The Floppership of the Ring

Gollum should have two Oscars by now...

There’s been something incredibly floppish about the month of August. 

I sometimes get this feeling when I enter a room with harsh overhead lighting, where I think to myself, ‘If the next several moments of my life are to take place under these conditions then I might as well not exist, so painful is this burden to bear.’ Then I turn off the lights and poop in a soothing cocoon of pitch black. 

August has generated that feeling—where you’re entering a situation that you already want to be over—like watching a movie you don’t feel like watching, or getting cramps instead of doing the dishes—and must face the fact that once this chunk of time ends, the chunk after it will begin, and then that will end and the next thing will come, and so on, and so on… when it all becomes a little too predictable, and I feel like I’m just walking through days in order to arrive at their successors. I feel like if anyone knows what I’m talking about it’s Gollum. 

This weekend my boyfriend Tom (he’s finally back, after 9 months spent mostly in lockdown in a French village with nothing but his harp and a TV show called First Dates Hotel to keep him company) and I got super stoned and re-watched all three Lord of the Rings films, hoping to stave off some existential dread if only for 9 hours. Can I just say—they really hold up? J.R.R. Tolkein really put his whole titties into crafting the story of Middle Earth. At the risk of sounding like a broken record… her serve. 

One thing troubles me, though. I’ve always owned up to the fact that I’m Gollum. I’ve long been lauded with that title, and I’ve accepted the comparison with grace. Humor, even. I love Gollum. I relate to Gollum. Gollum (and Sauron, for that matter) is a mentally-ill twink-adjacent creature suffering from an all-consuming obsession with something (a sentient ring) that doesn’t feel the same way about him. It’s a tale as old as time. It’s basically the story of being a liberal arts graduate in your twenties trying to have it all in New York City. Ultimately, The Lord of the Rings is the story of people with obsessive compulsive disorder, and the hot people around them. 

But the thing that troubles me: our personalities aside, Gollum and I really do bear a striking resemblance, more than I had recalled from my last Rings viewing. We have the same body type and the same blue eyes. I don’t think it’s conceited of me to come out and say that I’m decidedly hotter. But the fact of our similitude, both inside and out, remains alarmingly present. It’s in the hip bones, the spine, the knobby knees:

I think there’s a lot that can be gleaned from The Lord of the Rings concerning August’s floppish aura. Back in summer’s early months, a promise felt tangible in the air: the promise of endless possibilities, of adventure, joy, drugs, lust, sand, dancing… it felt like we were looking into Galadriel’s Mirror, where one can see “Things that were, things that are, and some things that have not yet come to pass.” Anything could have happened in those early months of May and June, everything seemed possible. 

But like every summer, this one, too, shall have to come to an end. And while August has been weird—everyone’s stressed about either finding a job or existing with the job they’ve found; no one is in town at the same time as each other; I’m getting stomach pains thinking about the chaotic performance art piece I’ve agreed to participate in next week—September, either by sheer force of wishful thinking or by cosmic intervention, simply must yield a return to the golden magnificence once promised in these hallowed halls (Greenpoint). Sure, times are tough. There’s much to stress about, both macro (impending doom) and micro (impending doom). 

But summer isn’t over calendar-wise until September 21st, assuming that one random fact which I might have made up in elementary school is still true. There remains the hope of one or two more beach days. The Chromatica remix album, the art of which conjures insight into what a Chromatica Oreo in the hands of Gollum would look like, will drop this Friday. For insight into what we former twinks will look like by the time the Chromatica Ball finally occurs, look no further than this queen:

And if you’re ready to throw in the towel and move into the more civilized season of Fall, you’re in luck, because I’ve decided (out of sheer desperation) that Fall this year will be a period of great contentment and chicness. I love summer. I would never go on the record and say I wanted summer to end, unless of course someone said that to me first and I felt compelled to change my mind completely and agree with them. For Fall holds a delicious promise of its own, and at the risk of tumbling into the same trap as that of the unsustainable assurances of early summer, I choose hope, treacly as it may sound. There’s an Aragorn quote about hope that I could insert here, but I’m suddenly nauseated by my own cloying (performative?) optimism. Instead, I’d like to highlight a few things I’m looking forward to. 

Succession 

Season 3 is coming in October! Catch up now or just rewatch the whole thing if you’ve already seen—it’s literally incredible. Even if you think it’s not for you at first, stick with it and trust that it will hook you like Gollum was hooked by the Ring, like Sam was hooked by Frodo’s bussy, etc. Then read Hunter Harris’ incredible story about the filming of this season’s finale in Tuscany (if you’re hit with the paywall you know you can just open it in a new internet app, right, babe?)

Dressing Like a Wood Elf

Fashion-wise, I’m a little bored with thongs and tanktops as the go-to everyday look. It will be nice to see how everyone is capable of dressing when both arms and legs are required to stay inside the vehicle. Here I look to the elves for inspiration—I’m thinking gauzy, flowy, ethereal blue gowns, capes, and excessive forehead jewels could be huge this season. That or minimalist slutty knitwear, haven’t decided yet. 

Fall Getaways

Wow, here I am just writing that I’m looking forward to an as-yet-unplanned upstate trip like the basic-ass broke-ass normie faggot wench I suppose I am. Really I just want to point out this would be my ideal Air BnB vibe:

Reconstructing the Molting Fragments of My Mind Through The Art of Literature

Obviously the main reason August has been such a flop is I have not stopped scrolling on my phone for one second since returning to Brooklyn. It is time to gather what feeble fragments of my brain that still remain and try to sew them back together with the thread of book-reading. I’m currently wading into Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend at last (the book Alexandra Daddario was reading in White Lotus, lol). If you’d like to start with something shorter, might I recommend Ferrante’s novella The Lost Daughter, which is only 70ish pages (I think) and one of the best books I’ve ever read? It’s also coming out as a movie directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley later this year, I believe. Also, tangentially related, the Werner Herzog documentary My Brilliant Fiend (note the missing ‘R’), about Herzog’s muse Klaus Kinski (who portrayed Nosferatu, among other huge serves), is worth checking out, if you’re an insufferable film snob and into that kind of stuff (I loved it!)

Oh, one more thing! I interviewed the legendary Macy Rodman about her new album Unbelievable Animals, out now, for Them. Go read!

All for now, my sweet ducklings. I so adore receiving the response emails from you loyalists—in case it’s not clear, when you reply to this email I receive it! Thank you to everyone who has sent such moving and thorough letters back to me, it really makes my day. If you’d like, let me know who you think is hotter: me or Gollum. I’ll understand if you choose Gollum, but it will really, really hurt. Bye bye now!