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“LIVEBLOG” EXCERPT by Megan Boyle

MARCH 27, 2013

1:20AM: going to change up the game. really. um. this is really going to happen. so, in grad school, my dad and his friend motivated themselves to finish their dissertations by agreeing to mail one $100 check to the nixon administration for every day late.

so.

here is what i must do by tomorrow 12AM, this is my ‘dissertation:’

-return attorney’s phone call about accident settlement i’m receiving

-write and print cover letter at library

-mail apartment application binder

-mail book packages

-call dad about getting keys to storage unit thursday

-refill birth control

-pack one box

-shower

-drink kale smoothie

here is what happens if i fail to complete ONE of these tasks, this is my ‘nixon fund:’

when i receive the accident settlement, i will have 50% of the bills printed and set them on fire in a trash can.

the settlement—the last i’ve heard—is slightly more than what i had in my savings account this fall.

i don’t want to talk about how long it took to spend. the sum of money, without 50% of its bills destroyed, is enough to ‘start being a person again,’ for a comfortable, in my view, amount of time, as i settle into a job, a more stable routine, a life that allows me to envision a future for myself, less commas, etc.

the stakes are very high. these are very high stakes.

OH SHIT I HAVE TO ADD A STAKE, HEIGHTENED SHORT-TERM STAKE, SO YOU WILL KNOW ABOUT THE LONG-TERM THING IN CASE I STOP LIVEBLOGGING BEFORE THE LONG-TERM THING—

if i fail to complete any task on the list, i will post a picture of my naked ass ‘as is’ on this liveblog. oh, that’s nothing, you say? you say this is mere child’s play?

THE ASS CHEEKS WILL BE SPREAD.

now i know people tend to enjoy pictures of women’s asses. most people. or. i guess most people would find the pictures interesting, at least. some people, not most people. okay. but consider this: i have my period, so if i fail to shower…that’s all. just consider this. i’m sorry in advance. now you will be rooting for me maybe.

i am dreading this so hard and i am so excited. so excited about dreadful tomorrow. such high stakes. jesus. i’m completely serious about both of these things. if i fail to complete the tasks and fail to complete my punishments, any person has the right to kill me. this is my will, i’m saying this, this can be legally binding: if i ever end up murdered by a person, i am hereby decreeing it ‘not their fault,’ if that does anything—i do not want them to be punished. i wouldn’t want that anyway. but. just so the world knows, if it makes any difference—if they killed me it would be less like ‘murder’ and more like ‘performing a civic duty.’

i’m not kidding. i know this sounds funny or whatever but i’m not kidding. GOODNIGHT, INTERNET. LOOK OUT.

FOR TOMORROW.

BABY’S DAY OUT TOMORROW. A REAL B.D.O. TOMORROW, B.D.O. OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS. TAKING MYSELF TO…TOWN. MAKING MYSELF THE MAYOR. OF THE TOWN. THERE IS A TOWN, BY THE WAY. WHEN EX-BOYFRIEND AND MOM ARE AWAY THE SHITHEAD COMES OUT TO PLAY. UFF. TRY AND MESS. B.D.O. 2013.

SIGNING OFF,

YOUR LITTLE BITCHES FOREVER,

LEGALLY BINDINGLY YOURS,

ME AND DUNKIN DONUTS COFFEE CUP

6:04AM: this is not off to a good start. sometimes if i’m alone and i’m supposed to be going to sleep i get ‘the fear.’ big reveal thing: i slept in my parents’ bed at least once a week until i was maybe 12 years old. if i wasn’t sleeping in their bed, they let me sleep on a sleeping bag on the floor. when i was a baby i would cry and not sleep. when i got older i wouldn’t cry but still couldn’t sleep. remember watching ‘mash’ re-runs and infomercials on the couch around age 8, with the volume low so my parents wouldn’t hear.

remember there being ‘events.’ after giving up/giving in to me, parents would be like, ‘maybe we’ll try to make megan sleep in her bed again, wanna try again meg?’ i’d be like ‘yeah let’s do this.’ they’d be like ‘okay, how about the fifth of july?’

this is the routine that needed to be established for me to fall asleep in my bed:

  1. say goodnight to all my ‘friends’ (in my memory there was like, a wall of stuffed animals almost, filling half of my bed)
  2. either parent reads three storybooks
  3. mom improvises a few stories with magical undertones
  4. dad sits on the floor by bed and we meditate until i’m sleeping

when i was 12 or 13 my parents gave me a portable TV and i’d watch the home shopping network in bed. think that’s part of why i like ASMR videos, would experience ASMR looking at HSN. have never told anyone all of this to the extent i’m typing it now, i think—that it was a rare occasion for me to sleep in my bed. i was a scared little asshole.

