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a novel in progress

Month: August, 2016

Excerpts From a Diary 22

[Summer, 1983]

This summer has been so unexpectedly hard.  On the outside, I have everything a girl could want.  I am definitely the “star” of The Canteen.  Every other club in the Buffalo area is trying to get me to get me to work for them & I can demand my own salary.  I am working stag parties & making incredible money there.  $120 an hour at the very least – sometimes $125 or even $150 an hour.  My tips are through the roof.  I could probably have any man I want.  I look in the mirror & I am the person I have always dreamed of being.  My hair is long & silky – glossy brunette with red highlights – hanging almost to my waist.  My figure is fabulous –  large round tits, tiny waist, firm muscles, perfect legs & ass.  Sparkling eyes & red lips in one of the prettiest faces in Buffalo.  They call me “the best dancer in Buffalo.”  I have no reason to disbelieve them.

I’m so busy that I barely have time to think.  I haven’t had time to keep much of a diary.  Besides, I’ve been writing lots of poetry.  One poem after another.  More poems than I have ever written.  I write on everything – notebook paper, bar tabs, napkins, scrap paper – whatever is there.  One of these days I’ll get around to typing them up & maybe even trying to get one or two of them published.

All year things have been going so good.  I read my diary from a few months ago & I was kinda amazed – I wasn’t aware that Jesse & I had gotten so close back then.  Actually, it’s just things have gotten so intense that I can barely remember back then.  Well, I can remember but not in any kind of literal order.  Kinda like tripping – really – exactly like tripping.  Everything about Jesse is one beautiful trip.

It was in late April – I was really dissatisfied – kinda bored – sorta unhappy – really nothing.  I really felt like I was going nowhere.  I was happy with Teddy but really unhappy too & I didn’t know what to do about it.  & I was so horny all the time – all the fucking time.  I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to make love to me when it seemed like every other guy I met wanted me the moment he laid eyes on me.  It was messing with my head bigtime.

It was a late Thursday afternoon at The Canteen.  Jesse was in & I was sitting with him.  Jesse went back to work in early March & hurt his back his second week there & was off work while his back healed.  So he was spending a lot of time at the bar with me.  He still does, even though he’s back at work now. He usually comes in around 3 in the afternoon.  Jesse is the bright spot of my day.   No matter how I feel – no matter what dancer pisses me off or what dude says whatever idiotic thing to me – seeing Jesse walk into the club always cheers me up.  That particular day, he was wearing a blue plaid shirt which was unbuttoned almost to his navel – I remember looking at his hairy chest, thinking – he must like me, he doesn’t usually unbutton his shirt like that – & his eyes were all over me & I just had to know if he felt the same way I did – I just had to know.  I didn’t want to say it but I had to.  So I just blurted it out – the way I always do.  “Jesse – at the expense at sounding stupid – may I tell you something?”  “For sure,” he answered.  For sure – he knew what I was going to say.  “I really want you,” I said.  He looked at me & smiled.  “Well,” he replied in that whiskey voice of his, “the feeling is mutual – but I think I may be too hung up about my friendship with Teddy.”

“That’s cool.”  I didn’t know what to say.  But – he was hung up on his friendship with Teddy – not his marriage with Doreen – !! He had more loyalty to his friend than to his wife?  Really?  I didn’t know what to make of that.  I decided not to think about it – it wasn’t any of my business.  But I knew I had to have him.  A little later I asked him if it would be alright if I stopped by on my way to work the next day.  Of course, Jesse & Doreen live on the West Side –  nowhere near The Canteen.  He just looked at me with that smile of his & said that I was “more than welcome.”  The next day, as soon as Teddy left for work, I got my shit together as quickly as possible – quick bath, hair, make-up, etc. – & jumped in the car.  Driving over to the West Side, I felt breathless & a little guilty but I didn’t care.  When I got there, he had reggae on.  Bob Marley – “Could You Be Loved” – oh yes I could.  We sat & smoked hash & he told me about his dealing years.  Jesse tells fine stories.  Oh lord – to have known Jesse in those days!  But in a way, it’s better now – he’s mellower – more mature.  He admits that he was an asshole when he was young.  “I did waaaay too many drugs in those days,” he told me.

Before I left his house, we stood in front of each other & he put his hands on my shoulders like he was going to kiss me – but he didn’t.  “Tempting,” he said, “so very tempting.”  He said he would be in later to see me dance.

Driving to work, my heart was beating as wildly as it has ever has – I kept telling myself to calm down – “It’s only Jesse!”  But I knew that something had happened.  At work, I felt like I was tripping.  It was really crowded & I got a good buzz on.  The air conditioner wasn’t working & the room was cloudy with cigarette smoke & the smell of reefer.  At any rate – it seems like a dream when I think about it – the whole day seemed like a dream.  It really does seems like I was tripping but I know I wasn’t.  Jesse showed up later & we had to sit way in the back – the room was so crowded.  Sitting with him, I realized I was trembling.  I gripped my glass of Old Grand-Dad.  Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer & I put a hand on his thigh & my lips next to his ear so he could hear me over the noise of the club.  “Jesse – please kiss me.”  I’ll never forget the look in his deep blue eyes.  & it was like I knew it would be – long, passionate, totally French, totally wonderful.  A kiss I had been dreaming of.  A kiss that Teddy could never deliver.  The kind of kiss I’ve loved since I began kissing.  & he gave me this smile that was slow & mellow – reaching into my soul – & then he kissed me again.

From then on, he was coming to see me almost every time I worked & I was going to his house every Friday morning.  We would smoke & talk & drink & bask in each other’s smiles.  I admit I knew I was falling pretty hard but I didn’t want to do anything about it.  Jesse is just too fine.  & the more I found out about him, the more I realized that he was the perfect man for me – we were so much alike – in every way – sexually, emotionally, creatively – we both love the outdoors & want to live off the land – we agree that living in an urban area is a necessary evil.  For now anyway – we talk about some indeterminate future when we can live in the country – far away from everyone – live the way we want to live.  We talk about so many things – drugs, the past, people we know, our marriages.  Jesse has left Doreen three times.  “Before we got married, & even after, we would really go at it all the time, anywhere at all.  But like, into the third year, she began to get really tight-ass about sex – not wanting to do it outdoors, not wanting to do it when other people were around – one excuse after another.”  He smiled.  “So I started seeing other women.”

“What did she say to that?”

“She didn’t like it, but there really wasn’t anything she could do.”

“Why did you always go back?”

He laughed.  “I would get too delirious.  I would be out, drinking every night.  I went through a lot of money.  It’s cheaper, living with Doreen.”

This answer didn’t satisfy me but I let it go.  I said, “I have the same problem with Teddy.”

“But you knew that when you married him.”

“Yeah but – we made a deal, or I thought we did.  Teddy asked me to stop to sleeping with other people – not that I was – but anyway he asked me & I told him that he had to give me more sex.  & I thought he would, I really did.  & ya know – when I married Teddy, I was really too busy to think about it too much.  Teddy knew me – he knew me from the beginning – he knew how I have to have it – a steady diet of sex – I don’t understand why he doesn’t give it to me.  I don’t understand what’s the matter.  Jesse, it’s so fucked up.  You don’t know what a number it plays on my head.  I’m here dancing & every guy in the room wants me.  & then I go home & it’s like living with a roommate.  Like any other person.  We sleep together but he might as well be my brother.”

“Incest is best,” Jesse joked.

“There’s no incest here,” I said.

“We are brother & sister,” he reminded me, laughing.

“Only because our stupid parents had to get married,” I complained.  “It’s like living in a fucking soap opera.  Everyone is related to everyone else but not really.”

The day Jesse & I first made love – it was so wonderful – on our living room floor – he came by to pick up a bag & Teddy was at work – & we were on the couch but somehow ended up on the floor – I thought I would die with happiness.  It was a month ago.  Since then we’ve been together whenever we can – usually at one of his properties – I get away whenever I can.  He gets away whenever he can.  I never thought I would find a man who was so perfect for me – & he’s married!  Why – why – why – is he married?

& why am I married?  Everything is so fucked up!

.

Excerpts From a Diary 21

[Winter,1983]

12:30 a.m.  I’m getting really tired.  I worked at the law office from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today then came home & made pot roast – my first one ever.  Paulie stayed for supper – Cindy was out somewhere.  Later Bernie & Peter Marx came over & we all played cards.  I won by hundreds of points.

Teddy is shaving some hash for a joint.  This will probably put me out but that’s OK.  I feel like I want to write but I’m tired & soon I’ll go to bed.  I hate making these excuses but it’s true.  It just feels like I never get anything done.  I’m just feeling guilty because I played cards instead of working on my novel.  Which is a joke, really – I write so little that every time I sit down to write, I have to reread what I wrote just to remember what I did write the last time I wrote – whenever it was.  Which I can never remember.

This pen sucks.  I really need to get some good ones.  Lately, they have been running out – it’s amazing how they all run out at once – today, two I reached for were empty.  I should go buy cartridges for my fountain pen.  I really love that pen but it’s so hard to find cartridges for it.  Damn! –  I should have called Sandy about my tape. I gotta get it back.  I hate loaning anyone anything.  It’s always a hassle getting stuff back.  But they always act like I’m such a bitch when I say I don’t want to loan my things.  Nobody seems to understand that I can’t replace the things I have when they get lost or stolen or broken.  They all think I’m making oodles of money & I can get whatever I want.  Nobody understands that every cent I make gets handed over to Teddy & I really don’t have any money of my own.

Maybe I’ll call Jon tomorrow.  I always chicken out.  I want to tell him that I dug his article in Sunday’s paper.  I think it’s so cool that he’s got a column in the Buffalo News about the new music here in town & around the country & the world.  I want to tell him what I think about what he wrote.  I want to tell him quite a few things, actually.  When I called last night, Sara said he was sleeping.  She didn’t sound too happy that I called but who knows.  Maybe that’s just my imagination.

Good tunes on the radio.  They had an hour of the Dead on earlier.  Now Gary Storm’s Oil of Dog is on.

***

7:10 p.m.  I’m watching/listening to the Sabres-Edmonton Oilers game.  The radio broadcast is so far superior to the television play-by-play that we always turn the sound off on the TV & turn the radio on.  There’s just a few seconds lag between the two broadcasts.  But it’s worth it to hear Rick Jeanneret call the game.

Teddy’s passed on the on the couch – he’s had a headache all day.  He must be pretty tired.  I’m surprised he’s missing the game.

It was so warm today – up to 55.  It’s so great.  It’s hard to believe it’s only February.  I wonder what March & April will be like.  We’ve had such a mild winter this year – the mildest I’ve ever seen.  It’s like a present.  Down South & out West they’ve had bad weather all season.  They can have it.  It’s about time we got a break.  I love winter – I love the snow & the cold – but I also love it when it’s warm like this.  When I woke up this afternoon – around 2 p.m. – we didn’t go to bed until 6 a.m. – it was 75 in the living room – with the heat on & the intense sun coming through the windows.  I turned off the heat & opened up the doors going out on the porch, letting in all that warm fresh air.  Across the street, the students had put their stereo speakers on their porch & were blasting Grateful Dead concert tapes.  Eight guys were in the street, playing Frisbee & singing with Jerry’s guitar.  I love it when it gets warm & the street comes alive.  Everywhere you looked – there were runners – children playing – people on bikes & roller-skates – hot cars brought out of storage & being revved up.  I can hardly wait to get the bike on the road.  We have to wait for our license plates to come – it could be up to a 10-week wait.  Of course Teddy had to get vanity plates with his name on them.  If he had just gone to the DMV & gotten whatever they had given him, we’d have them right now.  But he always has to have something special.

I finally called Jon.  I kept telling myself – what are you afraid of?  He had another article in today’s paper.  We talked about that – about local music – about the upcoming Dead concert – about my dancing & stag parties & my modeling gigs.  I told him about the weird-ass guy who wants me to piss on him & how I am totally unable to do that.  I mean –  of course I am totally unable to do that!  I don’t understand why anyone would want to be pissed on.  I know it’s kinky shit that pays well but it’s just not me.  & this weirdo wants it in his mouth, too!  I just can’t get into it.  I’m going to give the job to my girlfriend Queen – she loves that kinky shit.  She’s the one who told me that I wasn’t asking for enough money & this dude was taking advantage of me.  She’s the best!  I just don’t know if he’ll want a black chick.  Some of these guys are real racists that way.  On the other hand, that might really turn him on.  Anyway – Jon was really interested.  Of course he was.  I really didn’t want to talk about it but he kept asking me one question after another in that way he has – like he’s a cop psychologist or something – prying into my life whether or not I want him to – like I do want him to but not in the way he does it.  He does it in a way that makes it all seem so much more sordid than it is – I mean, I’m not pissing into this idiot’s mouth, am I – but Jon keeps asking me stuff like “What does it feel like” & all I feel is pissed off that I have to deal with assholes like this when all I want to do is make money.

Teddy’s awake.  He’s upset at the shitty game.  Time to make him feel better.

***

Teddy went back to work today.  He’s been laid off for almost five months.  It seems really strange not to have him around in the mornings.  On the other hand, it’s kinda nice to be alone.  It’s so quiet.  I love not having the TV on.  I took a bath, did my hair, got dressed & packed my costumes for work later on.  Then I called the insurance company & the parking bureau.  Now I’m boiling a potato.  I’ll serve it up with melted cheese & leftover veggies.

Yesterday was a great day.  We dropped acid & then be-bopped around town all day.  I love tripping & being out in the sun – walking around all smiles & stopping in here or there for a drink.  I can hardly wait to ride!

I’m reading War and Peace.  I’m taking notes to keep the people straight & I made a small family tree so I know all the connections.  But it’s a great book – one of the best I’ve ever read.  I’m so into it.  I would love to write a novel like this someday – a big novel – with intertwining families & the backdrop of a major war.  I would also like to know more about Leo Tolstoy – what his background was & how it contributed to the writing of this story – also to the writing of Anna Karenina – which I also love.

***

So fucking busy lately.  Been completely tired out – had to call off work at the law office on Tuesday – I was too tired to go in.  Teddy & I are both working as many hours as we can.  When we’re at home, one of us passes out on the couch – usually me.  I go to bed earlier than he does, but then I get up earlier.  I don’t mind getting up early – it’s just having to get my shit together – eat, dress, make-up.  I love getting up early – just to sit on the sofa with a joint & a cup of coffee – watching the sky as the sun rises.

***

Around Thanksgiving, I met a guy named Dan – at The Canteen – I don’t remember that much about our first meeting except that he told me about the dancers in  Québec – how they wear moonboots onstage cuz it’s so cold.  I had a hard time believing that but whatever.  It was our second meeting when we really started talking.  He was married a week after I was.  Something about us really clicked.  Ya know – the way it does.  We made plans to meet one Wednesday afternoon.  I was supposed to take the afternoon off from the law office – which I had trouble justifying to myself – cuz I hate missing work for any reason whatsoever.  Plus my conscience was kicking me in the ass – or wherever it kicks ya – about Teddy – even though we seem to have no sex life at all anymore – I still don’t want to be unfaithful to him.  So the next time we saw each other, we agreed not to meet – he was having conscience problems too.  But the sexual spark was still there.  “I gotta have you in bed,” he told me – I get excited thinking about it – the way his voice sounded.  When he left, I followed him out & we embraced in the vestibule between the inner & outer doors – a long French kiss – our bodies pressed together.

But he never showed again.  It’s all for the best, I told myself.  I don’t want to hurt Teddy & in every air-tight-he’ll-never-know plan is a fuck-up factor.  & then Jesse started coming in at least once a week – sometimes more – & I forgot about Dan.  Jesse was laid off from work just before Thanksgiving & so he had time to kill.  Jesse is one hell of a sexy man – all the girls want him.  But I’m the only one he sits with & drinks with.  We’ve become very close in a very short period of time.  Jesse fills my fantasies & my sex dreams.

Anyway – last week, Dan showed up again.  I couldn’t believe it.  He tipped me & I was smiling as I told him, “I thought I was never going to see you again.”  When I got down from stage, I joined him at his table.  “I was sure that I had scared you off,” I said.

“No,” he answered.  “I got really sick for a while then I went to  Québec on vacation plus I was staying home more.”

“Oh?” I raised my glass to his as we toasted each other.  “& now you’re not staying at home anymore?”

Naturally, we made plans again.  Thursday night, Teddy works & I don’t – so that was the obvious time to meet.  On Monday night, he came into The Canteen.  “You won’t stiff me, will you?” he asked.  “Of course not!” I replied.  “I can hardly wait, in fact.”

Which was true.  I had struggled & fought with my conscience but I was so frustrated & horny I didn’t know what to do anymore.  Teddy & I haven’t had sex in over a week – & only because I made an issue of it – I don’t think he would ever have sex if I didn’t pressure him about it & I never came & he was too tired to fuck, so it really sucked.  I mean – I have to be honest.  All day Sunday, I was so keyed up – trying to be cool about it but so horny I couldn’t stand it.  On Monday, when I saw Dan, I knew I had to have it – have to have him – & it was going to be great.

“I have a dentist’s appointment in the morning,” he told me, “so I’m blowing off the entire day of work.  The appraiser’s gonna be in at 2, then I’ll be over at The Canteen.”

Yesterday, I was in a great mood.  The Canteen was incredibly dull – considering that it was St. Patty’s day – but I was singing & partying.  I kept eyeing the door – waiting for Dan to walk in.  2:00 – 3:00 – 4:00.  At 4:30, I realized that he wasn’t going to show, but I hung out until 5:30.  Finally, I left – I had drunk a few too many – & I was really pissed off.  I was pissed off because I had finally gotten the guts to do something about my never-ending always-increasing horniness & nothing happened!

I went home & called Jon.  I never should have – I was too drunk & too horny.  Talking with Jon requires a certain kind of verbal control of which I was definitely lacking last night.

“This is the weirdest conversation I have had in a long time,” he said.

“Yeah, probably since the last one you had with me,” I answered. “Well, I had too many shots at work, as you probably can tell.”

“I sure can.”

It was a bad conversation. I said things I shouldn’t have.  But I’m not worrying about it – nor am I worrying about Jon.  It’s just isn’t worth it.  Worrying is such a waste of time anyway.

Today I was bummed out.  At The Canteen, I danced really well.  I was talking to John Canton.  I really love him.  He’s 72 – big, white, gruff – but totally cool.  He got me an Old Grand-Dad & I smoked a joint.  Do I work in a great place or what?  Then I was talking to these two guys who own a video company & want me to make X-rated videos.  Just me with a dildo.  I think they have ideas of more – like filming the two of them doing me – but I’m not into that – I have to consider who would eventually see it – I mean you never know.  But I told them I’d think about it.  Just talking about it was making me hot – even if I would never do it.

Then I saw Jesse.  He always enters the room like a king.  Our eyes meet & we smile at each other & it’s like electricity.  I said excuse me & went over to join Jesse.

About a month ago, Jesse told me that Doreen is pregnant.  He’s freaked out & pissed off & even feels betrayed.  “She didn’t even tell me she was going off the pill – she just did it,” he complained.  “I mean – it’s something that we’re supposed to plan together.  I’m laid off half the year.”  Jesse’s a Union Pipefitter so he’s laid off most of the winter but he also buys & sells houses & owns the one he lives in – as well as several others on the West Side – so that’s income.  & Doreen works – she’s a LPN – she has a job at one of the nursing homes – she’s been there since she was a candy-striper.  So it’s not like they’re destitute or anything.  Although I guess after the baby, she won’t be working anymore – or at least for a while.  Jesse used to run weed & coke & meth & acid from Mexico – & he still gets great drugs once in a while – probably from one of the guys on his crew or one of the truck drivers.  But he says he’s really sick of working construction.  He says real estate is the way to go.  He’s applying for his broker’s license.  When he gets his own office, he says he’ll hire me to be his secretary.  Jesse makes my flesh tingle.  It’s hard to watch him without getting totally turned on.  I love the way he moves – the way he’s always in control.  Jesse’s on a power trip.  He’s a total Capricorn.  I wouldn’t even have to know that his birthday was January 1 to know that he was born under the sign of the Goat.  He’s a climber – he’ll climb any mountain – real ones or metaphorical ones.  He’s tall & strong & has a deep throaty laugh.  He smokes Marlboro Reds.

