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The Last Hundred Miles

@thelasthundredmiles / www.thelasthundredmiles.com

The Diary of Larry Waite

October 3rd, 1981

After two weeks of not seeing each other, I went to David’s tonight for dinner. What a wonderfully calming, peaceful night. We had Chinese food delivered and he made a fire to celebrate this new Fall chill in the air. After dinner, I laid on the bed and he played beautiful powerful piano. I walked across the room and kissed his forehead when he finished. His brow was hot and wet. I loved him dearly. We cuddled on the bed together. He told me there was a strength developing in me that was visible. It felt good to be with him. I do not know what God’s will for David and me is. Tonight was a pleasure.

Work continues to roar ahead at full speed. I begin to tire. I am rearing a danger gone. The next few days must be carefully balanced.

Yesterday I got a $50 raise at work, and a strong endorsement for the work I’ve been doing. I’ve also been told I can hire an assistant. Hard work pays off. A direct result of sobriety.

October 1st, 1981

To be entirely willing to have this character defect of self-hatred removed means a complete willingness to cooperate with and to allow a total restructuring of my emotional foundation. I hesitate before I take this step. I am told that abused children seldom want to leave when attempts are made to remove them from their homes. I feel as though this fourth step is like a social worker arrival to take me away from the terrible abuse of my father and mother-- and I am afraid to leave. I am going. I am leaving. Goodbye, Lawrence and Jeri and your terrible, twisted drama. I am leaving and I am taking this frightened, unloved, scared little boy with me. Help has arrived-- and I am entirely willing.

September 30th, 1981

Another deluge of activity at work. Using the program every day. “I will relax and not get tense. I will fear nothing, because everything will work out in the end. I will practice soul-balance and poise in a changing and vacillating world. I will claim the power of God, and use it-- because if I don’t use it, I will be withdrawn. so long as I get back to God after each task and have my strength renewed, no work is too hard.” Getting through a typical day in that office requires a moment by moment maintenance of concentration-- getting through the day step by step-- first things first. And somehow, through deliberate use of the program-- there is an element of joy that pulses quietly through the work-- and shines in my dealing with people. I am learning how to work. I am learning how to deal with pressure and tension and maintain balance and poise. And I am learning to separate my job from my self-concept-- to keep my ego out of the spotlight. I am learning to keep my job in the right focus. This is how I make a living. This is how I pay rent and buy dog food.

And I pray that this current work load will not burn me out the way the last couple of times have.

I went to St. Luke’s tonight. Afterward, coffee at the Bagel with Joanne and Dale, a new member-- 2 weeks sober.

Tonight Show on television-- telephone call to Jim. Ice cream and snuggling with my dog.

September 29th, 1981

Self-hatred is wrong. It is a character defect.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs’.

6. We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

September 23rd, 1981

The soap opera with David continues. He didn’t call last night or today. It’s now 10:30-- I just got home from a meeting at St. Luke’s--- and I called him. He’s not in. During the past 2 months I have talked to David nightly. I know his daily routine. His schedule. I know that he’s out. And, knowing that he doesn’t hang out in bars-- I strongly suspect he’s seeing someone. That really angers me-- annoys me. He’s playing his little girl role to someone else’s boy. I don’t even like David. he’s not the kind of hard-core, blood and guts personality that I’ve always been seduced by. He’s a naive little sissy.

So, all at once, I am guilty, confused, hurt and angry. Mostly angry at myself for being in this situation-- for allowing this to happen.

So what’s left now? Just me again. And my dog, and my job and my meetings.

During the meeting tonight I realized with great clarity that underlying and undermining my entire existence is an unfathomable well of self-hatred. Six months of sobriety has slowly stripped away a few layers of bullshit-- accumulated layers of self-image, fantasy, personality. I’ve been getting closer to the truth-- the primal force that shapes all my experience and perceptions. It’s like lifting off a scan that has covered the central, mortal wound carried through my life since childhood. Beneath that scan is a horrifying, roaring, monstrous, endless pit of self-hatred-- raging like a scene from hell. It remains buried under years of lies and drunken self-image, distortion, grandiosity and egotism. I despise myself. That’s what I cannot share at meetings. That’s why I cannot write. That’s why my life is strewn with the debris of two month affairs. That’s why I choke myself on three packs of cigarettes a day. That’s why I drank and drugged myself into oblivion every day for eleven years. Sweet oblivion. That center-- that black, calming center where the pain stops. Where I stop. Cease to be. I seek oblivion because I do not want to be. It hurts to be me, because I hate myself so utterly.