tonight i felt ‘the fear.’ ‘the fear’ causes me to do ritual/preparation-like things. i don’t feel it as much anymore, after living alone for three and a half years, but sometimes if there’s a small change i still feel it. i didn’t do the thing where i check all the places another person can be tonight. here is what happened:

STAGE 1: VAGUE FOREBODING SHIT

-peed, replaced tampon. saw roach on my conditioner and thought ‘this doesn’t bode well. the bugs have returned. it’s on my conditioner, like what i’ll use tomorrow. should i kill it?’ then i could see its head being separate from its body, like it had a little neck or something. seemed hard to kill.
-washed face and brushed teeth while feeling the first stages of ‘the fear’ where i’m like, just looking around differently. looking at things more carefully.
-ate 1mg xanax, via ‘it’ll lessen [something] about dying.’
-refreshed dry cat food and gave them wet food thinking ‘if i die tonight they will have enough to eat until ex-boyfriend returns.’
-rubbed experimental ‘nighttime lotion’ on face and neck. think a parent gave it to me. this felt like ‘a protective ritual.’
-made bed and brushed crumbs/debris stuff off the sheet. this was just for fun.
-dressed in cherry-printed pajama pants given to me by former baltimore neighbor/co-worker, current close friend and ‘will always be one of my favorite people who i love and aspire to be like in some way’ person, chelsea. was going to leave on shirt i was wearing today, which chelsea also has and bought before we knew each other, then thought: ‘no. it will be too perfect: ‘she died wearing the clothes of someone she wished she was more like,’ then it’ll definitely happen.’ in the past i’ve thought i could increase probability of airplane landing safely if i’d listen to weird al or other unrealistic music to die to.
-applied protective clothing layer: long-sleeved shirt ex-boyfriend bought the day of his 2010 baltimore reading, when he stayed the night at my apartment and we had fun platonic fun all night and the next day.

STAGE 2: PLAN DEFENSE AND FLEE

-tried different lighting schemes. the best lighting to let someone know there is a person inside, ready to attack. fussing with lighting is what kicked me into stage 2, where i actually start imagining scenarios where i’ll be confronted with the thing that’s going to ‘get me.’
-gathered all knives and scissors and placed them under pillow (however, this means if whatever has come to ‘get me’ hasn’t brought a weapon, which it would’ve, i feel, it’d have to find even scarier and probably more painful blunt objects to use to kill me. like, technically anything in here could kill me). i have sharp things ready, because i think i’d be better at stabbing than clobbering or [who knows].
-stowed car keys and phone under other pillow.
-in stage 2 i have locked the bedroom door, but. i don’t know. undecided on this one tonight. i want cats to be able to roam freely around apartment, maybe sleep near me.

STAGE 3: WAIT IT OUT

-you just wait it out. that’s all you do. either you’re awake all night or you beat it.

getting sleepy. alvie is acting especially jumpy, pacing and chirping. does not bode well. told myself i’d better be sleeping before it was light outside and now it’s looking bluer out there goddamnit. actually though, this is good, because now i have more visibility out my window. earlier when it was darker, i ‘knew’ the face from ‘suspiria’ was on the other side of my curtains. goosebumps looking for picture of face, like, entire google image search, even now, thinking about looking at it.

fear seems manageable tonight. it helped to type this, like now i’m processing faster because i moved stuff to my external hard drive. drinking coconut water. shirley is here. about to sleep, sun is up, okay. ‘you got this.’ B.D.O. tomorrow.

2:55PM: had set alarm for 1PM. not boding well. B.D.O. got a mean case of the not-boding-wells. drinking yesterday’s dunkin donuts coffee. so far i woke, which i guess is more than what i was expecting i’d do today, last night, so…no that’s setting the bar low.

3:28PM: finally answered phone to tell telemarketers to stop calling. so. that was not on the list of things i want to accomplish today but it should’ve been. going to shower and make smoothie now. *NOTIFICATION: THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME I SAY ‘GOING TO DO      ,’ BECAUSE BOY DOES THAT EVER MAKE ME NOT WANT TO DO THINGS.

4:43PM: woman is yelling ‘fuck you you dumbass bitch, you stupid ass ho’ out window. man is yelling in return. would’ve been cool if i’d had an expensive microphone when we moved in, so i could’ve been keeping an audio scrapbook of the sounds of 4th and jefferson. last night around 3:30AM a rooster was crowing. it continued until i went to my bedroom a little before 6AM. imagine: a rooster, somewhere out there in the expansive wasteland of a dark philadelphia morning. philly sucks man.

kale smoothie: made and drank that shit. -1 shitter from that list.

thought, while scooping out cantaloupe seeds ‘…with the strength to open melons with a butter knife, the agility of a blender on ice, and the brute force of a thousand butter sticks, megan [discontinued thought].’ heard blender about to fall and ran from toilet to avert a famed ‘tao lin smoothie disaster of instagram proportions’ (didn’t even wipe) (serious about averting that disaster) (disaster averted).

