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1979 3 of 5

SUNDAY, 5/27/79: "Whoopee" is dated, but Repole isn't bad, Mom enjoyed it, it was surely better than "Sarava" would have been. Look at souvenir shops until time to get to Dennis's for a fabulous dinner in which I ate about 2 BULBS of garlic and was sick to my stomach the next day. John was back from the Adirondacks so Dennis invited him down, and there was a fabulous soup and great dessert and good salad and everyone was too full to ask about meat at all. Everyone loved my Mom, to everyone's surprise, and she acknowledged my GREAT friends. VERY pleased to bed to nuzzle and chat with Dennis to sleep.

MONDAY, 5/28/79: Mom leaves without a hitch, taking her last snapshot from the car over the Kosciusko Bridge, and I dropped her off and couldn't even muster a sigh of relief: there was no sigh to be sighed, it was THAT easy. Did bodywork on her, telling her the pelvic rotation was "like fucking" and she loved it. Bruce does me in the evening, insisting I should have gotten more from Mom's body session, but I didn't.

TUESDAY, 5/29/79: Get myself out to the bank to buy a $2500 money order for Computer Mart, but they're closed, I assume for Memorial Day. So see a rather skimpy Michaelangelo exhibit at the Morgan, not really very sexy, though some of his bodies were humpy and some of the associated artists did nice crucifixions. More indexes from library and then up to see "Sweeney Todd" which I liked more than Dennis, who was surprised it won 8 Tonies on Sunday, and thank goodness Dana and Jody had gotten there early and got good seats we could move into. Lansbury had a cold (which Dana said they announced LAST time), so they had to use a record-mimic on Sunday, which was awful, since Lansbury wasn't really trained to mimic. Thought I recognized the sailor, didn't remember he was Christ until reading his credits.

WEDNESDAY, 5/30/79: Susan arrives late for Doris Duke's gardens and we have a tie-up at the Holland Tunnel, and she's pissed about not eating, but we get to the gardens JUST at 1:25, the tour is only an hour, which was a detail I hadn't remembered, and we all wanted to see MORE, so we drive around in the countryside, eat in the Foolish Fox after trying a Mafia hangout that no one liked (what a pity my French dip was cold), and then around Princeton, where I was sorry I couldn't ogle pretty crotches, driving, and almost plowed into the back of a car as I looked to the side. Played along the canal where Susan took pictures of us, and then back to the Heights to park and get to class, and then Dennis said he wanted to be alone, which we usually WERE these days.

THURSDAY, 5/31/79: Don't feel like working so I read "Birdy" which is pretty good, though I'd preferred more of the mysticism of Birdy from the start, but the characters are good and there are some BLOODY Vietnam scenes as a shocker in the ending. Then to Pope's for Scrabble, since he's been laboring under a long infection that he can't shake and he's afraid of sleeping. I win 2.

FRIDAY, 6/1/79: Do Susan quickly, then Elaine Claudio arrives at 2:30 and I do Pat Pavia first, and she calls to say he DOESN'T have pains after, and I'm shocked when he says he's 50 this month! Dennis wants to surprise me, so we dress and I meet him downstairs and he takes me to Rive Gauche, which is QUITE good, his bay scallops scrumptious, my Tournedos Rossini a surprise with a reddish sauce, champagne festive, and he uses his card (VISA) for the first time, showing he's an adult. We're alone eating, so it's grand. $70 is a BIT much, but only Coup de Fusil could compare with quality.

SATURDAY, 6/2/79: Susan's activated about a dog --- no, this is Wednesday. She does me, I pass the day doing nothing, watch "On the Town" with Dennis during dinner, which he doesn't care for, and he leaves and I can watch two rather silly Nancy Drew comedies with Bonita Granville.

SUNDAY, 6/3/79: Do Amy before watching "Clytemnestra," which she says is too strong for her and she leaves halfway through. Crotches and beautiful legs and arms are about all there is to watch, though Clytemnestra, the bitch, is pretty hard to take by herself. Graham's wishful thinking? Dennis is busy with something or someone, so I watch two more Nancy Drews.

MONDAY, 6/4/79: Do Bruce at his place and he suggests dinner, so we're out to the Chinese restaurant "The Golden Fountain" near him and the waitress breaks two glasses onto the table into our dishes, so I have about 4 egg foo yungs that fill me WAY up.

TUESDAY, 6/5/79: Still stalling for time, maybe reading mail, finishing Omni, wasting time rather terribly, and do Solar Heating 6 from 6:45-8:30, then watch TV and finish from 9:30-10:45, all of 3 hours, having to deliver tomorrow.



