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DIARY 1267  7/17/70


He takes the one capsule and all the spare powder he has in the container, possibly getting as much as twice the normal dosage, and that's part of the reason why he feels some apprehension about the oncoming trip. Takes it about 3:35PM, and then takes a shower and moves a lounge chair out to the corner of the lot, in the shade under the pines, and I also shower and shave and brush my teeth so that I'll be acceptable close to him, and go out at 4, convinced that he couldn't possibly be started, and he's slouched down in the chair with his eyes closed, trembling slightly, teeth chattering, saying that it's started already.

There are patterns behind his closed eyes, patterns like gridirons and checkerboards, but there are no colors connected with them. Every so often, despite my vow not to interfere in his trip, I ask what colors he's seeing, and usually his response is that the colors are very vague, limited in spectrum, and not there all the time. He discovers that moving his foot changes the pattern behind his eyes, and he sits with a grin on his face, moving his lips in time with his chattering teeth, sometimes laughing aloud at what he sees.

Then he looks at me and blinks his eyes, and begins to describe what happens when he blinks. "I look up and I see the sky, and before I can even see that it's blue, I see the shape of the tree leaves against the sky, see the shape of the area of sky outlined by the tree leaves and your head. Then it turns blue, and if I close my eyes right then, just a blink open, the sky reverses colors, and what was blue turns red, and what was green turns sort of purple, and there's only this lacy-edged pattern of red floating, changing, in my mind, and then it fades, and I can open my eyes again to see the sky again, and something different will happen."

He lay there slumped down, opening his eyes wide so that I could see the dark-accustomed wideness of the pupil suddenly contract to a small area, and then widen out almost in reflex to the constriction, and then his eyes would be closed again. The whimsical, smiling expression on his lips and in his eyes suggests to me a baby's delight in playing "peek-a-boo" with parents: John was playing games with the visual world.

When that was exhausted, he began seeing better things inside than he could see outside, and he began brushing through his hair, and he seemed to concentrate his attentions, pause, brush quickly, pause, as if watching sparks flying down in front of mental eyes from a conflagration that he was raking up on top of his head. "The sound is so loud, and with the sound---or the sound BECOMES colors that I can see, and I can feel my fingers going through my hair, and the sound and the touch and the colors are all in PERFECT synchronization: it's like the ultimate light show."

His movements grew faster and more convulsive, and then trailed down to his cheeks and chin, and he joyfully remarked that each sensation on the face produced a different reaction in the ultimate light show behind his closed eyes. His glasses seemed to be in the way, so I asked if he wanted to take them off, and he did, so I sat quietly with them in my hands, meanwhile chasing a persistent caterpillar away who insisted on crawling up on my sandal---and later on John's sandal---at least half a dozen times.

The sounds coming from his lips got more and more chirrupy, more and more kiddish, and his hands began roaming down his neck and chest, and he began playing with his nipples, and roamed lower, over his stomach, and came to rest on his testicles, clearly outlined beneath his gray coveralls between his knees-up legs. "Oh, oh, I can see how you looked so sexy to me, but oh, oh. Well, it's tough for you, because I don't feel sexy at all, so there's not going to be any sex. Too bad for you, hahaha." And he continued to caress his balls, playing along the length of his cock, remarking that he didn't feel in the least bit sexy, but very sensual.

"Oh, I bet you've never seen me like this before," he chortled giddily, as his hands seemed to brush up and down his shirt, as if flicking off insects that might have fallen from the trees. Earlier, there had been some worry about mosquitoes---he'd said they were all over under the tree, and once or twice I tried to brush away some gnats that had gathered on his chin, but they stayed away for most of the rest of the session.

"No, I haven't," I admitted, smiling with the joy of his motions and the freedom of his hands, setting his glasses gently on the grass, since it didn't seem he would be wanting them for quite awhile.

He looked at the column holding up the porch, and laughed at his vision of it as twisted and unstable. "Why doesn't the roof fall down?" he wondered.

"It's such fun listening to my teeth chatter," he laughed, and his hands stopped moving, his chin rose into the air, and the castanet-like sound of the chittering teeth rose above the brush of the wind through the pine needles, the chatter of the jays.

Then he'd stop to listen to cars coming up and down the road, crunching on the gravel: "Here comes another one---wow, it came from that direction"---he waves wildly over his head---"circled around and went back in the same direction!" he shouted cheerfully, knowing it was impossible, but delighting in the fact that his ears couldn't tell him what was actually happening. A car started up in front of Norma's house, and he exclaimed that the deep rumble seemed to be coming from inside his ear, and then the car gathered speed, the crunch of gravel under the tires accelerated, and with a breathless swoop, it rolled down the slope and up the opposite slope, almost equidistant from the back of John's head, and he exclaimed over the fantastic quality of the sound. "It's like I never really LISTENED to the sound of the gravel before." And he laughed again in delight.

People passed by every so often on their late afternoon return from the beach, and he generally heard them coming and stopped his rapid hand motions, but they ignored us except for two boys on bicycles who stopped right at the corner to adjust their loads, and John looked over at them somewhat paranoically, as if they were determined to hear what was going on, and he made some comments that they heard the sounds of, if not the words of, because they looked up in some alarm at us sitting there, and then quickly settled themselves on their bikes and rode off.

"I'm having my trip in the middle of Grand Central Station," he said with triumph, and later added, "I'm having my trip on the most expensive property in the world," which I then tied in with Grand Central.

Jays hopped very close to see what was going on, and some of the louder cries got through to him, but he didn't react to their fluttering sounds as they winged from tree to tree under the shades of the corner, nor did he actually comment about how they looked as they went back and forth. But then as he got deeper into the trip, such outside sensations meant less and less.

He was quiet for a time, smiling, nodding his head back and forth, stopping to listen to the chatter of his teeth every so often. Then he spoke up, with a reverential hush to his tone: "There are these fantastic architectural constructions flashing through my mind. Each one is incredibly elaborate, covered with jewels, but each one is there only an instant, and in the next instant there's another one, more elaborate than the last, very intricately carved, and then that lasts only a second, and is replaced by another. I've been watching them, and they've never been the same as any other."

Marty later asked him if there were identifiable architectural elements or entities, such as arches or columns, or mosques and palaces, and John replied that none of them were exact duplicates of the Taj Mahal, or of any temple he'd seen pictures of, but each was wonderfully elaborate and rich. "It's like I'm the most powerful and richest king in the world, and each palace costs millions of dollars to build, and it's built in a second, and whoosh, it's gone, and there's another in its place, more beautiful than the last.

"There are terraces and balconies, balustrades and staircases, spires and domes and minarets and turrets and towers, and every inch of every side of every wall is very delicately carved and painted, like the finest marble carved so intricately it's impossible to follow all the designs in detail before it's gone, and the next one has taken its place." This phase lasted quite a time, and I could see his eyes moving from side to side under his closed eyelids, as if he were reading lines in a book, except that each line seemed to be another castle and palace that he scanned to absorb its beauty.

Every so often, as I had done the previous day, he would open his eyes and look at me and express some sort of gratitude for what I was doing, pleasure at my presence, the hope of including me in some greater way in the trip, though he began saying that he hadn't really remembered how fantastic the visions were under LSD, and he'd underestimated what I was seeing while he was taking care of me, but now that he SAW what the effects were, he knew that what I had been seeing was far richer than he'd suspected. On one of these outings from the heights of his trip, I asked if he wanted something to drink, some soda? Yes, he did, and I went into the kitchen to get the can and glass for soda.

He'd been investigating the land of "No-Name," getting great delight out of not having to name anything, merely smiling in a rather superior way, as if calling it, simply, "no-name" solved all his problems. When I returned to his side, he looked up at me with the warmest, most inclusive of smiles and announced that he'd found that "No-Name" indeed had a name, and that name was "Bob Zolnerzak." He repeated the name a number of times, remarking about the qualities of its vowels from the open-mouthed "o" of the Bob, to the deeper-in-the-throat quality of the "o" in Zol, the gentle closing, intermediate stage for the "e" in ner, and the quick, snappy, abrupt sound of the last syllable, "zak," which he played with faster and faster, rocking in the chair in his pleasures with the sounds.

