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Excerpts From a Diary 34

[Holidays, 1988]

[November]

I feel much better today.  I slept most of yesterday – slept & read – but no sleeping today – well not right now – I’m gonna get the laundry done & finish cleaning the side room – I really want to get the whole house clean this week – I got get back to work next week – October was such a waste – between me feeling low & Teddy’s teeth – seems like we were always sleeping!  Of course we only got our oil last Friday – this October was cold & rainy – so lying down covered up was the best way to be anyway – but oh well.  It’s a new year – spiritually – organically – time to gather strength – the winter solstice will be here soon – like cold & dormant plants waiting for warmth & spring, I will wait – in six months, I wanna be shifting into high gear – sorry for the mix-up in metaphors – but I’ve smoked 3 bowls & I’ve caught a buzz – time to get to work.

***

I went downtown today – to the library – to get a check from the Credit Union for Teddy & to get books for me.  Always need new books to read!

I’m still bleeding – sporadically – but I feel so much better.  A new woman – really!  I mustn’t do too much too fast, though.  I set up my office – with Teddy’s help – clean out the side bedroom & set up the desk – made book cases out of spare boards & cinder blocks – put pale blue drapes in the windows – after 7 years of this room being no more than a glorified closet – a dumping ground for all the books, magazines & artwork I couldn’t fit in to the other rooms – space being so dear even in an apartment as large as this one – after 7 years, it’s finally a real room!  It’s so very cozy, too.

***

In my office.  I brought out my old radio – the GE AM/FM cheapo radio I took to college & Teddy had in his office at work until last Christmas.  I wasn’t sure it was going to work – it’s been in the sunroom for over a year – but hey!  I turned it on & tuned it in & the Beatles are on – a good omen – a very good omen.

I’m still putting pictures on the walls.  My Mike Ramsey poster fell off the wall the other night & was injured beyond repair – it was injured when I put it up.  That took up half the opposite wall so now I have that space to fill – I may do a bit of drawing this afternoon – unpacking my art supplies has regenerated the artist in me.  Should I draw or should I write?  Or should I bake those cookies I have been thinking about?  Oh, I have so much to do!  Well, they say it’s gonna be a long, cold winter – I have lots of time!

***

I woke up last night – around 5 a.m. – in the worst agony – another yeast infection – seems I can’t get a break – my poor cunt – I was reading Our Bodies, Ourselves & it was saying that being on the pill, consuming lots of sugar & cuts & abrasions all contribute to yeast infections – so I guess I could make some improvements in my life!  Cuts – of course – come from those stupid dollar bills at stag parties – I knew from the start that there would be problems with that – but once you start how do you stop?  I really only did it the first time to be a good sport – because Dick Bell – the first guy to put a dollar bill in his mouth – was a good guy & he wouldn’t take no for an answer anyway – & all the guys were cheering me on – & you know how quickly & easily cheers turn to jeers if you don’t play along & be a good sport about it.   But sometimes it seems like that’s all I do – deep knee bends grabbing dollars.  I mean – I’m a fucking dancer – let me dance!  Oh well – that’s life – I’m just glad I have an understanding gynecologist, a prescription plan & a nearby pharmacy.

***

Paulie’s home – man, can you ever tell!  It’s like living on top of a disco – at least it’ll be quieter in my office.  It’s windy & pouring rain – a good day for immobility – bowls of weed – cups of tea – a good book – a murder mystery on TV – sleep –

***

I slept until 11:30 a.m. today – it was so excellent to luxuriate in bed – thinking about my dreams – I had thousands of dreams last night & this morning – I almost wrote last night & tomorrow – perhaps that’s a prophecy – of course I dream every night – I almost wrote almost all the time – also true –

***

They’re arguing downstairs.  It’s been loud since they all got home – not their usual loudness – there’s a difference – the way the doors get slammed – it’s not the usual slamming a door because they don’t know how to close a door properly – it’s slamming a door to make a point –

An hour later.  They’re still at it.  When I started writing at 9:30, I was going to write about something else, but their arguing sidetracked me & now I can’t remember.  Same story this time!

Oh – Jimmy stopped by & turned us on & now I want another line – ten more lines – I’m on my second last beer – oh boo hoo hoo –

The wind is howling.  The draft coming in the front windows & doors is incredible.  Tomorrow I suppose I’ll duct tape the cracks –

I want another line!

***

Lazy morning – reading & dozing – I busted ass all day yesterday – cleaning out the closet in my dressing room & then of course my dressing room – it was a really big chore.  I have been cleaning this apartment like a madwoman all month long – this place looks great.  But I’ve really been neglecting my reading & writing.  I’m gonna sit & read – & watch “Perry Mason” at noon – then at 1 p.m. – clean my office – it’s a mess with all my new books piled everywhere.  Next week I’m going to scrub the kitchen & bathroom & then I’ll be done until New Year’s – except for the everyday dusting & vacuuming – of course – housework never goes away!  I need an angel in the house!

Oh well – I’m gonna read until noon & then duct tape the front windows & door & the dining room windows – it’s so windy & so drafty – the furnace is working overtime.

Noon.  Watching “Perry Mason”.  I cleaned the kitchen this morning – washed the walled & mopped the floor – after “Perry Mason”, I’m gonna clean the bathroom.  I am getting sick of housework.  It’s all I’ve done lately.  I mean – my house is immaculate – but I’m sick of being domestic!  No – that’s not true – actually – I can hardly wait until we go to Wegman’s tomorrow & shop, shop, shop, shop – & then come home & I’ll bake pies – stuff & roast my turkey – & everything else I do for Thanksgiving – yum!

I’m hungry.  I wonder if the kitchen floor is dry enough to walk on – I’ll open a can of soup.  I practically live on soup.  I don’t mind – I love soup!

***

Thanksgiving Day.  My pies are baked – my turkey is in the oven – smelling heavenly – we just ate ham & swiss sandwiches – I’m drinking beer – for breakfast we had a walnut kuchen & numerous cups of coffee – the only problem is that we have no weed – I was really depressed about that earlier – depressed & pissed off –

Teddy almost sliced my fingers off helping me in the kitchen – he was cutting the acorn squash in half – the cut on my middle finger in really deep.  I almost got sick when I was holding it under the cold water.  It hurts to hold a pen so I have to stop writing.  Besides – looking at the Band-aid – I’ve realize it’s started bleeding again – probably from the pressure of holding a pen –

***

Oh day of days!  We finally got our kitty-cats – a sweet little black one with tiny white paws & a white “bib” under her chin – & a lovely grey ball of fur – Missy & Shadow.  I’ve waited so long & now I have kitty-cats – my “babies,” I shamelessly call them.  We brought then home in Danielle’s cat carrier – we took them back to my dressing room – where Teddy set up the litter box & then we set them in the box so they had a clear idea of where & what it is!  They’ve been in the dressing room for the last hour.  We’ve taken some pictures of them – when we could coax them out from under the bed – they’re very naturally still afraid of us.  Plus – they’re babies!  But when we retreat – they come out, wrestle with each other, climb on the bed, jump off, ambush each other.  They’re so adorable!  I hope they lose their fear of us quickly!

Later.  Teddy just reported that they’re sleeping in the chair between the stuffed toy animals – Shadow’s stretched out along one side & Missy’s next to him, her head on his shoulder.  They’re out cold.  Maybe when they wake up, they’ll be hungry – I have food ready for them in the kitchen.

The Bills are losing.

Afternoon.  They woke up so we grabbed them & brought them out to the living room.  I held Missy & Teddy held Shadow – then we let them go.  Shadow ran back to the dressing room but Missy’s still here.

Evening. They spent most of the day in the dressing room – & now they’ve come out & eaten – they must have been starving – & now they’re exploring the dining room.  They still run away whenever either Teddy or I approach them – but they’re becoming bolder.

***

They definitely feel more at home today.  They’re still mostly hanging out in my dressing room – but they come out to the kitchen to eat.  Shadow does anyway.  Missy’s a lot shyer.  I have then two balls of yarn & there was yarn all over the floor – around the legs of the chair – the bed – books pushed off the bookcase – it’s a glorious mess!  I rolled the yarn back up & natural they were chasing the ends – oh, I was dying!  Then I rolled the purple ball of yarn to Missy – who attacked it – she picked it up in her mouth – & disappeared under the bed – leaving a trail of yarn – which, of course, was immediately attacked by Shadow.  They play so rough – attaching each other – wrestling – swatting at each others tails – oh they’re so lovable.  I sit in the doorway & watch.  They’re stopped running away from me but they’re still cautious.

