jealousy is a disease and i don’t have health insurance

I am very mad about the writer who got famous from a Harry Styles fanfiction where she portrayed him as an incorrigible abuser who deserved to be made into a eunuch, not cherished or even lusted after. Here is the brief description of the upcoming MOVIE based off this fanfiction, because not only did its popularity lead to a BOOK DEAL for a series of EROTICA NOVELS (my dream!), but that fuckin’ hefty chunk of Hollywood change, too. Was she asked to write the script? I am sure she was asked to write the script, but I can’t bring myself to seek confirmation; the pain is too much already. 

“His past haunts him and the future terrifies him. He’s not perfect, but he is perfectly imperfect and he tries like hell, which is the most any of us can do. Hardin Allen Scott changed my life. I’m thankful for the boy with the tattoos that creeped into my head seven years ago and hasn’t left since.”

I hate this! I hate that! I hate her! That should be me! I live a fucking fanfiction! I am Helena, Alyxandria, Syn, Salem, the girl whose life changed forever after one unforgettable night at a rock show, the dreamy band guy’s best friend since childhood with some totally cool job like a tattoo artist who he, by chapter eight, realizes was the one for him all along! One false move from that boy and I will exploit him so fast for a couple extra book sales that he won’t have the time to pretend like he’s surprised! 

(Forever shameless, I’ll never apologize; I will go so far as to comment that I see no need to. I will cash every check I made off his fans with a wide, shit-eating grin because I could finally afford new teeth. 

“What made you decide to reveal the true identity of the mystery man you’re always alluding to in your writing?” my fourth interviewer of the day will ask from a well-decorated, staged sitting room in their 37th-floor NYC office, but with better phrasing of the question because I dropped out of journalism school long before we learned how to pose inquiries, but if they’re interviewing me, it’s a possibility that they did, too….

“Years of profound disappointment,” I’ll answer, my face revealing nothing, no influx in my tone.)

Tired of waking up everyday to no movie proposals from Netflix executives in my email inbox, I have been submitting my pieces to literary magazines and the process is growing a bit dismal. I have yet to hear back from any of them, but a waiting period of a couple months is to be expected. 

“This all sucks,” I told the same goddamn stupid mystery man that I am always alluding to in my writing. “Every part of writing sucks except for… writing.”

I like to talk to him about my craft because it makes me sound serious, committed, dedicated, passionate, blahblahblah, which I am, but I feel as if I have to reiterate it for him to believe me. I am under false pressure to prove to him that the hours I spend hunched over my laptop are not wasted shopping on Wayfair for cabinets (of kidnapped children to print off my essays for me because I’m lazy and my printer is demonically possessed): I’m writing, working, I swear! It’s not like I even need him to care much about my “career”; my boyfriend, who I discarded a week ago, was far more involved, and he is probably spending this very moment forcing himself to think bad things about me to expedite the necessary hatred required for moving on in his life…  “Hope she’s having a great fucking time talking to that fucking chump who doesn’t give a shit about her,” he’s probably grumbling, and he’s right: I am! It’s surely more fun than browsing literary magazines!

“What don’t you like about it?” mystery jackass asked to be polite. (He’s learning after I have incessantly chastised him for only actively participating in conversations about the gripes of his own creative processes. How are you today? Oh, I’m fine, how’re you? always works as a simple, standard, polite greeting that I thought we all adopted early on, but I was wrong.) 

“Every time I find one that says it only accepts GRITTY, RAW, FRESH, ORIGINAL, NO-FLUFF BULLSHIT, and I go yes, that’s me, baby! Then, I read their most recent issue, and it’s all the same story that I’ve read 400 times before about someone’s last car ride with their father before he went to get out to cigarettes and never came back in 1995. It always ends with them receiving a confessional and apologetic letter from him in the mail 20 years later, as if one receives letters from their long-lost deadbeat dads… They get Facebook messages, duh…. Anyway, my point is that I feel like I don’t fit in. Writers are all so pretentious and I don’t take myself that seriously.”

“If we’re being honest, every artist should take themselves seriously. I think that’s one of the biggest keys to success.” 

Oh, fuck, I thought: I accidentally allowed him to think he’s uncovered the reason why my Amazon royalty checks for two-month periods are never above $20 and I have 1/16th of the Instagram following as the last model he’s fucked. This was a mistake.

“Hold on, I think I used the wrong phrasing. I do take myself seriously. I know I am good at what I do, but most of my writing is comedic because I don’t take life that seriously. Everything is funny to me. I don’t give a fuck about the kind of things that these people write about.” 

“Well, find some magazines that cater to your style!” You’re depressed? Well, have you tried cheering up?

“That’s what I am doing, idiot.” I just have to read the same story about that fucking car ride that despoiled someone’s ability to love unconditionally as an adult because of a residual fear of abandonment from adolescence over and over again until I find one, and if that special one accepts me, I will throw my writing out left and right like it’s a PETA pamphlet at Warped Tour! I will spread it like herpes! If someone makes room for me, welcoming me into this messy and overcrowded world of words, I will invade everyone else’s personal space with a total disregard to how they feel about assholes like me for the rest of my life! Give me an inch and I will grab that mile from your hands! Your house resides on that mile? Better get a plunger because I shit a lot and some Drano because I shed even more and I’M FUCKIN’ MOVIN’ IN, BABY!

 ….Until then, I am stuck in limbo, writing bullshit like this out of obligation and necessity to silence the chiding voices in my head on what is supposed to be my “day off” from research, editing, and submitting… That’s a fucking joke, they snarl: You don’t have a job

See, wasting time’s ok when you have nothing to do; it feels light, casual, like something that’s supposed to be relaxing, but I have never once felt like I had nothing to do, and slamming my laptop shut did nothing to silence my internal team of micromanagers, so I set out to Barnes & Noble to pick up some literary magazines and get a grasp on what content they deem worthy (and probably end up tossing them out my car window once I’ve emptied my repository of sardonic comments and start repeating the same three that weren’t funny the first time). 

They only had four available, but 2001 was probably a better year for the magazine racks and people like me who prefer hard copies. I walked out with the newest issue of one of the more prestigious feminist mags, figuring it was as good of a start as any because women, in any field, are always grouped with, and pitted against, other women: these are my comrades, my “coworkers.”

This month’s content theme was “hair.” Those who have endured the most regarding that subject, and any subject — take a gander around at this shithole of a society — are women of color, so they were the majority of contributors. Well, shit, I thought: This isn’t my playing field and I’d be a dick to brutalize their particular style when sharing traumatic experiences that I did nothing to earn exemption from; no one gives a fuck about my hair because no one should give a fuck about my hair. 

If I had seen this particular submission call, I would’ve probably dug through my pile of stories to see if I have one about a drummer blowing their load in my hair and their dried cum flakes falling onto directly into my table’s dinner at work the next day; coming up empty, I would consider quickly penning about the one time I had sex on my couch and found a full nug of weed tangled in a knot later in the shower, dried it out on my windowsill, and smoked it the next day… All the while these women spent their whole life being ridiculed by girls who look like me until they gave themselves chemical burns to hopefully receive the peace and quiet of their classmates’ validation. They had real shit to write about. 

