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Excerpts From A Diary 38

[Fall, 1989]

[October]

I have been busy all morning.  I really thought I’d sleep in after what was a bitch of a weekend – Darryl fucked us again – a party cancelled – I caught the guy in a lie & had to tell him to fuck off & die – Teddy & I had a major argument Friday night – I walked out & want to Falco’s & got really drunk – Mike Taylor was there – he used to live with Maryellen but I guess they’ve broken up – we were hustling pool together – hustling college boys – I was the partner who played most of the game – making pretty good shots but always setting up the other guy – & then near the end, Mike would go in for the kill.  Gambling’s not allowed at Falco’s but we were playing for drinks & I got smashed.  Mike walked me home – he was drunker than I am.  Since he & Maryellen broke up, I thought that maybe he was trying to hit on me but he was so drunk I don’t think he was able to think in those terms.  He was barely able to walk a straight line.

Anyway – I was sick all day on Saturday – I had three parties to work – the last one started at 12:30 a.m. – I could barely walk yesterday – but the Bills kicked ass & we got some ass-kicking weed – so I guess the weekend ended up OK – well it ended up great – I was almost asleep when Teddy started making love to me – I was so surprised – twice in one month!  I guess his sex drive is returning because we’re not doing as much coke – or maybe he’s just relieved because the money’s working out – who knows, who cares – I’m not complaining – you know me, I can never get enough – I guess you could say that the weekend ended like it started – since I was with Jesse Friday morning – but that’s another thing – really nothing alike at all when you think about it.  All men are not the same.

Shera never called me – you really have to wonder about some people.  Not even to give me a call.  Well – that’s life – I can’t worry about her – or anyone else – I’m too busy.  I started packing to move this morning.  The pictures are coming off the walls – the books are getting packed.  Some of these pictures have been on these walls for 8 years!  Oh – this place is already beginning to look strange!  It’s such a bittersweet feeling – part of my life is being packed away.  8 years.  I have certainly gone though some heavy changes here.

***

Totally upset.  Totally depressed.  The money from Mom hasn’t arrived.  Without it – there is no trip to San Francisco – there’s no vacation at all.  All is not lost, I suppose – it could come tomorrow – & we could still go.  But we have to get the weed tonight – Pat works until 9 on Thursday – I am totally beside myself.  I am so sick of things fucking up.  This trip is so fucking stupid anyway.  It’s all my fault.  I could have worked all weekend & gone out to dinner on Monday but no!  I had to have a stupid honeymoon!

Jesse called – last week he offered to help financially – but this week – “I’m all tapped out” – sure you are!  Fuck off & die!  These assholes & their stupid bank accounts!  Ya’ll love me so much but can’t spare a lousy $100!  Fuck no!

Darryl hasn’t called either.  We’ll never see that $100 again.

***

Well everything worked out.  I went to Anthony Falco – he always helps me out.  I have to pay him back – of course – but he always helps.  I told him I’d do anything to help him – with my limited resources – a man like that deserves my best blow jobs! – Whatever he wants! – He’s a fucking sweetheart.  I’ve loved him for a long time.

There wasn’t much wood at Mack Lumber – now that it’s cold – & people with wood-burning stoves are burning everything in sight.  But Jesse had saved pieces for us – half a truck-load – stuff from his Christmas presents – mistakes – really nice wood!  & of course – we got weed – a quarter & a gram for $70!  Oh well.  At least we have a little bit.

I have to continue packing – not camping – I did that yesterday – but more packing for moving – I’ll finish taking the pictures off the walls today.  So much to do!  So much to pack!

***

Evangola State Park.  The joys of camping.  We are the only people here.  We had a few neighbors last night but they’ve left.  There’s a Coleman camper set up half-way around the circle but no people.  It’s so quiet – a quiet filled with sound – the sound of the surf – the sound of the wind in the trees – birds – bees – crickets – we are on a point, about 40 feet over Lake Erie – a rocky ledge – so you can’t see the water unless you walk through the woods to the ledge – actually to the fence – & there is Lake Erie – blue-grey & magnificent – white heads on the waves – spray in the air – & the smell of fall – not the crisp, dry fall of the inland but a damp, moldy fall.  The trees are red, orange, yellow, maroon.  The bushes bear berries – red, purple, blue.  There are wild-flowers everywhere.

***

It’s funny how we wake up at our regular times – our internal alarm clocks work really well – we lie in bed & cuddle – it is so toasty warm – the bed is made with flannel sheets, my stag blanket & the camping quilt.  The furnace ran all night, so the inside of the trailer is really warm.  But outside!  The wind’s blowing cold off the lake – the water looks so cold! – I’m wearing layers of clothing – underwear! – my old blue tights – red socks – my warm navy blue sweater with the collar up – jean jacket & vest.  Also my gloves – my writing gloves with the finger tips cut off – & my sneakers, of course.  We have a fire going already & I’m sitting close by!  A hot coffee thick with half & half & sugar warms my insides.  The colors of the leaves are more brilliant than ever.  Blue sky with puffy clouds – white, grey & black – moving quickly away from the lake.  The sun – bright & warm – but behind a cloud at the moment – the wind seems colder than ever.  Winter’s on the way!

***

Teddy’s still in bed.  I’ve made coffees – mmm. As soon as he’s up & about, we’re going to get a paper.  He’s up!  The smell of the coffee must’ve gotten to him.  Charles Kuralt is on TV.  I love that man!  Such a smooth, comforting voice!  Such an excellent bald head!  I’d love to stick my tits in his face!

It’s a grey morning.  The wind has totally died down.  It’s eerie – the lack of sound.  You can barely hear the surf.  Everything seems to be waiting – for what?  The rain?  Gee, I hope it doesn’t rain.  Not that it would bother me to have to spend the day indoors – not with books & football – but tomorrow we pack up & you never want to fold up the trailer when it’s wet.  Well – we’ll just have to wait & see!  Charles Kuralt just said that tomorrow is going to be a beautiful October day nearly everywhere.

Afternoon.  It has turned into a beautiful afternoon.  The clouds have broken up & the sun is shining – brightly through the breaks of clouds – or diffusely through wisps of clouds – now the sun it struggling to shine through a big grey mass.

We have killed the champagne.  Now we are going for a walk – it’s half-time.

***

Getting packed up.  My worked is essentially done – the dishes – cleaning the inside of the trailer – folding the blankets – etc.  I can’t help but feel a little sad.  But I’m looking forward – moving into a new place.  Making new memories – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

It is another lovely day, although cool.  We’re burning up the rest of the wood.  Soon it’ll be time to go – home to see our babies.  I miss them so much!

Noon.  Time to go.  Such a beautiful day.  A lot like our wedding day – seven years ago.

Evening.  Out of joints.  Not likely to get any – that’s life!  I’m in a good mood anyway – got a vodka & tea here – got TV dinners in the oven – just glad to be home with Shadow & Missy.  Tomorrow – cleaning out closets & packing continues.

***

Busy.  I finished cleaning out my dressing room closet – going through every box – discarding or packing my fashion & porno mags.  Mostly discarding.  I don’t know where I’m going to have room to keep all this stuff.  Now I’ve started with the office closet.  It’s 100% worse than the dressing room closet – almost completely filled.  My office is such a mess – a dumping ground for every other room – it’s all get cleaned – tossed out – or packed sooner or later.  As much as I want to keep everything, at this point I am ready to throw 75% of everything into the garbage.  I just don’t have the energy to pack it all – or to find places for it in the new apartment.  We don’t have any storage in the new place & it’s just so much smaller.

Right now, I’m going through my Rolling Stone magazines – of course I am keeping those – putting them in order by date – reading articles – watching a movie – smoking bowls.  I’ve got a cold – I feel dizzy – my head aches.  I just ate some chicken soup & took some more aspirin.  I should take a nap.  But there’s so much that needs to be done – everything has to be packed up & ready to go by next week.  At least I have the time to do it all – if I stay well.  I’m glad I’m well-organized – everything’s been catalogued & put in its place years ago.  There’s just so much of everything!  Oh, I’m such a pack-rat!  I am tossing out less than half of what I have – but I haven’t collected, catalogued & stored all this stuff for all these years to throw it away now.  I just wish Teddy had found us a larger apartment!  What was he thinking?  Of course – none of this stuff is important to him.

Oh, I am tired!  I think it’s time for a nap.

***

I just finished going through all my magazines & newspapers.  What a chore!  It took me days.  As much as I wanted to keep all of them, I just couldn’t.  It really made me cry.  Anyway – now I can get back to packing books.  I have to finish taking the pictures off the office walls & pack up all the knick-knacks.  & the kitchen hasn’t been touched yet.

We got the keys to the new place today.  The electricity was turned on yesterday & the gas will be turned on Monday.  On Monday, Teddy’s dropping me off in the morning – I have to be there for the gas company – & I’m gonna clean the place.  Not that it’s really dirty – for which I am thankful – but it needs to be power-played – vacuumed – the fridge & oven need cleaning – the bathroom – I might even do the windows.

***

At 8:10 p.m., we got the news that a major earthquake hit the San Francisco area – the Bay Bridge collapsed – it was 5 p.m. there – rush hour – massive damage – people dead & wounded – fires burning out of control – we have been watching the news all night.  Keith hasn’t called us but he called Mom – who called us & reported that he is fine & so is his home.  How I wish we had been able to get out there!

Later.  At the new house.  I am so pissed off.  I forgot to bring the ammonia.  I’ll have to ride home – but then I might miss the gas company.  Fuck!  I’m pissed!  I was up half the night – trying to get the packing done – plus with the news from California – & my period – I’m just so fucking out of it.

Fuck it!  I’m gonna clean the rest of the house first & then go home.  What a fucking drag!  I’m so sick of moving!  I can hardly wait until it’s all over!

***

Depressed.  It’s freezing in this stupid fucking house – I can hardly wait to move into the new place with its gas furnace – it’s pouring rain – it’s supposed to rain all day – how are we supposed to move in this weather? – I have a sore throat & a congested chest – I also got my period – fucking bullshit!  Jesse was supposed to show up last night with some weed – but he never showed – never called – fucking asshole!  Why can’t people at least call?

I lit the fire in the living room & made a bed for myself with a sleeping bag & blankets.  I’m gonna sleep this morning – hopefully it’ll stop raining soon – I still have to clean the bathroom at the new place – we have a lot of moving to do today – I have to conserve my strength.

Packing up the kitchen – wrapping each dish in newspaper & then setting them into a box.  Makes me think of working at Sibley’s – packing sets of dishes – crystal – other breakables – to be sent UPS to whatever bride awaited them – oh, I learned my lessons well – even though that was almost 10 years ago – oh, how time flies!

I ought to get back to work.  I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  I feel so fatigued.  My throat hurts so – I should take my aspirin & some more cough medicine.  Maybe a shot of vodka.  Cognac or Drambuie would be better – not that I have any – but that’s life.

***

Sitting in our new living room.  Things are really beginning to look great.  The only room left to set up & unpack is the front room – the office/library.  Tomorrow I’ll start on it.  The job I have been waiting for!  It’s gonna look so great.

The boys upstairs seem nice.  They’re frat boys – TKE.  I had to laugh – TKE was the first party I attended at UB.  Official party, anyway.  It is really weird hearing footsteps over my head.  The kitty-cats were really freaked out by that sound too – they have been freaked out all weekend anyway – the more furniture that disappeared from the old place, the more they were freaking – & Saturday, I shut them up in our bedroom while everyone was here moving stuff & then they got put into Danielle’s cat carrier & then to the new place.  It was cold & rainy/snowy – Danielle took us over in her car – they meowed so piteously – I had never heard that cry from them before.  When we got to the new house, I took them into the new bedroom, closed the door, set up the litter box & left them.  After everything was moved in, I released them.  They have been exploring ever since.

Later.  We started on the front room.  Teddy hung a lamp & I started arranging my desk.  I had two desks on Minnesota Avenue – one in the dining room, which was basically a correspondence desk & the one in my office.  The dining room desk is now in the dressing/sewing room – the extra bedroom – & will be where I keep & fix my jewelry, make-up, costume design & altar to the Goddess.  So now my correspondence – address books, desk calendar, stationary, etc. – has to be added to my work desk.  Not a big deal & it’s probably better that I do everything at one desk anyway.

I’m tired but it’s so hard to stop – I don’t even want to sleep in tomorrow – I want to get up early & set up the office.  But we’ll see.  I’m pretty exhausted – I’m running – have been running – on nervous energy.

It’s so nice here.  It’s nice being in a place that is all there – all the windows – nothing broken – constant hot water – wall switches & outlets in logical places – a big fridge – a stove that heats up quickly – I never realized how slow & uneven that other stove was.  The main thing is – it’s warm & cozy here.  It’s carpeted in every room – including the bathroom.  I think we’re gonna like it here.

***

Too busy to write.  I slept until 11:30 a.m. yesterday – I was so tired – 2 cups of coffee & a shower later, I was unpacking books & setting up bookcases.  I worked until 12:30 a.m. – pretty much non-stop – except for when Teddy & I went over to the old place to pick up the mail & get the messages & bring back a few more things – & of course when I made dinner.  I got right up this morning & right back to work – I’m up to the R’s – I’ve been drinking coffee all morning but soon I’ll break for some eggs & toast.  I’ll be working on the office all day.

Yesterday I also cleaned the oven – what a job!  It took four applications of Easy-Off & I still had to scrape off the burnt on grease & food.  It’s hard to believe that people can be that slobby.

Night.  Smoking a joint – drinking a beer – eating an apple – watching a program on Channel 17 about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  I have my Tarot cards with me – it’s been eons since I tossed them – since October 2 – I’ve been sleeping with them under my  pillow to get the vibrations up to date – oh, moving certainly has disrupted my life – my habits – my cycles –

***

The end of another busy week.  We’re gonna move a lot of stuff today – lots of stuff that’ll get stored in the cellar – plus the rest of the picture, the frames, my collages – whatever we feel like.  My office – the office, I should say – is now a dream office – plants & books everywhere – it’s beautiful.  I have been waiting my entire life for a room like this.

Every day when we’ve been going over to the old place & playing back the messages.  There’s a strike going on with NY Telephone & we can’t set up new phone service yet.  So we have to keep the old service in the old place so I can keep working.

I got my bike & rode home.  I was just arriving when a truck drove by with two guys in it & they were hanging out the windows to get a look at me – I thought – that one guy looks like Jesse!  Well – guess what!  It was Jesse!  He was out to lunch with a guy on his crew.  They parked the truck & came in the new place to check it out & smoke a doobie with me.  He said he had some fabulous new weed – the joint we smoked was killer – & he would be calling Teddy soon to do a deal.

“Call me,” I said, as he was walking out the door.  “Or maybe you don’t want me anymore.”

“No, it’s not that” he said.  “You know I want you – that hasn’t changed. I’ve been working my butt off, trying to support my family – & I’m getting pretty tired of working all the time!”

“Poor buddy,” I crooned – but inside I was laughing.  Poor buddy, indeed!   He’ll be here – soon enough.  I’d be amazed if Doreen wasn’t pregnant again by the middle of next year.  & then he’ll be here all the time.  If only to complain about her.

***

I’ve got so much to do today – baking a Samhain apple pie – setting up my Goddess wall – typing up my Tarot notes – writing a poem to Hecate – raking the yard – I should get going!

Jesse stopped over yesterday.  He got me totally stoned & left me with a nice bud.

We moved the rest of the plants yesterday.

[November]

It’s snowing.  In the 70’s on Monday & snowing today!  It looks so pretty.

It’s been a busy week.  Tuesday – of course – was Halloween – I baked an apple pie – with a pentacle etched into the top crust – any feelings of disappointment I had because I’m not in a coven & couldn’t participate in a Samhain ritual disappeared while I was making the pie.  For if cooking & baking are not acts of magic & transformation, I don’t know what is.  The same with sewing – all needlework – & gardening & writing & painting & making love – all the things I excel at.  & performance.  I create magic every time I do a show.  & isn’t that what witchcraft is all about?

I have 2 jobs tomorrow night & a few next weekend but that’s it.  Not having a phone is really beginning to hurt.

***

We were in an accident last night – on the way home from our parties – on Bailey Ave – a black dude hit us – he was completely wasted – he was driving a white Lincoln – he U-turned right in front of us – Teddy veered but couldn’t help hitting the dude – he’s inconsolable – his beautiful truck –

We almost went out to Darryl’s – we were in fact on our way – but we turned around & went home – we came home!  We’re real glad we did – things are bad – the truck will cost a lot to fix – but at least we resisted temptation – another futile act – besides we bought a half an ounce today – & tomorrow we go to Wegman’s.  We’ll be going out to Darryl’s much less in the future – if at all.

***

My tapes came!  Well – all of them except the Don Henley one – Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison & U2.  I put the Patsy Cline on immediately – this is the way radio sounded when I was a real little girl – before the Beatles – well the way WBEN sounded – which is what Mama had on in the mornings – in the kitchen, as she made breakfast for all of us.

The drapery rod fell down today – the one in the office – so I thought I’d put in the traverse cord.  Should be easy, right?  I can’t get the damn thing correct & I’ve tried three times – I guess I’ll have to wait until Teddy gets home – he should be here soon.

***

Jesse stopped by this morning.  I was in the middle of work & really not in the mood for him – but he told me that my phone was disconnected – not temporarily disconnected – but totally turned off.  My career is over after this weekend.  I have no more bookings!  I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry!  I mean, this is what I wanted, right?  But – not yet!  Not this way!  Teddy says that the phone will get turned back on & people will be calling again – presumably people who haven’t tried in the last week – or heard that the it’s disconnected – or think that I’m out of business – or whatever – well, there’s nothing I can do about it – goddamn phone strike!  I mean, people move & need to move their phones & with the strike, it’s impossible – what are businesses doing?  Are we supposed to just go without a phone?

Anyway, I decided to look for a job – not that I really want to work – but cocaine or no cocaine – we can’t live on what Teddy makes – well, not comfortably – I’m not really sure how to go about this – I know I don’t want an office job.  If I have a sit at a desk at work, I’m not gonna wanna do it at home & I gotta do it at home – I’m not sacrificing my writing for anything.  I’ll fucking dance in a club before I do that!  & I certainly don’t want to dance in a club.  I mean – without a car – what am I supposed to do – take the bus to work?  Or cabs?  That gets real expensive real fast.  I’m looking for a job as a barmaid – I’m gonna hit near-by taverns first & then spread out.  Teddy hates the idea.  I can’t help it.  I gotta have constant cash flow or I get nervous.  I get worried.

I’m nervous & worried right now.  I supposed I’m overreacting – as usual – but I was never one to wait for trouble – I’ll take off before it gets here – or meet it head on – whatever happens.

***

A lot has happened since Tuesday.  I went looking for work & found nothing – well not a job – but I found Mark Miles – he’s been around – his marriage broke up a year ago & he split town but now he’s back – he works at The Skeptical Inquirer/Prometheus Books – he wants me to write my autobiography!  He says I’m famous – everyone has seen Cori.  & how!  Talking to him improved my mood – I’ve been in a bad mood lately – being with him renewed my confidence – made my future look brighter – if not less vague – oh well – my future’s always been a blur.

But one thing he told me really shock me.  It’s been a while since I’ve talked to Jon but it’s not like I’ve had a phone.  I was trying to remember the last time we spoke – maybe it was six months ago – maybe more.  I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really noticed.  Of course – I read his columns about local music in the Buffalo News.  Honestly though – I’m so busy with my own career that I don’t have time for local music anymore.  It’s not like 10 years ago when I was actually part of the scene.  I wish I still was but I just don’t have the time.  Anyway – Mark told me that Jon & Sara just had their first child – a little girl – with the stripper-sounding name of Brandy.  What – is that their favorite thing to drink?  I know it’s not Jon’s favorite song.  “Did they get married?” I asked.  “Yes,” Mark answered.  “They didn’t have a wedding – I guess when Sara told Jon she was pregnant, he insisted on getting married – they just went to City Hall & did it. Strangers off the street as witnesses.”

