The day before the birthdays of two good
friends who died and my Aunt Blanche
who died years ago.
Evan was one of my oldest friends. We spent our childhood
together while our parents, best friends,
played bridge. He told me about the painter
Oscar Kokoschka and after college he went to Paris
and England to paint and make ceramics and
live the way he wanted. Two weeks before he died
we had lunch at Eli Zabars on the east side a restaurant
he liked and I didn’t. He always chose the restaurants
We gave one another books.
My friend Sheila I saw her all the time every summer we talked
every day and then she’d drive over, resplendent,
and we’d sit on the porch and she’d describe her many many children
her life before in Ireland her life in Iran and sometimes many hours
went by. We were both happy.
My Aunt Blanche my father’s sister another
story altogether. She wore powder blue to match
her eyes and even her car was powder blue.
When she got older she started going on cruises by herself
and I spent years trying to imagine what happened
on those cruises but all Aunt Blanche, always very thin,
would ever say was that she could eat
all she wanted every day.