Now it’s sleepy time.  Missy’s under the chair & Shadow’s under the bed near the bookcase.  Both raise their heads & blink their eyes sleepily when I approach.

Night.  Oh, they are totally ours.  When Teddy came home – after his bath & a few bowls – we went back & picked them up & brought them out to the living room & petted them until they fell asleep again.  When they woke up, they started exploring in earnest.  All evening long, they’ve been with us – playing, hiding, ambushing us or each other, eating kitten chow, falling asleep, waking up, exploring – they’ve just been sleeping on the chair next to me – now Shadow’s awake – barely.  He’s trying to pay attention to Teddy scratching his leg – but his eyes keep closing & he’s leaning over.  Nope!  Now he’s stretching & yawning & wants my lap.

***

Teddy brought home a large box with hole cut out – one on top, two on either side – for the kitty-cats to play in.  I gave them a ball of yarn – actually two balls of yarn tied together – it’s all over my dressing room – they’re such playful kittens!

***

Watching “Perry Mason”.  I have an awful headache – must be a migraine – I took a Contac this morning & 4 aspirin at 10:30 – it’s a doozy – will not go away.  After “Perry Mason”, I’m gonna have a cup of soup & lie down in my dressing room where the kitty-cats are already asleep.  They were wild Indians this morning.  They played all morning in the living room.  They are definitely feeling more & more at home here.  They’re eating more too – another sign that they’re feeling at home.  I love them so!

***

[December]

10 a.m.  I felt like shit yesterday.  A terrible headache – all day long.  Today’s the first day I’ve woken up without a headache for a long time.  Either I need an adjustment or I need glasses.  I should call Felix’s friend Alan, who works at Council Opticians.  I bet I need glasses – no one can argue that my eyes don’t work overtime!

I called Tish this morning & found out that I sent her Christmas present to the wrong address!  She assures me that it’ll be forwarded.  She’s dying to see our kitty-cats.  I mean – why not – they’re the finest cats in the world.

Shadow has tackled Missy & is licking her ear.  They’re so fierce with one another – they chase each other – tackle each other – scratch each other – Shadow bites Missy until she cries – Missy asks for it, though!  & then they are so affectionate with each other – Shadow always licks Missy after he bites her! – they sleep intertwined – hugging each other almost passionately.  The last two nights they’ve slept with us – at least part of the night.  They wake me up when they wrestle – Shadow jumping on Missy – Missy crying & fighting back.

I covered the couch completely with blankets & the green chair also.  The green chair is their favorite chair – it’s right next to a radiator – it’s now covered with an old lime green blanket – used to cover coolers at Sherkston – & the old gold afghan.  That’s where they are now – asleep.

***

The hockey game is on – I’m reading a new cookbook from the library – I should be basting black lace on my red plaid dress.  Teddy & I are camped out on the couch – the kitties are playing chase, catch & wrestle.  This is the first Saturday night I’ve had off in months & months.  Darryl has called several times & begged & pleaded for us to invest $25 – $35 – $50 – in whatever deal he has pending – but we went to the store & got groceries & cat food.  I wouldn’t feel like going anywhere – least of all an unheated, dirty, dreary little room in a Lackawanna drug house.  I’m perfectly happy in my warm, clean, cozy, little homey apartment.  With the finest little kitties in the world.

***

It’s snowing – the first real snow of the season, at least around here – upstate had snow way back in October – & the southerntier of course had snow.  It’s gotten really cold – the days are so short – soon is the winter solstice.  The snow looks so pretty.  We’re supposed to get a ton.  I hope so.  I love it cold – I love it snowy – especially in the twilight – the Christmas lights glowing in the windows – the radiators softly hissing – two little kitty-cats purring at my feet.  Cozy – homey – quiet – peaceful.  I think I’ll take a nap before I start having to get ready for tonight’s job.  I hate to admit it but I have absolutely no interest in working – it’s so comfy here – I hate to leave.  I don’t feel like doing coke & I don’t feel like drinking.  Oh well – that’s life.

***

It’s cold, snowy & wintry.  It’s supposed to get really cold tonight – record cold – 0 to minus 5.  We’ve done nothing but smoke joints & pig out!  I feel so fat!  Who cares!  Not me – at least not at the moment.

“No” seems to be the word most said around here lately – the cats are getting into everything!  We have a squirt bottle with which to discipline them – but it’s so hard!  They have the most adorable faces – they’re so sweet – oh, we love our kitties so much!

Last night’s party was really weird – it was held at Light’s Out, a bar one block from The Pipka Palace & a lot of their regulars were there.  So many guys told Teddy or me, “That guy is an asshole” or “The groom is an asshole” – I don’t think anyone liked anyone else.  I ran into Dorrie, who used to barmaid at The Pipka Palace – & Arista, one of the dancers – who looked more emaciated than ever.  She complained that she couldn’t watch – or steal – the show – “I’m used to being invited in, not kept out” – oh well, that’s life.  Everything changes.

When we got home, we ordered wings for me & a sub for Teddy.  We went to bed around 10:30 or 11 – I can’t remember.  It was so great to sleep well & wake up feeling rested & not hung over.  Real good!  & it was even better to count my money this morning!  Not to feel all depressed because we had spent it all partying out in Lackawanna!  I prefer our nights when we’re not doing coke!

***

In a good mood!  It’s cold, cold, cold – but sunny – a beautiful winter day.  The windows have ice patterns all over them.  It looks really cold out – people walking by all bundled up – puffs of steam coming out of their mouths – you can almost hear the snow crunching as they walk along – it’s nice & warm in here.  The kitty-cats have been running around like wild Indians but now they’re falling asleep next to me on the couch here.  I have lots to do today – clean the house – clip article from the newspapers – laundry – & then write, write, write.  Tonight when Teddy gets home, I’m gonna knit my scarf & make Christmas ornaments – I’ve got a whole bunch of junk I’ve saving all year with which to make ornaments.  Oh well – better get going –

***

Never got around to writing yesterday – too many visitors & phone calls!  It was almost supper time before I got the vacuuming done!  I did make some ornaments last night.  Boy – do I ever save everything or what!  I have enough stuff that I could make ornaments all day – everyday – for a week – a month – & open a shop & sell them –

I’m typing up my notes on The Spiral Dance.  I had them stretched over two diaries & you know how messy my diaries are.  This way I can put them into a notebook & make that the start of my very own Book of Shadows.

Missy & Shadow are in here with me.  They were in the living room cuz of the big windows.  I put my dancing blankets on the couch in here, then fetched them from the living room.  I petted them for a while – quite a while – I love to hear them purr!  Now they’ve settled in & their eyes are closed.  The rock’n’roll radio doesn’t seem to bother them.  Now it’s time to find out if the typewriter bothers them.

They don’t even notice.  Well – they looked up a little at first but now they’re out cold.  They’re so adorable!  I love them so much!  Well – back to work.

Teddy’s home.  He brought me half a pound of burger & a large potato, which will be transformed into Salisbury steaks & home fries.  He also brought a 20 lb. bag of cat litter that had been broken into – he got it for $1.10.  What a great deal!

He’s in the tub now.  I’ve put away my notes – although I could type more.  My back is really killing me, though.

Shadow’s trying to jumps into Teddy’s tub – well, if he does, I’m sure he won’t do it twice!  Now he’s on the end table by one of the two windows, looking outside.  It’s twilight – the snow is falling.

***

Just reading over the notes I transcribed yesterday.  All summer long – as I was transcribing poetry & notes out of my diaries – I left these alone – I’m not sure why – so I could do them all at once, I suppose.  I read The Spiral Dance twice in November 1987 – the first time in awe – the second time, taking notes – & then again in February – just before I had to give it back to Ginny P. – to whom the book belonged.  All summer long – I have read all the books I could get my hands on – all the books about the Goddess I could find – & books about women’s spirituality & the history of women in religion & the tarot.  Now I want to start practical adoration – I have started collecting the necessary tools – I have been meditating – I have been praying to the Goddess in my own inept way.  I think – in the early mornings – after Teddy goes to work – before I eat – before I dress & get going on the day’s work – I think that’s a good time to meditate – to think – to work – to learn about the Goddess – within me & without me.

