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A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Mid-February, 1985

What really made me feel good today was an acceptance of the story I wrote just two weeks ago. Telescope, an influential and intelligent little magazine, wants “My Basic Problem” for their “male feminism” issue! And they sent me a lovely acceptance letter with a contract specifying a $6-per-page payment.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Early February, 1985

As Amira uses profanity freely in the best of times, she was pretty heavy with the four-letter words, which enraged Teresa, and a few blows were exchanged. After Teresa hit Amira, Amira pulled Teresa’s arm “out of the socket” and Teresa said she was in great pain. Half a dozen police cars lined up on the street as 18 – count ’em – NYPD officers came up to the apartment.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Late January, 1985

I called Amira last night to find out how she was doing in Teresa’s apartment, and the answer was Not Too Good. She was in bed with a bad cold, for one thing. For another, she had been fired on Friday. But what really upset Amira was a phone call from Teresa, who’s planning on coming home in two weeks. Amira said Teresa is again “recklessly” moving, and in the process, hurting other people.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Mid-January, 1985

It’s killing me to leave New York and Ronna and Teresa’s apartment and the life I have here. . . In the morning, Ronna and I got ready and took the IRT to work. Saying goodbye in the subway at 66th Street during rush hour isn’t very romantic, and I had a hard time saying goodbye to Ronna. Shitfuck.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Early January, 1985

New Year’s Eve was memorable in a lot of ways. With several vodkas under her belt, Teresa was in a festive mood when our guests began to arrive. We had a sumptuous buffet: turkey, lots of side dishes that everyone brought, and plenty of drinks. Amira managed to persuade me to dance with her. Even Gary came just before midnight, when we all kissed and congratulated one another.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Late December, 1984

Despite her cold, Ronna wanted to go with me to Robin’s play. Whining and Dining, a “lesbian re-telling of the Job story,” had great energy. Robin essentially played herself, a working-class Jewish waitress from Canarsie who’s unaffected, romantic and idealistic, a lover of the Knicks and Grossinger’s food. I thought she was amazing.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Mid-December, 1984

Justin was extremely busy when I arrived, explaining to a writer for The Laugh Factory magazine that no, he could not make up an interview with Eddie Murphy and write replies that would be “what Eddie would have said if I could have asked him the question.” The office has been hectic since Beverly Hills Cop opened as the smash hit of the year, but Justin got a 20% raise and a bonus of $2500.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Early December, 1984

On Saturday evening was Matthew’s premiere. Teresa and I met Emily and Sue at Carnegie Recital Hall, chatted with them and Matt and his girlfriend Elizabeth for a while, and then went upstairs for the concert. Matt’s “Starry Night” was wonderful . . . I don’t know what the Times will say, but I think he is a brilliant composer.

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Late November, 1984

Thanksgiving in Canarsie was wonderful. It was the night before Thanksgiving a dozen years ago when Ronna and I had our first date (Chloe in the Afternoon at the Midwood Theatre and then to the Foursome Diner for a bite; Ronna had the sniffles and wore a blue turtleneck). Who would have imagined we’d still be this close?

A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Mid-November, 1984

Although Scott is making more money than he ever dreamed of, he’s spending $1700 a month on two apartments, Danielle’s (his old place when they were together) and this sublet, and he’s supporting three therapists: their separate ones and the marriage counselor. “I wish I were 19 years old again and had no problems,” he said.

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