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Thursday, May 2, 2013

March 9, 1981 - under a nun's skirt

I'm an old cowhand From the Rio Grande.
I won't get out of bed Even if I'm dead.

I take out two pieces of paper. Feeling guilty about not writing for 5 days. Lots of thinking about it. Lots to write about. Lots of depression. Curled up in a ball on my bed. Simone comes in. What is it, she asks. Depression. Its your fear of success she says. Lots of reason for that. Over $500 in orders on Friday. So I'm immediately overcome with gloom. I won't get anymore. This is the last money we'll get in the mail. It turns out to be not true. But that's what I immediately start imagining. Immediately. Even before I have a chance to feel good about it. Immediately I think the worst. Positive comments about my writing. Fantasies about becoming a world famous writer. People flock to my spontaneous writing courses. Tv appearances. A whole new trend in self-development. Roberta tells me it makes her really feel things. Things that everybody experiences and feels. I've even made a list of things to write about. A head filled with thoughts. They all spring up at the same time. I don't know which one to start with. I get afraid the others will vanish. It seems as though I try to hold on to everything. Like someone with their arms full of small things. One falls to the floor. You try to pick it up and two more fall from your arms. But if this continues maybe one would have everything on the floor, and then it would be easier to pick them up one at a time? Maybe I don't really need to carry all those things around. It confuses me to keep track of all them. I suppose part of the reason is that I'm afraid there won't be anymore. It always feels like nothing more will happen to me. Sort of like a falling feeling where it seems as though any moment will be the one where I hit bottom. An emotional dead-end. Its like I can't dig any deeper into myself but more is there to be dug up. Like chipping away at something covered with a soft surface. Its easy to chip away the surface, but just under it is stainless steel. I can't get through that.

