Long-time readers know what these are. For the benefit of new readers, [I have new readers! Thank you, WordPress migration.] this is a storage bin filled with journals from when I first moved to New York as a young, scared, lonely boy. There are hundreds and hundreds of single-spaced typewritten pages and many books filled with shaky, unsure handwriting. I had completely forgotten about them for many years but they resurfaced not long ago. I occasionally crack one open and post an entry. I offer these without edits and with the caveat that I was an emotionally immature, crude and not very nice person. Especially to women. But I’ve since learned a thing or two and I have forgiven my trespasses. I hope you do the same. I am in a constant struggle with whether or not I should destroy these. I don’t want any of the ladies in my life to read them.
When we last saw our hero, he was in the throes of a crisis of his own making (as they almost always were). An extraordinary woman he was seeing, Bonnie, had given him his walking papers. He had spouted off at length about how the work of avant garde artist John Cage was dull, unimportant, lacking structure and, worst of all, pretentious. Unbeknownst to him at the time, Bonnie, an older sophisticated architect, wrote her thesis at Yale on the career of John Cage.
August 30, 1992
In an effort to better educate myself and repair the damage I wrought with Bonnie, I invited her to a concert of John Cage’s work at MoMA. Bonnie asked if I was paying penance and I said, of course I was, so she agreed to go. The concert was just awful. Honestly, it only confirmed my suspicions but I’ll never admit that to Bonnie. I still want to sleep with her.
They had a lot of nerve calling it a concert. It had very little to do with music. The opening and closing numbers used traditional instruments—violin, viola, flute and a few others. They would each take a turn playing a long, sustained note. They’d occasionally overlap for texture but it was little more than a drone. The middle piece was three guys standing in front of a microphone crumbling and then un-crumbling pieces of newspaper and then slowly ripping them into long strips. This was accompanied by a man tapping a plastic plate, a woman pouring water and someone tapping two plastic tubes together. We heard some people in the back laughing, so I know I’m not alone in my mystification. There was a beautiful Steinway grand piano on stage but the only sound that came out of it was some guy occasionally plucking a string or slapping the wood. I listened with all sincerity but all I heard was someone ripping newspaper and beating up some poor piano. It didn’t mean anything to me. At the conclusion, the audience erupted with wild applause. I don’t get it. But I think I might be back in her good graces, so that’s good news. (Note: It didn’t work. Things were never the same again.)
I just got off the phone with Bonnie. Apparently, it’s not enough that her business is failing and she’s teetering on bankruptcy and might lose that spectacular apartment. She said, “Mark, I had blood coming out of my rectum. I thought it was just a simple hemorrhoid but I went to a doctor and he’s sending me to have tests done.” She’s at Cornell Medical Center as I type this. I told her I’d accompany her back home but I’m being spared that horror, thank heavens. I feel awful for her but it’s disgusting to hear about it in such graphic detail. I’m completely turned off. She said I could stop by later today but I’m wondering if she’ll be too out of it to receive guests.
Bonnie is sick. Joan only wants me to look at an apartment in Chelsea that I can’t afford. Klinger is in Miami. Colleen wants to see me, but I think she’s getting the wrong ideas. Cindy is in Arizona. I haven’t heard from Jennifer. I can only see Laura if I pay for everything and I’m broke. That leaves a city full of strangers. And my cats.
Bonnie got back from the hospital late last night and sounded awful so I didn’t visit. She’s going to be okay, thank God. Hemorrhoids. What the fuck is a hemorrhoid, anyway? Remind me to look it up later. Her doctor thought it might be colon cancer. They knocked her out with nitrous oxide, lucky duck. I’ll bet they didn’t have go to the Key Foods and empty all the Reddi-wip canisters, like I have to. I’m happy she’s okay but all I can picture is blood flowing out of her ass. I don’t think I can sleep with her again. Maybe if she goes down on me I’ll be okay. We’ll see.
Quite the charmer, wasn’t I? I’ve created a new category for my other journal entries, but THIS ONE is the best of the bunch so far. It’s amazing how you walk around thinking nothing is happening when the truth is you’re having the time of your life.
Another big blankey of snow this week. No surprise there. On Tuesday, I heard Irish author Roddy Doyle read from his new novel (and got a signed first edition, OF COURSE). He said the Irish winter he left behind was typically cold, wet and gray. He’s absolutely thrilled with the snow. Wait until he tries to fly out. See how much he likes it then. Here are some shots of Central Park. See…it ain’t all bad.