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DIARY 1548  11/17/70


We get there about 10:00, after upper Broadway seems endless to drive in the crowded car in the rain. Fred and I are exchanging arm-squeezes across Bobby in the back seat, and Heather absolutely staggers John and me when she gets into the car with her highly powdered blemished but fair skin, the artificial rose in her tightly curled blond hair, and the wash of rosewater scent that wafts through the car as if it had previously been filled with some sort of scentless garbage. The smell is so strong that there's an automatic reaction of the nose and throat to close off and not inhale too much of it, like hydrogen disulfide in a chemistry lab. And her soft white neck stretches up from her lace-edged pink dress as she drawls that she's from "Orlando, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, all three of them" and that it's much too warm out to wear a coat, which she has thrown over her sleeveless arm. Bobby and I talk about his difficulties from going to modern dance classes after ballet classes, and finally the trip is over, we park in an illegal area on an entranceway to the West Side Highway, and take the paneled elevator up to the tenth floor and ring the bell at Miller's.

A thin black girl opens the door, and I'm rather surprised to meet the thick white cellist who's her lover and the birthday girl. Knock over Gwen's "One of a kind, a seventeen-year-old student made it just for me, it's a music stand, and I just love it," and give her a couple of dollars to get it re-glued, and John, rather cavalierly, gives here the entire stash of 1-2 ounces of my homemade grass. Leon D. comes in just after us, with his skinny little lover in tow, and he's shorter and less dark than I'd expected to see, and certainly a lot more lecherous.

I go into the narrow living room to look over the young hippish crowd, and immediately head out onto the balcony to look at the catenary of the George Washington Bridge reflecting in roadways in the Hudson, and Joan comes out to insist that "on a clear day you can see all the way up to the Tappan Zee." The rumble of traffic from the highway might even be bearable if that's kept in mind. Introduce myself to Mary Tiffany, who's talking with other people, and the tallish long-haired fellow whom Leon embraces as being one of his former pupils, and the bald dancer whose name is Kedrick or Tredick or something like that who flits around Leon until he becomes so drunk he's relegated to falling off low chairs into the arms of squealing girls, lying on the floor watching the dancing, and ricocheting down the hallway on the way to John's car at the end of the party, too drunk to get to the subway station by himself.

There really isn't anyone worth watching, and I get myself some punchy and try some devilled eggs that startlingly have pineapple chunks and nutmeats mixed in with them, and John invites me to sit with an ugly mustache named Tom, and then Tom's friend appears, and he's a tousled blond with a sort of George Segal look and a brilliant smile, and though his ass looks a bit mushy under his faded blue jeans, there's a bulk to his legs and an appeal under this open-throated shirt that's hard to resist.

Every time the party closes in, I take a trip out to the balcony, at one point standing by and getting into the D. conversation, but there's nothing to say, and the little flit keeps sending me "keep away" messages, and the tall long-haired isn't saying much of anything, since he's Kendricks's lover, and I excuse myself to get more punch. Back onto the sofa and the cutie wanders past, and I invite him to sit on the sofa, and earlier he's been told he's been met somewhere before, and he suggests that his admirer might have been into mysticism, so I ask him about the mysticism, and he doesn't blush and tells me he's a true disciple of Meher Baba's, stemming from the time that he wanted to go to India, couldn't finish his doctoral dissertation, and Baba gave him the last chapter in a dream and he got his doctorate seven months later and started teaching literature, since it was obvious he was to stay in the United States. "I can't get away from it," he said, "even this party gives me the opportunity to spread the message of Meher Baba." Don't worry, Dr. Bruce H., you wouldn't have so many people to talk to if you weren't so all-fired cute.

I bring up the subject of "Church of the Awakening" to lead into my only verbal contact with Meher Baba, and he tells me that Richard Alpert had been connected with him until Baba told him he had only "three drug trips left," and when Alpert found his girl, he took four trips and went off to India to sit at the feet of his guru for nine months. When he finally asked, "You're my master, aren't you?" the guru blew his mind by responding "My master is Meher Baba, and he is yours," which I didn't hear, but which story Baba Ram Dass is supposed to be telling. We get into a discussion, the party swirling around us, about the virtues of gentleness and quietness, and he asks if I want to attend a talk on Friday, and I say I do, so we go up to his apartment, where I get his name, and he shows me the sicky photos and paintings of Baba all around his "Better Homes and Gardens" apartment, with the lights on and the radio going, he says, just so he'll feel good coming back to it---and bringing up people to give them literature.

Tom's name comes into the conversation, and he says they're just good friends, that he's been trying to get him down to Baba's, but it's not been working, and I wondered whether coming to Baba was a prerequisite for coming to bed. He said something about how Baba insisted that EVERYTHING should be done with joy and without guilt, and I wondered if that included cock sucking and necking with guys.

Back down to the party, and I tried another relief trip onto the balcony, and finally they started serving the cake, which was rather poor, and poorly designed, with the huge numerals "30" on top, enabling one of Gwen's friends to say with a frown, "I always thought she was OLDER than me." Then the Chinese food came out and the dancing began, and John and I danced a bit, and I talked to Leon again about my apartment being above his studios, and he didn't believe it was an old YMCA building. They finally left, without getting my address, after ascertaining that it would be vaguely possible for them to fit into John's car, along with everyone else, and then others started leaving until there were only two girls who sat head-to-head talking, Fred and Bobby and Heather and Kendrick and the two hostesses and John and I, and when we decided to go, Joanna implored us to take Kendrick with us, since it seemed he was so soused he might want to stay overnight, so the six of us finally got ourselves together and into the car, and Fred and I groped and sat very close, and I only wished he was as sexy OUT of clothing as he was in his leather trousers and Jamaica-tied shirt.

The ride downtown was even more interminable than the ride uptown, and it was raining, and Kendrick seemed to want to be driven home, and we left off Heather, with whom Fred insisted he go to the door, and he told us all about all the girls who insisted he go to bed with them, and all those he did oblige. Finally get rid of the bald drunk at 79th and Broadway, where he immediately looked for a cab, and we parked in front of Fred's, and John said he didn't have time to talk to me to ask if I wanted to go in, and he said HE really didn't want to go in, and I said I was surprised when he parked and didn't just drop them off.

The seduction scene came on very strongly, interspersed by the wearing of some very good caps and hats by John and myself, and then we said we were tired and really had to leave: it was 3AM. Fred seemed disappointed, and we kissed longly, without touching bodies, in his bedroom, and when John kissed him goodnight, he had a longish erection curling around his leg, and John accused me of doing that, but I could honestly say I hadn't felt it when I was kissing him, and repeated that I found him attractive, but not really beddable. Bobby seemed very distant, appropriate for someone who'd been effectively ignored all evening, and John and I drove home to park right in front, I grabbed the Times, and we fell into bed exhausted at 3:15, not setting the alarm for the first time in ages.


DIARY 1601              12/1/70


Started smoking about 8, when John suggested I undress and lie down on the bed, and he brought in the pipe that had too much water in it at the beginning, but then it started going, and I was amazed at the quantity of smoke that was coming out of my nose. I managed to smoke without choking as much as I usually do, and then we settled down (as we had started) stroking each other's cocks and leisurely enjoying our bodies, and I reached around for the Baby Magic, and we started wringing out each other's cocks with the slippery stuff, and as I got higher and higher, beginning to gasp for breath, John rotated up from the bed and sat on my chest so that we could jerk off together, and he came before me, showering my body with semen, and I seemed to have a harder and harder time, going down and coming up at random, yet enjoying the straining toward the orgasm as my body started almost wafting off the bed from the effect of smoking.

My mind was being distracted by the thoughts whizzing through it, but the weight of John's body on my chest began to be oppressive, and I figured I had to come, or I'd end up with blue balls. But the more I worked on myself, the more I was almost convinced that THIS would be the DEFINITIVE orgasm, this would be the one where my life would detour to a new plane of existence, and I'd end up in "status orgasmus" forever. So I whacked myself back and forth, pausing for breath, straining upward under John's body, slowing to allow myself to harden enough to get a good grip, and then squeezed away, drawing my balls up into my body cavity to try to attain orgasm by sheer pressure. Thoughts of my hurting myself flitted through my mind, but it seemed impossible, because I was enjoying the feeling so much.

Then I felt myself going up that final stretch toward the summit, and gasped and glided along with the inevitability for a few moments, straining on my last bit of breath, pausing, and then squeezed for that last anguished time as the cock spasms and there's that ineffable rictus before the fluid surges up through the body of the cock, ripping from the head, flying through the air and smacking against body and bed. The pleasure-pain continued, heightened by John's appreciation and weight above me, and I sucked air in and out of my wide-open mouth, ignoring the fact that my mucus membranes were completely drying out, my entire being concentrated between my legs and in the HAND that had produced these unthinkable sensations.

John piled off me quickly, while I was still rapt in my own feelings, and returned with a towel with which he attempted to mop me and the bed up, and I felt this as a continuation of the orgasm, barely able to tolerate the abrasive terrycloth against my tingling nerve endings. He rubbed the come off the bedspread, swabbed my body, and left to dispose of the towel as I began to settle back into some sort of more normal life, sensing that my mouth was dry, moving my tongue about in a desert that only gradually moistened as my tongue sought and found sources of saliva, so that finally I could lick my lips and close my mouth, feeling that that part of my body, at least, had come back to normalcy. But below the waist was a field of Baby Magic and come, and I could still feel the slipperiness, smell the sweetness of the odors, and still my cock tingled with the power of the orgasm.

John lay down next to me, offering me his knee to kiss, and he applied himself to my knee and calf, and I began to feel completely relaxed after the tension of the ejaculation, and my mind began going increasingly further from the current situation, out into the recycling of the path I'd taken so many times.

Very quickly I found myself lying quietly on my back, no breath of air going in or out, and I again found that I had to consciously command my chest to expand with air, or else I would just quietly meditate in my silence until I fainted from asphyxiation. It was as if I were a baby who had to be taught how to breathe, and I found myself thinking "Out of the incubator," and then it hit me that "Binnicator," a still-undefined word from my first acid trip in Canada, was a sort of baby-slurring of the word "incubator," and it seemed quite right, since the "B" sound was the most telling part of the word "incubator," and it seemed "logical" that THAT sound would end at the front of the childish expression of the sound. I'd just read a New York Times Magazine article about babies being smarter than most scientists had thought they were, and this seemed to verify that: even before the age of natural birth, I was being shuttled in and out of the incubator, and it seemed perfectly true to me that my baby's mind took up that strange work, remembered it as "binnicator," and had retained it over all these years, waiting only for a trip to release it.

So I was still gaining information from that first trip! I lay there, quietly, absolutely amazed at the influence from that trip, feeling still so much in touch with it that I rapidly sifted through the ideas of truth and light and God, and as the idea of God entered my mind, it was accompanied by an internal equivalent of bathing in a scented bath after days of freezing weather: my entire inner system was pervaded by a sweetness, a lightness, a warmth that caused me to shiver, a coldness that started a warm glow within me, and I felt that I could simply raise my head and communicate my knowledge to John: "John, at this moment, I AM God."

