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DIARY 4240

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23. Up and find that Fran's awake already, and I clean up and exercise and have some coffee and some omelet with Fran while John cooks and has nothing, and then Fran INSISTS on starting the dishes until John stands around with his sweater on, ready to get onto the bicycles for their ride out to the Brooklyn Museum, and so I finish them, type two pages, and clear up some other stuff before leaving at 11:30 to meet them at noon at the JAMMED museum, and some of the pieces are pleasant, but the crowd makes the whole thing only barely worthwhile, and I buy a paperback of the exhibit, which, if I read at my leisure, will probably give me more than the skimpy placards and crushed view-plates of the exhibit itself. But SOME of the pieces incised into plaster are BEAUTIFUL, with marvelously graceful feet, and one greenish piece of alabaster with original color sticking is impressive, and there are some marvelous pieces in private collections in New York City! The other-worldly skull of Meritaten probably takes the cake---the robed figure was too fragmented for me to enjoy it. Then look at the West Indian parade costumes---mark it down for next Labor Day!---and then out to look for a restaurant, but the Dahomey and the Chinese have all changed into greasy spoons, so John buys cheese and lunch meat and beer and sardines and rolls and we eat in the balmy but chilly park, then get over to give it all another look, John buys a mask that I carry home with me on the subway, and they're back almost at once, taking naps while I go through Volume II of the Diary, separating into piles, and then have a drink and get out to meet Joy at the airport at 8, laughing about her tinned cake that had to be unwrapped to search for a bomb, I manage to get through the airport without TOO much of a twinge of apprehension about MY upcoming flight, and we're south to Lundy's, where the blacks rush OUT to get you to their table, and the $5 fish dinner is GREAT with sole for Joy and me, scallops that I liked the TEXTURE of (though the taste was still waxy and dead), and Fran had a cold lobster for $6, and the Cold Duck was $6, so it was about $8 apiece, not bad at all. Home VERY tired and I simply leave them and crawl toward bed, John joining me soon, too.


DIARY 4241

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24. Up at 8 and over to find them again all ready, and we again have omelets, John being nutty enough to cook eggs in a pot, and they tasted like potted eggs. Then we were out about 10 to the Frick, which I bought a great book from, and I keep forgetting they have THREE Vermeers, probably more than anyone except the Met and the Mauritshius. Then uptown in the cloudy weather on the West Side Highway to the Audubon Terrace, and the Hispanic Society is painted that SAME bricky red-purple color I remember so sadly from before. Get the Acoustiguide that spends a lot of time on the sunny Sorollas that Hamp missed, and then out to look at jet, lusterware, the awful Goya, Maja standing, another Paraja, modestly acknowledged in the guidebook to be the poorer of the two: the other the Met just paid $5 million for, and desks and tombs and tiles and mosaics and Roman remains. Then out to look for ANOTHER restaurant, and there's nothing, so we're into a deli where I try hamstrami (for the last time---it's just a peppery form of singularly tasteless ham) and Champale (I thought it had tasted good before, out of the can it was hideous) and then we're down to the Heye Indian exhibit, and it's still mind-boggling, as I remembered it to be: MUCH too much stuff packed much too tightly, and most of the GOOD things, sadly, had been packed off to the Met for "The Best of the Indian Museum" showing. Doesn't say much for what's left. Bought a GOOD Peru stone-book, for $3, and another guidebook, and hated the kids running around and the FATHER who had to touch everything. Out at 3 in terminal fatigue, and this time I'M tired enough to throw off my clothes and fall into bed from 4 to 6, when John wakes me, and I'd smoked before sleeping and was vaguely stoned through the meal, feeling more and more that there was nothing to SAY to the Bowells, and we had the turkey Florentine and Joy's cake and wine, and it was all good and I got stuffed again (though not NEARLY as much as Thanksgiving, which was GROANING full), and then we went off to the Chinese opera (see next page) better than I'd dreamed, picking up the Times on the way back to the thankfully-ticketless car, home, and FLOP into bed.


DIARY 4243

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25. Wake at 7:30 and get over at the stroke of 8, at which same stroke they open the door wide for our entrance. John cooks breakfast again for the two of us, sausage mildly spiced, and we struggle through the last conversation and then it's time for them to catch the subway to the bus, and I very awkwardly half-embrace Fran on the bicep and around the waist, and he doesn't know how to respond (and I wouldn't either) and Joy's kiss is strained too, but they're gone and I get back to sorting through the diary volumes. Gently inquire during lunch if John thought they were a bit of a strain, but he didn't. I work through the diary volumes III, IV, and V all day, listening to rock music when WNCN is tied up on church on Sunday morning, and John goes out to Kei's to pick up the wall hanging that she's finished since he requested it LAST Sunday, and then Cyndy calls to say she has her stamp collection in town, and she arrives and HER kiss is awkward, and she tells me about Arica and her broken marriage and her possessions scattered all over the place and the tiny apartment that's supposed to sleep 9 people and her not knowing WHAT she's going to be doing after her three-week session. I can't resist a peek at her collection, and HER collection is fairly typical, but HIS might be something else, in an album from 1915, but the CONDITION is poor: heavily cancelled, badly damaged, HEAVILY hinged, maybe to the point where EVERYTHING would have to be soaked. Look up some and the average price for the 1400 stamps seems to be about 10¢, some up to 25¢, some few 80¢, but it SEEMS I should catalog the whole thing before offering her a price that's either too low or too high. Clean off after volume IV to have dinner, and then get back to it, after watching "Calcutta" from 5 to 6:30, and John's off again for the evening, and I continue sorting, do the dishes, he's in, to bed, and I stay up, smoke, take a popper, and get VERY close to a GOOD orgasm, but then it goes away and I have to STRUGGLE toward a mediocre one, which is a great disappointment, but I'm tired and frustrated after their visit, anticipating the trip, and so I fall into bed and get thoughtlessly to sleep.


DIARY 4244

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26. Get to work about 10 after exercising, but sign in again at 9. Ron's out all day. Chat with Dick Sime. Dror talks and talks. Xerox stuff for Mom and send it to her. Type last page of "Whaddya KNOW?" Talk to Madeline. Kids' books made lots of money. Talk to Donnell Library short-dark-haired librarian about kids' travel books, she says "They're just JUNK now, but they could be great." Finish proofreading at 1. Music indexing during lunch. At 4:40, Tom Aloisi comes in: "You can work through till Friday, then we don't have enough money to pay you." "But I'm going to Russia on Thursday." "So I guess your last day will be Wednesday." So I guess! Even though I suspected it, it STILL comes as rather a shock when it actually happens. And it rather takes the steam out of doing any more on the Classroom Activities. Chat with a few about my last day, the day after tomorrow, and leave at 5:30. Took a note during the day about an idea that occurred to me on the subway (see next page) (no, I've got to start an EASIER method: why look UP, then to INDEX---see Diary 4245). Home and tell John about my leaving work, and sort of sigh through dinner of re-warmed turkey. Dishes, and then read the Voice, which I've managed to miss so far this week, and then John wanted me to re-read his paper, and I got through it in about two hours, taking down lots of notes that I went over with him in the morning, since he was too exhausted tonight to look at them. Then went through the New York Times from yesterday, finding the ad he circled for me and one right below it, which I ALSO sent out the next morning. Then smoke about 11:30 and get to bed fairly early, not even having the energy to masturbate, thinking that I'll have to catch up on sleep NOW because I might not sleep too well Wednesday night before the flight, will certainly not sleep ANY on Thursday night, even though it'll be 7 or 8 (depending on who's counting) hours shorter than normal, with the time zones), and I'll be going strongly through the following week. Lay there thinking about the sores in various places (see Diary 4246), and thankfully have no trouble falling asleep with the earplugs jammed in.


DIARY 4247

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27. In at 10:30, since I'm going over John's notes and sending out two job ads, but sign in at 9:30. Talk to Madeline, who has a GOOD idea on "Acid House," magazine excerpts! Call Alice, Ginny Croft, Marge Dumond, David Delete, Sarah Parker, Syva Meyers, and Dror to say that tomorrow is my last day. Get my purple pen back from Arlene Atkinson on the 8th floor. Try to xerox some things, and the personnel department has moved OFF the 8th floor and other people are in the office, and it's VERY strange to plug in the xerox machine and then get a "Call Key Operator" button on a machine that's in someone else's office. Manage to get 8-10 resumes through before it fails, too. Work till 4:30 because Henry Messer called, so I go down, stopping at Mattachine to find that Don's changed the TOP lock, making my keys totally useless, and down to Henry's at 5, but he's not there yet. Talk to Carl until a friend of his comes in, glance through the horridly overpriced "The Grand Tour," and Henry's in at 5:45, and he says he has NO interest in Mattachine anymore, starts drinking, talks highly of Dr. Howard Brown, whose dinner I'm missing by going away on Thursday, and at 6:30 he's VERY down and maudlin, and, just to test my OWN reactions, ask if he'll miss it if it goes, and he says VERY quietly and solemnly, almost tearfully, "Very much, VERY much." I can't think of anything to say, but he's certainly made ME depressed, too, so I get out and come home to warm up my dinner that John left for me, and get to five diary pages after dishes, and then it's fairly late, so I'm over again to smoke, again not feeling like coming, and John's out later so I get to bed first for the first time in ages, but I put in the earplugs after having smoked and only barely hear him coming in, and I'm very conscious that this is the next to the last night's sleep before the trip, but it really hasn't gotten THROUGH to me yet, even though I've been talking about it and studying for it for a week. The fear seems effectively to banish ANY sort of constructive anticipation of the trip, except for the NEGATIVE one of "I'd really rather stay around HERE than go to Russia," that obvious feeling, disgusting even to WRITE about, that will VANISH when I get there.


DIARY 4248

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28. In at 9:30 fairly legitimately, and I seem to be waking up earlier and earlier, about 6:30 now, lying there waiting for John to wake at 7:15, wondering if we'll have sex, cuddling, being disappointed, and we're up at 7:30, and I exercise and shave as usual. Madeline's out, so Minda's typing, but she's slow and doesn't know quite what to do. Ron wins last Scrabble game (having brought in HIS set for future playing) 425-376, an 800 game, mainly because MY first word was TOPHATS (turning out illegal) and HIS was MESQUITE, for which he needed my T, so he wasn't inclined to challenge. Write status report, call Syva again and we chat, exchange addresses, clean out desk, continuing from yesterday, when I took down the posters and took OTHER things home in my handy briefcase, and talk to Arnie, who gives me lots MORE information at the last minute, neatly contradicting Milly Troop at almost every turn, and about THEN I get some excitement about the trip: I guess I feel that I'm ACTUALLY leaving, ACTUALLY finishing my last day at work! Talk to Bernie and Dick and Minda, and I end up xeroxing some of the final classroom activities myself, and she doesn't even FINISH, so I leave the rest of the stuff for Ron to put away tomorrow. Leave at 5:30, saying goodbye to Tom, who says I should call when I get back from the trip, just to see what's going on. I sure will! Work 22 hours my LAST week, going above $150 for unemployment purposes, though it surely isn't necessary. Bernie's the ONLY temp LEFT! Home to a leftover dinner, fairly maudlin, and John's had a fever during the day and isn't feeling well, either. The double promised for the Heights Cinema hasn't panned out, so I have the time to get to Volume VI of the Diary, getting it all apart by 10, which is the last MAJOR thing I had to do before I left, and feel good about it, showering and cleaning my teeth, hoping to get John to smoke with me, but he doesn't, and I smoke at 11:15 and sit staring at the wall, deciding I should come just to relieve the pressures, and get into one of the STRANGER orgasms, again trying for a touchless one, but hitting only 40, though even THAT'S quite a spasm! (see Diary 4249)


DIARY 4251

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29. Typed most of the beginning of today on Diary 4250, and never got a chance to finish the last page that I wanted to, since when I finished vacuuming and dusting and shaving and showering, it was only 20 minutes to my scheduled leaving time of 3:45, and as I threw more and more things into my suitcase, it became later and later, until finally I went over to say final goodbyes to John at 4, warm in the cashmere overcoat with bulging pockets and even more bulging shoulder bag and 28 pound suitcase (having thought of ties at the last minute, NOT having put them on my list, which was just about complete otherwise), and at 4:05 I leave, "only" 20 minutes late, as I note in the back of "Cities of the Plain," which I take most of these notes from. On platform of the A-train at 4:10, reading, and an E comes, than an A to Rockaway, then another E, and I get on the A to Lefferts Boulevard at 4:23! The subway DOES take, despite long waits at various stations, 30 minutes exactly, so I get to the crowded stairway at 4:53, down signed stairs (NICE) to Q10 stop, and on the bus, getting the last seat, at 5:03, with NO sign for the 354 fare (NOT nice). Ride through quiet streets that are dark and narrow, with the LAST bit of the sunset leaving about 5:10, which will be even worse in Moscow and Leningrad, and get to the airport at 5:23. NO sign of anything around, and I wait in the check-in desk and Mom runs up, screaming, that I'm late, and I check in and go back to get Mom something to eat at 5:45, and at 6:05 we're back to lounge at gate 11, and visas FINALLY arrive at 6:45, when we were supposed to LEAVE. Onto CROWDED plane, smoking section sadly, BUT right front window, as I'd ASKED! On at 7, waiting, announcement of 6 hours, 40 minutes to OSLO, and we're off at 7:20, over a CLEAR, BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL city. But Mom is just IMPOSSIBLE (see DIARY 4252) and the engine drops off AGAIN (see DIARY 4253) and we're BACK in New York at 3AM! Wait until 3 to find that the plane's not taking off until 11:30, and that's the FINAL cap on my cancellation, so I get a cab to the subway with two OTHER cancellers, get to the subway about 3:30, and get HOME at 4:10, waking John to say hello, and fall EXHAUSTED into bed, having to smoke to keep my mind from WHIRLING.


