This Election Is SO Annoying Plus Jonesing for Temps Perdue

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Sometime in the early election cycle, I made the mistake of donating a bunch of money to Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.

Sanders and Buttigieg must have sold their donation lists to other candidates because now every morning when I wake up, I have 200 emails from Democratic candidates trying to entreat, scare and shame me into ponying up cash.

These are candidates I’ve hardly ever heard of in states I don’t give two shits about.

When I inadvertently open one of these emails in the process of consigning it forever (I hope!) to the trash, it begins with some variant of, This is the most important election of your lifetime!

And I think, Uh—no. It’s not.

Because I’m pretty sure I’ll be around to vote in 2024, 2028, and 2032, and that each of those elections in turn will be pimped as the most important election of your lifetime!

Superlatives should only be applied once.

Biden is clearly the lesser of two evils when it comes to the present presidential choices, but that’s all he is—the lesser of two evils.

For that matter, the homeless guy who is currently pissing himself in the doorway of the Poughkeepsie Dollar General, wondering: Can I scrounge up five bucks to score some meth?, is clearly the lesser of two evils when it comes to the present presidential choices.

I do not want Trump to be reelected.

I do not care about anything else.

I am under no illusion that Democrats are the Armies of the Just or Republicans, the Forces of Darkness.

When it comes right down to it, I dislike Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi about equally.

I don’t care if Democrats regain the Senate.

I do want them to stop hounding me for money.

It is very annoying to spend the first 10 minutes of every morning trashing all their emails.

###

What else? Starting Saturday, I have a bunch of social encounters lined up, so I am burrowing down into revenue generation for the nonce. Since my concentration span is approximately two microns in size right now, working is pretty challenging.

In the course of my revenue generating adventures, I have watched the entirety of Silicon Valley through Season 4. Through the Well, I was on the fringes of that whole tech subculture, so Silicon Valley made me deeply nostalgic for a California that hasn’t existed in at least 30 years.

###

To compound that time-out-of-time feeling, I watched a documentary about the film critic Pauline Kael last night.

Pauline Kael was like Greil Marcus or Lester Bangs or Roger Ebert to me—yes, I was interested in movies and music, but more than that, I was interested in literary style, which these writers had in buckets. How do you write about something that isn’t your life? Well, you write about it by making copious allusions to your life! That’s what I learned from Pauline Kael, and the lesson sustained me through a modest career as an investigative journalist throughout the early to mid 90s.

The film itself was pretty much hagiography. Plucky Pauline loved movies, and if her dismissal of, say, director David Lean, was so caustic and cruel that Lean essentially stopped making movies for a while, well, that was okay! Because Pauline Kael loved the movies!

Kael eventually succumbs to that malady all ugly ducklings that suddenly turn pretty eventually succumb to. She starts surrounding herself with acolytes, playing favorites, punching above her weight. Warren Beatty played her by luring her to Hollywood. When she returned to NYC, Renata Adler dissected her in the pages of The York Review of Books. (Adler is actually a much better writer than Kael, but not as accessible, and thus, not as widely read.) Kael could dish it out, but she couldn’t take it. Her career never recovered.

The Telegraph Avenue Repertory Cinema was still a Thing when I first lived in Berkeley, and one of my fondest memories is of watching Night of the Living Dead there for the first time: By the time the film was halfway over, most of the audience had risen from their seats and begun lurching up and down the aisles, gurgling zombie noises. Good times!

Ah, Berkeley.

You’re not what I remember either, so it’s foolish of me to sit here daydreaming about going back to you. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

The Only Thing That Matters

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RTT’s b-day hier. We chatted amiably on the phone. On the phone, he seems fine, but when we text, he seems sad. I miss dad, he tells me. I don’t know what to say.

Do I miss his father?

I don’t think I do. When Ben died, it was like I woke up from some malign enchantment—although the awakening process had started at least a year earlier when I realized (finally!), He doesn’t have the slightest remorse about his behavior toward me.

We were in a car, and for some reason, he was telling me about Sarolta’s Past.

I’m fairly sure Sarolta would not have wanted me to know about her Past, but Ben always played fast and loose with other people’s secrets.

“He beat her up,” Ben said. “He broke her jaw.” He was talking about Sarolta’s second husband.

Then Ben launched into a diatribe about the type of men who abuse women. His righteous indignation knew no bounds!

