April 15. It wasn’t JUST my birthday.

Da Vinci nude sketches
Da Vinci nude sketches

1452: Leonardo da Vinci born

1755: Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language first published.

1865: Abraham Lincoln dies having had a bad seat the night before at a show at Ford’s Theatre.

1894: Bessie Smith born

1907: George Platt Lynes born

1912: The Titanic sinks.

1916: Helene Hanff born

George Platt Lynes
George Platt Lynes
George Platt Lynes photo of Dorothy Parker
George Platt Lynes photo of Dorothy Parker
George Platt Lynes, 1943 Untitled
George Platt Lynes, 1943 Untitled

1947: Jackie Robinson plays for the Brooklyn Dodgers breaking the color barrier in baseball.

Jackie Robinson April 1947
Jackie Robinson April 1947

1980: Jean-Paul Sartre dies

The Genet bio by Edmund White, famous photo by Brassai, 1947 Paris
The Genet bio by Edmund White, famous photo by Brassai, 1947 Paris – Click pic for book info at Mr. White’s website

1986: Jean Genet dies

1990: Greta Garbo dies

Somehow, all of those things seem relative to me. Then again, when it comes to relative and my life, dysfunction is sure to closely follow, so, there’s that.

Whatever the case, another April 15, come and gone, this one a Tuesday. There was sleet. Yes, sleet. And by 7:30 in the evening I was wonderfully curled in my room, reading. I am truly happiest wrapped in a blanket and a good book. Long around 10 I had a glass (or four) of wine and some lovely text convos with some dear ones. I meant to stay awake until midnight but didn’t QUITE make it.

This morning I am looking back, quickly, on what April 15’s before and after that one Saturday long ago on which I was born have wrought — or writ large — or small — or . . . oh look, just some fun. April 15 has been full of events all of which feel — like I said — related to me.

Helene Hanff
Helene Hanff

Now, it’s all so obvious how each is related to me I won’t insult your intelligence with exegesis, rather, I’ll just be visual about it. And you’ll read a book or listen to a song and … well, there we will be, as in, here we are, going.

But, darlings, you know — or should, by the fact I was in bed, by myself, and so content so early last night, much as I love you . . .  well . . .

Garbo I Want To Be Alone

All I have left to say is . . . well, already said by Bessie.