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1969 4 of 7


FRIDAY, AUGUST 1. Up late again, as usual, and get to typing the datebooks, taking time off to eat breakfast and lunch very late. Martus and Pehr reply today in the stamp sweepstakes, though I had rather hoped it would be 3 to keep up with the symmetry of arrivals. Work with stamps quite a bit through the day, and end up typing 18 pages, which is fine. Settle down to watch "The Seekers: The Materialists" on NET by Ken Taylor, which posits that a man would rather kill himself than be the cause of another individual's death, which is a rather sticky thought. Just at 10, when it's over, and I'm about ready to make dinner for myself, Eddie calls, I say I'm not doing anything tonight, and he says he has tickets for "The Gay Deceivers," and I say I'll join him. Dash into the shower and shave for the day, and don't have time for anything except to grab a ham omelet from the place next door and race down to the Trans-Lux East, bells flying. Eddie's waiting outside at 10:25, and we walk quickly down 3rd to the theater, while he admires my pants and my ass, and the theater's full of Gay Deceivers, too, and I'm hinted of the end by the roar from the audience just before the final purple-out of the screen. We both decide that Frank Foley, or whoever the big blond is, IS, and that the other fellow who steals the show is the one who's now in "Boys in the Band." We stop into Waldorf cafeteria for something to eat, and since he's on a health-food kick he gets chicken salad and milk, and I grab the check, after moving away from a sour-smelling tramp who tries to extract his fund of social exchange from MY presence. Eddie decides to walk me to Broadway, and then we're walking up Broadway, so I ask him up, and give him some soda, and he looks at all my souvenirs from the trip, wanting some of the rocks but taking two wooden spoons instead, and we talk about his upcoming trip to London, Amsterdam, Paris, Munich, Rome and Madrid with three other screaming Puerto Ricans. My DEAR. Then he gives me $10 for Joe for either pot or the substitute which he says he can get, and leaves at the ungodly hour of 4:30, and I groan at the messed up apartment and fall into bed.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 2. Up at 11 and can't stand the mess anymore, so I begin putting the things away that Eddie and I looked through last night, and then even before breakfast I'm down to the stamp place on 7th to see if they have a 1969 combined Scott's catalog, but they don't, and warn me that no one else will have it, either. I look for Clarke and Gamov books at Bookmasters, but they don't have any, either, so I end up buying Gamov's "One, Two, Three ... Infinity," which seems familiar, and Gardner's "Relativity for the Million," and get back cursing myself for doing so. Eat breakfast and telephone Gimbel's, who doesn't have one, and the place on Lexington, who doesn't have one, and finally the display ad to 256 W. 54th rings the bell as the one who's put up all the ads on the doors and fences around town, and they DO have one. Get out to pick up a schedule of Science-Fiction movies from the Museum of Modern Art, and get the catalog, along with a free pricedd list, from the Broadway Stamp Company, and get back to glance through it for a few items, find that many of my acquisitions are not yet catalogued, and by that time it's getting late and I have lunch and get ready for John, the apartment looking reasonable. He comes in on time and I'm shirtless, but receive him that way, since he's nearly, too --- isn't everyone always? We talk about his experiences and I make the mistake of telling him that Norma and Paul and I went to bed together, and he takes that as a put-down for himself, which I can't erase from his mind. About this time, looking at his nice biceps and firm legs, I decide that I'd like to see what he's like, so I go over to him and command "Stand up." He looks up grinning and asks "Why?" but does so so stiffly, and he's so tense when I kiss him that I can FEEL the tautness. It's the wrong time, I decide, so figure he's got the message, let HIM make the next move. We talk on and on, and he's certainly completely gay, despite the fact that he goes to bed with women, and then he pauses, wishing for me to attack. "Do you want to stand up again?" I ask, and he mumbles something about being more comfortable in bed. I change linen, to his stiffness, and we begin slowly, slowly, and when his trousers come off, he comes up, very erect, and we roll around and just before coming go down, to everyone's disgust, but he's nice, and later we're out to eat at Angelo's and he takes back his request that I not tell Norma.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 3. I'd gotten the Times out of the way last night by buying it and reading it and working the crossword all before 2 am, so that's not part of today. I get down to typing just a bit, and assuage my guilt for not typing anything yesterday, insuring I don't again slip back above the 200 page mark, and then stamps take over, my curiosity about just HOW MANY stamps are listed in the international catalog, and also how many countries there are, how many are in the album, etc. I find there are 402 countries in both volumes, probably 400 or fewer when double-entries like the Philippines and Puerto Rico are eliminated, over 100 of which are not in the album, Kionga seems to be the smallest represented country with 4 stamps. Counting only regular, huge numbers of semi-postal, and air-mail, there are just over 50,000 stamps in Volume I and over 80,000 stamps in Volume II, for over 130,000 stamps in all. US, being somewhat specialized, lists 4354 stamps, the most, with Russia close behind and gaining at 4194, the only two over 4000. Russia regular stamps alone weigh in at 3610, over 22 times the US's 1400, more than the TOTAL Hungary at 3169, the only other country coming in over 3000, with TOTAL Romania next at 2928, and others falling off very rapidly. Turkey, Venezuela, Spain, Czechoslovakia and Poland having more than 2000, but I re-thought of France, which totals 2987 with all its offices, and counting both Germanys as one, as it's listed in the catalog, zips it up to third overall with 3697. That gives some small idea how compulsive I am about figures, and why I counted with such accuracy that I had to stop for breakfast and stop for lunch and continue counting before I finished about 5. Then I called Eddie about going to see "Isadora" and he had to work, but he got me two free passes anyway. I called Joe before about seeing "Theorema," and he said he might go to that, and when I called him back, he didn't answer. Then I called Cyndy and she said fine. I got back to stamps when she said she wanted to go to the 10 pm show, and I was actually ready, shaved, showered, neat, when she called from downstairs at 9:30. Show was great, and I walked her home and consoled and advised her until 1:15, getting to bed at 2.


