The Tracks Of My Tears

at

snotbearBS

….I used to have a far greater appetite for crying. I suffered permanently from a condition inspired by that John Berger quote my mother had taught me: ‘A woman is not a woman crying at her father’s funeral. A woman is a woman watching herself crying at her father’s funeral.’ Well actually that’s the way I remember the quote, but that’s in fact inaccurate. And a little heavy.

But the quote always did that thing for me of suddenly shining a bright light on things that hovered in the shadowy corners of my mind, that I couldn’t ever quite pull to the front and understand.

In part it was about a woman’s ability to be both spectator and spectacle, reduce herself to being the performer of some drama, watching herself in the various stagings of life.

Obviously there were a lot of other issues going on in Jon Berger’s quote, but often when I applied it to myself it described a phase when I developed a flair for the dramatic. Prompted from an unchecked desire to observe myself from outside myself, my flair brought me to cast myself as a heroine in apocalyptic landscapes time and again.

There was the time when high on MDMA and covered in mud after being pushed to the ground, I found that my boyfriend who had come to the festival in Lissard with me, had left me there as a punishment for a fight from earlier that day. He was nowhere to be seen and wasn’t answering his phone.

My friend Diane, equally altered, was chatting up the 70-something year-old bus driver who was in charge of getting people out of the festival. She didn’t seem to hear me bleating about where we were going. Eventually we ended up getting off the bus and getting into a car that took us up a road that led into a lane that led to a house resembling something out of Lost Highway. It was shaped like a boat, incredibly modern, and made more mysterious by the fact that I couldn’t remember why we were there. A friendly woman let us in and showed us our room.

There was a cot in the room. Into this I climbed, and began to translate for Dianewhat I had been saying all night – stronzo allucinante – which directly translated as ‘hallucinatory hard piece of shit’, which was the term I’d been using to refer to my boyfriend in a half -forgetful way. We kept repeating the word to each other sobbing laughing until we fell asleep….

Read on here

The Unbearable Lightness of Snot by Rosin Agnew from issue one of Irish bare-all title GUTS Magazine, at selected retailers at the end of this month.

Artwork by Mick Minogue.

47 thoughts on “The Tracks Of My Tears

  1. Monahan Mangan

    And the misspelling of John Berger’s name second time round is all part of the hallucinatory buzz, right?

    Pedantic, I know. But the simple omission speaks to the wider concern about this sort of stuff: the queasy obsession with self at the expense of a basic respect for the reader. And that’s just one of countless typographical errors.

    There’s a basic lack of respect for context too. A misquoted Berger is introduced to give the piece weight and then dismissed with a sniffy “heavy”. A cheap but inexplicably popular tactic these days – one which Roland Barthes (since we’re on semiology and all that) called “blind and dumb criticism”: the writer introduces a concept which they proudly announce their ignorance of, the inference being that it’s too weighty to be understand by common sense, hence elevating the writer’s own supposed “intelligence” over the subject matter they have proudly failed to grasp. An incredibly cynical double bind.

    If one is incapable of putting the reader first, there’s no reason why anyone is going to be interested in a self-published tale about snot.

  2. Clampers Outside!

    – – – – WARNING! – – – – WARING! – – – – WARNING! – – – –

    UBER DRAMA QUEEN ALERT! – – – – UBER DRAMA QUEEN ALERT! – – – – UBER DRAMA QUEEN ALERT!

    “my flair brought me to cast myself as a heroine in apocalyptic landscapes time and again.”

    “And the apocalyptic landscape soon took over most everything I did.”

    “You can turn a relationship into your own private apocalypse”

    “I guess the other side of creating a private apocalypse is that it gives a momentousness and purpose to where your love is going.”

    “I watched myself (ala John Berger) being the tragic heroine of a difficult relationship – disconnected, evaluating my worth and that of my apocalyptic playground.”

    – – – – ABORT! – – – – ABORT! – – – – ABORT! – – – –

    – – – – DO NOT ENGAGE! – – – –

  3. everybody

    I’m trying to see the positive in this but it has absolutely no redeeming qualities… Self Absorbed drivel…

  4. LiamZero

    This woman must be silenced! She’s writing about her feelings and her failings! How dare she!
    Or, good on you Róisín. Nicely written, I was actually hoping the piece would go on even longer. Rather appropriately, writing that and putting it out there took some guts.

    1. Llareggub

      Woman talking about her feelings is not the issue here. There are lots of good women writers who go deep and write extremely well. Not Rosin I’m afraid. Try reading some Janet Frame maybe if you want real guts.

      1. LiamZero

        Excellent point. And instead of reading a young male writer I should read James Joyce instead. Thanks for the steer.

    2. Monahan Mangan

      You’re missing the point. It takes guts to get up out of bed in the morning. It takes guts to care for a family. It takes guts to go into a job that you hate. Or brave an illness. Or cut your hair. Or swim the English channel. Or eat five Big Macs in a row. Hell, it even takes guts to stay stoically silent when everyone around you is braying about how gutsy and brave they apparently are.

      There’s nothing wrong with good confessional writing. But this piece is exactly what everyone expects, which is why people dislike it so intensely: a presumably privileged mid twenty-something rambling on about going to a gig, getting off their head and fretting about their boyfriend. There is absolutely nothing revelatory or even revealing about that. The mask still remains firmly in place.

          1. scottser

            ‘Samson had two vulnerabilities, however: his attraction to untrustworthy women and his hair, without which he was powerless’.

            you trying to tell us something, baldy?

      1. LiamZero

        No, I think you’ve missed the point spectacularly. Apart from perhaps your illness example, this takes far more guts: to admit you’ve a propensity to be an embarrassment to yourself and a burden on others and to then write about that and to let nests of vipers like this comments section go to town on that written admission.
        I think the thing that bothers me most about the reaction on here is that it is so vociferous and bile-flecked. Sure, don’t like it, but why feel the need to decry it as muck or drivel or garbage?
        And yes, I know it’s the internet and everyone here thinks it takes guts to put people down and all that, but seriously: think before you tear someone a new one just for daring to write a personal piece and putting it in the public domain.

        1. Llareggub

          It appears that Rosin is editor of her own ‘magazine’. Clearly this is a big mistake as Rosin is editing Rosin. Broadsheet have given this ‘magazine’ publicity in the past – someone must be mates with someone here. So they give it further publicity here and the reaction in the comment’s section isn’t probably great because the writing isn’t great. Maybe you need to accept this.

  5. Sarah Murphy

    YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES YOKES

  6. Eliot Rosewater

    But it does go on. Just click the link.

    Or don’t, because, you know, it does go on. I’m confused, though, who’s Fink?

  7. Carl Sagan

    I thought it was well written actually. So there.

    Also, takes more guts to write a confessional piece and publish a print mag than it does to write vinegar-stroke comments online. Also, YOKES.

    1. Mani

      It doesn’t take any guts to write this tripe if you are in the business of being self-obsessive and of the opinion you are a writer.

  8. 15 cents

    she sounds awful. just constantantly fighting. the boyfriend sounds like a complete @rse too .. leavin her messed up in a puddle, and didnt even check where she slept that night.i cant bring myself to read back over it again, but who took her in? gave her that bed? she didnt even thank them. still cant get past how many blazing rows she had .. what a weapon

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