I may know nothing, but sometimes I know some things.
I was fish-sitting for my friends in the Upper West Side for the past few weeks. Yes, fish-sitting.
No, it was not for a whale.
It was for a turquoise Beta named Swim Kardashian.
I was thrilled at this opportunity to fish-sit because this was going to give me a glimpse of what living alone could be like. Here goes nothing.
DAY 1- Had to change her water and nearly popped a blood vessel when she flopped out of her bowl and into the sink’s drain catcher for all of 4 seconds.
DAY 2- Leave the apartment, sans cell phone, for 15 minutes to pick up a few basic supplies:
Return ‘home’, fiddle with the key in the lock, and the next thing I know, the key SNAPS IN HALF. Erm, when did I become the Hulk? I haven’t lifted weights in… 7 years. I look at my skin: not green. In the clear.
So now I’m left holding the nub of a key like an asshole while the rest of it is lodged INSIDE the lock. Again, I’m sans phone.
I knock on the Super’s door: No answer.
Knock on neighbor’s door: No answer.
Spotted! Man in a suit enters the lobby. SAVE ME!
Man in Suit sees the desperation in my eyes and let’s me use his phone to call the Super. The Super comes to my rescue.
I explain that I’m fish-sitting, and show him the sad little key nub. He smiles politely then busts through the deadbolt with an assortment of tools from his rusty kit while slamming his burly body against the door.
Okay then. 2 days down. 3 weeks to go.
DAY 3- Sleep in an extra 20 minutes, as this apartment is closer to my office. AND I don’t have to transfer trains! Sweet glorious day!
I hop in the shower. Happy as a clam. Birds are singing! Sun is shining! Laughter from outside! Zedd blasting from my speakers! I’m dancing up a storm in the stream of water! Wait a sec, that sound of laughter is like, RIGHT outside— Too close for comfort.
Now, the apartment is on the 6th floor. They have a window in the shower with no curtain. It’s impossible for a person in the next building to see inside the shower, as the bottom windowpane is tinted.
However, the top windowpane is not. But the only way someone could see into the shower is if someone were on the roof, where they would essentially have a direct view of my naked bod.
More voices. I look outside. Jesus! Two male construction workers are sitting on the roof, feet dangling, getting a front row view of my jiggly parts.
Fantastic. And a happy Monday to you too, dinkheads.
My fight or flight instinct kicks into high gear and instead of yelling profanities at the unwanted onlookers… I frantically escape from the shower like a Looney Toon, complete with soap suds covering 40% of my skin. I rip open the curtain only to realize I’ve left my towel in the bedroom.
I’m left with no choice other than to bolt, butt-ass naked, dripping wet across the hardwood floor to fetch my towel.
Alas, I am now one step closer to a career in the sex shop industry as a peep show girl. However, I imagine they’re slightly more graceful and a little less panicky. I actually wonder if I have a shot because I’m sure that pays a lot, right?
DAY 4- That night I scotch tape garbage bags over the bathroom window to protect my privacy. My body, my choice.
I flick off the light, kiss Swim goodnight, crawl into ‘my’ temperopedic bed, curl into fetal position, gaze out the window at the city lights and think to myself, ‘now this is what being an adult feels like.’
I know, I know. This belongs on Pintrest or Etsy. I’m crafty. I get it.
Tonight I ate an entire sleeve of Fig Newtons… but that’s not the bad part.
As I graciously placed one cookie after another after another into my mouth, I thought, ‘if this isn’t heaven, then what is?”
Mid-munch fest, a precious Fig Newton slipped from my fingertips, and onto the dusty floor.
It happened in slow motion, right before my hungry eyes*.
Naturally, I had been chomping on the sleeve of Newtons in the dark, like all classy women do.
And so, I quickly squatted towards the floor and wildly flopped my hand around in search of the poor Fig Newton that fell.
It most certainly took more than five seconds to stumble upon the stray sweet treat. But I finally found it, after seven or so. And when I did, I blew on it, brushed it off, put it in my mouth, smiled, then winked at no one in particular.
Tonight I ate a Fig Newton that fell onto a dirty floor.
Tonight I did something bad… but it felt so good.
*When I wrote ‘hungry eyes’ this Bruce beat popped into my head:
So like, if I have hungry eyes, a hungry heart, AND a hungry stomach, does this mean I am, in fact, an elephant? I do, after all, have an odd affinity for elephants.
