9781612481364-1I met Lori Horvitz several years ago at an artists’ residency, where she was writing this book, then tentatively called “Dating My Mother.” She read the title piece, about her recent break-up with a woman whose eccentric restaurant behavior rivaled that of Lori’s mother, who once responded to a bug in a bowl of soup by saying, “It’s pepper. Just eat it.” The piece was sad, not only because it was about a failed romantic relationship but because the mother in the title died young, when Lori was in her early twenties. I was moved by Lori’s struggle on the page to disentangle herself from a dysfunctional way of paying homage to her mother by unconsciously choosing to date women who resembled her.

mount rainier TNBWhen I first read drafts of your book, you were still thinking of a title. Rollercoaster. “Terrible title,” you said. Dyke Aching. You sent it through Google Docs and I chatted with you. After a break, you were writing again and it was feeling good, raw. New.

Sometimes when we talk it’s like neurons synapsing – we’re going through texts, emails, voice messages, Skype, Google Docs.

“Love it. I love when Finn says ‘I’m a small little animal?’”

“Here’s a link to this John Prine song.”

“I’m drinking a beer with my melatonin.”

“I so suck at letting things go.”

Where are you and what are you doing right now in this very moment?

I’m at the airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’ve never been here before, but as it turns out—this is an amazing airport! It’s comfy with lots of outlets and interesting coffee places. I have a three hour layover before I go to Oregon, and I just finished eating an egg salad sandwich and an orange and I’m drinking drip coffee and making myself stop procrastinating doing this interview.

 

You got an egg salad sandwich at an airport? That’s disgusting.

I know! I thought about that! But it ended up being really good.

The Trance Dance

The first week of working at “the New Age camp,” as I referred to it, entailed lots of bonding exercises, standing in circles, and playing embarrassing getting-to-know-you improvisation and movement games. Most of these games included hackey-sacks. My co-counselors taught classes like Cloud Gazing and Magic Cards and Live Action Role Play and Acro-yoga and Hula-hooping and Make Your Own Moon Cycle Pad and Radical Menstruation. I taught creative writing and counted the days until I was leaving.

During the second week of camp, after the teens had formed close friendships and either felt very comfortable at camp or very homesick, we had something called Girls Weekend and Boys Weekend. The boys and girls were split up and didn’t cross paths from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. On the agenda was a matriarchal linear circle, a power shuffle, and a sweat lodge led by a man named Medicine Bear. But what kicked off the weekend was the most daunting of all: The trance dance.