writings: the diaries
of otto dix
At the whore house.

What am I doing at this place? It was a spur of the
moment thing. I was in the neighborhood and it occurred
to me to pay a visit. I was curious to see if this
establishment still existed.

It did.

I went in.

The whorehouse still exits and so does Frau Sauckel. She
looks good.

I check out the girls.

Now an amazing thing happens. I see a familiar face. Is
it Gerta--the redhead?

No. Its Sally--my old model!

Unbelievable!

We embrace. We sit on the couch. I have some
questions for her.

We go upstairs.

In the room we talk. Its the usual.  She needed money.  
She got mixed up with some guy--another painter. She
got pregnant and decided to have the baby.  The
boyfriend took a powder. Now she had this baby on her
hands.  She needed a job.  There were no jobs.

The one thing she said she would never do is sell her
body.

But here she is.

She says--what about you?

I fill her in on the teaching.

She says: what about that woman--the one married to
the doctor who was fucking the sister/in/law.

She is still married to the doctor and he is still fucking
the sister/in/law.

Pause.

Now what.

She says: are you game?

I am game.

This is a first for me: fucking a whore I had previously
fucked in an amateur capacity. Is there a difference? Not
that I can see.

After she refuses payment.

I insist.

She says no.

We go back and forth with this. Then I give in.






1927-1929


Dix continued to teach at the Academie in Dresden. The
situation with Martha gradually resolved itself.

Hans Koch decided to marry Eva. There was a divorce
that was settled amicably enough.  A joint custody
arrangement was drawn up regarding Hans jr.         
Martha kept the house.  Hans continued to work
downstairs.

Now Dix and Martha had a decision to make.  There
were many trips back and forth between Dresden and
Berlin. They decided to marry.

The political situation had somewhat stabilized. The Nazis
were in limbo.The Nazis fortunes rose and fell according
to the economic situation. This was showing signs of
recovery. A new minister of finance--Schact--had
managed to stablize the mark. (Schact was later to
become Finance Minister under Hitler and play a key role
in Nazi affairs) Some of the restrictions of Versailles had
been withdrawn and the army was gradually rebuilding.

In 1923 the Munich Putsch occurred. Goering was shot in  
the leg but managed to escape and flee to Sweden. He  
spent the next 5 years in exile in Sweden dabbling in a
series of business ventures.

He also battled a drug addiction problem--a side effect of
the leg wound and a nagging affliction that  plagued him
off and on for years. Every writer on Nazi Germany has a
different version of two things: Hitlers sex life and the
scope of Goering drug addiction. They all agree He was  
putting on weight.  He was becoming obese.

But one thing is clear: none of this affected his energy or
his abilities as a salesman.  In this he was a natural--the
equal--or nearly--of Hitler. Together they made a
formidable combination.

In 1928 Goering returned to Germany. This was a
significant event. Once back in Germany he wasted little
time. He was soon in the thick of things.  

He met an industrialist named Fritz Thyssen. The
problem facing people like Thyssen was where  to put
the money. It was Goerings job to convince these people
that the Nazis--despite some nagging  doubts about the
violence and unsavory character of a few peripheral
types--would pay the biggest dividend.

Hitler was elated to have Goering back. In addition to his
fund raising chores he was also installed as chief of the
SA--the Storm Troopers. He became "Hitlers fist".

In 1924 Goebbels had joined the party. This was another
turning point. Goebbels was a journalist. He was well
educated. He had a doctorate in Philosophy.  He could
speak. In this he was surpassed only by Hitler in his
ability to lather up a crowd and whip them into a rabid
Nazi intoxicated state.

But his real gift was for propaganda--the transformation
of Hitlers ideas into simple concepts the average working
stiff could digest and to plaster it all up on billboards and
install into various party controlled magazines, journals,
newspapers. He was the great Media Master. If he hadnt
gone into politics he would have had a brilliant career in
advertising.

In 1929 the New York stock exchange suddenly self-
destructed throwing the country--and the rest of the
world--into a panic.