(I should have picked up a magazine that only publishes white male college students. I would’ve either had a ball with a bright red correction pen, guilt-free, or blown my brains out.)

You know what, though? The ladies that filled those pages had some fantastic voices; each had a compelling story to tell, and they told it well. Most were professionals with impressive credentials: experts, historians, professors, published authors. (One woman who was interviewed spent ten years researching and writing her book and every publisher she sent it to jumped at making her an offer, while I once asked my male followers on Instagram to give me an estimated spit-to-swallow ratio out of all the blowjobs they’ve received and only three responded. I tip my hat to her; she earned that bidding war.)

I hated the poems, but only because I hate poetry, having long ago dismissed it as garbage, metaphorical bullshit. I don’t want to have to spend hours contemplating what you meant behind your vague, hip, six word art that’s in the shape of an “X”; I have ADHD and your formatting gives me a headache. I would unintentionally snarl at someone who writes poetry if I were to meet them at a cocktail party that I should have thanked my lucky stars I was invited to and taken full advantage of the networking opportunities; if they were a man, I would snarl, roll my eyes, and walk away in the middle of the conversation. I would leave looking like a dick and my email would be removed from the automated list about weekly events, and I’d shrug when my agent asks me if I have a clue as to why this was so…. Did you do anything I should know about, Rose? Forget to tell me something, maybe? 

“Well, we were only supposed to have two free drinks and I had six. I was sly about it, though, and I ate four ham biscuits before driving home.” 

But I don’t even have an agent. 

My only gripe was a personal essay written by a girl a few years younger than myself. The story itself was a well-organized chronicle with the pathos applied just where it needed to be. Now, I have leniency towards young writers because I am a young writer and I suck, and the only way to improve is to practice, but I have a zero tolerance policy for unnecessary descriptors, and I spotted three violations in just the first paragraph. 

She was five when this story took place — that was established within the first few lines. Why, then, did we have to be reminded that her hands were “little,” her neck “tiny,” her legs “small”? Was it to reiterate what a shame it was that a girl that young was bullied until she begged her mother to let her get a relaxing treatment done to her hair? The strategy makes sense, but you already mentioned that you were only five; five-year-olds are small children; tormenting anyone, let alone a small child, over such blatantly racist bullshit is intolerable behavior. 

A sharp inhale revealed the stench of her scrambling to fill a word count quota, but one story in my most recent book is dialogue only, no filler, barely any scene setting, and based off an argument I had with a boy who accused me of talking too much about shit — and I don’t mean shit as a pronoun, but turds, poo, dookie, the real deal — so don’t listen to me because I’d never get into this magazine unless the editors are flies, though I am sure if I checked their archives, I will find an issue where every writer depicted themselves as far more formidable insects (with 90% of the submissions being a fucking praying mantis), but that’s still cooler than what that heinous woman did to Harry Styles. 

(…I’ll never get over it, obviously; jealousy is a disease, and I don’t have health insurance.) 

give my love to buffalo

Every Time I Die’s new album Radical was finally released on October 22nd after a year-long delay, and at least five different people of whom my (fleeting) presence left with a vile taste in their mouth — something like if you drank only cheap rum for 12 hours and then licked the dirty and crusty foot of a stranger and proceeded to chain-smoked three Marlboro 27s before immediately having your beloved partner tell you they never really liked you at all… not even a little bit at the beginning… — probably stumbled upon the news, groaned, and muttered “oh, lovely… I bet Rose Damian is fucking thrilled,” and they are right: I am so goddamn alive with the glory of nasty fucking RIFFS that I could run directly through a brick wall, but I’m not going to because I would inevitably hurt myself and that would make them happy when this is my special week!

This isn’t a “review” because I don’t know a goddamn thing about music and I am unapologetically biased… We all know that I fucking love Every Time I Die. I found them late in their career: While on tour in winter of 2015, vocalist Keith Buckley’s then-wife experienced life-threatening complications during her pregnancy that led to their daughter being born severely premature; instead of cancelling the tour, Jason Butler (Letlive., The Fever 333, Pressure Cracks) filled in for him. Letlive. were my favorite band at the time, so I watched a couple videos from these shows, and thought, “Damn… This is nice. I wonder if they’re just as good without him?” and thus (through incredibly grim circumstances that I would never admit had things not worked out for Keith and his family), I had the glorious experience of enjoying their entire catalogue for the very first time, and it’s an impressive one. ETID possesses some sort of magic lacking in many artists: They have never once regressed. Through subtle nuances, each album released is consistently better than the last, without diminishing the quality of the previous ones or ever not sounding like them. (I would be able to explain it better if I had the slightest goddamn clue how they do it; “magic” is my best guess.) 

Turning 21 commenced a rough time for me, and finding them is one of the best things that’s ever happened to my mental health. A therapist would probably argue that I rely on them to childishly avoid confronting the myriad shitty parts of life, but their music and wonderful community of fans are probably the only thing that has ever made me feel better that isn’t going to destroy my lungs or my liver, so I think I am ok. I hope everyone finds something that brings them as much joy as Every Time I Die does for me, because after the past few years we’ve had, we all deserve it. 

When Low Teens came out in 2016, I gave myself an hour before work to drive around and listen to it… and spent the entire hour with “Fear And Trembling” on repeat. It’s only been a week, and this album has sixteen goddamn songs, and I still go “WOOOOOOOO SHIT!!!!! THAT’S A BUTTERY GODDAMN RIFF!!!!!!!” when :25 hits in “Just As Real But Not As Brightly Lit” like I haven’t listened to it approximately 1000 times in the past five years, so it’s going to take me a while to take it all in… 

In the meantime, here is my reaction to the album upon my first listen, cleaned up because I was about four shots of rum deep and eating a steak (like, there was actual A1 and grease stains and blood on my notebook).  Again, this is not a review: OF COURSE, I LOVED THIS SHIT. 15/10 STARS. THREE THUMBS UP. A-O-T-NEXT-FIVE-Y(S). GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME. WHERE IS THE GRAMMY!!!!!!

Dark Distance: Keith is fuckin’ mad on this one… I’m not going to think too hard about how the lyrics —  written and recorded in February 2020 — are about how we all need a good plague to reset society and instead, hope that he writes a little ditty about how a 27-year-old restaurant manager named Rose from Virginia needs to find a loving, tolerant partner who will pay for her to get a Brazilian Butt Lift!

Sly: This song makes me want to run around in circles like a cat who just took a huge smelly shit just as That Hot Guy From Instagram™ texts you that he’s walking up to your apartment but I actually did just that when they dropped the teaser for this song and ran my forehead straight into the fuckin’ thermostat and passed out…. 

(Did I mention that I’m 27-years-old? Give my love to Buffalo, indeed!)

