Monday, June 19, 2017


[First anniversary of meeting]                                                                                   
J   Seeing as how we’re having wine, it’s an appropriate time for you to open your present.
B   Oh!  I forgot all about the present.
J   Right, right.  I’ll remember that the next time you give me one.  If you knew what I went through and now long I’ve been waiting for this to happen, Barbie baby.
B   Oh, this is the inscribed thing?
J   It’s nothing big, and I don’t even know what you’d do with it.
B   Nice paper.   I don’t want to tear it.  I’ll save it.  [Well, I have the rest of it at home.]  You wrapped it yourself?  What a good job!  Here it is, whatever it is.
J   It’s a pewter plate.
B   It’s beautiful!  I love it!  
J   What’ll you do with it?   I liked it when I saw it. “A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou—”
B   And you added, “The bread’s a throw-in.” That’s perfect.  I don't ever want to be without it.  I’ll put a hole in it and wear it around my neck.  Or I could wear it like Don Quixote.
J   You’d have to cut a little piece out of the front for your neck. 
B   What a great present!  How do you think of these things?
J   I didn’t, really.  I was fortunate because I just happened to see it.  You should hear me telling the guy  how to inscribe it.  “The bread’s a throw-in?” he says.  “Have I got that right?”  And I said, Yeah, exactly.  “The bread’s a throw-in?" he says again. "Well, all right.” 
B   I’ll bet that was the most unusual inscription he ever did, huh. 
J   One of them, at least.  What is that?  What’s the card?
B   My mother-in-law sent me an early birthday card, very early.
J   Did she think it was now?
B   She knows it’s August, but I guess the poor thing must think she doesn’t have long to live.
J    Maybe she thinks you don’t. 

B   Jack, I love this plate.  [You really do?]   I never had such a beautiful—[It’s not beautiful, Barb.]  It is beautiful.  What a conversation piece!  I’ve gotta do something special with it.  Like hide it. 
J  That’s the special thing you’re going to do?
B   Well, in case I’m not here and Ed drops in.
J   I don’t understand.
B   I suppose he wouldn’t know.
J   He wouldn’t know what?  For crying out loud, I’ve got something to tell you, by the way.  It’s a wonder it didn’t hit me at the time you said it.  But you know, you’re saying there are times you feel kind of bad for the way things are.
B   I feel bad for him.
J   That’s what I mean.  And yet you tell him that we were together every night in Florida.  And I’m saying to myself . . .
B   Well, he asked me a direct question.
J   Why didn’t you say, That’s no question to ask anyone.
B   The subject had somehow come up—
J   Tthat’s what I mean, if you could tell him that and then have to hide my present. . .
B   I could have bitten my tongue off as soon as I said it.
J   If I were here, I could have, too.
B   He’s apparently breaking up with Marilyn.  He called again today to ask what I was doing tonight—[No kidding.]—and I said I was seeing Jack.   He wanted to know if he could see me next Thursday, and I said not really, because I’m going away for the weekend, and I'll want to see Jack the night before I go.
J   Where are you going?
B   I’m going on that . . . (end of tape)
{I still have the pewter plate.  It hangs over my kitchen sink, and I still smile over “the bread’s a throw-in.”  BBM 9-19-01 Weymouthport]
B   What can I give you?  All I’ve got is skim milk—[You’re kidding, Barb.  Not for my coffee.]—and canned milk.  I meant to get real milk today, and I forgot.  I got some for Kathie, and I forgot to get some for me.  Look what I bought . . . real relish, for when we have hotdogs.
J   Yeah, I noticed you had real relish, dear, but I can’t put that in my coffee.  And real skim milk, huh?  [There’s powdered milk.  Will that do?]  No.  [Canned milk would be awful?]  Maybe not.  I haven’t had canned milk since I was in the service.  This will be fine.  But you don’t have any for the morning, Barb.
B   That’s why I bought the canned milk, for emergencies like this. 
J   It’s good.  It’s surprisingly good.  [Really?  You’d say that anyway, Jack.]  I’m glad you realize I’d say that.  I’d hate to waste it. 
B   Would you like some ice cream?  [What kind?]  Let’s take a look.  Oh, there isn’t any.
J    It’s all right, dear.  [How about a cookie?]  Do you have any?  [Yes.]   Are you sure?  [Well, I thought I did.]  The way things are going, I’ll be happy with a Liver Snack.  
