The feeling that occurs in my brain whenever I read a piece of Mira Gonzalez’s writing is similar to hearing a Frankie Cosmos song. “What is the difference between being an independent person and being a person who is accepting of loneliness,” Gonzalez writes in “today my alarm went off at 12:30 am”. It’s simple language, but when someone can put those sorts of candid feelings and desires into words that are both beautiful and funny, it resonates. That poem and others appear in Gonzalez’s first poetry collection I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough to Make Us Beautiful Together, published in 2013 by Sorry House press, compiling tidbits of her writing that had been floating around the internet.
Several weeks ago, Gonzalez was invited to read her work at Basilica Soundscape and in turn, I invited her to join me in a garage-turned-whiskey-bar to discuss a myriad of awkward topics. Besides the A-Z theme, the only restraint I placed on myself was to not ask any questions about drugs (after all, Gonzalez is Alt Lit’s #StonerGirl and that would have been too easy). Mira deserves some serious Drake-prayer-or-high-fiving-hands vibes for cooperating with this ridiculous, aimless interview. (Literally, this was just an excuse for me to ask my favorite Alt Lit writer a series of random questions under the guise of an extremely loose A-Z theme.) In retrospect, I guess I could have asked about the time she and Tao Lin live-tweeted Gravity.
A: What would you name your autobiography?
Gonzalez: Oh Christ… this is the type of question that I would think about as I’m going to bed. The minute I’m asked a question like this I go totally blank. The only title I can think of right now is The Autobiography of Mira Gonzalez.
B: What percentage of our brain power do you believe we use?
Intuitively, I feel like when people say that we only use 10% of our brains, that it must be wrong. I just feel like we must use more than 10% of our brain, although who knows. If I had to guess, I would say we use 45% of our brains.
C: How do you feel about Crocs?
Crocs are great! I love Crocs, I’m a big fan of plastic shoes. I own many pairs of Crocs, many different styles of Crocs. I have the really horrible ones with the holes in them and then I have a pair of Croc sandals, I have a pair of Croc flats, I have a pair of Crocs mary jane flats, and I’ve had various other Crocs before that.
D: How do you feel about Drake?
I also love Drake, big fan of Drake. Last night I was in a big debate about Drake’s sex life and what it is like and what happens. My friend was claiming very loudly, “I don’t think Drake has ever brought a woman to orgasm but he thinks he has and that’s the problem,” and I was like, “Yes, that seems correct.” I feel very strongly about it now.
E: Editors, what are they good for?
Absolutely nothing! That’s a lie I love my editor, he’s a great man.
F: Do you have a music festival story?
I’ve been to a lot of music festivals. The first year I went to Coachella was the year Rage Against the Machine played and I was maybe 15. I took mushrooms and got to the very front of the crowd to see Rage Against the Machine. They were like two hours late, so I was waiting for two hours on mushrooms to see Rage Against the Machine. The minute their first song started, the whole crowd went nuts, like you do at a Rage Against the Machine show, and I, being a small 15 year old, fell over, lost both of my shoes, stepped on a lit cigarette, stepped on a piece of glass, and then stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle. This is the part of the story that’s going to sound fake but I swear it’s not: some man came up to me when I was on the ground and he was like, “Are you okay,” and I was like, “I don’t know if I can stand,” and he scooped me up like a baby, and asked me where I wanted to go. I told him the V.I.P. section, and he plowed through the crowd and brought me over there.
G: I was going to ask you about gynecologists for G, but how about gerbils?
I am terrified of rodents. All of them. I’m terrified of bunnies, I’m terrified of squirrels, hamsters… if it’s a bunny and the bunny is hopping around in nature, at a distance, that’s fine, as long as it’s not near me. I’m terrified of rats, I’m terrified of possums, so I think I would be afraid of gerbils too.
H: Do you have any favorite hashtags?
I don’t think I’ve ever used a hashtag, at least not in a serious way.
I: What do you think of the word “interesting” as a descriptor?
