I’ve been thinking that maybe I should write a biography. Everyone’s done one, so why not me?
Problem is, I got nothing to write about.
My father wasn’t a twitchy junkie, or my mother a lady of the evening. They didn’t beat me, starve me, chain me to a bolt in the basement, or lock me in a closet. They didn’t grind lit cigarettes out on my naked flesh, didn’t score my back with a whip. The house wasn’t strewn with trash and feces, and I never had to scrounge through the cracks in the couch, or lick crumbs from the floor, for something to eat.
Mom did once send me to my aunt’s house for the weekend so she could give away my dog, which was, you know, traumatic – I mean it was my dog – and her excuse was that Rusty jumped up and removed a piece of her shoulder when she tried to swat me. Other than that, my childhood was pretty much normal.
Which pretty much disqualifies me for writing a memoir. To chronicle your own life these days, you need to come from a background where the people you live with have no teeth and struggle with addition … or addiction, take your pick. You also have to be struggling with depression, or alcoholism, the terrors of violence, angst, chain-smoking, the heartbreak of psoriasis, or because your life sucked so bad you can barely stand under the weight of its suckiness.
But my life didn’t suck.
If not that, then what? Well, I would hope to make readers laugh a little, cry a little, let the clouds roll by a little (cue Bette Midler music, please). I would hope to make them think deep thoughts that will help them cure cancer and heart disease, to inspire them to learn Farsi, ask that person they’ve admired from afar out on a date, talk to the animals, master the ukulele, become famous for their origami, commit to memory the Talmud, navigate the Pacific in a canoe, and swim with great white sharks while nursing a cut finger. By the time they’d finish reading, I believe that answers to the great mysteries of the universe will be revealed, including:
- Where the apple goes when it doesn’t fall far from the tree
- Why the grass is always greener on the other side
- How actions speak louder than words
- Why you can’t please everyone
- Why bliss is blind and love is ignorance (No wait; switch that.)
- Where’s the beef
- The inability to judge a book by its cover (Proved by the very fact that you actually paid good money for this one.)
- Why what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (Really? Cut off your legs and see how strong you are.)
- And, why there’s no time like the present
Okay, maybe not, because let’s face it, there really is no answer as to why you can’t please everyone.
Much of what they’d read would be true. I mean, completely true.
My mother constantly accuses me of making things up.
“That’s not true,” she’ll say. “You’re making it up. You’re always telling stories.”
Yeah, ma? Tell me then. Where’s Rusty?