Thursday contained a good, long day at the Academy followed by dinner with D. at my favorite trattoria in the Italian district. We both had a sufficient amount of drink during a sufficient amount of conversation.
Friday morning I finished a painting, a double portrait begun Wednesday - first painting for me, some of it good. That afternoon the protege and I wandered across City Hall Square resounding with high-amplified Christmas Carols bellowed by the Policeman’s or Fireman’s or some such-chior on our way to tinsel-layered Wanamaker’s for D. to pick up his new suit. From there to The London Ale House for a couple of beers on our combined last dollar.
Andrew arrived at my place at about 7:30, Bob Barnes at about 8:00, Dennis at about 8:30, as Bob was dashing out for his train to Wilmington. The three of us lingered over drinks until half-past-nine-ish, talking and having a lovely time, when we set out for dinner at mirrored, candlelit The Emperor. Drinks with an acquaintance of mine on our way out before staggering off in our separate directions.
Returned to Spruce Street, D. and I spent a very serious hour in very serious conversation. Approximately, it went by way of Denny’s reproach of my “weakness” (the accusation so spookily echoes Ed’s reproach of me a year or so ago. I feel as though it is la recherche du temps passé as well as perhaps the definition of a pattern, a repetition of the boy’s sincere devotion to me, and from my point or view, a rather sobering realization of this potential ardor. Through my alcoholic mist I was suddenly very conscious indeed of the intensity of emotion smoldering under his cool and delicate crust of non-acceptance like the fire banked for eruption in a volcanoes crater. I deeply hope for Denny that the potential passion will be unleashed an the proper cause, the proper recipient for him. Tonight, now at this moment I am not objective enough to predict its sex or character.
We talked on and on, on the whole more or less unintelligibly until he left very gently…
Saturday afternoon, a raw day reminiscent of a Parisian winter day. Andrew and I lunched at Bookbinder’s. We went to a revival of the extraordinary movie “8 1/2” at a cinema in Market Street following which we sat in a near comatose state over a couple of beers at the bar of a phony Polynesian-type restaurant. Home for a nap in the early evening. Andrew came to Spruce Street from the Warwick for a couple of drinks before we dined late and simply at a delicatessen.
A. winded his way back to the Warwick and I went for one beer at a bar before returning home, collapsing in my bed for hours of sodden sleep.