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1974 6 of 8


DIARY 8832

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10. Up at 8, read through the Voice, then decide to exercise for the first time in a number of weeks, and it FEELS like I haven't in ages. Then out for groceries and take out things to be washed, including the bathrobe which hadn't been done in ages, anything to make up the 8 lbs. Water the plants before realizing that I should have fertilized, then don't feel like working (though my mind was full of things to do before I got out of bed), so I go through some pieces of mail, sort out the top drawer and order things from Sunset House, and settle down to read for a bit. Then have lunch and determine to catch up on the diary, doing 13 pages, but I can't quite bring myself to finish the article about Baryshnikov after poring through the Dictionary of Classical Ballet to find out what his rounding jumps are that Vladimirov has found a way to do TWO of at once, and not being able to find it. Then have dinner while watching the parts of "Great American Dream Machine" that I'd missed earlier, out for the Times, read through it a bit, starting on the puzzles, and then shower and wash my hair, at the absolute LIMIT of dirtiness, longness, and greasiness. More of the paper until 11, when I watch "International Performance" and "Firebird," and again take down a list of their ten performances, four of them totally decadent balletic orgies on the colored screen to rasping, screeching music. John again gets a call that someone hangs up when I answer, he says that Tuesday will be OK for the phone man, and when I go out to pick up the laundry at 4, I FINALLY find where the dog is barking from, and go up to talk to a stupid-faced Harvey Jackson about his damn dog, and it DOES get somewhat quieter, though there's music and TROMBONE blats from blacks in the garden right below my window! Is there no END to difficulties? Continue going through the Times, finishing the puzzles, and browse through the rest of it, rather reminding myself of the bear who paws through succulent orange sections and apple quarters because he's had enough to eat, but just wants to know that the food is still THERE. Finally nod toward sleep at 1:20, and get into bed in such silence that I don't even put in my earplugs, and sleep till 9!

DIARY 8835

SUNDAY, AUGUST 11. Up to exercise again, go through the Times, type two diary pages, call Avi and try to get him to see the double with me at the Carnegie Hall Cinema, but it turns out they don't serve the buffet at the Candlelight until 6:15, so he can't make it. Fertilize the plants, and then decide that I just have to start answering correspondence, so I begin by sorting out the last shelf still unsorted, making up new DO lists in the meantime to put down all the new things I find I have to do, and write to Rita, Mom, Cyndy, Mike (sorting through United Nations stamps to see that I have just one set of these to give him, and from now on I guess I'll just keep him supplied with new US ones and whatever I get from Sergio, if I ever finish going through Cyndy's and Sergio's stamps!), another page to Elaine, deciding she can read the awful thing from my diary (and I decide to FINALLY throw away that awfully dim typewriter ribbon) even though it xeroxed so poorly, and two little bill-like things. Ate breakfast about 10:30, so I didn't get to lunch until 2, so I don't feel like dinner, so just go out at 5:45 to meet Avi at 6:20, in at 6:35 to a color production with Maurice Evans and Judith Anderson of "Macbeth," which is quite good in the wilds of Scotland, with some handsome younger men in the cast, but sorry that the Paul Scofield "King Lear" wasn't shown: I'm sure Yuri Jarvets isn't as good in the Kozintzev 1970 back-and-white production, and the subtitles take away the power of the starkness of the screen during the storm and wind sequences, but it's VERY spectacular, with people all over the place, salt-desert type of terrain for the storm sequence, and whole castles burning from great distances for nice vistas. Start a truly astounding "Answer to Job" in the end of the Jung book, and home at 11:40 to have some eggs and read a bit further until I get tired at 1, going to bed and wishing I had more grass to smoke, wishing I had more people to call, wishing I have someone to go to bed with. But there's ALWAYS something to worry about, as Macbeth proved even AFTER he was king, and now I have to start worrying about the papers for Latham and Transworld for NEXT week.

DIARY 8836

MONDAY, AUGUST 12. Up a couple of times with fragments of dreams chasing across my memory, and I so want to write them down I can even feel my mind giving my fingers instructions on what to write on the paper, but then I come fully conscious to realize that I'm NOT writing them down, fret about it, then slide into sleep again. Out of bed about 8:30 and exercise and eat breakfast with good fresh peaches and start telephoning: Arnie to get the itinerary for BOTH trips, Richard at the theater to tell him about my upcoming trip and about Spartacus's wanting to see his movie, Eddie, who doesn't answer, about more grass, Bob about places for Ron to stay at the Island, Kingsfield to find she'll be in tomorrow, and by that time it's 12:30 and I have lunch, write a little letter to Bill and a response to the Times ad, and then I'm finished with everything I really WANT to do, called Latham to find that I'll be waiting for HIM and commit myself for THIS week for the "sci-fi life" article, and then start again going through some of the paperbacks to get information about that, even though I'm getting the feeling that I have too MUCH in the line of listings, rather than not enough. Type a diary page, too. Then the day's over, I must have put in about four hours getting material together (and then I did some research on South America, too), but I'm really not clear at ALL where all the time went, and I can't even use the excuse that I'm not typing this the next day. Put the phone stuff away while I'm watching "The Search for the Nile," a real loser for the first segment, since it really doesn't show anything about a search for the Nile, except Richard Burton getting a lance in his jaws when he tried to look into the country of Somaliland, and some color shots of the Kaaba that I guess must have been taken by a Moslem movie crew. Great shots of some falls along the river, however, and I guess the NEXT installment will start showing some of the footage from that lovely Central African territory from which the Nile springs. Read about Burton in EB after 12:30, and get into bed about 1, beginning to sweat again as the temperature builds, and I've let all the windows closed; set my alarm for 7:30 to beat the phone man.

DIARY 8837

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13. Have fragmentary dreams which I note down in a scrawl on the paper under my bed (see DIARY 8840) and up at 7:30 to move things around for the phone man and ring John to take over the cable and the grass. Exercise and have breakfast and type a diary page and push some papers around on my desk, and the phone man finally comes at 10, type one draft page of sci-fi interlude, and while he's here there's a call from Ruth Rozman on John's phone: she has an index she wants me to re-do, with a deadline the end of the month with relatively little work, so I take it, and the phone man is installing the phone through all the walls and says that he's making it without a ring, but I don't find out until he leaves that he's BROKEN the retent so that the volume control swings to "silence" as I carry it around, and Eddie calls on the new number twice before I hear the call on the OTHER phone. I call Arnie and Bob Grossman about the new number, and then Pat Teller calls to say she wants a Europe ticket on the rail for $95 each, and I'm relieved that this is the 10% commission, except that Fran says she can't BUY that for her, she has to buy it herself. Eddie calls to see "Flesh Gordon" this afternoon, and I call Bob who has a job appointment at 1:30, so he wants to see the 3:35, and Bob Rosinek calls to say that he'll be over about 5:45, so the day is full already! Watch "Design for Living" from 1-2:55, surprisingly amoral with Miriam Hopkins sharing Frederic March and Gary Cooper and MARRYING Edward Everett Horton to leave him and live with the TWO of them again. Dash out for the movie, getting there at 3:33, they deriding me for being late from my 3:30 appointment, and we're in to a perfectly dreadful movie made palatable by two of Eddie's joints, and we stand, stoned, on the street corner afterward, Eddie telling me he doesn't want me to bring Bob to any more movies, since he's cold, a downer, and Eddie doesn't like him. Bob's sorry that I have to get right home for BR, but I'd TOLD him BR was coming over tonight. Subway home, still stoned, and Bob's waiting on the porch for me, wanting to eat, so we go to Promenade for cheeseburgers, back at 6:30, and we get right into the evening (see DIARY 8838) so that I can watch TV at 8:30, bed at 1:30, tired.

DIARY 8839

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14. Up about 9 with a definite feeling of hangover from the previous evening. Read through some more of the Voice, skim Bradbury, mope about the apartment, sort some things out from the mail last night, reading New York and the Travel Agent, and before I know it it's after breakfast, I haven't exercised because I've felt too strung-out, Arnie's called, and then I go out to unemployment, pick up a Voice and more money, and get back to ask Arnie if he has a GO set (like Monday I'd asked Bob Grossman if he even played backgammon, and he said he HAD a set which he'd never opened) and he said HE had a set which he'd never opened! FREAKOUT! Arnie's doing nothing this afternoon, so I shower (interrupted by a phone call from Michael, with whom I talk about Baryshnikov while the soap dried on me) and eat lunch before Arnie comes over at 2:30, and we look through the rules of Go, discuss the itinerary and the trips, talk about Steven and Avi, I offer him wine and he seems not really interested in playing, but we finally get to a couple of games, rapidly getting to the point where we have questions, and after we had pork chops and apple sauce and green beans and cake and frozen daiquiris and wine for dinner, I called Marty and found that an "eye" IS totally surrounded by pieces, so I'd misunderstood what an eye was. We watched "The Great American Dream Machine" from 8:30 to 9:30, and then HE took the hint and left, so I started to watch "Seven Days to Noon" at 10:30, and for about the THIRD time I glanced at the CLOCK, saw it was about 10:40, and then the MOVIE clock says it's 10:40! Then MOM calls at 11, saying she's going to San Francisco (El Cortez) for 3 nights ($41/night), Las Vegas (Flamingo Capri) for 2 nights, and LA (Wilshire Hyatt) for 2 nights, for $246 for no meals included, starting Saturday, and she might go to Spain LATER. We talk about 20 minutes, she'd won $50 today at the races, has $30,000 in stocks, is going to spend it all, and I get back to watch the THIRD part of "Search for the Nile" the BEST BY FAR being the characterization of Mtesi by a dignified African, and he finally FINDS the source of the Victoria Nile, and GRANT (whom the film shows DIDN'T see the falls) gives the Bakers the information that leads them to Lake Albert and the ALBERT Nile. So much for "The Secret Fountains," WHATEVER that had been intended to mean as a chapter title. Again look at African MAPS, feeling VERY much like traveling, and bed at 1:30.

DIARY 8841

THURSDAY, AUGUST 15. Up at 8:30 but still feeling pretty much like not doing anything. Even scan the TV sections to see if there's anything that I might want to watch. Then settle into the writing of "Other Planet-Life" for a few pages, then decide that I haven't looked through Clarke's stuff yet, so I skim through those, but I'm sadly not keeping track of how much time I spend on this particular article partly because I enjoy going through these authors again, partly because I think I might be working on TWO interludes, partly because of laziness. After lunch start typing in earnest, getting somewhat past the six pages I'd really needed, and I'm spending much too much time on people like Stapledon, particularly his races of mankind, and maybe THIS could be the basis for the final interlude. Work through pretty well until about 7, draft 2-8, when I stop to shower, drinking a lot all day because it's been very hot and humid, and I'm not taking any salt tablets, which is probably a mistake. Been spending increasing time chewing on the flesh inside my cheeks, a sign that I'm getting more and more nervous, which doesn't make things any better. About 11 have a VERY strong feeling that I should go down and find what's in the mail, and do so to find that the New York Times has liked two of my articles and I should write them up and send them in on speculation. More work is just what I need! Thankfully, Ruth Rozman calls to say that I shouldn't work (actually, I call HER after looking through the index for questions) on the index until she tells me for SURE that the author isn't going to do it. But the day is finally to dinnertime, and I settle in to watch "Alfred the Great" to find that it's been changed to "Looking-Glass War," with a handsome Christopher Jones as a Pole trained for a spying job, but then he's caught and killed and no one really seems to care except for the again-well-acting Anthony Hopkins as a second-string spy who still has a conscience. That's from 9 to 11, then I watch the news, then "The Great Debate" on "Search for the Nile" which is mainly a description of the Baker's trip to Lake Albert, but they VANISH from the fifth one tomorrow night, Speke shoots himself (after rabbits, where EB says grouse). Watch finish of "Story of Mankind," a trial of remarkable stupidity, won because the baby's sword is really a penbox! Bed tired at 1:30.

