Racism & White Privilege

Just read this terrific article written by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, a black woman, responding to a query from a white friend on White Privilege.  (Lori Lakin Hutcherson is a Los Angeles native, Harvard graduate, film and television writer/producer, and founder/editor-in-chief of the award-winning website Good Black News. She is also a wife, mother, vegetarian, crossword puzzle enthusiast, nerd, and avid music lover.) Though the article is a year old, it certainly hasn’t lost it’s importance.

Yesterday I was tagged in a post by an old high school friend, asking me and a few others a very public, direct question about white privilege and racism. I feel compelled not only to publish his query but also my response to it, as it may be a helpful discourse for more than just a handful of folks on Facebook.

Here’s his post:

“To all of my Black or mixed race FB friends, I must profess a blissful ignorance of this ‘White Privilege‘ of which I’m apparently guilty of possessing. By not being able to fully put myself in the shoes of someone from a background/race/religion/gender/nationality/body type that differs from my own makes me part of the problem, according to what I’m now hearing.

“Despite my treating everyone with respect and humor my entire life (as far as I know), I’m somehow complicit in the misfortune of others. I’m not saying I’m colorblind, but whatever racism/sexism/other -ism my life experience has instilled in me stays within me, and is not manifested in the way I treat others (which is not the case with far too many, I know).

“So that I may be enlightened, can you please share with me some examples of institutional racism that have made an indelible mark upon you? If I am to understand this, I need people I know personally to show me how I’m missing what’s going on. Personal examples only. I’m not trying to be insensitive, I only want to understand (but not from the media). I apologize if this comes off as crass or offends anyone.”

Here’s my response:

Hi, Jason. First off, I hope you don’t mind that I’ve quoted your post and made it part of mine. I think the heart of what you’ve asked of your friends of color is extremely important, and I think my response needs much more space than as a reply on your feed. I truly thank you for wanting to understand what you are having a hard time understanding.

Coincidentally, over the last few days I have been thinking about sharing some of the incidents of prejudice/racism I’ve experienced in my lifetime – in fact, I just spoke with my sister Lesa about how to best do this yesterday – because I realized many of my friends (especially the white ones) have no idea what I’ve experienced/dealt with unless they were present (and aware) when it happened.

There are two reasons for this :

1) Because not only as a human being do I suppress the painful and uncomfortable in an effort to make it go away, I was also taught within my community (I was raised in the ‘70s and ‘80s – it’s shifted somewhat now) and by society at large not to make a fuss, speak out, or rock the boat. To just “deal with it,” lest more trouble follow (which sadly, it often does).

2) Fear of being questioned or dismissed with “Are you sure that’s what you heard?” or “Are you sure that’s what they meant?” and being angered and upset all over again by well-meaning-but-hurtful and essentially unsupportive responses.

Please go here to read the complete article.

The author then cites only a few examples of the racism that she has experienced in her life. I think most people of the white persuasion wouldn’t see anything wrong with the actions she describes. I hope some people are dismayed when they recognize themselves.

In an odd comparison I want to relate three of my own early experiences with racism as a white woman.

I lived in a small town, which during the 50s-60s was essentially an All-White community. You won’t find this information anywhere in the history pages of Menomonee Falls, WI , but I recall my mom telling me the town had at one time a policy not to sell to Blacks.  I never saw a living breathing black person until about age 10-12. I didn’t go to school with anyone other than white kids. We didn’t even have many Jewish people living in town.

Fast food restaurants were new in the 60s-70s when I grew up, and we were so excited when the McDonald’s moved in, but it was at the other end of town, so it was not a frequent treat. But when Kentucky Fried Chicken went in on the corner of Main Street, now that was close by. My dad brought me with him to get a bucket of chick to take home. Standing in front of me was a large, very dark man. I remember being somehow stunned. I guess it was a similar reaction to Native tribes coming in contact with their first White men.  I find it very sad that this was my first glimpse into the Black community.

A second even more powerful incident struck me when I was at Girl Scout Camp one summer about age 12. There were girls from all over Wisconsin at this camp and I met and made my first Black friend. I don’t recall her name now, but I remember the look on her face.

We each washed our own dishes at a communal wash bucket as big as a horse trough. I was next in line to wash my dishes, and my Black friend was behind me. I stepped from the “sink” and she stepped up. Behind her I hear someone curse and complain that they hoped the water was still clean enough for her dishes after “black hands” had been in it. I was stunned. I’d never heard anything like that before in my life.  But my friend. The crushed look and suppressed tears told me a lot. I called the racist girl something, and took my friend back to our tent.

Then there was the time my dad took up a petition to prevent a home in our neighborhood from being sold to a Black family. I recall my mother being furious with my father about it. I’m not sure if his efforts were successful, but no Black family moved into that house.

This is what White Privilege looks like to me. But think about it. Slavery may have been outlawed, but most Whites still believed the other colors of people were less civilized and advanced. Blacks weren’t smart enough to do the job of clerk, so let them sweep the floor. When the Reconstruction of the South occurred, it only reconstructed the White south. Very little, if anything was done to help freed slaves figure out what they were supposed to do, now that they were turned out from the only homes they knew. Many were ignorant; unable to read and write. Probably many couldn’t count or add. It was like the North freed a bunch of children and said, “Ok, you go off and make a life for yourself.” “You need help?, I got problems of my own “boy.””  Finding themselves unemployed, it was pretty hard to find a place of their own. The Black experience (at least to my White eyes) has never been easy. I can’t imagine the difficulties they faced. I’m sure there must be books written about that, but I haven’t read one.

Sorry, this was kind of long, but I hope some of you learned something about racism and privilege in the US. There are many times I feel ashamed to be White, although my family didn’t arrive in this country until after the Civil War. White Privilege will continue until we can share these stories and enlighten the ignorant.  We’ve got to undo 200 years of racism. It’s going to take a while.

Meanwhile, to all the people of color: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the arrogance of White Men. I apologize if I have ever seemed disrespectful to anyone. If I ever do say or do something racist, I do hope you will point it out to me. I don’t want to make the same mistake with someone else.

An Open Letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Fan

You must understand that the anti-Trump group is not simply upset that there are questions as to foreign manipulation in our election process.  It’s not simply that my preferred candidate did not win.  It’s not because most Trump supporters are Obama haters.  It’s because the man is simply UNFIT.

He lacks the knowledge of how to govern.  You might say, yeah, it’s one of the things you like about it.  But knowing how to govern involves understanding others’ points of view.  If I read a book, or several books, about government and how to be effective doesn’t mean I know how to govern.  But I would have a leg up on Trump.

He lacks the diplomacy that is required when dealing with foreign dignitaries.  Sure, you say, he knows plenty of foreign big wigs.  Yes, but those big wigs only deal with Trump on business.  They may respect that, they may not.  It could be they just put up with his lack of grace and humility because he is making them money.  Well, the government is NOT a business, and probably shouldn’t be run like one.  Businesses look at the bottom line, profit and loss.  A country doesn’t profit from its people, but is supported by them via taxes.

To be an effective leader, one must have empathy for the other guys.  Something Trump certainly appears to lack.  In fact, I’m not even sure Trump can define ’empathy’.  Nor can many of his supporters.

One must have compassion for ALL citizens, not just those who agree with you.  Belittling other groups is counterproductive, and makes one look small and childish.  Very un-Presidential.  Disrespectful.  Something Trump seems not to understand.  Respect is earned, and treating others disrespectfully diminishes one’s chance at being respected.

I don’t believe our President should be tweeting criticisms about TV shows, or people who disagree with him.  My President has more important things to do.  My President barely sleeps, has no time to watch TV, let alone have twitter wars.  It diminishes respect for My President in the eyes of other countries, which reflects badly on me.

For a democracy to work, it cannot be run like a dictatorship.  The American people will not yield their rights to a dictator.  Perhaps Trump and his supporters don’t know what a dictator is.  Well, it is exactly what Trump proposes with his refusal to meet with certain members of the press.  The elected leader of this country is bound by the Constitution to allow Freedom of the Press.  There are plenty of Trump supporters who know the Second Amendment very well, but many seem to be ignorant of the rest.

I won’t even go into the lies.  I don’t expect politicians to tell the truth, but I do expect them to own up to their ‘misstatements’ and offer a clarification, or an apology.  And an apology is not “I’m sorry you got mad at me when I called you stupid.”  It is “I’m sorry I called you stupid.  That was untrue and unkind.”

Yeah, your candidate won.  And since no charges are forthcoming from those who claim voter fraud or foreign influence, etc., I’ll go so far as to say he won legitimately.  That still does NOT mean he is a suitable representative of me, or people who think like me.  He can’t legislate people away.  He can’t ignore the majority, not for long, anyway.  One group of people does not have more privileges than another.  At least they shouldn’t.  Trump and his supporters seem to think it’s ok to ignore the rest of us.  The British didn’t take the resistance seriously either.  You do know how that ended, right?

Writing

I’ve been able to do a little writing.  Well, editing.  I pulled out my one woman play and punched it up.  It’s been years since I read it, and I find myself thinking it’s pretty good.  I figured I would post it here and open myself up to criticism and, possibly, a little praise.

STAY STONED SUNDAYS

A One-Person Play

Scene I

Center stage is a patio chair and small table.  On the table sits a small box containing a baggie of a green material, a pipe, a package of rolling papers, matches, and lighter.  Seated in the chair is LINDA.  As she speaks she proceeds to try to roll and smoke a joint.  Ultimately giving up and picking up a glass pipe from the box.

Today is Sunday.  My husband, Jake, is away visiting friends.  It’s the first time in 25 years he’s ever taken a trip without me, but we couldn’t find a dog sitter, so here I am.

Am I the least bit concerned that a woman he once dated will be there?  A woman he lived with before we met.  A woman he had once asked to marry him.  After 25 years I’m not worried.

I remember the first time I saw him.  A slow sandy walk on athletic legs, like he was strolling along the beach.   Ten years older than me, tanned, and tattooed with thick, sun-bleached hair.  The chest and arms of a surfer.   The sleek build of a runner.

I’m this dorky small-town girl from the Midwest far from home for the first time.

Unlike prior guys I’ve dated, he reads and we spend hours in the used book store as he introduces me to new favorite authors.  At the music store, I learn about the time when music was great!

Jake is everything I’ve never seen.  His confidence is as attractive as his Paul Newman eyes.  He’s fun and funny and if that tattoo isn’t enough, the earring is sure to make my Dad cringe.

Within six weeks of our first date we are in a cab to the county courthouse.  At 5:00 p.m. on a Friday we sign our names on the license and dash out the door to catch a cab to the hotel where friends are waiting.

Its 25 years later and Jake calls this morning.

Tries and fails to roll a decent joint.

He sounds so happy.  He’s thrilled and excited, like a kid that just got a puppy for his birthday.

Pulls out pipe, pours contents of paper into bowl.

Now, I’m worried.

He actually gushes about the old flame.  Can I still use that term?  I sort of like the sound of that.  Old Flame.  Makes her sound old, burnt out, dried up, unattractive.  Platonic.

Lights bowl and inhaling, says:

So I decide to make today Stay Stoned Sunday.  Turn off my mind.  With a pipe full of herb and a head full of smoke, it’s easy to delude myself into thinking everything is hunky dory.

Stage goes dark.
Scene II

Center stage is a patio chair and small table.  On the table sits a small box containing a baggie of a green material, pipe and lighter.  Seated in the chair is LINDA.  As she speaks she proceeds to stuff and smoke from a glass pipe.

It’s Sunday.  Jake’s again out of town visiting friends, including the old flame.  Did I mind staying home?  They’re just going to be reminiscing, looking at old pictures.  I’d be bored.

Lights pipe.

Sure, I’ll stay home.  Relax, smoke a little herb.  I have my suspicions, but pot helps keep them at a distance.

It’s another Stay Stoned Sunday.  Stoned I feel happy.  Stoned, I can pretend this isn’t happening to me.  Stoned I’m just a little less lonely.  I can ignore the nagging fear in my heart and almost enjoy my Sunday alone.

Until the phone rings.  It’s the old flame’s husband.  He wants me to know that Jake is sleeping with his wife.  He’s very pleasant about it.  I tell him he’s mistaken. He offers to send me proof.  I don’t need any proof.  I want to stay in denial.

Hits pipe.

Looks like Stay Stoned Sunday is about to become a tradition.  At least I won’t think about the ‘proof.’  Whether I see it or not, it exists.  I just don’t want to know it.

Stage goes dark.

Scene III

Center stage is a patio chair and small table.  On the table sits a small box containing a LARGE baggie of a green material, SEVERAL  pipes and lighter.  Seated in the chair is LINDA.  As she speaks she proceeds to stuff and smoke from an ornate glass pipe.

New Year’s Eve.  People going to parties, celebrations everywhere, but for me it’s just another Stay Stoned Sunday.  Jake is gone.  His fourth trip this year without me.

He went to see her.  We discussed it.  I told him I didn’t want a marriage of three people.  I’m tired of feeling as undesirable, unwanted, and unloved as an old chair.  If he keeps running back to her, things were going to change.  I was going to change, and he may not like it.

Loads pipe.

Physically he is here, but mentally he’s someplace else.

