i was just watching a commercial for a girls gone wild video and i irrationally thought to myself, phew, its awesome that i avoided ever doing that sort of thing. luckless embarrassing drunkie girls at parties, even if it is kinda hot in its own weird way. then a long-buried memory of "the naked couch" instigated by twenty-year-old me and my exroommate jamie at that party at justin's officespacewarehouse crept into my head. oops, i thought, and looked at the ceiling, and tried to examine the memory from all angles.
and then i remembered that there's a tape of that shit. figures. who has that tape?
yours, amanda L. at 1:11:00 AM [+]
in the face of disaster and makeshift housing
i like the idea of having the borrowed car. instead of my one red bag, i pile clothes and shoes and books into my arms, march across the frozen grass---with the world bright and brighter, and without anything but Countryside---and fling them all over the backseat. into the trunk. a little movable bedroom. a sackful of cremes and soap and contactlenses, travel scrabble, a pillow and blanket. i bite my lip and then pull the sewing machine box from the corner of the closet. throw the threadcontainer into a rumply bag from a fancy french department store. this seems girly. i know my period is upon me because i am elated over everything. or maybe its just that i have a little movable bedroom.
two weeks, ya jackals. until the tenth. email me your address and if its not further than halfway across the country (i think thats oklahoma?), i can. and if its further than halfway across the country, i will just have to hit you up on my way to long beach. now where the fuck is richmond. i need to get drunk with it.
yours, amanda L. at 3:12:00 PM [+]
me age ten and lo aged seven. there is a 1 in 300 chance that an asteroid will destroy the earth on her 49th birthday.
yours, amanda L. at 10:05:00 AM [+]
vaginia is for livers. IT'S CHRIST MAS EVE!!!
i am not in france. i travelled in airplanes all day. it is wearying to arrive in dulles without anyone to meet you. after the customs interview, where at one point i asked the police boy if he was just making chit chat or if it was still the interview and he frowned and said, its the interview as if i were an idiot and i wanted to to also frown and say then why does it sound like you are hitting on me you dickface, i dragged my bags here and there, dulles is big, dulles is big but it is home, even if it is not anymore, british air not only tore my jeans open with a metal irregularity sticking out from the wall of the plane BUT also lost my warm sleeping bag, and i couldnt find stephen's car so i wandered around lot 4C holding the keys outstretched and pushing the unlock button.
red hot! burning! you're on fire!! its lights gave a small flash, and i found it. and so there. my brain felt like 2am and i was zooming along 267 and jason l. on the phone was like, brent's at dulles right now. so is muna and her sister and mr hijazi. and that made me irrationally angry for some reason because it was cold and dark and i was alone when my plane arrived.
i drove to richmond, talking to myself and listening to radio hiphop. sat awake telling about Europe with jason and when i finally laid down to sleep it was so sublime i cannot even describe.
craigsville virginia. my family is good. and the house is cold because they've run out of oil, we open our presents christmas eve---we always do this, because we're the adults and there are no other adults to tell us not to---and my sister has bought everyone exactly the toys they never realized they wanted, we immediately attatch the Clapper to the christmas tree lights and laugh hysterically as it alternately works and does not work, and the lights go on and off in time with our laughing. and shriek ON TREE! OFF TREE! or BLAH! BLAH! or CLAP-PER! at the top of our lungs and laugh so hard we are choking and the cats race around, alarmed. we try to play Saturday Night Live Trivial Pursuit and it is too hard for us and we bend the rules to make everyone win and the treelights keep turning on and off whenever anyone speaks loudly. lolee has given me a toy mcdonalds milkshake-maker complete with packets of questionable chemical flavorings and i forget the brand name of the milkshakes they sell at mcdonalds, but i announce that i'm going to undermine the Whole System with it and capitalism is OVER; my granny has left us maybe a halfdozen tea-towels all wrapped individually which my mom tosses over her shoulder into a pile saying, oh! nice! a towel! as she opens them, until there is a large unwanted mound of towel behind her. duh, towels are not toys. by the way the secret of being poor at christmas is you wrap everything as separately as you can so it seems like more stuff.
