September 6th, 1971
It’s nearly noon. I’m sitting here in my broken-bottom dirty gray velvet chair. A fly is buzzing around me. The apartment is dirty, dingy, and cluttered. Beer cans are strung around– and the various sections of yesterday’s Sunday paper are lying about. I’m sitting here in a pair of bell-bottom blue jeans– heating water for coffee on a filthy stove.
The changes that are taking place in my life have got to be understood. My mind is so incoherent. I have got to write all this down– and try to understand.
During the course of this past spring and summer, my life has disintegrated to a point of madness. I cannot say how this happened.
I left Missouri to escape two things: the fucked-up family situation I was in and to escape mediocrity. Young and with a wild spirit I caught a bus to St. Louis to get on a jet EAST– where a life of excitement and relevance awaited me. I was successful. In the course of a year, I had done more than most people do in a lifetime. I was making $200.00 a week at a weekly newspaper– dressed well, ate well and had a fine apartment in a chic neighborhood.
But where do I go from here?
I am bored and near psychotic and the thought of just continuing on as is indefinitely is driving me mad.
I feel time flying past me hysterically– in a few months, I’ll be 21. I want greatness in this life. I want an exciting, challenging life.
What has happened is that I am “settling down” in this job. If I stay with Army Times I can logically expect to move up the ladder in the chain of command.
That isn’t what I want! If they were to tell me that, if I stayed with the company another 10 years, I would be president of Army Times– I don’t think I would take it.
Goddam I cannot get my feelings on paper.