[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
[with apologies to charlie kaufman. and to donald kaufman, his rabid cat.]
“so, what gives?”
“i said, ‘what gives?’ days go by. no new posts.”
“ah, writer’s block, eh?”
well, yeah. obviously. but also, no juice. that is to say, i’m out of grape juice. i was just noting that i’m out of grape juice. need to pick some up.
“right. but, let’s focus on the writer’s block. talk to me.”
what’s to talk? i’m blocked. jammed up. got nothing. empty. first i think i have no ideas. that i’ve already told every story i have. then, suddenly, i remember something. a story i haven’t told yet. then i sit down, and…i got nothing. nothing comes.
okay, well sometimes something comes. but it’s not much. a sentence or two. maybe even a paragraph. then…it’s gone. or, i knock out a good chunk of it, then i look at it and it sucks.
“hasn’t stopped you from posting in the past.”
nice. that was a cheap shot. not entirely inaccurate, but, cheap, nonetheless.
“well, let’s be honest: you haven’t been posting your best work lately.”
hey, save it for the comments, pal. i’m just a girl doing the best she can. i’m buried at work. i’m stressed at home. and, i’m not sure if you’re aware of this, mr. smarty pants, but it’s not like this pays the bills.
“my, my. someone’s a bit testy.”
what was your first clue?
“how about you posting this contrived conversation with an imaginary cat.”
well, you’re not just any imaginary cat. you’re an imaginary cat symbolic of the burden of unshakeable writer’s block. of the internal dialogue that i’m having with my frustrated writer-self. by the way, you have a little something there…on the corner of your mouth….
“ah, yes. spittle. it's to be expected. after all, i am a rabid cat. that was the bit, right? you know, the bit in the comment? the one that said not even a hundred rabid cats could keep you from posting. that is the inspiration, for lack of any more applicable word, for this, correct?”
it was a thousand rabid cats. but, yeah, that’s what started all this.
“well, then perhaps i should officially introduce myself: i’m one-thousand-and-one.”
think they get the bit now?
“probably not. you’re being a bit pretentious and more than a little abstruse. perhaps you should summarize.”
abstruse? well, aren’t we the entomologist? fine…recently, greg…
“excuse me. it’s etymologist. not entomologist.”
“entomologists study bugs. etymologists study words. i think you meant etymologist."
look, whose contrived imaginary conversation with a fake rabid cat symbolizing my writer's block is this? anyway, as i was saying…greg posted a comment saying "i suspect a thousand rabid cats couldn't keep julia from blogging." so, you’re one thousand and one. so, that’s why i can’t post. why i'm blocked. why i'm jammed up. it's you. it’s one thousand and one rabid cats. you're keeping me from posting.
don't condescend to me.
“i was just trying to help. you know, offer a little encouragement and such. talk over the sound of crickets in the distance. it's definitely not in my best interest, but i have to ask: is this really the best you can do?”
apparently, it is. right now, anyway. so, you’ll excuse me, won’t you? i’m going to go back to hanging upside-down off the couch, letting blood rush to my head until it feels like it’s swollen up to the size of a watermelon, watching married by america, waiting for inspiration to strike.
“maybe i can toss a few ideas out for you.”
i thought you were supposed to represent writer’s block. but, hey, if you’d rather be a muse, then be my guest.
“okay. what about the night that you ended up in a gay bar on leather night with a bunch of middle-aged bank employees who had no idea that’s where you were taking them?”
thought of it. tried it. can’t get the dénouement to work.
“let’s watch our pretentious french vocabulary, shall we?”
“okay, what about your experiences in the camp fire girls? that was some hilarity. good clean fun, no need to invoke profanities…”
really, let’s not even start on that.
“…colorful characters. i’d say that one is a winner.”
i agree. trouble is, it’s voluminous. i drafted it yesterday. it’s huge. can’t focus long enough to edit it. just not workable right now.
“okay, okay. how about that trip to las vegas where you played blackjack with matthew perry, and explained to him that he was on your ‘famous people i’m allowed to have sex with if i ever meet them in person’ list, and then, two months later, that episode of friends came out about the ‘famous people i’m allowed to have sex with if i ever meet them in person’ list and all of your friends are convinced to this day that you were the inspiration for that, and were, clearly, robbed?”
no one would believe it.
“no one believes most of what you write anyway.”
was that meant to be helpful?
“how about another old boyfriend story? you can never tell too many old boyfriend stories.”
is that the kind of stuff you imaginary rabid cats say to one another: ‘you can never tell too many old boyfriend stories’?
“really, you’ve got to wrap this up. i’d love to stay and chat, but i’m supposed to be perched on jonathan franzen’s chest right now, taunting him about how he’ll never write anything even remotely as good as the corrections.”
well then, by all means...scat.
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