Discover more from The Last Hundred Miles
November 30th, 1981
The functioning alcoholic is truly schizophrenic. The outer self, motivated by unrelenting impulses of self-loathing, grandiosity, fear, and pain presents a facade to the world of a personality that is designed to camouflage the mutilated casualty of life within. We plow through life behind advance regiments of Bullshit. Alcohol was the efficient tool for maintaining the necessary numbness. As sobriety begins, the bullshit becomes inoperable.
As I lie here in the hospital and think about my life— my job that is waiting for me, I realize how much a part of my success at playing that role was based on bullshit. The drama of the Young Man in Advertising— the glamour and excitement of life in a New York ad agency. The more sober I become, the more I realize how totally useless this activity is— the motivations for success— prestige, reputation, money— have become empty enticements. I have lost my will to work. Hmmm— this is a dilemma.
The more sober I become, the more aware I am of how the emotional/romantic/sexual needs which compose my Tammy Wynette heart— are so many scratchy tapes that were recorded in the early fifties. I have become suspect of my heart.
Hmmm— this is a dilemma.
Like the classic chemical philosophy of the 70’s: “Tune in, turn on, drop out”— I long to drop out of the game.
I see pursuing my job— with its bizarre ceaseless demands on my concentration and energy, both physical and mental, to be something perhaps quite evil. A waste of life. Yet what shall we do, dear spirits, shall we flee into the forest and live on berries and nuts and meditation? Or shall we don our three-piece suits and charge through anxious days in midtown Manhattan? Life is a pressure cooker.
Mable Vaughn told me once “it’s a great life… if you don’t weaken.”
Oh, Miss Vaughn— I’m weak today.
You see, with a good-old-boy-lover at my side, I could put a little more hairspray in my hair and my Donna Reed smile on my face and head uptown toward my time-clock job and play the black and white fifties movie to perfection. We’d save for a home. We’d soothe each others wounds. We’d plan for the future.
I remember how energetic I felt the day I realized that I had a lover— Richard. I remember the afternoon when my whole life made sudden sense to me. All the pieces fit together. I had a lover, a home, a family, a future— working and “getting ahead” was a sensible element in my life.
I am thirty years old— single— and drifting through space. I have collapsed in desperation. This hospitalization is a bizarre example of my psychosomatic collapse. I give up— I can’t go on any longer. Put me in the hospital and take care of me.
Isn’t it clear, Dear Diary, that all I need in my life is a lover to make everything all right?