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Friday, October 11, 2013

Saturday, October 3, 1981 - Part 1

I have noticed some little things about my body. Hair growing out of my ear lobes. Once I found a hair and inch or two long. Another time one a foot or more long growing out of my shoulder blade. I'm getting older. Little things start to go wrong. I read about a woman who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Will I ever make that mark? Will I ever make anything? Will I ever get anywhere? Will I ever be anybody? Will I ever? Will I ever! Will I ever. Will I. Will. I. Ever? Ever! Ever. Have I noticed anything about my writing? I stop to think. And realize that nothing immediately comes to mind. Joe told me it is getting better.

Which brings me to Jean. I met her by chance in the PO. We wandered around the square for an hour or so. I didn't want her to go. I was all nervous inside about her. I wanted her to fuck me. Next day I sent her a copy of my notes. She started reading them Sunday night and wanted to call me, but was too shy. Finally, last Tuesday. I was out and Dana took the message. He said she seemed enthusiastic about the notes. The talk we had can only be described as thrilling. I was so pleased that she liked me, and my writing. It made her all fluttery, or something like that inside. She made little notes and comments in the margins. Her head was filled with little things it made her think of. I wanted to take you home and do something crazy, she confessed to me. It made me ecstatic. I am sure she wants to fuck me. She's going away for a few days. She comes back today. I have told her about my desire to touch and hug her last week. Maybe it will happen next time we meet, she says. I was completely in a trance for the next day or so. Its not so intense now, but has been replaced with expectations. On the one hand, I want her to be in love with me. On the other side is my fear that what she knows about me will be too much, and so rejection. She has only read through March, so I imagine that April and May will put an end to her desire. Or something else will do it. And finally, this intense longing I have for someone, will be frustrated. I fear she will hold back.

10:45am. A dream. Back on FH. I have returned for a visit, or is it to stay for a longer time? Not clear. Meeting lots of people. But I notice myself not hugging or kissing anyone. My hands are constantly full or occupied with doing something important. Marlena says hello to me. I notice something is slightly wrong with her teeth. She seems to have gained a little weight. There is some sort of course going on. People are going into a room with equipment. Then it hits me. Everyone on FH is studying computers. Its a keypunch/terminal room. ITs the new thing on FH. Everyone is learning how to program computers. Otto is in a room doing something. Sausages are frying for him on one side of the room. The next person I recognize is Katarina. She is doing something with the sausages.

Simone learned something about herself yesterday. She often gets frustrated when I'm caught up with work and can't really be with her when she wants. But she remarks how she does this with everyone else she knows, and comments how they must dislike this quality in her as much as she dislikes it in me. She tends to do this to a larger group of people.

I have been nervous all day. Thinking about Jean and seeing her again. Will she come here? Will I go to her place? Will Simone come back when she's here? Will Simone cause a scene and cause her to go away? Will I fight back? Will I do any number of the fantasies I've had? I've imagined a whole scenario. Exactly what will happen, and how I will respond to it. None of it is good. It assumes the worst behavior from everyone. I can't imagine a positive future. When thinking hard enough about it, when contriving one, its possible. But a positive future seldom arises spontaneously. Sometimes when its a fantasy about just me and Jean it comes out that way. The moment someone else enters into the picture it goes bad. Already I feel better. This writing is such a therapeutic thing. My nervousness has subsided considerably. Its like magic. The more exactly I describe what's going on, the more that difficulty goes away. Maybe I should try to develop some positive scenarios. I started one this morning while in the bank. I thought about the paintings they have up behind the tellers. Wouldn't it be great if we could get some of the social art works placed on display. My little fantasy included me, Simone, Jean, Gene Hall for some reason, and some others that escape me. We got together and made an exhibit that the bank accepted. Another fantasy, from yesterday, was about writing something on what I've learned about multiple relationships. Then taking it various places and giving little talks about it. I thought about Dr Vallee at Leslie, Herb Pearce's groups, Family Tree, and others.