And my jaw fell open. Because my entire marriage to Ben had essentially been seventeen years of gaslighting, a less dramatic form of abuse than somebody breaking your jaw, true, but in some ways, more invidious.

You’d think someone as smart as he was would have connected those dots.

But I think he ID’d me pretty early on as a mark. The kind of person who’s easy to manipulate and turn into a co-conspirator.

I doubt he ever loved me.

I loved him. Though I’m embarrassed about it now.

“Sharee said Happy Birthday to me on Facebook!” RTT told me.

For a moment, I thought, Sharee? And then, I remembered, Oh, right. The woman Ben was with before he was with me. The woman he was running away from because she was the most awful person in the world, had taken advantage of him in the most horrible ways, and please—could I save him from her?

Sometime around the midpoint of our marriage, I came across a letter he was writing Sharee. I made a copy, of course—my spirit animal is Harriet the Spy!—but I’m too lazy to hunt it down now. It was all about his deep eternal love for Sharee. And I thought, Right.

I should have kicked him out.

I didn’t.

But hey! I’m alive. And he’s dead.

And when you think about it, that’s the only thing that matters. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

Beer in the Afternoon

I avoided the blessing but showed up for the barbecue, and that was actually loads o’ fun. Since I’ve been a member of the collective for three years now, I get to hear all the gossip—who hates who, who got busted for screwing in the garden (uncomfortable, I would think!), evil Joe who tried to turn the garden into a commercial sunchoke empire, and poor Marge who went off her meds, decompensated completely and is now wandering the streets of Poughkeepsie, homeless.

That is very sad,” I said. “I liked her. She had a kind of fierce purity about her, you know?”

“I tried to reach out to her,” Deborah said, shrugging. “I thought maybe I could fix her up with some housing”—Deborah works for the local low-income housing coalition—“help her get some services, you know? But it’s hard to get in touch with homeless people.”

I drank a couple of beers, which was a big mistake because after, all I wanted to do was sleep.

Consequently, I got absolutely no work done.

In the evening, I heard from my dear friend C.T. Which was good because she is so depressed that she’s been slashing and burning a lot of her social contacts, and I really didn’t want her to slash and burn me.

Today, I really must work. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

An Exceptionally Brilliant and Colorful Autumn

Dreamed I was in San Francisco at an AirBnB. With Ben and our daughter—who was a charming child of 11 or so with a British accent.

Ben in his usual scalawag way had sub-rented one of the rooms and was lying about it, attempting to convince me it was AirBnB that had doublebooked. He almost had me going, too, except that one of the AirBnB-ers told me, No, we rented it from him.

Either he had rented that one room to a lot of other people, or the people to whom he’d rented that one room had invited all their friends because there were people spilling into every room of the flat, and I was furious. The people were all hideous slobs and had their un-housebroken pets running around. What a mess!

One room had been flooded. And it had been flooded in a very peculiar way because the water in the room defied the laws of Newtonian mechanics: It ran uphill. I can see it in my mind as I write this, but I have no better way to describe it. Anyway, peculiar.

I wanted to get myself and my daughter out of there pronto, but I was also feeling horny, and I wondered, Can I do Ben without any of that sticky emotional stuff that would (inevitably) lead me to buy in and (ultimately) overlook his lies, or should I just leave?

On the horns (ha, ha, ha) of this dilemma, I awoke.

###

I did my customary Vanderbilt tromp. My hips ached a bit, lending credence to my Lyme Disease hypochondriacal theory. But I persevered.

I will say that this has been an exceptionally brilliant and colorful autumn in these parts:

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tree


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And it hasn’t quite peaked yet.

###

Then I got my hair cut!

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Getting rid of all that stringy, weedy hair made me feel 1,000% more human!

Though I really should start wearing eye makeup on a regular basis. Those Mona Lisa eyebrows (shudder)!

###

Then I crossed the road and trotted over to Neighbor Ed’s where I spent a very companionable afternoon chattering away about shoes and ships and sealing wax, and drinking beer.

Neighbor Ed reports that he and Pat have also been feeling very down this past week, so I don’t know—maybe it’s something in the air?

###

Then I went home and watched The Trial of the Chicago Seven. The Chicago Seven trial was a Very Big Thing when I was an undergraduate. (I was a sophomore in 1969 because I skipped all those grades and so, started college when I was only 16.) The Black Panthers were Oakland locals (and indeed, a decade later, I dated Bobby Seale’s pal Huey Newton for a few months) and Abbie Hoffman’s Yippies were very big in San Francisco.

