Excerpts from a Diary 12

by silverapplequeen

[January, 1980]

 

I’ve decided to leave Buffalo.  I’m going back to Cleveland.  It has a lot to do with economics.  I never should have quit my job at the UB English Department but I did & now I’m working – barely – at the slowest pizza place on Bailey Avenue – if people are ordering pizzas, they’re not getting them from Pizza Palata – that’s for damn sure.  & I’m so tired of looking for work – it seems like so much of depends on who you know – you have to be related to someone to get a job in this town – & I’m not related to anyone – we moved around too damn much!  People know who my father is – it’s amazing how many people say I look “just like him” – & even if they haven’t read his books, then they know about his lurid death – the Chappaquiddick of the literary world – & then they want to know why I’m looking for a job.  “Don’t you have money?”  I really don’t want to explain about trust funds & how I really don’t have access to any inheritance he may have left me.  Which honestly – he didn’t.  It was all tied up in the dream house in Manchester-by-the-Sea that Mom sold at a loss & apparently he was partying a lot in those days anyway – Mom & Dick certainly spent whatever was leftover these past few years.   It’s none of their business anyway.  I’m constantly amazed at how prospective employers want to know all kinds of private information.  All I can think is – I have no real skills – I’m gonna end up in another shit job at minimum wage & work my butt off & still be poor.  Worse than poor.  I just can’t stand the thought of it.  I have to get back into school & finish my degree & get a decent job.  It’s the only way.  As much as I love my rock’n’roll life – if the Bliss doesn’t hit it big, I’m really nowhere.  & they aren’t going anywhere any too fast.  Sometimes I think they don’t really want to go anywhere.  I mean, instead of trying to work every gig they can, Barrett’s out of town or Joey’s out of town & there’s missed opportunities & I just don’t get it – I think I’m more hungry for success than they are.  Even Bard – I swear, I’m hungrier than Bard is, too.  I can’t do it for them.  I can’t get on stage for them – ya know, I would if I could.  I’d be up there every damn night – if I could.  But they’re the guys in the band & if they don’t want to play, there’s nothing I can do about it.  Even if I was the only front man in the band – instead of a once in a while back-up singer – I couldn’t get up there & sing without them playing with me.  So it’s impossible.  Even Marc is too damn mellow – “We’ll play when we play,” he said when I complained about missing gigs.

& I need to leave – the whole scene has gotten oppressive.  I don’t want to be remembered as Chaotic Bliss’ groupie.  Last month – a few weeks ago – whenever it was – that night Barret hung around after the rehearsal & we sung together for over an hour – I thought of what it could be & what was never going to happen.  Bard has made that eminently clear.  Even though Tanner & Barret & Marc & even Joey has told him that I would be a great asset to the band – musically, visually & as far as sex appeal is concerned.  But Bard is never going to make me part of the band – even though whenever I have sung with the band, it has been electric.  There is no denying that.  Even Bard cannot deny that – as much as he has tried to deny it – & he certainly has tried.  But Bard is determined that Chaotic Bliss remains four nerdy guys & there’ll never be a babe in the band – not a sexy babe, not a smart babe, not a slapstick babe – not any kind of babe at all.

The thing is – I am part of the show – with my dancing – something that is acknowledged but not really celebrated.  I mean – if I am part of Chaotic Bliss – then why – why am I not included in the photo shoots?  Why not hand me a tambourine & give me something to do?  Ya know?  Lots of punk rock bands feature women in any number of roles.  Not just as singers – Talking Heads has Tina Weymouth on bass – & over in Britain, it’s common to see women playing bass or drums or rocking out in all kinds of ways.    & here in the States – there’s Blondie with Debbie Harry  & the Patti Smith Band – it’s her band.  & there’s Heart with the two Wilson sisters, Ann & Nancy – not exactly punk but they really rock.  That new band – The Pretenders – I’m hearing about from Britain – totally fronted by this tough-looking chick named Chrissie Hynde.  & locally, there’s Gloria DeNunzio in The Raptures.  Bard adores her & there’s dozens more that Bard says he “loves”.  Why not a girl singer for the Bliss?  Since I am “part” of the band anyway?  Or is that just talk?

