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1974 8 of 8


DIARY 9126

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1. Up at 10:15 and have breakfast before watching Marshall Efron in a much-too-sophisticated-for-kids series of jokes entitled "God's Country," about how much the United States hated each type of religion that it was fashionable to hate in its turn, and then "The Trojan Women" on Camera Three, repelled by the physical unattractiveness of most of the shirtless men. Then, though I have out the Kathmandu article to correct, I continue to read the Times and the Voice until I start clipping things out, and soon the entire table is littered with the clippings of things I want to do in the city, and I do absolutely nothing on writing except to manage to get one diary page typed through the day. Then get back to reading "Science Fiction by Gaslight" until lunch, and then at 5 I watch "International Champions on Ice," including the Russian pairs champions, who are great, and at 6 get back to the book. Finish it about 10:30, and have that typical letdown at the end. Why do I read all these books? What good does it do me? How much better I could have spent my time! But I just didn't feel like doing it, just as I didn't feel like doing the exercises that I've been neglecting for a couple of weeks now. Watch Monty Python's Flying Circus from 10:30 to 11, and then I get into bed to try to jerk off again, and again I can get to a certain position of hardness, but as I try and try to bring it to a brink and play with it there, coaxing with bidi and popper and even a few times more pot, it just seems to go away, and I get caught in a dreadful circle that tells me that something's not going so well, and that causes things to go even worse, until I'm flailing away at a soft cock, wondering whether to stop totally and try it again tomorrow, but I'm so aware that I HAD been hard, and my balls are usually drawn way up and ready to come even though my COCK isn't, that I figure that all this grass and smoke and amyl nitrite and hand-exercising must come to SOMETHING, and I finally get the urge to merely come out of relief of pressures and an excuse to eat something and go to sleep, and when I DO come, then, it's with the feeling of relief and NOT the intense soul-encompassing experience that I had been driving for in the first place.

DIARY 9127

MONDAY, DECEMBER 2. Up at 9 (bed about 12:30) and decide to phone the few items I clipped out of the Times, after phoning for the movie schedules at the Selwyn and planning to go about 1 to see the end of "Gold" for the spectacle. Phone the marijuana-test number from the Voice, and they want someone to stay in the hospital for 2 months for $500, and that wouldn't be IMPOSSIBLE for me---with lots of grass---so I give them my name, and they say they might be in touch with me at the beginning of March, when I get back from my trip. Then phone the ad for writers, and she says I must make an appointment at 2:30. I say no, because it conflicts with my movie plans, but after I hang up I think about $50 for 5 pages and decide I'm being silly, so phone BACK for the 2:30 appointment. Call Bob G to say that my plans for backgammon tonight are changed, and he says I can come up at 3:15, or whenever I'm ready. Out on the subway to find that Arnie gave me the wrong address for Nick the Tailor, but 247 W. 35th lets me call him to find it's 257 W. 35th, and I get there to be measured for short-sleeved jacket and trousers, which is funny, since Polly had said that I'd be getting a long-sleeved jacket and no trousers, and the suit will cost $120! Get there at 1 and leave at 1:10, so I'm to Multimedia Education at 1:50 rather than at 2:30 (oh, also took in the redone nursing index to ACC at 1:30), and I read more of the fascinating "Brunists," and then in to a conference with four women and Judy Herbst at 2:30, who gives us assignments, refuses to take resumes, saying "If the stories are good, you're in." Great. Out at 3 and to Bob's at 3:15, and we play MANY games of Backgammon, I winning the first series and he the second (though he later finds out he's been scoring all wrong: not MEN X doubling cube, merely ONE times doubling cube). His friend from Chicago Ken comes in at 8:40, and he MAY have been cute, but he's beyond it now, not to mention quite stupid, and then I remember I wanted to watch TV at 9, so I leave, shout at the conductor about keeping all the doors closed and NO ONE comes to my defense, and home at 9:50 to watch all the good parts of "The African Queen," a great flick, over at 11:15, and I'm actually tired enough to go to bed without coming.

DIARY 9128

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3. Up at 7:30 to the woman tromping around upstairs, and I'm so torn between sleeping late and wasting a morning or getting up early and being bugged by her moving around. Wish SHE would get up later! Had popcorn last night and run out of butter, and wanted to go to the store for it today, but I didn't get around to it at all: didn't get to the store until Thursday, and then they didn't have any MILK! Make a few phone calls and water plants and shower and shave and dress in a tie and jacket for lunch at Lutece, taking all of $46 along with me, which wasn't enough. There at 12:30 and he's waiting for me, and we're second onto the terrace, but he likes the look of it. New Beaujolais was bottled November 20, 1974, less than two weeks ago, and it's fruity and flavorful for $9 a bottle. The potage Saint-Germaine isn't that good as I recalled, and Arnie's seafood mousse comes with a sauce he doesn't care for, so I have all that's been defiled by its touch. My pork special of the day isn't terribly special, pork on the tough side (for $13!) and not imaginatively sauced, and his poulet en croute shows that the last bastion of the truffle has fallen: the dark specks of truffles are absent from his stuffing: it's only a turkey-stuffing brown and greenish. Apple tart and raspberry mousse for desserts, and lot of coffee (which has gone up to 754) and NO more lumps of brown sugar. That should be the LAST I go there, since $48 is TOO much. He gives me brochures, I owe him $5, he gives me ticket to "As You Like it," and we leave about 3. I walk him up to TDI and find that my check wasn't even ENTERED for payment, so I resubmit it, out at 3:35 to subway to 42nd for "Gold," not very spectacular, and he doesn't even WEAR a powder-blue body suit, that I see, and there's NO beefcake at all, and "Papillon" isn't as boring as Bob said it was, and Robert Deman plays a marvelously beautiful "pouf" whose grand seduction scene is CUT, totally, from the print, damn it! Smelly woman sleeping next to me, ushers talking in street tones in the back, fat slob scratching his leg on an adjacent chair: disgusting crew. Out at 8:30, disgusted, home to write DIARY 9125, home to read the mail and have dinner and come VERY nicely, stiffly, and strongly, to sleep at 12:30.

DIARY 9129

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4. Again up at 7:30, but she goes away so I snooze until 8:30, sad that I don't seem to be able to do with less than 8 hours anymore. Talk to Marty and Cynthia and various people from messages left yesterday, and get out to unemployment to sign for my LAST check at 11:45, and they stamp "Exhausted" on my form, which it and they and I all are. Back to cash some small checks at the bank to get some cash, and the crunch is beginning, since I don't have enough money ready and will have to start withdrawing some from the savings account. Then down to the subway for my smallpox shot, in at 12:25, finding you can get free flu shots there too, and out at 1 after almost ripping my shirt trying to get my sleeve above my shoulder, and gratefully accepting their new department of health forms, so I don't have to use my Pan Am form. Walk uptown, stopping for a messy eggplant parmigian in a non-greasy neighborhood spoon for $1.75, and then walk heatedly in too-warm clothing in the sunlight up to the Trans-Lux East to find that Richard's on an errand, but the manager, reasonably cute, will let me in at 1:50 to see "Harry and Tonto," which brings tears to my eyes when he dances with his former girlfriend in an old folk's home, and it's warming and feeling and all that, but hardly a blast of a movie. Out at 3:50, thanking Richard, and move down to Radio City to see the end of a great skiing short from Switzerland (overland skiing looks like GREAT fun!), and "The Little Prince," which is ruined by the phony singing of Richard Kiley, and the 40s choreography (female, at that) by Bob Fosse, and only the prince of Steven Warner is convincing. The stage show is lots of good singing and very little spectacle, sad. Down at 6:45 to finish reading "Origin of the Brunists," another twist at the end, and then out for a Zum-Zum platter and beer for $2.80 for dinner, and around the corner to the Hellinger to slip into a seat next to Arnie at 7:30 on the dot for a most horrible performance of "As You Like It" (see DIARY 9130). Out at 10 after enjoying the fading luxe of the Hellinger, and subway home beginning to be uptight about his constant talking. He picks up a Cuzco book and his tape, I'm up AGAIN to sleep without coming at 12.

