Journal, September 15, 1976 PM

I called the “cipota {girl}”and talked for 25 minutes. All in all it was a letdown. I felt inhibited and uncomfortable, and didn’t say hardly anything. The connection was bad at her end, and she kept asking me to speak up. Also, she seemed kind of distant and cool. I don’t know, the medium is so limited; it even changes her voice so I hardly recognized it. I almost prefer letters, even with the time lag. With a letter, you can note style, weigh the words, read in subtle meanings. We were very stiff and formal on the phone. She even started calling me Usted! She leveled her big guns at me and said, “When are you coming to visit me? Why not sooner?” Sorry lady, I can’t make it ‘til November, much as I’d like to.

She loosened up, talking about her studies, but I didn’t catch most of it, and hadn’t heard of the book she was lauding. So it goes. I think I’ll keep her though. I was reflecting earlier today on how most women I meet almost immediately play me for the fool or else the “nice” boy to take home and show the family. I guess I’m a natural for the role of the naïve well-meaning fool! <But Sofia treats me like a man, attractive and desired but not to be trusted too far for all his seeming reliability.> It’s a good tactic!

Jay said just now that he’s always admired pickpockets - so smooth, clever and nonconfrontational. I would add sneaky and gutless, but that’s a distinct viewpoint.

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