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1981 3 of 5

TUESDAY, 10/27/81: DENNIS HAS GOT TO STOP INDEXING: 10/19: He phones and asks me---uh---er---and I say "No, I won't take your index." He's pissed, saying he asked me as a friend and I responded as an employer. In the conversation he says the fatal remark: "I HATE the job," and I decide right then that he's GOT to be eased out of indexing and into something ELSE. With his habitual "thinking about it" and not making a decision (though he certainly made a decision about Tree, I'll have to admit), I feel that I would have to be the one to decide that he HAS to phase himself out of it. Later he told me that he LIKES the idea of his parents being able to support him, so he's WILLING to spend more time on the jazz book, not do so many indexes, and get money from his folks. I resolve to wait until AFTER his operation in November, since he said that he wouldn't even BE here in three more weeks, so I decide I can wait three more weeks, let him get through the operation without having to worry about finding a new job, and then break the news gently to him when he's rehabilitated. That was my thought THEN, but NOW it's quite different timewise, since he's now taking Dr. Christopher's Eyewash and has CANCELLED his appointment in the middle of November, saying that he can wait for 4-5 months to SEE if the cataracts resolve WITHOUT an operation (something I certainly agree with), BUT that means he's "stuck with a job he hates" for a longer period of time UNLESS I tell him about it now, but it STILL seems like a messy thing to do. I SAID I didn't realize he was talking to me as a friend---and ANYWAY it turned out great that Sherryl took it over when she NEEDED the job and the money AND it got Dennis and me to TALK about his finances, so it now shouldn't MATTER to me HOW much money he earns: he can get whatever he needs in addition from his folks. And in looking through the Berlin index, it turns out that he DOESN'T do a bad job, that it's the EDITOR'S fault for most of the stupid changes in the index, and though there are a FEW things to show him, he's not to blame for the "mess" Ann Berlin says the index was. Not to mention the fact that I verified in the 3 hours I worked on it that the book WASN'T EASY to index, which gives Dennis even more credit for not coming to me and complaining about the difficulties involved in it: he decided what to do, and for the most part it was more than adequate for the job.

WEDNESDAY, 10/28/81: DECISIVE TALK WITH BRUCE: Susan called last night and we talked between 7 and 7:45, when I had to go down to Dennis's for dinner before watching "A Town Called Alice" at 9. During that conversation I observed that she was picking up some of Bruce's worst habits: 1) She complained that HE gave her three different stories in as many minutes, so that she didn't know which to believe, and SHE gave as many different stories: a) That Bruce wanted to kill himself, b) That Bruce was making progress by interviewing, keeping himself in good physical condition, and sleeping, c) That she only wanted to live her own life, d) That she feared that if he committed suicide she would blame herself. 2) She seemed committed, as Bruce, to dwelling on ever-decreasing circles of self-involvement, seeming to find no way out, yet taking no steps to GET out. 3) Her concern came across to me and I started asking if they'd talked about committing him to a hospital. It came out that she thought that would be taking his freedom away from him; she didn't know how to balance what progress he MIGHT make against what regress might be caused by hospitalization. I averred that ON BALANCE his behavior was BAD for her: she wasn't ELATED about his progress, she was in a PANIC about the possibility of his taking his own life when she wasn't there watching him, staying his hand, at which point she'd condemn herself for his death for the rest of her life. I insisted that wasn't fair, that it was HIS life to control, not HERS. She GOT into the idea of control, saying she wanted to control everything, and that was a big thing for her to realize. She also mentioned that she'd talked to her mother, who was "hysterical." I said I had to leave; she could call me back between 10 and 11. She didn't. I went to bed, thought about it, particularly one exchange: I'd asked her a couple times what she'd think if she said "Fuck off, Brucie, I'm not spending any more time with you," and he then committed suicide. Then she turned it on ME: "What would YOU do if you said "Drop dead, Bruce," and he did? That struck me SO hard that I had to admit I'd better never say that, in case he WOULD do it, because I was SO hard struck by the QUESTION that I wouldn't want to be faced with the ACTUALITY. In the morning I tried to do a session, trying to tune in on Bruce's state of mind. I told Susan that it sounded like SHE (as Bruce) was trying to get (this would be 4) in the list started above) someone ELSE to take responsibility for his life by expecting RICHARD or CRYSTAL to "tune in" if he were ACTUALLY in danger of taking his life. I insisted that ANYONE here: Bruce or Susan or me or Richard or Crystal, was PERMITTING MISTAKES: NO ONE had a total command of THE TRUTH at all times. THE ONLY PERSON WHO SHOULD RETAIN CONTROL OF BRUCE'S LIFE WAS BRUCE. But he wasn't doing this: he was spreading it to Susan, who tried to spread it to Richard and me. When she talked to Bruce about commitment, he'd say he didn't want it. Then he'd continue to dump on her and change his story and wake her in the middle of the night in which she had a menstrual migraine and dump on her some more. I said that the response to her agonized "HOW would you kill yourself, Bruce?" of "Electricity," seemed more a MANIPULATION to me than something he'd actually PLANNED. He was a manipulative kid who found his circle of manipulatees narrowing (Pat Mandino just said she wouldn't talk to him; the teachers said they wouldn't take calls from him anymore) and thus had to increase the order of the manipulation to get the same sympathy and ear-space. Before he could say he felt awful; we got used to that; then he developed physical symptoms; Saturday in the car Susan said he just had to LIVE with them---no more sympathy from that. He talked of suicide---BAM, he got sympathy. The therapist Schmertz talked of his "acute anxiety reaction" about "needing to be with people." He found a way to keep people listening: "If you don't listen to me, I'll kill myself and you'll blame yourself over it." I didn't feel that was a livable situation. I felt I had to say what there was for me to say. I tried to tune in Bruce and got NOTHING. Phoned Susan at home to talk to her, no answer; at work, no answer. Bruce at home, no answer. Phoned Elmont and got "Database," which was Bruce's invented company; he may have been expecting a call. Positive. He's down. Negative. I start talking with him at 10 and end at 11:30. Afterwards I phone Dennis and give him essentially this summary; we talked for a long time, but the final upshot was this. He seemed to have four alternatives: 1) Suicide. This was not acceptable to anyone. He'd ADMIT this, but pull it out whenever he felt he needed more attention. I asked point-blank: "Bruce, can you say that ZERO percent of your action is manipulative?" VERY quickly and lucidly he responded, "Oh, no, I have to admit there's some of that." He keeps getting that HE shouldn't commit suicide for his KARMA, talking of it only as a "reduction of pain," but frankly can't come up with too many good ideas for not doing it to HIMSELF, except that he hadn't FULLY realized before this conversation that HIS suicide would DAMAGE his mother and sister, perhaps permanently. So that's no good on ANY level. 2) Committal to a hospital. BUT this shouldn't come from Susan or his mother, neither of whom have ACTUAL responsibility for his life, but from HIM. If HE can't get out from under his THOUGHTS of suicide, he should commit himself. In a session it came to him that "Thought directs energy," and I kept pounding on the AMOUNT of thought that he's directed to the NEGATIVE ENERGY that's now actually damaging his mother and his sister. He's NOT depressed, since depressed people don't have THAT MUCH ENERGY. He has to do an "instant transformation as talked about in est" to TURN IT AROUND and dwell on POSITIVE thoughts that will channel POSITIVE energy. He seemed to agree that he would be the only "proper" person to commit himself. Some of his shit came up: "Did Rolf have himself committed for the same reasons?" "Will I ever get out of it?" "Which one would I go to?" "Do people improve in hospitals?" I said I didn't know the answers to ANY of these questions, but maybe HE should do some research into hospitals on his OWN to FIND OUT. BUT I insisted that this was STILL "Him looking for change from outside, rather than INSIDE." 3) Continuing the way he is: alternating suicidal and positive, driving his mother and sister crazy. THIS WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE, and had to be replaced by 4) Transformation and improvement. I insisted that this did NOT mean burying his feelings and emotions: if he IN FACT felt that he was going to kill himself, he SHOULD talk about it, but the TRANSFORMATION would include not FEELING like killing himself. He seemed to follow me, every step. I said 4) was "guaranteed" in that if he DIDN'T live up to it, it would quickly revert to 2) and not to 3). When I told Dennis about it, he said he'd have to retract his statement about my making a lousy therapist. He said I had a very positive skill in bringing down situations to numerable alternatives in a very intelligent way. He though it was great. Bruce seemed to think it was very positive, too, and his mother agreed. I talked with her at the start, to sort of "get her permission" to be rough with Bruce, and I talked with her AFTER to get her agreement on "alternative 4)." Bruce brought up the idea of not being DEPENDENT, and I said there was a difference between being DEPENDENT and LEANING: throwing suicide-ideas out was LEANING; staying at home, asking advice, talking to friends, was being DEPENDENT but NOT leaning. He asked if he could talk to me a lot, and I said it would depend on the circumstances of my LIFE: saying I didn't want to twist the knife, but I was LIVING a life, while he was SPENDING ALL HIS TIME THINKING ABOUT his life, so he had far more time to be involved with that than I did. If he called me when I had 15 hours in which to do 15 hours of indexing work, he wouldn't be able to talk with me. In the course of the conversation he SAID that he loved me, which I'd mentioned he didn't seem to say very much: that it was very different to IMPLY it and to SAY it. So he DID say it, and it made both of us feel better. I kept INSISTING on the basic fact in all this: I had no direct connection with absolute truth: everything I was saying could easily be bullshit, BUT I had the advantage of being OUTSIDE the family and looking IN. I couldn't tell him how he'd have to REPAIR the damage he did to his mother and his sister with his threats of ACTUAL suicide over the past few days, that would have to be something THEY would have to work out in open conversation. But I KNEW repairing would not include his CONTINUATION of his suicide threats. He agreed. We hung up very amicably. Then I phoned Dennis, wrote this, and Rolf phoned about a bond purchase and said he'd call me back to hear about Bruce's threat of suicide and his committal to a hospital. He calls at 2 and talks till 2:15, having had 6-7 friends commit suicide, though he says many were friends from Austin-Riggs where he was for a couple of years, though current friends have done it too. So he said that LOTS of people who talk about it DO it, so they HAVE to be taken seriously. He suggested that a hospital was the worst place, and that other therapies, even heavily-laden DRUG therapies, were much preferable to the hospital, agreeing with me that he'd have to turn himself around ANYWAY. He said that he can EASILY commit himself to any of a number of facilities, that he doesn't have to bug his relatives, but he can't be definitive since he doesn't even know him. I get to the gym 2:25-3:40, Bruce arrives at 3:45 and stays till 8:30, getting pretty much nowhere except to find that I'm having little more patience with him, and Susan has even less. He "gives his word" ("But do you trust my word?" he asks, and I find I CAN'T) he'll only say "Hello" to Susan, who doesn't want to see him. He says "Hello" and Susan launches into a biting diatribe about telling him he should NEVER call her at work because she has NO privacy, gets tuned into his problems and begins shouting "Suicide!" so that the whole office can hear and treat her strangely about. He responds, which is the worst part, and then she refuses to "shake hands" with him, I hug him and he sobs, she apologizes for "acting the bitch" after he leaves, and I say that's exactly what he NEEDED, since he was reluctant to see the damage he was doing to her and his mother. Susan shouts at ME for a bit about his manipulations: she's talked to him for hours EVERY day so that she has no time for HERSELF, her lightwork, or her job, or looking for a new one, he's apologized SO many times she's sick of it, and I get a new feeling for how much he's fucked her over. She's given him VERY MUCH LIKE my four suggestions, so I intend to USE them, guarding as he slips into "alternative 3" (same old stuff) rather than "alternative 4" (positive direction and energy), so that he'll take "alternative 2" (self-commitment to a hospital) before he takes "alternative 1" (suicide), and makes his RELATIVES feel guilty about it the rest of their lives for not having PREVENTED him. Rolf agreed: get him to as many PROFESSIONAL helpers as possible and OFF the family!

