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the face reflects the mood

Diane, the dark side.

By Diomedes | Robert O'Reilly | 10 Mar 2023



Our first date was great. I made no record of the second but I do remember she visited me at the warehouse the following Saturday and we had a wonderful day and night of it, doing lines and drinking beers, introducing her to my friends there, talking together in my loft for hours. I read to her some poems of William Collins and others and she liked them a great deal.

She stayed the night and we had sex in the loft and a few hours of sleep together. On leaving the next morning she said she wanted our next date to be drug free, an honest request, I thought. So I agreed to visit her the following Sunday, with empty pockets. Big mistake.

It’s odd that I didn’t record anything about this second date because there are some ten pages of journal written between this date and the third, describing in detail two more all-nighters. I was partying heavy, at least two, sometimes three nights a week at this point, a pace no one could keep up for long. And many days off from work I’d start doing lines by noon, to read and write before evening, which my journal is full of. But I was still healthy (for another month) and enjoying it. So it was an unlucky idea for Diane to ask me out on a ‘sober’ date at this juncture. From this point on, her timing was extremely inept, and amazingly unlucky, as you’ll see. And after such a hopeful start at forming a great relationship, she showed me her other ‘side’ which soured everything.

Sunday Aug 12th 1984,: I had a most miserable time of it, driving to see Diane about noon, feeling okay but not lively, stopping at her place briefly she somewhat mortifies me with an account of her last night’s date and sleepover with an old boyfriend. As we drive off the car starts making a loud ‘clicking’ noise but we proceed despite it (and our annoyance) to a breakfast for her on a deck in the sun, part of a restaurant where she once worked. But she complains of the sun and acts like a spoiled child with her food, dumping the fries from the plate onto the table in distaste. I drink two beers fast, from anxiety. The conversation is petty. She displays a strong propensity to tease me. She mortifies me again as we leave by meeting and saying a warm ‘hello’ to another former boyfriend and lover, as she tells me.

We drive through heavy traffic to a free jazz concert, a dull time of it for me, sitting on hard cement, nursing another beer over 45 minutes, not caring two cents for the music but keeping up a dull, sporadic conversation with her about it.

Then to Marin, nervously in my clicking car, running very rough, to a Burger King. She rants about and insists on pigging out, acting cute about gluttony. I eat a hamburger at her insistence — no beer there — and I begin to feel nauseous. We go to visit her girlfriend but she’s not home. Another girlfriend there she decides not to visit that day. We drive to San Anselmo to visit Norma but she’s not there.



Then we drive to Fairfax to the quaint bar ‘Naves’ and even it’s gone, changed into a coffee house. I drive her home despondent while she talks of old suicide attempts and A.A. meetings almost all the way, I not contributing much and feeling ill from the hamburger. She has me stop at a store for supplies and figs, -no figs-. We go to another market and get them. Finally we get to her place with a six pack and I’m still hoping for a little ‘tumble’. She turns on a tiny but loud T.V. set. There’s no T.V. guide so she switches channels every ten minutes, somehow missing the Olympics.

Sitting beside her on the floor, as we are talking about some terrible ‘B’ movie I put my hand on her back and she moves away, telling me, without explanation, not to touch her. Another wretched 30 minutes of T.V. as I ponder my situation and prospects with her, she all the while gabbing about how she loves especially bad programs, likes the stultifying effects of T.V. and also sleeping 14-hour spans.

So I leave, disgusted but saying only that I can’t watch T.V. (as if it were some fault in me) restraining a flare-up of anger and things on the tip of my tongue (such as: if you like particularly bad programs, why don’t you find a moron to watch them with). But I keep it down to a few grimaces and grinding of teeth. Leaving her door she grants me a peck of a kiss on a spot she points to on her neck. I tell her she can call me when she wants, ‘maybe’ I’ll call her again. Then I briskly leave, drive home, 7:30, eat, jump in bed, read a little of the ‘Eddy’ paperback, then to sleep.

“And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud”. Shakes. Sonnet 35.

The next day I’m doing lines with Jim and Rob C., explaining my disastrous date. The next day it’s ‘orange juice and lines for breakfast’, with John Seebach and so on. The party continues



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B.A. in Latin and Greek from U.C. Berkley. Writer, Blogger and retired Electrician.

Robert O'Reilly
Robert O'Reilly

I am educated in the Western Classical Tradition, B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Latin and Greek, English major, one year at U. of Toronto, studied under Alain Renoir and Northrop Frye, read most classics full time for many years after university in French, English, Latin and Greek to the modern day. I am interested in the near future of technology, what changes it imposes upon our heritage and character as humans. Short stories and Essays are my medium.

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