Interview with Elizabeth Victoria Aldrich
February 8, 2021
MM) When I met you, you had already been writing voluminously, though none of it was shared. Ruthless Little Things was born before you were even A-list. Tell me about how/why you used to write, and what made you start sharing your work?
EVA) You’re a writer, you just write! I don’t know why.
I grew up in the age of personal websites, so everyone shared their writing. Like, I had a Deadjournal and stuff and was used to reading people being honest about their mental illnesses, sex life, etc.
Well, being a pretty girl in Los Angeles has afforded me a pass to get away with a lot.
I shared stuff in a small way, like my little Deadjournal that still exists. Because I kept having these crazy bad panic attacks everyday on the way to high school, I eventually went to a charter school that only required two days a week of my time. I spent my time meeting people on the internet, girls and boys with manic depression and eating disorders in online journals or personal domains, the juiciest ones always friends-only. I eventually met a few of them in real life, and I did ketamine with one of them, and then that poem was noticed by my English teacher Brenda Young. I didn’t write much or publish much when I was in a relationship simply because that person was my reason for existing. When I lost her, writing was there for me, as reading had been there for me when I lost my mom as a kid. And not shutting up on the internet was what I knew how to do.
MM) A lot of people were asking me what happened to land you in the clink. I always demurred and said that you should be the one to tell the story. Would you take that opportunity now?
EVA) I will tell you when I can’t get into any more trouble for talking about it. It happened during a Zoom call, which someone recorded. The judge has seen it, I haven’t, maybe it’ll surface eventually. Or I’ll see it on my own personal Eternal Punishment Screen. I am working on my own defense as well as trying to help Parker Moulton be released.
MM) Ruthless Little Things is an ethereal novel. It delves into dreamy lulls, its characters’ identities dissipate and blur together, it flirts with stream of consciousness and automatism. It’s meta and full of poetry. Tell me about the process of taking this old work of yours centered around mostly a love interest (Madzi) and making it a novel.
EVA) I wish I had a process! Waiting until people were asleep so I could work on it in peace.
I wanted to write about two girls who were suicidal that I would want to hang out with. There is one agenda in the book and it isn’t a very honorable one on my part. It’s pretty cool that this is being released at a time when it is definitely the guys that are making feminism look cool.
I wanted to write “92nd Street” on speed, I wanted an evil woman after reading so much Andrea and Kate while being a sex worker.
MM) You have an affinity for romance. Tell me about the ways it’s ruined your life and informed your writing.
EVA) I’m a Libra, I learn through my relationships with other people. It’s never ruined my life. You can’t say something that you do everything in your power to bring into your life has ruined your life. I have wanted every adventure I have experienced. Like it says in the Tibetan Book of the Dead “Like it not, look at your own mind!”
MM) Tell me about jail. Now’s your chance to pull no punches and bare all.
EVA) I bought a jail dildo made out of braided sheets wrapped in a glove made by one of the trusties. It was called Dilly. I bought blue hair. I met two people who had daughters named Essence. I started a fight with an Aries and kept my mask on the whole time. I had a drug dealer named after a dance move.
When I was arrested I asked one of the two officers if her birthday was what I thought it was. I was off by a day. The other officer had the birthday I guessed. Also, I got arrested wearing the same colors I would wear in jail (yellow and blue). My first cot in jail had the same number sequence as an old password I had used. I bought a phone number the day before, thinking for some reason I really needed a new number.
The first three digits of that were the same as the first three of my booking number, but I chalk that up to really loving the Ladytron album 604. It was during Mercury retrograde and on that day my Jupiter was in Libra, which is associated with jail. I had a really high heart rate because of the whole leaving my house thing and it took someone to offer to play a Hole song for it to get down to 110. When it finally did, the three other people in the room cheered. I was extremely compliant. It took like ten hours to finally get in an actual jail cell. I got a cell before the other girls because I finally got fed up being cold and asked if there was, like, a special slut award for having a domestic charge against you and also one against a different person. I went to Van Nuys to get booked but went to Lynwood. It was extremely clean. I have been in the men’s jail before when I had court dates and they have to drop you off or whatever, and that one had a cockroach in it.
MM) How’s sobriety and faith working out for you?
EVA) The first book I was sent in jail was the Bible, so I read it. Jesus is so cool! I’m still a Buddhist, though. My bunkie and I thought Christians were idiots before we went to jail. We both had a psychotic break, went to jail, found Jesus. We would drink coffee and read devotionals and talk about how much everyone else in jail sucked.
MM) What’s the saddest and happiest thing about the present, respectively?
EVA) I don’t know how to think in those terms. Things just are how they are. I want to be here to see how it all changes.
MM) Which writers, bands, artists have influenced you? How does it all add up? You’re a big Courtney Love fan. How does that make perfect sense?
Courtney Love is a survivalist! She did everything her own way. I wouldn’t be a writer if I never read Laurie Notaro. Katie Jane Garside’s lyrics are a huge influence on me. I love Andrea Dworkin’s intensity. Trinie Dalton’s magical fiction weirdness.
MM) You’re no tourist in extremes. Why is it always so fast for you? Are you slowing down now? Notice anything you didn’t before?
Well I mean yeah of course now that I am not constantly just wondering if I’m too high, high enough, do I have drugs, who has drugs, etc. I have more space in my head. I guess I probably wouldn’t hop into a relationship the way I have since I was a teenager, just take a flight and get engaged, just because I know I’m still so fucked up and the last people I dated I honestly didn’t even date, I used them as distractions. I kept trying to see if I could love anyone but I couldn’t so I would stay with people as fucked up as me, who were content with not love but unhealthy obsession, control. Knowing someone enough to be able to emotionally torture them was intimacy. My two soulmates are dead and I just need to deal with that.
Cuz once I get my mind set on something or someone, there is no one that can convince me I need to go in any other direction.
MM) You are truly Extremely Online. When you went to jail, it left a massive void behind. You’ve cultivated so many authentic connections in every forum of the internet, from Twitter to platforms ordinary people don’t tend to use. Even before the plague. What is the internet to you?
EVA) A cyberdelic trip.
MM) Ruthless Little Things is a highly erotic work which also grapples with sexual violence. Where do the two intersect in your mind?
EVA) I dated a dominatrix for seven years, read radfem while working at the Kink Armory, slept with a bunch of my co-workers at the Lusty Lady. The first person I slept with when I got out of jail actually said to me “See? Sex doesn’t have to be violent.” There is a difference between kink and abuse, though.