So, one thing I have been sort of mad at the internet for is not recognizing that you are the original baby.


Thank you so much, Julianne, I KNOW! But actually lately I haven’t been baby anymore, like it’s time for other people to be baby! I was baby when I started but I’m not baby!

Jia, you’ve grown!

I’m truly not baby! It’s wild! I am original baby, though. And you are the only one that recognized that Selena Gomez tried to Roommate me, when she went blonde. My twin! My Slack twin! I used to be baby but now I’m not baby. That is a very sad transition but actually it’s also a good one. Like, maybe it’s not great to be baby anymore. I was young enough when I graduated college that it made me younger than everyone when I was doing all these other things. And I’ve been waiting for a long time, really since I was like 10 years old, to not be super young when I’m doing shit. I’m not quite there, but I’m going to get there real soon, and I wonder if I’ll miss it. But right now I’m like yeah, I’m not baby anymore. But I still have that pacifier you guys gave me.


You’re no longer baby. But do you ever think about your legacy?

Whoa, oh my god, never. Like, literally never. Not even once. Do you?

I mean, I think about if anything will be left of me after I’m dead, having made the decision not to have children, and what will happen to my writing.


I mean, as you know well, there are a lot of things that I’m extremely careful and thoughtful about. And there are a lot of things that just really—like, really—never crossed my mind. A lot of things that I’m just fully thoughtless about and always will be. And one of them, I think, is thinking about the future. I think I’m thoughtful about the past, especially the near past. I have like an almost impossible block—like, the book was the furthest I’d ever thought into the future, and that was two years. I literally can’t conceive of even six months from now.

Part of it might be that I started writing on blogs, and already there’s shit that I wrote at The Hairpin that might be unsearchable, that I might never even be able to see again. There’s a baseline understanding of writing as transient and like a sandcastle, and look, maybe that’s a defensive gesture. Maybe it’s like the LOL nothing matters GIF as a kind of shield against taking yourself seriously sometimes. But I’ve been realizing recently that we’re on the earth for a blink of an eye, and none of it will matter, and no one will remember us like, 40 years after we die. No one will have any idea who we are. Maybe our family, but that’s basically it. And I think that frees me to work as if I didn’t believe that, because if the stakes are both so high and so non-existent, if it’s almost impossible, almost out of the question to leave any sort of mark—to me that’s an impetus to to do as much as I can.


It’s weird, because I think about it all the time, but I also agree with you that in 100 years if we even still exist as a species, probably none of our writing will exist!

Right, and I find that really comforting! I find it a reason to throw myself into it harder, because I’m extremely attracted to transience. One of the reasons that I’m attracted to really, really intense experiences—I’m thinking about “Pyramids,” or something, a song like that, the sheer intensity of every part of it is so much more pleasurable because you know that every 45 seconds it’s gonna switch to a new section, and you love the sections so much because you can hear that they’re about to go away.

You know what I mean? That’s like, you can look into it forever and I think part of my attraction to intensity is because it can’t last forever.


I think that in general that’s how I write, still. It’s like, three-day stretches of really intense, unbroken focus, and then turning my brain off and going to a rave or whatever. We really gotta go to a rave, we haven’t really gone yet together. Well, ever since fuckin’ EDC! [Laughs]