Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

No no, not mine! Although anyone treated to the recent blow-by-blow accounts of a troubled mind would be forgiven for thinking so. (Scratch that, it would be far too eventful for this blog.)

The death in question is my grandfather's. He's preoccupied with it. I was up there Monday evening and he mentioned his funeral (2x) and various things he'd never see again (namely Paris, East Hampton.) He said he wanted his funeral to be funny, so I suggested we find the strange aging hippie who crashed my great-aunt's funeral at Riverside Memorial and broke into an a cappella version of "The Water is Wide."

Now, this sort of talk (somewhere between raging against the dying of the light and just talking about the dying of the light a lot) is less random than it might be in some people: the gentleman in question did live through WWI, not that he'd thank me for mentioning it. Also, after a life of unimpeachable health, has in recent months suffered a bad fall and a series of resultant malfunctions that have depressed him mightily. Nevertheless, I can't remember ever laughing more than we did on Monday. He's a testament to positive thinking, humor and optimism, that's for sure. And if he ever heard me say anything so trite, he'd have a particularly cutting one-liner at the ready, so there you go.

So I'll profit by his example and tell you about some of the things I've been doing. Well, after seeing them, I went downtown and decided I'd go to the bar that's been called the "New Beatrice Inn" based on its alleged exclusivity and absurdity. So I went there, because why not. It proved disappointingly easy to get into and not full pf beautiful people at all, maybe because it was 10 pm on a Monday and I understand that beautiful people keep late hours. So I went to Corner Bistro with Slim and had a bacon cheeseburger.

Then, last night (after a dinner at the Pearl Oyster Bar with my brother, POB being one of the few food-related things that seems to interest him) saw, with Sylvia, La Danse the 172-minute documentary on the Paris Opera Ballet so engrossing that by the end I felt like I, personally, had been dancing with muscular grace for more than two hours and was mildly surprised to find myself completely out of shape and decidedly...corporeal. The week before, Sylvia and I had been to see The Red Shoes and agreed that between the two we felt we'd learned all there was to know about ballet and understood it to be hard. Sylvia, with whom I used to work, is a young woman of unfailing poise and serenity who is one of the few people in the world who loves both Rumer Godden and Powell-Pressberger as much as I, lurid as both can be.

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