So I went last night to my generous and gifted friend Nick Corley's musical he directed, for young people, which I no longer am. It was in the what I have to call loft of what is clearly a church, except where we were was simple, comfortable, and made me really happy to be there, especially when I heard the first song-- something that made me believe again in stage musicals. It was a"young people's musical," about Marco Polo, and I was excited and optimistic, as I rarely am about anything these days. This is a world where Donald Trump has a significant role, so I am not that unhappy at the prospect of leaving it.
Nor am I sad not to be mentioned in today's big piece in The New York Times about contemporary writers who are going to update Shakespeare plays. Shakespeare was my major, and good friend at Bryn Mawr, and I had what I believe was a fling with him. When I go into Central Park, as I do whenever I am in New York, something I suspect I will do less and less as the world gets crazier and scarier, I spend time with his statue, around which he probably hovers as his ego was doubtless as big as his talent, and that, I don't think, really completely dies. Even when it comes in an overrated package as it does with Erica Jong. Or the other woman writer whose name I will not mention for fear of starting a race war, a woman who was once a close friend, when I didn't know any better.
There was a magnificent piece on TV last night where Barack Obama spent time talking with prisoners in jail and the wonderful Cory Booker I think his name is, unsure because before last night I wasn't paying enough, if any, attention. I now like Obama better than I have in a very long time if ever, as I can see his intelligence, which I almost always did, but more clearly his suffering, which I didn't. Also I could see his pain at not having had a father except for a period of a month when he was ten. It is a miracle that he is not more shattered. I am visibly shattered myself having HAD a father, since he was so disappointing, and, when it could do him the most good, became a Republican.
Anyway, back to the church where Nick held his tryout presentation-- it was on 86th Street, my old neighborhood, West End Avenue. I went to P.S.9 on 82nd Street, and apparently came no further uptown, as I didn't even know this church was there. P.S.9 was the great school of its time, and when I was accepted into the Hunter school for gifted children I think we were, at the end of 6th grade, I made the decision to stay where I was, with the wonderful Mrs. Schatteles, a true educator. I hope there is a Heaven so she gets to read this, or her relatives, who contacted me when I put her in one of my novels are, so they know my esteem was not frail or passing. Everything I became or wanted to become was because of my education. It is still the thing that matters most, I believe, and am sorrier at the loosening of my memory grips than the falling of my tits.
When I lived in that neighborhood, we were in an apartment on West End Avenue, where my mother would lean out of the window to throw up when she got drunk because she was sure my father was cheating. I am stunned at remembering all this, especially as I didn't put it in what were many closely observed personal moments in my novels, that are very much come to an end now, I'm sure. Not that it matters that much, but I do want to clear my brain as well as my desk, for what I hope will be a Last Hoorah or Last Alas.
And what I write, if I do, as I want to, is a memoir, though I hate the word. It seems to me pretentious, and ugly, something that sticks in the throat. So I have found a better categorization for it, and that is Thymsies, I think it's spelled, the Greek word for Themes. Everything we are linguistically, I believe, is probably from the Greek.
That isn't the title, though. I'm saving that, it's so good, I don;t want to take the chance of anyone's stealing it. Talk to you later.