I invite you to read my book, the first in a series of three memoirs. I’ve been struggling to write this post, because the avalanche of grotesquerie in the recent news made anything else seem not only irrelevant, but repulsive. Then I got this response, not to the book, but to a blog post (with huge thanks to the sender):
Thank you–from deep inside–for this window into your reality. Not knowing you but admiring you and your work and your apparent spirit from afar, I’ve always carried the illusion that you do NOT have moments like these. Very much appreciated. You make life better for the rest of us. So so so often.
I had alluded to having current difficulty with my chronic depression, which has its ups and downs. This response crystallized my thinking about why I am putting my own story out there. I think my early life was pretty bizarre. I’m amazed that I survived it, and I suspect that a lot of people carry similar memories and think, as I did, that they were uniquely defective. It changes things to find that you’re not alone.
I remember having gone alone in New York to a performance of the play “Cloud Nine.” Betty, a mature woman in Caryl Churchill’s play, has a remarkable late monologue in which she confides what power it gave her to reclaim her young habit of self-pleasuring. She claimed her independence, rejected guilt and shame, and her telling was radiant. This was close to the final curtain, and when the house-lights came up I found myself bursting into tears. I couldn’t contain myself, and to my mortification the people around me became concerned. Two couples gentled me out of the row of seats and took me to a coffee-shop to recover. Bless them.
What slammed me was that I wasn’t alone. I have heard this again and again in conversations after performances of our own writing. Writing from the most intimate and specific personal basis seems to strike hidden personal chords in a lot of people. So may it be with my own story.
A story of changes. The laughing two-year-old with curly blonde hair became an introvert with straight brown bangs, braces and coke-bottle glasses. The valedictorian who went to college in an honors program turned blonde again, got a raft of boyfriends, and flunked out. The disgraced dropout forged a transcript to apply to Northwestern, met her lifemate, and proved her mother’s verdict wrong: “You have no looks, no voice, no sense of humor, and you don’t know how to love.” And above all, it’s a story of discovery.
I’d love to share this roller-coaster ride with you. The book, Elizabeth: One of Many, can be ordered for $19.95 through Paypal on our blogsite damnedfool.com or through your local bookstore. We ship the books ourselves, so they can be signed if you like.
Read it, and tell me what you think.