“You lead a really interesting life,” Ms. Pratie Place told me on Sunday afternoon, sounding a bit wistful as I described my daily rounds. I didn’t disagree. Whatever else I am, I’m never bored, except on the rare occasions when I find myself watching a really dumb play or listening to the kind of music Igor Stravinsky dubbed “an exercise in pure duration.” (He had Bruckner in mind–I’m thinking Philip Glass.)
The trouble with my life is not that it’s dull but that it sometimes becomes too interesting, at which point successive waves of beauty can start looking suspiciously like one damn thing after another. Experience has taught me the dangers of overscheduling myself, but though I’ve learned the lesson fairly well, it doesn’t always stop me from signing up for one event too many. Nor do I ever have total control over my schedule: press previews and deadlines fall where they will, not where I would, and every once in a while they become fused with the other parts of my life in such a way as to rob me of the ability to fall asleep. “Oh, God, I’m wired,” I find myself muttering grimly at three in the morning, knowing I’ll have to go on booming and zooming for several days past the last deadline before the adrenalin finally leaches out of my pores and I become my even-keeled self once more.
I’m still in the booming-and-zooming phase of my most recent tumble off the wagon of schedule-related sobriety, the bare outline of which I shared with you on Tuesday, and–you guessed it–I’m wired. I awoke without benefit of alarm at six this morning, my head already half-full of the drama column I was to deliver at eleven-thirty, and I knew even before I was completely awake that there was no point in trying to go back to sleep. I came down from the loft, wrote the column, sent it in, then went back to bed for a couple of hours. Then I got up and wrote another piece. I used to do that kind of thing all the time back when I was young and full of beans, but with the half-century mark a mere three months away, I know such spurts are deceptive: they mean I’m running on fumes and ready to crash.
I could probably knock off Deadline No. 4 tonight, or finish up that really long posting about my Manhattan-Washington-Brooklyn-North Carolina adventures. Instead, I’m going to switch off the iBook, go get dinner, return to the apartment, and watch some totally irrelevant TV. I have an old George Sanders movie tucked away on my DVR, which sounds like just what the doctor ordered. After that I’ll listen to some music and revel in the joys of the Teachout Museum, followed by (do I hear the earth moving?) an early bedtime. Such, dear readers, is the wild and crazy life of a Manhattan singleton-boulevardier.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a hamburger….
UPDATE: Birds of a feather blog together.