Dear Dear Diary
I turned the radio on in the kitchen again today.
I baked peanut butter cookies for Frank, but I listened to a new song of Tony's. I wasn't sure if it was an old song one one of the albums I hadn't properly heard before, or if was a real new one. I know I can't trust myself sometimes. But this is what he sang:
When I was a young man I dreamt of the one
who would take me breath away with her smile.
I would think of the curve of her hip to be sure
but I wanted the warmth in her loving brown eyes.
I would thrill to her touch and the call of my name
and I knew when we met my life sure would change
And I knew her name would be Jeannie,
I knew her name would be Jean.
And when I am an old man I won't need to dream
I'll just put out my hand and she'll be.
There in my arms, grey hair on my shoulder
but the smile is still in her eyes
I thril to her touch and the call of my name
I am not sorry how life was arranged
To have lived a life with my Jeannie,
To live a life with my Jean.
I thought the song rather sweet if on the cheesey side, but pleasant to hear in his clear baritone. I filled the cookie jar with 3 batches. And I only freshened the sad pile of ingredients on the corner of the counter. I am not ready to put them away.
When I was a little girl, they used to rerun The Late Show during the day, so when I was home sick, I could watch it. I used to scheme up stunts that would get me an interview with Carson, because I just knew that if I was on with him, it would be magic, and we would entertain the crowd for the whole show. He wouldn't need any other guests- he would have me. And I would keep him on his toes and we would dance the conversation to realms never before seen. Sure he would have a list of questions to start from, but we would quickly jump off them, and I would lead him far away from whatever we were supposed to chat about.
I only stayed up a few times to watch him live, when I was old enough to be up that late. Then the Chin took over, and everyone was rather sad. I liked the Chin on the Hollywood MatchGame, but, he's too much Chin to stare at for a whole hour.
Carson though-he was magic. He was good. He would have made me a star. There's no one quite like that these days. Not any more.
Good night, Johnny.
I watch Frank while he is sleeping.
He looks so peaceful and young. There's something innately tender in watching someone sleeping. They must trust completely to let down their guard and let go.
I am torn between moving that lock of hair off his face and tickling him. I know I must do neither.
And I really wish that he looked like this when he was awake, instead of worn, tired, and hiding his anger deep within.
He worries too much. He shouldn't worry so much. Specially not about me. I'm fine.
When you are a teenager, you believe in the three I's. You are Invincible. All of your causes are just, and you are never wrong. You are Infertile. Nothing risky will result in pregnancy. You are Immortal. Nothing will hurt you and you cannot die. Death is for old people.
You are disillusioned in your 20s. This is when your heart is broken, and you begin to learn things may not have easily answers, and you begin to see more than one side.
And in your 30s, the cynicism kicks in. If you are lucky, you have not learned to loathe yourself, frustrated at your inability to accomplish what you once dreamed.
I cannot remember my dreams. I am emptiness.
But, at least I am honest. So shines a small virtue in a bitter, bitter world.
I want to go to an art gallery.
I want to go alone and look at the pictures, and tell stories about them.
Every good picture has a story. Paintings have more. Even the modern abstract ones that look like someone threw up on the canvas. Maybe the story is about the party the artist went to the night before, and now he's got a deadline, or some hot chick staring over his shoulder, demanding he perform. So he just paints an open door into his mind.
Or maybe it's just angels coming down in angles to to kiss a face with feathers. There's a lot of stories in a painting like that.
I go alone, so I can surprise the unsuspecting with such a story. Boldly walk up to the giggling schoolgirls staring at a passionate kiss, and tell them the reason why.
Sometimes, I make it up. Sometimes, I just know.
But if someone comes with me, they do not like my bold approach. They hold me back, or freeze my tongue. They do not listen to my stories. They Read The Tag, as if that is the only story possible, and the only reason to Be.
And I have wondered what it would be like to encounter Tony there. He will admire me from a distance while I whisper to the angels. Maybe he would speak to me. Maybe he would listen.
Or maybe, he would come forward boldly, and tell me stories of his own.
I followed a bus today.
Frank is furious.
I saw them lined up at the school, and I waited, and I picked one. I followed it for the entire route. All of those happy parents greeting their children with hugs and whisking them quickly inside. They are very lucky. I envy them.
Of course, after the bus went back to its garage, the nice policeman followed me all the way home, and that's why Frank is mad at me.
But I've been thinking more about adversity. Women aren't burned in the crucible of adversity as men are in War. Women try each other every day with the little things that bite and sting and drive us mad. And perhaps, for the man who has been purified in the hell of adversity looks at all of the petty bullshit and just acknowledges it all as little things, little things that simply just don't matter on the grander scale, and it can roll off of them and around them, and it simply cannot matter to them. It is not important. But for women, it becomes their life.
This is me. This is who I am.
I realized when I alphabetized the china cabinet that I am worrying too much about Angie. That's what drove me from the house. I left the radio off. The tapes are still in my sock drawer. But that doesn't stop my mind from wandering. There are only so many times you can soak the grout in the shower in a day.
There is something about the nature of war that men crave.
Young men must test their resilience to adversity. They need to go through hell and back to feel immortal. They need to watch people to die to know what it is to live. And they need to lose their companions to understand the bond of friendship. There is nothing that can create a friend as close as a friend who has been there while you have been through hell. Most cultures have some sort of impossible-seeming task to go through before being accepted as a man.
The men who were unfortunate enought to go live without a war know this too. Somewhere in the depth of their monkey brain, they resent that there was no War when they were of an age to go and fight and prove they were Men. And the men who fought in a War deride those who tried but had no proper war to fight in, but they purely mock those who weren't man enough to go and fight.
Sure, most veterans would tell you they fought because they had to. Defending our nation and keeping everyone back home safe. And they are proud of most of what they did. But perhaps they are most pleased at gesturing at Darwin- see I am fit to breed. I am a survivor.