My last day at this house/pet sitting gig.
I have just spent thirty minutes erasing the evidence of my presence; disposing of the empty wine bottles and delivery-food containers, washing the sheets and towels I used, consolidating into a semi-organized storm-pile the myriad stacks of books, notebooks, clippings, reference materials, charging Kindle, non-charging phone, lap top that I have spread all over this gorgeous antique-wood kitchen farm-table located by plantation shuttered windows (I LOVE this house) I use as my desk.
Why? There is a house cleaner on the way, and I needed to tidy up before she arrived. Which started the following loop in my head:
“And so he killed himself, the final straw having been the classist guilt he felt when turning off the alarm system and opening the door to the Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Pier 1, Ethan Allen catalogue-looking home he was being paid to sit in order to let in Rosario, the house cleaner, and the voice in his head looped into ‘Goddamn motherfuckballz I am more likely to BE a house cleaner than HAVE a house cleaner – or a house.’ Which gave way to, ‘Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with being a house cleaner. I mean, I’m a house SITTER. But if I HAD a house I could not possibly hire someone to clean it of Latin descent because it is just too Lifetime television. HOLY FUCK I AM A RACIST.'”
You see where this is going? And even as I am THINKING the above (and guilt-ridden-ly type-confessing it in an email to one of my few remaining friends) I am wondering – CAN I USE THIS IN THE BOOK OR MY BLOG?
Sort of. The Sunday New York Times is DELIVERED here so I don’t have to go driving all over town looking for it. Which is good. Because my paralyzing agoraphobia has kicked in. I am – officially – depressed. Again. Motherfuck. I NEED SOMEONE TO CARRY ME. WHY CAN’T SOMEONE CARRY ME? I HAVE CARRIED A LOT OF PEOPLE. CARRY ME GODDDAMMMMIT. I mean, of course, someone who looks like George Clooney. Or, you know. OH FUCK. I have felt it coming on for a while and been fighting. Really. Fighting. HARD. But, the universe seems determined to plunge me into sorrowful, rueful reflection.
How? Well, “Echo Springs” – which I loved (read my review here) was all about alcoholic writers, and while I was prepared for the Tennessee Williams (I know, I over-identify with everything about Mr. Williams, most especially – I am such a cliché – Blanche) and F.Scott sections (and – confession – not a big Hemingway fan, so that didn’t much get me) I was not at all prepared for the John Cheever section to move me – gob-smack me, even – as it did. In particular, I knew NOTHING about his later in life liaison with a younger writer he mentored, Max Zimmer (although, in “Echo Spring” he is mis-identified as Max Zimmerman which seems odd for a book so carefully wrought, but, there we have it) with whom Cheever fell into that sort of disastrous love of the kind where one BELIEVES one is dealing with the soul of another, only to find, later, that the other canNOT deal from the soul. After it was over, years after – Zimmer re-wrote the life-story and said Cheever had disgusted him, that Cheever had manipulated and coerced him. In fact, that seems mostly a lie of Zimmer’s, in fact Zimmer was probably the one manipulating and coercing, in fact Zimmer had come on to Cheever’s son. Anyway – reading about this – hurt.
THEN, reading Barbara Vine’s “The Child’s Child” and its brother/sister despairs and the travails of a character, homosexual in the early twentieth century, who falls hard for a fellow lesser educated, less worldly, a fellow who eventually turns on him, betrays him, and laughs at the way in which he loved, using and mocking and belittling and finally killing him – again, into my very core, my soul: Bad. Lacerating. Hard.
And too, I spent the day watching ice skating, which has ALWAYS made me cry. Not sure why. I have forever been enchanted by the magical gliding across the ice. And I am OBSESSED with Meryl Davis and Charlie White and felt their record breaking sixth national title had something to do with me personally. BECAUSE I AM INSANE!
I will be watching it again today. Men. On ice. Which is the only way to have them, yes? But do I want Brown or Dornbush? Either will do. Or, both.
And then tonight, Golden Globes. If Tatiana Maslany does NOT win for her multi-roles in “Orphan Black” – I may do something ugly.
Well, as long as I can do it without going outside.
In the meantime, I have started reading Hilton Als’ “WHITE GIRLS” (HERE IS HIS WEBSITE – CLICK IT) and that, too, struck me like a slap. First of all, the prose is fantastic with a voice entirely unique. Second, again, someone is ravaging my head and heart and writing about it better than I could (apparently – since I have been ignored by another batch of literary agents – please shoot me) – listen, from the opening paragraphs:
The truth is, I have not been myself lately, and for a long time. … He is my second but longer-running we. This did not come about without its share of relationship noise. I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to apprehend – in the blind, awkward, and ultimately solipsistic way many of us strive to articulate why the beloved has become just that – how SL came to fill my mind like no one else on earth.
… With it all though, though, I know I will lose sight of SL eventually. I have before. To the movies and movie kissing. To his love of women. To his interest – unlike me – in the plural aspects and manifestations of the world, from its vastness to its multitude of worms. To his politics. To his various subjects (he is a photographer and filmmaker). To his migraines. To his social drinking. To his lack of interest – unlike me – in delineating who we are. To his lack of interest in speaking of our friendship – our twinship – to anyone at all. To his lack of interest – unlike me – in seeking anyone’s validation for what he thinks or feels.
WOW. That is simply and complicated-ly glorious writing. And describes much of my life. Too much.
And still my fucking phone won’t charge. And I can’t seem to DO ANYTHING about that or all the other things about which I need to DO something. De. Press. Ion. But, I DID manage to change my Twitter background from a picture of me outside the Algonquin (from years ago) to a picture of me in the White House Press Room, sitting in the New York Times press seat. So, the day is not a total loss.
Although, it’s not over yet. Give me time, I can probably fuck it up worse than I have. It’s not even noon yet.