Confused, frustrated, verbally constipated, mentally awhirl! Wake this morning to have Dennis leave to work, and I start a quick session and then think that it'd be good to sit down and TYPE a session (it would clarify the Personality Recognition session, transcribe what comes up for me during it, help unblock the verbal constipation, and get me to the typewriter to DO something as everyone agrees I should DO), but then I perversely sit down to read long articles in New York Magazine which only serve to INCREASE the mental whirl. Then I shit and get a call from Don Cohen asking about indexing (and Elaine Claudio called at 9:15 to wake Dennis about the same thing), and I debate starting a list of people who call about indexing. But then LISTS AREN'T WORTH IT. I feel frustrated last night watching TV: Turn on "Royal Heritage" about "Victoria and Albert" and see from the teahouse that I'd seen it, yet don't really recognized the lingering look at their mausoleum from before: so I'd seen it, probably didn't record what I thought of the mausoleum (though there IS a chance, I suppose, that I'd watched PART of it and got drawn away from the ending for some reason or other, but what DIFFERENCE does it all make??), and then sat through Cavett talking to John Leonard (and was favorably impressed with his selflessness, charm, and wit and intelligence), and that led to OTHER thoughts about success, "making it," and talking about it after you've made it. Thoughts of becoming an "indexing power" float through my mind: the 32 people on the "want to index" list (and that's surely a list that MUST be maintained!---to which Al Rouslin was JUST added, and OF COURSE he wants to talk about my computer application, and he relieves me by saying that he's having many people read the chapters of his indexing book in the future, so he's not so far along with it as I may have feared) might BECOME indexers, and as now 5-6 people are kept busy, 20-30 might be kept busy in a couple of years, the computer application might grow, and I might find that a SUCCESS. But not without DOING! Phoned Winston yesterday morning and HE said that I should DO, processing the images that I'm stuck, and he says it with such sweet simplicity and sincerity that it actually MEANS something to me. And get teary-eyed when he DOES seem to care about me, that he DOES say that I seem to be making acceptable progress, and when I have the same conversation with Dennis, he of course reiterates that I'm being very hard on myself, and then proceeds to answer my unasked questions and tells me he's being self-disciplined, likes working on 2-3 indexes since it makes the boring ones less tedious, and DOES realize from the first that it's better to work freelance and enjoy the freedom and not hassle the difficulties of making the transition too much. Other things swirl through my mind: the Cousteau self-serving program on the "death" of the Mediterranean: showing rank seaweed just inside the Straits of Gibraltar contrasting with the dust-covered wreck just outside the effluent ducts of European industrial plants, talking to fishermen who say that species of fish have vanished, mentioning that fishing by lights at night has been outlawed by some countries, yet not BOTHERING to mention that of course fishing will CONTINUE because man has to EAT. Then showing the "waste" of fish (which were probably rotten though no one bothered to mention it) that were thrown to the gulls, but of course the gulls have to eat TOO, and even the FISH get so weighty because of the OTHER fish and plankton and algae and other living matter that they've eaten. But the swirl of laws and nature and progress and production and ingestion and excretion becomes turgid and reason-obscuring. Then I'm constantly berating myself for not catching up on my diary. But the diary's in different form now. but during this change is JUST the time that I should be KEEPING a diary. But what will the diary be USED for? For recovering the past in DETAIL---but I REMEMBER the detail that I want to remember and forget what I want to forget ANYWAY. How can I NOT remember the trip to the Caribbean, yet it seems it might be nice to RECORD what EXACT restaurants and prices and menus pleased and displeased us most for a RETURN possibility. I keep coming back to the thought: but it doesn't take that LONG to actually DO! Yet the psychic price of NOT doing it, day after day, is high also. Think of substituting the datebook listings, but they're not complete enough and don't say anything about my moods. And hearing that there's a 6-week mood shift doesn't help (an emotional, hormonal cycle in men only) my thinking that I can ALWAYS be on top by thinking hard enough about it. Left this and went to talk to Winston again, and he keeps talking about "letting it go, not hanging on, committing images to the fires, relaxing," and it seems SO apposite that I can hardly type fast enough. That's one of the things about the diary pages: though I KNOW they don't take much time, it's a problem when I want to HANG ON to what time I get up, what I did before noon, after noon, before dinner, after dinner, whether Dennis and I had sex. And none of that MATTERS!! The ACTIVITIES matter, but that's taken care of by memory. The MOODS matter, but those change so fast nowadays that it's hard even keeping up with them. It's interesting to keep a history of Actualism, but not in the terms in which I keep it: bodywork and lessons. Winston keeps talking about "almost getting to the point of feeling good, then drawing back," and I can feel that: wake in the morning and LOVE the silence, and then the huge dog starts barking and whining down the block, the doves start courting, and the woman upstairs starts tromping around. But the annoyance is all INSIDE ME, not intimately connected, irreversibly, with the sounds themselves. The fact of delaying buying the computer: first because of Mom's visit, then because of Amy's seeming reluctance to pass judgment on another date, is of course part of it. Whole hours can pass enjoyably, like the time at Doris Duke's gardens, and then I hassle the hours spent driving back through New Jersey. It's pleasant being with Susan and Dennis, but then I feel like it's a day wasted. And I still keep wanting to entertain myself (though I've decided to let the Soho Weekly News stop coming: I hear about ENOUGH to do that I don't do, I'm decreasingly interested in the punk-rock scene that they seem to cover so thoroughly, and I don't care about their style except for the male bodies, and I'd better spend the time in baths than looking at pages. Days with the car are nice, but I have to get money to support it, and not having worked during the month of May increases my feeling of guilt about wasting time. But, as I told SOMEONE, it at least gave me the time to think and build up a head of steam to GET something done. Dennis and I feeling increasingly separated is part of it: we're tired when we get to bed, then we feel we have to work in the morning so we're up and apart. I decided while shopping for groceries today that I should start keeping half-and-half in the apartment so he can at least feel free to have COFFEE here when he wants it. Susan invites me to Tai Chi and I refuse, Dennis invites me to Richard's monthly class and I figure there's nothing there for me, and the Scrabble games with Pope seem increasingly to satisfy him, and not me, though Simon was interesting enough last time with his beeping and blooping. But to get back to the CRUX: CAN I just drop the past---leave it go without wanting to hang onto it---see a similarity to my reluctance to drop THIS LIFE: I want to hang onto IT, which is SYMBOLIZED by my diary. But how can I live from moment to moment when I'm tied up in transcribing my life from day to day? Well, the answer to that is that I COULD, but at what COST? I don't CARE for the cost of nagging myself, feeling that I get THAT done and I can get to the rest of the things that I want to do. Lots of other authors keep journals, including Arthur Clarke, and THEY are hardly becoming best sellers. Yet I DO like what I do---though there's no reason I can't like whatever it is FOR THE TIME and then drop it in order to go on to something else! Everything seems connected: just as the fishermen-gulls-economies-progress-dying of the Mediterranean was connected through Cousteau's program. Seeing the Tony awards all going to "Sweeney Todd" which I'd just seen on Tuesday was interesting, but I couldn't remember enough of the play, or get away enough from Dennis's dislike of the play, to make any connection between what I SAW and what was winning all the prizes. Then the lists: WHAT GOOD did the lists of hours worked with various indexers do so far? I DID the work, the indexers continue or they don't, I make more or less money per hour working with them, and why don't I record THOSE hours in the job-money book? But the EARLY diary is a MUCH better record of what I do when I have NOTHING pushing me, and I have ENOUGH pages of being torn with diverse activities, so I can just LEAVE it go while I work on computer specifications, the indexing book, and keeping OTHER things in order. Something else seems consoling, too (though sadly there was no way of recording what I felt after the LSD sessions since I didn't write anything for a long time after them) (whatever HAPPENED to the strength which I gave to NO MORE RECORDS, NO MORE BOOKS, NO MORE LISTS???), about the thought that if I become MORE unhappy NOT keeping the diary, I can always go BACK to it. Take time now to identify that the whining dog is outside the construction site, that the fledgling sparrows are bigger than the mother clinging to the "rock face" of the parking lot, that most of the windows of the St. George Towers aren't new yet, to let out a fly that came in for the grass, to want to put the screen into the kitchen window but there's Mrs. Cray hanging out clothes for the second time today. And all this is trivial, meaning nothing, and I should let it go, let it go, let it go! So the only thing to do is NOT to catch up with the Actualism notes, ignored since class before last---but I can always keep up with the SHEET of SUMMARIZED lessons to keep track of what's done WHEN---and maybe come up with a new sheet when there's a new PROCESS series started. And the last in the notebook, interestingly taken down to the end of a page, is now May 25, almost two weeks ago, and I can forgo telling about Mom's trip---though something inside says NO, it was INTERESTING, TELL about it---but I have to stop SOMETIME, and it's too easy to catch up one more time, have another bowl of popcorn, neglect exercising one more day, rather than ACT in a positive manner. At least I have the Solar Heating index that I have to have done tomorrow, which I haven't started yet, to pry me away from this and into something OTHER than reading, or jerking off, or watching TV, or mooning about where I could go with the car, and it's probably true that I have a LARGE case of spring fever into the bargain, though I should have indulged LAST month of non-work, not into THIS month, too, and there's ALWAYS the joy of KNOWING that when I GET INTO work, it'll be pleasant enough on its OWN terms.

