You know why? You know why? Because I have a gorgeously delicious enormous full bed sunk deeply & deliciously into a little nooky cranny of my bedroom, a gorgeous $300 bed that was delivered a week ago which takes me in its steady, quilted arms every night like the pleasantest, most pillowy lover in the world. Also, to do myself still more inexpensive favors, I went to Ikea last weekend and purchased a dresser, which I constructed all by myself, late at night, the wee awful children who live downstairs wincing and squealing with every stroke of my hammer. "Ah, Thor," thought I, driving a white plastic peg deep into two layers of antique-ivory-stained pine, "how I have bested you!"
In general things have been domestic, as seems to be usual these days. Receiving good mail: letters from foreign correspondents, sachets of tea and recipes for cold potato/almond soup from my mother, a new biography of the Empress Theodora from Daddy. "To my little Byzantine," he says, on the flyleaf. The Misnomered B has escaped to California, after a weary, helpless night of chocolate-flavored cocktails and forced sentimentality. The sentimentality didn't work only because we remain friends, will reunite, will be cattier than ever if we need to be. Her first letter has certainly put me in my place: she's living with another friend of ours, and they apparently go on long, haunted walks through the hills of San Francisco in the evenings, doubtless wearing flowers in their hair, and he darts off the path to gather fennel and loads her arms with it by moonlight. They feel married. I could weep.
Drank cold beers on a terrace downtown on Monday night with a few old friends from high school, who were all somehow or someway in town, living or learning or working or wishing. It's very strange how you can fall into the rhythms of high school so easily, within a few moments, even though the vocabulary is different, the voices have changed, roughened, deepened, grown tireder or more screeching or more dull.
Grocery shopping, a fascination with produce. The beginnings of the time for apples: I can't wait, actually. On one visit to a very recherche little place for special gingers and Swedish berries, I collided with the long-dreaded Lillian. Strange rough pink scarf over her hair, very decorative pleated tunic, black cigarette pants, interesting shoes. Bright shining shopping bag, heavy Oriental odor. Enfolds me in bisous. How have I been? Who knows. How has she been? Great, great. She has been great, everything's wonderful, you know, even after what's happened. What is it that's happened? Oh, you didn't hear? Oh, it was terrible, it was Jim, he was arrested, they found him in somebody's pool, drunk, singing, he was naked. Oh no! Yes, it was humiliating. I can imagine that it would be. But it's all right. Obviously there's a lot we need to catch up on. I have to buy these plums, and go, you know, because I have an appointment, but when can we get together? Thursday. Wonderful. More bisous.
So yesterday I went to Lillian's house and brought wine even though it was the afternoon and she made a cole slaw with red cabbage and vinegar in it and had some good bread. I was dreading it like nothing else, but luckily Arnaud was not there, though there was weird fascinating evidence of him: big gleaming men's shoes, a crumpled package of Gauloises (Lillian smokes those lettucey ones), a stack of opened mail. M. Arnaud Declevier. Mr. A. Declevier. Mr. Swift. But Lillian was not terrible at all. She did almost all of the talking, on and on, her voice clear and even and low, and I found it oddly and sensually soothing. I've never understood why she likes me. I'm nothing like her, I don't cook fascinating things or read glossy, large-format magazines or do interesting pottery or have elusive, mysterious sex or go to the hammam or eat dinner in the very newest restaurants. I think what happened is this: a) when I met Lillian, when we both were younger and working at this company chock-full of earnest, dumb-bunny post-coeds, we recognized each other as women with a vaguely artistic/intellectual bent & bonded over many lunches where we would have long, noncommittal, totally but secretly shallow conversations about Florence, shoe shopping, theatre, and things we had eaten in Spain. And I still carry that association, as the cultured artsy friend, for some reason. Also, b) even though Lillian has a slew of friends who are much more her sort of artsy cultured than I am, they're all just as murmurous and sophisticated as she and she doesn't really feel comfortable making them listen to her for hours. Whereas I rarely have anything to contribute to the conversation, and I think she likes that.
