Subtitle: youthful female madness in art/film/literature/culture, sexiness & suicide (an exploration) (how’s *that* for a salacious article title?!)
(journal entries 2020 & 2021 + small # thoughts 2023/24)
Paris Review trigger warning before Blake’s Molly excerpt:
“If you are contemplating self-destruction, please tell someone you trust.”
Question: Is suicide “self-destruction”? Or a conscious, active end to suffering?
Question: how do we know who to “trust” and why must we “trust” a person to tell them we are contemplating “self-destruction”? what is implied here? Isn’t the book Molly all about trust and knowing who to trust and why and the possibility none of us can trust anyone, really, not even/especially ourselves?
Question: can you be “sane,” not mentally “unwell,” and choose to end your life? Was Kurt Cobain insane? Suffering from mental illness? Alternate question: are any of us sane? Aren’t we all at least a bit “mentally unwell”? how to differentiate and what is the point of doing so regarding suicide? Is deeming the suicide “mentally unwell” perhaps a way to ease our own fears of jumping (as they say the fear of falling/heights is)?
Question: Would The New Yorker *today* take a story that ends (spoiler alert) w suicide as Salinger’s “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” does? Would they put a trigger warming before it if they did?
"Sometimes I think we’d all be better off regarding love for what it is: temporary. By either break up or death, love isn’t forever, so I don’t know why we should consider it a ‘failure’ when it ends. It’s all the more precious.”
-Molly Brodak, IG, December, 2019
January, 2024, a note: I asked Blake – one of my oldest friends in the literary world; I interviewed him previously back in 2008 for Hobart - via email over a month ago to do an interview for Hobart regarding Molly, the book, and, as always with interviewing authors, other q’s regarding the author/the writing of the book/etc. Blake agreed and so I offered him the first and most delicate question, asked as respectfully as I could, an important question, I believed, due to the exhaustive investigation into Molly and her frailties/failings as a human in Blake’s memoir, the airing of her infidelities, specifically. I asked Blake about the rumors/gossip I had heard immediately following Molly’s death regarding [UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOR] him and Megan (then-) Boyle (now-Butler) having had an “emotional affair” some months prior to Molly’s death. The rumor being that Molly had known of said emotional affair and Blake had put an end to it or cooled it in an effort to save his marriage or to appease Molly. Again, totally unsubstantiated gossip. I said to Blake I wanted to offer him the chance to publicly repudiate such rumors, if false, and/or to address if true, specifically, why, if true, wasn’t written about in the memoir. And I only asked, as I said, due to his outing of Molly’s unfaithfulness during their marriage as well as during her prior one in the memoir.
Blake never replied.
Widower/Window, excerpt of novel 2020, written in 2020, uncompleted:
“The tremendous world I have inside my head, but how to free myself and free it without being torn to pieces. And a thousand times rather be torn to pieces than retain it in me or bury it. That, indeed, is why I am here, that is quite clear to me.”
-Franz Kafka, diaries, 1913
“I am not meant for this monastery life.”
-Sylvia Plath, journal, 1959
The week began with the death of a friend’s wife. She didn’t yet know to call it suicide. She could not say she had known the wife. In fact, she was ashamed to think now, now that the woman was no longer living, of how she had purposefully kept the woman at a distance, not allowed them to be introduced to one another within the same room, intimidated with intention from the other side of the gallery. But was she ashamed? Or did she just feel this a proper response to the situation? Had the reverse happened, had she been the one found dead, would the woman, the wife, have felt shame regarding her? of course, this was an unfair question. Why should the wife feel shame, the wife had not been the one to intentionally intimidate the woman. ah, yes, that was her. she had been the one. And so, yes, her shame was warranted. But shame was such a selfish emotion to feel when a woman was no longer living. What was a better emotion, she wondered. Pity for the husband, of course. She felt pity for him. Empathy, perhaps, a better word. a truer description for what she felt. Forty-one and already a widower.
She sat in her kitchen chair, staring out the window. Widower. Window. There seemed some connection between the words but she could not make out what it was if there were.
She had not spoken with her friend in a long time. How long had he been married? That was how long she had not spoken with him.
Once, in this house, in front this window, her friend, the widower, had spoken with her. it did not matter what he had said. She could no more remember.
She sat and stared out the window thinking of her friend, the widower.
She found it hard to follow the words on a page now that her friend was a widower. Her friend was other things also: an orphan, bereaved. But was her friend even her friend if they had not spoken in so many years in however many years he’d been married?
They would not speak in the future, either, she had a feeling. Was a friend a friend if you know you would not speak with them in the future?
When was a friend a friend and when was a friend no longer anything but a person you do not speak with (anymore)? How to account for these slight differences in interaction. How to explain the motivations for muteness/the muting of a person once talkative.
She sat still in her chair. Outside the window small mammals chased and ran. If she could only know what they said to one another … these small mammals, perhaps it would help her to understand what wasn’t said between herself and this other human who no longer had a wife or whose wife had been taken or was missing.
It is not cool to make art of someone else’s misfortune.
But the widower was making art of it also. (the deceased wife had instructed him to!)
The widower could not help himself. The widower was first and foremost an artist. Even before husband. Even before widower. Even before son. Even before he looked out this window she now looked out of.
The widower was an artist and the widower’s wife had been [is] an artist and she too was an artist and is this then art?
The widower had belonged to the wife and still did and this was why they could not speak in the future.
There was another man she spoke with and the other man and she agreed to no limitations on their liberties. No limitations on their art, either.
The widower could not help himself, could not stop himself from making art even in his mourning and bereavement. Similarly, I could not stop making art in my own morning of mourning, in my own sort of bereavement, a bereavement born of separation not by death but by another’s decision regarding me. he has decided I am not a good person, after all. He has decided I am untrustworthy, a disloyalist.
It is disheartening, to say the least, to be accused of such crimes! But what can one do about it? protesting does not work. (I tried protesting!) nor does appealing. Nor listing for the person all of your better qualities, your happier memories. All forms of … are a waste and an indicator of unacceptance.
I needed to accept my fate: I was never going to hear from or see this person again.
The virus was only something incidental. The virus kept people away when they wanted it to and didn’t keep people away when they didn’t want it to. I wanted to not be kept away but the virus (and he) dictated otherwise.
