“But Daddy, it’s Thanksgiving,” whined Lo.
“COVID Thanksgiving,” I reminded her.
“Exactly. All the more reason.”
“Lo, though I admire your generosity of spirit. . .”
“More like horniness of flesh.”
“Whatever. The fact is that this Thanksgiving isn’t going to be like Thanksgivings past.”
“I know, but maybe I could just. . .”
That, as they say, was that.
Lo had wanted to continue with her ‘lock-down panties-down’ frolics. Since the beginning of COVID she had been the goto girl for the brothers across the street, MILF Meri and her merry band of horny men, and Professor Robert Smith. For her, this was a reduction in her socializing and she was complaining about it. She envisioned a very thankful Thanksgiving Day meal with her as the main course.
But reality was not accommodating. COVID numbers were up. Though Lo likes it when things go up, this was not one of those things.
“So, it will just be the two of us?” she asked meekly.
“I’m afraid so. Am I not enough for you?”
“Oh, Daddio, you’re the world to me.”
“That’s more like it.”
“But you know, our blog always has higher viewing on holidays.”
“And that’s because so many people feel alone on the holidays.”
“And we help them to feel better.”
“So, maybe we could do something special for all of our fans.”
“I don’t know. You’re the creative genius. I’m just here to inspire.”
“That you do.”
I had been thinking lately about the phrase “a social art form.” I wonder, is every form of art social? I mean, there are a few outliers, like Emily Dickinson scribbling poetry in her bed for no one to read. Or Franz Kafka, who instructed his literary executor to burn all of his writings after his death. But these few notables are exceptions who prove the rule. Most, if not all art is created to be shared. In one way or another it is created for others.
Never had I really thought about that until COVID times struck and all the things that I had taken for granted were taken away from me: going to the movies, attending the theater, live music concerts, poetry readings, museums, art galleries, dancing! It has dawned upon me that ART IS SOCIAL! Yes, this blatantly obvious fact was hidden from my view because I am a rather solitary sole who is content to sit, like Thoreau, in his garret and write away the hours for my own entertainment. But, in the end, I have to admit that even these scribblings of a madman are a social art form. They live, breathe, and exist in the public sphere. If things were otherwise, I wouldn’t post them, they wouldn’t be published in books, you wouldn’t be reading this.
Perhaps writing and reading are less social art forms than performing in a rock band for thousands of people, but they are social activities none-the-less. And, as if this introvert’s idea of himself wasn’t turned upside down enough by this realization, then the fact that I write erotica rounds off the perfect circle for, of all the literary art forms, isn’t erotica the most social? I mean, erotica stems from the erotic — Eros, the god of desire and intimate congress.
So, maybe at heart, I am a social being after all and my art is also a social event rather than an artifact existing under glass tucked away in a hermetically contained vault for no one to see. Even the plethora of papers I have written that you have never seen and are not likely to see, are part of this social ecosystem because the mere mention of them puts them in play. Like J. D. Salinger’s unpublished works, you probably are more interested in that stuff than the published pieces. (Am I right?)
Understood this way, Lola and I are not so very different from one another. Though our relationship and my writing about it has played off of our counterpointal conflicts, it turns out that, on a deeper level, we are far more similar than I had suspected. She likes to express herself through her social art form — sex — and I like to express myself through mine — writing. Together, we make an incongruent pairing that is more harmonious than discordant.
“I’ve got it!” I said to Lo.
“For Thanksgiving this year, let’s do what Hermann Hesse did during the war.”
“What was that?”
“He sent books to prisoners of war. This is going to be a tough COVID winter. Everyone is going to feel like a prisoner. Starting on Thanksgiving and ending on December 10, why don’t we send a free copy of one of our books or audiobooks to anyone who asks? Can you picture it, books with your image on the cover being unwrapped all around the world on Christmas morning?!”
“I think that’s a wonderful idea!”
“Yeah. A tangible way to spread the love.”
“And we know how much you love to spread.”
“If only it could be more tangible.”
[For your free copy, write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org]