***

I had lots of fun yesterday.  It was cold, though!  I walked up to the subway & by the time I got to Main Street I was so cold I felt like going home.  I told myself not to be such a sissy.  I thawed out on the train.  I got off at Allen-Hospital & walked up Allen Street.  The wind was in my face & it was cold!  Actually – my face was the only part of me that was cold – I was very warmly dressed – thick tights under my jeans – a pink turtleneck – my tan wool sweater – very warm – & my old-lady overcoat.  I tied my bandana on my head – tying it like a scarf under my chin like an old Polish lady.  It looks funny but it’s the best way to tie a scarf – I look good that way too!  I miss my black babushka – that was the warmest scarf – it was stolen at a stag – the sad fate of so many favorite items!

Anyway – after thoroughly exploring Allen Street, I walked up Elmwood Ave to the store called Emma.  It was quite warm in there – I stayed & looked at everything.  Oh, I wished I had lots of money – so many books I wanted – I could have spent a couple hundred dollars easily.  I only had $6!  I bought a couple of cards – I wanted to buy something.  They had jewelry too – silver, beadwork – handmade stuff.  I saw a beautiful pentagram – set in a circle made of silver – with a white stone in the middle – on a silver chain.

Then I walked up North Street to Delaware – Delaware to Chippewa – Chippewa to Main – Main Street to Main Place Mall.  Checking out different shops as I walked.

At the Mall, I checked everything out – buying a bookmark for Teddy at Walden books.  It has a cow on it – that’s why I bought it.  Leaving the Mall, I saw a guy walk out ahead of me.  That looks like Paulie, I thought but a guy in a coat, hat, dark glasses & a thick mustache could be anyone.  I tailed him for a while & decided that it was Paulie.  “Hey Paulie!”  He didn’t recognize me at first in my old Polish lady disguise.  We walked down Church Street – past Police Headquarters – past Saint Joe’s Cathedral – all cleaned up – I hardly recognized it – down to where Paulie parks when he’s working.  It was cold down there!  Jumped into the truck & thawed out smoking a fat joint & drinking beers.  He dropped me at the library 45 minutes later & I was tuned!  I immediately went to the ladies’ room where I took a long pee, fixed my make-up, put on perfume & freshened my breath.  I used the card catalog – looking for specific books – but the books weren’t on the shelves, of course.  I got out 8 books anyway – sometimes the book I want isn’t on the shelf but another one is that’s every bit as good.  I have no problem finding something to read!

After that – I went home – it was already past 2 p.m. & I had been out since 10 a.m.  I was tired – I almost fell asleep on the subway.  You know how that is – go go go all day & the first time you sit down – it’s sleepy time.  Anyway – I didn’t go to sleep – I didn’t read, either.  I watched these two old ladies – they were identical twins – they were dressed identically – down to their winter boots – hair done exactly the same.  They talked a great deal – their mouths moved the same way & their hand gestured the same way too.

It seemed to take hours to walk up Minnesota Ave.  School was letting out – there were children everywhere.  The crossing guard was perched on the far corner as I crossed Parkridge Ave.  I was so glad to get home.  I was so glad to see my kitties.  I ate lunch – then curled up on the couch – the kitties curled up with me – & slept until almost 5 p.m. – which is when Teddy got home.

***

I feel so tired.  Everything I eat makes my stomach ache unbearably & then turns to diarrhea.  I wanted to do so much today – make cookies – type recipes – clean the house.  I really wanted to finish When God Was A Woman – what a great book that is!  A great piece of scholarship!  I would love to meet Merlin Stone & ask her – I don’t know – dozens of questions.  But it makes me look at the Bible totally differently – even the Greek & Roman myths.  Everything I’ve ever learned.

All I’ve done is straighten up a little bit & take out the garbage.  I laid down on my office couch & went right out.  I vaguely remember Shadow & Missy jumping up & settling in.  I missed Teddy’s 11:30 call.  I guess people came to the door – I was out.  It was Paulie’s stereo that woke me up – & even then – it seemed to come from a long ways away – not just from downstairs.

Even now I’m having trouble getting going.  Naturally – I have “Perry Mason” on – & I’m getting hungry, so I must be feeling better.  I was going reheat some chicken wings – maybe I should stick to chicken soup.

***

Winter Solstice – Yule – the shortest day of the year.  I was up early this morning – reading – & finishing –  When God Was A Woman.   It’s grey today – a uniform blanket of clouds covering the entire sky.  I’m warm in the kitchen – baking cookies – Christmas Cut-outs – Chocolate Snowflakes.  After I bake, I’m gonna take a bath & do my hair – we’re going to Teddy’s cousin Rob’s in Conesus Lake to pick up the killer weed this afternoon.  On the way home, we’re going to get a Christmas tree.  I can hardly wait – it’s gonna be a nice trip.  Tonight we’ll decorate the tree & smoke killer joints & eat cookies!

***

We never got to Conesus Lake on Wednesday.  We ended up in Lackawanna – partying with Darryl & his brothers.  We went to Conesus Lake on Thursday.  It was the nicest trip – on the way home, we rated houses by their Christmas displays.  It was so much fun!

I did a Christmas party today at Bonnie’s Lounge– Sheridan Dr. near Kenmore Ave. – at 4 p.m. – I have another one to do at 1 a.m. Chevy workers with their Christmas bonuses!  Always a good time!  Everyone is in a good mood & everyone is generous!  Tomorrow we can go to Radio Shack & K-Mart & Wegman’s.  I can hardly wait.  I love Christmas & Christmas parties & Christmas tips.

***

Christmas Day.  The sun is just peeking through.  It’s been cloudy – sunny – windy – snowy – clear – this – that – the other thing – all day.  Changeable weather – moody like me.  We’ve been having the nicest Christmas – I woke very early this morning – maybe 6 or 6:30 – I could hear Paulie waking his kids by booming out – “HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!” – I know he had to work today – he must have wanted to see them open their presents before he had to go in.  I could hear their excited voices – “Has Santa been here?” – & their footsteps running from the back of the house to the front before I fell asleep again.  Teddy & I got up around 9 a.m.

We’ve been watching movies – “The Glenn Miller Story” & “Angel in My Pocket” – & now a program about the blizzard of 1888.  We got great presents as usual – new sneakers & new notebooks for me.  An ice cream maker from Mom & Bob – I’m so excited!  We love ice cream!

***

A grey cloudy day.  New snow on the tree limbs & roof tops.  Teddy had to go back to work today – poor dear!  We both agreed that this holiday was one of the nicest we’ve ever had.

The only bad news is that on Friday, Danielle’s cat Saranac was hit by a car & killed.  He was twelve years old.  She’d had him longer than Doug.  She’s nearly inconsolable – & no wonder – cats make the best friends.  Saranac was one of the nicest cats I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

***

Arghhhh – I’ve got a cold – a real bad head cold – I’ve been blowing my nose non-stop.  I slept for a while this morning – I felt good when I got up but now I’m feeling lousy again.  I’m watching “Perry Mason” & sipping chicken soup.  My stomach is mildly upset – I think it’s from sniffing so much.  I ran out of kleenix long ago.  The only roll of toilet paper is in the bathroom so I’m using a rag to blow my nose with – I’m on my second rag.  I feel pretty miserable.  It’s been a tough week!  Got my period – got a cold – 1988’s going out with a vengeance!  There’s so many things I want to get done – maybe I can stand a few hours behind my typewriter – I can barely hold up my head.  Teddy’s bringing me Contac when he’s coming home but that’s not until 4 p.m.  Oh well – guess I’ll have to hang in there.

***

Still hanging in there.  The Contacs are doing a lot of good but I feel so delirious.  I walked into my office & looked at my work – all nicely laid out & arranged from yesterday – but I couldn’t get into it.  I’m watching “The Price is Right” & reading Hedy Lamarr’s autobiography.  The cats are playing with their Christmas toys.  They are really wild this morning.  Into everything!

***

New Year’s Eve.  Still feeling like shit but getting ready to go over to Doug & Danielle’s for the evening.  It’s just going to be the four of us tonight.  It seems really strange – just a few years ago, we were having major-sized parties – either at our place or over at Wayne Johnson’s – but now everyone has kids – except Teddy & me – & everyone wants to stay at home.  The main thing I hear is that it’s “too hard” or “too expensive” to get a sitter.  Which really means that everyone is getting too damn old to party.

