Excepts from a Diary 10
[November – December, 1979]
I was just leaving campus yesterday after work when I heard a car beeping at me & to my extreme happiness, it was Barrett. He pulled over & I got in. “Want to get high?” he asked. Of course I said yes. He drove over to his place & for a moment I was afraid that we were going to be getting high with Rina. But the house was empty & he told me that Rina was still in Brooklyn but “coming home tomorrow.”
He opened a bottle of German white wine & produced a joint that was perfectly rolled. It almost looked like a cigarette. “I’ve been saving this for a special occasion,” he told me & I felt so happy that being with me was a “special occasion”. “It’s high-grade Hawaiian,” he told me, “sent to me by one of my grower friends who lives on Maui.” It had a very sweet taste – like smoking tropical flowers.
He showed me a book he had just gotten back from Hammond. “One of your father’s,” he said, as if I couldn’t see the name on the cover. It was my father’s celebrated study of sexuality in Lawrence novels – an expansion & continuation of his doctoral dissertation – his first published book & while not a best-seller in the sense that his novels were, it made his reputation in the academic world. Barrett opened the cover & there was my father’s famous florid autograph – with a charming little note to “Robert Barrett” – to “keep reading & writing & studying Lawrence” – apparently Barrett took my father’s advice. “If you could have only seen me in 1968,” laughed Barrett, “when I asked him to sign the copy of my book – your father had every gorgeous co-ed at Columbia hanging all over him & here was I – dorky me – all covered in pimples – wanting some of his attention – he was nice enough to talk to me a little bit.”
I sipped the wine & took a long toke off the joint. “I have never read any of his books.”
“You should,” he said. “They’re really good. A lot like John Gardner – his command of mythical & classical motif – but racier by far. More like John Updike than John Gardner in that sense.” He laughed. “I never thought I would be getting high with the daughter of my idol that afternoon in 1968.”
“In 1968, I barely knew what marijuana was,” I laughed. “I was only eight years old.”
He refilled our wine glasses. I was beginning to get a major buzz on.
“So,” he said. “What are we going to do about you & the band?”
“What do you mean?”
“Bard is adamant that you are not going to be singing anymore.”
I almost dropped my wine glass. “Really?”
“He says that if he wanted a girl in the band from the very beginning, we would have had a girl in the band from the very beginning.”
“Nothing about this band is the same as it was at the very beginning except you & Bard,” I pointed out.
“Yes I know. & even Bard’s & my partnership may not be remaining the same,” he said, “which you know is the basis of the entire band in all its incarnations.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, my dissertation is finished. All I have to do are my orals – defend my written work – and then I receive my doctorate. & then I have to find a job. I could stay here – if the English Department offers me a job – & I have no reason to think that they will not – but Rina isn’t happy here. She has never liked Buffalo. & I have been getting offers from other schools.”
“Does Bard know this?”
“We haven’t talked about it but he knows how this all works – he’s involved in the same process, after all – I would hope that he isn’t just assuming my whole life is the band.”
“But Barrett.” I held out my glass for more wine because I had sucked mine down listening to him talk. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Barrett. We’re going into the studio to record a demo. Next week! Tanner has hired a photographer & we have gigs going into the new year. After everything we went through when Frankie & Gregski quit the band – I mean, what the fuck – the band is Bard’s entire life – it’s my entire life! – after writing all those songs & working all those hours on them – how can you now be saying that you might not be here?”
He refilled our glasses & relit the joint. “Don’t worry about it now. I’m speaking entirely out of turn. & don’t say anything to Bard about it. I haven’t even done my oral defense yet. I could completely fail.”
I took a long toke. Blowing it out, I said, “You’re not going to fail.” I felt completely deflated. Depressed. Instead of feeling high from the wine & the weed, I felt crushed.
He took my glass from my hand & set it on the table. “Come here, baby.” & I went into his arms & kissing him was so fine – soon the depressed feeling went away – the afternoon sun was streaming into the windows & I was glowing from the effects of the wine & the weed & his body pressed against me – his lips were caressing my ear & he was saying, “Let’s go to the bedroom, baby,” when the phone started ringing & I thought, oh no it’s Bard but it was Rina. She was at the airport – she had gotten an earlier flight home & she wanted Barrett to come & get her.
