So I’m in Australia, after a long journey from Laos that had its ups and downs. We’ll get to those later this week, but first let me stop and say how lovely it is to be here at McKay’s Pregnancy Resort and Spa. It’s sunny but cool, the dawn light is gilding the bank of clouds out to sea, and there are no roosters. Oh, and the shower is kick ass.
My parents, despite some teasing, seem quite happy for me to base myself here for the next five months. They have, however, tried to impose one condition upon my stay.
“We’ll raise your rent,” my Dad said over ricotta pancakes and lattes after we stopped at a café on the way home from the airport yesterday morning, “if you don’t agree to one thing.”
As my rent is currently zero this was quite some threat.
“Oh,” I said, spearing a strawberry, “what’s that?”
“That nothing that is said by us in this house goes on your blog without prior permission,” Dad said.
“I know you think I reveal too much of my own life sometimes,” I said, “but have you seen me cross the line with Mike or someone else in ways that makes you particularly blog-shy? Do you really think my filters are that poor?”
Well… no, they admitted reluctantly. They couldn’t think of any particular examples right then, but they remained wary nonetheless.
In the end, as Dad went to pay for breakfast, I said I’d consider it. But between you and me I just don’t know if my artistic integrity can accept such fetters. Nor do I understand exactly what are they so afraid of.
Well, actually, now that I pause to think about it, perhaps they’re worried that I’ll reproduce conversations like this one.
8:30pm last night. Mum, Dad, and I are sitting around sipping Milo and watching television.
“How long is your visa valid for for this trip?” My mum asked while fast-forwarding through commercials.
I took a sip and tried to make some sense of this. I failed.
Then Mum laughed.
“Oh,” she said. “I forgot. You have an Australian passport, don’t you.”
And some people wonder why I set out several years ago to write a memoir with the initial aim of untangling my deep-seated issues around the concept of “home”.
Speaking of the memoir, it should be ready to go to my agent within the next week (wheeee!). Speaking of home, I miss Mike and Zulu terribly already, but I am lucky indeed to have another home on this side of the equator. And speaking of crossing the equator, more on that later this week.
Writers and bloggers, how do you deal with this issue of writing about the living (particularly those you’re living with)? The rest of you, do you think I should agree to Mum and Dad’s request?