So today's Wake-Up Call, that is to say, the call I made to wish Happy Thanksgiving to a favorite friend, as well as to make myself aware of what I should be doing, brought me the admonishment that I was writing too much about Brando. No doubt that is true, as I am focussed on the young part of my life, probably excited that I could be remembering it in so much detail, when I had to be reminded by my daughter-in-law that not that long ago I had what seemed a relationship (not to be fooled) with Shirley MacLaine, who wanted to make a book of mine into a movie, when she, and it, were still viable. Having been to a theater yesterday, in a movie(it wasn't really, being more static than "motion picture",) I am sad for what had been one of the most major pleasures of my youth, which is now definitely over. Not just my young days, but what had made them more enjoyable. Norman Mailer's once wife whom he stabbed has died, and I am remembering standing near him when a doctor friend of mine was married for a minute to the heiress Peggy Hitchcock, a very bright, erratic classmate of mine at Bryn Mawr, and he said something I could have considered combative, and a journalist friend said "Careful, you're standing near the railing--" a balcony in her house. So I didn't speak, an unusual characteristic for me in those days.
Mailer was a defender of mine during my near-annihilation from the alleged (we still don't know the value of his academic credentials-- that isn't true: they were in the main spurious,-- a reporter on the LA Times doing a follow-up story and finding out how fragile were his only credentials, which included a Nude Encounter weekend) psychologist who sued me for Touching, my novel about the nude-encounter marathon I attended at the end of the Sixties, which it very much WAS. The Sixties I mean. But Mailer admonished me then even as he continued to support, writing me how much being used in a novel had upset his life, though he wouldn't step away from being in my corner. The allegedly great writer Philip Roth, who had decimated one of my most beloved friends, being her lover of many years until he got his million for Portnoy, on which day Roth's wife drove her car into a tree so he never had to give her anything, which he celebrated by leaving my beloved buddy, so she attempted suicide, giving him his next book. Everything very well written, but I think empty of real feeling, as he was.