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.
January 18, 2009 § 1 Comment
I’m trying to write and Philip is swearing at the TV again, this time at David Brooks for saying Bush’s freezing out of those who didn’t agree with him, “my lifestyle is better than your lifestyle” was what the ‘60’s were all about. “No, you cocksucker,” my sweetie said, “that’s what people who have money are all about.” Philip was hurt by what I wrote last week so now I have to describe his good qualities, like how much he hates Republicans, and how pretty his eyelashes are. I’ve have learned a lot from him about what it was like not to be a hippie in high school, and how to access one’s inner Rahm Emmanuel. But I also have to object to his assertion that wanting TV and music on at all times is recognizing one’s connectedness to humanity. This is how I connect to humanity, and I need silence to do it.
Which I have now because he’s in the bathroom and the TV is cavorting on mute. I fell in the bathroom last weekend when I was drunk, not hurting myself (God protects drunks and fools has always worked for me) and coming out of my stupor to feel him lightly slap my face—he couldn’t carry me to bed, alas, no one has done that since I was 5—and it was kind of a faux S/M moment, part of that tough love I seem to want, but once I get it feel energized to turn the toughie into a softie so we can play, childhood rough and tumble, tease and silliness until I explode in toddler giggles. It can never happen enough for me though both Philip and Charles are extremely good at being silly. I miss my husband, his unpredictable flights of fancy. Maybe I’m perverse, but I can’t help feeling happy for Diane whom he’s ‘in love’ with now—what a pleasure for her to receive that overflowing romantic spirit. I always felt that I got too much of the good stuff from Charles, that not enough other people experienced him at his best. Mostly I was sorry his kids didn’t. But the grandchildren are getting a good dose, and they need it.
January 11, 2009 § 1 Comment
I’m hungover, Philips thinks I should quit drinking and I want to, though whether I want to enough remains to be seen. I’m not so much worried about the hangover days but the ordinary drinking, how it dulls me and retards my imagination. That’s not true exactly–it feeds my imagination in some ways, but I’ve had a lot of that kind of food lately, and I need the perspective of sobriety more. That exacting clarity. What I’m afraid of is that I feel so pulled into my writing these days, the novel and this blog and all the other novels half written and hanging around, that I already have difficulty seeing the point of being with people, though I do get lonely. Alcohol helps. Sometimes it becomes the point of being with people, which is bad, but what can I say? I don’t have anything to say anymore, in person; it’s all going to the writing. I know I can figure this out. I don’t feel particularly worried, for some reason. Maybe the last glass of rum is still feeding me its sweet southern delusions.
Philip is with Christine today. I’m still at his apartment, because of the hangover, and writing this on his computer. It’s all a little strange. They’re watching a football game tgether. I’m glad I don’t have to do that. Still–and though I am thinking actively and lovingly about my own husband and looking forward to seeing him again–imagining Philip with his wife (and the cats and the dog) makes me want to stick knives in him. This is why everyone thinks my life is crazy. It is. I want to bark at the moon. I want to take LSD and sit in the bushes all night talking to unscary ghosts as I did in Virginia, in 1978, then lie on the floor all day reading Proust. (Actually I sat outside all night in the summer and read Proust in the winter. I remember that because we dragged the mattress down in front of the oven to save on heat. )