September 21st, 1981

Another nightly bulletin from Mr. Bizarre. Yesterday, David and I had a date to go to a movie. I spoke to him late in the afternoon and suggested that perhaps a talk was in order-- I had every intention of of going to his apartment and telling him all the decisions I had reached and that I didn’t think we should continue to see one another. to my surprise, he said he thought he fully understood all the issues and felt like he was in a position to deal with me the way I am (foolhardy boy...). Again, I was deeply impressed by David’s sensitivity and understanding. I kept wanting to add that I thought we should feel free to see other people if the situation should arise. But, I hesitated, and never said it. The conversation ended with me getting my way (spoiled brat, as usual) which was a completely relaxed attitude toward each other. None of this operatic romance, walking hand-in-hand into eternity. Rather, a casual , healthy dating situation. And we met for a movie-- had a nice evening, and said goodbye at the subway.

And now tonight I am sitting here in a rising rage listening to the sound of David’s telephone ring. I went to a meeting at St. Luke’s tonight (Jeanne spoke). I had talked to David at work earlier in the evening-- and asked if I could call him later. I am jealous and boiling and mad at myself for feeling these feelings.

Well, this does it. The suggestion to avoid relationships during your first year of sobriety is well-taken-- finally. This has shown me clearly how fuck-up I am. Simply, the confusion hurts. It causes pain. And I don’t know how to handle pain. I will not call David. I’m sorry this didn’t work out. And tonight it hurts like hell. I only want this hurt to go away.

September 20th, 1981

Simply: my feelings for David changed, almost overnight, from intense passionate romance to detached affection.

AND I DON’T KNOW WHY.

David is miserable and confused-- understandably. And I am not sure what I should, or should not, do about the situation. I feel both silly and guilty that the romantic ardor that I laid at his feet a month ago should have faded and ceased to exist.

It’s difficult and somewhat dismaying for me to admit the fact that I don’t know a great deal about myself. I am subjected to erratic, often sudden, mood changes. I am driven by often contradictory needs and desires-- whose origins lie buried in my childhood and which remain mysterious and incomprehensible to me. For years I dragged myself into oblivion on a daily basis-- and never dealt with reality or real feelings. It’s not that sobriety is causing me to be inconsistent, but rather, for the first time in my life I am aware of what a fucked-up, inconsistent, egotistical, self-destructive neurotic I am. And it is very important, at this stage in recovery, that I not try to regulate and control my feelings-- but to go through them. I am not a very good person to be in love with right now. And I do not think David has the inner strength or self-confidence to endure all the changes I am going through. David has stars in his eyes-- and gaping holes inside that he desperately needs to fill with love.

Which is to say-- this romance isn’t working out. I feel that we should stop seeing each other-- for David’s sake, because I think the situation in confusing and frustrating and bad for his self esteem-- and for myself, because I don’t want to feel hassled or guilty or responsible for not meeting someone else’s needs.

September 14th, 1981

An interesting comment was made at St. Luke’s meeting tonight. The speaker, a woman celebrating 90 days, said that throughout her life she had believed that she was destined for greatness. What a chord that struck in me. I have always nurtured the deep believe that I am full of raw undeveloped talent-- and that someday it will be expressed. Consequently, I have viewed my entire life as a prelude. It may or may not be true that I possess talents that can be developed-- but it seems that I have missed much, paid little attention to, disrespected a lot of experience because I considered it insignificant. My current life-- my job, this apartment-- all is significant to me only because I believe that it is leading up to something. Living in the now means that you value each day-- each moment. I have always sought for people to perceive me, to judge me-- not in the present tense, but in terms of what I am capable of-- living on the pretense of my imagined future. I have been so frantic all my life to create and maintain my own illusions as to where I am heading, that I’ve rarely fully experience where I’ve been. I dream of being recognized by the world as a great writer. It is that recognition and the life that I suppose it brings that I dream of-- not some deep inner satisfaction at creation with words. I am always so busy perceiving myself-- that I miss the experience of being.

To stop living out the roles of the characters I create for myself-- to face daily life honestly and without pretensions or secret notions of grandeur. Perhaps, to writer because of the beauty of words-- not for the sake of recognition.

