1. My mother and I are sitting on the floor of the room that will be Stephen’s one day, but he’s not born yet, so it’s my playroom, with a play kitchen set and two little chairs, and a table full of paper and crayons. I’m making requests and my mother is drawing them in a spiral notebook, in magic marker. She’s sitting tailor-fashioned, and I’m lying on my stomach, chin in my hands, the carpet against my bare legs. I say, “Draw a wishing well, with a girl next to it,” and I watch her draw the rounded gray stones steadily, without making a mistake. She’s drawn an arm, and a girl’s hand with red fingernails, when the phone rings, and she drops the marker and runs to the other room. I can tell by her voice, sweet and low, that it’s my dad, calling from the office. I rest my head on my outstretched arm next to the spiral and lie there, looking at the wishing well, hearing the murmur of my mother’s voice from the next room. She never finishes the drawing. It’s in the back of that spiral notebook in with my art supplies for years. They’d been married for almost ten years at that point, but she still jumped for the phone like a girl in love.
2. Laura is driving me home from the party. It’s been four weeks since I broke up with him, and I’m still too relieved not to have to go home to a fight to miss him. Every Friday and Saturday night, we all go to the bar, where we fill the jukebox with the Ramones and tell stories and sometimes kiss each other in the bathroom stalls, going home alone and passing out in jeans stiff with cigarette smoke. But this night, we follow another boy’s white car to a party after the bar closes, and then sit in a stranger’s dark living room, watching him talk to another girl. Someone turns on a red light and I’m suddenly angry, ready to leave. Laura drives around my block several times, both of us singing along to the same song on repeat, me crying and spitting out the words. When I finally go inside, I don’t even bother to lock my front door. It’s made of glass anyway.
3. It’s early July, I’m twenty-five, and he and I are skinny-dipping late at night at someone else's house. The surface of the water is violet, the ripples black, no moon. The day was so warm that the water feels like a bath, but there’s a breeze and honeysuckle overhead. We are up against the stone wall in the corner, and the broken tiles scrape my skin. Afterwards, I float in the middle of the deep end on my back, arms outstretched, eyes to the sky, until I nearly fall asleep. Years later, late at night on the phone, he asks me if I remember this night, and says, “You were like steam on the water… I kept trying to breathe you in.” I blink in the darkness of my bedroom, surprised to realize that he was there.
Text messages saved in my phone, vol. 5
(cf: vol. 1, 2, 3, and 4)
Ding ding! Bring em back alive.
How’s shit working out for you over there, Seamus?
Girl I been dumped an I am on madison ave and I am wearing a headset. I don’t even know who I am anymore!
Carl Winslow gives a soulwrenching performance
Also I can’t be mortal enemies with dogs.
I think I’m hanging out with 23 yr olds
I have 2 ninjas and a speed skater. Can I improvise? Good Lord, I can only open one eye.
What Would Gavin Rossdale Do
Eating pizza in Narnia!
Scream in the birth control aisle.
I’m watching Arthur and drinking robitussin. What u do?
God is dead. Tim McGraw lives, sadly.
Nothing that shits or cries is worth fifteen grand. Incontinent Einstein, maybe ten.
Everybody’s so fucking in love with their own mythology.
This thing is starting to get away from us…
This gum is amazing
We’re going full stream. Aim for the flat top.
I’ve been pulled into a tattoo situation
I just saw my french nemesis, who was nice, which makes me SO MAD.
Wait til you see the pics. The weirdest thing: all the Secret deodorants in the john.
I just realized I have a skeleton in my purse I meant to give you.
You old slut on junk. Merry to you, too.
I will bring muscle three deep and sleep standing up.
Side of building in Tribeca reads PIPE FITTINGS. Oh, if only.
Woman at hobby lobby just asked where the shepherd hooks are.
Oh hey I got to gush blood for a 4th time earlier
“I Love You Paul” is about Paul Muad’dib
Nothing spells romance like vampire poison combined with a food containing the word “ball.”
Boomerang on one channel, Candyman 3 on another. WHAT TO DO.
I’m most fun
What were Judge Reinhold’s parents even thinking?