DIARY 8842

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16. Up at 8:30 again, determined to do SOMETHING, and get right into the typing for the article after having just the tiniest bit of cereal for breakfast, since I've run out. Finish with the 16 pages about 1, have lunch of bacon since I have no more tuna. Ruth calls to say that the index SHOULD be done, and then I call George Allen to have him sigh with relief that I won't be in today, but Monday will be fine, with now TWO drafts of the final interlude: "looking ahead" that I did for Elaine, and half of the draft I've just finished, concentrating on the FUTURE of man on EARTH. Arnie calls to say that the trip will NOT be to Greece, but to the Western Mediterranean, centering in Rome, which I guess is OK since I've really only been there ONCE, and before as I'd never seen the Eiffel Tower, I've not seen the Forum yet, nor the Bargello, but that's Florence! Then about 3 I'm determined to get out for groceries and other things, buying notepads for little letters, airmail envelopes that I think he says "twenty-six" for when he says "twenty cents," but he doesn't return change from my quarter and penny. Buy plant fertilizer, this saying only once a month, then stop by the bookshop to see a $1.50 copy of "Rendezvous with Rama" by Clarke, the July Galaxy that I missed for only 354, and another Stapledon, "Darkness and Light" that I'd never even HEARD of. Just (while typing) totaled up the time I've spent on Latham's interludes by now, and it's about 22 hours! Call Arnie and say that I really don't feel like going to the baths tonight (don't feel sexy, don't feel that I LOOK sexy, and I want to watch TV tonight, AND I want to read the books I bought). Start the Stapledon book, but I can't get into it, so I switch at 5 to the Clarke "Rendezvous with Rama" and it's so neat (though somewhat of an anticlimax since they never find out ANYTHING about the Ramans but that they refueled at the sun) I read it RIGHT through until 8:15, good, then make dinner and watch "Chicago, Back at the Ranch," not very good music but amusing silent-film ranch-mortgage-payoff subplot and a bicepy trombonist. Then smoke my new grass, get VERY stoned, have a VERY successful come, back to watch TV at 10:45, watch the 11 pm news, then "Find Livingston" on "Search for the Nile": 1. Burton; 2. Speke; 3. Grant; 4. Bakers; 5. Livingston, 6. (I guess) Stanley. And they DON'T show "Midsummer Night's Dream" as they said, and I get tired of watching whatever; bed 12:45.

DIARY 8844

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17. Up at 8:15 and don't even eat breakfast, since I don't feel like doing ANYTHING, and sit down with "Darkness and Light" and finish it by 10. Then get disgusted with doing nothing, and determine to exercise, which I do, feeling awful, then shower and wash my hair and have breakfast at 11, determined to catch up on my day somehow. Type two diary pages, and in doing so go back over my notes and my diary pages and figure out how many hours I've worked on the research and the draft for the two Latham interludes on other planet-life and the future of the world through science-fiction writers, and find it's been 22 hours ALREADY, and since each interlude only pays $200, I've priced myself out of $15 per hour ALREADY. When I finish with that I STILL don't feel like having lunch, so I moon around a bit, then get down to looking at the draft to figure out how to break it up, and I seem to do this from 2:30 to 5:30, without actually writing anything, just agitating that I SHOULD do, biting my fingernail edges, and chewing on the insides of my cheeks and edges of my lips. Then it's just too late to have lunch, so I have dinner, and then settle down with the entire issue of Galaxy, one of those "I'm going to do it SOMETIME, so why not now?" though I'm concerned about all the work things I have to do, followed by all the independent writing things I have to do, but I just don't FEEL like it, possibly overly conscious of Pope's "you're going to have trouble toward the end of August." Also, the list of things to DO is just TOO long and discouragingly stretched into the future (like the feeling of too many books to read on the shelf!). Finish that in one great lump at 9:30 (OH, at 5 it begins to RAIN very heavily, getting VERY dark, so I dress ONLY in my rainsuit and rubbers and go out to the Promenade to watch lightning around the Statue of Liberty, clouds around the skyscrapers, a photographer, a few other strange people wandering about, and a wind that blows cold through my rainsuit, causing me to return in about 20 minutes), and go out for the Times, back to read most of it, work most of the puzzles, and watch the last of "The Search for the Nile" watching Burton's death, Stanley's aging, and a grand summary of the stories. Then watch the second half of "Orpheus in Hell" VERY awkwardly done except for the "King of Beotia," bed at 1.

DIARY 8845

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18. Wake at 9, surprised that I'd seemed to need 8 hours sleep, and AGAIN find myself mooning about the apartment, finish reading the Times and doing the puzzles by about 12, John's over for the papers at 11, then he goes out bicycling. I exercise and shower and then finish "The Portable Jung" in an hour and eat the waffles he'd brought over (probably prepared them for himself and someone over last night, since his lights were on at 1, very unusual) for lunch, poor, and I've been debating jerking off, sort of "to pass the time," and I smoke at 3 and work myself up into SUCH a state that I actually flex and flex without touching and ZIZZT I can hear the SOUND of the squirts of come through the cock, splashing into my navel three or four little drops of semen, and I've had the urge to get out the Baby Magic and really TEAR myself off, but I continue with the light touch until JUST at the end, and grab with GREAT firmness and the come is really STRAINED out, great sensations, and I relax almost to the point of inanition, then catch the last of the droplets and glove my hands and palm with come to dry it off, and then the Baby Magic STILL draws me, and I lather up and strain and strain and strain to a painful extent, trying about four times before I finally DO come, and I've lain my head back so that I can't see, and can't even bring myself to look so there are only a few drops that I feel, and then I lay back, resting my nose on my glasses, almost falling asleep, conscious of the time, and out of bed at 5:15 feeling VERY far gone (bidis since I didn't have any poppers), and at 5:30 start watching TV, getting the end of Cousteau's under-iceberg film, then watch "The Search for Ulysses" (see DIARY 8846) till 7, don't feel like turning TV off, so I continue with "Other Places" for the Carnival at Trinidad, not very gay, and actually jerk off, almost comelessly, a third time. At 7:30 I watch "Journey to Japan," not a very well done series about "Tiger Dance" and Shikoku Dolls, watch the end of a Disney thing about Disney World, really ENORMOUS, it seems, and then prepare dinner before watching "Dry Edge of Disaster" from 9-10, and Arnie calls and says he's NOT going to Greece tonight, and from 10-11:45 I read some more of "Ada," just getting to bed and tossing about because I've done NOTHING today, though I MAY have made a psychological breakthrough about DEADLINES (see DIARY 8847).

DIARY 8849

MONDAY, AUGUST 19. Up at 7:55 to type DIARY 8843, then have breakfast and type four more pages to catch up to date, fix some things up, and get down to work on the final Latham typing at 9:25, typing the good 8-page draft for the Interlude on Life on Other Planets, then putting only three pages of a possible final Interlude on the future of Earth, but that doesn't go too well as only a survey of what writers think will be the future of life on earth, so I do a five-page thing based VERY loosely on "Outcome (DIARY 8835-8342)" and chain of thought, finishing at 2:55, and that's a total of 31 hours worked on BOTH (and I tell George I stopped work after 50 hours), or a bit less than $6.50 per hour, though I enjoyed doing it, though I'm not really finished with the next-to-last interlude, though there might be, George admitted, about 30% of a FINAL interlude there too, so if I need only put in 9 more hours on the FINAL interlude for ANOTHER $200, that will bring my rate back up to the "basic" $10/hour. Shower and get things together for the rest of the day out and eat lunch all at the same time, so that I can leave at 3:30 to get to Latham at 4:03, but don't get received into George's office until 4:20, and out at 4:50. He's not quite as happy with what I'm doing as he was at first, but I think he SORT of understands my reticence to give anything FINISHED because it has to be approved by so many OTHER people who think SO differently from the way I do. Walk up to the Carnegie Hall Cinema, buying a copy of "Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain," and Arnie's not there, but he joins Alice just as the credits for "Devil by the Tail" start, and it's generally OK, with a smiling Maria Schell, a rather good comedian of Yves Montand, and lots of willing women. "Give Her the Moon" is a bit more strained, pity that Bert Convy isn't more SEXY and a bit LESS American (which I guess was the POINT), and the duplication of cast members makes it look like the DeBroca repertory theater. Out at 8:30 and to Ethel's great apartment for $116 in the Parc Vendome Annex, Michael comes a bit late, we drink two gins, Bob handsome in his striped shirt, and out to Angelo's for GREAT pizza, two whole ones and glasses of wine, INCLUDING tip, only $4 apiece. It's 11:45, we're back up to talk and laugh, drink Kahlua and Banana Liquor, Bob Grossman more attractive than ever, out at 1:15, and home tired at 2, glad I had the SENSE to say "No" to Arnie's Club Baths request.

DIARY 8850

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20. Up at 9:30, eating breakfast quite late, and Arnie calls with the new itinerary for the trip to the Mediterranean, and then Eddie calls to verify that we ARE going to Coney island tonight, and then calls later to say that one of his friends has cancelled out, and so I should invite someone along. Arnie's got both a group-sex at the Ramada Inn, sponsored by someone Beau Wilfe (Bill Wolfe) knows from out of town, and later a training session for Community Sex Information Center on menopause that he wants to be in the videotaping of. Then I call Michael Sullivan at the 4 Park Avenue address of Ask Mr. Foster, and he and the girl are the only ones there, and he says yes, he WOULD like to come along, and later when I talk to Bob Grossman I mention Nedick's, so I have to call Michael back to make sure I told him that he should meet us at NATHAN'S, which he said I actually had. Then get down to the Kinetic Theory of Gases article for Trans-World, working on it from 12 to 1, and then have lunch and do some more telephoning, and actually finish the four-page draft and get it cut to approximate line-count from 2:30 to 5:30. Then shower and wash my hair and Eddie calls to say he'll have grass along, which is great, and get out to the subway at 6:20 to find about a dozen pieces of fire equipment in front of the St. George, and a couple of ambulances, and I go up and ask if the subway's running of some noncommittal cops standing in the lobby, and they tell me to go away. Later I find that a fire that started in the tunnel just before 5 had stalled about four trains in dense smoke so that over 200 passengers had to be hospitalized, and some even had to stay longer than overnight. The Clark Street Station won't have a very good name after this. So I walk up to Borough Hall, down, and DASH like crazy for the subway which is just coming into the Lexington station, and as the doors close I realize I'm riding INTO THE TUNNEL toward Manhattan. Smile stupidly and fret a bit through the tunnel, then ride back, and then to Atlantic Avenue for the D, then to the M to Stillwell Avenue at 7:45 when I should have been there at 7:30. Then a FABULOUS evening begins (see DIARY 8851), home at 1:30.

