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Inspired Pleasure

Diary of a Dancer/Daughter/Poet

            Thurs Aug 10 -78 – 5:30 PM
            Feeling happy and serene – it’s been the loveliest visit.  

Many bike rides and explorations. Lovely dinner last night at the cottage – Devon asking Dad a lot of questions – then we lay in each other’s arms at the Barnacle
and he said Time to Discuss Our Relationship. Said “some French girl” dumped
him because he’s so incompetent with condoms; he’s so relieved not to have
that with me. I said, “Maybe we should be exclusive.” He said, ‘Could you manage that? I said gratefully, ‘Certainly”, He said, “Thank you for being honest” stripped
off my clothes and made mad, passionate love to me – all orifices massaged,
nipples chewed, armpits sucked – the works. It was really something – probably the most passionate satisfying sex I’ve ever had. He told me our coming together in Plympton after I left my husband was The Most Significant Event in his LIFE.

But does he see me as a Minister’s Wife? No one can. Me included. The Problem of which we do not speak. Drive him to the ferry today,
after that a sail to Brimstone Island.

    Shadowe Island - The Cottage – Sat 12 Aug 78
            Mom giggling about how sweet and pure Devon is.  She

is certain I’ve been dumped. If she only knew. If I in am suddenly in an Exclusive Relationship with this human will o’ the wisp wouldn’t it be the worst thing for
me? Am I like a Terrible Man who will now say anything to get sex?
Five good pages on novel. Working in omniscient third
person – a violently new departure. A few vague worried sensations that I am
“telling” too much about characters but the Victorians used to get away with
this on a regular basis. How I envy them. There I’ve said it, I envy Mrs. Henry
One thing left out of Gardner’s On Moral Fiction is how
rarely we see the book the author wanted – instead we see the draft the

publisher agreed to buy & PROMOTE. Or am I cynical?  On the whole I am appreciating Gardner’s ideas – but more than ready to get back to V Woolf’s
letters & diary. That is ecstasy – the “unstructured real.” Far prefer them to
her novels.

Nice long phone talk with Devon. Feeling freed since he
described to me his definition of a future wife; she is not me. In fact, she will
be a very unlucky girl who gets – by his deliberate plan – the least of him. It is comical that I, something of a contemporary expert on all things Victorian,
should even locate such a profoundly divided, deeply Victorian male; product
of such hideous religious and sexual mangling one would think barely possible
in this enlightened century. “Wife” seems to encompass for him some whole
new scary dimension that has nothing to do with sex. What mysteries people are! Bruce wanted a fount of approval and cash. Ryder wanted a mule. Jervaze
wanted a mommy who will bed him down with a bottle of Southern Comfort and
then drive him to the hospital. I can’t even figure out What Rod wants. But Devon seems to want someone whose holiness will “cancel out”
his “bad behavior”. All I know is I don’t want to be any of those people.

But what DO I want? I’m embarrassed to admit it out loud.
I want the spiritual and physical closeness – the “soulmate connection” – to
just keep on intensifying until we switch bodies (and I get to live two lives).
Castaneda says it can be done. (Good subject for novel.)


The scraps
The scraps
The bad acts
Bleed like madras
Over everything
Piecing penalties
Placating the portionless
Fabric cut to fit the frame or
The other way about?
This will all have to be redone
Till it makes some kind of sense.
Make the pieces smaller – ever
Smaller – in my
Empire of

             Devon flat out admitted he is afraid of me –says I 

have too much power over him. I was too aggressive with him this time
and I think my “free agency” is where the trouble lies. It “wakes him up”
too much to the existence of another person and reminds him this isn’t all
happening in his head! I am too impatient to wait for him to get ready to
have an actual relationship.  In the past, the better he got to know all his
girlfriends – and the more certain he became of them, the less he
wanted them. We are dancing on a knife-edge with our pleasure now. Psychologically he rules out “sexual fire” in long-term relationships. Everyone
but me (and Dad) seems to think sexual fire must burn out.
I look forward to getting back – change in seasons, change
in clothes – working, writing, even running around town with Rod is starting to
look fun.  Cold day – sun hidden by clouds.

