Weekend Note:
Santa and His Elf
10 June 2012


There’s not much to report, because I’m feeling the ebbing of Remicade more than I usually do, possibly because humid weather intensifies the impact of the recurring, low-grade arthritis. I recognize the principal symptom: everything is an effort. It’s like a hangover without the headache or the queasiness. The less said, the better.

Yesterday was rather worse. It was all I could do tidy the apartment as usual. I did make a nice potato salad, a sort of fusion affair, adding chopped boiled eggs and caraway seeds to an otherwise French vinaigrette. I wasn’t sure that the cornichons and the eggs would hit it off, but they did. Kathleen had seconds.

The night before, Fossil Darling and Ray Soleil came for dinner. Ray was already here, actually; we had gone to the movies, had lunch, and then run some errands. Fossil had a very hard day; a neighbor’s dog, whom he had taken on long weekend walks in Central Park and grown very attached to, was found to be suffering far worse cancer than anticipated, and put down. We made an early evening of it, which ended in gales of laughter.

I was telling Kathleen and Fossil about something that happened a week or so ago, about which Ray had said something very funny at lunch. On the earlier occasion, he and I were waiting for a table at Demarchelier, sitting at the bar. In walked Kathleen Turner, the actress. I refrained from turning to see for myself, because it was enough to hear her distinctive low voice. This reminded me — I tell Ray — of another actress’s very low voice, but I couldn’t think of her name; she was in Kind Hearts and Coronets. I took my Kindle Fire and my Mi-Fi card out of my shoulder bag and had a lookat IMDb. It was Joan Greenwood. “Joan Greenwood,” I said, at normal volume, instantly wishing that I’d whispered.

On Friday, at lunch (at the Hi-Life), I was rattling on about having annoyed Ms Turner. (If there’s one thing I know about divas, it’s that they prefer other divas to go unmentioned in their presence. All comparisons are odious.) Ray could see the self-importance lurking behind my moaning, and he decided to nip it. “Relax,” he said. “She probably went home and called up a friend and said, ‘I’ve just seen Santa and his elf’.” That shut me up. But when I repeated it later, after dinner, all four of us fell into fits, except for Ray, of course, who is too modest to laugh at his own zingers.