66: almost the number of the beast


“And how are you?”
    This is what people ask. I say, “I’m good.” I don’t really like talking about myself. And I am good. I have a loving—and huge— family, wonderful friends, enough money, great places to live, work, health, a rich social life. OK, I don’t do enough museums or go out enough. But, hey, I drive all over the freaking country!
    Every year one of my friends paints a self-portrait to record how she’s doing. Every time I sit down at the keyboard, I am doing a selfie, even if I am not technically writing about myself. I will have to ask her if she feels that way about her quotidian paintings.
   Yes, I drink too much beer, and I weigh too much. My mother is absolutely convinced that the two are related. Does it also have something to do with my blood pressure?  Not that I’ve dared measure it in the last year and a half.
    Most of you know that my heart was broken then. (Maybe literally, though that’s for a cardiologist to say. I will go to the doctor when I have lost the 20 pounds I spent the past year putting on—which is all a physician would tell me to do anyway.) How someone can tell you they love you for more than two decades and then dump you over the phone. . .  Insult to injury: a gift certificate to Zabar’s discovered in my bedside drawer.
    I may debut a new hashtag for journalists, specifically photographers. #thevicariouslife.
    I’m pretty much over it. I like living alone, not having to compromise 24 and 7 and tell someone where you’re going and how you’re spending your money and discussing every meal. “What’s for lunch?” Fuck that! I think, I write, I party. For the first two, I need solitude. For the latter, I need company.
    Once in a while I wish I had someone to make love to. And tell secrets. And every time I open and close a house for the season—six times a year—I like the concept of someone who has my back. That requires deep history or blood. The people I love mostly have other, nearer, claims on their attention. But every coupled one of you is going to be where I am now—unless you die or file for divorce before your partner. Sorry. Truth. (And quite appositely, here is a lovely piece in the New Yorker.)
    So don’t forget about the other people you love. You will need them, and they will need you. I feel badly about the relationships I’ve let slide and vow to do better. Let me know if I’ve been neglectful. I love you.
   And how are you?


Kate Knapp Artist Blog said...

You are wonderful...Hope you had a Happy Day xxoo...

otra rubia said...

Sing it, sister! Claudia for President!

Dianne said...

All your buddies in the Ozarks miss you!!!