1999/2000, a new century. This is what I woke up to. My wife had left me in September, and I had been seduced by true beauty. This was our first night together. We had gone to the dock at the lake and drank champagne. Walking back to the house, we heard a voice come down from the sky--"Ten, nine, eight. . . . " It was very, very eerie, but at the count of one, we embraced in a kiss. The road turned to silver. The night was on fire.
In the morning, I wrote, "She looked forward with hope to her new century as I glanced nostalgically backward to the retreat of my own." I knew things would be different from that point on. She fulfilled the promise of her new century and became an icon in the fashion publication world. I limped along as best I could, and I did O.K., but I still look on at her success with astonishment.
2020/2021. Another year. I went to bed alone at nine-thirty. I got out of bed at 5:30, still alone. It didn't seem much had changed. I am hoping that things will. For the better, I mean.
Perhaps I should change, too. Maybe I have in a year of solitude, isolation and lockdown. Perchance now I will emerge a butterfly from my cocoon. Wouldn't that be something?
An old, one winged butterfly.
Already this morning, I've read two things that struck me from different columns in the N.Y. Times.
Rarely has anybody sought to advocate for wine or other alcoholic beverages simply as pleasures, because they taste and feel good. It may be a residual puritanical streak in American culture that requires wine to do good rather than simply feel good.
[F. Scott Fitzgerald] was rived by bitterness and profound envy toward the rich. “I have never been able to forgive the rich for being rich and it has colored my entire life and works,” he wrote to his agent. But this was the same man who, as a child, liked to pretend he was the foundling son of a medieval king. The same man who fell in love with Zelda because she looked expensive.
I am Dionysian about wine. It is a necessity at meals and makes me feel good enough to have a drink after dinner. It enhances life and the world around me, dulling the sharp corners of hard things a bit. It is transformative and makes the world seem both a bit further away and still more intimate. It is the start to good nightly journeys that lead to the adventures one so desires and seeks. And I've always been with Fitzgerald on the rich, having forever been in love with women who look expensive. It is one of those mandatory features with which I cannot dispense. I've endlessly loved women so far above me they can scarcely be reached. Indeed, they have always had to stoop to seduce me with their golden kiss.
In love and wine, my world has been a Crystal Palace.
I need to change my routines today/this year. The past year has turned me into a sloth. I move slowly, if at all. I accomplish nothing other than filling my gullet aplenty. I have nothing to show for the past year of life other than a new bathroom and a newfound anxiety. I'll not expect love, of course. It would be foolish to do so. But I will try for a new peace and tranquility. I'll put aside the most mundane of facts and concentrate on more profound ways of seeking the meaning of things.
Or, at least, I will try to quit worrying. I should not hope to reach beyond my grasp.
Goddamnit, she was beautiful and so very young. She is still beautiful if you can believe what you see in pictures. She did really well. So. . . Happy New Year, kid. Here's to the future.