I’m trying to figure this blog out. There’s a lot of stuff I don’t talk about here, mostly because I’ve said it already over 5 years online and in various venues and people still don’t understand me. But I remembered today how unusual it is for a writer to be understood, that many famous ones go to their deaths leaving a muddle behind them, through no fault of their own. And then there are a few, like Raymond Carver, who just as he was dying was coming into his own, and went to his grave appreciated and understood, but just barely.
So who the hell am I to think I deserve more than what I’m getting. I’m doing okay here, I’m on a few blogrolls, my own commenters have been thoughtful and nice, everything must be going right. Just maybe you don’t have enough data.
As for approval, be careful, sometimes I wonder if the people who read this blog would still like me if you spent 10 minutes reading my old blog troublewaits. There was a big dustup in the blogosphere this month about calling women cunts. Don’t mistake me for someone who won’t go there. I’m not asking for consideration, just saying, that was mostly four years ago. I’m making my peace with the human race but a river of hell reserved solely for women exists in my worldview and maybe always will. It’s been pressing on me, the friendships I’ve been making with feminist bloggers, what if they knew about my anti-woman parts, so am taking time to come clean and leave it at that, full disclosure.
I dedicated troublewaits to SAR, a woman I met and loved at Psychobabble, the leading online mental health internet support forum. She killed herself and I held women responsible for her death. On general principle, the way everything is womens fault. Most unfair is how it seemed to me that SAR actually deserved to live, which was not something I could say for most women, I figured maybe that’s one reason women like SAR take their own life.
I got a deluge of female complaints for describing SAR “disrespectfully” on the homepage as a “loser throw-away” which strengthened my animosity toward the complainers, SAR would have considered loser throwaway an honorific. You know someone and you make these authoritative assertions, simple as that. It pissed these women off, my assumptive intimacy with SAR, they loved her too, but didn’t go all histrionic in their grief. They did get creative with uncharitable interpretations of what I’m all about so I got the hell out of there, and cried out to them from a safe distance up on troublewaits.
Our posts are still there at Psychobabble, and if you read a conversation between SAR and me without looking at our handles you can’t tell which one of us is talking. What is discernible is that we two spoke the same language. Sisters. If that’s true, and I’m saying it is, who’s that make most responsible for her death?
Fuck that. I blamed feminists, grad students, her hero Bob Dylan, her complete bitch of a psychiatrist, and the dotcom enemy streets of Austin, we walked the same streets, rode the same busline, day after day, she was ignored, I was oblivious. Chatting online. Stay cool.
Eventually those women I offended over calling SAR an honorific reconciled with me, out of kindness I suppose. But SAR’s family is another story. I didn’t think it through, what it would mean for them when they google for memorials of her and find troublewaits. I knew they’d have feelings but so did I. At the funeral I called her family maggots and nearly punched her father out.
In these four years I’ve heard from one member of her family, each email more furious about troublewaits. I can’t justify what I did, I don’t claim to know if what I do is right. But last week I wrote back. Last week I got a letter that took more than 30 seconds to read. SAR’s relative thanked me for keeping her memory alive. I don’t ask why things change. Feel it, release it, time passes, so be it. But I expect it to be okay for a while if no one understands a word I write.