Written by K., My wife, partner, lover, ardent supporter and needed critic --
In true Jhon fashion, he signed me up for this without actually asking my permission. It’s always so grand to put someone ‘on the spot’ that hates being anywhere near the center of attention. Well – in the “public center’ anyways – at home I like to be what is first and foremost on J’s mind.
I love that he calls me K and I call him J. It is something very ‘us’ – and should not be invaded upon by anyone else. To everyone else, I am Kara. Kara – with the first “a” being long and the second “a” being short. I would hate for anyone reading to have the wrong pronunciation of my name going through his or her mind. Yes, I am extremely territorial, hardheaded and opinionated.
What is it like being the ‘significant other’ of a writer? Hmm, well that seems to be too narrow of a question, as I cannot separate the writer Jhon from the rest of him. The title of ‘writer’ makes up who he is – just as does friend, husband, father, lover.
He does have those ‘things’ that only writers have – always carrying around a moleskin and pencil (has since I met him 11 years ago), scraps of papers, napkins, receipts filled with ideas, no book he reads goes unblemished of notes, idea and wandering thoughts. When he has a thought – he must put it to paper – no matter where or when – even mid-conversation (at which point I am shushed or a ‘wait” finger goes up.) Sometimes I am surprised that he waits until we’re done ‘recreating’ before getting out that little black notebook. I try not to be offended when that ‘thought’ he must just put to paper has nothing to do with the love making that just transpired.
A ‘must’ on our list when looking for a house to spend the rest of our lives in – was that it must have a room just for him to write in. Of course that room is more than just a place to write – it is a sanctuary to meditate, breathe, create, read, study, and sometimes watch Family Guy. It is where all of the typewriters are kept. He prefers to type the old – fashioned way, which is highly romantic, and sometime a bit on the loud side. I have only myself to blame for that as the first Birthday gift I gave him was a typewriter I rescued from a resale shop.
Jhon is inspired by everything around him – and sees things so differently from most – and this really comes through in his writing, music and art. He feels with such depths of his heart and soul - and is such a wonderful and good human being. His thirst for knowledge is astounding –and I don’t think it will ever be quenched. At any given moment he is in the middle of reading 2 or 3 books, several magazines, researching his latest obsession online, and of course keeping up with what you all are up to in the blogging world. I must admit that some of the blogs out there bug the hell out of me – and I don’t see the point of them really – other than being romance novel sort of entertainment or on the lines of hustler. I’ve never been a romance novel reader or an ‘adult magazine’ connoisseur – and the point of networking through such sites is – well a little beyond me. But sometimes one does have to stretch outside the box to become more recognized.
Of course, there are the times when Jhon is extremely hard on himself; does not like anything he’s written and can’t stand to read his own work any more. Aren’t we all our own worst critics? If we weren’t we would never strive to be better and continue to learn. I always try to be as supportive as possible. I think Jhon’s a positively brilliant writer – and I probably don’t tell him that enough.
I try to support – by keeping him well fed, well sexed, being aware of his needs – to know when to leave him the hell alone, and getting him a pair of clean socks everyday.
As his wife, the one who knows him best, I have the distinct honor of getting to read almost all of his work – and have read more than anyone else. I love having the chance to be his editor and agent. It takes me a while to digest and to really be able to comment – which I think, drives him nuts sometimes. But, it is an always-honest review of what he has written. It speaks volumes of our relationship that he is able to take criticism from me, and even advice on how maybe to change things.
Jhon’s love of learning is truly an inspiration for me to keep learning as well. It also inspires our son to love learning – it is wonderful that he already has such a love for the written word, writing his own poems and stories just like Daddy. Jhon is a renaissance man – with so many passions in this life. At times such a seemingly contradictory man, a Buddhist, a gun owner, an animal lover, a human rights advocate, a PTO Co-President. Well, I guess the the only contradiction here is ‘gun owner.” But, he also love knives, too. (I forgot Biker!)
This seems to have been a ramble of sorts – it’s always been very difficult for me to pinpoint my feelings about Jhon – they are so overwhelming – as I am so in love with him. He’s my best friend - and through everything we’ve been through over the past 11 years – nothing will ever come between us. Being a writer is just who Jhon is – has always been – since forever. He has overcome so many obstacles to get to where he is today – a very respected writer. It’s hard to believe that anyone could have ever told him that he was not smart enough – just goes to prove that our past is what makes us what we are today.
And on one final note – one of Jhon’s favorite stores in Chicago – right down State Street from the Art Institute happens to be Blicks. (We went there after our first trip to the Art Institute together.) I have been witness to Jhon’s wholehearted generosity more than once in the past years – and it always amazes me to be in the presence of such an Angel. He’s my Angel - and I would not be here without him. I only hope to be as good of a person as he is one day. Through his writing, I hope that his light will shine on you as well.