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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Saturday, December 26, 1981 - a long, but familiar, Christmas story

Another mystery here on Amory Street. It seems that Simone has bought me 16 or 20 presents for Christmas. She also bought a chocolate vagina for Joe, and a chocolate penis for Lotti. Some of these presents have disappeared. One of them, a small container of maple syrup, showed up in the refrigerator. She did not put Lotti or Joe's name on their packages. Its possible she's making all this up. That she didn't really buy me all those things. Perhaps its a way of getting me to buy her something. She wants me to, and said so with her Christmas stocking story. It wouldn't look good for your stocking to have lots of things in it and for mine to be empty, she pouts. Now, on the other side, we have Jack and Dana who are absolutely furious that she has bought me all these things. They don't want her to do this. They see it as more backsliding. She giving in to me again. What she needs to do, according to them, is to resist these impulses to be good to me. He doesn't deserve someone as good as you, they remind her. You deserve better, they assure her. I have suggested that she speak to Jack and Dana about this. It is hard to imagine who else it might have been. They both have complete access, via their keys to the apartment. I have had fantasies about confronting them. But it makes no difference to me. This is something they are doing to her. They are covertly manipulating her. Covertly deciding what she should be doing, and them implementing their ideas. And I think this is the end of the whole matter for me.

Another mystery about Joe and Linda. Simone comes to me with the story of how those two are fucking, sometimes even during the day. I ask both of them but they say no. Joe does not respond directly, but tells me that Linda can be believed more often than Simone. On the other hand its possible that they are. But the cosmic boomerang will take care of them if they lie.

Linda experienced the cosmic boomerang last Saturday. She had a date with Warren Beatty (that's just what we will call him as he is so handsome and resembles Warren). He finds her very attractive and told her a lot about himself. But it turns out to be a lie. He's married. He used the old roommate story on her. She wants someone very handsome and attractive to tell her how beautiful she is. I think most men are able to do this with her and have their way. She found out the truth when whe called his house. He was a bit dumb to let her do this. He probably didn't think she would pursue the female voice that answered all the way to his relationship with her. She doesn't want to see him again, but I've suggested it would be good for her talk with him again. She needs to be able to see what's going on when in a situation like this. She wants to ignore the fact that he took her for a ride. He pulled the wool over her eyes. Nobody likes that to happen to them. But following up here will help her understand how men like that do what they do to her. She may be able to save herself next time. This was the same night she called and tried to get me to leave Ann for her. The whole experience with him made her very horny. He played his cards well and held back.

Simone has a whole new story. She has been totally anxious about her relationship with me. She wants us to either marry or for me to move out. I find this a very strange choice. She very deeply believes that being married will do something for her insecurities. That it will bind me to her in some magical way. That other people will be less of a threat to her. On the other hand she elaborates, to great detail, on how I am not the right man for her, how I will never be capable of being a good father to her children. She knows, in reality, that marriage has not helped any of her friends who've married in the last year. Some of them are moving toward divorce. Michael has given her money to pay for a course to help her decide about staying or leaving me. And all the time, an enormous chorus of advisors, all imploring her to leave me. All of them telling her how much better she is than me. That she deserves someone much better. I wonder if they imagine themselves to be that person? Dana seems to ask each day, what are you going to do about Richard. He asked her if I changed my underwear after showering. I don't know exactly why he did this, but perhaps evidence for some sort of case he's making against me. I can imagine a group of people meeting secretly to plot exactly how to help Simone do this. But I have to laugh at this. Nothing could be more amusing or harmless if it were true. If only it were true! They would decide on a big day for the confrontation. High Noon on Amory Street. The suspect marshall goes out to meet the crowd of bad guys. Such a fantasy. Of this my whole life has been made. A better movie I could not imagine. But, regrettably, it will not have a chance to be played out in reality. They are no better than incompetent bad guys. She is away again this weekend. To visit Carol in Philadelphia, and, undoubtedly, to visit with Michael Shaeffer. She has not mentioned this as one of her intentions. But I doubt she'd go all the way there and not see him. Yesterday she told me of fooling around with him, and on my bed! It was the night Nancie came over to make Christmas cards. A week ago Monday.

Simone is marking me as her property again. She's like a dog pissing on a tree. A few days ago I find a pair or her underwear between my sheets. A very black and exotic little thing. A day or so later one of her bras appears in with my underwear and socks. Perhaps this was for Michael who she says often looks through my things when he's here. He seems to think that she may be giving me some of his things. Last Wednesday Ann was going to stay here with me. She was going to stay with Ken. A last minute change of plans lead me to stay at Ann's house. The next morning, in my room, at the top of my full garbage can, is one of her used tampons.

