My granddaughter told me last evening that she in fact DID NOT WATCH “Sex in the City” as I had assumed, but “Desperate Housewives.” Since I’ve never seen that show, and don’t plan to, I can’t apply my comments to it, or to her, or to my other granddaughters. Which just goes to show how often my, or our, assumptions are disproved by reality (when we can bear to let reality in).
Now, as I begin to work again, after the break of the holidays which inevitably destroys all work routine, I’m confronted by the need for objectivity as I re-read the first seven chapters, written over the fall, of my biography of Doris Duke.
I’m not much interested in chronology, but I must admit that chronology is what this lively narrative lacks: that boring piling of one date on another date to construct a life.
Most lives don’t seem to me to follow that trajectory; one year collapses into another without visible effect, even whole decades slide by unmarked, and then one year—in my case, 2013—is full of all the events and discoveries and miseries the past decade concealed. The seeds at last are sprouting after ten years in a dark cellar.
But—I must bite the bullet and clothe Doris with her dates, since we can’t make much of a story that swings in a vacuum.
That is my winter’s task.