Friday, July 7, 2017
July 7, 2017
Forty-one years ago today I lay in Cleveland Clinic with my heart in somebody else’s hand. Just happened to think that maybe so much had turned out badly because that turned out so well. I should have been allowed to choose.
Resigned that T, my first and oldest friend in Asheville, my oldest continuing friend in the world now, has put me aside for the second time. Both times he’s turned from me because he apparently can have only one friend at a time and he thought somebody else would give him fame as a screenwriter. I go to the High Five and watch him with W, huddled and whispering, and remember twenty years ago when the same thing happened with S, and both times it was because he wanted to collaborate on screenplays to make him rich and famous. I understand why he won’t collaborate with me, even though that would be his one and only shot at what he desires. I wouldn’t collaborate with me. Losing him was terrible the first time. It is all right this time. I almost don’t even care, for the caring ended the first time and it was conviviality rather than love that allowed the restoration of our relationship. All things run their course. For a while we were inseparable. For a while he was the center of my life, and I at least a part of his That memory is sweet, though the disconnect from ongoing life seems now complete. The first separation is heartbreak. The second is “huh,” and turning back to one’s notebook and coffee.
Tried the High Five by the river, on the grounds, in fact, of my office complex. Wrote and watched the turbulent life of the river which we somehow, in the macrocosm, think of as “serene.” Complained for the second time in six months about the rain coming through my ceiling. They know. “Oh, we’ve got it looked at and estimates in. The only thing left is actually to do it.” Indeed.
Good painting before noon. People from New York came to talk about how superior the Asheville scene is to the Manhattan. I tell them that the Asheville scene is passing away, killed by greed and gentrification. She nods her head. They almost buy a painting. The price is a fifth of what it’s worth, but I knew they thought it was too high. I stop myself from saying, “But it’s FRAMED already! The frame itself cost $45!" They appreciated my work. That is supposed to be the end of it.
Fed DJ’s fish, and ran into Will, who have me a tour of 62, inside and out. I was relieved. It is not so foreign. It’s just as I remember it, with more mess and different colors. I think it is happier with a family in it. Most of my outdoor planting remains, often lovingly transplanted from where I’d put it to where he wanted it. He has decided the big sweet gum must come down. The giant lily pumping fragrance into the front yard he calls “The David Lily.”
Looked in journals from 1991–1993, trying to find references to S. I find that I was involved in a dizzying array of projects, that exhaust even to name. And of those projects, dozens and perhaps, in time, hundreds, not one came to anything. Not one. A cataclysm of effortful futility. Maybe only I remember, and I only because I wrote it down. I am dumbfounded. All came to nothing. I should not have turned the pages. No one can blame me for not trying.
Rain on and off, which I bless because of my garden.
Just learned that Francis Davis is dead. She directed me in The Weir. I remember her upright and merry heart.