The movie got a few things wrong, I thought. Notably around Bobby Seale. But as light entertainment, it was just fine.

###

Today, I am supposed to go to the Blessing of the Garden, which is the day they turn off the water for the season. The garden is operated under the auspices of the Saint James Episcopal Church where back in the day, FDR himself was a deacon.

I don’t much like Jesus magic, which may be a character failing on my part. I mean—if you’re gonna like magic, why be partisan?

But there’s supposed to be a barbecue afterwards, and that might be fun.

Afterwards, I really must buckle down and do some paying work. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

Laying Low

Leaf mold, wrote [personal profile] rebeccmeister. Flash! A light bulb clicked on over my head. I am highly allergic to mold, and the weather conditions this week—the ghost of Hurricane Delta followed by two days of lovely, unseasonably warm weather—would have primed the fermentation process. Decomposing leaves are everywhere.

@@@

I dreamed that I had traveled somewhere for some kind of memorial service for Beau. I was at the same hotel I stayed at for Nathan’s wedding, Once again, RTT was with me, and once again, he was a young child. The H___s were in the adjoining room, and there was some business with children wanting to play but not being allowed to play because general solemnity of circumstances. Also, there was some business with shoelaces (buh?), black shoelaces—they were part of my shoes and also part of some outfit I was planning to wear: The shoelaces come loose from these articles, and I needed to re-lace them except I couldn’t remember where I’d put the damn shoelaces, they were missing.

Then I was in a car on its way to the service. A_________ was driving. I have not seen A in easily 10 years and she had no connection to Beau whatsoever, so I was a bit confused about (a) why she was driving my car, I mean I don’t want other people driving my car! and (b) why she was there at all.

A_________ mentioned that Heidi was one of the mourners, and I thought, Which Heidi? L’s daughter or my old neighbor Heidi from Monterey? Neither of whom knew Beau, so again—all very confusing.

###

It was easy to lay low yesterday. It rained hard all day.

I taught Nafisa:

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But otherwise, I did not do a thing.

You are building up your strength! I told myself.

But it felt more as though I was hiding out from something.

In the evening, my mother’s cousin Susan sent me a link to a Google drive on which someone had downloaded the contents of “Grandpa’s Scrapbook.”

Whose Grandpa, it was not clear.

But there were some pix of my grandfather’s father, Abraham Vogel, and his wife Elizabeth, my great grandmother.

grand


By the time I knew Elizabeth in the late 1950s/early 1960s, she was very old and very senile—which was the word we used before “dementia” came into vogue.

I remember once, Grandpa brought home a steak, and she scrubbed it with Ajax cleansing powder because it wasn’t kosher.

I also remember she used to talk to people who weren’t there.

I was seven or eight, and I was fascinated by these people who weren’t there.

Are they people you used to know? I’d ask her. Or are they people you’ve never seen before?

But she would shush me impatiently. She was more interested in talking to the people who weren’t there than she was in talking to me.

I didn’t feel the slightest affection for her, but then I didn’t feel the slightest affection for any of them besides my mother because —well. She was my mother. And my cousin David because we were inseparable playmates, very close in age. The others were all strangers to me, and I couldn't figure out how I’d come to be living in such close proximity to them.

As a seven year old, I had no subjective sense that I would ever grow up, have any agency of my own, so my life was a grim set of circumstances that I just had to endure the best I could. Which I did by reading and playing my secret games. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

Millbrook

daheim


The deal is I’m sick, I decided. Not IT sick, but some subtler malaise that fills my chest with saltwater and makes me very tired. Wednesday, I actually punked out two miles into my Walkway tromp. Could I have done the tromp? Probably, yes. And probably it would have made me feel better.

But I didn’t want to.

Maybe it was all that tromping in the rain Monday and Tuesday. Or maybe I got a tick I didn’t notice the other day when I was doing all that gardening, and now I have Lyme Disease.

Of course, it’s almost impossible to tell this kind of “sick” from depression. Except I am wheezing a little, though the little Chinese pulse oximeter sez my O2 sats are just fine.

###

Yesterday, I drove to Pawling to return the National Counting Project gear. Pawling was settled by Quakers in the early 18th century, and I believe Lowell Thomas moved here after he was finished making Lawrence of Arabia famous. Also, George Washington set up one of his innumerable Continental Army command posts here.