I told Jesse about Dan – a little – Jesse has been unfaithful to Leslie so many times that it’s easy to talk to him freely about these kinds of things.  He doesn’t sit in judgment on me.  It’s like he’s my Rhett Butler – I don’t have to worry about being dishonest with him – & I don’t think I could hide a lie from him anyway.  When I talk to Jesse, I feel like Scarlett O’Hara must have felt like when she talked to Rhett – like she had taken off a tight pair of dancing shoes & put on a comfortable pair of slippers.  I just feel like he understands every word I say.  I’ve never felt like that with anyone before.  Besides – I want Jesse really bad.  I know Jesse wants me – or at least likes to watch me pretty closely – why else would he come to The Canteen every week?  He leans back in his chair & watches.  I love to be watched – I love getting totally sexy onstage when there’s someone I want in the room – someone to direct my want & sexuality outward to – even if I never look directly at him.

Even if he just comes over to the house – it seems like he’s watching me pretty intently.  Or if we go over there.  I’m so amazed that Teddy & Doreen haven’t noticed.  But maybe I’m making too much of something that really isn’t there.

Oh, I’m terrible.  I’m just so horny.  I gotta have something – I gotta do something about it.

***

I’m sitting with Teddy, watching the Sabres game.  They’re playing Hartford, who’s already out of the play-offs & playing like it.  We went to the Montréal game at the Aud this past Sunday.  We lost but we had beaten them the night before.  I wore my Sabres t-shirt that Scotty bought me at that great Boston game – the Sabres were down 6-1 & came back to win 7-6, ending Boston’s 13-game winning streak.  I really get the looks in that t-shirt!  I love it so much.  I totally love being a sexy babe.  It’s so much fun.

My big thing right now are feathered roach clips – I have dozens of all colors – I use them to keep my dresses from falling off the hangers – I clip them to my G-strings – I put them in my hair – they’re so versatile.

I’m tired.  We just got back from Betty & Jerry’s – we had dinner there.   They just got back from a month in Costa Rica.  They had a lot to tell.  They brought us nice presents – a bottle of Black Velvet for Teddy – a bottle of Chablis for me – a leather wallet & tooled leather belt for Teddy –  handmade leather sandals for both of us – & a soft green leather handbag for me – I really like the handbag.

But I’m too tired – I’m falling asleep sitting here.  If I hadn’t had coffee at dinner, I’d probably be sleeping right now.  Wednesday night everything catches up to me.  It’s good, though – cuz I’ll go to bed & get to sleep in an extra hour or two tomorrow & not have to hurry when I get up.  I have a routine – every day has its pattern – which is what keeps me going.  I have too much to do not to have a rigid schedule to keep me working efficiently.  Thursdays are the best cuz it’s the first day I don’t have to get up at 6:30 – I don’t have to leave the house until 11:00 – I work at The Canteen, which I love – I always dance well on Thursdays because I’ve slept well the night before – plus Teddy works on Thursday nights & I don’t so it’s like having a day off – I take my time getting out of The Canteen –  go have a bite to eat – go shopping – whatever.  Fridays are also nice but I always have to hurry when finish my shift at 5 on Fridays – Teddy wants me home – & the bar is always filled & everyone wants me to stay & party.  Teddy always has a million things he wants to do & he hates it when I’m late.  Actually, Fridays can be a real drag, except that on Fridays I usually see Jesse.

***

I have to mink oil my boots.  Since winter has decided to return, they’re all wet & covered with salt.  I really want to read Edie: An American Biography, which I’m really into.  When I’m done with that, I’m going to start The Ballad of John & Yoko.  Every spare minute I have, I read.  Gotta keep my head alive.

***

So tired.  The alarm went off at 6:30 & I got up & ate & dressed but I ended up calling off my shift at the law office.  I hate calling off but I just couldn’t wake up.  I camped out on the living room floor, watching The Today Show with Teddy.  Felix showed up with coffee & joints.  After they left, I put on a Laurie Anderson tape & passed out on the floor.  I got up on hour ago – the phone was ringing.  I thought it was Teddy but it was Jon.  I was really surprised.  We talked for about an hour – about dancing in Canada, new bands, sex, etc.  I’ve regained some of the upper hand again.  I wish we could just be two people talking to each other on the phone but there’s too much pent-up sexuality – or something.  I wonder if we will ever be totally natural with each other.  I remember the day we met – it was so fine.  Now – I know he just wants me to talk dirty to him on the phone – get wild – get him off – & I’m just not into that.  I’m tired of talk – I don’t want to fucking talk – if you want me, you know where to find me.  I’m seducible – I always have been.  I would love to have sex with Jon again but fuck talking about it!  I guess that’s how he stays faithful to Sara, huh?  I don’t care who you are – I’m not interested in talking about sex – I want to do it.

It’s like this guy I met at The Canteen – Mike – I really like him but he talks too much about how he doesn’t want to “just make love” to me, he wants to make me happy – if only I give him “a chance” – he goes on & on about it – it gets boring.  I’m not going out of my way for anyone.  One of Tex’s friends took me out for dinner several weeks ago – Bobby Blue-Eyes, a biker who rides with the Rare Breed – we stopped here so I could drop off my dancing stuff & he fucked the living daylights out of me – it was great.  & then we went for roast beef on weck at Unger’s on Bailey & East Delavan – we had a couple of beers.  I haven’t seen him since – Tex said he went back to Kentucky – he probably has a woman down here.  It really doesn’t matter to me.  Actually – I’m not into having lovers.  I don’t know if I want to deal with the hassle of a secret relationship.  I guess I would deal with it if I was in love with the man – it’d be worth it for love – wouldn’t it?   But there isn’t anyone in my life like that.

& I really do love Teddy – I don’t want to hurt him – I just wish he would fuck me like Bobby Blue-Eyes did.  Or just fuck me, period.  He just doesn’t do it at all anymore.  I don’t get it – I’ve become more beautiful – more in shape – more toned – my hair is long – I’m everything a guy could want – & he doesn’t want me.  I know he loves me.  Why doesn’t he fuck me?

Excerpts From a Diary 20

[Summer – Fall, 1982]

Sherkston, Ontario.  Too busy to write!  We had a really nice time this past week – lots of partying, lots of sun.  The weather has been great.  It rained for 6 weeks straight, but this week has been sunny & hot.  On Tuesday, in fact, it was too hot – Danielle & I went to the beach & stayed less than an hour – it was like walking in a frying pan.  Yesterday was nice – really breezy.  The water’s been cold, but refreshing after getting totally hot in the sun.  Well – the quarry water – we haven’t gone back to the beach – just staying back here by the quarry.  I love getting really hot in the sun & then jumping into that ice-cold water spring water.

Even though we’re camping here in Sherkston, I have been working at either The Pipka Palace or The Canteen.  On Wednesday, it was The Pipka & Thursday at The Canteen – that’s all the work I had this week.  Of course we’re still up in Canada & I have to cross the border to go to work.  Not that it’s a big deal to cross the border – this is the friendliest border in the world.  Next week, back to my regular schedule.  & I decided to try to find a “legit” job.  There’s a lawyer – Alex Randall, of Truman, Durant & Randall – who comes in to The Canteen who says he’ll hire me to do typing & filing & other things in their office.  He seemed really impressed that I had a business degree from Cleveland Business Institute.  So I’ll be starting there when I get back to Buffalo & working 3 days a week.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit it in with my dancing jobs but it’s better to have a job in a law office than depend on stripping the rest of my life.  It’s not like I can put “dancing” on a resume.  But oh!  It’s going to be nothing but running all the time.  Here, there & everywhere.  Run, run, run – but at least we’ll have money again.  Someone’s go to pay the bills.  Our first bike payment is due soon.

Apparently, now that I have a “legit” job, Teddy wants to get married.  I’m not sure what having a “legit” job versus a “non-legit” job has to do with it – unless it’s because he can tell people he married a secretary instead of a stripper.  His mother was a secretary.  She worked in a small travel office in Williamsville – she always worked – up until she was 65.  Teddy was a latch-key kid – he had a babysitter until he was twelve.  Teddy’s dad was the vice-president of a tool & die company that went out of business in the late 70’s – “After he died,” Teddy said.  He had a massive heart attack – he smoked 3 packs a day.  Teddy’s parents had a real stormy relationship & were separated when Teddy’s dad died.  They were always breaking up & getting back together – “They liked to party,” Teddy said.  They belonged to the country club & that’s where Betty met Jerry – he was a member too.  Betty & Jerry were both into golfing – they both golf almost every day now.  Teddy’s dad was always at the office – or he said he was – I know guys at the club brag to me that they tell their wives that they’re still at work when they’re sitting at me, drinking, so I know that men tell their wives fancy tales.  Also – Teddy told me that his father was a motorhead & would rather spend money on a hot car & cruise around on his day off than walk around with a bag of golf clubs.  Teddy’s the same way – he loves his hot cars & his fast motorcycle.  Still – I know there’s more to this story than he’s telling me but maybe he doesn’t know either.  Betty & Jerry are big partiers too – that’s evident.  Anyway – when Teddy asked me to marry him, I wasn’t sure what to say.  I have never wanted to get married.  I’m a feminist – I really don’t believe in marriage.  There’s tax breaks to being married – that’s the only reason I can see for getting married – if two people love each other, a piece of paper shouldn’t make a difference.  But he was so serious – asking me to marry him – what the hell was I supposed to say?  No?

Night.  I’m sitting in front of the camp fire.  It’s Deano Conover’s first birthday & we had chocolate cake, songs, etc.  Sam & Pamela came up for the weekend.  They have a long maroon van, totally equipped for camping.  Sam has a great stereo system –  big amps & speakers.  He makes his own tapes – records really good music of all genres – including rare & novelty stuff.  Some are real funny.

Today is the anniversary of Teddy’s & my first date.  We went to Falco’s & met Doug – who was shit-faced – celebrating the birth of Dean.  Teddy tells good stories – that’s why I liked him.  My favorite customers at work are the ones who tell good stories.  These are my best customers – Al Gross, who is vice-president of WGI Enterprises, a construction company that builds windmills – Don, who’s a local truck driver & who is loud & has a perverted sense of humor – Carl, who is really old & used to be a burlesque comedian – he appeared on the same bill as Lenny Bruce – he tells great stories about all the old strippers & the way the business used to be – & Bill, who makes me think of Grampa McBride & who tells me about how Buffalo used to be & also about the old strippers.  The old guys all say I’m like the old-time strippers –  the way I dance –  the way I walk –  the way I conduct my business.

***

Teddy wants to stay here another week.  I simply don’t know.  I have a very busy schedule next week – plus I don’t know how I’m going to deal with being gorgeous for work when all I have is a public shower that isn’t even hot half the time.  I suppose I could just go home & use my own bath.  But that just adds another stop.  I suppose he’ll get his way – he always does.  It’s too tiring to argue.  I hate arguing anyway.

Last night we celebrated our first date anniversary with lines of coke – really nice, although a little harsh.  It’s hard to lay out nice lines when it’s so hot & humid, they stick together.  But I’m not complaining.  Cocaine is so rare in our lives.

Today’s gonna be another scorcher.  I’m not going to the beach.  I’m going to clean the cooler & the trailer & read.  I got some good books from the library yesterday.

***

Almost ready to go. I cleaned the camper & showered.  I’m going to take another bath at home, so I can get a good shave.  Also eat when I get home.  I’m starving now, but I am craving pizza.

I am so burned out.  I fell asleep after Teddy left but only for an hour.  I had too much to do to sleep deeply or well.  This is going to be a very hard week.  I am going to have to pick up acid or speed or something to help me get through my shifts at The Canteen.  Working until 3 a.m. isn’t easy.

I love it here, but I don’t think I could take another day of just sitting around.  The weekends are great because everyone comes up & it’s a big party.  But during the week, it’s very quiet – which is very nice – but also boring.  There are only so many books you can read.  But my tan is fabulous – a deep golden brown.

On Saturday Scotty & I dropped two hits of acid – Peter Moore & Sam took one hit apiece – & we had the best time – although it took me a long time to get off.  Teddy was walking around – obviously delirious – & I had a huge lump in my throat – it wouldn’t budge – it was two hours before the lump cleared & I started hallucinating to the max.  It was a totally beautiful night – 70 degrees with a strong wind out of the south that was soft & warm.  We played glow in the dark Frisbee, drank around the fire & around 3:30 a.m., went to the beach.  It was great – There were several parties going on, one of them had a giant bon fire.  We climbed the dunes & stood up there, smoking joints & watching the parties & the lake.  The wind was great.  In the winter, the wind feels like a knife – but in the summer, the wind is a caress – a loving touch.  “And they think they have it all in California,” said Sam.

We were up until 7 or 8.  The sunrise was glorious.  I could have stayed on the beach all night, but Teddy said he thought we should go back.  He slept all day yesterday – I woke after a few hours’ sleep & smoked joints & read all day.  Everyone else was on the beach, which was packed.  We finally went down around 4 p.m.  It rained last night – a cold front went through – really cooled things down.

I’m really burned out today –  plus I have my period.  Teddy wanted to stay another week, so here we are.  Doug & Danielle are here, too.  Of course Teddy doesn’t work around the clock like I do.  I was really against staying here – it’s really hard on me with my work schedule.  But Teddy gets what Teddy wants.  I don’t matter one little bit.  The fact that it increases the amount of running around I have to do – that I had to change my hours at The Canteen – so I wasn’t working until 3 a.m. & then trying to cross the border – trying to do laundry & grocery shopping & everything else I have to do – it doesn’t matter one bit to Teddy –  he just wants to be here.  All he has to do is get up in the morning & go to Tonawanda.

The real reason I’m against staying here is that I’m homesick – I simply want to go home.  I like living in our tent-camper for a weekend – maybe a week, tops – but that’s it.  Two weeks is too much & trying to “vacation” while you’re working is ridiculous!  I mean – what the fuck – do one or do the other, but don’t try to do both at the same time.  Teddy says we’ll appreciate home “more” when we get home.  Well – fuck that – I appreciate my home now.  I miss it now.  I’m tired of the inconvenience of camping.  I want my books, my pictures, our plants.  I want to go home.

Oh well.  I feel really out of it today anyway.  I have get going or I’ll be late to work.  Run run run.  Go go go.

***

Home again.  & now it’s time to leave.  I spend the day cleaning & everything should be nice & neat when Teddy gets home from work.  Tomorrow I’ll do the laundry –  I didn’t have time today.  It took me all day to unload & unpack everything from Sherkton & then clean the house.   It felt so good to take a hot bath & soak.  I didn’t want to get out.

Paulie gave me a bunch of joints to hold us over until Teddy scores our next quarter-pound – which should be later today or tomorrow.  I’m taking a few to work with me.  Life is so much better with reefer.

I left burgers & Italian sausage for Teddy but also $6 in case he doesn’t want that & wants to order pizza or wings or something else.

***

Sitting here in the kitchen with a cup of coffee.  I love the sound of it brewing & the smell of fresh coffee.  I love coffee!

I really wanted to stay in bed this morning – it’s so hard to get up when Teddy stays in bed – but I have to work so I have to go.  I wrote him a little love note – I hope he sees it.  Sometimes he doesn’t see the notes I leave him.

***

I wrote poetry while the wash was in then came home to clean up & take a bath & wash my hair.  I really hope we go riding when I get home from work.  I work so often now – I hardly ever get to ride.  Teddy rides in the evening when I’m working & often stops in to have a drink – which is nice – but I don’t get to ride.  Sometimes I get home & he punishes me for partying by telling me that he won’t take me riding because I’m drunk & he’s not – it’s my job to drink with these guys!  But I’ll do my best not to drink this evening, even if I have to pour my drinks out – I really want to ride this evening.  Plus I don’t like it when Teddy’s mad at me – even if he’s the one being unreasonable.  I think I’ve settled down a lot.  I wrote him a letter, thanking him for being patient & thanking him for keeping his temper & telling him I would try to live up to his love – I don’t know what to do.  I do everything I can & it still isn’t enough.

***

Now in addition to the list of all the things I have to do, I now have to plan a wedding.  Teddy wants a giant party here at home.  We’re also having a wedding lunch with the family & I have to find a restaurant for that.  I have a list of places I need to call.

I’m actually getting excited.  I mean, weddings are fun anyway you look at it.  It’s the being married part that sucks, right?

I’m just worried about being horny all the time & Teddy hardly ever wanting sex.  I just don’t know what we’re going to do about that.  I wrote him a letter asking him please, don’t let me get like that.  I even told him how I liked sex – which I thought he knew – he seemed to when we first got together.  The main thing is that we’ve got to even up our sex drives.  I mean –  I don’t mind getting mine to diminish if he can get his to expand.

***

I’ve been busy all morning.  Cleaning & dancing.  It’s so humid.  The mail came at 10 a.m. – I was so surprised.  Usually it doesn’t come until 2 p.m. or later.

It’s too hot to eat.  I’ll be glad to get to the club & be in an air conditioned environment.  Maybe I’ll feel like eating something.

***

I don’t want to go to work.  I want to stay home & work on poems until Teddy gets home & then make a nice supper & maybe go out later & make copies of my poems somewhere.  But oh well, that’s life.

***

Another busy day.  At least I’ll be home in time to make dinner.  I can make something with hamburger or we can go order out if I have enough tips.  I want to make sure we can cover the bills first.  Teddy insists that I hand over my money to him & he’ll handle all the bills & money, but I worry he juggles the finances too much & things don’t get paid on time.

I was typing up some poems when Felix came over so I didn’t get very much done.  Hopefully I can get more done tomorrow.  I’m so sick of waiting for tomorrow.  Tomorrow never comes – that’s the problem with tomorrow.  If you don’t do it today, it’s never gonna get done.

I made myself a new g-string.  I’m buying myself some new costumes, but I’m also sewing myself some, too.  I’m so glad I know how to sew.  The few costumes I’m buying I’m using as templates to make other costumes.  I’m also raiding my own closet & altering clothes – adding trim, lace, glitter, spangles, whatever –  to make them into stripper clothes.  Whatever I can do to get new costumes without having to spend too much money.   & Margie gave me a bunch of her old things.  They’re still in pretty good condition.  I’m getting a collection of stuff.  I have a suitcase now – I make sure it’s always locked.

***

I’ve been really sick.  I don’t know why, but I have a terrible cold.  I’ve been coughing non-stop –  a real flemy cough.  I feel better today than I’ve felt in a couple of days.  I cleaned a little – very little – took a bath, washed my hair, ate & then typed out a few poems.

If I can get all the poems typed out that I want to, I’m going to use the copier at the law office & get copies made – maybe five of each poem.  I want a pile of ready-to-send poems so I can do just that, send them out for publication.  Right now so much of my time is spent in typing & re-typing –  trying to get a decent enough copy – just one typo & I have to start all over again.  It’s just a drag.  I would love to get more poems published.  Seeing my poems in the Buffalo News was great, but it was just a start.  Someday I want to publish a book, several books.  I know that’s just a dream but it’s MY dream & really the only one I have.  Oh, I dream about being a singer & a dancer & being on stage for the rest of my life, but writing is really the only dream I’ve ever had.

