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1970 8 of 8


DIARY 1581

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22. Wake at 7:45 to piss, then again at 8:45 to piss, and at 10 we decide we'd really slept quite long enough, even though this is John's only morning to sleep as late as he wishes, and we're up to start browsing through the Times, and I clear off the dishes and wash them after eating breakfast about 11, and we decide to get off to see the Max Ernst exhibit at 1 pm, but it's not open on Sunday, so we take the "Art Deco" at the Finch College instead, and there's a hippie audience who's ohing and ahing at the campy items, and the dining room is quite functionally and mathematically beautiful with its simplicity and obvious use of materials, and the upstairs rooms are nice with their watercolors by Erté and occasional lamps in bright colors, and the constant use of cacti to point up the natural mathematicality of the designs, though some of the pieces were simply overdone. Out at 2 and down to the Village to park and search for a deli at which John can buy an opened can of salmon and some health salad, and I get some cookies and crackers to stem my hunger, and we get to Loeb Hall at 2:30 to find it still locked, so we eat and get in about 2:45, and sit in the lounge watching "The Grand Union" until I get a program and see that "War" is upstairs, and we're up to see about 30 people, largely untrained, milling around in a rather poor version of an encounter group, so I'm downstairs to watch a familiar Douglas Dunn and a lovely Steve Paxton doing rather funny things with a dour, independent Yvonne Rainer watching, more often than not from the sidelines. Then at 5 we decide we want to see the films at the festival tonight, so drive uptown where I can find only hamburgers, and John fusses about the unappetizingness and the lack of nutritional value, and I let him fuss, and we eat and drive down, parking in a crosswalk for which he got a ticket, and get in at 6:30, and it gradually fills up during "Don't Let Your Meat Loaf," which is awful, a threesome where the three deserved to do better in living-blond-color, and "Waterhole," which was awful with no accomplished sex, though a pretty Doug Arden, or someone, blond with nice body. The contest was awful, and we got out at 10 to drive to his place, bed at 11:45.

DIARY 1582

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23. He does me WELL and can't come "because I'm worried about the time." Home at 9:10 to work the Times puzzle to 11, then watch the stupid TV programs and decide I'm really never going to get the remaining two addresses, then actually finish the large Scientific American issue on "The Biosphere," and that takes me up until about 4, when I'm starved, so I eat lunch, then watch the sun go down in brilliant ruddiness behind the AT&T building (or whatever it is), and into the bedroom to catch up on the diary, and it goes surprisingly well, once I get into it, and find that I've finished 19 pages by the time I stop at 7. John's called to give me the address of Tsi-Dun this evening, and I feel rather reluctant to go: I still have the remnants of a cold, and I just don't feel like DOING anything, not even coming. Nevertheless, I shave and shower very quickly, getting out at 7:55, and down to grab a cab to 222 E. 22nd Street, which I thought was the address John gave me, but there is no such address, and in desperation I wander into the lobby of 226, and there's Garth Kreamer's name on the mailbox, so I ring and go up (see following pages). Through all these days I'm getting the increased mental pressure to FINISH the goddam first three chapters of "Acid House" and send them off, but there's always the horrible procession of things to do: first I have to perform the necessities (like today I went to the bank to get some more money, called Warren to sell three shares of stock, tried every hour to get Eddie on the phone, talked to Marty about his plans to produce two operas in some high school auditorium, and bought Spec-T, toothpaste and vitamins from the discount drugstore down the block), THEN I have to catch up on my diary (which I did today, much to my relief, but then it'll only pile up for some other day), THEN I have the correspondence pile to get through (the letters to Mom and Elaine and the Seavers and the Bernsteins and the O'Sheas are really pitifully behind), and THEN I might have the time for that, except that things like wiring the art deco lamp, scraping off the paint, soaking the stamps, getting the lists of trips and people and ballets up to date and scouring the tub have to be done, and STILL THERE AREN'T ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY. Cab back here to bed.

DIARY 1589

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24. Wake tired at 7:15, cuddle, and John's up to work. I decide I absolutely must get some of the correspondence out of the way, and start off by writing a letter to Mom, finding it difficult to say anything printable to her---can't very well tell her about the orgies, so I settle for a description of Doris Duke's place, finding the ideas in the letter so tame in advance that I don't even make a copy of it, but content myself to answering her last letter about investments, thanking her again for the stamps. Then finish the want-list for stamps and send that off, making a copy for my files, ask for a brochure from the waterbed company, send the inquiry off to MMA about the films, send a note to the Aikens, a short letter to Lisa, send off to Spec-T for John's $1, and send an inquiry to Avant-Garde. He's still here, and I still feel like typing, so I send off six postcards to six shows, including "WASHINGTON, D.C." when I inadvertently address one card to "You Don't Say." This makes a total of 14 pieces of mail for the morning, and I feel good about THAT. Wanted to get the Tsi-Dun typing out of the way, but just don't feel like doing it, and when John leaves about 12, I go down with him for the mail, getting Life, which I look through, and then start looking through the "Book of Imaginary Beings" by Borges, and am disappointed to find that it's rather a bestiary than fiction, though some of it is amusingly worded, and before I know it, I've finished it by 1:30, and then I hustle off to the Museum of Modern Art, after having called Arnie, who says he can't make it in time, and I get in to see "90° South," the Ponting films of the Scott expedition which I think I've seen before, but it's still good and very nationalistic, and then I look through the Picassos on the ground floor, the collection on 2, and the Picassos on 3, but most amused by the picture essays by some new guy, and out about 4:30, feeling quite saturated with Picasso. Across to buy more plates and a thermometer, shop for slippers but can't find any, and get a switch-lamp for the lamp and home at 5. Dinner and watch good "Tragedy of the Salmon" by Cousteau from 7:30-8:15, grab subway down to Elgin to meet John for "Port of Call" and "Lesson in Love," good and funny, respectively, and to his place at 12.

DIARY 1590

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25. Back home at 9:10 for junk mail, and exercise on the second level, since I did it quickly (in just over 5 minutes) on the first level yesterday, since I suspect I NEED it to keep in shape, and read more of Sci-Am, almost caught up on it by now, and call Joe to say I'll be there at 1, and shave and have an early lunch and put his books and nuts into my case, his nuts in the old jasmine tea tin, and subway up to his place at 1:15 to find Caroline Rice, from across the back, posing for him, and Avi calls and says he's having an affair with her husband that she doesn't know about and Joe doesn't want to talk about, and we get into a heavy conversation about Brunner and Henderson and some woman writer and Bradbury and Heinlein and Sheckley and other science fiction writers, and then we leave at 1:50, I saying I'll have to borrow some paperbacks from her, and zap down to the subway, getting a number 2 quickly to get out to Brooklyn just at 2:30 and the start of "Stella Dallas," though Arnie isn't there, and it's quite good, though Belle Bennett looked so awful in it it's no wonder I hadn't heard her name again, and Ronald Coleman was rather a prig. Out at 4:30 and zip up to the A station and JUST catch one into the Village, where I grab a piece of pizza so I won't be gnawing the seats during the films, and get into the Elgin at 4:55 for "Monika," who's bitchily played by Harriett Anderson, a real hedonist who doesn't even regret leaving her kid with her husband (which, actually, is rather good), and "Winter Light," which isn't QUITE as stunning as the first time, but still one of the starkest movies I'd ever seen, and it leads me to think about an idea for a story (see next page) which I write that evening at John's. Out at 7:45 and dash across to 7th Avenue where I just miss a 1, but another 1 comes, but it's too late to drop the books off at my place, so I go up the NY State Theater and shit and wash my face and slide into my seat just at 8:15, and "Jewels" is rather bad, with the corps in awful form, Verdy about the only good part of it, Martins and Mazzo in "Diamonds" just barely acceptable, Clifford horrid in "Rubies," but then it takes a lot to outdo Villella. Out at 10:15 and subway to John's, eating rice pudding that I bought while John is buying the English muffins for tomorrow's breakfast.

DIARY 1592

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26. Wake at 7:30 and laze in bed and work on him with lingering sensuality until he comes with a grunt of feeling that seems even more felt than his open-mouthed, voiced feelings from before. He wants to work on me, but I'm exhausted, dribbles of clear liquid trailing across sheets and blankets and legs, and I'm too tired to come---too worn out from making HIM come, rather. We're up about 10, and he starts on the pork chops and the muffins and the eggs, and breakfast is lovely except that the pork chops aren't awfully porky, but the ending with Irish coffee is tres grande luxe. Finished at 11:30 and I do the dishes and shower while he's working on the tiny balcony fixing up an air leak, and then he showers and we leave about 1, when I have the misfortune of saying we can cross the Whitestone Bridge and go up the Hutchison River Parkway. The roads are awful, and we miss the turnoff for the Van Wyck, and we're at the toll gate to the bridge at 2:30! Listen to WBAI and it's typical nonsense, and then the road clears and we make our way up through Connecticut, driving along side roads and looking at all the spacious elegant houses that are quite the opposite of NYC, and find the restaurant, then decide we're hungry and get there at 4:15, just as the gray, cloud-covered day is coming to a close. My daiquiri is acidly sour until he adds sugar to it, and the drink bill is $3.30, and I leave 45¢ for the tip, and we're back at 4:45 to order. The paté is nicely textured, but perfectly normal in taste, and John loves his 6 snails for $2.25. I have the onion soup, which is great except that the cheese is gritty, but it's a lovely taste, and John has a small portion of reddish kidneys with a sauce he likes, and endive, quite good, and I have absolutely superb sweetbreads in champagne sauce, and they're done (maybe overdone?) to an amazing texture. They're so much I can't eat, and the $8 Cote du Rhone is so dry that it changes taste as it goes down: the mouth has to alter it before it can be swallowed. The Paris-Brest for dessert is mind blowing: puffs filled with cream and chocolate, topped with burnt almonds and sugar, just fabulous. Out at 6:30, drive home by 8, try WFF, but it doesn't work, and John's tired, so he's in bed at 10:30, but I can't sleep (see following pages).

