jealousy is a disease and i don’t have health insurance

I am very mad about the writer who got famous from a Harry Styles fanfiction where she portrayed him as an incorrigible abuser who deserved to be made into a eunuch, not cherished or even lusted after. Here is the brief description of the upcoming MOVIE based off this fanfiction, because not only did its popularity lead to a BOOK DEAL for a series of EROTICA NOVELS (my dream!), but that fuckin’ hefty chunk of Hollywood change, too. Was she asked to write the script? I am sure she was asked to write the script, but I can’t bring myself to seek confirmation; the pain is too much already. 

“His past haunts him and the future terrifies him. He’s not perfect, but he is perfectly imperfect and he tries like hell, which is the most any of us can do. Hardin Allen Scott changed my life. I’m thankful for the boy with the tattoos that creeped into my head seven years ago and hasn’t left since.”

I hate this! I hate that! I hate her! That should be me! I live a fucking fanfiction! I am Helena, Alyxandria, Syn, Salem, the girl whose life changed forever after one unforgettable night at a rock show, the dreamy band guy’s best friend since childhood with some totally cool job like a tattoo artist who he, by chapter eight, realizes was the one for him all along! One false move from that boy and I will exploit him so fast for a couple extra book sales that he won’t have the time to pretend like he’s surprised! 

(Forever shameless, I’ll never apologize; I will go so far as to comment that I see no need to. I will cash every check I made off his fans with a wide, shit-eating grin because I could finally afford new teeth. 

“What made you decide to reveal the true identity of the mystery man you’re always alluding to in your writing?” my fourth interviewer of the day will ask from a well-decorated, staged sitting room in their 37th-floor NYC office, but with better phrasing of the question because I dropped out of journalism school long before we learned how to pose inquiries, but if they’re interviewing me, it’s a possibility that they did, too….

“Years of profound disappointment,” I’ll answer, my face revealing nothing, no influx in my tone.)

Tired of waking up everyday to no movie proposals from Netflix executives in my email inbox, I have been submitting my pieces to literary magazines and the process is growing a bit dismal. I have yet to hear back from any of them, but a waiting period of a couple months is to be expected. 

“This all sucks,” I told the same goddamn stupid mystery man that I am always alluding to in my writing. “Every part of writing sucks except for… writing.”

I like to talk to him about my craft because it makes me sound serious, committed, dedicated, passionate, blahblahblah, which I am, but I feel as if I have to reiterate it for him to believe me. I am under false pressure to prove to him that the hours I spend hunched over my laptop are not wasted shopping on Wayfair for cabinets (of kidnapped children to print off my essays for me because I’m lazy and my printer is demonically possessed): I’m writing, working, I swear! It’s not like I even need him to care much about my “career”; my boyfriend, who I discarded a week ago, was far more involved, and he is probably spending this very moment forcing himself to think bad things about me to expedite the necessary hatred required for moving on in his life…  “Hope she’s having a great fucking time talking to that fucking chump who doesn’t give a shit about her,” he’s probably grumbling, and he’s right: I am! It’s surely more fun than browsing literary magazines!

“What don’t you like about it?” mystery jackass asked to be polite. (He’s learning after I have incessantly chastised him for only actively participating in conversations about the gripes of his own creative processes. How are you today? Oh, I’m fine, how’re you? always works as a simple, standard, polite greeting that I thought we all adopted early on, but I was wrong.) 

“Every time I find one that says it only accepts GRITTY, RAW, FRESH, ORIGINAL, NO-FLUFF BULLSHIT, and I go yes, that’s me, baby! Then, I read their most recent issue, and it’s all the same story that I’ve read 400 times before about someone’s last car ride with their father before he went to get out to cigarettes and never came back in 1995. It always ends with them receiving a confessional and apologetic letter from him in the mail 20 years later, as if one receives letters from their long-lost deadbeat dads… They get Facebook messages, duh…. Anyway, my point is that I feel like I don’t fit in. Writers are all so pretentious and I don’t take myself that seriously.”

“If we’re being honest, every artist should take themselves seriously. I think that’s one of the biggest keys to success.” 

Oh, fuck, I thought: I accidentally allowed him to think he’s uncovered the reason why my Amazon royalty checks for two-month periods are never above $20 and I have 1/16th of the Instagram following as the last model he’s fucked. This was a mistake.

“Hold on, I think I used the wrong phrasing. I do take myself seriously. I know I am good at what I do, but most of my writing is comedic because I don’t take life that seriously. Everything is funny to me. I don’t give a fuck about the kind of things that these people write about.” 

“Well, find some magazines that cater to your style!” You’re depressed? Well, have you tried cheering up?

“That’s what I am doing, idiot.” I just have to read the same story about that fucking car ride that despoiled someone’s ability to love unconditionally as an adult because of a residual fear of abandonment from adolescence over and over again until I find one, and if that special one accepts me, I will throw my writing out left and right like it’s a PETA pamphlet at Warped Tour! I will spread it like herpes! If someone makes room for me, welcoming me into this messy and overcrowded world of words, I will invade everyone else’s personal space with a total disregard to how they feel about assholes like me for the rest of my life! Give me an inch and I will grab that mile from your hands! Your house resides on that mile? Better get a plunger because I shit a lot and some Drano because I shed even more and I’M FUCKIN’ MOVIN’ IN, BABY!

