The Death of Jezebel
Jezebel, one of the original authors back in the Dirtyfreaks days, returns!
Most people who read this page probably don’t remember Jezebel. At first, she was simply the pseudonym I chose so I wasn’t using my real name when I posted on what used to be DirtyFreaks.com (GreatSociety.org was the solution for those who wanted to waste time at work on dirtyfreaks.com, but had anything that smacked of pornography blocked at their day jobs…which I am guessing, is most people). As that first year unfolded, though, she took on a life of her own. While my neatly constructed world started to unravel – along with all naive my plans for my immediate future – Jezebel became an outlet for all the raw fear and anger and bitterness that I that I kept bottled up so it wouldn’t explode all over my “real” life. She was the ugly, mean-spirited, raunchy, unabashedly sexual part of me that I never really knew existed. And she was allowed free reign on Great Society.
Whenever something pissed me off in real life, I pulled out the gleaming, sarcastic Jezebel Sword and sliced it to pieces in what I imagined at the time was a funny, fictional manner. I used her as a springboard and a window for looking at the world in a completely different way. Anything I would normally forgive in real life was roundly punished by Jezebel on the page. Any affront, real or imagined, was avenged by my fish-net stocking, thigh-high boot clad literary savior. She was fun. Writing as Jezebel was like riding a raging bull or a runaway horse. I literally never knew where she was going to take me, or what might be trampled in the process. I loved it. I emotionally vomited all over the page and tossed it up without a second glance like every bit of it was worth reading. At her best, she was worth reading. Funny and sarcastic, sexy and unexpected; when Jezebel was sober she was fun to hang out with. But ultimately, she was one of those people who shat all over Great Society looking for an emotional purge. And by “Jezebel”, of course, I mean me. Nacho made a wise, wise decision when he took editing power from my shaking, often drunken hands.
So of course, when Nacho asked me to write a retrospective for the 10th anniversary of Great Society my immediate thought was to unlock the dungeon where I had been keeping Jezebel hidden away and have her come up with something appropriately inappropriate. I started three or four different pieces, trying to summon the spirit of Jezzy to come spill her raging vitriol over the computer. And she just wasn’t there. I think she’s dead. I think she bled to death on her own raging hatred. Or she died of some rare STD – she never was very good about safe sex.
Jezebel was an open wound – raw and bleeding – that I rubbed salt in just to make sure no one else did it first. Conceived in dissatisfaction, born in anger and hurt, Jezebel was my weapon for dealing with loss and grief. As I healed, her voice faded until she disappeared altogether.
I am a little sad that I never had the chance to say goodbye to her. I have a few half-finished pieces from her last days, but nothing that really summed up her contribution to my life in any meaningful way. The last thing I started was about my (now) husband…and it just wasn’t even Jezebel anymore. She was too happy, too content. She was using the same name, but all the bitterness that made her really fun to write had seeped away.
I sometimes wonder when I quit writing for Great Society. It happened pretty gradually. Unless I am re-writing history (and I might be) there was never a big emotional blow out or huge cutting of ties. Jezebel just left, and I felt like she was what had kept me coming back. I feel a little like I have lost a connection to my past and a big part of my history. But my life is so completely different now from what it was then that the girl who wrote all those crazy things doesn’t even feel like the same me. I have a daughter now – 18 months old and the most beautiful, sweet child. She is truly a light and teaches me every day what I am here on this earth for. I have another baby on the way. Trying to raise children with Jezebel haunting me would be less than ideal. I like having my own soul.
Yesterday, I made my way down to the prison where I thought she was living. It was empty. There was a dusty old laptop on the desk. A long-ago smoked cigarette in the ashtray. A broken bottle of tequila on the floor. There are no signs of a struggle. No body. Nothing to really suggest that she was ever here at all. I suppose that is a good thing. She served her purpose and made an appropriate exit – perhaps the only appropriate thing she ever did
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