In Reality

For the longest time I thought I might become

someone else.

I could be Norwegian and learn the language well so people would say how

no one could tell I wasn’t a native.

My hair would miraculously turn blond.

It would be ok to like sex.

I like the sounds of their desserts.

Or I could be a lawyer in Manhattan wearing crispy tight suits in black with very high heels and click click click across the court room floor stating my case with brilliant red lips and always winning.

Rootless like a malformed carrot I

refuse to flourish in one place.

I know this is a  problem this rootlessness.

It’s prevented me from 

applying myself  to much of anything: love, housekeeping, friendship, home repair… you get the story. I kept a suitcase filled with cash hidden in my house and a bag packed with essentials which changed from month to month.

Now my rootlessness fits right in. No one is going anywhere but everyone would like to be rootless.

Where will I go when I can go anywhere?

Hawaii because I can’t get the music of palm trees out of my head.

Like Eloise, I could move into the Four Seasons hotel on the Big Island and go down to dinner every night sitting at the bar overlooking the lapping ocean generously tipping the bartender so that he always saved my seat.

And oh yes there is the spa with palm leaves that rattle above your hut while you are having a massage. Preferably a Lomi Lomi massage and I don’t know what that is.

I have entertained myself all day thinking of places I would like to go when I can go anywhere. Frankly, it may be better in my imagination. That’s been a life long problem of mine.

Last Woman on Earth

I am the last woman on earth.

I live alone in my house and every day I do the Schedule:

yoga, coffee, meditation, breakfast, look out the window, laundry,

make the bed,

take a shower, take a walk, lie on the floor, wait for the dogs to

jump on me, eat stuff from the fridge,

gaze into it awhile. Brush my hair.

Add blush. Add mascara after thinking about how long it will take

to remove later.

No lipstick.

Yesterday I considered a small glass of red wine with breakfast.

I can’t remember the day.

My neighbor’s new dog barks

enough to make napping problematic.

I drink a lot of tea with half and half and maple syrup which is

tastier than sugar.

After 6 my garage is a café for friends

and dinner comes in white cardboard boxes. We slip food under

our masks like horses with feed buckets or dogs with muzzles.

We are dreamers who believe

next month will bring hope back and neighbors come

two by two

like passengers on Noah’s Ark

run aground and have a hard time leaving.

I’m glad for the distraction and for the wine and anesthesia.

I don’t tell anyone about the hopelessness.

Two days before the Inauguration

Everything is still. I never understand why there isn’t a drumroll when the sun comes up particularly these days. I got rid of my gun. Well, that’s not completely true. I got rid of my ammo which seems the same. I think I’ll just sit and wait for the revolution. On my front porch legs askew drinking beer I’ll wait for them to walk up to my front door and say who the hell are you? I’ll tell them quite calmly that I’ve been trying to answer that question most of my life. It doesn’t matter where you live as there’s no security anywhere. Today it’s so quiet but I know it will be very noisy on Wednesday. I’ve found that’s generally true. Right before a major explosion there’s an unearthly quiet that itches into your skin. Even the dogs are restless. The big one sighs heavily every hour or so. Sometimes when you’re in a really bad situation you try to back out of it. I’ve had this feeling before. I’m thinking to myself no this isn’t what I wanted to have happen but it’s too late. I think it’s too late for this country to right itself and make everybody get along.Rich people are trying to get vaccinated before everybody else. Poor people don’t want to be vaccinated as they think it’s a trick. Maybe it is.

I never thought I would spend the end of my life sequestered but on the other hand maybe it’s a good practice for what comes afterwards.

Minnow

Today I was watching an

insignificant film in which a

young girl traveling in Italy with her

Dad was swimming in a hotel

pool doing laps inside of the

20 foot bowl back and forth

and I started to

cry. Only in Italy do they have

hotel pools carved out of marble

lipped with travertine, lined with

Carrera, filled with the water of

Aquaducts and baptizing tears.

I saw my daughter at 12, a swimming

minnow,

Black haired and glistening, and I

remember promising her we

would return with her

daughter to a pool in Italy

someday. I wonder if anything

I promised will come true…

This moment

The most important thing to do for me is to keep reminding myself that every breath I take is an exercise in staying alive. Don’t look to the future even if it’s just tomorrow. Don’t look at the past and all the shadows. Just keep breathing. If I need something to calm me down I think of my grandchildren. I am very grateful for them. I’ve had other periods like this in my life but they were from my own depression which caused me to feel that I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. The fact that this is caused by a worldwide pandemic is too mind boggling to even comprehend. So I focus instead on the books in my house that I have yet to read, and the people that I hear from that I love so much. That’s my work. I wish I could help you find yours.

OK I was wrong

So I was wrong when I wrote that yesterday was Wednesday because today is Wednesday. Who cares? Some friends of mine and I went to visit a retirement community yesterday. It was a necessary day of travel. It was necessary because all three of us are going crazy. We keep looking for places to live when we’re old and some in our group are older than others. Here’s what we want: nice cozy apartment that belong to us, a dining room where everybody is friendly and the food is delicious, a year round pool and a year-round gym and the possibility of having nursing care if you become gaga. And I don’t mean lady. Do you think this is easy to find? Well you’re wrong. Most places we have seen have been incredibly depressing. Even in California there’s no one walking around outside. The places inside are small and claustrophobic and in the dining room everything is painted brown including the Naugahyde chairs. I don’t need a lot because I like to chat up people which is the story of my life. I’ve met several people on airplanes who have become lifelong friends. Now that I’m older I do feel more fragile but still feisty and independent so I know I don’t really want to make a commitment to buy something right now unless I could sell it right away if I didn’t like it. Some of these places give you tests when you try to buy a place to see how long it’s going to be before you totally lose it and they have to pay for you. If someone gave me a test like that I would clearly fail . I have a very hard time taking anything seriously. As you may have read before, I definitely have oppositional defiant disorder. I would be leading revolts and protest marches and sitins in the old age homes if things weren’t up to snuff. If I couldn’t find enough people join me in doing this I would recruit them from the outside world and dress them as members of my community. The whole thing is interesting. How do we live when we are old? I think most women would say they don’t want to stay in their house with their husbands because the husbands by this time are grouchy. Also they require constant feeding.I have a hard time with anyone that requires constant feeding even a goldfish..This may explain why I live alone. Anyway I’m going to visit as many of these places as I possibly can and then I am hoping I’ll find a bunch of people who will want to start our own place. We could buy some property someplace and build a main house with a giant commercial kitchen and a great room where we could all hang out and eat together and play games, maybe even hide and seek,and have a generally convivial time. Then we could all retreat to our individual apartments until we were ready to meet up again. There would be a big vegetable garden and we would have places for young people to live with their families so they’d be happy working on the property and we would get the benefit of seeing the children running around. Worst thing about getting old is being shoveled off to a building where there are only other old people. I think the best thing in the world would be to get old with a bunch of pals in an environment that was young and fun and loving and compassionate. That’s what I’m looking for