I just read a short story, Silk & Silk, by Jerome Charyn, in Narrative, that left me with the strongest desire to be exquisitely dressed, in high heels, a formfitting dress, fingering a glass of pinot noir at the bar of the St. Regis, a hotel where I've never been, at the King Cole Bar, in the romantic glow of flattering light amid softly gleaming Maxfield Parrish's. (Is that the same artist as the murals at Café des Artistes? There I did dine, once or twice, a long time ago.) Oh to be romanced in such a setting, in any setting, by anyone. If I looked and dressed the part would someone there hit on me? Would I want them to? I'm awfully fussy.
What I really would like is to be married, in a happy marriage, with companionship, affection, interesting talks, a bit of travel, occasional dinners out, a sense of setting goals together, making plans together, enjoying things together. I had a marriage like that - once. He's gone. Like a personality change. The one he has now - I would never have been remotely interested, wouldn't have dated him. I hope it's not early Alzheimer's. I don't think so. I think it's more that - well, I changed in that I became older, and weaker (physically, energy), and discouraged - and he'd hoped that he could coast with me - that I'd carry him. I always knew that I didn't have that kind of strength, and the day gradually came. He flipped the switch. He's been in a long sulk, turned off the charm. I've read a lot about high-level narcissists. Only thing worse? Low-level narcissists.
I fantasize that my brother who I'm not even on speaking terms with - he's a high-flier, dropped me decades ago - fixes me up with someone in his circle. That fantasy doesn't last long because I doubt I would like any one of his friends. Friends? social contacts, acquaintances - whatever, I'm sure it would be oil & water, me with anyone in his opportunistic set. As a fantasy it's a dud on many levels. It never really takes off. Why is it that he and I are so very different from each other? There is a lot I don't understand.
I watched Charlie Rose yesterday. I went to high school with one of the guys on there. He was a year behind me - my brother's year - and I had a huge crush on him. Preternaturally gifted, smart, literate, etc., etc. We became friends, in a fashion. Actually he and I started a little book review journal together, with the help of one of the school librarians, Mrs. Bastian. At least one issue was published, and I think even a second. It's funny seeing him on TV now so many years later. He was quite the "rock star" back when he was in ninth or tenth grade - now he's all middle-age successful gravitas. He's a year younger than me, and looks I think older. Or I look youthful. I feel, in ways, very youthful. Mrs. Bastian was very disappointed when, the following year, I lost interest in the book review journal - and I don't think any students after us picked it up, it just sank into the waves.
Is it the perfume from her dress that makes me so digress?
No, I think it's the three straight days of rain - but just this very second - the sun has burst out, illuminating the gray.