Tuesday May 01, 1973
I think that maybe I will be able to use words and a typewriter– I send the uselessness of words and a mouth. There an ego confrontation is involved. Verbal defenses.
Here are my words, Richard. Don’t just read them. Please listen to them.
What’s wrong with you?
What’s W-R-O-N-G with Y-O-U?
(something’s wrong with Larry– what’s wrong with Larry?)
You seem so distant tonight. You seem so removed. So unresponsive.
I reach out to you and you are not there. You are not there on purpose.
Larry’s here. He’s just in the other room tearing at his hair, screaming and throwing himself into corners.
Jesus Christ, what is W-R-O-N-G with Larry?
please don’t pull my head over to your shoulder. I will put my head on your shoulder if I want my head to be on your shoulder.
please don’t ask me if I love you. I will tell you if I love you.
please don’t ask me what I’m doing when I am in one room and you are in the other. (what are ya’ doing) It’s a fair chance that I’m not lost.
You are the very person that I have ever lived with under the aegis of romantic involvement. I have lied with a lot of different people under a lot of different situations. This is the first time I have undertaken to live with someone under the circumstances of romantic attraction.
After a month of surrender to my feelings, I have come to realize that a good three-fourths of my romantic needs were Metro-Goldwyn Meyer manufactured and not real feelings of mine.
I sure hope you can understand that.
So, old Larry– after about a year and a half of being out of the closet (I love that phrase)– has undertaken to live with another man– one Richard B. Smith from Marathon, Florida as a COUPLE– as lovers.
On Good Friday– 1973– Larry goes to a GLF dance at GW. Recovering from another bout with croup and dreading some massive confrontation with an old trick who he knows will be there– he gets out of a taxi and ZAP– right across the street is the man of his dreams.
Richard– I want you to know one thing. Those first two weeks of knowing you satisfied every emotional need I think I’ve ever experienced. I did win this time. It will never happen to me again. Do you know that for two weeks I could smell you constantly? I could close my eyes and smell you. Just know that I have loved you the way you need to be loved. Call that fate. I know it won’t happen again.
So, what’s bothering you, kid?
What’s bothering me is what has become– for me at least– this charade of romantic exchange.
What’s bothering me is having daily someone wondering what is wrong with me if I seem distant.
What’s bothering me is two men structuring their lives around some dowdy 1955 Reader’s Digest concept of being married.
It’s how we have become, Richard. It’s how we are becoming.
We are not Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore (only gay). We are two homosexual men living together.
We are not married. That seems to be a cultural affliction– thank god– of Christian heteros. Forget it.
Trying to be your lover, Richard– your spouse– is prohibiting me from being your friend– your brother.
your gay brother.
I’ve never needed a wife, Richard. And, God knows, I don’t need a husband.
I don’t want to be married, Richard. To you or to anyone. Marriage is against every philosophical or moral truth I’ve ever discovered.
I can be– I think I am– the man that you live with– the man that you share your life on every level with– that you dig sexually.
But I cannot be. I will not be– your marriage partner. Your husband. Your wife. God knows what.
Richard– please be aware of the fact that I am in no way saying that I think you have tried to foist a marriage situation on me. I have created the past month just as energetically as I think you have. I take full responsibility for my actions.
I also must take full responsibilities for my discoveries– for my evaluations.