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This is basically a writing diary where I write all kinds of stuff that will be immensely boring to anyone who stumbles across it.

Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly. ---- Harry Lime

Why I Broke Up With D.H. Lawrence

Memorial Day weekend! Traditionally the beginning of summer no matter how hard the calendar tries to argue differently.

Yesterday I was out on the running trail by 10. In the garden weeding and watering by noon.

But I’m gonna have to be out a helluva lot earlier today since it’s forecast to hit 90° by 11.


In the long hot hours of the afternoon, I worked after a desultory fashion and watched an indifferent BBC miniseries about Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant called Life in Squares.

In my own 20s, I was obsessed with Bloomsbury! And also with the life of D.H. Lawrence who was more-or-less their contemporary and certainly their thematic counterpoint.

Note that I was obsessed with the Bloomsbury lives. Apart from John Maynard Keynes, I had and have very little interest in their actual cultural contributions. I understand what Virginia Woolf is doing with language, but I always find it a major chore to read her.

I’d majored in economics as an undergraduate, though, and I’d always been impressed that Keynes was the only economist to predict the effects that reparations would have on the Weimar Republic. In retrospect, such a no-brainer!

Who knew that Keynes was such a Bohemian? And that like a seahorse, he could change his sexual orientation in midlife?


The best Bloomsbury book ever written is Michael Holroyd’s magnificent three-volume biography of Lytton Strachey. One of the reasons I was drawn to it, of course, was that Lytton Strachey was a dead ringer for Reed __________, one of the fourposts in the romantic parallelogram that dominated my early 20s.

Strachey was a weird presence whose chief social accomplishment seemed to be the growth of an incredibly ugly, reddish-tinged beard that made him look like one of the eminent Victorians whose lives he chronicled. In 1916, he insulted a young painter named Dora Carrington at a house party; she decided to get her revenge on him by sneaking into his bedroom early the next morning and cutting off his beard while he slept.

But Strachey woke up while she was straddling him and stared at her, and thereafter Carrington – she was always known by her surname – was in thrall. Despite the fact that Strachey was exclusinvely homosexual in his gender preferences.

One of those moments of soul transfer? (They do exist.)


The lives of the members of the Bloomsbury circle were filled with moments like these, and it seemed to me, that this was the right way to live, surrounded by friends who were cosmic littermates with whom one tussled and argued and had sex and created art. I spent my 20s and the first part of my 30s trying to put together an equivalent group of friends in my own life, but alas! it was impossible. So eventually I gave up and got married.


The second great biography that had a huge impact on me was Edward Nehls’ composite biography of D.H. Lawrence.

D.H. Lawrence was one of my very favorite writers growing up, but I had to break up with him once I realized that not only was he a fascist and a racist, but that he actually hated women and that try as I might, I was never gonna have an orgasm from penile penetration alone. Never! I mean, I don’t doubt that there are women who have orgasms from penile penetration, but I am not one of them. So, what was it gonna be? A lifetime of lying, “Yes, yes, the earth moved, the colored lights came on?” or breaking up with D.H. Lawrence?

Easy choice!

Nehls’ biography was pretty extraordinary in that except for footnotes and chapter introductions in tiny print, he did not write a single word of it. Instead, he culled impressions of Lawrence from the enormous number of extant letters, diary entries, semi-autobiographical fictitious accounts etc. and edited this source material into a coherent narrative. Lawrence apparently was a man of singular charisma; love him or hate him, he always made an impression.

This collage technique is beloved of the so-called “new journalists” who poured into the cultural scene at the end of the 1960s (for an excellent example, see Jean Stein’s Edie: An American Biography), so much so that I’ve always wondered whether Tom Wolfe came across Nehls’ Lawrence biography as an undergraduate.

Since hardly anybody writes letters or keeps diaries anymore, it’s going to be difficult to write biographies in the future. I mean, can you imagine a bio of President Spanky composed entirely of #therealdonaldtrump tweets?

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The Naked Man in the Dumpster

Dreamed that L’s house had been emptied of its furniture and, indeed, of its very geometry. These rooms were strewn along an L-shaped path, and there was an upstairs. In the middle of one of the upstairs rooms sat a large dumpster, and while I watched, a naked man slipped into the room and crawled into the dumpster through a hole in its base.

Homeless, I thought.

And the old familiar debate went through my mind: Do I report the guy because ewwwwww – disgusting, naked guy in the house? Or do I take pity upon him because desperate, homeless?

