come america, i am hill-ing out.
i've been quasi-surreptitiously (in that way that NOTHING is surreptitious when one is dealing with debo and garebear, much less their mailbox) donating to the HRC campaign. $5 here and there.
the official line: i am donating $5 in order to get campaign paraphernalia. because "research."
the reality: i really really want hillary to win.
which is saying a lot. because the book developing in my head (which now has an opening line) would be soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
i cannot see the book i will write if she wins. i will write it nonetheless, i can feel it coming to get me, but i can't see it. which, i assume, means she will win, because i always wind up doing the thing i consider most impossible, but then also, her election seems impossible, so i do not know.
the book i'll write if she does not win seems apparent. i can see how it could be so easy.
hell, other people can see it. months ago- back in february, after the iowa primary, k.lo said, it really would be better for your book if she didn't win, wouldn't it?
it would be better for my book.
how awful a thing is that to live with? a reality, a guilt i feel compelled to assuage $5 at a time and which i write off as "research" because i am obliged to use my parents' mailbox.
i had to tell debo what was coming. so she wouldn't throw away the HRC campaign mailings to which she is, no doubt, now- thanks to me!- privy. because i need them. because “research."
there is, in this, a denial of feeling which, in turns, feels disingenuous.
in spite of the fact that debo knows. we discuss it all the time.
debo is, as always, my sounding board. she is my patient zero.
in talking to my mother, i think more clearly than when i talk with most anyone else.
she was talking to someone the other day. bragging on me, about how i have survived the viva and am "working" on corrections (it is a time in my life unique in that everything work-wise seems to require scare quotes... none of it feels exactly “real"... a course-correction, a purgatory. i had an “Idea" the other day- the idea upon which all of my corrections will hinge upon unless the meeting which i have today is a bomb- and immediately i had to take a 3-hour nap… because arriving at that “idea" was like pushing a stuck vehicle through mud for weeks...
today, i hate jackie… but we are stuck together, the pair of us, for at least three more years if not my whole life. and i can see, far in the distance, how tonya shimmers... tonya will be SO.MUCH.MORE.FUN. "fun". “villains," i have decided, are where it is at.
in contrast, hillary. god, hillary will hurt. either way, if she wins or doesn’t, hillary will hurt. and already, in knowing i will one day write about her, i look forward to the vacation i will take after the fact.)
debo was bragging on me. she tells me this and i am abashed.
because i am in purgatory, i am correcting, i have no income. only ideas and words and various papers and a list of works-in-progress so long that i must maintain it on a sheet of paper lest i forget one or two or six of the things i am in the midst of working on.
she tells me this and says she told them about the public weeping sign and they all laughed and it was so hilarious and she is so proud of me and i say thank you, thank you, but can we talk about historical adjacency again??
how sick debo must be of talking about historical adjacency, though, of course, she says, yes, of course.
when i was in therapy, after donovan died, there was a guy in the group who was working on a phd and who was there because his mother had died, and her death had interrupted his creative process. not in the way that the deaths of donovan and joe and martha and the ways in which i blew up my life in moving to london interrupted mine. but in the sense that the person to whom he was most accustomed to discussing his work was suddenly gone.
he could not bring himself to delete sentences that no longer fit with his thinking but which his mother had read.
he could not delete the sentences which she had seen.
he did not want to replace them with sentences she would not see.
there was a point to be made here about moving on. but there was also a point to be made about the centrality of certain relationships to our work.
i remember going home that night, after he revealed this, and profusely thanking debo for having heard me out for all of these years. for having listened to all this drivel. for having let me develop something out of this nonsense so that i can now sit at ritzy dinners across from people who say, ohmygod, i never thought a biographer was something one could be and i can nod and say, yes, yes, it is. (kindly eliding the harsh reality that it is something out of which one can make a life but from which one will struggle to make a living.)
i explain the difference to her, between historicizing and historical adjacency, and i say, wait, wait, i need to write that down, and she remains silent because, after 3.5 (10+) years, she is used to this.
and i am reminded of those horrid months after grad school when i thought i needed to know what i was going to do with my life and didn't, and i was living with debo and garebear and would get up at dawn and write and then race downstairs in my pajamas at their first stirrings and manically pour out to them all of the ideas i'd had in the intervening hours, between my waking and theirs, and they would say, yes, yes, no, that sounds like it makes sense.
a situation curiously still repeated whenever i return to memphis and remain jet-lagged the full two weeks, setting up camp at the kitchen counter and writing between the hours of 3 and 8 a.m. upon waking, my parents are, again, subjected to the full report of what i have been up to and subject to an interrogation regarding their thoughts on what i've thought.
more and more, i realize i have maybe had the most indulgent, perfect parents.
lindear once pointed out that i was terrifically lucky not to have had a sibling who wanted to be a doctor or some such normal, extant profession. because, in such a context, i would appear a total flake.
in the context in which i exist, to my parents, i am a constant marvel.
that is a rare gift. i know. oh man, do i know it.
by way of reward, i sign them up for an inundation of hillary clinton memorabilia.
debo is, by this point, accustomed to being used for "research," to being a soundboard and to being a story. when i tell her HRC stuff is coming, she doesn't even sigh. i say, research, and she says, ok.
i email garebear and say all i want in the world for my birthday is an HRC shirt, because "research." and garebear, god bless him, peruses all of the HRC shirts on offer and replies asking if i wouldn't prefer the logo shirt rather than the slogan shirt to which i had sent a link, and also what size i am.
the only question remaining is this:
double hillz earrings?
or hillz and billz?