The fortunes of Hitler and the Nazi party were about to
enter a new phase.




1929

Yesterday I got married.                         

The wedding occurred at my parents. Present were: the
bride and groom, Marthas children, Hans and Eva,
Mother Ey, F, Tony and assorted friends, students and
family members.

Marthas mother was there. She is still a little wobbly
from all the swapping of mates back and forth among
siblings.

My brother Robert was best man. Eva was not maid of
honor.

I think I am ready for this. Living alone is hard. There
are all these chores--laundry and dry cleaning,
yardwork,  auto repair, gift purchasing, banking, etc.
You need help with all this.

We get along. We both like clothes. The sex is good. She
laughs at my jokes. When they stop laughing at your
jokes you can be sure the relationship is doomed.

There are some trade offs. I admit the thought of never
fucking another woman is a formidable concept. Its like
telling an alcoholic he can never have another drink.

It was a beautiful day. There was food, food, food and
wine to go with. There was a band. There was a
performance of magic courtesy of Tony. There was
Martha and I who danced up a storm.

F gave a speech:

Ive known Otto for 15 years.  We went to art school
together. At first I didnt like him.  I hated him.  Why?  It
was the way he drew.  He was too good. But I was able
to overcome my jealousy and we became friends.

Later we shared a studio. This left scars. There are         
similarities to marriage here. You find yourself spending
vast  amounts of time in the company of this other
person at close range conveniently placed to observe
certain obsessive acts of behaviour.

Otto is neat.  The studio was divided in half.  Otto had his
half and I had mine. Im not a pig. But compared to Otto
my space looked like a movie set from the laboratory
scene in Dr Frankenstein.

We shared a kitchenette  and utility sink area for cleanup
and I frequently had the feeling while making coffee or
scrubbing out my brushes and washing paint jars and
rinsing rags and so forth that I was being watched.

Martha is a lucky woman. She is not only getting a
husband but a great cleaning lady.

But this is a quibble. There are more profound qualities
to this man. He has a gift for friendship.  He is loyal,        
generous, sympathetic.  He has compassion.  He is
funny. You can put the arm on him for a small loan. Also:
his mother is a great cook.

These two are a good match. There is love, there is lust
and a  deep sense of mutual respect. So for all these
reasons lets wish the bride and groom well and drink a
joyous toast to a long life  of health and happiness.

Salud!



On my honeymoon.

We are in New York. I have taken Mother Eys advice to
visit the United States. The plan is this: New York,
Niagara Falls, Chicago and Los Angeles.

In New York we walked. We walked, we walked, we
walked. The first day we toured the Brooklyn Bridge,
saw a play and visited 3 night clubs. The second day we
went to an amusement park called Coney Island. The
third day we shopped. We went to a store called
Bloomingdales. Bloomingdales is the Hammersteins of
New York. I bought some shoes and a hat. Martha
bought shoes, a coat, a suit, gloves and jewelry.

The fourth day we did nothing.  We were exhausted.
Mother Ey was right. The city is dazzling. I would love to
live here for a couple years.  I think 2 years is the limit.
Then you would drop dead.

We called on a man named Marcel Duchamp. I was given
his name by Mother Ey. I have heard of this man. He is a
painter--or used to be. In 1912 he painted a picture
called Nude Descending a Staircase. Ive seen this
painting.  Its a beautiful piece.  He painted the picture
and--at age 25--decided to retire.

A few years later he was invited to participate in a big
show in New York and he agreed. His submission was a
urinal packed in a shipping crate.

He decided there was no way he could ever top this
piece and retired for the second time.

But life is strange. MD became famous.  He became
famous as the artist who does no art. And the less art he
produced the more famous he became. He became
famous for being Marcel DuChamp.

He doesnt paint, draw, write or speak. He plays chess.
He lives in a small apt near Washington Square.

