tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.

tell me we'll never get used to it
jamiatt:

Day trip to the end of the world.

One day some years ago we got in the car, got a literal bucket of drive-through daiquiris and pointed the car south. A stand-up bass player was driving the car, and he popped in a cd and casually told us it was an album he had just finished recording with Tom Waits the week before. These are the kind of people and the kind of strange cars you find yourself riding in in New Orleans.
We drove and drove—we didn’t care where or when. We pulled over at a bridge crossing and got out to examine all the sunken shrimping boats. Mosquitos the size of birds got one whiff of our California blood and descended. The most vivid visceral sensation I can recall from that trip, a few days later: sitting on the sidewalk curb of upper Esplanade sticky with sweat and juice from the Capri-suns a woman gave us from her front porch, covered in mosquito bite welts and bruises from riding our bikes 10 miles in 100 degree heat to hop the fence at the abandoned Playland. The kind of sweet, dog-panting exhaustion that comes around less and less after childhood’s end.
Back in the car, we drove and drove and suddenly the paved highway graded into a dirt road for about 20 feet and then nothing. The road just…stopped. We skidded to a halt and blinked. Something loping on all fours ran in front of the car. “What was that?” we shrieked. It was a cat, a cat the size of a goddamn dog. There was nobody around. We hadn’t seen another soul for miles. At the end of the dirt road, before the nothingness of swamps began forever, stood a building on stilts that just read, “BAR.” We looked at each other and shrugged. “We are either going to make friends or get murdered,” one of us said.
We eased open the door. The bar was enormous, and there were all of five people in it: two old men at the bar, a woman shelling crayfish at a table, and the bartender. We all exchanged blinks. “Well, well, well,” one of the old men said. “Welcome to Cocodrie.”
Over the next six hours they fed us fresh crayfish and gave us money for the jukebox and showed us maps of places that don’t exist anymore. They told us of all they had lost in Katrina, dryly and matter-of-fact. In southern Louisiana you get used to the ephemeral, the fleeting, the disappearing, the shifting of land and water. Nature snatching itself back. I wondered what that does to a person, how that shapes you. There’s a recklessness of spirit there—why not live as hard and wild as you possibly can since it might all be gone tomorrow? For years I refused to look up on a map if Cocodrie was real or not. I wanted to remember it as a half-dream, because the feelings in dreams stay sharper than memories, sometimes.
The sun went down as we climbed back down the steps from the bar on stilts. Had we really just spent an entire day inside of it? Time, too, felt sticky and fleeting all at once.
The five of them stood in the doorway and waved and waved at us until they were just a speck in the rearview mirror. “Y’all come back to Cocodrie soon,” they said.

jamiatt:

Day trip to the end of the world.

One day some years ago we got in the car, got a literal bucket of drive-through daiquiris and pointed the car south. A stand-up bass player was driving the car, and he popped in a cd and casually told us it was an album he had just finished recording with Tom Waits the week before. These are the kind of people and the kind of strange cars you find yourself riding in in New Orleans.

We drove and drove—we didn’t care where or when. We pulled over at a bridge crossing and got out to examine all the sunken shrimping boats. Mosquitos the size of birds got one whiff of our California blood and descended. The most vivid visceral sensation I can recall from that trip, a few days later: sitting on the sidewalk curb of upper Esplanade sticky with sweat and juice from the Capri-suns a woman gave us from her front porch, covered in mosquito bite welts and bruises from riding our bikes 10 miles in 100 degree heat to hop the fence at the abandoned Playland. The kind of sweet, dog-panting exhaustion that comes around less and less after childhood’s end.

Back in the car, we drove and drove and suddenly the paved highway graded into a dirt road for about 20 feet and then nothing. The road just…stopped. We skidded to a halt and blinked. Something loping on all fours ran in front of the car. “What was that?” we shrieked. It was a cat, a cat the size of a goddamn dog. There was nobody around. We hadn’t seen another soul for miles. At the end of the dirt road, before the nothingness of swamps began forever, stood a building on stilts that just read, “BAR.” We looked at each other and shrugged. “We are either going to make friends or get murdered,” one of us said.

We eased open the door. The bar was enormous, and there were all of five people in it: two old men at the bar, a woman shelling crayfish at a table, and the bartender. We all exchanged blinks. “Well, well, well,” one of the old men said. “Welcome to Cocodrie.”

Over the next six hours they fed us fresh crayfish and gave us money for the jukebox and showed us maps of places that don’t exist anymore. They told us of all they had lost in Katrina, dryly and matter-of-fact. In southern Louisiana you get used to the ephemeral, the fleeting, the disappearing, the shifting of land and water. Nature snatching itself back. I wondered what that does to a person, how that shapes you. There’s a recklessness of spirit there—why not live as hard and wild as you possibly can since it might all be gone tomorrow? For years I refused to look up on a map if Cocodrie was real or not. I wanted to remember it as a half-dream, because the feelings in dreams stay sharper than memories, sometimes.

The sun went down as we climbed back down the steps from the bar on stilts. Had we really just spent an entire day inside of it? Time, too, felt sticky and fleeting all at once.

The five of them stood in the doorway and waved and waved at us until they were just a speck in the rearview mirror. “Y’all come back to Cocodrie soon,” they said.

Lately I’ve been hanging out in small weird towns, staying at haunted former Gold Rush brothels, singing Bjork at karaoke biker bars, eating biscuits smothered in honey, and dj-ing a radio show about witches with my friend Helen out of a secret alley.


I’m getting on in my years, and I suppose I’m telling this story because I crave a certain sympathy, a certain understanding. I hope you’ll truly believe of me that all of my actions since my life became knocked loose have been beyond my control. Sometimes I even wonder: am I someone else’s dream? Is that why I feel that I can’t take hold of my life? For that might make more sense than what I’m about to tell you: that all my actions feel as though they are the orchestrations of a foreign subconcious’s unfathomable puppet strings.