I felt really weird.  I remembered telling Jon I was pregnant – it may have been 11 years ago but it was like yesterday.  & he certainly didn’t “insist” that we get married.  He “insisted” that I get an abortion.  Of course – we were both in college & neither of us had good jobs – Jon was working at a bowling alley & I wasn’t working at all – of course it’s not like Jon is making much money right now – as a music critic –  but apparently Sara is – graphic arts is a lucrative career.  Mark told me that Jon was a “house husband” most of the time, “taking care of the baby & writing.”  I thought about Jesse – taking care of the babies when he was laid off while Doreen went to work as a nurse.

“Hey, you OK?” asked Mark.

I laughed.  “Yeah, I’m alright.”  But I wasn’t.  I knew I wasn’t.  What happened with Jon so many years ago had broken me in a way that had never been repaired.

“C’mon,” he stood up.  “Let’s go have a drink.  You look like you need one.”  We went to Falco’s.

***

The phone is back on – I’m glad!  Maybe I will work this coming weekend.  I had a pretty lousy time this weekend – my bad mood again – I need an adjustment in the worst way – every joint & muscle aches.  It’s an effort to stretch every day.  My back is so out of whack that every move hurts – try dancing like this.  & no coke, too – we can’t afford it – don’t want to afford it!  I gotta hang in there – if we keep working & keep away from coke – everything will work out – including a good Christmas – & I will be able to afford to see Dr. West again.

***

I went downtown yesterday.  It was the last beautiful day – today it’s raining – blowing – snowing & freezing – I went out to lunch with P.W. – I called about a typist job, too – I have a job interview at 3 today.  I got bunches of books out.  I had fun – it was a great day!  I took the #13 Kensington bus to the Utica Station & then the train downtown.  Coming back, I took the train to Amherst Street, then a #32 Amherst Street bus to Bailey Ave.  I had to wait a half-hour for the bus but I read until it arrived.  I stopped in a Falco’s for a beer & to make some phone calls – oh & I am working this weekend!  Teddy was right – I did get upset about nothing.

How the wind is blowing!  Winter is coming!

Night.  I forgot to mention that last night Pat stopped in.  He brought 2 joints & a tape – the new Dead album on one side & Live Dead on the other.  Pat’s not even a Deadhead but he knows I am – I thought that was sweet of him to bring those over.  He’s really more into jazz & rhythm & blues.  He stayed for a while – it was such a nice visit.  We really haven’t had that many people over yet to see the place – something I’ve been rather upset about – but anyone who’s been here is amazed that we’re already so settled so maybe they think we’re still unpacking or something.  I’m gonna get the Chistmas & Solstice cards out really early this year – right after Thanksgiving – & add a little note inviting people over.  I love this place so much – I’m really proud of it.

***

No work tonight.  It feels so weird to be staying home.  We worked last night.  We spent our money on food & home necessities.  We joke about how we would love a line but it feels better to eat – to be warm – to have the bills paid – to have a bag of weed.

***

I’ve been under the weather all day.  I really need an adjustment – I decided to borrow money from Anthony & go to Dr.West’s tomorrow.  I have continual headaches – my neck is stiff – my whole body aches.  With Thanksgiving shopping on Wednesday – a party on Wednesday night – & cooking all day Thursday – I just don’t want the pain – I want to relax & enjoy myself on Thanksgiving.  Not hurt – I hope Anthony can lend me the money.

***

I couldn’t get the money from Anthony.  Oh well.  I feel a lot better today anyway.  Well – actually – I felt pretty bad this morning – a really bad migraine – I woke up with it – so I slept in – I didn’t get up until 10:30 a.m. – & I still had the stupid migraine – everything went wrong – every little job – the cellar fridge – the litter box – turned into a large job – I didn’t feel good until I got into the shower.  I did my nails while I watched “Perry Mason” – then made up & went out.  I looked really good & my headache had gone away – so even though Anthony wasn’t able to help me out – I felt so good – I barely cared.  & Anthony was really sweet about it – he always is.  I know he loves me – which is all that matters.

***

Tired.  Depressed.  A bad headache.  A stiff neck.  I’m homesick.  This time of the year is so tough on me – on one hand, I’m happy we’re staying home – I’m doing a turkey dinner & everything that goes with it – & on the other hand, I miss my family.  Teddy keeps saying, “I’m your family, Shadow & Missy’s your family” & of course he’s right – but still – I miss Mom – I miss everyone.  It’s been – how long? – since June, 1988 – when I saw them last – & it wasn’t the best reunion – but oh well.  Dwelling on it won’t make me feel any better.

I suppose things would look brighter if I had a joint to smoke.  & I suppose having my period is contributing to my depression.

I guess I’ll go bake the pumpkin pie – gotta be done anyway – besides – baking always cheers me up.

***

Feeling much better.  After I wrote for a moment, I laid down for a moment & was out cold for an hour.  I woke up & couldn’t get up – I finally dragged myself out of bed & started making the pie.  I put on my Patsy Cline tape to keep myself company – with the boys upstairs gone, the house is so quiet — & the next thing I knew, I was sitting at the kitchen table – sobbing into a towel.  I was totally gone – a complete wreck – then the doorbell rang.  I wiped my face off & answered the door – it was Jesse.  Yes – I’ve been avoiding him – trying to pretend he doesn’t exist – but at that moment – I was never happier to see anyone.

“What’s the matter, darlin’?”

“Oh Jesse – I’m so depressed – I’m so homesick!”  & then I was in his arms – sobbing, sobbing – oh, his comforting bulk – his physical largeness – my face pressed into his sweater smelling of cigarette smoke.  He started attacking Teddy – saying how insensitive he was – not going to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving when that’s where I wanted to be – & of course the more he denigrated Teddy, the more I defended him & Jesse started to laugh – “Get off your high horse,” he said.  “I see you’re feeling better,” he added dryly.  Before he left, he massaged my back & cracked my spine & neck – it was such a blessed relief – a release of tension.  I have been so tense – so tense – too tense.

The rest of Wednesday was great.  Teddy took me out to lunch at Cayuga Snack Bar – a Thanksgiving tradition.  Then we came home & napped all afternoon.  When we got up, we went to Falco’s.  I was hoping to run into Mark Miles but never showed – his boss M.B. did & I introduced myself.  We went home & Pat showed up with a half an ounce of weed & a gram of coke.  We went to that party in a great mood.  I’ve never danced better.  It was a really good party.  Afterwards, we stopped back in at Falco’s & then home again to party & play backgammon.  I was definitely under the weather for Thanksgiving though – the turkey didn’t get in until 1 p.m. & I went back to bed after that.  But when I re-awoke at 2:30, I felt great.  We smoked joints – munched on cheese & pepperoni & crackers – pickles & olives – celery & carrot sticks & Marie’s blue cheese dressing – until dinner was ready at 6 p.m. – & dinner was great!  Everything tasted wonderful!  Of course – cleaning up took a long time – but I did it in stages – in between joints – but it was nice – a really nice Thanksgiving.

***

Watching the Bills-Bengals game.  We’re on top – 17-0.  We’re almost out of weed again – down to roaches – Pat says there isn’t anything to be had – at least for today.  That’s life.  Curtis turned up again – he has some acid!  I really hope we can get some!  It’s been close to 2 years since we last tripped.  Is that possible?  We used to trip all the time.  Cocaine has really ruined the drug market.  I mean – it’s all anyone has – there’s little weed – even less LSD or shrooms or buttons or any other hallucinogens – you can get pain killers, but that’s about it.  I miss tripping.  I really do.

I’ve been working on a collections of poems called “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Seductress.”  I want to have it done & in Mark Miles’ hands by the end of the week.

I also need to get laid.  It occurred to me that I’m constantly hungry & constantly eating because I’m constantly horny.  I really have to do something about this.  It doesn’t help to masturbate more.  In fact – it makes it worse – I want to be with someone – not by myself – I want passion – there really isn’t any passion in masturbation – except in fantasies – & I’m sick of fantasies – I want the real thing & I want it regularly – & often – not every few months when Teddy finally feels like it.  Or once a year!  I mean – what the fuck!  I love him so much & I don’t want to hurt him but I can’t go on like this – I’ll end up as fat as a sow if I do – not to mention completely out of my mind.

Something else – I keep thinking that I’d like to have a baby – especially if I’m not going to be dancing anymore.  Teddy doesn’t want children – he’s said so many times – but I still think about it.  I would really love a daughter – I already have a name picked out – Janine Rebecca.

***

I slept in today.  I didn’t plan to – but something about Mondays makes me want to sleep.  Maybe it’s just a habit left over from our drug days.  It just feels so good to lie in bed & drift off into fantasies – hope that they come true – masturbate & call for Jesse – I can’t help it – fall back asleep – & wake hours later – feeling guilty because I have so much to do.

But I’m up now – drinking coffee & writing.  I’m ignoring the housework today.  Oh – I’ll probably straighten up the house during “Perry Mason”.

I just finished a poem called “Shadow”.

***

I just finished my book.  Well – I have to type up the table of contents – but the all the poems are typed & in order.  The sections are:  High School Lovers, The Knight of Cups, The Rainbow, & Man on a Motorcycle.  I only used a fraction of my poems – maybe around 100 of them – & I’m already thinking of the next book – the wild life – love affairs – dancing & drugs – & eventually I want to do one about spirituality – maybe called it Myths, Dreams & Visions – include my Goddess poems & my dream poems.  But that’s all in the future – I’m just glad to have this book done.

I’m scared about showing it to Mark – or to anyone for that matter.  I’m afraid he won’t be interested – or he’ll read them only as a courtesy – or he’ll think they suck – or they’re amateurish – or immature – or something else that will make me feel like shit.  I’m so scared.

***

I’m finished.  I did the table of contents after my shower this morning & corrected the only two typos after breakfast.  Then I cleaned the house for the first time in days – housework always gets neglected when I’m writing.  Now I have the new Dead album on.  I should go out & call Mark.  I’m just so frightened – really scared – of rejection.  One thing I realized when I was working on this book was that the pain & rejection I suffered ten years ago still burns.  Also – I am amazingly angry about it – I used to be depressed – but anger & depression are really the same emotion – kinda like positive & negative poles of the same lousy feeling.  Anyway – I’m not over the pain – I’m not over wishing that things could have different.  Also – the feeling like no one’s ever really taken me seriously – least of all Jon – which is why some of my most extreme anger is directed at him – that affair almost destroyed me & what for?  Things would be so different now!

I’ve been having really telling dreams lately – dreams in which I’m angry – I’m fighting – I’m jealous – & I’m acting on my feelings instead of getting depressed or ignoring them or partying away the pain.  I’m not always right in fact in some dreams I really overreact – like beating the shit out of someone for $12 – but it does show that as happy as I am with my new home – with Teddy – with the cats – I am really angry – angry because I want to be taken seriously as an artist – & I want sexual passion – I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so angry.  I’m working out the anger I feel in my dreams instead of in my conscious life because I can’t work it out in consciously – I’m so afraid of hurting Teddy – I really love him – but I can no longer deny – if I ever did – that this marriage is not what I really want.  I mean – within 6 months of my marriage – I was having an affair with Jesse.  & one of the poems I wrote for Jon – do you keep on wanting me? – was written a week before the wedding & published in the Buffalo News shortly afterward.  I mean – I told the entire world that I was thinking about a past lover – just as I was getting married.  But Teddy – I love him so much – he loves me so much – why can’t it be enough?  & what’s missing?  Because I know something is missing.  Something is very wrong & has been from the very beginning.

Well – this isn’t getting my poems published.

Noon.  I just called Mark.  We’re getting together on Friday at noon.  He’s enthusiastic – at least he sounded that way.  I’m so nervous!  Oh Mother!  I want everything to turn out well!

Night.  At turns exhilarated & scared.  Afraid I’m making too much out of nothing – my imagination is going nuts – running wild – I don’t know how I’ll live until Friday.  Oh, I wish I hadn’t gotten so fat!  Actually – I look pregnant.  Oh well – I’m still thinner & in better shape than I was at any time up until April & May of 1980 – when I was doing those great black beauties – oh how I wish I could still get those! – oh well.  I’m still great looking!  I still have a great figure – just a little more of it.  Besides – I’ve always been sexy – large or small.  I just feel a little more confident when I’m small.

I know – I know – it’s my writing that’s important – not my looks.  It’s just looking good makes me feel better & more confident in all areas of my life – hey, I need all the help I can get!

I’m just dying – Friday can’t get here fast enough.

***

Bored.  I finally finished a poem I’ve been working on all summer long & now I just can’t get into anything else.  I shoveled the driveway & front walk & put the garbage out.  The cats are crawling all over me.  I’ve got a lot of books out from the library – I guess I’ll read the rest of them this afternoon.  I’ve got chicken rice soup on the stove – I’ll have lunch & read & probably take a nap – I’d take a walk, but it’s blowing cold & snow.  I should transcribe a diary – or inventory some books – I just don’t feel like doing anything.

***

[December]

All made up.  I must have changed my clothes a dozen times – now I’m in my green sweater – green, the color of money – color of life – the color to attract love – & my jeans & boots – I considered a dress but fuck! – I’m comfortable in jeans & let’s not get carried away here – plus it’s cold out & I dress for the weather.  I’m so nervous!  There – I just put on some perfume.  A shot of perfume is a shot of courage.

Noon.  At Falco’s.  I’m so afraid he’ll never show.

Afternoon.  Well, he came over & we talked – mostly about people we both knew – but since he had to get back to work, he couldn’t stay long – he took the manuscript & left – he said he’d read it over the weekend & get back to me – I have such a feeling of anticlimax – & oh god – I am dying for a drink – dying, dying, dying!  Oh, I am so sick of being broke!  I can’t even borrow any money off Anthony because I’m not working this weekend.  All I have is a bicentennial quarter.  Oh Jesse!  Where are you when I need you!

Excerpts From a Diary 32

[May, 1988]

Finally, the weather is warming up – acting spring-like.  It was sunny when I got up – I opened some windows when I got up but it’s clouding up & cooling off now – big black clouds rolling up from the lake – a chill in the breeze.

I have my period – it arrived after Jesse left on Friday.  I hate having my period on the weekends – when I have to work – but at least I didn’t have it when Jesse was here – I was able to fuck him!  I was so horny!  I’m always so horny right before my period.  Mondays are the best time to get my period – when I’m tired & want to sleep all day anyway.  But oh well – that’s life.

Dennis just called – he’ll be over to collect his money – he’s right up the street – we owe him for this weekend’s coke.

Later.  I just heard the most raucous laughter – I had to get up & see – 3 teen-aged girls & a boy – no more than 15 years old – & he had them in stitches!  I had to laugh too.

***

I just finished doing stretching exercises.  I’ve been disgustingly lazy all winter long.  Of course – I had the car accident & I’ve been so sick – & I did let myself get run down – but there wasn’t any way around it – I had to work & I couldn’t rest & relax the way I should have.  I know it sounds silly but when I got in the car accident & got so badly hurt & got busted & everything that’s followed – losing my car & my license – & all the pain I’m still suffering – my back & my knee – I just lost heart.  The last several months I really haven’t given a shit about anything.  I know it’s wrong & I should have fought it – made myself care – but I was beyond that –

But it’s spring now & my birthday soon & I feel better.  Although I’m still moving slow – I did my exercises slowly – after smoking a joint & thinking about it.  my back is still in pain – the last few days have been pretty bad.  But doing the exercises over time should help.  Besides I have to – I’m getting fat!  At least – I look fat – my tummy’s fat – when I look in the mirror – although Teddy says I look lovely – as sexy as ever – & I know I am – but I still think I’m fat!  I must be – I seem to be eating so much lately.  That is – when I’m not blasted silly.  It’s gotten to be a real yo-yo existence – high all weekend – straight all week.  It used to be high all week – or at least most of the time.

Oh well – phone’s ringing –

***

Afternoon.  Watching “The Price is Right” – smoking a joint – a tall vodka & tea next to me – Teddy’s working late – he won’t be home for another half-hour or so.  He’ll be sweaty, hot & tired when he gets here.  I’ll have a bath ready for him to jump into when he gets here – & a tall ice-cold glass of Pepsi.  Today was – is still – such a lovely day.  Cloudy & cool at first but it’s been brilliantly sunny & hot – the first time this year – all afternoon.  I put on my bikini & went out on the porch for an hour.  Talk about stopping traffic!  Policemen waving hello – deliverymen hanging out their truck windows – college boys trying to act cool & macho – one dude went by with his tongue actually hanging out!  Oh, I get no end of amusement from these idiots.  When I was going back in the house, the school up the street was letting out & these two little black boys were walking by.  They saw me & of course started giggling.  The bolder of the two addressed me: “Hi, naked woman!”

“I’m not naked,” I told him.

They were giggling so hard they could barely walk straight.  I could hear them all the way up the street, “Nekkid woman!”  I was picking up my stuff & I heard: “I’ll be stopping by your apartment later tonight,” & even louder giggles.

“I don’t think so, son,” I answered.

“You got a husband?”

I laughed.  “Husband or no, don’t you think you’re a little young for me?”

“No, no, I don’t!”  & they were almost crawling – they were giggling so hard.  I disappeared into my apartment.

***

After the warm weekend – it got to 82 on Sunday – a cold front moved in & temperatures dropped.  It’s still really nice though.  Today is cool & cloudy.  The trees are all flowering – the new green leaves so bright on the trees & especially the hedges where they stand out against the older growth.  My little bird who lives in the trees in front of the house is on the porch railing, singing his lungs out.  He spends a better part of the day singing there.  I don’t know what kind of bird he is – maybe a finch – he looks like the goldfinches I used to see in Clarence Center – but he’s greyish-brown with white-tipped feathers & kinda red on his head & back – but barely – like a dye growing out.

I have to go wash my hair & get ready to go to see Dr. West – I already called & flirted with him on the phone – feeling good today –

Afternoon.  It is so tough getting Danielle to motivate – I got to her house a full hour before we finally got into the car to go to Williamsville – I hate being late to appointments!  Oh well – it’s just something you gotta get used to.  It pisses Teddy off to no end – it gets on my nerves too but there’s nothing to be done about it – it’s just the way she is – so why get upset?

I drove Dr. West wild today – not that I have to do anything except lie there & breathe sex – the easiest thing in the world for me to do – I do it effortlessly.  He gets himself worked up easily anyway – telling what he’d do with me – etc. – stealing kisses – etc. – drives me wild too – although part of me stands back & makes fun of the whole thing.  I mean – it really is stupid.

Later.  All wound up & no place to spin.  I couldn’t sit still – couldn’t concentrate – I put two new batteries in my vibrator & back against the pile of blankets in my dressing room – in the middle of an excellent fantasy – the phone rang – I forgot to put on the answering machine – I let it ring – then I got up to get it – after all – maybe it would be something interesting – but not such luck!  Another dumb Joe trying to hire me for Saturday night.  Hey – that date was booked solid weeks ago!  Leave me alone!

***

It is thundering & lightning – I just saw the finest flash – the perfect end to a gorgeous day.  A burned out day – of course – recovery day – like all Sundays.  We had our usual Sunday dinner – pizza – from Via Veneto on the corner – pepperoni & meatballs – mushrooms on my half – hot peppers on Teddy’s half.

Oh – I’m tired.  Teddy’s in bed.  I stayed up to watch a new “Perry Mason” movie.  It’s really pouring.  I have to check the windows –

***

Another storm.  It was sunny all morning long – what I saw of it – I got up at 11 a.m. – I put on my tan accelerator before dressing – assuming that the fine weather would last through the afternoon – but oh well.  That stuff makes my skin so soft.

Teddy’s home from work today.  This morning he was all upset – rushing around – barking orders.  He’s got a hay-fever head cold.  Now he’s mellow – laying on the couch – & the storm is on the outside of the house – not the inside.

***

I wander around the house – I am dazed – I am confused – lost – but exultant – joyous – pleased – pleased – pleased –

When Anthony Falco stopped by today to drop off money for Teddy I had no idea what would happen – I wasn’t expecting anything – but oh my my – he was wonderful – wonderful – wonderful – I always knew he liked me – but not like that!

