Nameless I, edited version; 1970 Non-fiction account; 62 pages; Complete, but was meant to be a full, clean, edit of the larger manuscript; Oakland and Philadelphia; Age: 18; California, after Amy, young adulthood; Record, recollection, and purgative.


First page of Nameless I; Mss_0131_07.

PDF: Large image



Loose pages; Typewritten; Good condition; paper yellowed but not fragile;

Prose; Relationship, characters, plots;Amy; Philadelphia, Oakland, Bolinas;

This cleanly typed page is the edited version of the text produced in October, 1970, after paying a visit to Amy in Bolinas. I came back to Oakland and wrote the initial account. One thing that is striking here, as in the handwritten manuscripts of my teens, is how clean this page is. In fact, the entire manuscript has almost no typos or corrections, amazing given that this was typed without an erase key, tape, or any other correction device.

Related mss: Nameless I,   Journals,  Journal of Characters;  Amy manuscripts, 1984.

The raw poignancy and emotional force of this manuscript shows how clearly my connection with Amy continued into the autumn of 1970. I had gone to California in part to escape her, to put the continent between us, but for reasons of her own, she had also decided to go to the West Coast in that period. Her travels took her as far as Bolinas, a pocket of alternative culture, where she became connected to a community that held her in place for some time, and, later, became a site of return, just as the Bay Area would come to anchor many of my own transits as a place of familiarity and connection.

This manuscript was written after I went to see her in Bolinas in the fall of 1970. We were at our worst with each other at that point in time, each wanting autonomy, distinct identity, and separation even as we, or at least I, craved affirmation from and with each other. I wanted her still, and wanted to be whatever I could be to her–friend, at the very least, if not lover. But this text record a rejection of that bid, and the pain in which I spun it out was passionate and profound.

Amy had been inscribed in my daily life since I had arrived in Oakland, and as this text makes clear, I had looked every morning across the bay to the profile of Mt. Tamalpais, imagining Amy in a world somewhere just beyond its peaks. That reference, so striking in the landscape, was equally strongly imprinted in my psyche, where its constancy kept a vigil of connection. But going out to Bolinas to see her, I returned in a dreadful state, angry, hurt, feeling rejected and bitterly alone.

So I wrote this, which became the introduction to the larger “Nameless I” manuscript, when I gathered it as the full and then edited transcript of my writings about our relationship from 1964-70. The writing is foregrounded as part of the negotiation of the relationship. I see the act of writing as a way of having agency, of creating a definitive closure, a descriptive analysis, assessment, a way of objectifying the connection so I can let it go. But I cannot let it go. I struggle with this over and over again. “Hope persists.” The ambivalance and pain are striking, feeding on each other, with the desire for ending and the desire for continuity both powerful impulses. I write with the hope of freeing myself from her, and in the process, am absorbed into the deep and detailed recollection of all that has passed between us.

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