Dear Diary:


At about three minutes past the hour, I had a bright idea: why not fill the electric kettle, too? But it was three minutes past the hour, and, this time, the super’s memo meant what it said: the water in the building would be shut off from eleven tonight until seven tomorrow morning, ut cleanso tankus.

The prospect of interrupted water bothered me all day. There is no real inconvenience. I wouldn’t, ordinarily, be turning on the taps much at this hour. I clean up in the morning and at the beginning of the evening, and tonight I was careful to make dinner in plenty of time for the dishwasher to run its cycle before the shut-off. I filled two three-gallon watering  cans, for toilet emergencies that are unlikely to occur. I filled two litre carafes for drinking water, along with my own nightly water bottle. I filled a large casserole to the brim, for dipping fingers that probably won’t get dirty. You could say that I wasted a lot of water. I’m set. And yet.

Because the cloud of theoretical deprivation hung over the afternoon, I did not try to do anything involving words, aside from venturing a few paragraphs about Waiting for Godot. Instead, I marshalled shopping bags lying here and there in the apartment. Stop right there! you cry, and stop I shall. Progress was made, to really a rather surprising degree. Still, the foyer looks worse than ever. I thought I said “Stop!” The intermediate phases of progress (think of open-heart surgery!) are often unattractive.

We are planning a quiet weekend. We may have a meal with an old friend, but then again we may not. Tomorrow night, we’ve got a chamber recital at the Museum. In the morning, I’m going to meet Quatorze for the first showing of The Limits of Control, the new Jim Jarmusch movie. That’s about the best thing going at the moment, except for The Soloist, which I’ve promised to see with Kathleen. If it’s dismal on Sunday morning, and we haven’t already been, I’m going to insist on seeing The Soloist early, while I’m still alert. We saw Duplicity at a late showing two weeks ago, and if I haven’t written it up, that’s because it was too complex for the hour. All those time frames!

All of a sudden, it’s May! We’re deep into the second quarter of the year, which will soon be half over. I’m gathering rosebuds — don’t worry! — while I may. Actually, I’ve been gathering peony petals, fallen drifts of which made for the kind of poetic living-room disarray that does not photograph well. Kathleen ordered eight peonies blooms from an Internet outlet last week. They arrived as tight little balls of pink on beautiful stems — peony stems are the most handsome in nature, I think — and within days they opened up to be humongous blossoms, as trans-rosaceously blowsy as you please, paling by the hour until you wouldn’t have known that they’d been pink at all if you hadn’t seen the peonies when they arrived. You’ll pardon my saying so, but the gonads were gorgeous. Is that the word? The repro parts. Totally Jeff Koons. Another shipment is supposed to arrive tomorrow, and that will be it for the Yorkville Peony Festival of 2009.  

I can’t resist.

Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
or on the wealth of globèd peonies…

I wonder what Keats thought of peonies that had popped. Truth to tell, I wonder what he knew about peonies at all, Cockney chemist that he was.

(Quoting poems that you memorized forty years ago is much less stressful when there’s the Internet to check afterward. I had “the morning rose” and “a wealth.” I tell you this pour encourager les autres.)

My hand is ever at the tap — but not tonight.

2 Responses to “Dear Diary:

  1. Stash says:

    Oh my god….

    I can’t believe it’s May already. It’s like half the year’s vanished into some black hole.

  2. Migs says:

    The G word again!