I was like – fuck! Barrett was quickly cleaning up the glasses & even drying them & putting them away – he really knows how to hide his tracks – & I put on my jacket & waited for him. I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to see Bard. Hearing that he was adamant that I was not going to be singing anymore both pissed me off & made me depressed. Since it was more or less on the way, I had Barrett drop me off at Falco’s on Bailey Ave, where I could have a few cheap beers & then walk home.
I sat at the bar with a small pitcher of Labatt’s Blue & a small glass & thought about the afternoon. One pitcher turned into two & then three. The more I drank, the more I thought & the more I thought, the more none of it made sense. I thought back to this summer when Barrett told me about touring in the late 60’s & early 70’s & how exhausting it was & all the partying & drugs & the groupies & the VD & the O.D.’s & how he just wanted a quiet academic life. So why – why – why – did he join up with Bard to start a band? & why start a band with the intent to “go all the way” as it was always being put? Record a demo – try to get a recording contract – try & get the funds to do a whole album? Play gigs every weekend & as many nights during the week & eventually try to get bigger bookings out of town? & then do the really big shows – the stadiums & the arenas – make the big money – get on the cover of PUNK & Cream & Trouser Press. If Barrett really wasn’t on board for all of this – then what was the point? What was the point of the last five months?
I was pretty drunk when Mac & Teddy & Jesse came in. “Hey!” said Mac. “Bard’s been looking for you.”
“Why?” I asked.
“I don’t know. But you had better hang out with us,” he said laughing. “You’re obviously buzzed & he’s not in a very good mood. I’ll say you were drinking with us.” So I hung out with them for a while, playing pool & having a few more beers – not that I needed them. Jesse bought me a roast beef sandwich – “To soak up the alcohol” – which was really nice of him because I was really getting hungry by that point. & it must have helped. I mean, I woke up this morning & I wasn’t hung over.
Mac was right when he said that Bard was looking for me. He told me this morning that when we are at Tommy Calandra’s studio, recording the demo, I am not going to be participating at all other than as “a roadie”. “We need you to help carry equipment & set things up,” he said, “write set lists & fetch & carry whatever we need – you’re so good at that. But for the purposes of this demo, you’re not going to be part of this band at all.” I thought about what Barrett said to me & I almost said, “What band?” but I kept my mouth shut. All I did was smile & say, “Sure Bard, whatever you say.” Then I went over to Teddy’s, where I picked up a half-ounce of weed. I stayed over there for a while, getting high with him & Jesse, then I went to Falco’s & played pool.
I’m sitting at the kitchen table with Bard, eating beef-barley soup. It’s not too good so I threw in a lot of pepper. It was only 10 cents a can, so that explains why it sucks. Bard’s eating cereal – his homemade granola – which is really good – he mixes shredded wheat, oatmeal, bran cereal & all kinds of nuts & dried fruits & berries – it’s really filling. I wish I was eating it instead of this shitty soup I have.
I left work after an hour. I felt OK when I got there but then I was really sick. My supervisor was pissed off at me. “Don’t you ever pull anything like this again,” she snapped. I had to laugh. “You think this is funny,” she said. “But you’re going to get fired the way you’re going.” Honestly I don’t care if I get fired. I should just quit. That would take care of that. I mean, how I was to know I was going to get sick? I hardly ever get sick drinking anymore. Of course I have really cut back on the drinking – partly because I had to, being on the antibiotic – but also because I was simply drinking too much. But last night I must have drunk a whole lot. I don’t remember! There are giant blanks in last night’s memory. I wasn’t planning on going out – as usual – but I read that the BonaVista on Hertel Ave. was having a lady’s night – ladies drink free from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., which sounded really good to me. But Mac was going out somewhere else & I didn’t really want to go alone. Mac said, “Call Marc, he’ll go out.” So I did. Marc said, “Sounds great but I have a gig at Ryan’s downtown, with Joey, Lenny & Dan, we’re playing the blues. Why don’t you come along with us?” So that’s what I did… & it was great! What great musicians! Lenny – oh my god, can he play guitar! & Dan’s bass was totally cool – fretless, very big & heavy – sounded almost like an upright bass. Marc & Dan traded off on bass & guitar. At one point, Joey said, “I wanna play ‘Chamelion’, man, let’s play ‘Chamelion’!” Marc (on bass) replied, “I don’t know ‘Chamelion’.” Joey started singing it: “Da-da-da-da-da-da! Da-da-da-da-da-da!” & they worked it out in two minutes & jammed on it for over fifteen. That was just one of their fabulous jams. I mean – there were all these great spontaneous things going on.