   Burnside Inn – 10PM Sunday 13 Aug 78
Told my dad I took the room here because my typewriter
needs electricity – really of course I wanted privacy with Devon and then we
ended up at the Barnacle! But a public inn (with a handy bar) requires a lot of discipline. More than I have. I am recovering from a scandalous night – too
tired to take a bath I fell asleep in my clothes after cocktails with Marc Kramer
who tried first wooing me with his completely unfettered, unapologetic interest in money by showing me his new house then just flat out tried to get me drunk.
(I did get drunk but not enough to make him seem desirable. He is very hairy.) However, “investment banker” would be a good job to give to my character
Cloud if he ever grows up. If I can ever get him out of prep school. 
No more hanging around the bar for me – I plan sit here
in my room every afternoon writing between three and six. Seems to be
all my social schedule will allow. Feel myself getting fat and should cut back
on food – tall order. I just need to go home and DANCE.
Stupid diary! One love problem after another. Well I can
always go back to poor Woolf… her talk of mushrooms, chair covers, butterflies…

    Mon 14 Aug 12 midnight -78
            Very unsatisfied with everything I’ve ever written.  The 

difficulty is I need to bring all my writing up to my current level of philosophical
maturity (such as it is.) But it keeps increasing exponentially! Never be
embarrassed to start over.

Dinner scene in Paradise Road (newly retitled) feels
shaky. Too many characters for me to handle. Maybe wedding next?
Trying to invest my characters with what I’ve just learned from Devon. Would choosing “the right person” come first (my Mom’s theory) and then the love
follows afterward? More convenient for everyone, certainly.
Almost rolled a poor pimply little fisherman down at the
docks this afternoon because I am such a sucker for gorgeous naked (hairless) shoulders. And the friendly, friendly innkeeper – but don’t get me started, he
has a “wife” or “wife substitute”. Mom’s been very cruel to me lately. At dinner
last night I discovered she RODE THE FERRY with poor shell-shocked Devon (explains his “freeing’ phone call) whom she apparently grilled the whole ride.
She sniffed – “He’ll never marry you.” 

Too proud to tell her I just reached that conclusion myself
and it doesn’t elevate him in my estimation (the way it obviously does in hers!)
I could say I actually know Devon better now than he knows himself (he talks
in his sleep), and I can positively state that his stated intentions never bear ANY relationship to his actions. And it’s not a good thing.

He also told he could never become a minister (because
his mother wanted it too badly!) and yet here we all are. He keeps making rules
and I keep watching him break them.  Plus, I’ve been taking responsibility for
“making” him do things he doesn’t “want” to for years. It’s a spiritual game of
Chinese checkers he insists on “losing”. I guess it’s just a matter of time before he starts holding it against me.

This is the street of suicides.
I orchestrated masterpieces in that house
  Third-from-left –
Getting my effects too cheaply I see now
  Unmindful of material
  That lay so close to hand
  New tenants slick the lawn that moats that
  Windowed grave. They repair
The chrysalis I shattered
  Getting out.

    10:20 AM Wed 16 Aug 78
            I am so excited by the “newness” of my novel – starting to 

feel confident; like I can make these people do anything. Can’t wait to go home
and spread all the versions out – play Max Perkins to my own Tom Wolfe. Might
be able to patch something together. Still my tone needs emergency assistance,
which dictates a massive overhaul. All this omniscience is just too painfully reminiscent of somebody like Balzac – “In the forbiddingly cold winter of 1863” or worse, Dragnet? Must read Speedboat to see how far one can go. Should I
throw everything out and start over again or leave it a 500 p hegira?

Rod sends me a letter every day. He is smart, witty and
culturally aware. His handwriting is perfect.  Unfortunately, this does not feel
as good as it should. I have rejected him as a potential husband (or father)
because he is so totally lacking in Projection & Charisma. Unlike Devon I plan
to marry a person I can also have soul-shattering sex with. Even Rod’s myths
are sub-standard. He needs Tale of Genji and Kraft-Ebbing but all he has is
Beowulf. Still, this is not the kind of thing you can tell a person you don’t want
to get serious with.