Planet Shit: The most recently released single. The riffs in this song make me feel I got to the impossibly high speed level of Tetris, but took way too much Adderall so I actually lasted for three minutes and 56 seconds instead of screaming “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” and slamming my laptop closed. 

While the quality of Keith’s lyrics play a large part in the reverence surrounding the band, that nice, clean, concise “fuck you, die” breakdown just hit the spot, man… You could argue with your COVID-denying-Antivaxxer-Qanon-boot-licking-Trumper of a fourth cousin on Facebook, but you could also just tell them that their baby has an abnormally large forehead, y’know?

Post-Boredom: I’m Haunted By An Eternal Return…. I Never Should Have Allowed It…. I Broke My Own Heart I’m Trying To Convince Myself That I Can Suffer If I Want Motherfucker Just Put Me Back On Your Shelf… 


Desperate Pleasures: When this first came out, I fucking loved the “it’s almost unbearable/ honestly? terrible” part… It was good to see Sassy Keith back after the grim undertones of Low Teens, and “you got it bad?/ try having passion/ try still believing that some good will happen/ though nothing ever has/ and nothing ever will/ ‘cause nothing ever can” has been my go-to reaction to every inconvenience in my life, such as when I have to hobble to the other bathroom with my pants around my ankles to wipe my ass because it was a shit-emergency and there was no time to check for TP, or when my favorite gas station is out of Marlboro 27s so I have to buy Southern Cuts, or when two horny assholes on a first date are so ensconced in each other’s loving gaze that they keep me at work so late that the grocery stores are closed when I finally get out of that bitch and I was really craving steak… 

All This And War: Alright… I have a lot of things to say about this one, and most of them are stupid, so I will start with outing myself (ONCE AGAIN) as one of the last remaining The Walking Dead fans… but many of y’all gave up when Glenn died, right? Even though we all knew it was coming? And then when they first killed off Abraham instead, you sat there, thinking “surely, they won’t do it… Abraham got it instead! It won’t be Glenn… Those silly producers have thrown us a twist once agai—OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH GODDDDDDDDDDD THEY DIDDDDDDDDDDD IT HIS FUCKING EYEBALL IS HANGING OUT OHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”? That was me, gasping and clutching my pearls when Josh Scogin barged in for his feature like I wasn’t warned, and oh, he arrived… He Kool-Aid-Manned that fuckin’ door! He heard that nasty-fucking-redneck-bar-brawl-ass-beater of a riff and had something to say! 

You know that meme of Anderson Cooper interviewing the Trump family and Melania interrupts him and says “hell00oo00ooOOOO” and he pauses before asking something like “Melania… Is there something you want to say?” and it’s beautifully edited? That’s from 2:00 on in this song, but it’s not so bad it’s funny… it’s fucking deliciously vile… just buttery. Keith said it was the heaviest part they have ever written, and I think he is right. 

(I assume they will be playing this live at Shitmas and during their December tour, and I would like to note that if the man who I kneed in the balls at Shitmas 2019 from the essay “Sir, She Absolutely Drank Too Much This Evening, But We Think It Was The 47 Stab Wounds…” in Nothing I Do Is Funny Anymore is near me at the time, he shouldn’t be — this time, he will leave with no balls.)

Thing With Feathers: So, again… I had a lot of rum leading up to the release of this record because it was my Special Day™, I was excited, my steak was resting, and my gastritis had cleared up enough to where it seemed like I could go back to my old overindulgent ways as long as I stayed away from spicy ham. Along with the record, they dropped this song with an accompanying video at midnight: It’s a tribute to Jordan and Keith’s sister Jaclyn, who was born with a rare disease that rendered her unable to learn to talk or walk with a life expectancy of usually 36 years, who died on her 36th birthday. It is beautiful and far different from anything they have ever released, but with Andy Hull (another absolute God)’s help, they nailed it: It felt natural and fits right in. 

You see, I wasn’t feeling natural… I was drunk, so I tainted the beautiful backstory of this track by sending it to a man that I had finally grown exhausted with after a decade-long affair, because… In A Long Dark Night… You’ve Always Been A Light…. I Think We’re Done Here… and I deserve a roundhouse-thai-kick to the windpipe and a community service sentence for soiling this with my indecency and lack of common sense… …HAUNTED BY AN ETERNAL RETURN I NEVER SHOULD HAVE ALLOWED IT…

Hostile Architectures: Keith told Twitter in January 2021 that he and his wife had separated and was initially vague about the details in interviews for what he admitted was “legal issues.” He has mentioned enough details since then for me to garner that they (more or less) hated each other for their entire relationship and were forced to finally face that harsh reality once the pandemic hit and he was no longer touring for nine months out of the year. I took this as an excuse to examine Low Teens with a different eye, declare that his first novel Scale was  — just as I had suspected — more of an autobiography than he was willing to admit, and clear up a few “??? sir, surely, you don’t mean that?” moments from their album Ex-Lives and New Junk Aesthetic

Now, I fucking love this song — the “there’s too many ghosts, not nearly enough spirit/ you hate to hear/ don’t you just hate to hear it?/ I know, I know, I know you hate to hear it” part slaps just as hard in full as it does when they dropped the teaser and I ran around in circles like a cat who just took a huge smelly shit just as That Hot Guy From Instagram™ texts you that he’s walking up to your apartment, and smacked my toe on my 400 pound TV and shattered it (did I mention that I’m 27-years-old?), but had they not broken up… What was he gonna tell her about this one? It’s no “Lovebites and Razorlines” by Glassjaw, but unless he had just fired their gardener because he found his daffodils wilted or was impetuously dropped by his car insurance company, there’d be some explaining to do…

AWOL: This song is smooth, with a Glassjaw reference. One thing I love the most about ETID is that there is always some point in most of their songs where I have no fucking clue what they are doing with their guitars…. at all; I am following and then, I am completely lost. It’s a sharp, clean, metallic PANG PANG pin pin pin PANG PAN PANG and then it’s VVVavvvVVAAVVVOOOVOOovoovvoOVOOOOOooo and I don’t know what the fuck’s goin on because they squished fifteen riffs in two minutes and ten seconds but I like it because Chaos Reigns and this is some of Keith’s best vocals since “Religion Of Speed” (Low Teens). 

The Whip: The riff at the end of “El Dorado” from From Parts Unknown is quite possibly my favorite of all time — I would walk down the aisle to it — but the breakdown at the end of “Idiot” from the same album is fucking FOUL, and this song is that breakdown… for two minutes and 30 seconds straight. It’s heavy and disgusting in a way that you can only shrug your shoulders and go, “Well…. SHIT!!!!! ALRIGHT!!!!!” 

White Void: I first heard this song live a few years back, and I must admit that I texted all my friends who love ETID in distress, for it sounded like… Chevelle, but I love Chevelle, so that was an inaccurate comparison made in haste due to panic: It sounded like horny buttrock that your drunken uncle who is creepy (not towards you… just to you because he has no sense of boundaries and what is ok and not ok to say about your brother’s new girlfriend that he brought to the cookout to one’s own niece/nephew) would love… which is no Chevelle and I am sorry to them for saying that. Had all I heard was this and they released “Post-Boredom” as the first single, I would have panicked and figured they had finally gotten too old and I would be forced to either have to dig up a reason to carry on in my sad, meagre existence or rolled off a cliff… but I knew better: “White Void” is ETID’s version of a sexy, seedy, jukebox ballad that they managed to work in their 50th reference to Nietzsche’s “…and when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you” quote, and yet another bullet point added to Keith’s resume of superb vocal range.

