“Write what you know…”
What DON’T I know? My brain is an encyclopedia of everything I’ve ever encountered.
I know music.
Not just to listen to, to live to. I’ll talk vinyl vs digital. Rock vs Bach.
I know music facts.
Facts that lived inside dusty leather bound volumes of Creem and Rolling Stone; vintage issues at the library on lazy Saturday afternoons.
I know the dates Jimi, Janis and Jim died, what American Pie is, and Keith Richard’s favorite drink. And yes, he really did have his blood cleansed of heroin at a clinic in Switzerland. By a dialysis machine.
I know theater. I’ve seen plays and read them, more than I can count. I’ve read all 36 plays in Shakespeare’s canon. I’ve seen most of them performed, too.
I know film. I see everything. I’m an Oscar geek. I can tell you which actor has been nominated for best actor most (Jack Nicholson), who’s won for best actress most (Katherine Hepburn) and who’s been nominated 7 times but never won (Richard Burton).
I know food. I know how to cook really well, and for a large group.
I know entertaining. I know how to set a beautiful table. I’m Martha Stewart, the leather version.
Totally incongruous with the rest of my personality, but true, nonetheless.
I set my table for holidays a day in advance. Sometimes two.
I know baking, which is in my opinion, a dying art.
Not enough people bake from scratch anymore, but if you do, I can tell you the perfect flour to use for the perfect pie crust.
And I’ll give you my best cookie recipes because even though I’m Jewish I spend an entire weekend baking Christmas cookies every year.
I know poverty. I know how it feels to have your toes press against the inside of your shoe, and not say anything because there’s 6 of you.
And never enough to go around.
I know wealth. I know flying first class to California and Europe; five star hotels, five star restaurants.
I know limos and champagne and things I have no right even saying I know, so I’ll just stop right here.
I know New York. I know it like you know a lover’s body, familiar and built for pleasure and you want to live there forever.
I know Ebonics and Spanglish. You can’t live in New York and not learn a little of both. Although truth be told, the Spanglish was more from all the Puerto Rican men I dated; they hiss at you in bed:
chupa mi pinga, mi puta blanca!”
And yes, while I’m on the subject, I know blowjobs.
But I’m only mentioning it because I’ve already blogged about it.
And because now my real life girlfriends are following me, and if I don’t give it a hey now, they’ll be all like, “what’s up with that? She’s all ABOUT smokin’ it.”
I know teenagers.
I know them better than you do, and I feel bad that I know what your kids are up to and you don’t but I’ll never tell.
I know rainbow parties and ABC parties and hooking up and “Turn Up!”
I know why you should let your daughter go to Wildwood after prom.
She hasn’t been a virgin since the 10th grade. Why don’t you just be sensible and put her on birth control?
Just don’t tell your husband.
I know…he‘s not ready for that.
I know what my teens have taught me.
I know they feel alienated and misunderstood by their parents. Which makes me want to be a different sort of mother.
I know how the education system has failed them. I know I desperately want to change that.
I don’t know how.
I know some famous people.
Mostly rock musicians, and mostly from doing drugs with them..
That’s all I’m going to say about that. But it had to be said.
Because it was all part of a big goddamn party I was invited to. And even though the party is way over, I’m glad I went.
I know books.
It’s the most passionate, enduring love affair I’ve ever had. It’s over 35 years since I fell in love with “A Wrinkle in Time.”
Quantum physics, witches, the timeless story of Good vs Evil, a bodiless telepathic brain, all mixed together in a mind bending story where I KNEW I was Meg, the protagonist, the outcast.
I was a fool for book love.
And never the same again.
And because of books, I know philosophers. And feminism. And history. And wicca. And architecture. And how all of those are connected, which they are.
I know drugs. So does everybody. Next.
I know addiction. Not addiction as partying. I know addiction as survival; addiction as coping.
I know recovery. Or really, just kicking stone cold turkey. No rehab. No detox. No money.
It took three grown men to hold me inside my apartment while I kicked dope.
It’s like a mother holding a car up to save her baby. You have the strength of a demon.
I know shooting galleries.
The kind you get raped in on Avenue D, but also
the kind you go to with your kid’s friend’s dad. Because, why not? Shooting guns sounded like a cool way to spend an afternoon.
I know sports.
Not organized sports, although I know I superbowl game when I don’t see one, and I’m glad the halftime show was at least a springboard to teach Little Dude some Peppers,
and there is that Yankees tramp stamp but girl, that’s a Bronx thing. Not a baseball thing.
I mean, I know athleticism. I know the sheer joy of the sweat, the burn,the endorphins, the high.
From lifting, or cycling, or hiking or yoga.
I know the bliss of a Low Lunge into a perfect Warrior Three. It feels like dance and mysticism all mixed together, especially with that trippy Indian music in the background.
I know fashion – or rather, style. Fashion is prepackaged. Style I invent. I take what’s left and make it right.
And when that obnoxious kid in the mall points at a woman and says,
“Just because she can FIT in those clothes doesn’t mean she should be WEARING them. Ugh.”
it’s ME she’s talking about.
And I know – I don’t give a fuck.
I know math. I know geometry which is useless, unless you’re a professional quilter.
And algebra. And I know averages and ratios and logic problems and calculus.
And percentages. And James Altucher is right – I’ve been saying that for years. If you don’t know at least percentages, you’re screwed.
I know I love math. I have a shirt that a student made for me “I love math.” I rarely wear it. It irritates people.
I know why.
I know LOVE.
I know love so hard that other people’s love paled in comparison.
We had a blue glow around us all the time, like moonlight. Even in the daytime.
I know loss of love. I know I’m on emotional lock down. I know I’m done with the kind of love I just described.
I know “Happy Ever After” really is just a fairy tale.
I know Death.
Too much and too close. AIDS, cancer, suicide, heart attacks.
Sometimes, I feel like I know death a little too personally, and that’s why I took some of the chances I did.
Come and get me.
I know friendship. unbelievable friendships. Friendship that have lasted over decades, and thousands of miles.
Fierce friendships. I love fiercely and am loved fiercely back.
I have friends who would literally give me the shirts off their backs.
She’s reading this, right now.
I know betrayal.
I know finding your life savings wiped out, your credit cards maxed out, your signature forged on loans you didn’t know existed.
I know being told lies. By people who abandon you when you need them most. When all hope is gone.
When you’re desperate to find one friend left you can trust.
I know depression.
I know post partum depression so severe I wanted to drown my own child.
And I crossed to the other side to a love so deep, I’m the one drowning now.
I know fear.
A fear that made me almost stop writing these words.
Until I realized that to stop these words
would make me lose MYSELF
because to write –
is to breathe.
“Write what you know”
I know Truth.
I know Courage.
I know Words.
Did you ever stop blogging? Or think about quitting?
Talk to me. I’m listening.