I had a Canadian $5 which I spent on drinks & Marc bought me drinks & Joey bought me drinks & every guy I danced with bought me drinks. Joey let me wear his hat – “Can you handle the power?” he joked. “Am I Cori McBride or am I Elizabeth fucking Taylor?” I shot back. “I guess you can handle it,” he laughed. Near the end of the gig, they let me sing a few songs. I was getting really wasted but I handled it. I sang “Fine & Mellow” & “Am I Blue”. Going home Marc, Joey & I sang Beatles tunes. It was so much fun.
We dropped Joey off at Kosta’s, where he was meeting Lenny & Dan & a few others for breakfast but neither Marc nor I had money, so he took me home. At my house, Bard was just leaving for campus. It was really early but he must have been meeting someone or something. I really wasn’t thinking about it & I really didn’t care. He said, “You’re drunk!” when he saw me – no hello, no nothing. & then: “Button up your shirt!” like he’s my dad or something! I said, “I have a right to wear my clothes anyway I want!” Who does he think he is?
Mac was just going to bed after being out all night. There was still plenty of spaghetti from dinner, so I served up plates for Marc & me. We played the new Chaotic Bliss tapes. We’ve been recording here at home – getting ready to go into Tommy Calandra’s recording studio to make a demo to try to get a recording contract. The tapes are great! Marc & I were bouncing up & down with excitement. During “Moonshine Meditation” I was squirming. Marc knows about Barrett & me – he guessed so I told him everything – what there was to tell – it’s not like Barrett & I have ever slept together or anything – but it felt so good to get it off my chest – confession is good for the soul – & Marc was so great about it. He totally understands & sympathizes & is behind me 100%.
Of course he kissed me – of course it went farther than a kiss. I was right when I said Marc was like a lion. When he left, he swore me to silence: “None of your drunken slips,” he warned. I promised I would never tell. I mean, I know he has Mary K. – who’s in NYC this week – I don’t want to get in the way of that. I’m just the other woman. Doomed to be the other woman. Maybe that’s why Jon & I didn’t work out – because I’m not supposed to be the one true woman – I’m the other woman. It really sucks – but oh well, that’s rock’n’roll.
He gave me a ride to work. I should have just called off but I thought I was OK. Hey – what did I know – I was still drunk. But I had eaten & taken a quick shower & I thought I was OK.
When I came home today, Bard asked, “What – are you fired – what are you doing home early?”
“I’m not feeling well, I finished up my work early & came home.”
“Oh, you’re hungover,” he sneered.
“Well, so fucking what?” I can’t believe his attitude lately.
I have to go. I have to clean up a cat turd in Bard’s room. He is incapable of doing it himself.
I am so out of it. I just feel so totally awful. It is just so depressing. I haven’t seen Barrett in a week. I really miss him. I’m so lonely. Sure – everyone knows why I drink like I do. I’m pretty moderate but then I go crazy like I did last night. It’s incredible. The blues, man. I’m so burnt. I’m sitting here – on my bed – just over a hangover – tired – smoking hash – writing my diary – there has got to be something better! There has just got to be. If life is going to be like this, I would rather not live. It’s been like this for 5, 6 years now – for a long, long time – & I’m tired. I don’t understand why happiness is so fleeting. I’m tired of being the other woman – I want to be THE woman. I want to be the one to someone who’s the one for me. It doesn’t seem fair. & then I catch myself being bitchy & I hate that even more. I’m not a saint or a martyr or even a particularly patient person. I’m a baby & a brat & I’m hungry – I want it now – & all these feelings just make me cry. & right now I have to force myself to sit here – so I don’t take a swig out of the bottle of vodka – the Kahlua is long gone – I’ve been mixing the vodka with chocolate milk.
I’m really sick of Bard – he’s totally changed. Every time I mispronounce a word, he says I’m being “cute” or using “feminine wiles” & I’m doing nothing of the sort. I really don’t know how to pronounce many words, because I read more than I speak. I’m tired of his parent trip! Leave me alone! I just want to be loved! I just want something to look forward to! More than stolen affection from married men or quick love from pretty boys in bars or any of that – I want the real thing. All I have is the Bliss – & Barrett goes home to Rina & Marc to Mary K. & Joey to Pam & Bard to his fantasies or whatever it is & I’m all alone.
