Sunday 15 January, 1998
I was very surprised to see I had written in this diary just so very recently, when I was convinced I had been neglecting my own work for months.
Judging from the date of my last entry, I was still Lauren the aspiring writer, and not just Lauren the freelance copywriter, last November. It indicates I was less off-track than I suspected.
I am still nowhere near where I want to be, but still! I should give myself more credit for being far less often lost than I claim to be.
And also, that I stray away from the path because the other path really looks like the way to go. That it is more a matter of taking the wrong road, but to an unchanged dream, than a matter of forgetting what it is I want.
What I want is to live a life worth writing about, and be the Anais Nin of my time. But what I realize today, something I definitely did not know until now, is that I also want to- and should!- write about music and rock bands, movies and pop culture.
It will bring me in interesting places, and will allow me to meet interesting people.
Limiting myself to my diary, as I have done so far, would limit my working life as an author- if I even become successful- to an all-female audience. Unless a publisher decides to market the sex side of it and starts promoting it as literature.
I don’t plan on waiting for that, before I get to meet the first men.
Writing about music and art gives me a way better start than being a novelist or a diarist, and things will get more interesting a lot sooner!
I want my work to feel like the Guns N’ Roses and Bon Jovi nights at the hardrock cafe; Not like a book club.
What I have been doing wrong these last few years, is that I have been focusing too much on the diarist aspect of it, and have been combining it with my existing freelance work. I have let that work finance my Anais Nin-like writing, just like Hugo, her banker husband, financed hers.
All I had initially planned for this year, was to focus on a limited number of 4 to 5 bigger clients, and build a more solid financial foundation.
But I was wrong.
Not financially, but in terms of the life it would have be living. The life copy-writing and other freelance deskwork, had and has me living!
Because with the exception of sex with Bear, this is not a life worth writing about. This is not the life a diarist with the ambition to be the new Anais Nin, can afford to live.
Regardless of how great a life that is. If I wasn’t that ambitious, I really could be living on his love alone.
The last time we had sex was the evening before Christmas, so Christmas Eve. In other countries that really is the real Christmas, but in the Netherlands it is a night a man can still not be with his girlfriend, apparently. Although I’m still not sure what is up with him and his girlfriend, he made a very uninvolved impression.
He was very dedicated and fun to be around, and I didn’t ask for details.
Sometimes I wonder if he minds that I don’t, but I just think it would ruin the night. And after all it really is none of my business.
So Christmas night it was, and he brought wine and I made us dinner, and there was something incredibly cheeky, fun and lighthearted about our date.
Usually we are really not that sexual. We don’t flirt that openly, we act a bit mysterious, just to make it more exciting I think. But if that would be a routine, then it wouldn’t be exciting anymore of course!
And this time, he flirted more openly.
So I was flipping our rosemary potatoes and he was leaning in the doorpost drinking his wine, making jokes and asking questions like if I was looking forward to “it”!
We never do that! It was so hilarious, but also arousing.
If he had been behind me and feeling me up, it would have been far less erotic. But to have him standing there, at a distance, just asking me these bold questions; Oh I loved it!
Maybe the not-touching makes him mysterious after all. He seduces me to come over to him, which I did of course.
He seduces me with his body and his teasing, I love that in a man. It’s so rare. I’ve met men who have intellectually seduced me, but he doesn’t do that. Sometimes he tells me something about his thoughts and I am wildly fascinated!
There is so much going on in his head!
But he never engages into intellectual conversation with me, it’s like he knows it will take away a part of the magic, if I would really know who he is.
And perhaps he’s right.
So he spent Christmas’ Eve here, and now comes the worrying part: I totally forgot the sex. I can’t remember what we did, and that amnesia was almost immediately.
Maybe it was because Christmas days were filled with social gatherings, and I just thought back to our night together, warming myself by the glow of the memory of being in his arms so recently.
