The Breakfast Table

The Straight Story

Dear Jh–

I don’t want a nation of women, either–although perhaps if we had one for a week it would finally stop all our cultural nonsense of women as dimwitted, casserole-making, tree-loving baby-kissers and guys as dimwitted, aggressive, narcissistic toy-collectors. In my world there are smart, sharp straight women who’d just as soon kick you as smile, but who will get you acquitted even when the whole world has seen the video in which you molest animals and kill a world leader, and while they’re at it, they’ll get you a good haircut and decent babysitter–and there are smart, kind straight men who diaper babies without needing a special “Dad’s diaper bag” in burly blue denim and who have even mastered the parental art of cooking, listening, wiping up crud, and catching the loose frog without needing a magazine article about their specialness. I emphasize the “straight” because it seems to me that we are getting to the point where only gay men and women are allowed to demonstrate the range of human traits–straight people have to stick to the caricature of their sex or be deemed peculiar and “unmarketable,” in every arena.

The Gore/Bush travesty continues to swirl and no doubt Gore is always happy when Clinton goes abroad. How can a “popular” president help so little? It makes me wonder what exactly the word “popular” means. I don’t long for Nader, certainly, and nothing makes me think, “Oh, gosh, say yes, Mr. Gephardt!”. Will vote, I might even send money, but I won’t be happy. Why don’t people just do what I want? And who would I choose–probably no one living or electable … either of the Barbaras would have been OK: Jordan or Mikulski.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the following: Harold Bloom’s considered thoughts on Harry Potter, the psych. history of the guy who complained about Hillary’s slur (“Well, yes, she knew I wasn’t Jewish but I had mentioned that I had had a Jewish grandmother and in the heat of our terrible fight, she obviously remembered this …”??!! Who writes this stuff?), your new book, the truth about Mr. Eggers (that’s just mean on my part–but the idea of fabricated goodness and pomo cleverness is just different than true goodness and pomo etc.), a cloak of invisibility to wear at Camp David (and all over town, I’d wear it just to pick up berries at the Durham Market), the name of the next Supreme Court justice, tickets to see Nathan Lane as Sheridan Whiteside, Mark Doty’s new poem and the next one.

Let us go, dear Jane, and scrub our steps.

xo amy