Oh gosh it’s late.
I am mostly awake by 7am. Today I slept in. And now it’s almost 11.
In case I haven’t explained recently, Saturday mornings I wake up, have one piece of toast and two cups of tea. A handful of almonds, two capsules of fish oil, and one of probiotics. Then I settle myself onto the sofa.
My goal is to write until I’m done. Or until noon. Whichever comes first. By noon, no matter what, I publish.
Last night I had dinner at my aunt’s house. My mother and her husband had driven up from Santa Barbara. I was tired. Somehow, the conversation became unnecessarily difficult. I got mad and rushed from the table, jumped in my white car, and drove home in some distress. I stayed up late, shaking my head and telling myself I should have behaved better. I called to apologize, as soon as I woke up.
High WASPs apologize early and often. We hate the idea of offending people but do it anyway.
This morning my father needed some tax documents signed. He came over, another early riser. I had not yet started to write. I was in my pyjamas. His shoes reminded me of slippers. His rumpled professorial hair.
We’re all getting older. My dad’s still handsome. I’ve been signing documents with him for decades.
It’s never a bad idea to take a minute and think about family interactions. Long histories of expectations, affection, and annoyance. The points of monogrammed forks. When you’ve eaten off a silver set for 45 years, it gets scratched. And there’s only a limited time to write.
I feel a strong need to unpick ritual, to disassociate the pattern from the wool, the affect from the act. We can’t ever get it all right. We can only pay attention to our signatures and our apologies.
I think an examined life requires you to shrug your shoulders and care terribly, all at once. Then put everything aside and butter some popcorn. Maybe grill the first asparagus of the season, with lots of black pepper. Have a lovely weekend.