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Tag: AA

Excerpt From a Diary 45

[Holidays, 1990]

 

Thanksgiving was very quiet this year.  Helena & her family were at Geoff’s family in Pittsburgh.  Jesse & Doreen stayed home – her mother had a stroke & Doreen didn’t want to leave her.  Randy always hunts on Thanksgiving.  Trish is in Germany with Brad, who’s stationed there.  Rocco & Julie were there but only for a short while – they also had dinner at her folk’s.  I went to a meeting in the morning.  Later in the day, I helped my mother with the dinner – not that there was very much to do.  Without a tableful of people, there wasn’t dozens of dishes prepared – no creamed onions, spinach soufflé or even succotash – I missed seeing all the different bowls & platters of food.  But it was a good meal, as always.

***

In my room – reading, writing poetry, listening to music very softly on the stereo.

***

I finally heard from the manager of the building on Euclid Heights Avenue.  I can move in January but since the first is a Tuesday, I can actually move in the weekend before that – he said that the tenant was moving out mid-December but it needed painting & a few repairs.  But it would be ready by December 30th for sure.  I am so excited!  It is a really cute little place.  Perfect for me.  Top floor – fabulous view – lots of light – perfect for plants.  No porch & a tiny kitchen but you can’t get everything.  & nothing says I have to stay there forever.  It’s alright for right now.

***

I feel so bruised today.  My lungs ache when I breathe.  So horny it hurts.  But sleep came easily.  With dreams – dreams filled with sex – sex with Doug Conover of all people – sex with others too – dinner in a Chinese restaurant – a bag of weed I was trying to hide – acrobats hanging from streetlights – & more sex.  I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all.

I took a shower.  The hot water coursing through the massager felt good on my back, my legs, my crotch – afterwards, I applied my body lotion, patted on my baby powder & dressed in a pair of  long underwear, my pink flowered skirt & tight hot pink sweater & pink socks & went downstairs.  Bob was arranging fruit on a platter, a bag of still-warm bagels on the counter.  The coffee was brewing in the percolator.  Bob said good morning to me but my mother pointedly ignored me.  She hates it when I wear my tight pink sweater.  It’s one of my favorite tops & it always cheers me up to see myself in the mirror with it on.

I poured myself a cup of coffee.  I had a bagel & a banana.  I put on my boots & jacket & went out for a walk.  My mother can spread her bad mood over the entire house like peanut butter on bread.

***

Some days you just can’t cheer up on demand.  Clothes don’t change your mood – nothing does.  You just have to wade through the muck of depression no matter what.

***

Right now I’m in the perfect mood to write poetry.

***

In the food court of the Halle Building, enjoying a cup of coffee before I go to work.  I am wearing my new grey suit, the white blouse I was married in & my riding boots.  I had my hair cut on Thursday.  It’s much shorter than it’s been in years – what used to be called a Dutch Bob.  I’m not sure I like it but it’ll grow back.

***

Almost done with my lunch hour.  It’s snowing out – very pretty.  I wanted to go for a walk after I ate but the heels on my boots are so worn down – I don’t want to wear them down further.  I need to have them fixed.

I should go to the ladies’ room & get back to work.

***

The tenth anniversary of John Lennon’s murder.  I’m watching The Compleat Beatles.

I’ve been sick – we’ve all had it – first Bob, then Mom, now me.  A mild stomach flu – cramps, diarrhea, intense fatigue.  I slept over 13 hours last night – went to bed at 9 p.m. & not up until 11 a.m.

I had a bunch of crazy dreams – dreaming about Pat when he was young but I was his dream – I can’t really remember right now – it seemed like it was somehow prophetic – but I’m not sure anymore – I wish I could remember it.

***

I am getting my assignments done too quickly.  My first assignment was supposed to take three days & I finished it in one.  The filing assignment was supposed to be a three-day assignment – also done in one day.  Another assignment was supposed to take two weeks & I was done in three days.  Deb says all she has for me is handing out flyers in the Public Square.  What a drag!

I was not in a very good mood as I went home.   Bob noticed my mood & said something so I started to tell him about my problem with my work assignments & he interrupted me, saying, “What you need is a meeting.”

NO.  What I need is not a meeting.  AA meetings are great but they do not solve everything.  They do not solve the problem of being an efficient worker & there’s not enough work to do.

I did go to a meeting & when I got home, I fell asleep almost immediately but I had nightmares all night & had to wake myself up constantly.  Needless to say, I feel very tired & out of it this morning.

Later.  Deb just called.  She’s got a job for me – a real job.  I’ve got to run.  I haven’t had a shower or anything!  Oh well!

Evening.  My new assignment is at Hospice of the Western Reserve.  Their receptionist has been sick for over three weeks & the paperwork is really piling up.  June, the administrator, is handling the phones – which ring off the wall – & I’ll do the paperwork & filing until it’s caught up.   Then I’ll be trained on the phones.

***

A complete bitch of a morning.  I need more sleep – last night’s Dharma class wasn’t – is never – over before 9:30 & then everyone hangs out & talks forever – by the time I get home & wound down & in bed it’s at least 10:30 & of course I couldn’t sleep.  I guess I could leave earlier but honestly – waiting for a ride from Val is easier than getting the bus home & probably faster anyway.  Then when I did sleep, I had a bunch of anxiety dreams – I was running away from someone – I had no idea who – I was just running.

The alarm goes off at 6 a.m.  It’s just not enough sleep.  Not for me in early recovery.

Afternoon.  A Christmas party here at work – potluck.  I had a little of everything & I am stuffed.  The homemade cheesecake & Danish puff were excellent.  Now that I’m not drinking anymore, I love sweet stuff.

A funeral is driving by.

***

Much better this morning.  Although I couldn’t wear what I had originally planned on – my stocking had a run – so I am wearing black slacks & a red sweater.  But I feel much better than yesterday – much better rested.  I went to bed at 9 p.m. after a sitting in meditation for forty-five minutes.

***

I called in sick to work today.  I know I shouldn’t have.  But I had a migraine – & it was pouring rain & I thought fuck this & went back to bed – no, first I called off work – then I went to bed.

It was a tough weekend.  Really up & down.  Up – shopping – Christmas shopping at the Arcade –  buying clothes for myself at various thrift shops.  Down – sitting in the cold rain 45 minutes waiting for a bus, trying not to think that in Buffalo, it would be snowing instead of raining.  I got home & there was a letter from Teddy – real self-pitying & bitter – so I made the mistake of calling him to try to make him feel better & of course it was a total mess of a conversation – I was depressed the rest of the weekend.

I couldn’t sleep & when I did, I had nightmares.

My headache is hanging in there but I’m going to work on Christmas cards – I haven’t sent a single one yet.  I haven’t had the time – or the energy.

***

I’m so tired.  I can barely stay awake.  I just want to go home & sleep.  I’m so sick of filing – I can’t help it, I think it’s a little silly to continually file stuff for people who are dead.

We got a tree last night.  Bob & I went.  Mom was in one of her moods again & went to a woman’s meeting on the West Side.  “Let her go,” he said.  “She’ll be in a better mood when she gets home.”  He’s so mellow.  I told him that & he laughed.  “I used to be a monster,” he told me.  I remember Jesse saying the same thing about him.

The tree is set up in the living room but we have to wait for Mom to get the ornaments down from the attic so we can decorate it.  It needs to settle & get used to being in the warmth anyway.  It smells so good – I love the smell of pine.  The smell of New England.

***

I can hardly wait to get home but I have to go downtown to the temp office & pick up my paycheck & by the time I get home, it’ll be way past 6 p.m.  Mom & Bob don’t even wait for me to have dinner – I just reheat whatever they had.  But at least there’s something there.  Soon I’ll be cooking for myself – having to come up with something when I get home from work – no matter how tired I am.  I’ll be eating a lot of soup & sandwiches!

***

It never rains but it fucking pours.  I got my period.  Of course I don’t have any tampons – none at home, either.  Life sucks.  Now I have to put paper towel in my underwear & hope it doesn’t move around too much on my way to the store.  I miss having a car!

***

A completely boring day.  I’m reading charts – making sure that things are filed in their correct places.  When June comes back from Mentor, she & Toni will go to a meeting & I’ll be on the phones – but it’s real quiet today anyway.

My breasts ache & I have cramps.  I just want to sleep.  I could easily sleep another four hours a day.  I’m longing for my bed with its soft flannel sheets & my heavy quilt on top.  I’m drinking a completely vile cup of coffee – it’s my third on today – & I’m still not awake.  I guess that’s life.

Afternoon.  At Toni’s desk, playing receptionist.  I just ate – more food left over from the party tray.  I just remember the two oranges in the fridge – I can’t forget them.  I’m full or I’d eat them now.

I’m feeling a little better.  I’m still cold.  Anya – one of the nurses – says I’m running a low fever & probably have a low-grade viral infection which is why I constantly feel crummy.  That & my period – which is enough right there.

I’m reading poetry as I sit here.  I should be reading charts.  But I get so sick of medical terminology.  I like the social worker reports & what Sister Marguerite writes much better.

I’m supposed to do to the Zen Temple tonight & hear a lecture by Eido Roshi with the rest of the Dharma group.  I don’t know if I’ll go.  I don’t really feel like it.  It’s raining buckets – of course it may stop later on – but I would really like to get home, get comfy & have dinner.  Get to bed early – read a little – & sleep all night.  When I get up tomorrow, I want to put on my comfy clothes again & bake cookies & decorate them.

***

I did go to the Zen Temple.  Although I honestly can’t remember a word Eido Roshi said.  Because when I arrived at Robert’s house to join up with the rest of the Dharma Group & ride to the Temple, there was Pat.

I have to admit – I have been wondering when I would be seeing him – where I would be seeing him – at a meeting or at the Dharma House or maybe getting a coffee at Arabica.

He looks good.  He looks healthy.  I realize now what a waste product he was back in February & March – how strung out he really was.  Jesse was right when he said that Pat was a “major coke head”.

He gave me a huge smile when he saw me & then a hug & I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t have to say much because as usual, he talked a blue streak.  He’s living with his brother but he’s going to be moving in with John Bembo & live at the Dharma House & meditate all day long.  “When I’m not working,” he laughed.  Of course he doesn’t have a job yet.  He’s going to a meeting everyday & he feels so much better – so much better – than he used to.  He’s so grateful.

“I still love you,” he whispered.

***

I am tired but I can’t sleep.  I woke up an hour ago.  It was a restless night with crazy dreams.  In one of my dreams, my mother was wearing a sun-dress – pink & white stripes – a halter-top, the back completely open – cut daringly around the breasts – something my mother would never wear in a hundred years.  She was very tan & her hair loose & curly & she looked magnificent!

I watched the light filter in through the crack in the draperies & listened to the rain.  Boy, does it ever rain down here!  I miss the snow of Buffalo.  My stomach began to growl so I got up & dressed & came downstairs & ate.  I’ve been reading poetry – another cup of tea & I’ll go back upstairs & meditate.  The other night at the Zen Temple, Pat started instructing me on proper meditation, like I haven’t got my own meditation instructor already.  Val was there & he just laughed.  I had to laugh, too.  Some things never change.

I had my hair cut yesterday – very short.  It looks really nice.  I just didn’t feel that the haircut I had was me, although it looked really nice.  It’s quite curly – getting rid of all that extraneous hair released the natural curl.  Now I look in the mirror & I see Cori – the Cori I am now.

***

A beautiful day.  Four inches of snow fell last night.  The whole world is transformed.  I feel so very happy.  A jazzy little version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is running through my head.

I’m at work.  I have a really light workload today.  Create some charts – stamp some envelopes – cover for Toni on the phones while she goes to the doctor’s.  I’m leaving at noon.

No one has noticed my hair!  Oh well.  Sister Marguerite will be in soon & she’ll be sure to notice.

Later.  At Toni’s desk.  Toni noticed my hair as she was walking out.  “You cut off your hair!”  It’s funny how people don’t notice things until they’ve had a cup of coffee & a muffin.

I talked to Danielle last night.  She says Teddy is doing just fine.  Don’t listen to his tales of doom & gloom.  She says his mother offered to fly him down to Florida for the holidays but he refused.  & to think that last week he was singing the blues about having a lousy Christmas!  Cuz he was all alone!  If he wants to be lonely & alone for Christmas, then so be it!  He deserves it!

***

Christmas Eve.  At work.  I can hardly wait to leave at noon.  I had major insomnia last night.  & then when I did get to sleep, I had nightmares.  Something about a gang of rapists trying to get into my house – I didn’t recognize the place – & then when they did get in, they were smashing all my snow scenes & other Christmas knick-knacks – I was yelling for Teddy to help me – apparently, he was in the next room – but he never came.  I woke up crying & screaming.  I hate these nightmares.

Another dream I had was about The Canteen – I stopped in after work & I did a courtesy dance – stripping out of my office clothes – then I talked to a few admirers, telling them that I didn’t dance anymore, I worked “at Hospice”.  Then I sat at the bar with John Canton – I had a beer in front of me & I watched the bubbles rise in anticipation – but when I took a sip of the beer, it was bitter & nasty.  I sat at the bar with this terrible taste in my mouth!  The taste of disappointment & disgust!

Night.  In bed.  Totally exhausted.  Downstairs, Jesse & Randy are watching a movie with Bob.  Doreen stayed in Buffalo with her mother – Jesse brought the kids so Bob could see his grandchildren.  Tomorrow Helena & Geoff will be here with their kids & Rocco & Julie.  Tish & Brad are still in Germany.

I got another letter from Teddy – another self-pitying, cry-baby letter.  If I hadn’t talked to Danielle the other day, I might have fallen for it but I know better now.  He isn’t interested in getting over his grief or moving on.  He wants to feel bad & he wants to blame it all on me.  Well, he can go ahead & do whatever he wants – it’s his life.  Me – I want to move on & live as fully as possible.

***

One of the nicest Christmases I’ve had in years.  Jesse gave me a camera!  I have wanted a camera for years!  I used to use Teddy’s but of course it was his.  This new camera is a small Canon 35 mm & I have already taken a full load of film!  I can see that I am going to go broke buying film & getting pictures developed!  Jesse laughed.  “Take your time, learning how to take good pictures can’t be learned in a day,” but I was just so happy to finally have my very own camera.

& I got high.  I know I shouldn’t have – but Jesse & Randy were going out & I knew – like the druggie that I am – that they were going to catch a buzz – & I said, “Can I come with you guys?”  I used the excuse that it was too noisy with all the kids but they knew, of course – that I wanted to smoke some weed.

It was weed that Randy grew this summer up where he’s living now in Appleton – my grandparents’ hometown! – & it was killer shit.  I haven’t gotten high since March & I only needed a few tokes to feel totally stoned.  But it was such a nice feeling!  I couldn’t believe how nice it was!  Totally different than drinking – or snorting coke – really the best feeling.

I asked Jesse about Doreen.  “Is her mother really that sick that she couldn’t come along?”

Randy snorted.  “Doreen’s mother is in a nursing home & she doesn’t need Doreen to look after her!  Doreen’s turned Jehovah Witness & she doesn’t celebrate Christmas anymore!”

I couldn’t believe it.  “Really, Jesse?  She’s one of those people who knock on your door & give you those stupid newsprint magazines about how the end of the world is gonna come?”

He laughed.  “Doreen’s lost her mind.  But hell – she doesn’t want to celebrate Christmas or birthdays or anything else, she doesn’t have to.  That saves me money – I don’t have to buy her anything.  But I’ll be damned if she takes that away from the kids.  Which is why I brought them down here.  Santa Claus might be a myth but it’s one that little kids need.”

“Big kids need it too,” I laughed.

***

Sleepy morning.  I could have easily stayed in bed all morning & slept happily with my Santa bear – another present.  But no – I had to work this morning & I was on the bus & going to Hospice to work at 7:30 this morning.  But oh yes.  I am so sleepy!  Even after a cup of Sumatran coffee & two cups of tea.  I almost fell asleep on the bus.

It occurred to me that by smoking those few tokes with Jesse & Randy that technically I’ve “relapsed” & I should tell my AA home group & my sponsor JoAnne but I don’t feel like I relapsed.  I didn’t get drunk – I didn’t take a drink – I didn’t even get stoned, really – just a nice little buzz.  I don’t see what’s wrong with marijuana.  & I slept well last night – the first night in weeks & weeks that I didn’t have any nightmares.  If marijuana can cure my insomnia & keep me from having terrible nightmares, then it’s well worth it.  & it’s medical in that case – not just getting high for the fun of it.  Which is altogether different.

Afternoon.  At Toni’s desk.  It has been snowing all morning.  About 4 or 5 inches have fallen.  It’s slowed down now – falling very slowly & lazily & the sun has come out.  It’s so beautiful – the snow on the tree branches – the frozen crystals sparkling in the sun.  I am the only one who thinks so.  Of course, I don’t drink in it but even when I did drive, I never complained because I enjoyed driving in the snow.  It was a challenge.  I understand that it’s a drag for other people but why not try to get as much enjoyment as you can?  But I think people enjoy complaining about driving more than they enjoy driving.  I also think they enjoy psyching themselves out – getting themselves all nervous & afraid.  They feed on those emotions until they’re so crippled they can’t see the beauty of the day.

An hour later.  It’s gotten dark again & it’s snowing.  Another inch has fallen since I last wrote.

I realize that I really enjoy being a receptionist.  I’m going to start looking for a receptionist position.  I’ll mention it to Deb but I’ll look on my own as well.

***

I had to run for the bus this morning.   I got up at 6 as usual but I was so tired that I ended up having to rush – take a shower, dress, make-up, make breakfast, my lunch, get on all my winter gear over my office gear – & it was 7:20 before I was out the door – so naturally I had to run for it.  It felt good – it’s a little warmer than yesterday – up to 15 – still brisk but nice.  I feel good.  I am wearing the cutest outfit today – black tights & a black turtleneck under the yellow gingham & black & red flowered calico dress Mom made me years ago – & my little black flats.  Red shoes would be adorable with this outfit.  Or little red or black booties.  I look like a little doll.  I don’t look anywhere near 30 years old – I look more like 25 – maybe younger!  I’m telling you – I love this haircut.  To think that Teddy told me that short hair would make me look old – I look younger than ever!  I bet I’d get proofed in a bar.  Not that I would walk into a bar – I can’t imagine taking a drink at this point now.  A few tokes off a joint is one thing – a drink is entirely different.

***

On my way to Buffalo with Bob.  We’re going to the house I shared with Teddy to pick up my stuff.  I have no idea what’s going to happen here.  I don’t know if Teddy has packed up the stuff I asked him to – I sent him a list in the Christmas card I sent him – or if I’m going to have to pack it all when I get there.  I really hope he isn’t going to be a drag.  Jesse is supposed to show up later on to help transport things to my new apartment in Cleveland.  I asked him on Christmas if he would help with my books – I think they’ll all fit in his van.  I don’t really have anything else.  All the furniture belonged to Teddy.  All I have are books & tapes & pots & pans & dishes.  & the plants – I want at least half of the plants.

***

Very sleepy.   I’m all moved into my new place but it’s been really tough.  I don’t know what I would have done without Bob & Jesse & Randy.  Yesterday Teddy didn’t have anything done – he didn’t have any boxes for me or anything.  I sent Bob to the nearest liquor store to pick up some empty boxes – you can always get boxes at a liquor store – & then I started going through the cupboards.  I wanted my dishes, my pots & pans, my Tupperware.  Teddy went ballistic.  He said he wasn’t going to have anything to “eat off of” & he had paid for the Tupperware “too”.  I gave in on the Tupperware because I wasn’t going to fight all day.  But I wanted my dishes – they had been my mother’s.  & I wanted my pots & pans – I have to be able to cook too.  I left him a few – I’m not an asshole.  Plus I hate that Teflon shit – he can have it.  I wanted the Revere Ware & my cast-iron frying pans.  & all my baking pans.  He’s not going to be baking cookies & cakes & pies.  I mean – get real already!

I wasn’t taking any furniture – he could have all that.  It was mostly his anyway.  Only the bookshelves were mine.  But he just made it really hard – being in such a pissy mood.  Even Jesse had to say something.  “You could have packed up her books at least,” he said. “Anyone can pack books.”  & he wouldn’t let me have any plants.  He argued that it was “too cold” to transport them that far.  We didn’t have any room for them anyway.  Jesse said he would bring them down when it gets warm.  I really hope so – I have perfect windows for lots of plants.  But it’s all over now – I’m in my new place – with furniture that Bob & Mom gave me out of their house – not a whole lot but enough for me.   All I need to do is unpack & decorate – the fun part of moving.

***

I can’t find my watch.

I am very tired.  I have been unpacking & putting things here or there & then deciding that I want them over there instead of here & moving things constantly.  Putting up a few pictures & setting up my desk.  Unpacking books.

I made a marvelous chicken soup – with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, celery & onions.  Very filling.

It has been raining non-stop.  It rained all last week – then turned to snow – snow a lot this week & now rain all weekend.  There is extensive flooding – the worst in 30 years.

I have to find my watch.

***

The rain turned to freezing rain & then to snow.  Very cold.

I have to say that I feel very good this morning.  I slept pretty well last night – after taking two Benadryl – they really knock me out.  I know this is dangerous behavior for a drug addict but that’s life.  I have to sleep.  Without sleep, I’m done.  & I hate hate hate not sleeping.  Especially when I have to get up to go to work in the morning.  If I didn’t have to get up in the morning, it wouldn’t bother me as much.

Later.  Nothing to do.  I’ll have copies to make when the Mentor office calls back with the patient I.D. numbers for our new cases but meanwhile, I’ll sit here & sip my Coca-cola & eat some candy!

I have a nice evening planned.  I’m going to a meeting & then back home to my new place for my first New Year’s Eve alone & the first sober one in a long, long time.  Fifteen or so years.  I must admit – part of me is longing for a line in the worst way.  But I keep telling myself – if I were in Buffalo, we’d probably be smoking the shit, not snorting it – & what a way to spend your evening – waiting for your next hit off the pipe & depressed when it runs out.  Even with lines – you always want more – & you’re depressed when it runs out.  I’ll be glad when the holidays are over.

Noon.  At Toni’s desk.  Yuck – my coke’s getting warm.

It occurred to me – it’s been occurring to me all day long – what a year of change this year has been.  From the start – since New Year’s Day – the first New Year’s in years I had woken up without a hangover.  Also –  the first time in years I had quit drinking – even if it was only to try to lose a few pounds.  & of course – there were my awakening feelings for Pat – he was around so much – selling us weed – but also just to hang out – later, he told me that he was unable to stay away.  I remember watching “The Sandpipers” with him & the sexual tension was simply unbearable.  That was long before we ever even kissed.

Evening.   Home.  Dressed in red sweats, red V-neck sweater – festive red!

I’m about to bake an apple pie.  I bought some vanilla ice cream to go with it.  I’m taking it to the meeting later on.

Dancing & singing in the kitchen.

1990 – the year I finally did something about my unhappiness & my drug addiction – I never knew I would end up here – in a small apartment in Cleveland Heights – happy to be sober – getting ready to go to an AA meeting on New Year’s Eve.

What will 1991 bring?  When I read my diaries – especially 1989 & early 1990 – I know where & when I how I hit bottom & I hope – I sincerely hope – & I will – I will with all my might, my intelligence, my emotion & my physical body – that I will never ever go there again.  Resolution for 1991 & the rest of my life.  So mote it be!

Excerpts From a Diary 43

[Summer, 1990]

[June]

Yesterday Teddy called me & told me that when he got home from work on Wednesday, there was a note on the door from a lawyer representing Del-Van Motors.  Teddy went over there & talked to D.J. – according to Teddy, they’re looking for Pat & wanted to know if he knew Pat’s address or any information as to his whereabouts.  I told Teddy I didn’t know where Pat was – which is true.  But I thought that something was wrong with that story – why would a lawyer leave a note on the door?  Why wouldn’t he just call Teddy & leave a message on the machine?  So I called D.J. myself.  It turns out that Teddy went over to Del-Van Motors himself – he was looking for Pat.  There’s no lawyer – nobody put a note on Teddy’s door.  But it is true that D.J. & Del-Van Motors are looking for Pat.  It seems that Pat owes them several hundred dollars – not $37 – like he told me – a while ago – I always thought $37 was a stupid amount of money & that there was something wrong with that story – but whatever.  Talking to D.J. filled in some of the blanks & untangled some of the crossed tales that Pat has been telling me.  Neither of them – Pat & Teddy – are telling me the truth – or the whole truth – just telling me what they want me to know & embroidering the rest as they see fit.  I’m not mad – I’m too exhausted to be mad – I’m just disappointed – honestly – I’m not even particularly surprised.

In their scramble to hold on to me & keep me from the other, both of them are losing me.

***

I just talked to Jesse.  It was wonderful to talk to him.  He’s in Atlanta.  I was like – Atlanta!  Bob sent him there.  He’s detoxing – coming off a 10-year addiction to painkillers – but also coke & booze – we connected on so many levels.  A sober Jesse would be a mighty friend to have.  Better than a lover.  Much better than a lover.

***

I got a letter from Pat today.  It was very short.  Apparently, he’s in Cleveland.  He’s staying with his brother.  “This is going to be a short letter, because at this point you certainly don’t need me.  You need space.  Your world is crowded enough…My dream showed me the motivation, the karma of us…We will be together again, if not in this world, later on.  We were together before this world & we will meet again…I love you completely…enough to perform the ultimate act of love, to let you go.  It’s already happened & I didn’t do it…I’ve loved you forever & I will continue to do so; there is no choice in this matter…I feel a universe of gratitude toward you.”

At first I felt sad.  I even had tears in my eyes.  Then I saw the envelope.  It was addressed to “Cori McBride Mitchell”.  I thought, what the fuck – I have never used the name “Mitchell” – ever.  I have always been “Cori McBride”.  Then I reread the letter & I got mad.  It was like my eyes were opened.  Or unclouded.  I wanted to talk to Lance but he wasn’t in so I talked to Angie.  She was really glad I saw it – really glad I saw through the words of love to the manipulation beneath it all.  I still feel sad – a little – I hate the end of any love affair – especially one that felt as good as that one did.  I also feel really stupid.

***

I started working on my Fourth Step.  Lance says that this is one of the most important steps.  “Most people never get beyond this point,” he told me.  “They start doing their inventory & get depressed about themselves & go back out again.  But you’re not going to do that, are you?”

“No,” I said.  “I’m not going back out.”  But I’m not going to do a crazy-ass inventory, either.  I can do one now & I can do another one next year & I can keep doing them.  It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.  People go out because they want to do the perfect inventory – so they don’t have to redo it – as a housewife, I know that houses need to be cleaned on a daily basis – some things are weekly or monthly or seasonal – but it’s ongoing.  An inventory is no different.  I don’t know where people get the idea that you do one inventory & you’re done.  In the Big Book, Bill Wilson clearly lays out the whole concept of doing “fearless & moral inventory” of your “character defects” in business terms & I don’t know any business that does one inventory & that’s the end of it.  You do yearly inventories – monthly inventories – you keep a close eye on your assets & deficits.  Or else you’d be out of business right quick.

***

Yesterday Teddy drove the motorcycle from Buffalo & met with Lance & Angie & me, of course.  I felt it was a very good meeting – a good beginning.  After the meeting, Teddy & I went out for a bite to eat.  It was so nice riding the bike again!  I took him to a Greek place that was nearby – I know he hates seafood.  His idea of a fish dinner are fish sticks & French fries that you heat up in the oven.  As we were leaving the restaurant, I said, “Maybe we should try again?”  The look on his face – well, that’s what he wants – but not the old marriage – a newer better one – well, we’ll have to see.  I’m not in any hurry.

I wanted to take him to Manchester-by-the-Sea & show him where I used to live but there wasn’t enough time.  I can’t believe I’ve been here over two months & haven’t gotten there once.  But I’m not allowed to go that far on my own & it’s not exactly close by.

***

I know it seems like I hardly ever write anymore.  Basically I have to write so much for group that I don’t have time for the diary – or it seems redundant – it’s all about my feelings & my thoughts – just like a diary.  But all based around the Twelve Steps & other basic concepts of recovery.

***

I got a letter from Pat.  He’s in a rehab program – in AA – he’s got a sponsor – he’s feeling better.  He thanks me.  I’m not sure why he was thanking me but whatever.

My heart felt so strange.  I had just finished writing about my relationship with Jon.  Pat made me feel like I felt with Jon – for good & for bad.  When it was good, it was insanely good & when it was bad, it was devastatingly bad.  Soon I’ll be getting help from Dr. Barb – a sex therapist – & all these unresolved relationship & feelings & emotions will be resolved – over & done with – put to rest.  Hopefully, anyway.

I wrote 3 poems.

***

[July]

I am allowed out more now.  I walk all over Lowell & I am getting really strong.  I even run a little!  I found a great little bookstore & bought The Women’s Spirituality Book, by Diane Stein.  I have been reading it all afternoon.  It’s really nice to read something that isn’t recovery.  But it is – it’s all goddess – you can’t separate spirituality & recovery.  & the goddess wants me to be healthy & whole.

I don’t know what to do about Teddy.  He writes me these long rambling letters – all in pencil – I really believe he loves me but I don’t know what to do about it.  Part of me wishes that he hadn’t come here & met with my counsellors but it’s part of the program & he wanted to do the right thing.  He really is trying so hard.  I shouldn’t expect perfection – sexual or otherwise – at least not right away!   I have dozens of erotic books, novels, poetry, manuals – maybe after we have been together for a while, we can work at synchronizing our sexual patterns – he can become more intuitive, more imaginative & I can become less demanding.  There are also other ways to feel like the Goddess.  I have come to rely on sex – & performance, dancing & singing – to feel that way – but there are others.  It is a matter of imagination, creativity, desire, execution, change.  “She changes all she touches & all she touches, changes”.  I prayed for change.  My affair with Pat was the key – the beginning – the ace.  Now am working through the rest of the pack.  It all takes time.  A never-ending journey.

***

I tested negative for HIV.

***

A tough day.  I feel so tired out lately – like the flu without the symptoms.  I started seeing Dr.Barb – the sex therapist – & I don’t like her.  I thought I would but I don’t.  I’m not sure why I don’t.  There’s something about her – she’s disingenuous.  Like she’s not really a woman or something.  Maybe she’s not.  You never know with some of these women.  I feel like she’s a peeping tom – looking through the eyes of a beautifully dressed woman.  & she’s really interested in my father.  Way more than she is in me.  Her first question to me was, “What does it feel like to be the daughter of a famous author?”  Like – how do you answer that?  I never thought of my father as a famous author.  He was just my Daddy.  & he wasn’t a famous author until 1970 – he really wasn’t really famous until just before he died – & his death is really what made him a household name.  Mom told me that he had to borrow the money to get the dream home in Manchester & he was still in debt when he died – which is why Mom had to sell it off – she said that his fame didn’t do any of us any good at all.

