January 16, 2006


S. and Olivia got back to L.A. safely. A good trip. Olivia was adored by the Ohio family, S. felt welcomed. Me, I got hit with a wall of exhaustion after they got home. S. said she had a similar experience after we got back from Laguna a couple months ago. We had some breathing room and we felt like we’d built up some strength. As soon as we got home, Olivia was saying, "Get me some juice. Get me some juice." "How do you ask?" "Please." It felt like we had never left.

I feel like an asshole for writing stuff like this. Showing resentment for my child. It’s not resentment, it’s exhaustion. Before I had a kid, I would have judged this kind of talk--What, how can you not have unconditional, undying love for your child? Because being a parent is hard. Even her daycare workers say that she needs more attention than most--more proof that she’s going to be an actress. She’s an intensely intelligent, energetic child, but she takes a lot out of you.

I just read a novella by John Fante--"My Dog Stupid" from West of Rome --and he’s such a fucking asshole to his kids. Calling them "moron" throughout their lives. Bukowski, for all his fucked-up faults, was never abusing his own kids. By abuse I mean neglect. Good sentences in the Fante though, and boldly honest, but I’ve become a lightweight when it comes to mistreatment of kids in books or movies. Like there’s this scene in "Permanent Midnight" where Ben Stiller is babysitting a baby while he’s shooting up heroin into his neck. Almost unwatchable, and what parent would let their baby be part of that scene?

I’ve felt weird about some items in the last post. That whole--I’d like there to be a "general consensus" about my writing--in the previous post was fairly retarded. That sort of consensus is meaningless and only for journalists and others to have something to write about. The only thing that matters is if I write something I like and I’m able to make some money from it. It would be nice to be popular to bring in readers so I might make a living at writing. But that is well down the line, so I should be happy with what I have.

I went to a rock show on Saturday--the King of France played an in-store at Sea Level Records in Echo Park. Olivia’s first show. She knows the songs because I play the CD a lot so she was singing along and dancing. My first rock show in a long while, felt very good to see a friend play, they were great…This ties into the previous thought because if I tell anyone at the show or anywhere else that I’m releasing a novel soon, they say, "Cool." It doesn’t matter that it’s self-published. I finished a novel and I’m publishing it. A lot of people out there are trying to finish their first novel--a lot of people much older than me. So what difference does it make if it’s well-judged.

Anyway, I felt totally invigorated by my week off. And I still feel like I’m breathing better, I’ve got some space around my head. I don’t know if anyone else can tell, but I’m happier, healthier. These naked blog posts are still making me uneasy. I think I need to write something funny.


Henry Baum said...

So this afternoon after writing this post I had more patience and appreciation for my daughter. Seems I use this blog to purge non-productive thoughts, of which I have many. And I’m not just saying that because I felt guilty for writing this post. Not completely.

Natalia said...

Don't worry. You're beautiful when you're neurotic. I mean, your writing is beautiful, and no, I am not hitting on you in any way, shape or form, yeah? D'oh!

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