John drank some of the soda, but as I tasted some, I felt it to be awfully dull and tasteless, and figured I should have gotten him some sherry, but he didn't want anything else, and enjoyed the sipping without in any way having the trip embellish it.

The architectural visions continued, and he remained silent for longer and longer periods of time, though still keeping in touch with an occasional hand on my arm or shoulder. Then he began talking again, "I imagine Edward Stone would love an 'ultimate vista,' and I'm creating ultimate vista after ultimate vista. You just come around the corner of the rock, and there it is, complete, with the most perfect view of the ultimate vista," and he again began laughing with delight. Later he said he had meant to refer to Phillip Johnson, and not Edward Durrell Stone.

After a long period of time, the sun began to go down into clouds, and as dusk began to settle in leadenly, a cool wind began to blow, and at last we agree to move indoors, and he began to express some sort of desire to be inside, away from the noises of the cars passing and the people talking, secure in the room we shared in sleep. Onto the porch, he stopped enraptured before the stereo set, touched it, and enjoyed watching the whole thing shower into a trellis of sparks. Inside the house, he marveled that the tile floor was an incredible mosaic ocean shifting under a film of water.

He didn't want anything to eat, or anything more to drink, and he lay down on the mattress on the floor, having taken off his sandals, but keeping on his T-shirt and trousers. He reviewed to say that he'd felt absolutely no nausea, and finally even the trembling in the limbs and the chattering of his teeth stopped.

No! I asked if he were getting hungry, and finally he said that maybe he could eat, and I was wanting to get the food cooked and onto the table before the sun set completely, because I wanted to be inside the lighted house, finished with dinner, before it began to get anything like dark outside. He stayed outside on the chair when I went indoors to wrestle the dining table outside, the chairs, to put the rice on, to warm up the chicken from before, to fix the greens for the salad and to locate the remains of his salad dressing from the previous day. I stopped outside to check on him, but he was perfectly placid, laughing a bit too loudly at voices of Norma and Marion echoing in the relative silence, and I felt easy at letting him alone, since he showed absolutely no tendency to even get up from the chair. Finally dinner was ready, and THEN we came into the house.

The sun was just setting below the house, which meant it must have been about 7:45. We'd only eaten a snack of fruit and yogurt that afternoon, and I figured he must have been hungry, even though we hadn't done our exercises that day. But when the food appeared, he took a piece of chicken after great delay, during which I consumed a good deal of food, and bit off a piece, chewing very slowly, saying that he had to do it very consciously, and it seemed to be taking a very long time, as it certainly was.

I tried to coax him into eating, but he seemed spaced out, though he said that some of it tasted good, and he couldn't be made to admit to any feelings of discomfort whatsoever. Finally I finished most of my food, while he'd only eaten three or four forkfuls of rice and two or three mouthfuls of chicken. When it became clear he wasn't interested in eating, I put his food back into the containers and took them downstairs, saying we could leave the salad for later, and I had tried, but he didn't want to eat, and I was no longer hungry, and was looking forward to the rest of the evening.

John didn't want to sit outdoors again, and rather strongly refused an offer to walk about or go down to the beach: he wanted to go to bed. Dusk was falling in earnest, and the sounds from the birds were louder as they serenaded the sinking sun, and the barks of the dogs and sounds of neighbors' phones ringing were muted by contrast. For the first time John began expressing some feelings of apprehension and fear for what was coming.

"What are you most afraid of?" I asked, when it was obvious he was running away from something.

He began to curl up on himself, clutching one of my knees as I sat against the wall, and couldn't bring himself to talk about it, but at my probing finally admitted he was afraid that something was ABOUT to happen, and he wasn't actually afraid, at this moment, but was apprehensive about something happening that would MAKE him afraid any minute. It was all so vague I was doubtful about the benefits of continuing to talk about it, for fear that the discussion of his future fears might bring them into being. I could only tell him, "As soon as you feel the first shadow of a fear, begin to talk about it, because as soon as you identify it, name it, look at it, the fear will go."

I could only say "Just go along with it, just go wherever it goes," and vaguely wish that we had some music with which he could go.

"Now that it's getting dark, I'm getting afraid," he said, and as soon as possible I left him to turn the light on in the next room, and he said that was good. "The coming of night is the worst time," he said, and I felt particularly disturbed, again, that we had gone to bed and he had gone to sleep during the same time of evening during my mescaline trip.

As the evening went on, the window began to recede into the background, and only the brightness of the light from the next room, bouncing off the bright pink walls, fell across one side of the bed, leaving his head in darkness, so that his eyes wouldn't be disturbed, but so that there would be a bright wall that he could take some sort of comfort from: it would not grow dimmer as night grew on.

For a short time his chattering and trembling came back, but then he began to lie quietly, saying that the fear had passed, and again he was back into the visual holiday behind his eyelids, remarking from time to time about the "Gardens sliding into the sea, just sliding into the sea," and I began to amend my "Just go along with it," to "Just stay with it," in the fear that "going along" to him might mean going into the sea WITH his gardens. Oddly, after the session he could remember nothing about the gardens sliding into the sea.

By this time it was about 9PM, the birds had stopped and dogs were taking up a barking chorus that we both found very disturbing. I was beginning to get tired sitting in the same position, so I changed slightly, at the same time moving slightly away from him, though keeping in constant contact, so that he might develop more of a sense of independence. I was finding it easier and easier to say nothing to lead him anywhere, just asking details whenever he would choose to exclaim about something.

"There's a deep, silent sound---not really a sound, but like an echo before the sound. That's what I'm listening to. I could be afraid of the sound, because it's such a deep reverberating sound, but I'm just going along with it, waiting for it to actually become a sound. It's like the sound from the monolith in 2001, like an organ sound, very deep, or the rush of air before the organ sound." His words began to get softer and softer, and gradually they attuned themselves to his breathing, so that there would be the sighing intake of breath, and then the gentle movement of the lips as the air was breathed out, so that each phrase came out on one breath.

I noted with some interest, after his talk had gone on for a couple dozen breaths, that none of the words were stammered, he never seemed to have to search for words, even after he would continue a sentence past the point that I would think he had anything to add. When thoughts did seem to pause, he would merely repeat, seeming to go along with it, until the visions changed, and then his words would change.

"It's all so very, very dark...and there's a sound that isn't quite a sound...but it's like the sound before a sound...Sometimes I can see that I'm inside a deep cave...but it's not a dark cave because there are red lights glowing...and the cave is very, very deep...and the sound seems to be coming out of the cave...and I'm going deeper and deeper into the cave..."

At times his mouth would get dry, and he would lick his lips and smack them before his deep-breathing intake. Later, when the images got more gripping, his body would move slightly from side to side, his feet pushing against the floor, his arms moving about slightly. I still sat close to him, hoping to encourage him on his trip, and from time to time I would say, "Yes, just go with it---just go right along with it. We're right here, nothing's going to happen, just go along with it."

But again there was an access of fear, and when he could finally attach words to it, it was a fear about not coming back from the trip, about going permanently insane---staying the way he was, hallucinating, for the rest of his life. Listening to this sound that was no sound, seeing these visions that were no sights, for the rest of his life. I talked quietly with him to examine these fears, and then he said he wasn't afraid anymore.

I had trouble telling whether the trip was getting more intense or whether he was coming out of it. Since I had been under from 5:30 to 10:30, only 5 hours, and since it was getting close to six hours that he'd been under, I could only think that he'd passed the most intense part of his experience, and was getting more verbal because the experience was less and less intense, less internal, and that he was beginning to gently force his trip where HE wanted it to go, or worse, where he thought I would want it to go. But he seemed to want to continue, and even after a long session of lip-smacking, when I offered him some water and he accepted with eagerness, I thought it might begin to bring him out of it, but it seemed to give him new strength so that he cold continue deeper into the caves, closer to this sound.