But the physical action necessary to raise my head seemed to bring with it thoughts of "practicality," the idea that John wouldn't believe me, no matter how "convincingly" I said it, so there was really no use to say it at all. I merely knew it, basked in it, guarded it sweetly to myself.

The smoke smell from the pot was still in the room, and I quickly thought that the room was on fire, in fact, I could almost feel the pleasure-pain of the fires licking around my feet, and I thought of the room we were in being engulfed with flames, and at the same time there were noises of fire engines outside, and I knew they were coming for us, that a ladder would be placed on the wall outside, and a god-like rescuer would come striding into the room, rescuing our lethargic bodies for future pleasures.

That's nonsense! Or so I thought until I heard distinct voices outside, saying "Bring the ladder here," and that seemed to "prove" to me that, in fact, the room WAS on fire. I visualized that fire in my mind, and saw the bed and the two figures on it framed in one tiny flaming head in the "Autumn" section of the Tchelichew "Hide and Seek," and I looked at this head, with the moon shining in it, and saw the flames licking up from the bottom: orange and red and yellow, and we were on the bed in the middle of the head, warmed by the flames, soon to be engulfed by them. But then the time continued, there was no burning sensation, and I went to the next level.

"Then I'm dead," I said to myself, and again there was the sweet flood of peaceful knowledge: I wasn't dead, I wasn't alive: it was another case of BOTH/AND: most of my physical body was elemental, not living, mere compounds and structures of bone and mineral and blood, but there was also part of the body, somewhere, maybe the brain, maybe the heart, which was also alive, and the human being was BOTH alive AND dead at the very same time.

Again I knew that this room was outside of time, that every room WAS this room, and that everything and nothing could happen to me in this room. If I CHOSE, I could stop breathing and die---but what would be the purpose? If I CHOSE, I could continue breathing and live, and since that seemed better, I heaved up my chest once more and inhaled, and permitted it to relax and exhaled.

Gradually, all the extremes melted into one: there was no fire, but there could be a fire; I was partly alive and partly dead; I knew perfectly well that I was high, but that I was coming down---or else I was getting higher, and it could have been both at the same time. There was water from John, and I drank, and then we turned off the light to sleep.


DIARY 1615              12/7/70


We're talking around the dining table, dinner long since finished, with the tasty fish soup with the very good Kamaboko fish slices in the bottom of the bowl, with huge pieces of mushroom and leaves of spinach, very nicely done, but the chicken in the egg-and-sherry-base white sauce is very bland, and the white rice is tasteless and even though it's decorated with carrot pieces and parsley and paprika, it's rather colorless, too, but the endive salad is nice and the trifle so tasty it boosts the final effect. And suddenly there's a muffled thump and the room shakes, and there are maybe two or three very closely following thumps and a last dying rumble, and we all stop talking and look at each other, paling, beginning to shake, wondering WHAT on earth it WAS! Go to the window, but nothing's visible, and the passersby are walking calmly on the street, so something next door isn't on fire. Out to the hall to see if anyone's gone up to the roof, but no one else has, but behind other doors come excited voices that betray the fact that THEY'VE heard and felt it, too. I go to shit, and hear out the window that someone is seeing red horizons, and we turn on the radio, which says nothing at the start, but in a couple of minutes there's an announcement over WBAI that there's been an explosion in Linden, New Jersey, which is about 20 miles from here, and there's nothing more known. We figure it'll be visible from the Promenade, since they come on later to announce that flames are shooting 200 feet high, and they don't know anything about it yet, so we bundle up and trot down to the Promenade.

It's so distant it's hard to spot, but then we see the glow, and the cone of smoke extending across the entire southern horizon from it, and the fire seems to be getting worse, sending up huge gouts of flame so that they're visible from where WE stand, and the clouds' bases are lit with an orange-red glare. Others are watching, but everyone's freezing, so everyone goes home, I get the Times, and we're back to hear it's been felt as far away as Westchester County, but it appears to be rather well contained, so we stacked the dishes in the sink, letting them for tomorrow, and got to bed at 12:30.


DIARY 1635              12/19/70


Inhale very deeply from John's new pipe, and sitting slouched down on my back in the hot water makes it hard to fill the lungs, so I arch up to fill them completely, and cough just a little bit. There's some sort of heavy Russian music on the radio, and I begin floating along with it, and there's the sense in the deep rolling tones of something about to happen, and we begin gentle rubbing motions back and forth with our legs and feet, and he starts rubbing the area around my ass, and I'm surprised to find that the silky feeling of the pine and softener in the water has made me receptive to the touch, finding it tickly and quite sensuous, though almost unpleasantly bodily, as if he were trying to coax me to defecate into the water, and I go on a brief excursion into the thoughts about shitting and having babies and making a mess in the tub and being fucked, which I put all together into one forbidden, distasteful lump.

I'm getting more and more spaced out, and have to drag myself back to some sort of reality every few minutes, moving in time with the music, conscious of the amount of time that's passing, dropping phrases like "I'm so far out," and "I'm so stoned" to let John know where I am. He reaches for my eely cock under the water, and when it doesn't respond, I reach for him, and he's quite erect, so I begin playing with him, but then he forces the play toward me, and he's jerking away at me, while I arch completely out of the water onto his thighs, and he begin to tire, so all I can do is grab my limp cock and flail away at it, in desperation, my head swelling with the effects of the music and the pot, and I come, spewing up my chest, twisting my torso around the focus of my orgasm, and John gasps encouragement to me, and washes my body with his hands to feel the semen slide under his sensitized fingertips.

Then I'm back to working on him, and wriggle around so that I can bend over his cock, getting soap and soaping him up, sometimes washing it with water to lend a difference of sensations, and he's straining toward a climax, but I'm so stoned I don't have a bit of concentration, so I stop with my hands and go down on him, plashing my face up and down into the water, using my hands, using soap, and finally he can't take it any longer and grabs himself off to completion, and again the observer makes more noise and fuss about the orgasm than the person who has it.

By this time we're both thoroughly waterlogged and exhausted, so we sink back down into the water to soak for a bit, and the characteristic thought for the evening comes through: DON'T THINK. And I feel buoyed up by the water and by the rightness of the thought: I should really stop thinking, stop analyzing, stop taking mental pictures of where I am, and just enjoy the sensations from moment to moment. Don't worry about what went before or what's coming next, don't bother to logically look at anything, just drift at the same speed as time, enjoying sensations in real time, not messing it up with mentation. It seems so simple and crystalline and pure that I float about in that thought for a number of minutes: just DON'T THINK.

But then my fingers are beginning to feel like they're peeling off, and we soap and wash each other off, and we're out of the tub, drying, and still listening to the music, completely drained of energy and semen by the sex play from countless minutes before. I'm feeling rather cold in the bathroom after the heat of the water, so I dry and get right into bed, and we lay together, cuddling, not saying anything, not needing to say anything, and the lights go off and I turn over to sleep, still seemingly caught in the folds of the pot, not really thinking, not worried about what time it is, or if I'll be able to sleep, or what position I'll get into to sleep, or even if I'll have a hangover from it tomorrow, or any other thoughts at all.

I feel removed from reality, not in contact with the tub or the bed or even the pot, just feeling John next to me. Completely ignorant of my body, absolutely out of touch with my mind, I see, hear, feel, but nothing of it makes an impression on my memory or mind: I'd taken my OWN advice!


DIARY 1656 12/30/70


But when Ned and Charles arrive, Ned's so bright and sparkly and sexy in his boots (and EVERYONE seems to be wearing boots, except Arno and John, who wear sandals, and then John says that they were certainly high when they arrived), that the party immediately picks up speed. John Lund's the last to arrive after 7:15, and by that time we're all feeling hungry enough to start without Azak. I take the first food, and the beef bourguignon is very tasty and flavorful, the spaetzle are coldish and rather lumpen-hard, the green beans are characteristically underdone, but the crunchy water chestnuts mixed with them make them seem done by comparison. The punch has been flowing all evening, and John said there were about four gallons, which meant two quarts for everyone there, so there was much drinking. but the leaking punchbowl seemed never to be any emptier. At one point Charles was moving around filling the wine glasses, and Arno and I were talking mostly with each other about things of the past, and then the desserts began. The pecan pie was out of this world, and I was high enough on the wine punch to begin to have no compunctions about saying anything, and told everyone about the lovely corpse I tripped over yesterday in the drug store when I was getting vitamins (and incidentally getting enough $5 bills to put in the envelopes for Josie and Margaret and Ceil and Harold, and the $3 for Ben), and found myself shouting the story about taking the cunt-tree out of Salem across the room, and everyone quieted down so they could hear the disgusting last line. Everything John Lund seemed to say was very funny, and I was finding everything funny, even the disparaging remarks Arno was making about dumb comments ("But he MEANS well") from Edward. H. had brought some chocolate covered gingerbread cakes and we got into a long conversation when he had said they were chocolate covered ORANGES, which I just couldn't understand. John's orange-and-onion salad was less than successful, as the oranges didn't hide the strong Bermuda onion taste, and the spices made the whole thing rather sickey. Then the pipe came out to enliven the dessert, and Arno looked abashed at the decadence, turning down the first pipeful, along with Edward, but we others drank deeply from the water pipe, and H. began giving me long glances, and I rather shivered to think that we were "destined" to encounter each other privately because we were both smoking. But whenever I seemed to look in his direction, he was there, staring at me. I'd worn my tight blue bells for the occasion, and rather fantasized there was a slight lull in the conversation, and a turning of heads in my wake, when I got up to go into the dining room for something to eat. Some comments were passed to John, and he seemed very smiling and pleased with the entire evening. Remarks were made about having no music in the apartment, and then someone noticed the constructions on the low bookcase with the Lego blocks, and someone began playing with them, and finally everyone except me and H. were sitting down on the floor trying to use their ingenuity with the interlocking pieces. The second pipe was going around at this point, and the first was getting through to me, and I began to see this, again, as the same room, and the people having extraordinary possibilities: Charles with his plump quietness and round Buddha-face, Ned with his tiny dark gleaming eyes and sexy trousers, H. with his continual looking at me, Edward with his stupid comments, people laughing more AT him than WITH him, John L. with his seeming collusion with me in the funnier remarks of the evening, and John's dizzy happiness at his own party. Even Arno seemed to take on new importance: his being there seemed to make the whole evening an extension of the LSD at my apartment on 70th, and his becoming high and laughing through the evening seemed to portend some deep and startling conversations between us, and maybe even group sex before the night was over. I found myself wishing H. and Edward would go, and I thought the six of us could end up very nicely. By this time John was building very imaginative constructions, Ned was showing a genius at towers, Charles was being unflinchingly phallic, with white towers with a red tip, or a white wall with a red "sword" piercing it. Edward did rather unimaginative constructions, and then Charles started throwing things at Ned's constructions, and Arno, in his perennial role of the observer-commentator, said that a lot could be learned by studying the comments and constructions. The comments were all phallic, and when Ned took off his shoes, everyone applauded, thinking that might be the prelude to general disrobing, but it never got any further than that. I went into the kitchen alone a couple of times, vaguely hoping that Ned would follow me out to embrace me, but the only persons who followed me were John and H., and I could only just muster the rationale to turn them away, and John I asked if he minded sex as an end to the evening, and he said fine, provided only that everyone else wanted it. By this time I was completely high, so that conversations seemed quite senseless, and the attempts of one person to follow the involuted and unstated logic of a second person would be enough to send me into gales of laughter, and then someone else would look at me laughing, and either end up laughing helplessly himself, or comment acidly on the state of my stonedness. John made some giggly references to my condition, and I contented myself to sit in a chair, watching what was going on, participating verbally whenever there was a sally that needed parrying, or when there was a good joke to laugh at, or a dirty meaning to be extracted from an innocently intended remark. The evening wore on, and it appeared that no one was leaving, and Edward and Arno and H. definitely seemed to become the "laugher at," with Ned and John exchanging exasperated glances at some of their comments, but no one made moves to leave until Arno did so, and then quite quickly H. and Edward seemed to strike up an agreement ("I'll take you to the subway" turned out to be H.'s driving Edward to the CLARK STREET station.), and I was quickly dashed in my hopes of sex when Ned and Charles moved to get their coats, and we embraced at the door, and John L. was the last to leave, and the apartment was quiet. Messy, but quiet. We looked at everything and decided we'd just as well leave everything for the morning, and went to bed at 1:30.


