I awake to total luxury – the bed’s expensive sheets are so soft against my skin, the many pillows a fortress. The rugs are white and thick and so I skate into the bathroom where sensor lights recognize my presence. It is deathly quiet – no traffic noise, Day light has not happened as yet but it is bound to. I think it may even promise a sunny day, I am going to get poked and prodded by laboratory technicians – the lab work will probe my inner workings.
My trip back to London and my previous trips to California were planned with the rigor of a royal visit, with preplanned lunches, dinners, processionals and plays. Not this trip – no attempts to reach fallen friends. An active phone with ample roaming charges will allow contact if absolutely necessary but the peace and quiet of this haven may turn this visit – to the county of my former residence – into a retreat.
On the plane that brought me here I sat next to a charming man from Whistler who was traveling to Tucson on business. Our conversation was not ordinary airplane fodder. He was reading The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller an early work that lifted the curtain on the effect of childhood trauma. I had read the book some time ago but have been intimately intwined with the issues most of my life. Subsequent to our conversations I employed the magic of the Internet and read an extensive review of the book and was thoroughly fascinated by the fact that somebody (smart and an authority) actually agreed with me. This individual (the name was not posted clearly) said that Miller did not go far enough. People who are abused should not have children, at least until they have worked out or been ‘cured’ of their abuse. It is because of Freud’s theory of repetition compulsion. The author postulated that Miller did not mention this in her writing because she had been abused and had had kids. One cannot imagine how profound this information is for me. Brother, am I EVER smart because I figured out that I should not have children very early on in the game. According to Beth Harris I was thirteen or fourteen when I made the formal announcement to her and Jenny Main. That was in the fifties when everyone, and I do mean everyone, had kids. But what is so incredibly amazing is that I had this conversation on an airplane traveling from Vancouver to SFO. It was a gift this conversation with this man that turned me onto this article. I knew what I was doing so early on! I would have made a horrible mother and my poor children would suffer. I make existing children happy, I have a great effect on kids. They laugh, send me blow kisses, and call me Auntie Alexis. My kids would cower and their kids and their kids kids would cower. Instead it ended with me. I am unselfish. There is an interesting book on my iPad written several years ago Selfish, Shallow and Self Absorbed written by Meg Dunham. It is a complication of stories written by those who chose not to have children. Joo Kim Tiah, in one YouTube interview discussed the responsibility that comes with having a sphere of influence. A message that I intend to convey with my ‘fame’ is that one should think before having a child. People, it seems to me, have them for the worst of reasons. It is biological, that is true but women often do it to ensnare men, to guard against aloneness, to cop out of challenge. There, I said it. I shall use the wisdoms found in that book as this blog continues.
But onward. When going back to London in December 2017, feeling sassy and successful, it felt like I was Cleopatra doing the barge thing in Alexandria. Another book on my iPad is the biography of Cleopatra written by Stacy Schiff. She discusses Cleopatra’s draw, her fame. It was not the sex says Schiff, just as my UK lover said of me.
“It has been always been preferable to attribute a woman’s success to her beauty rather than to her brains, to reduce her to the sum of her six lie. Against a powerful enchantress there is not contest, Against a woman who ensnares a man in the coils of her serpentine intelligence—in her ropes of pearls-there should, at least be some kind of antidote. Cleopatra unsettles more as sage than as seductress; it is less threatening to believe her fatally attractive rather than fatally intelligent. (Meander’s fourth-century adage—“A man who teaches a woman to write should recognize that he is providing poison to an asp”—was being copied out by schoolchildren hundreds of years after her death.”
So no kids and my brains. I guess that is the secret of my success. Well, that, and my sense of humor. I wonder if Cleopatra had a sense of humor?