The Breakfast Table

To Hell With It–Have Fun

Dearest Amy Good and so Blooming Smart Bloom,

Forgive me if I am not clear-headed–the sheep are being herded out my window, to their next pasture, by four children in rubber boots and one man in galoshes. The children are happy, the man is probably a little anxious, and the sheep are out of their minds with consternation, which is the one thing a sheep musters up very well. I wish I could disagree with you about the Smiley piece, for the sake of a sparky correspondence, but alas you’ve said exactly what I would have wished to have said if only I’d thought of it. Especially the bit about the work required to affect such coolness. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were another installment of this essay two or three years down the road, or a coda, at the least. And I’m afraid you are far too logical to enter into any argument with Congress or your state representatives or your local officials. There is a new book on the stands by Jane Alexander about her time at the NEA, and she apparently spends much of her ink in well-bred disgust: Generally our legislators are neither smart nor wise nor much interested nor capable of imagination. This is not news to some, of course, nor is it, I suppose, their own fault, since we put our officials in office, but I don’t think, because of this unfortunate ineffectualness, same-sex couples will soon enjoy the same rights as those who enjoy Normativity in the eyes of their God, not to mention the State. Or perhaps, as a friend once suggested, most homophobes are actually merely jealous. Do you think that Eleanor of Aquitaine, to pick one astonishing historical female, was simply born out of her time? How to explain a woman who had such pluck, who was able to form a power base–although she did have property, it’s true, certainly didn’t hurt. And yes, she did have to go to prison for her wiles. Still, she rose straight out of her constraints for much of her life, said To Hell with it, and had fun, I’d wager, on top of it. Although she was cunning and ambitious, she is definitely in the GOOD category.

You are playing tennis. I’m going to have a massage, by Cathy, another best Good person, who brings all of her Midwestern enthusiasm to the ancient art of Chinese healing.