Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Domestic Bliss

Wife is about to leave for a week to visit her family, leaving yours alone and running the ship. Unrestrained by spousal nagging and endless verbal abuse, I'm going to be "living large" and "do whatever the hell I please" because the "ball-and-chain" isn't around "to kick my ass."

Here are my top 10 disgusting habits that will come "out of the closet" as soon as Wife shuts the door:

1. Download copious amounts of Ron Jeremy video.
2. Leave tire-tracked undies on the floor, clean 'em in the dishwasher.
3. Smell the nasty parts; decide which clothes to wash.
4. Ted Nugent-a-thon!
5. Clean the toilet, especially the dirty brown film that attaches to the inside. Remove film by urinating on it.
6. Dust Bunny Olympics.
7. Pick, pick, pick my toes.
8. Drink white wine with red meat, red wine with chicken. (Really pushing it here).
9. Dinner: "Chomp-O Sugar Bomb Flakes."
10. Readjust myself anywhere, anytime, all the time.

Sound awesome or what? I'm taking reservations at the Hotel Bookfraud.

To say that Wife takes care of me is gross understatement; I'm the driver who never changes the oil, I'm the cook who never cleans the pot, I'm the surgeon who doesn't bother to scrub. Things kinda go to hell when she's not around -- not that Wife cooks and cleans (though she protests that she bears the burden of such tasks -- not true, I swear, baby!), but she has an eye out for my health, and makes sure I don't get into too much trouble. The better half thing and all that, and I am fortunate to have her.

I have known relationships quite different than the one I enjoy now, characterized by mutual selfishness that produced a great deal of drama, tears, and totally hot sex. The volcanic lovemaking was rather nice, though it came at a price. Not that this a commentary on my current love life. OK?

Living large

But it does bring up an interesting question for writers, and artists of all stripes. In what situation do we thrive? Can a writer in a normal, happy relationship create art, or does it have to be Sturm und Drang back at the ranch?

We could go through the pantheon of great writers and artists and get different answers, of course. Moving through the centuries, for instance: Shakespeare, kinda fucked up; Beethoven, really fucked up; James Joyce/Woolfe/Hemmingway/Faulkner etc., astoundingly fucking fucking fucking fuck fuck fucked up.

Then again, Nabokov had Vera, who rescued a draft of "Lolita" that Vlad had tossed into a fire. And I'm sure there are countless other artists who had a normal life at home. I just can't think of any right now. Everybody can list them in the comments section.

For my own self-interested purposes, I can say that having stability has indeed made me a better writer, for I do not spend my waking moments agonizing over the myriad problems at home. Plus, Wife kicks me in the ass when I feel sorry for myself. A good person to have around, that Wife.