medical leave day 13: german films in the dark cinema while waiting for our glands to grow back (and the Divine DV)

the doorbell rang – not early – but insistently and suddenly there was a very nice man from the FedEx company with a parcel (as you know we Love a Parcel).this was from the elegant, erudite and downright delicious ABM (who has the most flowing script and writes a Very Good Card).

Oh! quelle delight! the package contained the new book about DIANA VREELAND!

we left a croaky (a little more voice everyday) and highly emotional (this cannot come as a surprise to you darlings) voicemail on his machine (which we suppose is virtual these days) to say thank you and will be writing a lovely card (we bought some more from the stationery shop yesterday and love to post letters as you know #smallsimpletasks) first thing in the morning.

divine.

DV.

is truly divine.

we hung the red ribbon from ABM’s parcel in ceremony on the Scavullo portrait (not the original – alas – but a Very Nice Print – well-framed) of Diana Vreeland (on a vivid red mat, naturally) in our main room (we hesitate to call it sitting room as we don’t sit a lot – we lounge and living room sounds silly when one lives in such a small and yet lovely apartment – plus we “live” in all our rooms).

two lovely visits – earlier today Jonathan (took us for a stroll – a lot further than before and happily the rain had stopped as we walked through Washington Square) and, this evening, K took us to UPS to pick up some post that was too big for the mailbox or something of that sort or needed a signature we can’t recall – our mind is a whirl (we’re secretly reading the DV book as we type, looking left occasionally and turning a page – yes! the multi-tasking brain is Back!) and then we went to supper by candlelight very close to the house. it was All Too Much being out as we faded (hopefully gracefully) and came home.

and now – hours later, of course, we’re Wide Awake.

oh – we forgot to mention – on the way back from our walk (like a small black labrador) with our lovely companion Jonathan – we thought we’d see if we were strong enough for the cinema. in the mid-afternoon there are very few people about and we are a tiny bit bored of our apartment as you can imagine after 13 days and so we ventured in, telling ourselves we could always leave if it got too much (the cinema is one of four about three blocks from our place).

we stayed. and we’re so glad we did. we saw Drei (3) (a Foreign Film, yes – we do speak a tiny bit of german) and enjoyed it immensely. the ending was a bit ho-hum to be honest. but the whole effect was a beautiful portrait of three, entwined, 40 (?) somethings who were lost and found each other and then themselves. plus it was european so very duo-chrome and stark and east berlin style housing and vintage paperbacks with curious covers and good art director glasses and unkempt yet well-cut hair and Very Intelligent People. worth seeing.

sitting in the cool darkness of the cinema we had this sensation of our glands growing (because, as you probably recall, they were removed during the 5 hour surgery as they were twisted and sore and destroyed by our tumours/tumors/Tobias and his sisters). it was kinda nice. the idea that while we sat quietly in the dark. bits of us are growing back. and soothing and healing and getting ready for what’s next. whatever that is.

***we DID write to you this morning, darlings. but “something happened” with the laptop. we’re not sure what it was. but it was sort of magical and made us giggle. you see we woke up in something of a Fury. and we made a cup of coffee (after a Decent Interval post the pills we have to take) and we wrote (and Cried a Bit) and wrote and wrote – quite furiously – all about the glass closet and corporate america and homophobia and immigration and sexism and Getting To Be Too Much and What Happened When and there was even some dialogue (very carefully disguised as to Person and Place) and our reaction and their lack of it and there was more. Lots More. and we took a deep breath and felt Very Proud for being all Out There (ahem) and revealing and So There and we PRESSED SEND and went off to run a bubble bath and listen to Radio 4………..

and when we got back there was an error message. the Post had not been Posted.

fancy that.

sometimes darling one Has to Say Something. But the world doesn’t necessarily Have To Read It.

too funny.

it’s never happened before.

we are protected by angels.

medical leave day 7: afraid of the wound beneath.

so we see the surgeon again tomorrow.

and – if all goes well, he’ll remove the white gauze and steri-strips (as we believe they’re called) and the wound will be revealed.

we’re terrified.

our throat is still agony (and voice-less) and it feels like swallowing razor blades (especially when taking the mammoth 14 x calcium pills a day) and we’re dizzy and everything takes so long (yeah, we get it “slow down” “no rush” – You try being on medical leave – as the americans say “it sucks.”) and we are famous (or at least perhaps, on reflection, irritating, hmmm?) for multi-tasking and Right Now We Can’t.

thank god for Judi Dench.

many have said this, of course, particularly directors-of-movies and those-that-have-run-the-national-theatre (england/national).