Seriously must get into battlestar (note: this one came at 4:48 am)
Cheerleader skirt, and thigh highs! Thigh high fishnets! Wait, no. Cheerleader skirt and leather chaps. And a feather boa. And a cowboy hat! And flippers! And those glitter antlers! With the balls. Oh, and a Reagan mask.
You’re in an all day montage!
No, you love this. Shut up and go to sleep.
Thats a good start.
Just call me, texty
Ostrich feathers, anyone?
I always like hearing about other people’s favorite daily products, the things they swear by, the things that make their lives easier. Mostly because I never stop believing that I can find something in a fluorescent-lit store that will change my life forever for the better. I’ve been thinking about writing about my own favorite things for awhile now, but then I’d think, oh, that’s so frivolous and silly, just a post about products. Then I remembered I have a blog. So here you go!
Philosophy Soap & Water - Here’s the thing: I am obsessed with smelling clean. I don’t want to smell like flowers or fruit or any of that teenage stripper bullshit; I want to smell like I just stepped out of the shower, all day long. So I use a body wash and perfume called Soap & Water. The perfume is especially nice in stinky hot New York summers - if I don’t have time to shower again before going out at night after having been out all day, I just hold up my hair and spray the back of my neck. Sometimes I do that just for myself, before I go to bed. If I want to feel fancy, I use Fresh soap in Freesia, because my college boyfriend always said, “Freesia smells like pretty girls.” If I want to feel really fancy, I’ll use Coco, but only in the winter.
Benefit f.y..eye – I realize, this tiny little jar costs $20. It will also last you several years and make your eye shadow stay on all day long, not slide off into the crease and give you that weird shiny line like when Bugs Bunny dressed up like a girl.
L’Oreal Vive Pro Smooth Intense conditioner – If I could choose hair products based on smell alone, I’d use Pert Plus 2-in-1 every single day, but it makes my hair feel like I washed it in chlorine. My hair went curly all of the sudden a few years ago, like practically overnight, and for awhile I tried all kinds of products for curly hair. They are all basically a waste of money, especially anything you spray on. That shit’s for straight-haired posers. Once I even blew $40 on some fancy Frederic Fekkai specially-formulated curly hair shampoo and conditioner. They smelled great and didn’t do jack. I have yet to try anything that works better than this L’Oreal conditioner. I buy the one that says “For Dry, Frizzy or Rebellious Hair,” not because my hair is particularly dry, but because my hair is always cutting fifth hour to make out with burnouts beneath the bleachers.
OPI clear base & top coat – I can’t stand getting salon manicures, except for the part where they give you the hand massage, so I do my own nails. This stuff will make your manicure last at least a week without chipping. I personally feel that the only two choices for a lady are red or clear, but I’m not the boss of you, so go ahead and get a French manicure and look like a small town child bride if you want. However, if you are painting your own nails red, the two secrets are: your nails must be short, and you must paint them the night before, so that in the shower the next morning, you’ll get rid of any excess polish on your fingertips while you wash your hair. A few days later, give yourself another application of the top coat. I like to do this while I watch Law & Order: Criminal Intent. NEVER SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT; Ice-T causes bubbles while drying.
Brush Ups – Apparently toothpaste is a hot button issue these days, so I’ll sidestep that minefield and tell you instead how I’m obsessed with Brush Ups. I keep them in my purse and sometimes it’s all I can do not to use them right there at the table after lunch. I also daydream about flossing sometimes. I know; I’ve got to get laid.
L’eggs microfiber tights – I spend most of the winter wearing wool skirts, black tights, and tall boots. It’s much warmer and cuter than wearing pants. This brand is my favorite because they’re silky and stretchy and don’t snag or run easily, and you never get that horrible crotch-hovering-one-inch-below-your-actual-crotch situation. They cost $5 at Duane Reade and last forever, so long as you wash them with your delicates like your mama taught you.