WEDNESDAY, 6/6/79: Susan's over concerned about a dog, so she phones and doesn't do me, I'm out to Helen's with SH6 and can't change her mind about index formats. We lunch in the cafeteria, then I walk down to Computer Mart to find it CLOSED and the phones DISCONNECTED. Damn! Walk back up to 42nd Street to kill time after touring the Guinness Records exhibit in the basement of the Empire State Building from 2:30-4, then see a dreadful "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" with lots of famous people and NO plot at all, and a rather effective "It's Alive" that you really don't SEE the monster baby, and then after his father kills it, you hear there's ANOTHER up the coast. Then to class but just 8 of us, being told that we're to HAVE hierarchy NEWLY FORMED when we get to class, and we're soon to be trained as coordinators. Really moving along, and we DO have class July 4, and I'm home to jerk off.

THURSDAY, 6/7/79: Day passes phoning and wondering and Dennis accepts the idea of dinner at Le Quercy at 5:30, and it's slow and not THAT good, not really worth the money anymore, and we DASH up to the Met, much to his disgust, and we miss the first scene of "Miss Julie," but it's not Gregory but van Hamel, who's not good at ALL, though technically she's improving, and Michael Owen, or whoever, as the butler just didn't exist. "The Leaves Are Fading" wasn't as LONG as I remember it being, but just as boring, and then "Desir" was angst with Dowell and Makarova not making the stage come alive, and Dennis is depressed as I am, and van Hamel doesn't have the zip to make "Etudes" very good, but Richard Schaffer does some nice things in it, though Kevin Mackenzie is out of his league. Home very tired.

FRIDAY, 6/8/79: Can't leave before 10 for Great Adventure, and get there at 11:30 after getting gas, like the zebras, shedding ostriches, and penisy baboons in the safari until 1, then into the park for Dennis and me to eat an AWFUL platter, me of greasy pastrami, he of slight amounts of beef, but the milkshakes were good. Out across to the carousel, then the ferris wheel, both almost no lines, decide not to see any shows, wait for the Wild Mouse while it breaks down as we're into the car, waiting until 3:30 to go on the Enterprise again, then on the Moon Flume, but Dennis refuses to go on the Flying Loops, which I like a lot, and then Skyride across to Rolling Thunder 3 times, the hit of the day, and about 45 minutes waiting for the Flume just behind the MOST gorgeous chest in captivity, and he's hungry again so we have barbecues in the west, decide we don't like the disco show, ride the Runaway Train, then back to the Skyride for the laser show, which he hated, but it wasn't THAT bad, and a ferris wheel, the wild mouse --- we MISSED that the second time around: he agreed to the Flying Loops and then we went to the Rolling Thunder again and left at 10, getting gas, back at 12, exhausted.

SATURDAY, 6/9/79: Nothing again until Barbara's from 6:05-7:45, then down to meet Dennis for Phyllis Newman in "Madwoman of Central Park West," sort of a Jewish-mother downer with a FEW good songs, seemingly all new, and then back to Barbara's for work from 10:40-11:40, then rolled beef and chicken and cottage cheese and bread and salad and listening to cuts for her new record, giving our opinions, which Dennis loved, and we leave at 1:30 and have a weary way home on the subway until 2:30, getting a paper and coming home.

SUNDAY, 6/10/79: Work the puzzles and meet Dennis at 2:10 to get to the VanDam to give an index to Jennifer Brudny, who later gives it to Sherryl, and Anna-Teresa's husband's "Bashful Genius" isn't as bad as we'd feared, and wish him luck, I offer Anna-Teresa wine, then we're off to wander the Village, Dennis wanted to avoid the fair, so we went to some galleries to see the heads he wanted to see, paid $1 for the Museum of Color and Light with fused backlit glass panels, and ate an overpriced smoked-trout-mit-crudities for $8, mediocre couscous for him and passable brains for me, and when he adds orange juice to his kir-and-red-wine Communard it's not bad. Then he wants to see Leon Thomas and Pharaoh Sanders at the Tin Palace, so we're there at 9:15 to a front-row seat, and Dakota Staton and Sugar Blue enter for the second set, the latter participating, and Dennis loves it, so we stay on, drinking banana and peach and strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas, all with almost no booze, and out at 1:30 to stagger home exhausted AGAIN.

