23 July 1991

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I worked at CNT for 7 h. I spent my day sending out more mailings for the pamphlet file. I finished reading a, Andy Warhol’s “novel”. In fact, Andy never wrote one word of it. The book consisted of transcriptions of recordings made by a hand-help tape recorder. The book was intended to document 24 hours in Ondine’s life. This “documentation”, however, was murder to actually read. The recordings were made with a primitive (1968) Norelco (Noreco?) tape recorder with a dinky microphone. Ondine is stoned most of the time and there is no continuity to any of his speech. It was indeed a treat to read through a paragraph without having to start over to try and grasp whatever concept he intended to make. Furthermore, the people around Ondine talk openly and freely and their words are included whenever they are spoken, thus sometimes creating two or three separate conversations all intertwined with one another. The typists just typed what they heard, and there was really no need to proofread the manuscripts–I mean who the Hell would read this damn book all the way through–so the many, many typing errors stayed in. This book was, as the inner flap stated, an extension of Andy’s films. To me this means an exercise in patience; a depiction of real life and real time on paper as it actually happened. Because the reader was limited to just the oral/aural realms, he had to create his own visuals. Sometimes I found my visuals all wrong and only later, after reading on and realising just what everybody was actually talking about, did I find myself going back and rereading the dialogue but this time in the right context. This book, like “Empire” or “Sleep”, was more important (or created more of an impact) for what it was, than for any artistic or technical merits. I’m sure when it came out, nobody really intended anyone would read all 452 pages–it was more of an event for existing and for being what it was, than for being read. This is like the two above films: everyone would talk about a seven-hour film of the Empire State Building but no one would actually go and see it. I tortured myself and read all of a, and I can’t help but wonder: did I ruin the artist’s intent by reading the book? Or should its effect be strictly of wonder and as a conversation piece? Is only to be talked about and not read? Another part of the “novel” that made continuity impossible was the frequent distortion, overlapping conversations, blasting Maria Callas records in the background, Ondine’s stuttering and rapid change of thoughts and the overall inability of the typists to make any head or tail of what they were hearing. This happened on every page and whenever something couldn’t be discerned for whatever reason, the typists left ellipses (…)(…)(…). Sentence fragments, solitary words preceded and proceeded by those annoying dots. It took me long enough but I read the damn thing. Now I can actually tell people I did read it. If I tell any Warhol people this or any of Andy’s friends, they’d probably think I was crazy. Sharon biked over and we rode along Queensway. As I turned westbound (on the sidewalk) onto the Queensway I was going way too fast, too fast for going around a sidewalk corner, and lost control and fell onto the grass next to the road. The chain on my bike came off and I feared the worst but Sharon told me it was okay and she replaced it perfectly. She got her hands covered in grease, though. We rode to Oneida Crescent and around Oneida Court. Sharon asked some guy watering his lawn on Oneida Court for some WD-40 to clean her hands with and he went inside and got some for her! I thanked the man, when we rode through Huron Park along Paisley to home. We then walked over to Sharon’s apartment and I met Jeffrey (Mars) for the first time. Sharon told me years ago that Jeffrey used to be a woman, named Susan. One day a long time ago Sharon was down the hall at Jeffrey’s apartment (when he used to live in their building before he moved out and got married) to feed the pet and water the plants or whatever, and showed me a photo album when I dropped in to visit. The album contains pictures of Jeffrey as a woman. Jeffrey told a friend of the Darlings about his sex-change and Sharon told me this person was sworn to secrecy not to tell anyone but she told the Darlings and then Sharon told me. You’d never guess Jeffrey was a woman. I raised some doubt about this whole thing when Sharon, Tracey and I left for Dairy Queen. I wondered how he could be balding if he were once a woman. Sharon said that was caused by the hormones he took. As we were going up to my apartment to drop my bike off after our ride, Sharon offered to treat me to an ice cream at Dairy Queen but I instead extended that offer to her, seeing that she did get her hands covered in grease, while replacing my chain. After we got our cones we walked around Clarkson Village, then drove through the Lorne Park Estates and got lost. We saw a bunny along the road. We went back to Sharon’s place and looked at an Ontario map. We looked in northern Ontario, at Central Patricia and the surrounding area. I sent off a letter to Central Patricia Outfitters Inc., for information about summer cabin and boat rentals, etc. Sharon and I have talked before about going to this northern Ontario village for a summer holiday. We and Tracey played Trivial Pursuit and I won. Then I went home.

Windigo Lake | Riding with Carl

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