Please, make it stop.

I am drowning.

I clearly thought I was better than I am.

Every week, I go further under, and I try but I just can’t get out from beneath this weight.

For years, I imagined what it would be like to be the person I find myself today,  and the sad fact is — that person is a fraud.

A pretender, someone who claimed to love reading, when really — all she wanted was a tote bag.

Okay, not just the tote bag. I wanted the apartment on the Upper West Side, the big sunglasses, the lox and bagels from Zabar’s. A short story now and then, or a restaurant review.

Not the crushing weight of constant analysis: political, cultural, moral. That’s right. I am not up to the task of being a subscriber to the New Yorker.

But I don’t have the heart to cancel my subscription.

Honey, remember how we always talked about moving to Northern California? Why don’t we just head out there, y’know — just…go?

Is it really worth it to do that change of address thing for the post office? I mean, how much mail do we really get anymore? We can probably find some nice people to sell the house to. This area is totally coming up. All kinds of people are looking for places to live around here, people like us. Ones who, y’know, read? Stuff like the New Yorker? That and the Greene County Examiner?

I feel better already. Just knowing I don’t have to chuckle knowingly at another cartoon. I mean, I could if I had to but — life is short and it’s kind of a relief knowing I’m not as clever as I thought I was.


14 thoughts on “Lightweight

  1. Karen Hall

    Love you Ms Rigby – that was the perfect interlude before brazing myself to get the rest of the ‘gear’ into the loft !



  2. deepflakes

    An friend of mind once the said she liked the New Yorker, but “it’s relentless.” So true — I carry them around in my briefcase, but am never caught up!

  3. Hal Davis

    I subscribe to a bunch of publications, none of them weekly.

    The New Yorkercomes out weekly. No way to keep up. So don’t sweat it. But keep the tote bag.

    1. amyrigby

      It’s funny, the print edition doesn’t actually arrive every week. There are enough gaps to knock a person off balance. Maybe that’s part of it – like they’re saying “we’ll decide and you deal with the rest.”

  4. Andrew Boller

    My instincts sent me abroad where I live as a piano whore capable of satisfying the whims of a fickle public- that said, my instincts have stood me in good stead. I never doubted for a single second that my writing and musical skills were on par w/ the successful. However, while critics can pump the ego there are still bills to pay. I am just too lazy for being stuck of my creative juices. I want to play music so I do. I adore and revere the talent of all my colleagues. Especially those who stayed with it and now implore folks to come to a living room get together. Royalties are a dream of the past. I can get paid for mutilating “Hotel California” – damn, the public loves the song. Where’s the piano? I have learned hundreds of “OPH” (other people hits)
    Most of my favorite songs are written by folks like you and Eric. I get paid well to buck up and play “My Way” — I am too lazy to take a day gig and luckily my inner slut will take all comers as long as I get paid. I know I have written some great tunes. Oh well, sigh, no super hits. You have written some great songs. Be proud. I support your efforts – I still listen to “Diary of a Mod Housewife” I am a Fan. Whatever direction y’all choose to go, you have my support.
    I played “Blueberry Hill” a couple of hours ago.
    I was paid – gosh, what have they done to my song? Where’d I leave my roller skates?

    1. amyrigby

      An interesting window into your world, Andy. When Eric and I moved to France, I think we imagined ourselves doing something similar – “We’ll play Lyin Eyes, in hotel bars!” It may still happen but not yet. It’s a matter of belief, and desire, I guess.

  5. johnozed

    I can definitely relate. It seems I endlessly turn the pages looking for something that won’t make me upset, and lately, I go from Talk of the Town to Reviews pausing with each cartoon. And there’s a new cartoonist who is just horrible.

    Still, I subscribe. The online version does offer some fun things.
    “Life is too short for the New Yorker”.

      1. Hal Davis

        You’re not alone. This is from a 2009 newspaper column:

        Five years ago Friday, the NPR program “On the Media” told the story of Patrice Moore, a Bronx man who reportedly was trapped for two days under his decade-in-the-making pile of magazines, including Sports Illustrated, The Harvard Business Review and a half-dozen others.

        “Moore’s is one of those there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I sorts of stories,” OTM host Brooke Gladstone said. “Who among us has not gazed wearily on their own growing pile of unread high-quality journalism heaped by the bed and in the bathroom, balanced precariously on every surface, and not sigh, ‘Life is too short for The New Yorker.’ ”

        1. amyrigby

          I forgot to mention the country house or beach house that went with the UWS apartment – that would be where all the New Yorkers would go so they wouldn’t clutter up the apartment.

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