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FEBRUARY 22 - MAY 31, 1963

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22. Washington's Birthday. Off to an inauspicious start. Thought to leave Thursday night, but "Born Yesterday" was on TV and postponed it to Friday AM. But then I'm not ready anyway. Have to move junk out of drawers, and call Warren to find that he's not ready to take clothes from closet: he's going out of town. I put suits in closet over kitchen, but take them back out and wrap stuff in dirty torn sheets and pack THEM into the hole. Up early and pack and pack and drape stuff all over apartment and empty drawers and decide how to dress and try for no particular bus, but eventually tend toward the 1 pm. At 12:30 someone calls and tells me about the card game tonight at my place. I shudder and put it out of my mind. Grab cab and vacillate between 50th and 34th Street stations, but get to 50th at 12:55. One bus is express and other needs new section, and I stand in line for that bus until they announce it's going NORTH. I ask INFO and he says "Why not try Port Authority?" I say no. He says, "Try bus to St. Louis at 1:30." Driver says, "Hold ticket, I may leave you off on another bus." I sit and write this and watch the poor Italian man wander watery-eyed on the platform, trying to get to Connecticut. What do foreigners think of NYC? Probably lousy, since 50th St. station is too small, too crowded, with busses everywhere, but beaucoup beaux homes. A SECOND person asks, and driver answers same. A THIRD asks and driver shakes head, "No." Spanish accented woman looks up, pleading, after door closes, and it opens again. "??" She gives a barely discernable city name. "Yes, but you can't get on without a ticket." She stares and talks more, tears in her voice. He says, "Try to buy a ticket and go to gate 4, he's staying around for a few minutes." She gets off, looking back sadly. As bus pulls out, another man runs up to door and is passed by. Fellow with company talks about two fellows going back to Europe who asks them to look for their trunks. "They've been looking for 3 months. We told them they're coming." They laugh. "We said 'If they show up, we'll send them back free.' Two trunks and a suitcase." They laugh again. Many fine fellows get on and they stared around, too. Fellow gets in next to me, asks, "Is this seat taken?" and sits down, putting an "I'm a deaf-mute" sign in his pocket. Was he or wasn't he? I've heard that they learn to talk, but his speech was good. Finally the bus doesn't go to Newark, and they say they're putting another section on. Now it's 1:50. A second bus (to LA) stops, fills up, and I go back inside to wait. "Do you know what track the bus to Birmingham is on?" Then a THIRD bus (to Jacksonville) stops, and I sit down and write more and hope the bus doesn't fill up. It doesn't, even with Bruce, a fellow tall and built for his age who runs up driveway and who asks "Going to Jacksonville?" He's a doll. Amazing the number of Negroes on the street and in the museum in Newark. Newark Museum gave an idea how bad pottery vase painting could be. Wedgwood "Jasperware" is gorgeous. Leo Dee---Daliesque cloth in "Reflections in White." "Tuff" for nice also holds in Newark. Painting by Fred Dana Marsh, 1982-1961, Gift of Mrs. Fred Dana Marsh, 1962, of stupid woman. Was he cold yet? How sad American artists are so bad, but they make Rembrandt Peale look so much BETTER. 160 mechanical models are absolutely fabulous, but pity the poor attendant. Tibetan scroll paintings are FRABJOUS. Strange to see John Henry Newman's "Fever of life is o'er" in Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. In cheap pinball dive: "Minors under 18 not allowed, it's the law." Sign above 6-10 years olds, who are playing machines. Macrosonics, Inc.? Big Noise?
Mess up the Newark-Wilmington ticket by planning for 6:20, and leaving at 5:35. Fellow puts radio on blasting loud, and I move to back of bus. In the Wilmington station, waiting for Laird, a wire sparked, filling the waiting room with smoke, looking like steam and making the room look even more like a dressing room for a pool, with wooden benches, lockers, and yellow brick walls. To add to the effect of a Y, a civilian followed a sailor into the MEN, and they came out together, chatting amicably. The sailor's trousers looked ironed inside-out, since the crease on the side folded into the leg and not out. Laird enters and we go to the Golden Greek to sit beside two fellows with nice profiles, but that's all. And two fellows with wedding rings, one on fourth finger right, other on fourth finger left hand. We strain for things to talk about and I get introduced to "The Lonely Bull" by one fellow. We leave for a quick walk around Wilmington to Laird's, in freezing cold, then have luscious A&P fruit cake and hot chocolate and to bed, where Laird cuddles and attempts, but I lie flatly and finally get to sleep.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23. Alarm rings and we jolt awake, but fall off again and get up later. Breakfast and repack and I learn that Beethoven actually wrote and discarded 2 other climaxes to his Fifth, first movement. Into car and to DuPont Experimental Station, almost a city unto itself, with unified buildings and marvelous layout on top of and on the sides of a knoll overlooking the Brandywine River. Our trip in is lucky for Laird, since he forgot to leave a note to "top" with dry ice an explosive-when-boiling (at 23 F) reaction. We see Lavoisier library and look at book on hummingbirds for $22.50, written by one of the researchers, and out to car to University of Delaware in Newark. Get directed to Hert Dining Hall for filet mignon, and we talk about the increased hay productivity in Alaska and Northern Norway. Get speech after on imminent fall of US if the "culture of science" isn't spread to more people, and that is repeated in speech of some Indian at the UN: "There are two types of disease: disease of the rich and disease of the poor: that of the rich is fear of nuclear holocaust, that of TOO MUCH science; that of the poor is hunger, that of TOO LITTLE science." Same thing. Drive around Newark, groaning after two large repasts in three hours, and go to Hagley Museum, where we just catch jitney for ride around 2 mills and DuPont homes, then to museum for electrical Brandywine diorama, and many rather neat exhibits in the exhibition hall, moving and lit, for a completely slick modernization of something old in fairly good taste to something new in even more "only fairly good taste." The Race is iced and the mills are bricked and the ground frozen, but the sun is bright and the air crisp and invigorating and the Canadian geese, huge, flap out of the way of the bus. Into car and to Longwood Gardens, where the camellias are in bloom, and we search for the musky smell of some pyretic acid which smells like a man's crotch. They have a flat waxy beauty. The acacia walk is breathtaking with a woody misty biting smell, and the small yellow puffs make the distance hazy. The carnation room is again throat-catching, and there are amazing color combinations of pink flower and the powdered gray-green of the leaves and stems: clouded as if they were cold and someone breathed on them, a bloom easily scratched off to get to the essentially green stalk below. The carnivorous plants are disappointing, but the tropical garden is moist and rotten-smelling, and a dank stream bubbles menacingly down to a black pool. The central area is amazing in that the climbing fig has complete engulfed all the structural supports and the windows must be trimmed in order to be kept free. Huge trees are growing up to the removable ceiling, and the grass is wounded only by the line left by a watering hose. The cactus room is dry and dusty, and we linger as 5 pm passes and we leave without being coaxed at 5:20. How civilized the guards are. We must return when the colored fountains are in their glory. Laird wants to spend the night in Philadelphia, so I have little choice but to go along with him. Stop for groceries on the way, since all places in Philly close by 6. He stops by for Clay, and we 3 get into Laird's for dinner with Fred Motter and Burt Chamberlain (whom Fred smilingly confides in me, "He's castrated.") We eat the raw steak which Laird has done very little with, and I weary of polite conversation (Laird's incessant NICEness is still wearing), so I buy a Saturday Inquirer and check that the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra is sold out and end up at a 5 and a half hour sneak preview at the Fox. The preview is "Diamond Head" which isn't as bad as it may have been, chiefly redeemed by a most beautiful cast, and "Sodom and Gomorrah," which has terribly good (falling walls) and terribly bad (water from dam) special effects, plus more than a tiny suggestion of Lesbianism. Back to Laird's at 1:30 and fall asleep.