Distress Rehearsal: Yes!!!! Scream out an uplifting message about how taking a leap of faith into the absurd (or whatever the hell Kierkegaard constantly blabbed about… y’all know I was too dumb to adequetly read his shit) can sometimes be the best thing that’s ever happened to you in your miserable goddamn life over a NASTY ASS RIFF SALAD!!!! 

(….I wish they placed this before “Thing With Feathers” because I might not have been a stupid whore, but that’s not anybody’s fault but my own.)

sexsexsex: Months ago, Keith surreptitiously played this on his Twitch stream and thought we would all be distracted by the fact that he can’t stop sucking total ass at Fall Guys to notice, but I rewound, grabbed my headphones that I use for porn, and got a pretty clear listen of it because — like sex(sexsex) — I was pitifully deprived of ETID and there was no reprieve in sight… Anyway: I GOT A DEVIL INSIDE SIXSIXSIXNINE!!!!! 

People Verses: What a goddamn theatrical-power-stadium-ANTHEM; the “Indian Giver” (Ex-Lives closer) of 2021 with a far less miserable meaning because Keith had finally (sort of) stopped lying to himself in lyrics. Never trust a man, never trust a man, never trust a man who… NAHHHH, WE WILL END IT AT THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

We Go Together: The final track that I don’t think this song is like anything they had ever done before! 

…With that being said, it’s hard to top “Map Change” (Low Teens)!

(I think they should have concluded the album with “People Verses”…) 

(now, ETID doesn’t have a “bad” song…)

(so I am not saying that this is a bad song…)

(but it is hard to top “Map Change”…)

(…and I think they should have concluded the album with “People Verses.”)

(I’m sorry.) 

live (a week late) from the current affairs desk

Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian got engaged last week, and I say (with the same indifference I treat every rich and beautiful public figure because the world is shit and their glamorous lives have zero pertinence to mine): Good for them. From what little I have somehow managed to refrain from learning about the Kardashian sisters, she seems to have the most sense and tact of the bunch, and Travis Barker and his career never bothered me. When Blink 182 disbanded/retired, his options for income were to either form another band and return to touring full time, which probably sounded hellacious to a father in his 30s who actually received the once-in-a-million-chance of making an excessive living playing rock music (especially seeing as he just willingly resigned from that exact lifestyle), or… exploiting his talent and recognition by selling drum features to Los Angeles transplants whose parents foolishly offered to float the bill for their trendy, musical pipe dreams… which he has earned the right to do. Blink 182 are icons to the pop-punk genre; he served his time in the scene. Bangbangbingbongbangtssh for 45 seconds in a studio he probably has to commute down three flights of steps to get to, send an email, cash the check, show up a few months later for the hour it takes to shoot him playing for the song’s video, cash another check, and his “work” is done: Most musicians in bands would give up pissing in bottles and fighting with venues over merch-cuts and eating gas station hot dogs for that weekly routine in less than a heartbeat. Money talks and bullshit walks. 

Now, Kourtney Kardashian and Megan Fox have recently been grouped together in the media as “rockstar girlfriends,” and thus, a new trend has been glamorized… which we will get to later, but first: Machine Gun Kelly is an idiot. He has none of Travis’ nonchalance and significantly less talent, and I am not quite sure what shitty deal Megan Fox struck with the gods to have her earlier acting career be such traumatizing, exploitative bullshit, but she is clearly still serving her sentence to be now reinstated as an “it-girl” for dating a fucking buffoon. 

Banished from the hip-hop genre after making the totally moronic and fatal decision to come for Eminem, the most successful white rapper ever (and I am not saying this with reverence, for his career is undoubtedly… spotty, but as a fact that I many couldn’t argue against), he decided to hone in on something that is pertinent to my life and very close to my heart: rock music. He released a mediocre, baseline, but well-received pop-punk album, trying to emulate Lil Peep as countless others have since his untimely death. The album was written by Travis Barker, his band mates, and quite a few other artists who are/were in actual alternative bands and opt to participate in ghostwriting projects like this because they can craft those kinds of songs in their sleep, which — unlike screamo music or anything in the catalogue of a band who would get booked instantly to play a summer on Warped Tour — actually pay the bills. 

(Though not ideal or what he had imagined for himself, a friend of mine, who played a small role in MGK’s album, supported himself entirely off of ghostwriting for similar artists during the pandemic; had he not resided in Los Angeles — which many musicians, virtually unemployed for over a year and a half now, do not — he wouldn’t have gotten so lucky. He’d probably be texting me from the dumpster at his local Applebee’s, ranting about how some drunk bitch left him a $1 tip on a $40 tab because he forgot to bring her extra side of ranch dressing.)

Machine Gun Kelly doesn’t understand the reality of the current (economic and undoubtedly emotional) depression musicians who typically rely on touring nine months out of the year for their income are suffering through, but why would he? He may have inserted himself into this genre with a tarnished reputation, but he made sure to carry celebrity status, a Travis Barker co-sign, and features from stars like Halsey. He insisted that bands are failing left and right because their members don’t wear the right shoes… and he would know, seeing as he made a fool out of his 30-year-old self by headbanging and playing air-guitar down a table of millionaire record executives: He’s a real-deal rocker. He’s probably dozed off while riding in a 15-passenger-van once or twice in his life, and arenas take merch cuts, too — that’s why his t-shirts are sure to run for $60 each. 

Now, back to the life of a “rockstar’s girlfriend,” which has been shoved down our throats even further with that painful write-up on Megan Fox and MGK in GQ magazine, chronicling the embarrassing scenario where they first met (I don’t need to repeat it; you’ve seen the memes), how they breathed raw fish breath into each other’s mouths for hours instead of making out like normal (poor and average) horny people, how they knew they were in love when he made her laugh in a fucking “blanket fort” they made in her living room (stars… they’re just like us!), them referring to their own relationship as “the darkest fairy tale” (which was enough to make me want to tear down an entire wall using nothing but my own head and I am as self-righteous and aggrandizing and melodramatic as any non-fiction writer comes), all tied up with whatever the hell she thought she was going for with her Instagram caption on the reveal post of the cover photos: “The tale of two outcasts and star-crossed lovers caught in the throes of a torrid, solar flare of a romance featuring: feverish obsession, guns, addiction, shamans, lots of blood, general mayhem, therapy, tantric night terrors, binding rituals, chakra sound baths, psychedelic hallucinations, organic smoothies, and the kind of sex that would make Lucifer clutch his rosary.” 

