Your not-so-intrepid blogger is going away. He really needs to. I really need to. So, it’s off to some rehab again. They tried to make me go and I have said, YES YES YES. I’ll be taking the sea air. And reading. I haven’t long to write, as I must determine which 30 books I’ll be packing to take along. Back to nature for this old man — my nature, lost in a book. Much love, dear ones.
UPDATE MAY 17: I AM, OFFICIALLY, A NEOLOGIST – AND MY NOM DE GUERRE AS SUCH IS OSCAR PARKER ISHERWOOD — AND MY COINING AND DEFINING OF “DICKPANIC” HAS BEEN PUBLISHED BY URBANDICTIONARY — CLICK HERE TO SEE! Now, I grant you, this is hardly the OED we are talking about, but, LITTLE THINGS, people, LITTLE THINGS! Now, gotta run, still trying to cull the stacks of books I want to take along to the beach … I don’t want to hurt any of their feelings by leaving them behind, so, it’s rough going here . . .
UPDATE P.S. MAY 17: I informed my idol, the esteemed Duchess Goldblatt (follow her HERE on Twitter) of my etymological accomplishment and Her Grace replied: “Congratulations, dear. And I LOVE the new avi.” In reference to my updated avatar, which, in keeping with my return to basics, is a photo of me when I was in my prime and at my peak: age 5. It’s been rough sledding since then. Here it is:
Thank you, Your Grace, Duchess Goldblatt, for Madam’s kindness and model of civility and good breeding. Would that the entire world would bow to Your Grace’s wisdom as have I. Now, it’s off to the beach . . . well, after a quick jaunt to the liquor store for the case of wine I’ll need for the next week.
Once upon a time, many long lifetimes ago, in another world —
(Do you remember that soap? And Beverlee McKinsey, who played tortured villainess, Iris, whose love for her father, Mac, and desperate need for his approval led her to commit unforgivable sins and behave in reprehensible and opprobrious ways? She — Ms. McKinsey — after the cancellation of Another World, ended up on The Guiding Light as Alexandra Spaulding, a character not unlike Iris but never as iconic and mythologically fraught. I loved Iris. Oh, wait, I think she — Iris, well, and McKinsey — also briefly moved to the short-lived Texas, a failed daytime attempt to ripoff nighttime’s Dallas — in any event, I so identified with her suffering and rooted for her to be understood by and triumph over the typical goody-goody heroes of the soaps in those days. And, too, on Another World were Constance Ford and Victoria Wyndham, two more iconic daytime geniuses, but, I digress…)
— I was near death and the only solution was a radical change to my life. The only way to cure and heal what the matter was required a lopping off and cutting away huge parts of my life; an amputation, if you will, the sort of spiritual/cosmic equivalent of what occurs when gangrene has infected a limb and in order for the patient to survive, the diseased, dying flesh must be removed and, in the process, some living flesh is sacrificed as well, not to mention, after the operation, the patient must learn whole new ways of being. And, deal with the echoes of pain in places of the heart, the soul, now lopped away … that inexplicable ache coming from a place that is no longer there … the ghosts, those things that lurk at the edge of night …
(Do you remember that soap? I’m obsessed today with old soaps. I watched The Edge of Night only near its ending, when SharonGabet played Raven. Oh man, I loved her. Loved that character. When I thought she had died — Raven, not Ms.Gabet — I wrote to the soap, by mail of course, there was no email then, and promised I would NEVER WATCH IT AGAIN. Lol, the character was not dead and Ms.Gabet sent me a lovely personal note and autographed photo in response. Long since lost. But, I digress …)
I needed, then, to learn to “be” and “walk” in a new way, in that new life, after the amputation. I don’t really ever write about it, even in my novels I am not using it — which may explain why my novels are turning out to be so shitty — but, that’s another digression — because I don’t want anyone, ever, to feel I am invading their privacy. So, although it was my life, the amputation affected others, and the events leading to the amputation involved others, so, no. Not writing about it.
However, after the fact, a dear friend, seeing that I could not walk, could not speak, needed to rehabilitate, she picked me up and took me away to her family’s beach house and made me rest and sit and calm and listen to my heart.
Now, it is no secret that of late, I have been having a great deal of pain, brought on by many things, more ghosts and echoes of those I’ve lost … physically and psychic-ly … people who played important and, too, some not so important but memorable roles in my life; those actors.
(Lost actors … Beverlee McKinsey and Constance Ford have both died. Victoria Wyndham is an artist now, and Sharon Gabet seems to have stopped acting, I can’t find her. I seem to recall that she did a lot of crusading for AIDS patients rights after Edge was cancelled; many of the male actors on that soap died from AIDS-related complications; Dennis Parker, Joel Crothers, Irving Allen Lee, and there were rumors about others as well. Larkin Malloy played Raven’s great love, Schuyler Whitney — Sky and Raven were like Nick and Nora Charles combined with Bonnie and Clyde combined with Abbott and Costello combined with Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin — an amazing duo. I can’t find anything about Mr. Malloy after 2010, 2011 — but I digress …)
And so, my dear friend has again asked me to accompany her to the shore, acting as if I am doing her a favor by keeping her company.
