Last night (and this morning) have given me unpleasant occasion to consider the acts of erasing, deleting, and Facebook feed-blocking as life-strategies.
It started with one of those Facebook posts that sneak through the cracks of all the people whose streams I’ve blocked. Just when you think it’s safe to read your Facebook feed, someone you haven’t edited out of the mix re-posts something from someone you have. Get on that Zuckerberg – it’s a programming flaw. The sneaky little re-post sent me into a paroxysm of weepy-“why me-ing” about the ways in which I had been and was about to be erased, deleted and re-written and just how obvious my absence would make my presence; and just how horribly present and painful in my life were some absences I, myself, had created.
My dysthymic downturn continued with me posting what I thought a deathless sentence from my latest likely-never-to-be-completed mystery-cozy-novel-in-progress, uttered by heroine’s GBF to his past pseudo-closeted-maybe-stalked love-interest (Holy Balzac, Batman! This post is requiring too many dashes!) along the lines of; “All that erasing only leaves a nasty smudged scar reminding people where I was on the page of your life.”
Okay. Look, it was late. I was delirious with Facebook angst. And I still think, somewhere in the thought, there’s a brill sort of pithy sort of toss-off sort of bon mot sort of waiting to be sort of born. Unfortunately, it was delivered by an obste-author-trician guilty of malpractice (or, insomnia), as was pointed out to me by a friend’s comment along the lines of: “Understanding that sentence required five tries to get past the Frankengerund.” He later wondered if I’d been imbibing my treasured Patron Silver while scribing.
I don’t drink when I write and I don’t write when I drink. The former might arguably have resulted in works of genius by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Kerouac, Parker, Williams, and Capote, but I am not in their league – as writer or drinker. The latter has definitely resulted in regrettably embarrassing late night blog, Twitter, and Facebook postings of ferociously lachrymose bitterness I would later delete. Lesson learned.
Thus, I’ve no excuse for my lousy late-night writing. And, when I have no excuse, I try to forget. Erase. Delete. Block feed. The locomotion of denial (my own, and others) fascinates and terrifies me and the ferociously aggressive manner by which I and some who I have loved execute it – and believe me when I say that I use the word “execute” with particular care – does nothing to nullify, negate nor obliterate the past, but, rather, does just what that sentence I was trying to write was trying to mean: There in that space where once was that thing we loved and now don’t, that space we’ve tried to clear by re-interpreting or spinning or furiously rubbing out, there is just torn paper, the immutable “used to be”, the haunting, smudged image of what we now wish to believe never belonged or never was.
The question is, how do we tell the story we’re telling in this moment and edit out the backstory which makes us squirm or sorrow or devolve into those despicable, timorous pleadings for love and explanations; sentences we will later – when sobered up from these episodes of rueful longing – regret?
Not a clue. And so, the day’s mood = SUCK. Luckily, the interwebs come to the rescue. First of all, in keeping with the theme of the “mystery-cozy-novel-in-progress, heroine’s GBF speaking to his past pseudo-closeted-maybe-stalked love-interest” (a feeling about which I have ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE WHATSOEVER NO MATTER WHAT DEREK HOUGH’S CEASE AND DESIST ORDER IMPLIES TO THE CONTRARY) I found this hilarious video about the extreme fragility of male heterosexuality and how to avoid going bro-gay. Enjoy.
But if one video is good, surely two are better? And few things make me happier than musical theatre, unless, of course, you count English accents. Put the two together and it’s gold. As soon as the video started, my troubles began to melt like the Wicked Witch after that bitch doused her. Then, long around 3:05 came the narrator’s lines:
“When I wrote Thomas’s soliloquy for Robbie, I was a little concerned, would he be able to hit the gay notes that I had written? Because in musical theatre there are notes that only gays can hit – but I have to say; Robbie – a raving heterosexual, women just fawning all over him – he hit every gay note I threw at him. Gay note; HIT! Gay note; HIT!”
Well, darlings, I was sold. That would have been enough, but lo and behold, long around 8:30, out comes Jeremy Jordan (by which, alas, I do not mean he professed his homosexuality, dammit) and suddenly, I’m all smiles and rainbows and unicorns. Here you go:
I hope you’re not having one of those days. I hope you’ve no need to erase or delete or block or spin or re-write the past and make heroes into villains or villains into heroes or – well – whatever sort of denial at which you’re best. But if you ARE having one of those days and you DO NEED to edit your memories, remember this: Nothing is true forever or for everyone.
Love and light, friends (and past friends and even those who consider me an enemy). For now . . . here I am . . . going.