Ew York (have I used this before?)

Good afternoon everybody. It’s a bit of a strange day, as I come to you from the inside of a Subway restaurant on 26th street. I’m exhausted from staying up late last night eating frosted mini wheats and taking graphology quizzes and trying to fix my nails.

Over the past couple of months my mom and I have started this tradition where every time I come home to North Carolina we bond by getting our nails done. I got my first set of gel nails when I visited after the 4th of July this year (okay not the first set. the first was when I got them as a joke when I was 18 and then immediately went to Bonnaroo where I snapped each of them off after filling them with mud and sand. That was a rowdy summer). This time, though, I decided I really liked having nails as in the four years following that particular Bonnaroo I have tried to play on the spectrum from a perhaps less “feminine” character to the other extreme and back again (please refer to your Schechner texts). There is of course room for comment on the fact that having plastic melted on the top of each of my fingers severely limited my dexterity. I would have to pick up things like bobby pins and quarters off the floor by pressing my finger pad on them until they stuck. I had to pretty much entirely relearn how to type. But once I got the hang of having them I kind of felt empowered. I was pretty into them. I felt like a badass opening my tallboy with a nearby screwdriver so I didn’t break my nail. I mean after spending one summer in New York I could probably run a half marathon in a pair of heels. You don’t have to let looking good slow you down.

The problem with adding fake nails and blonde Redken dye to my ever evolving look is that they are serious cosmetic commitments. I don’t mind this when I have the time and money. I was recently discussing with my hair stylist/possible future sister-in-law Hannah how part of the appeal of making these commitments is the fact that you’re forced to go to the salon every month. I love the salon. I drink champagne, I lay my problems on other women who are stuck in the chair next to me. It’s an all around good time. For a couple of months after moving here I was able to keep up this charade by returning home to NC and making a day of it with Mom. But going home is expensive. And New York spas are expensive. I didn’t want to pay $45 for a fill every three weeks. I can’t. It even costs like $30 to go to a salon and have your nails removed, so I set out to do it myself. One bowl of acetone, two episodes of Arrested Development and about three hours of scraping later, my stumpy childlike fingers were back, and more agile than ever. Albeit my nail beds have been pretty much destroyed. I recommend not trying this at home.

While that night I managed to not knock myself out with manicure fumes, there was another disturbing odor in my apartment that was more relentless. Let me begin by saying I love Bushwick. It’s a nice place to live. I don’t even mind seeing rats outside from time to time. I have cats, so there’s not really a chance of a rodent infestation in my home. The problem I have is with the rat poison (and not for PETA reasons. I’m all for animal rights but I’d just assume get the RATS out of here however you have to). It’s because the traps the landlord puts out by the garbage are the little hexagonal rat garages where they run in, eat the poison, and then bring it back to their little nests or whatever. Conveniently, one of the nests is through a minuscule crack in the foundation of our building magically navigable to GIANT vermin who then crawl into the shoddy structure where they proceed to die off. This brought a smell that can only be described as rotting flesh because, well, it was rotting flesh and because rotting flesh smells like nothing else on earth. We complained to our landlord who reassured us with the comforting assertion that soon the carcass of whatever had died would dry out and the smell would disappear. I believe this has started to happen but I also believe that we have gotten somewhat used to the odor, which is upsetting to me on a lot of levels.

