I’m going to eat your fucking novel for breakfast.
Can we fix this?
Can you slow down, please?
There isn’t a home for you here.
There isn’t a candy-cane village for you here.
There is nothing aesthetic here.
There’s nothing generous here.
There’s literally nothing here.
There is no excess of anything here.
Which would you rather eat? A pot brownie, or some steamed broccoli? If you answered “both,” you’ve come to the right place. The “neuter zone.”
I received your letters, and I read them. They weren’t for me. They were addressed to me, sure, but going through them, I didn’t find anything that felt like it was speaking to me. It was all you. And it wasn’t you telling me about you. It was just you, trapped inside you, running a stick across the corrugated walls of your interior. And then you slapped “Dear Andrew” at the top. I’ll write back when I have more time.
More grievances: I’m tired. I’m Mary Robison. I’m a rock journalist. I have certain catchphrases — “peel the labia back and peer into your destiny” — “Destiny is density minus the equilibrium” — “A childhood philosophy grows into an adult personality disorder” — “The child is father to the man” — “Punk rock has as many generic conventions as the novel, and affords the same pleasures” — “you have just as much a chance of getting food poisoning from vegetables or meat as you do from fish, so stop wondering aloud if it’s OK to order the fish” — “poverty is the enemy of entertainment” — “laziness and fear are seasoned with the same dessicated, juicy crystals” — “a yawn is a titty twice removed” — “shame is another word for Karen” — “people who live for the cinema are not enemies, but it’s comforting for some reason for me to feel alienated or distant from them” — “if you’re going blind, don’t learn the drums” — “an animal has human characteristics” — “spare the child, spare the rod, lash the masts to the sirens, women are great” — “shame, shame, shame” — “a workshop is the devil’s playground” — — “England is always best” — “beer in green bottles, I fell in love” — catchphrases that I use in day-to-day conversation and business correspondence. I find them all useful; I hope you do, too.