So I have settled, sort of, into my Amsterdam palace, which it really feels like it is, overlooking a canal, with all the light coming in after a closed-in dark winter at the Hampshire House, one of the great buildings in New York except now it looks out on the high-rising horrors of 57th Street, where it is lucky Marlon Brando is dead or he would be depressed. I remember acutely the day Janice Mars, a strangely darling woman who wanted to sing one of my songs, Sex, (as did everybody) took me up to meet "someone," in that building on 57th St. where he had his studio, and where, as I remember, Elliott Kastner had a place on a higher floor, most likely so he could say he was in the same building as Marlon. At one point during their volatile relationship I am told Marlon unzipped his fly, and said "Here!" to Elliott. But that is hearsay-- nothing I ever witnessed. Am glad about that.
It was enough that Marlon actually said "Ooooeeuw, Br-a-yen Mah-whr," when I told him where I went to college. And "You fin'lly on a diet, kid?" when I had just a few blueberries on my plate visiting his company doing 'Arms and the Man,' in Falmouth, the only summer, I believe, that he did stock. The fact that I was lucky enough to be there then, to be part of that unique and, in its way, glorious experience, lends credence to my theory/hope that my life has been choreographed by some whimsical and probably adorable angels. Not all of it, of course, because there have been a plethora, my new favorite word, of disappointments and losses. But otherwise, it would not be life, and everything would be run by the Bushes and the Kochs, which indeed it may all turn out to be anyway unless we do something.
Happily all that feels behind me and very far away, besides geographically. So sorry as I am to have missed my class reunion (Tell me about it, Marilyn, or maybe Alice if you feel industrious) I feel I did absolutely the right thing to leave the US when I did, or I would never have connected with this wondrous apartment, except for a few minor flaws. The minor flaws are probably mine as well as the clever men who designed it, if you don't count the fact that the light switch for the living room lights is in the hall around the corner.
Just a few doors away on the street, Valkenbergerstraat which means Street of the Falcons-- so it would be nice if I could soar-- is my new best friend, the Chinese doctor, Po. He has abandoned Western medicine, which he also studied, as he says it has too many side effects. I have had two acupressure massages from a woman he engages, and each one has made me feel palpably better, loosing what was tight, and easing what was sore, though neither of them appears to have made me any younger. I would love to write a Fairy Tale about that-- a woman who finds a magic place where she becomes young again, only nobody she loves is there, so what good is youth? Speaking of which, the streets here are now and then fretted with fine looking feathers, so I still have the feeling, deluded perhaps, but cheering, that the one real love I had in my life is looking out for me, though he probably wonders what I am doing in Amsterdam.
Mostly what I am doing is clearing my head, not the usual course of action for Americans in Amsterdam. But then, WITH the tide has rarely been my direction.
Meanwhile, my doctor friend Po has sold me some Green Nature eye drops from China, that contain Margarita, so I expect my eyes to be not only Bright, as the label says, but a little drunk with vision. Anyway, it doesn't hurt to hope so.