"- don't be so quick to knock it. People don't usually part with the weird shit they personally know because they know how easy it will be to punch holes in. Now I'm tellin you somethin. It's for you to poke through the soup and find the meat." John Patrick Shanley's 'the dreamer examines his pillow'

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Breakfast at the Reedville Cafe with the Ya-Yas. Mom, Trisha, Jyneal, and MJ. I'm one of the Ya-Ya babies, but I get to come celebrate MJ's birthday today. Oh, Lord, sitting around a table with these women I love. Women. Real women. Who've been through immeasurable pain and come out laughing. Do you understanf me? Laughing inevitably louder and harder than anyone else in the restaurant! Just to mock themselves, to grin shamelessly in Life's face, they don leopard-skin hats and red lipstick. They're starting to wrinkle, and they're beautiful. MJ is 49.
And they bang noise-makers and shout and sing when she walks in the room, and I'm not embarrased. I'm proud. They deserve more attention than they get. There should be books written about these priceless souls.
I am excited to grow old, to be middle-aged. As I am sitting there among women who have remained oh so tightly knit through death, divorce, children, distance, therapy, children, and time, I look inward. What emptiness in youth and beauty!! These before me hold true beauty and value - they know who they are. Their hearts are complex, beaten and brought back to life, their minds and very bodies are full of the good and not-so-good of life. They know where they've been and how much of it to speak of. They will be exactly who they are.
This youth, with its vigor and what looks like fullness of life, knows nothing. It is good, but not better. It dances through life's pain and the joy, without the weightiness and realization of what living really means. It is empty, without depth, plays by the ear.
When I am old, I will have a personality. I will not blend in, because I will have had enough experiences to know who I am and enough to learn to want to stick around. I will not fit in with my "peers". None of us will fit in together, except for the togetherness that comes from the joy of one another's company, the laughter, the bitterness, the understanding. I will not listen to the music you are listening to just to have something to discuss when I see you, to feel like I'm part of the world. I will have earned the wear on my body: it will truly be mine. I will rejoice in my age, like the Ya-Yas do, and I will find someone to rejoice with me.


Blogger Jennifer said...

mmmm yes.

4:22 PM

Blogger Kara said...

I wanna come..be old that is

11:42 PM

Blogger Lenny said...

Elizabeth, apparantly it's time for me to tell you to post again. It's been 20 days. You've been to New York. We (I?) need to hear about it.


6:45 PM


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