The Blogger Explains His Absence

What the hell?

It’s been a month since I’ve written a word here, and not without good reason—for that month I converted myself from a lazily-scribbling lout into a man of action, and rarely had even those few seconds to oneself that are required if one intends to kick back and write. There hasn’t been such a lull in my own literary activity since I retreated to the icicles of my home like a disgraced, beaten dog, all the way from the Hindu totems that sprinkle the beaches and jungles and mountains of the isle of Bali on the other side of the planet, an event which inaugurated six months of the most painful and creative self-immolation and misery I have yet experienced. That was several years ago. But for these last four weeks were not quite the same as that very darkest of dark autos-da-fé.

I was so busy because I, a still-young man, got hitched. Why? The obvious explanation is love. Perhaps a little too much love, in fact. The answer to the so-called riddle of a sudden wedding is not difficult to extract from the mysterious abyss: though I think now we probably would have gotten married eventually anyway, since we’ve both been crazy about each other from the beginning, we really shackled our fingers with golden handcuffs because, to put it bluntly, we were screwing like a whole festering hole full of rabbits, and because rabbits do not screw with Korean condoms that are too small for exceedingly unremarkable American penises, and because this sensuous process, imitative in its temporal length of the millions of years of thunder and volcanism that fused the first amino acids into life-giving proteins, went on for several very pleasant months of open sin, we eventually splashed our genes together and drew a new human being out of that existential nothingness from which we all—voluntarily or involuntarily, for who can say?—originate. We were surprised, but only very young children or characters in Orwellian novels are surprised at two and two equaling four.

And, likewise, eventually (after about two hours of selfishly mortal terror on my part and plenty of tears on hers), we decided not to abort the little tadpole swimming around in her belly and instead opted to do the responsible thing and spend the rest of our lives together to experience all the various joys and ardors of forging a new person in the middle of a modern era of really spectacular upheaval and chaos.

So this is why my “blog”—blog being the ugliest word in our language, a word which sounds to me like an onomatopoetic rendering of a pile of shit dropping into a toilet bowl already brimming with a rank stew of excrement—was interrupted. I will now spend the next few days furiously (since there is no other way but the furious way) writing stories and editing photos for your delighted consumption, most of which will describe in savage detail all the unrelenting absurdity of my charmed life.

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3 thoughts on “The Blogger Explains His Absence

  1. Jennifer says:

    I’m glad that you’re feeling so good about the results of your decision, but I would hesitate to say that having a child versus aborting a child is the only or more responsible thing to do. It seems like the argument a staunch pro-lifer might make, and I’ve never thought of you as a staunch pro-lifer.

    Perhaps it is irresponsible to have sex incautiously, but it does not therefore follow that aborting a fetus is also irresponsible. I would say in many cases it’s actually the more responsible choice (in instances where people are actually too young or their health would be damaged or economically and/or emotionally people are not ready to be parents.)

    Even in your case where both parties are ready, I can’t say that I find it a responsible decision so much as a question of satisfying one’s personal morality and ethics. In a situation, of course, where one person decides to have the baby, it is more responsible to take care of that baby once it is born. But the initial decision to have a baby or not, I don’t think one choice is ipso-facto better than the other. It’s a matter that really depends on the given situation.

    But, again, I am certainly glad that you are enjoying life together and that you are feeling excited about welcoming a new life. Please forgive me if any of my more philosophical comments above seem callous, cause they aren’t meant that way.

    I’m pro-choice, though, and though I’m more sympathetic to the pro-life point of view since going vegan (since both causes involve pontificating upon the value of forms of life and what is owed to them) I still find for various reasons that to me the ethical value of a fully grown animal is more than that of a fetus in the early stages of development, especially since something like 31% of conceptions apparently result in miscarriages – 22% of these occurring within the first few weeks of the pregnancy (how scientists research this is beyond me.) But the point is that fetuses are sort of instable life forms to begin with. People get really worked up protecting them who have no problem at all with pigs being buried alive in ditches by the thousands (the charming “solution” to a foot and mouth epidemic that is currently being carried out in Korea) or with dolphins being slaughtered until the seas are bloody in Japan. Or… well, you know. The whole question of “soul” comes up, of course, but I’m inclined to believe that if people have souls so do animals, and anyway if a soul is immortal, who cares. The fetus will still have a soul and so on… But this gets into increasingly esoteric territory.

    To be responsible one has to be responsible to someone or something, I think. In this case you were responsible to Angelica, which is honorable and right. But in the absence of that moral obligation, well, any choice could have been the responsible one to make for yourselves.

    Those who abort aren’t necessarily being irresponsible, in other words. I’ve never aborted a baby myself, but there have been times in my life where I believe it would have been the more responsible thing to do had I been pregnant. When I was 18 for example and with my first boyfriend. Neither of us would have been prepared emotionally or financially. And I hadn’t done anything at that age – not college, or living outside my family home. Sometimes the greater responsibility is to live. I would have been a pretty shoddy parent to any baby born in that time of my life, because I had no wisdom or experience.

    I think also you will still be able to live well while having a child, which comes with having enough financial means to do so. Were Lee and I to get pregnant right now, we wouldn’t be able to. We’d either be trapped here with no disposable income at all and probably digging deeper into debt every month, or we’d literally be forced to move in with someone from my family indefinitely. I’d have to get a job as soon as I could after the birth, which would leave my child in daycare from an early age (despite having worked in daycare, I don’t recommend that. Kids are supposed to breastfeed for 2 years after birth for optimal health and early contact with parents is key in social development.) We’d end up placing a great burden on our family, our marriage, and probably end up giving up most of the creative projects we pursue, because of the lack of financial means. Children raised by parents who have given up their own lives do not tend to get raised in a very positive environment.

    So it’s not necessarily more responsible to have a child. Self-sacrifice, self-denial and hardship are often conflated with responsibility in our Western puritanical society, but they’re not exactly the same thing.

    I’m glad, however, that your road will not be so difficult to travel. I hope that in the coming weeks you’ll appreciate your last bits of baby-freeness, though, because everything will change. All the parents I’ve worked for told me that they’d wished they’d taken more advantage of the time in their lives before the children to go out more and do more things in their free time. So don’t sit around like a lump! Stay out late! Be ridiculous! Soon you’ll be in with the baby or out with the baby. Or keeping the baby from killing itself (that’s what I always likened nannying 15-18 month olds to. It’s basically just one long period of vigilance making sure the baby doesn’t commit suicide out of sheer ignorance of his/her surroundings.)

    Alright. I’ve rambled long enough. Talk to you soon, I hope.

    – Jen

  2. hiddenconnections says:

    This is something we should talk about in person in the future.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hmmmmm…. I’m guessing I may have offended you. If so, I’m sorry. I’ve grown accustomed to being rather free in my speaking to you, and if I need to pull it back a bit please let me know! As to speaking in person, well, unfortunately that will probably need to wait to happen in any depth until I am off the Vagina Train.

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