MONDAY, AUGUST 4. Awakened by a call at 10 am from Merv Goldstein, telling me that Don Leventhal had drowned at Fire Island on Friday!! I was glad I was sitting down, because I could feel myself weakly trembling. Talked to his quavering voice for awhile, then called Joe to tell him, and sat stunned, turning on WNYC to hear the news in a brief eulogy about the irony of his dying when he was "in radiant health and in the prime of life." I called Arno and it hit him very hard, "Oh, don't say that," was his immediate rapid reaction, and he was audibly shaken, and later he called a friend of his over, and still later he dropped by here, nursing a cold with Dristan, and shaking his head about a contemporary's death. Then Bonnie calls and tells me all about her and Norman's Mescaline trip over the weekend, her first, his ninth. She tells about looking at the pretty piece of broken glass until Norman says calmly, "Give that to me," which she does, and how she follows him around wanting to know "Where it is," until he begs her to let him "do his own thing." They're out for groceries and cigarettes, get hung up on TV until they shut it off when she starts weeping at the beauty of a cigarette commercial, and he later accuses her of being bitchy when she thinks she was always so nice, "But that's because of the speed that they cut the mescaline with." And that little phrase sends shivers through me, and I'm not so certain about taking the single capsule that Joe says he has, even if he WILL sit with me without going up himself, which he won't, saying "I'm not going to put some junk that I don't know what it is into MY stomach," and even if we do find a place that I trust, where no one will intrude, and where there'll be nature and beauty around. Then she says they went up to see Joan, she was misdirected, Paul was awful, but the place was nice, though it was a long drive. I call Pat to ask if he wants to go, but he says he has to think about it, since he's debating going out to the Hamptons or taking a vacation to the Islands. Then I call Ellen to ask her to come over to meet Cyndy and tell her how to meet people, and when I transfer to Chuck to ask about my book, I ask HIM over, too, and then call Cyndy, and they all come boringly together, and the frozen daiquiris only make everyone sleepy, and Hide is NOT a success, and part at 10. See last hour of "Khartoum" on TV.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 5. I stayed awake longer last night, not cursing but getting my "come blanket" (disguised as the flannel pajama tops that I put under the chest to protect the tops of my feet when I do sit-ups) and frottaging myself into spasms of oblivion before going to sleep. At least the terrible sleeplessness of a week ago hasn't been repeated. Again I'm up late, and the first thing in the morning I actually finish the last of those damned little datebooks!! I feel so happy when I do that, and that leaves only the 1958 diary, which has about 62 more pages, and then the diary to catch up on, and I'll be out of things to type (unless I think of something else, which thought I dread) and can start back on the LSD novel revisions. It's almost possible to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Mail disgusts me by having nothing from the stamp companies in the mail for the first time, and not having Life or Screw, either. (And where there's life, there's screw?) Call the two theaters with "Theorema" and "Prime of Miss Jean Brody" playing, and both are there for the last days. Call Joe, and he can't go to the movies, so I decide to get out to "Theorema" and "The Castle" at 3:30, taking a slow walk down to 42nd, and the streets are just as busy as Saturday night, though they seem to be busy cruising EACH OTHER. "Theorema" is simple, as I see it: the boy is God, who is Love, and he responds to their love for him when they ask him to, the maid with her dress pulled up, the boy with the covers pulled down, the wife with the clothes pulled off, the husband with pulling the gimmick of "I have to talk to you." "The Castle" echoes some of the desolate sequences of the Italian film, and Schell is good, as he always is, and it's about as good a film rendition of such an amorphous book as you could wish for. Out at 7 and walk home, eat rotten steak from the freezer and finally, at last, at 9 pm get around to doing the dishes that haven't been done for over two weeks, making me have to wash four glasses last night just to be able to serve the drinks, and it takes almost an hour, and I break a glass because I have to pile everything up so high. Read a bit of "One, Two, Three, Infinity" and bed about 1.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6. Forgot that I did type a total of 20 pages yesterday. Joe wakes me up at 8 to say that the day will be wonderful and the beach is waiting. Since I'd just been through an identity-crisis that told me I had to do more for friends, I saw Joe wanting to go to the beach and wanting company, so I forced myself to say yes, getting everything ready and meeting him at 42nd Street station at 9, and out to the bus at 10, and to the sands at 10:30, where he makes up for not doing his exercises by walking for a long distance across the shelly beach, until the sun feels too much for me and I beg to get back, and I actually get into the water, cold and shocking at first, but it quickly becomes tepid and refreshing, and after long immersion there's no chill, only the great fatigue of the unusual breathing constricted by the water pressure. The beach is full of the loveliest creatures, and the second time I'm in swimming there are a few chances to meet people, but I'm shy, so I don't make the move, and neither do they, so nothing's done, except that Joe's accosted by the doll in green who asks him if he's a friend of Tom's. The sun is lovely, and though I have only quarters from my pocket (I've already spent the $10 Eddie gave me, and spent my last single for the movies yesterday, so if it weren't for my stack of quarters, I wouldn't have gotten onto the subway this morning) I eat a hot dog and a soda, and I even give Joe a quarter for the locker, though he more than pays me back by buying me a 404 double scoop vanilla fudge-fresh peach ice cream cone when he buys his pistachio-black cherry cone, yummy. Rumble back on the subway beginning one of my books, and by 2 I decide I have to get off at 42nd to change to a local, and I do, getting home, admiring my burn, and washing my hair and body in the refreshing shower, then managing to type only 5 more pages, call Pat to find he's not going up, call Paul, but he's coming down on Monday anyway, and try to get Merv and the number for the Homosexual Group Encounter, but both those numbers don't work, but I call Helen and say I'm not going, and she doesn't seem to mind at all. Continue reading Scientific Americans while eating dinner, and I'll get the pile down if it takes a month. Finish reading "Relativity for the Million" and re-look at "Geometrodynamics" and am again convinced that it MIGHT be the universal field theory, if I could only READ it.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 7. Again up quickly and down to the mail at 10, but for the second time there's no stamps, and yesterday there was just the one from Viking. Determined to finish much of the 1958 diary off today, so I'm down to type the first 10, then 15, then 20 pages quite easily, after having eaten breakfast, and it's very fatiguing and I lay down afterwards and ache in the shoulders and in the eyes, particularly after about 5 pm when I change into contacts --- and it seems to get harder and harder to remember to change into contacts, whenever anyone visits I ignore them, whenever I go anywhere, I don't wear them, so I should either forget about them, or wear them, but if I wear them, I have to get used to them again, so I put them in as soon as I think about them, which today happened to be late, and then it made the typing more difficult. I kept telling myself that if I just stopped thinking about each line, each day, each page, each month that I was typing, and just became a dactylographic automaton, I would do better, but as long as I kept thinking I shouldn't be thinking, I kept thinking, and when I stopped thinking I shouldn't be thinking, I stopped thinking, which goes to prove Krishnamurti knows what he's talking about but it's almost impossible to explain it. Defrosted the refrigerator, last night, I forgot, which proves that many things which appear to be impossible are only difficult, it didn't take more than three hours to do. Finally, through sheer force, I finish 40 pages of the diary by 1 am, and I even managed to relax enough during that to look through five companies that replied about 10 days ago, catalog their offers, decide which I wanted, and set up 1/3 OFF SCOTT as my criterion for purchase, and so far all of Streff and a lot of Darling qualified, and to two others I sent a total of 294, and if they don't like it, that's THEIR problem, since I told them what my qualifications were. Also sent out some bills, and Bill called last night, also, saying he's interested in stamps, so I'll have to write him. Lay down at 1 am, completely exhausted from the 40 pages, happy that I called Joe and gave him a chance to talk about his problems, content with the day.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 8. Up and came painfully at 10:15, and down to find Jamestown with lousy bargains and Screw #23, so I'll have to try to get #22 for a set. Out to stop at some of the newsstands to see if they have #22, but they don't, and finally I get back with groceries to type six more letters to six new companies just to get them out of the way, and put the eleven envelopes together and get down to the Post Office with them all in a little Screw envelope and buy a sheet of 14 stamps for paying with stamps, many 20's for airmail when I finally decide to write the letters to Jean-Jacques, Charles, and Edward and Leslie and Svein-Erik and Denis, oh, gosh, when will that ever be done? There are only the one type of commemorative, so I get them, and then back deciding that I really have to look through the other companies to see what they have to offer. Get to typing for a bit and do 24 pages, which gets me down to the desired level of 150, since I know that I probably won't be up to date when Paul comes, but surely won't slip back above 200 (no, just to 220, which I'm at when I'm typing this, terribly late, on the 16th). Watch "Auto-Stop" with a very youthful David Hemmings on Channel 13, and that's from 8:30-10, and then I'm back to the stamps, sorting things out, marking up little name cards with denominations from 34 to 104, and even some higher, so that I can conveniently sift through the piles of country stamps from a company and plop them onto the proper price stack, so that I can neatly skim off the top, or whatever comes at catalog value higher than three times cost, and since cost is usually 34, this means they all have to 94 or above, and there just aren't many of these. Yet there are enough at 1/3 Scott to figure this is a very good guideline, except if there's anything I REALLY want, but I can't figure what that would be --- except the pre-Scott US 551, and the pre-Scott UN 125, and even then I'd compare with the pleasant place on 54th before buying from any company, since they're usually somewhat around 1/2 Scott. Maybe I'll end up in the business? Keep going until fatigue sets in, and then pile everything off the bed for bed.