THURSDAY, 10/29/81: DRIFTING APART MEANS HAVING DIFFERENT PRIORITIES: Dennis and I don't seem to have the same PRIORITIES anymore: he knows that going to Great Adventure once in a year is a MUST for me, yet he doesn't want to go this year. He says no to most of the dance programs and many of the movies that I want to see. He says he has to index, but that's no real excuse: if he wanted to plan ahead, he wouldn't have to be so tied up with an index and a deadline. HIS priorities, on the other hand, are the components of his book: writing, transcribing, interviewing, hearing, and contacting people to publish it. When he wants to go to a jazz club, or says he has an interview with someone, I get as turned off as HE gets when I suggest one of MY things. As for sexuality, I noticed long ago that HE seemed to prefer sex in the evening, while my highest drive seems to be in the morning, when he exists in a fog until his first cup of coffee. This morning was a case in point: he said he had to work, so he set the alarm for 8 am. I woke before that with a raging hard-on, since I hadn't come in at least a week. I played, waiting for him to awake, and finally the alarm went off. He shut it off after about three minutes, then returned to bed to doze off again, despite the fact I was playing with myself (not that he noticed). And then his MODE of playing turns me off: he's more and more dependent (in the evening) on wine or joints or (in the morning) or rubber bands around his cock or dirty talk. And when the dirty talks turns into what sounds like ABUSE of the very act ("Masturbator!" in an accusatory, guilt-ridden way, or slapping his "fucking penis,") I have to wonder whether he's fearful of lessening sexual drive as he gets older, taking out his frustrations on the very organs of his pleasure. When I don't come for a week, on the other hand, I feel VERY erotic FOR SEX AND THE BODY AND THE COCK itself, and have long since learned that too much of ANY other stimulus leads to a turn-off rather than a turn-on. But that's not important this morning, as he merely looks at me lasciviously, is disappointed when I don't say anything, plays with himself and doesn't get hard, watches my spurting climax without a word (since I'm not saying anything), and at last reaches a hand toward my head before he gets up to make coffee and start his workday.



I get in on the dot of 6 and they're still "warming up," not even having the coat-check room light on yet or the displays out on the display table. Back to a cavernous room, brightly lit, rather Bronx-tacky than Manhattan elegant. They never fill up the room the whole night, and for a Friday, that must be a disaster. I order a good bottle of Sancerre for $22 while waiting for Dennis, and the Maitre 'd picked up the sugar cube I glanced at rather ostentatiously as I sat down. Wine list not ridiculously expensive, but not a VERY great choice. Two couples from Jersey sat across from me and acted gauche for the rest of the evening. Never anyone NEXT to us to crowd us. Dennis in at 6:15 and he orders Mousse of Deux Poissons, two colors and two flavors, but not KNOCKOUT. I have the Terrine d'Anguille, interesting sounding and looking, but it's watery-cold and NOT much eel in, even though Dennis says it's too fish-tasting. They don't have the Frog's Legs that he orders and in the haste to get another order in, I order the Quenelles for him; when the appetizer arrives I realize it's the SAME THING and ask the waiter if he would possibly cancel the order, but they apologize and say it's already been begun. Dennis says he likes the service: they serve wine often, when it's needed, give more bread, and even a WHISPER on my part for more butter that I think the busboy didn't hear, butter arrives. I take Dennis's Quenelles, which are not the lightness or the extraordinary flavor of Le Cygne's (though just as expensive, dinners at $32.50, and Quenelles $2.50 more for some reason), but they're certainly competent, though the rice isn't special at ALL on the side; Dennis takes my "quarter of lamb" with a very tasty outside-of-chop that I eat, and underdone-to-my taste bloody strips of bacon-like breast of lamb that he says is GOOD, but again not KNOCKOUT like Le Cygne or Dodin-Bouffant or La Tulipe or Lutece. Dennis orders the Grand Marnier soufflé (for $3.50 extra, but the menu doesn't SAY whether it's for two or not, and it's extra for BOTH, as well as $2.50 for his tasty salad and $1.50 for coffee) and it's huge and RATHER wet, but nicely filling or I wouldn't have BEEN full. $2 for our coats and my xeroxed trip-log. Bill=$65+22+7+4+?=100.25+8.30 (tax)+16(tip)+2(coats =$126.55. Let's call this a TWO-star restaurant, leaving the tentative 4-star at the 4 above.



Forgot to write this up, particularly since I had PARTRIDGE, which I don't recall having had before (nor the GOOSE that was good at 1/5 on 11/4/81), having had PHEASANT at the game dinner at Foffe's, and quail and pigeon and chicken and duck many times. Part of the joy of the evening was just using the CAR, even though I missed the turnoff for the Whitestone Bridge and had to drive around INSIDE LaGuardia Airport before I found a clear sign for "Eastern Long Island" after finding myself heading for the Triborough Bridge, which I didn't want. Pity it was DARK, so we couldn't see the colors in the leaves, except for the artificial looking spray of orange-and-green spotlighted outside the bay window we looked out over. Nice to have someone park our car for us, nice of them to have reservations that same day for dinner at 8, saving it for us until we arrived at 8:40 because of the driving delays, but the waiter spilled the salt in taking away the other two places at our large table and did NOT brush it up, the order-taker was brusque and hurried, and the woman who oversaw the dessert wagon looked, as Dennis put it, like someone out of a German concentration camp. Dennis's caviar-eggs had a lump of canned lumpfish caviar on the top of ordinary eggs, and I had a terrine of some kind that was obviously not memorable. His venison was tasty but not extraordinary, my partridge was too tough to be terribly pleasant. I don't immediately remember what we had for dessert. The idea of STAYING there was pleasant, but because of the Danbury Fair they didn't have any accommodations left. I felt a sense of relief because it HAD been good (though never really 4-star, which isn't worth anything like returning for anything like the money) and now I won't have to worry about going all the way up there again. The return trip was a triumph that Rolf agreed with, saying that the car is VERY easy to operate on a long trip, and I felt (aided by the fact that it's easier to return to New York than to leave for any other destination) that it went very quickly and easily---all this made up for the fact that the Stonehenge has LOST it.

