Time Machine #2

I would go back to a time when you were mine.
A Sunday night, when we weren’t rushing to go somewhere,
or listening to something, or accidentally falling asleep like fully-clothed puppies. 
I would wait for a moment you were listening to me. Really listening.
Present, quiet, still. 
I’d say “Hi” and listen till I heard your steady voice, not the one that goes up an octave when you pretend.
I would look you in the eyes and tell you “One day you might not speak to me anymore.”
Past-you would protest this, say you couldn’t imagine a world where we didn’t speak to one another - 
I will give you that. I will not correct you. I will smile and say,
“On the crazy, absurd, off-chance that one day you might not speak to me anymore, I want you to know: I hope you are marvelously, wonderfully, desperately happy. I hope you adore someone who hears your full voice. I hope the life you have without me brings you joy. At my saddest and maddest and most confused: I will always love you.”  
You would hear me then, if you cannot hear me now. 
Someone else can go back and kill Hitler. 


The man with the power didn't put his hand on your knee at drinks. 
He put his hand on the knees of other women ordering other drinks. 
He asked them questions about careers, boyfriends, ambitions, hopes, 
Questions punctuated with that hand, 
another kind of "?" 
Never yours, though. 
He asked questions at your face, his hands asked nothing of your knee. 
After a while, your knees grew comfortable, at ease, even proud. 
They reveled sitting there, untouched. 
"This must be what men's knees feel like", they thought. 
Cocky knees. 
Those knees (who in most rooms expected they would go untouched) 
Liked how the man with power might touch other knees but certainly wouldn't touch them.
Maybe deference is more fun for knees than respect. 
"What fun it is to be the ones who got away" they smirked, imagining a rom-com instead of a fox-hunt. 

The man with the power had you jump through hoops. 
It felt good except for when it didn't, like most workouts. 
You were maybe even a little proud of what you accomplished. 
To be fair you were executing complicated acrobatics. 
Only agonizing on the occasions where you missed, toppled, 
Splayed on the carpet.
“How’d you end up there?” he’d ask, genuinely baffled, hoop still in hand.
These workouts are never something you want to do, but rewarding afterwards, when you’re done.
It feels nice to do well at something you’ve practiced so often. 
This is what they don't tell you: 
When you have trained for something your whole life, and that hoop appears -
It is almost impossible not to jump. 
It doesn't feel violent to jump. It feels like hitting snooze. 
Not jumping through the hoop, in fact, means ignoring every instinct for self-preservation. 
Not jumping means refusing to accept a cookie. 
Life is so hard already, why deny yourself a cookie? 

The man with the power reads your recent work. 
He says it is good. It is very good. 
You knew it was good but it feels even gooder if he thinks it's good.
"I was afraid to share it with you, to let anyone read it. This play is what actually scares me" you say. 
"You should be afraid to share this" he confides, "And that's how I know you're a real writer and I'm not. You're brave enough to write down what actually scares you. I've never written anything that scares me like this."
You wanted notes on this early draft but he wants to produce it, wants agents to see it, it's a vote of confidence, 
He is pushy because he believes in you. 
A wave of relief rumbles over you, the confidence that comes when a man with the power aligns his self-interest with yours. 

The man with the power comes to care for you, and you for him. 
His arms grow too tired to hold the hoops. Something is up with him.
This is a relief. You’ve grown too busy to jump. 
Except for every once in a while, 
Old habits, you know. 
You take care of each other in small ways over coffee meetings. 
Here is the space he gives you to talk about your breakup. 
Now is the time you allot him to feel odd about therapy. 
Hands can touch arms now, small brief punctuations. 
The "." at the end of phrases like, 
"That sounds hard." or "I’m not sure what to do next." or “Yeah.” 
Hands are so far from the realm of knees it's almost funny to imagine one there. 
The image does not compute. 

The man with the power is outed. 
He is removed. 
He is publicly shamed. 
You kneel and throw up all the cookies.
This hurts your knees.
All of the women hold hands. 
You weep for them. 
You weep with them? 
You wonder if you're allowed to weep with them. 
You'd imagined their knees. You'd forgotten to imagine their faces on their way home from drinks.
You wonder if a few things had gone differently, if you knew something different about his hands,
Would you have been weeping this whole time.

You touch your own knee. 
You imagine all the knees of all the girls who went to all the drinks. 
You decide to write down what actually scares you. 

You think of the man with the power, alone somewhere. 
He was always regular scary to you. Not real scary. 
The normal, low-grade hum of terror emanating off all of the men with all the power. 
Will they pull out hoops at any moment? 
Best to stretch beforehand, perform your mental aerobics, track those hands in your periphery without breaking eye contact. 
You trained for this, remember?
You were used to regular scary. 
You were good at regular scary.

"It is me" you write
"I scare me"
"I scare me"
"I scare me"

A Chorus of Lonely Objects

Here lies a Chorus of Lonely Objects I was forced to cut from my play. 
"Forced" in that everyone who ever read it said "This is a great play if you cut the chorus of lonely objects."
Forgive me for not having room for all nine of you to speak.
You are now just props in someone else's scene. Inanimate.  
Remember that I loved you because you were bad at giving monologues, not in spite of.
You will be missed, if only by me.
Definitely only by me. 
But still.
I'll miss you all the same.


I want to protect you.
More than anything I want to keep you safe, and clean, and okay.
There are so many things, so many things, so many many things trying to hurt you.
But I stand in their way.
I hold you and I stand in their way so they can’t get you.
I do that, for you.
I know that - I hear that - pain is good. Ultimately.
That hot oil splatters onto you and burns you but then it heals and you’re better for it.
I hear that spots will stain you and then they will come out, no worse for wear.
I hear that.
I understand that.
But these things will still find you, I suspect, on their own.
When I am not around.
They will find you and you will experience pain and you will get stains all on your own.
Wherever you are.
So while I’m here, while I’m around -
I’d like to hold you.
I’d like to protect you.
While I can.

I’ve heard it said - a kitchen saying -
That using a sharp knife is safest, it is the dull knives that trip up and cut you.
But this I think is full of shit.
Of course a sharp knife will cut you.
Of course I will.
This is obvious to me.
This should be obvious to you.
I want to cut everything.
I want - powerfully within me - I want to cut everything.
There is nothing I will not cut, if given the opportunity.
You know this about me.
You should know this about me.
I do not try not to cut things.
I try to cut things.
Any things.