called attorney. he’s calling tomorrow with new settlement offer. after that mom and i could go to court, to get more money. the guy who hit us doesn’t have to pay, it’s all corporations, so. i don’t know. i don’t really care. court seems hard.

assembled packages to mail. not going to make it to post office before they close. will have to fed-ex everything. fuck it, that’s good. the post office would’ve. stalled. because i need fed-ex for the real estate thing anyway.

i put stickers on two envelopes ‘for good luck’ and rubbed them in a ‘special secret pattern,’ thinking of the part in ‘me and you and everyone we know’ where she touches the neon dots on her steering wheel.

horn honked twice and a man said ‘hey. i love you. mucho. peace’ as car drove away.

have responded to more emails per capita than like, ever, i think. four responses so far without spending 15- 90 minutes on them. proud of me. baby’s fucking day out.

answered another telemarketer. taking this shit out.

baby’s fucking. gonna take this shower. take this shower out. fucking. i want a cigarette first. thought ‘no, you can smoke when you’re dead.’

no i need the small reward of smoking right now.

so happy i didn’t add ‘quit smoking’ to my punishment if i don’t get shit done today. i was about to do that. it would be hard to live in a world with a nasty photo of my ass on the internet, not enough money to start being a person again, and without the small reward of smoking.

small rewards: only way things happen.

6:01PM: if i have enough time i want to eat a molly to write a draft of my ‘cover letter.’ (the letter basically just has to say: i’m a nice person, i’m responsible, i have had jobs before, there are jobs i would like to have in your area, nursing home jobs, i want to help old people dress themselves and eat because they are as close to death as me and i understand feeling that and wanting help, i am going places) (the letter has seemed hard to write because i feel like i can’t just say those things, i have to like…prove myself…by vaguely…just writing vaguely). would be good for perspective, maybe, to have ‘on molly’ letter and ‘toned down’ letter. seems hilarious: ‘two-years-jobless woman with emotional problems takes molly to help her write vaguely-worded letter recommending herself as apartment building tenant.’

molly-eating might be destructive. fed-ex and library close at 9PM. shower has not been taken but don’t you worry, i have ideas about how to conserve precious shower-time.

responded to another email. seems important, to keep this ‘email streak’ going. fucking taking it out.

6:14PM: just took out another telemarketer. his name was chris. fucking told chris. he will not soon forget that polite request to take a phone number off a list.

who gave my number to a website where…these health insurance people call you? did i do that, somehow?

6:37PM: took that fucking shower out. here was my secret: i never said i had to wash my hair! OH NO! OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! that foreboding roach on that conditioner bottle last night—how little did it know about how much it would bode!!!!!!!!

‘boding’ seems to be an integral aspect of ‘baby’s day out’

i am using ‘boding’ loosely…or…um…think it’s just fun to say it…things boding well…my decisions being influenced by ‘boding’…being a bode daddy…

thought of a good insult: i wouldn’t fuck him with your tampon

shit just re-read list, i forgot about refilling birth control, CVS will still be open i hope SHIT

6:47PM: wearing black flats with twinkly gemstone decorations on the toes. check out fucking twinkle toes over here. baby’s day out with the twinkle toes over here. boding all over the place. boding everywhere, in all directions, out of control boding. twinkling it up.

6:53pm: I’m stalling, shit. Why do I stall like this. Pay attention to your stalling Boyle.

6:58pm: drove past a dead kennedys-looking guy crossing street lighting a cigarette as I was lighting a cigarette. Better believe I head-checked.

7:00pm: sometimes smoking cigarettes feels physically horrible. pulled into CVS parking lot.

7:04pm: the pharmacist said my address. I said ‘yup, that’s the one’ like how Alex Trebek said ‘trout: that’s the fish.’ I don’t have any refills left. Shit. Does this count? Shit…doctor’s office closes at 5pm. Did not account for ‘no refill’ variable. Shit. I don’t know if this counts yet. I think it doesn’t, I didn’t know.

7:08pm: not going to eat the Molly. Molly-eating does not bode well. Driving to library.

7:10pm: want to watch a YouTube compilation of cars making outrageously unnecessary k-turns.

7:15PM: took picture of sky while waiting for parking meter kiosk to print receipt. stood on a cement fixture for a better view. man’s voice from behind me said ‘beautiful, isn’t it.’ he was an old man, maybe in a uniform. i said ‘yeah, look at all the colors.’ after i said ‘colors’ he turned his head to look at me.

