Or: a zine & some gorgeous friends to celebrate with
Or: Part One of Incredible Change: Inauguration of a Community
When you give people 48 hours notice that there will be a pizza party on a Tuesday night, you don't imagine anyone will actually come. When they do, you insist on taking polaroids of each of them. These are them, and a bit of a story about why one throws a Tuesday evening pizza and beer party (other than the obvious: because YOU CAN).
For the first time I paid attention to the sales on Virgin. Less than a hundred dollars to visit my brother in Portland. IN. But I was relatively broke. I'd have to stay with him. Which turned into his girlfriend's basement. Without clean sheets or a towel for the first few days. I didn't wash my hair for almost a week. I wore all black, wore pants, and reveled in the fact that I was a stranger in a city where I knew no one. I went to college parties. I pretended I was 20.
In the depths of the sadness I found myself in over the last year or so, my brother and I wrote letters to each other and we sent them in the mail. I stopped being his mom and he stopped being little, and we talked real life. When I got to Portland we talked more, and from his room in a dark wooden house he brought up a moleskine journal, in which he had transcribed some advice we had chatted about a few years ago. Line for line, with breaks as I had written them, he handwrote my advice to him. If only someone had said these words to me when I was crying on my floor. If only I knew what I had always known.
As I sat alone in a cafe in Portland re-writing the advice I had photographed from his journal for myself, I saw the end of a poem he had written, clipped in the photo. It was titled Will You Be My Electric Blanket. My jaw dropped- how beautiful. If I hadn't already felt alive with creativity, it was certainly running through my veins now. I bought art supplies to take back to the house. I had made a list of pieces I needed to make. I started making them. I woke up from dreams over the next few days with notes I had apparently jotted in the middle of the night. I started thinking of the short stories I had written.
It was my last full day in Portland and we were talking while the rain poured outside and I made art at the table. What if I made a zine? Derek's eyes lit up. He's always wanted to be published. He had this poem, he said- I'd like it- it was called Will You Be My Electric Blanket. OF COURSE. Holy shit, of course. YES. We were going to do this. Now. And within the next few weeks, it just happened. We made a zine. We talked non stop, emailed and chatted (I) frantic with the urgency of making it happen before it was lost. I flew him here to fold paper with me.
There might be many blog posts over the next few days about everything that happened next. But first, the zine. WILL YOU BE MY ELECTRIC BLANKET has started the journey beyond the boxes in my bedroom, and the next few issues are already in place to be amazing (with your help, which I'll tell you more about soon). Until then, here are the faces of some of my closest friends who came to celebrate on a Tuesday night with less than 48 hours notice, to have pizza and beer and be the first to hold the zine they helped inspire. There were others, incredible friends who either had plans or live in faraway lands, but they were here in spirit, and they're locked in the meaning behind the zine. You know who you are, and I love you. I wish you could have each been here for my speech, as I stood on a chair and was *actually* funny- there were tears. And absinthe. And cigars and STORIES... and some pretty astonishing beauty.
More very soon.