For me, sexual intimacy is a refuge from the real world. After knowing each other 15 years, and being lovers since 1972 – despite the long gaps – Ronna and I are attuned to each other. Does that mean we love each other, or do married couples who hate each other also have fantastic sex because they know each other so well?
Alice and Peter “broke up” again, though it would be more correct to say they had a fight. All of a sudden she’s started to wonder why “everyone” is getting married and she’s not. Peter’s done very well in meeting her expectations and demands, but he’s adamant about not wanting another marriage.
She invited me to stay over, but I’m not sure I should. I don’t want Ronna to get too emotionally involved with me just as I’m about to return to Florida. I love her, but I also know that my gayness precludes a long-term commitment to a woman – even Ronna. If I’m to remain a friend to Ronna, I can’t let her waste her time and energy on me.
I went back to Ronna’s, ostensibly for tea. Once settled in the kitchen, however, she gave me a hug and kiss, and I responded, and as we have so many times before, we ended up all over one another. I suggested we move from the kitchen, where we were vertical, to the bedroom, where we got horizontal.
Waiting for the elevator at Baruch this morning, I heard two Chinese kids talking about their teacher: “He’s old, you know, really old – but he looks young.” “Yeah, I know. He’s about 30 – but he looks much younger. ” Give me a break!
At Amsterdam Pizza, a man asked if he could sit down at my table, and I said, “Sure.” His hands and face had the purplish lesions that are the mark of Kaposi’s sarcoma. I tried not to stare at them or at the man, but I kept thinking about how the fear of AIDS has turned society hysterical. When Houston mayoral candidate Louie Welch said that his plan to get rid of AIDS was to “shoot the queers,” he spoke for many Americans.
At dinner at the Grand Canyon, Dad asked me why I was staring at him. “You’re grayer,” I said, not telling him that he reminded me a little of Dustin Hoffman in Death of a Salesman. “I got old,” Dad said. “At my next birthday – I can hardly believe it – I’ll be 69 years old.” Dad remarked that the block we were on had been his territory when he worked for that private investigating firm while he was still in high school.
I was awakened at about 6 AM by a loud rumble, and for a second or two, the room seemed to shake. The lighting fixture was swinging back and forth. “An earthquake,” I thought – and then said to myself, “Don’t be silly. It must be an explosion or something.” I forgot about it until our break at Columbia, when Dipti said, “Did you feel that earthquake this morning?”
At 14th Street, a guy grabbed at a woman’s neck; he quickly ran away as the doors closed. What he’d done was snatch three gold chains. The woman, a young West Indian, said she’d just bought the chains and still had the receipt for them. “I never usually sit next to the door,” she told me. As we made our way into Brooklyn, she kept saying “I just can’t believe it.”
Alice says she may stop reading the Times because the prices on condos and co-ops depress her too much. Sometimes I think I’ve seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by real estate.