April 27, 1991: After a Reading
recorded in a random notebook

(2:15 AM)

Just home from performance party at Michelle L____'s house, where I read "Jeremy's Job." In some way this is the beginning of my real career as a writer; in some sense, I am published. I published myself tonight, aloud, to the minds of 20 or 30 listeners.

Now I find myself calm and becalmed, contemplative, silent. I've blown my wad, uttered my prophecy, made my voice heard. All the labor that went into the story -- all that's left is fragmented and fading memories in two dozen heads.

That's not true; the manuscript remains, to be revised and submitted. Still, I don't know what to say. I haven't spoken since we left that house. Kris is in the bathroom now, getting ready for bed. She's drunk.

Greg was at the party, Michelle L____'s boyfriend, a much earthier person than most of Michelle's friends. I mentioned this difference to him and he spoke very earnestly with me. Greg is 28 and used to be a farmer; the other people at the party were younger, art students for the most part. He was very aware of the contrasts, didn't like crowds, seemed to identify with me. I think I was one of the few people there who spoke his language. Most of the talk there seemed artificial to him. When I sat down with a plate of food and said, "Now this is living," he said, "Not quite, I got my my own ideas about what living is." He wants to go live in a cabin in the woods, and escape the hectic pace of life we've created for ourselves. I know the feeling. I was very nervous about my first reading. Greg was supportive before and after. He said he tries to avoid hurting the ones he loves by taking it out on strangers, or on his boss.