Monday, October 24, 2005


Last night in a cold-medicine induced haze, I started reading John Cheever's journals. How comforting to find such an American literary icon so utterly vulnerable and scared. I'm allowing myself this departure from reading fiction for a bit. I simply can't bear to read the latest "It" girl or boy's contribution to contemporary letters. And so Cheever it is. But more interesting even than his neuroses are my grandfather's annotations. The book is a borrowed copy from the Craig Camp Library which I brought back from Vermont this summer (along with Cheever's letters). It is fascinating to decipher my grandfather's life via the mysterious checks and underlines and exclamation points in every one of his books. This summer I found the copy of Undressing the Moon that I had given to him. He passed away before we ever got a chance to discuss it; I feared that after his stroke he had not been able to muddle his way through. But inside the pages were his glorious scratches and notes as well as the date he finished it. He has left small treasures everywhere. Last night as I read it felt like I was reading two stories -- Cheever's and my grandfather's.

I haven't talked much about the girls lately...perhaps because they are so everpresent in my life, there's no room left in my writing? The fairy costumes are almost done. I have sewn battery-operated Christmas lights into the wings, bought sparkly shoes, and sewn tu-tu's filled with silk flowers. Kicky is beside herself in anticipation of Halloween and Esmee is, as she almost always is, blissfully oblivious.

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