Watching, Reading, Worrying and…Cats. Mr. Wow Returns. (Don’t get excited—this is all silly stuff!)
Okay, I’ll give you the complain-y part of this first. Winter and spring were crap. I had another bout with “a touch of pneumonia” as I did last year. I just could not shake the coughing, sniffling and lethargy.
But…I recovered. Now it’s July and while I have not quite re-gained my old get up and go—which to be honest, was never a ruling passion anyway—I’m livelier. Not quite as corpse-like. Even during the lowest I kept reading in my compulsive way, watching TV in my manly channel-surfing way, and tortured myself with cable news and the precipitous fall of Barack Obama. I was never an Obama man to begin with. I preferred Hillary. (Then, anyway.) But what the hell, it was thrilling to see the first man of color as president.
He’s had a hard time, but he hasn’t helped himself much, either. I bang my head on the wall to see him now, almost giddy with the possibility of being sued by John Boehner, with little sense of the importance of optics, and disaster looming for Democrats in the mid-terms—which will inevitably lead to a Republican president in 2016. I wonder if he has been driven slightly mad by the intransigence of his foes. I predict he will be both the most embittered and happiest of ex-presidents, once he free of that terrible job.
I don’t see him becoming a statesman like Clinton or Jimmy Carter. He will be silent. But it won’t be the relieved silence of George W. Bush, who was also very happy to leave Washington. Obama will be a sad, mad man for a long time. But he’ll look twenty years younger twenty minutes after he is no longer Commander in Chief.
Hillary? I’ve never thought she’d run again for president. Or that she should. The iffy sales of her book, her clumsy answers and statements while on her book tour, and what has to be her own sense of people’s exhaustion with her and with Democrats at the moment, can’t be encouraging.
Not that Republicans are riding high, but people want change, starting at the top. That she continues to play this game, stringing her supporters along, is unconscionable. There are NO viable Democratic candidates. It should have been her job, once she left her office as Secretary to State to find and build and encourage the aspirations and lift the recognition value of a few worthy Democrats. It’s almost too late, now. Joe Biden? A joke.
Professional Victim Monica Lewinsky—Please go away. If it was so humiliating for you, stop talking about it. (This is revenge or a Republican is paying Lewinsky to vomit out all the crap we already know. Hillary wasn’t your nemesis, honey. Remember Linda Tripp?)
I fear the virulence of the extreme right wing. I fear a theocracy, which is certainly what many religious extremists hope for under a Republican president, reigning for eight years. I worry about my Social Security. I intend to take an early “retirement” (although in terms of a salary, I was “retired” about two years ago.) Applying for SS at 62 won’t amount to much, but it’ll be something. Who knows what’ll happen by the time I’m 65 or 66?
I can’t imagine rebuilding a career at this point. Writers don’t make much money. I’m an old-timey writer/columnist without a strong name of my own, never had a byline. The business has altered so drastically I hardly recognize it. If I can screw up my courage I’d like to ask my boss—yes, still in the office every day—to use her name, to continue the brand. My name wouldn’t need to appear. I’ve never looked for that kind of recognition. I think the brand could continue and it’s the only way I feel I might be suitably motivated to carry on. I enjoy certain aspects of what I do, still. But…I doubt my boss would be sanguine about such a suggestion. The last time I broached something similar, way back in the day—just my name on the bottom of the column everyday—it was like she discovered hemlock in her tomato soup. But that was the peak of our popularity. Times have changed. Who knows?
B. has been stalwart and supportive beyond anything I expected. I underestimated him. But then, I never believed he could truly love me. I never believed anybody could. Who could love me?
Have you all fallen into a coma yet?
Sorry this isn’t more fun.