DIARY 1597

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27. Wake at 7:15 and he does ME nicely to 8, and he's up to work, since the day is very cloudy and not at all the type to use in going hiking along the Palisades, as we'd thought we might. I get down to the typewriter and take care of all the diary things in 15 pages, and then I get started on correspondence until 1 pm, when it's time to turn on lovely holiday-style Channel 13 and watch a sketchy 1-hour Erik Bruhn "Swan Lake" with all the traditional choreography under HIS name, except for the Black Swan pas de deux, which was some different music, except for the solo variations, and he looked great when he bothered to wear makeup, but awful at other times, and his dancing was NOT very balanced. Then John left for chores at home (and to get his car before it was illegal at 4 pm) and I watched a lovely color production of Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio" with a great cast, particularly Spiro Malas as Osmin, and lovely sets and costumes, and then got back to correspondence, writing to Everson about the other films, Claudia and Paul for the foreign contingent, and sending $5 to the Tsi-Dun address. Then it's just 6, and I shower and shave before Azak gets here at 6:30 for wine and listening to "Lakme" and he talks about his identity crisis, and he might even want to go to Canada, and we eat at Yangtze River, but too slowly, since we don't get to Carnegie Hall until 8:20, and someone else's taken the two front seats in the box 9, but he takes the remaining front, and I the second, a fine view slouched to see through binoculars, and Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha do very well in an Emotional and Romantic Evening raga from 8:40 to 10, and then at 10:25 Alla Rakha and his son do a duet, and his son is hippily confident and swingy, and at 10:55 Ravi and his son Shubho do an excruciatingly long, sad, night raga, until 11:57, and the son isn't nearly as proficient as the father, and suffers from extreme shyness to boot, and THEN they do another evening raga, all four, from 12:05 to 1 am, winding up in a BRILLIANT climax, but still a bit too long. Tell Azak that John gets up at 8, so he decides NOT to sleep over, and John's awake when I get in, and we talk and cuddle until I sleep at 1:15.

DIARY 1599

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28. He does me with vibrator and comes stomach-rubbing, very quickly, since I guess he wants to get up quickly and start working for a bit before going off to dance class at 10:30. I got down to the typewriter to finish the letter to the Seavers, write another to the O'Sheas, and finish up with a two-page thing to Rita, since I just can't think of anything more to tell her. Still feel like typing, so I do two pages to catch me up to date, again, with the diary. That means that the only thing I have to do is write to Elaine, and I'll be all caught up! Read some more Scientific Americans to get up to the November issue, and John comes back and we're sitting around talking when Roger calls and says he'd like to come up to get the address book. That's fine with us, and he's in with wilder hair than ever, and we sit around drinking frozen daiquiris and then I suggest smoking (after John's gone out for groceries for dinner) and we light up a pipe and I'm floating off, thinking that Roger must be terribly bored with my dementedly stoned responses to his descriptions of hotel life, his aim of getting a boat and sailing around the world, and his talk of his new consultant job. Then, for lack of anything better to do, I light up another pipe, and John wants none of it, so Roger and I share it, and he says he's got to be downtown for "Fantasia," and I put on the Moody Blues, and I'm so completely spaced out that John has to take care of the dinner completely. We eat linguini and meat sauce and the salad, and then it's just after 8 and we drive down to Dance Theater Workshop, dropping Roger off, and I sail into the office area, wheezing to Jeff how high I am, and I take a seat and listen to the conversations around me, and look at some of the beautiful people around me, and then the performance begins and it's absolutely lousy, the gentle joke-cracking between the last duet being so highly appreciated that everyone thinks they're great, and it's over at 10:30, having started at 9, John asks if I want to visit the Barn, which I don't, but we do go to the Triangle for a lot of beer and standing about, and John and I drive to his place, and I'm finally coming down, but I still feel somewhat addled by all the smoking. Bed and sleep about 11:30.

DIARY 1600

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29. Got the paper last night, so we roll out of bed and get right down to reading it, and John gives me a shopping list he needs for the lamb, but says he doesn't need it for a few hours, so while I read the Times very thoroughly, and even do both puzzles very quickly, he's scrubbing woodwork, washing curtains, transplanting plants, vacuuming rugs, scrubbing tubs and sinks and floors, and we end up about 2 pm having a good lamb brunch with fatty gravy, slightly cooked celery with cheese grated over it, rice, and Irish coffees that he agrees have finally hit the right proportion, and they certainly do go down easily. Dessert is an angel food cake that he also whipped up while I was sitting doing absolutely nothing. Then it's 4 and we drive over to Joe and Bob's, and we're about the third and fourth there, and John gets the tour of the upstairs bedrooms and the terrace, and by that time John Lund, from the same house that Arthur Dalager is in, has arrived and he tells us about his truck and trailer and trip to Maine and Nova Scotia with the same seven people who have been visiting him for the past four days, and the same tall drunk faggot is back, swishing all over the place, and Chuck is properly proper as a motion picture class teacher from Montclair, and John and he start talking about Gene Youngblood. The table has persimmons and apples and Bosque pears and cheeses and hot balls and sausage (meatballs and frankfurter pieces, actually), and I nibble through the evening, giving order after order for vodka tonics, and it's a typical "their" party: lots of older people who aren't really interesting, but who can interest you with their talk for a few moments, a few young cute ones who are the center of attention, and who can usually be attracted into a reciprocal admiration (this was the cleft-shirted short cutie in the tweed trousers with non-functional suspenders showing off his convex chest), and finally it gets very boring, so we left about 7 pm, taking John home, but he said he had to be back for guests, so we went upstairs and I was feeling tired, and not like walking on the Promenade, so we smoked (see following pages).

DIARY 1605

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30. Up about the same time as John to make the bed, leaving somewhat earlier to find that all the mail was sorted anyway, and I glanced through everything and fixed up the living room and put on the "Messiah" as I washed all the dishes which had been left on the table since Saturday evening, and cleaned up the pot pipe, and then at noon decided that what I would do TODAY is start on the typing of "Acid House," so I sat down about noon and typed the cover letters and synopsis and up to page 15 by 2:30, which gave me an average of somewhere between 7 and 8 pages an hour. Then I went shopping for more typing paper, and came back to eat lunch, and again sat down to type until 4:30, when I left to see the first third of "War and Peace," which was about 1/3 commercials, but Mel Ferrer was glorious to look at, and Audrey Hepburn lovely. Then back to typing, finally finishing up to page 33, hopefully getting the whole thing off by the end of the week, for mailing, and a response before Christmas. I hope it will be a nice Christmas present. Begin working on the mail at 7:30 and John comes in, and showers and puts the lamb on, and I continue working away until 8:30, when we eat, and he has something to read, so I ask if I can finish the letter to Elaine, and he says yes. Go at it for a longer time than I thought, critiquing the latest issue for a whole page, and when I'm finished at 10:40, he's napping on the sofa, so I simply shave and shower and brush my teeth, and he admits he didn't really think we were going out for a walk, OR down to the Sanctuary this evening, since he was so tired. But once in bed at 11:15, there's a garbage truck down the block that won't stop, someone's hammering on the wall from what sounds to be 1503, and trucks and busses rumble past shaking the room, and I simply can't get to sleep. Finally get up to put in earplugs, but still the room seems overly hot, the sounds of the banging and rumbling still come through, and I toss and turn, feeling a strain on my neck and shoulders, possibly from typing, possibly from my hypersensitivity to the awful noises of 57th St. Finally fall off to sweaty sleep about 12:30.

DIARY 1606

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1. Up at 7:30 to use the vibrator on John's back, and he reciprocates by using the vibrator on my neck, but if I'd experienced slight nausea and dizziness when I woke with a start and jumped into the bathroom to piss, I really almost felt I was twisting my head around in an amusement park ride when I moved my head slightly back and forth as he applied the vibrator. Felt terribly sick to my stomach, and lay in bed as he moved around the apartment working and leaving orange juice by my bed. About 10:30 we started talking about my calling Azak, and I called and left a message with him, and started reading some of John's articles when I still got very dizzy, and then Azak called at 11:30 to say that I should come right up to him at Harlem Hospital. Shave and wash and get out at 12, getting up to him at 12:30, and he takes a blood sample, then panics me by saying there's an indication of meningitis, and he'll have to have two MORE containers of blood. He takes them, dripping all over the floor because he doesn't have plastic tops for his tubes (the department is too cheap), and I read in the November 30 Time that the Spirit-Drain has begun at the rate of 40,000 who won't return per year. Tea and roll before leaving at 2, arranging to be back at his apartment at 5:30. Home and mope about meningitis, looking up the article in the EB, and get down to type seven pages of the diary, catching up to date, and then have a bit of lunch and watch the first half-hour of the second third of "War and Peace," and then walk to Azak's from 4:50 to 5:30, getting the rest of the physical, and my ears, eyes, heart, liver, gall bladder and stomach are all just fine, but I don't have some sort of foot reflex and he thinks I either have a virus infection with a sore throat and 99.6° temperature, or I'm recovering from or getting an ulcer. Leave at 6:10 and shop back by way of Alexander's and Bloomingdale's, but they sell no slipper-socks, and stop in a Liberty Travel for some information, leaving at 7:10 to come home, eat, finish the November Scientific American, get to an awful Carol Rosenberger piano concert (free from Azak) at Tully Hall with John, out at 10:10, and to his place to drink and talk to 11:45, then bed.