I will cut you if you are in front of me.
I am honest about this.
So should you be.
And then we will be fine.

(S/he drips.)

I don’t... last very long.
I don’t... know why. That is the case.
But it is.
I am here.
And then I am gone...
I am not a metaphor.
I know what that is.
I am not that.
I am real.
For a moment.
I am real.
I am hard and solid.
And then I lose myself.
I am cold and hard and solid and real -
And then I am warm for a moment -
And then I am gone.
Where do I go?

(S/he drips into oblivion.)

No one remembers me.
It’s okay.
It’s okay.
I keep going.
I don’t need much attention.
I don’t need much at all to keep going.
I just do.
I don’t know how not to.
Keep going.
I just do.
I’d like to do something else, maybe.
I think there’s something else I’d like to do.
But I can’t think of it.
I am flying. I think.
And that is nice.
I am hungry. And that is nice too. In a way.
But maybe there is something else that I want, far away?

(FISH yearns to think of something else to want that is far away.)

But I cannot think of it.
I am here.
That is nice.

Exactitude is very important to me.
I like to be specific -
Exact -
I’ve been through a lot.
A lot.
But I have always kept my focus. My razor-sharp focus.
I pick pick pick at exactly what is my object.
I do wonder, sometimes, what it could be like to be...
Slovenly -
I imagine it would be fun to be sloppy.

Every now and again.
But that’s not me, is it?
That’s not me at all.
It would be fun to try on, but that’s not my type.
My personality.
My nature.
And I don’t believe we can fight against our nature.

I don’t like to admit it, but, I feel incomplete most days.
On my own, just as I am, I know that I am enough.
I have every shape, every line I need -
Already I am complete, I am bound, I am complete -
But when someone comes and colors me in -
God it feels... You have no idea.
Waiting to see what color they’ll pick
Feeling that color scrape itself onto me -
Even outside the lines -
Sometimes it’s even better outside the lines -
Even if they just scribble - !
I’ll take it.
I know I’m fine on my own - perfect on my own -
But I feel so much better when someone opens me up and colors me.
Sometimes, afterwards, they’ll rip it out -
Whatever they just colored on me.
If feels...
Devastating. Horrible.
The ripping... You have no idea.
But I’ll take it.
It’s worth it, that pain, if it means being colored on.
Sometimes they’ll pick the most absurd colors -
No sense! At all!
Something I would never dream of for myself!
I can be so linear, so stuck in my own ways -
It is so good for me

To be colored in.
There’s something important I like to remind myself, every so often.
Almost anything can be sparkly and jeweled,
But almost nothing is.
This is a responsibility I take very seriously.
I get the sense that, for some, being looked at is bad?
Like wanting to be looked at is bad?
And I just don’t understand why!
Almost nothing that is sparkly and jeweled is bad.
Think about it - can you think of anything that is sparkly and jeweled and bad?!
Why is it bad to want people to look at you,
When looking at you will make them happy.
I don’t get it.
And I’m not sorry.
You should look at me.
You should want to look at me.
I will make you happy.
I will do anything I can to make you happy.

(S/he smiles brilliantly.)

Can I -
Is it okay, can I tell you something?
I like being curled up.
At first -- not at all.
Everything in me told me to lie flat.
Stay low, hug the ground, melt wherever you find yourself.
But then, after spending so many days rolled up.
I started to like it.
Twisted up into myself.

When I’m unfolded now - unfurled - it is...
I think, like, you can get used to almost anything?
And now, it’s like -
I can’t even be flat anymore.
Once I could.
But now?
Even when I’m flat I start to curl -
A little.
At the edges.
It’s never really been the same.
I can’t stay rolled up all the time or I get restless, I can’t lie perfectly flat like I once did -
So I feel. Forever. In between.
I wish I could just pick one.
(S/he sighs luxuriously.)

Sometimes, someone closes me.
And it is marvelous.
Sometimes, someone opens me.
And it is incredible.
Sometimes I am left alone for long periods of time,
And I think I am so lonely I could die.
But then the sun comes and kisses me.
My tenderest lover.
It always comes for me.
I forget and think I may die and then it comes for me.
How do I always forget?

(S/he yawns as sunlight fills the space.
A new kind of daylight.)


People are shocked when they find out I haven't seen their favorite, classic, essential-addition-to-the-pop-cultural-canon film. So I made a list, and am working my way through. Join me as I watch your favorite movie for the first time. 


Abby has asked me to guess what this film is about. I know nothing, not even the DVD cover image. Based on the word “fidelity” I guess that it’s about a married couple who are spies - who will they retain fidelity with, their spouse or the job?

Preview for Duece Bigelow, Male Gigalo. 

Touchstone pictures presents...  

Rock music. Headphone with a cord. John Cusack. 

“Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was a miserable because I listened to pop music” - that is chiasmus, a rhetorical device that always sounds significant even if the sentences end up meaning nothing. 

Is he talking to the camera?

Blonde lady Laura is dumping him. John Cusack mentions several other women have dumped him.

Five minutes into the movie and I already want to break up with John Cusack, and intuitively understand why every one of those women dumped him. 

Now he is spitefully going through the "Top 5 List" of the women who have broken his heart, wondering why they left him. 

I’m guessing it won’t occur to him they might have left him because he’s the kind of guy who would spitefully go through a "Top 5 List" of the women who have broken his heart?

Now he’s describing his college girlfriend Penny, and we see how he tried to grab her breasts and she resisted him, so he put his hands between her legs and she resisted him, and he repeats this several times while she pushes him off because she just wants to kiss, and then he dumps her for being a prude and I hate him. 

Now he’s describing how he asked this other girl out immediately afterwards cause he heard she was easy. It is as if someone perfectly calibrated in a laboratory the precise protagonist I would most hate. Maybe it will be fun to hate him. 

He owns a record store. Cool. That is fine.

Jack Black! 

Jack Black is saying lines but they don't make much... sense? They sound like someone ran his lines through a "random zany character" line generator.

They are all shouting at each other about what music to play in the record store and I am exhausted. 

Next ex-girlfriend is Catherine Zeta Jones!  “She was dramatic. She was exotic.” Ugh. Eye roll. 

She dumps him. Now he’s screaming outside Catherine’s window, yelling that she’s a bitch. 

High Fidelity is basically "Cat Person: the movie!"

Now he’s saying that he’s not the smartest guy but he’s not the dumbest guy cause he reads books, like The Unbearable Lightness of Being. This is a... parody of awful sad white men? It is unclear to me if the movie hates him too? 