It’s a Friday night in mid April. I am in Kismet, Fire Island, a skinny-ass island of the coast of Long Island. It’s unusually cold outside. I remember this time last year and it was mad hot. The atmosphere is changing and so am I.
I am riding a tall bicycle along slender ‘boardwalk roads’ through a deep misty fog while a really, REALLY crazy-cool-magestical lightning storm flashes overhead. Not the kind where the bolts strike the ground, but the kind where there’s just quick, bright bursts in the sky.
You know when you watch a cheesy coming-of-age flick and there’s that quintessential scene where the lead characters are riding bikes, having the time of their lives and you think to yourself, ‘That never happens?’ Welp, that’s exactly what I was thinking as I was riding.
The dopiest smile is plastered across my face and my soul is beaming with joy. No fuQs given. It’s refreshing to leave the city from time to time, even if it’s just for one night. (Even if the night could potentially beat the shit out of you).
Tonight I am riding with my friend Daisy and 4 other gals to the Kismet Inn, one of two bars on this end of the island. Since cars aren’t exactly allowed here, the only way to get around is to walk, jog, leap frog, ride a bike, or accept piggyback rides from strangers. We end up having to share 4 bikes between 6 of us.
As I pump my pedals full steam ahead, I follow the silhouettes of the other girls ahead me. There is a lot of laughter, as I was on a boy’s bike four sizes too large for me. At this moment I feel 13 and 26 at the exact same time. Bliss.
Two miles later, we arrive at the Inn, post-workout glow. I look around and wipe the sweat from my forehead: Older crowd, 2 pool tables, low-key…And drinks are cheap. Score. Am I dreaming? No, this exists.
As the night goes on and track of time is lost, we finally realize it’s time to make the trek back to the house we were crashing at, as soon as Daisy stops ballroom dancing with the scruffy deadlocked dude named Ratty.
We make our grand departure with some additional friends, and now there are no longer enough bikes for the amount of people who were headed back with us. So, Ratty, being the drunken gentleman he was, offers me a piggyback ride. Guys, sometimes saying yes to everything is a bad idea. But who could turn down a free piggyback ride? Like I said, 13 and 26 at the same time. Plus, piggyback rides are safe, fun, and safe.
Before I know it, Ratty starts running to keep up with our bicyclist friends. Cue danger.
The fall slash face plant happened in a blink. Or I may have been napping. All I know is that one moment I’m on Ratty’s back, and the next, my face is shmushed into the dirt road. I will admit, I can be a drama queen when it comes to injuries. I can’t even watch blood on Grey’s Anatomy, let alone look at it leaking from various parts of my bod. Naturally, I freak the freak out when I touch under my nose and see blood on my hands.
‘There’s so much blood. Oh my God, Daisy, there’s SO much blood,’ I wined.
Ratty managed to walk away unscathed, and I was a lone human sling-slot victim. Daisy and my new friends came to my rescue and helped me clean my wounds. I went to sleep thinking that when I wake up in the morning, my face would be healed. When I woke up, it wasn’t. My upper lip was completely swollen and my gash* on my upper lip made me resemble Hitler.
As unpleasant as a facial injury is, I am insanely grateful I didn’t lose a tooth or crack my nose or get a hang nail. Oh, the horror of a hang nail!
I bowed my head in shame the entire train ride home. Strangers did double takes. I now know first hand what Miley Cyrus-level fame feels like. Please hold, as I film a video of myself twerking in a unicorn onesie.
Daisy and I… Before and after our one evening in Fire Island:
*For the record, I named my new wound Peter.
So this one time I wrote a short blog post here that got published in an e-book.
Then the publisher wanted to interview me and I don’t think I’ve ever been interviewed for something that wasn’t a job interview so here is the interview.
Author Interview: Tara Parian
Publisher’s background Note: Tara Parian’s story, ‘The Mustached Murderers’, won third place in the pixelhose.com First Writing Competition, in the Nonfiction Category. It is included in 22 Naked Bodies Inside, a short story collection that resulted from the competition.
Dourandish: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Parian: My middle name is Lindsey. My age is 26 and a half. I have a family and they are the best. I live in an apartment in Queens with a leaky ceiling in the bathroom. It’s almost February and my roommates and I still have not taken down our Christmas decorations. Last night I ate store brand canned tomato soup for dinner. As you can imagine, it was very bland.