DIARY 1611

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2. Up and do him neatly, cuddle, and buy groceries to 9:30. Put things away and have some breakfast, and then get down to typing more on "Acid House," getting up to page 53 before I start making awful mistakes, and then have lunch and get back to the diary to type five pages, again catching me up to date, and then watch the last section of "War and Peace" on TV from 4:30 to 6 pm, and then have dinner before catching the subway to the third Kinetic Art at NYU. Joan called from downstairs and came up to talk about her trials in Georgia, and how she's going back down to Atlanta in a week, and we talk about her boyfriends and the rug sale, and she says she'll come in Saturday to see them before she buys them, and because this is being typed so late, I forgot that Arnie called about 11 to say that there was a neat movie at the Museum of Modern Art at noon called "Ciao Federico" which was merely an opinionated hate film about Fellini during the time he was filming "Satyricon," seeming to show that he was wasting everyone's time, could love no one (especially the filmmaker) and this was taken as an example of Fellini's unhappiness and inability of realize it. Arnie wants to tell me about the job he's currently training for with the census bureau, and we stand in the garden and talk until 2, when he has to go off to a matinee, and I think about calling his Mr. Chu and getting a job. Do call him in the afternoon and he says to come down for a test and interview sometime, so I plan to do so this week, since Arnie thinks they may be getting close to capacity on their temporary help. NOW, with the time lapses explained, subway down to meet John in the NYU assembly hall and see the last, and best, of the Kinetic Art films, with a brilliant thing by Charles Eames (which sadly goes MUCH too fast about powers of 10, spreading outward to the galaxy limits, and inward to the protons in the nucleus of the atom. Another terribly long, ultimately dull French thing, and we surprise me by subwaying back here, since I thought John had the car and we would be driving to his place. Have some things to drink before going to bed, and he says I should throw out the poinsettia, buggy.

DIARY 1612

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3. Decide that I like the issue of the River that I received yesterday so much that I have to write Elaine and tell her that, and decide to put it into verse, and come up with a snappy rhyme scheme, and then decide that I want it to be SCHEMATICALLY perfect, and so I work on it tediously, typing and retyping seven versions of it between 8:45, when John leaves for work, and 1 pm, when I'm satisfied with it and send it off to Elaine. Then decide I want to answer Tecla Avrigan about "Maineriver" at the same time, and get very involved with the two-page answer for that, and wind up finishing THAT at 3 pm, with a short break for lunch in the meantime. Then at 8 I begin on the final typing of "Acid House," and get through 22 pages at 5:45 for an average of about 9 pages per hour, which was better than my average on Monday, and things look good enough to finish tomorrow and send it off on the day marked on the letter: "December 4." Then shower and shave and eat dinner, and subway over to see "Tarot," but John's standing in the lobby at 8:10 (Oh, and I forgot that Roger called from downstairs just at 5:45, and he came up for about an hour to talk, but saying that he doesn't have anything for a shortish trip that he can spare that John and I can take on our planned trip to Sound Beach for next week, Sunday through Wednesday, which is a pity, and Marty's been calling to give me information about what to do with the closed house when we get there, and also to ask me for advice about writing the lead on the article on records, and I give him the lead to APPLAUD everything the record companies have done, and start that way, and he likes it, so HE'S out of the way for awhile), and the preview for the evening has been cancelled, so we postpone it until next Thursday and go to his place and chat about nothing in particular between which times I read the Village Voice about the homosexual side of Mishima, and we get to bed quite early. It's still a pity that I can't type each of these days as they happen, since so much is lost (for instance, what we talked about, though some of it was preparing for the dinner on Saturday at John's), and I can't even think of enough to say to fill the space for the day.

DIARY 1613

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4. Left John's at 8:30 and subwayed to 201 Varick Street to take an extremely simple qualifying test for the census job, and talk to Mr. Chu who says there's a chance I'll never be called, since they almost have all the people they need, and anyway, class certainly won't start for two or three weeks, so I don't have to worry about the weekend. Wait around for Arnie, but he's not about to come out of his class to talk, and phone Josie to make sure I've received the Dreyfus check in the mail, and I have, so I subway home, stopping off at the Post Office to see an announcement about the census people-need, many new stamps, and pick up the check, returning to get the shopping list for Katagiri, and go to the bank for cash, shop in Bonniers and Georg Jensen and Alexanders and Bloomingdales for lampshades, buy slippers finally on 9th Avenue, wonder about the fire engines on 57th and Third (and when I call Cyndy, she says that the fire was in HER building, and Larry's in town, she might date him tonight, and she's flying tomorrow to the Club Mediterrané in Guadeloupe for a week), and get to Katagiri to get what I can, and by the time I get back home it's 1 pm and I'm absolutely starved. The mail doesn't add anything to the list of letters which I have to write, which is just fine, and I sit down for the last typing stint of "Acid House," getting all the way through to page 102 before staggering off to eat lunch just before sunset, watching the glorious colors across the skies, and get back to even proofread half the manuscript, not being too fussy about how neat the final copy is, since I'm only sending it for an evaluation, anyway. John wants me to come to his place, and I don't feel like going, but I realize that he WANTS me to sleep with him, and I willingly make the decision to sacrifice my time to his desires (since he returns so much to me)---and I called Avi and we had a long talk, and then subwayed to John's to give him the stuff for the meal tomorrow, and the table's set already, and I've bought some peanuts to have something to nibble on, since I didn't have dinner because I had lunch so late, and peanuts are pretty good for that. To bed about midnight to cuddle.

DIARY 1614

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5. Up fairly early and we both come with great gusto and John drives me in to town (after tooth-pulling insertion of a metal rod in through the car window of someone who was blocking John's driveway, pushing him back, putting on his lights and windshield wipers to run down the battery, and letting the air out of the tires, and the police car drove by JUST as we were edging past the car and the fireplug) to buy some bread at Zito's, and I get uptown to again no mail, and I proofread the last of Acid House and the thing's actually finished! Run into some trouble with the postage, and think about it and say "What the hell" and put 19 6-cent stamps on the one envelope and 18 on the return one, and I don't care what they think of THAT, but what they think of the BOOK. Also send out four checks with my newly boosted balance: the rent, $75 to Meredith for the reading of the "short novel," and decide that the Spectra stuff looks so good it's worth $40, and send for four cheap tickets to the Australian ballet with Nureyev, and actually get the whole of Acid House packed into its envelope, ready to send, on this hopefully fateful day which will signal the turning point of my career as a writer. Now I just have to wonder which way it turns. Decide to make up a new "Do" list, and scrape the paint off the door sills and bathroom walls and fixtures and scrub the floor and tub to take THOSE off the list, and I'm ended up with a list of 11 things to do, except of course I have class next week (I forgot to write yesterday that Mrs. Barnes from Chu's office called at 4 to say class starts THIS Monday, and I called John to say we'd cancel Sound Beach, if it was OK with him, and then called Arnie and Marty to keep THEM informed, as well, and also help Joan with her poem to her lover in San Francisco---but that was today) and I'll be getting into some sort of new routine completely. Out at 5:30 to mail everything with a thumping of my heart, get to John's to get out again to buy cream, Sergio and Ken arrive at 7:15, but Joe and Bob not until 8:30, having hit a bus. Dinner is rather bland and disappointing but (see next page) it ends with a bang!