her audiobook (although confusingly read by Samantha Bond who is also lovely but not yet a Dame – as far as we know – or a National Treasure) has kept us company through the slow hours of recovery from illness. she’s a joy. rather tart (brisk/no nonsense) at times. and very, very english.

we’ve been thinking (never a good idea at the best of times) about Being English (although as we’ve shared before, we have the bloods of three warring nations running through our veins so the British never saw US as particularly PLU – people like us – for those not up on their U and Non-U Nancy Mitford era slang).

but we did grow up there.

and we’ve been away for a decade (in the USA in case you’re new to teamgloria – both Coasts – five years each).

and we are the product of the English Boarding School System (Latin, Prep, giggling behind long freshly-washed hair, slightly sturdy knees in hockey socks, a School Spirit, nuisance-order-conduct-marks-as-punishment, Ancient History and a quite shocking view of the world via colonial lens from several Masters-in-Gowns – not the modern ones like the groovy art teacher with-a-beard – shocking.)

but we went-on-a-Scholarship (yeah, poor, but Very Bright) so don’t come from that world (but we can fake it deliciously when needed as you can imagine, darlings).

are we meant to stay here?

or go back?/

not today obviously. we can barely walk around the block without stopping twice on a wooden bench and leaning on our companion of the visiting schedule at the time.

you see – like Judi – we’d love to be a Dame.

eventually.

and age gracefully in our garden tending the roses with a large brimmed hat, a delightful smock (probably vintage Laura Ashley pattern), lots of jolly tea parties with rip-roaring naughty stories (yes, William, you’ll definitely be there for those), playing Mozart on our full-size grand late into the night (ladies of a certain age in the British Isles do this, you see), re-reading all the greats, occasionally receiving our agent and accepting a speaking engagement with our literary fans at Claridges or a tea at Foyles (That would be Lovely)……you get the picture.

but what about the rain?

tis true. that was always depressing. and we don’t even eat Victoria Sponge cake so the tea parties might disappoint the vicar.

perhaps (team gloria stretches out of the impending depression of post-general-anasthetic-into the light once more) we’ll do all this back on the Other Coast, in the Canyon, like Christopher.

then all our friends from the Eastern Seaboard can fly to escape the harsh cruel winters/summers and william can come for the summer (and Write His Novel) – and George can drive down (or we’ll send our driver) and AH isn’t far and Maria lives at lake-that-isn-t-silver and our english friends can have the guest house for weeks on end and write and paint (or be frivolous as they wish) and we can swim and have tea parties while wearing Large Jackie O Glasses and generally act a lot like Anita Loos.

ok. we’re back on track. melancholy (as Bryon said – no? the British Disease) is a natural component of post-surgical-experience.

we hate it.

it’s hard being sick.

and we miss you out there.

especially when we have to go out with our wound showing and our neck exposed.

is this what it means to be vulnerable?

shudder.

still – yesterday was splendid in terms of our three visitors. here’s a few teasing shots of our day with a tiny bit of commentary.

we still can’t talk on the phone and we didn’t sleep much so wrote a lot of old-fashioned thank you cards last night (william – thank you also for the new card it arrived yesterday!)

R brought baby S to visit (and a beam-of-sunshine came earlier and walked us around the block and read to us which was delicious). R read BEAUTIFULLY from Armistead Maupin (a theme of our medical leave if you recall).

K came (in a very crisp check shirt post-work and smart trousers) to walk us in the evening and treat us to supper and tried to be polite as our eyes watered every time we took a bite and was very patient at our whispering (note to self – whispering is inaudible outside the apartment). Then he also read Armistead (it’s a ripping tale).

and finally – sleep not descending – we wrote the cards (see earlier picture) and watched a double feature…

can we admit that we’re still rather disappointed that the Day Job has not even sent a card?

and we’re also surprised that people are sending emails and getting what appears to be irritated that we’re not responding. and don’t get us started on the People That Call and get surprised we’re not Picking Up (did they not get we just had Our Throat Slit and Can’t BLOODY TALK?!)

curious.

we’re sick, people.

get over it.

if you know us in RL do send a postcard. naturally we’re scrapbooking this entire experience and our post lady is bringing up all parcels to our apartment as we left a note in our mailbox downstairs and she’s awfully nice so the post is a welcome distraction each day.

that’s the main thing we miss from England.

the thwack of the post as it hits the horsehair mat.

especially as – many moons ago – S and I used to throw down a movie script just to imagine what it would sound like coming through the door – (although, in those days, he was an actor and we didn’t know we’d become a suit in the sniper fire of midtown manhattan)…….but you never know what we’re going to become NEXT.

something’s HAPPENING.

we can Feel Life Change inside us.