last night m's sister lori came over. they were busy making dinner in the kitchen, so i went out to the living room and, after pearl decided we were done playing, i sat down to write. i didn't have a specific idea in mind, i just knew i wanted to write. i wish that wasn't normal for me, but it is.
anyway, i flipped through my notebook designed for such randomness. reread the very silly children's story i'd started eons ago, some post-therapy session entries, and trip planning checklists. i finally got to a blank page. what am i going to write about?
i heard lori humming off-key in the kitchen. well, i'll start there, i thought. what followed were two paragraphs of dark humor. i'd have written more (how can you not continue something that ends in 'discussing the delicacies of the social security office roach coach'?) but dinner was ready.
this morning i woke up thinking about all of the writing i've been doing lately. its themes, tones, and what those say about me. i realized that a lot of my work is riddled with dark humor. why so dark?
as i pondered, a scene popped into my head: my sister and i sunbathing at home, happy little teenagers listening to the radio (like 'adult education' by hall and oates, the song playing on RadioHeather this morning), while my parents were at a conference. my father was one of the conference speakers, lecturing on satanic cults.
that led to another shot: video of my father, lecturing in an auditorium, a display table next to him filled with miscellaneous cult accoutrement. at least on one occasion, they videotaped his lecture, and i specifically recall a shot of him picking up a cow skull and gesturing to some points on its head.
i thought, i need to write this down. and i did. and again, it ended up being this dark piece because, as i have alluded to in the past, my dad really fucked the family over. the short version is that there was a sustained history of lying, and you can imagine how that would mess things up.
the long version...well, someday i will write a book. i think today's entry was a start to that, but after reading it i thought - hi. no wonder your writing gets so dark. look at all this crap you're still processing! it's been almost 20 years since a lot of this shit went down, and you're only writing about it now.
but the other thing was, why dark humor? i am sure the answer is obvious: defense mechanism. what's the best way to deflate a pissy situation? be funny. sometimes humor is the only way you can get through something tortuous. so it's no wonder that humor is so incredibly important to me. factor in that i was raised to be silly, and you can see why i am more than a little nutty.
if you made it this far, thank you for strolling with me down Memory And Self-Reflection Lane. i'm sure this is more interesting to me than the rest of you, but i just had to write that out.