February 28, 2012

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve practiced my Oscar speech? A long ass time. Like most, my practice mainly took place in a bathroom. There was once a time where I, acting as my famous alter ego, Ms. Natali Beunes, thought it’d be a good idea to walk the red carpet in a terry cloth gown and subsequently imagined various paparazzi commenting on how flawless I looked.

“Ms. Beunes! Over here! Who are you wearing?”

“Oh, this old thing?” I’d say, “It’s from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.”

I’d imagined accepting for various projects, tailored my speech for each paltry idea that had set up camp in my brain at that time. Camp Counselors doing it, crazy sisters murdering each other, angsty retellings of plots already hashed out to the death on E.R… I was going to be fucking rolling in it. I wanted to be so famous that I couldn’t have a decent meal without swarms of adoring fans coming up to me and begging for a John Hancock.

I had everything figured out. I was going to be happily married to a tall, dark, and handsomely goateed fellow named Steve. We’d have a set of twin girls who were well adjusted artistic angels that played piano like Martha Argerich and danced like Marianela Nunez. I would walk every red carpet in a fashionable frock and give an eloquent speech that brought the room to it’s feet with an explosion of applause because…. THEY LIKE ME, THEY REALLY LIKE ME!

The more I write, and the more I get past the masturbatory honeymoon period of the creative process, the more I accept that you really have to have an enormous amount of self hatred to put words on paper.


Because writing is hard. Writing involves recognizing all of your bad decisions (which most of the time you feel are your best decisions) and figuring out how to kill them dead. Writing involves working through the pain of being stabbed in the heart long enough to let your characters breathe a little, and become aware that you’re the one holding the knife in the first place. Writing is realizing people don’t always say exactly what they mean, and exactly how they feel, or exactly what YOU mean, and exactly how YOU feel.

Actually, the more I think about it, writing kind of sucks.

In my past lives, I’ve touted that I would one day be rich and famous. People have asked to be thanked in my speech, told me they thought I was talented, and that they saw me on the stage. (Hopefully in something more regal than a rolled up bath towel). I don’t even know how to respond to that now. Before, I was like, “YOU KNOW IT!” and added everyone into my already hour long thank you note.

I can tell you this: even though it’s been years since I’ve pictured myself stumbling down the aisle in heels that were much too tall for my petite untrained frame, if I were more broke than I am now (HA!) I’d still have a little book with all my stupid words in it.

As much (and as often) as writing sucks harder than a million dollar hooker, I’d be destitute without it. Words live in my fingernails. To say otherwise would be ridiculous.

Sidenote: I wrote this at backspace today while I was sitting next to a dude who compared all of his writing to parts of a meal. He was like, “Sorry we can’t talk anymore, I have to go cook”. All he had to his name was a bicycle, a backpack, and a ten gallon bucket. He freestyle rapped for me before I left and he was pretty good. SHOUT OUT dude– if you’re reading this, you’re awesome. Don’t stop cookin’.


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