DIARY 1611

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6. Wake at 7:30, but John dozes and dozes and I lay there thinking placidly about how nice it is to lie there placidly, and finally he seems to be awake by 9:30, and we start playing each other with Baby Magic, and he manages to get me off uproariously---he can't even TOUCH me for a moment---and then he has to jerk himself off, since I guess I'm being too rough. Then up to do all the dishes, and he cooks me some fried eggs for breakfast as he showers, and I shower while he calls Art and Bob, and we decide we'll take the trail up to the top of Sam's Point, and we meet them at noon, they're a bit late as usual, and I had to rush to make it, still not having read the Times sitting at John's, though I checked the TV section to make sure I wasn't missing anything, and we drove upstate through the transparently sunny day, along the Palisades, up Route 6, and up the Thruway to Route 52 at Walden, through that town, and up toward Ellenville, by which time it's beginning to get cloudy and very windy, and when we drive up the side road the terrain suddenly becomes quite wintry with the snow-covered ground and windblown hurricanes of snow whirling across the open spaces. The road to the top is closed, and we follow someone up who quickly backs down, even with snow tires, saying it's all ice. We're out of the car and walking up the exit road, but everyone's freezing cold, so we're back to the car, and a car of four cute guys comes past, asking if "We need any help?" and they say the road is OK to the top, so we drive up and brave the 40-50 mph gusts and iciness to see what the view from the top is like, but it's gotten cloudy, so the view is obscured, but the rocks look great. Back down and Art's starving, so we stop in the Ellenville diner and have a snack, and then drive down in the dark, almost everyone going to sleep, and leave at 5 and get here at 7, John finding it hard to park, and I make popcorn and review the rules of Canasta with them, and we play three games, all of which the opponents win, which discourages me, and John is slow and dim-witted and memoryless and repeats everything and campy and everything I don't like in a player, and I probably won't play with him anymore. Talk about it while driving to his place, and get into bed at 11:30.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 7. He's up to take the car to the garage, and I subway to class! (This makes the first full week I haven't typed since the first week of October, because we were in the Adirondacks). Class is really awful (see notes on following pages), but Mike Murray is quite cute, and then Harry Joseph, the friend of Cyndy's who called to ask me when to see Chu, comes in too, so there's something to be said at least about some of the people in the class. Out of class at 4:25, which is good, since we just miss the uptown traffic on the subway, and get in to type 6 pages and then John's in from his dance class, waving an article called "Study of Melancholy" under my nose, and I try reading it, but can't get into it at all, and tell him so, and then read something else of his which SAYS what he's trying to do (from the Los Angeles Free Press), and I can see that he's TRYING to not think, merely transcribe feelings and emotions in a poetic way as a form of "writing," and with that understanding of what he's trying to do, I can at least read THROUGH the "Melancholy" piece, but I'm quite bored with his seemingly random jumping back and forth, and I tell John my reaction to it is that it's merely train of thought, dashed off as fast as he could think, while John rants on and on about the beauty of the phrasing and the rhythm of the sentences and the sequences and sounds of the words, and he says he'd like it even if he didn't get ANY kind of continuity or understanding of a situation out of reading it. I say that's not what I like to read: if I want to see random occurrences, I'd lots rather watch clouds moving across the sky or waves pound on a beach. I can sense he's quite angry about it, but we talk about why he likes it and why I don't like it, and that seems to be that, except it comes up again and again after I think the conversation is ended, and I lay awake after we get to bed at 11, thinking about it, and come to the conclusion, which I tell him about later, that I'm jealous and hurt by two things: I think I write BETTER than Youngblood and John doesn't like MY writing, and here Youngblood's obviously writing JUST as he likes, and he's publishing books and writing articles for papers.

DIARY 1618

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8. Bought a lottery ticket yesterday, too. Today's class is somewhat better, only because Mrs. Nelson's working on it fulltime, and John and I laugh this morning about finally I'm going off to work, and HE'S able to stay behind and remain nude in a warm apartment. John doesn't go in at all today because he'd planned to be away from Boosey since we'd planned to spend the week at Marty's, and when I get back just before 5, he's here, and we talk about the class for awhile, and then the phone rings and it's the Griswolds, from the Algonquin, and they want us to meet them after the theater this evening, but I put John on the phone, and when he hangs up, it's arranged that we meet at the Yangtze River to have dinner with them at 7. I shower and wash and shave, and he does the same, and we're over to wait until 7:15 for them, and they're lost without taxis, and they'd walked all over the town this afternoon, so they didn't feel like walking this evening. He orders "Old Forester" scotch, and I make a joke which he doesn't even get about HIS being an old forester [Oh, yes, another thing that hurt me about Monday was that I spent the WHOLE evening getting piles of folders together about the trip, since I thought he was coming over to start planning the itinerary, and he doesn't even LOOK at what I've put together], and we order the moushu pork, pressed duck, shrimp in sweet and sour sauce, an appetizer of ribs, and the carp in soy sauce, and everything is quite good, and almost everything's eaten all up, and the conversation goes on about our coming trip, their travels in New York City, the goodness of the Algonquin Hotel, which we have to get down to for post-theater cocktails, and dozens of other things. We're finished at 8, and subway up to Marty's to take him the Mensa Register for girls (I tell John all about Mensa for part of the evening, letting him read Charisma) and the projector, and to pick up travel books that he's throwing out, selecting one on Turkey, one on Africa from A to Z, and one on Around the World in Pictures, which I just find irresistible. Fred Bernhard comes in and yacks to 10, and John's sleeping over his "India on $5 a day," and we subway to his place to sleep.

DIARY 1619

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9. Remain at John's after he leaves, and don't leave until about 8:45, so I'm late, but I didn't miss much anyway, and more people seem to be OUT than IN, but because I'm writing between times and everyone's interesting when they read, things move quickly. I tell her I'm not going to be in tomorrow morning, and she takes it OK. Subway home and fix myself up and eat and get out to Carnegie Recital Hall for an Evening of New Music under the direction of Lukas Foss, and Elliott Carter talks loudly with Silverman, or whoever did "Elephant Steps" behind us, and the first part of the evening is rather a bore, except that Alcides' (see notes on next page) piece is reasonably psychedelic, and I trip mildly with the music and lights. After intermission, and John talks with the awful girl who's something with Nonesuch Records, "Eight Songs for a Mad King" by Peter Maxwell-Davies comes on with a black Julius Eastman fabulous as a singing, acting, falling-out king trying to screech and groan and waggle his way through the failing years of his life, and it's quite an effective stage piece. Everyone's very enthusiastic about it afterwards, and John's boss has invited us to his apartment just down the street from Cyndy's for a party, and we walk along with most of the people from Boosey and Hawkes, and Ned Rorem and his lover, Someone Holmes, walk lordlily ahead, not bothering to talk to John, redeeming themselves only at the end, when they make it a point of saying goodbye to John. The apartment is stark and roomy, and I start talking with Sheila Edwards, ending up talking about Marty and ballet and opera, and Pierre is John's assistant clipper, and we three talk for a long time, I getting mildly potted on vodka tonics, and searching out Lukas Foss, Alberto Ginastera, the fellow (William Hellerman) who wrote the awful "Formata" which was part of the first half of the evening, and various other singers and musicians (including the devastating cellist from the group, and John's Ford Foundation doll of a guy with an even more eye-catching wife), and we leave about midnight, having drunk and talked enough for a dozen people, and we walk home, marveling at the silence due to the taxi strike, which can last forever.

DIARY 1621

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10.l We have nice sex one of these mornings, and John goes to work while I laze around showering and shaving and getting ready for the "Concentration" interview at 10. Take amplifier down to Component Sales for repairs, but they've moved from 250 W. 49th, so I lug the box up to room 493 of the RCA building, where there's a ten minute wait before the seven or eight of us get the test, and it's quite simple, I think I got all 25 of the rebi, but some of the others didn't do as well, although only the woman sitting next to me didn't make the grade. We others signed up for personal interviews with Miss Howard, and I elected "As soon as possible" and got Monday afternoon. Back to telephone Component Sales and find they've moved to 235 W. 49th, so I lug it back down AGAIN, and they estimate it'll cost $7.50, even though it CLEARLY says (though I don't see it) that the minimum charge is $25 for an amplifier, tuner, or turntable. Take pants to the cleaners, too, and also carry shoes down for heeling at the cheap place on Varick Street. Get in just after noon, and many people STILL aren't there for the day, and Harry and I sit in the outdoors (after ghastly meals in "The Lodge" on Monday, where they don't serve milk, probably by order of the board of health, though the salad was good, the sole was awful, and in "Rudam" or something like that on Tuesday, where the ham was copious, but slightly smelly, and the gravy was salty beyond belief and the vegetables existed only in one lima bean) and eat a lovely prosciutto sandwich for only 85¢ until we're both freezing, complimenting each other on our intelligence, and after class is over I call Joe to find he wants to have lunch on Wednesday for his birthday, and I subway after eating to "Tarot," which is highly variable, except that Yolande Bevan is beautiful and a lovely singer, the smoke-bubble scene is lovely, the lunatic brilliant, and some things, like the moth-flight to the sun, stunning, though there are long stretches of boredom. Drive back to John's, and talk about the play, and some of these evenings I was so busy during the day that I had to shower at John's, just to keep up with the schedule of classes and whatever I wanted to do more.

DIARY 1622

FRIDAY DECEMBER 11. Mrs. Mayo is the teacher for the last day's class, and it hits an absolute low (see following pages). Up to Chu at 2:15, and he floors me by saying he doesn't have forms to give us, and that we'll have to come in at 9 am on Monday. I shout at him, saying I want to get to work, the other group got theirs today (to which he replied, "If you want to work for the other group, you can."), and I don't like coming anyplace at a set time, which was why I wanted THIS job. Then he explains that his crew leaders have to come in, and I'm somewhat mollified. Home to find John Connolly calling to say Adair's sick, so we'll be playing only three, and I'm to meet John Worth, a friend of Paul's at Top of the Sixes at 5:30, and I call him at the Plaza (where he said he was when he called for the first time yesterday), but he's not there, and it turns out he's staying at the 63rd Street Y. He'd rather drink in my apartment, so we walk BACK in the rain, talking about Australia and Washington and hosting, and we drink and talk and he praises La Grillade, and I praise Le Biarritz, so I call for a table there, and it's surprisingly uncrowded, and his veal is quite pink, through they TOLD him it WOULD be, and my duck with cherries is quite large and good, down to the last grain of wild rice, and to the St. Honoré for dessert. Back up and John appears, then John comes in, and there we are three Johns and a Bob. John Worth leaves and we start playing Canasta, and John reads over the rules and pauses and dallies and stutters and John finally starts snoring his exasperation with John's slowness, and when he finally leaves at 12, after only one game which John forced JC to win, I kiss him, totally put off, and say "You shithead." John almost cries aloud at that, and he says kids used to call him "dumbhead" and that anything about his head made him very sensitive. He says that he's NOT going to play Monopoly with Art and Bob tomorrow, and he'll never play cards again, because I said I thought he was going slowly DELIBERATELY, and he was actually doing the best he could, mostly in order to please me, NOT to wreck the evening, and that at times he WAS enjoying playing, though his memory didn't permit speed.