This is a man you would never peg for an artist. He is
completely non-descript. He is a small man in a suit. You
look at him and nothing registers. He is a man in whom
the body is  superfluous. If you destroyed the body and
left only the brain nothing would change. You would be
doing him a favor.

The apt is neat and filled with books. There are
several chess boards on small tables with games in
progress.

I played chess as a child. Its a dangerous game.  You
can get seduced by this game and spend the next 70
years of your life holed up in your apt playing chess by
mail.

We go out for lunch. Lunch occurs at a neighborhood
delicatessen.

We check out the menu. Like everything in New York the
menu is excessive. It all looks good.

MD says: do you like pastrami?

The answer is yes.

He suggests the 88: pastrami with chopped liver and
Russian dressing. Martha has a "Reuben"--corned beef,
swiss cheese and sauerkraut on grilled rye .

We order.

MD says: Try one of these pickles.  The pickles are great.
This is how you rate a deli--by the pickles. If the pickles
are good the food will be good.

We chat. This is an interesting man. I like him. He is
smart but he doesnt make an issue of it. He leaves you
to figure it out for yourself. Its called modesty.

He asks about Mother Ey.

Mother Ey is fine.

He says: I love that woman.  She is hilarious.  I was
laughing so hard I was crying.  I said: this is better than
the movies.  And its free!

He says: I gave up art because I got bored. Maybe that
was a reflection on myself.  Perhaps I lacked
imagination. But there it was: I was bored. And the more
I worked at it the more bored I became. There was
nothing to be done.

Also there was the business side to contend with--the
dealers, the critics, the museums and so forth. There are
openings and parties  you are obliged to attend  and talk
to people.  This I cannot do. I am not a hustler. I hate
social functions. I would rather have my dentist perform
root canal work.

I found chess more interesting. I always loved this
game. There was an endless amount of time to be
spent in idle thought here. There was an element of
play that was missing for me in painting. Chess was
fun. The more I studied it the more fascinated I
became. You didnt even need an opponent. You
could do it by mail.

The food arrives. Now this I call a sandwich. Its gigantic.
How does one eat this thing? You need the jaws of a
horse.

We finish lunch and walk over to Washington Square.
How to describe Washington Square? If Breughel lived in
New York he would paint Washington Square. Every
conceivable human activity occurs here on a daily basis.
There is recreation, medication, copulation, desperation.

Its a favored rendezvous for chess players. Duchamp is a
familiar figure. To them he is just another chess bum.
There are some good games. Everyone has a different
style.

MD says: its like painting. Out of 10,000 maybe one is
the real article.



On to Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls is a huge tourist attraction. It has a
particular appeal for honeymooners. We were repeatedly
told to visit this sight.

What do you do in Niagara Falls?  You look at the Falls.

We are looking at the Falls.

The Falls are great.

There are no words to effectively describe this sublime
display of the crushing power of nature. Words like
stupendous, tremendous, prodigious etc fall miserably
short.

There is one problem. They are only good for 10
minutes.  Then you are ready to do something else.


We return to Buffalo. We are staying in Buffalo.  This is a
city about 30 Km from Niagara Falls.  The bartender at
our hotel in New York was a native of this city. We were
told by this man to stay in Buffalo and not Niagara Falls
because in Niagara Falls there was nothing. The action
was in Buffalo. In this he was correct.

We were eating in a cafeteria near the hotel. At a nearby
table were 4 gangsters. I knew they were gangsters
because of the clothes. In Germany I had read
magazines and seen the newsreels and the gangsters all
dressed the same: they wore suits and hats and double
breasted overcoats and alligator shoes.

Buffalo was a big Mafia town.  The boss was Steve
Magadino. The Mafia is a criminal organization
specializing in gambling, prostitution, extortion,
loansharking, drugs and bootleg whisky. Also hijacking.
This is where the clothes come from.

One of the gangsters was studying me from time to time.

He stood and tippy-toed over.  

To me he says: where did you get those shoes?

Martha translated. She said the shoes were from Berlin.
We went back and forth about the shoes for a bit and
then introductions were made and we invited him to join
us.