…I could have written that as the description of an erotic-slash-fanfiction-series I wrote about Gerard Way and Skrillex or whatever when I was 11-years-old, and really thought I had hit it out of the park; my story would have probably gotten on the weekly Top-Rated list on Quizilla (yep, I’m that old). 

These people are in their 30s and they have children. Maybe that conglomerate of unfathomable, theatrical bullshit (and organic smoothies!) is what it’s like to be a “rockstar’s girlfriend” when you’re rich and famous and undeniably gorgeous (and your boyfriend had to start singing in front of a band instead of rapping over a beat because someone was weally weally mean to him), but I can summarize the reality of such a scenario in a far more succinct and easier-to-stomach way: It kind of sucks. It’s not very rewarding. 

Creative and talented men — especially those who feel as if they have been wronged, thwarted, and denied the unlimited success and praise they adamantly believe they deserve — are some of the most petulant, stubborn, obtuse, and whiny motherfuckers to walk this planet. Refusing to humble themselves despite how hard their industries and public reactions may have been trying to do so, they continue to trip over their own pride (no matter what shoes they are wearing) and dig their own graves. As their partner (and thus, probably their closest confidant), you’re stuck trying to wrestle the shovel out of their hands without chipping their fresh black gel manicure, because then, they’ll be disappointed in you and your lack of support for their dreams, and probably still say something stupid that will further damage their reputation, too. 

It’s a thankless job: I spent most of the past three years doing it and I wasn’t even a “girlfriend” — just a loosely identified, ersatz and not ideal replacement for something that was missing in their life, and even hid from their fans as being known as just a “good friend.” I am well aware that the joke is on me for tolerating this, and maybe if I had better dental and a big enough social media presence to fool their fanbase into thinking I was something beyond just a normal, boring, average-looking girl who happened to know them since they were a teenager (so better than most), things might have been different for me; I might have been able to say outlandish, steaming and ripe garbage about our relationship on an Instagram post with over three million likes instead of being honest about how much the experience hurt me in a book that sold 60 copies… where I wrote myself as a hot dog and tried to keep their character rather anonymous, out of respect that I clearly lacked for myself.

Though all my efforts were continuously left out of the ending credits and “thank you” speeches, I think I did a good job at keeping them from saying or doing anything ignominious enough to result in a consequential posting of a good ol’, notorious “screencap of a notes app” apology statement, and believe me, they had some fuckin’ stupid takes — they even had a brief Joe Rogan phase. In fact, I did so well that after either finally garnering some self-respect (or having been exhausted and stultified enough by the indifference and lack of reciprocity on their behalf) to resign from my position, they deleted their social media profiles… and you kind of need those when a large portion of the public’s attraction to your art revolves around their attraction to your face, no? 

Sorry, everyone: I’m old and tired and it gets hard to listen when you’re not heard in return. 

On the other hand, Megan — though hot… much, much hotter than me — ain’t doing so hot at subduing her token idiot: Machine Gun Kelly, once again, recently murdered his own career by attacking the heavy music legends Slipknot, not two months after the unexpected death of one of their most beloved members, and he will, once again, never come back from this… “Oh, this fucking moron is going to be obliterated,” I said when I read the news post about it, and the endless booing echoing through every crowd he has played in front of since then confirm it. 

“When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.” 

….Or as I like to say, “When you make yourself unwelcome in every genre you try to hoard in on, you might as well impregnate your girlfriend, seeing as she is currently in such a deep, unsalvageable state of dick-addiction that the time has clearly never been more opportune, and live off Instagram advertisements for organic baby food and ‘punk-rock’ clothing lines for toddlers for the rest of your days.” 

It sure as hell beats gas station food and washing your balls in a Walmart bathroom sink, honestly. 

TATMWCMD B-SIDES: out do ’em

This man was thirty years old and waiting tables for a living until his career as a DJ “took off,” which I assume meant being booked for maybe two weddings in Holiday Inn banquet rooms a month. 

(He sold drugs, too, of course… I thought he was hot, of course.) 

We worked together and he kept staring at me during our mutual shifts; unable to discern if it was because he wanted to passionately love me or because my incessant gazing at him made him paranoid that he had a visible booger, I decided that those odds were too favorable to not investigate. I dedicated a whole week to trying to get his attention tastefully before I inevitably resigned to making a horny fool out of myself, but he refused to budge. (If this was a sign that he hadn’t the slightest interest in me, I must have passed it while driving at night in the rain; I suffer from an astigmatism and I am occasionally so stupid that it hurts.) 

I waited until he was leaving and followed him out the back door one night. “Hey,” I called out. “Here is my number. You should text me sometime.”

He laughed and patted me on the back…. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a “sure, I will help you with your chemistry homework, lil’ buddy!” pat or an “I’m going to fuck the eyebrows off your face” kind of pat; surely, they’re similar in almost undetectable ways… Either way, he texted me to invite me out for a drink later that night, but I forgot to mention in the three (incomplete) sentences we had ever spoken to each other that I was only 20 and did not even have a fake ID to maintain my lie that wasn’t really a lie — just a truth that I planned to keep unspoken. (My concern regarding the subject stemmed from once having been forced into a conversation with an older man while at a strip club — older meaning 50+ — who felt compelled to disclose to me his only rule for courting women: “They have to be old enough to go to a bar. All I do is go to bars. The fuck kind of use would I have for her otherwise?”

Though I was relieved that my age rendered me of no use to that man, who probably bothered to share that information as a way of saying “hey, little girl, seeing as you responded to my pitiful attempts at conversation, I am going to assume that you are desperately trying to suck my dick, but nope! Tough luck! Maybe next year, champ!” but now I had to wonder if this boy [man?] adhered to the same stance… I was able to keep up my façade that I never joined everyone for after work drinks because “no alcohol was strong enough to make me tolerate those idiots!” for a little while.)

After his shifts, he would often sit at a booth on his computer, wearing headphones. I thought he was working on music since he insisted that was his passion, his purpose, and waiting tables was a mere stepping stone towards his “destiny”, but one day, after buying a very nice bra, I plopped down next to him… only to find out that he was playing fuckin’ World of Warcraft, and did not take his eyes off his very intense raid (or whatever the fuck they do in that game) once to notice that my titties were put on impeccable display with the help of what I had foolishly believed was a wise investment at Victoria’s Secret that morning. I had cleavage for the first time in my goddamn life! Hello? Will you look at me? My overpriced  eyes are down here, you idiot man!

A few days later, we were trying to make plans to go out and I finally had to spill the beans that I was not 21. His face fell. 

“Oh, so I am ten years older than you…”

“…Yes? So?”


“It’s not that bad! I’m fuckin’ legal, at least!” 

(Why did I care that much? WHY?)

“This just means I’m more experienced than you are, I guess.”

I scoffed. “‘Experienced?’ At what, drinking? Wiping your own ass? Wasting air? Causing people pain and aggravation? Fucking?”

“I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one I’m the best at,” and he winked, which was the first time I actually felt a dissonance based on our age difference… I don’t think anyone born in the 90s winks unless unintentionally due to some sort of birth defect.  