THURSDAY, 11/5/81: GEORGE PLATT LYNES EXHIBITION ON 10/30: Photographs from 1931 to 1955, specializing in fashion, portraits, and nudes. The fashion shots seem dated, in that the women look frosty and remote, not like today's colorful, hot-looking, truly "beautiful" faces and figures. The portraits seem to capture an "era": Yves Tanguy looking like Montgomery Clift---ALL the gay young men: Christopher Isherwood and Paul Cadmus looking lovely when young; Pavel Tchilitchev and Marsden Hartley looking back on "what was." Somerset Maugham looking at a naked man. Who was Bill Miller, who was beautiful then and helped with the book? Surprising to find nudes of Nicholas Magellanes and Francisco Moncion in "Orpheus," though there were very few actual cock-shots. Interesting that what was SO erotic then is now rather tame and "amusing" compared with Colt and other pornographic images that are FAR more highly-charged. Took notes from the Bibliography: Lynes published male nudes in "Der Kreis" under names of Roberto Rolf and Robert Orville.
Homosexual Aesthetic in American Photographer Magazine Volume V, no. 2: August 1980
Donald Windham's "Tanaquil," Holt, 1977, is a novel based on Lynes (Joe Page) and friends.
I glanced through the book and decided it wasn't worth $25 either as an artistic investment (only 3000 bound) or as sleek pornography. What I DID enjoy was the DAY: 1) going to the bank and depositing enough money for NEXT month's withdrawals, 2) handing in an index at Raven and xeroxing 20 copies of my 16-page China log, giving one of them to Mary Rogers, who liked it, 3) going to the Lynes exhibit and ending up two floors down to glance at ANOTHER exhibit at a gallery called LIGHT, though the two people weren't very interesting: one on sunny Arizona backyards, another on California earthquake country, 4) meeting Dennis for dinner at Le Chantilly, a place I've wanted to get to for more than three years since it's opened, 5) then ending walking up Madison Avenue to the Harkness Ballet, which wasn't that GOOD (except for Wally Shives), but I saw the inside of Thomas Watson's house, saw the ballet, and enjoyed walking Lexington back to the 86th St. subway station, thinking that there's STILL lots of New York that I feel like a tourist walking through, and I should do it more often for pleasure.

SATURDAY, 11/7/81: DENNIS AND I TALK ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS: He says he thinks we should talk about it, but I keep feeling that I do all the talking and he doesn't say very much. He counters that he DOES say things, it's just that I don't take them in. He DOES make some points: he doesn't think that I have the openness to sexual variety that I had before; though I keep insisting that it's usually I who make the overtures to sex, and not him: the few times he DID start playing with me, or really making out so as to have sex, were so few that I really REMEMBER them. I characterized our sex of about ten times since we've been back from San Diego, though that seems OFTEN for two months---though it WAS more often the first week---was successful four times, HE started it and I didn't feel like going along once, I started it and HE didn't feel like going along four times, and we both started and neither finished once. He didn't disagree. I said I thought of myself as having become a different person (particularly sexually, when I started with sex twice a day every day and now have gotten AWAY from "forcing" myself into sex---when I'd get hard in the abdomen, as he observed---every other day and will "feel driven" to sex about once a week, when I'll come with great enthusiasm) but not him. Well, of course I guess no one wants to hear they haven't changed, so he said he thought of himself as being more open. He described himself as a loner who was usually attracted to loners like Dick and me. I asked what he wanted out of the relationship with Dick, and he said he wanted more TIME together, whereas he thought the TIME we spent together was just MENTAL time and not emotional time, so that if we spent a week together, he'd be emotionally starved afterward. I mentioned Susan's suggestion that we could have a dynamite relationship if I made it so, which he didn't respond to, but when I brought up the idea that HE seemed never to kiss ME or be affectionate with ME (the only affection he brought up was when I reached over and touched and scratched his hair when we were watching TV here, and I asked when HE ever did that to ME?), he said that I gave him some sort of feeling that I didn't want that. He pointed out that I was sitting at the kitchen table, where we were talking, with my arms folded. Sadly for his argument HE sat with his arms folded after he'd made his point by waving ONE hand in the air and putting it back in the same position the other was in. I said that said something to me because at the end of John's and my relationship HE said that he didn't feel like coming close to me, like I was a sea urchin with spines that would hurt him. So I said that was more than coincidence, there must BE something coming from me, something that even extends to the gym where I don't interact with ANYBODY. But neither of us could say what it was. He said he had some suggestions about SOMETHING (I even forget what it was), but when I asked what it was, he said I should think of it for myself---I countered that I really get TIRED of not hearing responses from him no matter WHAT the reason, AND I got tired of his constant saying "I'll think about it" which meant that I have no idea whether he's going somewhere or doing something until a few hours beforehand. He said that because of the emotional starvation he felt when we were together, he was frankly waiting for something better, anything, to come along. I kept saying that we didn't have the same PRIORITIES: I was disappointed that I didn't convert him to dancing or ballet or opera, and he was disappointed that I didn't get converted to music and jazz and singing. During the past weeks I'd suggested lots of things that he said "no" to, including restaurants, while he hadn't suggested any. He seemed to be saying that since there's no emotion in the relationship, and since he lived in his basement thinking that he wasn't getting what he wanted out of life, maybe we should spend LESS time together. I said I liked the time we spent together, but he didn't respond further. I noted we didn't have the same GOALS: I liked pleasure, usually pleasures that cost money: entertainments, restaurants, travel; while he didn't have enough money to share those things, even though I DID take in what he said about his priority being on his book (while he said that I'd come up with dozens of creative projects that I wouldn't finish) and being willing to be subsidized by his parents when he didn't earn enough by indexing. I noted that THIS relationship, business mixed with personal, had been brought up often enough as a bone of contention, but it didn't seem like the right time to suggest he get out of it. He said he didn't think I could live with ANYONE, especially not here, or the other person would have to conform to my life, and I agreed with that, saying that it seemed like the relationship with John started downhill when I moved to the Heights and the relationship with Dennis started downhill when he moved to the building. He said I DEMANDED too much: like him looking over the books that I decided to throw out when HE had other priorities. I said it was merely to give him first choice of the books, so that something he might want might not be taken by someone else. He said I didn't take teasing very well (which Marg and Susan did), though there WERE times that I was fun to be with. I said that he's in the habit of going too FAR: a little teasing would be nice, but he'd REPEAT it and I wouldn't care for it, and when he KEPT ON, I'd get actively annoyed and irritated. He brought up my irritation, and I still honestly didn't feel like (I SAID that I lied when he tried to give me an out last night by asking if I were tired; if I'd said "Yes," he would have said, "OK, then why don't Susan and me go down to my place and continue"; AND I said that I didn't think the restaurant Sunday was the place to say "I don't like her poetry," though he said that came across anyway, that I was just eager to get everyone back here to look at the slides, rather than enjoying the moment---he was pissed that I threw the restaurant-choosing back onto him, when I again retorted that I'd said EARLIEST: I want Callahan's, if you want something different, say what it is, but if you leave it up to committee, we might have ended up at Henry's End which NEITHER of us wanted, (except it was closed) saying that I was put off by his constant bad breath, his addiction to morning coffee which helped it along, his promiscuity (though he said that he agreed with Dick when the two greatest things in life were laughing and coming---though he kept insisting that I was the one who insisted the point of having sex was coming while HE thought of it as playing---he thought of sexuality as HIS expression in life, while I said whether it was due to age or Actualism I didn't think that sex was AS important, particularly when it started with a joint and a popper and rubber bands and a verbal string of exciting words. He turned it back to me by saying that I'd introduced him to rubber bands and now he felt self-conscious if he used them with me---well, I didn't tell him, that's one of the things in which I changed: sex is better DIRECT, without all the appurtenances (and gives a greater kick, then, too), and his constant unwillingness to make a decision, though of course I had to praise his determination with the book, particularly compared with my LACK of determination in everything except the pursuit of pleasure. When I'd come up with the components of romantic love as sexuality, the body, and "can't get enough of a person," I was saying to Dennis that we were PAST that point. When the components of "true love" or "serious love" was the mind, goals, and contentment. I was saying that we DIDN'T have these in common. I said that I felt we were both reluctant to show any of our former affection because it hurt too much when we realized how far we've dropped from our ORIGINAL closeness and love. He said we might as well stop talking, since we were just being defensive. I agreed. He asked if I like sleeping with him, and I said the SLEEPING was fine, but at NIGHT we were both usually tired and not thinking of sex (unless I started---he'd taken "You'll feel better if you come" as a non-sexy non-invitation when I wanted him to jerk off for me when HE was sexy and I was tired and non-sexy at his place), where in the morning we were in different RHYTHMS: either HE had something to do and got up earlier or I had something to do and got up earlier, or we both just lay there until we BOTH had to get up. He laughed and said he was uncomfortable: since there was no emotion involved, it was just more inconvenient than sleeping alone. So he could jerk off when he wanted to, I guess. So it was a depressing conversation, but we agreed to meet at 4:55 pm for the Miss Marple movies.

