“You haven’t posted in such a long time. I had to call to make sure you were all right. You told me I was to keep you grounded!”
Sara went to boarding school with me 20 years ago. She had a tough time of it. Like me, she was chubby, confused by fashion, and in general one or two steps out of line with the rest of our world. We two were the least talented piano players at the school, giving our halting childlike contributions at the very front of the annual recital.
She had it even worse in some ways. Her family was bitingly poor; her room decorated in grandmotherly crafts and crochet and she sold Little Debbie Cakes to get the quarters to do laundry with. Her health was bad. A thyroid problem made her neck thick and her mouth slack. She doesn’t remember whole swathes of life at the school; her pistons just weren’t firing because of all the things she had to cope with. All these things conspired to make her seem less
intelligent than she was, and a million miles from anything resembling “cool.”
I was a different sort of mess, but a mess all the same. My brain wasn’t dulled by chemicals, but jabbed, slapped, and locked in by them. I had more money but still somehow ended up decorating my room in crochet and sunflowers and pictures of farm life cut from magazines though I had no fondness for farms.
In truth we didn’t spend a lot of time together back then. But we always liked each other. That’s special if you think about it. Often, especially for kids, you never want to compound your own uncoolness by being associated with someone else uncool. But neither of us minded how goofily assembled the other was. She thought I was funny, I thought she was in possession of a deeply sweet heart and disposition.
Sara’s life took the most peculiar of turns. I suppose the less charitable among us had her pegged for a life of depression and forfeit. Even me. It’s hard to survive in a world when you don’t follow its rules. Instead, she got her thyroid fixed and became health conscious. She married a man of exceptional intelligence and enviable employment, who by all accounts worships her and whom she deeply loves. She moved to the deepest recesses of Canada, far away from anything wicked or sticky from the past, and raised sharp minded robust children.
She is, frankly, a better person than I will ever be and probably better than most of you. Yes, I know. But it’s true. She’s diligent, affectionate, intelligent…just list a virtue and she’s got a least a half-gallon tucked in her somewhere. Not in the obnoxious way, either.
She doesn’t Facebook. It’s not her style. She’s too busy living a quiet, tired but for a good reason, three dimensional life, the kind I’ve unlearned. So she relies on this blog to carry her silently along in her friend’s life.
But I have neglected this blog. This blog has become a millstone, a rotting albatross hung round my neck.
I love the style of blogging. Free form diary entries with no editor, no rules. Perfect anonymity if you choose. I’ve blogged for 17 years.
As god as my witness I did not envision my fervent journey to become a well known popular writer and humorist might affect that anonymity and freedom.
I sputtered into the phone over the pinch of my three week sinus infection and the shrieks of one child trying to practice Krav Maga on her brother with a broom stick. I can sputter and babble and never feel bad about it to Sara. I can be un-witty, even sometimes utterly unintelligible. She’s not calling to be impressed. I’m not sure I could impress her; she just doesn’t give the world grades quite like the rest of us.
I said, “I can’t! I can’t blog no more! It’s not my blog anymore! Its Writer Therese’s Blog. I’m supposed to use it to promote myself and make people buy my book and I keep deleting every post I write cuz it’s too personal or dull or I can’t always razzmatazz! I don’t know…I don’t know!!!”
And that’s the truth. Oh there’s been stuff that I could spin into a great little story. My trip to my see my best friend marry his partner of 7 years in their backyard where they were expertly united by a female Muslim Persian prostadontist. The fact that despite my body positive beliefs (which translate succinctly into, “I’m fat, fuck off”), I have broached the event horizon of fat and have to change or start using the motor carts at the Winco so my belly’s gravitational pull doesn’t through my lower back from orbit.
Having a hilarious dinner with NYT bestselling humorist Laurie Notaro. (We are so frickin’ DELIGHTFUL together, yo!) All my BOOK stuff. Barnes n Noble is going to stock me on their holiday tables. That’s the goddamn MIC DROP of book sales real estate. “Oneill OUT, bitches.” kinda stuff.
I’m going to be recommended in Elle Magazine this October. One of my articles from a couple years ago is going in a Japanese schoolbook! ‘N stuff! I’m making swag to give away and it includes nipple pasties because I deeply misunderstood a joke one of my publicists made. All of these thing…and I’ve just heaved a sigh and rolled back onto my hammock and shouted for a child to bring me my iPad so I can keep working on killing those awful fish people in Plants Vs. Zombies.
So what do I have now? A professional calling card to highlight my particular abilities? Or the tiny white confessional where I purge up what’s vile and obtuse and frightened inside of me?
Mostly the former, and that sort of regimentation is Medusa to my free typing fingers. Until I figure out how to balance it, long form posts might be scarce, though I will ramp up the shorter snappier stuff. Oh lord, I’m not snappy.
Sara, expect more calls. Congratulations, you dear woman, you’re my new blog.