I was ecstatic last night, I couldn't fall asleep. I'd eaten a bunch of cheese, chocolate and fruit, and drunk two glasses of champagne; I'd had a great night with Bill, getting home before the madness got too maddening, watching the ball drop on TV and opening the window to hear the faraway gasp of the crowd, a mile away and a half mile long. We got into bed around two a.m., shut the light off and kissed goodnight, and then I was just flipping over on each side and grinning and plotting and feeling happy. So I got up again around 2:15 and wrote for two hours.
It's been a really tremendous two weeks. I met two very sympatico women for two separately wonderful lunches, Stacy Pershall and Jessie Sholl, both candid, caring and smart memoirists around my age, no kids, tons of overlapping interests, and I felt so comforted by the idea that these were my neighbors, that for all the dogshit and screaming and mental illness New York City foists on me everyday, at least I am surrounded by actively good people to whom I can intimately relate.
Also in the past two weeks: Blessings, both local and national. First I had a breakthrough in a very important friendship that had started to go off track -- a real Hanukkah miracle. Two days later, I heard from the main "character" in my second book, who, as you probably know and I nearly forgot, is a real human being walking around out there, not named Sam. I don't want to say too much -- I've already said so much about someone who is not me -- but since just about everyone who's read the book has expressed concern and compassion and a desire to see her happy and safe, I wanted to let you know that she is both alive and well, both forgiven and forgiving, and that I could not have asked for a happier resolution. So...THERE'S THAT.
Then, in the final days of the year, I go to meet an old friend for lunch, and he hasn't mentioned that this might happen, but there's a really pretty brunette in his apartment offering me tea, so I just roll with it and don't ask any questions, noting all the while as we three chat that she is extremely bright and gracious and sweet, Jesus, so open and smart, and within ten minutes she and I are talking about the nature of human suffering, the sacred gift of consciousness, how to cope with the existence of cruelty, finding purpose in a purposely purposeless life, etc., all with tremendous sympathy of outlook. And we weren’t even on drugs! We sat around with our tea for a while, then walked over to a restaurant a few blocks away, and she and I had a few moments on our side of the sidewalk while our friend forged across through a snowbank, and she said she was 29 and she didn’t know how to be an adult and I said I was 41 and I didn’t either, and it was like she was going to take my arm and jump into my lap or the other way around.
Today is a new year, sort of (it's Jan, 1 while I'm typing this post, but I'm probably not going to get it on the site before midnight). Nothing's official except what you deem important. January 1 is arbitrary, and so's August 29th, the beginning of my personal fiscal year. Every day is a new blank square on the calendar.
I resolve not to forget that.