2-14-22 [on edit: Molly died March 8, 2020; just abt start of my Coronavirus journal that was never meant to be a coronavirus journal but a journal of mediocrity; then Molly died/the virus hit/X betrayed me….lol]
thinking of Molly again this morning, a fellow Aries…soon, will be two years since she died, died (in part?) as way of not turning 40, a ghastly age for a female to be! … can you be in love w someone who is dead? Someone you ran from when they were alive? Someone you were actively shitty to?
I love you, Molly. R.I.P. I don’t know YOUR pain but I feel very acutely PAIN today…the pain of lost love… trying not to view it as failure, as you said, but acceptance of its temporariness…
We miss you, Molly. We ladies in the literary world…. we who were shitty to you or did not embrace you or were intimidated by you…
We are sorry. Or I am sorry.
I am trying not to glamorize your death in my mind this morning but it’s hard when the world has glamorized Marilyn’s and Sylvia’s and Kurt’s and so forth.
I can visualize the death bed scenes of all three of the aforementioned suicides… Marilyn’s mussed sheets, Marilyn’s mattress on the floor, phone in hand…Sylvia’s kitchen floor grave in front of the oven, ala a campfire, ala a Disney princess and a Disney sleeping potion… Kurt’s fisted hands, Keds, cigar box, angel dish blonde hair…
Were they all blondes? Like us, Molly? I just had that thought… peroxide blonde suicide… do blondes commit suicide more than other hair color? What a ridiculous thought on Valentine’s morning, noon, my third husband’s absence notable… he who left our Key West honeymoon to return to (circle one): drugs, his baby mama, all of the above.
We didn’t even have one ocean sunset photo. We only viewed the sunset from our hotel balcony, the one he said he hoped I didn’t fall from and break my neck… that would make a gorgeous death pose… the nature down below… water and weeds and so forth, greenery. Blonde hair. splayed limbs.
Go to sleep!
Go to sleep!
RIP, Molly Brodak. I’m sorry I only loved you after you were gone.
Monday, February 14, 2022
Been crying off and on all morning…. reading in bed and crying… maybe cuz
WINTER 2020 – THE CULT
“I told him I didn’t know what a sin was.” -The Stranger
“In every guilty man there is an element of innocence. This is what makes any absolute condemnation revolting.” -Camus, letter to former teacher
CAMUS SAID SUICIDE THE ONLY Q RE THE INDIFFERENCE OF THE UNIVERSE TO MANKIND and the only answer has to be no, to not commit suicide.
She once viewed suicide as an irrational impulsive act of desperation. Now she views it as the ultimate act of independence, of calm intellectual decision making. Of control. Deciding how and when you die as the ultimate act of self-discipline, self-confidence, of taking responsibility for oneself, the ultimate autonomous act.
It could be either, she realized: an act of momentary weakness and impulsivity or a carefully plotted/planned out end to one’s life by one’s own means, on one’s own time. without peer pressure, pressure from family, spouse, offspring. Rather than a room of one’s own, a death of one’s own.
This in opposition to her beloved Camus’s position on suicide. [something abt living life to the very end]
I woke with the heaviness of menstruation. I sat on the toilet and blood pissed out of me like urine. I shoved in two large tampons and adhered a maxi pad to my underwear. I went to the kitchen and ate an iron pill, drank some orange juice. My abdomen was swollen with the fibroid growing inside me. I bent over the mattress, scrubbing at the new stain. A model my age had committed suicide overnight. A vision of her scrubbing at blood on a mattress came to mind. The article hadn’t disclosed her means.
End novel w rejection of suicide, go off into woods w dog, alone, telling no one, burying phone along the way… the burial of a phone like the burial of a person…
Suicide is murder /gun violence. Me thinks tho doest profess too much (also hidden sexual arousal/glamour/…to shooting self, ultimate climax… your body splayed out in the grass…how much more poetic a visual can you get, your note flapping on the front door for him to find, sweaty from his jog…Netflix couldn’t hire a set designer good enough to come up w this shit)
TOLSTOY contemplated suicide many times, esp seriously around age 50, after many literary successes, children, wife, …still felt empty. (ala Kurt Cobain). Finally read Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount speech and turned to God for consolation for his empty soul/to fill it. (LOOK UP SERMON ON THE MOUNT SPEECH) (I STILL CONTEND WAS BETTER WHEN RELIGION – not actual opiates - WAS THE OPIATE OF THE PPL – BASIS FOR ‘THE COMEDIAN’ OR ‘THE COMEDY SPECIAL’)
NOT GNA SAY ANOTHER WORD ABT N. AND SUBOXONE.
BURROUGHS WAS ON METHADONE HIS WHOLE LIFE, WASN’T HE? WHO CARES?!?
6 months out from Molly’s suicide, in October…obsessing newly again…watching videos of her, debating using her fudge recipe….
now I have a crush on her.
but is that what it is
why do I feel this…love…or obsession with her
just for my art (gross)
I have felt this way about ppl I never met/knew…Kurt, …
But now, more time has passed, Blake’s essay published: and I despise her. for being emotionally abusive to Blake. For fucking w him/sadistic. Told him she loved him first date. Like a sociopath.
Maybe I’m projecting…future…mad at myself (re N.?). poor innocent BB and N.
He quit drinking for her
So she could leave him? in the most violent manner possible?
Blake re Molly: “[she was a] complex and hidden person in ways I didn’t discover until she was gone. Thinking about it makes me so mood-driven and overwhelmed, don’t know what to do but feel sick.”
(‘complex’ and ‘hidden’ like a murderer/serial killer, like Leopold and Loeb, into Nietzsche, et al, like L&L too)(too SMART in high school to be bothered to read…whatever the rest of her peers had to read; she believed herself better than others, but also had the self-loathing that comes w that belief, or is it something else, that others don’t recognize your specialness as you do? so you abhor others/society? make them pay by offing yourself?)
-End w “VOW OF SILENCE/NO MORE OPINIONS”… like monks… silence? Forgiveness….
X had sticky note above typewriter: NO OPINIONS. (in fiction/novels)
(she was reading, that morning,)Tolstoy (why do men always need ‘meaning’ in life in order to feel okay, why do they feel the need for themselves to feel needed – she asked herself; answer: ego. Women are raised to forget ego, if they are even taught the word.)(she thinks: he sounds like a spoiled, petulant child – Tolstoy!)
