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1969 5 of 7


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1. Up about 9 to watch parts of the telethon, and sorry that I don't have any mail to pick up this day. Decide this will be the day I get the outside windows done, and start in the bedroom with the air conditioner going, and when I get to the living room the bedroom went so fast I decide to tackle the kitchen window, and though I'm sweating enormously when I'm finished, that goes very well, too, so that I do the front two windows without too much trouble and still feel like working. OK, so I get a strong combination of Lysol and Spic and Span into the sink and start scrubbing the bathroom walls, and they were QUITE dirty, as the water turns black before I'm through, and even gets pretty dirty when I go over it a second time: I don't do these things, but once I get started on them, I really do them good, getting finally to the walls of the tub, and then to the floor just when Joe calls and invites me over for dinner, and I wash my hands of the solution where my right knuckles were beginning to burn, thanks to scrapes while washing the windows and the strength of the solution. My hands feel like they have bumpy red gloves on them when I'm finished, but I put on rubber gloves to tackle the bathtub itself, and they have small slits in them which let in the water, and I'm still sweating, so by the time I'm finished, my hands have been bathed in clear water and are feeling better. Then I get out the dust rags and dust everything, fixing up the apartment during the meantime, getting very tired during all this, but finishing up with vacuuming the whole apartment, and by the time I'm finished about 4:30, the entire apartment is finished except for washing the dishes, and I'm physically very dirty from wrestling with the dirty windows and sills. Into the tub and shave and wash and scrub my teeth in time for the finale of the telethon, where Jerry deliriously goes over two million dollars pledged, and the end of "When Worlds Collide," which is still good even though the spectacular parts seem shorter and shorter. Avi's not home, so I'm up to Joe's alone for a tremendously tasty loin of pork with cooked carrots and celery, a tomato salad, and a round slab of watermelon for dessert, followed by Martel brandy, very smooth. We talk in the park later, Joe getting chased and I vouch for him, and I'm back to watch "The Letter" with Bette Davis, murderous murderess.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. All sorts of juicy mail, including four stamp mailings from Canada, Japan, Russia, and Turkey, and by golly it is possible to order stamps at face value directly from the country, though the Russian one seems to be through some sort of company, and $20 sounds rather expensive, so it probably includes all the expensive souvenir sheets, too. Get through with mail and breakfast just in time to watch "The Great Victor Herbert" from noon to 2, and Mary Martin's such a new star that they don't even use her own voice, and the whole thing's a terrible mélange of self-sacrifice on her part and egotistic ravings on her husband's part, and a last-minute debut by her daughter in the tried and true 1939 style. Am running low on things to read, and since I don't even think of going back to exercising after my last time on the 28th, and since I'm not even forcing myself toward writing these days, just letting the "number of pages behind" build and build, I get out to see if Bookmasters has gotten in "Childhood's End" yet. They haven't, but there's a book of short stories by Clarke that I get, along with another Sheckley, and get home to read "Status Civilization" by Sheckley in one sitting, but it isn't very good. Also got out in the pouring rain to buy tickets to the New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall, which has terribly seating arrangements unless you want to pay $3.50 per seat, which is a bit much, and debated quite a lot before slogging over to the store to get the paperbacks, but I'm determined to cut down on the number of items on my "Things to Do" list, deluding myself again by thinking that when that gets down to zero (which of course it never will, absolutely never, since as long as I'm living there will always be things to add to the list, and always before the list is finished, too---and even if I throw all lists away, there will always be things in the back of my mind that I "should" do, and that list will grow until I'm tempted to write down a list of them so I can "relax" about them, secure in the knowledge that I won't inadvertently forget about one of them and make a "mistake," and the cycle will begin again) I'll be more tempted to get back to "Acid House." Get started on "The Other Side of the Sky," and talk to Joe for awhile, then come because there's nothing else to do and get to bed late.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3. Today reaches the peak in incoming stamp activity, getting seven stamp items in the mail, and four other things for a total of 11, and it's a great feeling, but I'm beginning to be the slightest bit annoyed and bored with dealing with stamps so constantly. Also, it seems to be sapping my energy for writing, because by the time I'm finished with opening the mail, eating breakfast, then getting down and cataloging all that I've gotten in approval offers, then eaten lunch, and finished with the pile of stamps, it's just about 5 pm, and the day is absolutely gone, and the only thing I have energy left for is to pick up some book and sit down and read it, all the while thinking that I should be writing, but knowing that I won't even bother to sit down and try. The worst thing is that my hands are getting out of the practice of typing, and it'll be an effort just to sit down and do something like 10 pages, let alone the range of 30-40 pages I'll have to do if I ever want to get caught up in typing in any reasonable length of time. But I'm still operating under the "what I want to do will be what I'll do, even if what I do isn't accomplishing much." I hope that that will lead to a boredom with non-accomplishment, and then I'll WANT to get back to typing, and will, to go on for another hectic few hundred pages, until the "pages to be done" gets reasonably low, and in self-congratulation I'll fudge off on something else. This makes me worry just a bit about what will happen to me if I actually get a book published: if it's a success, there's so much more to be hung up on, dealing with the finished book, and then there'll be a small amount of financial security, and I might be tempted to spend the rest of my life in indolence. But that's far in the future, from any point of view. So today I finish with stamps typically late, then finish reading the Arthur Clarke short stories in "The Other Side of the Sky," and by that time it's dark, I actually catch up on four pages of diary to assuage my nagging conscience, eat dinner, and it's time to watch "Beyond the Forest," where Bette Davis says "What a dump" to her pleasant house with Doctor Joseph Cotton and takes up with millionaire David Brian, kills Minor Watson because he's going to tell his boss she's pregnant, and then aborts and runs for the train with double pneumonia or something, and dies like a dog. Stagger to bed.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4. Disappointed that the only stamp offer is from Mystic, but I finish up the last clean-up business with stamps, left only with the constant influx of mail (and outflow of money), and with the six or seven pages I have to add to the album to put in stamps which have come in gifts for which there's no room on the existing pages. Arno calls to tell me that he's back, and he'd gotten no help at all from Joan's information, and it seems like she neurotically sort of invented all of it. I ask him if he has a hex screwdriver, and he says he'll bring it over (to avoid having to see me again to get it back, I might negatively suppose, but with Arno the negative is usually approximately correct), and does so, taking the opportunity to fulfill his other "obligation" to me, since he said he wanted to see the stuff I brought back from Europe, and he looks through it very quickly, then leaves because he has to get to the bank and attend to other errands. He treats me almost as badly as I treat Joan, I wonder why? Then I look in on the end of "Riffraff," watching Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy argue and he's the bull-headed husband who thinks he's always right, and it appears most of the current films on TV must have been directed toward the female audience, because the man's either egotistically bull-headed, or ineffectual as Joseph Cotton. Sit mesmerized by the TV from 4-4:30 so that I watch "Across the Pacific" with a coyly cute Mary Astor, a laconic Humphrey Bogart, and a menacing Sydney Greenstreet in a spy, "bomb the Panama locks" thriller that holds my interest because there's nothing better to do. Spend the rest of the evening trying desperately to finish "Gestalt Therapy," but I just can't retain my interest in the junk, and actually do finish with Krishnamurti's Saanen 1967 lectures, which leaves me with only the Gestalt hanging over my head, and I make up a list of things I want to do tomorrow, since it seems like it's finally stopped raining, after coming down to the extent of 6-8 inches during the past week (because I washed the windows on Monday, no doubt) when the average rainfall for all of September is only about four inches, and so many things to do are preying so hard that I just have to get them out of the way, like buying a typewriter ribbon because I can hardly read what I've typed recently. Bed late, as usual.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5. Only Finder is in today, but somehow it's 12:30 before I start out on my walk, and up through the park to get to the S&H center, realizing that I started so late I probably won't be able to see "Susan and God" at 2, and even that niggling detail causes me self-recrimination until I pick myself up, call myself stupid, and decide that I'm going to finish the list, and if I see some or any or none of "Susan and God," it will be OK, and I'll be able to watch it later. Through the lists and find only sheets, fitted, would be anything I need, and get them, then get long envelopes and shampoo at a discount shop, and across the way to a stationery store for airmail envelopes and an IBM typewriter ribbon, and I'm feeling great about actually getting these things done. The weather is great, finally, and it's pleasant walking, even with the packages, and I'm looking at all the great people I'm passing, and the streets of New York are a walking orgasm. Down to Food Fair and thumb through the catalog, and by good chance the glass-enclosed bookcase satisfies my yearning for a display case for souvenirs and books, and metal bowls aren't too impractical, and I have space for them, and they're exactly the number of books I have, and that's the end of that, except that I have to telephone them to pick them up, since they don't deliver. That leaves only "Childhood's End," and the first place I choose to walk into has it, and I buy another Sheckley: "Journey beyond Tomorrow," and I've actually FINISHED everything on my list, and I happily continue my walk home at about 3:15, pick up the end of a dreadful "Susan and God" with Joan Crawford neglecting Frederic March to look after God, and I never DO see where Rita Hayworth fits in, if at all. Call Joe and invite him over to Devi in the evening, and settle down to read and finish "Journey beyond Tomorrow," which in its lashing out at everything succeeds in doing really nothing, and I'm getting tired of Sheckley, and then dash out to buy steak and peaches and cream for Joe, since he'll be eating here, and he gets in a bit late to watch a father's "incarnation" of his daughter as the goddess (Devi) Kali, and she goes running off into the darkness of self-unawareness at the end. Steak is good, peaches are unripe, but peas are reasonably tasty, and we chat for awhile and he leaves at 11:30 after watching the news, and I start "Childhood's End" very late, and read all but the last 150 pages before bed at 3.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6. Cyndy wakes me when she calls me at 11:30, asking me to bother her for something during the day or evening, and I finish "Childhood's End," which I'd read before but vaguely remembered it (how many books must there be that I've read and forgotten which would change my life if I read them again? Maybe that's another reason for getting rid of old books and remaining with a library of a beautiful 100-200, so that some of the better ones could be RE-read, possibly to great advantage. Actually, I feel I'd like better re-reading something like "Lord of the Rings" than reading three contemporary science-fiction novels that I ended up classifying as mediocre), and the "re-birth" of the human race is, in my opinion, handled nicely, but not nearly as dramatically as it could have been. Maybe he really wasn't CONVINCED of this possible "evolution" of the human race? Then I'm down to paying bills and sorting through my stack of things to look at, and find the advertisement for the Harkness Ballet, and call Cyndy for the 4 pm matinee, saying I'll be there at 3:15, then calling Joan and getting a brush-off because she's "alone, finally, in the apartment," and wants to enjoy it. Wash and get to Cyndy's a bit late, and speed into the park, but the place is almost empty and we get good seats for a rather poor performance, but it only lasts an hour, and we walk back, talking, and she's out for laundry and such, and I'm over to Joan's to read (again) a bit of "Justine," and I just don't like the dusty ennui about the writing style at the beginning. I guess I rebel against the writer stating just at the start that he's bored and disgusted and cruel. She's hemming dresses and makes meatloaf sandwiches and we're into the park for good seats and I'm glad to have my binoculars for the adult company, the sandwiches are good, and it's pleasantly warm for a good performance, though I don't like "Night Song" and "Feast of Ashes," which starts and ends it. We walk back, talking cheerfully, and I accompany her to her place, where she fears a party, but it's only Calvin and Helen, so I leave at 11:30, getting down to find the pizza place closed, so I have popcorn and the Times, rather hungry since I really haven't eaten anything today, but I need to go on a diet anyway. I'm not at all tempted by the puzzle, which makes me feel good, but just wait until tomorrow!


