by The Bathtub Project
Date of Interview: May 30, 2018
Name: Mar Curran
How often do you bathe or shower?
I’d say a bath specifically, I bathe like three times a week. I’m a very big bath person. And then I try to shower like once every two or three days. I’m into my own natural musk/laziness [laughter]. So that’s where I’m at emotionally.
What makes you a big bath person?
I have chronic back problems [laughter]. So taking a bath, sometimes, is the only way I can get my body to cooperate with me, so that’s our nice middle space. Plus, I have ADHD. So if I force myself to sit in a bath where I can’t do an activity, that’s some good relaxation time for me.
If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?
I think I’d be a friendly stingray. I think that they are just very cute. And as babies, they look like little ghost raviolis. I would like for that to be my origin story [laughter]. Maybe then I’ll be like– if I didn’t not believe in white people rap that would be my rap name then [laughter], Ghost Ravioli. I’ll use it for something else. It’s a good zine name. That’ll make sense.
What are you passionate about?
Plants, animals, cooking for my friends, writing funny things and performing it live. And then social justice issues as an overarching umbrella, I would say.
How do these things manifest in your day-to-day life?
I think that plants and animals are very much a self-soothing thing that I engage in daily. I think that I try to engage in a lot of healthy cooking and communal activities. I think that social justice stuff is kind of the framework that I view the whole world in. So I don’t know that there’s any, especially, aspects of my life that is removed from that. So it’s just kind of a daily occurrence. Sometimes, I think of it through the lens of ignorance is bliss. And it’s like, “I already know now. I can’t not see the things that are happening. Sorry, I’m not trying to be the Debbie Downer of every situation, it’s just that racial inequality is real,” and stuff like that [laughter].
What is your love language?
I took the test, and it said that words of affirmation was, so I love receiving those. But I feel when I express my love, it’s more often through gift-giving lately, which I know is the one that everyone hates. But I feel when everyone talks about it, they’re very much like, “Gift giving, that’s because you’re selfish and materialistic.” I’m like, “No. It’s because your stomach is upset, and I brought you some chicken soup, and like, a movie that I bought at Blockbuster eight years ago, and it reminds me of you.” Stuff like that very intentional, thoughtful stuff. Plus, since I feel I can’t do a lot of quality time with people, both for schedules and chronic illness/pain stuff that always comes up, then that helps me feel like I’m more able to say like, “I am thinking about you. It’s not that I’m just in my cave on the south side [laughter] being friendless.” It’s that like, I’m thinking about you while I’m down there.
What is something you feel very accomplished with?
I guess I’m trying to feel accomplish with my emotional health stuff because I feel like– this is actually something I read about where it was you can either focus on your emotional health or your professional health for what my Saturn Return cycle is. You can only focus on one at a time and you’ve surely been working on one up until now thinking that you’re forcing your Saturn Return. Now you have to work on the other one. It was like, “Goddammit, that’s so rude.” So I’m trying to appreciate all the work I’ve put in throughout my twenties on emotional health, thinking like, “I’ll have an easy Saturn Return. I know how to speak about my feelings. I feel centered as a human being, blah, blah.” Now it’s like, “No. You have to actually go out there and show up and show other people who you are professionally.” I said, “Dammit [laughter]. I thought I was ahead of the game. Thanks a lot, space. You’re so rude [laughter].” I’m not saying that I’m the most emotionally healthy person. But when I look at straight people around me or I just read a book about– it was fiction but it was about straight people’s interpersonal relationships. And I was like, “Why aren’t any of you saying anything to each other? This is so fucking rude. You’re sitting there brooding about your husband not communicating to you properly and you’re not giving him the tools to succeed. This is so dumb.” So I was like, “At least I got that covered.” I’m not going to be in a situation where I’m like, I don’t know how to say, I love you, because I’ll just be like, “I LOVE YOU” really obnoxiously. I can’t control it at this point [laughter].
