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7/23/06
Taking a Nap w/an Old Friend

Dear Kim:

Where is my drawing?:)

Laurel and had had all sorts of plans for today . . . an early movie, lunch with childhood friends.

She didn't sleep all night and I was up with her most of the night. She woke up a little while ago with a bad nose bleed and temperature. So we are in today and I am playing things by ear.

It is very cold here. 17 degrees with the wind whipping off the lake. I think the news said that yesterday was one of the coldest Thanksgivings on record.

I have all sorts of potential plans, visiting a photographer's studio, maybe seeing a play, visiting Sabina. But Laurel is the primary reason I am here so I want to tend to her. And I am rarely that invested in any plan, besides plans to make art.

Most things are interesting to me, including being quiet and taking care of someone who does not feel well.

It is a me thing and it is a Buddhist thing.

I asked her the last night why she felt so comforted when I was near and she said I was in her DNA. She trusts me.

I hold those thoughts deep in my heart.

But hopefully by tomorrow, she will be fine since, as it is, as she says, a long way away.

She is also adamant that she does not want me to write about her for publication without reviewing it. And at dinner last night, our friend Jan who is helping to produce "The Color Purple" on Broadway and knows about such things, said I couldn't do it legally without repercussion. That the other person has a right to control their story.

I understand and also feel somewhat stymied and puzzled by this since anything that involves me is also my story, too.

If we were doing fiction, I could change the names. But that is not what we are doing. And yet the story of Laurel's life is one of the primary stories of my life right now. That and the story of Pseudonym.

There are other stories, to be sure. But to bypass family and love makes writing some of my most immediate truths difficult.

As Freud said, Love and work.

I do not necessarily want to write about work.

We will figure this out. Laurel and me and you and me.

Please send me a drawing. What has happened to your early a.m. schedule?

xJoan

Friday, Nov 25, 2005

11:22 a.m.


Dear Kim:

Well, my day turned around. I was going to stay at home at take care of Laurel all day but she said she planned to sleep and didn't need me so she generously encouraged me to go out.

It was a Hyde Park U High kind of day. One of my mother's oldest friends, Trudy, who now lives in Philadelphia and is staying at my parents while they are in NY came by with her oldest son Dick Dworkin who was ahead of my brother in school.

We went over to Jim Grodzin's house and and had lunch with him and his wife Cathy and brother Josh who was visiting form Camden, Maine. Josh may be my oldest friend, although I have not seen him in 20 years.

He is six months older than me and we used to take baths together as kids. At lunch, he remembered the day my father brought my sister home from the hospital. My father's gait, the way he held my sister, the proud and tender expression on his face.

I began to cry. I was so touched and hungry to hear a description of a memory like that.

The conversation hopscotched all over the place and although several of us didn't know each other well in adult terms, it didn't matter. Any and everything was interesting. Unlike last night which felt well intentioned but labored.

My mother's friend Trudy who is in her 80's wanted to go see a play and wanted me to join her. After being up with Laurel half the night, I was lagging. So I said,"Well, if I could take a nap, maybe I could make it."

Cathy (who I had never previously met)said, "Well, you can take a nap here."

So I turned to Josh and said, "Ok, let's take a nap."

They offered me one of their many bedrooms and I said to Josh, "No, let's just curl up here on the couch in front of the fire where we already `are."

So we did.

And I didn't realize it at the time but it was like an enactment of nap time from 45 years ago.

Can you imagine?

It felt safe and cozy and innocent laying intertwined with the old old friend, who has turned out to be gay, well we all knew he was gay from a very early age.

Can you make a drawing of two old friends, a man and a woman, taking a nonsexual nap together?

Ok, here is a question about memory.

Why do we remember the things that happened long ago so well? Logic would suggest that we would remember the more recent things because they happened more recently. But that does not seem to be where our memories lodge.

Later,

xJoan

Saturday, Nov 26, 2005

12:10 a.m.

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