by Monica Heisey
I got my first asymmetrical haircut when I was 8. My mother was in the kitchen, reading, and I walked in with a pair of scissors. "Fuck you, Mom," I said, as I sliced off half the hair I’d grown as a protest against traditional masculinity. “Fuck the whole world.”
My mother doesn't understand me, still, to this day. She doesn't understand my smoking, my drinking, my casual drug use, or my biting and contemporary parody Twitter accounts. To her credit it is impossible to truly know anything. That, like how to make a bong out of a bottle I found in the garbage, is something I know.
One time I was in an orgy.
I always dream of a pen that would be a syringe. Derrida said that. Just as Foucault once said “You know, I thought I’d be hungrier since I had such a small breakfast but it’s 2pm now and I feel fine.” The two thoughts seem unrelated, but those things we presume separate occupy an imperceptibly similar space, not the same but not un-same, wearing their difference as a shared identity. This identity-as-difference is shifting, soft, like a woman's body after cunnilingus. Like the word a priori. I’ve had sex before.
I woke up hungover again. I felt I should work, but did not know how. A pen is a syringe is a penis. None of them worked, and I thought about them constantly. The weight of the free market pressed upon me; I lit a cigarette and thought of death. I pulled on a robe and felt guilt and shame and something like pride. I read in public for hours, just hours.
It’s impossible to say what is and is not true. “The truth” as idea is more fictive than fiction. The faceless body in my bed this morning had a name when we’d fallen into bed together, I was sure of it. Now she was nothing, less than nothing and more. I loved her and wanted her to leave. It felt Real in a meaningful way, full of meanings, truth-meanings. She asked me to text her and her nails like talons tapped in a number I would not save. I threw my phone in the river and got five tattoos.
Sometimes I feel so liminal I think I’m going to explode.
All art is a lie, but so are a lot of things. Mirrors. The Internet. Free Will. Real Love. It’s nothing but words, words, words. Hamlet said that.
To understand a work of art is to fuck it, deeply, making the vulnerable mewling sound reserved for women under 25 you don’t respect but can really be yourself around. To read-fuck a book is a process. “If I read a book it’s because I want to.” I am like Barthes in that way, in many ways. I own five hundred Moleskines.
Between my own words and the pills and the cloud of undefinable dark there is not always room for another work. To write is to suffer and die—death by injection (the pen thing from before, think about it). The process is poeisis.
Anyway, I did not get around to reading it but the book seems fine.
Monica Heisey is a writer and comedian in Toronto. She is on Twitter: @monicaheisey.