May 15th, 2011 / 12:19 pm
Presses & Web Hype

Forthcoming from Future Tense: Legs Get Led Astray by Chloe Caldwell

Future Tense has announced their first title for 2012—Legs Get Led Astray by Chloe Caldwell.

Legs Get Led Astray is a full-length collection of creative non-fiction. The connective threads throughout the book are love, relationships, obsession. The title alludes to getting lost looking for something that doesn’t exist: the perfect place to live, the perfect desk to write at, the perfect person to love, the perfect person to sleep with. There is no perfect anything and this compilation is about Caldwell coming to these realizations.

Pre-orders start at the end of the year but it is never too early to get excited about an interesting young writer. A couple excerpts from the book are below and you might also enjoy Chloe’s essay, at The Rumpus, a really moving piece about where she writes.

Excerpt: He Doesn’t Know Your Birthday

Cape Cod. January. You didn’t know they made beds this big. You’re wearing plaid boxers and a t-shirt that says “African Beer” and he’s wearing package-enhancing boxers. Last night when you were fucking he said he felt like Jesus with a halo around his head and you said you couldn’t feel your feet. The second night of course, goes to shit. You talk about how the relationship is toxic. He cries in an honest way you’ve never seen. You’re scared. He is eager to show you the documentary “Cruise” by Timothy “Speed” Levitch. You fall asleep. In the morning he makes you French toast.

**

He meets you at a bar on Second Avenue. It’s late March and air makes you horny and brave. You fuck in the bathroom. You sit on him while he sits on the toilet and you pull your black tights down and he says he never saw anyone pull their tights down so fast and you come in one minute. He knows your vagina like the back of his hand but sometimes you wonder if he even knows your birthday.

**

In April you wear an Indian headdress and happily let cocaine run through your veins. You tell the woman you are buying cocaine from that you are on your way to your first orgy. She lends you a red dress. You walk to Lucy’s Bar on Avenue A and pound two whiskey sodas. You walk up the stairs to his apartment. He does some coke and declares himself the goat prince while he prances around in your headdress and his neon pink American Apparel briefs. You give his brother a blowjob and have sex with his best friend because it turns you both on. You fall asleep when the sun comes up with his hand coiled tight around your neck.

Excerpt: He Doesn’t Know Your Birthday

You are stoned and you are thinking about how you have had four lovers that changed you while living in New York. You met three of them in Brooklyn. You met him in Manhattan. You think this has something to do with everything because you are stoned. The radiator bangs and bings dominating the apartment. It sounds like deer humping, he says, and in your mind, you marvel at his. Only he would come up with something so brilliant. But at this point you know that that is something everyone thinks about the person they love.

You are both very high. It’s eleven a.m. You are both manic by nature. He starts to cry. You start to cry. You panic. You’ve read and re-read The Highly-Sensitive Person In Love. They don’t prepare you for these kinds of mornings that begin with oat bagels and morph into high riding anxiety and tears streaming from four eyes. You decide that when two highly sensitive people in love fuck for three years—a random Thursday comes and they crash. Author Stephen Elliott said something about two people he knew once that weren’t capable of love. They were capable of passion. As Carrie from Sex And The City would say, “I couldn’t help but wonder…”

Today is Thursday and he came into town on Monday. You’ve been drinking Wild Turkey Whiskey since then. You didn’t know Wild Turkey was 101 proof. You feel tricked. Hunter S. Thompson loved Wild Turkey, so did Stephen King, he tells you. Well we are not them, you think. We are us.

He is still crying.

“Man. What’s it like hanging out with rain man?” he asks you. He is speaking slowly. He draws out both “mans.” He is not making a joke. He really wants to know.

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68 Comments

  1. mimi

      you didn’t mention unknown knowns

  2. mimi

      you didn’t mention unknown knowns

  3. Nathan Huffstutter

      Back already? God, I’m the worst. Way past gum or the patch, someone needs to break out the Antabuse. But I appreciate agreement as much as I thrive on debate and I wanted to thank you for both of your replies. As you mention, this was labeled Web Hype and all of this commentary is part of the Hype Machine (not just a place for MP3’s any more). I am not an editor and I have never taken part in a writing class or a writing workshop, but when offering material to either literary journals or University peers, I think “bring only your best, finished work” is a common maxim. In this case, though the excerpt was clearly not chosen at random, I have to hope the author rolled the dice with what may not have been her strongest or most representative work. Which, as you note, is why you have supportive commenters complimenting the author as a person, the title of the book, essays that appeared on other websites, the publisher’s track record, more or less anything but the specific words that were placed before us. Well, that’s not entirely true, deadgod’s had some fun with the vagina thing and Taco Bell meat paste, but to quote Kitchell, he’s on some next-level shit.

