Dealing With My Own Affluence

Since honesty is such a valuable commodity in our culture these days, I’ll just come out and admit it: I am burdensomely rich. I am so rich that it hurts to sit at a desk, working this petty 9-5, pretending that I care whether payday falls on a Friday or a Monday this month. Sure, I try to adopt the attitude of the bohemian poor, loudly saying things like, “Damn, I’m sick of chickpeas,” or “Wait—is there a cover??” but beneath the facade, I’m just counting my millions. Over and over. Constantly. I counted to ten million twice today. That’s why I didn’t respond to you when you asked me how I was doing. I couldn’t risk tripping over 45,982 and losing my place. Besides, I can always buy another friend. But I can’t buy another million. Well, I guess I can. Good stocks will do that for you.

It’s so tiresome, this “being richer than all my friends” way of life. They suggest “splurging” on a pizza from Great Lake and it’s all I can do not to choke on the spoonful of caviar that I claim is just homemade chia pudding (I’m “doing the raw thing” right now…AKA I have a personal chef). And since the thought of filling my nostrils with the reek of cheap mozzarella makes me want to hurl, I sigh, “I’m just not sure my budget can stretch that far…” And then we all murmur sympathetically. And I think to myself, “Die, you unwashed proletariat pigs.”

Yes, it’s true. My ancestors would have fed you to the executioner in droves without blinking a manicured eyelash. Unfortunately, all of my ancestors died in Victorian London from extreme arsenic poisoning. Green was the color of prosperity, the color of ballin’. Unfortunately, green was also the color of arsenic.  So I’m practically an orphan. All the Met Gala invitations in the world will never take the place of Great-Great-Uncle Archibald, who gave me a palace when I turned twelve, who told my parents that I was a “stingy little whippersnapper” when I refused to let go of my first billion-dollar bill. I assuaged my teething gums on that bill. Ah, well. I’ll always have my writing. The glory of words. You can’t buy that. Actually, I just finagled a deal with the US government to purchase the words “ostracize” and “moist.” They describe my penthouse so well. But I don’t think you young poets will miss them.

Quick ‘n Easy Ways to Destroy Amazon Dot Com

Friends of my heart, you should all know by now that Amazon Dot Com (I refuse to link to that oily slushpile of an Internet wasteland) is the Devil Incarnate, and that Jeff “Beelzebub” Bezos, its evil founder, will turn you to stone if you stare directly into his cataract-ridden eyes. Why is Amazon so evil? I don’t have the time (read: the economics major) to go into the complicated financial deets of it all. All I know is that they hate publishers. They pulled all of Independent Publisher’s Group’s books off their website because they are dramatic little bids. And my friend works at IPG. YOU BET I TOOK IT PERSONALLY.

Here are some ways you can help me take down Amazon Dot Com with minimal effort on your part.

  1. Put every single one of their products in your online shopping cart. Leave them there for days upon end and never buy anything. The executive officers will be like “Alright, boys, big sale coming our way! Prepare to creep on girls in bars with the profits!” After a few days, they’ll realize they were tricked. Slowly, the truth will dawn on them: they will never find love, but will die alone in their hollow penthouse suites.
  2. INDIEBOUND.COM! INDIEBOUND.COM! INDIEBOUND.COM!
  3. Leave incredibly fascinating, irrelevant product reviews. People will get so enthralled with your tales of Salty the Second-in-Command Sailor that they’ll forget to buy the curling iron they originally clicked on.
  4. If you get a book deal, tell your publisher that they better not sell your book on Amazon or you won’t publish with them. You’ll probably get ostracized from the publishing world and will never realize your dream of becoming America’s first girl-meets-food memoirist, but at least you stood up for what was right. Here’s a dollar for lunch.
  5. Throw rocks at your computer screen every time you accidentally visit that website of death.
  6. Live a completely purchase-free life: become a freegan and a criminal.
  7. Constantly edit Jeff Bezos’ Wikipedia page. Add unflattering personal details (“…is a pedophile”), evidence of embarrassing taste (“…has Gaga lyrics tattooed in each armpit”), or offensive all-caps sentences credited to Bezos himself (“…MY NAME IS JEFFREY “WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST” BEZOS AND I HATE ENDANGERED SPECIES!”)
  8. Sing really loudly in your cubicle. Perhaps your coworkers will be too annoyed at your antics to complete their Amazon order.
  9. Do you really need that electronic toothbrush and/or poster of Steven Tyler?