I guess I shouldn’t complain – we’re going to have some coke – Jesse came by yesterday with a couple of 8-balls & we managed to save some for tonight – & we have weed & lots to eat.  But I miss how it used to be – the crowd of friends – everyone getting together – I can tell everything is changing.

Excerpts From a Diary 33

[Summer, 1988]

[June]

Oh, my stomach is so tender!  I must have a touch of stomach flu – or maybe it was the awful combination I threw into my belly yesterday – I had a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast – 4 cups of coffee as I wrote all morning – then Paulie came up with beers – so I drank 3 beers & two shots of whiskey – & of course Paulie wanted the rent & of course we didn’t have it so I had to let him lick my pussy & then I had to blow him – which I hate to do – but after 3 beers & a shot it’s not too bad.  Besides what am I going to do?  We don’t have the money – we don’t have the money. & he as a small dick & he always cums fast & it’s really not a chore.  Plus he eats pussy like a champ.  I always cum when he eats me.  I protest of course – I don’t want to have sex with him but – it’s not like Teddy ever eats me out.  & even when I see Jesse – which is hardly ever nowadays – it’s always a hurried affair – a quick fuck & he’s gone.  Anyway – my stomach.  So after Paulie left, I had lunch – spaghetti with hotdogs & barbecue sauce – which was yucky – but it was all I had – & it gave me terrible heartburn on top of the beers & the whiskey – & the sperm, I guess – so I popped some Rolaids & took a nap.  I woke up coughing & I coughed for over an hour.  Teddy came home & I was still coughing so we went over to Danielle’s & she gave me some cough medicine – really yucky stuff – & then we came home & I had a slice of pizza.  Which messed up my guts even more.

At least we have some real food today.  As soon as my stomach feels better, I’m gonna have a poached egg on toast.  I hope I feel better soon – I have a really busy weekend.

Noon.  Fuck!  I ran out of cartridge!  I have 5 more poems to print out & the 1984-1986 notebook is done.  This is the largest notebook yet – 101 poems.  This is so frustrating!

& WTBS took off “Perry Mason” at noon & put on “ChiPs” – yuck!  No more murder with lunch!  “ChiPs” is so fucking stupid!  Who the fuck watches this shit?  I’m in a lousy mood.  I called John Grady about getting another cartridge – he said if he could get over here today, he would, but he’d definitely be here tomorrow.  I left my typewriter set up in the kitchen & I filled memory so I can print out as soon as the cartridge arrives.  I had lunch – dusted & vacuumed – put away yesterday’s laundry.  I can always refer back to Tuesday’s list – not that I don’t know what needs to be done.  & I can always mend!  Seems like the mending is never done.  But fuck!  I want to write!  Well – I guess I’ll smoke a joint & watch “I Love Lucy” & do my stretching exercises.  I’ve got a bunch of new books from the library too – I can always read.

***

It’s a perfect grey day – cool, rainy – sky totally cloud-covered.  Matches my mood – burned-out, a little depressed.  I’ve had the answering machine on all day – I just don’t feel like taking any calls.  I worked so hard this weekend – partied real hard too – I just can’t get going.  I’ve been watching TV since I got up – “The Dick VanDyke Show” & “That Girl” &  & just now “The Story of Alexander Graham Bell” starring Don Ameche, Loretta Young & Henry Fonda.  I did get all the garbage out in time for the collection & I dusted & vacuumed.  But I don’t feel like doing a damn thing – just sitting here.  Later on, I’m having my hair done – another perm.

Oh good! Teddy’s home.  He always cheers me up.

***

In Anne Frank’s diary, on December 24, 1943, she quotes Goethe:  “Himmelhoch jauchzend, zu Tode betrübt” – “On top of the world or in the depths of despair.”  That is certainly me.  I know a lot of it is cocaine addiction – you feel so good or you feel so bad.  But I refuse to believe that is all because of cocaine.  I was depressed for years before I got into cocaine – or any drugs for that matter.   Or drinking.  Or anything.

I never got my hair done yesterday – a mix-up on the time prevented it.  Now I have to wait until next week.  I really wanted it done more than a week before the family reunion, so it wasn’t so tightly curled.  Oh well.  You can’t always get what you want – boy, do I know that maxim.

I guess my big problem is the same old problem – I’m horny & I can’t figure out what to do about it.  I’ve been trying to seduce Teddy for weeks.  It’s just isn’t working – I need an affair.  I’m damned if I do & I’m damned if I don’t.  I wish Jesse would stop by – I could call him – but I bet he’d say no – or worse yet, laugh.  Besides, he’s being “faithful” to Doreen – why, I’ll never know.  I can’t imagine that he loves her any more than he did when we were passionate lovers five years ago.  In fact – I know he doesn’t – he comes over here to get high & complain about her.  & I’m the faithful listener – more faithful to Jesse than he’ll ever know – always here for him – always ready to listen – to comfort – to make him feel like a man – as much as I can – since he won’t let me love him with my entire self.  Oh – once in a while – when his own need overwhelms him.  But that’s it.  & then I won’t see him except when he comes over to buy or sell drugs – until the next round of complaining begins & I know that soon, he’ll be wanting me again.

How did I come to this?  How can I be so sexy – so desirable – so wanted by so many men – & so frustrated – so alone – so needy?

Afternoon.  Well, I guess sometimes what you wish for does come true.  Jesse – oh, what a man!  He makes my body sing!   Every part of it!  Oh, how I wish life was different!

Night.  Teddy came home from work with his back muscles all pulled – he’s flat on the couch & I’ve been waiting on him all evening.  I don’t mind – I feel so much better – so much more relaxed.

I just read Poems 1984-1986, which I finished today.  It has 100 poems in it.  Poems 1971-1983 has 57 & Poems 1980-1983 has 87.  I write more & more – I was amazed how many poems there were.  I started on 1987 but I need a new notebook to put them in – I’ve filled every notebook I own.  I wonder how many poems there’ll be?  I don’t think there’ll be as many this time – I need to fall in love.  With someone new.  Jesse is wonderful & there’s something to be said to be the mistress of a man for so many years.  But – I need a change.  I know I need a change.  Maybe my luck is changing – maybe – maybe –

***

I don’t feel like writing today.  I’ve worked really hard all week long.  Today I feel like going to Falco’s for lunch – have a beef & a brew – I have nothing here.  I have $10 for Danielle & $4.05 in spare change.  $4.05 is enough for a beef & a beer.  Right now I’m eating toast & drinking coffee.  Great breakfast, huh?  I forgot to buy eggs – actually we blew off going to the store in our hurry to score an 8-ball of coke.  Last night in bed I was really bummed out cuz we spend most of our money on cocaine – & I’m out of food – also laundry detergent – I’m using Joy dish soap to wash my clothes – & I forgot my mother’s birthday! – me!  I never forget a birthday!  I even talked to her yesterday – she mentioned that Bob bought her a dehydrator for her birthday – it went right over my head – I didn’t remember until later last night when we were playing backgammon & I wrote the date on our tally sheet – I was so embarrassed!  I want to send her flowers but I can’t afford it this week – I’ll have to do something next week at the family reunion.

But I was really sad last night.  We get all the important bills paid – late – but there’s a pile of piddly bills gathering dust – oh, I don’t want to think about it.

But I was able to seduce Teddy last night – finally!  Jesse stops by Wednesday & I seduce Teddy on Thursday – it never rains but it pours!  When I first asked Teddy he said no – he wasn’t into it!  But in bed – holding each other – & not falling asleep – too blasted for that – he felt the urge! – finally!  Oh well!  The Goddess has her reasons – I can only pray She’ll help me again!  How can I make it happen more often?

I’m reading A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller.  I can’t put it down – got a whole page of notes already – I started it at 4 p.m. yesterday.  I’m gonna read a little while – maybe do a little housework – dust & vacuum the living & dining rooms – water the plants – then walk to Falco’s.  Sounds nice!  I wish Teddy would call!

Later.  I’m watching “I Love Lucy” before I go.  I’m realizing – sitting here – that I’m really horny – really horny – really alive – ready for anything.  Hungry, too.