Teddy said he’d call & he hasn’t.  I guess he must be really busy.  When I don’t want him to call, he does & when I miss him, he never calls me.  Oh well, that’s life.

***

I wrote a new poem, based on notes written a long time ago.  I really like it.  I’m going to send it to William Morris at the News.  I’m going to send a copy to Harry G. too.  I missed the last poetry reading because I had to work.  I don’t want to lose my contacts.  It seems like work gets in the way of everything.  I haven’t heard from him in a long time & I hope he doesn’t think I’m not interested in participating.  I totally am, but it is so hard to do anything in the summer except work & party.  Ya know?

I have to take a bath & get ready for work.  Maryellen called & said that she & Mike & her sisters & some babes from work were going to the Continental tonight & she invited me – & Teddy, of course.  I said I doubted we would make it but maybe.  The Elements are playing & they’re my favorite band.  But it all depends on how Teddy feels & if he wants to go out.  Which he never seems to want to do anymore.

***

I’m sitting in the shop at the dealership while Teddy & Doug put a new pair of rear shocks on my car.  The old ones were really shot.  Teddy wanted to put new ones on before we pulled a trailer up to Sherkston this weekend.  I hope the weather isn’t too cold, but I’m bringing plenty of warm clothes.  Tomorrow I’m going food shopping.  Now that we’ve gone several times, I know what to buy & what not to buy.  When Teddy is done with my car, I’m going to Betty’s & pick up her cooler & fresh vegies.  Teddy & I want a cooler of our own – the big green steel Coleman cooler – the biggest one they have.  I think it has to be special ordered.

Yesterday, we rode down to Zoar Valley.  I love it down there.  It was chilly, but beautiful.  Some of the dirt roads were hard to ride on the bike.  We walked along Catteraugus Creek for a while, then cruised around some more.  It must be nice to live down there.  There are some beautiful old houses down there & some gorgeous gardens.  We ate in a roast beef place in Eden on the way home, which was one cold ride.

Later.  The car rides like a dream with the new shocks.  It took Teddy a while to get the old ones off.  He says a new tail pipe is next.

At the mall, I looked at outfits for about an hour.  What I really like was a red & black plaid skirt – close to a royal Stewart but not quite – full, gathered at the waist, trimmed with red lace –  $34.  With a white ruffled blouse –  not a Lanz but very similar to them in style & beauty.  The blouse was $36.  I thought I could wear this with a black knit or wool shawl, very pretty & romantic.  & my boots, since I don’t have a decent pair of shoes anymore.  I’m trying to get an outfit together as inexpensively as possible.  Lord knows the rest of the party is going to cost us plenty – with food & booze & drugs.  Teddy wants to get rings next week.  I’d just as soon get a watch, but he wants to be traditional.

***

Sherkston, Ontario.  It’s been a nice day.  Danielle & I had eggs & sausage for breakfast, then went to the beach for a while.  It was cold & windy.  When we came back, we played backgammon.  I took a nap at 1 p.m.  Now I have to go to work.  I wish I could stay.  When I get back, it’ll be late – everyone will be partying.  Everyone will be here this weekend – Jesse & Doreen, Sam & Pamela, Maryellen & Mike, Shera & Jordan, Wayne & Ramona – & I’ll be having to leave every night to go back to Buffalo to work.  It isn’t fair.  Plus when I’m at work, I won’t be able to party like I usually do, because I have to cross the border & drive back up here – I don’t want to be wasted for that.  It really sucks.  The only day off I get is Monday & that’s the day we’re packing up to go home.  But oh well.  I guess half a vacation is better than none.

***

Back home.  I am waiting for the iron to warm up.  It’s like watching a pot to boil – it seems like if you stand here & wait for it, it takes forever & a day.

I did laundry today.  While the clothes were in the washer, I walked to the library.  I got a book on Nostrodamus for Bernie & a book about plants for Teddy.  When I got home, I set the laundry down in the bedroom & went to work on my collage & didn’t fold it or put it away until 2 p.m., three hours later.  I started wondering – where is my white bag?  Where are my t-shirts?  Where are Teddy’s underwear?  I had left them at the Laundromat!  I ran up there & luckily, they were still there.

I’m tired.  I wish I didn’t have to work, but oh well.  I’m hoping Nicola comes in because I want to buy a costume I commissioned from her last week.  She does really nice work.  I can sew, of course, but I’m so busy – it’s easier to have someone else make my outfits.  Besides –  I use her costumes as templates for my own stuff.

I’m working Tuesday at The Pipka Palace – I’m disappointed cuz I really wanted to work the lunch shift at The Canteen & come home early.  I make more money at lunch at The Canteen than I do at any shift at The Pipka Palace.  But that’s life.

***

I am sitting on the couch, waiting for Teddy to call.  I have felt so out of it all day & so lonesome.  I don’t know why.  All day long I’ve been hoping that he would come home early.  When I feel really depressed like this, I want him around.  He takes my mind off my depression.

I managed to write several pages on my story.  I took a bath & then slept until 2 p.m.  I hate some cream of vegetable soup – it was alright but not great by a long shot.  I ate eating food because it’s all we’ve got.  I want to eat whatever I want whenever I want it.

I don’t want to go to work, but that’s life.  Last night turned out pretty good.  I had a good time, so tonight should be cool.  I never want to go to work, but I always have a good time once I’m there.

***

We’re almost out of weed.  I don’t think this has ever happened before since I’ve been with Teddy.  He always has 4 or 5 different kinds –  at least a quarter ounce of each kind –  if not a half an ounce or more.  He always gets a quarter-pound every Friday, but that won’t be until later tomorrow night.  I miss going around with him –  selling ounces of weed to friends –  but now that I work every Friday night, I don’t get to do that anymore.

I managed to roll up a skinny little joint out of roaches & a little weed from the box.  I’ll have to save it for later.  What a drag.  Maybe someone will turn me on at work.

I want to stay home.  I can’t stand feeling this depressed.  I don’t know why I’m so depressed.  I’m getting married in 3 weeks & I feel like shit.  Shouldn’t I be happy all the time & excited & singing & all that?  Why do I feel so terrible?

I also lost my sunglasses.  I have to buy a new pair with tonight’s tips.  I really hope it isn’t too sunny on the way to work.  Sunshine gives me headaches.

***

I called about the marriage license & have all the necessary info written down for Teddy.  He’s real anal that way.  Heaven forbid I leave something out.

Anna – my supervisor at the law office –  just called & said the computers are down again.  She wants me to go to the law library at the County Courthouse & look up a bunch of stuff & then make copies all afternoon.  What a drag!!  I hate doing nothing but standing at the copier all day.  It seems like the computers are always down.  It has something to do with the phone lines, I don’t know what.  It seems really half-assed.  & honestly – half the work I do at the law office is simply looking stuff up & making copies of it.  Nothing more & nothing less.  & then filing it in the correct file afterward.  It occurred to me the other day that the file clerk – really one of the lowliest persons in an office – has quite a bit of power.  Put a file in the wrong place & it just won’t be found.  That could happen by accident but it could quite easily happen on purpose.  I’m always finding things that are misfiled & fixing them & I have to wonder – are these misfiled on purpose or was my predecessor just a sloppy worker?

***

Jesse came into The Canteen today.  “All ready for the wedding?”  he asked.  “Yeah, I guess so,” I answered.  He laughed.  “You don’t sound too excited about it.”  He bought me a drink & we sat down at a table & talked.  I sucked down the glass of Grand-Dad like it was water & he gestured Cissy – the waitress – for another one.  “Keep ’em coming,” he instructed her.

“Oh Jesse, I don’t know what’s the matter with me,” I said.  “I know I should be happy but every day I feel worse.  I have a beautiful outfit, we’re going to have this fabulous party & everyone is coming & but I just want to run away – pack up my car when Teddy’s at work & drive as far as I can, as fast as I can.”

He didn’t laugh.  He sipped his Jack Daniel’s & coke and said, “Go on.”

“What else is there?  I mean – I don’t even know why I’m getting married.  I mean – people get married because they think living together is a sin – but that’s not an issue with Teddy & me – or they get married because there’s a baby on the way but I assure you, I am not pregnant – or they get married for some other stupid reason but Teddy & I have no reason to get married at all except that he asked me to.”

“& you said yes,” Jesses reminded me.

“Well, what the fuck was I supposed to say?” I demanded.

“You could have said no,” he said.

“& then what?  Just go living together?  I don’t think that would have happened.  I don’t know – why did you get married?”

“Because Doreen was only eighteen & her parents didn’t want her living with me without the benefit of the sacrament of marriage.”  He laughed.  “I would have just as soon lived with her without that stupid piece of paper, although the wedding was fun & the honeymoon was even more fun.”

“What – she’s Catholic?”

“No – Lutheran.  Almost the same thing.  Not as heavy-duty.”

“How old were you?”

“Twenty-two.”

I had to get up & dance then but I was thinking – the same age I am now.  He got up & tipped me during my third dance – when I was wearing nothing but a g-string & my jewelry – & putting my arms around his neck, I whispered in his ear, “Jesse, if you were me, what would you do?  Marry or not marry?”

He gave me a quick kiss on the lips.  “Don’t get married, Cori.”  He smiled.  “Gotta go.”  & walked out the door.

But what can I do?  The wedding is just a few days away.  I can’t cancel everything now.  It’s too late.

***

I’m having a quick bite to eat before I leave.  Soup & a buttered hard roll.  Not great, but that’s life.  I think this soup is terrible, actually.  As a matter of fact, I’m not eating another bite.  I think I’ll grab a hotdog on my way to work.

Paulie hadn’t gotten any weed when I talked to him.  He’s being checked out by the Buffalo Police Department – he’s applied to work there.  He said he would be getting it later on & he would set aside a dime bag for us.  I rolled a joint out of the roaches in my car.  On Monday, I found a joint in the front seat – down in the creases.  That was so nice.  I smoked it on the spot – it made me feel so much better.  I’m still so very depressed.  I haven’t wanted to write or anything.

Teddy & I got married 3 days ago but it’s hasn’t changed anything.  I worked the night before my wedding & I worked two nights after.  I now know why people go on honeymoons & have their special wedding night to make love & are all alone for champagne breakfasts.  I keep thinking about what Jesse said about the honeymoon being “even more fun”  than the wedding.  I wonder where they went for their honeymoon.

Teddy & I are never alone.  The house is always filled with friends.  It is a constant party.   Paulie is always up here – drinking the leftover liquor from the party – Brad still rents the other bedroom.  Bernie, Peter Marx, Felix – they’re always here.  I cook, I clean, I serve food & drinks to everyone.  I might as well be running a hotel.

I leave the party at home & I got to the party at work.  There’s no escape.

& I am the party girl.  I laugh, I sing, I dance & nobody knows the depth of my unhappiness.

Excerpts From a Diary 19

[Winter-Spring, 1982]

Bitterly cold.  It’s dead at work.  They’ve laid off almost everyone.  I know I’ll be let go after inventory next week.  I’ve already been looking for work, but there’s absolutely nothing.  Nobody’s hiring at all.  The restaurants are dead.  That’s what I would like – a job in a restaurant – waiting tables in a place like Your Host or The Wehrle Restaurant or someplace like that.  Someplace where I could make tips & have flexible shifts so I could go back to school.  I really want to go back to school.

I’ve been hanging out with this guy named Tom when I’m at work. Tom said that no one here grooves. He says few people have a sense of style & no one seems to know or care what’s going on.  He said I was the first person he’d met at Sibley’s that he could talk to.  He’s been a music head since he was pre-adolescent, too.  He plays piano & clarinet.  He was in band & orchestra like I was – he wants to learn guitar & get in a rock’n’roll band.  He wants to get the hell out of Buffalo & go to New York City or Los Angeles or somewhere.  He says that he feels like nobody has ever understood him & he has never fit in anywhere he has ever been.  I know the loneliness he suffers from.  Like there everyone else is dead & I’m still alive – or – like everyone else had a vital part taken out of their brain at some point in their life – some part that I still retain – & the few people I meet that are like me – & it’s impossible for them to think like I do, or even comprehend the difference.  I know this from Donovan & to a lesser extent, Teddy.  Both of them like my artistic self – like the poems I write & write for them –  but they really don’t understand them.  I think that particular self of me really scared Donovan.  He realized – or thought he realized – that he would never understand me & so he gave up.  He gave up!  I would have never given up on him!

Anyway, back to Tom – we have a lot in common – but unlike Tom – I like the disco beat of the jukebox – I like to watch the people – especially the blacks, because they dress so well – & so many of them – real imaginatively.  Tom’s a high-class punk & that’s that.  But I like everyone.  I really do.

***

Another argument with Teddy this morning.  I left for work & I was halfway there & remembered I forgot something so I went back home & he was already gone – I had smoked a joint while I was driving & I heard “Uncle John’s Band” on the radio so I had calmed down.

Why am I so moody?  I know my moodiness is a real turn-off.  I don’t mean to be a bitch – I know I don’t realize how bitchy I am – it just happens.  I try really hard to keep going – to stay happy – but I get so tired of trying.  I hate work – one of the reasons I started school is because I hate work so much.  I’m really angry because I can’t go this semester.  I know I’m blowing it because I’m not going.  But what am I supposed to do when there’s no money?  I feel so powerless.  I feel so frustrated.  I know I shouldn’t take it out on Teddy.  I should let him sleep in the mornings – why do I wake up so early? – I should let him alone sexually – I should stop complaining.  What’s the matter with me?

I feel so torn up.  I’m so angry.  I want to go to school – I want to finish my degree.  I want to go to school, I want to go to school, I want to go to school.

***

In Tonawanda.  At the unemployment office.  Teddy’s inside, signing for his weekly benefits.  I’m sitting in the car, waiting for him.  There’s a funeral parlor right across the street.  Today there’s a funeral.  The people are all coming out.  There’s a lady that can barely control herself crying, she’s so broken up.  The police just arrive to escort the cortege.  I wonder if this is for the girl & boy – both sixteen years old –  who were murdered by a 17-year-old boy?  It’s a large funeral – cars are everywhere.  The people coming & going from the unemployment office are mostly on foot.  Here’s a sailor coming out – in dress whites & a navy blue wool jacket.  His head must be cold, with that super short hair.  Most of Teddy’s friends grow their hair long & grow beards in the winter for warmth & then cut their hair & shave in the summer.  I never heard of that before, but of course most of the people I grew up with were academics or writers or artists.

Teddy has been in unemployment for an hour & a half.  All just to sign that he hasn’t worked this week.  He says there’s a whole new section set up just for GM –  because of all the lay-offs there.  I just saw a guy walk out, with the same look & walk as Donovan.  I wonder what he does.  I wonder what Donovan is doing nowadays.  Is he still working?  Did he ever go to college?  Does he ever think of me?

Now they’re bringing out the casket.  Everyone is in their cars, they have their little flags on, & their lights on.  The cop puts on his lights & the cortege starts away.  One day after another.  I wonder what cemetery they’re going to.  They’re all gone now.  I wish Teddy would come.  But you can see through the windows –  into the office –  the place is absolutely packed.  Oh – here comes Teddy.  Time to put away the notebook.

***

I woke up when the alarm rang, which corresponded to the last note of a Janis Joplin tune playing in a dream about – Jesse?  I was dreaming about Jesse?

I went downstairs to Paulie & Cindy’s to offer to help drive to Niagara Falls to rescue the Camaro that Cindy left there yesterday when it broke down.  They didn’t need my help, but I stayed a while – had a cup of coffee & talked.

I came upstairs & got back in bed with Teddy.  I was hoping he’d want to have sex but no.  We got up together & he left for work, after telling me what to do today.  I ate an orange, smoked a joint & read Anaïs Nin.  Now I’m going to take a bath, wash my hair & then write about Roxy.  Roxy is a story I’m writing in the style of Anaïs Nin’s erotic short stories – very dreamy & poetic.  Kinda like naughty urban fairy tales.

Well, good luck goes in pairs.  The Grateful Dead is on the radio & Teddy called.   Just to say the roads are barely travelable since it’s so icy & that he loves me.

It’s funny how many things I have to do before I can actually sit down & write – make the bed, check the gas meter & call in our reading, clean my desk.  I guess cleaning my desk can wait.  I can write at the table or anywhere.

***

At times I go blank.  Just an enormous slow nothingness enveloping my brain – null, void, empty.   Sometimes the emptiness feels white – pure – cold – like snow.  Sometimes it feels like a hard rock.  Granite hard.

I am frightened of no work – no money – constant worry – & what all that can do to harm our relationship.  I am frightened of not being able to help Teddy get money to pay the rent, pay the bills, make the bike payment.  I am frightened of being so dependent.  I am afraid that the love he feels for me is not strong enough to understand the worst that could happen.  At the same time, I know that these worries will cease as soon as I find work.  Oh fuck!  These moods that rock me.  I’m pretty lucky, most of the time things bounce off me – I don’t absorb it until it’s pounding me in the head.  Things are beginning to hurt.  I’m making mistakes –  bad mistakes – my emotions are pushing around my good sense.  At times I feel a little vacant.  I know I’m smart enough to come through this gracefully – winningly – but I could lose it.  Generally I’m up but it’s so hard to deal with Teddy when he’s so down.  I’m learning to get used to his temper.  I hate it but I’m beginning to understand why he blows his top the way he does.  After all he’s – the phone is ringing –

A few minutes later.  It was Teddy.  He’s having a good day.  He’s really relieved because Paulie isn’t upset about the rent.  Well – Paulie’s not upset because I told him that I would give him a blow-job if we didn’t have the rent by the end of the month.  But Teddy doesn’t know that.  He told me to go down & talk to Paulie &  “smooth things over” with him about the rent & that was Paulie’s suggestion – I mean – Teddy could have gone down there himself to “smooth things over” with Paulie himself but he sent me – what did he expect?  I had to promise something.  & you never know – maybe I’ll come up with the rent by the end of the month – although that means coming up with two month’s rent.  Cuz March is almost the next day, right?  But I’ll worry about that when I get to March.  It pisses me off that Teddy put me in that position but I’m not going to think about that right now.  Anyway – Teddy said he fixed Ken’s car & that he had a lot of work to do.  He said he would be home at 4:30.  I have a lot of work to do before then – about two hours.  Tonight we’re going to the Sabres game.  They’re playing the Bruins.  I want to clean up the house & type out poems for the Women’s College Poetry Book.  I’ve been getting together groups of poems to send out for publication, but I don’t have any stamps.  At least they’ll be ready to go when I do have stamps.

I knew that writing would make me feel better.  I know that writing will save me.  I’m pleased with my creative life.  I wish there was only my creative life – well, my creative life & Teddy.  I wish I didn’t have to spend so much of my time doing boring stuff.  I mean, most of the damn day!  Teddy gives me a list of things to do before he leaves the house.  It’s amazing I have any time to write at all.

When I was working at Sibley’s at Christmas, I used to write poems on little pieces of paper & slip them into my boots.  All those small pieces of paper are in a cubby in my desk –  I haven’t looked at them since I shoved them in there.  I really haven’t had the time.  The little time I have for writing, I’ve used to write the story about Roxy – I think about her all the time.  I am reading erotic literature & poetry to keep me focused.  I am so horny I can’t stand it.  I think I made up Roxy to compensate for the life I don’t have.   I guess it doesn’t make sense to complain about not having a sex life when there are men who want to have sex with me but I don’t want them.  I mean – I don’t want to give my landlord blowjobs because we’re late with the rent – & that’s not a sex life anyway.  That’s a pathetic life.

