A line drawing in a kitchen.
A line drawing in a kitchen.
15 June 1977 Flag Day
On my desk I see an interesting juxtaposition of a plastic glass on top of my French dictionary.
At writing class I got some devastating criticism of my novel tonight. I suspected the instructor would react that way.
After class I walked through the Public Garden looking for a place to sit down.
A young couple sat in front of a fountain. I didn’t want to sit beside them. I might have inhibited their intimate conversation. I sat down on the grass without a twinge of guilt, though earlier I had been giving the evil eye to others who broke the ‘keep off the grass’ rule posted on signs around the park.
I was pleased to see that Ms. Willey had written a full page of criticism. Constructive criticism. She said that I obviously had put in a lot of joyless work on a ‘non-fiction’ memoir. Put it aside for a year, and start anew – she recommended.
Fall apart, fall apart, fall apart. I know that things have to fall apart. That’s the nature of the universe. Old philosophies in dusty Greek towns before the time of Socrates talked about that kind of stuff. Buty why does it happen to me? So fast?
Maybe Amy and I didn’t have a perfect relationship before we went over to have orgies with Wayne and Sheila. We have a lousy relationship now. When I went over to her house Saturday I felt like I was with my ex-wife Carole in the last days of our marriage.
When I speak to her she jumps on me for any little mistake I make. In her bedroom, at her parents house, I felt so much tightness in my chest and stomach. I wished that she had told me to leave. I would have been out the door in seconds. Happily. I cant’ even talk to her. Is she my friend? She is so tired lately. We always fall asleep around twelve o’clock. She got up Saturday night at four o’clock. I felt guilty as I searched the floor for my dirty socks. She drove herself home in my car and I stayed in bed.
Enough. Now I must think of a short story to write.
What makes Any buzz and whirr and move forward? Why does she go out with me. My personality – she says.
15 June 1977
The bell rang at 1:30 and statled me out of a half sleep. I jumped out of bed in the darkness and ran for the door buzzer. With a feeling of relief I pushed it and heard the door open downstairs. I grabbed the key on the hook as I watched the light go on and Amy arrived.
“You were up weren’t you?” I expected her to be drunk. She looked more like she’d spent the night in bed. Her eyes were dark as they are when her makeup’s been smudged against a pillow.
I stood behind the door to cover my nakedness. She showed no interest.
“The train didn’t get there until twenty past one. I was the only one in the station. A guy walked up to me and told me I’d have to spend the night there.”
Liar, I thought. The last subway train is usually twelve thirty.
“I was sick all night, and I’m tired. I’m not going in to work tomorrow.” She kept her distance from me.
“You can stay here,” I told her after she explained that she’d have to bring me my car and then take the subway home.
* I wrote a letter to answer a ‘Real Paper’ personal ad of a twenty-seven-year-old feminist, socialist, anti-pompous, academic woman. She says she’s attractive. I must talk to her on the phone for a long time before I make a date with her. She could be a fat creep.
There is a rainbow of colors on my Abby Road cassette.
I was sad as I sat at the back of Hines Auditorium and watched my students walk by in the eighth grade graduation. I’ll never see them again.
16 June 1977
Amy brought my car over late yesterday. I fell asleep in the afternoon. I dreamed a color image of my little son running down the hall. Amy wanted me to go out with her. I said I was going out with my son.
After masturbating this morning to the smile of a pink cunted girl in Penthouse I jumped out of bed and made lunch.
My son put on an old cub scout shirt and we went to his school to see an outdoor fair. His cluster is named after the planet Neptune. I called work and told them, “This is professor Dee, I won’t be in today. My sickness of hay fever has continued.” The students have graduated, and I was using my sick days.
“Herr professor, but you are in charge of the eight grade today,” Jim Pardy said. “Today we have Chinese food.”
“Today’s the day?” I exclaimed gayly. “I’ll be in!”
What was fun about the meal was that I got to videotape it. I thought it was a boring tape when I filmed it, but when we watched there were many funny moments. The opening shot showed a lone Mr. Donnelley sitting at the far end of the table. His cheeks seem puffed out with food, his fork is in his hand . Someone says, “Where’d all the shrimp go?” Larry Donnelley looks up defensively, “There’s only on piece on my plate.” Everyone laughed. I caught a poignant moment on video tape.
17 June 1977
My sleep was troubled by dreams this morning. I dreamt of a car load of girls who left me and a math teacher from school, Mr. Hogan, alone in the Combat Zone in downtown Boston. The girls had found some boys who they picked up. Amy wasn’t there, Ruthie was. But the message was clear – women leave me behind for other men. I wish I had the acumen to call up Amy now and say I’m busy tonight and won’t see her.
I met a quiet Greek girl at the Ale House last night. I only talked to her because I thought she was Jewish. Everyone knows that studious Greek girls are quiet and unimaginative. They are brought up like that by strict mothers. I asked her for her number, half knowing that I wouldn’t use it. At least I was able to talk to someone when there was an un-danceable band
29 June 1977
I am drunk. I had a good night tonight, I think? I was with my professor from writing class at Boston Center for Adult Education.
Not always a good thing to do. We left the class at the Marlboro Street building in the Back Bay and walked over to a bar called Daisey Buccanan’s. The place was more of a sit down and talk bar than the kind of dance club I usually do.
The instructor is an older woman in her forties or fifties with long gray hair. Her husband is a professor at UMass Boston. Another student was with us, it was a warm summer night and people where walking the streets. We sat near the window. My drinking was not a good thing because I had little to eat and I talk to freely. I think back later and wonder if people think I’m an asshole after two beers I am. The prof said that if I wanted to be a better writer, “You have to miss a few movies, not go out dancing every weekend, stay home and write and put serious effort into the craft.” She’s right, but whose going to look at all those women in clubs. I want to be there looking.
I got in my car after we talked and drove to Harvard Square to go to a bar with music and dancing and young women.
Standing on the wide sidewalk in front of a bookstore on Massachusetts Avenue I was watching a juggler while I sipped a forty cent can of beer covered in a brown paper bag. Two dozen people stood in a large semi-circle around the street performer as he did his act. People approached the hat he had place on the ground and threw coins and bills in to pay for the entertainment. Parents with children between them were out on the warm night for a stroll and to see entertain they could easily share. Harvard Square seems to have a lot of pedestrian traffic from morning to night. It’s always hard to find a parking spot. I was enjoying the crowd as much as I was watching the juggling. I saw an acquaintance from the Ale House – Bob Campbell. I watched him with interest. He stood to the side and applauded at appropriate moments. I don’t always applaud when I should. I want to save it for especially good moments. Bob’s hair looked good. He is Scottish descent and has long blond hair to his shoulders, and a beard and mustache. He drives a cab part time, and sometimes a tow truck.
A magician stepped forward and spun around to bow to all the crowd.
I appreciated his act more than the jugglers. He did so many good tricks that I had to toss some coins in his hat. As the magician asked for volunteers from the crowd I heard someone shout.
“Mister Dee!” Bob had spotted me. I was surprised that he knew my last name. We are barroom buddies, who exchange a few words as we are looking around a club for women to meet. I should mention that to him. I was going to talk to him about his ‘macho’ act. Or should I say personality. Usually we are in a club with loud bands playing – it’s hard to talk and be heard. Out on the street we only had the street noises – the crowd talking, cars going by.
When I walked around the corner and up Church Street to the Oxford Ale House who was there but my former casual girlfriend Ruthie, and her neighbor from East Boston, Michael Jasco. The three of us had been in bed together at one point in the past. Ruthie wanted to see two men together, but I was too shy at the time. That was after I went to a Halloween party Ruthie invited me to dressed as a girl. I thought that if I was with a male in front of Ruthie she would think of me as male oriented. I always wanted to get back with her. She was about five feet four inches and very slim. She had Italian looks – a long thin nose, wavey light brown hair. Lots of people thought she should be a model – and she was. She loved to wear stylish clothes. She started wearing more makeup during the year I was dating her. She was less than a year younger than me, and as she turned twenty-five, she said she wanted to get away from the hippie dressed down look. I felt threatened. I figured she wanted to be with some well paid guy who always wore three piece suits. I talked to Michael for a few minutes and left the club for a walk around the square. It was still light out.