***

Teddy is whistling for me to shut off the light & go to sleep.  I can’t put down A Literate Passion.  I’m copying whole passages from it.  How I long to be in love.  How I long to be in love like this.  I love Jesse & love with him is like riding on lightning but he doesn’t talk about literature & writing – he’s never written me any letters at all – I’ve given him copies of the poems I’ve written for him but he just acts like it’s an everyday occurrence – like girls have been writing him poetry since he was a teenager – which is probably the case.  But it isn’t my poetry – & wow, I would just love to have a lover who would write to me – about writing, about love, about life, about everything.  A complete relationship.  Oh well – gotta go – Teddy is complaining – poor dear –

***

I had to stop writing last night – long before I’d finished.  I should’ve stayed up & read more & written more – I could barely get to sleep – stay asleep – I tossed & turned all night – in & out of dreams – dreams of – Randy.  Although sometimes it was Jesse.  It was hard to tell.

Right now I’m sitting in the truck outside of Herzog’s Drug Store while Teddy’s inside paying the electric bill.  No – was inside.  Now we’re zooming up Main Street.

Now we’re at TCI – to pay the cable bill – well, actually – I’m sitting in the truck while Teddy runs inside.  After this we’re going to pick up the bike.  I can hardly wait!  I’ve been so envious of anyone on a motorcycle & so many drive by the house each day!  I have to drive the truck home.  I know it’s a risk – with no license – but no one else is around to help us & it’s a short way.  It’ll be the first time I’ve driven in 6 months.  I hope nothing happens – I’ll be screwed.

It’s 81 according to the radio.  It’s breezy – just perfect.  I laid out in the sun for an hour today – I barely felt hot – the breeze was so heavenly.  Tomorrow I plan to spend most of the afternoon in the sun.  Today it seemed to take forever to get outside – the housework seemed never-ending!  Well – getting up at 11:30 a.m. doesn’t help either!  I couldn’t help it – I was so tired!  I had the strangest dreams this morning – all with the same theme –

I know it must seem like I’m going crazy.  I think it’s true – I am crazy.  Falling in & out of love like a madwoman – having dreams about my lover’s brother – having sexual fantasies almost every waking moment – having sex with the landlord – actually I’m just – Teddy’s back – I can’t write anymore.

Night.  Oh what a great time we had riding!  Such a lovely evening!  Buffalo in the summer is the finest place to be!  I love seeing everyone’s yards – flower gardens – storefronts open to the sidewalks – new construction – people on bikes – walking dogs – kids – everyone outside.  I know a million cruising routes – I know this town like the back of my hand.  I love being on the back of a bike.  I sit back there like a fucking queen.  I do my best thinking on a motorcycle.

A warm summer night.  Jesse next to me – Teddy on the couch – a silly Beach Boys movie on TV.  Getting high & enjoying life.

***

Today I am filled with a strange joy.  I alternate between housework & reading & writing – it is already really hot.  Fans are whirling in the kitchen – the living room – the bedroom – the radio is on –

Maybe this last week was so full of stress – tears – anger – depression – & the consequential cocaine & alcohol – that the only place to go is up.  Or maybe I have just given up.  Sometimes there is freedom in surrender.  Sometimes you realize it doesn’t mean dick shit anyway.

I cried until yesterday.  I thought I was having another nervous breakdown.  Maybe I did.  It was too much – the stress surrounding the family reunion – the disappointment of the reunion itself – the hurt – the pain – the endless pain –

Knowing that no one is proud of me – not even of my beauty – of course only PapaMac praised me for my beauty – & he’s long gone – nobody else did – & my other achievements pale compared to Tish’s & Helena’s babies – I’m just a fuck-up.

I didn’t even drink at the reunion.  I was really hung over but I usually am on a Sunday.  Teddy didn’t even want to go & I wish we hadn’t.  I always love Letchworth State Park – but I wish we had stayed at home.  Nobody paid any attention to us, anyway.  It was easy to make an excuse & get back on the motorcycle & ride away.

I cried until yesterday.  Last night Teddy & I rode out to Randy’s.  He lives way out in Gasport.  We were picking up a bag of weed.  Randy always has the best stuff – better than Jesse has.  It was a beautiful night.  The moon was a filling crescent – not the slip of a girl of Saturday but a growing light – I saw the features of Her face distinctly.  I breathed in the sweet country air – the Niagara County & Northern Erie County fields that I love so – the breath of the Goddess blew across my face.  A doe crossed the road in front of us – Teddy was about to drop it into second & take off but instead slowed to 45 & then to 25 until she passed – & I looked back up to the moon.  Peace filled me.

***

A small relapse.  Terribly depressed again. I woke up exhausted & went back to bed after Teddy left for work.  My sleep was restless & I had bad dreams.  I can’t remember them very well – the first one had something to do with missing g-strings – Mom had taken them or something – & Tish was arguing that I should audition for “Guys & Dolls” – & I can’t remember what else but I woke up crying.  I fell back asleep almost immediately & this time there was going to be a nuclear holocaust or something.  I can’t remember where I was going or why I was alone.  I stopped into a bar for a drink & the bar was packed.  Young – old – kids – everyone.  Yelling & shouting & singing.  Marlon Brando was there.  I remember being surprised that he was there.  The place was so packed that they ran out of glasses.  My drink was served in a white coffee mug.  It was a Bloody Mary.  It wasn’t what I had ordered but the bartender – some old lady – was already waiting on someone else.

I woke up exhausted – again.

***

Tired & bored.  Just getting things ready to go to Sherkston. I wish we were going back to Stoneybrook State Park but Teddy wants to go to Sherkston & Teddy gets what Teddy wants.  I filled my book crate with books, games, crayons, drawing paper, crossword puzzles, yo-yos.  I have some real gems for this trip – Tropic of Cancer, Diary of a Mad Housewife, The Cider House Rules, The Girl in a Swing, an anthology of poems by women, The I-Ching, & of course, MAD magazines.

It was a tough weekend.  Cancellations – tough audiences – the last party I did on Saturday was filled with assholes who were all aware that Teddy was my husband – & it obviously made a difference – they were yelling things like “Send your husband home!” & “Why do you bring him along?”  & naturally there was no tips – no encores.  We’re short of cash for this coming trip, but that’s life.

& then late Sunday evening – Teddy had already gone to bed & I was almost ready to go – the doorbell rang & I went down to answer it.  It was Jesse.  “Hey, I was in the neighborhood,” he said.  “I have some news.”

He came upstairs & I went to the bedroom to get Teddy.  I knew Teddy wasn’t going to want alcohol but I offered Jesse a drink.  “No, I was just at Falco’s,” he said.  “But I’ll take a cup of tea if you’re making any.”  So I went into the kitchen & put the kettle on.  I got out cups & put tea bags in them & went back to the living room.

Jesse pulled out a fat doobie & lit it.  “You all know that Doreen is due to have another baby in October & everything looks really good this time,” he said, passing the joint to me.  “She’s been after me to get a place in the suburbs but you all know I’m really not the Tonawanda or Cheektawaga kind of guy so I found a place out in Middleport – ”

“Middleport!”  I gasped.  The kettle was whistling – I got up to get the tea.

“Yeah, it’s really nice out there – just a little further out than Gasport – ”

“I know where Middleport is,” I snapped.  “Isn’t there some kind of chemical plant out there?  A fertilizer plant or something?”

“Not where we’re going to be living,” he replied breezily.

“What about your properties here in town?” asked Teddy.

“Oh, I’m keeping them,” Jesse answered.  “They’re income property.  Income is income.  & a reason to come into town once a month – to collect rents.”  He grinned & sipped his tea.  “& hey – it’ll be a nice ride for you guys – on the bike – any number of ways to get out there.”

“When are you moving?”

“We’re moving Doreen’s mom into the Presbyterian Home in Lockport in two weeks & we’ll be moved into the new place by Labor Day.  Doreen really can’t do much after that – she’ll be too big.  She’s fucking huge already,” he said, laughing. “I’m going to be most of the moving anyway.  Randy & me.”

After he left, Teddy & I went to bed & I lay there, unable to sleep.  Jesse was moving away.  Oh – I knew he’d still be coming around – what he said about coming into town to “collect rents” was proof of that – but this was a definite break.  He was leaving.  Middleport is at least 40 minutes away.  I thought – 40 minutes doesn’t sound like much but that’s 40 minutes there & 40 minutes back & that’s not including traffic.  & that’s not including being together.  You can fuck in five minutes but that’s not making love & that’s what I crave – love.  When two people have other lives – other spouses, children, jobs, responsibilities – that mere 40 minutes is enough to kill the entire affair.