DIARY 4254

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30. Finish watching "Jeremy" about 12:30AM, have an AWFUL scene with Mom (see DIARY 4255) during which I say EVERYTHING wrong, and get home to leave everything out and go to bed about 4:30, emotionally and physically exhausted. Hear John get up at 8, and I lay till about 11:30, when he's about to go out and MOM calls, thankfully, to say that only about three people have actually cancelled out, I would make 4, and WHY did I do it? So I tell her that John and I are lovers and might both have hepatitis. Call Arnie just for something to do, and HE says differently (see DIARY 4256). Feeling strangely aborted because my whole system was geared for going to Russia, and I'm sort of asking myself what I'm going to DO here now that I AM here. Get into my suitcase ONLY to get out the brownies that John cooked on Wednesday for my trip, and have about three of them while sitting in my bedroom finishing reading "Cities of the Plain," hoping to get THROUGH with it with all my spare time now, so that it will STOP affecting my writing style. It's so cold that I have to get out the heater and put in on my legs, after putting a sweater on. John comes back about 4 and we talk about my reasons for leaving, and we get into a LONG discussion about myself and my mother, which I have to put on yet ANOTHER page (see DIARY 4257). I'm still quite tired from staying up so late, stomach churning because I haven't had anything to eat, but I simply don't feel like doing anything in the world, so I continue reading until it's time for dinner, and then I read the entire Village Voice to see what there is to DO now that I'm back, and I start reading "The Captive," and John's out to some sort of performance, and I'm so tired I decide I have to go to bed early to keep catching up on sleep, so I smoke and crawl into bed at about 10:30, even before John gets in, and I don't hear him come in, and I have no dreams about ANYTHING, thank goodness, but I have to use his toothbrush because I haven't unpacked my suitcase yet, and there's beginning to be a pile of things that I feel I have to do, and it will eventually drive me into SOME kind of activity to pull me out of my vitiating, enervating lethargy.


DIARY 4258

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1. Wake and exercise and no longer feel like reading today, so I get out Cyndy's various albums and my old catalog and go through to get an idea how much I should pay for the collection. Some very few stamps in her father's album are worth, so the catalog says, over $20, but so many of them are on VERY heavy hinges that will have to be soaked off, possibly leaving holes, and so many are missing perforations or are too heavily cancelled that I figure I just can't figure on ANYTHING being worth very much. So I catalog her father's entire album, than take 1/6 of that price, coming up with about $27, and then others, which have inferior selections of stamps, I take 1/8 off, which I'm sure is better than a dealer would do (Bill even quoted me 10% of catalog, and since many STAMP OFFERS are even down to 8% of catalog, a DEALER'S offer would have to be lower, so I feel that 1/8 is more than fair. Estimate roughest on the number of stamps in the Brooks Brothers box, after saying that the Coronation issue should be counted at face value, and come up with a suspiciously round figure of $50, which, on the whole, seems too low. So I decide that "the difference" from my catalog to a new one would be 30%, and come up with a price of $65, which I will then pro-rate to Cyndy so SHE can see where my price came from. Finish in time for dinner, not taking as long as I'd feared, and there ARE some nice things in the collection that I'd like to have. I hope the price is OK with her. Dinner and get ready for the orgy, but John and I have had words continuing the conversation through the day, and we're not feeling like talking too much to each other. Pick up Arnie and his friend at his place, and he chatters all the way there, and we smoke in the car, two pipefuls and then I spill the rest putting it back into the glove compartment, so the front of the car is now "hot." In and it's a fairly awful crew (see Diary 4259), John Pascarella seems out of it, too, and I start with Charlie Ciatto, who invites me home to grass and poppers and a fireplace just three blocks away, and it's really around the block, so I tell John I'm leaving about 9:45, go there till about 1:30, then make the cuddly fellow VERY unhappy that I'm not staying the night, and leave.


DIARY 4260

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2. Up only reluctantly when John gets up at 8, and when I got back home last night I didn't have any money, so I got home, got a dollar, went BACK out, quite stoned, to get the Times and a candy bar, and came back to gorge myself on a brownie and milk and cereal, and then went to bed---so the Times is here this morning. Read the Times, then over to watch Camera Three on Hans Richter, and then start looking through to see what stamps I want to order from Chassy from the ad in the stamp section. Finally decide that there's not enough EMPTY spaces filled, that I'm just replacing old ones with mint when I really want to FILL the spaces, so I get out his new price lists and proceed to fill the spaces, even to the point of making up a NEW want-list to dispose of the old one which has been hanging around since at LEAST 1970. So now I'll wait to see how many come in from my order (which I mailed on Tuesday, Dec. 4) and then ask for Bill to try to fill the last couple dozen spaces of recent commemoratives and air-mails from HIS supply. Then I feel I have to FORCE myself to see what is in town to SEE that I can now SEE since I don't have to keep working all the time, and today's the last of the "Extraordinary Realities" at the Whitney, so I HAVE to go off to that, and when I'm dressing lousily for it, I'm reminded that the National Gay Task Force party is this evening, but John wants to see one of Art Bauman's new works for Seven Women, so he's NOT going. I decide they'll both come at one, so I REchange for the gay party, and leave about 2:15, still reading "The Captive" and itching to FINISH the Proust monstrosity, and get down to the Whitney about 3 (see Diary 4261) and leave at 5:15 and get to the 80 Fifth Avenue offices of NGTF (see Diary 4262) that is a crowded stranger-filled blast, and I leave at 8 to get back to warm up food and eat dinner, and John comes in about 9, we chat about our respective evenings, and he's over to watch TV and I'm reading, and we finish out the evening separately, and I don't even have to smoke to get into bed and fall asleep after showering, and it seems that my exercising has been perking up my physical feelings for the past week.


DIARY 4263

MONDAY, DECEMBER 3. Up just a few minutes after John, since it feels so good to be able to laze in bed with no set activities ahead. Exercise for the first time on level three, feeling that it's about time to start getting more BULK above the thorax and less bulk below, and I make the transition without too much difficulty since the second level had become so easy for me. Then work more on figuring which stamps that I want to order, and get into some fairly drastic shifting around in order to actually FINISH off the blank spaces, ordering TWO airmails so I can see the difference in order to HONESTLY cover up C18, which is now priced beyond my range, and I guess the $5 regular issue will NEVER be obtained in mint unless I can get it from Bill for under $10, but THAT will be the LAST of the major mint items before 1929 in the regular issue that I WON'T have---except, ironically, for some of the NEW issues, and that reminds me that I should COPY issue numbers from Sergio's catalog! Then sit for the rest of the day and finish reading "The Captive" and start on the NEXT TO LAST volume of Proust. John goes out to work at 9:30, and I take the opportunity to have breakfast then, and have lunch late, about 1:30, and continue reading through the day. He's back about 5, and we read together and have dinner and I wash dishes and we get out to Suzushi Hanayagi at Carnegie Recital Hall (see Diary 4264) at 8, and I continue reading and we just don't have much to SAY to each other. The program is extremely static, and we're out to get right back into the car and right back home, where I put on the very end of "Nana" and get the hint that it's going to get very much racier for the next evenings. John's getting to bed earlier and earlier, and there just doesn't ever seem to be any chance to have sex anymore, and he seems totally uninterested in it, so I guess the relationship HAS entered a new phase, one that I just have to get used to. They're tearing out the insides of the baths over at the Pierrepont even into the NIGHT, and they stop just about 11:30, when I get out of the shower, thankfully, since the noise is channeled RIGHT UP to the windows in the back and is VERY loud.


DIARY 4265

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4. John's been VERY anxious about the troubles I'll have signing up for unemployment, getting VERY annoyed with me last night when I said I had no IDEA what would happen with TemPositions, and we have a long talk at lunch about "Live and Let Live" (see Diary 4266) that I think is a turning point. At least, he'll NEVER hear the END of that PHRASE. I fill out the order form for Chassy stamps, read a bit, and then get out at 11 to the unemployment office at 105 Lawrence Street, after calling and checking on the map for their location. Arrive at 11:09, reading "The Sweet Cheat Gone," stand on a long line, get the application form at 11:25, hand it in at 11:30, sit and read and look at a lot of NICE crotches, forgot that that was one of the side benefits of unemployment lines, but there's also a lot of crying babies and Spanish chatter, too, and at 12 get to a desk, happy that EVERYONE doesn't leave for lunch at once, and I'm out at 12:10, having been told that EVERYONE on Hicks Street is unemployed, that I MUST bring in my Social Security card next time, and that I mail a card in on Sunday and don't do anything ELSE until December 17. How EASY. Home at 12:20 and John's just eating, and we have the conversation mentioned before, and then he bicycles to the Brooklyn Museum to buy Christmas gifts and I continue to read until I get tired, and then I have to get to the diary to start catching up, now things have cooled down a bit, but I can only get through seven pages before I don't feel like going any further, feeling awkward with the Proust-inspired long-windedness, and I really MUST finish to get out of the WRITING-STYLE influence. Shower and out at 6 to the Pakistan Dances (see Diary 4267), getting a student ticket for $3 AGAIN, and John's free with Debbie, and we're out at 9:15 to walk her to the station and walk across to the India House East for a fairly lousy dinner for $14.70, and then subway slowly home at 11:45, in time to watch the crux of "The Swimmer," actually a rather fetching movie of his entire LIFE recaptured by swimming "the river of pools" to get "back home" which turns out to be deserted, and one assumes he's lost his mind. Tired to bed at 1:30.


DIARY 4268

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5. Again John's out of bed at 7:45 and I laze until 9:30, giving myself 8 hours in bed. Determined to get further along with the Proust, and I finish "Sweet Cheat Gone" about noon. John's going into work again about 10, and I get into the last volume "The Past Recaptured" right away, finding that the LONGEST paragraph, over 10 pages, occurs in the "Captive." Lunch of tuna and finish with a muffin because I'm still hungry, and then get back to reading in the living room until the pounding of little feet upstairs forces me into the back apartment, which is chilly since the heat hasn't been on all this 60°+ day, and noisy because of the earth-shaking crashes from the Pierrepont Hotel, which continue AGAIN tonight until 11:30PM! Then about page 129 it starts getting incredible, and it turns out that the incident with the madeleine was a full-fledged Visionary Experience, which I hadn't in the LEAST suspected at the start, and he GETS to the proper point and then sadly veers away from it, and the book would have been a masterpiece---as even HE sort of admits---if he'd just done the TINY bit of marvelous worth from pages 129-155. The most incredible coincidence is that I'm reading about his opinions about the worth of art and egotism and writing at JUST the time that John and I are talking about the VERY same things. Even have to delay and take notes in the back of the book (see Diary 4269), which means I don't finish by dinner, where we talk about his ideas, nor by "Nana" time on TV, where I'm introduced to the old French expression "Piss off!" from 9:30 to 10:15---actually 9:40 to 10:10, and then John says goodnight and I go over to finish the book and then read through the entire Village Voice, finding two ads that look good, and get over at 11:20 to find John asleep. Shower and smoke, and can't resist the impulse to come, and actually succeed in reaching a new level of feeling (see Diary 4270), though the actual number of spasms only got up to 36. Into bed at 12:30, feeling quite exhausted, and feel strung out and tired and weary when I get up the next morning, too, and it's obviously MORE connected with the orgasm than with the pot-smoking. What a HORRIBLE thing to have to ration!


DIARY 4271

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6. John wakes and gets out of bed, and I'm up about a half-hour later to exercise and start working on the diary. Type and type and finish with 13 pages that brings me up to date, and I can put all the books away that all the notes were written in. Then I telephone Graham Gross for an editor's job, and I might have a writing job, making an appointment for 4PM, since I've decided to get up to Columbia for the 6:30 showing of "A King in New York." Read and send other pieces of mail out, and then shave and get out at 3:25 for the interview, and he gives me five articles to do, saying that eventually my rate could go up if I leave little work for him and the editor to do, and that I should be able to finish an average of 2 an hour at something between $3 and $3.50 per article, but that I'll have to BILL at an hourly rate HALF what I get for TWICE the time. He seems to like and trust me. I get out at 4:40 with lots of time to kill, and am attracted by a used bookshop next door, so I'm in and pick up a jewelry auction catalog from Parke-Bernet for 50¢ and a copy of the old French book that I'd almost totally forgotten about: Totor and Tristan, which I also bought for 50¢, and then I'm looking at a stack of books and come across "India" with sumptuous color photographs and a mini-essay on the Taj Mahal being totally FOREIGN to India that I think John will go for, and the book was originally to be sold for $30 so he'll sell it to me for $15, and I say I'll pick it up on Monday or Tuesday when I take my finished articles back to Gross. Subway up to Columbia and stand in line from 5:45, about the 60th person in, and the auditorium fills up pretty well, but the movie is on the whole boring (see Diary 4272). Out at 8:30 and subway home to find John WAITING dinner for me at 9:15, and we eat and dash over for an excerpt from "Nana" and then I do dishes, shower, smoke, and get into bed at 11:15 with John, debating coming, trying to get an erection, but it's just not coming, and I'm feeling VERY tired anyway, with the same feeling I have in the chair wanting to get into bed, but I AM in bed, so I just roll over and fall asleep, storing energy for Mom's arrival tomorrow.