B   All these June anniversaries, like your birthday three days later.  Last year we waited until midnight to kiss.  That Tuesday night was our first real kiss.  Remember how you said, "You’re late," looking at your watch because we were in the middle of discussing something. 
J  It was five past, and you had said you’d kiss me on my birthday.
B  You sat right there on that divan.  [You were wearing clicky heels.]  They’re very clicky. 
     Then after we’d dated a couple of weeks you said, I suppose we ought to go to bed sooner or later.  That was the first time I got that funny feeling in my stomach, `cause I’d been thinking about it. 
J   You never said okay.  I remember a time later when you were upset with me. 
B  I was upset? You must have misinterpreted something I said. 
J   Well, you were angry, though, Barb.  [What’d I say?]  Oh, something about “Men like you, you’re like the women who do this to men.” 
B   Oh.  I was accusing you of being a tease.
J   I’m thinking, What is she hollerin’ about?
B  (laughter)  I was very confused.
 The same girl that I had approached not too long before.
B   I didn’t expect you to just give up. 
K  Well, I did.  You can’t ask a girl again after you asked her once. 
B   Remember Martha’s Vineyard? 
J   I do.  Gee, that was a great day. Then there were days that weren’t so great.
B   That makes the good ones that much better, doesn’t it?
J   Do you know what?  I want two good ones.  The bad ones I can live without. 
B  I’m doing pretty well for my bad time of the month, aren’t I?  [Is this it?]  Yes, I’ve only got two pills left to take. 
J   I’m amazed at how well you’re doing. 
B   I can feel myself getting edgy if things go wrong.  Like I knocked the picture off the top of my bathroom cabinet, and the glass broke and went all over the place.  I was trying to get ready to be in time for you at six, and I was trying to listen to the Watergate testimony at the same time.
J   See, I don’t know I’m walking into these things.
B   It’s a good thing you were ten minutes late `cause I'd hardly recovered.
J   Any time that happens, Barb, I’ll say to you, Would you like me to go out and come in again?    Maybe in about an hour or so?
J   I made a copy of a Kiplinger letter.  It was very informative, and I think you’ll like it. 
B  Kiplinger’s has something to do with finances? 
J  Well, no, it has something to do with the economy, like “behind Nixon’s latest price freeze as a fresh anxiety will prove. . . The situation is precarious, and the hope is that. . . ” Lots of good stuff.
B   I’ll read that, and you can read this column by Mary McGrory in which she doesn’t have very nice things to say about Dean. 
J   Did you know she’s on the enemies list?
B  That makes her very select, don’t you think?  You kind of panned her when I first mentioned her. 
J   No, no, no, I don’t know that much about Mary McGrory.  I probably panned the article. 
B  “The likes of Mary Mcgrory,” was what you said. 
J   Well, after I read the article, I could have said that.
B   You’d like these latest ones, especially the last one.  [By Mary McGrory?]  She depicts Dean as being something of a snake-in-the-grass—
J   Of course.  How could she depict him any other way?
I have something for us in here.  For your birthday.
J   Ohh.  “To My Jack.”  I think you really like me sometimes.  Thanks a lot, honey. 
B   Here are the champagne glasses.
J   Aren’t you nice to me!  You don’t have to be this nice to me.
B   It’s no more than you deserve.  
J    Hey, lookit, did you know this happens with the champagne?  See the way it’s bubbling?
B   Yes, it’s the hollow stems.  {clink glasses}  Happy birthday to you and to many more we’ll have together.
 J  Hey, this is great stuff!  What were you up to today? 
 B   I weeded my garden today, and there’s nothing left in it.  I swear I’ve got plants that have grown smaller.  They’re not nibbled, they’re just smaller than they were when I put them in.  [What are they?]  I think they’re eggplants.  And they’re doing nothing.  There are so many empty places that I put some of the better looking weeds back in. 
J   You didn’t put some of them back in. 
B  I did.  I found some in the other garden. 
J   Hahaha, you didn’t, Barb!
B   They’re not bad looking for weeds.
J   I was taken over the coals tonight.  While I was in Florida, I guess Carol took off for New Hampshire, and she stayed there. 
B  You mean at Wayne’s base?
J   “Jack thinks he’s in love, but he really isn’t."  You’re not really in love until certain things happen and all this jazz.  [This is Carol telling you this?]  Oh no, oh no.  This was my sister-in-law, Eileen Murphy, telling my daughters. 
