First Posted 30-Apr-2015
Il n’y a pas de nouvelles histoires. You can skip this blog post and go watch “Misery”. It’s pretty much the same thing. Though, “Misery” is better than this post. Moving on, if you read this blog regularly then an “us” can grow out of the words here and your relationship to them. This is natural and good. It is also troublesome because that relationship between my words and you is different from the relationship I have with them as I write them. The “Alan” you know from these blog posts is a third fiction created in living with what I write. It is me and it isn’t.
If you have that fanboy/fangirl crush going on and believe that the man and his words are the same and so finding me and hoping to grow that crush into something more . . . you may not like what you find. My words are never late for dinner. They don’t fart or stink up the bathroom. They don’t sweat. They always eat what you like and somehow know those unspoken givens you have from growing up that I don’t know about. Like always turning the handle on the fry pan to the right because Momma always did it that way. My words will never drunk dial you at 3am and tell you how hot s/he is and how good the sex was. [Maybe they would. It’d make a great story.] My words will never argue with you over important things like squeezing the toothpaste from the middle. My words listen well, respect your choices, don’t judge you . . . Well, maybe they do. This is your crush on my words, not mine.
My aunt wrote me a long e-mail deciding that I was still hurting. She knows me from these words. The portrayal of me you could get from what is here isn’t the full picture. Her image of me is an us of her and these words. She has her own challenged relationship with the Methodist Church. Her diagnosis of the “us” in this space is that I could thrive if I had a big argument with God and free myself of their dictates. There is an unspoken assumption that I am trapped in a cage of Christ’s making and if I escaped I could be happier. It is amusing. I should emulate Jacob and wrestle with God. I can find freedom in shunning Jesus and the church. I’ll have to add it to the things my elders say along with my Dad’s, “Jesus was a Communist.” Have no fear, though. I’ve been a Webb for 55 years. I’ve dealt with their odd pronouncements my whole life. These declarations used to piss me off. Now they just make me laugh.
If you are going to break through the fourth wall and join me on this stage be prepared to have your illusions crushed. I am my words. I am also other things not as warm & fuzzy as my words. I toss & turn through the night. I get up at least once a night to pee. I obsessively squeeze the toothpaste from the end of the tube. I think the toilet paper roll goes in the holder so it rolls off the top. I believe the Nicene creed. I have pushed someone out of my house at 3pm on a Sunday when she didn’t have any place to go and all the relevant services would be closed until 8am on Monday. I am a Webb, so that stubbornness, that arrogance, perhaps diminished, is still there. You are having a crush with my words. The man who wrote them is more complicated and difficult.
If you cross the proscenium onto the stage with me you become another player in this performance. You become a public figure. I do write about the people in my life. I try to change details and names to protect people I care about. I also don’t post everything. Some stuff needs to stay private. Some stuff also isn’t that interesting. Still, a fan who decides to step on to this stage with me can expect to become part of the story told on this blog. Get used to showing a little of yourself here. Not cool with that? Stay out there in the audience and support the blog from the house. There is an us that isn’t fan creepy. It is honest and healthy. It also lets this space be the odd-duck that it is. It is the us we enjoy as followers of the way. This is a place to be “not of this world.” It is a place where the oddity, the strange story, the controversial opinion, can lead to living as a testimony to the resurrection kingdom. It’s not the us my aunt would have me be. All good, though. I’d rather be crazy for Christ than just crazy.