“The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up.” – Walt Disney’s, “Dumbo”
Now that the holidays are done and once again lovingly stowed away in their special red and green plastic bins in the underworld, and the calendar on my iPhone has clicked over to the new year, I have a moment to just sit, knit, breathe, and reflect – and I’ll be goddamned if 2015 wasn’t pretty extraordinary.
My marriage to My One True Love, Gregory, is still a wondrous great adventure after what will be 14 years on Bloomsday; our three beautiful babies are KILLIN’ IT; my poochies are FAB; my glorious gusband, Miss Jackie Beat, is as BRILLIANT and CUNTY as ever; my health is holding fast; and my genius writing partner and BFF, Doug, and I created, developed, and sold a motherloving television pilot to NBC.
Yes, THAT NBC, and yes, I am fully aware that our AWESOME SQUAD over at The Peacock shall soon enough figure out that I am an utter fraud with her bob up her ass who needs to be sent packin’ back to Fresno to once again clean houses and give handjobs. However, until that undoubted day of reckoning and revelation, I shall enjoy each and every notes call, rewrite, meeting, and motherfuck. Believe me when I tell you, I am WELL AWARE that I am one SERIOUSLY Lucky Slut – a little morsel of a phrase which brings me to my next point.
You see, after the long process of getting the TV stuff set in motion and moving along, I am now FINALLY back to the work of writing my memoir – “Lucky Slut” — and that means I once again find myself surrounded by pages and pages of intense, shocking, amusing, detailed notes, some entered carefully in right proper notebooks, some hastily scrawled on the back of Del Taco receipts whilst pulling out of the drive-thru in a state of giddy grace and hunger.
Either way, my fatass currently dwells in the very midst of wist and memory. Like any life, some of it is lovely, some of it is horrific, and yet, somehow, looking back now from the crepey, saggy peak of middle age, ALL OF IT is hilarious. I’ll be goddamned if the very worst things that ever happened to me as a human, have not been the very BEST things that ever happened to me as a writer. Honestly.
So, here I sit at my beloved perch at my beloved library…and I am just doin’ it — NO FEAR, OVARIES TO THE WALL. In the end, no matter what people are going to say or what people are going to think — and trust me when I tell you, they are going to say and think A WHOLE LOT — I lived it. I survived it. It is MY story to tell. There is no underlying revenge agenda, no notion of somehow punishing those who were less than kind or cordial to me.
It all just IS.
What I feel now is overwhelming gratitude and compassion for all those in my life who were doing the very best they could do at any given moment. I know that now. Any agony or shame that my colorful upbringing may have inflicted onto my spirit when I was younger is now a thing of the distant past. All is forgiven. All is embraced. There is no rage or regret. There is only awe and delight that I am still standing — surrounded by the people who I love and who love me back — standing and BELLY LAUGHING…and ready to tell what is one UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE STORY, filled with UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE EVENTS, and peopled by UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE CHARACTERS:
My FABULOUS, TRAGIC, MAGICAL KIN.
When I think back to the sensitive, young girl I was then — raised in chaos, crime, violence, and scandal — I fully realize that it was certainly a harrowing way to come up. But when I think now of the FIERCE, ruthless, bemused, old broad that I AM TODAY — I also fully realize that, as a writer, I HIT THE MOTHERFUCKING MOTHERLODE WITH THIS LIFE. All of the difficulties of the past have made me who and what I am today. I was forged in the fires of discord and want. I was tumbled smooth and cool by sharp edges and even sharper words. This life is a goddamned blessing. This story is a goddamned gift. It is a privilege to have lived it, it is a privilege to have survived it, and it is now a privilege to tell it.
All of it.
I can’t wait to gather round the fire with all of you…all of us under the stars, gazing amazed at the moon like children, huddled together against the dark, sitting at the edge of the endless, black, eternal sea, its constant, comforting rumble reminding us where we came from, beckoning us home.
We will tell our stories. We will tell our truths. I can’t wait to tell you mine. I can’t wait to listen to yours. There will be no judgement — only honor, recognition, communion, and, best of all, BELLY LAUGHTER. Even at the hard stuff. ESPECIALLY at the hard stuff. The chips in our china and the dents in our cans are what make us interesting. They are what make us beautiful.
So, grab a blanket and grab a brew. Don’t cost nothin’.
We are all here, sitting in an endless circle, bound one to the other by starlight and beer.
We lived to tell the tale.
So, at long last, let’s tell it.