According to him, Miss You by the Stones is “Our Song”.
My song is Urgent, by Foreigner, and time’s a-wastin’. I can struggle with this
goddam party scene or I can go out and buy toothpaste.  Ferry coming in –
very foggy.

Came into Burnside Inn tonight and immediately lost a lens. Searched and searched. Would this be the bill that would break the poor fragile financial camel’s back? Then I found it – stuck to my hair.  A miracle.

Mom took me on a walk after dinner – apologized in her
weird oblique way. For a woman who claims to have “given all for love” she
really is quite calculating and cynical about it. “Why buy the cow if the milk is
free?” sums up the whole of her philosophy. She wants me to marry Marc
Kramer and live in wretched discontent, the equivalent, as far as I can see,
to opening a dairy farm and sending out pricelists.  Those are the options.
Has doing too much of the emotional scutwork fatally dimmed the stars in her
“love makes the world go round” eyes? “What if I’m not a market-based
economy?” I inquire. Another missed bonding opportunity.

Dad showed gorgeous slides of Fox Island. Every
frame a poem. Made me think I should read old diaries to see what I can get.
Not that Cloud would keep diaries – not reflective that way at all. But Suni
might keep them.

    9:30 AM Fri 18 Aug 78
            $100 honorarium from Coltsville Community College for 

my presentation – I can eat for a month off of that!  Dare I get my dancing
down to 3 nights a week? Would be heaven.

Discussion with sisters about Mom. Here’s their advice: “Remember she’s crazy,” “Remember she’s old,” “Don’t give her any information”
and “Lie.”  There it is! If only she could hear them! And I’m the one with the
“Bad Kid” reputation!  Over dinner she lectured us on how costumes for the
ballet exalt the human body. Nothing like my combination of pasties,
fishnets and glitter! Hard to listen to after the contempt she has expressed
for my job!   Said nothing. What they really hate is that I am my own

I was too dispirited even to point out that back when
ballet was “invented”, back in the dear old Dead Degas Days, dancers were
VERY “declassee” with damn near NO control over their own bodies: how
to express themselves sexually much less how they were viewed.
Looking back over it, my most serious depressions were all caused by attempts to conform. I’m so OVER it. Am I afraid of loneliness?

No. Stigma? Childlessness? Sexlessness? No. I confront all these fears, one
by one. Hard however to keep my head high around Mom and Dad’s evident
conviction that no one can ever be found to love me. They insist on giving me
money because I’m so pathetic . OK, I’ll take it (I’ve taken tips from fans
harboring worse thoughts) but insisted on giving them a poem in return.
Read Dawn Walk out loud looking for praise –

Dawn Walk

Thunder crusts a gelid sky
Is it light or is it rain feathering
my nest with longing
Stippling soul with flushed
new growth; bursting out
the steepled trees.
This is my world and I release it
Released for flying
Tough as spidersilk
Even to me who birthed it
Who spent my life creating it.
Released and
Blown away.

            They rolled their eyes.

I must be secretly determined to make them look bad! Need to get car in
line for the ferry tomorrow AM at nine. Good vacation this has been. Mostly.
Last letter from Rod mentions a big society wedding
we are invited to. He does get invited to the best parties.

  1:45 AM
Horrible last dinner at the Mermaid Creek House.
Am I speaking a different language from everybody else? Uncle Clive
downgraded his current girlfriend right in front of her – “she’s got no skills –
she’s not too bright.” I agree – there must be something seriously wrong with
her to want to be around him. Genevieve wants to know how I can love men
who are “weak”.  This would have more significance if her second marriage
wasn’t with a submissive. I defended that weak men are “doubters” and doubters
are interesting.

The opposite is arrogance and how attractive is that?
Marc K, for example, doubts nothing. He’s also not very interesting. It would be
easy to be swept along in his wake on autopilot.  Maddens me to hear Mom and G discuss Avril’s “low self-esteem.” The nerve! I think they want to pretend that life “makes sense” and is not a dangerous lottery. According to them, A has too low
an opinion of herself and I have too high an opinion of myself. Hmmmm. What’s
wrong with this picture?

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