Stories

Maybe If I RT Myself Some More, I’ll Feel Better – JM Dalton

“No one has engaged with your Tweet yet. Please check back later!”

*checks back later*

“No one has engaged with your Tweet yet… loser.”

 

Attention… please?

 

Nothing much, just burning daylight, wasting life, and losing followers

 

Feel disconnected despite constantly being online.

 

Fell into a zit popping video hole on YouTube.

 

give us each day our daily meds

and forgive our subtweets,

as we forgive those who subtweet us

 

Going to hire an intern to like tweets as fast as I post them.

 

I can’t even maintain Twitter friendships, much less IRL ones

 

I will unfollow you into the dark

 

I’m so vain, I probably think your tweet is about me.

 

I’ve clicked the refresh button for whole months of my life.

 

I’m sorry, Twitter

I never meant to bore you

I never meant to make you sigh

but tonight

I’m cleaning out my Tweet drafts

 

Is follower count the new dick size?

 

Checking my phone as if it might have notifications that didn’t reach my computer.

 

Keep opening new tabs, unsure what I’m searching for… possibly a “meaning”?

 

ME: I shouldn’t tweet on the weekend when everyone’s too busy fucking loved ones to read

ALSO ME: *continues to tweet all weekend*”

 

These motherfucking toddlers with 100k followers and a book deal

 

New kids on the feed

got a bunch of clicks

Donald Trump makes me sick

and I think it’s fly when a guy turns bi for the summer

for the summer

 

No, YOU’RE avoiding thoughts of them in a hotel by desperately spamming TV networks with unsolicited TV show ideas.

 

open tab

close tab

open tab

close tab

open tab

close tab

 

Part of the last generation to remember a time before internet.

 

RIP celebrity I never met

 

Shedding followers like dandruff.

 

Someone remind me of the German word for when you’re happy about getting a like. but you would have rather gotten it for a different tweet?

 

T he

W orst

I s

T weeting,

T hen

E xpecting

R etweet

 

the crushing disappointment of zero notifications

 

What I’d really like back is AOL Instant Messenger.

(Also, the last fifteen years.)

 

When you don’t know how to reply, so you click “like” and move on with your day.

 

 

Where can I download a dictionary of swears so my phone stops changing “shit” to “shut”?

 

Whoa, 6 retweets. Using my handy conversion scale, I see that these make up for 1.23 nights of not having a boyfriend. Only the rest of my life to go!

 

Ever get mad at the people you follow for not being entertaining enough?

 

Why can’t I order a life on Amazon Prime?

 

 

 

 

 

#writing #amwriting #dying #amdying

 

“Do you still write? You used to write.”

“Yeah, you know, sometimes, I mean, I work and all, you know…”

“So you’re a piece of shit now?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

 

 

[something self-deprecating and mildly amusing to mask the intense horror]

 

 

“I wonder if I would have better luck at writing sober,” he thought, loading another bowl.

 

 

As a kid I really thought I’d be Stephen King by now

 

 

Can’t believe Despicable Me stole the title of my memoir.

 

 

Can’t remember the last time I felt this discouraged…

Nevermind, I just remembered, it was this morning.

 

 

Do I have writers block or am I just empty inside?

 

 

Does everyone else feel like they’re shouting in an empty auditorium, or is that just me?

 

 

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Me and Were Too Afraid to Ask

 

 

For my state writing test one year, they asked about a time when I overcame a difficulty, so I wrote that I’d escaped from being kidnapped and locked in a basement.

 

 

Have always fantasized about writing a book that so convincingly argues for all my actions, everyone who reads it would understand and forgive me.

 

 

I can’t write anything by myself without locking up in fear, so I have to write haikus, acrostics, song parodies–all this derivative shit.

 

 

I can’t tell if the things I write are dumb or worthwhile, so I assume they’re dumb, and never publish anything, so others can’t confirm my worst fear.

 

 

I didn’t start reading at an exceptionally early age, but once I got going, I did (rest assured, all you early-reading-motherfuckers) advance reading levels quickly.

 

I feel like a fraud for having such a hard time writing a book when all the other writers I know are like, “OMG I just have to write or I can’t survive.”

 

 

I just wish LA/NYC didn’t feel as distant and unreachable as Mars, like the people who live there are from different, better species.

 

 

I keep writing shit, repeating

all the same sad stories and bleeding

hoping for a boyfriend band-aid

probably not what I’m needing

 

 

I miss when I was in middle school and wrote all the time because I had no idea how bad my prose was and thought I could write anything I imagined.

 

 

COMPOSITION

25% existential horror

15% television

40% please love me

20% OMG I hate myself

 

 

I sit on the toilet a lot, with the exhaust fan on.

It started out because it was a quiet place to read. I still read, but mostly appreciate the bathroom as a refuge. It’s the closest thing I have to a meditation room.

 

 

I still remember an Alvin & the Chipmunks picture book about daydreams.

Using only their imagination, they blasted into space. Nothing in the book (or in similar sequences on TV shows) indicated that the trip to space felt any less real than the rest of the characters’ lives. So, I thought daydreams would be like actual dreams, controlling all your senses, transporting you to wherever you imagined. Once my mom asked me if I ever daydreamed, and I said no, feeling ashamed, because everyone–especially writers–were supposed to be able to daydream. Since then I’ve obviously learned what the word actually means, but I don’t think I’ve ever stopped looking for a way to reach that living dream state. Meditation, hallucinogens, writing, nothing comes close.

