“People did not know what she knew, that she was not really a woman but a man, often a fat man, but more often, probably, an old man. The fact that she was an old man made it hard for her to be a young woman. It was hard for her to talk to a young man, for instance, though the young man was clearly interested in her. She had to ask herself, Why is this young man flirting with this old man?”
I read this Lydia Davis piece a few years ago and it resonated with me like a drumstick to the massive timpani of my innards and then the Paris Review posted it on their Instagram today (which I highly sugest following, as every day is a beautiful short jaunt down a new author's brain) and it needed to be up here, immediately, as one of my first posts. Lydia Davis's writing is up there with Miranda July, Jenny Offill, Margaret Atwood, and Lorrie Moore, as those that write like home, there's no other way to put it. Wherever afield I go, author-wise, these women write the way I believe the world to look and feel, and so what better way to begin this blog with words that feel like home, to me.
I suppose because I was raised an only child and spent MUCH of my formative years with my elderly paternal grandparents (I would forego sleepover invitations to spend the weekend with them, my best pals a little girl could ever have), I identified so much with them and their elderly Jewish friends. I had the same tastes, same sense of humor (as one only can when raised on weekends of Seinfeld, Columbo, Cosby, and Jeopardy), I only wore my grandmother's 1940s/50s clothing when I spent the weekends there, I ate what old people ate, I was taught what old people thought about the world. So now, when I look out, I do, genuinely see it from an old man's eyes. Not the curmudgeonly old man that most my age think of when "old man" is referenced, but an inordinate collection of old-tymey thoughts and feelings and ways of moving through the world (delightfully, kiddishly, without a care for being "sexy" or "hip" but merely, rather foolishly one's own. Old men don't have to impress, anymore. It's an attitude of foregone conclusions, of just simply being in the moment, and adorably so.
Like this guy, by one of my favorite photographers, Piero Percoco of Italy.
PLEASE LOOK AT HIS WORK: http://www.pieropercoco.com