July 14, 2008

The New Yorker

Crazy life I am leading now. Back and forth between the person I was when I was twenty-five to being a full-time father the following week. I would be disingenuous to say that I’m not grateful for the space, especially coming out of a difficult time, going on years. I’m a better father when I’m alone, when I can’t rely on anyone else, and she likes the undivided attention. I had her last week in the apartment for the first time, and it went well. She’s adapting as well as possible. Misses me but also likes new things. Her cousin and closest friend are kids of divorce, so it’s not entirely foreign to her. I’m not a kid of divorce, so it’s foreign to me, but a change was desperately necessary.

Here I am single again prepared for anything, divorced with a kid, a different kind of single, with different priorities because much of what single people desire is, in a way, behind me. I think about this a lot because this neighborhood is teaming with single people, young L.A. ambitious types, compared to the neighborhood I came from full of orthodox Jewish families, the women in wigs, their kids off limits, like living in someone else’s country. And now the country I’m living in is full of young hot L.A., very strange, though women don’t make me nervous like they might’ve ten years ago. It’s like - if I knew then what I know now, and I do. But I want a girlfriend not at all, I want to write a book.

I just never managed to be so prolific a writer after my daughter was born. I got some things done, but not when I was in my twenties, holed up like a hermit, with nothing else to think about. I never managed to be one of those people who wakes at five just to get writing in. I tend to write like crazy for a month and then spend more months recovering, but I need that month to get it all down, and it never came b/c my wife and I were always struggling, financially, personally. I’d be lying if I that didn’t weigh on me and the marriage, because it did, I’m human, and an ambitious human. That’s not why the marriage broke up – it was that and many other reasons. Back when I was blogging most profusely, we were in trouble in ways I didn’t mention, but I used the blog to escape it.

…much like I used the primary election in the past 6 months, as the marriage dissolved. Probably best that I didn’t blog then, but I wrote a hell of a lot of Kos comments. As my marriage was sinking, there’s Hillary Clinton, unrelenting and critical of the guy I was supporting, got under my skin like the rest of the country, like souls were at battle. Now I care very little about the election, seeing it as a way for people to feel self-righteous. The New Yorker cover today is a perfect example. The over-sensitivity is very boring, manufactured, not even frustrating. The rest of the election is probably going to unfold the same way. People desperate for an outrage. It just ain’t as fun as the Clintons, who are like fictional characters. The Internet is boring me, but that’s probably for the best.

So…I’m alone in the apartment for a week, two weeks out of every month. I can’t screw this up. I’ve been given some free time, no matter how it came about, and I can’t fail the separation and myself, now that I’ve got to figure out why I’m here on my own.


Anonymous said...

Jesus H. Christ on a bike Henry! I didn't know you were going through such changes.

Sorry for my dopeyness. Your attitude seems good however. I'm pulling for you. I happen to remember that intense 20-something writer. Quite Dylan-esque. He'll have a smashing comeback.


Henry Baum said...

No dopeyness, but didn't respond to your Myspace message cause I was in the middle of a whole lot. Thanks for the thoughts.

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