kortina.nyc / notes
30 May 2024 | by kortina

July // All Fours

As soon as I heard about the new book from Miranda July – All Fours – I pre-ordered it. She’s one of my favorites.

The book is silly and serious exactly in the ways you’d expect from her.

What struck me most as I was reading it was how well July uses analogies instead of just strong verbs / nouns / adjectives – I feel like she does this more often or better than (or both of those) than most other writers I read.

Notes and quotes…

Jordi thought that it was terrific that I was already off-schedule.

“That’s the whole point! Just follow beauty!” I looked around the weirdly big, drab room.

“I’m trying.”

I bought some food at Grocery Outlet. I watched TV. I took a bath. In the morning I did these same things again in the same order as if this had been my routine for years. It felt very natural. In the afternoon I retrieved the bedspread and carried it back to the motel, feeling a bit conspicuous with such a big bundle. But who was going to see me? I smoothed the pink coverlet out on the double bed and stepped back, taking in the whole picture. The maroon carpet looked more intentional now, elevated by the coverlet; too bad it was such poor quality. I could imagine a little vase of flowers on the desk. Above the bed there was a greenish-gray painting so blandly abstract it was of nothing at all. I lifted it off its clip and slid it under the bed with the original bedspread.

I felt very alive, kind of buzzy.

I had never really decorated, not with actual money. Harris already owned our house before I met him so I just moved in, which took all of twenty minutes. His dishes and furniture and bedding were of a higher caliber than mine so I gave my few things to Goodwill, installed my books and clothes, and hung my purple toiletries bag from a hook in the bathroom. When friends came over I would immediately take them aside and explain that almost nothing in this house was mine, this wasn’t even my style. It was actually more sophisticated than my style; there was an enormous square, black wooden table with eight matching chairs around it. Where would you even buy such a thing? In time I just let people believe it was all mine (“ours,” whatever). And some of it is: our spoons, for example. We kept losing spoons until finally there were only three in rotation. I can solve this, I thought. I can single-handedly make this problem go away. And I did. Top-of-the-line spoons, too—ten of them. Sometimes when we are in the middle of an especially bad argument I think: I’ll just take my spoons and leave.

Were the nylon motel curtains intentionally ecru or just dingy? Even if you replaced nothing else, new curtains (plus the bedspread) would completely refresh the room; you didn’t have to be an interior designer to see that. Although, actually, I did know of an interior designer in Monrovia—or at least the receptionist of one. I looked up Palaces. It was a strip club, but also there was a listing for Palaces by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

The woman who answered the phone said Palacesbystephanierosenbaum with such force that it took me a moment to reorganize.

Jordi was my only escape, my one person. I dressed for her as if she was Davey and sometimes arrived in such a state of desperation that I couldn’t talk for the first few minutes in her studio; I just walked around gasping, as if I’d been holding my breath since we’d last spoken. If before the trip I had looked forward to our dessert dates, now I lived only for them. Once she’d canceled at the last minute (to meet with an important curator) and I lost my shit like a devastated child. Far from becoming a Driver I’d become such an extreme version of myself that I couldn’t tolerate anything that fell outside my extremely narrow interests, which were all memories.

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