novel there, and moments later have the effervescent author, mingling among her friends and others gathered in the welcoming space, autograph my volume, "Dear Belle - Hope you enjoy it!" As she penned I said to her, don't wear out your hand - I imagined that she might need to sign quite a number of books - to which notion she lightly scoffed & inscribed her name. I've heard her read once before, from her debut novel, one of among several writers at a reading at my favorite literary watering hole, and I was very happy to hear more today, and to obtain her book (which didn't break the bank). And whose subject - the depiction of life in an elite girls' boarding school in India, made me think of my mother, who after the war, as a coming-of-age clueless Polish girl, non-English-speaking, had been summarily thrown into a Catholic boarding school in England, where one might say she had to either sink or swim, and I would say that perhaps she did neither - managed to survive, thrive in some ways, but be forever damaged in others. Anyway, an unexpected connection to make as I heard the novelist (who is about my age) read, and converse as well with her very prim and acerbically dry friend & country neighbor, a poised, decorous woman in her seventies I would guess, utterly refined, who'd spent her girlhood - from age four to 14 - daughter of a sugar plantation owner, in a boarding school in Sri Lanka. The older woman feigned shock at the lesbianism openly hinted at in the passages that this evening's author read. How old were you when you attended the school? Age six to sixteen. Ahhhh. So the elder woman had been plucked from her hothouse environment possibly before untoward sequestered shenanigans might have begun. And this was in the 1970s. To which the elder coiffed woman without missing a beat found her assured answer - in my day lesbianism hadn't been invented yet.
I've probably hopelessly botched the quotes, but it was all very amusing - the audience laughed as though it were a play on Broadway or comic film, the two women seated at the dais were just that charming, quick, and funny.
I'm fading a bit at this point, dearest, it's 7:30. I'm dressed in a nice skirt outfit - I so enjoy wearing them - tapping into my feminine side in that way. The perfume on my wrist, the usual, smells almost chocolatey to me. I did an awful lot of putzing around the kitchen today, it took hours but what did I accomplish? Well, quite a bit, just not dramatically so. Though I did bake cookies. I started out making a batch of chocolate chip cookies, from a recipe from the bag of chips (I have a more involved, supposedly superior recipe, but I'm not so sure, and didn't bother), and then after I added the cup of chopped walnuts, the dough seemed excessively buttery so I decided to throw in a couple of cups of organic oatmeal, and on top of that the contents of a bit-dusty baggie of golden raisins I had on hand. So - a hybrid cookie was born - and do you know - the dollops came out really delicious - the whole, vaguely butterscotchy, greater than the sum of its parts.
And I did a mountain of laundry, and put away the shopping bags of produce I came home with yesterday from the CSA. Seems so simple - oh yeah, I put away produce - what's the big deal? But it took a while. The sweet potatoes were crusted with earth, which got over everything, I had to rinse and scrape them by hand, along with the beets, let them dry, bag each vegetable separately - and that goes for the clean arugula, and kale too....
And that's about it... went for a walk - had done so much housework I had wondered if I'd get around to one, but I did. Had an effective time with you - so very different, what I think about now, for real, to get results, than the stuff I'd written for you all that time ago - OMG - what I wrote - the stuff of someone who hasn't had any in a while - speaking for myself. No, my fantasies - well - they're not that...
And beyond that I started reading one of the books I'd instantly reserved upon learning of it. It's a fictionalized account largely of the love & sex life of the both prolific and profligate H.G. Wells. I pounced on it, and devoured a portion of it, possibly for all the 'wrong reasons.' I was speed-reading for all the salient, explicit, and/or revelatory bits, looking for insight into a type of man I've had searing encounter with, and never quite got over, and to this day don't quite understand - or I do on some level, and not on another. I don't know. I found myself at one point, back down in the kitchen later in the afternoon, after getting myself off, after my nap, before dressing for the literary reading, unloading the dishwasher, feeding the cats, and I burst into tears, hot dry ones, because I don't understand why fate has been on that level so cruel to me. H.G. keeps marrying idealized women who as it turns out are passionless in bed. I have passion. And I'm a wife who's been faithful - for many years until my mind went off the deep end and now I'm not faithful at all. I'm lusty, yet not a cheap tramp. Menopausal - yet never pregnant; childless - never gave birth. I'm at arms reach all the time to anybody - forever out of reach. I lust just as much as the H.G. character (in the novel) professes to lust. And yet - I've never ever given my life over to that. And yet I've always been regarded as "wild" - dzika Jola.
Anyway, I don't mean to go off the deep end mood-wise, and yet I am feeling that way just a bit. I don't get it, not really. Aren't I attractive? degreed? cultivated?
Wouldn't I have made a good wife?
Or is it that I liked sex too much?