I realized something about myself yesterday. It seemed like an important thing at the time. Something worth writing about. But I've completely forgotten it. Some sort of defense. Perhaps writing about what it might have been will cause it to come up again. Why do I forget important things like this? Maybe its so I won't have to do anything about it? It still won't come out. Sitting here thinking about another subject, my course at MIT. I remember it came to me while walking from the office to here, home. Still nothing.

A science fiction fantasy. The world is divided into two camps. One side is ruled by Harvard. The other by MIT. The border between the two camps is somewhere around Inman Street and the post office. One side rules by controlling the social order. The other by controlling technology. The end.

Every half hour or so I call Jean. She's to be back from Martha's Vineyard, or the other place, sometime today. Very nervous. I keep thinking about it. Will she still accept me? How will Leo take this? Will I be able to handle situations that come up, where people are very anxious? I imagine myself in a situation with her and Leo. What can I do to put him at ease? It will be a hard thing for him, no matter what. He may try to pretend otherwise, but will turn out to be human. I could take a positive position here and say it won't happen this way. But that is not realistic. He's cool, Jean tells me. But all of us are so conditioned and trained to feel rejected in this kind of situation. I play a little scene out in my head. Hello, Leo. My name is Richard Gardner. Or maybe, I'm Richard Gardner. Jean's told me a lot about you. I get lost here as its difficult to imagine how he might respond. How do you start talking about being in love with someone he's living with? How do you tell him about your desire for the woman he lives with?

Linda has just called me. We talk for awhile about the situation at her apartment. Its starting to go bad. She doesn't want to live with Nadine anymore. She sees Nadine as a negative influence. Someone who has no ambition, no desire to do something with her life. People from Brooklyn never do anything, she tells me. So I imagine getting out a book of all the famous people who were born and grew up in Brooklyn. She feels so entitled to having a creative environment where people are responsible, creative, hardworking, etc. But she herself is not willing to put anything into it. I give her all my criticisms of how she's trying to blame others for her difficulties. I'm going, she snaps. Look what you are doing here, just like last night, I tell her. It gets too hot and she has to go. She has been like this all the time I've known her. I wonder, will she realize this, or take another random tack in the course of her life, and return to NYC? I have tried to criticize her, and at the same time show her how we have created a more active environment here. And that she can do the same where she is. She brings up FH. Uses it as a defense. They wouldn't allow this sort of thing there, she informs me, Sten says so! So what, I respond, this is not FH. They are half way around the world.

Back to Leo and Jean. More scenario: I know its hard for you to hear this, but I've sort of fallen instantly in love with Jean. Its not very deep, but I like her very much. I want to sleep with her. I want a relationship with her. I know this might be a very new thing for you, but I can't really have much to do with the idea of sneaking around and doing this sort of thing. The truth is I just feel this way about her. I don't really know you. I don't have any strong feelings about you. Who knows what might happen. Perhaps you have thought about the same sort of things, but couldn't really do anything about it. Maybe you didn't know how or where to start. But I've started something. I don't know where it will go. Maybe my fantasy of having us all live together, without the emotional and sexual barriers that most people put up, will come about. I don't know. Its only something that seems very important to me. I don't like having to resist the kind of feelings I have with a woman like Jean. Its seldom that I find someone who responds so positively and clearly as her. I can't resist such a person. I don't want to. To resist would mean holding down, holding back from loving someone. I don't want to do that either. I don't get all the love I want and need. I don't know anybody who does. But I want to try different things to get it. I notice that my face is feeling very hot. Its difficult to write this sort of thing, even if it is nothing more than my imagination at work. But it is something like what I would want to say. It is close to what I feel. My throat is getting tight, and my eyes a little watery. But I also notice that the driving energy from these feelings has incredibly speeded up my typing. I'm going along at a mile a minute here. Now it seems to end. I shouldn't have said it. It has put a cruse on energetic, emotional, fast typing.