DIARY 4276

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7. Type two pages to get up to date, then go through the drawer and Do-list and type Diary 4273 about the Gay-Job list, which is now not really current. Then read and clean some things up for Mom's coming this evening, and bat about the apartment doing not much of anything through lunch and dinner, and call Pan Am at 5 to find that the arrival time is delayed until 9:45, so there'll be time for me to have dinner at my leisure, rather than leaving at 6:45 to get to the 7:45 plane arrival. Then after dinner at 7 find that the plane is delayed until 12:35, and then Rolf H. calls just as I finished writing the Christmas card to him, having done about half of them this evening. OH, this morning I DID do some other things, referenced from my thrown-away "Do-list": sent a letter to the New York Times about photographers in the audience, and then sorted through my entire workbook, putting things into a notebook for easy redoing, trying to get to the end of the do list before making out a NEW one, larger, of course, than before. Rolf talks for about an hour with such stimulating information that I type Diary 4274-4275 about it. Then over to watch the final chapter of "Nana," and it's not TOO dissimilar from the disease-ridden end of the prostitute in "Cousin Bette," but since Balzac published Bette in 1846, Zola was the copier with "Nana" in 1880. John's out to the bars and I take too much time leaving, leaving the garage at JUST midnight after troubles getting out, get to terminal at 12:40, and find that the plane DID land at 12:35, but they're still in customs, so I breathe a sigh of relief and settle down to write this (in the back of "Chimera") and read at 12:50. She's out at 1, with baggage, she searches for a hat she left on the plane going OVER, and we're out to car at 1:30, when the guy wants to charge me for an hour. I insist the clocks are off, he calls for a supervisor, Mom says she's going to die, so I drive OFF, telling John to give ME the summons when Pan-Am sends it. She talks about the trip (see Diary 4277) and I'm just as glad I DIDN'T go, and we're home to get her into bed about 2:30, exhausted, and I smoke to stop thinking and get to bed.


DIARY 4279

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8. Up at 8 and over to find Mom awake but not out of bed, and John gets to typing away for letters about the two speaking possibilities he's suddenly thought of, sending out 46 letters to various heads of departments, and she's up about 10, ordering me to get toast and eggs and tea for her, and then she's into her suitcases showing me everything (including her dirty underwear) and John looks at the souvenirs and shrugs them off and gets back to work. We have a good lunch of the great borscht that John's made (and that I helped prepare for yesterday), and then she sees the other side, naps for about an hour while I read the Mythology book just to try to get it off the To-read shelf, and then she's up at 3 and packing, and I forget that she leaves from LaGuardia, preparing to take her to Kennedy, and then riling her about that uncertainty, so that she gets nervous, her voice rises, and she starts telling me about her inability to control her anal sphincter, piddling little turds around the office, and she talks about the scabs up her nose, and all her other troubles, and how she HAS to retire in April, 1975, and now she's realizing it's not to be a very interesting time, though she can't STAND her boss. Get to the terminal RIGHT on time at 4:30, and she thanks me for the trip and I'm right back home with relief, getting dressed to go to Sergio's at 7, taking stamps along, and Haynes Owens and William Whitener from the Joffrey meet us outside to get lost AGAIN to Sergio's, but the apartment is large and comfortable, corked recording closet and all, and we have a chicken Marengo with tough shrimp dipped in milk-poached eggs and a good final chocolate cake after Sergio's gotten out HIS stamps and gone through mine to see what he likes, and he says he has a whole BOX of stamps he doesn't want, persuading me to take what I want from it, and I TELL him that it'll be a lot, but he seems to think that's OK, and I load up with MORE stuff than I took to him, promising him the Blair sheet, and we leave just after midnight when Kenneth's yawning about how late it is, and we drop them off in the rain and get up to bed about 1AM, tired and full.


DIARY 4280

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9. I spend the entire day looking through the stamps that Sergio's going to give me, after calling him about 10AM to ask if I can put his collection into order (so that I can be SURE he has two of something that aren't separated into two different envelopes so I can't TELL he has two of them), and John suggests I take out some of the more common ones for Peter Schaffer, and Sergio's going to be in the Heights, will drop in on the Joffrey boys, and will come HERE about 4 to take everything back. Well, I'm not ready at 4, being in the middle of Venezuela, having left Uruguay, the biggest, to the last, and he looks through, says that I'm taking a lot but that's OK, that I should write to Peter Schaffer, and he takes some stuff of mine and the duplicates from the trip that I took so long ago, and he leaves at 5 when John and I are going out to meet the LaRues at Nirvana. Find a place to park on 57th and get up just at 5:30, as planned, and John has the brain curry AGAIN, I have a flavorful but overcooked shish kebob that I wouldn't have again, and they have the mutton biriani and the tandoori chicken, and we all have drinks and appetizers and desserts and the bill comes to $46, $52 with tip, of which Jan pays $27 and we pay $25 (John pays $10). Then we're out to the car and down the bumpy streets to Ritha Devi, and there's a photographer who takes one shot, then two, and I tell her she's disturbing me, and then JOHN says she's disturbing him, and when she starts to talk to him I grab the camera from her and hold onto it. She hisses at me and almost breaks it in her effort to wrest it away, but I talk to her afterward and CAN'T answer the question: "So your picture-taking is more important than my concentration on the dance, is it?" She comes close to apologizing, but doesn't. John says that I shouldn't bother Ritha with it after the performance, since all she wants to hear then is praise, and I should write her a letter afterward. I figure that's the end of that. They leave at 10:30 to catch a train, we at 11:15, John exhausted, and we're home and I shower in the cold bathroom, smoke, and come with exultation and cock books.


DIARY 4282

MONDAY, DECEMBER 10. Again I can't seem to drag myself out of bed when John gets up, so I just lay there feeling depressed and sorry for myself. Up about 9:30 and exercise and eat breakfast and decide to start calling people to tell them that "I'm back." So I call Daisy and Ginny (whom I get only tomorrow) and Jeff and Dick and Dror (again tomorrow) and Ruth Rozman and Jo Satloff and Pam Goett and Milly Paul and Syva Meyers and David Delete and Sarah Parker, who doesn't have the last pages yet, but she should have them tomorrow, so I plan to go into the city tomorrow with my write-ups and call Graham Gross to tell him that. Then I get back to the stamps, but about all I can do before dinner (since the phone calls lasted until about 1PM!) is to finish with Venezuela and put away all the odds and ends that I found from the other countries, which leaves ONLY Uruguay to do, and then I get to the five articles, doing four of them almost completely in about 5 hours. I'd wanted to watch some things on TV yesterday, but I totally forgot about them in my eagerness to look at the stamps. Again I'm not feeling very strong; it's a terrible effort to do the exercises, and I again feel that something's wrong with me. I'm biting the insides of my cheeks with nervousness until it feels positively leprous, and I keep farting these terribly redolent farts that only taking the charcoal pellets helps at all. I keep wanting to get to the diary, but I just don't feel like doing anything with it. My desk is a total mess with large amounts of mail coming in now that Christmas cards are coming in, and I haven't finished sending mine out, and I have a longer and longer list of things to do, and I'm not even WRITING, so that things seem to be going BACKWARD again as I take care of the more unimportant things, like stamps, and let the VITAL things, like writing, go by the boards. Finally get the unemployment letter into the mail on TUESDAY, after fretting about it from Sunday, when it SHOULD have been sent out, and only on WEDNESDAY do I wash the socks that I should have done on SUNDAY. But I just seem to want to READ and let the actual WORK go hang. Got to SHAKE this feeling!


DIARY 4283

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11. Up late again (having come last night before eating the last of the roll that John bought for Mom's dessert lunch) and work on the last article and a half, and call Graham at 10:30 to find that his inspector from NASA hadn't gotten there yet, so I should come in immediately. So I shave and dress and get there at 11:30, taking lots of stuff with me and a list of things I want to do, and he likes the things I've done and spends a LOT of time telling me what I COULD be doing for them for lots of money. It sounds good, but he's like Marty in going WAY ahead of himself. My stuff is going to a technical editor for checking, and THEN I'll know how I've done. Out at 1:30 and grab a slice of Sicilian pizza for 50¢, then shop in all the used bookshops I can find: finding "Mindswap" by Sheckley and "Shadows on the Grass" by Dinesen, then get BACK to the bookshop on 5th to find the India book priced at $25! I tell him in NO uncertain terms that the other fellow told me $15, and he gives it to me with a book on LSD by Alpert and Cohen for $17.25. Then over to the Sci-Fi Bookshop for "Citizen in space" by Sheckley, which they sent me the card for, and "The End of the Dream" by Wylie. By this time it's 3:30 and I'm loaded down, stop for another slice of pizza, and decide it's too late to get up to 42nd to buy Saturday's Times and an account of the "Long Flight to Russia," so I'm directly to the 15th floor at 4, talk to Sarah and David, and a long time to Celia, who says the ONLY popular psychology magazine IS "Psychology Today," and then downstairs to find Jerry Steinhart and Bill Mutter on their way out, and leave at 5:20 to get home to the bank and get a shopping bag and calendars, and get EXHAUSTED home at 6. Dinner and dishes and watch the fourth part of the BBC "War and Peace" from 8 to 9:30, and it's pretty good, and get over to do some typing, but just get more and more involved in shuffling papers around, and actually end up doing NOTHING by 11PM, getting over to shower AGAIN in the cold, and smoke, and don't even feel like coming, so I just lay in bed, commiserating with myself for lack of productivity now that I don't have an OFFICIAL job, and sleep.


DIARY 4284

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12. AGAIN up about twenty minutes after John gets out of bed, and I exercise feeling like I'm using the last ounce of my energy. Then eat breakfast and ready to get to work at 9:30. Make up a new do-list and type eight diary pages and call Mary Lefkarites and Eddie Jimenez and Marge Dumond about speaking at Hunter tomorrow. Then don't feel like doing anything else, so I read "LSD," which is interesting from a historical point of view, and John's out working, so I have lunch myself at 1 and then Arnie calls to talk about my mother's trip, so I decide to go over there about 3 to take his books back over, one of the things on the list, and we sit and talk until about 4:30, eating cheesecake, comparing notes about Russia, looking at clippings and giving the books back. Then have dinner and talk a bit about Proust, and John's again not feeling very good, having gone to get a blood test for syphilis because of peeling skin on the palms of his hands. Then I do the dishes and get back to the Christmas cards, finishing all of them, and then read the Voice, where there's an ad for books that I send out for, and there are 42 Christmas cards and six other things going out in the mail for various reasons, and tomorrow morning I pick up two items of John's, so that makes exactly 50 things to mail that I send out. Still depressed because I'm doing NOTHING on work or NOTHING on writing, but just enjoying my freedom and feeling guilty about it. Shower at 11, John already in bed, and then smoke, debating NOT doing it, but I have to be up at 7:45 in the morning to get to Hunter and this isn't the time to experiment with going to sleep without the soothing effect of the grass. But it seems to be getting stronger, too, since only one inhale is enough to burn my lungs thoroughly, and I fear I might be doing some damage to them by smoking the broad-bowled pipe. And I think that I might be getting PSYCHOLOGICALLY addicted to grass as a sleeping pill, and will have to start finding some excuse so that I WON'T be smoking every night. But it's either noisy, or I'm thinking too much, or I'm not tired enough, or I want sex, and I smoke and smoke. At least we grow our own and it's cheap.


DIARY 4286

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13. Wake at 7:30 and out of bed at 7:45 and shave and get out at 8:20, getting there in plenty of time and have three classes with Marge and her awful friend Shirley (see Diary 4285). Then stop in Arthur Treacher's for fish and chips for $1.42, not terribly bad, and then pick up an almond fudge jamoca cone from Baskin-Robbins for dessert, yum! Walk down Third poking into places trying to find Golden Fleece, and finally find it in a shop on 62nd Street and Lexington. Keep looking for the free calendars along the way, and keep asking for the Macro-Art calendar. Hallmark is OUT of the freebies, and I continue down to Rizzoli to find they have NO maps of India. Across and Bookmasters is out of Macro-Art. The whole day is becoming DIFFICULT. Back to Fifth to look for map places, and Rand McNally has MOVED, so I have to go back UPTOWN from 48th to 53rd and THEY don't have it. Try Scribners as suggested, no luck. Try Brentano's, and THEY have Macro-Art, and I also pick up "Limbo of the Lost" and picked up three Updike books before, too. Then find a small stationery shop (before) on 57th that had free calendars from Norcross, so that's to YOU, Hallmark! Check some of the map places, and even Hammond has moved from 43rd down to 41st, and they're set up for a party only 6 weeks after opening. Tired now, across to the Times office to find NO article, and conclude it was in the CITY edition, not the LATE city edition. Subway home about 5:30, John not in yet, and I phone Rita to wish her a happy birthday and postpone the time I have to send her her birthday AND Christmas used books, and then work a bit on the Music Index from 7:45 until 8:15 and John comes in, and he cooks up kidneys almost raw, but so tasty in sherry and sour cream that they taste VERY good. Also type two pages to keep up to date, including something from today (the classes) and then tired enough to just settle down to reading, finishing "Midpoint" by Updike to finish my "book for the day"---only the second one, and John's watching TV even later than I stay up, so I shower and get into bed, and he quickly joins me, and I'm to sleep without hardly being aware of it.