One letter was from a person in a California group of several people who have a form of free-sexuality. He says my writing inspired him to try and do the same with his life. It made me feel good. He wants to trade notes. Simone read the letter and stopped when she got to the part about the sleeping schedule. Your not thinking of starting a group like that, I hope, she says. Who wants to create an egalitarian society where you have to sleep with someone? I don't know. At first all my objections about it come out. Who am I to say what they should do. It is interesting that, like FH, they have more women than men. Women seem to be better at these things everywhere. Two-thirds of the group leaders on FH are women. Two-thirds of the men at the bottom of the hierarchy is the norm for the groups, and FH. I can't imagine anyone telling Otto or Claudia who they have to sleep with on a given night. Although I do remember they talked about trying it as a way to discover more difficulties between people. It seems like the wrong way to go if one's goal is to feel good. Can good feelings be legislated between people? It seems to be better to try and get to everyone's true feelings at some moment. And you may not want to sleep with someone because of their behavior. Giovanni was always being rejected by the women because of his aggressiveness. It was a good way of getting him to change. The women didn't want to sleep with him if he stayed that way. Its ridiculous speculation on my part. But I can't help it. The FH model is so much more natural. There has to be something good about a spontaneous way of relating that results in people fucking an average of 3 or 4 times a day. It seems it would only be possible if you felt very good about your partner. How could you do it by a schedule. The best times for me meant fucking at least 3 times a day. But it was always a spontaneous thing. I remember the time in the computer room with Sabina. She came for a one hour course. We had a good time together. She started to seduce me as soon as we were finished with the course. I couldn't resist. It felt very good. Lock the door, she says. Turn out the light, she says. Do you have a rubber, she asks. Sure, I reply. Come here, she says. Ok, I says. So right there on the floor of the computer room, when I had no such intentions of my own, it happened. Not bad. Lots of times it went this way. I will have to ask him how things are during the day, and what the rate of sexual activity is. But it seems contrived. Like the idea of an egalitarian society. Only an idea. No relation to reality. I've seen any number of groups with this idea. The leaders secretly try to influence things while continuing to espouse the idea of egalitarianism. But everyone believes its a good idea and nobody points it out, or has the courage to point out, the contradictions in the everyday life. Who knows. It causes me to boil a little every time People start to talk about that idea. In fact they secretly believe they are better than others. I believe it about myself. I know who is better or not as good as me, and in what ways. But it seldom gets talked about. We all want to be equal. What it really means is that we don't want to be below anyone. We don't want things to be how we feel. I don't want things to be as bad as I feel sometimes. Shit, difficult to say anything about this without getting dogmatic. But I know these feelings of superiority and inferiority are in me. And I always try to avoid them by being equal. An impossible condition. I'm not the same height, weight, intelligence, ability, or anything else. But I want to be equal! I think its more that I don't want to be behind anybody. Who knows. But there is so much of this contrived behavior amongst people who want to be free. They enslave themselves as a way to being free. Total nonsense. Simone spent a day with an opening-the-heart workshop where people were forced by an arbitrary set of rules to do things that go against a more natural way of behaving, which it seems they all want to achieve. Why not just do it. Why a complicated set of rules to define what is proper behavior at any given time? Thoughtful sensitive people will pay attention to what they and others need. Those who aren't will reveal themselves. It will be obvious to everyone. I told her they seemed like new-age catholics. She said they had some connection with it. I mean it only as a joke because of their rigidity but it seems like it may be true. Dana and I spent some time talking about following ones feelings. Can compulsive behavior, continuing with something because of a rule really be following ones feelings? Sometimes I feel like a party theoretician when writing things like this. But the things are in me. I read some of my old writing and cringe a bit. In fact it was the last day I wrote something, the day I began to write my old notes from FH on the typewriter. They are all handwritten now. Today I had the idea that this might have contributed to my depression. I have a difficult time when thinking back to those days. What would Otto do in this situation, I often ask myself. A dream several nights ago about being back. Don't remember it now. Yesterday I went out the back door, onto the back porch, to shake a dustmop. Left the door open. Dana and Suzanne were sitting at the kitchen table. Its right next to the door. Dana says, there's a draft, or something like that. Not till a little bit later did it occur to me that this was a mistake on my part. I left the door wide open. He did not say it directly, but later I realized what was the meaning of his tone of voice. He meant to say I should have shut the door. I can now imagine that he and Suzanne exchanged some glances over this. It does not contribute to a good social situation when I make mistakes like this. Something else like this, but it escapes me now. In any case, all the time I make little failures like this. It makes me paranoid when people do similar things to me. And probably the same for him. We are running into some problems here because of the difference in trust between me and Simone, and Dana and the two of us. We say more to each other than Dana does to either of us. In the last few days he has been complaining, and mostly to her. But some of the things have been about me. He is not as afraid of her as he is of me. Simone thinks it may be that he is not as active as either of us and resents it. His time is spent reading and doing sometime work. He probably thinks about things a lot and gets paranoid. He imagines that he is doing more of a certain kinds of work, or more work in general. I think there is a lot more that he keeps to himself and just stews over. The letter writer from California was impressed by my total candor. Over this I can only chuckle a bit. From where my brain sits its not total candor. I know its not everything. Some things make me too anxious to talk about. Some things are presently unexplainable. Some things are hidden from me. And other things I can only scratch the surface of. Its not total candor. Its just trying to write the most insightfully that I can. But when reviewing earlier writing its obvious the present is less naive, more direct, more insightful, and less spacey.

Don has come over to have dinner with me. He tells me the story of how he paid a friends phone bill. He calls the manager. The manager calls the main manager at home. The result was that his friend didn't get the phone reconnected. Don and his friend are well known to the telephone people. Now he talks about a company that imports tuna fish for Star Market. It must be nice, he says. What do you mean it, I ask. IT! he responds. Don has just farted. I tell him this document will become a main source of information about the temper of our times. He inhales deeply. This next sentence is by Don: harrumph, clearing the throat. semper ubi sub ubi. Always wear under where. Frank Perdu's latest pun: (he forgets).

Don tells me an interesting idea about what to do if one has an idea in the middle of the night. Call Western Union and ask them to send you a telegram with the message.

