Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Five Dollar Book of Poems

from the diary: “Thursday 12/10/87

“I just started another poetry book. Called, ‘The Five Dollar Book of Poems’ after a quip by Chris Williams. When we were talking about who was going to get his money when he dead – should I say – when he was talking about who was going to get his money when he dead, I said something about I wouldn’t know what to do with such money. He said, ‘Oh, yes. I’m giving you five dollars.’ And I thought, ‘Fine. I can buy a blank book for five bucks and dedicate it to you.’ I didn’t say anything [aloud], and I don’t know whether I’ll dedicate the book to him but that’s where the title came from.”

Chris was a fabulist. I like the term, suggesting a romantic, fabulous life, which doesn’t exist, but which the fabulist seems actually to believe exists. Chris’ weren’t the ordinary lies of “I’ll call you” or “Sure, I’ll be happy to do that.” He was going to marry some rich guy (he even gave me the name and said he was going to send me a ticket to Poughkeepsie for the ceremony). There was another boyfriend with whom he was going to buy a place in Hawaii, Maui maybe. And Chris was going to fly me to Hawaii for a party on their yacht. He drove a flashy sports car so his claims of money seemed to have some basis. Supposedly he’d inherited a huge amount of stock in a Fortune 500 company (yes, he named it). He probably wore expensive clothes but they tended to be khakis and button up shirts and I didn’t know from expensive clothes. He was tall, stocky, had an upper lip that lifted, revealing his two front teeth, and it made him look boyish – no, childish. He would titter in a nervous way. He made me laugh; he could be really funny. Hesitatingly, once he told me he cared for me, wanted more. I didn’t find him physically attractive but that probably wasn’t the only problem. I didn’t trust him. All those exciting things were just about to happen -- those places we’d travel to, those friends we would hang out with – yet the farthest we’d go was to a restaurant and I never met any of his friends.

No comments: