As I search my face for its disintegration, only because I didn't know I was really pretty at the time that I was, I think of Gore Vidal. When we had dinner with him in Rome in the Sixties, Don and I, he asked if I was wearing contacts. I told him "No." At that point he said he thought my eyes were so beautiful I must have something in them.
I of course was thrilled: to be hit on by the most articulate and literary gay in modern history! I later wrote a poem that went:
"He said my eyes were so beautiful,
I must have something in them."
So you see I didn't even have to improve his words to have them be a poem.
Don, my sweet and still innocent husband was infuriated at my having been lifted by the experience. "Only you," he said, "would be excited to be hit on by a fag."
Well, times have certainly changed, and so have my eyes. I understand at too long last, which it certainly is-- I had no crunch concept of having grown older, that I had, in truth, grown old. I was aware of a few small surgeries, which I actually thought and so didn't have to pretend were insignificant. Now I think, if I write this blog, I must deal with "crunch" issues. Because it all boils down to: you get old if you're lucky, and it isn't easy.
Especially if you are really lucky, and can still think clearly and a lot, except for the occasional memory lapse, where you can't remember names. Important ones.
I still remember everybody funny, and Cary Grant. Cary Grant actually asked me once why I had made him into a meditation-- it was in HOW TO SURVIVE IN SUBURBIA WHEN YOUR HEART'S IN THE HIMALAYAS, a book of thoughts. His was "What hath Cary Granted?" He called me to ask why I had done that-- he said "This book could go on forever, and in fifteen years nobody will know who I am." I said "People will always know who you are." But he was right. Except about my book going on.
I suppose I have a hard time accepting how transient it all is. When I think how deep I thought my love went when I was in high school, for Walter Rosenhaft. I know how deep it was for my husband, and it wasn't deep enough, deep as it was. It can never be deep enough for anyone, except for God, if He's/She's there. Then there was the childishness of love for George Segal when I was in Bryn Mawr, the place where I should have been that much smarter.
My love for Tony Perkins, Anthony more aptly. Probably the cleverest man I'd ever known, a known homosexual before it was publicly all right to be one, supposedly okay now. All of it looked back on now as some kind of infatuation. I guess a part of me was always Little Girl, because the little girl had never been taken care of. My mother never wanted a baby: it was just what women did.
It was what I wanted most in life, I thought, children, and was worried might not be mine, because I was a fat girl. I lost the weight, and had a daughter and a son, just like I thought I'd always dreamed. My husband died really young, which I'd never dreamed would happen. Dreams are both the up and the down side.
So now I have to wait and see what is the final act. I hope it has music.