A beautiful Korean woman in a black bra and panties rubbed salt all over my body for half an hour and my skin came off in black pearls and collected on the pink plastic table where I lay. She scrubbed me and turned me over and scrubbed me and turned me. She moved my arms and legs into comfortable positions. She lifted my breasts and scrubbed them underneath and beside and in between. She lay me on my side. My left arm was under my head. My left leg was on the table, bent at the knee. She knocked my legs apart and scrubbed the inside of my thighs. I saw her see my pussy. She scrubbed and turned and scrubbed and turned and my skin came a way and I was pink underneath. She took a bucket and filled it with warm water and dumped it over me as though I were an animal. A horse. No. An elephant or a rhinoceros. I thought: wet, water, pink plastic curtain pulled around us. I thought: what is that sound? Clap clap, like a suction cup.
The woman next to me on the other table was covered in a sheet. Her head was wrapped in towels and I could smell the fresh cucumber chopped fine and spread over her face and neck. Her body was slender, not skinny. Her breasts were very small. I thought: I look so different. Am I fat? Does she think I’m fat? And them the thoughts were washed away, doused by a bucket of water. All those bits of me sluicing from the pink plastic. Gone.
"Anticipating It-Girl Lena Dunham, who advocates all experience as good experience, Bachinsky has the courage to lay down confessions that are quirky, profound, mundane, and audacious by turns. Lots of writers would edit back the parts that were less stellar, but Bachinsky’s approach of choosing lines from her journals based on the roll of a die means she forces herself to include everything, and thus her writing seems authentic. The points where lines collide are actually pretty interesting…”—Jacqueline Turner, The Georgia Strait
“…combustive, filled with opinion and wonder and unknowing, not surety, but also not fey conjecture, not only one kind of observation, but many…This book is Bachinsky at her best…All the scaffolding out of the way. The goods. The straight goods. The gorgeous, unfiltered responses that we all love her for.”—Sina Queyras, Lemon Hound
Drawn from the handwritten journals and notes of Elizabeth Bachinsky, the lines and passages in I Don’t Feel So Good were selected by the roll of a die and appear in the order the die saw fit. In blending confessional and procedural techniques with disjunctive chronology and random chance, this book explores and exacerbates possibilities of the narrative mode both within the text and for the reader. Not so much “written” as “received.”
Written in response to the death of musician Chris Reimer of The Dodos, proceeds from the sale of this book were donated to the Chris Reimer Legacy Fund.