DIARY 1669              1/4/71


Just putting the canned sloppy joes into the pan when John enters at 7:20, and he starts working on the green beans and as I put the rest of the stuff away and start fixing the queen-size bed, since I'd finally invited Art and Bob to spend the evening, since we were planning to drive somewhere the next day. Dinner is just about set, and I have the leaves in the dining table and am getting the chairs out of the closet when the door knocker knocks, and it's Art and Bob and TK (a well kept 40-year-old Chinese who's just brought over the love of his life) and 20-year-old Peter. Bob brings wine and everyone settles down drinking the last of John's punch, and TK's egg rolls and marinated beef are put into the oven for warming, and Bob starts working on the salad (while John spills his punch behind the refrigerator) and I'm back into the bedroom to pin the too-large mattress cover around the mattress, put on the mattress pad, one of the new sheets, an old top sheet of mine that fits perfectly, and finally the new electric blanket, and by this time everyone is getting pleasantly soused with John's punch, the kitchen is jammed with everyone working in it, and when I'm back into the living room, everything is ready to be eaten.

By the time everyone gets through with the very tasty marinated beef on its bed of scrumptious watercress, and each has two (or, in the case of Bob, three) egg rolls, there's not much room left for the sloppy joes and the green beans, so there's lots left over for future meals, and since John isn't eating the green beans, I have them three or even four times into the new year. After the salad and the Cake Masters cake that Bob brings with him, TK and Peter get engrossed with the Spirograph and necking at the table, Art is playing with the Lego blocks, and Bob and John are smoking in the bathroom, since Peter dislikes it so much, there's the rumor that he'll get very disturbed if he even SEES anyone smoking. Records go on, and everyone has fun with the earphones, and then everyone's lying around stoned when Bob starts insisting that he wants to go to the New Year's Eve celebration in Central Park. Though I suggest that they can see the fireworks perfectly adequately from the roof, and John and Art don't seem to want to leave, I agree that anything we could be doing here NOW could be done here AFTER we go to the park, so we might as well go into the park. And, in addition, it will give us a chance to get rid of TK and Peter, who don't seem anxious to leave. So we dress warmly, everyone sharing my sweaters, and get out about 11:45, and I'm quite stoned, and the streets are psychedelically crowded, and we seem to go very slowly through the park, Art and I walking ahead and talking, TK and Peter walking very slowly, huddled against the cold, and John and Bob drop way behind in order to smoke a couple of joints to get into the proper mood. We're walking up the road, and many people are going toward the Bethesda Fountain, and we can see spotlights through the trees, and we get to the head of the steps to see a real St. Peter's crowd, faces upturned into the light, milling around the fountain, standing in it, climbing over the statues, listening to the rock band in the shell erected between the stairways, and gaping up at the string of white and red balloons flying from the top of the statue.

Kids are hanging from each of the buttresses at the entrance to the brick-floor mall, and they swing on the strings of Christmas lights that radiate out from the center, insuring that they'll come down before the evening is out. There are shouts of "Five minutes!" from the crowd and from the microphone, but my watch says that midnight has come and gone, and there's no really definite time of cheering, though scattered shouts rise out of the crowd like roars of pain from time to time. Spotlights point out across the crowd, and the pale faces turned into the light look like some concentration camp gatherings from very grainy German documentaries. The crowd continues to pour in toward the center, so we're pushed toward the top of the steps, and Bob steps down to get lost in the crowd for a couple of minutes.

I'm not really tripping, but there's such an air of unreality about the whole gathering, and the ideas of waiting for a new year, and just what IS the significance of a new year, and all the things I wanted to do last year and didn't, and all the things I DIDN'T want to do last year and DID do (mainly for John), and all the things I actually DID, and all the things I actually DIDN'T do, and then people start pushing their way through the crowd shouting out "Happy New Year" to everyone, and there begins to be a nice feeling as white greets black, people hug and kiss, and even Art and Bob kiss, leading John and me to exchange hand clasps and kisses.

Then it's getting late, people seem to be leaving at the same rate of entering, and we start out of the crowd, holding hands in a long chain, but still fragmenting and losing each other going up the crowded steps. The cluster of balloons has long since been cut and flown away into the sky, and there was no longer the strange sensation of the skylight picking out that lone, distant, white balloon lost in the grayness of the sky. As we walk back home, it begins snowing lightly, and Bob had predicted this, and it begins to look very nice outside, and we're surprised it's as late at 12:45, not thinking we'd stayed so long in the park.

Back home to get into some more of the Almaden wine, having gone through John's punch, the quart of something that Bob brought, and well into the next half-gallon. But we were all tired, so even though Bob wanted to listen to more music in the living room, he put off the speakers and sat entombed in the earphones as John and Art and I crawled into our beds, Bob having to settle for a mattress cover in a pillow case for his pillow. After only a few minutes, I heard him coming in from the living room, going into the bathroom to brush his teeth and prepare for bed, and then he was lying down beside Art, and the four of us drifted quickly off to sleep in the morning hours of 1971.

A news item in the paper reminded me of something I'd forgotten, and that is that the world did NOT end, as predicted, at the end of 1970, and there's still ANOTHER chance to do what everyone dreams of doing.


DIARY 1681  1/7/71


We were talking about how possible it is for people to change, and I thought of making up a list of how John and I have changed---though thinking that I have changed far more than JOHN has changed:





Use Lactopine soap

Uses soap savers


Go to Adirondacks

Goes to Maine (hates it)


Early bed/early up

Goes on diet


Fry steaks and chops

Moves during "Concentration"


Get foam mattress

Get bedroom shades


Get long pants hangers

Put electric cord in bathroom


Use safety razor

Bathing cap in closet


Use manual toothbrush

Changing shower head


Keep wine and sherry here

Working stuff here


Different hair style



Re-hung paintings



DIARY 1711 1/29/71


I asked him where he went last night, and he merely went to the Promenade and to Danny's, where there were only 20 people and he talked to no one, but he felt he didn't want to work, since I didn't want to come over. I insisted that I ACTUALLY had been up in the air about the arrangements, since I didn't know how long I'd work that evening, and WHEN I worked, I wanted to get as much done as possible. He said he was sure I didn't want to come over because it was inconvenient, and I said "Yes, if you want, I have to WEIGH the inconvenience of 12 hours on the subway against what I get: five minutes of talk and cuddle before sleep, some unresponsive, difficult, frustrating sex in the morning." He insisted I should have made it clear what MY position was, and I can only reply that HE should have made it clear what HE understood, or else how can I know he DOESN'T understand? Then he confesses that he was very disappointed about Sunday, his birthday, because he wanted to spend the day with me, but wanted to do things at his place, so he went to his place, I preferred staying here, and then he DIDN'T do what he wanted, but smoked and went out, doing nothing and regretting his loneliness. I said that was silly, since he had only to TELL me that he wanted to spend the day with me, and I would have WEIGHED, again, the strength of his wish to stay WITH me, and my wishes to do whatever I wanted to do. I kept insisting that even though I might PREFER to do something, that DOESN'T mean I would HATE doing an alternative, and if I'd known he wanted me with him, I would have been willing to stay with him without feeling that he was IMPOSING on me, but he was merely saying that HE wanted, which could easily fit in with what I wanted, which was to read the Times and do the puzzles (and watch TV, forgot about that). Many times I would explain where I stood, then ask him what he thought, and he'd say nothing, even though I tried to PRY it out of him by saying "Are you blank, are you censoring, are you trying to rehearse exquisitely formed sentences?" Just TALK, as I did. We got to bed at 11, and again he seemed ready for sleep, so we did. And then, awfully, in the morning we had that HORRIBLE sex.


DIARY 1713              1/29/71


John again repeats that he doesn't care for sex in the morning, because he feels lazy and turned-off, and would only like to cuddle, but would rather have sex in the afternoons or evenings. He says he envies the sex that Bob and I have in the afternoons, but I insist that he thinks they're always perfectly idyllic, whereas I might, on occasion, have the same troubles staying up with him that I HAVE with John. He asks WHY I have the turn-off, particularly yesterday morning, which he said was awful. I say that, whoever starts it, it's a cycle, since I feel that he feels it to be a duty, then I start going down, then he gets even more frantic, and I go down completely, and that wrecks it. He says he's perfectly excited until he feels ME going down, so I suspect it's MY fault. THEN he says that he's so conscious of the time, and I think that it might be HIS consciousness of the TIME that makes me feel "Scheduled," and puts me into my head, out of my body, and it becomes mechanical. Again we talk about doing it at night, and I said I'd EXPECTED him to make the first move last night, and he said he expected ME to make the first move, if I wanted sex, but I said I was the same as HE was, neutral to negative, about it. But that HE was the one who wanted to change the sex schedule, so HE would have to be the one to take the STEPS toward initiating it. I kept repeating that though I PREFER sex in the morning, it takes me just about as long to get "warmed up" at night, and if he wants to DO it, DO it. He seems then to be saying that he doesn't want the responsibility for the sex all the time, that he'd like to see ME start it, but I can't make him understand that it's HIS schedule of classes, coming in at 8, working till 10, then eating, then feeling tired and going to bed, that seems to preclude sex in the PM for ME. Then I tell him he KNOWS how I react to pot, going into my head, separating from my body. I'd tried to change it, but it seems it's got going to be changed, so if he wants SEX in the evening, he'd better not have me SMOKE. I say that Friday was rather bad, which seems to surprise him, because I was so spaced out I wasn't even INTERESTED in sex at that time. Then he starts saying that the evenings and weekends have to be SCHEDULED for time alone together, and I demur, saying that maybe we can schedule the TIME, but we certainly can't schedule the physical lust for sex! He says if we don't WORK at it, the relationship will die, and I begin thinking that I'M willing to be satisfied with almost ANY kind of close relationship with him, and HE seemed always to be saying "This could break up the relationship," and I said "I never asked you to promise me anything, but will you promise me you'll let me know A MONTH BEFORE we break up?" He asks why, and I say I don't like surprises, and I don't want to have him spring "THE END OF THE AFFAIR" on me, when I might be too stupid to see it coming. I didn't see the problem HE saw, but he insists it was ME, and my limpness, which made HIM see that we had problems. We weren't devoting enough ENERGY and TIME to the relationship, and I can't put my feeling of his trying to LEGISLATE the relationship into words to tell him what I think, but I can say to him that RULES aren't going to be any good, and he agrees: certainly there'll be times when HE wants to have sex in the morning, also. He said he was very disappointed about my getting excited about the slides, because he'd hoped I would have saved my first viewing to do it with HIM, and then we could SHARE my excitement about them. I said that was a bit much! That he didn't like the slides, anyway, and didn't say that I would probably be embarrassed showing him how MUCH I was turned on by them. So he scheduled tonight for "togetherness," saying that he would come home, not have to work, I'd have ham for dinner, and we'd eat slowly together (not out, waiting for tomorrow night for that), and spend the evening together. He wants so much for ME to take the responsibility for the changes that HE wants in the relationship, it seems. But I'm to blame, to course, for accepting almost anything in the relationship, but mightn't that be NICE, to be ABLE to sleep alone every so often? He said he wants to KNOW about it, so that HE'LL be able to plan to go out that night. He doesn't know what to DO with his free time, and accuses ME always of wasting all MY time, even though I insist that what HE might consider wasted time, like diaries and lists and TV and reading, I might LIKE!!


