Dear Crazy Writer Person,
So I’ve done this thing where I’ve spent the last three years studying and writing poetry. If you’re at UPenn getting a MBA, this makes me “crazy” and also “poor.” If you’re from my West Coast liberal academic family, this makes me “in California” and a “graduate student.” If you’re Liz Lemon or Jack Donaghy, this makes me “the worst.”
I’m not a crazy artist. Hell, I’m wearing boat shoes right now, and I just got out of the shower. (What I’m not telling is that I’m wearing only the boat shoes).
This is not to say that I don’t talk to myself. I live alone. If I didn’t talk to myself, nobody would.
I just don’t fulfill all the stereotypes, or even most of them, that people have for “artists.” For example, you should have seen the look this poet gave me when I told him I listen to “top 40” on the radio. It was a combination of “Who ARE you?” and “Back away, don’t you dare breathe Katy Perry on my shirt.” Because it’s catchy (catching?), and even he knows it. Then he sighed and I said “girl look at that body.“ (That link leads to Barack Obama singing ‘Sexy and I Know It’. Click on it. Now.)
But neither do most artists fulfill the stereotypes. Them being stereotypes and all. Still– they exist, and what’s even better, people you wouldn’t expect hold them. Like your mom. (And I just laughed, because I said “your mom”. Oh, poets! We’re such a riot.)
My friend A, who is super responsible and reliable (except she’s decided she wants to be a writer of rewritten Greek mythologies that explore contemporary women’s struggles (I know, what a flake, right??)), ran into this at Thanksgiving. She’d called her parents and left a message telling them when to expect her for the holiday. They never received the voicemail. Instead of calling to ask her when she was coming home, her mom told a friend, “Oh, you know that A! She’s my bohemian daughter! Who knows when she’ll show up! Today, tomorrow, an hour before dinner…I just don’t even try to keep track anymore.” That’s basically what people say about drug addicts.