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24. Up at 9:30, rather refreshed, and interminable host Laird fixes breakfast for Robert and me and then drives me to Greyhound for the 10:45 bus. I sit and watch jeaned, booted, unshaven, acned fellow with no couth reading the New Yorker (and not upside down) with the classic supercilious study of the butterfly on the cover. Essence of contrast. Listen to the announcer herald "the 10:35 booch," pause, "boat," larger pause, "the 10:35 bus to New York," and signs off with a chuckle. He comes on again to announce "the 10:40 booch," a pause and a sigh as I restrain audible laughter, "BUS for Pittsburgh." My bus is announced without a hitch, and I board bus in the beginnings of a driving snowstorm. The road between Philly and Wilmington is familiar (prev p. 330), even to the frequent stops at the railroad crossings, and Chester; but the further south we get, the stronger the snow becomes, until past Wilmington the forests are black and white as the fluffy snow piles up on the south side of the trees. The streams are frozen and the countryside looks literally snowbound. [Pass Scott Paper all lit up at night, pass it again, a morning later, in day snow; bus is like a D.C. bar --- must sit, and good ones are always sitting somewhere else.] [Marcus Hook Sunoco, Philadelphia Gulf, Flats Esso, huge manless conglomerates of tubing.] Driver lets me off at Edgewood and I phone Larry: "What's new?" "S'new." "Snew?" "SNOW!" "Oh, I hadn't noticed." He comes picks me up and gives a quick tour of the post, including the bay where he docks his boat (garaged for the winter), and the Officer's Club where I dispose of my bag in a two-room suite. We go to the golf annex for lunch and to his place for records and fish talk and Vatican viewing and chats with John Applegate about wrecks and VS and FS and BZ, and they pause as they touch upon classified material, though Larry surprises me by describing the defoliants they use in Vietnam which KILLS the trees when sprayed from boats, protected by flame throwers, from the canals. There we are: USING limited warfare with chemicals against plants, and it seems a relatively short step to using it against people. (Against rice, Larry suggests, and who says whether this is anti-vegetable or anti-animal chemical warfare?) John and Larry are crotch-pushing-out, and so I decide to do the same, and the evening ends as we seem to try to contest who can assume the more outlandish positions, all the while talking of the girls and the dates and the exclusively heterosexual activities we, of course, all indulge in. He leaves to try to get a date, but doesn't succeed, and we three go to the Acropolis, where unfortunately I recognize the belly dance setup and an unconscious attempt on their part to impress me fails dismally. I shall probably make no friends among people who try to be overly impressed with their particular section of the country. The girls do NOT don their flimsies until 11, and then it's the worst of the 3 who lackadaisically lurches about the stage to unenthusiastic accompaniment. We leave about 11:45 and I almost fall asleep on the way back. Larry gets stopped for speeding after remaking he's only doing 35, when it's posted 25, and lies bare-facedly by saying the limit's 35. The MP obviously believes him not, but lets him go. I get to bed about 12:30.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25. Up with the sun at 7:30 and snooze till 9:45. Larry doesn't come and I fix luggage up and shower and write Mom and he calls at 11. I do other little things and he comes in at noon, saying he has no time. Obviously I don't see the Chemical Museum on Post that he was supposed to show me. He drives me to Aberdeen, where I eat at New Ideal (familiar place) Diner and wait for the 1:05 to Washington, DC. Seems I'm getting to any number of places (Philly, DC, Aberdeen) where I really didn't intend to go. That's what I get for having friends in those places. Get in at 2:30, and find bus to Richmond doesn't leave till 4. Write this and finish at 3:30, and dawdle waiting (prev 330) for bus. The appreciation for the people wandering through the waiting room continues through DC. [The West Point cadet's uniform, with the closest-to-wasp-waistedness acceptable in male fashion, produces a walk incorporating a midsection constructed from taut glass fibers, a stiff, erect, muscle-strung semblance of all-out ass-out good posture.] The station master wanders along the benches, checking if those seated have tickets; those who don't are chased off, save one. The exception looked up uncomprehendingly, the master whispered in his ear, nothing happened, and later the man dozed on his seat, his spread knees showing the long underwear he was wearing under his trousers. The invariant presence of the high-booted slouch-walker, the crisp, neat-haired blue jeans, all made watching fruitful. How many stations will it take to make me tired of looking at people? (Looking at people, hell; cruising?) There's always a beard, the colorful colored, the servicemen in civilian clothes still obviously servicemen, the cute fellows on board for Miami --- will they be successful if they are hustlers or gigolos? I think so, if I am any judge. Richmond bus causes trouble by being listed at 4 and 4:15 I stand in front of door marked "Richmond," and at 4:15 it loads from "Memphis" door. FINE. Snow was not generally present IN DC, only near parking lots, the shady side of bridge abutments, and a half sphere of the Jefferson Memorial (and all waterways). The Shirley Highway is jammed. What an INCREDIBLE amount of time and energy and expense people devote to getting TO and FROM work! There was still snow on roadsides in Stafford and Fredericksburg, Va, on the north sides of hills and in hollows. Sunset at 6 pm. Only snow now is to be found on the north side of freshly graded highway embankments. [What was once a black thick forest, snow-whitened to windward during the night trip, became a brown dry facade, snowless save for the ground, masking the hills beyond.] [The snow was pink under the Jaguar, and from the sideways skid marks from the tires in the snow, you could trace its path from the highway to the embankment where it lay, crumpled, as the bus sped past.] [C missing from SINCLAIR sign.] [The fellow had the irresistible combination of a ten-year-old's childlike towheaded cuteness coupled with a twenty-year-old's supple manly body.] [The ABC-ON-OFF restaurant. "HEATED POOL" half covered with ice. "ANTIQUES - Used Articles." Tourist Cabin -Colored. Antietam --- 23,000 killed in one day.] Into Richmond at 7 and ask directions twice to Y. Get there and check in, and out again with little street map. Wander down Broad but it's too "used car row," so I move up to Grace, and what should I see but Eton's. Wander into drug store next door and buy newspaper and get cruised by tall, uncertain chap. Paper has nothing and we glance back and forth, both crotch-watching. He makes phone call, I wander out to curb. He wanders out and crosses street to bookstore. I stand pat for 5 minutes till he comes out, then follow him back up Grace. He gets into car, long pause, I cross over, glance down at what I TOOK to be Louisiana plates, and said "Say, do you know much about this town?" "No, I've just been here a week myself" in a convincing deep-south drawl. "Nothing in the newspaper, and I've only been here a few hours." Stare and smile; cat and mouse. "You looked intelligent and alert, I thought you might have found some interesting bars to go to." "No," "A friend had a list, and he gave me places, but none for here." "What kind of entertainment you looking for?" "Oh, anything, anything at all. Something interesting." "I thought I might go looking for some girls." "To be perfectly honest, I wasn't thinking of looking for girls" I say, nervous and sweating. "How much would you be willing to pay?" Flustering me. "Pay? Why, the pleasure of it." He smiles and is silent. We've missed, somehow; then I notice the police car parked across the way, and become very conscious of my crouch over his car. "Well, I guess I'll let you get on your way." "OK." "What?" "OK." "Bye." And I wander back up Grace. Houses are pleasant, and streets are lampless, except for few porch lights on. Walk 20 blocks and turn up past Monument, which I'd been seeing along the way, and get to Park, a plaza-ed, yarded, elegant street. The interiors through windows are warmly antique. Get into the neighborhood of Main and the dormitories of Richmond Technical Institute. Wander way up, through City Park, looking for Capitol Hotel, but it looks busy and I continue the circle on Broad. When I get to where I started at first on Broad, I go up to Grace, and get to past drug stone for dinner, and hear college kids obsessed with gay boys and making jokes about Eton's. Finish chicken and out to Eton's, which is wildly mixed, but a few lovelies, including a Tab Hunter type with a Roz Russell voice who just flew in from California. Typical talk flows and I leave and get to bed.