Thursday, September 30, 2010

The things we have forgotten

Yeah, last night, I wrote vaguely stupid, bourbon-fueled post about nothing in particular, and saved it in draft form, or rather, I, inadvertently, maybe, accidentally, actually, published it. (See the word between stupid and fueled for a perfect explanation.) It wasn't heart-exposing or unkind or even gripping. It was drivel. A one-night stand that looks ugly and only talks of the World of Warcraft in the morning. I was winding down from a long week without my husband, who went to Atlanta to see Rush. I wanted to write. I wanted to explain what this was like, but it is kind of fine, and sometimes overwhelming, but mostly just fine. Really, I ended up writing about nothing in particular, and when I saw it live in my own reader, I shook my head, grumbled, and resaved it as a draft.

Pretty much my tweet this morning sums it up:

When I drink and write, I like to have coffee with my post in the morning before posting. That one was doing the walk of shame.

Oh, I know the walk of shame well. Yeah, yeah, ethics. Caches. It really is not anything anyone would want to read, so that whole cache thing, knock yourself out.

Here are the highlights: I complain about Rush, not the angry, conservative jackass, but the wacky Canadian band. I explain how my husband loves them and has traveled to Atlanta to see them with his brother. I call myself the Mr. Magoo of parenting and have been sleeping alone in my own bed for the first time in three years unintentionally. It scares me to have so much mattress. And I muse on how amazing it would be to be married to me.

It would. At least for a while.

Tonight, for example, my ex-husband (G.) and I were chatting on the "My Face" (Mother of Pearl, that sounds dirty). He found a short story I wrote when I was 19. See, we fell in love writing actual snail mail. I wrote on an old typewriter, like any pretentious goth teenager worth her sallow-complected weight would, and he hand wrote on the back of old scripts from the independent experimental plays he was acting in. Our mail also involved alot of altered art, found objects and strange tokens of our very opposite worlds. He was a painter and videographer with a few CDs out and a budding acting career. His letters and art made every part of me embrace the idea of a life that was impossible in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania.

Anyway, he kept this cache of old writings of mine and I have a few old, odd pieces from him, that even in my most blazing anger could not destroy by flame. We wrote to each other for six months before ever kissing. It was very romantic, and strange, and doomed us to unrealistic expectations from the beginning. This was pre-internet for normal people, so we occassionally talked on the phone, which was hella expensive in those days, but mostly wrote down our stories everyday and mailed them off.  Days lapsed between sending the mail and getting it, and life changed quickly in those days. One night of debauchery, and the next night of holiness. Even years after we married, we still would send each other postcards from work to our home address and pretend we didn't know where they came from. "I dunno know, dude, it is just addressed to 'DJ Dumbass', I can only assume that means you."

It was the highlight of my day, the mailman. I still get a jolt of excitement when I hear the kuclunk of the mail slot opening. It is why I participate in so many swaps, and am willing to send things to anyone at any time. Because I am like a puppy--MAILMAN!!!!

One piece of altered art I still have from G. is a photocopied picture of him painted blue with a highlighter and glued realistically to a postcard of Shiva where he wrote on his T-shirt, "I'm with the Blue Guy." and an arrow pointing to Shiva. On the back he wrote, "Dear Angie, Me and the Blue Guy are just hanging out emanating flowers. Stay Brown. Love, G." It still cracks me up. I actually was recently reminded of this postcard in the local post office last week where I overheard the woman in front of me making chitchat with the postal worker. They talked about the humidity, and at the end, she said, "Well, alright, stay black."
The postal worker replied, "I will. I will."

G. says he will scan some stories in for me, if I want, which of course I want. It is like opening a time capsule. Me before the fire. Me before the marriage, divorce, sickness, betrayals and lies. This one story he found, he claims, is legendary. The very best of the stories I sent him. He calls it Batdog, and claims it is a Beatnik rambling through existence, identity and quantum physics.