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 9. Wake up to get to the stamps immediately, finishing off the stack of companies I had to do, all the way through the Jamestown that came in yesterday, and by this time it's about noon and time for breakfast, since my stomach is long past the point where it even complains when it's hungry. Then back to the stamps, this time to start clearing off the stacks of stamps on the dresser and putting them into the album, somewhat more carefully now, since I have a 69 catalog to guide me. The one and two-stamp countries go easily enough, but as the number of stamps mount, the problems get greater and greater, and finally I'm left with about 30 countries with dozens of stamps apiece, and some of the large ones, like Poland and Hungary and Russia and DDR, are stacks of hundreds of stamps which bode fair to take a day each. Work on through the day, stopping about 5 pm for lunch, and calling Joe at the Door Store just to give him a chance to talk, and I stare out the window for awhile at the lovely fellow at the top right, shirtlessly cleaning pillows with his silly little brush, but he looks flawlessly beautiful. Continue with the stamps, working them down, country after country, sitting oblivious to the passing time, not think of what I should be doing or what I shouldn't be doing, but enjoying each stamp as it passes through my hands, either to be hinged into the book, or put onto a little stack to be sorted into the glassine envelopes stacked between the speaker and the Cuzco box, waiting to be filled with my newest duplicates. Everything else stands in abeyance, yet I don't even think about them, and thus it could be said that I'm thoughtlessly happy while engrossed in the stamps. The hours and the day pass, and I have no concept of the passing time, and the air conditioner keeps the air cool and dry, and the light over my shoulder even hides the on-coming night. Without thinking, without worry, the stamps pass through my fingers as the seconds, remembering each, placing each on the page where it belongs, checking the catalog for position and value and number, and the time passes effortlessly. If this thoughtless "nowness" is happiness, then I enjoy happiness with my stamps. But when I stop to think of the time, and I think of Joe and Herman moaning my wasted talent, I have to stop and think: but then maybe I have a talent for being thoughtlessly happy with stamps, too. But I would like to have someone, so I get the paper and pizza and for the first time DON'T even work the puzzle, and get to bed about 1 am, tired and completely content.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 10. Have the "Oh, Calcutta" ticket out so that I won't forget it, and it stares at me as I continue with the stamps. Have a short intermission at 11 for Zoe Caldwell reading Australian literature on Camera Three, and back to stamps, until I decide it's time to eat and shave and shower and get dressed for the play, and by that time it's too late, and I'm down to the subway platform and wait for the train, but I forget that the N, on the opposite platform, is an express until just as it pulls out, and there isn't another in sight, so I dash out to the street and grab a cab down to 12th and 2nd, just in time to get into the crowded theater where the ushers have adapted a loud, cattle-moving shout to get the people into their seats quickly, and the embarrassed audience doesn't even have the wit to complain. The lights go down and the cast comes out, turns their back to the audience, undresses, puts on robes, then goes through the most sensuous part of the afternoon disrobing slowly and seductively, and I'm glad my binoculars permit me to focus on the men without showing who I'm looking at, though who in the audience would be bothering to study ME instead of the men onstage I can't imagine. Most of the skits are just lengthened dirty jokes, and Trouville's paintings are about as interesting, when it turns out that the nude in the ad has had her ass cut out by all the papers. One of the skits wasn't done, and the "Hand Job" one was cute as everyone shot off to the Lone Ranger, and the climax was interesting when someone said, "All the guys must be faggots," though one little fellow seemed to have a small stiffness in one section of the feely-dance. But I was glad I paid $7.50 instead of $15. The day was so nice that I decided to walk back, opening my shirt completely and enjoying the looks I got at the navel-baring costume. Lovely walk, but I was hot from the exercise, and relaxed by talking to Joe, but he didn't want to come over for the TV dance program, so I went back to stamps, quietly getting everything put away as the album got thicker and thicker, not doing one jot of typing, glad that the Times didn't come up with an NEW company, deciding I had about enough of "100 free general stamps" as a come-on, and almost coming over the sexy McKayle dance company and the lovely Tony Catanzaro in "Baroque Concerto."


MONDAY, AUGUST 11, Where there's nothing to say, as yesterday, it's difficult to fill up a whole page without getting into philosophical ramblings. Up today at 9:30 to see Joan Rivers ogle men's crotches during a fashion show on her show, and back to stamps, managing to exercise once to prepare for Paul's coming, and decide at three that I have to start fixing the apartment up. Don't get through with it, and still unshowered, but shaved, when he rings from downstairs, at 5, and he's up to talk as I think I'm to get into the shower, but I begin a long rambling discussion of what I did in Europe and Morocco, and we began talking about the people he knew, and how school was, so it was about 8 when I got into the shower, dressed, he liked my pants, and we went out for a walk in the park. There was a line at the Bethesda Fountain, and earlier he'd mentioned that he wanted Cuban food, so I decided on Victor's, and there seemed to be no time like the present. Went back by way of part of the Ramble, and got to the place about 8:30, ate through till 10, my fried chicken very nicely flavored, and he said his sausages and rice were good, though there wasn't much of it. Nice people there, and even Lloyd Bridges left with a little fellow that someone said was his son and someone said was an actor, and it even might have been a lover. I tell tales of India and Calcutta, and the neighboring table joins in, and it was a very pleasant time. Back up into the Ramble, and Paul doesn't want to be left alone, but we sit on a bench down near the pond, and I get groped, but I want to include him. So we're up onto the dead-end, and I leave him at the end to kiss a Dentyne-breathed kid with shirt off, but we don't get anywhere, but Paul hits with someone, and they go off into the bushes and I sit on a bench and get bitten by mosquitoes. He exits to say he came, and we're down and back home rather quickly, as there isn't anything more to do. We talk more about the trip he's planning for next year, and by the time it's over, we've decided it's the trip to take, and I have a new deadline for the LSD book. Talk more while getting to bed, and we lay closely, but I don't feel hard and he's had it, so we lay, and lay, and both have trouble getting to sleep; it's clammy.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 12. I wake at 9 to find him already listening to the news in the living room, and I call Warren to try to find out about my check, and Joe to ask him about joining us tomorrow for the beach and/or Lutece and/or some Chinese shops, but I keep trying to get Lutece and it seems to be closed, and Paul doesn't like the beach, so we're out to some areas after getting to American Express to get a check cashed for him and to get an opinion on our trip from the fellow at the office, and pick up a great brochure on world travel. Paul's addresses lead him from one place to another, some warehouse-like dingy, others elegantly set up for customers. The Old Garden is across the street from his first place, so we enter at 12:30 for a good lunch of great sole, and of course I tell him all about Gazelle O'Or, and the whole thing for the both of us comes to $3.95, though he has to pay because I'm simply out of money. To other places, junky, with Chinese proprietors and plastic goods, and one elegant lady with very good antiques, and finally we end up in the Fall Sale, or whatever, building at 225 Fifth Avenue, which is entirely given over to nicely decorated and arranged shops, and we go from one to another until we meet Mrs. Mottahedeh, and she gives Paul some quick lessons about styles and prices, though he says she's quite expensive, but her charm is her knowledge and interest in her field, and her enthusiasm is catching, even to not wanting to sell anything which is really first-class. Then why did she want to get rid of those cheap Japanese dishes at such an expensive "bargain" price? Out of there into a number of rug shops, and when we're finished at 5, I'm dizzy enough to walk the wrong way for two blocks before we get into the subway and back home to collapse into chairs with drinks and relax. Then we shower and get out to Hide, which he likes a lot, trying out some of his Japanese on the dour waitress, and at 9 we're into the park for the last of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto with Byron Janis and the New York Philharmonic, but the sound is bad, and he wants to bar, so we walk up to Charade, which is brightly lit and newly raided, and he collapses in his tracks so we bus down to Mr. D's, which gets going about 11:30, filled with beautiful people, but they're all rather distant, and at 12:30 we've both had enough, so we taxi back, which he pays for, and we fall into bed. Whew!


