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Archive for August 2nd, 2010

Blue

Dear Beauty is Imperfection Reader,

You must feel like a neglected child by now. You probably feel the need to lash out, to throw tantrums, to break things. To start smoking cigarettes in the closet or weed behind the dumpster at school. You probably think I’ve lost interest in you and you can no longer discern the difference between bad attention and good attention. You likely follow other blogs around and are starting to make them uncomfortable. You blame yourself probably for my absence (though, honestly, that would probably be most likely if you were only ages 5 to 11).

One of the many casualties of my family tragedy this year (besides, of course, my parents), has been my blog. Not as big, of course, in the vast scheme of things, but maybe sad for some of you who got used to me here.

There are several reasons, most of which you can probably figure out. Having someone so close to you as your mother die (in a swift and stupid moment of life’s reckoning) will cause you deep existential problems. My mother was proud of me and we had a good relationship, and I had all the time in the world to say I loved her, which I did often. But one of the quick lessons of mortality is that there is always unfinished business–nay, that life itself is nothing but unfinished business. My mother went to law school in her fifties, and barely had ten years to explore this phase of her life–one that came after several years of anguish married to my brilliant but tragically self-obsessed, alcoholic father (who died himself of a heart attack in 2003 after taking William Blake’s path of excess, having found little of the advertised wisdom of that pursuit). My mother also never saw me succeed in the ways I wanted to succeed, in part because I have been quixotic (the nice word) about the way I’ve sought success. My ambition, if anybody here has missed it, was to be a novelist and I even landed a literary agent in 2005. But I’ve dabbled and redirected my creativity into too many other formats. In one sense, it’s because I feel boundlessly creative. In another, it’s because I don’t handle rejection well, and don’t like waiting around for it. When my book failed to sell in 2005, I rushed into film school. I’ve got no time for the blues anymore. I wasted my 20s on them.

This might sound like a stupid way to go through life, but it’s resulted in three completed novels, two half-completed novels, six screenplays, fifty or sixty musical compositions, and 20 short films, including a Web series, hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and, last but not least, this completely masturbatory blog you good people are reading now.

One of the reasons I stopped writing it every day (or so) is that my blog was supposed to be a sort of humor column, and since my parents are dead, I’m not feeling funny. But it’s more than that. I feel like I have kind of painted myself into a corner with it. I have lots of opinions on politics, religion, business, movies, Matthew Perry, atheism, bondage, tattoos, child rearing, hip-hop, Amy Winehouse, your mother, my mother, etc. But I feel like I only air about 20% of my feelings here, because I’ve never wanted to use my blog as some confessional and because I feel like people do political ranting and journalism better elsewhere. Still, I feel like my blog had become too constricted for the Hieronymus Bosch mural of tragedy, insanity, and grotesquerie that is the world. It had become a place where I didn’t even feel free to write about the stuff that matters. I didn’t even know how to write about something serious like grief in this forum.

The pain I felt from losing my mother has come out in variegated and strange ways. I now understand why people who are grieving might dissolve themselves in alcohol, drugs, gambling, prostitutes, shoplifting, day trading, etc. When you are grieving, the days are hard. But the minutes are excruciating.

I was lucky in that I had a business in Oklahoma to take over for a month with my siblings. But when I was alone at night, that was when I was most afraid of myself. Luckily, I did not do anything destructive, though I will admit I had strange impulses I didn’t understand. And I will admit my taste for alcohol is quite piqued this year.

Since I felt like I couldn’t do a funny blog, I’ve turned back to the only art form that is personally cathartic for me: music. Since my mother died, I’ve retreated to my house, hiding from the summer heat wave with my recording software and a new keyboard and trying to put my heart into something and I came up with eight new songs. This is how I’ve decided to grieve, and I know that there are not many Salo Deguierre fans out there, but if you want to know how I’ve been doing and getting along without my mother, I can show you over the next days with new posts–instead of going to whores or to day trading offices, I’ve just continued to be boundlessly creative. I hope my mother would have thought that was some kind of success in itself.

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