DIARY 1633

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12. Wake late and talk long about the argument all morning. It's a very rainy gray day, and I have a bit of breakfast, and then say I want to get out to the art exhibits. Wash dishes while he works a bit, and we're out about 2 to catch a bus, which is jam-packed because of the cab strike, though there are many cuties on the bus to watch, and we get up to the Symbolist exhibit, where I buy a catalog for $4, and since all the art is so literary, it reproduces nicely, particularly the "Marie Magdelen" of Felicien Rops, masturbating in front of a cross on which hangs a phallus. Around the corner to the Ernst exhibit, and two of his classic types are "on sale" for $190,000 and $225,000---Gulp. Then upstairs to the Levine exhibit, and he's there in the empty place himself, talking to the only threesome there beside the two of us. Back down and it's stopped raining, so we stroll down Madison looking in all the cooking shops, antiquaries, and clothing places at the sales help, stopping into the plastic shop to gawk at a true beauty in faded jeans with big chest, and walk down 57th via Tiffany's to get home at 4, just about pitch black outside. Talk with Bob and Art and decide to see the 8 pm showing of "The Ritual," and we eat here---just hamburger and vegetables, since we're going to have a salad at their place afterwards. Drive down to the theater and they've already SEEN the co-feature, and "The Ritual" is so multilayered, with actors as screen actors and actors in their ritual, and flashbacks and forwards, with the "Scene Two" descriptions making it play-like, and actors burning up, discussing their disgust with each other, being together so LONG they love each other in totally NEW ways, seeming to comment on Bergman himself, talking again about the nonexistence of god, saying that "Outside a small circle of human warmth, everything is cruelty and meaninglessness" and then they act out the arcane ritual, phalluses pressed into the judge's face, bare breasts taking on a Minoan look, eyes and silken legs being very sensuous, and the final reading, saying they didn't return to the country, again establishing them as gods. Salad and wine great, look at shells, talk, home at 1, after being embarrassed because they gave us three kinds of cheese "not for Xmas."

DIARY 1634

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13. Wake quite late and have hot sex, then read the paper while John looks at some other work, and naps for a bit, and I call Eddie, who's sorry that his friend recovered enough from the hospital to go back to California, and I think it's THIS afternoon that Walter calls and talks for about an hour about his coming release from the hospital, and Eddie has arranged for us to see "Lickerish Quartet" at the Trans-Lux West, so we walk down about 4, and with all the reviews it got, it's tedious, the two main characters are very unpretty, though the girl is shapely and blond, and the boy could be attractive if he weren't such a bad actor, and the dubbed voices are totally hideous. The sets are lush, being set in a castle on top of an Italian hill, and there are fashionable forward and backward cuts, interspersed with movies that change and characters that alter, and finally the people being watched become the watchers, and it's all supposed to be very avant-garde, but turns out to be a dreadful tease, and I prefer even the frustrating action at the Park-Miller. At least you see erections! Out and back up to gather everything up and drive into John's (passing Norma who ran out of gas on the Brooklyn Bridge, but Arnie walked to get his car, coming back to find her and the car gone, because a passing car gave her three gallons as a "Good Samaritan," and she drove to Arnie's) and we get over to Danny's at 6:30 to find they only have franks and beans, so we each have three, not liking the idea of "King Kong" for the movie, and even Kunikoff isn't there, and there aren't even enough people to fill up all the tables, let alone all the seats, and everything seems very quiet, maybe because they had franks and beans too often. We finished our beers and left, hungry for dessert, so we get cheesecake, which I set out to thaw, and John suggests we smoke, so since there's nothing else to do, I agree, and he fills the tub with the pine oil while the cake thaws, we each have a bit of it, then sit down in the tub to smoke, and we begin rubbing back and forth, and the pot high takes a form it never really did before (see following pages), and we go to bed at 11 in quite a thick fog of pot.

DIARY 1637

MONDAY, DECEMBER 14. Wake and again see John off to work, going late to get down to Varick at exactly 9, and Chu's not there, so I sit around in disgust and finally Harry gets in, and then it turns out that Charlie's there all along, so we go around to the cafeteria and there's Chu, looking suspiciously up at us, not at all guilty, and we sit and talk about the weekend, and Harry liked "Tarot" a lot, and they're still changing it quite a bit, and we go back into 1014 and Arnie's there, and he's our crew leader, all except for Charlie, and he tells us where our area is, and I'm sorry to find mine's up at 135th and Broadway, which is hardly around my apartment, but there are none left in my area, so everyone says. We're finished about 10:30 with the nebbish orientation by Arnie, and Harry and I subway up together, and I get off at 11:30 at 137th Street and try the non-answering apartment 66, and then down to the super, who talks about himself and his wife and four children and mother, and that takes me an HOUR and a HALF, which is not as short as it should be, but he turns into a nice guy, and I think I'll really like the work. Finish at 2:30 and subway down to get rid of the briefcase, which has gotten heavy, and get ready for the "Concentration" interview at 3:40. Telephone Component Sales to find the machine is ready for us, costing "only" $30, and I'm to RCA at 3:40, and someone's in for ten minutes before me, and I get in at 3:50, and talk to 4:20 to Miss Howard about "Acid House" and Meredith and my trips around the world and the program and her interviewing problems and the woman with a daughter who was hooked on H in NJ, and I'm out feeling I have a good chance. Get speaker and get home for dinner before the Moody Blues concert at 7, and it starts with Trapese, which isn't so good, and John gets there at 7:50, and I take off home for earplugs and a pen, and the Moodies sound good, but there's little excitement, except for the other people (see following pages). Program 1 is over at 9:05 after only one encore, and I'm home with John to tell him a bit about the job, and get back after smoking quite a lot at 11. It's over at 1:10, and I grab a snack and home at 1:45.

DIARY 1640

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15. Up rather late, at 9, and John's working here to 12, while I do a good deed and get all my foreign Christmas cards written and sent off, and then I check all the theater schedules and find this is indeed the last day for them all, and at 1, after having cereal, the only thing I have to eat that day, get down to the Greenwich with my briefcase for "The Virgin and the Gypsy," which is quite as lushly photographed as "Women in Love," but Joanna Shimkus is a nebbish and Franco Nero is so out of character as a "gentle gypsy" that it's just not believable, and the only good part of it was the flood that killed Grandma, and that was it, ending rather stupidly with her getting into the car of the couple who were "living in sin" and driving past the abandoned gypsy camp. Remarkable how quickly morals date. "Tropic of Cancer" was perfectly cast, since Rip Torn appeared to be fully as obnoxious, selfish, stupid, self-centered, illiterate as Henry Miller must have been, and I was only sorry that I didn't remember that Henry Miller appeared, and I missed him. Out at 4:30 and dash back to the subway to get up in the rush-hour crowd to 137th Street, and get a few more interviews in, having to terminate the one on Riverside before I was finished, at 7:40, because I had to meet John at the 8th Street Playhouse at 8:20. The ride down is slow, and no express passes, so I stay on the local way down to 42nd Street, and then get off at 14th, and walk the rest of the way, lugging the heavy briefcase, and hope they delay the starting of the show, but "Mississippi Mermaid" has started when I get in, and John says nothing's happened, and it starts out serious and ends up a rather strange comedy, and again a terrible dubbing job makes some lines sound incredibly stupid, so we're glad when it's finally over. "Passion of Anna" is another of Bergman's negative movies about no one having any purpose in life, and the killing of the sheep and hanging of the dog is well done, and the ending, the closing in on von Sydow going forward, then back, then forward, then back, in shorter and shorter steps, is quite killing. Out at 12, exhausted, and home for two quick eggs and bed.

DIARY 1641

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16. John leaves and I do a few things around the apartment before Arnie calls, when I'm watching "Concentration" which I also did yesterday, and worked for a bit trying to figure out some sort of people-connected mnemonic device for remembering pairs, but the best I could think of doing was deal with the SOUNDS of the numbers themselves, like tree, fur, hand for five, sex, lucky seven, ate, nein, and tin, and it works a bit so I concentrate on developing THAT scheme of matching. Arnie comes over about 11:30 and takes the one thing from me, and when we go over it, I turn out to be training HIM more than HE'S training ME, even though I do give him the bum steer about going from 22C3 BACK to 21, and not filling in the occupation when you can check "Same as 23." Then he's gone and I've spent most of the morning checking through what I did last night, and then take off at noon for the bank to get some money for Joe's lunch, and we meet at La Seine at 12:40, and even though they don't have our reservations, there are plenty of tables between the Miros and Dufys and Chagalls, and Joe has the smoked trout, which he likes, and I the paté en croute, which is very tasty, and we have some very good wine which sadly comes out to $18, so I'm going to ask the prices from here on out, and he has the poularde in wine sauce with cheese, and I have the chicken cutlet Pojarski with the smitane sauce, with gollops of spinach, and for dessert he has the St. Honoré, which he says is the best he ever had, and I have the mousse, which is grainy, he said, and I would say floury. But the rolls and the wine were great, albeit expensive. So the bill came to $48 including tip and $1 to the hatcheck girl, and we walk back in the cold, I'm getting in at 3. Cyndy calls and we talk about her trip to Martinique, and I get back to checking and Roger calls from downstairs and is up for about an hour and a half until I chase him out, and then Marty calls and tells me about the great job for $200 a case he seems to have gotten, and I figure I might get it, so arrange to meet him tomorrow at 9:30, and talk to John about it, getting to his place at 10, and we chat and get to bed early.