DIARY 9131

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5. Up at 8:30 and fix up the apartment before sitting down at 9:30 and actually starting typing on the story that I should have finished and mailed in on TUESDAY. Can't really get started, and begin the story in the night, which is eventually excised completely because the story ended up about 50% too long---more like 2200 words than 1500. Struggled through until 12:30, and then break to talk to Arnie to tell him I'm not going to the Museum of Modern Art this afternoon with him (and he says he probably won't go either) and to Bob who says we've been scoring wrong, and that the finesse of backgammon comes through the use of the doubling cube and the strategies connected with it. Have lunch of the last of the chicken legs from one week ago's Thanksgiving, and then back to the story at 1:30, delighted to get downstairs to find that the stamps have come from H.E. Harris, and the 229 stamps from the 229 countries look quite fabulous, and there'll be lots of time to be spent on them now. It goes better when I get the measure of it, and when I finish at 4 it really seems to be satisfactory as a story goes, so I do a quick cover letter to Judy and get out at 4:05 to mail it at the post office, taking out laundry first, and then getting groceries, finding before the headlines tell me: Milk Runs Out. Buy a quart of eggnog for a ridiculous 854 (I thought it said 654) and dream, after coming tonight, about having eggnog with sugar frosted flakes for breakfast. What a DREAM! Back at 4:30 and get down to stamps, sorting out the countries alphabetically and identifying changed-name countries, and John says he's going to the Kitchen at 5:30, so I have to get there myself. Decide to have dinner later, but am so hungry that at 6:50 I whip up some eggs and toast and have that, out at 7 to a GREAT speech (see DIARY 9132) of his from 7:30 to 9:10, chat with Ben and Lucy (from my story?) and they want to travel somewhere cheaply, and home at 10 to watch an arresting "Primate" made even more terrifying because WE, the viewers, know as little about WHAT they're operating for as the CHIMPS do, and it's devastatingly done. Then watch David Bowie and Roy Dotrice (now I don't have to see "Brief Lives") on Dick Cavett's show, then smoke and come adequately till 2:30.

DIARY 9133

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6. Wake at 10, try too-heavy eggnog on Special K and it tastes almost artificially heavy and flavored---not very good eggnog and not a very good idea. Get down to type seven diary pages and by that time it's 11:45 and I'm not going to make the Travel Dynamics lunch at 12, but I figure it'll be a buffet held in the office, so it won't matter if I'm late. Get there at 12:30 and find everyone gathering and introducing to everyone else, so I jot down the names: Dr. Finby and Jack Dixon from Seminars and Symposia, who it turns out is giving the lunch---I also find out the names of all those who AREN'T there, such as John Lane and Norman Addey and Derek Green (the last two will be on the Maris) and Anna Andrews and Rudi Stoeckl, also on the Maris, and Norman Harper. There's Bobby Ludwig, rather pleasant, short, having 2, 4, 6 on the Maris as Tour Escort; Renata Lose, who's just been interviewed yesterday; Ron Miller, rather cute, in a Bob Grossman way, who's going to be Arnie's assistant; and then at lunch there's Pam from S&S, and Pat and Polly and Arnie and me and Cathy, and then Stephanie, the writer, an older woman who doesn't feel well. We 12 go out to "La Crepe" (cheap enough) where I have a filling cheese and sausage and tomato crepe, we split two bottles of wine (among 12! Maybe a tiny glass-and-a-half apiece), and I have vanilla ice cream when everyone else has coffee for dessert. Then back to the office about 2:30 for a meeting with Pat and Bobby and Ron and Cathy, orientation for Tour Escorts (see DIARY 9134). Had tried calling Ben and Lucy, but it turned out that the operator had given me the wrong number! Leave at 5:15 for Bob Grossman's, where we play three games of Backgammon under the new rules and we tie 2-2 and then I win 4-2, which he attributes to my luck. He has a dinner engagement at 7:30 so he chases me out at 7, and I get home and watch "Man Without a Country," an example of a cruel and unusual punishment if there ever was one, and Jeff Bridges looked so FUNNY as an old man. Get a call from Norman Tinkle that destroyed the ending for me, and he's going to look over the stamps before thinking of selling them. Get the first part of the stamps into the album, through Yugoslavia, about half, and bed tired at 1:30.

DIARY 9135

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7. Up at 9:30 and have breakfast of sickly sweet Sugar-Frosted Flakes and eggnog, and then get right into stamps, putting on tapes and records to stop the noise from upstairs, and turning on TV at 11:30 to watch "The Hudson Brothers" out of the corner of my eye, and for a no-talent group, they sure try to throw everything into their programs. Have lunch at 2:30-4, while watching Laurel and Hardy in "Sons of the Desert" where they feign sickness to "travel to Hawaii" to go to a SOTD convention in Chicago. Their wives see them in a newsreel, the Hawaii ship sinks, and all turns out well for Laurel (who tells the truth) and bad for Hardy in the end. Funny. Fertilize the plants, overwatering them something fierce to finish up two two-quart containers of water, and feel somewhat chilly through the evening, and it turns out that the heat hasn't even been coming on. Get finished with the stamps and then bring the country list up to date, retype it onto four lovely pages, and by then it's 10 pm and it's time to go out for the Times, before having dinner. Find that there's milk in the deli, for 524 a quart, and I don't know if the strike's over already or if they just had a big stock. Eat while reading articles, and then scan the TV section and get back to the puzzles, finishing them I think quickly, but when I look at the clock it's 1:15. Into bed and it's quite chilly, and I get out the photos and re-sort them into a good order, smoke, and try bidis and poppers, but after about 45 minutes I find that I'm just not hard anymore, and that vicious cycle starts operating, except that I feel so listless that I start debating whether I've not gotten my small case of smallpox from the vaccination on Wednesday. Lay there debating what to do, and have gotten so limp it'll obviously be a trauma to get it hard again, though I'm saddened about how I can't even come every OTHER night anymore, though the coldness obviously has something to do with it, and maybe I'm getting a cold. Decide that I'll try just letting it go, so I put the poppers back and put water by the bed (nose VERY dry on waking up in the morning) and fall instantly asleep. Wake about 7 am and masturbate very slowly but determinedly just to come, wipe it off and fall back to sleep.

DIARY 9136

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8. Wake at 10:30, after coming about 7, and feel rather dreadful. The heat's off, but I don't realize it until later, about 4, when I try to get the water hot for a shower and it doesn't. Hair is too long and VERY dirty, so it looks about the worst it's ever looked, but I'm not being taped, only going to be in the audience. Back to stamps, eventually finding out that I have 341 countries' stamps, and then it occurs to me to find out how much the stamps from the countries I DON'T have cost, and I start the laborious task of going through the copying down the number of stamps from each country and the price of the least expensive stamp. (That reminds me that yesterday, after I typed the list, I went through for a couple of hours and made out a list of what letters (S) there are most of, what two-letter combinations occurred most frequently at the start, three-letter combinations, etc, which satisfied my compulsions, but made me feel rather at odds WITH those compulsions.) Had lunch during the last part of "Alicia Alonso" from 2:15 to 3:15, an old program I'd missed since 1971, and some of her people look quite good. How STUPID of the US not to talk to Cuba! Then, to make sure I get there on time, I leave at 5:45 and get to the theater at 6:20 (see DIARY 9137) and leave at 8:05, having not been paid anything. Finished "Against the Fall of Night" while I was waiting for the taping of the program to begin and started "Tales of Ten Worlds" on the subway on the way home. Took a handkerchief because it really felt like I was having a cold, and it was still so chilly when I got home that I cut off the humidifier, which was making the 65E room cooler than it was. Apartment a total shambles because I wasn't picking up anything, and read my underlining of "City and the Stars" to see how much Clarke changed "Against the Fall of Night," and it's NOT MUCH. The hamburgers I are this evening were eaten off the last clean large dish while I watched "Monty Python's Flying Circus" from 10:45 to 11:15, and then I went back to find that I had 198 tradable countries, chagrined to find myself so close to 200, and then I remembered the batch of "large mint" in the box, and added Fernando Po, Ifni, Spanish Sahara, and Rio Muni to make it 202, and I looked at my collection with GREAT satisfaction and went into a VERY cold bed at 1:30, chewing on vitamin C's and wishing I could take a hot bath.