MONDAY, 6/11/79: Processor Technology's phone is disconnected, I get to do Amy, we talk about her trance voice and try to think of questions for me to ask her, and Dennis is busy and I think to watch movies and decide: what the hell! And shower and put in contacts and get to the Club at 11:45 to get an $11 room immediately at the foot of the lowest stairs, not bad, and wander around to find not much there, finally laying inside and Jorge comes over, gets hard and pointed from his funny trimmed pubic hair, and he loves being teased but then comes into my eye, which is a pain, but it dries before he leaves so I don't bother to wash it. Thinking of going, after jerking myself not-off in the TV room trying to get something going, but guys only wanted to play, not to come, and to fuck that than j/o, and one last time back see a cutish PR who follows me to my room and I lay him on the bed and just pet and play with him and suck his cock and I'm not even up but he loves it and he comes VERY copiously and we cuddle (which reminds me of the strange plumpish Chinese who just comes in and lies down beside me though I SHAKE my head no, caressing my chest until I get out of bed and he leaves) and then I say I have to get to work at 9 and leave in the budding daylight at 5 am, home at 6 after just missing the F train, fall into bed.

TUESDAY, 6/12/79: Wake at 9:30 to hear turned-off phone turning on the phone machine, so I'm up to phone, get to a great surgery (see ACTUALISM 16) with Alice on the lungs, with Susan to pick up the first volume of Math from Holt Rinehart, giving an estimate of $180-$270 and then she accepts $1 per book page, which is GREAT! Had pizza before Alice at Mamma Mia, then got home at 6 to read mail and Dennis phones and I tell him about double at Cinema Village so we're there at 7:15, and I'd had a pizza on 6th before that, my only food for the day, and "Three Women" is not very believable from any of the three's part, though "A Perfect Couple" is nicely whacky. Again, out at midnight and too tired to sleep together, and he's worried about us.

WEDNESDAY, 6/13/79: My eye hurt like hell in the movie, and I wake this morning to find it almost closed, so I phone HIP in emergency and see Dr. Beris who prescribes Neosporin for conjunctivitis and tells me to see the ophthalmologist tomorrow, which becomes Friday. I bathe eye in ice, and when Dennis comes up at 3 we cuddle while chatting, then end up having SEX, while Amy calls and I shower and go over there to get her session on me, and I freak her out by talking of the semen in the eye, and I don't remember what I do that night, except maybe Dennis --- no, he's busy, and I remember watching TV from 11-12, so maybe I just read the mail and magazines all evening.

THURSDAY, 6/14/79: Barbara's right on the dot at 9 am, and I'd just put the apartment to rights beforehand, and look through her longest index until 2 pm, when she nods out watching the still-sexy "Taming of the Shrew" with Marc Singer from 2-3:30, then she leaves, having gotten an extension from Larry, and I phone lots of people and have lunch and get out for the 6:15 "Norma Rae," which isn't bad, but rather overrated, though it DID touch me, and I'm not enjoying "Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" with a terrible Gene Wilder when it strikes me I wanted to go to the THALIA, so I leave at 9 and get down to find that "Leo the Last" had started at 8:20, so I watch a poor Mastroianni and a Norma-like Billie Whitlaw burn his house so he can support the Jamaicans in the cul-de-sac, and then "Hell in the Pacific" has the animal Lee Marvin against the someway-sexy Toshiro Mifune, who get together in glee until their building blows up just before THE END. Out at 11:50 hoping to ride to the Heights but get to Boro Hall and walk back. Turn on "The Creature with the Blue Hand" while I make the last of the rotting steak and have wine, and watch the end of "The Blue Dahlia" until 2:30, and stagger into bed at 2:45, remembering to soak my eye a last cube.

FRIDAY, 6/15/79: Up at 9:15 and my eye's bad enough to get to Garber at 9:45, and he says it's infected, has nothing to do with semen or contacts, though I might check for a non-specific genital leak which might be part of it, and gives me 2 drops to put in, for $13, which Whelan's doesn't have so I give the place around the corner a chance. Depressed and write letters to Mom and Rita until Amy insists that I shouldn't be typing, and I listen to music for awhile and then decide I can AT LEAST put my travel and scrapbook section away, so I talk to Pope for a long time and pass time until 8:30, when I go down to Dennis's for soup and bread, not that great, and he's painted his rafters to look like chocolate bars, and then we're out to "China Syndrome" at 9:35 but they've printed the wrong schedule so we're in to see "Love at First Bite," which was LUDICROUSLY overpraised, and out at 11:30 to commiserate with each other, pick up some tasty Pimm's No. 1 cup and read New Yorkers while he paints the floor and we're into bed sexless.

SATURDAY, 6/16/79: Alarm goes at 9 and the bell at 9:30 causes us to dress quickly as his rugs are delivered, then we look through Jo's index for a couple of hours, taking 15 minutes per page, and he serves brunch of soup and the last of his toast, and I'm upstairs at 1:30 to mope around some more, sorting things out, then lying down, putting drops in eyes, then decide I HAVE to start moving, so I pay bills, and file things and then decide to type a Where Am I Now? (see Essay 22, below) that leads to more and finally to THESE seven notebook pages for 22 days, which isn't BAD, but it's hardly NO diary keeping! So it's now 9:15, I've got the beef roast on for dinner at 10, Dennis is bringing up the Times and wine, and there goes ANOTHER week!