DIARY 4287

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14. Drag myself out of bed at 8 and through the exercises and breakfast in time to get down to underlining the last of the music book at 8:30, and start typing the first 400-odd cards for the first 100 pages, convinced that it's going to be a card-for-card index with VERY little expansion. That's over at 12, and I just DON'T feel like doing anything more, and I figure I have time ANYWAY (again the lack of pressure produces little motivation). Eddie called yesterday and asked if we wanted two free tickets to the Wine and Cheese-Tasting Festival, since he didn't come to class yesterday and can't go to this because he has an infected bladder and can't drink and feels awful. John's going to work and will meet me there at 3:45, so I leave at 2:45 and get to Eddie's just after 3, and his apartment is quite tiny, very narrow, and he's painting it light green to get away from white, but he has a WORKING fireplace. He refuses to take $5 for the tickets, and I thank him, feeling foolish, and subway up to the Coliseum at 3:30, and stand outside reading "The Poorhouse Fair" waiting for John. He arrives just as lots of people are going in, and we're limited to only seven tickets for wine apiece, but we go up and start sharing some of our sips, and the portions are generous enough for a TRIO of tastes. There are lines before all the cheese tables, and John takes entirely the wrong attitude, since he didn't have to pay for the tickets, and so he swoops around to the lineless wine tables and sips up about five different kinds, then gives me the rest of his tickets and leaves in about 15 minutes. I start taking notes about the whole affair (see Diary 4288) and am quite potted by the end of the time at 5:15. Dizzily home, gazing stupidly at the crowd on the subway, and I have to do SOMETHING tonight besides work, debate calling Bob G., but decide I want to see what the redecorated Everard Baths is like. We have a stew-soup of barley and couscous and beef and chicken and kidneys, and John's meeting some friend in the Village and will drive me in, so I finish the book and start on "Limbo of the Lost," and we leave at 8:30 for the Village, I have a LONG night from 8:45 to 3:45 (see Diary 4289) and have a LOOSE shit from the kidneys, then get VERY tired and eye-weary to bed at 4:320AM!


DIARY 4291

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15. Wake when John gets out of bed and sleep until 10, then work on the Music index from 10:15 to 12, have lunch, index from 12:30 to 2, when I'm tired of working and typing, so I settle down with "Limbo of the Lost" to relax, and it's so HORRIBLY written I again get the idea that people who are published have NOTHING TO DO with writing skills, but only who you know and when you make your contacts. Work from 3:45 to 5:30, getting along very well in the process, though I hate every minute of the work and keep constantly chewing away on my cheek insides and my finger edges, and John's preparing dinner before I tell him that we're supposed to be eating at Elizabeth's Shower and wash my hair, cruddy, and type 5 pages of diary to keep up to date, and at 8:15 we leave, and I've finished "Limbo of the Lost" and have gotten started on "Shadows on the Grass," to keep ahead of the "Book a day" schedule for at LEAST a week, to get down the crush of books on my shelf. Come to think about it, that's about ALL I did during my "vacation" week was to finish Proust! John's napped to save his energies to go to Robert Wilson's "Life and Times of Joseph Stalin" that goes on from 7PM to 7AM, and we drive to the party, parking on Third, and up the fast elevator to meet a Flip San Filipo who's OLD, and Elizabeth looks pretty but with ringed eyes of tiredness from her job, and the place is full of people from her CHURCH group. Helen, a former ballet dancer from Canada, engages us in conversation first about dancing, then about the resources of Canada, and I get some good lasagna to eat (followed by some mediocre and then by some AWFUL lasagna) and some of the cold cuts of salami and sausage, cheeses, olives, crackers, and chips. The place fills up with family-type people: his mother, her grandson, friends of the church who are fat, young girls overdressed, and then Tom and Inga come in and we chat about work, he freelancing, and the Avant-Garde Festival that she was to have danced in for free before the dancers balked, and Fred Hyland and his wife come in, talk about their BONDING troubles with a car on the Pan American Highway, and I'm full so we leave at 10:30, John dropping me for the Times that I read to 12, he going to the Brooklyn Academy, and I sleep before he gets in, not even waking when he enters about 2:45AM.


DIARY 4292

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16. Both up about 8:30 to find that it's SNOWING out, and it continues through the day, occasionally changing to rain, and by the next morning the trees are coated with ice and there are inch-long pendants of ice from every possible branch. John's out for a walk about three times during the day, going mad with nothing to do, and he won't even talk much about the performance last night, so I have to ask him questions that he answers as briefly and uncommunicatively as possible, though I'm sure that's not his CONSCIOUS intention. Have breakfast and get to the Music index from 9 to 10:30, when I go over to watch a funny Marshall Efron on Hanukkah and Christmas, then the Pakistani dances on Camera Three, where Faubion Bowers explains that almost EVERYTHING about Kathak is storytelling, and then watch "Face the Nation" with William Simon, who talks about the gasoline shortage being PRODUCED so as to allow the refineries to supply fuel to industry to keep people WORKING, but saying that "demand has been on a collision course with supply for about 5 years, and there will ALWAYS be the need for restrictions and care about wastage." That's to 12, I work from 12-12:30 while John's on the phone, and then we have lunch where I feel just OUT of it as far as John's concerned (see Diary 4293). Then back to work from 1-3:30, when I'm tired of rechecking the pages, and I settle in with reading more of "Shadows on the Grass," and then work from 4:40 to 6:40, when we have dinner, and John's been to a Tavel "Making a Crèche," and he says it's VERY beautiful and he doesn't want to talk about it. Later he leans over and says "I'm sorry about being so uncommunicative," and I stupidly, but truthfully, say, "I'm GLAD you're sorry---I mean about being uncommunicative." Finish the rechecking from 7:30 to 8:30, and over to watch Katherine Hepburn's TV dramatic debut (after her non-dramatic debut on the Dick Cavett show a couple months ago) in "The Glass Menagerie," an almost perfectly cast and acted play, which AGAIN (goodness AND badness makes me want to write) makes me feel the urge to write a masterful play. John's in bed immediately, I finish the Dinesen book and start on the Clarke book, and shower and crawl into bed at 12, awakened by the phone ringing at 7, no answer.


DIARY 4294

MONDAY, DECEMBER 17. Still snowing when we wake, though lightly, and I exercise again, wondering about what feels like a sore around my ass, probably from the sit-ups. Work on the music index from 9:10 to 12:40, while John eats lunch and Cyndy calls to say I should come to her apartment and then we'll go out for lunch, and $65 for the stamp collection is fine with her, since she trusts me. Then leave about 1 to take the subway to Fulton and transfer, but it's VERY slow and late, so I don't get there until just before 2, fill out a long form, then fill in what I FORGET to fill in, a bit worried because I've gone way back to the IBM experience and they just MIGHT have a job for me, but after sitting and waiting and reading for ANOTHER long time, in room 511B, they finally call my name, say they haven't a job for me, and I should come back on March 18th if I don't get work by then. Phew. Out about 3, starved, and get downtown, crosstown, and uptown by about 3:40, to find a note from Cyndy saying that she's in the phone booth, where she isn't. See, now I'm typing like BARTH, finally away from Proust. Some antidote he, Barth. Ain't? Anyway, well. She comes running up the street after I ran up the street going after she who wasn't Cyndy going into 207, and we go into 205 and get out to "Teacher's" for an onion-pepper-ham-cheese hero and a piece of rich cheesecake for $4.50 or so apiece, and it's 4:45, I call John to say I won't be home, and when Cyndy says she's going to meditate, I say I'll come with her if it's OK, so I can think about all the THINGS SHE TOLD ME OVER LUNCH (see Diary 4295). Up to meditate for about 20 minutes, then coated again to walk down to the Embassy (stopping at the Continental to see that it's HALF-price for the unemployed: $4 for mini-locker Sun 10AM through Friday 4PM, $5 Friday 4PM to Sunday 10AM, up to $7 and $8 for a room for those times. Surely better than Everard, and easier to get to, too. In for the end of "Siddhartha," not bad for scenery, but light on philosophy, yet good on sex, and "The Hireling" a disappointment in story, no fault of Robert Shaw (well, he DID overact) and Sarah Miles. Out at 10, after rubbing some guy's cock for about a half hour in sight of the attendant, home at 10:30 to have John's great soup, shower, smoke, come, watch end of "Footlight Parade" to 2AM.


DIARY 4296

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18. Lay until about 8:30 with John, then out and exercise and finish the last of the Cream of Wheat I started yesterday that Mom brought back from Russia, and work from 9:45 to 12:15 and from 12:45 to 5:45, finally getting all finished except the typing, and John makes the suggestion that HE might do the typing, which would be GREAT for my doing the 13 papers from Gross AND for typing the diacriticals. And he thinks about it and DOES it for the rest of the week, too! We talk during lunch and he says that he hopes he's passed the LOWEST part of his feeling, and that the only direction he can go will be up. I surely hope so. For whatever reasons, whether it be exercising, or working fruitfully on the index, or the results of the call this afternoon in which Gross said that as far as HE was concerned I was taking too MUCH time on the writing, and should do it even FASTER, and that I was almost TOO GOOD for the job---whatever the reason, I'm feeling VERY good lately, embriskened by the weather (maybe it's just going from Proust to someone else), happy about the work and the writing, and eager to get on with all the things I have to do. But I STILL have to go to the bank, since I stole from the kitty to get the $65 for Cyndy yesterday, and sell stamps and subway tokens to John after dinner this evening for $4 for the animation show tonight; AND I'm eager to get the laundry out, since I ran out of underwear last THURSDAY, and have been wearing the same set since SUNDAY, and feeling like it's soon going to be useless to try to wear it anymore. Get out at 7:15, hoping not to be late, and get into the class at 7:40 fearing it's the wrong room, and he doesn't even show up until 8PM, and the class has only about 1/3 the number that were there for the Disney, and I'm sure it's a tribute to Malkin's incredible BORINGNESS. He talks about the Zagreb plant, then comes up with a commercial about "The Making of 'Shinbone Alley'" that is pretty awful, but the shorts from Zagreb are nice (see Diary 4297), and I get out at 10:20, cold, read, get a candy bar, home at 11 to find John not in yet, smoke and bed at 12, falling instantly asleep while John is talking with the Campbells, getting us invited there tomorrow for talk! And Barth, just reading TODAY, acknowledges his debt to Joseph Campbell!


DIARY 4299

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19. Up and exercise and breakfast, work on the index from 9 to 10:15, and then I have to start putting together laundry and the papers for the bank, and get out at 10:30 to withdraw $250 for the rest of the year and then some, and get to unemployment just at 10:45, when the line is surely the biggest, and stand until 11:20, getting a $75 maximum rate, and I'll be getting my first check in the mail next week. Lovely. Home for lunch, and then work from 12:30 to 1:30 on the music index while John's typing, and I've had to retype lots of the cards just for HIS use, and he's making lots of suggestions on improving the index, but it's just TAKING a lot longer than it would have had I done it myself, which means the hourly rate lowers from something over $10 to something over $8 at the end. Type 4 diary pages, and snack a bit since we're not going to be eating until after "Moon Mysteries" this evening. Leave at 6 and subway in, and it's VERY cold and icy outside, and the theater is almost empty. Chat with Joe Campbell about my finding his name in Barth's "Chimera," which he'd not even KNOWN about, and there's NO acknowledgement for his diagram, either. Then to the play (see Diary 4300), and we get directed to an Irish Pub on 6th and Waverly, on the west side of the street to Joe's directions of "east," and sit in the back drinking daiquiris (me) and beer (John) until Paul Jenkins, a painter, his date Connie Chen, and the Campbells join us. More drinks (with Ivan Allen being cozened by a rich older fag at the next table) and then John has fabulous prawns in a great sauce, I have the glazed ribs that are meaty and delicious, and Joe has chicken and the others duplicate what we're having, after the delicious cockaleekie soup for the start. More beer onto the table, then I have a piece of their pecan pie for dessert, and they ARE paying for everything, and we'd gotten the tickets free, and John said I shouldn't even SUGGEST we help pay the check, since that's the way they entertain. Wonderfully woozy from all the daiquiri, but I can't help thinking of Proust at the Guermantes: here I am in the HIGHEST society and they talk just as oddly and disconnectedly and fuzzily (and they nod as Jean Erdman does) as everyone ELSE does, though we'd be THE table for talent (and talking about getting into the Century Club) in ANY place.


DIARY 4301

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20. Up and too vaguely hung-over to exercise, so I have breakfast and work from 9 to 10 on rewriting some of the NASA write-ups, then over to watch "Private Worlds," so badly butchered that many of the dialogues referred to incidents that didn't occur, and the review of "Timely even today" must have been written about 30 years ago, since the patness of every single situation was almost painfully obvious: the coming romance of Charles Boyer and Claudette Colbert, the idea that EVERYTHING that Colbert touched would come out just FINE, the idea that Boyer would just happen to know Arabic just when "the Arab" happened to be dying and needed someone to pray with, the fact that the meeting between Joel MacRae's incredible wife, played by a blond Joan Bennett, and the crazy girl would turn into a catastrophe. But I was struck with a similarity between actresses that led me to write the note found on Diary 4302. Back at 11:30 to 12, and 12:30 to 5:30 working on the Music index, which John finishes typing today, which makes me feel good, and he's put in 10 hours and I've put in 45, so the rate is only $8.33 per hour. Then I shower and we eat at 5:45, the lamb stew, so that I can leave at 6:15 and get to St. Luke's at Christopher and Hudson at 7, to sit in the chair at Hilda's "evening" saved for me by Cyndy, whose car has not YET been returned by Jan, which annoys her, as does the open window obviously NEEDED to leech off the heat from the 300 enthusiasts in the tiny room. Lots of Christmas Carol singing, which is nice, and then she talks a bit, reads from "Lessons of the Masters," all about fussiness and selfishness, rather too restrictive, and then there's an "explanation" about Hannukah, lighting of candles, and an awful version of "Un Bel Di," by one of her "stars," and an even WORSE "Our Father" after the meditation, where not a SOUL burst into laughter when she said she felt the love "like marshmallow," and for about five minutes she DID succeed in stemming the tide of coughing from the audience. Some LOVELY fellows there, but there was such as ascetic air (even to some stupids who meditated through the WHOLE evening, not singing, only portentiously chanting their "om") that I didn't care for it. A bit of healing and reports and performance of a "General Om" ended the evening about 10. I bought pictures, smoked, ate, came, and, loath to bed, watched the end of "Stanley and Livingston," ate a muffin and two pieces of toast and TWO Hershey almond bars!!


