CELEBRITY BOOK REVIEW: John Mayer on “The Marriage Plot”
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by Courtney Maum
Surface to air, motherfuckers. I’m back.
OK, yeah, I’ve been off the interwebs for a while. And by me being here today, it doesn’t mean that I’m back for good, it just means that I’m here, now, that I’m totally in this present, doing this present life thing, and I just love you all for sticking with me while I try on the different colors of myself.
I have been doing so much interpersonal thinking recently, it’s just fucking insane. Like, I’ve been living in a cabin and riding across the badlands of America on an honest to God horse in this amazing poncho I picked up in a health shop — like, it’s fucking blessed — and I’ve been thinking about some regrets I have about things I’ve said and really it all comes down to me not regretting anything I’ve said, because it was what I was truly thinking at the time, and you have to be yourself.
But I do have some regrets about not taking part in stuff. Like, parenthetically, yeah, it’s been all about me up until September 2010 where I was like, OK, fuck this, my life is not a movie, like maybe 3.5 million of you should stop finding out what my dick had for breakfast and get out there and like buy a stranger a latte. Just like, make a difference. Anyway, I was sort of into myself and my own play-by-play, but I wasn’t really into anyone else’s. So this past year, in order to enlarge my vision, I’ve been about intra-connectivity and reaching out to people and saying, OK, yeah, I’m definitely John Mayer, there’s that, but once you get past that, there is so much deepness. Let us dive.
So, I’ve been keeping things on this amazing, authentic level and just totally platonic. I’m like a tantric master of intellectual control right now. I’m just holding everything in and letting my mind go bananas and with every big-bang moment, I realize a new truth. This new album is going to be insane-balls. Number one truth.
Another fun thing I’ve been doing is reading a book. #acknowledge: B.C John Mayer looked down on readers. I was like, get your head out of the motherfucking puddles and look up at the sky. But something about being out here in the desert with my guitar and constellations has got me really stoked to represent on the porch with a tin cup and a book, and like, a flannel blanket, so the other day, I drove to town but they didn’t have a bookshop so I drove a little further but they didn’t have one either, so I waited until I had to take a plane somewhere and I bought a book in the airport. (Entrepreneurs, for realzies: this lack of shops is opportune.)
Anyway, the book I bought was The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. (This is so trippy, I feel like I’m writing a book report for like my third grade teacher. My head is gonna blow!!)
I picked this book for a number of reasons:
1.) it was in hardback, which went with my vision,
2.) it has a fat ass ring on the cover and the symbology of circles has been very much on my mind
3) there was this sexy nerd-type working the register — a very B.C John Mayer type of female — and she said this guy writes a book like once every ten years, but when he does, J.E gets it done.
Well, I absolutely respect the journey of a decade. Like, yeah, OK, there was a point in my life where I was pumping out hit songs like a motherfucking hailstorm (just dropping them on the pavement, like splat splat splat), but you have got to hit the pause button at some point, am I right? You have got to ReFresh. That is one of the reasons I didn’t get WiFi in the cabin I’m renting. It was totally such a process to have them take it out. I wouldn’t even have electricity except I’m on this raw diet in order to keep my mind and body focused, and you totally need to chill everything so it doesn’t rot.
So I’m writing this from an old school internet café on a DELL, just waiting for my sandwich like a regular old dude. And this hardcover book in this paper bag, it feels almost like a pet, man. Like I’m going to take it home and feed it, and we’re going to be friends.
Yo, I put those dots there because I just ate my sandwich. While I ate my sandwich, I read a couple pages of “The Marriage Plot.” This is not easy to do while you are eating. I sort of need a slave if I’m gonna keep this up. Anyway, so the characters are named like Madeleine, Phyllida and like Syphilis or some such. This is kind of pretentious. It’s like, what’s up, Vampire Weekend? But it’s cool, man, I’m totally into it. Like, I read three pages so far and it’s crystal stellar intense but also so realistic: this girl is just lying around listening to her doorbell, but while it’s ringing, she’s thinking about the skankathon of events from the preceding night, and there’s so much brainwork going on, she just can’t get the bell. And dude, I totally get this. I mean, sometimes I can’t even get out of my vintage army cot because there is SO MUCH there. It’s like, why bother? Why would I walk all the way into the kitchen when there is a world of entities in my motherfucking head?
So this is probably the last time you’re gonna hear from me until I’m done with my new album. I just wanted to reach out for a moment, and tell you how I’m doing, and tell you about this book. I’m just really turned on to the idea of going home and reading all these words while I come up with my own words. Maybe I’ll turn the first line into a song. To start with, look at all the books. Discover me, discovering literature. Peace to the out.
by Jeffrey Eugenides
— Courtney Maum is a fiction writer based in between the Berkshires of Massachusetts and New York City. Her work has recently appeared in The Rumpus, Vol.1 “Sunday Stories”, Slice Magazine, Anderbo and others. A frequent reader at NY-based series and a Literary Death Match champion, she’s currently working on a collection of comic fiction. Find her on Twitter at @cmaum
Editor’s note: Any resemblances to actual celebrities — alive or dead — are miraculously coincidental. For more Celebrity Book Review, click here.