 

 

I thought that writing was my thing

but I’m no good at finishing

my self-critic gives strict review

no work ethic, no follow-through

no ideas even close to new

this is about all I can do

 

 

I’m Bringing Melancholia Back

 

 

I’m supposed to be a writer.

All my teachers told me so. And I’ve been writing since elementary school. I never thought I’d get to 28 without writing at least one novel. Now I’d feel lucky to finish a short story. All I can manage are tweets and haikus, short and structured; a pitiful journal entry or pop song parody if I’m lucky. What if I have some talent, but am not a real writer? Shouldn’t a real writer be able to write a real book?

 

 

If I ever did finish a novel, it’d open with an apology for not being good; then the next chapter would be a character saying that apology didn’t let me off the hook for writing a bad book.

 

 

If only I were on a writing staff pitching instead of on a manic streak tweeting

 

 

I’ll never accept that “afterall” and “nevermind” are incorrect.

 

 

I’ll never achieve my dreams, but at least I can read interviews with people who achieve theirs

 

 

I’m supposed to be able to move to NYC after my first book is successful, but I’m a POS who can’t write anymore; no book, no NYC.

 

 

In eighth grade I would write little messages about how depressed I was, but only in acronym form.

Example: At the bottom of a worksheet about the water cycle: WLATWEWBHMLA?–Why learn about this when earth won’t be here much longer anyway?

Example: On the back of a Mother’s Day card: SYMMAYOTLM, DTMYLF? ?–Since you’re my mom and you’re obligated to love me, doesn’t that make your love fake?

These examples are made up because, whenever I looked again at an acronym a few days later, I could never remember what it stood for. But that just meant my code was effective.

 

 

In parallel dimensions, one “me” has a BF; one stayed Christian for longer and married a girl; one actually finished a book. None are happy.

 

 

it won quarterfinalist but not semifinalist, so I’m quarter-proud and semi-pissed

 

 

it’s so dumb when lame people are too stupid to understand words change meaning over time

 

 

I like writing haikus because seventeen syllables feels manageable in a way that trying to finish a short story no longer does.

 

 

look at me when i’m talking down to you

 

 

ME:     I’m calling in sick
            today–I’ve literally
            become a haiku.

 

BOSS: Sorry, you can only take sick leave in free verse.

 

 

Only 28, and already an exhausted failure.

 

 

OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Yes, anybody who wants to submit to me, feel free.

 

 

Trying to rhyme emotions instead of feeling them.

 

 

When I got in trouble at school, I would think of three bad things that had happened that day, and tell my mom about those first, to, I guess, justify my actions and make her feel sorry for me.

 

PSA: It’s “whoa,” not “woah.”

 

 

Reading recommendation: my words

 

 

S ick

A nd
D ramatic,

G reedy
A nd
Y apping,

T weeting
W eak
E pithets &
E ulogies

T o
S trangers

 

 

Since first grade I have hoped to write a book

two decades later, goal still not achieved

I used to get excited by a hook

but lately my ideas feel ill-conceived

 

By “lately” I mean months–well, really years

it’s paralyzing knowing that I suck

when I was younger I wrote without fears

I miss that sense of not giving a fuck

 

It’s not so much I’m worried I can’t write

(or maybe that’s just praise gone to my head)

it’s more that what I think up feels so trite

I end up writing shit like this instead

 

Unlike my stories, if this get criticized

then I can lie and claim I barely tried

 

 

So many people have told me I’m a good writer, but I don’t have anyone to stir fry and sleep with, so what difference does it make?

 

 

The whole point of “myriad” is that you don’t have to say “a myriad OF,” you just say “myriad.” When will people learn?

 

 

These messages are sponsored by the Partnership for a Happiness-Free Life.

 

 

These words were written in front of a live studio audience screaming for help.

 

 

This was clearly a productive and healthy exercise.

 

 

This will make me famous for sure.

 

 

tried to write a story

that only I could tell, that

opened my heart wide

 

so I set my heart

on paper, poked with pencil–

found nothing inside

 

 

Uninspired

Feeling tired
But not sleepy
A bit wired

Mind is racing
World is crawling
Up and pacing
Keep from bawling

 

 

Want to write anonymously while still getting credit for my writing.

 

 

What would I have to write to be good enough to date?

 

 

When I was little I didn’t want my parents to know what kind of music I was listening to or what I was reading because I thought they’d disapprove of it.

I remember the family controversy around sixth grade when I was trying to upgrade to “grownup” books, easing into it with The Street Lawyer by John Grisham. To bolster my case, I found (and recited to my parents) an online interview where Grisham talked about how writing sex scenes made him feel squeamish, and he didn’t like to use too much profanity. So this meant at least his books would be okay for me to read.

 

 

Who’s got two thumbs and a stigmatized personality disorder with comorbid anxiety and depression?

(this guy)

 

 

Will my Authentic Self please stand up?

 

 

Wish I knew what I want to write about as much as I know who I want to fuck.

 

 

Writing this is pointless, but I don’t know what else to do.

 

 

In high school when I walked to school listening to my iPod, I would imagine a title sequence to the TV show of my life.

My parents and close acquaintances got top billing, but my crush du jour would get the “and so&so, as Love of My Life” featured credit.

 

is there any chance

that after reading this, all

is forgiven now?

 

(and the world answered

with, “you’ve got to be fucking

kidding, right?”)

 

I need an ending.