Mind you, I live in a fairly nice apartment. It’s one of those renovated buildings in Bushwick where all the appliances are stainless steel and the bathroom has black marble and a deep square tub. The problem is that only the inside of the apartment was gutted and refurbished. The outer structure remains as decrepit as it ever was, and I’m assuming it’s fairly old. Not to mention we live on the first floor, which means anything that crawls in the foundation to die is going to do so directly under us. And then came the flood. One lucky day this month there was a delightful mini-monsoon that somehow concentrated itself only on the central parts of Brooklyn. After it destroyed my roommates’ rooms (two kind and thankfully low-maintenance guys that live in the basement of our duplex) we had the water pumped out. The next day, thanks to my curious kittens, we started finding maggots in the basement. Maggots are no joke. There were little pods in the corners of the rooms which we guessed were egg sacks or cocoons of some kind. We assumed all this came from inside the burst drain pipe that had caused the flood, because a storm drain is kind of like a sewer and why wouldn’t there be maggots in it? Two nights later my roommate comes running up the stairs drunk at 3 am in his underwear with scratches all over his arms, burning sage and screaming that his room is haunted. I wasn’t sure, but the whole situation was definitely curious. Everything’s been getting particularly Amityville around there lately, especially since I started seeing flies on every surface in the house this week. Of course, that could just be because of the dead animals in the wall. To top it all off I was forced to kill a cockroach the size of a Twinkie last night because all my cats seemed to want to do was slap it around a bit. It’s starting to look more and more like I’ll have to get married soon, not because this is a man’s job, but because it needs to be somebody the fuck else’s but mine.

My incessant nightmares haven’t helped my suspicions of a haunting in Bushwick. There was one where our civilization was built on an Islamic burial ground and the buildings crumbled into the ocean and everyone drowned. No big deal. Another, less gruesome one involved me getting left at the altar on my wedding day. Upon realizing this I collapsed to the ground in slow motion, later going to the deserter’s trailer to get my belongings back and getting chased away in broad daylight with a shotgun. I barely survived.

Two nights ago I had another apocalyptic dream about me and another girl, possibly two, both strangely young. We’re traveling through sterile futuristic subway tunnels on some sort of mission to save the world. After some silent cosmic event, we make it outside to the sunlight and everything seems fine until one of the girls suddenly starts emitting electricity from her body. She can direct it at anything she wants and I am one of these things. I don’t get hurt but I am instead suspended at least 15 feet off the ground by a steady stream of lightning (this may have something to do with the fact that I interviewed the band Tesla Boy that day).

But last night’s dream was especially disturbing, if slightly humorous. I was on another mission to look for things in my house which was now mysteriously located in middle of the woods. The house, however, had been demolished and in its place I found an old elevated railroad suspended in the trees. Then I saw that hanging from the tracks were the legs and torsos of bodies that I guess had been hit and torn apart by the train. The body parts were dressed in Aeropostale and there was no blood to be seen anywhere, just severed limbs. I continued looking for my hair straightener. My friend that was with me said, “Well there goes our weekend.” I mean who writes this stuff?

Lest we find ourselves struggling with meaning yet again, I present you with a bit of positive news: I finally had sex to my Babymaker ~Part II~ playlist, from start to finish, something I had been planning on since its inception earlier this summer. It was a well-deserved turn of events considering my most recent prior sexual encounter involved me woman-on-topping a very drunk person until they began vomiting unceasingly between the bed and the wall, after which I slept on the floor for three hours (at press time this person and I are still friends as none of the vomit got on me and he as cleared up that my naked body was not the source of his nausea). Of course I walked home at 8:30 am on a Sunday with my minimal clothing inside out past pretty much every church-going Brooklynite between my house and the East River, but that part I’m used to.

Other than that I’ve been hanging out with brother Winston and the aforementioned Hannah who live down the street now. Having similar maintenance and employment problems of their own they have decided on a remedy of frequently drinking. We never really go anywhere. The most we’ve done is get fucked up enough in random bars to cover an entire car of the L in peanut shells. But I have seen some more of the city’s hidden beauty along the way.

Since I’m going to be 23 next month I’ve decided to practice being old by saying no to a lot of invitations for weeknight partying and stay home to get some much needed alone time/introspection/self improvement (yeah I’ve mostly just been eating in my bed). I did go to some random thing at some random recording studio last Saturday where I met some random amazing people and found a random tiny sparkling cowgirl hat (thinking of getting a tattoo that says ‘random’). I then wore the tiny hat for the rest of my night despite sweating a LOT in that one spot on my head while dancing at 285 kent until 3 am. After I abruptly decided I wasn’t having ANY fun anymore, I burst out of the building and disappeared, said a ceremonial goodbye to the tiny glittery hat and made friends with a cricket that I considered my spiritual guide. Not really realizing where I was going, I ended up getting sort of lost and taking a $13 cab, the availability of which I considered a “sign from god.”

