We made tentative plans for Saturday night. He said I should call him Saturday afternoon after he gets back from his facial. Can you see me with a guy who gets facials? I don’t even know any women who get facials! And then I feel like a creep for being so close-minded and wonder if I’m not a little homophobic myself.
In my P.O. box, I found a note from Marvin, who said that he’s tried to call me several times without success, and that if I wanted to get together, I should call him. Frankly, I’m shocked: I was sure he had no interest in me.
It was 20 years ago, also on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1966, that I had my first appointment with a psychiatrist. Boy, was that a fucked-up 15-year-old who walked into Dr. Lipton’s office. I remember some of the questions he asked me: “Do you smoke pot?” (when I said no, he asked if I was socially retarded) and “Do you like girls?”
I spotted Marvin in the parking lot of Dalt’s, a restaurant on Federal Highway off Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. He’s nice-looking enough, but definitely not my type, and I could tell right way that I wasn’t his. But I had a good time, if only because it was such a change to be out on a date on Saturday night.
In Miami at 1:30 PM, I caught the end of a talk by Belva Plain, the Jewish-saga writer who reminds me of my great-aunts; stayed for the Jay McInerney/Tama Janowitz reading; and then went to hear Kathy Acker and John Waters. The Book Fair made me feel better about myself as a writer.
Abby Rubenfeld called the impact of the Hardwick case “devastating,” but she put it in perspective and outlined a possible legal challenge to Florida’s sodomy law. The two law students sitting next to me admitted they were afraid to come because people would think they were gay; they didn’t want to get in the TV camera’s range. Well, at least they attended.
The rabbi told the story of a 19-year-old poet destined for greatness who every winter would walk on a certain pond until one year the ice cracked and he drowned. “The ice didn’t know a great poet was walking on it,” the rabbi said. “You see, the ice never knows. . . nature is completely unaware of us.”
There’s a very pretty girl – about 22, I guess – who lives here. Last night her mother said, “My daughter thinks you’re very handsome.” “Has she seen an optometrist lately?” was my lame reply, but when I spoke to Delia today as she was sunning herself in front of their townhouse in a red bikini, I felt excited. I mean, I’m gay, but I’m not that gay.
Superstitiously, I would always imagine every conceivable disaster before an event, and I’d drive myself crazy, hoping that would take away any real disaster. How many times in my life have I approached a situation that made me anxious and got so crazy beforehand that reality could never have been so bad?
Marshall might not have all the answers, but he’s intelligent and has experienced a lot, including several years in a monastery and Haight-Ashbury in the Summer of Love 19 years ago. There are times when I like having the company of my family.