Now I know what Anaïs Nin meant about the veils of an Oriental woman – using the veils to hide herself from all view except from her lovers – the creation of a literature that is all sensory – passionate – emotional – but not concrete – not “factual” – not factual in the sense of facts such as who, when, where but only how & why – & only just enough to tell the real story – the woman’s inner story –

I am not making sense.  But it doesn’t matter – because I know – I know – I know –

I feel so alive!

***

I’ve read all my diary entries in this notebook – I must sound like a crazy woman – which I suppose I am.  I’m still riding on yesterday’s euphoria – dying for a continuation – my mind is racing – will he or won’t he call – oh – the usual thoughts of a woman in love – in love – in love –

I can’t help thinking about him – I’ve been writing all morning – mostly fixing typos on old poems.  Naturally – right now I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  It’s one I remember from when I was a kid.  This is my break – at 1 p.m. I’ll go back to work – writing – I did all the housework yesterday.

I gave thanks to the Goddess yesterday.  I was so happy.

***

So tired today.  I supposed it’s because yesterday I partied all day – I had a wonderful time – birthday shopping – buying an entirely new outfit at Sibley’s – denim & lace – & then dinner at Coachman’s Inn – Teddy had ordered a birthday cake when he made the reservations – totally unknown to me – you could have knocked me over with a feather when our waitress & other servers & kitchen help came to our table carrying the cake & singing “Happy Birthday” – I cried.  It was a great meal – giant whiskey sours – French onion soup – house dressing on the salads – filet mignon for Teddy & prime rib for me – I was stuffed when I walked out of there – very stuffed & very sleepy.

My only disappointment was that we didn’t go to Falco’s – I wanted to see Anthony – also it was the first birthday in seven years I didn’t go to Falco’s – but we were really sleepy after all that rich food – not to mention almost broke – so I wasn’t going to argue the point too vehemently – in the long run what different does it make?

That is my whole attitude today.  What difference does anything make?

***

Mmmm – just out of bed.  I don’t like sleeping after 11 a.m. – feel so guilty when I think of Teddy at work – but I would probably will be in bed if Rose next door hadn’t started mowing her lawn.  She has the most noisy lawn mower known to man & she mows at the pace of a snail.  I know she’s an old lady but still.  It’s a postage-stamp size of a lawn – it shouldn’t take an hour to mow it!   I hate the sound of lawnmowers!  But I do love the smell of freshly cut grass.  Oh, I have so much to do & no energy to do it with!  The house is a mess – the maid does not work on weekends – the maid barely works on Monday.  Well – maybe she’ll just have a late start.  I’m gonna have breakfast – then watch Perry Mason at noon – then lay in the sun until 2 p.m.  Laying in the sun isn’t really “relaxing” – I mean, it is relaxing – but ya know, in my business, a tan is mandatory – & then continue with the house.  Tuesday & Wednesday I have to get ready to go camping on Thursday.  So much to do – I’m not going to get any writing done this week either.  Of course – if I hadn’t slept until 11 a.m. maybe I would’ve had the time to write – but then I hate to write when the house is a mess.  Oh well!  I guess I should get up & make breakfast & start in on the dishes – boohoohoo!  I hate washing dishes!  I’m so lazy today!  So burned out – too much partying – too much cocaine this weekend – but that’s life!  Gotta get my act together no matter how much I want to sit & do nothing.

***

Busy, busy, busy.  Packing to go – making macaroni salad, bacon-onion dip & barbecue sauce – making & revising lists – doing laundry.  Hopefully Teddy will get his check today – then we’ll be able to go to K-Mart, Wegman’s, Mack Lumber, Consumer’s, etc. – this afternoon & evening – & then we can leave bright & early tomorrow morning.  If have to wait to shop tomorrow morning, then we’ll have to run around all day & then pack & leave afterward – not until after noon – & there’s be a delay on the bridge & that’ll be a drag.  I want to go!  Plus – we’re broke & there’s nothing to eat!  Well we can have salami sandwiches.  But – I want something better than that.  I’ve been eating salami for days.

***

Stoneybrook State Park, site #114.  We’re having a great time – beyond a great time.  We got here around 12:30 on Thursday – we were all set up & settled by 2 p.m.  We got wasted that night – 2 hits of acid apiece – snorted up all the coke – & drank almost half the vodka.  Needless to say, yesterday was very low-key.  We slept half the day & ate the rest of it & was in bed by 10 p.m.  This morning was a joy – waking up & listening to the birds & the sounds of the water in the creek rushing down the hill – the birds chirping – other campers – kids playing.  It is so quiet here.  Not a thing like Sherkston’s party-all-day-all-night-music-never-stops atmosphere.  It is really great.  Also, most of the campers are families.  You never see this many kids at Sherkston – it’s really nice.  I just love the quiet – it’s what I really needed.

***

Clara Barton Street – Rte. 36 – Dansville, NY.  I love Dansville.  I told Teddy I’d be more than happy to live here.  This is Teddy’s family’s hometown.  Well here we go – no more writing.

Later.  Cooking breakfast.  Actually, I guess it’s lunch.  Teddy’s doing Canadian bacon & toast on the grill & I am making homefries & eggs over easy inside.  It seems more overcast than yesterday.  There’s no rain in the forecast but I suppose you never know.  I’d enjoy a brief thunder & lightning storm/rain shower.

After we eat, we’ll read & smoke joints & then we’re gonna hike along one of the trails.  I want to take a bunch of pictures.

***

Ready to leave – boohoo!  The trailer’s all folded up – the bed of the truck is packed with dirty laundry – the empty case of beer – empty coolers – half-eaten boxes & cans of pretzels & peanuts.  We did eat almost everything we brought.  We ate & drank almost non-stop!  But now it’s time to go – boohoohoo.

Doug & Danielle stopped by yesterday – we were so surprised!  They stayed several hours – we walked around the park & showed them everything – the kids threw rock after rock into the stream & screamed when they had to leave.  We all ate dinner together – sharing dogs & chops, chips & chicken salad & my homemade German potato salad.  They don’t want to go to Sherkston for the July 4 holiday – they want to go to a place near Pembroke called Sleepy Hollow.  I’ll go anywhere – I don’t care – as long as it’s quiet.  I’m tired of Sherkston’s party atmosphere – I party for a living – when I go on vacation, I want peace & quiet!  Plus – Doug has to work every day & the Peace Bridge is a real drag – Teddy is real sad, of course – he says it’s the end of an era.  Well – it’s always the end of an era, isn’t it?  One way or another?

Time to go.

***

10 a.m.  Making up some breakfast – 2 fried eggs & toast & coffee.  I have so much to do today – I’m sure my household chores will extend into tomorrow – it’s so hot that I’m not going to bust ass or anything.  There’s supposed to be major thunderstorms tonight – a cold front from central Canada will be moving through – so tomorrow when it’s cooler, I’ll do the heavy housework.  Today I’m mostly gonna pick up – straighten up around the house – the camping gear we just set down anywhere because it was so hot & we were so tired – we just brought everything upstairs & let them lie.  There’s also a multitude of dishes in the sink – naturally I didn’t feel like doing any dishes last night.  Oh – I shouldn’t have gone back to bed after Teddy went to work this morning!  But the bed looked so cool & inviting & I was so horny – I thought I would pleasure myself & then get up & get to work but after I came, I drifted off into dreamland – I woke up more tired & disoriented than before.  A few cups of coffee always cures that – today it seems like even coffee isn’t working very well.

Oh, I’m lazy today!  I wish I could go to the beach!  I swear, if someone called & said, “Hey let’s go,” I’d drop everything!  But oh well.  I read in Sunday’s paper that there’s an hour wait to get over the Peace Bridge.  I guess if you want to go to one of the beaches in Canada, you have to start early in the day!  I haven’t spent a day on the beach in a long time.

All this writing is not getting my work done.  I ought to make a list:

  1. Defrost fridge
  2. Get garbage together – empty waste baskets, newspapers
  3. Laundry – darks, lights, costumes, blankets
  4. Dust & vacuum, sweep kitchen
  5. Make bed & straighten up bedrooms
  6. Clean desk & baskets
  7. Do paperwork
  8. Make booking calendar for July & August
  9. Create new sets
  10. Create new costumes
  11. Lay out in the sun
  12. Make grocery list
  13. Decide what to wear to dinner tonight & get it ready
  14. Straighten up sun room
  15. Clean coolers
  16. Mending – black lace teddy – green pillow
  17. Sweep front porch

Number 13 will be a toughie because I don’t know where we’re going to dinner.  Betty & Jerry are up from Florida & they’re taking us to dinner tonight.  I wish Teddy had asked where we’re going.  I’m sure they made reservations.  Oh well – I have all day to think about it.

The minutes are slipping by – I gotta get some work done!

Excerpts From a Diary 31

[Winter, 1988]

[January]

I’m sitting in the living room easy chair – the multi-colored zig-zag afghan over my lap – sipping a vodka & tea & munching pretzels  Teddy’s on the couch, reading the newspaper.  The Seattle-Houston game – of course – is on – it’s tied – in overtime – a really good game.

It’s the last day of Christmas – for me, anyway – tomorrow I’m taking down the tree & the lights & putting away all the Christmas knick-knacks.  I think I’ll leave the snowflakes in the windows, though – they look so pretty.

This is what I want to do in the New Year –

  1. Keep my diary more diligently
  2. Read as much as possible
  3. Be more cheerful & complain less
  4. Write as much as possible
  5. Diet & exercise
  6. Find a new job
  7. Finish up my degree

Quite a list – I could add a few more, I guess – there’s so many things I want & so many things I could improve on.  I feel bad about losing my job at the law office but I guess it was a long time coming & I kind of feel relieved – although I do miss it.  Edmond was really good about it – he said he would have kept me on – but the other partners didn’t want a stripper working for them & my “fame” as a dancer has just gotten too large for them.  Plus – to be honest – there were just too many mornings where I came in just a little too hungover to be respectable – & I know it.

***

We’re both camped out on the couch – smoking a joint – watching TV.  Today was a moody day.  I woke after having dreams of my family – Rocco was a little boy – a cat who attacked my orange shoes – I was wearing them – like I would ever wear orange shoes! – & just before I woke – Jesse.  Woke into a fog that only a hot bath could get me out of.  I took the Christmas tree down & put all the ornaments away & that is never fun.  Although by the time I had everything put away & dusted & vacuumed, I felt a lot better.  & besides – Teddy was home by then & he always cheers me up.  I finished The Color Purple today – what a great novel.  I’m 4 for 4 – four books read in four days – for 1988.  I know I can’t keep this rate up but it’s fun.

It’s totally winter – cold & getting colder.  We haven’t gotten any oil for the furnace, so it’s really cold in this apartment – the gas burner in the fireplace keeps the living room toasty & the electric heater keeps the bedroom warm.  I think we might be able to go all winter without buying oil.  It isn’t exactly safe with the gas burner but Teddy keeps a window cracked so there’s fresh air.  I have to have fresh air no matter how cold it is.

***

I’m beat – I have a stag at 10:30 tonight – no cocaine – oh, life is tough.  I’ve had a hangover most of today.  Yesterday Rocco came to visit – we went to Nietzsche’s on Allen Street for a Jack Kerouac show – “…but I wanna be sincere” – it was really good – at least the first two hours – which was all about Kerouac – his bio & readings from his novels – but after that, local poets began reading their own works which were pretty bad – we left during the second poet & went to Falco’s.  Teddy met us there & we went home to drink & snort until 4 a.m.  Needless to say – today was a waste.  Oh well –

***

Oh, woe is me!  I scarcely know where to start!  Only – I can’t believe this is happening to me!

On Wednesday, I went back to work at The Pipka Palace – the first time there in over 3 years – the first gig in a club since The Canteen closed.  The Toyota’s brakes had gotten really bad – we haven’t had the money to have them fixed – of course we always have money for coke – & I didn’t want to drive it – I asked Teddy to drive me but he didn’t want to – he told me to take it easy – to use the emergency brake – I’d be ok.

Well – of course I didn’t take it easy.  I mean – I was ok driving there – although it wasn’t easy stopping on slippery roads during rush hour using an emergency brake.  But I did it – I’m a pretty good driver.  & I would have been ok – I guess – but it was a total party during my shift.  Everyone was happy to see me again.  & I had a total ball.  I had so missed working in a club.  It’s such a different vibe than doing a stag.  Of course The Pipka Palace isn’t The Canteen but still I had a great time.  I made lots of money in tips & naturally drank a lot – more than the legal limit but that’s not very much nowadays.  I was drunk but I’ve been far drunker before.  Just before I left, I was talking to two dancers I hadn’t seen in years – Black Annie & Joon – & Annie rolled up a joint laced with coke & naturally I took a few tokes.  That’s the last thing I remember – no – I do remember trying to call Teddy & not being able to manage getting the quarter into the slot of the phone as he answered – The Pipka Palace has one of these new-fangled phones were you pay when the person answers & if you don’t get the money in there in time, you lose the call.  & I lost his call, like 3 times.  So then I got my stuff together & got into my car & started to drive home.  I remember driving up Jones Street & turning onto Clinton Street.  But after that, there’s nothing.  & even what I remember is a blur.  The next thing I remember – kinda – is smashing my car into the pole at William & Bailey – absolutely totaled the car.  It’s amazing I’m still alive – it’s amazing I’m not seriously hurt – no broken bones or anything.  Seriously – I jumped right out of the car!  I didn’t even know I was hurt until the next day.  Of course – I was feeling no pain!

So naturally – there’s a coffee shop at that corner & there was a cop car sitting there.  It took them no time at all to get their coffee & donuts to go & come out to check me out.  I was in hysterics.  I was beyond scared.  The dude was cool – he’d seen me dance & he was a friend of Paulie’s – but the babe was an asshole.  She was not impressed that I was the dancer for all the police stag parties & she didn’t like Paulie, either.  So of course I was charged with DWI.

The rest – going downtown – getting booked – I refused a Breathalyzer because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do – it wasn’t like I could call my lawyer & ask him – I wasn’t read my rights or anything – it isn’t like on TV.

Anyway – I would’ve spent the night in jail but Paulie got me out after a few hours.  He traded a bottle of Scotch for me.  I was never so happy to see anyone in my whole life.

The phone’s ringing –

***

[February]

So depressed – so very depressed.  I’ve been to court – my DWI was dropped to a DUI – my fine was $250.  Without the breathalyzer, there wasn’t any real evidence against me so there wasn’t any DWI.  My lawyer told me that was really the best thing I could have done.  He charged me $400.  It just kills me – I went back to work to make the money to pay off my book & record club bills & to get myself new things – shoes & clothes & fabric & trim to make costumes – & I end up further in debt than ever!  I’m so tired of being broke!  I can’t do dick shit without fucking up!  When did I take on this bad luck?  Oh, nothing’s ever really been different – read my old diaries – nothing’s ever been different – nothing ever will.  Oh, I’m beginning to believe it myself.  That I am nothing but bad luck personified.

I was so desperate – I called Jesse.  Of course – he was busy – just running out the door to buy tools or something – who knows – who cares.  It’s been over a month – too long a time – I’m just so horny – so depressed – so uptight – I can’t help it – I need a release so badly.  How can I be so beautiful & so unwanted?  Oh – that’s not true – I get calls & come-ons from guys all day – I swear – the phone rings all day with these jerks.  But the men I want – my husband, especially – have one excuse after another – all “good” excuses to be sure – I can’t help wondering if it’s me.  What’s the matter with me?

Oh well – roll another joint – read another book – take another escape route.

***

I’m so horny I want to die.  I’m so depressed I can barely get myself motivated.  I ran out of typewriter cartridge yesterday so I can’t write – both of my favorite pens ran out of ink – oh I guess I’ll sew – make myself a new outfit for work today – but I don’t feel like it!  I wanna get laid!  I want hours of touching – feeling – everything you do when you’re hot in love/lust with someone – oh this pain that never goes away!  Oh this pain – this knowledge – this knowing that makes it worse.  The only person giving me orgasms is myself.  I’m sick of this solo act – sick of it!

***

Working on poetry with MTV on.  I’ve retyped everything from 1971 to 1985, which is when the typed copies end, except for “Jesse” & those poems from August & September of 1986.  Everything else – much of 1985 – most of 1986 & all of 1987 – are still in my notebook/diary – waiting to be found.  I forget most of what I write.  I expect a lot of surprises.

Well, back to work.  First, some aspirin.  I’m here with my cup of tea & a joint – ready to do what I’ve always done – write, write, write.

***

Almost the same entry as yesterday!  Poetry, MTV, a cup of tea & a joint.  I found so many poems yesterday – so many more than I expected – stuff from 1983 & 1984 – things I totally forgot about.  I mean, I wasn’t even going to go through that notebook but then I thought I’d put all the diaries in chronological order & it was when I was flipping through the notebook to find out what dates to write on the cover that I found the poems.  For years now I’ve been writing things into notebooks & thrown into a box & forgotten about them.

***

Coffee & joints!  Sixties sitcoms on the TV – the shows of my childhood.  What influences!  Such unreality – never meant to be taken seriously.  No wonder the poor children of the sixties can’t handle the eighties & have to be wasted all the time.  This world is too cold & dark & real!  Oh well – Actually, this sixties silliness gets a bit tedious.  But I love looking at the cars & the clothes.

What should I do today?  I think I feel like sewing – I’ve written all week – except Monday, when Teddy took the day off – I never get anything done when he’s around.  I think I’ll make myself a purple g-string & a bra to match – trim it with black lace – actually, I don’t feel like doing anything – except read – lie around & escape – but I might as well get something done today.

Later.  I can’t get a break!  I was ready to jump into the tub & Felix called & said he’d be over & then Donny McCain stopped in.  We were all smoking a joint when Jesse called. “Any goodies over there?”

“The only goodie over here is me,” I replied, “& you haven’t been so hungry for my kind of goodie lately.”

“Well, I’ve been busy,” he answered.

“Yeah, sure,” I shot back.  “Well – call Teddy later – I’m not sure what’s going on – something or another.”  So that’s that – although if Felix & Donny hadn’t been here, I would’ve asked Jesse over to sample some “goodies” – but maybe the conversation would have ended the same way – probably.

Well the “goodies” just arrived – & I am so glad – so glad!  Nothing like a thick white line to sweeten the pain – pang? – of a lover who doesn’t want to love anymore.

***

I feel like shit.  I had a good weekend – fun at work on Friday at the Pipka Palace – fun partying with Teddy on Saturday – fun at a stag on Sunday – & delicious souvlaki afterward.  I made lots of money – which is all gone now – of course.  On Friday night – actually 3 a.m. Saturday – we discovered mice in the kitchen – since then & now we’ve caught five of them!  It’s just awful.  I’m not afraid of mice but I hate thinking of them all over my nice clean kitchen – making it not clean anymore.  I’m so glad I have everything in Tupperware – mouse-proof!  Oh, as soon as the weather gets warm – warm enough to open windows & spring clean – I’m gonna spring clean with a vengeance!

I’ve been working on Teddy to let me get a cat since before Christmas & now I really want one – he says a little kitten can’t catch mice – but it’ll make me feel better – & what the hell – little kittens who can’t catch mice turn into big cats who can.  Besides – I want something to love – something small & cuddly & babyish & who needs me & something a lot smaller than Teddy – who is certainly cuddly & a baby.  But he isn’t furry & he isn’t small.  & he doesn’t give me what I need.  Kittens are another kind of baby.

Maybe I’ll go out later – after Perry Mason.  I have $6.25 in change – I could go to Falco’s & drink a little.  Although I shouldn’t – I’m gaining weight.  Teddy says I “still” look great & I know I have a lot of pounds to go before I look bad – but this is how it starts, A? I was reading an old diary of mine the other day – I had taken notes from an astrology book – it said Taurus women depend on sex & food for security – it’s true – I’m not getting laid – so I eat & drink.  What am I going to do?  This depression has been going on for years.