B   What’s that got to do with her going to New Hampshire?
J    Well, that’s part of what I’m getting called down about.  Look how Carol’s running around while you’re away. 
B    And how is it you’re not really in love?  Why does she say you only think you are?
J    Because according to her, you don’t know what love is until you live with it.  [Until you’re married to it.]  Evidently.  I hate to disappoint her and tell her she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. 
B   What everybody wants to do is to put us up against that acid test.  If we’re having too much fun, enjoying each other too much, they want to tie us to that ball and chain—[Because they are?]—yes, because they are.   
J   There’s a little envy there.  People like to tell me what I am and what I’m not.  I’ve been listening and I’ve not said much because I feel there’s not a selfish motive behind what they’re saying.
B   Why couldn’t they settle for Jack being happy?  People do the same thing to me.  .
J   I can't tell them to mind their own business.  I wish I could.  I feel like doing it when I’m hearing this stuff, but I just can’t do it.  They feel as if it is their business.  Eileen does, anyway.
B   She hasn’t dealt yet with teenagers.  In three or four years she may have a rebel out of all those kids.  She can’t count on their all conforming.
J   I used that word today.  [Which, rebel?]  Yeah, because when I think of my pre-marital situation and my wife’s, there was an awful lot of modesty involved.  Rightly or wrongly, I don’t know.  But there was.  And I’m amazed at what my two girls have done that I never would think of, and neither would their mother.  Compared to us they’re a pair of rebels.
B   It’s a different generation. 
J  It evidently isn’t genetic.  It’s environment, it’s peers.
B   It’s their peer group, absolutely.  This is what I used to say in my own defense when we had so many troubles with the two younger ones.  I’d keep saying, we didn’t have these problems with the older ones.  I was going back and forth to psychiatrists and saying, they don’t listen to us, they listen to their friends.
B   So now Edward all of a sudden comes around again, he’s breaking up with the girlfriend, he’s making overtures to me.  If I went back to a marriage with him, there are a zillion things I couldn’t do.  There’s next weekend coming up and three more workshops when Lee Doyle comes back.  She’s the one, remember I went to her workshop at the hotel?  She’s coming back to have these small workshops for 25 people.  I didn’t realize I was signing up for all three of them, but I did. 
J    Are these photography courses?
B    No, this isn’t photography, this is sex.  Lee is the dynamic woman who was the first trainee for Masters and Johnson.
J    What is there about sex, angel, that you don’t know?
B   Well if there is anything, I’m gonna find out, and it’s gonna cost me $300.  [Oh, Jesus.] 
Look, Jack, I found a place to hang the plate.
J   Oh yeah, over the stove.  It looks good there.
B   I’ll appreciate it three times a day.
J   I was very happy to come across it.  “A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou.”  [With the bread a throw-in.  I loved that.]  I had to indicate it was superfluous.  We guzzled a lot of wine in a year.
B  Tell me more about all your old girlfriends.
J   That’s about it.   Except the story of the girl that I dropped off.  I met this sailor one night, and he wanted me to go on a double date. He was talking about this girl—her name was Lavange, the same name as my tenant down in Hingham. 
B   That’s Rosalie’s last name?
J   Yeah.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t remember it.  I was sitting alone at the oyster bar at Phyllis’s place.  I had a car, which I can’t understand, but I did.  I was in uniform, which I rarely was when I was home.  The sailor was having a few drinks, and he said, “What are you doing tonight?”  Nothing.  “Would you like to go to a dance?  I’ve got two girls lined up.  Mine is fair, but the other one is really lovely.”  He’s building her up so much, I figured he just wanted transportation.  I said okay. 
      I don’t know how we all got in the car, whether I met her or went to her house or what.  All I remember now is the four of us being in the car.  I don’t even remember seeing her for the first time, but I remember being in the car.
B   Maybe you were stunned by her beauty.
J    Yeah, I was stunned.  I knew damn well I didn’t like her.  [Oh, you didn’t like her?]   Right away I didn’t like her.  [Was she pretty?]  She wasn’t pretty.   She had a terrific shape, but in those days, they had to be pretty.    
    It was raining, and I was driving to the VFW Post, and when I got there I said,  “I’ll park the car, and you go in and dance.  I’ll be back in a few minutes.” That was the last they saw of me.