Intricacies of Divorce

Here’s the thing about divorce: it’s not just for spouses anymore.

Yes, my friends, you can divorce anyone these days. Your boss. Your coworkers. Your dogwalker. Your college professor. The tenuous threads that bind humanity together are growing ever weaker, ever more translucent. One day they will all be snipped. But until then, it’s up to us to do the snipping. Surely you follow me.

Take me, for example. I recently divorced one of my brothers for several weeks. Of course, he never realized we were divorced but that’s because he never calls me, which is why I divorced him in the first place. Lack of communication: it’s not just for marriages anymore. Then one day he showed up at my doorstep, bedraggled and starving, begging me to buy him a train ticket. So I undivorced him. Because I have a soul. A soul called Kindness. Or maybe it’s called Shared DNA. What’s the difference? Now there’s a deep thought.

As many of you know, I’ve been divorced from multiple baristas at my ex-favorite coffee shop for months. They couldn’t understand why I always bought the extremely cheap drinks and stayed there for hours. If you can’t understand my art, if you can’t support my career as a fiction writer (yeah I said “career” non-ironically), then there’s no place for you in my life. Am I right, ladies? Steam all the milk you want, but you’ll never know me. 

You can also divorce your friends. If you try to skin me alive and eat my heart while making me listen to the story of how you and your boyfriend broke up for the millionth time, wellll…I might not want to be friends with you.  There’s “being there for people” and there’s “psycho killer, que’est-ce que c’est?” if you catch my drift.

I’m pretty sure last night my boyfriend divorced the Gilmore Girls. It was pretty sad. Thankfully I was there to lend him a shoulder to cry on.

Divorce is a good way to teach people lessons. They’re all, “I want you to do this meaningless task in exchange for money!” and you’re all, “I’m worth more than this, bitchezzz,” and the next thing they know there’s a beautifully-wrapped package on their doorstep. And they get really excited, but inside? DIVORCE PAPERS. Because you were sneaky and wrapped the divorce papers in peach-colored tissue paper and tied them up with raffia. That’ll learn’ em.

One of the many great things about divorce papers is that you can hide other useful things between the pages, like restraining orders and documents that say “I hereby swear to publish this novel” and your divorcee will probably sign them without realizing it. Who just achieved their American dream? You did. You.

A Poem for National Poetry Month

In honor of
National Poetry Month
,
here’s my absolute favorite poem, written by (who else?) Pablo Neruda.

Explico Algunas Cosas
(I’m Explaining a Few Things)

You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?
and the rain repeatedly spattering
its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?

I’ll tell you all the news.

I lived in a suburb,
a suburb of Madrid, with bells,
and clocks, and trees.

From there you could look out
over Castille’s dry face:
a leather ocean.
My house was called
the house of flowers, because in every cranny
geraniums burst: it was
a good-looking house
with its dogs and children.
Remember, Raul?
Eh, Rafel?
Federico, do you remember
from under the ground
my balconies on which
the light of June drowned flowers in your mouth?
Brother, my brother!
Everything
loud with big voices, the salt of merchandises,
pile-ups of palpitating bread,
the stalls of my suburb of Arguelles with its statue
like a drained inkwell in a swirl of hake:
oil flowed into spoons,
a deep baying
of feet and hands swelled in the streets,
metres, litres, the sharp
measure of life,
stacked-up fish,
the texture of roofs with a cold sun in which
the weather vane falters,
the fine, frenzied ivory of potatoes,
wave on wave of tomatoes rolling down the sea.

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings —
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise,
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate!

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives!

Treacherous
generals:
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain:
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers,
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes,
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull’s eye of your hearts.

And you’ll ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land?

Come and see the blood in the streets,
come and see
the blood in the streets,
come and see the blood
in the streets!