It’s a pretty little town, and I was mad at myself for feeling too dispirited to get out and walk around in it.

I detoured along back roads, ablaze in autumnal foliage glory, for the drive back home, stopping in Millbrook, one of those tony Dutchess horse towns. John Foreman who kept the Big Old Houses blog (a big favorite of mine!) used to live in Millbrook on the Daheim Estate, which sadly, is behind high walls and thus off-limits to the curious. For one brief, shining moment, Daheim was the center of the psychedelic movement when LSD guru Timothy Leary moved in there in the 1960s. Leary let the pipes burst, John Foreman informs us with disgust.

There are a lot of antique stores in Millbrook filled with strange and interesting things:

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

I Miss Movies!

Dreamed I was watching RTT in a playground. He was maybe four years old and had found another kid to play with. The other kid was just… odd. Dunno exactly what about him was odd, but it was.

The kid’s mother was sitting next to me watching him anxiously; she knew her kid was odd, too. She was a bit overweight, had short blonde hair, glasses; looked familiar. At some point, she mentioned that her son’s name was “Robin,” and I clapped my hands, What a coincidence! My son is Robin, too! Not a common name. Etc.

There were two other boys in the playground, too, and they were also our sons. They were both named “Chris.” Wow! Amazing coincidence: We both had sons named Robin and Chris!

Some sort of party was happening. We were all guests at it.

Max showed up from Southern California. “I’ll push you on a swing, Mom,” he said.

And he pulled the swing I was sitting on back so far that when he released it, it accelerated forward really, really fast, and I thought the swing would make a 360° loop. Nerve-racking! Scary!

Then Max and the other mother somehow disappeared, and I was left with the four boys. Max was heading back down to Southern California, and he was going to hitchhike, which I thought was dreadfully unsafe. So, I was determined to catch up with him to—what, exactly? Give him money for an airplane? Drive him to Southern California?

I loaded the four kids up in an ancient Vdub Beetle and began driving. I got to a certain point in the road, leapt out and began walking.

Then it dawned on me, But what about the four kids? How are they going to get back to the party?

Then I started wondering, How does anybody ever go anywhere under these types of circumstances?

But I knew I couldn’t abandon the car with four kids in it on the side of the road.

So, I started walking back to the Vdub. But one of the Chris’s had already locked the doors and was attempting to drive the car. He doesn’t really know how to drive! I thought. And consumed with worry, I was running along the side of the ancient Vdub, beating at its door, and crying, “Stop! Stop!” as I awoke.

###

This morning, for whatever reason, I am in a state of mild panic.

Feeling unsafe.

I have no idea why I’m feeling this way. My life, as I’ve noted many times, is about as pleasant as a life can be given the, uh, interesting times we live in. Nothing about that has changed.

But this morning, I could start weeping hysterically at a moment’s notice.

Or screaming.

What has driven my body into cortisol overproduction, I wonder?

My trick for dealing with this in Olden Times was going to the movies.

There was just something about sitting in a darkened theater, nibbling Raisinets, and watching the conflicts of ephemeral, 20-foot high giants unfold on a luminous screen that hit my system’s reset button.

No matter what was going on in my life, I always walked out of a movie theater feeling great.

Now, all I can do is fantasize about drugs. (Would it be so wrong to ask that guy pissing and scratching himself in that Dollar Store doorway where I can score some fentanyl-laced H, hmmmmmm? )

###

I have been toying with the idea of submitting an application for the Stegner Fellowship again this year.

Applying for a Stegner Fellowship used to be a yearly ritual for me, and one year, I was told, I came very close to being admitted.

But some time around ten years ago, I stopped applying. It may have been a financial thing: The Stegner folks started charging a reading fee.

The only thing I have to submit this year is the June novel. I’ve written no short stories; in fact, I’ve neglected my fiction writing altogether. That writing group I started with my pal Tom? It just kinda trickled away. Writing anything seems such a ridiculous waste of time when the world is ending. (Boom, boom!!! Pound, pound!!!!)

Even keeping this diary strikes me as a ridiculous waste of time much of the time.

But it’s become a habit.

Anyway, I did take the novel out again last night and read through it. Its first two chapters are enough of-a-piece (and a short enough length) to make a submission.

They’re pretty smutty!

But, honestly. Ottessa Moshfegh graduated from the workshop in 2015. Can you get any smuttier than Ottessa Moshfegh?