B   Jack!  That's awful!  
J    I know it. The next summer I was in Nantasket, and Bobbie Boyd was there with a group, and we were all sitting around waiting for some particular person.  “Gee, I wonder where she is?” everyone was saying.   She was someone very popular.
     So I was saying to myself, I wonder where she is too.  All of a sudden they say, “Oh, here she is now!”  I turned around, and sure enough it was the Lavange girl.
B   And she remembered you.
J    I don’t know whether she remembered or not.  Nothing was ever said.  I was looking in the other direction most of the time she was there. 
B   When Catholics go to confession, do they confess things like that?
J    Oh no!  You never tell a priest.  God understands.  There’s nothing in the commandments about that. 
B   You don’t have to admit doing terrible things to people?  You confess swear words and impure thoughts and stuff like that? 
J  Yeah, that’s right.  Taking His name in vain.  Not coveting your neighbor’s wife.  You respect your mother and father, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t bear false witness.  But what I’ve been talking about, there’s nothing in there that you have to tell.
B   Why are you telling me?  I’m not going to give you absolution.
J   I’m telling you because you asked me.
B   After the first three or four of your confessions, I wondered when something like this was gonna happen to poor old me.
J    I always excuse myself and say I was just a kid.  I wouldn’t do that today.  I wouldn’t do that to anybody.     
B   When you think about some of these things you did, maybe you can excuse Carol on the same grounds for the things she does. 
J   No, I can’t.  It’s not the same.
B   Why isn’t it?  She wants what she wants regardless of whether anybody else is concerned or inconvenienced.  Sounds like she’s a chip off the old block.
J   You’re funny.
B   Maybe she’ll grow out of it and turn into a nice lady. 
J   I’m sure she will.   Do you think we’re going to fight tonight?
B   I don’t think so.  Not as far as I’m concerned.  I like you even if you were a rotten kid.
J   I wasn’t a rotten kid.  No, really, I was a nice guy.  Nobody had to worry about their daughters when I was out with them.
B   Well, that’s a shame.  Both for the daughters and you.
J    No, I never wanted it, never even looked for it.
B   I’ll bet there were a lot of girls pining away, wondering why you weren’t making a pass.
J    I don’t know that that’s true, Barb. 
B   I don’t think girls were that different in those days.
J    Maybe not, but I never knew whether they were or they weren’t.  I know I always had a good time.  If I was out with a girl I liked, I had a good time.  We used to go to Southland and a few other places.  If she was pretty and good company . . . I never thought about the other.  Never thought about it.  Honest to God, I never did.  I used to like to kiss them and you know, neck and stuff, but that was it.  You never did rotten things like I did?
B   I did some kind of mean things.
J    Hah! Like what?
B   I was unkind to a couple of fellows I lost interest in.  I told you that.
J   Well, why are you giving me a bad time, then?
B   I never actually left somebody stranded.
J   Who did I leave stranded? 
B   There was the girl who was a telephone operator.  And the one you just told me about.
J    The only thing I feel sorry about . . . No, not sorry really, because we went out and had fine times after that.  I liked her a lot.  [Which one was that?]  Mary McDermott.  She was a perfect kid, absolutely perfect.  She used to laugh a lot. 
B   You made her laugh. 
J   No, she used to laugh, and I couldn’t imagine what she was laughing at half the time. 
B  It was you.  Being funny. 
J   I used to talk to her about that.  I’d say, “What are you laughing at?”   She just enjoyed life, that’s all.  She was a beautiful kid, one of the best kids I ever knew in my life.
B   This is one of the most boring evenings I’ve ever spent with you. 
J    Honestly, angel? 
B   No, not honestly.  I’m teasing. 
J   Well, okay then.  But I’ll have to do something about that.  Like say I’m sorry.
B   I just thought you should know.
J    Oh, I do!  Something about the way you said that, I knew right away what you meant. . . .
J   When I started in the bank at thirty-five dollars a week, I was twenty-seven years old.  Kids are getting out of college at twenty-two or so, and here I am twenty-seven.   The mere fact of me working in a bank to begin with was fantastic because all I’d ever known was the shipyard.  I didn’t care what they paid me.  In fact, that’s what I said to Marie.  She said, “Do you know how much you’re going to get?”  I said, “Yeah, thirty-five, but I would have taken thirty.” 