At this point, I don’t care if I get fired or not. I don’t care about very much anymore. I just wanna pay my bills & have a little left over for fun. Whatever happens beyond that – it just doesn’t matter.
I am bored. I am so bored. I am so fucking bored I could scream. After a week’s work – every damn day – early to bed – early to rise – stuck behind a desk all day – & I want to go out & have fun – I want to rock! There is no rock’n’roll happening in this city tonight! How can that be? What happened to the punk scene here in Buffalo?
My mother called me. She’s leaving Dick & getting a divorce & also an annulment through the Catholic Church so it’s like she was never married to him at all. She is already gone, apparently. She spent the last 28 days in a hospital, detoxing from the effects of too much alcohol & apparently too many tranquilizers & she is now going to AA. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when she was telling me all this. She said that Dick was abusive – of course I already knew that. & like, no wonder she drank – living with that asshole. I think I would be wasted the entire fucking marriage if I was married to a jerk like that.
She says she is going to sell the house in Gates Mills & she has already rented a house in Shaker Heights & may buy it but maybe will buy another one – she wasn’t sure. She wanted to know if I wanted to “come home” – I really wasn’t sure what she meant by that – I mean, Cleveland has never been home to me – but she said that our “differences could be worked out” & I could go to school there & be part of the family again. She said that Helena had met a nice young man & was going to get married in the new year – Helena! She was going to become a nun! Like forever! – & that Tish & Rocco missed me. Which I rather doubted but who knows. She didn’t mention Ross but he’s over in Germany anyway.
On one hand, it seems like admitting failure. Like the “the hard cold world” has defeated Cori, or something like that. It costs so much money to live! Maybe not so much in terms of rent, but heating your place in the winter will put you in the poor house. It seems like I’m always cold. I don’t think this place is insulated & there’s no storm windows. Whenever the wind blows, the windows rattle & you feel the cold air going through the house like a sharp knife.
We eat spaghetti endlessly. I would love to have a steak. Or a lobster quiche. Or anything that isn’t cheap & filling. I would love to look into the fridge & see loads of food. & a stocked pantry. Just too much of everything. I would love to go to the supermarket & not have to add up in my head as I put things into my basket.
I went to lunch with Sara this afternoon. I was surprised that she asked me but we met on campus & she said she had a gift certificate for The Library & invited me along. I should have been suspicious but I was hungry & a free meal is a free meal.
She ordered a bottle of Rosé & we each got a crock of French Onion Soup & a Julienne salad. “I’m so glad to have this time to talk with you,” she said. “Especially after what you said at the B-52’s show.”
“What was that?” I thought back to the show, but all I could remember was kissing Barrett in his car.
“How you still want Jon.”
“Oh. Well.” I wasn’t sure what to say so I fell back on my usual policy of saying nothing.
“You may be aware that Jon & I have been seeing each other,” she went on – rather smugly, I thought.
“I’m really busy with the Bliss,” I said.
“Well, we’re really getting serious,” she gushed. “He’s taken me to meet his parents & this past weekend, he took me out to West Seneca to meet his older sister.”
I stopped eating. “What older sister?”
“His older sister Diane? She’s a teacher? Second grade?” Sara didn’t even wait for me to answer her. “She just got engaged. Jon took me to the engagement party.”
“Oh,” I said finally. “Oh yeah.”
I felt like bombs were going off in my head. No – like loud bells – like church bells – like all the church bells in the world were ringing in my skull. “I need to use the ladies’ room,” I told her & left the table.
In the ladies’ room, I lit up a joint & smoked about half of it before I was able to calm down. Jon had an older sister. Really. In all the time we had known each other, he had never thought to mention her. Nor had he ever introduced me to his parents – who were right downstairs every Friday night when he took me to his place to fuck me. & I had to admit that that’s all it ever was – fucking – not making love – not love at all – I felt like my heart was breaking all over again.
