Darcie Wilder is @333333333433333 and the author of literally show me a healthy person (Tyrant Books, 2017).
12:02 AM, my uncle’s house upstate: Aw, fuck I’m going to have to start the thing (this, the Enormous Eye) soon. Goddamnit goddamnit goddamnit. My uncle changes the channel from House Hunters International to something political. The microwave goes off and the plate’s hot so I grip the lip of the plate with the sleeve of my 2XL tie dye hoodie I ordered 2 days before I found out my friend Crissy has the same exact one. I hope that doesn’t weird her out?
The burrito exploded. I pour out way more hot sauce than intended, reminding me that my sodium intake continues to worry me and that’s probably why my face is so bloated just kidding I’m perfect! This spiral reminds me to take my Zoloft. I log into @zolofttoday and tweet “yes.”
12:12 AM, the middle of the goddamn woods: My uncle and I take out the babies (two overweight Alaskan klee-kais with anxiety problems that bite) (i am one of only 3 people they see regularly but have never bitten) and they run around the front yard. On the way back to the house, my uncle pranks me and I wonder whether I should include it in the Enormous Eye. I decide: no.
12:40 AM, the guest bedroom: I’m laying in the bed where I self-diagnosed myself with breast cancer a few days ago. I eventually rescinded the self-diagnosis when I read that the lumps are ok if they’re on both sides of your body? Like a mirror image. While I’m scrolling I hear some sort of clank bang thing, and I remember that we heard a noise earlier tonight that we couldn’t explain. I think: getting murdered in the middle of the woods is hard enough, why stress myself out worrying about it before it happens?
I think: this is why i’ve only been to this house six times in three years, and half those times have been this month.
1:07 AM: Realize that despite growing up next to it, I’ve never really looked at the George Washington Bridge. Y’know?
1:16 AM: Finally stop staring at pictures of the fucking bridge
1:17 AM: Go back for one last look. It’s kind of the perfect bridge, right? Do I just think that because I grew up near it? And saw it out of the window of my childhood bedroom? Begin spiraling into whether or not my taste is just a reaction to, or because of my environment, and then “remember” that all taste is a performance based on who the person wants to be, and then remember, or realize, I don’t know the person I want to be anymore, and i hate what everyone has been thinking is “cool”
Get sick of waiting for the murderer to come out and kill me. Embrace the day, dude. Don’t let ‘murdering darcie wilder in cold blood while her uncle peacefully slumbers next to his pack of maladjusted, tiny, overweight dogs’ become something you always wanted to do, but didn’t.
4:24 AM: wake up in the middle of the night absolutely terrified and i don’t know why. could be a nightmare, which used to happen every night, and I’m a little concerned they’re coming back. Or I could’ve just woken up and been scared because i’m in the middle of the woods. IDK it kind of happens every night, plus weird SSRI sleep things are really real. I’m still half-asleep which is good because if i fully wake up i’ll be fully fucked – too scared to do anything or move. my phone’s only at 8% but i open the hulu app, which i never normally use, and put on Community because screens are the only way to get rid of ghosts.
8:52 AM: this is my version of sleeping in. i’m super groggy and didn’t get enough sleep but i stopped sleeping late when i stopped drinking, and now my favorite part of the day is waking up, drinking strong iced cafe bustelo and puttering around. i consider that this doesn’t make me like, a fun person.
still in bed, i start my daily routine: checking to see if everyone i’ve ever met has decided, overnight, that they hate me. also known as checking notifications. i always have to brace myself for this, flicking off the “people i follow” checkbox. there’s nothing scary except one thing but it looks like it’s from a bot.
i think about what i’m supposed to do today. i’m unemployed right now, so working days and days off don’t exist. i spent every day doing an equal amount of work and not work (watching cancelled sitcoms with cult followings) so it all feels the same?
9:10 AM, the living room: Steve texts me asking if i’m in new york, which reminds me he’s still waiting for me to OK his band’s music video that i’m in. i open it in another tab and already feel less scared of it, but wonder if it’s a dick move to ask him to remove this one angle of me. staring at the angle, i begin to think that i don’t look that bad for such a terrible angle – it’s really bad – but maybe so bad that the badness of it actually makes me… look good? like it’s a bad angle but i don’t look monstrous, so maybe it’s like, she’s GORGEOUS so she even looks FINE from a BAD ANGLE?