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13. I can't get to sleep again, and would like to do something, but even after showing that I'm awake by going into the bathroom for a drink doesn't show me that HE'S awake, so I doze off about 1:30. Then in the morning I sense a closeness in him, and again he comes very quickly, but by the time he gets back to me, I'm down, and that's the end of that, and it's only 7:30, too. We're back to doze for awhile, and then it's 10 before we're up. Call Joe and arrange to meet at his place at 11:30, but with my telephoning Cyndy and Joe, and Paul's preparations, we get there closer to noon. Sit around and talk for awhile, and even Joe seems to know more about it than Paul, and we're across town by bus to some places that Joe knows, and again Paul gets a series of little lessons on setting up a shop, and then we take the long trek down to the covey of places around East 59th Street, amazed at the two movie theaters that have appeared since last I was there, and we wander along 57th down to the Lexington Deli, which turns out expensive and terrible, though it feels too good to sit down in air-conditioned comfort after a hot day's walking in a SUIT, which Joe refused to comply with. Then we're back to the Columbian coffee stand, and Joe's wait for a hot coffee gives Paul and me the chance for two iced coffees, and it's quite tasty, and serves to pass a lot of the time. I suggest to Paul that we could try the World Trade Center, or Wall Street, but he's tired so we're back here, he to relax and type a few things, I to work again on stamps, finally getting into the home stretch with DDR, and we get into a very long talk about happiness and people and problems and charity and what we want to do in life. Then Cyndy calls from downstairs, and she comes up as Paul and I dress and we sit and talk for a couple hours, then decide to go down to the Ceylon India Inn for a deliciously spicy dinner of Chicken Biriani, dry with saffron rice, Kandy Kabob, small and chewy, served with HOT parotha, and lamb curry with split-pea sauce, chopped onions and peppers, and vegetables, preceded by mulligatawny, and the whole thing was very pleasant, and again Paul paid for me. Back to talk and fall into bed, but to continue the talk about his problems at St. Albans till 2.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 14. He's up at 9, getting things ready to go, and we talk more about all sorts of things, including the trip, and he sits down for a final chat before catching a cab back to Trenton and his car at 11. I'm back up to call Joe and persuade him to meet me at the show tonight, and again get back to the stamps, I finish with the DDR, the last little bits, and then I can get on to the other companies which have come in in the meantime. Finally get in touch with Warren to find that he didn't have a signed stock release from me, and then he finds one, and says the check will be in the bank by noon. At last! I get back to the companies, and even get to typing letters from the address list sent by Naiman, and if half these governments sell stamps at face value, I stand to be out of a lot of money in the next few years, until I get tired of spending and the exotic mail, and then I stop. But it's fun now, probably since it keeps me busy, and not on the book. Fix up the apartment a bit, but most of the time is spent on stamps. Eat lunch about 5 in preparation for a late time after the show, and shower and shave and out at 7 to walk quickly up at 7:30, and there's quite a crowd, and we see "Ten Days that Shook the World," a confused story, but as Joe says, incredible imagery, and "Story of Lenin," which was hopelessly terrible. Lively event halfway through, however, when the fellow in the lobby started shouting "Help, help," and people raced out to see what was wrong, and later when we were leaving we find that they were trying to rob the box office, but the shouts drove the thief off, and that the cops had caught him. Walk Joe home, talking about Miss DeMazia and how great he thinks she is, and how his talk on old wrought-iron for the Barnes Seminar is coming, and I'm to CPW to walk up to 79th and sit for awhile, but then it started raining, so I walked back down, enjoying looks, but getting to my place just as it stopped raining, but I was pretty wet, anyway. Get to bed, but hop out to get the Tom drawings and come exhaustively, for the second time in the day, and for the first time I had strange, though not painful, throbbings in the prostate area, which stopped only after I came the second time. Had no trouble falling asleep.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 15. Down to get lots of goody mail, and call to find that Mrs. Greff will OK my coming to the bank to get some money against the check, which is fine, since yesterday I had to fill my wallet with quarters just so I could get into the theater, and I was rapidly running out of quarters. Eat breakfast late and fiddle around with stamps, getting everything ready for my venture into the outside world, and after shaving and showering, and coming, I got out at 2 to the bank, to get 8 quarters, deposit $15 back into the account to cover the small checks I'd already written, pocket all the yummy money and get out to pick up laundry, get stamps, two of everything at the Post Office, cursing because they didn't have any commemoratives at all, get a few things from the grocery store, and got to work to get "Human Sexual Response" from Chuck, which we discuss sotto voce in the crowded halls, to pay Barbara $2.60 for Herman's lunch, though she couldn't talk because she had to get something out that afternoon, and have a terrible talk with Barry Gordon and Cissy Wong and Gladys, making me feel really as if I don't belong, and Judy is glad to see me, and Natalie and Flo's male assistant seem to be the most genuinely happy to see me. Back home at 5, having done almost everything except wash clothes that I needed to do, and undress and have lunch and watch "Lady from Shanghai," made difficult by Orson Welles' terrible Irish brogue and Glen Anders' terrible laugh, but I couldn't figure the "don't miss that climax" of the Times unless it was the shootout in the funhouse, unless they cut the adventures HE had in the funhouse prior to the shootout in the mirror maze. Then it's back to stamps for a few moments and then to National Theater for the Deaf, which was lousy, and Cyndy called and we talked for awhile about her leaving, and then I was back to count up how many double-pages were still blank (106), and decided that I really could get some packets for some countries that I didn't have any stamps in, and again it was 1 am and time for bed, again coming before bedtime, and since I'd come already twice that day, it set some sort of coming record, and I have to put the drawings away, or I'll be sucked in again and again.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 16. Joan calls in the morning and we talk, and then I begin fixing place up by washing dishes, and she's here by 1, and we chat in the heat. I've scrubbed refrigerator and stove, and "easy-off" the broiler while she's here. Talk is rather uncomfortable, and finally she lapses into talking about movies which she doesn't care for just so I can have something interesting to talk about after we've exhausted everything she cares to say about her five weeks in Massachusetts. She leaves about 2:30 and I get to fixing up the apartment in earnest, piling everything on top of the dresser, cleaning off the desk of stamp and mailing things, then sort everything out and put everything into its place, leaving only things to be typed and stamp and mailing stuff on the desk, and things to do immediately into the drawer. Mom and Rita call about sick Grandma and talk 5:15-7! Then I bring the number of typing pages up to date on this "Day of Reckoning #2" and actually get down to type DIARY to current, in which I was a week behind, and then begin typing for the period July 4-5, and that's 10 pages for the day, and I finish, to get out for the Times and pizza at 9 and run into a little snag when I get back: the door won't open! I try key again and again, then fantasize noise inside and I figure someone's unlocked the apartment, entered it, was ransacking it and I stopped them, and they're still inside. Ridiculous! I start eating pizza, but it's hot and the hall's hot, and I decide I've got to get the duplicate key from downstairs. Knock on 1704 but there's no answer, then hear music from 1706, and the heavyset woman answers after fussing, probably dressing, and watches the door as I go down for the key, deciding that Harold flipped the lower lock on when he left after coming up to fix the circuit breaker which put my electric clock and refrigerator off from 3:30-4:30. Damn him! The key opens it, and everything's back to normal, read the paper and finish at midnight, and don't feel quite ready for sleep, so I finish "One, Two, Three, Infinity" until 1, and hardly anything of it's new, but I'd read it before, anyway. Apartment is neat for the first time in ages, and I fall into bed at 1, gratefully tired.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 17. Wake at 8:30 and come at 9 and out to watch television, finding handsome puppets in Captain Scarlet, dreadful programming through Alston's terrible random music with a self-conscious narrator: if anything's going to look natural like this, the DANCERS have to look self-conscious, too. Eat and get down to typing this again, hoping to get much done today, at 11:30 am. Get back to typing July 6-14, and it's difficult to do, but once I get started it goes smoothly enough to make me content with progress. When I finish that I look at the terrible mess on my desk and decide to clean everything up, so I write a long letter to Bill, enclosing stamp things, pay the rent, finally (this is about the latest I've paid it, and through the mail it certainly won't get there before the 20th, and it's practically next month, already), and write to two new stamp companies that sounded too good to pass up: J&R Stamps with free Polish stamps, and Intercity with a $40 catalog offer for $2 without approvals, which sounds almost like a robbery plot. Then send a $6 coupon to AMG for two photos from Tom, a Spartacus Natural catalog, and the nude Physique Pictorial, and write to Claudia via Adam, the Seavers, House of Wesley, New York State Opera for three pairs of tickets, Mom mainly to send off the "Oh, Calcutta" playbill cover, and to John Aiken about his Church of the Awakening. Then, since I've started, I get out the foreign stamp agency list and dash off letters to Albania, Communist China, Japan, Great Britain, and Canada. Finish with the desk strewn with typed stuff, after pausing for lunch and exercises, and washing inside of windows, and then Joan calls and decides to come over for the Blossom Festival on TV from 8-10, with Boulez, and she stays for Part 3 of "The Tale of Genji" while I eat dinner, and then she leaves at 11:15. I decide I can't possibly go to sleep yet, so I read another couple pages of "The Couples," but Updyke just gets more and more unreadable, and I'm into bed at 1:30.


