Jimmy Chen asks me to host tonight’s reading one hour after the reading is supposed to start.
Lily Hoang and I text each other. I am going to get drunk. I am going to send Lily Hoang text messages that will make Lily Hoang want me more or will make her stop responding to my text messages.
I have never heard Jimmy Chen read before.
I have heard Chelsea Martin read five times or something. I feel as though Chelsea Martin has read as many times as Diana Salier this year, but that Chelsea Martin is a lot less ambitious. I don’t know what that means.
Elizabeth Ellen remembers my review of her stories in Heavy Feather Review on HTMLGIANT. I am glad Jereme Dean and xTx like me.
I am not as excited as I thought I’d be meeting Scott McClanahan. I like him, though. Around him I feel comforted, like he’s a big Southern couch. I want to get stoned and hang out on him.
I am going to steal a book.
I have attended two readings at Press: Works on Paper. During each one, Nick Sarno sits behind the counter. He seems patient. He plays good music. He doesn’t say much, but he smiles when he talks to me.
Jimmy Chen reads material he has stolen from work: sex surveys given to retarded people. Everyone laughs at almost everything he reads. It’s hard to imagine why he doesn’t like reading in public so much.
Chelsea Martin reads something in a deadpan voice. People laugh, seem to feel things that aren’t necessarily funny—poignant. Chelsea likes to play the straight guy and the comic at the same time. I feel like Chelsea Martin will be writing for a television sitcom someday.
Elizabeth Ellen has great feet and great legs. I really like the robin’s egg, blue toenail polish. She reads in a soft, intense voice. I have the feeling that her fiction is subversive. I just don’t know why. People applaud loudly when she’s done.
Scott McClanahan talks in a thick, Southern accent. He reads that way, too. His reading is like a religious incantation. He uses technology to augment his reading and when the technology doesn’t work, he says something funny about it. He hands out peanut-butter cookies, which makes me feel like I am in a writers’ workshop with Jeff Von Ward.
Three things happen after the reading:
1. Nicole McFeely watches Muddy Waters do a show with The Rolling Stones. The living room, where I sleep, is dark. Nicole sits under a blanket. There is a fire in the fireplace. I tell her I’m drunk.
2. Amy Berkotwitz texts me to come over, help her assemble her new bed. Nicole says something funny. I walk to Amy’s apartment. I am drunk. I text Lily Hoang furiously. I feel I misspell lots of words.
3. Lily Hoang texts me back. She encourages me to text her more. She tells me she is making a pie. I can feel myself getting fatter.
4. Amy Berkowitz and I assemble her new bed. Amy gets high. I drink a 40. We eat chocolate ice cream and listen to records. I walk home, more tired than before. A street fight takes places in the middle of the street. The cops show up.