Oh look what’s this not much just yet another journal I’ve been published in that is now available for purchase should you so desire, NBD.
And the illustration I had mentioned earlier? Well, first of all, Other Jessica, I am SHOCKED I tell you, outright SHOCKED, that any major american university is not a subscriber to the UK’s most controversial weird magazine. This is a lapse in literary judgement that I can only hope will be rectified soon. In the meantime, for those of you living in one of the very few areas without public access to Morpheus Tales Magazine (we call them “dead zones”), below is the utterly fantastic illustration of my story:
Which I adore.
I’ve decided I am no longer suffering from google-search-fear for this thing, because, like, fine, I’m kind of half-teasing this magazine for being just a goofy pulp horror magazine or whatever, and I certainly hope that’s not offensive to them, because obviously I’m fucking THRILLED AS BALLS to be published there. Turns out I love goofy pulp horror stories, and I assume they do, too, and I assume they’re not mad at me for pointing out that that’s kind of what’s going on there.
So really. I hope everyone knows that I’m not teasing or being sarcastic when I say that I LOVE this illustration. It’s exactly NOT AT ALL what I would have thought of myself, and it IS EXACTLY what it should be for this publication, right down to the lady-butt. I particularly enjoy the beatnik in the corner, who I suspect might be the artist himself? But my absolute favorite thing about it is his interpretation of my story’s Jesus, who is…haggard and snarling and scary and evil, whereas my imagination of him was more, like, charming and hipster and slight and not-necessarily-an-arsonist and…I dunno…someone a 14-year-old-girl might have a crush on. But then again, his interpretation of my 14-year-old-girl looks like she can handle him, so, whatevs. I trust her. (His depiction of HannaBelle the gorilla is SPOT FUCKING ON.)
Anywho, decidedly unsarcastic woot for all that. But also!
LUMINA officially marks my first highly respectable literary-type publication to come out. (No T no shade, Morpheus, ALL my love over here, but I mean. YOU know, gurl.) I’m doing a reading of the story in LUMINA on May 22 at Cake Shop, and that’s fucking terrifying, so everyone please come and see me and reassure me that I did a good job whether or not I actually do!
So here’s sort of a funny story?
My psychiatrist is an Orthodox Jew.* (I shook his hand when I first met him. I didn’t think! I felt super-bad about it later!) I told him that I write stories and that I was sending them out to journals and stuff. But he…didn’t believe me? Or, like, I think he thinks I’m pretty stupid, so he didn’t think I’d get anything published or something? But, like, I like him! He’s nice. He, um, sings to me. A lot. That’s…well, okay, no, now that I’ve typed that, it’s just awkward. Fine. But…it’s…not that weird when it happens in real life?? And he has all these crazy stories about, like, working at weird experimental therapeutic hippie theatres in the 1970s? That’s fun! But he keeps telling me I should convert to Judaism (which…can’t be ethical for a doctor, right?), and he’s kind of sweetly disapproving about the fact that I live with a male roommate, and he keeps thinking that I’m a secretary (which, fine, I call myself that sometimes, but sarcastically). And also he says things like, “Oh, you write stories? Like ‘The Metamorphosis?’” And when I tried to make a joke about how, sure, kind of, since I write scary stories and ‘The Metamorphosis’ was sort of a horror story, he very firmly corrected me that, no, actually, ‘The Metamorphosis’ was about very serious psychological issues, and the whole bug thing was actually a metaphor, not just a scary horror story plot, and I just sort of nodded and said “Oh” and then he gave me some pills so it all worked out in the end.
But so then I told him I was getting some stuff published, and now he keeps asking me about what they’re about. And…it’s kind of embarrassing to tell your Orthodox psychiatrist the plots of some of my stories? Like, the one where Jesus burns down a burlesque theatre is one thing (I swear to g-d, this is true: he actually told me, “I never trusted that guy” and I think he wasn’t joking), but when I told him about the one where two little kids kill another even littler kid? He gasped! Shocked! Asked me: “And George Saunders liked that!?” and then added, “Some people might find that very offensive.” Then, because I felt so bad for telling him about that story, I tried to be all, “No no! Some of them are nicer than that!” and I told him the kind of cute funny one about the ghost who lives in a law firm, and how they try to get rid of him by, like, serving him an eviction notice and stuff, but it doesn’t work because they can’t serve him because he’s non-corporeal. And that’s when suddenly he decided that my stories Mean Things.
According to my Orthodox psychiatrist, the even-littler-kid who gets killed by the slightly-bigger-kids represents MY INNER CHILD and the ghost who cannot be removed from the law firm represents ALSO MY INNER CHILD. Because sometimes our inner children are monsters or ghosts or um children.
I feel like I had a point to this story, but now I have forgotten what it was.
Jessica’s Inner Child
* This sentence won second place for Most New York Thing Jessica Has Ever Said. First place was: “Oy gevalt, this F train is slower than the line at the deli where I get my roast pork buns for breakfast when the bridge-and-tunnellers are here. Go Nets!”