We settled on going to my sister’s birthday party, free from the threat of a doorman checking IDs. He downed approximately 15 beers, and seeing as this was years before my alcoholism phase, I probably nursed a single PBR over the span of four hours to look social and “experienced.” 

The party ended and we left separately, having made barely any progress at getting to know each other. Disappointed at his company and relieved to finally be free of it, I was about halfway home when he called me: “Shit, I should’ve asked earlier, but do you want to just come back to my house?”

…Seeing as I just suffered through my own sister’s birthday party solely to get some dick, I wanted what I was owed, so I turned around, met him in a parking lot, and followed him. He lived with his parents in a tiny apartment over the garage, and they were both home, so he had to sneak me in. (Don’t forget that he was 30 years old… I apparently did for a moment.) He stripped down to his man panties and we both laid in bed, and I really mean just… laid there: we did not speak, and I was so uncomfortable and antsy, rueing whatever unseeable force inspired me to opt out of the peace of my own bed and end up in this weirdo’s. 

As my risk of emotionally imploding from anxiety grew every second, I finally blurted out, “Well… Aren’t we supposed to make out or something?”

“Oh? Is that what you want?” 

“Oh, I don’t know… I’m ten years short of ‘experience,’ right? You tell me.”

He evidently considered himself a porn star, performing intricate moves that I thought were only for show, flipping me around into multiple positions I have never been limber or enthusiastic enough for, and started applying an aggressive “scratching the cat under its chin” motion to my pussy to get me to squirt. I did not have the time to tell him that I cannot do that… I do not think anyone can do that… I have argued to many people that it is a myth… Please, I am going to piss all over your hand… I had ONE WHOLE FUCKING PBR and A SINGLE GLASS OF WATER

I heard him say, “Now, there we go…” and suddenly, there was an enormous puddle on his bed. I was mortified, thinking, Jesus Christ… I just pissed all over this motherfucker, but then he said, “Good girl,” and slapped me in the face with his sticky cum-covered hand, and then I was just confused. (His sticky piss-covered hand, though I knew it wasn’t worth debating at the moment after having decided to save it as a reason to text him later.) 

He was too drunk to cum and fell asleep. 

Now, me at 27 (would have never put forth the effort to get herself into this fucking absurd situation with this strange older man, but also) would have said, “Well, I’ve decided that you’re the best at drinking, with wasting precious air a close runner up, and with that brilliant discovery, I do believe I am going to leave now,” and made a swift exit for his bedroom door, but I felt strange, awkward; I laid in his bed in my puddle of whatever the hell exploded from my vagina for about four hours until I heard his parents leave the house, waited about ten minutes to make sure they weren’t letting their cars heat up, and did the same. 

This was long before it dawned on me that just because you had sex with someone — especially bad sex where the only real sensations you experienced were anxiety, a leg cramp, having to pee, and the sting of a wet slap — does not mean that you should try to maintain any sort of relationship with them… at all. I proceeded to harass him for weeks about why he did not love me until he finally told me to fuck off, and then I continued to stare at him from my host stand because I had little else to do in my sad, menial life until I found somebody else to burden a few weeks later. 

Fast forward about six months of us doing well to avoid one another entirely at work: It was his last day because he was finally moving to California to be, you know, a musician — a “DJ” — a professional server on the other side of the country. I was standing in the dish pit, sorting silverware into the bin and minding my own goddamn business as he was leaving, expecting him to brush by me without a word… When he suddenly hugged me from behind and whispered, “Well, Rose… That was really fun,” in my ear. 

I stood there frozen, wide-eyed, intensely fucking confused as to what part of any of that entire debacle was “fun” for him, muttering a brain-dead “…yaaaaaaaa…” until he finally let go and went out the back door, without me following him this time. I panicked, brushing off my clothes like he had tainted them with old man germs or coke residue, my cheeks turning a flaming bright red like I had been slapped with a sticky cum-piss-squirt-whatever hand, nervously scanning around the kitchen to make sure that none of our coworkers saw… and immediately locked eyes with one of the older cooks who was laughing and slowly shaking his head.

“You did fuck Frodo, didn’t you?” 

(Did I mention that he was 5’1? I probably didn’t mention that he was 5’1.)

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“…They all said you did, but I defended you, Rose… I said ‘Oh, no… Rose wouldn’t fuck Frodo… Who would fuck Frodo?’”

“…Looks like we both made a mistake, huh?”

(In editing this to be posted seven years later, I would like to note that I still work at that same restaurant, and while that fact alone is a bit dismal, it is not the point: Despite his small stature, he failed to become the next Skrillex or apparently even thrive in California, for he quickly returned to Virginia and has come in to eat multiple times. We usually act like we don’t know each other from any other stranger you encounter in your day to day life, because this is the normal behavior exhibited between two adults who once had a dreadfully embarrassing, uh, hookup, entanglement, rendez-vous… A few weeks ago, three guys came in and sat at one of our tables near the bar; one had his back turned to me, but they were all noticeably clad in tacky, lurid button-downs t-shirts, gold chains with matching earrings, pointy and shiny boots, probably fuckin’ Diesel jeans, and appeared as if they all went to the barber together before deciding to come get tacos made by white people. The two that were facing me stared at me the entire fucking time… gawking, really, and combined with the whispers and snickering and their unabashed nature, the obvious attention became lewd and uncomfortable enough to annoy me to where I was about to point them out to management, who have no tolerance for disrespect towards the women staff. 

I stopped by the bar to wait for my table’s drinks and the bartender said, “Did you see that your ol’ pal’s over there? Wanna go say hi?” 

He was the one with his back turned; I don’t know if one of his friends pointed out that I was hot and he felt that it was his Civic Homie Man Duty™ to warn them about my ignominious behavior from seven fucking years ago, or if the combination of a haircut plus a few drinks with the bros [in opposed to the people he normally came in with: various girlfriends and often, his grandparents] bestowed him with the courage to finally admit that he slapped me in the face with my own piss and made me sleep in it, but they continued to stare at me, gloated to the bartenders that they were the best in the entire city — and they would know, for they had bartendered themselves at some of the most respectable Richmond establishments, such as the fallen Cha Cha’s [LOL] — left them 10% tips, and sped off… in a white Mercedes G-Wagon. 

…I hate this fool, y’all. I’m sorry I fucked Frodo.) 

i would call this “audio masochism” but it’s a good album it’s just sad as hell

Sleep Token’s new album, This Place Will Become Your Tomb, came out on 9/24, and I admit, the optimistic horniness of the singles had me worried: I don’t listen to happy music, especially about relationships. (Back when I used to occasionally have sex, I would shuffle through my playlist approximately 350 times before I found anything to reflect my chipper mood during my drive-of-shame back home). As of the past few years, my pussy has more or less become a cursed building in a terrible location with insufficient parking where every business that has opened up there fails within six months, and I had just lost my two favorite hoes… What the hell did I have to be optimistic and horny about? A day where I remember to charge my vibrator before leaving for work? Plus, who does Vessel (this is not a dissertation of the nerdiness of Sleep Token and their fans, so we are just going to glaze over the fact that their frontman, a kind-of-scary-looking-Darth-Maul-ninja-like-dude-with-the-voice-of-an-angel calls himself Vessel) think he is releasing an uplifting album after the two years we’ve had? Did the global pandemic not reach whatever weird fucking cave/coffin/spaceship/church/etc. he dwells in? The band is from the UK, so that separates him from the misery of American politics depending on his personal level of selfish indifference… but I don’t know, man; we’re all stuck on Planet Shit.