DIARY 1642

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17. Again I leave late, getting into the lobby at 9:30 and having to wait for him for a few minutes, and then we're up to look at the job, get introduced to the Sam Matsa-like guy, talk about the conversion, then he asks if I want breakfast, so we have omelets, and he suggests I can say he TOLD me all about the job, and the only lie I have to say is that I think I can DO it (though I think maybe I can't since the Primer I took with me to John's was so badly organized for a review that I came away from it convinced I remembered very little), and I say why don't I talk to one of the brothers when he comes in, and he thinks that's great, so I talk to Steve, and he calls Tony, saying that if Marty recommended me (by saying I was his first supervisor, and that he thought I was qualified for the job), I was good enough for him, and so I went down to 14th Street to see Tony, and listened in on his orientation of someone else, and he said that he wanted seven, and now had seven (though Steve was talking about the one of two deadheads who were in the company, about to be fired), but that because of Marty's recommendation, I would fit into the first slot when it opened. He gave me the two introductory manuals to read, and I took four more from the room, and chatted a bit more with Marty and came home, wondering about the whole thing. Called Cyndy, who didn't have any 1401 information left, and then Daisy said she'd lend them to me, and I resolved to go there tomorrow. Back about 1, in time to watch the beautiful Hedy Lamarr in "White Cargo" until 3, then checked a bit more of the census forms, and ate dinner and went out about 6 for more interviews, chagrined to find most of the people in, and not getting too many done because everyone was so reluctant to let me in, and because of the translation problems, having to go through ten-year-olds to convince Daddy that he should ANSWER my questions. John came to my place in the interim, and I got in about 10:40, and he suggested we go out for dinner on Christmas Eve, mentioning Minetta and Emke and Gage and Tollner's, and I mentioned Luchow's, said I didn't like Minetta and Emke for a festive occasion, and John was quiet and we bedded.

DIARY 1643

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18. In the morning he asks if I noticed he was annoyed with me during the conversation, and we talked about it for awhile, and he said he wanted a "cozy nest" and was sad when I wasn't thinking along those lines. I should be studying, or working on the Census, but I don't FEEL like doing those things, so I put all the stamps in to soak, getting them all off by noon, and Harry comes up to get some envelopes which Arnie left when HE came past at 12 (after again calling when I was watching "Concentration," and it seems to be more LUCK in pairing than anything else), and I gave him the six I had ready for him, and then I get to emptying out the file in the desk, all but the Scrapbook section, and then go to sorting out stamps into piles, and feel good about getting it finished, and then John calls to say that he's going through a problem period, again based on the conversation of the previous evening, and I'm quite puzzled, but he doesn't seem to want to talk about it, and I say I want to stay around, so he says he'll call me when he gets back home from class. I put the scrapbook section away and get back to putting stamps into the album, it's getting dark now and time is passing quickly, and I go to pick up the 1401 manuals from Daisy at 3:30, and go to the store for groceries, disgusted because they don't carry popcorn except in the EXPop tins, and no bleach in the handy packets. Then back to finish working on the stamps, and actually get down to typing to catch up with the diary when John calls at 8 and says he's going through a CRISIS. I say I'm frustrated because he's not letting me in on it, so he says I should come over this evening, rather than stay home while he stays home (not willing to admit that he wants to go to the Barn, as I guess). I eat dinner and continue typing, to finish seven pages and get up to the end of last week, which strikes me as enough, and I get to John's at 10, taking another manual along to study, and we have a long talk about all the responsibilities he has: for the book, for his parents, for the vacation, for Tsi-Dun, for his apartment, for restaurants, and we end on a loving note, and get to bed, professing our love, and drop off to sleep, together, about 12.

DIARY 1644

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19. Up at 8:30 and he does me and I Baby Magic him to 9:30. Then we're up and he starts fussing around the apartment and I read the 1401 manual I brought with me, and he fixes me some scrambled eggs which he serves to me as I sit reading, and finally it's noon, and we're into the car, he ready for tonight at my place, and we stop for a wreath for his party at the garden store, then get up to find the mattress packers are at lunch, so we drop down to the Village for him to shop for some $3 pants at Gyro, and I get to the lumber shop and order 3/4" plywood in two 30x80 inch pieces for the base of the mattress, and we're back at 2:30 to strap the doubled thing to the top of the car, stop for sundaes and ice cream at Carvel, and to my place to unpack the thing, and then I sit down to type, and when I go into the living room to tell him to look at the orange-cherry sun setting at 4:25, he's napping, up about 6, and we're both ready to go out for dinner at 6:30, when I've completed 20 pages of the diary, getting myself up to date. Phone to get reservations for "The Pizza Triangle" despite the fact that Eddie's not working this evening, and we walk down to compare prices at the Acropolis and the Pantheon, and the Pantheon is almost always $1 more than the Acropolis, so we have very tasty lamb dishes, feeling full even without dessert, and at 8 we take an hour wandering uptown, looking in the windows, stopping at Rockefeller Center to see the tree, and the movie is pleasantly diverting, but nothing worthwhile except for the introduction of Giancarlo Giannini, who seems to be cute and personable. Where "Mississippi Mermaid" started out serious and ended funny, this was the opposite. Walk slowly back along 56th, stopping into Rizzoli to look for maps and I buy a guide book to the Far East for $7.37, almost walking out when they wouldn't take my money in the back and there was a terribly slow fellow in front. Home about midnight and buy the Times, but John says he doesn't feel well, ever since eating, and he spent a long time in the john in the movies and when he got back home, and he whispers that he fears he may have the pinworms back again. We groan and cuddle and fall asleep in just minutes.

DIARY 1645

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20. Up about 9 to cuddle, but neither of us comes, seeming to save ourselves for the coming Tsi-Dun meeting. Up and read the Times, and John goes out to buy his lunch and washes his clothes, and the Times being so small just before Christmas, we're finished with it an noon, and we're downtown to wander the streets of the Village looking at antique shops until 1:30, when we get up to Jeff's to find we're holding up a good brunch of a zucchini omelet and great bacon and muffins and coffee with a frenetic John Wilson (who's an officer and dancer in "Vinculum" with Dance Theater Workshop---not to be confused with some others who are only dancers) and a pleased Art Bauman (pleased with the $1 birthday gift given by John and me to him), and we read some of the pocket porno by Ogdred Weary, A.K.A. Edward Gorey, and I feel a cold coming on, but no one has any vitamin C. Wilson leaves and Rudy Perez enters, followed by Harold Silver, sexy in tight-thighed green corduroys, who's with Barbara Roan, since he's anti-gay. The wassail (as John calls the hot fruited wine Jeff's cooking on the stove all the while we're there) goes to my head in only two cups, and I put on my contacts and we stagger out at 4:30 to get to the Voights apartment at 4:45, and I flip to see Dr. Bruce Hoffman, met at Gwen's birthday party, slipping out of his clothes just ahead of me. But my cold squelches any ideas I might have had (see following pages), and when John seems to be ready to leave at 7, I put my clothes on even before he does. Leave and buy some vitamin C and drive to his place, where he immediately fixes me a hot tub, and I sink into its smelly steam gratefully, and he joins me later, bringing cold wine to drink, and we soak back and forth, and then at 8:45 he's setting the alarm for just an hour behind, and the electric blanket feels nice and warm. He comes in with a drink, and I say how awful I feel about the evening, and he inquires about it, and I'm hardly coherent in my disappointment, and I blame it all on my cold. Even sad about not getting to the Christmas cards which I brought with me to finish, and I wake in the middle of the night to take pills and a drink of water.

DIARY 1651

MONDAY, DECEMBER 21. Wake to tell him about another dream (see added pages) and then when he goes, I stay behind to finish writing the greetings into the last of the Christmas cards, and then subway up to transfer to the local so that I can stop at the post office to hand-mail the letters myself for fastest service, and then get home around 10 to feel awful, but not badly enough NOT to finish the Times crossword puzzle at about the time the Charlie Chaplin Festival comes on TV, and I rather suspect it's the same one they ran last year, since I remember the "Cure" as being very funny. His first film was described as "Making a Living" and his second was "Kid Auto Races in Venice." Today they showed "The Tramp," about the thief robbing money from the woman rescued by Charlie, "A Night at the Show," in which he plays BOTH the rich fellow in the orchestra and the drunk in the balcony, "The Cure" with the sexy sauna scene and the lovely drunken brawls after his whiskey goes into the water supply, "Triple Trouble" and "The Immigrant," taking place on the boat and in the restaurant, and "The Floorwalker," which has a lot to do with an escalator. Continue watching through to the first Mack Sennett comedies and turn it off in disgust at 4. Get down to typing, finally, and catch up with the diary and the activities over the weekend with just seven pages, and then John calls, and since he's not working at Boosey and Hawkes tomorrow, since their Christmas party is on Thursday and he'll be going to that, he's not coming over, and I say that I just don't feel like traveling, so we talk for awhile over the phone about my syndrome about being sick just at Christmas time, [Get gifts from Rita (book and Spirograph) and Henry and Marion (1 lb candy) and Grandma (1 socks, 2 handkerchiefs, 1 tie), and I work fun with Spirograph!] and he continues accusing me of BEING more generous than I FEEL, and that the family is just giving me presents because they LIKE me so much, rather than because they feel "trained" to do so, and that I would feel better if I could only ACCEPT HIS view of me as being loving and generous, which I'm not. Watch "Laugh-In" and read sections of the Guide to the East, and watch "Professor Beware," with a beginning-to-be-fleshy Harold Lloyd as the possible reincarnation of an Egyptian in love with Anebi, but sadly, it doesn't get to Egypt. Bed at 1:30!