DIARY 4303

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21. Finish up the music index from 10-11, calling Sarah Parker to find what her day's schedule is, and work from 11 to 1:30 on NASA while John goes to the Dutton Christmas party, and then I call Graham Gross who's already drinking for the afternoon, so I'm excused from bringing in the papers until as soon after Christmas as I can return them, and he says that his boss likes what I've done, so "I'm in." Good news! So I call Charlotte Rosenburg and she says she'll be leaving at 3, so I gulp down lunch at 1:30 and shave and pack up stuff and get out at 2 to get there at 2:40, picking up the Sociology index, and then subway down to ACC to find that the party's over, though they had good food catered from Belmore's, and I return the index to Sarah and put in a bill for $465 to ACC/Prentice-Hall, and go down to 14 to see that the party IS over, down to 12 to find only Chela there, still saying that Walthur will probably take over the company, and I get to Apollo to buy four boxes of cards for PRECISELY the $14.33 I have in my pocket (except for a spare subway token). It's raining and windy, so I stagger uncomfortably back to the subway, fearing catching a cold, and get home at 4 to put away "Chimera," the book I read the last heavily-notated pages of on the subway on the way home, and start on "The End of the Dream," by Wylie. Sit at my desk putting things away, and have the whole evening before me to do what I want to do. Dinner and dishes go quickly, John's out, and I file various index things, and work for a couple of hours on my "contact file" of people, getting rid of all those old address slips and putting the information into the rolodex I stole from ACC. Prior to that, I'd had the pleasure of going through the last of Sergio's stamps, from Uruguay, and picking out the last amounts for me and for Peter, and during the earlier afternoon I'd talked with Alice Duskey about my not-trip and new job, she's painted her kitchen with aluminum paint and feels like she's cooking inside a battered tin box, and call sick Sergio to find that he's LIKED the singles I've given him for all the South American stamps, and we agree to get together after Christmas. Lovely evening doing what I want, and read most of "Wind from the Sun" in bed between 11:30-1:30, when I turn out the lights to sleep just before John gets in at 1:45 to sleep too.


DIARY 4305

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22. [And it's just TWO WEEKS from that date again, and I've been playing hard (reading and stamps) and working hard (indexes), so the time has been well spent. It's only the diary that's a pain now.] Finish "Wind from the Sun" by Clarke, being fairly, but not overly, impressed by the book, and then type five pages, going to a new ribbon just for the joy of it, and type a sixth page when I finish with the things I have to do around the desk (odd bits of mail, putting things into order), saying how many things I WANT to do, work from 3 to 4 on the Sociology index. Then figure that if John is TYPING for me, I don't have to allocate so much time to the indexes, and so I'll HAVE time for what I want to do---and that was on the top of the list on Diary 4304: STAMPS! Get them out and sort through all of Cyndy's to get out all the ones that need soaking, and I'm tremendously impressed by the quality of the collection that's only in her envelopes: it seems to have been someone ELSE'S collection inside, too, since there are lots of unduplicated stamps with hinges, including some newly soaked US in great condition, including a beautiful copy of the old red and black railroad stamp that is far better than any I've seen yet! And then her father got so many high-value stamps from Greece, Britain, Italy, and even Poland in his office that the envelopes are worth far MORE than her father's collection itself. And then I start pricing some of the Coronation set, and they're more like 40¢ than they are the face value of 3¢, and the sheer QUANTITY of stamps is more than I'd bargained for, and the number of countries is ALMOST as many as the number of countries I have ALREADY. So I call to leave her a message saying that I'll have to pay her more for it, and I clear off a corner of the table for eating, and then John and I see Ritha Devi (see Diary 4307) and find NO gas for the trip, so we're home, he goes out and I wash dishes and settle down on the sofa with an old copy of the Voice and do 15 sheets of it covered with the stamps, lying them all over the floor, telling John that I'll be finished with them tomorrow, and they take quite awhile, and my fingers get their corduroy look from excessive water, but it's a great job done and helps to get her collection into order, meaning integrated with MY collection. Smoke to clear my head and sleep about 2, after reading the Times and even working all the PUZZLES, since I have time now!


DIARY 4306

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23. Up early and start putting the stamps away, feeling great and accomplishmentful, and then watch "The Flying Deuces" with Laurel and Hardy from 11:30 to 12:30, eating lunch in the meantime, and it's the classic one with them in the Foreign Legion, with the HUGE area of clothes to wash, the escape from the jail through the tunnel, and the flight-escape buzzing the clothes and the airfield, with the bit-too-much climax of the bowler-hatted horse. More stamps, and then "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the New York City Ballet, a perfect TV NON-movie, broken horribly with commercials on Channel 7 from 3:30 to 5, and the color never DID settle down, too bluey-green most of the time, out of focus and diffuse, but the camera-angles were many times quite wrong, missing leaps or footwork, concentrating on overly-fussy settings and miming. Mitchell looked too oily, Villella hardly danced at all, D'Amboise mugged, and the quartet of lovers were totally indistinguishable one from the other. A TV catastrophe. Then have dinner and back to stamps and watch "A Doll's House," with Jane Fonda and David Warner, shown on TV, so Arnie says, because of the closeness of the Claire Bloom production that WAS released, and by the "fact" that no motion picture theater will show films of Jane Fonda because of her anti-war activism! It's not that good, though the outside scenes in Rorus, which I passed through in Norway, are impressive in the snow, particularly with the sun JUST over the horizon at noon for the Christmas scenes. But John notices that she has a SORT of good accent at the start, but then just slips into plain old HER, and it's not a very good play to START with, and she doesn't help me think it's convincing, but David Warner as the husband doesn't either, and only Edward Fox as the blackmailer and Trevor Howard as the doctor are in any way convincing. Then back to stamps, covering the entire dining room table, and it's going to take far longer than I'd dared think about, and I surely won't be able to finish, but I have no idea how I'm going to cut things off. Get out all sorts of big flat things to hold them down while we're away on the trip, and I pack to be ready to leave tomorrow.


DIARY 4308

MONDAY, DECEMBER 24. Wake at 7:30 and shower and shave and John packs and I finish some little things before we leave almost exactly at 8, and since we get there at 12 it takes 4 hours, and it's only 180 miles, too, which means that 3 hours would be some fabulous lower time-limit for the trip, but with the speed restriction of the energy crisis, John enjoys going along at 50 until it seems clear that the limit's 55, and still it's quite slow to me. Stop for gas and it's expensive even in Jersey at 464 a gallon, and we go on until a rest stop when John changes with me after he's done about 110 miles, and I drive up in front of the house. Topsy again remembers him, Tom's guarding our view from the suckling pig babylike in the sink, where they killed it but DIDN'T gut it, and John SAYS he saw Tom pulling at the guts and maybe something burst to give it the horrible taste and smell of the meat the next day. The kids are shouting around the house, Kathy is busy with cleaning up, and then we have a lunch of franks and beans and bread, and then we read for a bit, and dinner is snails in mushrooms, not THAT bad, I even have three of them, though I don't prefer them, and I can't remember what he had for the main course, but the girls "can't stand it," and have to have some presents, so we give them ours and a few others, and then they're pushed up to bed before the fire goes out, and we sit around and talk, and I've read some of "The End of the Dream" by Wylie, just to pass the time, and then sit and look into the fire, which is very pleasant, and the tree downstairs is nice, the river is high and flowing freely, there's enough snow and ice around to make it look like a real Christmas, and it's surely better spending it here in this atmosphere than back in the non-countryside feeling of New York. And then Kathy is doing all the work, so we just have to put up with the kids and that's the extent of our obligations. Oh, we went out for a walk, meeting some gal who ran through the snow trying to act like a kid, and ended up at the bookstore browsing through the stacks, enjoying the cold and the briskness of the snow underfoot, going through the car-filled cemetery, looking at the town, enjoying some of the crotches, not many, sadly, on the college guys, and then to bed, when I felt so horny that I came under the sheets without (?) John's knowing it.


DIARY 44309

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25. Christmas, and the kids were allowed to unpack their stockings, and when we're all gathered about 8AM we're down to the basement where the candles on the tree are lit and the fire's going (to be punctuated by a LOUD crack, probably, as Tom thought, by moisture under the concrete steaming and cracking the base of the place) and Alison's barely down the stairs before she shrieks "A bike and with three gears, too," so everyone figures she must have sneaked down for a look. John gets a great cookbook from France, and there are pictures from the kids, he loves his India book, and my scroll for a bathrobe is appreciated objectively and loved humorously in its form of an index, telling me to throw out the OLD bathrobe. The kids have gift after gift, Becky getting about a half-dozen deer, each of which she religiously kisses, and Tom gives Kathy a dictionary of Shakespeare's characters, which I glance through. She's prepared a breakfast of sausage and bacon and muffins that she's brought downstairs, and it's a very nice Christmas morning. Back upstairs to finish reading "The End of the Dream" and then there's nothing ELSE to do, so I get "Citizen in Space" and read THAT through the afternoon, and by that time it's ready for dinner, and the pig is smelly, but most of it is good, and the beans are tasty with the nuts, and then afterward the couple of which the girl is one come over for sherry and plum pudding with hard sauce, and it's so rich and filling that I can only have two portions and not three. Cathy talks on and on to John about her coming panic at the age of 40, how she wants to get into teaching, how she feels she must change her life, and all the while Tom is sitting grimly on the settee listening to all the things that by rights she should have told HIM. Pity ME the day John talks to someone as he should talk to ME! It goes on and on until finally I'm about to drop with sleep, so I go upstairs, but that finishes THEIR talk, too, and I have another bout with their awful shower with the feather-light cold water dispenser, and there have been run-ins with the cat and the rabbit and the gerbils and the dog, so it's again been a lovely day, thanks to the Warners and their old-fashioned house and hospitality. I even feel easier about being sick tomorrow.


DIARY 4310

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26. Wake at 3AM with a pressure to go to the john, and just as I'm slipping out of bed it sloops out and I dribble into the bathroom to find my shorts brown for about three-by-one inch of area in the back, and there's a TREMENDOUS flow of diarrhea into the john, and I flush and flush, hoping I'm not bothering anyone, and then when I'm FINALLY done, I wash out my shorts and put them on a hanger to dry and get back into bed. Then at 6 there's another flux, this time getting there safely, and get down to breakfast in the morning feeling pretty lousy, and the food tastes pretty good, but I'm lazing downstairs thumbing through a copy of National Geographic and I just DON'T feel like continuing, so I'm back upstairs to undress and crawl into bed. Shit again about noon, somewhat less than before, and John comes up to console me, and I finally get around to reading a bit, but I really don't FEEL like it, so I stop trying and merely lay there dozing until he comes up about 7 with my dinner (Alison came up about 6, VERY tentatively, John said, to ask for her sweater from a drawer she said got stuck, and she was APPALLED when it didn't stick when I tried it), pigs without the blanket, which I thought was a good idea since I didn't relish the idea of cabbage with MY stomach, and the meat was quite good, the rice less so, and the beans tasty, so I even sent him back down for more meat and beans, to his and Kathy's delight. The kids had gone out to watch "Tom Sawyer" at the movies and had to eat at a different time, and John said that dinner was pleasant, and I enjoyed laying through the day, hoping that my sickness wouldn't make a mess on the trip, hoping that dinner would stay IN. Happily it did, and I didn't have any more soiled underwear to wash as I did the last ones. Read just a bit into "The Hero with 1000 Faces," but too tired to finish more than 50 pages. John and I smoked, and I feared not being able to sleep because of my sleep through the day, but I slept STRAIGHT through until about 7, when I had to go to the john again, but more under control, and I got down to breakfast of eggs and a hash-roll, and felt like eating even more, and we left at 10AM, and why is it that I'm going through to the NEXT day: don't have holes in the side of the paper and I think I'm typing on a continuous FORM, or something!


DIARY 4311

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27. Got more gas to fill up before we started out, and John drove straight through without stopping once, and even got in at 2, for the SAME amount of time coming back, even though we went a slower way just so he could get another full tank of gas. He didn't want to have lunch, but I was starved, so I gobbled down tuna fish and then started telephoning: David Delete DID have the final pages of the Economics book, so he said he'd send them out by messenger this afternoon, and I decided to TRY the unemployment office to see if they took me a day late, and got down to a blank information line that told me to get on my usual line T, and when I got on THAT fast one, they asked one question, I started saying something about Christmas, and I could have been talking in Ainu for all she cared, just processing my form. By that time it was 3:45 and I called Graham Gross to find he was leaving at 5, so I got there at 4, and he was tied up in his bosses' office, so I sat and read until he came out, then did some xeroxing for him for accounting sheets, putting in a bill for 18 hours for the 18 papers that I did, saying I wouldn't be in before January 4th, since he was going to be VERY busy, as he was today, and I'd be tied up with the indexes, too, and he introduced me to one of his bosses, and looked over the stuff I brought in, saying it looked just great, and it WASN'T skimping too much, so I felt good and he gave me 20 more to bring back whenever I felt like it. Then down to Strand to buy two books for Rita, getting home after 6PM to find the chicken cooling on the table and John fairly angry, and I'm quite exhausted from the tail-end of WHATEVER it was that I had, so have a good dinner and get BACK to the stamps, going meticulously through the little countries but making NO speed at ALL, so that I'll have a lot to put away Saturday for dinner when Sergio and Kenneth come over for dinner and we "Play with stamps" some more. And then I suddenly remember that LAIRD is suppose to be coming tomorrow, too! Just busy, busy, busy, and the indexes are sort of slopping around in back of my mind: have only TWO weeks to finish TWO indices! Thank GOD John is going to be doing the typing! Stamps till dizzy, then smoke to be able to sleep. THAT old routine again!


