August 26th, 1980
Early evening on the patio. Cicadas scream in the trees and the next door neighbor blasts rock music from his patio hidden on the other side of the fence. Another aimless misspent day. I spent my morning drinking coffee at my desk and reading John Cheever short stories. At noon I left the office and wandered in the heat downtown. I stopped at a telephone booth and called Wendy to see if she could join me for lunch at The Blue Mirror. She is submerged in work and cannot leave the office. I find a Mexican restaurant near the National Theater I have never been to. I go in and am amused at the atmosphere. It is dark with that slight darkness of a bar. The tables are covered in dark red and black oil cloth and the room is lit by red plastic globed lights strung in lines across the ceiling. The walls have large portraits in gaudy colors of senoritas and matadors. The room si full of construction workers drinking draft beer out of pitchers and blonde Farrah Fawcett secretary women. I sit at a single table and order a draft beer and an exotic item on the menu with tacos and enchiladas and rice and chile. I am enormously pleased to be here. It feels like a bar in the Florida Keys. I am suddenly very happy. Almost giddy. I wonder at this manic behavior, but mostly I sit and eavesdrop on the conversation at the next table. A frail woman with a southern accent is recounting dramatically to a man sitting with his back to me the details of a current affair she is having. He eats heartily without speaking as she emotionally gestures and buries her head in her hands. They are both enjoying this story, you can tell. I finish eating and leave the waitress a dollar on the table and pay my check. The cashier asks if everything has been okay– “oh yes” I say– “yes, wonderful. The food was wonderful.” It is hot out on the street. I have eaten fast and have no reason to hurry back to the office. I decide to cruise the bus station. Something I haven’t done in ages. The streets are crowded with Washington’s downtown noon crowd. Throngs of slow shuffling people. I push through the crowds irritated– as if I am in a hurry. I am. But for no reason. At the bus station I enter a pay stall and sit still with my pants up and stare through the crack in the door at the row of urinals waiting for a show. A tall, well-dressed man approaches a urinal and starts to play with his cock. He stands there for perhaps 10 minutes. I stay for perhaps another 10 minutes and watch an odd assortment of travelers– students, Asians, old men– step up to the urinal and piss. I leave and walk to an old favorite bookstores in the next block. I stand in a stinking cubicle and masturbate to a grainy blurry film of two men masturbating in a bathroom. The cubicle is hot and I leave drenched in sweat. Outside the air feels good and I walk quickly back to the office. As if I were in a hurry. I am not. Back at the office I while away the rest of the day reading and drinking coffee. Once, Jim, my boss, bought me two ceramic pigs, a salt and pepper set and asked me to paint he and his wife’s names on the back of the pigs with nail polish. I did.
Now it is twilight and cicadas scream in the trees and I sit on the patio and drink beer and smoke cigarettes. I have no reason to suspect that tomorrow will be any different than today.
Tonight sitting at the kitchen table talking with John, I told him that what I’d really like to be doing tonight is watching TV in a trailer house outside Springfield, Missouri, making spam sandwiches for my gas station attendant lover.