Friday, December 11, 2009

Better Writing

You know I write this blog with a little of this and a little of that. I try to do it well - try to tell the little stories about myself, my life, my kids. I have, I think, upon occasion nailed it with a nice bit of wordsmithing (though I doubt I've done so recently) and I've been satisfied, but there are days when I just want to throw my hands up in the air and chuck it. One of those moments was this morning when I read a recent post on Sweet Juniper. It was simply dazzling and wonderous, so much so that I am rather awed by its beauty and honesty.

If you want to read a really good blogger, this is your stop. Read as he takes a funny, "god, how kids can kill you" tale and makes it so much more without ever cheating it for effect.

A portion (his daughter threw up on his laptop the night before visiting family for Thanksgiving):

In the morning the laptop is dead.

Overnight the acids corroded something essential. My brain can't help working through the justifications and rationalizations of replacing it. I hate nothing more than spending money. I mope for a bit on the couch and my daughter comes over and snuggles up to me and sits there for a while, vaguely patting me on the head and singing me a song. It was quite touching. And it was time I would have ordinarily spent typing...

...We keep our eyes on the kid every time she makes a sound, knowing that the only way this could get any worse is if she fills the car with that sickness. It turns out she's already over it, but when we get to Pittsburgh no one's there for dinner because my wife's stepbrother has overdosed on heroin and everyone is with him in the ICU. When his mother returns she sits with my wife in the kitchen over cold stuffing and an uneaten turkey and I listen to her fall apart, a bit drunk, her son in a coma with machines breathing for him, at a loss for what to do with the child she found choking on the vomit in his lungs and a needle still in his hand.

* * * * *

It's just a goddamn computer, says the universe. You complain to the universe that she could have done it a few steps away; her aim could have been a bit to the right; she could have skipped the strawberries altogether. The universe gently presses your lips together, shushes you. You could have put the computer down for once.

You watch your children sleeping in the car on the way back home. Your brain returns to the $1700 emesis. Years ago something like this might have made you angry. If your college roommate had done it, you might never have forgiven him. But how could you be mad at her? You might as well be mad at the wind.

They will change you in ways you'd never expect. They will puke all over everything and it will do nothing to change the fact that you would tear out your own heart to see them go unhurt.

The lingering odor of dried vomitus. You never knew love could smell this bad.

But read the whole thing.
He really is that good. I hope he knows that.

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