Dourandish: When did you start writing?
Parian: I don’t remember. That’s kind of like asking someone, what did it feel like when you exited the womb? It just happens, not really by choice. I mean, maybe my parents taught me how to color first? Who knows. This question should go to my parents.
Dourandish: Do you have a specific style? If so, how did you develop it. If not, why not?!
Parian: I guess I do. My friends tell me I’m urban-chic, which is really flattering because I used to wear overalls and shirts with puffy sleeves in grade school. So for my pals to tell me I have a specific style now, it’s such an amazing thing as a growing young lady to hear, especially one who was never really interested in fashion. I’m currently trying to morph my look into something more rockstar-chic, and in this new movement of mine I have recently purchased my first ever skull t-shirt and now wear it once a week. Boom.
Dourandish: What kinds of stories do you (like to) tell?
Parian: Ones that are true. About myself. I have nothing important or of worth to say, but I like the the thought of ‘saving’ myself and I have been obsessed with that thought since second grade. I write down almost everything that happens to me. In the event I pass away before my parents, and they read my journals, I will say this now: Mother, Father, I am sorry for about 30% of the things I have done. Actually, no, I’m not sorry. I love every second of my life so please be proud of me despite my poor decision making but just know that I am happy and that’s all that matter, right? Right!?
Dourandish: How do you get your ideas?
Parian: Right now. Today. Today’s the day. There are so many serious issues in the world that people are turning a blind eye to and I think it’s time we pay more attention to them. For instance, there is a heaping pile of laundry in the corner of my room that is giving me the death stare and I really don’t appreciate it. Especially not at a serious time like this. Laundry pile, I am sorry I have neglected you for the past month…Okay, month and a half, but like, I’m just SUPER busy so please just stop looking at me like that. Wow. I feel so much better now.
Dourandish: How, and how many times on average, do you edit a piece?
Parian: If I were someone who sat down and counted how many times I edited something I think that would make me clinically insane or have OCD. I do not count. I usually just start writing. Sometimes I edit it once. That’s a lie. I reread it over and over and over again. Then, if it’s a blog, I’ll publish it for my three followers to read. And more often than not I’ll receive a text five minutes later from my super smart friend telling me I spelled something wrong. Then I’ll send him an embarrassed face emoticon.
Dourandish: Tell us about rejection.
Parian: Ouch. Well it’s awful. It’s something everyone will experience at some point in their lives, and if they don’t then they are robots and aliens are real. I’m extremely sensitive and emotional. Actually, this question is too broad. Are we talking about writing rejection or relationship rejection? Writing rejection is like a bee sting. Relationship rejection is like a dagger through the heart. Like, this one time I told someone I liked them then they didn’t give me the impression that they felt the same way so I started to cry like a child in the middle of the bar. Then they ran away. That hurt, cause it was real. Actually, no. You don’t have to publish that. How’s this: Hi, I’m perfect. I’ve never been rejected. My hair is perfect too. There. Now you know.
Dourandish: Tell us about some of your successes.
Parian: One time I wore the same socks from Thursday through Monday and I did not get athlete’s foot. I was really proud of myself for that because I had the whole ‘athlete’s foot scare’ but then realized two days later it wasn’t actually athlete’s foot after all. Oh but wait, that’s my survival story. In terms of success, well, in 4th grade I won a $50 gift certificate to Toys R’ Us for an Easter rabbit drawing contest. I was so happy. I bought a giga pet and a hockey puck even though I didn’t play hockey. I once was a tomboy.
Dourandish: What have you learned from your writing experiences that you consider invaluable?
Parian: Life as a writer brings on a ton of fame and fortune. It gets overwhelming at times, but it’s just something I have to learn to live with. I can barely leave my house without the paparazzi ATTACKING me. It gets annoying at times, especially when I come home really late and drunk and then have to see all those sloppy pictures of myself in US Weekly the next day. But it’s all part of the job. I did this to myself. So as for learning, I have learned to never leave the house without my Scream mask on.
Do you ever wake up from a dream and think, ‘oh my God, that’s the best idea I’ve ever had!!!!’
And you write it down with one eye open but when you read it in the morning all it says is: “Info maker idea at all and SonIwatched good prob.”
Do you ever wake up from a dream, crying, because you actually believe what just happened was real life?