I feel like it can be negative a lot of times. It would have to have an addendum after, like, “It’s interesting because…,” but if someone said, “Oh, her work is interesting,” that seems like it would be my worst nightmare.
J: Do you like Jenny Lewis or Rilo Kiley?
I’ve been a big fan of both for a really long time. “Portions For Foxes” is probably my favorite Rilo Kiley song, just to be real.
K: Kendrik Lamar, Ellie Goulding, and Calvin Harris are performing at a Bacardi-sponsored Halloween weekend concert. Would you go?
Hell yeah! If someone wanted to fly me out there and pay for my ticket, I would 100% go to that and I would be thrilled. If I got lost in the Bermuda Triangle, even better.
L: Are you working on a book with Tao Lin?
Yeah, I am. It’s going to be coming out in March. It’s not a novel or fiction of any kind, but that’s all I can say.
M: How do you feel about music blogs, Pitchfork in particular?
I feel pretty good that Pitchfork invited me to do this, that seems good. Everyone I’ve met from Pitchfork seems very friendly and nice. I can’t say that I read Pitchfork as religiously as some people do, but I definitely appreciate it as a magazine and as a thing.
N: What do you think of net art?
Net art is confusing to me. I know Brad Troemel and I know his work, but it seems hard to discern what the boundaries of it are or who is involved. I definitely do not know enough about it, but I know The Jogging and I know Brad Troemel.
O: What would you do if you could hang out with Oprah for a day?
I feel like I would want to know what a normal day for her is, like if I could just shadow her and see what she eats for breakfast or what her work routine is. Any of her normal routines, like what she does with her husband or when no one is looking. I wouldn’t even want to plug my writing or anything, I would just want to see her being her.
P: How do you feel about PDA?
I think I feel the same way everyone feels about PDA, which is that if it’s happening and I’m not involved, it seems really gross and terrible but if I am involved it seems fine and I don’t notice it.
Q: I’m sorry, this is even more of an awful question than all the others. How long do you think Queen Elizabeth will live?
She’s pretty old now, isn’t she? I love Queen Elizabeth. I love her outfits, her dogs. I’ve spent a lot of time googling her. She will probably live at least another six years.
R: Will you respond to this Goodreads review of your book: “I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough To Make Us Beautiful Together is a cold shower that gets warmer but cold again.”
I feel like anything anyone writes about my book is going to be more interesting than anything I could say about my book. The fact that someone read my book and felt affected by enough that they wanted to take the time to write that on the internet is extremely positive, therefore I feel good about it.
S: I hate the term “spirit animal” but what animal would you like to represent you?
I recently read an article about a panda who faked pregnancy to get more food and foot rubs, more buns and a nice little room. That’s my spirit animal, the panda who fakes pregnancy for more food.
T: Could you read some of your tweet drafts?
Let me see if I even have one. I don’t generally keep tweet drafts, I just fire them off as soon as I think of something. Let’s see… “My Facebook friends seem like complete strangers at best and malicious villains who are out to hurt me at worst.” That’s a tweet draft I will never post.
U: You also tweet often about your uterine lining. Do you have any magical menstruation cures?
Yeah, shed that once a month. Taking Xanax and eating a lot and crying. This is way over-sharing, but I get terrible periods that are awful and I have no idea how to fix them. If anyone has any recommendations, email me.
(V AND W SEEM TO HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN. OOPS?)
X: What would your X-Factor audition song be?
What is the X-Factor?
It’s like a singing competition show.
I would sing a really fast rap song, like something I wouldn’t know any of the lyrics to just because I wouldn’t be able to get on that show anyways, so I may as well do something funny. I would do a really fast Eminem song. Maybe a DMX song. Whatever the one is where he says he wants to fuck a corpse, that’s the one I would pick.
Y: What is your favorite Youtube video?
Z: Finally, and stereotypically, what is your zodiac sign?
Gemini. I actually don’t know anything about zodiac signs at all.