A friend mentioned he'd been reading my blog, then changed the subject. I let him go on a minute then stopped him because I couldn't help it. "So, what did you think?"
"Think of what, your blog? Eh. Politics."
Then he went on with his prior thought, but whatever it was I wasn't listening. I was struck by the familiarity of that phrase, "Eh, politics." I was counting the number of times I'd heard it from friends, family, people I actually know, in specific reference to my blog. "Eh, politics." I was up to eight when I interrupted him, demanding, in a nice way, some clarification.
He said he liked my personal stuff, like when I blog about summer camp, the kybo and whatnot. I understood what he meant. He's a terrific guy, I've known him all my life, consider him less a friend than brother. And I trust his opinion of my writing more than anyone else's, mainly because he's generally so complimentary. He's a chef by trade, and to be praised by him is better than being stuffed and served with sauce. His praise transcends reality, puts me in orbit around myself. He read my novel, Book of Lies, before it was The Man That Bounced, and when he finished it, in one sitting, he ran three blocks from his house to mine and burst into my office without knocking. "Best book I ever read!" he announced. Not that I believed him -- not that he lies -- but I sucked it up like a camel and I draw from it still.
Eh, politics is what you say when your ennui is too heavy for words in English. You say eh, politics when the subject matters to you not at all. Eh, politics means you didn't read it. It's what you say when the truth is too ugly. Eh, politics says you suck.
After a few decades of writing for money I thought I had a thick hide. I can write for months without encouragement, but certain kinds of discouragement I find more difficult, especially now that I write for free. When my efforts are swept into a "politics" bin, I myself feel swept. Brushed. I myself have not been shot but rather my dog, Politics, who lies dead at my feet, my beloved pet whom I was just wagging, Polly.
Early on I learned to never mention the fact that I blog to anyone who exists in 3-D. Several family members had strong and immediate opinions and may still, with the general idea being that I'm wasting my time. I think of them every time I post, knowing they're right, knowing I can't help it. I chose to use my real name. What I write here doesn't stay here. I can't deny I blog. If they click me I'm caught.
I can stand not writing for money, but I cannot stand not writing for readers. And since I can't seem to stop writing, I blog. As much as I love the people I love (and I do love them all very much), I'm not blogging for them and I'd prefer they not read me, and if they do, I'd rather they keep it to themselves because I'm an embarrassed old man who's easily frightened by compliments and insults alike.
Generally I don't ask questions at the end of a post because I don't often attract comments and I don't want to learn that I'm talking to myself. For the same reason I almost never check my site meter. I don't want to know.
But just this one time, I'll risk it. What do you think? Should I go Personal? Political? Both?
And while I'm asking, just how screwed up IS my HTML?
These are my "Do-I-have-cancer?" questions: the ones I always have that I don't dare ask.
Well? Do I?