Joe and I had a tense fight a few days ago. It was about his latest true love. She's married. He's worried about me writing something in my notes that will reveal who she is. I didn't even remember her name. Only that she was very attractive to him and had worked as a model in London. He didn't want me to write about her. But couldn't ask me to do this directly. But the atmosphere in the room was very tense. He was very serious and wanted to be able to have his way with me. He began in a very careful way. It reminded me of negotiations to end the Vietnam War and how they started with discussions about the shape of the table. He was raging and furious inside. But very controlled. You can manipulate me, but you can do it to Joe, Simone cheers from the sidelines. He adds that I'm not in his class. Very good, but definitely not in his class. He is very good. I am just a sarcastic jokester, who has no real success in life because I treat everything in this same way. His best punch barely phases me. But he continues with very careful discussions about the shape of the table. In the end I have to tell him that what went on between him and this woman is of little interest to me. Unlike Simone, who was the source of some of his anxiety, he does not pretend to be open and honest in his relationships. He is deceptive and deceived. Both to himself and the other person. He wants to know that he is attractive to, and can attract women like that. Its important for his self image. But he never seems to realize that they probably have motives quite unrelated to his being attractive. They may do it to get even with someone. He may remind them of a father figure. They could just be horny and want a zipless fuck. Or some other reason. But he needs to deceive himself about being attractive to women. Its something like Linda wanting to be told that she is beautiful. The men do it and it's the way they get what they want from her. A small price to pay. He is intrigued by my description of him as deceptive. I mention Peg House. He claims to have no feeling for her. But as I see it he is somewhat like me and uses his considerable intellect to bury and ignore feelings of that sort. Some years ago I used the most incredibly superficial and stupid reasons as explanations to myself, for rejecting women. Some little thing made them unattractive to me. Some tiny insignificant thing made them completely unacceptable. And along with this had to come the squashing of any feelings for them. And later continued rationalization to keep the feelings from coming back. Simone is amazed at this point as it seems, to her, that I've turned him around. He's actually asking me for advice about what I think he should do. He went from being very strong to being mush, Simone says. But you have it just the opposite, I inform her. He was mush to me as long as he tried to be strong and resist me. But when he turned it around and asked me for advice I became pressed against the wall. I had to do something real or be exposed as a complete jokester. It was ok to keep it up as long as he tried to keep things serious and tried to be more of an authority than me. But his real question, about what he should do about his real life, was an unbeatable defense. The moment he exposed himself as being unable to do something about an important part of his life was exactly the moment that I, inside me, felt the battle turn. And it was a fight to win something. It was easy to manipulate him, to keep him from getting what he wanted, as long as he continued to do the same to me. A direct question would have really put me on the spot. It never ceases to amaze me how people see this doggedly resolute pursuit of something as being a sign of strength. And then to see an admission of weakness as a sign of weakness. Certainly in a real battle, where people will die, this is the case. But in the world of will wars, brain battles, emotional engagements, and feeling fights, just the opposite is true. Joe does not need to keep his latest yummy out of my notes. He needs the kind of relationships that he never has with those yummies, or with anyone else, so far. The only real fight he has is with himself. I think that asking me for advice, even if the advice is worthless, and certainly many would tell him to ignore it, was the best thing he could do for himself. It may help him to think more clearly about what he does. There were some interesting things I noticed about him during our little engagement. Normally he has a very slight lisp. It became a little more pronounced. His voice becomes softer and a little slower. He lowers his chin and raises his eyebrows from time to time. These were the things I saw as clues to how intense this was going to be for him. He saw me as someone who would evade the thing he wanted to do something about. And he was right. I could not help but be equally indirect. On the other hand I could have pointed out, right away, that it was not necessary to go through this convoluted process of his negotiating for something. It was my mistake not to have done that. It was clear almost immediately as to what was really going on. There was something to what he said. I have noticed it before in myself. It is as though I will not settle for things going any way other than where I want them to go. So I do a number of things. Stalling is one. Being sarcastic is another. Making a joke about something still another. The result is to build up a reservoir of frustration in whoever I am trying to communicate with. It is nothing but a roadblock to good communications. I could have ended this roadblock with Joe sooner than I did.

Simone has found me a number of books and articles about how different writers work. Particularly those who write autobiographically. She tells me about how Anais Nin does character analysis and how Proust describes little things and incidents with a lot of detail. She has ideas for developing my writing. I have a list of new books and articles to read from her. All this came after one evening when I told her to go away and stop bothering me when I'm doing my art. Don't bother me when I'm working on my art, says me.

