The Breakfast Table

Whew! It’s Over!

Is everything settled then? I returned the celebrity’s keys. It’s “a historian,” not “an historian”–damn the grammarians. You will sell your book of poetry signed by Robert Browning, and Joyce Maynard will sell Salinger’s letters. She will get more money than you because she had an affair with Salinger and you, I presume. Lying is good. We will split custody of the children. No, wait! That’s someone else.

Dan, I’ve gotten to know you this week, but still I feel I do not know everything. For instance, where did you go tonight after the Veronica Geng reading? (You mentioned this morning that you were taking a plane after you posted your last e-mail.) Wherever you are going, I wish you luck getting through airport security. Remember, you packed your own bags, were in possession of them at all times, and they contain no weapons. Isn’t it amusing that the airlines rely so heavily on the honor system for security?


Just as you say you could read my stuff all day, I could read yours for an identical length of time. And just as you are relieved to have no more Breakfast Tables to write, so I am equally lightened, even though the experience was a genuine pleasure. Clearly, if we ever do this again, we should take the pressure off by writing each other’s stuff.

So adieu. Or should I say an-dieu?

Breakfast Patty

P.S.: As I was leaving the play tonight, I heard a gentleman comment to his wife that Shel Silverstein had died. When she said she did not know who Shel Silverstein was, her husband proceeded to describe Saul Steinberg.

P.P.S.: Don’t give up on your quest to get Catherine Zeta-Jones write a book for you. Everyone needs a dream. And everyone in Hollywood thinks he or she can write a book. “I could write like Tolstoy,” some producer once said, “if only I had the time.”

P.P.P.S.: Now that we are no longer being paid to discuss the news, do you think you’ll ever read the newspaper again?