On May 8, 2020, Juliet Escoria, Scott McClanahan, and Joseph Grantham decided to liveblog in solidarity with Megan Boyle. You may read the results below:

 

Scott McClanahan

 

 

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Juliet Escoria

 

11:38 am: woke up. Did not sleep well. Felt like something evil got inside of me last night. I had a lot of dreams and they were scary and violent but I don’t remember what they were. I couldn’t fall asleep either. 

 

Stared at phone for a bit. I had texts from pepperoni 4chan (group chat with megan joey scott and myself – the name is a 2-part inside joke that isn’t worth explaining, it has a nickname now, “the pepp”) asking whether we should liveblog or not, this was our agreed-upon day and we were debating if we should stick with it. decided to stick with it.

 

Staggered around upstairs for a while making coffee, feeding dog, etc. Felt extra bleary. Looked out the window and saw the raccoons had come last night. I am in an ongoing battle with the raccoons. They keep coming and fucking up my shit, destroying my plants and digging up soil. It feels really mean and deliberate and I hate them. I just imagine them laughing evil little laughs while thinking they’re punking me real good, like “hahahahah fuck that bitch.” last night, they neatly turned one single pot upside down. It was my last thing of thyme, they destroyed the others and the parsley. They don’t want me to have herbs. I will kill them!!!! I will kill the raccoooons!!!! the thyme seemed OK though. I read on the internet that thyme “thrives on neglect” (which I loved, what a great description) and I hope that raccoons fall into the category of “neglect.”

 

Scott came into the kitchen and told me I kicked him while I was sleeping, pantomiming the kick, which seemed very dramatic and scary. I laughed at this and also felt bad about it and explained my bad sleep and bad dreams. This is not the first time I’ve done a violent act to scott in my sleep but it hasn’t happened in a long while.

 

Came downstairs and started typing this. Scott is flaking on the liveblog so it is me megan and joey. I knew scott would flake. I think it was around 12:15 when I sat down. It is 12:28pm now. I am going to write for a bit. Haven’t written in a week or so due to children coming to visit and massive grading essay time. When I haven’t written in a while I think of it as “dipping my toe back in, you just have to sit here for an hour or so, you don’t have to do much, just dipping your toe in, it’s not scary” because otherwise I berate myself and feel terrified. I am very mean to myself about writing and I can’t break this pattern. 

 

1:35pm: The toe dip went well. Stopped when I felt confused. I’m working on changing an essay I wrote five years ago that never turned out right into a story. The essay didn’t work because there was no ending. Now I can make up and ending. The act of changing an essay into a story is fun, feels “liberating.” 

 

Google searches I did while writing:

  • Three mile island
  • Safety of coal natural gas nuclear
  • Blue jay
  • Chumash santa ynez reservation
  • Chumash tribe
  • Island chumash
  • Channel island national park

 

I never know how obligated I am to getting my facts straight in fiction, I figure it is good to not have glaring errors but like… do I need to get it 100% right that the Chumash only inhabited the northern Channel Islands? Does that matter, does anyone know the answer

 

One of the funnier negative goodreads reviews I got (generally scott reads my goodreads and reports back but sometimes I am nAuGhtY and take a peeksie) said my book was unrealistic and one of their qualms was that calvin klein was not popular in the ‘90s lollll um HELLO do you even KNOW who kate moss IS????>?

 

I am now going to Conquer That Email. I’ve been bad at my inbox lately. 

 

2:31pm: work and personal email are both CONQUERED. The most enjoyable email was responding to questions for my Italian translator. Man, I love translation questions. The most amusing question was this:

 

Page 205

“Like how he was going to “broom” the floor,”

Here I had to change it a little bit, since in Italian was impossible to deliver the same mistake: in Italian, like in Spanish, saying literally “brooming the floor” makes sense. The solution I came up with involves the fact that “scopare”, one of the verbs to say “to sweep the floor” is also used to say “to fuck” and sounds like that: Like how he said, doing the chores, that he was going to [sweep/fuck] on the floor. (Basically, his mistake is adding “on”, that makes it sound as “fuck on the floor”). Let me know if you find it acceptable or if you prefer to find another solution.

 

The answer where I probably sounded the most insane/pretentious was this:

 

Page 313

“Bowing my head, I gave up my spirit. It was finished.”

This is a very important sentence, so I want to be sure that I render all the nuances. Could you explain both “I gave up my spirit” and “It was finished”? Could provide synonyms?

 

This is an allusion to John 19:30. The English version of the Bible that this specific word choice is most similar to is the New International Version: “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” The King James Version is the most “poetic” English Bible translation, and it was a bit too flowery in this verse (it says “gave up the ghost”). The New International Version is pretty straightforward, on the other hand. Maybe it’d be useful to look up this verse in an Italian Bible? Does this help at all? Let me know if not.

 

Should probably grade some stupid research papers for my stupid job. jk I like my job a lot. The semester is over next week and I have 1000000 research papers to grade and soon I will have 1000000 final exams to grade and then I will be done. I am not teaching over the summer and I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I need to get dressed, I feel like I smell like period blood but I probably don’t, Scott thinks I am insane because I always think I smell but like what if my sense of smell is simply way more developed and superior than his????????????

 

I am listening to El-P I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead and earlier I listened to RJD2 Deadringer. I went on a tear last weekend to the pepp wondering why “the kids” (aka gen Z, I guess) aren’t into late ‘90s/early ‘00s “backpack hip hop”/“underground hip hop.” Feel like this is a semi-forgotten genre and we need to fix that shit.

 

I found this list just now: https://www.complex.com/pigeons-and-planes/2012/06/the-30-best-underground-hip-hop-albums

 

Ahh, memories…of being a youth, my youth, it has passed me by. That’s ok. Youth is kinda overrated. 

 

4:35pm: spent the past 2 hrs alternating between grading essays and cleaning the downstairs/doing laundry. Essay grading is a delicate business, if I do too much at once I get cranky/bored, it’s best to alternate. 

 

The basement is the laundry room and the rest of it is “my domain” and is typically a mess. It is my “office” and also my “hobby center” (exercise, embroidery/crafts, gardening). 

 

I listened to Madvillainy, about half of Del Both Sides of the Brain, and part of Deltron 3030 (my most favorite “underground hip hop” album, by far). I used to have a giant crush on Del and have funny stories about me finding my way backstage to various venues where he performed, trying to flirt with him, but probably just embarrassing myself due to being a messy fucked-up human but I shall not share these stories here!!!! Too embarrassing. “Embarassing” should really only have one R, one more thing that somebody needs to correct.

 

Going to make lemon bars now and then dinner. I’m fulfilling the stereotype of baking during quarantine but in my defense I love baking, I just normally don’t have time for it. feeling p good today considering lack of sleep. Kinda think getting bad sleep here and there is good for the brain, too much good sleep makes people stupid. I have no evidence for this theory.

 

6:57 pm: Made the crust, Scott got back home from Kroger with the rest of the shit I needed for dinner and lemon bars (tater tots and lemons). I asked him if people were wearing masks and he answered the question by saying how fat everybody is in west virginia, that they need to care more, that usually he doesn’t notice how unhealthy everybody is but today he did. 

 

Scott and I eat healthy vegan/vegetarian during the week and shit on the weekends. Tonight was a shit night, we had hot dogs. The first time I got a hot dog in WV, I asked for “everything” at Dairy Queen and they gave me a hot dog with chili, mustard, coleslaw, and onions and I thought it was really fucked up (“everything” to me meant ketchup mustard relish onion) but then I learned the error of my ways. Or is it ‘err’ idk. WV-style hot dogs are the best.

 

When you don’t eat junk food/meat that often, it is really exciting to eat a hot dog. Man, I love hot dogs. During dinner, we talked about eating hot dogs in New York, and then Scott visiting his uncles in New York when he was a boy, and then we discussed his uncles—larry is a stockbroker and terry is a psychologist. The two of them and gary, scott’s dad, are the youngest and the closest of all the million mcclanahan siblings. Larry is a big trump supporter in VA and scott’s dad loves to yell at him all the time about being a stupid republican. (Scott’s dad is a ride or die democrat.) Terry lives in San Francisco and is a big ole liberal. Then scott started telling me about terry, whose background was confusing to me, and it turns out this is because his background is just confusing. Here is the story of terry mcclanahan, with probable factual errors:

 

He went to WVU for accounting, then worked on Wall Street. He paid for college by being in the ROTC. He married a GAP (Greek American princess) and the family didn’t like her. They got divorced. Terry started dating and then got married to a JAP, the daughter of the president at Columbia, and she got disowned temporarily because terry was a goy. They mysteriously moved to China for a year, which was supposed to just be a honeymoon trip, which caused gary to think terry was in the CIA… something about his time in the military? Then they moved to California and he got his masters at pepperdine and a phd at SFSU and worked at the university for a while and then got his job at Kaiser. Gary calls terry’s life a “sham life,” based on his suspicions of him being CIA member. When he asked terry if he was in the CIA, terry just laughed. 

