Lisa Austin doesn’t like to cook turkey.
… also because the pneumonia has overtaken me. I have 37 hours to live and no strength, the hallucinations have set in; they’re about popcorn. Because of all this I’m going to just copy from the Diary of Anais today, Vol VII (1966-1974). She has just begun radiation at Presbyterian Hospital in New York for the cancer that eventually ends her life, and she is sitting in the little room listening to the whir and hum of machines. She imagines they are a film projector, then imagines up vivid scenes for herself to avoid being present. Only Miss Nin could make radiotherapy so pretty:
As I lay there in the bright yellow room, under the huge yellow machine, and it started the loud noise I had been warned about, I closed my eyes and began seeing scenes of beautiful, happy, joyous moments of pleasure. The noise became the exaggerated whirring of a projector.
My phantom lover takes me in his Ford Model A up along Riverside to look at a silver birch tree. He is thin, agile, intensely alive.
My lover and I are driving through the canyons, stop by the Colorado River — and plant a small tree by its shore. We make love on its sand. We make love on the desert.
My lover lands in Acapulco, the early Acapulco. The planes land on the beach. There is no airport. We live in a small house on top of a rock where grand hotels are built now, with a dazzling view.
We drive through the jungles of Mexico.
We visit Chichen-Itza.
We build a house.
The six minutes are up.
Tuesday, I am in Cambodia, in the courtyard of the hotel, having coffee, when the elephants walk in. I walk through Angkor Wat. The green of the moss, the white of mildew, the bone-gray roots, the wet and damp stone, the brittle dry stones, the dancers at night, the shower at the end of the show, the dancers in the bus, laughing. The smell of ripe fruit, of stagnant water, jungle — the quietness.
Not one image to discard–all of Cambodia–all of Japan except Tokyo.
The six minutes are up. I was hoping I would not run out of images. Every day, six minutes, for three weeks.
Today: Tahiti–all of Tahiti except one moment–when my lover forced me into an outrigger canoe, and we spilled, and I had to walk to shore on sharp coral.
Cut–return to fiestas–Tahitian fiestas–Mexican fiestas–Moroccan fiestas. Save Morocco for tomorrow!
A. left a message he was having a heart attack; to take care of the kids, he loves us, etc. The dumb houses. Paperwork not done yet for new one. Buyer not rounded up yet for old one. Wait, wait, wait, and with his heart attack now, I’ll be busy. Back to work everyone, nothing to see here. And I want that vodka, Lisa, yes! Right after I’m done with pneumonia.