As anyone knows who's known me long, a girls best friend may not always be her mother. But mine was certainly the source of some of my best material (See:THE MOTHERLAND) unfortunately published just at the moment Watergate happened, so no one had time for fiction. She lives forever in Liz Smith's THE MOTHER BOOK, where, when Liz, New York's most popular and literate columnist wrote her congratulating her on my then new novel, responded that the book upset her so much she regretted "not committing infanticide." That's who she was, crazy, original, funny, beautiful, with great legs, and no idea that a woman might be able to make it on her own at a time when that probably wouldn't have been possible anyway. So she pretended to be less for a number of men, one of whom, Puggy,(so called because of his jaw) was smarter than anybody but she still beat him down.
When they divorced she moved into a spacious apartment on E. 60th St., and when she panicked, being a child of the Depression (why do they capitalize it?) she sold everything for spit and moved into a one room on Central Park South, the wrong side-- the one without the view, in which she woke from a coma saying to me, eyes still closed: "You're not getting the apartment," but left it to me anyway. I still celebrate her, and woke being glad it is her birthday, and sorry she isn't here.
I am particularly juiced because on this day at this late turn in my road I begin a new career. A brilliant young artist and scholar of things I would never have known about, Tana Oshima, is making me a cartoon. She is taking some of my tales, and moving them into a medium embraced by the young, who don't really read. A shame, probably, but how thrilling that I will be making my way into their eyes and possibly their brains, via such clever, contemporary fingers.
So Happy Birthday Mama. May you live forever in some form or another as the original you were. Ballsy in the bargain.
HERE IS THE STORY, carried into 2015, Mother's Birthday.