My Mother Was Right
Holy shit. I just teared up at Toy Story 3.
In my defense, it's very musty in the house, allergies and what not, and yesterday was an emotional day, as I'm getting life insurance and blood samples bring up deep-seated issues of mortality and Catholic guilt.
But, yeah, I just cried over a toy cowboy and plastic spaceman, because my son, Holden, was sitting on my lap, and it made me think how he's getting older, and one day he'll be going to college and leave behind his toys and father. Of course, I'm jumping the gun; he's not quite 8 months old. But it made me miss my mother, who could tear up at the random overwrought Hallmark commercial or schmaltzy book when I was a kid, and when I'd ask what was wrong, she'd say, "Someday you'll have a kid of your own, and you'll see." And I thought she was crazy. I also didn't listen when she said I needed to eat right, exercise, and would someday return to my faith. Check, check, check.
Fellow writer/blogger and friend Greg Kim suggested recently that I start a "Daddy Blog." The thought of which making a part of me cringe. As Harmon Leon said at a recent Lip Service West: Hell is other people's babies. Before I had a kid, I'd see all the assholes who posted their kids' photos as their profile pic. And now I am one of those assholes. Because it is all vantage point, right? When I was a criminal, I hated the police. Didn't want to see them, hear about them, wanted nothing to do with them. The other day I was driving back to my safe, gated community, saw a police officer guarding our entrance way, and I instinctively nodded. Thanks, officer. I realized what I'd done a few feet up the hill, so I rolled down the window and spit, turned up the rock 'n' roll. But not too loud. I wouldn't want to disturb my neighbors, most of whom are elderly, with names like Lucille and Eleanor.
Greg's idea was born from my need to get more hits on this thing, though as we close in on 10,000 for about 3 months' worth of work, we're doing well. The most interesting part of having 10,000 people read this thing is that I have received 5 negative comments. 5 out of 10,000. I've received a lot of positive comments. Don't remember a damn one of them. But I remember each negative one. I can even tell you their names: Cynthia, Eric, D. Waz, and Bradley. OK. I forget one. But his comment wasn't really that negative.
So it's giving the people what they want. The negative comments tend to target two areas: my tendency to be snarky, and my life as an ex-junkie. And now that I am a dad, especially, I kinda get sick about writing about the latter, and I'd like to soften the former. I mean, I'm a nice guy, one of the nicest I know. And a Daddy Blog would let me do that. But would anyone read it? Yes. Mothers. As Greg pointed out, parenting blogs get linked and linked and linked, and the fuckers blow up. I could be a the "Cool Dad." A-like so:
Or maybe not. And I'm afraid I've been pigeon holed. For though I am a bit sick of, to quote Johnny Thunders, "too much junkie business," it's what people want to read. I mean, those are the posts that get responses. My fiction and non-drug narratives? Not so much. You can see on the blog the most read pieces, and they are all drug-related and snarky. So you give the people what they want, no?
No. Or yes. Not sure it matters much. I don't write this thing for money. I write it to keep writing, to keep my sanity, to fend off the demons of...mental...problems? It's keeping me limber, loose, for that moment when I am called upon to...write a book review? Not sure. Like Little Marie says, writers write. And with that comes a lot of shit. My friend Andrea summed up the writing profession the other day perfectly. I hadn't heard back regarding a submission and was telling her they must've hated it. She said, "Here's my four-word writing memoir: hear nothing, assume hate." I guess when you factor that in, we're about 50/50 on the positive/negative comments.
So maybe I will write a Daddy Blog, Greg. And maybe people will read it. Because frankly I am in transition. I am not a thieving scumbag anymore. I am dad who cries at Toy Story 3. And if nobody reads it, really, who gives a fuck? I've got my boy. And I might not be a great writer. But I'm going to be goddamn good dad.