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7. Avi wakes me at 11 and again invites me to breakfast, this time for a cottage cheese omelet, and I'm over cheerfully, we eat well, gather up our stuff, I finish the crossword that he's started and begin on the double-crostic as he fixes himself up for the beach and washes the dishes, and we're out about 2, and again the day is foggy and very warm, and we sweat profusely, though we sit nearer the cruisy section, and there are two aging but perfectly preserved bleached blonds stretching their long tanned bodies above us, and it's pleasant to look at them and the other passers-by, and we begin with a game of Scrabble which I win by something like 100 points, and we actually succeed in covering all but one of the triple-word scores, something that I've never seen done in real-life play, and the board is so setup that it's simple to rearrange it to cover ALL the triples, which makes it look funny without the red showing. Then we're to chess, and I win the first game when he angers me by snatching my rook with his queen right at the beginning, but the next game I make some stupid mistakes, but so does he, so I win that one, too, and we're off to another, which he wins, ending on a note of triumph. Then he begins to read O'Hara short stories and I'm to Holiday about the Beresford, and Nichols living in one tower, above Isaac Stern, and some Schwamm family living in the other tower, and the third is mentioned but its inhabitants aren't. We lay there till 5:30, when I remind him I want to see the "World's Fair on 69th" and we're back down where I finish the double-crostic when he showers and calls Bill and Allan to join us. Bill comes and he's a pleasant-faced doctor, and Allan is hyper, and we gravitate together, but the fair's over, and we search for a place to eat, ending up to Toonoose's, and then I suggest the ballet, and we're back to see the same program I saw last night, except that now I'm sitting in the first row, and the people are nice. Mike's there, and we chat for the first time, and he can't decide between scholarships to Harvard and Joffrey, and I know he wants Joffrey, but will probably take Harvard. Bill drives us all home, I make arrangements to see Allan tomorrow, and back to watch chapter six of Genji, eating an omelet to stave off (hardly, since I'd eaten dinner). I get to bed after getting some stamp mailings settled and into their envelopes.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8. Atkins and an unsolicited Littlejohn come in, and I sort through them until about 3, stopping for breakfast, and then I resume mailing out stamps which have accumulated through the week, and find there's a lot of them. Watch the first ludicrous episode of "Strange Paradise" and out at 7 to meet Allan in the park at 7:30, and he's still hyper, and we get two good seats for two lousy ballets, and then it rains in earnest and the performance is cancelled. We wander back through park, stopping off at a La Puma "I Puritani" and amazed conversation with a bluff fellow who says he's off, again, to Vietnam tomorrow, and is looking for a place to stay tonight, and is looking forward to killing and risk and adventure later. I ask Allan up, and we're sitting on chair and sofa drinking beer, he regaling me about his LSD sessions and his therapy's benefits to him, and he slips onto the floor, and I slide onto the floor and we link knees and we're putting hands on legs and knees and arms and smiling back and forth, and the beer gets through to me, as does his eagerness for me, and we bend together to kiss, then topple to the floor to kiss some more, then go into the bedroom to undress quickly and he's hard from the start through his trousers, and even more on the bed, and we squeeze and groan and twist about on the bed, and he sort of sits on me before I even think about it and I'm actually in his ass, moving back and forth, savoring the strange sensation, but then I'm down, and it's over. He gets on top of me and begins abrading away with his chin on mine, and then spreads my legs and gets in. We tussle for awhile, but I can't take it, and when he's out, I suck on him without realizing I'm eating my own shit, and he doesn't touch me genitally, but I suck and he rams it in, and I choke and use my hand, and he comes finally, greatly, and we rub around in the come and sweat, and then he mounts me again, and really tries to come in me, but he's out again, and finally back in, while sweat pours off us both, and when he asks "Would you like me to quit?" I answer "I'd like you to come," and actually or actingly he does, and we're apart, still kissing and talking, and I check my chin, which is still there, and we lay together until he starts making asleep sounds, and then I part to lay on the sopping sheets, amazed at how quickly things happen, and we're to sleep about 1 am, exhausted from sex.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9. We wake about 6:30, lay together, then again at 8:30, and we kiss and cuddle, and then it's 9:15, and he has to leave to get to Pittsburg for lecture, and we make arrangements to have dinner at his place at 6 on Wednesday. Then he's out, and I'm exhausted to moon about the house, thoroughly tired from the positions and energies of the night before. McCoy comes, and I get back to work on sending the stamps out, but I feel less and less like doing it, call Warren to find my signed papers haven't gotten there yet, and realize how much money (something over $80) I'm intending to spend on stamps, and the facts of my compulsion are beginning to creep in on me, eased by my dreadful weariness. Lay on the bed for hour after hour, thinking about stamps, and finally decide what to do, which involves a bit of typing, seven pages, about stamps, which is the first typing in a week. Joe calls and I tell him about the Allan scene, and Avi calls, and we make arrangements for the movies, and he's vaguely unhappy, I think, that I'm making it with Allan. With my decision made, I sort through all the mailings from foreign countries and throw them out, despite the fact that the 20 cent stamps are unused, and I vaguely see myself soaking them off and keeping them to glue onto further overseas mailings, but to people, not to stamp departments of governments. Call Eddie to make arrangements to see "The Learning Tree," and I don't even eat before Avi comes over at 8:15, and we talk about Allan and me, and walk down to the theater, where the tickets are waiting for us this time, and we listen to the Negro reaction of dismay in the audience when the hero's mother tells him that he'll have to tell the judge that it was a colored guy, rather than a white guy, who killed the farmer he saw being done in. Though clichéd, it was a good film, and the winds of the tornado, though reminiscent of "Wizard of Oz," also in Kansas, were good, and the Negro characters were charming. We walk back, and he doesn't come up, and I eat dinner while watching "Good Dame" incredibly old and frazzled print with Frederic March trying unsuccessfully to be a lady-killer, and Sylvia Sydney almost succeeding as a loosening woman of despair. It's over at 1:30, and I'm terribly groggy to bed.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10. Wake about 10 and get down to find only Stampex, and breakfast, but keep looking out at the transparently clear day, the first in just ages of such startling clarity, and at 12:30 I can't resist the call of outside any longer, so I shower and shave and walk out in my white bells. Slowly through the lower part of the park, watching a kid's face light up as the water from a puddle he stepped into soaks through to his feet, up to the fountain to cruise a beautifully-mustached guy who's waiting for faggot friends for lunch in the park, and watch a staggeringly handsome face above a chesty red velour sweater and packed black chinos talking with the sulky blond in black pullover and sloppy blue-jeans, and see tourists trundling through, looking at everyone, and then I'm up to the Ramble, where there are a few nice people, notably a huge-thighed black with rose-colored discs of sunglasses and a cute smile, and a lovely open-faced Italian with a German shepherd who keeps walking past my place, but doesn't look at me for even a moment. Older Leventhal-like fellow sits desperately down next to me, but says nothing, and others pass and re-pass, some nice, some terrible, and the sun goes in and out through the thickening clouds, and there's a slight smell of fall already in the clarity and coolness of the air, and the leaves are beginning to fall, the squirrels are preparing for their final forages, inquisitively flicking their tails at me as they beg for nuts, and the pigeons prod hysterically for their fleas. Bicyclists cruise through, hetero couple hurry through, the fellow staring straight ahead, the girl usually looking with a fixity that implies we're plaster, rather than human. The sun is warm, but the shade is chilling, and I begin to shiver inwardly about 3:30, and decide the day isn't as lovely as it was, and walk slowly south toward home. Shave again, nursing the burned spot on my chin, which looks terrible, and up to Allan's for steak and Spanish rice and salad and canned peaches for dessert, and talk and music, then we stride to ballet, not terribly good except for "The Initiate" and back to his place for banana liquor and I tell him I'm not going to bed with him again, and we're both torn, but neither shows it, and I leave at 12:30, feeling really miserable, with a knotted feeling in the stomach and a sadness that won't quit. Debate typing when I get home, but I'm too tense to do it, and get to bed at 1, to waken at 3-4, and desperately dive into sleep again.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11. Up past 11, still feeling terrible, and the latest symptom is a tightness of the chest, as if my diaphragm had gotten a charlie-horse when I kept my knees about my ears so long Monday night, and I can't take a deep breath without pain, and a sneeze or a cough has to be handled delicately. It feels as if I'd been smoking, and the bottoms of my lungs were filled with something that didn't want to be disturbed. It stated yesterday, depending not on any physical position, though many times I straightened up exaggeratedly so as to relieve what I felt as pressure on my lungs. I guess I'm just not used to such athletics, and then I haven't exercised in over two weeks, and I'm sure that has something to do with my being slowly out of condition, even for sex. Call Warren and find they haven't gotten there yet, so I find stamp dealers' addresses and prepare for another day out, subwaying down to City Hall and Hudson Terminal to gape at the 27-story rich-rust-red spike of the first building of the World Trade Center being driven into Manhattan's bedrock, looking stern and modern when silhouetted against the blue sky next to St. Paul's spire. Across to Nassau Street and some fantastic UN bargains at a place whose name I didn't get, and poke into a few other places, discouraged by the sheer plethora of stamps and the varieties of goodness and badness of US oldies, and then walk down a teeming Broadway to Dreyfus, where I got my check and sat on the window seat staring down at the wakes of the commerce in the Port of New York, and looking at what appeared to be huge redfruit in the top of a tree until a car on the street below resumed its redlight-interrupted course. Down to the subway and cruise the married fellow who was crotch-watching the blue jeans before him, and out at Bloomingdales to get to the bank, get cashed up, down to Goody's to find there's no sale, so get only Anna Magdalena Book, then up for my haircut just at 3, after buying "Where's the Playground, Suzie," and home to listen to it, then actually type six pages of Allan before I call Avery (or whatever her name was?) at 7:45 and over to hear "Alice's Restaurant" and talk about our work, and over here for Cyndy and "Male of the Species" by a great Alun Owen with Olivier, Scofield, Caine, and Connery, then out at 10 for Angelo's and a drunken feast, all three tired, walk Cyndy home kissily, and to bed at 11:45!


