Letter from My 48th Year (Jan 4)
I am trembling slightly as I type this as it is nearly 3, and I have waited too long to eat lunch and my body is alternately yelling, WTF! and murmuring, FFS! (Yes, my body often chastises me in text speak. She is also overly fond of exclamation points TBH.)
I am brewing a cuppa of (decaf) Irish Breakfast tea and eating crackers and cheese because the stomach wants what it wants. I wish my friend Dean was here right now because he’s certifiably English (despite his recent-ish) US citizenship and he makes the best cups of tea, milkier and sweeter than I would ever make them myself but perfect all the same. I visited him and his now-wife Sarah in England a few times in my 20s, and the best part of the day—no matter what I’d gotten up to—was when they would walk in after work and the first thing Dean would say is, “Claude, want a cup of tea?” (No, I do not remember why they call me Claude and it really doesn’t matter, but yes, I do think my mother should have named me Claude but I’ve long forgiven her for that particular lapse. Sort of.)
I’ve set the timer for the tea—four minutes. Has it already gone off? I can’t quite tell because I was blasting Josh Groban, and yes Josh Groban is a thing you can blast. And no, I didn’t used to like his music, but then I interviewed him around the time he put out Illuminations—his best album as he took more chances on it—because he was funny on Twitter, and then his voice became one of my comfort foods. Sadly, I also very much enjoyed my interview with Kenny G, who was charming and delightful, but I still can’t listen to his music because I have a grudge against the soprano sax. And the flute. But I digress.
When I was much younger, this is how all my letters would go, meandering, skip skip skipping from one thought to the next. I didn’t worry about narrative or order, just let myself get swept up in the joy of plashing words onto a page. (Yes, I mean plashing, not splashing; they mean the same thing but oh, alliteration, people, alliteration.)
What I meant to say, and the opening sentence I rehearsed in my head as I was walking up and down the hallway outside my apartment, was: It is hard to take a vacation to think and write when the activities you are taking a vacation from and which some senior people kindly pay you for are thinking and writing.
Which is still true roughly 40 minutes after I first pondered it, but no longer nearly as interesting.
I’ll leave you with this (which is certainly not the kind of thing May Sarton would write in her journals): I would like to make out with Josh Groban because he makes me laugh.
(I imagine kissing someone with whom you can laugh a lot would be the sweetest of pleasures. I’d stake my life on it to the point where I’ve only ever had a few dates, and none of those men made me laugh and I found it impossible to summon up any enthusiasm to get to know them, which is possibly why I’ve only ever had a few dates.)