Note taken 6/7/79, sitting with time to kill on Central Park South and 7th Avenue, watching the horse-drawn carriages and passersby and traffic: "Looking new" involves MUCH more than I would have THOUGHT: I cruise (look for sex) from guys because I HAVE BEEN GAY. I don't even LOOK at women with the thought that they might be interesting to play with sexually. All my "directions" toward stimulation are centered about a man's face and chest and arms and crotch and legs, and nothing from a woman can compete so long as I "look from the old way" and really AUTOMATICALLY dismiss them from view. I look at people and cars and movement, but suddenly realize I'm looking at a STRIP of vision possible to me, and look UP to overarching TREES and towering BUILDINGS that would be MUCH more visible to someone from outer space looking at my 360 view with NEW eyes. True, these don't change as the traffic does, but we're trained so fully to "human" scale we RARELY look over 7 feet UP unless we're put into the position of a tourist and "free ourselves" from the old ways of looking at things and DO look at what there IS to look at, rather than what we've been ACCUSTOMED to looking at. Looking at books to read, places to go, people to talk with, even foreign countries to travel to are SO dependent on where we'd been BEFORE and what we'd seen before and what we HAD DECIDED we'd like to look at, rather than trying to look at something NOW from a new view and seeing IF we could like it as much as something we'd already decided we liked. Maybe this is why trekking in Nepal is so appealing: there's the chance that I would see NOTHING familiar (except blue sky above and green grass below) and then UNBLINKER my vision to look around more fully. But in FAMILIAR territories it's even MORE tempting to look at only what I'm used to: that's why the scale and proportion of my APARTMENT seemed to change momentarily (and probably why relatives seem AT FIRST to be older and different) when I've been away from it for a long time. Even in thinking what to DO with time, the old ways are so straitening, amusements so confined, appreciations so tutored that it's hard to BREAK AWAY and look at something TRULY new.



June 15, 1979

Dear Mom and Rita---haven't done one of THOSE in a LONG time!

It's been such an interesting month I thought I'd let you know what some of it was like---also so that you don't think I don't know what I'm doing or can't make up my mind.

Rolf got out of the system on April 27th, giving me a summary of computer systems with Cromemco at the top, seemingly too expensive at about $12,000. I drew up computer specs during the next week and found out how much I didn't know about the system I wanted computerized. On May 2 I tried an independent consulting firm who said they could set me up for about $19,000, and talked to Marty Sokol who said he'd charge $25/hour for his time. Since I made just about that in indexing, and since I know indexing (and maybe even programming, but I've been away from that longer than HE has) better than he does, I figured from that point on that I'D be doing the programming. Since Rolf was no longer contributing half the price of the computer (for half the profits, of course), I found myself thinking about a computer that costs half the $12,000 Cromemco, but which wouldn't do some of the nice stuff. Then May 5th I went to my first ASI (American Society of Indexers) meeting in a couple years and found two things: (1) Everyone was TALKING about computers (though few were doing anything about them), and (2) NO one agreed on any ONE way of doing an index: each company had its own format and each thought it was the best. Even the "reference" and "text" books in the field (I put those in quotes because there IS no ONE acknowledged standard in the field, though everyone's looking forward to the next edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, which many companies follow and which I dislike because it's so OUTMODED. They like letter-by-letter alphabetizing (which puts Cashier between Cash Account and Cash Register, which I think is a PAIN) rather than word-by-word alphabetizing (which is what a COMPUTER would have to do), for example. But the new edition isn't due until the fall. (Just got a phone call from Eli, my "magic travel agent," for 2 weeks in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, INCLUDING flight and transfers and hotels (and morning coffee) for $399! Only a TINY problem: it's from June 19-July 3 and we can't make it then).

Started talking to lots of companies about their formats, but no one of them seemed to know WHO they would accept as an authority except "the market" for, for example, medical books in general. So I went to the trouble of polling a number of people for "the best medical publishing companies" and took the time to get xeroxes of samples of 25 indexes, and was surprised to find that about 2/3 of them AGREED, but not with ME on a number of items. As an example, since I like word-by-word alpha order, I'd put Cash Account and Cash Register before Cashier, and I'd even made a MAIN entry of Cash and two SUBENTRIES of "account" and "register." Some large companies refuse to accept "single-adjective main entries," but I got many of the smaller companies that I work with to accept them. Then it turned out that the planning for the computer program was much simpler if I went along with the mainstream thinking and REFUSED to supply single-adjective main entries. Lots of conversations and plans and jabbering back and forth between me and the publishers I work for. In preparation for seeing a used computer that a friend of a friend was trying to sell, I went to 3 of the New York computer shops: two seemed small and amateurish; the third, Computer Mart of New York, seemed friendly, knowledgeable, and they were raving about a little thing called Sol---and the entire system would only cost about $7,000. On May 11 I saw the used computer, with Dennis and Sherryl (two of my indexers---and I neglected to say that on May 9, over lunch at Lutece, Dennis announced (no connection with the lunch, which turned into a celebration) that he'd quit his fulltime job and would devote fulltime to indexing), and the two of them caused the Ohio Scientific Computer and the owner SO much hassle and trouble that I figured THAT computer wasn't what I wanted. On the 12th I returned to the Computer Mart to inquire about pricing, found out more about the system, and left rather decided to buy it. Then I mentioned it to Amy (who's psychic, Rita, since you never met her), who said that she would look for a good day to purchase something big like a computer. She said that May 28 would be a perfect day. But that was Memorial Day, and Computer Mart is usually closed on Monday ANYWAY, so it would have to be Tuesday. Tuesday was a good day too. So I figured that I could make more plans for the advent of the computer and leave the time free when Mom was in town. Sol began to look LESS good when I figured that, if I charged a fairly nominal $10/hour for the machine (and less than that for people who were just learning: I thought that since the machine would DOUBLE their output, I could charge an average of 3/4 their regular hourly rate---but then some people started saying they'd RATHER work at home rather than coming here), even working TWO SHIFTS PER DAY of, say, 5 hours per shift from 9-2 and then from 2-7, that would bring in $100/day or $500/week or $2000/month, of which about half would go to purchasing the NEXT, larger, computer for about $12,000 at the end of a year. But then I'd probably have to do some of the programming over, and it might take a month or two for me to do the programming, and then not EVERY slot would be filled because $2000 from the computer would imply about $5000 in billing and there weren't THAT many indexes coming in. And I didn't like the thought of all those PEOPLE around all the time working in my apartment. Thought about what Rolf had said about getting an office and even a part-time clerk to handle deliveries and things like that, and wondered if I wasn't making a mistake---but I was going to buy the Sol and let things take care of themselves. The week before Mom arrived wasn't terribly productive: rather than finishing the flow charts for the program, I talked to prospective customers, read a lot of books I'd been wanting to get to, and generally paid myself back for the busy month of April.

