So I have been admonished by Joanna, my smartest friend, not to write so much about Brando, her saying he was "Not that interesting." Of course he was to me, as I was eighteen, he was the biggest star in the world, and I hadn't get met Cary Grant. I understand now that even Cary Grant is probably not that interesting anymore, but those who are "stars" have already faded only weeks, sometimes days, after their emergence, and they have only emerged because I was looking for someplace to hide out as the world became scarier, and it still seemed okay to go to the movies. As it turns out, the truly most elegant of all was Gregory Peck, who had his own very tall personal style, a true education, and the most impressive of wives, who probably knew how to kill people, along with her journalistic graces.
I have a picture now on my desk of the infant son of my friend Olivia who is in charge of many high end things at the Peninsula in Hong Kong, where I will probably never go again, because the world has become so dicey to step out into, or certainly up onto. It is saddest, I think, because these people have no real reason to live, the only thing they have to look forward to is the afterlife, where they will finally get laid. Bill Maher, who seems more brilliant with every passing disaster that he examines on air, speaks of how little sense any of it makes, and that we cannot possibly hope to understand because it is so foreign to our sense of values, or our sense of sense. It is the Upside of Being Old, having gone every place I wanted to go with the exception of Barcelona, but Sondheim has already written that song, as I have already writ probably a couple of times, the Downside of Being Old. But I don't really care that I did, the Upside of Being Old 2.
As minor as these ramblings are, they are a relief to me as I know how to find and write them on my computer, still a difficulty if I stop to consider how difficult and all-absorbing technology has become, and how unfulfilling, except probably for those who know how to use it. The world has become ever increasingly and ever more presently a scary place to be. So I am grateful for having gone everywhere I wanted to be, as I have now written for noticeably the third time as is apparent even to me.
Since everything is so tenuous, I actually watched the Thanksgiving Parade on TV to make sure it was still there, something I didn't bother to do even when I lived on Central Park West which I think I did for one almost winter. The day looked glorious, and was a gift probably from God if He/She does exist. There seems to be a great generosity of Spirit behind the parade, even though it is selling a lot of things, mostly Macy's. I think I am grateful to be in the world while it is still a moderately great place to be, as long as you are not in a plane over someone else's air space.
There is, certainly, an unmistakeable American glory to Thanksgiving, though as an American and an English major I know how probably little the Pilgrims really had to be grateful for. But having lived this long and being now in California where it is not quite as nice a day as it looked to be in New York, there is still no anxiety about terrorism, I hope for good reason.
May you have the happiest and healthiest of holidays, if you celebrate them. And if not, why not? Don't you have any idea how lucky you are to be alive? For a while, anyway.