***

We got another mouse last night.  Downstairs, the problem is really bad.  We were down there earlier – Cindy was having trouble setting her traps so Teddy set them.  A mouse ran through the living room while we were there & Teddy found a dead one – stiff as a board – under Melissa’s dolly’s cradle.  I guess the poison Paulie set out worked – but what I hate about poison is that you never know where that mouse is gonna end up dying.  Of course – it is so dirty down there anyway.  I’ve been worried about all my magazines in the side room – a mouse & his family could make a great nest in my piles of Rolling Stones – & everything else I have there.  The closet is packed with magazines.  It’s a mess in there.  The entire room is a mess.  I’ve been putting off cleaning & organizing in there until spring – until the poetry is all typed & in notebooks – everything else has been put on a back burner until that’s done.  But I suppose I should start working on it – I’ve put it off way too long.

My arm is cramping – time to stop writing.

***

Watching the Olympics – the US-DDR hockey game – the US is losing.  Time’s running out – it looks like we’re out of the medal round.  The US teams are doing really lousy this Olympics.  No wonder – unlike so many other countries – particularly the Soviet ones – the US government doesn’t support its athletes at all.  It’s so maddening.  Communism is evil but private industry is all-good.  Kodak is the “official film” – Coca-Cola is the “official soft drink” – etc.  This is how we support our athletes?

I have so much to do this week – well, so much I want to do – I really don’t “have” to do anything – I have to clean the kitchen – defrost the fridge – mop the floor – because of the mice, the fridge & the stove have been moved out from the wall to set the traps & of course it’s dusty & dirty since those appliances haven’t been moved since we moved in.  I guess right now it seems like a big job because I’m so burned out from working & partying all weekend – I don’t want to do anything – I don’t want to do anything – much less scour walls with 6 years of dust & dirt on them.  I’m sure there’s plenty of mouse turds back there too!  Yuck!  Well, once I get into it, I’ll get into it – really precise statement there – I mean – just making something dirty & yicky into something clean & nice is always fun.

Of course that’s not all – there’s laundry – dusting & vacuuming – watering the plants – garbage – & always writing.  But honestly – right now all I want to do is another blast & another drink but we’re out of coke & out of vodka so that’s life – I guess I’ll have another beer & play solitaire – I’m sick of thinking about housework.

Besides – it’s late – too late on a Sunday to be doing coke – since Teddy has to work tomorrow – & gee whiz – we have been partying all weekend!  It was a good weekend – good parties, great guys, a lot of tips, a lot of money – I saw that the bills were paid.  It’s always good to get the bills paid!  It’s nice to make money & have a lot of fun partying while you’re at it!  If I could only manage to make more than we spend!  If only Teddy didn’t have to get everything he wants!

***

I just woke up – played back the answering machine – the first message was from Jesse – “Hey babe” – oh that seductive voice! – so I called right back – but he was just leaving!  Of course!  “You should get up earlier,” he said.  “Oh geez!” I exclaimed.  “It’s winter & I’ve done all my housework this week!  I deserve to sleep a little.”  I added, “You should just come over & wake me up!”  It kills me – I was dreaming about him –

***

[March]

Such a busy weekend – 5 stags.  In such pain – such pain – I’m finally feeling the impact of the car accident – I’m seeing Dr. West once a week – he’s a chiropractor that both Jesse & Danielle go to – he’d like me to get into the office for adjustments twice a week – I can’t afford it – I’m really hurting & he knows it.  He knows I’m hurting in more ways than just my back – we carry on whispered conversations – since every word spoken naturally is easily heard in that tiny office – it’s like Grand Central in there.

I found out on Friday that Rocco is going to become a priest.  I’m sure Mom & Bob must be besides themselves with pride & joy.  I feel more like a misfit than ever – how did I ever get stuck in this family?  Why do I have to change so much – impossible change – to fit in & merit pride?

Sometimes I’m so down I don’t know what to do.  When I’m alone – doubts surround me.  As soon as Teddy arrives – they all vanish – at least in to the corners of the room.  But when I’m alone – I’m lonely.  & I’m horny.  & all my dreams seem far, far away.

***

Teddy will be home soon to take me to work – I’m all packed – made-up – dressed-up – & bejeweled.  I have some good tunes on – I’m singing & dancing – getting myself into the mood – like doing deep-knee bends – stretching exercises for the head & heart & soul.

I feel pretty good today – minimum back pain – & I finally seduced Teddy last night!  We dropped acid – the first time in ages – eons! – & acid always makes you horny – whereas Teddy & I agree cocaine doesn’t do it anymore – especially Teddy – he doesn’t want to make love when he’s wasted on coke at all – he’ll talk all night about it but not do it.  On acid, of course, talking can become pretty futile pretty damn quick – how can you talk when you’re dying with laughter?

Anyway – it was great – a great break.  A mini-vacation.  I feel much better – much better.

***

I’m waiting for Danielle to come & take me to Dr. West’s.  My appointment is at 1:30 & it’s 1:25 right now but of course Danielle is late.  Danielle is always late.

Evening.  I’m in love – with Dr. West.  I love the way he touches me – the way he smiles.  I know he’s attracted to me – that’s easy to assess.  I just love being in love.  I love loving 2, 3, 4 men – I love to love –

***

I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  It’s on every day at noon – I wouldn’t miss it.  I’ve always loved murder mysteries.  After “Perry Mason”, “I Love Lucy” is on.  Other women watch soaps – I watch old TV shows – I don’t need living color to enjoy a story.

I’ve been reading The Spiral Dance by Starhawk & taking lots of notes.  I started doing some of the meditations in the mornings.  I really want to learn all I can about women’s spirituality & wicca & witchcraft.  I like the idea of a women’s religion & a goddess-oriented spirituality.  As soon as I have the time, I going to go to the library & get as many books out as I can carry.  I’ve got a list going.

***

Busy as a bee!  I’ve been spring cleaning all week – the house is lovely – oh, the weather’s great – warm – sunny – spring!  Although it’s supposed to get chilly again – over the weekend – that’s life!  Oh, I’m dying to go camping!  This is the slowest time of the year – seems like it takes forever for the temperature to get high enough to do all the things I love to do – lie in the sun – camp – ride the motorcycle – go on a picnic – oh I can’t wait!

Well – the weekends are full – the phone’s ringing off the wall – so many jobs!  The happy homemaker & the infamous stripper – soon to be student again, I hope! Oh well – back to work –

***

Wasted.  I can’t sleep.  Teddy’s in bed – his nose hurts – he’s done for.  But of course – I can’t sleep.  I’m sitting in the kitchen – heating up chicken soup & reading Camille – should I have another drink?  Do I really want one?  I do & I don’t.  “I don’t” is winning – I haven’t had a bite or two of breakfast since this morning – or yesterday morning – whatever – & nothing else except vodka, 7-Up, birth-control, Contac & four aspirins.  Yes, I’d better forget about another drink & have some soup!  Besides – if I go to bed without eating, I wake up at 8 or 9 a.m. starving & sick to my stomach because of it.  But I might be sick anyway.

No more vodka!  No more toots!  Ice water & chicken soup.  Oh, I need to lie down.  I’d like to sleep a long time.  I’d say forever but isn’t that death?  I’m not ready for that – I suppose if I was, I’d be shooting smack.

***

Oh, it’s so nice today – it much be 70 or more – it’s hot, anyway!  I’d really like to lie in the sun but since I have a cold, I’d better not.  My right eye is all enflamed – when I woke up it was all red, puffy & half-closed – I was really upset because I have a birthday party to dance at 4:30 p.m. – & it really hurts.  I went over to Danielle’s & she put some drops in it.  I rode my bike – Paulie was home & brought it up for me – it was so great to ride around.  I’m tired now – time to nap before having to take a bath, shave, wash my hair, curl my hair, put on my make-up – hope my eye is better by then – put on my jewelry, my perfume, my attitude –

***

[April]

Teddy just ran up to Wilson Farms to get some aspirin – I told him to buy a can of chicken noodle soup & Pepsi when he was there.  Tonight we babysat for Doug & Danielle – they went to the hockey game.  Well – he’s back now –

2 a.m.  Teddy is going to bed.  I am staying up a bit.  A really good documentary is on – about the earliest movies – their story-lines, production – the rise of the nickelodeon – the “first” film that told a “whole” story – Thomas Edison – the rise of the moguls – the building of the movie houses – the evolution of MGM & the other filmmakers.  But the best part is all this old footage – old, as in pre-WWI – the way people dressed & acted.  Oh, what are movies anyway?  Just doorways – or windows – to the past – windows you look through – since you walk through doorways & there is no way I can walk into the past.  & these windows are pretty cloudy with dust & dirt.

I ramble.  I wanted to make a note – about how the big movie houses were for movies as well as vaudeville shows.  But then the movies became more popular than vaudeville.

I ramble.  I have to pee.  Wait – what do I have to say?  I can’t remember.  I told Teddy I’d only be up another 5 minutes & I’ve been up way longer than that – well it always is.  The documentary is over – I’m going around the dial.  MTV?  Hate this video.  CNN?  News more than once a day is boring.  What’s this?  “Perry Mason”!  Great!

***

Wasted.  I have really nothing to say.  Then why do I write?  Habit, I guess.

***

Just home from Dr. West’s.  Sex talk – the whole time he worked on me.  He went into his office & put on cologne when I arrived.  Just before I left, he turned on the “sander” – the massager — & caressed my sides – my breasts – my hips – & last my crotch – my clit melted – it’s still tingling –

Part of the conversation when like this – he said, “It’s hard, being married, so many pretty ladies, but I don’t know who to trust.”

I replied, “I know exactly what you mean.”  & I certainly do.

“Can I trust you?” he asked.

“Yes, you can,” I answered.

I told him about Monday.  I had a birthday party to do – a last-minute call – at Murphy Manufacturing – for the boss, J.  I was in the most foul mood – I’d partied heavily all weekend – staying up all night – bending time – drinking to excess & of course lots of cocaine.  Puff & toot!  Anyway – by Monday I was completely burned out – muscles aching – just plain tired.  I was horny too – I’d been on fire all weekend & I slept all Monday morning & had the wettest dreams – I was still wet when I was doing my show – I was on fire!  I was a volcano!  Molten fire!  Of course – J. was a hunk – lovely hard muscles – a chest covered with hair – only 32 years old – I was horny & wet & he knew it – he was horny & hard.  For the first time – at a stag, anyway – I wished Teddy wasn’t there – I wanted to go into an empty office & get the living daylights fucked out of me – it was the most uncomfortable feeling – part shame – part frustration – part erotic desire that I was unable to mask –

He called my cunt “roast beef” – I had never heard that before.  Most men compare female sexual parts to seafood.  I guess it’s because of my long lips.  I quipped, “Real food for real people.”  He was saying, “I love large cunts, I like them better than large tits, I wanna eat you, suck on your large cunt, you want me to, I wanna fuck you, I have a big fat cock – ”

But alas – or maybe thank goodness – I went home with Teddy – then we went to Anderson’s for roast beef sandwiches – which was ironic when you think about it –

But I couldn’t stop thinking about him & I wished I could go back there all alone.

***

I’m sick – I’ve been sick for days.  Saturday morning I woke up with no voice & it’s been downhill since then.  I had to work Saturday night – of course – with the usual energy booster – of course – & Sunday I was shot.  Monday & Tuesday I felt terrible – bummed out & pissed off about being sick – like my body has let me down – betrayed me – I’ve got so many things to do – Teddy says to lay back & relax & get better but Jesus Christ, the last thing I want to do is relax!  He says I don’t know how to relax anyway – getting sick is enforced relaxation.  I finished all my library books & I’m reading Gone With The Wind again.

I do feel a bit better today – not so tired & appetite’s coming back a bit.  That’s one things about being sick – what a great diet.  My belly is completely gone.  Mostly I’ve been drinking – coffee, tea, pepsi, beer, milk, iced tea, water – I’ve been dying for lemonade.  Oh the weather’s been so lovely – warm, sunny – soft breezes coming through the front window – oh what a drag to be sick!  I was going to go to UB for a series of lecture on radical poetry – but oh well – that’s life.

But I do feel better – when I cough, I’m able to move the phlegm in my lungs.  It makes me think of a frozen ice floe finally able to move – like the Niagara River.

I’m hungry again – thank goodness we have plenty of food.  Lots of soup – which is probably what I should stick to.  If I start feeling too good, Teddy will get mad at me for not taking it easy – pushing myself for I’m ready.  I have a busy busy busy weekend – completely booked up – including a Sunday gig – as a favor to Anthony Falco.  I guess Teddy’s right – I’ll have to continue taking it easy.  But I’m so bored!

***

I’m beat.  Today was the first day since I’ve been sick I didn’t go back to bed after Teddy left – I stayed up & cooked myself a nice breakfast – two eggs over easy & a slice of baked Virginia ham & toast.  Then I defrosted the fridge – laundered my costumes – stripped & remade the bed – cleaned the bathroom – straightened all the rooms – & dusted & vacuumed the living room.  There’s more to do – I haven’t done housework all week – but I’m tired out now.  This place looks presentable though.  It was really beginning to get on my nerves.  Teddy says I’m silly – to worry about the housework when I’m sick – but I can’t help it.  I hate a messy house.

***

Look at this handwriting – man, am I fucked up.  It is a total effort to make the pen move along the paper – on the pale blue lines – making each character even & precise & legible.  The news is on – the weather – fucking A!  Winter again!  Cold air, sharp wind & flurries – oh, it sucks!  Winter is really hanging on this year.

I hate writing when I’m this fucked up.  I feel like a child – writing so slowly – like it’s an effort!  It is an effort!  By the time I’ve written what I want, my mind has raced way beyond where I’m at – it’s so frustrating – & I’ve got a wicked cramp in my forearm –

I guess I’ll stop –

But oh – I’m so happy I want to write forever!  Oh, my arm hurts!  I guess I’ll have to sit here & feel good – laugh –

I put Teddy to bed – he’s so burned out – such a heavy weekend – lots of stags & lots of partying.  I burn out a lot easier than I used to – I can’t handle the druggie life as effortlessly as I once did – a few years ago I made so much fun of Teddy cuz he couldn’t keep up with me – being 7 years older – oh how I used to laugh – but the laugh’s on me now.  Cuz now I’m feeling it.  My back’s a mess & my knees are going.  I can hang in there better than Teddy partly cuz I still have my youth pride – though it’s slipping away – more & more – it’s getting really hard – oh my knees – & I’m so tired.  Still I’m young enough to continue ignoring that fact.  I don’t wanna give up – I know I will soon have to – Teddy is proof of that.  I am proof of that – I am really tired.  I’m sick of my muscles aching.  Time to change – soon, soon.  Whether I like it or not.

***

So much has happened since I last wrote – mostly I’ve been sick – really sick – more sick than I’ve been since 1981 – when I O.D.’d on MDA – last weekend was a nightmare.  & of course, the thing that gets me through a weekend of stag parties is the same thing that is making me so sick!  It’s a vicious cycle!

The Canteen Reunion party was Tuesday, April 19 – I supposed I was still sick then but I refused to admit it – nothing would have kept me from that party.  & it was a great party & I was – without a doubt – the star of the show.  & I put on one of the best performances I have ever done – as sick as I was.  Linda Ronstadt’s “What’s New” was my opening song & it brought down the house – opening with a floor routine.  Monday I had a hangover & Wednesday would be even worse.  But Thursday I was so sick I would have welcomed a hangover – a hangover would have been much better than whatever sickness I was suffering – the flu – pneumonia – whatever it was.  I suppose I should have gone to the doctor.  But I was so sick – I just wanted to sleep.  Even now I am still under the weather – although much better.  Better enough to go out to dinner with Doug & Danielle – we went to the Anchor Bar for wings & then to Falco’s – it was Craig’s 34th birthday – & of course I have to work tonight & tomorrow night.  If I can get through an ordeal like last weekend – especially Friday – when I didn’t even have coke to ease the pain – this weekend will be easy – easy –

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 27

[Summer, 1985]

Looking out the window in the big break room at the law office – everyone is still arriving – the parking lot next door is still filling up – I’m watching a guy walk by on the sidewalk downstairs – some homeless dude going to or coming from the City Mission – which is a few blocks away – work boots, baggy olive green work pants, maroon jacket, red & white baseball cap – then a black kid walks by, so pigeon-toed he has trouble walking in a straight line.  He keeps fading to the right.

Jesse just called.  Now that Doreen’s pregnant again he’s calling me all the time again.   I haven’t seen him alone since before New Year’s & whenever I do see him, it’s only when he comes over to do a deal with Teddy – they’re “all good” with each other again – of course they are – there’s money to be made, isn’t there.  Oh – I’m in one hell of a cynical mood today!  But even though Jesse calls me all the time, it’s not like he ever makes time for me – it’s the same fucking dynamic as Jon – he’s got a woman at home but he calls me to fool around on the phone.  Ya know – fuck that noise, man!  That’s not what I need – idiotic talk – I need to get really pounded – I haven’t gotten laid in forever.  But – I just found another dollar in my pocket.  Now I’m trying to figure out if I should spend it on a new record for the jukebox or have a drink with Mo or forget the money & call Jesse back & see if he wants to get together.  Ya know – he just might.  I’m just not sure that I’m in the mood for Jesse.  I would almost rather have a drink with Mo.  I don’t know what’s the matter with me today.

My moon’s in Libra today.  You can certainly tell – I keep weighing desires & things I might want to do & can’t make a decision!

***

Oh my God!  I lost my notebook!  I was dying!  Like – where’s my security blanket –

***

I’m tired.  I’m still recovering from the weekend.  I got annihilated at work on Thursday – plus I had a stag that night – I was sick all day on Friday – I even called off work at The Canteen – only my second time in three years.  I couldn’t stop throwing up.  I had to drag myself downtown to the law office to get my paycheck – I looked & felt like a junkie.  At the bank – I was in line to get it cashed & I had to go outside to get sick in a newspaper.  Naturally by late afternoon I felt good enough to snort more coke & party again.  On Saturday I had three stag parties – two of them ended in fights.  Neither of them involved Teddy or me but they stopped the shows.  When I told Paulie about it the next morning, he said it was the full moon – he said that there’s always triple the amount of arrests on a full moon.  Sunday night I had another stag – with Gigi, Havana & Oralie.  They were all turning tricks.  Listening to them talk, I learned a lot about the everyday, nitty-gritty mundane business of tricking.  Like – johns expect your house to be clean or else they won’t pay as much.  I had never thought of that.  Of course my house is always clean so that’s not even an issue in my life.  Also Havana makes her johns use rubbers!  That flipped me out!  I mean, yuck!  Rubbers suck!  But on the other hand, it makes sense!  You never know what these guys might have – if they’re fucking these girls, they might be fucking anyone at all.  It made me really think.  Like – who is Jesse fucking when he’s not fucking me?  Ya know?   I don’t mean Doreen – she doesn’t count.  I mean – are there other girls?  Is that why I hardly ever see him anymore?

I didn’t get to bed until 2:30 a.m. Monday & I had the alarm set for 6 a.m.  I remember it going off – but I passed right out again – waking up at a quarter to 8 & panicking.  Teddy & I both ran out the door.  I felt tired & achy all day – my stomach hurt – just burned out after a weekend of intense partying.  All my weekends are like this.  I just wish I didn’t feel so burned out for days afterward.

***

Here I am, sitting at a table in the lounge at the law office, with a cup of tea – making out a list of things I need to do after work & I want to cry cuz it seems unfair that I have to work so hard to get a few days off & why do I have to feel so yicky when there’s so much to do!!

Ah, but this first sip of tea is so soothing – on my nerves as well as my throat.  The decongestants are kicking in – at least I’m not blowing my nose every 3 seconds!  But I still don’t feel like working.  I would like to stretch out on the couch or in bed & somewhere & maybe fall asleep – just shut off for a while.  Eventually be seduced.  Slowly. Sweetly.  Sincerely.  I wonder if I call Jesse – would he want to get together later?  I wonder if he’s working?  Probably.  But maybe he’ll take a long lunch.

***

At The Canteen.  Why am I so anxious?  What’s the matter with me?  Is competition eating me up or is there really a reason? – I know there isn’t.