“is there a meaning in my life that will not be annihilated by the death that inevitably awaits me?” (narcissism of man)[shrug]
“Why should I live, why desire anything, why do anything?” [toddler]
(only man – not woman – feels need to invent god/a god! Women are used to, upon/since birth, feeling/being alone, to having no meaning, no ego, no reason for living.) (Tolstoy, of course, turned to Christianity, couldn’t bear to be or to feel alone, in the universe, purposeless, fatherless!) (men remarry w/in six months. women live alone 20-30 years) (men never grow up)(Tolstoy may have been a genius, in some sense, but he was an emotional child in another, in the way it matters.)
“how to think like a monk” book popular…led her to wonder if ego (in book says this is bad, to be avoided) of artist counter to peace/Buddhism…impossible to be an artist and be happy/free of want/free of ego. You must have the ego to create.
Molly – suicide as ultimate female liberation act – you don’t own/control me, I owe ‘you’ nothing; ‘you’ being child/parent/spouse/partner/society/friend/agent/reader/consumer of my art; good to know at any point I can liberate myself from your expectations/desires for me. suicide as means of leaving cult. Cult being ‘family/society/academia/friend group/book club/peers.’
Liberation from pain/expectation/feelings of shame/pointlessness/obsession with self/narcissism/inability to be good/person you expect me to be…
Pity for the suicide is misplaced pity; the pity – if it should come at all – should come when the person is alive, and in pain; after death/after the suicide has already occurred, the person is finally freed from pain. now it is your pain of which you speak/grieve/feel. Not the suicide’s. you missed his/her pain and can never now address it. that is part of your pain. now. in their absence.
Suicide as female liberation (from men); control
- a woman – ‘the wife’ – who made tiny miniature cakes/pastries. Redundant. Purposeful.
*decided didn’t want to be ‘elizabeth ellen’ anymore. to delete contacts…get new phone number, abandon email…whoever dies w most toys (read: books/publications/twitter followers) wins. John Lennon quote abt NO LONGER feeling need to put out an album every year (ala McCartney)….decide this all in lake alone, walk away….if no freedom of expression/creativity, what’s point? LEAVE CULT (END BOOK)
in 1990 and 2020 – same realization, alone, back to self, like Siddhartha (is Buddhism inherently selfish/nihilistic/narcissistic?)…
on wall in acupuncture office: “happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” [duh, SMW]
she thinks: have him. she thinks: I from the beginning rejected him, his idea he could not offer me a commitment of some sort… I laughed when he said this, so serious, with such earnestness… I did not want commitment of any sort. I was newly liberated. As was he. How funny, I thought, he seemed to think it necessary to mention to me, a woman…
she was uncertain, reflecting back almost a year now, what either of them wanted from the other….nothing. she supposed. How odd. Wanting nothing of a person. she saw no value in joining her persona to his or vice versa… she had told him she had no use for a commitment, she did not need money or a child or to feel an increase in self-worth or self-value; she was practically genderless in this regard. How many women would remain alone independent liberated free if they had needs met themselves, if they did not see the value of attaching the idea of another to themselves…
Age old q of suicide of married person….Courtney?
She viewed now her married friends, the female artists in particular, as not fully formed individuals/humans, not fully emotionally matured, as retarded or crippled in some way… in their need for….viewing man as increasing her value… as an artist.
But Joan Jett had no Kurt to contend w (like Courtney). Doris Lessing no Henry Miller (like Anais). To half her biography. To shadow her. v woolf had a husband of course but almost no one cares a wit abt him. be careful w whom you share a bed. he had accused her once, in anger, of viewing him as … haha she had laughed. Could he be serious? she had numerous books etc, he had one book, albeit a money maker….was this how he viewed his value vs hers? Abt the $$$ his art made?
Molly violently leaving Blake…still did not outshine him…now all eyes on him…she forgotten/her work forgotten…everyone looks to him to watch how he chooses to mourn, what work he puts out after…if/how he puts her work out…now Molly had no control over how she was portrayed…over her art…
A man had that control
Re her and her art
She had left a man in charge of representing her now
1990 – great gma dies….goes back to that Dayton house, remembers being 5 yrsold, in that twin bed alone, in the dark, adults downstairs, streetlight illuminating mirror across from her bed… her sitting up, talking to mirror as an actress being interviewed on late night talk show, her wittiness, her charm…
wanting a persona…
but in 2020 – she finds herself minor public artist…turns away from it… ala Chappelle…
did Molly do this as well….walk away in a more…violent manner?
Alone w self only peace, only lack of want (root of all suffering) only lack of hypocrisy (yours and others) only freedom of thought (not have to hide thoughts from others)
Like Chappelle, like Siddhartha, like Britney (shaving head)…journey of self discovery….
wanting anything re being an artist (to be published, to have certain review or success) also part of Buddhist thought of want cause of all suffering.
In early 2020, just before pandemic hit, had put cellphone in Ziploc bag in attic above garage, left in cheap hotels….as pandemic hitting…could still go to hotel? would phone get locked in there? Would hotel shut down?
-would she get covid from going back to retrieve phone?
A woman after menstruating ends… the traditional time a woman goes insane…
Molly ended her life just before she would turn 40…forever in her 30s…. childless… was this part of her point? Avoiding the cessation of menses? The invisibility that comes w the absences of womanhood? [clap clap]
at wit’s end, done w hating anyone/everyone
want to move to country and live in hills/river/pasture w nature/animals ala Thoreau/Walden woods…not share art/produce/publish
find a way to live as cheap as possible, as simply as possible. No internet. None of this bullshit. Deteriorating into judgment after judgment after judgment
-Molly’s death BB says on his social media, due in part to [the cult] tho he uses another name? university?
By VERY END of novel/”2020” – she rejects politics/morality both, fully and completely, refusing to be categorized or labeled or to do same to others, refusing to separate herself from half of humanity based on a label….all politics/moral claims are perverse/used only to judge others/to separate self from ‘other’
-only compassion/empathy attempted for everyone
-dead inside w/out N./punishing still/forever in mourning/regret/shame/waiting (like Gatsby) for his return/their reunion (Wuthering Heights?)
leave cult like going into witness protection. Have to leave all old friends behind.