     It was great, though.  I would have settled for emptying bedpans in a hospital just to get a job. 
B   So they trained you at the bank?
J   Yeah.  In six months I was making fifty dollars a week.
B  The reason you had postponed your family was because you were waiting for a raise?
J    I never postponed my family.  I never thought about it.  [So you weren’t consciously practicing birth control then?]   No.  Marie took care of those things.  [By the calendar?]  No.  Marie used to inform me.
B   It must have been the calendar then, if she informed you.  Must have been the—what did they call it—the rhythm method, right?
J    Maybe that was it.  Yeah, because it was five years before we had the children.  I was thirty-three when we had our first.
B    You must have been thrilled.
J     No, I wasn’t thrilled.  [Over having babies?  No?] Well, I had nine months to get used to the idea.   
B    Weren’t you thrilled when she said, “I’m pregnant”?
J     I must have been.  When she didn’t get pregnant all those years, I knew it wasn’t my fault.  It was nobody’s fault.
B   Was there something that was done that made this happen, or did it just happen?
J    It just happened.  No, wait, we made a Novena.  This meant a lot to Marie.  We couldn’t have children, so we made a Novena.  I passed the church every day going home from work.   She believed in it.  I didn’t disbelieve.
B   What does Novena mean?  I don’t even know.  My mother-in-law talks about it.
J    It means nine weeks of lighting candles.
B   Nine.  I figured it had something to do with nine.  It makes it appropriate for nine months.
J    It makes it holy.  It’s related to religion.  After four years of making Novenas we had a child.
B    I remember Sally Brewer was at the doctor’s taking her temperature.  She had two children, then quite a few years went by, and she wanted more.  So she was forty, taking her temperature and calling Whitey and saying, “Hurry home!  Now is the time!”  [Yeah, yeah, Marie took her temperature.]  He’d have to hurry home from work at four in the afternoon or nine-thirty in the morning, or whenever. 
      She had that third one they’d been working so hard on, and then bingo, a year and a half later, along comes another one they hadn’t planned on.  
J   No temperatures, no nothing?  [No.]  Yeah, now that you mention that, I’m sure temperatures were involved with Marie 
B  The other night you mentioned the time I said to you, “Goodnight, sweet prince,” not knowing that I was saying something significant.  
J    Oh yes.  It was startling because Marie used those same words.
B   She and I had the same taste in princes.
J   Well, as long as we’re so madly in love, I don’t know why we don’t get married. I just like to think about it.  We don’t have to do it.
B   I like to think about it, too.
J   Let’s do that.  You know, kid about it.  At least you don’t object to my saying it.
B   I like the idea.
J    Good, good.  We’ll just continue like that.
B   I feel that if we got married, that’s when I’d lose you.
J    Lose me?  You wouldn’t lose me unless you wanted to.
B   I’d lose all the things I love about us.
J    Okay, we won’t take that chance, that’s for sure, because marriage isn’t worth it. No sir.  Don’t let anybody kid you.  Marriage is the way to lose what you have.
B   If we were young, and I wanted to have your babies, which I’m sure I would, it would be different.  But I don’t see what is to be gained, and I do see things that might be lost.
J   Might be lost.  Okay, that’s good.  So we’ll just kind of play around with it.
B   Personally I couldn’t be happier.  I have standards to go by.  I have comparisons to make, and I know what it is to feel deliriously happy, and that’s the way I feel with you as things are.  I don’t see how I could feel better.  Maybe you could feel better.  You probably could.
J    No, no, I don’t want to marry you for any other reason than—
B   You’d know there was a wife at home taking care of you—[No.]—and she that would be doing things for you and your daughters and taking responsibility. 
J   But you’re not that person.   
B  If you’ve gotta have that person, it will have to be somebody else.
J    You’re right.  I agree with you wholeheartedly.  My problem is, I always spoil things by wondering how long they will last.  That’s me.  And if I married you for that reason, worrying about how long it would last, I wouldn’t want it to last longer married because it wouldn’t have lasted longer otherwise.  That’s no good.  [Right.]  That’s like saying I want to tie you down somehow, so that if you decide you want to get away, you can’t. 
B   And at the same time you’re tying yourself down, when you might—
J    No, that wouldn’t happen.  But I’d like to continue for you to like me, and if this is the way to do it, I have to accept that.
