Not too long ago, I was reading the website of a country psychic who spelled out, in admirable terms, his commitment to readings with integrity, and furthermore, his philosophy that what we struggle to cling fast to is not meant for us, and what we yearn for is already ours. Simplistic, sure, but I'd never thought of it in such stark terms, too busy playing tug-of-war or digging in or whatever approach to being tenacious and driven I'd settled on for that particular day of the week. For the past year, I've had a bad neighbor problem. In New York, that's really something, because they're in your psyche; your inner sanctum. And my oasis is a truly private world. It sounds really silly now but up until last night I refused to concede because of my beautiful drapes. They're floor to ceiling, custom made to my specifications, to look like a slow boat bringing back treasures; "Ah," said the man measuring the fabric, "you'd like a ripple fold." I've never seen anything like them, how they fall and pool in sinuous columns, and I couldn't imagine leaving them, although it's only a rental and I knew it never forever. Last night I realized I have to move, and today, I was impatient, and I said to myself, "Let the magic work," and then, just like that, it worked, but inside of me. I went in and talked to my management company, and I'm going to move to a different apartment in the building. It sounds like nothing, but there it is: a major, seismic shift, that made me feel as though a physical burden was lifted gently, quickly, from my shoulders.
I spent all summer wearing caftans and when fall arrived, I didn't have any clothes. The other night I ordered most of the Isabel Toledo Collection for Lane Bryant, four or five black lace dresses, and I felt around my purse for the tube of red lipstick I'd hardly applied, and I thought about how people always ask me what's going on when I don't wear it, and sometimes I don't for long stretches, and their surprise puzzles me and then I caught my own reflection on the train tonight, and thought, there you are.
Today I ordered a steak and a martini for lunch at my club, in my black lace dress, and thought: Monday, I'm going to eat you alive.
The best part about ordering the clothes is that the site was down and so I called up and, ordering over the telephone, when the operator repeats everything after you, and he's a man, and you say cigarette pants, and he says cigarette pants. I'll always think of that when I wear them: the space between our cigarette pants.
Since I'm listing the silly reasons I haven't written in such a long time, here's a big one: I haven't had a great love in ages.
A friend told me today that she dreamed last night that I was a jazz singer, in a very vivid way, and thought to herself, "Finally, I understand why she has all those gowns."
Finally. I understand.
My friend S. gave me some vintage hats tonight and here's one:
There you are.