by Linda Rosenkrantz

My trip was definitely a success. I had an affair in LA and I fell in love in San Francisco. I found my high school graduation picture in Aunt Beck’s cellar. I’m wearing a ruffled dress that makes my bust look big and have cootie garages in my hair. President Ford was swaying back and forth like a kid who has to go to the bathroom All my life I’ve wanted something in camel color. When Lana got Artie Shaw, that was the turning point for Judy. My early contractions were sort of Mickey Mouse. Guess what—my daughter didn’t like the Santa at Altman’s any better than the one at Macy’s. I think it’s brave of her at the age of 75 to be putting on Marlene Dietrich wigs and strutting around Soho. When you answered the phone, you sounded pregnant. On Christmas Eve, anything less than Grandma and Grandpa, children, a dog and a picture window with snow falling makes me feel cheated. His new girlfriend looks like me, but with an even more squished-in nose. I’m not exactly swollen with pride, but I am proud that you’re taking the subway and not the bus. He’s famous for getting strangers to reveal their masturbation fantasies. I got halfway down my list and broke down and cried. Uh-oh, we’ve got someone here who’s choking on mother’s milk. I never heard of an electric vegetable steamer. I had osso bucco at Merce and John’s and I’d like to get them some marrow spoons. But I ignored you less than I did most people last night. I go from top to bottom of the painting, so that in every stripe I can do some hair, some skin and some clothes. The only time I was constipated was when I was in the loony bin and I couldn’t find the toilet. I feel very isolated and I don’t know what to do about it. All those fifties art writer types have broken blood vessels in their noses. I can’t understand myself, why I can’t accept my life and just live it. When I got off the bus in Boston, I really felt like Pip come to London to find fame and fortune. I’ll do my thinking on Thursday. There aren’t that many ways to show an old bastard you love him. To my grandmother, constipation is second only to cancer in seriousness. Chuck fell off a ladder onto four fluorescent tubes. A guy from my Gurdjieff group is coming over to tape something on his musical saw. My sentences are advertising sentences, with no verbs. The doctor stuck a huge long Q-tip up my wazoo and did some detective work. I hate people in groups because they take their lowest common denominator as their personality. One of my great fears is of being ordinary. When the sun comes in the window from the side, you see all the imperfections of the canvas. My new raincoat has a belt, but you have to know the combination to open it. I’m not ready for my peak yet. My mother doesn’t like anything that smacks of ease or happiness or nice weather. She’s got a deal with the druggist and she’s piling up the pills. If I had seen you go out in your sandals in the snow, I would have stopped you. 1975 feels really up and away, very far out there.

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the author of 16 books, including the taped novel TALK, which was republished as a New York Review Books Classic, and the childhood memoir, MY LIFE AS A LIST. She wasthe founding editor of AUCTION magazine and co-founder of the world’s largest babyname site, NAMEBERRY.COM.