DIARY 1717              2/1/71


He insists that my fear of flying came from some fear back in my childhood, and he asks about my first contact with death, and I can only recall my great grandmother's dying, after I'd seen her once, and though I could describe her as terribly old and toothless and dressed all in black and speaking little English, I still wasn't frightened of her, nor was I terribly sorrowful at her funeral, though I seemed to know that she was actually dead, so someone must have explained it to me fairly well beforehand. There seemed to be nothing of a mystery about it, though I did recall a feeling I had there, which I've had again and again while looking at a person lying in a casket, that they would slowly start to move, and they wouldn't be dead at all. John asked me why I'd fear that, since she wouldn't be moving to do anything against ME, but I said it wasn't necessarily anything against ME, MYSELF that I would fear, but the SURPRISE of something I DIDN'T EXPECT that would terrify me.

John then asked where I would have gotten the idea that someone in the casket MIGHT move, and I could only suggest some unremembered movie, since I don't recall anyone dead BEFORE that---but it dawns on me NOW that the "rising from the dead" is quite common, both in the Catholic religion, or Christ rising from the dead, and in fairy tales, such as Sleeping Beauty, who was LIKE dead, but came out of it when someone kissed her, and other people being put into trances---even Juliet, who was like dead, until she overcame the potency of the distillate given her. So I could have heard about the idea of the dead coming back to life in many ways.

Then he asked about my fear of FLYING, specifically, and I said that when I was young I enjoyed flying with my uncle, but then on the trip around the world there were two awful experiences: the losing of the engine over Karachi, and the plane wing almost touching in Athens, and the awful feeling of turning over on the flight to Vancouver. But I was beginning to fear planes before that, back to some graphic descriptions of flights where everyone was killed, divers fished dead bodies out of the wreckage underwater, and that description by Cathy of the photo of the man, in a business suit, strapped to his seat, floating in Long Island Sound. I told him about my first fears of fire from the descriptions of hotel fires when I was young, saying that I felt safe at home, however, since it was on the ground floor. Then I went to my fear of the hot water heater exploding, but he concluded that that must have been sometime afterwards. He kept wanting me to get back to the FEELINGS of childhood, and I kept bringing up THOUGHTS that I had as a child, and he kept saying they weren't the same thing.

When I brought up the classic case of my parents arguing, and the night my mother came running into the room with the butcher knife, saying to my father to "Push it, push," and John was interested to hear that I had such a large bed so early in life, and I had to recall that I usually slept on one side or the other, so that I could feel the side of the bed, maybe as a clue to where I was, so I wouldn't be "lost" in the huge bed. I couldn't remember fearing my mother's death at that time, only "the mess on the bed," again probably the result of a movie where a knife caused blood to flow all over the place. I mentioned that I wouldn't have had to live with my father, since my grandmother was the second person in my family, and she took care of me the time I was sure my parents were leaving me in 1939, when they went to the Chicago World's Fair.

John started thinking about the fact that I was just a little child witnessing this confrontation between my parents, so small that I couldn't do anything but think of the horrifying thoughts of "No, this shouldn't be done around me," and "Yes, PUSH it, and let's get this all over with, so I can go live with Grandma in the big house." And John said that I was confronted with a situation that was absolutely out of my control, which echoed something I'd said before when talking to Halpin, that I said I probably wouldn't feel AS afraid PILOTING my own plane, because at least then I could SEE what was going on, feel that I exercised some CONTROL over the lane, and I said, also, that I rather feared the COMMITTEE method of checking the plane, where no one person was entirely responsible, and everyone was probably operating under the good old American system of "doing only what you have to do to make it look right, and nothing more." I said that I'd been THROUGH the thoughts that the pilot had to be responsible, since he was flying the plane and entrusting HIS life to it, and that stewardesses certainly couldn't be worried about flying, and even pointed to the fact that after two or three flights, I gradually got USED to flying again, and the ones afterward weren't so traumatic.

He kept insisting that there was some ILLOGICAL chain of feeling in my insides that prompted my fear, but then a couple of times I'd think of something to add to the conversation, and he'd bring it to an exasperated halt, saying that I was unconsciously detouring off the subject, shying away from the main point, reluctant---always unconsciously---to dig into the subject and FACE it.

The thought of my breakdown in grade school came to me, and I told him about that, and he put that at about 7, when my great grandmother would have died, and maybe around the time when my parents were fighting, and I felt I could release it at the time of the school "breakdown," but beyond that I had to channel it into other directions. It also might have been coupled with my first feelings of homosexuality, so that whole thing might be connected back when I was seven or even 6, but that whole area of time is so understandably dim that I could only sit and frankly admit I really couldn't remember too much of what had gone on, but John would again repeat that I really had to dig into it. I wanted to get out old notes that I'd transcribed after flights, and report card signatures to see WHICH year I broke down, and WHEN my great grandma died, but he said I'd only construct some feelings and thoughts around THOSE dates, and it would be better if I tried strictly from memory. But I was getting very tired of this about 11PM, so I said it was time to go to bed, and got up from the table to do so.


DIARY 1737              2/9/71


heavy-handedly, and finally he came, quite profusely, and I sort of slipped between his legs onto the floor, expecting him to finish off John, and that would be the end of it. But John didn't seem to want to be finished, and he kept reaching back for Fred to re-stimulate him, and then Fred started reaching for me. I was erect for awhile, but then the news came on that Manhattan had a blackout, and that the U.S. and Vietnamese had invaded Laos, and there were some extremely disquieting remarks that Nixon had kept quiet about the invasion because he wanted to evaluate the public's reaction. How can you evaluate the reaction if you don't tell them what's going on??? This was a real downer for me, and then John got out the Baby Magic and the blanket (at my request), and I thought things would go better, but they just went to worse. We started tangling the three of us, but they soon left us alone when I didn't respond, and they started lying on top of each other and pumping, and I thought I might be aroused by watching them and playing with myself, but I just whacked away at my limp cock and got nowhere, and it was terribly frustrating. Fred kept asking John if he was coming, and John wasn't, and John kept trying to get Fred closer, and Fred didn't seem to be able to get any closer, since I'd drained him so thoroughly. This went on and on, and I kept determining to come, but each time I'd get more oil, there'd be some horrible piece of news I'd listen to, and I wouldn't even be close. Finally, after about the fifth or sixth frustrating try, I got enough steam going to come, and did, all over, watched by the two of them, and then that was the end of it: John staggered off to bed, and Fred and I lay together, spent, on the floor listening to the radio. He got up about 1:30 and left, washing himself as well as he could in the cold water because the boiler was off, and he left, and I stumbled into bed. John later said that my attempts to bring myself off had dampened the whole evening (it certainly damped MY evening), and that HIS idea of a threesome was NOT having one person come quickly, but all THREE getting excited and coming about the same time. So it was a horrible evening, but I reminded John that I DIDN'T feel sexy when high.


DIARY 1745              2/16/71


Into the apartment to smell the burnt grass smell, and that gives me the clue to look for high-signs from John, and he seems very bright-eyed and frivolous, and he says Phil R. thought it was 8:15 he was supposed to meet me, but I figured he wasn't very interested, as he didn't even ask at the box office for his ticket. We're listening to music, and he's reaching for me, but I don't feel the slightest twinge of interest in sex, and I shower and shave and contemplate "leading" him into a psychedelic high, and get back out to find him sitting rather defensively in his chair, and I sit on the floor and pull him down, and we roll rather strangely around on the floor, me trying to get myself into a high state, but he's interested in sex and I'm not, and so I go down on him, and he silently permits it, and I get the idea he's only doing it because he feels I want to do it, and he reaches for me two or three more times through the session, and I roll away and put my knee up to prevent him from FEELING my complete limpness. As he said later, he KNEW I was soft, but I figured knowing and FEELING were two different things. I kept having to shift positions to get out of his reach, and I felt that my razor-shaved chin was prickling, and I could also feel raw spots on my chin from shaving too close, and I worked away on him, rather wishing for Baby Magic, but not wanting to interrupt the motions, and he began straining toward an orgasm, seeming to go down very slightly, and I got the image that he was being like me, anxious to get it over with, straining toward it as a physical release rather than an emotional culmination, wanting to get it OVER with rather than enjoying what was leading UP to it. He pushed out his legs, soundlessly, strained upward, and a few times even reached down as if to take over himself. A few times I just wanted to stop, but figured I couldn't leave him like that, but feared I was chewing, scraping, rubbing him raw. Grabbed harder and harder, arm aching, and finally he came, and we immediately afterward went to bed, so I AGAIN thought it a flop. The next night, however, he said HE felt guilty because HE was enjoying it, completely hedonistically, and not making a move to bring me into it too. I said, then, I was glad I hadn't QUESTIONED it THEN.