“That’s a COSBY SWEATER. A COSBY SWEATER.” - this movie is unintentional sweeping the Bingo card for rape culture as we understand it in 2018. 

Dirty boys feel morally superior about their grungy music in their dusty record store. Would just like to assert that any Gen-Xers who really like this movie have no moral high-ground when it comes to hating hipsters. These boys are prototypical hipsters.

Update: it is becoming apparent to me that it will, in fact, *not* be fun to hate him. 

Is sweet socially awkward record store employee in love with John Cusack?

Now John’s screaming at his mom. Nice that he doesn’t just hate the women he dates, he hates *all* women. At least he's consistent.

Now he’s man-splaining his own life? I don’t know how, I know it's *his* life, but somehow he’s not just sharing it, he’s man-splaining it. 

Lisa Bonet!! She is singing! The boys are ogling! Oh no. She better not end up with any of these guys, with maybe the exception of sweet mild mannered record store employee. 

“What’d I beat you? Tell you you were ugly? What’d I do to make you unhappy?” he yells at her and I. Hate. This. Guy. 

I obviously guessed the plot wrong, but for the record: if John Cusack was my spy husband I would straight up assassinate him whether it was my assignment or not. 

They didn’t sell the record to the sad desperate guy who really wants it, but are selling it to this other guy cause “he’s not a geek” and I hate them. I dislike men who believe that, because they are sad losers, their cruelty doesn’t actually mean they are cruel. Cause they’re not jocks! Cause they have trouble with women! How could they be cruel?

I'm not saying you shouldn't like this film, but I am saying it would not shock me if most militant incels *love* this film, and that should maybe make you pause and examine anything else you share in that Venn diagram.


Now he’s in a jealous rage about this "Ian" guy his ex-girlfriend might be dating.

Joan Cusack gets to scream at her brother that he’s an asshole. That’s got to feel great, and release some long-pent-up teenage frustration. 

Oh, now when John Cusack is talking about his ex Laura he is being tender and sad. That is interesting to watch.  

Ohh okay so he KNOWS he’s an asshole. 
Now he’s explaining the four things he did wrong. This is the first time I’ve been interested in him this whole film, an HOUR in, when he starts owning his awful list of things he did to Laura. Just an ounce of self-awareness, reckoning with himself, instead of self-righteous woundedness, is compelling to watch. 

I need a gif of Joan saying “That is shocking. That is shocking.”

The thing is, I often like awful asshole characters. They are interesting! I enjoy watching narcissistic, terrible male characters tremendously, and I can also enjoy hating them, or caring for them and then being disappointed by them, too. Characters with complete ownership of what makes them an awful character (Iago!), or complete, pathological denial of what makes them awful (Don Draper!) can be psychologically fascinating to experience. But this film seems to insist John Cusack is both the wounded bird AND the awful asshole. That I must find him awful but, obviously, root for him and believe he is entitled to the rewards he seems certain he is owed, is lame. It's often the "awful" character who are counter-cultural, who do the things we aren't okay with in order to get what they want. But it is apparent that this film thinks he is owed the thing he wants, a woman, even if he destroys her. Which is not counter-cultural awful, it's regular day-to-day patriarchy awful. And that’s not even infuriating in an interesting way, it’s worse: it's just boring. 

I can hear a certain kind of movie person saying “she doesn’t get what the film is doing, that’s why she finds it boring.” Is it possible that I get *exactly* what the film is doing, and that’s *why* I find it boring?

This scene. A confrontation with Penny, the girlfriend he broke up with because she wouldn’t have sex with him quickly enough as teenagers. She painfully and angrily (and off-puttingly) describes an experience after he dumped her for being “tight” that “wasn’t rape but wasn’t not rape”. It is unexpected and interesting. After she calls him an asshole and storms out, all he takes from that interaction is the realization that HE had dumped her. She hadn’t dumped him after all, he misremembered! That is the joke of the scene, how awful he is, how funny it is that he skips the human empathy part and jumps to narcissism. To portray is not to endorse, I get that the film itself is laughing at how he missed the point and is awful. But it is not interesting and not fun. She has LIFE and some fire and a pretty unsettling couple of sentences to deliver, and then we have to zoom in on his one-note ignorance, his boring soliloquy where he does not investigate interesting questions, just confidently and incorrectly observes himself and his world. There is nothing in his eyes. When his face fills the screen, the film’s blood pressure drops.

Aww sweet mild mannered guy found a sweet mild mannered girl! Bonding over records -  she shares a music fact and he deems her “correct”. See - this is a stupid boy thing that boys do, but in this context it is funny.   

“What are you making 60, 70k a year? What are you doing in this shithole?”  I love how that was *such* a big salary then! 

That was a joke at first, but now I’m reflecting on how much I miss having a salary. #freelancer

Oh Lisa Bonet! Don’t hook up with John Cusack.

Lisa radiates charisma and depth and warmth. She is SO good. So much dynamic energy. He can’t even tamp down the energy of this scene with his flaccid performance, she makes him look compelling by proxy. This is a great scene. 

John Cusack: "compelling-by-proxy."

Okay Lisa Bonet is handling herself just fine, she’s survived worse than John Cusack. “I'd never let that asshole stand in the way of a good fuck.” she says about her ex, whom she is obviously still mourning. She is a BREATH of fresh air. I don’t crave morality, I crave someone whose moral grayness is *of interest*. 

“We’re not going to get off this phone until you agree to get a drink with me” — John yells into the phone at his ex. Do not negotiate with terrorists, Laura! (Spoiler: she does. They get drinks.)

“So have you slept with him yet?” — oh my GOSH he is EXHAUSTING, he JUST slept with Lisa Bonet, and now he’s mad and crying cause she won't say she DIDN’T sleep with the man she’s now LIVING with?

Bored again. Jack Black does something silly at the record store. A flicker of light. Back to John Cusack’s boring face. I eat sour punch straws to try and feel anything at all. 

One time a guy similar to this John Cusack character insisted my drunk friend leave a party to join him in his parked car so they could "talk", so I spent 45 minutes pretending to be on the phone outside that college party while he screamed/cried/tried to manipulate her and darted frustrated glances at me, that I pretended not to notice as I paced and talked to myself in order to stay in eye-shot so he wouldn't physically harm her, coerce her, or take off.  All of that to say, I suspect my 45 minute pretend conversation had a more compelling dramatic character arc than this film.

