February 8, 2018
I woke up early. I live on a quiet street in Glassell Park in Los Angeles. Everyone has a joke about how they’ve never heard of such a place, but it’s a rapidly gentrifying area, like almost anywhere else in East LA. My guesthouse apartment is small and prison-style, meaning no matter where I am, I’m in full view of the toilet, which comforts me. My dog licked the back of my head until I moved it, and he took the opportunity to steal my space on the pillow. He’s a puppy, and I adopted him four months ago, so we’re still getting used to each other. At some point I’m sure I’ll have an emotional about-face like in an early 2000s Jack Nicholson movie, but for now he mainly annoys the shit out of me.
There wasn’t much point to going back to bed, so I tried to ignore him by watching beauty videos on YouTube, where beauty aficionados give tips for finding the best drugstore dupe lipsticks and try mixing together their highlighters to form one massive power highlighter.
I headed out to my CrossFit gym. CrossFit is great for people like me, who are maybe 78 percent cured of anorexia. The normal gym isn’t a great place for me, since I spend all my time counting calories and running the elliptical ragged. At CrossFit, people think up torturous routines for me to do for 30 minutes, and I just do them. No thinking, no obsessing. Usually it’s just me, a few moms and moms-to-be, and some TV actors. It was a Tuesday, which meant lots of leg work and feeling one inch away from death at all times. No one seems to have caught on to the fact that I only own one pair of workout leggings.
After, back at home, I read a bit of A Crystal Diary, by Frankie Hucklenbroich, which a friend described as a grittier Stone Butch Blues. So far it’s not that gritty, but the writing is truly excellent, and I live for stories of butch culture during the days when you could literally get beat up for requesting a haircut at a men’s barbershop. It’s also research for a book a friend and I are trying to write about transmasculinity. Hucklenbroich writes like a butch Ring Lardner, which, if you know my feelings for Ring Lardner, is high praise.
I spent far too much time trying to switch the voice settings on Google Maps so that I’d hear an Australian man rather than an American woman. After many failed attempts, I could only muster an Australian female voice that cut out after two minutes before reverting to the usual American lady. But I don’t want an American lady or an Australian lady. I want a subservient male. At a certain point, I gave up trying: this was a battle for another day.
At around 11 a.m., I started in on some work. Sometimes I go out to a café with outlets and internet (rarer than you’d think in LA). Today I stayed at home. I tried to write about garage doors and hip replacement surgery. I have about six or seven jobs usually, most of which are fleeting, and as of the beginning of this year, no less than four of them have unceremoniously punked out on me, which means I have to peruse Craigslist for some more shady paid writing opportunities that I can do from home. Before moving to LA, I convinced myself that I was making an ambitious investment in my future as a career writer. I realize now it was actually just so I could sustain myself while never having to leave my house. Also, what is a career writer?
I finished with work around four and made dinner, which was a variation on the same thing I make every night. I’ve made it since I was in college and was too broke to make anything else, but it’s the one thing I don’t get sick of: a combination of white rice, stir-fried green vegetables, and tofu. Like I said, 78 percent cured of anorexia. I call it my “misery porridge.” While cooking, I listened to The Read, one of my favorite podcasts. In this episode, Crissle and Kid Fury praised Blue Ivy for her Grammy performance and ripped some white tennis player a fantastic new asshole.
It took me a while to figure out what to watch. This is a very important part of my day, since television constitutes one of my only joys in life. After an exhaustive search, I finally decided on Toast of London, a Matt Berry show about a failed actor named Stephen Toast. It ended up being not exactly what I wanted, but hey. Not every Britcom can be as flawless as Peep Show.
I had no less than three types of ice cream in my freezer, but that didn’t stop me from running out to Target to get more. The Glassell Park Target is maybe two months old and responsible for the dissipation of roughly 96 percent of my income. It’s large and beautiful, and they carry a wide variety of bargain sheet masks that I love. I recently discovered Pint Slices, which appeal both to my aesthetic sense and to the part of me that wants ice cream to be both a tactile and a sensual experience. There was also a bit of CoolHaus molten chocolate cake ice cream left, which has these random fudgy marshmallow bits in it and is just generally fucked-up levels of good.I fell asleep at just about 9:05 with the dog resting on my legs above the blanket, a few presleep thoughts running through my head: Should I get a real job? Did I flush the gym toilet? Do I like my dog? Am I a grotesque failure?