Plus – Bard is becoming more intolerable every day.  He was really nice about taking me to Stage One on New Year’s Eve but he is generally a prick.  It’s like he blames me for the Bliss not gigging.  Believe me, I want them onstage as much as he does!  I want them opening for more popular bands – I want them playing their own gigs – I want them playing dances at the colleges & benefits & parties & whatever they can get.  & now that I’ve been talking about leaving, he’s even more pissed off at me.  I don’t get it!  I thought he would be happy I was leaving!  The vibe in this house is so oppressive that I can’t wait to move.

Partly it’s cuz I’m restless.  I’m so used to moving every year – every 6 months – whatever – that I almost have to go.  My gig is over here.  I know it – I can feel it.  I’ve been feeling trapped.  & I’m so incredibly lonely.  Marc, Joey & Barrett are my closest friends but they’ve all got old ladies – so where does that leave me?  All alone – that’s where that leaves me.  I know – I’ve been told – what part of my charm is my one-of-the-guys attitude – flavored with my earth-motherliness – or stoned childishness – depending on my mood & which Cori you get.  But although I’m a lot of fun, I’m a woman too & I’ve got a lot of needs & they aren’t getting fulfilled.  I love these guys & they love me – they’ve stood behind me when I needed it – put me to bed when I was sick from too much drinking – listened to me complain about Bard & other men.  They’ve been great & if it hadn’t been for them, I never would have made it through.  I was hitting rock bottom.  I still am.  I might not be here if not for them – anyway, they’re great & I’ll always love them.  But it’s like the Kozmic Blues here – they’ll never love me any better & they’ll never love me right.  So I’m gonna leave while I’m ahead.  Which – from where I’m sitting – is really behind the 8-ball.  I’m just trying to look at the bright side of things.

It’s hardest to leave Barrett, of course.  & naturally, he’s one of the reasons I have to leave – a big reason – as big as the economic reasons.  We can’t go on the way we are.  & we know it.  I can’t stand not having him.  I can’t stand being as close as we are & never touching our love.  & I can’t stand the lies – the secrecy – the façade – the games – I hate playing games – but that’s what we could have to do if we went forward into a full-tilt affair.  I’m upfront – I’m relatively honest – at least I know I can’t lie successfully so I stick to the truth.  & Barrett’s the same way – we’ve talked about it.  If I stayed, this situation would only get worse – I have troubling handling it now – I’m a wreck all the time. I remember telling Barrett, “It’s enough that you want me.”  But of course it isn’t.  I want him – all of him – to hear him speak – to touch him – to sleep with him.

***

I remember once having a conversation with Mark Miles – I don’t know maybe a few months ago – he stopped over to see me & we were in the living room here with all the band equipment & I was talking about the band & most especially about Barrett.  & he said that I was talking about Barrett like I used to talk about Jon & how they were really interchangeable – as far as the way I expressed my love for them was concerned – & he said that he thought that men were my drug – like that Roxy Music song “Love is the Drug” – that I always had to have a new lover – another lover – that I always had to score.  I don’t know if that’s true but it’s an interesting theory.  Love addiction.  Being addicted to love.

***

Barrett’s back!  I was walking up Main Street – putting in applications in at the bars & restaurants around Main & Fillmore – & I saw his car pull out of Amherst Street & go up Main Street.  Nobody else has an faded old electric blue Plymouth Roadrunner – only Barrett would drive something like that.  I’d know that car in hell!  It’d be a nice car if it wasn’t so beat up.  I caught the next bus going up Main Street but by the time I got home, he had gone.  It was obvious that he had been there.  There was a bottle of California Merlot on the table & Bard looked like someone had just shot his dog.