 

We talked about a bunch of other shit, if my mom was a GAP too (her family owned a successful printing business until her father ran it into the ground due to his laziness, according to my mother) and the similarities between my upbringing in del mar vs. scott’s first girlfriend’s upbringing in long island, etc. I feel very grateful that after 5.5 years of marriage and 7 years of dating, scott and I still have so much to blab about. Especially considering that prior to this none of my relationships lasted longer than two years, and they all headed south after only about a year. 

 

To do until relaxation station time:

-finish laundry

-finish garden tasks 

-train dog a bit (have been doing this partially because I think my dog is bored/weirded out by us being home all the time, partially because she tried to kill herself a while ago by running in front of a truck so I figure she needs to learn some more skills to not die)

-put away the rest of the laundry

-meditate

-shower

 

Oh also I listened to the rest of Deltron 3030 and part of Dr. Octagonecologyst. I have more to say about Deltron 3030 but that seems kind of spectrumy to discuss so I will keep those thoughts to myself. When scott and I watched the hip hop history series on Netflix, I was outraged that the bay area episode didn’t even mention Del, and scott acted like this opinion of mine was out of touch and ridiculous, that nobody but me cares about Del. Anyway! Deltron 3030 is a great album!!!!!!

 

7:52pm: did all the tasks but the meditate. One of my garden tasks was putting dead leaves on the plants—it’s supposed to get down to 28 degrees tonight (rude) and the dead leaves are supposed to keep them a bit warmer. I like putting leaves on the plants, feels like I’m tucking them into bed.

 

One thing I did not know about plants until I became a Garden Master (jk, this is only the second year where I’ve sort of felt like I knew what I was doing) was how different the first little leafies are from the actual plant’s leaves. The first leaves push the seed out of the ground, and then later they fall off and the plant reveals its “true leaves.” Plants are… magical.

 

There’s some of my pretty babies… tomato, cucumber, Italian basil, holy basil. The cucumber has just little nubs of “true leaves.” 

 

Just read this over and edited it a bit. 

 

8:48pm: meditation was very strange. I’ve been meditating more lately, have decided that this is something I need to do with my increased free time, that I’m happier with a “spiritual practice” of sorts and by not having one, I am like… depriving myself. I’ve been going to the bedroom around 8 or so, putting on a blackout eye mask, and lying in bed. I’ve been listening to this lady, I like her voice, it does the hypnotizing thing I like to happen, although I think she is wrong about some things… she acts as though “the divine” (calling it that because I don’t know of a better word, for the things that guide the world that we don’t understand) is all loving light, when that’s just wrong, the divine is darkness too.

 

The meditation made me feel like there is something bad… on me… kept on seeing benign things like a sweet grandmother face but then it would turn into something from a horror movie, screaming bones and popping eyes and sharp teeth and shit. That stuff eventually went away and I saw a lot of holy woman images, things looking like the Virgin Mary and beautiful nuns like St. Therese. The weirdest part: I suddenly got a flash of a photo, that looked like my aunt (who died in 2018) but wasn’t my aunt, and then I had this weird jolt of red electricity… it lasted like a split second but felt very jarring. I love meditating, it’s like free temporary drugs. I halfway assign meaning to these images, halfway just think they’re a neat trick of the dreamy side of the brain.

 

It is now relaxation station time, meaning I will go into the living room and light an overpriced scented candle and turn on the orange lamp (it’s one of those LED color changing bulbs, I like this golden reddish orange hue best) and watch tv/movies with lil baby scoot. I guess I will do updates on my phone. Looking forward to reading joey and megan’s liveblogs, they said they were going on a walk today, too bad I live in the middle of nowhere and can’t go on walks with those pals… I love those pals. I want to move to Baltimore someday soonish… it’d be closer to the kids and I love my Baltimore friends, Megan and Joey, and also Jordan and Nicolette, and Ashleigh. Sometimes I hate the writing world but then I make myself remember all the people I know because of it, how wonderful and weird they all are. 

 

9:41pm: Scott suggested watching Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and I wasn’t feeling particular so I agreed. I like it, I like this movie, it’s funny. Did people in the ‘30s actually talk like that or did they only talk like that in movies. 


In the movie, Gary Cooper lives in a small town and writes poems for greeting cards. He goes to the big city and some fancy poets make fun of him in a fancy restaurant, where he’s eating with Jean Arthur. He gets mad and says “If it wasn’t for the lady here I’d bump your heads together.” Jean Arthur says “Oh I don’t mind” so then Cooper punches two of them out.

 



The dog is going nuts in the kitchen over a bug.

Now Gary Cooper is saying he wants to punch an editor in the nose. Maybe that’s the problem with the world today, you’re no longer allowed to punch people in the nose. Small acts of violence shouldn’t be so looked down on. They’re fine! It’s fine!

 

The movie was really good, I feel like old movies have more like, gravity, sometimes because they’re not afraid to be quiet.

 

It is now 11:36pm and we’re watching Vanderpump Rules. Scott hates this show but watches it sometimes with me anyway. Brett said he was from San Diego and then Scott started talking shit about San Diego and I get it, San Diego is ridiculous, but he is real mean about it sometimes! I said so and he said he was sorry, “There’s just guys like that there, it’s not a very masculine city.” He’s right, though. Brett does seem like some guy from San Diego. This show’s so stupid.

 

11:51pm: Scott just told me the White House staff is “infested with COVID,” haha.

 

12:12am: watching the Derrell Hammond doc on Netflix now. They just showed a sign of La Jolla. Scott clearly feels guilty about saying mean things about San Diego because he said “And I love La Jolla! I do love San Diego!”

 

12:22am: scott wasn’t feeling the documentary so now we are watching a silly murder show on ID which means we’ll go to bed at a decent hour.

The auto alt text ms word offered for this photo was “picture, indoor, man, looking.”

 

Has anyone ever noticed that my face and actually my entire body is incredibly asymmetrical??? I’m minorly deformed, nothing on me matches up… two different knees, two different hands, two different feet, two different eyes. 

 

1:39am: murder show ended around 1:10 and then I went into the kitchen to eat a snack, texted my mom for a while. Scott started putting a bag of cans into a different bag of cans (???) and it was making so much noise that I started laughing. The cans began to spill out of one bag and onto the floor so I asked Scott if he needed help and he screamed at me “NO! Get away from me!!!” and the image of him… bent over the cans, making so much noise, while screaming that… I couldn’t stop laughing. 

 

Took jelly to pee and it is so spooky out there—frost all over everything, clear black sky, bright moon. Time to take medicine and read now. Scott is now cleaning spilled soda off the floor. What a sweet silly boy.

 

2:03am: in bed. Wrote an entry in my diary that said “Did liveblog with Joey and Megan. See liveblog.” Read Megan’s liveblog for the day and texted her a couple things about it. Now reading my book about the pre-Raphaelites. Rossetti had periodic bouts of horrible boils.   Last night I read that before Hunt went to the Middle East for an extended trip, Millais commissioned a ring with both of their initials to give him as a present. Fell asleep around 3.

 

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Joseph Grantham

MAY 8, 2020

 

11:52am: woke up at 10:42am. i took two Nyquil pills last night because my throat felt funky, like a little lumpy. like there was a lump in it. i often have throat problems. i feel like i’ll die of throat cancer. not in a “oh isn’t he so cute, he’s a hypochondriac” way, but in a very practical, “he always got sore throats and it was a sign that later in his life he’d develop throat cancer” way. the pills made me very sleepy so that i couldn’t read before bed. also here i should note that i’ve been sleeping on the couch in the living room for a little over a week because the bed in the bedroom hurts my back and i move around a lot on it and it wakes ashleigh up and then she gets upset and can’t fall asleep and then we both can’t fall asleep. also there are guards who stand outside our window and talk all night and it’s very loud in the bedroom and i can’t stand it. ashleigh can mostly stand it. the guards are hired by johns hopkins university to protect the neighborhood. i live right by johns hopkins university but i have no affiliation with johns hopkins university. i wish there weren’t guards in my neighborhood. we picked this apartment because we got a good deal. the neighborhood is nice too, minus the college kid atmosphere you sometimes feel. but rent is 825 a month, so ashleigh and i each pay 412.50. our landlord is named wilhelm. he’s a german/american guy. he owns a giant gun shop outside of baltimore. first time i met him i was wearing a shirt with a car on it, from some diner in north carolina and he said, “do you like cars” (because he likes cars), and i said “oh no, i don’t really know anything about cars.” one day i think i saw those german iron crosses on the back of his truck when it was parked outside our apartment. but he’s been a nice landlord. he got us a new fridge and a new washer and a new stove. i just googled the iron crosses and found out that the iron cross was “established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia on 17 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars.” maybe he just likes them because they were established by king wilhelm and his name is wilhelm. maybe i should address him as king wilhelm from now on. 