MONDAY, AUGUST 18. Yesterday I also tackled some things which had been hanging around for awhile, like re-gluing the fallen electric toothbrush case to the bathroom wall, and gluing the shower curtain hook back after it had broken. Slowly but surely these things get done. Make a new list of things to do, and get to work doing them. I have to wash clothes, but find I have no soap for the clothes, then decide to get groceries, but before that, I want to mail the letters, so I take the morning to put the letters from last night together and batch up the laundry for Chinesing, and take everything out, talking to Arno, who has found that Don was warned against going into the rough waters from some off-shore hurricane, and either he didn't hear the news or he ignored it. Joan wants to come up for lunch, giving me names of people in Provincetown for Arno's stay up there starting Thursday, and we have franks while I get clothes from the dryer which have been removed to service someone else before they were really dry, and spread them over the apartment to dry before bedtime. We find it's too late to get to the Inflatable Museum, so we just go for a walk in the park, up to her place first so she can change shoes, where we talk to Helen and ogle Melisande (he) and Gemini (she), the cats, and out to sit and talk next to the boat pond. I get back about 6:30 and telephone Joe Elkins, who's delighted to hear from me, but who's done nothing with his stamps for years (no time), and Azak (no answer), and Arno (to give him the places Joan gave me in P-town), and John (who's still working lights at ABC-TV, gets up at 5 am, bed at 11 pm, going on vacation to the Canary Islands, and his lover's moving here in November, or sometimes, and he hasn't seen any of the cock films), and Eddie, who might be going to the Palisades on Friday, and find from Joan and her Cue that Lutece is closed till September 8, and Joe's seen "The Concept," and Norma says she'll call back, and the US mission to the UN refers me to the Passport Agency, who says I have to write to the Department of State about travel to mainland China, so I sit down again and write letters to Department of State, Joel Rosenberg, Bernie Mazie, Bucks County Seminar House (since I've decided to take the five days of teaching from Baba Ram Dass, probably silly of me), the Landa's, Al Simpson, and it's getting harder, but I go through Svein-Erik, Marc, Leslie, Edward, and Denis, and then get to Jean-Jacques and it hits me that I owe him about $240, which I'd completely forgotten! Dinner late at 10:45, and turn on the first Merv Griffin show with Woody Allen, Moms Mabley, Arthur Treacher, Leslie Uggams and Hedy Lamarr, for a nothing show, and fall into bed at 1:30 (exercised at 10!).


TUESDAY, AUGUST 19. Put all the previous night's letters together for mailing before I pick up my mail, and get only Life and Viking, rather discouraging. Doug says he might go with me to see "Concept," Norma's seen it and will be living with Betty starting next week, and I clip off 10 more foreign countries by 3 pm. Type twenty pages during the day, finally finishing the gap in July, and getting started in the gap before vacation, but that's terribly difficult and I just can't seem to go beyond that twenty pages. Eat dinner and lounge around listening to music, and there's nothing on TV and nothing I'd like to read, so I'm feeling rather depressed. Decide this would be the evening to see one of the sex films now being shown, so I do nothing until 10:30 and then shave and get out in my tight trousers. It's only 5 of 11 when I get to the theater, which should start at 11:10, so I stand in a doorway lower down and watch the guys and girls on the prowl slinking past in their sexual best, and look at the tourists coming from the Broadway shows, programs clutched to their diaphragms, as they furtively glance at the people passing them on the street, the marquees of the "filthy theaters," and the cruisers slowly slipping by in their cars on the street. Up to read the sign more closely and there's only a midnight show on Friday and Saturday, so their business must have been poor, even though they're the cheapest in town at $4. Discouraged and walk down to 42nd, but that hits me wrongly in my depression. What before had seemed crowds of gay people eager for adventure now appeared as clots of ugly idiots wandering in Brownian disarray along the streets, showing not one vestige of intelligence or interest, and not even possessing an animal beauty or attraction to make up for their lack of a brain. Everyone's eye was out for someone better than they, but there was also the feeling that anyone they would meet would be degraded by that meeting, so they would end up worse than they were when they started. Girls in fantastic makeup were literally disgusting as I walked up Broadway, and some of the guys were so absorbed in the painted dolls that their own physical beauty diminished. It was a relief to get into the shadows of CPW and look at people who KNEW what they wanted, but the crowd wasn't too terribly good there, either, though I realized that unless I changed my attitude, I would meet nothing in the evening. Walked up and back, sat on the benches, got many looks, flattered by some reasonably attractive ones staking me out from curb or stonewall, but I left at 1, feeling a bit better for the efforts I'd made.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20. Joe calls at 9:30, waking me, and I get ready for the beach at 10, but stupidly take the BMT down and then have to walk through the station to get over to Joe, and we just miss a Flatbush train. We're very comfortable together, freely talking about what we like and don't like in the people we pass, discussing things in the papers, talking about what restaurant he should take Dick to, talking about things in general, nothing terribly personal, nothing terribly dull. The guy thinks I asked for a vanilla float instead of a vanilla fudge cone, and it's tasty and passes the time while Joe has the coffee he's dying for. Out to the beach about noon, but the crowd's not as nice as before, and we wander west along the beach, watching the kids building fortifications and moats and towers and prisons for the waters to inundate gradually, and looking at the dolls immuring one of themselves into a carapace of sand, gamely flinging on wet sand to cement the walls the sea had made weaker, continuing to entertain the attractive fellow seated erectly on his seat of sand, one arm regally draped over a custom-made arm rest of sand at just the right height. Their loyalty was such that it appeared the waves would never batter down the walls around his legs, so I walked on, looking at the thick-legged football team horesplaying in the surf, husky voices shouting with newly-deepened laughter. There were a lot of colored people on the beach, but they seemed determined to typify their bad habits: clustering too many in too small an area, making their very presence look uncomfortable, grouping in the water, shouting to each other too loudly, seeming to assure each other that yes, this was fun, wasn't it, and now we're just like all these other people, these others who looked over at them and wished they wouldn't stay so close together, nor scream so loud, and I had the feeling they left the beach more littered in their patch than anyone else would leave it, even the globules of screaming queens, who usually possessed one or two members to make it look good. Sun began burning at 3, and we left, having another cone, and I get back at 5:30 to read mail and shower and eat dinner and call Doug, but the theater's sold out, and all I can do is sit, tired, to finish reading "Couples" before coming in my sunburn and getting to bed around 2.