9 - communication issues


Okay, so, we’re doing this again. Cool. Sup. It’s your girl.

No. No. That’s bad.

Charlotte, here. Cranor-Liu. From here. You know me. I know you. We’re friends. That’s–a thing that’s happening.

I have a better opening line. But first, a foreword. A preface? Not sure, not really giving two shits, but.


So. Each of you individually texted me a potential opener for this. To be fair, and because they were all equally dumb and bad, I will read all of them individually.

Benji Ahuja, local small business owner and general huge nerd and also my worst enemy, but, like, in a friendly rivalry way, we are both so committed to this bit where we pretend to hate each other, okay, says: We got a real life possession on our hands, folks!

Corny. Bad. Sounds like a line from an 80s disaster movie, which, actually, is probably what you were going for.

I have never seen an 80s disaster movie. Was that 80s or 70s? Again, don’t really care. That’s rhetorical.

AJ Diggs, very good barista and very bad lab partner, yeah, dude, I am still bitter about that physics project from eighth grade where I had to write the whole paper at 3 AM, says: Did I miss anything?

He also used emojis in that, but I’ll spare him the embarrassment of reading out what they were. Actually–they were interrobangs, and then the 100 one a few times, as a joke, maybe? I don’t know if he knows what that one means. He’s not hip. He’s like a grandpa in a teen body. Wears the sweaters and everything. Not in the Macklemore way, which wouldn’t help him either, but in the actual grandpa way. He’s not even trying to be cool. He just dresses like a grandpa.

I love him very much. He is my dearest friend in the world. Thank you. Now, AJ, please never remind me that I said that.Because I can and will curse you and make you into a werewolf man or something. Cuz I’m evil and magical and can destroy you.

Robin Harper, writer and general icon: Can you maybe mention that my wedding was nice? I feel like Teresa didn’t acknowledge that enough. I’m kidding. LOL. Open it with, like. A message of concern. Say something nice, Charlotte. I love you. Hope you’re having a nice day. But. Please. Heart emoji. Heart emoji. Heart emoji.

Teresa literally told us not to be nice, so, uh, no. Love you too though.

Elaine Harper, crazy cat lady and also an icon: Dealing With Your Girlfriend From An Alternate Universe For Dummies is an easy book to write.

That’s–no one read those books. Did you read those books? Elaine, you’re legally obligated to tell me. Boom, roasted, whatever. I–that’s not even funny, Elaine, and you seemed to be, like, slightly cool, so, uh, thanks for ruining that illusion. I should have known, from the fact that you were getting married to Robin, but, alas, your cool vibes distracted me from that.

Teresa Marin, who sometimes gets possessed and who is also a student: Teresa Marin, more like Teresa Scarin’ me!

I absolutely refuse. No further comment. And, then, and here’s the interesting part:

Angie Thompson, student who wants, desperately, to be a singer-songwriter, but, like, who knows, maybe her music’s just not for me?: Teresa Marin, more like Teresa Scarin’ me!

Thinking about it, Angie probably sent that from both of their phones. Teresa’s not funny, but, uh, her jokes are better than that. I hope. Oh my God, I hope. Because Teresa is, like. Not a rhyming humor type of person. I know her well enough to know that, okay?

Anyway, so, uh, here’s my opener:

Can we learn how to, like, communicate like normal human goddamned beings about, like, the alternative universe that has entered into our lives? Like, I get not sharing out publicly, but we all know about it. We can, like, maybe tell each other about being possessed as soon as it happens the first time.

Look, my girlfriend, Mae Babson who, yes, is from an alternate universe, and who is also super cool and great and is my girlfriend and who is not a nerdlord, unlike you weirdasses and also me, was raised in a place where she cannot lie.

Which is sort of a cool thing, from, like, a moral standpoint, even though it was used to hurt her and those around her.  Y’know what I mean?

Listen, look, listen, maybe we as a group of friends can take a page out of the book of the evil villain or whatever we’re calling him and, like, tell each other the truth.

But that’s—whatever. Whatever. We can make a Google Doc or something? Maybe. As a solution to this whole info-sharing crisis we’re having with each other.

Okay. So.

How’s me? How’s Charlotte? How is she doing? How on top is she? Is she still killing it?

Of course she is. But let’s elaborate. We need elaboration, here.

Well. I’m directing a one act that I wrote. That’s cool. My first few pitches got rejected, but, uh, the current one’s pretty good, so. I’m cool with that. And this one hopefully won’t get ruined by paranormal happenings. So. That’s cool. It’s a subversion of vampire romance tropes and a subtle commentary on heteropatriarchy in YA fiction. Because I’m that good.

Uh. I got a job? That’s something. Just heard back yesterday, I’ve actually only told AJ so far, so. Cool? It’s at the Bean Zone, so. AJ’s training me. So that’ll be a fun experience for all of us, which is to say, AJ, I’m going to make your life hell and there is nothing you can do to stop me. Absolutely nothing. Because Amanda loves me.

Mae is finally coming out of her shell, a little bit. You guys are—thanks for being good to her. I’m being genuine here. It’s very difficult to, uh. Cope? I guess, for her, and you guys are being genuinely cool.

