The mysterious XTX is one of our favorite writers. She’s irreverent and hilarious. In her new book Today I Am A Book, out from Civil Coping Mechanisms, the narrator assumes a new role, a new identity, with each entry. It often turns from comedic to dark in a few lines, a feat most writes wish they could pull off with such ease. She was kind enough to give us an excerpt from her book and answer our wacky questions.
Today I Am Unemployed
Today I am unemployed. So far, every day feels like a Saturday. Yesterday while I was driving around in the middle of the morning running errands something felt wrong. It felt like I forgot something. I kept looking down to make sure I was wearing pants.
Reality is weighted, heavy. It is an anvil tied to the all of you, pulling you down. Extra gravity. At night it turns to locusts. A tiny, swarm with equal heft. They nest inside the mind. They are a wriggling, restless mass. They don’t let you sleep.
Last night I brought shit into the bed. I smelled it everywhere but I didn’t do anything and he didn’t notice.
In the morning, I found shit on my elbow and on my wrist. I untucked the fitted sheet and folded it over the smears so the maid wouldn’t see.
Last night was a living, awake, nightmare. The kind where when you wake up from not really being asleep, it is still there.
Tomorrow is Saturday.
I wonder if it will feel like Thursday.
Tell me about your book. What do you want people to know about it?My book was, initially, an attempt at being something new everyday. I wanted to write 365 pieces. I want people to know that I feel way short of that goal.
What was the process of writing it? What’s your writing process in general? What time do you wake up? Where do you write? Etc.
Whenever I came across something I fantasized being, I would write a piece. I would take the nugget of that want…the feeling or image of it….and ride it with words until it was finished. I have a full-time job so I generally write at my lunch hour and after work/weekends whenever I can grab chunks of time. I write wherever I am so usually a table or lap and couch are involved.
Do you believe in a higher power?
Yes. Some sort of encapsulating energy that connects us all.
Tell me about where you live.
What’s your drink?
Water or vodka. I guess I like clear beverages.
What is the joy of which no one speaks?
What do you hear right now?
A morning radio show. Edward Norton is a dad.
What music did you listen to last? The last book?
I’ve been orgying with Sia’s new album lately. The song that I’m listening to now is Polly by Nirvana. The book I am reading now is, “The Empathy Exams”. It’s not what I expected and maybe I’m disappointed with it. (Which I know puts me in the minority, I guess)
Who did you last talk on the phone with? What did you talk about?
My last phone call was with my mom. She was apologizing for being a bad mother and I had to convince her that she is not/was not a bad mother. I also reminded her to talk to her doctor about taking medical marijuana.
Did you grow up in a literary home? Who first gave you books?
My dad was a plumber and my mom was a housewife who read all the time. I pilfered her books. Stephen King mostly. He was my first love.
Who are your heroes? Literary or otherwise.
I don’t know that I have heroes. I have people I look up to and admire. They walk with two legs and I love them.
Are you a writer of the road or the room?
Both. I have to take it where I can get it.