DIARY 4312

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28. Up at 8, too tired to exercise, which has been totally forgotten for about a week now, have breakfast since the trip seems to have enlarged my stomach and my appetite, and settle down to the stamps, going through the catalog and album meticulously, pricing everything and noting everything, and it'll be as grand a process as the 7000 I got from that other stamp company, though this is of even BETTER quality. Finally got through all her albums except the old one, and page through that with disgust, ripping out very good stamps and leaving parts of mint stamps glued to the old pages, not being able to decide whether it would be better to soak them or leave any of the gum on the back. Of course, I take the wrong decision: stamps are SOLD without gum in unused condition, but stamps are NOT sold with perforations torn away or with thin spots, so what I should REALLY do is SOAK the mint stamps from the hinges, but I just don't have the TIME for it. Then Sergio looked through the album when he came over tomorrow and finally decided "I would have given her $20 for the album" and I was happy to see that I didn't cheat her THERE, though HE didn't have the chance to see the FEW odd stamps that COULD be worth about $20 ALONE if they were in good condition. But I just feel that I have to be as expeditious as I can, and it was HER FATHER, and not me, that is really responsible for the awful shape of the majority of the stamps, so I can just do as well as I can and leave it go. Sometime in here I came to a GREAT compromise with myself: was ACTUALLY debating getting one of the six-volume sets, with the years in different albums, which I HATE, but THEN it occurred to me that this album WAS perfect for stamps until 1969, and then I could make my OWN album of pages for stamps BEYOND that, so that I wouldn't have the embarrassment of MANY blank pages in the SCOTT album, and still KEEP the convenience of the Scott numbers in THIS album, and STILL have an alternative in mind for the OVERFLOW. So when I buy Sergio's used catalogs from him I can go through and produce a SECOND album (which will probably ALREADY have more than the first, what with all the postage dues and the new Communist bloc stamps, and have TWO great albums, one INFINITELY expandable. Watch TV 9-11 on the Rockefellers, interesting and informative.


DIARY 4313

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29. I'm engrossed in stamps when the phone rings and it's Laird in town already at 10AM. I put away all the stamps since my time, for now, with them is over, and welcome him at 10:45, and sit around and talk about the house he's bought and the job he's got, and then get out to the Syrian shops so John can get some spices for his rice and lamb stew for tonight and Laird can see what they're like, and we're back to have tuna for lunch (Laird adds a piece of buttered bread), and we debate what museum to go do, and I mention that I'd like to see the double feature at the Guild, which starts at 2:10, and at 1:40 we're out to it, getting there JUST a bit late for the animated "Charlotte's Web" and the girl looks like Mary Poopins (HA!) (like my Nixon and his trikee-down theory) and the story is just the SLIGHTEST bit flat and too long, though the voice of Paul Lynde for the rat is just perfect, and the romanticization of the spider just a bit much, but then "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is a total delight, perfectly acted by Gene Wilder from limping entrance to real anger and pathos at the end, and some MARVELOUS effects of the "come" wagon, the burping from the super-gas soda, the chocolate river into which the fat kid falls to get "blown up," the raspberry that the utterly despicable rich girl turns into, all are just beautifully done, and Laird LOVES his "So much time, so little to see." Out at 5:40 and get in at 6:10, breathlessly happy that they haven't arrived yet, and I get changed and ready JUST as they enter, and make hefty frozen daiquiris for everyone that oils the evening along just perfectly. Sergio brings me MORE stamps, and we look through Cyndy's stuff and MY stuff, and he ends by thinking that I DO have a great collection, and he might even find some things he likes in my collection of covers---surely from Canada, and I get his OK to send off the stuff to Peter (NO, I DID send it off already, and I had to tell him I didn't get anything BACK yet!). Laird dozes off in his chair, we get to bed at midnight with the dishes not yet washed, having gotten an invitation from Laird's friend to go to the 9 Plus Club tomorrow, that John should like a lot, and Laird's even stopped talking from the level that John said he couldn't STAND through his first day here.


DIARY 4314

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30. Out at 8 to get the papers since the phone rang at 6 and Don Nolie showed up at 6:30, so they're not ABOUT to be up, and I read the whole thin thing quickly and even finish with the puzzles before they're up and about at 12:30, and Don takes ages in the bathroom and Laird says that the whole day could be spent around Don. We don't eat in order to have the brunch at the 9 Plus Club, and we leave at 2, John dropping us off as he goes to pick up some ginger jam from Kei, and we're upstairs to watch TV for a bit, and we smoke, which makes the afternoon pleasant, though they won't permit us to smoke down in the "dining room." Upstairs is USUALLY for orgies, so they're surprised to see us merely WATCHING the W.C. Fields movie. Down at 3:30 for John and a rather tasty (raw) poached egg on a muffin and sausage, and lots of rolls and coffee available on the side, and I'm having a hunger fit, so that's nice. Introduced to all the butch leather guys, and it occurs to me that they're wearing leather because it holds in all the sags that they've developed over the years, but their TALK is as gentle as a bunch of old aunties, so the mystique is rather off the whole place. But the place IS friendly, which is pleasant, and I get introduced to about half a dozen Bobs and find that they're showing "Poseidon Adventure" on Thursday, so I immediately want to change the schedule for the pinochle game, but it can't be done, so I miss it. But Don assures me that I can give his name and come in anytime as a guest to the 9 Plus Club, and since he's usually on the door, it should be simple. SOME of the guests are dolls, but they're with others and have no eyes for me. We leave for a party that has paté and cheeses and a NICE tree, but it's one of the DULLEST parties since we can't smoke (the landlady and her kids are all over today), and the drinks are mild, and the leather-wearers can't even SIT, for fear of bagging things out. It might might might turn into an orgy, but by 9 it hasn't, and we're all being VERY bored, so finally we leave and get back home to watch the end of "Earth II" on TV, overly enamored of special effects and VERY slow, not very good at all, and John's in bed about 11, we watch the light show for a bit and smoke, and Laird and Don go off across the way and I come rather unsatisfactorily (soft) and get into bed about 1.


DIARY 4315

MONDAY, DECEMBER 31. Get over to the other apartment about 9 to find that Laird has done ALL the dishes while he was waiting for Don to wash [THIS OF COURSE WAS YESTERDAY] and Don leaves fairly early and Laird packs up and takes off about 12. I read "Mindswap" in the evening, but the only bit of work I did during the day was on the Economics index from 4:30 to 7:15, while John delayed and delayed and delayed dinner. "Mindswap" is the greatest book yet, his humor and logical argumentativeness giving it one of the highest 8's ever awarded, and I tell JOHN to read it, too. John seems to have wanted badly to do something this evening, but there's nothing to do, and I'm satisfied to sit home and watch TV, and it ends up that that's what HE does, too, going to bed about 11:30, and I sit and watch for the end of the first of the double features on Channel 13, but having SEEN it, luckily, I can watch the TV showing from Times Square to watch all the people shouting, and then hear the boat whistles and the fireworks and the shouting from OUTSIDE, too, rather impressive, and I try to finish the book but can't, and then watch "West of Zanzibar" with Lon Chaney, and it's one of his MOST bizarre: his wife's lover knocks him down a flight of stairs, crippling him, stealing his wife, and when he finds she's in town with a baby, then dies, he's determined to get his revenge on her lover and "father" and goes to Africa and steals ivory, and brings the girl up as a prostitute, then wants to confront the two with each other, kill the father and burn the daughter as his suttee, but it turns out that it's HIS daughter, and Lon Chaney goes through the MOST dramatic motions on the silent screen. That's over at 1:30, and I just don't feel like going to sleep, so I watch the end of "Carousel" for the ballet scene, forgetting that it's RIGHT at the end, and I try and try to come nicely, but it just doesn't work, and the end of the film is at 3AM, and I've been smoking and eating and generally going to pot, and it's not the BEST way to bring in the new year, but at least I've finished TYPING about it this Saturday evening at 6PM, with my shoulders ACHING from the drag of my typing fingers, and I see the flip at the bottom that means that I'm now on the LAST line from the year 1973, and WELCOME TO 1974!


DIARY 3497 12/24/72


But things cheer up considerably for the party. Though their apartment is bare, there's a nice lived-in sense with the worn tatami shifted to the corners of the room and the new ones in the center for company. They have no blankets because they took the coverings for the windows at DTW, but they insist they're comfortable in their sleeping bags. Kei serves wine and sake and tea, and everything settles into a nice glow. Then the two Peruvians arrive, and we talk about how beautiful Peru is, and John admits that the boy has a "beautiful face," which must be partly Indian, and he says his grandmother was pure Indian. Sin Cha is there to compare notes about her native Korea and the Burma and India and Japan that we know, and John goes into his tales about the Kyoto ryokan and Butterfly and the gowns we wore and the photos we got snapped in. Ted arrives and talks about his joys with the children, and his ballet classes two days a week at a Connecticut college that pays his way in New York, so long as this posture-dance teacher pays part of his rent by using his loft as her studio. Maldwyn talks about entertaining 2000 kids at Philharmonic Hall, and Kei smiles whenever she thinks it necessary, and laughs when John gets involved in his stories, but there's a look on her face that implies she really doesn't understand much of what he says, but is just smiling and laughing to be sociable, and I get the same idea from the Peruvians, too. John's oblivious to all this, and even after the Peruvians leave and Kei switches against the wall after Mal leaves with a present for a small friend (which I somehow think is a pretext to get away from the party, to show how paranoid New York has made me), and practically falls asleep before John figures it's about time to leave at 10:30, and he said that they WERE rather groggy when they came into the workshop the next morning (for only 4 children for each of the AM and PM sessions of the dance), and that apparently Mal and Kei just share the same apartment, since he was telling her about what happened at the giftee's house, but I said that she probably cleaned up the place and dropped right off to sleep. But she and the food and the Peruvians were lovely and restful and natural in this horrid hectic New York.


DIARY 3501  12/25/72


I'd earlier gotten the idea of giving a set of promises to pay for various things, and decided that the best framework would be furnished by a "Twelve Days of Christmas" card edited to refer to the presents I was giving JOHN. But the envelope didn't fit the card, which was sort of dreadful, and the card wasn't so special either, so I decided to make a nest of envelopes, spent about half an hour assembling 12 of proper size, from a large Census manila to a small stamp glassine, and then made a list of the gifts, in about this order: 1+1+1 hours in an elegant restaurant of your choice. ONE, just me, only one there is in the world (how's that for a climax?) written on the back of a cutout name from my calling card, placed into the smallest glassine envelope, wrapped with protective paper. Then, with a die showing the five-face, $5 gift order, which I put on a check, for the sex book of his choice. 12 I put on the outside envelope, with 12 X's for kisses, which I gave him as we woke in the morning, leading perfectly into the gift exchange. Looking in my stamp box, I found a block of 9 "absolutely priceless paintings," and figured toothpicks could be 10, or Dix. Het was seven plants of his choice, so long as they were UNDER $1. Then fore, for, for u, 4, were four "pieces for the kitchen," (1 can opener $4) and he's already decided that 3 of them would be a couscous maker ($15). 48/24 were 2 bottles of "special" wine for "special" dining, 6 was the card itself, saying he was halfway there, 11 were 11 IBMs (Incomparably Beautiful Messages) such as "I love your BLUE eyes," with the blue in blue felt-tip, as was the tan, the clove-colored hair, the money he doesn't like, and other appropriate color links. 8 was the lid from the cake I just ATE (not expecting ALL goodies, were you?). Then I pasted colored bits of paper from the card envelope, the paperback, Fred Clanagan's Christmas card, and Christmas seals to cover up the Census information, and nested them all into a substantial package and put them under the bed. The next morning, from the drawer, he pulled out a card, saying "Follow the magic numbers," telling me of the 5 "preplaced for your added joy" books on Indian, Indonesian, and Tibetan art already in my bookcase, and our joys matched each other's thoughtfulness and equi-nuttiness.


