Excerpt 72



Sol Schwartz, a commercial artist, called last night. He had picked me up in front of “Guernica” at the Museum of Modern Art in 1971, shortly after I had lost my virginity on a waterbed in a closed wing of Bellevue Hospital to a Jewish dental student at New York University.

I’m sure glad sex improved after that experience! What a selfish, insensitive bastard my de-virginizer was.

Sol remembered our conversations in detail…even the name of the headmistress at the school where I taught first grade.

He told me that I should be an ambassador’s wife because protocol agrees with me, then he asked about my romances.

He surmised that I was incapable of loving anyone freely—that I would always maintain control and keep a distance because I feared more emotional pain and had learned how to protect myself to an exaggerated degree. He said that my voice had changed; the hesitancy was gone. I was tougher now.

He was absolutely right.

Another friend from Frenchtown, Tennessee, called today. He lives in San Francisco now and promised to ship a case of California Chardonnay to me.

Excerpt 71

I turn to art for peace and tranquility…

At the Alliance Française:

Yesterday, saw Kleinhans’s photography exhibit: Perigord, France. Made me aware of how much I need a change of environment. To breathe fresh air in the morning, inhale the fragrance of potted red geraniums resting on some steps leading to an ancient, worn wooden door trimmed with black wrought-iron hardware. To hear no automobile or construction machinery, no piercing telephone rings. How I would enjoy slowly opening a shuttered window to gaze on a landscape uncluttered by buildings or highways—solely to appreciate nature’s greens, browns, yellows, oranges.

Maybe Tuscany would do the trick!