Someone posted on Twitter about getting a convertible and I flashed back to my first and most beloved car, a piece of crap Fiat Spider that I loved with my entire soul. It had been lovingly owned by some guy in Virginia for fifteen years, who had painted a tiny Italian flag on the driver-side door and who gave me a tiny box of tiny Fiat tools along with the car. Growing up in a family that tended toward big, boxy Volvos (hello white-upper-middle-class cliche and privilege), having a car that was so tiny I could touch every single part of it from the front seat was an exhilarating feeling, and putting the top down was just heaven.
I was eighteen, ending my sophomore year in college, I think? It was a ridiculous car to buy: dangerous—due to a loophole in the California import laws, it didn’t have seatbelts, didn’t have to pass a smog check, and didn’t have a roll bar; unreliable—true to all the jokes about Fiats, it literally came with a mechanic, named Giuseppe, who I got to know really well and who ended up teaching me to fix a lot of the more chronic problems myself. To this day I am ridiculously proud of myself for knowing what a solenoid is; and impractical—I was moving every year at least at that point in my life. I loved it beyond belief.
Everyone said “If you get a convertible, then you will only want convertibles for the rest of your life,” and I was like “Um, so?” It’s true, though. After the Fiat I had a Toyota Celica convertible, then two huge Chrysler LeBarons. My last last car before I moved to New York was a regular car, a blue Ford Escort. I hardly ever drove it, though. By that point I was living in walkable West Hollywood, sort of kind of making a living as a writer, and had discovered I could get boys to drive me almost anywhere I wanted to go.
In my many daydreams about moving, to Oakland, or to Portland, or to Seattle, the dreams always contain a convertible. They just represent freedom to me.
Had scarcely deigned to lie-
When, stirring, for Belief’s Delight,
My Bride had slipped away-
It ‘twas a Dream - made solid - just
The Heaven to confirm-
Or if Myself were dreamed of Her-
The power to presume-”
Emily Dickinson (1830-1866)
THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT MONSTER.
She literally does love to sleep on the left side of my chest, over my heart because she is my baby love.
I personally try to spend as little time behind a computer as possible, and write about my life outside in the world, and not about other things that anyone else is, you know, “covering.” I don’t “cover” stories, I tell my own. It’s not more admirable than blogging, it’s just a different thing altogether. And so I think that’s what confuses people—what I’m doing via the medium of the web. There are lots of people who in the comments are like, “Why is this online?” But that’s why I wanted to go to VICE, because VICE generally doesn’t write about other stuff on the internet. It’s much truer to the best kind of magazine writing, which is people going out into the world and seeing things and doing things and writing about them.
…people are in their air-conditioned offices and they’re behind computers and picking on each other—which is great fun when it’s done artfully and brilliantly, don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-internet or anything, it’s opened up the whole world to people as much as it’s shut people in. But anyone who is responsible for putting out online content has to, I think, be ambitious and look at what’s missing from the 90 million conversations going on online—and then write that. Take a risk, you know? And I am proud of my online work because I believe that I did that. Like at xoJane, because everybody wrote about sex so much, I never ever would write about sex; there are a million beauty blogs and no one ever wrote about their real lives on them, and certainly not about anything, uh, edgy, and so I went there with the drug stuff. But at VICE I was like, “OK, what’s missing here?”; VICE has done it all. And what I decided was missing was [laughs] feelings. Emotional vulnerability. So I was like, “I’m gonna go there and write emo.” And I don’t think you really knew what to do with it at first. Like, men aren’t used to reading that kind of stuff.
I just got mad about that dumb train wreck story again.
It was someone’s birthday, and we had fallen apart but it was this movie and his birthday, at the Director’s Guild theater. I miss my friend. I don’t think about it much, but I feel sick when I think about how other people get to be his friend and I don’t. This movie gives me a stomach ache, a familiar and horrible one.
We went to a midnight showing on Sunset and by the time it was over, almost everyone had left. Tom was going to see it a few years ago and I was like, I want you to see it so we can discuss it but it will change you. I went to see this with the man who almost destroyed me, so it makes sense now I guess. I could cry for years.
This was extremely painful to watch, in the sense that I grew 50 more layers of hiding my feelings. I went by myself and then walked home and sat and stared at the wall for five hours. Then I bought a knife.