I turn off the episode of intervention i’ve been watching bc it’ll be too brutal to watch if she doesn’t say yes to treatment. i turn on stayfocused, the productivity chrome extension i disabled yesterday. it only lets me go on twitter and facebook for 30 minutes a day
10:06 AM, driveway: get in the pickup and text “sorry if i was harsh last night i was falling asleep” and pull out the driveway to get coffee. Ten minutes in, I regret not making coffee myself
104.2 fm says it’s 90s weekend. why do we do this to ourselves?
garbage, “stupid girl” i love this shit. so much.
another song comes on, something grunge-y i recognize from my most played/fav playlist, WHFS 99.1, a spotify playlist my friend sam made which is songs that he used to hear on the radio growing up in DC.
i begin to spiral wondering if it’s a blessing or a curse to like something popular.
weezer, “buddy holly”
think i took a wrong turn when i see a motel with a busted sign that says “jacuzzi” but then i recognize the big red house and know i’m on the right way
10:33 AM, New Milford starbucks: wonder about the sodium content of almond butter while eating almond butter n waiting for my coffee. there’s a mistake with my coffee – i would never willingly digest more sugar than necessary – and she fixes it. i wonder if i’m “the problem customer.”
10:43 AM: sitting in the starbucks parking lot driveway with my left turn signal on, freaking out about having to make what for me is a tricky turn, but might just be a normal part of traffic. i have to wait until there aren’t any cars coming the opposite way, but there’s an endless stream.
sometimes i forget how traffic works. finally, there’s a break
somewhere between starbucks and the house: think i missed my turn but recognize the sign that says “GUN SHOP – OPEN NOW” and remember it from the drive up, so im on the right street
my daily bank notification goes off and tells me i have $58.02 in my checking account
feels like ive been gone awhile, and 20 minutes each way seems to add up. think about if my uncle will be annoyed that i left, but then commend myself for remembering his coffee order and how good it’ll feel to hand him his latte with an extra shot first thing in the morning, like i did when i stayed with him a few years ago. there wasn’t enough time between semesters to get a job, so i’d have nothing to do besides wake up 20 minutes before him, queue up a keurig shot or two and microwave it with some milk for what we used to call a latte, and what a barista would probably call a disgusting insult.
i begin to feel thankful that it’s starbucks, which even tho i hate, is at least reliable? so at least i’ll know it’s good enough… even tho it’s not good by my standards? what if . wait what if he hates starbucks and that overshadows the considerate act of bringing him the coffee? although how considerate was the act if my motivation was getting myself coffee and his was an afterthought?
11:00 AM, almost back at the house: i see a doe, a deer, a female deer walking on the side of the road. a baby deer with those tiny spindly legs and her hips and moving side to side and i audibly gasp at its delicate beauty and slow down and stare at bambi’s ass while she hops away from me, scared. i remember how my shrink said i was forbidden to watch bambi a few years ago, and how as soon as i got home i watched the one scene in bambi – you know the one – where her mom dies. it wasn’t that bad
pull into the drive and decide to start calling zoloft “my crazy pills”
11:12 AM, the living room: hes still asleep? must be nice
try to sit in his chair but cant figure out how to recline it. how come i cant even work a chair
reply to a text: “god that is a bummer. does he look the same? tbh i get really sad when i think about his influence on me when i was young :///// like i was so impressionable and he sucks!” and think about how dumb i was at 18. 19. 20. how damaging older guys can be. mourn n grieve any potential cooler better life i could’ve had if i wasn’t such a dumbass. but i’ve come a long way?
try to figure out which “media” to “consume” and realize i haven’t finished the humor and the abject podcast with casey jane ellison. but i also want to listen to the glowing up podcast. life is so difficult
i keep thinking the leaves outside are someone walking by, but this time i dont think someone’s going to murder me. it’s just startling
ever since i figured out how to disable the productivity app, and that it takes like two seconds, i’m worried that it defeats the purpose of the productivity app. why couldn’t i have learned discipline as a child
pick up my coffee next to an album frame that says “all my children have paws.” the stock photo is still in it, a dog and a cat. wonder if this was a careful decision by the manufacturers to appeal to both crazy dog people and crazy cat people.
