Cheever was having a bad day, that much was immediately obvious. Perhaps it was the two martini’s in town before lunch, but he says it only made him giddy. We all know better and by late afternoon his mood has soured completely, his emotions have slipped back into turmoil. He says a few cocktails will cure him, or at least make him bearable. He will soon consider AA again, drinking dry the liquor cabinet in the consideration. Elsewhere and in another time, Borges reminds us, an Irish poet, held prisoner in the last days of the Irish civil war, knows he will be executed in the morning, and so slips out of the house that serves as his prison, and into the water icy, frigid, now hating the Barrow river. He swims as best he can, promising that if the river god allows him to live he will present her with two swans. He does live, he does place two swans onto the river the following spring, and he dreams one day of visiting Coole.
He said, “I survived the war, was up to my armpits in water wading through the night through the rice plants that would never bear grain once we called in the orange. I walk through minefields, the noise a deafening silence since the only sound that mattered was the click that shouted death You think Ii have issues now and in your mind I certainly do but you my issues didn’t go away like Jamie’s, he heard that click and a moment later his issues were gone, and the moon was painted blood red that night and it inhabits my dreams still.
We crossed the Hudson this afternoon on a Dutch named bridge in a driving rain so strong you could hear little over the beat of the wipers throwing sheets of water. You wondered why the superstructure was only on the Eastern end. I wondered why they had to have a Dutch name no one can translate. The river’s surprisingly wide here and you can’t even see the dead fish or the waste from the plants up river, its just a silver sheet of water and the slashing of the wipers and that name no one can translate.