This was not the piece I expected to post on my first blog on my new website. But as you now know, writing the things I wasn’t planning to write is becoming a bit of a habit. This piece is particularly hard.
This is a love note, a thank you note, an apology note. I’m not usually one to make these things public, despite the fact that I make so many things public.
There is no undoing fuck-ups - no editing when it comes to life. There’s only moving forward and trying to make things right.
I launched my book Lost and Found in Lymphomaland the other night. It was fantastic. Many of my friends, family and community came out to support me. I signed a lot of books. I wore a new dress and people told me I looked great. I was the star. It was all about me. All. About. Me.
People forgive me certain behaviours because I have lymphoma. I also seem to give off a nice person vibe. I get away with stuff for sure. That’s not a good thing, it’s just a thing. Cancer doesn’t make me a better, less selfish, less self-absorbed person.
I stood on the stage with my girlfriend Patti Ristich beside me holding the container of raffle tickets, and I didn’t thank her for making it all happen. I didn’t say anything.
The launch was her idea, the book would never have come together without her, the cover was her design, she did tons of editing. She made signs for me, came over and helped me schlep all the books down to the Gladstone, set everything up, and figured out how to use my phone to accept payment. And the dress that everyone complimented me on, I bought that at her encouragement. And that is NOT a complete list.
So many pieces from beginning to end– artistic, to logistic, to aesthetic, to fashion, to promotion, to endless support. I have her to thank. I had the perfect moment to do it, there, in front of everyone, and I didn’t.
And here’s the really hard thing to admit. I didn’t come to this realization myself. I wish so desperately that I had. She had to tell me. Well, I had to drag it out of her. I knew she seemed upset. How could it not have occurred to me that I hadn’t thanked her, that I hadn’t even told everyone who she was? That’s hard-core ego at work there.
I should be grateful to life for providing me with so many opportunities for harsh self-examination. My first reaction is always to ball my eyes out and beg forgiveness. (Well to be honest, that comes shortly on the heels of defensiveness.) I did that. That’s the easy part. Figuring out how to be better, or different is the big fat work.
Now I have to post this on the blog page of the website. I have no clue how to do that. Patti does all that shit.
Change has to start somewhere.
Patti - Thank you love, for everything.