(Side note: though I hate to expose myself as one of the five remaining fans of The Walking Dead, “The Reapers” — the “bad guys” of the newest season — look like Sleep Token. They don’t look like mercenary soldiers that have come to kill the detritus of my makeshift family and pilfer all my horse meat; they look like they are about to make my 27-year-old ass cry to a fucking Billie Eilish cover. It’s hard to be scared by them.) 

I let the first single “Alkaline” slide because it was one of the best songs to come out this year. (The chorus? Perfect, and the video concept is tight.) Plus — shockingly enough — me, Rose, who just compared my pussy to that one location in every city that has housed and murdered no less than 500 shitty restaurants, was a little horny at the time of its release… Not optimistically, however, for I usually only care for men who are in difficult situations that render them unable to promise me anything but eventual disappointment (at least… maybe crippling sorrow if I am lucky) because I don’t really want a boyfriend, anyway — just someone to distract me from life’s mundanity that I can write sad stories from the point-of-view of a hot dog about later. 

…Anyway, “Alkaline” is a great song, despite its underlying horniness. The video is cool. Catchy chorus. It can stay.

Half of the reason why I love this band so much is that Vessel seems to love some good unrequited love, too, and yet, the release of “The Love You Want” is when I started to worry. I had just finally ended a complicated FUCKING DECADE LONG affair with someone who never really liked me (though they loved what my mouth do!) and used me as a source for unlimited compliments/career support and also as an unpaid therapist (who gives them blowjobs)… Now, I might just be getting old or have finally had enough of my own bullshit, but sometimes, there isn’t anything fun or pleasurable or rewarding in Still Being Filled With The Love Someone Wants and Reaching For Them On Faith Alone when faith hasn’t done much for any of us, ever, and Their Heart Is Locked Up And You Still Get The Combination Wrong because you always will, you’re a bit stupid, and… THEY DON’T WANT YOUR ASS, VESSEL [ROSE], and yet, you’re out here admitting that you are hopeless and pitiful in a SLOW BALLAD? Ugh… I don’t need any more encouragement to be a dumbass 24/7.

(That paragraph is the closest I’ve gotten to confessing my crimes that would get my Hot Girl Card revoked forever… None of this is Sleep Token’s fault; I am sorry to Sleep Token. I think I am just jealous that he is more in touch with his emotions and vulnerable enough to admit them without writing himself as a hot dog, but the fucker does wear a costume and mask…)

The third single, “Fall For Me,” is a gorgeous tribute to Imogen Heap’s classic acapella song “Hide and Seek.” Unfortunately, it came out after the loss of my second favorite hoe, and I had no time for the poetic begging, the toxic positivity, and the “I am yours in the end, so won’t you fall for me?” crap because what if that actually sounds like a terrifying prospect — a fate worse than death — for the other person? And what makes you so certain that you are theirs in the end? Did your friend read your tarot cards for you? 

That’s when it really set in: Was the rest of this album going to be… happy? Did something finally work out for the strange looking, elusive, masked man? While I would be happy for him and his good fortune, me and “Blood Sport” off Sundowning would unfortunately be off to go fuck ourselves in the sad losers corner. 

Now, I never felt like I needed to be careful of what I wish for because I don’t really wish for much: a day where I walk out to my car and find all four tires still inflated, customers are kind to me, and I don’t have to ration my cigarette intake because I forgot to grab a pack before I got drunk is enough to please me, but…. I was mistaken, friends: This latter half of this album is miserable, it’s almost unnecessary masochism… I don’t think I needed it… I am sorry for thinking I did.

Within the first 30 seconds of the opening track “Atlantic,” I suspected that those singles were only produced because his major label couldn’t have people (me) drinking themselves to death during the 52 minutes of this album. “It’s easier to try not to eat/ so flood me like Atlantic/ bandage up the trenches/ anything to get me to sleep…” Bitch. Pain. 

(Another side-note: upon logging onto Genius for lyrical references, Sleep Token’s bio describes Vessel as “perpetually tormented.” I wanted to laugh, but then I thought “…I mean, shit, same…” so I decided to laugh at myself, instead.)  

“Hypnosis” is very horny — a nice break after “Atlantic”’s four minutes and fifty-three seconds of gloom. It’s the “Sugar” (from Sundowning) of this album. “Mine” gets the same review from me as the last two singles, and again… I got a little worried: Had I been DUPED?! Was I about to be slapped with fucking OPTIMISM?! While “Like That” is also horny tinged with a bit of despair/anger, the following three tracks being “The Love You Want,” “Fall For Me,” and “Alkaline” didn’t bode well…

“Distraction”: Here we go… admitting that he might just be a little fucked… Maybe a lot fucked, considering that this bitch apparently done broke his ass into “fragments”… I’m listening…

“You come crawling back to me/ but I’m already underground/ and we all know that talk is cheap/ so come on and save me now/ and you wonder what I believe/ but you don’t wanna be around/ so what would you do for me?” from “Descending” is a far more poetic, rhythmic, catchy, and soothing version of the rancorous seven-text-long rant I once sent to this boy because he couldn’t be bothered to reply to me complaining about how no one cut slits in the lemons at work because he was busy ghostwriting Machine Gun Kelly’s entire album or some other trivial bullshit that the world really didn’t need. “You can’t recall my name/ ‘til I let you fall/ I’ve been left no choice/ don’t you see that?” 

…You see… I just… The lemons have to have slits… That is how you put them on the iced tea glass… I’m fuckin’ lonely, man. 

“Telomeres” is absolutely beautiful despite dipping its toes back into that wretched toxic positivity that never works out well for “perpetually tormented” idiots like me and Vessel. I could’ve written this after my seven-text-long angry rant actually sufficed in guilt tripping that boy to not only say, “Wow… How lazy of your coworker to have done that… I’m sorry,” and then continued to humor me by replying to my texts for ONE WHOLE DAY, but only one, though, which brings us to “High Water.” I’m fucking mad at “High Water”; if This Place Will Become Your Tomb was a movie, “High Water” would be the scene where the beloved pet dog dies… RUDE AND UNNECESSARILY PAINFUL. 

“For the time being I will still avoid my own questions/ and we both bury that history deep/ but you know I can hold my breath forever” ….OH NO! (This is the second to last track; I had made a hefty enough dent on my bottle of rum to actually gasp “OH NO!” during my first listen.)

