I was looking through an old journal from 1993, the year Jay died. It is full of work thoughts and I referenced people on the job that I don’t even remember. I was handling the data base for New York Times Syndicate sales to other newspapers and I had designed the computer program that allowed for sophisticated targeting. Connie and Cecelia were twin sisters who handled one-shots (single stories) from home (in San Francisco) and from time to time they took vacations and then I handled their sales. I have likened one-shots to one-night stands and contract sales were like getting married – a harder sell. One shots are a pain in the ass and the phone rang constantly and drove me nuts. And I didn’t get a commission even though C&C got commissions.
I was also undergoing the widow thing and crying when I walked and I walked everywhere. I’d walk from my loft on the Lower East Side to midtown Manhattan where the office was. Widowhood can be so daunting to others that you can be avoided. I’d come home and check my phone for messages and a deep male voice would intone “you have no messages” and I would thank him for talking to me. Anthony, who had been one of the nurses taking care of Jay in our home, lived on 4th Street, a short walk from the loft. He had a key and would come over and play my piano and leave me notes. And I'd write a response. And sometimes I'd leave him a present. That was my social life. Women with family members in distress that I had met at a counseling center didn’t want to socialize either. Maybe they didn’t want to be reminded.
As I read this narrative, I found I didn’t remember myself. Was I ever really that person? How did I do all that?