Long talk on the phone with Ann about all the facts in the case. We try to clear up what's going on here. Who said what when. She has heard something from Edwin, via Dana, about my behavior the night Ed was here with Simone. He's married and is deceiving his wife about his relationship with Simone. I came home unexpectedly and they were in bed. Joe was with me. We came in, and walked to the other end of the house. Simone came out of her room, stark naked, very nervous and agitated. She put something on and went to the livingroom to talk to me. Its who is very afraid of you, she tells me. At this point I don't know who it is, but thought it might be Jack. It surprised me to learn it was Ed. So Edwin heard I knocked on the door and bothered them for 45 minutes. It lasted ten minutes. He was so afraid that I would hit him and Simone that he got dressed and left. I pretended to be curious and tried to look under the crack between the floor and the door, which was open slightly. Is he under the bed, I ask, and little knowing that that's what he did. Dana has to make his contribution, and tells me to respect their privacy, So he gets dressed and leaves. I thought you had a date, she said. It was Joe, I replied. I thought you wouldn't be home till tomorrow, she said. It is tomorrow, I replied, pointing to the clock. She is about to hit me and laugh in the same moment. She is totally frustrated at having been caught so red, or wet-handed. Edwin has been telling Ann more things. Like how I miss many appointments with Simone. That I don't care when its her. Then its ok to be late. Edwin jumps on the rumor wagon.

I have some new ideas for writing next year. A new notebook with dividers for each of the months. Each month will have the same number of blank sheets as days in that month. I will try to write something every day. Or at least to write enough each month to use all the pages for that month. And a small notebook, like the one I've been keeping, to jot things down during the day. Maybe one with a page for every day in the year. Also, I will write, and include in these notes, more letters. And more in depth analysis of people, like Anais Nin, as suggested by Simone.

I met a woman in the laundromat the other day. She approached me first. I wanted to say something to her. Very attractive. It was a bit awkward for both of us. We kept trying to talk. I was trying hard to think of what to say next. She managed to walk out the same time as me. Asking her which street she lived on, I offered to walk with her.Harvard Street, she responded. I fumbled with that one for a moment when she walked in the opposite direction from me. I was embarrassed and said something about seeing her next time she was doing her laundry. I was so stupid not to invite her to our Christmas Eve dinner and party.

More ideas about this new, altered state. Talking to Linda she suggests its like Buddhist meditation, a state of having a clear mind. No, its not like that, or its not like I read it as being like. I have felt something similar, at times, to what people call the meditative state. This is not like anything I've heard of or read about. It is completely, incredibly, starkly, uncompromisingly real. It is like being aware of atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, organs, and finally, the organism itself, but with no ideological, religious, political, cultural, learned overtones. As though I have incorporated within me, as a feeling, the knowledge of all evolutionary development. As though the rational part of my brain did not exist, or was not in control. I had this image of myself on a large white surface. Like a floor made up of large white tiles. The tiles, and the lines separating each tile, stretch off into the distance. And maybe, somewhere far away, there is something else. Normally things are crowding around me in a circle. All kinds of things. Each making their own noise, and wanting their own kind of attention. Sometimes they move in closer. The circle gets tighter. I get a little panicked. I become a little paranoid. Suddenly something happens to push them back and away from me. The clear space around me gets bigger. I can hear a little whistling of the wind. Just barely. Sometimes I can push everything way back and out of the way. Sometimes they are crowding me very close. This state is as though there is nothing crowding around. There is no floor. There is nothing, and there is everything, all at the same time, but it is nothing. At the same time none of these things exist. This feeling comes and it goes. Click. I feel it. Click. It goes away. I hold my hand up to the light and look at the details. It is not a hand. It is a foot, a claw, a thing in the universe. It just is. It is nothing beyond that. It has no ideology, dogma, beliefs, as though it had no human emotions, as though human feelings did not exist. It is feeling without the human part of the brain.

Jeff tells Simone that he's decided to go with Janice. It's the best he can do. Simone will not decide on him. Nobody is perfect, but he's going to try it with her. She has threatened to leave him if he sleeps with Simone. He will only have dinner with her. I see it as having adopted his parents about how to live his life. He is completely resigned. Perhaps it will change in the future. He is very insecure with her. She lives in Ken's apartment building. He doesn't want her to meet him. Jeff thinks Ken will seduce her away from him.

I have had this idea for a book of violence fantasies. Short little fantasies from many people's experience. A man is telling me about the dangers of living in his neighborhood. I had never noticed it. He has two big dogs to protect him. I start to have one about a woman, small, attractive, out walking with two dogs. But they are not normal dogs. They look normal. But up close they have enormous and powerful jaws, almost like sharks or reptiles. They are mutants. Someone approaches her and attacks. The dogs shred her attacker.

November 13, 1981, the second Space Shuttle launch. Anxieties about watching it take off. Edwin is here to see it on our TV. I decide to take a shower. My fear is that if I watch then something disastrous will happen to it. An explosion or a crash. My watching it will cause something to go wrong.