THURSDAY, 11/19/81: CLARITY: First there was the rush to finish with things concerning the past trip to Russia and China. Finally the log got typed and the trip-log typed and xeroxed and sent out and the calendar filled in. Then the books were thrown out and the floor vacuumed and the dishes washed and the laundry out and the refrigerator stocked, and as a last flurry I wrote a list of things to do, including looking into science-fiction shops and pornography shops and finishing sending out the "whisper" slides to be photographed, and even phoning people for the final slide shows---not to mention getting brochures and everything together for the trip to Italy. There were a few indexes in there, too, for money and good measure. Then I zipped through the lists and had a few days of being FINISHED with everything---but then NEW things kept flooding to mind: might as well catch the movie list up to date since it'll be ANOTHER fuss when I get back from Italy. Got letters out to the people in Europe I might be seeing. Even caught up on the Entertainment Absorption list. Reported (see ACTUALISM 204) that I felt, now that everything was out of the way, how much my life was my CHOICE! Though it feels good to BE caught up, my LIFE doesn't feel good IN BEING caught up. I go to the gym and handle the day's work and do the sessions and wonder where the CONTACTS are going to come from, though every time my phone rings I sort of don't WANT it to ring, and everyone's coming over for the slides in the next few weeks that I'm not taking them OUT. As for that page, I DID get to the gym and I DID finish with Arnold's TV tapes (for now, at least, since I want to go back next week to see the complete "Dumbo"), and in the evenings when I HAD NOTHING ELSE TO DO I sat down and finished reading "Expanded Universe" by Ray Bradbury and read a few books by Hesse to get me to sleep, and jerked off with movies after getting tipsy with late-lunch wine about 7 pm, and began to feel what happens when I HAVE been successful in at least clearing off the "things to do list" (Ignoring such obvious things as writing, either imaginary or on the indexing book)---I GET TIRED OF READING AND TIRED IN GENERAL SO THAT I START SLEEPING LATE and

FRIDAY, 11/20/81: UP-TO-DATE: I JUST FEEL AWFUL (that CONTINUES from 441 and STARTS here!). Ordinarily I'd start going to movies and plays and the library, but I feel caught up in all that. I'd start something NEW except that I should finish something OLD except I don't FEEL like going back to the indexing book WITHOUT a computer to help in composing it. DO have an index from McGraw-Hill, but there are new pages coming in tomorrow, to replace outdated pages today. Typing these last pages (except for the last item on the list: telling the indexers I'm getting just about ready to put them off on their own), I keep thinking that there's going to be something to do NEXT, but I HAVE TO CHOOSE IT, as Crystal so skillfully says in class. In these cases in the PAST, I'd go back to stamps, or cruising, or start a new project, but I don't WANT to do that. Nor, however, do I want to end up in a hospital like Bruce! Dennis calls me for dinner out tonight, so I can talk about it with him. Have the apartment cleaner than I've done in months; have most of the correspondence cleared up, and if I read any more on Italy just now I'll go into overload again of not KNOWING where to go until I get the responses from the PEOPLE I've written to, though I have to plan soon what to do if they don't answer. When I go to bed my mind doesn't ease contentedly off to sleep, it thinks up NEW things to do: I COULD go through more drawers and throw things out; I COULD send around resumes to get more indexes; I COULD shop for the stamp-pages that would allow me to put away the mint stamps I've got left. I thought I'd go in for fancier cooking, and I really haven't done that. No new friends to really get IN to. Can't even schedule a new session with Crystal or Bruce because there isn't any slot left for my by-now low-priority tsurris. Less than a month left before the trip, however, and things can be occupied with indexes before that and plans at the last minute, and then there'll be the trip to catch up from again. And instant things like Mom calling last night when I was jerking off and telling me that Rita called her that her AUNT called her that Julia Zolnierzak had died on October 14! I'm just out of the family! What NEXT?

TUESDAY, 11/24/81: TALK WITH SUSAN ON 11/22: This continues the ideas on NOTEBOOK 441-442. I told her where I was, saying that I'd ALWAYS been worried about death, but reading "Canopus" I was attracted to the idea that earth is GREAT for giving a LOT in a little time, and I was so proud of my "multi-stage" life: student, physics teacher, fellowship, IBM, travel-and-writing, editing, indexing, traveling again, that IF I was so grateful for "many lives in this life" why SHOULDN'T I put lots of power into CREATING the reality of "many lives for this soul"? It would make things MUCH easier in THIS life because I wouldn't feel the pressures of TIME. She was too quick to add "and just live from moment to moment, huh?" I said my trip to Italy was experimenting with this new viewpoint, since I usually cover many COUNTRIES, and now I was just covering many TOWNS in ONE country, though I said I certainly would have preferred to go WITH someone. That seemed to effect her perception of my magnetic and emotions, too. I DIDN'T get a chance to mention my idea about Bruce's coming RIGHT UP AGAINST the fact that "suffer to serve" just didn't work, since he WAS suffering and NOT serving ANYONE now---OR that when he DID start to suffer he REFUSED to serve by taking himself to a hospital or EVEN out of the world. Dennis and Susan and I had a GREAT talk after brunch at his place, not mentioning ONE WORD about Bruce. I'd even told Susan that I HAD to go to the gym, even brought my stuff downstairs with me, and then decided to stay "because I liked the conversation," refusing to admit to Dennis that he was right when he said "he probably just felt too lazy to go," and they both agreed that simple laziness or disinclination would NOT usually make me restrict my activities: I'd just push right through. And this was the feeling that I've been getting: NOT to push right through; if something doesn't feel right, just don't do it. Use your inclinations of the moment and FOLLOW them was the topic, and I noted to myself that that was what was wrong with keeping lists: I EXHAUSTED the time of the strong inclination by putting it on the LIST, and there was NO inclination when I went BACK to the list some time later. Still following it through.



Amy loaned the book, finished 11/24/81, and I jotted the following notes:

p. 62: "The subtle, infinitely varied, hard-to-see technology of Canopus was invisible to us, and therefore for all these millennia, these long ages, we have counted ourselves as supreme."

p. 78: (Rohanda as model) of impermanence, as if this little glimpse of a small part of a small planet was an encapsulation of the whole Galaxy that always, despite its illusions of great stretches of time where nothing much changed, nevertheless did change, always, and it was not possible to grasp a sense of it as lasting or of anything as permanently valuable." And I append the note: Some of this should be what I want out of earth!

p. 138: "There has never been a self-indulgent privileged class that has not destroyed itself, or allowed itself to be destroyed, almost as soon as it has come into being and grown, and flourished---temporarily."

p. 145: "Each perfection becomes its opposite, that is Shammat---if you say Love, then before long, it is Hate, and if you build for harmony, then soon it is quarreling, and if you say Peace, then before long it is War---that is Shammat, that is Shammat, Sirius." So little HUMOR or HUMANENESS!

p. 227: "They COULD not hear ... first, they have to hear. They have to be able to take in what they are being offered ... faces showed always the self-esteem that was their curse, the mark of their incapacity. The ground of their nature was this conviction of superiority, of innate worth over other species."

p. 236: "If we, Sirius were---are---to decide, at last, what we are for, what our function is, then it follows that we have to wonder at last what these lower animals are for."

p. 272: "It is that each person everywhere sees itself, thinks of itself, as a unique and extraordinary individual, and never suspects to what an extent it is a tiny unit that can exist only as part of a whole." (Rohandan's basis of thought) I thought the book was GOOD, but some of the IDEAS were better than her WRITING about them, though if such ideas gain more currency through her audience, it could only be for the better of a more "enlightened" planet.

MONDAY, 11/30/81: SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING: Watching "Paradise Alley" last night, disliking everything but the large soft body of Lee Canalito as Vic, wrestling, it again strikes me hard how much ALL of what I choose to see and do is determined by the possible sexual content of it. To repeat what I've surely written before, I started liking ballet because it gave me guilty views of crotch-tight leotards on bodies of more-than-usual athleticism and muscularity, particularly in the legs and thighs. When I found that opera sometimes had ballets with those same crotches, I added opera. Movies like "Paradise Alley" are chosen EXCLUSIVELY because of a sexy ad of a nice male body---or face, in the case of David Naughton in "American Werewolf in London," where I got a sight of his entire body as a bonus. Pornography is exclusively beautiful body, though it's nice to add a pleasant face and soulful, direct eyes. Even in reading: Burroughs I started certainly for his masturbatory intensity, though I can't see the connection with Watts or Chardin and Blackwood and Nabokov or Huxley, though it's there for Hesse's "homoerotic pairs" and Clarke's bathing-suited friends in his undersea books and even Ballard's teasing descriptions of smooth muscles and effortless sexuality. Plays are determined by somewhat the same thing: will there be cowboys in a rodeo, gays in a chorus, nakedness in bathhouses, beach scenes, bedroom scenes with pretty pectorals? There's even that in travel: how much of my desire for Yap and Koror was based on my desire for native bodies, and how much of my disappointment at Koror was its civilization as compared to the REAL native-dress of Yap---though Ponape was still lovely even though the male natives weren't dressed scantily. Certainly part of the thrill of Hawaii last time was the plethora of tanned muscles hidden only by shorts and bathing suits. Even museums are concentrations of naked marble statuary, paintings with erotic overtones, photographs of nude models of males, and phallic objects to be ferreted out. And in personal relationships! Would I be MORE interested in Eddie's friend Phillip last night if he'd been sexier? Would I be LESS interested in Ron Mlodzek if he weren't so bedroomy? Is my name Bob Zolnerzak? HOWEVER, since that interest is so determining,

