Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Written in 2007.  Thinking of Nora Ephron tonight.

If she had suddenly left Paris for an emergency and traveled anywhere, she would be in Charleston. But this is fiction. If she were in Charleston, she would think that Charleston is a lot like Paris. Paris on vacation. Paris on Zoloft. Chic women, beautiful historic houses, hidden gardens, tinkling fountains.

But this is fiction. This is just a dream. Not even a nightmare: sometimes pretty and sometimes ugly, as fiction can be.

If she were in Charleston, she would go to the clean, bright bookstore and she would search for the self-help section. Not for herself, for she is Perfect (this is fiction, remember?). If she were searching for a book in the self-help section it would be for this reason. She used to be related to a sad supposedly human being who hoarded many things but mostly what he specialized in hoarding was the entire panoply of DSM-IV disorders. So she would find the book that might start to explain this tortured creature to the unfortunate souls who were to remain related to him for the rest of their lives, or his. It is a book called "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" and she would be glad that even in a perfect city like Charleston there were at least two imperfect people because there were that many copies of this book in the very tiny self-help section. If she were in Charleston, that is. This is fiction, of course.

And if she were still in that pretty bookstore she would chuckle as she noticed that the Humor section was right across from the Self-Help section, far, far away from the massive Religion section and the even huger Food section. (There was no Fiction section, of course, because this is all fiction anyway.) So she would chortle and think out loud, as they do in Charleston, "Humor IS self-help. In my book." And smile at her bad pun. And she would look to see if the Ephron sisters had published anything new lately and she would find to her delight one slim yellow book called "I Feel Bad About My Neck" by Nora Ephron, and she would scoop it up and head to the cashier.

And if she were walking to the purchase desk she would notice towering shelves displaying dozens and dozens of this very same canary-yellow Nora Ephron book. She would feel pathetically smug knowing that she chose the book before seeing that it was being promoted as a best-seller "Women's Book".

And if she were really in Charleston and really reading Nora Ephron's new book back in her room at the pink stuccoed hotel next door, she would laugh and realize that she too experienced almost everything that Nora Ephron writes about, including real-estate love and book rapture. Excepting, of course, the love of cooking. And that second husband. And then she would think that if she could be so bold, that she would give up her latest personal motto which was "When I Grow Up I Want to Be Mary Blume" and change it to "When I Grow Up I Want to Be Nora Ephron" but since she would have already passed her 52nd birthday she would have to start growing up pretty damn fast.

But, as I said, this is fiction.


Polly-Vous Francais said...

And now final word that the inspirational Nora has left us. Thank you, thank you, Nora. You have given us so much.

Anne said...

Great post. I loved Nora Ephron :)


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