So how does it feel to be the daughter of a famous author?  It doesn’t really feel like anything at all.  Especially fourteen years after his death – I can barely remember the sound of his voice – only sometimes – like how he said “Low-ell”.  If it wasn’t for photographs, I probably would have forgotten what his face looked like long ago.   Sometimes I’ll see one of his books & I’ll turn it over to see his face on the back of the dust jacket & it’s always a kind of shock – the 70’s haircut, the tweed jacket – I wonder what he would look like now.  Would he have lost his hair or would he have a silver mane?  Would his eyes still be even more crinkled along the sides from laughter & time spent in the sun?  Would he still be attractive to women of all ages?  Would he still have that famous McBride charm?

She wanted to know if I was angry at him for dying drunk behind the wheel & was that why I started drinking.  I hear this question all the time, so I was ready for it.  “I was drinking long before he died,” I answered.  Which isn’t exactly true – it isn’t a lie – but it’s not like I was getting drunk at age fourteen, either – I had some beers now & again.  Like all suburban teens.  But it shuts them up.  All of them – Dr. Barb, Lance, Angie – they all want easy answers.  Like I became a drunk & a druggie cuz my dad died drunk behind the wheel with a young woman not his wife when I was sixteen years old.  Like it was some kind of abandonment that I can never get over.  The truth is – I felt abandoned long before that.

***

I finished my Fourth Step – it’s a fucking novel – I tried to keep it a short story but it was very tough.  I also tried to keep it in outline form – like Bill Wilson says in the Big Book – but once I got writing, I just kept going.

I presented it to Lance & we went over it.  He wanted to know how I wanted to “do” my Fifth Step – he asked if I had a sponsor to talk it over with.  I have a “temporary sponsor” here in Lowell – a woman named Sharon – but I don’t really want to read my Fourth Step to her.  I mean – she’s nice – but I only got her because it was required – not because I felt like we were AA soul mates.  Besides – it’s not like I’m staying here – I know that eventually I’m going back to either Buffalo or Cleveland.  So there’s no use in getting really close to anyone.

I said I would feel better just doing it with him.  So tomorrow, I “take the Fifth” as the saying goes.

***

Working with Dr. Barb brings up all the old stuff with my stepfather & his ever-present hands.  & the Brady Devine & his friends raping me that night in Gates Mills.  A lot of this stuff I have pushed so far down into my consciousness that I barely remember any of it & I don’t like remembering it at all.  Dr. Barb says that most women alcoholics are victims of sexual abuse & the earlier that we deal with the pain & we start to heal from it, the easier our recovery will be.  But most of us want to run from the pain.  Well – why the hell not?  Once you start remember this stuff – without any drugs to moderate the pain – all you do is think about it – over & over & over again.

I don’t like talking to her about this stuff.  She seems like a voyeur.

***

I want to go home.  Even though I am still in love with Pat – I know I am – but there’s no future in that – & I still love Jesse – I always will but there’s even less future there – Teddy still loves me – & I do love him – & I am so homesick – for my kitties & my books – & there’s plenty of AA meetings in Buffalo – I want my own house, my own kitchen, food I can eat – not to have to go to group everyday & meetings everyday & think about nothing but recovery, recovery, recovery!  I want to have some fun!

***

I took off today – without permission – we’re supposed to sign out but I just left.  I took the train to Boston & then up the coast to Manchester-by-the Sea.  I walked around for a while – I found our house – of course there’s another family living there now, so I didn’t want to hang out – but I wanted to see it.  & then I went to the beach.  I wore a bikini under my sundress so it would be easy to strip down & lay out in the sun & swim in the ocean.  Which is what I did.  It was like heaven.

But I CAUGHT HELL when I got back to Blue Star Rehab.  Leaving without permission – being gone all day – it was like I had done the worst thing imaginable – even though I have done everything else they have asked me to do & never fucked up once.  I had to do a breathalyzer when I came in – even though a fucking moron could have seen that I hadn’t been drinking – & I had to do a urine too & I’ll have to do another one in a few days as well.  I just wanted to go see my old home!  & go to the beach!  & I was never allowed to – I’m 30 fucking years old! – so I thought, fuck it, I’m leaving.  I don’t see what the big deal is – I’m fine, everyone can see I’m fine.

***

They are making a big deal out of me being gone all day yesterday.  Both Lance & Angie are on my side but it’s coming from higher up than them.  I’ve been here four – almost five – months & you’d think I’d be able to do things on my own – like an adult, not a child.  The outpatient clients get to come & go as they please.  But those of us who live here – for whatever reasons – we’re treated like we’re mentally ill & can’t be trusted.  We have to sign out when we leave & sign back in – there’s a curfew – I’m so tired of this.  I wanted to get sober & that’s what I did.  I want to go home now.

***

It is settled.  I am going home Friday morning.   Nobody is happy about this but I was almost out of insurance anyway so I was going to have to start paying out of pocket or leave – & I don’t have to money to pay out of my own pocket!  So now it’s AA all the way!

***

It’s incredibly hot & humid.  Nonetheless, I am packing – I can hardly wait.  I’ve been so homesick.  Teddy is coming to get me – I don’t know what to think about that.  I will try again.  But if it doesn’t work, I’m going to leave – I told him this.  I am not going to be unhappy & start using again.

I am going to miss it here.  I really am.  I never thought I would come to love Lowell – such a funny little city – with all the little canals – “Low-ell”.  I wonder if I will ever return here.

***

(Buffalo, NY)

Four months without a drink – except for those few joints with Jesse when I first left Buffalo in March, I haven’t had any kind of drugs, either.  I expected Teddy to have a joint ready for me when I got home, but he said he didn’t have anything & wasn’t I supposed to be sober now?  I didn’t know what to think.  I am sure he has weed somewhere around here.  I never expected to stop smoking weed – not forever – not for the rest of my life.

“The End of the Innocence” is playing – I feel very emotional.  I should feel serene & secure in my sobriety but I feel shaky & insecure.  Pat’s spirit is with me no less than a dead man.  What do I feel?  Really?  Like I let myself down again.  I just wish chemical dependency hadn’t gotten mixed up into it all.  How could I remain true to my emotions when I had to dissect every feeling & express it & explain it & put it into its proper little box?  Don Henley is mocking me: “How bad do you want it?  Not bad enough.”  I thought I did.  I really did.  I still do.  Part of me hopes that things don’t work out with Teddy so I’m free – free – free for what? – Pat?  I have no real reason to think that we would have a good life together – a happy life – a life filled with motorcycles & camping & joints & shopping like I have with Teddy.  No real reason – except love that made me into the Goddess & he into a god – oh here I go again – homesick or not, I have to ask myself – what the hell am I doing here?

The other reason I hope it doesn’t work out with Teddy is so that maybe I can go back to Massachusetts.  Not to Lowell but to the coast.  I so long to live on the ocean.

***

Drinking coffee.  Thinking about projects – editing & revamping “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Seductress” – maybe change the title – thinking about what poems to send the Buffalo News – making a novel out of the Chaotic Bliss diary – what names for what people & why – how to tell it – diary or third person – plans for a quilt – plans for a recovery sampler – using one of the AA slogans.

Thinking about Pat & trying not to.  Maybe this house is charged.  Maybe I wove a stronger spell than I ever imagined.  Maybe it’s just my addictive/addicted personality coming back.  Maybe it never really left.

Last night I was on fire.  I could not stop thinking about him.  It was like we were together – in the dream realm – floating above consciousness.  Teddy was out cold next to me.  I moaned – lost in my reverie.  Then I sneezed & Teddy woke up.  I reached over & touched his cock.  Even hard, it seemed small compared to what I was remembering – I told myself to shut up – Teddy ate me out & then fucked me – I was gritting my teeth – I couldn’t believe I had come to this – Oh Pat – I can’t believe this – Me! – merely enduring sex! – after all the crazy kinky sex I’ve had! – what’s the matter with me? – or is it Teddy?  Everything he does seems like – textbook –

My heart hurts so intensely I can scarcely believe it.

***

Yesterday Teddy received a letter from Pat stating that he was not sorry he had an affair with me & that he had never considered Teddy a friend, only a business connection & that Teddy had deep-seated problems that needed attention –  especially sexual.

Needless to say, Teddy had a fit.  He wrote a letter back to Pat which I had to admit is a really good letter & really to the point – not Teddy’s usual meanderings.  Personally – I think Pat is really being an asshole in this case.  I mean – what kind of ninth step is that?  Who makes an amend & tells the other person that they have “deep-seated problems”?  I mean, really?

***

A hot day.  Sunny.  Blue skies.  A day that demands a beach, cool water & waves.  Orange crush & hot dogs.

***

[August]

Money woes mount.  Bills that need to be paid before any paychecks arrive – plus money that ought to be in the bank is not there – I have all the deposit slips & returned checks & I can’t figure out that happened – just shit I don’t need to deal with – I mean, who does?  But where does the money go to?  Is Teddy taking out money I don’t know about?  Are there bank withdrawal slips I’m not seeing?  He always handled all the money but now we’re supposed to be doing it together.  He always did fancy footwork when it came to finances & I’m much more conservative.  Maybe not in the way I’ve made my money but in the sense that I got out there & actually made it.  & used it to pay bills & buy groceries & then play with it.  Teddy plays first & then pays the bills.

Daily headaches & sleepless nights.  Ridiculous dreams when I do sleep.  Unable to wake up.

Feeling more & more unbalanced.  Realizing that drugs & alcohol – especially marijuana – were used to even the scales.   I’m wildly up or wildly down.

***

Reading rituals for Lammas.  Thinking of a solitary ritual.

***

What do I fear most?  Impotence – artistic, literary weakness – being a mediocre poet instead of a great one.  Unhappiness.  My unhappiness in the face of Teddy’s great joy that I have returned.  Fear.  Fear.  Fear.  Time to do a Step 6 – yet the words in the book just swim in front of me.

Loneliness.  Longing.  Want.  Want.  Overwhelming emotional fatigue.

***

Last night I had a terrible fight with Teddy about Pat.  He simply will not believe that it is over – completely.  I admitted that Pat calls the house but I did say that I no longer talk to him.  & not because of him – although I didn’t say that – but because of me.  Because I want it over.  I’m tired of the drama – tired of the soap opera of my marriage.  Today – calm discussions.  An empty feeling I am trying not to feel.  But also the realization that to live with Teddy means no secrets.  & I have always had secrets – even when I was a child, I had my secret life. I don’t know if I can be totally open with another person – it’s not the way I am.  Another thing – even if it means I never have sex again – no outside lovers.  Being married to Teddy means that I have sex only with him – whether or not he wants it – & only when he wants it – the way he wants it.  I do not know if I can do that.  I just don’t know.  I think it’s an awful lot to ask.  I mean –  if Teddy only wants sex once a month or twice a year or whatever it is – that’s ok for him – but why does that have to be ok for me?

On the other hand, I know where Teddy is coming from because it’s not like Pat is “being a gentleman about it” as Teddy put it – he’s been trying to break up our marriage from the very beginning.  I do have to be honest about that – even if Pat isn’t.  The thing is – I don’t think Pat even really wants me.  He just wants me because Teddy has me.  If I left Teddy & went to Pat, then Pat wouldn’t want me anymore.

It’s all so horribly depressing.

***

I couldn’t wake up this morning.  After Teddy left, I went back to bed & had all sorts of dreams – I was at a Grateful Dead concert in Cleveland with Pat – then flying over Lake Erie – I woke up bleeding.  I thought – oh, so no wonder I’m so whacked out lately & then I cried for over an hour.

I’m not falling apart – I’m not!  I’m keeping it together – barely.

***

I called Mark Miles this morning.  We’re getting together for lunch next week.

***

Sitting on the porch.  A warm, breezy, sunny day.  Ribs on the grill.  Just out of the shower – clean, smooth, sweet-smelling.  I have to continually shoo bees away.  Teddy’s in the shower.  I’m reading Anaïs Nin.

Almost uncontrollably moody.  Suicidal, almost.  Wanting to stick a needle into my arm.  Thinking – continually – of walking into a bar & ordering a shot & a beer.  Feeling hopeless – hopeless.

Teddy’s love debilitates me.  He is so happy I have returned.  I shrink from causing him pain.  Meanwhile I am in so much pain myself I can barely stand it.  All I do is think of suicide.  I don’t really want to get drunk.  It’s too slow.  I think of heroin – of faster, more sure ways to waste myself.  I just want to end this turmoil.

Evening.  Reading Anaïs Nin.  Her experiences with Drs. Allendy & Rank are helping me articulate what it is I want out of therapy.  She writes, “I felt torn apart by my multiple relationships, & I would have been able to live fully in each one, had enough love & devotion for all of them, but they conflicted with each other.”  Also: “I had no in-between existence:  only flights, mobility, euphoria; and despair, depression, disillusion, paralysis, shock & a shattering of the mirror.”

I need to learn to live with all this feeling.  How to reconcile myself with my various loves & lovers.  Deal with the feelings associated with the rape.  What to do about Teddy.  How to achieve union – or end it.

& then – how to live alone – if need be.  How to be happy.

No small order.

***

Meanwhile – Teddy wants to make love.  I honestly don’t think he really wants to make love –  he just thinks that I want to so he’s trying to do it for me.  & I honestly don’t want to.  I have been terribly horny – but I don’t want Teddy – what can I say!  It’s not going to work like that!

So last night – Teddy made love to me.  Or he tried.  It was a horrible mistake.  I had to grit my teeth – Teddy was eating me & running his hand up & down my body & I wanted to push him away – I had to involve myself in an elaborate rape fantasy just to cum – because he wasn’t going to stop until I did & I couldn’t cum any other way – I felt so shitty.  Then he fucked me & the tears were rolling down my face & as soon as he finished, I was sobbing – !  I want to feel like the Goddess again!  I want that fire – that finesse – that excellence again!  Oh fuck – what am I going to do?

I’d rather have no sex than bad sex.

I haven’t been this depressed in a long time.  And I have a terrible headache.

***

Spent all day at the Erie County Fair.  We had a wonderful time.  The only time I was upset & frustrated was when Teddy refused to go to on the Sky Ride with me – it’s a double Ferris Wheel – because of his fear of heights – a fear I admit I totally do not understand – especially sitting  in a steel bench with a bar across you lap isn’t exactly unsafe – not like scaling the side of a mountain or even climbing a ladder – but whatever.

I saw Bard Ellison there.  He was selling Encyclopedia Brittanicas.  We talked a few minutes.  He’s going to law school.

***

Writing poetry.  Joni Mitchell on the stereo.

***

I cannot sleep.  I just finished watching a documentary about the Beatles.  I am reading Anaïs Nin & having a glass of milk.  It has been pouring.  Now the rain falls lightly, almost a drizzle.  It’s getting windy.  Across the street, my neighbor’s wind chimes ring hauntingly.

***

Something happened to me.  Changed in me.  In my mind I am moving out.  I have been dreaming & in all my dreams, I am leaving.  When I am awake, I am making a mental inventory – what I will take & what I will leave behind.

***

Pat called this morning.  He got on my nerves – telling me that I should just turn my back on Teddy & my life here – “Just do it,” he said, like it wasn’t going to cause Teddy or even me any pain to leave – & to leave my books & my things behind – “they’re really not important” – funny how my things aren’t important – that I should just buy a bus ticket & go to Cleveland with just a backpack of clothing & live with him.  Yeah, right!  That’s a good one!  I can see how that will turn out!

Besides, I just can’t do that.  I’m not ready.  I want to leave Teddy but I’m just not ready yet.  Maybe I’ll go to Cleveland but maybe I’ll stay right here.  My vision of the future shows a small apartment of my own – maybe on the West Side – or maybe Central Park area – with my books & my plants & my cats – alone.  No man in the house.  AA – a coven for spiritual work – & therapy so I get better.  Working on my poems & my novel.

A nice quiet change – just enough to make my life better – slow change – sober change.  Not a revolution – which is what Pat wants.  I don’t want revolution – I want evolution.  I know it won’t be painless either way but I think my way is the better way.  It’s the right way.  Pat wants what he wants when he wants it – which is right now.

***

I went over to Shera’s the other night.  It was nice – sitting in the semi-darkness on the porch – sipping herbal tea & talking.  I told her all about my troubles with Teddy & how I still longed for Pat & even Jesse.  “Have any of these men asked you what it is you want, what is good for you, what your needs are?”  she asked.  & of course the answer is no.  From Teddy, all I hear about are his needs, his wants, his hurt feelings. From Pat, all I hear about is what he thinks is good for me & how I should go about doing that & how soon I should be doing it.  Both of them are selfish as toddlers.

I haven’t heard from Jesse at all.  Maybe that hurts most of all.  I know he’s back from Atlanta.   He must be really working a good program – he hasn’t called Teddy for weed & he hasn’t called me at all.

It was wonderful over at Shera’s.  A feminine/feminist household.  A beautiful altar, right out in the open, no need to hide it or camouflage it as something else.  Artwork everywhere.  Calm, peace, serenity.  Exactly what I need.

Another thing she said that struck a deep chord: “If Pat can tell you to just run off & leave Teddy & your home without a second glance, that doesn’t say much about his ethics.  You can’t run away from your responsibilities.”

“Pat did,” I said, laughing – but it really isn’t a laughing matter – & really, he left a trail of creditors behind him – lots of people wanting to find him for various reasons.  Another thing – he keeps telling me that he’s going to find a good job selling cars but he’s never made money selling cars before.  I know that all the money he did make went to drugs but he wasn’t selling many cars – who the hell is?  I was feeding him before we became lovers – he was over all the time, wanting meals.  & now he says he’s going to make a load of money & support me?  He says he going to make a grand next year.  I would just like to see that before I go down there.  I’ve had enough of nickel & diming in my life.

& when you think about it – a grand isn’t that much money.  I was making that in one week when I was dancing.

***

How I hate Sundays.  Too long – too boring.  No money.  No joints.  A big breakfast & a lot of dishes.  Feeling fat & ugly.

Later on, we’ll go to Doug & Danielle – they’ve moved – & swim a little.  Until then – reading & more reading.

Newspaper full of Persian Gulf crisis.  Already bored with it.  Tired of hearing about it.

Evening.  We went to Doug & Danielle’s.  I had a nice swim but I really wanted a beer – really pissed & depressed that I can’t even have one.  I really want to blow off the entire program.  Actually I want it both ways.  I want my 6-month pin but I want a beer too.  I don’t want to get drunk – just a beer!  Just enjoy a little buzz.

***

In tears all day.  I’ve been really struggling lately.  It feels awful to be so depressed.  I have to get to more meetings – I need friends in the program – a local sponsor.  I can’t go on fighting like this.  Wanting a drink & unable to have one.  Unhappy with life.

***

I’ve been to meetings every day.  Monday night – a woman’s meeting – only four blocks away!  Tuesday – a meeting at UB.  Wednesday – my home group.  I may or may not go to one tonight but I am going to one tomorrow night with  Marie J., the secretary of Achievement Group.  She said she’d give me rides to other meetings too.  Things are looking up.

Excerpts From a Diary 42

[April-May, 1990]

[April]

I’m sitting at the Buffalo International Airport, waiting for a flight to Logan International in Boston.  This is no April Fool’s Day joke – this is really happening.  We couldn’t get a flight out of Cleveland, so this morning Bob & I drove here at the crack of dawn & now we’re waiting for a flight.  He’s coming with me.  I think my mother & Bob think I’m going to bolt – either here in Buffalo or in Boston – a place I really know nothing about, aside from my childhood memories – so Bob is coming with me.  Mom is too busy to deal with me, of course – Rocco is newly engaged & she’s busy with planning an engagement party for him & his fiancé this coming Saturday.   It was almost all she talked about – how nice Julie is & how sweet she is & how dedicated to her chosen field of social work & how sober she is.  Hearing about how wonderful Julie is almost made me want to go out & get plastered but I remembered how I wanted to get sober when I was talking to Jesse – it’s amazing how fragile that desire is.  I mean – I want to get sober but I just want to escape, too.

They’re having me to go some rehab in Lowell, Massachusetts.  I don’t know how they came up with that one.  I mean – what’s in Lowell?  My father always made fun of Lowell. “Low-ell” he called it.   Apparently some AA friend of Bob’s runs it.  It’s in some old factory or mill or something – I really don’t know.  It’s not very big.  There’s inpatient & outpatient services & I’m going to be inpatient for 28 days & then I don’t know.  I guess we’re going to play it by ear.  I don’t even know who’s paying for this.  I suppose my insurance – through Teddy’s work – I’m just not thinking about it.  Bob says not to think about it – he says my “best thinking” got me here.

Teddy called Mom last night & after talking to her for a little bit, she let me talk to him.  He got a phone!  After months of not having a phone & not being able to work because of not having a phone, the very first day I’m gone he goes & gets phone service!  I was fit to be had but there was nothing I could do about it.  He said that he thought it was a good idea that I was going into rehab.  I told him that I didn’t know when I would be back but I asked him – please – not to get rid of any of my books or anything else that belonged to me.  He said he wouldn’t.  He said that he was going into a program for men who “hit” women – that my mother was insisting on it.  He made it sound like he was doing it to please her because he really didn’t have a problem – any reasonable man would hit a woman like me, right?  I mean – he didn’t say that but I know that what he thinks.  He did say that he wants us to be living together again & happy again but after I hung up the phone, I couldn’t remember when it was when we were ever really happy.

I think that’s the entire idea with everyone.  Get Cori sober & get her back into her marriage with Teddy.  Which isn’t what I want at all.  I mean – I want to get sober but I know my marriage is over.  It’s been over for a long time.  Honestly – I feel more like getting wasted than ever.  I feel trapped.

***

I fell asleep on the plane.  It’s only an hour in the air but I went right out.  It seems like all I do lately is sleep.  It must be the shock of no drugs in my system.  Of course I’m still drinking coffee but it’s like it doesn’t even affect me anymore – like I’ve got the strongest tolerance known to man – I can have espresso & still fall asleep.  Pat always said that caffeine was a drug so it’s only logical that I could & would build up a tolerance to it.  Pat said that caffeine was a drug & so is the sugar that I put into my coffee – he said half & half was, too.  He could talk for hours on how dairy was one of the most addictive drugs to man & so was meat!  Pat could make an argument that anything at all could be used addictively & it was all part of Dukka & Samudaya – the First & Second Noble Truths of Buddhism – that 1. life is painful – mostly because we don’t or won’t realize its impermanence & 2. our insistence on clinging to these impermanent states & trying to make them permanent.  & getting over an addiction was simply the Third & Fourth Noble Truths – Nirodha, letting go & Magga, liberation from Dukka.  Honestly – when he talked about it, it seemed so simple – so why couldn’t he let go of his addictions?  To smoking cigarettes & doing coke?  To sex?  To gambling?  Maybe Jesse was right – it was all just talk with Pat – just something he said to sound virtuous & get unhappy babes like me into bed.  I felt worse than ever.  I couldn’t believe that my search for a better life & a new way of living had led me to Pat.

It took about forty minutes to drive out to Lowell from Logan.  Boston itself looked familiar – as we drove on the various expressways – but as soon as we got out of Boston proper, nothing really seemed real to me.  We were driving away from the ocean.  I felt really sad.  Somehow I had thought that I was going home but I was going somewhere completely else.  “Low-ell”.

Bob talked to me as we drove along.  “I know you’ve been to rehab before & you might think that you know about recovery & you know about AA,” he said.  “Go into this like you don’t know anything at all.  Go into this like you’re a complete baby in recovery.  Because believe me,” he chuckled, “you are.”

I didn’t say anything.  I didn’t know what to say.

“& don’t worry about Teddy.  Teddy’s going to be fine.  Teddy wants you to think he’s going to fall apart cuz you’re not there but he’s going to be just fine.  & if he falls apart – well, that’s ok, too.  It’s about time he faced the music on his own.”

“But we’re married,” I said.  Weakly.  & I only said it to say something – it’s not like I believed it.

“Are you?”  He laughed.  “Is that what you call it?  So – just what is my son Jesse’s role in that marriage?  I’ve often wondered.”

I didn’t say anything.  I never thought that anyone noticed Jesse & my relationship.  I always thought it was completely sub rosa.  I wondered who else knew.

He went on, “If you’re going to get sober & I mean really sober – not just quit drinking & using for a while – I mean a total change of life – if you’re going to get sober, you’re going to have to change everything.  Sometimes the people in your life change with you & sometimes they don’t.  But the fact is – you have to change.  & you have to change the way you live your life.  You understand what I mean?”

“Yeah,” I said, although I wasn’t all that sure just how I was supposed to change – other than stopping the drinking & the drugging.  Which seemed like enough for me at the moment.

“You’re going to have to make a break with your drug past.  That means everyone.  Even your husband, if that’s what it takes to remain sober.  If he isn’t willing to clean up his act, too.  You might have to move.  Find a new career.  Do whatever it takes.”  I must have been looking freaked out – I was just exhausted by that point – because he moderated his message a little.  “But I wouldn’t worry about that right now – just get yourself clean & healthy – everything else will fall into place – here we are.”

He pulled up in front of an old brick building – maybe 100 years old but it could easily be as old as 150 years or maybe older.  There was a star design worked into the brick that was decorative and beautiful.  I had never seen bricks so small & so delicate.  It was one brick building in a long line of old brick buildings.  The front doors were heavy & old & made of oak.  Over the doors was a transom made of granite & etched in it were the words: “The Blue Star Manufacturing Company” with a pentacle in between the words “Star” & “Manufacturing”.  A hand-printed sign on the door said: “Blue Star Rehab”.

We walked in & it was like walking into history.  Everything was brick and wood & wrought iron & just plain old.  The ceilings were higher than anything I had ever seen.  I felt like I was tripping.  Maybe I was.  Maybe by that point – with the swiftness of leaving Buffalo & going to Cleveland & then back to Buffalo to Boston & now here in Lowell – I was completely broken down & now in some other dimension.  But I have to be honest – I really don’t remember the intake – signing the papers – saying goodbye to Bob – going upstairs to the top floor where inpatient was.  I floated through all of that & then I was in my own room & sleeping – for days & days.  Or that’s how it seemed, anyway.

***

Last night I dreamed that I was at Pat’s place – I’m not sure where – maybe in Cleveland – I was in the kitchen – it was a mess – there was olive green appliances & a washer & dryer & stacks of pornography – the phone rang & it was Pat.  “When will you be here?”  I asked.  “I have all my things & I’m ready to move in – ready for our new life together.”

“We have no life together,” he told me.  “It is not our karma to be together.  You must accept this karma.”

“I won’t accept this karma!”  I argued.  “I refuse!  I love you!  It is our karma to love each other!  It is our karma to be together & you know it!”

“It is not our karma to be together.  You must accept this.”  & the phone went dead.

***

This morning I was interviewed by a counsellor.  His name is Lance but he couldn’t look less like a Lance if he tried – being rather pudgy & effeminate.  But really nice – really a nice dude.  Fabulous accent – the accent alone brought back so many memories.  It was like I was 10 years old again & hearing it for the first time.  “Supah,” he kept saying – that dropping of the ending “r” was tripping me back to 1970 & it was hard not to fall into the same speech pattern (“patten”).   He talked with me for almost two hours & I felt like he was on my side the entire time.  It was decided that I’m alcohol dependent, cannabis dependent, cocaine dependent & miscellaneous drug dependent.  Lance is going to be my main counsellor.  I have Angie for my group counsellor & Alycia, the student intern, who drives us to meetings every day.  We go to some meeting somewhere on a daily basis.  “Ninety meetings in ninety days,” Lance told me, “but you’ll be glad to get out of the building & you’ll be glad to be seeing so much of Eastern New England, especially since you’re not from around here.  It’s a way to sight-see while you’re getting some recovery,” which sounded suspiciously like a slogan but I just laughed & said that I would love to see Manchester-by-the-Sea, where I used to live.  So then we talked a little about my life there.  Not very much – my time was up – but Lance agreed that it was a beautiful place & that it had to have been hard for me to leave there.

***

I got a letter from Teddy.  I read it this morning before I went to group but I really didn’t have time to look at it closely & so I’m rereading it now.  He writes in pencil – which is annoying enough – but he says he uses a pencil because he makes so many mistakes & has to erase.  I mean – just cross out the wrong words – or think a little before you write.  Or write a letter & then copy it over.  I guess he doesn’t understand the concept of a first draft. 

He writes, “Ever since we have been together, you have been scared to tell certain things to me for fear that I would get mad.  This is before I ever got mad at you the first time.  In my opinion I think that 1. Your parents were that way with you & 2. You knew inside that what you wanted to tell me was something that you either did was wrong or knew you screwed up or something like that.  You did not want to admit that you had made a mistake.  You said more than once over the years that you were afraid to tell me things because you assumed I would get mad.  But there were plenty of times I didn’t.  What happened in a lot of cases is that I got mad because you tried to lie or cover up.  You assumed I would not understand.  I know I didn’t handle many situations like I should have, but I was at a disadvantage because you were untruthful with me.  I think most of the time you were afraid I would get on your case but most of the time you needed to be told when you screwed up just like I do from time to time.  You forgot that first of all I love you, & I only want to help you face up to your mistakes.  I know I didn’t always handle things well but after all I have my own problems with being immature.  I needed you & still need you to support me.”

His letter continued, “I still deeply love you, a love that is real & true.  With help from God, we could become great lovers as well as companions & friends again.  I think you have lost the feeling & memories of just how good it was & how good it could be again.  Please don’t shut your feelings off & rule out falling in love with me.  With both of us getting the help we need, we could be a great team again.”

I don’t know what to say – I admit I miss Teddy.  But it’s never been right – or has it just been me?  Blaming him when it’s really me – restless, discontented one – falling in love with Jesse – crazy in love with Jesse –

But – to accuse me of lying – I’m not a liar.  I was very careful about that.  I really hate lying & I hate people who lie. But to omit saying anything at all is not lying.  To say you’re going out & not say where you’re going is not lying.  To say you’re going here or there & not mention somewhere else is not lying.  OK – maybe it’s not completely honest, either – but it’s not lying.

& now this stupid thing with Pat – blowing up like dynamite – just gives him ammo.

I don’t know – I don’t know – is it all my fault?  Really?

***

Writing a letter to Teddy.  I have to show it to Lance before it gets sent out – it’s not like my mail is censored but I’m in “early recovery” & there are rules – it’s for my own good – I could be sabotaging my own recovery & not even know it.  & I don’t care – I really want to get better.  & I want to know – really – is it my fault?  The demise of the marriage?  Because – honestly – it seems to me that I acted in a very logical manner & even ethically – given the circumstances.

I wrote:

“I admit I never had any intention of being sexually ‘faithful’ – but I didn’t really think it mattered – I was emotionally faithful – at least until Jesse – & even then I still loved you deeply & was very loyal to you.  & the only reason I lied – if you can call it lying & it seems that you are determined to do so – is because who the hell tells the truth when they’re having an affair?  I mean really?  If we were having an open marriage, it would have been different.  But you made it clear that you weren’t interested in that.  & you also made it clear that you weren’t interested in me sexually.  So I was supposed to be faithful to a man who didn’t want to have sex with me.  I think that was asking a bit much.”  I added, “There’s some kind of emptiness in me – I don’t know what – maybe it’s connected to my need for ‘stardom’ – but I tried to fill it anyway I could – with drinking – with sex – it’s like I can’t see myself except mirrored in someone else’s eyes.”