Plus, for God's sake, the novel is about Henry Miller, the King of Smut!

More to the point: Are the chapters any good from a literary novel point of view?

I was writing it to be page turning from a commercial point of view, and that always involves including a lot of embellishment that George Saunders would pick from his lapel and shudder at.

The Stegner folk are very lit-er-airy.

Well. I will ponder some more.

###

Also, Nafisa tells me she has signed up to retake the United States Medical Licensing Exam on November 8.

She is worried about residencies.

Knowing what I know about her life, I don’t see how she can possibly pass the exam in three weeks: She has three children under 10, she cares for her aging in-laws, and I learned yesterday that her husband has actually been working in Virginia since March—

“He is mechanical engineer,” she told me, shrugging. “There are no construction jobs here. Covid, you know? So, he goes where the jobs are. Otherwise, he cannot work.”

But, of course, that is not really any of my business.

And, of course, a reasonable command of English in a clinical workplace does not require a high degree of grammatical accuracy! It only requires enough grammar so that her communications with doctors, other staff members, and the court system (should those communications ever be subpoenaed) are not ambiguous.

So, I will do my best to help her.

Though given that we only have three weeks, that may not be very much. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

It Is What It Is

Dreamed that Benito and Sparky Snowdrop went on a trip, and they forgot to take their infant daughter along, so I somehow got stuck with her. She was a very unappealing baby, but nobody else seemed to want to take care of her, and I couldn’t leave her with no one to take care of her.

It was raining very hard. The city I lived in with my friends was flooding fast. I watched a truck try to make it over a flooded road: The road had somehow become a river, and the truck overturned.

I was carrying the baby, running to make it to higher ground, all the while worrying, Is her diaper wet? Is she hungry? My thought had been that ElaraJo—the baby—was retarded somehow, but all of a sudden, she began prattling to me in complete sentences, and I thought, Whoa! She’s only six months old, so actually she must be quite bright! And I began to feel some stirrings of affection…

###

The rain was even harder yesterday, and I didn’t feel like doing anything, so I holed up in the Patrizia-torium and attempted to distract myself by watching Lovecraft Country. Lovecraft Country is pretty fucking awful, so that did not go well.

Anton was doing a food photography project, so from time to time, I wandered out into the common areas to snap revealing pix:

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He made oxtail stew. The dish photographed well due to the star shape of the oxtail bones, and it was very tasty when he invited us to sit down and eat it, but I can’t say I would ever be moved to attempt it myself.

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When it finally stopped raining, I forced myself to go on a tromp. Because… Exercise!!!

I recognize this affectless state, of course I do: It is my Winter Self.

I never want to do anything at all in winter, and of course, this year winter is gonna be even worse.

Sigh.

I’m in danger of making It is what it is into my new mantra.

Meanwhile, I’ve added shingles vaccine and haircut on to my To Do list. I am of that last generation that actually had chickenpox rather than a vaccination, and apparently varicella just lurks inside you, waiting for a moment to knock you down (as a pal of mine just found out.) Plus my hair has entered that weedy, hideous stage, and I’m expecting that hair salons will be forced to close in another few weeks or so. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

Inshallah

leaves


For the past three days, I’ve been pounding away on a pro bono project for someone very close to me who was completely blocked on something that had to get done.

I can see why they were blocked!

Even without Covid and the attendant sense that none of this shit makes the slightest bit of difference anymore, this project was really soul-sucking and dull-ll-ll.

But necessary to complete.

When I finished what I was doing, I sent it off with a note: Remember: At this point, it does not have to be good; it only has to be done. You will have many opportunities to do something good throughout your long, productive life.

###

The topic was neither uninteresting nor irrelevant.

It was just… dull.

In the way that all governance is dull.

Personalities and feuds make politics—the grab for power—entertaining, but the actual process of governing is dull.

The time I spent in Sacramento as a legislative analyst at California’s Department of Developmental Services was excruciatingly dull.

Legislation has to be written in a particular type of language that embraces generalities and specifics simultaneously. The result are these hard-gloss sentences that stretch on and on for-fuckin’-evah and rely heavily on semi-colons and prepositions for any kind of meaningful deconstruction.

So, you know, ugh. Just ugh.

###

It was raining, but I went out for a tromp anyway. Exercise, you know. Your body must be more than just a hitching post for your thought balloons.

The roses in the rose garden are not actually autumn blooms though the gardeners would like you to think they are:

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(I do like that "natural nosegay" look, though!)