Catherine Zeta Jones is back in town and called him! What is this washing over me? Oh, it’s relief that someone can, I don’t know,  fill up a screen! It’s been dark in this here film since Lisa walked out of the frame. 

Catherine Z-J is condescending and sexy and interesting and refuses to play his games and lays into him all the reasons she dumped him without so much lifting an eyebrow and she’s terrible and terrible fun! 

Ian, Laura’s new guy, shows up at the record store and is awful too. (Laura you could do so much better than either of these guys. Or maybe you couldn’t. The film seems utterly ambivalent about you, tbh.) He is at least awful in an interesting way. Or: the film lets Ian be awful without asking us to root for him at the same time. John Cusack imagines punching him, but doesn’t. Whatever. Would I could will myself to care. 

Awww mild-mannered guy has a date with the girl he met at the record store, Anna! Him finding love is the best part of this film so far. 

Do I hate John Cusack’s character, or do I hate John Cusack? Hmmm.


Maybe (MAYBE) this film could be pulled off by a different actor, by someone more charming than John Cusack, or someone less charming than John Cusack thinks he is.  

It's as if the film is saying "Oh my goooosh, what's he gonna do neeeext..." And I say, "I don't know, something awful?" and the film interrupts me by saying "Noo, something AWFUL!!" and I'm like "...yeah." and the film's like "YEAH! *flourishes guitar*"

Update: I fell asleep. It is so exhausting to hate a character this boring. 

Abby explains what happened —

Ex-girlfriend Laura has a listening party. 
She books Jack Black’s band. 
John Cusack flirts with a girl from a magazine, makes Laura jealous. 
John Cusack asks girlfriend Laura to marry him. (?!?!?!?!) 
She says “you don’t actually want to get married” and he says “that’s for the sentiment” (?? I was still half asleep, idk.)
And then the party goes well, turns out Jack Black’s band is good. 

I dislike this movie. Maybe it was doing something compelling when it came out, but even if that's the case I don't think it holds up now. It might be fun to satirize this kind of narcissistic, sad, manipulative, aggressive white man. It is definitely not fun to reward him, and to ask me to care about his well-being for more than an hour. 

Beauty, Anyway

I let my yard overgrow
After years of grooming
Me and the grass
It got bad for us both.

Yet from those snarling weeds and desperate crabgrass and thorny stickers
A bunch of wildflowers grew.
Because I couldn't take care of us,
Something wild, golden, and inevitable ruptured forth.
Beauty, anyway.

Now here's what they won't tell you
What no one will tell you but me:
I've come to worship every golden petal
But I'd choose the other version.
The one where I get out of bed,
Where the grass doesn't lose its mind,
Where both of us are okay,
I'd choose that one every time. 

But I enjoy the flowers anyway.
I will enjoy beauty,
Any way.


People are shocked when they find out I haven't seen their favorite, classic, essential-addition-to-the-pop-cultural-canon film. So I made a list, and am working my way through. Join me as I watch your favorite movie for the first time. 


Stars! The globe!
Oh false alarm: that's the Universal logo.

Tick tock.

This is far too many clocks.

Crispin Glover?? Isn't that a historical person?
(EDIT: Was thinking of the "St Crispin's Day Speech" from Henry V. So while I may be dumb, at least I'm dumb in a literary way.)

Omg I would love an alarm clock that played the radio. I'm alive in 2018 and I don't even have that, just a shattered glass phone square that wakes me up with Marimba. (I'm sure there's an app for that, if I searched.)

Plutonium stolen on the news! Bet that's important.

Angry toast being toasted and re-toasted. Coffee brewing but there's no pot. Where is this person this morning?! Bet we'll find out!

Exposition via Rube Goldberg machine is so satisfying.

Wait - why so much uneaten dog food piled up?!

Oh no where's Einstein the dog. Why hasn't he been eating his food every morning.

At some point someone better say "we're going back... to the future" or I'm demanding my time/money back.

Giant speaker, no further explanation.

Okay, young Michael J Fox is so cute.

NO!! Do not hold onto the back of a truck while riding your skateboard with no helmet!! I vividly remember watching a 9-1-1 reenactment tv episode of a girl pinned under her friend's car, still alive, but with half of her body crushed under a wheel, from doing something like this.

We've got children of the 80s recklessly riding skateboards to school, while us children of the 90s watched after-school specials of y'all smushed, sitting on our couches in the homes we aren't allowed to leave because no one played outside anymore. What happened in the 90s?

Jennifer's helping Marty not get caught with a tardy, so she's obvi a cool girl. Get to class, Jennifer. Date boys who are on time.

... and Mr. Strickland basically says the same thing. As always, I identify with the antagonist principal/authority figures. 

Mr. Strickland is angry Marty is hanging out with Doc. Which is a... valid concern. Why would a kid be hanging with an adult Doctor? Mr. Stickland and I care, Marty.

I also got detention for being late 4 days in a row. You might call me the Marty McFly of small, private Christian academies.

Mr. Strickland says "No McFly ever amounted to anything" - if this plot turns out that a younger Mr. Strickland loved Marty's mom back in the day, but Dad McFly won her, it would explain where they got the plot for Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis' Freaky Friday.

"I'm afraid you're just too darn loud" - is this an oft-quoted line? If not, can we make it one?

Jennifer's nails are out of this world. So long and rounded.

Wait I think I missed something about "tomorrow night". They're going... camping? To have... sex? Or am I being weird and they just really REALLY care about going camping, together, alone?

Shot of Marty's mom specifically pouring vodka in her lemonade glass. Subtle undertone of marital/familial dissatisfaction?

The clock tower was hit by lightning 30 years ago. This seems like a very specific fact I sense we're supposed to keep track of.

Omg that's what's her face in old age makeup! (EDIT: I meant Lea Thompson, and from perusing her IMDB I know her from the very unsuccessful 90's sitcom "Caroline in the City". Again, a child home alone watching lots of tv in the 90s.)

Einstein the dog!!! He's okay!
Oh yeah, and the doctor's here too.

Einstein has his own little doggy seat belt in the cool car!

Wait, don't conduct experiments on your sweet dog!!!!!

88 mph - excuse me, there's A DOG IN THERE.

"Don't worry the molecular structure of Einstein and the car are intact" YEAH BUT I BET HE'S REAL SCARED.

"Einstein's fine, he's completely unaware anything happened" ... Well it's still not nice and I don't like it.

