Maybe I’m too insensitive and hard-edged, but I learned early on here in Brooklyn that if I was ever going to make it, I couldn’t be any “softer” than I could help being. Of course, Justin’s from Connecticut, which is why he only mildly complains about a driver cutting in front of him on West Street while I yell out, “You bastid! Doncha know how to drive?!”
I’m scared about moving to Park Slope – imagine me living in Brooklyn again after all these years – but I’m also excited. Let’s put it this way: it has possibilities. Even a wary Teresa allowed as how it couldn’t do me much harm. She realizes, as her mother said, that our inertia feeds off each other, and to get moving, we have to separate.
Tonight Alice said she couldn’t understand how I could be happy if I didn’t have a clear goal. “I’m sure you’d rather be settled and on your way up to some goal,” she said, and I responded by saying, “No, that’s exactly what I don’t want. I like living in different places and doing different things.”
When a famous movie and TV star and friend of the President and his wife gets AIDS, it’s top-of-the-broadcast news. I hope it will help the ordinary people who are dying of the disease. It’s terrifying how many people I know, or know about, who have contracted AIDS or have already died.
It seems to me that the healthiest response to the question of a writer’s eventual renown came today from Pete Cherches over lunch at Dubrow’s Cafeteria: “I don’t care if I’m famous after I’m dead. I’d rather be famous now and forgotten when I’m dead.”
A sad sight on this July 4th were the beggars on every corner of Broadway. It kills me that some people have so little. . . I keep hoping for the end of this era of mindless consumerism, monstrous greed, unthinking “patriotism” (Rambo and shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”), and callousness toward the poor and unfortunate.
The parade got off to a rousing start with the Gay Apple Corps marching band, though the banner that expressed the theme – “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” – could be read in two ways. As the AIDS patients marched behind a banner, “Fighting For Our Lives,” the woman next to me said, “That gives me a lump in my throat.”
A guy and his girlfriend were standing in front of me arguing. All of a sudden he erupted in rage. “There’s two broken windows on this train!” he shouted, then put his fist through the window in front of me. “Now there’s three!” A fat man with an Irish brogue pointed across the platform, saying there was a dead man there. Four cops were standing over a white-sheeted body.
I value Justin’s friendship, and he was so sweet when he took me out to dinner. I just wish he weren’t so crazy about me that – oh, well. Several times he hugged me or started making moves, like talking about giving me a back rub, and I froze up. It’s my own fault for answering the door without putting on a shirt first. . . I purposely walked him to the station so that we wouldn’t have to say goodbye in private.
I’m feeling more and more that he’s falling in love with me. I hope I’m wrong, but there are vibrations. He’s never called me so often before. Unfortunately, I can’t reciprocate if he does love me. I’ve never found myself in this position before, and I hope I can handle it okay. Probably he’s stable enough and cool enough not to let it get out of hand.