from the skies, into my hand, cutting me kind . . . Marriage? No.
9.) Any kids?
No . . . I don't have any children.
No . . . I don't have any children.
10.) What was the last dangerous activity you took part in and how did it end?
Drugs. Not well.
Wait — no. I found recovery so lemme say—
Love. Not well.
11.) Do you play a musical instrument?
In younger days, I also tickled the ivories and was quite good, but quit because I was a whiny, bitchy, hormonal teenager and didn't want to practice. Now, thanks to the recessiveness of autoimmune disease, I can pretend that at 14, in addition to musicality, I possessed the gift of fortitude: "Oh, prodigy my arthritic ass! Look! My crippled fingers can't even reach that damn chord anymore! I knew what I was doing when I quit 19 years ago—it was a smart move! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE, MOM!"
12.) Do you know how to cook anything from scratch?
Indeed: a raging house fire. Take one match, find any rough/coarse surface, scratch, attempt to light a gas stove aaaaaaaand . . . yeah, that's pretty much it.
Yeah, I can cook lots o' food from scratch, because my mommy showed me how. And I'm damn good at it, too!
13.) Do you have a favorite book?
Do you have a favorite appendage? Internal organ? This isn't fair! Ohhhhh . . . Either Mrs. Dalloway, The Catcher in the Rye, Go Down, Moses, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius—but that takes us into nonfiction and there's so many more and FUCK THIS QUESTION!!!
Pat the Bunny. That's my favorite piece of literature ever. You can really feel Pat's short yet powerful tail . . .
You can't ask a writer what her favorite book is! Sheesh!
14.) Do you have a favorite author?
What is this — Sophie's Choice?! Not that I'm saying Styron is my favorite author—you know what I mean. Wouldn't you rather ask me something less personal, less difficult to answer, like—something to do with sex, drugs, lies, murder? Wouldn't interrogations on such trivial matters satiate your quizzical hunger, Mr. Curious? Dude . . . There's absolutely no way I can choose between Woolf, Faulkner, Wilde and Salinger. See, even that feels wrong, choosing those four out of all the— Y'know what, Mr. Curious? Bite me. In fact, Bite Me is my favorite author. He always leaves me hungry for more. There. Question answered.
15.) Are you currently in a relationship?
Is the pope Polish?
Nope! Not anymore, he's not!
16) Do you drive a pick-up truck?
No. But I drive a mean 9 iron. I gots strong upper-arms. Probably from picking up all those trucks . . .
17) Do you carry a firearm?
With all these bullets loaded behind my tongue... I don't need no stinkin' gun.
18) Who's your favorite poet?
The Curmudgeon, W.H. Auden. Always, forever. He makes me bleed yearning tears . . .
19) Do you vote?
Is Obama in office?
Yup! Yes, he is! Because yes, yes I do! Yes, yes we CAN!
Wanna ask what political persuasion I lean towards? Oh, I'll just come out and tell ya!
My heart bleeds . . .
For Dubya . . .
And all the rest of the conservatives . . .
To disappear off the face of the planet . . .
Forever . . .
"Two-hundred thirty-eight thousand, eight-hundred and fifty-seven miles to the moon, Bushie!"
"Someone's boring me. I think it's . . . me."
If someone as enthralling as Dylan Thomas could bore himself, I'm assured you're now fast asleep. And to think! I've told you almost nothing about me! If ever I write and successfully publish a memoir, why, it should sell like...like... Thorazine! Toilet paper! Torture! The pages of my book, my stories, yielding the same effects or benefits of all three, but in one heavily discounted price!
Mr. Curious, after pouring out these 19 pints of frothing babble (and then some), I hope I've quenched your dipsomaniacal thirst for knowledge because right now, I'm feeling a lot like Dylan Thomas: drunk and bored off my ass. Because of my ass.
Because I'm an ass?
"Man is what he believes."
Ah . . .
“Only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.”
"The more refined one is, the more unhappy."
"Professor Frink! Professor Frink. He'll make you laugh! He'll make you think. Then he'll do the thing. . . with the thing. . . and the. . . person! Boy, that monkey is going to pay."
Well Anton, I believe I'm one unrefined, emancipated happy ass.
Mr. Curious, I also believe I can now Chekhov your 19 questions from my to-do list.
(Truly, I thank you, Mr. Curious, but fear the pleasure was entirely mine.)