Once you got over the whole alternate universe, thing, I mean, like. Thanks for not grilling her ever, but. You need to—

Whatever. Whatever. I’m not about to get sappy. I don’t do sappy. I’m a huge badass, and, as such, I don’t get sappy. We can all accept this about me.

I’m about to update you on Weird Shit. Because that, assholes, is the point of these. I mean, you could maybe argue that this is, as a group of people who are generally terrible at being alive and interacting at other people, a way for us to interact with other people, but.


This is for weird shit updates. Those and only those

So. Teresa has been getting possessed on and off for months. If you’ve somehow managed to forget, which I haven’t. And my memory’s not great, so, I’m assuming that you’ve all remembered that. That’s cool. Kinda scary, but cool. Good to have that particular knowledge secured in terms of Weird Shit That’s Going Down Annual, a magazine edited by me.


Uh. Mae seems to be the only fully successful—y’know. transport of a person to this world. She’s not sure why. I think it’s because she’s just very good at everything, but. She broke into a museum and everything, like, pulled a heist and all. Which is very cute. Very cool.

She doesn’t have a double. Most other people who’ve tried—do. There’s not another Mae Babson. There is another me, another Teresa, you get it. I don’t know—and really, I don’t care about why there aren’t doubles of certain people. That’s not—that’s a stupid thing to spend time caring about. For me. You guys can go wild on it, but, honestly? I’m cool with there being a second me. Mae says she’s chill.

Presumably, she’s—she’s extremely chill. And Mae—Mae didn’t know her super well, I guess? Because I’m—I’m sure that she’d like her. Probably better.

Because, uh. She’d understand and everything. And she’s probably a little. Y’know. More—determined. Sharper. Y’know? Because she’s—

I should not get jealous of myself in an alternate universe. She probably has self-esteem issues too.

Doc David Diggs says I need to work on projection. I’ve been talking to him. Do we all talk to him? I know that Angie does. And AJ doesn’t. But. Yeah.

Uh. Other Weird Shit. Hm. Let’s get into that. That’s—going on. Certainly, certainly, def, def, obvi, obvi, y’know how it is. More blank-faced people—failed travelers, I guess. The board is still a thing. I’ve snuck into a few meetings, and, uh. They’re pulling, uh, some shit. I took notes and everything. I’m not even taking APUSH notes anymore, so we can see that this actually matters to me.

Also, I still have a 93 in that class, so, uh, guess who’s on top? Yeah. I am a genius, thank you, thank you, thank you.

So. Notes. Notes on notes. Hell yeah.

So, I kept a chart of this, so.

Names of people on the board that I can make out are:

Hamish South

Katherine (not sure if it’s with a c or a k or a y or whatever? that’s a bad name to have. don’t name your child catherine. please) Brooks

Frederick Lewis

Daniel Wexton

Lisa Barnes

And there are a few others, but I can’t get their names. Mae doesn’t know any of the names, says that they’re way too secretive over there, so. Cool. You know how it is.

I have a few sketches of their faces, but they’re not great and I kind of have an issue with noses, so Mae can’t recognize them. None of them have doubles.

Daniel Wexton is the one who grabbed me, I think. Same voice and everything. Can’t quite make out his features, but.

These are the bad guys. That should be, uh, pretty obvious. But they’re the bad guys! That’s cool to know! Cue graphic, cheesy music, the more you know, and all the rest. Eugh. That’s—

So. Cool. We know who we’re going after.

Okay, more notes. Evil plans:

-Necromancy. The rest turned to sirens and other really painful noises, but I got necromancy? so? That’s important. I think it’s to get our boy Andy back, because this is very much a cult, which, cool, we’re infiltrating a cult, and by we’re, I mean me, and by infiltrating, I mean spying on, because I’m not technically getting into the cult itself. I’m just listening. You get me.

-Cut back on drama spending. That’s an evil plan. It’s the evil plan in every Muppet movie, and the board is doing it, so it counts. And yes, I do love the Muppets. I have emotions. I’m only human. I have a heart. None of you are allowed to repeat this to anyone ever. But, anyways, how fucked up is that? Not only are they trying to kill people, they’re also trying to take away my whole Thing, so. Yeah! Love this!

-Eliminate travelers from their place to ours, which makes sense, but which is, uh terrifying. Not much else to say, but it’s. Y’know. A thing that’s happening.

-Benji’s name came up one time but I got bored, so I stopped writing. Also the janitor walked in so I had to run before I got caught by anyone?

And that’s all that’s really relevant.

Um. I don’t really know how to end this? I guess–I just have to reaffirm that we know who the hell we’re investigating, and maybe fighting? Is this a showdown thing? Will there be a climactic battle sequence? Cuz I’m good at those. I can punch. Ask AJ.

So. Yeah. Update complete. This is Charlotte, signing off for now, cuz, uh. I–are we still doing sign-offs? Should I get a, uh. Like a normal one? Or one that we all use? Because I don’t trust you to come up with those things, because you’re clearly all less charming than me.

So. Yeah. We’re not doing that.

I do love you guys. Stay safe. Tell me if something happens.