Friday, November 21, 2008

The Delete Button

Good morning everyone: It's about 4 AM here in Joshua and I got up thinking about a piece I put up on the blog last night. It was about being busted by my son Marco for peeing in a cup because the plumber was working and there was no water. I just thought maybe it sucked. So I looked at it and sure enough, it wasn't funny and it wasn't insightful and so forth, so I took it off.
And then, interestingly, I opened my email and there was a letter from a friend who'd read the piece and questioned why I would need to put that out there in public. The answer, of course, is that when I wrote it I thought it was something many of us have done at one time or another and so I thought it would strike a chord, and more than that, I thought it was written very cleverly and would make you laugh.
Well, that's the problem with blogs. At least this blog. I have no editor. I just have to go to sleep and see how I feel about a piece in the morning. Thank god for the delete button.
In the past couple of months I've probably taken off half-a-dozen pieces--or been smart enough not to post them when written. There have been a couple written in anger that would have exposed that side of me to you--which is fine and honest--but would also have left you all splooched with my anger--which you don't deserve--even though it wasn't directed at you all. There was one long piece about my having helped build a NYC strip joint when I was about 23--good story told so badly it came off like pointless idiotic showing off. Delete.
And a couple of others that I can't remember exactly but do remember waking up in cold sweats thinking: Oh my goodness! Did I actually write that????? as I raced to the computer to delete them.
Point of this piece, I guess, is to let you know that if you've read something one day and it's gone the next, you're not crazy. They just got dumped.
Writers have editors for a reason. They catch us when we fall and polish us when we're good.
Bloggers have nobody. And that means that it's not always the cream that rises to the top.
Have a great great day. And thanks for reading.
Peter G


Jorge Villacorta Santamato said...

Dear Mr. Gorman:

I really liked your article about fixing your plumbing and using a plastic cup to urinate.

It was very interesting to me because it provided information about the way some people use the utensils related to some organic functions.

The fact that you deleted the article is very informative, also.

I will try to read more of those texts that disappear later... .

Thanks for all your writing. It is plenty of valuable descriptions!

dodahdan said...

I never saw the original post. Now I'm left to wonder. A cup? Why not a bottle with a lid, or out the window, off the porch? Was this incident kept between you, Marco, and a few readers, or did you face Madelina over your choice of plumbing fixtures?
So many unanswered questions, and now we're just left to speak

Hagen Gilbert said...

Hi Peter,
So I think it was about the same day you posted your story abut the cup, I listened to an interview with the comedian Ricky Gervais. He recounted a story of when he used to live with his girlfriend in an apartment that had a shared bathroom for the whole floor at the end of the hall. He said when he'd have to take a leak in the middle of the night, he'd just use the kitchen sink. And his girlfriend would hear him doing it and say "Ricky, at least take the dishes out first!". My point is, is that a funny story is a funny story. Don't worry about what you should or shouldn't put out to the public's precious little ears. Screw em' if they can't take a joke:) And something I learned down in Peru was that when those little insecurity demons show up, saying your stories are bad or whatever,(I hear them all the time with my art) know that they only show up when the opposite of what they're saying is true. They feed on true ability and are actually reinforcing the fact that your story is probably a good one, just by them showing up. Now am I saying we don't all write a shitty story or make a shitty painting once in awhile? No, we do. I just try to make sure it's my heart telling me it and not those little guys, when I'm unhappy with my art. You probably know all this, but I wanted to share. Take care Peter, and Happy Thanksgiving!

John said...

Ah Peter my friend! I find myself performing the same faux pas with my mouth all the time, and those are much more difficult to delete!

I remember tapping a Rastafarian on the back of the head on a ferry headed for Jenaro Herrera and wishing I could delete that! ;)

Peter Gorman said...

And wasn't that a pain in the neck lessons to learn, Little john?
Ah, you're alright in my book forever, even if the Rastafaris look to do you in.....
Doubt it.
Peter G