The novelist and Twitter queen publishes a surreal stream-of-consciousness chapter titled ‘2015 Red Wine, Vodka, Weed’, taken from her Civilization cover story
Darcie Wilder runs a must-follow Twitter account (@333333333433333), is the author of literally show me a healthy person, and a contributor to New York’s anarchic new magazine Civilization. Here, we publish an extract from her cover story.
I was blacked out in the office but also kind of coming to, I was waiting around – I realized a lot of parties is just waiting? Like you just sit and forge on until whatever, like the winner of the party (loser) is whoever holds out as long as possible. So I was just waiting for nothing to happen – Wait, I wonder – do these other people actually enjoy parties? So I was just waiting, this was a fun one, though! Super fun, but it was a lull, and this guy was drunk, like falling asleep drunk like his limbs were, you’d pick them up and they’d just FALL like he was dead or something. Anyway everything I had except my phone was there, I didn’t have my jacket or any money or anything. I ended up borrowing $20 and waking up peeing and went to work drunk and ended up coming out of it around noon, which was when the real headache began. I was sitting in that park across from the high school where are the kids smoke weed and like, I don’t know, “become themselves” with their spiked belts and whatever. I almost went to that school, by the way. But I didn’t, I thought it was good enough to only go to three high schools anyway I was sitting in the baseball field and said, “OK I don’t think I’m drunk anymore. Now I’m hungover.”
But now, now it’s still that cold that chaps my face and my nose is screaming out it’s red and leaking and my stomach is itchy and peeling, tattooed and flaking off black crust, I keep applying lotion and it flakes off and still doesn’t feel right yet. When I close my eyes I stopped think-screaming FUCK and now I think bathe me in light. You texted me that it’s like being born and whenever you’re a thousand miles away I end up texting you when I don’t even know when that is.
I get why you don’t like New York. No one from a thousand miles away does. But I already offered you my bed which is fine and I hope you take it but I’m also like, didn’t you ruin my life once before?
And me and my friend with the matching best friend lip tattoo are on Canal walking past the same stands, when I was in 6th grade and the Schlesinger Twins bullied and tripped me for liking Good Charlotte, they like The Clash and made jokes about The New York Times Opinion section, they were nerds who bought leather jackets and I heard a rumor one of them got married in a Medieval-themed Renaissance Theme Wedding, chain mail across his chest. I saw one of them on Spring street when someone from work started a tab, woke up that morning vomiting blood but ended up feeling OK by 3PM and making it to my 4PM conference call. Kept getting frozen margaritas but no one remembers me from middle school, from high school. Max and Will and someone else, the cool girl in the boxers over white tights, who taught me how to walk down Canal street. We made it to 8th street and she finally said, “Darcie has said 4 things total all afternoon and you’ve done nothing but be mean to her” Before Will lit his hand on fire with lighter fluid and I got on the subway to Washington Heights.
This time it was 2006 maybe, oh it was definitely 2006. My birthday weekend Eric who wouldn’t tell me his last name was my best friend, we were sitting on the subway platform at 2AM waiting for the A train. There’s only a few reasons to ever sit on the platform. You know when you’re walking down the street and see human shit? It’s maybe only happened a few times but today was one of those days, baby! Wake up and greet the morning! That happened in Times Square and I still avoid the last step of the stairs between the Q and the 1 train, right where those bands perform, nearest the escalator, not where there’s the underground music store. Why the FUCK is there an underground music store? There aren’t any music stores – FULL STOP – and how does this one have such good real estate. But I guess there’s no natural light.
But in Hell’s Kitchen now my bodega is gentrifying and they got rid of everything I like. They have juice now and packaged sushi and noodles and tuna sandwiches and everything that you’d never want to eat. They have french bread and kombucha but they don’t have fancy seltzer yet, they still just have Arizona seltzer, which I never see anywhere. They redid the aisles and I keep trying to remember how it was when I came in at 2 or 3 and sobered up with a breaded chicken cutlet on a roll. The worst sandwiches, but there’s nowhere else.
And now it’s 11th avenue. I don’t understand how it exists, these streets are so wide and the buildings act like they’re supposed to be here. Like space isn’t an issue. I don’t feel as small anywhere as I do on 11th. I like to wake up and walk down and I don’t think I run into anyone and by noon I’ve seen hundreds of people and said nothing aloud. I pee in the Highline bathroom. I walk East. I download and delete Uber. I download and delete Lyft. I end up taking Yellow Cabs if anything at all and one time one of them said that anyone who gets in a cab without turning off the sound on the TV is selfish because they don’t have empathy. "You know how many times a day I’m just listening to that?"
UGH She is telling me what to do it is SO FRUSTRATING to have to willingly take advice oh my GOD. Anyway so I have a new schedule where I like, wake up or whatever, and go out and I’m going to walk down and get some coffee and I have to talk to between one and two people but also as many as possible, and then by noon I have to be doing busy work like admin stuff, and I can be outside like I can go to Think Coffee or 9th street espresso or the library or whatever. But then I can’t get any real work done until I’m at home because I’m a FUCKING SHUT IN, you know? Like I don’t leave my house. Like I have gone to maybe two parties this year but oh! A ~ Safdie ~ was at one but I didn’t know it was him and then I saw him outside my house last week? But I didn’t saw hi because I was too focused on a French bulldog. My god, what else, oh! Bridgid and I saw a dog on a skateboard in a full tar tan outfit, like Sherlock Holmes vibes with a Yankee cap literally skateboarding off Broadway. I keep on thinking that I’m not going to run into this dude and I won’t because literally like, why does anyone get what they want, they don’t, they only get what they want when they don’t want it anymore, or maybe it’s just that when it’s real it’s not doing the same thing as the fantasy was? Why can’t I stop thinking of this moment, like this part in my brain when that asshole was wearing a diaper on Halloween and I’ve never seen anyone that drunk, he was like, well actually I’ve seen people plenty more drunk, I just hate that guy so it’s easier to be like he sucks.