Doc, Christ wasn't born on 12/25/0000. Christmas was attributed to 12/25 cause there was already an established pagan holiday around then. And scholars think Christ was prob born closer to 4 BC.  (That's right, I may have been late frequently but I paid attention at my small private Christian academy.)

Why are the bomb-buyers Libyan? Was something happening in Libya at the time?
(EDIT: Have googled "Libya in the 80s" to discover the US bombed Libya in '86 and am learning a bit about Gaddafi.)

The Libyan guy whose gun jams makes these exasperated noises that sound like foreign words but are not words. (I guess this is before the PA on set could at least frantically google "what language Libya" and "how do you say damn in Arabic" before shooting)

Omg Crispin Glover is the guy who later goes on to be the "tall creepy man" in Charlie's Angels!

George McFly is a peeping Tom!!


Genuinely lol'd at the Calvin Klein joke. Big belly laugh.

"Next Saturday night we're sending you... back to the future!" *Doc looks at camera*

George McFly is terrified of creative and personal rejection too. This is a sort of stunning embodiment of how the sins of the father pass on to the sons. Fear lives in parents, and their children metabolize it in ways they don't even recognize.

Biff is a horrifying assaulter. "Meat hooks" is also an excellent term for a gross guy's grasp.

We're going to spend this whole movie rooting for Lorraine to end up with George McFly, the peeping Tom outside her window, aren't we?

Love Biff's friend who's always inexplicably in 3D glasses.

LOL at Doc in 1955 not believing Raegan the actor would be president in 1985. If you went back in time and told me Trump would be President I would've been like "the utterly irrelevant reality tv star? There's NO WAY America would be that dumb."

Oh boy, Marty has this plan for how he'll upset his mom by getting fresh with her in his car, but his mom is def gonna be into it. I can already tell. Mama thirsty.

I think a far more interesting choice would be if it didn't magically feel somehow "like kissing my brother" to kiss your son from the future. Would have been more tricky and gnarly and human if Lorraine had totally dug it. Big Oedipal cop-out from the writers there.

Oh no Biff gets in that car with Lorraine! George, it's your cue!!!

Oh my god Biff is legitimately going to rape her. This is so dark. The look on Lorraine's face when she cries out for help - this is horrifying.


Now George saunters off with Lorraine in the moonlight and I have almost all but forgotten he is a pervert peeping Tom?

These boys are a perfect microcosm for this moment's reckoning with sexual inequity. Georges of the world: just because you identify as shy and nerdy, just because you aren't a Biff, doesn't mean you don't violate and dehumanize women. You're on the hook too, bro. 

Wait, if George has learned to be brave now, then won't he be a different dad in the future?

Okay so in this universe, Chuck Barry invents his sound because he heard a white kid from the suburbs? That's some Mad-Men-Don-actually-invented-the-Coke-commercial kinda revisionist history.

Doc is absolutely right not to want info about his future. No one should have that responsibility!

Just go back a minute earlier, dummy.

Okay he figured that out, but needs 10 whole minutes to yell "Move!" and push Doc out of the way?





Won't there be a second DeLorean now?


(K maybe I was wrong about that "no one should have info about their future" in this specific instance. But I still think it's more interesting if death is an inevitability that no man has a right to thwart, even with cool inventions. Give me some of that Appointment in Samarra goodness.)

Oh, Biff is now their servant.
Yeah it's adorable to have the guy who tried to rape you waxing your car out front. A *hilarious* plot ending.

Jennifer's hair is AMAZING. Is that what women of the 80s thought they would get from a perm?? Those BOUNCY WAVES. What a dream girl.

Okay so after going 30 years in the future, Doc returns with a flying car? And those rad sunglasses? Real 2015 must have been such a disappointment for kids of the 80s.

I like how this film is really just a story about family that HAPPENS to have cool time travel. It's not leaning on sci-fi for its meaning and wonder. Reminds me of what I loved about About Time - it's not about time travel, instead its about how time travel makes us question our responsibility for our own actions, makes visible our unseen impact on the lives of others, and asks us which mistakes we would or wouldn't change if actually given the chance.

I remember in 2015 there were a bunch of different days when people excitedly announced on FB "Happy Back to the Future Day!! Today's the exact date they input when they go into future!"  I wonder if anyone ever got to the bottom of that.

This movie is a delight. I don't at all need to see two more, it is exactly perfect as-is and I like it with an open-ended conclusion!


Things that were true this week:

I was invited to participate in Campfireball, a sort of existential variety show.

I had no new pieces to contribute.

Coming off of MAY I, I'd been meditating on how text interacts with spaces. 

For whatever reason, I really didn't want to be seen but desperately needed to be heard.

It had become easier to find a clever metaphor to hint at the thing, and terrifying to just say the thing itself.

I started to wonder if I could really count on people.

I wanted to see if I was capable of putting my trust entirely in a room full of strangers. If I needed something from mankind in order to make the play happen, would they provide?  

What came out of me was a PowerPointPlay. It is terrifying to show up to an audience with work that might not work, to say what you mean, to require something of others. It is glorious when someone decides to raise their hand.

Check out PowerPointPlay here: PLAY.PPT


There Are Only Seven Breakfast Foods

There are only seven breakfast foods
Combined and rearranged to form
An endless number of breakfasts
And I am tired of them all.

Not an endless number, I suppose,
When you turn it into an SAT question:

If Jan has
(See Jan wake)
and can combine eggs and bacon to make an omelette;
(See Jan rollover)
and can combine bread and eggs to make an egg-in-the-hole;
(See Jan stare at wall and think)
and can place bacon and avocado on bread to make avocado toast;
(See Jan get up to pee)
and can combine milk and cereal for an out-the-door classic; 
(See Jan avoid what she has to do today)
or combine cereal on yogurt for a somewhat nicer parfait;
(See Jan stop)
or even soak bread in eggs and milk to make french toast;
(See Jan run)
and so on and so forth;
(Run Jan run) 
Then how many options does Jan have this morning?


I'm enjoying them,
but your beautiful words were never meant for me.
I think, as I dog-ear the page.

I have never been the little boy
watching outside a window
as a woman undoes her stockings
as if it were meant for me.

Yet I have spent my life reading all of the
Little Boys Watching Outside Windows as Women Undo Their Stockings
as if it were meant for Them.
(Kids on your block, Jackie Kerouac, Tommy Eliot, even lil' Billy Shakes)

Sometimes I have taken off my stockings
and felt all of the Little Boys watching
as if I were meant for Them.

