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Inspired Pleasure

Diary of a Dancer

1:45 PM Tues 2 Aug 77
No damn mail for THREE DAYS.  No stock certificate,
nothing from my agent. And I made sure she had my right address.
I think diets brew self-hatred. Reading about Simenon and
having trouble with sentences like “50 of his novels date from this period.”
Shouldn’t read about this guy.
Starting to dream about Dupont Circle.
Just back from a long bike trip down interesting country
road.  Felt I was visiting my future self.  Glimpsing dark houses,
lighted bow windows, Canada geese as tame as ducks.
Alice Crimmins – did she do it?  Rorech’s theory pure
hogwash. I think there are people who can “talk themselves into”
feeling innocent. I’ve met lots of amnesiacs.
Plan to buy silk shirts (in Washington) and read all the newspapers. 
Emerge from my cocoon. Read Graham Greene section of Dangerous

    7 PM Wed Aug 3 77
        Sitting out on deck well pleased with self. Stock cert arrived

today.  Called Chevy Chase Bank and Trust got girl who didn’t know anything
but relayed instructions shouted at her by someone else.  Signed stock,
climbed in Volvo, sent the whole thing off certified mail. Money should be in
by 10th. Surely Inzar can’t drop below 9.  I can manage on $900.
Long bike ride had me puffing like a grampus; feeling
extra hungry so had a bowl of plain grits. Orwell’s letters. Kipling
too boring. Never been able to stand anything he’s written. Reading
trashy gothic The Room Beneath The Stairs makes me think I can
do something with my old The Bride and the Wolves.
Conditioned my hair (oleocap.)  Looks good in spite of sun
& chlorine and it’s nice & long.
Maybe R’s been fired.  He’s a coward and that would shut
him up. Shouldn’t even think about it.  I’m a nail biter looking for a
nail to bite. There’s a lot to be said for the joys of starting over.
Stomach shrinking & all that.

10:30 AM – Poolside – Thurs 4 Aug 77
Watching the kiddie swimming lessons while reading
Hog Tied in Babylon (That’s what it SHOULD be
called. Overpraised Hollywood reminiscences. It’s
like reading a “talk show”.) Had to return a Michael
Innes unread it was so ghastly. Critical look at body in
the mirror this AM. Losing my hips makes my waist disappear.
Hmm. Legs OK. Open swim!

5PM Boring, annoying mail. Threatening letter from
Motor Vehicle Admin. They are upset because name on license and
name on registry not the same. Blame my marriage when I used to be
Vill-Aallyn. Sort it out when I get down there. Nothing from R so I refuse
to write to him ever again. Two weeks since he phoned me.  (He should
be used to this – he and his wife used to get into the long competitive sulking matches.)

10:26 PM
Lousy bike ride.  I was so hungry and it seemed such
hard work. Maigret & The Loner senile yapping.


i long to be myself
without interference from
the likes of you; a
spindle of bone encased in lurex
or some pure substance;
an angel, a flame, a shadow of clear
fire; you have weighed me down
for years, encumbering me
with blood and collagen, depriving me
of my god-given right to become a sundial
on which is writ:
“it’s later than you think”

1PM Fr. 5 Aug 77
Woke up feeling so lousy made myself soup. Swimming
and coffee did make me feel better.  Read Margaret Millar’s
Listening Walls – first half superb. Ruthless abuse of detective conventions – she misleads us left and right. The character of the Author
that is built up is that of a viciously uncaring person.  Orwell’s
war years dull.

8PM Sat 6 Aug 77
Be careful what you want in case you get it. D and I are
suddenly in the midst of a very satisfying love affair. He called 5:30
yesterday – wish it had been earlier because I was in a psychic tailspin.
Immediately tidied the place up, anointed my body, put on my black silk
jumpsuit exploding with roses (last worn on date with R.)  He came in
wearing tight jeans and a linen safari jacket – we had a very silly time
over wine. Christ he can look beautiful when he wants to.  Out to a
restaurant – I ordered a “flaming volcano” and they had it! More silliness. 
D. said, “Going out with you is an experience.” He couldn’t compliment
me enough on my general gorgeousness (heh heh heh.)
We saw The Deep which was just what we both wanted –
titillating glossy glop. D. kept initiating PDA’s (which he never used to
be able to do. Wow has this guy grown up! He used to act like the
Amherst PDA Police were everywhere! He suggested we go to bed!
No loitering on couch! Sexually he has all the time in the world and
he’s all out for my pleasure – his orgasm of no importance.  He’s particularly
good with my ass and I LOVE that. (He treats every sphincter like
another pair of lips – I’m in a threesome with myself!) I always felt like
he was “holding back” – not any more.
Tendernesses and confidences growing. Nice to be loved!
He goes on and on about the beauty & sensuality of my body; my sexuality
“like a storm!”