DIARY 9138

MONDAY, DECEMBER 9. Up at 10, feeling that I definitely have a cold, but get some encouragement for the day when I run the hot water and it seems to be going again. Breakfast and to stamps, deciding that the stamp drawer has to advance into two drawers, so I move stuff from the right bottom to the left bottom, expand the calendar/game/art drawer (which has needed expanding for a long time) by moving it into the larger right bottom drawer, leaving the second largest right drawer for stamps, next to the regular stamp drawer above it. Take all the paper information and supplies out of the stamp drawer, so that I can stretch out the envelopes of used and mint tradables across the entire length of the drawer. Rearrange the US used hoards into the three large plastic boxes, freeing up the smaller boxes for the smaller countries, a good move, and arrange all the stamps very neatly in one drawer, and then all the stamp supplies and the catalog and spare boxes in the second drawer. Worked out nicely. Then arrange the Accopress boxes to conceal the two albums, after making them the same thickness by making the first album A-H (with the US and UN, of course) and the second I-Z. Just stare at the two albums for moments with sensations of intense gratification and possession. By then it's 2, I've also showered, washed my hair, and done chicken, and I check for the mail, none for the second day! Lunch while reading the Voice, and then finish reading the Voice and the Times---and forgot that I mailed out checks to the bank and the stamps back to Harris when I went out to pick up the laundry at last. Type five pages to get up to date, and have a few minutes to start on Xmas cards, but don't really, since I'm into the kitchen at 7:40 to make an ear of corn and a steak for TV watching for Eliot Feld (see DIARY 9139) from 8 to 9. Then fill a tub with very hot water and cool it down a bit much, drink a couple glasses of Grand Marnier for alcoholic warming, and soak while smoking until I feel chilly from the window above (not the best place). Into bed about 9:45 (putting the phone machine on) and get SO sexually excited that I decide to come, using poppers and porno to get to states of limp ecstasy seldom encountered, almost leaving the world for a few moments right at orgasm. There ain't nothin' like it! To a dead sleep (after toast) at 11.

DIARY 9140

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10. Up at 10, really feeling as though I needed the sleep, and nose draining thoroughly, so I surely have a cold, and with some vague stomach feel-I-need-to-shit-but-when-I-try-I-can't discomforts, it might even be the newest flu. When I fix up the place and have breakfast, it's 11:30, and down for the mail, find a lot, so I read through that and then start on Christmas cards, figuring I should get out to the post office today and get stamps. But then I wanted to see a double feature today---only of "Gilda" and "Heat's ON" (with Mae West) at the Theater 80 St. Marks, but Bob Grossman doesn't want to go with me, and Arnie says it's a poor film, so I decide not to go. Have lunch and then sit in a chair for a long time, just staring, not knowing whether to go to bed to rest from my cold, or to sit and read for the rest of the day, but finally I get back to the Christmas cards, getting off the seven to the travel clients and about 14 others to various people, making fairly long notes in most of them and even getting some of the letters answered, like Paul's and Mack Griswold's. And of course I didn't get out to the post office. Typed two diary pages earlier in the day. Took a lot of time staring at the address book, thinking of the people I knew in foreign countries, counting the number of cards I sent out in previous years compared to the number I got back, and debating whether to buy another box of cards as spares for those that come in that I don't expect, since my box of "spares" is now down to one, and I may even get RID of it in its 11th year of use! First bought in 1964---before that, I guess, I bought and sent those that I had, and those who didn't get, tough! Called Avi to say hello, hear about his trip to South America over Christmas, and get Joe Easter's address. Then showered and ate dinner, cooking the last of the somewhat going-rotten ears of corn and the last steak, and finish with everything just before 8, smoke a full pipe of grass to get myself quite woozy, count every step out the door and down the stairs and to the subway and rather blindly along William St. and then along Maiden Lane to the Wall Street Sauna for a DREADFUL evening (see DIARY 9141), out at 11, home blearily to smoke more and come AFTER two pieces of toast, then cookies, 12:30.

DIARY 9142

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11. Up at 10, debating staying in bed all day to help get rid of the cold, but then up for breakfast and finish writing the rest of the Christmas cards, except for a few holdovers for later, and then start making a list of things that I have to do outside, and have lunch and get out at 1 for a number of tasks: go to the post office and get lots of 264 stamps for the foreign envelopes and mail all the cards, get a haircut, get to A&S looking for a photo booth and am told to try McCrory's, which I find in the phone book down Fulton, near the Loew's Albee, and they don't have a booth but a regular photographer, who charges $4.31 for two tiny photos, but it's done, and that's that. Then back to try the library for the issues of the New Yorker that I wanted to read, and wouldn't you know they're at the bindery? Then to the locksmith, where he says someone will come out to look at the lock between 12-2 on Monday, then buy the Voice and pick up groceries at Key Foods, just to try it (and forgot that I bought a pair of plastic shoes at A&S for $11.89, too). Home at 5, tired, finding that Florence whoever from Multimedia HADN'T called, and wash my hair and have dinner and get out on the subway to meet Arnie at 7:47 in front of the Palace for "London Assurance," and the play is really quite spectacular: from the super-realist sets of the exterior and great hall of Oak Place, or wherever, to each character's perfect characterization of his own character, to the accents, lines, and gestures of Donald Sinden as Harcourt Courtly the Courtly. Sexy critters as Dazzle and his son, cute women, funny lawyers you loved to hate, and an agreeable audience that we liked looking at as we went up to the second balcony to look over the entire theater (second balcony not open to the buying public, what a pity). It's over at 10:30 and I call Bob Grossman who'd said to call after the performance, but he'd thought I'd meant MATINEE, and it was evening, so I walked over anyway, getting there at 11, severely damaging my heels in the plastic shoe-backs in the meantime, and we play four games, which I end up winning (because, as I told him, he made me mad) by a score of 9-4, thanks to my final doubling from 4 to 8 when we shot two doubles at start. Back (see DIARY 9143).

DIARY 9144

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12. Since I'd not gotten to sleep before 2:30, I got up about 10:30, again debating staying in bed with a cold. Eat breakfast, type two diary pages, pay some bills, water plants, and do whatever else I do until 2, when I have lunch and get out to TDI by 2:30. Polly is at some meeting, so I get Arnie to introduce me to Ina, and she asks me when I want to go to Portland, so we make arrangements for a flight on the second of January, or the waiting list on the third of January, but there's not a final time on the TIA flights yet: last week they said it would be this week, yesterday they said it would be today. Then Chersten says that someone will have to go to San Francisco and Los Angeles, too, and it's settled by Chersten that Ina will go to SF and Chersten herself will go to LA, and that I'll meet them both there before the final flight. All this is taken to Polly, and she says it seems OK, so when I tell Arnie about it, he talks about the "Alice in Wonderland" feel about the whole thing, and if you want to do it, TDI seems to say, DO it. Talked a bit to Derek, who's bearded and Englishy, who says that the islands of the Galapagos have not been settled on yet, and then going out the elevator I chat with Norman Addey, rather sexy entertainment director, and Arnie calls late Friday to say that HE will be on the Oceanis and Anna will STAY on the Maris, so we're back to four escorts, and I'm sure to be one of them! So there we ARE! Somewhere! Polly doesn't want me to stay for the meeting (for staff only, including Ron, looking very sexy in green with a distinct cock in the crotch), so I call Bob Grossman, but he's not home; I chat with Richard, ring Rob's bell, but he's still not there, subway down to the Sci-Fi bookshop and get some more Clarke and see that there are lots of short story collections out by Algernon Blackwood, so I get home about 4:30, calling Bob, typing up a list of Blackwood stories and then a list of other books that I want, and eat dinner and get down to Eliot Feld's ballet at 7:50, selling the other $6 ticket just at 8 pm, and get into a full hot theater for a pleasant evening, even though most of the ballets have been changed (see DIARY 9145). Out at 10:15, home at 11, finish reading "Tales of Two Worlds," smoke and come and eat like a hog again, sleep at 12:30.

