Romantically, I still felt like a five-year-old, one that confused fantasy with reality, was afraid of darkness, loud noises. I had spent my high school years being awkward and not handsome and thinking that love and sex and relationships would happen to me eventually, that all I had to do was to avoid thinking about it too much and just wait. Since then, I had had girlfriends and ambiguous relationships and other things, but those had weirdly bounced off of me like a kind of minor deflection. It seemed like I was still waiting and would continue waiting, quietly waiting, like I was in love with the waiting and would miss the waiting if I were to get into a relationship I felt anything other than indifference towards.
I feel like this tweet by Guillaume Morissette gets uncomfortably close to articulating some type of profound truth about the nature of individual consciousness in an otherwise ‘unconscious’ universe, shit man
the city I built in sim city 2000 when I was a kid that occupied the entire map & it was the year 4000 & to install new bigger buildings I had to bulldoze small houses, but I would only move there if I was still allowed to be mayor.
5. do you think you’re interesting?
I think I am flawed but I mean well.
thinking about what other people think of me in more precise terms feels like an infinite abyss kind of thing, like a mirror facing another mirror.
clumsy/naïve. one time, I was 7, we went to the bathroom as a group and had to wait in line after and I was playing with my friend in the line and got excited and fell ass-first in the janitor’s mop bucket and all the other kids thought I had peed myself and pointed at me and laughed and made fun of me and emotionally I am not sure I’ve been the same since.
8. what did you eat today?
tofu, rice, protein bar, multivitamin. my savings account looks like it’s on life support right now, so I have limited money for food, but I haven’t noticed a difference in my overall satisfaction level compared to when I could theoretically buy things. I don’t seem to care about food that much.
9. have you ever created culture or art?
I wrote a book and I make charts sometimes, but I dislike thinking of myself as an artist or poet or author because it makes me sound like I take myself seriously. thinking of myself as a person already seems like a lot and kind of exhausting.
10. do you like drinking alcohol or using drugs?
one of the poems in my book is called, ‘I am on MDMA let me give you life advice.’
11. what kind of people do you hate?
12. what are your goals, if you have any?
write a novel, then give up.
13. do you have any depressing stories about your life?
haven’t talked to my parents in I think two years, feels like I am set on never going to back to my hometown, I have sad xmases but other than that, I see no downside to my decision.
14. who are your favorite authors?
whoever wrote, ‘the history of celibacy,’ bill bissett, lidia yuknavitch, other ppl.
15. what will you be doing ten years from now?
legally married to my facebook account, lying to myself re: being old, not understanding the internet or anything anymore, writing ‘the history of celibacy 2’ and then reading from it at some sort of alt lit reunion tour.
Guillaume Morissette is the author of I Am My Own Betrayal (maison kasini, 2012). A book about, ’anxiety, email relationships, owl people, awkwardness, facebook, humiliations, shortcomings, groundhogs, terrible personal decisions, videogames, coping, girly arms, cat seizures, etc’
He is also the author of (at time of going to ‘press’) 991 similarly themed tweets. (@monogamie).
Here are some of my recent favourites :
I’ve been doing 'Tweets of the Week’ for a while now, and I wanted to know a little bit more about the attitudes of alt-lit writers to their twitter accounts. I asked Guillaume to answer some questions about his tweets:
1. can you please say something re: the relationship between your tweeting and your writing?
my inner monologue generates thoughts and 90% of the thoughts are fucked and the remaining 10% are evaluated by a tiny imaginary person inside me in terms of feeling or complexity or self-loathing and then classified as a tweet or a line in a poem or a paragraph for a story or whatever else it is I am making.
2. do you ever consciously try to write tweets which fit with a 'personal brand?’ (if yes, please elaborate)
I don’t think of twitter as a communication tool, I think of it as a brand tool. it’s kind of like professional wrestlers when they’re talking to the camera and they’re like, 'I am going to destroy this guy on friday,’ but then what they’re really getting across is themselves, like what makes them different from other wrestlers. replace 'wrestler’ with 'writer’ and 'destroy this guy’ with 'destroy myself’ in that last sentence and that’s sort of how I approach it I think.
3. how many tweet drafts do you currently have saved/to what extent do you edit your tweets?
zero. my tweets are usually +/- 14580 characters long at first and then I edit them until twitter lets me tweet them. feels like twitter should have a mechanism where you can buy an extra 10 characters for a tweet in exchange for 5 twitter followers or something, kind of like buying a vowel in wheel of fortune.
4. please write the twitter handle of the account you find most enjoyable:
5. if you and twitter had existed in the past, which dead writer would you like to have followed?
ikkyu. he’s an eccentric poet and zen master from fifteen century japan. his poem titles are already tweets.
All The Bad Things I Do Will Go Up In Smoke A Beautiful Woman’s Hot Vagina’s Full Of Love Fuck Flattery Success Money I’m Alive! Right? Don’t We Say That? Sometimes All I Am Is A Dark Emptiness It Takes Horseshit To Grow Bamboo Men Are Like Cows Horses Fuck Poetry We’re Lost Born In Delusions Deeper Than Any Mind
Essentially, Alt Lit was a subculture of independent literature that was fascinated by the internet. The writer Spencer Madsen once described the Alt Lit community as “a generation of poets who don’t like poetry.” One nearly universal trait of members of the Alt Lit community was a compulsion to document their lives on social media in an attempt to entertain a hypothetical audience. These written records, as we’ll see later on in this essay, played an important part in exposing issues of abuse and sexual assault within the community.