It's weird... about this time 365 days ago I was rushing into surgery, having been awake since the previous Friday when what was supposed to be a few hours in the ER for some pain management turned into one of the nastiest ordeals of my life***.
Today we got here with my mom and Roni, and the Lilly was running around saying "Hi!" and being egregiously cute at her Grandma -- just shy of her first birthday, and she's already gotten the memo how important Grandma's are.
Mom's staying at Catt's apartment complex -- apparently they had a nicely furnished apartment for an obscenely cheap price, so Mom can overdose on Lilly's charms to her heart's content. Me and Roni are staying at some local La Quinta with excellent AC and free wireless access (thus this entry).
Tomorrow will be interesting. I'm having lunch with Catt and her 'rents, and later we'll be celebrating. Lilly may or may not have any memories of this day -- I know I have a few spotty recollections back to 6 months, but no real SOLID memories until 18 months (when I had my tonsils removed),
This past week was surreal. Having mom in Alameda was... well, odd and good at the same time. As much as I miss her, though, I have to admit that having her around is a stark reminder of what I must have been like before I was diagnosed and medicated. I've often wondered if choosing to take the drugs to alleviate the worst of the symptoms took anything away from me, either as a person or creatively. There's always the small temptation to try going without long enough to see if I can find my muse again, really start to produce something resembling fiction again.
Then I realize why I started taking the damn stuff to begin with. Or I'm reminded.
Re-reading the events surrounding Lilly's birth is helpful as well. For one thing, I note that I seem to produce my best work when I'm almost completely and utterly toasted. That's actually fairly consistent with past efforts -- apparently I get pushed to a point where something breaks through and I simply stop giving a shit how I'll be perceived or whether I've properly placed all of my commas, and I shut the fuck up and WRITE already.
But I never notice how well I'm writing at the time. Re-reading it, preferably months or even years later, I'm struck by the quality and passion, the feeling for the moment that the author has. Third person? Because it couldn't have been MY hand that recorded things as well as all that. Somebody obviously hacked into my journal and re-wrote my tortured prose into something more edible.
The lies we tell ourselves.
- And who bade you stop this living art?
Have you forgotten just what you are?
If you don't want to then you could at least pretend
That the paper's your soul and your blood's in the pen
And maybe then you'd see the light
And read the truth that you had to write.
I suppose I should get some sleep... it's already after 1 AM here, and it's going to be a pretty long couple of days. Many thanks to everyone who has given me even the slightest support over the past few weeks before now -- Erika, Kim, Michele, Roni (of course!) and everyone else who helped just by being there.
Of all the pressies that she receives this day, wouldn't it be funny if this journal, chronicling her erstwhile father's life starting nearly 5 years before her birth could be the most important gift I could give? It certainly would go a LONG way to satisfying her curiosity about me, if any.
* Does anyone REALLY think that Damien wouldn't have been taken out long before he could be an obvious threat to the existence of the world? Personally, my idea of an anti-christ would be someone who professed to love god and seemed all sweetness and light. No hell hounds, no weird unexplainable deaths, no whacked nannies hanging themselves during their birthday parties or whatever. By the same token I would expect the second coming of christ to be someone who was hounded and persecuted by the very people claiming to await his arrival. But I digress...
** After all, I don't recall anything particularly onerous about June 6, 1906 -- nor, for that matter, June 6 1806. Hell, follow the series back and the only REAL 6/6/6 was when the little lord jesus was 6 years old himself. I'll leave that little conundrum for y'all to chaw over.
*** Damn it, is this going to be one of these posts where the footnotes are longer than the post itself?! Well, I DO have to note that the second part of the birth story and announcement can be found here. Purists will note that the first part of the tale can be found here, which presages the following days hysteria (snerk) nicely.