smile like you mean it

I’ve returned to wearing tank tops in public. Today is the fifth day in a row, I think. It’s not as traumatizing as I thought it would be, except it means that I’ve snipped the last remaining thread of the tznius rules I made for myself concerning clothing. It’s just a recognition of that, though, I don’t necessarily feel badly about it. I’m not sure it was me anymore, or that it has been me for a while. It does give me pause, though, a week away from Israel, which is a place I have only experienced in several layers of clothing, even in the summer. I have no idea what this trip is going to be like, and so, true to form, I’m thinking about how much more comforting it would be to sit in my apartment and make art or wander these well trod Manhattan streets, as opposed to the well trod Jerusalem ones, which take a significant toll on my psyche.

In the meantime, I’m working on a small piece of fiction. At the moment, it feels like I’m just stacking images on top of images until I can create the thread that goes between them: someone on a bus, a road trip, an injury, a perpetually unsatisfied person. The same neuroses apply as always : is this going to be any good, will anyone read it? Does that even matter if I didn’t accomplish what I was trying to? (What was that again?) The worst thing about writing is when everyone else thinks a piece is good, but it’s nothing like you intended. The point of creating anything for me is to give people something to have a particular experience with. Occasionally, it doesn’t matter what that experience is, just that there is one, but too often for me, it matters, because what’s in my head feels too sharp, too real, too specific to be capricious about letting it go until it’s time. Henry Miller said, “The best way to get over a woman is to make her into literature.” I like to work backwards-will someone into being first, and then make sure you never have to get over them.

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One thought on “smile like you mean it

  1. Lauren says:

    Tell me when you have things to read. I would love to fall in love with your fictional women and bring them into being.

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