There was a lot more to the dream, too, consisting of my trotting around after L (who in the dream had been transformed into a hard-fisted, hard-drinking old motorcycle mama with tattoos) and trying to convince her that we needed to do something about the maintenance and upkeep of the house, which was very dilapidated, filled with sodden garbage and dead animals. But I can’t remember the details.


I was disturbed when I woke up.

Jung says when you dream about houses, you’re really dreaming about your own psyche.

I was under the impression that my own psyche was in relatively good shape, all things considered.

But apparently not.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.



The word “canvass” is derived from an ancient Greek word for cannabis – κάνναβις – which was the plant that provided the fibers from which the earliest sail-making fabrics were derived.

The porous weave of the fabric meant that it could be used as a sort of sieve, and so, the noun became a verb sometime in the 16th century. Shortly thereafter, it gained a dublicate “s” and took on its modern meeting: “to solicit votes.” Since there weren’t a whole lot of elections in the 16th century, that seems really odd to me.

I’d much prefer it if “canvass” were colorful slang left over from the 1849 California goldrush and related somehow to Levis.

But it ain’t.


Did my first round of canvassing for Jeff Beals yesterday. It was very hot; I didn’t realize how hot until I began to pass out while I was talking to a woman who lived in a palatial house on Circle Drive.

The woman had the most incredible blue eyes! She was a high school physics teacher, and she reminded me a great deal of Carol’s wife, Amy.

She was making a lot of good points, too. “I’m very familiar with all the candidates, and Jeff Beals is the one who appeals to me the most on a personal level. But I wonder at his ability to work and play well with others. The Hyde Park Democrats sent him an invitation to come and talk. And he never got back to us. Never even emailed a polite regret –“

“That was a real lapse in judgment, and I’ll make sure your feedback gets back to him,” I said, wondering whether my underwear was clean enough to withstand scrutiny when the EMTs came to cart me away to the hospital after I fainted on her front porch. Note to self: Buy new underwear for canvassing.

“I mean, Jeff seems to have hitched his wagon to the Joel Tyner star. Do you know Joel Tyner?”

“I do,” I said.

“What do you think of him?”

“I think he’s a showboater,” I said, which is true but one of those things that it’s probably impolitic to admit to when you’re endeavoring to be the public face of a more-or-less obscure candidate’s campaign.

I ended up being talked at by the woman for another 10 minutes before I realized it was up to me to end the conversation with a hearty, “Thanks for your interest!”

Impending heat stroke was making me fuzzy-wuzzy.


I’m going to go out canvassing two or three afternoons a week until the June 26th primary. Today, I need to put together a canvassing kit – a knapsack with several water bottles, phone batteries and high-glucose treats as well as room for campaign materials. And I need to get up to speed on the canvassing app we use to track our interactions with potential voters.

This is my social consciousness volunteer gig for the present moment.

I’ve stopped doing the ESL tutoring. I’d been doing ESL tutoring for six years, but Samir’s defection in February kinda broke my heart, and though I liked Antonio, my sole remaining tutee, a great deal, I was very bored with reading and vocabulary exercises cribbed from the This Old House website.

Plus I think Dutchess County’s Literacy Connections is a really lame organization. When I mentioned to Lois Lane that I felt frustrated by the intermediate English class I was teaching because I could never count on teaching the same students from week to week, Literacy Connections responded by assigning the class to another teacher! And Lois never even bothered to email me back when I wrote her about Samir.

I think Literacy Connections is another example of Weber’s theorum that organizations primarily exist to maintain their own existence. The mission is secondary. Literacy Connections is not interested in teaching anyone English; Literacy Connections is primarily interested in scamming enough $$$ to continue paying its CEO her fabulously inflated salary.


Else? I really must commit to generating 1,000 words a day on the Big Fiction Project. And to making some $$$$.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


The Only Constant Is Change

In Ithaca, giant cranes are busily rearranging the Commons. Part of a big urban renewal project. Down come the ancient storefronts that were state-of-the-art back in 1880-something. Up come the 16-story, mixed-use buildings that are state-of-the-art for 2018. Plus a spanking new hotel that is, B tells me, specifically designed for the needs of Chinese tourists.

“What?” I say. “Are the needs of Chinese tourists so dramatically different from the needs of other tourists?”

B shrugs and laughs. “All I can tell you is that they’re expecting Chinese tourists in droves. I went to a workshop sponsored by the Ithaca Tourism Board. They’re drooling! They’re rolling out the abacuses! They anticipate the Big Bucks.”