I finally read Henry James’ “Portrait of a Lady.” This is a book I have had resting near me for years. It was part of a goodie bag, when the Nicole Kidman version of the book came out. Yeah—that long ago. But, while I was mulling my demise during the worst of the winter doldrums and a hacking cough, I finally settled in to read it. It’s literature and not of this era, and I’d forgotten a bit how difficult the language and phrases of that time can be. But pretty soon I was swept up and found “Portrait” to be astonishingly modern and full of remarkable perception about human nature. I marked up my copy with a pen.
I also read Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch.” My best friend gave me her copy and said, “I think you will love this.” I wasn’t so sure. Not big on modern fiction unless it’s a thriller. And I was irritated at the first 30 pages—so much writing. But as with “Portrait of a Lady” I was soon carried away, not the least because I identified strongly with the fucked-up protagonist, his disordered childhood, and the mistakes that came back to haunt him. Actions have consequences. And sometimes one feels incredibly trapped by what one has set in motion. I loved it. I cried. My actions have had consequences.
I have become re-acquainted with Oscar Wilde.
B. bought me The Complete Works, which I once had, but in our various moves was lost. I’d forgotten the power of his fairytales–so perfect for melancholic children and depressed adults. And it brought back something wonderful. One night when I was about 12, my cousin Stephen and I read aloud “The Importance of Being Ernest”. We screamed with helpless laughter throughout. It is almost surreal in its humor. Reading it alone, I wanted very much to find someone with whom to share it–and laugh like a child again. That night with Stephen is one of the great memories of my life. All about discovery and humor and being far wiser than the adults who pestered us and looked askance at such unseemly hilarity. I miss my cousin so much.
Oh, cats. For about a month and a half, B. and I have been passing by the local Hoboken vet, mooning over two beautiful, small cats. Sisters. A little over a year old. Nobody was adopting them! There was even talk they’d be set “free” if they went un-adopted for much longer. The two of us had “joke-y” conversations about taking the cats in, but with three already…I mean, come on. (There was a point in years past when we had five cats but even then we thought we were nuts.) However, after B. came back from the vet one more time, we had a more serious chat. Yes or no? I was concerned about the reactions of our other felines and the cost—litter, food. I’m not providing much $ these days. To make such a decision seemed reckless and selfish on my part. B. assured me the cost would not be so great.
And now we have five. The new girls are Sunny and Maude and they are very slowlyadjusting to life outside a small cage and amongst humans. (They were brought to the vet as feral cats.) They get on well with Doll and Dude and Tiger, and gradually seem to be trusting us. They eat and use the litter properly. But we don’t see them much. I said to B—“Well, I was worried about having five, but it’s still like we just have three. Maude and Sunny are phantom cats!”
So, I am officially an old cat lady. I suppose that means I have to be extra grumpy when I answer the door. Or extra friendly. (Hello there, hot Fed Ex boy.)
My skin has cleared up nicely recently (lemon juice!) and I have been trimming my own hair. Doing a pretty good job, except for the back. It’s kind of mullet-like now. I need to have it shaped. Or, I could simply embrace the mullet. Why not? I have five cats. I should be wearing a shawl and orthopedic shoes.
Watched Elizabeth and Richard in “The VIPs.” Fun movie, especially Orson Welles, Maggie Smith and Margaret Rutherford. Taylor wears clothes by Givenchy. Mistake! (Audrey Hepburn looked good in a beige knit dress. Miss Taylor resembled an opulent sofa.)
And, right off filming “Cleopatra” La Liz had adopted the paint of the Egyptian queen. The eyeliner extensions were slightly less extended, but she still tended to look liked a glamorous raccoon. Having seen ET in person for the first time when she was age 41, and much less made-up, I can assure you, she didn’t need the camouflage. But again—the movie is fun to watch, and Taylor has one gorgeous outfit, an overcoat with a fur hood, framing her face perfectly.
Well, friends, I’m afraid that’s it for now. I apologize for my long silence and the rambling nature of this post. It has no point. But, do we need a point? I myself have been a pretty pointless person, soooooo…..
I won’t be away again for long and when I return maybe I’ll have something more substantial to convey.