Friday, December 07, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing

Eight times out of ten, when I first sit down to write a blog, I have no idea of what I’m going to write about. I don’t mean for it to be that way…I really like having several blogs in reserve. But I would make a terrible squirrel, and would undoubtedly starve to death before the first snowfall. If, by some fluke, I somehow manage to stash away two or three blogs in advance, with the intent of using them only in case of absolute emergency, part of my brain becomes very smug and self-satisfied. (“Oh,” it tells me, “you don’t have to worry about tomorrow’s blog. You’ve got a couple in reserve if you really need them.” And without fail, I don’t bother writing one for tomorrow and use one of the standbys instead. And when the reserve is gone, I’m back to square one.

The problem with doing spontaneous, need-to-post-it-within-ten-minutes, blogs is that 1) they read like exactly what they are, and 2) I inevitably fall back…as was gently pointed out to me the other day by a loyal reader…on going over the same basic themes: loss and yearning. I, of course, leapt to my own defense—I find myself doing that a lot—, rationalizing that since the blog’s purpose is to spread out my thoughts like coffee beans on a drying tray, a disproportionate number of those thoughts are about loss and yearning. I’m sure it must seem at times that I have my eye on doing the role of Pagliacci in some amateur production: presenting a brave front to hide a breaking heart, but the truth is far less melodramatic. I’m really quite content and happy with my life. But that doesn’t keep me from wishing things were different, or that I could go back to spend some time with those whom I’ve loved through my life.

And it seems this very entry is turning into just what I was talking about in the “planning ahead” department. Knowing I had to have a blog for the morning, I started this before noon. Got the first two paragraphs done and then, knowing I had lots and lots of time, I let the siren song of something or other distract me, and off I went in search of it. It is now time for the evening news and since I never write after 5:30…a long-standing if self created “rule”…that means whatever I don’t finish now I’m going to have to finish in the morning.


I titled this, when I assumed I had plenty of time to plot it out, “Much Ado About Nothing,” but didn’t realize how accurate it would be until 1) I found myself facing the possible necessity of doing just that yet again if I wanted to get this blog done, and 2) I was sort of saved by the bell when I heard a segment on the evening news about the fact of the toy drives suffering this year because of all the toy recalls. I was surprised, when I heard it, to experience a flash of anger. It took me a minute to track it to a memory of my days in L.A. One year, several gay bars in the San Fernando Valley got together to collect toys for the Toys for Tots program primarily sponsored at the time by the Marine Corps. When the bars had gotten together all the toys they’d gathered, they contacted the Marines to ask where they should deliver them. They were informed the Marines would not to accept the toys because they were being donated by faggots. Toys? From Faggots? For Our Kids? No Way! I don’t know if their attitude has changed over the years, but I’d hope so. But every time I think of that—which, fortunately, I seldom do—, my blood boils.

Because I love words, and my mind is always so active, finding something to say out of nothing in particular comes almost naturally. But I do wish I could be better at saying something that means something.

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