DIARY 9146

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13. Alarm rings at 7:25 as I'd set it, so I'm up and wash my hair, drying it thoroughly by 8:35, when I've finished eating and dressing for the taping of "The Big Showdown." Get to the theater at 9:10, last but for the fellow caught in an accident, and the morning ends with me winning only a Bissell carpet sweeper (see DIARY 9147)! Depressed out at 12:30, too early to call Bob Grossman, at lunch with Ken from Clairol, talking about how well he can work with Al, whom he's worked for, replaced, and then been replaced BY. Home to meet Rolf going down into the subway, and he suggests coffee, wastes a token, and we wander down to a restaurant I'd not been into before, and pay $1.65 for a ham omelet with French fries and creamed corn! Real old fashioned place, and he bends my ear about general economics in a very enlightening way (see DIARY 9148). We're there from 1:10 to 3:10, and he's only going to exercise, and then I get home to read the mail and call Bob from 4-4:30, and it's still not known whether he'll get his job back. Then JUST don't feel like writing, so I take down Clarke's "Prelude to Space," which, being in hardcover, I'm not about to read on the subways, and finish the whole thing (and he again pulls his old trick of introducing someone new RIGHT at the end of the book, always a distraction for me) at 7:30, in time to start dinner, get a call from Regina, who calls Arno to hear his phone message, and who wanted to talk to MY message-unit-minder. Then start to watch "The Borrowers" and get a call from Arnie from the airport, who says that changes are STILL going on, and Anna will be on the Maris permanently, NOT as an escort, so we're back to four escorts for four escort positions. But I know enough now to hang loose! Finish dinner and the program at 8:30-10, then smoke a bidi and popper into strength of erection and come, not really WANTING to eat more, but up for the traditional cookies-with-butter until the slice of toast, broken in two, finishes, and then a glass of Coke to finish up, and crawl rather unhappily into bed, to have to get up to get cough lozenges, which worked rather well during the taping, thankfully, and it's about midnight, and I'm still feeling like I have a dreadful cold, coughing and hawking mucus.

DIARY 9155

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14. Wake at 7:30 with her tromping around upstairs, but manage to stay in bed until after 10, again debating whether I want to stay in bed all day. Breakfast and get down to typing eight diary pages, and then Bob calls to say that he's gotten tickets to the Madhouse Company tonight at 8:30, and we decide to eat afterward and play Backgammon before, so I don't have TOO many hours to waste with Montague Rhodes James' "Ghost Stories," but I don't feel like doing anything else, so I do that reading, feeling guilty a bit of the time, but not too much. Again it feels as if the heat might be off today. Down to get the mail and delighted with the bulky Stolow catalog with all the $1.25 postage in 84 and 14 stamps on almost the whole cover. Then shower and out after lunch (during shower, to save time) to Bob's at 5:15, after saying hello to Eddie at the theater, and we settle down to a few games of Backgammon, all of which I win with an incredibly high number of doubles, and I can't quite accuse him of getting so many anymore. We're out at 7:25 after he tries to fix my hair from the "bowl-cut" look he detests, but I won't pay much for haircuts, so he gives up. Tickets for "The Madhouse Company" are waiting for us, and we're in to laugh at the Madhouse Machine (a smile for 14, a laugh for 54, a candidate's special for 104, involving shaking hands, "How are you?" and a kiss; and the madhouse special for 254, involving rolling on the ground with laughter, a grab for the crotch, and instant frozen-face after the bell's stopped. The show includes "Sensation Seekers" as a great audience epithet, balls dangling from shorts, Hamlet's bare cock, a beer-drinking contest won VERY fast, boots shot from a cannon, and even outside for "setting fire to the head" (in a magician's metal pipe) and a VERY small bomb set off on his chest, and laughs while double-timing across the street. Bob falls in love with the bartender, we have drinks for $1.60, then out at 10:05 to the Pantheon for a greasy Mezedakia for me and "awful" lamb for him, which he hates, so cross THAT off the list, expensive for junk at $12. Out at 11:20, home at 12, glance at Times and work at puzzle, and get very tired and to bed at 1, my cold seeming to turn into the flu, and I'm even getting a loose bowel movement.

DIARY 9156

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15. Not up until 10:15, really feeling weak enough for the flu, and have breakfast and watch Marshall Efron until it's clear it's a rerun at 10:30, watch a bit more of "Brief Lives" with Roy Dotrice on Camera Three, and then just in idleness leave it on for Golda Meir on "Face the Nation." Then finish the Times until 2, have lunch, and then back to reading more of Montague Rhodes James, who starts getting VERY wordy and prolix. Continue reading even when I feel rather like falling into a doze, and read within a couple of hours of finishing the thick book when it's 10 pm and I fix dinner of a rather too-smelly steak (and I have to finish the rest of it tomorrow!) and watch "UFOs: Do You Believe?" and there are three organizations that collect data from around the world, all privately incorporated as nonprofit organizations, with lots of photos and interviews and adherents. Carl Sagan comes up with a good final point "When something NATURAL happens in the sky, there are dozens of VERY GOOD documentations. If THIS were happening in the sky, there would ALSO be dozens of VERY GOOD documentations." However, he DOES overlook the point that a NATURAL happening (like the fireball in Wyoming) is at random, whereas since people from another planet have NOT contacted everyone, IF they are there they DON'T want to be seen, and that produces a different set of observations. But there seemed to be hoaxers in the crew, particularly the two who were taken abroad, subjected to scrutiny (it would be funny if they were fucking and the saucer thought they were of two sexes), and described "elephant-skin" creatures. Then watch the end of "Monty Python" and don't feel like staying awake for "China Sea" and go to bed, but I lie and lie, tossing, and finally at 11:45 get up and smoke and come and up at 12:45 to watch pieces of things until "China Sea" comes on at 1:20, and Clark Gable actually ACTS: anger with Jean Harlow, pain in the Chinese boot torture, love with Rosalind Russell, and exasperation with Wallace Beery, and the typhoon-tossing sea was fun to watch, as was the gold-bearing steam roller loose on the storm-swept decks, crushing Chinamen at every sweep. But Harlow sure couldn't act worth a damn, and Russell showed little of her future funniness. Bed EXHAUSTED at 3:05.