Usually I bristle at everything she says and want to toss up the coffee table and all of the cabbage or lychees or salmon sandwiches or little glasses of mint tea or whatever we're eating or smoking or drinking, but today I gazed at her as if hypnotized, tasting the cool, slightly greasy slaw in my mouth, my head warmly and perfectly heavy with wine. I rested my head on the crook of my elbow and listened, very peacefully, and felt the way I sometimes do around peaceful, boring women, as if we could be lovers in some weird, perverted, bored way, the way that odalisques can be lovers, only I promise you it's not sexual attraction, it's just this strange deep contentedness that reminds me of sexual attraction because that's how you feel after you've had sex with someone, not when you want to have sex with them. I'm used to having this feeling with women, but with Lillian it was odder, because I had kissed her husband. So underneath my contentedness there was this lazy, wicked knowledge that I shared something with her, physically, or had taken something from her, physically, but that it didn't matter, because I felt drugged and pleased with myself.
When I left, scarcely knowing what she had said, she lent me a CD of some weird Bengali music, and, deciding I might as well start a tradition, I slipped the package of Gauloises into my coat pocket. When I stole the tangerines it was out of malice, and when I stole the taste of Lillian's husband's mouth it was out of negligence, but when I stole the Gauloises it was an act of love, for everybody, for her and for him and for me, only not really, maybe. It was an act of sweetness and indulgence, because the whole afternoon had been so lulled and sweet and indulged, and I wanted to carry it with me through the evening and the night. When I had got a good few blocks away from Lillian's apartment, I sat down on a bit of brick wall on a shady, tree-lined street, in front of a sweet little brick house and next to a park made expressly for enchanted hunterlings, and I reached into the pocket of my new swingy camel coat and pulled out the package and selected one lovely cigarette and lit it, and let the rich wonderful smoke fill up my lungs and felt like a nice sleepy dragon and then realized it tasted like kissing Lillian's husband and then slapped myself sharply on the cheek to reprimand myself for sentimentalizing that shit. Because it is NOT to be sentimentalized.
My Ladies Paul Loves project has lain fallow for a while now, but I got a tip that he would be attending a concert this weekend where his friends' band, Reverser, will be playing. I've applied for a little travel grant to Rhode Island, because I think this might be good fodder for the list. Also, I can observe him with his girlfriend, in their native land. God, she's beautiful.
Well, guess what I did last night? It's not exciting at all, really. I bought a mattress & box spring. But, as per (usage??) my discussion with my dear friend Polly and her boyfriend last night, mattress dealers are the shadiest characters in all of retail. Polly's boyfriend kept saying that they were shady even at Macy's, which we all respect as a fine, upstanding department store. But it's true. It's so weird. I went in there, and wandered the long length of the store, fingering the edges of expensive mattresses. The store was L-shaped and at the corner of the L was a little desk with a computer, a couple of phones, and a pair of husky, ineffectual men. They were both wearing long-sleeved white shirts and they both had crew cuts and baby faces. One had a slightly babier face than the other; he was standing up and had olivish skin. The other one was seated and he was floury-pale. He could have been Irish or Polish. I advanced ever-closer to their desk, and their features and the short barking of their voices became clearer and clearer, and I expected them to bark something to me across the store but they mostly ignored me. I glanced nervously at the jumble of numbers on the stickers on every mattress. There were at least six to eight numbers on each sticker and all of them were too high for me: 1199, 899, 1399. Some were in red marker and some were in black. Some seemed to designate the price of the headboard, which baffled me even more, because I wasn't looking for a headboard.
You may think that I'm used to mattress shopping, but I'm not: I've always got them from some heavenly place before. I received a splendid feather-mattress as a wedding gift from my grandmother & slept on it through most of the post-college years, until my second wedding, which was nothing if not lucrative: in the rapturous months preceding our nuptials, Dougie and I swept through the housewares departments of various bigshot New York and Parisian magasins in a shower of dollars and francs. We literally did that thing that Winona Ryder does in Great Balls of Fire, where she points at things and giggles and flops around on things and they all pack it up for her. I would put on a little scarlet or cream-colored sheath dress with matching shoes and jacket and a little hat and gloves and he would be wearing his typical gorgeously-tailored suit and we would saunter arm-in-arm through the lobby and into the elevator and onto various showroom floors, kissing and billing like a couple of wealthy, intoxicated doves. A lot of heel-kicking was done by me. Anyway, someday I'll tell you more about that period of my life, and how we picked out the bridesmaid dresses & my going-away dress and various terrible favors and accessories at one of the bridal shows at Au Bon Marche (my dress, of course, was custom-designed, as yours should be, too!) & how many copper cooking pots a woman can really own, and how many unusually-shaped ashtrays and telephones can be purchased from chic downtown designers, but for now I will tell you that we bought the most impossibly luxurious canopy bed from a pixieish, quirkyish neo-neo-Regency furniture artisan who had just graduated from RISD, and that when that marriage dissolved (I suppose we weren't quite as infatuated with one another once the house resisted further embellishment. And there was the smoking/spectacles thing) I did get to keep the bed. Because what, pray tell, is an ubermasculine, hot-shot, bastard magazine editor to do with a neo-neo-Regency canopy bed, no matter how fucking stylish he is?? I spose it'd make a nice love nest for seducing winey interns, but how much is that worth?