I did write a few new poems this week.  I just wish I had more time.

***

11:05 p.m.  Right now Bernie, Tommy, Peter Marx, Brad Summers & Teddy are playing RISK in our dining room – jazz on the radio –  bowls of hash going round.  Today I have been getting high all day.  Felix Jajko came over at 9:30 a.m.  He’s one of Teddy’s oldest friends.  He’s really well named – he rather looks like a cat – a long lean cat – with short brown hair & bright brown eyes.  He’s always in a good mood.  & really – everyone is Teddy’s oldest friend!  Anyway, Felix’s wife Sue had a baby last night – their third child – a little girl named Sophie Elizabeth.  Paulie came up with some congratulatory joints.  When Teddy left for work, I took a bath & washed my hair – dressed – cleaned the house – made phone calls & then Brad Summers stopped in.  Brad is a truck driver.  He hauls gravel in the spring & summer & is laid off all winter.  He has a plow on his pick-up – he plows driveways when there’s snow.  He had hash, so we got stoned.  We talked about doing acid – small v large weddings – he’s engaged – marrying for compatibility instead of for love.  I think he’s marrying for compatibility while his fiancé – Marybeth – is marrying for love.  After he left, I went downstairs to Paulie’s.  He gave me a ride to Bethune Hall – the Art Department at UB – where I applied to be a model for the art classes.  I don’t mind posing nude.  I hope I get the job – it doesn’t pay much but at least it’s something.  Then I came back & hung out with Paulie & his best friend & cousin, Javier Santiago.  Javier is a sexy blonde Puerto Rican hunk who is also out of work.  He’s just out of the Marine Corps – he has “USMC” tattooed on one bicep & a crucifix on the other.  He said that if he didn’t find a job soon, he was going to reenlist.  “It’s not so bad,” he said.  I drank two large goblets of white wine – whoo!  I hardly eat at all –  I hardly drink – so I get blasted real easy.  Javier had some killer weed – I was really stoned.   Paulie reminded me about “owing” him a blow-job & suggested that I show them my tits.  I laughed them off but I wasn’t showing them anything.  Paulie had to go to work  so I went upstairs & then Teddy came home.  I had a wicked headache from the wine but after a nap I felt better.  I feel great now.  I know I’m gonna have to be careful around Paulie.  If I had been anymore wasted, things would have been much different this afternoon.  Both of them were ready to take advantage & I’m well aware of that.  I know I act like Janis Joplin at times but that’s not really who I am.  I think one of the reasons I act so free & easy & wild is because I am actually so uptight & prim & puritan & the two parts of me sometimes fight & sometimes balance out.  I get in these situations because I’m acting like something I’m really not.  & then I’m doing things I really don’t want to.  I mean – they feel good at the time but then – I don’t know, I’m too stoned to figure it out right now.  I’m just glad that Paulie had to leave & I was able to escape upstairs.

Last Friday, I went over to UB at 2 p.m. for this free event – bands until midnight, one after another.  When I got there, the Beez were playing – very pop, very young, very optimistic.  You could tell they idolize the Beatles, Elvis Costello & Rockpile, but also did songs resembling Journey & REO Speedwagon.  Most of their stuff was original & musically, they were good, but the lyrics were weak, corny rhymes, pseudo-intellectual subject & macho love songs.  But their Beatles covers were flawless.

The next band was the Nelson Rockafarber band, formally the Alfonse Tomato band.  Mac plays drums with them.  I saw them last April & they really sucked.  But they have a new guitarist, Nelson Farber, & it’s an entirely new band.  Their first tune was an instrumental, a long psychedelic jam, flowing into a hard-rocking r & b tune.  They were great!  The guitarist blew me away!  He just stood there & played, it was great.  Then Beth, their singer, came out.  She’s a really good singer, great range.  Really uptight, though.  No report with the crowd, no moving with the music, nothing.  Mac says she’s really neurotic, she’s got a lot of problems.  She’s overweight & drinks a lot. I hope she gets her shit together cuz she could be really great.

The next band were the Elements, who were – as always – great.  They have a new single coming out next week.  I danced, even though I was wearing my winter hiking boots with the red laces.  I love those boots!  They’re so comfortable.  I wear them when I exercise, they’re great for leg lifts.  I can really feel my muscles work!

I’ve been reading Linotte, the early diary of Anaïs Nin.  She started hers when she was 11, just like I did – well, I was almost 11.  It makes me laugh so much, she makes me think of me, the way she writes about a boy she’s in love with, or remarks about the war, making totally emotional statements about the supremacy of France but then implores the Virgin Mary to save France – surely if France were so supreme, she wouldn’t need the help of the Holy Mother.  Her descriptions of her hated school activities & her friends are wonderful.

The other day I was on the 6:00 news – the house across the street was torched.  Now people stop me on the street & tell me how great I was on the news!  Perfect strangers!  It really flips me out.  I love it.

These guys are arguing over this game like little kids.  Now we’re ordering subs from Boulevard Subs & Pizza.  Two roast beefs, mayo & oil & onions – one roast beef, oil, no mayo, no tomatoes, no onions – one cheeseburger sub, mayo & onions.  Of course I’m calling – they all agree that I have the nicest voice.

***

I’m sitting in the living room.  It’s another beautiful day.  Sunshine is streaming through the windows.  It’s already 60 in here.  This apartment is so sunny.  That’s one of the reasons I wanted to live here.  The apartment on Traymore Avenue was so dark. Jordan, Teddy’s roommate & owner of the house, was always starting remodeling jobs & never finishing them.  There was plastic hung all over the house & work materials everywhere.  I did prefer that neighborhood.   There’s so much more on Hertel Avenue – everything was so handy.  Fish market, meat market, deli, shoe repair, pizza, subs, bars, Italian grocery, head shop – everything within two or three blocks.  But I love it here in University Heights.  I really do.  I also love North Buffalo.  & I think someday I would like to live on the West Side – I really like it over there.  Also Allentown – I want to live in Allentown someday.

On Wednesday night, Teddy’s mom invited us to dinner.  She served Beef Burgundy on wide noodles, French beans & water chestnuts in butter sauce & a salad.  She put avocado in the salad.  We drank Bully Hill wine, which was really good.  Teddy’s mom – she wants me to call her “Betty” – & her boyfriend Jerry like to visit the wineries – they’re really into wine.  They had an after-dinner wine to go with dessert, but I liked the table wine better.  The after-dinner wine was too sweet.  Scotty’s cousin Dave was there too.  He lives in Conesus & is a student at MCC, in a program that trains him to fix hospital equipment.  He’s been interning at Mercy Hospital & stays at Betty’s while he’s in town.

Betty gave me a bookshelf.  It’s made of metal, very sturdy.  Nothing I would buy for myself – I’m into wood – but I do need another bookshelf so I put it in the dining room.  Our place is really beginning to look nice.  We need a few more chairs for the living room.  Our couch fell apart the other day.  Teddy &  Bernie sat down on it & it fell to pieces!  It was hilarious! We’re buying another couch from Doug & Danielle.  When they got married, they had four couches between the two of them, plus chairs & end tables & all kinds of stuff, so they’ve been getting rid of their excess furniture.  We probably won’t get it until the spring.  We’re got a dining room table from Betty.  It’s large & round & has a hot spot in the middle.  The chairs are orange fiberglass – really ugly – again, nothing I would every buy – even back in the 60’s when these must have been real hip – but oh well, beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ve been reading non-stop.  Right now I’m reading a biography of Sarah Bernhardt.  It’s really good.  She had the worst mother.  Before that, I was reading about the Chinese Revolutions, which was really interesting.  The more I read about China, the more I like what happened there. & they have really great poetry – especially their women’s poetry.

Coming up next on my reading list is An Unfinished Woman, by Lillian Hellman, which I bought for fifty cents at a junk shop.  My favorite reading is about women.

I had to ask my mother for help with my car insurance.  We’re living on Teddy’s unemployment check, which is only $105 a week.  Teddy told me the other day that if he can’t get year-round employment at Conover Trucking & Camping Sales, he’s going to quit at the end of next summer & get something else.  I’m so glad.  The other day we went Harley Haven with Tommy & Teddy talked to Max, the owner.  Max is in the middle of enlarging his business.  Teddy’s done work on Max’s camper in exchange for work on Teddy’s bike.  Max says he’s pretty sure he’ll be hiring a full-time counter person/shop man & that Teddy would be perfect for the job.  The position won’t be open until later in the summer.

***

I found a job at Buffalo Auto Wrecking – as a secretary – but the owner Frank had me driving all over Buffalo – handing out his flyers about his business – which wasn’t that bad – I’ve been in every car dealership, collision shop, lube shop – you name it, I’ve been there.  Two full weeks at 40 hours, at $4 an hour.  Last week, 24 hours at $4.  Then Frank calls me into his office & tells me that all his employees have to have a “health examination” in order to work there & he used to be a “pre-med student” & he still has his stethoscope.  I laughed in his face.  I couldn’t help it –  it was so ridiculous.  I told him I had my own doctor & I left for the day.  Since then, I haven’t heard from him.  I’ve been called every day but nothing. I talked to Ray who said that Frank had not been in.  Today Kathy called.  She said that there was a big problem with Frank & his brother – his brothers said they wanted one secretary – Sharon – who works 20 hours a week – & that was all.  Kathy said she was employed by Frank herself –  going to car auctions & making deals.  She said that he would call me next week – take me to lunch & that I was definitely laid off.

***

So.  I need another job.  The legitimate routes – resumes, interviews, placement agencies – are not working.  At least not fast enough.  I saw an ad in the paper – I’ve seen it for the past few weeks, in fact – for a “go-go dancer” at a club called The Pipka Palace on Clinton Street.  I drove over there & smoked a joint before I went in.  It certainly didn’t look like any kind of palace.  Just an ordinary Buffalo neighborhood tavern – one that had obviously seen better days – but with a much bigger & brighter sign than the usual tavern.  I went in & talked to the owner, Louie.  He asked me if I had any experience dancing & I said no.  He looked skeptical, but I pointed to the girl dancing on stage & said, “I can dance better than she can & I have a better body, too.”  He said, “Well, you might as well audition now – you can go up in your underwear.”  I laughed. “I’m not wearing any.”  He turned to two patrons. “These modern girls!”  They laughed.  He left & came back with a purple g-string.  “You can wear this.”  One of the girls came & took me to the dressing room & showed me how to put the g-string on.  “You stretch it high on your hips so it makes your legs look long.  Make sure your pussy is completely covered & no pubes showing.”   She showed me the jukebox.  She told me: “You pick your tunes from the juke box, here.  The first one should be upbeat, the second two slower.  Wear your top for the first number, you have to be topless for the second two.”  I chose “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer, “Love Isn’t Always on Time,” by Triumph & “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones.  I was nervous when I first got on stage, but I was completely surrounded by mirrors & I got into watching myself.  I got loud applause.  During the second song, when I took off my top, someone yelled: “You’re hired!”

After I got dressed,  Louie sat down with me & explained the gig:  “There are two shifts, 4 to 9:30 & 9:30 to 2:30.  You’ll get $30 a night to start.  You’re first drink is on the house, after that, you pay for them or get a customer to pay, whatever.  No hooking.  No boyfriends.  I don’t want any trouble.  Customers are not allowed to touch you at any time, anyway.  Do not let a customer feel you up.  Behave like a lady & there’ll be no problem.”

Everyone treated me so fine.  I have to work 4 to 9:30 on Friday.  Teddy’s a little upset – but turned on – intrigued as well.  He & Tommy are coming to catch my set & I think Brad is coming too.  This might be fun.  I have to get a g-string somewhere.  I’m going to need costumes.  I’ll have to raid my own closet, see what I have that will work.  It’s a good thing I know how to sew.

Oh!  I’m so glad!  I’ll be able to make the rent!

***

Last night was my first night at The Pipka Palace.  I was nervous at first, but as soon as I got on stage –  I was cool –  I was beautiful.  On Thursday, Teddy & I went out & bought me a black g-string.  Only one!  It was all we could afford!  During my first set, I was wearing it with a shiny black camisole & the camisole fell off during my first song!  Which is not what I wanted, but it got a huge hand!  The girls worked with – Katie & Margie – offered me a few things – a slinky black number, cut up the side & edged & red “fur” & a white lace shawl, which can be tied on your body any number of ways.  Katie & Margie were giving me pointers all night – what kind of shoes to get, what kind of clothes to get, how to take tips from customers, how to drink all night & not get drunk – unless you want to, of course!  They both have loads of costumes.  I love the feeling of dancing in just a g-string –  just my bare body in the black-light.  Once – as I got on stage for my set, someone yelled, “I like this chick, she just takes off her clothes & dances.”

Guys started buying me drinks – I spaced them well, cuz I didn’t want to get drunk – & I talked to them, making bright answers to their conversations about the steel mill, their sons, their divorces.  One man I met was educated & articulate, a pleasure to talk to.  He put a dollar in my g-string – that’s how I get tipped – twice.  I was flipped out when men started putting money in my g-string – but I asked Margie & she said that’s how it’s done.

I kept glancing around to see when Teddy arrived.  I had dropped him off at Tommy’s on my way to work, & they said they would arrive around 7:30 or 8.  It was almost 8:30 when they got they there – pretty wasted, both of them.  They had been drinking vodka & teas at Johnny’s – pure killer, Teddy said – and they hammered away all the time were there.  They loved my dancing.  They both said I had more spark, more shake than the other two – plus I’m simply much prettier.  That sounded very good to me, since Katie & Margie used to be on the professional circuit & I’m just a beginner.  Both Katie & Margie told me that starting out is great – everyone treats you like gold – but after a while the reputation of being a dancer & the assholes that hang around a strip joint will get to you.  Just like anything else.

Teddy & Tommy hung around until the end of my shift.  Teddy was so wasted, I had to drive home.  I got $30 in wages – $6 an hour – & no taxes taken out.  Plus my tips.  $15!  Not bad for my first night.  We stopped at Jimmy’s for cheeseburgers & onion rings.

At home, Teddy was very passionate.  He ate me for eternities & then fucked me hard.  If this is how he’s going to react to me being a dancer, then I’m all for it.  I mean – he’s never like that!  I can’t remember the last time he was like that!  Honestly – he’s never fucked me like that!

***

Earlier this evening, while Teddy was out delivering bags, I called Jon Kudzma – to get Harry G.’s phone number – at least that’s what I told myself – I really just wanted to talk to Jon.  Harry called me a week ago – something about screening some poems for a band of his called Bad Poets.  Jon gave me a number – he told me that if it isn’t Harry’s, I can probably find out from whomever answers his actual number.  I didn’t know why Jon didn’t have Harry’s number but maybe he moved recently – people change phone numbers all the time.  I did ask Jon how things were going.  I was trying to be real casual & light but I was literally trembling as we talked.

Jon had a lot to tell me.  His old band Zuperman had broken up a while ago but he’s now playing with Gloria Poleti & her band – “Gloria & the Glowtones” – which I think is a really lame name – but I’ve caught them at the Continental & ya know, they’re pretty good – Gloria is really good, I gotta admit – but she’s another one who never seems to see the audience – she seems to be singing to the back of the club – to some mysterious spot over all of our heads – & the music bops, rather than rocks – kinda like Blondie-lite.  I mean – it’s fun – not serious.  It’s funny how safe the punk movement has gotten now that it’s New Wave.  Jon told me about gigs in Pittsburgh & Rochester & a bunch of little college towns & how they had cut singles & were making a little more money but he himself was out of work & looking for a job when he wasn’t putting all his energies into the band.  They’re being managed by Gloria’s husband Rob & Jon had nothing but good things to say about him.  “He’s got gigs for us all the time, we’re always working,” he said.  “& he’s paying for studio time out of his own pocket – that’s how much he believes in us.”  I thought but did not say – that’s how much he believes in Gloria.  The rest of you can be replaced at any time at all.  Jon said they were going back into the studio nest week.  Except for a few covers, they are writing all their own music.  “We’re having double rehearsals,” he said.  “We’re learning a lot – going forward at a faster pace than ever before.”

I told him about my happiness with Teddy – even if I was miserably unhappy, I would have told him I was happy – my writing & my new job.  He was immediately intrigued – about my new job, of course – not my writing.  “What does it feel like?”  he asked.  I was kinda disappointed that he would ask such a stupid question.  But I knew what he wanted to hear.  “It feels great,” I said.  “I love taking off my clothes & dancing.  I get off on it.”  He wanted to know everything – where I worked, what nights, what my hours were, everything.  He showed far more interest in me as a dancer than he ever had as a writer or a musician.  It kind of pissed me off.  I said that I didn’t know my hours this week – Louie hadn’t called me with them yet – which was true.  I laughed & said I would give him a private dance.  “Really?  A private dance?”  His voice got very low & serious. “Just between you & me, would you fuck me again?”  “For sure,” I answered, maybe a bit too fast.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because you were really good,” I answered, like it was a stupid question.  Which it was.

“What made me so good?”

I laughed softly.  Oh – he was fishing, was he?  Didn’t Sara tell him how great he was?  My voice got low – so low that I was almost whispering.  “You fucked me hard – I loved it – the violence of it – the jamming of our bodies together – the sense of calm afterward.”

“You like violent sex?”  he asked eagerly – totally missing “the sense of calm” – but Jon always did miss the point with me.  I know that now.

“I like all kinds of sex,” I answered.  “I like to get eaten out – I like everything.  Is there anything wrong with that?”

“No,” he admitted.  There was a silence.  Then – “What are you doing right now?”

I wasn’t doing anything.  But I knew what he meant.  & I knew what he wanted – I always knew what he wanted.  So I started talking to him.  Jon just loves a good sexy story.  I could tell – the longer I talked – the more he was turned on.  He was almost panting.  I had a hard time not laughing.

He says he’ll come see me dance.  I’ll believe it when I see it but I know he still wants me.

***

The wedding invitations came.  My mother & Bob are getting married April 24.  Jesse & Doreen came over to talk about the wedding.  I keep forgetting that Bob is Jesse’s father & we’re all going to be related.  Jesse wants to get a rooms together at a nearby hotel so we can all party together.  “I doubt there’ll be any alcohol at the wedding except maybe for the champagne toast,” he prophesized grimly.  “I don’t know about your ma but my father takes that A.A. shit really seriously – too seriously.  I mean – I’m glad he’s not a falling down drunk anymore but he’s a different kind of jerk now.”  He laughed that low throaty laugh he has.  “I know I’m going to need a few stiff ones to get through that wedding.”  He laughed again.  Teddy said that maybe we could go in on some coke & they got into a detailed discussion about what drugs to take & other weddings they had been at & how wasted they had been.

We sat & smoked several joints as they talked.  Both Teddy & Jesse had really good weed & they were rolling & talking up a storm.  I was tired – I had worked a double shift & I hadn’t gotten enough sleep.  I was zoned out – smoking joints & sitting there half-asleep.  I watched Doreen – she had obviously washed her hair before she came over & she sat in the sunny window, combing it out – the sun shining through her long red hair & making it glow like a collection of topazes & rubies.  Doreen really isn’t very pretty – her features are really quite coarse – of course she has giant tits – really, too big – but it’s her hair that gives her any kind of beauty.  I have never liked red hair – I remember too well Harriet Anders in grade school with her flame red hair & her know-it-all attitude – & then when we lived in Manchester-by-the-Sea & I went to the Manchester Essex Regional School, there was Erica Brady – she had really dark red hair – I guess it’s silly to hate a hair color because of mean girls in schools – girls I haven’t seen in years & years & probably never will again.  & neither of them had hair as pretty as Doreen’s.  Doreen’s is waist-long – thick – perfectly smooth.

