May 04, 2008

Please, Pee on Me Some More

For a very short period of time, I dated an artist in New York who was extremely depressed. After a few days with him, I started to walk around in my own hazy gray daze. This made him happy. "I'm glad to see you're not always so peppy," he chirped.

"It's you," I thought miserably. "You're sucking all the air out of the room."

As you can imagine, this was an abbreviated relationship. Because generally speaking, I’m an upbeat person. But it's not as if I haven't lived through bleak times, not as if I never have a bad day.

In her review of I is for Indecent, Jean Roberta said, "Tyler describes disappointment in a light and witty way. No one seems to get seriously hurt. If any of her characters have dark nights of the soul, these happen off the page." This is intentional. I want my characters to be punished in all sorts of grueling, despicable manners—but I don’t want them to be punished for wanting to be punished. The real world is stark enough. I try not to add to the sadness in my work or on my blog.

Yet this has been a difficult week for me. I rarely vent here—stop snickering, Sommer—because I want my blog to be a pleasing place to visit. If I rant, I want to rant about something specific, like the bondage-spiked book writer comment in the L.A. Times.

But this week...let me tell you about this week. Last night, sitting on the sofa and staring into space, I realized that this week left me feeling like a public urinal. Everyone seemed to want not a piece of me, but to piss on me. And although that image might appeal to a few (ahem), I only wound up feeling sodden. What's bizarre to me is that as each person whipped out their unit (or pulled down their knickers), not one seemed to pause to think that I might have other things going on in my life.

Like what?

Like the suicide of a close friend’s father-in-law. (A friend I’ve known since I was three. Whose wedding I was in. Who is almost a sister to me.) Like learning that a family friend has a terminal illness. Like struggling through business issues. Like consoling a devastated buddy about her break-up. So many different phone calls in my real world to keep me up spinning—that when these emails arrive, I don’t know what to say. They have all been just me-me-me. "I’m upset about this." "You failed at that."

And you know what? I’m a nice person. I send care packages to strangers. I do my best to make sure the books I put together are pretty and sexy and dirty—that I include a slew of new authors in each collection. I have my own Trollop Salon to promote writers and artists I want people to like as much as I do, a safe little virtual gallery where the drinks are always free. My goal is to put out positive energy—as ridiculous and New Age-y as that may sound.

And then, just for example, some annoyed idiot is going to write to me because of a kerning issue?

Fuck me.

Whenever I post anything like this, I receive a slew of emails saying, “Are you writing to me? Is it me?” And I’m sorry to cast so broad a net and worry people without need. But rather than post fluffy bits as I’ve done all week, I thought I’d peel back a little and let you see the girl behind the curtain. And damn—I know some people will be relieved. Just like the artist I dated. Some people will be thrilled to find out that I don’t perpetually have a smile stapled to my face.

But you know what? I dumped that artist.

I have said before that people shouldn't put words online (specifically on Amazon reviews) that they wouldn’t say to a person’s face at a dinner party. Well, if you saw my face this week, you probably wouldn’t have said much at all. Or maybe, just maybe you’d have asked me if something was wrong.

Most likely, I would have said, "I’m fine." But perhaps, if you’d asked just right, if you’d tucked your dick back into boxers or put your panties back on and offered me a drink, I might have sat on the stoop and told you.