Saturday, July 12, 2008

While We're On The Subject, Let's Talk Crazy

I know it gets old, but that's easy for you to say, you don't have to live in my head. Try that for a month or so, and then you'll want to talk about it. You know what some people say: Crazy's like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're gonna get till you bite into it, and sometimes, it's not what you had in mind. Hell, if I could choose not to be crazy, would I? Maybe, maybe not. Am I the kind of woman who bites into a chocolate that's a little more exotic than I bargained for and then spits it out? Hell no, I eat that fucker. And sometimes I enjoy it. If I weren't crazy would I still be able to write? Would I still love with such ferocity? These are questions of no small importance to me. But I will tell you this: there are certain drugs for my kind of craziness that I will not take. No matter what. Because they kill the creative impulse in some, and that's enough to scare the bejeezus out of me.

I won't say what the drugs are that I will never, ever take, because they save the lives of millions. But for me, if I couldn't write, I rather die, and that's the honest to god's truth. Writing is like breathing for me. I can't live without it.

When I lived with husband number three, he was the writer, and I was his life support. I typed his rough drafts and edited them for him. I read aloud to him every book he was required to read for his PhD in English Lit/Creative Writing. The morning he went to take his Orals, I sat bolt upright out of a sound sleep and said, "Good luck. And remember, the fork ran away with the spoon."

I used to suggest story ideas to him, and he'd always reject them. Well, Junior, these stories are mine, now. Good luck. And as a writer, how are you liking the job as Chairman of the English Department? And the student you got pregnant and had to marry? Has she left you yet? Hope you get to see the kids now and then.