LOVE AN ILLUSION/POISON as acupuncturist said (attachment/desire for things brings pain/disappointment)
Leah Remini said, of scientology but true of all cults: they believe they are the only ones who can and will save the planet. The only righteous/good ppl. The only ones who will stop for a car accident, to help save someone. (elite) (must try to convert others so they too can be happy/best selves/help others/save planet)
-but soon as you try to get out, *you* becomes enemy and others not allowed to talk to you. your best friends. pretend you don’t exist. Anymore. Ahem. Cough cough.
1st red flag re J (his dislike/disdain for Camus’s The Stranger, the narrator being a douchebag willing to help his neighbor physically assault his ex, he said)
Ways of dealing w wanting out of marriage/depression/restlessness:
Remembering late (sept/oct) 2017 – train (solo) to LA and drove back
2019 (March) drive to Key West (sans phone) and back (March Madness)
late (Sept) 2019 drive to Spokane and back.
had not, then, contemplated suicide …
(Mostly FRENCH) FILMS ABT YOUNG ATTRACTIVE HIGHLY SEXUAL ‘MAD’ WOMEN
Camille Claudel, Betty Blue, Unbearable Lightness…
All came out around 1990 and all three were essentially abt very young very attractive women who showed up at the door of much older men who they gave themselves to, sexually/emotionally, who couldn’t control their emotions (while the men always did control theirs) and ended up going MAD (even Tereza goes mad w jealousy) – two to institutions/death …
What were these movies, made by men, telling me, when I was 19/20 abt my gender and my gender’s relationship to the opposite gender, and abt female beauty and its correlation to madness? Molly…
Was this a male gaze fantasy? The beautiful sexual mad young woman? The ultimate ‘fetish’ never mind that the woman was in great inner turmoil/suicidal/mentally ill/ dies…
FRANCES [Farmer], also, had come out a cpl years earlier
Where are the movies abt men going raving mad? Young beautiful men? Sexualized for our/female’s pleasure?
Doesn’t June go crazy (somewhat?) in Henry & June?
Adele H, the Story of?
Everything, of course, was affected by the virus, specifically the isolation of the virus…. How different she might feel were she able to travel, to drive to Key West, say, as she had a year prior …
-“1990” is abt learning abt art/artists and trying to figure out what she is/wants to be….
-“2020” she is an artist/writer, of sorts, of some credibility, but her career was…by being put on a list, ….she is one of the ‘cancelleds’ … but she is still an artist. She has amounted to something. she is just not sure what that something is. any more than she knew in 1990 …
(reading letters Sylvia Plath wrote her psychologist after finding out Ted was cheating on her w a beautiful woman to whom he was crafting wonderful poems…killing Sylvia…Sylvia felt terribly ugly compared w this woman (she had no way of knowing this woman would go on to kill herself and her child!) … And how Sylvia realized men and women so diff cuz she still ONLY WANTED TO FUCK TED/couldn’t fathom any other man interesting or beautiful or smart enough to WANT TO FUCK. Only Ted. Whereas he could want to fuck hundreds of young chicks he was infatuated w… he also got mad at HER/SYLVIA…when he was the one cheating, so typical. The male guilt has to make someone else the bad guy. Also, Sylvia felt TERRIBLY ALONE. w the children. And no one else and knowing he was off w HER. IN LOVE W HER.)
THIS IS HOW IT ENDS
She spent the morning reading about the poet’s wife and the poet’s mistress, both of whom had written letters to other women about the poet in their last days before they took their own lives, expressing a disinterest in any other men, expressing only an obsessive need for the poet – specifically for the poet to fuck them - and feeling less than due to his seeing of a new woman, always a woman they felt was prettier than themselves. And she decided then that she would not allow anyone – any man – this power over her. She would not allow herself to feel less than. And she was angered with female friends who had suggested she was less than. Was this their idea of feminism?
What was seen by some (the man? her ‘friends’?) as a disadvantage – her age – was now viewed by her as a great advantage because she simply couldn’t waste the time caring (about this idea of ‘losing’ him) as she would have as a younger woman; she simply would not allow herself to give up the time she could instead devote to her art, the one thing over which she had complete control, at least as it was created – after that, of course, she had no more control over it than she did over him. But that was the exciting thing about both love and art – how you could control neither! – and he could not control her either. And that excited her, too! he could not make her continue to give a shit whether he texted her or not, whether he called her … Nor could he control what she wrote, as he had expressed an interest in doing during their last phone call. She was as free to do as she liked, to pursue people and projects, as he was. perhaps he did not yet realize this but he would! She’d be damned if she was going to be another in a long list of women who ‘couldn’t live without him’ or cried and begged at his feet. unlike the poet’s wife and mistress, she could imagine herself fucking another man. She could and she did!
If she cried any tears now it was only because of missing him and you could miss a person and still feel wholly yourself and unwanting to harm yourself and wanting only to better yourself and to work hard and many hours on your art. Still. While missing the person. the old friend. she would not abandon her art to dwell on him, on what he was or wasn’t doing. Let him do it! she had a choice in the matter, too, and her choice was to work! and her choice was to imagine herself fucking someone else, a man she had not yet met but would. Oh, it was all very cozy-sounding, to lie down on a mattress in your kitchen with your child or dog curled up beside you and drift into eternal sleep… she admitted, this sounded just about the most delicious way to go… but presently she had so much more work to do, so many more people to meet, perhaps even a man she would lie down on a kitchen mattress for!
Now that she was immersed within her work again, she had no more time to feel depressed or … or … she was, she realized, for the first time in weeks, months? Happy? Manic? There was a purpose, again, to her days, a reason to get up in the morning,
A liberated woman needs to take responsibility for herself, she thought. crying over a man or over your looks or over aging…are all a choice you make. No one can make you cry over a man. no one can make you take your life. Your life is yours.
Being a difficult woman had consequences too. the consequences of being difficult as a woman – ie saying whatever old thing you thought – was that many people wouldn’t like you and consequently wouldn’t talk to you or would pretend you simply did not exist. It would be too difficult for them in their minds for you to exist, you difficult woman, and so you didn’t. quite simply. But they too could take nothing from you. they could not seal shut your mouth any more than he could. They could not control your art any more than a man can.