 ….Until then, I am stuck in limbo, writing bullshit like this out of obligation and necessity to silence the chiding voices in my head on what is supposed to be my “day off” from research, editing, and submitting… That’s a fucking joke, they snarl: You don’t have a job

See, wasting time’s ok when you have nothing to do; it feels light, casual, like something that’s supposed to be relaxing, but I have never once felt like I had nothing to do, and slamming my laptop shut did nothing to silence my internal team of micromanagers, so I set out to Barnes & Noble to pick up some literary magazines and get a grasp on what content they deem worthy (and probably end up tossing them out my car window once I’ve emptied my repository of sardonic comments and start repeating the same three that weren’t funny the first time). 

They only had four available, but 2001 was probably a better year for the magazine racks and people like me who prefer hard copies. I walked out with the newest issue of one of the more prestigious feminist mags, figuring it was as good of a start as any because women, in any field, are always grouped with, and pitted against, other women: these are my comrades, my “coworkers.”

This month’s content theme was “hair.” Those who have endured the most regarding that subject, and any subject — take a gander around at this shithole of a society — are women of color, so they were the majority of contributors. Well, shit, I thought: This isn’t my playing field and I’d be a dick to brutalize their particular style when sharing traumatic experiences that I did nothing to earn exemption from; no one gives a fuck about my hair because no one should give a fuck about my hair. 

If I had seen this particular submission call, I would’ve probably dug through my pile of stories to see if I have one about a drummer blowing their load in my hair and their dried cum flakes falling onto directly into my table’s dinner at work the next day; coming up empty, I would consider quickly penning about the one time I had sex on my couch and found a full nug of weed tangled in a knot later in the shower, dried it out on my windowsill, and smoked it the next day… All the while these women spent their whole life being ridiculed by girls who look like me until they gave themselves chemical burns to hopefully receive the peace and quiet of their classmates’ validation. They had real shit to write about. 

(I should have picked up a magazine that only publishes white male college students. I would’ve either had a ball with a bright red correction pen, guilt-free, or blown my brains out.)

You know what, though? The ladies that filled those pages had some fantastic voices; each had a compelling story to tell, and they told it well. Most were professionals with impressive credentials: experts, historians, professors, published authors. (One woman who was interviewed spent ten years researching and writing her book and every publisher she sent it to jumped at making her an offer, while I once asked my male followers on Instagram to give me an estimated spit-to-swallow ratio out of all the blowjobs they’ve received and only three responded. I tip my hat to her; she earned that bidding war.)

I hated the poems, but only because I hate poetry, having long ago dismissed it as garbage, metaphorical bullshit. I don’t want to have to spend hours contemplating what you meant behind your vague, hip, six word art that’s in the shape of an “X”; I have ADHD and your formatting gives me a headache. I would unintentionally snarl at someone who writes poetry if I were to meet them at a cocktail party that I should have thanked my lucky stars I was invited to and taken full advantage of the networking opportunities; if they were a man, I would snarl, roll my eyes, and walk away in the middle of the conversation. I would leave looking like a dick and my email would be removed from the automated list about weekly events, and I’d shrug when my agent asks me if I have a clue as to why this was so…. Did you do anything I should know about, Rose? Forget to tell me something, maybe? 

“Well, we were only supposed to have two free drinks and I had six. I was sly about it, though, and I ate four ham biscuits before driving home.” 

But I don’t even have an agent. 

My only gripe was a personal essay written by a girl a few years younger than myself. The story itself was a well-organized chronicle with the pathos applied just where it needed to be. Now, I have leniency towards young writers because I am a young writer and I suck, and the only way to improve is to practice, but I have a zero tolerance policy for unnecessary descriptors, and I spotted three violations in just the first paragraph. 

She was five when this story took place — that was established within the first few lines. Why, then, did we have to be reminded that her hands were “little,” her neck “tiny,” her legs “small”? Was it to reiterate what a shame it was that a girl that young was bullied until she begged her mother to let her get a relaxing treatment done to her hair? The strategy makes sense, but you already mentioned that you were only five; five-year-olds are small children; tormenting anyone, let alone a small child, over such blatantly racist bullshit is intolerable behavior. 

A sharp inhale revealed the stench of her scrambling to fill a word count quota, but one story in my most recent book is dialogue only, no filler, barely any scene setting, and based off an argument I had with a boy who accused me of talking too much about shit — and I don’t mean shit as a pronoun, but turds, poo, dookie, the real deal — so don’t listen to me because I’d never get into this magazine unless the editors are flies, though I am sure if I checked their archives, I will find an issue where every writer depicted themselves as far more formidable insects (with 90% of the submissions being a fucking praying mantis), but that’s still cooler than what that heinous woman did to Harry Styles. 

(…I’ll never get over it, obviously; jealousy is a disease, and I don’t have health insurance.)