Sunday, April 19, 2020

One World

Hard to believe that now the most interesting things I have to tell you are about death-defying trips to the grocery store. BOUGHT CHEESE! STILL ALIVE! So far so good.

Bill Maher seems to be shrinking steadily, as he does his Friday night show from his garden and house. A moving discussion with Andrew Sullivan, author and pundit, who told us he's been HIV positive for 18 years and has bad lungs as well, so this virus would be a death sentence for him. He lives alone, hasn't left his apartment for months, and is facing what might be another year of total isolation. Hard to imagine.

Because my ventures outside feel like a necessity of life - yesterday, a walk in the fresh air to Riverdale Hill and back, and then aperitif with Monique and her friend Kathy, who now drives over from the Beach every day at 5.30 to have a drink with us. Human contact. What's so brutal about this is that everything we are and do as social animals has to be put aside for survival. Even walking on the sidewalk, going to great lengths, literally, to avoid my fellow walkers, feels wrong.

Interesting news: I'd written last week to a hybrid publisher, a longtime publishing professional who will only accept certain manuscripts and will then take the book through the publishing process, with editing, design, and distribution that the writer mostly pays for (and of course gets most of the profits. Profits - LOL!) He'd expressed interest in seeing the ms. but then I sent it to another publisher. Yesterday, I saw the first guy had included a P.S. I hadn't seen - that he thought my face and name were familiar, perhaps we'd met in Vancouver. I wrote back I'd been an actress there from 1975 to 1980, perhaps he'd seen me in a show. He replied that he'd been living in Vancouver then, married to an actress, and had gone to lots of theatre, so yes. At this point we felt like buddies so I decided what the hell and sent him the ms.

One hour later he wrote back that he'd skimmed it and wanted very much to publish it, would reduce his fee to make that possible.

Much to finalize, so nothing is set yet. He needs to read the whole thing, and I need to study the contract. But it was the first time in the long journey of this manuscript that a publishing professional said yes, an enthusiastic yes at that. What a welcome change. So - we'll see.

Then I watched Cypress Avenue from the Royal Court Theatre. What a treat to be able to see great theatre from around the world on my laptop. A brilliant, hilarious, horrifying play - highly recommended.

Last night, the One World concert, musicians in their homes playing for us in a fundraising tribute to essential workers. How they produced such a complex show without a hitch - phenomenal. Keith Urban sitting with his guitar singing for us, and then another Keith Urban walks into the room playing another kind of guitar and joins the first, and then a third. The Rolling Stones, from their separate homes, playing our oldest new anthem, "You can't always get what you want." I sang the choir harmony.

And my Macca - impeccable as always in a black vest - how I love that he always wears vests as I do too. Not his best night - "Lady Madonna" a challenge for his solo voice and played with a strange new rhythm. But he delivered a heartfelt talk beforehand about his mother Mary, a nurse and midwife, how we should urge our politicians to support health care everywhere. The whole show was a rebuke of Trump, of course, with much mention of the vital work of the WHO.

It's Barbara's birthday today; she would have been 70. She was my penpal from 1962 until her death in 1966, after heart surgery to repair the hole in her heart with which she was born. When my family visited England on the way to and from our year in France in 1964, I went to visit her several times. She was always upbeat, curious, lively. Her death when she was 16 and I was a few months younger devastated me. She has never left me. 11 years ago, I reconnected with her family, and now her younger sister Penny is a good friend. You're missed always, Barbara, or Babs, as she wanted to be called.
Babs when we first met
In hospital, wearing the wig she loved, with a fashionable flip.

It's also Auntie Do's birthday. She would have been 100. We hoped to celebrate with her and receive a letter from the Queen. She nearly made it.

A gloomy Sunday morning turned into a sunny afternoon. Worked all morning on a long manuscript sent to me by a former student. Soon, a movement class, and later maybe a distanced visit from my son. He is a hugger, as am I, and we cannot hug. It hurts, physically and psychically. I miss my family and friends, as do we all. But - c'est la vie.

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