I was flattered to be asked to take part in Medium’s new visual storytelling project, alongside two other writers, Spencer Strub and Peter Prato. We were asked to choose photographs from Richard “Koci” Hernandez’s Instagram account and build our stories around them. Click through here if you want to read a really weird story about faceless doppelgangers, playground antagonists, and Mardi Gras hallucinations!

I’m getting on in my years, and I suppose I’m telling this story because I crave a certain sympathy, a certain understanding. I hope you’ll truly believe of me that all of my actions since my life became knocked loose have been beyond my control. Sometimes I even wonder: am I someone else’s dream? Is that why I feel that I can’t take hold of my life? For that might make more sense than what I’m about to tell you: that all my actions feel as though they are the orchestrations of a foreign subconcious’s unfathomable puppet strings.

I was flattered to be asked to take part in Medium’s new visual storytelling project, alongside two other writers, Spencer Strub and Peter Prato. We were asked to choose photographs from Richard “Koci” Hernandez’s Instagram account and build our stories around them. Click through here if you want to read a really weird story about faceless doppelgangers, playground antagonists, and Mardi Gras hallucinations!

A List of People I Have Considered Going On OkCupid Dates With

-A man who was a Civil War re-enactor. Attractive in a haunted, gaunt, Captain Ahab-esque way.

-A man who stated that his only talent was making prank phone calls.

-A man who looked just like Louis CK and had a dog named Huey Lewis. A package I didn’t realize I wanted until I was confronted with the possibility.

-A man whose only photos were of him wearing a head-to-toe full body neon blue latex suit.

-A man who told me my chakras “looked angry.” (They are).

-A man whose username was “old_cat_lady.” If only to offer to buy the name from him. Also because he is probably my soul mate.

-A man whose “About Me” section just read: “feral nihilist.”

Previously:

a list of pickup lines that have worked on me

2014 Situations Handled Thus Far

January 3rd, 9am: A friend needs distraction from relationship troubles. “Here are all the places I can’t go because they remind me of him: The ocean. Green Apple Books. Oakland. Bernal Hill. That noodle place. San Francisco. Earth. I can’t eat a bagel or see the color blue or breathe oxygen.” I take her to a winery owned by a former Doobie Brother where we trick them into pouring us each two glasses of wine at 10am and then to a pioneer cemetery. Handling: 8.2/10

January 4th, 10:30pm: An ex-boyfriend texts me—unwarranted and apropos of absolutely nothing—a video montage he made set to sappy music of his current girlfriend and their two dogs playing on a beach. I text him back a video of my cat listening to Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” in the dark. Handling: 10.5/10


In 1851, six men landed on the Farallones, declared themselves owners by right of possession, formed a stock company, and began gathering murre eggs and selling them in San Francisco. The enmity between rival eggers grew to staggering proportions, culminating in the heartbreaking “Egg War” of 1863, during which two men were shot dead.
Before I had visited the Farralones, I had pictured them as the essential San Francisco. I imagined that they were the city stripped of superfluity, the city with its clothes off. But they didn’t feel as much to me like the city with its clothes off as like the city with its skin off. They were skeletal, the granite embodiment of King Lear howling in the storm—naked, terrifying, crazy.

-Gary Kamiya, from “Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco”

In 1851, six men landed on the Farallones, declared themselves owners by right of possession, formed a stock company, and began gathering murre eggs and selling them in San Francisco. The enmity between rival eggers grew to staggering proportions, culminating in the heartbreaking “Egg War” of 1863, during which two men were shot dead.

Before I had visited the Farralones, I had pictured them as the essential San Francisco. I imagined that they were the city stripped of superfluity, the city with its clothes off. But they didn’t feel as much to me like the city with its clothes off as like the city with its skin off. They were skeletal, the granite embodiment of King Lear howling in the storm—naked, terrifying, crazy.

-Gary Kamiya, from “Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco”

HERE ARE SOME EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENTS

katiecoyle:

  1. Have you been wanting to read my YA novel, Vivian Versus the Apocalypse, but you only buy books in bookstores and you’re like, I don’t trust non-American publishers? Well, you are a very idiosyncratic individual, but you are in luck, because Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be publishing it in the United States in January 2015. Yes, that’s right! Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! That’s what we in the business like to call “not too shabby.”
  2. Keep in mind that Vivian will make her debut in the US under a brand new title—VIVIAN APPLE AT THE END OF THE WORLD. This is a pretty great title. I am pretty happy about this title. Among other things, this name change means that all of you who have (very kindly) taken the time to read it can be like, “Vivian Apple at the End of the World? I was reading that back when she was Versus the Apocalypse.”
  3. As if this were not enough, both Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Hot Key Books will be publishing A SEQUEL, tentatively titled Vivian Versus America. I’m writing it now. So far, there’s plenty more cursing, lots more feminism, kissing, and HOLLYWOOD. I’m pumped about it.

Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your local bookstores. Let me know if you want me to come to your town and try to sell your acquaintances books. Get Vivian Apple at the End of the World tattooed across your chest. Add it on Goodreads. I love you. 

Vivian Apple at the End of the World. VIVIAN APPLE AT THE END OF THE WORLD.

Katie is the best and I am hashtag blessed to be able to hang out with her every Tuesday and read her stories about teen witches and outer space malls before everyone else does. She also gets as indignant as I do over basically everything (men who get applauded for translating stories into wingdings font, men who shame us about eating hummus in public, small pours of wine, people who don’t keep accurate score at literary trivia, etc.), which makes me feel a little less alone in the world. I’d say she’s the next J.K. Rowling but really she’s the first Katie Coyle, which is even better.