ANYWAY my current situation is such that I can't pay ten thousand dollars for a bed anymore; nor can I spend five thousand dollars for a mattress. And when I moved into my new place the wedding bed wouldn't fit through the door, and I slept on the mattress for a while but then it got infested by crickets and I'd been sleeping fitfully on a little pallet on the floor that I borrowed from Eowyn for a few months now, and I'm quite tired of it. And I can't in good consience spend much money on a new one at all, what with the wedding bed frame being "kept" for me by my old landlady (she sleeps in it with her kittens, I'm sure!) and the original child wedding bed languishing in feathery softness in my childhood bedroom at the family homestead in Louisiana. My current financial situation makes it pretty impossible to ship that cream puff up here, and anyway, what would I do when I came home to visit Momma and Daddy? Sleep on the sofa?
Thus the trip to the mattress store, and thus my extreme frugality and poverty and idiocy. Finally, after ten awkward minutes of not-so-cheap-mattress-feels, I approached Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, who were not wearing beanies. The whiter one looked up at me from his phone call. He had startling little blue eyes peeking out of his doughy cheeks. "What can I do for you?" he said. His voice was thick as well as barky. He was obviously in charge.
"I'm looking for a very cheap mattress," I said, and he asked me how much I was willing to pay, because he had mattresses as cheap as $59. Heartened, I said I could pay up to $300. Full or twin? he said. I said, maybe twin, but really I'd prefer full. I said it timidly, because I'm used to salespeople scoffing in my face at my shameless cheapness, so I always try to make it shameful cheapness instead.
"That's including tax and everything?" he said, incredulous, as I had expected.
"Well, maybe not," I murmured.
He ordered his little swart twin to show me the blue mattress close to the end. Dutifully, Tweedle Dee led me around the corner, into the other arm of the L. We walked haltingly past a few mattresses, and though I was positive that Tweedle Dum couldn't possibly see us from behind his desk, he barked directions at Dee: "not that one . . . no, not that one . . . three down . . . yeah, that's it." I was confused because it was two twin mattresses smooshed together, but then I realized that you could order them in any size. On the side of the mattress were two large stickers, explaining the cost of the set if bought separately and the price of mattress & box spring individually. It seemed to come to $700 or something. I turned to Dee and said it was outside of my price range, but all he said was that I should lie down and see which one I preferred. One had a little plush pad sewn onto the top, and I liked that one better. I don't like a firm mattress: my waking hours are firm enough for me.
Dee disappeared to the other side of the L, while I bounced nervously on the mattress & inspected the stickers. I realized that there was some kind of sale and that my mattresses cost $529 as a set. It was still too expensive. I flopped on some other mattresses, and found that I was terrible at evaluating them. Dee emerged with a figure: $360.
I tracked down Dum. "Does that include tax?"
"No," he said. "With tax and delivery it's $400."
"Oh," I said. "That's more than I wanted to pay." Then I said, "Maybe. Do you mind if I call someone first?" I dialed my friend Eunice, who is practical, and also my mother. Neither of them were home. "Shit," I said to myself. I was standing outside at this point, being asked to vote for someone. It was beginning to get dark and the store was supposed to have closed fifteen minutes ago. I went back in and lay on the mattress some more.
Dum was making a deal of some kind with someone. Lots of figures were being barked back and forth, and a sleigh bed was mentioned. The sleigh bed made me sad, because I thought that maybe they were making a deal about me.
I reappeared at his desk. "Do you think you can take the littlest bit more off?" I said, kittenish. He said, "Wait till I finish this deal. We'll work out a price for you."