DIARY 8856

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21. Bob Rosinek calls at 9:10, waking me with the loud phone ring even though I have the larger earplugs in, and we talk about his "comment" that "she might be in an auto accident" at 3 pm on Sunday, then finding out that she WAS in an auto accident on Sunday! And he might be working for the Robert Wagner-handsome Michael Kline of Glentex yet! I have breakfast VERY late and work on revising the Kinetics article from 10:20 to 10:50, and then Bob Grossman calls to say that he's going to Fire Island for the rest of the week, and I get out with a large shopping list to my first time in the B line for unemployment, my 27th week, and then to A&S for shaving brushes and a bathroom scale, then search and search for stationery and glassware, finally managing to buy 990 sheets of 8x102 paper for only $5, so THAT should keep me for awhile. Walked down Court Street to the Queen pizza place that Arnie had praised, and it was very tomatoey and cheesy, but there's no real place to eat THERE for a large group (tables seem to sit 6 or 8 at the most). Still feel stoned wandering the streets looking for shower clogs and the other things, and get back just before 2. Put things away, look at the mail, and then work a bit on the Kinematics article from 3:20 to 4:30, when I shut off work and look at "The Busy Body," hideously cut, almost beyond the point of following the story, and George Jessel and Ben Blue were cut out COMPLETELY, so it was more a frustration than a delight. Then watch the 6-7 news to see the results of the fire in the subway yesterday, some dance group, Burt Reynolds's sexy body, and various other things. Then exercise while broiling sausage for dinner, eat in the VERY hot kitchen, and then watch some 1920's film of Bali on "Strange Places" from 7:45 to 8, the start of a TACKY "Wonder Woman" from 8 to 8:30, "Great American Dream Machine" from 8:30 to 9:30, and then a CUTE SEXY Jared Martin (rather in the style of Roy Thinnes, angular face, NICE body, showy crotch, natural style of acting, STRONG and CUTE) in "Men of the Dragon," but I turn it off at 10:10 and smoke new grass and come WITH HARD-HANDED BABY MAGIC, and that's not quite as good, and finish the TV evening with "Heavens Above" with Peter Sellers as a Christ-like vicar who upsets Orbiston Parva until he takes an astronaut's place and flies to Heaven. Bed at 1:30.

DIARY 8858

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22. Up at 9:30, and by the time I have breakfast and type 7 pages of the diary and look at the mail, it's 12 before I get down to working on the Kinematics article, stopping for lunch from 1:45 to 2:15, and then get the draft finished, revised, and type both articles in the enormous heat and humidity, finishing at 7:30 in only 12.5 hours, for which I should be getting at least $285, over $20 [even when the 1.5 hours for proofreading tomorrow brings it up to 14 hours] for the best rate yet! Then exercise and remember to water the planets (HA!) and shower the accumulated gunk of a couple of days off me, then have dinner of sausage in the dripping kitchen from the broiler, and then start reading "Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain," and phone Pope to ask if I can borrow his alphaphones, but his father's causing him a lot of trouble, at 80, having psychosomatically crippled himself and hanging onto Pope with absolute malice (getting sick, demanding that Pope visit him each time he'd planned to go on a long trip), has now found a woman who seems to want to marry him for his money, and Pope is concerned about losing "his" money, but the next few weeks have FOUR horrible Uranus-Mars-his chart conjunctions that means death and difficulty, and his father has the same kind of chart, but he won't fly down to see his father, and even worries that the cancellation of an Amtrak schedule from Monday to Tuesday will put him on the RAILS on one of his awful days, but he's determined to get down and take command of his own resources and his father, challenged by his knowledge of astrology. We talk until 10:30, and then I do the dishes for the first time in ages, plagued by an ill-working tape deck or amplifier that causes the Beatles tape to cut on and off, and then watch Dick Cavett interviewing Tennessee Williams (who's now resigned to death: loves writing better than sex, can't stand to eat alone, is working on his autobiography), and then at 1-3:15 watch a delightful "Fantomas" with Jean Marais playing an innocent reporter AND the fetching blue-masked Fantomas "who's going to be back" and Louis De Funes plays the bumbling inspector. Leave the door open, which I close at 8 am when I wake to rain, so I SHOULD have closed it last night when "something" told me to do so! Out of bed at 9:15, still tired.

DIARY 8860

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23. Do morning chores and get to proofreading the two articles for the encyclopedia from 11-12:30, and Carol calls just at noon, so the messenger can come pick up the stuff anytime. Exercise and shower and have lunch (no, I guess I exercise and shower in the evening, because I wash my hair, too, for the baths) and then (no, before, from 1-2, I start with the circling of the index pages in the "Normality" index from Basic Books that will have to be changed), and then continue with the indexing from 3:30-7:30, doing all the pages BEFORE the few (about 38) pages that I have to index from scratch to fit into their scheme. Call Michael about going to the Club Baths tonight, and he tells me the awful story about being taken for $42 when someone supposedly from the Hotel MacAlpin who was authorized to sell booze for $3 a bottle came in, saying he knew their coworker Barbara, who was in London for a week, and Michael decided he wanted a couple of bottles, and after talking to Ethel decided to buy a whole case for $42. But when he went with the guy to the ballroom floor (3) of the MacAlpin he took his money, said he'd be back in a few minutes, gave him some "X-rays" in an envelope with a doctor's name on it (that turned out to be newspapers) and totally vanished. After about 20 minutes Michael realized that he'd been had (and borrowed from the cashbox, too). He said that he was exhausted from his week of work, but that he might call me later. Then I was making dinner about 8:30 and he DID call, saying that he had lots to do, so could we meet at 10:30? I thought that was more than enough time, but by the time I cleaned out the contact lens case and crushed up the grass for my pre-bath smoke and dressed and took care of everything else, it was about 10:05, and after I smoked I reeled down to the subway, looked at the bopping blacks shouting in the station, and got to the entranceway at 10:35, grinned at by Michael who'd been there for 2 minutes, saying "Now you know what my worst fault is." The place is overly crowded, but I get SOME cocks sucked (see DIARY 8861) and leave at 1:45, getting into bed at 2:35.

DIARY 8862

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24. Up about 10:15, not feeling like doing ANYTHING, so I don't do the typing on the diary which I should, and just get down to reading "Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain" for hours. Vacuum 12-1. There's no one to call because Bob Grossman and Bob Rosinek and Arnie Bernstein are all at Fire Island for the weekend, and no one answers when I call John Casarino, and Rolf Houkum said he was being tied up with friends for sex on Thursday and Saturday so he didn't want to go to the baths on Friday, and that's about all there was to call. Then have lunch and decide I HAVE to do some work, so I work on the Normality index from 3:10 to 7:30, and then decide that I have enough space to type the index NOT in the awkward run-in style, but I have to wait to ask Charlotte's OK for that on Monday, so suddenly I have nothing to do. But it's so hot that I don't FEEL like doing anything: so I don't exercise, I don't type the diary pages, don't work on the writing, just get back to reading, and when I feel too tired to continue with the Psychic book, I get out "Ada." Also, I got a photo and a slide from Falcon, so I jerked off during the day, wasting lots of time, and then wondered why I was so tired. Decided that I had to do SOMETHING tonight, so I went to the Male movies at WSDG, smoking the last of the grass to get there, and they have some good stuff with the first reel of "Boys in the Sand" and a good orgasm by Jim Cassidy, and some great long cocks that come in slow motion, and a black who's done almost stationarily, shooting great white streamers in slow motion, and Jack Seelye and Lloyd Moore are there! We chat about his trips to White Plains, saying nothing about where we are, except that I talk about the travel plans I tried to put in effect here and at NGTF. Out at 10:30, debating going to bars, but I don't feel like it, so I buy a Voice to read back on the subway, and a Times when I get in here, and do the puzzle completely in the night, plus reading most of the paper and lots of the Voice, so that when I finally turn out the lights it's 2 am AGAIN, and I'm very tired without having done anything, getting disgusted with my lack of PRODUCTIVITY again over the weekend.

DIARY 8863

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25. Up at 10:15 again, read a bit until looking at Marshall Efron from 10:30 to 11, and then watching a spectacularly well-read and informative Anthony Burgess talking about "Finnegan's Wake," so good that I get out my copy and make notes in it. Then read more of the "Psychic" until about 1:30, when I want to check if Channel 67 comes on, but I leave it on 2 and am VERY surprised when "War of the Worlds" comes on, which I'd marked in the SCHEDULE but hadn't transferred to the BOTTOM of the page, so I'd have forgotten about it. Watch that with great special effects with delight until 2:30, having lunch during it, and then get back to reading until I feel woozy enough to lay down for a bit, maybe jerking off again and smoking the rest of the grass, too, again down to absolutely nothing. Fertilize the plants, and then get out "Ada" to switch off reading speeds, and Nabokov is simply dazzling, possibly even more than Updyke and Barth, with his puns and alliterations and assonances and wordplays that almost obscure the line of the plot. Alternate back and forth between the two, having thoroughly read the Voice and the Times. Have dinner of the last of the apple sauce, finding that I was PRECISELY right when I counted out 13 Belgian carrots for 1/3, since I have 13 tonight and there are 13 left, and the last of the Spam, and then when I'm reading the LAST of "Ada" I get very thirsty, so I have a bottle of beer to assuage my thirst, and finish the evening about 1 with many more pages of "Psychic," and am a bit disgusted that I haven't done ANY writing over the weekend, but I have to get myself AWAY from this kind of thinking: I DID work 29 hours last week, I WILL work this week, so there's no reason why I have to work during the weekend: I CAN enjoy myself. But there's difficulty falling asleep, and I toss and turn, thinking of all the things that I have to do, and all the things that I should have done already and haven't, and it's only tomorrow that it dawns on me with some kind of bad jolt that the package that's waiting for me is probably the INDEX from ACC, and I should have picked it up ALREADY and started working on it. But that's for TOMORROW.

DIARY 8864

MONDAY, AUGUST 26. Up at 9 and get right back into "Physic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain" which I finish about 10:30, and then have breakfast, messing up the day's food intake. Type four diary pages to catch up, and STILL don't feel like doing anything, so I start reading science-fiction short stories. Call Charlotte and she says it's OK to type the "Normality" index in indented, rather than run-in, format. Arnie calls to say that his trip out on Thursday has been cancelled: two groups were going, but the one from the rest of the country is now flying to join the one that Anne is taking from San Francisco, so now he has to find something to do, and wants to give Travel Dynamics an ultimatum about "give me a tour or I can't work for you anymore," which I don't think is a good idea. He wants to go the baths tonight, and since I hadn't done that much on Friday, I say OK, but early. He's moving something for Norma and will call me from there. I moon about the house some more, then shower about 6, and Bob Rosinek calls, wanting me to come over after his brother-in-law talks to him, but I have the baths. Michael calls while I'm in the shower, just to say hello, and I invite him to Arnie's do on Wednesday, which he hadn't bothered to tell me was cancelled. Dinner, and Arnie picks me up at 8:30, and we're to the baths. It's a fairly good night (see DIARY 8865), and we agree to meet at 11, but I don't get down until 11:10, wait around until about 11:30, then decide he's either gone or not coming down, and I'm down at 12 to find him there, and we delay it until 1:30, but meet at 1 and decide it's time to go, but he wants to eat something more than the Drakes cherry pie that he bought for 354, so we're to a new wonton place in Chinatown for shrimp-wonton soup and beef in oyster sauce, pretty good, and we enjoy each other's company, leaving there at 2:10, home to talk on the steps of his place until I say that I have to get home to go to the john, and even at 2:30 I don't feel like going to sleep, so I pick up the science-fiction book again and finish a couple of stories until 3:30, when I'm too tired to even worry about not falling asleep, and do so immediately in the heat and humidity.

