Digital painting based on the Albion Street sign in San Francisco

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 2, Final: Who Turns These Wheels

I’d considered calling this section ‘Bobby and Harold’ because the voice on the tape is Bobby’s.

Bobby always has a Southern accent.

After closing the earlier discussion of identity, Bobby asks Harold about his habit of falling in love with hustlers.

Harold is reluctant to discuss this at first but Bobby presses him so he begins by saying that he feels compassion for hustlers because so many of them are

He says he weeps when he hears reports of child abuse on the news and wonders if he’s become a ‘weepy old man.’

He describes the violent night he threatened to kill his abusive stepfather.

He was 13.

Later in the interview, Bobby reminds Harold of his first words when Bobby first entered the Cottage on Albion Drive: ‘Who turns these wheels.’

Photograph of Rob Goldstein taken by Nina Glaser in 1986
Rob Goldstein by Nina Glaser in 1986-I wore black all the time as a symbol of my grief over the AIDS Epidemic.

Working on these tapes was painful because this is audio evidence of my DID.

At one point in the interview Norse suggests that he was aware of the DID:

Bobby: You used to accuse me of having no memory and I used to say I remember things verbatim; you never believed me.

Norse: It was not for that that I used to accuse you of having no memory. It was for something else…

Bobby: Oh, I remember, it was for my kleptomania. Go ahead.

Norse: No. That’s denial. That’s part of your character.

Bobby didn’t know what Norse meant and didn’t pursue it.

I don’t remember writing an interview with Harold Norse for the Bay Area Reporter and my memories of Harold Norse feel second-hand.

I don’t know what Bobby means when he says he was a hustler and a kleptomaniac.

This numbing and amnesia is the pain of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Sadly, I don’t remember how it felt to have the friendship and respect of
someone as brilliant as Harold Norse was.

It sounds like we enjoyed each other immensely.

Please note:

When I turned the tape over I unknowingly enabled a ridiculous option
that stops the machine when it senses silence. The result is a little choppy.
I did my best to smooth it out.

To hear the beginning go to An interview with Harold Norse, Part 1, Section 1

(C) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved







10 thoughts on “An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 2, Final: Who Turns These Wheels

  1. Hi Robert, Bobby etal, you are the sum of all yet all have overtaken you. You do not have the memories Bobby has because at the time you must have been an alter whereas Bobby was as if he was the Ego. You did not have a relationship with Bobby and so I believe were not consciously present during these encounters with Norse.

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      1. Thanks. Your comment lead to a huge insight regarding the problem I have with the writings from this period. I know that I had a life between 1982 and 1992 and that various things happened. What’s missing are the emotional memories which are held by the alternate named Bobby. It’s time for me to learn how to ‘communicate’ with him.

        My therapists suggests I write a letter since the others have done this in the past.


  2. Rob, this is a powerful story. (Memoir?) I didn’t realize the extent to which Bobby was entertwined in this relationship. It’s beautiful in terms of unconditional acceptance and love as well as sad in terms of loss. An amazing journey….

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    1. The strange thing about dissociative alternates is they exist in a state of non-existence. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, they don’t exist but the only way I can ‘work’ with them is to treat them as if they do. To hear Bobby speak with someone he loved and admired is moving and eerie. My task here is to learn to ‘communicate’ with Bobby so that I can access his memories; I have no clear memory of life with Harold Norse.

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