DIARY 9158

MONDAY, DECEMBER 16. Up at 10:30, content with 7.5 hours sleep, though still feeling weak because of the cold. Breakfast on the last of the cereal, make out a shopping list, water the plants, and settle down to five diary pages before noon, and then actually get back to working on the bicycling in Kathmandu article for the Times, after calling Fran to find that she'd sent a bill for the balance to Roz, and calling Peter Brown to find that they're willing to settle out of court for $175. Actually, I also watched "Fire over England" with a very young and sexy Lawrence Oliver and a not very good Vivian Leigh, and a 35-year-old Flora Robson looking VERY old and ugly as Queen Elizabeth, surely the star of the thing. The burning of the ships was rather fun, but it was all terribly dark when it took place. This was from 12 to 1:30, and I kept waiting for the knock of the locksmith, which came after I'd finished lunch and was doing the dishes at 2:15. Decided, since he said the doorframe was "calamine," only tin over wood, that could easily be broken to get around any lock that fit into it, to spend the $50 for a Fox lock which had the pole into the floor, just to make my mind feel easier when I was away on my trips. Call later and say that I need a third key, one for me, one for Mrs. Johnson (and I wonder where she keeps them [now that I'll have a strong lock, I'll worry about the other keys, the locksmith, and someone coming down the fire escape]), and one for guests or for John when I'm away. He leaves at 2:30, I finish the dishes, and THEN get back to the article, starting over again on a better tack, then revising much of it, and continuing to work on it until 8:35, when I start cooking the last of the steak for dinner and watch "Start the Revolution without Me" with a zany Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland as BOTH the Corsican Brothers AND a pair of French peasants that cause the revolution by capturing a girl from a farm, who get involved with King Louis, funnily played by Hugh Griffith, and dozens of other nobles who make lots of fun of adventure films, but it's SO irreverently done I can see why it didn't have much of a public life. That's over at 11, and I actually get to bed (with earplugs) and fall asleep about 11:30 without smoking, eating, or coming.

DIARY 9160

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17. Lay until 9, not feeling exactly weak, but still feeling quite tired. Then up for breakfast of French toast, since I'm out of cereal, type two pages, and get back to working on the Kathmandu Bicycling article, taking time out to call the Nepal Consulate to hear they don't have any photographs available, to call Fran and get the flight information that Roz and Mary wanted, call Mary and leave word for her to call me, and then the locksmith calls to say he'll be quite late, Bob Grossman calls to ask when I'm going to see all the movies, and I find out about the special Air India rates for flights to India through "India on $5 and $10 a Day" and call Fran back to find I have to call Air India to get the special rates to Kathmandu, which I do, Work it over and over, adding everything that I can, pointing up everything that I can, adding colors and sights and smells and touches, and then finally get it into a final form, have lunch, and the locksmith comes about 4, just when I'm starting to type the final version. Then Rolf calls about 6, keeping me on the phone with his two pieces of bad news: (1) his car's been broken into for the second time, but this time $250 worth of tools and equipment have been taken, and that's not covered by insurance, and (2) his father's "irrevocable" trust for him in a Minneapolis bank is truly that, he can't control it at ALL unless it's by two small methods (a) for them to invest it in an outside mutual fund of his choice, or (b) to invest it, when he tells them to, in commercial paper. He goes into the great theory why institutions (banks, insurance companies, university endowment funds, company retirement funds, etc) literally CAN'T unload their $1-$5 billions on the stock market: it would WRECK it, so when it's low, they can't do ANYTHING. The individual, more flexible, can withdraw EVERYTHING and put it into high-interest riskless commercial paper (government bonds, etc), when it's going DOWN, then throw everything BACK when it's going UP. We talk until 7, I call Roz and interrupt her at dinner, finish "Bicycling in Kathmandu," shower, wash my hair, shave, eat dinner, answer Roz and Rolf, and get out to the Club Baths at 10:15, to return at 3:30 (see DIARY 9160).

DIARY 9164

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18. Up at 11, dazed from last night, have breakfast, call Bob to see if he wants to see anything on Broadway, which he doesn't, and anyway he's not out of bed yet at 12:15. I type five pages after Polly calls at 11:10 and tells me that I'm not going to South America at all, and I immediately get to the typewriter for DIARY 9159 to record my feelings in their completeness. Onto the ticket line at 1:25, and it's quite long but it moves fast, everyone chatting about what shows they've seen and what're the best shows to see on their list. My first choice was "Equus," not there, my second was "Gypsy," and they had one, so I didn't have to take third choice, which was "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Up to Chock Full at 1:45 and have a cheeseburger that takes me until 2 exactly, paying $1.03 for lunch, and get into the theater for the aisle seat in the last row, next to a garrulous woman from "Coca-Cola" who talked through the intermissions and part of the acts. Play was more poorly done, but Angela Lansbury was a sensation (see DIARY 9165). Out at 4:45 and phone Bob, and he says to come over to play Backgammon, and I start walking over but the sores at the back of my heels (I'd taken the bandages off last night for the baths) are really killing me, and I even pick up two cards from the sidewalk to insert in the back to ease the rubbing on my bleeding skin. To Bob's at 5 and get two bandages from him. Play more games, but we're still slow, and I win somewhat more than he, having GREAT luck with doubles. Better me than him. Out at 7:30 and pick up a frank at Times Square, and get to Marty's at 8:05 to find that the Baroness isn't there, but Adrian, the doctor of the Met, is there with his charming wife, who makes great friends with Regina's dog, a poodle with a Bedlington cut and one ball, and we joke about his potency, I suggest that Regina say "I'd like to have him mated," rather than "I'd like to mate him," and Marty has cheese and wine that we can snack on. Myrna is fat and pretty, Tony Coggi is stupid, Harvey is pleasant but quiet, and I talk to Mike on the phone to say I'll be awhile with calling him about the camera. We all leave at 12:30, I finish reading "Strange Ecstasies" on the way home and get to bed at 1:30 without coming.

DIARY 9166

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19. Bob had mentioned "Steppenwolf" as a film last night, and I stopped by to see that it starred Max von Sydow and Dominique Sanda, which seemed like a good cast, so I called to see what the schedule was, and then got out my copy to re-read the underlinings. It seemed like a good thing to make into a movie with those two, so I called and said that I'd meet Bob in front of the theater at 4:15 for the 4:20 movie. Root through all the souvenirs to put together all the information about Enryakuji, and almost get sucked into looking at even more of the fabulous souvenirs. That sure was a trip! Put the stuff away from the Kathmandu article, and I'm pleased that I'm finally getting to all this writing. Send out some bills and some letters, and called the lawyer to say that I'd be settling out of court, and called Alaska Airlines to get information about Rolf's flight, and then called Rolf and we talked for a long time about the possibility of going to Alaska in his car. Incredible talking with him all the time. Then try to call Cathy, but she's not there, and call Pope to make arrangements to pick up Arnie's mail when I have to. Out at 3:30 and get to the movie, but sadly it's pretty awful: they make too much time setting up Sydow's character as someone morose, but you don't really get the idea he hates himself and society, and Sanda is too washed out to be strong enough for her character, and when they finally get into the "Magic Theater" in the last half-hour, it's confused, overly colorful, underly sexy, and not much to any point, the idea of the necessity of humor being lost in many too many words. Clementi was sort of odd as Pablo, but he didn't really work, and the murder was much too bloody. Out for more Backgammon, he winning a few more than me, and then eat at Goldberg's, which is better than the one downtown, since it's huge, crisp, and hot. Then go to the Last Call bar for two-for-one night, and we sit and stand around looking at the people, but I don't see anyone that I like, and we leave about midnight, he doesn't invite me back for more Backgammon, so I journey home on the subway, reading, and smoke and sex up for a nice orgasm after not having come in two days, and it's pleasantly stiff and feeling.

