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

Mom wanted to see the Marathon, so we went to what I figured would be the best place to watch it: Bedford-Stuyvesant, by Nostrand Avenue and DeKalb. We saw Grete Waitz, the first woman in the pack (she eventually won), and hundreds of other runners making their way past us. It made me dizzy to watch them.

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

My students’ papers are filled with tales of crime, violence, family troubles and alcoholism, often expressed in street language. It’s hard for them to come to class and do work when they’ve got so many serious problems at home. One girl is going to the hospital to have her baby; a guy got cut in a street fight; another student has to take care of four kids, her own and her sister’s.

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

We walked through Riverside Park, admiring the monarch butterflies and house sparrows. Both of us know that our sexual relationship is temporary, and we each feel guilty about “using” the other one. Ronna said someday she’ll “marry a boring man and have babies,” but she’s sure we’ll always be friends. Back at the apartment, we were seized by the usual passion.

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

At Noodles on 72nd and Amsterdam, Ronna seemed a little weird, and when we started dinner, she told me she’d had a date on Thursday with a guy in publishing. She said she wanted to “clarify” things, but I wasn’t sure what she meant. I told her it didn’t bother me at all that she would see other guys and I encouraged her to do so.

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

We made love, and it was so good that I think I’m crazy to leave her. That makes it sound like it’s sex, but it’s afterwards that counts: She told me that these past three months she’s been on a high. I guess I’ve been taking her for granted, but now I see that there’s never been anyone I cared for as much as I do Ronna.

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

I took the 96th Street bus to see her, and we did laundry and brought in Sichuan food and had a good talk. Then, in her bedroom, we fooled around. It was great but also sad because I may not see her for a long time. After all these years, I still love Ronna and am just as attracted to her as when we started dating back in college.

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

Although he feels Ronna isn’t his ideal, Jordan’s had worse relationships with women in the last year and now is ready to settle down with her. But she says our relationship over the past few months has convinced her that she should never marry Jordan because he never made her feel as good as I have.

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