How I Disgraced Myself
This post contains human names; if you are allergic to human names then...then your throat is probably pretty swollen right now
No secrets between us! This is what happened.
We arrived in DC on Thursday, and that first night we went to a nightmarish reading where we all got locked in a gold hotel room for like three hours and no one was allowed to leave and there was no alcohol except like twelve-dollar-a-glass golden wine. Every poet in the world was there and they all read for one infinity each. Saw Elisa Gabbert at the intermission and squealed pig recognition in her face! SHE IS A MARVEL, and the minute we met I felt comforted in the knowledge that there was at least one normal person alive in the world at that moment. As a single female monster we slinked up to Nick Demske and had an impromptu contest to see who could scream a louder compliment at him and he was like Gah I literally cannot decide you both win.
The Apologies: Lynn Xu I apologize for trying to murder you with a cigarette. Ish Klein I apologize for screaming my head off when you finished reading. Anselm Berrigan I apologize for smiling at you! Rae Armantrout I apologize for somehow giving you the impression that my name was Diane.
The second night we went to the Table X reading, which was held in a crowded room of Blood-Red Night and also started like an hour late. By the time it commenced I was on my second drink, also known as my Sensuality Drink. My sensuality drink causes me to press against people, it is this disorder. Consequently I spent the entire first hour of the reading sensually jamming my elbow into the body of the poor man next to me. Inside my mind I was like, Mmmm my elbow is touching him feels amazing SO SENSUAL. He gamely endured this until whoops, it was time for him to get up and read. Surprise! It was Joseph Calavenna! Sorry, Joey. I think I might owe you a little money.
Dan Beachy-Quick got up to read, and when I saw him I gasped really loudly, "Oh my gosh it's WHALE BOY," which was maybe not the best way to express my appreciation for his work. On the way out I expressed MORE of my precious, precious appreciation to Ariana Reines in a language that approximated English but was not...quite it. Then in a hell elevator I accosted a very famous person named Heather Christle. "Is it weird to have people recognize your face?" You could see her thinking, Um, it wasn't until this very last second, psycho, and then just to finish the job I leaned in and delivered myself of the following truly stunning inanity, "I have seen pictures of you in a furry hat."
Just send me to jail already, where I can't get at anyone! What else. Davis Schneiderman was dressed like a mime and there may or may not exist a picture of us posing together because we both "looked French." I...didn't, in case you are wondering, but I did look crazy. When it came time to dress for the reading I just completely lost my mind and dressed like some implausible cross between a baby and a maid. A baby maid, from France! Why have I never done a single thing right in my whole life.
The Apologies: I apologize to God and everyone.
The Bookfair. Ha ha ha I did THAT so wrong also. I like humans and I like books so I should have loved it but the whole time I felt like a very small camera was being inserted deeper and deeper up my urethra and the footage was playing on the television of my face. My special thanks go out to Beth Staples and Allyson Boggess and Kathleen Winter of HFR for finding me almost right away and being SO FREAKING NICE TO ME. The whole time we talked I just felt like a prize champion horse being curried by them, making these little contented whuffling noises. There may exist a picture of me nursing their Table Rooster at mine own breast, but you probably don't want to see it. However! As soon as I left their presence I once again took my true form, that of a Public Disaster on two female feet. I actually confessed to K. Silem Mohammad that I was kind of high, and then realized for the first time how extremely much I would like to be high with K. Silem Mohammad. PICTURE IT.
The Apologies: Matthew Zapruder I apologize for pronouncing your name wrong and for stealing a book from your table and shrieking I REFUSE TO PAY FOR THIS YOU RICH KING and for filling your airspace with a bunch of dumb words. Fred Sasaki I apologize for winking at you, my wink is a HORROR and you did not deserve it. Jill Alexander Essbaum I apologize for staring into your golden eyes and being like OMG SO GOLDEN; like I said I was tripping. I apologize to the hotel itself for filling it with the scent of my fear!
Saturday night we went to the Gulf Tolls reading, because ANA B. was reading and she is the best person who has ever been born. She ordered a crabcake and ate it serenely, all the while asking philosophically, "Is it wrong to eat sea creatures at a reading for the Gulf?" Amy King looked into my face and I saw that she is a perfectly tilted cowboy hat in human form. I forcibly spread my napkin in the lap of Alan Gilbert and have never seen a person look so frightened. "IT'S CLEAN," I bellowed, and he shrank from me. Oh, you also need to know that Anne Waldman got up to read and sang manatee noises at us in such a convincing way that I nearly freaked with delight. Afterwards we went to the Fence reading and behaved ourselves quite well for a little while, though it's possible that when the reading was over, instead of mingling as a person ought to do I became mesmerized by the dead-dog cowboy film Open Range which was playing on the bar television and proceeded to read aloud the subtitles in a "Western accent" for almost a full hour.
The Apologies: I apologize to the President who had to be in the same town as me even for a single moment.
THEN I WENT HOME AND EVERYONE WAS RELIEVED. I will lie on this couch all day now, trying not to remember anything I said or did, alternating between hot and cold douche-chills. Can douche-chills kill a person? Will I be the first to die that way?
MORAL: I am never leaving my house again