But more often,
I have been the Little Girl at her window
all the Little Boys outside other windows
women undo their stockings,
knowing none of it was meant for them
and none of them were meant for me.

Perhaps this is the greatest difference between us
(aside from your fame and your talent and your everything else):
I can enjoy beautiful things even if they aren't meant for me. 
I have taught myself to enjoy
All of the beautiful things never meant for me.


People are shocked when they find out I haven't seen their favorite, classic, essential-addition-to-the-pop-cultural-canon film. So I made a list, and am working my way through. Join me as I watch your favorite movie for the first time. 


To whomsoever put this on my list: I'm hoping you meant "The Apartment" (1960) starring Shirley MacLaine, and not "The Apartment" (1996) a rom-com starring Romane Bohringer. 

"Script Continuity by May Wale" -- I love how in older films you sit through so many credits with an overture. Before you get to enjoy this film, you should know that the script will maintain its continuity, and that's thanks to May Wale. They want you to know that.

Billy Wilder is revealing a lot about his personality with how HUGE the font of his "Produced by/Directed by" title credits.
Who produced th - ?
Directed by who exact - 

And now a long monologue of exposition over black-and-white shots of New York City explaining the workplace and habits of our protagonist named Baxter.

This "Consolidated Life" insurance building looks exactly like Mad Men, which helps me believe it is accurate and real. I understand it is v. backwards of me to think The Apartment checks out because it corresponds to Mad Men, as opposed to realizing Mad Men checks out because it relied on source material like The Apartment.

The "Apartment" in question is described as "nothing special" and is also "half a mile away from Central Park" and is also "$85 a month, but used to be $80"!!!!!!!

EXPOSITION BREAK: As established earlier in the giant monologue of exposition over black-and-white shots of New York City, Baxter makes $100 a week at Consolidated Life. Which means his rent is 21% of his monthly income. That's an insanely low cost of living, isn't it? 

GOOGLE BREAK: According to google, rent should be about 30% of your monthly income.

MATH BREAK: So this means that if one of my friends is paying $1,500 a month for their rent in NY, then they'd need to make around $7,000 a month/$84k a year in order for their rent to be 21% of their life like Baxter's.

EXISTENTIAL BREAK: How are any of my artist friends alive in New York?!?!?!?! Besides the independently wealthy ones??!? I know y'all aren't making that much?!?!? Blink twice if you need me to come rescue you?!?!?!

We meet nosy neighbor of no consequence, but she is walking an ADORABLE small dog in a raincoat who I hope finds a reason to come back on-screen many times.

So the main thing happening at the top here is that we learn the executives at ConLife use Baxter's apartment for their illicit affairs, and in exchange they promote him.

Having an affair seems to very much rely on logistics and planning. Does not seem spontaneous or sexy whatsoever.

Am learning that I do not have the skill-set required to either have a mistress or become a mistress, as it demands detail orientation and a LOT of calling back and forth and confirming second and third locations and coordinating calendars.

(Perhaps this is why so many of these execs have affairs with the secretaries? Their administrative gifts? Do not hold me to that theory, just thinking out loud.)

Baxter sneaking around his neighbors so they don't know he lets others use his apartment for their affairs reminds me of half a dozen clandestine Airbnb hosts who have asked me to be vague if their neighbors ask who I am and why I have so much luggage.

Baxter prepares a frozen dinner, which I think is supposed to be the universal film cipher for a sad and lonely existence, but I am not here to judge. It looks delicious and exactly like this one thing I get from Trader Joe's. 

Man I love this wallpaper. Bring back wallpaper!

Omg the tile in his kitchen!!

His built-in bookshelves!!

Would definitely watch a movie where you just get to hang out with people as they walk around their apartments from prior decades.

Baxter is watching a bunch of classic films on his tv, can I cross those off my list too?

Baxter is getting frustrated by how many commercials play before Grand Hotel, and that feels so quaint and cozy. Remember when we hated commercials, and didn't just assume we would have to watch them in order to participate with every single kind of content or media we like?

Baxter can't say no to his executive coworkers having affairs, and needs to work on boundaries.

Executive coworkers can't say no to their mistresses, and also need to work on boundaries.

One of the Executive Affair guys emerges from the cab with four full cocktails in his hand! What a time to have been alive.

Why did we all stop wearing hats? Was that an important moment in society? What's the sartorial etymology of our hatlessness?

Shirley MacLaine is a BABY. A bright-eyed, beautiful baby. She is so so so lovely.

Her performance reminds me so much of Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly in You Got Mail. Maybe it's their cute noses and sort of grown-up, charming baby voices.

Look at this rack for all their hats and their overcoats! Hats were so much a part of businessmen fashion that they had their own racks! Someone figure out what happened to our hats. Make a Netflix doc or, let's be real, a podcast.

Look at that Rolodex!! It is really a shame Carson and Rolodexes didn't cross paths in human history, she would have such a beautifully color-coded one.

Okay so apparently giant open floor plan bull-pen workspaces aren't a millennial startup thing, because that's the set up here at this highly conventional corporation in the 60s.

Wood paneling!  It's all so Mad Men! I'm looking around for a sassy lady Joan, running things behind the scenes.

I love this Executive Affair guy who really, really can't reschedule this Thursday night with his mistress, because he already ordered her birthday cake. How reasonable. You actually can't cancel a birthday cake with less than 24 hour notice, I worked at a bakery and it's not cool.

"Elevator girl" is a lovely occupation that could only exist in the 60s. #jobsofthesixties

It is eery to see an elevator full of people just looking forward or talking. No phones!

We meet head Boss-Man, who has tickets tonight to see the Music Man! How great to see the original Music Man! 

" I looked up your insurance card, I know your height and your weight and your social security number" -- two things:

1) This is supposed to be charming, so did they not have fraud then? Aren't we supposed to be v. protective of our social security numbers?

2) Now that I mention it -- can anyone tell me why we have to be so protective of our social security numbers? I just have been because it seemed like The Thing To Do.

2) This is further evidence that everyone stocked up on/stalked up on information about the person they were interested in even before social media.

GASP. Shirley the elevator girl is having an affair with Boss-Man.

Would be fun to just assume you can order a strawberry daiquiri at a Chinese restaurant/bar in Midtown like it ain't no thang. I so often just panic-order a gin & tonic if I can't get to a proper menu in time. 

Shirley is breaking my heart. BREAKING MY HEART. She has such MOXIE and Boss-Man is sucking the life out of her.