This same night, the 13th, I talk to Bill Kennedy about his seeing Adele at an est meeting. He wants me to take est. I tell him about my proposition to Ken. Richard, one of my students at MIT, took est, and eventually concluded that people used it to justify and entrench themselves in their own past opinions of themselves. Bill is quite sure it has done a lot for him. Its magic, he tells me. He believes that it will help Adele get over her fear of me. That she will eventually stop blaming me. It can't fail to do this, he assures me. He expects something dramatic to happen by the end of January. That's when the current seminar series she's taking will end. He encourages me to go to a seminar should she ask. She hasn't yet, I tell him. He's surprised to hear this as everyone is encouraged to try and get people to come. He's surprised she hasn't asked me. I'm not. She wouldn't be able to hold her present position against me in the presence of something as simple as est. Her two meetings with me were, I suspect, to fulfill the course requirements, and nothing new. She wants to tell herself that she's done it. The it in this case is very little, but its an it.

Linda has had a big personal development in the last few days. Last Monday she cancelled a date with me for the evening. A note said she was feeling very jealous of my couple relationship with Simone. The next few days she became more hostile and pushed me for being in this couple relationship. She also stayed away from me a way of punishing me. You're not going to use me again, she states adamantly! Christmas Eve she came by to leave me a present and to spend some time at our party. She was very nervous and tense. Later she called me from work and admitted the last week was an act. She finds that being in a relationship with me, and having Simone as part of it, really brings up a lot of very deep feelings for her. It is as though she is back in her family and having all those old feelings. But she wants to confront those things in herself. It is one of the first times I have heard someone so clearly state that the source of their difficulties in life lies with themselves. She was very straightforward about seeing that is has nothing to do with me or Simone, just herself, and what fears she is confronted with. She wants to spend more time confronting these things. She doesn't feel therapy will do it. She liked some parts of bioenergetics as it caused feelings to come up very easily, but they were not as real as those things that come up in the realistic situation with me and Simone. She is feeling much better about me. I told her how she had gone through things like this with me before so I wasn't worried. It only goes on for 3 or 4 days. The longest, when she stopped working for me once, was about 2 weeks or 10 days. But she is learning something and it doesn't last as long. She realizes sooner that its her difficulty.

Lotti called me earlier to come over and visit her. I get there and who should appear, but Linda and Joe, with his eight cylinder reindeer! It got a bit tense. I don't think they expected me to be there. They didn't stay long. Joe said something about me and Lotti fucking again, but it was a bit too harsh to have been a joke. It poked at it just a little too long. Lotti assured them that she'd invited me. They may have thought I showed up to cause a disturbance of the peace. Linda puttered around for awhile and left, but not before telling us the latest chapter in the Warren Beatty story. It seems he is married but has separated from his wife. She was there for some reason. They had an open relationship in the beginning, but he didn't like to come home and find the clothes of other men there. So they are parting ways. Or so he says. It could be that he is just twisting her around again. On the other hand, he did give her the phone number of his house. I felt somewhat jealous that she will see him again, but she did it from my advice. She can still learn a lot from this. It is not clear that everything she told him was true. We shall see. She comments again about how handsome he is. It will cause her difficulties in seeing other things in the future.

Peter Goldstein, someone I met at Ann's house, and who came to the Christmas Eve party, read some of my writing, a little from the beginning, middle, and end, and had four things to say about it: 1) excellent, 2) there is a development within the writing, 3) fragments/sense of what goes on in an individual's life, seems to focus on a person, relates to progress in life, going to a point of formulating something, moving in a certain direction, but doesn't know what, couldn't think of a similar style, 4) don't stop. He is a writer himself, and has had a play or two produced off Broadway. He has also taught writing at the university level, and has done public relations writing. I sat here, literally on the edge of my bed, while he read some of it. I stayed only a few moments, really, and then left the room. Some time later he came to me with his comments. It made me feel good for an instant. Then it is almost as though it is never enough. Enough praise, that is. It wears off almost instantly. I even get a little depressed. Then the search for more praise from someone new begins. Why do I need this?

Before I began these eight pages, the following question was bothering me: Why is the description of events so elusive? Namely, the events described here in these last eight pages. It seemed as though they would be impossible to describe accurately. This was my feeling. Several explanations are possible. Am I unable? Am I unwilling? Am I unconscious of what's really happening? Am I fooling myself about being able to see? Am I stupid? Then I went ahead and tried to do it. The little pieces were not so hard. Its as though saying, admitting how difficult it is, helped me to do it better. The little pieces came out not so bad. But some part hasn't come out at all.

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