Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Monday, December 30, 2013

To big, to small.

Decca Mitford

My old walk took me over the pedestrian-friendly bridge and across Front Street in Harrisburg — past the statue of the man reading the Patriot and Evening News and the Art Association building for one job, past my favorite building ("the Sunset," the use of which I have yet to determine) and Little Amps for another. For all the difficulty I experienced then, I have nothing but intrusively positive memories kicking up distracting splashes of nostalgia about the morning walks. I missed that this year.

I am grateful this year for all of Marlo Meekin's Vines.

I am grateful this year for all the Ottessa Moshfegh stories the Paris Review published.

I can't walk to work anymore, and I am thinking I may need to learn how to drive. I am not (I assert) a fan of defining myself by negatives, although the fact that I can't eat dairy or drink has inured me to this as of late — still, not driving is one of those things, like wearing bright patterns or pants, that I dread the reaction from people who know me to such an extent that I don't consider it to be within the realm of possibility. The roads around work, route taken notwithstanding, are too suburban-industrial even to bike, but my route has one redeeming charm: a small sign, dangerously difficult to read from a car, that says "no job to big or to small." I look at it every day but have never tried to figure out that is all about. It overwhelms me.

I am grateful this year for the times Lena Dunham and Maria Bamford favorited my tweets.

I am grateful this year for Jessica Mitford's investigative journalism.

I couldn't find Hons & Rebels anywhere on the west coast. When I went to McNally Jackson one afternoon, I asked a clerk upstairs if they had a copy, and was referred to the memoirs downstairs. I turned down the staircase and was met at the bottom by a clerk, holding Hons & Rebels up, asking, "Is this yours?" — it was very romantic and called for strings.

What I'm anticipating in the coming year:

  • Writing about the symphony
  • Reading with the Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel in March
  • Multiple trips to New York and Olympia/Portland
  • Ordering fewer books online, waiting until they appear in the Scholar (a sound financial measure but, we'll see)
  • Continuing to enjoy my work — in April I will have been making all my money from writing/editing for one year
The owner of the Scholar became the Mayor of Harrisburg this year. Once, I had a private audience with him and we discussed a mutual enthusiasm for small presses and the area business journal.

I am so grateful this year for the business journal and the internship they gave me.

I am so grateful this year for the newspaper for hiring me after I spent the last of my unemployment on room service at the Algonquin.

I am so grateful for Dancing Girl, Unthinkable Creatures, and Birds of Lace and for all the writers whose work mine was published alongside by these ravishing presses.

I am so grateful to live in the time of Guillotine and Dorothy and Emily Books and such a font of writers whose work makes me believe this is the best time for writing — if even just for me as a reader. I think back to middle school and I was a miserable reader. I think I broke the spine of the Girl with Green Hair because there was just nothing else.

All this and Scarling. is making music again. And my boyfriend bought me this wonderful squid!

No comments:

Post a Comment