She was in her flannel bathrobe, the one that makes her look like a fairy-tale princess. It was chilly when we first got into bed, but we warmed up quickly. I can still feel her arms around me, her hands massaging my back. I can definitely smell her on my fingers. Vaginas are such sweet places. . . We didn’t get out of bed till this afternoon.
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.
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.
I feel old. But yesterday at the PEN reception at the Salmagundi Club, someone told me I was young for a writer and pointed out that the average age of the people around us, from Norman Mailer on down, was about 55, and I was easily the youngest person in the room.
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.
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.
I’m so fucked up. I don’t know what I want out of life. I don’t know where I want to live or what I want to do. This morning I did an interview with a Baltimore radio station. My heart wasn’t in it, but I tried as best I could to be funny; after all, the show must go on.
Teresa called from Fire Island, where she ended up calling the police to try to force a defiant Carol out of the house. I was disturbed to hear that things had gotten so out of hand. The police couldn’t talk Carol into leaving, so the war between the women just escalated.
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.
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.