Sneaky secretary catches Shirley and Bossman! SHE'S THE JOAN!! And she has an exceptional leopard hat. 

Guy who hand-paints executives' names on their doors! #jobsofthe60s

All of these coworkers of different power levels are just making out at the company Christmas party. I love love, but I love secure HR policies more.

Baxter shows her Mr. Boss-Man's Christmas card, and I am charmed that people did staged family photo holiday cards back then, too! UTTERLY UN-CHARMED BY MR. BOSS-MAN THOUGH.

"If you're in love with a married man don't wear mascara." What a great line.

The resuscitation of Fran after she takes all those sleeping pills is surprisingly moving. They take their time with this, Dr. Dreyfus and Baxter walking her back and forth across the apartment.

Oh, sweet Baxter. Love is hanging up someone's crumpled dress while they're sleeping off a horrible incident. 

Now he's trying to cook for her. Baxter's love language is definitely "acts of service".

Dr. Dreyfus' wife, Mrs. Dreyfus, is the real hero of this film. She has misinformation, but with that misinformation she has she decided to STAGE AN INTERVENTION and EXPLAIN TO THIS FELLA THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO HIS ACTIONS and MAKE SOME SOUP for this poor girl. May we all have women in our lives who stage soup-erventions and love us well.

Sassy secretary called Mr. Boss-Man's wife!!! And she looked fly as hell in her skirt-suit while doing so.

This whole sequence of the film where Baxter and Shirley sharing the apartment while she recovers is mesmerizing, it keeps turning in new, lovely directions.

Baxter sharing the time he almost shot himself from a broken heart to make Shirley feel less alone, and also trying to make her laugh -- it's so disarming. I don't know what to do with it. On one hand, I suppose they're kind of accepting or trivializing suicide attempts which is not great. But in another way, they're completely legitimizing what a broken heart will do to a person. A sort of nod, a "yes, of course you feel as though you will die of a broken heart." It's interesting to watch two characters who understand heartbreak to be truly tragic in a practical way, like in Shakespeare or Sophocles, you might die from it.   

I am too engrossed and not taking notes, but these are lines that made me make that involuntary "huh" sound I make when lines are just right for a situation or sit just right on an actor:

"Why do people have to love people anyway."

"That's just the way it crumbles. Cookie-wise."

"Some people take and some people get took. And they know they're getting took but there's nothing they can do about it."

"The doctor said it takes 48 hours to get that stuff out of your system." / "How long does it take to get someone you're stuck on out of your system? If only they'd invent some kind of pump for that."

"Did you hear me Ms. Kubelik? I absolutely adore you." / "Shut up and deal."

Okay so everything worked out in the end! Deep exhale. Loneliness doesn't last forever and good guys can get the girl and girls going through hard times can pick good guys.


(Unless you are one of the off-screen wives of these comedically philandering husbands, but let's not think too hard on that.)

I realize now that I kept wanting to patronize this film, to sort of talk down to it or watch it benevolently, but it just kept disarming or charming or surprising me. How lovely to have that experience!


I met an older couple in line for the TSA
Young enough to manage their suitcases onto a conveyer belt
Old enough that no one makes them take off their shoes.
She tells me about a Harvard psychologist who studies happiness and the power of positive thinking,
Have I heard of him?
I tell her I haven't, it sounds interesting.
She tries to spell his name,
I try to type it into my phone so she knows I mean it
But they rush us along, there is a line forming
My phone must join all other devices in the scanner. 
"Thank you" I say into her glowing face.
"Isn't she marvelous?" her husband replies.

On the other side of the scanning machine,
As I put on my shoes and they reassemble their bags,
She remembers his name: 
Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar
I rescue my phone, she spells as I type
I promise her I'll look him up.
Her blouse is mussed from the chaos of being searched
He fixes her upturned collar
"It's just me, your husband" he says,
His hand at the nape of her neck
"I know" she replies "I know my husband's touch."

I wonder if I asked them their secret,
If their eyes would twinkle in reply:
"Sex" or
"Communication" or
"Never going to bed angry" or
"The work of Harvard psychologist Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar" 

I wonder if their secret is actually putting up with too much,
Bending backwards too deeply, 
Contorting themselves into a fleshy, co-dependent submission.
I wonder if she'd give me some problematic advice that would destroy me
"Always have makeup on before he comes home" or
"Remember to let him feel like he's in charge."

I wonder how dark their dark years have been,
If this ready intimacy is the reward for losing and finding each other so many times.
Perhaps no one finds themselves truly invested
In the work of Harvard positivity psychologist Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar
Until they've had an affair or seven or worse.

But mostly I wonder if you'd ever let me love you like that
My hands at your collar
In the presence of a stranger
Holding up a line of travelers
"Isn't she marvelous?"


Would the Girls of GIRLS watch the show GIRLS?

I just watched the series finale of GIRLS, and in ruminating on the end of an era, and reflecting on some of my favorite writing on a show ever, began to wonder: how would the girls of GIRLS feel about GIRLS?

Shoshanna - Loves GIRLS, watches every Sunday night on HBOGo. Or, if she's super busy, catches up on each episode which she also has recorded on her DVR (along with all of the Real Housewives of NY, most of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, and a lot of back-logged episodes of Scandal, and the occasional Fixer Upper). She is one of a few of her friends who still invests in a full DVR / subscription / deluxe channel package. She is devastated that GIRLS is ending.  "It's an important show, it, like, makes me feel like my concerns and issues are represented, you know? I'm totally a Marnie."

Marnie - Loved season one, and then fell off somewhere around the end of season two. "The characters are such narcissists, how could you stand to keep watching?" 

Jessa - "It's a television program?"

Hannah - Held off watching GIRLS for as long as she could, ostensibly because she was too busy writing, but mostly because too many people already liked it, and she was jealous that she didn't write it and get an HBO deal first. "Lena Dunham was how young when she made the pilot?" Hannah cries, trying not to take Lena's success as a personal attack against her own future. When she finally caved, she binge-watched seasons 1-5 in three weeks. She tells people the show is "Deeply problematic, but ultimately a worthwhile watch" and "It's just great to have a show made up of so many complicated female voices accepted and celebrated in mainstream pop-culture". She never finishes watching the final episode, and hated the baby plot line.

YOU HAVEN'T SEEN: The Graduate

People are shocked when they find out I haven't seen their favorite, classic, essential-addition-to-the-pop-cultural-cannon film. So I made a list, and am working my way through. Join me as I watch your favorite movie for the first time. 