I left the ladies’ room & walked to the bar. I met Jon in August, 1978 & we fell in love immediately – oh, I will never forget that day – all sick & hungover from drinking with Mark Miles the night before – until I saw Jon – & then my hangover faded away like it never had been. That first afternoon – hanging out under the trees in front of Hayes Hall – getting high – talking about poetry & punk rock & Shakespeare & sonnets – & where we were from & where we wanted to go – yes, it was love at first sight. For me, absolutely & I thought it was for him too. That’s what he told me. I remember making love the first time in his little bed in his little room – his giant-sized cock – he told me that he had never been able to “get into a girl” before & I was “really” his first one – & he was so big that he hurt me & I left like a virgin again – we were like two virgins – like John & Yoko – I really felt that. It was such a tremendous feeling. It’s almost embarrassing to admit it now. But I had never been in love like that before.
& then getting pregnant.
I did a shot of Old Grand Dad at the bar & returned to the table.
“Are you OK?” asked Sara.
“Yeah,” I answered & smiled. The bourbon was kicking in & the weed was finally calming me. I poured myself another glass of wine. “I’m really happy for you two,” I purred. “I really hope it all turns out.” I sipped the wine. It was a lousy Rosé – it had to be the cheapest wine on the menu – I was sure to have a headache later. But whatever. “I sure hope you don’t get pregnant like I did. But at least Jon can’t use the same excuse with you as he did with me.”
“Whatever do you mean?”
“Oh! That he was the first person in his family to go to college – that he really couldn’t support a child – he didn’t want to go into the steel mill like his father – so I had to have an abortion.” I smiled & sipped my wine. “But his older sister is a teacher, huh? So I guess he isn’t the first person in his family to go to college.”
“You must have misunderstood him.”
“Oh! For sure! Because I was so upset! Being pregnant & all. & being in love with Jon. & wanting to have his baby – cuz that’s what silly women in love want to do.” I laughed. “But having an abortion was the right thing to do, wasn’t it? Jon was right, wasn’t he? & all’s well that ends well – I mean, you guys are getting together so obviously a baby would have gotten in the way of that.”
“Jon never told me any of that.”
I laughed. “That doesn’t surprise me one bit.” I looked at my watch & pretended to be surprised at the time. “Hey – I’ve got an appointment downtown – I’ve got to catch a bus. Thanks for the lunch.”
I went home & cried like I thought I would never stop.
I haven’t had any time to write this week because we have been in the studio every evening recording the demo. Only four tunes – “Underground Radio” & “Forgettable You” – those are Bard’s – & “Walking Backwards” & “Moonshine Meditation” – Barrett’s tunes. With all the work that has gone into making those tunes absolutely perfect, you would think that recording would have been perfectly smooth but it has been anything but. Only “Moonshine Meditation” went off without a hitch & I think that’s really because it’s Barrett’s tune – it doesn’t require Bard at all – it really demonstrates that Barrett & Marc & Joey would be a fabulous power trio – personally I don’t think they need Bard at all. Or me, honestly. Just the three of them.
But it’s Bard’s band, really – Barrett may be the bass player but I know now that he’s not going to be around much longer – I can feel it. & then what happens? I wish I could play electric bass but even if I started learning today, I could never be the player Barrett is. I mean, he’s been playing for at least 15 years – that’s a really long time. I have a hard time making chords on a regular guitar – let alone the bigger, thicker strings on a bass. & honestly – I don’t want to be behind a guitar. I like being a front man. I’m a singer – I’m a dancer – I’m the kind of person who’s right out there.
Even though Bard had said that I was not going to be singing “at all”, the chorus to “Underground Radio” – the “hey hey hey” part – was so weak that both Tommy Calandra & Tanner insisted that I be included to “pump up the sound” – so at least I’ll be included on that cut. I think that everyone is so used to my voice back there that it’s just missing when it’s not there. I should have also been singing backup on “Walking Backwards” but Joey took my part. I was upset about that but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. & he did sound really good. I had to admit that. During a break, Barrett & I were smoking a joint & he said that he thought that a three-part harmony would work really well on that tune & we should start working on that. I agreed with him but I was thinking – really? Bard doesn’t want me singing at all & you? Are you even going to be here in another two months?
Anyway, the tapes will be ready in a week. Bard’s going to start taking them around to all the radio stations & to all his friends in the record business. Naturally he’s going to Gary Storm first – he’s got an interview on “Oil of Dog” tonight. If this goes well, the entire band might get an invite to perform live on the show. Of course that doesn’t include me. But I do hope we get a recording contract out of this – of course it means nothing if Barrett gets a job somewhere outside of Buffalo. I can’t believe he hasn’t said anything to Bard yet. But maybe he thinks it isn’t worth talking about before he knows anything.