Yeah, here is the thing. I have absolutely no fucking recollection of this story at all. Even after he posted quotes, then told me the entire story via chat, I have no memory of writing it, reading it, or sending it. Funny that. Now with the advent of the personal home computer, I reread my crap over and over and over, edit the shit out of it, until it is palatable milquetoast drivel. Until it has no cajones, or tetita power. Sure, I keep drafts, but when you are facing twenty versions of the same crap, you usually just go with the latest. When you type on an old fashioned typewriter with a bunch of old flyers you collected from the local cafe, you either start over fresh on a new sheet of band announcement, or just go for it, dude, and make it work. So, I'm sure I just often went for it, especially with him, because he brings out the brazen fool in all of us. The snarkier and more insane the better.

I do kind of pride myself on my memory, my rationale, my decent sense. I am good at faces and names and details of people's lives, except, apparently, my own. I frequently ask my sister to tell me that story of something that happened to me. But this is weird. To create and forget. One wonders how much creation is floating out there absolutely forgotten. And what that means for art and existence when you create something meaningful to someone who you married, and it means almost nothing to you, except that it means something to him. Is art art when you create it for one person? Is it important? Should it be shown?

It reminds me of that Paul Auster novel, the Book of Illusions, which totally and completely made me believe in existentialism again. If you read it, just know that there is a child and wife death in it. Grief. Desperate, beautiful grief.

Last night's post and subsequent demotion to draft status reminded me that the me at 19 would have left it up, and probably added a few dozen more inflamatory remarks, and the me now just drafts the damn thing and figures it is unpalatably bad.

Anyway, here is the portion of Batdog G. posted on my Facebook profile.

I go to bed early. But later that night I'm awakened by a racket outside the house. Stumbling to the window, I see my brother and his friends file drunk across the moonlit yard and pile clumsily, and with much merriment, into MY car. As if this is not bad enough, it is my brother – my abstemious, licenseless brother – who climbs behind the wheel, waving a beer bottle. I am just about to run downstairs when I hear an ungodly howl. And that’s when I see it, swooping low out of the shadows of Mr. Gordon’s oak tree only to rise, gliding gracefully, into the bright yellow moon above Stoop Conover’s place. I only see it for a moment, but it looks like a Chihuahua with wings…
 The original Chupacabra, no doubt.

So what have you forgotten lately?


  1. My little dog would make an excellent Batdog. Except for the fact that he is an absolute coward.

  2. Angie, I'm no writer, and emvy your talent. I read yesterday's post and thought it was pretty good, it made me smile. Make of that what you will.
    (Oh and I write shit and leave it up, I have no shame...well I do,but what the heck eh? )

  3. I forgot the name of the Pastor who married my husband and me just the other day. I have known him personally for over 5 years. Awkward. I forgot how to spell that too.

  4. My husband also loves Rush and I'm going to go and read your complaints about them so that I can hit him with a borrowed (and probably suspiciously articulate) complaint next time he plays them.

    I like Batdog. What happens next?!

  5. Funny you should ask that. I was at a friend's daughter's 18th birthday party last night... and I asked myself what did I do for my 18th? And try and I fucking might I have NO CLUE. :( I would have done something, I just can't remember it. Pretty pathetic.

    I liked your last post. I don't see why you pulled it down.


  6. Rush has been around since my jr high days, & I was never a huge fan, but in this case, familiarity breeds affection. ; ) There's a song they sing called "Lakeside Park," which is ostensibly about the CNE & Lake Ontario, but makes me think of the nights at the beach (Lake Manitoba) & I used to spend with my friends. At the very end, he sings, "Dancing fires on the beach, singing songs together -- though it's just a memory some memories last forever." That part always makes me tear up.

    You know that Neil Peart, the drummer, lost his daughter in a car accident, & subsequently his wife/her mother to cancer? He designed a beautiful monument to them -- a tall pyramid shape, all made of marble & bronze & etched glass, & secluded behind a bunch of shrubs -- really unique. One year for our pg loss group's Walk to Remember, we had a guide pointing out some of the famous people buried at the cemetery, & he pointed it out to us. Dh & I have usually popped by there every year on the Walk since then. I blogged about it once, I think, although I'm not sure I mentioned him by name.


What do you think?