Excerpts from a Diary 1

by silverapplequeen

Some of the names have been changed for obvious reasons.

[Winter, 1979]

(The State University of New York at Buffalo)

Back at school. Finally. Not that I really want to be in this hot & stuffy room – oh, I long to open a window! & Brenda’s new boyfriend hasn’t showered his entire life & Jane & Anya are definitely sleeping together but it’s not that bad living here – I just wish it was closer to Jon!  He was all I could think about the entire trip back.  It seemed like forever since I had seen him or heard from him – did he still want me?  I felt like I had been a prisoner in Gates Mills since Christmas.  It had only been three weeks but that was enough for me to be almost out of my mind.  When I got back, I went right over to the Main Street Campus & went to the Spectrum office – even though it was Sunday – & of course Jon wasn’t there – but MJ & SL were, so I left a message that I was back & looking for him. When I was back in my room, unpacking my stuff, Jon called. He said, “Stay where you are, I’ll come get you.” So he did – amazingly fast – I was a little shy & a little scared – cuz I hadn’t heard from him in almost a month – I mean, obviously he still liked me because he was coming for me – but I felt very confused at first. But it was alright! He took me to his place & we got high & ate pizza & drank Lambrusco & listened to tunes & fucked just like old times – it was great.
But the Tuesday after that, we had a godawful argument. I was upset about him not wanting to hang out after the Spectrum copy was done – like we’ve done every Tuesday since we got together. I don’t even know what-all we said to one another. I mean, Jon & I never argue. & here we were, screaming at each other on the phone. I shouted, “I hate you!” & hung up on him. I couldn’t take anymore. Then I went upstairs to Bro’s room & got stoned with him & Crony. When I was up there, Jon called me to apologize – I was so surprised. Of course I didn’t know this until I came back down from partying. But I called him back & we decided to meet the next day.  We talked a long time & he was like another person. Not the anxious lover who had picked me up as soon as I got back to school. He told me, “I can’t make you happy. I’m not right for you.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I have been totally happy with Jon – what was he talking about? & I had turned my back on my family for him – had an abortion for him – what the hell was he talking about? I tried to agree & disagree at the same time. “Maybe I’m not completely happy, but who is? & without you, I’d be a hellovalot more unhappy!  How can you think otherwise? I love you!”
He was talking about breaking up & “just being friends” & I was like, well of course we’re friends, haven’t we always been? “Why do we have to break up?” I asked. “Do you want to see another girl?”
“Maybe,” he admitted & I felt as bad as I have ever felt. I turned away so he couldn’t see me trying not to cry. “Listen,” he said, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Things were good for about a week. Then he was depressed again – he said he had an argument with his parents about me – because he wants me to spend the entire night with him. Then he switched gears – so I thought – & started talking about our relationship – he can talk a problem to death – about every little thing that was wrong with it or could be wrong with it or could use fixing – & then he started in on how “sometimes” he wants “something different” – what, like wanting a different car? – & how he fantasizes a lot. Well, doesn’t everyone? But when he said that he wanted to take out another girl – it hurt – but not as bad as the first time I heard it. Although I told him, “It hurts my ego that you are tired of me.” He insisted that he wasn’t tired of me, he just wanted “variety”. & that he still loved me.
After he had left & I was getting stoned with Bro & Crony, the whole thing really hit me. He doesn’t want me anymore. The relationship that was supposed to be THE ONE for me was falling apart.

***

On Thursday, we were supposed to meet, but he never showed. He has never blown me off like that before. I walked around with Mark Miles & blew off steam. “I can’t take it anymore,” I complained. “I feel like a fucking yo-yo. One minute he loves me & then he’s saying he wants something else. I love him & I can’t stand this! I’m going to have to set him free because I’m not any good for him.” Mark thought I was over-reacting & nobody can set another person free, because we’re all free anyway. “If Jon wants to end the relationship, then he has to do it,” he told me. “You don’t have to do it for him. Make him do it.”
But I was upset & I was tired of feeling like shit. I was ready to end it all & live without him, if that’s what I had to do. I walked into the Spectrum office on Friday morning, all ready to break up with him & martyr myself on the altar of true love.
He said, “Let’s cruise, I wanna talk.” & even though I had just decided to break up with him, I thought, oh no. We walked out to his car & cruised downtown, getting high & listening to tunes. He told me about another huge argument he’d had with his parents. It was a carry-over of the other one he’d had with them about me. I guess Jon just freaked out & said stuff like: “Why shouldn’t she spend the night? Are you afraid we’ll fuck all night? Why shouldn’t I fuck her? If you’re afraid I’ll fuck her in my bed – ya know, I could fuck her in the back seat of the car, you motherfuckers.” I wonder if he really called his parents “motherfuckers” – that’s really harsh. I couldn’t imagine ever using that kind of language in my parents’ presence – well, maybe Dick, cuz he is such a dick – but never my mother – & I can’t imagine arguing with them about that kind of thing – you just don’t.  Well maybe he does.
We talked a long time about our respective parental problems – we have a lot of the same ones – & we have different problems, too. & then he said: “Ya know – what I said the other say – I never meant that I wanted to modify our relationship in any way – I like it this way – I’m not looking for alterations.” So what am I supposed to do? How can I set free a guy who doesn’t want to be set free? Especially when I don’t want to let him go?