B   If I were Eileen's kind of woman, I’d be there, helping you raise your daughters.  But I’m too selfish, I’m too old.   I can't go backwards.  It would be backwards for me, even though it would be a good thing to do.
J   Who’s to say that’s the thing to do?  I know it isn’t.  I know it as well as you do.
B   I think we have a right to think of you and me because the time ahead of us is limited.  Your daughters have a long time ahead of them, you’ve been a good father, they know you care, you’ve shown that you care—
J   Well, I could have shown it a lot more than I have.  I could have sat home and made sure that they would be in at a particular time.
B   What’s that going to prove? 
J    I don’t care, Barb.  I don’t care.  I don’t see that my being there . . . well, I don’t know for sure.  I don’t know that the fact that I was there would deter them from doing things that— I could be wholly wrong.
B    Once they reach a certain degree of maturity, there’s nothing you’re going to be able to do except show that you care.  
B   It would be something I’d do, and you’d get so mad, you’d go into a sulk . . .[I hate to be belittled.] . . . and I can picture you being that mad at me, and then my getting that mad because you were that mad.
J    There comes a time when both people think they’re right, and they’re both proud, and it becomes beneath them to do anything about it.  I’ll say, well, if I haven’t heard from her by now, she must be happy.  She must be doing what she wants to do.  Because that’s what I always wanted for you, to do what you want to do.   
B   If I didn’t call you, you wouldn’t call me? 
J   No.  Well, I don’t know.  It’s according to how things were.  It has to be a particular situation.  I’d have to know I was right.
B   Suppose I was having my bad time of the month, and a week goes by, and you don’t call me and I don’t call you `cause I’m in my bad time of the month.  And when you don’t call me I get into my good time of the month, and I figure, Well, he doesn’t really care that much, so to hell with him.  [Yeah.]  It would all be because of the time of the month and we’d be ruined.  `Cause you were stubborn.
J    Well, I’ve got to have a bad time of my month too   Christ, I can’t be going month after month with your bad time. 
B   So all right.   One of us has got to break down and call the other.
J   As long as you continue to think it was your bad time of the month, then I expect a call.
B  You expect a call from me?
J    Well, it was your bad time of the month. We’ve both admitted that. I don’t have a bad time.             
B  So you should call. 
J   Okay.  I’ll make sure I do.  There’s no place I’d rather be and there’s nobody I’d rather be with. 
B   I was talking to Kathie about Silva Mind Control and told her how I’d programmed you—
J   You sure did.  Somebody did.
B  —after we’d had an argument.  I pictured you with this mad face, first in a blue-framed mirror, and then a smiling face in a white-framed mirror.  I said to Kathie, “I didn’t dare take a chance and call up and assume that he’d be smiling.”
J   You can assume that.  You can assume I’m always waiting for your call.
B   I wasn’t sure that you were.  That’s why I said, “Hello, this is your angel.” `Cause the last thing your angel had said was, “I wish there were somebody else here that I could talk to!”  and you went—
J   I think that’s when I left.
B  —storming out.  Yes. 
J   I thought it was time.  I think, Jeez, I don’t know that this is likely to improve by hanging around.  I’d better get out of here. I didn’t expect your call, though. 
B   This is what could happen, Jack.  It was my bad time of the month, but I didn’t let it be.  I called you up anyway.  But suppose I didn’t.  You wouldn’t have called me.
J   I wouldn’t have called you that day.  I don’t know what would have happened the next day or the day after.  But I’m going home, and I’m feeling sorry for myself, you know.   And I was doing a lot of thinking to myself aaboutt what bugs me.. 
B   What were you thinking?  Is there some specific thing I do that upsets you?  [Mmhm.]  What do I do?  It’s probably something Ed knows very well. 
J   I don’t want to tell you, Barb.
B   Then I don’t think you should have brought it up.  But since you have, tell me.
J    I’d rather not.
B   Would you like it if I did that to you?  If I said, “Jack, there’s a thing you do that bugs me, but I’m not going to tell you what it is.”
J    No, that doesn’t seem right.  I wouldn’t like that.  Okay, I’m going to tell you.  Are you ready? 
{What a time for the tape to run out.  BBM 2-27-02}
7- 9-73
B   What I said to him was, if you respected Marilyn’s wishes and Marilyn’s wishes were that Ed should not go out with anyone else, above all not with his wife, why shouldn’t I feel the same way about Jack?
J   Jack never said that, Angel.
