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

tell me we'll never get used to it

Top Waitress: New Orleans

When I was 21 I walked into a restaurant on Decatur Street. I had never waited tables in my life. This was the last stop on my train to Brokesville, having already sold my car to pay our rent and bills. I handed a man who looked like a Las Vegas pit boss (his former job was, in fact, as a Las Vegas pit boss) my completely made-up resume. His face bore no discernible expression. “You know how to bartend?” he asked gruffly. “Yes,” I lied. “Can you start tomorrow?” he asked.

I trained under Miss Lorraine. Miss Lorraine was 68 with 8 kids and 18 grandchildren. She suffered no fools, and she saw through me immediately. Miss Lorraine actually taught me everything I ever learned about reverse psychology. She had her regulars, who bloomed under her verbal assaults. “Miss Lorraine, where are our beers?” they would holler, grinning. “I’LL BRING Y’ALLS BEER WHEN I’M GOOD GODDAMNED READY!!” she would shriek. She had a snappy ball-withering comeback for everything. They ate it up, left her twenties under their napkins. It was under her tutelage that I learned that for some people (mostly hardworking men who lived on shrimping boats) abuse equaled attention, and any attention was good attention. Anyone who could get Miss Lorraine to crack a smile would pump their fist triumphantly. She dropped out of school in 8th grade, but about 72% of my current operating wisdom in regards to respect comes from her.

Two thirds of the people who worked at this restaurant were in a band together. On Thursday nights the back room turned into a dimly lit, smoky music hall. I bartended, sneakily looking up drinks from my pocket-sized book under the bar light. People packed in to see the show, which was part carnival, part film festival, part singing like you’ve never heard singing before. It felt like magic was being made. Which, in fact: it was. That singer with the slicked back hair and saxophone who once rode his delivery bicycle through a hurricane to get me aspirin? He’s now the leader of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He may have gone on to win a Grammy, but I went on to win the only award I have ever won, at the “Best Bloody Mary in New Orleans” competition (the secret ingredient: I distilled my own Cajun-spiced vinegar. Under the watchful eye of Terrebonne Parish-bred Miss Lorraine, of course).

During Mardi Gras I made enough money to pay a month’s rent in one day. For thirty days in a row. My boyfriend, an alcoholic felon with a warrant out for his arrest in two states who I had moved with from San Francisco after only knowing for two weeks, did not believe in banks. So he kept all our money in a box under the bed in our haunted house. The day I left, I opened the box to take half the money. The box was empty. This is a very New Orleans story.

I fell in love with the cook. He knew who Will Oldham was and looked good in a grease-stained tank top and had huge, gentle brown eyes. On my last night in New Orleans, we drank at Molly’s across the street with everyone else from the restaurant. Until it was just the two of us. Believe it or not, it was the only time in three years I got drunk. We were listening to Neutral Milk Hotel. “And this is the room one afternoon I knew I could love you…” I whisper-sang to him. “Stop,” he whispered back with his eyes closed, and took my hand. He led me out into the humid pink June dawn and we began unlocking our bicycles. I had no idea where we were going, and I was supposed to get on a plane in five hours, but suddenly everything felt possible for the first time in forever. I looped a leg over my bike. We locked eyes and smiled. Which was precisely the moment the alcoholic felon ex-boyfriend emerged from around the corner. He had been looking for me. The cook looked at him, then looked down at the ground. Then he pedaled off, and he never looked back. Years later, I told a boyfriend this story. It bugged him, and he couldn’t figure out why. “Wait,” he said. “I think I know. It’s because of everyone you’ve ever loved, he’s the one with infinite potential. He’s the one that got away.” Which is actually what I think of when I think of New Orleans in general, now. That it is the one that got away.

girlslovenoodles:

Girls love spaghetti!