And, once again, as soon as she asked me, good things started happening.
GOOD THING #1: I walked outside yesterday morning and there, staring at me, one of the brand-spanking-new tires which had cost $250 less than a month ago, FLAT. Not just a little flat — totally, completely, horribly flat. Called my favorite garage. While I used another car to cart around my Momma, the garage came, towed my car in, assessed the tire from which they removed a HUGE two inch bolt that had penetrated it — patched tire, put back on car, but the GOOD THING — while this is my third flat tire in as many months, I have had a decades long driving career with no flat tires, and, I’ve had SO MUCH work done on my car lately that I’ve accumulated enough service points to have made this tire service and tow COMPLETELY FREE! So, yay, good thing.
GOOD THING #2: I was in the gym yesterday, in the locker room getting dressed and ready to go, when three late-teen boys arrived, obviously high school age. They started in with that loud talk that so annoys me — I mean, OTHER PEOPLE HAVE NO INTEREST IN YOUR CONVERSATIONS SO KEEP IT DOWN — why do so many men in locker rooms talk at such intense volume? I think it is because they go into “dick panic” — when around other naked men they want everyone to know FOR SURE that they are bros and no homo — or, so I thought.
[WAIT – IS “DICKPANIC” A THING YET? BECAUSE I WANT TO COPYRIGHT THE WORD!– It’s mine. DICKPANIC is mine, so to speak — you read it here FIRST! I JUST PUT THIS ON URBANDICTIONARY, UNDER THE ALIAS OSCAR PARKER ISHERWOOD, BECAUSE IT IS NOT YET THERE!!! We’ll see if they post this: HUZZAH:
DICKPANIC (or DICK PANIC); noun; a sudden, overwhelming and irrational fear that produces hysterical, overly-loud, overly-bro, definitely no-homo behavior in straight or wanna-pretend-to-be straight men when in close proximity to other such men with their dicks exposed such as in locker rooms or bathrooms or — you know, a “just-bros-no-homo” circle jerk thing.]
Then, the boys started talking — as it seems the teenboys in the locker room inevitably do — about sex and a girl one of them wanted to get with, but, alas, she had returned to her boyfriend. The talk was SURPRISINGLY evolved but they then began to segue to, “Hey I have a huge secret” talk. Turns out the “huge secret” was that another jock friend of theirs had gone “bi” — ONLY, and here’s the GOOD THING — seems that the two of these boys who were not the speaker telling the secret already KNEW and said, “Dude, where have you been, everyone knows he’s bi — he came out about it months ago.” To which Dude replied, “Fuck, is everyone bi but me?” To which one of other two replied, “Get over it, whatever, who cares?” I WAS FLUMMOXED AND OVERJOYED. I wanted to rush over and embrace all three of them — but, yeah — I didn’t. I just smiled in my heart and head.
GOOD THING #3: I am at 9992 Tweets. In 8 Tweets I will be at 10,000. This seems SO HUGE to me — in a hilarious way — that I have STOPPED Tweeting — LOL — because I want 10,000 to COUNT. Oh, Charles. So, it seems apt that I should Tweet it from Rehoboth, where I went when all of this amputation rehab began and where I am going now, feeling a sort of setback in my rehab process.
GOOD THING #4: I got another house/pet sitting gig for one of my empty summer weeks yesterday; so I have only a very few un-booked weeks left for June-August, which makes me very happy. Not only do I seriously need the money, but, too, I LOVE being around animals and, I think, a lot of alone time is really very good for me, what I need right now, and loads of full-body sunshine and since I am shy about taking off my clothes in front of people, these house sitting gigs afford me the privacy to sun bathe in private. Nice. And the beauty of other people’s lovely homes … entrusted to me.
GOOD THING #5: Because I am going away for two weeks, my dear A wants to have lunch Saturday, which makes me very, very happy. I need to assure her — and all my other A’s and loved ones — that I am, or rather, WILL ULTIMATELY be okay.
Look, I’m not actually sure I will be “okay” — but, what I mean by that is, I am not sure that anyone else’s definition of “okay” serves any real purpose or matters. I chewed off part of me to escape a terrible trap, and the dream I had of running free was purloined by my past, by wasted time, by the lost limb — so, I could have died in the trap, or I could lose the limb and try to find a new way to be and live … a new definition of “okay” — and so, yeah, you see, it is that search, that quandary that eats at me.
And the ghosts that haunt — the phantom limbs and phantoms and specters from that another world at the edge of night — I sometimes get trapped in an echo chamber of their voices, and believe that what they think (thought) is “okay” and “success” and “sane” and — all those other words of approval — are what I should be. Should do. But I never was those things, I was never going to be those things, and the playing of a game as if all those things really did matter, that fantasy world those ghosts wanted me to continue to forever pretend was true — I couldn’t.
So, yes, I do have a limp, some trouble now getting around in this new another world I am in, but it’s better even so than slow death by cosmic gangrene. And so, I’m going away for a while, and I think I may stop blogging for a while, and I think I need — somehow — to figure out now where hereWEaregoing, but, rather, hereIam.
So long, friends.