But talking about redheads – another redhead I can’t stand – not that I can’t stand Doreen, I don’t mean to say that at all – but there’s this dancer at work – she calls herself “Rhed” – who knows why the “h” is in there but it is – & she’s got it tattooed on her shoulder so there’s no mistake – surrounded by red roses & bleeding hearts – she’s a biker chick & she’s covered with tats – she’s got these really stupid-looking chains tattooed around her waist – & loads of other stupid looking tats.  Most of the older guys hate tattooed women anyway – they all tell me that I’m beautiful simply because I have no tattooes – but they really hate Rhed.  The only guys who like her are the bikers who come in.  Of course – they like me, too.

Anyway – Rhed’s the type of girl who acts like she’s your friend but she isn’t.  She wanted to give me all kinds of advice that I didn’t need.  & she was clearly jealous of me – I was making tips & she wasn’t.  She’s also the type who lies about her age – she asked me how old I am & I said 21 & she said that she was 26 but she’s 40 if she’s a day – or she’s done a ton of drinking & drugging.  Either way – she looks like hell.  Red hair in several unreal shades & done in elaborate curls & held up with sparkly combs.  Too much make-up covering up really bad skin.  A C-section scar.

I had bought a new g-string – a black lace one with a row of rhinestones across the top.  I was saving it for my last set – I don’t really know why but I was.  Just before I went to the dressing room to change, I saw Rhed on the stage – I thought, gee, she’s got the same g-string that I’ve got.  Which would be a normal thing to think, since the store I got it at – Sweet Nothins in Tonawanda – had a whole bunch of them in all colors.  I would have bought a red & a blue one if I’d had the money.  I could only afford one, so I got black.  Anyway – when I went into the dressing room & looked in my bag for the g-string, I couldn’t find it.  & it occurred to me – Rhed had gone through my bag & stolen my new g-string.  Some friend!  I was pissed off but I didn’t say a thing – I had no proof that it was actually mine & no proof that she stole it & it wouldn’t gain me anything to make a scene – which is what she wanted, after all.  But I decided on the way home that I’m going to get myself a suitcase with a lock.  It’s a lot easier to steal a g-string or a small top out of someone’s bag than it is to steal an entire suitcase.  I’ll see that.  No matter where i am in the bar, I’ll see someone walking off with my suitcase.  Nobody’s going to steal from me again.

I don’t want to imply that I don’t like Doreen because she has red hair – or that I just don’t like her, period.  I really don’t have any feelings for her at all – she’s just another one of the wives/girl friends of the guys that hang out with Teddy.  She doesn’t pay any attention to me, other than to say hello & goodbye to me.  Nor do any of the other girls, with the exception of Danielle – who’s becoming a really good friend.  But Pamela, Nikki – Doug’s sister – Maryellen Logan & Brigid Reagan – Doreen is great friends with them.  I suppose she’s known them since grade school.  They all seem to have known each other forever.  I have never had that luxury with anyone.  I have always moved around too much With the men it’s different.  It’s easier with the men.  Maybe that’s why the women aren’t so friendly with me.  But I can’t help that.

***

I’m sitting in our living room with Teddy & Tommy.  We’re watching the soccer game – Buffalo Stallions & the Baltimore Blast.  I went to my first Stallions game two weeks ago.  They were playing the Wichita team – I can’t remember their name.  The game was really good, although Buffalo practically gave them the game in the last 15 minutes.  But the Stallions are doing really well this year.  I am so pissed off at the Sabres.  They just aren’t capitalizing on anything.

It’s a really nice day but it’s still really chilly.  The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is today – it runs along Delaware Ave from Niagara Square to North Street.  They have a good day for it.  Paulie had his bike out today – he & Cindy put on several layers of clothes – full helmets & face masks.  I have biking fever, but not that bad.  It’ll probably be 5-6 weeks before our bike is on the road – mostly because of the insurance.  Plus Teddy wants to get a windshield.  He always comes up with more ways to spend my hard-earned money!  But I don’t mind if it’s for the Harley.  I can hardly wait to ride.

***

It’s almost 2 p.m. & I am sitting a few minutes before I start my bath & get ready for work.  I just dusted & swept the entire house, including the back bedroom.  I put our dirty wash & Teddy’s tool-box in the sun room.  I didn’t move the motorcycle battery because I didn’t want to fuck with it.  I opened all the windows & let the house air out a little.  I love the smell of the spring air even if it’s cold.  Tomorrow it’ll be even better –  it’ll be warmer & I’ll be home longer & the windows will open all day.  Brad is moving in soon – I’m not exactly happy about this –  but it’ll be money we really need.  It seems like the more I make, the more Teddy spends & the more we need.  It’s neverending.

I was babysitting Dean this morning.  They call him Deano now.  I have never liked babysitting – but of course, Danielle’s a friend & I like to help out.  Felix came by while she was here.  Felix really does love babies & he’s really good with them.  After Danielle picked up Deano, Felix rolled up a huge joint & got me blasted.  Felix was in a good mood about the play-offs – glad that Edmonton is eliminated, sure that Boston will be soon – but is worried about Gilbert Perreault’s contract.  He says he’s not sure if he’ll remain a Sabres fan if Perreault goes.

Because of having Deano here this morning, I didn’t have time to work on my collage.  I really wanted to finish it, but I guess I can do it tomorrow morning.  I had writing I wanted to do too.  I don’t know how anyone gets anything done with children around.  They take up all your time.  No wonder there are so few “great” women writers & artists – who can produce art when you’re taking care of children all day?  Not to mention everything else you’ve got to do?  Of course, I am sure there are way more “great” women artists & writers than anyone knows about – probably hidden away in libraries & museums & who knows where – but really, how many talented women were never able to produce the art that was in them, because of having to be wives & mothers?  & having to go to work?  Like I do now?

***

Just out of my bath.  In a little hurry, I’m running late – I went to the Laundromat with Danielle & she’s always late & by the time I got home it was 1:00 – I changed into my bikini & went out into the sun & napped until 2 – which is when Paulie brought up some barbequed ribs.  Naturally he wanted to fool around – it’s always an argument – I know that we’ve only paid half of April’s rent but I’ll have the rest of it paid by the end of this weekend.  It took me an entire half-hour to fight him off & then ran my bath at 2:30 – then hustled to clean up the house – put away the clothes, etc.  I really have to get moving here or I’ll be late.  Traffic is always heavy on Fridays & crawls up Bailey Ave.  I have a hit of acid for later on.  That should be fun.  I love tripping when I’m dancing!  Just a light little trip.  Just enough to see trails & colors & laugh a lot.

***

It’s so nice to wake up, drink coffee, smoke joints & visit with Paulie, Brad, Felix & Teddy – & then, when everyone leaves, eat my breakfast, wash my g-strings, make a casserole or something else for Teddy to throw into the oven when he gets home from work – clean the house, make the bed, etc. – & then write before I have to get ready to go to work.  I have good hours this week – Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 4 at The Pipka Palace & Thursday & Saturday night at 10 at The Canteen.  I’ll make $155.00 this week & that’s without tips.  With tips, I’ll clear $200 easy – maybe $250 or even $275.  I’m so glad I started working at The Canteen.  Kitty works there & she told me that I would love it there & I do.  But I was getting so many hours at The Pipka Palace that I never had time to go over there.  But a few weeks ago, I called for my hours & I didn’t have any – just Saturday night.  & I was like – what the fuck!  So I got my stuff together & went right over to The Canteen.  It was 2 in the afternoon when I got there – just after the lunch rush – there was a good crowd there for a Wednesday afternoon.  I talked to the owner, John Canton.  The name of the bar – The Canteen – is a variation on his name & also a reference to the gear he & every other WWII vet carried all through the war.  He looked just like Grampa Walton on the TV show.  As soon as I auditioned, he told me I was hired & said he would call me with hours for the next week.  So that was good.  But I was walking up the street to where I had parked my car & he came running after me.  “Can you work tonight?”  Apparently some girl had called off just as I was leaving.  So I worked that night & I’ve been working there ever since.  So now I’m working both bars.  Jesse stops in at the Canteen.  It’s always nice to see him.

***

Last night Teddy held me all night long.  Every time I moved, he moved with me, keeping his legs around me, his arms crossed around my chest.  This morning he mentioned how nice it was to hold me all night.  “Because it was so cold, I guess,” he said.  Then he told me about a dream he’d had in which I was being held captive but a bunch of guys who were gonna rape & beat me & when Teddy tried to save me, they squirted a fluid into his eyes that blinded him.  Maybe that was why he was holding onto me so tightly in his sleep.

***

Today is wintry again.  Every time it gets warm, everyone says it’s the last time for this year & then it gets cold again.

After Teddy left for work this morning, I watched “9 to 5” on the Movie Channel with Brad & Paulie.  We smoked joints & drank coffee.  After the movie, we watched the Dick Van Dyke show, then I got to my housework.  Now I’m going to write until I have to get ready for work.  I have no envelopes or stamps but I want to get poems ready to send for publication.  I wonder why I haven’t gotten a reply from William Morris of the Buffalo News?  I sent him poems a month ago.

***

Teddy got bummed out this morning, when I gave him the money I earned last night.  “I guess I’m just tired of never having any money,” he said.

“But I’m bringing it in,” I answered.

“But you never get to spend your money on anything you want,” he replied.  Which is true.  & I need everything – new jeans, shoes, make-up, costumes for work & conventional work clothes if I ever have a straight job again.  I smiled & said, “The household needs it & if we start thinking in terms of ‘your’ money versus ‘my’ money, it’ll just weaken us.  No matter who makes the money, it’s ‘our’ money.  Besides, in a few weeks, we’ll be doing better, when you’re working more hours.”

I feel somewhat tired today.  I pulled a muscle in my neck & I’m horny.  I’m hungry but nothing appeals.  I danced a while – that always makes me feel better – & I did my work-out.  I suppose I should get to cleaning the house, at least I’ll have that out of the way.  I’m not sure what I want to do today.  Write, of course.  But other than that?  I don’t know.

Things will occur to me as I go along.

***

I’m really sick.  I haven’t felt this bad in a long time.  This is the mother of all hangovers.  I have a headache & my stomach is really hurting.  I did eat breakfast – eggs & home fries – & I feel a little better but all I want to do it go back to bed & sleep.  But I can’t because I have to take a bath & wash my hair & get ready for work.  No matter how bad I feel, I have to work.  I have to pick Kim up on my way so I can’t be late.  Kim’s my best friend at  The Pipka Palace – especially since Kitty quit working there – she only works at the Canteen now.  Kim’s absolutely gorgeous – chocolate skin, big dark eyes, curly black hair.  But Louie can’t stand her – he’s super racist.  I’m surprised he even hired her.  I think he had to – there really aren’t many dancers at The Pipka Palace worth looking at.

I know this feeling will wear off.  I just wish it would hurry up & do it.

Brad is filling the bowl.  It’s been one long party since he moved in.  He says he knows what will make me feel better.  He’s as bad as Paulie.  I can’t believe these guys like to eat pussy so much – of course what they really want are blow-jobs.  I just laugh it off.  I don’t want to get into anything with Brad.  I think these guys would fuck anything that moves honestly.  It has nothing to do with me.

This past Saturday was my mother’s wedding – I worked the night before & slept all the way to Cleveland & then we partied the whole time we were there – not really heavily, since it was an A.A. wedding & we couldn’t be obviously drunk – but we had some cocaine & we were doing small lines all through the reception – running to the bathroom all the time – & afterward, in our hotel room, we were drinking Wild Turkey & cokes – well, Jesse & I were – Doreen wasn’t drinking at all & Teddy was drinking vodka & orange crush – he couldn’t get iced tea.  Of course we had lots of joints.  It was a lot of fun.  I caught the bouquet at the wedding – everyone laughed – but I was like – who am I going to marry?  Teddy?  Do I want to marry Teddy?  Do I want to get married at all?

***

I’m sitting at the dining room table, slightly drowsy, but glad to have to go out soon – I hate late afternoons.  It’s so warm, I love it – I wish we were tripping – it’s the perfect day for it – I love dropping acid in the afternoon & tripping as the sun goes down & into the night.

I have been really horny lately – I always am just before my period & then it seems to die down a little bit.  Teddy gets bummed out because he thinks he can’t satisfy me – it’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy – because so often, he doesn’t.  I don’t know what his problem is.  It’s like he loves me in every way except sexually.  I don’t understand it at all.  He does make love to me, just not as often as I want & never as long or in the way I want him to – Is it me?  Am I too demanding?

***

4 a.m.  It’s so nice to come home & there’s a nice little note from Teddy telling me he loves me & that he’s sorry he finished up the milk.  I’m sorry he finished up the milk, too.  I wish I had known – I would have stopped & bought some on my way home from work.

I had a good night.  It was kinda slow but I had four good customers.  I like to sit with a guy for a while –  have a few drinks – talk – hear his stories – go into his life.  These were my customers tonight – Man #1 was black – about 30-35 – had a 20-month-old son – was separated from his wife.  We watched the hockey game & discussed the Sabres & sports in general.  He was surprised I knew so much about sports.  I didn’t let on that I listen to Teddy & his friends talk about sports all the time & I have picked up most of what I know from them.

Man #2 was a salesman for Bethlehem Steel & a pimp – so he said.  White.  He said he was 40 – although I would have pegged him for at least 45 & closer to 50 or 52.  He bought me several drinks & tipped me $2 twice.  He was generally very nice.  He had quite the rap – going on & on about all the women in his life.  He told me, “You’re not the kind of girl to get picked up by a guy like me, but you’re so utterly perfect.”  If that was a line to get me “picked up”, it didn’t work.  I have no use for pimps.  Or salesmen, for that matter.

Man #3 was an old guy named Bernie.  He also tipped me – they all do, ya know.  He was so jive!  Really funny.  Very horny old man, but he liked my reserve.

Man #4 was also an old guy – I talk to guys that other girls ignore.  He was wearing a 3-piece suit – a tie –  expensive shirt – very respectable.  Educated.  We talked about history, politics & art.  He slipped me money under the table – some guys don’t like walking up to the stage to tip me in front of the whole club.  He gave me $10.  That was excellent!  I hope I see him again.

***

Teddy & I got the bike out of storage yesterday.  Today we spent the whole day cleaning it, polishing it & waxing the gas tank – it was beautiful!  Sparkling & shining –  black & chrome.  We put on our riding clothes & went out cruising.  After several hours, it began spluttering like it was out of gas, so Teddy switched it over to reserves.  It still spluttered & ran poorly, so we went home.  Teddy thought that the gas filter might be clogged, so he puttered with it while I cooked hotdogs upstairs.  After we ate, we went out cruising again.  Halfway down Main Street, it began spluttering again.  We pulled into Wilson Farms & it stalled.  Teddy started it up again & I hopped off the bike & he turned the gas valve on, because he realized that he had forgotten to turn it back on after working with it.  Immediately the bike was in flames.  Teddy got off the bike & laid it down, then set it back up again.  People were screaming at him, “Leave it alone,” & “Stay away” & the manager of Wilson Farms came running with a fire extinguisher.  Scotty grabbed it & used it, but it was no use.  I stood there – shaking with tears – thinking, there goes our entire summer.

It took forever for the fire department to get there.  We were sitting at the bus stop when they arrived.  I was sobbing.  The bike was gone in 10 minutes.  Actually – only the plastic parts were gone, the metal parts didn’t burn & amazingly – the tires didn’t.  In fact, we pushed it home.  But Teddy says, it’ll take at least $700, if not $1000 to fix it & we just spent the entire winter making payments on it – in fact, we paid more for the bike than almost all our other bills combined.  I don’t know why I’m saying “we” – I made the payments.  But whatever.  & where are we going to get the money to fix this bike?  Oh – I know something will turn up – something always does.  But I’m still in shock.  Teddy is definitely in shock.  He says he made a stupid rookie mistake – he forgot to hook up the gas line after he worked with the gas filter & when he opened the gas valve at Wilson Farms, all that gas sprayed onto the hot engine & immediately ignited.  He’s angry at himself.

We can’t believe it.  I’ve been crying off & on, but my crying bothers Teddy, so I’ve made myself stop.  I feel like I’m not awake, though.  My mind feels vacant – that’s why I started writing – to push it into action.

It’s just – oh my god, we waited all winter for this & now it’s summer & our bike is gone!  Gone gone gone!!

***

I just got home from work.  I’m had a pretty good time.  Now I’m frying myself an egg before I go to bed.  I didn’t drink much tonight.  Last night, I got really blasted.  I can’t binge two nights in a row.  I know people who can party 24/7 & it hardly touches them.  I’m not one of those people.  Even though I was pretty wasted last night, I woke up & felt fine this morning.  Got up & started partying again.

Naturally my egg is ready before my toast is.  I hate that.

I finished another collage today.  It’s called “The Dream” & it’s really psychedelic.  What I do is probably really primitive, but I don’t care, I love making collages & I have fun doing it.  I have ideas to keep me busy the rest of the summer.  The more I do, the more I think of.  The problem is, I don’t have half the materials I need to do what I want to do.  That’s life – a frustrating, but still – make do with what I have, it’s all I can do.

I’m going to bed.  I’m not very tired, but it’ll be nice to lie there & listen to the wind rustling the leaves.  I love the middle of the night.  Everything sounds so cool.  Where I live, you can hear the chimes of the bell tower at Hayes Hall every quarter hour & I love that.  Plus all the trains.  There’s no sound like a train in the middle of the night.

***

The house is so quiet.  Brad is out for the night & Teddy is sleeping.  I’m tired too but so wired I couldn’t sleep if I tried.  I’ll stay out in the living room & write & let Teddy have the entire bed.

I turned off the stereo.  I couldn’t find any music I liked anyway.  All I can hear now is the buzzing of the electric wall clock & the sound of the traffic.  Minnesota Avenue is a connector street between Bailey Avenue & Main Street, so we get quite a bit of traffic going by.  Plus with the light at Parkridge Avenue, there’s always something happening.  At night, with the lights turning green to yellow to red & the car lights going by, there’s always reflections on the walls & ceilings, which is cool.  I like the sound of traffic, especially when it’s raining.

Teddy is deeply depressed about his bike.  No one seems to understand.  Even Jesse – who has always owned bikes – doesn’t seem to get it.  Teddy truly loved that bike.  He’s told me several times that it’s like someone died.  He also said it’s the worst thing to happen to him since his father died.  Teddy put 4 years of work, love, time & lots & lots of money & effort into that bike.  It was his pride & joy.  He says it’s humbling.  It’s like he’s been warned.  Teddy says to watch it burn right before his eyes – to be helpless – especially since we both could have been killed – it was obviously a warning.  Teddy will come out of this a better man – I hope – but it’s so hard, so hard – he’s so restless in the evenings – he doesn’t know what to do with himself – there’s no motorcycle to putter with – no toy to play with.  Nothing to cruise on.  Nothing at all.  It’s so necessary for us to get another bike, to get a bike soon.  How will we be able to do anything if we don’t have a bike?  We can’t go to Letchworth State Park or down to Allegheny or Zoar Valley, because we can’t afford the gas with the car.  We won’t be able to hit 5 or 6 bars in a night, take in a couple of bands then cruise to the river to smoke a joint as the sun rises.  Oh!  I could go on forever, but the real story is just that Teddy & I are bikers & we love to ride – we live to ride & now it’s summer & we have to ride.  It’s gonna take a lot of sacrifice.  We’re not going to be able to do anything else except pay off a new bike, but it’ll be worth it.  I know it is.

I think I’ll lay my head down awhile.  This whole thing is so very tiring.