I continued, “One thing I’ve heard over & over – in AA meetings & now with these new counsellors – is that I’m very hard on myself – too hard on myself – that I set myself up for failure – that I punish myself – that I don’t really believe in myself – that I don’t believe I deserve happiness.  For whatever reasons – my dad dying – that asshole of a stepfather – what happened in Gates Mills – Jon – who knows.  I was very open with you about my problems when we first met & you assured me that you would love me no matter what.  & now I’m the problem?  All I know is that this is all going to take time.  You are going to have to be patient.  Maybe it’s time you confronted your own chemical dependency issues.  Your own neediness.”

I finished the letter saying, “I also think that my problems – like your problems – existed before we were married.  The marriage wasn’t the problem – you & I individually were – & we have to get our shit together individually before we can do it together.”

***

I have just had the worst night since I have been here. I barely slept at all.  In the beginning, all I could do was think about Pat.  I sent him a letter last week – I know I shouldn’t have but I did & everyone in group got on my case about it  – & I haven’t heard anything back.  I wonder if he’s with Amy or with someone new.  Or if he’s even still in Buffalo.  Maybe the letter is just sitting in the mailbox & has been for days. I was in torment & I tossed & turned for hours.

Somewhere in there I did fall asleep & I dreamed I was smoking a joint.  I only did a few tokes & I was wasted.  They could smell it on the floor & it was a real problem.  I was really paranoid in my dream & that’s something I have never been in real life.  It was really amazing – how anxious I felt in my dream.  I woke up & I shook myself out of the dream.  I went to the bathroom & then back to bed – more tossing & turning.

I drifted off into sleep & another dream.  I was wearing my grey dress.  I was arriving at Eric Clapton’s house.  I saw a bunch of Clapton videos yesterday – I’m sure that’s where some of this is coming from.  He & his wife – not Patti, some other chick – were going to some show & they were taking me along with them – Eric & I had to wait for his wife to get ready & we went out to the yard – we were talking, our eye meeting & our hands touching.  The same electricity that Pat & I felt when we were falling in love.  Which leads me to believe that it wasn’t Eric Clapton I was dreaming about – but Pat.

Then the dream changed – Eric & I were watching TV & I was wearing my red & white checked dress that I used to wear in Manchester – that cute one from my freshman year in high school – it seemed like the dream went on forever as the sexual tension built & then he was making love to me – it was so intense & so real – I can remember every detail – it was just like fucking a god.

Then it turned into a nightmare – I was late getting home to Teddy & he was mad at me – he was taunting me about fucking Eric Clapton – “Was it like fucking God?” he shouted at me – we had a huge argument & I woke up crying.  It’s only a dream but nothing is just a dream.  I can’t ignore it any longer.  I gambled & lost.  It’s no use saying, all bets are off, I want to go home.  Because I’m stuck here – stuck going to group every day – stuck going to AA meetings.  Realization comes hard in the cold light of dawn.  & nothing changes it.

***

I got a letter from Pat.  He writes that he feels disconnected from me, unable to fully communicate & says that “somehow, someway” he has got to see me.  He says we should not try to “fortify or secure” our love – like grasping a rose – we would get pierced by the thorns.  He wrote that our love “simply is & that is that.”

I thought it was beautiful until I showed it to Lance, who said, “Just what the fuck is he talking about?”  & I burst out laughing.

Lance said, “Girl, you don’t need that kind of tomfoolery in your life, he’s not saying a word of sense, just a bunch of fine-sounding words that you can dance to & we all know how you love to dance.”  & I had to agree.  It was all fine-sounding words that didn’t mean a thing.  I’m not going to write back to him.

***

A lot has happened.  Because of writing letters & my daily diaries for group, writing my personal diary has taken a back seat.  But that’s the way it is.

I did a formal First Step in group the other day.  I had to stand up & say that I was “powerless” over drugs & alcohol – which I honestly don’t believe – & that my life had become “unmanageable” – which isn’t a question whether or not I believing in that – it’s quite evident.  I mean – my sweetheart of a husband is now a snarling beast – the guru lover I thought was going to save me has proven to be a false prophet – & I’m living in a converted factory & eating the worst food in my life.  They talk about people gaining weight when they get sober but I’m losing weight.  There’s almost nothing I can eat here.

The next day I did a Second Step – “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” – Again – I always knew that a power greater than myself could do anything at all – include take me in & out of sanity – so I didn’t argue with this or belabor the wording.  Lance says this step is about having hope & keeping an open mind – that recovery is possible & that none of us have to do it alone.

I was thinking about those two steps as the Ace & Two of Wands – the beginning of desire – the desire for a better life – a spiritual life, a productive life, a creative life – clean & sober.

***

I had a big blow-up with Teddy this morning.  Actually –  he was the one blowing up.  He said he talked to his counsellor.  He’s not in group because there’s not enough men to form a group – which sounds suspect to me – because what different does it make how many men there are?  & given how many women complain of being hit by their men – in AA alone – if there aren’t enough men to form a group, it’s because men deny being the problem.  He also said that he told the guy about me & my affairs – affairs?  Now I’ve had more than one? – & what happened with Pat & the guy said that Teddy was to “confront” me about Pat, my counsellors here, my group sessions, & “just how long” I was going to be here.  That just doesn’t sound right.  A counsellor for men with anger problems telling the guy with the problem controlling his anger to make a confrontation with the woman with whom he’s angry?  Really?  Somehow I don’t think any of that is true.  Teddy went on to say that Pat isn’t sick – he doesn’t have cancer – Pat lying to me – he’s not in AA – he’s still dealing drugs – & when I asked him where he was getting his information from, he refused to tell me – which told me that it’s Teddy who’s lying.  Because how would he know any of this?  He was hurt & upset that I would not believe him.  I tried to tell him, “It’s not a question of believing.  I really don’t care.  It has nothing to do with you & me.  As for you & me – I am not writing off our marriage, but I can’t save our marriage until I save myself.”

He just reiterated his demands that I stop writing & talking to Pat or he would come & bring me home.  Like he has any authority over my physical body.  & he doesn’t know that I’m writing or talking to Pat – he’s just assuming that I am!  But even if I am – he has no right to tell me what to do anyway!  But I’m writing & talking to Pat or anyone else.  I really am trying to focus on recovery 24/7 here.

I do miss Teddy.  I do love him.  I just wish he’d change – like I’ve been wishing for the last seven years.

***

In group, I told them what happened with Teddy.  So not I’m not supposed to talk to him or write to him or read his letters for a week.  I had to make a contract with the group.  Angie & Lance say that by focusing on Teddy – Teddy’s problems – his truck – his job – I am not focusing on myself.  I am always worrying about him – how he feels – what he’s gonna think – say – do – about whatever it is.  & I do worry about him constantly.  I have spent a lot of time writing to him – telling him things I’ve learned in therapy – outlining the 12 steps – helping him – trying to teach him & I just can’t take it anymore.  Or his pleading letters – letters telling me how badly he wants me to change – how much he loves me & wants me – all that.  The words have got to stop & the action has got to begin.

I’m not the only one with marital problems.  Both Benny & Curt are having them big-time & Lyle too.  Curt’s moving into a halfway house.

***

I feel bad.  I feel bad because I know Teddy is feeling bad.  Inside my head, I hear a voice: “How do you know?” & I have to answer, “Well, I don’t.”  Maybe he’s pissed off.  Maybe he’s happy.  Maybe – maybe –

The thing is, I have tried to help Teddy & I’ve got to stop.  I can’t help him or anyone else.  I can only help myself.  He’s got to motivate myself & help himself.  I’m in therapy – I’m going to AA – I’m moving ahead & trying to change.  Teddy’s letter seem like he’s changing – he is paying the bills or at least he says so – & I do believe him – I guess – but he’s not in therapy – he’s still totally in denial – he says he wants to learn to love me but he isn’t doing a thing!

I wish I could let it go!  Why is it so hard?

***

I told my story in group tonight.  It was tough – kinda – I know I went real fast – backtracking – so much has happened to me – it was hard to keep it linear.  On Monday, I’ll get “Tough Love” letters from the group & on Tuesday, I have to present letters in reply.

I have one month in sobriety.  So much has happened this past month I can’t believe it.  I’m so busy – the days so by so quickly – one day at a time – it’s amazing.

[May]

I got a letter from Pat.    He forgives me for “breaking” with him – I wasn’t aware that I had done that.  I mean – the letter I wrote to him spoke of recovery & being here for a long time but that was it.  Nothing personal – nothing I couldn’t show Lance or Angie.  Anyway – he writes that he has “complete trust” in me & that I am “mixed with the Dharma” – whatever that means.  He wishes nothing but the best for me.  Both Lance & Angie say it’s one of the most manipulative letters they have ever seen & that I am much better off with Pat out of my life.  “Sober or not,” Lance said.  “Sober or not.”

***

Today I turned 30.  The age everyone said I would never achieve.  How strange to celebrate it inside a rehab – on my second month of sobriety – no alcohol – no family – no friends except the news ones I have made here.

I remembered birthdays of my past – champagne – cocaine – piles of presents – going out to dinner – a beautiful cake – the kitchen help singing to me – being the center of attention – dancing all night long –

This birthday, I went to a meeting & when we got back, there was cake & ice cream in the cafeteria & everyone sang to me.  I started crying but it seems like that’s easy to do nowadays.

So then we played cards for a while.  I love playing cards!  I realized how nice it was not to be drinking – not to have to set it down each time I had to take my turn – being able to play well because I wasn’t buzzed – not being anxious because I wanted to go home & smoke a joint – not being out of weed & out of money all the time – not being all burned out all the time – it was such a freedom – such a good feeling!

& tomorrow I’ll wake up & I won’t have a hangover.  & honestly – I may miss catching a buzz once in a while but I never miss having a hangover.  If I have another hangover ever again, it’ll be too soon & as far as I’m concerned – no hangovers is the one & true reason not to drink.  The one & only reason not to drink.

***

I did my Third Step on Monday – I feel much better – like it isn’t my problem anymore.  I meditated a long time – I knew my decision was true & real.

The whole – “turning our will & our lives over to God” – really goes against my grain because I don’t want to turn my will or my life over to anyone.  Maybe I would – to Jesse – once upon a time – but I don’t know if I believe in that kind of love anymore.  But I had to think – there has to be some kind of deity.  I would rather turn my will & my life over to a goddess than a god – it wasn’t hard to visualize her once I got to thinking about her.  But I kept my visions to myself.

& I don’t think she wants me to give up my will.  I need my will to stay sober.  But AA is a Christian place so you have to keep your mouth shut & just take the good with the bad.  The rehab itself is more open-minded but it still uses AA terminology.

But having the first three steps done, I’ve gotten the first phase done of my recovery here and Lance says I’m doing really well.  I’m homesick but on the other hand I’m glad I came here.  I feel so much better.

Excerpts From a Diary 37

[Summer, 1989]

[July]

We got home at 3 p.m.  Coming home on the Thruway, I got totally bummed out – cuz of all the Deadheads on their way to the Grateful Dead concert at Rich stadium – I really wanted to go – lots more than I thought I would – & when we got home – Paulie & Javier were just leaving – the whole house smelled like pot & they were meeting friends who had acid – they strapped beers to the back of Paulie’s bike – I was so depressed!  I really felt bad – even though the kitty-cats were so loving & so happy we were back – purring, purring, purring – & after a took a hot soapy bath & washed my hair – I did feel better – but the clincher is this – I finally got my period.  It was so late I was beginning to worry – yes, I’m on the pill but you never know – but anyway – it occurred to me that if I had gone to the concert, I would have gotten my period at the show & that would have been a complete drag – especially if I had been tripping.  So – talk about your silver linings – right?

***

Watching “Magnum P.I.” & smoking a joint.  We just ate cheese, pepperoni & crackers – we have a lot of that stuff leftover from camping.  We eat a lot more when it’s cooler.  We have $10 for tonight’s dinner but we probably won’t eat until later on.

I slept until 9:30 this morning – I could’ve slept longer but I was hungry.  We were out of bread so I went downstairs to borrow some from Paulie – he & Javier were partying – still tripping – Paulie gave me a cup of coffee with TripleSec in it & a fat joint & they preceded to tell me all about the concert – I must’ve gotten a contact high because soon I felt like I was tripping – later on – Javier went home & Paulie went to the store.  Paulie came back with beer & chops & got out the grill & cooked up the chops, covering them with a mixture of hickory-flavor barbecue sauce, steak sauce & Tabasco sauce.  They were killer.  After that, I went upstairs & watched “Kiss Me Kate” on TNT – unpacking & doing dishes during the commercials.  I’ve been out of it all day – I’m bleeding real heavy – really bad cramps – plus it’s a steamer of a day – I should have laid outside in the sun & improved my tan – but it’s too hot – too hot.  They’re predicting thunderstorms for tonight – I’m hoping for a really good storm – lots of thunder & lightning – especially lightning.

***

Just had a great dinner – fried haddock, ranch fries & coleslaw – all from the Bailey Fish Market – on the corner of Bailey & LaSalle.  It was really good.  We gave bits of fish to the cats – who thought it was really good, too!  Now we’re watching the evening news & smoking a joint.  We picked up a really nice bag from Patty O. – only 2 grams short.  Remember Patty O?  From Cleveland?  He’s living here in Buffalo now & selling weed & coke – & cars – that’s his straight job.  I was so surprised to see him.  He seems to know everyone everywhere he goes.

We’re not working tonight – & not doing any blow – unless Jesse’s man comes up with something – but we’ve been waiting 2 days already – Jesse said the dude is beginning to flake out.  That’s the way it goes.  I can’t tell you how many connections we’ve gone through – it always goes the same way – when the connect is new – everything’s great – the lines on the mirror are thick & long – the bags are overweight – he’ll front you a gram, two grams, an 8-ball – he’s in a great mood all the time – he will tell you that he doesn’t snort coke himself – he’s into it “for the money”.  As the weeks/months progress – or digress, ha ha – the guy starts to party more – & the bags start being underweight – & he won’t front you anything anymore – cuz he’s most likely in debt to his man – there’s smaller & smaller lines on the mirror – until they disappear altogether – & then he does.  & then you have to find a new connection.  That’s why you always have to have more than one connection.  It happens like that – with a few variations – every damn time.  Anyway – we’re not partying tonight – not with coke, anyway.  We have joints – & tortilla chips & salsa – & I can & probably will make some popcorn – it’ll be a nice, quiet evening.  Meanwhile – I’m all ready to go – in case a party calls – you never know.

***

Hot.  Sultry.  Supposedly stormy but not yet – it’s clear now – totally clear – it looked stormier this afternoon.

Working hard, hard, hard.  Working on the story – doing a new inventory of books.  Tomorrow I’m going to the downtown library to get another load of books & study reference books I can’t take out.  It’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow – I hope so – the outfit I’ve picked out will be uncomfortable if it’s anything like today – but I should be home by noon at any rate.

***

Raining.  Thunder & lightning.  The windows are closed – the fans are on.  It’s hot – it’s summer – that’s for sure.  But nowhere as hot & humid as last summer – not yet anyway.  Up until today, it hasn’t been humid – just hot.  Well – not since the holiday.

I’ve been working hard – inventorying my books – a slow job – working on the list of names & numbers – writing – housecleaning – closet cleaning – booking parties – creating new outfits.  I’ve been feeling wonderful – not my body – my back & my knees are as bad as ever – but my head is good – I’m happy – unexplainably happy – must be this 6 year – I am just so happy playing with my books – my cats – slowing getting stuff written – sleeping a bit more – maybe – maybe my sleeping is just a higher quality than before – the only problem I’ve had recently is a migraine headache last night – put me to bed – & a foggy feeling this morning – I need an adjustment!

***

Hot, hot, hot – & humid.  Steamy is the word.  It was 74 at 7:30 this morning!  It’s supposed to go up in the 90s today – yuck!  No housework today.  I dusted & maybe I’ll vacuum but it’s already so sultry that all I want to do is sit in front of a fan & read.  I’ve closed the curtains to keep out the light.  Where we don’t have curtains, I’ve hung sheets.  I’m gonna stay cool no matter what.

***

The trick is to get up early & get as much done before it gets too warm – which is now – & then stay immobile the rest of the day – sleep through the afternoon – & then resume work in the cool of the evening.  Not that the evenings cool off much.  Every day, they’ve predicted thunderstorms & rain but it’s held off.  Watch – it’ll be pouring Friday night – when I have 3 parties to do.  I hate this weather!

Totally upset.  No joints – maybe later on – but I feel awful – I swear – food doesn’t digest correctly if I don’t smoke a joint after dinner – the shrimp & French fries I ate feel like rocks in my belly – I feel like shit.  Teddy & I have been bickering all evening.

***

Still no weed.  Pat’s an asshole.  We’ll see him tonight – he’s supposed to be dropping off some coke – but that won’t be 10 or later – probably later – Pat’s always late.  We feel better than yesterday – who could feel worse – besides it’s cooler & a little less humid – it’s windy & looks like it could pour any second – but it’s looked like that all day.  I got a lot done today – inventory, housecleaning, laundry.  I’m dying to smoke a joint – but I guess I’ll have to wait.

***

Noon.  Sleepy.  Menstrual blues.  Teddy’s home from work with a cold.  I got bitten Saturday night – what’s wrong with these guys? – right inside the top of my leg – right into a muscle, which is probably why it hurts so much – it’s totally black.  I’m just gonna hang out with Teddy & watch TV – read, sleep & throw the Tarot – I’m gonna try every spread I have – just for the fun of it.

Evening.  I’ve been throwing the Tarot & trying out different spreads & drawing diagrams of spreads all day – except, of course, when I had to make dinner – & when I took my afternoon nap.  I’m beat – but tomorrow I’m gonna do more – I have lots more spreads to try out.  Besides it’s so much fun.  You can’t help thinking of poems & stories & characters when you handle the cards.  They tell me stories.  The ideas go round & round in my head.  Meanwhile – I study, I learn, I think about everything.  I am not ready yet to use what I know.  But soon – soon I will know what to do & how to do it.

[August]

Teddy didn’t go to work again today.  Now both our throats are sore.  We slept until 11 a.m.  I got up – made coffee – took a bath & did my hair – cleaned the cat box – got the garbage together & took it out to the curb – & now we have steaming cups of coffee & a fat joint – regardless of our throats!

Afternoon.  Watching a really dumb Eddie Cantor movie called “Kid Millions” – with Ethel Merman, Ann Sothern & George Murphy – dumb plot but good tunes – actually no plot.  We’re just eating breakfast – cheese omelette, bacon & rye toast.  Now an afternoon of dumb movies, joints, tarot cards & naps.

A hour later.   The phone just rang.  Teddy was in the bedroom sleeping & I was dozing on the couch & I let the call go to the machine.  I heard this fantastic piano track – it was a song I didn’t recognize – I could pick up some of the lyrics – “so baby give me one last kiss – & let me take one long last look – before I say good bye” – & something about “the end of the innocence” – the piano sounded like Bruce Hornsby but it’s so hard to tell on the machine – oh well – the message is clear.  I’m just glad Teddy is sleeping.  I half expect to see Jesse trolling around the block.  He’s got to see Teddy’s truck parked out front.  But of course he can’t send music to my answering machine & drive by my house at the same time.

Night.  I just put Teddy to bed.  He’s been sleeping all evening anyway.  I’ve been busy copying Tarot spreads from the notes in my diaries & the New Feminist Tarot.  I see it’s gonna take me a long time to try each one out – but I’m gonna do it.

***

Teddy went back to work this morning & I went back to bed.  I felt guilty for maybe thirty second before I fell into a dreamy sleep.  I didn’t sleep long but I felt a lot better when I when I woke up.  The light was on the machine when I walked into the dining room.  I rewound the tape & played it.   “All She Wants to Do is Dance” played on the answering machine.  I had to laugh – the man does not give up.

I called Jesse.  He took the day off from work to collect rents.  He wanted to know if I wanted to meet for a drink.

“Sure,” I said.

***

I just came in from the porch.  I didn’t really feel like laying in the sun but I was beginning to look rather sallow – so I kinda had to – it’s always better to look golden when you’re taking off your clothes in front of a room of drunk men.  Plus – the right set of tan lines can be very slimming.  Which I kinda need lately – the way I’m eating & drinking.  I can’t keep the pounds off like I used to.  Although part of me likes me a little more rounded.

***

I had the most delicious dream about Pat.  He & Paulie had painted our living room blue – ceiling & all – & we were all drinking beer & smoking joints.  Paulie went downstairs to get more beers & I went down on Pat – I remember perfectly the shape & largeness of his dick – & the wonderful taste of it – & his glistening semen.  & I remember perfectly how after he came – he cupped my breasts in his hands – & kissed them again & again – until I woke up – too soon –

***

I have a lot to do today – housework, laundry, inventory, writing – running to the Credit Union to pull some money out of the account – always so much to do –

Added to my mixed-up emotions is the fact that Pat is here today to help Paulie paint the house.  I guess Paulie is paying him.  & I just had that dream about him!!

I just spent the last hour talking to Pat – I told him my dream – just looking into those large blue eyes – I was falling in love – I asked him about how he was able to party without drinking – he said he just didn’t want to drink.  “It isn’t necessary,” he told me.

The last time I got sober, it was total abstinence.  But maybe there’s another way?  Maybe I can just stop drinking – & keep smoking weed.  I know once I stop dancing, there won’t be any money for coke & I really don’t mind giving that up.  Maybe just for special occasions.  Holidays or birthdays.

Afternoon.  Jesse just called.  I’ll see him tomorrow – honestly, I don’t know if it’s Jesse who’s buying from Pat or Pat who’s buying from Jesse but the center point of the two is Teddy.  I’m just trying to stay balanced.  But feeling so good – so alive!  Then Teddy called & told me that he’s been thinking about me all morning – am I loved or what?  Who could ask for anything more?

Sitting in my office – the Dead on the tune box.  Outside – Pat & Paulie are painting.  Inside – I’m wet & wild & dreaming – dreaming of big fat cocks & a man with big blue eyes pushing it into me.  Oh – whisper my name – just once!  I’ll be there – I’ll be right there – waiting for you to cum & cum & cum again.

Evening.  I went outside & hung out with Pat for a while – Paulie was on the tope scaffold.  Puns – very bad puns – & dirty jokes were flying all around – Paulie was calling Pat “Norton” – which is wild, cuz I’ve always thought of Paulie as a Puerto Rican Ralph Kramden – Cindy is certainly Alice – anyway he had some weed so we came upstairs & smoked a fat joint – Paulie thought we were looking for something to stuff a bird’s nest hole so he stayed out there painting – anyway, we smoked this joint & talked – told bad back stories & Grateful Dead stories – & the sexual tension was out of sight – it was great – I love that tension – sometimes I think the tension is better than the release – & I’m gonna let this tension grow & grow & grow – cuz I got the feeling that the release is gonna be fantastic.

***

Well – I got totally smashed yesterday.  I got home after Teddy did & we had a major argument – I ended up admitting that I was with Jesse – not that there was anything to tell – all we did was drink & talk & sing off-key – but of course, Teddy was really upset & hurt that was I was with Jesse.  But whatever.  Nothing to do but try harder – be more loving with Teddy – make up for being such a shit yesterday.  I mean – it’s not like I did anything – Jesse & I do more talking about sex than having sex – usually we just get wasted.  But I guess that’s enough.

***

Oh, I’m so upset!  Teddy is such a jerk!  I suppose I shouldn’t have lost my temper with him – but he pisses me off!   I’m tired of him not listening to me – I’m tired of his stupid lectures!  Oh – I wish he’d call back!  He drives me nuts!

I’m watching “Show Boat” – the 1951 version with Ava Gardner – I saw the 1931 version a few months ago – they’re both great – I have been in tears all afternoon – I could play Julie – I could be Julie – “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man of Mine” – it could be the story of my life.  & that other song she sings – “Bill” – oh, I love that song –

Later.  Teddy’s home & we’ve smoked a joint & are now fine & mellow.  I made up a shopping list & sung him some songs from “Show Boat”.  We’re going to the store after I finish my beer.

***

We went to the Erie County Fair today.

Tonight is the full moon.  A full lunar eclipse – which we on the east coast will be able to see – for the first time since 1982 – if only the clouds clear!

Night.  Smoking our last joint.  Downstairs – Paulie & Pat are burning the old paint off the house – a very distinctive smell – I went out on the porch & flashed my pussy at them.  Teddy is reading his Disney book.  “Murder She Wrote” is on – it’s placed in Seattle – at a university that could be Becky’s – in a street scene, I saw a storefront with the sign – “Sacred Circle Gallery” – it must be so nice there!   Downstairs – they’re blasting Janis Joplin – “Summertime” – this could be a movie I’m in – sure does seem like it sometimes – anyway – I always like hearing Janis.

9 p.m.  There’s a ridge of clouds to the east but you can see the bright light through the wispy edges.  It’s clear above.  Soon the whole sky will be lit.

9:15 p.m.  The skies have cleared & the moon is full, full.  Bright & shiny.

9:45 p.m.  The moon is half-obscured.  Really impressive.

***

Sitting on the porch.  Wonderful hot afternoon but lovely cool air – actually no humidity & a lovely breeze – I’m filled with joy – an amazing full joy.  I can’t explain – visually I’m not tripping – but emotionally I am.  Late summer joy!  I wish I was camping!

***

Stomach flu.  Depressed.  No money – no weed – no beer.  A weekend spent down in Lackawanna – after we were doing so well for so long!  Parties cancelling – people being assholes on the phone – petty arguments with Teddy.  Over it all – a constant pain in my belly – it feels so tender.  Always sleepy but I can never sleep – my mind never shuts off – never leaves me alone.  Sometimes I wish I were a bit of fluff.  Sometimes I think life would be a lot easier.

Evening.  We’ve been arguing all evening.  We’re pulled tighter than a bowstring ready to release – I feel so awful.  I’m so sick of never having any weed.  Why is it always so dry around here?  I know it isn’t in other parts of the country.  It isn’t fair.  On the news all you hear is “The Drug Problem” – what drug problem?  The only drug problem I’m aware of is there’s not enough to go around.

***

At last – the end of the week.  This was the longest week I’ve ever lived through.  It was a drag!  Tonight we have one party – tomorrow, three – maybe four – no cocaine all weekend – I mean, there’s no way we can afford it.  Teddy really fucked us but good last weekend!  Oh well – that’s water under the bridge I suppose.

***

Getting things ready for camping.  We’re leaving Tuesday, after Teddy gets home from work.  I can hardly wait to go – I need a break – I need to get away – get into the woods – away from the everything – all the assholes – all the stupid parties – everything – everything!

All the disappointments – lately – all the let-downs.  Oh, this weekend will drag like molasses!

***

I woke up with such a pounding headache – another migraine – or maybe it’s just allergies – I feel like cement’s been poured into my head.  Last night, we got fucked over on another job – this happens so often now I almost feel like I’m being hired because guys know I’m reliable & then try to hire another girl & just use me if they can’t get someone else.  It’s like my good reputation is working against me.  Anyway – last night the guy who hired me told me that because I hadn’t gotten there at 10:30 “on the dot” – that guys had left & they couldn’t pay me my full amount – which didn’t make sense of course – & being me I said so – I said, “What, they left & took the money they had paid to get in?  Because the dancer wasn’t here?  Even though they ate & drank?” – He said yes! – Fucking liar!  I couldn’t believe it – smiling & lying to my face like that – I mean, what kind of bimbo do they think I am?   I said, “That’s not how it works & you know it!”  I was pissed.  Teddy stepped in – “Just so there’s no hard feelings, we’ll leave,” but of course that’s what they wanted anyway.  They probably had another girl coming & didn’t want us intersecting.  As I was leaving, someone pressed $40 into my hand & said, “Thanks for showing up anyway.”  At least there’s still a few gentlemen in the world.

***

Busy.  Packing to go camping – we’re leaving tomorrow when Teddy gets out of work – today I’m doing laundry – packing all the clothes – all the non-perishable food – books, games, etc.  When Teddy gets home, we’re going to get wood & then we’ll pack the trailer.  Tomorrow I’ll make tuna-mac salad – Teddy’s favorite – & finish cleaning the house – & do some writing.  When he gets home, he’ll take a quick bath – I’ll have already taken mine – while I load the coolers & pack the last minute items.  I’m dying to go.  On Saturday night, I worked 3 parties – without coke – & it was the first day of my period, too – so I got drunk – & Teddy & I had a giant argument on the way home which continued at home & into the next day – he wasn’t going to go shopping for the trip but I managed to persuade him to anyway – & shopping put him into a better mood – me, I was hungover & just as soon have done it some other time – except there really wasn’t any other time – I had to get sick twice at Wegman’s.  I came out of the stall after puking & this lady was there giving me this look so I said, “I don’t know if I can do nine months of this,” & her expression softened & she said, “Oh you poor dear” – am I bad or what?

Well – I gotta get back to work – lots to do today.

***

Teddy’s gone already – off to an early start – so he can get out of work as early as possible – which won’t be any earlier than 3 p.m.   After we finished loading everything up, we have to run over to Jesse’s house for the half o.z. he dropped off last night – I knew Jesse would come through!  Everything’s fallen into place.  We blew off getting a bottle of Kahlua – as well as a few other things – to save money – we still have Kahlua in the bottle from the last camping trip – I wish I hadn’t hit on it so much these last few weeks!  Oh well – it’s still gonna be a great trip!

***

Sampson State Park, Romulus, N.Y.  Up early!  Turned on the Today Show to get the weather report.  We can only get 2 stations here – both from Elmira-Corning.  That’s ok – we don’t plan to watch much TV here anyway!  We went to bed early – no later than 10:30 – we were beat!  It was really hot & humid last night – by the time we got here – got set up – & ate a couple of hot dogs – we were really tired.  We didn’t even start a campfire.

We’re on site #169 – great numbers – reduces to 7 – & there’s large old oak tree here.  Most sites were filled – we were really bummed out.  But then we found this one – such good vibes here!

The first joint of the day has been smoked – time for walnut meltaway & cups of coffee!

***

A perfect day.  Riding – boating – eating – drinking – smoking – now listening to “Old & In The Way” – throwing the Tarot – I couldn’t leave my cards at home, could I?  I dream all the time about the people in the Tarot – they have become people I know – in my own life & in the life of the Tarot.  I think in terms of the Tarot.

[September]

Cold & stormy.  Raining & windy.  Seneca Lake is dark blue – chopping – filled with appearing & disappearing white-caps.

I keep hearing acorns hitting the roof of the trailer & tumbling off.  & the sound of raindrops.  I love the sound of the rain on the canvas.

