So I wake up thinking about hashtags—warning: this might be a joke about a joke. Is that a hashtag in your pocket, or are you just happy not to see me? A hashtag walks into a bar. Or is a bank? How does a hashtag tell the difference? These are the questions we are faced with today.
Today’s cooking advice: turning on the wrong burner will probably not make your recipes more creative. A kohlrabi review: difficult to chop and it doesn’t taste that special, but in vegetable stock it’s the secret ingredient that changes your life. Help, the descriptive blurb is taking over my life. Maybe I should write a book called DESCRIPTIVE BLURB. Has anyone started a dating show called THE BEST ADVICE FROM THE MOVIE YOU NEVER WATCHED? And they’re opening up a gym down the street called Orange Theory. Does anyone understand this name? I guess Orange Crush was already taken. Orange Juice might make you thirsty. You don’t want to be thirsty while you’re working out. Maybe gym names are not supposed to make sense. Usually I guess they’re named after some guy who got really buff and now you go somewhere called Gold’s or David Barton or whatever, and don’t even think about it. Don’t even think about it: that’s an important important ingredient in gym culture. Maybe the most important ingredient. What are some other gym names? Crunch. That one makes sense. You definitely know what you’re doing if you’re going to 24 Hour Fitness, right? “You’re a woman of the ‘80s, you’re a Spa Lady.” That one made sense to me. But I was never allowed to go with my mother. Equinox. That’s one of the poshest. Retinal scanning instead of membership card when it first opened in New York 15 years ago.
Woke up thinking about Amina Cain’s Creature as a meditation on meditation, the distance of watching your own acts as they happen, the connection and disconnection between feeling and self-expression, the gaps between what we want and what we imagine. Meanwhile, whoever invented that atrocious smell described as cleaning the carpet, what do you think they were thinking? Indifference is the new difference. Whenever I hear the phrase killing it I want to run for cover. The trouble with being a writer is the trouble with being a writer. With all this killing it going on, what happens when you really?
Sometimes I feel like someone turned the lights off, even though it’s light out, maybe because it’s light out, but what do I mean if it’s the light that’s giving me a headache. My brain, that’s the light I mean, like my brain’s shut off no, it’s the distance between thinking and feeling, or feeling and being, being in bed, is that where I should be? If I close my eyes maybe I’m closing everything. Yes, I want to go get in bed, but maybe I’ll go for a walk, anyway. I thought today was the day when I didn’t feel so tired.
Every time I learn something about a sports team, I wish for no sports teams.
“I don’t know what truth looks like—I haven’t experienced it yet.” Amina Cain, Creature. And: “My challenge is to relax with another person in the way I relax when no one is there.” Thinking about the layering of desire inside violence inside calm inside work inside thought inside power inside powerlessness, and by layering I also mean the way the chapters overlap, voices in and outside of time, present and past and never-present and ever-present, maybe there is a play that becomes something other than play, something deeper in longing or violence. And then the relationships that people often do not call call relationships, at least not the relationships, between sisters and cousins and friends. In particular, friends, and how those relationships can last in different forms: “I think this is because the body still remembers the relationship, and most likely the bodies keep it alive in spite of the mind. The best thing would be to spend time with each other physically, but this is not always possible or appropriate.” The shifts in voice that build into and out of one another until suddenly we are in something almost like satire, with all-caps words like MY LIFE, except “My talent lies in gentleness, even if I am not a gentle person.” Is there always rejection inside dejection, I think that’s a question this book is asking. Husband and wife, and where this isn’t what it is, where this isn’t what it should be, where this should be what it isn’t, and where it is. Friends with physicality that might be desire even if it isn’t desire. A desire for softness. A desire for empathy. A desire for feeling, hearing, seeing, knowing, growing, flowing, I didn’t mean for this to rhyme. A desire for rhyme? The way one works with the other, the relationship becomes another organism.
And then the last piece, where is it that I start crying? Before the question about whether the relationship will be forever, the question that gets in the way of the rest of my feeling because of course we know forever doesn’t happen, right? But this piece makes us question that. It’s a trope about a three-way relationship between the narrator and a married couple, something so easy to make go terribly wrong, but it doesn’t because this is the piece where everything comes together, that dynamic between feeling and trying to feel, exterior thought and interior action, suddenly everything opens up into a fluidity of comfort. A creature of us.