We are all already free! All us women. But you have to be willing to take the consequences of that/your/our freedom. You have to be willing to stand alone, to go to bed alone. to publish your work to the clapping of no one. most people aren’t willing to sacrifice what is necessary for their/her freedom. Most people don’t really want to be free! They want only to talk about freedom, as something they might want. If they wanted it, truly, they would have it. what they want, instead, is recognition, what they want, instead is never to be alone, especially to never be alone in bed. Molly?
I realize I have never recovered from or been the same since 2014 ‘list’ w my name on it.
Good: sort of picture of Dorian Gray esque:
HYSTERIA AS CONTAGION/CONTAGIOUS (re Pandemic but also re him; should this open “2020”? Her friend’s hysteria/gossip?) (so that two things unraveling at same time: her idea of ‘love’ and the country’s idea of ‘safety’ re the virus spreading/everyone hiding in their homes…now she could not go to him even if she still wanted to/he still wanted her to….)
The thing was, she was realizing, the polite thing was to hide oneself away from society, as a woman of a certain age, as women of a certain age did in the past – Garbo, most famously. Yes, she would hide herself away (Molly!)
Oh, there were the women who attempted to deceive the public, other women and men alike, with surgeries and adjustments, implementations and injections [this was what had shocked her most to learn in Blake’s book abt Molly: that she’d had breast implants, lip injections, Botox, not that she’d had affairs!]…but always at some point, on some day, these did nothing, either, to disguise the undisguisable fact that she was aging/had aged, was no longer youthful, was no longer useful, then, to society… and it was perhaps more embarrassing, her trying, her attempts, her little surgeries, her minor adjustments…as they were just so terribly obvious, to everyone but her.
No, better to go off into the wood, so to speak, off to one’s hometown where one can languish and … in privacy, until the appropriate time, until God or nature calls.
That might be forty, fifty years yet, sure, but that was being a woman, a woman not of childbearing years.
How old was Vivien Leigh in Streetcar? How old was Blanche Dubois supposed to be?
Suicide, by a woman under forty, before she turned…. Was a gift to society! a community service.
How many women committed suicide while menstruating? Did the blood stop flowing out of them as they took their last breath or did more flow out after they were gone? Does death stop menses?
How old is the man in Betty Blue? What if Betty was his age or…ahem…even older?!? Her craziness wouldn’t be sexy any longer.
Same in Unbearable lightness. Age of Tereza vs DDL? She’s like a child in a basket, the author says of Tereza….every man wants a child in a basket (for a woman/lover) (barely legal) no matter how old they/the man is/are; human nature!
What if Sylvia Plath (or her friend’s wife) hadn’t died young? 30 and 39 (a cpl weeks short of turning 40! Coincidence?)…. Is dying/suicide the easy way? aging as a woman in society the hardest thing you can do?!?
All these visuals of beautiful crazy women: Frances Farmer, Camille Claudel, Sylvia, Betty Blue, Marilyn, Britney, Zelda….but if were 40/50 …. No movie. no glamour. To the crazy. Just crazy. Just old and ugly. You need the glamour to film. The idea of the crazy beautiful woman almost as appealing to men/society as ‘barely legal/Lolita’ . maybe the two biggest fantasies?
Only Tennessee Williams brought any glamour to aging mad women (and really they were all late 30s!!).
QUESTION: would immersing herself in reading about/watching movies about women who had gone crazy push her into a sort of madness, ala actors and the method acting, ala River Phoenix doing drugs for film and then OD’ing outside Viper room….
Or Heath Ledger acting so crazy (not sleeping, drugs?) to play the Joker, that he ends up ‘accidentally’ OD’ing also?
She didn’t have drugs, but she had alcohol and her own hands….was madness contagious? Could you will yourself mad w emulation? w/out realizing it til it was too late? Particularly in time of pandemic, isolation….everyone a shut in, recluse. The Shining…all work, no play….that sort of thing and so forth?
There was now the problem of sitting outside, now that everyone was home, due to the pandemic. In summers past she would be alone with her thoughts, her books, outside on her deck. Now neighbors on all sides were out weeding, talking, raking…
It was awful. She couldn’t concentrate on anything: her thoughts, the book in her hands….how would she ever find the courage to lie on the deck in her bathing suit once the weather warmed? She couldn’t wait for the bushes to fill in, the weeds between their backyards to grow/take over….
Do only insecure ppl stay in relationships?
Or are we the insecure ppl?
I had been likeable once, hadn’t i? tho I had had less friends then, when I thought I was likeable. Meekness isn’t likeablity. Shyness isn’t likeability.
How many friends did Sylvia have? I don’t remember reading about any
How many did Molly have? Ditto…
Does depression keep us unwittingly distancing ourselves from ppl trying to be our friends? for instance, S. calling yesterday…has prob texted also (I can’t know because not looking at any texts due to N so being selfish, bad friend in protecting my heart/hurt re N)
Too bad I kept Molly at distance. Maybe we could have been friends. instead of viewing her as competition re B/literary world.
I never really thought she was pretty/beautiful til she died and then I took the time to stare at her photo, now that she was no longer any threat to me. how sad. What a horrible thing to admit. Only an ‘artist’ would admit such a thing. I will prob read her books now, too.
Scalp on fire! Off and on since last hair appt.
Thinning/falling out hair?
Or going crazy thinking above?
Can’t tell (Molly, you avoided all this!)
becoming more and more obsessed with SYLVIA PLATH (4/7) as finish Bell Jar, download Ariel and three books abt her and abt her relationship w Ted Hughes…
is madness contagious? I read once that children living with the parent who is schizophrenic are 50% more likely to become schizophrenic….???? Environment?
Realized when Joan (character in Bell Jar) says she stuck her phone in a drawer, as she plotted out her suicide…. So like me RIGHT NOW. putting phone in garage and refusing to look at texts….
Can’t look at other ppl’s social medias w/out thinking them fake and phonies and hypocrites (this thinking is what ended my second marriage, I’m sure). Cynicism. Re ALL OF THEM. which I realize is dangerous. And dangerous to believe ONLY N can understand me. because when N goes, as he maybe has… I’m left totally alone. dangerous.