“What’s up?”  I asked.

“Barrett just left,” he said heavily.  “There’s going to be a band meeting later this evening.”

“What’s the matter?”

He waved his hand at me like he was trying to make me disappear.  “You’ll find out at the meeting.  I’m going to lie down.”

So now – what?  Although the way Bard looks – I don’t want to think it – let alone write it.

***

The meeting is over.  We were all there – Bard, Barrett, Marc, Joey, Tanner, Zu the soundman, & me – Barrett brought a few more bottles of Merlot & some really great weed he bought out there & ordered pizza & wings for everyone.  It was like a party.  Apparently it was.  A goodbye party.  He announced that he was leaving Buffalo for Palo Alto – he had secured a professorship at Stanford University – teaching a class on D.H. Lawrence – & other duties – so of course he would have to be leaving Chaotic Bliss, too.  Plus – Rina’s mother was in poor health & needed to be cared for more thoroughly so they were going to be taking her into their home – Rina wanted her to live in a more forgiving climate than the one that was here in Buffalo.  Or in Brooklyn.  Which everyone could understand.  Unfortunately.

Of course he apologized – for “leading us on” – gigging all summer & recording the demo & releasing the single – he said he would pay back the money that the band took out – the bank loan – so that Bard & Joey & Marc & Tanner weren’t left holding the entire note.  “But this has always been my dream,” he said – rather gushingly, I thought – “the academic life – & Stanford!  Who can argue with Stanford?  I know I’ll be playing music for the rest of my life, but I won’t be doing it in Buffalo.”

 

Tanner is going to get us a “farewell gig” at the Schuper Haus or the Masthead next Friday or Saturday night – whatever he can do at this late date.  Barrett is leaving on the nineteenth so there isn’t much time.  & a farewell gig isn’t something you want to do on a weeknight.   Apparently Rina stayed behind to find them a place to live but she’ll be returning before the weekend to start packing up their things.

 

It was first time I saw him since the Rocker’s party just before Christmas.  Before the meeting, we talked about my going away – going back to school – he agrees that’s what I should do – that I belong in school & I should be working on my writing in a focused manner – & about my being a groupie & Chaotic Bliss.  He insisted that I wasn’t a groupie but I said, “So what am I?  A part of the band?  What do I do?  Sing?  Play an instrument?  What do I do?”

“You mother us,” he replied, smiling.

“That’s just a nice way of saying I’m a groupie,” I complained.  I went on, “That’s another reason why I have to leave. I can’t be a groupie forever.  What’s going to happen to me after the Bliss?”

“You’re going to go with the Bliss,” he said softly.

“I am?  & where are you going?  You guys haven’t had a gig in over a month.”

“You’re impatient,” he observed.

“I am,” I agreed.

“Maybe you’re right,” he said.  “Only Bard wants it as much as you do.”

“I want it more than he does,” I argued.  “He only wants what he wants the way he wants it.  I want whatever what will make the band a better band.  Tanner, you, Marc, Joey – all agree that I should be an active part of the band – singing, writing, performing – but I guess that isn’t going to happen.”

“You never know,” he said.  “This band is really great.  You are going to make it better.  Believe me.”

So then – a mere half an hour later, he announced his departure from the band.  So like – I’m “going to go with the Bliss”? – really?  Which Bliss is this?  The Bliss that I’m “going to make” better?  Really?  How is that going to happen?  When Bard obviously hates my guts & blames me for what has now happened?

 

After the meeting, Barrett pulled me aside.  He said, “At the Rockers party, you said something very unfair – & definitely untrue.”

At first I couldn’t remember what he was talking about.  It took me a minute to bring it all back.  I had told him – something like this –  “You know, you dig it – the way our relationship is – I’m just a fantasy for you & you like it like that.  It’s safe for you that way – you can enjoy me in the safety of your mind & you never have to be unfaithful to Rina in real life.  Unfortunately, I’m a real person, not a fantasy.”