"And now I'm coming to the very edge of the sound...the very edge of the sound...and it could be frightening but it isn't...(and then there were a couple of deep breaths without talking)...and I could actually BECOME the edge...I actually became the edge of the sound...but still the sound didn't come...I'd like the sound to come...but I think I'm still afraid if the sound would come..."

Then my stomach started rumbling from my sitting position, and to my amazement he picked up the sounds and spoke of a volcano rumbling under ground, ripe with fire and brilliant lava, but the ground wouldn't give way to permit the eruption, and as my stomach continued to growl and gurgle, he would refer again and again to the subterranean forces building up, but would never give them permission to explode, releasing all their pent-up energies.

"It's like I'm standing on the edge of a huge bronze cymbal...and over the edge of the cymbal is deep darkness...and the edge of the cymbal is the same as the edge of the sound...and I can even BECOME the edge..."

Claude's class had increasingly important relevance to John's trip, as I would use him as an example of someone saying, "Just LET it go, don't force it, just LET it go," and Claude's characteristically bleary-eyed look, with his lips and jaw flapping freely, words slurred because his tongue was so free that the phrase came out "juz le-et gah" in his deep rumbling voice. Then I'd heard Claude's apposite phrase of "becoming" something, and when John would express fear about meeting something or seeing something, I would tell him, in Claude's words, to BECOME that fear, BECOME that which he feared, and it would all feel better.

"...the edge is very sharp, very sharp...but I can't go beyond the edge...I want to go beyond the edge...I'm trying to go beyond the edge...but I'm afraid to go beyond the I can't get beyond the edge..."

John expressed conflicting desires to leap off into the unknown, but he seemed to want absolute assurance that he would return completely unchanged. But it seems to be one of the most feared properties of the unknown, that it DOES have the power to change the person in ways that are equally unknown. He feared he might be insane, or never come back, or meet something that he didn't want to acknowledge, or come back a different person than the one into which he had invested so much time, protection, and rationalization. I don't think he wanted to change into what he considered ME to be: a crypto-mystic with fuzzy explanations about what happened to me and why.

"Now the edge is starting to vibrate...and it's the edge's vibration that causes the beginning of the sound...and if it vibrates any more, it will TURN INTO the sound...and the space is getting bigger and bigger...bigger and bigger...until the space becomes the whole WORLD..."

Here his arms and legs began to reach out until he was spread-eagled on the bed, hands vaguely annoyed by touching the radiators at the base boards that were the boundaries of the room, foot resting against the clothes bag hung on the doorknob. His breathing became even more insistent, its rhythm controlling the pace of his trip, the pace of his verbalization of the trip, and the motions of that breathing seemed to take over his entire body.

"And all this space...all this enormous enclosed within my chest...and there's a vibration in my chest that's the beginning of the sound...and this vibration fills all the space in my chest...fills all the space in my enormous actually MAKES the space within my chest..."

I felt that he was more or less putting this on, since it was getting closer to 10:30, and I had judged that he would be completely out of it by 11, His verbalization was becoming more and more like something I would say, and I began to feel the same vague discomfort that I felt when Backster was propounding his visions of the life-force connecting all animate and inanimate objects in the universe. It wasn't that I didn't believe him, but he was here to tell us about his researches into plants, and this wasn't what I wanted to learn from him: I knew about it; if he knew about it, fine, but he shouldn't bother to try to convince US of it. There, and again here, and since here, I played with the thought of "He who knows, does not speak; he who speaks, does not know."

" IS within my chest...and there's this's a TERRIBLE's the sound of the whole world...the sound comes from the vibration of the edge...and that vibration IS everything in the whole IS everything in the whole world...and it's all within MY CHEST...the vibration fills my chest with the world...and my chest is getting even bigger...even bigger..."

John's voice died off while he inhaled and exhaled very deeply two or three times, moistening his lips to get ready for the next sequence of speaking. He'd repeated the word "terrible" in three or four different contexts, but I had the feeling, which he later verified, that he wasn't in terror of what he was describing as terrible, but it filled him with awe and wonder, so that he was astounded, but not frightened by the quality.

" chest now contains the entire universe...there are constellations whirling about in my chest...and the sound they make is the same as the sound in my chest...the sound is a terrible vibration...filling my chest...creating the constellations and the's the vibration from an enormous tuning vibrates off the ribs of my chest...and the tuning fork is my lungs...vibrating in and out...and this is the vibration that fills the universe..."

Tears started into my eyes. The similes were so apt, the description was so breathlessly beautiful, and I no longer worried about John playing games with my system of philosophy to please me: even if he WERE inventing the similes, forcing the analogies, they were so powerful in their own right that they convinced me that he WAS feeling SOMETHING of the power and unity of the universe, and that he might begin to believe in something inside himself that was so much a part of the universe that it could be thought to CREATE the universe, even if it was so strange an organ as his lungs. But that's what was so striking about it: if he'd started talking about his heart, beating, creating the universe, I could have fooled myself that he was facilely playing with words for my edification.

"...the vibration starts the constellations and keeps them completely fills the universe...and that terrible universe encompassed in my own chest and's so enormous, it's so terribly huge...and my chest can encompass even chest can get even bigger...and the vibrations can reach out...even more..."

And his voice faded into inaudibility, lips moving as his tongue moved over them to moisten them. His hands reached out even farther, and I moved out of the way so that he wouldn't feel limited by finding me there, at one of his boundaries. His breathing stopped for many moments, and I felt that he might be going through such a period of relaxation as I experienced when I was very high, when even breathing was quite voluntary, and then he inspired very deeply, his chest and stomach filling up, and on the exhalation a slight vocal sound seeped out, and then he began to jerk his legs, saying "Ah" loudly, seven or eight times, as if in orgasm, and I was wondering to what enormously terrible worlds he had been transported, and what he would remember of it all when he came out of it.

The period of silence lasted quite a long time, and finally my knees began to hurt where they were doubled up, out of his way, and I had to change my position on the bed. This had the effect of waking him from his trance, and he began to talk almost as if he'd come down from his trip.

"I tried to get beyond the edge, but I couldn't, and then it dawned on me I couldn't get beyond because I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT, and I couldn't go any further than something in which I really BELIEVED."

"Were you afraid?"

"No, well, yes, maybe I was, but I wasn't stuck because I was afraid, I was stuck because, whatever it was I was about to see, I just didn't believe it." It was now almost 11PM, and I was getting very sleepy. There had been talk before about the dogs barking, and John had made some comment about "Everything wanted to be appreciated; those dogs are barking because they want to be appreciated---but I wish they'd go somewhere ELSE where they WOULD be appreciated."

We sat quietly, lightly touching hands, talking about the session, and I felt convinced that he was out of it. He might feel slightly uncoordinated from being "asleep" so long, but I felt that a short walk outside the room would change his orientation from a "trip room" to a room in which his fatigued body could sleep quietly, without wondering whether he was still tripping or not.

Then a car stopped outside, a door slammed, and there were sounds downstairs followed by Marty's voice, asking, "Is anyone here?"

"We're up here," I shouted down, whispering to John that I'd go down to see what was happening, John whispered quickly he didn't want to see him at all, and that I'd be right back up.

"Hi," Marty said cheerily, "the nurse's husband went away for the weekend, so since she had nothing to do, she decided to stay with Christopher for the weekend, so I came out for the weekend. Jerri's flying back sometime tomorrow, and she'll come right out here, and we'll spend the weekend without the baby."

He bustled about opening his suitcase, taking things out and hanging them up, and I figured the only thing to do would be to tell him the truth: "John's just coming down from a mescaline trip." Marty paused for only a moment for a different kind of eye contact, then continued to bustle about putting things away. "He took it about 3:30, and it lasts for about 8 hours. We were upstairs in the bedroom, but about now we were ready to go out for a walk. He's not feeling quite himself, and he's worried about how you might take it."

"What differences does it make? I don't care what he does," said Marty, shrugging and screwing up his face in his manner, and I went back upstairs to see how John was.