I put Don Henley on.  “The Boys of Summer.”  “I can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun – ”   – Who can I see?  Today I’m thinking about Donovan Murphy – “Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac – ” – of course, there’s a Deadhead sticker on our truck – Teddy’s & mine – Teddy, who is sitting right next to me & munching on Cracker Jacks & reading Nashville Babylon.  Every now & again, he’ll tell me some tidbit.  We smoke joints, munch out & read.  Maybe later, we’ll play backgammon – maybe even Yahtzee or Gun Rummy – & most likely take a nap – what else do you do on a rainy day camping?

***

We’re making some burgers.  We forgot to have dinner!  It’s been a gorgeous day – warm, sunny – we had a wonderful time – ended up by fucking – the first time since Labor Day last year – & then sleeping for over 2 hours! – took a long time to wake up, too.  Anyway, we smoke some joints & took a cruise – watched the sun set over Seneca Lake – then made a camp fire – when I realized – “Gee, we never had dinner!”  “No wonder why I’m so hungry,” Teddy said.  We laughed.

***

Another lovely day.  Not so warm as yesterday, perhaps – a bit more windy.  We went for a cruise this morning – stopped & bought a half a dozen donuts.  We just finished breakfast sandwiches– fried eggs with Canadian bacon & melted American cheese & fried onions on a roasted & buttered English muffin– really excellent.  Now we’re inside the camper – Teddy is cleaning roaches.  We’re getting low on everything – weed, money, beers, food.  But that’s alright – we’re going home Tuesday morning anyway.  Needless to say – part of me can’t wait to go – I’m homesick & I miss my kitty-cats so much!

Afternoon.  Just woke up.  Teddy’s still sleeping.  It’s probably the hottest part of the day – right now.  You can hear the drone of the boats on the lake.  I’m drinking a beer – oh – Teddy just woke up.

Evening.  I have been dreaming about Pat – I can’t believe how often.  Someone I was with – once – a long time ago – so long ago it’s almost like we were never together – I’ve changed so much from the girl I was in 1980.   & I may never be with him again – I don’t know what the future holds.  He’s stopped by a few times – but of course just as many times – if not more – he’s here to sell weed or coke to Teddy or Paulie – or to paint the house – he’s painted far more of the house than Paulie has.  I know he wants me – he knows I want him.  He admits he’s playing hard to get.  I admit that I don’t mind.  It’s so tough – having a husband & a lover – too tough.

But it’s really tough having a husband who only makes love to you once a year.

Why do I need this?  I don’t know why but I do.  I’m not so sure that I really want to change, either.  But sometimes change is imposed upon you & there’s no other way – like trying to stop the phases of the moon or the turning of the earth upon its axis.

***

People are pulling up stakes – folding or rolling up sleeping bags – pulling out jacks & going home.  The people across the street were gone by 8 a.m.  The one guy was really attractive – a big guy, a little stooped – must have a bad back – curly hair, mustache – definitely not poster material but there was something about him – he had to be a Taurus – at least a Taurus rising or moon in Taurus – he had those bovine good looks.  A real nice ass, too.

Anyway – we should have this place to ourselves tonight.  We’re almost out of cash – we’re almost out of everything.

Afternoon.  Sitting by the lake on a log that obviously was once driftwood.  It a beautiful day – not a cloud in the sky.  Lots of sails on the lake – windsurfers, catamarans & sailboats – they look so pretty.

I don’t want to leave – but I’m so homesick at the same time.  Always two things going on in me – always conflict.

***

All packed up & ready to go.  Just smoking our past joint.  Teddy’s gonna roll up two roaches while I break the circle I cast last week.  Then a quick pee & we’re off.

We have to stop in Geneva & stop at the bank – at the Bell’s supermarket – & return our bottles – that’s how broke we are.  That’s life.

Night.  Home again.  We got here around 1:30 – Teddy ran downtown to get money from the credit union – then we ordered a pizza.  After we ate, we took a nap – the kitty-cats with us – they really missed us!  It is so nice to be loved the way they love us.  I woke up when Shadows started licking my lips – that rough tongue will wake anyone – oh, I hugged & kissed them a thousand times!  I missed them so much!

I’m real glad to be home.  I’ve already booked a party for Saturday.

Later.  We just got back from an excellent ride on the bike.  We had to go out to Jesse’s for another quarter o.z.  So then we stopped at Imperial Taco & Burrito for a quick bite & at Wilson Farms for some groceries.  It’s a really beautiful night.

Teddy doesn’t have to go back to work until next Tuesday or Wednesday.  We’re going to ride a lot – go on day trips – do the things we’ve wanted to do & never have to time or the money to do – play putt-putt – repot the plants – go to Zoar Valley – etc.  Teddy is still moaning that he wishes that we were still camping but I’m so glad we’re home.

***

3:25 p.m.  We just got back from a cruise to Darien Lake State Park – it was closed – & we were going to go to Evangola State Park but it started to rain so we stopped in at Alton’s for a truly horrible lunch & now we’re home again.  I feel so fatigued.  Lately, it seems all I want to do is sleep.  But I can’t get to sleep or I do sleep but I get woken up too soon, too often – I can’t sleep for more than an hour or two at a time.  It’s really a drag.

I feel mildly depressed – I feel fat & ugly – & I hate my hair.  I guess that’s life.

***

Just finished cleaning the house.  Did some laundry – finished another book on the Tarot – made an old outfit into a new one – what else?  I have been dying to party.  You know – cocaine blues.  Darryl just called – we could go into debt tonight – but oh well – it just can’t be done.  I’ve got three parties tomorrow & one on Sunday – so we’ll get a little bit tomorrow night.  I’m gonna take a bath in a little while & then make dinner.  We’ll take a cruise on the bike tonight – we would’ve gone somewhere today but until about an hour ago, it looked like it was going to pour.  Later on, we’ll stop in at Falco’s.

I guess I’ll go mix myself an afternoon cocktail.

Evening.  I was doing a Tarot reading & the phone rang – I was engrossed with the cards & I let the machine get it – nobody spoke & in the background, I could get the chorus of “The End of the Innocence” – I had been looking at the Strength card & thinking about recovering from addiction & if being with guys like Jesse was an addiction & then the phone rings – does he have emotional radar or what?  Maybe he really does have locks of my hair – maybe he really has me in bondage – but wouldn’t the Devil card be more apropos?

I was wondering why my relationship with Teddy isn’t more rewarding.  The II of Cups card came up & the meaning is “deep love affair or spiritual union” & “relationship with a kindred soul” – & I always think – Who is that person? Who? – Why can’t it be Teddy?  Oh, we’re alike but it’s not like he’s a poet or a musician or artist or something obviously creative.  Maybe that’s why I’ve never really taken the relationship seriously.  I know that sounds terrible & it isn’t easy admitting it.  But it’s got to be true – I love him so very much – but it’s our major difference.  That & sex.  But sex is a creative act – so maybe that’s how it ties in.  I do love Teddy – terribly so – & I don’t want to live without him.  But I want a resolution.  Is it possible?

Another card that came up was the Queen of Swords, in this case reversed –  it was in the position which told of the  “Intellect & working life of the Querent” – which would be me, of course – “A woman lacking in compassion – sharp – jealous – a woman absorbed in patriarchal modes & values – ruthless.”  Am I ruthless?  I guess so.  I go for what I want & I get it.  Usually, anyway.  But I wouldn’t say I lack compassion – I really wouldn’t.  &  – as a stripper – I can’t help being absorbed in patriarchal modes.  After all – the whole marriage scene – the engagement parties, stag parties, showers, the entire wedding production – the rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself, the reception, the honeymoon – it’s all a celebration of patriarchy.  I think I do the best I can to maintain my feminist ideals.  It’s not easy – I admit that.  & I do admit that I’m tough – I’m very tough.  I can be sharp – I can be a primadonna – I can be a bitch.  Sometimes I have to be – they don’t have any respect if I don’t act like that.  They’ll walk all over me if I’m sweet & nice & retiring.  I do admit that I’m bitchy more than I ought to be or even like being.  I could say that I had to become this way because of the business I’m in but not only is this not true but it isn’t even a valid excuse.

“The Heart of the Matter” – the Queen of Cups – another part of me – ya know – I always pick the Queen of Pentacles as my significater – if the spread demands one – cuz I identify with her most closely – the earth & money & creativity.  But I identify with all the Queens – I am all the Queens.  Anyway – the heart of the matter is the Queen of Cups – the Queen of Hearts – which is what Jesse always called me – probably because of that line in “Desperado” – “Don’t you draw the Queen of Diamonds, boy, she’ll beat you if she’s able, The Queen of Hearts is always your best bet” – Anyway – The Queen of Cups is the emotional, romantic, poetic, sentimental, yearning, wanting to be heard part of me – the other side of the Queen of Swords.  I would love to be the Queen of Cups but I have to be the Queen of Swords.  I don’t want to – but I made my choice – I chose Teddy – I chose stripping as a job – as a way to make a living – which means I have to be a Queen of Swords & not a Queen of Cups – & I chose stripping for very practical reasons – Queen of Pentacle reasons – for money – which is really ironic, when you consider than I never have any money – anyway – the Queen of Cups is very strong in me – no matter how many times the Queen of Swords may cut her down, she always grows back.  & because of the choices I’ve made, I’ve had to deny her – sacrifice her – silence her.  & ya know – it just ain’t working.  She wants to be heard – she wants to live – to grow – to thrive.

***

Depressed.  Striving to stay cheerful.  I had three parties last night & two cancelled – we spent all our money on coke – I have a party tonight but $100 goes to Jesse & $50 to Doug – leaving nothing for us – unless I make a lot of money in tips.  Oh, I’ve got to!

The stress of living like this is really getting to me – my stomach aches continually – I just don’t know what to do.  I’m gonna apply at AM&A’s & Berger’s downtown for a part-time position – not that either of those places pay much – but I’ll feel a little better.  I could make lots more as a barmaid but – let’s face it – bars are not good for my health or my marriage.

I’m going nuts.  I feel like I’m being crushed by debt.  I can’t even afford to buy typewriter cartridge.  What kind of writer can I be without a typewriter?

Well – might as well pop a couple of Rolaids & put on my make-up.  Try to stay cheerful – anyway I can.

***

We are starting to talk of moving.  There’s been a “House for Sale” sign in the window downstairs.  I asked Cindy about it & she said Paulie wanted to sell it after he finished painting it.  Paulie has been really pricky to us – overnight he has turned into a total dickhead.  It’s funny how throughout the last 8 years that I’ve known Paulie, I’ve seen him lose every friend he’s ever had, so now it’s my turn.  I know what it is – I refused to have sex with him this month when we were late with the rent.  I just don’t want to do it anymore – I feel like such a whore – I guess it was when Pat started hanging out all the time – painting the house – & Paulie would come up & want to do me & I didn’t want to with Pat right there – that’s when all the problems started.  Hanging out with Pat & talking about AA & Buddhism & women’s spirituality & religion & – I guess I’m getting prudish in my old age but that’s the way it is.  So now Paulie’s being a prick & apparently we’re going to have to move.

I mean – that’s life.  Paulie hasn’t been speaking to us at all.  Today – trying to be friendly – like there wasn’t a problem – I asked him where they wanted to move.  He told me that they were being “forced out.”  “Forced out?”  I asked.  “Why?  How so?”  “Forget it,” he answered & shut the door in my face.  I mean I know what’s going on.  & even without the sex – I mean – being a week late with the rent isn’t going to “force” them “out” of anywhere.  I mean – until recently – both of them – as city employees – had to live within city limits!  That just changed & they can move to the suburbs if they want to!  & I know Cindy wants to – she’s from Williamsville.  Marco is almost school-age & naturally she wants him to go to school in the suburbs.  That’s what I figure they’re going to do!  So what’s this being “forced out” BS?  & what the fuck – they both work & the both make good salaries – it’s not like the rent Teddy & I pay them are going to break their bank account.  What’s the big deal?  Why don’t that sell that car that’s been sitting in the back yard – for the last year?  & what about Paulie’s new motorcycle?  Buy a bike & lose your house?  None of this makes sense.  Could the fact that I’m not giving Paulie his blowjobs be that important?  What’s really going on?

Anyway – who knows & who cares.  I’ve started reading the real estate section of the newspaper.  Actually – it’s kind of exciting!  Moving’s a drag but – maybe this is the change I need!

***

Teddy went back to work this morning – vacation’s over!  It seemed like he was off forever.  I felt like a mother sending her child off to school for the first day – part of me sad to see him go – part of me glad.  Drinking my coffee alone.  Making up a list of chores – mending, straightening up the house, putting the couch back together again – trying to smooth out the sag in the cushion where Teddy always sits – making myself a nice small breakfast – poached egg on toast – not the giant ones Teddy always wants – like steak & eggs or pancakes & sausage or eggs, bacon & home fries.  Oh well!  Time to get busy – I want to get a lot done today.

***

Raining.  Steady rain – it’s been raining all day.  Watching a college football game.  Just ate a piece of apple pie – boy, can I bake ’em or what!

I dreamed I was with Darryl scoring blow last night.  I was picking up an 8-ball to bring home for Teddy.  We were doing the deal in the guy’s bathroom – he was sitting in an empty bathtub as he took care of business.  Darryl cook up a rock as big as my thumb.  I was doing hits off the pipe & worrying that I was taking too long & Teddy would be mad at me.

I’ve got two parties tonight – not until later on.  Might as well take a nap – sleeping’s good on a wet afternoon.  I hope it’s not raining tonight.

***

God – I feel so fatigued – I slept really lousy last night – Missy kept waking me up – stupid dreams – I got up this morning & busted ass cleaning the house – doing laundry – all my costumes – changed the cat box – took the garbage out – stripped & remade the bed – then took a bath & washed my hair.  Now I feel exhausted.  I should get to work on my resume & get it sent into Canisius College but I’m too lazy – plus I really want to go back to UB – I really only want to go back to UB – I don’t know why but it’s like I started out there & I want to finish there.  At least my BA.

I’m gonna sit & read & sip some chicken soup & maybe take a catnap – then maybe I’ll work on it – or maybe I’ll just inventory some books or work on a story or some poems.  I really don’t know what to do – I just feel so worn out.

Afternoon.  I did a Tarot reading & the outcome was the King of Cups & as I was laying it down, the phone rang & it was Jesse again – amazing how that works – I picked it up – he said he went to the doctor & his back is all messed up from pipefitting so many years & he’s got a script for hydrocodone & he’s going to be selling at least half of them.  If case Teddy’s interested.  Or me.  I know that I’m interested but I know I don’t have the money to be spending on pills.

***

Years seem to have passed since last Tuesday.  We’ve been told to get out of our apartment – so we went right out & found a new one – put some money down & sign a lease.  Now I can hardly wait to go.  The place is a lot smaller than this one – we’ll have to store a lot of our furniture – at least until we figure out what to do with it all – sell it or give it away – it’ll be really a hassle moving – eight years in one place – I’ve never lived so long in one place!  We’ve accumulated so many possessions!  I don’t really want to deal with any of this at all.

We stopped in to see Shera – I mentioned that I had was into the Tarot & she said she did readings too – she showed me her Wiccan tools & her altar – I would so love to have an altar like that – but in this new place it’s going to be impossible.  I can’t believe we’re going to live in a place this tiny.  & it’s downstairs too.  I hate living downstairs.

Anyway – Shera & I are supposed to get together on Saturday & make wreathes – I don’t know if it’ll actually happen – but just the fact that we talked about witchy things & she offered to teach me – I feel like life is changing for the better – even as I am so depressed about moving – there is hope

Change, change – happening so fast – after such a long time – it’s hard to believe that I’m moving.  I’ve lived here longer than anywhere I’ve ever lived.

***

I’m so excited.  All I can think about is moving.  In my mind about is moving.  In my head, I’ve already moved in & am unpacking & putting them on the shelves.  It’s gonna be the coziest place.  We’ll have to strip down & essentials – half our furniture will have to be stored or given away – of course we’ll use as much as we can stuff in – & I won’t re-do the collage – at least not right away – it’s falling apart from the effects of gravity – I wish I could keep it together somehow.  I plan to only hang the framed pictures – my personal artwork will be stored.  I won’t need to use my knick-knack shelf as a spice rack anymore, so that will be stored too.  Just about everything is being stored – everything except the books & I have no idea how I’m going to fit them all in.  I can hardly wait to set up the kitchen – the fridge is modern & huge – there’s a large freezer & real hydraters & it’s frost-free – I won’t have to defrost it every month anymore – the only fly in the ointment is that the stove’s electric – but I’ll learn to deal with that.

Oh – I just looked out the window & the sunset’s absolutely killer!  Soft blue & pink & grey & purple & orange – bands of colored clouds shifting hues & positions.

***

Urgh – out of weed.  But in a good mood.  Teddy found a place to store the trailer for only $20 & it’s nearby.  On Sunday, we’re putting the bike away.  It seems like we just brought it out of storage.  But we want to put it away before we go on vacation – we don’t want it unattended while we’re gone – you just never know – Paulie’s such a flake.  The arguments downstairs are never-ending – I woke up this morning to the sound of angry voices & accusations.  Oh well – soon we’ll be out of here.

I read & wrote poetry all day – worked hard on “The King of Cups” – just like my love affair with Jesse – it is getting out of hand – it’s over two pages long!  But it reads well & sounds good.  I’ll set it aside for a few months & then go back to it & probably edit out half of it!  That’s the way it works!  I read every single one of my poems last night – I don’t know about anyone else – but I sure do like what I write – I think it’s pretty damn good!

***

Urgh!  Really frustrated.  No weed – still – got taken advantage of by Darryl – again! – I’m so tired of this!  Here it is – after dinner – & no after-dinner joint – I have a quart of Blue in the fridge but what the fuck – I wanna get high – not drunk!

Other than that – today was OK.  I went over to UB to read.  I had only finished one book when the fire alarm went off & everyone had to evacuate the building.  I decided to go over the UGL & read some more.  On the way over, I ran into a guy – not a student – he was wearing a tie & jacket & was carrying a brief case – he said he worked for Harper & Row.  “Oh yeah?”  I said.  “I’m a writer.”  “Oh yeah?”  he replied.  “May I buy you lunch?”  We went to Norton Union & got pizza & apples.  We talked – he’s 41 – married – no kids – lives in Rochester – deals mostly in textbooks – but he has friends who deals in novels & poetry.  He seemed really interested in my novel – but of course he was really interested in me.  We’re supposed to get together on Tuesday so I can show him some of my work – I wonder what else he would like to see?  I guess I don’t wonder – he was certainly horny enough.  I don’t give a damn about that – I just want to get published.

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 36

[Spring, 1989]

[April]

I’m the only one awake.  Teddy’s been asleep since 4 p.m.  I feel asleep for maybe 15 minutes – I was watching a really good movie – “Manhattan Melodrama” with Clark Gable, William Powell & Myrna Loy – my eyes were closing but I couldn’t sleep – the movie was so good.  I’ve smoked a couple of joints & blown the smoke in Teddy’s face but he won’t wake up.  I’m amazed I’m not sleeping.  I barely slept all weekend – we were up all night both Friday & Saturday – I’ve had maybe 2 hours sleep since Thursday.  Oh well – I can sleep all day tomorrow – Teddy has to go to work.  When he wakes up, I’m gonna make an omlette – ham, capicola, onion & cheese.

I forgot to mention that Felix stopped by last week – well last week being as traumatic as it was, it’s no wonder that I forgot – anyway he’s the new Sunday d.j. on WYRK.  Naturally we forgot to listen today!  Oh well – I’ll try to remember next week.  Sunday’s are so burned out anyway – it’s hard to do anything smoke joints, munch out, read the paper & snooze.

The hockey game is starting.  Maybe the broadcast will wake Teddy.  I hope so – I’m hungry!

***

Coffee & joints.  Grateful Dead playing downstairs.  Pouring rain outside – it’s supposed to rain all week.  I’ve got a cold – by-product of this past weekend’s partying, no doubt.  I’m on the couch, under layers of blankets.  The kitty-cats are playing.  They are so sweet.  They were fixed last week.  Shadow’s big balls are gone!  I loved his balls!  Oh well.  It’s better this way.  They had to stay overnight at the vet’s.  I was a wreck the whole time they were gone.  Well, I was a wreck all last week anyway.  I feel much better this week – even with this cold!  Although I’ve already gone back on my resolve – yesterday there were two songs on the answering machine when I got up at 11 a.m.  After Teddy called at 11:30, I called Jesse – our conversation was nothing like usual – I was in such a good mood – we talked like friends – not lovers – & it was a whole lot nicer – certainly more comfortable.

***

Working really hard.  Threw out half the poems in the fifth section – wrote 3 new ones – at least first drafts – this afternoon.  Still recovering from the weekend.  Never feel really awake – just floating from room to room – not really here – the words of my poems running through my head – the emotions through my heart – it is not an easy process – resurrecting feelings long ago aborted.

***

Well, you’d never know it was April – it’s cold, windy, snowy.  The electric heater in the bedroom broke so we’re camping out in the living room.  It was another wild weekend – I slept until noon today.  I’m watching a Humphrey Bogart-Dead End Kids movie.  I’m tired – so tired.  Just sitting & reading & watching TV.  Teddy will be home soon.

3 p.m.  I was laying out tarot cards for a reading & the phone rang – I let it go to the machine since I was doing a reading – a song came on, “Seesaw” by Talas – “I build you up, you bring me down again, it happens every day” – I looked at the King of Cups which was in the “what covers” position & I said out loud, “Well, if that’s how you feel, then fuck you!”  Ya know, I can only take so much of this silliness.  I feel like calling back & saying, “If you think this relationship is a seesaw, then get the hell off!”  But why call?  Why let myself in for more hassle & upset?  Silence is the best weapon.

***

Woke up depressed.  I had too many dreams – one in which my knees ached so badly I couldn’t walk upright & Tish had to help me along.  Later – I was at UB & I ran into Mark Miles & Jon Kudzma – we all sat in the cafeteria & talked – I can’t remember about what – then I was with Jon – I was dressing up in my red lace corset, garter belt, stocking, etc. & we were laughing & going to make love – but then I was waking up & teddy was bitching at me because he couldn’t tune in WHTT – made at me because I had tuned in another station yesterday – why didn’t he check it last night?  Oh well – I look out the garbage, ate breakfast & then I put my night shirt back on & went back to bed.  Or rather – went back to the sleeping bags on the living room floor.  It’s still cold – my office is freezing – I don’t get any work done in there today.  I’m just gonna lay out here & doze & read & write some poems.  I’m working on one about Nabby Adams – the daughter of John & Abigail Adams.

The worst thing of all – we’ve been out of joints since Friday – we know where there’s weed but we have no money – there’s another thing – I’m sick of making thousands of dollars on the weekends but having nothing left by mid-week.  Knowing that on Thursday, we’ll be rolling in dough again but that doesn’t help us now.  Life sucks!

Noon.  I feel better after a two-hour nap.  I’m gonna bake some cookies after I watch the credits on the noon movies.  It’s a Gene Kelly musical.  I’ve never been a big Gene Kelly fan.  I prefer Fred Astaire.

Do some laundry – bake some cookies – read some more.  I also have to go through the newspapers – I’m behind – days & days.  This movie is already so corny I don’t think I can stand it!  My stomach’s growling – lunchtime!

***

I’m watching a really good movie – corny but good – “Montana Moon” – 1930 – with Joan Crawford.  Yesterday afternoon, I saw “Blonde Crazy” – 1931 – with James Cagney & Joan Blondell – that was really good.  I love to see the clothes, the cars, the appliances, the furniture – the culture that existed in America at that time.  I’m learning so much!  I know that sounds crazy – learning culture from movies – & sitcoms – & I suppose, soaps, too – but they teach courses like this in colleges – I saw it on “60 Minutes” – so I can’t be very far off-base.  I guess I miss out on the discussion part of a college course – the give & take of ideas & attitudes.  But sometimes I really do feel that I’m leaning – & have been learning – as much, if not more – if I had been in school.  But I so long to be in school.  I really hate that I’m not there – I feel like I’m wasting my time.  I do the best I can in my limited way.

A song just came over the answering machine – “Eye in the Sky” – who the hell does he think he is – telling me that he can read my mind?  Of course if he interprets my silence as what it is – that I want to end the relationship – & I suppose he will since he’s no fool – then I guess the song’s correct – if insulting.  I’m not replying – at least not right now.  I’m sleeping – sleeping – or something or another.

A minute later.  Oh brother!  “I Will Always Love You” is playing over the machine!  How corny can you get!  I should send “You’re No Good” back.  God – he’s playing the entire song.  You really have to wonder.  Is this goodbye?  Somehow, I doubt it.

Evening.  Teddy’s out cold next to me.  He went to the dentist for a root canal today – he got sick in the chair from the gas & from the way the dentist was pressing on his tongue.  They couldn’t finish the job.  He has a giant hole in his tooth now – it’ll be there until he goes back May 10.  What a drag!

***

Coffee & joints.  Instant oatmeal for breakfast – I would’ve had a poached egg on toast but the bread was moldy – I couldn’t make biscuits cuz we’re out of milk – boohoo!

It’s warming up but still unseasonably cold.  We’re still sleeping in the living room – not out of necessity – it’s not that cold – but because it’s fun!

I’m gonna throw in a load of wash before the movie starts.  It’s another Joan Crawford one.

Later.  It’s a quiet afternoon – the cats are asleep – after a morning of wild chases & ambushes – I’m in the kitchen – reading through old poetry pages & selecting the best ones to cut out & put into my poetry notebook.  I’m eating a bowl of ramen noodles.  After lunch – more poetry & then a biography of Marie Antoinette.  Work on a poem until Teddy gets home.  Today I work a party downtown – I should probably take a nap!

***

Oh fuss & bother.  Teddy’s getting out of work at 1 p.m. – he’s gonna take a quick bath & then off to Lackawanna to do a deal & help Darryl move.  I guess his furniture – stove, fridge, sofa-bed & dresser with no drawers – has been in the yard since Tuesday.  I have to have my bath out of the way before Teddy gets home & suppose my hair done too cuz Lord knows how long everything will take – our first job is in Lockport at 5 p.m.  I was against getting anything before the job – I thought, let’s do it straight & then score afterward – the next job isn’t until 8 & the last one at 11 p.m.  Really, what a lousy schedule – they’re too far apart.  I hate large gaps between jobs.  It’s as bad as having them booked too close together.

I haven’t received any more songs on the answering machine, so I guess that’s that.

***

My head aches – I’m deliriously tired.  I honestly don’t know where to begin – I guess at the beginning – it just seems like years ago.

Yesterday afternoon, we went down to Lackawanna & picked up Darryl. Teddy handed him the money & the scale & they drove off together, leaving me with his brother Tony – “Twizzo” – at Tony’s apartment.  A little while later, Teddy came back – alone.  “Darryl said he’d do it & return,” he said.  I didn’t like the sounds of that.  We waited & waited & waited but Darryl never came back.  Finally – we had to leave so we could get to the 5 p.m. party on time.  At home, I called the party to say we’d be late but there was no party!  Naturally that was upsetting – we were upset enough already!  & I was pissed at Teddy for leaving Darryl as it was – leaving the money with him & the scale.  I mean, it’s not the first time!  I made a quick dinner & then we went back down to Lackawanna to look for Darryl – who was nowhere to be seen or found – of course.  We enlisted the help of his brothers – Julius, Tony & Rome.  But of course we came up with nothing – & it wasn’t like we had any more money to do another deal – Teddy had given Darryl everything we had.  Teddy said we’d be back at 9 to do another deal.  On the way home, he said, “We only have two jobs for tomorrow night, we’re really hurting for money.”  I answered, “Then why are we going to do another deal?  Let’s hold onto our money.”  He argued, “Well, what about the eleven o’clock party?”  I reasoned, “It’ll be tough but not impossible.”  I mean, I’m the one who’s dancing, after all.  That remark – plus a few others – really set him off.  He refused to work anymore parties – ever again.

Now – I don’t mind giving up the business – I’ve been sick of it for a while now – plus with all the coke we do, it’s not like I’m making any money anyway – & I’m sick of doing coke – I really am – as much as I love to party – & I’d do a line right now but I’m so fucking sick of it – but I don’t want to quit the business cold turkey.  We have no money!  We have to work!

Anyway, I put on my coat & hat & went over to Doug & Danielle’s.  That got him really mad!  He called Danielle & told me not to come home.  Five minutes later, he called again & wanted to know where I was.  “But you told me not to come home,” I replied.  He hung up on me.  When I finally got home, he had rigged the lock so I couldn’t get in.

But when I rang Paulie & Cindy’s bell, he let me in.  He probably didn’t want any problems with Paulie – who would take my side in any case.

It was a quiet night.  He would smoke joints with me but not talk to me.  Sooner or later we went to bed but no hugging or cuddling.  He stayed on his side of the bed with his back turned to me.  In the morning, the argument continued.  “I hope you know,” he informed me, “that we are really hurting financially & it’s all your fault.”

“I’m not the one who refuses to work,” I replied.  There was more said – what’s the use of going into it – he thinks he’s right & you can’t argue with Teddy – he just shouts you down anyway.  After he left, I broke down – I sobbed like I haven’t cried in ages.  I called Danielle & brought her up to date & then I called Tish.  I talked to her for quite a while & then I talked to Rocco – he’s staying with her.  I also talked to Paulie – naturally they heard the entire argument downstairs – it’s impossible to keep anything quiet in this house – & Paulie gave me a joint & a beer.  I saved the joint for when Teddy came home.  He still wasn’t talking to me & not being any too nice but I was striving my utmost to stay calm.  Around 12:30, Darryl called.  “Don’t worry, I have you covered, I’ll call you back in 30 or 40 minutes.”  Teddy’s attitude totally changed after that.  Of course!  He made breakfast & we smoked our last joint & took a nap – his arms around me.

Of course Darryl hasn’t called back yet.  Teddy’s still sleeping – the kitty-cats with him – I didn’t sleep.  I went down cellar & got another beer from Paulie.  I’m gonna do another codeine & mellow out – I have no idea what’s next – what to expect – or even what to do.  All I know is that I’m broke – out of food – out of work – but I’m resolved to make a change.  It won’t be easy – I’ve tried the easy way & it doesn’t work – now my only tools are strength & prayer – & believe me, I haven’t stopped praying for the strength to get me – & Teddy – out of this rut & into a better scene.  I will do it!  I will!

***

Well – we worked Saturday night.  When Darryl called back, he told Teddy he needed $75 to get anything.  Teddy said, “I don’t think I can get any more money.”  I was exploding with rage.  Teddy hung up with Darryl & started dialing another number.  “Who are you calling?” I demanded.  “Robbie Reagan,” replied Teddy.  “Why?” I wanted to know.  “Gee whiz, Teddy, we’ve already given Darryl $150 – !”

“I just want a little to work tonight,” he answered.