Changes, too, in the T-burg apartment. The walls of B’s living room are now covered with real live art, actual paintings by real live people who mostly live - or lived - in Scandinavia where other paintings they’ve done hang in provincial museums.

There is also a bright yellow mat in one corner of the room.

“Yoga!” I said. “You’re doing yoga now!”

“I’ve been doing yoga for years,” B said.

This, of course, is a complete and total lie.

If B is doing yoga now, it’s the girlfriend’s influence.

Why B will not cop to this, I do not know. But that’s B for you.

The old Mister Coffee in the kitchen had been replaced by an espresso machine.

I peeked into his bedroom. For five years, the room was just the ugliest, most utilitarian catchall imaginable, but that has changed, too. Someone has draped a bolt of pink silk over the dresser, arranged scented candles and a brass statuette of some Indian deity atop it. The girlfriend. B is an incredible lover, capable of inducing rapturous transports to the farthest reaches of orgasm and bliss, but eventually, you do have to open your eyes. And I guess she didn’t like what she saw.

RTT doesn’t like the girlfriend.

“She’s over here every single night,” he complained.

“Well,” I said gently. “They’re in love.”

“I don’t think it’s that. She comes over at 9 every night, and she leaves very early in the morning.”

“Well,” I said, “I know it’s difficult to envision one’s parents having sex –“

Ewwww!” said RTT. “Stop talking about that!”

“Robin,” I said. “You’re 23 years old. You have a job. Maybe it’s time for you to start thinking about getting your own place.”

“Well, that would be stupid! The winery” – where he works – “is just three miles away. I can bike there from here.”

I was just in Tburg to drop RTT off after the wedding.

I had the feeling my overnight stay had been the subject of heated negotiations, and for that, of course, I can hardly blame the girlfriend: I wouldn’t want to have hot sex in the bedroom right next door to the guestroom where my hot sex provider’s X-wife was sleeping either.

When the girlfriend herself had finally made an appearance around 10 the previous night, she was considerably less gracious than she’d been the first time I met her. Ah! Ownership. She was also considerably less attractive though still very skinny and trendily dressed.

Remember these feelings, I cautioned myself. You can use them for the chapter in which June interacts with Anais Nin.

But I made myself scarce anyway. Retired to the guestroom; read Stephen Bingham’s very interesting history of the Dakota. Edward Clark, the real estate developer behind the Dakota, made all his money off sewing machines. Sewing machines weren’t very popular when they were first introduced because sewing by hand was considered the quintessential female occupation and machines were considered masculine. It took a considerable amount of marketing ingenuity to sell sewing machines to the American public.

The girlfriend likes B more than B likes the girlfriend. That’s gonna develop into problems for her down the line.

B is only really dependable with women who don’t make themselves vulnerable to him.

I could only imagine the subtle ways he was torturing her with the fascinating details of my biography.


In the morning, I was careful not to leave the guestroom until the girlfriend was safely out the door. B and I sat out on his porch drinking espresso and smoking cigarettes. I smoke cigarettes when I’m visiting Tburg because RTT and B both smoke. I like smoking cigarettes. I only gave smoking up because it became too expensive since really I don’t care if I live to be 90.

“Does Sarolta know you smoke?” I asked.

“Oh, of course!” he said.

But somehow I doubted that as well.

We talked politics and cabbages and kings.

I left as soon as I was caffeinated enough to face the road.

I’m always slightly melancholy when I leave Tburg and Ithaca although not for the obvious reasons. It’s a very pleasant place where I was once very miserable; so in a sense, driving through it is like walking a Camino de Santiago where practically every corner is a memory tableau of some intense pain. But here I was, happy again! The same person who had once lived there but not the same person who had once lived there. It was a beautiful spring day: Daffodils and tulips had given way to wisteria and lilac; in a week, they'd be gone, and the peonies would be out. How ironic that the only constant in life is change.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


The Wedding

Here I am with my two handsome sons and my favorite gardening hat at the Nate and Krysten nuptials. The gardening hat cleans up nicely, doesn’t it? So do my boys.

Nate and Krysten’s wedding was fabulous. Beautiful, moving, fun – all good adjectives apply. I started sniffling the moment their golden retriever, wreathed in peonies, loped down the aisle – she was their flower girl! – and had ruined my mascara completely by the time they exchanged their vows: I promise to love the person you will become as much as I love the person you are now.

Krysten was a beautiful bride:

Max and I made up the minute I walked through the door; he acquitted his best man duties with grace, panache and aplomb:

More people should get married. And invite me to their weddings.