its a sharp contrast to my aunt hilda's house, where we ate dinner, with nothing but grown people talking about jobs and ecetera and one small grandson kicking a ball around and occasionally being told that if he kicks it into the kitchen once more it will be confiscated; i can't imagine any of them sitting on the living room floor saying this game sucks lets play the worse case senario board game instead like my parents did with lo and i
yours, amanda L. at 11:30:00 PM [+]
we lounged lazily around the library benches. a french man arrives and has a sack of food for charles, but charles is out eating dinner with some family somewhere. the french man describes the contents of the sack, and by the time he gets to organic apple cider and 24-month aged cheddar mathew has sat up straight and we have gleaming faces and crocodile grins. our telepathic messages are so loud, i have to look at mathew to make sure we are not speaking. please leave the sack please leave the sack tell us to deliver it to charles pleeeease---leave---the---sack.
amazingly, the man sits down and procedes to feed us every last crumb while giving a running monologue about himself and the quality of the food we are eating. i eat everything he hands me, including the little bit of meaty something because i am not strict and its apparently rare and fancy and homemade and from an organic market in paris. my vegetarianism is a lover i cheat on repeatedly. we eat the cheddar and the stilton that he bought in london, he always hands us a little piece without bread first and makes us smell everything. and the bread is grainy and wholesome. we drink cupfuls of apple cider that comes from a big glass bottle. and then we eat chocolate that is 80% cocoa. it is all very m. f. k. fisher. petr arrives and asks me if i want to smoke hash with him by the river and i look at him fatly and yawn.
petr calls mathew mister cockroach or la cucaracha and when i ask him why he says because he vil eet enysink. later, much later, after we've wandered around by the seine, smoking and talking about Two Years Ago, after i've collapsed in a haze and tried to read the same page of a bret easton ellis book one hundred times but keep cracking up and starting over, and returned to the library for baguette/oil/herbs, petr pours a mound of salt at one end of the plate and i giggle for no reason. when we are done eating baguette--mathew's baguette--petr turns the plate carefully around on the bench's small incline so the oil slides across to the salt mound. he adds more oil. for zee cockroach... and i leave the room for something and return to hear mathew breadmouthed saying its delicious...did you put salt in this? and i cover my face with my hands and howl. we're eight year olds here. i make mathew pay me breakfast money in exchange for the long bed. we're scam artists here. the bartering reminds me of the dream bed which i remember unreally.
its my night for the bed.
its...my...night. you slept there last night.
last night was the first proper sleep i've had in two months.
wah wah wah. my night.
the first good sleep! i've had in two months!
(pause) i'll give you the bed if you buy my coffee in the morning.
i'll buy your coffee. in fact, i'll even buy you...you...
yes, i'll get your croissant as well.
i stayed awake and read the cat ate my gymsuit in the children's section, my old bed. it cramps my legs. i dreamt about new york and staircases.
yours, amanda L. at 4:08:00 AM [+]
yesterday george was pleasant to me and told nick i was House Mother and said i looked like i was ready to be in the folies because my sweater is very sparkley but today he yelled and threw cups all over the kitchen floor and made me scrape the black goo from the stovetop with a butterknife. i retrieved from the cupboard a small bottle of detergent from where it is carefully hidden, and when he was in the back room gushing over some visitor i poured a tiny bit Out. SOAP MAKES THINGS DIRTY!! he screamed over a bottle of window cleaner we found together yesterday while organizing the cupboards. throw it away! how george never throws anything away. we used to put the books in old franprix bags downstairs but now the customers get new red paper ones. today i slip away, but only after sweeping a million tiny cockroaches into the ashcan and rearranging the drinking glasses into some new cryptic scheme and hiding the soap back where it was.