***

I can hardly wait until Friday when we go to Sherkston & can finally relax & enjoy ourselves camping & partying – it seems like such a long winter & spring.  Teddy is supposed to be getting mushrooms from Jesse.  I sooooo hope so!!  I love shrooms!

It looks Teddy is going to be able to get a new bike.  He should be able to get a loan if his mother co-signs & he thinks she’s going to.  Everything is looking up.

***

I just finished eating & I’m having a cup of tea.  I usually just eat whatever leftover in the fridge before I go to work.  Today it was leftover baked beans.  I love beans.

I put all the camping stuff in the back bedroom.  Teddy calls it our Sherkston Supply room.  I’m going to make a chart to go between the lights, so we always know what we have & what we need.  I have so much to do this week.  The start of any month is always busy.  I need to make a new calendar for the new month – rearrange my books – straighten the side room – do all the laundry – clean, etc.  Since we just got home from Sherkston, there’s a ton of stuff to do.  Sometimes I think I’ll never get to my writing.

***

I am sitting on the front stoop, waiting for Teddy to come home with the – new motorcycle!! I’m so excited!  Teddy has been in near delirium for days.  He has had an upset stomach all day long.  He was picking it up at 4 p.m. – I’m waiting for him now – we’re cruising as soon as he gets home.  For days, it’s been wet & rainy.  Today – it’s sunny, warm – just perfect.  We have a list of places to go, people to see – to show the bike off to.  Oh, there’s so many things we’re gonna do now – things you can only do inexpensively if you have a bike – go to Letchworth State Park, go to Zoar Valley, go to Toronto, go everywhere!  Our summer would be nothing without a bike!

I really wanted to get a Harley Davidson, but Scotty insisted on the new Honda Magna which looks just like a Harley but – he says – performs much better.  I don’t think it looks just like a Harley, but whatever.  It does have the V-twin engine like a Harley – but also front disc brake, an air suspension, it has a shaft drive & tubeless tires & it’s water-cooled.  It has a tear-drop gas tank like the Harleys do & the reserve tank is tucked underneath the seat – you don’t even see it.  It’s a sharp bike, it really is – but of course, it’s not a Harley.  But it’s Teddy’s new baby, so I have to love it because he does.  & I can’t wait to ride, no matter what it is.

For riding, I’m wearing my new jeans, newly repaired boots, a turtleneck, a pullover sweater, my leather jacket & my black gloves.  It’s 68 degrees but once the sun goes down, it’ll be a lot cooler.  It’s better to dress too warm than not warm enough.  Riding when you’re cold is no fun.

Cindy just came home.  “You’re not too impatient,” she remarked.  I wanna ride so bad.  Hurry up Teddy!!

***

Our new bike is great!  It flies!  I mean, so fast I can’t believe it!

Shirley from The Canteen called & changed my schedule from 5-10 on Wednesdays to 10-3.  Shirley is the manager of dancers at The Canteen.  She’s tiny – Italian – with giant glasses & a bouffant hairdo that I haven’t seen in years.  She’s not someone whose bad side you want to be on.  It may be John Canton’s bar but Shirley is the one who runs the joint.  Between The Pipka Palace & The Canteen, it seems like all I do is work.  There’s a few other clubs in town I’m thinking of checking out.  You never know.  Kitty says it’s always good to keep moving around.

***

I’m sitting at the dining room table.  I just washed my hair.  It sure is hot today.  I just remembered the car windows – I had better go down & open them or else it’ll be hotter than hell in there later on when I go to work.

I’m reading a book about Lenny Bruce – real heavy, really hard to put down – but really hard to read sometimes – really devastating.  The graphic scene where he’s shooting up & can’t find a decent vein anymore – that’s hard to take.  He was shooting up 7 or 8 times a day, plus all the other drugs he took.  Reading this makes me realize that I couldn’t be a hard-core drug addict – no matter how much I like to party.  I want no part of that needle.  I don’t have issues with the needle – not really – but I don’t want to ruin my lovely skin & I don’t to ruin my veins – you can’t repair stuff like that – once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.  I remember when Teddy & I were doing MDA, I had a hard enough time doing that – knowing that I was going to get sick & be puking for 10, 15, even 20 minutes before I got off.  & then the terrible depression the next day.  I’m just not cut out for that kind of life.

***

I have been busy busy busy.  Trying to write when I’m not working or doing housework.  I called Leandra about the acid – she said there were 8 hits left.  She’s another biker chick – she works at The Canteen & she always has acid or coke for sale.  She rides with The Kingsmen – I think she’s with Doogie right now – but she doesn’t seem to have any one man.  Anyway – I think I’ll buy one hit when I’m at work today, in case I have to work a double & the other seven tomorrow.  Teddy said to start stockpiling for camping at Sherkston.  I know Paulie will want to buy some.

I have to run.  It’s all I do nowadays, run run run.

***

I just got out of my bath.  Not much time for writing – I gotta stop for gas on my way to work & I am running late as it is.  It took me so long to get my act together today.  My legs ache from riding the bike.  This bike is not very comfortable.  I don’t think it was designed with passengers in mind.  It is definitely not a Harley – V-twin engine or not.  I miss our old bike.

I’ll feel better onstage.  I always feel beautiful when I’m onstage dancing.

***

It’s been a busy morning.  I did laundry with Danielle – we went over to a place on Grover Cleveland Highway – & I went to a meat market next door & bought hotdogs & ham.  I spent $2.25 at the Laundromat & $2.75 at the meat market.  I put the ham into the casserole for dinner tonight.  I figure I can buy milk & hot dog rolls on the way home from work tonight.

Now I feel crummy – Teddy just called & bitched me out.  I hate it when he calls for a “progress report” & I don’t measure up.  I don’t get the big deal.  It’s not like I do nothing here at home.  The piles of clean laundry – the house always clean & dusted & vacuumed & swept – dinner always ready for him – whether or not I’m home.  But if I forget one thing, I’m useless.

I even make more money than he does.  I came up with the down payment on the bike.  I don’t know what his fucking problem is.

& I’m always horny.  I’m always waiting.  I’m always disappointed.  But you never hear me complain about that – not a fucking word.

Later.   I got Teddy’s money order, as he requested.  & the milk & hotdog rolls.  I didn’t defrost the fridge, but I’ll do that some other day.   Now I’m really late for work, but at least I don’t have to hear his shit when I get home.  Not that I would – he’ll be sleeping.  I don’t know why he couldn’t have gotten his own money order.

***

I finally got the fridge defrosted.  It was a really busy day, but I finally got that done.  I wish I had a dollar for every guy who asks me what I do when I’m not at work – like I’m lying around on a bear rug, eating bon-bons.  I wish I could do nothing at all.  Actually – I wish I could read & write & create art.  But – nooooooo!  There’s always other things I have to do.

Now it’s off to work again.

Excerpts From a Diary 18

[Summer-Fall, 1981]

When I hate something & it can’t be avoided – working at Jenss – at AM&A’s – eating at Roy Rogers or Friendly’s – whatever – I figure it out – I spend my time thinking about it – since working requires so little of my brain that I am always thinking of this or that to relieve the tedium – figuring out why I hate it & how that works against me & for me so I can understand it better & usually – I start liking whatever it is I was hating as I come to understand it.

Sometimes I still hate it & leave it behind but miss it when it’s gone – it’s stupid, I know.

***

Tomorrow I’m going to start looking for another job.  I’d like 40 hours a week at $4 an hour – at least.  I can’t survive on any less.  This $3.10 an hour bullshit can’t cut it.  I’m also going to try to find a roommate.  I asked Karen at work if she would like to get a place.  If not Karen, then someone else.  But trying to make it on my own isn’t working.  It’s lonely & I’m always broke.

Donovan thinks I should get a roommate –  he’s all for Karen & me having a place together.  But of course he would be, that lets him off the hook.  He came up from Cleveland last weekend & hung out with me here in Buffalo & we tripped & went to Niagara Falls.  But it was too intense & I was actually glad when he left.  I love him too much.  & with Donovan, I’m getting an attitude similar to the one I  had with Barrett – that it’s enough that he loves me.  I’m satisfied with that – I mean, I’m not a selfish bitch crying more more more.  I’m satisfied that he loves me & I don’t want more.  But I do want more.  & that sucks – ya know?  It really sucks!  Cuz I need him!  I just need him!  I need his love every day & all through the night!  He says he doesn’t know if he could handle being with me all the time.  He says he isn’t ready.  I can understand all that –  I can understand where he’s coming from & I appreciate the love he’s offering – that it’s all he can do right now –  but at the same time, I’m disappointed.  I have huge needs that aren’t being met.  What can I say?  I have a right to be satisfied, I have a right to be taken care of.  I mean –  it’s one thing to masturbate – to get yourself off – but it’s not the same –  it’s just not the same as being kissed & hugged & having someone go down on you & make you cum & cum & cum.  I wish I didn’t feel this way.  I wish I didn’t hurt so much.

Later.  Teddy just called.  I’m going to go partying with him tonight.  I’m well aware that I’m on the rebound.  It’s over with Donovan –  no matter what he says.  He wants me when he wants me & that’s not enough for me.

I did write him a letter.  I said I would wait for him – that I wasn’t giving up.  That maybe it would take years, but I would be here – but what the hell, what difference does it make?

***

I feel utterly & totally miserable.

Teddy & I tripped last night – on this really nice microdot that makes you grin like no end!  It’s such nice acid!  Plus a quaalude later on to mellow it out a little.  We partied with Jesse & Doreen & then cruised on his Harley then parked – he said he was getting “too fucked up” to drive – & walked to Delaware Park.   It was nice.  In bed, I lost it – I was really exhausted – too many drugs, too much alcohol – I keep going somehow – & all the tears I’ve been storing up & not crying – in fact I’m crying now – anyway, he kept on asking why I was crying & I couldn’t tell him – I just couldn’t – so he gave me a shot of bourbon & a Pepsi chaser & a joint & rubbed my back & didn’t ask questions.  Eventually, of course, we talked – after I cried a little more – I expressed my love & disappointment for Donovan as coherently as I could.  He was really comforting.  He asked me why I was sleeping with him & I sort of sobbed –  “To be close.”  He told me I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted.  After a while, he asked me about Donovan –  how we met, etc. & I told him everything, & as I was talking, it hit me – since I left Cleveland, Donovan’s & my encounters have been so fraught with emotion – I can barely stand the intensity.  It makes me think of the last couple of months with Jon.  Never knowing whether he truly loved me or not – or knowing that he did but I was on my own anyway.  That maybe someday we would be together – well, that “maybe someday” is killing me.

Another thing – Donovan won’t ask me to come back.  What I really wanted when I announced I was leaving Cleveland was for Donovan to make me stay.  Teddy asked me if the thought that Donovan sees/fucks other girls bothers me.  I said that Jesse had asked me the same thing a few months ago & I said that yes – I was jealous but I got off thinking that he knows how to turn them on cuz I taught him how to do it – I’m proud of that.  We were quiet a long time – I don’t know – maybe we were sleeping & I said, “Oh it’s gonna take a while getting used to you,” & he said, “That’s what it takes,” or something like that.

I don’t know what is happening anymore.

I don’t understand why I can understand where Donovan is at – why his reactions seem perfectly logical – emotional/logical –  cuz he’s “young” – I don’t understand why I can intellectually comprehend the situation & why I’m emotionally breaking up over it.

It’s – this thing with Teddy just happened, ya know, out of the blue – & I guess I need it – what Teddy is giving me I want from Donovan.  Wow!  It’s that simple, I never thought of it before.  Except that Teddy isn’t Donovan.  I mean, nowhere close.  He’s ok but he doesn’t send me to heaven like Donovan does.

Late afternoon.  I can’t understand – sorta – why I need to be so close – so badly – just the physical nearness.  My heart aches – literally aches –  the longing for Donovan is so great.  But I’ve fucked the relationship up from the start.  I never took it seriously until it had become so serious that it was eating me alive – that’s what it feels like.  I don’t know how it happened – I swore I’d never let it happen again – that I would become so emotionally & sexually dependent on one man that I would lose all equilibrium – all rationality.  I know I’m looking at this too emotionally – but I have tried – I have tried & tried again – to be totally intellectual about it & I have failed miserably.  I keep telling myself that just because he doesn’t want to live with me doesn’t shut off the entire relationship.  I mean – I have to learn to shift my emotions to another plane so that I can simply love him & not expect anything – get together when we can –  keep in touch.  So once again, I have to put up with something I don’t want to get the little bit I do want.  He wants to keeps the distance.  I mean – I would just as soon end it all now.  What’s the point?

It’s funny – the other day the first time I had ever mentioned Jon in front of Donovan.  That’s another thing that occurred to me.  Donovan & I know nothing about each other.  I mean –  I know Donovan –  the man, the Deadhead, the partier, the Union member, the guy who carefully deposits his paycheck into his bank account each week.  & he knows about me – Cori – who writes, who’s going back to college, who loves to sing & dance & party.  But we don’t anything about each other’s relationships.  Ok, he knows about Paul K. & all that shit that happened in high school – who doesn’t?  But I don’t know about any of his girlfriends before me – honestly I never cared – I mean, I was almost 20 when I met him – why would I be interested in some high school romance that he had?  I always assumed he had other girls besides me.  I just never really cared.  OK –  maybe I did –  but I didn’t think I could do anything about it & it wasn’t cool to care.  I don’t know how many times he’s been in love or if I’m the only one.  But really – I wonder why we’ve never talked about it?  Of course – that’s my policy – don’t ask questions.  Don’t ask questions & don’t volunteer information.  His business is his business.  My business is mine.  But when you’re in a “love” relationship with a person, wouldn’t you want to know all about them?

I mean – last night, when we were walking around North Buffalo – Teddy & I talked – he said he had been married for 5 years but he’s been divorced for the past 2 or 3 or something.  He said she was a good lady – they were happy together – at first – but as time went on, she bitched more & more about his drug use – she had been a partier, but quit after they got married, for reasons Teddy still can’t figure out – making him first quit psychedelics & then pills & then weed – which is what ended the relationship.  He said the divorce was real friendly but the marriage had to end.  & then he met Shera & he was happy with her – of course I knew about Shera because Mac lived with Shera before Teddy did & he was very bitter about how that all turned out – but oh well.  Shera’s with Teddy’s roommate Jordan now.

Teddy seems to be really into me – unless he just wants a babe cuz Shera’s with Jordan.  Who knows.  He’s always got weed & he’s usually got acid.  Hanging out with him takes my mind off Donovan – which is a good thing.  He’s not much into sex.  But oh well – you don’t get everything.  & there’s always a party around him.  Jesse & Doreen & Dorren’s brother Tommy & so many other people whose names I can’t remember right now.  It’s a lot of fun but I just wish everything had turned out differently.

***

This weekend Teddy & I went camping up in Sherkston, Ontario.  The weather was mostly cloudy, but cleared up Monday.  I like it cloudy anyway.  There were 3 couples with us.  Doug & Danielle are Teddy’s oldest friends & have a new baby, Dean.  He is one of the smallest babies I have ever seen.  Doug & Teddy work together.  Jesse & Doreen were also there & another couple, Sam & Pamela.

We had killer mushrooms & a new drug I have never heard of before – MDA.  It’s like coke & acid & speed all mixed together.  I got sick off it, but once I threw up, I was off like you wouldn’t believe.  Like riding a comet across the sky for 12 hours.  Feeling like I was in love with the entire world & everyone in it.  Thirstier than fuck.  I could have drunk up the entire lake.  I really didn’t want to drink on it – just water.  I just wanted water.

Oh!  I almost forgot to tell you.  When we bought the drugs – the MDA & the weed & the acid for the camping trip – we went to this friend of Teddy’s who lives over a men’s shop in Williamsville – Kyle, I think his name was – but Patty O. from Cleveland was there.  We were like – hey!  What are you doing here?  He was up visiting his folks – & doing some business – he didn’t say so but that’s the gut feeling I got.  I’m wondering if the MDA came from him.  But I didn’t ask any questions so I don’t know.

***

Tish called Friday night.  She likes college but she’s homesick.  She said there was a mixer on campus but she couldn’t go to it because she was only 17.  I told her to go anyway.  She’s such a goodie-two-shoes.

***

Things are going really good.  I got stung by a bee yesterday on my foot & other than swelling & feeling a little out of it, I’m ok.  Teddy put an FM converter into my car & fixed the antenna.  He’s so great.  I’m so glad I know him.  He’s helped me out so much.  He has a few vices.  He’s a TV addict, for one.  He turns the TV on even if he’s not watching it.  But he watched TV almost all the time.  He cried when people win the big “Showcase Showdown” on “The Price is Right”.  I mean – that’s really weird!  We’ve had a few arguments.  He has a terrible temper – although it flairs up & then it’s gone.  But I hate arguing & it stays with me far longer than it stays with him.  He forgets about them –  I don’t.  Teddy’s a challenge.  He’s always razzing me & I have to be on my toes to get a retort in.  He’s like a brother in that way.  He says I’m growing on him.  I’m happy about that.  He’s so good to me.

Soon school starts.  I’m so happy to be going back to UB.  I wish I didn’t have to work as well but that’s life.  At least I’m able to go.  The Dead concert is September 22 –  I was in line at Ticketron as soon as tickets went on sale.   & we’re moving into a new apartment – Teddy used to live there with Jordan before Jordan bought the house where they live now – but he wants to have a place for just us.  He’s friend with the landlord who lives downstairs – it seems like Teddy is friends with everyone.

***

Our new landlord, Paolo Rodreguez – everyone calls him “Paulie” – is a really great guy.  He’s another partier – always has weed, always has a beer to offer – & he’s a bigger Deadhead than Donovan is – amazing!  He’s going to the Dead show on the 22nd, too.  We’re all going.  It’s going to be a great party.  His wife Marion isn’t any kind of a partier.  She’s super straight – blonde, blue-eyed – I can’t see what the two of them saw in each other.  They argue all the time.  But maybe they like making up.

***

Oh my fucking god!  I got to the Dead show & was walking up the steps to the Aud with Teddy & Jesse & a few other of our friends & there was Donovan & a bunch of his friends from Cleveland – & I thought I was literally going to die – & then Paulie grabs Teddy & gives him this giant kiss right on the lips!  It was like – whoa!  Nobody knew what to say or do!  But it took my mind off Donovan!  I didn’t see him the rest of the night.  & it was a great show!  I tripped & danced all night.  Of course I missed all my classes the next day but oh well.  It was worth it.

***

I woke up depressed.  I grabbed my keys – rolled some joints – ran out the door.  It was barely dawn – the sun was just coming up over the Buffalo rooftops.  I cruised around for a while – up Bailey to  E.Delavan to Fillmore back to Main & then to Minnesota to home –  smoking & listening to tunes – at home I ate & now I’m feeling better.

I hate waking up depressed.  This is the first time in a long time, but I had this dream last night – which I can no longer remember – but it was about Donovan.  Being with Teddy has largely driven thoughts about Donovan out of my mind & I haven’t heard from him anyway.  I know I shouldn’t let dream affect me so much but when I’m in the dream, the situations & emotions are real & when I wake up, I’m still in the grasp of the dream.  I’ve woken up exhilaratingly happy from dreams but also horribly depressed –

I felt bad about getting up & leaving Teddy the way I did this morning & when I got back, he was gone –  he had to work.  But I was depressed & I knew driving around would make me feel better – it always does.  I learned a long time ago not to wallow in my blues, I have to get out & move around, drive around, do something.  I’ve mellowed out a lot since I met Teddy – a of course, having endless amounts of weed to smoke will do that – but there’s still plenty of depression & anxiety still lurking in my shadows.  I just have to learn to deal with what I don’t want to look at, because they’re there – in my dreams.