DIARY 9167

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20. Couldn't sleep so I even read some of "Ghost Stories of M.R. James" before falling off at 3, so I didn't get up before 11 again, eating breakfast much too late (French toast again, using up most of the bread, not really liking the phony maple syrup so I have jelly on it, and that's better). Decide I really MUST vacuum, so I vacuum the floors just in time to finish at 1 to watch "They Live by Night" with Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell, and after the excited "see it" blurb in the Times, it's rather obvious, heavy handed, and he's SO thin in the chest, though his face is still quite sexy. Finally talk to Ina who says that everyone's leaving for the airport at 2 on Monday, so I should bring in Arnie's stuff before noon, so I call Pope to say I'll be in on Sunday, and then get off to town at 3:45, talking to Eddie and Richard before meeting Bob at 3:55 and sitting through "The Towering Inferno." It's quite long, but the two hours and 45 minutes go quickly enough, and Bob says it's much the best of the disaster films, but I think their effect has somewhat dampened the effect of this final one, even though it may be the best of the lot. Out at 6:45 and he buys a paper, and we're up to play Backgammon. He's suggested "Acey-Deucey" last night, and I picked up on it today, and though he didn't want to play, I talked him into it, and we did play, but I won and he hated the idea and the length of the game. My getting four "one-twos" to his one didn't help much, either. Out to the second-floor Chinese restaurant after much talk about it, and then he lets me decide between "Gypsy" and some other bar, the "Yukon" where they supposedly have dancing. I choose "Gypsy" and we're over to 58th and First to gape at the showbar singers, the white dress and black crewcut of Gypsy, in gold heels, and there's not much of a crowd, but when I leave at 11:30 Bob says it immediately fills up and he goes home with a doll, not sleeping there, as usual. I walk to the subway and finish "Dolphin Island," then come with great feeling, even coming a SECOND time because the first time felt so good, and then finish cookies, finish the last slice of bread, and make popcorn to eat in total satiation while I finish "Ghost Stories of M.R. James" at 3 am! Sleep!

DIARY 9168

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21. There was a note under the door from John, but I write him back and he knocks on the door at 10, waking me, and I say that the ticket can't be written until they know what the fare will be. That seems to hold him. Have the rest of the Wheatena for a large breakfast just before noon, and get out to buy vitamin C, look at the new bookshop and buy three paperbacks there, find nothing new at the used bookshop, buy the Voice, and get groceries, spending the last dollar of the $25 that I took out with me, feeling like the money's going VERY fast. Back about 1:15 to put everything away and put on TV at 1:30 to watch Laurel and Hardy in "Jitterbug," the classic one in which Laurel acts a very convincing English lady, jitterbugging with Hardy to beat off the crooks at the end on a runaway riverboat in the Hudson. Want to get started on the Times article, but I'm reminded of the last few Christmas cards I have to send, so I start writing and can't stop, sending a note to Bill about going to Alaska, Interplanetary Noose about my story, Mom about the TV show and a $20 check to echo HER $20 check to me, the O'Sheas a long letter, and write two full pages to Elaine about Seth and Jane Roberts. Then want to start something to Rita and completely finish two pages that I send off to her, and send a Christmas card to John Parker saying that I've heard nothing from the Griswolds. That takes me up to 7, and I phone Susan to see if she might not want to have lunch with me, and then am looking through what I've been wanting to see and find that I'd wanted to see Alvin Ailey tonight (forgot that I washed dishes, too). Don't even shave, just wash my face, put on pants, and get out at 7:05, thinking I'm REALLY stretching the ticket-getting skill, but the IRT comes fast, the local is waiting at 42nd, I get off at 50th and run all the way up, getting into the lobby at 7:30 on the dot to see someone selling a $7.95 ticket. "Too expensive" I say and he goes down to $5, saying his wife's sick and he doesn't want to eat it. I'm grateful to him, embarrassed because I'm coughing and sniffling through the thing, getting another goddam cold. It's pretty good (see DIARY 9169), out at 10:15, home to watch a sad "Neptune's Daughter" after the Times puzzles, and get to bed very tired at 2:45, VERY cold, not coming tonight.

DIARY 9170

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22. Up at 10:45 and watch the last bits of "L'Enfance du Christ" sorry from the credits that I missed the dancers that included Carmen de Lavallade, and it's been done so long ago that it was actually in black and white! Camera Three follows with pleasant Renaissance Christmas music with someone's consort. Finish the Times and have lunch and shave and call Pope about coming over to pick up the stuff for Arnie, and get over at 3 expecting to leave quickly, but he wants to talk about his affairs with his father, his troubles trying to help Arnie, his astrology readings, his friends, and lots of other things, so I don't pick up the shopping bag with Arnie's accounts (and exchange the Ouija board for the Go game) until about 4. Had wanted to see the start of the film at the Elgin at 4, but figure to get stoned and go whenever I get there, and find that it's just at the start of some of Donald Sutherland's Acid fantasies in "Alex in Wonderland" and my stonedness has been perfectly planned, so I can accept the lovely kiss on the hair that a man-friend gives him, and then wonder at the reprise of the old man chasing the Tadzio-blond in "Blume in Love," which ALSO has other gay touches, and Hollywood, after IGNORING the gay scene for so long, now seems to be BANKING on it. "Blume" is strange in that it's a story of a man VERY much in love with his wife (or at least wanting her back bad enough that he fucks her and get hers and the baby back in Venice). And then there's nice action, too (see DIARY 9171). Out at 8 and home to read bits of the Voice, have dinner while watching Monty Python, and then drink and smoke some more and get out all the porno, heaping it up all about me as I try and try to come, but it just doesn't work, as much as I work at it, and I'm feeling somewhat rubbed raw from so much action, and decide that the best thing I can do AGAIN is to just let it alone, wishing I could get to the point where I no longer felt that I had to come every evening: the best cure would be someone who would sexually exhaust me, but though I search and search, I can't seem to find anyone who will fill that particular bill with the avidity I so desire.

DIARY 9172

MONDAY, DECEMBER 23. Up fairly early about 9:30 from the fairly early 1:30 bedding-down last night. Have breakfast and type five pages to catch almost up to date, but then I have to get out to TDI with the stuff for Arnie, having brought my resume up to date and filled out the manifest form a couple of days ago. Out at 11:15, calling Bob to ensure that I can go over there later, and get there about 12, finding Ina in the midst of lots of telephone calls. She tells me to get a travel bag and put Arnie's stuff into it so they can take everything to the airport when they go, and she accepts my manifest form and says she'll give the resume to Polly when she gets back in two weeks. Cathy's still not there, and I don't talk to anyone except Ina, who says she'll keep my information until I get assigned to a new trip. Down to McGraw-Hill by way of Hallmark Galleries, where I pick up two datebooks, happy to get THAT out of the way, and at 12:30 there's Susan and Sal coming out of the elevators and we're down for a beef stew and ribs lunch in the cafeteria, thanks to Sal, who's directing operas, taking trips, reading "St. Figita and other Parables" and having lots of nice things to talk about. Susan's excited about her job interview in Boston on January 3, and Sal says he'll definitely be in touch with me for more work. Let's hope it's good, well-paying, and timely. Out at 1:35 and figure to shop for the last calendar, and Macro-art has gone up to $7.95, almost ridiculous, but Brentano's has it, and the streets are totally jammed with shoppers. To Bob's at 2:30, surprised that he doesn't answer his bell, and he comes in just then, tired and disgusted from spending over an hour in two lines to switch from 26 to 39 weeks of unemployment. We're up and play many games of Backgammon, still evenly matched, see "Young Frankenstein" at 4, and he's made arrangements for dinner with Bob Rosen, so we're down to Rosen's nice apartment on 12th (?) and have some drinks and talk about sex, and sorry to find that he's a size queen, and we're out to eat. I've suggested A Bientot, Mariano is happy to see us, cheerfully calls us "Bobs" through the evening, and my kir is tasty, sole fabulous, Bob's onion soup and capon breast great; Rosen's artichoke hearts real and veal cold and not terribly flavorful, sadly, but we all have fun. Bed at 2.

