vote for me for mayor of mopetown!

i’ve really got my grump on today. my new typewriter ribbons arrived in the mail, so i was able to finish writing the letter i was working on the other day, but unfortunately, it kind of turned into a screed about how much i dislike someone that both the correspondent & i know. then i checked my e-mail & saw that i had a critical comment from someone in response to a book review i wrote & i got surprisingly pissed off. i don’t know if i am reacting to the fact that it’s storming again for the fifth day in a row & i’m totally over the clouds, or if i’m having a low blood sugar moment, or i’m just naturally even more grouchy than i thought. but if anyone reading this has ever wanted to get on my bad side, it really wouldn’t take too much effort today.

i hope i snap out of it tomorrow because jared & i are planning to go to kansas city to see our friend ellen. i don’t think i have ever hung out with ellen without spending all day chain-smoking. not because she stresses me out or anything, but because ellen is like a cheap domestic beer on a hot summer day–a cigarette just seems like the perfect way to complement an already enjoyable experience. but supposedly i don’t smoke anymore. even though i am totally planning to secretly buy a pack the second jared leaves for his environmental history conference next week & smoke it up for four days until he comes home. i have my doubts about whether or not jared reads my blog unless i specifically ask for feedback about something, so i feel that i can write this with impunity. i guess he will confront me about my diabolical plans if he does read it. the satisfying glow that i’ll get from knowing that he takes an interest in my activities even when i don’t ask him to will surely cancel out any need i feel for nicotine. (& it’s not a need. more like an interest. a general wondering.)

i had planned on going to bingo last night because i haven’t been in like a month & things are blowing up since my usual bingo night was profiled in the local newspaper. (seriously. every day is a slow news day in lawrence, kansas.) but then one of jared’s colleagues invited us out to dinner & i was like, “hmmm. i can socialize with an actual person, that i actually like, & take another little baby step toward having any friends whatsoever, or i can spend $40 to gamble with oldsters who clearly think that i’m totally creepy because i have knuckle tattoos.”

since i wasn’t going to bingo, i decided to use the money i would have spent & order myself some new zines from a distro. i don’t exactly have my finger on the pulse of the zine world since i shut down my distro, so there are always interesting new zines available when i remember that i should peruse some distros. because i only remember like once every eight months. when i ran my distro, i was so convinced that i had regular customers that were looking at the website, like, every other day or something, feverishly anticipating each new addition. i guess that’s how i was with distros before i started one. i’m going to admit something really embarrassing: i once printed out a distro’s entire online catalogue & cut up the print-out & made my own paper catalogue out of it so that i would have something to read in bed. this must have been in 1997 or 1998, when the internet was still new to me. & i remember in like 2000 or 2001, i looked at the pander zine distro website literally every single day. if ericka added something new to the catalogue, i was refreshing like every hour until the description was posted. it was like must-see TV for me. & i always assumed that that’s how my customers interacted with paper trail. even though i now realize that i was just especially kind of crazy & obsessive when it came to zines, until i ran my own distro for seven years & got totally burnt out & now sometimes i can’t even stand to look at a zine.

but i was in a zine mood yesterday…or so i thought. i was finding all kinds of great stuff in one distro catalogue, & i started putting together an order, & then i saw that a zinester that i once considered a super-tight bro had a new zine out. or maybe it wasn’t so new. it wasn’t in the “new additions” section of the website. it was in the regular catalogue. maybe it’s been out for months. a year, even. & this is the first i was hearing about it. this is someone that i used to e-mail with or call literally every day. we made trips across the country solely to hang out with each other. i knew i hadn’t heard from her in kind of a long time (& i am not one to impose myself on others if i get the sense that they might not be feeling it), but i guess i didn’t realize that she was still chugging along, writing awesome zines & selling them & somehow our relationship is so fractured that i had to find out about it on a distro website.

i will make another embarrassing confession: i cried. yup. kind of ruined my day, truth be told. i did not order any zines after all. instead i just bought a new bra. there’s a picture for you: i’m all sniffling & weepy, charlotte is running away from me because she finds excessive displays of emotion distasteful, & i’m measuring my rack in front of the full-length mirror to double-check my bra size. my mood was not improved when i typed my size into the “fit search” box on my favorite clothing website & all it came back with was nursing bras. way to kick me while i’m down, internet. & in such an awesome dual attack: reminding me that i am not pregnant, & that the only other people who have boobs like mine are looking for ways to avoid leaking all over their shirts. i walked away feeling both friendless & profoundly unsexy.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

3 thoughts on “vote for me for mayor of mopetown!

  1. I feel you on the zine front.
    My feelings are totally hurt when people I thought were my friends don’t send me their new zines. They expect me to pay for them like everyone else, even though they’ll send free copies to other friends. I do it, because why shouldn’t they get paid? But it still hurts & It just reminds me that I’m super bad about knowing who my friends are as opposed to acquaintances (I talked about this with my therapist today, actually).

    1. i knew you’d be able to relate. i think we have even talked about this before. i totally don’t have any problem paying for zines either–that’s why i was looking at the distro. but there’s a difference between paying for a zine i have always really liked even though i didn’t really know the author that well, versus a zine written by someone that i seriously used to count as one of my top five best bros. & with whom i am not aware of having had any kind of weird falling out or anything. the zine i’m thinking of is written by someone who actually used to send me drafts or mock-ups of her new issues before she finished the layout, so i could give her feedback on the writing. & right around the same time i closed the distro, the relationship dried up. in this specific case, i honestly don’t think the two things are related–something else happened with us at the same time that maybe was a bigger deal than i realized. but there are so many other zinesters that used to bend over backwards to send me zines, letters, postcards, e-mails, etc, & they disappeared into the woodwork completely when i closed the distro.

      i don’t need the free zines, but even just a heads up that a new zine has been written & is available to be ordered would be great, you know?

      i feel like i’m pretty good at knowing who counts as a friend & who is just an acquaintance (& who is a sycophant blowing smoke up my ass for as long as they thought i could do something for them), but i’m having a hard time accepting that the friend count is really low. there just aren’t a lot of people who make an effort or strike me as trustworthy. makes me sad.

  2. i totally understand about thinking you are tight w/ someone only to find out they have a new zine (or project) they didn’t send you or even tell you about. i could go on and on about having the same thing happen to me and a particular person, but won’t. whenever i do something new (which admittedly, it’s been AWHILE) i always send it to a bunch of people that i think of as buds cause why should they pay when i just want to share w/ them?

    and all the other stuff about being an obsessive zine distro checker too. embarrassing but true: i was obsessive about pander as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: