b r e a t h i n g
r o o m
3 Jun 98
I always used to forget my mother's birthday, get it wrong by one day either way. Same trouble with my sister's birthday, some subliminal sexist thing I picked up? Finally, I figured out that in descending age (and hierarchical?) order, my father's birthday was on a 2nd, my mother's on a 3rd, and my sister's on a 4th.
"Me on the outs with you or what?" a friend of mine wrote me recently, a writer I know from doing Enterzone. "Or is the chill I get from your direction lately just a fig of the imagination?" He's not the only one. My own sister wrote something along the lines of when I don't hear back from you, it makes me feel like you are ignoring me. And then another friend, the kind of person I really depend on when I'm down or needy or just want someone to talk to or share something with said "it all goes into this black hole, and i never get thoughtful responses from you anymore." I've obviously let a lot of balls drop lately (I've not even mentioned the dissolution of the Be book here in this journal yet - that's a little story unto itself), and though I'm in a catch-up mode now, I'm sorry that my friends are starting to think I'm dissing them!
It's ironic: I fall behind in e-mail when I'm depressed and avoiding dealing with my feelings, and I fall behind in e-mail when I'm happy and productively pursuing other projects on and off the 'puter. Good news is I'm catching up and I'll be answering that message you sent me soon! Bad news is that really good mail makes me feel "obliged" to send a good reply. Then old man procrastination has his way with me. Right now, though, I better than I have in ages. Yesterday I did a radio show in Alaska, ostensibly to promote Coffeehouse but it turned into a freewheeling hour about art on the net, noncommercial projects, nonstandard uses of the Web, and so on. It felt great pontificating away on the airwaves of that vast state. Somehow, it's as if disentangling the snarls in my novel's outline freed up a lot of nervous energy. I feel able to do what I set my mind to. Maybe it's just the Jerry Brown vibe in the air, here in Oakland.
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