Thats how we met Phil Spiegelman. Phil was not in the
Mafia. He was a jew. The Mafia was for Sicilians only.
Even Italians were excluded. There is a difference
between the two.

Phil explained: if you have an Italian and a Sicilian and
you pick up a stone and smash it aginst the head of one
or the other and the stone breaks--that is the Sicilian.

He knew this to be true from experience: his wife was
Sicilian.

I understand. Martha also has some of this in her.


Later we wound up at this mans house for dinner.

We meet the wife--the Sicilian. This is Ann. Ann has
energy. Phil has energy but Ann has more energy. She is
a waitress.

We had dinner which was followed by a tour of Phils
wardrobe. This guy is doing all right for someone who
works as an upholsterers assistant  making $20 a week.
He has some fine threads. This is a man I can relate to.
There are suits, suits, suits. There are some beautiful
shirts with a collar style I have not seen--a narrow
spread palming the tie with these long points. Very nice.

He asks my size.

I am a 15 1/2 34.

He is the same--a perfect medium.

He lays a couple shirts on me.

I protest this. He insists.

Now he gives me a suit--a gorgeous double/breasted
gabardine in this  window pane pattern with deep pleats
and a baggy knee dipping to a narrow cuff.

Phil--I cant take this.

We go back and forth.

Take it!

I take it.

I say to Martha: I like this country.



We are still in Buffalo.

This is a great town. The people are friendly. They were
friendly in New York. Its a friendly country.

This guy Phil has been showing us around. He picks us up
in the morning at the hotel. He is always early. This is a
man with a lot of time on his hands.

Buffalo reminds me in some ways of Paris. There are
some beautiful parks and residential neighborhoods. The
architecture is substantial. There is serious money in
circulation here. Parts of the city have been designed
according to the bicycle wheel concept in which wide
boulevards divided by a grassy median converge on a
hub or
redondo. You drive your car in at one angle to
engage the
redondo and do a couple of spins and kick out
at another angle.

We were told by Phil Spiegelman that these circulation
patterns and the entire park system was the work of a
landscape architect named Frederick Olmstead who also
designed Central Park in New York.

Mostly we eat. We eat, buy hijacked merchandise and
visit nightclubs.

Here we met a guy named Mezz Mezzrow.  He knows
Phil.  Mezz Mezzrow is a musician.  He lives in Chicago.
He plays clarinet and sells drugs.  He is well known for
the quality of his marijuana.

Mezzrow is one of those people who became obsessed by
another culture--in his case the negro culture.  He is
white but wants to be black.  He loves black people. He
loves the music and the jive form of speech and the
attitude.  They are happy. They live life.

He lives in a black neighborhood and is married to a
black woman.

The wife says: last week he woke up and went into the
bathroom and looked into the mirror and he said to me:
I think I am starting to look more black.

I said: you have been smoking too much of your own
shit.

Now this other guy comes over and sits down.

This was Joe DeCarlo. There was something about this
man. It was the eyes. There was nothing there.

Phil said: Ottos a painter.

Joe DeCarlo said: no kidding.

This was the high point of the conversation.

Joe DeCarlo had a drink and left.

We continued to drink and dance and then signalled for
the check to leave. There was no check.  Joe DeCarlo
had picked up the tab.

Phil said: Joes a class guy.



We are in Chicago.

This is what happened in Chicago.

We were enjoying dinner at a restaurant called Lunas
that had been recommended by our good friend from
Buffalo Joe DeCarlo.

It was a non-descript neighborhood type place  with a
dozen tables and small bar up front.

The food was delicious. I ordered the linguine with baby
squid. Martha ordered the lobster con aglio doppio
(lobster with garlic two/times).

The food arrived and we began to eat.

Two guys with machine guns entered the restaurant and
opened fire. They pumped 15 or 20  rounds into 2 other
guys sitting at the next table over by one.

I speak the truth.

