Wednesday, March 19, 2008
In August 1966 Bob [morris, the sculptor] and I took a two-week auto trip to Maine. We went canoeing and hiking and slept beside mosquito-infested lakes or in rustic cabins. We climbed Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in the Northeast, and made camp for the night. For months afterwards Bob regaled our friends with the tale of my having lugged cans of cat food instead of tuna fish up and down the mountain. From my point of view, those two weeks fled past us. Later I couldn't remember a single argument, not even the kind of maneuvering for brief privacy that people do when they are together constantly. It seemed impossibly idyllic. Looking at those two weeks against the backdrop of later events, I was at a loss to understand the nature of his feelings. I felt like a fool thinking about it -- deceived and humiliated. But I also felt a deep sadness. There was no denying my own happiness and sense of completion at the time. I wondered if he had ever felt such things in my presence, even for a single moment. Bob would later tell me that Barbara Rose asked him "Where were you when I was giving birth to your child? After all, I did it for you." At which, he said, he hit her across the face. As it turned out, he was with me in Maine, dissembling to both of us.