TUESDAY, 12/1/81: EMPTINESS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN EVERYTHING: IS IT ANY WONDER THAT I FEEL VAGUELY EMPTY after spending time watching "Paradise Alley"? I didn't WATCH it for anything lasting: when "the body" wasn't on I was agonizing over Sylvester Stallone's incredible self-indulgence in acting, writing, and directing, though even HE had a nice body in places, AND when it was over I didn't feel as if I'd satisfied ANYTHING except to judge that Canalito's body could use a bit of trimming down and a bit more definition around the midsection, though the pectorals from below were as fantasized and better. No crotches, sadly. So I took my pleasure in the entertainment DURING the show, not AFTER. I should then just leave it alone, leave it BE in the past, rather than trying to construct some "lasting good" from having seen it. I can't complain when I don't remember what a picture was that's on my movie list from even a YEAR ago: I wanted to see it at the TIME, I DID see it at the time and liked or didn't like it AS IT WAS, and it doesn't make any DIFFERENCE now whether I remember it or not---usually I'm not watching for the PLOT, anyway, but the frisson, the tease, the crotch, the face. Again this is obviously connected with "being caught up" which I'll continue on NOTEBOOK 446. What's the point? Well, I REALIZE that I'm concentrating on the frisson, the momentary thrill, SO DON'T TRY TO STRETCH IT INTO SOMETHING LASTING. Does that have a connection with my worry over life and death? LIFE is a frisson, enjoyable moment-by-moment, SO DON'T TRY TO STRETCH IT INTO SOMETHING LASTING. Is THAT it? Overeating, over-reading, over-sexing, over-walking all lead to satiation; done in moderation, for the moment, they're pleasant. Over-living? Not moment-by-moment BUT IN THE LONG RUN? But I've looked at THAT, too: WHEN I'M CAPABLE AND ENJOYING I want life to last forever, but NOW that I get little touches of things going downhill (not NEARLY enough outside sex), I can pre-picture a time when I'll be READY to stop living, WILL be satiated, WILL have had enough, EVEN THOUGH it's actually TOO EXHAUSTING TO GET MORE, rather than exactly CHOOSING not to want more. Didn't PLAN to end up with life-vs-death, but it surely DID end there. Maybe that's a sign of completion in EVERYTHING noticed.

WEDNESDAY, 12/2/81: UP-TO-DATE UPDATED - 1: I REMAIN caught up (though I REALLY have to start on the index TODAY), but most of what I've done in the past week is read 19 (incredible number!) of the smallest books from the shelf---books that I wouldn't ordinarily think of taking along to read because they're too small, from xeroxed pages and unbound, or too large to carry. So I DID spend the "up-to-date time" in a typical way, BUT WITHOUT QUITE AS MUCH RECRIMINATION as before. And now I notice a "momentum": when I'm working on indexes, I'd really just as soon continue working on indexes: I'm "into" them. When I'm reading, I'd just as soon continue reading; stamps don't last long and I have to STOP at a point, though I usually end up doing MORE with them, organization-wise, than I intended to do. That applies to things like lists: I complete the lists then crosscheck them and cross-add them and make lists of lists to "keep working with them" even after they've been finished. I start at the shelves of books-to-be-read and count and re-count and re-reorder them, just to "go with the momentum." Even in typing pages, I sometimes come up with another page, just from momentum. So what's the point? Well, I didn't do anything "useful" like switch to working on MY writing. I DID get a cold, something that I'd fought off until it was there. I DID remain caught up so that I could continue going to the gym, though interestingly the lightwork sessions dwindled to nothing the past two weeks. Wonder whether my NOT doing lightwork might have anything to do with my increased listlessness or even my cold. Long talk with Joe Easter about "working things out through Actualism in life, including looking at reincarnation as an antidote to fear of flying and death." Maybe like Bruce (in a tiny way) I'm looking for REAL completion, which just isn't going to come while I'm still changing and looking and living. What more to say? I've BEEN up-to-date, CONTINUE being up-to-date, STILL not writing, getting BETTER with living with life, STILL want someone to share it with more fully in a sexual relationship (DO share non-sexual life fully with Dennis and Susan and Arnold and some others), and let's see if these sheets produce a CONTINUOUS series. I've continued to read, but the feeling of "nothing waiting for me" was VERY strong yesterday as I returned from leaving my index off. Debated getting a TKTS seat for something, or going down to 42nd Street to look at ANOTHER movie (silly, since I'd just SEEN "The Time Bandits"), but I came home and read some more and had dinner and watched TV and jerked off and went to bed to cough for an hour and a half. Woke with a STRONG impression that I should get back to the indexing book just to have SOMETHING to do between now and the trip, and will see what happens THERE. True to form of being caught up, I now have a COLD that makes it hard to do ANYTHING, and I even stayed away from the gym for four days, making it highly unlikely (unless I go FAITHFULLY every other day INCLUDING the 15th) that I'll get to 100 gym-visits this year. Now more than ever I'm getting that drowsiness when I read that makes EVERYTHING seem so useless: if I can do ANYTHING I want to do, and then CAN'T tolerate the activity (reading) I've freed myself for, THAT'S an unhappy-making situation! And then I haven't done the lightwork since Monday, which is quite a pain, since I feel that it SHOULD be done and I have the TIME to do it, but I'm not doing it. Even went to Arnie's yesterday to catch up on the last show I knew about ("Dumbo") and even saw the NEXT show ("Balloon over Africa") that he'd added since the last time. In the back of my mind I still have to get a haircut and pack and make last-minute trip arrangements, but there are probably NO indexes (unless Raven manages to come up with Antidepressants II as promised) to fill in the time and lots of DAYS, so it seems that I'm inclined to THINK of something "time-filling" like the book, simply so I won't get sucked into fruitless worry about the flight to Zurich during the night on the 15th. Interesting that I feel VERY antisocial during a period when I have nothing to do; as if I'm WORTHLESS and don't want to foist my presence on anyone---or don't want to exert the effort to ARRANGE something with Dennis or with the others to whom I have yet to show the slides. Working on it.