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 21. Type 13 pages in the morning, watch some nice sunbathers through my binoculars, exercise, and then it's time for lunch and I have to get down to my haircut, postponed from yesterday. Later stop in a Bookmasters to check what they have by Arthur Clarke, and they have "The City and the Stars," and there's another book by John Wyndham, so I buy those two and get home just before 4. Should get down to typing, but I just don't feel like it, so I sit down and start reading "Re-Birth" by Wyndham, about these people in Labrador who possess powers of telepathy until the hero's little sister, Petra, comes in with her powers so LOUDLY that she's another kind of power altogether, and she transmits to someone in Zealand, where the world's not as destroyed as it is in the north from Tribulation. It's reasonably well written, and the humor of the children saves it in many cases, but the moralizing is fairly low-grade, and low-key, too, so it doesn't interfere. Eat dinner and sort through some of the pages I'd typed over the vacation, preparing for my last onslaught against the untyped diary, and then I'm tired again, feeling like nothing but reading, so at 10:15 I sit down with "The City and the Stars" and at 2:15 I put it down, finished. This has a far more enormous scope than "Re-Birth" and for that reason is somehow more satisfying. It has the cosmic brain like Melichrome in Scheckley's tales, and it has the sense of the quest as in "Lord of the Rings," though that's a bit of an anticlimax since they really don't FIND anything, just bizarre settings without any messages to them. There are plenty of messages, but when he gets truly cosmic there's no sense of power and motion, no real build from level to level as there is in Tolkein, but the story still moves, though the characters aren't really real, and the bits of humor about his friend's insect-buddy are so scattered that they intrude rather than relieve. It still seems that I could write something so much more stirring, pointful, beautiful, and exciting. But then I just have to do it, don't I? To bed at 2:30.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 22. Up at 10 after a short 72 hour bedtime, read the mail, sort through stamps from Atkins, pretty bad, amused at the Venezuelan response to the round-the-world ad, and get the last three diary pages finished by noon, hoping to really make inroads into the missing diary today, only 81 pages left to go. I get some of the ten pages done when Joan calls and says she wants to walk in Central Park with Helen, and I should go up to her place. I shave and wash and decide to go up in contacts, since I look better in the new sunglasses, so I put them in at 2 and take them out at 9, for the longest day in a long time. Up to her place with my white bells on and wait around until Helen comes out of the shower, and an allergy for either the cat or August starts acting up and I spit into the gutter while waiting for Alex to drive by to pick up some scripts. Into the park and Joan's foot is one big blister, so we go slowly in to the fountain to eat chili dogs and corn, then get ice cream and wander to sit in the ramble, watching all the guys passing by, and Joan gets fidgety and we walk down, deciding to go to the zoo to see the lion baby, but the lion house is closed and we only catch a glimpse of the hippo baby as a darker shape in the pulp-covered water behind the dark shape with his mother, who surfaces at more points than you'd expect, ears, eye sockets, noses, and twirls the ears like an impossibly built helicopter trying to take off. Then it's five and the houses close, and we've also watched the monkeys sticking their black fingers into the nozzle of a hose, shaking themselves when the water sprays, and jealously whacking the water left in the trough when the hose is moved to the next cage. Joan is very tired and weary, limping in the glassy dirt with her shoes off, and I leave them to sit along CPW for about an hour, with moderate activity, and then down home. Don't feel like typing, so I read a bit of Krishnamurti, then I'm tired of reading so I'm back to typing, then I'm hungry, so I exercise and eat, and read a bit of "Gestalt Therapy," then get hung up on the travel letter, then sit and wait for the Empire State Building to go out, but when it doesn't, I blindly flick on TV and watch "Son of Godzilla" with a cute monster, and then watch "Phantom Planet" which must surely be one of the worst pictures ever made, with Francis X. Bushman as Cecil, dowager ruler of a planet shaped like a twisted cruller, and a Solarion that looks like Goofy updated into the 21st Century. Bed disgusted with myself for having watched such trash at 2:45.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 23. Up at 10:45 and sort through Zielski's offer, this at 1. Get about seven pages done before lunch, and have no dishes to cook anything in, so I chill vichyssoise and have franks at 4, after exercising, finish level 4 at 11.95 minutes!!, and reading a bit of "Gestalt Therapy." Get out the guidebooks and maps to help with the diary through the trip, but don't feel like doing much. Shower and wash my hair, then wash socks. By that time it's 5 and I have to get to the store before it closes. Back and type some more, then lie down because I feel trembly, and up when I decide I really feel like sorting through my existing writing. Get out the paper punch and punch holes in all the sheets I'd done in this stupid holeless paper, and combine works into unified volumes, until I end up with two volumes of budding fiction, "Luxury" and the "Loom" novel, three of travel, before the large US trip, the US trip, and after the large US trip, and six volumes of person stuff, keeping one separate for Earliest Memories and Coming, putting together all early writings and Famous Writers notes, leave the Aureon things separate, and have two volumes of Diary type things, one for the 1958 and 1959 diaries and the datebooks, the other for the DIARY itself. That takes till 10, hand sore from punching the papers, and I'm out to get pizza and the paper, through that at 12, and I sit waiting for the Empire State Building lights to go off, counting the minutes before it does, but after about ten minutes' waiting, it appears it'll stay on, so I get to bed about 12:20. Have trouble getting to sleep, feeling alternately cold and sweaty, and wake about 5 with a terribly thirst, listening to a stupid motorcycle roaring past, sputtering up and down 57th, and debate calling the police and arresting them for disturbing the peace. Doze off but awake again at 7 and 8, possibly due to the psychological knowledge that I have the alarm on for 9 for the first time in ages in order to be up to watch "Captain Scarlet."


SUNDAY, AUGUST 24. I am asleep when the alarm goes, and it startles me, and up groggily to watch the fairly disappointing program (by which I mean they don't undress their puppets, and begin to look very formula), sit through the "Our Gang" which follows, and then it's 10, so I eat breakfast and fix up whatever mess I made last night and, apartment neat, type this very early: 10:30 am! Get along with typing again and manage to grind out seven pages by 12, which would put ten pages over two hours, which means something is going very slowly, probably my inspiration, as I'm desperate to finish the last of the make-up pages, but not really desperate to put in the effort to do it page by page. Do the dishes at that point, which takes till 1, and then back to type seven more pages, and I'm hungry, and eat from 2:30 to 3. Then I call Joe and am surprised to find him in, and we agree we want to see "Twelfth Night" tonight, which is difficult because I told Bonnie I'd telephone a message to her brother who was coming into town from Atlanta and planning to meet her at the East Side Airlines terminal, but she was working in her bar at 49th and Broadway, and wouldn't be able to make it, wouldn't even be able to telephone. So I shave and shower and dress and get up to Joe's at 5:30, and he's made chopped chicken liver sandwiches ("With mayonnaise, sorry, I didn't have any chicken fat"), and we goof the task of moving down for better seats, so we sit alone. The comics are dreadful, the prize being taken by the Charles Durning (a good comic woefully used) who can't sing at all, but Barbara Barrie as Viola is terribly cute and boyishly boyish. Out at 10, but the telephones are out of order "have been all summer, the closest is at 83rd and CPW." Out to 82nd, and that phone is out of order, as is 83rd, and I'm into a hotel, which has a phone, but a Jewish crone is talking to Fritzie about her week away, and I sweat waiting for the phone, wanting to get back to the play. But there is no Eastern flight 20: the only Eastern flight getting into Kennedy about 10:09 is a direct flight from Miami, and the only flights from Atlanta got into Newark at 4:45, and all flight numbers were different. Leave a message for the East Side terminal and get back to the play. Wander with Joe 10:45 to 11:15, then stand on the bridge, sit on CPW, walk, and sit on CPW until 1, cursing myself for taking the time and not the people, but I couldn't like anyone who liked me, and couldn't attract those I liked. Down home depressed at 1:15 and eat yogurt and read Life and flop into bed at 2.


