To Shut Up About It

I've been quiet lately. There are stories I've been working on. And the book, too. It's coming together. I say that every time, but it's true. It's in so many parts, it can only come together now. I'm still far from finished. People ask what it's about, and I want to say, "What's the last year of your life been about? Neatly now. Be pithy." I don't say that, though. I just say, "It's about a ghost."

Otherwise, I've just been thinking and mourning. Three people in my family have died over the last month. I haven't been back to Kentucky since April, and I'm not going home for the holidays. I don't know why I treat Kentucky like a foreign country. Maybe it's because I made my home elsewhere. Still, I romanticize my hometown. It's the only place I can be sad and then leave that sadness for a year or so at a time. It will be there when I go back. When I need it again.

I know I've said this before, but I don't think you can be happy unless you're fine being unhappy. I just think you need a good place to put it. Another person is probably a bad place to put your unhappiness. Put it into something you can hold and destroy.

Good stuff happened and I'm trying to appreciate it for what it was rather than what I built on top of it. It's hard for me not to write a story over the life I have. One of my friends pointed out I'm getting more white hair. I guess that's age and stress, but I like it. White hair is good stuff, too.

I'm going to Chicago at the end of February/the beginning of March for AWP. I'll be reading at the Beauty Bar with some very talented people. I don't know what I'm going to read. If you have any ideas, shoot, I'll take them.

I'll tell you a Kentucky story. My mother's family lives in the country. We were at one of my uncle's for a birthday. That uncle hunts, I know. We were eating on the back porch, and a fawn walked in the backyard. My uncle got up and fed the fawn from his hands. We watched the fawn play in the backyard all afternoon. It became normal, like when someone has a dog with three legs and you start thinking it doesn't seem so bad. The dog seems happy. The fawn seemed happy, too. A cousin said the fawn's mother must have died. My uncle put his head down.

One of my friends called, and I said I had to go. My aunt asked if it was my girlfriend. My mother said, "He has so many girlfriends." I looked at her and I knew she couldn't help it. I said, "Yeah, one of many." I was out then, but that took longer to become normal. That took years, and Josh, and hearing stuff I pretended not to hear. That took not wanting normal at all.