Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Semi-Existence Of Michelle
Since this is much more long-winded than my usual posts, I'm going to take tomorrow off for my other writing. Hope you're all having a wonderful week!
I created the blog. Not my blog, but the blog. Really. Or so I am told. My friend Angela had a coed pajama party when we were in graduate school. All through college, Angela threw amazing parties, the kind of events that were a combination of Martha Stewart meets Reality Bites. On the verge of divorce, I had begun to lose weight so it was surprising that I didn’t show up at this fete in lingerie, trading on my newfound sex appeal. But I had come directly from a Graduate Student English Organization party and didn’t feel like changing. My husband stayed home to play guitar with my best childhood friend Hank who had Leber's congenital amaurosis which meant that his sight would dim with each passing year until there was nothing he could see. They called themselves the Cat and the Dog and played John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” with alternate lyrics like “taught to fear sheep in small town . . .”
I drove to Angela’s house I got a Dr. Pepper and sat down on her waterbed over which an entire galaxy of flow in the dark stars and planets had been affixed to the ceiling. A mutual friend of ours named Bryon sat down next to me, sloshing us both.
“Where is your outfit?” he asked.
He himself had gone the Hugh Hefner route complete with pipe. “And your husband?”
“Both at home,” I said.
“Who lets their wife go to a party alone on Friday night?” he asked.
“He trusts me,” I said.
Bryon snorted. “In that dress?”
I nodded. Our conversation turned to writing and here’s where it gets murky. To this day, Bryon claims that I told him to keep a daily journal. I have a hard time imagining this because I never kept a journal myself. I tried in the half-ass way I tried to balance my checkbook, a method that resulted in estimating how much money I had in the bank and trying not to overdraft. I closed the account and went to another bank with the ideas that I would do it all better this time. My journals had no purpose. I didn’t believe in writing for myself. The concept struck me as odd, like performing a perfect routine in front of empty bleachers.
“I knew I wouldn’t write it if no one saw it,” Bryon told me years later. “So I started an on-line journal,” he told me years later.
I remembered his journal, The Semi-Existence of Bryon. Angela, his great unrequited love at the time, played a role as did other people we knew who had their pictures on his site, detailing our roles in the soap opera of Denton. I never followed it, being a technophobe who held onto my dad’s IBM Selectric for as long as it worked. I fancied myself in the tradition of Erica Jong, Judith Rosner, and Sue Kaufman. Nevermind that they were famous, Jewish, and lived in New York City while I was unknown, Bible Belt-haunted, and hailed from Mineral Wells, Texas. I had not seen the handwriting on the Facebook wall, did not know that writing would change forever.
I admit I thought Bryon was full of shit when he told me about being the paterfamilias of the contemporary blog which almost everyone has, even babies! But I looked it up on Wikipedia and sure enough, he and his on-line journal are listed. Now there’s a thought -- Wikipedia. My access to encyclopedias as a child consisted of a set of outdated medical ones that listed contraception as “vaguely criminal, mostly certainly tawdry.” Even though I wasn’t drinking in those year, I still don’t remember our exact conversation about keeping a journal, but Bryon is sticking to his story.
When I started my blog, I didn’t know how ubiquitous the form had become. I knew my friend Trent had one and made a lot of money with it. I once read that the only times you can do something for a long time is when you don’t know how hard it is or when someone tells you it’s impossible. Or maybe when you come up with the idea yourself, long before you know it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Joy is prayer - Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." Mother Teresa
Memoir suggestion: The Sky Isn't Visible From Here Felicia C. Sullivan
Benedictions and Maledictions
Welcome back to board, Chris! Good to hear from you from the islands! Happy Wednesday!