I thought she would not stay nor last, part of last month and this one, in hospital watching foul weather settle over a Southampton neighborhood painted over and over by Fairfield Porter so that I saw brushstrokes where plants were and dabs of thick color where light hit a cornice and much freezing and thawing and some snow and then some more and frozen rain might be added to the general instability of the planet — an Australia rent by floods and fires, a Japan juddering from major earthquake and brutal tsunami, fires in our continent’s West as well as tornadoes and blizzards, firestorms in the Middle East, endless Iraq and terminal Pakistan and Afghanistan and I am forgetting African republics am I not in his lamentable birdsong and ululation of brutality and suffering. Is this fit world for a goddess? One from half of a year in the darkness of the nether world, driven more than a bit mad by all of this light? And filthy, too. She needs water and soap and a haircut and pedicure and manicure and please a sprightly new dress to bedeck a bit and give pleasure to us all this new season. But the days they grind on slowly, slowly and not green at all. I watch from my large window the passing of the mean days.
I am brought two tightly budded bunches of yellow tulips that rouse a smile from all. My progress goes by numbers, the lower the better and slowly, slowly they are dropping. “Let me go home and see how quickly they will fall.” “We can’t do that,” they say. And I say that peace and quiet do not come at 6 in the morning when the lawn below my window, a twigless and leafless lawn, is blown for twigs and leaves. Shouldn’t wonder if my “numbers” went up after that.
“You live alone? No one to help you?” But this, my dear, is the very great South Fork of the amazing Hamptons and there are even shoppers to assist you through the mazes and alleys of King Kullen and, for a few, you can get just about anyone at anytime to do anything and if I live alone it is because of choice and not tragedy, planning not a lurch in life’s surface. If there is food to be bought, soups and sushi and salads and sandwiches and hot and cold dishes and bisques and roast this and marinated that can be delivered.
Alone? Yes. How I would wish to live alone in this hospital and not have my room cleaned at 2 in the morning and have my blood taken then. No one has blood at that hour.
Alone is missing spring which I fear I am or am not, certainly not from this window or reports I get from Alejandro or Carlos: “Stay warm. It’s awful outside. You’re not missing a thing.”
And my numbers fall and I am sent home to my oblivion waiting for the goddess to appear and some Chinese takeout find my doorstep still hot and steaming.