11:45 AM turn on viceland cuz it’s my only opportunity to watch it and i’m curious. watch desus and mero with spike jonze. why is spike jonze dressed like that
my friend texts me back about the ex-friend he saw on the street, who i remember hated spike jonze bc of sophia coppola’s portrayal of the husband character in lost in translation. i remember thinking he was an idiot for citing that for why he doesn’t like spike jonze’s movies. i am still right – it is a dumb reason.
the viceland interstitials keep reminding me of my friend spencer, who writes the viceland interstitials
i think, “being cool isn’t everything” and then “wow im washed”
google “how to write a novel” and complain about a guy in a group dm called “space potatoes”
12:31 PM, kitchen: pour VEGAN coconut milk into a bowl of VEGAN cereal. i bought the “milk” last week so it might have expired, but ever since i went VEGAN, expiration dates are more like suggestions. i’ve made myself sick three times this week
12:55 PM DECIDE MY UNCLE HAS DIED AND I HAVE TO DISCOVER HIS RIGAMORTIS BODY AND CARE FOR HIS BEAUTIFUL YET PROBLEMATIC DOGS THE REMAINDER OF BOTH OF OUR LIVES, WHICH ARE SURE TO END SOON (NORTH KOREA). WHAT’S THE NUMBER FOR 911? IS IT TOO LATE? CAN I SAVE HIM? WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF DEATH, DID HIS BODY JUST ‘GIVE OUT’? UGH SO ANNOYING I LOVE HIM SO MUCH I AM BROKEN ALSO WILL HAVE TO EMAIL AMY ROSE AND TELL HER, NO I CAN’T DO THIS WEEK, IT WOULD BE IN POOR TASTE ALSO I’M A MESS, HE RAISED ME I MISS HIM
open my uncle’s bedroom door and his eyes open. so, he’s not dead but maybe he’ll yell at me for waking him up. he does, jokingly. and asks if i want to make coffee. i bring him the latte, now lukewarm, as if i have won a nobel peace prize.
he screams that it’s “ICE COLD!” and i tell him i got it just for him, shouldn’t he be grateful? and he says, “then why does it say ‘darcie’ on it”
i take out the babies and they run around looking adorable, breaking my heart a million times. they’ve gathered near the fence and i tell them they’re being weird. they come back to me before pepperpot starts running after a rabbit and it takes me three stern “pepper, pepper come back“s before she gives up. that rabbit owes me its little life. how do i ca$h in on this commendable, humanitarian contribution? the dogs gallop up back to the house, where i open the front door for them and they jump into my uncle’s bed and i start to make some fresh coffee.
1:51 PM, living room: my uncle asks, “when are we having breakfast?“
“whenever you want“
“just let me wake up more“
i read the internet while my uncle watches the yankee game. i see him press a secret button that flips his chair into the reclining position. oh
he passes me one of his cellphones to watch a video of maxine waters. he does some work, including asking me to call a number to see if it goes to voicemail properly. while my phone is on speaker, he asks “what’s 4loko?” and i remember i’m wearing my “legalize 4loko 2020 shirt.” i teach him how to take a screenshot.
i text 2 of my 3 main grouptexts, which are both in la.
ctrl+t, NYC > LAX ticket prices
he asks, “are you ready to go?“
i put on a bra, mascara, and almay smart shade. it’s weird and new to not always be wearing a bra, and it’s only since i cut off all my hair, went blonde, and lost 13 pounds. glow tf up
2:12pm, living room: find out that north korean nuclears can reach los angeles from brandon wardell’s meme. close the ‘flights to LA’ tab
2:30pm foyer: while grabbing the car keys, my uncle finds some mail, a small package i opened last week. i start lying, “i thought it was my amazon package of notebooks.” it’s brass knuckles, and he puts them on and pretends to swing at me. i reach for my camera, and he says, “no let’s do it when we come back.”
probably 3-ish, McKinney & Doyle: i pick up the local paper and realize the entire front page is written by the same staff writer. so are the next three pages. i lol at the “COMPUTER GUY” column with the headline “WILL A NEW ROUTER HELP?”
we order: i get a gazpacho and a portobello burger. he scolds me for being on my phone, even though i’m just taking notes for enormous eye, which he doesn’t know about. i look at his phone and yell “ARE YOU JUST PLAYING SOLITAIRE?” (he’s playing solitaire.)
we talk about how if i got coffee from here instead of starbucks, we’d be eating cinnamon buns right now (they sold out). he doesn’t know i’m vegan because unlike some vegans, i’m so super really chill about it (lie)
i remind him of the time we were here with my grandpa, who passed away on election day last year, and we sat near the actor that was the voice of bell atlantic. he says “james earl jones” and then bellows, “WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET?“
3:30, some road in the middle of nowhere: driving us back, i remind my uncle of the time when i was 11 or 12 and he jokingly opened the passenger seat door on the highway.
