I read yesterday that the White Horse Tavern is closing or has closed or may close, and though I’ve only been there twice that I know of, I feel a certain feeling, sadness or something like it, every time I walk by it, and I felt moved to write a little something, and I may still later or tomorrow but I always get waylaid when i pull out old diaries.
Not to get too far into the weeds of what I’m NOT writing about, but the thing about the White Horse is that the first time I went there was in the early 80s with a man I dated for a short time. I met him at a bar on the Upper West Side (I would go up to the Works when I wanted to cruise and didn’t want to run into anyone I knew) the year after I dropped out of Parsons and was living on East 10th St. and working at Pearl Paint, he lived in New Jersey or White Plains or something, I don’t remember back then ever being at all concerned with any distinction between the places people lived that weren’t Manhattan. He lived with a woman who didn’t know he was “bisexual,” he smoked Nat Shermans, and I was obsessed with him. Also he was handsome and, I don’t quite know how to say this but he treated me like a girl and that turned me on hard.
He (I don’t remember his name!) specifically wanted to take me to the White Horse and tell me about how Dylan Thomas drank himself to death there. I know I wrote about this man in my diary at the time because I ran across mentions of him last year as I researched the essay I wrote for a book my friend Joan is making. He is somehow connected to my decision in 1983 to spend a year in Indiana finishing school which I only half did because … well, that’s another story and probably one I’ve told a million times. He, I guess it’s fair to say, ghosted me, which was a much easier thing to do back then.
So I was reading old diaries this morning. Somehow I haven’t found what I set out to look for. I guess it would help if I looked at 1982 and not 1990. I’ll get there, but in the meantime, here’s a fun excerpt. In 1990, I had just left my first long-term serious boyfriend Brian, and I was living alone for the first time in my life. I was temping as a legal proofreader to pay (well, sort of) my bills, and I’d just started writing pornographic stories and scheming to get them published. I wrote several but I never finished them. This was before computers or even word processors. I had a manual typewriter, and the process of revising was too tedious to live. I still have drafts of them somewhere in the drawer with the old journals.
My favorite thing here is that I considered using the name of Judy Garland’s fourth husband as my porn nom de plume.