***

This past week has been great. On Monday, Jon, Helen J. – the arts editor – Mark & I had lunch together in the Rat – actually, it was more like Helen & me insisting that Jon eat whether he liked it or not – cuz Jon eats so very little. He says there’s nothing ever to eat in his house. Jon said to me: “Well, you don’t take very good care of yourself, either.” “I take vitamins,” I retorted. We had a very good talk – actually, it was mostly Jon & Helen & Mark but I love to listen – they were talking about being an editor, how to write the perfect article, where the arts fit into a newspaper’s viewpoint – also the problems of the Spectrum. I interjected a few thoughts & supplied words for Jon. We’re always doing that for each other. When he took me back to the dorms, we sat in the car & talked – he was depressed about his parents – & other things. He said, “I’m very confused at the moment & I think I confuse you too.” I said, “I’m getting used to it,” which is true. He laid his head on me & I held him – I’m so maternal – & as I was getting out of the car, he said, “Thank you.” “What for?” I asked. “You help me,” he answered. That’s the nicest thing he’s ever said to me.
Tuesday & Wednesday, we talked on the phone – he didn’t come to campus – & on Thursday, there was a wine & cheese party at the Spectrum, which was lots of fun – I got pretty buzzed cuz I hadn’t eaten all day – Jon had to leave early & he asked me to go to Drop/Add for him. I said, “Alright,” & he said, “Oh, you’re great, you’re great,” in front of Harry G. That really flipped me out! I don’t know how or if he talked about me to his friends, but he never compliments me in front of other people! He left & I went to Drop/Add for him & then back to my room – & I got really fucked up. It was really strange cuz I really didn’t notice it – I had 3 or 4 glasses of wine – on top of the other wine at the Spectrum – & 3 or 4 joints – then some more wine – what I like about Thursday nights is that I have no classes on Fridays & I can party as much as I want – oh, I woke up on Friday – yesterday morning – so hungover! I felt really sick. Then somewhere around noon, I felt better, so I showered, got dressed, made up & went to see Jon. We went downtown with a friend of his, Sean, who lives in Lackawanna & needed a ride home. We had so much fun – they were telling me about how they used to streak all over the place. “We weren’t just mooning out of the boys’ john or running through the girls’ gym class. We were serious streakers.”
& last night, we really had fun. It was the First Annual Buffalo Music Awards at McVan’s Nightclub on Hertel Avenue & Niagara Street. We almost didn’t go – we were both really tired – but we had promised to take Sean with us. Sean is so nice. He says, “Does anyone want to smoke a joint?” like he’s really saying, “I know you don’t want to but I’m asking just to be polite.” We had the best time. Gary Storm was there – he has the best radio show in Buffalo – “Oil of Dog”, which comes on at 3 a.m. – he was one of the emcees – Dale Anderson, of the Buffalo News, was the other one. There were 9 bands – at least – & any number of free-form jams – it was great. The Enemies & the Jumpers & Mark Freeland’s Electroman & George & wow, I can’t remember all the bands!  No bouncers at the door & the smell of reefer all night long. Also it was really dark in there – the walls painted black & red light bulbs in the light sockets – totally cool. I loved looking at the people – all dressed up in punk gear – I really need to start re-doing my wardrobe. & the dancing! You can really dance to this music! It isn’t like disco – you don’t need to know the dance steps – you don’t need a partner – it’s just – get up & start jumping! Shake it! Move it! I shouted to Jon, “This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time!” We left sometime after 3 a.m. We smoked more joints on the way to Amherst – I was already beginning to black things out – the way I do. I got to bed at 4:30 a.m. I woke at 11:30 a.m. & Jane asked me, “Who called last night?”
“No one,” I answered.
“No, someone called at 4:30 & you talked for a while.”
“You sure? I don’t remember any of that.”
“Yeah, Brenda remembers & so does Anya.  Brenda said, ‘Who calls at 4:30?’ & I said, ‘Shut up Brenda, go back to sleep,’ & you kept apologizing.” All day I’ve been trying to find out who called me. I still have no idea.
Anyway, last night was great! Even though it seems like a long time ago already. I wasn’t even hungover this morning. I wonder how I pulled that one off.

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