“why did i do that?”
“you were trying to escape because grandpa wouldn’t stop talking. and then he took a vow of silence and just made noises through his teeth.”
3:53 PM, the living room: i’m trying to send one of my grouptexts a not-very-important anecdote about how my opinion of the virgin america safety video has changed since i’ve become unemployed when their messages finally come through (bad service) and i see they’re talking about eating ass now. my productivity chrome extension says it’s going to begin blocking twitter in 5 minutes.
4:09 PM, the guest bedroom: i find out it’s national lipstick day, and feel relieved i don’t work in social media anymore. just as i’m looking up the info for a party tonight, my productivity app locks me out of facebook. how unfortunate.
i’m unsuccessfully trying to stream Community, the show i’m obsessively watching now. i love it, but it reminds me so much of college in 2010 that it’s almost painful. it stings, it feels like grief. mourning my past self and who i stopped being/could have been? specifically it reminds me of zach, who would watch it when it was on, and who i keep missing so much but never reaching out and i don’t know why. fear? even though we’re on good terms? it’s not laziness but an emotion deeper and scarier, and i wonder if this is why anxiety/depression is an illness. it’s not just zach, it’s mostly all of my friends. this happens very often. daily?
my mind drifts and i send off a subtweet to no one in particular (lie) about not wanting to read about tinder dates anymore (true) but as usual, it doesn’t apply to people i like. i realize i’m just subtweeting a previous version of myself
6:52 PM, bed: oh whoops i fell asleep. my head hurts n i want coffee . these r truly unemployment hours hhhhheyyyyyyyyyyy oh no my head really really hurts
oh no someone i like and respect replied to my subtweet
this is fine but reminds me i need to stop being such a psycho online
7:25 PM, kitchen: im basically half asleep while making a hummus sandwich. i only realize what i’ve done when i’ve finished the second. the sodium content!! so many carbs!!
my uncle’s sleeping like a little delicate flower, a widdle baby so i turn on the tv and see the patron saint of divorced lying dads with poor boundaries and super gay uncles, MRS DOUBTFIRE.
i used to watch this all the time, and in my favorite viewing, while spooning my mom on the couch when my brother was at my dad’s. i remember her arm curled around me, and giggling furiously at the part where mrs doubtfire throws a lime at pierce brosnan’s head. we had had one of our brutal fights, and this was the epilogue, after we’d “start the day over” no matter how late in the day it was. was i 9 or 10?
email from evernote saying there was a problem processing my payment YEAH I CANCELED YOUR ASS get used to it
god i miss robin williams so much
7:47 PM, the living room: drinking the rest of the coffee from the coffee machine with ice cubes. i’m staring at my calendar trying to block my time. schedule. be an adult. i have to make images for cooler online, a dj night at star bar with a projector for memes and videos and whatever. this reminds me that i subtweeted memes the other day when i was really only fed up with this one specific meme account that i’m not even friends with, so i should’ve just unfollowed instead of mouthing off. i don’t unfollow accounts often because i don’t like burning bridges or hurting feelings, but uhh, i guess flippantly mouthing off is just as hurtful
i open a slack chat i started about a month ago so that i could chat with people without being on twitter. (and if i know you and you want in: get at me)
decide robin williams is my celebrity doppleganger based on our similarly small teeth, big noses, and the way our cheeks look. it’s the part where he’s rapping as different dinosaurs. i mute mrs doubtfire to put on xiu xiu’s “dear god i hate myself” cuz lola and juli are in the slack talking about xiu xiu. i send them the former ghosts’s song “taurean nature” even tho their best song is “mother,” my fav song about dead moms. i can’t tell if this is the normal amount i think about my dead mom, because it feels like a lot. ugh i am a caricature of myself but AT LEAST I FUCKING RULE
i understand that this daily afternoon nap is dangerous and bad, but it gives me an excuse to drink another cup of coffee, so i will probably keep this schedule up.