INCEL danger. And/or SYLVIA/Joan/MOLLY danger
I wonder if Molly was ever obsessed w SYLVIA (how could she not be?!)
This morning couldn’t help viewing my ‘art’ ‘writing’ as ‘mean’ and ‘narcissistic’ and ‘ugly’….i don’t know whether to embrace it even more or completely disavow it
Tho there’s no real point to the latter. Since everyone disavowing me already.
How did Ted Hughes live on….
I guess he had the earlier fame…like Tao…
not drinking is so much more depressing – staying neutral is so much more depressing, than having highs and lows. Idk how sober ppl do it.
Monday, March 9:
-DOW tumbles 20000 points
-I start a poem/letter to N re his letter…
-a text from C.: Blake’s wife, Molly, died the day before…how? Why? Poor Blakey! I couldn’t do anything for an hour but stare out the window. It was so tragic. So sad. So shocking.
Finally, I wrote N a poem/letter. And then another. it was the only thing I could do. I wrote abt digging his letter out of the trash, and of molly/blake. I wrote how before I found out about molly, I’d been thinking of him, thinking of an A. A. Milne quote.
And I thought of molly….and how it seemed like suicide…but she loved Blake so much, I couldn’t fathom her leaving him. after his dad, and then his mom, had died, in recent years. C. said she’d been posting manically on social media in recent days…maybe she’d had a psychotic break, a deep depressive episode. I feared this re N. I was terrified to check his wiki page - terrified of losing him
Blake’s second post: “Molly was my universe, my glow. The smartest and most deeply feeling person I’ve ever known. What kind of world fails this person. It’s not a fair question but it’s not a question.”
Ugh. I’ve not experienced many more tragic events than this one. poor poor blake. Poor poor molly. She must have been so distraught, out of her mind distraught, to have left blake like this.
Molly’s suicide. …how to or if should write abt a person’s death, in your art, because of how you’re affected by their death, in your own selfish, self-centered way, how their death makes you feel (vulnerable/scared)…
E. on Molly: “just pray for me” – Molly, in reply to E., day or two days before she died.
J. ‘triggered’ by Molly. M. and E. also both seem mildly obsessed with her, talking about her beauty, her cakes, her poems….her as a bit of an unreal person, as are so many on Instagram we don’t know. “cool. Aloof” “pray for me.” Full moon night she died…poem she wrote two months earlier w title Asphyxiation
Comparison of falling in love as a mental illness to panic of ppl in the country/world re the virus/pandemic: is love a panic? The word ‘pandemic’ has ‘panic’ right within it
Did Molly kill herself (at beginning: day one of the week) due to virus/panic/love?
Molly’s Instagram post:
one from early December, ‘19:
"Getting back to work gradually and had no plan going into this cookie but thought a lot about love…”
Her life already isolated/now whole country isolated also….how does that change or not change her/her life
‘he’- her love interest – is also already isolated. (institutionalized)
Watching videos of M talking abt her cooking venture/blog/business from two years ago…
Tried to reread dfw’s “the depressed person” and stopped when he included that the person had a support system of several friends to talk to because who wants to hear about that shit?
I think I more mean that I’d rather hear about the person who doesn’t have any support at all, or doesn’t know how to see or use what they do have and don’t know. His fictional story seems just ‘ok guy’
[except, of course, he died, too, the way your wife did, even w support]
Whole foods/Days Inn
Remember crying/crying/crying/sobbing on drive from WF to Days Inn and not wanting to touch face to wipe tears away due to coronavirus fears…. (why had I cried so much on Sunday and Sunday night….had I somehow felt in my heart what was coming Monday?)
Smokers standing outside Days Inn side entrance as I try to use my key to enter door
“you don’t need your key. There’s zero security. Door doesn’t lock.”
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Watching videos of M talking abt her cooking venture/blog/business from two years ago…
Feeling height of anxiety today so far….stomache/nausea/ anxiety
Lady gaga: “I’m not a receptacle for your pain. I’m not just a place for you to put it.”
Even I, now, am crushed w depression…..hard to do ANYTHING. Forced myself to take a bath. Eat. Doesn’t help it’s raining today and next two days…
ppl realizing true powerlessness (crying)
those who thought they could scream and be hysterical and get their way
NATURE (or GOD if you’re religious) reminds us constantly WHO IS IN CONTROL
“SAFETY” is non existent (like Camus’s “freedom” non existent)
UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING quote:
“Looking out over the courtyard at the dirty walls, he realized he had no idea whether it was hysteria or love.”
But maybe I AM a bad person? (as basis for suicidal ideation)
SATURDAY MARCH 21
Turned on NPR for 1st time since 2016 election or shortly thereafter…
Within two minutes they were dejectedly giving out the suicide hotline.
Reminded me of when I was on a plane flying into NYC in great wind storm and feeling sick but trying to keep/hold it together til the flight attendant came on and said, “if you’re feeling sick, please remember your sick bag located in the seatback in front of you.” it was suggestive…suddenly it seemed as though everyone around me was throwing up. I barely managed to hold it down. But giving out the suicide hotline number felt akin to that…like ppl barely holding on might now be like, oh? you mean it’s not weird to feel like killing myself? okay, I will then…
Quickly turned radio back to sports radio station
Still no TP
Phases: denial, acceptance, sad, anxious, depressed, upbeat, manic, … realized yesterday and this morn I was in a ‘sadistic’ phase.
Monday, March 23
Trying to reestablish my routine: walking dog, working upstairs (had been so many days I hadn’t come upstairs), taking photos of self, smoking/drinking in basement on occasion..
I am lady gaga (she had her heart broken by three men in a row, or so she claimed in her doc)
I am amy winehouse
I am (did Courtney love ever get her heart broken? I mean, other than her husband killing himself? Maybe after that she couldn’t love/ was ‘dead inside’ like N claims to be)
I am diablo cody
I am elizabeth wurtzel
I am alanis morrisette
It’s all a very interesting anthropological/sociological experiment: ppl forced home w their own children, spouses, …forced to slow down, introspection…
A reminder, too, nothing is within our control (tho even S. eventually found a way to feel in control “A.! Don’t open the door!”)
FIRST night back walking dog (after taking two off)
walked by sidewalk chalk art (first I saw) outside LGBT gay rainbow flag house:
“Enjoy your walk”
“Bad Axe, Climax, etc.”