DIARY 8866

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27. Up at 11:10, feeling absolutely fatigued, and JUST don't feel like doing ANYTHING, so I get down to READING again, really stupid of me, and I feel awful about it. Delay eating until 2, when I have lunch, and then the mailman rang to send up my order from the Sunset House, and the gloves don't go on easily enough to use, the pedometer seems fine, the tube-turners are VERY solidly made and good for gifts, and the telephone pen just barely works, and the Tarot is just fine, and I do the first reading for myself: "What's this week going to BE like," and it seems vaguely positive. Then discover at 3 that the phone volume's been turned off, so immediately Bob Rosinek calls to ask me over tonight, I call Arnie, who said he'd tried getting me 15 minutes ago, and we'll be seeing "Mame" at 4:35, and I call Fran, who gives me information to give to Nath Rockhill about the 30-people charter British Caledonian flight to Edinburgh in December for some kind of conference, and call Michael to tell him that the orgy on Wednesday is off, but Thursday's dance thing is still on, and that about catches me up. Shower and shave, leaving the shades in the bedroom down since they seem to be working on the fire escape, and then out at 4:15 to meet Arnie, who goes back to get his glasses to check on the gauze-shots for Lucille Ball, and they ARE pretty extreme, and "Mame" may have been a good stage show, but the movie is very slow, too drastically understated, VERY VERY artificial and stagy without being sumptuous, and a complete waste of time, except that I don't have to watch it on TV now. Out at 6:45 and subway to Bob's at 7:40, cute wrestlers on the subway, and we SMOKE while he gets first Tarot reading, look at his art, more intellectually than artistically interesting, then out down Lexington to 86th and the Lotus Restaurant, where we have egg drop soup and shrimp in lobster sauce and moo-shu pork, STILL not very good, so I should quit getting it, except at Elaine's (or whatever female name starting with E is on 49th and 6th), and we're back to listen to his "Awakening" and "Son of Isaac Hayes" and he gets very hot and comes, but I don't don't don't, no matter how much I try, so we just lay and listen, finally, and I leave at 11:30, home at 12:30, and drink lots of water and read a bit more, getting to sleep at 1:30, still disgusted.

DIARY 8867

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28. Up at 9:30, finding about noon that they've finished painting the fire escape already, and have the last of the cereal. Bob calls to say that his sister is coming to town, so he won't be available for much, and later in the day when I call Arnie I find that he's gotten TWO other people who were necessary for him to move Norma's air conditioner. Type three diary pages and get ready to go out to unemployment, getting the package from the post office which IS the ACC index, but thank goodness it didn't ask me to call them when I got it, and rather than due on Wednesday it's due on TUESDAY, which will be a trick, since I call Norma and Arnie to tell them that I WOULD be going with them to the Island over the long Labor Day weekend. Back with the Voice and the laundry, which I read and put away, and then work on the typing of the "Normality" index from 1 to 2:25, when I have lunch, still reading science-fiction stories, and then finish it up from 2:45 to 7 pm, feeling pretty good about getting THIS out of the way, and calling Charlotte to say that I'll be bringing it in tomorrow, when I do so many OTHER things in town. Then immediately look through "Behavioral Objects in Nursing," and it looks like it WILL be a fast book for indexing, so that's fine: I might be able to finish it on Tuesday, literally. End at 7:15 and have a three-egg omelet for dinner, since I have NOTHING in the house to eat, but then it's raining very hard (but it STILL doesn't get rid of the terrible humidity and the 89 discomfort index) so I don't feel like going to the Keaton and Beatles at the Elgin, leaving it for tomorrow night, and work on the index from 7:45 to 8:30, when I watch "Great American Dream Machine" till 9:30, then actually FINISH marking the book and coming up with questions from 9:30 to 11:30, maybe I can finish the index TOMORROW and FRIDAY, and then turn to TV from 11:30 to 1 for David Frost's "Guinness Book of Records II," then watch "Twilight Zone" about someone being able to read people's thoughts when a quarter falls on edge, and the end of "Tomorrow" with an embarrassing Tom Snyder, and then watch "Swamp Fire" from 2 to 3:20 with John Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe as the heavy (as he usually was), fun watching TWO Trazans wrestling in the water. Bed at 3:30, only barely tired enough to fall asleep.

DIARY 8869

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29. Wake at 9:30, feeling pretty good for only 6 hours sleep, and I figure I've been getting too much, lately, rather than too little. Right to the phone to call Alan Gold about the questions I have for the index, and he says that I can make it as long as I want to, and suddenly it strikes me that if I finish it today, I can take it in when I go to the Latham party! So I work from 10 to 11, typing up all the cards, and then edit them to the point of typing from 11-12, and then I'm hungry because I haven't had the time to go out and get cereal for the rest of this week, and so I have lunch of tuna, and then back to the typing to finish the whole thing about 2:30, feeling very good about how QUICKLY I could finish it, and this after I was VERY concerned about the deadline of September 3! Call Avi about Pilobolus but he doesn't want to go; Bob Grossman's not home, probably out with his sister; and Arnie's not home either. Call Alan to make arrangements to bring it in, and leave at 4, having showered and washed my hair, and even washed the dishes, finally. To Basic Books just at 4:30 and Charlotte's washing dishes in preparation to closing the office early since there have been robberies and because of a convention there are only four of them in the office. She says that ALL indexers do their work on time, unlike copyeditors and proofreaders! Then down to 292 Madison and Alan Gold at 5, and he seems to like the index, and then get across to 41st and Latham as it starts to rain. John A. and Gerald (?) are there for the music book, Sarah Parker, Dave Cradle, and some other names like Rodelinda Albrecht and Ginny Cudlak are there, too. Have franks and beer and phone Arnie, who's not going to the movies, and Michael, who'll meet me at 6:30. Arnie calls for the schedule and I leave at 5:50 to get to almost the beginning of "Bananas" for the second time, see "Sleeper," very funny but not terribly ORGANIZED into something memorable, and Michael's liking it so much that I sit through "Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex" again, and leave at 10:35, partway through "Bananas" again, and we both leave, I subway home, smoke, come too quickly with slides, then listen to music for a bit, quite bidi-pooped, and get to bed at 2 am!

DIARY 8870

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30. Up after 10, wondering why I feel so tired, having a slight sore throat from the movies yesterday being so cool, and almost debate calling and saying that I don't feel good and don't want to go for the weekend. Type two pages, fix up the apartment a bit, including doing the dishes (no, yesterday), and let in the exterminator, hopefully getting rid of the last of the roaches I'd seen from the moving-in downstairs the past few weeks. Lunch and exercise before getting out to the Elgin for two shorts of "The Bellboy," with Fatty Arbuckle, "Convict 13," quite funny, and "Saphead," not very funny at all, except, as the papers say, when he's knocking off people's hats in the Stock Exchange. Just a stupid movie from 1920 that used to star Douglas Fairbanks. Try for action with a muscled fellow with shorts, but he goes down on a lank-haired kid with a shoulder bag, as someone else goes down on doee number two at the end of the aisle, and it's so open it's even worse than Central Park. Out at 5 and call Arnie, who says I should be at his place at 6:45, and that gives me enough time to shower and shave and pack and get to his doorway about a minute late, and he's still down there waiting for me. In to Norma's new apartment in Chatham Towers, and the huge rectangular windows, double-paned and easy to clean, are the best feature, but the rooms are fairly small, underdone as yet, and there's rock bass from the hi-fi next door. But I DO envy her her sunset over the Hudson River and even a bit of the East River, and ALL up uptown, and downtown to the World Trade Center. Walk into Chinatown to eat at something-Joy Restaurant after standing online, and the Singapore noodles are curry-y and outdoorsy in taste and green good looks, and the pork and cooked lichee and the shrimp and something are good, too, and we're out of the apartment at 9, driving and talking while Norma dozes, getting to Pathmark, open 24 hours and CROWDED, at 10:30 for a half-gallon of coffee ice cream and a half-gallon of vanilla fudge ice cream, two packs of shelled almonds and pecans, and chocolate syrup for only $5+, and we get to Norma's bare but spacious house at 10:50, having fabulous sundaes until 12:30, and I'm up tired onto the new bed and don't even need earplugs to get to sleep.

DIARY 8871

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31. Wake at 6 because of the sunlight coming through the uncovered windows, but laze until 7:55, down to greet Arnie and Norma, who had been up at 5, reading a bit, and we're out to the bakery for rolls, and Arnie pokes into a number of other places for shopping, exasperating Norma, and back for rolls and cheese and coffee with creamer, and lots of pleasant talk, and then they're deciding what to get at the grocery for the weekend's food, and suddenly John's chicken is being served to Roz and Lou Sands, guests tonight. They leave about 11 and I take off south to the bay, only a narrow strip between two private-only fences for houses along the coast, and then up a road alongside the swamps to the channel for the ferries to the Island, and watch people passing in their luxurious boats for about half an hour, then back, picking some honeysuckle for its smell in the house, and back around to the east past some fairly boring neighborhoods except for the large trees along Norma's Seaman Avenue, and back to Middle Road to her house. Read "Don Quixote" until they return at 1:15 with groceries, we have some snacks for lunch, and then Norma wants the bathroom primed for painting, so I strip to shorts and get my arms and hair spattered with paint to finish the thing in time to shower and prepare the chicken and then the corn has to be shucked, and the Sands are in at 6:30. Norma had mentioned how old and cranky Lou was, and I recalled Arnie saying he didn't care for them at all, so we eat with many snide innuendos, more cruel and ironic than funny, and both Norma and Roz are willing to try me as their travel agent, which is nice, but then at 7:50 Arnie suggests that we go to the movies, and we DO, for the 8:15 double feature of "Alice in Wonderland" and "Fantasia." But the sound is too low, the theater too cold, the seats actually DAMP, the few attendees much too loud, and it's a poor selection, all in all, particularly since I'm not stoned, and should be for the glories of "Fantasia," which IS really a trip. Out at 11:15 and back to turn on the TV for "Phaedra" a study in decadence, which Arnie goes to sleep in the middle of (see DIARY 8872), and I finish at 12:15, and then up to sleep and toss for a bit before putting in earplugs and dozing off about 12:45.

DIARY 8873

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1. Really don't feel like getting out of bed, but I hear Norma fussing around downstairs so I figure Arnie's up, too, and down to find them debating about how Norma should prepare an onion omelet of great flavor and texture, which she has none of, so Arnie and I greedily eat it all. Norma had gotten the Times much earlier, and I glance through it until Arnie says that we should go to Fire Island today, and Norma won't join us, since she'd going on another sailing lesson-helpmate trip with Lou, who doesn't trust himself alone because his legs might give out at any time. She said they left about 10 last night, not concerned that we weren't there, and she cleaned up everything about 11 and went to bed. We check the ferry schedule and Norma drives us over after we decide to take as little as possible: I have only my driver's license for ID, a $10 bill, my shoes, socks, shorts, and shirt. There's a long line for the ferry at 11, and who do we see getting OFF the ferry but Henry Messer and Carl, taking one of their nephews to the plane, so they won't be there. Across in the hot sun and get out to the beach to find that there are far fewer nudes than there were during the week, and I walk along without shorts and only a shirt buttoned on the navel, which Arnie calls "provocative" and I hope it will be, but a few hours in the bushes are incredibly frustrating (see DIARY 8874). Back to the beach at 3:30 to watch a sand castle being VERY slowly eroded by the waves, and many of the best bodies walk past at this point, though again there are few nudes: only one bare-topped woman and only about a dozen or two bare-cocked men. Back to Arnie about 4:45 and we get dressed to catch the 5:15 ferry, getting a hot fudge sundae for $1.05 while Arnie gets ONE SCOOP of ice cream for 554, and we have to sit downstairs with a squalling baby and a yowling dog. Across and walk back to Norma's constantly talking, which makes it go fast, and then it's time to put on the charcoal for the steaks and chicken for tomorrow, we eat outside until the mosquitoes drive us inside about 8:30, and I wash up and we watch the uninterrupted "Born Yesterday" with Judy Holliday until 12, having ANOTHER nut-fudge ice cream sundae just for toppers to a good day, and bed.