 

11:57am: but the Nyquil pills are what made me sleep in later than usual. ashleigh and i woke up at the same time. i felt groggy because of the pills. i usually wake up at 9am these days. before the pandemic i woke up earlier, but 9 seems like a good, nice pandemic wakeup time. 

 

11:59am: can’t believe it’s about to be noon. that’s fucked up. call the police. call the clockstoppers. my throat feels semi-fine right now.

 

12:00pm: it’s noon. the PMs have begun. not the “private messages” the PMs, the afternoons/evenings. i don’t know what PM means. something latin. please if you know, don’t tell me. don’t tell me what PM means. i don’t care. i know enough about what it means to get through the day okay. 

 

12:01pm: so when we woke up, i put water on for coffee, i went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and ashleigh was in there brushing her teeth. we both have pink battery powered toothbrushes, but mine is a different brand than hers. they cost about 8 dollars. they’re not fancy. and then i really had to pee because i usually have to pee in the morning but i can’t pee when someone is standing next to me, sometimes i can, but often i can’t. so i had to wait until ashleigh scooped the cat litter and left the bathroom. i peed and then i went into the kitchen and waited for the water to boil and then i got our cups ready and then i made us coffee. usually i shower before i make coffee but today, because i woke up late, i decided to lean into it and just have a day where things move at a different pace. i don’t think i thought it through like that, honestly. i just wanted to drink some coffee, because, you know, don’t talk to me before i’ve had my coffee, etc. 

 

12:04pm: i’m drinking coffee on the couch now. the couch where i’ve been sleeping. i just did a stretch and made a stretch sound like “mmgggrrrmgh.” i’m trying to decide what book to read next. i finished reading ann beattie’s first collection of stories yesterday afternoon. it’s called distortions. i liked it. i’m not going to do a book review right now. this isn’t a book review. this is a liveblog solidarity project brought to you by joseph grantham. but anyway, i think i’m going to read stephen dixon’s collection of stories movies next. i read some of shyness & dignity by dag solstad about ten minutes ago, and i was enjoying it, but the paragraphs are very long and i don’t feel like a “paragraphs are very long” book right now. sometimes i do, but not today dag, not today!

 

12:08pm: i should mention that scott and julia are also liveblogging today. they are part of the liveblog solidarity project. this makes it seem like megan is dying of cancer and we have to liveblog with her to show her that we believe in her or something. i don’t know why we’re doing this but i’m glad we are. maybe we are doing this for “fun.” maybe i shouldn’t think about the “why.” just do it. nike. 

 

12:10pm: i wonder if there’s some competition here. like who’s going to do the best liveblog today. who’s going to be the funniest? who’s going to be the most innovative? who’s going to push the boundaries of what a liveblog can do? who’s going to be the most brutally honest? who will lay their soul bare? probably not. just do the liveblog, joseph. it’s okay.

 

12:11pm: still on the couch. i wrote “don’t tell my superiors” after i wrote “still on the couch” but then i deleted “don’t tell my superiors” because i didn’t think it was funny enough. this is the kind of editorial insight you’ll get today, on this liveblog journey.

 

12:12pm: last night ashleigh and i watched the wicker man from 1973. not the nic cage one. we’d never seen the OG wicker man. there were a lot of, dare i say, “boobies” in it. there was also a lot of singing. some parts i was like, “is this a fucking musical? did they trick us into watching a musical?” but it wasn’t really a musical. not really. there were no bees in this one. in the nic cage one these cult people force him to wear some mask with bees stuck in it and the bees buzz around his face while he screams “not the bees!” but there wasn’t a single bee in this one. i was kind of relieved. not because i don’t like bees, i just didn’t feel like hearing the “not the bees” thing again. oh, the guy dies at the end. they tricked him to come to the island, because he was a virgin and they needed to sacrifice him to save their crops, yada yada. poor guy. he was a virgin catholic cop. such an easy target. their crops are still probably fucked. i was impressed by the wicker man that the people on the island built. the arms of the “man” were full of live geese and chickens and the head had like a goat in it and some pigs. and then in the chest was the poor catholic virgin cop. they did a great job sacrificing. wonderful execution. no pun intended. i don’t know how they pulled that off irl. it’d be kinda cool if they actually just let the actor burn to death. well it wouldn’t be “cool” but it’d be “scarier.” 

 

12:20pm: my dad texted me at 12:17pm “How’s ye throat doing today!” i told him last night on the phone that it was starting to feel funky. i didn’t call him to tell him that. we were already on the phone and i told him. us granthams look out for each other. 

 

12:22pm: scott flaked on the liveblog. we all knew this might happen. no offense to scott. and no hard feelings. now it’s just hoolia and me. and megan, whose presence is implied. because this is the liveblog solidarity project. we are now going to ask “blockbuster” if he’ll join the liveblog solidarity project. “blockbuster” is code for blake butler. blake butler, the name, has a ring to it that makes it perfect for some classic nicknames. i hope blockbuster joins the thing. it’d be nice to have a third. three’s company.

 

12:25pm: scott said he had chapter ten deadline. this is why he cannot do it. it’s okay scott. it’s fine. no really it’s fine you fucking piece of shit. no no i get it, you have to work on your book, you fucking prick.

 

12:26pm: just kidding scott. i better change out of these pajama pants. i’ve had these old navy pajama pants for fucking years. they were giant when they were gifted to me in the eighth grade and they’re still kinda big on me now. i imagine they will last me a lifetime. they are warm. i used to shop at old navy as a boy. i remember they had gumball machines with toys in them instead of gumballs. why is the store called “old navy.”

 

12:28pm: my coffee is lukewarm. borderline cold now. i’m still on the couch. 

 

12:29pm: the group chat that i’m in with scott and julia and megan is called “pepp 4chan” the pepp is short for pepperoni which is short for pepperoni roll. 4chan is that website. i think the 4chan just implies that we should be free to speak our minds without worrying if we are being bad people or good people. i think megan has a 4chan tattoo on her foot. i might be wrong. 

 

12:30pm: speaking of feet. my left foot is kinda fucked. i think it has what’s called a tailor’s bunion. which sounds a lot grosser than what it is. it’s just the outer part of my foot, at the bottom of the pinky toe, juts out a little bit. this is because of the structure of my foot. i read that it’s mostly genetic. so there’s nothing i could have done. i remember that my ema’s feet were really fucked up looking. no offense to ema. rest in peace ema. “ema” means mother in hebrew, but ema was my grandma, she just didn’t want to be called grandma. this is me imparting some of my jewish knowledge to you.

 

12:34pm: glad i talked about the tailor’s bunion. total weight off the chest. just kidding. but one last bit. this is from wikipedia: “A tailor’s bunion, also called a bunionette, is a bony lump that forms along the side of the little toe. It happens when the fifth metatarsal bone enlarges or shifts outward. The fifth metatarsal is the very bottom bone on the little toe. A bunion can be painful, especially if it rubs against your shoe.”

 

12:37pm: okay i lied. one last bit about the tailor’s bunion. this is cool: “The deformity received its name centuries ago, when tailors sat cross-legged all day with the outside edge of their feet rubbing on the ground. This constant rubbing led to a painful bump at the base of the little toe.” i am like a centuries old tailor. 

 

12:38pm: i didn’t tell ashleigh that i was doing this liveblog thing today. she’s on the phone with someone in the bedroom. it sounds business-y. i didn’t mean to withhold any information from her, it just kind of happened. i wasn’t sure if we were liveblogging today and we are and she’s in the bedroom and oh well. she’ll find out shortly when she asks me what i’m doing. 

 

12:40pm: something i’ve noticed during the pandemic, during the “not really going anywhere, mostly staying in the apartment” time, is that sometimes i don’t really tell ashleigh what i’m doing and she doesn’t tell me what she’s doing. not like secrets, just like, it’s almost like we’re going to work, except that we’re not leaving the house. and it’s just sometimes. but i think that’s okay, i think it’s kinda healthy. this is just sometimes. it’s like we give each other enough space some days, to just get whatever we “need” to get done done. it’s hard not to feel very very in my own head all day during this time. even during regular times. 

 

12:43pm: just did another yawn, stretch thing. still on the couch. made that stretch sound like “mmgrrrmmmahh.” hah. read that sound out loud and it sounds like “mmmm grandma.” whoops.

 

12:44pm: texting with megan in the pepp 4chan groupchat. we are going to go on a walk today. not in solidarity. just because we want to go on a walk. we were going to go on a walk on wednesday but it was a very rainy day so we passed on it. today is gloomy but i think we will do the walk anyway. megan, ashleigh and i went for a walk last week to some garden thing up the road from my apartment, called sherwood gardens i think. it was a pretty garden. and then we ate vegan pizza. it was a nice break from cooking. ashleigh and i have been cooking a lot and it’s fun but it’s also tiring after a while. and i do a lot of dishes. 