What is something you struggle with?
I guess adult career and money stuff is where I’m at right now. Really having a profound struggle with capitalism, on an emotional and practical level. Because I was focusing on the emotional health I really did not put any prioritization on, “I need to figure out what kind of job I need.” I’ve been floating through barista and retail jobs because those are what give me the freedom to do artistic stuff, which I appreciate and I would still like. But now that I’m getting to the point where I’m like, “Oh, it would be nice to pay my bills.” And I live with my parents after leaving an abusive relationship. I still need to financially get to a certain place before I feel comfortable moving out. I’m just like, “You work three days a week at a grocery store. It’s not going to happen [laughter]. You need to figure out a different plan.” Plus I would like to have a job where I actually sit down and do something that I feel is meaningful as opposed to lifting 50-pound bags of potatoes all day.
They’re so heavy and ungainly and the bag is always ripped. It’s really unfortunate. I have a lot of packaging problems with how we transport food and that’s a whole separate interview that should be sent directly to food manufacturers. But foods are hard to lift. People don’t realize [laughter].
What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, familial, sexual and otherwise?
I just got a friend got broken up with right before you got here by a best friend. And I was like, “I’m 28 now. I don’t have the emotional capacity to chase you. I’m not going to chase you.” That sounds dramatic and stupid and hurtful, but if that’s what you’ve got to do I understand that sometimes people need to make selfish choices. I think that it’s also very reflective of where I’m at. I’m trying to be like– there was this really good line from The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. And it was that, “I think that I can give you everything without giving myself away”; And I was driving on Lakeshore Drive like, “I’m about to crash my fucking car right now.” But that’s like everything’s in me right now where I think that when I’m in relationships, whether it be platonic or romantic– because I get really platonically attached. I think that I’ve been really bad about not giving myself away in those situations and then not feeling grounded. Or like I’m able to recover when something happens in the relationship. So right now I’m trying to be very emotionally healthy. I am like, “This time these things are in orbit around me. Everything is cool. I can send up my solar flares and be fine by myself. It”s not a big deal.” So I’m trying to stay centered and present and appreciate relationships for what they are right now and be okay with the transition as opposed to my past viewpoint of, “I need to know what’s going to happen. I need to have a trajectory for this. I need to be prepared at all times. I love control [laughter].” So now I’m like, “I guess I can sit in the gray space. That’s cool [laughter].”
What about romantic entanglements?
I was with someone for a year and a half. For the first half a year that we were together, she lived in Philadelphia, then moved out here and moved immediately in with me. And just nothing about the situation was good. She had a lot of emotional baggage that ended up coming out in emotional abuse and then later, physical stuff. And because I’m a mentally ill person who’s been in abusive situations before, it was like after the first year of it I felt myself becoming a mean person. It wears down on you after a certain point. So it was harder to be the kind of person that I want to be, which is really generous and gregarious and able to see the bright side of things. And I think, at my core, that’s who I am. But if I’m put in a situation where every day I’m being told, “You suck and you can’t do anything correctly,” at some point I’m just like, “Cool. I can’t do anything correctly. I fucking give up. I’ll be in the living room.”
What is a goal you want to accomplish?
My show, Choose Your Mar Adventure has the intention of being a podcast at some point. My plan is to edit together random segments that have some tangential connection, and then have me and my co-host, my friend Bianca, just kind of do segments in between where I’m like, “Yeah, I don’t know why I said this to this person but here’s this person. Go look them up on this website. Sorry, Mom. Here’s the interview [laughter].” I feel at this point in my life a lot of my material is centered around, “My mom’s going to be really upset if she ever finds out about this.” So figure out a way to tell my mom, “Either stay away from all my media or here are all the deep, dark secrets I’m keeping from you, let’s just get it out there.” I got to wait until I move out first [laughter] then I can be like, “Here are the things on a platter. Like John the Baptist’s head.”