But the best news came from George. He wants to use the $1500 CCLM grant to fund a special issue of X, A Journal of the Arts devoted entirely to a collection of my work, a 40-page chapbook of my stories.
As if to reassure me, Ronna said, “I’m not jealous, you know, of the young men who partake of your body while I’m typing away at my thesis.” I just smiled.
I have this terrible fear of hurting Ronna. It scares me, her feelings for me. I do love her, but this afternoon, I was in Washington Square Park, reliving 1969, and looking at boys.
The reading at the National Arts Club was a few hours ago, and it went very well. Many friends were there. I know I was the best of the three readers; Dick said that I have “stage presence,” and I suppose I’m a ham, though a nervous one.
I chatted a lot with Gretchen Wyler, Stephanie Mills and Linda Blair, who is breathtakingly gorgeous, as well as a cute boy in a sailor suit who looked like a 20-year-old Tadzio. A drunken man mistook me for a woman named Rachel.
Caaron wrote: What’s new? With me? First of all I goddam miss you and I want to hang out with you. . . Please visit me. You would like the change. I don’t care if you’re mad at me. I still love you. So there.
I was cursing and bemoaning my bad luck and lost hubcap when a very pretty black woman passed by and said kindly, “You driving? You don’t look old enough, honey. . .” Mm, it was love at first sight.
Saul Bellow was being besieged by fans and photographers. Sitting on the couch, he was nattily dressed in a tan suit, blue Oxford shirt, and navy bow tie. Alice and I forced our way through the crowd and paid our respects.
We made love on the floor. It was – words will make it sound banal – I was going to write “ardent and playful,” but that sounds awfully dumb. Somewhere near the end of it, Ronna said, “I’m not as young as I used to be,” and I laughed.
Sleeping with students is as unethical as doctors sleeping with patients. So I’ll ignore Andrew, who leaves the buttons on his flannel shirt open so I can see the thin line of soft blond hair on his chest when he comes up to talk to me after class.