And even as you lay in bed, awake, the dream impacted you so deeply that you still believe what happened was true. And so you text your friend at 6am just to make sure their brother didn’t actually get his car sucked into a tornado and fly away.
Do you ever wake up from a dream, and in your dream, you were preparing for death?
And you were trapped inside of a food court in a mall and the place was about to get bombed so you had no choice but to rapidly come to terms with the fact that you are going die, and so you accept your own death which was just seconds away…
And then suddenly, you wake up. Your eyes open and you take a deep breath. You’re still alive. You are so grateful that you have more time to live this wonderful life!
And then you roll over and go back to sleep.
The other week I was walking toward 11th Ave with some form of rain/snow/turd mixture falling on my head. I was dragging two dense pieces of luggage and thinking about how eager I am to escape this nasty NYC weather for a cruise in a toasty tropical atmosphere. And naturally, the very next thought that pops into my head is: The List of Things that Could Potentially Go Wrong.
When I travel, I always pack the best of the best when it comes to my wardrobe. The cream of the crop! I choose my most cherished belongings and on occasion I even go to a store and purchase BRAND NEW clothing for my adventure ahead. (I mean, it’s easier than having to sort through which old clothes to bring, am I right)? I love packing SO much that I will sing and dance in the buff to Icona Pop while neatly placing my favorite uber-chic attire into my tiny-ass suitcase.
Okay I lied. I don’t love packing. At all. It requires a lot of important decision-making, which isn’t exactly my forte. It’s undeniably painful and exasperating because my closet is jam-packed with an exotic array of Gourmet Goodies* so it’s hard to pick which getups to bring. As Queen of Procrastination, I wait a few hours before a trip to start rolling up and stuffing my tiny-ass suitcase while stress-induced tears stream down my cheeks and I’m internally screaming at myself for waiting until the last minute to pack. Torture.
As I continue my uphill pursuit to the “bus stop” (the southeast sidewalk of 34th and 11th), The List of Things that Could Potentially Go Wrong arises. What if there’s a mix-up at the airport and my luggage gets sent to Mississippi? What if there’s a flood? What if there’s a stray rat on the bus and it chews a hole through my suitcase then makes a nest in my garments? What if there’s another freak incident like the poop-deck-Carnival cruise ship and the same thing happens to me!? I’m doomed.
Although (knock wood) none of the above has ever happened to me, we’ve all heard these stories before. I’m just saying that if it WERE to, every last bit of my best-loved outfits would be destroyed/lost/gone forever. Why would I ever pack such delicacies when I could potentially lose them in all in one swift unlucky occurrence at the same time? Why, Tara? Why?
But then again, why does it even matter what I’m wearing? I am about to spend a week on a boat with 6,000 strangers. Then again, I guess there’s always the chance that I could meet the love of my life. And I guess I would want to look nice for my potential suitor. Then again, I wonder if it’s possible to meet the love of my life while I’m looking like a ragamuffin. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
*Gourmet Goodies: A.K.A my selection of hand-me-downs, clothes I haven’t touched in 5 plus years and other quality gems. Any thief that is thinking about breaking into my apartment/closet, might easily assume they are in a 14 year olds room. I don’t mean I have the slim body of a 14 year old, unfortunately. I mean my closet is just that embarrassing.
Guys, I’m starting to develop chair butt.
You know when a young lady’s butt starts to morph into the shape of the desk chair she sits in all day at work? That is chair butt. Chair butt is me.
I work a
9-5 10-8. And I perch on my chair all day. And I’ve been doing this for a couple years now. I’m actually surprised I haven’t developed chair butt sooner in life. My butt is in my desk chair longer than in my bed.
My chair and I have gotten really close lately. Closer than comfort. Her name is Brenda. She doesn’t like it when I rest my shoes up on her face or when I accidentally roll her delicate feet over my ipod charger and/or head phone cords, because they get stuck, which makes Brenda very angry and then I start spinning in all sort of directions.
However, the best part about my relationship with Brenda is that she is always there for me. And my lumbar.
Brenda, if you’re out there somewhere reading this, well, I don’t say this nearly as much as I should, but even though my butt is probably expanding a couple millimeters per week, I thank you for your unconditional love and support.
Summer Tara has been hibernating in her cave of winter misery.
But good news! The chains are about to be untied and she is about to be released into the wild. Please tuck your children into bed early to ensure their safety. If they catch sight of this gypsy woman slash baby bear cub, night terrors may occur.
