This very moment was the correct time for me to charge through this nasty (a compliment!) little slice of life. There was a time, not too long ago, that the crippling desperation of Millie would have felt far too familiar. There is a lot of Hannah Horvath (Girls) in Millie, and I found Girls very hard to stomach when I too was young, squandering privilege, and living like a recluse outside of my seriously uninspiring job.
“Everyone thinks deep in their hearts (at least when they’re young, or have the mind of a young fool) that they can act, simply because the have deep emotions coursing through them all the time (haha, “they” “them” “the individual”) not recognizing that it’s the absence of those things that creates a good performance, that their emotions (fear, doubt, anxiety, arrogance) will override their performance. Or maybe we all think we would make good actors because we lie, because our lives our lies.”
Oof. I am quite sure that I have said those very words aloud at some time in my life; especially as a person who fancied them-self both an actor and an exquisite liar. Now I can read these things and laugh, but there is still a bit of acid at the back of my throat.
There is some Millie in a lot of us; buying a fancy water bottle because it will suddenly change us into people with healthy lifestyles, buying a pair of aspiration-small jeans, making firm commitments to things that will bore us in a day or two…the list goes on forever.
Halle Butler writes like she is being hard on herself, and keeping the rest of us in check as well. I found her brash prose equally refreshing and revolting, and I cannot wait to see what she cooks up next.