Mary’s favorite show at the moment is “Newsroom,” but they speak so fast it takes me about half the hour to find out what it’s about.
Don’t get me wrong, it is very good, but I think they’re all on speed. Either that, or I’m as dumb as I’ve always thought.
“It reminds me why I didn’t stay in New York,” I told her the other night. “I would have been ground up and spit out long before now and sleeping under my Saks Fifth Avenue flannel-lined overcoat on the benches of Penn Station.”
I had a thing for Saks Fifth Avenue once, and gin and tonics with twists of lime, and, above all, a white linen suit with a vest and buttoned fly that I think was a hand-me-down from my Uncle Jack.
I fancied I cut quite a figure in the Halls of Ivy — I would have met myself under the clock at the Biltmore had I known who I was. The girls whom I fancied all had sonorous names. . . . “Wild nights — Wild Nights! . . . Might I but moor — Tonight — In Thee!”
At least that was my wish.
“I was very shallow, very callow then,” I said to Mary. “I’ve evolved over the years. From shallow to sallow. From a tweedy twit to a weedy wit.”
The disaffection from the one I was persuaded me not to attend my 50th reunion recently. I didn’t want to be reminded of my blighted college years, when, knowing less than nothing, I thought I was the cleverest of them all.
Now that I know I know nothing, and am moored in Bonac, things are going much better. I’m much more at home with uncertainty than I ever was, rowing in Eden, done with the compass, done with the chart.