Here’s a wacky thing: Aaron (standing to Max’s right) was another one of Nate’s groomsmen, and I had it in my mind somehow that I’d never met Aaron before.

“So introduce me to Aaron,” I said to Max. “I’ve been hearing about him for years.”

Max began to laugh. “What are you talking about, Mom? Aaron practically lived on our couch in Monterey. Whenever his father got so pissed off at him that he’d kick Aaron out of the house!”

“He did?” I said doubtfully.

“And not only that, but you gave him all your serial killer books!”

“I did?”

That was serious. I'd liked my serial killer books.

“Aaron had a dog. Rupert. Remember? Rupert got sick, and you took Rupert to the vet –“

I’d taken in any number of Max and Robin’s pals over the years when they were on the outs with their parents. (I’d been a chronic runaway myself at that age, depending on the kindness of my friends’ parents.) The only one of those kids I can put a face on now, though, is Wells.

Unremembering Aaron to that degree, though, is just deeply, deeply strange. I mean, one expects to mislay random encounters here and there, that time when… [your forgettable unforgettable experience goes here]. I have a really bad memory; it’s one of the reasons why I’m such an obsessive diary-keeper.

But this unrembering felt as if some cosmic power had taken an eraser to my memories and selectively censored one relatively minor character in them.

The only other explanation was that the me who lived in a universe where I’d never met Aaron had suddenly been transported to a parallel universe whose Patrizia had met Aaron. What had happened to that other Patrizia? Where was she now?

A handsome young man with a trendy haircut approached me. “Patrizia!” he exclaimed and enveloped me in an enormous embrace. “You look fabulous.”


“I love you!” declared the handsome young man.

I smiled feebly and patted his arm.


I’d never met Tessa before either. She’d been the female sidekick in the RLS boy pack.

(RLS is a famous prep school in Pebble Beach. I had never actually planned to send Max to RLS: I’d yanked him out of the public school system when he hit 12 because I’ve always identified middle school as the danger zone for kids. I’d planned to sent him to All Saints Episcopal Day School for three years and then return him – unscathed! imbued with good study habits! untainted - ha, ha, ha - by drugs! – to the public school system, but Max pleaded and wheedled and pouted and sulked so exorbitantly that he wore me down.

RLS is quite the bone of contention in my family.

These days, Max blames me because he went to an exclusive high school where he rubbed elbows with the spawn of the rich and famous, and RTT blames me because he didn’t go to an exclusive high school where he could have rubbed elbows with the spawn of the rich and famous. As a matter of fact, I would have sent RTT to RLS too just for parity’s sake, but RTT didn’t have the grades, so I sent him to the International School instead from which he managed to get himself expelled.

Anyway, now I am simultaneously to blame for Max’s white privilege and RTT’s lack of white privilege!)

Tessa was the friend whom Max, Nate, Aaron et al never dated but always hung out with.

These days, she’s a staff writer at Rolling Stone, so we had a most interesting conversation about Janice Min’s editorial genius and the ramifications of Penske’s purchase of Rolling Stone.

“They’re gonna throw a huge amount of money at you,” I noted. “That’s gotta be the business model. To get Variety and Rolling Stone back on top of the heap. That’s a great position for you to be in. To follow your own nose for stories!”

“I know, right?” Tessa said. “Except Jann still has some editorial control, and he keeps wanting us to write stories about Bono.”

Tessa looks something like a young Anne Hathaway, so naturally I want her to ditch the real estate development boyfriend who is trying to make a fortune selling abandoned farmland in Hudson and marry Max.


The other person I ended up talking at length with was John ________, Nate’s father.

Many years ago, Nate’s mother Celeste informed me that I had broken up John’s second marriage.

This came as complete news to me.

“Debbie was obsessed with you,” Celeste told me. “She kept haranguing John, telling him he was in love with you!”

If John was, I never noticed it.

Back in the Monterey days, John was unfailingly hypercritical. Nate and Max got into a fair amount of trouble together as boys do, and John was constantly cornering me at various school functions to read me the riot act. John also did some legal work for Slow Burn, so he had a front row seat for that horribly humiliating crash and burn.

But it is true, at his son’s wedding he paid a great deal of attention to me. Told me how beautiful I was, declared that Max’s passion for social justice was obviously something he’d inherited from me (I liked that “obviously”), and amused me no end by confiding the details of various trusts he’d been hired to set up for pets. (John is Monterey’s most prominent wills and trust attorney; Monterey is filled with fabulously wealthy animal lovers.)

