isolation and fading friendships I have written here:
As the days get darker earlier I find myself lying on the bed with my two cats and in spite of their wonderful and affectionate company I am left wanting.
I have a nephew, Georgito O’Reilly in Buenos Aires I can WhatsApp anytime and I will find a man who smiles at me. I have known him since 1950.
Vancouver it has become a task to call anyone. Most don’t answer and the
protocol seems to warn them through texting that that you want to converse. And there is a new feature of Amazon scams. I get three to four a day. They have a 604 Vancouver number. I decided to call back. The person who answered was my friend Charles Campbell. Can Telus deal with his situation?
I miss Argentine
artist Juan Manuel Sánchez when he was living in Vancouver. I could call him
after midnight and he would even invite me to sip a mate with him. Now you have to phone people in the middle of the day for any possible success. Forget anytime 9pm.
All that is gone.
I have two daughters and two granddaughters. The latter “no me dan bola”
which is an Argentine expression that means I am out of their equation. The
former I now think I can no longer convey my sense of existential angst and my
feeling that while I am not yet suicidal my will to live is a tad diminished. I will no longer tell them how I feel.
But Good News!
I have found someone with whom I can converse. It is one-sided, as Joan Didion is dead. I object to the popular term “she passed”. That implies from here to there and you must believe that there is a there there. My Rosemary and I both believed in a total oblivion.
Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking was written (she began the book, a kind of diary) two days after her husband John Gregory Dunne died.
Navigating this book (2004), in which Didion writes everything that has been in my head since December 9 2020 and still there, is like sitting with someone at a coffee shop who is making sense as she talks to me. I can understand all her points. One of them is about a visit to LA where she avoided going to places where she had gone with her husband. She circumvented their old home. But when some place would pop up she writes about what she calls a vortex that consumes her. It is grief and melancholy. I am hit by a vortex.
Didion writes about “Others describe not a visible apparition but just a “very strong presence” She adds, “Yet on each occasion these pleas for his presence serve only to reinforce my awareness of the final silence that separated us. Any answer he gave would exist only in my imagination, my edit. We imagined we knew everything the other thought, even when we did not necessarily want to know it, but in fact, I have come to see, we knew not the smallest fraction there was to know.”
My copy of her book (purchased from Don Stewart at MacLeod Books) has 30 plastic “stickums” but I have not finished the book yet.
When I get to bed these dark nights the book by my side is a welcome sight even though reading it takes me to Didion’s vortex.