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26. Wake to find inches of snow fallen, and dash to bus station to find Gray Lines tours cancelled. Walk down to Marshall St. and the old White House [Does the colored lady in the Whitehouse of the Confederacy ALWAYS whistle "Dixie?"], now a Confederate museum with a Confederate doorman and guide, across to the Medical Museum, where by chance I pick up location of Virginia Centennial building: nearby. Walk there in increasing cold, and see movies and excellent displays, and pick up THERE a brochure to the Valentine, which I visit lengthily next. What WON'T they throw into museums. [Such pipes as you've never seen in Valentine Museum. Wax diorama with light bullet which partially melted (withered his arm, puckered his face) Captain Christopher Newport, arriving at Jamestown island on the "Sarah Constant." Museum also contained a pastry, cooked in 1850.] Back up across Capital grounds, STILL snowing, and way out to Poe cottage, which is closed, though sign says it's open. Freezing and tired (no meal), I check the wrongly-timed Pepsi tours across the street, and walk back and ask for next bus to Charleston or Atlanta. Almost decide, but the bus to Norfolk is announced, and I take THAT. [Richmond to Norfolk --- passing swamps rapidly icing up --- islands of snow creeping out from tree trunks.] [Southern Virginia drive-in with large new sign: "HOT SOUP." Outdoor picnic tables "WHITE ONLY." Bus passes a Continental with a single man, a uniform rental truck, and a civil car with the window 2/3 down. Makes stop at Ivor, passes a Continental with a single man, a uniform rental truck, and a civil car with the window 1/3 down. Next? Plantation drive-in theater has the back of the screen (facing highway) a perfect colonial mansion facade, pillars, shuttered windows, balcony, etc.] ["Knowledge just for the knowing is like plowing without sowing." Portsmouth, Virginia: Harvey A Hunt High School: HAH High? A cemetery sigh: "Guaranteed perpetual care." HOW long? Four-lane highway and two center lanes weren't cleared, bus decided to pass poor clean Chevy, with window down a bit. Must have paralyzed him, window remained down, windshield wipers didn't start, though car was absolutely completely covered with muck. Picture for pie-throwing: fellow puts hand in front of face, cream lands on face with a handprint in it. ON-OFF in license means on or off-premises. Back-hill Virginia roads are OK for sightseeing, but the narrowness of the road gets people all involved in the problems of passing, the local newspaper delivery, the stops at nowhere where a colored gal gets off and goes to a car pointing down a dirt road, and the frigidity of horses, cows, asses, pigs, hogs, and children, and dogs.] [You can't care for anyone --- maybe because too many people cared too much for you.] [People not to stand --- stupid ones, lazy ones, those who cannot communicate.] Snow continues down, and bus to Atlanta is cancelled and Norfolk is a DREARY town. Catch cab to Y, 3 blocks, and fall asleep amidst radio, record player, whistles and yammer. /BOOK 2/ It was hard to decide which was worse, that noise, the fearful heat of the room (which continued after turning off the radiator, opening the window, throwing off the covers, drinking cold water, and taking everything off), or the hardness and incredible dip to the bed. I picked a bad time to try to sleep (8:30 pm) but there was simply nothing to do in Norfolk, at least anything that involved going outside, since the wind sifted powdery snow into the shoes and soaked the socks and made walking fearsome. In desperation, to make myself sleepy, I jerked off; it dried quickly but then I had to wash my hands before my next drink of water.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27. Told the fellow to ring me at 6:30, but I'm up at 6:20 and dressed by 6:40, when he calls me. Phone bus lines and he says they're cancelled all morning sure, but he didn't know yet about the 3 and 9 pm. I moped back to the room, and only slightly contemplated calling, at 7:45, about the 8:15 bus; but then there REALLY wasn't enough time to make it, and it was probably cancelled still, anyway. So I read the Navy Guide and did very little else. Couldn't bring myself to action, and wanted to avoid thinking, since I might start berating myself for getting me into the fix in the first place: if only I'd caught a bus from Richmond to Atlanta, it would have saved a day. But these are the advantages of going along: If anyone's to blame, I am; and if it's DONE and not worth complaining about, all I have to do is keep myself quiet. So I do. At 8:30 I decide I can't stand this place much longer, so I dress and pack and check out and walk to the bus terminal. Everybody's shoveling snow. "Will the 11:45 leave?" "Oh, yes, even the 8:15 left." "OH?" So I resign myself to stupid fate and eat breakfast and debate buying a comic book for the first time in years, but it costs 15 new, and from the ones I look through, there are fewer stories, the artwork is poorer (though some few characters seem to be developing the well-developed crotches that drove me wild about the Captain Marvel family, especially Junior) and the stories look, if possible, even more implausible. Surprisingly many have a western setting. A rather discouraging trend. Settle back to read "Faust" and invent a cat-mouse game between myself and a well-padded cock, triangular torso type who's probably fat, but I can dream. He steps back and forth, and he's looking and is sure I'm looking, but his friend arrives and that's that. Continue to read Faust and snake-eyes keeps crotch-contorting and watching everyone else's, but he's not strictly my type, until he stands and walks, and then his hipless slimness IS rather fetching. Finally board what I took to be an express to Atlanta, but turns out to be the local mail run, stopping at every hydrant. Some of the people getting on and off are nice enough, and two in particular are interesting. They're the two who had shared a room in the Golden Triangle the night before, since they arrived the next morning followed by a bellboy with their suitcases and assorted coats and packages. A nice start. The older one was married, but the younger one had that handsome agreeable stupid look which would make him fetching to almost anyone. They read on the bus at first, but later I couldn't take my eyes off them, even though snake-eyes, sitting BEHIND me and across from them, was getting an eyeful, too. And he rode almost the entire trip with as big a parallelepiped as possible formed by his elbows and knees. The younger, on the outside, had somehow contrived to fall asleep with his left arm raised, hand behind his head. Into the armpit, invitingly displayed beneath the triceps and above the latissimus dorsi, was drooping his companion's nodding head. Closer and closer it drooped, and I could hardly resist watching the peaceful look on his face as he almost literally began to bury his nose in his partner's armpit. The jogging of the bus had its usual erectile effect, and I could see a distinct rise between his inseam and his belt. This was really too MUCH. The other fellow slept benignly on. Then, between looks, I heard a small amount of movement, and looking back I saw that Junior had lowered his arm and senior had also lowered his hands, they now covered the front of his trousers. My fervent imagination may have contributed an erection to the younger, but something loomed large. Senior's head now rested firmly on Junior's shoulder, and Junior's head was definitely in contact with Senior's. Ah, for soundless, self-processing, periscope-action cameras of small concealable size. We soon stopped in Danville (6 hours later is soon) to change busses, and ate. The local continued without pauses (unplanned pauses --- dozens of planned ones). There was a flurry of excitement when two girls kissed their boyfriends goodbye and got on the bus, but all the fun of "would they or wouldn't they" seemed to be gone when, from the conversation anyway, it appeared they would. Nothing discourages like encouragement. So the two sailors in front sprawled out as well as they could to sleep (after the myopic cigar-puffer left), and the cute soldier and the cute sailor went to sleep 69 in the back seat. "I jam my feet into the sleeves of my coat, and put them in his armpit. He does the same to me. When I get an itch in my armpit, I kick him and he services me." Ah, sweet armpits. I buy the rental of a pillow, eminently worth it, and catch short dozes between the interminable stops (they stop stopping only to stop, shortly, once again). The rest stations always seem to have one or two of these southern farm boys with lanky frames, tight jeans and open-mouth stares. Wonder where they come from, how often they get it, and how they're there ANYWAY. At 6 am we reach Atlanta, I see the Y lights as we drive in, but my request for directions gets bungled and I end up walking 6 blocks instead of 2. Sign in for a $4 room, with membership, and get upstairs. Don't feel like sleeping.