“What’s the biggest trust you ever set up for a pet?” I asked.

“Five million,” said John. “For a Siamese cat. What’s really bizarre is that the guy who set it up is on staff at the Naval Post-Graduate Academy.”

“That is just weird,” I said. “You’d expect members of the military to have a more developed sense of propriety.”

“Now, now, don’t be close-minded,” said John. “Vietnam vets can be crazy cat people, too!”

For the record, John is a Vietnam vet.

Celeste herself, RTT informed me later, had spent the wild party hours of the post-nuptials vaping in the bridal nook with the musicians and various members of the bridal party. I might have been there myself except that I don’t actually like weed all that much. It’s a source of heartbreak that none of the drugs I like are ever likely to be legalized!

Celeste was John’s first wife, and though they are long divorced, they currently live together in John’s enormous Monterey house although it’s not clear to me whether or not they’re a couple.

If it had been clear, I might have kissed John after the crazy Vietnam vet cat person remark.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.

Me & the Boo

The Boo arrived in the Hudson Valley after various Misadventures in Public Transport. (When I’m world dictator, the owners and drivers of the Short Line bus company will all be lined up against a wall and shot, and they won’t get to choose their own cigars either.)

We toured tornado damage in Newburgh, and then crossed the river. Mama made ziti! Afterwards, we hung out at the Hyde Park Brewery. Their craft beers are excellent, but I think they’re struggling to survive – full bar, not many patrons, and the wait staff looked grim.

We had a long chat about shoes and ships and sealing wax.

We are amazingly alike in temperament although differences in gender and upbringing (he had me as a mother; I had Lynn) naturally lead to differences in expression.

Anyhoo, a good time was had by all, and shortly we will be heading out to Connecticut for THE wedding of the weekend. Princess Meghan was a beautiful bride, but she will pale before Krysten who will be marrying Nathan at four o’clock this afternoon.

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Gardening and Other Random Pursuits

I spent two hours yesterday weeding my little garden. In the eight days I was gone, the weeds came up fast and furious, along with what I assume are “volunteers” from last year’s garden, oniony-looking things and these sweet-little vines with heart-shaped leaves, which for some reason I’m assuming are sweet potatoes. (I don’t much like sweet potatoes, but wotthehell.) The gardener who had my plot last year was a student at the Culinary Institute of America, so one assumes all sorts of exotic seeds are strewn about, waiting for the right moment to germinate.

I like weeding. It gives me a chance to muck about in the dirt, which I find very soothing. But it takes up a lot of time. Dutchess County is a kind of jungle climate in the summertime.

I suppose I’m gonna have to woodchip the pathways.

My plants are all doing well except for the basil, which is stunted.

The cilantro, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts in particular are doing very well.


BB and Carol bailed on WisCon. I, of course, could care less about WisCon, and was preparing to make the trip purely for the pleasure of their company (which is considerable.)

But BB lives just across the river; I can hang out with him any old time.

And Carol has promised to visit me for a few days in the fall: I'd enjoy seeing you in your natural habitat. :)

So it’s all good.

Though I have to figure out a way to send the gift I’d acquired for her, NASA’s gorgeous Visit Earth poster.

In the evening, I did phone-chat with B for an hour or so. He was very sympathetic about the Max debacle.

“Would you even have gone if you’d known he was only gonna participate in a half-assed way?” B asked; and I thought, Huh! That’s it. Probably not.

Or at least I would have given going a different kind of consideration.

Because the trip was fun, but it was definitely a drain on my – let’s face it – limited finances.

And it's just weird that Max with all his sensitivity to inequity and privilege isn't very sensitive to that.

It’s useful to have someone in your life who can connect the dots in your muddled emotions better than you can connect them yourself.


Nathan’s wedding is this weekend. RTT is coming down tomorrow, and we will be spending the weekend in Connecticut. Max is Nathan’s best man, so I’ll be seeing him again, too, and presumably – now that I’ve cooled off some – we’ll make up.

When I get back, I’m gonna start door-to-door canvassing for Jeff Beals. I’ve contributed $$$ to Beals’ campaign. I like him. I like his trajectory – from diplomat to high school history teacher.

And I particularly like that he doesn’t like the Democratic Party.

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An Interesting Trajectory

Industrial designers do these mood board things.

And I was thinking this morning that turning one of my walls into a mood board for If You Find This… might be useful.

Remember when Boris Lermontov hires Julian Craster to serenade Victoria Page morning, noon, and night with incidental music from The Red Shoes?

