Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 1936

Hellooo, my darlings! Oh, it has been so long; I cannot think why it has been thus. Well, I suppose I do fathom it, really. Because, you know, it's the most perverse thing, but it seems that the greater the boredom I am forced to endure, the less imagination I can conjure for even the simplest things. And believe me, pets, for months I've been languishing under the foulest cloud of quotidian ennui. But really, there's been nothing to tell - and never will be, as long as I rester à Portland. And let me tell you, though it is milder today, the weather has been beastly hot all the week past - a freakish variation on the dismal standard of this horrid locale. Oh, but it has been miserable! One can't even take proper nourishment in such weather; the last few days, I've subsisted on nothing but iced cocktails and cigarettes!

Oh, but what was it that I wished to tell you all...? Hmmm.... Oh, yes! I've been asked - begged, really - to perform at a charity function. I expect that they needed a bit of "star-power", as you Americans say. I have no idea what the performance is in support of, but no matter. Noblesse oblige, and all that. Penny is coming up from her silly, beloved Los Angeles to join me. No doubt she will be sunburnt* and brown as an Ethiopian, with savage hair and nails, comme d'habitude. Oh, but I tremble at the thought of her brows; it's always rather like trying to keep the wolves at bay! Haha! I know I shouldn't say it, but it's true!

Poor Penny. She gets this one "cosmetic challenge", shall we say, from her father, you know. My former spouse's antecedents were, at best, suspect. Now, he was handsome enough in his youth - yes, rather the visual allure that so obscured my judgement in matrimonial matters - but I was rather alarmed to encounter some of his oddly-shaped, very much less symmetrical relations. Not a straight line in the lot, and with brows that grew right up their foreheads. Penny gets most of her looks from my side of the family - grâce à Dieu - but one can never be too careful in these matters; one never can tell where one's heritage will pull a naughty joke, eh? So I constantly have to encourage her grooming; if I were to wax metaphorical, I would say that we all must be clever and constant gardeners of our beauty. And continuing down that metaphorical path, I might mention that the attractiveness of Pennys' father was a sadly short-lived bloom. Breeding will out, so they say, and a truer thing was never spoken: The last I saw of the wretched man, he'd gone quite the way of his bloodline, with great hedgerow brows and an aspect distinctly Picasso-esque.

Yes.... Now, what was I speaking of...? Oh, yes, our little concert de charité. Now, I'll tell you a secret, my darlings, if you promise not to tell...? Something that could only be told by someone of my celebrity, someone who travels in the rarefied world that I inhabit. It is this: As long as it is a reasonably respectable cause, we famous people - I suppose there's no more graceful way to phrase that - will agree to appear at almost anything. Isn't that funny? Haha! No, none of us care a fig about what it has been created to raise money for. It matters not if it's for sickly children or people starving in some ghastly corner of some dreary country. No, if we are asked, we generally go. I suppose it is just what we do....

Oh, and now here is Alyssia with the tea. It is quite a bit early, I know, but I have had such a craving for a nice cup of tea now that the temperature has lowered a bit. I couldn't think of it 'til now; I'm not one of those mad dogs and Englishmen that my dear Noël sings about. Oh la!

Ah, now I really must say Good Day!

À bientôt mes enfants!

* I know I've spoken to you all previously on the foolishness of sunbathing. I'll never forgive my darling Patou for concocting his Huile de Chaldée several years hence; I do believe it helped legitimize a craze that might otherwise have sensibly faded away. And now, whenever the sun makes the most timid, little peek from out a bank of clouds, all the silly ladies come frolicking out, wretchedly déshabillée, slathered in oil. Could anything be less dignified?