 

12:47pm: a while ago ashleigh and i made some kind of pact, some kind of agreement, where i was the guy who did the dishes and she was the girl who scooped the cat litter. i don’t know if it was a fair deal. but i don’t mind. i sometimes like doing the dishes. and i think i do a better job doing the dishes than ashleigh. i really make sure they are clean. spotless. i’m an incredible dishwasher. 

 

12:49pm: my head feels fuzzy from the nyquil pills. i’m going to take a shower and put my clothes on and charge my computer.

 

1:20pm: showered and put on my clothes. before i showered i looked at my face in the mirror. it’s funny. i haven’t shaved my “beard” and it looks really bad. to me. it looks like if i glued patches of my pubic hair to my face kind of. but i feel like keeping it for now. and when i thought about pubic hair it reminded me that i wanted to trim mine a little bit because i hadn’t done that in a while and it was getting fluffy. is that a big share? so i trimmed it and got in the shower. i washed my hair and my face and my body. trying to remember what i thought about in the shower. somehow i got on the topic of the time when megan had a little french boyfriend who came to visit her around xmas time and she realized she didn’t want to be around him anymore so she kinda dumped him off on me. i hung out with the little french boyfriend a couple times. one time i was talking to him about his name and i said “oh yeah, that’s like the name of a famous actor isn’t is?” and i racked my brain and then i realized i was wrong. his name reminded me of ghislaine maxwell. jeffrey epstein’s partner/lady. she wasn’t a famous actor. that makes me laugh when i think about that. i think megan feels/or felt really bad about dumping the little frenchman off on me but i didn’t mind. it was funny. he talked about terence malick a lot. he loved terence malick. he pronounced malick like “malleek.” good ol little frenchman. another thought i had while drying off is that some people are easier to forgive than others. not that megan needed to be forgiven for making me hangout with terence malleek, it wasn’t a big deal. but i was just thinking about how it might’ve pissed me off more if it was someone other than megan who’d made me hangout with the frenchman. “made me” hangout with him. it wasn’t that bad. and i didn’t have to. aye yi yi.

 

1:28pm: i put my coffee in the microwave for a minute. it was cold. have about a third of it left. i am going to go get it now. right now i’m sitting on the bed in the laundry room/guest room/writing room we have. there are clean clothes tossed all over the bed. it’s a messy room right now but it’s where i charge my computer because tammy (one of my cats) will chew the charger and break it if i leave it out. okay, going to go get the coffee now. this is what my charger looks like because of tammy. i’ve had to cut it up and watch youtube videos about how to repair it. it works now but it has a lot of electrical tape all over it in different spots:

 

1:31pm: got my coffee. back on the bed in the laundry room/guest room/writing room. i forgot to mention earlier that i ate a little breakfast when i woke up. i reheated some tofu scramble thing i’d made yesterday. just a little bit. and now i feel hungry again. i’ve been vegan for maybe three months? but hey who’s counting. i don’t mind breaking the veganism if the right occasion occurs. for example stephen dixon’s daughters sent ashleigh and i a bunch of passover goods. chocolate babka and cinnamon rugelach. and i ate that stuff because it was a good occasion. it would’ve been dumb/crazy to throw it away in honor of the vegan code. but i haven’t eaten meat in a couple months. i’ve felt better since i’ve been vegan, felt physically better. i think i maybe even look better too. i think i’ve lost weight during the pandemic. i think i weigh about 160. but my scale might be broken. i’d say i weigh between 158-165. scott weighs about 178.5 pounds. i am skinnier and healthier than scott. just kidding. i think scott looks looks healthier than i do. scott told us what he weighed in the groupchat today and since he bailed on the liveblog to work on his book i get to tell you his weight. scott said he feels best between 178-180. so he’s right there in his sweet spot. i asked scott if he cared if i mentioned his weight in this and he said “I don’t care about that stuff. Write whatever” and “It’s totally cool” and “I’m proud”

 

1:37pm: ashleigh called from the kitchen “is it okay if i have the rest of this tofu?!” i said “yes!” then she came into the backroom where i am and asked what i’m working on and i told her about the liveblog solidarity project. she said “that sounds fun” and she said “i like that shirt on you.” i’m wearing a yellow shirt from a coffee shop in north carolina. i told her her clothes looked good on her too. she was on the phone with a friend/coworker of hers. she works at a wine bar place. and i think they are going to pay her every week because they got some loan. 

 

1:43pm: i still haven’t gotten a stimulus check from Donny T. i need a stimulus check. the irs said they were mailing me stimulus check today, may 8, 2020. i don’t know what took them so long. i haven’t worked a job since march 10 and i don’t think i’ve ever made $75,000 in my entire life. even if you added up all the money i’ve made from all the jobs i’ve worked.

 

1:44pm: earlier on the couch, i looked at twitter and it made me feel depressed. i would delete it but then it would be deleting connections to friends i don’t really see anywhere other than on twitter. i’m sure there’s a way around it but i’m lazy and i’m sure part of me just still wants to keep the twitter. 

 

1:45pm: on august 23, 2019 i started a thread on twitter where i tweet everyday the date and that i woke up and am not dead. for example, today i tweeted “5/8/20: woke up, not dead” i don’t really have anything to say on twitter anymore. all i can say is that i’m not dead. but i’m a superstitious guy. so now part of me thinks that if i delete the twitter and don’t tweet the “woke up, not dead” thing, that i’ll die soon after. and then people on the internet will say “wow isn’t that kind of wild. he died not long after he stopped his thread in which he confirmed his existence. so crazy. he should’ve just continued the thread.”

 

1:48pm: rubbed my hands together like a villain plotting something evil. how would you describe the sound of two hands rubbing against each other? i was going to try and do some onomatopoeia here. but that’s a tough one. it kind of sounds like ‘skeee, skeee.’

 

1:50pm: just cracked some knuckles. i crack my knuckles a lot. jury is still out about whether or not that means i’ll have horrible arthritis down the road. the jury. is. still. out. going to pace around the apartment for a second and decide what to do next and finish this cup of coffee.

 

1:56pm: okay, walked around the apartment. went into the bedroom where ashleigh is working on something. it smelled really good. she’d just blown out a candle. megan says our apartment smells very good and i’m glad. i wouldn’t like it if people thought our apartment smelled bad. i put a piece of bread into the toaster. i’m going to have peanut butter toast. the classic “there aren’t a lot of options in my fridge and this will keep me full until dinner” snack. sometimes i say “i’m putting some toast in the toaster” but that doesn’t make sense. bread becomes toast. it isn’t toast until it’s done being toasted. just like the eucharist isn’t jesus’s body until it’s done being blessed or consecrated or i don’t know the correct verb for what happens. (i was raised catholic, i’m half jewish [on my mom’s side], i grew up going to catholic church, i stopped when it was time to ‘confirm,’ i didn’t do ‘confirmation’ because you had to take classes and i went to a few and i got in trouble for talking while the teacher was talking and she said if i wanted to come back to the next class i’d have to come back with my parents and so i didn’t get confirmed. i remember that night well for some reason. it was a sunday and the oscars were happening and ‘the hurt locker’ won best picture over ‘avatar.’ and i remember telling my dad it didn’t matter that much to me right now to get confirmed and he was okay with it. good job dad. good answer. so i’m not confirmed.) it’s amazing what making a piece of toast can make you think about. making a piece of toast is a religious experience. i’ve decided i’m going to read the first story in that dixon book while eat toast. i’ve read this story before. it’s called ‘movies.’ i like when the narrator overreacts about something and throws his tv out the window and then feels stupid for throwing his tv out the window. i can relate to that for some reason. 

 

2:07pm: there wasn’t much peanut butter left. just barely was able to cover the toast. close call. scott and i are talking about bob dylan and his new album in the groupchat. it’s fun to talk about bob dylan around people who don’t care about/don’t like bob dylan. maybe that’s why a lot of people hate bob dylan. i embraced the fact that i like bob dylan after watching no direction home, that documentary scorsese made about bob dylan. i just liked him as a guy. he’s kind of a shithead in a funny way. and he didn’t really care about protesting and all that stuff, which i think a lot of people don’t know about him. he just liked writing songs. he didn’t want to be a social justice spokesperson. whenever scott and i talk about bob dylan in the pepp 4chan chat, megan and julia go silent. i’m going to stop talking about bob dylan now. 

 

2:12pm: i ate the toast in the backroom, using a paper towel as a plate. going to go in the living room now and read that story in the armchair by the window. the living room is the best room in our apartment because we have three bay windows and they let in a lot of sunlight.

 

2:14pm: my sister is texting the family groupchat about how she has a toothache and maybe a cavity. she’s going to the dentist tomorrow at noon. i probably have a cavity even though i floss every night and take care of my teeth. i don’t have healthcare and i’m afraid of the dentist. at one point i thought, ‘why doesn’t everyone get their teeth removed at birth and then get implants, we’d save so much money not having to go to the dentist, and it’d be less painful all around.’ but i didn’t think this thought through. i’m sure there is some science i’m leaving out of the equation. there’s a reason we keep our teeth. i’m sure there is. going to go read the story for real now.