DIARY 8875

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. Up before Arnie, at 8:30, feeling VERY logy, and they have a number of places they want to shop, none of which I want to see. Breakfast is only toast and jelly and butter and cheese, not even thinking of cereal until the end of the meal, and then they go out and I sit around doing both the crossword and the double-crostic. Lunch is a stand-up affair taken on the run, and then (before, actually) I'm out with Arnie to pick up some Monday papers for ourselves and the person across the street, and to the hardware store, which had turned into the same sort of place as the kitsch 5-and-dimes: everything rewrapped in plastic with an overly expensive price tag: pieces of wood, just plain wood, for $2.99. Out to the car to watch the sexy shoppers, and then when I've finished with the paper and the puzzles I read more of "Don Quixote" until I begin nodding in sleep, and debate going up to sleep when Norma comes down from her furniture stripping to say that since the weather's so damp we can't paint the bathroom, and she doesn't feel like stripping anymore, we should just leave, which wakes me up enough to go up and pack, and we're out of the place by 5, my taking my suitcase and the corn and tomatoes they'd bought for me, and we stop at a couple of gas stations to worry about the tire with the leak, in the rear, and then onto the traffic-free highway to get into New York even before 6:30, and I help Arnie up with a load of stuff and watch Norma take off in the car and lament with Arnie that the Club Baths aren't on twofers tonight, a holiday. Cool on the way home, but the apartment is still warmish, John seems not to have watered the plants, all bone-dry, and I give him some tomatoes, he wants no corn, I dry out pot and come from 8:15 to 9, VERY strongly and shootingly, then cook up four ears of corn for dinner, listen to music for a couple of hours trying to get over my stonedness, and then start reading, which I don't really NEED to do, but there's nothing ELSE to take up my time. Called Bob Grossman, who's tired of his sister's looking for apartments and eating in restaurants, she's leaving tomorrow, and I'm into bed about 1, overtired but not really DOING anything.

DIARY 8876

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3. Up at 9:30, feeling still somewhat fatigued from doing nothing, and relieved that it's still quite cool outside: the weekend at Bayport really marked a division between the excessive heat and humidity of the summer and the coolness of autumn, though as everyone admits there will probably STILL be some nights when one sleeps under no covers at all. Sit right down with "The Hugo Winners" and read through the last 75 or so pages, finishing that, and then bring the list of stories up to date with their scoring on the sheet that I'm surprised to find that I started all the way back (check now and find that I ordered the books in January, 1973, and that my marking that I FINISH with the club in 1971 is just a WRITING error on my part, since there are two OTHER 1973 dates written clearly---so they HAVEN'T been around for three years). Then glance at things to do and see that "Pink Floyd" is on its last day at the Rivoli (reading New York is how I find out), so I plan to see that, and debate calling Bob and having dinner and wasting the evening with him, but that I want to see TV tonight. Exercise before eating anything, and it feels good to get back to it, and then have lunch after showering and shaving, and leave after smoking to see "Pink Floyd," and the stonedness helps a lot because I'm looking at their images of wandering through the volcanic fields in Naples in their ruins and ANTICIPATE something's going to happen that's sexy or very nice or extremely melodic, and don't follow it closely enough to be disappointed when nothing actually happens. The theater is practically empty, and quite cold, so I raise the flap of my shoulder bag to protect my chilly chest. Out at 5:15 and down to see what's playing on 42nd Street, and almost by design, there's "The Exorcist." See that (see DIARY 8878) and out at 7:35, subwaying home to try to see the "International Performance" on Channel 13 that's started at 7:30, but find that it's that old Japanese opera, so I haven't missed anything ANYWAY. Get around to dinner of sausage and sweet corn, only three ears this time, and about 10 pm can't hold myself away from "The Man Who Folded Himself" anymore, so I read that until 11:30, then read a bit more of "Don Quixote" until 12, and bed EARLY.

DIARY 8880

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4. Disgusted between 12:15-12:45 am because someone upstairs or downstairs is HAMMERING, one session, then stopping as my teeth grit and my stomach reacts, then a second session that gets me in robe and slippers into the hallway to decide that the talking is coming from DOWNstairs, so that's where the hammering is from, and I debate just rapping on the floor, but then it stops again, and I angrily get back into bed. Wakened at 7:50 with the phone ringing through my earplugs: the phone company finally coming out to check on the volume control! So I get right out of bed and take the other phone out, using this as an excuse to tell John that the phone isn't there at ALL unless he's going away for a long period of time---another wrench separating the two of us (see DIARY 8881)---and the phone man comes in just before 10 and fixes it up so that it's not ringing so loudly even at the top of its ring, and shuts off without swinging freely when I move it. So THAT'S over at last: now I just have to wait for the first bill. Have a normal breakfast for the first time in ages (without fruit) and put the clothes away from the weekend and get the place back into order just before he comes, and then type seven pages to almost get up to date on the diary, except that there are lots of "special" pages that I seem to want to type. Out to unemployment at 11:15, a VERY long line that I didn't take a book to, then get poppers (last bunch was gotten the middle of APRIL), shampoo, wine, and feel like I don't want to get groceries, so back for lots of mail which I read through, beginning to feel pressures to do other things (see DIARY 8882), and have lunch without exercising because I'm so hungry, and then watch "Les Brigands," a very tuneful production from 1:45 TO 3, come (see DIARY 8887) and then STILL don't feel like working and settle down with "The Synthetic Man" from 4 to 6. Then read more of "Don Quixote" and have dinner of more corn and the last of the sausage, read more, and watch "Clarence Darrow" on TV, and THIS gets me started on different kinds of thought (see DIARY 8883), and I read a good quote from "Synthetic Man" that starts me thinking (see DIARY 8885) as I read more and jot more before going to bed at 12:30, feeling very STRANGE (see DIARY 8886).

DIARY 8897

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5. Up at 9:15 to type the dream page of DIARY 8877 (which is merely 20 pages ago), and then continue typing until I've finished going through 13 pages, but in the meantime I've thought of lots of things to do, including calling Marge duMond, which I do, as recorded in the conversation on DIARY 8888-8889, and this takes until 12:30! Finish typing about 1:30, then try calling Alan Henderson and Avi, but there's no answer. Exercise until 1, shower and wash my hair, and then have lunch, feeling very good about all the things that I'm getting done today. Back to the desk to sort through the upper drawer and throw lots of things away, then go through the "Now" drawer in the bottom, throwing away lots of stuff, then rearrange the top shelf of things to do, sending off lots of checks for tickets and various things, after calling Arnie and talking to him for a long time about various things. Then type seven more pages of various notes for stories that I'd written, and begin to make up a new list of things I want to write, and Bob Rosinek calls and we arrange to have an orgy here on Tuesday for him, maybe Big Bob, Richard Etts, and Arnie and others. Busy, busy. Get in touch with Alan, whose grandfather has died, and he says he'll call me for various card-playing evenings, Avi starts work on Wednesday, with his usual schedule of getting back home about 2:30 after starting at 7:30, and I call Ed Lowman to say hello, he says he'll call me next week, and I type off a letter to Paul, the really last thing of an administrative nature to do, just in time to sit down for dinner of franks and beans at the TV at 8 to watch a show on Evel Knievel to 9, the really awful movie "Villain" with Richard Burton as a "homosexual" although all he does with the cute "Wolfie" of Ian McShane is say "I need you," when his mother dies. Then watch President Ford reading a message for "The United Way," the 11 pm news with muscle-poppers in preview for Saturday, the first part of Cavett's interview with Paul Simon, and then Arnie calls at 11:50 to say that he's GOING to the Greek Islands on a charter that he's leaving for on Thursday, Norma's going to Milan on Sunday, so I should get her a ticket, and Twilight Zone's "What's in the Box?" goes by while I'm listening with half an ear to HIM. "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" has a "Gremlin" tamper with a plane engine under William Shatner's tortured eyes. Bed to toss a bit at 1:30 am.

DIARY 8900

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6. Up at 9:45, seeming to need more sleep recently, and type one page, go get groceries, and go through all the tables of contents to separate out the pages that would go together to make "John." Seem to take a lot of time with this, and it turns out that I've done absolutely nothing this week on any real WORK. Talk to Arnie on the phone to get more information about his possible trip, and he talks and talks about his problems about wanting to see Las Vegas and Grand Canyon and not being sure which to see for what amount of money. I go over to get a record of "Song of the Forests" he bought for me for $6.35 (great bargain?) from Goody's, and he tells me that I might be able to get grass from a guy named Michael who's staying somewhere on the East Side on a trip up from Philadelphia, and I call him in the early evening to find that he doesn't know what he's going to be doing tomorrow, but we can get together then and I can buy the grass for $25 an ounce. Then count my money and realize that I won't have enough for the weekend, and call Arnie back about 5 to find that he and Norma aren't leaving until later, and he can cash a $50 check for me for cash for the weekend, which is great. I select two books on the Grand Canyon for him to read and take them over for the money on my way out to see "Last American Hero" and "Parallax View" at the Quad. It's raining slightly, and Michael is joining me somewhere in the middle of the first film, since he has to leave work at 5 and get uptown to pay his rent, and I get in at 5:05 at the start, and LAH is another "Walking Tall": everyone breaks all the laws, and you're for the lawbreakers and booze runners and cheer for the shoddy racing car drivers and even for their loose women who act almost as bad as a gay guy going from one beauty to another. "Parallax View" is quite good, and only talking with Arnie later tells me that the movie probably intended you to feel that Beatty was PLANNED as the "killer killed" of the politician, which REALLY made the group very high class. Great flick; and we're out at 9:30 to eat sandwiches in Poppy's, then out in the rain at 10, and Michael decides he DOES want to go to the baths, which we (see DIARY 8901) do, and I leave him there at 3:45, getting to bed at 4:30 am, latest yet!

DIARY 8903

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7. Wake at 11:30, amazed that I've slept so late, and stumble out of bed before noon, talking to Bob on the phone later about the evening, saying how naughty I've been to sleep so late after staying out so late. Call the Club Baths and find that they haven't found my contact case, call Michael to find a busy signal, and then he calls me to say that he'll be at Arnold's at 2:30, and then will come here at 3 to sell me the grass. Fabulous! I'd gotten some great ideas coming awake this morning, and typed the two pages about Babbitt Brighton (see DIARY 8898-8899) before Michael came in. John brought up the mail, and having gotten the brochures from Fran I called Roz Sands and talked about an hour about her trip to Paris, deciding to take the Amex package for $372, and she's so happy I found something for less than the $612 regular airfare. With eating and taking a shower, there's not much time before Michael rings the buzzer at 3:20, but happily I'm ready for him, and he's tall and pleasant-faced with a bushy mustache and a somewhat overdeveloped midsection. The face is the best of all: open and cheerful and somewhat reddish, and we chat about Spartacus and grass and music until they ask for opera to listen to, so I put on "Frau" at their suggestion, but when they like that, I go into "Song of the Forest," which they get into with the smoking, and I put the volume way up. After that comes "Mefistofeles" and about four or five pipes of grass, and I get VERY carried away in the music (see DIARY 8904). Bob calls and I say I'll be there about 6:30 for dinner, but I have difficulties communicating that to Steven and Michael, so I call Bob back at 6 and say I'll be there at 7, and get there finally, reeling from the grass, at 7:10, and we get immediately up to the box office to buy two $5 tickets from the crowded lobby, Bob insisting "I must be crazy to be doing this," and "I don't believe I'm actually doing this." Out at 7:45 around the corner to Schrafft's, where I'm still tripping on the grass, Bob says I'm talking incessantly, a girl grimaces at me from the window (which of course Bob doesn't believe, except that I say I don't have the imagination to make up anything so strange, do I?), and we get to the 8th Annual Mr. America contest at 8:30, STILL not started, and it's a fun evening (see DIARY 8905). Out at 12, subway home STILL stoned, read Times to 1:30.