***

I’m sitting with Teddy & this other guy, Dave, smoking a joint.  Dave is really weird.  He knew Timothy Leary & was on the bus with Ken Kesey.  He lived in San Francisco during the Acid Tests & apparently a big part of his brain is still there.  Bard Ellison told me all this about Dave – he’s known him for years.  Dave gives me the creeps.  I get a real malevolent vibe from him.  Teddy doesn’t like him either, but he owed Teddy money, so here he is.  Teddy doesn’t believe in people stopping in for a minute, they have to stay a while.  He says that it doesn’t look so suspicious if people stay a while, it’s like they’re friends & hanging out, as opposed to customers.  Anyway, Teddy & I have to leave in a minute, so we don’t have to put up with Dave for very long.  We have to take the bike to Tommy’s place off of Bailey Ave, where it will winter with Tommy’s two bikes & Chris’s bike.  Chris is Tommy’s roommate, the guy from whom I bought my beautiful leather jacket.  It was his mother’s – she wore it one season back in the 50’s & then got married & started having babies & then put it in the closet & never wore it again.  It’s beautiful – real old-fashioned thick 50’s cowhide. Chris is good-looking in a Mick Jagger kind of way & a real sharp dresser.  He has a really weird girlfriend named Lorrie.  Tommy can’t stand her.  She’s Irish – or she says she is –  & says she’s a witch.  Her mother is only 37 & hangs out with them, along with a 12-year-old daughter who apparently parties with them.  Tommy says they’re all creepy as fuck.  They all dress in long, flowing dresses, capes, ruffles – the whole Stevie Nicks look.  I mean, I like those clothes too, but not every day.  I mean – it’s not practical.  & they all drink to excess.  Straight liquor right out of the bottle.  But even if you didn’t see them doing it, you’d know they were that kind of drinkers – they have that look.  Like they would drink gasoline if it would get them drunk.

Teddy & I are moving into our apartment on Minnesota Ave.  I’m sad because I really like this neighborhood – Hertel Avenue near Delaware Avenue – it has everything here – a good cheap cleaners, a shoe repair, a deli, a gas station, a fish market, a meat market, Rib City, Lunetta’s Italian Restaurant, the new wave boutique & the best head shop in Buffalo just a step away.

I gotta go – we’re going downtown with Bernie Agrioli – a friend of Teddy’s & a great character – to pay the cable bill.

An hour later.  We’ve been downtown with Bernie & stopped in at Tommy’s to get him high.  He was all upset.  Apparently Jesse has left Doreen – he’s shacked up with some blonde over in Riverside – “some biker chick he met at The Canteen,” Tommy said with obvious disgust in his voice.  Tommy & Doreen are very close.

“It won’t last,” Teddy said.  “It never does.”

“That’s not the point,” said Tommy.  “It disrespects my sister.  They’ve been married six years & he’s done this how many times?”

“That’s what I mean,” Teddy insisted.  “It’s not a big deal.”

“It’s a big deal to Doreen,” Tommy argued.   Teddy shrugged & the matter was dropped.

***

Jesse’s gone back to Doreen.  We were over there on the bike.  We’re putting it away for the season & this is our last ride.  Jesse said, “Mine is going into storage too, let’s go for a little ride as well.”  I could tell Doreen didn’t want to go – according to Teddy, that’s one of reasons Jesse strays – Doreen doesn’t like to ride – which I don’t get at all, cuz I love to ride! – but she put on jeans & a jacket & we cruised around the city & then ended up at Falco’s for a drink.  Doreen & Teddy sat at a table while Jesse & I played a game of pool.

I couldn’t hear what Doreen & Teddy were saying but I could catch snatches.  She was talking about Jesse – how much she loved him – & I think Teddy was telling her that she should leave him for good & find someone who was going to treat her like she “should be treated”.  “I know you’re right,” I hear her say, as I bent over to take a shot, “but I love him too much to ever leave him.  & he knows that.”

Was I imagining it or was Jesse looking at me with more warmth than usual?  I must have been imagining it because after the game, he went & sat next to Doreen & put his arm around her.  He seemed like he was happy to be back with her.

After that, they went home & we went to Tommy’s to put away the bike.  We’re storing it in his garage.  Teddy was on the bike – I was driving my car.  We hung out at Tommy’s for a while.  Tommy is happy that Doreen is reunited with the man she loves but overall he is very sad.  He’s laid off from Chevy again & he wishes he had a girlfriend.  He complains a lot about the bar scene – what a drag it is.  I want to set Tommy up with Karen from Jenss, but Teddy doesn’t think he’s her type.  I think any girl would be Tommy’s type.  Chris stopped in, with a girl named Angie – I guess he was seeing her before Lorrie – Tommy seems hopeful that he ditched Lorrie for good.

***

Another night.  Tommy is over. We’re all watching the Sabres-Mapleleafs game on Canadian TV.  Teddy & I are just getting off on acid.  He got two free hits in the course of a weed deal last week & then lost them.  I found them under the desk, under the brick that holds up the short leg.

This game is already tied up.  The Mapleleafs just got another one.  I’ve really become a Sabres fan since I’ve gotten to know Teddy.  The fortunes of the Sabres & the Bills are life & death situations around here.  I went to my first hockey game a month ago & I had a great time.  I really want to go to the game New Year’s Eve.  It’s called “Pucks & Tux” & you get all dressed up in your finest & go to the hockey game – isn’t that the coolest idea?  I want to get an evening gown & drop acid & have a ball.  Teddy would look great in a tux.  Of course – all men look great in a tux.  Women do too for that matter – look at Marlene Dietrich.

I have to work tomorrow, 12-5.  I’m working at Sibley’s at Main at Eggert.  The big store that used to be a Hengerer’s.  I remember going there with Gramma McBride – years ago – she bought me the cutest sundress.  I remember it really well – different patches of yellow & pink & green gingham – cut really low in the back & with matching panties – it’s funny how I can remember the clothes I had as a little girl.  I’ve always loved clothes – even though I was such a tomboy – part of me always loved to wear pretty things.  Or even my brother’s things – I always loved to dress up – see what I looked like in different kinds of clothes.  Anyway – I’m working in Linens – which is boring as all fuck – not many people buy towels or tablecloths as Christmas presents – a few do but not many –  but oh well, it’s a job.  At least I’m getting a lot of hours.  I must have gotten a decent reference from The May Company.

I’m getting too fucked up to write anymore.

***

I’m sitting with Teddy.  We’re watching Monday night football.  I just typed the first draft of a paper for my poetry class.  School has been really tough this semester.  Trying to work & go to school & party with Teddy has been almost impossible.  Teddy just doesn’t get it that school is work.  He thinks that anyone can sit down & write a paper & then it’s all done & that’s that.  I mean – that’s not how it works.  My grades are going to suck this semester.  I’m thinking of taking a break for next semester & just working.  Teddy’s laid off now & we’re really going to need the money.

They’re giving me lots of hours at work.  Between work & school, I hardly have any time for anything.  But I’m glad to be working –  I’m always glad to be working.  I’m getting to know the department better.  Boy, is it ever disorganized.  & nobody knows anything.  I often find myself answering questions about policy & procedure from people who have worked there a long time, but I have to remember – they worked for Hengerer’s – not Sibley’s – this stuff is new to them – while it’s old to me.  Sibley’s policy is no different than May company’s.

***

Thanksgiving.  Shaker Heights at my mother’s house.  Helena & Geoff is here, as is Tish, home from college & Rocco.  I am here with Teddy.  Bob is here.  Jesse & Doreen is here & Randy & Ruthann & her husband Steve & Theresa & her boyfriend David.  A table so overflowing with food that it is almost obscene.  Lots of drinks, both alcoholic & non-alcoholic.

Helena & Geoff have a happy announcement – she is going to have a baby sometime next June.  There were toasts to that.  & then of course, my mother had to upstage her.  “Bob & I have an announcement,” she gushed in that way she has – even sobriety couldn’t get rid of that.  “In the kitchen, just now, he asked me to marry him & I said yes.”

Another toast.  Jesse was sitting next to me & he said, “So it looks like we’re going to be brother & sister.”  Smiling down at me with big dark eyes that seemed to be saying what?  I didn’t want to think about it.  I had a buzz on & I didn’t trust myself.

I just laughed.  “I guess I have to drink to that, huh?”  lifting my glass.  We clinked our glasses & drank.

Excerpts From a Diary 17

[Spring 1981]

It seems like fucking years since I left Cleveland.  I don’t miss it.  I don’t miss it at all.  I’m more alone here – I spend most of my time & energy behind a typewriter.  I’ve been doing so much writing.  I am sleeping less & eating less too.  I’m happy.  I really am.

I miss Donovan – I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.  I’m really horny.  & I miss the Grateful Dead – I miss hearing them all the time as we cruised around smoking joints.  I need to collect all the albums that Donovan had.  I bought a book called The Summer of Love – it’s all about Haight-Ashbury in the 60’s & so much of it is about the Grateful Dead.

I bought two hits of acid but I really don’t want to trip alone, so I’m just keeping them in my jewelry box.  I’m dying to trip.  This past weekend, the Jimi Hendrix movie was playing at the Granada Theatre but I didn’t go.  Friday night I went to this benefit dance that Mac’s band was playing at – which was kinda dull, honestly – but then I went to the Continental to see Electroman & they rocked!  They really burned ass.  I danced all night long!

I was going to move in with Mac – I had given him money, even moved some of my things in – but I changed my mind.  It’s a cellar apartment & the windows don’t open – I have to have open windows.  I can’t stand closed-in rooms.  Probably what I’ll do is sublet an apartment for the summer & then find a place in the fall – that’ll give me more time to look around, get something I’ll really like.  It’s not bad at Jesse & Doreen’s.  I get high with them & I can type all night if I want to.  But I’ll be moving out soon – I really want my own place & I can tell Doreen really doesn’t want me there.  She’s got a jealousy problem, that one.  But I guess Jesse gives her plenty of reason to be jealous – they’ve been married 6 years & he’s had several affairs already – he’s even moved out a few times.  But he always comes back.  I guess that doesn’t really help the problem but she’s all over him constantly – if he’s five minutes late from work, she wants to know where he was.  That kind of thing would drive me crazy.

My job sucks.  I knew it would anyway.  I mean – I’m selling shoes – of course it’s going to suck.  There’s been a sale this past week – lots of people – & it’s been a lot of running.  I sold $2000 worth of shoes this week – $1000 Thursday & Saturday combined – Friday is my day off.  I don’t like it, but I can do it.  It’s also a drag because my boss wants to screw me, & I don’t want any part of that.  The first month of a job is pressure enough anyway, because if you don’t work out, they can end your service – terminate you just like that – which is why I’m really kicking ass to sell as much as I can, because I want to be so good he can’t recommend termination, which is what I’m afraid he’ll do if I don’t sleep with him.  I can’t stand this problem.  I’m really pissed off about it.  The girls I work with are naïve.  One girl is from Amherst – she used to live near us – literally on the same street.  She’s a senior in high school but we get high together.  My boss gets high too – we’ve smoked a couple of joints together.  I’ve been really burned out lately but my energy level is still so high!  I’ve only slept a few hours a night – I’ve worked 7 hours – then I go out & party all night or write all night.

I really miss Donovan.  I was really pissed off at him & I wasn’t going to write to him –  but I have written to him –  of course – I have to, it’s what I do.  Now that I’m out of the situation, I can see it more objectively.  I did forget that he was only 19.  Of course, he only wanted to party with his friends & of course he wasn’t ready to settle down with a girl yet.  What guy is?   Donovan probably won’t be ready before he’s 30.  Living here with Jesse & Doreen really made me see that.   Jesse’s 28 & he still isn’t ready.

***

I was thinking about Donovan & me.  I was talking to Jesse about the whole thing today & he gave me hope.  He’s really great to talk to.  Anyway – I think that maybe there’s a chance.  It would have to be in a few years.  Donovan has to grow up – he has to grow up to meet me where I am now.  If only he was two or three years older than me!  In some ways, he is.  He’s really smart about his money – he saves every penny – he budgets – but he isn’t stingy – he’ll always buy you a beer!  But emotionally, he’s a kid.  It’s so weird.  Our emotional/worldly states developed exactly opposite.  I want him to have 3 or 4 affairs – I want someone to break his heart.  I was going to, but I fell in love with him & I couldn’t do it.  It would’ve been better to break his heart –  way last summer.  So many things would’ve been better.  That’s how it is –  you know at the time what’s better & you know after it all what would’ve been better, but you always gamble that this time you can make him “really” love you – whatever “really” loving is.  Can anyone “really” love?  I don’t think so.  Not right now.  Maybe it “just happens”.  But – it “just happens” so often.  I think there’s more satisfaction out of sexual/financial companionship – like marriage –  but not based on love.  Love may or may not grow but unless you plain can’t live together, you could be together for years & be totally unhappy.  That’s the last thing I want.

Jesse & Doreen have a huge problem in their relationship – jealousy.  It’s really Doreen’s problem.  She’s really jealous.  Jesse seems to be able to take it or leave it but maybe that’s his persona.  But no person can maintain a relationship when you’re eaten up with jealousy – always wondering where the other person is, what they’re doing, to whom they’re talking, flirting, fucking – always having to have assurances of his – or her – love, never truly trusting.  Jon made me see this.  He always talked about the bird in the cage theory –  that if you leave the cage door open, the bird may never want to fly away – yeah, but the bird might fly away & never come back.  Or the bird might fly away & come back again & again & you’ll never be able to depend on it.  Or the bird might get caught by a cat & eaten.  End of bird.  End of relationship.  So is it a good idea to leave the cage door open?  Whatever – You have to think about why you’re jealous & figure out how to change it.  Because jealousy will ruin you as a person.  It’s a destructive emotion & nothing good comes of it.  Honestly, if my husband “cheats” on me, what have I lost?  I’m still the best lay he’ll ever have.  It’s his loss, not mine.  OK, maybe it’s my loss, but – A man can love a woman, truly love her & still fuck someone else.  & vice versa.  I mean, sometimes it’s not about love, it’s just about sex.  It’s fun – it’s like play – it’s adult play, isn’t it?  I guess commitment is something else.  I don’t know what that is.  It’s not an open door, I know that.

***

I found a place to live.  It’s a room in an upper on Lisbon Avenue – 95+, furnished.  Only for the summer, but that’ll give me time to find something else.  I’m really psyched.   I really want my own place.  I move in next week.

***

It’s true that Donovan & I, as a couple, couldn’t go on as we were in Cleveland.  It was too constrained, the whole fucking in the car before Cori’s curfew etc. got to be too much.  But we never really talked about it – we never tried to come up with a solution to the problem.  Plus my yeast infection, ya know, I bet he wondered if it was true or just an excuse. & I talked about Buffalo all the time.  I suppose he was tired too.

I remember getting really pissed off & hurt because he wouldn’t get a place with me when I got kicked out – I felt shamed.   I know Donovan was hurt, but fuck it –  he’ll never say so, he’ll probably wonder what right does he have to be hurt, like I do, or maybe he doesn’t think about it at all.  I don’t think he wonders about his emotions.  I think he just accepts them.

I wish I knew that he thinks & feels.  I don’t want to get hurt again.  I guess I just have to gamble but – I want him so badly & I don’t want to fuck it up.

Oh well, being apart this summer will decide a lot of things for the two of us, but this fall, where will I be this fall?  A winter alone in Buffalo, I can’t handle.  I hate the thought of it completely.

But right now, the thought of him fills me so that I’m happy, I’m smiling.  Oh it feels good to be in love!

***

I couldn’t sleep so I smoked a bowl of hash.  I wish I could sleep because tomorrow I have a lot to do.  I have an interview at Jenss Department Store at 10 a.m.  I’m not sure for what job, but Jenss is an excellent store.

I keep thinking about the Dead show at Cornell University.  It was great being backstage – great meeting the band – especially Jerry Garcia – great doing all that coke – but seeing Donovan on the street – that was really incredible.  I couldn’t believe it.  I never expected to see him – I mean, I knew he’d be there – but what were the odds of running into each other?  I’ve written a few poems about it.  I can’t get him out of my mind.

***

Donovan called.  It was really nice talking to him.  After he called, I went out & drove around the city & smoked some joints.  Now that I live alone, I don’t know what to do or where to go.  There’s no one to hang out with at night anymore.  I don’t know anyone too well, partly because I don’t want to.  Sometimes I go to Falco’s.  7 & 7’s are only 70 cents there.  But it’s very lonely – even if I do meet someone & strike up a conversation.  I keep thinking about Donovan going into town & having a few beers – maybe alone –  maybe with someone else –  & I get so pissed, I’m so jealous, I’m so lonely.  It pisses me off that I went to all the bullshit of getting a job here & moving & everything & now that I’m here, I want to go back.  I keep wondering if it’s worth it.  I miss him.  I want him back.  I know that things were really shitty between us & we were probably going to break up anyway, which is why I wanted to move so badly.  I was really hurt & resentful.  I was already missing him when I saw him at Easter & the time we went out a few weeks ago really charged me.  When I saw him at Cornell, I was so happy.  I wanted to stay with him.  I think about him all the time & fantasize & feel like I’m going crazy.  I’m so horny & my tits are almost always erect.  I’ve been seeing other guys, but I usually get bored after the second or third time & start wanting Donovan again.  I haven’t gotten laid since the last time I saw him in Cleveland & I want to, I need to.  Nobody touches me like he does.  Something in me matched something in him, & that is why the sex is so good.  We know how to please each other.  We know how to laugh & talk & be friends.  I miss that, I miss our friendship.

***

It’s funny how cheerfulness becomes a habit – how when I feel the worst, I can still smile & keep my voice light – because my job demands it.  To me, this is what makes my job so hard, so tedious – the constant cheer, the constant interest in one’s customers – the constant mask I must wear.  & then you realize that it is always there & the pain seems that much harder to bear because I’m unable to let it go.

***

I’m not dead or even crazy anymore.  I don’t know what happened to me.  I just crashed – I was doing really well & then I wasn’t.  I stopped writing – I stopped everything.  I could barely get to work.

It’s just – I don’t know.  I don’t know what happened to me.  Did I go crazy again?  Like in the spring of 1979?

I don’t know.  It’s so hard to figure anything out.  & I’m all alone.  I’m all alone.

This loneliness is killing me.

Excerpts From a Diary 16

[Winter, 1981]

 

It was cold tonight.  It snowed again.  Donovan & I parked in a secluded spot at the North Chagrin Reservation & smoked two joints.  Nobody goes there in the winter.  Especially on such a cold dark night.

I gave him head.  I have been thinking about giving him head all day.

***

Donovan usually calls me at 7 or 7:30 but it was 9 – no call.  I was tired & would have just as soon stayed at home, but i wanted to be with him – I wanted a nice evening at home with him.  Which I know is impossible, but that’s what I want.  I called his house – I thought maybe he was sick or something.  He said he was “sacking out”.  He said he would like to “go out & get high” – what did I want to do?  Nothing!  There’s never anything to do here – I said, “Oh, go for a cruise or something.”  We hung up.  I felt pretty crappy.  Bob said, “If you don’t stop badgering him, he’s going to get tired of you.”  I just stared at him.  I wanted to say, “You’re not my father,” but I just walked away & went up to my bedroom.  I mean, it’s none of his business.  He’s here all the time lately.  I hope Mom doesn’t do something stupid like marry him.  She just got out of that other idiotic marriage.  Bob’s no Dick – he’s actually a really nice guy – but I don’t need a new dad in my life.