The torpedoes left the restaurant.

I was on top of Martha under the table.

We were OK.

We retrieved ourselves from beneath the table and stood
and dusted off. We left the restaurant.  There was no bill.

Out on the street I said: thats what I like about
Americans: they are friendly.



Chicago is a larger version of Buffalo. Its on a lake.
There are some beautiful parks and sparkling
neighborhoods. There are some good Italian restaurants
patronized by gangsters (see above).

Chicago is the place to get a good steak. The cattle are
raised in the midwest.  The major states are: Oklahoma,
Kansas, Missouri and some others. From here they go to
Chicago--to the stockyards. Here the meat is processed.

I have seen this done--in Germany. The cattle are
transferred from the trains into pens and  from there
driven into these narrow chutes  and prodded along one
by one until their head is guided into a hole in a partition
on the other side of which a huge iron pulverizing weapon
is driven down onto the animals head with sufficient force
to stun or kill the beast.

The head is cut off.

The carcass is dumped into  a huge vat of formaldehyde
to boil off the hide and hair. It is plucked from the vat by
this giant dangling claw and plopped onto a conveyer
type apparatus that feeds it into the teeth of a giant
circular saw that cuts it in half.

The insides are removed.

Some misc cleanup and trimming follows.

Another giant saw called a band saw performs more
specialized cuts to divide the carcass into shank, loin, rib
and misc body parts. From there it goes to the butcher
and onto your plate.

These are the things that interest me.



We visited the Chicago Art Institute.

I tend to agree with Mother Ey that the Americans are
not in our league. They have some good painters.
Sargent is a great painter. But he was trained in Europe
and lived there  20 years. He took his cue from the
post-impressionists. Whistler was the same. He went to
Europe and never came back. Marcel Duchamp is a
Frenchman who no longer paints. There are some
painters like Bellows and other members of the Ashcan
school that show signs of shedding this influence.

I also like Thomas Hart Benton. He falls into the cornball
mode from time to time but he has good instincts that do
not betray him. He is a stone American.

There is a woman called Alice Neel that is a very fine
painter. She has a loose energetic style that reminds me
somewhat of Ludwig Meidner.

Not that I give a fart about any of this. I am only saying
the country has a unique energy and drive. The material
is here. They can start by eating dinner at Lunas.

We wander around. We enter the modern European
wing. Its the usual. Here is a  Bonnard, here is a
Vuillard, here is a Monet, a Manet, a Marquet. Here is an
Otto Dix.

Say what?

I remember this painting.  Its a portrait of a woman--a
journalist named Slyvia van Harden. Its a masterpiece.
Its such a masterpiece Sylvia van Harden refused to pay
me.

I sold it to Mother Ey for a sum I no longer recall.

I wouldnt mind knowing what this painting is doing at
the Chicago Art Instutute. Or how much it was sold
for.

I know nothing of all this.

I am little pissed.  I am steaming. Mother Ey never
mentioned this to me. Not that she was obliged to. I  
sold the painting thereby waiving all claims to it. This is a
subject I regularly discuss with my students.

But I am steaming.

Martha calms me down. What is the point here? There is
nothing to be done. I will only further aggravate myself.
Its our honeymoon. Etc, etc. She is right.




En route to Los Angeles.

We go via train. This is a famous train.  Its called the
Super Chief. I love this train. There is a bar car and a
fabulous restuarant. This is the life. We eat and drink and
watch the scenery roll by. We have a private
compartment. At nite the seats fold up into beds.

Its said train travel is an aphrodisiac. Its true. We are
banging like monkeys.



En route to LA

We ride and ride. This is a big country. We are traveling
thru an area called the Great Plains. This is exciting. This
is where the great Indian wars occurred. I have seen
many movies dealing with this subject. They are called
"westerns".

It started with something called "manifest destiny".
According  to the concept of manifest destiny an implicit
authority was given white people--or "palefaces"--to
displace Indians from the land in order to populate and
develop the country to the west-- beyond the Mississippi
River and across the Great Plains and over the Rocky
Mountains and thru the desert all the way to Los Angeles
and the Pacific Ocean.