      And just because I pointed out a “lesson,” that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll learn from it. I never learn. Or, more accurately, I learn and willfully disregard. Where’s that Goddamn Antabuse?

  4. Nathan Huffstutter

      Back already? God, I’m the worst. Way past gum or the patch, someone needs to break out the Antabuse. But I appreciate agreement as much as I thrive on debate and I wanted to thank you for both of your replies. As you mention, this was labeled Web Hype and all of this commentary is part of the Hype Machine (not just a place for MP3’s any more). I am not an editor and I have never taken part in a writing class or a writing workshop, but when offering material to either literary journals or University peers, I think “bring only your best, finished work” is a common maxim. In this case, though the excerpt was clearly not chosen at random, I have to hope the author rolled the dice with what may not have been her strongest or most representative work. Which, as you note, is why you have supportive commenters complimenting the author as a person, the title of the book, essays that appeared on other websites, the publisher’s track record, more or less anything but the specific words that were placed before us. Well, that’s not entirely true, deadgod’s had some fun with the vagina thing and Taco Bell meat paste, but to quote Kitchell, he’s on some next-level shit.

      And just because I pointed out a “lesson,” that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll learn from it. I never learn. Or, more accurately, I learn and willfully disregard. Where’s that Goddamn Antabuse?

  5. c2k

       Nor unmentionable unmentionables.

  6. c2k

       Nor unmentionable unmentionables.

  7. mimi

      dude, you are Not the Worst
      keep on keepin’ on ! !

  8. Roxane

      Nathan, the only one overthinking your comments is you. Just say what you want to say. You’re not being graded. 

  9. M. Kitchell

       This is irrelevant to the post, but I just wanted to pose here:  I agree 100% with the idea that there is little more interesting where self discovery is concerned than sex, but I do sort of feel like there’s a lot of homogeneity in the kind of sex that is talked about in (young people’s) memoirs.  Are there any memoirs focused on sex where the author is not having it regularly?  Like, someone who thinks sex is important and amazing and awesome and necessary but doesn’t actually end up having it that much?

  10. kb

      General statement, in response to comments more than the actual article or book I have not read. My drugs and fuck period (2 or 3 years) was the most banal waste of time in my life and I “learned” nothing except the absolute uselessness of such an existence. I’m pretty sure the whole thing is an excuse to extend adolescence indefinitely.

      No “but then I saw the light” ending, rather just ending up seeing yourself as a trite living-breathing cliche and stopping being a flake.

  11. Nathan Huffstutter

      NOW you tell me…

      (i say with a smile and i feel compelled to mention the smile because even though i don’t know roxane i respect what she does on a number of levels and oh my god i’m already overthinking again but what if everything i want to say is the product of overthinking and clearly you can see my dilemma and the only possible solution is to shrug the flag off my shoulders, wrap up this ridiculous at best D+ stretch of James Brown encores and just…shut…up.)

  12. Johnnythunders

      sounds like you were taking the wrong drugs and fucking the wrong people.  

  13. Anonymous

       tinyurl.com/24n4nqb

  14. mimi

      and now you’ve gone and mentioned unmentionable unmentionables
      you unmentionable unmentionables mentioner you!

  15. c2k

      Don’t mention it.

  16. Miko

      Sorry. I know this is unfair dropping this in here but I didn’t know where else to put it?
      We are so lucky to be able to write what ever we want, aren’t we?

       http://bonjourplanetearth.blogspot.com/2011/04/bahraini-forces-rape-and-kill-poetess.html 

  17. Anonymous

      tinyurl.com/24n4nqb

  18. NOELLE

      Have you ever lived in New York City and not had an excessive drinking and/or sex problem? Because I don’t know anybody that hasn’t.