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In August, the gardeners replaced all the spring-blooming rose bushes. (Cheaters!) Having bloomed once, those bushes were in no particular hurry to bloom again. They intended to bloom again next spring the way that God intended. They probably ended up on a garbage heap somewhere, thereby providing a moral object lesson for us all.

The Hudson Valley is justly famous for its fall foliage, and many residents think autumn is the most beautiful season of the year:

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They are wrong, of course. Spring is the most beautiful season of the year.

I was trying for an Art Photo with this one. Some kind of contrast between the bare-branched tree and the orange-leaved tree:

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And I’m always obsessed with paths. When you’re looking at a picture of a path, who knows where it goes? You can imagine anything.

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Once home, I still felt utterly drained. There wasn’t anything I felt like doing. Nothing appealed.

Not one title out of the vast repositories Hulu, Netflix, and Criterion make available to me.

Not even Tropico, where I govern according to the policy of slash and burn.

Neighbor Ed texted: Just when I was feeling assured Biden would win and could bring myself to predict Dems will take the Senate, my confidence in Biden’s chances took a hit. Basically I’m drinking the Trump-supporters-may-be-lying-to-pollsters Kool-Aid.

I can’t go there anymore, I texted back. These are things I can’t do anything about, and I’m tired of being prodded with a stick and told I CAN. Inshallah, you know? What will be will be. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.

Gardens, Dementia, and Secrets

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Yesterday was a fabulous day! Sunny, warm, interspersed with zephyr breezes.

So, I toddled off to the garden.

I was expecting to find the garden in a horrible state since I’ve been sorely neglecting it for the past six weeks or so. But it was flourishing. That late-season flourish, which is different from the gentle green of spring or the jungle lushness of mid-summer:

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My basil plants want me to keep eating pesto for the rest of my life! This was particularly amazing since the basil plants in all the other garden plots are half-dead:

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My collards and Swiss Chard are leafy and vigorous. Volunteer peas and beans have taken over the empty tomato cages—although, speaking of tomatoes, I harvested a good gallon or so of those smallish, pear-shaped San Marzano tomatoes:

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In mid-October!

(San Marzano tomato vines tend to grow close to the ground, so they don’t really need cages.)

The undisputed stars of my garden, though, are my chili peppers. A month ago, they were prolific, but now they are some kind of loaves and fishes miracle:

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I’m gonna have to make hot sauce.

###

Since my return from Ithaca, I’ve been feeling curiously… nonverbal. My mind which is generally a whirring engine of words (most of which I don’t speak) has slowed wayyyyy down—as though the hamsters that generate the energy that runs that engine have gotten tired of running around on those wheels inside my brain.

It’s a weird feeling.

Who am I if I can’t free-associate a thousand pithy insights at the drop of a pin?

Getting back in touch with Annie has been a bit scary.

She is clearly in early- to mid-stage dementia.

Jane, my oldest aunt, also had dementia—though with her, it was difficult to disentangle the dementia from the pervasive insanity that invaded every other area of her life.

But if two of my closest distaff relations have/had dementia, there’s a better than average chance that I will develop it, too.

“Don’t worry, Mom,” said Ichabod to whom I confided this worry. “Robin and I will make sure that you’re safe and happy.”

And I thought, Robin and you will not get the chance to make sure that I’m safe and happy because if I even think that that’s happening, I will get a hose, strap it to the exhaust of my car, get in my car, turn it on and die of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Suicide by nitrous oxide poisoning would be my first choice!

But nitrous oxide is so very difficult to come by these days.

###

Else?

Anton confided a secret to me yesterday.

He did this by inviting me to read the first few pages of the memoir he’s beginning to write.

Once again, I am reminded of how different people are from one’s impressions of them. Anton is just this amazingly handsome, bright, and somewhat aloof guy; I was always under the impression that his social reserve sprang from self-possession when in fact, it turns out that it springs from deep-seated pain.

Anyway, I told him that I would be happy to mentor him through the memoir-writing process.

I was surprised, actually, that he opened up to me. He is Black, I am white; I he is male, I am female; he is gay, I am—well, what, exactly? Bi by inclination, certainly, with more of an innate physical attraction toward women than men though heterosexual in habit for the last 35 years or so, and not in the least conflicted about that.

We’re very different, in other words.

What does he see in me that makes him feel safe confiding his secret?

I wondered and wondered. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.