The Payoff

I’ve just wrapped up what I deem the end of Vol. One of the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante. I’m certainly not done writing, but this is a good place to pause and then begin again once I’ve regrouped. There were laughs, head shakes, and some tears. By the end, I’m sure there were many tears.

And so to offset the Kleenex usage like some Al Gore enthusiast looking to offset their carbon footprint, I give you: The Payoff.
Consider this a reward for sticking it out and suffering alongside your favourite dilettante (can you imagine a time before you had a favourite dilettante???)

I thank you all for reading, whether you have devoured every sticky morsel I set before you, or whether you only popped in for a quick in and out from time to time.

Special thanks to three special ladies who have become a daily source of support (which sounds as if they were a really expensive underwire bra — and I’m not going to lie, darlings, if I had to describe these three, the words lacy, racy and sexy would be used — they’re not some $20 Wal-Mart specials, let me tell you) and have made me laugh and challenged me to write better, and made me cry with their generous praise. If I had friends like them in Meatspace, I’d never write at all. But I’d probably be drunk most of the time, so maybe that’s a good thing. Boundaries are good.

I’m speaking, of course, of Hannah Sears, whose blog “Vers Les Etoiles” has so many good stories, you could just park your browser there permanently and never get bored. And then there’s Katie Sullivan, who came out of nowhere to be a powerful cheering section for me, always making me lose my doubts that anyone would bother taking the time to read my often verbose tales. And then there’s the pixie, Jennie Darling Saia, whose  poetic heart is only matched by her love for the actual craft of writing. The combination makes for writing that is not only passionate, but has had all of the fat trimmed away — which is probably an odd thing to say to a self-professed feminist. She’s probably going to come back to this with something like “I find the physical metaphor of surgically removed fat offensive — as if my writing were some sort of gullible female who feels the need to improve her already perfect body to fit the impossible standards of some patriarchal tyrant.”

No, she probably won’t say that… I was just showing off my fluency in Steinemese.

Of course there are others (I’m looking at YOU, Andra Watkins) that make time for me — and really, if you think about it like that, it’s really special. You owe me nothing. Who am I, and why should people make time for what I write? When I consider this, I am incredibly moved when people take the time to read, even more so when they come back again and again. So thank you, all of you. When I first started writing, it was 100% for me. I just wanted to laugh at my own stories (what can I say? I’m a bit of a narcissist) but now, as much as I write for myself, I have become aware that you are sitting out there — maybe not the thousands I aspire to — but there are a few of you, doing your own things, that stop what you’re doing, if only for a few moments, to read what I have to say. And that’s just fucking amazing, if you’ll pardon me saying it so crassly.

Ah yes — the Payoff — I’d nearly forgotten. Hiphopopotamus vs Rhymonocerus by Flight of the Conchords. It’s just really funny.  And after all the sad, I thought I should give you some happy.

Also, there’s a line in there that reminds me of you all (no, not “sometimes my lyrics are sexist, but you lovely bitches and hoes should know I’m trying to correct this”).

“other rappers dis me, say my rhymes are sissy

why? why? why? why? Be more constructive with your feedback, please.”

Now tell me that last part doesn’t resonate with you all just a little bit?

(Feedback welcome!)


6 responses to “The Payoff

  1. It’s lines like this that keep me coming back: “if I had to describe these three, the words lacy, racy and sexy would be used — they’re not some $20 Wal-Mart specials, let me tell you).” I’m thinking of adding it to my resume.

    I vaguely remember the times before I had a favourite dilettante and they were dark, dreary, and full of words that did not use “u” when they should.

    Reading your work has made me think—but in an enjoyable way, and that, truly, is something to be very, very proud of.

  2. I don’t think I have enough fingers to count the ways I love you. In terms of addictive writing, you deal the really good shit, free of charge. You rebooted my creativity with your gorgeously supportive praise of my poetry, causing me to write more of it in a stretch than I have since I was 16. And then, to top it off, you thanked *me* (now that’s just back-asswards) in words that simultaneously made my heart blush, my lips giggle, and my husband says, “Oh, she GETS you.” And of course you do – you both referenced Gloria and put my single favorite Conchords song in this post (my love for it is only closely rivaled by “Business Time”).

    I didn’t know what the frack “dilettante” meant before you sashayed in. For making this little corner of the internet oh-so-much-more colorful, feisty, and friendly, I give you ALL the pretty bras:

    …but try to add “u” to my “o”-only words and I’ll cut you.

  3. As a new follower of your blog, I want to thank you for the few, sticky morsels of your work I’ve tasted-as well as your fluent Steinamese. Despite your acerbic snark, this post is a sweet and funny tribute. You have a gift for direct and powerful writing. I look forward to more.

    • Welcome, darling! Mi casa es su casa. I have a tab called “The Sordid Tale So Far…” that is basically a fridge full of leftovers, the majority of which should still be fresh — help yourself.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  4. Helena!!!! Thank you – I can’t help but love your writing, and as for the cheering, well, don’t tell anyone, but I used to be a cheerleader, in the 7th grade! 😉

    I am so pleased to be counted among the racy, sexy and lacy – and so pleased to be among those who read your work. It is excellent and frankly, I get as lost in your blog as I do a wonderful book I don’t want to end.

  5. I hope your break won’t be long, Helena. I enjoy seeing you. I work from home, and my blogging friends are my water cooler. I don’t know what I’d do without you people.

    I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. The key to having others care about you is caring about them. Giving more than you get. Reading more than others read you. I hope I make everyone feel special when I laser my focus on them, because they ARE special. I give you that nugget because you seem to understand it inherently. I wish someone had told me that in my early days of blogging, because I’d be a lot further along than I am.

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