I’m glad I did. I missed Ruthie, who is my past, and ran into Ellen’s sister. I told her I liked Ellen, who I had dated twice. She told me that I shouldn’t have told Ellen about my problems with Amy. She was right, I shouldn’t have talked with her about my concerns with Amy showing pictures I took of her to new guys she was dating. Oh, demon alcohol! When I go out with a new girl, I shouldn’t drink. It lossens my tongue.
As I talked with Michelle in a restaurant facing the street she said I was good looking and could get girls to go out with and should forget about troubles with Amy. I thought I noticed the waitress looking at me.
She was attractive. Every time she came to our table to bring a drink I thought her gaze lingered on me. When Michelle went to the bathroom I talked to this blonde, plump assed waitress about her having a buzz on. But a while later, when Michelle left she stopped looking at me. I hung around that place, knowing that Ruthie was around the corner, just to look at this blonde shiksa. She didn’t look at me again. I had to talk to her to get her attention.
So, I got up and left and went looking for Ruthie. She was gone. I think I saw the back of her head as she walked away down the street and I was going back into the Ale House. I listened to the band, drank another beer, and went home alone.
When I got home I was disoriented from all the drinking. I decided to take my bike from the front hall and ride down the street to work off the alcohol. It was about three in the morning, and there were few cars around as I rode down Gallivan Boulevard. I went down to the small local beach called Tennian Beach. There were a couple of cars in the parking lot – couples fooling around, I guess. I thought about when I used to go to that beach when I was around fifteen or sixteen. Mary Bellrose was my girlfriend then. I met her when I was playing in a band and played at dance at St. Ann’s. I remembered looking down her bathing suit top at her ample bosom, as they say. I was so excited looking at her goose pimpled flesh. She dared me to jump off one of the high pier posts. I did it to impress her. I’d do it now. Her tits seemed so big to me then.
I’m still drunk, as I write this. I have the personal section of the Phoenix in front of me. Should I write an answer to an ad? Picture me in bed with a woman, or another woman, or another. Or with a man, or two. As the Yardbirds sing “Over, under, sideways, down, backwards forewards square around….when will it end? When will it end?” Not until everyone is satisfied, I hope.
I picture fucking a succulent pussy and feeling a pair of tits. But where is she? In a club, in the newspaper? I don’t know. Do you? Write your name on the blank provided_______________ . Good, now I feel more honesty. Is that good. Maybe it’s time for this drunk boy to go to bed.
Unrhymed, unrhythmical, the chatter goes:
Yet no one hears his own remarks as prose.
Beneath each topic tunelessly discussed
The ground-base is reciprocal mistrust.
The names in fashion shuttling to and fro
Yield, when deciphered, messages of woe.
You cannot read me like an open book.
I’m more myself than you will ever look.
Will no one listen to my little song?
Perhaps I shan’t be with you very long.
A howl for recognition, shrill with fear,
Shakes the jam-packed apartment, but each ear
Is listening to its hearing, so none hear.
AT THE PARTY
W.D. Auden (1907–1973)
Before I go, I’d like to have high cheekbones.
I’d like to talk less like New Jersey, and more like Clair Bloom.
And whenever I enter a room, I’d like an orchestra
to burst into my theme song.
I’d like to have a theme song before I go.
Before I go, I’d like to learn to tap dance.
I’d like to play seven-card stud like a pro, not a dunce.
And I’d like Robert Redford, just once, to slide his fingers
down my back from my neck to my waistline.
I’d like to have a waistline before I go.
Before I go, I’d like to win the door prize.
I’d like to be thought of as valiant and brilliant and thin.
And I’d like, when offered a choice between duty and sin,
to not immediately choose duty.
I’d like a couple of offers before I go.
Before I go, I’d like to make things better.
I’d like to be told I’ve been more of a joy than a pain.
And I’d like those I love to know that they are the ones,
if I could do it again, I’d do it with.
I’d like to do it again before I go.
Judith Viorst (1931-)