Lorraine Hansberry’s list from 1962 (not long before she was diagnosed with the cancer that she would die from):
(this now comes first; ah age, age! thou art cruel)
That love is really as elusive as everybody over 30 knows it to be
Some parts of the last two years—but only parts
My lack of discipline
Lord, the hurt to D.S., I never meant to
That it didn’t work in the first place
That JW didn’t either (as of now at least, after a month)
That she is such a child
That she can’t understand that she is
My consuming loneliness
All the friggin’ hurts in this world
That a certain lady let my letter be read!
The shallowness of the people who have come into (and lately been expelled from) my life.
(it gets harder each time)
69 when it really works
The first scotch
The fact that I almost never want the third or even the second when I am alone. Praise fate!
The inside of a lovely woman’s mouth
The way little JW looks in the movies
Her behind—those fresh little muscles
Parts of the lingering memory of a betrayer
The memory of them very eyes
And some of the voice
God, to work, to work, to work!
And feel it right!
Those rare mornings when I awaken without unhappiness
Those rarer evenings when I go to sleep without unhappiness
The fact that JW is not home to answer the phone right now
Some Ideas of Brecht
The fact it triumphs!
Newsreels of the fact
This insurgent age of mine
All which announces It!
A certain betrayer whom I will, I will get even with
loneliness—all of it, alone or with others
the ignorance of my friends
to meet people who are all tied up in it
Burnt out emotions
most lies, mine and other peoples
that people don’t understand me very often
don’t try to
my fears, my god-awful fears of almost everything
I am proud
that I am losing some of those fears
that I struggle to work
against many, many things
and on my own
of my people
of what I ultimately mean to be
that I shall not allow suicide because it would be
fuel to nihilists. Never them!
I should like
To hurry up and live in the country ad have the woods
and fresh morning airs around me
ah me, to have one swift affair, still, with old KB;
just for the body, the eyes, the boobs—don’t really want
to be utterly, utterly in love
to work and finish something
Many thanks to BC Craig for finding and sharing this list. It’s such an absolute gem.