My name is Alisa Starr. I make Snarky Cards: Brutally Honest Greeting Cards. I sell them in bars from a box that hangs beneath my boobs. Recently, I was in Seattle and I loved it. I’m planning on moving there at the end of September. Until then, I’ll keep haunting the Portland bars that I’ve grown to love.
The end of my trip to Seattle was sweet. I typed my Snarky Cards at Twilight: an Art Collective in West Seattle that’s been selling my cards for the last two years. I love the girls who own the place. And I’m proud that they’re my friends. And I’m glad to be part of their wonderful boutique. While I was in Seattle, I made some really great paintings for this show. I’m really excited about them. I think they’re the best ones I’ve ever done. They’re all $100 each. And they’ll be hanging on the walls at Twilight for the next month.
Usually, when I’m typing my cards at a show, that’s my whole world. I’m watching people laugh at my cards, and making them new shit I think that they’ll like. I am typing as fast as I can, to show off, and get the stock out. But this time, I got to watch people looking at my paintings. It was awesome. My shit was hung at the far wall. So, they’d wander, peering at the other artists work. A little intent, trying to decide what they thought. And when they got to the Snarky Paintings they had this bored/concentrating look on their face. And I got to watch their expressions change, first they smiled a little at the bright colors, and then, as they read them, they would break out into a grin. I’ve been watching people have reactions to my cards for so long, it never occurred to me that watching someone like my other shit could be more rewarding. But it was. I felt like a real Artist.
Afterwards, we went out for a real celebration and we laughed our way through dinner and drinks and I remembered what it was like to hang out with a posse of ladies. It was delicious. And I felt loved. I floated my way through selling for the rest of the night.
Joy and I got along fabulously. I think we’ve always been on the same team. But we didn’t realize it. Growing up in an abusive household meant that we didn’t know how to be nice to each other. It didn’t help that Sherri used to pit us against each other. I was smart and ugly. Joy was dumb and pretty. And we used to curry favor with her by talking shit on each other. It took us years of being careful with each other. Holding our tongues. Trying not to judge each other. And last month it paid off. We tried to be nice; it wasn’t easy for her to let me take over her apartment with my paint-a-thon. And it wasn’t easy for me to do anything. I was so distraught when I got there that I couldn’t really talk. She made a special effort to be kind. And I made a
special effort to tell her what I needed, and how I felt. And by the time I left, I knew we were a team again. More than that, I loved her friends. They folded me into their group seamlessly, like I wasn’t a hot, broken mess. They just walked right past my nervous breakdown, and got out the make-up and costumes, and started a giggly gossip girl party, and between their kindness and their ability to have fun no matter what, I climbed out of my pit of self-pity and despair, and right into their fun. I knew that when I move there, I’ll have friends. And the person who knows me best will be happy to help to tell me to get my shit together; whatever I need most.
I was on my way to pick up a book for my rideshare home and i passed a guy selling random shit on the street. I picked up 2 Faye Kellerman’s and 2 mannequin heads for $8. The mannequin faces were dirty, like they’d been fighting. I quickly stuffed everything
but them in my backpack so I could stroll down the street, holding one in each hand by their hair. Happily pretending they were the heads of people I’d killed. When I got to my sister’s house, I put one on her kitchen table and hid the other one in her bed, cackling the whole time.
It was a beautiful end to a great trip. Now, I’m haunting the bars of Portland, scaring up rent money. And money for my move. Hopefully I’ll see you out there, somewhere.