On May 29 I went to the bank for a $2500 money order which would be the 1/3 down on the system, but Computer Mart was closed. Hm, so it's the day after a holiday on which they're USUALLY closed, so they gave their people a day off. Spent a nice day in town, then the next day Susan and Dennis and I had planned for Doris Duke's gardens in New Jersey, so we went, and then Amy said I should wait for another day. Got after myself for not working as much as I should have, but I wanted to get the computer, didn't feel like flow-charting until I could see how the memory was organized and what kind of operating system the computer had, so I played Scrabble and read more books and watched TV and enjoyed myself until June 6, when Amy said "nothing was going on," and in fact nothing DID go on: Computer Mart was still closed! Phoned them and their phones were disconnected. HM! Tried what used to be a branch in Long Island and it was closed, and then on June 11 phoned Processor Technology, the manufacturer of Sol, in California and THEIR phone was disconnected! Amy started congratulating herself for saving me $2500, Mom started congratulating herself for saving me $2500, and I began to feel that more happened to me if I just sat around and WAITED! Phoned Computer Mart of New Jersey this afternoon (oh, forgot a step: went to Rolf's on Wednesday and he handed me something that had just come in the mail: Cromemco's new multi-user system, on which I could get about 3 users for about $1200. When I told Rolf I'd want to expand to a new system with Sol, he said "Just buy a second computer." That seemed an expensive way to expand. Then it occurred to me that I could even do most of the PROGRAMMING if I could just get the manuals from the company FIRST, and not even HAVE to have purchased the machine first---maybe even use a Service Bureau to test the program on a like machine. Then I figured I'd now have the time to shop around for an OFFICE, so that MY place wouldn't have to be used for an office---so now the whole thing's WAY off into the FUTURE.



Ten days since the last installment of this, the PRESSURE to retain facts for the diary is lessened, but I keep thinking I didn't record what I thought of the Rive Gauche (good), or Raoul's (poor) (though now I can go back MORE cleanly than I could have returned BEFORE), that I didn't say what I thought of the American Ballet Theater (mostly poor when the poor people were dancing, though Dowell had such unusual choreography done for him he usually appeared solemn and lacking in excitement when he danced his various Contredances and Desirs with Makarova), that I didn't record what happened with various body sessions, though I WILL record the dynamic lung Identity Freeing session with Alice (see ACTUALISM 16). So my "addiction" is lessening and I'm living more and more for the moment, even to lying down and berating myself for getting my eye infected (though it's not clear how), then getting up and exercising before I bathe before I put in the eye drops before I clear off my desk before I clear out my files before I start on the current indexes before I get back to the indexing book, during which I take as much entertainment as I can squeeze in, and I feel that I'm not doing much WORK but lots of STUFF, and in future I won't even be able to say WHAT I've done because I haven't recorded the day except for pages like this. How DID time slip by so that my desk was cluttered with all the clippings from the Sunday Times until this EVENING, just ready to get ANOTHER Times? Talking on the phone is also much fun, particularly with long-talkers like Amy and Pope who have no schedules to adhere to like me. But my fuzzy right eye gives me the right to think of vacuuming and filing so that I don't strain it, and it's more obviously fuzzy now that I'm looking at my typing than it was before. So I change sheets and wash dishes and cook foods and read the mail and do what I want, unrecorded, freer than before, living more in the moment, holding onto less and less of the past, looking dimly into the future with less and less daydreaming, though I still make up lists of 8 things that I have to handle on Sunday, then fix the car's tailpipe, then do more entertainment, see Muktananda tomorrow without ANYBODY for the four tickets, and see when I can see summer things in New York's fun city.

SUNDAY, 6/17/79: [through TUESDAY, 6/26/79] Whereas previously I would sit down and type about all the things that I HAD to do, I wondered where all the time went and then thought that I'd sit down and type about all the things I DID do, so that I wouldn't feel that the intervening time was wasted: entertained myself with "The Lady of the Camellias" which was quite good even though the original cast was replaced by a rather low-key Cragun and a mediocre Kiel, a thorough going through the Sunday Times, various TV shows including two fabulous reruns of "The Prisoner" and a TV interview with Werner Erhard, and Barbara's recital at "The Church of the Mind" on Sunday. I dropped drops in my eyes, gave Garland their indexing orientation, went to another EFA meeting, talked on the phone a LOT, vacuumed for the first time in five weeks, and talked about a lot of indexes, as well as spent a LOT of time with Dennis, Amy, Norma and Arnie, and had a surgery with Alice that was even more dynamite than the one before (see ACTUALISM 17), had a class, and even an agreeable men's pelvic session on Monday, getting more than usually hung up on the sexiness of Bob Duke's brush down, Ken Miller's crotch, and the sexy people around the corner sweete shoppe. But I more than ever WENT WITH IT: got to DOING something when I was feeling low (even if it was only reading Omni when I didn't feel like working), got in quite a bit of sessions (even if most of them didn't seem to FINISH), and felt that I was operating well enough without a DO-list (even though I didn't have time to get to the things I KNEW I had to do: Holt indexing and writing the index book). But I DID things, GOT things out of the way like banking and ending the PO box and paying bills and putting in the air conditioner and fixing the broiler when it went sparking off the blink and fixing the toaster so that it at least GOES when the muffin is pushed down into it, and even tried Dennis's pineapple recipe, bought strange vegetables for some excitement for dinner, which Dennis rather appreciated, and talked long hours about what should be added to the indexing book, which should just about write itself automatically now --- but I have to get into the swing of typing, since it's been so long since I've typed anything of length that I'll probably be very tired for the first few days. And then I had to do the Solar Heating index, checked on indexes by Sherryl, Barbara, Amy, and Dennis, as well as Allegra, and STILL I thought I was getting nothing done, since I have nothing to SHOW for it except pleasant times and good feelings about myself. Dennis phoned to say that today was marvelous meeting people for his book on female jazz singers, I had a nice day with Amy talking and having lunch and going over her index, and she DOES say that her voice wants to have a session with ME, and she's beginning to put me into the same category with Beegee, which is flattering, and I FELT that I should say that her hair looked like a cap, and then she said that she TRIED giving me the message to talk about her hair TWICE, and then I got through with her --- and WAS it only after that that she said her voice was interested in talking with me, that she felt strange about being political when Amy and Beegee were NOT, and that SHE had brought the two of them together because she felt that THEY could do more than either alone. My mind whirls when I talk to Amy, talking about Actualism and what I said to Alice, my Identity Freeing, the Men's Pelvic, and her desire to talk with me in her voice, my asking to go along when she goes to Mexico, and my list of questions for the voice goes on and on, and I have to remember to take along my recorder when I go, since I DON'T want to MISS what's being said when I get there. Then she wants to see the Danish dancers, which would have to be on Thursday, and I have to ask Dennis if he REALLY wants to see the short program on Saturday, and I HAVE to get something done for Holt BEFORE getting to the book, because I feel that WHEN I get to the book it'll just GO (as it did when I was writing it the FIRST time), so I have to leave TIME for it. And even NOW I can feel the pressure to write wearing off, that I'm stretching things out, that I have to get to OTHER things. More indexes in, more chapters for Dennis to do, more to check, and still I write these pages about Actualism and notes, feeling that the party last night for Don's birthday had some dull moments and Dennis's Piquant Chicken was dry and not exactly up to his usual standards, but the 39 plums with brown sugar and hot cream sauce were quite good, and with all the booze that everyone was drinking (the 4 drinkers managed to consume 3 bottles of wine, as well as the last of the Pimm's #1 cup), but there were times that no one seemed to have anything to say, when I had to hold forth about Amy's wanting to form a group, Amy admitting yesterday that I DID tend to blab a lot, but I said that if I KNEW, she wouldn't have to worry about my saying things she didn't WANT me to talk about. Haircut this afternoon, then shopping for books, which turned boring quickly, then shopping for offices and finding that probably $150 would be as LITTLE as I could expect to pay in any of the 24-hour buildings in the vicinity --- but that's still not THAT bad! Picking up brewer's yeast, wine, plant food, meat, groceries and lugging them home and not getting down to work on the index until after 3, without having exercised, talking to more people about indexes, trying to get Dennis to find WHAT he'll be doing between the time he's on vacation, and AGAIN my desk has filled up with notes and lists and time-records that I have to put away, so the work on the BOOK is just more and more delayed, though all the incidents that come up during all the indexes that I'm WORKING on, with examples right from the books and dictionaries, make it VERY easy to find topics to expand my manuscript, but HOW am I going to be able to xerox the whole thing, and then I'll have time next week when Dennis is GONE, and now that I feel I've caught up with these pages without going into GREAT detail, I can get to the other things that have to be done and try to attain a new level of living from moment to moment, looking at things with a fresh unprejudiced eye, liking WHATEVER I'm doing, and in Werner's words coming from the CONTEXT of accomplishment and having enough time and doing what I want to do and having satisfaction AND a feeling of growth and excitement and development.