I hardly slept all night & today –  I’m terribly depressed.  I feel like the credits are rolling.

***

[July]

Sherkston.  Another windy, cloudy day & now it is sprinkling.  At least it’s warmer than it’s been – record lows this year!  I haven’t worn shorts since I got here.  It’s supposed to get warmer – 80s by Monday – I hope so!  I’m dying to get into a bikini.  I see all these young lovelies around here – they obviously don’t or won’t feel the chill of the air.  I want to lay out in my little red number & pop eyes.  Actually – right now I’m looking pretty good – tight jeans – tight Absolut vodka t-shirt – & a blue flannel that I take off every time the sun comes out.  I’ve been taking it off & putting it on all afternoon!

It’s packed here.  People were arriving & setting up all last night – they’ve been arriving & setting up all day.  There’s been a line out Empire Road – people have been tooting their horns in protest.  They’ll probably be arriving & setting up all night tonight, too.  It’s a fucking party, man!

***

Finally hot!  Except when the sun disappears behind a cloud.

A young daredevil has been entertaining everyone by riding his bike over the quarry edge at top speed.  He has a red life preserver strapped to the front of his bike.  He’s ready to go again.  Teddy just got a picture of him going over.

I’ve been in my red bikini all day.  The looks I’ve been getting!  Well – the bottoms are barely bigger than a g-string.  & the top is as small as you can get before there’s nothing there at all.  Of course I have to suck in my gut as far as humanly possible.  My round little belly.  Well – not so round anymore.  Too many beers!  Too much fun in the sun!  Oh well!

Afternoon.  Eating again.  Chips & dip.  Salami & Weber’s mustard.  Orange pop.  I put on a pair of shorts & my Sherkston t-shirt.  It’s gotten windy & the sun seems to be behind the clouds more than out.  There’s a rainbow all the way around the sun – really beautiful – right now.  It’s moving through a filmy cloud.

***

What a gorgeous day.  Perfect.  Not a cloud in the sky.  I sunned myself all morning & half the afternoon & then Teddy & I took the boat out & went swimming.  We just had lunch – hot dogs & the last of the tuna-mac salad.  In a few minutes we’re going scavenging.  Most of the Canadians have left & of course their campsites are garbage dumps.  In 10 minutes – not going further than 2 sites away – we found 2 empty cases of beer, half a bag of charcoal & a bunch of Chinet plates.  So we’re gonna smoke a joint & go cruising.

It is so nice & quiet now.  The party weekend is fun but it gets stale quickly.  Too much noise!  I must be getting old!  Oh well –

***

Independence day.  Another hot day.  Wispy clouds stretch across the sky.  A cool breeze.  When I got up this morning, I took a shower then Scotty & I went to Ridgeway to return the beer bottles & boy ice.  Then we cruised the park, looking for wood.  Wood we found – also two perfectly good grills – charcoal – chairs – lots of stuff.  We just ate brunch – scrambled eggs, potatoes fried in bacon grease, grilled pork sausages & grilled hard rolls.  Now we’re gonna cruise Wyldwood Beach.  After that – I want to lay out in the sun & get hot – & then we’re gonna take the boat out on the quarry & swim.  It’s supposed to be hot every day!

Night.  At the quarry parking lots.  Teddy is making phone calls – his mother – Jesse.  I am watching the sunset.  A huge orange-gold orb – the sky surrounding it is orange, red, pink, lavender, purple – the few clouds in the sky stand out in bronze.

Today was excellent although I’m under the weather – my period – I’ve felt crampy & achy all day – I’ve taken on lots of water – I’m so bloated.  My hay fever is really bad.  Plus – cocaine withdrawal.  I feel so dead.  I go from nap to nap.

I’m getting so golden – those sunny days are so great!  I should look excellent when I get home.  I don’t spend much time in the sun – it’s so hot – it got to 90 & will every day this week – more than an hour in the sun & I feel so dead – sapped of all energy.  A jump in the quarry always wakes me up.

It’s cooling down.  The low tonight’s only supposed to be 65.  We’re gonna leave the screens uncovered when we sleep tonight – it’ll be quiet & it’s past the full moon – so it’ll be dark.

There’s a bright red cloud over the sunset – it really looks great.

***

Teddy’s gone to Buffalo.  He’s got to stop at the Credit Union – Wegman’s – gas up the truck – Jesse – stop at home to water the plants & grind the package from Jesse – he should be back around 12:30 or 1 p.m.  I can hardly wait.

I’m gonna clean the trailer while he’s gone.  The floor really needs washing.  The water tank needs filling, too.  When Teddy gets back, I’m gonna do a couple loads of wash.  Even on vacation, a woman’s work is never done!

I hope they pick up the garbage today.  If they don’t Teddy & I are going to go to the office & complain.  I mean – we’re paying top dollar here.  & the barrels have been full since Saturday.  Now the trash is on the ground because of the bottle scarfers & the seagulls.  This place is really trashed – especially Quarry 2 & 3.  It was nonstop partying over there – nonstop bedlam.  On Saturday night – especially – it sounded like a football game.  I wandered back there for a moment – it made me think of a Fellini movie about hell – bonfires everywhere – a huge one in the middle of the field – flames way over everyone’s head.  A thousand stereos – all of them cranked – blasting a thousand different heavy metal tunes.  People running around – staggering – crawling – screaming at the top of their lungs.  Hot rods zooming through lines of tents – haphazardly pitched anywhere.  Walk a few feet & it’s impossible not to be swept into it – carried along by the madness of the mob.  I quickly retreated & returned to my safe quiet campsite.

Now that field is a garbage heap.  Mounds of burnt picnic tables, tents, chairs, tires, cookware.  Birds circling – fighting over food – bird shit everywhere.  The smell of old smoke & decaying food.  It’s disgusting.  Why are people such assholes?  & why hasn’t it been cleaned up already?

***

In Ridgeway.  Looking for blocks of ice.  Nobody seems to have them anymore.  Blocks keep 10 times better than cubes.  You need cubes for mixing drinks but that’s about it.

Teddy’s back.  He found one.

Later. “Home” again.  “Home” – our lovely trailer on our lovely site.  We’re each seated on one of the two benches which are of course storage bins are well – & with the table, another bed.  We have the little 12-volt fan on – mostly aimed at Teddy – he’s always hotter than I am.  I’m hot but I’m comfortable.  There’s a nice breeze blowing through – feels so heavenly.  It got up to 95 today.

***

On the Peace Bridge.  We’re behind a cream puff red ’60 Corvette.  In perfect condition.  Hard to believe such a lovely car was made by Chevy.

Doug & Danielle & the kids joined us last night.  We were ready for company.  We had our first argument yesterday!  A silly thing – I can’t even remember what it was about.

Later.  Ever feel like you’re getting fucked?  Jesse didn’t have our package – he said he sold it cuz he could get more from his connection only his connection wasn’t home – he said he’d bring it up tomorrow cuz he’s taking the day off from work – well I guess we’ll see, right?  I had to wait in the truck while Teddy was talking to him – on the phone, we never went over there – so I didn’t get to see him either.  Now I’m again waiting in the truck while Teddy’s in the bank – trying to find out why they won’t cash my check.  The teller said why but it’s a piss-poor reason.  It’s hotter than hell out here.  I can hardly wait to get back up to Sherkston.

***

Hot, hot, hot.  Another steamer.  I am glowing – golden.  I have been basking all afternoon.  Teddy & I had the greatest swim an hour ago – the quarry water is warm – warm!  It’s never warm!  It’s always ice cold!  Now he’s calling Jesse & Randy – Jesse never showed up today – not that I was particularly surprised – being bummed out about not receiving out package was only half of my disappointment.  But I am so used to being disappointed that I just shrug it off & go on.  I looked beautiful all day – felt beautiful – like some tropical flower in full bloom.

I am longing to be kissed.  Passion kisses – full kisses from which you have to come up for air.  My mouth is so ready – I’m so ready – so totally in heat.  Longing, longing, longing.