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12. But I can't sleep again, though I had no trouble dozing off due to the effects of the double vodka at Avery's and the beer at Angelo's, but I was cold and thirsty, and woke, to fall back to sleep and get back up at 10:30. Down to find that the VERY LAST TWO of the companies I'd sent off for had arrived, though they seem to be the same, and the Modern is over 50 days late, which will set a long sort of reply-time record. They have similar offerings, which take a long time to catalog, and I end up finding both are worth 704, and both hinges rather chew up the backs of the stamps, so they might not be worth the 5-6 times their purchase price. Then decide that since it's out, I might as well finish putting them away, and throw away the two ads, now that I've gotten everything from them, and put the stamps away, stopping for lunch, and put the stamp stuff away now that all, absolutely all, of the free gifts have come, and the only items not heard from are the foreign countries, and since I sent away for the US offers, I'm not really interested in WHAT comes next. Get everything away about 5:30, and then wonder what to do, and settle down with "Gestalt Therapy," finishing the light from the window and then getting to the sofa, not really wanting to do it, but driving through it anyway, determined to finish this book which has been hanging around for almost a whole year, unread. Skim through the last few hundred pages, driving to finish it, and actually do finish it at 9, with enormous relief, and there's nothing left I want to read, except of course Thoreau's "Walden," which I shopped for and didn't find yesterday, and "Varieties of Religious Experience," which I guess I really should read. Eat dinner while watching a negative "Across the River" with Lou Gilbert's rag picker on Channel 13, and then watch Dick Cavett on his next to last Friday, and I still don't feel like bed, so I re-pick up "The Story of Philosophy," read through what I'd underlined, and finished the long chapter on Schopenhauer, looked in EB for death dates of everyone, and got to bed at 2.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13. Up at 10:30, junk from Intercity and Royal, breakfasted, then actually got down to type all the diary pages from DIARY 530-540, this page, and feel happy about that. Then at 2 Edward Moulton-Barrett telephones to say he's been in Jamaica for a month, here for a fortnight, and he's flying up to Boston, so he can't stay with me, which makes me very happy; HE'S publishing old family stuff. The day is cloudy and foggy, so I don't feel like going out, and last night I called Joe to find that his parents are here for the weekend, and then I recall that it's Jewish New Year and Avi and Allan will be with their relatives in New Jersey, Cyndy is working on her report about Olivetti, and I just don't feel like calling Joan, so I get to work on my mail, and send out checks for bills and queries to Books-By-Mail outfits and dash off a note to Paul, and suddenly it's 8 pm! Finished lunch at 3, and I decided to wait until about 9 to go out for the Times, so I sit down with another chapter in "The Story of Philosophy," this one about Spencer, and then it's 9:30 and I'm out to buy pizza and the Times and up to read everything by 11:30, and then find that the movie that I thought came on at 11:30 comes on at 1:15! But I'm not sleepy, and the movie sounds good, so I turn on TV and watch part of Playboy After Dark, and it seems that Hugh Hefner is trying to show everyone that he leads the perfect heterosexual life, since the program seems to be a party at his penthouse, but what a party, with everyone looking beautiful and all the girls lavishly-bosomed in their costumes and heavy makeup, and the repartee, being from a script, is sharp and amusing, and just at random, so it seems, someone will do a comedy routine, or sing, or dance, and it looks just like the dream party you would like to throw with the beautiful people. All in all, it seems like a subversive program. Then I watch "Outer Limits" from 12-1, but sadly it seems the first part of a series, and I don't find out what happens to the perfectly legal people inhabited by an extraterrestrial intelligence, who seem very nice about everything, who are being rather meanly followed and discriminated against by these stupid law people. I hope the dumb cop gets smashed! Though he's rather cute, too. Then "Male Hunt" comes on, and between looking at Jean-Paul Belmondo as a crook turned straight turned gigolo, Claude Rich as a lovely patsy, Jean-Claude Brialy as a husband-to-be, Catherine Deneuve as Rich's secretary whom he doesn't marry, Francoise Dorleac as the thief-smuggler-fall girl that Brialy marries, it's just a funny lively show that's over finally in time to let me get to bed at 3 am, tired.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14. Up at 10, strangely enough, and come exhaustively, then type five pages after breakfast in preparation for watching another rerun of "Land of the Pharaohs" between 1 and 3, and then I potz around doing nothing until 4:20, after I've shaved and washed my hair, when I get out into a hot park, but there's a nice breeze. Walking up Central Park West, it looks as if I'm about to get to a parade, or the crowd watching a parade, just a block ahead, but it's just crowds of people along the street, and when I finally get into the ramble, there are more straight people around than gay guys, and the expressions on the faces of the fellows: walking straight ahead, eyes to the ground, and the girls: looking at all the fellows inquisitively on the benches, getting embarrassed by the flamboyant ones they pass, and the families: whispering about how they get out of here, the women laughing red-faced to each other about what they've stumbled into. The crowd of guys is just dreadful, either effeminate youngsters in outlandish costumes or grizzled oldsters in outlandish costumes. The day is pleasant, but there are so many people it's almost impossible to look at the greenery for any more than a few seconds without being distracted, and the squirrels are cowed by the crowds and appear only seldom, while the pigeons just don't have time to come down from the trees, the sidewalks are too crowded. The benches are crowded, too, so I sit down next to a reader, who leaves, then an old guy sits down, and I ignore him, then the effeminate couple, the guy in flair white ducks, the other fat with his bleached blond hair, then four straight people sit down and make fun of a torn black nylon, then a Tommy Rall face over a Sydney Greenstreet corporation sits down, followed by a blond with a tight tee-shirt with a stomach, and then an old guy with a terrible face, and another guy who's not worth looking at, and the only people worth watching are the two young muscle guys, the one who walks with his feet out like a dancer, looking at me intently with his deer-eyes, the other with the canvas shirt who looks just to snub me, with his incredibly defined muscles, even to the intercostals standing out under his pectorals. When darkness nears I start walking around, but there's nothing new, so I'm home at 8. Cyndy calls, I watch a stupid Bill Cosby premiere, see part of "Endless Summer," watch Genji, part 7, read another chapter, Nietzsche, and get to bed at 12:30, after coming again.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15. Joe gets me out of bed at 10, and two Tom pictures come, as if I needed more Tom pictures to turn me on, and then because of the intriguing photo that I noted from the London Times about the cute guy in drag, I watched "Happiest Days of Your Life," which turned out to be merely a college cutie thing with one of the football heroes getting dressed to appear in the Princeton triangle show, and there was really nothing gay about him (except that the movie had a scene where two guys talked to each other very seriously, and one was in drag). Start agonizing about writing, because I'm beginning to have the feeling that the only way I can LIVE my life thoroughly is to write it down, but that's rather silly, since the pleasure can only come out of the actual living of life, rather than either recording it, looking forward to it, or reflecting back on it, and I feel lousy the whole day (I assume, since the next hundred pages are written more than three months after this day, starting on December 22, when I decided that an extra ten minutes a day for a daily diary page is not going to kill me, it IS going to get me to the typewriter every day or so (or at least once a week), and that sometimes in the distant future, it will give me something to read (if only to tabulate to see how I spent all my time doing nothing), trying to decide what to do. The number of pages I have to type to catch up with my "ten pages a day" has been growing and growing, and now it threatens to go above 330, and the stack is just too terribly big. Also, there's nothing I really FEEL like typing, so I just sit and knock out drivel (which, now that I think of it, is better than nothing---or IS it?), so I decide to throw over the ten pages per day requirement, and then the daily diary page is not too far behind. The amazing thing, now that I look back on it, is that I HAVE done at least one diary page per day (which is really too little) since I stopped formally keeping the diary, and that's vaguely gratifying, since I'm doing more typing now that I did while I was working. At 11:30, after a day of unrecorded nothings, I watched a good "Patterns" with Van Heflin and Ed Begley and the hard-eyed president whose name I forget. Bed untired.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16. For some reason I left the next three days blank, which makes typing this almost impossibly difficult. But I know sometime in here I read and read a chapter or two each night, and finally finished "The Story of Philosophy," in which Will Durant hopes to do what he so much admires in other philosophers: summarize all knowledge into a book, but it's only a rehash of what other people did (though is there anything now written that ISN'T a rehash of old stuff?), and I'm glad to get through with it, and sorry that it was written so long ago that he has no current philosophers included. Since it was getting close to the end of the summer, I assume I spent some time outside, but how often such days are better in anticipation or retrospect than in actuality. You look forward to them, or look back on them, but don't think about the distractions of the kids on bicycles, [in margin: Joe and me lunch at Lutece!] or stupid dogs, or pigeons chasing squirrels. You don't think about the smelly clothes, and how I wish I'd taken a shower, and how most of the people who are passing aren't attractive at all, and of course these are the ones who stare at me, and the few who pass who are attractive are with someone else, cruising someone else, or even if there aren't any other guys around, they sail past, having seen and judged me from a distance, without even looking at me, almost as if I weren't there, hardly bothering to take a close look at me to see that their distant judgment might have been wrong. This is exactly the tactic I use, but I resent others using it, because none of them has the perfect judgment from a distance that I do! There are the shouts from the boaters in the canoes, and the gratuitous cruelty of splashing others, shouting, people arguing and bickering, others convulsed in such gales of laughter it looks like they're struggling to have fun, but really aren't, and then it's either too hot (over 75) or too cool (under 72), and the idyllic day where nothing goes wrong just doesn't come, yet I probably go into the park hoping to find someone---or better, plan to go into the park, but get caught up doing nothing at home, listening to music, sorting things out, and mainly stamps nowadays, and don't go at all.