Letter from My 48th Year (Jan 28)
What a relief it is to feel regular old tired, the kind that can be solved by going to bed early as opposed to waiting for some stupid virus to work its way out of you. Still, at the risk of jinxing myself, kudos to my body for fighting it off so well that I really only suffered from prolonged enervation. Well done you!
Still, today was another bed-couch-bed-couch kind of day as I’ve learned over the years that if I don’t endure one day where I’m restless and bored cause I feel well enough to be out and about but stay put anyway, then I’m just asking for a relapse.
Still, even homebound, it was a busy day, what with Chinese food to order, a shower to take, magazines to read, EBay to scour, and of course cups of tea to be brewed.
And then there was saying farewell to my dear friend Messr. Poirot (at least until I can somehow unearth seasons 1-7). Here’s what I wrote in my journal after watching Curtain, the final Poirot movie.*
Oh mes ami, I am in deep mourning for Messr. Poirot. I am not sure how I came to love so a character from whom I would previously always change the channel because I thought him so obnoxious. He eventually came to grow on me. He was rude and mean but also terribly kind and loyal. In other words, he was complicated. I think I love him now because he, like May Sarton (who was, of course, quite real) gives me permission to be complicated. And that is one of my own complications: I am always seeking permission to be myself, which probably comes as a surprise to those who see me as doing what I very well damn please. What they don’t see, of course, is that there’s a cost to that: guilt, second-guessing, the way I gaslight myself about my own feelings and desires. After decades of being told you’re too much and high maintenance it’s not always easy to remember that complexity is pretty much a synonym for being human. It’s our complexities that make us who we are and we shouldn’t feel like we have to ask forgiveness for them.
*Fun fact by way of David Suchet, who played Poirot for a quarter of a century: Agatha Christie actually wrote Curtain during WWII as a response to the war’s bleakness, but her publishers held it back, refusing to publish it until after her death in the 1970s.