He was sitting up in bed, looking at me brightly as I came in the door, and we exchanged pleasantries about how happy we were with each other, and I insisted that, as I had suspected, Marty didn't mind at all, partly because it was Marty's self-image that nothing would really be much of a shock to him.

John stood up, somewhat unsteady, and decided that maybe it would be possible that he could talk to him, and we went downstairs where Marty insisted about talking for five or ten minutes, while John sat uncomfortably in a chair eating some of the Sara Lee, while Marty made himself a sandwich and had some of the salad, which John wasn't interested in. I checked to make sure John FELT like taking a walk, and he said he thought it might be a good thing, so we went out the door into the darkness.

With more unsteadiness than I had expected, John grabbed my arm when we got to the street, and he seemed very concerned about where we were going, expressing relief when a passing car on Rocky Point Road silhouetted the VW parked at the bottom of Amagansett Road, and saying "OK, now I know where we are," and I was surprised, because I didn't think he was still spaced out.

We walked slowly along the highway to the Pickwick parking lot, and some teenaged laughs and giggles came from two cars parked in the unlighted lot, against the opposite trees, and we walked across the clearing and down the first flight of steps, and then John gingerly felt himself to his seat, saying that he didn't want to go any farther. We sat for about a half an hour, watching the fireflies emitting their vibrations, looking at the moon, listening to the small sounds around us, talking about what had happened, and then we agreed to go back to the house, but still John seemed unsteady on his feet, though he was inclined to agree with me that the trip was over for the most part, though he still felt a bit unconnected.

Back at the house Marty and John and I talked for a bit, and then we went upstairs to bed, cuddling softly for a bit, and I fell asleep immediately, thinking John would do the same. But he wasn't out of the trip, and he described himself as lying, thinking, high, slightly fearful, until he finally fell asleep at 3AM. I was so sorry that he hadn't wakened me.


DIARY 1288  7/22/70


Tell Claude that the main reason I'm quitting is because it takes too much time I'd rather be giving to other activities. Tell him that an orgy is more meaningful for me to help work out my sexual hang-ups than feeling in a group with Lyn and Nedda and Etta, and that I'd rather spend the night with friends. Also get into my thoughts that his instructions are confusing, and try to remember an occasion from this evening, but can't remember, and he ends by saying that "I should get in touch with my feelings." He's enjoyed me in class, likes my work, thinks I need more of it.

Then John is angry with me for having said THIS would be the last, rather than waiting for the end of the month. He says I didn't tell Claude the truth, and I retort that I couldn't very well tell him the class was going to collapse around his ears because of his autocracy, and the fact that everyone seems to be fighting him. He says I should have left some of that out: it wasn't fair to hit Claude with it all, and I say we'd spoken about it in class before, but I adapted the method of saying "OK," when it was obvious Claude wasn't going to change his mind. John doesn't like that, said I should have talked it out with him, saying that I should show my anger and feelings more often.

We're lying in bed, and I feel the conversation slipping away from me. We talk about what was wrong with the week at Sound Beach, and he said he was angry with me for not working, because then he didn't work as well, and he felt it was a more wasted week than the one before. I said he should have said that, then he brings up the fact that I'd rather be at an orgy than Claude's class; words lead to words, and finally he gets very angry, saying he's been thinking to tell me to get out. I freeze, lying beside him, feeling that the conversation has gotten entirely out of my hands. I say, very quietly: "John, I don't know what to say, I don't know what to do." There's silence for a long while, and I add, "I'm sorry for what's happening, I just don't know what else to say." Then he remarks about how close we're feeling now, caresses me, and I feel relieved, the panic ends, and we sleep.


DIARY 1312  7/28/70


The idea hits me as we're walking toward the car from the Thalia at 9:30, and we're not at all tired, and I say "Let's go to Coney Island," and John says he immediately thinks about how to get there (Belt Parkway), what time we'll get back (about midnight), whether we have money (I have, luckily, over $20), and whether he can afford it (he can't), and whether he'll break his fast on some sort of Brownie's diet drink (he will, but at 11). We're there about 10:30, park just opposite the Aquarium, which he's also never seen, and he likes the park at night, since he'd been there only during the day before. We jump immediately onto the Cyclone, front seat, and he shouts he can't see FAR enough to see down the first hill, looks panicked with his hair blown straight back, and amazedly rubs the palms of his hands, which are raw from holding on so tightly: "I was TERRIFIED," he exclaims delightedly. Stop and look at the mixer that hurt Joan's arm, then up to the boardwalk and down to the Wonder Wheel, which also panics him as it swings into the center, rattling on its rickety track. Around twice, then wander down the tacky alleys to Nathan's, where he decided he WILL eat, and has a cheeseburger while I have a tongue sandwich and French fries, and we share a quart of beer. Out and wander down to the other end, which has nothing, and try the Bobsled, which he loves, particularly when we kiss in the light-tunnel the second round, which is only 25¢, and the three kids in front of us smile at us as we go up to an erect second time around. John's now tired, but I insist we go on, trying the double Ferris wheel for the first time, and the mouse-like toboggan that is most fun going straight up the barrel, not much else. He doesn't want to try the centrifuge, which I don't feel like, and we end with the Cyclone, which also terrifies him, and it seems longer and higher than the other, and I've been paying for most of the tickets, and his budget is shot, as is his diet, and I find 25¢ popcorn, he has a custard, and we leave at 12:30, kissing in the car, illegally parked in front of the Coney Island Precinct, and trundle home at 1, tired and happy.


DIARY 1343  8/11/70


The noise of New York City is beginning to get through to me, and though I try to show John the vibrations on the surface of a glass of water last night, and there are none there, I'm SURE there are those that upset my equilibrium. Then there's the rent control board hassle about the switchboard, the increasingly smoggy air out the windows that makes sleeping drugged and waking logy and irritable, the crowd even at the far-away High Point State Park, the distance to travel to get anywhere.

There was the dawning need, as I looked at the map of Route 80, to follow it all the way to the North, or to the West, or to the South, and just get away from New York. Then there was the agitation over lack of money, since I won't be getting my check until Thursday, and I owe John all of $70, and I have no money, and even TODAY I go out and spend lots on blinking lights (that don't blink right) and Q-Tips and alcohol and hair shampoo and laundry, and don't even have enough for groceries, and I want to see the movies tonight, and give John dinner, but there's just not enough money, which drives me out to look for a job.

And looking for a job is depressing, particularly during this time of a more-or-less acknowledged depression, when IBM is tightening its belt, other companies are folding, Berg is still looking for a job, Gyenes is at Western Union (NOT delivering telegrams), even Herman can't offer me exactly the type of job I want.

And then the thought of sending the manuscript of my first three chapters of the novel to Meredith might be really panicking me: finally my x-months of effort is going to someone who KNOWS, to be said whether it's good or bad. And maybe I'm trying to get another job just to postpone THAT moment of decision, now that I've decided to make it that.

Mom's coming to town, Don O. and family are coming to town, the B.s are coming to town, there are movies I want to see, but still I don't have any idea of ACCOMPLISHMENT that I can fall back on.

Even in the orgy bars, which are entertaining, and the trucks, which have fantastic business, I'm not up at all, and that's very depressing, since I'm not even enjoying THOSE as much as I could.

Walter J.'s undoubtedly correct when he says that if I were working I wouldn't have the TIME to be depressed by such things.

Then there's the reading: the CAB is hollering about the cuts in requirements for charter flights, but WHY ARE THEY legislating AIR FARES anyway?? Safety, sure, but what's wrong with competition to LOWER air fares?? Nixon opens his fat yap about the Manson case, how stupid can a president get, and on the air live, at that? There's a Life article about the ridiculous lying and finagling in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations about the "choice" of the vice president, and the logjam in the courts, which is making ridiculous the idea of justice. People thrown in jail, states contesting the 18-year-old's right to vote, people still being forced to go to Vietnam, we're paying for the Philippine troops in Indochina, we're fighting in Laos, the stupid nerve gas is leaking and trained across the country, there are atomic bombs in 70 countries, waiting for an error, the Peregrine Falcon is dying out because of DDT, the Kennedy children go free on marijuana charges and no one ASKS whether the laws should be changed, the rent goes up in NYC, buildings are being town down, there's a horrible shortage, and they're trying to make this into another OFFICE building. Lee Berkeley keeps hollering in my ear, I want to apply for a reduction in rent because they hadn't painted yet, the street noises increase yet merchants say street closings DON'T help business, John doesn't have enough money to pay his staff if he doesn't get help, and another page of the calendar is torn off, where does the time go, it's AUGUST already (and I haven't paid the rent, not settled the hassle with the phone company about the excise tax).

