This is What Happens When You Reread All Your Bret Easton Ellis Books

“I’m a good girl.” I kept saying over and over as I laid in the bathtub staring at nothing in particular.

“I will always be the good girl.”

I’m not like those girls you read about in books.
But I want to be.
Be like this girl right here. The one with my namesake who kind of sort knew that it was always going to be like that.
The utter and complete nihilism.
Behavior counteracting against the fundamental need for connection.
When we think that what we listen to and what we wear defines us.
Breaking everything in our paths through ambivalence.
Drinking, fucking.
Rock n’ Roll.

And that time I walked through Koreatown at 3AM in a fur coat and nothing else with that boy from the Hamptons.
That doesn’t count.
Or the night I passed out drunk alone on Venice Beach because I thought I didn’t care.
That doesn’t either.
Putting my hand on the thigh of a boy who didn’t love me nor I he.
The dead body lying in the middle of Route 110 and my mind going blank.
Having had that affair with the almost married director when I was 20 years old doesn’t matter.
None of it counts because I wasn’t unabashedly unapologetic then.

They sound better on paper.

No midnight drives to Palm Springs. The wind blowing through my hair, you wearing your sunglasses, and the thought that nothing else mattered more than this.
No standing up above the city, looking down, the noises and colors blurring together and wrapping me up, firmly holding me into place.
No staying up until 5, no parties in the back room, no waking up next to that boy who I heard liked Janice from NYC but actually was dating someone named Lindsey and is in a post punk band that sounds not unlike Morrissey on speed.

Instead, I’ll keep lying here in the tub, living vicariously through these characters, hoping that one day the romance of not caring will wear off.

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  • Reply VegKat February 5, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I ♥ Mr. Ellis.

  • Reply christina February 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I don't like to say a lot on comments. I feel it sometimes ruins what the writing really means to the author. I do really like this, though. It stuck with me.

  • Reply Angie February 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Very beautifully worded.

  • Reply the eternal worrier February 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I love that post… I don’t know why, I think I just get it.

  • Reply paintnpencil February 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Your own written words truly are a wonderful book.

  • Reply Eric Shonkwiler February 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I was thinking about Ellis earlier this morning, and how intoxicating that mindset is. I was worried coming out to California that I'd get sucked into it–hence the "Land of the Lotus Eaters" name to the new blog. Hasn't quite happened yet, but it's tempting.

    Could I recommend some anti-nihilists? Marilynne Robinson and Louise Erdrich have big hearts. They'll make you care.

  • Reply Hipstercrite February 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    @VeKat- So do iiiiiiii

    @Christina- Thank you for that. I'm not much of a commenter either, so I'm honored that you took the time to comment on mine.

    @Angie- Thanks ! (P.S. I'm picking out a thermos for you)

    @The Eternal Worrier- I was worried that I was alone here, so thank you.

    @Paintnpencil- Thank you for your constant support.

    @Eric- I saw your tweets about LAX. Welcome to LA. How is it so far?

  • Reply Willy February 6, 2010 at 12:48 am

    this makes me want to read Ellis. Exciting.

  • Reply Rusty Hoe February 6, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I really like this. The flow, the mood, the little snippets that make me feel like I'm driving through your mind (in a classic black & white motif for some reason, not colour) skimming memories and moments.

  • Reply Suburban Sweetheart February 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I need to reread all of mine… it's been awhile. Reread "Rules of Attraction" a few months ago.

    (Love this)

  • Reply Eric Shonkwiler February 6, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I'm always in and out of it. I've only ever spent one night there, though that was great. The rest of the time it's just been shuttling back and forth from Riverside.

  • Reply AVY February 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm


  • Reply J.level February 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm


  • Reply Maya February 7, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    What a wonderful post. The power of words on a page.

  • Reply Don February 8, 2010 at 2:47 am

    You do have that 'kick-in-the-teeth' attitude with that post. Go! Ouch!

  • Reply Marc Farful February 8, 2010 at 4:19 am

    He and James Frey are the two greatest writers of our generation.

  • Reply Amanda West February 9, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Never read any of his books.

    Now I'm curious though.

    Loved this post.

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