Monday, March 10, 2008

Story Time

There's a classic Looney Tunes cartoon called an "Itch in Time" where Elmer Fudd's dog falls victim to a hungry flea.

Dying to scratch, but terrified of being given a bath, the poor mutt sweats and trembles until he finally explodes and runs around the room howling like a loon and dragging his aching butt across the floor.

In the middle of this breakdown, the dog stops dead in his tracks, looks to the camera and says "I gotta cut this out--I could get to like it." And then resumes his conniption.

I thought of that cartoon after attending the Brooklyn Blogade yesterday in Kensington. This was a fabulous event, hosted by Joyce of Bad Girl Blog, and held at the Old Brick Cafe Lounge on Church Avenue.

Joyce came up with the brilliant idea of asking participants to read or show material from their blogs.

I was really impressed with the talent of the people in the group. There were excellent observations and descriptions, along with some fine short films and animation.

I brought two items with me, one funny, one not so funny. When it was my turn to read, I decided to go with the not-so-funny post, mostly because it was the shorter of the two.

The piece was called "We Bleed," a post I wrote in August 2005 about my father's first day at an adult daycare center.

I contrasted this with my first day at Brooklyn Technical High School when I was so terrified and my father was so supportive.

I had read this piece once before in public with no problem, but as I read about watching my father sitting down with the other seniors at the center, I started crying.

It was very embarrassing, especially since so many of the other bloggers had read such funny posts and here I was bringing everybody down.

I guess I was in a pretty fragile state of mind and I just wasn't aware of it. At one point, Brenda of Crazy Stable very kindly offered to read for me, but I thought I should do this on my own.

I finally got finished and stumbled back to my seat while my fellow bloggers gave me much appreciated pats and hugs. It really felt good being surrounded by such supportive people.

I've been weeping a lot lately, especially when I think of my mother.

Even though we're coming up on the sixth anniversary of her death, I still can't believe--or I refuse to believe--that she's gone.

I see her face, I hear her voice, and my eyes well up. I think my current situation has something to do with it--unemployed, middle-aged, disappointed, and very little on the horizon.

The fact is, my parents are gone; I can keep them in my heart, try to remember what they taught me, but I can't run to them for support or protection. I really am an adult--and if that isn't enough to make you start crying then nothing will.

So I am like Elmer Fudd's dog--crying and getting upset because I like it? I know I have problems with anger--I was cursing pretty heavily at the F train yesterday.

Crying can release pent-up emotions. It's a form of relief and it's only natural to seek relief when you're in pain.

When you shed tears, you're pretty much admitting that you've hit bottom and now you're going to start climbing back up. The fall hurts, but it always feels good to get up off the canvas.

I want to express my deepest thanks to my fellow bloggers for putting up with me. It was great hearing and seeing your fabulous work and next time I promise, I'm going to read the funny stuff.


Joyce Hanson said...

Rob, thanks for putting yourself out there and scratching your fleas in public. It was lovely.

Rob K said...

My pleasure, Joyce. Thanks for hosting such a fabulous event.

Now it's time for my bath!!

Eleanor Traubman said...

Rob -

Incredibly brave of you to show yourself in such an honest way.

I agree - crying is cathartic, and is a top notch way to heal from loss and hurt. Guys in particular get heavy conditioning to not show emotions. It's clear that you've figured out how to keep your humanity in tact.


Rob K said...

Thanks, Eleanor