But John says he loves me, I feel good with him, my apartment is nice and cool in the bedroom with the air conditioner, and it's not possible to remain depressed for long, and that depression is ALREADY in the past. Next??


DIARY 1363  8/26/70


Monday night I couldn't go to sleep; even with the earplugs I heard the noises from outside, and I was impatient with Mom to be gone. I tossed from side to side, almost groaning audibly because I felt sleep to be so far from me, and ideas kept flying through my head. After about two hours of this, looking at my watch to see that it was 2AM, I decided that the only way I could exorcise these thoughts was to jot them down, so I grabbed the New York Times magazine section and, in the dim light from outside, noted the following items:

1) The library should have a book, or many, on various foundations and grants available through them; and if not, what a perfect book to say I'm going to edit, and get THAT published, just to get SOMETHING done.

2) Since I'm not doing anything, I should actually SEND away to participate in quiz shows: I'm a guy, not bad looking (include photograph).

3) I should take "Coming" with me to expand in Maine: feeling horny.

4) Since I'm not working, and have nothing to lose (and maybe unemployment compensation to gain), I should APPLY and TRY for jobs like waiter, dishwasher, and PARTICULARLY to help with the Xmas rush at Macy's and the Post Office, and maybe even at Tiffany's with Walter, or Bloomy's.

5) I have to complete an outline of the REST of the book to send with the first three chapters to Meredith and to any other foundations.

6) Since New York City is getting through to me, I could contemplate an article entitled "Move?" to set down the pros and cons about it. (see p. 1370)

7)There are so many groovy gay fashions, and bars are so looking for ploys to attract customers, couldn't I organize gay fashion shows, getting the boutiques to give 10% off for those who buy through the show, and giving me a 1% commission, for ideas and coordination, off the top?

8) Does the Museum of Modern Art (or the Cinemateque, or Eastman House, for that matter) have a catalog of their WHOLE film collection? If they don't why couldn't I get involved in publishing one? (I've gone over!)

9) Describe the sexy feelings engendered by viewing MMA's "Lumia Suite." (see p. 1371)

10) Part of Maine work should include an exhaustive "Where am I NOW?" (see p. 1372)


DIARY 1372  8/30/70


In Maine. Disgusted. Stomach distended with a too-large dinner at 1, and I'm still lethargic at 6. Biting my fingernail skin in the frustration of not typing, though when I type pages such as "Lumia Suite" (see 1371) I'm happy with the results.

But what do SUCH results get me? The pleasure of having done them, the pleasure of doing them, but nothing beyond that. But isn't that just what I want? Do what pleases me, now, and let the future and the past go hang? Yes, but I planned to come to Maine to work, and I'm not working. But I said that I'd work, in fact was INTENDING (there's something wrong with that word) to get down to work when I looked at the list of things I wanted to type and decided to get the Lumia Suite the hell over with. But I did it and got pleasure from it. Fine, so now do something else and get pleasure from it. See, at this moment you're typing the fastest of the day, and the mind seems quickest, because you've finally decided on something positive to do. The mind is more alert (which reminds me that I really should exercise more, because the body feels more alert when it weighs a bit less, and when it's a bit less stomachy and a bit more flexible) when I have something IN it, and something to aim toward. So at this moment I KNOW where I am, and I'm just typing to get to the bottom of the page so that I can stop typing and begin on the outline of the book. Actually, for that reason I don't have to feel badly about not intending to type the 100 or so pages of the first draft for sending to Meredith, since the first sending is going to be BOTH the first draft AND the outline. And the outline has to be ACTUALLY done, no cop-outs about the first- third-person question. (And I should write the draft of the LETTER, too---but isn't THAT a cop-out, since I'm sure I'll write the letter before I write the outline before I retype the first three chapters before I revise the book.) Yes, but (at least as I'm feeling determined NOW) such things WILL get done, and such things WILL get out, and I can get along to OTHER things that please me, like moving, traveling, spending MONEY!


DIARY 1409  9/24/70


John's just left and I'm discouraged that he slept on my mattress for the first time and wound up with a sore back, though he says the whole thing could be fixed with a bed board. And we cuddled but little before we got excited, and then he reached for the vibrator (which is MY cop-out), and I really had to struggle to have an orgasm, during which time he went down. We seem to be getting more distant, less caring, less loving. But I can't think but it's some sort of stagnation setting in. NO, it's not stagnation; we're just not actively pursuing the task of making it better, but while we're not making it better, doing nothing, of its own accord its getting WORSE. So we have to have a talk about US tonight, so that I can see if my suspicions that he's concerned (but not saying anything) about my breath, my beard, my lack of hardness, my unlikable sex techniques (when WILL we make more progress in the line of fucking?) might contribute to my feelings about the distance between us.

Then, too, my sister's forced a distance between us of time, and that's the other facet of my feelings now.

When she was here, I was desperate to get down to things, but I felt I couldn't because I had to entertain her. Maybe THAT'S why I accept having her and Mom here: they give me a LEGITIMATE EXCUSE for accomplishing nothing, and maybe that's why I'm so uninterested in discussing their presence with John, because I FEAR HE MAY COME UP WITH THAT REASONING. But I JUST came up with it, and there's a feeling of truth about it. When they're here I can LEGALLY say "I'd like to work, but I can't."

Which gets to my other feeling, now: John leaves, my sister has left, I CAN get down to work, but a listlessness overcomes me---but it's like a body that's unused to physical strains: the first attempt might leave the body sore, but it develops it for FURTHER use. I'm feeling the same malaise I feel before exercising, though I KNOW that I feel better when I DO exercise (more active, less tired), so I SHOULD. And this page has gotten me started on the day: I know I have to WORK, and that's what I'll do.


DIARY 1450  10/16/70


Bob's angry and almost sobbing at the three cigars lit at the next table, and finally John goes over to one and quietly asks him to stop smoking. but the other two continue, and the smoke gets to all of us, and I'm being torn apart inside at their stupidity for smoking, and for Bob's helplessness, so I get up and go over to the guy with his back to the table, and say, "Excuse me," but he turns on me a look of such condemnation, such piggishness, such incredible malignancy, that I can only stammer, "I thought you'd understand" meaning to continue that John wanted EVERYONE at the table to stop smoking cigars, but I just can't go on, raging with anger and frustration inside, and I only say, "but looking at you I can see that you WOULDN'T understand," and stumble back to the table, trembling and impotent. The others ask what happened, but I can't talk about it, but mumble incoherently about what happened. The waitress is drawn into it, but refuses to do anything about it, and finally they pay their check and leave, and the Indian jeeringly says, "But WE understand YOU, and it's QUITS," which I possibly paranoically attribute to their understanding that we're gay, but he's so detestable that I don't really care.

The next day John and I have a long talk about it, and he said that my intensity of anger made the SOURCE of my anger incommunicable to the guy at the table, and I had to agree with it, and could finally see that it's possible that I DO have a problem with expressing anger, if only to see that when I DO choose to express my anger, it DOES SO OFTEN verge on the incoherent, completely paralyzed, and absolutely ineffectual. Though I still insist that I don't get angry OFTEN, it seems to be true that when I DO get angry, I don't express it properly, which MAY mean that I'm covering up times when I AM angry, saying that I'm only mildly annoyed, or slightly irritated, or merely frustrated. Certainly I could have been more effective IF I THOUGHT I'D BEEN RIGHT, by calling the headwaiter, talking to the manager, or talking more properly to the party, menacing though they may have been. But, sadly, John's talked about nothing but my suppressed hostility since.