Today I woke up & there was snow on the ground & swirling in the air & since I was late I didn’t pay much attention to it but I have been happy all day & getting into the Christmas spirit. On my way to work this morning, I stopped off at Teddy’s to pick up a bag of weed & he got me high so I was buzzed all morning which was nice. Because of the election this place has been dry dry dry but now it’s getting better.
Mac is frying potatoes & onions. Our diet consists of starch & more starch & maybe some tomato sauce & a few eggs thrown in for variety. I’m drinking vodka & chocolate milk. This is the poor man’s White Russian. If there’s any coffee leftover from the morning, I mix that in too.
Lately I’ve been able to get speed – from Teddy, of course – White Crosses at 50 cents a hit or Black Beauties at a dollar a hit. I would rather do the Black Beauties – they’re a better high & they last longer. They’re easier on my system, too. I’ve been getting whatever pot I can scrape up. The other night I smoked a joint of “Himalayan Thunderfuck” – really! – & got totally wasted – everything was dream-like – it was the best high.
I have been very depressed lately but things seem to be looking up somewhat. One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever I’m really down – as far down as I can go – there’s nowhere else to go but up & my mood does start to improve.
I had the most horrendous argument with Jon – about Sara – who has proved to be a back-stabbing bitch – she told him everything I said when we went to lunch at The Library – & he didn’t like it. “You had no right,” he told me, “to tell anyone about that abortion.”
“Really,” I countered. “I have no right to talk about something that happened to me, to my body, that affected me & really only me.”
“It affected me too,” he argued.
“Sure it did,” I laughed.
“Ya know, I don’t even know that it was my baby,” he went on. “It could have been anyone’s. You just said it was mine.”
At that point, I really lost it. If we hadn’t been talking on the phone, I might have thrown something at him. “IT WAS YOURS. YOURS & NO ONE ELSE’S.” I tried to calm down. “I wasn’t fucking anyone else. Just you. Only you.” I was starting to cry & I struggled for composure.
“You fucked Mark Miles the night before you met me. He told me. & if you do the math, it could be his. Easily.”
“ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?” Again, I struggled for composure. “Listen, you fucking dickhead asshole, maybe I fucked Mark that night – honestly I was so wasted I don’t remember. But as far as I’m concerned, that baby – that FETUS – that mess of TISSUE WITH YOUR NAME ON IT – was YOURS & NO ONE ELSE’S. TAKE FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY ALREADY!” I hung up on him.
But he surprised me today by calling me today & apologizing. I was really surprised – Jon never apologizes. But it doesn’t change anything – Jon & Sara are definitely together now. He told me that when the semester is over & her roommate moves out, he’s moving in. I was like, oh really. I wasn’t going to argue with that either – I mean, all those arguments we had about moving in together & he had all these stupid reasons – how he couldn’t afford it & his job in Lackawanna & all that – it was all a bunch of bullshit. He just didn’t want to. Cuz I wasn’t that important. Not like Sara is, evidently. I was never even introduced to his family. Like she already has been. I suppose he’s going to marry her & have babies with her too. He didn’t want my baby. Denied that it was even his.
He actually told me that we would “always be friends.” Oh – OK. I can see where this is going. So anything I have with Jon means that I’m the other woman there too now.
Last night Chaotic Bliss was practicing – they play in the living room all the time now – they played for several hours while I sat on the couch, writing. I don’t even hum along anymore. What’s the point? I’m just the roadie. Anyway, Rina came to pick up Barrett. Usually she waits in the car for him, but last night she came up & waited in the dining room as they finished up their rehearsal. It was the usual scene – talking about the tune, working a last few little licks out – I was a part of it, like I always am. “You always know what we need to do!” Barrett said to me, smiling. I lit a joint & passed it to him. Out of the corner of my eye – since I wasn’t actually looking at her – I saw Rina look at me & then at him. But it doesn’t matter – because I’m just the other woman & I don’t matter.
I just told Mac to get up. Bard’s up too, for some reason. He doesn’t have a class today – usually he sleeps when he doesn’t have to go to campus. I can’t stand it when we’re all up in the morning – it’s too hard with only one bathroom. I’ve been up since 6:15 so my shower is out of the way – all I have to do is my make-up, which I can do with a hand mirror if I have to. I don’t want to be late – although I have to admit I really don’t care anymore.