So he went to see her for New Years to break it off with her.  He has to do it in person, he owes her that much, after all she’s already filed for divorce.

Hits pipe.

I have my doubts, but I keep my peace.  I don’t need to rock this fucking boat any more.  I’m already bailing and I don’t want it to sink.

I do not question their choice of dates.  New Year’s, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, it’s all the same to me.  Not like I’m celebrating this year.

He slinks into the house.  He hasn’t shaved in days, his eyes are red rimmed, and his clothes are rumpled from a long ride.  He looks like cold shit on toast

On the other hand, I feel pretty good.  Actually almost happy for the first time in months.  I’ve won!

Hits pipe.

Only time will tell if my prize is the donkey behind door number three.

Stage goes dark.


Scene IV

Center stage is a patio chair and small table.  On the table sits a large baggie of a green material, pipes, matches, and lighter.  A thin leafy plant sits nearby.  Seated in the chair is LINDA. 

It’s Sunday again.  I pretend not to know about the emails and phone calls as we go through the motions of reconnecting: going to play Frisbee on Saturdays.  To the beach on Sundays so he can teach me to surf.  I am tan and my hair is sun bleached, my skin is dry, and I have bursitis in my shoulder.  But nothing else has changed.

He no longer calls me beautiful.  He doesn’t tell me he loves me.  He stays up late, and I go to bed alone.  I take off my wedding band one day, put it on the next.  My hand looks naked without it.

Stuffs and lights pipe.

Last week he says he needs some time alone.  He needs to get his head together.

Beat, Inhaling.

Out of his ass, I hope.

He talks about going toSan Francisco, or maybe San Diego. He mentions Vegas,Santa Barbara,Sacramento.  Never settling on anyplace.  Although I don’t ask, he tells me again and again that he will be alone.  Of course I don’t believe him, but it’s easier for me to pretend I do.

Hits pipe.

He calls to tell me he’s arrived safely.  I ask for a phone number to call him back, but he doesn’t have the hotel’s number.  He can’t remember the name of the hotel.  In fact, he’s not even sure which city he’s in.  He might be inSacramento, or maybe it’sLodi.

There is a part of me that hopes he won’t come back.

Looking at audience, as if for an answer.

Should I pack all his shit and leave it on the porch?

Should I pack my shit and leave a note that says, “I’ll come home when you quit fucking the old flame”?

What do I do?

Hits pipe.

I go to see an old friend’s new place.  He just happened to call to say Hi and catch up, give us his new number.  I burst into tears, and tell him I’m filing for divorce.  He says to come out and see his new place.  And, not wanting to be alone, I go. A nice drive out to the country would do me good.

The last time I saw Jerry was at a party few years ago when he staggered over and sat down next to me, leered at me and said something about he’d still be married if he’d been married to me.  Then he planted an amazing kiss on me, jumped up and disappeared into the house before I could react.

Hits pipe.

When I get there, Jerry walks up to my car motions me to roll down the window and kisses me.  A real bodice ripper.  I get out of the car in a daze.

I hear the door close and Jerry grabs me around the waist and starts kissing my neck, sending shivers down my spine. His hands are in my hair, touching my face, my neck, and slip on down, tugging at my shirt.

Hits pipe.

Doing some bodice ripping of my own, we move out of the street and into his bedroom like a four legged beast.   I don’t even think about the way he tastes of cigarettes and beer.  And then I’m naked, sloshing on his water bed.

I try to turn off the cheap porn music playing in my head.

He stares at me—like a starving dog at a bone.  He licks his lips, drops his boxers and stands before me in all his pasty-white glory.  Then he’s on me like an octopus; all hands and hot lips, pressing down on me.  And I start to feel good.

But he’s making all these noises: smacking, slurping, yeah baby

All I can think about is him sounding like he was narrating a bad porn movie to the blind.  I try not to laugh.

Inhales deeply.

All I can hear now is the cheap porn music, his incoherent mutterings, and the sloshing of the bed.  And suddenly, I feel seasick.

He tries to move, but the bed’s waves counter him and he goes ass first off the bed.   He sits up and proceeds to recite to me the many times he’s imagined me, tells me how much he wants me, how long he’s imagined this moment.  Straight out of a romance novel and it makes me feel cheap, and accents my feeling of participating in bad porn.

Hits pipe. 

I am acutely conscious of being naked in a strange man’s bedroom.  I get up and I step over said strange man.

I start retrieving things from the hall floor.  As I zip up my jeans he asks me where I’m going.

Hits pipe.

I was never here.  I said.  This never happened.

