19 November—Thursday night
Another school night done. I had the distinction of correcting THE ESSAY OF NO RETURN. In which the reader sinks and never comes out alive. My poor students. What they must put up with.
Have been correcting papers at J.D. [Just Desserts]. Just for my edification they played Joplin’s Pearl, one of the great artistic achievements left by a brief bright candle of beauty. How trite. But I get sentimental with Joplin’s Pearl, and how it takes me back to days of innocence. I had just returned from sixth-grade camp. My sister Linda was in tenth, and that date of my return was her 15th birthday. When I came home, she was wearing one of her gifts, her first long dress. It was a white blouse attached to a long, light red-print skirt (long skirts were the fashion—part of the peasant look of the fall of 1970, from whence these memories come). I remember her birthday gift, how pretty it was on her, and what a festive home it was to return to.
Soon we will leave for the Valley and American Bacchanal—how much turkey can you eat? For now reading intellectual history and listening to the occasional waltz. Siren jour on joue une valse au bal public …
Never to grow old—seniority becomes a luxury for our generation. A dignified old age—to profit from years of experience. Savoring warm nights by the fire and long summer evenings …
Oh to grow old!
[Linda committed suicide four years following the event recalled, their mother died the year following; Peter succumbed seven years after these entries.]