She said I should be very pleased about getting the grant because NYSCA approved only 18 of 44 applicants. The grant amount is $3750, to be distributed at the middle and end of the residency period. . . Just when I was once again telling myself to give up on my writing career, I get word I shouldn’t.
Although he hated the quiet of Park Slope when he first moved there, Pete adjusted and found he enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere. His move symbolized a change in his life – because the East Village was where he came of age as a writer and performance artist and where he was part of that exciting scene in the late ’70s to mid-’80s. Now the downtown “scene” is all but gone.
He’s now certain the Monday evening incident with the white van was a deliberate attempt to terrify him. On Tuesday, he went to two police precinct houses, where detectives refused to even write down his story “because no crime has been committed.” Later that day, he saw a black man approach him, smiling and carrying a billy club – a sign Josh takes as a message that they know he went to the police.
The main thrust of the meeting was that we will each get personalized fundraising letters we can use for appeals to our friends, and that we’d all try to get ten other sponsors. Of course, I don’t know many wealthy people, and I certainly don’t know the names the other committee members tossed around: Jackie Onassis, Liz Taylor, Stephen Sondheim, Meryl Streep, Bill Blass, Shelley Winters, Ed Koch, etc.
After grocery shoppping, I took the subway to Park Slope to help Justin and Larry move. From staying in his room, I knew that Justin was a pack rat, but it seemed as if he had as many possessions as your average family of five. Luckily, the new place is only two blocks down President Street. Unluckily, Justin’s old bedroom is four flights up and the new apartment is on the third floor.
Even more paranoid was his suspicion of a Hispanic kid waiting outside the men’s room. It would have been impossible for this kid to know we’d go to the men’s room after the movie, I said. Josh got upset, and he said it could have been done with various people, hand signals, and walkie-talkies. It’s hard to tell when a friend is slipping over the line from saying something implausible to saying something psychotic.
The second video on HIV had to be substituted for the first after New York City community groups objected that it didn’t stress abstinence enough. Again and again, we see that public health measures are inextricably tied up with politics. Learning how Haitians got categorized as an AIDS risk group teaches that racism and politics triumph over science and common sense.
I just spoke to Anson, who liked the material I sent him but thought it was so distinctive that if I write for his revue, he wanted me to be a performer – “an actor,” he said – in the show. How very odd. They’re looking toward an August tryout night, with performances expected in September at Primary Stages.
I had lunch with Bernadette, a cute exercise physiologist from Bay Ridge, and then we picked up $5 worth of sex ed reprints at the copy center before heading back to class, where we watched a tape of fifth graders having a lesson on the changes in the male body during puberty.
Josh told the FBI agent everything, explaining that he knew it sounded paranoid and crazy, but that he wanted to have things on record in case something happened to him. The agent wrote down what Josh told him and seemed especially interested in Straniere’s boast that he had a cache of weapons in his apartment.