Something like that.

I need to finish the damn book.

If it’s bad, so what? If it’s brilliant, but nobody reads it because it can’t get published, so what? If it does get published but sinks like a stone amidst the 600,000 other books that get published every year, so what?

At least it will be finished.


My X-Husband kinda looks like Henry Miller:

This (necessarily) has resulted in some interesting transference such that the Henry Miller in my novel is not the swaggering self-styled cocksman of The Tropic of Cancer or Sexus but a waifish, mercurial, completely unreliable raconteur for whom Truth is multiple and varying. He’s clearly in waaaay over his head with the world-weary June. She looked like this:

June is 31 in this photograph. Henry Miller describes her as a towering giantess attached to a vagina dentata, but she was actually quite petite.

In my novel, the Great Love of June’s Life is not Miller but a brilliant physicist from Vienna who was brought up as a secular Jew but interred in a concentration camp anyway. (Hitler didn’t care if you wore phylacteries or fasted on Yom Kippur.) After the war, he migrates to the U.S. and becomes a Hassid even though he doesn’t believe in God. He takes up with June because he needs a woman to teach him how to make love again so he can keep the good Hassidic woman he marries happy. He likes June, possibly even loves June, but he’s not gonna stay with her.

Their relationship gives me the opportunity to write lots and lots of graphic sex scenes!

Graphic sex scenes are surprisingly difficult to write if you want to keep them from turning into porn parodies.

The Viennese physicist is entirely my invention! Not all that much is known about June’s real life after she separated from Henry Miller. Records say she married again almost immediately after the divorce. An insurance salesman! Who leaves her for an actress. (Dates here require some creative futzing since that marriage actually lasted 12 years, but for my purposes, that length of time needs to be shorter.)

In her late 40s and early 50s, June went mad and ended up living in a series of residence hotels just off Broadway on the upper West Side. Roberta’s family used to wander from residence hotel to residence hotel – Roberta was my best friend when I was a kid – so it’s a migratory pattern I’m familiar with.

One of those hotels, the Continental, is still standing:

I think it’s presently being used as subsidized housing for vets.

After several years of increasingly erratic behavior, June was hospitalized. Subjected to electroshock therapy. She fell off the table while convulsing, crippling herself permanently.

But the electroshock therapy cured her psychosis. Or at least muted it into manageability.

In the early 50s, June became a receptionist for NYC’s Department of Welfare. In those days, I guess, the Welfare Department was kind of like a restaurant where you could work your way up from dishwasher to chef. Three years after she started, she became a full-time social worker. Eventually moved west where one of her brothers lived. Is buried in a cemetery in Cottonwood, Arizona.

Famous slut to social worker! It’s a fascinating trajectory, at least for me.


In other news, we had quite the run of weather yesterday! A tornado watch that lasted four hours. Seems likely there were two touchdowns, one in Newburgh, one near Saugerties. Here in Hyde Park, we just got rain and wind, but elsewhere, they got hurricane-force gales and tennis ball-sized hail. Trees down everywhere with their tops snapped.

I'm still feeling forlorn. But as My Own Personal Heroine Jessica Mitford once wrote: What it boils down to is putting one’s feelings on a special plane; most unwise, if you come to think of it. Because the bitter but true fact is that the only person who cares about one’s own feelings is ONE.

True, dat.

Almost always, the smartest thing to do is to ignore the way you feel.

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Nor Certitude, Nor Peace, Nor Help for Pain

I fell asleep on the plane – I never fall asleep on planes – and when I woke up, I couldn’t remember where I lived or whether I was traveling to New York or California on vacation.

So, you know. Unsettling.

Apart from the two days dealing with Max and graduation, I did have a very good time.

And I figured out why Max’s lack of cap and gown freaked me out so completely.

It’s because of what happened with Robin and his graduation.

I saw Max without a cap and gown, and I thought, He’s not really graduating. He’s lying to me.

And it reignited that sense I live with that everyone who’s ever been close to me, everyone to whom I’m supposed to be bound by ties of love and trust, my mother, my father, Ben, Robin, those married guys on OKStupid, was a self-serving liar and that I’m a worthless human being whom other human look upon as prey.

Can’t even type that without my eyes filling with tears.

I mean, what do you do with karma like that?

You put one foot in front of the other, you smile, you laugh, and you try to make the best of it.

But it’s very tough.

The Manchurian Candidate is one of my favorite movies. And Dover Beach is one of my favorite poems:

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

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