A tragic event in the city

A horrible tragedy this week in Man-hattan. Fire consumed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, located in the Asch Building near Washington Square. Scores of Germanic, Slavic, and Italic girls perished in the inferno; a goodly number jumped to their deaths. A witness described the frightening thud of bodies on the pavement as some sixty girls jumped 9 stories to their death. Some were as young as 12; they died fifteen years before their time. Horrors!

Despite the tragedy, one must remark on how the downtrodden often bring such misfortune on themselves through their heedlessness and haste. Witnesses remarked that the factory was in a disarray, with scraps of fabric and paper patterns strewn about the floor. It is speculated that such conditions contributed to the fire's fierce and rapid spread through the upper floors of this building. Compounding the difficulty of escaping, one of the exit doors was locked to bar union organizers from entering. It is my hope that union officials note with great sorrow and shame the way in which they have contributed to many more deaths than were necessary.

A moment to remember those who died such brutal, senseless deaths.


The astute reader will recall that garment workers from this very factory instigated the Uprising of 20,000 in 1909; slothful seamstresses walked off the job en masse, indignant at having to work a mere 14 hours a day. I asked at the time and I ask now, if they were to work a 12-hour day, as they demand, how exactly do they plan to while away the remaining 12 hours? "The devil makes work for idle hands," and this phrase applies doubly to the impoverished.


A day of modern psychiatric treatments

During a recent hypnosis session with Dr. Frankenthaler, it seems I mentioned the shocking scene I witnessed at the lowly jass-hall. Dr. Frankenthaler, a colleague of Dr. Freud himself, is opposed to sharing with me the revelations I confess to during hypnotherapy, believing my statements to be his intellectual property. However, he was intrigued by my admission of having personally heard jass music. He inquired where he might listen to such music. I gave him an approximate address and asked whether viewing such a depraved sight may have contributed to my breakdown. He murmured that the precise causes of my condition can only be determined after many grueling months or even years of hypnosis and various other therapies.

The rest of the therapeutic session passed as usual; I endured hydrotherapy to assuage neurasthenia and vibration therapy to remedy congestion of the genitalia. Dr. Weißmüller assures me that the vibratory treatment will no longer be necessary once Horace and I have consummated our marriage.

Ah, the treatments I must endure to be well again!

A sampling of my gruesome treatments.



This eve, my first return to the isle of Man-hattan since my psychic calamity. Dinner at the charmingly workaday Delmonico's. I did not save a current menu, but here is one Mamá had saved from a similarly impoverished dinner many years ago:

I am on a strict diet and so nibbled only on the nonpareil salad. Yet, when Papá and nurse Beulah were'n't looking, I enjoyed several nips from cousin Roscoe's Palmettes of Snipe à la Osborn.


My literary return

My team of physicians has granted me tentative permission to use pen and paper.

They have not, however, granted me permission to keep a diary, especially not one allowed into the public via this perilously revelatory forum. Thus, I pen these words in secret, early in the morn -- only the servants are awake at this dark hour, diligently preparing today's bread and terrine of Rouennais duckling.

Papá has said that all the romantic literature I read goes to my head -- I previously scoffed at this notion, but perhaps there is some truth in his pronouncement. 'Tis not only a well-accepted tenet of decent society, but a fact reinforced and documented by modern psychiatric science, that the female mind is more excitable than that of her sterner counterpart, that it is more easily swayed by passions, more easily tempted by evil, less able to comprehend what is in her own best interest; the female is more apt to be tantrum-prone, and to overestimate her own capacity to cope with matters intellectual. Exposure to ideas and theories is likely to reduce her to a sobbing heap of neurotic flesh and hard, arid uterus. None of this is in dispute; both convention and empirical evidence are in agreement on this. The dilemma arises from attempting to quell the thirst within me to learn, to explore the unsavory areas of life and the mind. It is not a healthy thirst, merely a natural one. Yet man (and woman, dare I say) has conquered nature before. If the hand of man can craft the gleaming metropolis of Man-hattan out of nothing but savage wilds,

then why shouldn't I be able to suppress my inherent urges? I can find solace in the fact that Horace is a bold navigator of the mind, and that I am a part of him. I may allow him to delve into literary matters, while I step aside and tend to the partaking of petit fours with other society ladies.