7.08.2017

Journal, February 1, 1977 PM

Today I move into the apartment in Santo Domingo. <Yesterday Sofia and a sister went over to clean the place up and make me supper.> They said the people came out of their houses to stand and stare at the two of them! <The sister says she even heard one old guy whose wife had called to him from inside say, “Just a minute, I’m watching the girls go by.”> I’m not sure if they were doubtful about the girls’ moral standards or just plain curious.

<In any case, Sofia made me a fine, fine supper, her sister ironed all my clean clothes (including the T-shirts & she’d have ironed my BVDs if I had any clean ones laying around!), and the house was uniformly spotless, with a smell of strong disinfectant. Whatever else she may be, Sofia is a cleanliness & orderliness freak.> Grandma Jefferson would have loved her from all reports!

I had to go back to San Antonio {de Belén} last night, so I took the bus to Heredia with the girls. Once there, they informed me that there was no bus to San Antonio until 10 PM, but that we could go to a movie. Obviously they had it set up ahead of time. I was trapped. They were clever enough not to tell me about the San Antonio bus until we were in Heredia, so I couldn’t suggest an alternative, like listening to the radio or walking around Santo Domingo.

For movies we had a choice of “The Guns of Navarone” and “Tu me Enloqueces {You Drive Me Crazy}.” Fortunately they were cheap, 6 Colones. The women folk went for the latter picture. It was an Argentine version of the old & best forgotten Elvis Presley line of pictures where nothing mattered but his voice & posing, and of course the beautiful chic. The “tipo” (star) even looked like Elvis, & wore open-chested garb to show off his hairy chest like Elvis. The chic was an overdone copy of the “old” Ann Margaret image. Needless to say, it was diverting!

Poor Doña Carmen! Even on my last night in her house I arrived late (10:30), and this morning I gulped breakfast and ran. Some boarder and “adopted son” I’ve been of late!

<Night before last Sofia and I got back into the heaviest theme we ever touch on.> I feel I am largely wasting my time here, intellectually, and she immediately assumes that includes her, though I try to explain I’m only talking about my job which is not furthering my long range intellectual goals much. She then attacks (and from that point dominates the conversation with her doubts and preoccupations). She fears I will one day shut her out almost completely in favor of scientific interests, and warns she won’t tolerate such abandonment of her & especially of her children. She says she sees the makings of a “mechanical existence” in my personality already. I counter warn that she must cultivate her own interests because I will not devote my life to being her caretaker and entertaining her. As before we reached no conclusions. Only time will tell, and neither of us is ready to give up our relationship to go look for a potentially better one.

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