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17. Nothing again for this day, but sometimes along in here Bill calls and says that his friend is not coming up to Maine as he might, so that he won't be bringing up some of the supplies that Bill wants brought up from the city, so the only point of concern is another friend of Bill's from Vermont or New Hampshire who said he was coming either this weekend or the next weekend, but after his visit, Bill will be coming down to New York. I tell him about the week I have planned with Ram Dass, and that I think it would be a good idea if I went back to Maine with him, especially if he would like to take a trip up to the Gaspe, which is the last part of Canada (except the provinces of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the territories of Yukon and Northwest Territories) I haven't seen, and would like to see. Bill says that he has next week off, which he's spending taking care of details in Houlton, the next week off, when he's planning to come down to New York, and the next week off, which he wouldn't mind spending driving around in Canada, since he's never been up that way. We let it go at that, and later he calls to say he'll be driving down late Sunday or early Monday, and he'll stay here the week I'm away at Ram Dass's, and then we'll go right back up when I get back, and spend three or four days up in the Gaspe. I'd wanted to spend at least a week, but I think if we get up there, and the ferry across the St. Lawrence is running to Sept-Iles, and the train up to Churchill, or wherever, is still running conveniently, I just might persuade him, by paying his way, probably, to come along with me. So I'm not concerned about the length of the stay, but the stay seems definite. Because of this I start cutting down on stamps, the perfect excuse, canceling every one of them with the message that I'm going out of town for an indefinitely long period of time, and so I won't be around to return their approvals, so they'd better stop sending them. The last few days result in spates of mail, and I spend almost the whole day opening the mail, cataloging the stamps, deciding which are bargains, and then possibly accumulating them and hinging them into the albums. Hun.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18. I just hope these blank days haven't omitted any TV movies that I saw, but I suspect that the majority of time was taken on stamps and correspondence, so I don't think I'm missing anything. I really fail to see why Bill is looking forward to his week here, because as it will turn out (it's beautiful knowing the future, because one can fill up the blank pages of one's journal with expansions of the future when I don't know the present---and I WILL have to stop using the "you" form and settle into the egotistical "I," because that's what I MEAN, when I say you, that is, see?) he really doesn't do anything. About the only time he went out was to go to a movie at noon with the cheapest possible prices, which he had enjoyed even more when he was teaching in the city because of his school discounts. He didn't do anything in the evening, because he didn't feel like it. He thanked me for all the names of the bars and cruising spots, but he didn't use them (except to walk on CPW and meet Arno, the last person in the world he wanted to meet). He had the names of some friends, but he didn't call them. Joe even called him one evening to ask him to a ballet performance when someone cancelled out, but it was only 45 minutes before the performance, Bill hadn't showered or eaten dinner (think how often THAT would stop ME if it were something I wanted to see), so he refused, and that was all the conversation he had with anyone in the city. He got in touch with Charlie and some one or two other former tricks of his, but the only one he really enjoyed was Howard Leighton, who came over here and admired again my position in the world, and they talked and "good old Howard" again amused Bill no end by accurately describing his hang-ups, his lost chances, and his fears and phobias. So they both got a good evening's laugh about a year or so of terrible living. He went to no restaurants, supporting himself on the same food he took while in Maine, and picked up 80-90 copies of old National Geographics, three sets of sweat clothes, from which he removed the elastics, almonds, black strap molasses, wheat germ and wheat germ oil, and other assorted bags of groceries to fill up the back of his pick-up truck.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19. I guess I FORGET "Happiest Days of Your Life," because what I described for that was really "Our Hearts Were Growing Up," which I watched THIS morning. Followed by "Escape" with a lovely Tyrone Power trying to sneak his mother, overplayed by Nazimova, but that's probably why they used her, out of some Russian country, and finally doing the Juliet bit of "killing" her and taking her body away. And Norma Shearer played another of her suffering, noble, gallant, altruistic countesses. Probably took the whole day on stamps again, and watched a great actor, Robert Shaw, in Strindberg's "The Father," a dreadful play about the domination of a man's life by all the women around him (and it dawned on me yesterday that I have two grandmothers, a mother, and a sister left as my next-of-kin, not very masculine, and you have to go to the uncles to get five men, and then there are six (I think) male cousins, too, and then the others are VERY distant and unknown---I'm glad I've moved away from the family!), and in the middle Joe called and reminded me that we had tickets for the midnight showing of "The Epic That Never Was" at Tully Hall in the New York Film Festival. I'd really forgotten about it, but I was happy that he called. Feels funny going to a show at midnight, and we entered the place and wandered around the halls looking at the people before the doors were open, and the concert hall is a rather sticky looking place, a bit too broad in the orchestra for good motion picture sightlines, and the screen was unnecessarily high, since the auditorium raking was very well done. The place was crowded, though, and it was only much later that we could move closer into the center, when they were showing a terrible thing about "These are your United States" directed by von Sternberg, or someone who directed "Henry VIII," which we also saw snatches of. They really didn't have too much of "I, Claudius," and what they did have they showed twice, once to illustrate their point, the second time to "show it." Laughton did quite a good job, but it was too bad he wasn't there on film to defend himself, as everyone else was. We chatted about it, then parted ways into the warm night, and I came home.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20. Another day with nothing marked for it. Saturdays always end predictably, however, because I go out and get the New York Times and pizza, and eat the one and devour the other. One of these Saturday morning I probably tried to watch the new look on some kiddie channel for the Saturday morning programming, and was impressed by the fact that the new "non-violent" programs still had such things as a chattering skull that bit hands that came too close, pratfalls, a witch who screamed and shrieked at everyone, saying "I'll make you PAY," and dark castles and bubbling chemistry labs presided over by doltish owls. Still not the best sort of thing for children? On the dreadful Banana Splits, however, there was a pirate series which had a lot of cute young men running around without any shirts on, showing off their prowess in rather exciting style, and I watched that making a note to watch it some other time, because it was admirably watchable for those who like male bodies. This is just the continuation of the superman trend that so affected me when I was a kid reading comic books, though they tend to minimize the big boxes that Captain Marvel Junior played up so sexily. By this time the writing had sunk to nothing, but I told myself it was OK because I was doing just what I wanted to do, in these days mainly stamps, but there were the times of strain after staring at the catalog all day that I wished not to do it. Then there was the strange LSD-like feeling of "déjà vu" which I got a number of times looking at the first stamps' entry in the catalog, something about the "getting everything right" and "is this exactly the right one?" and "ah, I've found it, I know JUST WHAT IT IS" feelings that intermingled, along with my compulsion to have everything in just the right place, but the combined feeling was so much more than just the sum of the small components. But still the mail went out, the album filled, and I kept buying more hinges as I got more stamps than I really bargained for. I think at this time I was away from working the Sunday Times puzzle, which gave me a couple of extra hours. I think my amusement with Avi's working them helped stop me, as I helped him. Probably went to the Universalist Church this evening for "Dream of a Ridiculous Man," since it fits nowhere else.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21. This completes the 366th day, the first day of the second year that I've typed at least one page per day (and since I'm at page 674) I can see that I've typed over 300 pages in addition to that, but still somewhat under 2 pages per day. When I think that that's the only CONCRETE evidence I have from my days of not working (except from my souvenirs from my three month vacation in Europe, my one month vacation in Maine, my stamp album nearly filled, my drawers neatly cleaned, friends made and seen, games played, movies attended, etc) I rethink, but that's all one, now. Today the only notation I have is the fact that I watched the "Royal Family" on TV, and they seemed just a bit more human in the film, though it's still a job that looks fine at first glance, but it's probably dreadful living it. The first royal review might be fine, and even the second, but it would wear after a time. The same is so true elsewhere: orchestra players or instrumentalists are envied without taking into consideration the years of practice before the firs triumphant performance, the hours of practice each day, and the fact that the sounds which SOUND so effortless still require trained muscles which are probably trembling with fatigue and tension after a performance, and this goes on day after day after day, not only the glorious applause-filled evening I happen to be there. I envy the books others have written, knowing now, almost, the chore it is to WRITE one. You just don't know until you've done it, which makes the "They lived happily ever after" line so impossible nowadays, when TV is so intent on making you realize all the sweat, for instance, that goes into a ballet dancer's smile and curtain call. Smile as you leap off the stage, collapse into the wings, face contorted with pain, body refusing to go on, and then rest for an instant and SMILE again as you face the damnable audience, and you just want to STOP, probably, forever. But that's death, and what else do you know to do, and so you go on, rather mindlessly, because if you thought about it all the time, you'd be driven OUT of that mind. So another day passes without really knowing what I did, and it's gone forever, a day in which I did, recallably, nothing.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22. Bea Lillie has the first show on the free New York Film Festival programs in the basement of the Beaumont Theater, and I figure there's going to be an enormous crowd, so I get there about two hours early, and find that most of the line is waiting for the show before it, and that no one is intending to stay the whole two hours, so everyone leaves and I'm first in line, so I settle in to read "Varieties of Religious Experience," but the people on line are so loud, and there are so many interruptions that I just put the book away and take it all in. The loud-mouth who's second in line is determined to make conversation with someone, and happily he chooses the one behind me, except that the whole front of the line can hear the interchange. "Why are you going to a therapist? Do you have any trouble sleeping? No. Can you get it up; so you enjoy sex? Yes. Can you do your job at work without too much tension. Yes. Then what do you want to see a psychiatrist for, what more do you want out of life?" And a pretty good capsule summary it was, except that the validity was vitiated by the insistent, unpleasant urging of the little guy, giving me the impression that there was something wrong under there that HE didn't particularly care to face. Nice people walked by, but as it got darker when the sun went behind the supermarket, it good cooler, and I was glad to get into the theater. It filled up completely, and the show was very funny, not so much for what she did, as for how she did it, and the audience was very appreciative, so the evening was pleasant. Little did I think that the faces that I saw on the line and in the auditorium would be the same faces I would see again and again as the week wore on, people whose business it was to see almost every film ever shown, and it was rather depressing to look at them and realize that their "most alive" moments were merely emphatic feeling of pain or pleasure or love milked from the two-dimensional screen hung before their eyes. Sort-of-nice people made into staring automatons, because they could never live the lives depicted on the screen, so they lived none, but lived only to look at the screen. But I, of course, used judgment in seeing movies.