Friday, July 31, 2020

The Permanent Connection

Little sweetheart, remember the refrigerator, here? It’s the same one that was in operation from the day I arrived decades ago. An ancient warhorse, I’m guessing it has probably been here since the Kennedy Administration. It’s the kind where you have to defrost the freezer regularly. If you don’t it becomes like an igloo and you can only shove a thing or two into the tunnel of space between walls of icy tundra.

Last year, it seemed to be on its last legs, and the landlord sent a repairman over here who took one listen to it and pronounced it a blown condenser, un-fixable because trusty don’t even make parts for it anymore. That was a year ago. I don’t like to make trouble, so I sat on it for another four seasons until now when even at full blast, it wasn’t keeping things cool. To my astonishment the landlord agreed to replace it and they brought a new one over here earlier yesterday.

Every time I would defrost the old one. I would take everything out, placing all the most perishable stuff in a cooler and filling it with a five pound bag of ice from the deli, to keep cold until the arduous operation was completed a few hours later.

At the back of the fridge on the top shelf is a collection of things of yours, little sweetheart, from your last time here, that I’ve saved all these years. Some crisps, some sweets and a favorite soda, salad dressing, some barley from a recipe I made especially for you. Each time I defrosted, I would carefully save them all, transferring them to a little box and then putting them back after everything was defrosted and cleaned. Yesterday, I did that again, and returned them to the brand new fridge.

The front of the old one also had many pictures of you - including one of you at a fridge (at my mom’s, wrapped in a blue towel post-shower and looking for a yogurt)  - and some other mementos, a ticket from the Leonard Cohen show you took me to in Oakland for my birthday and the receipt from our trip to the spa in Calistoga, on yours. I carefully removed them and this morning put them all back on the front of the new one.

Some things change but others are forever. Isn’t that right, little sweetheart? 

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Hard Listening

The new album, our 9th, Deux Anges, is nearing completion, little sweetheart. It’s going to be a double-album, two discs, 15 tracks on each, nearly three hours in total.

It’s hard to let go of. I loop back, listening, and hear one more thing I want to change, get all the way through to the end, listen again and find one more.

At a certain point, like a grade schooler in art class, the kindly teacher needs to look over my shoulder, say, “what a beautiful picture” and gently pry it from my hands, taping it to the wall with the others so we know that is done.

I think I need you to do that, little sweetheart. I’ll go lie down. You tell me what you think, okay? Find me in dreams, the way you have all through this, gifting me the words and music in my sleep, and let know if it’s time.

With all my love. And to be continued (obviously)…

Sunday, July 19, 2020

July in Remembrance

July is drawing toward a close, soon, little sweetheart, and just as I said I thought it might, it is bringing to me memories of being with you that last July we had together.

Your folks had rented a house on the Oregon Coast for the July 4th weekend and invited the extended family along. Your brother nearly burnt the place down when the fireworks he was shooting off on the beach caught some brush alight. But even that was fun in the end, the crisis averted.

I have some breathtaking pictures of you from that time, my iPhone still quite a new thing, and a video of you magically appearing from the doorway of your room onto the balcony. We drove dune buggies (or rather you drove, I rode) along the shore, specifically where the rental guys told us not to go.

Staying on in California some additional weeks, we shot that short film based on my play Two From the Line, expanded with a role I wrote especially for you. And we spent several days together at the beautiful house in Davis.

My mom had unexpectedly passed away less than two months earlier. You’d gotten my home from London, then flew to be at my side. I knew that week and told you that whatever happened in my life now, I needed to be nearer to you.

We were figuring it out. They were the best days of my life.

I think somehow they still are there and that when I know that all you know now, I will find that - that we can live in all moments of our life simultaneously, ad infinitum, however we choose, because time is not what we think it is.

We, you, are forever. With all my love.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Epic Walks

One of the things that I loved to do with you, little sweetheart, was going for long walks together.

We used to do that here in New York and I remember a couple of fine ones all the way to the windmill in Golden Gate Park, starting out from your apartment in the Inner Sunset.

The first day or two of our trip to Ireland with Kris & Joy, I remember you getting restless because we were going everywhere in the rental car. The scenery was spectacular along the Cork/Kerry border and we made some lovely stops along the way but it wasn’t what you wanted. The next morning we got up and went for a long walk to Doneen pier. And the next day an even longer one to the lighthouse the end of the peninsula. It made things so much better. It was the way you liked them.

Now, when I am feeling the bluest, going for one of those kind of walks, just hours long and wandering north along the river, through the park, looping back so late the light begins to go, I feel better, somehow. I think it centers me and helps me find you.

Find me again, won’t you, little sweetheart? Find me over and over until I can be with you forever and always. With all my love.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Best in a Crisis

Sometimes, little sweetheart, when a thought or phrase comes to me, I’ll write it down quickly so I don’t forget. I’ve got dozens of little scraps of paper all over the apartment with curious scribblings like that, meant to call something to mind or just remind and prompt me to further elaboration.

One of them sitting here says this: “Best in a Crisis”. And I think that’s meant to say something about you and I together. No matter how big or even how small a problem might have ever been I could always count on you, even when I couldn’t count on myself.

A thousand others would be out the door the moment anything remotely adverse occurred but you never ever gave up on me.

And when the hardest things would befall - when my mother died, I’m thinking of that, especially just now - you literally flew to my side with love and protection.

I’m so grateful, little sweetheart. How very much I am! And I love you, love you forever and ever.

Friday, July 3, 2020

How You Forever Linger

Have I mentioned this before, little sweetheart? Sometimes when I’m just going about my day, I will sense you. It’s happened with something that I think I hear or think I see but also sometimes I suddenly sense your scent.

I’ve described it before as cotton candy and the best birthday cake anyone ever made for you. There’s something lovely and sweet about it and it calls you to my mind in an instant. It happens in all kinds of different circumstances. I might be on the street or in a store even passing through the hallway. Invariably, no one is around, it can’t be attributed to some simply passing by whose scent somehow resembles you own.

It’s a magical thing. And my heart soars each time it happens because I know you are near me.

With all my love forever.

Monday, June 29, 2020

London Memories

June is drawing to a close, little sweetheart, and a flood of memories of our times together is washing over me.

Next month, I know I’ll be thinking especially of our trip with your family up the Oregon coast over the July 4th weekend. And just now, I’m thinking about our first trip to London together.

I was already there and you flew in a few days later, on your way to a wedding later that week down in Bournemouth and then coming back to London to stay on for another week or so, I asked Joy if you could stay there with me and she of course said yes. I’d had her make a set of silver rings for you, the twin to mine, to give to you as soon as you arrived.

And we spent the days together traveling around by Tube and by foot, down to The South Bank to see shows at The National and The Globe, having ice cream and walking hand in hand along the Thames, visiting the Tate and walking over the “Wobbly” bridge to St Paul’s. We went to Covent Garden and got tickets for a show at The Donmar and found the dance studio were you took classes when you lived there after Oxford.

We got late night groceries from the Sainsbury’s and took the train back to Kentish Town where I made dinner and a crumble for you. We slept together on the little trundle bed in the guest room and went for long walks on the Hampstead Heath.

They were some of the best days of my life and one night walking back across Tower Bridge I was so overwhelmed I started to cry. You just held me in your arms and said it was okay, and told me “don’t start missing me, yet - I’m right here”. 

Yes, my darling girl, yes. I know you are. I know you are right here, closer than I can even imagine. How I love you! Forever! Forever.