Am back in Paris, a place where I have never been particularly happy which makes you feel twice as sad because it is mythically one of the happy places on the planet. When I actually lived here full time, which I did twice, once when I was first out of college and was singing at the Mars Club,-- I believe it is now a laundromat-- and the second time when I was traveling for the Wall Street Journal Europe so everyone was afraid of me, expecting a Republican in a suit, I never really connected with the city which it really is, as you realize most especially when living in Amsterdam, basically a village. Full of small town hearts and roads you can find your way along and be someplace you didn't realize was that close. And then there are the trams, so cheap and connected and folksy.
I find myself curiously touched by being in that "village," feeling strangely a part of it even though I am still so disconnected. Away from it I wonder why I have not made better use of the peace and genuine quietude, the privilege of living sufficiently high above the streams that meander through to the sea, and strangely, miraculously it seems to me, are fresh-water rather than salt. I have to imagine/guess/formulate that the reason for that is I haven't yet committed to what is my next project, and that, my work, has always been the post to which I attached myself.
Now I am in the Apple Store, not as busy as the one in Amsterdam, but not as helpful either, and all around me are bouncing words in French, a language prettier and easier than Dutch but coming out of people who are less genuine. I find that I am more or less loving being in Amsterdam, though resistant to learning the language, because it is basically so horrible. Even ordering a dinner in the great restaurant I discovered wandering the back alleys, Helmsele Mudder or something like that, (a chef who wrote a cookbook I bought that drove my true friend Daniel into contained spasms of laughter: "You bought a cookbook in DUTCH!" he marveled,) did not inspire me to learn what I was saying, it sounded so awful. But tasted really fine, I have to say.
Anyway, I am up to 66% on my charge on my cellphone, having forgotten my cable in Amsterdam, and understanding that when you aren't connected these days, you are as good as dead, so I had to come to the Apple store to link up. I think I am about ready to begin my next work, which I think may be my last work, the Sandy book, redone with a more truthful head. Sandy was my great, in the true sense of the word, friend, the journalist who covered my Oscar party for Time Magazine, a moment I considered greatness because I was so publicity hungry, and it came in the midst of my success with The Pretenders. But Sandy and I became genuine.. what? what is the word for buddies who are not exactly buddies, because that is too carefree a word when both women are aiming for something. I was aiming for recognition, and she was arcing her way towards absolute truth, being a clear-seeing, clear-writing woman, the first of her sex to be a bureau chief for Time, a magazine that has, like everything else major in print, become more or less extinct. She was on the plane with Aquino when he returned to the Phillipines to challenge Marco and was assassinated, recorded his murder, and was the key witness in the trial of General Ver, who I believe ordered and managed his murder. She later became the heroine in raising Corey Aquino to a greatness she could not maintain.
Sandy herself was later assassinated in Bali. I was there, trying to nail the low level rat who did it and of course got away with it, because there is nothing that cannot be paid off in Bali. He is still running around loose, probably living off money she might have left him, because that was the only thing I saw more clearly than she did: how unworthy of her he was.
But that's the thing about the world, isn't it? There just don't seem to be enough great partners for those who deserve them.
Well, I'm 84% charged up. There's a motif for 2014. Have my ticket for the Louvre upstairs, so I guess it's time to move on. Or up. If only I had brought my charger with me. If only we were all basically connected to the energy that keeps us going.