It was the same argument all over again.  “We don’t need it to work!”  I was so angry I couldn’t believe it.  “If I can do without, so can you!  I mean, I’m the one who’s dancing!”

“But I want to have fun!”  I wanted to smack him – he sounded like a whiny little brat.

I took a deep breath & prayed for patience.  “Teddy, I admit it’s fun to party.  But we can’t afford it!  & doing stags ought to be fun without coke!”

Well – I won that battle – we worked – without any coke – & we had a good time – although the physical pain of dancing – my back, my knees, my ankles – was almost unendurable.  But at the end of the night, we had all our money – we didn’t have to run back out to Lackawanna to pay off Darryl & then subsequently stay all night partying.  We went home & ordered a pizza.  & what a great pizza!  Mushrooms & onions & black olives on my half & pepperoni & sausage & ham on Teddy’s half – extra cheese on the whole thing.  We watched Saturday Night Live & then the Twilight Zone & then we went to bed.  On Sunday we woke up – feeling good for once – at the incredibly early hour of 9 a.m.!  We went out & got donuts.  We went out & got weed.  We went out & shopped at Wegman’s.

Not that the day was completely smooth.  We continued talking & discussing the situation – Teddy still refuses to concede that we have a problem – or that he has a problem – or that a complete break is needed.  There were times I was crying behind my sunglasses.  Late in the day – though – he gave in – kind of – he agreed to work next weekend without any coke – he said, “I just figured out that if we don’t do any coke next weekend, we’ll be just about out of the hole.”  Like, DUH!  “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!”  I almost shouted.  “So we agree?  We don’t buy any coke until we’re out of the hole – our debts are paid – we calm down – ” “Agreed.”  We shook hands.

Naturally, this is only a start.  I still plan to look for a new career – a new way of making money.  I still plan on cutting back on stags – so that by the end of the summer I can retire.  But I’m gonna take things slowly.  Like they say in AA – one day at a time.

Oh, what a tiring weekend!  I feel so worn out!  But it’s a warm sunny day – the birds are chirping – the kitty-cats prancing around – I’m gonna clean up the house this morning – then take a bath – then write all afternoon.  Probably I’ll take a nap somewhere in there too – a lovely little catnap with my lovely little kitties.

Afternoon.  I’m watching “Little Nelly Kelly”.  I’ve never seen it before.  It’s corny but good.

It’s a nice day – cloudy but warm.  I have the front door & the windows open – the air smells so good.

I feel fat & ugly.

I feel like the weather – warm with periods of sunshine but mostly cloudy & threatening rain.

***

I’m in a wonderful mood – a really good mood – even though we fell off the wagon last night – Curtis stopped by – oh well – enough said on that.  I felt really guilty & reproachful last night but I can’t wallow in those feelings – just sigh & try harder next time.  Besides – it’s not like it cost us anything – & it’s the money issue that really gets to me – as well as my – & Teddy’s – sanity.  I also want to stop dealing with Darryl & that whole Lackawanna scene – it was so nice sitting in our comfy living room – doing a few lines – smoking a joint – playing cards – no paranoia – not sitting in some drug house – in the near-dark – people banging on the door – people wild-eyed, waiting for their next hit – no, I don’t need any more of that!

I’m just gonna take a quick look at the morning movie & then write – I thought of a new way to make the book work – but I’ve got a lot of writing to do – at least I feel like it – the book’s had me so frustrated.  I just had to leave it alone for a while.  But today I attack anew!

First – breakfast.  Second – go through the newspapers.  Third – straighten up my office.  Fourth – rewrite “The Rainbow”.  Oh, to be productive!

Evening.  I found $18 in my typewriter today.  So that’s where I put it!  I looked all over but never thought there.  Well you never know, huh?  So we went out & picked up the new photos.  Most of the pictures were of the kitty-cats – of course.  Our babies are so photogenic!  Oh, they’re so beautiful!  There’s one picture of Shadow in the bathtub – what a doll!  A somewhat blurry one of Missy looking at herself in the TV – Shadow & Missy playing in the chair – sitting on the cushions – walking into the dining room – oh, they’re so adorable, so lovable, so wonderful – we love our kitty-cats so much – there are no cats anywhere that are loved more than our cats.

***

I broke down & called Jesse.  I left the beginning verse of “It Makes No Difference” by the Band.  I dreamed about him last night – he was sitting at the bar at Falco’s & I was arguing with Morton Downey Jr.   I ended up telling him to fuck off.  That’s the second time I’ve dreamed about arguing with that asshole.  I wonder if I was really arguing with Jesse – or with someone else.  Or if the dream is literal.

Anyway, I wonder if he’ll call back.  I wonder if he’s even at home – oh, there’s the phone.  Nothing!  Someone hung up.  Could be Jesse – he’s like that.

I’ve got lots to do today – I’ve already done the housework – I’m gonna write all morning – then walk – I’ve got to buy Ginny P. a belated birthday card & I thought I’d mosey up Bailey Ave & check out the shops.  Maybe stop in at Falco’s – & say hi to Anthony.

***

I’m watching a Virginia Mayo movie – it’s kinda dumb but ok – a typical Warner Brothers picture – Virginia Mayo played such hard-boiled characters – I feel a murder coming up – someone’s getting framed.

I went out yesterday – walked up Bailey Ave & stopped in at Falco’s & had a few beers – I was about to leave when Rolf Johnson came in – Wayne Johnson’s younger brother – half-brother – I hadn’t seen Rolf in a long time – I thought he looked terrible.  He has that heavy drinker look – puffy around the face & jowls – he told me he had been in a car accident last Saturday morning – totaled a $16,000 car – a dealer car – his sells cars at Honda Village – anyway, I stayed for another beer – & another – & a shot with Rolf – then I realized what time it was – Rolf offered to give me a ride home – but first we had to do a shot for the road – & then we had to drive around the block a dozen times – smoking a giant joint – Jeff gave me a few Xanax & I took one & pocketed the rest – he’s a nice guy but really fucked up.  He wanted a blowjob & I was like, here?  In the car?  Are you crazy?  & yeah, he’s crazy like that.  Naturally by the time I got home, Teddy was really pissed off – we got in a huge argument & he knocked me down – he hit me again when I was trying to get up.  I stayed down – the Xanax was kicking in & with the shots & the beers I was too tired to fight anymore anyway.

Later on, Teddy was really sorry & really repentant – “There’s no excuse for me to get physical like that,” but in a way I don’t blame him – I can argue like a motherfucker when I’m drunk – I’m absolutely fearless – & besides it’s contact – not sexual but physical contact & that’s better than nothing – it’s sick but true – & I have so little sexual contact with Teddy – none!  & it’s not the first time he’s hit me – but usually he just yells at me.  Either way – things have got to change – got to change – got to change!  Oh – but change is so slow & I want results now!  Oh well – just gotta try harder.

Evening.  It’s so quiet.  No TV, radio – nobody’s home downstairs – the kitty-cats are fast asleep.  I just got out of the tub.  I tried taking a nap but the phone kept waking me so I gave up.  I frosted the cake I’d baked for Teddy – yellow cake with chocolate frosting – & then sliced some cucumbers & tomatoes for a salad.  I haven’t eaten them – I salted then & put them in the fridge to chill.  With a touch of vinegar, they’ll be real tasty – whenever I do decide to eat them.

I should clean out the tub & run Teddy’s bath for him.  He’s working late today – he’s painting – but he’ll be home soon.

***

Quiet.  Teddy stayed home from work today – he’s sleeping now – he’s been sleeping most of today.  I’ve been sleeping off & on – you know how hard it is for me to sleep during the day.  I just took my last 222 – so hopefully I’ll be able to doze off soon – I have two parties tonight.  I know we shouldn’t have partied last night but what can you do?  We have made some compromises – we’re not quitting coke – I never thought we would – honestly, I didn’t – but we’re not dealing with Darryl anymore & if we can’t find any to do our Saturday night parties, then we don’t do it & we have a good time without it.

Another reason I’m having trouble sleeping is that my ankle is killing me – it’s bruised & twice its normal size – it feels hot & it’s throbbing.  At first it was only bothering me if I accidentally touched it or turned over on it while sleeping but now the pain is constant.  I hope is just a bad bruise.  I have to dance all the parties I’ve booked this weekend because the money’s so badly needed.  So I really suppose I should get some rest.

***

Another unseasonably cold day.  Regardless of the cold, today is the day Teddy’s pulling the bike out of storage & driving it to Cal’s – where it’s gonna get tuned up, the oil changed, braked checked, air shocked fixed, windshield put on, etc.  He’s doing that now.  Robbie Reagan is with him.  I decided to stay home so I could do a few things & I’m glad I did – I just got my period.

***

I’ve got my period.  I feel – yicky.  Tired – achy.  I slept all morning.  I’m gonna smoke a joint & then take a bath & do my hair.

It’s a cloudy day – a bit warmer.  It was sunny but chilly all weekend.  They’re predicting warmer weather by the end of the week – we’ll see.  We’re going out to dinner Thursday night with Doug & Danielle & if it doesn’t warm up, I won’t be able to wear what I want.

I forgot to tell you Friday that 2 songs were on the answering machine.  I couldn’t reply because Teddy was home.  Today I sent the beginning of “Tequila Sunrise” – but I haven’t gotten any answer.

Also – Doug took a trailer to Sherkston the other day & our section is totally changed – it’s all seasonal now.  then only places you can camp are behind the store & on Wyldwood Beach.  So – no more Sherkston.  Well – it’s been a long time coming.  Teddy’s heartbroken, of course – he’s been camping there since he was a kid.  But in a way, I’m glad.  Now we can go to other places – see other things.  I’d love to go to the Thousand Islands.  Or the Finger Lakes.  Or somewhere up in the Adirondacks.  Or New England!  The possibilities are endless.  & did I tell you we want to go to California around Labor Day?  I can hardly wait!  See – things are looking up.  I’m even having fun dancing again – I think it’s because I know I’m retiring soon.  So many things to look forward to – so many things that used to seem so far away.

***

A beautiful spring day.  Sunny – warm – I cleaned the house – put some of the screens down – did 4 loads of wash – the street has been alive with people.  I’m so glad – it’s been winter forever.

Teddy knows that Jesse’s the one leaving tunes on the answering machine.  Usually I delete them before he hears them but when he was home Friday, he heard the two tunes & he wanted to know who would do anything like that – & he’s heard them other times, too.  So I told him.  He gave me the third degree about whether or not I was seeing him – which of course I denied within an inch of my life.  I would have admitted seeing him – if I had to – but I would have said I was getting painkillers off him – which is true, anyway.  I would have told Teddy that I get pills off of Paulie & Rolf Johnson & anyone else I can.  I’m so tired of being in pain all the time.  I’ve seen Rolf several times this week – he’s at Falco’s every time I’m there.  & with the nice weather, I’ve been stopping in almost every afternoon.  I know he wants me.  & why not?

Anyway – I told Teddy that I didn’t really know why Jesse was putting songs on our answering machine – honestly, how could I? – I really don’t know what Jesse is thinking.  One day he started putting songs on the answering machine!  But they brighten my day & I said that I thought that was probably the only reason why he was doing it – it wasn’t anything more than that.  They’re usually just snippets anyway.  & ya know – I really don’t care.  I’ve stopped caring what Teddy thinks.  I’m a good wife.  I’m make lots of money & hand over every penny to him.  I’m a good housewife.  I’m a good cook.  I’m a good mother to the kitties.  I’ve stopped complaining about the lack of sex – & it’s not like we have sex anyway.  I’m loyal to him in every other way – I don’t see why I have to be celibate just because he wants to be.

***

[May]

Feeling better – finally.  I was sick for days – we fell off the wagon – went down to Darryl’s new place – got into smoking & I got really sick – I started throwing up & couldn’t stop – I wanted to leave but Teddy wouldn’t – he kept hitting the pipe – he didn’t care that I was sick – I couldn’t believe it – it was a nightmare.  Finally home & it has taken me days to feel like a whole person again – plus it’s been raining for days & my knees & my back have been aching beyond belief – but today I feel better – at least I’m happier – in a good mood – it’s May & it’s warm – although raining for the last few days – but I don’t care, I love spring rain – everything is so green – the red blossoms are falling off the trees & little green leaves are appearing – the new flowers are blooming – forsynthia, tulips, daffodils, crocuses, narcissus – it’s so beautiful – it took so long to spring to get here – it’s hard to believe that it’s really here!  Still – I suppose it could still snow!  Oh well – I guess we’ll wait & see what happens!

***

Eating a hot dog & watching “Murder She Wrote”.  Had an absolutely exhausting weekend.  My knees have gotten so bad that dancing is agony.  I’m so tired of being in pain – so tired.  It really wears you down – emotionally as well as physically.  I don’t know how much more I can take – if I can make it to the end of summer.  It’s such a drag – it really takes the fun out of dancing.

Tomorrow I’m going downtown to the library & get a book about resume writing.  I’ve been marking job possibilities in the paper.  The phone rings endlessly – message after message of jobs – upcoming stages – guys who’ve seen me before & want me again – want me to dance at their stag – & I just can’t do it anymore – the pain is killing me.

***

I’m watching “Murder She Wrote”.  It’s a lovely warm evening – getting cloudy but still lovely.  It got up to 69 today!  It was great!  I went downtown to the library – got some books out on job hunting, resume writing & re-entering the job market – really!  Then caught a bus over to the West Side & met Jesse at one of his places.  He just evicted the tenants & it was a mess.  I was wearing my old pink paisley ruffled skirt & a denim shirt & a white ruffled petticoat underneath – white lace garter-belt & white lace stocking & my white suede cowboy boots.  & musk oil – I felt very sensuous & sensual & he knew it – very warm, full, womanly – I love making love in the sunshine –

Afterward, he gave me a ride over to Falco’s & I walked home after a few beers.  A perfect day.

***

I’m really sick.  Teddy’s come down with it too – he went to work but he’ll just do the bare minimum & come home.  I was supposed to go out today but that’s now off – I couldn’t have left the house anyway – I’m so sick.  The weather doesn’t help at all – cold, rainy, damp.  Tuesday was the only nice day we’ve had all week – the only nice day in eons – no wonder we’re all sick – with this dampness – oh, where the hell is spring?

Night.  Jesse’s supposed to call – we’ve been waiting since 5:30 – he’s picking something up – but obviously something’s gone wrong.

I’m feeling much better – Teddy’s 24 hours behind me – I was just working in my office – we’ll just smoke a few & munch a little & eventually fall asleep.  We slept all afternoon.  I got up & took a bath & washed my hair around 4 p.m.  I made slopping joes & fries for dinner.

The phone just rang – it’s Jesse – nothing’s happening – I guess I’ll throw the Tarot around a little – then read – I have way too many library books to read – plus today I received a birthday present from Anna – a book called Amy’s Eyes – it looks really good.  Plus I have to started reading drama & books about play-writing – I thought – what if the story about The Canteen & the dancers is told in a play/musical format?  I think it would work.  I’ve been thinking about it all day.

***

Yesterday was the worst day of my life.  Everything went wrong – I started our defrosting the fridge.  I looked underneath the sink to get a sponge & discovered the drain has a major leak – has been leaking for a while – it was a mess – 2 inches of sludge & mold – which of course I had to clean up – then I when I was returning the cooler – I put the food from the fridge into the cooler when it’s defrosting – I accidentally knocked the watering cans off the landing & down the back stairs so there was water everywhere – I had I clean that up – then I was going to wash the kitchen floor – I removed the tablet & chairs – then swept – then scrubbed the cupboards & walls & woodwork & while washing the window, I accidentally knocked the piece of dowling holding the window up – or maybe it just broke – anyway – the window crashed down on my right hand – the middle finger & my ring finger – they must’ve heard me screaming all the way downtown – I can barely hold a pen today.  My middle finger is 3 times its normal size & completely black.  I did manage to mop the floor – after a while!  Danielle came over with a joint & told me to keep ice on my fingers.  I did – off & on – all night.  Today Teddy told me to do nothing – I still have a bad cold – or maybe it’s allergies – or maybe pneumonia – who knows – who cares.  I was supposed to meet Jesse today but I had to blow him off – he’s pissed but I could care less.  It’s going up to 75 today!  All sun – no clouds!  I’m going to put on my bikini & lay in the sun!

***

A breezy overcast day.  Already hot.  I picked up quite a bit of color yesterday – I was only out 45 minutes.  I have the lawn furniture on the porch – a little outdoor living room.  The kitty-cats have trouble with the concept of a porch – open air bothers them – also the noise of the traffic.  Shadow – of course – is more adventurous than Missy.  But they’re both scaredy-cats.  I’m sitting out here right now.  Shadow’s in the window – meowing – he wants me to come in.

Last night was so much fun.  Instead of going out to dinner – which is what we usually do to celebrate a birthday – we went to the baseball game!  It was so much fun!  We ate a ton of food – roast beef on weck – shrimp cocktail – hotdogs – popcorn – ice cream – peanuts – & of course, beer!  It was so much fun.  It was a near sell-out & the Buffalo Bisons won.  We took the train down & back.  It was a lovely evening – no cooler than 67.

I’m inside now – watching a movie called “The Arnelo Affair”.  It’s about a woman married to a lawyer who’s too busy to pay attention to her & she gets into an affair with a handsome nightclub owner – there’s a murder in here somewhere – it just hasn’t happened yet – but it will.

Later.  The mail just came – birthday cards & gift certificates!  I have a nice shopping trip coming up!

But I feel so melancholy – maybe because I woke up with a headache – allergy season – or maybe because “Take It To The Limit” was on the answering machine this morning – my emotions are all messed up – he messes me up!

***

Tired.  Still recovering from the weekend.  It looks like it could rain any second.  I’m lying on the couch – coughing.  I’m still so congested – my allergies are really bad this year.  Teddy says it gets worse every year.  I should see a doctor.  I feel so wiped out.  I live on Contacs, Sudafed, Tylenols & Motrin.  I’m always drowsy but I can’t sleep.  I have lots to do to get ready to go camping but I just gonna lie on the couch & read a while.

Afternoon.  The phone just rang – on the machine, I heard a song – very hard to heard – a lot of static – some high voice – Joan Baez or Judy Collins – “Call me” – I couldn’t make out the rest.

See?  I told you he’d call again.  I told you he’d be back.  Big deal.  I erased the message & went back to my typewriter.

***

I’m beat.  I sewed all day – that is – until 2 p.m. – when I realized I couldn’t anymore.  Anyway – by the time I put everything put away & cleaned up, Teddy was home & it was time to go – to get wood – to fill the truck with gas – to go to Wegman’s – then home, where I started the laundry – I had to buy detergent at Wegman’s – & made tuna-mac salad & hamburger patties.  I’ve been packing – I have a few things left to do – including folding the laundry.  I won’t see bed before 10 p.m. – we want to be up bright & early tomorrow cuz there’s still a lot to do.  That’s why I don’t care if I finish tonight – I can finish the packing while Teddy’s de-winterizing the trailer.

***

On our way.  Almost.  Stopped at Falco’s to buy ice.  Now we’re starting –working our way up Bailey Ave to the Expressway.

Afternoon.  Stoneybrook State Park.  Well we’re here.  Teddy’s in the office.  Doug & Danielle will get here tomorrow.  We stopped in Batavia for a quick bite but what really took so long was getting stuck behind one slow driver after another.  Still & all – it doesn’t matter – it was really a nice ride.

***

We’ve been up since 7:30 a.m.  Last night we drank White Russians & went to bed around 10 p.m.  It rained – poured all night.  It’s supposed to stay cloudy & cool but no more rain.  It’s really nice.  We’ve smoke several joints & took two walks this morning.  We also ate the pecan coffee-cake & drank coffee.  Now Teddy’s cooking pork sausage patties on the grill outside & I’m cooking home-fries inside.  It’s so quiet.  I forgot the adapter for the stereo so we have no tunes this weekend but big deal – just listening to the leaves rustling & the creek & the birds – we can’t help thinking about Shadow & Missy – do they think we’re gone for good?  I really miss them.

Afternoon.  Just woke up from a short nap – Teddy’s mouth is really bothering him – he had a root canal the other day – so he’s still laying down.  It’s much warmer than before.  Blue sky & puffy white clouds & intermittent sunshine & a gentle breeze.  I’m sitting outside in my rocker.  I have my period but I’m feeling alright – I felt worse yesterday.

There’s a family a few sites down from us – they arrived last night – Dad’s probably working today – Mom, an older brother named Noah, younger brother & a little sister who’s a doll – blonde curls – just learning to talk – still cutting teeth by the way she cries – they seem very friendly & wave to me as they walk by.  There are plenty more family units around here.  It’s really nice.  A little girl on a bike just waved at me.

***

Doug & Danielle didn’t show up until 9:30 last night.  I guess they had one problem after another.

It’s cooler & cloudier today.  It rained early this morning then cleared up – it was quite sunny there for a while – now the sky is totally clouded over & looks like it could pour any second.  But it’s still really nice – I’d rather be here than anywhere else.

We just finished breakfast – bacon, a cheese omelette, toast & pecan kuchen for dessert.  Tonight’s dinner is steaks & potatoes o’brien.  Last night we had barbequed ribs & tuna-mac salad – killer!

***

A totally excellent day.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Hot sun – cool – maybe even cold – breeze – I’ve been changing clothes all day.  Right now I’m wearing red sweat pants & a read V-neck sweater with three-quarter’s length sleeves.  & flip-flops – although my feet are beginning to get cold.  We haven’t really done a thing all day except eat, drink & read.

***

Just finished packing & cleaning up – the trailer’s ready to collapse – Doug’s gonna help Teddy with that – since Teddy always bitches at me when I help him & Doug & Danielle are sick of hearing it.  Of course, today is the loveliest day yet – hot & sunny.  I haven’t been feeling well – stomach upset & diarrhea – probably from overeating & drinking too many beers & White Russians.  Really – the combination of foods & tossed thoughtlessly into my stomach would have churned & turned a far more iron-clad one!

Breaking camp is always depressing.  Much more fun setting everything up!

Evening.  Home again.  Beat.  But it was so wonderful to see the kitty-cats again – they were starved for human contact – our contact – they were rather freaked out from being alone for so long – they were perfectly fine – just so lonely!

Night.  Watching “Murder She Wrote”.  Teddy’s in the tub.  The kitty-cats are in the front window, watching the traffic.  I’m handling my cards – toss them around a bit – I’m feeling better – my stomach has stopped churning – my bowels has calmed down – my muscles have stopped aching.  I put some things away – I’m gonna do most of the unpacking tomorrow.  & the mountain of laundry.  & try to write.

***

I’m sick.  I was up half the night – shitting my brains out – my stomach & intestines in such pain I cried.  Today seems to be more of the same.  The Emetrol is almost gone.  This is no hangover!  I’m curling up on the couch with a good book – maybe take a little nap.  I have so much work to do but I’ll have to wait to do it – I just can’t move without pain – plus I’m beat – I slept very little – if any – last night.

***

I just put Teddy to bed.  He had fallen to sleep on the couch.  Poor guy – I went into the kitchen to make some White Russians & when I came back, he was sleeping.  So now – having finished mine – I’m working on his!  I’ll float to bed – I’m not tired at all – oh wow – there’s an excellent white Caddy with huge fins sitting at the light – it’s so great!  What a beauty!

I am quite recovered today – I went downtown to the library – Henry & Mina stopped by – Paulie made me a new tape – “Old & In The Way” – I stubbed both my baby toe & the one next to it on my left foot at 2 different times – tripping over Shadow – they’re swollen & throbbing.  I also walked into the end table – actually, I think the table jumped out at me – & now I have a gash & a large bruise on my thigh.  I am such a klutz!  It’s amazing that I can dance so well – so gracefully & fluidly – since I can barely walk.  It must be some weird kind of balance.

Well – I want to finish my book – naturally I got out another load of books when I was at the library – I have so much reading to do!

Oh – & I am dying for the weekend!  Dying to dance & be a star.  Dying to dance off all the weight I gained on vacation!

Night.  Another storm.  Hot & humid all day – storms at night.  This is a pretty mellow storm.  Last night was a whopper.  I woke up – got up – closed all the windows – watched the sky for a while – I love lightning – then went back to bed.  The kitty-cats crawled in with us – frightened by the storm – it was a really great storm – I too was frightened by the loud & continuous thunder – Missy burrowing between Teddy & me – Shadow getting comfortable in between my tits – like all of my men, he’s discovered what a great pillow Cori’s tits can be – & his head is small enough to take advantage of their comfort!

I heard a scratching at the hallway door – & a meowing – I had put the cats to bed with Teddy but the storm must’ve woken them.  They played for a while – hide & assault – but now that the storm has increased in potency – but mellower than last night – they’re hiding under the ottoman.  Teddy – of course – is out cold.  I suppose tomorrow there’ll be a replay of this morning’s conversation – “Some storm last night, A?”  “What storm?” “The giant storm that went on for hours!”  “I guess I slept through it.”  “I guess so!”  My husband – sleeping beauty!

I’m still not tired.  I should be exhausted.  Insomnia.  What a curse.  Of course – consider the general downward track of my health & I guess it’s all part of the pattern.  That’s life –

It’s pouring.

***

[June]

Depressed.  Why?  I don’t know.  I slept poorly last night – even when I went to bed I couldn’t sleep.  I should go back to bed but I doubt I could sleep.  I wish I had a joint but of course we’re out.

It’s cool & foggy.

Jesse called & left a message – we owe him money – by the sounds of the background, I could tell he was at home – maybe he’ll stop by.  I suppose that would be the only thing that could cheer me up.  I feel so fat & ugly – I feel almost suicidal.  & yet – yesterday I felt sexy & beautiful.  Like Teddy says – the “rollercoaster” of my emotions is enough to depress anyone.

Afternoon.  Just out of the tub.  Feeling clean & smooth & soft.  I was out in the sun until it clouded over & began to rain.  Boy – it’s just about impossible to get a tan this year!  I can’t believe it’s June & I’m still pale.  I have faint tan lines – very faint.  Oh well – getting a tan’s supposed to be bad for you anyway.  I wouldn’t care if I had one or not if I wasn’t a dancer.  I also forgot to take off my wedding ring.  But I barely care about that anymore.  Oh well – one more summer – then my ring can stay on forever.

***

Laying on the couch.  Feeling burned out & a little blue.  Yesterday Jesse stopped by at 3:30 p.m. with the weekend’s supply – 2 grams for Teddy & Cori – supposed to do a half a gram today & the rest tomorrow night – but of course it’s all gone.  The first gram was gone before Jesse left – he hung out until 6:30 – part of the second gram was traded for some weed – which is also gone – & well – you know what happened to the rest of it.

I don’t care – well, maybe I do – okay, I do care – except I really have more fun partying at home with Teddy than I do working.  I’m always afraid of residue on my nose or being stopped by a roadblock or something.  But still – I’m disappointed.  After all my tough words & resolutions – very little has changed.  I feel like a fool.

Oh well – that’s life.  Nothing else to do but try harder.

Night.  What a trying evening.  After a lovely afternoon nap, we got up to a barrage of messages on the answering machine – one of them was from Danny Potts from Chopin’s – he had a stag for me tonight.  I called right back – he was there – I’ve worked for him dozens of times & Danny knows the score – I left a message that I’d be happy to but I had another gig & I could be there around 11:30 – midnight.  Meanwhile – since we now had two gigs – Teddy called Julius – Darryl’s brother – & practically sold his soul to get him to front us some blow.  That was at 4:15 – Julius said he’d call back within the hour.  I made dinner – steak & cheese hoagies with peppers & onions & fries on the side – & finally got in touch with Danny Potts – who said that 11:30 was fine – the groom was his nephew – no doubt they’d still be partying.  10 minutes later he called back – no, 11:30 was too late – they had a topless barmaid until 10 or so & they wanted me to dance at 10 when she left.  I said, well, what about 9?  He hemmed & hawed & I said, that’s cool, things don’t always work out, maybe next time.  Well – Teddy blew his top.  I don’t know what I was supposed to do – I already had a job at 10 & I can’t be in two places at once.  He tried calling Danny back but he had just left.  At this point – Teddy hasn’t been able to get in touch with Danny nor has Julius called back.  & I hope he doesn’t.  Teddy says we’re committed no matter what but I hope he doesn’t call back!  I hope!  I hope!

***

Half-past Midnight.  At home.  We stopped on the way home & picked up a 6-pack & some Contac – considered going to Darryl’s but really didn’t want to – at least I didn’t want to.  Teddy’s out right now – getting a cheeseburger, onion rings & a milk shake.  We’re watching Jay Leno on the Tonight Show.

It was a really good party.  I was a really good show.  I really think that I’m better without coke.  I dance better – I relate better to the audience – Teddy doesn’t agree but so what.  The only thing is – the music seems to play slower when I’m not blasted!  But that’s no big deal!  I do think it’s really interesting, though.

Afternoon.  I do a tarot reading – a Celtic Cross & sometimes other spreads – at least once a day – I write them down – using the Connolly book as reference – although I don’t like her interpretations very much & I am working on making my own set of interpretations.  For instance – the King of Cups usually means Jesse although sometimes it’s the King of Pentacles – since he’s a landowner –  & the Knight of Cups has come to mean Jon Kudzma – or some other lover like him – the dream of a young love.  Anyway, lately the Knight of Cups has been coming up a lot in various spreads – today he was the outcome & I thought of Jon immediately – partly because I’ve been thinking about him so much lately anyway – I’ve come to the decision that – as much as I want to quit dancing – I don’t want to quit entertainment – I mean – I wanted to be an entertainer my entire life – & these last 7 years has been the happiest & most fun of my entire life – & I don’t see why I should really have to quit entertainment even though I do quit dancing.  All my life I’ve wanted to sing in a band & I was thinking – why not start one – a kinda blues-rock-honky-tonk type thing – with me doing my Cori act – I could wear a lot of the outfits that I have right now – sexy, good-times, good rocking party tunes – I have a dozen ideas & even more lyrics – plus, as “Cori”, I have a following –

So – I thought – what if I call Jon & pitch this idea – ask for advice – how do I go about this – go about starting something like this – who knows – maybe he know someone in search of a new project – or maybe even Jon himself – the idea has been kicking around in my brain – I’m so afraid of rejection – I’ve been putting it off – getting in touch with him – if I can – but ya know – if I don’t ask – risk rejection – I’ll never know – it could work – I’ll work my balls off to make it work – oh dear! – my favorite dream – my most cherished dream – my most sensitive spot –

***

Oh – rage & frustration!  Jesse stopped by this morning – we owe him some bucks – but Teddy hadn’t left for work this morning – he should have been long gone – as Jesse turned to leave, I had to ask – sotto voce, of course –  “Are you coming back?”  “I have to work,” he answered.  I walked back upstairs & could barely maintain a smile in front of Teddy.  I told him I was pissed because I hate owing people money – which is true – but I was furious at Teddy for still being at home when he was supposed to be at work – which I know Jesse knew, too – & I wish Teddy would just tell him he doesn’t have it instead of having me tell him stupid put-off excuses that he doesn’t believe anyway.  I’m so frustrated!  I’m so horny! I went to the back of the house & masturbated – for the first time today – I average 5 times a day – urgh!!  Life is so unfair!  I wanna get laid!  I want a big fat cock pushing into me!  I want to be kissed with lots of tongue & passion!  I want to be told I’m beautiful – I’m wonderful – I’m exciting – I’m fantastic – I’m the best fuck ever!

