January 31, 1992
Kathie saw a one‑woman show at the Charles Playhouse called "Shirley Valentine." She has been urging me to see it, but the friends I asked to go with me had either seen it already or didn't want to face the trip to Boston.
A couple of days ago I received a letter from Ed's friend, Helena. She's the one I wrote you about last spring, who flirted so charmingly with your Jody at the Hingham Bookport. She bought two copies of my book, and then I never heard another word from her. I could only surmise that Take My Ex had offended her. She's a very private person, and although I changed the names of Ed's women friends, perhaps she thought her character might be recognized.
I was sad, because I had tried hard not to hurt anyone with my book, but I figured I'd have to respect her feelings and leave her alone. In her recent note, Helena apologized to me, for having let so many months go by without getting in touch. She concluded by asking if I'd like to go to lunch some day soon.
The upshot is that Helena and I are going to see "Shirley Valentine" next Thursday afternoon and then go out for dinner. The matinee is a half‑price special for senior citizens, so the tickets are only $14 apiece, including the $2.75 processing fee. It's at times like this that I feel positively thrilled to qualify as a senior citizen.
Not long ago, it seems, I wasn't old enough to have a drink with my mother when we had lunch on Charles Street, near my Beacon Hill apartment. Kathie must have been with us because I certainly couldn't afford a sitter in those days. I remember saying to the bartender, "But I'm a mother! If I'm old enough to have a baby, I ought to be old enough to have a drink." He didn't care if I was the Virgin Mary. If I couldn't prove I was twenty‑one . . . sorry, no tickee, no drinkee.
Yesterday I sent the first twelve chapters of my second book to my agent. After rereading them for the tenth time, I lost all confidence in their worth. I felt the same way when I was working on the first book. At one point I yelled at my computer, WHO CARES ABOUT ALL THIS? ENOUGH PICKING ON POOR ED! ENOUGH OF THESE CORNY EPISODES WITH THEIR FEEBLE PUNCHLINES!
My friend Ed Brecher reassured me, and now Kathie is doing the same. She plans to edit the rest of the book while she is visiting Ed and Aliceann.
I've written Aliceann that I'm counting on her nurturing to build up Kathie's strength. She lost her appetite when she lost her husband, although emotionally I think she's stronger than ever.