In the last month I have received some positive feedback on my memoirs, Half-Assed. Thank you to those who have read it, but special thanks go to two particular readers who are actually characters in it. I would even contend that they are integral characters. They did not know they were in the book when they started reading it, and I can only imagine their reactions once they came to their parts in the story.
They are both women I was involved with in some way. One name I barely changed and the other I didn’t change at all. I revealed intimate details, objectified them physically, passed judgments, assailed character and assumed motives. I was like a scorned lover venting into the pages of a diary. I never stopped to think that anyone in my book might actually read it one day. That was a problem for another time. Well, the chickens have come home to roost. Some of them, anyway. There are more out there.
Just as I wrote this I got a message from a third woman. I am not lying. The instant I typed “there are more out there” I received a message from an ex-girlfriend, also an integral character in the book. Okay. That’s fucked up. I haven’t read her message yet, and now that I think of it, I did not change her name either.
Let me arrive at a point.
Once I sent this blog and my memoirs out publicly I had a major crisis of conscience. I took people’s private lives and made them public, without asking permission. Plain and simple. I don’t care how legal it is. It’s a small form of art, if you’d even call it an art. It’s petty, tabloid journalism. I felt like a complete scumbag for doing it.
When these two (now three) women wrote me (let’s call it “fan mail”) I immediately had to take a shit, the same psychological Crohn’s response I always get when I realize I fucked something up and then shift into instant panic mode. I was afraid to read their messages. I knew they would call me a coward and an asshole and a fucking low-life piece of shit.
I think you already know that’s not how this story ends. I won’t go into details, but I was surprised at all three of the reactions I got from these women. What I got from their feedback was understanding…even some contrition. (I also got major props on my writing, but that’s an incendiary benefit right now). What’s more, I got a greater respect for people in general, that there are some in this world (like these three women) who understand the past is in the past, that people grow, and that perception is a transitory thing, constantly evolving, and that my perception is only my perception, filtered with my own bullshit. I am not on a high horse handing out indictments; I am writing my stories from the bottom of a hole, looking up in admiration at all the people I’ve been fortunate enough to have in my life.
There are people out there, though, who are just assholes. Not me, and none of you, but they’re out there. Trust me. The chick from “All Girl Band”…yeah, she was an asshole.
I’m pretty sure I’m right about that one.
Christmas Eve, 2014.
Daniel Pellegrini is a recovering drug addict with an aggressive form of chronic bowel disease. That means he can't take painkillers after undergoing rectal surgery. He's here to show you just how beautiful life is.
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