And what to say to Simone? She really does understand. The same thing has happened to her in the last few days. She may not want to see that it's the same, but it is.

I have just talked to my aunt Rosemary. She lives in Maryland. My project to interview my grandparents, her parents, about their early life, what they remember about their parents and grandparents, interests her very much. You won't have any trouble with grandma, she says. But I can't remember, except once, grandpa talking about growing up, she adds. Then we talked about things from our early childhood. She will be forty next week. She is about 3 years older than me, and doesn't remember anything about us till 6th grade for her. No, one other thing. She was 4 years old, we were in a car going down to Patrick's Pharmacy, she had a watermelon sucker. In the sixth grade, for her, she came into my 2nd grade class one day. I was very anxious, nervous, about to shit a brick. She'd left her watch in the bathroom that day and I decided to wear it. And here she is, right in my classroom. I was incredibly afraid of being discovered by her. She tells me of a time when Ann was blamed for sticking pins into a toothpaste tube. Grandma spanked her for it while Rosemary watched. Rosemary was the real culprit. She came to resent our being there. At first she looked forward to it. Then her attitude became one of, nobody lives in Wyoming. It isn't even there, she exclaims! She wants me to visit if I go to my grandparents in Florida. Her sister's, my aunt's, husband has decided to become a priest. It was very surprising to everyone. She says he's not a very good person with people. He reminds me of the father in a Victorian novel, she explains. I tell her I'll visit if I go by train but not if I fly. Flying gives me white knuckles. It frightens me. She tells me how grandpa isn't afraid of flying, just crashing. I can identify with that. Another thing I learn is that dinner was a time for arguments. Clever, intellectual arguments. This is not part of memory. I can imagine participating as a way to divert people's attention from the food. This would make more available to me. She did not understand all my notes. I sent her a few miscellaneous pages. Now she gets a complete copy.

I have tried to call Jean again. She's still not home. Its making me nervous again. My face is burning. Some of the things with Rosemary embarrassed me. She reminded me of how I used to wet my bed every night. I gave it up when I left home, I tell her. Its so hard for me to be reminded of that. Always a big thing for me.

Phone call from Simone. She's just finished dinner at the wedding. Tells me about the enormous quantities of food. Some of Nancie's friends have criticized her for coming with Jeff. If not Richard, then by yourself, these little guardians of modern day morality tell her. Some expression they used. It wasn't exactly saying that it was wrong, or in bad taste, but something in between. Can't remember. Michael Schaffer has been saying things about me. How I'm too old, and don't make enough money. He doesn't even know me, but, according to Simone, does not like me. I tell her its like with Linda. She doesn't really know Linda, but mistakes what gets stirred up inside her, for the feelings one has of not liking a person. Surely she understands this. And then a bit of rancor in her voice, as she relates part of Dana and Linda's conversation from last night. It seems Linda said something about going to Holland and becoming a hooker. I let it pass. I think now about just hanging up the phone when it happened. Or saying, I'm going to hang up the phone in a few seconds unless you become aware of what you have just said, and why. As usual, she has lots of stuff to tell me about the people there. Especially the moralists, Nancie's friends. I can imagine this putting quite a strain on their view of the world and how things should be. We talk about my conversation with Rosemary, my date tomorrow with Judy. She will call later tonight. I would still like to do something with Jean, but she's still not home. Why don't you fuck earlier, like at nine or so, and come home afterwards, she suggests to me.

My face is hot again. I get up to piss every few minutes. Must be nervous again.

Simone reminds me again about writing the notes for Loris. She may have delivered by now. They've been sitting here for weeks. It's a pile of 3 by 5 cards, with a piece of paper on top, also about 3 by 5. Its dated 6/6/72, underlined, and under that is the word 'contractions', also underlined, then some numbers. I will start something, a new page for these, so they will be appropriate to send to most anyone. Who would want to read about some of the things written here? Besides, I don't want to waste the rest of this page.

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