Idle a while

April 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

cat toyCharles is visiting for several days and we’ve been playing with the cat and going out in the evening with the nieces. We saw Ramona do a rumba-samba at her Dansport recital and she was wonderful and beautiful and very sexy in a backless, black-sequined dress. The school was decorated with streamers, balloons and colored lights and there were lots of women of all ages and shapes in sturdy high heels and shiny, low-cut gowns. Ramona’s teacher, who looks like a cross between a triple-joined wooden puppet and Jim Carrey’s sweeter younger brother, danced alone to The Lion Sleeps Tonight in a jungle patterned shirt  and brought back a lot of memories of the days when that song was new.

We took Delilah to a play called Jailbait, showing in a theater, The Cherry Pit, that’s new to me, on Bank Street near the river. The building housing the theater has a big plaza in front, with stone benches, and lots of young people were sitting alone reading scripts. It was 6:40, still broad daylight. There’s a drama school and an acting workshop on that block and the mood was festive and studious. Delilah, in a red shawl and black skirt, black flats, looked like a bohemian girl from any decade of the last seven, except the ‘80’s. In the past month, she’s had a big role in a play in Boston and a shot a pilot about a young woman finding herself (she’s the best friend), and she’s bubbling over with confidence and joie de vivre, grabbing New York with both hands.

When I think of myself at her age, I prefer not to.

The play was about two fifteen year old girls who sneak into a club, pretending to be 21, for a rendezvous with a thirty-something man one of the girls met the week before, and his friend. The story is well written, but proceeds with a certain ponderousness that made me restive. The shock and distress of the men when they find out the girls’ true ages—one of them has sex—is probably entirely realistic but memories of being young and shielded from any idea that I needed shielding kept crashing in, and I couldn’t take their distress seriously. I suppose even now it troubles me to think I might need shielding, though I have no trouble wanting it for my nieces, my husband, my lover, my cat.

I have love and help in abundance but nobody will put me in a safe place for a few years until I finish growing. I have to make my own safe place (carefully forgetting that such a place doesn’t really exist for anyone), and that notion makes me feel as if I’m floating just to the side of my body, a few inches above ground. The temptation is strong to simply detach and lose myself in the tulip beds.

Social life over, we have the weekend to ourselves. During our conjugal visits, Charles and I have a tendency to descend into a pleasurable but too-extravagant languor. We eat and drink. We lie about. We stroll—or swim, in Florida—and usually he fixes something of mine, and I cook a nice dinner, but mostly we lie about.

He needs a respite. I need stimulation. But my brain feels like a bouquet of weeds and wildflowers tied with an old shoelace, some of the little flowers wilting, some slipping away, the fresh green beginning to sweat, and I have to hold it very carefully but also get it somewhere before they’re all dead. 


They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

–Andy Warhol


Time spent with cats is never wasted.



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