Journal, April 7, 1976 AM

I’m still reading "You Can’t Go Home Again". {Thomas} Wolfe will get bogged down describing one person or one event with endless petty superlatives, repeating & repeating his main point until you are sick of hearing about it. But then he’ll write a passage where you hang on every word because it just drips with the truth that only a man who has tirelessly analyzed his own experiences can tell. I think Wolfe limited his experience & thus his perspective though by spending most of his adult life in the center of New York City. His is a hard, callous portrait of life. Man endures it, defies its constant attempts to squash him. There is little of man exulting in the beauty and power of nature, love for land tilled with your own hands, or the exuberance of passionate love (of a woman or of nature) in his writing. They are not part of Wolfe’s vision.

I tattooed goats yesterday, and counted new baby rabbits, and turned over the compost in our compost pile. If I didn’t know it was a compost pile, I’d swear it was just a pile of heating stinking manure, just like we make at home when we can’t get on the fields in midwinter to spread it! It’ll be great organic fertilizer in any case.

Aristides brought a big bag of jocotes for me. They were ripe ones (you can eat them green too), bright red outside and yellow & sweet within. They are something like plums, but smaller and sweeter. I ate hundreds of them at this time of year in San Isidro last year. Everyone there seemed to have jocote trees. I forgot my bag of jocotes at El Maizal yesterday. Or rather, I forgot the half a bag I didn’t eat there!

I planned to spend the afternoon writing my article about the animal health conference for the Peace Corps Newspaper. I got all set to write, and along came Elena. First time I’d seen her to talk to in a while, and she was up for talking. I pretended I was trying very hard to write, but she seemed not to notice. So I dropped my pen, and started asking her questions. She’s still taking sewing classes and hanging around home. No wonder they get married, the alternative is prolonged, absolute boredom! We got to talking about Jay and Susan. She (Elena) had assumed Susan was Jay’s sister or some other relative (so she said). I said no, just another of Jay’s many friends or "novias {girl friends}", if you prefer that term. Then she wanted to know how-come-is-it Jay has so many “novias” and I have only one, and her an unseen, & thus questionable entity off in Costa Rica? She was being as forward as she dared, telling me she was open to the suggestion, but I ignored the implication, and answered with my one-good-novia-basta {is enough} line. Lord I’m not ready for romantic involvement with Elena of all people. I know her too well!

I did get my article done after she left. I had brought out my sheaf of photos to show her the great change we undergo up north between winter and summer. I tried to center the article around the idea of hicks in the city, but it came out kind of disjointed like my thoughts are these days.

I ate supper, tried to watch the sun set (It went behind a cloud before it got to the horizon, & I gave up on it.), washed off the “tattoo-adora”, and read some more Thomas Wolfe.

I tried sleeping in the hammock, but was restless, and slept poorly because it doesn’t allow me to toss & turn as I’m prone to do when I’m not physically tired enough to sleep soundly. It rained last evening, how refreshing & renewing. I love that ozone smell, can get high on it!

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