-teared up, thought: “thank you”
-sobered up w drinking cold brew in tub, eating bread and olive oil
She was seated again in her leather chair reading with the dog in her lap when a noise outside the window or a flash of movement, she was unsure which, disturbed her and she turned to look out. A woodpecker was nodding its head at the tree bark. Another bird – also a woodpecker? – creeped up behind and the original woodpecker chased it around the trunk and then resumed its head-bob/pecking. What a strange creature, she thought. why shouldn’t all birds have such an ability? Why only one kind? It was hard to dispute the existence of a god when observing nature: birds and plants and trees and such.
WHAT ABT THE PAIN OF JOE DIMAGGIO? Loving Marilyn the rest of her years and then the rest of his, while she publicly fucked the Kennedys, bottomed out on booze/pills/men/him trying to save her, Od’d or suicide, alone at any rate, bedroom alone…he never remarried. Sent flowers weekly to her grave til his own death…
LOVE is the most painful human experience.
Then again, Marilyn’s face, the day she announced her divorce from Joe….the face I think of when my own heart aching w unfulfilled desires/self-loathing [now] due to the unfilled desires, the loss of, the isolation with the failed self. loss of affection. Loss of comradery. Loss of the most basic desire to touch and be touched by another person.
So here’s to you, Joe DiMaggio….[Lemonheads]
Couldn’t stop thinking of the Tyrant Books bag slogan (after Molly’s death): Double suicide or it’s not love….Bullshit
The realization they must now be facing: the world does not care about you or your children any more than it cares about a cockroach or an elm tree or a virus.
A virus fights for survival harder than you (probably).
Our lives hold no value to the world. we don’t care if the squirrels are hit w a contagion, why should they us? why are our lives more important than the squirrels’? they’re not.
Only acceptance of this will bring an end to your personal anxieties, your existential crises.
And now we know we have never really cared about the suffering of others. the starving and diseased children elsewhere in the world. we have only ever cared about our own children. Human nature. Animal nature.
How many ppl have to die of opioids, suicides, car crashes…?
She took some sick pleasure in watching the previously comfortable become increasingly uncomfortable. She had been in pain a long time.
This is how INCELS are created, she posited. (she hated that she now knew the term ‘posit.’)
you cannot simultaneously prepare for war and peace.
You cannot simultaneously (or can you?) be scared of the virus and actively suicidal (or can you?)
Days Inn – went to retrieve laptop/phone but card wouldn’t let me in room. had to go to lobby (ugh!) where five ppl were standing, trying to get a room, unsuccessfully.
Clerk pointed to where I was to stand, behind a white line, but I had to reach over to put my key on the counter, tell him it wasn’t working. And then he needed my driver’s license. And then he gave me a new key. I said thank you and began to leave and he was sanitizing his hands and said, “Don’t you want hand sanitizer?” I didn’t but answered I would wash in room (I did not).
X came over to check toilet, afterward sat at table and I stood six feet plus away and we were chatting and everything going great and I was thinking, oh, we’re finally friends, and then, apparently, I said the wrong thing, as he was telling a story, I said, “seems like you’re defending ---” or something and he said, “You know what? I don’t have to deal w this anymore” and got up and left. Abruptly. Wtf? Ok. Maybe if you’d ever once done that in our marriage…but also….what did I even do/say? after he left I shed a tear and thought: maybe it’s not everyone else. maybe I’M THE ASSHOLE!!!!
Sunday, 3/29 – Molly’s 40th bday
‘woke’ the most hungover I can remember. spins in bed in the MORNING. got up at 9 and tried to eat two waffles (couldn’t eat last two bites), and ate ice, and got back in bed til after 11!
Ppl arguing abt whether or not golf courses should be open
In Knoxville, TN three days ago they mayor said 9 suicides in 48 hrs, a troubling upward trend (more than Covid deaths there)
Lined drive w rainbow flags.
Saw/came upon 5 deer at end of walk. Two of them stood opposite us a long time. studying each other. Magical. Always. W deer. Why?
Wednesday, 4/ 1 – April Fools! We’re still in hell/lock down
C.: “that makes me mad at her” Molly re gun. when I told her. seems so ‘punishing’ too/of Blake. Violent. (tho I never really thought of Kurt’s suicide as ‘violent’ only heartbreaking/sad) (so maybe it’s a gender thing/ wrong to think it now, re Molly)
Blake never changed pinned tweet from his new book promo/release date…interesting.
Does being an ‘artist’ make us all narcissists and assholes? Or is everyone but just don’t have opportunity to prove it? (my theory that a moral person is just one w/out temptation/opportunity) (how could N ever be ‘good’ if good is monogamous when women will always be throwing themselves at him? whereas A didn’t have that to contend w … if he did, I bet he’d be sleeping w a LOT of women too, tempted into …being ‘bad’ too)
A ‘selfish,’ I apologized so many times, took responsibility, when has he?? Childish.
Is Molly punishing Blake tied back to ‘ownership’ (same w A re me, not replying for days…punishing me…); why do we think loving someone means owning them? if truly love someone, selfless act, that requires nothing in return.
When these ppl say they love you they mean they own you and expect something (devotion/sexual monogamy) in return. (but isn’t that the most narcissistic? And selfish?)
(can ‘romantic love’ ever be ‘unconditional’?) LOL
-wimbledom cancelled. Who cares
Back to depression…
Put cigs/laptop up on high shelf in garage
Put phone in garage
Feeling last three days that living now is ‘completely pointless” (most depressing days)
grey and cold again
staring at photos of friend’s late wife, realizing, she almost never showed teeth when smiling, and yet, ‘prettiest’ pic of her IMO is the one chosen for NYT obit
Reading The Bell Jar (finished The Plague) to understand how the novel works
Forgot how funny it is – Salingeresque. If Franny wrote novel abt herself, one reviewer said; agree
Monday, 4/6 – begin of third week at home?
Woke up feeling ‘jaded’.
What if some of us never go back to our former/old selves? What if we’re constantly OCD/hesitant to be close physically to others/work from home more and more/be ‘online’ socially more and more? ugh.