DIARY 1757              2/24/71


We get out of AC/DC, after saying we both felt rather confused in impression after the first act, and I say "I certainly liked the second act much better," and he says he said "Yes," but I didn't hear him. We walk out of the theater and to the car in complete silence, and finally, after much mental stewing, I muster "Are you being uncommunicative for any REASON?" And he says "No." Then I ask "Do you think your not talking might be annoying me?" And he says "Yes." And then we're in the car and I blow up, "And would you blame me for being angry if you treat me like I'm not HERE?" And he says that he was very uncomfortable during the play, and was feeling quite ill with hunger, since he seemed to have had little in actual quantity to eat during the meal this afternoon. I lapsed into silence, feeling somewhat mollified knowing he didn't feel well (though there was absolutely no outward sign of it), but still terrifically angry that he hadn't bothered to TELL me about it if I hadn't ASKED about it. We got to his place and he immediately cooked his hamburger and I had myself a muffin, and he asked what I liked about the play, and I said I thought the second act was far more "connected" than the first, there was little gratuitous scientificating ala Scientific American that didn't fit DIRECTLY into the plot, there was more of a story: the replacement of a guy by a gal in Perowne's life and apartment; I thought there were truths applying on many levels: emotional, mystical, philosophical, psychological, and I thought the acting was enormously effective and the final scene, where Sadie screws "the light" into Perowne's "third eye" and the TVs almost COME in their herringbone exuberance, was terrifically effective. He listens to all this and says nothing. Earlier he had said something ELSE that made me angry: "I'm not interested in mere opinion," which struck me sourly on many levels: he wasn't interested in MY opinion, having just seen it, he wasn't interested in sharing HIS opinion with me until he had worked it over and formulated it BEYOND what he actually FELT about it, and he wasn't even interested in DISCUSSING the fact of his disinterest, so that I could understand HIM, and that he could understand ME. Finally, after he ate, he seemed interested in resuming the talk, and I indicated that I was even MORE angry than I had conveyed to him in the car, since this wasn't the first time I'd been treated to his silence: it usually occurred after movies and plays, and many times occurred where I was trying to get "where he was" during some of our lengthy discussions. I said I REFUSED to believe that his mind was absolutely BLANK, and I was interested in his opinions AS they were formed, not AFTER they were formed: I said it: "I want to know what you think about the PLAY, not what you think about what you REMEMBER from the play." He insisted that only half-formed words and phrases swam in a free-flowing stew through his mind, and I should understand that he would find it impossible to articulate those seething ideas. I insisted it was quite typical of him: it included his "not seeing" the Adirondacks until the day we left---it so typified his actions in many ways that I accused him of putting up a WALL to prevent any communication from going back and forth, yet he chose to express it: "Sometimes I'm so affected that even saying 'I'm very affected by it and don't want to talk about it' would completely ruin the aura around the experience." I said he was being extremely melodramatic, retreating into his "silence" to hold himself off from the world. He agreed that he even thought his OWN PRIVATE PLACES were more important than our relationship, seeming to say that IF I PUSHED at him, the relationship would be terminated more quickly than his privacy would be breached. I asked why he felt compelled to do this, and he insisted, again, that there were parts of "the real me" that were so despicable that, once I learned about them, I would be so horrified that I would break off the relationship, and he would rather retain that control, rather than give it over to ME to break. I laughed and asked, "Remember (certainly hoping that he WOULD) the only thing I ever asked you to promise?" Thankfully he said, "Yes, that I wanted a month's notice before the relationship stopped," and I asked if he saw ME doing what HE was doing, too. "I was actually afraid that something I might SAY would be so stupid, so unthinking, so out of touch with YOUR feelings, that you would take instant leave of the relationship, without me being to admit to being wrong, stupid, unthinking, inconsiderate, and begging for an apology. That the relationship wouldn't end because of something STUPID, but we'd at least have that month to "talk about it." He smiled and said he saw what I was saying, and I laughed, saying, "Yes, it IS funny, isn't it?" tears springing to my eyes, and he laughed again, saying that, "Well, whatever may be hidden inside me, it wouldn't be all that bad, but what would be hidden inside him, could be just catastrophically awful." We both agreed that was a ludicrous idea, but he'd already said that many things were completely irrational, without reason, yet he held on to them. I asked why, and he brought up the girl he had been engaged to before, and they broke up, instantly, because he told her she had bad breath. He said he was sure "that was the straw that broke the camel's back" since "he'd been torturing her, since he looked at her as a mother-figure" though he found it impossible to say what this "torturing" had been. I insisted that he was stultifying his experience of the world by this incessant "delay" in reacting, and that if he persisted in it, he would be eternally trying to "catch up" with the trip around the world, living every yesterday instead of TODAY, and that it would make the whole thing intolerable. He repeated that it was quite a habit, and it would be as hard for him to change as for a right-handed person to switch to a leftie, but I retorted that the person who WANTS to effect this switch, even though he may have to REMIND himself every time he reaches for something that he should reach with the other hand, will find that he keeps dropping things and doing them sloppily, but if there's a good enough REASON to change the habit, it could be done. He said he didn't think he would mind if I'd prod him every so often on this, telling him to exchange hands. Then I remarked something that seemed to me very important: "Do you realize that you haven't STUTTERED in the past ten minutes?" He stumbled around for a few moments, and I added, "that's just ANOTHER way of delaying your response to anything," which was obvious. He admitted that he stuttered mainly when he was unsure of himself, about the feelings he was feeling, and I asked him if the duration of the stutter had changed, and he said that he was of the impression that it had been much longer when he was in high school. Then I did the rather stupid thing of asking him to imitate it, and he paused, but seemed to be willing to go along with my suggestion against his better judgment, and after saying he didn't know whether his stutter then had been a repetition of sounds, or only a silence, and he consented to say the sentence, "My name is John A.," and he quickly said that the pause was at LEAST as long as the two or three second buzz on the "V," and I noted that when he CONSCIOUSLY stuttered, even in trying to mimic an earlier LONGER stutter, it came out even shorter than his CURRENT pause. He even had the interest in the conversation to indicate BEFORE he finished it that it was getting TIME to finish it, that we should be going to bed soon, but not immediately. We talked on a bit more, but my enthusiasm about the first discoveries: the tie-in with his need for a "private place" with his lack of enjoyment of things IMMEDIATELY, and the fact that he could refrain from stuttering for long periods of intense conversation---was waning, and I was feeling tired, too, and John's incessant exaggerated smiling at me from the sofa indicated he had had more than enough of himself "revealed" and he was trying to ingratiate himself "back" into my love by making these affectionate faces at me. I think he'd gone further than he'd intended, and I didn't know quite what to do with HIM, now that he was more thoroughly "mine." We went to bed, and I, again stupidly, asked whether I knew as much about him as his therapist did, and he paused, indicating to me that the answer was "No, I certainly didn't," and compromised by saying that I probably knew about as much, but thought the doctor'd helped him, he finally left after five years, unwilling to reveal more of himself to this person prying in on his "privacy" from outside.


DIARY 1763              2/26/71


WHEREVER I am now, I don't like it! Constantly tired when I get up in the morning, my mind searches for bodily malfunctions: do I have hepatitis, is there a cold coming on, am I lacking vitamins, should I do my exercises more frequently (this answer is certainly "Yes"), is there some subtle debilitating process about sleeping under electric blankets, is the air constantly unhealthy, making me subtly ill, am I eating too much, or not enough, or too irregularly, am I sleeping well enough? But the facts that I have an irritability, a depression, a striving for some sort of pleasant activity, are hard to deny. I characterized it on the phone last night to John as a pointlessness: in an enormously broad sense, when I was working for IBM, I had the work as a focal point: something to do. The people were pleasant, the activities AFTER work were engaging, there was little spare time in which to think about how happy OR unhappy I might be. Then, brought on by fear of flying, there was the anxiety that led to LSD and Hammer and Hollywood Hospital, that led to my accepting the job at IBM and moving into a better apartment. Then there was the feeling of "something wrong" that led me to evaluate my life at IBM, find it lacking, and summarized my direction as "I want to write a book." So the next two and a third years were spent writing the book as the CENTRAL activity, though, with John, I could agree that I spent more time on OTHER things, but the book furnished the DIRECTION for what I was doing: in effect, it was MY EXCUSE TO MYSELF FOR LIVING. But then the first three chapters were finished, and it seemed that I could go no further without some sort of professional report on the first three chapters, so I started sending it out to publishers: first Meredith, then Grove Press, then Bernard Geis. But this is the 37th day of its absence, and with the fate of the book in limbo (or worse, if I listen to John), I've lost the DIRECTION that I've always needed to function.

It seems my planning for the trip in July is hampered by my dislike for the thoughts of flying that come with it, and so I'm even denied the pleasurable activities that surround THAT. I got rid of the list the end of January, and that, compulsive though it may have been, furnished a direction for my efforts. Now, it's true, I could make another list, but I don't like the compulsive, dependent, neurotic feelings that come with LIVING with those lists.

Funny, I told myself that I'd gear EVERYTHING about the book to Meredith's response to it, but he said I should forget about it, and John keeps saying I should get together some of my "Jottings" (though he doesn't like that as a "title") and send THEM out as a book, and then today will be my last day with the Census, bringing up all the old things about money and security: I've not had to cash in any IBM stocks since December, and I haven't really thought of myself as WORKING through those days, so I've had a "free" income for only a few hours' work a week (at least until the Crew Leader's job started), and that paid for the rent and groceries, even though I certainly haven't saved anything from it, and am still not eligible for unemployment. So what do I do now? Inquire about the "continuing work" that Chu mentioned yesterday? Look for another part-time job? Get a full-time job and forget about the book? Do nothing?

That's the problem---doing nothing! Sure, I can pass a day or two reading, but I have an urge to do something MORE. It's not work, but what IS it? Going off to Hollywood Hospital and becoming a therapist there? What would I do about John? Moving to another country to live? But I thought I'd determined BEFORE to sell a book first. So maybe it DOES boil down to getting stuff together for another book to start on the rounds. Well, I suppose I could! There could be the "sexual travel" books of the trip diaries, the "Jottings" of the sort that John would have me send around, though Barthelme seems to have gotten there first---and I suppose I could send a few short stories around just to keep in the practice of THAT. And I guess I WILL ask Chu about the 2-3-days-a-week job he mentioned before, particularly if there's a raise involved. So THAT'S where I am.


DIARY 1774              3/4/71


Barry K.'s place is at 342 E. 15th Street. Up the five flights to the kicky apartment, and he's rather slovenly dressed, but some of the first slides (backed up by the weights on the floor) show that he has a rather nicely developed body, but his pimpled face and wrinkled clothes don't indicate it's really the same person. He specializes in doubled slides of pornography and scenery, like someone's shadow against the blue sky, spread shots and Chock Full O Nuts signs, Empire State Buildings as dildoes to giant cunts, arresting shots of phalluses against brick walls and Sunbeam Bread signs, and a great thing with two guys on a bed with green fields opening around them, and later to five- and six-layer things of clouds and neon signs and automobile parts and people and reflections in mirrors. He has some straight pornography, too, which we look at after we finish our Cokes, slightly battered by the loud records from the next room, and Bob picks out what he wants, and we're out by 10, talking about how he didn't quite live up to his promise, and then we're back up to my place to smoke, and I get very high very fast, particularly when I dump another pipeful into the smoker and finish it off myself while Bob is lining up lights along John's body, and taking pictures of the crook of his elbow and the bottom of his foot. I'm finally lying on the ground, the Moody Blues playing in the background, and he's taking pictures of my armpit, with the moist hairs arranged just so, and of my shoulders and arms with my hands around the back of my neck, and my navel from all sorts of angles, and his wanting me not to move ties in with my current high, and I'm threatened with lack of breath, because I inhale to hold my breath for the shot, and when it never comes I think of myself actually fainting from lack of oxygen. The clicks go on and on, and after an indefinite amount of time, and John later tells me that he'd fallen asleep, too, so that Bob could take whatever micro-photographs he wanted to take of the geography of the human body at rest, and then Bob was grabbing onto my genitals, and I was hanging on to his, and John was sitting over me, and I was lying listlessly on the floor, looking at the assholes in my face, thinking vaguely of shit in my gassiness, having the waves of "I AM someone great" wash over me in tandem with the "I'm just SHIT" waves, and John forces his finger into my mouth and I'm horrified to encounter something soft and mushy, with little gritty pieces mixed in with it, and I think of shit---he's trying to force shit into my mouth, and it's only cake icing, and I keep hoping there's some cake to convince me of it, but there isn't, so I'm still baffled. Then there's the slam of the refrigerator door and something cold is put on to my cock, and someone sucks it off, and I'm wondering what's going on, and some applesauce is pressed into my mouth, and again I'm thinking of shit, and I eat Bob's cock, wreathed in applesauce, and it's like he's been screwing someone, and there's diarrhea all over it, and John pours something liquid on my stomach, and I move and it falls and rolls to the floor, and I'm getting very freaked out, and of course I'm not up at ALL. Then Bob's sitting on my chest, and again I have the suffocation feeling, and I think that I'm so relaxed I'm not even protecting my heart with the muscularity of my chest, and if I relax any more, my chest will just collapse, crushing the life out of me, and then Bob's cock is in my mouth, and I'm working it over with my applesauce-y hands, and he starts groaning, and I can't tell if it's in pain or enjoyment, because I'm doing him rather slowly in my spaced-out condition, and that might be nice, but I'm not keeping very good track of my teeth, and I suspect I'm etching a groove on the bottom of his cock, and he's ramming it into my mouth and groaning louder, and the only thing I want to do is sort of gently suck the head, because when he rams it all down, I can't breathe, which is really panicking when connected with his weight on my chest. Finally I bring my hand into play and he finally comes in my mouth, groaning, and I bear down harder, which of course makes him groan the more, and finally he lies back across my knees, exhausted, throbbing, and John is still somewhere around my head, feeling the both of us, and we're off the floor and dressed, and Bob leaves, and we're into bed about 12:30.