I was eating a ham & cheese sandwich at the bar & Gigi did a swimming pool act & I felt terrible!  I watched & thought – I can do it 10 times better than that!  More sensuous.  More serious.  Well not always – sometimes I laugh just like Gigi did.  But I felt bad – I know I’m a better dancer than she is & I’m certainly way more beautiful than she is – she’s pretty but she’s fat –  let’s face it.  Guys love her giant tits but she’s got a giant gut to go with them.  She’s one big girl all the way around.  Big body – big boobs – big laugh.  She’s a bump & grind type of dancer & of course I can do that, too.  But Gigi can’t do the subtle stuff.  She can’t dance to Linda Ronstadt’s covers of “What’s New” or “I’ve Got a Crush on You” – she can’t move her body in that slow, jazzy way.  It’s beyond her.  Actually – I don’t like using props – like the swimming pool – I only do it because John Canton likes that kind of thing – I think it’s a pain in the ass, actually.  I don’t mind doing floor routines – I bought myself a big blue blanket for them – but as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing sexier than a slow dance – even if you never take anything off at all.  You do it all with your eyes.

Oh – what is the matter with me?  It sounds like I’m a petty & vain kind of person.  I’m not that kind of person.  & everyone knows I’m the star.  Why am I acting like this?

Any other dancer would have left town by this point.  Gone to Canada – gone out West – most of the dancers I started with are dancing somewhere else.  Of course most of them were biker chicks & it’s easy – when your old man is with a motorcycle club – to pick up & leave when he’s on the road all the time, too.  All those girls travel light – they don’t have hundreds of books like I do – they don’t have a home like I do. How am I supposed to leave when I have Teddy – & Jesse too?  & girls like Leandra – she’s still in town but she just had a baby – Teddy & I went over to her place the other day to pick up acid for camping at Stoneybrook State Park & she had the little guy on her lap – David, his name is – she had a new tattoo of his name in Harley wings on her chest – he was naked & as we sat & talked, he got a little hard-on & started to pee – & she held out her hand & caught the stream of pee in her cupped hand.  I never would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

Katie – “Kitty Kat” – graduated from college & nobody’s seen her since – I ran into Margie tending bar at a small Riverside tavern where I was doing a stag one night & she complained bitterly about how Katie “abandoned” her after she became a computer programmer – “Like she didn’t know me at all,” she said.  “We were best friends.  We roomed together, we were on the circuit together, traveled all over the country together.  & now she won’t answer my calls – she changed even changed her number to an unlisted number!”

I heard Stormy was murdered in a knife fight in a strip club in Pittsburgh – I don’t know if that true – it is definitely true that Misty was murdered by her boyfriend but he got off – since she was “just” a dancer & a prostitute – never mind that he turned her out & made her stay out until she made so much money a night sucking cock & beat the shit out of her if she didn’t produce.  Laura Lee got her nursing degree & is working at Buffalo General but she still comes around & parties.  Kendra went to San Francisco with a rich older woman.  & I’m still here.  Charlene had her baby & hooked up with a Erie County Sheriff & moved out to North Collins.  I’m still here.  & like I said – I would leave – but I can’t.

***

The day after my 25th birthday.  We came home from Stoneybrook State Park late Saturday afternoon – I did two stags Saturday night & two last night.  I didn’t want to go to work this morning but Teddy ragged at me so much that I went & I ended up being very glad that I did.  Anna brought in a cake that she made, a nice card, a tape she made of new tunes & two large photographs of me she took several years ago.  She’s a really good photographer.  & the tapes have some tunes that I happened to hear on the radio when we were camping – two by this band called Lone Justice – I really like “Ways to be Wicked” – I want to add it to my set.  I also love Alison Moyet – “Honey for the Bees” is exactly the kind of tune I want for my set!  I’m so glad – I needed some new music to pump up my sets.  Teddy is always telling me that they’re fine “the way they are” but I think that you always have to be changing things to keep them interesting.

In all I received lots of nice presents – but it was a much quieter birthday than previous ones.  Last night at work, they opened a bottle of champagne for me & we were all doing shots of vodka gimlets.  But I really took it pretty easy this weekend.  I was so deliriously tired – especially Saturday night.  No cocaine – the first weekend in months.  I never realized how much I depended on it to keep going.

***

No joints!!   I’m going nuts!  Bouncing off the walls!

***

At the law office.  Anna’s late – or maybe I’m early.  I couldn’t believe all the green lights I got on my way here.  Anyway, I’m standing by the phones on the second floor, waiting for her.

***

Last week I started to write but things got in the way – this is the first moment I’ve had alone in a while – at least that I felt like writing –

I’m sitting in my car – Teddy s getting money to get some weed.  We’re on a lovely gravel dead-end road off Niagara Falls Boulevard – very rural – houses along the canal.  It’s a warm day – sunny.  Buttercups growing along the side of the road.

I was in a poetry reading at Neitzsche’s last week Thursday – Jon called & said that Harry G. was trying to get in touch with me.  I called Harry & left a message on his machine & later he got back to me, inviting me to read.  I loved it & I think I was well received – I wore tight jeans & a black lace t-shirt & my red pumps – nothing like what anyone else was wearing – I sipped a vodka gimlet as I read – oh here’s Teddy.

***

Oh – I thought I would have to buy a new notebook but thank god last week Lynnette picked you up & yesterday she gave it to me when she came into The Canteen at 5.  I was so happy – I felt so lost all week without my notebook.  Even if I barely write at all, I want to be able to carry it around – my security blanket.

Lynnette was the best person to pick up my notebook – she write too & she respects privacy.  Although it really wouldn’t have mattered if she had read it – this diary has very little writing & mostly lists.

Teddy & I had a really excellent weekend in Sherkston – camped at the edge of the beach – but here in town we’re arguing again.  He says it’s my drinking – it’s gonna break us up.  I didn’t say – but I think it’s true – it’ll only happen if he lets it happen.  His temper is as dangerous as my liking for vodka – although I do like vodka & soda, I don’t drink as often or as much as he says I do –  he makes it sound like I binge everyday – sun-up to sun-down.  I couldn’t do that if I tried.  My body can’t handle that.  I get drunk on Thursdays – that’s really it.  He says he’s “only reacting” to my “actions” but I call it over-reacting.  He’s just sick of me partying with the boys – flirting & doing shots.  Well I don’t blame him there.  I’d rather party with Teddy than with anyone else.  But what the hell am I supposed to do in that bar all day?  Who sits in a bar & doesn’t drink?  & it’s what I’m paid to do!  When we’re at Sherkston, it’s drink drink drink – but Teddy says that’s different.  Well, of course it is.  It’s ok if I’m drinking with him.  He just doesn’t want me drinking with anyone else.  I don’t see the fucking difference.  Drinking is drinking.

***

Searched at the border – coming back into the US.  With Teddy’s record, delays are inevitable.  But they never found the joint I had nestled in between my labia lips – in a baggie, of course – although they patted me down.  They checked us out pretty good – searched the entire truck – separated us for questioning – the whole 9 yards.

Flew into town – got Teddy’s paychecks – went to Wegman’s – filled the truck with gas.  Now we’re at Tom’s – for cocaine & weed – whoo-hoo!  We have to go to the meat market, Consumer’s, Doug & Danielle’s, TripleD International, Bernie’s, Jesse’s – make deliveries & pay off our debts while we have money – then fly back to Canada.

***

Tired.  Burned out.  Getting off on acid.  Everyone’s at Wayne Johnson’s wedding except Teddy & me & Doug & Danielle’s dog Daisy.  I really wanted to go but everyone is here at Sherkston & someone had to stay here with all the campers & with the dog.  Teddy doesn’t mind but I do – I love weddings & I do like Wayne – I worked his stag a month ago & I would have loved to have been at the wedding.  It seems like I’m at all the underground events & never get to go to the real ones.

I’m so horny – I’m depressed – I woke up in tears after dreaming about sex all night.  I’m feeling better now that I’m getting off although I’m hornier than ever.  I know I won’t get anything from Teddy – it’s been months – of course it’s summer & Jesse is working all the time & so I don’t get to see him either.  Although every time he comes to the house, he makes it plain that he wants me.  I mean – big deal if you can’t or won’t make it happen, ya know?

Last night was really stormy.  I saw some fabulous bolts of lightning over the lake.  I was so tired though – I had worked at The Canteen– after a night/day of total delirium & little sleep.  I did well though – $50 in tips.  My horniness always pays off – onstage at least.

Today is windy – cloudy – sunny – thundering in the distance.  The weather report said to watch for a huge storm late this afternoon.  I hope so – I love storms – then I hope the weather calms down for our last night here.  I have a stag tomorrow night.

***

Twilight – the hills across the lake are deep purple – shrouded in lavender mist – the lake, faintly rippling, reflects pink, gold, lavender, several shades of blue – everything is calm & expectant before nightfall, darkness, the full moon.

***

The beach at its height.  I’m really sad we’re leaving cuz here we are in the midst of everything – heat, oiled bodies, cool cars, a hundred sound systems playing a hundred different tunes – it’s great.

On the other hand – I’m homesick – plus I have stags tonight & a family picnic at Letchworth State Park tomorrow – Mom & Bob are up from Cleveland – so as great as it is here – I’m always happy to go home.  I need a decent night’s sleep before I see everyone – Jesse – & Doreen with her giant belly – brings back that I can’t have children because of my dancing career – as much as I would love to have them.  & Jesse & I would have such beautiful children!  Our bone structures are compatible – unlike his & Doreen’s.  Zach is a sweet child but he looks like a cabbage patch kid.  I mean – I guess that’s ok if you like cabbage patch kids – but I don’t personally find them particularly endearing or even very cute.

Also I can hardly wait to see Gigi – I’ve really missed her.  I want to tell her about Tom – our new coke & weed guy – I’m really into him.  I would so like to fuck him!  But I never will.  It’s not good business to fuck a connection.  But it’s fun talking to Gigi about  it!

***

Sitting at the bar at Murphy’s, having a beer before I go next door to work.  Ruthie behind the bar – Marian sitting at the other end.  Mo’s already next door.  We always meet here to have a drink before our shift.  Ruthie worked with Mo years ago – they were both dancers – back in the late ’60’s, early ’70’s – they both say it was a much better time to be dancing than it is now.  I believe it.  I think it was a much better time back then in general.  Marian is almost 70 – she’s a really great old babe.  She’s here every day at opening for her morning martini.

I saw Marian one Saturday night – Teddy & I were going from one stag to another – travelling on Delaware Ave. & at the intersection at Hertel, Marian was crossing – totally drunk, dropping something & trying to pick it up without falling over – “Hey, I know her,” I said to Teddy.

“That drunk old babe?” Teddy grinned – or grimaced – not bothering to keep the disdain out of his voice.

Drunk old babe?  Will I be that way?  I hope not – but who knows.  I like to get drunk & getting old is inevitable.

***

Labor Day weekend.  At Sherkston.  Storm time.  It was cool & cloudy when we woke up – we took a tour of the park – smoked two joints & bought a paper – all the while noticing the every-darkening clouds & the ever-growing raindrops.  Now it’s really coming down.  No thunder or lightning – although you can hear it on the radio – the static it creates.  We haven’t had a decent thunderstorm all summer.  I mentioned this to Janice – the girl camped next to us – & her husband – of 13 years! – Dwayne.  They must have gotten married when they were in junior high or something, they’re so young.  They have 3 kids.  They’re from Fort Erie, although Dwayne’s originally from Buffalo.

Time to make breakfast – pancakes, Canadian bacon, apples, coffee, tea.

***

I just woke up a little while ago.  After breakfast I got a horrendous migraine – the left side of my head was totally throbbing with pain – so I went back to bed.  Teddy puttered around – cleaning up around the trailer – the cooler – killing a bunch of troublesome bees.  He was getting really lonely & bored by the time I woke up.

I still feel like I’m sleeping.  We just had a sandwich & a joint & now it’s time to go out in the new rubber raft, which we bought at Washington Army Surplus downtown.  Teddy’s wanted one for years.  & of course Teddy gets what Teddy wants.

***

The moon just appeared – big, bright, deep yellow – a true harvest moon.  All around it are wispy clouds.  It’s certainly a lot clearer than last night.

Last night was fun.  We partied with Dwayne & Janice – rather, they partied here with us – we have the fireplace – & their friends from Buffalo – Brian & Mel – showed up.  Tonight Brian reappeared with two large bottles of vodka, a bag of weed & 12 ears of corn.

Teddy has the football game on the radio.  The wind seems to be shifting directions & I’m getting smoke in my eyes.

***

Labor Day.  Naturally the nicest day all week is the day we have to leave.  I have everything packed up & in the bed of the truck or stored in the trailer.  We have only to finish cleaning the trailer, collapse it, smoke a farewell joint & go.  Teddy’s stalling, puttering around.  He wants to stay until 4 p.m. or so – I’m dying to get going.  I can’t help it – I love it here & I’m sad to go but I can hardly wait to get home & get unpacked & into the tub!  I feel so yicky – I haven’t washed my hair or shaved since Thursday – I’ve been sponge-bathing & washing my face with Seabreeze – & I feel so yicky & awful I could die.  My hair has long since stopped feeling like hair – I’m not sure what it feels like – soft, tough straw or something.

I’m just tired – tired from camping – tired from partying day after day – tripping – too much alcohol – cocaine – a million joints – I need some quiet time in my bathtub – the water as hot as I can make it & nice soft soap sweet & fragrant.

***

It’s so good to be home – we finally arrived about 2 ½ hours ago – I made tacos then finally got into the tub – it felt so good!  & washing my hair – I was in heaven!

I brought calendar up to date – within 45 minutes of being home, I booked two stags for September 21.  The phone must have been ringing off the wall all week.  We’ve got to get an answering machine!  It’ll pay for itself!  A better investment than all these stupid drugs!

***

Almost 3 p.m.  Man, I’m pissed!  I took the laundry to the Laundromat – put in two loads – then went to the store.  When I returned, they were both done – except one was half-full with water.  I told the attendant & she asked, “Did you put any more money in?”  I said, “I don’t have any more money.”  I mean, I had to scrounge up the 75 cents per load as it was.  So she came over & re-ran it.

What a colossal waste of time!  I ran home & put the one load into my dryer & put away my groceries & I’ll have to go back to get the other load later.

I’m sick of this shit – I wish Teddy would get my washer fixed.  I’m so sick of running to the Laundromat every week – spending money I’d rather spend on singles for the jukebox & lottery tickets.  I’m sick of the fucking inconvenience.  I just have too many things to do & not enough time to do them.

***

Earl’s been transferred to Fort Worth, Texas – today we had lunch for the last time – we went to The Eagle House on Main Street in Williamsville – & then went to Isle Park across the street & drank a bottle of champagne – which honestly tasted like apple cider – then I went to The Canteen & finished off the drunk I’d started – Mo was mixing up killer whiskey sours – I’m really gonna miss him – he’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

***

At the Canteen.  Sitting at the bar.  Teena’s not here – she called at 11:30 to say she would be a half-hour late, which was over an hour ago already.  Darcy’s all pissed off but only because I doubt we’ll get extra pay for dancing extra sets while Teena’s not here – I’m not happy about it either but so fucking what.  I mean, that’s life.  I think Darcy’s really upset because she’s fighting with her man & Teena being late has nothing to do with it.

Shirley’s here – time to put the notebook away.  She gets really pissed when she sees me writing at the bar.

***

I had an interesting little conversation with my boss, Edmund Durant – the second of the three partners.  In the course of talking about writing, the subject of my dancing came up & he was quite interesting – well, he’s a man, of course he’s interested.  Unlike the other two partners, he’s never been to The Canteen & never seen me dance.  He wanted to know if I would dance for the law firm – like at a partners’ meeting & a few select “special” clients – he had to be joking – adding to his proposal, “Unless you would be embarrassed.”  “Not especially,” I answered, laughing, “but you might be.” “I don’t think any of us would be,” he replied. “Well, I’ll give you my card,” I told him.  “You do that,” he answered.

Later, when I was leaving, he was standing by the back door with a lady I didn’t know – his wife? – & he reminded me about my card.  But I have yet to give it to him.  I’m not sure if that’s a good idea.  I mean – since I’ve started here – 2 years ago – the subject of my dancing has never come up.  Anna – my direct supervisor – knows about it, of course – because I have to change my schedule at times to accommodate my changing dancing schedule & because if I know I’m going to be out late doing a stag, I call off “ahead of time” because I know I won’t be able to make it in the next morning.  That way, I can arrange to make up the hours ahead of time & it’s no big deal.  So the department knows ahead of time & nobody is put out.  The whole thing is to get the work done & get it done well.  I don’t know if I like the idea of mixing my dancing career with my job at the law office.  I really don’t think it’s a good idea.  I like keeping my various lives separate.

***

My car is in the shop – I don’t know what’s the matter – something with the steering – or the front right wheel – it feels like I’m driving a bumper car in an amusement park!  & I hate the bumper cars!  It just started doing this today.  But I can’t drive it – it’s unsafe.  So tomorrow I have to drive Teddy to work – then drive downtown – then leave at 1 p.m. & run back out to Tonawanda & pick up Teddy – run run run –

***

Beautiful weather lately – mid to high 70’s – sunny – nights cool & excellent for sleeping.

I’m having a glass of milk & a joint – getting ready for bed.

***

At the law office – I’m early – I left the house early partly because I was ready & partly because traffic has been really heavy lately so naturally today it wasn’t!  I took a little cruise down Fillmore Avenue – up Smith Street – all around that neighborhood.  There are some old, old buildings there.  I could cruise around & look at buildings all day.

I have to write a note to Anna explaining next week’s schedule changes.

***

At The Canteen.  In the dressing room.  Not my normal shift – no one to talk to!  All my regular customer are afternoon people – if we weren’t going to Watkins Glen tomorrow, I wouldn’t be working – I worked yesterday too – 12-5.  I’m not used to being here so early in the week.

I’m working with Lena & “Rock’n’Roll” Sue – real nice girls but typical dancers – light on intellect.

And Shirley’s in her usual charming mood – you know –

I really would like to take my notebook out to the bar & sit & write but if I did, some customer would sidle up to me & want to know what I was writing – like it was any of their fucking business!  Oh I supposed you shouldn’t sit at the bar with a notebook –especially if you’re a star like me – it’s just – even if I don’t write – don’t even open it up – it’s like sitting with someone friendly – a good friend – sitting with my notebook –

But.  It’s nice seeing Lena again – she just got back from Reno & other places out West – she & her sister Mira went out there more or less with Rick James – I know they were both seeing him years ago but I didn’t know they were travelling with him – Lena said that Mira is still out there & making “loads” of money in the clubs out there – I don’t know why she came back – if there’s so much money to be made out there, why would you come back here to make no more than $10 an hour plus your tips?  But who knows.

***

At the law office.  Boy, I got pretty wasted last night – came home & pigged out on tacos & chocolates!  I’m amazed I feel as good as I do today – I hope a hangover doesn’t creep up on me or something.  My head does feel kinda fuzzy – but that’s not unusual!

Today’s the day we go to Watkins Glen!  I get out at 11 – run a few errands – then home to get ready.  It’s supposed to rain – I hope we can get the trailer packed before it does – or gets too heavy.  I hope it doesn’t rain all weekend but with Hurricane Gloria moving up the coast, I’ll be amazed if it doesn’t.

Well, no one’s here yet but I should get to work anyway.  Work makes the time fly!  Well – usually!

***

Watkins Glen Racetrack.  Hurricane Gloria moved up the coast last night from North Carolina, hitting Virginia Beach, Atlantic City, New York City – New England’s probably getting it now.  It started raining last night around 1 a.m. – it poured all night – it’s still raining now, although not as hard.  The wind’s really wild.  Our awning is valiantly hanging in there.  I expected to find it torn off this morning.

We went into town for breakfast – it’s supposed to rain all day & I figured it would be good to get out.  Also we wanted a newspaper.  We ate at Savone’s Family Restaurant.  It was OK – not great – they used cheapo margarine & the sausages weren’t cooked enough.  We read the Elmira Daily – published by Gannett – & was amazed at the junkiness of it.  One article in particular – a front-page story about the hurricane – could have been written by a sixth-grader.  There is no way that writer could ever be hired by the Buffalo News.

