Tuesday, October 18, 2005

And I only have the photos to prove that they ever did exist

I heard Joan Didion interviewed on Fresh Air the other evening while driving home. She was on the show to promote her book "The Year of Magical Thinking."

She talked about how she felt after her longtime marriage to John Gregory Dunne ended with his death, and how she finally had to face her old age because of it. She said that as long as she was with him, part of her was still the young woman she was when they met, because that's what she still was in his eyes, or at least she felt so.

Tears sprang to my eyes as she said this, and I felt my grip tighten on the steering wheel as I barrelled westward down the 134.

I remembered back to when my husband left me, and how, I am ashamed to write, the worst part about it was that I was 42.

"I'm 42!" I wailed at him once in the midst of an argument over the splitting of property.

"I'm 42!" I said it as if it were the most poignant statement of my plight I could muster, and yet, at the same time, I couldn't understand why it crushed me beyond any measure of emotional pain I'd felt up until that moment.

Now I think I do. When I met my ex, I was 32.

Not only still young, but "young" without qualification.

And when he left, so went the young woman. Gone. And every man who loves me ever after will love the middle-aged me, which is a fine me, of course.

But she is not the young me. All lovers of her are gone.

All gone.

7 comments:

Spooney said...

When I look at you , I see you
not an age.
You are timeless & beautiful & I love you.

vikkitikkitavi said...

You can tell me more when I get home, baby.

Randyluvspaiste said...

Spooney-
Howcum you can just effortlessly roll off such a loving and heartfelt sentiment, then totally block when it comes to writing lyrics? Maybe you should write a love song. Yes, I can handle another slow tune.

vikkitikkitavi said...

The other night, Spooney was rambling off a list of things that make him a dork, or something, and I was laughing pretty hard. I told him he should write a song about that, and he looked at me like I was nuts. What gives?

Randyluvspaiste said...

I dunno Vikki.
Paula and I are a buncha dorks too, to be sure (but in a very hip way, of course).
Dork is the new Cool.
There's gotta be a Banquet Hall song in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't someone also love the geriatric, senile you . . . ?
--david

vikkitikkitavi said...

Of course, and someone does, and that is not lost on me.

There is, I'm sure, no small measure of vanity involved in my regret over this. Or a denial of death, Otto Rank-style.