i am in love with sparkley items, and kitten-heel shoes. on the way to the cafe molonga there is a hippie store that smells like spicy tea and hair and i buy myself a bracelet that is made of orange beads and little plastic discs that reflect the light. last night nathan and i bought two bottles of red wine and drank it in the children's section; i page idly through a book called kitten in the cold because i like the title and the main character is called Mandy, but its awful and i switch to fourth grade celebrity which i used to own a copy of in like 1984 or something. matthew from vancouver lies exhausted in the backroom, falling asleep so as to claim the bed we're fighting over, telling stories about sex and treachery. but he's got the long bed so i take the RER to nathans. the night before last was excellent because we watched some eastcoast underground hiphop show before layering up to walk to the 24hour pharmacy in search of bisolvon. it is on the champs elysses. we then decided to walk entirely to the opposite end of the whole thing and Ride The Ferris Wheel that is visible in the distance, turning round. there are lights everywhere and when we are at the top of the ferris wheel we can see every single thing in paris and then we point to every single thing and name it aloud.
thats the pantheon!
thats the notre dame!
there's the eiffel tower!
there's the sacre coeur!
and everything is completely worth it, friends. my entire life so far.
oh, plus! the other night i learned how to open certain locked doors with a credit card! i'm going to america in two days and i'll have a car until the tenth. LETS SEE ONE ANOTHER.
yours, amanda L. at 10:42:00 AM [+]
pastiche the bookstore. within minutes i am taken to a party, i don't know anyone and then suddenly i know everyone. we buy €2.55 bottles of wine and walk home in the cold rain. petr yells AMONDAAAA and fixes us pastis in the old yogurt glasses and i fall asleep in the library.
yours, amanda L. at 4:55:00 AM [+]
loose leaves; nathan has an apartment, right beside the eiffel tower. we walk underneath it at night and look up, dodging the men selling miniature towers that flash in a rainbow. i tease at them. unsettlercore. i do, however, see the sights; and then we walk for hours down rue mozart and actually find an open shop, which leads to a freeforall, we buy champagne, orangina ROUGE, wine, cheese, salad, steal an avocado (youre supposed to steal avocados where i come from), take the metro back and stay awake eating crackers and cheese and dripping olive oil and spices allover the comforter and watching french historical drama softcore porn on tv. nathan reports later that he vomited all day at work and that his employer also gave him a shockingly expensive camera, all because he is the luckiest duck on earth. for my part, i get caught hopping the metro the next night and am fined 20 euro. twenty divided by one-twenty is 16 or 17 times i now have to hop the metro to earn back the money the metro police fined me. after this happens i am drunk and capricious, with empty pockets, i telephone america and say i need to be reborn! like a phoenix! and and and
today it is raining; yesterday on the metro it broke, shuddered, turned still and all the lights went out, and this lady started to sing beautifully for money, in an edith piaf way, and it was so beautiful, and no one could look at her because we didnt want to give her any money, so we just sat in the dark uncomfortably until the tension was broken by a cellphone and its ringtone was the same as my friend wes's. and that made me fall out of my seat laughing. and that really broke the spell then; a little while later a lady's voice began broadcasting from the PA in monotone s'il vous plait french and everyone quietly got up and walked off the metro and began calmly yelling at the metro people at the head and foot of the trains. and i love public transportation. also airports. also sandwiches in little plastic triangle-shaped containers.
yours, amanda L. at 8:05:00 AM [+]
on the airplane i constructed a playlist/mixtape thats going to be titled WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT. and then when that was done i listened to the NMH song gardenhead twenty million times.
yours, amanda L. at 11:31:00 AM [+]
we're through eating tapas. its over. fuck a buncha spain. talk feverishly with the french canadians named yves that are too young, staring at their little wrists anyways, scrawling email address on napkins and then sip sip at tiny bottles of red syrup. four days total of looking at done-up walls. you know: when i open my home to guests i'll have strong mint tea ready in glass cups.
