Glad my mom left. She threw up ten minutes before we got to the airport. An hour and a half drive to Santa Fe. I told her she’s a diabetic and it’s too much damn sugar. She told me yesterday that my dad can’t even stand to hear my name. I have no character. I need a real job. Yeah, I love her so much and I’m hurt as hell and I’m glad she’s gone.
I have a sick taste in my mouth. I should have been throwing up. I almost fell asleep at the wheel but found Whole Foods parking lot. Dakota and I hung out in the parking lot. We people watched and strolled through trees across the street and then grocery store aisles in a toddler car.
Honestly, I can’t sell my book and my photography. I can’t make a living and can’t get my mom off my fucking back.
I want to say fuck it, grab some paintbrushes, a box of books, and go to Paris. Tell me what to do and what’s wrong with me again and I’ll say va te faire enculer. My mom says my book doesn’t deserve to do well because I used all those curse words. I say va te faire enculer.
Last night after driving all day to Ghost Ranch and listening to a speech about why I am horrible, I returned to Charley- my husband- needing a ride to Red River, 45 minutes away. There was his new resort job as lift operator with a bachelor pad. His ok bought him groceries. His few dollars from a yard job go to beer.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” I groan. This relationship is starting to feel like a chore.
He tells me he loves me. Not to worry. He learned his lesson last time he ran away and ended up in detox, .4 blood alcohol level and clinically demented.
“That’s your WIFE!??” a kid asks as I drive away. A couple days later he’s drinking. “One drink doesn’t matter.” It always does.
His daughter and ex are in town. Trish and Riley Rose. Riley coos when she’s happy, in between toddler tantrums. She tries to give Dakota an apple. They stare at each other. Sisters. Future friends. I want to be chill. It’s hard work being chill.
Trying to make money when you have no money is a lot like trying to be a regular citizen when you have none of the identifiers. Like when I came back from a year in Korea and didn’t have a home address, phone, job, or any of my documents except a working passport. You scrape by with what you can.
And people say “just work hard” but they’re idea of working hard isn’t creating art or writing, it’s running around like a chicken with no head doing what other people tell you to do for minimum wage. Put your dreams aside. Work the bare minimum that will lead nowhere. That’s practical. It’s the American way.
This is what you do as a writer:
You write and you write and you write some more. Sometimes you share it and you get rejected. Sometime you share it knowing ahead of time (hi New Yorker) you’re going to be rejected but you share it anyway. Sometimes you get offered paid gigs. Sometimes (many times) you get offered unpaid gigs, but they might have a writing seminar or free workshop online if you’re interested. At the very least they’ll comment on your writing as if they’re professors, dissecting every line with authoritative certainty. They’re 22. They’re just out of college. They wear jeggings.
You’ll do something else you love- seeing, gardening, cooking, painting, photography, physics- and someone close to you (maybe your mom, maybe your friend, maybe your old boss or mother-in-law) will say: “you would be a great landscape architect/chef/artist/cinematographer/scientist, you should go back to school/go to culinary school/paint/do something else/have you considered something else? And you’ll say, “yes I love to do that but I’m a writer”, and “But” and you will repeat yourself. And then you will write and write and write.