“The need to speak prevents one not merely from listening, but from seeing, and in this case, the absence of any description of external surroundings is tantamount to a description of an internal state.” Marcel Proust
WALKING & TALKING & SPEAKING MUCH TOO LOUDLY
IN HER YOUNGER DAYS: FROM MY JOURNALS, 5 NOVEMBER 1982
The first really Fall day this season. Celebrated w/Mario w/a walk down through Central Park—just before sunset. The ground was blanketed throughout—we avoided the main paths & “scaled” diminutive hillside paths across the park—the sun set w/out much fanfare but steadily nonetheless. This after a last minute mushroom omelette uptown at Mario’s. He seemed hurried & preoccupied when i first arrived—but soon the invigorating pace of our travels sorted him out and he was talking w/out distraction about the problems he is having w/his novel in progress. He can’t get ‘inside’ this novel—the characters are strangers—We discussed how differently he and a writer of such acclaim as Gabriel Garcia Marquez finally arrive at similar statements—philosophical statements.
We stopped for a rest at the Bandshell—a lonely grouping of empty park benches—perfect for an intimate conversation—In fact, we both agreed, the park was an excellent place for an intimate rendezvous—as was borne out w/the occasional couple locked in the proverbial embrace & unaware of their presence in our paths—I’ve often day dreamed about a meeting—a liaison in the Park—it would make a nice short story, i think—a woman’s escape to the Park for relief from the life she is outside of the park (maybe)—She meets the Lover—an accidental yet spiritually fated meeting—what passes between them during that day spent in the NIRVANA of Central Park of a clear Fall?
I know I would end the story w/the woman leaving the Park, leaving the Phantom behind her to become, again, the trees, the shadows, the [?] to untaken paths. It might make a nice short story.
Mario sat recuperating from the five flights in front of The Ritz—When he could relax his breathing he gave me a little lecture in praise of the breast—“much more beautiful than the other thing, NO?”—We discussed what i’d just finished—he seemed to think it wise to spend a year exploring—at play—as it were & thought my decision to start a new series next year a wise one.
Saw two Fassbinders at a recently opened revival house uptown on west 99th Street—Nostalgically arrayed w/ architectural raiment reminiscent of the Deco—Frosty glass brick columns emanating a dull red glow—Really quite elegant in its simplicity—large screen—severely elevated seating so no heads. The films were: Mother Küsters Goes To Heaven & Jailbait. M fought a brave battle to keep his eyes open but I was intrigued the full four hours of film. Jailbait was an archetypal thematic interpretation of the generation war using the father/daughter LOVE/HATE vehicle. Eva Mattes has an incredible acting range—I can hardly believe the slovenly fourteen year-old and Celeste are one in the same woman.
How meager most film acting is—especially the Americans & their horrible dependence on affectation. There will be showings of Fassbinder’s films every Thursday of this month & M has agreed we should see them all. —Oh, and Susan Sontag was just like the rest of us mortals, standing in the same movie line!—the patch of grey in her full black hair gives her away—her presence is really part of the city background—lacking totally in ostentation, yet I could feel her there.
There’s a meeting or furniture moving next door—how closely we have to work—our personal noises overlapping—Some terrific Italian opera on WNYC—Cinderella storyline, I think, but it’s in Italian so i content myself w/the melody as entertainment.
Tomorrow Mario will play actor for a friend & film student of the New School. A silent film—he’s to act an imaginary chess game in Washington Square Park—i’ll go—another look at my old friend Mario. Told me he liked me best with my hair down—told me in more physical terms how much he liked me—I have to keep visits to his apt during the day to a minimum—i guess i really do believe he might be a little in love w/me, but the test would be for him to find a carrot that he can chase w/success. The thought of betraying Miriam overshadows & subsequently makes it impossible for me to think of being Mario’s lover—though the fear that he would overwhelm me is never too far from the relationship.
We also discussed dreams—mine have been intense lately & he’s been having a recurrent dream of ‘escape.’ i couldn’t quite make it understandable to me whether this thing he was trying to escape took one form, many varied forms or no form at all. After our reel-to-reel conversation today i think he may be trying to escape from his old style (current dissatisfying style). i think he’s looking for a stronger political reality—a change of direction—maybe an acceleration in that direction.—Lord knows what my recent dreaming means—filled w/symbolic images of rejection, testing—whispers loudly voiced in my direction—“Artists speak much too loudly.”—Distinctly uncomfortable conversations to have to overhear.
The opera is Rossini.