Sunbeam heated mattress pad – Emily told me that this was how she and Tony survived their first Chicago winter. I’m sure she also meant that their love kept them warm, but as we all know, one shouldn’t depend on love to keep one warm, nor to pay one’s bills. Love < electricity. In so many ways. Anyway, this thing is a godsend for someone like me, who can’t stand sleeping in socks or long sleeves or pants, or basically anything heavier than perfume (see above). I will begrudgingly put on winter layers before bed, only to wake up at 3 am, sweaty and cranky and peeling them off. When I lived in Oklahoma, my winter pajamas were a T-shirt and knee socks. Basically, I want to wear a tank top to bed all year long, and now I can! It has 10 heat levels and an auto shut off, and I usually switch it on while I’m brushing my teeth, so by the time I climb into bed, everything's toasty, and my socks and pants can come off, and all is right with the world. In so many ways.
If you live in Ireland, you can hear Roisin Ingle interview me on her radio show, Weekend Blend, on Newstalk this Saturday, January 20, at 10 am, and again on Sunday at 5 pm. You can listen live if you’re in the United States and find yourself awake and online at 3 am. And if you’re awake and online at 3 am, odds are that you are either drunk or dissatisfied with your life, so by all means, email me afterwards.
It's no Levon, but hey.
I was in line at the post office the other day, and that Elton John song from The Lion King was playing. I love the way he sings the line about “kings and vagabonds.” It’s so decadent. So over the top. Like you can only sing that line if you’re draped in velvet. Who the hell hangs out with kings and vagabonds? Elton John, that’s who, probably every Tuesday night. I bet Elton John’s entire life is like the Stevie Nicks songbook injected with Botox. I bet the ottomans in Elton John’s house are made out of live boys. I bet he won’t even get out of bed in the afternoon without someone turning on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack to accompany him on his prance to the loo. Only I bet he calls it the ladies’. And in the ladies’, I bet he has two sinks, one with a water spout and another that spouts body butter. Whenever I try to picture seriously rich people’s lives, I just imagine that they’re incredibly moisturized. It’s like the ancient Romans putting fountains in front of their villas to signify wasteful wealth. Like Oprah. You know that girl is swimming in lotion somewhere. Once Maggie described a lotion as smelling like “rich girl neck.” I love that.
If I ever become insanely wealthy, I’m going to be a real a-hole about it. You know, demanding gossamer hair extensions for my pet leopard, only eating fruit if it’s spraypainted gold, that kind of shit. I'm already impetuous and irresponsible, staying at the bar til 3 am because I want to keep talking to this cute guy, or reading about hot dogs on the train ride home and then stopping at the market to buy turkey franks and buns for dinner, so why not throw some limitless funds on top of my lack of self-control? I am basically a 10 year old in charge of my own life, and isn't that what rich people are? Plus, I'd really appreciate the fancy bath products.
In other news: mailboy.
Internet, please allow me to tell you that John Oliver from the Daily Show was at Cringe tonight. Just watching. With a friend. Who lives in the neighborhood. They read about it and thought they’d come check it out. You know, whatever.
I broke my rule of not ever talking to famous people and went over to talk to him, and while I was crossing the room, I thought, “Wow, what are you about to say right now, Sarah?” And sadly, what I basically said was, “I know you! You were on my TV last night!” Then I stuck a piece of straw between my teeth and thumbed my overalls. And then I went into the bathroom and put a gun to the roof of my mouth. So what I’ve learned from this is that I should never break my rule of not talking to famous people. He was very nice, though.
I feel lamer just typing this.
Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday
Cringe is tomorrow night, Wednesday, January 10, at Freddy’s. WNBC is going to be covering it. I am not interested on being on television ever again in my entire life, but you should totally come!
After tomorrow, I promise to write a post completely unrelated to Cringe. In it I will talk about my feelings. Maybe make a dick joke.
(I met this guy recently, and he knew I had a blog, and he said, “You have a blog? What kind? What do you write on it?” And I said, “Oh, you know, I write about my feelings.” Only it was really loud in the bar so he said, “What?” and I shouted, “DICK JOKES!”
He was pretty cute.)
Getting down to brass tacks
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY
Do you still want to be in the Cringe book? Well, I am so glad to hear that, because cringebook.com is up and running, and waiting for your teenage pain.
Check it out, spread the word, tell your friends, or perhaps people you just want to go to bed with. I trust your judgment. Submit early and submit often!