Blackout by Sarah Hepola

17th July 2015

Sarah Hepola is a friend, one of the early writers over at The Morning News, where they just did an interview with her. I haven’t seen her in years, but I always hoped she would write a book one day. Here it is! And it just made the New York Times Bestseller List. Fucking-a-right it did. Huge Congrats, Sepola. You moved all those bricks into a very pretty pile.

The best parts of Sarah Hepola’s Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget:

…if you’re like me, you know the thunderbolt of waking up to discover a blank space where pivotal scenes should be. My evenings come with trapdoors.

“I’m not angry,” I told her.
“Then what are you?” she asked.
I thought maybe I was bad.

Even my food co-op mother bought a book listing calorie counts, and I memorized those entries like Bible passages. I couldn’t tell you much about John 3:16, but I knew Blueberry Muffin: 426.

I’m not going to say I faked orgasms. That sounds intentional. As if I knew what an orgasm felt like, and I purposefully pretended to be having one. It was more like: Orgasms happen when you’re with men. You’re with a man now. Are you having an orgasm? Probably so! I learned in to these swells of pleasure with loud gasps and moans as if, by moving my arms and legs frantically enough, I might somehow learn to surf.

I knew online dating would come for me someday. It was the fate of all single women in their late 30s to stare down a personal profile, and as far as punishments go, this was fairly benign. Once, my type faced spinsterhood and destitution. Now I had to walk into the gallows of OK Cupid and drum up a good attitude about emoticons.

“You’re a contrarian,” I told him, licking grease off my fingers.
“Is that good?” he asked. “I want to be the thing that you like.”
And it was the first time someone had said this to me, but I recognized it as my driving motto for the past 25 years. It was nice to be on the other side for a change.

I liked talking about writing much more than actually writing, which is an unspeakably boring and laborious activity, like moving a pile of bricks fro one side of the room to the other.

…a glass of champagne, throwing its confetti in the air…

What mattered was that I was doing something I wanted to do instead of merely talking about it.

I wish belief didn’t feel like a choice between blind faith and blanket disavowal. I’m a little freaked out by the certainty on either side.

4 thoughts on “Blackout by Sarah Hepola

  1. Maureen

    I used to read her often in The Morning News. Just heard her interviewed on the radio last week about this book. So articulate and insightful and brutally honest. I can’t wait to read this.

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