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28. I sort things out, throw things away, write to end of book, take shower with hairy shapely older fellow and hairless shapeless OLD fellow, get fixed up, take laundry down, and AGAIN find there is no tour --- this time because there isn't one until April 15. Breakfast in the Y coffee shop and get out on the streets. Looks like rain, so I decide to go south to Grant Park first. Walk, walk, walk, and the city is bigger than I thought, and I pass nothing but highway-industrial type places and low-rent housing for Negroes. Get to park and am amazed by number of blue jays in trees, on ground, and generally audible. Mistake (clever them) the concession booth for the cyclorama, but get into the right one for $1, halfway through the cycle. Very much like the others (Quebec and one other?) with music and sound effects and, if you let yourself go, tear jerkings. The setup was decent, but the other exhibits were not. Japanese pottery next to sea shells, next to stones, next to fossils, next to stuffed canaries, next to truly awful oils of "Burnside on Horseback," by Mrs. Mary L Smith, Presented by Mrs. Mary L Smith (kindly old soul). The museum was lousy. Back to the start and more tears ("They had one thing in common --- a MOTHER. They were the Martin brothers, the Union one aiding the Confederate one as he died"), and the kids ("Oh, Miss Baker, that's just too AWFUL to look at"). Out and discard the idea of going through the zoo. It was small. Also discard Joel Chandler Harris's house (cain't ABIDE Bre'r Rabbit), and make for the capitol. [I guess I'd never been IN a state capitol before, so maybe Georgia's no exception. First I saw the kids running around, up and down stairs, around statuary, and shouting through the central immense rotunda, presided over by dead men in incredibly poor dark oils. Then a man of importance enough to be a legislator wandered past with an open container of milk, straw inserted, munching crumbily on a sandwich which peeped out of a waxed paper coat. Then the cruddy museum on the fourth floor, taking hall space from offices of the interior, offices of forestry and wildlife. Better still, off the corridors of this floor opened two galleries. The first would have amazed anyone not familiar with what was going on. Two people were speaking with equal-volume microphones with indecipherable rapidity. I doubt I could have understood either of the speakers separately, unaccustomed as I am to southern speaking.] Come out and sit in public park (after buying booklets, finally, in a store which CERTAINLY had some nude female nudes on display) writing the beginning, then put book into pocket and walk all the way UP Peachtree (the western one) to the Atlanta Art Association. Whistler's Mother is JUST nothing. A few other paintings were good, thanks to the ubiquitous Kress. [The world is too much with us in the snickers at "St Vitalis, by Sienese Master, c. 1340," in the Kress Collection. Magnificent Annibale Carracci "Crucifixion" Bologna 1560-Rome 1609. Excitingly sensuous Sebastiani Ricci "The Battle of the Centaurs and the Lapiths." Belluno 1659-Venice 1734.] I got out and decided to see MORE of Peachtree. Waited for a bus and toyed with the idea of asking a cab how much he'd charge for an hour's tour. Decided to leave that for later. Bus came and said he's to return to that spot. Fine. Passed rather staid residential area, rather worse than Firestone Park, for instance, and got to end of line. I expressed my pleasure at the trip to the driver and we got to talking about Atlanta and the current razing by the builders. Turns out that the Peachtrees USED to be the good streets, but then the builders came and tore them down and put up garages. [Atlanta has a "WALK-IN RESTAURANT."] [Extremely handsome, alert, well-groomed fellow in dinky clothing shop on little side street in Atlanta, staring, grimacing, bored, out at the rain from his empty store --- POOR guy.] [Obviously I judge a town by what I've seen of it --- how else CAN I? Yet I saw New York in one hour from the top of the Empire State and fell in love with it. So I didn't see Richmond slums, I can still like it for RPI and Park Avenue, and dislike Norfolk simply by reason of the squalor in Portsmouth. If all I knew of NYC was Staten Island, I might dislike it, but I saw other things first, and like it better for it.] He spoke about that odd blasted area I'd walked through between Grant Park and the Capitol: stone steps, trees, roads, but nothing more than that than rubble piles in foundations. He said they'd been fairly nice, two-story, detached houses, which explains the widely spaced steps. They'd run down, so down they had to come. I mentioned Philly and Georgetown as examples of "saves" and New York as a total loss. He said I should get off at the Fox theater and transfer to a #2 to Decatur --- about 16 miles. I did so and rode through a section that looked more like Sand Run: plush homes surrounded by trees, with wide streets, these even planted by the "Peony Club" and the "Rose Club." We got to Decatur, then back, and I dozed and drowsed and closed eyes all the way back. Fellow next to me coughed and hacked and fuzzed phlegm fit to bust a lung. Then, when I was tired, would I get a bug? I hope not. Stagger back to hotel, write some of this, and down to the coffee shop for a lousy chicken dinner. (Mr. Hairy was at his same place as breakfast --- wouldn't mind him), then up to write THIS. Got clothes back from the cleaners, and now I will make the week complete, since this does finish one full week, by washing my hair before venturing out on the town tonight, provided I can stay awake. However, when I wash my hair and calculate that the bars are rather far, I simply go to bed. Ensure myself by phone that the bus leaves for Mobile at 8:30 am and leave call for 7:15.

FRIDAY, MARCH 1. Up again before the buzzer sounds and pack and avoid awful Y coffee shop again and check out and have French toast at the Greyhound coffee shop, almost as bad, except for the strange fellow, tall and elegantly thin in his blue suit, who has a wedding ring and a habit of crotch-watching, a strange combination. Get on bus on second seat on top and have on my left a lone, long-lashed soldier, and on right a timid, subdued, suppressed, repressed soldier next to a sexy sailor with curly hair. Middle soldier is quietly torn two ways, and he oozes frustration. Might this be transference on my part, since I'm getting quietly desperate? [Don't know why it is, but Newman, Georgia, has many gorgeous houses on north side.] [As successor to the Big Boy, Burger Boy, Big Mike, Mickey Burger, Big Ben, I suggest the Big Dick, a sausage cooked into two molds: cut and uncut, served on a plate with two flesh-colored balls of mashed potatoes.] [House literally crushed by greenery. The center of the roof wants to collapse, but two great pines at either end act as jacks (jack pines?), refusing to let the roof down. The porch has been pushed shapeless by creepers.] [Whether it was the driver or the speaker system, I don't know, but he sounded like W.C. Fields: "Flomaton, change here for all Florida points. Your bus will leave at 4:45. Flomaton." The way he said it, you almost laughed.] ["Don't EVER do what you don't want to do," was my firm philosophy and advice --- but then isn't that a part of love, doing what the OTHER wants because he wants it, and that's stronger than what you don't want?] [I smile at so many remembrances: the jolted amazement in the library when I went through ringing a bell to advertise the Player's Club for Newman Club.] [Old woman talking in rasping voice, man with baleful eye, doll two seats up, fellow staring at two girls, cross-eyed boy in bus station, old woman in red socks; why so thin-skinned?] ["New, modern trailer court --- three blocks" on sign pointing to the Gulf of Mexico.] [Sunset: pink to rose to flame to blood to log-ember. A feather, refusing to be water-wet, sailed proudly on, thinking itself a swan entirely.] The omnipresent red clay of Georgia continues through Alabama, and the red, seemingly strengthened by the sunglass windows of the bus, is the color of a burnt bruise. I snooze in the morning, just can't seem to keep my eyes open. The morning and the midday seem about the worst. A radio turns on and I mistake it for belonging to two cute kids, but when they get off, it continues, and my impression of the kids (Auburn students) improves. Each city through which we pass seems to be built around a college or university. The bus makes a thousand little stops, to deliver packages, put on parcels, drop tall sophisticated colored girls in parti-colored leather pumps and tan coat in little hick towns to bend to kiss a beaming father, who pushes a poorly wrapped parcel into her hands. She looks embarrassed, but not less so than a young, mustached, handsome young buck to whom she is introduced. Do parents still dictate marriages? It rains a bit and the clay gets even redder. We stop at noon in Montgomery for lunch, and the girl who had been sitting behind me (and who had degraded herself in my eyes by striking up a chat with the two cute non-radio-players behind her) sits herself down one seat away from me in the restaurant. I look at menu, see nothing good, remember myself snickering at sailor in Danville ordering a grilled cheese, and order a grilled cheese. She pipes up garbledly with "You la eee mmm ull?" "What?" "Y'all live uun Mobeel?" "No, just going to visit." "Goun ta oool air?" "Pardon?" "Goin ta skooul, down thair?" "No, just on a vacation." "Whar ooo mmm?" "I'm sorry?" "Whar air OOO um?" I shook my head and smiled stupidly. "We-ah are yew fum?" I brightened. "New York." The conversation continued like that, and it takes me three tries to repeat her name: Tanni. We gossip about Mardi Gras and her trip to the Canal Zone and her parents and then get on the bus. I'm mortified to see this hulking fat slob sitting in my seat, with "Dead Soul" blithely pushed to the aisle seat. "I don't think there's anyone sitting there," she says in reply to my amazed stare. "No, I was sitting THERE." "Oh, I thought everyone was back in the bus," and she gazed, cowlike, out the window. I flounced down like a petulant child. My anger at her, stewing, enabled me to keep awake the entire afternoon. I glared in triumph when she closed her eyes. I contemplated stealing the seat BACK when she left at the next rest stop (thwarted when she didn't get OFF at the next rest stop). Then I settled into pleasant fantasy --- Tanni had said Mobile was so beautiful, and she lived there. I pictured her living in an apartment with a younger brother. She was perspicuous and alert, and she said to me, "My brother wants to be gay, and I can see no better person