I make it to my car before I burst into tears.  I feel hopeless and stupid, I don’t even know how to have an affair.

That was yesterday.  Today, Sunday, I have somewhat recovered from my foray into the single world when Jake calls to tell me he’ll be home by lunchtime today.

It’s now 3:00 p.m. and I’ve had no word.  It’s another stay stoned Sunday.

Brings hookah into view.

At 10:30 p.m. I call everyone I can think of for input and support, but no one is home except the police.  Officer Adams is very kind.  He tells me there has been no John Doe involved in a motor vehicle accident on the 5 or the 101, or PCH.  He assures me my husband will be home soon.

I try to explain to him that she may have killed him.  Beaned him over the head with a hard-bound copy of Gideon’s Bible and dumped him along the freeway.  Officer Adams suggests I get some sleep.

Hits hookah.

Instead I pull out divorce papers and try to figure them out. I turn on the TV, flip through the 600 channels for a couple of hours.  Get up, walk around the empty house ending up in the office where I have been putting empty boxes.

I imagine putting my stuff in boxes, putting the boxes in my car and being gone before he comes home.  I can only pack one box: a broken lamp, a radio that doesn’t work, a china turtle he got for me on my birthday last year, bookends we bought on a trip to Catalina, wrapped in one of his old flannel shirts.

Long beat, she stares at box.  Then looks up suddenly.

Was that a car door closing?

I hear the keys in the door.

I am in his arms before he even steps inside.

I hate you.  I hate you for doing this to us.

I love you.

So glad you’re home.

Stage goes dark.
Scene V

Center stage is a patio chair and small table.  On the table sits a large baggie of a green material, hookah, and lighter.  A tall leafy plant sits nearby.  Seated in the chair is LINDA. 

Another Sunday.  Stoned again.  I’ve been sleeping on the couch for the past several weeks.  He can’t seem to hear me any more.  He loves me, but he’s in love with her too.  I tell him he’s lied too many times.  Despite all my pleas, he continues to talk to her on the phone.  I bring home more boxes and pretend to pack my things.

He calls me every day at work four, five, 18 times a day.  I’m being smothered and I finally tell him I put a deposit on a place.  Now he’s stopped talking to me at all.

Stay Stoned Sundays are turning into Stay Stoned Days.  Anything to keep my mind from running.  Anything to try to forget what my life has become.

Yesterday we went to look at my apartment 40 miles away.  Yes, we.  He wants to make sure the neighborhood is safe; that the landlord isn’t some sort of pervert.

Hits hookah.

I knew they were going to replace the carpet and renovate the bathroom, but I can barely contain my tears when we open the door and the entire place has been gutted.  The toilet sits in the middle of the living room.  The kitchen is exposed wiring and floor joists.  The cabinets are in the second bedroom, and the kitchen sink is on the patio behind a broken glass door.  Seems there was some sort of leak, the kitchen cabinets had to be taken down to find the source, and all the flooring has to be replaced.

We talk on the way home.  He tells me he’s never seen me so forceful before.  He says he’s impressed and likes to see me strong.  I cry.  He cries.  We stop for dinner and talk.  When we get home I light up, and Jake sits with me and we talk some more.  I yell and throw divorce papers at him.

Stuffs, hits hookah.

I don’t know what I’m going to do, I admit at last.  That apartment is going to take weeks.

Stay, he says.

Why?

I love you.

Do you?

How do I convince you?

We hammer out some new rules of marriage and figure after 25 years we could give it another shot.

I’ll make it up to you, he promises.  But you have to help me figure things out.

No one’s helped me figure things out.  Even Fucking Kobe Bryant figured out for himself that step one was to give his wife a ring!

I can’t buy you a diamond ring.

I know that, and I’m not asking for one.  But you could still buy me a fucking present.

And he did.

Beat.

He bought me a chicken.

Not a live chicken, but one to stand in the garden.  It’s not big, but it is pretty.  I’d always had a thing for chickens.  It stands in the center of the garden among the violets and daisies.  The colors are so beautiful when I’m stoned.

Stage goes dark.

Finale

Center stage is a patio chair and small table.  On the table sits a  box, unopened.  Hookah is gone, plant is gone.  Seated in the chair is LINDA. 

Sunday.  It’s beautiful today.  Jake is planting a tree in the yard.  The ceramic chicken he bought late last summer has been breeding and we now have a small brood of variously colored chicks.

Somehow we’ve made it through the past two years.  I could have walked away.  Friends told me I should have.  I let my gut guide me, and my herb keep me from dwelling too long in ugly places.  I gave him time to figure things out.  Kept myself from pushing him closer to her.