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22. John calls at 9:30, waking me out of a groggy sleep, and he's not sorry about waking me, since he thinks I should go to bed early and get up early, sick or not. We talk for a bit and I watch "Concentration" as I do almost every morning, since I haven't been told "No" by the program in the ensuing week, and thus there's every chance that I'm still being considered for the program! Try to think of a memory device for the pairs, but the "mispronounced number" seems the best scheme, thinking about something 7 in Heaven, 8 as eaten, 9 as something that's a no-no, but it bogs down with something sex-tween (16) or plenty-hands (25). But I'm improving, and in many cases I can see the rebus even before the contestants do, which is the most important part. Sit around shivering in the cold, bundled against my cold, taking vitamin pills since I don't feel like eating anything, and am getting to feel weaker and weaker. Read some more, but after a bit even reading seems tiring, and I nap for a bit and moan some, then watch another installment of the Chaplin festival, this time "1 AM" in an art-nouveau setting with a drunk and a fold-away bed, "The Rink" with its wonderful skating prowess, "The Vagabond," "The Fireman," which has some funny things with hoses, and "The Pawnshop," which has the "classic" clock-repair scene which I don't think is very funny. Find that his costume came from a pair of Ford Sterling's shoes, put on BACKWARD, Fatty Arbuckle's' pants, a coat that he bought to be too small, Minta Durtee's father's hat, which was too small for him, and Max Swain's trimmed mustache. Again I sit through to 4 looking at the first incredible boring chapters of "Perils of Pauline," which were NOT cliffhangers, surprisingly, and then read more of the Guide, and watch "A World of Love" for UNICEF from 8:30 to 9:30, and watch "To Rome with Love" afterward out of sheer inertia, and the cute hippy-blond who came into their Roman lives. Again I'm spending the evening alone, and don't do anything in particular, yet still can't get to bed early, and I fuss around the apartment, doing nothing memorable, reading, cataloging, listing, cleaning up, eating eggs in hunger pangs, and get to bed at 12:30.

DIARY 1653

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23. Haven't shaved since Sunday, haven't showered, either, so I feel quite cruddy. Decide that since the cold was COMING on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and it was definitely HERE on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, that it should be leaving today, and that I should begin to act more like a person who's alive, so I resolve to eat three meals today to start regaining my strength, and I eat breakfast and shave and shower, which feels like all the exercise I can do today, and eat lunch during the last of the Charlie Chaplin festival from 1-3, when they show the last 5 of the 17 films of the series: "Behind the Screen," which has some of the nicest pie-throwing among the scenes until the Laurel and Hardy activity in "Battle of the Century," "The Count" which is quite a bore of his imitating a count, funny at the dining table, "Easy Street," and the big bully in the films is Eric Campbell, and this one shows him in a particularly vicious light, felled by a gas lamp on "Easy Street" by a cop-Chaplin. "The Adventurer" isn't memorable, as isn't "The Champion," but I'm really feeling awful about watching these comedies, since I certainly don't feel in the mood to laugh. John's talking about WHAT it is that makes me sick keeps pounding in my head, and Marty finally calls to give a progress report: one person has been fired, so they're down to six, but he might only WANT 4, though there seem to be only two of the remaining 6 who are doing anything, but this is going to be a short week; has a machine shot tomorrow morning, and then none again until Sunday afternoon, so that's the reason he hasn't taken me on board THIS week. He keeps saying how much of a help he'll be for me, and how the boss has already asked his opinion about a 7070 translator, since that's not even emulated on the 360. He's in solid, and can help me out a lot. John says he'll come over about 8, but comes about 7, while I'm still eating, so I finish, and then we have a LONG talk about what's bothering us, and I get told I SHOULD have gotten mad at him on the phone, and he gets told he SHOULD have investigated his feelings of our "drifting apart" before they built to this pitch. I insist that I'm feeling nonsensuous because I'm sick. Bed 10:45.

DIARY 1654

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24. He's up, and I do him, though I don't feel like it, though he certainly seems to enjoy it, and he works around here for a bit, leaving at 9:30, and I watch "Love of Three Queens," with a languid Hedy Lamarr playing Guinevere, Josephine and Helen of Troy in simplistic loveliness, interspersed with the games from "Concentration." That takes me to 11:30, and I begin cleaning up the apartment even more, since I had the energy to vacuum the whole place yesterday, which was quite a feat, in my weakened condition. He comes over after work about 3, and he again says that we seem distant, and that he's thinking maybe I don't want to have anything to do with him this evening. I go way back to the disappointment I felt when he didn't look at the trip brochures when I had them out and he got all enthusiastic about Youngblood, and he hasn't once looked at the book that Rita sent, and then last night he asked me for an itinerary, and I sat down and worked one out, and then he didn't want to look at it, asking for it in "Seven or eight main places," and when I jotted those down for him, he didn't even want to LOOK at them. I said that THIS pained me, and maybe he was feeling some of my hurt from that. He thought I was going into the party tomorrow night against my will, but I assured him I wasn't, saying that I even told him to stay away the two nights this week, since I really didn't feel like being around anyone. Then it's 6:45 and I wrongly remember we were going to 456, and he reminds me that he's reserved for "Horn of Plenty" at 7! I'd forgotten, so we got ready and went down to the subway, and he forgot the wine in the freezer, so we bought more and got there at 7:30, so we had to wait for a table, and then stuffed ourselves on herring, salads, ham, turkey, and two lovely cakes for dessert at the buffet where the waiters were cute, tightly-trousered, and winningly waiting for the customer's slightest look to respond with a smile and a wink. Rather a pleasant way of doing it, and we toasted each other and got to his place about 9:30 to look at his place settings for the guests, and I told him about my inviting Bruce on Tuesday, thinking that seeing him again might help my Tsi-Dun regrets.

DIARY 1655

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25. Up early and he insists on bring me off, but so deftly that I quite enjoy it. Last night as we entered, I saw the two wrapped packages, and he said they were for me, and I unwrapped the six wine glasses that I thought he would be getting me, and a set of Lego bricks, and he said he'd gotten a Spirograph until he heard my SISTER got me one, and her Smithsonian gift was mirrored in his "American Museum of Natural History" gift. I love playing with the bricks, and we made little houses and cars last night, and this morning I got back to them while he was working and made a construction which was highly unbalanced and indicative of the holding power of the neatly interlocking blocks. Then settled down to read the 1401 manuals and the Totaltran examples, finally getting into it with some sort of understanding, and by the time it's 4, I've gotten through to page six or so, and am beginning to feel some kind of confidence in at least recognizing what instructions can do what. Then John's finished with his preparations, and we'd scheduled some time for me to fill him in with a map on just what I think we're going to see on the trip. It goes very nicely, except that he keeps asking questions as if I just don't know WHAT I'm doing, yet everything that I tell him to read or look at himself, he ends up saying it sounds great as if HE'D discovered it in the first place. But in the end there's largely agreement, and when I take a shower and wash my hair and get ready for the party, I'm beginning to feel rather good. Bruce calls to say he can't make it, and another friend of John's, someone Christopher, I think, is sick and might make it later, and I bet Azak comes either first or last, and he ends up not coming at all. Arno is the first to arrive quite promptly at 6, and he likes the apartment quite a bit, and is rather nonplussed to find that Azak's also been invited. Then Edward arrives, a bit older, rather swish, in an outfit that he designed and made himself, and he seems rather ribbon-clerky and silly and campy and stupid, and the conversation rather palls between us. Then Heidner shows up, and I fear for the evening for the elderly (see following).

DIARY 1659

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26. Up still feeling smashed from the evening before. Woke about 8:30 to the sound of John doing dishes in the kitchen, and I still felt foggy enough to permit myself the luxury of laying in bed until 9:15, when I couldn't take it any longer and got out of bed to help him. He'd done the dishes and most of the serving things, but I still had three or four panfuls left with the glasses and the pots and more serving utensils and all the silverware, and it was about 11 when he decided that the place was pretty well back to normal. Got everything together, including lots of stuff from the party to bring back here, and get here about noon, picking up more Christmas mail that I'd gotten BEFORE Christmas (no, that was Monday, since there was no delivery on Saturday, the only thing I got were thank you notes from Margaret and Ben), and John settled down to read the sections of the guide that I'd marked out for him, to read in reference to the time schedule which he finally began using, and he brought in things which seemed unimportant to me, but maybe that was because I'd ORDERED the trip in the first place. I settled down to reading through the book that Rita sent, stopping to talk with him about what we'd expect to see in Japan and Thailand, and then when he got up to India, he said he was tired and didn't want to do anything more on it. He'd gone out to buy himself a steak and I unfroze my pork chops, and he mixed the oranges in with the pork for a very tasty supper, though he didn't want any cherry pie for dessert, nor would he eat any of the chocolates that Marion sent. Then at 8:30 we watched "Story Theater" on Channel 13, and it seems that I'd seen the whole thing before, so there was nothing new, though John liked most of it, only saying that everyone was saying Sills THOUGHT of these ideas of staging, where they were all part of theater games for years. We sat, entranced, watching "San Francisco Mix; Laughing /Crying" after watching "Baggage" with that beautiful Japanese dancer until 10, and then watched "Flick-Out," from A to B, about teenage problems, until John was tired of TV at 11:30, and went to bed. I showered, still stoned, and crawled in with him.