DIARY 9173

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24. Up at 10, or even later, and decide that I have to do the dishes since he'll probably want popcorn when he comes today. Make a list of things I have to do, and get out to the bank and to the post office to pick up two packages from Rita from the card that the postman left yesterday, and then race home to catch the start of the second program of "The Big Showdown" at 2:30. Open Rita's "Grand Illusions" book first and THEN her TWELVE POUNDS OF POPCORN for Christmas gifts. Bob said he'd be here between 3 and 4, so I shave and turn off the shaver to hear the frantic buzzing of the buzzer, and he's early, I haven't bathed, and the apartment is quite a mess. He's brought a bag with two gifts in it too: the record of "Little Night Music" (with a card signed "La") and a cardboard backgammon set that we initiate before I can persuade him to try Go, and he can't stand it because he can't see the point of it and I win everything with no difficulty. That's the trouble with a game that's so entirely stratified by players' capabilities as Go. He finally flips out after about the third game, and we're back to Backgammon, though I'm depressed by how much luck seems to enter into the game. Also, Bill's tape was delivered yesterday, John putting it in front of my door, and I played that for almost three hours this morning, too. We have popcorn, change the scheduled time for dinner from 10 to 7, and out at 7 to fuss about the coldness of the window and get seated at a table closest to the area that becomes the dance floor. The Pu-pu platter is extraordinarily tasty with saté and six other things, including fabulous breaded fish, a shrimp, shrimp puffs, and others. The soup was the low point, but the chicken in bird's nest came in a lovely French-fried wicker-basket effect that was pretty and delicious, with pigeon eggs that were VERY strange in taste and texture, and the beef and crabmeat was great too. He doesn't care for fruit, so he hated the luscious fresh lichee nuts and kumquats with the dessert of pineapple and ice cream, and the tiny bottle of champagne put us into a giggly mood for the dancers, better than nothing, fairly skillful and pleasant and pretty, and some pretty boys gave Bob something to look at. Out at 10, he goes home, I watch the Holy Year door opening in St. Peters until 1, to bed tired without coming.

DIARY 9174

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25. Up at 9 still feeling totally full from the dinner last night, and I sit down and read the text of "Grand Illusions" and get everything gradually put away (Bob helped me pour all the popcorn in the popped bags into wine bottles when he was here), reading the funny papers Rita thoughtfully wrapped my book in, and then settle down to read parts of the Voice while I have lunch about noon, not having had breakfast. I called Bob and apologized about my getting angry last night when he suggested that I stop by and pick up the tickets this afternoon for tonight's show ("I agreed to have dinner with you last night if you'd come to me to a show on Christmas. That's what we AGREED," Bob groaned.). Shower and shave and get everything put together (though I didn't seem to have time to type anything for the diary) before the "Big Showdown" at 2:30, and then I get out to the ticket place at 3:40 to find that of "Shenandoah," "God's Favorite," and "Absurd Person Singular" (the first of which Bob wasn't interested in, the third of which I wasn't interested in) only "God's Favorite" is available, so I buy two tickets for $12, deciding to give Bob one as a Christmas gift, and he's totally pleased about seeing "the newest hit" as he keeps talking about it, and Bill's comments (that I finished listening to this morning, also) about the shallow New Yorkers who only read and see what they can chat with their friends about on a superficial basis seems totally true of poor Bob Grossman, though I can't really bring myself to tell him this, even when he recommends that I read "Fear of Flying," which he's obviously only reading because it's on the best seller list, and he even SAYS "You just read those old books, you never read ANYTHING on the best-seller list"!!! We play more Backgammon, I getting annoyed when he wins at first, but then I make a clean sweep, winning the final game for a final score of 10-5, my favor, and then we're out at 7, he dressed in slacks, a tucked-in tan sweater, and a striking plaid overcoat, to the very disappointing "God's Country" (see DIARY 9175). Out at 9:40 to go down and eat in Ajanta, advertised in the Playbill, and the food is great: my tandoori chicken flavorful and tender, his lamb curry delicious, and the breads and patties tasty. Home at 12 to finish "Glide Path" at 1:15, try to sleep but end AGAIN smoking, coming, and eating until 3 am!!

DIARY 9176

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26. Up at 11, eating a very late breakfast, and clean up the rest of the apartment from the "Christmas mess" and decide to see some movies today. Watch "Six of a Kind" from 1 to 2:30 even though I HAD watched it late one April (13) night this year, and curse my funk that allows me to just sit. My cold finally seems to be going away, but still I don't feel like getting back into exercising and still I don't call anyone to come over. Watch the "Big Showdown" again, getting ready to dash out the moment it's over, getting to the Brooklyn Heights Cinema JUST in time to see the curtain parting for the 3 pm showing of "Scenes from a Marriage" and Bergman is so incredibly skillful and knowledgeable about the subject of love it's astounding (see DIARY 9178). Help a crippled woman out of the theater, and then don't talk when she wants me to, and get home at 6 to call Rolf and suggest he come over for slides sometime, and after he thinks about it for a bit, he says he'll be over sometime between 8:30 and 9. So I sort through and refresh my memory about what the slides are about, shower and shave, have dinner and clean my teeth, and it's 9 and he's still not here, so I settle down with the Voice until he arrives at 9:15. Show him a number of slides, standing, and then when some of the sexy boys (like Vic Siepke) come on the screen he decides he DOES want the larger wall, and I arrange the mirror, he takes off his shoes, and then he looks through magazines while I smoke and put on the Moody Blue, and then about 11 he finally says to put the slides back on (having said earlier "I'd like to masturbate looking at THOSE slides") and then asks "Do you mind if I take my clothes off?" to which I say OK, but he leaves his socks on because it HAS gotten chilly in the room. The slides go and go, and I get excited taking off my clothes, he's playing with himself, I'm playing with myself, then he suggests the poppers, and the evening really gets hot (see DIARY 9177). He's actually DRESSED to leave at 12:40 when he decided to come a second time, so it's actually 2 when he DOES leave, and I make some popcorn and read a Clarke short story until 3, just to keep my schedule consistent, and then fall into bed, delighted that I've had sex with SOMEONE!

DIARY 9179

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27. Up at 11, even 11:15, and have breakfast before getting with determination down to the typewriter and going through ten pages before 2:30, having taken a lot of time to fix up the apartment from Rolf's visit last night, including putting away all the slides I'd gotten out of order in HIS enthusiasm. Then eat lunch while trying desperately to catch up with all the Village Voice articles I want to read, and then read a bit of background on the Tendai sect in preparation for the Times article. At four leave for the Theater 80 St. Marks for the double feature there, and when I get there early try calling Art to make an appointment for looking at his stamps, but the line is either busy or unanswered. In for "A Star is Born" with Janet Gaynor and Frederic March in an almost affecting movie, but Janet Gaynor is obviously such an ACTRESS that it's impossible to get involved with her CHARACTER. But the new color print is very pleasant to watch. "State Fair" is hokum, with the high-wire "artiste" refusing the brother and Janet Gaynor refusing a pretty Lew Ayres (at first and then relents at the end) and everyone of the parents' entries winning the first prize. I suck someone off under less than ideal circumstances (see DIARY 9180) and leave at 8:30 to get home, talk to Bob on the phone, who's gotten his precious shelves but has to wait until tomorrow for someone to come and put them together. I have dinner at 11 (bolstered by an ice cream cone before I got home, going down to the Promenade to watch the cruising even in the cold, but nothing of much interest was interested in me) and watch "Alphaville" on TV. It seems I started to watch it before, but never recorded it, and I'm very thankful it's over at 1 and doesn't run through to the scheduled 1:40. Ugly actor in Eddie Constantine, and I constantly think "I could do lots better than that" and "They must have TRIED to make it cheaply, stupidly, illogically, and mock-pretentiously." Nod almost to sleep while watching it, and then watch a bit of a Bobby Clark comedy on the Joe Franklin Show before I decide it's totally lousy, and then get into bed at 1:15, perfectly content to set the alarm for 9:30 for the movie tomorrow and drop off to sleep after only moderate tossing.