DIARY 3505 12/27/72


He's been saying that at LEAST since Arnie's party introduced him to Sidney Offitt of the "Intellectual Digest," and probably for a short amount of time before that, he's had the premonition that something good's about to happen to him, probably in the mail, so he looks forward to seeing what sort of notice he'll be getting of great good fortune. I think vaguely that maybe ex-President Truman, who died today, had left him something in his will, or maybe his mother will die and leave him half her fortune (minus some for her grandchildren). I ask if he's ever had the feeling before, and he says he hasn't, so it's not possible to check whether it's generally true or not. I say that I generally have the feeling that things will work out well, and that generally they do, though I've never had any SPECIFIC feeling of something about to happen that did (including anticipations while smoking of someone about to knock on the door, someone striking stumbling across me, someone ALREADY agreeing to publish my book, someone ALREADY having left me scads of money). I wish him luck with this, trying to get some kind of feeling that may have triggered it: anything to do with DTW, no, not specifically. Anything with our talk of moving to Canada or Switzerland? No, it's more something about money, maybe getting lots of it from the New York State Council, or from some other source. Or maybe getting wind of some kind of special job that would bring much money in to him in the course of a very few years, or maybe an opportunity to write something of a big nature, or to travel somewhere on a large scale. But it's already been around since November 4, over 7 weeks, and nothing specific has happened, so I beseech him to keep me informed: either when the feeling vanishes, or when something happens to him that he can locate as the source of the premonition. Since he's so seldom (never) had one before, and since he puts great stock on feelings about plants, people, colors, business, it will be interesting to see what might happen. Which is the reason for this stretching out, since I wanted to say something about the premonition BEFORE it was proved to be true, since it would CINCH its validity in MY mind.


DIARY 3521  1/2/73


We're six, which is a good number, Arnie and Norma sitting together against the wall, John and I facing them, and Lucy and David, the singles, facing each other from opposite ends. The game starts out quite slowly, everyone going to jail many times, but everyone accumulating much property except me. Norma's having to mortgage because of the number of properties that she has, but then the game gets swinging, everyone's going around GO, having more money, and remembering to pick up their $200 on the way around, and everyone's getting expert in counting the three dice, quite a mental feat, and then about 11 Lotte Edwards calls to say that THEY'RE back from Rhode Island, and they're coming over, too. John's gotten out the banana-chocolate/coffee drink with coffee ice cubes, but it doesn't quite work out: the bananas were quite green and their sweetness doesn't come across, there's not enough sugar, so it's not really a dessert drink, and there's no booze, so it's just fairly flat. Others are drinking the sake and the claret and the burgundy as if there was no tomorrow, and the fish of cheese and pretzel crackers are going quickly, as is the Familia-type soybean chewies in the individual egg servers. The Edwards arrive at 11:15, and sit around with drinks, and we keep on playing until just a few minutes before midnight, when I turn on the radio, but no one admits to midnight until Norma, after three tries, forces "Auld Lang Syne" on the group, and it's rather nice, and then Ben comes in about 12:15, but everyone's interested in John's huge tray of vegetables, and gets ready for the broccoli and beans and condiments, and there are more drinks, and Lucy's brought fudge, which is great: condensed milk and malt, it tastes like, and Norma's brought bread, which John serves buttered, and everyone sits around and talks, and David REALLY seems like a callow ass, and then people start leaving, and we're amazed to find that it's actually 2:30, and finally the last leave, David last of all, and I've put the Monopoly boards back together, and he leaves with Arnie's, and I tell John I was glad he didn't stay, and John MIGHT have been interested, but we LEFT everything for the morning and FELL into bed.


DIARY 3667  3/10/73


I recall months ago when John was describing Art's plight: Bob M. stopped being his lover, started going out with gals, and finally moved one of them INTO the apartment with Art, while he tried finding a new apartment, but couldn't find one that he could afford. I thought he MUST be in sad shape, and felt very sorry for him, though I couldn't do anything for him. Then John kept describing their differences: how Art wanted to continue devoting his efforts to anal office re-sorting, and how John wanted him to start creating more dances. Finally Art did that, but even blamed John for THAT in some way. Then he seemed fanatically interested in the FEW areas in which he still had responsibility, didn't care for it when John initiated new policies for the workshop, and there were constant bickerings about who was doing what: John liked responsibilities clearly outlined, Art liked things vague; John moved fast, Art slowly; John did things himself, Art checked back and forth and wanted to KNOW. Art was supposed to draw up the class schedule, but hadn't a week before it was supposed to go to press, so John took it over, did a great job, and alienated Art fatally. Finally it came to a head, Jeff insisting that Art had to be satisfied because he'd done so much for DTW at the beginning. But it's not the beginning, now. But Jeff MUST be loyal. So for the past FEW months I've been hearing nothing but BAD about Art, and now he's been shifted into the part of the HEAVY. So when John says he might commit suicide, I think "JOHN can't force someone ELSE into suicide, someone ELSE will use John as an EXCUSE to ATTEMPT suicide in order to make it CLEAR to everyone that he's in TROUBLE," and though John might be able LOGICALLY to accept that, he insists that his ILLOGICAL guilt would make him miserable, and he didn't want any part of it: he would resign, have nothing more to do with Switzerland, and look for another job. I felt angry with Art, wishing he could just LEAVE, or find something NEW, as Jeff seems to have done. John talked to Wendy Summit; Cyndy Reed was quitting; the board meeting was scheduled for Saturday noon, so that John Wilson could be part of it, and John had to sit it out for the whole week.


DIARY 3674  3/10/73


Sometime early this very eventful week John got a letter from the chairman of the Search Committee for the new chairman of the dance department at the University of Maryland, saying he was being considered. I laugh at the beginning of the talk, saying he had no qualifications, but then the guy called long distance on Thursday night, and I really had to start thinking about it in earnest, because they got along SO well together it might be that he WILL be offered the job! For all my talk in the past about how much I wanted to leave New York, and how much I wanted John to NOT be tied down to DTW, it's certainly appalling to see my shift in attitudes when it seems that he WILL be leaving DTW, that there IS the chance of moving to Washington, which I've many times said is the only OTHER city in the US in which I'd care to live. I'll most regret having to move AT A TIME WHEN I'M still getting mail addressed to my OLD address! I'll regret not being able to USE the contacts I've now built up at about a dozen major publishing companies (1: Crebos; 2: ACC; 3: Harcourt; 4: McGraw-Hill; 5: Macmillan; 6: Harper and Row; 7: Dell; 8: Dutton; 9: Random House (gal from program)---well, 9 IS "about a dozen.") But thinking over friends, there's only Avi and Azak and Joe and Bob and Joan and Arnie, and Arnie's literally the ONLY one that I see more than once every two or three months! D.C.'s getting bars (for as often as I use bars), and Man's Country will be sad to leave, but I'm sure DC has baths. The international set will be there in even GREATER force, I'll miss the Hurok series, but all he gets anymore is the American Ballet Theater and the Royal Ballet anyway, the other ballet companies are passé; I don't see THAT much of Broadway or Off-Broadway, and there's still SOME theater in DC, and probably just as many dance groups that I'd SEE. And then there's the whole new area to explore for weekends---BUT there's also the hassle of my finding ANOTHER job, finding ANOTHER apartment (or house), and finding new friends and circles of movement, and ALL those DAMN changes of address!! But John goes down on March 21 (omen of first day of spring?), and we'll know about my birthday, just when MARTY finds if HE works for the Library of Congress. What a BUSY week it HAS BEEN!


DIARY 3681  3/11/73


We chat at Thursday dinner and say that this week has been so full of ACTION (my learning a new, well-paying job, his DTW hassle, his UM offer) that it makes the vacation seem AGES away and of very short duration. I remark, for what must be the thousandth time, that it's the old situation: when there are long periods of doing essentially nothing (as the trip was), it seems to take an ETERNITY (of boredom of riding in a car, for instance) to live through, but because there are so few INCIDENTS, the mind has nothing to hang onto on thinking about it, so it seems to have passed VERY FAST. Thus the trip seemed long while TAKING it, and short in RETROSPECT. But when things are happening fast, there's no time to sit and brood about the passage of time, so it FLIES past, seeming almost instantaneous in passage, but there's so MUCH happening, that looking BACK on it, for all those THINGS to have happened, it must have taken a VERY long time, so it seems longer. I still haven't BEGUN to get to the movies I want to see (which I want to make a list of as soon as John's awake), and TV last week was quite active (even though the "Sticks and Bones" was cancelled from Friday by a CBS that feared interaction with the Vietnam veterans return, prompting Russell Baker in today's Times to come up with the simplest possible satire on; thank goodness CBS isn't FORCING us to watch that awful movie, just as now theaters can't FORCE us to pay $5 to see "Deep Throat," thanks to that judge who condemned it), and there are still performances to be seen and tickets to be ordered. The fact that I have no money to play with weighs heavily on me, too, and of course the duties with John's Dictionary have to be done, and the correspondence pile MUST be made smaller, and souvenirs HAVE to be put away, and it seems I'm getting wind of more and MORE books that I want to read, so we're going into a time of HIGH activity. And I have some sort of "infestation" that makes my tongue coated with shell-smelling vileness, the same that infects my urine and the strange stringy excretions that I make so frequently. Have to get to a doctor and have my stool examined to see what they are that I'm playing "mine host" to NOW.


DIARY 3694  3/18/73


Rodney had a kiss for John and me as he entered, and I met Richard for the first time, so we merely shook hands. Norman looked the same, puffing from the climb, kissing, and I put the coats away and I started on my third wine of the day, the Japanese plum, ending with the fourth of the Pombal we had during dinner, and I felt wined to the gills. Norman went on and on, as John described it, "writing his next book in his conversation" after the 50 he'd already written, and he talked about his speaking engagements, sometimes as many as five in one day, which netted him $6,000, not counting travel expenses and all the free food he could eat, as here, for only six weeks of work. This time New York was his last stop, and he was slowing into his return to Europe. Carlo was much in the conversation, having been in his life for 10 years and both had to agree to the other's infidelities, and we got into a long disquisition about the types of genital intercourse: celibacy and autoeroticism being the obvious two, and Rodney wanted to make three: with someone else; Norman figured four: homosexual and heterosexual, and I thought of a fifth: with MORE than two, whether it be animal, soft linens, or apple cores, and Richard seemed to think that was a good idea. The dinner was a marvelous success, which poor John pulled off by tending almost exclusively to IT, and little to the conversation except after it was finished. We started with clam and watercress soup, which I thought was clammy but OK, then the marvelously aromatic couscous, with its list of a dozen spices all blending into an ineluctable, inexplicable whole for once, a marvelous aroma and taste without any one component knocking you over the head. Then the charlotte Russe ended it, there wasn't enough wine to go around, and we sat around talking until they left at 11, when I feared Norman would attack, but we continued talking until 11:30, when the prompt guy from the Heights Car Service rang downstairs, I walked Norman down, we embraced and kissed, he pouring compliments into my waiting ear, and he got out into the car in the rain, hoping to get back to his lodgings at St. John the Divine before they locked the gates on him at 12.


DIARY 3698  3/18/73


I don't HONESTLY know what to do next. Debated about going to the Mattachine breakfast this morning, but when the time came to leave, it was snowing outside, John wasn't going, there was SO much I had to do, so I decided not to go. But then I didn't want to DO anything. Didn't want to proofread, since I had so many things I had to write that took priority: both the T-diary of this past week, and the diary to CATCH up with. Worked for a bit on the test from Harper and Row, but a bit appalled at the difficulty of the texts that they sent me. So I plodded into the diary, and am now, at this moment, flabbergasted that I DID manage to get done through this, the FIFTEENTH page of today, and it's only 3PM! So my decision DID bear fruit, since if I'd gone to Mattachine, I'd be 15 pages BEHIND. Then there's the problem of this evening: Anita and Dushka and their hosts and John are going to Judson Church for Dan Waggoner: I like him as a dancer, but John insists I wouldn't have much of a chance to talk with him. Tomorrow, however, he plans to take them to Le Beau Pere, which I liked very much, and there'd be the chance to talk over dinner, but the dinner is before some gal's performance at 10PM, and I'm not interested in her, so why go? Then I went through the Times very quickly this morning, making a list of the things I want to see, and then even reduce THAT: why would I see "Roma" with something I've seen BEFORE, why not wait until it comes around with something I ALSO want to see? So I wanted to go to the Tony De Rome films after Mattachine, I'm sure they'll be on for a long time. Then I have to fill in the two days when John's not going to be here. Then tonight I want to watch Bette Davis in "The Sisters" that I've never heard of, BUT since I HADN'T heard of it, why MUST I SEE it? So I DON'T know what I want to do this evening, and then decided to just let the hours go past until then, and when I see how much I've finished, how much I'm tired of typing (which is quite a bit, at the moment, with a shoulder pain that I wish I could relax), how much I want to talk to someone. How much I want to watch TV. Or call people on the phone, or smoke, or sort through souvenirs, or write letters, or the DOZENS of things I really WANT to do and don't have the TIME for.


DIARY 3726  4/7/73


fetching with his short hair and his tanned face. Arnie had brought some corn, lima beans, and carrots in candy, which no one wanted to eat, but John C.'s gift of "a big kiss" was enjoyed, particularly one night the following week when we got stoned and lit into it. Then John brought out the frozen southern salad, and though everyone expressed amazement with it, it went so quickly that when Arno came in at 10, he said he took the last of it, though he didn't know that John had a stash in the fridge for the next few nights. Then he came out with the other pieces of the buffet, and what everyone thought was spinach turned into zucchini and lamb with curry sauce, the country ham was utterly fabulous in its marvelous taste, and we even had a number of southerners at the party to vouch for its authenticity: Henry, John, and Gerald. Arno and Azak chatted, Sergio and I talked about stamps, Henry was very quiet most of the time, even Arnie didn't attempt to monopolize the group. Gerald had brought some wine, and John and John C. had brought the dreadful Argentine wine (though maybe it was Kenneth). Sergio and Kenneth had to leave early because Kenneth was doing "Deuce Coupe" twice tomorrow, and about midnight it was obvious that even if Eddie called, he wouldn't be able to come to the party because it just wouldn't be there. Goodbyes were embarrassing, since Henry Messer wanted to be kissed and I didn't care to kiss him, but Henry, John C.'s friend, seemed NOT to want to kiss, and I rather perversely insisted on kissing HIM. Both Gerald and I seemed to WANT to kiss, but we didn't do it, he only brushed up against my ass and said something flattering, and I kept wondering why it was that we'd never gotten TOGETHER. Then everyone seemed to be leaving at once, and I didn't even think to give to Arnie the stuff that was his: the cassette and the program from the Polish Mime Theater. But the party was an enormous success, the punch was quite drunk up though there was a lot of orange left for John's thing for DTW tomorrow, and the room was STREWN with dirty dishes that I didn't do ANY of, waiting for that lovely tomorrow, in which I ALSO wanted to do lots of work, and to see "Ubu Roi."