than you to initiate him." She would then check with him to make sure he liked ME, then leave us alone. The seduction scene was standard, but developed into pairings of delight when he revealed that his FRIENDS wanted to "come out" too. And so I had the cream of Mobile. This kept me awake for quite a while. Night started falling and Tanni began talking about Mobile Bay and the causeway at sunset "when all the water looks like ice." We beat the sun into Mobile, but the over-water route was pleasant enough. She pointed out "real good eating places" along the causeway, and admitted it was a shame I didn't have a car. I chatted about what I should see in town, and though she thought it was nice, she could make no suggestions, and even pooh-poohed Bellingrath. Then she said she would call her brother to pick her up at the station. Talk about leaping hearts! A brother, old enough to drive, with a car! I became very friendly with her. She could suggest no good hotels, but the Y was diagonally across. Nothing simpler. She called her brother, but he wasn't home. She seemed to be brushing me off and I, to be gallant, asked if I could call her. "Providence School of Nursing, just ask for Tanni LaGrave." OK, and I went to the Y; said yes, I'd take a double room, and again my sex-hungry blood vessels went through thumps. Up to the room to find no one there, but worn shower clogs under the bed and a very OLD dop kit. Not much hope here. Checked the paper he'd left and found a great double at the Loop Theater. Checked addresses in the phone book and found all of them, 5 bars, Providence, and the Loop, which was on 2000 Government St. Asked desk how far out Providence was and he said, "Far; take this bus and that bus," and I said, "Oh, I can ask the bus driver," and went off, intending not to call her. Wandered up to the Square, then turned in the direction of higher numbers. Walked along one street till I came to an immense Egypto-Masonic temple, then the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (three towers, churches have one), asked for Government St., and found it was where the Y was. The sunset is positively marvelous, blue and pink streaked clouds over the live oaks and antebellum mansions. Walk up Government, checking idly for Catherine Street, but not finding it. The houses are sumptuous, sometimes only two or three per block front, with humpy borders of monkey grass, flower bushes, and wide sweeping verandas, and long, long windows through which warm crystal and wood-glowing interiors could be seen. Some of the streets were gated and lamp-posted, and stretched off richly in the night. Some have been converted to Modeling Institutes and boarding houses and hotels, and others have been torn down to make way for the ultra-swank, ultra-cheap American style nouveau-riche motel, with swimming pool, on-premise parking, cast-iron gratings, colored lamps on dead bushes, flower pots, and sterile, open restaurants in which the food is undoubtedly sterile and lousy. 1000 block is reached and I console myself that it's halfway. The 1500 block seems longer, but maybe it's because the homes are not so elegant, the superb sunset is dark, and shopping centers and gas stations are cropping up and making walking no longer historical but ploddingly contemporary. There are dolls on the streets and some are breathless enough to look back as I look back, but then after a pause go home, to one of these gems of mansions. I felt ILL. I finally reach the Loop and decide to call Tanni. The outside phone is broken, so I enter a five-and-dime, ask for a phone. "Right up here," the cutie says, and I climb three steps to find my path strewn with ten-dollar bills. "Gee, did you drop something," I said gleefully. He laughed and picked them up. I got phone book, but line was busy. He counted tens, twenties, fives, and made neat stacks. I tried twice more; he was called away; I left. His generosity with my presence was becoming more than I could bear. He probably WOULD have left with $500 strewn under my nose. Got her at the drug store and we laughed at the obvious foolishness of walking from 0 to 2000 on Government St. She directed me to her, and I caught a bus and walked the rest, admittedly getting a bit tired. I'd walked from 6:15 to 7:45. Waited a long while for her, while all the nurses ohed and ahed at some TV nurses series. She came down, after I'd found that T. LaGrave was a Junior and that the head nurse had called her, I thought, Catherine. But no, her given name was Cyatanna, which she understandably didn't use. We got a cab and she ungratefully suggested "40 Pounds of Trouble," to which I said "No." We got to theater and she called her brother to pick her up at 11:45. It sounded early, but I questioned not. We saw "Birdman of Alcatraz" and the Pepsi and popcorn tasted good; I'd had no dinner. But that was the END of the show --- no "Miracle Worker." For 60 what do you want? We waited for her brother ("He had a date, but look for a red convertible, he should be here"). He wasn't, she suggested a Krispy Kreme, and it's really a pity the place wasn't gay. I wish any of the cocky jeaned fellows had been her brother --- or mine. Another cab and she was home, and I drove to Y with green smell of city dump in my nose. "One day we gotta get air control," the cabby ventured. Yep. Can't ALWAYS burn it in the dump at the edge of town. Went up to room, no one there. After a second I was out again to look at clubs, but clubs they appeared to be, 2 cops and "No one in without membership" sign scared me away. The crowd in front of the Greyhound station didn't appeal (probably only because of the distance) and I went back to the room. Fought off ants and roaches in john and went to bed. Five minutes later he came in and read paper. He WAS older. I fell asleep, after he said he was setting the alarm for 8:30, taking the time bomb out of the drawer into which I'd stuffed it.

SATURDAY, MARCH 2. Again woke early and lay for awhile, then up at 8:45 (no alarm), took shower in cruddy shower stall (THANK goodness for clogs), and dressed and he still wasn't up at 9:15. Check out of Y, plunk trunk in cabinet at bus station and take off for Cawthorn Hotel, at 9:30. Station wagon picks me up 5 minutes later and we make round of hotels and end up at place two doors from bus station. Me and one other fellow. I want Bellingrath (what could there be more to see of the town?), he wants town. They try slight coax and give up, I check large travel folder rack, and $990 for 40 days in South America is THE bargain from AYH, and the Europe tour WAS a great bargain, too. Nothing around the world for less than $2500. I'll find it. Fellow who drives and I hop into VW truck and chat about growth of city as we get to B Gardens. There are NO flowers except what's transplanted a week ago, but walk and layout and water routes are still nice and wildlife is abundant: yellow, white and black birds hopping about to push aside leaves to get at grubs, multitudes of cardinals and bluebirds, loads of squirrels, and even a tiny two-inch body, two-inch tail lizard basking on an equally tiny rock. I want to play, but he doesn't, so I walk on. Vistas from home are nice, and it's pleasant to have few people in grounds, there simply are no huge patches of flowers. Must return --- remember to make vacation #2 GARDENS. Ride back somewhat quieter. After weather and Mobile and New York and Mardi Gras, what IS there to say? It's 12:20 and bus leaves at 2:20. Have hideous meal in Greyhound with three SIGHTS of waitresses, all senile, one cross-eyed with a limp, the other possible syphilitic. Gems. Hunt all over town for a decent book, since I'd left mine locked, and after half-hour find the Aenied. By that time it's 1:20 and I get back to park for peanut sellers, young lovers, pairs of girls, ribbon clerks, bums sleeping in the sun, young bucks on the make, rushing messengers, and a strange TERRIBLY cross-eyed fellow with a beautiful body and a short, firm display. I watch and he wanders and a few devastating ones cross square. He looks at me and I at him, then he goes off and ten minutes later I do too. But then, suddenly, he's behind me, and as I enter station, so does he. He looks around for a minute and heads upstairs for men's room. I, in desperation, do too, and he's standing by window in anteroom. What does one do? I stand dryly over urinal, flush it, back out, and he's still there. What does one do? Downstairs and he comes too, and I sit on chair. He sits on chair across from me. Others cruise and finally I get sick of the whole thing, grab luggage and go stand in line. The end of THAT. Bus leaves surprisingly close to 2:20, but there are four rest stops, and these help my shrieking sexhood no bit. Bus has multitudes of sexy ones, fellow two ahead with 14-year-old head and a huge body, fellow in front with glasses, a pleasant face and beautiful legs in jeans. A few in back that are sexy. Pairs of fellows in jeans wander around the bus at next stop. Tight khakied fellows in terminals --- eating is out of my mind. Then Mr. Pleasant Face sits across from me and I crotch-watch. He just watches. The bus moves out of Alabama into Mississippi, and the Riviera-type scenery takes over. Unending lines of beaches on one side, gorgeous homes on the other side, cute kids riding in cars beneath. Mississippi changes to Louisiana and the scene shifts to the Key West type; morasses and hovels and shacks and swampy stretches. The