One of the students gave me an envelope with my name on it, and when I peeked inside, there was a thank you note and what I thought was a $20 bill. Embarrassed, I said, “I can’t take this.” “We are Cubans,” one said, “and we will be insulted if you don’t take our gift.”
China is so affectionate toward me that I can hardly believe it. When Sean called, I asked him about the dogs at his mother’s, Rusty and Tina, and he said he assumed they were dead because they’re no longer at his mother’s house, but she’s never mentioned them and Sean never asked her about them. That’s so typical of Sean.
Time will tell, but even I – a friend of the law of gravity, probably one of the few Americans who rooted for the Dow to fall – am shocked by the swiftness of the crash . . . It’s unclear exactly where we’re headed, but one thing seems certain, and that’s that the mood of the nation and the world has changed.
When I asked Sean why he hadn’t had any contact with me for five years, he said that his lover Doug was extremely jealous of me because Sean had been seeing us both at the same time. Sean was calling from the Jupiter Holiday Inn, where he was attending a conference of software users for his firm. He said it was his 23rd birthday.
This morning Teresa spoke to Eric, and I could hear them having a fight about his not calling over the weekend. Eric called her back just a minute after Teresa had left for work, and I ran out to the street to find her. When I said he was on the phone, she said, “Tell him to go to hell.”
She was weepy and nervous. Part of it, she said, was that she’s so pregnant, and part of it was that she was leaving MacDowell, where she’s an artist, for New York, where her role is wife and mother-to-be. I stayed with her for the two hours before she left, providing what comfort and assistance I could. “You’re a sweet guy, you know that?” she told me. “Just a nasty rumor,” I said.
After nearly two weeks here, I really feel a part of the MacDowell community. Last night’s dinner and tonight’s were both enjoyable; I’ve heard a lot of interesting talk, particularly from the visual artists. It’s interesting to get the perspective of people from San Francisco and Chicago.
As I walk to my studio, I pass a tree with one group of leaves that have already turned russet and golden; I gathered some leaves and plan to mail them to friends in the city as a harbinger of autumn. I looked at the plaques (“tombstones”) on my studio today and saw that my immediate predecessors there were Glenda Adams and June Jordan. Yoko Ono stayed there in May 1971.
We followed the crowds out of the park, up Central Park West and across 86th Street. Ronna seemed annoyed with me because when I said, “I’ll see you before I leave for MacDowell,” she said, “Maybe.” Probably she does have reason to be angry with me; I’m always leaving her.
He was in a car accident and got AIDS from a blood donor, a gay man who didn’t know he was infected. In turn, he infected his girlfriend, who now hates him—a feeling he can understand, he said. What he most wanted was to meet a heterosexual woman with AIDS who would hold him in her arms.