A Diary in Miniature
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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan
A Thought for Today
The brave arenít fearless, theyíve
learned to manage their anxiety.
November 1. Coming
cross-country taking separate routes but traveling in a parallel
direction. First connected by a leaflet passed from your hand into mine,
eyes engaged for seconds only.
I thought nothing of that meeting, or whatever, if anything, might come
later. Besides, we only smiled, backtracked, spoke in double paragraphs,
smiled again and moved apart.
November 2. I came, and afterward came back. Here we are. Talking
at your eight oíclock till ten oíclock, except on matinee days, door. I am
quiet, show respect. There are truer words for that - overwhelmed, afraid,
polite. We talk. Has nothing ever been said so badly ? The vital
minute passes. I hesitate, then leave. Outside in the car I stammer,
stumble over words. My friends smile. They understand. I pretend to them I
donít. Christ, itís happening again. And Iím letting it happen.
Four A.M. Sylvia Syms has finished all her dead-end songs and Iím
November 3. I missed my plane. I will never know if it was done
deliberately. London is put off another day. A reprieve. I come into the
night to see you. No luck. I leave instructions where Iíll be. An option;
you can call tomorrow.
I wait, I over-wait. You do not come. I am elated. I am relieved. I am
depressed. The jukebox owes me fifty quarters. I owe my friends a better
smile. I put it on, go out into the cold. Back to the hotel. I watch a
television movie, believe it or not, Secret of the Incas with Yma
Sumac. Surely you will call me up tomorrow. The tubís filling up. I strip
off my clothes. Think. Fuck thinking.
November 4. Up noon. Breakfast. Write. Iím finishing a book, this
book. The phone rings with twenty-minute precision, every twenty minutes.
Three-thirty now. I run though the options: no message was delivered; the
signals passed between us were imagined by me; you occupy another manís
bed; you are afraid. No, you are not afraid. You will not call.
Five. Darkness. London will not wait again. Anyway, what possible new
excuses could I make, even to myself ?
With no more knowledge of each other than a half-imagined look, I miss you
mightily. You have caused a void that you will likely never hear about.
Worse, Iíve occupied these hours we might have spent together writing of
the time as substitute for not living it.
I remember California. I know you thought that Iíd forgotten. What I did
forget is that people seldom change their minds. Much as I dislike
goodbyes, I hate indifference more. Still, you were special. Waiting
tables, filling up a stage, sliding through a Friday night in Sheridan
Square, you were the prize. The mirrored ball spinning through the air,
that once lit up, sends flecks of light dancing, bouncing, all across the
discotheque. What I really thought was this - maybe youíd forgotten
California and me. Maybe Iíd be new to you, as you thought you were to me.
New York in November, the event of the season for some. For others, the
pageantry and hope have to be enough. Though it would not, could not be
Join me tomorrow for Pass It
Along. Sleep warm.
Details of Rod's next
appearance can be obtained by following the link below.
Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman