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June 21st, 1979
We have moved. June 1st, Wendy and I moved from Rosslyn into a new house and a new world on Capitol Hill. The dramatic changes we have experienced could not be more total if we had moved cross-country. From a dark, mildly rundown house sitting like a brooding old woman at the end of an always overgrown yard. Dismal. The neighborhood was a series of high rise apartments populated by mostly poor Spanish and Indian people. From that to a bright, sunny townhouse in Capital Hill. Every room, from early morning to dusk, is filled with bright shafts of sun. The neighborhood is old, Victorian, moderately well-kept. Actually, this particular neighborhood is considered to be somewhat of a fringe area in terms of crime. I am experiencing a strange internal confusion between knowing this and also knowing how comfortable and essentially safe the neighborhood feels to me. Granted, we are living in a mixture upper middle class whites and a community of poor blacks who have been poor for a long time and who have lived in this immediate area for a long time. Perhaps I am wrong about this. I just sense that a lot of the blacks here have been here for a long time. Also, I have lived on the Hill before– for considerable time. I have worked on the Hill. I feel very much back home here. Yet I know that crime, murder, is not an unheard-of occurrence in this neighborhood. A few nights ago, over drinks on the patio of our next-door neighbor Ken, we discovered that 8 years ago, the woman who occupied this house alone, was brutally stabbed to death by a robber in Wendy’s bedroom. Needless to say, life these past few weeks has required a substantially different kind of emotional output than the sluggish depressed life we had in Rosslyn. This has required a massive readjustment for our entire household. Wendy and I have certain advantages; both are returning to hard core city life of a type we have both known before. Both of us have lived in New York City, both have lived in Greenwich Village. I have spent an enormous amount of time in inner city Washington. Readjusting to living with a city world with crime is even harder considering the incredibly un-criminal environment we just left. But, both of us remember this life. We have developed exquisite defenses. There is an excitement to this type of lifestyle that makes you move in certain energy levels. Perhaps it has some stiumlance on the creative process. I can say for sure: I prefer the edge of caution that life in an inner city area implies to the quiet suffocation of suburbia.
But so much else has happened; I am in love. I have allowed two months to pass without writing about this. Even now, description is difficult.