sun goes down in glory, and I flit from one side of the bus to the other to watch it. Utter magnificence and we cross bridges to the setting sun, pass lake molten with light, and I'm reminded of the strange light effects of previous day, when the sun was in my line of vision and the thick shiny leaves would catch the light just so that out of the dim forest could come a gleam from each leaf: Christmas tree lights from the sun and the forests. Key West shifts to Florida with long lines of motels, then it's dark and we are in New Orleans. Mr. Nice disappears with a minimum of fuss in the station. I debate and go to Yellow cab stand for the Y. The black cab man wouldn't take me. The Y is crowded, and the Seaman's Town House won't let me in this time. They say try the Orleans, and I'm tired of lugging and anxious to get off to a restaurant, so I take a $4 room with bath, in which the first thing I see is an ENORMOUS crushed roach. I gag and flush it down the toilet, hoping it wouldn't clog it, and change clothes and decide on Galatoires. It has no reservations. I get in line at 8 and listen to incredible drunken singing and shouts and antics and jokes of a decaying crowd behind me (nothing worse than a 30ish crowd singing the naughty songs of college). Get in and have great meal and SUPERB custard and grand service, very personal, for a bill of $7 and a tip of $1.25. Pregnant girl from next table comes over and we chat and she says I look glum and I say "It's only my face in repose" and she's NOT pregnant, her name's Mel LaBlanche, and she refuses my half-advances. Maybe because I smell, maybe because I'm from New York, and MAYBE, as she says, "How could you respect a girl who picks YOU up?" She was cute, gray hair and all, though her aunt and uncle were outrageously drunk. I get out and find the Gaslight. The Gaslight has more girls than fellows. HALF the crowd is at tables, and is straight. The other half are gay, and half of these are girls, mentally, anyway. The odd mix of people is mutually entertaining, however, The gay guys have some girls in tow, and when the guys can dance, as one oil-hipped fellow certainly could, the vibrations are inescapable. The straight couples can only look on in sheer admiring amazement. However, unfortunately, not all the gay fellows can dance --- mainly the butch ones. The extreme females are unusually terrible. They look their part sitting behind a table with a tired simper on their faces, or toss their head back a la Lamarr and pull their slit-neck sweaters down over one shoulder and gasp at the shy; but his body, though tending toward the feminine, doesn't dance as a woman would, and the abortive shudders that attempt to vibrate the shoulders end up as desultory hip wriggles. As is usual, some of the boys have beautiful faces indeed, good bone structure, clean noses, well-molded lips, so that with skillfully applied eyebrows and a shock of black hair falling artfully over one eyebrow, the effect is of great beauty. One such fellow also dressed and danced nicely, and he was quite the most fetching person here. The upshot was that I had obviously chosen the wrong place first. I had not yet located St. Peters Street on the map, and thus didn't know where the other bars were, and anyway I was reluctant to try another, get roped into buying a beer, and be held a captive audience while the drink lasted. There was one cute butch fellow talking with an older man; they should know, but when I got up courage to ask, they were gone. Other people who may have known were not askable, until a fellow dressed in straw jeans, encompassing nice legs, and a jacket fitting a decent torso, surmounted by a well-shaped crew-cut head in which were embedded two large soft brown eyes. He glanced rather favorably at me (how by far this is the most important item), so I asked him if he knew the town. Only then was the effect marred. He spoke through the side of his mouth as if his left jaw were clamped together, leaving the half-right a minimum of freedom. "Lived here all my life." His voice was pure Beulah Witch. But the pleasant dark eyes and dark skin remained, and the legs, as he poised them, were surmounted by a nicely arranged crotch. His thumbs (damn Bill Hyde!) were a peculiar shape. First they were smooth, as if he might have difficulty bending the outermost joint from lack of excess skin. Secondly, they were fleshy rather than bony. Thirdly the thickest part was above the joint, and the thumb tapered slightly at the end. This, I blush, put me in mind of a form of penis for which I have a particular attachment: large, smooth, veinless, firm, and of a gently varying contour from head to base, Looking back, it would probably be uncut, since this seems to add to the impression of smoothness and uniformity of color, their being no slight change of color and texture at the point of circumcision. And, in all, eminently CLEAN. Well, maybe Bill Hyde HAS the right idea, since all that I wished for proved to be true, Beulah-voice notwithstanding. We talked for a while and he said that he indeed knew the town; moreover, he would be willing to show me; add to that that he lived in the Quarter and seemed interested in me. I was just as happy to leave the tepid jazz and the occasional laughter of the straight crowd (though ONE was a beauty with a lovely smile who could dance very nicely indeed). To my surprise he carried the beer with him. We went to Dixies and for some reason I lied and said I'd been here 5 years ago, but had not been gay, so THIS time I added gay bars, and incidentally restaurants, to my sightseeing list. We sat in Dixies, but it was a bit too plain and unexciting, and I suggested we get on. To Lafitte in Exile. This was more my style, as it turned out, his style, too, since he knew many of the people in the bar, including (shudder) his boss and a number of coworkers at the bank. He said that a gay crowd had invited him to their ball. Since they had been raided last year because of the obscene costumes, this year the guests wore suits and cocktail dresses (respectively, I presume) while only the entertainers were in costumes (in drag). He said it was much fun and very enjoyable, but I couldn't seem to be able to pluck the "why" from him. He joked with his friends, yet fairly strangely he didn't introduce me, and in one or two cases I would have liked to be introduced. Strangely there were still straight couples present, and toward 11:30 the crowd from the Gaslight began to enter, looking uncomfortable, but there they were. I said I'd had enough here, too, and we went out to the street. The cool, clean brisk air, the narrow streets, the laughing people, the shadowed sidewalks, the drink in the hand, a gay companion, it all seemed like New Orleans (or the Quarter) was one giant heterogeneous cocktail party --- and a very pleasant feeling. We passed the Galley House, but didn't go in, and he warned me of the volume in the Casa de la Marinas. I BELIEVED him but was still surprised to hear it. There were three rooms, each getting more crowded and more loud. We went directly into the last room, where a juke box was blaring away Latin music, but along the two walls from the corner in which the box was the only light, were a row of maracas, tom-toms, drums, wood blocks, a real Ding Dong School Rhythm Band. And the people, all colors, were using them. A pretty little Chinese boy danced very gracefully with an even smaller girl of indeterminate breed. Everyone looked and liked. The walls were generously painted with white nude bodies surrounded by violent violet swirls, giving the whole an infernal cast. Skeletons were interspersed with revelers. Selection followed selection and many took turns on the various instruments (some better than others) but finally the volume was too great, and we left for the middle room. Here we sat on bar stools and he pointed out an Indian girl as being an excellent dancer. She wasn't dancing, however, until a while later, behind his back. I nudged him with my knees to look around, but since the nudge was inside his upper leg it could certainly have been taken the way he DID take it when he grinned cutely. I said, "Turn around" after a decent interval, and she lurched into a fast, swinging trot, using her hands and head fully as much as her torso and legs. A GOOD dancer. She "prayed" people to dance, and refused with her hands. When resting, she also perched on her sole bar stool, remaining center stage at all times. A New Orleans personality. Pat Crane mentioned that the Chinese was an excellent artist, and that was good, since the sarape he flung over his head could only be excused to someone with talent. In the last room straight people were dancing, none too well, and that ended La Casa. On the street again we debated where to go, and he laid his beer can on a Jaguar bumper, but it rolled off. He had a roommate, gay, but still uncomfortable. OH! My place was a dump, I told him so, but we went. Keeper was lying on the sofa, so I and he went up the stairs, but couldn't find the second flight. Pat's plying me with beer had SOME good effect when the keeper crept behind us and said "Where you going?" I blithely replied, "Can't find the stairs." He asked the room number; I told him: 32. He showed me the stairs and we went up, I in GREAT relief. We got to the room, urinated, caressed, kissed, undressed, kissed, got into bed, kissed, caressed, sucked, came, and fell asleep, after he rinses his mouth out.