FRIDAY, 12/4/81: OUTRAGEOUS WRITING: Remember when I was reading some of the Burroughs's books last week that I was "inspired" to write some pages of MY thoughts: he was so evocative of just sheer FANTASY that I was thrown back on my original ideas for "Luxury": writing of incredible opulence in a far-future where EVERY sense can be just SATED. "Melinone and Pellinor snuggled deeply into their bed of furs, caressing each other's flesh with balms designed to anoint the flesh and sublime harmlessly when it encountered the nonhuman hairs of the coverlets. Otherwise it got so messy! At will, a languid arm would reach around the reflecting mirrors swiveled out from walls and ceilings to reflect their luxury, reach around for a sweetmeat, a throat-sized globule of liquid refreshment held together by an adherent which would dissolve when it encountered wet mucous membranes (good for the throat or for more personal mucous membranes), obviating the need for awkward glasses that might spill. Will-records hummed in their ears, attuned to their mental volume-desires and libidinous though-content for sensational climaxes, lulling sleepmusic, or erotic foreplay rhythms. When they sated of each other's presence, they could go off, together or separately, into total-amusements in which they could be swallowed up by monsters, hunt and devour dinosaurs, extend their curiosity to other worlds and beings. Alternatively, after they felt glutted with input, they could program, effortlessly, output for the delight of others: sending personal fantasies to friends and lovers, or dreaming of wider-audience entertainments that they could will to be placed under any heading-index from Abyssal depths to Zoological curiosities, real or imagined. Contact with myriads of inhabited planets filled the files with creatures that were orders of magnitudes beyond earthlings' imaginings, yet fruitful human minds could still conceive startling combinations of characteristics which seemed to jolt other human sensibilities with more strength than seemingly random juxtapositions of features that other worlds supplied. Naturally the fictional monsters were all there: Burroughs's Martians, Heinlein's child-pleasers, Lessing's Canopean pageant, van Brunt's universe of whimsy. Or they could visit environments alien to them: flame-vortices of solar prominences; cauldrons of geysers, DNA uncurlings in the cells, adventures on any scale as their visions were boosted by psychic-telescopes or mind-microscopes to expand or shrink on any size-scale. Time-scales were variable, too, so that they could start at the Big Bang (or even before, choosing any of the convincingly-real scenarios for the Time Before Time which even their extraordinary scientific advancement had not yet succeeded in penetrating, since all of their many time-travel techniques frustratingly refused to return Before Time, no matter how the controls were fudged) and move to the present at any speed. But then psychobiologists agreed that the psyche needed SOME frustrations or else it would become numb to accomplishment after accomplishment and devoutly dream of inhibition or frustration as a relief from omnipotence which had components of ultimate chaos mysteriously embedded within it. Depending on the witness, omnipotence-trauma was exhausting or terrifying. Exhausting after attempts to thwart the dream-machines in supplying their paradoxical imaginings---after seeing fifteen "solutions" to a square circle as illusion, as redefinition of terms, as hyperdimensional reality, as semantic construct, as earthbound lack of imagination, as Mystical Rose, as trivial, as meta-mathematical formulation PROGRAMMED to be unending, as an actual child's toy, as embodiment of the satisfaction-frustration paradox, as source of poetic inspiration, as topic of creative endeavor for the NEXT "solution," as "reason" for a philosophy of total nihilism, as "determinant" for self-extinction, or as ultimate absorption of the psychobiological entity---to fulfill WHATEVER was willed from them. Terrifying when the trauma led to the realization and experience of Man-As-God and STILL the entity demanded more, and got more, and demanded more, and got more, until it was clear that the only three possibilities were continued contented use, or discontented disuse out of exhaustion or terror. Only IN an infinity of time and an eternity of space was this possible, but the fact that this WAS the condition of Mankind at this stage of their development led to what was considered the source of the experience of omnipotence-trauma: when future development seemed open-ended, Mankind was content to anticipate the unknowable with enthusiasm and joy. But when the present reached the state of being so totally encompassing, so completely fulfilling, embracing as it IN FACT did an infinity of time and an eternity of space---so unimaginably far beyond a MERE eternity of time and infinity of space---there was nothing left to ANTICIPATE: eventually all anticipations were satisfied, all whims quieted, all relationships so thoroughly explored that knowing another was like knowing yourself---and this in an era when knowing yourself was finally totally possible from any framework: from a total knowledge of each movement of each subatomic particle in any psychobiological extension, through any of the midranges of size and operation, to an instantaneous, complete, totally satisfying flash on the multidimensional totality of Existence. When it had been a PROJECT to be ABLE to experience these limits, it had been exciting to anticipate accomplishing these former-dreams. But when ACTUAL EXPERIENCE vouchsafed these very visions, totally compelling in their thoroughness, instantly understandable in their staggering complexity, the reaction was not one of joyful annihilation in an explosion of satisfaction, but the aforementioned exhaustion ("That's all I can want because there isn't any more") or terror ("There isn't any more" because that's all I can want"). And further wanting, in fact, produced no more except an exacerbation of the exhaustion to the nadir of self-elimination or an exacerbation of the terror to the apex of self-elimination, completing the final Ring of Experience. It was not that the DETAILS could not be infinitely attractive and compelling---many seemed content to follow and follow and follow, though when the Nadir-Reachers and the Apex-Reachers joined forces under the rubric End-Reachers, they were amazed to find that they were identical in feeling to those who had explored Time Before Time, in their minds, since the actual Time Before Time remained stubbornly closed to them, who through various groups such as the Pretime-Reachers, the Prespace-Reachers, the Prethought-Reachers, and the Prereacher-Reachers had become united under the rubric Beginning-Reachers. The End-Reachers could only unite with the Beginning-Reachers to form the Reachers, who had only one culmination to consider: that point in which those who were NOT Reachers, whom the Reachers called the Contenteds, would find they were NO LONGER contented, who now were Reaches. Here was what seemed to be the unbridgeable frustration: some Contenteds WOULD NOT become Reachers, so the Reachers COULD NOT experience Existence-as-Reachers. But WITHOUT the experience of Existence-as-Reachers, they were not content. However, they were not content with any of the so-few alternatives. They could annihilate the Contenteds, but all their data pointed convincingly to the experience of Existence-as-Reachers as one of Ultimate Duality: Reaching versus Nothing. Nothing had been dispensed with very easily: the Nothingness-Existence-Simulation was totally convincing. Presetting Time-Space coordinates for their release, Reachers could experience, in its black Nihilism, Nothing. Of course, being observed, it wasn't PURE Nothing; but that made no difference to the aghast experiencer. Stripped of all concepts, thoughts about, thinking OF, the direct experience of Nothing invariably convinced the experiencer of its undesirability. Nothing was NOTHING: (DETOUR TO NOTEBOOK 452) worse than being nothing-to-do (since there was nothing to work, or do, WITH) and nothing-to-observe, which took care of man's active-accomplishing/passive-observing nature, there was not even any TIME in which to expect Nothing to be replaced by something, and not even any time permitted to the (illegal) experiencer of Nothing in which to look for relief to the END of this dimensionless-componentless-timeless Nothing. Since experience had become the core-matter of existence (more basic than the ancient "I THINK; therefore, I am"), there was not even the temptation to brush off the no-time non-experience as taking place in ZERO time, therefore merely an ABSENCE of the TIME in which experience COULD take place, but it was deeply impressed as DENYING ANY

SATURDAY, 12/5/81: CONVERSATION WITH DENNIS: Dennis interrupts my typing of NOTEBOOK 451 by phoning about our conversation last night about not going to Laird's party. I concluded that section of the conversation by complimenting him on following MY rule of "Say it, then say it stronger; if I still don't agree, say it stronger still." He usually doesn't do that: either he accedes to my wishes too soon or he gets very angry and storms off. Here he did it perfectly: got me to look at whether I REALLY wanted to go to Laird's, and I found that the answer was "No." Then he told me about his encounter with Michael last night: he answered the bell to find Michael in a suit, with a fantasy in mind, saying "I'm a salesman for Time-Life books and want to sell you some books," at which point Dennis shot out "You fuck, I worked with them for years and can't stand them, that's the worst possible thing you could do." "He was just BEREFT," Dennis told me with a laugh, while I could very well feel his (Michael's) intense SADNESS: He'd worked up this fantasy, dressed in a suit which he didn't like doing, told people at the bar what he was going to do (despite their incredulity), and had packed up pornography to show Dennis which he was ALSO going to be "selling" him in the fantasy. So Michael was bereft, wandering around the apartment feeling VERY sad, and Dennis was just laughing and laughing and laughing at his discomfort (this is what I say, not what Dennis said: I'm sure he didn't FEEL cruel, only "loving"). I said (feeling deeply affected) that this had MANY ramifications: not least of which was that Michael COULDN'T get into Dennis's HUMOR about the situation and Dennis COULDN'T get into Michael's BEREFTNESS about the situation. That led me quickly into the sadness that I felt about our relationship: I asked him what HE thought about phoning twice asking me down to dinner and finding me eating: he said there were circumstantial reasons: usually I don't eat until 10 or 11, and when he calls at 8 I USUALLY say "Fine, I'll be down." That's true. When I ask him for more, he doesn't say it, and with my preliminary "You won't like this," I say that he should have thought to phone EARLIER, which he said he'd THOUGHT of, and I tried to make THAT significant, but he didn't bite. HE said it was good to her me talk about my FEELINGS, ANY feelings, since I tend to objectify them and put them outside myself. I said it reminded me that I never liked my mother feeling SORRY for herself, which was NOT THE SAME as feeling SAD. He even said it was OK to feel sorry for yourself, like he feels sorry for himself about having to do indexing, which he doesn't like, but I don't agree with that since he should DO something about it! HE brought up the idea that we might have things in mind that we'd like the other person to CHANGE (when I said that I had to deal with "Dennis as he was" that he wouldn't make plans---including agreeing with him when he said "Sometimes spontaneity is GOOD"---rather then trying to change him into something I wanted to have a relationship with), so I asked him what he'd change in ME. He thought for the words for a moment and said "You're sarcastic, which I don't like, and I don't like it in ME. SAY what you FEEL, don't make comments ABOUT it by being sarcastic." He brought up my "Please don't chew gum" again, saying that if I'd talked about my FEELING tense, it would have been OK to END with "stop chewing bum." But just ordering him to do it was like ordering "a wife" around. I said that part of the sadness about our dwindling relationship was our refusal to get into each other's fantasies: I would like him to "get into" what I was writing when he phoned, he would like me to get into his trashy movies and jazz performances. He said he agreed with my judgment and perceptions, but just wanted me to be more open with the FEELINGS behind them. "You don't have to prove you're BRIGHT, everyone knows and can see that, but you have to be more open with your FEELINGS, with me and with people you'll be meeting." Then I brought up "Torch Song Trilogy," asking whether we wanted to see THAT or just TALK tonight, and he said he was in the middle of an index he had to finish, so could we talk when he got back about 4 or 4:30. I said the show was at 7:30, remembered I had chicken in the fridge and could make dinner for HIM, and came back to type these two pages, stopping to put on fish for MY breakfast at 12.