 

3:41pm: i finished reading that story and then made some tea. lemon ginger tea. megan texted ashleigh and me that she’s going to shower and then run over here. i feel kind of off today. maybe it’s the fault of the nyquil pills. maybe it all stems from the nyquil pills. i like that stephen dixon story. the last sentence is: “He goes home depressed.”

 

3:43pm: earlier i checked megan’s liveblog to see how she was progressing, if she was gonna make it over here today, or if we should expect her later. i could’ve just asked her. it’s kind of funny that i did that. i consulted her liveblog for the answers. when i was looking at her liveblog i thought, ‘i hope people don’t think i’m trying to sound like megan in my liveblog.’ if you think that, then i hate you. i’m just writing this. no trying to sound like anyone. this is joseph grantham, i repeat this is joseph grantham. this is me. i’m the guy who told you he sincerely likes bob dylan. 

 

3:45pm: i’m sitting at the table in the kitchen. i’m drinking the hot tea. i’m considering making another cup of coffee. it might wake me up a little bit more. but it might make me shaky too. if make more coffee then i need to drink more water. i’ve been drinking the baltimore tap water a lot lately. if it has a lot of fluoride in it, well, then good. i want the fluoride to protect my teeth and prevent cavities. when i worked at a bookstore here (i still technically do but i haven’t since march 10 because of the pandemic), my coworker shirley (who is in her seventies) said that the baltimore tap water is fine. she said she gave it to all her kids when they were growing up. and i remember when she told me that, i almost joked, “yeah but shirley, i’ve met your kids, and look how they turned out.” but then i didn’t make the joke because i thought it might hurt her feelings. shirley knows that i grew up around san francisco and she visits there every year and she likes to tell me about how she doesn’t walk around the city as much because “the homeless problem has gotten so bad.” she doesn’t feel safe. i just nod when she tells me this stuff. and say, “i know, i know.” even though i don’t know. i don’t know shirley, okay? i don’t know.

 

3:51pm: megan just texted ashleigh and me, “Okay here I come!!” here she comes! i said, “yay”

 

3:52pm: i ate some blue corn tortilla chips a few minutes ago.

 

3:54pm: ashleigh is in the bedroom on her laptop, doing some online work for the wine bar. she’s uploading information about wines to a wine website. a wine website.

 

3:55pm: slurping the hot tea with a “phhhffeeeeuuw” sound. i hope we eat dinner with megan tonight. i don’t feel like cooking tonight. i say “supper” more often than “dinner” now because of ashleigh. supper is the nighttime meal in the south. i think dinner is like lunch in the south. i’m not sure though. 

 

3:57pm: shutting my laptop for a moment. 

 

3:59pm: thought it’d be good to share a list of all the movies i’ve watched since we’ve been in quarantine. i thought i’d watched a lot but then i saw someone post all the movies they watched in april and it was like eighty. so maybe this isn’t very many movies. i’m going to include one movie on the list that i haven’t watched yet, but that i told a friend i’d watch a while ago and still haven’t watched and putting on this list will shame me into watching the movie (and no the one i haven’t watched is not ‘xxx: return of xander cage,’ i definitely watched that movie, i have proof, i had to rent it on amazon). these are in no real order:

 

  • ‘tomboy’ (2011)
  • ‘the water lilies’ (2007)
  • ‘a man escaped’ (1956)
  • ‘the trial of joan of arc’ (1962)
  • ‘safe’ (1995)
  • ‘patty hearst’ (1988)
  • ‘hardcore’ (1979)
  • ‘light sleeper’ (1992)
  • ‘portrait of a lady on fire’ (2019)
  • ‘the daytrippers’ (1996)
  • ‘mon oncle’ (1958)
  • ‘umbrellas of cherbourg’ (1964)
  • ‘the man who shot liberty valance’ (1962)
  • ‘un flic’ (1972)
  • ‘europa, europa’ (1990)
  • ‘avalon’ (1990)
  • ‘hud’ (1963)
  • ‘vernon, florida’ (1981)
  • ‘swallow’ (2019)
  • ‘the getaway’ (1972)
  • ‘repulsion’ (1965)
  • ‘losing ground’ (1982)
  • ‘mikey and nicky’ (1976)
  • ‘the last temptation of christ’ (1988)
  • ‘raging bull’ (1980)
  • ‘raging bull’ (with 1990 laserdisc commentary) (1980)
  • ‘in the heat of the night’ (1967)
  • ‘the night of the hunter’ (1955)
  • ‘experiment in terror’ (1962)
  • ‘xxx: return of xander cage’ (2017)
  • ‘never rarely sometimes always’ (2020)
  • ‘the last picture show’ (1971)
  • ‘no country for old men’ (rewatch) (2007)
  • ‘you can count on me’ (2000)
  • ‘bad education’ (2020)
  • ‘the assistant’ (2020)
  • ‘dead man’ (1995)
  • ‘the standoff at sparrow creek’ (2018)
  • ‘tyrel’ (2018)
  • ‘kramer vs. kramer’ (1979)
  • ‘dragged across concrete’ (2018)
  • ‘support the girls’ (2018)
  • ‘the wicker man’ (1973)

 

4:10pm: it felt like a lot of effort to type all of that out. ashleigh came into the kitchen and looked over my shoulder while i typed some of it. then she went to go change into “walking” clothes.

 

4:14pm: watched a tmz video of a praying mantis eating the brains of a “murder hornet” to the tune of some generic heavy metal. still not sure what the murder hornets are. they look big and scary though.

 

4:19pm: megan texted “Ok here I am!” and then i texted “whoa” and she texted “I made good time today” i’m going to look out the window and see if i can see her. i went out on the stairs and there she was. the world was moving she was right there with it and she was.

 

5:46pm: megan is in our living room. we made more tea and drank tea with megan in our living room. i expressed nervousness at remembering everything that had happened during the time i wasn’t liveblogging and megan said we could each quickly do an update. this is my update.

 

5:48pm: something megan said that i want to remember is that puppies smell like “laundry if it were savory.” she said it wasn’t a bad smell. we talked about how kittens and cats don’t really smell as bad as dogs unless they smell like their litterbox. we smelled tammy’s belly. we kind of passed her around to each smell her belly. she (tammy) seemed to enjoy it. here we are passing the kit kat. i cropped this photo because my fluffy shirt made me look pregnant. if you’re interested in the pregnant look, megan might’ve put that photo in her liveblog today:

 

5:49pm: i made myself laugh by commenting on how slowly and sultrily tammy seemed to be licking and cleaning herself. i said “you should be ashamed of yourself, tammy.”

 

5:51pm: megan said “it gets to be a lot after a while…liveblogging. i’m saying ‘liveblog’ more often in this liveblog today than i normally do.” i said, “that makes sense though.”

 

6:46pm: just got in the car. we ordered food from a vegan place called ‘land of kush’ it’s been gloomy and rainy all day. i still feel kind of tired. maybe the kush will rejuvenate me.

 

6:49: ashleigh saw a honda accord that she liked. ashleigh is driving. megan is in the backseat vaping. there is an atlas sound cd playing in the car. this is the part of the movie where music plays and we are friends and we are happy. megan suggested that we come up with some argument, that we get into a fight to make our liveblogs more interesting. i said “that building looks like the head of a penis” and pointed to a building. megan said that our fight could be about how one of us didn’t think the building looked like a penis. we said other things too but i have decided not to include all of the things. i said something about how this is like debate class, where you have to pick a side even if you don’t have an opinion and you have to fight to prove that you’re right. the argument thing kind of fizzled. this was friend time in this car and no one could destroy friend time. megan wrapped a scarf of ashleigh’s around her face and i wrapped a scarf of mine around my face and we went in to pick up that kush kush. ashleigh stayed with the car running, like it was a kush robbery. we got the kush and then we got in the car. we all had identical (identacle) smoothies (blueberry, kale, banana, almond milk) and we all finished them before we went inside megan’s apartment.

 

7:59pm: we ate our ‘land of kush’ food at megan’s. land of kush is in megan’s neighborhood. i got live kale, mac n cheez, and ribs. the ribs don’t seem like ribs. i don’t know what the ribs seem like. we watched a ‘jeopardy’ and there was a guy named ‘seth’ who was on his fifth episode in a row. he was a big winner. but he didn’t risk much. i didn’t like seth. seth kind of had a smug face but he also looked like jack black. we also watched a little bit of ‘diners, drive-ins, and dives.’ drivers, dive-ins, and drines. i’m writing this part of liveblog on my phone. i wonder how julia’s liveblog is doing. i wonder if blake has started his liveblog. it’s cozy in megan’s apartment. it’s raining outside.