***

Home again.  A cold front went through last night – it’s cooler – cloudy.  A perfect day – I don’t know if I could take another steamer.  I have too much housework.  Last night, we got home & dumped everything.  The only thing I did was defrost the fridge – it really needed it – the freezer was solid snow.  That’s all – I can’t get motivated at all today.  I told myself – smoke a joint & finish your book & then hop to!  Oh well.  When Teddy called me this morning, he told me not to work too hard.  “Just take it easy.”  I thought, gee, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem today.  I said, “But I hate a messy house & I feel guilty laying around & reading when you’re at work.”  He answered, “I’ve told you before that’s ridiculous.”

As soon as I hung up with Teddy, the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  “Maybe I can find some motivation for you,” he said.  Maybe.  Maybe.

Afternoon.  Well, I finished my book & most of a joint so now I supposed I have to get to work.  I already straightened up the living room a little – well I straightened up the newspapers.  I suppose I should start in the kitchen – wash the dishes – clean the coolers – put away the groceries.  Or maybe throw in a load of wash first – I just don’t feel like doing any of it.

Later.  Jesse stopped by with some “motivation”.  He left a small package.  I probably shouldn’t have taken it but oh well – that’s what drug addiction is all about, I guess – I’m glad he stopped by.  Sometimes I wonder what I’d do without him.

***

Jesse stopped by again today.  I had just made some onion soup but naturally my appetite disappeared when he pulled out his bag.  We did lines & sat & talked until he had to go back to work.  Of course he was complaining about Doreen & the upcoming move.  I think he just wants someone to talk to.

***

It’s pouring – a real, good soaking rain.  I love a morning rain.  We’ve had a couple of thunderstorms over the weekend – a really impressive one early Sunday morning – but not what we’ve needed – steady rain.  Not until now.  I suppose it’ll be stickier than ever.  I was going to go to the downtown library today – maybe I still will – if the rain stops early enough – of course – when it rains, I have to wonder – will Jesse stop by?  Of course – they don’t always stop his job when it rains.  I think he just leaves for a couple of hours – says he’s got something to do & takes off.  He’s the foreman – he can do whatever he wants.

I’m lying in bed.  I’ll call Teddy in a minute.  I was awake so much last night – I got up several times to check windows – to see if it was raining in.  With the fans on, I can’t hear if it’s raining or not.

Midmorning.  I can’t believe I fell asleep & overslept again – it was 10:15 when I awoke – after strange dreams – it’s stopped raining but it’s foggy & looks like it could pour any second – one of my favorite movies is on – “Bell, Book & Candle” – with James Stewart, Kim Nowak, Jack Lemmon & Elsa Lancaster.

***

[August]

It seems ages since I last wrote.  I’ve been so busy – reading, studying, learning – writing poem after poem – sending things to be published.  I went to the downtown library last week & I’ll probably go this week too.  I have fallen into a schedule that seems to work – sleep late Monday – straighten up the house – study until Teddy gets home from work – Tuesday clean the house, do the laundry – go to the library – Tuesday night when Teddy goes to work, write – Wednesday, Thursday & Friday – write.  Dance all weekend – recover on Sunday & Monday too, I guess – or else I’d be cleaning the house on Monday & writing on Tuesday.  Usually on Monday all I want to do is sleep.

It’s a noisy day today.  Someone is mowing their lawn – the sweet smell of cut grass – & someone else is hammering a porch – I can’t see very well from here.  I can see the guy hammering though.  Now I can hear a power saw.

Downstairs it sounds like Romper Room – one of Cindy’s friends who has kids the same age as Melissa & Marco are visiting.  Bandit’s in the back yard – he’s crying & moaning & barking – he wants to play with the kids.

***

Teddy left for work at 8 a.m.  I went back to bed.  I was almost asleep when the doorbell rang – it was Jesse.  He was looking for cocaine.  “Did you guys ever score Saturday?”  “Yeah we did, but it’s long gone,” I laughed.  “Are you in a hurry to go to work?”

“I should be but I’m not,” he answered.   After he left, I went back to bed – totally sated & satisfied – I dreamed all morning – one vivid dream after another.  I woke up slowly – almost painfully – I was still held by hallucinations.  Did Jesse stop by or was that a dream too?  Dream or not – it was heavenly –

WTBS has a two-hour “Gunsmoke” on – I love Westerns.  James Stacey is in this one.  Eighteen years ago – how I loved him!  I remember when he was Johnny Lancer.  Such a tragedy – losing his legs in a car accident – all because of a drunk driver.

Afternoon.  I would like to get fucked until I don’t want to get fucked – or I don’t want to have sex at all.  I wanna fuck forever – I wonder how long it would take for me to get sick of sex – I wonder how many men it would take.  Or women.  Or robots!  Or aliens!  Ok – I’m joking – but – I wonder if my body would wear out before my desire would.  I wonder – if then – my desire would be permanently sated – or if it would again flare up?  Oh I am constantly on fire.

***

Where do the days go to?  They fly by – faster & faster.  This coming week will be no different.  Today was a day of naps – the first cool, non-humid day in weeks.  It is certainly turning out to be a long hot summer – the longest & hottest in years.  For days on end, it has been in the 90s.  Tomorrow I will write & sun myself.

Wednesday we’re going to Letchworth State Park for a picnic with Teddy’s family.  I’m taking a potato salad that I’m making Tuesday night.  On Thursday we’re going to the Erie County Fair & then I have to go to my drunk driver class – my second-last one.  Then it’s the weekend again – a full schedule of parties.  Summer’s going fast – faster – fastest – which is always sad – except that it’s been so hot I’m kinda glad.  I really don’t like hot weather.  I like fall & winter.

***

For the first time in weeks, it’s cool.  For the first time in weeks, I’m wearing sweat pants, a flannel shirts & socks!  For the first time in weeks, the fans aren’t on.  It’s really nice for a change!

I have so much to do today – laundry, housework, reading, writing – so much reading & writing!  & we’re going to the Fair later – I can hardly wait!

Yesterday’s picnic was great – we took lots of picnics & ate lots of food – hamburgers, hotdogs, roasted corn, salads – it was great.  It was wonderful seeing Mom & Jerry – too bad we have to wait all the way until Christmas to see them again!

***

We just ordered a pizza.  It’s raining – pouring – has been since 2 p.m.  Totally dark & grey all day.  Summer’s winding down.  Next week at this time we’ll be camping – I can hardly wait.

I’ve been so busy – reading, writing, studying, taking notes – my fingers ache from holding a pen.  Plus a started a new inventory of my books – I have so many more than I thought – so many I had no idea I had – I buy them thinking I’m going to read them & then I forget about them.

***

Planning for our Sherkston trip – which had to be delayed cuz I got screwed over on a job this weekend & we spent too much partying with the home boys.  Darryl’s disappeared – no one knows where he is.  He was really getting wired – really losing it – I hope he can get his shit together.

I’ve been so busy – inventorying my books – writing – reading.  Tomorrow I’ll do laundry & pack.  Teddy’s on vacation.  He’ll help me – or get in my way – whatever.  We’re broke – almost out of food – but at least we’ve got weed!

***

At Sherkston.  A lovely warm day.  Sunny.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Plenty of flies & bees.  It’s been great since we got here.  George, Alice & Cryssie were here when we got here – Doug & Danielle & the kids arrived the day after.  It’s beautiful – I’m going for a bike ride in a minute.

Afternoon.    Teddy, Deano & I took a long bike ride!  We rode all over the park – through the seasonal sites & stopped at the playground – Teddy sat & rested while Deano & I played on the swings – I was really flying – the monkey bars, the rings, the sea-saw.  Teddy pushed Deano on the merry-go-round – I was bushed by that point.  We rode home & then Teddy & I jumped into the quarry – ah!  So refreshing!

Now we’ve – Teddy, Danielle & I – have just finished a doob & dogs are on the grill – potato chips & beer – a light breeze – I’m reading a good book about Gertrude Stein & I’m totally convinced that this is what life is all about –

***

Withdrawal.  I can hardly stay awake.  I need a line!  But sleeping feels so good.  After I wrote this past afternoon – we fucked – really! – & napped for four hours – until almost 8 p.m.!  It was sunny when I passed out – twilight when I came to!  & I was confused.  I was still in the grip of dreams.

I am the first one in again.  Of course I don’t go to sleep immediately – I read – I write – or make notes on the novel.  But I am so tired.  So so weary.

