This Person Should Be This Way: A Real Girl
Finally, I finished Ms. Heti’s book. Ve-ry-in-ter-est-ing.
Last night T and I hung out with some neighborhood friends and I was talking to the lady, who is a famous food person and a lovely human who I really admire, and I told her she should read Ms. Heti’s book to help me figure this thing out. I described it to her and she made a look that said, Uh, I don’t think so. She said she doesn’t like books like that. She, like me, has little time for clever. Life is short!
And then we talked more and I explained that I am confused by all the play this book has gotten. I guess the fundamental doubt I have in myself shone through and she said, “Hey, you’re a big girl! Why try to like something you don’t like?”
So today I finished the book, ready to move on. And guess what? While this is not my favorite book or favored style or voice or anything, I learned something by reading it. Here are some highlights:
“Yet the sex started off so incredibly sublime! The dinners, the nights, the paintings, my beauty, his beauty, hers, theirs. At first, the drugs gave us a feeling for the sublime in nature and ourselves. When we took them, we expanded into a thousand pieces. Then it seemed like cheating when we already were in a thousand pieces, and the sex and the drugs didn’t expand us into a hundred thousand more or put us back together again.”
As I see it: all this seeking is for naught. We are always as we are, even when we have been expanded or contracted, due to various forces of our seeking. Which leads to:
“I made what I could with what I had. And I finally became a real girl.”
I admit it: I, like Ms. Heti, am on the prowl for reality, for the idea of me and everyone else that suits me. Like the reviewers say, it’s a narcissistic, neurotic, immature loop. But when it’s happening in your mind, it’s true. And hey, really important to untangle.
My next move is to write to Ms. Heti and ask her if we could discuss, not the book so much, but the real girl part.