The Black and Blue Swans of Spring

Lately every time I want to write you I find myself writing my book instead. I need to finish it eventually, and why not now? is my basic thinking, and it’s solid, you can’t deny that. Especially since I feel like everyone and their sister is now involved in this process–that is, ever since I revealed my broke and broken underbelly and almost all of you were awfully nice about it.

Time is money, don’t you know. And more than that: money is time. Meaning when I have free time it doesn’t feel free at all. Now I really feel that I should be working.

When it was raining all the time and we New Yorkers felt like we were on some sort of dystopian Noah’s Ark–which, I’m sorry, the jury’s not out yet on whether we aren’t–it was easy to just keep working and working. But now that spring is actually behaving like spring again, I have to devise all sorts of tricks to keep myself on the straight and narrow.

Not that my book is especially narrow. Or straight.

So while I’m penning you this postcard I’m lounging on a blue velvet chaise lounge that I’ve pulled over to a bedroom window already entrusted with a tiny loveseat comprised of two white pleather cubes. Into this nook I’ve also tossed lots of pillows and afghans in various soft blues. All this robin-egg coziness has been excavated from resale shops because, oh, how we New Yorkers benefit from others’ dashed dreams. Also others’ Marie Kondo-ing–nothing has sparked so much joy as when everyone and their sister started discarding what didn’t spark them joy, the thrifting has never been so good.

Anyway my point–and I do have one, to quote the cozily middle-of-the-road Ellen DeGeneres–is I’ve really created a nook that feels both in- and outdoors in which to write to my heart’s content. This takes the edge off writing a section of my, uh, nonfiction novel that entails teen-aged eating disorder, drug abuse, Kavanaugh-style rape.

Ain’t it handy to have a sitting Supreme Court judge who also serves as a sexual assault shorthand?

What strange work I’ve chosen–as if it were a choice at all. Mother May is springing all over the place, charismatic even at her crabbiest, and I’m slogging through the bleakest hours of adolescence, when my magic backed up on itself and the only way out was through its darkest channels.

I miss you. More than that, if you don’t mind my saying, I miss seeing people in person. K has been all over the globe except Williamsburg, the Legend has faded into a memory of a memory (which is to say a ghost, not fuckable even in my fantasies), and my bed’s been empty so long that I’m starting to forget everything I didn’t like about sharing it. If I hadn’t had so many beloved visitors recently–all of whom have been happy to spring for oysters and pretty drinks–I’d be beside myself.

For there’s nothing to shore me as I write into this disenchanted forest except spring itself and the good will I only recently discovered all around me. You’d think I’d have known about this collective kindness before now, but it seems I really am a method writer. As long as I required the isolation I was re-authoring, I was going to succumb to it. And just like the first time around, it’s the revelation that no one’s really a stranger that’s saving me now.

Here I am, prattling on and on about my work as the country slips ever-deeper into a Handsmaid’s Tale, but I’m fairly sure sticking to my agenda is the best I can do right now. Writing about how I transcended my private American Horror Story may offer breadcrumbs to other black and blue swans.

Or at least, that’s how I rationalize my work now that I accept I’m part of a We.

Which is to say: this beggar lady is now accepting applications, though she reserves her right to choose. Only the best crumbs need apply.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy