Utterly stupid day at work — that is they were stupid, and I suffered under it. Started on the Valium, as Alexander said, ‘personally prescribed’ for me. But what the hell does that mean? It’s a mass-produced drug taken by thousands of losers. 5 milligrams at noon, another 5 at 7 PM.
Kathleen returned from Texas and came by, she looked so beautiful and relaxed. She helps me without trying. I told her about the Fire Dream, how at the end she and I joined hands, and fell so ecstatically into The Great Flame. She described bizarre beautiful scenes in Texas — frustrated teenagers turning into Satanists, old people who won’t go to the next town over. Everyone trapped.
It was hard to part. Why did she leave me? I watched us embracing in the mirror and we seemed perfect, unique. There will never be any venom between us. After she had been gone a few minutes I wrote her a note, “Kathleen, I love you! Marie” and ran the five doors down Jones to put it on her front door. Because I do love her. She is coming by tomorrow to help me with my apartment. Georgy did, but he had to be cajoled. She just offered.
You can’t force people to do anything. When you do desire, it kills you not to receive it. And when you do finally receive it, you are overwhelmed, weeping and sick with love as I am right now, by Kathleen’s kindness.
Historical Note: April 4, 1973: The World Trade Center officially opens in New York City with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
I suddenly feel I WAS so ill, now that I am really on the Valium I do feel much better. It is showing me how I could feel, sort of “training” my behaviour. I’m not stoned on it, just subtly altered. It makes me realize I never relax, I’m always a nervous wreck. Had forgotten what it means to feel just ‘plain.’
Trying to think of when I last felt good, and I got as far back as — before my first period! It makes me think that ever since sex came into my life, at age 14, some kind of madness has been upon me.
Georgy was supposed to come by and loan me his camera, and bring me prints of the new photos we took. He never showed. I called my service, there was no message. I went out and called him twice more, at ten and at midnight. Part of me kept starting to have the old temper-tantrum, but it didn’t shoot through my nerves. The Valium stopped me from going off, seems to bring in an entirely new point of view. To wit — it is of no importance whatsoever if I ever see Georgy again! What a shocker.
Somehow I never saw his contempt before, not so clearly as now. Only yesterday to realize that he might despise me would have thrown me into terror. Today it just seems HE is sick. And I’m the one who always plays the mess, the neurotic wreck, the emotional holocaust.
So now I only want to get the last of my things he has, and the pictures he took that night. Obviously he won’t be lending me his camera, maybe he’s afraid the impoverished slave will hock it. She should.
Told Rodney about the manuscript – when I said I was calling it “The Flame” he told me there was a book by an Italian, Gabriele d’Annunzio, with the same title! But that he was a Fascist and decadent. Sounds like I would love it… it seems fire and fascism would be aligned, both Martial, of Mars, war-godliness. Atomic explosions, industrial holocausts, massive forges, instruments of destruction.
Must get to library on Saturday, read more psychology, D’Annunzio’s “The Flame.” Also “The Psychoanalysis of Fire” by Bachelard, Rodney wrote it down. Pyromania as a schizophrenic symptom. Was my dream a form of psychotic break?
Saturday April 14th
Gustavo is a beautiful and wise man. Told me in the morning he is not really a film director but a professional man-about-town. In short, a gigolo.
The Dionysis is where they go to meet rich women who are looking for paid lovers. Just floored… I had wondered if the dames were all some type of grand-dame hooker! But they’re doing the buying. I hope I have enough money to pay for sex when I’m that age.
Gabriel is in Southampton this weekend with his lady of the moment. Their ambition is to be set up for the summer in the Hamptons, where they can meet the whole slew of rich bitches. Gustavo told me he could love me. Of course he cannot gigolo me, I am poor.
Monday, April 16th
How do I have the nerve to go on… beginning with Saturday night last, the 14th… woke up at 11 PM from a nap with Gustavo. All day in bed with him, when I should have been… ALAS!!!
….Around 6 AM (Sunday morning) we got home, got in bed and I was just going to sleep when I heard the fire engines outside. I started shaking and crying, thinking about the 10th Street debacle. I was thinking that had been enough to make anyone go insane. Thought about Georgy and his cruelty, asking myself aloud, “WHY? WHY?” Gustavo slept through it all. I almost got dressed and ran outside to see where the fire was, it seemed it was on my street… But I told myself I was just crazy, why would I want to see the fire like some tourist of tragedy. Didn’t let myself get up, took an off-schedule Valium and passed out.
Woke up at noon Sunday… Gustavo was dressing for a lunch with one of his ladies.
I walked him outside and saw fire-engines still all over the block. It was Kathleen’s building – totally destroyed!
She was standing in the street with her confreres/dykes and stared at me like a zombie. She flinched when she saw Gustavo. She had just gotten there, she had been sleeping at Lee’s apartment. The police had just busted her for having grass in the apartment, a huge bag of it from her trip to Texas! Yes she was in hysterics but the sisterhood was there for her.
No-one is allowed into the building because the fire worked on the stairwell and it collapsed. Trash in the air-shaft had ignited, and in a chimney-effect, the top floors went first, and the roof was completely gone. Thank god we were on the fifth and not the sixth, from the street you could see there were barely walls. Firemen were inside still wetting down everything.
Gustavo melted away and I called Georgy who ran over. We could not believe my luck. He took me back to the apartment to get dressed, I had been running up and down the block in my bathrobe without realizing it.
Friday April 27th
Got to work today against all probability after last night’s events.
Carla and I were working away happily on a soup when Gustavo dropped by. He had a very serious air, and insisted we come uptown to his apartment where he promised us a dinner “Italian style.” He was strangely dramatic. Carla didn’t want to go. But when he said, “I need you,” I convinced her to go with me.
Imagining some chic bachelor pad where he entertains his high-society dames, I was shocked and embarrassed to see a filthy studio apartment. One room he shares with Gabriel, stacked with dirty clothes and take-out food containers. There was no furniture, nowhere to sit but one rickety wooden chair. He went to the kitchenette and started opening a CAN OF SPAGHETTI for us! How Italian.
First list of priorities: Most Important: finish the story of The Flame, make it into a novella, something publishable.
Secondly, I should try not to go into intellectual swivets, but fixate more on my few material tasks – go to the job, make the money, save to go to Paris, eat properly, fix up the apartment, go off tranquilizers, get more organized, stop drinking, spend evenings at home writing and working on projects.
If only I COULD do these few things, and not concern myself with the metaphysical significance of whether I should be alive at all to accomplish any of these “pathetic little” tasks.
I phoned Alexander with the new development, or should I say the new degeneration. He cranked at me when I said I was going off Valium. I hung up on him, then wrote a letter explaining all my reasons for so doing. I concede the drug does make me feel better, but that is an illusion. For example, what kind of a writer would I be, if I refused to feel the full depth of this loss? I should get out of therapy, I don’t want to take drugs, I don’t want to explain myself any longer to this old man. I don’t even care if I am insane. I must see What I Will See.
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