My Privates

January 22, 2009 § 2 Comments

I’ve been considering what level of openness regarding my personal life I want for this blog. People have raised issues—hurt feelings, privacy—that have made me uncomfortable, though not surprised. I was in therapy and AA for years, so the personal spills easily. And I’m a novelist, so raw emotion and peculiar human detail seems like the good stuff, what I hate to let go of even if I know it will upset someone. Not that I don’t have boundaries; there are plenty of things I’d never put in here, though the writer in me salivates. And I know exactly where the boundaries should stay to keep my loved ones happy, but I can’t help wanting to move the goalposts a little.

I find my sexual and emotional life an endless source of comedy. This isn’t because I haven’t cried several rivers, but because I have and so what. My boyfriend’s pretzel of a psyche, my husband’s Man-Who-Fell-to-Earth oddity spark enormous tenderness in me, yet there have been many times over the years when one or another has lain beside me, disgorging secrets and dreams, revealing astonishing delusions (like the ones you and I have) while I repeated the words in my head, memorizing the turns of phrase, thinking, What a character he’ll make someday.

I thought that ‘someday’ I’d be disconnected from one or another.

“I don’t want to censor you, but you can’t expect me not to have a reaction.”

“You have to write what you want—you have to—but can’t I tell you how I feel?”

Well, okay. I guess the appropriate cautionary tale is Nixon and the White House tapes. He probably didn’t get the novelistic splendor of it all, but he knew the joys of the raw meat moment. General This and Senator That, talking shit. You want to preserve and protect. You don’t want to be kicked out of the place of privilege.

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§ 2 Responses to My Privates

  • aporia says:

    I think novelists lead a life different from most.

  • charles carrico says:

    Say whatever you goddamn please. If it hurts your readers, or your family, or your husband, or your boyfriend, or your husband’s girlfriend, or your boyfriend’s wife, it’s not your problem.

    Carry on … words are immortal… the rest of us are just flesh, blood and a pile of ridiculous emotions.

    You nailed it. Sexual and emotional life is an ‘endless source of comedy’. Why do you think we keep coming back for more? – It’s the laughs baby, it’s the laughs.

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