Later.  The morning movie’s a dud.  I put on CNN.  I’m listening to the news from China.  Tiananmen Square.  Those poor people.  They say – there are warring faction within the army – they’re fighting.  Now there’s this incredible footage of one man taking on 18 tanks!  He made them stop!  Now he’s climbed up on the lead tank – the video’s been cut.   I’m going to put on some music.

At least we have joints.  Well – smoke a joint – put on some good tunes – “Old & In The Way” – can’t help but feel better.

Afternoon.    I had just finished cleaning the house & running Teddy’s bath when he came bursting in.  He had called earlier to say that he had cut his fingers on his mower but it wasn’t anything bad.  That’s what he said – the sight of his bloody fingers turned my stomach & I sent him over to Danielle’s to get professional help – also because Danielle has all the right bandages & tape – while my first aid kit is sadly lacking – just band-aids & Bactine.  My poor baby.  “Bad luck for a loved one,” read the Moon card today.  I really hope his fingers are okay – they looked awful!

***

Teddy stayed home from work today.  He called Danielle about re-doing his bandages & she said he really should go to the ER.  She told him that yesterday too.  I told him that, too – when he initially called me – but he said he hadn’t hurt himself very badly.  I think he was in shock.

It’s a gorgeous day.  I’m glad I cleaned the house yesterday.  This morning I did the laundry & washed some windows.  I’m ashamed to say that it’s the first time I’ve ever washed them since I moved in!  They’re really dirty!  That along with – rolling joints – getting Teddy coffee – making breakfast – etc.  Now I’m gonna put on my bikini & lay in the sun.

Afternoon.  Teddy called me from the ER.  His fingers are really fucked up – he should’ve gotten treatment immediately – not waited 24 hours.  He has prescriptions to fill, so I rode my bike over to Falco’s to borrow $10 from Anthony because – of course – we’re broke.  I was so hot & sweaty & I was just dying for a beer! Oh well!  I’ll probably have to go over to CVS & fill the prescriptions, too.  I’m glad I have a bike!  I’m glad everything’s pretty close by, too.

Night.  Teddy’s out cold.  I made a late dinner – haddock, fried, carrot & celery sticks — & he ate every bit & smoked two joints before he fell asleep.  He kinda comes to every now & again – just now he was apologizing for being such a drag!

***

7:30 p.m.  Anne Frank would have turned 60 today if she had survived the Holocaust.

It’s raining.  It seems to rain all the time lately.  I guess it was the rainiest June on record.  It screwed up the spring planting & all this additional rain isn’t helping.  There were floods all over the place on Friday – 2.5 inches of rain fell in 40 minutes – too much, too fast!

Teddy’s birthday is Friday & we’re going to party – of course it depends on how much we have – but it’ll be an excellent dinner no matter what – if there’s one thing I can do, it’s cook a good meal.

I made a lot of money this weekend – paid a lot of bills – but also snorted a lot of coke – all from Jesse.  It was so nice partying with him all weekend – but it wasn’t so nice on Sunday when Jesse & Teddy had a disagreement & argument.  They’ve patched up their differences somewhat but we’ll see what happens.  I’ll be really sad if cocaine comes between Jesse & Teddy.  Especially after everything else they’ve been through!  It’s so fucked up!  But that’s life.

***

At Danielle’s.  Her mother’s oxygen machine broke & she had to go fix it.  So I’m here with the kids, the dog, the cat.  A fresh brewed cup of coffee – I haven’t had coffee in days – we’ve been out.  I told Teddy to remember to bring home instant coffee from work if he wants a cup of coffee tomorrow morning!

I’ve been busy working on a collage to give Teddy for his birthday – a stag party collage.  Area maps – raffle tickets – invitations – photos & torn dollar bills – it looks great.  All I have to do is glue down corners & mount it.  & then wrap it of course – I’ll have to wrap it in newspapers or paper bags – I don’t have enough wrapping paper to go around it.  I’m glad I got those frames from Jesse before he & Teddy had their argument – this collage is being framed!  I want to show Jesse my artwork & his contribution to it but I don’t think that’ll happen very soon.  Usually he calls Tuesday night for our “order” – but not last night.

I got more books on Astrology, the Tarot, Chinese Astrology, Numerology.  The more I know, the more I want to know.  I took notes last night until I could no longer hold a pen.

Night.  My fingers ache!  Reading & taking notes until I can’t do it anymore.

We finally went to Sibley’s & spent my birthday gift certificates.  I got 8-inch, 10-inch & 12-inch skillets, sunglasses, 2 bras & a pair of panties, all on sale.

Still haven’t heard from Jesse.  I’m gonna really miss him.

***

Teddy had to be at the hospital at 8 this morning so naturally he had to be up & out earlier than usual.  I put my tarot cards under my pillow & went to sleep – Shadow asleep at the top of my head – his new favorite place to sleep – & Missy curled up at my side.  Now they’re sitting together in the left front window.  They’re so adorable!  They have really improved our lives!  We love them so much – & they love us.

It’s another rainy day.  One after another!  My tan is but a memory.  I can’t believe this sucky weather!  Oh – the prices of fresh fruits & vegetables are rising, rising!  The only food at the Bailey-Clinton market is out-of-state.  The crops – the few they’ve managed to plant – are rotting in the fields.  Floods & drought!  As the years go by, the prophecies of Nostradamus all come true – it’s scary!

I’m going to spend the afternoon watching TV – tossing the Tarot – doing the exercises in The Fortune-Teller’s Workbook – there’s a bunch of predictive schemes I’ve never heard of – Oracle of Napoleon – Witchdoctor’s Bones – Dominoes – Playing Cards – plus a slew of others I’ve heard of but have no experience in – The Crystal Ball – Tea Leaves – Runes – Palmistry – plus the ones I’ve been working on – Numerology – Tarot – Astrology – Dreams – not that I want to foretell the future – well, not other people’s futures – I wouldn’t mind a peek into my own.  I’m really into these methods as poetic aids – the language of poetry – the language of symbolism – I long to become learned in the arts of magic – earth magic – faery-faith – witch-craft.  I wish to take my destiny into my own hand & throw it as strongly & sturdily as a fielder throwing a baseball home.  & then be the catcher – catching the ball & tagging the runner.  You’re out!  American symbolism.  True magic!

Afternoon.  I went to the corner & called Jesse on the pay phone – saying I wanted “a little” coke for Teddy’s birthday & Jesse said he’d get back to me – but that was hours ago.  Now Teddy’s mad – at Jesse – for not calling all week & for telling me that when the guy called this week he didn’t want any & mad at me because I told Jesse “just a little bit” instead of a pile which is what Teddy wants – what Teddy always wants – & not nailing Jesse down on when he was gonna call back & deliver it & everything else.  He’s in a terrible temper.  I’m sick of him – his tantrums – his tempers – his bullshit.  I don’t care if it is his birthday tomorrow – he’s acting like a baby.  Try all week to make sure it’s a pleasant weekend – cocaine or no cocaine – & he’s being such an asshole!  After last weekend, what does he expect from Jesse?

***

Teddy’s birthday wasn’t half-bad.  The night before, I had a strip-o-gram at Buffalo General for a very sick young man – he was going to be transferred to Roswell Park very soon.  I wore all white – an old nurse’s uniform that Danielle had – underneath that, a white bra & g-string & white lace garter belt & stockings – I even wore white shoes – those old white oxfords I bought back in 1980 – with the 2-inch heels – that look like something a nurse would have worn in 1950.  I put my hair into a bun – all I needed was one of those old-fashioned nurse’s caps.  It was a short job but the money enabled us to buy a bag of weed.  Teddy had a joint to smoke on his way to work & I had 3 fat ones to greet him when he got home.  We smoked one while I made breakfast – steaks, eggs & rye toast.  He napped most of the afternoon – I watched a William Powell-Myrna Loy movie & took notes on the Tarot.  Later – when he woke up – we ran some errands – then came home & I cooked dinner – filet mignons, baked potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce & salad.  It was great!

The only fly in the ointment was Teddy’s continuing anger with Jesse.  When I called Jesse at 4 p.m., he told me he couldn’t do anything.  Teddy was pissed off – “He’s just an asshole” – etc.  I stayed calm.  I was disappointed – disappointed because I did want to party – disappointed cuz it was Teddy’s birthday & there was no coke to celebrate with – disappointed cuz of how everything had gone down.  But I was basically mellow.  I mean, there was nothing I could do about it.

Well – at 7:30, the phone rang – the machine came on – we heard, “Hey Teddy, happy birthday, are you there?” – it was Jesse.  Teddy vaulted for the phone.  Jesse was nearby – he would be over soon.  He had just scored – I was so happy – not just cuz I love doing lines – but it was great to see Teddy & Jesse friends again.  I’m glad Jesse came through.  I knew he had it in him.

***

Waiting for Teddy’s 11:30 call.  He’s probably mowing the lawn & hasn’t looked at his watch yet.  Today’s gorgeous – the first hot & sunny day we’ve had in weeks.  They were prediction rain for this evening & tomorrow, though.

The weekend was wonderful – lots of work – of course – but lots of money – even though we did spend $250 on coke – but we’re not broke!  We have food in the cupboards & in the fridge!

Today’s the full moon – I haven’t meditated yet today but I feel the presence of the Goddess – I woke at 10:15 a.m. – a little Missy laying on my pillow & purring – I straightened the house, then ran myself a bath – hot & steamy – soaked for a long time – then washed my hair.  I still haven’t eaten – I’ve been waiting for Teddy to call – I should just start – as soon I get the egg into the pan, he’s sure to call!

Jesse’s stopping by to pick up the money we owe him.  After he leaves, I suppose I’ll meditate – & give thanks? – oh, I always have something to be thankful for – I really am blessed – but there’s one thing I would so love to give thanks for – one manone love

Afternoon.  Jesse showed up around 12:20 or so.  He was in a hurry – he had lots of errands to run – but he had some toot left over from a half a gram he got last night – he & Doreen had a giant argument so he went out & got blasted – but I was really glad he thought to save a little to share with me.  I rolled up a joint & we had a really nice talk – it’s true, it’s true – Jesse is really one of the best friends I’ve got.  It’s hard to believe our affair began 6 years ago.  My life has really changed in 6 years – but so has his.  But one thing hasn’t changed – I can tell Jesse anything.  He’s my Rhett Butler – talking to him is like “putting on a pair of old slippers after dancing all night in a pair of tight ones.”  He’s so physical – I feel so alive when he’s around.  I was in a good mood when he left.  I put on my bikini & laid in the sun – oh, it felt so good – the feeling of sun-warmth on my body.  I’m quite golden – now all I need is a week’s worth of sun & I’ll look wonderful!

***

Absolutely pouring.  It started raining last night & it hasn’t stopped.  I had terrible insomnia last night – went to bed exhausted at 10 p.m. & at midnight I was still wide awake.  Sexual fantasy after fantasy – my whole body was in heat.  My breasts ached – my nipples tingled – my cunt was wet – Scotty slept soundly next to me.  I thought of Jesse.  I replayed love scenes 6 years old.  I remember every little thing – I drove myself crazy.  When I finally did sleep – I dreamed of Tarot readings featuring the Emperor.  One after another – & there was the Devil & the Chariot & the 3 of Swords & of course the Queen of Pentacles –

The kitty-cats are sleeping.  The rain is coming down harder than ever.  I’m curled up on the couch – I have a joint & a book & a cup of tea.  I’m tired – I’m depressed – my back is killing me – but strangely enough – I feel serene

Ya know – it couldn’t rain any harder if it tried.

Night.  Now it’s foggy – soft, swirling in the streetlight – getting thicker by the minute – dream-land fog – witch-craft fog – fog you could walk into & get lost in forever – actually it looks fake – MGM fog – any second, I expect Scarlett O’Hara to come running through the fog at the end of “Gone With The Wind” – running home to Rhett.

***

The summer solstice – it’s cool – completely overcast – looks like it could pour any second.  At least it’s warm enough to have the windows open – there’s no wind.

I took a quick bike ride over to Danielle’s to return her nurse’s uniform & give her a new container of soap for her soap dispenser.  I’m glad I got out – it’s a really nice day.  Still threatening rain of course but really nice.  The air smells really sweet.  Everything is so green – & the roses are in bloom – oh how I love roses.  It’s summer for sure.

***

Cool & cloudy.  Cool – well, it’s 78 – but it’s been so hazy, hot & humid – close to 90 everyday.  I have been working extra parties in this heat – to assure having enough money to go camping with – we leave early Wednesday morning.  Today we shop – tonight, I have to dance at 9 – tomorrow, we get wood & load the trailer.  I can hardly wait to go.

I’m tired – I’m achy – I’m hungover from last night’s party – I just don’t want to deal with it.  I have so much to do to get ready for our vacation.

***

Oh man – so hot & humid!  I could die.  My shirt is soaked through.  I’ve been doing laundry & packing all day.  I did a lot yesterday – about half I had to do – all I could do at that time.  We’re gonna eat like kings!  The bill came to $150 – before coupons.  The morning I made tuna-mac salad.  I got my books together – pens, pencils, games, cards, 2 boxes of cassette tapes – I have four boxes total – believe me, it was no easy task deciding what to take & what to leave behind!  I have the linens folded & in piles on the coffee table.  They go directly into the “linen closet” in the trailer – I’m gonna stuff as many towels as possible.  You can’t have too many towels!  & my clothes are packed – except for one or two things in the dryer.  You won’t believe the amount of clothes I’m bringing – 2 pairs of jeans, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of sweatpants, 6 pairs of thick socks, 10 pairs of regular socks, 1 skirt, 2 sundresses, 6 bathing suits, 6 pairs of underwear, 4 g-strings, 3 flannel shirts, 4 cotton shirts & 17 t-shirts – even I admit that’s a bit much!  Plus sneakers, sandals, mocs, my denim jacket, rain gear, hats, bandanas & my favorite grey zippered sweat-shirt.  Tomorrow I’m gonna wear my blue plaid wraparound skirt, a navy blue & white summer top & a denim shirt in case it’s chilly.  & it’s supposed to cool off a little – just a little – actually we’re supposed to get thunder storms & scattered showers tonight & tomorrow morning, then sunshine the rest of the week.  It’s be just as hot but not humid.

Well – I gotta check on the laundry – hopefully, it’s done.

***

Yesterday we got the earliest start ever – 8:30 a.m.  We were here by noon – Cayuga State Park – near Seneca Falls, NY & on Cayuga Lake -we probably would have gotten here sooner if we had taken the Thruway but we took 5 & 20 – such a nice road – & there were 2 detours – plus we stopped 3 times!  It was hard finding a campsite – most of them were standing water or mud.  The one we picked was muddy too but we reasoned that it would dry out – which it has – pretty well.  But we got totally mud-covered setting up the trailer.  Plus – it was hot, humid, sticky & buggy!  The bugs are amazing!  Relentless!  Blood-thirsty!  You have to keep the bug spray on all the time.  Today is cooler – low 70s – breezy – but sunny & pleasant.  Tomorrow & Saturday are supposed to be hotter.  Right now we’re out of the park – we’re blowing up the boat.  We also stopped at Ames & bought a hatchet & a fold-up shovel.  Then we stopped at the Women’s Rights National Park & looked at everything & bought a bunch of post cards.  On the way back to our campsite, we’ll stop at the concession stand & buy some more postcards.

Gotta go.

A minute later.  Teddy decided he had to buy gas so here we are.  Just before we left Buffalo, Jesse called – he had a gram for us – payable when we return.  We did it last night – with vodka & teas.  We were hammered!  I’m not sad it’s gone – it was fun while we had it – but now it’s pig-out time!  Ribs!  Chicken!  Filet mignons!  Salads!  Peanuts & pretzels!

***

Nice quiet morning.  Just got back from the showers.  This morning we’re going to eat a bacon & cheese omelette – then go into town & mail our postcards – then go to the Women’s Rights National Historic Park & The Women’s Hall of Fame & the Elizabeth Cady Stanton house.  In the afternoon, we’re going to the beach & launching our boat.  It’s a beautiful day – not a cloud in the sky – no breeze – just warm sunshine.

Excerpts From a Diary 30

[January]

Watching some college football game with Teddy.  We just got back from getting some groceries – spending our last $10.  It seems so strange to have no money!  Everything got spent going to Cleveland for Tish’s wedding – I would have just as soon stayed here.  I thought we could stay with Mom & Bob but between Jesse & Doreen & their kids & Helena & Geoff & their kids, there just wasn’t enough room.  So we had to get a motel room.  Which really wasn’t that bad – we were able to party & watch the bowl games the night before the wedding.  I just hate spending money when I don’t have any coming in.­

Oh well – Thursday’s Teddy’s payday & Friday’s mine – so on Saturday we’ll go to Wegman’s & stock up.  Our cupboards are getting bare – with the holidays, all the money’s been being spent on things other than food & I’ve been concocting dinners out of what we have & whatever we’ve been able to get at the last minute.

My stomach’s been killing me all day – woke up at 9 a.m. with shooting pains – absolutely the worst I’ve experienced in years – all day long – absolutely takes my breath away.  Shit that runs like water, only water would feel so much nicer.  This burns.

I finished Legend by Fred Lawrence Guiles – definitely the best biography of Marilyn Monroe I have ever read.  Well researched – well written.

I have to make tacos for Teddy – I can’t imagine eating one myself!  Bouillon for me!  I have to make lists for this week – get things ready for tomorrow & work.  Today nothing got done – I was in too much pain.

***

So.  Tish’s wedding.  It was definitely the nicest wedding I have ever been at.  The church was all decorated in poinsettias from Christmas – all red & white – & Tish was dressed in a very plain white velvet gown that was hand-made for her – it was a Azzedine Allaia design & it was gorgeous – dozens of little pearls going down her back – she had lost a ton of weight & looked fabulous.

Helena was her matron of honor in a sea-green ankle-length gown that concealed her four-month’s pregnancy.  The four other maid of honors wore shiny emerald green knee-length dresses that were typically puffy & looked more like something for a nightclub than a wedding.  Mom was wearing a pale pink Chanel suit – her go-to look – & Tish’s new mother-in-law – who is incidentally the executive secretary of Edmond Durant, so we are well acquainted – wore a shiny dress of deep rose.  Rocco was one of the groomsmen & the rest were friends of Brad & his one brother.  Brad – Tish’s new husband – was dressed in his Marine Corp dress blues.

Jesse & Doreen were there of course & most of the family & friends on both sides & all of Brad’s friends & family.  It was a very large wedding – amazing, given that it was right after the holiday & January weather can be very iffy.  But the weather held & it was a sparkling bright day.

I wore a sheer flowered shirt-waist – shimmery shades of pink & gold & green on a field of cream – with a lace camisole & petticoat underneath it & my boots.  I had a forest green blazer which I removed when the dancing started.

During the ceremony, I sat in church & thought about everything.  I was disappointed in not being chosen to be “in” the wedding but I supposed that you can’t have two matron of honors.  I’m not sure why though – there’s always more than one maid.  It really doesn’t make sense.  These silly rules.

But where had flaunting the rules gotten me?  I hadn’t even wanted to get married so I did everything I could to have an unconventional marriage – getting married in the park, wearing a red dress, wearing my boots.  & within what – six months? – I was deeply in love & having a passionate affair with another man – one of my husband’s best friends.  It was a soap opera – it was worse than a soap opera.

My sister Helena had three children & soon would have four & I knew Tish would be pregnant very soon – at a family picnic last summer, I had overheard Brad saying to her, “We’ll have them just like that” – looking at one of Helena’s youngest toddle across the grass.  & I had felt such a giant hole within me.  No man had ever said anything like that to me – never ever.  My experience was men not wanting children.  Jon insisting on me having an abortion.  Jesse complaining about Doreen being pregnant all the time – although he clearly loves his children – probably more than he loves her.  Teddy has told me more than once than he doesn’t want children – he doesn’t even want cats.  He doesn’t want any responsibility at all.  He would be happy just being my “manager” – which means not doing anything at all – since I am the one who books most of the jobs & I am the one dealing with the public – he just holds onto the money & drives me around – important work but hardly being a “manager”.  & how much longer could I go on dancing?  Teddy talks about me being a “Buffalo institution” but whoever heard of a stripper being an “institution”?  & I really need to get serious & finish up college & move onto some other kind of work.  Whether in law or something else.  But I can’t be a dancer for the rest of my life – as much as I loved to perform – I’m going to be 27 this year & that’s almost 30!  & I swore I’d never dance after 30 – which is three years from now but still.  When I started dancing, it was supposed to be temporary – until I found other work.  I mean – I never did – but dancing took over my life to the point where I never really looked for other work.  It was a good thing that I fell into the law office job.  But I don’t know how much longer that is going to be working out.  There’s all kinds of new people there – new part-timers, temp workers, all kinds of new faces.  I know from working in the bar that when there are new people, old people are going to get the shaft.  That’s how it works.  & I have never forgotten my conversation with Edmond Durant.  Law is a very conservative place & stripping is not.  Even though my work is impeccable, I have been waiting – for quite a while – to be laid off or fired.  I’m surprised I haven’t been.  But I’ll have to go back to school – I don’t mind – I really want to finish up my degree.  I just know that Teddy will have a major fit.

That was another thing I was thinking about in the church.  How I was married to Teddy – who I really do love – but how he’s just not right for me.  He’s enthusiastic about me dancing – but that’s about it.  We never have sex.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even bother him about it anymore because I don’t want to deal with the rejection & if he doesn’t want me, he doesn’t want me.  I tell people he’s my very best friend – which I suppose is true – but I have other “best” friends – Jesse – Gigi – even Anna, at the law office – even Tish, my sister standing at the altar, repeating her vows.

I looked at Jesse sitting with Doreen & I knew that I loved him & I wanted him more than any man I had ever known but I knew that it was impossible.  He wasn’t going to leave her.  He might say he would – he was going to let me hang on forever.  But he wasn’t going to leave her.  Not as long as she was the mother of “his” children.

I sat there in the church & thought – I have nothing.  Nothing at all.  No marriage.  No children.  No career I can brag about.  No degree.  Nothing.  Nothing at all.

I had never felt so depressed in my entire life.

***

[April]

I’m in our living room with Teddy & Randy.  Randy is buying some coke & complaining about living at Jesse & Doreen’s.  He’s taking some back to Jesse – who was having an argument with Doreen when Randy left the house – apparently, that’s all they are doing lately.  Doreen is pregnant again & wants to move out of the city.  Jesse doesn’t want to move because the house they live in is more than big enough for several kids, Doreen’s mom & Randy – if Randy stays with them – but Doreen wants to be in the suburbs.  Randy says he’s had it with all of them.  He’s supposed to be joining local 129 up in the Falls so he says he’ll move up to Niagara County to be closer to the Hall for his classes – he says he’s not driving back & forth from Buffalo.  “But I’ve had it with both Doreen & her mother,” he said.  “I don’t know how Jesse puts up with it.”

I have to say that Randy is really good-looking.  In ten years or so, he should be devastatingly handsome.   He doesn’t have Jesse’s blue eyes but his eyes are really beautiful – hazel, almost green – flecked with grey.

Randy brought over a 12-pack of Labatt’s Blue & we’re drinking beer.

I have a tape on – Talking Heads – “More Songs About Food & Buildings” – on the other side is Pretenders 1.  I have “The Honeymooners” on TV – no sound of course.  I love “The Honeymooners”.  Sometimes it’s hard to take – Ralph’s such an asshole but when he gets humbled, his face touches me.  Jackie Gleason has so many great faces.  Norton’s great & so is Alice.  Alice is great at the sarcastic reply.  But gee – I’d hate to argue like that.  Well – Ralph’s a macho asshole – what do you want.

I compare “The Honeymooners” to “I Love Lucy”.  Of course, the families in “I Love Lucy” are a lot more affluent – & “I Love Lucy” had a far larger budget – that’s obvious.  Also, “I Love Lucy” was a lot tighter – everything was totally rehearsed – no ad-libbing, no surprises – well there were some, but they were absolute accidents.  There’s quite a bit of ad-libbing in “The Honeymooners”, as well as blown lines – it’s fun to watch them recover.  Sometimes you don’t even notice until a few lines later & then you realize – a few things don’t fit so well – they’re trying to get that blown line to fit in.  But it’s great – it’s spontaneous – Jackie Gleason & Art Carney really knew how to play off each other.

I think the difference between the two shows are because of where the people had come from.  “I Love Lucy” was created & performed by people who had movie careers – a more formal, structured, organized type of job.  Jackie Gleason started in burlesque.  Shows in burlesque were thrown together pretty fast – the stripper who was headlining & the top comedian & the rest of the act would come into town & work at the local theatre with the local people – skits & comedy pieces were put together based on basic comedy skits used for years & years but updated to fit currents events & the locality & of course ad-libbed to fit the bill.

I would have loved burlesque.  I would have been a star.

Quite a beer buzz on here.  Not to mention lines & doobies.

10 p.m.  The hockey game is on the radio.  I hate listening to hockey – I hate listening to sports, period – unless Rick Jeanneret is doing the play-by-play.  He really makes you see what’s happening – he talks so quickly & distinctly & descriptively & emotionally.  But fuck – you have to watch hockey – any sports.  Besides, it’s not like they’re winning or even playing particularly well or anything.  I mean, the best they can do is lose.  We’re going to end up in last place anyway.

That beer buzz was driving me nuts.  I like a couple of beers – especially in the summer when it’s hot – but beer is such a slouchy slushy high.  Roly-poly – like a typical movie drunk.  I feel so full.  Like a roly-poly Polly-wolly.

I said to Teddy, “We need vodka.”

“We’re broke,” he replied.

Teddy got paid today but of course it’s all gone.

So I went over to Doug & Danielle’s with my empty vodka bottle & a joint & borrowed some of theirs – Doug had just bought a gallon.  We smoked the joint while I fed Davy.  Then I returned home & made a vodka & soda for me & a vodka & tea for Teddy.  Now we’re playing backgammon.  I have lots more to write but I’ve lost 4 games in a row & I have to kick ass & beat Teddy.  I can’t let him win!

***

How I miss The Canteen.

***

“Moreover, he was gifted with an almost photographic memory.” – Wyn Craig Wade, about William Alden Smith.

What a gift!  How often I read this about gifted, great, inspiration people!  How I envy it!  My photographic mind is one that is a double exposure – of half blank – or badly focused – or totally blurry.  Like dreams.  Or certain colors or images stand out unnaturally – again – like dreams.

But I remember so much more than I say I do.  Details – colors – smells – emotions – songs on the radio.  Everyday life is forgetful – la-di-da within my daily course – until something fucks up the habit.  But the fuck-up is why I remember.

***

Midnight.  Lonely, lonely, lonely.  Teddy’s already in bed – he says he’s loaded.  How can that be?  I made his drinks for him & they weren’t that strong & he didn’t have very many.  He needs so much more sleep than I do.  I don’t sleep unless I’m exhausted.  Also – when I wake up – I’m awake.  He takes forever to wake up.  I’m always hungry when I wake up.  Often it’s my stomach growling that wakes me up.

I’m reading a new book about the sinking of the Titanic but it’s hard to keep on it.  “Hogan’s Heroes” is on.  I’m restless – if Teddy was up, I’d suggest a walk.  How can he sleep so much?  I read that Gemini’s need a lot of sleep.  Having so much excess energy, Gemini’s use it wastefully – just blow it – go go go until it’s gone.  I have loads of energy but I use my energy more efficiently.  I’m in for the long haul, ya know.  In high school, people used to say, you won’t live to be 30.  I’d laugh of course – & I guess no one will be sure until my thirtieth birthday, right?  But I know – unless there’s some kind of accident – the motorcycle comes to mind immediately – I’m not gonna die.  I’m not self-destructive.  I am – in fact – very healthy.  Ya know – I eat well – do vitamins – heavy duty “stress” vitamins – work out – dance – I mean, I know it’s wrong – health-wise, anyway – to smoke weed & snort cocaine & I know I’ll pay for that someday.  But I really think that’s a long time away.  I don’t care – everyone’s got to die & no one dies of nothing.  I’m not afraid of that.  Ya know, you make your own deal in the end.

It’s after midnight – I didn’t feel like watching “Hitchcock” so I went around the dial.  A really dopey King Arthur movie is on – “The Black Knight”.  No familiar names in the credits.  It’s pretty bad.  It’s color but it’s that halfway color – the “color” that movies were filmed in the 50’s & 60’s when the budget wasn’t large enough for Technicolor.  It looks like the colorized versions of black & white movies.  They look so tacky!  They make me think of old photos that someone had taken color pencils & lightly colored over them – Nana used to do that.

In this movie, the hues are mostly brown & tan.  There’s blues & reds but they’re dark.  At least it’s not like some of those movies – the hues are reddish/purple.  A lot of horror movies are like that.  Real low budget.  I hate horror films – I hate the old tacky ones & I hate the new gory ones.  Who wants to be scared?  What a drag!  Besides the characters in those flicks are so dumb.  Like – they’re in a house haunted & everyone is disappearing or showing up dead – one by one – or the house is just acting weird – & instead of getting the fuck out of there, they have to investigate!  How stupid!  I’d rather watch a sex flick!  & sex flicks are about the most boring things around!  Ya know how you know – right off – a bunch of guys are really nerdy?  When you arrive at a stag & they have the sex film on & they have the sound on!  Sex films should have the sound on ZERO & the stereo on some really great music.  I mean, really.  Sex films always have terrible soundtracks – if you can call it that – & who wants to hear a bunch of moaning & groaning & panting & idiotic sex talk?  It’s not like it means anything.

Besides, I hate sex flicks.  Actually, I’ve seen some good ones & some of the new ones – written & directed by women – are pretty good.  But the Joe Average sex flick is really dumb.  One thing I think is really stupid is that they’ll show a couple fucking & the guy will pull out & cum all over the girl’s face or belly or ass or something.  I know they have to prove that he really came but I mean really.  She always acts like it’s the most wonderful thing that ever happened to her – his cum on her body – rubbing it in like body lotion.  I can’t imagine wanting some dude’s cum on my face.  & being happy about it!  Get real!

Where was I?  I wanna party more!  I want to do snort a line – no, I want to do two nice lines & then have Teddy wake up all awake & alert & do another set of lines & then have a toast & play some more backgammon.  & smoke one.  But then I wouldn’t be writing, would I?

I put David Letterman on.  I’m gonna try the Titanic again.  Well, maybe I’ll take a drink first.  MMM.  I’m drinking a vodka & soda – tall glass.  I love vodka & sodas.