tonight i sat on the linoleum of the hostel bathroom, listening to neutral milk hotel and waiting for my peel-off mask to dry. peel-off masks, you guys! clear peel-off masks. when they are ready, your entire face looks shiny, like its turned to plastic. then you peel the whole thing off like dried paint from a paint tray, or elmers glue from your palms as a third-grader. i find it impoosible not to screw up my face like a scary monster and say EWWWWWWWWWWWW while i peel at it. and switch the ipod to mission of burma, real loud. THATS WHEN I REACH FOR MY REVOLVER
yours, amanda L. at 7:56:00 PM [+]
the city gives me a big wet lick, smoothes my hair and pats my cheek, saying you'll make it kid. stepping over children in the plaza that are screaming RRROWWWWWRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!! and flapping their thick arms, careening towards frantic pigeons; the cheap jewelry along d'avinyo, running into johanna in front of the hostel whereupon we buy beers from the vending machine and settle in a corner to finish her joint and talk about languages and grammar. she gets a call from her mami and i switch the computer on again. and thats all i've got, but its a start huh
yours, amanda L. at 9:52:00 AM [+]
spain-a spain-a spain-a. i'm going to buy a bicycle that folds in half. take it to france. see yaythan, who has an apartment. i have to physically restrain myself from downright moving into people's homes who appear to have any extra space and smile nicely at me. i'm a starving starving starver. i'm going through some sort of withdrawal, with shakes and headaches and an a mania for checking my email one thousand times an afternoon. if you ever wanted to start cooresponding with me, the time is nigh. but i'm a little blank, at all times, and will drop the ball, so you must ask the questions and do all the work. ohh, its not too much to ask. all i do is ask, huh?
i was writing a comment to lil daves LJ but it got too long and off-topic and more about me than him so i erased and here it is here instead. its heavily meta, by the way:
!!!!!!! WHY ARE WE ALL SO UNABLE TO STOP BEING SO SAD??? its winter its winter its winter. winter is for emptiness. when i was 19 years old i wrote across my calendar JANUARY WILL MAKE YOU HATE YOURSELF. and last year, seven years later, andrew and i laid about talking about how pointless our lives seemed and we came up with the Living Calendar (rememeber it from the large whiteboard?) which did not work whatsoever (case in point: this summer should have been the zenith of Getting Things Done according to the LC, but i spent the entire time getting high with luke, i think--)
winter is specifically for emptiness. i know this empirically, but i still cry in bed like an asshole.
i feel like if i had kids it would be different. you know, i'd be going to parents' night at their school and finally learning how to put together a bicycle so it could go under the xmas tree and all that rot.
its our student-y lives. we don't have any purpose or responsibility outside of shitty jobs or school, which can't be right---i refuse to accept meaningful responsibility that doesn't involve other humans and caring over them.
blerg. i'm in spain meanwhile, which is fun in the dark. i drink codeine and stare at the cathedrals.
yours, amanda L. at 6:58:00 AM [+]
dear the whole world,
i want a house and my own bedroom. fuck dream beds, i´m aware now that dream beds are storybook hubris; a futon on the floor will be fine. also a bathroom with a shower or bathtub. i want a housemate or two, they must enjoy being in the kitchen and always keep the coffee on and every now and then telepathically detect when i am weary and need them to suggest hiding out and watching a movie or merely another pot of coffee. i want a cat. i want furniture and bookshelves, where i´ll put my books in rows, and when people stop over i will be able to gesture at these books and it will be understood that therein lies a great bundle of the contents of my mind. and i will point out the record player and the sewing machine and the cameras. do you get me here? i want a home. because two+ years of general placelessness had eroded my insides into dry little sticks. i have nothing to point to.
in exchange for a home and some semblance of comfort, i will by god compromise. i will go to work often and get drunk less. i will not kiss strangers in closets every day. i will work at every task like a girl that has something to work for. and that thing would be my fucking house. sincerely, anda gail lewis.
p.s. what i´m wondering is how exactly do i get started? do i start with work, or start with a city, or start with the housemates, or start with the structure?
