It really isn't. Not since the Thirties. Pictures of Humphrey Bogart young. If you can imagine.
So I found this old piece I wrote that I am incorporating into my current feelings to give you some idea how low I am. Here 'tis.
That's twice now.
Had at once a good and bad experience today, reading a bit of my old novel, SILK LADY, which they expected at Warner Books would be a big hit, and wasn’t. They dropped support of it immediately when it didn’t get the action they thought it would, all except for a couple of TV hostesses who had me on and were sassy. I was stunned today at how good it was, and don’t imagine I could write anything like that again. Know I couldn’t. Haven’t the tenacity.
Real instances of sharp experiences were in it, transformed and with changed names, where Tandy Dickerson, a name I couldn't make up and wouldn't dare use, it sounds so improbable, the mistress of Tongsun Park, a Korean who owned a private club in D.C. where all the big, overpaid parties I attended, jumped over a table and seized another woman by the throat. I fictionalized his name in my novel as Hiro Takeda. He was a Superstar in D.C. A Korean, I believe. A thief, I am sure. Nobody was afraid to accept favors then, and everybody, or almost everybody, was ready to have a good time no matter what the cost was, as long as it wasn’t to them. I was friendly with Republicans. Living in their homes. Close friends: the husband of one from Bryn Mawr in government office, an honest man who loved his country. It was hard for me to believe such a fine fellow could run with those he did, actually admiring and hanging out with Donald Rumsfeld. Power corrupts goes the saying. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yet he never did anything that seemed other than American. He loved his country visibly.
The sister of Dear Abby, a darling woman, was at that party, and as I remember, accepted an actual carved wooden table to be sent to her home from Tongsun. It’s strange and interesting, in a sad way, that SILK LADY didn’t happen, as it was really sharp and on the nose of all the bullshit that was happening in D.C. and NYC at that time. Another novel was written a couple of years later on the same subject by the very successful but shallow writer whose name I can’t remember . I am having a hard time with names at the moment except for Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, and Don.
I am not sure that I have in me anymore the tenacity to write a novel, the sticktuitiveness to endure, or the energy to prevail. All of that, I suppose, is contained in 'tenacity.' It is curious how, at this juncture, the construct of words, which I never worried about, is interesting to me.
I am grateful to be quietly interested in something at this time that requires my full attention and some action, as a part of me in my spirit is lying down. There is a terrible sadness about our country right now. That a man like Trump could seem a serious candidate—that is to say, that people could actually be serious about him, besides people who are neither uneducated, desperate nor crazy—I don’t know if you can have more than two options with ‘neither’—frightens me. When I believed in reincarnation—you have to understand, I thought I had been friends with Benjamin Franklin and it felt really good, I am afraid if he were around now he would be grieving for our country. Our planet. Our souls.