>With love and solipsisim, Heidi
November 8, 2006 § 3 Comments
>Remember how a few days ago I said I don’t like to read books more than once because I panic about wasting time? I must contradict myself. I’m on the train heading back to New York (sixth trip in two months) and I’ve just reread the “Heidi Chronicles”.
Maybe it doesn’t count because it’s not a book book, but a play book, so it’s a faster repeat. Maybe. Because Kim said I’ve always been Heidi and she’s always been Susan, I was desperate to find out who we are (in real life and in theater life).
Susan is “wild, practical, and fifty-percent rayon.”
Heidi is part of a “generation of disappointed women. Interesting, exemplary, even sexy, but basically unhappy. The ones who open doors usually are.”
So this is our destiny. Kim and I read a play in high school English class, way back in arts school; two girls with no idea that our lives would converge again, ten years later in New York. And she’s right. Maybe not exactly right. But the play is about dreams/settling, being unable to avoid idealism, more often than not feeling the disappointment of not having it all, and ultimately finding hope.
But here’s the clincher: Heidi ends up a single mother of an adopted baby and finds herself happy enough. I don’t think I’m ready to be situated between happy and unhappy just yet. (Entitled, yes, but don’t I get points for honesty?) Is happy enough the only choice in the end?
Wow, these train rides really bring out the nostalgia. I’m sitting in the quiet car (no cell phones, HOORAY!) and the rain-streaked windows mixed with pitch black scenery except for moments of street lights and smeared red car lights all equal an inevitable pensive mood. I’m thinking about that high school English class. Reading Equus, Beloved, Dante’s Inferno, The Iliad, Heidi Chronicles. What else? Plath. Our teacher loved Plath. We were a bunch of prematurely jaded kids with an enabling bohemian teacher. Makes me want to seek out all my old classmates who now live in New York and have a reunion.
I was a floater, friends with the artsy folk, the depressed druggies, the fringe of the fringe (Kim), the nerdy than the other nerds kids, the popular girls. Parts of me were all of them. And then other parts of me didn’t belong to any of them. Simultaneously, I had lots of friends and no friends at all. And now all these people are characters I carry with me, and some of them make it into my stories. Who else but a writer thinks that other people are there as extensions of themselves, their greatest benefit being that they can be subjects in fiction? A solipsist through and through.
My trip to see Kimberley was too short. I’ll see her again this Sunday when I go back to Boston to pick up Cornelius, my boxes, my sister, and my car. We’re driving a bunch of my things to my new apartment.
In two days, I move into my new place. “Don’t be scared. Don’t believe you’re all alone” just sang on my IPod. A good sign.
I don’t want to be a conductor, but I might not mind riding this train back and forth between Boston and New York regularly. My brain calms down and everything starts to take shape. I thought I would be afraid of being alone, but moments like these, I honestly love it.
The motion of the train = moving forward.
The four hours sitting in one place = opportunities for deep breaths.
Once again, we’ve arrived at New Haven.
Song of the day: The Shoop Shoop Song (see “Heidi Chronicles” and Gili’s performances as Cher at Florida’s Sunfest Festival in 1991? and numerous family Bat-Mitzvahs including my own.)
Note to Riva: I figured out why we love Munro’s “Lives of Girls and Women” so much. It’s like reading a children’s/young adult book that’s written for adults. Do you know what I mean?