I lay on the bed for a little while longer, until I heard Dum say to Dee, "Go get that girl in here. Where's that girl?" I came back, feeling vaguely like a prostitute. Dum had some guy on speaker-phone whose voice was similar to his own. He introduced me. "Steve, say hello to my customer." Steve said hello, gaily. I said, "Hello, Steve."
Then Dum put Steve on hold and connected some girl, who had a Brooklyn accent and a shy, giggly voice. She could have been a hooker with a heart of gold. She giggled at everything Steve said. Steve was ribbing Dum about his salesman skills. He kept asking me whether Dum was giving me a good deal, and telling me that he had taught Dum everything he knew. Back when Dum worked at Burger King. To irritate Steve, Dum liked to press a number button on the phone for a long time. It was what I used to do to my friends when I was, like, five. The girl thought everything that was being said was hilarious, but she was also cynical, as hookers-with-hearts-of-gold ought to be. She and Steve had a good repartee. In the midst of their repartee, Dum and I worked out a deal: he typed "300" into his database and nodded at me, and I nodded back -- it wasn't too bad. With tax and delivery it was $360, and it didn't include the frame. I kept trying to ask him questions about whether I needed a frame, but he kept just asking me different things and bullshitting with his little conference-call pals. Finally I got my question in, and he told me propping it up with cinderblocks would break it. Then he gave me my receipt and said goodbye. I left happy that I had a mattress, but feeling that I had been swindled in some strange way: there was a sign out front that said they were having a big sale, and that things were 50% - 75% off, and I thought I could have gotten the set for, like, $250 or something. I mean, they didn't even blink an eye at $300.
Whatever. I have a goddam bed now. Now I just need some lovers to share it with. Not all the time, mind you -- having people in my bed is distracting, and I'm not a cuddler. But there's no point in having a full bed unless you occasionally make use of the extra space. I suppose I could store something in it, like underwear. I also need a new dresser, as this guy left a sandwich in one of the drawers at the last party we had, and the dresser is now infested with ants. Just the dresser, not the whole apartment. Which is odd. Can that even happen?
General awkwardness in the workplace, as a result of some vague creepiness that I won't discuss now, because, you know, they can see everything. I'm doing a little consulting for this massive think tank -- part of my new interest in classic, full-time work, as opposed to my blithe free-lancing bull-shittingness this year -- & somebody's relative was clingy and strange, and I was uncomfortable, and mentioned it to everyone over the weekend, and then I suspect that my mother, who has still never got over her drugged-out betrayal of me as a child (see last entry, perhaps? or the one before that?) called up some CEO or something and complained. What a ridiculous thing to do, huh? No more ridiculous than jumping into the sea, I suppose. But I'm thirty-one, and quite capable of taking care of myself. Almost, I reminded her last night over the phone, as old as Jesus. My mother laughed a short, barky, embarrassed laugh and said that I was no Jesus. I said we could agree to disagree, hung up, and FINALLY did my taxes. O lord. I am in such enormous trouble with the IRS.
Was telling IR about it and she said, drawing deeply on her little inhaler, "I thought you were the type that could handle sexual harassment." IR delights in sexual harassment unless she is feeling like a feminist and wants to kick the ass of the establishment. I explained that I don't mind the ordinary kind: insinuations, dirty jokes, lingering hugs, rude remarks. I can shoot back with the best of them, turn on my heel, and split. But I hate weird awkward longing or bungled friendliness or anything open to interpretation that leaves me feeling cruel or tired or trapped or strange.