MONDAY, AUGUST 25. Up at 10:45 and down with expectations of stamps to pick up two sex things, two bills and a bank statement, and finish this page by 11:45. Get finished with six pages at 1 and take time off to watch Galloping Gourmet, which is a waste, then down to type six more pages by 2:30, and when I go to eat, decide I'd better get the first time of level 5 done beforehand, and it's grueling, but I do the whole thing in 27.3, which is considerably less than it took me to do it the first time the FIRST series of times I did it. Sweating something terrible and take a shower, but that really doesn't stop me sweating. Have lunch and get back to type a third set of six pages to make it eighteen in all, and get down to reading some more "Gestalt Therapy," and decide what I REALLY want to do is go out and cruise, so after calling Bonnie and finding out that her brother didn't arrive on Eastern flight 20, it was Delta flight 31, and he was picked up by "one of the Mafia guys" that Bonnie works with. Then I call Joan and she wants to go to the Palisades on Friday if it's impossible Saturday, and Eddie says it's impossible Saturday because he has plans for the beach. Then at 6:45 I'm out and into the park at 7 and sit on a bench and wander around and the mosquitoes attack me if I sit still, and see a couple of people (tall lank-haired blond in long levis who keeps looking at me, the guy without a shirt, the smaller fellow, older, who gives me a sideways look that reminds me of Don, and the reasonably cute bearded hippie in an orange shirt who says "Hi" to me) whom I could reasonably go far, but like that child in the candy store, I expect something spectacular to come along in the next few minutes, and I don't want to miss him, so I pass up what's available. It gets darker and I decide I can't see who's walking down the paths (though the people look better in the dark, I'm afraid of what they might REALLY look like if I get them out into the light---and then, then they might see what I look like, too), so I'm out of the park at 8:15 and walk slowly home, sitting for just a bit until the mosquitoes hit again, and get home at 8:45, just two hours. Read a bit and I'm hungry, so I eat while watching the head of the FCC and the Ambassador from Israel talk to Dick Cavett, then read quite a bit more of "Gestalt Therapy," and Avi calls from 11:45 to 12:15 to say that he's back, and I have diarrhea (from level 5??) and bed at 1.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 26. TODAY'S the day I get stamps, three from Intercity, but only 585, not 603 stamps, and I doubt very much that it's worth much over $20, not the $39 that they advertise, and there's a lot of junk in it, too (but a lot of nice things, too), and Finder and Streff, who sends the rest of the 300 free gift, but they're hardly nice at all. Along with the Rwanda I didn't put in from Royal, this gives just under 1000 stamps (930, but who's counting?) to put into the album, so I decide to do just that, stopping for breakfast at 12:30 and lunch at 4:30, deciding not to go the exercises (maybe I can see whether the diarrhea is due to them, or to the apricot nut bread that I baked. It's bad when I start two new things [apricot nut bread and level 5] and could get the runs from either of the two, since both HAVE precedence for causing such problems. The day starts out nice, then it clouds up and rains at about 3, then it clears up again and is cool, which is rather pleasant. Finished with the stamps about 6, and so far it's a wasted day, then get to a diary page and six pages of the missing diary, then eat dinner, when Avi calls and asks about Cyndy's apartment in Minneapolis and I tell him I figure she's gotten rid of it completely, and then back to type seven pages of the missing diary, until just before 11, and there's only 11 pages to go in the diary, and I could probably finish them by 1, but I just don't feel like doing it (nor bathing nor shaving nor fixing up the apartment), so I sit down and watch pieces of Joey Bishop and Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin, and they're all pretty bad, holding most of their guests in contempt, and Regis Philbin is truly disgusting. I flip in and out of "Nightmare in Chicago," enough to see this sun-glassed creep kill a couple of people, some routine "this convoy must get through" scenes, and something about his blubbering about a little girl "who just went inside and killed herself" which was rather hard to believe, and then I start watching "The Tingler" with Vincent Price, just because they said it was so bad, and it WASN'T so bad, though the idea was revolting, but a "fear monster" was handled nicely when they made it seem it could be in THIS theater, and I could see boys jabbing their girls on the neck or ribs with INSTANT SCREAM effect. Bed just before 3, disgusted with my time-wasting, but it sure fills up the day.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27. Up at 11:15 and get stamps' info from Jersey, 35 good Polish stamps, 21 of which I didn't have, from J&R, and five gooney Kennedy stamps from Littleton worth all of 23 cents. Sorting through the Poland and Romania from J&R Joan and Helen come over to eat lunch and read a bit and sleep here since they're on 57th and have other things to do around 57th later on, and I stick with stamps and get into typing the diary, and get six pages done before I eat lunch quite late at 4:30, then get another six pages done and presto the last of the DIARY to catch up on is done by about 7 pm. Feel just fine about this and get to work numbering all the DIARY pages, with the result that this diary page I'm typing (one day behind) is the first one since before the trip in February that I can type with the proper page number, and there's no more storing up of page number to be typed. So I go through and punch holes in everything left, including the EUROPE 1969 diary, and put them all into the binders, and then of course I can fix up the table of contents page for the DIARY, which I do and then type that up, and then I can bring the table of contents page for all my writing up to date, for a grand total of 2557 pages, which at the rate of 400 words per page comes out to over a million words I've typed IN THAT BATCH OF PAGES, not to mention the notes and things I still have in the writing file. Type up that page, and it's getting toward 9, and I feel so fine that I give myself a vacation for the rest of the evening by watching sheer entertainment on TV, seeing "Crack in the World" a garish color thing with Dana Andrews, who goofs in trying to get "infinite heat" (someone should have told him that even the HEAT of the SUN isn't infinite, let alone the heat of the earth) and starts a crack going one way, then they explode a volcano and that starts a crack going another way, and finally the whole cracked area takes off for outer space like a whirling cork which just doesn't come off as a section of the earth flying to make another moon, and they never bother to show what the EARTH looks like after, either. Then I stay tuned for "Double Indemnity" with Fred MacMurray as an uncharacteristically Sam Spade-like character who's taken in by Barbara Stanwyck in a plot to kill her husband on a train and collect Double Indemnity, and he ends up killing her and probably dying himself from where she shot him, just before she fell in love with him. Bed at 2.