September 13th, 1981

[continued]

Splendid day. I just walked David to the subway, and now sit in my underwear and eat Häagen-Dazs and watch the Emmy Awards on television. David came over late this afternoon. I made a “Missouri Supper” for him, which he seemed to enjoy immensely-- pinto beans with ham hocks, fried chicken, corn on the cob, muffins. We sat on the floor in the living room and ate at the coffee table. Afterward we made love-- and I enjoyed it. But, I can only reach orgasm by closing my eyes and summoning my pornographic fantasies. This has been true of my sexuality always. I seem to just have become aware of it. I am not able to attach erotic significance to a sexual encounter I am in. That’s why men’s room cruising and anonymous sex appeal to me. In those situations, the other person exists only in my fantasy. Anyway-- I am becoming more and more aware of what my sexuality is like.

Tonight David went to the meeting at Washington Square. Throughout the evening, my feelings for David begin to warm again. He seems to understand not to crowd me-- and his sensitivity impresses me. I enjoy him enormously.

I read my journal from last summer today. Dear God, the constant depression.

Lord, lord-- it’s so much better now. Healing.

Sunday night. Cozy and happy in my Village home with a funny stub tailed dog named Bingo.

September 13th, 1981

Wonderful to be alone in the apartment. Allen has gone to Fire Island for the weekend with his friend Arthur. Yesterday was quietly filled with lazy pursuits. David had spent the night Friday, and we lolled about the living room drinking coffee until around noon. I went to the bank and wandered about the village buying groceries-- enjoying a warm bright sunny day. Managed, finally, to find the laundromat uncrowded and did four load of dirty laundry that has been piling up since my vacation. Today, I slept until noon, missed mass, and walked Sadie leisurely through Washington Square. I sat on the living room floor and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes and had a nice long chat with Diane. She and Nan have invited David and I over on Wednesday for dinner. David is coming later this afternoon for dinner and then we’re going to a meeting tonight. Now I must shower and get busy.

Note: I shaved my mustache yesterday. I look so different. So young, so vulnerable. 

September 9th, 1981

Odd day-- nearly out of sorts, low energy. Wondering if I may be coming down with a cold. Busy at work. I try to concentrate on doing what has to be done efficiently and relaxing. I keep saying to myself “Relax, enjoy”. It makes work a lot more manageable. Lower Manhattan has an electrical blackout this afternoon. The entire city below 14th Street without electricity. I walked home because the subways were not running. I stopped at Penn Station to cruise the men’s room. The streets jammed with people trying to get home at rush hour without subways. I pushed myself into the throbbing mob stampeding into Penn Station wondering why I was doing this. Cruising a tea-room, really. But once I was standing at the urinal next to a straight looking number playing wit his huge swollen hard-on I knew what brought me there. Men’s room sex is furtive and nasty and turns me on like crazy. It activates and satisfies those feelings of sexuality that were formed in early adolescence-- or deformed, perhaps. I stayed at the men’s room by the Long Island Railroad for awhile, then went upstairs to the larger men’s room. I had just stepped up to the urinal, when a stunning dark Latin beauty, muscled, beautiful body, gorgeous face-- stepped up next to met and pulled out a beautiful dark uncircumcised cock. I immediately had a hard-on. Suddenly we were both blatantly masturbating and watching each other. We both had orgasms within a minute, at the same time. My knees nearly buckled as I exploded cum into the urinal and felt orgasm shake my body. I looked over and saw him shooting a huge load. I zipped up my pants and he turned and smiled-- a broad beautiful grin-- showing white teeth. I smiled back. I put my sunglasses on as I went up the stairs. I looked to see if he was following. He wasn’t. At the top of the stairs I stopped and lit a cigarette. I wondered if I should wait for him. God, he was handsome. I thought about giving him my phone number. Then I turned quickly and left-- no, don’t try to capture this excitement. It only exists for that one swollen moment. That’s it’s excitement and beauty. I left the station and walked home feeling marvelous.

It is not David I think of tonight as I lie in the dark and conjure up my sexual fantasies. It is a dark Latin beauty. And he will be with me probably for years. Romantic love precludes that rich sexuality that only exists in my imagination. For one exploding moment my hot Latino stud entered my imagination and merged in the fabric of my fantasy-- to be called back and replayed over and over again. It will be that thick uncut cock squirting cum that I see when I close my eyes and fuck David.