The cars are flying around the track.  I love that sound.  They look so cool with the rain streaming behind them – “rooster-tail,” Teddy calls it.  Actually – although we’re camping & it’s raining – two things that really don’t go together too well – it’s really a nice day.  The sky is totally intense & the wet leaves look ten times as colorful & bright as they would normally.  But the day is really a drag.  Stuck inside the trailer all day – ultra damp – chilly – Teddy can’t get the furnace going because of the wind.  I would read but Teddy won’t shut up & I can’t concentrate.

Teddy got the furnace lit – I went outside & held the pizza pan over the vent so no air could get in.  Now we’re sitting inside – getting warmer – while the storm rages outside – the Grateful Dead on the radio – “Somebody likes me,” I said – Teddy’s measuring a half a gram into the vial.  Talk about driving that train!

***

The rain stopped & the wind died down somewhat.  All afternoon we sat in Bernie’s coach, playing Trivial Pursuit with Bernie & Ariana & Bernie & Tina – Bernie & Ariana’s guests.  Teddy & I won.  We’d never played before but it was easy to catch onto.  Because of my constant reading of everything I lay my hands on & Teddy’s knowledge of sports & automotives & all things machinery, we blew the other two couples away.

We’re making a fire.  Doug & Danielle should be getting here soon.

***

Saturday morning at Watkins Glen.  Sun already totally warm – they’re saying a high of 75.  We’ve got Formula-Ones flying around the track – the two Bernies on top of Bernie’s coach – spectators lining up in front of me.  This one group – looks like Ma & Pa & their grown-up son – Ma looks like Mrs. Methodist Church – she has on a white crocheted hat, navy blue pants, a quilted nylon coat – she has frizzy hair & silver glasses – not what you expect a racing fan to look like – but she’s watching each car go by – nudging her old man, making remarks & pointing out the merits of each car.  The husband & son are each wearing brand new Camel GT baseball caps.

Boy, when the sun goes behind a cloud, it gets cool real fast!  I have to get my jacket.

***

What a beautiful day for the races.  We’re all on top of Bernie’s mini-home, watching the cars go by – smoking joints & drinking.  We put on of the stereo speakers up here so we could hear the broadcast but when one or more cars go by, it’s impossible to hear anything anyway.  Last night we all drew two car numbers out of a hat – one of my cars #2 Porsche Marche – hot pink – collided with Ariana’s at the beginning of the race – reappeared for a lap – all patched up – & hasn’t been seen since.  My other car – #22 Chevy Marche – also hot pink – is also missing.  Teddy’s cars are doing well.

It’s such a lovely day.  Since 10:30 this morning – when I took my shower in Bernie & Ariana’s coach – oh, what a joy to wash my hair – I’ve been wearing shorts but I just changed into jeans since in the last half-hour the wind’s come up a little – enough to make it a little chilly.  I packed all our clothing & toiletries.  Now all I have to do – whenever I feel like it – is pack the foodstuffs & kitchen wares.  I like to do my work in little bits – then there’s never a lot to do.

Got quite a nice buzz on.  Teddy & I are saving the rest of the coke for the ride home since I remember last year – falling asleep on the ride home – both of us totally wishing we had saved even a quarter gram!  No – we have even more than that this year & even money!  We’ve come up in the world!

Well – we have.  We’ve both been working our butts off.  I’m the focal point of the business, of course! – but Teddy’s influence is not to be understated.  I couldn’t do it without him.  Well – I could do it – but not the volume – not the quality.

Lord – the sun feels nice!

***

As soon as the race was over, the whole area thinned out almost immediately.  Our suppers over, Teddy & I are almost completely packed up.  I have to help him take down the awning.

A minute later.  I know as soon as I get into my writing here, he’s going to want me to do something else.  A campsite nearby is playing Marshall Tucker tunes – from over the hill, I can hear Heart.  There’s still a lot of people here – mostly packing up but still partying – it’s the day crowd that’s gone.  Myself – I can hardly wait to leave.  I can’t help it!  Long way to travel tonight & unpacking when we get home.  I wanna get to it!  Before I tire out!

***

Very late at night.  We just got home.  Our answering machine is blinking & it’s filled with messages.  I knew that this thing would pay off.  I sit & listening to messages & jot down phone numbers & names as I hear them so I can call guys back – of course they’re all guys wanting to hire me for parties – tomorrow.  There’s quite a list & I feel really good about that.

The last message on the machine was from Jesse.  “Hey Cori, Teddy – Doreen just had a baby girl – call me when you get in – ”

I decided I would call him in the morning.  The very first call.

Excerpts From a Diary 25

[Fall, 1984]

It’s been the craziest summer.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked this much.  The law office, the clubs, the stag parties.  Plus camping at Sherkston & doing whatever Teddy wants me to do.  It’s very exhausting.

& whenever Jesse wants me – I go over to his apartment on the West Side. It’s “our” apartment now. That’s obvious – he hasn’t rented it & he’s even gotten a few piece of furniture for it so we can hang out when we’re there.  Sometimes I fantasize that it’s our actual home – that we’re actually together – man & wife kind of together.   I can’t help myself.  I hate my life – I hate how I have no control over anything – I hate how I’m married to a guy who doesn’t want to fuck me – I hate how I’m in love with a guy who is never gonna leave his wife.

***

I’ve been writing a lot of poems – working on ones that I wrote last summer – mostly about Jesse – but also poems about dancers – one about that new girl, Charlene – & one about that girl Stormy, who was around for a little while & then moved on – like so many of the biker-chick dancers do – that poem needs a lot of work.  I’ve also been working on poems about other dancers – ones about Margie & Katie – “KittieKat” – but they’re not as good – it’s funny how poems are – either they work or they don’t.

Most poems I jot down in the notebook I carry with me everywhere I go but sometimes I use whatever I have at hand – bevnaps – bar checks – stationary from the law office – I stick them into my notebook & hope I don’t lose them.  Sometimes I stick them into an envelope – that’s a good way to keep everything together.

Most of the poems about Jesse are about longing to be with him – or about how wonderful it is when I am with him.  Although I think the longing ones are better.  It’s great to write erotic love poems but I don’t think they’re very good.  I feel the emotion but it doesn’t translate very well onto the paper.  Maybe I’m just not a very good writer.

***

Frank Dormer – one of the regulars at The Canteen – is having a party down at his hunting camp in Ellicottville – only a “select” group of people from the bar are being invited & I’m one of them!  Of course Teddy is going too – we’re taking our tent-camper down so we have somewhere to sleep – Frank said there wasn’t enough bunks for everyone – Mo & her husband Duke will sleep on the other side.  I’m giving up several parties to be down there that night but I could really use the rest.

We drove down there & it was the most perfect day.   Cattaraugus County is gorgeous in the fall anyway & it’s the height of the fall foliage.  We missed the road several times but finally found it.  Frank was already there & so was Tex & her doofus of a husband – Ron – & Ramon, the bouncer from the bar – he’s leaving for the Army real soon.  Mo & Duke showed up soon afterward.  I think there were more people invited but either they couldn’t find the place or they just didn’t show.

It was the best time!  Hamburgs & hotdogs on the grill & lots of munchies & I brought my homemade potato salad & brownies & of course we were all drinking.  Naturally, Teddy had plenty of weed & later on we dropped acid – not the usual “going to see God” amounts he likes to do but just enough to see trails & laugh a lot – like I like.   I had the best talk with Frank.  He used to be a Roman Catholic priest!  Ya know – he still dresses somewhat like a priest – always in black – although he was wearing a red & black Buffalo plaid wool shirt over his black clothes – but there is something very “man of the cloth” about him – I found myself confessing all about Jesse to him – I haven’t told anyone about the affair – although Frank told me that it was “obvious” that something was going on with Jesse & me.  I said, “Ya know, I really love Teddy but he’s more like my brother than my husband.”  “That’s not good,” he said, “not good at all.”

I asked him, “Why did you leave the priesthood?”

He tickled my knee. “I liked the ladies too much.”  He said he became a priest & was a Navy chaplain during the Korean War & felt like he was doing “good work” while he was in the service but when he became a civilian & a parish priest, he just lost his calling.  After he left the priesthood, he got married & had two sons.  He owns a printing press & his sons – both older than me – help him run it.  He’s read my poetry & thinks I should write a book.  “You’re a very talented writer,” he told me.

We were up almost all night & then next morning made breakfast over the fire & hung out listening to the Bills game on the radio.  It was a glorious day.  I really hated to come back home.  I love it down there.   Tex & Ron left early but Mo & Duke hung around & we really hit it off – I hope we can party together again soon.  I really like Mo – she’s really one of the reasons I stick around at The Canteen – most of the other girls are going over the border & working at the clubs in Canada now.   Supposedly they make more money up there – it’s all nude – but you have to get working papers & I don’t want to deal with any of that nor do I want to cross the border when I go to work.  I mean – it may be the friendliest border in the world but it’s still an international border.  & if you get in trouble up there, you’re in a foreign country.  & let’s face it – you party in a strip joint.  & that’s not exactly a safe environment.  I feel safe at The Canteen.

***

OH MY GOD.  I was in the kitchen after supper – just doing dishes – nothing special – & Teddy comes up behind me & tickles me, which I hate – if I have told him once, I have told him a hundred times, never fucking tickle me – & I swirled around & almost slapped him – but I didn’t.  I just laughed it off like I laugh everything off.  So then – he put his hands in the back pockets of my jeans – for who knows what reason – & I had a bar check in there with a few lines written on it – the beginning of a poem – just something I had been thinking about the other day – & at the bottom, I had written “I know a man named Jesse” – usually I don’t name Jesse in any of the poems I write about him.  But I was really depressed & I don’t ever expect any of my writings to fall into Teddy’s hands.

He was holding the piece of paper.  “Are you in love with Jesse?” he asked.

“He’s my best friend,” I hedged.

“I thought I was,” he countered.

“Well you are,” I said, “but so is Jesse.”  I went on, a little too hurriedly, “I can tell Jesse things I can’t tell anyone else.  There’s just something about him.  I don’t know what it is.  He’s easy.”

“& I’m not?”

“Well – not always.”  I hesitated.  “You’re demanding.  I mean – that’s a good thing, ya know?  Cuz you make me a better person with your demands.  But Jesse – Jesse accepts me as I am.  That’s a whole different thing.”

I don’t think he bought it.  & now I have to worry – worry – worry.

***

I told Jesse about what happened with Teddy.  “I knew something like this was going to happen sooner or later,” he said.  “I can’t believe we’ve gone this long without him catching on.”

“Or Doreen catching on,” I said.

“Oh she knows I’m seeing someone,” he replied breezily, “but she doesn’t know who.”

“Really.”  This was news to me.

“As long as I come home at night & pay the bills & don’t rock the boat, she’s not going to say a word to me.”  He sounded quite confident.

“I hope you’re right.”

“Oh, I know I’m right.  She wants a father for her children & she wants more children.  That’s really the only reason she wants to fuck, whereas you,” he pulled me to him with his strong arms, “you want to fuck because you are one passionate woman.”  & he started kissing me – which ended the conversation.

But later on, he said, “I’ve known Teddy a long time & he’s not going to stop asking you about me.  He’s like a dog with a bone.  You really should think about your options.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well – you’re not really happy with him, are you?  Why are you staying with him?  Why don’t you leave him?  You don’t need him.  You make enough money to support yourself.  You could rent this place from me & live by yourself & I could visit whenever I want – it would be the perfect set-up.  & then you could go back to school – get your degree – go to law school, get a real job – end this dancing business – it’s great now but you can’t do it forever – & honestly, I really don’t like the idea of all those guys lusting over my woman.”

I really liked the idea of Jesse thinking of me as his woman.  That made me feel really good.  It wasn’t until later on – much later on – when I was in bed, next to Teddy – who was dead asleep, quietly snoring the way he does – that I realized that I would be living alone – while Jesse was still living with Doreen.  I mean – what kind of set-up is that?

But maybe he means to leave her in the future?  & be with me?

***

It gets better & better.  Teddy was waiting for me when I got home from The Canteen this evening.  Thank heaven I wasn’t really fucked up.  I was drunk enough & of course I had been doing coke.  But I wasn’t wasted or anything.  So I was able to think relatively straight.  Thank you, Jesus!  But he was in a rage.  Really bad – I’ve never seen him like this.  “You are having an affair with Jesse!” he crowed. “With one of my best friends!  With your own step-brother!  That’s practically incest!”

“But it’s not,” I argued.  “We’re not blood at all.”

“I can’t believe this is happening,” he moaned.  “Ya know, someone called me.  I don’t even know who.  But he was there today, wasn’t he?  Someone anonymous called me & told me that you were sitting with him at the club & it was obvious that you are very close.”

“So fucking what?”  I wasn’t having any of that.  “I sit with lots of guys – that’s my fucking job.”

“No no no no,” he insisted.  “You wouldn’t sit with anyone else.  You were turning down drinks from other guys & only sitting with Jesse – right?  Admit it – you’re in love with him.  Admit it.  Admit it!”

By this point – I was pretty pissed off.  I mean – I had worked at the law office in the morning & then worked an afternoon shift at The Canteen & then stopped at the B-Kwik & picked up some groceries & I was hungry & tired.  I wanted a hot bath & my bed & my book.  I lost it.  I really did.  Who the fuck was he – when I was making most of the money anyway – who was he to ask me any questions at all?

I should have said, “I admit nothing,” & regally gone off to run my bath.  But I was drunk & pissed off.  I said, “Yes, goddammit!  I’m in love with him!  I’ve been love with him for years!  Now leave me the fuck alone!”  I left the groceries on the kitchen counter & went back out.

I went to Falco’s.  I ordered two roast beef on wecks & got myself a Labatt’s Blue.  While the sandwiches were being made, I went to the phone booth & called Jesse.  “Please pick up,” I prayed.  Thankfully, he did.  “Someone – I don’t know who – probably from the club – called Teddy & told him that we’re having an affair & he’s super pissed off.”

“I know, he just called me,” he answered.  “He wants me to stop seeing you.”

“What did you say?”

“That I would.”

I thought that my entire life had ended.  I was totally shattered.  “Jesse – ”

“Cori,” he said quickly, “I had to say something.  & I don’t want to lose his friendship or his business.  I don’t want to lose you either.  Don’t worry.  We’ll figure something out.  I can’t talk right now.  But don’t worry, ok?”  He hung up.

I sucked down my beer & had another one & a shot of Crown Royal.  “Feeling ok, Cori?” asked Anthony Falco, who was tending bar.

“Yeah, I’m ok,” I smiled.  “Just a little stressed – it’s been a long day.  Thanks for asking.”

When I got home, Teddy was smoking a joint & he was considerably calmer.  “Well, I talked to Jesse & he said he’s going to stop seeing you,” he announced.

“I know, I talked to him too,” I answered.

He was immediately angry again.  “What, you go to the bar for sandwiches & you call him?”

“Well, you called him as soon as I was gone,” I countered.  “Listen Teddy, I don’t want to argue about this anymore.  It’s over – let’s eat our dinner & be friends again.”  I hoped that was the end of it.

***

Depressed.  Partly because of tripping & cocaine last night & Friday night but also because of pregnancy worry – I had to go off the pill because I was “spotting” all the time – I’m going to go back on another one soon but meanwhile I’m off it – & of course I’m still making love to Jesse whenever I can – I don’t know if my period is messed up because of going off the pill or if I’m actually pregnant – what will I do if I’m pregnant??  It would never be Teddy’s – we haven’t made love in forever – even though he is always trying to now – like making up for lost time or something.  & as much as I want Jesse’s baby – I really do – I admit I’m jealous of Doreen because she has his baby – but I’m a stripper – I can’t stop to have a child –  it would ruin my figure!!  & how would I make money while I was pregnant?  I’m not going to do what Charlene did & dance until I’m in my 6th or 7th month – I just won’t.  I know there are guys who are really turned on by that but NO.  & I can’t expect Jesse to support me.  & honestly – I’m just not ready to have a baby.  When Doreen & Helena sit around at the holiday dinners & talk about their babies, it’s not like I have any particular longing to have one & join in on the conversation.  I don’t think – oh, I can hardly wait.  The thing is – I can wait.

& I’m depressed because I’m longing for Jesse – I’m worried about hurting Teddy – money worries – cowering in the shadow of the choice I am going to have to make – worry, worry, worry!  & I, who hate to worry & refuse to do so – I am worrying!

I have to force myself to get up & do some housework – type up poems for publication.  I have no energy.  All I want to do is read, drink wine & smoke joints.  Escape.  Escape somewhere far away where I don’t have to think about anything

***

I got my period but I am still worrying.  Next week is my doctor’s appointment.  I can hardly wait to get back on the pill – regular periods – no worry – steady moods – everything OK again.  I can’t believe my doctor actually suggested such a stupid thing to me & I was so fucking stupid to agree!!  So what if I was spotting – it was really no big deal!!

I was bleeding really heavy yesterday – today was much lighter.  Yesterday was a very uncomfortable day anyway.  Jesse’s job was shut down cuz of the rain so he picked me up at the law office at lunch time & took me to “our” place – gave me a peanut butter & jelly sandwich & made me lie down while he rubbed me.  He was really sweet – & he wanted sex even though I was bleeding heavier than I have in years – my gynecologist said I would be bleeding heavier being off the pill – “Yin & yang, baby,” he told me, “the mixing of blood & semen.”  It was a mess but boy – it was great!  I said that Teddy never comes near me when I’m having my period & he laughed & said that Doreen acts like she’s “completely cursed” – “she even sleeps in a separate bed.”

He called me twice this afternoon!  Once just to tell me he loves me – I love it! – then again to ask me some silly legal question about real estate – I don’t know why he just doesn’t look it up himself.  I know he really didn’t want to know anything about real estate – he just wanted to hear my voice.

He wants me to leave Teddy & rent out “our” apartment myself – he says that I have to be making enough money on my own – just in the clubs – & with my job in the law office, there’s no reason why I couldn’t swing living alone.  & then he could come by whenever he was free.  I’m not sure I like that idea – I mean, he’s still married to Doreen in that scenario – & what about Teddy?  & what about the stag party business?  I mean – I really like doing stags.  It’s a different kind of show than in the clubs.  I hate how Teddy thinks he’s my manager but still – it’s fun.  I don’t know what to do.  Jesse thinks I’m wasting my time with dancing – I should be back in school – which I wanted to do this semester but I just didn’t have the fucking time – or the money – as usual, Teddy has our finances in such a mess that I don’t have a choice but to work as many hours at as many jobs as I can.  I mean – I’m working almost full-time at the law office & I have to go back to UB in January or else I could lose my job there.  & I really don’t want to lose my job at Truman, Durant & Randall.  I like working there.  It balances out my career as a dancer.

But of course – the thought of having my very own place & being able to write whenever I want & whatever I want & not have to hide anything & be able to openly love the man that I truly love – that is so alluring – I just can’t help thinking about it.  I have the apartment decorated already in my mind with my books & my plants & even a few kitties.  I would love a cat but Teddy always says no – we party too much – we’re on the go too much – no cats.

I feel guilty thinking about it – thinking about Jesse all the time – writing about him in my notebook – whether I’m journaling or writing poems – especially sitting here with Teddy smoking our after-dinner joint – but I can’t help it – I’m totally addicted to him & I don’t care.  I need him.  I need what he gives me & I want what he gives me &  –

At that moment, Teddy had an attack of emotional bummer.  “I need a hug,” he moaned, so I held him for a while.  Could he feel I was writing about Jesse?  Can he hear my thoughts?

“The Cowboys” are on TV.  I love that movie.  I’m making popcorn – well, I’m in the kitchen – obviously I’m not making popcorn – I’m writing!  I’m waiting for the burner to warm up.  Anyway, Felix is stopping by soon – I’m so glad – it’s been ages since I’ve seen him.

9 p.m.  Teddy had to run out to pay George Conrad – we’re getting weed & coke off him – as soon as the car pulled away, I was on the phone – praying that she wouldn’t answer –

Jesse answers: “Hello!”

“Jesse!”

“Yes!”

“I love you!”

“You must have the wrong number!”

“That’s ok!  See ya tomorrow!”

“Bye!”

Hang up – Five minutes later, Teddy is back & Felix is arriving & it’s party time again.

***

He told me that Doreen & he were having an argument when I called last night – that’s why he was so gruff.  He said he really needed to hear those words at that moment.  I said, “That’s why I called.”