Look at Lil' Baby Dustin!

This is a plane full of mental patients?

What airport is this that the moving sidewalk goes on for almost the entire length of "Sound of Silence"?

Brief argument between Court and myself as to which is more attractive: young, tan, kind of blank-faced Dustin or old, funny, salt & pepper Dustin.

What a weird shot, his mom's sparkly dress filling the frame.

"IS THAT MR. PHEENY?!" - Court (Update: it totally is)

Can't tell from these opening shots if the tone of despair is setting us up for "Dustin is full of existential ennui because he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up" or "Dustin had a mental breakdown and has come back home with a terrible secret"

Young man sighs and stares into goldfish tank.

Enter Mrs. Robinson, making smoking look SO COOL and undoing several decades of 90's D.A.R.E. programming in my mind.

I feel like I've seen an homage to this shot of a man's hand fishing out keys from a fishtank before. (...On the Simpsons maybe??)

"Is... is she trying to seduce him?" - Court

The Robinsons' black and white mid century modern house with pinleg furniture and plants EVERYWHERE is basically all of my friend's current instagrammable home goals. We're all just basically digging through thrift shops and Craig's List to find Mrs. Robinson's original furniture from 1967.

"Mrs. Robinson you're trying to seduce me!" - young Dustin, clearing things up for Court

The "Mrs. Robinson you're trying to seduce me" shot from between her legs was made famous to me via an homage on "The Nanny" starring Fran Drescher. In case you were wondering what I WAS watching in lieu of all this important cinema.

Elaine the daughter's bedroom is basically my dream childhood bedroom, minus the giant portrait? No, let's be honest: including the giant portrait.


Now we are at the scene with his family by the pool and I understand where one gets those tan-lines. Skin cancer hadn't been invented yet in the 60's, right?

Now he is underwater in the pool.

How many film thesis papers have drawn the parallel between Dustin's fish tank and Dustin scuba diving in the pool as if within his own fish tank?

"This is so emo." - Court

How many film thesis papers have mentioned Mrs. Robinson's recurring leopard-spot motif as a representation of the woman as "the animal" or "the hunted becoming the huntress" or "the prototypical cougar"?

I want someone to bring me a phone at a bar a la Mrs. Robinson. That is the only thing I personally find aspirational from this film.

"I think you're the most attractive of all my parent's friends." - favorite line so far

Another pool scene. Point 1 for Team Young Dumb-faced Dustin Hoffman, Court obstinately continues to root for Older Salt & Pepper Dustin Hoffman.

So is The Graduate to Simon & Garfunkel as Garden State is to The Shins?

The high-waisted shorts. The stylish espadrilles. The blue and white pinstripe shirts. I would describe my summer aesthetic as "The Dad in The Graduate".

Dustin inexplicably takes the Daughter on a date to a strip club?

Now Dustin and the Daughter are at the original Sonic drive-in?

More floating in a pool.

"Aren't we all really just fish contained in society's tank?" - my and everyone else's film thesis papers.

Montage of Dustin stalking Elaine. Literally lurking behind plants.

Montage of Dustin walking around Berkeley fountains. Any SMU film kids ever shoot a remake of this scene? We've got nice fountains.

Daughter emerges from class wearing a raincoat and riding boots, ALSO V. ON TREND for college girls in 2017.

Is 2017 just the aesthetic version of a cover song of the year 1967?

And then they just do a rickety ZOOM OUT like nobody's business in a bunch of these shots. Is that a stylistic choice, or is that just what zoom was like then in 60's cinematography?

We're going to let this blonde woman with fur sit on the bus next to Elaine and NOT talk about how extraordinarily glamorous she is? Glamorous bus lady and Mrs. Robinson are just wearing all of this fur and undoing a decades's worth of P.E.T.A. programming from my y2k-era pop star heroes.


I wake up and there's a blanket on me and I ask "wait what happened?" And court says "he stalks her at college and then gets close to her saying yes she'll marry him but then her dad shows up and knows about the affair with Mrs. Robinson and then they pull her from school and make her marry the guy from the zoo and Dustin goes to the guy's frat house and then uses a phone book to find the church which is funny it's like a phone book and then he runs out of gas and then there's that famous shot of him running and he finds the wedding and then he yells "ELLAAAAAIIINE" and her mom's like "he's too late" and then Elaine goes "BEEEEEEEN" and he grabs a cross off the wall and they start running and they get on a bus."

At this point I am fully awake because nothing gives me energy like having the insufferable insights of a TED Talk and I share how I read that their last expressions in that last shot were after the director called "cut" and their remorseful final faces weren't acting, they thought the shot hadn't been good and the director would yell at them.

Then we watch the final scene in the chapel via YouTube.

How many film thesis papers have examined young Dustin violently waving the parents away in the chapel with a giant gold cross as a symbol for the changing sentiments towards organized religion across generational lines in the 60s/70s?

Also, I don't mean to get all "Janielle and her mis-identification of the hero and attachment to alternate female protagonists" here, but Daughter and Mrs. Robinson are clearly more interesting characters to explore than Dustin, right? For Daughter this is a kind of romantic comedy (haha bad date turned out to be fun!) then psychological thriller (he's stalking me and has a secret with my mom) turned horror (omg he's really stalking me) turned romantic comedy again (interrupts my wedding just in the nick of time). For Mrs. Robinson there's a super interesting antihero angle that humanizes her behavior (in which Dustin serves as a periphery boy-toy) and several decades of a fascinating back-story to explore. Am I crazy?!?

In Conclusion: This film is obviously great and a feast for the eyes and I now understand what every indulgent millennial post-grad boy coming of age film is trying to do. Feels like The Graduate should be the one and only indulgent post-grad boy coming of age film and then the genre should have straight-up retired, but that's none of my business...

I am not sure if I can ethically cross The Graduate off my list if I fell asleep for ~20 minutes of it?


When I was 9 my pet chick died
And it was clear to me that I was a murderer

Everyone told me that
While I had killed something, honey, I wasn't a murderer
Something about accidents, something something intentions

But I knew how words work
Words mean what they mean
Regardless of whether you want them applied to you or not

I hadn't yet developed that gulf grown-ups have
That cavernous expanse between what they do and who they are

The first time that friendly canyon fractured open in my mind
And sucked up one of my bad actions before it could make me a bad person
I debated grabbing a shovel and filling its gaping mouth
Before the relief set in.