(cool pic of me being completely insane)

(i distinctly remember taking this picture so that i would always remember this hat as i had for whatever reason decided to leave it behind)

(this is a “picture” i took of the cricket/buddha)

(me being sad about the hat and the cricket for some reason. i also have eyelash glue all over my face.)

The next day I dealt with my hangover by traveling to a beauty supply store in Woodside, Queens so we could try to disguise my prominent, rapidly growing roots as ombre and stop dying my hair for a while. You have to take three trains to get there and the beauty supply store didn’t have jack shit but I found Woodside oddly enjoyable. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed  being able to see that much of the sky. All the houses had front yards that were filled with plants. I found this mind-blowingly quaint, even if low flying planes did blast overhead every ten minutes. But it was seeing the shitty highways and the shitty empty streets of a shitty tiny town that made me homesick. Rushing to the nearest Taco Bell in the late afternoon, pre-autumn sunlight I felt like I was in Raleigh again, running from the bus stop on Western Boulevard. But the cheap thrill of my cheese quesadilla and potato soft taco faded away and I noticed the soda fountain drain overflowing with Diet Pepsi, the flattened packets of taco sauce strewn across the sticky brown tile floor. It did remind me of home.

It was at that moment I realized everywhere is kind of gross. And that comforted me.

Do y’all ever feel like a plastic bag?

It was well into the evening on Monday when I finally set foot outside, confronting the strangeness of waking up after sleeping for 24 hours; after spending the twelve hours before that squeezing every last drop of serotonin from my brain; after spouting every last detail of my life story to a group of attentive, similarly altered listeners; after drink after drink after drink….

Everything seemed completely brand new, and not in the best of ways. Patrick had left the city the previous day while I was wallowing in my wreck of a room trying to invent a home remedy for insomnia. I didn’t know if it was the fact that summer had started to slip away, but the air smelled completely different. It smelled kinda like…fucks.

Oh, blah blah blah. We’ve all been here before, right? In that place where the party lasted too long (or ended too soon), the period of recovery has long outstayed its welcome and you’re still sitting there, a self-indulgent lame duck. But this, sans tea or shade, isn’t “Amphetamine Logic.” I don’t find these feelings remotely glamorous. I see no reason to give in to the bullshit of ~taking life seriously~,  mistaking the emotional repercussions of a long night for some epiphany on the ultimate truth of loneliness and failure. Ya just did too much drugs.

The thoughts of a fucked up person always sound so true and interesting because they’re always face to face with their mortality. Or maybe they think they are? Something about a death instinct and weakening life instincts which you can read about in superstar drug blogger Cat Marnell’s articles here, or here, or everywhere.

BUT if you, like me, have the luxury of not being a total addict and just want to have some fun, try to remember you ARE NOT GOING TO DIE AND/OR FAIL AT LIFE AND/OR WASTE AWAY WITH NO TRUE FRIENDS THAT REALLY GET U

You are young, you are not dead, everything is going to be fine.

Here are all the things you need to successfully cure a really shitty comedown. 

Water: You forget you need this, but you do. Like, really do. Imagine running a marathon and then guzzling a big ole jug of ocean water. That’s what partying does to your body. You might not feel like it and it might really suck but it’s AMAZING what throwing back three or four tall glasses of water can do to your morale. Helpful tip, if you have a headache or stomachache or just don’t feel thirsty, water at room temperature is a lot easier to drink than the cold stuff. Camelbacks are also good because by this time you will have regressed to a child-like state and won’t mind sucking a nipple.

