It’s 7:30 am Sunday morning, and I’ve been up for hours.
That I rose before dawn is not uncharacteristic. But I’d planned to sleep in this morning. To bask in a morning of quiet stillness, quiet comfort after returning from a wonderful week alone in the woods of Columbia County and jumping head-long into the clamor of New York.
I spent so much of this busy weekend activated by the presence of others—in sessions with clients, then walking and dining and bedding my beau—that today I was pulled out of sleep hours before dawn, the need to process my interactions more powerful than my need for rest.
Mae Sarton has a wonderful passage in Journal of a Solitude about shutting the door to the world.
Begin here. It is raining. I look out on the maple, where a few leaves have turned yellow, and listen to Punch, the parrot, talking to himself and to the rain ticking gently against the windows. I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my “real” life again at last. That is what is strange—that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone…
I find that last line less ironic than simply factual. Because I do not just absorb other people’s realities. They absorb me. For me to spend time in the presence of anyone is to climb inside them, so that I am regarding the world through their senses, processing information through their nerve-endings and brain synapses. Continue Reading →
Shoes—shoes lost, shoes gained, shoes lost. I’ve lost my own and don’t have another pair with which to safely exit this terrible claustrophobic party thrown by a celeb hostess in a gentrified section of Brooklyn. Others (the hostess’s assistant!) keep stealing my original pair, bringing me five more pairs that are impeccably beautiful and whisking them away as soon I get ensnared in another vapid starfucker conversation. We’re talking perfectly soft and shined loafers and boots by Prada, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Louboutin—God, labels seem so pre-Covid. I find myself longing for such refined empty luxury.
Vanessa Redgrave—even longer and blonder and more displeased than she seems on screen—turns out to be the hostess. Grand-dame sociopathy masquerading as cool calm collection. She sweeps and droops around, getting drunker and drunker on perfectly rendered martinis–lemon not olive–as her guests wax and wane. At one point there are people crammed into every corner of her too-white house. Someone does the math and declares it 2012 guests, which is a 1:1 ratio for every square inch of the living room. White furniture white rugs white walls white chandeliers. Her house is hoarder-stuffed but with the most beautiful things: Chagall paintings and Brancusi sculptures and 70s Dior so it’s hard to register the same disdain as if it were plastic angels from Home Shopping Club. More a mixture of envy and disgust and judgment that I meta-judge within myself. I feel as if I’m a poor kid in Newton again. I’m stuck because, oy, no shoes so end up sleeping on a very white couch, my red lipstick leaving a crime scene on a cushion. Continue Reading →