Where am I Going?
So that about wraps it up kids.
When I started typing this I thought it would be about five pages long, maybe ten. Just some memories to get us all excited about the ‘10th Anniversary YENTL Party’. I don’t know where all these words came from. I wish this were a shiny, four-color print job, like a movie program, full of pictures, but hey – you can’t have everything.
I’ve learned so much in these past twenty years, since first seeing ‘The Way We Were’ in 1973 and now I think it is time to put some of it to use.
Death doesn’t freak me out as much as it used to. I don’t miss Michael Mayer. How can you miss someone who gave you so much? He’s as much a part of my life now as when he was alive. Of course I miss him, but just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he’s not with my everyday. I have to trust that we are not taken from this earth until it is time. Maybe Michael finished his work early and it was his time? He didn’t have many years to enjoy his success but he accomplished it. He was a much-respected dealer of fine art and paintings; he had a fabulous eye, and an instinct that very few can equal. More than anything else, he left all of his friends with a part of him that has helped us grow. His generosity of spirit, his enthusiasm for the under-dog, his tenacity and humor will never be matched.
When I first met him I was embarrassed when he’d call everyone ‘honey’. Checkout girls, firemen, bodybuilders, me – everyone was ‘honey’. I say it now to everyone proudly and loudly just like he did, because he cannot. He’s with my everywhere I go. As Joan Crawford once wrote to him, “Hello to Michael Mayer.”
Jeffrey Rindler has long since gotten himself of the elevator and into the lobby and he did it on his own. He has done so well for himself, another shining example of a friend. He is at a point in his life now where I think he really wants to be. The 80s were a fun time and the garden we planted will continue to grow and flourish. I may forget to water it, it may need a little weeding, but every spring the flowers will come back. Jeffrey Rindler. He can call himself Jeff as much as he wants to but he’ll always be Jeffrey Rindler to me. Now, if he only grow his hair out again.
Alex and I are still getting into trouble. And good for us I say. Have you ever gone to the theatre with Alex? Go to the bar, have a couple of drinks, run to the show, and leave after ten minutes and race back to the bar. That is the only way to see theatre. Alex is bowling now and is as happy as he will ever allow himself to be. His knuckles are fine. We will either end up in the same nursing home or the same jail. I never have to worry about becoming a dull adult as long as I know Alex. He doesn’t listen to a word I say, and hey, can you blame him?
John has finally become Stella Stevens, or, more precisely, Linda Rogo. He is now a world traveler. Any place he has ever wanted to visit he is getting to. This does not come without sacrifice and hard work but he has always been a fighter. He’s got that “hard core” Helen Lawson is so fond of. We’ve known each other since second grade so we don’t have to tell each other how much we mean to each other. Although everyone I’ve ever met has taught me something, or added to the mix, I would not be here if it were not for John. I’ve never repaid the favor and he would never ask me to. I still remember Miss Dooley telling us in Second Grade that a new boy was coming tomorrow and we should all do our best to make his as pleasant as possible. Funny. He’s been doing that for me ever since.
So, what about me? Well, I don’t know.
I think it’s time to start something new. I remember the night my father died thinking how terrible it was that this wonderful man who had given us so much had to spend the night on a steel tray in some hospital. I decided that night never to become more successful than my father. I didn’t want to enjoy things that he wouldn’t be able to share. I know this has been my problem, I knew it when I was sitting in Denise Phillips’ office not talking, I know it now. But I’m over it. I don’t know why but I am. Maybe it’s the passage of time, maybe it’s maturity? If we knew we wouldn’t have to question, and what is life without questions. He wouldn’t want me wasting my life just because he died. I’ll never be as good a person as he but that won’t keep me from trying.
I’ve concentrated on Barbra’s career for the past twenty years. She filled a deep void in my life when I needed it most. Do I still love her? Of course, and I always will. But do I still need her? No. I don’t think so.
Why should we settle for just a piece of sky? Why were we all so drawn to ‘Yentl’? Why do I keep coming back to it so often in my life?
I guess because it has a message, a vision. It is so simple that is so easy to overlook. We allow ourselves to become so distracted that sometimes we don’t hear what we are being told. If we listen to this message, if we really bring it into our hearts and believe it, and act on it, this is the only lesson we’ll ever need to learn. Barbra gave us the answer to our questions ten years ago. And now we should really listen.
(Wait, there’s more.)