Friday, May 13, 2011

Writing About Me

My brother and his girlfriend are moving into my father's garage. My mother is moving next door to my father--with her boyfriend. My grandfather has lost control of his bowels and mows through adult diapers like there's no tomorrow. My best friend's boyfriend of five years left her suddenly. My boyfriend's birthday is tomorrow. The semester is officially done. A student recently told me I need to stop assigning readings about "cancer and dead babies and stuff."

These are some things that have been going on lately.

I know I haven't been here to tell you about them. I've been wondering why I stopped writing. I've been wondering that for a long time, actually. My reluctance to blog started shortly after I started up with The Lady-Killer. Why? Because The Lady-Killer and I spent most of the summer and fall of 2010 in bed, but we did not--contrary to Christine's opinion--develop bedsores. Also, living with someone takes up a lot of time. Seriously. There are days when I get in bed at night and think, "I wanted to do, like, eighty things all day, and yet I spent a good chunk of time lying on the couch reading a magazine and watching TLK play video games." The glorious thing about these thoughts though--and this is showing some real growth here, people--is that they generally do not bother me. The fact that I got almost no shit done would have driven me crazy, pre-TLK. But my world since TLK is like a whole new world, one where a psychiatrist prescribed me a whole mess of anti-anxiety meds. That's right. TLK is like a walking, talking anti-anxiety pill. Plus, he has a lip piercing that feels really good when you kiss him.

And here's another thing. I don't want to tell you some of these things. I mean, I do. I really do. I want to tell you about a million beautiful things about TLK--how he's so funny and charming, how he sometimes makes me giggle until I think I'm going to wet my pants, how he makes really good scrambled eggs because he puts cream cheese in them, how we sleep on the same pillow at night (a fact that, when I told my friends Emily and Christine, almost made them barf)--but I also don't want to tell you those things. I feel more private now. I want to hold some things close to the vest. (I mean, see that list of cute things about TLK up there? THAT IS NOTHING. TRUST ME.) But there's just something in me now that is saying Shhh.

I think it has something to do with me protecting TLK's privacy, and mine. I also think it has something to do with growing up. I mean, back in grad school, you could not shut me the fuck up. I wanted to talk about myself all day and night. And then after grad school, I wah-wah-wahed for months about how sad I was, about how rotten and dumb my life had become now that I had graduated and been forced out of the loving cocoon of the MFA program, where everyone is batshit crazy in really lovable (okay, mostly lovable) ways. I wah-wah-wahed over the Wily Republican, who I now, for days at a time, sometimes forget even exists (oh glorious, happy day that I never thought would come!). Then I wah-wah-wahed over having to take up waitressing when my adjunct gig was over for the summer. Oh my God, how did anyone stand me?

But now, I sort of don't want to talk about myself. And that's really startling to me, because I really love to talk, and I really love to talk about myself. (This, I think, has something to do with my family. Generally, during every phone call my mother and I have, we will spend 15 minutes detailing how stupid our relatives, our neighbors, our coworkers, or other people out in the world are. Then one of us will pause and say, "Well, you know, because we're obviously perfect." Sitting in judgment of others and thus illuminating our own awesomeness is one of our favorite pastimes, right up there with badminton and pierogi-eating.)

Anyway, sometimes I miss writing about myself, and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I think, holy crap! That thing TLK is doing right now is so funny (or weird! or crazy! or ill-advised!) I really should write about it! (I've said it before, but I'll say it again: TLK is a lot like my brother. He's lovable in the same way and for similar reasons that have made a lot of complete strangers who read this blog fall in love with my brother. Therefore, I think he makes a beautiful muse.)

Still, I have struggled to get it right when writing about TLK. It's easier to write about my brother than it is to write about TLK. A lot of what's funny between me and TLK has to do with the origin of our relationship, and that's one of those private things I'm not willing to share right now. I don't really care about exposing my brother's weird foibles. The kid is related to me, but it's like he's actually not. It's actually like he's some glorious, horrible space alien that took over the room in our house that had been previously reserved for my mother's typewriter. That kid--the one who took over the typewriter room, which I used to think was its own kind of heaven? That kid I'll expose all day long. TLK though? I'd rather not. That one's all mine.

So that's part of it. The other parts I'm really still trying to understand. But right now I have the inclination to be quiet, but who knows how that's going to go and how long that's going to stick around? After all, when I go home this summer, my mother will be convincing my grandfather that he can never again leave the nursing home and return to his house and that she, in fact, will be renovating the house and moving in. (Wait. Did I say "will be renovating?" I actually mean "totally already did it and has already had new furniture delivered. Surprise, Grandpa!)

In addition, my brother and his girlfriend are consolidating all the things they went to the trouble to dig up for their new apartment, which they've only been in for one year, and they will be moving those things into a small room off to the side of my father's garage. They'll be living there for God knows who long, which means they'll be there when I arrive at my father's house for my usual summer R&R. I think this year my stay at Dad's house will be less like a quiet spa vacation and more like a sitcom staring a boy who once frittered away his life savings at a Hooters.

So maybe I'll be back, but maybe I won't. Either way, I wanted you to know that everything is good--more than good--and that I'm just wrapped up in it, loving it, and being quiet about it for right now.

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