September 8th, 1981

A very busy week looms at work. I go into the office every morning with tight-set jaw and a roaring agenda of all that must be done. I steam and fly about desperately trying to run the show, do the job, please the world. Today, I am going to ask my Higher Power to fill me with that simple, honest capacity to perceive priorities and to approach my work calmly and with concentration. And I do not have to play the role of “Boss Who Has Everything Under Control”. With faith and honesty, I am going to relax and enjoy my day, my work and my life.

September 8th, 1981

[continued]

Today has just been a normal peaceful day. I maneuvered my way through a busy hectic day without emotional turmoil. Now it is a rainy night relaxing at home. Suddenly fall is in the air. The city darkens early and the rain is dramatic and moody. I made spinach noodles with Parmesan cheese and a loaf of Italian bread. I sat on the living room floor and watched All in the Family. Now I stretch out on the sofa, bundled with pillows and Sadie and drink root beer and smoke cigarettes and I absolutely couldn’t be happier.

David is reacting like a hurt child to the events of this weekend. I have to face facts-- basically what I said to him was “stand back-- give me some space.” And I’m proud of myself for having the sense to recognize my needs and deal with them.

September 7th, 1981

A.A Thought For The Day

“Easy Does It.” This means that we just go along in A.A. doing the best we can and not getting steamed up over problems... We alcoholics are emotional people and we have gone to excess in almost everything we have done. We have not been moderate in many things. We have not known how to relax. Faith in a Higher Power can help us to learn to take it easy. We are not running the world. I am only one among many. We are resolved to lead normal, regular lives...

“God is my refuge.” Say it until its truth sinks into your very soul. Say it until you know it and are sure of it. Nothing can seriously upset you or make you afraid, if God is truly your refuge.

IF GOD IS TRULY MY REFUGE, WHY DOESN’T HE MAKE MY DOG PEE?

September 6th, 1981

There was much confusion in my life yesterday; and now I sit on a grey overcast Monday morning and try to understand what happened. Something has just not felt right about my relationship with David. It’s hard for me to describe-- but I have been isolating with him, remote, detached. I think that basically I am having a difficult time being part of a “couple”. My life is structured around working and going to meetings. Adding the framework of a relationship makes me feel crowded and confined. I have very little free time in my life and it’s very dear to me. I need that blank unstructured time to organize, understand myself. A period of re-creation. Solitude is an important component of my life. It occurs to me as I write, that this problem, this theme, has been recurrent in all of my affairs. Early on, I usually feel that a relationship threatens my solitude. Well, that’s what’s happening now. David and I went to the opera last night. On the walk over, he said “This city makes you desperate for love.” I told him that I didn’t quite understand what he meant. I said “The city evokes strong currents of lust in me, that has very little to do with love.” He said “I used to think I had it all figured out, that the two could be combined. Now, I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore.” This is actually the only conversation that occurred-- yet David must have been sensitive to my moods, or I was insensitive to his. After the opera, he and his friend Susan went to meet her parents for dinner. I was invited, but declined. they walked me to the subway-- and just before I left them, David said “I think you should go out tonight.” “That’s an odd opinion for you to have” I said. “I do, I think you should go out.” I left him and came home feeling completely hassled. I took Sadie out for a walk, and true to form, she would not piss. Now I know that this dog hasn’t pissed since early morning-- and I know, from having lived with this dog for seven years-- that she needs to piss. So trying to contain my rage, I walked her to Washington Square, which I loathe doing late at night. Nothing. She wags her tail and trembles and stares at me as if I were trying to torment her. Why!? Why should my fragile mentality be strained by such a hopelessly mundane detail as my dogs excretory habits. I beseech my Higher Power, I beg, I implore. MAKE THIS DOG PEE!! Nothing. This Power that shaped the Universe, this source of all life-- this force which I have turned my life over to-- apparently doesn’t care enough about my mental health to step in and remove this idiotic daily harassment. Back at the apartment, the toilet stops up again. Dear God. Standing in the kitchen I turn my eyes upward and scream: FUCK YOU, HIGHER POWER!!! In my rage I storm out of the apartment and head for the bars. I’ve been building toward this for days now. I rush down the street wondering why this HIGHER POWER which I have considered to be so operative in my life doesn’t help now-- where is the comfort, the assurance, the serenity. I know the bars are dangerous ground tonight. I do not care. Fuck it. Fuck it all. I have reached some breaking point. I am totally hassled and I want to escape into the cool alcoholic darkness of a bar. I go to Boots. Jules is there. We visit at the bar. His presence temporarily removes the possibility of my drinking. Pride will not allow me to drink in front of Jules. I begin to calm down with the music and people. A group of AA people arrives and stands near me. I see Allan across the bar. He leaves with a trick and I resume they’re coming back to the apartment. Jules and I run out of conversation. I leave and go to Ty’s. It feels good to be out-- although I am not at all sure what I am doing. I am having my third Saratoga-- so it looks as though I am not drinking. I stand in the middle of the room. A very handsome man at the bar smiles at me. He is drinking. He looks drunk. I smile back. Am I going to trick? Am I about to fuck up the relationship with David? Am I ruining everything? The guy’s name is Steve. He has obviously had a lot to drink. He gives me a bright phony smile. I stare into his eyes and the smile fades. This is a lonely, desperate man. “Let’s go fuck” I said. His smile was gone. “OK” he said.

