Thursday, July 06, 2006

They Have a Coven And They Want My Baby!


The first time I ever saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was in a trailer in small town Texas when I was fourteen. My friend Marcia's mother, a nurse who worked the third shift, had left us girls (there were two other girls also spending the night) to our own devices which meant we'd search the couch for change, roll pennies from our piggy banks, and wander around the trailer park before heading for the In and Out Convenience Store to purchase moon-pies and other culinary delights. Marcia's mother had left the VHS tape on the television next to her various prescriptions and big bottle of Gordon's gin (the Hemmingway brand!) and so when we got sufficiently bored of looking at boys in the yearbook and classifying who was "fine" and who was decidedly not, we started it.

None of us were particularly fearful types -- we'd been warned not to run around the trailerpark because of a recent gang rape but we did. We'd been told not to talk to strangers, but we did because we were bored. The movie, however, scared us because the chainsaw massacre had happened in August (the month we were watching) and in rural Texas, not that far from where we were. Afterward, we pretended like we were witches and could levitate each other (light as a feather, stiff as a board anyone?). I feel it's important to say that levitation works best when you pick the smallest girl. We'd dare each other to whisper "Bloody Mary" in the mirror of the bathroom, a room so small that only one girl could fit at a time. I never saw anything, save for my own pale reflection lit only by the candle I held, looking desperate to get as far from her as I could. I'd tell the girls that I'd seen the most horrible things, of course, but that wouldn't be for a long time and there wouldn't be any mirrors around except the ones that I wanted to cover.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"I bashed that beautiful window/ And stepped back in." Raymond Carver, "Locking Yourself Out, Then Trying To Get Back In"

Light As A Feather

1 glass of lemonade with crushed ice
1 shot of vodka
1 shot of chambord

Benedictions and Maledictions

Everyone knows it's difficult to write, but recently an interesting part of the difficulty has come up a lot on the comment board and discussions which is how to write without upsetting people, particularly people you may have to a) share a house with, b) are related to, c) want to remain friends with. Almost every writer I know deals with this issue to a greater or lesser extent. I use a lot of different tricks to get around this mental block, the main one being that I tell myself that I don't have to show anyone, that I am writing for me and me alone. Ha! I'm shocked that my mind hasn't caught on -- I've never written anything for just me in my life. I can't keep a journal (my days by and large are too dull -- ie, today I had the microwave lean cuisine except for the vegetable medley) and generally I'm the biggest blabbermouth in the whole world when it comes to something I've written that I like. And of course, my situation is different from many people I know -- all my family (with the exception of a very supportive sister) both immediate and extended is dead, my oldest friend, also dead, I'm not married, and my friends, by and large, like to be subjects provided that I let them pick their stage names.

This said, I still have trouble writing because the hardest person to work around is yourself. A dear friend (Shawn) pointed out to me that I had set up an entire novella and left out the two scenes that are the entire point of the book. Those are proving to be the hardest ones to write (which is why I left them out, of course) not because of what anyone else will think, but what I will think. Is is autobiographical? Not really even if we're always revealing more about ourselves than we know. But the emotional rawness of it makes me cringe. Which is the sign something is happening. It's like we used to say when I was a little girl about all sorts of ointments we'd spray on bites and sores -- the sting means it's working.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Voodoo. Yeah, I'm into that. Can I bring my box cutter?

Anonymous said...

Did Jerry Springer ever do any recruiting at that mobile home park?

Anonymous said...

I love these Thematic Apperception Tests, especially after having rested over the holiday. You too?

Anonymous said...

Michelle,
Great post, as always. Be sure to save the biggest knife for AP's . . . if you can find it.
xo;
Cindy Cobb

Anonymous said...

When you become a really great literary star will you leave Macomb(like Nabokov left Cornell) or will you stick around?

Anonymous said...

I'm sending in Roman Polanski as a body double.

Anonymous said...

My first choice was Johnny Depp, but I know you probably got sick of him after the Ninth Gate.

Anonymous said...

I have to finish my book on the definitive interpretation of The Great Gatsby. I hope all the gatekeepers egg me on to that one too. Cheers.

Sheila said...

Michelle,
Scarey post today! The first time I saw Texas Chainsaw massicure was the remake in the theater. Holy Shit! I remember playing bloody mary with girlfriends who spent the night. I have a wild imaginatin and it always played tricks on me. I would start to see something and my breath would stop and my heart pounded in my chest as I immediately went for the bathroom light!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, my Cajun Queen
you have so many knives at the ready, and you look ready to use 'em too. Rock onpretty Lady i'll send yousome pre-cooked crawfish someday or come by Old Miami for pizzas?

R2 C2!

Bonnie said...

Honey,

Love the pic! A warning to dumbheads and yoohoos to stay clear. Voodoo on, babe.
kiss kiss

R's Musings said...

"The sting means it's working." Very true, indeed! Great post, M! --R

Anonymous said...

Today's "Quote of the Day": You know you can write about me anytime you want, creamy one. Just as long as I stay--anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Today's 2nd "Quote of the Day": "'Why do I exist?'": Answer it? Nobody can./(At least nobody's done it yet.)/ But as for having the question down,/You know you're really asking it/When it isn't merely answerless/ But answerless in the strongest sense;/ Answerless in being less/ A question than an utterance.--Dan Brown

Cheri said...

This post echoes my last one, ironically. ;D