It was a Memorial Day weekend
in the US in the past few days.
If one has just happened upon
rmbl for the first time today,
or in a while, the sense of a
memorial is repeated from three
different views, beginning with
Friday's reluctances to revisit
the occasion, moving to Satur-
day's and Sunday's responses to
our intrusive politicians, in-
vading our retreats even to the
beach, before the price of the
holiday restores perspective.
But the weekend was inevitably packed with other considerations. I found myself re-reading a collection of the incomparable Maeve Brennan's Notes from the Long-Winded Lady, written for The New Yorker through most of my child-hood, where they were not so much off-limits as the escapist preserve of a literate woman who lived in another part of the house, my mother. An innocently excruciating aperçu in one of Ms. Brennan's Notes may stand for so much of that epoch and its mores that it has probably embedded itself here already ~ I would go to a city where the people spoke a language I did not understand, so I could listen as much as I liked and still not eavesdrop.
People say, they want a wine with legs; yet here, I'm in a city where I speak the language, and the phrase has so little sensible meaning, the desire flies past me, once again. I hear it and I still don't eavesdrop. For myself, I found a second wine from Château Mazeyres, which flatters duck unspeakably.
But I'd interrupted the Long-Winded Lady,
who writes with the uncanny gift for be-
ing with one all the way. In that Note,
she continues ~ It is so nice to be able
to listen to voices without being delayed
by what is being said.
The Long-Winded Lady
Notes from The New Yorker
Houghton Mifflin, 1998©
Promenade near to Argenteuil