SUNDAY, 12/6/81: OUTRAGEOUS WRITING - 5: POSSIBILITY OF EVER giving way to experience. So that cancelled "Nothing" from the Ultimate Duality of Reaching versus Nothing, leaving only "Reaching." Those who argued for the alternative of Contented were dismissed as youthful optimists. Being one of the Contented was only possible when a desire was fulfilled. Ancient religions that had believed in a Cycle of Reincarnations capitalized on the feelings of being that had a short life. When life was extended, and literally included all the riches postulated for the Cycle of Reincarnations: learning ALL the lessons, experiencing ALL the feelings, making ALL the mistakes, enjoying ALL the pleasures, and finally made, with complete certainty, endless, there was a possible dichotomy between Contenteds and Reachers only for a time. Protons had been proven to have a half-life of 1060 years, but this was merely a lightning-flash in the darkness of eternal time, less than noticeable in the illimitable expanse of infinite time. Cosmoses could be brought into existence as playthings, projects for learning and understanding, studies even of eternal time. But over the expanse of infinite time, the burdens of eternal time seemed less than the thickness of a sheet of paper in a stack that would bridge the gaps between the stars. Mankind never truly experienced abundance until there was too much of it to handle fruitfully. The bitterest paradox of all was that the vaunted advice to "live each moment as if it were new-sprung from eternity" fell under the hollowness of "live each day as if it were your last" when days ceased to be when suns ceased to be, when eons stopped when matter sopped, and still the hypersmall particles, under the changeless rule of hypergravity, moved frictionlessly through a dance with NO possibility of completion short of total, timeless Nothing. So the Reachers, who knew only that they Reached, not for WHAT they reached, looked disdainfully at the Contenteds and merely said "Wait!"
Previous page introduced "hypersmall particles under the changeless rule of hypergravity." Subatomic particles, mediators of matter and energy, however basic, must have SOME weight (not zero), SOME charge (not zero), SOME difference one from another (at the VERY least all could have the SAME weight, the indivisible unit-weight, but there must at LEAST be unit-weight-charged and unit-weight-UNcharged). If charge is only a function of gravity, then at least there is a "graviton" and a "not graviton" of the same weight, since weight IS a feature of the world that must be "there," as is energy/charge/gravity. Even if the "graviton" is "real" substance and the "not graviton" is "anti-" substance, since energy/charge/gravity may even include that "dimension" of existence. But existence at LEAST is "there" versus "not there," so there must be AT LEAST TWO KINDS.
But Hypersmall particles are those which would remain changeless even after the Law of Maximum Entropy was finally fulfilled: no more matter, no more energy, only totally empty space AFTER the present, so that IF there were a clock there would be an AFTER. This distinguishes Time Before Time as the ineluctable mystery that still exists APART FROM hypersmall particles, which DID exist Time Before Time, but since they don't AFFECT either time or space, it doesn't MATTER. Just as they don't affect time or space, they don't affect matter or energy/charge/gravity/anti---but THEY ARE THE UNIT OF THOUGHT. They have no anti-unit, since Nothing is the alternative to hypersmall thought-units. Their size is zero, a TRUE point, though an easier way of saying that may be to specify that they don't exist in ANY space dimension, just as they don't exist in ANY time dimension. Their number is infinite, which means they COULD gather "together" (in one place, and/or at one time, both are meaningless) and be "infinitely dense" (though density is "number per SOMETHING," and there is no SOMETHING to which this number applies) or they could spread out (though there is nothing for them to spread out into), but STILL remain "infinitely dense." They move (through non-space) (and non-time) infinitely fast. They ARE (there is no past or future tense for them). Even "they" is a slight misnomer: back to the est sophistry that if there is no time and there is no space, there can't be two, since one would be "here" or "now" and another would be "there" or "then," and since neither of these applies, "they" could just as well be "one." So the complete, total, absolute definition/description/law of hypersmall particles is "ONE IS." Well, that would be the "end" of the Ultimate Duality: when all Contenteds become Reachers, all Reachers become ONE, and ONE IS---would it even be possible to say that it REACHES?? Maybe then REACH merely becomes IS. Which is the way out for the Reachers?! If a Reachers just IS, however, the Reacher sounds strangely like a Contented! ONE IS certainly sounds more like a Contented than a Reacher! Yet it must be stipulated that the Contented IS, really IS, and cannot be sophistried into Nothing. Interesting how "reaching" seems incompatible with "is." "Reaching" wants, agitates, moves, directs, yearns, FEELS---none of which is truly IS. Contenteds DON'T want, agitate, move, direct, yearn, or even (negative?) feel. Contented just IS. So maybe it's not the CONTENTEDS who have to become REACHERS but the REACHERS who have to be CONTENTEDS! So if the reachers stop reaching, they don't just CEASE TO BE, producing Nothing, wherein EVERYTHING ceases to be---they just become contented. WHATAWAYTAGO!!!

FRIDAY, 12/11/81: GETTING READY FOR ITALY TRIP: Not yet REALLY affected with sleep-time worry about flight, but there's a solemnity and non-ease through MOST of these days that causes me to wonder why I'm not happier, and it MAY be "subconscious" tension about the trip OR it's just sadness about the climax of the relationship with Dennis, ending with his telling me on December 6 that he's even thinking of being "temporarily monogamous"---with DICK! Can't feel too great about that! Felt sick from the cold BEFORE Amy's wedding, and felt sick from drinking too much on Monday AFTER the wedding, but waited for pages before starting on the last Raven index, but haven't started YET (Friday, and will do a session, then eat dinner watching TV 10-11, so it'll start on Saturday). Got everything out of the way and even started on the list of things to do before the trip, now that it's 4 actual days left, assuming the plane leaves on time at 8 pm Tuesday, hoping the awful weather predicted for the middle of next week holds off until I leave. No return from Jean-Jacques or ANY notice from Laura or Marcello with only 3 more mail-deliveries left. Don't FEEL that I have much to do before trip, but even as I type I feel an agitation in my stomach. Spent the past two days looking at finances, and even miss the relationship to TELL Dennis I've paid off Rolf's porno "fee" for United Asbestos and have ALMOST taken as much OUT of the account already as I'd PUT IN! Watched TV the last few nights from sheer laziness: First "Entertainment Tonight" when OMNI was the same, then "Penguin Summer," really fabulous, then "The Patricia Neal Story" not THAT great even with Glenda Jackson and Dirk Bogarde until 11, then Benny Hill, then "Saturday Night Live" rebroadcast, then "Star Trek" of "Tholian Web," yet, getting to bed at 1:30. Turned OFF "Star Trek" last night, just didn't NEED it. But the time passes quickly, the trip will be here, then it'll be catching up again, a meeting with Actualism about sexuality, discreet cruising, trying to meet someone, and trying to do something USEFUL to have the goals and excitement that a "health update" said EVERYONE needed if one wasn't to get OLD before one's time. Having a relationship would work WONDERS, no doubt!