Now he was insisting, “You know that isn’t true.”

“Is isn’t?  Really?  It isn’t?”  I looked into his eyes & his eyes fell & he was silent.  So – it was exactly as I thought.  Finally, he said, “It’s true I have enjoyed it – I know I have led you on.  I told you I would.”

“I know – you led us all on, didn’t you.” But then I smiled at him.  It was getting way too heavy & I had to lighten the mood.  “Let me seduce you, man, & I’ll leave town & never bother you again!”  I laughed.  Then I said, “I mean, I’m leaving – partly – cuz of you – I always said that when it got to be too much I’d leave.  It’s too much – I can’t handle it.  It’s not you – it’s me, it’s inside of me.”

He touched my hand.  He said – so low I could barely hear him – so low that I had to bring my head right next to his – “Rina is out west until Thursday morning.  We have a few days.  Come over to my house early in the morning.  I can say that you’re helping me pack books or something.”  He looked at me – his eyes were so naked & pleading – I have never been so much in love with him as I was at that moment.  & I said yes.

***

Today –  the last Chaotic Bliss rehearsal before the farewell gig Friday night at The Masthead.  The first gig was at the Masthead & the last gig will be at the Masthead.  At least it’ll be on a Friday night.   There should be a decent crowd.  I called Jon to let him know & I said to be sure to bring Sara to take pictures.  I also let Mark Miles know & Harry G. & everyone else.  I even called Eddie in Brooklyn.  I said, “If you can get a flight in time, make this gig, man!”  I doubt I see him but you never know.

Barrett & I drank a bottle of champagne & smoked reefer & I flirted with my boys.  There was a definite vibe between Barrett & I & I didn’t care who knew it.

Just before he left, we stood in the kitchen & he said, “Is it alright if I come here Friday?”

“Bard will be here,” I answered.

“I don’t mind if you don’t.”

“I don’t mind.”

“I can be here by eleven – ten at the earliest.”

“OK…I’ll be waiting.”  Under his gaze I felt like melting but Bard walked in & we had to be normal people.  But I felt so warm & special –

***

I feel full.  I feel like I must’ve been poured to the brim with sunshine.  I feel fucked – I feel loved – I feel so good – I couldn’t feel any better if I tried –

I am ripe with love.  I am over-flowing with love.  All these Song of Songs phrases are going through my brain – along with hashish & a little wine & oh, so much love –

Today was love – lying on my bed on my quilts & sunshine through the window.  It was corny – it was great.  We kissed & giggled & rocked & rolled.  Oh, today is a day I never want to forget.  Every day this week.  Every day this week I do not want to forget.

Marc just walked in & asked me how I felt.  “Great,” I said.

“Are you relishing your last day with the Bliss?”  he wanted to know.

“Yeah – relishing it – & mustard & ketchup – ” I laughed.

Marc knows.  At least he feels – I can tell.  Joey is reading the paper – oblivious as usual.  Or simply minding his own business, which is what Joey does.  Bard is ignoring me.  He has been pissed off at me ever since Barrett announced that he is leaving – like it’s my fault.  My decision to go too only made things worse.  As if the band was going to stay together if I stayed?  I have to admit I loved it when Joey said, “Hey, Cori’s quitting the band too?  What are we going to do without her?”  Oh, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t want to go!  I don’t want Barrett to go either!  I want the Bliss to stay together & go to the very top like we’ve talked about a hundred times!

Barrett is talking to the photographer.  There is going to be pictures tonight – of all of us – including me – I am going to be part of the band tonight – Barrett insisted – I rehearsed with them all week – singing backup & singing a few songs of my own – songs that I wrote with Barrett – & of course dancing – I’m known for my dancing –

Love is sitting at a table with your beloved – not touching – not even looking at each other – sipping your tea – oh, how I long to touch him –

I keep thinking about Janis Joplin: “You can cry about the other 364 – but you had better make that one day your life, man – ”

Yeah – today – this day is my life.