DIARY 1458  10/20/70


I don't even KNOW what he's annoyed about at the beginning, but he's concerned about the way I treat the other people at the table, and doesn't agree when I say that he might be afraid how I'll treat HIM, but that I definitely consider HIM in a different light from the other people at the table. He disliked my lying to the woman by saying I still worked at IBM. I said that I'd agree that I made a mistake about HOW I chose to shut her up, but I wouldn't agree that I was irresponsible to WANT to shut her up. He'd done me very nicely that morning, I reviewed, and I just didn't feel like talking, and I felt that she wanted something from me, and that I wasn't about to tolerate her sucking on me, either for happiness or experiences.

I expressed my impatience with ALL the old people who seemed to live vicariously through our activities, and he said I certainly wasn't living up to my feeling that every person was the same person, or else I wouldn't have been so rude to them. But he agreed that they DID seem to be prying, and I had my RIGHT to be quiet, even though I may have chosen the wrong way about it.

Then he said he was concerned about the money, and we talked around it, and he decided that he'd WANTED me to be dependent on him, so that he could control everything, and now that he HAD it the way he had wanted it, it wasn't what he wanted, so he realized he had himself to blame for that. We agreed that he should charge me for half the oil bill when it came in for the car, and that it really wasn't up to me to ASK him continuously how much I owed him, since he'd squelched the "one thing for one thing" philosophy right from the start when I started toting up ticket expenses. HE did admit that he thought I was being right about many of these things, and at the same time I felt a sort of guilt: I wasn't really trying to WIN the arguments, I was just trying to point out all the facts I knew, so that we could both come to some sort of understanding.

But more often than not, even though I would admit to being wrong, it seemed that I was increasingly scoring points off him, winning arguments, getting him to promise not to be so stupid again, while I got off quite easily.


DIARY 1468  10/21/70


I'm talking to John about mysticism, knowing all along, and beginning to believe "He who speaks, does not know; he who knows, does not speak." John simply won't listen to me: he'll follow me along while I give an enormous explanation about the smallness of the universe, about anti-particles, that would be posited as being places where time is moving backward, all as leads up to Wheeler's idea of one "thing" moving through the universe creating particles and anti-particles, and John goes up to the final statement, then insists he won't believe anything he can't see, even though he might be led to believe there are such things as protons, even though he hasn't seen THEM.

Then we're discussing the point that the offering of water is the central theme of Hesse's Indian Life, since the whole last half revolves IN the act of Knecht offering water to his guru, and John says he can't believe that at all, and there's such a measure of desperation in his voice, that I suddenly see that he CAN'T admit that I'm right, because he'd be admitting that I knew something HE didn't know, and that HE would have to submit to my superior knowledge in order to have his inferior knowledge enlightened, and he CAN'T admit to that possibility.

He insists on retaining control, and the person in control, almost by definition, has to know more than the person being controlled. If he admitted I knew more than he (more than involved things like reading and factual knowledge and memory exercises, since he freely admits he's poor in all these fields, having a poor memory), he would be turning over control to me, he would have to become my disciple, he would have to take a subservient position to my leadership in knowledge, and the agony in his voice seemed to indicate to me that he simply wasn't physically capable of doing such a thing.

At that point I kept quiet, another facet of "He who knows does not speak" coming clear to me: it HURTS other people when they think they don't know, just as it makes me feel GOOD to believe that I DO know "what is."


DIARY 1497  10/29/70


Avi had smoked some of his stuff already, and was reasonably high, so John wanted to join him. Art smoked his ritual four puffs, then Avi prevailed upon him to smoke at least two more. There were two pipefuls, and I had more than most, Avi having a few more than he intended, and John got more than his fill. Things only began to get fuzzy, but everyone seems to have had to call back and forth three or four times to make sure everyone was dressed and ready to go out to the Yangtze River for dinner. We stood in the hallway, Avi shouting out something or other, John and Art and I shushing him, and the elevator finally came, and we made appropriate comment about the decoration inside.

When I stepped inside, from force of habit I pressed the closed button, slamming Avi and John into the doorway. The door was greasy when I reached out for it, and I had a greasy finger, wondering what to do with it.

The elevator started down and continued down, and we conversed, until the topic of conversation turned to "What floor did you push?" and "HOW far down are we going?" until finally Avi, over-reacting, was possessed to yell "Help" in a rather too-loud thin joking voice. We shushed him again, and the elevator door slid open to a lobby full of people, everyone looking at us, the heads who were there obviously guessing we'd been smoking. We strolled out to the hall, shaking with laughter, and wove our way along the street, bumbling on and off the curb, and I could tell that John was high because he hitched up his sandals and followed us in a run across 57th, which already had its "Don't Walk" signs blinking. The wait at the next corner was long, for some reason, and we looked and laughed at some of the passersby.

Finally into the restaurant, we were seated without comment, but when Avi got the menu, every single item on it seemed to inspire him as being terribly funny, and he leaned toward me, laughing, saying "char shu DING," and "chicken almond DING," "They certainly have a lot of DING here."

He went on and on, we were trying to avoid recognizing him, and the cute girl with the guy at the table across from us began looking over, which she continued to do through the meal. Then there was the trouble with ordering, since John seemed determined to get what everyone else was NOT getting, and he was getting the duck until Avi insisted on the pressed duck, and Art got shrimp something, and I got the moo shu pork, so John decided to get the beef in brown sauce, and the waiter came over and everyone had quite a time ordering, and I felt about ready to leave.

John ate two pieces of the pressed duck before he realized it really WASN'T beef, and we had a good laugh about that. Art kept insisting he wasn't too high, but there would be fugues when he would be laughing harder than any of us. They explained about my 4 ping, with the pork, and I joked overly much about THAT. The waiter seemed to be losing patience with us, but still brought what we wanted, including more of the duck sauce and about three refills of the water glasses, since no one seemed quite sure whose glass was where, and everyone except me seemed to be very thirsty.

The capping point of the evening came with the fortunes, after I got the vanilla ice cream, much to John's disappointment, who was insisting that I get chocolate. We'd eaten most of his beef, everyone shared Art's shrimp, but I didn't get to taste Avi's duck, since John ate too much. We got "A faithful friend is/better than gold, Be cautious, yet/confidently ag/gressive; Your future will be/built on firm/foundation; and Better be alone than/in bad com-/pany." Art divided them as indicated, and began reading off what he got, and for some reason when he said "Better be alone than better than gold, pany," followed by "Better be alone than built on firm PANY" I thought it was about the funniest thing in the world, and literally rocked back and forth with laughter, hiding my split face behind a soiled napkin, moo shu pork juices dribbling down my chins. The rest ended up "Your future will be confidently ag-foundation, and Be cautious, yet better than gold gresive, and A faithful friend is in bad com. We each in turn accused the others of being terribly high, and finally all admitted that the stuff we'd been smoking was pretty good, Avi was by far the worst of all of us, but John and Art and I all came up with some pretty good ones. They chose to trust me with the check, and I left the $18 on the table, hoping to get out without causing a scene, and we did.

Hitting the street, we were too loud and boisterous by half, and it was a minor miracle that we crossed the streets and got into the elevator without being arrested, falling down with laughter, or getting socked by some straight guy we might have cruised.

Back up to the apartment, down enough to not worry about the elevator, and sat around laughing a bit, I fishing the saved fortunes out of my pocket and putting them into safekeeping of the top drawer, and then everyone wanted some sort of soft drinks all through the evening, and I got out the Monopoly game, and we started. It got off to a rather poor start, since John seemed to be buying everything, but then it more or less evened out, John getting the Monopoly of the red ones, and I got the green ones, finally, and Avi ended up with the purples, and Art was wiped out early, and took over the role of the banker, lending money to Avi simply because he was losing, and the only one he could hope to benefit was me, because I was the only one who had a chance to win if John could be forestalled from winning before I could build. John saw through this and thought it was decidedly unfair (particularly since he seemed agreeable to trading ME a property to give me something to build on, but not to anyone else). My reputation was such that everyone KNEW I wouldn't give anything up unless forced into it. John began shelling out the money, Avi borrowed more and more money, but I finally couldn't take it, and decided to play fair, paying off Avi's debt to the bank, and finally John won, and we all sat around, marveling about how high we were, and they both left about 11:30, and John and I were released from hosts' roles and went to bed.


