STATEMENTS FOR THE PRESS
(an extraction from a long piece published hither & thither)
I HAVE NEVER BEEN A COMMUNIST
After hours of interrogation, I have nothing to confess, although it’s possible I have no memories left. Please believe me. I have no politics.
I’ve always loved foie gras, Grey Goose, Gucci Puccis, blue fox coats, fancy dishwashers, diamonds, and white limos as sleek as Arabian horses. I am not ashamed.
Even when daddy lost his big job and threw himself out, I loved the burgundy leather sofa and that ivory statuette of Cupid with the lampshade hat. I loved so many things in that house I stayed there much too long. I suppose I wanted more and more and more – more childhood, more gifts at Christmas, more champagne and caviar, you know the scoop. They teach you to want. Wanting is an art. How could I know that my father was sufficient? Give me his voice, the lullabies he sang, the adoration in his eyes. I want so much to go back, sentimental fool that I am. He is dead.
Of course, I was never a Communist. Mother never let me share my toys. I never give anything away. I can’t live without that Prada purse. They all have Prada purses.
Mother died in that house. She said the locks were broken; she couldn’t possibly open the doors. They found her in bed with the family gems scattered all over the bedclothes, sparkling like babies’ tears. Most of them were fake, it turned out. It usually happens that way.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A LOYAL TEAM PLAYER
I tell you I swear I will not make waves, never made them. Those who accuse me are lying.
When M ravaged P in the ladies room, I was hiding in a stall and heard everything.
When P begged me to testify I said no, what are you thinking? I support the company. My testimony would hurt the company. M is not expendable; you are, I said. I said Sorry, life is tough, gotta take the bad with the good tomorrow is another day forget about it, life is short, gotta catch the worm catch the worm, bye and may God be with you.
When the important news reporter wanted to interview me about financial discrepancies in the company’s auditing reports, I said B & Y are squeaky clean how can you suggest otherwise. Can you prove that B and Y are in hiding somewhere in South America? No, you can’t, I said the phone records have been cooked by the liberals, goodbye no further comments.
When G & G could no longer sublet their apartment because of my co-ops’s new policy, they appealed to me, unemployed and broke, they claimed. I’m a good citizen, on the board, president for 16 years, a no nonsense type of person. One must take control to defend one’s property; one must be decisive. So the residents always elect me and I have my obligations. Accordingly, I said no way to G & G, we can’t have transients living here, have to control the comings and goings, too bad for you can always sell. There’s a real estate agent on our Board, you know. While we sympathize, we can’t possibly make an exception, when in Rome do as the Romans do make haste while the sun shines redo your resumes, tough luck. I am protecting my investment, mine all mine. I shall not waver. No exceptions.
When they started coming for the foreigners, I closed my curtains. My neighbors and I shut our doors. We refused the children. They were crying. It was not for us to decide what was best for the community. We spoke in whispers and cooked big chickens. We played Frank Sinatra to snuff the irritating sound of the gunshots and wailing, wrote to our politicians to get rid of the local porn shop.
When Billy said I want to fight for democracy, I didn’t think I’d be staring at a face without eyes, six months later. I said this is our team and you are right the President said so. Make us proud, Billy. Make us safe. I knew my duty. It is a mother’s lot to sacrifice everything for her children, and her children’s lot to defend their mothers from savages. That is what I know. That is what I was taught.
We go about our routines, as usual, but we know they are coming and there is nothing we can do. Our skin is bound so tight we are suffocating. We sigh. We gasp. We close our eyes, rely on our faith.