***

At Falco’s.  Sitting at the bar with a small pitcher of Labatt’s Blue & my diary. I’m waiting for Teddy for show up – he’s got a bag of weed for me.  Tomorrow I leave.  On one hand, it’s really emotional & hard to leave – especially Barrett – but on the other hand, it’s a relief.  It sounds terrible but I can hardly wait to get out of the same house as Bard.  I haven’t felt this way in a long time – I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this way – hatred, loathing – I’m really not that kind of person.  I’m not the kind of person who hates people.  I really can’t think of anyone at all that I hate.  But I hate him & I hate what he’s done to me.  I can’t remember the last time I felt like this.  Perhaps I never have.  Maybe that’s why I’m so upset about it.  I hate it – it’s evil – it’s poisoning my good head & attitudes – not to mention my relationships with other people.  My attitude is that you treat people with courtesy & respect even if you hate their guts – but it’s so hard.  It’s hard to sit there placidly or to get up & leave when he makes a mockery of who I am & my plans & my dreams.  He does it so well too – he’s looking for a rise out of me & too often I give it to him.  But even if I don’t give him the fight he is always looking for – or at least the outward show of being upset with what he is saying – it’s still cruel & insidious in how well thought-out it is & how it always stabs me in my most vulnerable & painful areas.  He has succeeded in driving me away – he has succeeded masterfully.  He’s driven me out of his life – out of his band – out of his entire world.  & I’m glad to go.  Glad glad glad.

I’m glad because he’s driven me out of his band but he’s broken up his band in the process.  I mean – who knows.  Maybe if he hadn’t been such a prick about me & Barrett – about me singing in the band & singing the songs I was writing – maybe Barrett would have stayed here at UB.  Maybe he wouldn’t have given into Rina’s desire to go to California – an understandable desire, to be sure – but if Chaotic Bliss had gotten the success we were so sure we were going to get, moving to California could have been a few years away anyway.  But Bard being so stubborn & hard-set in his own ways – who wants to work with someone like that?  It doesn’t bode well for the future – with me or without me.  Bard can blame me all he wants for the steady exodus of musicians from Chaotic Bliss but he should be looking in the mirror.  He’s the one that nobody wants to work with.  Because it’s Bard’s way or no way.  Barrett was really good at handling Bard – but that gets old after a while – the constant negotiations.  & like I said – everyone wanted me on stage – everyone said I was great – everyone except Bard.  So I’m glad – glad that he’s losing what he was so eager to deny me.

Last night’s gig was one of the best nights of my life.  I have never had a high like that.  Singing – I don’t know if there’s really anything else I want to do.  I don’t care if I’m singing lead or singing back-up – I just want to be up there & filling my lungs with sound.  & when I’m not singing, I want to be dancing.

We had a terrific crowd – & they called for encores & we did all this spontaneous stuff – mostly because of all the stuff I’ve been doing with Barrett & Marc & Joey on the side – if it was up to Bard, there wouldn’t have been any extra material at all – at least nothing that I could have participated in.  The show was almost over when Bard’s guitar broke an A-string & while he was fixing it, Barrett borrowed Marc’s guitar & we sang “If I Fell” – wicked corny for the crowd that was there but it was a good way to kill time & it’s a short song anyway – & as soon as it was over & everyone had their own instruments again, they slammed into “Anal Breath” – which has to be the most perfect pairing of tunes I have ever heard – the sappy loveliness of “If I Fell” with the hard-rock almost metal-like grind of “Anal Breath”.  I was the first one out on the dance floor & within seconds, the entire floor was packed with bouncing bodies.  It was such a good time – it’s hard to believe that I won’t be doing it again.