DIARY 1517  11/4/70


I'm happy with what I take to be some sort of agreement that we get together for sex this evening, and he made some sort of snide remark about John not finishing what he started, referring to the time at John's when I thought that Bill would take his manuscripts back, and talked to him about his entire day, and got back to the living room to find a clothed John on the floor before an erect Bob, being done, but that stopped quickly when I sat down next to him on the sofa and began to watch.

Somewhat later, after he's eaten his second nickel portion of food, Bob says "Would you rather do it here, or would you want to come to my place?" when I've been talking closer and closer to him, and we even kiss just a bit on the stage. I say I'd rather go to his place, but then he's up, saying he wants to see someone at the next table, and he comes back, we chat about nothing, since I'm high, and he goes back again to come back to say that he's going home with Art! I can't think of anything to say, but he leaves, and I'm sitting on the stage alone, looking at the stream of people coming to the jukebox, finding some of them cute, and others just worthy of looking at.

There are a group of girls at the next table, and they keep looking at me, laughing when one of them plunks the candle glass down on the table and the impact sloshes around the wax, putting out the flame. They discuss now to light it, and can't do it, so I gallantly take a match from the book on the stage, light one, and tip the candle and light it by putting in long fingers. They thank me, somehow expecting to be courted, and I merely smile and settle back into my silence.

And the adjoining table is guy-gal-guy, and a short plump one, shades of Lydia Languish, looks at me looking at the tableful playing some sort of clap-hands games, and she jumps up and comes over to me, to say "Hold up your hands," and we stare vacuously into each other's eyes while she moves her hands back and forth, waving and waving them.

Since I'd been in Claude's class, I knew how to follow her, and did it rather successfully. She blew her cool when I touched her, saying "You're not supposed to touch," which ruined the denouement, when she stopped, trying to be cheerful, saying we just had mental sex, saying that I was supposed to curl my fingers around hers, but I didn't, I said, because she was sending and I wasn't receiving, and she left in some confusion.

Then the film about the vampires started, specially for Halloween, and it turned out to be an old "Silents Please" half-hour about the old Murnau "Nosferatu," with all the tricks, and none of the effective parts, so that the audience tended to laugh more than anything. I sat myself on a chair at this point, and a lovely fellow in a blue sweater sat next to me, but though I tried to think of something to say to him, I couldn't, and he went away.

I went back to the stage for the intermission, ordering another beer from the cute waiter and again leaving him the 40¢ change from the $1 for the 60¢ beer, since Bob and I agreed he was cute, and was delighted to see that I hadn't seen the Mae West film "Every Day's a Holiday," with a young Lloyd Nolan as the tough Chief of Police, Edmund Lowe as someone I didn't know as hero, looking something like Dennis Morgan, only older, and Satchmo as a young trumpeter. The whole thing was Mae West, the loudest laugh coming when she stepped up into the window area next to the safe, and it yawned open, and she gave a beautiful take, paused, and slammed it to, carrying on as if nothing had happened. It tickled the audience tremendously, and the next five minutes of dialogue were wiped out.

At the mid-film intermission I went to the john downstairs in the ladies room, and looked around a bit, but there wasn't too much of a crowd downstairs, so I went back up, looking at everyone, but still feeling feet off the ground because of being high, and I drank the beer and looked at the movie, rather oblivious to passing time, and then I looked at my watch and it was 10:30, so I figured I had to get home to John, who might be thinking of going to bed about this time, since he was feeling sick.


DIARY 1519  11/4/70


As I stepped out of Danny's, the idea suddenly hit me that John had left early, then Bob had left early: what was to stop them from having made a previous agreement to get rid of ME, and meet at John's apartment? This seemed too terribly logical, and though I tried to dismiss it because of its obvious paranoia, I really couldn't get it out of my mind.

I rang the bell at John's, and he answered it almost at once, so I went up, feeling somewhat better. He met me to unlock the door, and I asked how he was, and he said he tried to find aspirin, and there wasn't any in the house.

"Do you want me to get some?" I asked almost as a reflex action.

"Um, yes," John said, without too much pause, and again my nerves were set on edge: he wanted to get rid of me: Bob was in the bedroom, and they had to get rid of me so that he could get out. I felt awful for thinking of such things, but I said, "I saw your light from the street, which one do you have on?" and walked into the hallway. Only one side of the bed looked mussed up, and still I pictured Bob cowering in the closet.

Then I went out to the drugstore, but stood watching, hoping and yet dreading seeing Bob exit from the apartment. Even down Clark Street I turned, expecting to see his tall figure flitting past, hoping to avoid me. But again I said I was sick, and bought the aspirin and went back up to John's. He took some, and I got into bed.

Tomorrow was my dentist appointment! There was no way of getting away from this fearsome thought. Not the assurance that this was probably my last time for six months, not the idea that the last time didn't hurt very much, not talking with John helped that idea to leave, and I lay down, first on one side of the head, then another, trying vainly to get to sleep. First the idea of John's lying to me, then the fear of the dentist, then the idea that Tuesday was election day, then the idea that Thursday was painting day, all these thoughts crowded in on me, but finally the paramount one became fear of the dentist, and I lay there, miserable, trying to get to sleep. It was about 10:30 when I'd gotten in, about 11 into bed, and 11:30 when the lights went off, and about 12:30 when I finally drifted off into some sort of sleep, but the sleep was worse than waking.

I dreamed, or dreamed that I THOUGHT I was in a room that was some sort of penal or punishment room, and that I had committed some sort of crime---nothing against any other person, but something rather touchily moral, so that those responsible for making me pay for my crime seemed to be sympathetic to me, in effect saying, "Yes, I know it's silly that you have to die, but that's the law, you MUST die." But there weren't any other people in the room, I just KNEW that this was what they thought.

I don't recall drinking anything, but I knew I HAD drunk something that was sort of experimental, that others had taken it at the same time as I and were dying, and that I would die from it too. Interspersed with sections of the dream were sections of waking, when I would turn back and forth in bed, debating whether to tell John that I'd drunk the poison, but in some slight moments, thinking, not so much "But it's only a dream," but "Why should I bother him with such information?"

So I lay, miserable, waiting for death, and sank back into the dream to know that two hours were up, and that almost everyone died within two hours, and here I was still alive, hypochondriacally waiting for the first pain, cramp, or other symptom of the poison, waiting to die, but knowing that I was doing it courageously, and that those who were watching me, still unseen, were still sympathetic.

Dream, awake, dream, awake and turning, and still I was alive, and I tried to see the clock, something like 4 or 5AM, to see how many hours I had left until the dentist, and still it didn't get light, and I actually, in the dream, didn't expect to see it get light, because I would be dead long before then. But then I dozed again, this time I think dreamlessly, and woke to find it about 6:30, and the fear of death was gone, the idea of John's unfaithfulness in abeyance, and I only knew it was three hours to dentist-time.


DIARY 1528  11/10/70


I begin by asking him what he sees in Cunningham, and he goes off into very mystical descriptions of the varieties of motion, the differences of the backs and hand-positionings of his dancers, and I keep asking whether these variations are planned in, or happen, telegraphing my dislike for his random-type motions, suggesting that John watches their backs because they're not doing anything particularly interesting with the choreography. He starts with "Walkaround Time" and it's associated critical blurb "...for nearly an hour..." and I try to see what John means about trying to FEEL what the dancer is doing, since I've had SOME experience in stretching and kicking and lifting, but find it detracts from the DANCING they're doing, and get so bored with the sounds and sights that I go to the john in the middle, which he seems to like, since he dislikes the traditional concert form that makes it difficult to walk out on.

