Welcome to your new life with you being happy
Zine, Rachel Bell, Pioneers Press, $7
Chicago-based writer Rachel Bell doesn’t give a fuck.
Strikingly honest, gross, sweet and tough, welcome to your new life with you being happy describes contemporary city life unbound, yet still very aware of the surroundings and hardships that sometimes sit heavily on the narrator’s (Bell) shoulders.
Part One: Songs We Sing At Karaoke On The North Side Of The City describes Bell’s lustful and intense relationship with her “beautiful, dark and twisted boyfriend” named Ben. This prose-poetry mashup flows beautifully, adding to the sheer palatability of Bell’s zine. She lyrically weaves in very intimate scenes, describing body parts and body functions very openly no matter their taboo nature, adding to the overall understanding for the reader that Ben is someone who the narrator loves very intensely. She can be her full, human self with Ben, not a non- pooping, non-farting, non-cumming humanoid.
Part Two: “If I Die In Indiana I Will Kill Myself” describes the narrator more than the first half of the zine, by showcasing several scenes and how she acted in each of them, such as dressing up as the Virgin Mary for Halloween in 2014, or as a child at a very Catholic elementary school where she argued with her teacher as much as she possibly could about why pro-choice is necessary.
welcome to your new life with you being happy is a strangely relatable book from an author who seems to be bursting at the seams with emotions, unapologetically exploring whatever she feels like doing that day. It is an easy to consume piece in spite of its occasionally very serious and gritty subject matter, which maybe inadvertently implants an important thought for readers: that in such a short life on this earth, there is no reason to be anyone other than yourself. (Richelle Charkot)