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2001-11-26

George Burns (b. Nathan Birnbaum)
B. 1.20.1896 New York City / D. 3.1.96 Beverly Hills
Heart Failure

Signs of aging. From up the dark five o’clock side street I spotted a woman approaching and—for the very first time in my life—the phrase “cutie patootie” flashed through my brain.
(Too young— My sagging tits.
—too nearly everyone.) Aging and decay. For then—in fact, to boot—I was mistaken. My poor night vision, deteriorating, duped to wasteful ardors by a fancy-schmancy coat. (I don’t even like to think about my bottom half.)

Gracie Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen
B. 7.26.02 San Francisco / D. 8.27.64 Hollywood
Cancer

Eternal youth—a brown crone’s vengeful trickery—think of that ancient Taino woman, the one he’d taken for a household slave, telling tales to Ponce de Léon—right away he’s off to primeval Orlando where heads will roll in 1513. Nice myth, grandma—got him off your back for awhile. Poisonous old bitch.

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