Remember when we were happy?
Less than three weeks ago I was in Las Vegas, which may as well have been another lifetime. Like, can you even imagine wearing lipstick right now? Dude. I didn’t even change my underwear today. But three weeks ago I was wearing a red mini dress practically up to my crotch. I drank eight shots of rum and then went to a magic show. I spent $95 to eat at a buffet (oh my god, so scary now), where I had five mimosas before the eight shots of rum. There were distant rumblings of coronavirus. My friend’s husband texted and said bring Purell back to New York because it’s sold out everywhere in the City. We laughed a little uncomfortably about that, and then went about our business rolling dice and smoking cigarettes and letting our tits hang out all over the strip like a bunch of old hookers. We were carefree, blissfully unaware, and genuinely fucking happy for a moment there.
I miss that so damn much.
It was so incredibly good to just turn off my real life for a little while and pretend that all of my very serious problems with this divorce do not exist. To pretend that the entire world, literally, was not about to come to a crashing halt. But from the moment I got on the redeye to come home and saw people wearing masks and wiping down the seats on the plane with Clorox wipes, that blissful carefree feeling started to fade. The trip back home to New York represents the clear delineation in my mind between before/after. I never got that feeling back since.
In some fucked up way, it feels like I had no right to that kind of joy. I was borrowing it from another time, from a person I once was, and I always was going to have to give it back. It was a pretty dream, but it wasn’t mine to keep.
This week I asked myself, how the fuck can I keep writing this newsletter about my divorce when people are fucking dying? I mean, I hope the answer is that I can? That the distraction from all the shittiness is somehow worth it?
Which is to say, if you can’t read this right now, I understand completely. If you think I should shut the fuck up for a little while, I understand that, too. I’m definitely considering it. I guess I will take it week by week, like everything else.
In the meantime, I decided that this is the last Sunday night newsletter I am going to be sending out for the time being, and I’m sending it to everyone. I usually send an extra letter on Sundays to paid subscribers only, but it feels weird right now to do that. And I feel like I would like to say less right now, and maybe concentrate on saying it better. I hope that’s ok. So for now I am cutting down to one per week, on Fridays, for everyone.
And as long as I stay healthy, I’m going to try to use my time when I’m alone and my kids are with my ex to write things that aren’t about my divorce. I haven’t been doing enough of that, and I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands.
This past year has fucked with me in such a life-altering way, and I’m still working really hard to get steady again. I’m not there yet. And this impending long isolation is really triggering a lot of horrible feelings from what I went through this past year. For nine months I lived like a prisoner in my home with my horrible ex in the basement. He was constantly recording me, or writing down anything I said in a little notebook. I went almost completely silent except for trying to keep up with parenting my kids. I couldn’t see friends. I couldn’t have a drink. I lived in daily terror of what he might catch me doing and how it would play out in court. Those fears are still very much alive and real, but I had a moment of reprieve after he finally got out. Being stuck inside my home again, isolated, is bringing it all back up to the surface.
But despite all that, there is one thing I have figured out. When it feels like everything is out of my hands, and terrible, and nothing goes the way I want it to, the one thing I can control is what I make from it all. I started putting out this newsletter. It’s a small thing, but Christ, it helped. And now, while I’m trapped in my house and my kids are away, and I’m watching helplessly as the world sputters by uncontrollably, I’ll try to continue making. I hope that maybe it’s the start of a book, because I can’t think of what else I’m supposed to do with all this. We’ll see.
I’m not linking to a regular song today like I usually do. Instead, here’s me, singing my fucking heart out in Las Vegas three weeks ago like a gloriously ecstatic idiot. Please note the man and woman making out directly in front of the stage at the beginning of the video, which hahaha, but also it’s a little like watching a scene from another planet now, isn’t it? Anyway, I hope this makes you laugh because lord knows we all need it.
And I mean, if you get to belt out one anthem while you’re wobbling on the precipice of the end of the world, Keep On Loving You is the choice I would make
That’s not gonna change.
Ps. Listen to The D-Train, The Playlist, a soundtrack for a shitshow.