Thursday, August 18, 2022

a letter

Dear A.,

I am beside myself.  Perhaps it is just the weather- today there is a sultry, warm rain, and little breeze.  This tropical exhibition comes to us by way of the furthermost fringes of a Hurricane.  Here, it is nothing but mildness, but I cannot help but wonder if its centered, powerful force is not also in some effect here, too, as I am in a fury of sorting and discarding items.

Perhaps, though, it is the influence of my acquaintances- whom travel, and move, visit and relocate themselves of late.  Some, indeed, have gone away for good.  Would that you were here beside me, on the porch, with the scent of the dampened bromes around us:  I would pour us two small glasses of a monukka wine, a dessert wine, into wee crystal cups, carefully, slowly, lentamente, so as not to disturb the lees.  We would set here, with bird and insect song all about us, and I would seek your counsel on a book that I consider parting with:  Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette.

It pains me to part with it, and yet I realize that I cannot expect the possession of a book of manners to improve my own:  I desire to act in accordance with etiquette, but I do not consult the book, and what is worse, I am an oar without a boat to paddle, in that whatever is left of the forms of this book ate 64 years old, and my only opportunity to practice them will be with people of, shall we say, at least 80 years of age?

Missing you,