DIARY 8906

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8. Up at 9:30 and right to the Times, writing notes on DISGUSTS (see DIARY 8909), finishing the puzzles while watching some films on Camera Three. Keep trying to phone John Casarino, but yesterday his maid said "He soon coming back, darling, so you can call him later" and today I left word with his service. Call Michael to apologize, and the apartment-dweller Mel (Meltzer? Metzger?) and I talk, he says I sound nice, I think he sounds nice, particularly when he says he does working out three times a week and I say I like muscles, and we agree to meet in the Portobello Road Fair. Arnie calls and says he has some free time between 1:30 and 4 to go, so he'll drive, so we arrange to pick Bob (and Arnie's sheets and my typewriter) up at 2. I don't even have time for lunch and still feel stoned from yesterday, particularly happy about the meeting with Mel, who I fantasize as being very sexy. Ask John if he wants to walk across the bridge with me to Norma's and he says OK, so we're off at 1, but I forget how slowly he walks, so we don't get there until 1:40, and then he kisses Norma and Arnie and we talk for a bit, then leave about 2 for the cellar and the car, uptown in VERY crowded streets to Bob's at 2:30, and I get out ahead to get Bob down so that we can turn south again on Second Avenue, still curb-to-curb cars and horns. John has just been DREADFUL in the car (see DIARY 8907) and I'm relieved when he gets out to go to the fair by himself. I say that we'll drive down to 41st with him to find a parking space, but we get out at 42nd anyway, and THEN he says "There's someone going out," and he parks between 41st and 42nd. Portobello Road Fair is a catastrophe of 30,000 people at a time (see DIARY 8908) and there's no finding anything or anyone. Leave the area at 4, and Bob accepts today for backgammon, so we try a Burger and Brew that has run out of food, and then end up at Hobeau's after Mayfair's kitchen is closed till 5:30 and I have shish kebab and a good salad for $5.25 plus tip, and then up to Bob's to watch a special at 6 about Ford's pardon of Nixon (his first big goof), and then we play backgammon until about 10, finding two big goofs in the rules, and I leave, STILL stoned, and by 11 I'm home smoking again and jerking off again to the damp grass, having cleaned a bit for seeds, which I'll see if they germinate to see if I'll save more of them BEFORE saving more of them. Bed at 1 after even more music (and write notes on DIARY 8912).

DIARY 8910

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9. Up at 9:15, feeling very tired, and when I have a great shit of yellow turds, I wonder if I might not be coming down with hepatitis or something to explain my malaise. Have some strange clear dreams while debating about getting up (see DIARY 8912, 8913 having the notes that I jotted last night when I was stoned). Call Bob Rosinek but he's not in the office today, call Michael to tell him to invite Skipper, which he will, and he hadn't found my glass case, and I feel that there are so many things to do (while I exercise and shower, feeling that THAT is necessary) that I have to make a list of things to do, and it takes up a whole card. Talk to Arnie in the morning, and then he calls in the afternoon from Travel Dynamics to say that it's "definite" that he's leaving on October 10 and I'm leaving on October 13, and seeing as how the other trip was CANCELLED about a month before it was to depart, this being SET UP about a month before departure is more encouraging. So I can do Hemlock Hall AND Elmira AND the tour, I guess. Bob calls to get dates I'm busy so he can get seats for "Moon for the Misbegotten" when he goes for unemployment. Out to buy contact lens case and fluid from the store, and buy four six-packs of beer and two gallons of coc (hm) Coke and Pepsi for the party, which will have over eleven people at, and figure I'll have to see the movies tonight. Get to nailing the top part of the bedroom window shut so that the bottom part can be USABLE (lots of wood tumbles into two backyards), and then I wash that window inside and out, but too tired to tackle the other windows. Finished reading the Times in the morning, giving the sections to John, type three diary pages, but somehow there's just no TIME to do anything, and I exercise before lunch [I SAID that!] and have dinner at 6, the last of the corn, really dried out, before getting out a BIT late to the Elgin for the 7:35 show, but the titles go on just then, and it's a fairly interesting evening in the almost empty theater (see DIARY 8911). Movies, however, not really worth the time. Smoked before, still stoned going home until 12:30, then test lights to get a proper dimness until 1:30, then tumbled exhausted into bed.

DIARY 8916

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10. Bob gets me out of bed at 9 to say that neither Richard Etts nor Big Bob are coming (for casting and bowling reasons, respectively). Determined to get to the lagging diary, so I type ten pages until around noon, and then go to the bank and go to vote (no crowds) and get back for lunch and then begin the lengthy moving of things around the apartment. But not until I'd gotten into the "First that, then that, but I can't do THAT until I've done that, but that conflicts with the other, and then there's that and that and that," and in consequence I stood around staring at dirty floors, dusty furniture, and grimy windows for a long period of time. When I finally get to it, it's about 3 and I'm rather worried that I won't be able to finish everything. Vacuum and dust, then move the sofas apart, the coffee table into the study, the bicycle into the study, the mirror into the entranceway, and the speakers into their positions: one in the study from the left of the stereo, and the remote from the kitchen into the bedroom, carefully putting all the wires under the carpets. It's five by the time I've finished with all that, and then I hurriedly spic-and-span all the linoleum and wooden floors so they won't be dusty for bare feet, and quickly get into the shower to wash off the grime of the day, washing my hair, which doesn't have a chance to dry completely by the time Bob arrives at 6 on the dot. He's brought only one joint, so I know I have to clean some more stuff, and I haven't had time to drape sheets over the chairs. Out to eat at the Piccadelli, rather poor pastrami but spectacularly slim-hipped and sexy waiters, and have an ice cream and get back at 7:15, giving us enough time to clean more grass, and Bob tells me about his great grass-growing technique: putting them into water for 24 hours: those which SINK are fertile and will grow; those that FLOAT can be thrown out as no good! He gets the pipe ready while I put in my contact lenses, and we start smoking a bit before Bill Wolf arrives first at 8:10, and then Arnie with Bob Kunikoff at 8:15, but probably AFTER Bob Grossman arrives in the middle of a call from Rolf Houkum, saying he can't come, so the party's off to a rather poor start, from which it never completely recovers (see DIARY 8917). The last leaves at 12, I fuss around fixing up until 2, then get wearily, dejectedly to bed.

DIARY 8920

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11. Mrs. Johnson wakes me at 8:50 to say that the painter will be in to do the balcony today, and then right afterward Bob R calls to give his report about last night, positive for Bill, negative for BobG, and puzzlement for BobK. He's still trying to set something up with Big Bob "sometime after the 15th, when he gets rid of his friend" that he was supposed to get rid of by September 1. Want to get down to fixing up the apartment, working on things to write, even the diary, but I just, again, don't FEEL like it, so I take down "More than Human" and start reading that. Painter paints balcony. Get out to unemployment, then stop in on the Long Island Historical Society, an entrance desk, three paintings of the awful Hudson River primitive school, and two statues of an Indian and a statesman, and up the creaking, rubber-treaded stairs to the second-floor library, a carved-wood sanctum of study and quiet, containing no more than a half-dozen scholars in their respective corners, one clerk, diligently filing, and two glass-top cases of the "watercolor exhibit of someone Northrop" an undiscovered unpainter. Nice to know that such places still exist. Then buy the Voice and go shopping, angered beyond reason by the fact that they have no parsley, that a bum is putting meat into his waist-wrapping sweater (he's caught), that people bump into me and block aisles. Home to continue reading, the mail giving me "Straight to Hell," the journal of cockosity, that I read all through, jerking off TWICE to it, and finally at 2:30 I decide I'm HUNGRY---and this is the day I made "the decision" (see DIARY 8921)---and don't want tuna, and disgusted by the chicken exactly a week in the frig, and prepare John's recipe with the smelly chicken, cooking it from 3 to 4, eating one greedily until 4:30, and then read part of the Voice and put only one or two of the things from the party last night away. Highly disgusted with myself, mainly due to the practicality of "the decision," and then shave and shower and get ready to go out to "Maria Stuarta" at 7:30. Into my seat JUST as the curtain goes up at 8:05, and it's an up-and-down performance (see DIARY 8922) that I talk with Michael about. He's there free, kneeling behind the last seat in the fifth ring. Out at 11:10, home at 12, finishing "More than Human," and have some eggs for dinner and, feeling very disgusted with myself, get to bed at 12:30.

DIARY 8923

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12. Up at 8:30, early for a change, and eat breakfast and am just brushing my teeth when John comes over to ask for Alice Duskey's phone number to stay in his apartment for a few weeks, and though I say she's just moved into a loft, he says he'll try her anyway. Still don't feel like doing anything, so I settle in with reading the Village Voice almost all morning, a lot of things quite good, and then finish LeGuin's story in the science-fiction book, but then John brings up the mail, including a letter from Paul, and I go into the itinerary strongly, getting out the file on Alaska and look through it before I realize I'd be getting there in the middle of winter: February, so Alaska will wait for some OTHER round the world trip, as will the last province of Canada and the territories (actually I seem to be describing an entire trip!). Lunch late on a cold chicken breast, BobG calls to say how disappointed he was at my orgy, and I glance through the index that comes in the mail. Then DETERMINED to clean up the apartment, so I fertilize the plants, vacuum the fluff off the rugs, put away the typewriter after trying to fix it without success, put the speakers and the lights and the mirror back where they all belong, and then settle down at the desk for the first bit of duty in a long time: send for a book from S&S Books, send the telephone bill, ridiculously high at $40+, and for the Reese Palley "way to get rich." Then shower and get out at 5:30 for Ed Lowman's, reading Quixote, and walk to his place from the Lexington local stop at 51st, getting in at 6:15. Up to find that Bob's out of town, he kisses me and grabs my cock a few times, then we're down to drink for a couple of hours until conversation lags, then down to eat another fillet at the Steak Loft, with its salad and baked potato, and then up at 9:30 to neck for a bit, sit on the sofa to be somewhat more accessible, and then about 10 he grabs me, we neck on the sofa for a bit, my legs stupidly crossed, and then we both suggest the bedroom, and it's a fiasco (see DIARY 8924). Leave at 11:10, home at the dot of 11:59 and get into bed wondering why I'm feeling so awful (see DIARY 8925) that nothing happens (see DIARY 8926).

DIARY 8932

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13. Up at 8:30 and transcribe the dream I'd just had on DIARY 8914-8915, and I'm really getting into it, typing 14 diary pages by the time I'm finished with the whole stint, and I haven't eaten breakfast or done anything else in the pressure to get all the notes and ideas and fragments out of my mind and into the diary. That takes until about noon, and then I type up the itinerary for Fran that I had to mail out to her, and then have lunch and get back to collect everything that I need to get into the articles for the New York Times Travel Section, and I think and think and type and type and read parts of the new Frommer books that Arnie brought me, and get into the beginning of page seven by 5 pm, and I just don't feel that I can do anything more, so I call Bob Grossman and talk with him for a bit, and then, too, I'd called Michael and made final arrangements about him calling me either very late on Saturday or early Sunday to make the final meeting-time for the Long Island Railroad tour on Sunday. Then, having worked most of the day, I feel that I can stop for dinner and read more of "Again, Dangerous Visions," and I seem to be reading quite slowly anymore, wallowing in the words, not quite realizing what they mean unless I go through them very, very slowly. For some reading sessions, all of the stories in the book seem to be very good, and then many of them seem to be quite poor. Also, I'm much into jerking off during this weekend: now that I have lots of grass (even the two plants have been drying off and yielding lots of grass) I'm going into the bedroom about 6:30 and getting stoned and jerking off with nerve-wrenching slowness, and the weekend blurs into one self-orgy (see DIARY 8933). There's nothing on television tonight---but at noon I think and think of BobR's directions about soaking marijuana seeds, and get out a cup and put in about 65 grass seeds, about half the test-set I'd isolated from the grass that Michael Ralph sold me a week ago. Watch them through the day, and from a start of two sinking, by evening almost all of them have settled below the surface, and some are even developing tiny cracks in the seed, with shoots just starting to peep out. Great seeds!