He reads the letter from California and starts to laugh. Can this really be true he says. It sounds like an advertisement. More laughter. You to can be healthier and so forth, he explains. Just use a balanced rotational sleeping schedule and in ten days or less your problem will be solved. This line can be sold to an advertising firm. He wants to ask the writer what kind of mattress he uses. What's the three month period of celibacy for, he asks. It seems to be arbitrary, but is probably an unconscious mechanism to keep sexual disease out of the group. On FH one has to go through a 6 weeks quarantine. That is the maximum time it takes to determine if one has syphilis. Other things can be found in less time. They don't mention anything about what venereal disease problems they have. I have read their magazine for some years and its always a bit vague and abstract about what's actually going on. Edwin has visited them and describes them as being like a group of MIT people, abstract and intellectual, who play lots of one-up, can you top this, make a pun of it, look how clever I am, games. But he tends to be jaded about everyone except Otto. He criticized my writing by pointing out the one letter from a publisher who said it wasn't their kind of book. He came down to visit last night on his own. He wanted to read some of my notes. Later he says how depressed he feels after reading all the things going on here in the last two months. I've only worked and stayed in my cave, he says.

A call to Robert Rimmer. He likes my notes, read the whole thing. But I get filled with this overwhelming self-doubt. Its like standing on the edge of a razor. I can fall to either side. The slightest wind will push me to one side or the other. This doesn't sound right. At just this moment I have the feeling that my left and right hands have changed places. Typing is still possible but it feels just like that. Like something has been twisted and bent so everything is reversed 180 degrees. He doesn't know who would publish such a book, but suggests trying to find someone. I have this odd feeling of everything being reversed in my body from time to time. Like a rope being twisted. Now its in my eyes. Its completely different from upside down, or forward-backward. I wonder why it was Jud who responded to my notes. Why not someone else from the group? Edwin says he is the leader. Maybe someone got them and passed them on to him. Don't know. Want to. I tell Bob about my fantasy that these notes will be turned into a TV program like Dallas.

Lots of peculiar fantasies lately. Getting some things ready to mail. What is it like to be a package in the mail? Dark, pressure,jostling. Who knows what next. Then I'm the package. Don't know where I am. Who are all these people? What's going on? Where am I going? Strange sensations of not having any connection to anything else. Short contact with the other packages, then they are gone forever. From my depression on Friday comes a fantasy about dying. What would other people feel? Would they miss me? Would they be sorry to not have known me better? Next was one about the children on FH. Its about their growing up and turning out badly. I imagine that heredity rules and they turn out to be like everyone else, and incapable of living on FH. Some of them turnout to be quite nasty. The left-right sensation reminds me of an SD course on FH. It was in the guest group. Toni was leading. It started as a trance of some sort I think. But slowly for me it became the sensation of my body increasing in size. It was as though I was growing from a single cell to birth size. In the fantasy that was with the sensation I had a diaper on and eventually filled a whole house with my legs and arms sticking out the windows and doors. Then everything burst, and I continued to grow. Don't remember how it ended. Its like when a feeling of suddenly being pressed down goes away. It seemed as though it would go on forever. Constantly growing and filling the universe.

Michael has a new definition of monogamy. I'm monogamous with Connie every Saturday night. Simone wants to see him but he keeps waffling. Saturday is his monogamy night. I don't want to talk, she says, I want to fuck. Talk is cheap. How about next Tuesday morning between 11 and 12 noon, he suggests. Well, she says, that's my birthday. If you want to fuck all day, or take me to Plum Island, then ok, she says, otherwise forget it! He thinks he's getting a fever, ill, thinking about being with Ginny and Connie and Simone. He wants to suck her breasts and if not that tonight, then not till next Tuesday. Michael is afraid to ask all his roommates about taking Senoi. The fifth is very annoyed with extra cat hair. He hasn't asked this one about taking the cat yet. Stu has told Simone he hates her. He won't see her if she moves in, but said maybe he would modify that position. He thinks she should try her new assertiveness on me. Don't fuck up your dates with me, he says. Do it with Richard. He's not going to call her here. You will always have to call me, he says.

Somehow Simone gets started on a story about nuns. It seems her grandmother always told her that bad Catholic kids had to walk under the dresses of nuns. The grandmother would threaten Simone with sending her to a Catholic school and making her walk under the nuns dresses. She believed this till she was in junior high school. The sexual implications of this completely escaped her till then.

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