 

8:54pm: still at megan’s. megan has to poop. megan went to go poop. we’ve all been eating from a pint of vegan oatmeal ice cream. my phone is about to die. we’ve watched a couple episodes of high maintenance. that tv show high maintenance on hbo. this liveblog isn’t an advertisement for that show or hbo. it was just something we watched.

 

8:59pm: anytime i look at twitter or instagram i feel a restless sinking feeling in my gut. a lot of what i see is people talking about art, saying what they believe about art. that sounds kind of cool but i don’t really like to see this on these sites. maybe because it all feels snarky. people have an affect. people put on a little show. because it’s all in the form of little quips. i read the posts and there’s a snark voice in my head that irritates the shit out of me. ashleigh and i are on megan’s couch. and i am having dumb lazy thoughts about the internet while she’s watching the hbo show.

 

9:03pm: megan returned and said ‘i had a big poop!’

 

9:31pm: scott texted the pepp 4chan chat an instagram ‘article’ about the world’s oldest surviving condom from the 1600s.

 

9:53pm: sitting on my couch now. we just got home from megan’s. i checked the mail before we went inside. i always check the mail. i’ve always been a mail checker. it’s one of the highlights of my day. the only problem is that our mail gets delivered to the porch of the apartment below us. so i have to go on there porch to see if we have any mail. the people who live below us don’t check their mail and it’s frustrating because i have to sift through the box all of their bullshit mail to find my own mail. and i can tell they feel strange about me going on their porch to get my mail. today i got an update on a friends’ wedding. they want to hug us in person, it says. it’s not going to happen during the pandemic. ashleigh texted megan and i just now that one of us should include how megan said that banksy reminds her of incubus. consider it done, ash. consider it included. ashleigh just ran a bath and put some eucalyptus epsom salts in it. i think i can smell the eucalyptus from the living room. it’s been rainy all day. ashleigh said she only likes it when it rains in this city at night, she likes the way it makes the streets look. when we were at megan’s we flipped through so many hbo documentary options and it felt like that was the documentary. the documentary was a documentary about all of the documentary options. there were many documentary options. 

 

9:57pm: i can hear ashleigh’s duolingo francaise app going. she’s learning french. i forgot to mention that earlier when we were all three in our apartment, we did a five minute arm exercise together. we also talked a lot about reading rainbow and how we loved reading as kids and that it seems like it’d be hard to get really into reading as an adult if you didn’t like it as a kid. like learning a new language. because when you’re a kid and you’re reading, you’re not really thinking about it (if you like it), you’re just doing it (nike). i made some joke about how the reading rainbow theme song is capitalistic and that it sends the wrong message to kids. writing it now, it seems like one of those “you had to be there” kind of jokes.

 

10:01pm: “butterfly in the sky, i can go twice as high” okay? the first line of the reading rainbow theme song is someone talking shit to a butterfly. just googled the lyrics to the reading rainbow theme song. the song was by chaka khan, didn’t know that when i was a boy. here are the lyrics: 

 

“Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high

Take a look, it’s in a book,

A Reading Rainbow!

I can go anywhere

Friends to know, and ways to grow

A Reading Rainbow!

 

I can be anything

Take a look, it’s in a book

A Reading Rainbow

Reading Rainbow!

Ooooooooooh”

 

10:05pm: i like the last line of that song. “Ooooooooooh” i think i’m gonna go hop in the bath with ashleigh. the bath sounds comforting. i like the bath.

 

10:35pm: got out of the bath. put my boxers and tshirt back on. sitting on the couch again, typing this into my laptop. when i initially went into the bathroom, asheigh said that tammy had had two servings of “puppy soup.” “puppy soup” is a term that comes from my childhood. when my mom would take baths, our dog (lucinda) would come up to the bathtub and my mom would cup her hands and hold it up to lucinda’s face and she would lap at the water. so then whenever i would take a bath i would try to give lucinda “puppy soup” too. it sounds gross now when i’m writing it here, but “puppy soup” is a pure thing and tammy is continuing the tradition. i lied earlier when i said i put my boxers and my shirt on. i just put my shirt on. i’m still wearing the towel. going to put the boxers on now.

 

10:40pm: put the boxers on. i heard a splash and ashleigh laughing. possum fell into the bathtub. this happens sometimes because tammy and possum like to walk around the rim of the bathtub while we take baths.

 

10:41pm: ashleigh wants to show me what happened so i’m going to go see what happened.

 

10:56pm: ashleigh showed me how possum fell into the bathtub and his back paw landed on her thigh and then she lifted him up and set him next to the tub. i went into the kitchen and had a glass of baltimore tap water and took 6 “wellness” pills. these pills are good for me because they make me think they are making me feel better. i’ll show you a pic of the ingredients. i’d think it was a scam but the ingredients are natural things that are good for you. 

 

10:58pm: went into the bathroom again. handed ashleigh a towel and i flossed my teeth and brushed and used a mouthwash that dries out my mouth and is painful. i think i’m going to make tea in a little bit. i don’t like the dry mouth feel. i might watch a movie by myself. ashleigh said she’s going to go to bed early because she has to talk on the phone with someone about their short story tomorrow. while i was typing this possum was chewing on my shoelaces, so i threw a small pillow at him but he kept chewing, so i hissed at him, but he kept chewing so i had to get up and pretend to chase him away but when i got up he just ran away. i’m either going to watch a movie and read a short story or just read.

 

11:02pm: going to go put the water on and take the picture of the wellness pills.

 

11:08pm: put the water on and got in my old navy thick pajama pants. now i’m charging my laptop in the laundry backroom place. here are the pictures of the wellness formula:

 

11:31pm: made some “extra” sleepytime tea. it’s extra because it has valerian root in it. i brought ashleigh a cup of tea she’d put in the refrigerator. we pet on possum for a while and it seemed to relax him. i read somewhere that petting a cat lowers your blood pressure but i don’t know if that’s true. i’m in the back/laundry room typing this while my laptop gets some sweet, sweet juice. brad texted me: “how’s friday night in baltimore” and then “you guys watching sad ass movies or what” this is in reference to a time he texted me and i said i felt kind of depressed and then later he asked me what i was doing and i told him i was watching kramer vs. kramer. i told brad about the liveblog solidarity project and he texted back: “cool” and then i told him the title of the post and he texted “hahaha” and then “this is how we get thru quarantine”

 

11:37pm: just exhaled loudly for no reason. going to give this laptop some space to absorb more juice.

 

11:56pm: i can hear the johns hopkins security guards now. i can hear one specifically. i hear him every night. he’s a big boy. his voice is kind of funny to me. he talks so loud to whoever he’s with. i can’t even hear the other person. i wonder if the other guard is thinking “man why is he talking so loud to me?” it seems like the guards always have drama or something they’re complaining to each other about. one time i looked out the window and a guard was sitting on ashleigh’s car so just for fun i took her keys and pressed the ‘lock’ button and it made the car beep and i saw the guard jump up. i think i’m gonna read the next story in that dixon book right now. the next story is called “layaways.”

 

12:08am: we’re into the A.M.s now. now we’re cooking with gas. ashleigh just brushed her teeth. i’m on the couch again typing this. haven’t read “layaways” yet.

 

1:36am: finished reading “layaways.” i liked it a lot. a lot happens in the story and it’s only about 14 pages. it’s about a mom and pop shop that sells men’s clothes in the city, but they have a problem with robberies. i started to type up a whole synopsis but it was butchering the story. here’s the last sentence of the story: “Some days we go to the two graves in the plot for eight I bought thirty years ago and that’s the only time we all just hold one another, the kids not understanding it too much, and say some prayers from a little book the cemetery provides and cry and cry.”

 

1:41pm: before i finished reading the short story i brought ashleigh her phone and kissed her goodnight and told her i love her. she had fallen asleep watching some historical documentary on her laptop. she loves to watch historical documentaries. i put the kittens away in the bathroom. they have little beds in there. if we don’t put them away they cry super early in the morning or play really loud around the apartment and wake us up too early. so i throw treats into the bathroom and they hunt them down and i turn out the lights and shut the door and they eventually go to sleep. sometimes i hear them wrestling and fighting in there, but not too much. i took one nyquil tonight instead of two. i’m on the couch typing this. for a while tonight i had the reading rainbow theme song stuck in my head but it’s gone now i think. i don’t want it to come back right now. i can hear the johns hopkins security guards. 

 

1:46pm: goodnight.