ITALY TRIP December 15, 1981 to January 20, 1982.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15. Bed at 12:15 am but still awake at 1:30. Cough, but finally get to sleep. Wake at 7:30 and doze till 8:30 and then up to finish index---thank goodness I can mail it. Things move slowly: bank takes a long wait for Miss Quimby to sign my check for $1000 from Rolf for cash. Decide to get $1900 in $50 Traveler's Checks and end up buying stamps and toothbrush and batteries and notebooks and end up with $24. Rolf over at 5:10 as I'm counting pills, taking a LONG time, and at 6 I'm still packing! Really push stuff in and think of shoes LAST! Decide to LOCK bag, strap and all. Sweating; change clothes to jeans and flannel shirt and "formal" shoes and TAKE heavy coat at least for RAIN HERE (and would I have been LOST without it!). Out at 6:30 and car stand says 10-15 minutes for $20. I go to Henry and Clark and an off-duty cab stops and fare ends at $15.90 at 7:25, almost a record low. Give him 2.60 tip and it's $18.50 even WITH the conduit, but Atlantic was SLOW in rain and red lights. Easy ingress to Capitol at 7:30 to hear someone checking in ahead of me for 7:30 flight! Through security and to gate 1 to get last left window BEHIND wing BEFORE smoking section. He says boarding at 7:55. I shop for Eduardo and buy a CUTE Dakin for $7.40, cashing my first check already! At 8:05 in area they announce boarding delayed till 8:35. Nonstop flight due in at 9:45 (7:45 flying with 6-hour time change) but HE says 10:30. There goes the 11:15 train to Milan. Now to see if I make 13:30! Movie is "Breaker Morant," a KICK, and we DO get meals. Well, I tell myself, the more we're delayed the more we'll fly in daylight! Mad dash for boarding at 8:30 first call. Board 8:35. Good passengers: mostly young, some squally kids, some dour oldsters. Start reading "Pale Fire" at 8:55: people BEHIND of course speaking GERMAN and babies in FRONT of course crying. I sit quite listless, waiting for the 8-hour ordeal to at least BEGIN. Captain at 9:15 "Rain slows down works. Blue Spruce route: over Canada, south of Iceland, over Europe. 7-hour 1-minute flight extended to 7 hours 49 minutes; fuel on way NOW. Because one Omega unit (over-water navigation unit) not working!" at 9:15. Putting 6 seats in 5 windows means almost NO one can see! Now 9:35, on board for an hour ALREADY. 9:45: We can start engines at 10:10! Even if we LEAVE at 10:11, 4:11 new time, we're in at NOON! Rain stops. 10 pm engines start; 33,000 feet; 7 hours, 49 minutes. Leave terminal at 10:15. Four hours flying in dark. Face heats up as we move. LONG line of planes take off as I rev up and try to ENJOY the ACTUAL FLIGHT as we still taxi at 10:30. 10:41 ready for takeoff (landing 12:30 pm!). Off at 10:45 past 8 planes waiting behind us and at LEAST 8 gone off before. What an audience IF anything messed up! Off into a WELTER of cloud and turbulence, HORRIBLE first few minutes bouncing around, and finally by 11 I get courage to write, just as we enter ANOTHER shake-making layer! Some PRETTY men aboard! Vaguely lit cloud layer on left horizon, but seat doesn't move BACK to LOOK out window! NO window seats left up FRONT at 11:15, as I wander, but LAST seats empty (though back of plane jitters far more) and I sit to find my "partner" lost his luggage from SF, pushed his knapsack and his naked body out a second floor window in the Italian earthquake last year ("all chiefs, I'm a nurse but I couldn't help, so I stole a moped, rode north till it ran out of gas and caught a train north from Rome. Broke my back two years ago in a parachute jump, spent 14 months in a Medicine helicopter in Vietnam, sprained my ankle two days ago, going to Zurich with friends.) Whew! He leaves at 11:30, just came back to smoke, and I look out perfectly gray window, get soap and napkins when I piss, and get this to write at 12.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16. Once we're OFF, it's OK! Wine for $1.50, people talking. No aurora but HE saw it in Tennessee for 45 minutes when the Prefect woke them up one night! Can you BELIEVE this guy! WAS ONE star out the right window, but no more. Veal, WE agreed, had to be WORSE than the steak au poivre. But I was HUNGRY, nothing since eggs and salad at noon! Lots of white wine and brandy makes me feel good. CLOUDS visible, breaking up below. Movie at 1:45, sadly, is "Mirror Crack'd." Boo! Guy SAYS Omega was replaced and we're flying 7-hour route with a tailwind. 11:45 am? 2:15 comes and goes, halfway on the 7-hour trip. Encounter "Zurich" in "Pale Fire" at 3 am---about 6---should be getting light! Change watch six hours after sun rises. Ocean views, then total clouds at 10:30 Zurich time. Almost totally uniform low cloud-deck at 11 am. Announce we'll land about 11:40! 11:15 down INTO clouds, and it looks AWFUL thick and bumpy! CONFIRM in 72 hours! Land 11:40 after BUMPY flight in and out of clouds, taking LOTS of pictures, hoping they come out! 42 F. Sweaty palms! Rain on airfield. Green POLIZAI ARMORED TANK with machine gun and two soldiers---KIDS---on top! Into terminal at 12, beginning to feel tired. Luggage seems to START fast but GO slow. Bag's OPEN and strap's GONE and inner segments OPEN at 12:15. Buy three tickets: first to Winterthur, wrong; second to Zurich HB, then at 12:32 decide 12:48 can WAIT till I get 40F ticket for Milan! Off at 12:49, through tunnel, past NEAT RICH suburbs and LOTS of houses on hill, but it looks VERY "lowering" over city and feels CHILLY, so I'm making myself glad I'm leaving now before I even SEE it. Into station at 12:58 and from track 15 I have to go to track 1, then almost to front to train to find 2nd class nonsmoking without any people in it, at 1:06 HOPING train will CONTINUE frontwards out of station---as it should, since station goes SOUTH and Milan is south. NICE train leaves RIGHT at 1:10, WATER down window but it's not RAINING. Both trains VERY quiet and smooth. Mirrors above OPPOSITE seat permit me to see MY bags above MY head. Great! It's all tailored and beautiful: even FACTORIES are clean and neat and gable-roofed. Along lovely lake, but low-hanging clouds don't help view much. Lots of 2.5-3-minute tunnels. At last: an unkempt wooded-fallen area! Extraordinary CHARM! Lavish apartments in STEPS down a hillside; villages on SPINES of hills over lake; restaurants OVER road at lake edge. FABULOUS! Lovely OLD moss-roofed wooden HOUSES. How TONS more interesting and beautiful than RUSSIA! Raining now. LONG to take pictures but DON'T: windows WEST, too GRAY a view and NO sky. Even OLD snow is clean! Well, snow IS dark along ROADSIDES, but GRAY, not BLACK. Occurs to me in SCHWYZ that W IS "double V." Incredible ENGINEERING on hills to control and channel avalanches. SNOWING as we climb at 2:40. LONG tunnel past Goshenen smells MUSTY and DUST forms outside windows. UNBELIEVABLE snow scenes! And the ROADS they're building MATCH the mountains! Various train cars SING in PITCHES as they pass. At 3:30 the sun shines UNDER the clouds above the Alps. Drizzling as we stop in Bellinzona at 3:35, and a TRAIN comes along the track that the boarders have to cross to get to this one. Toward Lugano, nearer Italy, the Swiss perfection breaks down: weeds, dirt, and debris. Italy's SKY, however, is CLOUDLESS. ONLY passport checked in Chiasso. Sun set by the time the train moves out at 4:50. Darker and darker. In, nodding, at 6 pm and get $50 changed and buy gittoni and phone Marina. Take taxi to Numa Pompilia in crowded streets and she and I speak French and Sandra (big Sandra) laughs and chatters. Pretty baby, too. Edgardo arrives and we chat and he says friends are coming to look at home. My private room is pleasant, apartment is huge and kitchen just lovely. Eat sausage, take bath, unpack, eat dinner, drink wine, get tired. Sara and Ezio arrive at about 9:30, talk a lot, I get to bed 10:30. Sleep very well, bed just long enough and a bit too soft.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17. Wake at 8 am, bit chilly, and dress, as Lydia arrives at 8:30. Edgardo makes me good eggs "heated" in pots, and coffee and toast. Last night, pear was TOTALLY delicious, the cauliflower for lunch equally fantastic. I unpack stuff and Edgardo studies Sicily to recommend itinerary. Out at 10:30 to friend's inner court and small sightseeing and get to Duomo and La Scala for tickets for me for 18th for Swan Lake and 19th for Piccolo Scala and told to return at 10 am tomorrow to try to get tickets for Lohengrin for Sunday. Walk back via martini cocktail with Campari and at 1:15 we have lunch and Edgardo goes to work and Marina brings a client into my room. I walk back to Poldi Pezzoli Museum 3:30-5 after climbing 180 steps to Duomo top and staring out over town. Some SEXY guys around. Museum has lots of nice paintings, and out at 5 to return to Galleria and sit in Restaurant Biffi Bar till 7 watching passersby. Watch and hear water-tube fountain play, get cruised by a commercial self-salesman, and have a beer for 2500. Oh, Edgardo took me to bank when I cashed $250 in AM. Cold at last, crowd not THAT good, though some medieval Italian-male faces are great. Back at 7:30 to read book, Edgardo enters and has a client who goes to john twice, and at 8:15 he says we're joining little Sandra for music. Leave at 8:30 and pick her up at a bistro and drive WAY out by 9:10 to an English church for English carols, but he leaves at 9:30 and we drive to Il Verdi, crowded, and walk to Banco, cooler now, and from 10-12:30 have three bottles of wine for five people and GOOD veal for me and "pork African Queen" for two people and tasty paté and Dennis is CHARMING and he and Geejo sing together from the Sutherland-Horne repertory and we're talking English and VERY cheerful. English Dennis is putting up a show as lights go out. Ed has no keys, I have his, and they offer to let me go to THEIR apartment, but Dennis English has to pack and leave tomorrow and Geejo is very drunk and Dennis Italian keeps talking about assholes so he probably fucks or gets fucked. Tired and Ed drives Geejo to HIS car, Sandra to HER car and me home at 1:30, saying it's usual. Up to brush teeth---gums starting to bleed!---and shit, read book on Venice with male crotches around and go to bed at 2 am, two blankets, instantly asleep.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18. Wake at 8, still somewhat tired, and up at 8:30 as Lydia buzzes in and Ed's gone already. Wash face and at 9 have one egg and coffee and toast and a VERY red-pulp orange and out to walk in rain to get to knot of people around La Scala at 9:58. In at 10:02, third in line for Lohengrin and get FOUR Box 7 seats for 44,000 each! Triumph! Check times and prices and "only" 125,000 left, having spent 13,200 on orchestra of Piccolo Scala and only 5,500 for Swan Lake in SKY. Walk to Brera and pay 750 to enter (US 2500 for Poldi Pezzoli!) and at first it's quiet and then FLOCKS of school kids pass through echoing. So MANY virgins and childs and saints and angels and Christs and crosses and artistic backgrounds! A real RELIEF to find a Myth of Calumnia or a Van Dyke! Most rooms brightly lit (plan on p. 10) and I roam past "best" room from 11 am, sit at 12:15 and write till kids released with a SHOUT at 12:40 and the place is a-ROAR as I finish this. I'm still flesh-watching on oils and jean-watching on tourists. Felt like jerking off last night but it was just too LATE. Told everyone I'd stay out all day today, even in rain. Note act-schedule in inside front cover. Shouts fade away by 12:49. Il Peschericcio lunch: gamberetti are shrimp and calamari are octopus, and castagna (chestnut) dessert HARD for 1000. Total 10,000, gave 11,500. Out at 2:40, not full, and to Sforza Castle to go to A, then to B, walk to Underground Stone Age exhibit, then to C, get told to go to A, and there get told to go to B! Pissed! As I am with "guard" who stares mildly at me as I almost fall stepping down a step I didn't know was there! AND with the guy who stops me taking a flash of the Rondanini Pieta JUST as I was set for it! OLD ruins, tapestries, then upstairs to ENORMOUS Pinacoteca Civica, then to glass, ceramics, gold and silver, instruments, gowns, LOADS of stuff!! Down at 5 (SNOWING all day!) to find desk CLOSED, NOT at 5:20. Sit in Salotta 5:20-6:40 with beer for 3000, walk back to find Scala Grill closed, NEXT place closed, and have pizza at Ciardi with EGG and ham and beer for 8000. To not-bad seat for 8000 program (5500 for SEAT!) and good Savignano and NEW Pierin. Stark production, not much applause, second males poor, not much sex. Rothbart nicely hammy. Out at 11 and get LOST walking back, so grab cab for 3000 and get to bed at 11:45 for a change, leaving Edgardo a note that I'm TIRED.