At the intermission we again go into a discussion, but he's talking in ways I don't understand, and I complain about the lack of skill of the dancers, and he assures me that beyond any doubt they're very skilled dancers, and I also bitch that Cunningham obviously threw them together in an afternoon: "He makes no effort to entertain me, so why should I even make the effort to WATCH him." He also says that things are VERY well worked out.

So we begin watching the next dance, "Second Hand," with John Cage playing his Cheap Imitation of Satie, and about 10 minutes into it I notice that each costume is not solid-colored, as I'd thought, but subtly shades into two colors from one side to the other of the dancers' bodies. This impresses me, and I begin looking for other subtleties, but am disappointed when he seems to be repeating himself. At the end John says that these repetitions were the best part of it from his point of view, but I leap in and say that I felt the only thing he could offer me was a variety of motions (which John leaped to agree with), but when he BETRAYED me by repeating, I FELT betrayed, and disliked it.

When we got into the car, he hotly accused me of arguing with him, not merely wanting to know what HE thought, because as soon as he was saying what he thought, I'd jump in with MY opinions, and I merely wanted a stage on which to bounce MY ideas, rather than wanting to hear his. I was stung by pieces of the truth in this, and said he acted testy when talking to me in the same way he acted testy when I was explaining the 4th dimensionality of the tesseract to him. He argued that he was only impatient because he was following perfectly easily what I was saying, and he wanted me to get on with it: I pointed out that since he didn't SAY that, I had no way of KNOWING that.

But he kept insisting that I was saying "I know I'm right, and I defy you to change my mind," but I replied that we had talked about this before: I ALWAYS formed some sort of an opinion, without caring whether it was "right" or "wrong," but only so that I had a position from which to operate. He, on the other hand, would hold judgment in abeyance until he accumulated a lot of facts about it, THEN he judged. So his stock reply for something would be "I don't know," whereas mine would be "This," though I knew perfectly well that it might later change into "That."

I said he was probably annoyed because I was picking his mind, but he said no, it was that he thought I really didn't want to change MY opinions. I countered hotly that I wouldn't be talking with him if I didn't think my opinions could change, that his comments about their professionalism helped me enormously to rather like "Second Hand," though we both agreed that Merce looked awful, and that his face was decidedly unpleasant. I said that his dancers looked abstracted, as if frantically trying to remember which of their 50,000 unrelated movements came NEXT, saying that "Trinity" for example, CATERED to the skills of the people, and they looked GREAT, and like they were having FUN, whereas Merce's people seemed unthanked, unappreciated, like depressed automatons following the master's bidding. We talked until 1:30, finally expressing our affection for each other before sleep.


DIARY 1540  11/13/70


that MIND of (this is continued from the preceding page) his that insisted on mediating everything he saw. At this point he got extremely annoyed, jumped up to get himself a drink, saying that he didn't want to talk about this any more, that it was getting nowhere. I made some coy statement about how it might be better, since I'd thought of a GRAPHICAL DISPLAY of what I was trying to say to him. [MISSING DIAGRAM] He simmered down as we necked a bit, and said he might suffer himself to look at it. I drew the following diagram step-by-step, getting him to AGREE that what he SAW fell on a continuum from what he "saw as good" to what he "saw as bad," and the same for the "feel" continuum. Then I put on point A, which I said was his old chair, that he FELT as being good, but SAW as being bad, and he threw it out, as being TOTALLY bad, and that point B was his friend's apartment, which he SAW as being good, but it was uncomfortable, so IT ended up bad, and therefore, assuming the "turning point" between good and bad was halfway, which I said was being optimistic, he STILL EXPERIENCES THREE-QUARTERS OF HIS EXPERIENCE AS BEING BAD, and all because of the mediating brain. Of course, no sooner did he see what I was leading toward than he threw the book out of my hands, saying that this was all nonsense, over-simplification, and ignored more facts than it explained. It was then that I'd decided I'd seen enough of his over-reaction, and changed the subject.

We got to bed about 11, cuddling nicely, and when he woke the next morning, he confided in me that he was uptight because I was questioning the very eyes at which he looked at the world with: the eyes that had to analyze and question and categorize IN ORDER TO RE-PROVE TO HIMSELF THAT HE WAS SUPERIOR TO EVERYTHING THAT HE SAW, EVERYONE THAT HE MET. I said I certainly realized I was getting close to something, but said that maybe BECAUSE he was so afraid to look at that, that would be just what he might want to look at. He said it would be very difficult to be objective about it, and we ended up cuddling out of sheer need to cuddle, he to know that I still loved him, I to know that he still loved me.


DIARY 1543              11/13/70


The door is opened by one of the FOUR "servants" hired for the evening to open the door, mix the drinks, prepare the food, and carry the trays of paté, onion dip, sandwiches, cold cuts, chicken, and hors d'oeuvres around, as well as freshen drinks. Introduce John to John and Adair and finally to Jim, who tells us that everything of his has been stashed into closets for the party, no one knows how. John loves the apartment, and we're introducing ourselves to everyone as we look into the bedroom and go out onto the terrace, which is spectacular in the night with the wet streets. I'm drinking vodka and tonics, and have two of them before I begin to feel woozy, and then there are lovely dips with the lovely raw okra, and I have three dips into the tasty chicken, and old men try to wrangle introductions to us, and I point out Glenway W. to John, and Jim and his friend talk with us, and then Tom appears with his drink in a glass, and I strike up a conversation with him, and I really feel as if I'm high when he says that he's the "Buff Hayward" that John's been talking about for so many years, that he'd previously been on the Amos and Andy Show, and had to talk in five dialects with three different voices: high, medium, and low, and that he'd been dancing about 25 years ago, but not recently, so we must have seen him only in a ballet audience, and by this time I'm on my third drink, and feeling no pain, so we talk about sharing partners, and he says his friend of four years doesn't share, but we're willing to come up and use their place at Mohegan Lake at any time, and he gives me his card. Other people pass back and forth, and other conversations, and I start on my fourth, finding it rather hard to keep a level keel going to the drink table, and then a few people start leaving, and I don't see anyone attractive coming in, and so John and I decide to leave, and I hear my heels echoing down the hallway, and I confess that I really don't feel too well, and that I might end the evening by being sick. The night air feels rather good, but the walk down into the subway is cloying, and I get inside and stand against a pillar, feeling definitely ill, hoping that I'll be able to reach home before I vomit all over the floor and myself, and the sounds of the trains going past on the other levels are actual torture to my ears.

It was quite similar to being very high, except that it was totally unpleasant, and nothing about it was pleasant. It was an exercise of control, my mind over my stomach and those reactions that wanted me to upchuck. But the time seemed stretched out, and when trains went past on the opposite tracks, it was all I could do to stop myself from putting my fingers into my ears to shut out the horrible din.

I kept swallowing down the excess saliva that welled unpleasantly in my mouth, breathing hard to fill my lungs with whatever oxygen remained in the air, tried not to move my head too quickly. I glanced down and saw lightless tracks so long that I feared I might be suffering some time-dilation, too, but finally there was a light, and I was thankful that John was back against the wall, leaving me alone in my misery.

The train took a long time to get there, and when it came I felt that this would be the end of my struggle, but then I sat down and the train started, and I could feel my ear-balance pans pull to the left as we accelerated, continue there as we coasted along, then shift sickeningly back over center to the right as we decelerated, and I could only sit, stunned, and count the stations as they passed, hoping that each one wouldn't be blessed with the outpouring from my reeking mouth. John sat silently reading.

Finally we got to 59th Street, and I felt very unsteady on my feet, but there were only the platforms and the stairs and the elevator to negotiate, and I would be home. My eyes were hurting, my feet very unsteady, and my stomach queasier and queasier. But the feet were put down one in front of another, the steps were climbed, the breathing got heavier but still accommodated the effort, the elevator finally reached us, and we got to the top before I felt that I would absolutely collapse. Fell onto the bed, finally undressed, decided I COULD close my eyes without falling off the bed, and fell immediately asleep, thanking John for helping me home that night.