DIARY 1779              3/5/71


Smoke a moderate pipeful, finding it very strange how my throat doesn't feel dry, hot, and ready to cough when I DON'T look at the amount of smoke that's above the water, or coming from the burning pot, or the extent of the burning. When I just close my eyes and inhale, it seems to go much better. Put the Moody Blues records on, expecting to hear it swell into hallucinatory beauty, and at first only the words blur on the sheet that I'm reading, and then I stop reading, and then when I get up to turn over the first record and put on the second on top of it, I feel so woozy about getting out of the chair and moving around that I feel I'm much more comfortable on the floor, so I push the chair aside and lie on the floor, feeling more comfortable with the earphones, too, since they're not bearing down uncomfortably on the top of my head, but are pulling my ears back, heightening that feeling of "widening forehead where the flesh is pulled away from my third eye" which is becoming common, and I don't have to worry about holding my head up. It's slightly pressured at the hips, but I find that pulling my knees into the air lowers my back into the floor, relieving the pressure on the back of the hip, and I loll my head slightly to the side, so I'm resting on the bipod of my head and the edge of the earphone. The music has some nice effects, and I really don't recall hearing the transitions between songs, and it seems after only ONE song the record is over, and after one MORE song, the next record is over, and I have to get up and turn the second record over and add the third, and those go even more quickly, without any particular feeling except that the little-finger sides of my hands begin to go numb, possibly from lying as I am on the floor, and I fantasy that they're atrophying and falling off, but when I open my eyes, there's no hallucination to see, and I'm getting very sleepy, even figuring it wouldn't be criminal if I fell asleep right there, but I simply want to get to bed. At the beginning, there was a BIT of eye magic as I seemed to see milky shreds pulled apart across a luminous limy green background, and I almost got into more stretching, pulling effects, but after the first few moments of my delight at seeing these "new" things, I didn't have the concentration to continue seeing, so I stopped. Some of the effects, such as recording TWO tracks, one for each side, rather than "stereo-izing" one voice onto the center, was quite effective, seeing to enforce a split that smoking might cause, and at the end of "The Question" I tried to fool myself into thinking that they really didn't repeat so MUCH of the music after the sonic apocalypse, and that it was about to go off into something completely different, but it didn't, though I recognized very little of what I was hearing. I also became very nonverbal, so even if I HAD, what I wished I HAD had, a tape recorder in which to record my thoughts, it would have been very sparse going, almost like this second page, which I'm rather forcing myself to write, just to explore the feelings. Obviously, it seems that the interaction with other people just makes the pot experience so much RICHER, just as drinking in company does. Was a little disturbed at first about the idea of my smoking alone, like I'd be disturbed when John said that's what HE was doing, then going out for a walk. I guess it DOES indicate a lack of self-direction to fruitfully fill in spare alone hours, but I just didn't feel like reading, and was curious what the reaction would be about doing it alone, though my previous experience: that of smoking before going to the Moodies concert, was quite unfruitful, maybe because there was nothing I had to DO, just as there was nothing I had to DO last night except change the records. I feel, now, that that's a reflection of the EMPTINESS that I experienced during the second LSD trip: since there's no action OUTSIDE to bounce a trip experience off of, I have to go INSIDE, and since there's nothing INSIDE to bounce OFF of, it turns into an affectless bore. Maybe, like drink, I'm getting so USED to pot that I can almost control it (or at least always feel COMFORTABLE with it), so that I'll have to go to hash or mesc to get a greater charge, and I can almost begin to see society's fear of leading to bigger and better drugs when pot smoking is allowed---this coupled with Avi's wondering if smoking led him to his irritability that finally led him to seek psychotherapy. At least, now that I know what happens, I'm not terribly interested in smoking alone, even to music, anymore.


DIARY 1788  3/12/71


It was actually 7:32 when we got there, but Bob was naked, ready to get into the shower, and Art was in underwear, having just gotten out of the shower, and they laughingly berated us for being so LITTLE late. But Adolph and his friend Henry came in just behind us, so we weren't alone, and in fact it looked like we were going to be the only guests until about an hour later, when Millard (was THAT his name?) and Michael came in, and it looked like it might be a nice group. Adolph and Henry and John and I talked a lot about "Deafman Glance," since Adolph and John Wilson were good friends and Adolph had been in a number of Wilson's early pieces, and he assured me that everyone enjoyed working in John Wilson's things. Then we talked about "Lot in Sodom" for awhile, because they'd just seen it, and about "El Topo," since they stayed after midnight to see THAT. Bob and Art rushed around getting drinks and wine to everyone, and finally got settled just about as the first two guests came in, and they sort of sat and looked at our colorful conversation rather like outsiders come to be spectators, which I didn't care for. I suggested we could all adjourn to the Elgin to see the last showing at 10, including "El Topo," but no one liked that thought, since we started eating about 8:30. We all took turns playing with the "Touch-Me" that I'd bought for Bob's birthday, and drinking wine, and we started with a shrimp bisque that was pretty good, and went to shrimp and rice, fairly good, and beef stroganoff, which was not quite so good, and then they served what they called the salad, and it was what seemed like crab meat in cherry jello, and Henry looked at Adolph and put it down, unfinished, on the table, and I didn't finish either. By this time we'd been smoking the pipe around the table, and I was getting fairly high. Dessert was brie and fruit, pears and apples, and we enjoyed passing that around, and it turned out that Henry was Henry K., whose name I'd clipped from the Times to send my book to, and I asked him a few questions, including whether he minded being sent a book on Xerox paper, and he said that no one who was PROFESSIONAL would mind that: they would go SOLELY by the content of the paper, no matter WHAT format it was in. When everyone had smoked and eaten and drunk their full, Bob and Art suggested some of us move into the bedroom, so that they could clear the table, and Adolph and Henry moved into the bedroom and sat on the sofa touching only each other, and John and I sat on the floor across from each other, listening to the radio. Then Bob and Art came in and put on some records, and they started listening to "Pearl," and Janis Joplin was quite good, and another pot pipe went around, and I was floating off when someone suggested that Bob had some little bits of hash left, and we could smoke that too. We all seemed to agree, and I puffed mightily on Bob's water pipe, which seemed to have an enormous boiling sound and burning surface, and my mouth completely filled with smoke, and I proceeded to go way out. Michael was sitting on the sofa, still somewhat an observer, and when he slouched forward, showing a rather flabby belly on his very slim frame, he rather turned me off, but Millard, sitting on the floor between his knees, seemed to have quite a nice face and body, highlighted by a lovely red beard. Bob started dancing to the music, climbing up on the windowsill to take off his shirt, and everyone shouted and applauded and joked about his falling out, and Art sat quietly on the floor saying that it was going to be a bad evening. We listened to more music and passed around the pipe again, and I was tossing myself back and forth on the chair, just waiting for someone to pounce on me, and when I looked down again, John was resting on his back with his head on Millard's lap, and Adolph and Henry were sitting quite detached, clinging to each other as if no one would be allowed by the one to touch the other at ALL. We started laughing uproariously at each other's jokes, and due to the level of the music and the number of people talking at once, I really couldn't follow very well, and I was quite involved with myself, observing that I didn't go out NEARLY as much as I thought I would with the hash, and I still didn't even feel like starting something, though Art seemed to be open to me, sitting next to my chair on the floor. Then Bob started singing along on some song about love that someone was singing, about unrequited love, and there was such a sadness in his voice, wandering around the room singing of unrequited love, that I thought the evening WAS indeed turning out strangely. Then someone told a joke and Bob absolutely broke up over it, laughing and laughing so hard that everyone else in the room began laughing, and then he rocked down on his haunches, still shaking with laughter, and tears began running down his face and Art sat placidly back, saying something like "He thought this was going to happen," and Bob seemed to squeeze tears out past his laughter, saying things like "and they didn't even know you loved them," and other things I couldn't follow, except that I thought he was DEFINITELY showing his enormous sadness about something. Others didn't quite know what to make to it, stopping laughing and the pairs chatted quietly with each other. John started rummaging in Millard's crotch, and Michael didn't seem very happy about it, and then at one point JOHN started laughing about something and ended in a storm of tears, and I just sat slumped in my chair, feeling that I really rather wanted to stay out of it, and when someone started telling jokes about shit, I thought of Dave A. putting his hands on Sue O. on Riverside Drive and making her shit, but I somehow knew I didn't have the connectedness MYSELF, nor did the audience have the framework for ITSELF to enjoy that particular joke, and I thought it would flip me out completely, so I didn't tell it. John re-started playing with Millard, and then Adolph and Henry, who had never really, it seemed, connected with the group, said they had to work tomorrow, and then the two M's seemed to say they had to leave, and I knew John had to work, so I asked him if he was ready to leave, and he said "Yes," and suddenly Bob was perplexedly moving through the departing guests asking "Where's everyone going? Isn't anyone going to stay a while longer?" and everyone rather shamefacedly shook his head "No," gathered up his coat and belongings, and hurriedly left, with Henry saying he was looking forward to my book. John and I left last, waving goodbye to the still puzzled Bob, who obviously wanted some sort of group scene.