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23. "So's Your Old Man" with W.C. Fields was first this morning, so I got there early again, and again was rewarded by a very funny film, though this time the audience seemed inclined to overreacting, and I wondered if the same thing hadn't happened yesterday, without my realizing it. The next picture is "The Conquering Power," and with Valentino I don't mind if I see it, and it's worth going back onto line and just slipping in, because the scene with the money ogre rising from the money cask and the walls closing in is well worth the seeing of a rather dated Valentino. Tell Joe and Norma about the Film Festival, and we agree to meet at night to see "The Man Who Laughs," and I'll be there at 6 to save a place, and they'll be there between 6:30 and 7. Have started making a list of the things I have to do before I leave on the yoga week, and get some of the things done, but it begins to appear that I can't do them all, and still the stamps are taking too much time. But the days are beautiful, almost perfect, cool in the morning and evening, but warm almost to hotness during the day, and it's clear and breezy. Leave again at 5:30 to get on line extra early, but am about 20th on line, so there's no problem. Norma arrives in purple, with a coat which she drapes on my arm, and Joe quickly arrives, and we all talk together, everyone trying to be very witty and smart and keep the conversation sparkly, which is sort of a pain. The show gets in very late because the other lasted longer, and we're only in at 7:30, tired from standing and chilly from the cold. The show isn't very good, except for the strange gimmick of the smile, and it lasts very long, too long for our stomachs, so we get out starved, and we walk up to Lenge's, where the place is almost empty and we keep talking during the time it takes for the food to get to the table. I have some pork dish which is only pork, so it's a bit of a bore, but tasty, and we continue the talk to Joe's. Norma's obviously interested in a tussle in the hay for all of us, but Joe and I aren't, so we talk, she keeps on refusing drinks, and then at 11:30 she decides she won't walk through the park, I catch her a cab, and walk home.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24. Today's film activities included "Dirigible" with a fantastically spectacular sequence of bending girders, tearing silk, rain, and waves in a devastation of the dirigible in a hurricane, and then some good shots which look like they might have been real life scenes in the Antarctic, with a real shocker when the plane flips over, and that's the advantage when the movie is old and no one knows what happens: such things can still be the surprise they wee intended to be. There's no trouble staying through to see the "Mysterious Island" with Lionel Barrymore, and it's easy to see in this transition movie why talkies were dismissed as a gimmick: it was easy to see that the actors were reading from cue cards held off camera, face-to-face scenes were a bit off as they KEPT reading their lines, and the actions were severely curtailed. Even someone as good as Barrymore turned out looking awful. It's a pity they couldn't find a color print, because the undersea effects would have been spectacular, but the whole thing was a bit tiring, and I decided I would see fewer, rather than more, films, since the whole thing was beginning to get on my nerves. Another case if "it sounds good, but wait till you try it, it isn't that hot." Only time for a quick snack and I meet Avi for the critic's opening of Boito's "Mefistofele" at the New York State Theater. It was too bad that the off-stage trumpets during the Prologue were in the back of the fifth ring, because the impact of the music was broken by the musicians filing out, arranging their music, turning on the lights, looking at the conductor, and playing the notes (which lacked their proper distance, then, too), and then folding up and stealing away, only to return at the end. Also, the stage lights were condensed onto the back cyclorama, and from the balcony it's rather difficult to see the cyclorama. Then during the first act the horses absolutely shit entirely across the stage, and even the smell wafted up to the balcony, so the dancing was ruined, and there were audience titters through the entire first act. Then Faust was terrible, losing out completely in the last act, and his first act aria was greeted with stately silence. Uh, but it's still an incomparable opera, and I have the keenest desire to buy it.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25. In line early for "Old Dark House," and I begin talking with the girl in front of me to while away the time (not as attractive as yesterday when a mixed-race boy with Spanish features and red hair who looked the image of Villella, and had his legs under tight green pants, sat about the stairs fooling with his girlfriend, and everyone on line was looking at his crotch), and the fellow in back joined in, and he was reasonably attractive in his salt-and-pepper hair, smooth pink skin, and active eyes and seemingly endless fund of theater knowledge (like yesterday the guys who were talking to me about the film society sponsored by Iverson that shows on 14th Street, and he gives the course at the New School) about movies. We talk as we get into the theater, and we sit together, and he's preferable to the creeps I'd been sitting next to recently, who also feel obliged to make idle conversation. The "Old Dark House" is hardly scary, though it could have been, but they didn't capitalize on anything, preferring to keep it absolutely natural. Karloff played a mad butler rather poorly, and that was about it except for some very old people and a poorly managed fire. Then Arnie Bernstein wanted to stay and see "Men Without Women," so I agreed to it, but he slept through most of it, and it got rather shady toward the middle when they were all stuck in the bottom of their submarine, waiting for the impossible rescue which finally took place, except for the last guy who couldn't release himself from the torpedo tubes. Then we walked down to 57th, and found myself in front of my place. I asked him up, and when he assured himself I wasn't just doing it from kindness, he came up. He had a party to attend at 7, so he left at 7 after a long arduous talk about everything in the world, including the fact that he was out of a job and he was interested in how I managed to spend all the hours of the day. He said he intended to use me as a crutch, but he seemed so attractive and interesting a conversationalist, I didn't mind. He did have a tendency to wander off onto tangents, but that merely spiced his talk, and he seemed to have been everywhere and done everything.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26. The first show is "The Cameraman" with Buster Keaton, and Arnie said he wasn't sure if he wanted to see it or not, since he had something else to do, but I suspected he would be there, and he was. Again this was funny, particularly the switch with the film of the Chinese gang battle and the camera recording his rescue of the woman just when she thought his rival had rescued her, so it was a warmly pleasant film. We didn't want to see the others, so we wandered down a warm 9th Avenue again, stopping for a band concert on one of the side streets, and got home. But it was too nice to stay inside, so we went out for a walk in Central Park, going way up to the Ramble in our stroll, looking at the boating, stopping in to the museum, looking at Cleopatra's Needle, which he said had some kind of inscription which it turned out not to have, getting a Chinese scroll in the form of their announcements which I really didn't want, but he thought so strongly that I should have it that I took it. The day was pleasant, and we enjoyed each other's company, and got back to the apartment pleasantly tired from the walk, but still talking. We began to get hungry, and I suggested Angelo's, and in his typical manner said he really didn't care, he wasn't too hungry, but he was sure that when he smelled the food and looked over the menu, his appetite would arrive. The bread was fine again, and we talked through the meal, and my favorite waitress was back, and I found out that she takes three months' vacation every summer, but is there all the rest of the time. We got back to the apartment to listen to music and talk, and during the course of the evening I told him I was gay. "I sort of suspected that," he said in a rather confused way, and we went on to talk about that and other things, and when we saw it was 4 am, I asked him to stay, emphasizing the fact that the sofas were very comfortable, and it wouldn't bother me at all. He continued to be very affable, and I figured his knowledge of my homosexuality wouldn't affect our relationship, so he went to bed in the living room and I in the bedroom, but it took me rather a while to fall asleep, unaccustomed as I am to not sleeping with a single guy.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27. We wake rather early, since he rises early, and eat an oatmeal breakfast, and I don't check my calendar to see that I have tickets to "He Who Gets Slapped" (for money, too) at the Film Festival at 1 pm, and we talk, and again go out for a long walk, this time going up even to the reservoir, all around it, talking about how nice it is in New York, how easy it is to meet people, and he's always saying how uncharacteristic it is for him to strike up conversations with people like this, and how comfortable he feels with me. We talk on and on about nothing of consequence, regaling each other with tales of travels, movies, plays, ballet, opera, family life, former love affairs, and the time passes very quickly. In the evening he says he wants to get back to Brooklyn Heights to run some errands, and asks me to go back with him. I agree, and we subway back and I feel sorry for those who have to ride this line all the time: jammed in, mostly Negro, with squalling babies to make it worse. To his place on Orange, rather pleasant with a stuffed hallway and crinkled aluminum foil on the ceiling above the bed, and a tape collection about twice the size of mine. He does what he has to do, and we discuss eating, and I give him his head since I chose Angelo's last night. He'd always wanted to try a Rumanian Broilings place on the Lower East Side, so we drove past: I thought the place was a dump, but it was full of rather well-dressed people, so I said let's try it. We went in, the cooks wandered around in undershirts, but the waiters were fun, the menu limited and rather expensive, but we ordered the small strip steaks and greeven, which turned out to be onions and chicken fat broiled, very rich and tasty, and schmaltz, pure chicken fat, to pour over the potatoes, and the steak was black and greasy, but it was all rather good, though on the expensive side. He said he'd drive me home, then said if there was a place to park, he'd come up. There was, and he did. I asked him more about his sex life, and he, quite out of the blue, said "Why don't we go to bed?" I sat next to him and turned him off, but when the lights went out, his cock came up, and he allowed himself to be done twice, coming nicely, through he seemed terribly stiff and quiet.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28. He said he had to leave, and he was gone when I woke, which has never happened before, that I wasn't awakened by someone leaving my bed. But that was that, and I probably jerked myself off. Cyndy and I had a day planned, and we called each other and I walked up to her place and we caught the subway up to Pelham Bay, and the day was bright but rather chilly, and we got the bus out as close to Orchard Beach as we could, buying sandwiches and soda and eating them out on the rocks overlooking the sound. There were actually people swimming in the cold, waveless water, and the dark mud of the beach was busy with wading feet. We sunned in the warmth for a long time, then started exploring the islands just off shore, reachable by rock causeways, and looked at the small surf and the fishermen and the strange patterns in the twisted volcanic rocks, white under the sun. The clouds were nice, the day was pleasant, and we chatted and walked across the meadows and looked at the people and then walked toward the bridge leading to City Island, with the vague thought of seeing Cathy's parents. We walked, and I sort of found the neighborhood by feel, asking "some man" if he knew where the O'Sullivan's lived, and it turned out to be Mr. O'Sullivan, tending the garden in the house next door, and Mrs. and he served us beer and told us about their flight to Ireland, their first, and it was very pleasant sitting on the old-style front porch, sun filtering through the trees, drinking beer, listening to their soft laughter. Cathy, it turned out, lived just down the island, and we talked a bit longer to let them finish dinner, then walked down to see Pat and Eileen and watch Cathy's stomach, due to give birth in just a week or so. We chatted and played with Eileen and tasted some of her very good apple cobbler, drinking milk, and darkness came and they drove us back to the subway, and we came back to the city. I got back to find a note from Joe, and I've forgotten "Pigpen" at the Film Festival, and Joe's seat, too, at that. I felt terrible about it, but told him all about Arnie and the day, then watched "Walk in the Shadow" on TV and bed. Christian Scientists who expect God to do a miracle for THEM should be DEAD.