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In July, at my friend Peggy’s pool in the North Fork, where I swim and eat delicious dinners, I told her that Jonathan and I would be attending her August vocal concert in The Berkshires.

“It’s not necessary,” she said. “It’s the same concert you saw four years ago at Don’t Tell Mama.”

For 53 years, Peggy has been the same supportive, validating friend. We met at PS # 122 where we both taught, walked home from school together regularly, and ate dinner at each other’s apartments, mostly hers. She came to my book launches with her friends, who along with her bought multiple copies of my books, attended my recent play reading, will be attending an upcoming one, took me for my colonoscopy before I knew Jonathan, was there for me when my first marriage ended, and in other big and small ways.

At the Berkshires concert last week, she and the other three women sang their individual and group songs beautifully. With heart and humor. They were more engaged than when I first saw them.

After the concert, we spoke about how much the consistent work enriched their performance. Same thing I discuss with my students. And myself. Creating and interpreting art is hard, ongoing work. Practice. Practice. Practice. I told Peggy it was too bad she hadn’t done a duet with Tony Bennett.

My sister, who lives in The Berkshires, made dinner for her partner, Jonathan, and me. So much laughter. So much fun.

So was the dinner with a friend and her husband. 40 years ago, before we met, I went out with the friend’s ex-husband, who said at the beginning of our first date that I remind him of his ex-wife and would really like her. He and I parted ways after several dates, but when I met his ex on Fire Island, I told her what he said. She and I clicked. We’re still clicking.

Jonathan and I kayaked, walked, and swam at a little beach near our hotel. Everything was glorious.



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