Charles Carmony was the chairman who didn't introduce himself, a bearded indexer who works for Rutgers University Press to whom I talked and sent a resume the following day. The board meets the first WEDNESDAY of every month, so there goes any possibility of my being on it, since Actualism is still there. He gave a brief history, saying that Cyrus Rogers brought EFA out of St. Luke's Church in the Village, now resigned. Benefits committee is looking into health insurance for EFA; Bias in Editing has sexism, racism, and ethnicity, which seems like a bore; membership was 110 last year, 250 now, with prospects for 500 next year. There'll be a new directory in September, with people organized according to specialty. Program committee is in charge of small group leaders and alternates, and I gave my name to the committee chairman for the indexing committee, saying that I wouldn't be able to make meetings held on Wednesdays. Told Ruth, the publicity chairperson, that ASI newsletter should be contacted---and I forgot to call her until NOW, leaving word with her at EFA to contact me!---and she said Charles wasn't a member because all they talked about was computers anymore. For the Rates Sheet there were 70 respondents to 1978 survey, with a total average annual income of $8,857, but for the 40% fulltime freelancers this went up to $13,400, for the 60% part-time it was only $5,722, and many of these might be moonlighters. Source of non-publishing income: 42% from family. Fulltime people had an AVERAGE of 9 years freelance and 10.5 years in-house; part-time an average of 6.7 years freelance and 8.3 years in-house, VERY old! For FULLTIME people, 7 paying categories (for only 28 people now!) WERE: Manuscript evaluation $20K/year; blended work $17K/year; writers 16.5K; rewriters-editors $14.5K; indexers $12.6K; copyeditors 12.2K and proofreaders 10.7K. I brought up that this might not reflect HOURLY rates, and EVERYONE said these should NOT be publicized or they'd NEVER use us again, putting quantity over quality. 122 responses to health questionnaire: 36 males, 86 females, 97 singles, 10 married, and 15 married with children. EFA income $2,214,000 per year! They give workshops, too, give and take, for freelancers---lots of cheese and wine.



People filed in until 2:45, when someone familiar-looking came onstage and it was Marsha Mason with "her" story, then at 2:56 came on Paul Zweig, author of "Three Visits" and then he quoted the great "God dwells within you as you" before 3:03 when Baba came out, saying it was "Father's Day" and he was going to speak about "Love." "Without a father, no son. INDEPENDENT love depends on nothing, dependent love depends on form and beauty. Socrates: Love is yearning for the beauty of God. Ponder deeply: Without love, how can you enjoy sleep? In sleep, you renounce everything and everybody. He tells a (poor) Nasruddin story. At last, at 30 minutes, he stops interrupting her in the middle of her translation of his talk, which is VERY unsettling for his sense and feeling close to him. One loves OTHERS for one's inner self. When love is found, the mind stands still. Be happy; looking at people with joy. At 4:13 he started accepting questions: "How can I be of service: Make yourself happy, turn within, be happy, and THAT way you'll make others happy. There are no enemies, all can become friends. Act without expecting fruits from action. Maybe "few were chosen," but MANY MORE now would be chosen since there are many more people now. The world IS as you see it. Your own attitude produces joy or sadness; with love, improve your attitudes. He's almost finished at 4:35, saying "I'm an old person who's retired, I'm 71" and it's over at 4:40, he leaving quickly. I wasn't even MODERATELY impressed with him, as I was with Krishnamurti and with Werner Erhard, let alone TREMENDOUSLY impressed as with Carol Ann Schofield. But better to have found out in New York rather than to have gone all the way to South Fallsburg expecting some kind of miracle; though it's hard to say how much I may have been influenced by Bruce, who said he's sort of "Grown out of him" recently. And then I didn't get the touch on the forehead since there wasn't any darshan at all, which was too bad; I would have waited for it just out of curiosity, though I wasn't impressed by the touch of that Black Hat Tonkapa, either. Margaret Willard had just BEEN to an intensive and was in the audience, as it turned out, but I didn't recognize anyone.



