I slept for nine hours Saturday night–the first really good night’s sleep I’d had in two weeks. Outside of going to see Yukio Mishima’s Modern Noh Plays at the Lincoln Center Festival, I spent the whole day digging myself out from under two weeks’ worth of accumulated mail, finishing at one-thirty in the morning. Then I set to the agreeable task of returning my Upper West Side apartment to its normally pristine state. By the time I finally climbed into the loft and turned out the light, the two dozen pictures that hang on my walls were straightened and the piles of Louis Armstrong-related books on the floor of my office neatly squared off (my cleaning woman doesn’t believe in right angles). My drama calendar was up to date and the incoming mail had all been read, sorted, and filed, save for a beautifully penned, much-appreciated letter from the West Coast that I put aside to savor at my leisure. It was pure pleasure to arise the next day knowing that the natural order of things had been restored.
Now comes the greater challenge of completing the work I left undone during my visit to Smalltown, U.S.A. I managed to do a certain amount of writing while I was home, but not much. As of this moment I have to finish three and a half pieces and see a play and an art exhibit between now and noon on Wednesday, when the last piece, my drama column for this Friday’s Wall Street Journal, comes due. Then I’ll pick up a Zipcar
from the garage around the corner and vanish for three days. I know where I’m going, but nobody else does, and I mean to keep it that way. The world is too much with me, a disorder for which I’ve prescribed the best of all possible cures, the sound of running water. I hate to wish time away, but I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to picking up that car and driving over the George Washington Bridge to parts unknown (except to me and my innkeepers).
Like I said, I’ll be around between now and then, and I’ll probably even do some blogging, though not right away–today is likely to be a trifle hectic. But come Wednesday at noon, I’m shutting the shop down and handing the keys to OGIC. If I pass you on the highway, don’t tell anybody you saw me.