Tish & Brad stopped in tonight.  I was so happy!  Tish & I had a really nice heart to heart.  I told her, “I thought you didn’t like me anymore cuz I never heard from you.”  She said, “Well, I never talk to anyone.”  I guess she’s really happy with Brad & they had a fabulous honeymoon in Jamaica & it hasn’t really ended yet.  I almost thought she was going to tell me she was already pregnant but she didn’t.  But she told me a lot about Mom & Bob.   They’ve been going to all these AA conventions & doing the “keynote” leads – Bob, especially, is in great demand – although I guess Mom does really well with the women’s groups.  They were in San Diego last month.  I haven’t talked to anyone in a long time, either.  I haven’t thought about AA in a long time – I don’t know why I would – partying the way I do.

I dream about everyone all the time.  Usually we’re at Gramma Mac’s house.  So much of me lives in Appleton.  Being in the apple orchard with Papa Mac or out on the boat.  Or sitting in the kitchen – looking out the window – at all the birds at the feeders in the lilac bushes outside the glass.  It’s winter & the seed is all over the snow.  It’s like I’m still a little girl & I never left.  Or I’m trying to get my shit together to go to school but I had a stag the night before & I’m dead.  Or someone is on my nerves & I’m not reacting very well.  Or I’m reacting like a star & not like a member of a family.  I think these dreams are my subconscious trying to put together my life now with my life then.  Synthesis.  I also dream quite often that I’m at school & I can’t get into it – sitting in a class was always a drag & in my dreams it’s unbearable because I’m a stripper – & either I disrupt class or I get into an argument with the teacher or the bell rings & I go to my locker & it won’t unlock – & then I get it unlocked & get my things but then I can’t navigate the hallways – it seems like I’m going in circles in a crowd of students & I can’t find my way out the door to the busses – & then when I’m finally out the door – I miss my bus – I literally watch it driving away without me.  I have this dream all the time.

For years, Teddy wasn’t in my dreams, but now he always is.  In my family dreams, he’s a big question mark because where does he sleep?  I mean, with me, of course – but how can he? – when I share my room with Tish?  Brad rarely factors in this dilemma.  Teddy is usually the reason I fight in dreams.  I mean – I’m in an unbearable situation & then I remember Teddy & I fight back.  Teddy really taught me how to speak up – speak confidently – stand up for my rights.  He’s the greatest.  I love him so much.

I’m gonna go – I’m gonna try the Titanic again – I’m tired of writing – I’d rather type – it’s faster – as fast as I can think.  But it’s too noisy – Teddy’s in bed.  Ya know?  What can you do?

***

[June]

My perm turned out really great.  Penny & I yakked it up the entire time – it was great.  She also had a high-pressure excellence-only Catholic childhood.

It was a great way to have your hair done!  I walk in – she handed me a beer – I drank 3 during the course of events.  After she rolled up my hair & put on the chemicals & everything, she pulled out a bowl, filled it with some really tasty weed & lit it!  I said, “Gee – I feel guilty, I shoulda brought a joint – I didn’t think!”

“Girl, shut up!” She replied.  “It’s just really nice to have someone to smoke with!”  She enjoys me – I entertain her, just like everyone else.

I love having curly hair.  It’s so long – long curls cascading down my back – like a princess.

***

[July]

It is so awful to be so addicted – to feel bummed out when you can’t get any – even when you weren’t going to get any but you decided to call – just for the hell of it –

When a friend calls & says she’s stopping by & you think – maybe she’s got – I mean – totally stupid –

So later that night – someone else calls & even though it’s time for bed you jump on the bike & fly over – party all night long – feel like shit all the next day – but party again –

***

[August]

I’d forgotten about my notebook – I was gone & I’d left it behind.  & everything else.  I was traveling on a sparkling white glacier with great rushes & nothing else.  Maintaining a high was becoming tedious.  But what can ya do?  Do another deal – do another line.

***

I’m so lonely – sexually lonely.  I need a friend – someone special – someone who probably doesn’t exist – to spend an afternoon or two – every week – spend it in bed – hugging, kissing, fucking – reminiscing about other lovers & other affairs & trading sexual stories & tricks – I need this.  I really need it.

I thought I had what I needed but I guess not.  Or else – not anymore.  Here & gone.  Whatever.  It kills me – it’s the same old story – it’s the same pain as 10 years ago – 15 years ago.  I had this loneliness long before I knew that it was – long before the words “sex” – “fuck” – “orgasm” – had any real meaning for me.  I know I was experiencing orgasms as early as 7 years old & maybe even younger – that’s what I remember – I know I knew how to make it happen for myself.  How did I learn?  Did someone show me?  I wish I could remember.  Only shadows remain.

But you can only masturbate so much.  After a while – even with orgasm – it’s just an exercise in loneliness.

Oh the pain – how I wish the pain would disappear.  You’d think after all these years – I’d had gotten used to it.  All the knowledge – all the philosophy – all the understanding – of the pain – what it is – how it works – doesn’t help at all.  A potato’s a potato no matter how you cook it.

***

Modeling is so boring.  Having to hold a pose – yuck!  I can barely keep still.  I mean, I can do it – I just don’t want to.  Most of the time these photographers want me in the stupidest poses known to man.  & of course they want sex – to talk about sex, to lick my sex, to have me sexually service them.

When I was younger, it was different – I was more into it – I wasn’t as busy – I wasn’t a dancer & a wife – & totally confident – I didn’t need the approval of the camera – it was more fun.  & I didn’t have a sense of exploitation.

Even then – it was a drag.  They say I’m a natural & I do admit I’m a big ham in front of a camera – a show’s a show & I am always a star – but it’s boring – boring –

Still – I can hardly wait to see the pictures –

I can’t help it – it turns me on – seeing my image –

***

OH MY GOD.  Jesse called this morning – Teddy had just gone to work – I thought that he wanted to get together since Doreen is seven month’s pregnant but he said that she had gone into labor & the baby was born prematurely – it doesn’t look good but of course Buffalo Children’s Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the country so we are all hoping for the best.  Jesse said that it’s a boy & his lungs aren’t fully developed & it’s in an incubator.  I didn’t think to ask his name but I know that they were considering either Silas or Jasper – terrible names, if you ask me.

Mom on the phone from Cleveland: “Of course it’s because of her smoking.  You can’t expect to carry a child to term successfully if you’re smoking cigarettes.”  Which I thought was rather cruel of Mom to say but of course it’s true.  I’ve heard lots of women say that smoking doesn’t harm the baby at all, just makes them “a little underweight” but that’s all bullshit.  There’s plenty of evidence to support that.  Of course the way Jesse smokes, it can’t be easy to quit – not with him puffing away all the time.  He’s a 3-pack a day smoker.  I know Doreen doesn’t smoke that much – she really doesn’t smoke very much at all, honestly – & she hardly parties at all anymore – but still.  I mean – if you’re going to have children, you have to make some decisions about your life.  & not smoking cigarettes is one of them.  I’ve never liked cigarettes anyway – I love smoking weed but cigarettes taste like crap & I’ve never understood smoking them.

***

This has been the hottest summer I remember.

***

Gigi’s disappeared – nobody knows where she is.  Oralie thinks she went back to Pennsylvania or wherever she’s originally from.  I really miss her but she had been getting really strung out – doing a ton of coke & I think heroin too – she looked like hell.  I know she was turning lots of tricks & was busted in that large sting at the Hyatt Regency downtown earlier this year & a few times on the street since then.  She bragged about being with members of the Buffalo Bills but I have a hard time seeing that.  I would think they would go for much higher-class whores.  At any rate – she’s gone.

Oralie & I have been doing stags together.  We each do a set – generally she goes first & then I do a set – & then we do a floor routine together – the guys love when we get down on the floor together.  We make the same amount of money that we would if we were working alone – it’s a great deal for us! We’re not actually having sex together – but it’s awful close!  Honestly – the guys can’t give money to us fast enough!  We split the tips & it’s always a pile of money.

Oralie moved in with Mo’s son Vinnie – or, rather, he moved in with her – he just got out of prison – he was in for dealing drugs & of course that’s what he doing now that he’s out again.  He’s got decent enough coke but I’m not crazy about the cut in it.  It really makes my sinuses hurt!  & it’s so hot & humid this summer that the coke is always cakey & doesn’t want to chop up into nice lines or crush into powder for the vials.

Oralie says that Vinnie is hung like a horse – “the largest I’ve ever had” – which made me think of Jon.  He still calls me.  He called me the other day – wanting phone sex, of course – but Teddy was home & I had to navigate the call in another direction & hang up.  I hate phone sex, anyway.  I want the real deal.  Which I will never get from Jon – I know that.  I went over to his place earlier this summer – Sara was in Brooklyn visiting her parents.  Jon & Sara have a beautiful place on Ashland Avenue – I’ve always wanted to live over there.  I danced for him & he jerked off while he watched me.  We didn’t have sex – I wanted to – but he said he wanted to be “faithful” to Sara.  I’m fascinated by these men who are “faithful” to their wives while they watch a naked woman dancing & masturbate to her image.  How is this being “faithful”?

***

[October]

Teddy had just left for work this morning when the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  “May I come over?  It’s Jasper.”

I took a quick bath & was just throwing on my sweats & a t-shirt when I heard the doorbell.  I ran down the stairs.  As soon as I saw him, I knew the worst.  “He’s gone,” Jesse sobbed, “he’s gone.”

I took him upstairs & held him as he cried.  I have never seen Jesse like this.  Jesse – the strongest of the strong!  The toughest of the tough!  I never would have thought he could break down like this.  Suddenly, I thought – where’s Doreen?  Why aren’t they together?  Shouldn’t they be together?  & I was happy that he had come to me.  That he was crying in my arms.

Finally, he got himself together & pulled away.  He blew his nose – really noisy – & then he pulled out a fat doobie.  “I gotta catch one,” he said.  “I’ve been at the hospital for two days straight – I’ve barely had a cigarette.”

“Have you eaten?”

“I’m not hungry.”  We passed the joint between us.  “He fought until the very end!  He wanted to live!  & he was doing really well!  I’m not even sure how he caught pneumonia – it doesn’t make sense at all.”

I didn’t know what to say.  What do you say?  “I’m sorry” seems so inadequate.  & I didn’t want to point out that it was easier to get pneumonia in a hospital than out of one – especially a little baby with compromised lungs. “What can I do to help?” I asked finally.

“Well, the funeral is going to be the day after tomorrow – I don’t know about Doreen but I know I’ll need some coke to get through it so do you think Teddy can get some?”

I sighed.  He wanted drugs.  Not love.  & from Teddy – not me.  “Yeah sure, I’m sure he can,” I replied.

***

After the funeral.  This was probably the hardest funeral I have ever been at.  You don’t mind when it’s an old person & they were sick & it’s a blessing that they went but this was a baby & it was just a drag.  Although considering that Jasper’s lungs were never fully developed & he might have been prone to all kinds of breathing ailments his entire life, his death could be seen as a blessing as well.  I’m sure Jesse & Doreen weren’t looking at it that way, though.

The weather was chilly but it was a beautiful fall day & we all assembled in the cemetery & the minister talked about God’s will and calling little Jasper to heaven to play among the angels & I thought – what a bunch of bullshit.  God’s will, my ass.

Jesse was completely wasted but maintained his cool.  He had his hair pulled back into a tight ponytail & he was wearing a sky-blue three-piece suit with a navy-blue shirt & a white tie.  I have never seen him dressed like this.  But the biggest surprise was Doreen.  She had cut her long red hair.  Since the day I met her back in 1979 – July, 1979 – she’s had waist-length hair – but now it was a short bob & such a complete change that it was startling.  She was sober.  Completely closed up within herself.

***

Oralie is pregnant so she’s not going to dance anymore.  I am going to miss doing stags with her because we made so much money together.  She said that Vinnie is still going to be dealing coke – she’s not going to be doing any drugs or even smoking cigarettes anymore.  I wonder how long this relationship is going to last – Vinnie partying & her sober.  But you never know.

***

[November]

2:30 a.m.  Two parties tonight.  9:30 UAW at The Mint – Seneca Street at Cazanovia.  Low-key but great – they loved me.  #2 – Columbia Hook & Ladder.  A bunch of bikers – mixed group of Rare Breed & Kingsmen & other guys – wild & rowdy but good guys – know & respect a lady when they are with one – my saving grace –

Leandra Green – whatever her last name is now – was there.  “Hey long time no see!” I said, giving her a hug.  She was dancing a short set between my two & doing the “extras”.  I used to buy acid & coke off her when we worked together at The Canteen.  We worked the 10-3 shift on Thursday nights.  Later she used to give me a quarter-gram of coke every time she fixed – it made me sick – I hate needles – but she begged & pleaded because she couldn’t do herself – & I had a steady hand & was able to hit her vein every time – plus I would always want another quarter-gram.  But I could never understand IV users who couldn’t fix themselves.  Doesn’t that give the other person a whole lot of power over your addiction?

She looks beat.  When I first met her, she was at the tail end of whatever beauty she ever had.  She wasn’t ever really beautiful – she might have been pretty as a teenager – but she’s 35 now & years of drug abuse really shows.  When I first met her, she was tough & good-looking – the drugs were still working for her.  Ya know – drugs make you look so great for so long – then they take take take – you don’t look great anymore.

It makes me wonder – what will I look like when I am her age?  Of course I don’t shoot drugs & never will.  But still – how long can I go the way I am going – without sacrificing my health & my beauty?

Excerpts From a Diary 29

[January, 1986]

Oh my god – John Canton died last night – he had a heart attack – this is the end of the club – Shirley says they’ll keep it open but mark my words – in six months it’ll be closed down.

Oh what a wonderful man he was.  Nothing will ever be the same.

***

John Canton’s funeral was yesterday.  It was in this little Presbyterian Church in Lewiston – very plain & austere – Teddy & I dressed conservatively – since we know how to dress – but everyone else from the club was dressed like they were going to a Prince concert.  They looked so terribly out of place in that sober church that I had trouble not laughing.  There was a lunch afterward but none of us from The Canteen were invited.  We went to Murphy’s & had a few drinks – I wanted to stay longer of course – but Teddy said we had to leave.  We stopped at John Fleury’s & picked up an 8-ball.  Jesse came over to split it with us & stayed half the night, partying.

***

[February, 1986]

Friday night – Valentine’s day – was Oralie’s birthday – I wasn’t working – none of us were – the week & two weeks before were busy with stags since Valentine’s Day is popular as a wedding date but it’s not as a stag party date.  Oralie wanted all of us to go out partying with her – she wanted to hit that new nightclub The Inferno out on Walden Avenue – it used to be Uncle Sam’s – I’m not into large nightclubs but if that’s where she wanted to go, that’s where she wanted to go.

I didn’t want any snazzy clothes to wear but it really didn’t matter since it was brutally cold anyway.  I wore my usual – tight jeans, my boots, a sheer embroidered gypsy top, all my jewelry & my heavy tweed old lady coat over it – this coat is ugly as fuck but it’s super warm & I don’t care particularly what I look like as long as I’m warm.  I have a black wool babushka that I wear over my head & lots of times, when I arrive at stags, guys are like – what the fuck – until I take the scarf & the coat off & they see the sexy babe underneath.

Teddy gave me a hit of acid to do & an 8-ball of coke to divide & sell to the girls before we went out.  That way, I would have a gram of my own to party with that wouldn’t cost me anything & plenty of cash for drinks.  Jesse was over, buying coke for his weekend – as usual – & he gave me a ride to Murphy’s – where we were all meeting – on his way back to his place.  I asked him in for a drink but he said no.  “I know Doreen’s got a special Valentine’s meal for me,” he told me.  “Isn’t that nice,” I replied.  “She’s trying,” he said almost pleadingly.  I shrugged.  “I’m happy for you,” & I didn’t know if I was lying or not.

At the bar, I sold grams to Oralie, Gigi & Mo.  I dropped acid with my drink – I was drinking vodka gimlets.  Oralie & Gigi had LSD too – I don’t know where they got theirs or what kind it was.  But they had already dropped & were getting off before we left Murphy’s.  Laura Lee was with us but she was the designated driver.  “One of us has got to stay sober!” she said.  “Get us all back here in one piece!”

We were in Laura Lee’s  Toyota Tercel Hatchback – I got to ride in the back – all scrunched up, lying on my back – & I got off back there – looking at the streetlights going by – it was really cool – probably the best part of the night, actually.  I was tripping balls at the Inferno – honestly I don’t remember a whole lot about that place.  Just that it was noisy & bright & there were balloons falling & ribbons & sparklers – it was too much – I had to turn inward – stop paying attention.  It helped when Oralie asked me to dance & we were on the dance floor for a long long time – I love dancing when I’m tripping – totally part of the music & the scene & the beat & the lights.

We were on the second floor, looking down on the dance floor & Gigi showed up with some dude hanging all over her.  She was wearing a shiny green dress that Nicola had made for her & it was tight & low-cut & the dude obviously couldn’t get enough of her enormous breasts.  I sat there in my seat & looked at her & thought that she looked like a Rubins pin-up.  Really surreal & beautiful.

Oralie was going on about a tattoo she had on her hip – a bleeding heart pierced by three swords – something to do with being born on Valentine’s day – I couldn’t follow it – but the dude wanted to see it so she pulled up her skirt – she was wearing her red leather mini skirt & a matching jacket & white boots – & showed it to the dude.  So he turned to Gigi & said, “What do you have to show me?”  Naturally she pulls open her dress – which it was designed to do, of course – & shows him her giant tits.  Then he turned to me.  “What do you have to show me?”

I laughed.  I stood up & was ready to drop my drawers & bend over & moon him – just to be a good sport – but then his wife/girlfriend/whoever she was came up & he took off & I didn’t have to.  We all laughed & went down to dance again.

It was getting late & the tunes were all slow numbers for all the happy Valentine couples so Oralie wanted to leave & hit some other bars & I was all for that.  We collected Mo & Laura Lee but couldn’t find Gigi.  Oralie started to giggle.  “I bet she’s with that dude in his limo!  She can’t resist making a few dollars!”  We decided to go out to the car & wait for her.  “She’ll figure out where we are.”

As we were leaving the club, the wife/girlfriend/whoever came up & accosted me for “dropping” my pants in front of her “husband” – so I guess she was his wife.  I said, “I never dropped my pants” but she insisted, “Oh yes you did, he said you did, he said all of you showed him your best parts & you showed him your pussy!”  So I told her, “Your husband is a liar.”  She started screaming at me & went to pull my hair – really! – & I ducked but something about her clicked – & I looked at her again.  & then it came to me.  We used to work together – years ago – when I worked at Jenss.  Her name is Remi & she was engaged at the time – this must be the guy she married – I remember it wasn’t a particularly happy engagement – she was always wondering where he was – he was that kind of dude.

I said, “Remi, don’t you remember me?  I’m Cori, we used to work together at Jenss.”

“Cori – you slut – you whore!  You showed your pussy to my husband!”

I laughed.  “I’m a slut!  I’m a whore!  Well – you’re a fool!  While you’re wasting your time screaming at me here, your ever-loving husband is getting a blowjob from my friend Gigi!  So why don’t you go scream at her?  Or better yet – scream at him?”

By then, there was a crowd around us.  Oralie was pushing me out the door & Remi was screaming at both of us & then – here comes Gigi, all proud of herself – & Remi started in on her – so we all ran across the parking lot to the car & piled in – laughing as hard as we could.  Gigi pulled out $100 – I’m sure she got more off the dude – & said “The next bar, the drinks are on me!”

We bar-hopped the rest of the night.  At Club Utica, there must have been a water main break earlier in the day because the entire street & even the sidewalks were covered in ice – I slipped & fell & so did Oralie – we were laughing so hard that we couldn’t get back up – & I had to crawl to the curb where I finally was able to get to my feet.  We ended up having breakfast at Perkins on Delaware Avenue – it was 5 in the morning & the place was packed.  I was so wasted that I accidentally walked out the fire exit & set off the fire alarm – oops!  I got home as Teddy was leaving for work.  I slept all day Saturday & even most of Sunday.  I can’t say I was hungover – I was beyond hungover – exhausted is more like it.

***

[May, 1986]

I’m so depressed I can’t stand it.  I miss him & I want him & I love him & I can’t stop.  I’m completely helpless – I don’t know what to do – I know it’s over but I can’t get the memory of him out of my mind – I cream my jeans when I think about our making love – I remember every second – I can’t forget – I can’t forget –

I’m dying.  I’m sick of staying at home – I want to go out drinking – I want to go shopping – anything to get this off my mind!  Teddy’s sleeping on the couch – I can’t stand it!  I can’t sleep!  I slept all night!

Later.  Feeling better & almost ashamed of what I wrote before – my awful moods.  & I – Cori, happy Cori!  With the best husband in the world!  I mean – he loves me so well & understands so much – I mean, so what if he doesn’t fuck me!  He loves me!

***

[July, 1986]

I showed up at work at the Canteen today & it was padlocked shut.  I’m not surprised – John Canton’s son – Jack – has been running the club & he doesn’t know any more about running a strip club than my Aunt Louise.  He’s a real estate lawyer.  Like all lawyers, he thinks he can do anything as long as he delegates properly.  He didn’t take into consideration that nobody wanted to work with his arrogant ass.  Shirley could have run that club single-handedly but she wouldn’t lift a finger for him.  I’ve been watching the destruction of the club since almost the day John Canton died.  Bottles of liquor disappearing from the back room & even from behind the bar.  Glasses & plates gone.  Even the flatwear.

& there were hardly any customers left – the raising of the drinking age didn’t really affect us, since you always had to be 21 to get into a strip club in New York – but being able to drink at age 19 in the Ontario bars & all the new exotic dancing clubs up there – where they dance completely nude – has really cut into our clientele.  The Canteen isn’t the only club that has closed in the last few years.  I can name at least five clubs that have closed in the last five years – at least that.  But ya know – it’s not just strip clubs, it’s everything.  The rock’n’roll clubs are closing – times are changing.

I’ve been thinking of going to Canada to work.  Teddy doesn’t want me to.

***

Tish is engaged.  She’s marrying her college sweetheart – he’s was ROTC all through college so now he’s off doing special training for the Army – he’s a computer specialist – “military intelligence” being a misnomer as George Carlin would say.  They’re getting married after the New Year.  I wonder if I’ll be one of the brides maids?  Or matrons, since I’m married.  I’ve never been in a wedding.  Except my own, of course.

***

Mom & Bob kicked Randy out of the house because of “tough love” – he’s 18 now & was working with a landscaping crew & I guess partying all the time so the A.A. couple of the year kicked him out!  He’s living with Jesse & Doreen right now.  Jesse is trying to get him into the union but right now he’s managed to get a spot on a local landscaping crew.  He’s as tall as Jesse but with fairer hair & a much darker tan.  He’s incredibly beautiful.

***

[December, 1986]

Busy with stags at the end of the year.  The usual Christmas show.  Corny but everyone loves it.  A little Santa dress & hat & my red shoes & all the best music.  I miss The Canteen but now I have so much more time for the law office & for dancing work.  I am making more money than ever.  But of course I am always broke.  Amazing how that works.

I have been reading The Mists of Avalon.  I love the turn on the King Arthur tale.  But I also love the idea of an old religion that was supplanted by Christianity – it explains to much & makes everything so clear – why during the Reformation, the Protestants called the Roman Catholic religion “pagan” – because in many cases, it just took over its stories wholesale – I really want to learn more & read more about the old religion.  The idea of a Goddess – I always was devoted to the Mother Mary – but the idea of a Goddess really appeals to me.

Excerpts From a Diary 28

[Holidays, 1985]

That stag at the Three Coins last night was a drag – a million delays – I swear, some guys think that they are the only party I have in a night & I can hang out & wait around for all their stupidity!  Fucking Italians!  They’re the worst!  Oh – not all Italians but these stupid mobsters or these mobsters wannabes – whatever they are!  They’re more interested in gambling than seeing a pretty girl dance!  Fuck their stupid card games – their poker games & their blackjack!  & they tip like shit.  We got to our second stag at Columbia Hook & Ladder an hour late & the third stag at Wales Fire Hall so late I’m surprised they still wanted me to dance.  All in all it was a good night – it could have been a terrible night – I made $482.  I would have made over $500 if we hadn’t had been so late to the second two stags.  Of course – I never would have booked the third stag way out in Wales anyway – that was Teddy’s stupid idea – he never seems to consider how long it takes to get from one place to another.  It was only a few minutes from Three Coins to Columbia Hook & Ladder – they’re both in North Tonawanda – but almost an hour to get out to Wales – that’s almost Wyoming County out there.   I have to really talk to Teddy about booking jobs & about proper charging for going way the hell out there.  I mean – that’s a long  ride.  Not only out there but coming home, too.  Tonight I only have one stag – at Quinn’s Pitcher’s Mound – at the corner of Kenmore & Military.

I have a piece of glass in my foot & it hurts.  I have to dig it out – I already got some of it – but I’m gonna wait till I take my bath.  It’s already been in there at least two or three days anyway.  I’m surprised it’s taken this long for it to hurt.

We just got home from running errands – to John Fleury’s for an 8-ball – to the cleaner’s – to the drug store to pick up developed film – out to Eastern Hills Mall to get my new boots.  I adore these new boots!  I just finished water-proofing them.  I have to let them sit 24 hours before wearing them but I just might wear them out tonight anyway.

It’s dark & dreary out – been raining several hours.  Traffic’s slow & stupid.  I’m glad to be home – I wish my foot would stop hurting.

***

I’m sitting in the car – Teddy’s inside at Jimmy’s house – paying him.  Jimmy’s another coke connection – he’s Paulie’s cousin – we have at least four or five now – Teddy wants to be able to always score when he wants to score & he says one connection can’t always deliver.  We’re on our way home from a stag.  The hockey game is on the radio – it just started – that’s how I know what time it is.  I have absolutely no idea what time it is.  But hockey games always start at 7:30.  The stag would have been great if I hadn’t been so hungover from last night.  I didn’t even want to drink – that’s how hungover I was.

***

Today’s our third anniversary.  We started celebrating this morning by smoking some hash before we went to work – then, after work – while we did a load of wash – we went to Falco’s for some drinks & a game of pool.  I won – I’m getting really good at pool.  Of course, I play all the time.  In an hour, we’re going to Mom’s for cocktails, then Mom & Jerry are taking us to dinner.  We’re going to the Old Red Mill Inn.  I’ve always wanted to eat there.  I hope it’s good.  After dinner, Teddy & I are going to drink champagne & snort coke & – hopefully – make love.  I guess that’s pretty standard anniversary shit but who cares.  It would be great if Teddy actually makes love to me.  I would be happy to have no champagne & no coke if that happened.  On the other hand – champagne & coke makes the no sex part a lot easier.

Business is booming.  We now book a stag a day.  It’s so wonderful being a star!

***

Soooo tired.  I didn’t get to everything on my list today – when do I?  — but I worked on my story – which is more important anyway.  Also I finished reading the new biography of Colette – excellent!  Totally cool life.  I love how she took control of her life after being controlled by her first husband.  & how she was a dancer & then a celebrated novelist.  I can only hope that my life turns out as well.  But reading doesn’t get my chores done.  I can’t help it – I would rather read or write than do hand wash or mend.  It seems like I’m always mending.  I wish I could just toss away my old clothes & buy new ones.  But I can’t afford that – I have to remake old things into new things or else I’d never have anything new.

Now I’m reading a book about Catherine the Great – I was halfway through it when I picked up the Colette biography – I’m gonna push to get through it.  I have so many books piled up to read – to many papers to take care of – so many projects.  There aren’t enough hours in the day!

Earl’s back in town – he said he sold his house & is packing up.  We’re going to go to lunch tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to champagne & onion soup.  Oh, how I wish he was staying here!  Oh well – it’s for the best – he really loves his new job.  But he says he misses me.

***

Man, what a drag!  My car died – again!  I just got it back Monday night!  They put a new fuel pump in – the nice black dude who helped me  said that the fuel isn’t getting to the engine – so who knows about this new fuel pump.  I’m not sure about these dudes at B & J International.  At least it died pretty close to home – off of Olympic Ave., near the Kensington Expressway.  I walked to B & J International.  Now they can’t get their tow-truck started – really inspires confidence!

It pisses me off cuz I didn’t want to call in sick to the law office – I’m not sick anyway – it’s my damn car – I hate calling in for any reason whatsoever!  Plus I have so much to do today when I get off of work – go to the laundromat – go over to Jesse’s to see the new baby – well, actually to see Jesse – I could care less about the new baby, honestly – & to get Halloween stuff for costumes for stag parties & for work – I DON’T NEED THIS SHIT!! Oh well, it could’ve died on Fillmore Ave. or Sycamore Street & then I would have really been up shit creek.  I’m also glad I wore sneakers – the heels on my new boots are already worn down & walking 10 blocks or whatever it is from the Kensington to here – Hewitt Avenue – would’ve really demolished them.

***

At The Canteen.  In the dressing room.   I don’t feel like working today.  It’s kinda dead out there – no one I really feel like talking to & I’m not into small talk – god I hate small talk!  It’s so boring – “What’s new?” – ya know, nothing ever is – with me, anyway – I go to work every day – do stag parties on the weekend – not much ever changes in my life.  I wish I was home – hanging out with Teddy.  Or better still – that Teddy would walk in with some coke & do some partying!  Or even better – that we were at home partying.

I just wish I could sit at the bar by myself & have fun just hanging out but naturally everyone always wants to talk – I’m just not in a talking mood.

***

Another day of rain – how many has it been in a row? – ten? – eleven?  It’s totally dark & foggy out – street lights still shine at nearly 9 in the morning.  Looking out the window from my computer terminal, I can see the buildings downtown – I can only make out the ones I know are there anyway.  Makes you wonder what today would have been like when Buffalo was a boom town – with the trains & the factories going full blast & the boats in the harbor & on the canal & the sounds of prosperity everywhere.  Probably today would be as dark as night – smelly – the fog holding in & intensifying the pollution of a midwest megalopolis.

***

Jesse was over this evening.  He bought some weed & coke to take hunting – he’s taking his younger brother Randy down to West Valley for opening day of deer season – Randy’s seventeen now & has been hunting down in Ohio with friends for over a year but as Jesse says, “He needs a man to hunt with, like my father hunted with me but he doesn’t do that anymore – not since he got sober” – which really doesn’t make sense to me – you’d think that not being drunk would make a man more conducive to good hunting, not less.  But all Bob wants to do is go to A.A. & talk about his “strength, hope & experience”.  I know that Jesse goes down to West Valley ever year to hunt but it’s more of a getaway from Doreen than an actual hunting experience – Doreen won’t touch venison – I love it but Teddy of course won’t eat it at all or anything killed like that – he’s totally a supermarket meat man.  Teddy can’t eat turkey if he sees it coming out of the oven – he says it looks too much like “the carcass” – which is idiotic – but that’s the way he is – it’s the same with a roasted chicken – I have to completely carve it & bring it to the table on a platter – which increases my workload & makes the meat dry.  But that’s life.

