July 25th, 2009

Petulant Silence

Six or seven years before my mother died she told me about her honeymoon with my father in New York City in July, 1939.

“We stayed at the Hotel Park Chambers, on Sixth Avenue at 58th Street,” she said. “It cost us $5 a night. The first thing we did was go to the top of the Empire State Building, that was number one on his list. Then that night we went to the Starlight Roof at the Waldorf Astoria. We saw Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. It was wonderful. The sound of that saxophone-rich band reminded me of the thick, sweet maple syrup I used to pour on my pancakes. I drank Haig & Haig on the rocks and Chet knocked back Hennessey cognac. We danced, and drank, and danced. I was trying to go light on the drinking because I was pregnant with YOU, but what the hell. It was pretty romantic.

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Suspiria De Profundis

A most troubling dream last night. I’m on the beach of Citera,
here on Isola d’ Ischia. Suddenly I see Leila Hadley Luce,
walking slowly on the sand. She recognizes me, but says nothing,
because we had a serious falling out. She furiously condemned me
as a vulgar, horrid betrayer—precisely as she did in real life
a few years ago.

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