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A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Late March, 1984

I had lunch at Pumperniks next to a gay guy from New York and his Yiddish-accented grandma, who turned to me and said, “Did you ever?” when her grandson fought her attempts to pay the check. It’s spring break, and college students are on the Fort Lauderdale strip, frying their bodies and guzzling beer.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Mid-March, 1984

I’m continually amazed at the racist comments I hear from so-called enlightened people. Last night another all-white jury acquitted another white policeman of killing another black teenager, and there were disturbances in Miami. Can’t white people understand the frustrations at the constant injustices?

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Early March, 1984

On stage, Robbie was transformed from the shy, skinny blond kid the three creeps in that class’s back row called “the faggot” into a handsome leading man with a great flair for physical comedy and a terrific singing voice. The high school girls to my left thought he was “incredibly cute,” and I did, too. But way beyond that was my admiration for the kid’s talent, determination, and his dreams.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Late February, 1984

His editors didn’t like the serious portraits of me, so he brought one of those arrows which go around one’s head, the kind Steve Martin made famous, and we took an hour’s worth of photos with my head being pierced by an arrow. At least I didn’t have to dress like Michael Jackson or Boy George. All in a day’s work for a budding celebrity.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Mid-February, 1984

Alice decided that she’s going to ask him to move out and go back to his apartment, which he’s sublet all these years. He’s going to be hurt and angry when she tells him, and Alice is going to go through a hard time, too. Six years of living together is a long time, and so much of her life has been wrapped up in his.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Early February, 1984

“Can I speak to your beautiful sister?” I asked Billy when I called. To me, Ronna will always be beautiful; she’s turned into quite a woman. The Stray Cats are at Sunrise Musical Theater tonight, and I thought about their song “(She’s) Sexy and 17”: I knew Ronna when she was both. (She still is sexy to me.)

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Late December, 1983

In Surfside, I walked over to Danny’s for an early dinner. Who should sit down next to me at the counter but Isaac Bashevis Singer and his wife Alma. He looked very frail, and one of his shirt buttons was undone. I couldn’t figure out what to say to him and finally decided to let the man eat his matzo ball soup in peace.

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