DIARY 3762  4/29/73


[Got to get to it SOMETIME] We're about the last ones in, having eaten already, and everyone's in full flight because of the drinks, though the black girls are sitting quietly in the corner, and Harold greets me VERY warmly. Nonoy is quiet, and Laraine is almost invisible on the sofa, and John talks so little to Marge that he hardly has an idea of who she is afterward. The view from the apartment IS spectacular, but the in-front-door-through-another-door-dowstairs-and-through-ANOTHER-door is a bit much for the apartment, though I feel sorrier for the one in the tiny room ACROSS from her. She DOES have access to the garden, but the wind catches the door, so I don't go out. She's making the dinner, which we have some of, and everyone splits into a number of small groups, and Nancy Conboy is making all KINDS of strange remarks about how nice I am and how diplomatic, and how I know everything and have been everywhere, and when I think she's pulling my leg, she says "I'm SERIOUS," which makes me think she's pulling my leg all the MORE. Barry, the magical perfect typesetter (though at the NEXT party, previous page, he's so in DEBT because he installed a terminal in his APARTMENT, and then Crebos couldn't give him the BUSINESS, and now he has to work to get himself out of CREBOS'S debt) is there, tall and gangly with an incredible thin afro and a black horny dog. The dog is the hit of the evening, looking soulfully into your eyes, then wrapping his front paws around anything he can capture and humping hungrily away. For the first few times it's fairly embarrassing, but he keeps it UP with such a fervor that it becomes funny, and I'd like to see his MASTER in heat, humping up against MY leg. Finally I just push him away, look at the red-faced Hank who can't seem to feel comfortable under any circumstances, and John leaves rather early, pleading fatigue, and I drink some more, but don't see any reason to leave, and Nancy's leaving for the West Coast soon, so this'll be the last time I EVER see her apartment looking out over the Promenade, the Statue of Liberty, and all of lower Manhattan, just like in the movies. But the apartment ITSELF was a gyp, small and tacky, Ugh.


DIARY 3807  5/14/73


then John's triumphant voice "You'll never GUESS who found it," and I shout back my incredulity, and he shouts back, with marvelous candor "Blind John!" Sure enough, there it is, about four inches high, of which 22 inches are sturdy stalk the same butterscotch color as the scrotum-wrinkled top, and Maggie rather spoils the beauty (of the scrotum)?) by cutting it in half immediately with her knife "to see if a slug's crawled up inside and will be eating most of it." It goes in a prize position at the top of our plastic bag, and we're off AGAIN for various few kinds of wild mushrooms that no one can identify with enough certainty to keep and eat, and again they find a huge tree with squamosis all over, and fill bags of it. We're separated because the other group wants to go back by the road, and we cut through the swamp and streambed and thickets, finding nothing more, and even getting lost, and following behind Art as he plows his way directly up the hill where he knows the road is. Startle a loving couple playing on his guitar in a clearing by appearing from the woods like trolls, and walk to the cars to find the other car gone, so we're six in the one car, and we're back to Art's to see his leatherworking equipment and winemaking gear in the basement, Tija takes some snaps of a fern uncoiling malignantly beside his garage, and then we're into the car for the ride back to Manhattan, deciding at 4 that we MIGHT have a chance for Avi's surprise birthday party for Arthur, and get into town at 5:30, and John lets them off and says I can check if it's still going on, but he won't answer the bell, so I have to get upstairs, and he says, sure, come up, and it turns out that Arthur didn't get in HIMSELF until 4:30, so it's really just starting, and he's stoned and dancing alone in the center of the floor in his becoming tight white denim trousers that turn out to be half a suit, and the sloe gin was a miraculous choice, because that's EXACTLY what he's been drinking through the party. Avi's baked a grass chocolate cake that is almost earthy in its grassiness, and then a joint goes around and I'm quickly flying, helped along with a generous glass of sloe gin fizz. Sally's there, but I have to admit I never would have recognized her. There are sandwiches sitting around of tongue and beef and pastrami, and I help myself to those and to some potato salad and cole slaw, all catered that afternoon, and there are lots of girls there who aren't very interesting, and John starts in frying up some of the mushrooms, in margarine since Avi has no butter, and the pieces go around the room, and to the inquiring eyebrows I reply dryly "tree fungus," and their jaws pause and then chew somewhat more tentatively. Everyone who TRIES it likes it, and Lenny comes into the kitchen, dumpier and grayer, and we talk about Charles, and try to think of mutual friends, but he hasn't seen "Charles" in a couple of years, but he talks about the older fellow who's been his lover for so many years, and only NOW do I recall someone small and slim and rather graying who was usually with Chuck, and he says that he's FINALLY gotten some kind of job away from the library, and that he's not heard anything about it. Back for more cake and very stoned talk with Sally, and her dog Feathers is there, highly excited with the ribbon in HIS hair, and John gets down on the floor to play with him and Avi can't find the flash cubes for his camera, so a good series of shots gets away. Few people leave quickly, along with a pair of the cutest ones, and after a while I'm so stoned I think there could be sex, but then everyone seems to be ready to leave, and it's only about 8, yet it's still light as day outside. Into the car after saying goodbye to everyone, and we're driving home in the daylight, feeling very good about the whole thing, watching the sun sink in the west, and I get out of the car to watch the sunset on the Promenade, and wait until it gets dark, when it also gets chilly, and there's really no one to cruise, so I'm back and there's John sitting there, so I say I'm going back, and I have some more to smoke, and we get VERY stoned, getting out the poppers and the Baby Magic, which is reaching the end of its squirts, and we work and work and work away with the lights popping, and finally I have to do myself, but John seems to enjoy it, and we're completely fagged out after a VERY busy and high-making day, and to bed about 11:30.


DIARY 3817  5/15/73


Arnie's not there, as he might have been, but Mike Rosner is, looking just the same. He's bought the book of the exhibition for $8, saying that they're so culture-starved around San Francisco that people would flock to see his copy, and we look around for about an hour in the crowds, and I can verify that the color reproduction is poor indeed: areas of delicate color in Gauguins are completely washed out, patchwork on a Matisse is made invisible, brushwork on a Picasso is indistinguishable from the colors used, and the Monet lacks the incredible "presence" of the woman in white under the summer trees. Subway home while Mike vacillates about seeing his mother visiting his father in the hospital, and he decides he'll just call tomorrow about dinner. We ride home, then go down to the Promenade to see the view of the city, then home to drink beer and water to fill in from the meal, everyone takes their turn in the showers, and then we drive down to 230 Canal Street for "Dr. Hero" by Israel Horovitz. Park and walk and then drive and park and walk again, past the fringes of Chinatown, and into an old loft building with the oldest elevator in New York, wired in on three sides, past which pass the floor entrances, the cruddy windows looking onto the descending street outside, and tiny doorways, some open and some closed, giving onto bizarre storage rooms, some crammed full of things musty beyond any possibility of usage, To the very top, into a nicely painted lobby of the show, and they recognize John as having been there before. Sad that he's telegraphed the fact that the ball playing is to involve the audience, and it STARTS OUT on a poor key, the Everyman telling his own story, but then with the entrance of Alan Nebelthau as Tommy, hanging his head to one side and moving as if he had no ankles, to whom the Hero is so INCREDIBLY cruel, yet the boy, truthfully, needs ANYONE so badly that he's willing to put up with Hero's shit. There are good parts and bad parts, and when people FIRST appear they seem dreadful, but when they later appear in a part totally unrecognizable from their first appearance, my respect for them begins to grow. It's uphill all the first act, but the intermission


DIARY 3823  5/15/73


Feel SOME kind of final page is necessary, the 58th in the set of pages needed to catch up with the 24 days I was behind just last Saturday! But I'm sort of typed out: my glass frame STILL digs into my right behind-ear, my shoulders are so sore that I sit typing hunched over, the ticking of the pendulum clock has begun to get through to me, and I still have to vacuum, wash dishes, and get to the letters tonight, and then have the Mattachine shelf to clear off next. Have to keep closer tabs with the diary, too, since I really can't afford to get behind before taking off on the trip (though if I typed NO more pages, I could only be as much as 25 days behind the day I left, if it's Friday, which is just what I was behind THIS weekend). Little things left to do, then plans for the trip to make, and things to get cleared out of the way, and reading to be done, and I'm sure there will be things to occupy my time (I sound as if I were WORRIED about that?). And maybe there'll be some time to spend on weekends and evening with John again, since I've been feeling so estranged having to work and work and work even when I'm not at Appleton. And then the 16 pages really SHOULD get off before the trip, so that I won't be around for the suspense "Will they respond?" And getting those pages READY is going to be a chore. It seems that I haven't much to say, now, sort of having been written out. Feel good that the diary's up to date, looking forward to getting others of the "To do" list finished, and then there SHOULD be more plans for the trip. Word of John's Washington position should come through, though the idea of buying a car in Europe seems more and more remote, even if the word came that we WERE moving. And then letters will start coming BACK, and I'll want to answer them before I leave, so that when I get BACK from the trip it'll be the whole cycle over again. Actually, it's taken March, April, May, 3 months to catch up from the last trip, so it'll be August, September, October, for the next, and it'll be time for the NEXT trip somewhere, at least to Hemlock Hall, where it would be nice if the Bowells could join us. To the end of the page, not much said, but the page, nonetheless.


DIARY 4026  8/1/73


Feel the need for some sort of concluding page here. Work is AWFUL, since NO one's interested in the job being done now that Syva's gone, and I waste more and more time talking on the phone and even reading papers and magazines and having long lunches that I don't bill myself for. Then there's been no sex with John since the TRIP, and I've been FEELING SO HORNY that everyone on the subway looks attractive, everyone on the street almost gives me a hard-on, so there's nothing I think about but going to bed with someone great. And the fact that I didn't come last night at the Club says that it wasn't QUITE the success it could have been, and I WISH they'd allow the freebies to have private rooms, too. Then it's been VERY hot out since we've been back, and there's the general discomfort about that, though today it showered a bit, cooling things off. I feel lazy because I didn't exercise this morning; disappointed because no one took any REAL interest in my writing (and the results have seemed to have stopped coming in, so there's really only TWO who expressed interest); I wanted to finish up some details of letters tonight, but discovered I left the phone list at work and don't remember who I was supposed to send the notes and resumes to; I wish I were finished typing up the trip diary, because I feel that every spare moment should be handling that; my bent toe from kicking it at the hotel in Bruges has stopped pussing only today, and I hope it gets better; and there's the joyful note that Pam Goett has some proofreading work for me, which might mean that I can take a FEW days off ACC and get OUT of my hatred for it. Then there's the confusion about WHEN Mom's coming to visit, and the lack of answer from the travel agency with the Russian travel brochure, so there are lots of things up in the air, except John was told by Sergio that the University of Maryland DID hire some administrator-type, and so the only thing HE has in the wind is the music-research with the dance-consultant and travel for the New York State Council on the Arts that they're trying to create, which John would like to get. And that finished this page, without really getting to any CRUX. Well, I did what I wanted to do.


DIARY 4032  8/4/73


Norma says that she doesn't WANT to travel with Arnie, would travel alone, and that they really hadn't been having that much SEX recently, and I'm struck with the parallel with OUR relationship. She figures it's just boredom with the sex act with the other person that accounts for the reduction in frequency, but I tell her my theory that it's GETTING STARTED that's difficult: it's one person telling the other person: I want you. There's no SNEAKY way of doing it: all the clue are out in the open: my asking John "Do you want to smoke?" SAYS to John, "I'm feeling horny and would like to have sex." This BLUNTNESS might be a bit much for the erotic feelings to flow freely. We might have to think of new CLUES, or we might have to ACCEPT the bluntness, or we might have to be even FREER with each other and frankly ADMIT when one doesn't feel like having sex (but what he's doing!). She still considers Arnie "her very best friend" and they talk endlessly: she filling his ears with her WORK shit, he filling her ears with his earning MONEY shit, and they "use" each other amicably. She says she's NEVER used the word "love" with Arnie, only saying she has "loving feelings" for him, since her husband, Lou, always used to harp on the string "I love you, say you love me" that understandably has turned her off that word. I sadly admit that John and I don't even have loving feelings for each other much of the time, and that we're increasingly doing things separately, though I don't say that what I'm hoping JOHN to do is see that I'm forcing him into too MUCH separateness in order to force HIM to admit that he wants ME around, as I've admitted that I want HIM around. Norma and I AGAIN INTELLECTUALLY appreciate the fact that everything changes all the time and we have to change with it, but we really can't HELP being somewhat flabbergasted that we ARE always required to change, and that we have been MANAGING to change (and some of the bitching is the patting on the back, saying, "See, you've adjusted AGAIN."). And the lunch is only $7 with tip, which isn't so bad, and I'll have to get back to using the restaurant forms again, or I'll forget about when I went where and liked what.