Much is made of “Saturn’s return,” that seemingly ubiquitous downfall everyone takes around the age of 28 – I guess it is the first piece of astrology many take to heart, since it occurs at a time in your life when all your other theories have failed, making it conceivable (and even comforting) that a celestial event could be the reason. I was warned about the return of Saturn when I hit 27 or so, and promptly responded with some of the most carefree, fun years of my Chapel Hill existence. I spent that star-crossed era drinking, chatting, working, playing tennis, basketball, and smooching – all in the gravitational pull of the Pink House’s heyday.
Perhaps my Saturn came late. Nothing can describe the misery I plunged into when I moved to Los Angeles in 1997. I had just turned 30, and was supposed to have my shit together, alas. Things got worse, and by 1999, I was two shades away from suicidal. Moving to New York a year later, I destroyed my lower back, putting me on a cane for two months, driving my nights and mornings into paroxysms of agony.
Sitting with Tessa this morning, watching the last days of the Indian Summer pass by 7th Avenue (Brooklyn), I remarked that my utter emotional and physical breakdown allowed me to become a good husband. She thought this was true in my case, but some people take the wrong lessons away from misery. I’m pretty much convinced I had to be wiped away; I had to “find my bottom” (in AA parlance), in order to resurrect myself into the kind of person would could contemplate marriage and tackle our Ahab’s whale (a feature film). I think my utter desecration served simply to wipe away ego.
I wonder if life’s lessons always have to be so hard, or, in the words of the Buddhists, redemption can be found in a whisper. Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.
Speaking of which, we went to Matt Dawson and Jen Albano’s wedding tonight, and it was wonderful to be witness to their union. I don’t usually like ceremonies in Manhattan – they usually feel cramped – but this place was swingin’, with a fabulous old-time 1940s swing band to boot. Oy, and the food! Best we’ve had in a while. Jerry Seinfeld was there (sorry Sean, no pictures).
Both Matt and Jen are incredible performers – Matt is the heartbreaking emotional glue that holds the Pink House movie together, and every time Jen gets on stage, I start laughing before she even says anything. I’d work with either of them again in a heartbeat.
Tessa dances with Matty D. at the wedding