This post was originally published on This Girl Called Automatic Win in 2008.
I boarded this year’s cruise intending to embark upon a professionally productive week — I’d NETWORK! I’d WRITE WORDS! I’d make VLOGS with strangers — funny bright-eyed strangers, musical strangers! I’d create a business plan & finish Orlando & lead book club, & eat a foster child & figure out what the eff I’m doing with my life & get a boombastic tan & take freelance work on the ship & blog daily & Alex + I were gonna finish the website and we’d all have Important Meetings About Important Ideas.
I know — “Riese, you’re crazy, no one wants to do that much work on holiday.” But see, I LIKE doing work on holiday. I don’t even really believe in vacation, I believe in “wireless, only elsewhere.” I struggle to resist the mating call of my work (which sounds, p.s., like chicken) while galavanting.
But um … so, I did … not a whole lot … almost nothing I said I’d do … which is … amazing. Some small accomplishments: shooting photos & making a short video of it, some reading, attending of worthwhile performances, thinking & drinking & memory-making .. embracing the warm of my friends moreso than in prior years when I focussed on promising strangers.
Thinking About our Recent Cruise Vaycay to Fabulous New England and two different parts of Canada!”
Our First Team Honest vacation! All of us together, and I mean a lot of things when I say “honesty.” All kinds of coming clean, and each of us to our own ’08 Evolution Tour.
If I had a dog, I’d name it Revolution.
If I had a cat, I’d call it Retribution and sneeze on its face.
If Tegan & Sara were my neighbors, I imagine they’d do sweet things like bring me a cup of flour for the cookies.
Alex said; “I’ve never had a group of friends like this before where it kinda really does feel like a team. Like each of us offers something that no-one else can do, performs a unique function,” and I said, “you know, that’s true,” and maybe that’s how it stays a dynamic dynamic.
Haviland goes back to Los Angeles tomorrow. We all go back to our lives tomorrow, or shortly thereafter.
I spent eight hours cleaning my room today. I’ve got about eighty more to go. I think I have too much stuff.
So I guess honesty means a lot of things — whether it’s giving up a fairy tale or another kind of tale (redemption, illusion, boundlessness) in favor of fable, accepting help, re-inhabiting the skin, taking initiative or choosing life. Even if choosing life means you’ve got to endure a seemingly unbearably painful heartbreak first, or fall/grow, or work way harder or drive far far away or accept medical solutions or throw away crutches or kneel and reel. Start being polite, and make it real. Meet Everyone’s Someones; the mothers and the ghosts.
There’s this surface you’re skating called happiness. The poetic stuff’s down at the ocean’s bottom. There’s a lot of sharks down there, and jellyfish.
So then there is a way to learn to swim when you start to drown. ‘Cause you’re on this boat, and the only thing that matters is that we’re all outsiders, beyond that, I want slabs of cheese, cheese on crackers …
Also! Also. Also. Honesty’s realizing that life is never gonna get better, it’s just gonna keep going how it’s been going — bad, then good, bad, good, etc. — no matter what we do about it. So we might as well just make out and wait for the next joke. And read books. Trust me! It’s the most important thing you can do while on earth, besides kindness and commenting.
Oddly, I look kinda bear-ish in this photo.
I’m like “I’ll eat your children, hug me, rawr!”
It’s BEAR WEEK in Provincetown, p.s.
I took Tinkerbell out to the pool deck & its crowds on Day Two ’cause she wanted tanning & a chance to show off her new outfit. So then Caitlin took away my Tinkerbell privileges but I found a new prop (clearly having my own feelings is out of the question, I must project and DANCE!), inspired by Little Edie in Grey Gardens — american flags! Christine Ebersole, who played the role in the Broadway musical of the cult documentary, was there. So I did some flag dances like Little Edie.
So a lot of people were there — I mean, my friends, and our new friends, and also the Broadway stars. Here’s a list of some of the people who you may have heard of, and therefore will appreciate my insidery name-drop of their little names: Sheena Easton, Christine Ebersole, Andrea McArdle, Lillias White, Anne Steele, Brenda Braxton, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Jake Wilson, Ann Van Cleave, Haviland Stilwell, Craig Ramsey, Brian Nash, The Broadway Boys, Julie Goldman, Jessica Kirson, Ross the Intern (from “The Tonight Show”), Seth Rudetsky, Susan Powter and the cast of LOGO’s “The Big Gay Sketch Show.”
Every year I pledge to get it together after the Cruise. Plan for my life, which’s fundamentally ridiculous. Boat works ’cause your deep thoughts have a control environment (like in a science experiment), a blank slate to write on while looking ahead into the murk/stars!
Did I actually talk about the cruise? Does anyone care? Probs not. I’m so glad slide-shows have faded from popularity. Memememe fa so la ti DO!
Imagine ten slides. In eight of them, I’m running into walls & people, in one I’m recycling old vocabulary and in the tenth photo I look like a girl who could be okay with everything. The boat sees the tenth photo and because I’m on it, I see it too. Today, I flew home. Tomorrow, I will need to get groceries, no-one is bringing muselix to my door.
I don’t understand why no meal is even half as good as breakfast!
Did you see the article in the New York Times? So nice!
“”What makes humans human is precisely that they do not know the future.
That is why they do the fateful and amusing things they do: who can say how anything will turn out?
Therein lies the only hope for redemption, discovery, and–let’s be frank–fun, fun, fun!
There might be things people will get away with. And not just motel towels. There might be great illicit loves, enduring joy, faith-shaking accidents with farm machinery.
But you have to not know in order to see what stories your life’s efforts bring you. The mystery is all.”
(Lorrie Moore, “People Like That Are The Only People Here”)
[Although I didn’t tag the “horizon” as “horizon,” be well aware that much like my last post’s “hill,” that is indeed the horizon.]