Discover more from The Last Hundred Miles
April 14th, 1971
I want very much to write about what the last two days have become for me– but I don’t feel capable. My thoughts are much too scattered and disconnected.
All day long yesterday I dwelled on what had happened between Lennie and Ed. There were two main sides to my thoughts. On the one side was my screwed-up reaction to the way, and how it happened– waking up in the middle of the night and finding them on the floor. But more important was the reaction I had to the “dishonesty” of the situation. I’ve wondered if I just very dramatically blew everything out of proportion, and made an issue out of nothing. But I don’t think that’s entirely true. For one thing– this involved the three people that I have been most emotionally involved with for the past year. This hits at the very core of my being– the emotional commitment to human relationships have been the center of my life– simply because they are so rare. I have responded to these three people in a very vulnerable way– in love and openness.
For what happened to have happened the way it did– was for me an enormous dishonesty for Ed and Melinda– both to me and to Peggy– To me, because they had no more respect for me than to even stop to consider what my reaction would be– and to Peggy because they really weren’t concerned.
It really shattered the sweet little picture of loving communion that I had created (or perceived) of our relationships together. I tried to make Melinda understand that it wasn’t the fact that she and Ed had made it– but the other aspects. We talked briefly the next morning– and then I went to work and she went downtown to the museums.
The weekend, as I am seeing it now– seemed to be such a total web of giving and sharing and loving between us all. We smoked dope continually and went for walks, and share– it was very nice. I was very much into feeling a personal response to a simple life with friends. The city, ambition, my career, prestige, money– all those things that occupy my head most of the time– suddenly seemed to be so unimportant in contrast to these simple pleasures of living and loving and sharing. I had great fantasies of living on a farm in the country with my friends.
And then all this happened– and I found myself jolted back to work, back to the other world– the world that had seemed so cold and sterile compared to the weekend– but now I was back gladly– because all the nice things that had happened seemed to be blotted by the ugliness of what had happened. In the world of my work I was alone, free of emotional hassles, and the issues confronting me were concrete and definite and I had no doubt as to my ability to handle it.
But I knew that back at the apartment, waiting for me when I got home, was Melinda and Peggy and Ed. It wasn’t so much, I don’t thnk that I didn’t feel capable of coping with that situation, as it was that I simply felt no inclination, non-responsibility to do so. After work, then, I walked downtown to the Plus 1– and, fully conscious, got drunk. It was completely deliberate and calm– I simply wanted to get drunk– and probably just as strongly wanted it to be the crying jag it turned out to be. I haven’t thought much about this– but maybe the only reason I wanted to get drunk and onto a crying jag was because I figure that was the best way to cope with Melinda. I had the whole thing figured out– like a scene in a play. From all the choices I had of playing that scene– getting drunk and coming home smeary-eyed and rumpled would bet the most effective, the most dramatic, and the most glamorous to me as the lead in the scene. I spent all day long writing and planning the scene mentally. Actually, I wasn’t conscious of doing this! At the time I suppose I really wanted to get drunk. I’ll have to think of this some more…
Anyway, I made my entrance– staggered in all puffy face and waifishly dramatic looking. I think everyone in the room was aware that a scene was about to begin. Karen, Peggy, Ed, and Melinda had been waiting for me since 6:00 P.M. – it was now nearly 11:00. I staggered into the room and Peggy said: “God, he’s drunk again, how disgusting.” But she wasn’t being serious she was just joking. I stood in the middle of the floor and literally yelled: “Peggy, if you think this is disgusting, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet”– and hauled off and kicked my chrome water pipe which was sitting on the floor. It was a flaring second that jolted everyone in the room– including myself. Then I burst into tears and ran into the bathroom. When I came out, Peggy was gone.
I went running over to her apartment in hysterical tears and tried, through the sobs, to tell her how wrong she had taken the situation– how I had done that for everyone there except her. She understood, she really understood. I loved her so much at that moment. Then I told her why I was upset.
I think it was a strange thing for her to suddenly have to react to. She had been upset because she had thought something had happened to me. But the only thing that had happened to me was that I thought something had been done wrong to her.
It really didn’t bother her that much. She responded in much the way I did. It wasn’t what had happened so much as it made all the rest, the sharing process we’d all had together seem a lie and a fraud.
After everyone left and Melinda and I were alone– there was a strange tension between us– and I told her that I had told Peggy. Melinda was upset. She felt that I had made a big issue out of my own mental situation and was imposing my reaction on everybody. She felt it was Ed’s place to tell Peggy. And it was. That should have happened before I got home, however, if it was going to happen. By the fact that Melinda and Ed, begin fully aware of my feelings, had the guts to expect me to walk in and just carry on as if nothing had happened, as if I knew nothing– then, in my own home, they were asking me to contribute to what they had done and were doing. My silence would have been an affirmation of their deception– and I had no affirmation to give them.
Melinda and I argued until late into the night– and found out– or admitted a lot of the flaws in our relationships.
This is all very much in my mind– but I’ve got to go to sleep.
It’s so good to be alone.
All alone again.
God, I love it.