You probably feel lately like my son Xander looks in this picture, asking, “Where is Eric? Where are the freakin’ blogs? What did I do? What is happening to me?” If you are still reading, you must crave my abuse like love. I thank you for that. If you’ve been checking in and missing me for the past few months, I apologize.
I confess that although I have been a prolific writer in the latter half of 2012, it was not here. I know that a blogger makes a sort of social contract with you to keep you updated on his doings, attitudes, new thoughts, etc. Indeed, I sat down a couple of times to offer my thoughts on Occupy Wall Street, the Republican primaries, etc. … but often I let these unfinished posts sit on my server through the fall as I labored as a work-at-home father. Even the Christopher Hitchens article I posted earlier tonight was two weeks old. I had it 70% written on the day his death was announced, and I let it sit, unable to get it Christopher Hitchens perfect before I went home to Oklahoma to enjoy Christmas with my family. For most of the fall, I was working on fiction–doing rewrites of the five novels I’ve got on my hard drive. This has been difficult enough to do with a baby, but doing it and being a full-time blogger has been almost impossible. I am considering publishing these novels myself in 2012 as soon as I have a couple of professional editors look them over. (This includes the serial “Letters to My Imaginary Friend, Leticia,” which was first published on this blog.) When that time comes for my books to arrive in your Kindle, I’ll let you, my readers, know right here. You’re special that way!
The thing I most wish I’d done is spent some time talking about the Occupy Wall Street movement. I think it’s one of the most interesting political developments of the last decade, and yet it was something I never went to see for myself in my own city. Mainly this is because of my new family and work situation, which made it impossible to go out. But also I feel, as I get older, that I no longer have to be at the “in” happening to understand it or take what I need from it intellectually. I watched the videos and read the blogs and heard the arguments. So I might add that I also refrained from talking about Occupy Wall Street because even though I agreed with the general idea, I was skeptical about specifics of the movement, which were precious few. My first drafts about it thus turned out curiously negative about the entire venture, and at the risk of being misconstrued without time to perfect it, I let the piece languish in my computer’s sleeping brain. I might publish it later as is or with the promise of a follow up, but at this point, it would be a little bit like staircase wit to talk about OWS, the drum pits and the fetching naked girls dancing about for economic equality, which is apparently what it takes these days to get the subject on CNN.
I had a wonderful Christmas; it was very important to me to go home because my son got to meet his relatives–the large extended family I grew up with in Oklahoma City. I was blessed to have all my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins grow up in the same town with me (symmetrically arrayed on both mother’s and father’s side). The family I grew up with has just about everything in it: rich, poor, intellectual, down home, cosmopolitan, alcoholic, certifiably crazy and criminal … you name it. And though I left home at 18, I have never taken for granted what they offered me as a kid: My entire psychological makeup comes from having all these points of light on a string. The idea that Xander wouldn’t have as many contributors to his development as I did … especially now that I have moved away and my parents are not alive … well, it makes me too sad, and makes my trips home that much more important and poignant. I especially enjoyed some talks with my 84-year-old grandfather about his life, which I hope to share in memoirs eventually. We had two new babies this year, Xander and his cousin Scarlett, and though I always love my family’s attention, this year I was greedy only for the babies to have it.
Stephanie and Xander and I are spending this New Year’s at home recovering from Christmas illnesses we picked up in Oklahoma. Tonight we’re spending New Year’s Eve in our apartment and keeping it low key. I don’t feel the need to be anywhere other than with my little family and appreciate the things I have. But if you are reading this, then I’ll also say I appreciate you, dear reader. My postings will probably remain sparse, but hopefully I can do a little better than I have recently.
Have a happy New Year.