And how is Blake not now MORE DEPRESSED than Molly was? I mean idk. I can’t judge/know her pain. but his is pretty fucking knowable. Maybe if she hadn’t tried to be type A/present as perfect, someone could have helped her. if she’d tweeted three times a day abt her pain as Blake is doing… maybe….
Going to have to start smoking during day again! having anything to live for or look fwd to again!
How many XANAX scrips being written over facetime? Skype? Zoom?
GOT LADDER OUT AND MOVED TO OTHER SIDE OF GARAGE to RETRIEVE:
Had two cigs and laptop and watched Bojack last night. zero emails. I’ve created the world in which I think I belong: zero friends. heartbreak leading to total isolation. If he won’t talk to me, I won’t talk to anyone. If we have to be home alone, I’ll be ALONE. FUCK YOU, WORLD. (how am I *not* like Molly?)
But im not happy. I guess that’s the point. Ensuring I’m totally miserable. As a fuck you to a world that doesn’t give two shits if I’m happy or not. (why would it??)
Friday, 4/10/20 GOOD FRIDAY
(last night/woke middle of night, shortly after ‘falling asleep’ to nightmarish images/thoughts….felt scared for first time since whole quarantine re could I really go crazy? Considered strong plea to A to come over….but this morning is sunny and I feel way better and don’t want to have to beg/plea/make him pity me to get him to be human so….will try to be strong thru this time and hope it lets up sooner than later!)
Monday, 4/13 ‘Day 22’
Back to crushing/searing depression! Back to overcast/dark/cold/gloomy, back to the pandemic
Today I sat in my chair and read ALL DAY (from 10-5 or 6))
Felt so ‘bored’ of Covid and like I didn’t care at all abt the #s (of deaths); that they meant nothing to me. hearing them.
Keep thinking how Molly avoided all this too (along w aging/perimenopause/female obliteration!)(wish I would have been more mature/less female/friends)
TEXTS (Oct 14,2020):
N. “why are you depressed? Sorry talking to me doesn’t help with your depression.”
N. “when I’m not in a good mood/depressed nothing makes me happier than just hearing your voice.”
Tuesday Oct 13 – couldn’t stop thinking abt Molly. Or was it on Monday? Both? Been seven months? ordered her old poetry book. Her new poetry collection should arrive soon. Monday/Tuesday googled her and watched videos of her and stared at photos …
did I ever mention the young writing student who said he asked her about me and she said, “oh yeah, EE is badass!” and I sobbed, when I read his text telling me this? because of the guilt …. And because how nice it was of her to say that…. I would have said, of her, “oh, I don’t really know her…” or something equally shitty.
Why wasn’t I friends w her? we would have had so much in common…
But our distrust of one another as adversaries for whatever stupid reason…being female.
Thursday, October 28, 2020
Breakdown day (me!) lol
@ my acupuncture’s office…. Started crying…
I started thinking of Molly again…. why she did it…. I’d been thinking of her earlier at home, also, taking photos of myself for N, trying to find a way to feel ‘good’ about myself/aging/my hair/body….hating my fibroid/body,,, was thinking how suicide is taking control of aging too…
suicide is taking control of so many things. [or RUNNING AWAY from all of them] Your career… your body….your fucked up loves….
and then I opened my eyes. I hadn’t noticed before. but on the wall right next to me was a poster of a bonsai tree with the saying: “LIFE IS THE ONLY THING WORTH LIVING FOR”
As if it knew… I was thinking of Molly/suicide. Even if not …
In bed, again, she was overcome. Evidence of her own meanness. Cattiness. Pettiness.
last night she again felt the waves of guilt, pangs of self-reproach, reading a dead woman’s memoir. How mean she’d been to its author. Intentionally. Cruelly.
Her mind flashbacked to a night in ATL. Two nights. Maybe three.
Unnecessarily. She was a mean woman. Mean to other women. Women like herself. women with whom she had more in common than the men who separated them.
Nights she purposely kept away; sat on the other side of a room; talked only to the husband.
There had been no reason.
To shun anyone.
There was no reason to shun anyone now.
Blame the sea and ovens and handguns.
If you can’t ask a q, you are IN A CULT
All I ever do is hold my tongue
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Woke up thinking about molly and Sylvia and the comfort of an old fashioned kitchen floor gas bath…
What is the biological purpose of heartache in mammals?
I don’t have time to go all into it rn cuz I need to write one final poem for Nathan
There is always ONE FINAL POEM isn’t there
When I think of all the ppl who gave up too soon….
Of poor dear Molly…. She was just 39 and 11 months old…
She could have loved again/maybe loved harder/more
-reading molly’s memoir, seemed like she wanted to believe in Evil, in herself, in her dad, in bb?
-has anyone done studies on where female suicide victims were in terms of their menstrual cycle? Perimenopause/menopause?
we took turns yesterday reading aloud from blake’s molly excerpt at N’s house yesterday, and doing so is what brought us back together, intimately, holding hands, etc, our faces pressed together, the entire time…. it’s losing you/refusing to share you anymore…I fear more than anything…my love. Sigh.
Thursday, June 15th, 2023
It’s honestly too triggering lol/sob
The pain is so great, thinking of Molly (blake’s molly)….buying the gun, planning her suicide….sylvia readying her manuscripts…. The winter beforehand…
Drat! The lack of gas ovens!
My mother not teaching me how to handle a firearm!
Did molly get trained? Or does it require only youtube level training?
December 7th, 2023
at Workco, leaving phone here hidden over fridge in kitchen where no one will see, a week... avoidance repeating, reclusiveness as coping mechanism (ala Salinger)...
praying on drive back to house that Molly will be there (need to read Molly!!!). as pull in drive, see small amazon pkg leaning on garage door
pray pray pray as carry pkg inside house, open, ... sobbing. two copies Molly, sob... won't put down til finish.
January 8, 2024
If one more person tells me I’m STRONG im going to (i love you, Garielle!) … just to show them how wrong they are. No one is ever strong or weak. We are all just in any moment doing best to survive.
My husband is mentally unwell. Like molly. Like me. from our childhoods. Of neglect and abuse and abandonment. I love him so much. And I so wanted to heal you/make you well. have a normal happy life w you...
"Last year was a tough one, but i just have this odd feeling in my heart that 2020 is going to be better."
-from Molly's Instagram, New Year's, 2020