Later.  It started raining last night – it poured.  Now it’s cool & foggy – I hope it stayed like this all day.  I’ve always loved raining days – days when showers sweep by – leaving everything sweet-smelling.  The grass looks greener too – all the colors are brighter when the sky is grey.  It’s really a beautiful morning.

Evening.  We slept until 2 p.m.  & then dropped acid.  For a while, I was tripping my brains out & was beautiful – I am still beautiful but I am drunk – I am losing self-confidence – I want to eat everything in sight – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line –

I want to sleep forever –

Night.  Dinner at Doug & Danielle’s.  Potluck of barbecue ribs, stuffed crab tails, home fries, pickled vegies.  I’m in our trailer – alone – making myself a cup of tea.  It’s raining again.  I can’t believe the pain I’m in.  Physically sick.  Every muscle & bone aching.  My hip is killing me.  Tired – arthritic.  Weary.  One thing – one thing.  One thing – everything.  I am sick – sick – sick – sick –

It’s pouring.  It sounds so lovely pounding on the canvas – a percussion lullaby to sing me to sleep.

***

I feel much better today.  We just finished dinner – ham steak & potatoes au gratin.  We watched the football game all afternoon – the Bills won their home opener – & after that we all rode our bikes to Elco Beach.  Teddy & I are going on a cruise in a little bit.  Tonight’s our last night.

***

Labor Day.  Home again.  We got home about 4:30 p.m. – took our baths & went over to Doug & Danielle’s for dinner.  Now we’re home – after stopping at Wilson Farms for milk, half & half & fudge bars – smoking a joint & watching Monday Night Football.  I’m freezing – I’m wearing a flannel nightshirt, my bathrobe, socks & have an afghan thrown over me.  Last night a cold front moved through – a big storm – high winds & heavy rain.  We were up a long time though – inside when it rained – outside by the fire when it stopped.  I did a lot of drinking this weekend but wasn’t hungover once.  I felt a little queasy this morning when I got up to pee but it was gone hours later when I woke up for good.

My poems were rejected by the News – I read the form letter & tossed it on my desk – later this week I’ll get to re-reading it – I guess I’ll file it.  Maybe I would reply – fuck you? – I’m stewing about it, obviously.  After this tough weekend, I didn’t need any bummers – but that’s life.  I guess I’ll just have to try harder.  I have so much work to do anyway.

***

A cup of tea after my bath.  I did a lot of work today – washing blankets & inventorying my books.  I’ve listed over a thousand already – about half-way.  I’m reading 20,000 Years of Fashion.  I have so many books to read – so many things to learn – so much writing to do.  One project after another.  My poems being rejected really bummed me out.  My emotions have really been yo-yoing lately – I feel so good or I feel so bad.  Today I’ve been down – up – down.  Right now I guess I’m going up – except that I just took a bath & the sight of my body depressed me – I look so fat – I have a giant zit on my chin – my hair needs cutting – I just feel so fat & ugly.  I know I just got back from vacation & one weekend dancing & partying & I’ll be back to my usual sleek form – I know all this!  But what your head acknowledges, your heart refuses to realize – oh well.  I guess this is just the pattern of my life.

***

You know – sometimes I guess I’m just dumb.  Teddy’s fit to be tied – he’s mad at Jesse & he’s not real happy with me either – I guess if anyone comes over with an 8-ball of anything – in this case, crank – I should always get a gram off whoever it is – Jesse did leave me a little because he always leaves me a little & I did tell him that I wanted Teddy to try it & that we’d probably want to get some – he said he’d call &/or stop by later – only of course he didn’t – we waited up until after midnight – Teddy called first thing this morning & Doreen told him Jesse left at 6:30 – well, he’s got to be at work at 7 – Teddy just called from work.  He’s stewing.  But I believed Jesse – that he would return – when will I learn?  It’s just – it’s just nothing.

Later.  Teddy just called back to tell me that he’s not mad at me anymore & that he loves me.  Also – to get whatever I can.  I apologized for being so stupid.  “I guess I’m still the naïve little Cori.”  “Well, I guess that’s true, although I was thinking of another word,” he replied.  “I really did believe him when he said he’d be back,” I insisted, “I mean, why would I think he was lying?”

Teddy said, “Cori, he’ll say anything, especially when he’s high as a kite – he probably meant it at the time.”  Oh yes – a man with his head in the clouds will say just about anything.  & a woman in love will believe him – when will I learn!

***

Tired.  Beat.  Burned out.  I couldn’t get going this morning – laid on the couch until almost noon.  Busted ass all afternoon though – defrosted the fridge – cleaned the house – worked with some plants – did 3 loads of wash – about a million dishes – seemed like a million – made western sandwiches & home fries for dinner & an apple tart – well, kind of an apple tart – I made pie dough & rolled it out & peeled & cored an apple – I only had one – & seasoned it with butter, sugar & cinnamon & then folded it up & baked it.  Just now I put a butter-cream icing on it & sprinkled cinnamon & sugar on it.  It looks too good to eat!   But Teddy is demanding a piece so I’d better give him one.

Oh, it is yummy – absolutely melts in your mouth.  My pie dough is made with butter – it makes a golden-yellow crust that lighter than air.  You just have to have the butter at the correct temperature & firmness when to cut it in.  Too hard or too soft – it won’t work.

Well – I’m gonna jump in the tub & soak a while – I ache all over.  Then I want to finally sit down & read.  It’ll be an early night – which is alright with me – I have a thousand things to do tomorrow.

***

I feel terrible.  I have my period – really bad – really heavy bleeding – really bad cramps.  I also have a touch of the flu – I’ve had diarrhea all morning.  Oh – & it’s such a beautiful fall day!  A lovely day for a bike ride – but I can barely move.  I’m camped out on the couch – pillows – blankets – books – notebooks – pens – “Perry Mason” on TV – the front door & windows open, letting in the sweet air – such a drag to feel so awful on such a beautiful day!

***

I feel better today.  I’m barely bleeding at all – no cramps – what a change!  I slept all afternoon yesterday – I was sleeping when Teddy got home.  We blew off grocery shopping – I reheated pizza for supper.  Today I’m being Jo Housewife – going through old magazines – uh!  A large gust of wind just blew through the front window & knocked over a large glass of plant cuttings onto me – I’m soaked!  I have to go change & clean up.

Evening.  This lack of marijuana problem is beginning to get to me.  We just finished dinner – burgers & fries – & I want an after-dinner joint!  Teddy’s on the phone with his Aunt Barb – getting his cousin Rob’s number – his cousin Rob usually has really good weed – talking about going far afield!  Cousin Rob lives near Conesus Lake!  I am more than ready to jump in the truck & take a long ride.

The line’s busy – the line’s busy – the line’s busy – the line’s busy – finally!  He’s talking to Rob now.  Doesn’t sound good.  Of course Teddy’s yakking up a storm – hurry up & tell me what’s happening!  I might as well go down cellar & get the wash out of the drier – maybe I’ll knock on Paulie’s door & find out if he knows anything.

Nothing!  Nothing, nothing, nothing!

***

Just finished dinner – tacos.  Still have nothing to smoke.  Oh well.  The trouble is – when there’s finally some available – it’ll be twice the price.  It happens every year.  10 years ago, an ounce was $40 – on average – I remember buying an ounce for $35 & being told “This is the last $35 ounce you’ll ever see.”  & it was.  Now ounces are double that.  I bet after the new year, they’ll be triple that.  It’s such a drag.  It’s so frustrating.  There’s nothing you can do – you feel so helpless.  You can get cocaine anywhere – but no weed.  A lot of the heavy coke users we know don’t smoke weed anyway but Teddy & I have always liked to do a line & then smoke a joint – besides, we don’t snort everyday – just on the weekends – when we’re working – or partying – or both – whatever – but marijuana’s an everyday habit.

Oh well.

Evening.  Teddy’s upset.  He’s sick of waiting for people of waiting for people to call back – never calling back – taking their time coming over – never arriving – he’s lying on the couch – looking dejecting –

Today we went to the Buffalo History Museum to see the Home Front exhibit.  We looked at everything else, of course.  We watched the Apostle clock chime – I’ve loved that since I was a child.  Then we walked in the park.  It was nice.

Teddy says he feels weird.  “I want some ganga.”  He’s going through the phone book again – again.

Nobody has anything.  I have never lived through anything like this.