We walk to his apartment with our arms around each other. I do not know why I am doing this-- but I know that I need to have anonymous sex with this drunk stranger. It is, in some way, an act of anger. He is too drunk to find his apartment. Finally we locate it. The apartment is a wreck. Bare rooms stacked with boxes. It looks like he just moved in. Sex is dirty but not good. I do not like this man. I pity him. Remotely. I play with his cock and try to fuck him. He grinds his body against me with a wild urgency. It is love he wants. This city makes us desperate for love. I talk dirty to him and we masturbate together. I come. He does not. I dress quickly and leave. We kiss at the door. A great kindness swells inside me for this man and his cluttered apartment. I do not know what has just happened on that mattress on the floor. I have used him for very urgent specific needs. I have given him that vital part of me that only exists for strangers.

September 6th, 1981

[continued]

And so today I have had a marathon session of meetings. Joanne and I walked to the East Village and went to two meetings on St. Marks Place. Tonight I went to St. Luke’s beginner’s meeting, and Sheridan Square. Basically, I have to admit that this relationship with David has been making me crazy. I have to accept the fact that I am going through a lot of feelings and emotions which are all very new to me. I have to keep my life simple and honest and know that everyday I have only one priority-- to stay sober for 24 hours. I don’t want to eliminate David from my life. I spoke to Jim tonight. He says there is a reason for all the parts of our life. There is a reason that I have met David.

September 5th, 1981

The relationship with David starts to feel complicated, and I resist and resent complications. It is very important for me to keep my life on the simplest level possible. The skeleton of my life is staying sober, and meeting my responsibilities to my job and my daily life. Just maintaining that balance requires all my concentration and energy. I don’t have excess emotional or physical energy to distribute into other areas right now. Perhaps I am not at a point to offer myself to anyone else in terms of a relationship. I really like David. I enjoy being with him. But this preoccupation with figuring out how to be together annoys me. I value my personal time very highly. I need my time off to relax-- recuperate. I can’t stand this business of plotting our weekends in terms of being together. I can’t leave Sadie for extended periods. It’s unfair to expect David to stay here.

Goddamn it-- it’s a lovely Saturday afternoon and I need to clean house and do laundry. And I want very much to just relax and go about my day and my life very happily and joyfully. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. What is mine will come to me. What is supposed to be will happen. What should work out, will. I am not the scriptwriter anymore.

September 5th, 1981

[continued]

It flashes-- suddenly, powerfully like a jagged sharp line of lightening across a calm twilight sky: the craving, primal and intense, to get stoned. Cleaning house, enjoying a day at home. A Grace Jones album evokes last Fall- the drinking, the whoring, the drugging. Sunday afternoon at the Ramrod, the corner of Christopher and West thronged with hot men in blasting sunlight. Right now, this moment I want it. I want to feel alcohol hot in my body, that first excited flush. I want to feel that bright euphoria of a marijuana buzz. I want to get stoned.

September 3rd, 1981

There are moments during the night as I lie next to David that I stare at his face half-hidden in the shadows and see the long lashed eyes of a handsome young boy; his broad back seems luminous in the dark room. I put my face against his shoulder and smell a pubescent sexuality that fills me with a roaring male lust. I long to gorge that tight pink ass with my cock-- probing his insides, his hot insides with my cock, my fingers, my tongue.

Wonderful meeting tonight. This Thursday night group has become my weekly charge of energy. I am always filled with a spirit, an energy by the people there and the meeting.