DIARY 1794  3/12/71


John had SAID I don't like sex in the evening, and I said I HAD done it and could do it AGAIN, given the chance. During the day, I thought I might be under too much self-consciousness to perform properly, but since I hadn't come since Monday in the show, I seemed to be READY for sex. Undressed while he finished his work, though I was vaguely concerned about my underarm smell, though I'd just USED deodorant, and we talked for about 40 minutes over whiskey sours about rat overpopulation leading to silence (as in New York City, as John observed), the welfare tangle, the Legal Aid Society freeing criminals just to speed trial, and ecology horrors all being IMMEDIATE COMMON knowledge, and I began to SEE what the harmful effects of the information explosion could BE. Then I went down on him, gently, and he said he had a surprise for me, got out the blanket, told me to close my eyes and open my mouth, and he put in his cock covered with something sweet and sugar-grainy and sticky. I asked to open my eyes, and it was a sort of white meringue, and he tried it on me, but I wasn't about to come up with THAT, though he got quite hard with my sucking on him stickily, and then we washed off, I too embarrassed to say that "John, you know that just didn't WORK," and he got out the Baby Magic, and still I wasn't coming up, until I twisted around and started kissing him, and I came up, but he wouldn't touch me then, until I swung around, still hard, and still he avoided me, and I started using pressures on his balls and groin that I wouldn't like, then I slowly came down, and THEN he chose to see how I was, and that put me down even more. I wriggled out of his grasp and prolonged his orgasm as long as I could, and he seemed to enjoy it, but I was getting tired, had the fragments of an earlier headache, felt terrible because I JUST wasn't up, thus he could tell I wasn't enjoying it very much, so I brought him off fairly quickly, and he didn't come very much, though he seemed to enjoy the aftermath, and I started stroking myself, but got nowhere, and gratefully he DIDN'T try to do anything with me, simply got off the floor, folded up the blanket, and we got into bed, scarcely touching. WOE IS ME!!!


DIARY 1808  3/23/71


Got a letter from Elaine this morning, and she says "You did NOT seem to be writing under tension, sexual or creative. There IS no creation without tension." And "Why are there so many words? There is no passion, only words." And "Acid House is not awfully good." She asked me to think about "What does having a novel published MEAN to Bob?" So I lay down on the bed to think it over, and John comes in, saying, as Arno seemed to have been saying before, that Claude mentioned "I laugh too much, and John laughs too little," and that I keep looking at the good side, but I should look at the bad side: what ARE the "worst" things I can think about myself. And I bring up the thoughts rooted up by Elaine's question: I want to make money, I want to be rich and powerful, I want to change the world. And, yes, part of wanting the money and the power is the wanting to be recognized and accepted and loved by everyone in the world. Then John (as he says I do when I get angry) got sarcastic and said "You should write a story about how I would treat you if you were REALLY 'the Way, the Truth, and the Light.'" And it occurred to me that I really didn't so much want to CHANGE the world, as to REMIND the world what it had always forgotten: that each person is really the same person; that EVERY person wants to be loved, and accepted, and respected; that EVERY person wants to say, as Ken did in the novel, "ME! I AM IMPORTANT!" and have the knowledge that this is TRUE. Each person IS as important as every other person: each person IS the Messiah. The only, horrible, opposite to this would be that each person is just an insect, crawling over the surface of the earth, with nothing connecting him to any other person, nor to the earth itself, that they're born in pain and die in fear, and between there's only frustration and dashed hopes, only the ache of wanting and the never-ending need for recognition that never comes. But each person recognizes HIMSELF as important, is it such a HOPELESS step that he recognize each OTHER person as important? John says I've said nothing new: but there IS nothing new to be said: he's merely saying that I'm not skillful enough to say it WELL. Gene Youngblood is a good enough writer for John to read and say: "Yes, that's just what I think, and he says it better than I could say it." But he doesn't do that with mine. Elaine singles out three lines of mine and says it strikes her as a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, and then says that "Portnoy's Complaint" was a TOTAL personal experience for her. John asked about keeping records, and I said I DIDN'T keep records for a long time after Hollywood Hospital, but then remembered the trip to the Islands with Madge, and I did then, and pretty well all the time. And I said that maybe after two years I found the experience fading, and sought to revive it by writing about it, and he says "That's what it sounds like, you're beating a dead horse." That's what Elaine says, "There's no passion." That's what Meredith says: "We don't feel anything for your characters."

"He who knows, does not speak: he who speaks, does not know." BUT if he who knows does not speak, how is the REST of the world, which DOESN'T know, going to LEARN? By experiencing it for themselves, not through reading, but by EXPERIENCING IT. As Elaine says, no one can shit for you, they can only say "Congratulations," as you wipe our ass. But it's all PROCESS, and ANYTHING that's "FROZEN OUT" of the process becomes SHIT. Any photograph doesn't substitute for the place photographed, and it becomes meritorious on terms OTHER than terms for evaluating the PLACE or THING photographed. John thinks I'm fucked up, but I know that ONLY if everyone does NOT have this common base, and I'm WRONG about it, am I then fucked up for believing in it. But if I STOP THE PROCESS, does the photograph or sentence or book or sermon or lesson I get from it do ANYTHING but contribute more shit to the world?

Why publish the book? Because that seems like the logical next step after writing it. But if I go one step back, the question is: Why WRITE the book? And the logical answer seems: because that seems like the logical step after LIVING it. Why is THAT? Do I have to "finish" something by turning it into SHIT? John says I "put the lid" on any real emotion or feelings that I could have had about it. I'm interested only in RECORDING, not in digging into my feelings, he says. If that's how HE reads "Acid House," then Acid House is a failure.

The only way to NEVER create shit is to NEVER "freeze the process," never stop to take a photograph: live, continuously, without stopping to shit out "mementos." "Leave all you have and follow me," even when there's no one around to even FOLLOW! This is the drugged generation: everyone waiting around for someone to lead the way, but no one bothering to LEAD. And I think that's what I'm trying to do! Lead the world away from their shit: but with another piece of shit?? Yes, maybe because that's the only thing they're able to recognize. Nonsense, as Elaine says: "You can recognize these shitless and beautiful people from half a mile away." So no one's recognized ME yet: is that because of me, or is that because of everyone else?

John says "You didn't want to write the book, or else you wouldn't have taken two years to write three chapters." I said, "But mainly, I wanted to LIVE, and that's the important thing." But do I mean that I take time OUT from living to WRITE?? Like Peg C., who sat in her hotel room around the world, writing about what scarcely had the chance to HAPPEN to her? John said my Round the World Notebook was just name dropping: and it seems I'm doing the same thing right here.

BUT I STILL WANT TO SELL THE BOOK. I STILL NEED MONEY TO LIVE ON. Do I get a job, and begin living part-time again?? If I have the spare time, what do I DO with it?? Write!! No, that's too easy. If I could do ANYTHING I WANTED TO, what would it be? I guess I'd want to meet people and have them like me. That's what the book was for---is that what money's for? So that I can buy friends? And love? And acceptance?

Back to the old "desert island" idea: would I be HAPPY living alone on a desert island? No, I'd want someone there. One person? NO, I guess a lot. How would you rate with them? I'd be TOPS. So if the desert island were ACTUALLY the world? I'd be on top of them. What does that mean? They'd all know me, love me, look up to me, help me. Where are you going: help you with what? Help me live. Do you need help in living? I guess so, since I have to write so much: living, merely living, doesn't seem to be enough for me. What more do you want? I guess I want appreciation for my life: people to say, "Hey, wow, that's a great life."

Keep going.

Yeah, I'd many times gotten the idea that some of the stunts I've pulled are all a form of "name dropping": going around the world, going to plays and movies and ballet, quitting work to write a book. THIS is the way I'm DIFFERENT from others: they sit up and take notice of me then.

Why are you writing THIS?

Because I was confused when John left, and I wanted to sort out my thoughts.

Have you done that?

Let's see: the title is Acid House Failure, so I'm maybe trying to do what John said: "Look at the darkest thing you can think of, and investigate that."

"Acid House Failure is the darkest thing you can think of?"

"Well, I spent two years---"

"I thought you said you spent two years LIVING, and only incidentally writing the book."

"But if someone asks you 'What do you do for a living?' you can't very well respond by saying, 'Living.'"

We're getting away from the subject.

I spent valuable time writing the book, and I want to get something out of it. I want a reward for having lived, for having experienced, for having been me. Maybe I just want someone to take care of me.

How do you feel when you say that?

VERY sad. Maybe that's what I REALLY want: someone to take care of me: prepare my meals, and incite me to exercise. and be with me to share my experiences, to pay my way with endless money. That's where my fantasies go when I'm very stoned: I'll FIND Mr. Right, Mr. Rich, Mr. Endlessly Doting, and be set up for the rest of my life.

Would you be happy then?

No, I'd probably worry about losing him, or losing whatever it was in me that attracted him in the first place, or something happening to his fortune: whenever I'm happy, there's always the fear that something will take away the source of happiness. That applies to me, to death. I'M the source of my happiness, and when I'm removed from me by death, I'll be VERY unhappy.

You'll be unhappy after you die?

No, that sounds silly.

Who's actually talking?

It sounds like a therapist, all-knowing, and a stupid child.

Are the parts mixed up?

Yes, no one's all-knowing, no one's completely stupid.

Are you shying away from something?

I'd been talking about death, and I've gotten away from it, and maybe I should get back to it. "Dropping out" of the process is creating shit, and "dropping out" of the process of living is DYING, the creation of the largest turd possible from the body: the two-pound chicken who shits the two-pound egg and disappears. The body is shit at death.

I don't like thinking about that.

The persons are reversing.

Fuck the person, I don't care what the order is, just get into it.


Another fantasy is my book's being found after my death and being published---though I've said that that'll make no difference at ALL to my shit-body.

I just want to LIVE.

What's stopping you?

I need money.

You keep saying that, but it's not true, you've never been without it yet.

But that doesn't mean I'll not be without it in the future.

Fuck the future.

But it's so---unproductive.

You just said the best production would be a good life.

A good PRODUCTIVE life.

Producing shit?

Helping PEOPLE.

Where did that come from?

Maybe I'm not so selfish after all---CHRIST, I SOUND SELF-CENTERED! Yes, this is shit---I'm just writing and arranging my own shit.

Well, then---stop!


DIARY 1820    3/29/71


I sit mooning on the Promenade, depressed, not feeling like reading, not feeling like moving. It occurs to me that this is the state advocated by Krishnamurti and other teachers of meditation: emptying out the mind completely: observing exactly "what is" without stopping to THINK about it. And this is just what I was doing: but it felt completely affectless, as if I had sunk to the bottom of the well of the mind, where there was no oxygen left to breathe or light left with which to see, and I lay there, stagnating, my eye merely mirroring what went past it, without thought or evaluation. Is this the "perfect" state to which the meditator attains, or is it the opposite: the apathy of the sleeping-awake? I feel so PHYSICALLY listless, obviously so affected by the mind, and this could hardly be the alert state of "awareness" encouraged by the meditators. But what makes the difference? Where's the "set" that changes the "nothingness" of anomie into the "nothingness" of complete awareness? Far from being a state of cosmic consciousness, where I seem to be vibrantly awake, I seem to be in a slough of despondency, hardly responding though technically awake. But is it possible that the two states ARE closely related, as the state of genius is supposedly related to madness? But what if these are closed circles, and the "extremes" aren't situated at the ends of infinite lines, but are simply at the diametrically opposite point on the CIRCLE from the so-called position of "normal," and you can get to the other side by going in EITHER direction? IS the much-touted sense of cosmic consciousness this bland blankness of ennui? At this point I almost LOOK FORWARD to the fears and anxieties that will beset me on the trip, as welcome relief from these doldrums. As Wilde said, "That ennui, that terrible taedium vitae, that comes on those to whom life denies nothing." I can begin to SEE why the rich shoot elephants, climb mountains, take up sky diving, or even Russian roulette, to get SOME frisson of excitement into their stale lives. So I look, equally dispassionately, on myself, and see the looking, and the nodding, and the irresistible BOREDOM that comes from NOTHING TO DO IN LIFE!


