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On my 40th birthday, I got very morose.

Never again will I caress an 18-year-old male body in lust, I thought.

Never mind that I’d never been particularly big on caressing 18-year-old male bodies in lust. Even when I was 18.

I had a minor depressive episode that lasted for six months or so. Its chief symptom seemed to be a fixation on handsome bagboys in supermarkets, zeroing on their biceps and triceps as they crammed boxes of breakfast cereal into my environmentally conscious carrying totes. I wanted to lunge out and caress those biceps and triceps, and on at least a couple of occasions, I wept furiously and frustratedly in the parking lot when I got back to my car.

At 40, I felt so-o-o-o old.

Who would ever have believed that one day I’d be 65?

###

Spring has finally sprung here in the quaint and scenic Hudson Valley. Progression of the spring flowers has finally begun: Crocuses are fading; we’re on to forsythia.

I tried to tromp around in it a bit yesterday, but I haven’t been sleeping well – not sure what to attribute that to – so I gave up after three miles or so. Came home and collapsed.

It’s really odd to experience one’s body increasingly as a horse that’s simply not up to the demands one makes on it.

Ditto on the brain.

I just can’t think after a certain point in the afternoon.

###

State of the Fiction Projects:

I will be joining the delightful Carol for the annual pilgrimage to Madison, Wisconsin over Memorial Day. (Hope to spend at least one day in Chicago beforehand running around with [livejournal.com profile] chezsci. Possibly two days if the Beautiful Historian is in town.)

There’s a critique session in Madison, and it seems to me that I should probably submit the Eleanor Roosevelt ghost story and the first few chapters of Where You Were When for critiquing – both would benefit from plotting suggestions from outside intelligences.

There’s also a very professional pitch conference in New York City in late June where I could workshop my June Miller novel. It costs serious money, but it might be worth it if the MS were in good enough shape.

###

Many, many years ago Micah – she of the witchy green eyes and curiously abrasive but nonetheless reliable insight – told me she thought my diary was the reason why so many of my writing project languished in a state of genteel incompletion. “I think you have it in the back of your head that your diary is your real work,” she said.

I think she’s right.

From the time I was a very, very small child, I’ve wanted to use this life to tell stories. But more than that, I’ve wanted to use this life to bear witness.

I’ve succeeded at that.

But compared to fame, fortune, and great wads of cash, it seems like such an insignificant and hollow victory.
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Continuing in my pissy mood today. Nothing’s wrong. Everything’s good. I guess I’m just one of those people who goes about wanting to randomly smash people’s heads into the wall a certain percentage of the time. Must be my Scorpio moon. The rest of the time I’m a pussycat.

Maybe it’s just autumn.

The Future Mother of My Unborn Grandchildren is coming to visit for a couple of days next week and I’m trying to think of ways I can spoil her without seeming too officious.

Liza’s coming to New York without Max who has a fairly demanding job these days. She and I have never really spent any time together, so I decided to invite her up here to get the opportunity to know her a little. Check out her teeth. Measure her thighs. Administer the Stanford Binet. All those things that prospective mothers-in-law need to do to make sure their sons’ choices are good breeding stock.

Ha ha.

“She’s very nervous about visiting you,” Max told me on the phone last night. Squeals of girlish protest in the background. “She doesn’t want to you to know, of course –"

“Put Liza on the phone,” I said. “Hello, Liza. You should be nervous to meet me. In fact, you should be terrified because I’m going to spend 72 hours judging you –“

This was a joke, of course, but possibly the wrong kind of thing to say because it’s not clear to me that Liza has a sense of humor.

“But seriously, Liza, Max is the one who should be nervous because I’m going to share all his childhood secrets with you –“

This time she laughed.

One of my conceits is that I get along very well with people who are much younger than me. That’s probably a delusion. Older people are really quite irrelevant to younger people. Give us half a chance and we’ll start nattering about the way things used to be.

You didn’t invent it! I want to tell them. We were just like you only we used different technology!

Most of the time, though, I’m successful in shutting myself up, smiling vaguely when they get passionate.

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