times to remember

that’s the title of rose kennedy’s 1974 memoir.

at this point my biggest memory of times to remember is of the time i spent in the research room at the jfk library powering through the cassette tapes of rose kennedy’s recorded interviews with someone whose name i cannot remember.

someone who may or may not have been her ghost writer?

someone who definitely did not know to pause their question asking when planes flew overhead.

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your plant is reaching out, trying to find the sun [life-writing, 3 {being in time}]

Denis Petrov and Elena Bechke of Russia performing in the pairs skating event during the Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France, circa February 1992. (Photo by Eileen Langsley/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

i inherited a zz plant in may 2020. like all plants, so it seems, this one is billed by everyone on the internet as “indestructible.” and, like so many of the “indestructible” plants i have encountered in my life, it is clearly my unconscious desire to take that as a dare and kill this thing.

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i went down a rabbit hole the other day looking for viktor petrenko’s mid-90s exhibition routine choreographed to salt ‘n’ peppa’s “whatta man.”

this does not, apparently, exist on the internet. still. i have been looking for nigh on a decade and the internet has yet to provide.

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incredibly detailed but nonetheless vague scrambled memories stemming from silent lunch [life-writing, 2]

do you know about silent lunch? did you have silent lunch???

silent lunch. a punitive measure i’ve not even thought to remember in decades. something so stupid (or traumatic?), i’d apparently erased it from both my experience and my brain. 

but then a student mentioned it and it was like WOW. and now i’ve spent the last week asking everyone i know if they know about silent lunch and it’s like WOW.

what a bunch of boisterous troublemakers we must’ve been, to have had to be silenced, all us little kids.

(fashion is a journey, yo [1988?])
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I AM NOT WRITING ABOUT KIM KARDASHIAN

because i *am* writing about kim kardashian but i’m at that stage of the writing process where the writing is being actively avoided, not because it isn’t going to happen but because i’m waiting for it to become MAXIMALLY UNCOMFORTABLE so that i will have no choice, mental-health-wise, but to do it, no matter how hard it hurts.

i am waiting for the pressure to become unbearable, so that i might dive in with my whole heart and cerebellum and dig around in the blood and guts and brain matter and pick at all of the wounds. until they reveal the thing they are there for.

fun times!!! (this is the part about writing that i do not tell my students. the reality that the thing you most want to avoid is, inevitably, the thing towards which you are running at full speed and also the thing you are fated to do AND ALSO the thing that will most extensively shatter your being.)

the writing i am not doing is about victim-blaming.

i’m not doing it because i’m aware that writing about victim-blaming and doing the deep dive required to write about victim-blaming is going to really fucking hurt.

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my life with jackie, a pause/warped love letter(?) [life-writing, 1]

i would like to pause.

(2013)

because things have happened so slow and then so quick– slowly careening is how i’ve characterized it– and the book sold but there was no paperwork and it seemed like things were happening and there were public announcements shared publicly, but mostly i spent the last month wanting to feel excitement and waiting for everything to fall apart.

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scattered memories of challenger

what i remember is all of the adults in my life going into the den and shutting the door.

that’s not actually an accurate memory, as it was my mother and ann, our cleaner, and then, later, my dad. but that’s the memory. the adults in a room with the door shut and me, age 4 1/2, on the other side of it.

this was the year after The Year Everyone Died– my friend from next door, my mother’s grandfather, my father’s boss– so we were already, then, somewhat a house in mourning. or, at the very least, a house that had spent a lot of the previous year avoiding discussion of grief and death whilst living submerged within it.

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the pathos of jackie kennedy dolls on etsy, vol. 4, no. 1

this is a thing we historically have done so i’mma just dive right on in.

if you’re like DOCTOR ONLINE WUT EVEN IS THIS, i refer you to my rich seam of informal, doctoral-level scholarship on emotions and dolls: HERE.

ya’ll.

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my life with jackie, redux; or, on melancholy

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it is like a nesting doll, all of it. my life with jackie, my writing about jackie. so that when i read the pages i have written about jackie, the whole book i have written on her life, it unpacks a whole series of memories of my own.

where i was when i wrote that sentence.

who i was sitting next to at the british library when i found that quote. (invariably, always, obviously, nanette.)

what i didn’t know was about to happen when i was in that archive.

the feeling of the wind in my hair and the blue blue sky above as i walked home after wandering round the yacht.

it is her life and it is mine.

they are, by this point, so braided up. Continue reading

11/22

typical, i’ve a strong sense of occasion and nothing really to say. 

today is 22nd november. 

58 years ago, the woman i’ve spent the last 18 years writing about was sitting beside her husband when he was shot by a man using a mail order rifle (retail = $19.95).

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