The Indians were pushed further and further west. From
time to time they resisted this act of aggression and
retaliated by massacring settlers.

The Indian in battle had a preference for mutilation.  
There was something called "scalping" --performing a
circular cut around the head just above the ear and
removing the top of the head.  The scalp was dried out
and shrunk and worn looped from the belt by
the warrior--or "brave"--during ceremonial dances.

Also arms and legs and other body parts were routinely
chopped off and scattered about.  The victims included
women and children. Eyes were gouged and ears and
noses hacked off and teeth yanked out and the mouths
filled with dirt.

Heads were split open via "tomahawks"--a crude version
of the hatchet. It was savage behavior that at times
seemed to suggest not war but sport. I saw the same
thing during the war. It occurs when people have been
driven beyond their limit.

So the army was called in. The Indian revolt was
subdued.  They were killed or bundled off to worthless
pieces of real estate the whites had no use for. These
were called reservations.

They still exist. The Indians sit around and drink and
recall their vanished past. They live by making beaded
trinkets they sell to tourists.



We ride and ride.

The scenery is fabulous. I once painted a landscape.  One
was enough. In this I agree with Picasso.  Picasso said:
all landscape painting looks the same--like a plate of
spinach.

The Great Plains are behind us. Now we are in the
mountains--the Rockies. We go up one side and down
the other.

Now we are in the desert. We arrive at the Grand
Canyon. This is a huge tourist attraction. They put us on
buses and drive us to the site. We stand on the edge of
this precipice and stare down into a gigantic hole  in the
ground with a river at the  bottom--the Colorado.

The GC is like Niagara Falls. Words fail to describe. Its
incredible, unbelievable, unimaginable. But it is only
good for 10 minutes.



Los Angeles.

I know somebody in Los Angles. His name is Billy Wilder.
I know Billy Wilder from Berlin. He is a writer. He
started out as an art critic.  Then he became a drama
critic.  Then he became a movie critic and wrote some
scripts. He took a trip to Hollywood. He never returned
to Germany.

He says: America is the greatest country in the world
and this is the greatest city in the country. Its paradise.
You have the ocean, you have the mountains, you have
the desert. You have the weather. The weather is
fabulous. There is pussy, pussy, pussy. Also: you are
free. People leave you alone.  They dont give a piss.
They are in a world of their own. They are all writing a
script in which they play the featured role. I speak the
truth.  The waitress in the restaurant is writing a script.
The mailman is writing a script.  The librarian, the
gynecologist, the paralegal--they are all writing scripts. I
took my dog to the vet the other day.  The dog has a
bladder infection.  He cant pee. The poor thing is in pain.
 We talked about the dog for 5 minutes and spent 40
minutes talking about a script the veterinarian is writing.


Billy will do well here. He has all the ingredients. He is
obsessive. He is a hustler. He works, works, works. He
has Hollywood figured out. There is a pecking order. Its
a business that operates on power. The power is
concentrated in the hands of the producer. The writer is
hired help. The writer is the lowest of the low.

Billy says: do you know what a Polish joke is?

We dont have the Polish joke in Germany. We have the
Bavarian joke. The idea is the same. The origin is
obscure. We only know  the joke depends for its effect on
the assumed crippled or dimly inspired mentality of a
particular enthnic group.

The Polish joke follows the same precept.

I was told a few by Phil Spiegleman in Buffalo which has
a sizable Polish population.

Billys joke is this: In Hollywood the classic way in which
an actress scores for a part is by fucking the producer.  
Sometimes they fuck the director. They can also fuck the
studio chief.

Then a Polish actress came to town and fucked the
writer.



We attended an art function.

The artist is a German--Senor Feldstein. How to describe
this event. He cut his dick off with a mat knife.

A mat knife is a knife found at the art supply store. Its
used to cut mats for framing prints or watercolors. It has
a short retractable blade that can be discarded and
replaced.

