Revealing deep dark secrets

Amy, who wields that Sharp Little Pencil wrote:

If you were a tree… oh, never mind.

I’ll tell you anyway. It’s a chestnut tree. In my neighborhood, I remember collecting horse chestnuts, which were inedible, because they were a pretty dark brown, and so smooth. I’d collect them for a while, and then dump them to pick new ones in the new season.

How about this: If you had one of those “shameful secrets,” would you speak out about it?

I only wonder because I write a lot about being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse (usually most women’s “secret” and a shame that can grow like a pustule in your gut) and my past drug use and my mental illness all the time. I get notes from folks saying, “I can’t believe you said that.” And yet, it gives me back my own power. I live life on my own terms and write what I want.

It’s difficult to say in the abstract. I wasn’t sexually abused. I tried cocaine once and didn’t like it; think of the scene in Annie Hall. Even marijuana, which was readily available in the 1970s, was something I could take or leave.

If I were to have become addicted to anything, it would have been pharmaceuticals. My father once gave me one of his sleeping pills, and it felt SO good, it scared me. I tend to avoid them for that very reason.

I’ve told about getting arrested and being briefly married 40 years ago. I’ve shared more about my parents because they’re both deceased. Haven’t told some other details about my life because it involves other people who are still alive. (My college ex-wife is still alive, too, but I figure the statue of limitations has run out.)

I WILL say that getting older has been rather liberating in this area. It’s a combination of the passage of time since some events, and my understanding of my mortality, which has generated a degree of freedom.

Blogging – and therapy – have set me free. Love your blog, Rog, and you are wonderful. Amy

Blogging has set ME free too. Love your blog, Amy, and you’re wonderful as well.
More Chris:

If you were a character in a book or a comic, what would your standard or symbol be?

A green peace symbol, maybe with some prongs at the end like a trident. Peaceful, but I have my limits.

I’ll ask this one like I asked Jaquandor: Have you ever fantasized about being a female character in a novel or a story?

Yes, and she really kicked butt.

Actually, any number of characters run through my brain. None of them are coherent enough to write down.

A little bit more specific question than “ask about racism”: have you mentioned the Cinna/ Hunger Games thing [to the Daughter]? She’s the right age for Hunger Games and I can say for me that struck me as a huge example of “Wow, racism has gotten complicated but is still lurking around behind people’s eyes.”

I haven’t watched/read Hunger Games. My sense, though, is that it’s too intense for her. There have been other things that were age-appropriate, but just terrified her.

To the specific question: I’ve seldom worried what the fanboy/fangirl base says about anything. (I used to sell comic books.) That said, I’ve long favored unexpected casting. If I were enough of a fan, I’d be watching that show Elementary with Lucy Lui, an Asian woman, as Dr. Watson to Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes.

3 thoughts on “Revealing deep dark secrets”

  1. I love Elementary, which is surprising because I didn’t think I’d like the show. I have not-and never will-read Hunger Games or see the movies. Stories about children killing children are disturbing to me.


  2. Roger, I’m flattered that you included my words and not at all intimidated or embarrassed, EVER, about sharing my story with others. I’m an open book – of course, lots of the pages are dog-eared, and the spine is a bit stiff, but that goes with the territory!

    I have not read Hunger Games and was reticent to see the movie for the reasons Lisa cited: The idea of young people pitted against each other in a game to the death is abhorrent to me.

    What I came to understand (thanks to daughter Riley, an endless source of inspiration and pop culture updates) is that the REASON for the Games has so much sociological and economic commentary, the Games make sense for that time, that setting. I found the movie to be fascinating but for adults only (Riley being 24, I can hardly argue).

    Elementary is somewhat intriguing but Lucy Liu’s character is sooooo dry and earnest, she has somewhat stereotyped as the cool, calculating Asian woman, and I was a bit offended by that, so I stopped after one episode.

    Thanks, as always, Rog, for some great stuff. And for me, Jeremy Brett remains the ultimate Sherlock, courtesy of the BBC! Amy


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