After the gig, we had a party at the BonaVista on Hertel Avenue – just a final celebration of a glorious band.  Or what could have been a glorious band.  There were more bottles of champagne cracked – we toasted each other & the band – but it was bittersweet – made more bitter because Rina was there & she made it plain that she knew about Barrett & me.  I don’t know how she knew – unless he told her.  But I don’t know why he would do that.

It was almost 5 a.m. before we got home.  I collapsed on the couch.  I was really tired but too wound up to sleep.  I rolled myself a joint.  I was about to light it when Bard walked in.  “I hope you’re satisfied,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

“You have succeeded in demolishing Chaotic Bliss.”

“I didn’t do that.  I didn’t tell Barrett to go out west & get a job at Stanford University.  If I had my way, he’d be teaching right here at UB & he’d be playing bass & singing with Chaotic Bliss & you know that.”

“It’s because he has to get away from you that he is going all the way to California to try to save his marriage!”

“Oh please.  He’s moving out there because his wife wants to & his mother-in-law needs to because of her health.  He’s fulfilling his filial obligations.  It has nothing to do with you or me or the band or Buffalo.  Find another bass player as soon as you can & keep going.”

“It won’t be the same without Barrett.  Chaotic Bliss was Barrett.  Barrett & me.  I might as well start over again.”  He laughed bitterly.  “But it’s all over now.  After Rina called here this morning looking for Barrett & I told her – ”

“You told her what?”

“I told her that Barrett was with you & had been with you every day this week.  I didn’t have to go into details.  She already knew.  You’re not the first one.  Believe me, Cori,” he said, almost triumphantly, “you’re not the first one.  But Rina is determined that you are going to be the last one.”

I didn’t know what to say.  I smoked my joint in silence.  I thought he was finished – in fact, I thought he had left the room – but then he burst out with – “Ya know, we could have had a demo & a recording contract months ago if you hadn’t driven Fred away like you did.  He had better connections than Tanner.  You really fucked that one up.”

“Barrett couldn’t stand Fred either,” I answered.

“Barrett would have said anything to get into your pants,” he said cruelly.  “Barrett should have known better.”

“Well, doesn’t that tell you something?  Maybe Barrett wasn’t into this band thing to begin with,” I argued, pissed off at his remark “Barrett would have said anything to get into your pants” – “Maybe Barrett was just playing around.  He played both of us,” I said on a sob.

“Oh don’t start crying, you pathetic drunk,” he snarled.

“What?”  I couldn’t believe my ears.

“You’re a drunk – a miserable drunk.  It’s amazing you can get on stage & sing the way you do – but that’s probably because you’re still young.  That won’t last.  It never does.  Barrett can tell all the stories he wants about Janis Joplin but the story he never tells you is that by the end of her career, she sucked! She was only twenty-seven years old & she was totally shot!  OK – that’s a long way from where you’re at – but you’re well on your way!  That’s why I don’t want you in the band!”  He left & I cried  until I had no more tears left.

***

At Falco’s.  We had another argument this morning which is why I got out of the house.  I walked around the neighborhood for a while & then I came here.  I always feel better sitting at the bar & listening to the tunes on the jukebox.  Catching snatches of other people’s conversations.  The warm & fuzzy way the beer feels in my belly.

I suppose I am a drunk but I didn’t think I was really that bad.  I mean, I haven’t gotten sick in a really long time.  But I guess it looks different from the other side.  Maybe if I was looking at someone  who was wasted all the time, I would have the same reaction.  But it’s not like I’m wasted all the time.  He’s really being an asshole.  & I really am trying to control my drinking.