DIARY 9192

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28. Alarm gets me up at 9:30, and I jot down notes from the dream I had (see DIARY 9181) and the ideas for the play "New York City" which seems to have sprung from nowhere (see DIARY 9182), and then watch a good Wendell Corey as an Indian hunter who shoots a claw off a tiger that becomes the "Man-Eater of Kumuon" (which I can't find in my atlases), then see the ad for the prehistoric animals of "Two Lost Worlds" and THAT is the movie from 1950 that so impressed me with the GREAT animals, and I'm VERY pleased to have caught it. Those last until 12:30, and then I read the Voice and watch a perfectly awful "Damon and Pythias" that leads me to EB now and find that it should be "Damon and PHINTIAS," but there was absolutely no trace of gayness in the determinedly straight movie from MGM that was really dreadful, both actors not even being cute enough to watch. That's from 3-5, then I sit dumbly and watch Olga Korbut and the Russian Olympiads until 6, when I watch a stupid "Star Trek" written by someone Bixby about a man who lives forever and was Solomon and Da Vinci and Michaelangelo and almost everyone else. That's over at 7, and I write DIARY 9183 about my TV day, and then watch "Crashes" on ABC, rather encouraging, since I didn't know that ONLY 3000 people have been killed in air crashes in ALL, which is surely small compared with ALL other forms of destruction. Then at 9, over dinner, I watch "Mary, Queen of Scots" which gets started so slowly that I almost turn it off, but Vanessa Redgrave gets interesting when she starts marrying herself off to everyone, and Glenda Jackson is a better older Elizabeth than she is a younger, and that's over at 11:30, so I have a long time to look at porno and jerk off with the usual following of lots of food, though I'm still having trouble keeping up the cock through the numerous sessions of teasing and straining, and frequently I'm jerking on an almost-soft cock to an admittedly frenzied climax that feels great, but still not quite as great as coming through a very HARD cock, though there are always still moments of ineffable hardness when the clear drops ooze out and I keep trying to come off without touching, which makes it harder to bring myself back up. May have gotten to sleep as early as 1:30 am.

DIARY 9193

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29. Up about 9:30 or 10 and out for the Times, reading most of it and working the puzzle even before watching the awful Yoshi show, and PART of my disgust with people like him and Robert Wilson is that they get to go to GREAT parts of the world and do their thing, which is what I'd love to do, and my not-published state prevents it. Finish with the Times and have lunch and type five datebook pages before 3, when I watch "The Mind of Mr. Soames" with a pretty-eyed Terence Stamp playing a man who's just been waked after 30 years of sleep at 30 years of age, and there's Nigel Davenport, who'd played Bloodworth, or whoever Mary married after they killed her first husband, as a doctor so stupid that he doesn't realize that the poor sexy baby needs LOVE along with his training to be a human being. Rather simplistic film, and the hooting schoolgirl on the train was totally unbelievable, as was the stupidity of the filmmakers who put on the lights to terrify Soames into throwing a pitchfork through Robert Vaughan, who looked VERY funny in a beard as a surgeon. Out at 5 to the Olympia and get there early enough to have a slice of pizza, and watch "The Longest Yard," yet ANOTHER example of hideous movies (see DIARY 9194) that glorifies the stupidity of criminals, and it was a relief to watch "Friends of Eddie Coyle" to see that at least SOME of the wrongdoers "got it" in the end. Out at 9:50 and dash home in time to watch the start of Monty Python, and have dinner afterwards reading the rest of the Times. Have a rather successful orgasm and then remember that John Simon is on David Suskind, so I'm back out of bed at 1, after eating again, and watch him castigate practically everyone in the critical field and almost every movie, except that he likes Genevieve Bujold for some strange reason. Constantly concerned about my not working much, reading lots of books back and forth on subways to the movies, sorry that Bob Grossman doesn't want to see any of them with me, and getting phone messages from John Casarino (12/24) and Marty Sokol (12/29) and even TDI (12/30), who says that I should stay on tap for the January 4 departure. Wouldn't that be a kick? But there are even MORE movies to see, and I start making lists of when I'm going to be able to SEE them. Exhausted to bed.

DIARY 9196

MONDAY, DECEMBER 30. Up at 9:30 and put things away, then get out to get poppers, search the used-book store but find only a second hand copy of "The Phenomenon of Man" with only about a dozen pages marked up, buy small envelopes and peroxide, and then get to the supermarket to buy only a part of my shopping list since I'll be carrying two bags anyway, with a total bill of over $19, the biggest one yet. Up to the Unitrex to find that Kirsten called, telling me to stay on tap for the January 4 departure, and that Arnie has a letter and a razor battery for me. I'm not sure when I'll fit everything in, and Bob had called, but he's left to unemployment when I call back at 12:15, and then he calls at 1:15 to say he'd like to come over to watch me on TV, so I fix things up for his arrival, not bothering to shower or shave, and he's in at 1:30 to play a bit of backgammon. He laughs at my awful performance on "The Big Showdown" from 2:30 to 3, and he says he doesn't want to see any of my movies except the porno double, and he'd like to see the live strippers, too. We play lots of backgammon and it seems clear that whoever gets all the doubles wins the game. I win the series today. Then I look through my list of things to do and find that the last night of Pilobolus is tonight, so I say I'm going, but by 7 he says he doesn't have his glasses (oh, he again LOVED my tuna salad for lunch, and we had loads of popcorn, and he said he MIGHT do something about lunch for ME at HIS place TOMORROW! AMAZING!), and would I mind if he didn't come with me. He leaves me at 42nd Street and I local up to 66th, then walk down to find that the theater (Harkness) is CLOSED and the performances have been cancelled. Down to verify that the ABT doesn't dance on Mondays, and dash down to the twofer ticket place at 8 to find it closed, so I'm up to see "The Island at the Top of the World" at the Rivoli for $3.50 with some GREAT effects and FABULOUS artwork and a totally unrecognizable Donald Sinden, and "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" a cute watercolor cartoon. Out at 10 and down PAST the single of "Death Wish" for $3 to 42nd Street to find the old faithful Cine 42 with a DOUBLE with it. Eat at double-crispy Colonel Sanders, in at 10:45 for "Death Wish" and "Hell Up in Harlem," prompting the thoughts of movies in DIARY 9194 and coincidences in DIARY 9195. Home 2:30 to bed after finishing "Expedition to Earth.

DIARY 9197

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31. Up at 10:30 for breakfast, not bothering to wait for a call from Elaine since she'd called during the weekend saying she might be in town, then called yesterday to say she WASN'T coming to town, and in the middle of the conversation the phone went dead, but soon after I reported it on John's phone, Bob Grossman called and it was OK again, except that I took off the Phonemate so they could check it and NOT find the illegal device. Shower and shave and sew the button on my jacket, get out the jewelry that I might wear, load up my pockets with beret, gloves, book, bidis, earplugs, and regular stuff for the long day out, and leave for TDI at 1:30, having phoned Kirsten to say I'd be late. Pick up a shaver recharger that Arnie wants fixed and a letter that says he's spoken to George, Norman Harper isn't working out, and I MAY REALLY be going to South America! Fairly excited about that, BUT I'm NOW reminded that Bob Rosinek called this morning to wish me a happy new year, and we talked about "the spark" that might be gone (see DIARY 9198). Bob's copied down the names of the contestants and is wild about Richard Nasser, as I thought he would be, but Linda wins AGAIN! We play some backgammon, then he makes me the cream cheese and jelly sandwich I'd suggested when he asked if I wanted peanut butter for lunch, and he has great brownies from Entenmanns, which is nice, and then we're back to the game, after his NOT being convinced his not moving double on doubles helped him (since he won 2 of 3 anyway). But we play on until 8, when he starts showering and shaving while I read, and then we're out at 9 to find Mayfair closed and we're around to Paparazzi for a TINY portion of sole for me for $5 and chicken and good sauce for him for $6, and we're down to 42nd and Park to the Horn and Hardarts for the crazy party that I paid Bob Grossman $12.50 for, and it's almost empty when we get there and doesn't really ever fill up, though it's nice enough (see DIARY 9199). Out at 2 and walk down to Uncle Charlies, since he wants to so much, and I stand around until 4:15, disgusted with the place (see DIARY 9200), and leave to subway home by 5, falling into bed totally exhausted, already five hours into the LAST year of the third quarter of the 20th century.