Vitamins: There’s this crazy shit you can buy at the drug store called 5HTP that helps replenish some of the great stuff that great drugs suck out of your brain and body (like our beloved serotonin). It also makes you sleepy, which is going to be really helpful in your shitty state. But without getting into a bunch of science or whatever, there are other super normal things you can take like vitamin C and B complex (I actually read somewhere that if you take B12 the night you go out drinking it keeps you from having a hangover. But I’m not a doctor or anything). I have been known to take like 4 packs of Emergen-C which has a whole bunch of different shit in it and is also a good way to convince myself to drink water.

Marijuana: I don’t remember the last time I bought weed which is totally shameful. I actually spent most of the summer so un-stoned that I’d forgotten how great of a remedy it can be for most things.

Sleep: You will not feel normal again until you do this. In my case I had to take a promethazine and do it for about a day. Actually I’ve come to realize that most of my problems, party-related or not, have to do with being tired. Tiredness just makes you so annoyingly serious and who has time for that?

Get OUT of the house: Go for a walk. Get your blood flowing. Maybe even  get some food. See something other than the room where up until five minutes ago you were sure you were going to die.

Exercise, even if slightly: Stretching is a good way to cheat on this one. Stretching is the bomb.

Socialize: This one is about getting over yourself and realizing your problems are not that serious. Having a chat with someone other than your cat will make you feel less crazy and help you gain perspective. You’ll remember who you used to be before this nightmare.

and last but not least, Create limits for yourself: You need to know when enough is enough (in my experience this is somewhere between slightly more than enough and not quite too much). Nobody wants to come visit you in a hospital or look at your broken capillaries or have you ruin everything by dying. Let’s not lose any more good people. Things you will never see me do include crack, heroin, meth, and PCP (sorry Cat, u do u). I am also not super “into pills” or what have you because that just seems so ’08, and you should NEVER exchange sex for drugs (or vice versa, you creep). I’m not going to wag my finger at you if you flirt with guys so they buy you drinks. Who doesn’t do that? (Well, I don’t usually because I have a very narrow, almost invisible window between wanting to stab a guy in the face and actually liking them. By the time I figure out which one, the ‘pretending’ ship has sailed far, far away). I’m JUST saying that if you want your morning-afters to get any easier, think about the things you felt guilty about last time. Maybe you feel like an idiot for letting that guy suck your tit in exchange for a bump of coke because you were kind of being a huge idiot. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Some things, like bouncing around scantily clad and talking incessant nonsense to a group of ogling guys for four hours, should be met with a quick self deprecating eye-roll. If you do find yourself sitting around biting your nails trying to remember all the ridiculous things you said and thinking “they probably thought I was so stupid and selfish and slutty!” just remember that,

-If they did, so what?

-They were really fucked up too and probably more focused on trying to sleep with you.

-Stupid, selfish and slutty might be the look.

nuttin but a hairflip.
xx,
Kat

HOODRATS IN SPACE

Alcoholics! Creeps! People who are just bored! It’s me, that weird hoe you know, and I’m back with a posse this time. I’ve been spending the last week or so moving FOR THE GRILLIONTH AND LAST TIME (literally ever. i will die in this fucking apartment), trying to be a hardworking responsible adult. I unearthed some treasures from my pre-teen days in the sorting process, got some sweet new digs and finally got my boycat MISTER KOSSY up to New York. But I don’t want to bore you with stories about my first time at Ikea or how I found out the hard way that expired body glitter is, like, really bad for your skin…at least not today.

Remember when I told you I went down to Ralz for 48 hours a month ago and had a ratchet ol’ time?! Well now I have the photos to prove to you just how perfect the experience really was. We drank lokos. We saw god. I straddled a Buick. You know, a part of me is genuinely surprised the state of North Carolina hasn’t already outlawed this kind of fabulous fuckery.

(Pics by Sarah Sassafrass, naturally)

 

xx