TITANIC

I turned over a rock tonite…as you might imagine, I wasn’t much taken with the view.

Most of us now dither about the dysfunction in our government. A lot of small minded politicians, lacking in both spine and substance are our elected officials.

58% of Americans participated in 2016 by voting, is that right? And half of them – if that – have managed to install majorities in both the House and Senate. It’s hard to quantify buyer’s remorse…but to this day, a lot of them seem determined to go down with the ship. “Nothing to see here, we’re just taking on a little ice for cocktails… ”

I pray for vigilant stalwart citizens who will bear witness. Not for personal aggrandizement but for the good of the nation…for the continuance of our democracy. I see a lot of my friends on Facebook, energized and posting and exhorting and downright engaged. Respect.

TRIBECA

Went to the salon this evening of two long time friends…tho I haven’t attended in a couple years. If you’re unfamiliar with this word, you should immediately look it up.   I had no plans to participate, I was content to be in the company of creative minds. The work offered tonight was eclectic and compelling – prose, music, poetry, comedy, reflection…

Earlier, as we enjoyed the potluck and introduced ourselves, I noticed this t-shirt. I asked Scott about it, what it meant to him. GREENWICH STREET. You see, from 1973-1978 I lived in a loft at 357 Greenwich Street, the entire third floor. We now call that TriBeCa. TRIangle BElow CAnal. I was the first tenant in this former cheese storage warehouse. I built that home, I sanded those oak floors, those chestnut beams. I installed all the electrical wiring and plumbing, the pool table, the fireplace…2500 square feet. Eight 4’x8′ floor to ceiling windows.

I watched Battery Park City constructed and emerge over the Hudson River. My loft was five blocks north of the Twin Towers. On May 26, 1977, leaving my home to film my soap, Search For Tomorrow, I noticed everyone on Greenwich Street looking up. I did too…and discovered George Willig, climbing up the outside of the South Tower to its very top.

Tonight Scott told me, the t-shirt was something he’d bought in NYC during a visit…but I still appreciated the synchronicity.  I welcomed offering after offering, applauded enthusiastically, enjoyed myself immensely in the company of so many talented, accomplished artists. The evening drew to an end…and then a man stood up and shared a spoken word piece, a memory of his interactions with his father, as a younger man. His father had smoked Pall Mall cigarettes.

Suddenly, on an impulse, I raised my hand and Suzanne allowed me to “call an audible”. I rose, moved to the center of the room. I spoke of Jung and synchronicity; that the more synchronicity one notices, the more it occurs. I then pulled off my t-shirt, revealing my scars, tattoos and a nicotine patch on my left chest. I told everyone that I began smoking Pall Malls in 1961; that I had enjoyed them consistently ever since that time, without shame or regret. However, that I was now facing some pretty consequential surgery in the days ahead…and that I’d agreed to end my longstanding relationship with Pall Malls.

Tonight was DAY TWO without tobacco. I hate the Welbutrin, the anti-depressant I now take. It makes me downright fucking stupid, dull, light-headed…but it will allow me to wean myself from this lifetime addiction to nicotine. Just hearing those words – PALL MALL – that shit was as affecting, as arousing to me as a close encounter with a full breasted woman! If my yearning had physicality, I was suddenly fully erect and leaning forward! Goddamn, I wanted a fucking Pall Mall.   But see, that’s why I take the drugs….

This too shall pass, the immediacy of this yearning. Each day will get easier. But I have no illusions about the future. You do something, anything, 20 times a day for 57 years…something that you truly enjoyed… THAT ain’t going away, not ever, not in this lifetime.

The important thing is to HAVE a lifetime.

MY HEART STRUCK SORROW…

I was out for brunch provender. A couple heirloom tomatoes, a couple bagels from the Farmers Market, then a trip to Bea’s for lox and brisket. Driving south on White Oak, I glanced to my right and noticed an elderly woman, down on all fours and very shaky. I drove for a couple seconds, having a flashback…then pulled a U turn and raced back to that cross street, another U turn and parked in a red zone. I jumped out and searched quickly, discovering her 50 meters away, still struggling.

I walked towards her, helped her to her feet and asked if she wanted me to call someone. Her accent was heavy, Eastern European or Middle Eastern; she had a bruised knee and scrapes on her hands. I asked if she lived nearby…apparently around the corner. The cause of her fall was just another irregularity in the pavement, a small upthrust, enough to catch an unwary toe. I walked with her for a bit, she expressed her gratitude and I was happier to help than you can ever imagine. There was no other foot traffic on White Oak and cars continued to drive by.

Years ago, while in England I received word that my own dear mother had fallen while in her beloved patio garden. She lay there for several hours, until a neighbor noticed her and called EMS. Her left arm suffered a spiral fracture…and Mom never recovered from that fall. I was able to fly home and spend time with her during her convalescence and final days…but today’s encounter triggered a wave of grief and anxiety and helplessness inside of me. All I could think of as I circled back to this woman was my own mothers fall and the absence of anyone to help her for so long.