I decided to stop talking about the guys I go out with because, well, 1) I have to stop treating real live people like Barbie dolls in my somewhat fictional world; and 2) how am I ever going to have a romantic life if people think I’m actually this character I’ve created to deal with things the actual me doesn’t care for? I mined that already with past characters. But it’s a bit of a cannibalistic life to process things I’ve actually been through and turn them around into work to pay the bills. Which brings me to point #2.

I went out with a Mexican-American dude from Texas who also happens to be an editor at an online magazine. First, he said we couldn’t talk about music because that was his job and he just was tired of talking about it. And then we couldn’t talk about movies because homeboy did film before music and he was exhausted about that too. What he could do was talk smack about certain publications. I mentioned that I would do creative nonfiction and think pieces but not as a career.

He said something, which at the time made me feel embarrassed and self-conscious. “The people who actually do that for a life hate their lives after a while.”

“Yeah, it’s cannibalistic.”

“They wouldn’t appreciate hearing you say that you’d just dabble in think pieces.”

I felt vapid. So I quickly tried to excuse myself or correct my prior statement or not squirm out of my seat. He made me feel opportunistic and petty. When in reality, I’m just trying to figure shit out and I don’t know what I want to do. All I know is this is what I’m doing now.

But if I could say something, it would be, “Hey, you pretentious fuck…” but really it’s like, why even bother? I’m not on a mission to set anyone straight. Which brings me to point #3.

It has been repeatedly proved to me that what I need in my life is less straight men and more of the gay variety. In the past week or so, I’ve met kindred. Real kindred who love aesthetics the way I do. Beauty in itself can be a goal. Not like bullshit Instagram tutorials of eye makeup. But like actual beautiful things that are so romantically tragic they make you gasp and then break your heart. Like that picture of Dita Von Teese in Marylin Manson’s arms, draped in yards of purple silk taffeta. After all, nothing breaks like a heart.

And last, I’ve been doing some decorating. My bedroom is starting to look more and more like the rococo haunted mansion I envisioned. Yesterday I complained about the lighting fixture in my closet, which looks like it was bought at Claire’s boutique, at which point it was made abundantly clear that, “No, Vene, not everyone complains about the chandelier in their walk in closet.”

But the bathroom! Oh! Quelle horreur! The lighting. The tub of death that is so hard to get out of, I’ve embarked on praying a novena every time I take a shower. I decided that what Joie and I needed was something that would put back the fun in cleaning fundio.

The end result was this:

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