8:13PM: at library. eyes got watery as hell typing this: ‘My family has generously offered to continue supporting me, but I want Beach View Apartments to be the place I launch my new independent life—I want Rockaway Park to be my home for years to come.’

how did i write it. i mean it, but…it looks vulnerable, phrased that way. i feel so fake writing cover letter-type things. that weird subtext of ‘if the person reading this suspects i’m writing to influence their decision, which is my only reason for writing this, i will sound disingenuous.’

9:14pm: sometimes hearing snippets of an argument between men who don’t seem to know each other. Suspenseful ass coin dispensing process on library printer.

Discovered 24 hour FedEx hell yeah.

Sat in car, emotionally assembling liveblog manuscript in folder formerly containing lease/apartment building application, given to me by Colin.

Walked to park by American-looking museum buildings. Started walking vaguely in direction of FedEx. Lit a cigarette while looking somewhere in the distance. Thought ‘proud American moment. America.’ Realized I didn’t know where I was walking and had left phone with directions on it in car. Proud American moment. America: I think I live here.

Do people know when I’m not being serious…

Walking to FedEx. Just passed a man dragging a heavy garbage bag. Would like to say ‘we did a modest mutual head-check,’ but it was more like ‘which one of us is going to hurt the other one, uh oh’

9:26pm: walked a little more then saw welcoming lights of 24 hour FedEx.

9:47pm: wandered around FedEx. Stood at a counter. Another wandering woman stood ‘competitively’ beside me. A man with a ponytail did things to a machine in a vaguely employees-only area. Wandering woman wandered somewhere and I didn’t see her again. A woman with a nametag that said ‘Lulu’ approached. She said ‘I can help you over here,’ not moving her eyebrows much. I non-laid-back-ly said ‘oh great thanks, thank you.’ Followed her to a shipping counter she stood behind. ‘I could see you walking around over there, lookin like that,’ she said. ‘Oh heh, yeah I was doing that,’ I said. Since entering, it’d occurred to me that they might not ship 24 hours. I said ‘shit, is it too late to ship things?’ Lulu made a face like. Um. Lulu was being this way to me like how I would be to honestly confused customers. Like, pleasantly surprised that a person would come in who didn’t think they knew all the answers. I was happy to be that person, the not-knowing-all-the-answers-already person, for Lulu.

I started to give Lulu the two envelopes I was holding. She said ‘you don’t need to buy that, we can just do this part for free’ and placed two puffy white FedEx envelopes between us. I said ‘oh. Oh yeah, well that would be great, thanks. The other ones, yeah, no good.’ She smiled in her no-eyebrows-moving Lulu way, looking mostly at a computer.

She told me to fill out forms and left me alone to do that. The moment after I’d finished, she returned. Noticed her pastel blue nail polish was similar to my mint green, but her nails looked manicured. I wanted to say something about this, like something you would say, like, ‘springtime: time for nails,’ but couldn’t think of a normal-person thing like that to say. Lulu said ‘I’m cold, it’s cold in here, isn’t it?’ I nodded big and said ‘yeah it is, it’s really cold in here. And I bet for you…yeah, your short sleeves, man.’ I didn’t think it was cold. Somehow this did not sound awkward.

Lulu processed the packages and asked me questions. When I answered it felt like we understood something about the customer-employee dynamic, like ‘no one really knows what’s going on, we have to say these words that someone faraway at FedEx invented. We are the people between FedEx and the things we want.’ Like I was thinking ‘I want this to be mailed but I don’t care how and I don’t know what’s going to happen when I leave’ and Lulu was thinking ‘I am at work and things about this place are normal to me; maybe ideally I’d be doing something else, but right now I’m helping this person, I know how to help them and after I do my job I don’t know what’s going to happen.’

Lulu said ‘I’m gonna close it now’ about my envelope. I said ‘oh great, thanks. Yeah, it would’ve been like ‘oh no, big mistake’ if it was closed and the wrong package.’ Rested my eyes on a box behind the counter with ‘IRONLUNG’ printed on the side in large letters. Lulu said ‘okay you can pay now.’ I grabbed the phone, thinking it was the credit card swiping device. Lulu laughed and said ‘no, you give the card to me.’ I laughed a little and handed her my card as I said ‘I thought, you know. It looks like one of those things.’ She handed me a stapled receipt but didn’t let go. I watched the receipt and nodded while she said when the packages would arrive in other places, something about a tracking number, going online. Then she let me take the receipt. I smiled, said ‘thank you so much’ as I walked to the door, studiously looking at the receipt without reading it. I stopped and turned to face where Lulu now stood, in the middle of the store. I said ‘wait, don’t I have to sign?’ She laughed and said ‘no that’s it.’ I smiled like a big idiot and said ‘thanks’ as I exited FedEx, feeling mildly like Judd Nelson at the end of ‘the Breakfast Club,’ raising his hand triumphantly with Molly Ringwald’s earring in his ear as the frame freezes before the credits.

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