I will be back soon. I’ve been ill. I’ve been preoccupied. I’ve been asking lots and lots of questions. I’m not sure blogging and writing serve any purpose, or, rather, I’m not sure I’m clear on the purpose of writing and blogging for me. I am afraid I am doing it for the wrong reasons.
I am, however, writing. Following the example of a Twitter-pal(ish – but more on that in a moment) I have begun composing hand-written, actual go-in-a-mailbox letters to people. It’s been grand fun, jump-started some creative urges long dormant, and flooded me with memories. My dear one, Sissie, while she was alive, for as long as she could see, no matter our proximity, would write me at least once a week, often two or three times a week. She filled the short missives with gossip, details about her days, and clippings from newspapers and magazines she thought I’d enjoy. In the days before the internet, when I was too poor to be able to afford a daily paper and magazines, these letters and clippings were fantastic gifts. Too, she’d often include money, a five, sometimes twenty. It was a delight to get the cash, yes, and during some periods in my late teens and early twenties, the cash meant I could eat when otherwise I’d not have done so, but the real gift was her time, her presence in my life, the belief and the being there those regular notes and typed conversations communicated to me. I was not alone.
I am, now, mostly. Alone. I want others to know they are – for me – worth the time and effort to draw a few pictures, include a few clippings, tell a story or two, share a thought or feeling. Be there. Believe. Communicate.
So, maybe this blog is my letter to you? I know, most of the few hundred hits I get a day are about internet searches for naked famous people – even though I long ago stopped writing about such things. But, there it is. Still, here’s the thing (or two things, maybe three).
Last week, on one of my regular days with my 87-year-old Mom, she told me that a person with whom I’d gone to high school had died. Asked me if I knew him. Remembered him. Yes. Yes, I did. I started to cry, which appalled her. The thing (first thing): He was my first down-low-post-puberty crush. One of the pattern setters. We hung out, briefly. We would have – had the world been different then – (now?) – dated, or, publicly hooked-up. As it was, what happened was kept secret. What happened was denied. What happened caused him to trash me to others, carefully, quietly, subtly, so as to make sure he wasn’t ruined. He was straight. I was an experiment. Had the world been different then – (now?) – I’d have been able to talk about it, be open about it, have held his hand for a few days in public, gotten over it. As it was, because I was denied any of that, it became (still is?) way more important, far larger than it merited being. So when my Mom told me he’d died, I wept.
Not because I still love him – I’ve not seen, talked to, heard about, know anything about him for four decades – but, instead, because she didn’t know about him. No one knew about him. I never got to hold his hand. He was one of many – a line and list that seems to be ever-growing – whose hands I never held, who would not publicly claim me.
And the thing (the second) is this: I have long been disposable in that way. I have recently been gently put “in my place” – distanced by someone. Listen, not the first time. Likely the reason I have such trust issues: I have been dumped, distanced, dissed, dismissed, disregarded, discounted by lovers, family members, people I thought were dear friends, people I trusted.
They all had their reasons. Here’s another thing (the third) – once, not so long ago, I was told by Friend A that another of our mutual friends, Friend V, had – once upon a time – thought me to be rude, unkind, distant when they visited. Here’s the thing, the visit was unannounced and I was in the middle of being eviscerated in my personal & professional life and having to keep that secret, quiet and wondering where and how and even – some days – IF I would live. Friend A offered to explain this to V, to facilitate a reunion. I declined. This thing – this third thing is – if you, Friend V or anyone else – can go to the place where I am rude, unkind, distant (or whatever other word/reason you’d have to dislike and judge me) without even thinking about it, wondering about it – then you NEVER knew me in the first place. I am not interested in being intimate or close to people who would GO SUCH PLACES about me.
I was cut dead by one such person in the grocery store the other day. I was ignored in public by a fellow who I have seen in private. I was distanced and dismissed (separate events, well, sort of) on social media. (Look, I know Twitter isn’t “real” and most of the personalities on it are spun to a degree – including mine – but, well, I’d come to think of Twitter people as a community of friends and – look, they are and they’re not – just like any other group – DON’T LOOK THERE FOR YOURSELF – click your own fucking heels, there are no wizards or good witches there.)
And my seventh grade crush died. And I could not keep any food in my body for five days and lost ten pounds.
And I’m tired. And the world is full of murderous, hateful, vengeful, climbing, class-conscious but deny it hypocrites, and they are everywhere, game playing and approving only of those they deem worthy.
Well, they wouldn’t – most of them – including those who recently dismissed me on one or another level – have ever held my hand or claimed me in public anyway – not really. So, fuck it and fuck them.
It’s not their job – was never their job – was not that seventh grade crush’s job – to love me enough. That’s my job. And the fact that I seem unable to do so may be all the reason any of them need not to claim me, not to hold my hand.
So, I’ll be back. Sometime. When I figure out how to hold my own hand.
Love & Light, kids.