We both believe in karma.  We both believe that we are meant to be together.  “It’ll all work out one way or another,” he insists.

I was there at 8 a.m.  I had to be – I thought about him all night.  I drove like an Indy-car racer the whole way over – I lucked out on the lights – I flew into his arms.  It is so good to be held by him.  We smoked a joint – talked – looked at Christmas catalogues – then went to bed – made love again & again & again.  Intense heights – emotion.  I was in tears after an especially intense orgasm – Jesse wondering & a little scared – “I’ve never made a woman cry like that before.”  “Don’t worry,” I replied, “it’s just too much feeling – I have to release it somehow – ya know?”

***

Just finished a dinner Teddy praised to the skies – steak, hash browns, salad.  “You can’t leave me,” he told me, “I love your cooking too much.”  I smiled.  “I’m not going anywhere,” I said.  When I was cooking, Teddy was outside, putting a new side-view mirror on his truck & the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  He was hanging out at Muldoon’s, waiting for Doreen to get out of her doctor’s appointment.  “I’m in here with a couple of guys from high school I haven’t seen in years & it’s like a reunion.  I’ve smoked some joints & I’m really drunk.  I can’t believe I’m able to talk to you this long.  I was expecting to say I love you & hear you say, wrong number.”

“It’s our lucky day,” I laughed.

***

Thanksgiving.  I woke up at 6:30 – as usual – even if the alarm wasn’t set.  I finally got up at 8 a.m.  I’ve been watching “Bewitched” & smoking a joint.  Now “I Love Lucy” is on.  Teddy’s still in bed.

I should have been more careful – writing last night – because Teddy wanted to know what “secrets” I was writing.  “I have always had secrets to write down,” I said.  “I have notebooks full of them.”  I suppose if you’re writing secrets, you should write them in secret.

The trouble is, I’m so much in love with Jesse that I want to be with him all the time & writing about him brings him closer to me.

I still can’t admit to Teddy that I want out of the relationship although it’s harder & harder to assure him that I still want in.  He knows it, too.  “Do you think I can’t tell?  You’re different – you’re thinking of him – I can tell!  You’re always preoccupied!  I love you & I want to stay with you!”

“I can’t help it,” I answered.  “I am in love with him.  What can I do?  You can’t turn off your feelings like a faucet.  Be patient with me, Teddy.”

“I am patient.  I am more patient than you realize, I think.  But you seem to be slipping away more & more.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.  “Teddy, I wanted to have fun with you this evening & if we get all bummed out talking about this, we won’t.”

“Okay,” he said.  “Teddy bummer time is over.”  We made chocolate-chip cookies, watched the hockey game & passed out on the couch.

I should have told him that if he hadn’t been so stingy with sex to begin with, I never would have fallen for Jesse – so when Teddy tries to make love to me now, it wouldn’t be such an epic failure.  But what am I supposed to do?  I tried to tell him over & over again & it didn’t do any good.

& maybe it wasn’t about the sex.  Maybe Jesse & I would have fallen in love anyway.  I mean – I could have had sex with anyone.  Literally – I have my pick of any of the dudes in the club – in any one of the clubs – if all I wanted was sex.  & not just dudes – I could have women, too.  I could have anyone I want.  But it’s not about sex.  It’s more than that.  It’s much more.

Whenever I think of leaving Teddy for good, I think of our trailer & how we love to camp & how – if I’m with Jesse – I’ll never camp in that trailer again.  My “home away from home” – & then I think – why are you carrying this shell around with you?  But I think of how much it means to Teddy.  Somehow, the trailer seems to symbolize our entire marriage!  It’s just we’ve worked so hard to keep the payments up & – I can hear Teddy saying it – now it’s for nothing.  Or is it?  Didn’t we totally enjoy it when we had it?  & what about Cori? – bored shitless all summer at Sherkston – wondering why on earth were we spending all this money to camp there – isn’t there more to life?  Isn’t there a better way to spend our money?  Or even – gasp! – to save our money?  Worrying about making payments on a motorcycle we barely ride because we’re camping all the time.  & when we’re not camping, we’re working.  Worry, worry, worry – mostly money worries – ever since I married Teddy it’s been non-stop worry.

Oh well – he’s up now – I gotta make breakfast – then take a bath & get ready to go to Cleveland for dinner.  Three hour drive for a one hour meal.  & then the drive home.  But whatever.  Jesse & Doreen will be there with the baby – they’re spending the night – oh, this will be fun.

“Life was easy when it was boring.”    – the Police.

11:45 p.m.  I can’t sleep.  Listening to the Grateful Dead: “Oh the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry anymore.  Cuz when life looks like easy street, there is danger at the door.”

Teddy’s in bed.  I can’t sleep.  I mix myself a drink, put on the Grateful Dead.  He rushes out & downs my drink in one gulp.  “I’m lonely.  Aren’t you tired yet?”  It hasn’t even been 5 minutes since he went to bed.

I say, “I’m gonna smoke this joint.  Stay here & smoke it with me.”

“No, I have to sleep.”

I have to piss.  I’m on the toilet & he follows me in & sits on the tub.  “I miss you in bed.”

“Honey,” I say, patiently, like I’m talking to a child, “last night I went to bed before you did.  Tonight I’m awake.  I feel like listening to some tunes & smoking a joint & having a drink.  & writing a little.  Unless I’m with you – if you want to join me, my friend the notebook will leave.”

I’m listening to this album & I really want to hear the rest – music really nourishes me so – the Dead especially so.  Like my piece of earth that I need to touch to be alive.  But I think of Teddy lying in bed alone, wanting me & it hurts – am I his earth?  It hurts so to hurt him.

He just came out.  “Wow, I’m fucked up, I’m peeing my brains out.”

“Oh honey, have a toke of this – ”

“No, smoke it, I gotta pee.”  He picked up the book he’s reading.

“Honey, I’m sorry I can’t sleep – ”

“Don’t worry about it.  Have a couple shots – ”

I sit here – toking on this joint which is now a roach on the hemostats – listening to Pigpen sing: “One way or another, one way or another, one way or another, this darkness gotta give.”

2:45 a.m.  Totally fucked up.  Teddy’s in bed.  Wishing for Jesse.  Listening to the Dead.  Wishing for Jesse.  Jesse.  Jesse.

***

I talked to Jesse early this morning – very upsetting.  I had to tell him that I wouldn’t/couldn’t see him anymore in order to save/endure my marriage.  & I was unable to do it.  Instead I told him I was going to “stay on my own” for a while.  He said he didn’t know how I was going to do that with Teddy around.  He said I would be better off getting my own place & not seeing either of us.  “But that’s not what you want, is it, Cori.”  I hung up on him & sobbed for an hour.

I’m skipping so much – how Teddy found my diary Saturday morning & read it & then was in a rage & hit me – he fucking hit me! – I was going to leave but he wrestled me for my car keys & wouldn’t let me leave the house – how I begged Paulie to call Jesse & let him know I was in trouble – how I slept off my hangover & felt better – I was hungover – of course – from work the night before – & of course Teddy was pissed off about that too – me getting home so late from work all fucked up.

Then Jesse called me at 7 p.m. & told me to pack up & he would be by in 25 minutes for me.  & I said no.  Teddy standing there yelling at me – making a bad scene worse.  I was shaking like a leaf.  Letting down Jesse.  Letting down myself.

So this morning – I ended it – or tried to anyway.  I don’t want what’s going on anymore, honestly.  I think Jesse’s pissed off at me & I don’t blame him.  & Teddy – well he’s all pissed off too. & I feel like a complete shit because – what the fuck, these guys were best friends & we’re all family & – what are we going to do?  What am I going to do?

***

Jesse called me this morning – he was served divorce papers this morning.  He said the charges are adultery.  He wanted to know if Teddy had talked to Doreen.  I said I didn’t know.   I mean – they were sitting & talking together at Thanksgiving but I didn’t think anything of it – I don’t think Teddy would be so cruel as to tell Doreen that Jesse & I were having an affair – & would he want to advertise his own embarrassment?  But I don’t know.   I honestly don’t know anything anymore.

***

Teddy just left for work.  He hung out to make sure Jesse didn’t call which pissed me right off – I told him Jesse wouldn’t.  I mean – little does he know that Jesse won’t call because I told him I’d call him – but Jesse won’t call anyway.  I just know.

“I don’t know,” Teddy says.  “I told him not to call anymore two weeks ago.  You told him Saturday night & he called yesterday morning!  & you – instead of telling never to call again, you talked to him for an hour!  So yeah, I’ll hang out & make sure.”

Teddy is so vindictive – so bitter.  “I didn’t ask for this.  He entered my marriage, not the other way around.  I’m just reacting.  I’ve been pushed & pushed & pushed & now goddammit, I’m pushing back!”  The thing is, he’s wrong.  Jesse didn’t enter Teddy’s marriage.  Which is our marriage anyway.  Jesse entered my life.  It’s amazing how Teddy makes this all about him.  Like he’s a victim or something.

I have to get moving.  It’s almost 9.  I have to eat, take a bath, do my hair, dress – I have a dentist’s appointment at 10:30 & I have to be at work at the law office at 1.  I also have to find a place to hide my diary – since now I know that Teddy will read it.  I hate living like this.  But I have to write.

I feel numb & sad again but that’s probably because of Teddy’s rage this morning.  He called back to apologize but also to reiterate his right of vindication.  Which cancels out the apology, if you ask me.

I can’t wait to call Jesse.  Last night, I thought of him non-stop.  I dreamed of him.  I’m dying to know how Doreen got information enough to divorce Jesse for adultery.  Or if there are other women involved.  Although I doubt Jesse will tell me that part of it.  I’m also curious to know if someone “anonymous” called her & told her about Jesse & me like someone “anonymous” called Teddy.

Writing is the only thing that’s keeping me sane.  My mind has been racing a million miles a second – to keep all this in will stifle me.  But I think it’s a drag I have to rip out each page as I write & hide it.  I know I should have done that from the start but hell – the purpose of a notebook is to keep everything together in one place – a place that was carried around with me – to be opened up & relived at will.  “I know I’m a fine one to talk,” I bitterly complained to Teddy, “but reading someone’s diary is as low as you get.”

“Oh, & cheating on your husband isn’t?” he sneered.

“Maybe you should fuck me more than once a month,” I shot back.  Not very nice but I don’t feel very nice nowadays.

“We shouldn’t have secrets from one another,” he retorted.

“I have a whole room full of secrets.  I always have!”  This makes me think of how Helena would read my diary & tell my mother.  & I never suspected because I thought she was above that.  I mean, if you have to read it, OK – I respect curiosity – but to tell – & then to be punished for what I write – !

I am just more honorable than that.  Yes – as an adulteress – I have to lie & cheat & deceive – but those are the rules.  Teddy would say that those are lousy rules – but I live by the rules that I have.  All I know is that I love Jesse & I will do what I have to do to protect that love.  On the same token – I also love Teddy & I will also protect that love.  Contradictory but that’s the way it is.

3:35 p.m.  On break.  Upset beyond upset.  It’s so hard to believe – I’m here at the law office, working – doing research – updating client files in the computer – while the whole time, my mind is racing a million miles a second.  Going over conversations – arguments – pros – cons – as confused & lost as ever.

When I got to work after being at the dentist’s, I called Jesse right away but there was no answer.  I let it ring as long as I could but had to hang up – I had to get to work.  I was coming out of the phone booth in the lobby just as he was walking by – all done up in leathers & chains – looking really menacing.  “Jesse!”  I cried, so happy to see him.  He turned around.  “Where have you been all morning?”  he demanded.  “Why didn’t you call?  I waited around all morning, like a gentleman & then I called over here but they couldn’t find you so I finally decided to come over.  Here’s your tape.”  He handed me a cassette tape.  He’s been making me tapes since the beginning.  I have a whole stack of them.  “Our” songs.

“I didn’t call because Teddy hung out until nine & I really don’t want to call from home anymore & I had a dentist’s appointment.  I just got here.”

“Well, I got go, the bike’s on the street.”  He turned & started to walk away.

“Jesse!”  I caught up.  “What’s the matter?  Are you mad at me?”

“Yes!  I’m upset you didn’t call – ”

“I told you about that – ”

“I’m upset about the whole thing.  Since this weekend.”

“Jesse, I – I really got to get to work.”

“Well, I got to get to my bike.”

“Tomorrow, I have an hour to kill between here & my doctor’s appointment – do you want to meet for a drink?”

“I don’t see the point of meeting.”

“Well, if that’s the way you feel about it!”  I snapped & walked away.  I thought I heard him whine, “Ya know, I have feelings too – ”  but I no longer cared.

***

Between last entry & this one, Jesse & I made up – I broke down & decided to leave Teddy & move over to the apartment on the West Side – the same old arguments & sob-sessions & emotional manipulations occurred with Teddy – the same old great sex & emotional highs & idealistic plans occurred with Jesse – culminating in a frenzied last Friday night – with Teddy & Jesse both hanging out at The Canteen – all through my shift – actually sitting together & drinking together & acting like best friends & brothers – like some modern-day western – Earl was there, too – me, breaking down in the dressing room – sobbing into a towel – totally out of my mind with sorrow & insanity.  Queen came into the dressing room as I was sobbing & she held me – then she told me to get my shit together since I had a set coming up – she rolled a joint laced with coke & I got really high – I fixed my make-up & went out to dance.   I sat with Earl the rest of the night.  I really didn’t want to go home with Teddy – but I didn’t have a choice.

Teddy breaking my heart with his grief at my leaving.  Almost harder to take than anything.

On Monday, Jesse pressured me about when I was going to move in the apartment on the West Side – “I might have to rent it to someone else,” he said.  “If I have to get a lawyer for this divorce.”

“Jesse, I really don’t know, maybe January?”

“Do you want to leave him?  I mean, what are you doing, Cori?  Do you know?”

“What are you doing?”  I countered.  “You’re going to be divorced, are you going to be living there with me?  Or what?”

“Well,” he said, “I own the house we live in presently.  So until all the legalities are taken care of, I have no plans of leaving.  If she wants to leave, that’s her business.  But we’ll have to work out custody of Zach.”

That didn’t make me feel very secure at all.

I have been in the law library, looking up divorce law.  If Doreen served him divorce papers & the grounds were adultery, she would have to have some serious proof.  It would have to be iron-clad.  More than just some “anonymous” person calling her & telling her that Jesse & me were hanging out together when I’m working.  I mean – she would have to hire a private detective & get pictures & maybe even recordings of phone calls – if that is even possible.  I really doubt she did any of that.  & who else would do that?  I mean – it’s just so unlikely.  Maybe some dude from the club is fucked up enough to follow me around but I honestly haven’t noticed anyone following me.  I do pay attention.  I don’t want to sound like I’m paranoid but when you’re having living outside of the rules of decent society, you watch your own back.  & I don’t see how anyone could have gotten a view into our room where we make love.  It’s impossible.  The curtains are always drawn – it’s on the second floor – it’s impossible.  Even if someone was trying to see – there’s no way they ever could.  The most anyone could ever know is that I arrive at that house at a certain time & leave a half-hour or so later.  Sometimes I’m there longer.  But that in itself doesn’t prove anything.  Certainly not adultery.

There’s something terribly wrong with that story.  I have never thought he was lying to me before – & I really – really – want to believe him now.  But there’s something wrong with it.  Maybe she filed for divorce but there’s no way that the actual grounds are adultery.  She probably wanted to file for adultery.  But that’s really hard to prove without pictures.  & you can’t just have pictures of me arriving at the apartment.  Or even pictures of us holding hands at the Club.  You have to have real damaging photographs – Jesse & me in flagrante delicto.  I mean – there’s no way.  Absolutely no way.

But.  Sooner or later.  The shit will hit the fan.  With or without pictures.  & I’ve had enough.

This morning, I called him at our usual time – I decided to break up with him.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  & guess what?  He broke up with me.  “I can’t handle it.  I love you & I know you love me but you obviously aren’t ready to leave.  You obviously love Teddy & care for him a great deal no matter how unhappy you may be.  My marriage is falling apart because of you & now you’re refusing to leave him.”

“Well,” I said, “I’m not happy to hear this but if it’s your decision, I’ll respect it.  You know I love you.”

“I still, ya know, want to be friends.”

“Well, Jesse, we were friends to begin with, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be now, or ever, ya know?” I added, “& we’re still family, aren’t we?  So it’s not like we’re going to stop seeing each other.  Every single holiday – there I’ll be.”

“I will always love you,” he said.

“I will always love you, Jesse,” I answered.  “& you never know, perhaps in the future, there’ll be a chance for us.”

I have to admit, I’m rather relieved.  It was getting to be too much.  I couldn’t take the pressure – although I loved the excitement – & to a certain extent – the turmoil.

Later, I received a note that Teddy had called.  I went down to the lobby to the phone booths & closed myself into one to call him back.  He said, “Doreen called me.  She wants to use your diary as proof of your & Jesse’s affair – ”

What?”  I was totally aghast.  “You told her about my diary?”

“Of course I did.  I know about this not only because of anonymous phone calls but because of your own stupid writing.”

“Well, she’s not using my diary as proof.  Forget about it.”

“I think – what’s the word you lawyer people use? – if you get subpoenaed, you don’t have a choice in the matter, do you?”  & he laughed.

I thought quickly.  I knew where the diary was – & I knew what I had to do with it.  “Well,” I said lightly, “I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”  I hung up & went back to work.

***

A few days later.  Jesse called.  “Well, you certainly give up easily!”

I sighed.  “You were the one who decided to break up because you couldn’t handle it.  I stayed away in respect of your feelings.”  Also because I do not want to continue anymore.  But I did not say that.

He said – very revealing, I thought – “Last time I told you that, you said that you realized that you couldn’t live without me.”  So did he say it this last night to get that reaction again – with a bigger, more physical commitment?  To get me to move as soon as possible?

***

Teddy reminded me that Doreen wanted to see my diary.  I laughed at him outright.  “You must think I’m a real stupid chick to give you my diary so you can give it to her.  She knew what Jesse was like years & years ago & she chose to stay with him.  If she wants to divorce him, she can walk out the door all by herself.  She doesn’t need my diary to help her make that move.”

After he left for work, I took all the various pages of my diary – from all the various hiding places – & took them up into the attic.  I knew that it would be safest to destroy them but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I pried up a floorboard & put the diary underneath & then hammered it back down.  If Teddy asked about it again, I would tell him that I threw the diary into the Niagara River.

I thought, it’ll be a while before I keep a diary again.

Excerpts From a Diary 23

[Holidays 1983-1984]

Sitting at the bar at The Canteen.  It’s a pretty quiet evening – obviously, or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing.  If Shirley was here, I wouldn’t be able to get away with writing at the bar at all.  But Mo is here & she’s real mellow.  She used to be a dancer & she knows what it’s like when it’s slow.  Plus I always get her high, so she likes me.  Last week was a total party, so I guess it makes sense that today’s dull.  It should start picking up soon.  I hope someone I like comes in.  I know Jesse won’t be in – makes me so sad.  The evening will be so long.

I’m wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, a red g-string, a leopard-print sash & my red pumps.  Real glamorous, right?  I just don’t feel like dressing up.  I’m making OK tips.  Tuesday’s tips always pay for dinner after work.  Usually we get pizza but tonight I want souvlaki from Kosta’s.

I’m writing as fast as I can.  All I have been thinking about is Thanksgiving.  I’ve been reading everything I can about roasting turkeys & I can probably recite the procedure backwards & forwards.  I rewrote Mom’s stuffing recipe, so I have that memorized, too.  We’re having curried corn & sautéed green beans & mushrooms.  & champagne – I definitely want champagne for my first Thanksgiving dinner.  We’re having Doug & Danielle over.  It feels strange not to be going to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving but I know I won’t be able to handle it – not with Doreen there with the baby – I know I’ll give myself away & I don’t want to do that.  They’re going to Doreen’s parents for Christmas.  It’s all planned out.  Everything’s changed since the baby arrived.  Apparently everything has to be planned down to the very minute.  Doreen is proving to be as anal as Teddy.