???, puttering all around: i’m getting antsy so i do some cleaning in hopes that we’ll still leave tonight. while i’m wiping the counter i realize that during my nap i dreamt i was about to die? maybe that’s why i’m in a bad mood.
i’m petting pepper in the bedroom and “accidentally” wake up my uncle. i try to get sunny and pepper downstairs to the backyard but only sunny will come… but then he runs back into the bedroom, back onto the bed.
we take them out and they take off, running fast down the hill and curving back. sunny runs off to try and kill something, and pepper stays completely still, paw hovering off the ground, watching him and waiting.
the dogs come back and we all sit on the stoop. my uncle talks in a funny voice, pretending to be the dogs.
sunny asks, “we’re klee-kais. what kind of dog are you?”
“i’m… uh, a human“
“oh. we thought you were a dachshund.”
“why would you… have you thought i’m a dachshund this whole time?“
“i don’t know. i guess you look like a dachshund,” he says
“she’s a lying dachshund,” pepper chimes in
9:37 PM: peel out the driveway as i’m getting like 5 texts, no doubt from the same person, each letting out an ear-curdling DING that seems more intense because in driving a car i am very nervous about. i never drive, plus my uncle is the only person in this world i am both kind of scared of, concerned about disappointing, and want to make proud. i am trying to do a good job.
the road is so dark and i can only see a few feet ahead of me, which is scary but enough to get the job done and get where i need to go. why is everything such an obvious metaphor?
it’s quiet except for the “70s on 7” radio station.
i think of possible conversation starters:
– if my brother and i were both trapped in a fire and you could only save one, who would it be?
– if the dogs and i were both trapped in a fire and you could only save one of us, who would you save?
i begin to consider this scenario, and that if he chose the dogs, it would make sense because they’re more helpless than i am. i should be able to save myself, but they would need him more
why am i like this.
(jk i know)
i tell my uncle about the deer on the side of the road from earlier and he says that’s called a fawn.
Bruce Springsteen comes on. reminds me of my college bf, jesse, who lives up here and i miss. and then alex, our friend, who i never see and also miss. think of the time when they had an apartment in the olde, an on-campus apartment, with a beer corner where we’d throw empty beer cans into a heap in the living room behind the couch.
10:09 pm, red rooster, route 22: pulling into the parking lot, my uncle’s directions get tense, “left, left, YES” and “pull into that space right there,”
but then the car hits something – i’m not sure what. i instantly apologize, terrified. im still used to being a kid: more careless, quick to apologize but slower to realize what i could’ve done to prevent it. he doesn’t yell but when i close the door to get our food he calls me:
“don’t close the door so hard next time“
maybe years ago he might’ve yelled it, maybe even taken the wheel?
10:20 pm, somewhere on the highway:
sunny asks, “why is a dachshund driving?”
pepper asks, “how can a dachshund reach the pedals with such little legs?”
sunny adds, “and how do her paws fit the steering wheel?”
a blue light near the steering wheel flashes for the second time. i’m worried about the gas tank, the turn signal, the blinkers, anything and everything
i ask, “what is the blue light?”
he says, “JUST IGNORE THAT”
we pass my alma mater
SUNY Purchase, mon amour
the cell phone tour that looks nothing like a tree
im tense the whole way back, with breaks of ease and i even fall into comfortably driving. i think: i should move to la and be an uber driver. no, lyft. no, what’s that one thats all women? who cares about missing parties, i don’t drink anymore. who cares if i never go to tenents.
11:45, my uncle’s living room: we just got back. i open the food from red rooster, of which i got nothing because of the two hummus sandwiches. i bring the babies their hot dogs and break off pieces two at a time, feeding them at the same time so they don’t get jealous. i rinse the slime off my fingers and map my way home back to hell’s kitchen: 41 minutes.
ask my uncle if there’s anything else i can do, and bring him a prescription bottle from the other room.
hug him goodbye and kiss pepper on the forehead. i keep bobbing down to kiss her again and again, because i love her and she’s looking up at me, breaking my heart. i look for sunny and can’t find him, and he only emerges from behind a chaise lounge after i make a big fuss about not seeing him.
as i’m leaving pepper says,
“dar, i know you’re not really a dachshund.”
i tell her, “well, please don’t tell Sunny, ok?”
as i’m walking out Sunny yells, “bye, dachshund!”