Somehow after disappearing slowly over the past 25 years, I’ve managed to find myself.  I’ve changed.  It’s been a stereotypical “long hard road” filled with tears, but I’ve come out on the other side—like people do.

For a long time I wasn’t sure I knew what love felt like.  Had I ever known?  After all the angry words, the fights, the tears, the empty pain in my chest.  I find myself falling in love again.

We take walks on the beach.  Go out to dinner and the movies.  Surfing and throwing the Frisbee.  Who would’ve believed it?  My friends can’t understand why or how we are still together.  I don’t understand it, so I can’t very well explain it to anyone else.

We’re nicer to each other now, and have more fun.  We laugh more.  We like each other again.

I still have a lot of questions.  Would we have stayed together if the roles had been reversed?  What if I had consummated my affair?  If I had been able to pack my things?  If they hadn’t gutted my apartment?

I wonder if there is a future for us together.  I wonder if I’ve forgiven him.  Wonder if he still thinks about her.  Almost every day I wonder why I stayed.  Wonder if I made the right decision.

I wonder if I should smoke a bowl, but today I think I’ll pass.

Stage goes dark.

Twitching

I’m doing a lot of twitching today.  Just little spasms that send my foot moving, or my fingers.  A tremor in your fingers makes typing just a little trickier.  I do a lot of extra double clicks, lol.

Twitching is not such a bad problem, but the icky crawly restless feeling in my legs has bothered me the last few days, which were warm.  Probably accounts for the extra foot spasms.  Some of it has to do with weather.  Sometimes the weather will somehow interfere with people with MS.  Today is humid and overcast, but cool.  Today I have twitches.  Tomorrow it is supposed to rain.  I may have back spasms, or perhaps a migraine.  You never know from one day to the next how you’re going to feel physically.  I’m not whining, just telling it like it is.

I’ve never avoided the telling it like it is.  Sometimes, I guess, I can be brutally honest.  I’d like to think I’ve gotten gentler with the years and I hold my tongue a lot more now days.  But it bothers me, why can’t we be honest with each other.  Just put myself out there and you can like me personally or not, but I don’t like to play the social game, interacting with strangers trying to be friendly without talking about politics or sex.  My favorite topic of discussion, religion, is usually way down on my list of things I want to talk about with strangers.  No, I’d rather talk about the weather or local sports team’s latest win, anything but something real, like the world is going to hell in a handbasket and you’re talking to me about the price of tea in China.

I’m not saying that we should all argue, but I cannot understand why people don’t have an open mind.  Are you so convinced in your religion, based on faith alone, that your god is not their god, but called by a different name.  If you look at the holy books out there, the story of their Messiah is nearly identical.  Came from a virgin birth, was the son of a carpenter, walked on water, raised the dead, was crucified.  All similar, with the exception of Buddhism, which does not have a story of a Messiah, but the story of a man.  So there is no comparison with most of the eastern religions, Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism.

I guess a lot of people just can’t handle the truth.  I can understand that.  I pretended my H wasn’t having an affair for over a year.  It’s nicer living in la la land, or some fantasy world of your choosing.  It’s good and comfortable and safe in denial.

That’s some of what the 6 0s were all about.  Living truthfully and speaking honestly.  Unfortunately, we still can’t do this 40 years later.  I wonder how the history books will present the past 50 years?  Will they speak more harshly about the “Reagan Years,” will they compare the Watergate to Monica-gate?  Will history prove out that while Watergate was inherently paranoid, Monica-gate was just inherently icky.  I don’t mean to be unkind, but he was the President, couldn’t he find a good-looking woman with a stained dress?

Sort of bouncing around today.  A little mental housecleaning perhaps, just trying to get my thoughts together.  I keep telling myself I need to write more.  I need to revise my one woman show.  I need to shop my short stories again.  I need to finish that novel.  I have all the time in the world, yet I put off writing.  Why, why do I push it away?  Fear of failure or fear of success?  I can do open mic nights.  I just have to write the material.  That’s the easy part.  The hard part is the memorization.  With my incredibly holey memory I’m afraid I won’t remember the punch lines.  I shouldn’t be afraid.  I won’t know anyone in the audience.  It’s like tripping down the escalator in front of strangers.  They’ll all jump and ask if you’re all right, but none of them want to stop and make sure.  If I bomb it will be in front of people who don’t know me and will probably forget my name before the end of the night, and I can do it again the next week.