How can ESP retain the E (EXTRA) if we don't know for SURE how many senses we DO have? If Amy's voice sees time as the whole worm"/"worm-whole" of each entity as COMPLETE from birth to death and can be CONFUSED about time, and Amy's voice COULD be some PART of Amy, why can't WE be said to see it all this way. Did I get another visitor in MY mind when I saw somewhat the same thing with LSD? Does LSD BRING a visitor or FREE a viewer from our OWN mind? Fortune telling and clairvoyance and PK powers might be OURS, merely hidden. Aren't there even BOOKS entitled "Boundaries of the I"? Isn't it connected with the Baba Muktananda type of mysticism which says "God lies within" to think that ALL knowledge and wisdom and time travel and memory and power is within EACH of us? If EACH is GOD and GOD IS ALL, then EACH IS ALL. Back to ELGIN AGAIN: EVERYTHING = LOVE = GOD = I = NOTHING. With est being in the forefront of saying if everything is ONE thing, there's nothing. If each of us HAS "complete records," then every one of us must have the SAME records, and it might not be TOO great a leap to say that the record READER is the same, too. Super strength? People have it. Reading the Akashic records? If Russell can do it, so can we all. Rising from the dead? If Christ can do it, so can we all, but did Christ DO it?? Being reborn depends on believing in reincarnation, and BEFORE when I ran in anti-reincarnation circles, there was no argument FOR it, and now there seems to be no argument AGAINST it. Read in these circles and EVERYTHING will seem to be various versions of the truth, which it probably is ANYWAY. So the cycles continue at a higher vibration, as Actualism would like us to think, and I get closer to Amy and a reading with her voice, and am thankful that SHE says she's frightened of the brow raising as I felt their changing subjects when I IMITATED a trance voice for Don and Ernie and Paul at Dennis's. And Amy feels that it's REAL and NOT her, since SHE didn't know the name "bunchberries" that she told someone to put on her teeth, SHE didn't know various things that her voice knew, and I feel privileged to be in on the "formation" of such a voice, though, with her, I can retain my skepticism and questioning and try to get MORE information.



How intriguing to write a story based on what Amy says her voice wants: Civilization goes downhill via DC-10 crashes, gas shortages, nuclear disasters, food poisonings, newly discovered environmental diseases, race/sex/economic warfare, new rural and urban violence, increasing decay of schools, upheaval in world churches, increase in interest in mysticism during which even weirder sects blossom than Jonestown, and then cataclysmic earthquakes and plagues following decimate the human race, but in undoing the skein of economic interdependencies (highways built as pork barrel Congressional plums to states that don't need them) to perpetuate the bank's investments in automobiles and tires and the gas/oil industries, levered by foreign and Arabian investments, where politics and education and consumerism and childbearing and -birthing and hospitalization and doctors are so INGRAINED through habit and indoctrination that the LOOSENING of all these ties makes man realize they don't NEED to eat sugar, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, that they don't NEED cars and money and houses to be comfortable, and outside the city environment you don't NEED air conditioning, that earth-dug houses are better than high-rises, that you're outside farming all the day and SLEEPING all the night, and you don't NEED additives outside of natural food, don't NEED cosmetics if you have to fight for survival, don't NEED restaurants and the luxuries of the big cities if you're busy with subsistence farming, but that there's still time for TALK and LOVE and freedom, and this story is read and people are drawn to the group around Amy so that her voice CAN have the audience it wants to reconstruct the world along more NATURAL lines, so that we can travel via THOUGHT rather than jet, learn through TELEPATHY and not through books and TV programs, meet through HARMONIZATION than through blind-date programs, can find SPIRITUAL families that increase the range of contact so that "social events" become "family events" of stimulation, ranges of conversation, food, non-alcoholic beverages, absence of drugs of ANY kind, holistic healing and curing, loving dissolution of mental illnesses, and a Garden of Eden restructured on the fertilizer of our current aborting civilization.



Based on FICTION 1, that story would lead to OTHERS of my writings, and I so WANT what Alice said "Your writings will be very useful as a UNIT in the future"---in the guruture. There they'd find the goods of living in New York at the height of its decadence, the ills of hopelessly tangled relationships and interlocking directorates and the hopelessly NONDIRECT ways of having to act in business through lawyers, corporate plannings, and income tax, bank interest, investment return, financial finagling of every kind. Mine might be the only reports left from distant places in the world where travel is now impossible, might excerpt readings and cultural happenings that have totally vanished. If the libraries are destroyed, personal caches of treasures would become invaluable: Bournonville could be resurrected from my programs if they and my memory were the only sources of information about his techniques. Possibly sets of encyclopedias would survive to retain the DETAIL that I couldn't possibly hope to remember about historical people and economic histories and philosophical movements, but my writings could serve as an INDEX to what PEOPLE did to encounter the world and what they found when they did so: frustration, happiness, anger, fear, avoidance, rushing to meet, and lots of boredom and indecision. But I'm sure I'd still be seeking for a new method of organization of the material, new ways to cross-reference the information, new similes to use in teaching, new notes on new ideas that would still occur to me. But to be the literature and the gospel and the technical manual of civilization as it HAD been would be intriguing. And then there'd be the equally valuable task of recording what happened with the NEW civilization, and who better to do that than the one who had effectively done it for the vanished civilization: a thinker astride two worlds would retain the best of the first and try to ensure that the second incorporated as few of the worst of the first as possible. Somehow it now seems like the ultimate service, but I'm sure there's a lot of self-serving, tons of self-importance, lots of suppressed envy and jealousy coming out, and how could the Archives of Brooklyn Heights survive the destruction of New York City?