I blamed not remembering the details on having drunk too much, both at the night we were together where we drank more than just that one bottle he brought, as well as drinking on the Christmas days themselves when I tried to remember- or I blamed it on being in company of people I did not discuss my sex life with. Or on the general busyness of the holidays.
But I do remember it was immediate.
And the memories did not return.
This sexual encounter going by undocumented, and me knowing there have been so many like that in recent years even when the sex in 1997 was absolutely spectacular, for lack of better words.
I know I lost so much gold. So much good stuff. And although the wine must have played a part in it, I don’t believe that’s it.
It’s my own carelessness around those amazing times, with my lover, the great Bear. I should write about it immediately, after he leaves, just like I did in the first year together. Although then the experiences carved into my mind so brutally, I could safely wait until the next day, when the agony around not knowing how to deal with it left me no other option but to pick up the pen.
I couldn’t have lost those memories even if I wanted to.
But me not making an effort to preserve 1997’s sex memories, with the Christmas one as the final one – I do remember it was really great, and fun, and satisfying, and that (or “even though”) we didn’t do anything even remotely deviant or out of the ordinary – has been cause of concern.
In hindsight, it was already a sign that my approach to being a diarist was not working. And that I was not so much losing my touch, not losing my skill to write or the dream to become a diarist, but I was losing my fire.
As a diarist, 1997’s lost sex memories symbolize a loss of gold, a throwing away or underuse of the most precious thing I had.
I wasn’t wasting my talent to write, but I was wasting the most valuable thing I could write about.
And I think that was because the rest of my life, was already dying. It was drying up, and it had all the sex sucked out of it.
The reason I could not remember the details of the encounters was because I was starting to use sex as a way to keep myself alive. Just like the wine.
I used it to numb the pain of dullness, of throwing away my life, and to indulge in a feeling of being alive through sex.
Sex moved from the best, and most exquisite thing life had to offer, to being a lifeline.
Ever since we got back together in 1995 / 1996 when we started what was now an affair, sex with Bear has kept me alive.
When I’m with him, I am the most Anais Nin version of myself. I really am Lauren Harteveld, the diarist.
The reason I made such a mess of 1997, was because I tried to give that work, the being a diarist, a place in my life.
But I did it the wrong way.
I thought that in order to “be” a diarist, to give that a chance to develop, I would have to put up a wall, a financial wall.
Within those financial walls, I could have Anais Nin worthy adventures. With Bear, but also with other men I might meet because I don’t see myself as being exclusive. It would be crazy if I did because my sexual adventures feed straight into my writing.
And once the walls are standing, better make use of them!
But it’s not just a greed for stories that makes me think I will ultimately have other men too. Because I also just hate the idea of being dependent on one man. Not just for my physical needs, which are probably the least important part of it, but I don’t want to be dependent on one man for my romantic and emotional needs.
I need to love, and I need to be loved, and when a new opportunity for another deep relationship or affair presents itself, I will embrace that.
To love and to be loved, there is never enough of that. It is okay, to be insatiable in those areas. In particular if you want to live like Anais Nin.
But what I failed to see is that I have everything I need to build that financial wall in a far better way. That I don’t need to do the dry freelance work of copy writing, but that I have all it takes to succeed in the wet and wild world of art and rock n’ roll!
The world of other artists, just like me.
What I failed to see in the past couple of years, where my life slipped through my fingers and I washed up on a dry, professional shore where I held on to my freelance copy-writing for dear life, was that I can write about better topics.
I don’t know everything, and would not consider myself a music or art expert, but I know a little about a lot of things. I’m a generalist when it comes to art, but mostly, I am a lover of it.
I appreciate other artists regardless of the way they express themselves.
More than understanding art, I have a deep appreciation, understanding and love, for the artist who created it.
I am a lover of artists and of the way they live and breathe.
Just like Anais was, all those years ago.
A new year, a new Nin. | 1998 diary
is the second chapter of book 4, diary 1997-1998
Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2023, in one bind (one title)