I was in Cleveland all weekend. Mom’s new place in Shaker Heights is lovely & she looks better than she has in years. She has a room all ready for me if I want to live there. I just don’t know. She talked AA the whole time & even offered to take me to a meeting. I haven’t been to a meeting since I was in the hospital in April & I just don’t want to go to one right now. Maybe Alcoholics Anonymous is the place for me. Maybe someday. I don’t really want to stop drinking so much as I want to stop getting sick & hungover.
My return home here was relatively undramatic. Bard was up when I got home. We talked a while. When I hugged him, he hugged me back. I hung out & read Gone With the Wind & got high all afternoon & washed my hair. The more it grows in, the prettier it is. I know that sounds really vain, but it’s true. The super-short punk look really isn’t for me. Maybe I need an entirely new look. Anyway I fell asleep on the couch & woke up only when Barrett arrived at 6:45 for the Bliss rehearsal. Joey & Marc were late, so Barrett & I talked – really about nothing. The emotion was killing me. I just wanted to touch him – to feel his lips on mine again. Bard walked in & I know he felt the current between Barrett & me. I could tell by the way he was looking at us & scowling at me. I left the room when they started playing – I went into the kitchen & had a cup of tea & was reading. Bard came in & I asked him about the demo tape, “Do I give Jon the copy of the tape I have or do you have another one for him?” Jon wanted a copy to review for The Spectrum.
“Well – there aren’t very many copies. Do you mind?”
“It doesn’t matter if I mind.”
“What do you mean, it doesn’t matter if you mind?”
“It just doesn’t matter. It’s not my place to mind. I’m not really part of the band, am I.” I gave him a really hard stare.
“Not your place – what is this shit – not part of the band – !”
I got up & went into my bedroom. A little later he came in. “What’s the matter with you?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I answered.
“Well, you’re in such a bad mood.”
“Well, I thought you didn’t like me hanging out when you rehearse. I get bad vibes.”
“Bad vibes! Who’s giving you bad vibes?” I glared at him. He glared back.
I said, “Well, do you mind if I sit in there & embroider?”
“Of course you may! You’re always welcome, you know that!”
So I sat there – where I wanted to be. It was almost over anyway. Barrett said he had to go, but then he hung out – long after Marc & Joey had left. He told Marc, “I’ll have a beer but I really can’t stay long,” but he had several beers & smoked a bunch of joints. First he & Bard played “Mariella” – Barrett playing Bard’s acoustic guitar – & then he turned to me & said, “Now I want to hear Cori sing.” So I sang, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” – which I knew he knew – & it was exactly how I felt anyway – & then I sang “Crazy” & a few other Patsy Cline tunes – & he sang some 50’s ballads – to which I sang harmony – & then we sang “If I Fell”, trading off on lead & harmony vocals. It was so much fun. Barrett sings with his eyes closed but he’d look at me every so often. I just couldn’t take my eyes off him. I’d laugh when he’d lose his place in the corny ballads he was singing – oh I loved it. After we sang “If I Fell,” he said he had to go. I followed him out to the door but of course Bard hung out too & I couldn’t get a private word in. The door was barely closed & I yelled, “Wait!” & bounded down the stairs. He was between the first landing & the second one & I hung over the banister – just an inch or so from his face. “Barrett! Will I ever see you again?”
“You see me all the time.”
“You know what I mean.”
He said – so softly that I almost didn’t hear him – & even now I wonder if I really did – “Rina is going back down to Brooklyn to check on her mother. We can meet in a few days.”
Oh – I could die!
Hey! I’ve got the Christmas spirit! It snowed today & on the radio I heard “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby. When you hear Bing, you know it’s Christmas!
I quit my job. It’s the end of the semester & I don’t care anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to do & I don’t give a flying fuck. It’s Christmas & it’s snowing & the whole world is beautiful.
Just hearing him call me “Baby” – even if I’m just another girl he calls “Baby” – oh I don’t care if I’m one of a hundred – I love the way his voice sounds when he calls me “Baby” –
I’m in a good mood! I am really in love! Maybe tomorrow I’ll be depressed about it – who knows – but now I’m so high on it – just flying away –
Walking home from Barrett’s in the snow – oh – I was so happy I could die. I never knew making love could be so wonderful. Gentle – sweet – kisses as soft as snow fluttering in the streetlight.
Oh I am so much in love.