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Why I Write About Sucking at Love

I was sitting with my brother the other day, grilling some meat and drinking some drinks under a perfect evening sky when he said what he said.

“You know, a lot of people in this town are reading everything you’re writing about all this stuff.”

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I forget what else he said after that. Hell, I don’t even remember exactly what we were talking about to end up anywhere near that particular sentence to begin with, but it must have had something to do with my writing, with my little articles and essays I’ve been publishing on the Internet about my marriage falling apart, because I knew that’s what he was referring to.

Also look, he’s my bro and I love him like sunshine and he dropped it on me as gently as he could, when he felt the time was right, and I could tell that much. So, fair enough. Plus the thing is, underneath the veil of what he said to me there are actually a lot of points to reckon with, really. I guess that’s why I’m bringing it back to life a little. I knew he was wondering if I was trying to embarrass his ass all over town by sweeping a prison yard spotlight across the fact that his older brother might damn-well-be some kind of blogger (ugh!) splashing around like a mental case out in the swamp of pre-divorce funk and irrationality.

I don’t know though.

See, going through a marriage separation is one thing, but writing about it for money on the Internets is a whole different animal, you know? And when I decided to do that, to go ahead and write my way through things even as they were still settling down all around me in real time, I knew it would probably freak a lot of people out/fascinate a bunch of others/and probably make a select few straight-up livid at me since (let’s face it) there are a bunch of people floating around in cyberspace who don’t know what to call the feeling they feel when they read a thing about a guy sending his estranged wife a half-naked selfie in a moment of horn-dog heartbreak. They can’t make any sense of any of it. But I can. Or at least, I can die in a pool of my own steaming shame trying, can’t I?

It makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere, like I’m finally able to sit down and have a discussion with my own heart.

And so I write some of my feelings about all of this marriage separation stuff down now. Not all of it, of course. Nobody, not even friggin’ Charles Dickens could ever write down much more than a fraction of any one given moment that they set out trying to capture. That’s the nature of the beast with writing, I suppose, and yet that’s also precisely what makes it so beautiful too. Because if you’re lucky enough, or good enough, or even both enough to find your way into the sticky soul of what you’re after, even if it’s just every now and then, then the people who are hanging around reading what you’ve written are in for one of the best goddamn treats this world has to offer up, if you ask me.

I think maybe that’s what went down the other night out in my yard. I think my brother might have been wondering if I knew what I was doing, if I was sure that I wanted to reveal myself in the ways I have been at times with my writing recently, as lovesick or desperate or even confused about what all was happening to my decade-long marriage. And besides that, I guess he probably doesn’t want me embarrassing his ass in front of all these people he actually knows. People who aren’t just Internet ghosts but who he literally rubs shoulders with up at the alehouse or at bar-b-q’s in other people’s yards or over at the post office. It’s understandable, but it’s also not really my problem.

Truth is, not long ago I acknowledged to myself that I actually get my strange kicks out of streaking across computer screens with my emotional skeleton wang flopping around all over the place.

Seriously. That’s how hardcore this stuff is for me.

Hey, I know this must sound nuts but somehow this writing down my life, it’s all helping me a lot. Most days I sit down and start gushing things out of me without even knowing what the hell I’m going to write about except that it has to pass within like a half-mile of me and my "estranged" wife (estranged!) and our tiny tale of busted love. It makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere, like I’m finally able to sit down and have a discussion with my own heart. That’s not always such an easy thing to do, in case you’ve never had to notice.

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Of course, I know I probably miss my mark a lot. Who doesn’t? I don’t give a damn. I never said I was any good at any of this writer junk anyway. I’m just telling you that doing it, that unleashing it without reservation, it makes me feel like I’m a bolt of summer lightning for an hour or two after I puke it up. So, I guess I get off on the act. And I guess I get off on the possibility that somehow maybe someone else will get off on it too.

I’ll tell you something else, and this is the God’s honest truth so take it however you want to take it: the way things are right now I’m just a 42-year-old undersexed/overstressed daddy of three young kids whose favorite flick is still pretty much Gladiator and down the years I have had my mean streaks and my long bouts with angry young mannishness, but I’m done with all of that at this point. You can believe that or not, it makes no difference to me. Recognizing myself as I come crawling out of the car crash of my own words is hard describe. But it’s a good feeling, I can tell you that much, maybe even as good as it gets at times like this.

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