February 18th, 1971
I can remember nearly a year ago standing in the hall of the dorm in Columbia calling my mother. I was leaving, for good. and I realized I wouldn’t get to see her for our birthday. We both were crying. I promised her that before long we would be together again and have our birthday. That June we celebrated over $1.00 flowers, a semi-cooked chocolate cake I had made for her– in my little efficiency in Washington. It was nice.
All we’ve planned for months is my “coming home” for our birthday. I know that she has had it mentally planned for weeks. I already have my plane tickets. Tonight I called and told her I wasn’t coming.
She and Rene went to Springfield last week, under the auspices of plumbing in the house on Franklin, or something equally unreal. Mom’s head is really fucked up right now. Her adjustment from the past was hardly complete– and I can understand that. She would go through periods of intense depression and loneliness– missing Springfield and fragments of her life there. I can understand that. But I was still opposed to the idea of going back. I made my break with everything in my past– and my decision was and has been complete. When I left Springfield I swore to myself by my very life that that life and those people that had composed the nightmare were dead for me.
I don’t know what Mom’s motives were– I don’t know what was driving her– but she had to go back.
She saw Lowell and Betty. I had a dream of them during the week she was there. Any rate, she brought Roberta back to Gulfport with her. My God, I’ll never understand that. Never. Mom knew I was planning on coming home for my birthday. I’m sure Roberta begged and forced the issue but nevertheless, I’m equally positive that Mom knew what my reaction would be. I’m sure she’s lonely, I’m sure Roberta would be companionship for her. But I would think Mom would value a two-day visit from me above a vacation with Roberta.
The entire situation nauseates me. Goddamit all! for 18 fucking years, I watched and lived amongst the sickness of my family. All of them are low-life scum, illiterate, evil, everything that they represent from my father, through his family, right down to all the scroungy cousins. I wouldn’t see any of them again for anything on earth.
And now, the one day out of the year that has any significance for me at all, and Mom has to have Roberta there.
It killed me to do it, but I had to refuse to come. For me to have gone ahead would have violated the one sacred vow upon which my entire life is based. That vow is that, insofar, as my existence is concerned the family is all, each and everyone, dead. None of them will ever, so far as I am capable, see or hear from me again. They may hear of me– but there will never be any more contact. That is the one basic fact of my life. Only death could be a compromise. Mine.
So, right now I am extremely depressed over the situation– mom just cried on the phone. Not even she can make me change my mind.
She’s probably in hysteria now. Jesus, this must be a mental fuck for her. I am sorry– but this is the way it has to be.
Almighty God, I wish I were the only person alive on earth.
No, I don’t.
Almighty God, help me.
Almighty God, fuck you.
It was such a beautiful, beautiful, day today–
I loved it.
the railroad track below the bridge near the school stretched off like crisp black shining bands into the darkness and the sky. I ran across the street.
More, more, so much more– but not now. Basement apartment etc. But not now–
I am thinking too clearly of too many things……