Had to travel halfway across town last night on a subterranean train to pick up a tweedy charcoal-colored suit and a mommish rose-pink shantung jacket (long, with shoulder pads; wore it to a wedding in May; looked vaguely slutty and plump underneath in sausageskin shocking pink skirt and camisole; danced clumsily with groomsman; was mocked because I had a hangover and had behaved disgracefully over the telephone the night before.) Had to pick up jacket and suit from dreadful little aesthete from whom I had once (before I moved into the new place, after things fell apart habitation-wise with the MB) sublet a room. Little aesthete had spent the summer in Italy, suit & jacket hanging limp and wilty in his closet like a pair of bruised and unfortunate petals. He came back with a tendency to wear only charcoal-gray pinstriped trousers or jackets or polo shirts and fabulous shoes made of the supplest possible milano leathers. This tendency did not go unreported by the man himself. "I love shoes," he said. "If you see a woman and she's dressed really beautifully but then she's wearing a pair of cheap shoes, it just ruins everything. I think a pair of great shoes can really make an outfit." He also reported that in Italy he was often "sweating like a pig." On this visit, he ushered me into the dingy, open-plan apartment he shares with a couple of other little aesthetes and, as I swept out crushing my garments to my decidedly unfevered breast, he indicated a shoe rack by the door. "I love shoes," he announced, running a hand along the length of one smooth, russetty-looking leather man-pump (not a penis, I just don't know the terminology for men's shoes) with a cunning little side-buckle, possibly murmuring, "my babies .. ." I reminded him that I knew all about it. My own shoes were dull in comparison, of course: garnet-colored alligator loafers. He then remarked that it had been so hot lately that he'd been "sweating like a pig." I sighed. That morning, on the telephone: "man, I've been moving stuff all day. I'm sweating like a pig." I smiled graciously and made my exit, promising to be in touch. I love it when both people pretend things like that. If he never saw me again, he'd be perfectly happy, & I would be perfectly thrilled.
But the neighborhood was interesting and run-down: one of those formerly-elegant neighborhoods full of prewar brownstones covered with winding, desperate roses and robust, desperate graffiti. The sidewalks seemed especially bare and pale and oddly golden in the hazy light that filtered through the clouds, and the road sparkled with broken bottles and small tendrils of green, and there were glassy-eyed, interesting children with moist skin walking around everywhere, and stores that sold dirty newspapers. I wanted to live in that neighborhood, but no one would let me. But I did manage to flirt weakly with a couple of young, solid thugs with devilish white smiles. Oh yes, my dear. Oh yes.
AND I came up with an idea for a new project. A magazine called "bluestocking." It would be a fashion/lifestyle/literary magazine for literary ladies, and it would be 30% sincere. Though in saying that, I don't know how sincere I'm being. But I walked home wrapped in a deep robe of warm, shimmering bliss. Please contribute ideas, advice, encouragement. I bless you all.
things I like today: starbucks tazoberry blended w/ creme. pronounced creem. even though sometimes there's a grave. idiots.
So, I had this interview at a literary agency just because I thought I would -- life is difficult when you don't really have to go into the office ever, it involves too much get-up-and-go if you really want to get up and go, & I miss coffee breaks & secret time-wasting and liquid lunches and office romances. And it was terrible. The woman was the hugest bitch in the world: tall, dark and bespectacled, in an unbecoming clingy green blouse with a lime-sucking expression on her face (not surprised enough or awake enough for it to be lemons), she pulsed my hand with hers and led me stiffly into an office where she barked at me for hours. Or rather, twenty minutes. It was a fucking short interview. However: as I lifted a consolation cigarette to my lips on a blindingly sunny downtown corner, a little man in a seersucker suit started quoting statistics at me about cancer and stuff like that. Very obliging, friendly statistics. I told him my story and he told me that he was a writer and would I like to see a list of books he has written? They are all apparently called "Notes of an Innocent Bystander" and there are ten volumes. He wants to take me out to lunch to talk about literature. He will buy me Indian food. Because I am so nice.
It was nice. He was a nice old man. I put away my cigarette, though I am not quitting ever. Someday I'll put up my essay about sex versus smoking and drinking, and why I'm better than Ann Landers -- you might want to post it on your fridge. Anyway. Then I bought shoes, without heels for once. They still give me goddam blisters.
Actually, not crawfish. Lobster. Lobster lobster ha ha ha. One of my cousins (daddy's side) married a New England lady -- a stiff boring one like you read about in books, with straight dark hair and a very dry laugh and legion upon legion of colorless sweater sets -- and her family treated the Toast and the Rhodes sides of my own family to a good ole fashioned New England lobstah bake. So Dottie McB-Rhodes put on her best travelling suit and got on a sleeper train headed north, delicately coiffed platinum curls (are they white? are they blonde?) protected by an ivory cashmere scarf, lips painstakingly tinted, tongue carefully sharpened. Yes, now I sound like the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya sisterhood -- can't seem to forge my own identity at all -- but what are you gonna do. The woman sold me into an illegal marriage when I was eleven!