***

OH MY GOD.  Jesse just called from Buffalo General Hospital – he’s there with Randy – apparently Randy fell down a hill down there in West Valley & somehow his gun discharged & blew a hole in his foot – Jesse tied a tourniquet around Randy’s leg with a bandana & I guess that saved his foot – but he’s going to have a hole in it for the rest of his life – which sounds really suspicious to me, because wouldn’t the foot heal?  Who walks around with a hole in their foot?  But who knows?  I think the doctors are trying to scare Randy but honestly – who the fuck knows.  Maybe there’s dozens of dumbass men walking around with holes shot in their feet.  I never thought about it.  Jesse says he’s on painkillers & he’s going to be OK.

This is totally changing Thanksgiving.  Instead of everyone going down to Cleveland, Mom & Bob are coming here & we are all going to have dinner at Jesse & Doreen’s.  & because Doreen is really not much of a cook, she is going to do a ham – cuz really, how do you fuck up a ham? – & I am going to do the turkey – since I know how to roast a turkey & dressing – & bring it over there, all cooked – & everyone else is bringing everything else.  Mom is baking pies in Cleveland & bringing them up.   I’ll probably do the a big green salad as well.

***

Thanksgiving.  Everything turned out ok although it was super crowded at Jesse & Doreen’s & the new baby – Allison – cried almost the entire day – I had such a headache by the time we left – I didn’t even want to take any leftovers or anything – I just wanted to get the fuck out of there.  I hate a crying baby!  Zach was the same way when he was a baby & he wasn’t really much better now at two years old – whiny & complaining.  What Mom calls “the terrible twos”.  I guess all the people freaked them out but still.  I don’t know why Doreen doesn’t nurse her babies – both Zach & now Allison are on formula – so naturally they’re fussy & unsatisfied.  Mom said the same thing.

Randy was on crutches but he seemed to be OK.  Still on painkillers but he ate well & had a few beers – he had killed a nice 8-point the day before the accident happened & he was real happy about that.  He’s going to have it mounted.  Seventeen years old & he’s got his first mount! Jesse was twenty-five before he got his first one & then – of course – Doreen wouldn’t let him get it mounted because she hates that kind of thing.  Would never have it in the house.  He still has the antlers – it’s hard to believe Jesse giving in on something like that.  But whatever.  Randy’s turned into a very handsome young man – almost as tall as Jesse – fairer than Jesse & with hazel eyes that are almost green.  Bob was really pissed at him about the accident, though.  I couldn’t get it – I mean – it’s an accident.  That’s why they’re called accidents.  Again – I was really glad to get out of there & back to our quiet home.  Teddy had some coke stashed & we partied when we got home.  I was glad he had thought ahead.

***

I’m down – I feel weighted down with heavy emotion – desires – longings.  Last night we were supposed to pick up an 8-ball – John Fleury was supposed to call & drop it off on his way to a wedding reception but that never happened.  Actually – I don’t care about that – I would have liked to have partied but on the other hand, I’m glad I got a good night’s sleep.  It’s everyone else – the constant phone calls – “Where is it?” – knowing that certain people think we’re dicking them around when actually we’re the ones being dicked around.  It’s the domino effect – & we’re the ones in the middle of the falling dominoes.

I laid in bed & fingered myself to orgasm & thought of Jesse.  Why does he want me sometimes & not other times?  When we got together the other day I thought I was going to die.  Oh – his magic dick.  I love how it feels in me! Dying dying dying for more.   Hating everything – having to work all day – never having enough time to meet a lover – well – I’m Teddy’s wife – guess a lover is not part of the picture anyway.  But it’s part of my picture!  I can’t help it – I’m horny – I’m horny almost all the motherfucking time!  I want a good fuck – I want his cock jamming inside of me!

I’m tired of working all the time.  I’m tired of never having enough money to buy a new outfit or even the trimmings to make a new outfit out of an old one.  Or even a desperately needed new pair of shoes – the ones I’m dancing in have holes in them – I’ve told Teddy over & over again that I have to have new shoes – but no, the money goes to drug deals or to car payments or rent or the fucking heating oil – always something other than me – & I’m the one making the money!  I have no say!  I’m so tired of this!

& now – after the other day – & I can’t believe it happened – after barely being with him all summer – waiting all fall – will it happen again?  The way he kissed me – only Jesse can kiss like that – I know he wants me as badly as I want him –

Stopping at the Parker Liquor Store & buying a jug of red wine before going to his rental on the West Side – vacant again – & making love for hours – he took a big swig of wine & let it dribble out of his mouth into mine & then all over my breasts & then he licked it off – oh – I am wet thinking about it – how I want him – I only want him!!   He is the only one!

***

I’m in the car – in the parking lot – waiting for Teddy – he’s in the bank, cashing a check.  Then we’re going to run a few errands – pay my doctor bill – buy some papers.  Tonight Bernie’s coming for supper again – Ariane’s out of town on business.  We’re having Mexican pork chops & rice.  I’m hungry right now!  I wouldn’t mind a Texas dog or something.

I wish Teddy would hurry up.

At Top’s.  Teddy is inside, paying the electric bill.  Next is the doctor’s, then back to Danielle’s – we bought her a pack of papers.  Then home – I can hardly wait.  I have so much I wanna do – so much I’ll probably not do.  I’ll end up smoking joints with Teddy & Bernie & instead of getting up & doing something all nice & stoned, I’ll melt into the couch, reading or doing crossword puzzles.

***

I’m not at work – I arranged not to go because of the big stag tonight – working 8-11 at the law office, 12-5 at The Canteen & then a stag tonight seemed a little much.  Especially since last night, I got very little sleep – although I didn’t know that when I asked for the hours off last week – but Thursday nights are generally sleepless due to the usual 8-ball deal & the subsequent late-night partying – it’s easy to figure on burned-out Friday mornings.  Teddy kinda floated off to work today – he says he didn’t sleep a wink last night.  I know I floated in & out of consciousness – which isn’t exactly sleeping.  Just now I started feeling sick.

OK.  That passed.  Last night I went out shopping & drinking with Crissy – it was so strange not being with Teddy.  I really missed him.  Everyone tells me we’re together too much – all my girlfriends are constantly asking me out – trying to get me out with the girls!  But I’d rather be with Teddy!  Even though I was having a good time, I was glad to get home & show Teddy what I bought – finally a new pair of shoes! – & a few other things.  He & Jesse were snorting coke when I got here.  I was so glad to see Jesse – oh, that man makes me so horny!  This morning, he stopped by to drop off money for a deal – I gave him a cup of coffee.  & sugar – lots of sugar!  The special kind of sugar – the kind that only I have! Just like Teddy, he hadn’t slept a wink last night – I had to laugh – I was the one out drinking!

Oh – time for a hot bath – I feel so divine – I love to get fucked in the morning!

***

Anaïs Nin, in the fourth volume of the Early Diary writes: “I adore, I worship Hugh with my body and soul.  But I have a surplus of affection, of enthusiasm, which is pent up because he does not need it all.”

That is exactly my relationship with Teddy.  Although we are closer than ever & spend more time together than most couples, there is so much inside of me – so much affection – so much good sex – so much more than Teddy needs or demands from me.  It’s such a drag to constantly need more – to always be horny – always wanting – satisfied for short moments only.

Sometimes I want so intensely – I can feel the kiss – the pressure of his lips – his tongue – the look in his blue eyes when he told me:  “I can hardly wait to get laid off – I want to fuck you every day –  or whenever it’s convenient for your sweet little cunt” – I am dying.  I am perpetually in heat.  It dominants me – whether I am in the law office – in the car – enjoying a moment with Teddy – dancing – I can’t escape it.  I love it – passion – desire – sweat – cum – the never-ceasing rhythm – the smells & sounds of lovemaking – the complete sensual life – oh what am I to do –

***

Another grey day.  Sitting at the bar at Falco’s, while my wash dries.  A great idea:  a Laundromat with a bar inside.  So while you fold your laundry, you can have a drink.  Actually, my wash is probably done – but I’ve got this drink to finish!

I feel good today.  I have a stag tonight & I can hardly wait.  Out in Angola-on-the-Lake – what a drag!  Oh well – we’ll have a good time partying on our way out there.  I’m dying to dance!

***

New Year’s Eve – getting ready for our party.  We’re so low on cash – last night Teddy poured over the list – trying to cut a few pennies here – save a dime there – so we’re not getting olives or vegies other than carrots & celery – he plans to buy the bargain blue cheese dressing instead of Marie’s.

I’ll be so glad when this season is over.  Party, party, party!  I need a few months of quiet – time to writer – sew – create art – rest.  I have no bookings for 1986 yet – but if 1986 is anything like 1985, I’ll be busy busy busy!

But at this point, I’m just looking forward to next week.  Last week I found a bunch of poems in a notebook I’d forgotten about – I want to work on them – get them typed up & done.  Writing is all I want to do in January.

Well, I have to go wash dishes – straightening up my dressing room – start moving around plants & books so they’re not damaged during tonight’s party.  & I have to bake a cake – January 1 is Jesse’s birthday – he doesn’t know it yet but tonight’s party is also going to be a birthday party for him.  I love him so much!

A wife may love her husband but nobody loves a man like a mistress does.

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 14

[Summer-Fall, 1980]

I found Eddie’s letters last night.  I’d tucked them in with some other papers & forgotten about them.  They bring back a torrent of feeling.  I miss Eddie.  I haven’t written or talked about him in a long time.  I can’t believe he was so stupid as to start shooting heroin.  There’s so many ex-junkies in the rooms.  Everyone says there’s better sobriety in AA than in NA.  I’ve never been to an NA meeting – I never had a problem with hard drugs.   Honestly, I’m getting sick of AA – not that I want to start drinking again – but the weather is getting nice & I have better things to do than to sit & listen to someone go on about their drinking days.

***

A year ago today, Bard Ellison called me to ask me out.  It seems like 4 years ago.  I feel 5 years older than last year, 10 years older than when I first met Jon Kudzma.  So much has happened & honestly – there are such incredible gaps in my memory – so much I simply do not remember at all.

***

On my lunch.  It is hot & windy.  I can hear the store flag flapping in the wind.  It is not a beautiful place, this parking lot.  But there are trees up on that hill & grass.  I should bring a blanket to sit on, up there.  I’ve pulled down my dress to my breasts so that they can get sun.  A blossom, blown off the tree by the wind, just fell into my iced tea.  I should bring a thermos full.  I spend too much money at Friendly’s.  I have just enough time to get a sandwich & an iced tea & come out here to sit & smoke a joint in solitude.  Then I go back to work stoned & happy to handle unhappy customers & solve problems.

I have been seeing one of the stock boys here at work – the first time I saw him he was coming out of the men’s room opposite the credit office & I was like – who’s that gorgeous boy? – over 6-foot tall & built like a linebacker with long hair & a mustache.  A few days later, I was on the loading dock checking the manifest & I saw him again & I realized that he was a coworker & I went through the office files to find out who he was – Donovan Murphy, just turned 18 – compared to the other guys I have been seeing for the past several years, way too young for me.  & I wrote him off because of that.

But one Friday, I was handing out checks – usually Diane does it but she was off for the day – & he was at the window, picking up his check & I couldn’t help but flirt with him.  I noticed he had a Grateful Dead t-shirt on.  “Hey, you’re into the Dead,” I said.  “The Grateful Dead Movie is playing tonight at Cleveland State.”

“Yeah I know,” he answered.  “Ya wanna go with me?”

So I did.  & afterwards we parked & fucked – he was really good raw talent – as Janis Joplin would’ve said – real teachable.  He must have liked me too because he started asking me out every Friday – we’d see a movie or go to a show or catch a band at a club.  He has a fake I.D. so he can get real beer & alcohol – technically I’m not drinking so if I can’t get real beer, it’s not an issue – but these silly distinctions Ohio has makes me miss New York.  Anyway – he’s really into the Dead.  Like totally.  Calls himself a “Deadhead” & everything.  He’s been going to Grateful Dead shows since he was twelve years old & he has a bunch of concert tapes – plus all their albums – even the crappy ones.  He’s also into Bob Dylan, The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the Allman Brothers.  Quite a change from the punk rock I was listening to back in Buffalo.  He knows almost nothing about punk – but unlike so many guys I know, he’s willing to listen & learn.  He genuinely likes music.  & I think he genuinely likes me.

***

I finally tripped!  Donovan went to Ashtabula & bought twenty hits of acid on Friday night – I was pissed off because he was supposed to call me & he never did – apparently he dropped as soon as he got them & he was tripping all night & forgot about me.  But we went out Saturday night & it was so great.  We dropped right after he picked me up & we went out to this small club in Medina.  We picked up a hitch-hiker on the way out there & he sold some to him & he also sold 10 hits at the club.  Donovan’s a real enterprising kind of guy.  Me, I’d want to hold on to them, but Donovan made a profit on what he sold & he’s going to buy more.  He may have sold even more when we were there, I wasn’t really paying attention.  I was watching this young professional in an expensive Ralph Laurent tropical print shirt & a pair of faded blue painter’s pants play pool.  Medina has a lot of young professionals from Cleveland – they go out wearing expensive shirts & old jeans – they’re just out of grad school & they just landed a job at some big corporation.  There was a terrible band playing, it was one of the worst I’ve heard in a long time.  I was longing to dance but of course the music sucked.  I was just standing there waiting to get off.  I was tugging on Donovan’s arm: “When’s it gonna start, when’s it gonna start?”  I was jumping up & down, almost.  Donovan was smiling.  “Well, you’re pretty hyper, that’s a good sign.”  I said, “I feel pretty good – like I’ve done some good speed & smoked a few joints – like I could go all night.”  I felt totally good – usually I have some depression hanging out somewhere – even when I’m really happy, there’s that shadow hanging over me.  But last night it was all gone.  The band was setting up for a second set & I couldn’t stand it, so we went out to the car & smoked a joint.  All of a sudden I started laughing – I couldn’t stop – & Donovan said, “Stop laughing!  Go ahead!  Try to stop!”  I couldn’t do it.  Every time I tried, I just busted up again.  Eventually, I sobered up.  “So this is tripping,” I said seriously & started laughing again.  It was like I could make fun of myself & everyone else & everything so much easier!  I mean – that’s what I do all day at The May Company – make fun of people.  Imagine it tripping!  We drove all over the place & eventually parked in a cornfield & fucked.  It was beautiful – I got home at 4 a.m.  I said, “Oh, my mother is gonna be mad at me tomorrow, she’s gonna be pissed!  Oh well, what the fuck.  It’s worth it.”  I went upstairs & went to bed.  My back really hurt cuz the skin had been rubbed off in the car – by the cheap carpet – & I put some Vaseline on it to make it feel better.  I lay in bed & watched the sky lighten outside my window – watched the darkness swirl – I felt like when I was a little kid & I used to pretend that my bed was really a giant’s shirt pocket – or a raft – I was just lying there on this raft, floating – I didn’t get any sleep at all last night.  My mother called me to get up at 6:30 & I was still tripping – I got up, washed my hair, got dressed for church – church was great.  I shook hand with everyone & grinned.  I couldn’t stop grinning.  But it was nice to get back into bed – get some sleep.  I slept until 1 p.m. & then got up & ate pan-fried perch & Mama’s great homemade French fries – I’m still tripping.  I feel really great.

***

For a while, I went on a rampage –  I just went wild, in the manner of the 18-year-olds I hang with – did acid, drank a lot, stayed out until 4 a.m., etc.  –  & ya know my mother didn’t dig it & she clamped down on me like she did when I was 18.  As if I were still 18.  I rebelled – we argued – I compromised.  I really didn’t have a choice – I have no money & nowhere to go.  At least there was a compromise to be had.  I guess I’m more reasonable than when I was 18 & I can also see that my mother is trying to be more reasonable too.  She just wants peace & quiet & I am not quiet when I am drunk.  I think I am quiet.  I am probably noisier when I think I’m being quiet or trying to be quiet than if I just was normal.  But like all drunks, I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing.

Sometimes I’m frustrated.  Sometimes I feel so goddamned stifled I wanna burst!  But I feel like I’m growing into myself.  Basically it’s just coming to terms with my loneliness, finding ways to make it work for me.  Striving for patience, for an inner serenity – “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” – I say that prayer a lot.  I mean, it’s just growing up – realizing what I can do & cannot do.  Figuring out my goals & how I’m going to achieve them.

One of the things I’ve got going at The May Company is making the silly people who work there laugh – all the phonies who think that fine clothes & the right make-up & hair are the most important thing – make them realize that to laugh & have fun is not antithetical to doing a good job while you’re working.  I wanna break through that – I wanna make these people laugh –  at the same time, gain their respect for being a hard fucking worker.  I’m doing it, too.  I know that sometimes I’m too much, which works against me – I’m kinda like Pollyanna – that obnoxious child who goes around making people smile & everyone’s lives better – only I’m the sexy stoned version.  I would like to stay in management.  I think I have a talent for it.  Plus, business needs a good shot of rock’n’roll.  It’s far too sanctimonious & self-important.

Mom thinks I should enroll in secretarial school – she says since I already know how to type, it wouldn’t take me long to get a degree & then I could get a decent job as an executive secretary – she says there are several excellent business schools here in Cleveland & I could easily attend classes after work.  But not if I’m partying all the time with Donovan & the boys.  I really don’t know if I want to be anyone’s damn secretary.  I would really like to go back to UB & finish my English degree.  But she does bring up some good points – like, even if I go back to UB, I could have a job as a secretary & be able to support myself.  So I’m going to look into it.

Basically, I just want a nice place to live & a comfortable income, lots of books & friends who drop in & gossip & talk about the arts & jam – & a job that’s right for me.  Oh, I want so much.  It’s so good – wanting that much.

***

I started taking classes at Cleveland Business Institute – it’s right downtown & I can get there easily on the bus after work – it’s sooo boring but at least Mom is happy – I’m taking shorthand & business procedure.  I passed the typing exam but the skin of my teeth – I can type like a whiz but my accuracy could be a little better – they advised practicing in the typing lab.  But once class is over, I just hop a bus & go home – the last place I want to be is at that school.  & I can type at home, on my own typewriter.  Of course it’s just a manual machine – not the nice IBM Selectrics that all the offices will have – which of course makes a big difference.  But I just want to go home when I’m done with class.

Even though I’m in school, I feel like I’m marking time – not really doing anything – just working & partying – working & partying.  At first it was fun – partying in the parks – getting laid in the back seat of Donovan’s car – but now the novelty has worn off.  It’s time for a little seriousness.  But I don’t know what.  Business college isn’t it.  I feel like I’m reaching but it seems like so much air – so much nothing.

But oh well.  It’s summer – at last – & that’s probably one of the reasons for my restlessness – I just wanna burn burn burn.  Sometimes I’m into having a party – sometimes I just lean back & watch, cuz I have trouble digging it – I felt more at home with my Buffalo friends – well, maybe I did.  It’s just a little hard – a twenty-year-old chick with eighteen-year-old pretty boys.  I have never had any interest in young men & here I am with these boys.  I laugh cuz they’re so amusing but I can’t say why I’m laughing – they wouldn’t understand & I don’t want to bruise their fragile egos.  I really like Donovan –  I’m so much in love with him sometimes –  but other times I feel so much older than him & I wonder why I’m with him.  We have really good sex – some of the best sex I’ve ever had.  The first time we did it, I thought – this boy is good, I’m gonna hang on to him.  I mean, it was all about sex.  Lately, we’ve been getting a bit bogged down in predictability.  The lack of a place to fuck is a problem – all we have is his mother’s car – a Buick Skyhawk – which is not a car you want for sex.  It’s almost impossible to move around in that thing.  Now that it’s warm, we can open the hatch-back.  The thing is, sometimes we have absolutely nothing to say to one another.  If it wasn’t for music & sex, we wouldn’t have anything at all.

I wanna talk to Jon.  I long for him so much lately.  I don’t know why.  I guess – I just want to talk to him & see if he’s changed as much I’ve changed.  I understand now that I couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t before.  It’s strange.  I don’t know what I want, but I swear to god, I’d try again & I don’t think the odds are so against me now.  Cuz before it was me who hurt me – my messed-up-ness.  My neediness.  & that’s gone now.  I mean, really gone.  I know how to deal with someone like Jon now.  Always be strong & never – ever – let him know how much you love him or need him.  Or love him.  Never give him that weapon to use against you.

***

I can’t sleep at night.  So often I’m so tired, so beat, but my mind can’t relax – my body twitches, my feet are hot, & I can’t sleep.  I lie there, listening to the clock chimes, not really thinking, just playing tunes in my head.  Empty your mind, think of a koan, say a rosary – but in the end, it’s just the tunes, playing, playing – the tunes in my head that never stop.

I’m so bored.  I’m can’t even read anymore.  There’s not a single novel that intrigues me – I just bought a load of books at the library book sale! – & I almost have to force to study my Greek history which only a few weeks ago was so interesting.  I don’t want to read, I don’t want to write, I don’t want to listen to tunes.  I don’t want to play the piano, I don’t want to sit still – I don’t want to do anything.  I think I’m going crazy or something.  My intellect, my interest in life is dying, or it’s sleeping – I wonder when it’ll wake up.  If it’ll wake up.  I’m so depressed.  I’m so homesick.

***

I think I’ll move back to Buffalo.  I’ll work through Christmas at The May Company & then when things quiet down after the January inventory & all the sales, I’ll start negotiating a job at Hengerer’s or one of the other big stores.  I would only move if I had a job & I had things budgeted out so I know I could make it.  It’ll take thought, it’ll take time & it’ll take patience.  But I’m sure that it’s right.  I was happy in Buffalo.  I was happy even with all the shit I went through.  I’m fairly sure that with my present head I would be happy.  For one –  I know I must live alone.  There’s no one I know with whom I want to share a household –  no one relationship with whom I would trust that situation.  Plus – I want to project myself as Cori – in the singular – not part of Chaotic Bliss – or with Jon Kudzma or anyone else – but by myself.  A single woman.  A free woman.

I’m just not happy here!  There’s not enough interesting people to take the place of the friends I had in Buffalo, or the rock’n’roll scene I loved so much.  There is a scene – a huge scene – it’s just not my scene.  There’s nothing for me to do here, anyway.  I can’t go on living at my mother’s & I can’t move out –  I can’t afford to live alone in this city & I don’t have anyone to live with.  Donovan’s too young – he’s not ready yet.  He’s a wonderful companion – I love him dearly & lord knows the sex with him is the best I’ve ever had but I am under no illusions about our ability to live together.  We’re too different – he’s too young for anything like that.  Plus – I simply have an overwhelming desire to live alone.

Anyway, it’s a goal.  A reason to start saving money.  Fifty dollars in the bank – every week – without fail.  I have to start budgeting again.  Cuz I’m gonna need a lot of things – a lot of money – to move.

***

Last night I had the most beautiful dream I’ve ever had.  It’s the type of dream you wait your whole life of dreaming, the kind of dream that goes on & on & never gets weird or depressing or gets off the point.  It was just – oh man – what you’d like to come true – but it was just so wonderful – you know life can’t be this way.  I feel like the angels really blessed my sleep last night.

Tish & I were somewhere – visiting some other city.  I’d say Buffalo, but it didn’t look like Buffalo in my dream.  It was a more beautiful Buffalo – a Parisian Buffalo – if there ever could be such a thing.  It was nighttime – everything was lit up.  We went into a fast food place for some eats – there was the place where you would order & then a gathering room with some tables where you would eat.  Tish got a bowl of chili & I got a hard roll filled with chili.  It was really good.  I can still taste it – it was so yummy.  We were sitting there, having our meal & Mark Miles joined us.  We were all talking & laughing at the same time.  He was so excited that we were there.  He was telling us about everything that was going on & I got the impression that all the cool people from high school & from college were living here – in this city – in this very neighborhood – & everything was really happening.  I was like – wow, I got here just in time!

I turned & there was Jon.  Like it always happens, I feel his presence before I see him & there he is.  He was dressed in white & his hair was straight & he wore his old, thick glasses – the ones he wore when we first met – not the John Lennon wire-rims he has now.  Actually this part is a little blurry – maybe I was waking up a little or something.  Jon didn’t see me – he was leaning over to talk to someone & I thought, oh it’s another chick, as usual, it’s another chick, of course it is – Then there he was at my shoulder.  He wanted to know how I was doing.  I told him I was going to school to become an accountant.  He said, “But is that what you really want to do?”  & I was confused – because I have always wanted to be a writer & a rocker & why would I want to add up numbers all day long?  But I need a job that will give me security & that’s the kind of job that provides security.  Actually, this part of the dream is a muddle – I can’t really remember what happened next.

No, I remember.  Jon kissed me – & the kiss went on & on.  Then we were entering the house in which he was living.  It was old.  The front door was thick dark wood & had glass panes on either side & there was a little lobby inside – dark woodwork all the way throughout the house – hooks for coats & he hung my green coat on one.  He took me through the entire house – which was a mess.  Outside, there was a garden & you could see the University beyond – the tops of the buildings.  Hayes Hall.  The Old Lockwood Library.

He told me he worked for the University.  He said he wrote all day.  He took me to his room & we laid together on his bed, but did not make love – all he did was kiss me & hold me.  His hands on my skin felt beautiful.  As I fell asleep in my dream, I awoke in real life.  I lay there & relived it again & again.  Now that I’ve written it, it seems so flat, so nothing.  But I feel like something happened to me.

***

To whom do I write?  I sit & sit & – perhaps something “noteworthy” has occurred – I hold my pen over the paper & nothing happens.  The words slip off my mind & dissolve & there’s nothing following up.  I don’t know if I’m tired or just bored.  Or maybe it was just a dream I had when I was younger – that I was a writer, an artist – all gone now in the name of so-called financial reality.

Inside of me I think I hear a scream.  But who knows.  It’s pretty damn weak.  Besides I don’t have time to listen to it anyway.  I’ve got to get ready for work now.

***

Oh wow!  Donovan bought a car – a ’77 Chevy Impala – light blue & in fabulous shape for what he paid for it – & we went to Buffalo.  He wanted to see the scene that I had been talking about.  & there really isn’t any scene anymore – I hate to say it.  McVan’s was featuring heavy-metal bands.  I remembered what Jon had said in the fall of 1978 about the return of heavy metal & how everyone had laughed.  But he was right.

So we went to the Schuper Haus to see Frankie & the Flirts – Frankie Malone’s new band – I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to see that jerk again.  But they weren’t bad – in a Romantics kind of way – very pop & bouncy.  Jon’s band – Zuperman – opened, although we got there too late to see them.  But Jon was still there & my heart was beating so – I couldn’t breathe – I couldn’t think – it was a good thing Donovan was there to steady me – he had no idea who Jon was to me.  Jon & I talked for while – mostly about current events in each other lives & who knows what I said.  He’s with Sara!  They live together!  He went on & one about how happy he is!  About how she gives him “freedom” & how “when the door is open, the bird doesn’t want to fly away.”  Oh, really.  I don’t recall chaining him to a fence – or putting him in a cage – I just wanted him to love me & not play games.  Does he play games with her?  Oh yeah, she’s so fucking perfect.  He doesn’t need to.

He touched my hair.  “Wild, wild perm,” he said.  “Yours too,” I said.  His is super short.  “I can see your ears.”  “I had it cut Wednesday,” he told me.  “I had this done yesterday,” I said, laughing.  “It still smells like a perm.”

“Who’s this young stud you’re with?” he asked.  “Or is this your younger brother?”

All of a sudden, I realized he was jealous.  I laughed.  “He’s a friend,” I said.

I also talked to Frankie Malone & to Gregski – far less traumatic but still noteworthy – I got hit from all angles last night.  Bard was there, too.  He was all but rude to me – he had obviously been drinking, which I guess is par for the course now – accusing me of having an affair with Barrett & breaking up Chaotic Bliss – but Barrett would have left anyway.  He finished his doctorate & he got a job at Stanford.  But Bard acts like it’s all my fault he doesn’t have a band anymore.  Ya know – I don’t have a band anymore either.

By the time Donovan & I were back on the road, I had laughed it off – I don’t let this kind of emotional stress get to me anymore.  Jon says I’ve noticeably changed.  Me too, I see it too! Well, a new hair-do & losing 25 pounds is certainly a “noticeable change”!  I was really disappointed by the whole New Wave scene here in Buffalo.  For one, the chicks were all so fat & dowdy-looking – they were all in the same old look.  Like – they were stuck in a bad 50’s zombie movie or something.  I don’t know – maybe Vogue got to me.  Seeing haute couture everyday as a matter of course.

***

My sister Helena’s wedding.  I am disappointed not to be a bride’s maid.  She picked Tish to stand up with her – why she couldn’t have both of us, I don’t know – but Geoff only  has one best man, so I guess you can’t have two bridesmaids.  Still – of course she would pick Tish.  Nobody picks me.  That’s just the truth of the matter.  Not when there’s another choice.

It’s a very small wedding – at St. Dominic’s – & then a brunch at Tanglewood Country Club – Mom apparently knows someone there – from AA, of course.  No alcohol served at the wedding – no champagne toast – there was sparkling grape juice instead.  The food was really good.  Eggs benedict & chicken cordon bleu & a really fabulous rice pilaf.  Now they’re honeymooning at Geoff’s family’s cabin in the Adirondacks – they’ll be back in two weeks, when Geoff starts his new job at Case Western Reserve University.

***

I have so much trouble sleeping.  I suppose it has a lot to do with my general confusion with career choice, boredom, lack of go –

I want to write, write, write!  I want to be a writer.  But the lack of a project stalls me.  I write, 5, 10 pages & it is nothing, no plot, no hook, nothing.  I struggle with a poem & end up pushing it away.

I am very angry.  I am angry all the time.  I hate my job.  I hate business school.  I’m tired of pushing myself beyond what is reasonable – I mean, in relation to my recreational pursuits.  I hate my life.  I wish, I wish I could get some sleep.  But I guess – that’s life.

***

My dreams are so vivid.  One night Jon, another Barrett, other times Donovan or John R. or anybody.  Very sexual, often violent in feeling &/or action.  I wake up drained.

Daytimes are becoming are & are more dreamlike than ever – at least in a very long time.  I am quite often dizzy, things seem visually hazy, my eyes lose focus regularly.  I am depressed, angry, short-tempered.  I hate the person I’m becoming – hard, bitter, brittle.  I hope it is just a phase.  I would like to change, to be nicer, gentler, more sensitive, but I am so busy, sends to do, supply orders, teletypes & customer always interrupting my train of thought & line of action.  I am always masking my thoughts & feelings.

***

Another night with Donovan.  They are all the same.  Catch a show, get high, fuck.  Tonight we went to see a movie about Jimi Hendrix at Cleveland State.  Afterward we parked & fucked.  Then we sat & drank bourbon & smoked joints & talked.  I was wearing a short dress & dark stockings & black mules.  The shadow of my legs pleased me.