B   I know, Jack doesn’t have to say it.
J   Well, don’t put it that Jack said the same thing Marilyn did.
B   I didn’t say you did.  But I know your feelings. 
J   No you don’t.  You want to see Ed twice a week?  You can.  [And you wouldn’t care.]  No.  [I can quote you.]  We’re not married and we don’t intend to get married and you’re on your own and you’re gonna do what you want to do.  If you want to see Ed twice a week and you want to go to bed with him, go ahead.  What do you think of that?  Are you surprised?  You shouldn’t be.  If this is what you want to do, angel, do it.  Don’t think that “I can’t do it because of Jack,” because Jack is just another guy.
B   He’s not just another guy! 
J   The fact that you think about going to bed with Ed makes Jack just another guy, do you understand?
B  I’m not thinking about—.
J   You don’t need my permission, you do what you want to do.  I’m not gonna say you shouldn’t.
B   He doesn’t feel that way about you.
J   I don’t give a sh—darn what he feels about me.  It doesn’t bother me what he feels about me, Barb.
B   He doesn’t like it a bit.
J   Because he’s possessive and he thinks all he has to do is ask.
B   There was one night when you stood by the front door there and Ed was coming over the next night—it was about three weeks ago—but he was coming over for something or other.  Something special, taking his mother out or something like that, and you said—
J   He has to come over here to take his mother out?
B   Well, he was going to pick me up and we were going to take his mother out.  You said, “I’ll expect you to call me about 10:30.”  [Who said that?]  You did.  And you said if you don’t call, I’m going to wonder why.
J   I never said that.  [You did say that, Jack, yes you did.]  That doesn’t sound like Jack at all.  I don’t want you saying is it all right with Jack.  Listen, if it’s all right with you, that’s the thing. Don’t say I’d like to do this but Jack may not like it.
B   What I want to do is to find somebody that will really be right for Ed.  He says, My God, what’s going to become of me? Nobody wants me, nobody loves me, and he makes me feel very sad.
J   Sure.  Well, you’ll continue to feel very sad for him for quite some time, but if you’re looking to me to say you should or should not do things, that’s your business.
B   I’m not expecting you to say you should or should not, but I might be looking to you for your feelings, and I have concern about you.  Is that bad?
J   You don’t have any concern about my feelings.  If you did you’d—I don’t know what you’re doing this for.  Are you doing this for Ed?  Are you?   Really?  Have you convinced yourself you’re doing this for Ed?
B   I’m not doing anything yet.  I haven’t made a decision.
J   Well, you’re about to or we wouldn’t be discussing it.
B   I’ve talked to Kathie, and I said Kathie, have you got any suggestions, any advice?  She said if I did, I wouldn’t open my mouth.  Any time I have, I’ve given the wrong advice.  Then she said, I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t know what to tell you.
J   Of course she doesn’t!
B   She says she feels sorry for her dad, but then I tell her how I feel about you, how I don’t like the idea, just like you said, of being a fill-in between his lady friends.  I don’t like the idea that he would honor Marilyn’s feelings and stop seeing me.  She has wrecked what was a sort of satisfactory open separation.  Talk about open marriage, all right we had an open separation, where you walked into this and you accepted it, so now we’ve gone for two months, and I’ve just been seeing you exclusively-- [Is that all, I thought it was longer than that.]  Well, maybe it has been, but it’s been great, I’ve loved it and I assume you’ve enjoyed it and I think it would be difficult all around—whatever I do,  it’s gonna bother somebody.
J   Do you?  Who do you think it’s gonna bother?
B   I think it would bother Ed greatly if I continue to say no—[Yeah, but if you continue to say yes] I haven’t said yes.  [No, you haven’t, but you’re about to.]  Not necessarily. 
J   Not necessarily, but you will.  I’m not gonna tell you what to do. 
B   I know you’re not, but you could give me some idea of how you’d feel, and if I thought it was gonna affect us—[No, it’s not gonna affect us, Barb]—it wouldn’t be worth it.  I don’t like getting  emotionally mixed up again, It ‘s been less stressful to know that he was okay, he’s got Marilyn, and I can concentrate on Jack.  This opens up a whole new back-and-forth—
J   A whole new affair].  
B   No!  [It doesn’t?}  NO!  No, a whole play of emotions between me and somebody else.  If I get involved with him again, it makes things all that much more complicated.   