SUNDAY, MARCH 3. In the morning we caressed, sucked, came, and I left to see if they had room at the Y. They did, I went back to the Orleans and read True, packed, checked out to the Y, and noticed the Gray Line tour. It was 10:30. He called: "They'll pick you up at 10:45." I dashed upstairs, changed undershirt, shaved, shit, and dashed downstairs just as the fellow asked for me at the desk. What TIMING. In the morning we saw New Orleans proper, wharves, street named Desire, with its bus, the old square, much of the quarter, cemeteries, oak alley, etc. Good speaker, but I wonder how much I'll remember; maybe no details, but my understanding will have increased. [New Orleans tour: Apartments on Jackson Square are open. Note to see the cemeteries, Antoine's, Corinne Dunham's, Playboy Club. Natchez trace Pilgrimage is on MWFSat nights. Land is going for $100 a front foot, they're selling by the gallons. The incredible 24-mile bridge across Lake Ponchartrain simply formed a quadrant of the horizon, going and going until it faded into the general haze at the sea-sky horizon, impossible to see where it stopped.] Try for lunch at Brennans, but they have an hour's wait. Back to the Court of the Two Sisters for a lousy cold plate ($3), and wait for bus to the Garden District, and then the last tour to Ponchartrain, the Huey Long Bridge (and an excellent apologia for HP Long), and back to the Y at 6 pm. Felt TIRED and not like taking the Night Club tour. Showered thoroughly and tried to make the Ponchartrain Hotel Sunday buffet, but got there at 7 to say I wouldn't get seated till 8:30. It looked clubby and the place smelled of fish so I walked down to Washington Street, inquired the way to Coliseum, and ate dinner in the Commander's Palace. Good but not excellent, BUT good for $3.25 and 50 tip, and introduced to the Fuller Brush Table Roller. Fruit cup, flounder, potatoes, cauliflower, salad with French (and a bit of garlic) and a tasty orange parfait which repeated through my impromptu tour of the cemetery across the street. The gates were open and despite a brief shower I went in. The shadows lay deep, as they should, but other things were not. The creeping vines had overcome many of the older tombs, and the crosses or crests above had become shapeless under the weight of weeds. But this shapelessness was of great assistance to the imagination, which pictured heads, shoulders, and lurking phantoms in those strange shapes. Worse, some of the headboards had fallen off, revealing the bricks and plaster used to cover the coffin. In places these bricks had fallen in, and in places the entire front was gone, so that the shadowiness on the inside, occasionally between rotten boards, left nothing to the imagination. Fear was Fact. The "gruesome details" about how people were pushed into family graves for one year, after which time the grave would be opened for a new burial. "If decomposition had taken place, the remnants would be pushed into a receptacle at the back, and the new coffin inserted and sealed. If the body had not decomposed, the family was notified, and the new dead interred in a rented tomb, until the other body DID decay." And here were the moldering graves themselves. Moldering tombstones betray age and suggest mystery, but moldering graves suggest awesome whiffs of decay, actual danger of disease, and the actual possibility of seeing a skull in an unspeakable stage of decay, still resembling a human, yet not yet the clean, sterile appearance of a skeleton. Remnants of flesh, clumps of hair, pierced and sallow and crispy flesh not entirely gone after the time it took the grave to crumble. What fat worms might not be seen, or flies spawned on what offal. Rain pattered sporadically, and the street noises, reflected off the flat tomb surfaces, made noises come from the grave itself. I crept into corners and felt the horrible feeling of closeness of trying to squeeze between two tombs. The mold, the flaking plaster, weeds, fragments of web, small creeping insects, the feeling that the walls, containing unspeakable horrors, were closing closer. Knocking on tombs to see the composition: how to hear an answering knock? The flesh crept and the hair rose. Finally, realizing I was overdramatizing what might happen if someone saw my white raincoated form gliding among the stones, I left, returned to wait for a bus, and having spent the hour between dinner and bed in a New Orleans graveyard, I got to bed at 10 pm. Had no trouble falling asleep even with the trams rattling past outside and the noises in the hall. The bed was the most firmly comfortable of the trip to date.

MONDAY, MARCH 4. Woke early again, but lay until 8. Arranged things, found what to take to laundry, arranged package for Bill, then went out to the post office. Wrote Bill a short note and looked with amazement at two cuties who stopped, looked, waited awhile. I panted, but not quite as heavily since I'd had Pat on Sat. Mailed lot of printed matter for 36 and I phoned Brennan's for breakfast at 11 am. Walked by way of Rampart Street, but saw nothing of interest except a grade school negro girls' group outdoors doing calisthenics while appropriate boys stood grinning by and shouted "Hup, two, three, fo." Got to the Quarter early and wandered around, looking at CAST iron railings, wandering down Pirates Alley as it was being hosed, checked the Pontalba Apartments to see when they were open, and watched the truck with the California plates, painted: "OMAR to the Mardi Gras (with Vigah)" turning its three or four bearded, shower-clogged (though probably showerless, certainly wrinkled) inmates out into the street to talk with two faintly amused policemen. People watched and a girl, dressed like them but I HOPE not with them, had joined in the discussion. I looked at the Presbytere being remodeled, passed the Court for the third time, bought perfume for Mom in the little reasonable sweet-smelling place pointed out on the Gray Line tour. Phoned Brennans for reservation and marveled at 5 phone calls. Finally the hour was ripe for Brennans, and I was starved. Went in and was urged to go to the patio for a few minutes. I went to the patio and looked about at the fountains and the greenery clinging to the brick walls and the cherubs and the sunlamps and the people rather reluctantly ordering drinks before breakfast, but not so reluctantly drinking. The upstairs looked very regal through the white grills and the high windows which showed only silk drapes and crystal chandeliers. People inside the rooms were eating, and it seemed over half the tables were empty. I strolled back into the foyer and sat down, watching the Maitre 'd strut up and down the green carpeted divided stairway. It was 11:20 and I remarked that it was taking long. The headwaiter smiled a sick smile and said I had to wait. I studied their cookbooks and the candle holders they were selling for $25 and sat back down, and at 11:30, stewing in my own rampant digestive juices, I stalked up and said "It doesn't seem to make much difference to have a reservation." He didn't like me, nor I him. A few minutes later the waiter asked for a party of 4 and then "Special." I ignored him. Finally he definitely moved toward me and I sat down in the corner in a minor dining room. The breakfast would have to be very good indeed to solve my feelings about waiting longer than for Galatoire's in the evening WITHOUT reservations. But when the waiter came over I melted. Tall, fair, fawn-eyed and smiling, he received my "no drink" and gave me the menu. I was TAKEN by Brennan's, though he was by far the cutest. I took their "Typical New Orleans Breakfast," putting in the quotes as I ordered. As in most of the restaurants in New Orleans, the menu admonished one to take one's time and enjoy the food and not to rush. In other words the service was slow. Thus I had enough time to completely depulp my grilled grapefruit. It was not as good as Zoltan's. The eggs Hussarde came with coffee, rolls, marmalade and butter, and what they were were strange. Poached eggs covered with a yellow cream sauce lay atop Canadian bacon and a biscuit. The eggs WERE done perfectly, but the ham, one slice was gristly, but still Helmut, (written on bill) smiled and fussed and I fused. The coffee cooled (why did they serve it so soon?), and halfway through the eggs he plopped a brazier and chafing dish filled with three pats of butter and about half a cup of brown sugar. As I finished the eggs the sugar and butter bubbled and steamed MOST deliciously. Then he brought four banana quarters and plumped them down, still bubbling. He smiled equally deliciously and left, while they broiled. I was still eating as he turned them over, and the brown sugar was very brown as I was three forkfuls away from finishing. He came over, poured the contents of a small Erlenmeyer flask over it, dipped the pan slightly to displace the fumes, and flames shot up at LEAST to his chin. He stepped back, the liquid bubbled, and people turned around. I grinned, pleased, and said "It's almost a crime to do so much for breakfast." His reply was a simple, quick, firm, quiet, "No." Maybe not. Then came the dish of ice cream and the bananas put on the side followed by spoon after spoon after spoon of the bubbling caramel. The ice cream melted and cooled the fudge, and with a flourish he placed Bananas Foster in front of me. I dug in and NECTAR and AMBROSIA. Undoubtedly the best breakfast climax in the world. Simply scrumptious. Unbelievably delicious. My mouth still waters. The bill was $4.38, and I left $5.05, by far my most expensive breakfast. Guess the most for lunch was about $7.00 at Cafe Chauveron, and the most expensive dinner and MEAL the blast at Pavillon for $49.50. The most expensive sex session came the next morning. Left Brennan's with Helmut still lingering in my mind. Catch City Park bus (driver said I must walk 5 blocks, should catch Esplanade line, but it's 6 blocks to Esplanade.) Am amazed on bus at how much everyone sir's and ma'am's everyone. "May I sit here, ma'am?" "Oh, course