It’s that time of the month again - another RUI review. I could start and end it by simply saying the highlight of my night was winning at trivia for a second time in a row, and I didn’t even have to beat Brendan in Rock, Paper, Scissors (again). But there’s always more to these entries than that so let’s get to it.
I entered the backroom area and paid the $3 cover. On the way to some friends, one of hosts asked if I paid. For those of you wonderful readers who haven’t kept up with my “reviews” of this particular reading series, for a long while I had a bad habit of either not-paying or paying only halfway, and from what I can tell, this particular host has a good memory of such behavior. What this host doesn’t know is I kept a mental and written tab of how much I owed from the times I didn’t pay, hence why I have the monthly “RUI tab” at the end of each of these reviews. Thankfully, I paid off the tab a couple months back (though let’s face it - I’m bound to forget again). Either way, I heard an accusatory tone in his voice that I couldn’t quite blame him for.
I switched between multiple groups of friends throughout the night including the readers, friends skipping class, and people who kept asking me about AWP. I was in a sad mood, so while I began by saying how wonderful and pretty Seattle is and how it’s a metropolitan version of the Chicago neighborhood Wicker Park, by the conversation’s end I’d admit to crying every night I was there. What can I say? I’m honest (and evidently very emotional). When I wasn’t talking about my West Coast mood swings, I was listening to the readings.
Emily Roth read from Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel Middlesex in the first round and from her own work in the second, a story about an ambitious softball player who’s just found out she is pregnant. In her story, we were shown the personalities of the characters through their actions and dialogue, none of it needing to be explained by the third person narrator, so it wasn’t. None of the content felt extraneous.
Eric May read from two published works, one of them his own novel Bedrock Faith, already receiving rave reviews from the likes of Ebony. The segment he read from his own work grabbed me from its sheer tension which grew and grew, until he left us at a cliffhanger. Of course, if we wanted to read more, the book was right there for sale for a cool $10. I would’ve bought it, but I was smart (read as: dumb) and spent all my paper money in Seattle. If donating objects to readings could be a thing, I’d get these guys a manual credit card machine. You know, those things from the ’80s.
Fun fact: I had to work one of these at an old job of mine.
Fun fact: The previous fact isn’t really fun.
The other work Eric May read from had to do with witchcraft, going strong with the theme of “Customs.”
Laura Krughoff’s read from her own novel My Brother’s Name about a girl who assumes her brother’s identity. She seemed a little nervous, but eventually her skills as a performer, or at least a live reader, came through and brought her piece alive, as well as the other piece she’d read earlier in the evening.
Johnny Misfit is last but not least. The Two Cookie Minimum host read stayed true to his ways through and through, reading both works via zines. He also gave away free zines to the audience. Pretty good deal if you ask me.
Now for the irrelevant shit.
I won during Johnny Misfit’s set of trivia, but what exactly did I win? First thing was a book by Ann Patchett (I think). I’d go get the book out of my backpack to see what the title is, but that involves getting out of bed, and I’m not that ambitious. Once I grabbed the book, I got my ticket stub for a free shot (after the host forgot for a minute or two).
My vice of choice:
After that I talked with Emily Roth and my other friends (yes, I’m friends with Emily and yeah, my “review” of her piece may have been biased, but only in the sense that I paid a little more attention to hers than the others, so suck it). In talking with her, I got the details as to how a person we know got hit by a car, and then one of the hosts, a good friend of hers, came over to say goodbye. As he walked away, he turned to say goodbye to me as well, but before I could get out “good-” he was on his way out. A lot of people do that, though maybe that just means I’m special.
I was about to leave myself, but then more friends came by, and it turned into an hour of me explaining how almost every single man who’s ever shown interest in me has either been mentally unstable or an outright predator, and how the few men I’ve gone after were assholes with the personalities of dead seals. In doing this, I realized that while I’m a great judge of character when it comes to wanting to be friends with people, when it comes to anything more than that, I’m dumb as a ball of cotton and might as well be unable to tell a strip of bacon from a sheet of plexiglass.
I left with one shot of alcohol swirling below my ribs and a sense of a night well-spent.
RUI tab: STILL NOTHING BECAUSE I KNOW HOW TO PAY COVERS NOW.