A Few Thoughts and Disclosures about Florence
My cartoons look nothing like her. (Mostly this is because I lack the ability to draw a good likeness. If I sat her down and really worked at it, I could get a likeness, but then I'd have to engage in very lengthy conversation with her, and conversing with her feels like IMing with someone, trying to send large audio files back and forth, over a 300-baud connection.)
And she never wears shirts and scarves as colorful as the ones I've given her here, but I wanted to convey some sense that she's a real character.
Florence never really looks as cranky as I made her look here. Florence, if you ever see this, please know I amplified the crankiness only for comic effect!!
(The chance of Florence seeing this is... gosh, I don't know, what's the chance of us discovering alien life this afternoon? It's maybe two, maybe three times the chance of that.)
One time Florence gave me a cassette tape of her opera singing. I sincerely wanted to listen to it but, without thinking, asked, "oh, do you have this in digital form, like, mp3s or, y'know, is it online somewhere?" Quickly realizing she didn't fully understand what the English I'd just spoken meant, I tried to recover and said, "Or, uh, CDs? I must still have a CD player somewhere, I think." Which wasn't much better. I hastily recovered, thanking her profusely and insisting I would listen to the music soon. This was years ago. It occurs to me now that maybe the NYPL branch down the street has a tape player lying around somewhere. Hmm.
Florence might be superhuman.
She's really, really, really old yet still lives alone and from time to time even seems to host gatherings. Mostly I don't notice but, a few months ago, one of these got so rowdy (some piano player got a little too enthusiastic playing Puttin' on the Ritz) that building staff had to come by and intervene.
(Florence, if aliens are discovered this afternoon, please know it was not I who called the staff to shut your piano player down!)