Sun 12:30 PM Deck 7 Aug 77
Sitting over coffee, grits (to which Mrs. McManus has now
addicted me) and Dorothy Eden. (The Sleeping Bride – very good!)
Praying like mad for writing money. I could afford to get a divorce!
Lucky things worked out the way they did – keeps me from obsessing
over R.
Bike ride! It’s a form of prayer.
6Pm Hammering away – great scene – getting the good stuff
– typewriter ribbon gave out! Come on! At 6 PM!! It’s like having your
horse shot out from under you. I was going to spend the evening writing
Starting to worry about R coming back from the Finger Lakes – he
knows where I am – would he show up here? Aack! No! Impossible. 
He can’t be alone. Wouldn’t drive that distance without a captive ear.
Reading Jane Aiken’s study of Jane Austen. Don’t feel
a moment’s anxiety about D.

        Mon 8 Aug 77
        3 PM On deck loving the rising wind, reading The Scalpel 

of Scotland Yard (Spilsbury). A perfect day. Trapped here for a few
hours till the man shows up to fix trash masher – but at least I got my
“naked exercises” out of the way. Today’s a scorcher – using air-conditioning
for the first time. Cheated on my diet – ate a whole can of tuna.
Packed in water, fortunately. Body screaming for peaches and
almonds. Gutted the Pevensey library. They are running out of
books for me.

12:45 PM Tues Aug 9 – 77

Coming out of my coma to write agent a note.
After 3 months of not being “pushy” surely SOMETHING should
be happening.  I decide I am suffering from a disease that should
be called “Dickensitis” marked by severe self consciousness and
complicated by “Plath syndrome” (brutal social induction flashbacks).
Freezes me in my path.
Loving Solzhenitsyn’s article on Shakespeare & Tolstoy.
But do I love Devon? Before all of this I would have said yes, very
casually but sometimes the better you get to know someone the less
you can love them. He was at pains to explain his theology – but it
doesn’t seem to involve God – it’s all interpersonal relations – which I
have to say I think is just weird! He wants to be “of service” to people
and he’s aware – but suspicious about – the “mysticism” athletes get into.
I hate to say this but it reminds me of my mother. Any “be wary of people
who have an inner life and try your best to get rid of yours” philosophy
is a major turnoff for me. When we talk about “self-perfection” and
“self-cultivation” we are talking about VERY different things.
I casually told him the more I get to know him the less
I know him – and he was very pleased! (Relieved.) He didn’t say why
but I know he doesn’t want to be “easy”. I didn’t tell him he’s still held
fast in Sleeping Beauty’s overgrown castle, in my opinion. Don’t think
I can get him out of there. I always try to plan my strategy if he tried
taking the relationship up a notch. But he can’t suggest we live together
while he’s a divinity student. Think I can relax about it and just enjoy his
magnificent body.
Take, eat. Old wounds between us are entirely healed.
If D is stuck in SB’s castle, where is R? He is unborn, a baby
dreaming in the womb. “When I grow up I’m going to have lots and
LOTS of girlfriends but they will all be PERFECTLY RESPECTABLE
and SEXUALLY DYNAMIC when I say so!”
I regret most working so hard to make him “certain” of
me, to make sure he knew exactly what I was thinking and feeling.
I put my cards not only face-up on the table, I handed them to the guy!
Not many people would be mature enough to handle that. Never
discuss what I am feeling with D – haven’t mentioned R after our
preliminary intros “what have you been up to”. I’m not sure he even
knows how I make money in Washington.

8:45 AM Wed 10 Aug 77
Like the alcoholics say, one day at a time! Exercises,
diet, sunbathe, bike ride, swim, etc. Doing a good job at that – horrible
job at writing – because I don’t hear from agent. Confidence completely
collapsed. Sitting on the deck feeding Ms. McManus’ Caesar salad
croutons to a squirrel. He really likes them. Reading Berckmann’s
A Thing That Happens To You. Finished Thalberg’s bio – ho hum.
No swimming – maybe bike ride in the rain (just a misting).

        3:30 PM 11 Aug 77 - Thurs
        Depressing letter from Chloe – she wants my help 

with her MSS. I agree with Henry James – all I can do is My Thing
My Way. But I have to seem really approachable if I want radio
work. Conundrum. Catatonia. Devon called. Do I want to get laid?
I think so! Reading about grave robbers produces a poem;


Unearth me, lover
I’m a jewel now
In that crevice you once loved so
Well; it’s an ingot now,
a socket
For our mingled liquid
Suck it up with
Dust-lathered lips
The flesh as you once did
The clothes; I’m burning
Cinder-hot –
Let me astound you with
My time-perfected skill

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