DIARY 1822              3/29/71


He's said earlier that he didn't think I was holding to my responsibility to a friend when I ACCEPTED Norma's invitation, then turned it down because the orgy announcement came through. He admitted that if I'd TOLD her that I'd only tentatively accept, because I EXPECTED the orgy to be that day, he'd think it was OK, but I didn't press the point that since the EFFECT was the same, it didn't matter exactly HOW it came about. I kept insisting he was considering NORMA'S feeling before he'd consider his OWN, but he only got angry, saying I didn't understand what he was saying, and only fell back on trying to make excuses for what I did and defending myself (though I only now think that I only DEFEND myself what I'm being ATTACKED!). Then on the drive up the West Side Highway, I said "I feel you're still angry with me," and he said he was, that he really thought I was being irresponsible to a friend, and I repeated that he WASN'T looking at his OWN feelings. He got angry, and finally I asked him "This morning, before all this happened, what did you want to do?" and he admitted he'd been planning on going to the orgy, but when he talked to Norma, he realized what we'd done to her, and I said but what do YOU want to do, and he exploded to his loudest and said, "I don't care if we go to Norma's, I don't care if we go to the orgy, I just don't CARE." I started out in a quiet tone, but then thought I sounded like I was trying to make HIM feel guilty for shouting, so I shouted back, "Maybe I should wait until you stop the car, but I THINK THAT'S BULLSHIT." "Oh, go fuck yourself," John shouted back, which obviously meant that the conversation wasn't going anywhere. "I'll drop you at the orgy; I'm not going," were his last words for a long while. I immediately thought to apologize to him, to ask him to reconsider, to come to the orgy, even if it meant that I not go, but I thought better of it: anytime I tell him to do something, he usually does the opposite, so I decided silence was the best tack. Sure enough, driving up 84th, he said he'd changed his mind and would come to the orgy. He parked the car in silence, after telling me the address of the Graham apartment, and we fell in with Meinhart.


DIARY 1826    3/29/71


When we were lying in bed, I asked if he was still annoyed, and he said that he'd put some things into place in his own mind, and I decided to see how my feelings were working, and I checked with him on the "If I TOLD you to come to the orgy, you wouldn't have," and he verified that, saying "I wouldn't have been able to think it through for myself, and I probably wouldn't have changed my mind." I said I felt awkward about asking him a series of questions, but he said he didn't mind it at all: I said I thought it was as if I were probing, and he said he didn't get that idea, and I remarked that maybe I was confusing it with his DISLIKE of my probing for his feelings for a play or movie we'd just seen, and he didn't comment on that, and I dropped it, fearing another flare-up. Then we talked about his anger, and I told him that that was one reason why Joe Easter and I had drifted apart: we REALIZED we thought of things differently, but we weren't CONCERNED about them, and tended to laugh them off, and that seemed to separate us: we each seemed to be looking DOWN on the other, and finally found that we were looking ACROSS at each other on either side of a rapidly widening gap, until there was hardly any contact between us. At least, I said, there was the anger in the car, that I could appreciate as an OFFERING of the INTENSITY of John's feelings about it, and John seemed to think that was a good idea too, and verified the benefit of my NOT lapsing into a guilt-inducing meekness after he shouted, but shouting BACK was a good thing. "Gee, I'm getting to know you pretty well," I said, when he said I'd successfully guessed what he was angry about when I mentioned it the first time in the car, and he complimented me on my feeling for his feelings, too, and that brought the evening to an uplifting finale that paved the way for the dream. I fell asleep on my stomach, thinking vaguely about the trip, but realized that I was looking FORWARD to what I'd see when we got OFF the plane, and thought that might be a good way of surviving the flight, looking FORWARD to what it PRODUCES, and simply SEEING my fear, not denying it, and letting time take its toll in permitting me to sleep on the flight.


DIARY 1831    4/6/71


The same goddam place. The same goddam place. I keep TELLING myself I should do all sorts of things, and I don't do them. I sit around the house, nibbling on the sides of my fingernails, thinking of the things I COULD be doing or SHOULD be doing, and do nothing, getting myself more and more wrapped up WITHIN myself.

Imagine how horrible it could be if I DIDN'T have the pressure of my own security to keep me going. At least THAT pushes me into SOME sort of thought about the future. Maybe THAT'S why Gene had to be completely up against the wall, to show that he could operate at the END of thought about the future, because the future would be NOW. But that's actually making it easy, since IF the future is now, it's EASY to act, but acting FOR the future WHILE the future is STILL the future is even more difficult, since it's always easy to put if off "till tomorrow," since even tomorrow the future will still be in the future.

Imagine the totally rich, sunning himself in his Caribbean villa, snorkeling among the beauties of the underwater, eating meals cooked by his maid, seeing friends who flock around him because of his wealth. But isn't that the picture of UTTER despair [Arnie gave ANOTHER Oscar Wilde quote, via "Ryan's Daughter," of "My dear, the only thing worse than wishing something would come true is HAVING something come true." of utter pointlessness?] I at least have the idea that I want to LIVE because I want to DO something, while the person who doesn't even want to DO anything has NO reason to live.

I have this tendency to NOT do anything when I have the TIME to do it, and WANT to do something when something else comes up, and I'm busy. THEN'S when I want to write, or catch up with correspondence. How terribly SICK that all is.

And that's me, right now, where I'm at. It's like a person who's learned how to do himself, and he constantly remains in a position of self-sucking, languidly lapping away at his own genitals, while obviously too engrossed in himself to bother about anyone else. I think about what John said, that I should be thinking about SERVING someone, and I remember the feeling of pleasure I had this morning when I helped out the French tourists on the corner, directing them to Lincoln Center, and feeling the warmth of their smiles and their thanks.

But the ordinary channels of "helping people" are so BORING: such as reading to the blind, or talking to the sick, or buying groceries for the disabled. I want something, in fantasy, incredibly interesting and ever-changing. But if the people are ever-changing, so would the WORK be ever-changing. Here I seem again to be lapsing into the two-person talking form of writing. I'm so involuted that I have to create personae to have conversations with.

I don't feel like reading, since that epitomizes the idea of DOING without RESULT. So WHAT if a certain number of pages are read? So WHAT if a certain number of pages are written? But that so quickly goes into so WHAT if my life is led! It's led for MY pleasure!

That takes me back to urinating this morning, when I felt myself coming down from an erection, and pictured elaborate metaphors for dams being lowered, conduits being reshuffled, and huge embankments revolving into position as my cock-insides changed from orgasmic to urinary status, and I was amused, thinking I could put it into writing, and even more amused to think that I could AMUSE MYSELF so wittily, and why couldn't I TRULY live by using ALL my talents to permit myself to SEE myself living in a much FULLER, more COLORFUL, more STRIKINGLY HAPPY way? But it's difficult.

So again I sit in the living room, thinking of washing the dishes, and maybe eating lunch, and maybe reading, knowing John'll be coming in at four, not wanting to get to the diary, but knowing that it's falling behind, and I'll have to get to it eventually, thinking of the letters I have to write, and I get into action by saying to myself, "I'll do a 'Where Am I now?' and that'll get me started," and to THAT extent, it's WORKED.


DIARY 1843  4/9/71


He says that I don't love him, and I say that I do, but that my "habit" is not to spend ALL my time with someone: that if we were separated for two or three days, THEN I would want to see him, but I don't feel a terrible pressure to be with him in the evening if we'd just been together that morning. He says he always feels he has to entertain me, and if he doesn't prepare dinner for me, or if we're not going somewhere, I won't want to see him, I only see him when there's something to DO. I say I feel the same way about him: that when we just sit around listening to music, I get the feeling he'd rather be out at a bar cruising somewhere. He insists that he's gotten to a level of relationship with me that he wants to be with me all the time, and it's obvious I'm not there yet. I say that that has nothing to do with what I feel about him, yet my voice is lifeless and flat, and he says that there's no emotion there, and that I should check with someone else, and see if THEY agree I'm acting like I love him. I can't think of anything to say, and I'm very fatigued, so I get up and shut off the light, saying "I'm tired, I'm going to bed." Crawl into bed and he gets in alongside, leaving the light on, and we talk on for what seems to be hours. I can't really think of anything to say that makes any sense, and I have a sense of being stoned, because as soon as I think of something to say, I think either I'm trying to hurt him, or I'm saying something about HIM that I'm also saying about ME, or I'm saying something about ME that I'm also accusing HIM of doing. He keeps saying I'm not displaying any emotion, and for a few moments I literally contemplate slapping him in the face to get a jolt out of him, but I just sigh deeply and say "What do you want me to DO, John?" since I can't think of any way out of this hideous morass. He says that I don't FEEL, only talk about what I think about, and I accuse him of doing the very same thing, and then I start running my hands through my hair, trying to think of what to say, and I debate telling him I don't love him, just to make him angry, and I say to him that I'm trying to think of ways to hurt him because he'd hurt me. He went back to when I said "Having you here to eat is an inconvenience, having you in my life at all is an inconvenience, getting a new bed because you wanted one is an inconvenience," and he said that hurt HIM, and I said I was hurt when he said I only went to HIM when I wanted a convenience, and that had hurt ME, and I wanted to get back at him. Then I insisted that he was only interested in what he WANTED ME TO BE, that he wasn't interested in me. "In fact," I said, botching it up horribly, since I hadn't really known where the thought was going, "the things I'm admitting to, for you, are exactly the kinds of things that YOU were so worried about admitting to ME, for fear I couldn't love you when I heard such awful things." I was trying to say that at least I was facing up to the fact that I was being selfish and one-sided when I wanted him to ask me to be with him, and never wanted me to ask HIM the same thing, but at least that was a fact, that was me, and he seemed to be beating me for ADMITTING TO BEING WHAT I WAS. He didn't say anything to that, and we lay for a long time in silence, and I again wanted to hurt him, debated about bursting into tears, dismissing that as melodramatic, thinking of TELLING him I had those thoughts, then just wanted him to SHUT OFF THE LIGHT and get to sleep, with the argument unresolved, and hope to torment HIM that way. He turned the lights off, but that softened me, and I just DIDN'T want to go to sleep in anger, so when he curled up next to me, I talked for a bit, then embraced him, saying I really didn't know what to do, that we were getting into areas I didn't know anything about, that I wasn't sure about anything, except that "I should love you for being you, not for being who I would want you to be, and you should love me for being me, and not for being who you might want ME to be." He didn't respond to that, but the sex, when it started, was quite sweet, even though I had to whack away at myself, feeling terribly self-conscious, after he came so easily and so remarkably by just rubbing himself on my stomach. At last, "John, are you sleeping?" "Almost." "I love you," and he sighed, I think, smiling, and we both went quickly to sleep.