DIARY 8934

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14. Bed about 2 last night after reading, and up about 10 this morning, to make it short. Remember the seeds in the cup about 1, and find that all but five have sunk. Decide to replant the white plastic planter, and fret about what to do with the green bio-mass in the planter already, and finally get to the two huge pots in the closet and uproot all the cuttings-grown-huge in the planter, transfer rocks and soil to the pots, and replant all the uprooted plants from the planter. Then add all the rest of the new potting soil (still with the little white crawly bugs) into the planter, and meticulously plant the five floating seeds following by the 59 sunk seeds in a 4x16 array in the planter, measuring off by the white indentations in the sides, and there are just 14 of them, and two for each wider side area, for exactly 64 plantings. Cover with vermiculite and water and put it onto the window sill. Distribute the two large pots where I think they will get the most sun, hoping the roots will retake in their transplanted soil. Dogs still barking so much that I actually put in earplugs in the evening. Keep reading the rest of "Again, Dangerous Visions" through the rest of the day, and not even eating very well. Peaches have gone rotten, disturbing me, and I have the evening sex with myself that I described on DIARY 8933, so that much of the afternoon goes for replanting, much of the evening for sex and watching part of "Great American Dream Machine," and the rest of it goes to reading. About 10 get out for the Times, and read lots of it, doing ALL of BOTH puzzles from 10 to 12, cursing myself for doing that and not showering to wash my FILTHY hair for the trip tomorrow, for which I'll have to get up about 6:30. Finally get into the shower at midnight, almost wishing I didn't have to go, and Michael calls to say that he has a sore throat and doesn't feel like going, so that's the end of that, and I sit up reading more of the Times until 2 am, getting to bed not even disgusted with myself, since I've already said that I'm not doing any writing, and I'm almost finished with "A,DV," the last of the big books to read, and I'm thoroughly satiated with food and sex. Sleep at once.

DIARY 8935

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15. Up at 10 to read more of the Times, give the sections to John at 11:30, skip breakfast so I can get down to things I want to do, and read the book and the Times until 1, when I watch "Paths of Glory," which is STILL the story about the GUILT of the individual who follows orders and doesn't REFUSE to do what's morally wrong of him, and with THIS view of course the generals are wrong who order the attack, the three soldiers who are shot for "cowardice" when the attack on the Anthill fails should not have been shot, but also the FIRING SQUAD is guilty of murder, and even the "hero" Kirk Douglas is guilty for not REFUSING to order the attack in which so many of his men were killed. HE is partly responsible for the death of the three men. The only person of moral value in the movie was the range officer who REFUSED to order fire on his own troops. That goes on until 3, I FINISH "Again, Dangerous Visions" and get out the TOTAL HEAP of science-fiction books to find what the best and worst stories were, and even start making a list of authors mentioned by Ellison in his introductions, but that whole thing is just TOO silly, since it's all PR hype anyway, both for himself, the field of science-fiction, and the book-selling and reading businesses. Cook the pork butt, finally, and have it during "Star Trek" a silly one about the heroes ending up in a modern Chicago and influencing the gang bosses to rule the city "peacefully" among themselves. "Fiddler on the Roof" is quite a good film, making me cry a number of times with the love shown in it, and then I can't stop watching TV and watch "This Island Earth" which I've never dated in my movie book, and it's the one where the planet is being bombarded with meteors to death, with the phony-green elevator going up and down for the "surface-subway-system." That's over at 12:30 and I STILL don't feel like sleep, so I get out "Men Like Gods," the LAST book in the list (I even read through some of the pages of Don O'Shea's Quantum Mechanics book today), and read about a hundred pages before turning off the light at 2, having had a thoroughly hedonistic, unproductive, but quite enjoyable (for a single person) weekend---and I guess THAT thought takes a page (see DIARY 8936).

DIARY 8937

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16. Up at 9:30, tired, and get immediately to "Men Like Gods" and finish it in the chair until the sunlight streams across the book, forcing me to move to the sofa, and then back to the chair when the sunlight has moved past it. Finish about 11 and type three pages, which directs me to the rest of the day (see DIARY 8930). I follow my own instructions and brush my teeth (cruddy from finishing up the last of the two-quart bottles of Pepsi and Coke that I'd bought for the party that weren't finished, and last night I actually felt SOGGY and stomach-FILLED from drinking about a quart of liquid while watching TV), shave, exercise for the first time in a long time, feeling almost as if I should start back at level two, but manage to complete level 3 in a listless way, and then shower and have lunch, ready for a day of DOING something. Phone the Pottery Barn and the Science-Fiction shop to see their hours, and by the time I fix up the apartment and get out, it's 3:30. Subway to the Pottery Barn and select a dozen goblets with square bottoms that will make acceptable wine glasses, and at $2.25 apiece I pay $29.16 for the dozen---wow. Then cart them down 9th Avenue to 8th to the Science-Fiction shop, and the guy remembers me as being the Sheckley freak, and I buy about 8 books for about $16, and then lug THEM across 4th Avenue and across 8th Street to stop in Zum-Zum for dinner, since I have a half-hour before the movie starts at 7, and I order the $2.25 platter and a beer for 504 before the waitress shows me the Schaffer special of the SAME platter with TWO beers for $1.99, which is just great, and I sit watching the STRANGE people in the place (see DIARY 8938), and then get out (oh, I also indulged myself in a Mother Buckla double-dip of sweet cream and peach, both fabulous, for 504, and ate THAT BEFORE dinner) before 7 and get to the St. Marks to find that it starts at 7:15, so I go in anyway, to a theater LOUSY with smokers and screaming kids and talking people, but "The Owl and the Pussycat" has some funny lines with a sexy George Segal and "For Pete's Sake" has the even sexier Michael Sarrazin (looking like Bob Grossman, who likes him so much), and the redoubtable Barbra Streisand is quite good. Out at 10:30 and decide "What the Hell" and walk over to First and down to First for another evening (this time alone) at the baths (see DIARY 8939), bed at 3!

DIARY 8940

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17. Up at 9:30 for a call from Doug Oxley, a friend of Paul's from Hong Kong, and I arrange to meet him for lunch at 12, and then put things away from the weekend, wash the glasses from the sink to get SOME of them out of the way, fuss about the plants, which seem to have taken in their large pots, but none of the grass has come up yet. Exercise, feeling awful for the second time, and shower and shave, and then he calls and says to meet at 11:45, so I hurry it up and don't eat breakfast and don't even get anything done of the diary, not VERY far behind (this is the tenth page ALREADY and I'm not nearly done). Out at 11:30 and get to his place on 39th and 3rd at 12, and we go to eat at the Horn and Hardart, incredibly skimpy beef stew and roll and butter for $1.84! He tells me a truly difficult-to-believe story about his friends (see DIARY 8941), and we leave together at 1:15 to walk up to 45th, he gives me names to call, says he'll call me tonight, and I walk up to Travel Dynamics (having worn a SUIT for the occasion, and feeling awful about my too-long and uncombed hair, spot on the pants, iron-stain on the shirt collar, and VERY narrow-lapelled suit, and dirty shoes, too) but neither Glenn Davis nor Polly Brown are there, so I subway up to 89th and 3rd for the German Hi-Fi center to buy a microphone for $17.50, merely a different model number, and then subway back to Travel Dynamics at 2 to find them both back, and talk for a long time to both of them, and it DOES look like I'm leaving on October 13! Out at 3:30 and walk over to the stamp place on 57th and Lex, closed, and 54th and Eighth, closed FOREVER, and then subway home, seeing myself 30 years from now (see DIARY 8942), and thinking that I really don't CRUISE anymore (see DIARY 8943), and felt too hot and uncomfortable to even read. Home to talk to Bob Grossman and Roz Sands, and she'll BUY the trips, have dinner, and get out at 7 to get to Lincoln Center very EARLY, to get a camera discount-promise from Mike Edelson, the address for phonemates from Regina, Norma breaks her necklace, Michael goes out to help his friend Skinner not get a ticket, and we sit through a rather disappointing Plisetskaya evening (see DIARY 8944). Home to watch the "Glass House" 11:30-1:15, silly for him to commit SUICIDE because he's raped, even in a Truman Capote story, and killing Alan Alda was a crushing climax.

DIARY 8953

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18. Up at 9:30, sleeping more than 8 hours, to think I hear the doorbell and find a note from John that he's having someone stay in his apartment while he's in Lewisburg the rest of this week, and while we're in Hemlock Hall. Have breakfast and get right down to typing all of 14 pages, clearing up lots, but I still think of other notes to transcribe later. Then exercise and shower and prepare lunch to eat before the TV for the 2-3 pm showing of International Performance, this time "The Splendors of Versailles" a rather silly static thing of Lully and Charpentier and Alceste and various performances on the canals, near the fountains during the day and at night, in the courts and hall and apartments, while he wanders funnily through with his long wig and tapping cane, seeming always to leave before the piece is over, and the silliest thing is that this three-day festival is for him ALONE, with all the Guards of the Republic sweeping past leaving large piles of horseshit before his whitely graveled fountains. Bob Grossman calls just at 3, and I [of course, I went to unemployment, picking up the VV and looking through it, dropping stuff off at the Chinese laundry, buying groceries] get dry cleaning together, cash a couple of checks, and get to his place at 4:15 for three games of Backgammon, the first two of which he wins, to his great joy. He insists on taking the E train across, taking 20 minutes where we could have walked in 15, and eat again in the Haymarket, this time I have awful flat, pounded shrimp, and end with a spurt of diarrhea at midnight, probably from that. Then to "Moon for the Misbegotten," great with Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards (see DIARY 8954) and out at 10:25 to see Celia Brewer and Hedda [Nussbaum?], and Bob goes off in annoyance at my "rudeness" when I don't introduce him because I can't remember their names. Finally remember Celia's when I say goodbye, and get home to smoke at 12, coming up VERY hard, breaking into a new popper, and jot down some notes that I transcribe on DIARY 8946-8951, and actually fall asleep with the light on. Wake at 5:30 to shut it off with a cats yowling outside, contributing to DIARY 8951. Disgusted with this noisy place, but do I WANT to move into Westbeth with the truck traffic?

