So last night I was eating these leftover fried bananas with sugared yogurt (I'd been out with Douglas V. the night before, smoking and playing a little gin rummy and drinking hot bananatinis and discussing my rat article, Further Opportunities, and his pursuit of some new, impoverished, greeneyed succubus of the Me variety, only this time with red hair, although perhaps she dyes it, only one way to know for sure! but then again not in these troubled times, says I) and the phone rings and who is it but the MB (Misnomered Brunette to strangers!), back from her buttoned-up & burka'd tour of Araby, eager to gossip and , miraculously, a little sunstroked & ready maybe to come back East from San Francisco, where she'd been cutting up cakes and cadavers with equal precision, & only entering my life as a disembodied, moralizing voice. This is incredible news and I can hardly contain myself. The fried bananas were not, however, forgotten in the excitement.
Besides this earthshattering news, the other significant thing about this phone call was that the MB was very eager for news about my life, and I gave it to her: you didn't know Cromwell had moved? You didn't know Oisin was teething? You didn't know I am still sleeping, often halfheartedly but usually warmly, in Stephen's enormous navy-blue bed? You didn't know I just signed on the dotted line to deliver a vast, exhausting, unreadable manuscript that develops my first try at erotic science fiction?Oh, MB, are you ever out of the loop!
But then I realized that you, too, beloved and most cherished diary, are totally out of the loop. So, to bring you up to speed: Oisin, the IR's fat & ludicrous baby, is teething, and the IR gives him this human bone she nabbed from a display skeleton in the science lab of her fancy private high school to suck on. She assures me that it has been sanitized. In general, the IR floats around with the baby strapped to her back, showing off her swollen tits and the bones that have returned to her sexy grayish-yellow hips, painting giant floral compositions with babies in them that would remind me of Anne Geddes if all the flowers weren't made of smushed lettuce-cigarette butts, and dressing the baby up in little soundproof helmets so she can take the baby to noise shows and make out with the bassist from Kittenmonger with the sleeping baby attached to her back. The baby doesn't mind at all--he's asleep.
My nemesis Lillian is still in the very best taste, and she wants to have lunch soon, and I want to have lunch soon, kind of--it's been a while since I stole anything from her house! See, I still have a sense of humor, my ducklings.
And yes, I suppose I'm in some kind of relationship with Stephen, mostly thanks to his high and delectable cheekbones, and his wry mouth and his savage laugh, and his endless store of archaic expressions ("That, Nonny, would be like bringing coal to Newcastle.") For ages--for the whole summer, between our hazy, red-gold, renegotiating tongue-kiss in June, through our Beerbohm- and Swinburne-infused boat rides in July and August, until my wild and crazy Californian vacation in September--I was wildly ambivalent. Sometimes I was giddy with all the museum-kissing and Ferris-wheel-kissing and grocery-store kissing, the kind of compulsive affectionateness I hadn't known since I was fresh out of college, tooling around New York City in the back of a hired car, having my breasts kneaded underneath my suit jacket by Douglas, my finger heavy with that seven-billion-carat rock (which, after our marriage dissolved, I sold in order to get the capital for my phone sex business; the sisters are indeed doing it for themselves!) Sometimes all I could think about was the whole business where Stephen doesn't think I'm beautiful, and most of the time I would be trying to avoid looking directly at him or standing in full sunlight or not wearing a gigantic poppy-bedizened straw hat. But by the time I came back from California, o there he was and o there he stayed, and eventually the urge to hit him with a plate when I thought of all his bullshit aesthetics subsided, and now there it is on that hook over there: his hat, his goddamned snow-white boater.
And I'm writing that novel for those sci-fi erotica idiots, but I still hate it.
And I've been meaning to tell you FOREVER about how when I was in California, the MB and I ran into this guy who used to be friends with Irwin--he would come over to play cards sometimes, and I would make them both TV dinners--who of course I hadn't seen since I divorced Irwin (or did he divorce me?) when I was thirteen. So it was really miraculous that he recognized me! And odd that, since this guy was only ten years older than me, he didn't seem that old now. You know? Like, I could date him, and it would be entirely legal. Although I suppose it's legal for me to date anyone over eighteen. But, I mean, it wouldn't raise a single eyebrow! But I wouldn't, because it would be gross and possibly an example of that thing where people self-replicate trauma. What is that called again? I wrote a whole paper on it once.
So an admirer of mine gave me three Noel Streatfield novels for Christmas, including Ballet Shoes, and I spent the better part of four days reading them at my ancestral home, curled up under the covers of my girlhood bed and eating sticky buns. And this occurred to me: it's creepy that the clearly lesbian pair of lady doctors (academic doctors, mind you, who used to be exam coaches?) who let adjoining rooms in Great Uncle Matthew's large house and gave the Fossil girls their lessons for free, insisted on calling the delicious treats they shared with the children in the middle of lessons "beavers."
In other news, no quiz for you this year; I didn't do any peyote on New Year's, but rather counted it down with one glass of champagne and fell promptly asleep in the arms of a young man (with whom it had been prearranged that I would sleep, so no raised eyebrows!)