J   It doesn’t matter what I say, though.  I’m not about to say, don’t see your husband any more, that isn’t what you’re looking for.
B   I wouldn’t expect you to say that.
J   What I said a long time ago, Barb, the only guy I don’t object to is your husband.  I would resent and be extremely disturbed if there was somebody else, but if you want to see your husband, you see him, that’s all.
B   All you’d have to do is get adamant like Marilyn.
J   I don’t want to be like Marilyn, for Christ’s sake, This is your decision, angel.  Do you think it’s my decision?
B   No, it’s not your decision, but how you feel about things is important to me.
J    I can’t stop this thing. 
B   Yes you can.  You’ve got more influence with me than he has.
J    No, I haven’t.  We wouldn’t even be discussing this if I did.
B   Well, you’re not putting on any pressure, so how do you know?
 J   Maybe that’s where I’m missing the boat by being nonchalant.  Maybe I’m making a mistake.  Feeling so sure of myself that you can see your husband and still love me.   
B   That is so true.  It always was true.  It’s been true all along.  [Yeah, I know it but--]
That’s not gonna be any different.
J   Why are you doing this, Barb?
B   If I do, it would be because I feel he needs me.
J   I don’t know, Barb.  Maybe I should say particular things, but I can’t.  I wish I could.  But that would be dishonest with myself.  You know, I could make demands and make a production of it, but I can’t do it.  I feel it’s your decision, since we said we’d never be married and never be together for a great length of time—
B   Who said that?  [I said that.]  You said we’d never be together for any great length of time?
J    It’s been nice like this, I’d like to keep it like this, and so would you.  But I didn’t know that Ed would keep popping into the picture.  I thought that—he said to you at one time, “Who’d miss you?” and I thought he meant it.  But he loves you, Barb.  He loves you, I don’t know in what way he loves you, or if it’s the type of thing that, I’d like to possess her because it will be an accomplishment.
B   I don’t think at this stage of the game that it’s anything like that.
J   Well, if you don’t think that, why don’t you go back with him?
B   Because I’m happy with you.   He said he tried this last year to find someone else with whom he could have an emotional, intellectual, and romantic relationship and it was just hopeless.  Want to make just half a drink?
J    No, no, you’re shut off, because I can see you’re starting to feel the drinks.
B   (disbelieving cackle) I’ve had two, and you’ve been guzzling all this time.
J    Oh, I know.  But my thinking is as sharp as ever.
B    Tell me the pajama story again.  Was it a top sergeant that spotted you in your pajamas, and how many tiers were there?
J    Well, it was the top bunk.
B   And he was what, the officer of the day?  [You might say.]  And he spotted you, and said, “What do we have here?”
J   Yeah, yeah.  “What have we got here?”  
B   And every eye turned your way. 
J    I don’t know about every eye.  I saw a few. 
B  The guys underneath you, of course, didn’t see you.   
J   I don’t know if there was anybody in the bottom bunks.  Maybe they were on liberty.
B   But you were conscious of a few eyes, and a few remarks?
J    I didn’t hear too many remarks, I just know that as I looked around, I was being stared at. 
B   And did you have the pajamas half on, or what?
J   I had the top on.  [And you took it off?]  Nope.  [You didn’t?  You’re stubborn.]  I’m not stubborn.  You don’t take it off at a time like that.  [Proud, then.]  You just have to live with it, or sleep with it.
B   You didn’t wear it the next time?
J   I don’t remember.  I thought I had gone through the worst, but from then on, it was downhill, so I assume that I stayed with them.  [Really?]  I don’t know.  I don’t remember having them when I was shipped out.  I don’t remember going from Ellis Island to the buoy tender at Staten Island with them.  I never had them at Staten Island, I know that, so I must have torn them to shreds.  [mixed laughter]  I must have, I never saw them again.
     So what’s happening, Barb?  I mean, what is about to happen?  I’d like to know.
B   I don’t know.
J   I don’t like it, you know.  I talk about it and I say it’s up to you, but I hate it, I hate it.  But I’m into it, you know.  If it was to share you or nothing, I’d share you.
B   If it was to share you or nothing, I’d share you too.  Or if it was to lose you, or be with Edward, I wouldn’t be with Edward.
J   You’re not about to lose me.  I’ll just have to accept it.  That’s nice.  I like that about me  I do.  It shows I love you more than I love him.

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