My niece called me yesterday evening and talked for 40 minutes, detailing the entire history of the Trojan War, from prior to the Judgment of Paris to the killing of the hero Hector's wife and child as the defeated city burned. Thank God, just this past Monday I received the next installment of Eric Shanower's epic graphic novel in the Age of Bronze series on that very ancient Near Eastern conflict, and so had recently refreshed my familiarity with it, and was able to respond to here with appropriate leading questions. Rita is going to be the goddess Athena for Halloween. She's going to wear a white flowing dress, wear a helmet of her own making, and carry a small stuffed owl. I told her it was too bad Brad couldn't be the owl--that would be very cute.
Saturday afternoon, I went to the Corcoran Gallery with Grant, a Chinese environmental engineer I'd met at a recent estate sale. Really interesting conversation as we walked through the small but strong collection. One of the few pieces of literature and film that the Chinese had about the US immediately after the Cultural Revolution was Gone With The Wind! Grant told me he's seen the movie multiple times, though he's only read excerpts from the book. Ironically, though he's been in the US for eight years, he hasn't been too many places except where he's been sent for work, because he's never learned to drive, and our country is not exactly accessible to those without that ability. I was surprised to learn that like me, he is the oldest of four--his youngest brother was born just before the draconian one-child policy went into effect (1973, I think). It was a pleasant and informative afternoon, though as I expected he is not a Christian (nor the possessor of any other belief, he said, except in himself--I responded mildly that I'd always thought myself a rather weak reed on which to lean, and then changed the subject), and so that makes any prospects for a romantic relationship out of the question. At the same time, I may have terrified my LDC, who is a believer, into never writing me again, since in my last letter I mainly dismissed the notion (Well, I said I would be willing to try it, but if it didn't work, I'd immediately revert to standard American pills) of using a homeopathic treatment for migraines, and also discoursed at length over possible points of conflict between me and his traditionally patriarchal home culture.
I am having insomnia again. I look like someone's given me a pair of black eyes.