But – am I badgering him?  Really?  At 9:00 on a Friday night, I wanna know if I’m going out or not.  If not – I’ll take my clothes off & go to bed & read – there’s little else to do.  Man!  I wish I lived alone!  I wish I lived in city where there was always something other to do than “go for a cruise” – man, I really wish we could have a nice evening at home -instead of the car, car, car – always the fucking car.

***

Last night was actually very nice.  We went to John & Paul Fischer’s – where Jim Kenny, Sue Boyle, Ed Frank & a few others were hanging out, watching TV & drinking.  It was a nice evening.  Afterwards, Donovan & I got something to eat at The Lyndhurst Diner & then fucked.  I was an hour late but no one noticed.  I didn’t care anyway, I felt so great.

***

I hate getting up early.  I guess I don’t have to get up early for Mass, but the house is so noisy I really don’t have any choice.  Or Saturdays – I always feel so dead on Saturdays, cuz I’m usually out with Donovan & even if I’m in early, I’m up late reading or writing.  Even if I want to sleep late, I can’t – after 8 a.m., the house is too noisy & I know that I have to get up & do chores or else I’ll hear about how I don’t help out & I’m so lazy & selfish.  More & more I feel trapped – stuck in a living situation that is so good & yet so sucky.  These upcoming winter months are the worst, morale-wise.  What a drag to be young during a recession, during the winter, in a city that has so goddamned little to offer in terms of entertainment, rock’n’roll entertainment, cheap artsy-fartsy movies, or just a warm place to hang out & do drugs with friends.  I’m so tired.  I’m so fucking tired of waiting for things to get better.

8:45 p.m.  I’m pissed.  Donovan was supposed to call – we were supposed to get together tonight & do drugs & fuck – probably he decided it’s too cold, which is certainly is – it’s not nice out at all.  But I’m still pissed – he could have at least called.  He’s probably been drinking beer all day & watching football & is all burned out now.  I should have called him.  I wonder what happened.

I don’t want to go to work tomorrow.  I hope I feel more into it by tomorrow – probably I won’t be.  I didn’t wash my panty-hose – I haven’t in about two weeks, maybe more, I have just been buying new pairs to put on – so I guess I’ll wear pants.  It’s going to be cold tomorrow anyway.  I’m so sick of the cold.

I’m in such a rotten mood.  I guess I have been in a terrible mood all day.  I haven’t done anything all day, except read Peter the Great.  I even took a nap so I wouldn’t be tired for Donovan tonight & now he hasn’t called & I won’t be able to get to sleep tonight.  I was expecting to have sex & I always sleep well after sex.  Now I’ll be awake all night & feel like shit tomorrow.  I’m pissed off.

I feel like calling him, but what the fuck am I supposed to say?  “You were supposed to call me, asshole.”  I mean, it sounds so petty.  There’s nothing I can do about it.

***

I didn’t sleep well last night.  I had an awful session of coughing that even cough medicine wouldn’t ease.  I can’t shake this cough, but that doesn’t surprise me.

I woke at 6 & dozed until 7.  Tish & I shoveled the driveway, which really soured my mood – which was bad to begin with.  I was pissed off at work, because I was falling over dead tired & I had crystal to pack.  I just felt rotten.  I had clam chowder & toast for lunch – that & an orange perked me up considerably.  I called Donovan & we made plans for tonight.

So – now I’m in a rare form of wonderful – We did the rest of the coke & had wonderful sex – Oh!  I love that man!  It’s gonna hurt like hell to leave him.  It seems so strange to be so close to someone & know for sure that it’s gonna end.  I suppose that’s why there’s always part of each of us that holds back.  I feel it in him – I feel it in me.  I want to tell him that I love him & I can’t.  I can’t tell him because the words “I love you” have been raped by triteness, thoughtlessness, silliness – you always take it with a grain of salt.  It’s so easy to say & so easy to expect so much from it.  If I said, “I love you,” to Donovan, he’d say, “What do you mean?” & what could I say?  I have no idea what I mean.  How can I say –  I love you because I breathe you, I hold you deep inside of me, there isn’t a moment during the day I do not think of you – it just isn’t what you say to a guy like Donovan.  I don’t think he would understand anyway.  I will always love him.  It breaks my heart to leave him but I know, without the sheerest doubt, that there is no other way.

***

I was comfortable in bed, warm, my eyes closed, my breathing beginning to slow when a terrible thought occurred to me:  I haven’t written my diary.  Immediately my stomach growled, I had to piss, I remembered sit-ups I hadn’t done.  I sat up in bed – sleep was ruined.

Now I am wide awake.  I must sleep in order to wake up at 7 a.m. tomorrow, but my mind is travelling, my body alert.  I suppose I wasn’t all that tired to begin with.

Oh well, I’ll read a while.

***

Terribly depressed.  I cleaned the stock room at work & felt awful.  I was worrying about having nothing to do this weekend, plus having to work on Saturday & the possible ill effects of a whole winter this would have on Donovan’s & my relationship & how there was seemingly nothing for me to do about it, etc., etc.  I went outside at on & smoked a joint & concentrated on thinking about the music on the radio – notably the Supremes “Back in My Arms Again” & “Every Man Needs a Woman” by Yoko Ono.  When I came back in, I commented on the weather – a sunny, no wind – & that it’d be a nice day for a picnic.  Then I thought, there’s something to do – go on a picnic with Donovan.  I think I’ll see what he thinks.  I don’t see why he wouldn’t want to.  Drive somewhere, with subs & beers & joints – hang out & enjoy the winter weather.  I feel better already.  Something to look forward to.

***

Being in love is such a drag.  The greater intimacy Donovan & I achieve, the greater the pleasure & the more tender he becomes, the harder it is to think of leaving him.  I am done with secretarial school & my mother says it’s time for me to think of returning to UB or perhaps some other college.  Get a decent job.

But I can’t stand leaving Donovan.  Yes, I do want to go back to UB – finish my English degree – but I don’t want to leave him.  When I’m with him, I go crazy, I’m all over him.  I wanna make make make him.  Sex with him is so great –  if I don’t see him for a few days – even one day – I’m so horny I can’t stand it.  I know he’s the same way too, because he tells me so – & he’s all over me too.

Although we talk a lot – discuss rock’n’roll – especially the Grateful Dead –  politics, books, movies, houses we like, where we want to live, etc. – our relationship is primarily sexual.  Sex & drugs.  Mere companionship.  We could be happy together, because what we like to do – drugs, sex, go to clubs to hear bands, see movies – we’re happy doing together & we do it so well – especially sex.  Oh, Donovan is sheer joy!

But I worry about the parts of me he can’t touch.  My writing, my rock’n’roll dreams.  They need to be realized.  They must be realized.  For those, I have to go to Buffalo.  For my emotions, my sexuality, I need Donovan.

It’s such a mess.  I know what I have to do.  I know, I know, I know…I know what I want, too.

***

It’s still very cold, below 0 every night.  But Donovan’s car has a warm heater & we are kept even warmer with our passion.  Heaven knows, I am much warmer shivering in his arms than in bed under all my quilts.  But that is no mystery.

***

I worked 12 hours today – minus two 45 minute meal breaks, so it’s actually 10 ½ hours – which was pretty dull – I did sends.  For an hour, I sat & worked out a lyric.  It was so cold this morning I came home & changed my clothes – I put on white jeans, socks, boots & a huge sweater over a turtleneck.  I felt frumpy but at least I was warm.  Lately I’ve been feeling so fat but I’m still 120 lbs.  Tomorrow I think I’ll do some speed.  I need to keep my figure trim.

Mom told me that Donovan called around 6:30 p.m. but there was no message.  I wonder what he wanted.  I want him.

***

I’m so horny.  I came on very strongly to Craig Andrews today, I couldn’t help it.  Well, yeah, I guess I could, but I didn’t want to.  Tim W. obviously wants me – he’s fun to flirt with.  I want Donovan most of all!

***

I’m talking to Donovan all the time, even when I’m not with him.  I’m saying stuff like – You have tripped my senses.  I feel more alive.  I notice so much more.  I am aware.  I am more sensuous than I used to be.  I used to be a Puritan.  I didn’t approve of making out in bars, in concerts, fucking in cars, any public display.  Now I don’t care.  Now I will do it anywhere.  I just want more more more.  I don’t care who sees us – it’s a turn-on – I am so horny that I just want to be fucked wherever you want to fuck me – I’ll give you blow-jobs in the theatre – in the park – anywhere & anytime – knowing that someone might see me sucking you off makes me so hot that I am wet thinking about it.

I am turned onto other men.  You have enlightened my senses, made me want so much so often that I turn onto A on the dock or B doing stock in housewares.  I kissed B today, I wanted him so badly.  I want you so badly, I hurt, I hurt all over, all the time.

I’m tripping all the time.  I’m so happy with your love.  I’m filled my lime green mug with water at the drinking fountain today & I watched the green vibrate against the cold stainless steel & I vibrated too, all because of you.

I love you most sexually.  I want to give myself to you.  I cry over you, I love you, Donovan.

***

With Donovan tonight.  I was in heaven.

***

I’m tired & my stomach aches.  I knocked over the mailbox backing out of the driveway.  I slid into it.  I’m sick sick sick of winter.

Later.   Waiting for Donovan to arrive.  I bought a gorgeous dress today – red plaid – Royal Stewart –  100% cotton – totally western – full skirt – tight bodice – a million tiny buttons up the front – ruffle at the bottom.  I can hardly wait to wear it.

I’m writing, not much.  I do so much partying & love-making with Donovan, so much time is lost.  Plus having to work, I can’t write when I’m at work.  I make notes for stories when I can.

***

I have the chills, a head cold, sore throat, rumblings in my bowels.  I am thoroughly burned out.  Last night I got so stoned on coke – oh, we fucked hard hard hard.  Donovan couldn’t get a hard-on after a while.  I was dried out.  “Cori,” he said, “I really want to make love to you.”  It always seems so poignant when he says “love” – he never says he loves me & it’s rare that he says “make love” – usually it’s “fuck”.  Hearing him say my name is very dear.

I laid his head on my shoulder.  “Ya know,” I said, “we’ve fucked every night since Wednesday – we’re just tired out.”

He agreed. “I wish we would sleep together like normal people.”  He voices this complaint almost every time we’re together now.  Slowly I caressed him & myself at the same time.  I climbed onto him & pumped – he came, shuddering & holding me as tight as he could.  “Thank you, Cori,” he said.  I was so touched.  I think he loves me –

***

I have a cold.  I came home from work today, but mostly because it’s so dull.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I hate it – I see all the chores I used to do being done by others –  simply because I had so much to do for Christmas & they had to be given to other people.  But now it’s slow & I don’t understand why they’re still doing my work – there’s no reason for it.  I can easily do it all.  I hate my job!  I’m so bored with it!

***

I quit keeping a diary cuz I got lazy!  Life got about as dull as I don’t know – wintertime blues.  Everyone gets in an evil mood.  The least little remark or mistake sets off arguments that can last days.

I got kicked out of the house last week.  I’m still here but I have to leave – as soon as I can – Mom isn’t speaking to me & she’s being a real bitch, if you ask me.  It came about because to Planned Parenthood & instead of lying – the smart thing to do –  I told Mom outright – when she asked of course – I never volunteer information – & the ensuing argument was short & to the point –  “No unmarried sexually active young woman is going to live under my roof.”  Actually it wasn’t an argument, because I wasn’t allowed to argue back – I wasn’t allowed to say that I was going there for healthcare, not sexcare.  But to my ultra-Catholic mother, Planned Parenthood is about sex, not about health.  & I had to go – I had an appointment – I had waited over a week for it.  I had a yeast infection that was driving me crazy & I had to get checked out for it & I needed the stuff to get rid of it.

So I don’t know where I’m going to go, what I’m going to do, but I’m not really all that upset or mad – life is exciting again – I have something to look forward to!  Something to wake up for!  Man, I’ve been sleeping for so long now.  I’ve had some luscious dreams.  Donovan – what a dream, oh, I’ve enjoyed him for so long!  I really do love him but I know he’s a dream that isn’t going to come true for a long time – if ever.

I might go back to Buffalo.  Jesse & Doreen said that I could stay at their place while I get a job & get my shit together.  Actually, what I would do is go for a week’s vacation & look, then come back here & maybe go back for another week a month later.  Cuz I don’t want to go there without a job – that’s stupid.  I’m not making the same mistakes I did the last time!

The only thing that holds me back from Buffalo is Donovan.  He’s my sexual nourishment & I’m not giving him up/throwing him out so quickly.  That’s why I’m not jumping at the chance to go to Buffalo, but you never know – wait & see.  Oh, there’s a certain joy in not knowing that’s gonna happen!

***

I’m talking myself into going to Buffalo.  I can’t help it – the allure of the spring & summer in Buffalo – as opposed as what’s happening right now – winter in Cleveland.  It’s so hard to combat.  Plus I think I’m falling far too much in love with Donovan.  I think I’m getting sappy.  I need to measure my sexual strength with someone else – someone new – see if I can please him – if I can conquer him.  In a similar way, I need to measure my intelligence –  my creativity with minds who are also creative – I need to be with people who are like me – Donovan is – in fact – quite a lot like me – I talk to Donovan more easily about non-personal/emotional subjects than anyone I can think of – but I need others.  Donovan makes me orgasm so I scream & curse & cry – god!  But as I climaxed earlier tonight, a voice inside was screaming:  Jon!  I want to measure myself against Jon!

I think I will go.  My arguments are so persuasive.  The only thing holding me back is the fear that it’ll be a drag, the scene will have moved to New York City, & that I will have to go a whole summer without a steady man & steady sex.

***

I am having an affair, quite by surprise.  I was working on my collage yesterday evening & Joe Trulia stopped by.  I was really surprised since I haven’t since him in over 6 months.  I heard he was getting married.  Just last night Sharon & I were talking about him while we were having coffee at Arabica.  She was going on about how “devoted” he is to his fiancé.  I said that he had pissed me off because he had just broken up with his previous fiancé & I felt that he had called on me because he was horny & because of my high school reputation.  I wasn’t pissed because he had used like that – since I see nothing wrong in a purely sexual relationship – I was pissed because I had really fallen for him & I hadn’t gotten more than I had.  So last night I was under no illusions, but I still felt the pull because, ya know, I always do.  Joe pulls me, pulls me, pulls me.  It was so weird.  I’m so used to Donovan.  I really noticed it, kissing Joe.  Donovan’s kisses are hard & fierce – his lips are thinner & more muscular.  Joe’s are soft & slow, like kissing pillows.  Joe doesn’t know me as well as Joe.  I want him to know.  At least, some of me.

I was giving him head.  He pulled me up, groaning, “I wanna fuck you!”   “Where?”  cuz there was no room in the car, it was a tiny Datsun hatchback.  “Outside, on the back of the car.”  “But it’s cold out!” I protested.  “No, it’s alright, c’mon.”  So of course I did!  It was strange – I was glad no cars came by – we were pulled over on the side of the road!  He fucked me rapidly & came quickly.

We were driving back & he said, “Ya know, I’m on my way to – ” whatever his fiancé’s name is.  I laughed.  He went on, something about getting married, how he sort of wished he wasn’t, adding, “I’m such a fucking whore.”

I said, “Well – I’m a good person to have an affair with, in fact I prefer it.”  & we were silent for a while, then he burst out with: “Damn!  Tonight was fun!”

“Sure was – ”

“I almost didn’t come to your door.  I’m not sure why I did.”

“You wanted to fuck.”

“If anyone found out,” he was laughing, “her father would shoot me, my mother would be madder than hell – I mean, all hell would break out.”

“So we just don’t get seen together.  I mean, we’re gonna get together & fuck anyway.  We just don’t let anyone know about it, right?  & I’m leaving town soon anyway.”

So it was agreed upon – I’m seeing him, Thursday night, unless of course, he changes his mind.  You never know.  He might decide to do the right thing.  Whatever that is.

***

Wow!  I put 1 quarter into the vending machine & got 4 bags of chips!  I hit the jackpot, right?  Must be a good omen!

I’m so psyched.  I wrote a new set of lyrics yesterday,  called “Danny Boy” – about Joe – & I think they’re really good.  I’m working on a new collage – it’s really good.  All of a sudden, I’m waking up – I’m creative – I’m writing!  It’s great!

Last night, I was at Donovan’s – we were partying in the cellar, with like, 10 guys from Red & White – one of the frats at the high School – Donovan’s brother’s Chris is the president –  & I was really bumming – it was not my scene & not what I wanted to do – it was stupid.  Donovan was saying that “not that many albums are released” in a year & I wanted to puke – I thought, you have no idea what gets released – the whole world could be released & no one in South Euclid would ever know about it.  I have got to get the hell out of here!  I’ve got so many ideas!  I’ve got so many things to do!

***

It just flashed to me – just now – driving into the Finast parking lot with Donovan.  I was thinking about Gone with the Wind where Rhett tells Scarlett that if Ashley had really loved her, he would have stopped her from going to Atlanta to get the money for the taxes on Tara – it occurred to me that it’s the same with Donovan & me.  If Donovan really loved me, he would be trying to keep me from going to Buffalo.  Of course I’m not going to Buffalo to sell myself to a man like Rhett Butler.  But still.  He doesn’t want to make the emotional or the financial sacrifice.  That’s what love is – sacrifice.  I would have sacrificed for him.  I would give up the other men – I would give up everything.  But he refuses even to discuss it.  So now I think –  what the hell, it’s over.  I guess I wouldn’t have made such a good bargain, because love is making a gamble against all the odds & I would have lost.

***

Last night I was in tears.  When Donovan touched me, it was like my body was burning, I couldn’t stand it.  He said, “What’s the matter?” & I gave him some logical “I’m fucked up cuz of my period” reason although that’s not really it.  I was drinking 7 & 7’s & doing so many bong hits I lost count.  He took me home –  it was only 11:30.  I’m depressed because I want him to want to live with me – to want me – to want to be my man & he obviously just wants to party with the boys.  He just wants a girl he can fuck when he wants her – not a woman full-time & all the time.

My relationship with Donovan has changed into a love/hate type of thing – not hate, really, but I’m pissed off – I’m really pissed.  I’m pissed because he wouldn’t help me out, like I wanted, like he could have, if he had wanted to take the emotional risk.  I’m pissed that he didn’t want to hold onto me – I’m pissed that I’m so easily replaced.  Most of all, I’m pissed that once again, I got attached & he didn’t.  For whatever reasons.

I told him: “I can’t stand leaving you!”

He replied, “Yeah, but you can’t do anything about it, so why think about it.”  Which is what I say about everything that doesn’t concern me – why think about it – but this does concern me!

Granted, it is true that I don’t belong here, it’s not my scene.  Probably no one knows my unhappiness better than Donovan.  Our relationship has always been transient – he knew that I saw other guys, he knew about Joe Trulia.  I always got the feeling that Donovan just wanted a girlfriend, someone to take out & fuck – a mere companion – he’s really not all that attached to me – he would have broken up with me long ago if the sex hadn’t been so good.  I mean, from the start, he didn’t take it seriously because I didn’t take it seriously.  We just stumbled into it – we were horny.  So even though we spend 4 nights out of 7 together, we never expected to stay together – so here we are, breaking up.  This is really getting dragged out too, which is worse.  But hell, I guess he thinks just because she’s leaving doesn’t mean he has to stop seeing me.  It totally mystifies me why he wants to see me all the time, yet he’s letting me go without a cry!

***

Donovan told me: “You’re irresistible!”  Sometimes he comes out with these statements.  He’s corny, he’s romantic, even.  Sometimes, though, he’s such a realist.  It’s strange because he’s not even 19 yet.  I am a realist but I resent it, I’m bitter about it.  I make fun of my realism.  I’m a cynic & I make fun of that too.