It amazes me when he says I’m insensitive to other people’s feelings.  I suppose I am to a certain extent but I do think about how other people feel – I mean, I don’t do things to hurt people partly because I wouldn’t want that kind of pain myself.  But he tramples over my feelings all the time & I think he thinks it’s OK because I’m “insensitive” to other people’s feelings – like he has to punish me for that or something.  He says I’m not being true to my dreams – he says going home is cowardly & a cop-out.  Is realizing that I can’t meet my expenses a cowardly?  Is leaving a place where a guy is always on my ass about something a cop-out?  Honestly, if he wasn’t so much like that asshole Dick my mother married, maybe I wouldn’t be going back home.  But if I’m going to put up with all that bullshit, I might as well live in comfort.

I really hate it when he attacks my mother.  He says my mother hates me & that now I’m in her power & she’s won in the eternal power struggle.  He says it’s the way of all living things for the child to kill its parents – it’s the only way the child to become free.  Actually that’s not true – but I wasn’t going to argue with him.  I mean, there’s lots of animals who don’t kill their parents.  But whatever.  I love my mother & whatever problems I have with her, it can all be worked out & if it can’t – I’ll move out again.

I loved Bard – I really cared for him.  It really sucks that it all came to this.  But that’s life.  There’s nothing I can do about it now.

***

Night.  Teddy gave me a ride home.  “You’ll be back,” he told me.  “Nobody stays away from Buffalo for very long. & when they do, they cry about how much they miss it here.”

“Cleveland isn’t very far away & it isn’t very much different.”

“If that was true, people wouldn’t have such fierce loyalties to where they live.”

“I moved around a lot.”

He laughed.  “Well, I hope you come back because I am going to miss you.”

I went up into the apartment.  Bard was waiting for me.  “You had better sit down,” he said.

“What now,” I said.  I remained standing.

He handed me a telegram.  “This came for you.”

I opened it & read: “Sorry to inform you that Edward Marron died of an apparent heroin overdose 01/11/80.”  The paper fell from my hand.  I would never see Eddie again.  Those bright blue eyes.  Those angelic golden curls.

I looked up at Bard.  “You read this?”

“No, but telegrams are rarely good news.”

I went into my bedroom & put away the bag of weed I had gotten from Teddy.  Suddenly I had to see Barrett – I just had to.  I was leaving in the morning & I was never going to see him again either – I had to see him.

I ran out the door into the swirling snow.

I ran all the way up Main Street to Amherst Street to Barrett’s house.  A long run in the cold & the snow & the wind.

I banged on his door.  “Barrett!  Barrett!”

Rina came to the door.  “What do you want?”

“I need to see Barrett.”

“What if I tell you that you can’t see him?”

My jaw dropped.  I didn’t know what to say.  Then I saw him.  He was standing up on the landing behind her in the shadow of the hall light.  I called out, “Barrett!”  My voice cracked on a sob.  He came down the stairs.  “What is it, Cori?”  His voice was very gentle.

“My friend Eddie – I told you about him – I just got a telegram – he’s dead of an O.D. – I’m devastated – ”

He turned to Rina.  “Go back to your packing.  I need to deal with this for a moment.”  She started to argue but he said, “I have to do this.  Now go.”  & she did.  He brought me in & up to his study.  He didn’t close the door – I suppose not to piss her off any more than she already was – but he sat me down & gave me a few shots of bourbon & listened to me cry – & I sobbed – but meanwhile, she was in the kitchen, slamming pots & pans around – which I thought was rather immature – actually, it was really immature.  I can’t imagine acting like that.

“I’m never going to see you again,” I said, trying to hold back my tears.  “Eddie’s dead & the Bliss is broken up & Jon is gone & you are going.  & tomorrow I leave too.  Everything is changing.”

“Everything is constantly changing,” he told me.

“It’s not fair,” I complained like a child & then laughed.  Crying & laughing.

“You’re going to be OK,” he assured me.

“I already miss you,” I whispered.

“Hang in there, baby.” & he held me for the last time.  I never wanted to leave the comfort of his arms.

“You won’t forget me?” I asked as he walked me to the door.

“I’ll never forget you, baby,”  & he kissed me goodbye.

I walked away in the swirling snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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