And I keep looking at it and reading it over and over and I have a distinct decision to make before I release it.
The whole intention behind writing “Will Knit For Food” was to talk about how I ended up homeless, and how I ended up knitting a teddy bear to get me out of that mess. In order to write the book, I went back through my journals (yes, before I blogged I wrote constantly by hand in journals), and then my later blogs to put the whole story together. As I was reading, I kept thinking what to put in, what to leave out. And why? There were some issues I discussed that I felt I just didn’t have the guts to put to press without hurting people….including myself.
Allow me to make this statement before you go on: some of them DO deserve being hurt. But, others don’t. There are particular situations that people ask me about, and in order to answer them honestly, I have to evade the truth, to protect someone else. But, the more I read this manuscript, the more I feel…..what needs to be said, hasn’t been said.
I decided to transcribe the book from my journals and my blogs, so that you could read (as was happening) what was happening to me AS it was happening, rather than a moment of narrative hindsight. And I found myself allowing some moments to be omitted. Yet, the more I read it, the more I saw this gaping hole. This huge admission of denial that was being left out. The dots weren’t being connected, issues were being unattended to. Why didn’t your family help you? And when they did, why did it take a year for them to help? And instantly, you had a complete dismissal of your father, that you cut him out quickly and refused any contact ever again. You spent so long building a relationship with him that you enjoyed and one day you refused his last name? And that his wife proclaimed to you with enjoyment, “your father is leaving you a dollar in his will.” Why I hadn’t seen my sister, nor heard from her in 16 years, and that she arrives one day in Savannah…..for a very long and heartfelt talk about our past. Our collective past of abuse.
“I lost my job, then lost everything and ended up homeless.”
No, there was more to it than that. A lot more. Molestation, being an embarrassment to my mother, being exiled and shunned to keep me quiet. And when I was reading my work, the dismissal of charges so deep and damnable that would have sent someone to prison, were let go….And I couldn’t help but think that my own dismissal of such madness, of such anger, of such offense, was helping to perpetuate a horrid thing. By not admitting to what happened, I was allowing it to remain…..like they had.
You’re not supposed to talk about such things….
So, I read the original manuscript, then read the one leaving out some very important moments. And some part of me says the reason this book took so long is because I truly feel anguish over wondering if I should say everything….or just go ahead and let it go. Because you know, once I do, there is no going back. I can’t take it back once I tell everything.
But, what did I have before? Nothing…..not much of anything. And in some respects, it was my desire to protect someone else’s social standing that kept me quiet…..
I wanted your advice because I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. I wouldn’t even be alive. But, I have to confess, even with the urgings of close friends like Kara (whom I trust more than anyone) that say, “you don’t wanna do this, Gregory…” that I feel I have to. She and I have had VERY long talks about this book, and she is adamant that I don’t proceed. Because she feels in my heart, I wouldn’t truly hurt anyone on purpose….and that this book would.
But, some part of me says this whole journey won’t have meant anything, ANYTHING, this story of mine won’t be ANYTHING real or genuine or RIGHT if I don’t say what needs to be said.
This life of mine would be a momentary incident in some monster’s life….