I’m still here at my desk, but I’m taking a little break.
I updated the photo of my birth father down there in the “In the Shadow of Narcissa” photo gallery. This is the photo I added (replacing the photo of him on Midway Island from 1973). My dad’s about 17 years old here, brand new in the US Navy — which means I was about 2 years old.
I love this photo of my dad. One of my aunt’s gave it to me after he died. She found a bunch of old photos of him and mailed them to me in NYC. She died herself, not too long after that. She was so sweet to me — my Aunt Jo. All of his siblings were sweet to me, actually. But I never got to meet my Aunt Jo or my Uncle Earl, but I met the others. My Uncle Ralph, who is still a musician and used to play professionally in Nashville for a really long time — he’s still alive. I believe he’s married to a woman in Norway now.
Really early this morning — even before all the other stuff I was thinking about that I blogged about earlier today — I was lamenting that blogging has shifted me away from keeping journals. I used to keep journals, like, religiously. To the point where people I did indiscreet things with would sometimes say, “Don’t put that in your journal!” I usually did anyway. I wrote about everything.
It made me a little sad, though, that the man from 2 summers ago who changed my life and then died — he made me swear not to ever write about it in my journal. Obviously, I didn’t blog about it. But he didn’t want me even writing privately about him, because he was married and had children and grandkids, and just didn’t want to run any risk that any of it would get back to them after he died. Ever.
I asked him if I couldn’t even write in a secret, private journal and keep it locked away somewhere, super private — because I really just wanted a written record of all we were going through together and how much he was changing me and how much I loved him. But even that, he said no. And he was really, really serious about it, too, so I didn’t write about him.
And this morning, I was lamenting that time was passing now and I didn’t want to risk forgetting anything about him and us, and I realized that I probably already was forgetting stuff. And it made me sad.
It reminded me how I recently realized that all the details of that first time I saw Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in NYC in 1989 — even though the audience made me insane — I was bowled over by Nick Cave when he came onto the stage. I was just astounded by him, even though, by then I’d been buying his records for a few years already. I just wasn’t prepared for him, how he was “live.” And I started to realize recently that I was forgetting a lot about that concert — except for those stupid crazy audience people that I hated!! And I hadn’t been high or anything — I never took drugs when I went to concerts because I just loved music so much. I wanted to be really present, you know? Still, I was starting to forget.
So I decided to dig out the diary I would have been keeping back then, to see what I wrote about the show. I found the correct journal, as you can see here!! (FYI, I was not a big Guns & Roses fan, but I did have that album and it came with a decal that I put in the inside cover of my journal.)
I’ve read all through that journal and found nothing whatsoever about that concert because it was the year I met my birth father, and almost that entire journal is about that whole thing. Me going to that little town to try to find him; them telling him about me; him calling me from Nevada; and everything else that happened.
And one true blessing that came from re-reading that specific diary is that some key things about what happened between me and my dad that night in his trailer — when we almost became incestuous. Well, all of those details were written down in my diary. And I discovered, these 20 years later, after so many years of feeling so incredibly guilty about what almost happened — it turns out I hadn’t remembered it exactly right. We did fall in love but there had been no valid reason at all for me to feel so guilty for so long. We couldn’t help how we were feeling and the bottom line is that we didn’t do anything. It’s all documented there in detail in my diary.
I was so angry at my dad for dying without telling me he was sick, that he had cancer. He simply stopped speaking to me and refused to return my calls. Then the next thing I knew, he was dead and cremated and gone, and I hadn’t even known he was sick. So I spent a lot of years (20, to be exact) being really mad at him for that and then just sort of hating myself for that night in the trailer, too.
Had I thought to read my diary 20 years ago, it could have helped me heal a lot sooner. But my point here is that my diaries are more accurate than my memories are, especially now that years and years are moving on at quite a clip. So now I’ve lost the details of that first Nick Cave show, and that sucks.
And now I know that I’ll eventually forget so many details about that man who changed my life forever over a handful of months one summer, before he died. I have written a few little things about him now, but nothing at all like what I would have written had I been putting it into a daily journal, and that makes me sad.
And then I think of all the years that I’ve spent primarily blogging now, instead of journaling, and how regrettable that probably will seem down the road. But you know, I can only write just so much. I already write more than I can sometimes manage. Blogging and journaling and the plays and the fiction and the memoirs… I’d go insane.
Oh well. I guess that’s just how things are for now.
Well, I did hear from the legal department at Little Brown & Co in the UK today, regarding this problem I’m having online with so many people offering illegal downloads of Neptune & Surf. The main culprit (the gaming site) that I found last week has now disappeared. But others have sprung up. So they are going to go after them, which means a lot to me because it is, after all, a 20-year-old book. Still, the book matters a lot to me. I really hope, gang, that if you haven’t read that book and would like to, you’ll just pay for it the right way. It hardly costs anything. (And some of those sites are scams — they just want to grab your private information and run.)
And I did notice two other novels of mine being offered for free online now, too (in addition to some of my stuff being printed on demand illegally and sold to unsuspecting customers as legally published books). But these involve titles that I own and I don’t have access to those kinds of lawyers on my own. It’s depressing to see this stuff keep popping up, and it’s exhausting and it makes my head want to explode. It can just feel overwhelming, gang. You have no idea.
So please. You know, just think about it.
Okay. I’m gonna go eat something and then get back to work here. I hope you’ve had a really good day, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.