 

◊ ◊ ◊

 

Megan Boyle

MAY 8, 2020

 

11:57am: oh shit, nice, i’m making it in before 12pm. pepperoni 4chan group chat is liveblogging today and joey is putting our liveblogs on the nervous breakdown. this morning i woke around 11. i spent a long time trying to remember my dreams and rolling around, having light memories of the text conversation i had with person before bed last night, and light ‘daily planning thoughts’ + ‘romantic fantasizing about the near and distant future’ + ‘functionally worrying about job and personal life that seemed to propel my daily planning thoughts’

remember giving myself permission a few times to go into ‘extended rolling in bed’ mode, after realizing i had no plans for today, other than my usual self-administrative puttering + to take a walk with joey and ashleigh probably sometime tonight

i changed from pajama shorts to light sweatpants and the cardigan i wore yesterday and made coffee

forgot we were all liveblogging today…

sat at desk and texted with group chat about whether we wanted to liveblog today or not. joey and i each said we would’ve preferred to start ~9am

looked at texts from person, who had a dream about me last night. i dreamed about him too. before we went to sleep we agreed to try to dream about each other. i just texted him what i remembered of my dream. it seems like there’s a little loophole between two of our dreams, where he could’ve entered the world where mine took place

damn feel a little inhibited knowing this isn’t just for my liveblog

12:11pm: what am i going to do today

damn so much happened yesterday and i barely updated

feel like ‘this is the worst possible day for me to be liveblogging’ but i like sticking to what we all agreed on

maybe this exercise will kick up my consistency with liveblog

don’t get big dreams though boyle

when you start looking for external factors to bring about some internal change it’s never good

it never works

some examples: moving to new places, going on [drug] to taper off of [drug]

there are other examples but i get the picture

12:14pm: WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO TODAY is archive the liveblog so i can start posting on here again, work on luxury email, run, walk with ash & jojo, prepare and eat a food at some point

feeling a bit scattered…like…how am i going to…lol no don’t start thinking stuff like that, just do your stuff

joey just texted ‘i’m balls deep into mine’ (his liveblog)

scott just texted that he is flaking because he has some other commitments, ‘but i say get that butt’

juliet just texted ‘no / you do what i want you to do’

this is fun

i texted ‘lol / it’s cool re flaking / we will all get the butt’

juliet texted ‘no it isn’t’

scott texted ‘leave me alone juliet’

juliet texted ‘ilu and it’s ok / even though i hate it when i cannot make you do what i want you to do’

i thought about saying something about the acceptance prayer on p. 449 of the big book but i couldn’t think of a funny way to make it lighthearted and it’s never fun when people tell you to look at p. 449 of the big book and i don’t really have serious thoughts about juliet ‘not accepting scott’/this is just a lighthearted dynamic and yes there could be a joke in there about p. 449 but i’m half-concentrating on the group chat conversation itself and half-concentrating on typing it and THE OTHER HALF??

lol

yeah there are about 3 total halves so far today

when i feel distracted i don’t feel like ‘my whole entire unit of attention is split into smaller units,’ i feel like ‘different whole attention-sized units are added to my whole entire unit of attention’

12:39pm: lots of texts in past however much time has passed. oh man person is fucking loaishdldsfhdsklfhsdlkjfh hahahahahahahaha i can’t say all my…shit. why can’t i say all my feelings about person? wait i remember okay i will someday though

this is gonna be a big one…already is…for me…

okay let’s structure the day boyle come on

OPTIONS:

-archive liveblog

-post this

-run to joey & ashleigh’s

-walk/hang

-come back here and do a food prepare (or maybe eat with the gang?!?!?)

THREE FACTORS THAT SURROUND THE TWO OPTIONS I WILL SELECT FROM TONIGHT:

-i have been wanting to write about yesterday and i know i’m in the crucial moments before cresting into the zone of irrelevancy…on the drive home yesterday i was thinking ‘i want to have just peacefully let this day happen, appreciated it for what it was, it was so fun’ but then remembered that if i didn’t write down specific things that happened my long-term ability to vividly remember the day would decline

-i would rather focus on the luxury email because it feels important for me to get that out to person

-the idea of updating the liveblog with increased frequency today is adding another unit of attention to the other things that i’ll be using my attention to do later tonight

okay i’m just going to get started on archiving

1:25pm: looked at clock will update soon

1:36pm: i’ve archived march 17 – april 17 so far. forgot i didn’t update april 17. damn. don’t get down on yourself for not updating. i think a big factor of why i haven’t been updating is just…the format…like i type all of this in a pages document, sometimes i email notes from my phone to myself to paste into the pages doc, and the spacing gets all weird when i repost on tumblr, and it takes for fucking ever to space it out the way i want (which i have to make some sacrifices about too, because the delay between key presses is so insane on the massive tumblr page with ~157,000 words and lots of pictures and 5 videos on it).

so basically, it’s just been a hassle to update, from a formatting perspective

but now i can actually type on the main post and see the text appear on the screen right after i type it

think you’ll be seeing some more of me

also i’ve missed posting videos, i’ve been wanting to do more of those but the 5 video limit has gotten in the way

okay great

this seems boring for anyone but me to read, and a little boring for me to read, but you know what

that’s how the damn cookie crambles

time for you to slurp up those crambs

last night i texted person that i wished i could do a butter knife thing to the ketchup bottle of my still-not-here period

‘crambs’ made me think of that

he said ‘slathering’

just laughed lightly through nose

alright back to the unpaid freelance self-serving data entry part of my day

this isn’t a job hustle day, it’s okay, i have mild guilt about it but it’s okay, i can do that tomorrow, don’t get caught up in the guilt vortex boyle you made your choices now stick to them it’ll be fine you’re serious and you do things you say you’ll do now and you have proof that you do that so there’s no reason to doubt your intentions just do the damn thing like you know you do the damn thing blahbalhablah

2:31pm: FINISHED ARCHIVING THE SHITS

OH MAN

I CHEATED THOUGH…I CHEATED…

i hadn’t yet uploaded yesterday’s pics. there are over 20 i think. i had to put them all in manually/one-by-one. then i wrote a little paragraph below them ‘as if from 9:11pm last night’ but actually now

so

wait, actually, this is good, because now that i wrote a little about yesterday i have one less ‘other factor’ to add an attention unit to my base attention unit tonight

‘writing about liveblogging as i’m liveblogging’ were some of the things i chose to delete from 2013 liveblog when editing it into a book

2:39pm: listening to ‘payday loans’ by these arms are snakes. i used to be so angry haha. it might not make it to the final draft of an autobiographical mix of songs i’m making for person. he’s making one for me too. as of last night it appears both of our ‘master lists’ are ~5 hours long. this is so fun. i spent a lot of time compiling songs/listening to things and feeling nostalgic for all these funny times in my life yesterday.

2:43pm: now ‘let your heavies out’ by hella is playing. okay i’m going to write a little thing above all the pages i just archived, and update liveblog with what i’ve typed today. i feel energetic and a little restless. might also just be the song

damn i feel so free not typing in the pages doc…just…typing onto tumblr…

2:46pm: ‘non-threatening’ by the ladies is now playing…this used to be what my cd alarm clock would wake me to every day…haha…so many attention units today

fully stacked units

time to run some of them off

ate some brazil nuts/honey and dried mango earlier

2:50pm: before i commence ‘running + joey ashleigh walk’ portion of day i want to make sure there are no broken links or mislabeled pages in the archived pages. it’s just going to drive me nuts all day if i don’t do it now. it’ll take 15 minutes max probably

2:52pm: oh, christ. looks like the embedded videos aren’t loading. not gonna worry about that now

2:56pm: i can’t get march 25, 2020 – march 28, 2020 to link to the correct url, some temporary thing keeps loading even though i enter this (without the s after http too): https://beethoventhemovie.tumblr.com/325328

already starting to get irritated and task…oriented…like, already wielding the sword of justice, getting ready to terrorize myself with help articles from unknown domains with lots of unclose-able (but mute-able) pop-up video ads that were last updated 12/18/2014 or something

but i don’t really want to do that

i’m aborting the ‘check links’ mission

3:05pm: a former coworker (the one who lied about having tech issues) who also got canned texted to see if i’d want to work customer service at a similar financial publication where she was just hired. to that…i am thinking…hm

i am thinking ‘there is no chance in hell’

nice that she offered

megan and scammy financial shit doesn’t fly

texted joey and ash that i was going to take a quick shower and get into running gear and be over

3:11pm: peed and ate <5 bites of thai curry i made the other night and it tasted so good that i almost cried a little. it was like i was about to give my oscar acceptance speech for feeding myself

i’m hungry but not that hungry…

it’s a good curry but it’s not that good

think this is related to pre-period

come on freaking period slather down on me so i can get to the knockin boots part

no it’s fine i’m really in no rush

except a little rush

who doesn’t like fun

okay with that in mind, it is shower and run and fun with friends time

3:41pm: it’s a ‘takes a long time to navigate physical reality’ day, which basically means that for me…i like…end up in rooms i forget why i walked in until i walk back to the previous room where somehow it’s like i left my thought that got me in the next room, and then the script picks up again. or i’ll get caught up in staring. sometimes my eyeballs freeze in place and it’s kind of nice. i don’t know anyone else who this happens to, and people are usually like ‘oh my god that’s so scary’ when i describe it. but it’s really nice. it’s not the kind of thing where some amount of mental effort wouldn’t be able to un-freeze the freeze, i just sometimes land in an ‘eyeball freeze’ and i let them coast there until they’re ready to hang out. i don’t let it happen when i’m around people unless i’m really tired