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29. Bill arrives from Maine at 7 am, and I ask him to drive me to New Jersey, a typical example of my stupid short-sightedness, asking him to drive me two hours after he'd driven through the night, having just gotten rid of a house guest at 3 pm the previous afternoon. He sacked out on the sofa as I packed for the trip, throwing everything I hadn't done into a top dresser drawer, and we left at 10, hoping to be there by 11, so that Bill could be back in bed at 12, but the roads were confusing, the driving in his little pickup truck was very slow, particularly since he didn't allow it to go over 50, and the country lanes went and went, and the miles stretched out, and it was about 12:15 when we arrived. He said he'd look around a bit, so I got out of the truck, into the house through the proper door, and the Mrs. Owner showed me the men's room and offered to take me to the dormitory, but I visited a bit with Bill, looking over the little fountain, the large back lot, and the ground floor of the house. He tinkled, said he was happy I was happy to be there, and took off on the awful trip back, getting back at 3, much too late: he was exhausted. I settled down in the living room, wondering at the silence of everyone, and struck up a few conversations pleasantly. The first meal was a bit awkward, because everyone was a stranger, and then Ram Dass shuffled in on his bare feet, looking wild-eyed and gaunt, to say that we were going to be silent through the whole time, and the ones who had been so silent at first seemed to swell in their superior knowledge, making me feel a little bit the fool, for no actual, but good imaginary, reasons. He gave us a whole lot of information about the week in a lump, and we set to work building the temple, not talking, looking at the books as they were lifted out of their box, and making our chalkboards, and I resolved never to use mine. The day got warmer, the leaves were beautiful, the people seemed nice enough, and Ram Dass bustled around humming mantra under his breath, which I thought was a bit affected. He asked us all what we wanted from the week, and I made some strange statement that I forgot. It had begun.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30. We woke at something like 7, which didn't strike me as terribly unpleasant, since the sun was just up, the fields were still dewy, there was a marvelous fresh smell everywhere, and we were all ready for breakfast. But it was a good thing that we couldn't talk, or we'd all laugh about the food, which was meatless and sometimes pointless, though it did seem to fill us up, though some seemed to be stocking up on the bread as if they didn't quite trust themselves not to feel hungry before the next meal. Ram Dass continued giving us information in a rather scattershot manner, going off into tangents about his personal life, and his Richard Alpertness seemed to take over much of the time, even though Ram Dass made quite a bit of fun of it. We went through a new system of Asanas, and some of them seemed very good, and some seemed impossible, though I started by trying to do the body twist the wrong way, and maybe if I'd done it, I'd be the first in history to do. I started by saying I'd read all the books there were, and so I couldn't very well read more books, so during my free time I wandered out into the fields and looked at the leaves and the trees and the grass. It was terribly beautiful, and I seemed mindless, just skimming over the grass like the infinitude of creatures who lived their whole lives there. The silence was no trouble, though Lois caused a lot of trouble by placing herself next to me and making a point of noticing me and insuring I noticed her. I would do funny things just to hear her laugh, and make the rest of the silent eaters look at us, sometimes in amusement, sometimes in lofty scorn, since they didn't even find humor necessary to their ascetic existence. Something about Ram Dass bugged me, through he freely admitted he didn't really know what his point was; he surely wasn't trying to "save" us, he would just do what we wanted him to do. And he talked about sex more than seemed necessary, until the girls were giggling and squirming around on their yonis. My knees gave out, and I even took to taking a chair into the temple at odd times. Some of the guys were just beautiful, and I could hardly take my eyes off them.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1. Up at 6 am this morning, and it was dark, but after some meditation, asanas, and some breathing exercises, it was sunny and we went outdoors to sit under the trees, where there was a big to-do about the flying insects that many didn't like. I had long since emptied my pockets, removed my shoelaces, and left my glasses behind, so I was feeling very free. He was talking about this being the only way to go, and I attacked him for avoiding the world, leaving it behind. He said he could have been killed, and it wouldn't have bothered him, but I suggested it might have bothered US. He said the world didn't matter, and I said he might have done better to work WITH the world to produce an ACTUAL unity among people in a REAL, rather than a mystical, sense. He asked what I meant, and I asked permission to go on, and talked about Teilhard de Chardin, and the physical science possibility of everyone becoming one, with artificial bodies, cloned minds, identical memories, and he dubbed it the "People Osterizer" and others came to my defense, particularly Jim, who seemed, in his Jerry Colonna way, to be my sort of people, and Ram Dass was wise when he said there should be no interaction between people, because I took over as leader and Jim as questioner, and then Ram Dass, who had been sucked into the argument, drew back, said "Whoa," and some of the girls said they saw him getting uptight, sitting there in a business suit, getting sucked back into the world, and he paid me extravagant compliments about sucking him in with great skill, and he thought he'd been able to ignore people like me, but I indicated how much work he still had to do on himself. The others seemed to take sides, and not too many were on my side, but others seemed interested, and I again vaguely pictured myself as the Messiah, leading all these searching people into a greater understanding, at least, of what it was they're SEARCHING for. We ate, we re-met, we went off alone, Ram Dass was spending time with individuals, I lay in the woods staring up at the clouds and sun and trees, and felt very peaceful. Night was a different thing, because Bob was sleeping above me, and I so much wished we could be sleeping together.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2. I would wake early in the morning and listen to the sounds around me, watch the light grow in the cracks of the shades, and feel the motion of the lovely body above me. Then when the signal to get up came, I would watch the bodies getting dressed, and it felt very good. Today is the day of the 24-hour fast, and we sit in the morning, aware of our stomachs growling, but if our minds aren't on food, things go well, and the day passes quickly, now settling into a routine, and I do the breathing exercises and the asanas, and he remarks about how good a body I would have if I just stretched it a bit, and we had our first personal encounter. His room was bare and sparsely furnished, and we sat facing each other, and again I really didn't know what to do, and felt silly just sitting there staring into his eyes. There were noises from outside, someone coughed (was it he or I?), and finally I talked about my discomfort, and he accused me of being against him, and since I didn't go out toward him, I guess I could see his point. Later he was to tell me that Fritz Perls was the only other person he had met who gave him the same "cold shoulder" as I did, and since I'd heard nothing but bad about Fritz Perls, I was crushed by what he said, but couldn't change. I thought of him somehow as failed, and couldn't help but think, with his incessant thoughts and talk about sex, that he was hung up there too, particularly when he said that his homosexual experiences had been written up in some West Coast paper before, and I had heard overtones of gayness in some of his personal experiences. We just didn't see anything clearly, and maybe he was afraid because I saw that HE wasn't where he wanted to be, and he saw I wasn't where I wanted to be, to the point that he offered to refund part of my money if I wanted to leave then. I liked the other people, except for the older women, and thought the whole thing rather interesting, but couldn't get into the chanting. Dinner tasted lovely, since it broke our fast, and the evenings spent looking at candles were pleasant. This was to be our awake night, so we sipped mu tea, which smelled like chicken soup, and played instruments and walked around the temple chanting, preparing for orgy.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3. But in this "bodiless" state, there could be no orgy, no release from the tensions built up, and so they had nowhere to go, and since we hadn't learned to sublimate them yet, they just ended up untapped, latent, and the group got nowhere. In much the same way that the nude-in group therapy encourages a false kind of closeness, the beginnings under Ram Dass assumed a sophistication we didn't have, and I think a lot of people ended the evening wondering why they couldn't "let go" or "see the light." The light began to come in on the last full day, and we adjourned to the house for breakfast, went through our activities, and then there was a buffet lunch and things got busy in the kitchen. Ram Dass then completely lost all of his mysticism and had to rally everyone around him to help prepare the evening meal. Most started working, but one by one they drifted off, leaving the cooking to the women, until at the fend, feeling slightly guilty, I looked back in and found no one doing anything, so I rolled a few last chapattis, helped with peeling the onions, and helped carry things into the barn for the feast. There were too many at the table, and not everyone had enough room, and it was terrible to see the party not appreciate the food, and the disappointment was visible in Ram Dass's voice as he asked if anyone would like more food. But most of us weren't even feeling tired after being up all night. I had written much of the day, after thinking I wouldn't, but that would be the most I would get out of it, so I wrote. The next last day was raining all day, so there was no Sufi dancing, so it was put off until the last day. The last evening's conversation was perhaps the best, with Ram Dass talking about his drug experiences and comparing the LSD high with the yoga high, and trying to convince himself as well as everyone that there was the chance that the yoga high was more lasting. But I just saw an aging man trying desperately to cling to something which would keep him in the center of attention, surrounded by pretty people, for the rest of his life. But the boy who came in certainly WAS beautiful, but not all people are like that, and no religion will change it.