you may, ma'am, you needn't have asked." Get off at City Park and see two fellows in canoe and I know what I want to do, so I find canoe rentals. I'm warned by the keeper of the canoes that it's windy, but I rent a canoe for 60 an hour. Paddle off and find that if I keep the paddle on the right, and let the wind blow from left to right, I keep on a slow straight course without the wet switching back and forth necessary for one rower. Remove suit jacket, cross legs, and enjoy the paddle past islets crowned by moss-covered cypress and sentried by ducks, geese, swans and mallards, and since spring is in the air, they're peckish literally, as they climb all over each other in the water, honking blatantly. The park is almost empty, so the sight of a lone rower goes unremarked except for some workmen dredging leaves away from the outlet. The streaks of reds and blues show the birds. [Such beautiful birds in flight: drab gray brown on the ground with feathers furled, but when spread to fly, the wings have bright white patches and the tail is alternately white and dun.] [Oy vey; oy vey; oy vey down SOUTH in Dixie.] [Cyatanna LaGrave, Providence School of Nursing, 156 N. Catherine.] The birds are in full bloom, and a few azaleas and forsythias are out, along with a hazy purple fuzz of some spidery bushes. The rushes are light tan, and the gray moss drags almost to the water. Have a rough time coming back; can't get enough push to buck the wind. Slam into shore and push away, but get stuck on spur, not a dull one, and I find that even the bottom of the boat is painted red. Decide this is the best way to weather the blow and keep boat solid on spur by jamming a paddle in and holding tight. The leaves scud across the grass and into the water. The ducks are ruffled, but go on swimming. Finally the wind abates and I scoot forward and off of spur and finally get on lee side of an isle and relax in the calm. Little boy in family throwing bread to the ducks waves frantically at me, and family smiles. Other skiffs come out and I feel like warning them about wind but decide that, like me, they would pay no mind, and that, like me, they would learn how to handle the craft in the steady forceful wind. Pedal-boat passes and I'm just as glad I'm going the other way. Back to dock and strike off the second way, skirting one side of the Delgado Museum, more ducks, including some magnificent black swans sitting on moss nests in the islands. This path is shorter, though huge oak festooned with moss blowing in the wind is quite beautiful. Paddle out to source of water, a terraced rock spring, and stand in boat to get view of top, and look at cars passing. Back to look at little statue of dancing girl while one-legged ducks peek with one black eye out from their heads under a wind, in a restful pose, but watchful. Again back to landing and off in third direction, under bridge for cars and for model railroad. The park comes down to water's edge, and strollers walk arm in arm along the paths. The third round is longer, with a couple of bridges, one wide and low that I remove more paint from the boat onto --- from the side, this time. Meet a fellow and girl, the girl holding her head in resignation, the guy blithely paddling into branches and bridgeheads. "I'll get the hang of this here (boat), and these (paddles)," he called with a drawl and a grin, "or sooner or later." I called back. "Yup." To a small dam that marked the end of the lakes, two black swans, and the track field of a school, with fellows padding around the track. It was about 3, and I decided two hours, though idyllic, was quite enough. I'd arranged to keep dry, and my buttoned cuffs were still unwrinkled. At this point two girls came under the bridge, and I avoided them by a large margin. They passed me, then evidently turned, since I heard one say "On the left, Jean, on the LEFT!" Since the voice came from my rear right, I guessed the truth and turned to see them barreling down on me, laughing gaily. They were turning away, and would have cleared if they'd glided, but the one in the back had to have one more paddle, and on bringing it back to the front, the tip dipped and deftly dropped a cupful of water from my neck to my knees. I gasped, as they did, and they squealed, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't MEAN to do that." I muttered back, smiling through sop, that it was OK. Further back toward dock I passed the inadequate fellow and his girl, and SHE was now rowing. "NOW, you've found the SECRET," I crowed over, and he waved cheerily back. Checked the boat in, 1 3/4 hours, and he returned 15 of the 60 deposit I'd made. I got over bridge and found the Delgado closed, but was vastly amused to find the bronze archer "Heracles" in dark bronze with red crayon marks around his elephantine genitals. I wandered off down the walk to what I guessed to be Esplanade and wrote greatly for 1 3/4 hours. Very profitable. Finally caught bus back down to the Quarter, and as my frabjous luck would have it, the bus TURNED down Dauphine and left me off almost where I wanted --- not far from Antoine's. The waiters, sitting outside, saw me coming and said, "Through the glass doors please." Got in, washed, found no good appetizer on the seafood menu, got vichyssoise, cotelette d'agneau a la Parisienne (with peas), the salade Antoine, the pomme de terre soufflé, and ice cream with chocolate sauce. The meal was a la Pavillon, the cutlet was covered with a fairly tasty mustard sauce (considering I don't like mustard) but that and the peas were swimming in grease. This may be haute cuisine, but it is TROP haute, just as meat is good if "high," but since that means beginning to rot and to smell, THAT I don't like, either. Paid 60 + $3.25 + 60+ 75+ 50 is $5.70 and 80 tip, thus left $6.50. Looked through their many rooms (wondered where those 43 people went who filed past me), and passed the long line in front of the restaurant. Got to Monteleone Hotel and wrote more while waiting for the Gray Line Night Life Tour. Rather appalled by the gawk and innocence of the couples standing outside waiting for the bus, and am even more shocked to get in the bus and be joined by a blonde-gray haired lady, artificially tanned, already drunk, who was determined to have a good time and was the loudest laugher and most persistent questioner. She sat next to me and predicted that we'd do the twist later that night. I doubted it. The tour started with a sobby prelude on the site of Storyville, then went to the 500 Club. Starting with a comedienne, it was pure burlesque and no one laughed. Then a big redhead with a certain style started the show up and a pair of Mexican dancers, the boy with a mock parody of stripping, made the crowd roar. Jada was pretty good, but the "hottest" redhead did nothing but moan and scream as she worked. I avoided Miss Showgirl of 1923, and getting back on bus sat near a Chinese fellow, hoping to make a friend, but unfortunately he spoke very little English, almost as little as my Chinese --- he only laughed and answered "yes" to every question. Later he said he was from New York, then explained, "Yes, I stayed there two nights." I think he was going around the world in two weeks. New York to New Orleans to Mexico to Los Angeles and back to NYC? As I say, he couldn't speak English. Thus he was silent, but smiling, and he made a perfect partner. Next was the Dream Room, a debacle. A kid who had nothing but plump good looks was singing, and being drowned out by the lousy sound system. The audience didn't applaud: first, he was no good; second, the flourishes at the end were so outlandish it was impossible to follow them with applause. Finally, in desperation, he gave way to a half-instrumental group, and got half-applause. The two girl twisters were down with the flu (?), but finally two young couples got up to dance, one a busty assy blond, so the crowd got a variety of the twist. Next the Poodle Club, where, after a series of dogs, Jane Harlow came out, a fine figure, and lost her titty cover. It just yapped open and the men snickered and she looked down and flipped it up, and the other one fell off, and she threw them both away and finished her act with her skirt around her neck. Then to the Sho-Bar, where I'd seen Lili St. Cyr, and the colored mammy who caught the clothes and aped the dances almost stole the show. TT Red was GOOD, agile, athletic, seductive, funny, and sexy. That was it! I left before the "Morning coffee on Gray Line." To "Lafitte in Exile" and sat a while looking at very nice numbers, but many who were straight, or at least with girls. Finally a fellow in a ruffled shirt front, black vest and bow tie and white jacket and black pants came in. He looked like an entertainer after the bar closed, but since the bars never close, that was ruled out. He glanced and I could not help looking at him, cute and butch and masculine. Finally I spoke and conversation flowed easily. Talked on and on and then went to an almost empty Gaslight. He said he was living with in-laws, was a construction worker from Chicago down for three weeks, but couldn't take me home. I couldn't take him to the Y. He said he found Lafitte's last night. "You went home alone?" "Yeah." "Amazing you weren't influenced." "Yeah." "You have been influenced, though?" "Yeah." Talk flowed. More talk and finally I suggest a hotel room. He lets me pay for beer in Gaslight, then suggests we eat and I pay for sandwiches. We check into hotel for $7.50, not a bad room, and I sign and pay. We undress except for underwear and I fuss with beds until he lies on one, and I get on top of him. He says, shortly, "Get off," and so I do. Nuzzle and stroke and undress him and he has adequate body and large, nicely shaped cock. I play tease game and he tenses. I move knee up to arm, and he moves not. Finally I take his hand and put it on my prick and he dutifully pumps away. I get up and put bathroom light on, and delight in teasing him for about half an hour. Finally he assists, after I've come, and he comes. Wipe us off and go to sleep, 2 am.