Friday, December 3, 2010

Our streetcar

On the evening of this day, some years ago, a play was opening in New York which would be recalled for many reasons and by many lines, but supremely for its final word, ejaculated expletively. By then the vulnerability of that cry, the candour of its confession, had swept the listening audience to its own insistent feet. The word was, Stella.

By a coincidence I discovered only in maturity, but have childishly cherished, ever since, I was delivered to that audience by Caesarean section at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California, in time for lunch that very same day. 

I exactly remember, sitting at half my present age in a Kandinsky chair by Marcel Breuer, my back to the morning sun off my beloved bay, at home on Telegraph Hill, reading that bit of trivia in the 8th or 9th time I happened to pick up a copy of the script. I was sipping coffee, of course, and it was a weekend day I had to myself. 

There is no significance to this recollection, and none to this coincidence. But it did serve, years later, to enrich a conversation with my widower father at his home in La Jolla, on why this odd writer happened to seem to understand ladies so well. It serves me in Virginia now, to help confess a debt.  

This reminiscence is only another blogger's exercise of raw prerogative. It just happens to be true.

Mine, today, is to embrace my father for his gift to me of a love he made estimable, by openly exhibiting it, every day of my growing life - for this language, in any honest use of it.

Carmen Kass
Mathias Lauridsen
Henrik Bülow, photography


  1. What beautiful words, I say with a tear in my eye. Thank You.

  2. Do you ever feel - sometimes - like a child at play on his ass on the floor, moving about the deceptively wooden cubes of this language? I do. These aren't my words, they're on the floor. But thank you, Bruce. You're very kind to look in on one's play.