3:46pm: alright alright alright time to go

it’s raining

shit

eh run in rain it’s good

will the pals still want to *walk* though i wonder

haven’t checked phone in a bit

we are riffing about bob dylan and ali da in group chat…scott said bob is like the mohammed to ali da’s jesus

i really don’t like bob dylan’s music hahaha

but i appreciate him like…you know

you know

whatever

some songs okay

gotta go see ya

3:52pm: just texted the gang that I left I’m joggin new headphones are better feel boring bye

4:12pm: taking first walk break at 28th. This is the mostly uphill route, last time I breaked ~23rd st. Am almost there. Feel much better now after sweating out my oldies

4:15pm: I gotta shit something fierce lol oh no thought I got it all out

Was gonna run rest of way but I’ll just uh..,I’ll just take it.,.one step at a time here

‘Take it sleazy,’ I thought

When I was depressed sometime in last 4 years I watched most of the show ‘the good place’ and was charmed by Ted dansen’s character

Without giving too much away, he is some kind of evil demon who at one point wants to be human, so he can ‘do human things, like say ‘take it sleazy’’

4:18pm: there’s wet all over my phone I’m at ash & joeys

4:20pm: stretching under stairs

Damn I went fast today

Felt like I was sluggin tho

4:46pm: took pic of possum at the king’s table and one of ashleigh smelling tammy’s belly

image
image

5:46pn: currently taking a break to liveblog with Joey (who brought up how it’s sometimes annoying to type an update after having not typed for a while and accumulating things to type about). We’ve been sitting in the living room drinking tea and figuring out what we’re going to eat and talking about other stuff. Felt like it’s took me forever to comprehend the menu

Joey said ‘I’m done my update’ as I was typing ‘comprehend’ and I said ‘I’m almost done’ as I finished typing that sentence

He just said ‘Tammy’s doing slow licks’ lol

We have all just laughed about how cats lick themselves in a sultry way

6:45pm: in car now. We’re gonna pick up vegano land of kush food

6:50pm: I pronounced ‘cook’ like it rhymes with ‘spook’

Said that it’d be funny if we had argument for liveblog

We’ve proposed some things to argue about and it’s not sticking which is fine and good

8:55pm: have just been eating and hanging at my place and watching tv. I had to poop really bad, kept wondering if that was going to come up. I’m in bathroom now, tcb. Man. I don’t talk much about pooping or peeing in here. But here it is. It’s a real doozy, this one. Something of underrated value is having friends that you can poop around. I mean I wouldn’t poop…around them…like in the same room…but…there was a period in my life where I probably would’ve opted to

9:28pm: sat at computer & just emailed phone updates to myself. joey and ashleigh left a few minutes ago. forget why we started singing ‘the general’ by dispatch in exaggerated voices as they were leaving…it’s a joke…i think we started singing it in new orleans or maybe this summer sometime. whenever it was that ‘the general’ came about, part of the joke was imagining someone who would use the lyrics for ‘the general’ in an epigraph for a book

at my place we watched a little bit of ‘guy’s grocery games’ while eating, then two episodes of ‘jeopardy,’ then we scrolled through hbo documentaries and commented on what we knew about what show and what looked good/bad for so long that joey suggested doing a documentary of scrolling through hbo documentaries. i like that idea. then we watched two episodes of ‘high maintenance,’ which ashleigh and joey had both seen and i wasn’t sure i was going to like even as i was sort of suggesting we try it out (i was just wanting to settle for something at this point), but i ended up enjoying it. just an engaging little well-thought-out show about people stories. reminded me of some show i remember watching in the late 90′s. felt just…calm…chill…a calm chill long hang today. ashleigh said it was a nice way to pass the time, and time went by kind of faster, and i agreed. feeling warm things about both of them. it’s so nice to be in my apartment after people have just left. i don’t have a lot of people over

hm

jordan nic ashleigh and joey are the people who have been here most

kate and mike have been over a few times

other friends have visited and stayed overnight: matt in early 2017, juliet in 2018, jordan and nic have each stayed here separately in 2018 and 2019 i think, juliet and scott in 2019, joey and ashleigh in 2019, zachery and re in 2019, alec in 2019

the four guys i’ve dated since 2016 have stayed but only one of them would leave after midnight or the next morning. the others stayed for extended periods

the feeling i’m talking about is the feeling after someone leaves who has only been here a short amount of time

when people leave after having stayed for a while, it’s kind of sad

but if it’s like…if it’s just been a few hours, it’s nice

like they’ll be coming back…it’s just part of things…the way things are…

9:46pm: have felt low energy and distracted all day today, not related to anything i can discern. at ashleigh & joey’s i mentioned how i hated waking ~11am and ashleigh suggested we do a five minute arm workout video to improve mood. it helped

9:50pm: ashleigh texted ‘for liveblog one of you please include that megan said banksy reminds her of incubus. i thought that was very very funny’

i already forgot i said that oh man

hahahaha

yeah he reminds me of incubus

another thing i just remembered about today is using a&j’s scale. i weighed 139.1 pounds. earlier in group chat i’d guessed i weighed 138 (scott had talked about his weight in funny way…feeling skinny then discovering he was, in fact skinny, then joey talked about his weight, then i did, then juliet did. i like that boys brought it up). think the last time i weighed myself was at work, and it was 147. i’m not trying to lose or gain weight, think i look optimal for me. maybe some more muscles/toning would be good. i’m 5′6.75″. every time i talk about weight i feel old neurotic gears turning, but they’re gears for an engine that is no longer attached to my mainframe, if that makes sense

10:16pm: typed some stuff i just deleted

10:24pm: feeling a little anxious. it’s funny, stuff like that really does come in when i’m…just…idle…i feel like i’ve just been idly typing, with not too much emotional involvement, maybe slight sleepiness. that’s when the stuff enters. i’m not going to type about what it is because that’s going to give it some fire

10:30pm: man maybe i’ll just turn in super early tonight. i’m feeling heavy eyes. excited to read other people’s liveblogs of today. juliet texted that she said she thought it’d be hard to keep this up long-term. maybe what i’m feeling with the consistency stuff lately is just…that…just it’s a kind of hard thing to keep up. i remember starting to get sloppy with my updates in may 2013 too

10:34pm: ashleigh is texting me peanut stew recipe when she gets out of bath, nice…have been wanting to make it since she mentioned…bought a thing of peanut stew from luxury grocery store with nic because some part of me has been fixated on ‘peanut stew,’ what would that be like

10:36pm: i’m interested in continuing liveblogging for the same amount of time or longer than i tried in 2013, because i feel like…well. okay here i am trying to control things. i feel like ‘because i’m sober’ i should be able to liveblog with more consistency for a long-term period. but yeah, who knows what’ll happen. i really get a kick out of doing it, i’ve felt renewed interest being here/doing this today, think this new formatting thing will help

the anxiety went away as i was describing 10:30-now

10:45pm: shit yeah i’m sleepy wtf

maybe i should run with this

thought about continuing until midnight just to have a whole day/to make up for gaps earlier today

i’m undecided

drinking water sitting at desk with red light on and orange light on in other room

11:12pm: showered in the dark for variety. felt soothing and spa-like. it’s never completely dark in my apartment, streetlights are always on, there are many high windows and it faces in a direction that gets a lot of natural sunlight. i have blackout curtains in my room, but most of the time one is twisted back to reveal ~15% window. i have a belief that the sun helps me wake. dark was hard for me as a kid, i needed lights on to sleep. sometimes keep a dim pink salt light on while i sleep but i’m trying not to lately. it was on while alvie died and i wanted to keep a little bit of the world with him in it here, but then the light burnt out, and now i just…i don’t know. i’m a little attached to leaving the light on sometimes

sitting in bed now. boobs hurt almost at max and i’ve also been feeling snacky all today, thinking period will drop tomorrow. man maybe also my distracted mood has something to do with body

11:20pm: oh man nice texts from ashleigh and person. have been sending goodnight and good morning texts with person, slow building of something, feel close to him

11:33pm: i could keep going until midnight but i’m gonna chase this sleep feeling. setting alarm for 8:30. ‘april’ looks like a typo. the month of april. it’s may now. but the month…of april…what a strange word…especially in the context of other month’s names. all the names of months are buggin. they just seem normal because i’ve always known what they are. but fuck. i mean. january? then why do we have these ‘embers’…september november december…but it’s ‘ober’ for october for some reason…fucking…march?!?! july after june?!?!? what are you trying to tell me man the fuck is this shit

goodnight

 

 

 

 

 

The Nervous Breakdown is an online culture magazine and literary community. It was founded in 2006. Our masthead can be found here.

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