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4. The last morning was rather informal, and we could sleep almost as long as we wanted, but most of us woke early because we were used to it. I had taken my last bath and shaved the previous day when many others were sleeping, and it was the second bath I took. It felt good not to have to shave every day, not to wear glasses, but again it was the retreat to a totally taken-care-of environment, almost as if we were children sent to a farm where our "parents," the people who owned Bucks County Seminar House, would keep us happy and occupied, fed, and bedded down, and supplied with the chicken-broth-scented mu tea, and most of the time with enough heat in the barn. The Sufi dancing was a blast, see notes from it, and then I wandered around in the garden, taking down haiku as the beauties of the morning made them clear to me. Susan offered to take a lot of us home, and I was sad to see Bob's wife, sorry to hear Henry talk about his stock broker's business, and sorry for Susan's eagerness and Helen's disappointment with where her life had left her: she should have been out of this world, and she was sad to find herself still there, still looking for something, still waiting for someone, and she was puzzled why she still felt incomplete. Maybe it just isn't possible to have the religion outside the trappings of the religion: the hills, the solitude, the absence of civilization. We drove back and the talk was rather strained, and for the most part I was content to sit and listen to it flow around my head. Susan drove and drove and drove everyone home, and I was very glad to get back, though it was somewhat of a cultural shock to see Bill in my apartment, surrounded by his purchases. We talked about the week, he told me about his stay, and finally we went to Angelo's to have some kind of dinner, and we just went back home while I took care of a few things and read the mail, while he smoked and we packed for the next morning's leaving to Maine. I telephoned a few people and talked to them about caring for my plants, and then it was 11:30, and since I'd gotten used to early bed, it wasn't very difficult to get to bed and to sleep by midnight: I didn't even get the Times.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5. We got up about 7, but by the time we finished everything, Bill drove to the garage to get the truck, we unwrapped it, packed it, fitting his bicycle and everything else, including the two suitcases, under the wraps, and took off, it was 9:10, and the long trip began, made longer by the fact that he wouldn't drive over 50, and that he really didn't care to stop for food much along the way. We did manage to stop for lunch, because he wanted to stretch out for awhile, and I drank my milk shake while I was getting the three cheeseburgers, and then since I was driving I didn't eat then at all, but drove, then ate while I was driving, leaving a train of grape pits flung out the windows along the way. Unfortunately, I was driving when we went through Boston, and it was all I could do to steer the truck in and out of traffic while Bill tried to direct me, and I stalled a couple of times with his stupid gear shift while trying to pay money to the various toll booths and bridge fees. So we took a spectacular route over Boston but I didn't see much of anything of it but bridge sides when I thought we were going to caroom off the sides. It grew dark slowly, and again it seemed that Maine would stretch on forever into the darkness. We kept looking for some place to eat, but finally ended up in Bangor at a Kentucky Fried Chicken place, where two dyke-types stared at us and we stared back, and there were lots of beauties at the next-door drive-in, and Bill looked as silly as ever. Finally into Houlton, and he was driving, so he took us through all the streets and into his garage, and we unpacked everything from the truck, and there was the house much as I had remembered it except for the hardwood floors, which did look good, but then there wasn't much of anything else to look good, except the clean curtains which he had put up in the upstairs bathroom a year ago and still looked as freshly pressed and laundered as on day one. There are some advantages to living in the clean North, but with the dust layer on the Venetian blinds in the front bedroom where I slept, they must not have been dusted since his mother died a number of years ago. Sleep.


MONDAY, OCTOBER 6. He woke early, and I woke rather early and we were out into the kitchen while he cooked breakfast, and it was pretty good, and we sat around and talked, and I said I'd like to see his stamp collection, so he got it all out and I turned through his United States album and could see why he had pooh-poohed my collection, since he had just about everything there was to be had. I looked through album after album, including his old personal collection, and since he said he was interested only in United States stamps, I thought I might be able to buy some of his stuff, since he had gotten most of it at a tremendous bargain, buying a whole collection for $250 only to get a US collection worth more than that, so if he would sell me the rest, it would make his US purchase practically free: of course he had been the one to seek out the collection in the first place, so he deserved a nice profit. There was nothing that I considered edible in the house, so we drove off to the grocers and got what I thought I might need for the next week or so, concentrating on things which would be easy to cook, and on steaks, which I figured would be my staple while he had his tiger's milk, muskmelons, and other truck. Back to put things away, and then we went over to see the Harbison's, where the kids wee in the living room watching TV, the mother in the kitchen giving us some baklava which Bill had brought up for her, and talking about what had happened about the harvest since he'd been gone. Then we went over for dinner, and got out to Bill's stamp club, where I was appalled at the old men sitting around trading stamps, showing no mercy to anyone, taking particular advantage of a young kid who was just starting out, making dealers. prices in an area where there shouldn't have been any dealers. The whole situation sort of sickened me, and I was just as glad the person Bill wanted to see wasn't there, so we could leave in just under an hour. I'd had enough of the Houlton stamp club, all four of them. Back home, there was a shout from below, and Byron Powell was there, long and gangly and somehow unsexy, though he seemed eager enough and pleased enough with Bill.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7. We wanted to leave early, but Bill had things to do, and by the time we got into the car with our suitcases again, it was quite a bit past noon, and the darkness came on early up there, I knew. We went through to New Brunswick, and I'd checked on a map to look at the road which cut through the center of the province, and I kept forgetting about the lousy speed of Bill's truck, and thought we could make it. But then it was about two as we drew near to York's, and Bill had talked so much about the place that I just had to stop and see it. It was a rather idyllic place, beside the roaring river, with the trees mainly yellow on either bank, nothing crowded, a fresh wind off the river, and silence as far as the ears could hear. The food was good, but it was terribly late, about 3:30, when we hit the road again. The road through the hinterlands was interesting, but the driving was quite slow, and I got the impression Bill wouldn't have refused what I wanted even though he would be dead against it, which made the whole thing uncomfortable. We turned down what was called the Renous Road, and looking across on the map, sure enough it came out to Renous about 120 miles on the other side of a wilderness. Unfortunately it wasn't a wilderness: the trucks had gotten there and ripped out trees and gravel and mud and fill dirt, and the whole strip was just a shambles. I'd fantasized driving through something that looked like Yellowstone, filled with elk and bear and wolves and deer, all of whom would be dining beside the road as we sailed past on the concrete. But the bumps and hills and scarred landscape got more and more depressing, especially since I sensed that Bill really didn't want to be here. I buried my head in the map and figured we'd better stop at 20 miles, before going any further, and turning around and going back. He seemed happier at that, and the clouds formed a lovely sunset, and we just managed to catch some of the boundary river between Canada and Maine before the sun closed down completely. We stop at a park to tinkle, I drive until dark, Bill takes over to Atholville, where we stop at the first restaurant and hotel we see, and fall slowly to sleep.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8. This day is pretty well covered on DIARY 631, but it doesn't say much about the rock itself. It's completely incongruous sticking out from the land, particularly when the fog is nestled in over Bonaventura island, so there's nothing to detract from its "apartness," and there's fog over the mountain tops, so it seems to be the tallest thing around. There's a lovely residential section just along the final strip of road to the viewing post, and it must be a lovely place in the winter when there are no tourists, only the unbroken silence of middle Canada. It's too bad there is so much junk around the base of the island, it would be better if it rose sheer from the ocean floor, but then the ocean floor can't be too deep right there. There was once an arch at the far end, but the winds and tides and freezing and thawing broke through it, so there's just a tooth-like point beyond the island. Then there's another arch at the end, and you can see that soon there'll be two teeth at the end of the island, except one will be drilled down by the wind and rain, and finally the last one will sink into the sea, probably as many others have sunk into the sea before it. In a number of thousands of years, then, the island rock will be completely worn away, it seems, and it seems that it is most unusual to think of the forces that would put it there. Since the other hills in the area are much rounder, it's strange to see this up-and-down mass at the end; it really looks as if someone dumped it right off there, just to attract tourists. And heaven knows there's little enough to attract tourists. I'm sure it's seldom warm enough to swim, no matter what the publicity blurbs might say, and the winters would be cold enough to make all-year living rather bad (even though the shopkeeper said that sometimes the winters are so mild it never snows: I don't believe it, because it conflicts with my prejudices about the way it "should" be up there in Canada. If it is so nice, why aren't there more people living there?). So I saw the rock, but another trip will have to show me what's at the end of Gaspe, because we didn't get out there, because I "felt" Bill didn't want to.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9. Stop for breakfast in the next village, and Bill wants TWO dishes of chocolate ice cream for breakfast, and I can't stand his slurping, so I'm out and down to the shore, watching the boats cruise past on the ocean-river, seeing that there was absolutely nothing interesting in the line of rocks or driftwood along the shore, and then back to the truck for the long ride back along the St. Lawrence. Again the day is clear, but the terrain is not so spectacular, and we're never again caught between cliffs and the river. All along the coast to Riviere du Loup, and it's 2, so we want to stop for lunch, and Bill sees a sign for a shopping center, so we park underneath it and up the escalators into a mall type of place that he wanders about in, absolutely charmed. When later he talked about the trip, he actually said, "You know, I thought the best part was that shopping center in Riviere du Loup." Well. There was a grocery store and a department store and lots of little specialty shops, including a coffee shop that looked like a Parisian street with lampposts and storefronts and waitresses in short black skirts and little white aprons. The food was terribly mediocre, but the ice cream was good, and every so often someone handsome would walk past in the hall, and there was one number that I was almost sure was hustling anything he could get, and the internal security cop was cute, too. We left this pearl of the St. Lawrence reluctantly, and we were back into the center of the province, where the land got rolling, the countryside more poor, and again there were more mobile homes than any other type along the road. South and south, past Madawaska, the northernmost town in Maine (now that Alaska's there, the north point of the US is pretty far north), and it was dinner time, and we again stopped over at York's for dinner, and it was the last week they were open for the season. Back through the last bit of New Brunswick and over into Maine, nodding kindly to the local custom's people, and it seems strange to live so close to another country. Home and look at some stamps some more, and talk a bit, then go to bed, bundling down under the nightly chill, using the down coverlet to advantage.