p.p.s. my hearts so gigantic over the idea of it. i have a teeny bit of strength, and maybe i have a little extra.
yours, amanda L. at 5:56:00 PM [+]
i took an overnight train. it swayed me to sleep and i had homesickly dreams, where the connecting train was actually a sleeper bus that had little couchettes as well and then swayed us to richmond, where it was amy homewrecker´s birthday, and she lived in a huge building in a much larger-looking city, and the entire rooftop was a grassy field, and i was explaining to her that i´d just come back for a few days on the night-time train. jonathan arp had my car which was now white and driveable, i found him in a parking lot and frowned, saying, i gave this car to dennis. in the dream i kept getting text messages on my phone from luke stevens, and when i woke up i found that t-mobile had sorted itself out and had been text messaging me all night to say, your phone it works now. i was sleeping with my ear to the phone beneath the pillow.
yours, amanda L. at 6:27:00 AM [+]
how we do
its crowded but its the off season, and they're tearing up the main road to lay down an updated one. people line the edges watching with mouths slack, clutching shopbags with every hand. its a bad day for children. we watch them throw tantrums in front of every cathedral and get lifted off the ground to a loud ECOUTEZ and pull back, whining and whimpering.
in the place de something or another we watched pigeons take baths in the fountain and wriggle their necks veryfast, into one another. we did this for a half hour. i couldve kept on. and we become increasingly manic; turn corner after corner through the old town, where there's a shop selling montana paint in every color that exists. this is bizarre and awesome in equal measures. i buy lilac, and think of my friends. also a little silver pocket can. and a fat pink marker. oh, diamonds for every surface! and in the market there is a lady selling spices and the spices are piled into bright orange and yellow mounds.
oh god. i want to do nothing but be a spice-seller in some market somewhere, until my dying day. i'd let my teeth continue to rot out of my face and they'd turn black and blue and i'd tell children my teeth rotted from the candy i eat for breakfast lunch and dinner. and i'd fucking eat candy for every meal. and i'd write love letters at night and mail them to strangers. the end. after the market, and the old town, which is very twisty and crowded with inexpensive shoes and paninis, we go and sit by the sea awhile. the sea is the best. it is blue. there are far-away boats; airplanes run out from the clouds over the airport. we turn idle. what next; maybe the ridiculous tourist bus with two layers. why not, lets find it.
we don't, and instead eat lavishly at the scottish tea house. something cremey and mushroomy. then, fat as slugs, we decide that we both need haircuts immediately.
i'm in a foreign land and i do not go to the sites. i go to the laundrymat. i go to the cornerstores for weird beers. and now, today, stephen and i go in for cool-kids style haircuts with the works from some random salon along some random wide rue. we go into every salon on the street until one will take us. nobody speaks anybody's language, and i gesture at my bangs. nodding, emphatic and frowning and yessing; they take up the sisscors and i am drunk with contentment.
now he has a fauxhawk and i look indierock as shit. i mean cute. you'd kiss my cheek if you saw.
afterwards we laughed like idiots for a long while.
yours, amanda L. at 9:44:00 AM [+]
lemme clarify. laurent is fussing with the wall, its got sparkly decorations spelling 200 in red and then 5 in silver. the sound of chairs moving around, brrrrrt. i mean, my mind and the contents of this world cannot be torn apart, children. you know? listen, i miss you. i am a sentimental fool, like iestyn lloyd kissing me at the gate in 1997. i get tired and quiet inside, and i cant help but think about the last moments sitting in space hibbs already miserable because i was leaving. how it just wrecks me. the idea of it.
1. i am unhappy somewhere but
é. travelling feels good
3. so i'll leave, then
4. travelling is lonely because your friends are not there
(4b. TIME TRAVEL IS LONELY!)