DIARY 1660

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27. Down to get the thin Times, read most of it, and again spend most of the day talking about the trip. This afternoon I sort through all the brochures and sift out those we won't be interested in anymore, and give the rest to John, who quickly reaches saturation. He's glad, and I am too, that my cold seems to be quite gone, except for a post-nasal mucus dangle that causes me to hawk up lumps of gunk to be disposed of in a glass I try to keep hidden from John. He naps a bit while I read more, and he has lunch while I settle myself with only the candy, which is quite bad for my skin, I find out later on Wednesday, and on Monday, when I have a cyst-like boil on my adam's apple, which, when squeezed, expressed loose pus and two hair follicles! And there was still a lump there a couple of days after. About 7 I telephone the Triangle and find they have a buffet at 7:30, so we drive down and get into the crowded place, and who's there with the tall leather chap we met at Norma's (Ted, his name seems to be) but BRUCE! I point him out and John asks "Is it really him?" when he comes over and thinks John is Bob and Bob is John, and that's another black mark against him, added to when he told John he has someone from the FAMILY getting into town, and when he tells us now he had a FRIEND to care for. Then he says he won't be eating, but when the bell rings and we get the honey-dipped fried chicken and hard peas and salad and go sit down, he's in with his friend to eat the dinner. Where's he AT? We stand around a bit while John cruises, and we look at everyone coming in and out, but there's the typical Triangle stand-offishness, and John says Bruce suggested we go to the Eagle, on 21st and the river, and we do, to find the hardcore leather crew, a great set of fluorescent Colt-type paintings on the wall, and we again sit down, separately, for beef stew and salad from THIS buffet. Someone asks me if I'm interesting in leather, and like a boob I say "No, but I like to LOOK at it," without taking the opportunity to ASK him what it's all about. There are some colorful people in the place (see following pages), but very little cruising, though things seems more OPEN here than at Triangle.

DIARY 1663

MONDAY, DECEMBER 28. Up early, but John refuses sex, saying he doesn't FEEL like having it. Get over to Arnie's at 8:30 to fill out my expense and payroll forms for the Census, and he says he's going to try to get me in for the 80 hours for the two weeks, even though I only worked 20, by saying he's not picked up some of the forms from me. I figure that's fine if he can do it without getting himself into trouble, and he gives me more forms, more letters, some unstamped first-day covers, some Russian stamps, all of which go into the bag which John gave me with the rest of the beef bourguignon. Back to my place about 10 to pick up the mail and look in on "Concentration," and get back to work on the difficult puzzle, finishing it finally about noon, and I watch an hour of Science Review, and "King Kong" from 1-3, and much of it is quite spectacularly good. Then I have lunch and put things back into order in the apartment---and I watched TV from 10 to 3, so I did the puzzle AFTERWARD, and then at 4:15 I shaved and got off to work for the first time in over a week, and I wasn't looking forward to the first one, but by the time I got into it, I was again charmed by the people, pleased with my skill in getting in and out quickly, and yet getting honest answers to everything, despite the terrible trouble some of them have with English. Finish about 8:45, having finished up six of them, which is great speed, and see a bus about to take off down Riverside and get an almost express ride home at 9:15. John's here, having heated up the stew for me, and given me loads of GREAT stamps, including a one-pound new one from England, and the stew is great with the Arabian bread which he also heats, and he talks about his fan letters and his hopes of actually getting his grants, and it's a pleasant evening. He's willing to work on the bed frame, so we're into the bedroom, where the thin screws are fine but the fat ones too fat to go through well, so we stop at 10:30, I shower, and we're into bed to cuddle because the heat had been off all day, and though the people worked to 8:30, they weren't able to fix the oil leak, so we had no heat or hot water again. Cuddle and fall asleep warmly.

DIARY 1665

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29. Wake at 8 and John's out of bed to work with the oven on, and at 9:40 I get out to the bank to cash my first check for $88.21, for the week of training, and withdraw the last of my money from the savings account, hoping to be able to pay my way with my Census income for the next couple of months, and get groceries, since I don't have anything at all, and back in time to watch "Concentration," which annoys John, since he has to put on his coat and move, grumbling and annoyed, into the bedroom to work, saying he has to edit 17 articles a month until the deadline, and it's not going to be easy, since he'll have to start working on weekends and evenings. Arnie calls and says he wants me to do some "special places" and he'll be here at 12:45 to pick me up and explain it to me. I start editing what I did last night at 11:30, and it goes quite slowly because there's so much stupid repetition of information to check. John leaves at 12:30 and I shave and wash quickly, and finish the editing at 1, just as Arnie rings from below. Down to his car and finish my bookkeeping, giving him my finished stuff, and he explains how I have to get the names of up to 150 people in these 14 places. We drive up to 110th, where he talks with one of his people, who's even lazier than I am, and he drives me down to 97th and Riverside, where I try the first one. He leaves me and I try four others, but get no concrete success, and eat a quick tongue and cream soda in a deli for lunch, and finish at 4:10, taking a bus home again to sit in the sunlight, rather than suffer the subway gloom. Home at 4:30 for a rather un-unified "They Drive by Night" with Bogart, and a musically satisfying "Hansel and Gretel" with Maureen Forrester from 6 to 8, while I eat the last of the beef bourguignon, quite a huge helping, and then get roped into watching the TV Academy Awards to 9:30, calling John to say I'll be late, and get there at 10, quite stoned from the food, and Bob Malchie calls about New Year's Eve, and I feel dreamy and spaced-out through the evening, and write (see following pages), and he comes over to do me, and does me and does me until I strain out an orgasm, which he seems pleased with, but which absolutely exhausts me. Bed at 11:30.

DIARY 1667

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30. Up and I do HIM very nicely and slowly, and home at 9. Determined to catch up on the diary, so by the time I finish going through the mail, still getting stuff from Christmas, but not much, and then I get down to typing to catch up with everything, and type 16 pages by noon, having taken time to watch "Concentration." Look through some of the travel books again, and I don't feel like going out on the census, so I read some more in the "India book" and generally waste time until Marty calls to tell me that everyone except he and the fellow who looks like Sam Matsa have been fired, and the Donatos figure the two will be sufficient unless they get quantities of more business. He apologizes many times, but I said I hadn't really thought it would come through since the Donatos didn't seem in any hurry at all to contact me, as they would be if they really thought they wanted me. I call Norma and Arnie to talk to them, and then Arno calls to find out about Azak (who spent the weekend at the Hamptons, and everyone agreed (except me) that he was rude for not calling, while I just thought he was just thoughtless), and thanks me again for the invitation to John's Christmas party, and then John comes over. I'd been trying to work on the platform for the bed ever since the two pieces of plywood and three stringers came in on Monday just before I left for work, but I don't seem to get much done before the phone rings, or I feel that I have to eat another meal. John seems very annoyed with the double bed on the floor alongside the queen bed, but I tell him that it's my place, and I can do with it as I please. Friction between us seems to be mounting, and I get very annoyed with him easily, maybe as a copout from getting annoyed with myself: I just don't feel like DOING anything, and just a couple turns on the screws for the platform will completely exhaust me and I won't feel like doing anything for the next couple of hours. It's even a mindful chore to remember when I should wash my hair, shave, brush my teeth, and shower, since I have no set schedule, and consequently I usually feel quite grubby. John and I crawl into the old bed for the last time.

DIARY 1668

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31. John gets out to work alone at Dutton's, and I try to call Arnie about going again to the "Special Places," ending up trying him at the office and Chu answers and gives me a hard time about not being at work today, though he says I'm permitted to work on the special places. Watch "Concentration" at 10:30 and mindlessly leave TV on until 11, watching "Sale of the Century," and then Bob Rosinek calls to say that his dress company has shut down for the month of January (how's THIS for reducing the hours worked per month without giving the people the benefit of a four-day workweek??), and he'll be freelancing, but that he's not had sex since here, and his marriage with Nina is getting better and better, and maybe he's going toward heterosexuality. He talks until 12:30, and then just after he hangs up (and I try screwing the platform again), the phone rings and it's Lois, long distance, saying it's her 40th birthday, she's depressed, and wants to talk to me, telling me all about her trip, her stays in NYC, her boyfriends, her lovely children, and SHE hangs up about 2! I figure I CAN'T get out for another day for the census, and eat lunch and do the dishes, since I'm serving here tonight, and then I get out at 4 to do shopping, and Gimbels is out of almost everything, though I get three queen fitted sheets here for $9, which is great, and then to Macy's to get a mattress cover, a mattress pad, and a dual-control electric blanket for $7, $9, and $43, and even shop for lampshades before the store closes at 6. Subway home and leave boxes in lobby to find that Finast and Gristedes are closed at 6, and trundle up to Amsterdam (Columbus, rather) and 70th for an open supermarket for the fixings for dinner, and down to the 67th Street liquor store on 68th to brave enormous crowds and lines at the cash registers of everyone doing their last-minute New Years shopping. Get back home at 6:30, and both John and Art call to say they'll be late, which is fine, and there are going to be six of us, so I put a half pound of hamburger and a half pound of bacon into the pan for frying, and start the long task of getting the apartment into decent shape (see following pages).