In the New York Winter I went Uptown alone. I had seen that Joan Didion was reading at Barnard. I had called two California girls to go with me but I couldn’t get a hold of either one of them. I was early for the reading in order to navigate Barnard’s campus. I walked slowly on the snowy paths. Two short people were looking at a sign. I was going to ask them if they knew where to go but they beat me to it.
“Excuse me, do you know where Barnard Hall is?” the man asked.
Holy shit, it’s Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne.
“I don’t know, let’s find it together.” They walked up and each grabbed one of my arms and we started on our search. They were so little. We were only a couple of buildings away. On the way she saw a flyer for her talk. It had a picture of her from the Sixties on it, not the one with the sunglasses.
“Jesus Christ, why’d they put that picture on there? When I get on stage everyone’s going to say ‘who is this old cunt?’”
I took them to their undergrad handler and they both thanked me and I wished them a good night.
Inside a vending machine displayed the rolling message “Sometimes I have problems”.
This story disputes Randy Newman’s assertion that short people do not have a reason to live.