(8 november 2010)
I am meant to be researching a Jackie book. I forgot this. Like, seriously, for a full week it was wiped from my mind.
I’m pretty sure this would not happen to a real biographer. No real biographer would be so engrossed in writing blog posts for an audience of 12 and reading Cold Mountain that she would completely forget about a project that has been rolling around in her head for the last 10 years.
It is hard not to be discouraged.
Because I need to go to Newport and yet I have no questions to ask once I get there. I have impressive letters. I am authorized(ish). And yet I have nothing.
An email from The Famous Artist’s wife has sat for two weeks in my inbox. They are waiting to answer questions. Sadly, I have none.
I am writing about something about which no one has written. Something no one who was involved and is still alive seems to remember.
I am tempted to call The Brother just to chat. He told me she loved parades. I know her so well and I did not know that.
I have written a book. Way back in 2004. I was 23 and didn’t know any better. I worked all day and would go home and write from 5 to 10. I remember nothing about living in Memphis beyond sitting before a 1999 Dell Dimension XPS T500 and a pile of magazines.
This was back before I had friends and parties and Chicago and wine.
That is why I did not want to do this. Writing is great, but living is so much more fun.
And I wonder sometimes if there is no point.
In 1949, Jacqueline Bouvier went to France. She lived at 76 avenue mozart. She was seen riding a motorcycle. She dated a diplomat’s son. She later said of the experience, “I loved it more than any year of my life.”
This is what we know. And maybe that’s enough.