Thursday, March 2, 2017

March 2, 2017

Up oddly early, even for me. I was drunk when I went to bed, so it may have been quite early. I was drunk from going out after an Ash Wednesday service, which is not a good sign for the solemnity of Lent. Rejoiced because I got through the service before my voice failed. Was loud, but the room was loud, so all was well.  For Saint David’s Day I posted a request (jocular, I thought) for people to honor me. Most took it lightly, but from S comes the sentence– “someone I have respected since the third grade.” I sat back and thought,”really?” S was the big kid, handsome and athletic, and part of my scorn for him was desire for him, if I had but understood those things back then. I always thought we were enemies, though there was nothing in particular on his part–that I remember now– to indicate this: it was all in my little brain.  One time when I was taking a short cut through the Metropolitan Park to get home, he ran all the way from Betty Jane to stop me and command me to go back and take the authorized path. Even judging that he was going to kick the shit out of me there in the great meadow where there were no witnesses, I said “No.” He looked away, as though something interested him on the far side of the field, and then simply turned and ran off. “Huh,” I say, even at this hour. We spoke maybe twice until the Ellet reunions, where we chatted as if we had actually known each other. We had, of course, observing at distance, across the room, from separate lives since, as he noted, the third grade. I contemplate the power he has over me even now with a simple phrase. Maybe if we had known how to talk to each other–

A student begged and received permission to read Ginsberg’s “Please, Master,” aloud. May be the first time I’ve actually been embarrassed in class.

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