Our relationship has been a little rocky ever since my divorce at age thirteen, when I returned to the loving arms of Momma and Daddy. I spent most of my teen years screaming into the telephone at her while my mother wept silently in the shadows, long curtains of mascara disfiguring her white spiritual face. My grandmother believed I had failed her and the Church when my marriage disintigrated, and no one could really convince her that the whole thing was totally illegal and profane and wrong. She came every Christmas with presents -- pink lipsticks and little kitten heels and Bing Crosby records and Ella Fitzgerald records and padded, elasticized slips and cherry-red coats and old crystal atomizers for me, detective novels for my father & dusty books of French poems, boxes of figs, asparagus tongs & wicker lawn furniture for my mother -- and we let her come, but none of us really spoke to her. We just filed away her presents and drank eggnog in silence until she went to bed, when we would really celebrate. Once she made some snippy comment about my marriage and my parents literally pushed her out the door. I was as terrible a teen daughter as you could desire, but when we battled Dottie, we were always a united front.
Anyway, Dottie and I have made vague attempts at reconciliation, ever since I began to realize how similar we are: I can certainly imagine selling my own little granddaughter into white slavery, and though that might be her fault, I didn't really mind being a child bride. When people hear about it they think it's so weird & they always say, "Oh, poor you, you must be so traumatized, you must have so much trouble holding a normal relationship or trusting anyone or being able to love or be loved" & I always want to say, "Oh yes, yes, hold me," but in fact I don't think it's caused me much psychological damage at all. I certainly don't know anyone else who can hold a normal relationship or trust anyone or love or be loved -- do you? Anyway, I might as well forgive her. She's sharp as nails and pretty fucking wise and she has incredible style & knows all this interesting shit I'd like to know, & now that she's sooo old it's taken the edge off a little bit. But my mother still can't stand her: she blames her for the Valium addiction & the hospitalization and all that. Of course, Dottie's not responsible for my mother's dependence on grass and PCP and speed and hallucinogens in the 60s, is she, or for all of that intense promiscuity? Maybe a little. Anyway, it was kind of a weird lobster bake. My mother cracked the claws off her lobster as if she were cracking my grandmother's little golden arms right out of the sleeves of her beige linen sheath. My grandmother drank four gin-and-tonics and showed me how to eat steamers. She's very worldly. It was lovely: you open the shell and then you kind of wrench out the insides and pull off its dark rubbery rectum-thing and then you dip it in salt water to clean it and then you drown it in drawn butter and slurp it down. Dottie was enjoying a good one when Momma said, "That's exactly how you slurped down my daughter's innocence, you bitch," and I took off my shoes and ran down to play horseshoes with the men to get away from them, but then they came down to play horseshoes, too, and my grandmother, who has an incredible arm, hurled the cast-iron shoe in my mother's direction, and my mother, who has had things hurled at her by Dottie before, leapt into the cool, steel-blue sea that lapped at the edge of my cousin's property, below a little cliff where the horseshoe pits were. It was misty and someone had built a little fire by the water and some of the horseshoes had landed in the fire and we had been making jokes about making brands out of them, & the fire looked impressive and lovely but small against the huge still water: you couldn't look at both of them at once, it didn't make sense. And then there was my mother, her white garments spread out like lilies around her in the water (she was wearing some kind of caftan), her dark hair plastered to her white head, her lips getting a little blue, her mascara in fierce black ridges down the sides of her nose, only sputtering a little bit because she likes the cold. And Dottie standing there in her beige dress and her copper-colored wrap and her ivory scarf, the edges of the wrap and scarf fluttering and flickering in the wind, her halo of pale hair and her wrathful eyes, looking at my mother with contempt, and my mother looking at her with hatred, and the fire blazing at Dottie's feet and the water dark and strange reflecting my mother's face, and no one knew what was going to happen. Then Dottie said, "Somebody get that lunatic out of the water, she'll catch her death" and made her way up the rocky path to get some pie, and then two of the men hauled my mother out but she refused to go up to the house so we had to strip her down to her underclothes and wrap her in a blanket and sit her next to the fire until she was ready to go up and have a hot bath and put on a shell-pink sweater set and pair of stirrup pants owned by my cousin's wife, who looked as if she had never seen a fifty-year-old woman leap into the ocean before wearing a caftan for no good reason. Then we had lovely pie, peach and blueberry, and everyone took separate cars home. I expect an interesting postcard from Dottie any day now.