DIARY 8956

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19. Wake at 5:30 to yowling cats, and get out of bed about 10, breakfast, water plants, then type 9 pages, clearing up all the rest of the stuff I had to type, many shorter pages in the group from various notes, and then exercise and shower and by that time it's 1, so I poke about the apartment until 2, when I have lunch watching the "Great American Dream Machine" from 2-3, and then have packed the tape recorder up and take it up to 86th and 2nd, a long heavy trudge, and they say it'll be at least 2 or 3 weeks before it comes back, and I ask him "What can I do?" Then down to Hampton's and find that a Unitrex Message Minder looks better for $118 than a Phonemate Model 800 for $125, except for the $14 installation charge, and go across to Jaffer's to see that THEIR model 500 Phonemate is $118, but still the convenience of wall-power rather than batteries, of being able to record the beep anywhere I want, the ability to get their name first, all send me back to Hampton's. He's "made another appointment" so he can't come tonight, so I tell him to come tomorrow early to install, since I have to leave at 7:15. Home in the crushing rush at 5:30, put things away and clear up junk in the apartment, and put on hamburger for dinner at 6:55, and then think that I have nothing to do this evening, would like to test out my statement that I can get tickets to the ballet anytime, so I eat a quick dinner, smoke a quick pipe, and get out at 7:25 to get to the theater at 7:55, look at all the people trying to get tickets, and finally when the group about the box office dwindles, I look in and they have an orchestra seat for $15 for sale! I dizzily buy it: It DOES work! In for a much better performance (see DIARY 8957) and out at 10:40 to get home at 11:30 in time for the Dick Cavett interview of Bette Davis, watching a not-so-cute Michael Sarrazin playing a misunderstood youth in "The Pursuit of Happiness" which ends with him and his girlfriend flying off into the sunrise for Mexico over the final frozen-frame image of the face of the Statue of Liberty. Still don't feel like sleeping, so I watch "Outer Limits" about the marauding tumbleweed with Eddie Albert and June Havoc until 2:30, and then to bed, amazed that I seem to be INSISTING on staying up so LATE.

DIARY 8958

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20. Up at 10:30 to have breakfast and type DIARY 8955, which summarizes the morning exactly, and tells what I did on the phone from 12 to 1:30. Then I begin looking at the instructions for the Unitrex, and find that there's NO rewiring necessary with an "instant Jack" and I keep thinking paranoidly of the idea that Steve Wiener will come, get the lay of the apartment, and with my address and phone number come and ROB me. This preys and preys on my mind, though when he calls at 3, I merely say OK, but think more and more about it while exercising, showering, and having lunch, and finally call him back and say that I'll do it myself. He hangs up, and I get more worried than ever. Wash dishes for first time since LAST TUESDAY! Out at 5:15 to buy an instant jack on Willoughby Street for $2.50, then pick up a metal measuring tape, too, since I needed one this morning when I measured the size of the apartment to compare with Marge's 600 square feet, and I come out 680! Pick up the laundry and the mail, and am appalled to see that the "Hans Ebensten Agency" is charging $412 for the flight to Edinburgh for the NGTF. Dinner of the hamburger and shave and out at 7:10, getting to the Met before 7:45, and later Avalon is looking for me, and I say that I'm expecting a burglary. Up to our seats and I start raving about the last time I saw Plisetskaya, and how much better she was on Thursday than on Tuesday, and Michael comes up the aisle, having gotten in last night and agreeing with me, too, and then we settle in to watch the performance. It's not so hot (see DIARY 8959). Home at 11:45, fearing to see my apartment broken into, but it's not, and I'm relieved. HAD tested the machine with Bob (who showed me I'd forgotten to attach the phone connection, and then refused to call me back because he was doing his hair) and Avi, who thought my "Who is this" was insulting. Settle down with cookies and milk, beer, and an orange with "50 Years of Disney" on TV, not very good except for the few excerpts from the films, and I'd like to see "The Sleeping Beauty" and "Pinocchio" if they come around. As well as "Bambi." Bed at 1, but I don't feel like sleeping, so I play and play, and finally jerk off quite soft by 2, and then rouse myself at 3 to turn the light off, and this too is getting to be a bad habit. But I just couldn't get to SLEEP.

DIARY 8960

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21. Wake at 10, breakfast, type four diary pages, and call Fran and Nath Rockhill to establish that the $412 quoted for the Edinburgh fare includes a mistake of $40 which will go to NGTF. So Hans Ebensten managed to come up with a BETTER deal than John Capella had first been able to offer. Maybe find out how they did that? Then shave and shower and call Bob Grossman and have the entire day charted out for me. Don't really have time for lunch, so at 1:05 I leave apartment and have a slice of pizza for 454 (remember when they were 204?), get to the Met Opera House for the fourth performance of the Stars of the Bolshoi Ballet, not among the best (see DIARY 8961) and get out at 4:10. Subway down to 12th Street and get to Marge duMond's early at 4:45, and her apartment looks even smaller than its 600 square feet because it's so cluttered, and I can't even stand without worrying about hitting my head UNDER the loft bed, let along ON it. Judy Davis, the "landlady," comes in with her lover and we four (Lorraine loved Bryce Canyon, and thanked me for telling her about it), talk until 5:30, when I tell everyone I don't want it because of a combination of size and relative noise outside (the windows are open, and every plane flying over sounds worse than the jets on their off-pattern flying over HERE), and then get down to One Potato to meet Bob at 5:45. They don't take our order until 6:05, and don't serve us until 6:50, and by the time we finish it's raining out, and we get totally drenched going to the NYU auditorium all the way over near Fourth Avenue, and then in at 7:30 to find that Arnie's TDF vouchers aren't TDF DANCE vouchers, so we have to pay the $3. James Cunningham and Company are quite marvelous with "Lauren's Dream" and "Dancing with Maisie Paradocks" (see DIARY 8962), and that's over at 9:20, so I almost force Bob to go up to WSDG for the nude films (after stopping in at Ty's to see that there is, in fact, no one there, as I said there would be) but he leaves, refusing to pay $2.50 and "sit in the dark with a bunch of dirty old men and watch movies." I have a beer and popcorn and watch some GREAT films, out at 11, home at 11:30 with the Times, which I read ALL through, including finishing the easy puzzle, by 1:30, so I watch "Strangers on a Train" until 3:30, then wonderingly to bed.

DIARY 8963

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22. Up at 10:30, have breakfast, type three diary pages, fuss with reading the Times a bit more, sort some more things out around the apartment (though I can't imagine what they would be, since I've been pretty much sorted out---with only writing really to do---for a couple of days now). Try a couple of times to phone Mom, but either the line is busy at Grandma's or no one answers. When I get ready to have lunch about 2, I just don't feel like having tuna, so I get out the hamburger, which is beginning to smell (and the chicken is probably getting even worse), and fry that up in the sunlight. It's chilly out, so it's reasonable to have clothes on, and I lunch with the grass seeds still unsuccessful on the sill. Then still don't feel like starting on anything, so I finish reading "Zen and the Art of Writing," by Bradbury, very slight, and I wouldn't have bought it if it REALLY went for the $2.50 marked on the jacket, and he let me have it for the mistaken $1.95 on the mailer. Then look at the shelf and next is "The Food of Death: 51 Tales by Lord Dunsany" and I read them through very quickly, only two or three worth anything, and then it's time to watch "The Trial of Mrs. Lincoln" at 5, and that's not very good either, mixing up present and past, younger and older, and even more strangely son and father. (Actually, I guess I jerk OFF after LUNCH, laying until 5:05 in a stupor, and then start reading after TV, and then go to bed). That goes until 6, and then "American Dream Machine" is the same one that I watched last week, so I turn it off, finish the tales, and start the first few stories of "Ellison Wonderland" before I just feel very tired. So tired that I don't even think to argue with the feeling, so I simply crawl into bed with my bathrobe on at 7:30. Wake in the "middle of the night" and look at the clock to find it's 4, record dream (see DIARY 8966), take off the bathrobe, having a drink of water, and fall back asleep with no real trouble until 8:30, when I don't really want to get up immediately anyway. Realize that I'm smoking and twisting to get away from the thought of the upcoming dental appointment on Wednesday, but I don't even want to think about not thinking about it at all!

DIARY 8964

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23. Sort of think I'll get to doing something, but I pick up "Ellison Wonderland" when I have to go to the john when I get up, and continue reading it during breakfast, and then quite naturally carry it into the living room to finish reading it even before the sun hits the chair. Then put that away, record the fact that I read it in the datebook, and pick up Wyndham's "Consider Her Ways" and read that through entirely, moving to the sofa to get out of the sunlight. Then put that away, record the fact that I read it in the datebook, and pick up Wyndham's "Jizzle," thinking that I might just start it, but read it through lunch, of eggs, since I still don't feel like tuna fish (and again think that I might be getting too much mercury, or something, and my body is "automatically" trying to get me away from it). Then put that away, record the fact that I read it in the datebook, and pick up Wylie's "Gladiator," thinking that it's really ridiculous that I'm reading it, but read it until I'm quite hungry at 6:30, and have to move into the light of the center bulbs, and put on the chicken that I quickly fix in the mixings, and continue reading while I eat dinner, and then finish that totally. Then put that away, record the fact that I read it in the datebook, and pick up Swift's "Gulliver's Travels," knowing that I've gone smack out of my mind. Read the first 50 or so pages of it by 9, and then really can't read anymore, so I take my clothes off, even though I don't feel in the remotest like jerking off, and smoke some grass and demand to jerk off, soft for about the third time running (in three days), and don't even bother to watch Maria Tallchief on "Day at Night" at 11:30, since at 10:15 I just take off my bathrobe, put some water by the bed, feeling dizzy from the grass, and having the characteristic pain just behind my right ear, on the upper forward-facing part of the skull bone behind the ear, just above where the neck-tendon joins into it, and I fall almost immediately asleep, not even having to try too hard to dismiss the thought that I have a dentist's appointment in only two days now, and a Hemlock Hall trip on Friday, and maybe a flight October 13! Have a tiny stoned idea that I jot on a pink slip (see DIARY 8965).

DIARY 8967

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24. Wake about 7:30 and listen to the woman upstairs knocking, thudding, clunking around until I get out of bed at 8:30, and something must be wrong either physically or mentally that I'm spending so much time in bed. Breakfast, type four diary pages, and then finally get started on the Clinical Interviewing index for ACC, working on the reading of the first hundred pages from 11:15 to 2:15. Called Michael from last night, but he doesn't want to go to the movies with me tonight. Bob calls also, acting as if his rudeness to me and the members of WSDG on Saturday never happened. Then look at the TV section and see that I was supposed to have watched a movie from 12 to 1:30, and think it ironic that the FIRST hours I work this month should be in conflict with a TV schedule! Then out at 4:20 to take the slowest subway in the world to Broadway and 72nd just at 5 to watch "King of Marvin Gardens" a VERY strange thing where a beautiful Bruce Dern is trying to get his brother, pessimistic DJ autobiographical-driveling Jack Nicholson, to go in with him in the development of a Hawaiian islet paradise called Tiki just south of Kauai. There's a mix-up with blacks, gangsters, a strange woman and her stranger stepdaughter, and the movie sort of ends when the woman shoots Bruce Dern. Dern! "Buster and Billie" is even more senseless, with the same crew who did the wife-killing in "Walking Tall" growing up in Georgia in 1948 and raping and killing Billie for no other reason than there was nothing to do on a rainy evening. With all the fuss about Jan-Michel Vincent being a new James Dean, he didn't act very well, his body was too stringy to be truly sexy, he didn't look like a high-school kid, and his "pee-pee" to use BobG's words, isn't even very sexy. But funny that they showed his cock but not her cunt! A first! Out at 8:30 and subway home to put chicken into the oven to warm, then call Marty and we get into a long discussion about my phone unit, Sampson, and "Queen Isabella's Jewish!" I eat, read a bit until 11:30, and watch the special on Twentieth-Century-Fox, and a bit amazed when they say at the end (a beautifully curly-haired Richard Chamberlain says) that the 20-30 films we've seen bits of represent "not even 10%"---I'd thought more like 2%! Smoke to sleep without thinking of dentist. Bed at 1.