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 28. Up at 10:30 and down for another mail bonanza with England, Frasek, and Pehr sending in their bundles, and in the middle of it I'm calling Eddie to finalize the plans for tomorrow's trip to the Palisades, and Joan to make plans for seeing the final week of the Inflatable Sculpture exhibit at the Jewish Museum. I shower and wash my hair at 2:30 and get to her place about 3:15, and we take a bus across to find that the Times and Cue had reported the closing date wrongly, and it had already closed. We sit waiting for Bonnie and Norman to come past, but they don't, and we walk up to look at the completely unplanted Conservatory Gardens, which look like nothing, and then walk north to the Harlem Boat pond, and watch dogs getting brushed and combed and swimming in the filthy water, and we walk west to see them swimming in the pool and cut through the almost jungle-like growths to get to the playing fields of the northern park, but Joan's too tired to see the Reservoir, so we cut across to CPW and catch a bus down. She invites me up to her place, but I say I have to write, then come home and don't. It's just 6:30 and I'm hungry, having had only a quick piece of pumpernickel and peanut butter to stave off hunger before meeting her, but I have no groceries, so I dash to the store and pick up the laundry and stagger back with a terrible load at 7:15, and relax from that and decide I really have to do my second effort on level five, since I've not exercised the last two days. I get it done, finally, but I'm then completely exhausted. Sit down to read part of Mailer's terrible thing in Life, and then eat dinner and decide to finish it, simply because I can't stand the idea of leaving it and then having to get BACK to it. Avi calls and says that Joe's coming over to hear of his adventures in Israel, so at 9:45 I'm up to Avi's, getting there at 10:10, and he reads his article to us and shows us all his Arab souvenirs, and at 11 some other friends show up, so I leave, and get back down to fix up 14 pieces of mail to be sent out tomorrow until 1:30, and get to bed. Oh, forgot that YESTERDAY on getting to bed, I had the "Tell me a Story urge" and got out to type three MORE pages, checking into facts about Balzac and Zola and the Sequence Novel, and that took till 3 am, and then as possibly a reaction, today I did absolutely no typing at all.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 29. Up at 10 to get ready for the Palisades, and to the bank to send JJ a check (three checks, since they can't be over $1100) for $240, which is the amount I recall owing him, and then down to mail 14 items at the Post Office, getting a few new commemorative stamps, and then down to Port Authority to meet Eddie at 11:30, then Joan and Richard and Helen and Calvin at 11:45, and we get the 12:15 bus out to Palisades, getting there close to 1, and it turns out that most people are confused by Eddie's pass, but Joan, breezing through announcing that it's a "Press Pass," gets us into a number of rides until we decide to ask about it, and we can only buy four tickets to rides for 254, which is lousy. Try more of the bluffing, and it succeeds except for the Dodgem, which Joan didn't want to go on, the Caspar Ghost house, which Helen wanted to see, and the Cyclone, which Joan and I wanted to go on, and the Wild Mouse, which I wanted to try. But we still got in any number of rides for the six of us before David and Calvin and Helen left about 4, and then we left about 4:45, having had quite enough, and all three of us had had enough to be feeling just a bit sick, and Eddie and Joan rode on most of the last rides themselves. Wait for the Orange and Black bus back to the city until 5:10, and then get stuck in traffic waiting to go through the Lincoln Tunnel, and we're back to the Port Authority at 6 pm precisely, and Eddie is late for work. Subway back home about 7, and shower and eat dinner, and then when I can think of nothing to do, I actually get out the booklet with Acid House in it and start filing away some of the last pages I didn't file when I was about to leave on my trip, and did some more statistics on the number of pages done just to waste time, and then got started on the opening scene, which didn't go very well, since I was slow in starting, but I want to start with a bang, which is difficult, because it's merely the first time I see Acid House. Write on for a bit, because it's getting close to midnight and I don't want to type so late, but don't really get that much done by the time I'm ready for bed at 12:30. Find myself drinking huge quantities of juice and milk and water because it's so warm and muggy these days, and go to bed feeling rather bloated, happy when the cooler weather will come to end this my first independently working at home summer.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 30. Typed only two diary pages yesterday, and didn't feel like doing much more today, and the mail disappointed by giving only one stamp mailing, and that was a brochure from Guernsey. Then Avi telephones at 10:30 and asks me over for breakfast, which I think is just a splendid idea, because I didn't feel like eating warm oatmeal, was too lazy to cook anything else for myself, and debated settling down with a book that I didn't feel like reading. His call solved the problem very nicely! Walk up there in white bells with swimming suit underneath, and he broils butter to cook three frying pans full of French toast, filling the kitchen and apartment with smoke while I put the cubed melon into the bowls and set out the coffee and tea for us. It still tastes pretty good, though, and I'm lavish in my praise of Avi for his suggesting the whole thing. Then he takes books and blankets and I take Esquire out to the slopes of the boat basin in Riverside Park above 79th Street, and we remark about the people lazing in the grass across the way, and the people passing by us. We start a game of chess which lasts while the West Virginia policeman comes past with his child and two little cousins and tells us we have nice bodies, and I finally win the game, which is played very badly on both our parts, but it's fun. Then I get down to reading the Vidal-Buckley retorts in Esquire, and it's so childishly bitchy it's all I can do to finish them since Avi recommended them. He goes back to talk to a friend, and I stay in the bug-filled grass, sweating in the 90+ degree day under the mizzy-clouded sun, and then about 4 we've had enough and get back to his place where we sit and talk seriously about his being a cunt-teaser and wanting someday to marry, he thinks. Talk till about 7, and then get over to Tibb's Wharf for a tasty over-cooked filet of sole, and he's home to talk to his "girlfriend" and I'm back down at 9 to watch "Wild Seed" with a nicely-lighted-at-times Michael Parks and a terrible little woman who would turn anyone off with her stupidity, femininity, and "Do you love me?" just when he's about to fuck her for the first time. Had picked up the Times and read it through until about 1, sweating even during the cooling evening, and crawl into bed, where I can't sleep because I didn't do enough today, and finally force myself to come rather unpleasantly just to get myself tired out enough to sleep at 1:30.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 31. Joe calls at 8:45 and says we should meet at 9:30, and I don't miss by more than 5 minutes, and the only Flatbush Avenue he had to let go past was the one he arrived on. There was lots of nice things on the subway, but I start reading anyway, because you can hardly crotch-watch during an entire hour's ride. Out to the bus and he has to stop for some Danish because he didn't have breakfast, and we're on for a seat and out to the clouded crowded beach, and it's the first time that year either of us had been out on a weekend, and the crowd was quite a bit nicer for it, though later in the afternoon there were children swimming the entire frontage of the ocean, screaming at each other and the waves and their parents, and the colored contingent had really branched out, taking almost the whole back reaches of the gay section, causing quite a stir when a number of them who must have had silicone injections in the breasts wandered languidly out to the surf and posed so that the usual question "Is that a man or a woman?" made poignant by the fact that it didn't depend on the dress or the hair, but on the actual body itself. Mr. Adonis, the aging man with the fantastic build of a Mr. Universe, walked past in his broad shoulders and narrow red bathing suit, and a lovely muscled creature with a bulging blue suit, black as a mulatto with the sun, laughed and swung in the sun and water. The water was cold, but I went in anyway, and rested on top of the waves until I got an unpleasant dizzy sensation like yesterday at the Palisades, and I got back to the sand to sun myself dizzily, wondering what was wrong. Later that day and into the next day it felt like my lungs were congested with something, so that to breathe deeply was to invariably cough. Very uncomfortable. We've had enough by about 2:30, and back to find that the ice cream shop is closed on Sunday, and back on the subway ride looking at others on the car, and I continue reading Krishnamurti. Home to do absolutely nothing except more reading, and watch end of "Titanic," and watch a great Beethoven's Ninth by Leinsdorf as his farewell to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, watch Chapter Five of the "Tale of Genji" as I ate dinner, and then got caught up in Jerry Lewis' telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, and laughed at a good Charlie Callas and a smiling Pearl Bailey, and then turned it off about 1:30 to get into bed.