Ed and I are mostly staying home but today he found a reason why he had to drive to his lawyer’s office, 30 miles away. “I won’t get out of the car.” Because he is home a lot, and eats a lot, meal prep has become the obbligato of my discontent, but I bear it in good grace. I went to the fridge and did something for lunch and noticed a stain and cleaned it and noticed more and cleaned that, and two hours later I was still cleaning the fridge. It is now a thing of beauty and I keep opening the door to admire my handiwork.
Elsewise, I am revisiting a crush from my young years. He is Oscar Levant, the musical prodigy with a rapier wit who was bipolar when nobody knew what that was.There is an audio on YouTube, Levant playing the Grieg piano concerto. He is amazing. Not much on film – Levant playing Gershwin, playing Khatchaturian. If you love brilliant playing find these on YouTube. Not for me the vapid charms of Frank Sinatra and Van Johnson. Levant’s intellect and musical genius were my aphrodisiac. I just bought an out of print copy of a bio by Sam Kushner and Nancy Schoenberger -- “A Talent for Genius – the life and times of Oscar Levant”.
Here are some of his offhand remarks.
I’m going to memorize your name and throw my head away.
I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.
How he exercises, “I stumble and fall into a coma.”
Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.
Once he’s made up his mind, he’s full of indecision.
I treasure every moment that I do not see her.
I envy people who drink – at least they know what to blame everything on.
When I can’t sleep, I read a book by Steve Allen.
I think a lot of Bernstein – but not as much as he does.
I am no more humble than my talents require.
When Milton Berle converted to Christian Science – Our loss is their loss.
I honestly believe there is absolutely nothing like going to bed with a good book – or a friend who’s read one.
The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.
She not only worships the golden calf, she barbecues it for lunch.
I’m a study of a man in chaos in search of frenzy.
Play us a medley of your hit.
I have given up reading books; I find it takes my mind off myself.
On being introduced to Harpo Marx’s fiancé: She’s a lovely person – she deserves a good husband; marry her before she finds one.
Musicals: a series of catastrophes ending with a floorshow.
A dollar saved is a quarter earned.
I made a comment to a newspaper about therapists saying that people should not become dependent on them and it got printed as “The rapists say.”
There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased that line.