"Fuck This Shit" An Autobiography for Riot Grrls #1
copyright (c) 1996 by Annalee Newitz
In my dream, I was in a mall called South Coast Plaza, near the city where I grew up in Orange County, CA. It wasn't South Coast Plaza as it is now, of course, but the mall it was when I was growing up. Outside of a bookstore which no longer exists, I met a very old woman. She was stuck to the wall, very high up, but inching her way down. Without shoes, her feet looked like little mummy skeleton feet over my head. A man coming out of the store approached her with annoyance -- apparently, he was tired of her climbing the walls like that.
She smiled at me with her mummified face, and said, "Hello, Annalee, here's another ambiguity for you." I was glad she knew my name, and decided she must be some kind of psychic. Because she clearly had such extraordinary powers, and had chosen to speak to me, I wanted to clear something up. "Don't you agree," I asked, "that some situations are not ambiguous?" "Oh yes," she said.
But the rest of the dream was full of ambiguity, and I walked around my lost childhood mall in socks, looking for my shoes and carrying a knife.
When I woke up, I travelled through hotels, looking for a job. I spoke to my colleagues, who argued with me. Some of them were also kind. Many of them were drunk. Later, we all agreed that the best part of Chicago was the Art Institute. There, I stared at very old American furniture, teacups, and glass walking canes. I avoided the art. I like the idea of seeing old things that people had in their houses three hundred years ago. They were ordinary objects.
Old women used these dressing tables. A girl named Mae had scrawled her name in a trunk made in the 1830s. No one could identify what a table with drawers in it had been used for in 1670. Maybe it was for keeping things in and writing on. Some situations are not ambiguous.
Happy New Year
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