Jesse & Doreen’s son was born two weeks ago.  They named him Zach.  I’ve hardly seen Jesse since Zach was born.  It’s bad enough not to be able to make love anymore but not to even see him – & it’s even worse now with Teddy.  He’s practically asexual.  He wants it once a month or less.  How did I end up with a man like this?  I’ve always been totally horny – a slave to my body.  I want Jesse – I want him so badly.  I think about him all the time.

***

The night before Thanksgiving.  I’m sitting at home.  Bernie’s here.  I made tacos.  Teddy’s on the phone.  Pretty soon Danielle will be here – we’re going shopping for tomorrow’s meal.  I’d really like to stay home, but this is life.  We’ll have fun – roll some joints – make a party of it.  I worked at the law office today – I was so bored.  After my shift there, I went to The Canteen & had a few drinks & did a few sets – the other dancers hate it when I do that – just strip out of my street clothes – & get tips – but John Canton lets me do whatever I want to do – & he says it looks “good” when I come in with my office clothes on & I get onstage like that – all “classy” like that.  The guys love it too.  I have beautiful underwear now – lace & satin bras & matching thong underwear & garter belts for my stockings – I never wear pantyhose.  Everything I wear is sexy – even if it’s practical & comfortable.

Guess what Teddy told me when I got home from work?  William Morris – the poetry editor of the Buffalo News – called me.  He wanted to talk to me.  Over a month ago, I sent some poems in & I was sort of worried cuz I hadn’t heard anything.  I did SASE but nothing was returned.  Anyway, he hadn’t even opened the envelope until today & he called as soon as he read my poems.  He says they’re great & I’m great & he really wanted to talk to me.  He’s really excited, Teddy says.  I was so flipped out.  I couldn’t believe it.  I mean, I really like my poems, even the lousy ones.  I like reading them.  I think I’m getting better at writing.  Anyway, that really made my day.  I can hardly wait to tell Jesse.  Most of what I wrote this summer was for or about Jesse.  Jesse totally understands the artist in me.  Teddy supports me & is proud of me but he doesn’t understand me.  Teddy is not an artist.  Teddy’s totally great but he doesn’t get it.  Jesse & I operate on another level.  Maybe because we don’t deal with each other on a day-to-day basis.  Who knows.  I would like to think that Jesse & I could be happy living together as man & wife.  But who knows.  I’m so much in love with him.  Here I am – writing about Jesse – & Teddy is sitting next to me on the couch – but not close enough to see what I’m writing.  Teddy loves me far more than I love him.  I get pissed at myself for doing what I’m doing.  Teddy tells me all the time what a great wife I am – never bitchy, a great cook, good earner – which is all true – but I am not faithful – although I would be!!  I would be!!  If only Teddy would make love to me!!

& I’m so reckless – I’ve told Teddy almost all my feelings toward Jesse – it must be the Catholic girl in me – the urge to confess – I said that I consider Jesse my closest friend.  Which he is.  I mean – if I never do make love to Jesse again – oh the very thought makes me so depressed – but if we never love again sexually, I want to keep him as my very best friend – I want to have that kind of love.  True emotional love that lasts forever.  Teddy asked me if I fucked Jesse & of course I lied – I had to.  I didn’t want to – in fact I had set up the conversation in order to tell the truth but I just couldn’t.  My natural honesty struggles with my common sense.

I know I’m probably more in love than Jesse is – if he even is in love at all.  I was so totally in love this summer – I was completely shattered.  This summer was so hard anyway.  But I came to – emotionally – I had to – I had to maintain control.  Plus –  after I lost my ’67 Fury, I lost my independence.  I’m driving my new car now, but Teddy still comes along – he says I’m not ready to drive alone yet.  It’s my first stick-shift.  Plus he’s home all the time.  So it’s a good excuse on his part – he’s not doing anything anyway so he comes along with me to “make sure” I know what I’m doing when I’m driving.  Which – what the fuck – I most certainly do!  My father taught me how to use a stick when he was still alive – back when we lived in Massachusetts!  I know what Teddy is doing!  It’s insulting but there’s nothing I can do about it.  Just smile & say – sure come along – let’s cruise, let’s party.  Back when he was working, I used to jump in the car whenever & go wherever.  I’ve always loved cruising around the city.  So now I have Teddy with me all the time – oh well, that’s life.  It could be worse.

The last time I was with Jesse, he said he was going to remain “faithful” to Doreen now that they had a child – personally, I think he’s being faithful to the kid.  I don’t know why we have to stop.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  I don’t really want to take Jesse away from Doreen –  especially now that he’s got a kid with her.  & I really don’t want to leave Teddy – we’ve got the stag party business & I like our life together – basically – it’s just the sex part that sucks.  Why can’t Jesse & I be together sexually?  What’s so wrong with that?  Why is everyone so hung up on sex?  On marital fidelity?  To me, it seems simple.  Teddy is my husband – he has my loyalty, my love, my income & my total support.  Jesse is my lover – he has my passion, my sexuality, my body, my love.  Yes, they both have my love.  I don’t see a problem with this.  Why does everyone else?  What’s the fucking hang-up?

Honestly, I don’t think Jesse is going to stay “faithful” for long.  I think the novelty of being a new dad is going to wear off & also the novelty of being “faithful” to Doreen.  I know where all of this is coming from.  One of his best friends is Tony Padovano – a jazz guitarist who plays with fusion-type bands – he went out to L.A. a few years ago & apparently is doing real well out there – but anyway – years ago, the Padovanos & the Johnsons – as in Wayne Johnson, who is the same age as Tony – lived next door to each other in the same ritzy neighborhood in Eggertsville-Snyder – & apparently, Mrs. Padovano & Mr. Johnson had an affair & each divorced their respective spouses & married each other & moved into one big house with all the kids – it was like the Brady Bunch, only with two last names & a lot of bad feelings – so Jesse tells it.  & then Mrs. Padovano – I guess she would have been Mrs. Johnson by then – started having more children – so with all the stepchildren, there were also half-brothers & -sisters.  There was something like twelve or thirteen kids in the house by the time she was done having kids.  & a cook & a maid & dogs & cats – they were really rich – Mr. Johnson owned a string of laundromats & some retail stores & other businesses – he was a real wheeler-dealer.  He left everything to Wayne – Wayne runs all the businesses now.  Anyway – Jesse said that he was never going to put his kids through all of that.  But I don’t see how any of that would ever happen.  That seems like an extraordinary circumstance.  I’ve seen lots of divorced kids & usually they all don’t live together in one house like that.  Usually one parent or the other gets them & they visit on weekends or something.  & it doesn’t have to be all negative.  Just because Tony Padovano didn’t like the situation doesn’t mean all the kids didn’t like it.  I imagine the younger kids didn’t see it that way – I mean, it was the only family they knew, right?

& there’s all those marriages – & I can name quite a few of them – who should have broken up & never did – kids who saw their parents argue year after & year – or just endure each other – just short of hating each other – staying together for “the sake of the kids” – like that doesn’t lay a number on the kids – sometimes breaking up is the best thing you can do for your kids.  Teddy says that life was much calmer after his father moved out – he missed him but he couldn’t take the arguing between his mother & his father – & he knew that they loved each other – it was simply that they couldn’t live together.  & he loved getting together with his dad – going for rides in whatever hot car he had at the time – going out for dinner – doing all the cool father-son stuff that you don’t do when your dad is living at home.  There are perks to having your parents divorced.  It isn’t all negative.  I mean – there’s pros & cons to everything.

***

Thanksgiving.  I never thought things were going to turn out like this.  When I got home from shopping with Danielle last night, I started making the stuffing – I decided I wanted to have it ready & out of the way – cuz you can’t put warm stuffing into a cold turkey anyway –  & am I ever glad I did that!  I had just finished preparing it & was letting it cool when the phone rang.  It was around 8 p.m. or so – maybe a little later – & it was Leandra.  She said she had a quarter-pound of cocaine that she had to unload really fast – did I want it?  I said, “You had better talk to Teddy.”

So Teddy was on the phone for just a few minutes & he was out the door.  I thought – maybe I should make the curried corn & the green beans – so all I have to do is reheat them before dinner.  I had a feeling that it was going to be a partying night & I wasn’t going to be up to doing much on the holiday.  & I was right.  Teddy came back with a pile of cocaine.  & he was on the phone & then everyone started coming over.  The first person to arrive was Jesse.  He bought half of what Teddy had – for which I was really happy because a quarter-ounce of coke is a lot of fucking cocaine!   & we really can’t afford it!  But I was surprised to see him – I thought they were already gone to Cleveland.  But no – & Jesse stayed all night – partying with us – & we all went to Falco’s because Teddy had to meet Wayne there to sell him a pile – Wayne lives across the street from the bar – & we stayed there partying & closed the bar & I am very sure that Doreen is one pissed off babe.  “She can drive to Cleveland,” said Jesse, laughing.  Jesse & I played pool & basically hung out together all night & it was almost like we were the same old lovers we always were – he held me with his eyes & I could see that he still wanted me – or was it just the coke?  I really didn’t care – I was so blasted that I really didn’t care about anything.  It was a fun night but I was stuffing the turkey & getting it ready & I was sooooo burned out – Teddy was sleeping – somehow – & I was doing lines as I was in the kitchen – finally I got the turkey in & I was able to lie down on the couch – unable to sleep but at least I got a little rest.

The meal turned out OK – amazingly – we all managed to eat, even though we were all coked out & hungover.  I called Mom & she said that Jesse & Doreen arrived late & that Jesse seemed to “have a cold” – I said, “Oh, it’s going around.”  It sure is.

***

Halfway through December & I am working more than ever.  Three days a week at The Canteen – two nights a week at The Pipka Palace – two nights at Auric’s Den – but I won’t be there much longer – it’s way out past the airport & I really don’t like it there – but meanwhile I’ll work out the length of my contract & then leave.  Plus I’m doing stag parties – right now it’s Christmas parties – I’m booked up through the holiday.  Thank heavens for that – because Teddy is dealing coke that he’s getting from Leandra & her boyfriend Kyle – another Kingsman, of course – but naturally Teddy is doing almost as much as he’s dealing & instead of turning a profit, we’re actually falling behind!  So I have to work as much as I can.

***

Doreen’s father died.  He had a heart attack – I feel bad for her – nobody wants to deal with a funeral right before the holidays.  Plus for the rest of her life, every time Christmas comes around, she’ll think of her father’s death.  Teddy’s going to go to the wake – I can’t – I’m working that night.  The funeral is private – just for the family.   Her brother Bobby is coming up from Florida – I’ve never met him.  Jesse says he’s a jerk.

***

Jesse came over last night.  I was home – a rare night at home.  I was working on a new outfit – hand-sewing red spangles on a black spandex halter dress that I had stitched up on the sewing machine earlier in the evening.  Jesse was pretty pissed off – I could see that at a glance & his opening words confirmed his mood.  “Doreen’s crying, the baby’s crying, I had to get out of the house,” he complained.  I thought – what?  The baby isn’t even a month old & he’s got to escape its crying?  “You want a drink?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, “but what I really want is some coke.  Teddy just called me & said he just reupped.”

“Yes he did,” I answered.  “He’s in the bedroom, weighing out grams.”  I walked to the hallway & called to Teddy, “Jesse’s here.” Then I went to the kitchen & mixed drinks for everyone.  Teddy came out – excited & upbeat as usual – carrying the hexagon mirror.  We all sat together in the living room.  Lines were laid out & snorted.  Jesse started talking almost before he had gotten his blow up his nose.  “The will was read today,” he told us.  “Really no surprises – the house goes to Doreen’s mom, most of the money – Doreen & her brothers get a share – not a lot but enough to take a trip or buy herself some new clothes – which she’ll need if she doesn’t lose the baby weight.”  He sucked down his drink & I took his glass & went into the kitchen to make him another one.  When I came back, he continued his rant.  “Doreen’s mom is already thinking of selling the house & Doreen wants her to move in with us – so she can watch the baby when we’re working – which isn’t a bad idea, actually – but damn!  I really don’t want to live with my fucking mother-in-law!”  He did another massive line. “I’ll have to redo the back of the house & make it into an in-law apartment – but I guess it’ll keep me busy during the winter when I’m laid off.”  He did another line.  “But that’s not the half of it.  Remember that ’53 Panhead Doreen’s dad had?”

“That old Harley he’d ride once a year?” Teddy replied.

“Yeah,” Jesse answered.  “Well, he left it to me in his will.”

“Wow, excellent!”  I enthused.

“Well – Tommy doesn’t think so.  Neither does Bobby.”

“Bobby doesn’t even ride.  He’s never ridden motorcycles – he’s never wanted to,” Teddy said.

“Bobby just wants to sell it & get the money from it.  & Tommy thinks he should have it cuz it was his father’s, even though he’s always gone out of his way to ridicule Harleys & anyone who rides them.  Old man Miller made fun of Tommy’s café racer,” Jesse added, laughing.  But he sobered up after another drink.  “It was one hell of an argument after the will was read.  Not just the Harley but his hunting guns – he left most of his stuff to me & not to Bobby or Tommy or to Doreen.  Not that Doreen would want those shotguns & neither Bobby nor Tommy hunt but of course Bobby will sell anything you give him & Tommy always followed Bobby’s lead in anything anyway.  But I was always real close to the old man & Bobby & Tommy just weren’t!  Bobby’s just a jerk!  Doreen’s the only one who really likes him but she’ll see the good side of the devil.  & then Bobby & Tommy were both saying they going to contest the will & the lawyer saying that if that happens, nobody gets anything at all – including Doreen’s mom – so then Doreen was all upset at all of us – like I was the one who caused this shit storm – I didn’t ask for that Harley, but I don’t plan on giving it up, since the old man wanted me to have it – I was born in ’53 – I’m sure that’s why he wanted me to have it.”  He did the lines that Teddy laid out.  “& I want those guns, too.  That Remington is one sweet shotgun.  I’ve shot it dozens of times.  The old man & I used to hunt every year, before he got so arthritic he couldn’t climb a tree anymore or even walk very far.”

Jesse left soon after that – Teddy said, “That family always did argue about every little thing.  Old man Miller is probably laughing wherever he’s at – I’m sure he wrote that will & gave that ’53 Panhead & those guns to Jesse just to piss off Bobby.  He never did like him.  I was never really sure why.”

***

Christmas.  A weird Christmas – on a Sunday, which never feels right to me.  We’re in Cleveland – I worked every night this week, including yesterday – The Canteen was open until 6 p.m. – then Teddy & I drove to Cleveland – well, he drove, I sat next to him & kinda of dozed.  I’m so burned out.  But I was able to get everything I wanted for everyone – shopping after work, before work – whenever I could fit it in.

Jesse & Doreen aren’t here – they’re at her mother’s – the first holiday after her father’s death, which can’t be easy.   But everyone else is.  Helena announced that she’s expecting her second child probably in June or early July.  Little Vanessa is a doll – will there be a Virginia or Clive to go with her?

I’ve got to go – it’s time for dinner – prime rib & mashed potatoes & mixed green salad & half a dozen other sides – always too much food at our family functions but I guess that’s the point – it’s a feast.  It’s just I’ve been doing so much coke this past month & lost so much weight that I really can’t eat much anymore.  Still – it all smells heavenly.

***

The day before New Year’s Eve.  I just got home.  I went shopping – I needed a new pair of shoes for work – which I got on sale at Baker’s downtown – I love that store.  I got the most adorable pair of red pumps – very plain but so comfortable & they make my legs look fabulous.  Then I went over to Jesse’s.  He is working on his house – turning the back apartment into an in-law apartment for his mother-in-law.  She’s moving in next week.  He had to redo the bathroom – she needs a railing along the walls because of her arthritis – & fix the steps going into the kitchen & add a doorway so that her apartment & his house are now connected.  He’s almost done.

Doreen & the baby are staying at her mother’s while Jesse’s working on the house – because of the dirt & dust & noise – so it was the perfect time to sit & talk about US & this business of him being “faithful” now that they have a kid.  He rolled up a fat doobie & we did talk.  Or anyway, he did.  “Well, the thing is, Cori,” he told me, “with my mother-in-law living here now, it’s not like you’re going to be able to come over whenever you want anymore & just hang out like you used to.  & I’m going to be working much more – they’re going to make me a foreman, so I probably won’t be laid off all winter long anymore.  I’ll be working, even if the rank & file aren’t.  & I have to work now – I’ve got a kid.”

I didn’t say anything.  I was thinking about how wonderful love was with him & how I didn’t want to give it up.

He continued, “I still want you.  I’ll always want you.  I want you more now than I ever have.  That isn’t going to change & Cori – ” he took the joint from my hand & placed it in the ash tray & then took both my hands in his – “Cori, I love you.  I know that now.  Maybe it was just sex this summer – yeah, I know it was – cuz Doreen was pregnant & I needed an outlet – but you really got to me.  You really did.  You’re the woman I’ve always wanted – ” he broke off.  I waited.

After a minute, he continued, “& now Doreen is talking about getting pregnant again as soon as possible & I don’t know if I want four or five or six kids, like she’s talking.  I don’t know if I want to go to church & be a straight-laced dude like she now wants me to be.”

I looked at him & smiled sadly.  “Jesse, I can’t make these decisions for you.”

“They’ve already been made for me,” he answered.

“Only if you think so,” I replied.  I got up & was going to leave but he pulled me back down.  “Don’t go,” he said.  “What’s the point of staying?” I asked.  “I want you to stay,” he told me, “please stay.”

So I did.  & it was good – so very good – better than ever.  We’re made for each other – our bodies fit – like they were built for each other.  & just breathing in his scent – my face buried in his chest hair – oh –

& I’ll tell you something – no matter what Jesse says – about being faithful to Doreen & his family – about his mother-in-law moving in – about becoming a foreman in the union & working all the time – it’s not going to end.  Because he can’t stay away from me – he just can’t.

***

New Year’s Day, 1984

Hungover.  Although I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would – we tripped & did coke & drank – we were over at Wayne Johnson’s New Year Party until 2 a.m., then closed Falco’s – which was ok – I mean, it was a lot of fun.  It was New Year’s Eve!  So I’m hungover today.  I guess you’re supposed to be hungover on New Year’s Day, right?

It was a fairly good night.  Jesse & Doreen were over earlier in the evening – mostly to buy coke – they left Zach at Doreen’s mother’s – & you could tell Doreen was pissed off about something – either because Jesse was buying coke or that she was away from the baby or something.  Jesse did up almost his entire gram hanging out with us & having drinks & I don’t think she was happy about that, either.  She wouldn’t have any alcohol & no coke at all although she did smoke a few toke off the joint we passed around.  She said she wasn’t breast-feeding anymore, so it can’t be that she’s afraid the kid will get drugs via her breast milk.  I don’t know what her problem is – she used to party like the rest of us.  But – people change.  I feel bad for Jesse.  I had a feeling they were going to be arguing for their New Year’s toast.  I’ve said it a hundred times – if you’re a partier, you have to be married to a partier, or it won’t work.  Doreen deciding that she doesn’t want to party anymore is like changing the rules in the middle of the game.  What’s Jesse supposed to do?  What would I do if Teddy decided he didn’t want to party anymore?  Really – that’s the only thing we have in common.

After they left, we went over to Wayne’s & by then the acid was kicking in – & I have to say, I really didn’t enjoy myself much – I was tripping too much to be at a party – you have to be able to interact with other people when you’re at a party – I was tripping too intensely for that & anyway – tripping is more fun when you can just hang out & listen to music & dance & watch the trails coming from the tips of your fingers.  But Teddy wanted to trip, so we tripped.  It’s always overkill with him.  I peaked around midnight & then I was coming down & able to really party.  By the time we went to Falco’s, I was me – the Cori everyone knows – singing, dancing – but I was sick this morning & I’m super tired right now.  & kinda depressed.  It’s another cold, blah day.

& I’m wondering – when will I see Jesse again?  Will I see Jesse again?

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 21

[Winter,1983]

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I sure can.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 20

[Summer – Fall, 1982]

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

“& you said yes,” Jesses reminded me.

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

“You could have said no,” he said.

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

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

“What – she’s Catholic?”

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

“How old were you?”

“Twenty-two.”

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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