This man has a different idea: he stands there
announcing his intention  to perform dick amputation
surgery. There was a doctor present and a fotog with a
movie camera and outside an ambulance with the motor
running.

Senor Feldstein said: some of you with a weak stomach
may wish to excuse yourselves. Now is the time.

Martha said: I cant watch this.

She left.

I stayed. I had to see this.

Billy said for this guys last show he laid down in the
street and invited someone to run him over with a car.

We have Marcel Duchamp to thank for all this. It all
started when he dreamed up the idea of insisting on a
urinal as a piece of art. This was a concept that revealed
many possiblitites.  The potential was huge. It meant
you could be an artist right now. There was no need to
spend ten years learning to draw.

Senor Feldstein begins.

He says he is not going to amputate the entire penis but  
a piece of the tip.

He stands there with the mat knife. He has by way of
props  a small table with a chopping block and glass of
orange juice and pint jar of formaldehyde.

He takes his dick out and slaps it down on the chopping
block.

He is uncircumcised and has to peel back the
foreskin. He stands holding the mat knife.
He perspires. He is sweating like a pig. His
face loses color.

He takes a sip of orange juice.

He holds his dick in one  hand and with the other slices
off a half inch of pecker. Now there is blood. Its spurting
about. He is staggering. He looks faint. He loses more
color. He is white as a sheet. He drinks some orange
juice.

The doctor springs into action. He bandages  the dick and
picks up the severed tip and plunks it into the jar of
formaldehyde.

The artist is led off with his bandaged dick hanging out
the front of his pants into the ambulance.  The lights
flash and the siren howls and the ambulance roars off.
The fotog follows in another car.

What do I think of all this? My first thought is:  why does
this guy have to be German? Otherwise I think nothing.
If some mental case wants to cut off his dick its OK with
me.



Tennis with Billy Wilder.

In Los Angeles they do two things: make movies and
play tennis. Billys game is revealing. He reminds me in
some ways of Picasso. If he found his grandmother
across from him on the other side of the net he would
drill a volley right between her eyes.

Billy has no natural ability. He is graceful as a frog. But
he has some weapons. He plays with his mouth. The idea
is to bait, provoke or otherwise produce a rise out of the
opponent and in this way compromise his game. He
screams and sobs and whimpers and whines and taunts
and teases.

This is the verbal garbage. There is more garbage in the
shots he chooses to offer up: the dink, the lob, the chip,
the little half-assed angled forehand chop viciously
loaded with backspin.

It isnt tennis--its trench warefare. The word
sportsmanship is an alien concept. All close calls are
decided in his favor. He is pathetic.



We visited a movie set.

We were told this was a boring thing. We were told true.

I have been more stimulated standing in line at the DMV
waiting to apply for plates. It takes 4 hours to put two
people into a kitchen so that one can say to the other:
you burnt the toast!

We met a movie star--a man named Clark Gable. Clark
Gable is a big star. What is the appeal of this man? He
has ears like stop signs. I could do something with these
ears.



We spent a week in Los Angeles.

We played tennis and went to the beach. I am always
happy at the beach. The job in Los Angeles is to be a
weather forecaster.

Every day is the same. Its hot, dry, clear. The sun is like
a giant light bulb.  The sky is white. I do 3 hours on one
side, then turn over. A week of this and we are black as
arabs.

There are some great bodies at the beach.  And yours
would be too if you lavished upon it a similar amount of
time and thought. In the lives of these people the
purchase of sun tan lotion is a major issue.

Its a strange town.

Billy Wilder was right when he said no one gives a piss. I
prefer New York--or Buffalo. It was time to go home.



*for previous installments and an intro to the book go     
   to:     
archives/dix
home
nude descending
a staircase
phil spiegelman
billy wilder
next month: vera, adam trott, deChirico
archives
*installment 11: marriage and a
honeymoon  in america
duchamp plays chess
dix