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Wednesday 26 August 1998

Well, another plane. I seem to write diaries only on trips these days: just as well, the rest of my life is deadly dull when not downright unpleasant.

Since last year I've continued to recover — time to look at finding some income soon. I've sort of done some kind of share of house chores; certainly cooking half the meals, and now that the car phobias have more or less gone away, the shopping too.

Most of the other phobias have more or less gone, too, although I still have slight clothing problems; the curious three-month bout of what for all practical purposes was Tourette's, suddenly vanished in the space of a day about six weeks ago: thank goodness, since that was really unpleasant.

My nerves are still shot, although I usually don't jump, fall apart, burst into tears or scream any more at sudden noises; but my temper is the worst and suddenest it's ever been, and I don't think I could work in a public environment of any normal kind for several years yet.

My concentration is starting to creep back: recently I read three or four books. . . Still, it's better than 1995‑6 when I couldn't manage more than about ten minutes of print. My energy is still relatively low; and of course the big problem is feeling threatened by the most mundane circumstances: almost always those in which I have to talk to people about solving a problem, or about anything the remotestly unpleasant; so I don't do it: paying routine bills, even making inquiries of my bank, dealing with my broker, etc. My mind of course doesn't think I'm targeted or endangered or threatened, but my body takes over and goes into fetal position; it's unpleasant.

The heart palpitations, blurred vision, attacks of trembling and stuttering have almost completely gone: that's nice.

On the wonder­fully positive side, I've been able to skate, I've been able to skate (twice in August!) without any kind of problem; although I go to the remote south suburb of Homewood to do it. Last week was particularly wonder­ful, since, after 1½ years without lessons and only like 8 sessions fooling around on the ice last year in Marino — suddenly I did salchows! I didn't even remember the takeoff, but I told myself I'd try one and damned if somehow the body didn't remember them! when my mind didn't at all. Small — like the waltz jumps (these about 5 blades) — but a couple of them, judging from the tracings, were perfect. I have my skates with me in the overhead bin.

So, Lufthansa to Munich and change for Rome, planning to arrive in Spello around 4:30 by cab from Foligno. Carrying a spare suitcase packed inside the big one; wedged with 4 huge bathtowels as gifts to Walter's relations; also books about Chicago as gifts to other Spellano friends — but rather less stuff than last year. Hope to buy fewer books, too: mindful that I'll be carrying 5000 photo prints when I get back.

Anyway, maybe this trip will lead to something, jump-start a second career; and, I hope, repeat the energy boost of last year.

So, now lean back (we still haven't taken off mind you, meandering the tarmac during the evening rush hour) — and nothing Roman or webbish for a coupla days —

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