So I’m flipping through the New Yorker while enjoying a frozen Amy’s lasagna for dinner when I come upon a picture of the late Maurice Sendak standing in the woods dressed in a black robe and holding a cane that could double as wizard’s staff looking like a little Jewish wizard or a scary cult leader. Beside him his German Shepherd, Herman. The dog, he says, is of “unknowable age, because I refused to ever find out. I don’t want to know. I wish I didn’t know how old I was.” I wonder what that would be like not knowing your age. I mean you’d have clues, for instance hot flashes, grey hair at the temple, and constant irritability might suggest a women in her early fifties. Just saying. Still, I thought only the brilliant creator of Where The Wild Things Are would imagine a better life without the definitions and expectations of age.
And the interview ends with this: “It’s hard for me to be happy. Some people have the gift of pulling themselves up and out and saying there is more to life than just tragedy. And then there are those who can’t, and I’m one of them. Do you believe it when people say they’re happy?”
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