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10. Bill feels like doing something, so after we eat breakfast, we're out to drive around the town, showing me all the sights there are to see, including the last of the potato harvesting done, some by hand, some by harvester. Somewhere on the trip, there's always a place where we can stop to get ice cream, and one time there was a truly remarkable banana split, in a store that looked about fifty years old, we were the only fountain customers, the waitress was a fat old lady who looked like she'd been there forever, and the banana splits were made with whole bananas sliced in half for the bottom, three great scoops of peach, eggnog, and chocolate ice cream, all sorts of syrups, and gobs of whipped cream, and even nuts on top, the real old-fashioned kind. I had one, and finished it quickly, and then Bill decided to have one, so I was finished first and took a look at what must have been the best-stocked magazine rack on the eastern seaboard, with the emphasis on men's true adventure life story unexpurgated types, with ads for the most remarkable sexual implements. Drive around some more, looking at old buildings, older barns, winding roads, passing some cattails that we should have stopped for, because we had trouble finding them later. Driving and driving, getting snatches of Mount Katadhin from one side and then another, looking out over the pleasant countryside. He tired to show me everything there was, but in doing so, I rather got the idea that there really wasn't anything much. Home to dinner, and he showed me how to make steaks on his infrared oven, and then it was down to make a fire, which he did with consummate care, which I'll have to describe late, on some full day when all I did was read. Bob, a gangly, screech-voiced fellow from down in Bangor, and Arthur, a quiet, "a-yuh" said on the breath INtake, fellow who was the son of the farmer whose spread we passed on the road, both came past just on the chance to see Bill, and we talked and looked at the fire and Bill lapsed into his New England manners and served everyone ice cream, and kept the fire going, and laughed his laugh, and then they both left, and I saw that this was about the extent of his social life in Houlton.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11. Today we drive over to Fredrickton, looking at the million-dollar view as we pass it, with the lakes reflecting the sun, the woods soaking it up and coming back almost black. Down the road, easing into second gear when he fears he might get up over 50 down the grades, and we park on a side street, the quaint place doesn't have mu tea, but the fat (again) lady says she has good hot fudge, and we have it, making fun of her and her mustache, but she's awfully nice, and New York should have more of her (but mainly more places like that with huge hot fudge sundaes for 504). Walk around the streets and I get into the Post Office to buy the stamps I want, and he does some shopping for coin sets, but there aren't any, and back into the car to drive around the University of New Brunswick campus, which is extended over a hill overlooking the St. John's River, and some high school campus in back of it, and then down to the river just in time to get to the Beaverbrook Museum at 4:30, when it closes at 5, and is free because the time is so short. I look back at the Dali, and then tour the rest of the place, and it's mostly pretty bad, except for a strange "American Gothic" crucifixion done in pretty blues and reds in the corner. Out and watch football practice along the river bank, stare at a nice ass on a metal plate below a statue, then, since the town offers nothing more, we drive back north and stop off at a gas station steak place that Bill's so fond of, but the steak is rather tough, and the vegetables are terrible, but the home fries are tasty. There are dreadful people there, the type almost of rednecks in the south of "Easy Rider" viciousness. I visualize them finding out that Bill and I are "a couple of queers" and making things miserable for us, especially the way he smokes, but nothing happens. Back into the truck and again across the border and Byron Powell comes over again for a fire, and Bill gets out his slides (from the safe) when he leaves, and I get some lovely looks at Rick Wayne and the Spanish fellow that Bill has saved for himself, but sadly he'd given the sailors on ropes to someone else. The fire burns down, and I bask in front of it, and then again time for bed.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12. Up at 10 for church at 11, and I feel like the prize catch of the season as everyone is very nice to me, Bill has to introduce me to everyone, and we sit through the sermon. As chance would have it, Moratorium is this Wednesday, and the first I hear about it is from the pulpit: who says I don't find out what I want to know? We search around upstairs and down for Vaughan Gallop, but he's flown the coop, so we're out to the buffet in the old residence, expanded, on a hill, and the tables are loaded with goodies for $3.50, and I go back twice, but have never been a big eater at things like these, but the two desserts are good. Then back home to change clothes, and at 3 we're out to the auction, with all sorts of great types: the old duffers who look like they've put the stuff up themselves, and are only bidding their own prices up; the women who look like sharpers from the big city (Bangor) looking for some great deal; kids looking to find something they can slip into their pockets, and lots of poor families who have lots of kids, since boxes of toys and books and clothes always get a good bid. We walk through the barn and there is really an awful lot of junk going for sale, and hippies with loose wrinkled clothes and headbands try out the old hospital type beds, the mangles, the old refrigerators and stoves, as if they were thinking of setting up permanent housekeeping right there in the fields. If you need a whole container of plumbing, worth $50, for about $5.50, this is just the place to get it. We watch for about an hour, but sitting on a stove is tiring, and even I tire of looking at a doll with a thin face who seems to belong to the family in front of us. Bill drives me down the "old road" to somewhere, which isn't even maintained, and we detour into an old house, but there's nothing whatsoever inside of interest, and we're back home where I look at some stamps some more, and begin thinking about buying some, and check through the television section to find that "Fantastic Voyage" is on, but it really needs the color. Then everyone's tired from their busy day, I ask Bill to sleep with him, he says "NO!" and that's that.


MONDAY, OCTOBER 13. After fussing around the morning, he decided to eat in some restaurant he has in mind in Woodstock, so we hop into the car and someone wishes him a happy Thanksgiving, but it doesn't mean anything until we get to the town and find it's closed because of Thanksgiving, or Columbus Day, or some other national day of celebration in Canada and not in the States. He curses and fumes, but since we're out in the car, we're determined to eat somewhere and see something, so we drive along the waterfront in Woodstock, looking at all the sea captains' houses on Main Street, and we head north, bound for Presque Isle, taking side roads so that we can see a bit of the countryside. There's nothing much to be seen, and we almost miss the border guards, and it's pleasant to think of a border that's so open it would be entirely easy to get across without seeing a soul. I only hope it stays that way---or gets better, since if you can get across so easily, it seems silly to employ all these people just to check on tourists coming across: if you're going to be open, why not be completely open? Up to Presque isle, thinking there might be an antiques fair there, but the dates are wrong, or something (like it's in another town), so I stop in a gas station to check on Avis' rental prices, and am staggered to find a minimum of $13 a day and 104 a mile, but they don't even have enough cars. Bill suggests I try Bangor, since I'm wanting to stop off in West Franklin, hoping to see the Ram Dass settlement, and in Dublin, hoping to see part of Cumbres in operation, and then down to Boston to the O'Sheas and Fred Clanagan, and maybe drive along the coast to see what's there. Walk the streets of Presque Isle, and stop to eat at "Au Coin," which everyone calls "Oh Coign" and there's nothing French about the place, simply serving cheeseburgers and steaks, so true to form we have steaks, and I'm starved at 4, so it tastes pretty good. Out to find it dark and even drizzling a bit of something which could be snow, so we hop into the car and trundle down to Houlton, where we watch Laugh-In, which loses quite a bit on his low-fi TV set, and he'd gotten the catalogs at the library, so we finished the night cataloging stamps.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14. He Thinks it might be an idea if I rented the Chrysler from him, and he's willing to give it to me for a week for $50, so long as I pay for the gas and keep a gallon or so of oil in the back seat, since it's so much cheaper that way. I say I'll think about it, and it is a pleasure to get out onto the highway (after filling it with gas and oil) and effortlessly hitting 80 without feeling any motion, except that the steering wheel is just a bit off, and I can't direct by feel because it's canted to the right a bit. Bangor is longer than I thought, about 120 miles, but we get there quickly enough and stop in at a discount shop that he wants to buy a block and tackle in, and we browse through looking at toys and adult games and knickknacks and appliances and they have no color organs, and we play with some predicting toys which don't seem to agree about when I should leave Maine. Then we drive to the downtown section and stop into a stamp shop where Bill checks some prices, we look around the town and drop into the Walgreen's for a sundae, which I don't want, since we're ready to eat in just about a half hour. Wander the main streets and then walk across the canal to Sings, where I have the first and last drink of the Maine trip, and the waitress drops the empty glass all over the table and has to mop it all up. Then the meal comes and it's tasty, Bill guzzling up the king crab that he so looked forward to, and we're walking back to the car, trying to decide what else to do, but there isn't anything, and so I drive back to Maine---north. Flicking from high to low beams on the highway is frightening, because the headlights tend to go off, and Bill didn't bother to tell me about that, obviously hoping they would work all right for my test run. I flick them again, and he says I'd better leave them on low, and it slows down the speed a bit, since there are porkies all over the highway, and I almost went off the road to avoid hitting one. They went out again, gratuitously, and it was good that the road was straight at that point, and they decided to flick back on in about ten seconds, because I was in the process of stopping. Stamp cataloging continues.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15. This is Bill's first day in school, and he leaves me breakfast which I only have to heat up, and I waste the whole morning looking through his stamp news and Western Collectors Guild, and then get down his "Zen and the Art of Archery," which is quite a good book, and I don't even think of taking notes on it, since I intend to get it. Finally dress for the Moratorium by 2. Wanted to get there at noon for the beginning, but I had trouble dressing, it seems I just didn't want to get moving, so I didn't move. But then I decided I HAD to go, and got out of the house by two, expecting to find the whole town there, but there were really very few there (DIARY 579). Sat around for a time, getting colder and colder, and even the sun on my back through the trees didn't seems to help, and there wasn't even a breeze, just a steady pervading coldness which it seemed impossible to overmaster. And this was just October, with the winter barely started! I sort of envied the students at the college, having the chance to study in this town that offered very little else except old-fashioned small-town New England color, in its people, in the autumn colors and smells, in the ease and casualness of the greetings on the streets. It would seem that the rents were cheap, the living was easy (provided you got enough heat), and though the college, Bill said, would accept practically anyone, it was reasonably stringent about its academic standing, and demanded a lot from its students. He also told me something fetching about it being a training ground for the CIA, since it was out of the way, and a perfect introduction to life in the United States for people who were coming here for training to return to their countries to spy. It was interesting, and the house next to the Post Office being claimed by the US Government was intriguing, too, but it seemed rather romantic. Back home to get immersed in the stamps: I was going through Mary Peabody's collection, Bill was going through his collection, seeing what he would sell his album to me for. I regretted not bringing up my collection, since I had many ideas that stamps I was saying I had, I might not have, and was sorry.