I’ve known Amanda for 17 years. She hated me for the first 5. I can hardly blame her: I shopped at Hot Topic and took her ex-boyfriend to prom. He was 21 and had a lazy eye and an old English stomach tattoo that said “thug life.” He lived at the Burlingame “motel” (if you’ve ever been to Burlingame you’ll understand why I have to put that in quotes) and sold bunk ecstasy.
She was the first person I knew to move to San Francisco. She lived on Haight and Webster across from the projects and she only ever wore red and black and listened exclusively to Peaches and Fischerspooner and I thought she was the coolest, most worldly person in the world.
Eventually she went to Ireland and lived in a tree for a year. I went to New Orleans and lived in a haunted mansion. When I came back to San Francisco she was living with some mutual friends and I crashed on their couch. We were both itchy in the same way, tired of how everyone seemed perfectly happy to listen to all the same bands and drink the same 40s in the same skate parks as they did in high school. And thus we were bonded in our existential discontent. We have since seen each other through countless hungover brunches, obsessive crushes we never talked to, shitty decisions, brave decisions. Basically: our 20s.
She moved to New York and left an Amanda-sized hole in San Francisco. But one day I hung out with this guy (this guy!), and immediately came home and wrote her the following: “I have met your soul mate. He lives here. You have to come home. I’m not kidding.” She laughed at me. Two years later she came home and I chaperoned a bowling date and they’ve basically been together ever since. The moral of this story is: listen to your friends, they know what’s best for you.
Now she lives in my attic and we share an obese cat and a fantasy gay husband and as the last two single people on earth (well, until recently) our names are always ampersanded on the seating charts at mutual friends’ weddings (“Aw, I thought y’all were gonna be some hot lesbians” our high school pal ‘Milkbone’ slurred drunkenly at the last wedding, forced together at the lone “singles” table as we all were). She is the only other person I know who vividly remembers the way the arcade at Fashion Island smelled and who loves 80s freestyle jams as much as I do. She willingly interprets all my dreams and calls me on my bullshit in the nicest way possible. She is probably the wisest person I know, and the funniest. 
This is all to say: in life, you have to find the people who grab your hand and drag you along, even when you want to hide under the covers. Especially when you want to hide under the covers. Find the people who hold up the mirrors so you can’t look away. Find the people who always tell the truth. Find the people who make you snort diet coke out of your nose from cackling so hard.

girlslovenoodles:

Girls love spaghetti!

I’ve known Amanda for 17 years. She hated me for the first 5. I can hardly blame her: I shopped at Hot Topic and took her ex-boyfriend to prom. He was 21 and had a lazy eye and an old English stomach tattoo that said “thug life.” He lived at the Burlingame “motel” (if you’ve ever been to Burlingame you’ll understand why I have to put that in quotes) and sold bunk ecstasy.

She was the first person I knew to move to San Francisco. She lived on Haight and Webster across from the projects and she only ever wore red and black and listened exclusively to Peaches and Fischerspooner and I thought she was the coolest, most worldly person in the world.

Eventually she went to Ireland and lived in a tree for a year. I went to New Orleans and lived in a haunted mansion. When I came back to San Francisco she was living with some mutual friends and I crashed on their couch. We were both itchy in the same way, tired of how everyone seemed perfectly happy to listen to all the same bands and drink the same 40s in the same skate parks as they did in high school. And thus we were bonded in our existential discontent. We have since seen each other through countless hungover brunches, obsessive crushes we never talked to, shitty decisions, brave decisions. Basically: our 20s.

She moved to New York and left an Amanda-sized hole in San Francisco. But one day I hung out with this guy (this guy!), and immediately came home and wrote her the following: “I have met your soul mate. He lives here. You have to come home. I’m not kidding.” She laughed at me. Two years later she came home and I chaperoned a bowling date and they’ve basically been together ever since. The moral of this story is: listen to your friends, they know what’s best for you.