5. i know i'll be sad
6. so i think about the future and feel delirious in every way
you know. delirious in its good and bad way. its combination way. i love the transit. its my element, transit. "i only ever feel normal when i am moving in a trajectory from one point to another" listen; i am drunk and in a weird space, a keyboard i pulled over the countertop, and then grabbed the mouse and its platform, after many drinks and much political talk. who knows what we will do: but going around and around is so necessary and i miss you. i miss waking up and wondering who i will see, or what we'll get up to. and after a million zillion times of being drunk in some foreign place, and then going home and OH! containing the memory, we still fucking leave. "and still we were not satisfied." everyone should read hopscotch by julio cortazar. i'm so drunk. fuck you all. love you byeeeeeeee.
yours, amanda L. at 8:11:00 PM [+]
its two in the morning. ive accessed the hostel computer. i am allowed. yes; i got drunk with david and talked of course about politics. its that moment when you are stuttering along into broken english and they say but zee left and t zee riiight...they are the same no? and you scream yes yes and start talking communism.
i'm sorry about what i said about cote d'azur bougies. they are not cool. conspicuous wealth is not cool. free drink is rad! luv you bye.
yours, amanda L. at 8:05:00 PM [+]
NICE NICE NICE NICE NICE !!! i am in the cote d'azur with all the bougies. and it is excellent. because it is the off season so it is very quiet, and it is warm warm warm. i walked to the beach and said, why am i such an idiot i should be living beside the sea all the time because its the best. and then i looked for interesting rocks for about two hours. and i said, why don't i fucking know more about rocks? how did these rocks get here? looking like this? and then i went to the anglais bookstore and bought a copy of lord of the flies. THATS RIGHT BITCHES.
the hostel is boring but in the matin there is this coffee machine that dribbles out free cafe cremes when you push its buttons, which delights me to no end. its limitless. it knows other tricks but i am not interested in chocolate or lait chaud. we are at the seashore. stephen has to sit wrapped in a heavy blanket and stare at the water all day long, coughing pitifully like a consumptive. this is a lie that i wish were true. mostly he only lays in bed, being consumptive allover out dormitory. i have urgent conversations brimming right from me for several friends in several places. dear the whole world: you must email me.
yours, amanda L. at 2:13:00 PM [+]
shh, pass it on i got stephen's flu and then i gave it to the boy who kissed me in the hostel bathroom. he had floppy curls and a handlebar mustache and said he'd just turned twenty and i said will you shut up please and then he crashed our beer glasses to the floor on purpose and i grabbed a fist full of curls and pulled his head against the table and said you've crashed our beers and now we need more beers and he said ow. and then we danced to outkast and got into a little fight but then made up in the hostel bathroom.
this morning i really had the flu. we stayed in our luxe hotel thats across the street from the peace and luv. in the shower it occurred to me that floppyface probably now has the flu and that it serves him right for messing with me. and then i felt like typhoid mary and started to giggle.
yours, amanda L. at 1:44:00 PM [+]
stephen is, unsurprisingly, deathly ill with grippe. as per usual. naima still works at the p&l hostel. i went to the bookstore and exclaimed over it, pulled kitty close to my chest and kissed her fur allover, sat on my old bed in the childrens books and squinted at the tiny notes afixed to the mirror. outside, i checked by the door for the unlocking stick, which was not there; a boy sitting on the bench outside looked at me all strange so i winked at him.
i know where to go in this town. as soon as i had stephen installed in a bed where he could cough and sleep, i climbed happily over the turnstile at the juares metro and started DFA on his borrowed ipod. FAMILIAR THINGS.
in the heathrow airport i was staggering around blearily, holding my eyeballs inside my face with one hand, and some boy wearing antlers said sample a winter cocktail? at which point i did an about-face and stood awhile at the dutyfree bar, addressing man standing next to me as "friend" as we methodically pounded the free drinks one two five eight, ginger beer is delicious! ha ha! and then in my heart suddenly so missed my scavenging chums in richmond because had they been there i would have gone to fetch one and say, there's free alcohol over here and then laugh in their face like a hyena and pull at an arm c'mon!!
yours, amanda L. at 7:49:00 AM [+]
anda gail lewis 2005. stop crying every day.