Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Evanston: fragmented

        I’m sitting before the lit fireplace.  
        Carol is in California for a couple of days on business.
        I was listening to Leonard Cohen’s final album, YOU WANT IT DARKER, recorded during the last year of his life as he was dying.  His voice is pretty much gone.  He speaks the words.  But I think it is one of his best.
        I am feeling fragmented:  Carol, GANNET, this condo, the one in Hilton Head.  And then I realized that fragmented is my normal state.  Perhaps the normal state of all of us almost always.
        Fragmented is not necessarily bad, if you can keep the core together.
        I have usually been fragmented by the love of solitude and the love of women without regret or by living where I did not want to be with regret.  If given the choice, I would not have been born in Saint Louis or spent most of the first two decades of my life there.  Or lived in Boston or Evanston.
        When I think back there may have been only one period when I was not fragmented and that was from when I left San Diego on November 2, 1974, in EGREGIOUS on my first attempt at Cape Horn until whatever date in March, 1976, when I met Suzanne in Auckland, New Zealand.  
        A year and a half out of seventy-six.
        On November 2, 1974, I left behind on the dock three women.  All beautiful, intelligent, charming and sexy.  They knew of one another.  For the preceding year I spent two nights a week with each and had Sunday to myself.  One was the woman I most regret not having married.  She and I were together off and on for seven years, but the timing was wrong.  Another was a Philippine/American of doe like grace.   And the third was an ex-wife with whom I shared great sex and a liking for classical music.  You would think that would be enough, but it wasn’t.
        They were all woman any man would desire, but I left them.  And I lost them.
        As I wrote in STORM PASSAGE, that voyage was a matter of life and death--but then all of my voyages have been.  More it was a proving of Webb Chiles to Webb Chiles that he was what he thought he was.  And for that year and a half I was unfragmented.  Made pure sprit oddly by putting my flesh on the line.
        I am fragmented now more than I like to be.   
        If I live long enough to see Carol retire, life may become simpler again.