Now she lives in my attic and we share an obese cat and a fantasy gay husband and as the last two single people on earth (well, until recently) our names are always ampersanded on the seating charts at mutual friends’ weddings (“Aw, I thought y’all were gonna be some hot lesbians” our high school pal ‘Milkbone’ slurred drunkenly at the last wedding, forced together at the lone “singles” table as we all were). She is the only other person I know who vividly remembers the way the arcade at Fashion Island smelled and who loves 80s freestyle jams as much as I do. She willingly interprets all my dreams and calls me on my bullshit in the nicest way possible. She is probably the wisest person I know, and the funniest. 

This is all to say: in life, you have to find the people who grab your hand and drag you along, even when you want to hide under the covers. Especially when you want to hide under the covers. Find the people who hold up the mirrors so you can’t look away. Find the people who always tell the truth. Find the people who make you snort diet coke out of your nose from cackling so hard.

Recent urgent google searches:

  • plural of nemesis
  • two chainz cookbook
  • ricekrispies.com
  • gothic name generator
  • the judds etsy art
  • does michael mcdonald live in palm springs?

# of weird okcupid dates I went on before I decided I like my cat’s company better: 5/5

Q: Is she actually my cat?

A: No.

Percentage of yoga classes I have cried during between January-October: 20%

Ratio of coupled friends to single friends: 5 :: 1

Percentage of conversations between January-October that have involved me mediating a couple’s argument: 40%

What I was eating when my best friend looked at me sympathetically and asked, “If there was something that would upset you that you didn’t know but I knew, would you want to know?”: fried chicken

Q: Was there an Elvis impersonator serenading me at this exact moment with “Suspicious Minds”?

A: Yes. Yes, there was.

What I already knew, despite having hidden “see all updates” on facebook, because, obviously, there is a fucking search bar and sometimes it’s late at night and you’re alone with your not-really-your-cat and if you just type in the first letter of his name it’s like it just psychically knows you’re looking to thumb an ancient bruise:   he got engaged

# of minutes spent pondering whether you would rather be someone’s third wife by the age of 35 or whether you did, perhaps, dodge a bullet on this one: 22

Books my mother handed me when I walked in the door after her telephone psychic in Florida told her I would meet a “handsome, funny Aquarius” but only after I “worked on myself”:

  • The Celestine Prophecy
  • The Celestine Prophecy: The Experiential Guide
  • The Celestine Prophecy: The Hour of Decision
  • The Celestine Prophecy: The Twelfth Insight

Secret: caves, beaches, pianos, street car parties.

Dispatch from day 2 of a writing workshop at Esalen in Big Sur with Cheryl Strayed and Pam Houston:

  • A teenage boy stands high up in the branches of a tree, singing to it.
  • A group of Japanese tourists is gathered around the communal piano, singing “Cheer Up Sleepy Jean” in broken English.
  • Cheryl Strayed comes up with the book title, “Buttfucking for Harpists.”
  • THERE IS A 24 HOUR TOAST BAR. WHERE YOU CAN MAKE TOAST WITH JAMS AND BUTTERS. 24 HOURS A DAY.

Yo Kanye, Imma Let You Finish, but Emerson Was the Greatest Obfuscator of All Time

Who said it first: Kanye West or Ralph Waldo Emerson?

1. TO BE GREAT IS TO BE MISUNDERSTOOD.

2. I ACCEPT THE IDEA (IDEAL) THAT PERCEPTION IS REALITY.

3. I UNDERSTAND CULTURE. I AM THE NUCLEUS.

4. I BECOME A TRANSPARENT EYEBALL. I AM NOTHING. I SEE ALL.

5. WOULD YOU BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN IF YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE WHO BELIEVED IT?

6. TO KNOW THAT WE KNOW WHAT WE DO KNOW, AND THAT WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW, THAT IS TRUE KNOWLEDGE.
7. I’M LIKE A VESSEL, AND GOD HAS CHOSEN ME TO BE THE VOICE AND THE CONNECTOR.
8. GENIUS CREATES. TO CREATE IS THE PROOF OF DIVINE PRESENCE.
answers: 1) E 2) W 3) W 4) E 5) W 6) E 7) W 8) E