Don’t fret, as she will be on a large boat in the Atlantic Ocean far from land.
You’ve been warned.
Welcome to New Hampshire where beer is on sale for $1.75. It’s the small things that are missed. In no particular order:
However, there are some upsetting new discoveries this time around.
I may have been the gal in high school who
threw rippers while the rents went out of town had this one rager this one time when the rents were out of town. At one point during this one party, there was an overflow of bodies in the hot tub, unbeknownst to me. God only knows what was happening out there, as I was probably indoors, regulating the pong table.
Come 7am, kicked out the stragglers and cleaned the shit out of my house. Coast clear.
Cut to: One week later. Alone in the hot tub, mother sweeping the pool deck. All of a sudden she freezes, slowly turning to me as if she had just dug up a dead president.
“Tara. Do you mind explaining to me what the headrest of the hot tub is doing in my rhododendronbush?”
“Um…that’s strange, I have no idea.”
“I don’t understand how it got from there, all the way over here.”
“Maybe it was super windy the other night?”
So as you can imagine, to come home only to find mother’s beloved rhododendron bush chopped to the ground, it can be monumentally devastating to say the least.
*Truth be told: Snack turned out to be a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. Don’t knock it til you try it. Try it! Did you try it yet? Seriously, go try it.
(Source: Mother's Rhododendron Bush)
Yes I have been very absent on the tumblr! Excuses below:
But seriously, thanks for noticing. Did you know that a giant squid’s eyeball is the size of the human head?
Tonight a man fell into the subway tracks, intoxicated.
34th Street. Downtown express track.
Standing on the opposite platform with fellow onlookers, a quiet panic spread as we realized what just happened.
We all started shouting for the man to get up.
The next train could have been coming at any moment. The man stood up, still in the tracks, unable to lift his burly drunken self onto the platform.
He just stood there. We yelled. And he stood.
Another man on his side of the tracks ran to his rescue. And picked up the drunk. And saved his life.
This all happened in a matter of seconds. Quite the boner-shrinker to end a pleasant evening.
But it’s instances like these that puts things into perspective Be grateful. Be thankful. And don’t blink. You might miss something.
It has officially been one year since Tara Knows Nothing was released into the cyber-universe. I have to thank my ‘almost’ friend, Molly, for encouraging me to start writing in this public-display-of-embarrassment thingy some people call a ‘blog.’ As much pain that occurs while my fingers slap the keys, I must not whine and be grateful because it was right here where birth was given to: Denise, Summer Tara, The Dirt-Poor Disheveled Divas and The Mustached Murderers, which will soon be published.
And even more good news: As I reflect back on my year, I can safely say I’ve learned nothing, so this blog will continue to not only be about nothing, but also prominently display my lack of knowledge for my three readers to see. Tapping self on back now.
However, even though I have not allowed any new information to seep into my noggin, my reckless year has helped shape me into an entirely different person from who I was when I first starting writing. Plus, I am now able to cross some shit off my bucket list (in no order, of course).
Perform a stand up set longer than 2 minutes. Use a glow stick to make friends.
Give birth to a baby, a real baby. Or two.
Make Denise mine, all mine.
Make ass out of self in front of Kristen Wiig. Streak without clothes on.
Write a book about nothing.
Be my own boss and make enough dough to pay for a 17-room mansion so that me and all my friends can live in it. And my personal chef. And maid. And stylist. And assistant. And shoe shiner. And limo driver. And helicopter driver. And Tom Cruise… Call me.
Get hit by a car- Sue- Pay off student loans.
Make out with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Set new world record of how many i-phones one can lose/fuck up/get stolen from them in less than a month (will hopefully cross this one off in less than a week).
two three four five six some.
Adopt a seahorse.
Be generally more carefree than last year and not feel bad about it.
Find the invisibility cloak.
Learn the waltz
Tie the knot on a beach.
Skydive and survive.
Write L Clock / Film L Clock.
Move to California.
See Mount Rushmore with my own eyes.
My Must List-
This one time, a year ago, I wrote out my personal ‘Must List.’ Here it is:
1. Must marry a surfer and live off their fortune. Travel the world, write about it and raise a happy, healthy family. I could not imagine a more perfect lifestyle.
According to my age, this is about the time people are supposed to have their quarter-life crisissseses’ (what the eff is the plural for crisis?) Anyways, I clearly have not hit mine yet.