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

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An Interview with Harold Norse, Part One Section Two: The Pain of Becoming Literate

I moved in with Norse in 1984 and spent my days writing and studying
film and literature.

Norse was drafting his memoirs.

We lived in a creative stew under the strain of the most devastating years
of the AIDS epidemic.

We both had good reason to think our lives would soon be over.

The pressure I placed on myself brought on the symptoms of florid DID.

My alternates were coming out and writing and Harold was responding
to them as ‘characters’.

A written critique of a collection of poems.
Norse gives me a rundown of what he liked or hated about a collection of poems I left for him one week in February 1985. He calls me ‘Bobby’ in the note and uses ‘Bobby’s’ accent in the opening. What I loved about Norse and his critique was that I always knew I was getting the truth.

In the 1992 interview, I describe the emotional pain of becoming
fully literate.

I asked Norse if that was difficult for him.

“Every day was difficult.” he said, “It was the most difficult period
of my life.”

“Why did you do it?”

“What a question! “ Norse laughed and paused, “I almost never
question that.”

“I think it’s a fascinating question.”

“It is,” Norse replied. “It is. It’s one of the few that’s ever
stopped me cold.”

Part two of the interview picks up where part one ends.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part Two: The Pain of Becoming Literate

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 1, Section 3– Saints and Self-Destruction

Photo of Rog Goldstein cropped from the original photo
by Nina Glaser taken May of 1985. I have no idea who
those other people are. I’m the guy in the middle.

Interview with Harold Norse (c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

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