“I’ll smile through the agony for you/ and I know you still bear the weight of your own existence/ and you’ll never bear the weight of two…” OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the time being/ I will admit my defeat again/ I will accept that I can’t pretend we will ever be together…OHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Genius even has an appropriately placed [breakdown] after this bit… BREAKDOWN INDEED, BITCH! Here I was, selfishly fearing that things had finally worked out for our Perpetually Tormented And A Little Strange Looking But Humble Narrator so I would never enjoy this album because I would only want to listen to it when I am regularly having sex (which isn’t in the forecast for me) and yet, he also lost his favorite hoe! There’s only one more song after this! The album has, in fact, a VERY UNHAPPY ENDING! And he was able to put how badly that hurts in some sad ass layman terms that are forcing me to grieve instead of making a joke out of how bad finally being rejected after a decade hurts! No part of this song is funny! Vessel’s been a fucking pathetic and expired and greasy and stinky hot dog this entire time, too! I had hoped better for him because he is far more talented than I! 

“Missing Limbs,” the final track, removes the overwhelming sense of impending doom that the powerful vocals/piano bits of “High Water” really hammered in and replaces it with the kind of whimsical resignation that most men have upon grasping an acoustic guitar and belting out some heartbroken shit; the melody almost distracts you from the fact that this song is just as sad, if not worse, than the last one. The lyrics revolve around his wish to be as indifferent and uninterested in the outcome of their relationship as his love interest appears to be: “I’d give anything to borrow your indifference/ I’d drink you in/ to temper your belief in all my promises/ to swallow my desire and choke on it”; “I’d give anything to balance your convictions with certainty/ to fall asleep without you lying next to me/ to sever my connection with anything.” 

It is written almost like an apology for feeling how you feel, and that stinks; I’ve been there… I pretty much have one of those loyalty member cards where if you get 30 stamps, you get a free ice cream on your next visit, but the ice cream is actually just irrevocable damage and decreased motivation to bother coming back again.

Thus concludes my review on the sorrow of Sleep Token’s lyrics on their newest album; not the music itself, for I am only a specialist on whether a riff is nasty and slopped up with extra butter or if a breakdown makes me go WOOOOOOOOOO SHIIIIITTTT!!!!!!!!! and slap my steering wheel and accidentally honk at the car in front of me or if there is an overabundance of panic chords (a positive) or pinch harmonics (automatic five stars!) and my interest in any of those things certainly doesn’t render me qualified to speak on the quality… of anything at all. 

(One of my only genuine goals from writing is to get popular enough to be invited on the Youtube channel for someone who posts music reactions as a guest for one of those “DRINKING SOME BREWS AND REACTING TO BRUTAL FUCKING VICIOUS BREAKDOWNS ON THE COUCH WITH THE HOMIES!!!!!!!” videos… I would be good at that. I really would.) 

Alas, I am well versed in misery, romantic delusions, and unrequited love; how heartbreaking the love affair between Jules and Nadine in the novel Them by Joyce Carol Oates is the only reason why I will continue to defend her to my grave, despite how many times she makes a fool out of herself on Twitter. If this album makes you sad, please read that book, and please buy it secondhand because she can’t stop making an ass out of herself on Twitter. 

ROSE’S RATING: Do Not Recommend If You Just Lost All Your Hoes Unless You Have Decent Coping Skills Or Perhaps Regularly Attend Therapy Sessions, But Otherwise A Nice Album

literary masochism: my vagina, my vagina, me…

I usually refer to To All The Men Who Called Me Disgusting as “my vagina book” out of a lazy tongue and a grown distaste for the title. My opinion on it when I was putting the book together was hazy; I impetuously decided on it once the deadline I (foolishly) set for myself grew dangerously close. While it is eye-catching and the Dave Eggers/early 2000s screamo fan in me loves that it is excessively long, it’s too dramatic; you crack the spine thinking, “Yes, how is she RISE UP against the VICIOUS BRUTES who undermined her POWER as a WOMAN? A QUEEN?” 

….By confirming that I am, in fact, pretty damn gross? 

But I don’t know; I guess that was my point: “You are right, I am disgusting, and I don’t care.” 

I’ve heard quite a few jokes that the book is my “vagina monologues,” a take on a play written by Eve Ensler, based on countless interviews she underwent with women that were later published in book-form. The amateur comedians are not wrong: It is the harrowing tale of what it is like to suffer through life as my vagina, told by me, an asshole. 

Upon finding a copy of The Vagina Monologues at my favorite used bookstore, I snagged it, expecting it to be my book, had it been written by less of an asshole, and not just about one vagina, but a cavalcade of vaginas (attached to lesser assholes than I). 

….I wasn’t right.

At the risk of sounding like a genuine asshole — or a woman with a Glassjaw tattoo who is about to make fun of about 80% of The Vagina Monologues — some of the women featured in this book are fuckin’ weird, dawg. The stuff they say is strange: It’s like a collection of the worst college literary magazine or creative writing class submissions, and I refuse to believe that any of these women actually experienced this shit or ever thought like this in real time, in real life. It is as if the opportunity for a candid interview with a noted feminist brought out the poetic metaphor-demon in them, and I hate poetry and metaphors. 

(I will note, in defense of this book/play and anyone who was involved or touched by it, that it is from the late 90s. If you think women haven’t evolved in over 20 years, well… the Women’s Rights movement had just taken place 20 years before that. Many of those who shared their stories were either already adults at that point, or were venturing into adulthood when the entire concept of Women=Not Property, Nor Shit? Women Can Have Jobs? The Same Jobs As…. Me? You Can’t Be Serious… was still new. Their perception on what it is to have a vagina is warped and it’s not their fault; the claim in the book’s introduction that people often fainted during these performances serves well enough to date it alone. 

This was the same argument I presented when a friend of mine was disgusted by Joyce Carol Oates’ — one of my favorite authors — enthrallment with Kamala Harris being elected vice president. “Kamala is as fucking vile and corrupt as the rest of them. Bad look for  your girl Joyce,” she spat. 

“Dude, Joyce was born in 1938. She lived through all the bullshit. She’s just excited for women. This is a big thing for women. My girl is 80-goddamn-3 years old…. She’s not the enemy.”

I will also note that through The Vagina Monologues and “V-Day,” a “dynamic grassroots movement” that formed through the play/book’s popularity, have raised a fuckload of money for endless charities/programs that support women who are victims/survivors of domestic violence abuse. I cannot knock that or sleep at night knowing I penned a single baleful comment about it, so that is not what I am denouncing: I am making fun of the stupid ass shit some of these women said about their pussies. I do this all the time, everywhere, constantly; if you are a reader of mine and you are shocked, that is your own folly.)

A note from the asshole: Certain essays/memoirs from this book surround topics of assault, trafficking, ritual mutilation, etc.; all of these I either omitted entirely or only mentioned briefly and made certain to keep the details vague. I am a comedic writer and will never post anything that requires a content/trigger warning, for that is a blaring indicator that the topic at hand isn’t funny, and will never be funny. Keep that in mind if you pick up a copy for yourself. 

Continue reading “literary masochism: my vagina, my vagina, me…”